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IV

Economic Interests.

Avoid unjust complaints. The' Road to Joint Progress.

Up till now the questions that have been considered have been of a political, territorial or military nature. At the root of most questions, however, one generally finds material interests. It is the same with the questions which we are now considering. It will nevertheless be seen that the complaints made on this subject by the Belgians, are either grossly exaggerated or absolutely untenable. Holland and Belgium should aim rather at economic cooperation than at reciprocal opposition. The exorbitant accumulation of grievances lately formulated against Holland cannot be favourable to a good understanding between the two countries unless they be reduced as soon as possible to their proper dimensions.

1. The competition between the sea-ports.

First let us see whether it is correct to say as is sometimes done, that the frontier between Holland and Belgium as fixed in 1839, is fundamentally opposed to the economie interests of Belgium.

This must be unhesitatingly denied. It may be said with perfect sincerity that the fixing of these frontiers imphed no Dutch policy to hurt Belgian economic interests. When Belgians speak of a struggle between

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