« ПретходнаНастави »
entirely passed away, and all Albanians, whatever be their religion, earnestly hope for a modern, stable Government, which shall give them security and the opportunities for progress:
There are about 70,000 Albanians In the United States. A large per cent, of them are now serving in the American Army here or in Fiance. Their most important national organization is the Albanian Federation of America, Vatra, with its headquarters in Boston. Through this organization they have bought Liberty bonds of the third issue to the amount of nearly a million doUars.
The recognized and trusted leader of the Albanians is his Excellency MelmeJ Bey Konitza, who is representing the Albanian Federation of America and London. The Albanians are the most ancient race of Europe. They are the direct descendants of the old Illyrians and Macedonians, who conquered the east under Alexander the Great and defeated Rome under their King Pyrhus. In the Middle Ages of the second century B. C. they passed under Roman domination and gave to the Roman Empire some of Its most famous Emperors, like Constantine the Great, Diocletian, Julian, Marcus Aurelius, and Justinian. After the disruption of the Roman Empire they regained their independence and preserved it until the end of the fifteenth century A. D. When the Turks swept over the Balkan Peninsula the national hero of theAlbanlans, King George Castriot Scanderbeg, fought against them for over a quarter of a century, defeated them in more than twenty battles and saved Europe from the horrors of Asiatic invasion. After his death, In 1468, Albania became nominally a province of Turkey until 1013. The history of Albania under Turkish domination Is a long record of bloodshed and revolutions. In 1012, after a successful revolution, the Albanians obtained their autonomy from Turkey. In 1013, after the Balkan wars, the London Conference granted them national Independence under a Prince selected by the great powers of Europe.
The frontiers of the new Albanian State as drawn by the London Conference did not satisfy the Albanians at all. Large portions of purely Albanian districts were carved off and bestowed on Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia, who insisted on partitioning Albania among themselves. When the European war broke out they carried out their criminal plan: Greece occupied Central Albania, Montenegro occupied Northern Albania, and Serbia occupied Central Albania. In the Fall of 1015 the Austro-Germans drove out the Serbians and the Montenegrins from Northern and Central Albania, while the
Italians and the French drove out the Greeks from Southern Albania. The Albanians greeted the French and the Italians as liberators, for Southern Albania was devastated beyond recognition by the soldiery of the pro-German King, Constantine.
Aside from an attempt to set the country right in the eyes of the world Bulgaria is making a bid for the territory which would have been hers had the terms of the 1913 treaties with Serbia and Greece been carried out. She makes this bid on the ground of nationality. She registers all people of Thrace and Macedonia as Bulgars, who belong to the Orthodox Church, on the ground that this Church, as directed from Sofia, formed the sole educational and moral influence in the contested lands long before they were taken from the Turk.
The whole question of religion is assuming such an important feature in the settlement of political and territorial controversy, not only in the Balkans but in Asia Minor, which is related to the Peninsula by religious bonds of various sorts, Christian and Moslem, that the appended authoritative statement by a high disinterested ecclesiastical authority will be found to be apropos:
Just previous to the forming of the earlier league church unity was agreed to, but the second war that broke up the league released old hatreds, and national churches have been seen further apart than ever. Premier Venlzelos has the misfortune, it is said, of not being Identifed with the church party In Athens. In making up his new Cabinet the other day, however, he put in some strong men, two at least, who are close to church affairs. Their selection Is said to have been In part due to church influence.
All of the Balkan nations have Eastern Orthodox Churches that are In more or less sympathy with the Russian Church, but in Bulgaria the church is wholly independent of all others. It is known as the Church of Bulgaria, and has 4,500,000 members. Churches of other Balkan States, the dominant bodies, are more closely allied and related to the Patriarch of Constantinople. The Greek Church Is under the Metropolitan of Athens. In Asia Minor there is the Patriarch of Antioch, with a Christian population under him of about 8.000.000. Roman Catholics have members throughout the Balkans. Although both churches are Catholic, they set up altar against altar, as the ecclesiastics say. That is, both Catholic churches go into the same cities and towns and there maintain opposing churches. Just now the Episcopal Church In this country is in a red-hot controversy on this same question.
