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Saturday, February 2nd 2019, 3:17pm

United Kingdoms of the Netherlands News 1949

12 January
In response to reports of excessive delays in processing export deliveries to Germany due to bureaucratic interference the Minister of Economic Affairs Gerardus Huysmans made a statement to the press today that the Netherlands have no intention of reversing its Customs Union Plan under German pressure. Huysmans warned that if interference in Dutch trade continued that further countermeasures would be taken.

19 January
Fleet exercises have begun in the South China Sea involving capital and lighter naval ships, including aircraft carriers. The exercise is due to last for ten days.

21 January
Today the prototype Koolhoven F.K.65 ground support aircraft made its maiden flight from Waalhaven.

In 1948 the Luchtmacht raised a requirement for an overseas ground support aircraft capable of fulfilling counter-insurgency, observation and ground attack roles. The requirements drew on the lessons from operations in Ubangi-Shari. The aircraft was to be twin-engined, able to loiter at low altitude for five hours, operate from rough strips and carry six paratroopers. Armament would be fixed cannon, bombs and rockets. Koolhoven responded with the F.K.65 which was chosen for development. The twin-engined low-wing aircraft carried an observer/bombardier in a glazed nose compartment with the pilot in a cockpit behind, both protected by armour plating. The rear fuselage could carry six paratroopers or light freight and there was a door in the lower port-side of the fuselage. The fixed armament was fitted in two lower fuselage blister packs. A rugged tricycle undercarriage was used and the engine nacelles were also armoured. Another prototype is currently being assembled 115 production aircraft have been ordered for delivery from January 1950.


Wednesday, February 6th 2019, 8:18pm

24 January
The Prime Minister Eduard Land in a Cabinet meeting cautiously revealed his plan to increase democracy within the overseas provinces. He proposed a rather simpler system than the contentious Confederation Plan. His aim was to enable the East Indies, Suriname, the Kongo and Ubangi-Shari to elect representatives to sit in the Eerste Kamer (Upper Chamber) in The Hague.

The discussion revealed the splits of his coalition government on colonial issues. Land knew from weeks of consultation that his own Progressive Party was broadly supportive of such a plan and the Liberal State Party seemed to also lend their support. The Catholic Peoples Party rejected the notion outright, it even chafed at the thought of locally-recruited Staates-Generals being appointed.
The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy was strongly liberal and it seemed likely they would be behind the plan but the Labour Party, the other major player in the coalition, was unsteady and was torn between the status quo and the progressive side of the party who wanted more democratisation. It was clear much more groundwork would be needed before the Cabinet could discuss any plans seriously.


Sunday, February 10th 2019, 4:34pm

25 January

Kapitein-luitenant ter Zee Phillip Buis stood in the office of the Chief of Staff of the Far East Fleet and was handed his next assignment. "Congratulations Kapitein, you have earned this posting. I'm sorry your illness forced a break in your sea career but you will do well in your new post. You are to replace Kapitein-luitenant Lacomblé as our naval attache to the Philippines." The Admiral shook his hand and thrust the envelope into his hand. "We will be sorry to loose you from the 2nd Kanonneerboot Flotilla but you will be of great service to us in Manilla."


Saturday, March 9th 2019, 10:27am

10 February
Kapitein-luitenant Lacomblé stood in the office of the Chief of Staff of the Far East Fleet. "Welcome back and congratulations Commandeur". The Admiral shook his hand and Lacomblé blinked. "Yes, that's right, congratulations on your promotion Commandeur Kapitein ter Zee, long overdue in my opinion given the work you have performed for us, representing the Navy in the finest way. I know you probably hoped for a sea command again but we need good officers at Headqaurters and I have had you assigned to my staff as part of the operational planning group." Lacomblé was stunned by the shock of promotion and a staff posting, "Thank you Sir, I hope my service as a member of your staff will be worthy of your praise Sir."
The Admiral beckoned to the door, "It will, come I want you to meet the staff you will be working with."

12 February
The first Cryptogram (a cryptic clue crossword) has been published in the newspaper De Groene Amsterdammer today.

14 February
The chemical company NV Mekog turned the first turf on their new factory extension near Ijmuiden today. Planned to be completed by late 1950 the plant's production capacity is estimated to be 93,000 tons of ammonia per year by 1955 once the extension is fully operational.


Sunday, April 14th 2019, 10:34am

26 February
The Youth Organisation Freedom and Democracy (Jongerenorganisatie Vrijheid en Democratie, JOVD) political youth organisation has been founded today. The JOVD cooperates with the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) but is a politically independent organisation.

