Слике страница
PDF
ePub

rights should be granted by each race to minorities of the other that might be included within its borders. This agreement was reaffirmed at the Congress of Oppressed Nationalities held at Rome last April, which, though not official so far as the Italian Government was concerned, was held under the Presidency of Premier Orlando and was generally regarded as having at least semi-official standing.

There was soon a reaction, however. Last summer the Italian press was engaged in a sharp controversy over the relations with the Jugoslavs, most of the liberal papers supporting Premier Orlando and Professor Nitti, the Minister of Finance, who favored, a policy of conciliation with the Jugoslavs, while the conservative papers backed up Sonnino, whose influence, it was claimed, was manifested in several ways opposed to Jugoslav aspirations. And the Treaty of London was never formally repudiated by the Italian Government.

This fall insurrections broke out in the Jugoslav country, as in the rest of Austria, and these insurrections undoubtedly made somewhat easier the task of the Italian Army in its overwhelming final victory over the Austrians in October and November. There promptly developed on both sides, however, an unwillingness to admit that there was glory enough for all or territory enough for all. The armistice concluded with the-Austro-Hungarian Government just as that government was passing out of existence gave the Italians the right to occupy territory up to a line practically identical with that marked off for Italian annexation in that the occupation of Fiume had been requested by the Italian population. Another sore point was the Austro-Hungarian fleet, manned chiefly by Jugoslavs from the Dalmatian Islands. In the collapse of Austria coincident with the final Italian victory on the Piave the sailors revolted and turned over the fleet to the Jugoslav National Council newly chosen as the Provisional Government of the Jugoslav provinces pending ultimate union with Serbia and Montenegro. The armistice terms, however, provided that the fleet must be surrendered. The Jugoslavs expressed their willingness to surrender the fleet provisionally to Americans or to a joint allied commission, and some of their leaders asked for American instead of Italian occupation of the allied territory.

However, the fleet was surrendered without trouble, and to an allied force under Italian command, but including representatives, of the other navies. Apparently also the army of occupation is to include contingents from all the Allies, though the command and the major portion of the troops are Italian; for the General Staff has announced that of the American troops in Italy some will be stationed in Trieste, some in Fiume. and some in Cattaro pending the final settlement.

The feeling, however, continues very bitter, the Jugoslavs contending that the Italians were willing to compromise when their armies had just been defeated at Caporetto, but insisted on extreme demands after their troops had won great victories. The Italians, on the other hand, assert that the victories of the Italian Army are chiefly responsible for the liberation of the Jugoslavs and object to the attitude of the latter as ungrateful.

The above statement is an attempt to present an impartial summary of the principal events in the controversy which is now a serious menace to peace on the Adriatic—N. Y. Times, 15/12.

Present Government Of Hungary.—Formal proclamation of a Hungarian Republic was issued at Budapest on Nov. 17. The Hungarian Parliament was dissolved, and the government turned over to a National Council of twenty members, which appointed a coalition ministry headed by Count Michael Karolyi. The new government maintained comparative order, though faced by famine, and though its power extended little beyond the city of Budapest The Jugoslavs, Rumanians, Ruthenians, and Chechoslovaks, formerly under Magyar domination, now lay claim to practically all the old Hungarian territory, their claims in many cases conflicting with each other.

Alexander Of Serbia Heads Jugoslav State.—Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia has been appointed Regent of the Jugoslav State by the National Council at Agram, according to a Laibach dispatch. A State Council, comprising all the members of the Agram Council, fifty delegates from Serbia, and five from Montenegro, has been summoned to meet at Serajevo. This council will appoint a cabinet for the Jugoslav State.

It has been decided further that Prince Alexander will appoint Governors at Belgrade, Serbia; Cettinje, Montenegro; Laibach, Slavonia; Serajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Spalato, Dalmatia; and Agram, Croatia. As soon as the situation is settled, elections will be held for a Constituent Assembly, which will sit at Serajevo and definitely decide upon the form of state that will be set up and adopt the constitution.—N. Y. Times, 27/11.

Aims Of Czechoslavs.—Dr. Karl Kramarz was appointed Premier of the Czech Republic on Nov. 19. In an interview with an Associated Press representative on Dec. 8, he stated that it was the aim of the Czechs to maintain close commercial relations with Jugoslavs and Rumanians, with a protective wall against Germany. Their goal was to reestablish the frontiers of ancient Bohemia, within which every liberty would be granted, regardless of race.

RUSSIA Admiral Kolchak Dictator.—A despatch from Vladivostok on Nov. 19 announced that Admiral Alexander Kolchak, former commander of the Black Sea Fleet, had secured control of the All-Russian Government at Omsk, with dictatorial powers. Admiral Kolchak later received the support of most of the anti-Bolshevik leaders in Siberia, and remained in control at the date of going to press, though not formally recognized by allied representatives.

Attitude Of Czech Forces.—The Czechs were greatly surprised by the developments at Omsk, and a special meeting of the Czech National Council has been called at Cheliabinsk to decide what attitude the Czechs shall take toward the new government While the Czechs do not desire to interfere in internal Russian policies, they are faced by the Bolsheviki on this front, and must protect their lines of communication in the rear.

All their interest is in democratic government in Russia. It is exceedingly doubtful whether they can recognize Admiral Kolchak's dictatorship, but they are in a very unfortunate position, not knowing what attitude the Allies will adopt It is generally reported in this city and at Omsk that the Allies will recognize the dictatorship. I have been asked repeatedly why the Allies did not recognize the All-Russian Government and bring it the moral support it needed to face the monarchist and Bolshevist agitation. Now it is argued that the Allies did not favor that government because they believed a dictatorship was necessary.—N. Y. Times, 27/11.

