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    Dr Adenauer was elected Chancellor for the third time today. He was first elected in?

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    Background: Dr Adenauer was elected Chancellor for the third time today. He was first elected in September 1949.

    For the English observer this ritual of seeking Bundestag approval seems unnecessary, particularly as Dr Adenauer is the first Chancellor in German parliamentary history to win an absolute majority in a national election.

    Today the German parliament was opened by Bundes president Dr. Gerstenmeier, backed by the empty Government seats, which the incoming Chancellor's responsibility to fill.

    When Dr. Adenauer entered the chamber he took his place in the body of the hall, just like any other member, while the voting proceeded.

    Prominent among those who placed their cards in the ballot boxes were Dr Ehrhard, former Minister of Economics, Finance Minister Schaffer, and Defence Minister Strauss, as well as the opposition leader Ollenhauer.

    Dr Adenauer certainly deserved his moment of triumph. Eight years ago he had a majority of one. His majority today represented nearly twenty per cent of the votes cast, a proportion all the more impressive because he has made little effort to persuade the Free Democrats to join his coalition.

    The ceremony was simple and matter-of-fact, as are all such occasions in this Chamber. The architects, in their flight from the classical and the gothic, have reached a point very close to the auditorium of a modern cinema. The enormous eagle suggested by an array of brass knobs behind the President's rostrum is as meaningless as any mural in a modern cinema or block of flats. Only the Federal flag suggests that this Chamber has some special national significance.

    On the announcement of Dr. Adenauer's election there was some applause from the right and a thunderous silence from the left. Dr. Adenauer, the Free Democrat leader, was the only prominent member of the Opposition to congratulate him, and the Chamber then rose for a week.

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