Gaius de Gaay Fortman


Wilhelm Friedrich "Gaius" de Gaay Fortman[needs IPA] (8 May 1911 – 29 March 1997) was a Dutch jurist and politician of the Anti-Revolutionary Party (ARP), which later merged into the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party.[2]

Gaius de Gaay Fortman
Gaius de Gaay Fortman in 1981
Member of the European Parliament
In office
13 March 1978  15 July 1979
Parliamentary groupChristian Democratic Group
ConstituencyNetherlands
Deputy Prime Minister
In office
8 September 1977  19 December 1977
Prime MinisterJoop den Uyl
Preceded byDries van Agt
Succeeded byHans Wiegel
Minister of Justice
In office
8 September 1977  19 December 1977
Prime MinisterJoop den Uyl
Preceded byDries van Agt
Succeeded byJob de Ruiter
Minister of the Interior
In office
11 May 1973  19 December 1977
Prime MinisterJoop den Uyl
Preceded byMolly Geertsema
Succeeded byHans Wiegel
Minister for Netherlands
Antilles Affairs
In office
25 November 1975  19 December 1977
Prime MinisterJoop den Uyl
Preceded byHimself
as Minister for Suriname and
Netherlands Antilles Affairs
Succeeded byFons van der Stee
Minister for Suriname and
Netherlands Antilles Affairs
In office
11 May 1973  25 November 1975
Prime MinisterJoop den Uyl
Preceded byMolly Geertsema
Succeeded byHimself
as Minister for Netherlands
Antilles Affairs
Parliamentary leader in the Senate
In office
11 May 1971  11 May 1973
Preceded byWiert Berghuis
Succeeded byWil Albeda
Parliamentary groupAnti-Revolutionary Party
Member of the Senate
In office
20 September 1977  10 June 1981
In office
20 September 1960  11 May 1973
Parliamentary groupChristian Democratic Appeal
(1980–1981)
Anti-Revolutionary Party
(1960–1980)
Personal details
Born
Wilhelm Friedrich de Gaay Fortman

(1911-05-08)8 May 1911
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died29 March 1997(1997-03-29) (aged 85)[1]
The Hague, Netherlands
NationalityDutch
Political partyChristian Democratic Appeal
(from 1980)
Other political
affiliations
Anti-Revolutionary Party
(1934–1980)
Spouse(s)
Mary Woltjer
(m. 1936; his death 1997)
ChildrenBas de Gaay Fortman
(born 1937)
3 daughters and 1 other son
Alma materFree University Amsterdam
(Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws, Doctor of Law)
OccupationPolitician · Civil servant · Jurist · Researcher · Academic administrator · Nonprofit director · Editor · Author · Professor

De Gaay Fortman attended a Gymnasium in Dordrecht from June 1923 until September 1925 and the Amsterdams Lyceum from September 1925 until July 1929 and applied at the Free University Amsterdam in July 1929 majoring in Law and obtaining an Bachelor of Laws degree in June 1930 before graduating with an Master of Laws degree in July 1933 and worked as a researcher at the Free University Amsterdam from 5 July 1933 until 12 June 1936 when he got a doctorate as an Doctor of Law on 12 June 1936. De Gaay Fortman worked as a civil servant from April 1934 until January 1947 for the department of Agricultural Emergency Management of the Ministry of Economic Affairs from April 1934 until September 1935 and for the department of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries from September 1935 until February 1938 and for the department of Employment Insurances of the Ministry of Social Affairs from February 1938 until January 1947 and as Deputy Director-General of the department for Employment Insurances from April 1939 until August 1943 and as Director-General of the department for Employment Insurances from August 1943 until January 1947. On 10 May 1940 Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands and the government fled to London to escape the German occupation. During the German occupation De Gaay Fortman continued his work for the Ministry of Social Affairs and but sympathetic with the Dutch resistance against the German occupiers and worked as an editor for the underground newspaper Free Netherlands from January 1943 until May 1945. De Gaay Fortman worked as professor of Labour law, Privacy law and Property law at the Free University Amsterdam from 10 January 1947 until May 1973. He also served as Rector Magnificus of the Free University Amsterdam from 1 January 1961 until 1 January 1962 and from 1 January 1965 until 1 January 1972. De Gaay Fortman was elected as a Member of the Senate after the Senate election of 1960, taking office on 20 September 1960. After the Senate election of 1971 De Gaay Fortman was selected as Parliamentary leader of Anti-Revolutionary Party in the Senate, taking office on 11 May 1971.

