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1835 1900 1909 1912 GOVERNMENT. The King is the executive, asExp. ordinary .....85,614 479,056 634,450 708,081† sisted by a ministry of eight members, responsiExp. extraordinary.. 1,490 95,102 151,747 ..
ble to a chamber of representatives and appointed Total .............87,104 574,158 786,197 ...... by the King. The legislative power is exercised
* Direct taxes, 73.166,000 francs; customs, 57,803, conjointly by the King and a Parliament made 650; excise, 81,138,300; registration, 77,253,000; rer- up of two houses-a Senate and an elective enue-earning administrations, 371,925,730; domains, Chamber of Representatives. The reigning sov. dividends, interest, etc., 31,635,090; repayments, etc., 8,458,324.
ereign during the German invasion was Albert, † Service of the debt, 198,711,930; civil list, 5,479, son of the late Prince Philippe of Saxe-Coburg 090; justice, 30.636,400; foreign affairs. 4.990.846: in
and Gotha, born 1875. Prince Leopold (born terior, 7,792,915; sciences and arts, 40,679,402; col. onies, 1,262,700; industry and labor, 26,764,217rail- 1901) is heir-apparent. ways, posts, telegraphs, 255,728,463; war, 67,976,440; gendarmerie, 10,379,460; finance. 24.385,900; agricul. ture and public works, 30,446,746; repayments, etc., 2,
RESTORATION AND RELIEF WORK. The War The 1914 budget is detailed as follows, in thou- Relief Commission sent to Belgium in November, sands of francs: Revenue-property taxes, 30, 1914, by the Rockefeller Foundation, issued a 362; personal taxes, 27,257; trade licenses, 9500; notable report, Feb. 15, 1915, describing the contax on incomes, 18,000; motor cars, 1500; dition of Belgium, and emphasizing the fact that cinemas, 500; mines, 29; customs, 72,031; ex- the chief cause of misery was the sudden sus. cise, 94,703; various, 1652; registration, etc., pension of the nation's economic activities. “Es49,100; succession, 32,100; stamps, 14,500; fines, sentially the problem is not one of repair, but of etc., 3013; rivers, etc., 3690; railways, 362,300; liberation. If the paralyzing restrictions imtelegraph and telephone, 23,535; post offices, posed by the war were removed to-day, the coun27,950; steamboats, 2210; domains, etc., 5590; try would rebound from its helpless inertia tovarious, 28,179; repayments, 9609;—total, 807, morrow, resume most of its normal occupations, 313. Expenditure public debt, 217,503; civil and soon be able to feed, shelter, and clothe its list, dotations, 5614; justice, 32,248; foreign af- own sufferers.” One of the most serious probfairs, 5127; interior, 7979; sciences and arts, lems, the report explained, was the destruction 43,179; industry, 26,873; railways, 246,484; of live stock throughout the country, and the marine, posts, telegraphs, 54,693; war and gen- unwillingness of the peasants to keep horses and darmerie, 101,096; finance, 26,544; public works cattle because of the fear that the animals would and agriculture, 35,139; colonies, 1443; repay be requisitioned by the German military authoriments, etc., 2826; total, 806,754.
