Frans Van Cauwelaert
Jan Frans Van Cauwelaert (1880-1961) was a Belgian lawyer and politician.
He studied medicine and philosophy (and later law) in Leuven and became a member of parliament in 1910.
Until the day he died, he represented the district of Antwerp for the catholic
party and after 1945 the Christian Democrats.
As a young parliamentarian
he tried, together with Camille Huysmans, to
introduce Dutch at the University of Ghent. During the First World War he stayed in the Netherlands where he worked for Belgian refugees. After the
war he became one of the leading figures in the Flemish movement for equality.
His local political career started in Antwerp as council member in 1921. From 1921 to 1932
Van Cauwelaert was mayor of Antwerp. During these years the city of Antwerp expanded and the harbour was enlarged
considerably. He became minister for Trade (1934), Agriculture and Economic
Affairs (1934) and Agriculture and Public Works (1934-1935). From 1939 to 1954
he was chairman of the House of Representatives. During his time in the House
he was twice a Belgian delegate to the Assembly of the League of Nations.
After the Second World War
his political activities were mainly focused on foreign policy as member of the
Council of Europe (1949-1961), Belgian delegate to the United Nations
(1954-1959), member of the West European Union (1955), chairman of the Belgian
parliamentary NATO-association (1955-1961) and first chairman of the Interparliamentary Benelux Council (1957).
Belgium 23 February 1980
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last revised: 28 March 2010