Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Political Testament: Part IX

The last section of the Political Testament of King Leopold III stressed his concern to maintain Belgium's independence and defend her interests against possible encroachments by any other power. The background was that the Belgian government-in-exile, without the King's approval, had signed accords with the Allies (for instance, they sold Congolese uranium, at a low price, to the USA, for use in the atomic bombs that later destroyed Hiroshima). Leopold feared that the agreements would compromise Belgium's essential interests, and contended that treaties without the King's signature lacked validity.
En ce qui concerne le statut international, j'exige, au nom de la Constitution, que la Belgique soit rétablie dans son indépendance intégrale, et qu'elle n'accepte d'engagement ou d'accord, de quelque nature que ce soit, avec d'autres Etats, qu'en pleine souveraineté et moyennant les contreparties nécessaires.

J'entends aussi qu'il ne soit porté aucune atteinte aux liens qui unissent la colonie à la métropole.

Je rappelle au surplus qu'aux termes de la Constitution un traité n'a de valeur que s'il est revêtu de la signature du Roi.

In what concerns our international status, I insist, in the name of the Constitution, that Belgium be re-established in her full independence, and that she accept no engagement or accord, of any kind whatsoever, with other states, except in full sovereignty, and while obtaining the necessary return.

I also intend that there should be no attack on the bonds uniting the colony to the mother country.

In addition, according to the terms of the Constitution, a treaty has no value unless it bears the King's signature.


MadMonarchist said...

Thank you again for reminding me of these posts. Going through them all again, I can certainly see why you admire the man. This, to me, sounds exactly like what a responsible constitutional monarch should be all about; he is warning, he is giving advice, he is looking out for the interests of his people and the country and looking at the broader picture rather than momentary political passion. Belgium was fortunate to have him.

May said...

What he says is fine, but I'm still not sure it was a good idea to issue this document, especially not when he was in such a vulnerable position. I think it made him alot of enemies.