Second Drees cabinet
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Drees II (2 September 1952 - 13 October 1956) was the third Dutch cabinet under prime minister Willem Drees, with ministers from PvdA, KVP, ARP and CHU and one independent minister. This cabinet is sometimes known as Drees III if the Drees-Van Schaik cabinet is counted as Drees I, but Drees III generally refers to the following cabinet.
The economic recovery after World War II continued. This made further expansion of social security possible, of which the best example is the institution of the state pension AOW in 1956. Also, a major housing scheme was executed, building 80 000 houses per year.
A major setback was the North Sea flood of 1953, which resulted in damage equivalent to 5% of the GDP. An emergency law was made to recover the dykes and plans were made for the Delta Works, the world's largest flood protection project, which should protect the South West Netherlands against another such combination of storm and spring tide.
An episcopal 'mandement' called for Catholics to give up their PvdA-membership, but without result.
On 15 February 1956 the Dutch-Indonesian Union officially ended. Relationships between the two countries continued to deteriorate.
When the PvdA voted with the opposition over a combined law to lower taxes and raise rents on 17 May 1955, this led to a crisis. The cabinet fell, but returned after 17 days when PvdA chairman Burger had reconciled the parties.
- (in Dutch) Kabinet-Drees II, Rijksoverheid.nl
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