1 March
A severe storm has caused much damage in northern Europe and in particular on the Belgian and Dutch coasts. At Ukkel in Belgium wind gusts up to 128km/h were recorded. The severe damage to the coast was partly caused by the exceptional wind blowing perpendicular to the coast and therefore increasing the flooding which has spread along almost the entire Belgian coast and parts of the Dutch coast.


Sunday, May 5th 2019, 11:22am

6 March
The cargo ship Fiducia ran aground at Whitby, Yorkshire in Britain today and was severely damaged.

14 March
Some commentators in the aviation world have raised an eyebrow on the introduction of the first of six Lockheed Constellation L749 airliners into Royal Dutch Indian Airlines (KNILM) service for its longer international routes. Some have lamented that Fokker has taken its eye off the long-range airliner market since the mid-1930s but others have noted that KNILM is a frequent and satisfied user of American airliners. It is rumoured that KLM has several of the even larger Lockheed Super Constellation L-1049 on order for delivery next year.


Tuesday, May 21st 2019, 11:24am

Visit of Philippine Military-Technical Commission – 10 March 1949

The Philippine Military-Technical Commission led by Colonel Francisco Magundaya left Belgium and by special train arrived Eindhoven, where they were taken to the barracks of VII Division.

Here a wide range of vehicles were on display with their crews. A standard DAF M44 Pantserwagen 4x4 armoured car was first up. Armed with an 37mm L/34 Bofors gun and powered by a 95hp DAF 6-cyl diesel, it had been purpose-designed for tropical climates and a DAF representative made much of the fact that these cars are built in the Dutch East Indies and therefore would be easy to ship with far lower transportation costs and less waiting for spare parts than European-built vehicles. Beside it was the very first production DAF LPA-49 Marine Pantserwagen, an amphibious version of the M44 equipped with inflatable canvas screens and deep wading equipment. Bigger equipment on display was the DAF M45 Pantserwagen 6x6 armoured car, just out of production but which could be restarted. Finally the Commission clambered over the DAF GD-46 Gepantserde Infanterie Drager, the armoured carrier variant of the M45 chassis carrying 7-8 troops. The DAF representative warned that the production line would close by the end of the year if no further orders received. Then the Commission were treated to a cross–country ride inside the GD-46 to show how the novel Drado chassis and suspension gave a good ride. Following a good dinner with the officers of the Division at the Mess, they were shown to their accommodation in the city.

DAF also had on show some new support vehicles on show, all prototypes planned to enter production in 1950 and all designed around the standard DAF H-Drive transmission for good cross-country performance. The DAF YA-054 will become the new standard 4x4 vehicle for the Netherlands Army. One of the two prototypes was shown with full production planned to begin in 1950. The DAF YA-126 prototype is a 1 tonne capacity 4x4 general purpose truck which can transport six men and their equipment and there is also an ambulance version planned. The DAF YA-318 is a 3 tonne capacity 6x6 general purpose truck. DAF plan a wide range of bodies to suit various roles including; artillery tractor, cargo carrier, crash tender and fuel tanker.


Saturday, June 8th 2019, 10:18am

29 March
A Cabinet vote on Prime Minister Eduard Land’s proposal to enable the East Indies, Suriname, the Kongo and Ubangi-Shari to elect representatives to sit in the Eerste Kamer (Upper Chamber) narrowly passed by just two votes. The next step will be to discuss the proposal with the overseas provinces and within both houses of the parliament.


Saturday, July 13th 2019, 3:34pm

4 April
A new charter passenger airline based at Amsterdam Airport has begun commercial operations today. Aero Holland currently has a fleet of two leased aircraft, a Douglas DC-3 and a Douglas DC-5.

11 April
The Minister of Finance Piet Lieftinck during an interview today with the newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad mentioned that the government is willing to consider opening the Customs Union to other nations on an equal basis and that exploratory talks with both Saudi Arabia and Yemen had been ongoing over the last few weeks.


Sunday, July 28th 2019, 12:29pm

19 April
Today marks the last day of two weeks of naval exercises by ships of the Home Fleet and units of the Kongo Station off the western coast of Africa. The exercises were aimed at testing the coastal defence capabilities as well as ensuring the sailors keep up their sea-time and practising interception of vessels at sea.

