IF the objective study that I shall try to make of present conditions in my country has any interest at all, it is because Belgium is beyond question one of the states whose existence has been most profoundly troubled by the war, and in which the adjustment of the new conditions created by the catastrophe that burst upon Europe in 1914 has raised manifold and serious problems and has led to deep-seated changes in both the public and the private life of the people.

I have no intention of setting forth in detail what the war has meant to Belgium; and yet, to understand our present position, the difficulties through which we have passed and those we have still to overcome, the problems awaiting solution, and our hopes, it is essential to recollect what has been happening in Belgium during the last twelve years. Before the war the country was often compared to a hive in the full bustle of its activity, or to a great factory with a huge store annexed. No country presented -- or presents -- such density of population, such commercial and industrial activity, such a network of railways, roads, and canals. With a population twenty times as dense as that of the United States, and three and a half times as dense as that of France, Belgium before the war was wholly occupied with finding foreign markets for the products of her toil, in order to procure the funds indispensable for the purchase abroad of the food supplies which her limited territory could not provide.

Belgium's geographical location assured her a privileged position so far as transport was concerned. Unhappily, that very geographical situation placed her at the point where the military routes of the great European countries crossed, and so helped on the disaster. Belgium, a neutral country, was attacked and invaded by one of the guarantors of her neutrality. At the end of a few weeks, 99 percent of her soil was occupied by the enemy; and the Belgian Army, under the leadership of our heroic King, was on the Yser with no more than a sliver of our territory left to defend. For want of raw materials and outlets, and also because our workmen steadfastly refused to coöperate with the enemy, industrial life gradually came to a standstill. Our great industries were systematically destroyed by the occupying forces, under the pretext of procuring raw materials but in reality in order to handicap what might be a dangerous industrial competitor later on.

Let me merely cite some facts about the iron industry. Of fifty-seven blast furnaces existing in Belgium in 1914, forty had been destroyed by the time of the armistice -- not by artillery fire, but by special German demolition details. The great majority of the trains of rolls were destroyed by explosives, and converters, electric ovens, and coke ovens met the same fate. The machinery of our innumerable workshops was either sent to Germany or destroyed on the spot. Again, 3,000 locomotives and more than 100,000 cars and coaches were carried off or destroyed, while 1800 kilometres of roadbed were torn up or put out of service. Our stock-breeding, too, was ruined, most of the horses and the best of the cattle being seized by the army of occupation.

I mention these random examples simply in order to give some idea of the condition in which Belgian industry and agriculture found themselves at the time of the armistice, and I mention material damage only. It must not be forgotten that the working class, so numerous in Belgium, had been weakened by the wholesale deportations (120,000 workmen were deported to Germany for having refused to work for Germany), by unemployment, and by inadequate nourishment in spite of the admirable efforts of the Commission for Relief in Belgium. It is useless to speak of trade or transportation, since all our relations with other countries were wholly suppressed for more than four years. The indirect damage of the war and the occupation were indeed even more disastrous than the direct damage of the actual fighting.

Scarcely were the Belgians delivered from the enemy's yoke when they set themselves courageously to the task of building up their ruins, restoring their factories, reëstablishing their agriculture, and recovering the markets abroad that are indispensable to the country's existence.

Let us try in a hasty sort of way to find out what are the important changes that have been wrought, under various guises, during these twelve years.

So far as domestic politics are concerned, we must remember that the Belgian Parliament before the war consisted of two chambers, the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate. The members of the Chamber of Representatives were chosen by universal suffrage, but with a check in the provisions giving supplementary votes to freeholders, to persons qualifying in more or less advanced studies, and also to fathers of families. The Senators were chosen by the same electoral body, but -- except for a number elected by the Provincial Councils -- could be chosen only from among persons who had paid a certain minimum direct tax.

The revision of the Constitution, which was completed in 1921, has resulted in the establishment of universal suffrage, pure and simple, for both chambers. This is the principal modification. Women have the right to vote in municipal elections, but have not yet received it in provincial or legislative elections. The division of seats has been worked out by a rather complicated system of proportional representation. The old restrictions on eligibility to the Senate have practically disappeared.

The result of these modifications has been an increase in the influence of the Socialist Party. In the pre-war Chamber the division was: 41 Socialists, 44 Liberals, 99 Catholics, 2 Independents. Today there are 78 Socialists, 23 Liberals, 78 Catholics, and 7 of various parties.

