World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Dutch government-in-exile

Dutch government-in-exile
Nederlandse regering-in-ballingschap
Government in exile

Flag Coat of arms
Capital Amsterdam
Capital-in-exile London
Government Transitional government
 -  1940-1945 Wilhelmina
Prime Minister
 -  1940 Dirk Jan de Geer
 -  1940-1945 Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
Historical era World War II
 -  Surrender of the Dutch Army in the Battle of the Netherlands 15 May 1940
 -  Liberation from Nazi Germany May 5, 1945
Warning: Value not specified for ""
Stratton House on Piccadilly by Green Park, where the Dutch government was based

The Dutch government in exile (Dutch: Nederlandse regering in ballingschap), also known as the London Cabinet (Dutch: Londens cabinet) was the government in exile of the Netherlands, headed by Queen Wilhelmina, that evacuated to London after the German invasion of the country during World War II.


  • Background and exile 1
  • Exile in London 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Background and exile

Prior to 1940, the Netherlands was a neutral country, generally on good terms with Germany. In May 1940 Queen Wilhelmina escaped to London; the Dutch government under Prime Minister De Geer would follow a day later, after the German invasion. The government was established at Stratton House in the Piccadilly area of London, opposite Green Park.[1] Initially their hope was that France would regroup and liberate the country. Although there was an attempt in this direction, it soon failed, because the Allied forces were surrounded and forced to evacuate at Dunkirk.

The government in exile was soon faced with a dilemma. After France had been defeated, the Germans had installed the Vichy French government, which collaborated with Hitler. This led to a conflict between De Geer and the Queen. De Geer wanted to return to the Netherlands and collaborate as well. The government in exile was still in control of the Dutch East Indies with all its resources: it was the third largest oil producer at the time (after the US and the USSR). Wilhelmina realised that if the Dutch collaborated with Germany, the Dutch East Indies would be surrendered to Japan, as French Indochina was surrendered later by orders of the Vichy government.

Exile in London

Because the Netherlands' hope for liberation was now the entry of the US or the USSR into the war, the Queen dismissed her prime minister, Geer, and replaced him with Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy, who worked with Churchill and Roosevelt on ways to smooth the path for an American entry. Aruba together with Curaçao the then-world-class exporting oil refineries were the main suppliers of refined products to the Allies. Aruba became a British protectorate from 1940 to 1942 and a US protectorate from 1942 to 1945. On November 23, 1941, under an agreement with the Netherlands government-in-exile, the United States occupied Dutch Guiana to protect the bauxite mines.[2] An oil boycott was imposed on Japan, which helped to spark the Pearl Harbor attack.

In September 1944, the Dutch, Belgian and Luxembourgish governments in exile began formulating an agreement over the creation of a Benelux Customs Union.[3] The agreement was signed in the London Customs Convention on 5 September 1944

The Queen's unusual action was later ratified by the Dutch parliament in 1946. Churchill called her "the only man in the Dutch government".[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Plaque: Netherlands Government in exile". London Remembers. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  2. ^ World War II Timeline
  3. ^ Walsh, Jeremy. "Benelux Economic Union – A New Role for the 21st Century".  
  4. ^ "War Over Holland - The Royal Family". Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.