After the election of 1972 De Gaay Fortman was appointed as Minister of the Interior and Minister for Suriname and Netherlands Antilles Affairs in the Cabinet Den Uyl, taking office on 19 December 1977. In March 1977 Gaius de Gaay Fortman announced that he would not stand for the election of 1977 but wanted tot return to the Senate. Following the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice Dries van Agt De Gaay Fortman took over both positions on 8 September 1977. The Cabinet Den Uyl was replaced by the Cabinet Van Agt–Wiegel on 19 December 1977.

De Gaay Fortman remained in active politics, he was elected again as a Member of the Senate after the Senate election of 1977, serving from 20 September 1977 until 10 June 1981. De Gaay Fortman was selected as a Member of the European Parliament and dual served in those positions from 13 March 1978 until 15 July 1979. Following the end of his active political career, De Gaay Fortman returned as a professor of privacy law, labor law and administrative law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, serving from 20 December 1977 until 10 February 1979. After his retirement De Gaay Fortman occupied numerous seats as a nonprofit director for supervisory boards for non-governmental organizations and research institutes (Organisation for Scientific Research, Institute of International Relations Clingendael, Transnational Institute, T.M.C. Asser Instituut and the Carnegie Foundation).

De Gaay Fortman was known for his abilities as a negotiator and consensus builder. De Gaay Fortman continued to comment on political affairs as a statesman until his death. His eldest son Bas de Gaay Fortman was also a politician, professor and author, he like his father had served in the Senate.[3]

Biography


Early life

Wilhelm Friedrich "Gaius" de Gaay Fortman was born in Amsterdam on 8 May 1911 to an orthodox Reformed Protestant family. The De Gaay Fortman family were descendants of 17th century Walloon immigrant Jacques Le Gay, and became one of the foremost Neo-Calvinist families in the Dutch Patriciate, with prominent ministers, scholars, business people and politicians.

Politics

The Reformed De Gaay Fortman was a progressive politician of the Anti-Revolutionary Party, the party which later merged with other Christian parties to form the Christian Democratic Appeal politician. He was a Public servant, secretary of the government labour negotiation team and a teacher at the CNV-school (Christian Labour Union). Later he became a professor at the Vrije Universiteit and its Rector Magnificus. In 1956 he was unsuccessful as informateur during the long 1956 cabinet formation. However, he was able in 1960 to quickly resolve a cabinet crisis. In 1973 he, together with Boersma, were persuaded to become a minister in the Cabinet Den Uyl. He had a good relationship with the formerly Reformed social-democrat party leader Joop den Uyl. As Minister of Home Affairs he proposed a plan to divide the Netherlands into 24 mini-provinces and he played a key role in the independence negotiations for Suriname in 1975. In 1981 he again acted in a cabinet formation as informateur and managed to pave the way for a government of CDA, PvdA and D66. De Gaay Fortman was in favor of co-operation of the ARP and later the CDA with the PvdA (left). He refuted offered positions in Christian Democrat – Liberal coalitions. De Gaay Fortman became a member of the CDA, but he became alienated from the party mainstream. In his view the CDA too much emphasised policies that resulted in the dismantling of social security. In the parliamentary elections of 1994 he endorsed Gert Schutte, the leader of the Reformed Political League. He is buried at Zorgvlied cemetery.

His son Bas de Gaay Fortman followed in the political footsteps of his father and became leader of the Political Party of Radicals in the Second Chamber and later a Senator for its successor, the GreenLeft party.

Decorations


Honours
Ribbon barHonourCountryDateComment
Honorary Medal for Initiative and Ingenuity
of the Order of the House of Orange
Netherlands 19 September 1974
Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold II Belgium 1 August 1975
Grand Cross of the Honorary Order of the Yellow Star Suriname 25 November 1975
Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour France 28 February 1976
Grand Officer of the Honorary Order of the Palm Suriname 4 September 1977
Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau Netherlands 11 April 1978
Commander of the Order of the Netherlands Lion Netherlands 10 June 1981 Elevated from Knight
(30 April 1959)

References


  1. "Oud-minister De Gaay Fortman (85) overleden". De Volkskrant (in Dutch). 1 April 1997. Retrieved 24 September 2020.
  2. "Gaay Fortman, Wilhelm Friedrich de (1911-1997)" (in Dutch). Huygens ING. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  3. "De Gaay Fortman bleef buitenbeentje in CDA" (in Dutch). Volkskrant. 1 April 1997. Retrieved 16 November 2018.