Piet de Jong

Petrus Jozef Sietse "Piet" de Jong (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈpeːtrɵs ˈjoːzəf ˈsitsə ˈpit də ˈjɔŋ]; 3 April 1915 – 27 July 2016)[1][2] was a Dutch politician of the defunct Catholic People's Party (KVP) now the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party and naval officer who served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 5 April 1967 to 6 July 1971.[3][4]

Piet de Jong
Piet de Jong in 1970
Prime Minister of the Netherlands
In office
5 April 1967  6 July 1971
DeputyJohan Witteveen
Joop Bakker
Preceded byJelle Zijlstra
Succeeded byBarend Biesheuvel
Parliamentary leader
in the Senate
In office
11 May 1971  17 September 1974
Preceded byJan Niers
Succeeded byJan Teijssen
Parliamentary groupCatholic People's Party
Member of the Senate
In office
11 May 1971  17 September 1974
Parliamentary groupCatholic People's Party
Member of the House
of Representatives
In office
23 February 1967  5 April 1967
Parliamentary groupCatholic People's Party
Minister of Defence
In office
24 July 1963  5 April 1967
Prime Minister
See list
Preceded bySim Visser
Succeeded byWillem den Toom
State Secretary for Defence
In office
25 June 1959  24 July 1963
Serving with Michael Calmeyer
Prime MinisterJan de Quay
Preceded byHarry Moorman
Succeeded byAdri van Es
Personal details
Petrus Jozef Sietse de Jong

(1915-04-03)3 April 1915
Apeldoorn, Netherlands
Died27 July 2016(2016-07-27) (aged 101)
The Hague, Netherlands
Political partyChristian Democratic Appeal
(from 1980)
Other political
Catholic People's Party
Alma materRoyal Naval College
OccupationPolitician · Diplomat · Naval officer · Businessperson · Corporate director · Nonprofit director
AwardsOrder of Orange-Nassau
(Knight Grand Cross)
Bronze Cross (2)
Distinguished Service Cross
Medal for Order and Peace
War Memorial Cross
Military service
Allegiance Netherlands
Branch/serviceRoyal Netherlands Navy
Years of service1931–1959 (Active duty)
1959–1963 (Reserve)
Rank Captain
UnitRoyal Netherlands
Navy Submarine Service
CommandsHNLMS O 24
HNLMS De Zeeuw
HNLMS Gelderland
Aide-de-campQueen Juliana
Chief of staffInspector General of the Navy Prince Bernhard

De Jong applied at the Royal Naval College in Den Helder and graduated as an Ensign in the Navy and joined the Submarine Service. During World War II he served on the submarine HNLMS O 24 as First Officer and later as Commanding officer and saw action in both the Battle of the Atlantic and the Pacific War. After the War De Jong served as a staff officer and commanded a frigate and destroyer. After the election of 1959 De Jong was unexpectedly appointed as State Secretary for Defence tasked with Naval Affairs taking office on 25 June 1959. After the election of 1963 De Jong was appointed as Minister of Defence in the Cabinet Marijnen taking office on 24 July 1963. The Cabinet Marijnen fell 19 months into its term and was replaced by the Cabinet Cals with De Jong continuing his office. The Cabinet Cals fell just one year later and was replaced by the caretaker Cabinet Zijlstra and De Jong retained his position. After the election of 1967 De Jong was elected as Member of the House of Representatives on 23 February 1967. Following several failed coalition attempts De Jong was asked to lead a new cabinet and following a successful cabinet formation formed the Cabinet De Jong and became Prime Minister of the Netherlands taking office on 5 April 1967.[5][6]

For the election of 1971 the Catholics declined to nominate De Jong as Lijsttrekker (top candidate) and shortly thereafter De Jong announced that he wouldn't stand for the election. De Jong left office following the installation of the Cabinet Biesheuvel I on 6 July 1971. De Jong continued to be active in politics and was elected as a Member of the Senate after the Senate election of 1971 and became Parliamentary leader serving from 11 May 1971 until 17 September 1974.[7]

De Jong retired from active politics at 59 and became active in the private and public sectors as a corporate and non-profit director and served on several state commissions and councils and as a diplomat and lobbyist for several economic delegations on behalf of the government. De Jong was known for his abilities as an effective team leader and skillful negotiator. During his premiership, his cabinet was responsible for several major reforms to education, social security, taxes, overseeing improvement in relations with the former Dutch East Indies, handling the Counterculture of the 1960s, the fallout of the Vietnam and dealing with several major crises such as the Moluccans incidents. De Jong continued to comment on political affairs as a statesman until his death in July 2016 at the age of 101. He holds the distinction as the first Prime Minister after World War II to complete a full term without any internal conflicts and holds the record as the second longest-lived Prime Minister at 101 years, 115 days and his premiership is consistently regarded both by scholars and the public to have been one of the best in Dutch history.[8][9][10]