There are only two Communist deputies in the Belgian Chamber. In spite of the propaganda which is carried on among us, as everywhere else, by Moscow's emissaries or with Moscow's gold, I have too much confidence in the rational and moderate spirit of my fellow-citizens to believe that Communist doctrines can ever find adherents among us in any numbers worth considering.

We shall see presently in what manner real property is divided in Belgium. Personal property is divided in about the same way. There are a million depositors in the Caisse d'Epargne, a kind of official bank for small savings accounts. And while we are on the subject, it is interesting to note that the official organ of the Socialist Party publishes the stock reports every day, precisely as the bourgeois journals do, which indicates how widely investments (all payable to the bearer, however) are distributed among all social classes. Another indication is provided by the great Socialist coöperative of Ghent, the Vooruit (under the direction of M. Anseele, one of the party leaders who is at present Minister of Railways), which a few years ago out of its own capital founded a bank and a whole series of industries -- spinning mills, cotton mills, lace mills, foundries, workshops, steam fisheries, etc. The stocks of some of these are sold side by side with ordinary stocks on the Brussels Bourse.

This division of wealth, this economic organization of the working class, constitutes an element of stability and sanity. In spite of the insuperable difficulties of adjusting wages in the midst of the economic upheaval of the post-war period, the number of strikes since the war has been far smaller in Belgium than in England or France.

For three years after the armistice, Belgium was governed by a ministry in which three parties were represented under the so-called Union Sacrée. Toward the end of the year 1921 the Socialists made up their minds to retire from the government and a Catholic-Liberal Coalition Ministry remained in power until the elections of last April. The Liberals, who had lost a considerable part of their following, then decided to participate in the government no longer; and after a long-drawn crisis a ministry including representatives of the Socialist party and of the Right -- more especially the democratic section -- came into power.

The greatest problem that Belgium had to face after the armistice was naturally reconstruction. This explains why the Union Sacrée Ministry was thought necessary and why it was able to maintain itself for a relatively long time. The problem, however, has outlasted that ministry; and though the reconstruction of the material ruins of the war has in fact been completed and the restoration of state finances has made enormous progress, financial and economic questions nevertheless still remain the questions of the day. The old religious quarrels are disappearing and, we may hope, will not spring up again -- at least not with the old bitterness.

Belgium's financial situation after the armistice was truly tragic. Before the war her people paid relatively small taxes. The system of direct taxation was simple and was based on the external marks of wealth alone. The unequal division of taxation that resulted from this system was easily borne because of the extremely moderate assessment of fiscal charges. The government that came into power after the armistice found itself facing an apparently insoluble problem. On one side there were the enormous expenses necessary to wind up the war and the occupation, reconstruct the devastated regions, and support the hundreds of thousands of workers condemned to unemployment by the destruction of our industry and exports. On the other side, of our normal resources nothing, or nearly nothing, was left.

As a matter of fact, the old taxes were so inadequate to the needs created by the war that it was necessary to plan new ones at once. At the end of a few months a system of income taxes was put in operation, but had to be modified almost immediately because of certain blunders which its practical application revealed. It must be added that the income tax was destined to yield very little in the beginning, just at the moment when needs were most urgent. In fact, most Belgian incomes had been reduced to almost nothing. It was therefore necessary to borrow, and at this time the government was able to borrow considerable sums on the Belgian market, which was suffering from an inflation of which we shall presently speak. It could get money easily, too, because, industry and commerce having been reduced to almost nothing, floating capital had no conceivable employment. This was a time when there were many hopes, many illusions. The same confidence which had served to sustain our people's morale during the long years of occupation, served now to hasten the reconstruction of the devastated regions. During the war the Belgians had so often been promised the restoration of their country, that after the victory they had, indeed, some excuse for facing the future with a certain optimism.

A loan floated in America for the purchase of wheat and a reconstruction credit from the British Treasury assured the first vital requirements of the post-armistice period. But this was no more than a provisional solution of the difficulties, for the situation of the budget was really appalling.

The impossibility of balancing the budget during the first years led to a large increase in the public debt. The necessity of redeeming the marks that had been bought at an arbitrarily fixed figure during the occupation, the assumption by the state of the war contributions imposed by the Germans on provinces and communes, added to the expenses of reconstruction proper, led to formidable increases in the figures. The public debt, which was five billions before the war, increased by twenty billions during the first year following hostilities, and by from five to six millions during each of the two succeeding years. At the end of the year 1921 the total reached thirty-six billions. Then there was a gradual slowing down, and at the end of 1924 the debt amounted to 40,680,000,000 Belgian francs.

