Page 9, 23rd July 1937

23rd July 1937
Page 9
Page 9, 23rd July 1937 — BELGIAN POLITICS ON HOLIDAY

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Van Zeeland Unpopular with Catholic Party

From Our Belgian Correspondent Belgium is experiencing a lull in her home troubles since the solution of last week's Cabinet crisis. All that has been done, however, has been makeshift and it is merely a case of peace for peace's sake until after the holidays.

In expressing this opinion T may be unduly optimistic as a very experienced political observer says that the lull will last till October only " if things do not happen in the meantime."

Certainly next October will see a reconstruction of the Ministry, as the appointment of M. Maistriaie a sick man, as Minister of Justice to replace M. de Laveleye is only a stop-gap.

Van Zeeland's Prestige M. Van Zeeland is praised for his prestige abroad, but he is the subject of much criticism for the blunders he has made.

The standing complaint registered against him by the " Bloc Catholique " is that he has neglected to carry out the programme which he promised to the Catholic Party, Whilst he has permitted the Socialists and Liberals to secure all and more than the measures to which they were promised or entitled.

This criticism, it is added, does not reflect on his uprightness or purity of motive. It is rather his judgment and strength which are questioned.

Alleged Bank Scandal

What may beat up into a serious storm is the allegation that the Directors of the Belgian National Bank divided among themselves the salary as Vice-Governor of the Bank which M. Van Zeeland ceased to draw when he resigned the post on taking office as Prime Minister.

M. Sap, the Catholic former Minister of Finance, won the libel case he took against his former colleagues, who blamed him for divulging the fact that while M. Van Zeeland's salary was charged in the accounts he had not drawn it.

Now the Catholic papers are joining in the hunt and stating definitely how the total sum of 2.241,500 francs has been divided between the Governor and Directors.

AU this. while not directed against M. Van Zeeland, increases the painfulness of his position and shows how necessary it is to remove Belgian political life from the web of finance and profiteering.

First Walloon-Flemish Meeting

The meeting of the newly-formed Council of the Bloc Catholique" which took place last Saturday was the first contact between the Walloon and the Flemish sections.

Some speakers expressed resentment at criticism by Catholic papers of the Party. The Catholic press retorts that its criticism has been constructive and intended to be helpful, and, further, that it will not be muzzled or servile.

M. Van Cauwelaert continues to work for a union between Catholics and Socialists in his attempt to oust M. Van Zeeland from the Premiership.

Comment is rife on his cruise with M. Vandervelde, the veteran Socialist leader, during which plans will apparently be made for an attempt to get both back into power.

Basque Refugees It is certainly time the Basque children in Belgium were returned to their homes, as they are being shamefully exploited by the Popular Front.

It is a sad sight to see Catholic children included in processions whose spirit is composed of menace and hatred.

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