Russia At The Peace Conference.—The Government at Omsk, of which the United States and other governments have expected much, is now in the hands of a dictator and split into factions. The Entente nations have not given up hope that the Omsk authorities may yet evolve a stable form of government for Russia, but this has not been accomplished, and none of the allied governments has recognized the Omsk regime officially, although all of them are dealing with Russian representatives who are in close touch with Admiral Kolchak and his government.

Prince Lvoff, who was Premier in the Kerensky Cabinet and who has devoted most of his life to the development of the Zemstvo system in Russia, and Boris Bakhmeteff, Russian Ambassador in Washington, appointed by Kerensky, as well as Professor Paul Milukoff. Kerensky's Minister of Foreign Affairs, are on their way to Paris or already there with other prominent Russians to do whatever they can to aid the Allies in the solution of the Russian problem. But whether they represent the people of Russia at this time is a question it is privately admitted cannot be answered here.

Far from according any recognition to the Soviet regime at Petrograd, the United States some time ago called upon all civilized nations to condemn the Bolshevist reign of terror.

Even when a set of leaders is recognized as Russian spokesmen, the United States and the Allies must face the great question of how they can be aided in setting up a stable government and in preventing famine, for the benefit of Russia herself, as well as in the interest of the peace of the world.

To aid him in the conferences with the allied leaders, President Wilson has taken a corps of Russian experts with him to Paris.—N. Y. Times, 18/12.

MISCELLANEOUS

Chile And Peru In Difficulties.—During November Chile and Peru again became involved in their old dispute regarding the final disposition of the border provinces of Tacna and Arica, taken from Peru by Chile after the war of 1879-81. The final disposition of these provinces was to be decided by a plebiscite ten years later, which Chile did not permit. On Nov. 25, 1918. it was announced that the two countries had severed diplomatic relations, and early in December both undertook steps toward mobilization. On Dec. 9 it was reported that Peru had accepted the proffered mediation of the United States and Argentina. The following statement was published in the U. S. Official Bulletin of Dec. 12:

The American Ambassador at Santiago. Chile, and the American Minister at Lima, Peru, have handed the Presidents of Chile and Peril, respectively the following statement by direction of Acting Secretary Polk of the State Department.

"The President of the United States desires to inform your Excellency that the various incidents leading up to the severance of consular relations between the Republics of Chile and Peru have been viewed by the Government of the United States with the gravest apprehension. Any agitation tending to lessen the prospect of permanent peace throughout the world, particularly on the eve of the convoking of the Peace Conference in Paris, in which it is confidently expected that steps will be taken to provide for an era of lasting peace among all peoples, would be disastrous and those persons who had caused this condition would be charged with grave responsibilities before the world for their actions.

"The President of the United States feels it his duty to draw to the attention of the Governments of Chile and Peru the gravity of the present situation and to point out to these governments the duty which they owe to the rest of the world and to mankind in general to take immediate steps to restrain popular agitation and to reestablish their peaceful relations.

"That a satisfactory and peaceful solution of the matter in dispute between the two countries may be arrived at there can be no doubt and the Government of the United States stands ready to tender alone, or in conjunction with the other countries of this hemisphere, all possible assistance to bring about an equitable solution of the matter."

President Of Portugal Assassinated.—Dr. Sidonio Paes, President of Portugal, was shot and killed by an assassin in a railway station in Lisbon on December 14. The assassin, named Jeetne, was killed by the crowd.

Dr. Paes seized control in Portugal, Dec. 11, 1917, after a comparatively bloodless revolution, which involved no change in Portugal's foreign policy. He was regularly elected president last June, and has given the country a liberal administration.

REVIEW OF BOOKS

ON

SUBJECTS OF PROFESSIONAL INTEREST

"The Cradle of the War: The Near East and Pan-Germanism." By H. Charles Woods, F. R. G. S., Lecturer before the Lowell Institute (1917-1918). 357 pages. $2.50 net. (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1918.)

This book is neatly named. Truly it was in the Balkans that the cradle was prepared for the war child, and, as the author remarks, the Kaiser diligently rocked the cradle from the moment the child was born.

To drop this rather unmanageable figure of speech, the Balkan peninsula, with its age-old animosities, its heterogeneous and'often inextricably intermingled races and religions, its medieval state of civilization, presented before the war, and still presents, one of the most difficult European problems. How reconcile, in these small states, the principle of nationality with the equally important principle of breaking down national barriers and promoting free intercourse, trade, and sea communications in large areas geographically united?

There is no better guide in the study of the Balkan situation than this writer, with his intimate firsthand knowledge, his honesty of purpose, his grasp of the tangled skein of Balkan politics. The only objection is that his book seems rather hastily condensed from voluminous notes, and is not always effectively and attractively written. Not only the interest but also the clearness and force of impression of a book depend more than we realize upon the style.

Like many who know the Balkans well, Mr. Woods, though the staunchest of Britishers, betrays a leaning towards Bulgaria, with her good roads, her relative progressiveness, her hard luck in the Balkan wars. He criticises Allied diplomacy before Bulgaria made her fatal choice, insisting rightly that if the Allies in 1914-15 had adopted a policy "firm, uncompromising, even brutal toward all the Balkan states," Bulgaria could have been kept out of the German camp.

His discussion of the Dardanelles campaign is regretful and apologetic. He argues justly that a British fleet in the Sea of Marmora would have settled Turkey. But in lamenting that a combined operation was not planned from the first, he does not sufficiently recognize the possibilities of surprise naval attack, or even of the attack first made if it had been pushed home.

There is an interesting account of Balkan routes of communication and railroads, both present and prospective. Altogether, if thorough information and fairness of treatment are the main requisites of a good book, this "fills the bill." A. W.

« ПретходнаНастави »