It is in this period, also as a consequence of the real question, that the other no less serious question of Wallonia arises. The pro-Flemish policy of the Germans and the increasingly serious denatality of the Walloon area have reversed the terms of the age-old problem: today there is no longer a Flemish question in Belgium, but a Walloon question. This, which already in the clandestine period had determined the creation of a study body, the Walloon Economic Council, broke out in all its gravity at the Walloon National Congress held in Liège on November 20, 1945, where the mandates were divided as follows: 17 for the maintenance of the unitary statute, 391 for autonomy in the Belgian framework, 154 for independence and 486 for incorporation into France. I vote purely “sentimental”, so much so that, as soon as I met, the delegates themselves were frightened and, turning back, they adhered to the thesis of autonomy in the Belgian framework; but not for this less significant symptom of an inferiority complex and a crisis, which – alongside the real question and often related to it – constitutes the punctum dolens of present-day Belgium. Strongly supported by the socialists, opposed by the Catholics, the federalist tendency emerged victorious from the II Walloon congress held on 11 May 1946 in Charleroi; later, with the motion of the deputy Grégoire, it became parliamentary competence. For Belgium 1998, please check constructmaterials.com.
The parliament was dissolved on January 9, 1946, the elections of February 17 with universal male suffrage marked the total collapse of the new formation of progressive Catholics, the Belgian Democratic Union, the considerable weakening of the Liberal Party, the significant communist progress and, above all, the consolidation of the two main Belgian parties: the Socialist, which has now abandoned the traditional name of the Belgian Workers’ Party, and the Christian-Social Party, which happened on 20 June 1945 to the old Catholic party and which maintains its party position stronger in parliament. These electoral results, given that the real and the Walloon questions have had a religious approach, make the constitution of the government very difficult. In fact, on March 20, 1946, the simple liberal abstention in the chamber is enough to make it impossible to vote in confidence in the cabinet constituted by Spaak with socialists and technicians. Only through an agreement of all the parties and leaving only the Christian-socialists to the opposition, on March 31st van Acker succeeds in establishing the government: caught between the double grip of union strikes and the Catholic offensive on the real question, the lack of a single majority vote overthrew him in the Senate on 10 July. He is replaced on 2 August by a cabinet headed by the socialist burgomaster of Antwerp, C. Huysmans, but this suffers a serious setback in the senate on the balance of war damages (28 November) and on 12 March 1947 he is forced to resign due to the withdrawal of ministers Communists, hostile to the price set for coal.
From this moment Belgian political life undergoes a radical change: the socialist party abandons the old alliances and the social-Christian opposition. It is in fact a socialist and Christian-social government that Spaak constitutes on March 19, 1947 and that obtains a strong parliamentary majority (in the chamber 148 votes against 13 and 22 communist abstentions, in the senate 125 against 7 and 17 communist abstentions). This government, whose particular physiognomy is not changed by the subsequent alterations, implements a whole new financial policy with the abolition of state subsidies in the field of trade and quickly inserts Belgium into the Western system (acceptance of the Marshall plan, Treaty of Brussels of 17 March 1948 which alongside the Benelux economic union places the Franco-English military alliance).
In reality, however, all the previous reasons for collision continue to exist and it manifests itself in full outside the government action: thus, at the III Walloon Congress held on May 3, 1947 in Namur which supports the parliamentary proposal presented by the deputy Grégoire for the creation of a federal state grouping three distinct political entities (Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels) the Christian-socials are absent, whose ministers instead on 23 November 1947 attended a national congress of loyalty to Leopold III. However, the marriage of convenience to the government dampens the too acute tones of the question: only the stubborn intransigence of the king prevented in January 1948 that Spaak’s declarations to the senate, in favor of the sovereign’s honor, were able to resolve it on the basis of abdication and advent to the throne of the young Baldovino. The sudden return from America of Leopoldo III brings the question to a decisive turning point (April 18, 1948), while the latent Catholic-Socialist disagreement over the question of subsidies to confessional schools is accentuated, which will then give the opportunity to the resignation of the Spaak cabinet (May 5, 1948): who puts to his credit that constructive policy, the most recent manifestations of which are the creation among the signatories of the Treaty of Brussels of an advisory committee and a military committee (April 17) and the trip of Spaak and the regent in Washington and Ottawa (April 1948).