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BELGIUM: Technocratic Victory

2 minute read

From Antwerp last week arrived pictures of Leo Frenssen, a surprise victor in Belgium’s recent municipal elections; bounding over the cane (see cut) by means of which he proved to Antwerp voters that at 58 he is still a man of no mean physical prowess. Councilman Frenssen was considered a harmless crank, hipped on the passe tenets of U. S. technocracy, until he and his “Technocrat Party” won 21,000 votes, enough to entitle them to six seats in the Antwerp municipal council. Since new councilmen will not take their seats until after January 1, perplexed Antwerp had a breathing spell last week. But bearded Leo Frenssen and his Technocrats presented an acute problem because the Council is divided between right & left elements, each now bidding for Leo Frenssen’s favor.

Over a period of nearly 20 years the Antwerp Bell Telephone Co. alternately hired & fired Leo Frenssen, an able telephonic technician but about as dependable as the late Count Leo Tolstoi, whom he mystically resembles. Once Leo Frenssen was an enrolled member of the Belgian Communist Party. He resigned with the declaration: “I am convinced that Communism is now the wrong theory—I am for peace, and I believe that every conflict can be settled peaceably if some imagination is used!”

During his recent fantastic but successful electioneering campaign, self-styled Technocrat Frenssen continued his latest method of making his living—peddling coffee from a tricycle. Last week he was still peddling coffee, displayed on his tricycle a sign reading: “Electors, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

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