Modifications will have to be elaborated by common accord and in the first place between Holland and Belgium themselves. The respective rights and duties of the countries were formulated by the Dutch-Belgian Treaty of 1839, which recognized the independence of the Belgian state. This treaty having been concluded on the initiative of the Great Powers, under the auspices and with the guarantee of England, France, Austria, Prussia and Russia, these powers, and especially England and France, will have to be consulted on the subject of its revision.
It is also possible that new Great Powers, such as Italy, Japan and the United States, may desire to interest themselves in the matter. No one will deny, however, that in reality the principal points will have to be arranged between Holland and Belgium themselves.
Since it is desirable that these questions should be solved in a spirit of the greatest justice and fairness, we shall now enter into a systematic comparison between the different Belgian arguments and the Dutch point of view. The claims and interests of each must be weighed objectively. This is the only manner in which public opinion can be enlightened and can assist in arriving at a definite and satisfactory solution. There is no question of a struggle for or against Belgian or Dutch interests, but only of an endeavour to arrivé at a Dutch-Belgian agreement which shall be just, workable and fruitful. It appears that on the Belgian side complaints and accusations have been made against Holland. Though this was certainly contrary to the intentions of responsible Belgian statésmen, these complaints have given rise to unjust and inaccurate ideas. It will be well in the interest of mutual understanding, to be on guard against such attacks.
We would therefore request our readers to peruse with care the brief but accurate summary which is to follow. Numerous Belgian publications have seen the light. The following summary will set forth the Dutch point of view with reference to the subjects treated by them.