ties. In February an organized effort was begun The total consolidated debt in 1835 was 96, by the Central Committee for the Agricultural 841,080 francs; in 1870, 682,880,914; in 1900, Restoration of Belgium and Northern France to 2,650,898,151; in 1910, 3,703,403,693; on Jan. 1, collect seed, stock, etc., to repair the ravages of 1912, the total consolidated debt was 3,734,354,- war. According to the Committee's statement 038; on Jan, 1, 1913, 3,739,133,738 francs-219, the loss sustained by the rural districts of Bel959,632 francs share of the Netherlands debt at gium aggregated $280,000,000; of the total loss, 242 per cent, and 3,519,174,106 francs loans at the destruction of crops and stock represented 3 per cent. The greater part of the debt was more than half. The Belgian and French Minisraised for public works, and the interest is more ters of Agriculture accepted proposals made by than covered by the revenue from railways alone. the Committee to undertake the distribution of
ARMY. With the defeat of the Belgian army gifts to the agricultural laborers of Belgium and and the retreat from Antwerp the forces became France. The International Garden Cities and disorganized temporarily, yet they gradually Town Planning Association in its world-wide came together and the army was increased and conference at London, about the middle of Februreorganized so that it was able to take up a posi- ary, suggested a comprehensive scheme, which tion of defense on the banks of the Yser and received the official approval of the French and became a formidable part of the allied troops. Belgian governments, for the rebuilding of the This army was fully armed and equipped and so country after the conclusion of the war. A augmented by volunteers not only from the con- unique proposal for the restoration of Belgium quered Belgian provinces, but also by refugees was that made by Mr. John Wanamaker, the who had gone to England and France at the out- wealthy American merchant; Mr. Wanamaker break of the war. Special training camps were proposed that the United States should purformed in different parts of France where these chase Belgium from the German government, men were fully trained before they were sent to paying as high a price as $100,000,000,000 if the front. It was reported that the Belgian necessary, in order that American philanthropy army was really increased and with the large might conduct the work of restoring peace and number of volunteers enlisted at the training prosperity to the desolate nation. Meanwhile camps it was stated that at the end of the year an immense amount of practical relief work was 1915 this army was greater than ever previously. actually being accomplished in Belgium, partly At the temporary capital of the kingdom at upon the initiative of the German administraHavre, France, a law was passed providing for tive authorities, as will presently appear, and compulsory general service which exempted mar- partly by the Commission for Relief in Belgium, ried men and included single men up to the age which was generously supported by contributions of 25. No such measure apparently was needed from Belgium and from abroad. The Commisfor enlistment was general among the available sion's report, published early in September, reBelgians. Adequate arms and equipment were corded the collection and disbursement of fifty provided for this Belgian army, especially for million dollars. More than half of the money those in the trenches, so that as a fighting force contributions were made by the Belgians themit was in far better shape than it had been to selves. About six million dollars had been conresist the invasion.
tributed by the United States, in the form of money, clothes, and food. The German govern- Belgium had concluded an agreement with Genment, it may be noted in this connection, had eral von Bissing, whereby all of the wheat and promised safe conduct to American vessels laden rye crops in the zone occupied by the Germans with supplies for the relief of Belgium. The should be reserved for the needs of the civilian report of the Commission furthermore revealed population. Only West Flanders and a part the fact that in June, 1915, about 2,750,000 Bel- of East Flanders, for obvious reasons, were exgians were destitute, and were being supplied cluded from this agreement. Ordinarily the with food and clothing in so far as the Com- crops would be sufficient to supply the country mission's resources would permit. Unemploy- for two months, but with economical use, and ment and destitution were steadily increasing, with the bountiful supply of seed by the Amerand the prospects for the future were indeed ican Commission, Belgium's stock of cereals was gloomy. A report of the Rockefeller Founda- expected to last much longer. In the middle tion, published about the same time as the Re- of October the Chief of the German Army Staff lief Commission's report, showed that the expen- announced that arrangements had been made diture of the Foundation for relief purposes in to provision 2,000,000 civilians in East and Belgium had amounted to $986,000, and that a West Flanders. The authorities requisitioned a number of Belgian scientists, formerly profes. portion of the cereal and root crops in those sors at Louvain, were receiving moderate sti provinces, leaving the remainder to be dispends to allow them to continue their scientific tributed by the American Commission. The work in England or America.
