855.001 Leopold/6–1745: Telegram

The Ambassador in Belgium (Sawyer) to the Secretary of State

809. Van Acker in personal talk with me today elaborated on substance of my tel 807 June 17, 10 a.m. He stated he had changed his mind since talking with me. He has become convinced the troubles which will result if King returns to Belgium are so great everything possible should be done to prevent it. He says nothing is now important except welfare of country and it’s vital to country’s welfare that King does not return. He agrees that King cannot form a govt where he is and hopes that King will decide immediately not to come back. Telegram which was sent was approved by every Minister the only absentee being Kronacker77 who is in the US. All ministers have handed their resignations to Prince Regent who has up to the moment done nothing about them. Everything is awaiting reply from King. At the moment SHEAF has decided to send no plane for King unless requested by govt. Govt will not make such a request. It is conceivable therefore that Allied military authorities may be faced soon with a request from King to furnish him a plane to return to Belgium which request will not come from govt.

I will discuss in morning with Erskine and Brit Amb the best answer to this question. At moment it’s hard for me to see how Allies can refuse a simple request for this transportation.

Steering Committee of Socialist Party which met this morning approved unqualifiedly position taken by govt and a meeting of Liberal Party Leaders this afternoon voted a similar resolution. It is rumored that Liberal Socialist and Communist trade union leaders have agreed to call a general strike in event of King’s return.

Van Acker planning to broadcast tonight.

  1. Paul Kronacker, Belgian Minister without Portfolio.