assist in bringing about these improvements "if the "sacrifices involved, not only those of a pecuniary "nature but also as regards the vital interests of the "port of Antwerp, are to find their equivalent in large " compensations''.
The Belgians cannot get away from the pre-conceived idea that the canalization of the Limburg Meuse will serve to increase the traffic of Rotterdam..
Belgian cooperation in the matter was made to depend on "large compensations" in favour of Antwerp, compensations so burdensome from a Dutch point of view that the Dutch Government might eventually prefer to construct a special canal, entirely on Dutch territory, which would dispense with Belgium's collaboration altogether.
The negociations concerning the canalization of the Meuse were broken off by the war.
We venture to think that we have shown in the foregoing exposition that the Dutch government are perfectly ready to take their share in a lasting and reasonable solution of the Meuse question, and that the Belgian government have at times acted in the very manner which the Belgians reproach the Dutch government with, that is to say that they have refused to give assistance in measures necessary to the economic development of a neighbour state from fear of injuring their own country's commercial interests.
The history of the canalization of the Meuse proces once again that the interests of Holland and Belgium are so closely connected that instead of jealousy, discord and strife, friendship and harmony should govern the relations between the two nations.
It is clearly necessary to find a solution of the Meuse question which shall satisfy both countries, and in which special interests are made subordinate to general ones. This can only be done by mutual agreement ; the discord, caused by the present aggressive attitude with regard to the Netherlands and the Treaties of 1839, must be smoothed away.