Commission undertook to import wheat to supTHE GERMAN ADMINISTRATION IN BELGIUM. ply the deficit, and also to supply bacon, rice, Three features of the German administration in lard, and fodder, for the use of the Belgian Belgium were specially worthy of note. In civilian population. The third feature of the the first place, the German Governor-General, German administration in Belgium was the atGeneral von Bissing, was chiefly anxious to tempt to put the occupation of Belgium upon maintain order and discipline-no easy task a self-supporting if not a profitable basis. The with a people whose hearts had recently been levy of a heavy tax on absentee (emigrant) inflamed by their heroic struggle against the landlords, announced in January, and the imGerman invader, and whose detestation of position of a monthly war contribution of 40,“Prussian militarism" and bureaucracy had 000,000 francs, announced November 13, to be. been raised to the pitch of passion. In conse- come effective in December, were calculated to quence, General von Bissing deemed it necessary help defray the actual cost of administration. to employ harsh measures. Each community Even more important were the measures taken was held collectively responsible for any dis- to make Belgium's industrial resources valuturbance which might occur within its midst, able to Germany. From the formal statement and the fearful punishment which had been issued March 5, by the Belgian legation at Lonmeted out to Belgian towns during the German don, the fact appears that more than $3,000,000 invasion made “collective responsibility” no worth of Belgian machinery had been seized by empty phrase. It is interesting to note that the Germans. In order that there might be a the submissiveness shown by the conquered Bel- plentiful supply of labor for the construction of gian population in 1915 was ascribed in Ger- arsenals, the operation of mines, and the repair man circles to the salutary effect of the stern of railroads, General von Bissing issued a' de. measures of the preceding autumn, which had cree imposing penalties on Belgians who restruck terror into the hearts of the people. In fused without good reason to resume work in three separate paragraphs under this article consonance with their former professional trainwill be found a discussion of the Treatment of ing. Any attempt, whether by means of threats, Cardinal Mercier, the Case of Miss Cavell, and persuasion, or coercion, to hinder persons work The Bryce Report, all of which have some bear ing for the German authorities, would be seing upon the disciplinary measures employed verely punished. Destitution itself, if due to by the Germans in Belgium. A second note stubborn refusal to work, would be treated as worthy feature of the German administration a misdemeanor. Furthermore, in order to prowas the endeavor of the German officials gen- mote the sale of German manufactures in Belerally to coöperate with the various philan- gium, penalties were promulgated against any thropic organizations for the relief of the dis- Belgian who should conspire with others to tressed population. In March General von Bis- boycott German goods, or to threaten, blacksing announced that he was doing all in his list, boycott, or insult users of German goods. power to strengthen local self-government and for such offenses the penalties might be, at the social welfare institutions in Belgium, that the maximum, two years' imprisonment and a fine return of immigrants was being encouraged, and of 10,000 marks that the German Red Cross had been asked to THE GERMAN CHANCELLOR'S STATEMENT. The take preventive action against prostitution, in: result of more than a year of German adminfant mortality, and contagious diseases within istration in Belgium was strikingly summarthe country. In April a credit bank was in- ized, from the German point of view, by Imstituted to make cash advances on the requisi- perial Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg, in his tions which were being given by the Germans in historic Reichstag speech of Dec. 9, 1915 : payment for large quantities of goods then be- "In Belgium the economic situation is almost ing seized. The refusal of the Belgian Red normal. Industry and commerce have been reCross in the middle of April to enter into a invigorated, monetary matters have been regusystematic plan for relieving the distress in lated, the post office, railways, shipping, and Belgium brought about the dissolution of the roads are working, the production of coal is society by decree of the Governor-General, and rapidly increasing, and last quarter reached the appointment of a German officer to super- nearly three and a half millions of tons. Unvige the work. In July announcement was made employment is being checked, but it is imposthat the American Commission for Relief in sible to bring the labor market to a normal state because Great Britain is strangling Belgian in- shocking outrages alleged to have been perpe dustry by closing its oversea export. A gen- trated by the German army during the invasion eral obligation to visit schools for instruction of Belgium were published in the Bryce Re in the Flemish language has been introduced.” port, May 12, 1915, as the result of a careful
