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LEOPOLD "MADE GRAVE MISTAKES"

BELGIAN CRISIS

Van Acker Appeals For Swift Decision N.Z. Press Association—Copyright Rec. 11 a.m. BRUSSELS, July 20. Speaking in the Chamber of Deputies debate on the proposed abdication of King Leopold, the Prime Minister, M. van Acker, said the crisis had paralysed Belgian State affairs and must be settled as quickly, as possible.

"My personal opinion is that the King is not a traitor but he believed Germany would win the war," he added. "There was tension between the King and the country before the war and the King was not always wrong, but the King no longer has the credit of authority to discharge his high duty. The King did not react to the occupation as the rest of Belgium did. He believed in a German victory and did not leave the country and follow his Government to London. These were very grave mistakes, which I deplore. We have shown patience, moderation and understanding, but Belgium's most vital needs cannot be sacrificed for one man."

Among Leopold's "mistakes" M. van Acker listed his failure to resist the deportation of civilians, a marriage which lowered his prestige among the people, and a visit to Hitler. M. van Acker added that Leopold described British and American generals as brutal and clumsy. He thought Belgium might become the scene of bloody disturbances when the Allies landed in Europe. But for his wavering hesitation the King might have returned to Belgium after , the liberation and abdicated after a few. months. The Duke of Brabant (Leopold's son) would have ascended the throne in an atmosphere of general elation. M. van Acker ended his speech with a declaration of his unshakable determination to lead the country along constitutional lines. He appealed for an end to dissension and a return to unity in rebuilding for prosperity.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19450721.2.37

Bibliographic details

LEOPOLD "MADE GRAVE MISTAKES", Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945

Word Count
304

LEOPOLD "MADE GRAVE MISTAKES" Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945

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