THE NETHERLANDS: Opening the Door

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In the 17th century Senate building in The Hague, Dutch Foreign Minister Johan Beyen last week asked his country's elder statesmen to hand over control of The Netherlands' proud little army and 20,000-man air force to a supranational authority that does not yet exist. The European Army (EDC) has never raised cheers in Holland, for it will speed the rearmament of Germany, a nation that overran the Dutch only 13 years ago. The Dutch fear current French weakness as well as future German strength. But the Dutch, a hardheaded people, know no better alternative to what their Foreign Minister called "the Russian threat" and "the German problem."

Last week the Senators, by a 36-10-4 vote, approved the European Army treaty, which has already passed the Lower House. With Queen Juliana's signature, EDC becomes the law of the land, making The Netherlands the first of the six member nations to open wide the door to European Union.