From a Special C'orresponaeni
The General Elections in Belgium are to be held on Sunday next. February 17.
Apart from the small and more insignificant parties. the Belgian electors have the choice of five electoral programmes: Liberals (whose leaders are anti-clerical), Socialists (including M. Speak, present Prime Minister); Communists; Catholics of the Christian Socialist Party; and the Udebists (Belgian Democratic Union), the party which comprises believers and nonbelievers inspired by Christian philoso
The Catholic elector then has his choice between the Christian Socialist Party and the Belgian Democratic Union. While the Cardinal of Malines and the Church geneitilly regret the Catholic split, the Belgian Democratic Union has the sympathy of some of the clergy. Two Bishops have dissociated themselves from the politi
cal question to the extent of refusing to members of the clergy the use of their parochial halls for the benefit of their party.
Unless the Bevin-Vyshinsky conflict plays an unexpected pal: in influencing the Belgian electors, a Communist advance is to be expected. They had nine deputies at the last election eV should obtain double that number at the next.
On the other hand the Liberals arc likely to lose many seats owing to the
part they have played in the Royal question and their refusal for votes for women. The Christian Democratic Party is likely ID gain a few seats because of their defence of the King, but the Belgian Democratic Union may profit from the fact that there are no longer any Resists or Flemish Nationalist Patties.
Summing up, It looks as though there will not be any decisive change in the distribution of seats, the Government remaining a Left Government with the Catholics in oppoeition.