on the part of the Dutch government against the unjustifiable deportations of Belgian civilians; by the sincere joy feit at the re-establishment of Belgian liberty, a sentiment reflected in the official mission sent by Queen Wilhelmina to King Albert.
Loyal Dutchmen realize as fully as loyal Belgians must do on their part, that the interests of the two nations must in the future be made to harmonize as completely as possible. And the Peace Conference now sitting should set itself to consolidate this harmony. It must on no account create points of discord between the two nations. After the war, the Dutch and Belgian nations must face the future not only without animosity, but in perfect understanding. This will be in the interest of both nations; it will strengthen their economie development as well as their political power. And the question is of international importance also, for it cannot be indifferent to the whole of Europe, that in the important part of its continent which has for centuries born the name of "the Low Countries", peace and concord, united endeavour and prosperity shall prevail, rather than discord and strife. It was exactly to prevent the latter that the great Powers have.again and again, as in 1815 and in 1830, occupied themselves with the position of those countries.
Let it be said again, the moment seems to have arrived for Holland and Belgium to revise their relations by common accord and with a view to their future. On the Belgian side it has been urged that the present Peace negociations offer a favourable opportunity for submitting the Dutch-Belgian relations as a whole to a thorough revision. The Belgians have pointed out several shortcomings in these relations as actually existing. On the Dutch side a disposition has been shown to come to an understanding on this subject, on condition, however that neither the territorial status of the country, nor its vital interests be interfered with.
If Belgium's interests can be safeguarded better than they are at present, let the existing arrangements be revised by all means!