Rough comparisons with pre-war figures are obviously inaccurate, since our franc was at gold parity in 1914. The war, and more especially the inflation due to the arbitrary exchange rate imposed by the Germans during the occupation, gradually reduced it to a quarter of its pre-war gold value. It will be observed that the lower value of the francs lent to the state before and after the armistice constituted in itself a heavy levy on Belgian capitalists.

On the other hand, this same depreciation added to the difficulties of the state, which every year found itself confronted with new demands by its employees, which necessitated adjustments corresponding to the cost of living. The unbalanced budget, the formidable growth of the public debt simultaneously with the gradual disappearance of illusions about the reparations to be obtained from Germany, led to a salutary reaction. Since 1921 there has been a continuous effort to clean up public finance. It has been necessary, even in carrying forward and completing the reconstruction of the devastated areas, to check the growth of public expenses, then to reduce them, and to diminish the number of state employees. Above all it has been necessary to increase taxation. The revenue from taxes anticipated in the budget of 1913 was 351,000,000 francs. That anticipated in the budget of 1925 was 3,540,000,000 francs. Even when the depreciation of the currency is considered, this is a tremendous effort, especially if we consider the distribution of wealth in Belgium, where the majority of the population have small or moderate incomes. The British Commercial Attaché, in his report of December, 1924, on economic and financial conditions in Belgium, says that "the growth of taxes has attained a degree previously undreamed of."

I have already said that Belgium is a country of small and moderate fortunes. I shall draw an example from the division of real estate. According to the figures of the Belgian register of the survey of lands for 1921, real estate incomes, on which no dissimulation is possible, were divided as follows (conversion into dollars being made at the average exchange rate of 1921): incomes from real estate below $30, 58 percent; incomes between $30 and $300, 38 percent; incomes above $300, 4 percent.

The division of personal wealth, though it cannot be verified in the same way, is probably about the same. Thus in determining the lowest exemptions in the income tax law, we have been led to set the figures very far down indeed. The tax-exempt income in large cities, for a household of four persons (father, mother, and two children), is 7,200 francs, or about $350. The advance of the super-tax rate is, for the same reason, much more rapid than in America or England. Incomes above $8,000 (165,000 francs) pay 30 percent super-tax, whereas the 30 percent super-tax rate is not reached in England on incomes under $150,000.

The super-tax scale was fixed when the value of the franc was far above its present value. It is certain, therefore, that an adjustment is necessary if we are not to discourage completely the spirit of enterprise and thrift. After reading the figures given above, one has no difficulty in understanding why the harsh fiscal régime of the post-war years gave rise to an immense amount of complaint. In Belgium, as in a good many other countries, the Minister of Finance is not exactly a popular figure.

In fact, if we compare the per capita taxation provided for in the budget of 1925 with the same taxation in the 1913 budget we see a progression from units to tens. Again the comparison is obviously without significance because of the depreciation of the exchange. But if we make the same comparison, putting the taxes on a gold basis and estimating the dollar parity at the date when the budgets were drawn up, we see that the fiscal charge is 244 percent larger than it was before the war, a greater increase than the increase in France, Italy, or Switzerland.

The increase is heavier in Great Britain and America; but it is necessary to remember that while the national fortunes of the Allied states of Continental Europe were severely affected by the war, the United States and Great Britain have passed through a period of intense industrial activity during which the wealth of the tax-payers has greatly increased. In Belgium, as in France, the indispensable new taxes must be raised despite the fact that these countries are financially anæmic, not to say exhausted. In order to estimate properly the Belgian financial effort, let us add that it is not accurate to compare the number of paper francs collected by the state in 1925 with the number of gold francs collected in 1913. Nor is it fair to suppose that the incomes of the tax-payers -- at least of all the tax-payers -- have increased in proportion to the depreciation of their money. The workman, merchant, and business man have contrived to adjust their incomes, in greater or less degree, to the value of their money; but citizens living on their savings and salaried workers have had to meet the increased taxes out of incomes that have not increased -- and this at a time when the currency is depreciating.

