Слике страница
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]



agreed in principle to the giving of the Malmedy district to Belgium, which will add one more bit of territory to the other regions to be taken from Germany. The claims and aspirations of Belgium were fully analyzed in the February issue of CURRENT HISTORY.

against the German proposals for a plebiscite. The council was created to adjust various matters connected with the provisional administration of the two provinces. The resolution says:

We refuse to stand for any foreign interference in our national affairs such as those attempted recently at Weimar and elsewhere with the object of making the future of Alsace and Lorraine depend on a plebiscite. We most energetically deny to all Germans the right of manifesting solicitude for us which comes forty-eight years too late. We are and will remain French without any plebiscite, through the restoration of the rights violated in 1871.

ALSACE AND LORRAINE Alsace and Lorraine were practically returned to France by the terms of Mr. Wilson's “fourteen points," which were accepted by both sides before the signing of the armistice; the present German Government, however, continues to keep alive the old claim to these provinces by occasional references to a plebiscite. When the elections were held for the German National Assembly a certain proportion of the delegates were assigned to be elected from Alsace-Lorraine, but those provinces ignored the plan. The Superior

of Alsace and Lorraine at its

- in the French War resolution declaring


DENMARK AND SCHLESWIG The claims of Denmark in connection with Schleswig-Holstein, which Germany seized in 1866, have not been seriously contested. A delegation of Danes arrived in Paris early in March and presented these claims to the Peace Conference. The delegates were Dr. P. Munch, former Premier Neergaard, Senator Alex Fess,

and Senator Bramsen. They were accompanied by four prominent residents of Schleswig. The delegation represented the four largest parties in the Danish Parliament, two of the members belonging to the majcrity bloc and two to the Opposition. They said that all the people of Denmark were desirous that the part of Schleswig inhabited by Danes be returned to Denmark, and that they looked with confidence to the decision of the Peace Conference on this question.

According to the Paris Temps, March 4, the procedure contemplated for the solution of the Danish claims on Schleswig was as follows:

The Duchy of Schleswig will be divided into four zones. In the first zone, adjoining the Danish frontier and comprising Northern Schleswig, the inhabitants will soon be asked to manifest by means of a plebiscite their wishes regarding their reunion with Denmark. In the next zone, including Central Schleswig, with the town of Flensburg, a plebiscite will take place within six months. In the third zone the Allies will carry on a military occupation. The fourth zone, the limit between which and the third has not yet been fixed, will extend as far as the Kiel Canal and remain German territory, unoccupied by the Allies.

LUXEMBURG Luxemburg also has national aspirations. In a dispatch of March 9 Maurice Pescatore, leader of the Left in the Luxemburg Chamber, gave the reasons why Luxemburg leaned toward union with Belgium rather than with France. Union with France, he stated, meant absorption in the French Republic, with the entailment of heavy taxes. The Economic Commission of Luxemburg, which reported in favor of union with France, was appointed by the Prime Minister and had no powers to decide a policy. As to the dynasty, because of its German sympathies, it would ultimately prove unacceptable to the people. Marie Adelaide had been compelled to abdicate because of the popular prejudice against her, and the same thing undoubtedly would happen to her sister, whose accession to the throne was still unacknowledged by the nations of the Entente. The advantages of union with Belgium were largely economic. Antwerp is Luxemburg's favorite port. Belgian industry needs Luxemburg's iron

ore. Labor is available from Belgium. Belgium is free trade in policy and her cost of living low; France is highly protectionist. For all these reasons the preference for union with Belgium rather than with France was quite explainable.

ITALO-JUGOSLAV DISPUTES Of all boundary disputes that have arisen since the war, none is more embittered than that between Italy and the Jugoslavs. In an eloquent speech made by Signor Bissolati at Milan on Jan. 11, after his resignation from the Orlando Cabinet, in large part conditioned by his views of Italy's proper claims, the former Minister warned his country solemnly against pressing her claims to territory in the Austrian Tyrol, in Dalmatia, and in the Greek settled islands of the Dodecanese, all ceded to Italy by the Decree of London of 1915. Such a settlement, he declared, would inevitably pave the way for future troubles. Of Italy's right to annex Istria and Fiume permanently, however, he entertained no doubt. The Jugoslav party claims Istria, Fiume, and Dalmatia.

