in a navigable state and to keep the beacons and buoys in repair. This obligation has always been rigorously carried out. As to those Belgian demands that go much further and have reference to a system of buoying, lighting etc. in accordance with the modernization of the navigable channel, Holland has always taken up the following position: whatever is not necessary for the normal maintenance of the channel and concerns alterations and improvements for the special benefit of the shipping of Antwerp, will meet with no objection whatever on the part of the Netherlands, but must be paid for by Belgium. It would be difficult to deny the justice of this position.
h) Proposed new connections with the Rhine.
Antwerp's connection with the Rhine consists in the first phce of the route by way of the great rivers which flow through Dutch territory. It is difficult to see why this should be unfavourable to the Belgian port. On the contrary, Antwerp thus shares all the advantages accruing from the constant improvements which Holland is for ever making on the rivers Wael, Rhine and lower Meuse. We have already spoken of the canal Wemeldinge-Hansweert. It forms part of the connection between Antwerp and the Rhine. Though it is at present sufficiënt for the needs of the Belgian traffic from the Scheldt to the Dutch intermediary waterways, it will always be possible to improve it, if Belgium should demonstrate the utility of such changes.
As to the need of a more direct connection between Antwerp and the Rhine, Holland leaves Belgium free to judge of its advantages. It has never seemed to us either necessary or profitable to undertake the construction of an expensive canal of great width, seeing the excellence of the existing natural waterways! On the other hand we may point out that Holland has never opposed the project, nor will she hamper its execution. Obvioüsly the collaboration of the Dutch