To wind up the tax question, it must also be observed that though Belgium before the war had attained a remarkable economic prosperity (despite the fact that she produced no raw material of prime importance except coal), this was simply because living was cheap and taxes were light. Too heavy taxation would threaten the source of Belgium's prosperity and would leave her industry incapable of competing with that of lands more favored in natural wealth.

In all countries -- I know that this is notably the case in America -- the tax-payers, feeling the burden that is imposed upon them, find fault with the government for trying to balance the budget by increasing its own receipts rather than by cutting down public expenditure. The reproach has often been well founded, especially since the war. During the war the question of price did not matter. It was necessary to win. Several years have been required to destroy this state of mind, which is so disastrous in time of peace. Everywhere necessity has led to the reduction of expenditures, and in Belgium the government has devoted itself energetically to the task. In the first place, it is to be noted that in countries like Belgium, where the public debt has been seriously increased by war and post-war expenses, the cost of this debt represents an important and irreducible part of the state's budget. In Belgium the service of the public debt represents 50 percent of the ordinary budget. This situation obviously cuts down very seriously the possibilities of economy. Moreover, it unhappily is a general law, -- which applies to all countries without exception, so far as my knowledge goes, -- that public expenditures have a natural tendency to increase. For a long time before the war states entered more and more fully into the life of their subjects. Belgium was no exception. For teaching, for child welfare, for the improvement of the national plant, the state is today meeting expenses that formerly either did not exist at all, or at least were not a burden on the public funds.

The covering statement made at the time of the presentation of the last Belgian budget compared the variations in budgetary expenditures of a number of countries. The expenditures of 1913 were represented by the figure 100. The budgetary expenditures compared do not include the charges of the public debt, which are of a special nature. It was shown that the expenditures of Belgium, reduced to gold, are 134 percent of those of 1913, whereas in England the coefficient is 194 percent and in the United States 214 percent. Even the neutral countries of Europe have not escaped from the operation of this general law of increase, for the coefficient for Switzerland is 171 percent and for Holland 293 percent. Though these comparisons, like all comparisons, may call for certain reservations, they at any rate seem to show that though something can certainly be done to reduce state expenditure, an appreciable effort has already been made since the armistice. The result of this policy, -- fiscal sacrifices on one side and reduction in expenditure on the other -- finds expression in the budget of 1925, where, given a supplementary fiscal charge of 125 millions, the equilibrium of the budget was assured; and this, let me repeat, without any reparations receipts from German sources.

According to the most recent statements of the Minister of Finance, the supplementary taxes planned a year ago are to be increased as a result of the necessary changes in the salaries of state employees and of pensions; and also to cover the cost of loans to stabilize the currency, of which we shall speak later. It may be hoped that these taxes will represent nothing more than a relatively slight increase and that this final effort will be fairly easy in comparison with those in previous years.

In any case, the balancing of the budget is the foundation of the present Belgian ministry's economic program, as it has been in the case of preceding ministries. All the parties have learned that this is a national question above the plane of their old accustomed quarrels.

The Dawes Plan, it is to be noted, will assure to the budget receipts which, while limited, nevertheless are guaranteed. Again, the debts to the United States have been adjusted. To be sure, this adjustment, especially for some years to come, will represent a new increase in the public charges. But if the economic improvement of Belgium continues, one may hope that these charges will be "endurable." At all events, this agreement has the genuine advantage of ending the uncertainty that has veiled this important question. It also permits us to form a plan for the solution of Belgian financial problems as a whole, from which the last unknown elements have now been banished.

In consequence, one can foresee the definite balancing of the Belgian budget; and the government has judged this an opportune moment to undertake the necessary task of stabilizing the Belgian franc. This is a delicate task requiring a combination of many favorable factors, some of which I have enumerated. The moral and psychological factors, especially the factor of confidence, are not the least important, but above them all is confidence within the country itself. This depends on the policy that is followed. Here, again, I hope that the national good sense will make people understand that a policy that can be approved by all Belgians who have their country's interests at heart is more necessary today than ever.

I have dwelt at some length upon the financial question, but the solution of financial questions depends primarily upon the state of economic life. In a country like Belgium, which must live by exportation, the question of tariff relations with the chief consuming countries is all-important.

