Page 3, 9th July 1937

9th July 1937
Page 3

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Weakness of Belgian Catholics: Hopes Rest in October Congress

From Our Belgian Correspondent M. van Zeeland, the Prime Minister, has returned from America. His task is not an enviable one.

The Government is a National onc. But the Socialists play the masters. The Catholics make an outcry that the Government is drifting to the Left. The Liberals are causing considerable disturbance and claim more importance in Cabinet action than their number justifies.

Med much of the agitation against the Amnesty law comes from the Liberal hostility. The procedure adopted by the excombatants does not find general approval. Also, their marine,in forcing the king to receive them has been generally reproved. (See page 7).

Most of what is happening is incoherent. There are cross-currents and undercurrents, and they bode no good for the Catholic cause.

Incoherence and turmoil are fostered by anti-Catholic elements for their own sinister purposes.

Catholic Party Not Ready If a climax conre, be it a Cabinet crisis, or a dissolution, the Catholic. Party is not ready to meet the emergency.

Will the lack of unity and cohesion in the Catholic Party end through the manifesto issued this week-end by the Directorate of the Belgian Catholic Bloc?

This Directorate, composed of the P.C.S. or French speaking Social Catholic Party, and the K.V.V. of Catholic Flemish People's Party at a solemn meeting last Friday resolved that the Catholic Party maintain its support of the National Unity Government. It considers that the adhesion of the Catholic Party to the present Coalition Government of three parties is the best policy in the interests of Belgium at this juncture. If, however, the Government were to change its policy, the Catholic Party would ipso facto have the faculty to insist on Catholic claims being maintained on the new programme.

Catholic Political Congress

A solemn congress is planned for October 17. This congress will elect the first President-General of the Belgian Catholic Bloc. Then, it will set about reorganising the Parliamentary Right and set up solid bonds of organic unity between the Party and its Members in Parliament.

The Bloc has renewed its confidence in M. Paul van Zeeland, the Prime Minister.

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