You are not logged in.

Dear visitor, welcome to WesWorld. If this is your first visit here, please read the Help. It explains in detail how this page works. To use all features of this page, you should consider registering. Please use the registration form, to register here or read more information about the registration process. If you are already registered, please login here.

1

Saturday, March 25th 2017, 10:47am

United Kingdoms of the Netherlands News 1948

1 January
In Suriname abolition of the Penal Sanction came into effect at midnight.
After the abolition of slavery in Suriname in 1863 recruitment of workers relied on labour from the Dutch East Indies. These workers were linked by contract to penal sanction which meant no contract for civil court, but criminal laws were in force, for example, a plantation owner as long as the workers were under contract could impose heavy penalties. By Regulation GB No.140 of September 8 1947 the penal sanction was officially abolished in Suriname with effect from January 1 1948.

17 January
The Luchtmacht has further entered the jet-age today as the first Koolhoven F.K.62 jet-powered bombers have entered service.
As the Royal Netherlands Air Force began looking at jet-powered fighters, it also saw the need to experiment with high-speed jet-powered fast bombers. Koolhoven took their F.K. 61 and replaced the piston engines with two 3,000lb Rayton Swazi centrifugal turbojets in revised nacelles as the F.K.61S. A series of eight pre-production aircraft designated F.K.62 followed from February 1947. These differed in having a new tail unit with more dihedral on the tailplanes and more streamlined nose. The new main undercarriage retracted into the inner wingroots. The two crewmen are seated on Danish ejector seats, the navigator/ bomb-aimer sitting in the nose and the engines are more powerful 4,200lb VB.04 Stuart Zulu centrifugal turbojets. 135 F.K.62 bombers are on order and some will be completed as F.K.62R high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft.

2

Monday, April 17th 2017, 6:20pm

24 January
A new political party has been founded today in Amsterdam. The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) has been formed by several disgruntled members of the Vrijheidsbond (Freedom League-Conservative Party) under the leadership of Pieter Oud. Ideologically the VVD follows the liberal tradition with a strong emphasis on individual freedom.

26 January
The constitutional situation in the Kongo and Ubangi Shari remains confused as all sides try to find a solution to who should be Head of State of both nations. King William had ruled out adding his dead brother's titles to his own unless he was specifically asked to by the Kongolese or Ubangi Sharians. That invitation had not yet come.

In the Netherlands the trawling of the family trees had brought forward nobody suitable. The Royal Officials suggested the 24 year old Princess Marie-Adélaide, daughter of the Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, Charlotte Aldegonde Élise Marie Wilhelmine. Marie-Adélaide was of suitable stock and connection to the Dutch Royal family, politically if not by blood, but she had still not married and the practical reasons to involve the Luxembourg Royal family in the Dutch Empire were thin beyond her neutrality but that did not mean she was suitable given the rough political situation out in the region. The existence of the Germanic influence remaining in the Kongolese political elite offered little hope given the Germans had gone firmly towards a Republic.

In the Kongo the government drew up a shortlist of possible contenders to take the Duchy, one of the several powerful Barons; Joseph Kengo, Nzanga Mobutu, Adam Kamerhe and Oscar Tshisekedi. An off-centre choice was Joseph Kasa Vubu, a senior civil servant widely known for his pro-independence leanings but experienced in dealing with the Dutch (he was part of the commission looking into the Confederation Plan) and was a moderate with a long-term independence plan. Moïse Kapenda Tshombe, a local politician and businessman in the Katanga Province was also mentioned several times despite his pro-independence politics.

In Ubangi Shari there was unequivocal opinion within the Ubangian Socialist Action Party that its leader Julius Limbani should become a President of a new Republic with no Dutch overlord. Partly the independence fever was infectious following the civil war and partly it was hopeful thinking that if independence was granted the coup plotters would never return and civil war would never happen again to blight their lives. The European members in the second college of the Chamber of Commerce list despaired but could not bring forward a respectable list of unity candidates that could offer what the people wanted (i.e. an African leading an African nation). The feel-good factor by reconstruction (still slow but ongoing) was also rejecting the early calls for uniting with Kongo, politically and culturally different there was never enough common ground to make the proposition workable. The Kongolese politicians were also relieved and sent their lists to Der Hague for comment and all three sides agreed to send envoys and meet in Amsterdam in a month’s time to discuss an agreement everyone could back.