In November, 1918, Belgium encountered new customs barriers on every side, due to the breaking of her commercial treaties. After long and laborious negotiation, she has succeeded in concluding temporary customs arrangements with many countries, especially with France and with Germany; but Belgian industrialists still find themselves compelled to struggle on every side against a protectionist tendency that is being more and more strengthened and generalized. To be sure, Belgium herself collects import duties, but these are moderate and may be traced rather to fiscal considerations than to a desire to protect industries. Thus, on a total importation of 17,581,108,000 Belgian francs in 1924, the total duties were only 450,552,000 francs, or a scant 2.6 percent. (I may pause to remark that the trade of Belgium and the United States is represented by the following figures: Belgian exports to the United States, in 1924, $54,500,000; United States exports to Belgium, in 1924, $105,000,000.)

Yet if we consider the economic condition of Belgium we shall find that in spite of all the difficulties strewing its path, a mighty effort has been made and has produced important results. The figures below will give some idea of its extent:

In 1924, the production of coal was 102 percent of what it had been in 1913; for the first eight months of 1925 the percentage sank to about 100 per cent, as a result of the intense coal crisis which at the present moment is gripping Western Europe.

In 1924 the production of coke reached 118 percent of the pre-war production; here too, in the last few months, there has been a reduction, but the production still remains above that of 1913.

The most remarkable effort has been that of the metallurgic industry, in view of the destruction to which the war subjected it. The production of cast-iron, steel, and finished steel in 1924 reached, respectively, 113 percent, 115 percent, and 128 percent of the pre-war production. (Strikes due to wage adjustments have unfortunately had a perceptible effect on this industry during the last three months.)

If, on the other hand, we examine Belgian exports as a whole, we find that in 1923 the relation borne by exports toward imports reached the same relationship which had existed before the war; and in 1924 exports were proportionately large.

Agriculture has progressively improved, and the area cultivated in 1923 was not far from pre-war figures. Since 1919 the number of horses has increased by 55 percent, and of cattle by 30 percent.

One of the most interesting results of the economic development indicated by these figures may be seen in the unemployment situation -- that gaping wound of industrial countries. We shall leave out of account the unemployment during the war period, which was of course entirely abnormal. But the crisis of 1921 saw the number of unemployed pass 200,000. In August, 1925, the number of totally or partially unemployed had fallen below 20,000, a figure about the same as during a normal period before the war. (It must be added that for several months industry has been suffering from a serious slowing down of trade, but it is to be hoped that this will not reach the dimensions of a crisis.)

In contemplating the relatively comforting picture of Belgium's present financial and economic situation, one is tempted to ask why the course of the Belgian franc does not reflect it more clearly. To explain this fact it is necessary to go back to the underlying cause of our currency's depreciation. This initial cause is clearly the war. Belgium's currency structure suffered in a peculiar way during the occupation, when the German military authorities set up a compulsory exchange rate, fixing the value of the mark at 1.25 francs. The rise of prices due to the introduction of German marks was consolidated by the substitution, at par, of the notes of the Banque Nationale de Belgique for the depreciated currency then in circulation. The result was to depreciate Belgian money suddenly. The consequences of this immediate inflation, which was increased by the unsettlement of exchanges, are still making themselves felt today in trade transactions, in the budget, and in the public debt.

Recovery from Germany of the amount represented by the marks withdrawn from circulation and taken in charge by the Treasury was not guaranteed by anybody, the Treaty of Versailles having left it to Belgium to enter into direct negotiations with the German Government. At Spa, in 1920 and later in 1921 and 1922, conversations were opened, but without result. For it is to be noted that the German Government has never denied its responsibility for the losses caused to Belgium by the introduction of the marks. It always has simply pleaded its incapacity to make offers of adjustment. The Dawes Plan having now settled the question of reparations, we may hope that the Belgian treasury will recover a part of its loss by a long-term arrangement with the Reich. We know that at least semi-official conversations between Brussels and Berlin on this subject are in progress.

To withdraw the marks from circulation, the Banque Nationale in 1919 made the government an advance of 5,800,000,000 francs. The post-armistice financial difficulties through which Belgium passed prevented the government from regulating this credit. But aside from this single operation, the Belgian Government has never had recourse to the Banque Nationale for the needs of the treasury. Since the armistice it has even succeeded in reimbursing the issuing institution by the sum of 600 millions, or more than 10 percent of its debt toward the latter.