Guglielmo Ferrero, in an article published in Rome on Feb. 19, insisted that history supports Italy in her claim to Istria, and cited the following population figures from the last Austrian census:

Italians. Slavs. Gorizia and Gradisca... 90,000 154,000 Trieste and district....... 149,000 59,000 Western Istria.......... 145,000 155,000

Total........... ... 384,000 368,000 As to Fiume, the whole crux of the dispute centred about the question whether Fiume should be considered separately or in conjunction with the near-lying suburb of Sushak. Without Sushak, Fiume shows a population of 24,000 Italians, as against 15,000 Croats or Southern Slavs. With Sushak there would be 27,000 Slavs, as against approximately the same number of Italians as before.

In a dispatch of March 1 the Italian claim was authoritatively set forth by Signor Giuseppe Canepa, Deputy for Genoa in the Italian Parliament. Asked whether he regarded it as right and nec

[merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors]



essary that Fiume should be annexed to Italy, Canepa replied:

Without doubt Italians of all classes and politicians of all parties, including Bissolati, are convinced that Fiume should be assigned to Italy. Fiume's undeniable Italian character is proved by its population, its secular culture, its customs, and its traditions, which are all Italian. Besides, Fiume is an integral part of Istria, and Istria belongs to Italy for reasons long since expounded by Mazzini.

The Jugoslav delegate was even stronger in expressing determination to have Fiume for Jugoslavia at any cost, indicating the extreme difficulty and delicacy of this problem confronting the Peace Conference.

DALMATIA Dalmatia is strongly claimed by the Serbs on racial grounds. It is the area from which has sprung most of the ancient Serbian culture. It includes within its area the little Serbian Republic of Ragusa, which has a culture extending back to the sixteenth century. Mestrovic,

the famous Serbian sculptor, is a Dalmatian.

As opposed to the Italian claims to Dalmatia, Guglielmo Ferrero in one of his articles on the Italian annexation proposals holds that it would be unwise for Italy to push this claim. He writes:

If the annexation of Dalmatia is to be justified in accordance with the principle of nationality, it must be proved, argue th, anti-annexationists, that these Slav parties and the population they represent desire the union of Dalmatia and Italy. These parties, however, turn rather toward their racial brothers living beyond the Dinaric Alps.

As for the military argument, the opponents of annexation recognize that undoubtedly Italy would be mistress of the Adriatic and perfectly safe, if she possessed not only Istria and Pola but also the Dalmatian coast. Against this, they urge that Italy, if she annexed Dalmatia, would, while insuring an invulnerable coast line, weaken her land frontier. She would then have a frontier on the Dinaric Alps, which would be extremely difficult to defend owing to the lack of sufficient hinterland in which to collect, feed, and manoeuvre troops.

About the middle of February the Jugoslav delegates to the Peace Conference asked President Wilson to act as arbitrator in the differences with Italy regarding the eastern coast of the Adriatic. President Wilson suggested that the Italians and the Jugoslavs discuss their differences. The Italians declined the proposal; a similar proposal was, it is said, rejected by Premier Clemenceau. On Feb. 18 the Italian delegates to the Conference, through Foreign Minister Sonnino, formally declined the arbitration of Italian and Jugoslav claims in Dalmatia as urged by the Jugoslavs-on the ground that all territorial claims were being submitted to the Conference, and that no exceptional procedure was necessary. In view of this declination the Jugoslav delegates, according to a dispatch of Feb. 27, presented to the Conference their territorial claims, asking that the Isonzo River be made the boundary between them and Italy, and involving the annexation by the Jugoslavs of the whole of Styria, with Trieste and Fiume, and the whole of the Dalmatian islands, with the exception of Pelagosa, which was left to Italy.