3

Monday, April 17th 2017, 10:18pm

Speaking OOC of course,

Quoted

… The existence of the Germanic influence remaining in the Kongolese political elite offered little hope given the Germans had gone firmly towards a Republic.


I am not entirely certain of the meaning of this statement, and the following is probably not relevant to the Kongo situation, but while the Reich operates as a parliamentary democracy with an elected president as head of state, the old German (and Austrian) nobility, is alive, well, and able to play an active role in Germany’s political life. Otto von Hapsburg is but one example.

Friedrich Christian, Margrave of Meissen, head of the House of Wettin, and pretender to the titular Kingdom of Saxony, is but in his middle 50s, with legitimate issue. He is also pretender to the titular Kingdom of Poland (IIRC Marek made Poland an elective monarchy and killed off the last king shortly before he departed, so this could be a story line – but I’ve chosen not to go there).

While Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria, is rather old (born in 1869), his son, Albrecht, Duke of Bavaria, is only 43 (born 1905).

Karl Biron, Prince of Courland (born 1907) has been mentioned in Wesworld as a pretender to the ducal throne.

On the other hand, if you don’t wish a German aristocrat, there are always French – your choice of Legitimist, Orleanist, or Bonapartist pretenders are available.


:D

4

Tuesday, April 18th 2017, 11:35am

In Kirk's notes I found the following regarding the politics of the Kongo.
"While all five Duchies are Afrikan led, there is a small Germanic influence in some discussions, as German immigrants are prominent in technical and military regimes and predominate in some regions, led by "Counts". Populace is extremely pro-Queen, pro-SAE and pro-Dutch."
Also "the Queen started with a Feudal order (Chiefs became Barons, etc.) with the ties of honour and obligation, and is using a speeded up English model of progression to map the route to democracy."

I know from other posts Kirk made that German emigration to Kongo was encouraged, probably mainly from the ex-German colonies but probably the homeland too. I'm not sure to what extent that happened but it seems the Germans in Kirk's mind included some social bigwigs. While a German Prince could be found I'm not sure the Dutch would be too keen to make the political structure too Germanic rather than Dutch. I think probably the top echelons of this "Feudal order" are quite fragmented into the ethic groups they represent, thus the white and black groups would tend to offer their hierarchies for the top job as Head of State. It seems there should be five Dukes (who?) of which all are black. Of course its possible they just go the whole hog and ask Charles to add some more titles to his already lengthy title.
There are still more questions than answers to what Kirk had planned and to what final structure he went for. I probably will never sort the organisation before the end of the game but this particular issue of Head in State will be sorted before the end of the year.

5

Saturday, May 20th 2017, 10:24am

9 February
Phillips has further expanded its international business with the announcement today that its new subsidiary Philips Hong Kong has begun trading, importing a variety of lamps and radios to Hong Kong and the Chinese market.

17 February
In Yemen the Alwazirs seeking to seize power from the ruling dynasty attempted to assassinate Imam Yahya today. The assassin, known as Al-Qardaei, from the Bani Murad tribe attempted to shoot the Imam but a Dutch bodyguard managed to wrestle the man to the ground in time and the shot missed. The assassin confessed his crime as was beheaded. Yemeni troops have now sought to arrest the Alwaziris. Dutch troops have proclaimed no desire to intervene in the affair and it is hoped calm and peace can be soon restored without resort to revenge by the Iman or the stirrings of a civil war.

19 February
The Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij (The Netherlands Trading Society) has opened another branch serving the Far East, this time in Karachi. This follows many years after the expansion into India which took place in 1920 with branches opening in Mumbai and Kolkata.

20 February
Delegates from the Kongo and Ubangi-Shari have arrived at Amsterdam airport during the day in readiness for the beginning of talks with the Dutch government on the current constitutional crisis of who should succeed King Alexander as head of state of both Duchies.

Here are the most recent press reactions:

Editorial in the newspaper De Telegraaf; “The solution to this issue will not be easy, but the government must be willing to lead. It cannot simply run downstream with the flow of the river, eventually it may find itself going over a waterfall.”

Editorial in the newspaper De Volkskrant; “Yet again the Government is in the midst of another crisis, since February 1945 we have been in some sort of crisis or other with the Government muddling through with compromise or drastic U-turns in policy. Much has been promised but little delivered, therefore we would not be surprised if our friends from Africa are not a little sceptical. Three years ago this editor asked the question whether the Kongo should be looking towards attaining self-governance rather than perpetuating the rule of royal elites, whether they hail from our own royal dynasty or their own? Today this question seems even more valid than before.”

