855.001 Leopold/5–1845: Telegram
The Ambassador in Belgium (Sawyer) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 19—6:37 a.m.]
668. Period of calm which has settled over the country with reference to King’s return is a lull before the storm. When King returns Belgium faces greatest crisis in its history. Opinion is sharply divided along three very definite lines: (1) Along racial lines Walloons are overwhelmingly against the King; Flemish generally favor him. (2) [Page 124]Along social lines the rich are all in favor of the King; many of the poor are against him. (3) Third line of departure is evident. All those who feel some qualms about their activities during war are anxious to have King back. In a way he typifies their problem and their state of mind. Those who were strongly patriotic and anti-German hope he will never return.
These lines of cleavage are very deep. If King returns revolution is not at all improbable and consequences are difficult to foresee.
Queen and maid leave today to spend one week with King. This indicates his decision will not be immediate or at least that Queen thinks it will not be immediate.