THE TREATMENT OF CARDINAL MERCIER. Of investigation conducted by a commission of emithe several instances of arbitrary conduct on nent British jurists under the chairmanship of the part of German officials in Belgium, in Viscount Bryce. From the evidence accumuconsequence of which bitter reproaches were di- lated the commission reached the conelusion rected against the German government by the that (1) the German troops in many parts of press of allied and neutral countries, the case Belgium deliberately organized systematie masof Cardinal Mercier attracted the most general sacres of the civilian population, and in other attention, partly because of his conspicuous po places committed isolated murders and outrages; sition, as Cardinal Archbishop of Malines, and (2) that outrages upon women, the killing of Roman Catholic Primate of Belgium, partly be- children, and the butchery of innocent civilians cause of the high esteem in which he was held attended the progress of the German invasion by the Belgian people. A trip through Belgium quite generally; (3) that the destruction of late in the preceding year so deeply touched private property and the burning of private the heart of the prelate that, in January, 1915, houses was not only permitted by the German he was moved to write a pastoral letter on the officers, but in some cases actually ordered by condition of Belgium. The letter was appointed them, careful provision having been made in adto be read in all the churches of his diocese on vance for the incendiarism which the German Sunday, January 3. Having learned of the car troops practiced as part of their campaign of dinal's action, and being informed that the let terrorism; (4) that the German troops by inter was anti-German in tone, the German au- terposing civilians between themselves and the thorities attempted by force to seize as many enemy's fire, by killing wounded and prisoners, as possible of the copies which had been sent and by abusing the Red Cross, had flagrantly to the parish priests. At the same time Car- violated the rules and usages of civilized wardinal Mercier was made practically a prisoner fare. As a counterblast to the Bryce Report, within the confines of Malines by the authori- the German government published a memoranties, who kept several officers near him at all dum specifying in detail, with the names of wittimes. Early reports stated that the cardinal nesses, the acts of the civilian population—such was in actual confinement, but this the German as throwing boiling water, "sniping off" solauthorities denied, stating at the time that he diers, maiming wounded Germans, and murhad merely been requested by the Governor of dering officers—which led to the punishment of Malines not to take an attitude which might Belgian towns, including Louvain. Furtherincite the people to disturb public order. On more, the German apologists were supplied with January 12 King Albert of Belgium sent a additional material for the justification of Gerpersonal protestation to Rome asking that the many by the discovery of secret Belgian diploVatican take action against the incarceration matic documents, which, it was claimed, proved of the cardinal. In a letter which appeared in that Belgium's fate was deserved, inasmuch as the newspapers on January 19, the cardinal her neutrality had already been surrendered to protested against the action of the authorities, England. and stated that he was being prevented from THE CASE OF EDITH CAVELL. In October, traveling freely, notwithstanding the German 1915, a new "German atrocity” in Belgium communication “that the Cardinal Archbishop aroused the British public to furious indignaof Malines has been in no wise hindered in the tion and, to a lesser degree, the public of neuexercise of his episcopal duties." In answer to tral countries. According to the account of the a remonstrance from the Holy See the German affair sent by the American minister, Brand authorities in the middle of February an- Whitlock, to London, and published by the Britnounced the withdrawal of restrictions upon ish government, Miss Edith Cavell, an Englishthe cardinal's freedom of communication with woman who had been in charge of a training the bishops and other clergy of Belgium. The school in Brussels, was accused of utilizing her pastoral letter of January 3, which had caused position as a nurse to assist in the escape of all the trouble, contained the following state- British, Belgian, and French soldiers from Belment which the Germans considered provoca gium. She had been arrested August 5th; Oetive:
tober 11th she was condemned to be executed by "I have gone through most of the places in a firing squad of German soldiers. Disliking to my diocese which have been wasted. ... kill a woman in cold blood, the firing squad had What I have seen of the ruins and the ashes aimed so inaccurately that Miss Cavell was not passes anything that, in spite of my most acute killed, but only wounded by a single bullet. fears, I could ever have imagined. ... Thereupon-and this was the circumstance Churches, schools, charitable institutions, hos- which particularly infuriated the British press pitals, convents, to a considerable number, are - the German officer in charge of the firing unfit for use or are in ruins. Whole villages squad drew his revolver, put it up to the womhave almost disappeared. . . . God will save an's ear, and deliberately pulled the trigger. Belgium, my brothers, we cannot doubt it. Let In England Miss Cavell was henceforth reus say, rather, He is saving her. ... Is there garded as a martyr, a sort of British Joan of a single patriot who does not feel that glory Arc. A memorial service at Westminster Abbey, has come to Belgium ? Which of us would have attended by Mr. Asquith as well as by reprethe courage to tear out the last page of our sentatives of the royal family, was thronged by history? Which of us can look without pride a vast multitude anxious to do her honor. on the splendor of the glory that our mur Plans were made to erect a statue to her memdered country has won ?"
ory. THE BRYCE REPORT. Full details of the BELGIAN ROYAL FAMILY. Early in April,