Bormsverkiezing en "Compromis des Belges". Het aandeel van regerings- en oppositiepartijen in de taalwetgeving tussen beide wereldoorlogen.

The Election Of Borms And The "Compromis Des Belges", The Share of Government and Opposition Parties in the Linguistic Legislature Between the Two World-Wars: In the summer of 1929 the Belgian government decided to give a solution to the Flemish problem with recognition of the Dutch unilingualism of Flanders. So far historiography indicated three elements which contributed to this capital change-over. For one thing the surprising victory of A. Borms in a by-election at Antwerp on December 9th, 1928. In connection with this the victory of the Flemish nationalists in het parliamentary elections of May 26th, 1929. And in the third place the conclusion on March 16th, 1929 of a Compromis des Belges between Walloons and Flemings in the bosom of the Parti Ouvrier Belge (P.O.B. - Belgian Labour Party), in which the pro-Flemish Camille Huysmans had succeeded in bringing his Walloon political associates round to recognizing the unilingualism of Flanders. A thorough investigation resulted in the following findings. The victory of Borms had been anticipated, but was a surprise by its volume and had, indeed, a great impact, as well as the advance of the nationalists on May 2d, 1929. But these were but the two most striking expressions of the nationalist agitation which had increasingly worried the government since the beginning of 1928. Of importance was also the pressure exercised by the Dutch sympathizers and against which the government of the Hague would not react strongly. The Compromis des Belges was, on the contrary, a pro-Walloon electoral platform containing the retention of the bilingualism of Flanders and the unilingualism of Wallonia. The elections of May 26th, 1929 turned the balance, because they meant not only a succes for the Flemish nationalists, but also a defeat for the P.O.B., whose Compromis seemed disapproved of by the electors. Ever since 1913 Huysmans had advocated bilingualism after the conception which had been developed for Austria by Otto Bauer, and he remained faithful to this idea during his whole lifetime. Since 1913 the P.O.B. parliamentary group had been affected by pro-Walloon sympathies, which had grown prevalent after World War I. Only after their defeat in the elections of May, 1929 did the P.O.B. make a stand in favour of the unilingualism of Flanders, but only till 1933. This investigation enabled us, a.o. through the use of the minutes of the cabinet council, to get a clearer insight into the government practice and the legislative work with regard to the "Flemish" problems. Though the Catholic and Liberal parties had no national executives as they have now, they each had their own program and their parliamentarians obeyed party pressure. The Liberal party and their ministers defended the Walloon (French-speaking) interests, the Catholic party and their ministers were watchful of the Flemish (Dutch- speaking) interests. The agreement on bills was sometimes brought about in the bosom of the government after protracted negotiations of the Liberal ministers with "their friends" who were not described more fully, and of the Catholic ministers with the "Catholic Flemish Parliamentary Group" led by F. Van Cauwelaert. But by preference the ministers had an agreement concluded in the Central Section of the House of Representatives (ia Section Centrale de la Chambre des Représentants), if their party-attendance there was sufficient. The latter procedure enabled the P.O.B. to take a constructive part in the legislative work. In 1928 they didn't avail themselves of this opportunity, but in 1930-1933 they did.