The Armenian Church, with 3,750,000 communicants, has its official head In a monastery in Armenia, Asia Minor, but its members are scattered throughout the Balkans. Those in Armenia have been suffering many hardships from murder up to within the past few years. Word reaching the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions in New York la to the effect that every cruelty that men can think of has been visited upon Armenian Christians by the Turks. Even the American missionaries have suffered.
Vast numbers of the priests of all of these churches are In the armies, and others are doing relief work. The latter is reduced to a minimum through lack of funds. From missionaries of these bodies working here it Is learned that Premier Venizelos has more religious difficulties than in ordinary times, since the people in the war are more religious than In peace. Missionaries here say that soldiers at mass, shown in the military illustrations published in The Astl, are good signs, since it is probably the first time these men have heard mass for years. So far as known, the Roman Catholics in these Balkan countries are giving no trouble, but the Armenians, and especially the national churches in Rumania, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece are adding to the difficulties of the Balkan Premiers and Parliaments.
Gratitude toward the Entente seemed to increase in Rumania with time, while there is no anger expressed toward the Russians for their betrayal of 1916, and only the most profound sympathy felt for their plight. The Government expects to realize all the territory allotted to it by the treaty with the Entente of 1916, except possibly the Banat, which it is ready to share with Serbia, as the geographical line between the two nationalities is quite marked.
In spite of official denials stories of revolts in Rumania continued to be sent out by Vienna and Berlin. The last example came on Feb. 23 from Vienna when it was stated that Queen Mary, fearing a revolution, had fled from
Bucharest. A few days later her Majesty was interviewed in Paris and expressed ignorance of any impending revolution. She said that the wants of her people had always been few and that they looked forward to a time of ever-augmenting prosperity. "Nor," she added, "are they the stuff of which Bolsheviki are made."
Political reforms are making slow progress, for the reason that the qualification of property and profession is so interwoven in suffrage that it is difficult to extract it. So far, however, there is a project of law which purports to place all foreigners on an equal basis with common qualifications for naturalization. The remonstrance of the Jews has been that in order to be naturalized each petition for citizenship must be individually presented to the Parliament, where discrimination was often exercised against them in granting it, and that this qualification is a shrewd trick to perpetuate the loss of their civil rights, and at the same time leave the impression that Rumania is removing religious discriminations.
The Asti of Athens printed an interview with Premier Venizelos, sent from Paris, which was intended to clear up some apprehensions felt in Greece in regard to the future of Constantinople. Part of it read:
There are two solutions before the Peace Conference, each possible of adoption. But in all probability the entire question will go over to the League of Nations, which could intrust a single nation with the control of Constantinople and the straits, which, together, would be formed into a separate administrative zone, or the League itself could administer it, appointing a Governor for that purpose who might hold office for five years.
But whatever solution be adopted, one thing is certain—the Sultan mus. go. He can make his capital Konia or Broussa, but he must not stay in Constantinople. Even if he were deprived of the Caliphate, which the creation of the Kingdom of Hedjaz renders extremely likely, he would be able still to be a source of trouble to us all—to all the powers, like France and England, which have large Moslem populations—if it were allowed to remain In Constantinople.
It is very important that he should be removed now by the Peace Conference while sitting in Paris, for it is necessary to make it clear to all the world that Turkey is losing her capital. In which as you know the Turks form a minority, as the direct result of having entered the war. Turkey chose to be Germany's ally and must pay the penalty of Germany's defeat.
On Feb. 25 the Serbian Government borrowed $15,000,000 from the United States, making $27,000,000 so borrowed in all. The press was divided between the idea of a greater Serbia, as formulated at Corfu in July, 1917, and a comprehensive Jugoslavia, as formulated at Agram since the armistice. Both parties interpret in their respective favor the note sent Dr. Trumbitch, as "Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia," by Secretary Lansing in February, the full text
of which appeared in La Serbie on Feb. 17 as follows:
My Dear Dr. Trumbitch: I have the pleasure to communicate the text of the note which the Government of the United States has decided to publish tomorrow:
"On May 29, 1918, the Government of the United States expressed its sympathy for the national aspirations of the Jugoslav races, and on June 28 it declared that all Slav people ought to be completely liberated from the yoke of Austria-Germany.