Editorial in the newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad; “Stability and prosperity of the Kongo and Ubangi-Shari is key to the stability and prosperity of the Netherlands. This is not the time for rash actions and indeed it seems as though we can rely on the government to steady the boat and seek an agreement all sides can back.”

Editorial in the newspaper Batavia Daily; “While our readers follow the events in Amsterdam they may hear ever louder the whispers growing as each month passes as to when the Head of State situation in the East Indies will be resolved? What happens in the next few days may well prove a decisive blueprint for the future.”

6

Sunday, May 21st 2017, 4:24pm

21 February
In the city hall the delegates gathered in the main chamber. Leading the Dutch contingent is Staatssecretaris of Foreign Affairs Louis J.M. Beel and a group of ten senior civil servants from both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Colonial Affairs, the Law Office and the Royal Household. Representing the King is his Policy Charge d’Affaires Willem van Rappard.
The Kongolese contingent is led by State Minister Josef Mobuku, who is ably supported by nine civil servants and representatives from the main political parties.
The Ubangi-Shari delegation is led by the newly-appointed Constitutional Secretary John Hattambina and the head of the Civil Service, Claude van Reiner and also consists of three supporting officials.

The first item on the agenda was the legal succession of all of King Alexander’s personal property from his estate. On the death of their mother, Queen Wilhelmina, King William inherited half of his mother’s wealth and King Alexander one quarter (the remainder going to Queen Julianna of Belgium). All of her personal land holdings, including those located in central Africa, went to King William, thereby retaining the title of Prince of Kongo and Ubangi-Shari to secure his status as landlord under the current Baronial landowning legal standing in the Kongo. Under King Alexander’s Will, Alexander left the bulk of his personal wealth and the few land and property investments he had made to his brother and sister.

Josef Mobuku raised two questions; did William’s retention of the title of Prince of Kongo entitle him to automatic succession and if not, and another Head of State was appointed would Alexander’s personal property be considered family or state ownership and if so would his land holdings be transferred to the new Head of State. His colleague Johan Kripps also asked whether William’s position as Prince of Kongo would risk constitutional conflict if an independent Head of State was appointed.
The resolution of this legal questions took most of the rest of the day’s session to work out. No definitive answers could be given but in principle the long-established rule that the Kingdom of the Kongo and the Grand Duchy of Ubangi-Shari are personal possessions of the Monarch of the Netherlands remained. Therefore when King William was crowned, he gave the Kingdom of the Kongo and the Grand Duchy of Ubangi-Shari to Alexander as his personal possessions, excepting the land and property given to William by his mother in her Will. Willem van Rappard explained that Alexander’s personal estate was purely a family matter as in any testate Will and now legally belongs as part of the Orange-Nassau family holdings in the Kingdom of the Kongo and the Grand Duchy of Ubangi-Shari. What needed agreement now was whether King William could inherit the titles King of Kongo and Ubangi-Shari he had ceded to his brother and whether any other body had the legal right to decide this as the Kingdom of the Kongo and the Grand Duchy of Ubangi-Shari are personal possessions of the Monarch.

Josef Mobuku and John Hattambina both wanted to raise their possible home-grown solutions but Louis Beel ruled that unless this question was settled then all other speculation and discussion would be meaningless. John Hattambina was heard to audible mutter “What about the will of the people to decide their own fate?” but the day’s meeting was closed.

7

Yesterday, 1:48pm

22 February
The second day of the Amsterdam Conference. The Dutch legal team seemed quite weary, having been up most of the night, consulting the best legal minds in the Netherlands and historians of state matters.

Before Louis Beel could begin the official agenda John Hattambina leapt up and read out a statement. “We, the representatives of the people of the Grand Duchy of Ubangi-Shari feel bound to point out that with all due respect to ancient legal wordings we have to raise the matter of our people’s wishes. Are we to be summoned here to be told we are the playthings of a King? To be bought and sold like cattle in the market? This is 1948, not 1648, the world has moved on. Not long ago men fought and died in a brutal conflict to decide the future of Ubangi-Shari, many of your own brave sons fought and died alongside us. We owe it to them and our children to point out that just following what the history books tell us is no longer the option for us to move forward. Our history books tell a different tale. Yes, Queen Wilhelmina was kind to us, treated us like errant children and tried to raise us to be good so we may sit your table and eat from your china someday. But the Belgian King before her was cruel and whipped us like dogs, stole our land and let his people starve. No disrespect for the deceased King, but Alexander was a foolish youth, too fond of women and fast cars and champagne parties. What little did we matter to him other than the knowledge he had power over us? King William may be a wise a ruler as his mother, but who says his children will be? No! We cannot go on waiting to see if our progress must be advanced or retarded depending on the whims of who happens to hold the title King or Queen.

