CHAPTER 21
A PROBLEM INSIDE BELGIUM

By February, 1916, there had developed a problem in human relations and emotion which involved the C.R.B. and the Comité National.

When the Relief was organized fifteen months before, Belgium was in economic chaos, starving, and subjected daily to oppression from the German Army. Gradually, we had built up the moral and physical strength of the C.R.B. and the Comité National. Through the efforts of the two organizations and their Minister Patrons, many oppressions had been relaxed, economic life was greatly restored, and the people, until then, were being provided with enough food, medical supplies, and clothing to keep them alive.

Under Francqui's leadership, the Comité National, from its inception, included leaders from all political groups, all of whom showed an unfailing unity and solidarity in their dedication to the great emergency of their people. Likewise, the organization of the Comité du Nord under the leadership of Labbé and its devoted divisional heads had revived the spirits of the French. It was a great satisfaction to us that we had contributed to building the forces which sustained the morale, the spiritual strength, and the courage of the Belgian and French peoples.

In Belgium, the Comité National had perfected their organizations to such a point that much less supervision by the C.R.B. was necessary. We in the C.R.B. rejoiced at any sort of relief of our responsibilities and fully supported a greater assumption of them by the

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