"After having extracted themselves from foreign oppression, the Jugoslavs, who were formerly under the rule of Austria-Hungary, have, on several occasions, expressed the desire to unite with Serbia. On its side the Serbian Government has publicly and officially accepted the union of the Serb, Croat, and Slovene peoples.
"Consequently, the Government of the United States favorably accept i this union, but at the same time recognizes the fact that the final settlement of the frontiers must be left to the Peace Conference, in conformity with the wishes of the interested peoples."
American Problems of Reconstruction
Bridging the Transition Period From War Activities to Peace Conditions
[period Ended March 15, 1919]
rE cessation of hostilities brought in its train a host of problems that demanded the utmost care and wisest statesmanship for their solution. The American war machine had been geared to high speed and had to be slowed down gradually if disaster were to be averted in social and economic spheres. Most pressing of all the questions that taxed the activities of the Government was that of demobilizing the army and assuring the reabsorption of its units into the body politic without too great derangement of business conditions.
The progress made in demobilization was shown by an official report of the office of the U. S. Chief of Staff, issued Feb. 24, which included the following facts:
Reports show that, according to the
latest data on hand, the following discharges of officers and men have been accomplished. Discharges from returned overseas contingents are included.
Officers Total number of officers, resigned or discharged 74,313
Enlisted Men Discharges up to and including Feb.
8, 1919 1,072,753
Discharges for week ended Feb. 15,
Early returns week ended Feb. 22,
Total discharges, officers and en-
The War Department issued a further report on March 15 stating that the total number of officers and men demobilized had then reached 1.419,386, and that discharge orders had been issued for a total of 1,678,500.
General Pershing notified the War Department Feb. 25 that "divisions now in the American Expeditionary Forces, excepting those with regular army designations," would be returned to the United States in the order of the arrival of their respective divisional headquarters in France. This was interpreted as meaning that all divisions except the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th would be returned as shipping was available.
Combat troops not assigned to divisions were to be returned in the order in which their services could be spared, and a similar policy was adopted regarding service of supply troops, except that as far as possible these also were to be returned in the order of arrival in France.
General Pershing said he estimated the movement of troops, based on tonnage known to be available and on the German shipping soon to become available, as follows:
March, 212,000; April, 221,000; May, 248,000; June, 207,000, a total of 888,000 men.
A statement from the War Department, under date of Feb. 24, revealed that deaths from all causes in the American Expeditionary Forces and among troops in the United States during the war numbered 107,444.
The total in the Expeditionary Forces was 72,951. Of these 20,829 resulted from disease, 48,768 from injuries received in battle, and 3,354 from all other causes.
Deaths from disease among the troops in the United States totaled 32,737 and from other causes 1,756, giving a total for the troops in this country of 34,493.
The figures for the American Expeditionary Forces cover the period from April 1, 1917, to Feb. 16, 1919. Those for the troops in the United States from April 1, 1917, to Feb. 14, 1919.
The figures show that the total deaths from disease exceeded the total battle casualties by more than 5,000.
Persistent reports had been for some time in circulation that conditions at the American debarkation camp at Brest,
France, were insanitary and intolerable. In answer to these the following cablegram from General Pershing was published by General Peyton C. March, United States Chief of Staff, Feb. 23: Under date of Feb. 12 The New York Evening Telegram sent a cablegram to President Wilson, as follows:
"Hundreds of complaints have been made to The Evening Telegram of the conditions at the United States camp at Brest. Soldiers from the front and Red Cross nurses practically held prisoners. If they complain are put at bottom of sailing list. Wounded and ill forced to stand in rain hours for meals. Officers overbearing and harsh, and give casuals no consideration. Roofs of buildings leak, barracks filthy, mud everywhere. Can you not inspect camp and remedy abuses costing lives of many American soldiers, or have camp abolished?"
The President sent me the above cablegram and directed me to have a report made on the matter to the Secretary of War. The following Is a summary of report of conditions at Brest Just received from Major Gen. Ell A. Helmick, Inspector General's Department, A. E. F., commanding there:
"The charge that soldiers from the front and Red Cross nurses practically held prisoners absolutely groundless. No individual has been put at the bottom of the sailing list. One organization was held fifteen days on account of bad state of discipline and neglect of duty, and was released before expiration of time set on account ct honest efforts made to correct deficiencies. No man of the garrison of more than 60,000 is required to remain in line over ten minutes. Troops are marched to meals by time schedules, and the entire garrison is fed within one hour and fifteen minutes.