26 April
The Het Brabants Orkest (The Brabant Orchestra) has been formed in the province of North Brabant. Its principal concert venue is the Muziekgebouw Frits Philips in Eindhoven. The roots of the orchestra date to 1947, with the establishment of the Stichting Vrienden van het Orkest (Friends' Orchestra Foundation) by the province of North Brabant to generate support for the formation of a full-time and full-sized symphony orchestra in the province. The full orchestra has 40 musicians and Hein Jordans is the chief conductor.


Sunday, August 11th 2019, 10:15am

1 May
Astronomer Gerard Kuiper, currently a Professor at the University of Chicago, announced his most recent discovery, a moon of Neptune which has been named Nereid.

2 May
Ferry operator Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland has announced that starting this summer a secondary service from Flushing to Folkestone will be introduced to meet increasing passenger demand on cross-channel routes.

4 May
The coaster Mudo collided with the British coaster Algol in the North Sea off Lowestoft, Suffolk today but sadly sank with the loss of two of her six crew.


Saturday, August 24th 2019, 10:08am

11 May
The Nederlandsch Indische Escompto Maatschappij bank in Batavia has changed its name to Escomptobank. Re-branding is currently underway across all its branches. This prestigious bank was founded in 1857.

17 May
The Dutch East Indies government in Batavia sent a firm rejection to The Hague in regards to Prime Minister Eduard Land’s proposal to enable the East Indies, Suriname, the Kongo and Ubangi-Shari to elect representatives to sit in the Eerste Kamer (Upper Chamber) in The Hague. They argued the plan did not go far enough and that more productive reforms would be the removal of the Staates-Geenral position and the formation of an independent government. Many political commentators this evening are shocked by the bold rejection which seems to indicate a growing weariness at half-hearted reform and seemingly endless policies designed to maintain Dutch rule.

20 May
The Kongolese government have also rejected Prime Minister Eduard Land’s proposal to enable the East Indies, Suriname, the Kongo and Ubangi-Shari to elect representatives to sit in the Eerste Kamer (Upper Chamber) in The Hague. The main grounds for dismissal was the vagueness of the member’s political powers and how they were integrated into the current system, seemingly they would not be able to influence the Staates-General as the de-facto representative of the Crown and would not be bound by the independent Kongolese government. Commentators believe this is the end of Land’s attempt to reform the political system, some feel that he may begin to consider greater independence for the provinces.


Sunday, September 29th 2019, 4:28pm

30 May
Today voters in Suriname have headed to their polling stations for the General Election.

5 June
The results of the Suriname General Election were announced today. The result was a victory for the National Party of Suriname, which won 13 of the 21 seats. Voter turnout was 47.5%. The United Hindustani Party won 6 seats and the Party for National Unity and Solidarity won the remaining 2 seats.


Saturday, October 19th 2019, 10:27am

10 June
Kusno Sukarno sat in his study, the reports in the newspapers heartened him. He was still stuck under house arrest, but here at last was evidence that the times were changing and the tide turning, just as he had always forecast they would. His friends who had special visiting privileges had told him who the most outspoken critics of Land's proposal within the government had been. He picked up his writing paper and a pen, he would write to each of them, asking them to now consider applying political pressure for his release and a full pardon.

24 June
Gatso B.V has launched a new sports car. The Model 1500 prototype went on show today in Amsterdam and it features a low-slung body designed by Jan Apetz and is powered by a six-cylinder FIAT engine. All of the Gatso cars are built to order at Gatsonides’ Allround Services garage in Heemstede.

26 June
The Bernard van Leer Foundation has been founded to fund and share knowledge about work in early childhood development. The foundation's income is derived from the bequest of Bernard van Leer, a Dutch industrialist and philanthropist who made his fortune from the packaging company he founded in 1919, Royal Packaging Industries Van Leer.


Wednesday, October 23rd 2019, 9:22pm

Netherlands Motorway Network

An update of progress this year on the programme to build a network of Autoroutes (motorways) across the Netherlands linking into the networks of France, Germany and Belgium.

The A12 was formally opened this year following five years of construction. The A12 runs from The Hague (linking via a junction with the A4) – Liedschendam – Zoetermeer – Zuidplas – Waddinxveen – Bodegraven-Reeuwijk – Woerden – Utrecht (junction with A2) – Bunnik – Utrechtse Heuvelrug – Ede – Arnhem – Duiven – Zevenaar to the German border at Elten to link into the German Autobahn network.

