Page 9, 21st May 1937

21st May 1937
Page 9
Page 9, 21st May 1937 — THE DUTCH ELECTIONS

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People: Colijn


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importance to Catholics

The elections in Holland on May 26, arc of exceptional importance to Catholics.

In Holland Catholicism has made greater advances than in any other country which accepted the Protestant Reformation. By peaceful and constitutional penetration Catholics now number a third of the population and are magnificently organised.

Politically they form a separate party, the Staatspartij, numerically the strongest party in the country with 30 seats in a House of 100.

Position of the Catholic Party

The Catholic Party, however, scarcely carries the full power that is its due owing to the Protestant and Calvinistic atmosphere of the country, and the trend of thought to-day makes its future precarious.

It stands between the Social-Democratic Workers' Party on one side, and the growing National Socialist Party (N.S.B.) described below on the other.

Unfortunately the moderate position is shared by the anti-revolutionary Calvinist party, whose leader is Mr. Colijn, the present Prime Minister. This Protestant party carries much influence and is opposed to the Catholic party on economic policy. M. CoIijn is a defender of the golds standard and deflation, while the Catholics wish to devalue the Dutch Florin and align it with sterling.

Powerful Premier

The Prime Minister's strong personality and the popularity of his views with the Conservative and Protestant elements in the country, on the one hand, and the strengthening Socialists on the other, tend to leave the Catholics without a very clear position.

It is, however, generally expected that they will retain all their seats, but M. Colifn may form a stronger and more autocratic Cabinet, if he is successful.

Between autocratic Protestant Conservatism on the one side and Socialism on the other the Catholic lot is not a happy one.

The Nazi N.D.B. presents a different problem.

Nazi Party in Holland National-Socialism is certainly meant to be an exportable commodity.

At present this party has two senators, and conservative. prophets expect that it may, through proportional representation, obtain sonic live seats in the Lower House.

Flanders Empire Though the party is up against the deeply-rooted historical democracy of the Netherlands it optimistically offers a fullpledged Nazi programme founded direct on Mein Kampf. The special bait is a Dutch Empire that shall include Holland and Belgian and French Flanders, all cornposed of the same race or cousinly propinquity to the German. Thus would be created a Flanders of 13 million inhabitants, hostile to France and supporting German interests. The formation of this new country under the tutelage of Germany was. it will be recalled, one of the possibilities of a German peace if the Allies had lost the war.

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