The London Times
reported that formal negotiations were underway for the purpose of dividing Belgium in half. The Dutch-speaking north would join the Netherlands and the French-speaking south would join France. An editorial in the paper lamented, "The fun will go from that favorite parlor game: Name five famous Belgians."
The report fooled the British foreign office minister Tristan Garel-Jones who almost went on a TV interview prepared to discuss this "important" story. The Belgian embassy also received numerous calls from journalists and expatriate Belgians seeking to confirm the news. A rival paper later criticized the prank, declaring, "The Times
's effort could only be defined as funny if you find the very notion of Belgium hilarious."