Construction has begun on two new Autoroutes; the A6 and the A13 which will complete in 1953 and 1952 respectively. The A6 will run from Muiden (with a junction to the A1) – Naarden – Almere – Lelystad – Dronten – Urk – Noordoostpolder – Lemsterland – Scharsterland (with a junction to the A7). The A13 will run from The Hague (with a junction to the A4) to Rotterdam via Rijswijk and Delft.


Thursday, October 24th 2019, 4:49pm

a few nits:

- Leidschendam.

- Zuidplas municipality established in 2010.

- Bodegraven-Reeuwijk municipality established in 2011.

- Utrechtse Heuvelrug is an area and not a place AFAIK.

- Flevoland is still submerged so most of the part between Naarden and Dronten is not there.

- Dronten does not exist yet.

- Noordoostpolder is the name of area that was reclaimed. It won't be a municipality until 1962.

- Historically the A7 was rijksweg 43 at this point. Needs to stay that way for its nickname later, the 'rijksdodenweg 43'. :) (I would probably best translate that to national deathway 43)

- A13 already is partially around between Nootdorp and Overschie (since the 1930s) so it would be an extension and not new.

- The Delft-Overschie part has no separated lanes for both directions of travel. It would be part of the construction plans to make it a proper highway section.

- The existing section is 2x2. in 1950, the decision was made to change it to 2x3. That is also something that you could make part of the construction plans at this point. Historically it was the first 2x3 highway in the Netherlands.

... okay so it is a bit more than a few. :)


Friday, October 25th 2019, 10:06am

This is when local knowledge become invaluable! I will endeavor to correct as many of these as I can.

The one I thing I haven't touched on yet as Dutch player is land reclamation, I think I have made passing references to it in the past but its something that I should look into more I guess.


Saturday, December 7th 2019, 10:22am

2 July
Radio presenter Pete Felleman presented the first music charts on Dutch radio tonight on the new programme, The Hit Parade. The chart is based on the Billboards' Top Sellers Chart.

7 July
Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din, the Iman of Yemen died peacefully in his sleep last night. On the streets, there is both a sense of grief and unease at what the succession may bring and the fears of a power struggle. His eldest son Ahmad bin Yahya seems likely to succeed him but there is also a chance the Free Yemeni Movement of liberal modernists led by Ahmad Muhammad Nu'man and Muhammad al-Zubayri may attempt to take control. Another of his sons, Ibrahim bin Yahya, has been in open revolt against his father for more than a year, having fled and joined another group called the Free Yemenites in the Aden Protectorate in 1946.


Sunday, December 29th 2019, 10:28am

9 July
The 1949 Dutch motorcycle Grand Prix held today is the third race of the 1949 Motorcycle Grand Prix season. It took place at the Assen circuit. Italian rider Nello Pagani won the 500 cc race riding a Gilera from Leslie Graham and Arciso Artesiani. Pagani also won the 125 cc race on his smaller Gilera which saw him win the first 125 cc World Championship having won the first two 125 cc races with only one race remaining. Similarly, in winning the 350 cc race British Velocette rider Freddie Frith, having achieved a perfect score of 33 points from the first three races became the first 350 cc Motorcycle World Champion.

10 July
Ahmad bin Yahya, the oldest son of Yahya Muhammad Hamid ed-Din has been proclaimed the new Imam Ahmad, all-Nasir li-Din Allah (The Protector of God's Religion). Ahmad had previously helped his father and has been governor of Ta'izz since 1918 where he is extraordinarily popular. Although believed to be conservative like his father, it has been noted that while governor he surrounded himself with reformers.
His third brother Hasan Hamid al-Din, governor of the southern province of Ibb has been rewarded with the offices of prime minister and governor of Sana'a. It is believed that the new Imam will rule from his Ta'izz stronghold.


Sunday, January 26th 2020, 11:42am

14 July
The English contralto singer Kathleen Ferrier performed the world premiere of Benjamin Britten's Spring Symphony in Amsterdam, with Eduard van Beinum and the Concertgebouw Orchestra, this evening. The piece is a work written specifically for her.

23 July
Ibrahim bin Yahya, brother of Iman Ahmad has left the Aden Protectorate and has advanced on Hajjah where loyal tribes have supplied his forces.

31 July
The 1949 Dutch Grand Prix was held today at Circuit Park Zandvoort. It is the first Dutch Grand Prix run under Formula One rules. The Circuit Park Zandvoort is 4.19km long and the race was 90 laps long. The race was won by Frenchman Louis Rosier in his Talbot-Lago, the Italians Luigi Villoresi and Alberto Ascari driving Ferraris took second and third place.