September 19, 1939
Queen Wilhelmina rode in a golden carriage today to Parliament, where she gave a speech that reaffirmed the Netherlands' neutrality. "I rejoice that our friendly relations with all powers continue unimpaired. This refers especially to those neutral countries, with which we established closer contact in previous periods."
She said that she was convinced that "better international relations may be established by peace negotiations."
"appear here among you in gloomy circumstances although the country has been able to preserve its peace....The economic life of the Netherlands has been hit, mainly on account of the marine warfare,but our finances are unshaken. The food stocks are sufficient for a long time to come. Trade will continue as nornmally as possible. The nation's unity and morale are exemplary."
The Queen's speech also included budgetary items. Income tax will be increased 15% in 1939, and 45% in 1940. But there will be no new expenditures except on "defense and professional training of the unemployed."
Wilhelmina also expressed concern for the victims of war. "I feel deep compassion for those nations suffering war."
The queen was accompanied to Parliament by Crown Princess Juliana and her husband, Prince Bernhard.