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5. The 1936 Mixed Commission

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Chapter Summary

On March 25, 1936, King Leopold ordered the formation of a 'mixed commission'. The debates of this commission reveal the concerns not only of the Belgian soldiers but also of the domestic policymakers responsible to their electors and of the senators. It thus also reveals the concerns of the Belgian public. This chapter looks mainly at the testimony of the general officers summoned before the commission to answer questions about how best to defend the country. There is an examination of the language issue, which was debated vigorously in the commission and the implementation of the resulting language law. The chapter finally discusses the outcome of the commission and of two other commissions that occurred in 1936. The commission consisted of twenty Parliamentarians and eleven senior officers. They were to look at the army and suggest improvements.

Keywords: Belgian army; King Leopold; language issue; mixed commission



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