Foreign News: Brave New Commonwealth

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Mightier democracies continued pussyfooting on post-war plans, but last week the squareheaded Dutch went on record. Their good Queen Wilhelmina flatly rejected Empire, plunked for Commonwealth.

Over London's Radio Orange, solid Dutch Democrat Wilhelmina told her people and the world:

>The Netherlands, The Netherlands Indies, Curasao and Surinam, after victory, would form a commonwealth whose four parts would have independence at home, but be united "in readiness to render mutual assistance."

>A conference of all her peoples to discuss and create such a commonwealth was, in fact, about to be held when war came; and now "we can only resume these preparations when everyone will be able to speak his mind freely."

To the Atlantic Charter Wilhelmina thus gave bone, meat, flavor. The new commonwealth, said she, "will leave no room for discrimination according to race or nationality. Only the ability of the individual citizens and the needs of the various groups of the population will determine the policy of the Government.

"I know that no political unit nor national cohesion can continue to exist which is not supported by the voluntary acceptance and the faith of the great majority of the citizenry."