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I take exception to the last sentence of the intro, that "Article VII ... by implication committed the signatory powers to guard that neutrality in the event of invasion". The citation doesn't say as much. And I don't think that most reasonable people would be able to read that kind of commitment into article seven, extremely brief as it is. There is a body of opinion that sees the Treaty of London as placing all its obligations on the Belgians and almost none, besides diplomatic recognition and access to trade, on the other signatories. Opinion includes those of both brothers Hitchens, one of the few things the two political authors agreed on. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 08:29, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
In order to clear up the problems with this page in a way that can be audited without repeating my "detective work", here's the story so far:
11:38, 2003 Sep 21 UTC: 184.108.40.206 appears from the history to have created the page; the content was a repeated block of nonsense text, IMO consistent with some kind of technological error (or with intentional creation without a great effort). (I prefer the tech problem intepretion, bcz the title is perfectly sensible, while the content leaves me at a loss what payoff a vandal would have had.)
Two unremarkable edits ensued, then:
12:31, the same date: 220.127.116.11
adapted (ambiguous) material that had been added, 3-4 weeks earlier, to Treaty of London, and
18:24, the same date: the offending text was removed, leaving a stub with just a link to Treaty of London
Following that link leads to disamb-style info including "Treaty guaranteeing the neutrality of Belgium, 1839" (but linking back to this article)
That info should be added here, creating a less confusing stub that may have a fair chance for a fullfilling life; i'm inclined to kill this article's link as well.
I intend to do another of these, on Treaty of London, which will also resolve the ambiguous information that also appeared here for close to a month. --Jerzy 01:40, 2003 Nov 14 (UTC)
Yeah, well, for whomever cares, Jerzy and I refixated the article (is refixated a word?)... ugen64 02:56, Nov 30, 2003 (UTC)
"At that point, British Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith declared war on August 4 of the same year."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Prime Minister has no power to declare war. --Daniel C. Boyer 17:09, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
He does indeed. The power to declare war comes under the royal prerogative powers of the prime minister (nominally exercised by the sovereign, but binding advice to the sovereign on the use of these powers is at the discretion of the prime minister and cabinet). It's the prime minister who has the final say on the deployment of forces and the existence of a state of war. This is a lot of power to concentrate in the hands of the head of government, but bear in mind that under the Westminster system parliament can remove the prime minister more easily (by a loss of confidence in the government) than the legislature can remove the president in a presidential system (by impeachment), so it roughly balances out, although there's a lot more that could be said on this subject. 02:45, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
While the PM has the de facto power to declae war, my understanding has been that the actual right to declare war wrests with the monarch. Even if the monarch has to quote Matthew 10 all works out, I think.
I splitted the section "significance" into two parts, the existing part became "historical significance" and I added a part with regards to the Iron Rhine controversy under "modern day significance" as in 2005 the Permanent Court of Arbitration used the 1839 treaty to decide a dispute between Belgium and the Netherlands (in favor of Belgium). -- fdewaele, 19 April 2007, 15:22.
More should be definitely be said about modern significance. If the treaty was deemed to give Belgium rights in the Iron Rhine dispute, why has no one kicked up a fuss about Belgium's distinct lack of neutrality these days, something the treaty bound it and other European powers on? This is the country that hosts the headquarters of NATO! 23:03, 6 December 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk)
I think you have to see the two issues separatly. Belgium tried to remain neutral before the start of both world wars, but this neutrality was never respected, so it was forced to choose sides. This part of the treaty was violated but that was not Belgium's fault. Since the neutrality was violated and Belgium is too small to defend its own (especially with its strategic location that seems to attract invasions), Belgium had no choice but to join a military alliance like NATO. The issues about the Dutch-Belgian border and the Iron Rhine are something entirely different, this was an agreement between Belgium and the Netherlands and no World War really changed anything about that. --Lamadude (talk) 17:03, 12 May 2009 (UTC)