THE LAIBACH INCIDENT The tenseness of feeling between Italy and the Jugoslavs over these rival claims reached a crisis in the Laibach incident on Feb. 20, when the Jugoslav commander forced an Italian member of the Food Commission to leave Laibach. This city just outside the armistice frontier, is a railroad centre on the line from Trieste to Vienna. American food passed through Laibach on its way to feed the starving Austrians. Twenty-four thousand tons had been transported along this route. After this incident the Italians began to use the longer route through Tarvis. This act of the Jugoslavs, the dispatch stated, was looked upon in Paris as in complete contravention of the warning of the great powers against all violence to obtain territory in dispute. In view of this situation, the Italians decided to close the frontier, though taking measures to provision Czechoslovakia by routes not passing through Laibach.

A Washington dispatch of March

stated that Italy had been warned by the American Government that unless she put an end to delays in the movement of relief supplies to the newly established Jugoslavic and Czechoslavic States steps would be taken to cut off the flow of American foodstuffs to Italy. The Italian Government, it was stated, had caused intolerable conditions by the blockade imposed against the Jugoslavic countries, which had operated also against the Czechoslovaks. The blockade had not been wholly effective, because the United States had been able to deliver much food where it was needed, but many delays had been caused, resulting often in holding up supplies the need of which was desperate.

On March 7 it was announced that the Jugoslav frontier would be reopened, on the expectation that the Serbian Government would disclaim official responsibility for the Laibach incident. This practically closed the episode.

That Serbia had adopted a policy of repression in Croatia, and was punishing Croatians who desired to see their country an autonomous State in a Jugoslav republic, was the substance of a message received by the Italian Information Bureau of New York. The cable was from Agram, and declared that 50,000 Croatians in mass meeting had declared their purpose of entering a confederation based on the model of the United States, with an autonomous Croatia. Centralization in Belgrade, they declared, would be nothing else than a copy of the absolutism of the war,

CLAIMS OF ALBANIA A memorandum on the claims of Albania was presented to the Conference on Feb. 18. The Albanians asked it to acknowledge their rights, which, it is said, were sacrificed in Berlin in 1878 and in London in 1913.

The Albanians claim all territory given to Montenegro, Serbia, and Greece after the London Conference of 1913, and assert that most of the people inhabiting those territories are Albanians. Reparation for damage done in Albania by the Greeks and by the armies of the Central Powers also is asked by the Albanian Government. .


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



The Albanian representatives were introduced to the Peace Conference on Feb. 24, and Turkhan Pasha stated the Albanian claims. The narrative of what followed is given elsewhere in an article on Albania.

A protest was made in Albanian circles against the naming of Turkhan Pasha and Mehmed Bey as Albania's representatives at the Peace Conference, the ground of the protest being that they had maintained suspicious relations with the Turks and Germans.

The claims set forth by the Albanians include Tchamara to the south as well as the Albanian territories annexed to Montenegro and Serbia.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA The Council of Ten on Feb. 5 discussed the difficult question of defining the boundaries of the new Czechoslovak State. The Czechoslovaks demanded the formation of a State with a population of about 13,000,000 within, speaking generally, the boundaries of the ancient kingdom of Bohemia. They claim, consequently, the whole of Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovak-Silesia. They ask, moreover, a rectification of the frontier in the region of Ratibor on the Oder, in the regions of Glatz in Prussian Silesia at

Troppau, and in the regions of Gmuend and Thomenan in lower Austria. Lastly, the Czechoslovaks are also ready to adopt the Ruthenes who dwell on the left bank of the upper Tisega if they so desire, and propose to join their territory to that of the Jugoslavs. The Germans would thus be definitely cut off from the Orient and the new Slav States would have more solidarity, as they would have points of contact with routes leading to the sea and to Italy.

The Czechoslovak delegates further propose the internationalization of the means of communication, so as to assure communications for the nonmaritime Central European States, to consolidate the political ties which unite them, and to enable them to resist German influence. The Czechoslovak Republic in particular demands the internationalization of the Danube, the Elbe, and the Vistula. Similarly, the internationalization of the railway line between Pressburg, Trieste, and Fiume is essential if any connection is to be established between the territories of the Czechcslovaks and the Jugoslavs.

This complex problem of carving a new nation out of the old political group was laid before a special committee on March 3. The committee had been named by

« ПретходнаНастави »