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—1——mmm^ THE FORTHCOMING VISIT OF BELGIANS TO ENGLAND. Now that the Wimbledon meeting is approaching it is necessary that energetic steps should be taken in reference to the organisation to be employed in giving our Belgian visitors a becoming reception on that occasion. There is every reason to believe that the entertainment of our foreign guests will then be as cor- dial and sincere upon a large scale as it was upon a small one, when on Easter Monday the officers and official staff of some of our leading metropolitan regi- ments, such as the Civil Service and the Queen's, enter- tained the handful of Belgians who did us the honour to come over for the purpose of witnessing the doings or the English volunteers at Dover. The executive of the Belgian committee are fully alive to the necessity of immediate action, and but for the un- fortunate accident to its president, Lord Bury, and the absorbing subject of the Easter review, would no doubt ere this have been prepared to have submitted their programme. To hint that there will, however, be any shortcomings either in regard to raising sufficient funds for the purpose, or in the cordiality of the Belgian reception when the period arrives, would be a foul libel on the English character as regards generosity, gratitude, and good feeling. We are glad to find that at the head of the subscription lists are such names as Lord Over- stone and Col. Lloyd-Lindsay for £190 each. No doubt the late Lord Mayor, Sir B. Phillips, will follow, and set an example in the City; indeed, rumour has it that the late Lord Mayor has organised a committee to raise a sum of £2,000 as a contribution of the merchants, bankers, and traders of the City of London to this truly national object. We believe we are also correct in stat- ing that the metropolitan commanding officers and the other officers, as well as members of their regiments, as also throughout the provinces, are co-operating to raise sufficient funds to carry out the object. It must be borne in mind, however, that the time is short, and that it id most desirable the Reception Committee should not only know without delay what their resources are likely to be, but be able to publish them to the world as an example to others. At the lowest possible estimate we may expect to have to entertain at least 1,000 guests, including some of the highest personages in the land, Belgian officers, Ministers of State, and representatives of the municipalities of Belgium, and to do so in a grudging or niggardly manner, would be a lasting dis- grace to this country. It is the fashion at all public and festive gatherings, no matter what the occasion, to tOJ-_L "1"'0 "r-I,+. ,c "C> compliment paid to our citizen army, and through them to the entire English nation, by the Belgian people, it has been equally the fashion to refer in terms of grati- tude to that reception, and to express a hope that we shall be enabled in July next to make the Belgians a becoming return. Let every peer, then, and every member of Parliament who sets the slightest value upon the volunteer movement, or who is anxious for the dignity and honour of his country, at once enrol his name in the subscription list of the Belgian Reception Fund.—Observer.





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