30 OCTOBER 1936, Page 2

A Set-back for the Rexists M. Degrelle's demonstration in force

in Brussels on Sunday proved to be a tribute more to the efficiency of M. van 'Iceland's administration than to the power of the Rexists. Not 250,000 Resists, as M. Degrelle had promised, but 5,000 assembled ; their demonstration served no purpose but to give an exaggerated publicity to M. Degrelle. Yet the growth of his party is alarming as a proof of the power of demagogy even in a country which, like Belgium, is contented and prosperous and has one of the most successful Governments of recent times. M. Degrelle has made full use of his opportunities ; firstly, by his alliance with .the dissatisfied Flemish Nationalists, which probably cannot be •Iongaved ; secondly, by identifying. himself with the isolationist feeling in Belgium, to which the King's recent speech has given encouragement ; and, thirdly, by exploiting, in the light of events in France and Spain, the Communist bogey. In these three .points he identifies himself also with Germany's interests in Belgium ; and there are confident reports of his connexion with the Nazis and of the aid and advice he receives from them. But after last Sunday it seems likely that the curve of the Rexists' fortunes will now turn downwards.