Spaak, Paul Henri, 1899-1972

Spaak was Foreign Minister of Belgium before and during the war. Before the war he stood firmly for Belgian neutrality and refused to allow Allied troops into his country. When the Germans invaded on 10 May 1940 he called on Britain and France to fulfill their treaty obligations. Spaak and Pierlot, the Prime Minister, urged King LEOPOLD, who was in personal command of the Armed Forces, to go to France and continue resistance from there when they saw their imminent defeat. The King, however, stayed in Belgium when Pierlot and Spaak left for England. They mistakenly accused him of treating with the Germans but were later reconciled and kept the Belgian government-in-exile in operation through the war, returning to Belgium after liberation in September 1944. Spaak played a major role in negotiating the Benelux customs agreement of 1944 and in the founding of the United Nations.

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