I think I have shown that Belgium deserves to inspire confidence in foreigners as well as in its own subjects. External confidence will follow domestic confidence. Our old European allies have always testified to a warm sympathy for us; and I had personal cause two or three months ago, during my mission in America, to feel that our great allies beyond the sea still retain a peculiar friendship for our little people, who amid the difficulties of their national revival have displayed the same courage that they showed during the unjust war of which they were the victims.

I come finally to Belgium's foreign policy. It cannot be understood except in relation to the considerations which I have discussed above. It is, like the foreign policies of all the Allied countries of Western Europe, dominated by two questions: reparations and security, which have profound and direct repercussions on finances and on the prosperity of the nations concerned.

I have already shown how Belgium's necessity of bringing about her own restoration by her own exertions contributed to swell the total of her debt. Up to the present time, in fact, apart from all reparations payments received from Germany, more than 13 million francs have been expended in Belgian budgets on the work of material restoration -- happily almost finished -- as well as on the payment of military and civil pensions resulting from the war.

That is the financial side of the reparations problem; but this problem has likewise a close relationship to our foreign policy. Though the object aimed at was identical for all the Allies interested, they did not always envisage in the same way the means to be taken to obtain from Germany the execution of the engagements which she had signed. Throughout the international discussions on this subject, Belgium, being convinced that Germany would never keep her promises unless confronted by absolute union among her creditors, constantly strove to play a conciliatory and moderate rôle. To bring about this unity of views, she on many occasions proposed practical solutions which were designed to obviate conflicts and difficulties. She always sought to commercialize the German debt, being persuaded that if it were deprived of its exclusively political aspects it could unquestionably be stabilized.

Belgium was likewise among the first to approve the conference of bankers proposed in 1922. After the check at the Conference of London in August, 1922, Belgium did all that she could to gain time and permit her larger allies to seek a solution which would avoid rupture and the application of the grave sanctions with which Germany was threatened. For this reason she consented, in spite of attendant risks and perils, to receive six-month notes, accepted by the Reichsbank, instead of payments in kind which would have lasted until the beginning of 1923. These notes, moreover, were paid, thus giving a first proof of the advantages of commercializing the reparations debt.

Faced by renewed delinquencies on the part of Germany, Belgium decided, in agreement with France, to occupy the Ruhr. In applying this sanction she had no object except to compel Germany to keep her engagements. This purpose was attained, since Germany was induced to compose the difficulties and cease the passive resistance which she had organized. Moreover, the promise to evacuate the Ruhr was undeniably the determining element in Germany's acceptance of the Dawes Plan in 1924.

Belgium was the first to accept the Dawes Plan without any reservation. Aside from the practical virtues of this solution of the reparations problem, Belgium saw in the intervention of distinguished American citizens -- even though it were merely friendly and private -- one more guarantee that the Plan could be carried out. We may now be permitted to hope that the era of justified anxiety, which has made such an agony of the reparations question, has come to an end.

Last of all, the question of security unquestionably dominates the external policy of Belgium. A little country, without natural defences, placed at the crossroads of war, she has learnt through the bitter experience of history to be constantly on the alert regarding her security. The war of 1914-1918 having upset the guarantee of compulsory neutrality, sanctioned by the Powers, that once protected us, it has become necessary to assure the security of our territory in some other way. The Treaty of Versailles looked to a guarantee of our security by England and America. Unhappily, its non-ratification by the United States ended the project. The idea was taken up again in the course of the Cannes Conference of 1922, where a Franco-Belgo-English security pact was on the point of conclusion when it was made impossible by the French ministerial crisis which arose at that very moment. The seed was sown, nevertheless, and the peoples came more and more to understand that a new effort was required. As I write these lines the Locarno Conference has just ended with a general agreement on arbitration treaties and the guarantee of a territorial status quo.

The signatures of England and Italy affixed to the Rhenish pact at Locarno, along with those of the countries directly and immediately interested, at length assure the inviolability of the frontiers that have so often been disputed, as well as of the demilitarized zones as established by the Treaty of Versailles. Moreover, the mutual assent of all the great European nations to the conventions of reciprocal arbitration drawn up at this Conference give a special character to the other treaties issuing therefrom. Thus has been elaborated the juridical status which one may believe to be definitive for Western Europe. The mutual engagements solemnly and unanimously assumed by the Great Powers give ground for the hope of a peaceful and secure future.

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  • GEORGES THEUNIS, former Premier of Belgium, head of the Belgian Debt Mission to the United States in August, 1925
  • More By Georges Theunis