"Relative to officers overbearing and harsh and give casuals no consideration, all commanding officers of troops and casual officers passing through here have, almost without exception, voluntarily and without solicitation visited my office before leaving and have expressed their appreciation both verbally and in writing for the uniform courtesy and great consideration shown them by all officers on duty at this base section. With the exception of a newspaper reporter by the name of Brown of Washington (D. C.) paper, every newspaper man that has visited Brest has become an ardent advocate of the organization, efficiency and human kindness in common at the railroad station, at camp, at the embarkation office. at the pier, and In all offices in Base Section No. 5. Inspections of buildings are made dally, and only in rare Instances are leaks discovered during the hardest wind and rain storms. In every instance tha leaks are immediately repaired, usually before the occupants have had time to report them. As relates to mud everywhere, this is the rainy season. Footpaths and roads were muddy for a time, due to conditions over which no man. had control. Even this has been met by laying approximately forty miles of boardwalks along the roadside throughout the camp, to storehouses, to incinerators, to laundries, to delousing plants, to mess halls, and along highways.
CAN FEED 50,000 IN AN HOUR
"Thousands of cubic yards of crushed stone have been laid and rolled, so that one may walk over the camp without stepping in the mud. Sheds and messes have been built at the railroad station to serve 50,000 men within an hour after arrival, both day and night. These are located conveniently near the docks, in order to also serve troops embarking in case of necessity. Inclosed buildings and restrooms furnished with heating facilities, such as stoves and open fireplaces, with attractive decorations, have been provided at the docks, and are being managed by the Red Cross, assisted by commissioned and enlisted details from the army. These facilities are piovided with chairs, writing tables, music, light refreshments, benches, and will accommodate 4,000 men. A neat and attractive building has been provided as an infirmary at dock, to which ambulances have access under cover. Sick and wounded are provided with covers from infirmary to hospital boat, which is inclosed and heated. Sick and wounded are removed from hospital to hospital train or ships under cover.
"Major Gen. Eli A. Helmick quotes the following newspaper men as having no criticisms to make, but much to praise relative to conditions at Brest: Mr. Mellett of The United Press, David Lawrence, Tiffany Blake, Mr. Amond of The Chicago Tribune, and Raymond Carroll of The Philadelphia Public Ledger.
"Charles M. Schwab went over the entire . camp at Pontanazen and made the statement that It is one of the best examples of good organization and efficient operation that he had ever observed, and expressed his intention of reporting the improvements observed on returning to the United States. Mr. Schwab was asked by a newspaper man present if he objected to being quoted as having made such a statement, to which he replied that he had no objection. A report on health conditions at Brest has already been cabled you. "PERSHING."
Failure of Congress to make financial provision for the maintenance of the
United States Employment Service caused Secretary of Labor Wilson to issue, on March 13, an order for an immediate cut of 80 per cent, in that service.
The cut was so made as to preserve a skeleton organization which would enable the Employment Service to continue to direct the national efforts to place soldiers and civilian workers in employment and to centralize the activities of other Government agencies, welfare organizations, and other bodies interested in employment.
While the regular branch offices of the United States Employment Service, now numbering about 750, must be reduced to 56, the 2,000 emergency bureaus for returning soldiers and sailors and the representatives of the United States Employment Service in the demobilization camps will be continued. The 56 remaining employment of fices will be located at strategic industrial centres in which the employment problem is most complicated, while the special soldiers' bureaus already for the most part ars financed by local funds. Because of the necessity, it was anticipated that many of the 700 regular employment offices which could no longer be financed by the Employment Service would be continued by the communities in which they are located.
The United States Employment Service has been placing returning soldiers and war workers since the signing of the armistice at a rate of approximately 100,000 a week. About 75 per cent, of the discharged soldiers who have needed assistance in finding new employment have been placed by the service.
DEMOTION OF GENERALS Demobilization of the army from November to March resulted in the elimination of seventy-six general officers. Further demobilization in immediate prospect will cancel the wartime rank of an additional 203 general officers, leaving only 125 men in the grade of Brigadier General and above out of the 404 who were on duty when the armistice was signed. Only sixty-one permanent general officers are authorized.