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Stout, frugal, shiny-nosed Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands is as proud as she is plain and motherly. Her court is the stiffest and most punctilious in Europe. The State Coach of her ancient House of Orange is almost as ornate, almost as uncomfortable as the swaying, medieval contraption in which George V jounces about London on great occasions. Last week fully 100,000 Dutchmen came from all parts of Holland to cheer Queen Wilhelmina as she jounced regally from her squat palace to open the States General (Parliament). Loyally they shouted "Orange Boven!" ("Orange Up!"), the traditional Dutch cheer for Royalty. Fervently they hoped that Her Majesty's Government would continue to hold the Dutch florin pegged firmly high on the gold standard.

White-gloved, white-stockinged flunkeys ushered Her Majesty to the Throne. This year no Deputy rose to shout "Weg met de Koningin!" ("Down with the Queen!"), as did two Communist Deputies last year when Queen Wilhelmina opened the States General. This year Dutchmen, feeling that their national economy is menaced by the departure of so many great powers from the gold standard, hung on Her Majesty's words. Well they knew that the mighty Dutch oil master Sir Henri Deterding has been campaigning for "reduction of the gold content of the gulden in order to help trade" (TIME, July 3). Had the Cabinet of Premier Hendrik Colijn listened to Sir Henri? Speaking for the Cabinet, Queen Wilhelmina told her States General that "My Government must not undertake any risky experiments of a monetary or economic nature." As though intended to rebuff Sir Henri Deterding directly, the Speech from the Throne rejected explicitly the notion that devaluation or inflation of the gulden is needed to improve Dutch trade. Instead Her Majesty announced "continued retrenchment by My Government. . . drastic curtailment of expenditures."

Only prudent, thrifty, hardheaded Dutchmen could have cheered the final exposition of the Government's fiscal policy for 1933-34 which was made that evening to the States General by Finance Minister Pieter Jacobus Oud. Proposing to balance the budget by drastically higher taxes on incomes, tobacco and coffee, he declared: "These sacrifices are necessary. I may say that in this crisis a lower standard of living is necessary! The budget must be balanced and the gulden must be kept on the gold standard."