Josef Mobuku was seen to nod along as Hattambina spoke and even Claude van Reiner, a Dutch settler in Ubangi, could not look entirely unsupportive. [Historians would later conclude that the speech had been by Prime Minister Julius Limbani and wired to Hattambina to read out at the conference.]
The conference, somewhat taken aback broke for a short recess. The Dutch knew Royal Prerogative was powerful, perhaps more so in the Netherlands than anywhere else among the few European monarchies still functioning. Yet, even they knew in some matters, such as the Queen’s Confederation Plan and the stripping of the Household Troops from King William, the State could override the Crown when enough pressure could be brought to bear. As Louis Beel sipped his coffee in the lobby, he quietly reflected that whatever legal powers King William had, his actions must be guided by events on the ground. But even so, he knew the more cracks that appeared in the edifice of Royal power that one day it would collapse. As he watched an observer from Batavia move over to talk with Hattambina to congratulate him on his speech he knew he must act.

After the recess Louis Beel made the surprising move of altering the agenda. He declared that after the moving speech it was only right that the other options should be discussed to, as he described it, “see if the alternatives have any solid basis, if not then it seems fair that we should move onto the proper legal questions without delay.”
This put the Kongolese and Ubangi delegations into a mild panic; they had little time to prepare their best cases for home-grown solutions and present a cast-iron case. If they did not it looked as though Beel would shut out any second attempt and they knew he would find in favour of the small group of disappointed looking legal experts in the corner of the room.

The Dutch delegation swiftly dropped all talk of its trawling through the family trees of Europe for suitable independent successors. The 24 year old Princess Marie-Adélaide, daughter of the Grand Duchess Charlotte of Luxembourg, Charlotte Aldegonde Élise Marie Wilhelmine, had been informally approached but she had recoiled at the idea. In a brief speech Willem van Rappard simply said that there was no suitable alternative beyond the House of Orange-Nassau. His statement implied one of the two surviving members of that House should succeed Alexander.

John Hattambina deftly let Josef Mobuku take the first stand to raise the situation of the Kongo.
He outlined the current political situation and the feeling among many Representatives in the First and Second Colleges that the time was ripe for a dedicated and focused Head of State. He reminded the conference that the Kongo is the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa and the second largest in all of Africa. The current population was twelve million, more than the population of the Netherlands. “We are larger than many European nations and have a growing economy and have mineral wealth and not inconsiderable political standing in Africa. We also have our own problems, poverty, poor health, unemployment and growing cities.” The bottom line of his argument was, “a Dutch King can only give us some of the time and attention we need, but a man who knows what his country needs and how to achieve the best outcome and can devote all his time and energies is the best answer for us.”

He then outlined the shortlist of possible Barons who had the stature and character to become a worthy successor to Alexander. The shortlist had been drawn up by the Government and so featured a broad choice. The first was Baron Joseph Kengo, a technocrat of high ability having served as President General of the national electricity provider (NEM) and had served as foreign minister from 1936-37. Baron Nzanga Mobutu, from a well-connected family he has served terms as Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Social Welfare in the last government. Baron Adam Kamerhe is a widely-known Kamina businessman and Baron Oscar Tshisekedi is well respected and one of the main fulcrums of power in the Second College. All were solidly conservative figures. Mobuku then quickly ran through a couple of non-Baronial possibilities, though he warned the Dutch not to be alarmed by any tainting of independence leanings as both were moderates in that regard. Joseph Kasa Vubu a senior civil servant experienced in dealing with the Dutch, as part of the Confederation Plan commission (indeed his nomination prevented him attending the Amsterdam Conference), and Moïse Kapenda Tshombe, a politician and businessman in the Katanga Province were the two best choices.
Copies of their histories were handed out as the Conference broke for the day.

8

Yesterday, 3:48pm

OOC:

Interesting developments. I look forward to more.