Central Europe to-Day


THE break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 threw Central and Southeastern Europe into chaos, from both the political and the economic point of view. Although only two states, Czechoslovakia and Poland, were formed following this quick dissolution, at the close of the World War other existing states greatly enlarged their territory and population at the expense of the former Hapsburg empire.

One of these new states, Czechoslovakia, received its entire territorial allotment from Austria-Hungary, while Poland, on the other hand, acquired its territory from the three former Central Powers, Austria, Hungary, and Germany. For this reason the practical problem of unifying Poland is more difficult of accomplishment than that of bringing harmoniously together the various elements within the Czechoslovakian republic. Furthermore, though Poland is quite rich from the agricultural standpoint, she falls far behind Czechoslovakia in industrial and commercial organization. Therefore, while her population is more than twice that of the Czechoslovaks, the latter are in a position to support a stronger, more expensive government.

Lastly, one must in all fairness realize that Poland’s retarded progress in the last few years has been not a little due to the havoc and destruction inflicted upon that territory during the war.

The creation of the new states called for new politicians, new bureaucracies, new governmental organizations. In Czechoslovakia itself advantage was taken of the former Austrian bureaucracy, which before the war contained great numbers of Czechs (Bohemians). On the other hand, the civil service of the old Magyar kingdom had relatively few Slovaks.

This fact, coupled with that of the lack of general education among the Slovak people, inevitably meant that the bureaucracy of this new republic was composed largely of Czechs. This situation brought forth a most delicate problem, as the Slovaks rightly consider themselves the equals of the Czechs, and therefore reason that more of their own people should be represented in the civil service of the republic. Like so many other questions in Europe to-day, the solution of this difficulty is a mere matter of time.

The new states fully appreciate the fact that the peace treaties of 1919-20 are the legal basis of their national existence. They also realize that these treaties, which have caused so much trouble and misunderstanding in postwar Europe, are far from perfect instruments of peace. Their statesmen recognize the imperfection of these documents, but contend that this unfortunate situation is not entirely their fault, for they can prove that they had little power of a decisive nature in the Paris negotiations. However, in every diplomatic controversy which is the concern of their country these men are, by the very nature of things, forced to base their arguments on this fundamental fact about the inviolability of the treaties.

Everyone looks eagerly forward to a far-reaching revision of the peace treaties, but the Allied leaders know that the time has not yet come to carry on negotiations along this disturbing line. The outraged, incensed feelings caused by the frightful hysteria of recent war experiences must first disappear, in order to bring fair, constructive, coöperative work within the range of possibility.


Above I have spoken briefly of the new Poland and of the new Czechoslovakia. What of the two once powerful states which, when working in harmony under the Dual Monarchy, dominated all Middle Europe? First of all, as to Hungary: Hungarians, unlike the easy-going Viennese, have never at heart accepted the Paris peace settlements. While Austria languidly crumbled, Hungary gambled desperately on the excited hopes and the national fears at the close of the war. Hungary’s general policy has been profoundly influenced by the filibustering tactics of Germany; yet it is noteworthy that she has been in a position to be more aggressive. Hungarians look upon Czechoslovakia as their archenemy, — for the latter is the most stalwart member of the Little Entente, — much in the same manner as the Germans look upon France. Twice since the Armistice Hungary has launched desperate attacks upon her northern neighbor. In May 1919 Bela Kun’s Red Army struggled to throw Europe into the grip of the Communists by attacking the key to the peace situation—Czechoslovakia. And about two years later Hungary, under a White Government, struck Czechoslovakia again with the same unrestrained zeal and determination.

Magyar politicians, like those in Germany, have been willing to lay waste their own country in order to escape Reparations payments. Nevertheless, there are good indications that public sentiment in Hungary has cooled down considerably and that her leaders are no longer able to rely upon the aggressive spirit of patriotism which prevailed throughout the country only two years ago. This change of opinion was aptly revealed by Hungary’s entrance into the League of Nations last September.

The Allied Powers, particularly France, went far out of their path to secure from Hungary extraordinary guaranties, upon admitting her to League membership. Hungary’s plenipotentiaries at Geneva accepted these humiliating conditions in a splendid spirit, thus accomplishing her first act of constructive statesmanship for some considerable time.

At the moment, few people, either here or abroad, caught the fundamental significance of the fact that Hungary of her own free will had joined the League of Nations. Yet it is certain that this unobserved act on Hungary’s part was one of the determining factors which threw the European balance of forces to the side of peace when France stepped into the Ruhr last January. To illustrate the point: Germany at that time was of course quite helpless to resist France by force. It is further understood that, had Poland moved her restless army in any aggressive way, Red Russia would have again attacked her western neighbor, thereby precipitating a general European war on top of the critical situation in the Near East. As it was, Russia did not feel warranted in taking this risk until Poland had made an aggressive move. To return to the balance of power in Central Europe during the last days of January: Hungary had already attacked Czechoslovakia twice during the four years since the Armistice, and would have attacked again had her own people not been impoverished, famished, and dispirited, Her supreme opportunity to wreck the whole postwar organization of Central and Eastern Europe came when France went into the Ruhr. But, alas, the conventions she accepted upon becoming a League member effectively stopped her from again disturbing the peace of the world. Had the peace been broken by Hungary, at this critical juncture, there is no question at all that Russia would have been sufficiently encouraged to throw her armies once more against Poland.

In a conversation which Mr. Charles R. Crane had with Count Apponyi last November, this distinguished Hungarian statesman pointed out that his country could never recognize the validity of the loss of Slovakia and Transylvania, but that it was now ready to accept the transfer of Croatia to Yugoslavia. Therefore, Hungary has now a serious quarrel with but two of her four neighbors. It seems fair to say, then, that Magyar politicians have at least abandoned the means of war to regain those parts of Czechoslovakia and Rumania which she rightfully considers hers, and now propose to obtain them by the peaceful method of diplomatic negotiation.

It is a curious turn of events that some of the Hungarian politicians, if not the people themselves, have taken up the Hapsburg game. Of course Budapest office-seekers realize that the Hapsburgs, more than any other political force in Central Europe, do not accept the dissolution of the AustroHungarian Empire as final. Up to that point the politicians seem ready to make whatever use they can of the bankrupt Hapsburgs; yet, as matter of honest fact, the once glorious, now corrupt, ruling house of Austria and Hungary has no proper place in the new Hungary. This point is amply substantiated by the outburst during the war of bitter anti-Hapsburg feeling all over the ancient empire.

This violent opposition to the Hapsburgs in Hungary outlasted the war in the form of active suspicion of even Austria herself. The two former Central Powers whose crowns had been united under one head for four centuries went to the brink of war against each other in 1919 over the Burgenland incident.

Immediately after the Armistice Hungary sent an armed force in to occupy and latterly annex this slice of rich territory. Dr. Beneš, the Czechoslovakian Foreign Minister, offered to arbitrate the dispute, though his compromise plan was not formally accepted until about six months ago. Consequently, the relations of the two countries are now once again established on a secure, peaceful footing.

At the end of the war Austria collapsed and proceeded well along the road toward complete disintegration. People all over the world were fooled into believing that Austria, with a population of six and a half millions, could never support Vienna, where more than two million Austrians were to be found. It is true, Austria could not regain her political and economic equilibrium without outside help; but no strong nation was willing to let another come to Austria’s rescue single-handed, and thus Austria continued to sink until the joint action taken last September at Geneva opened up to her the road of recovery. Needless to say, the material recovery of Austria, followed and helped by new constructive forces on the spiritual side of the people, has greatly aided the whole progress of Central Europe this year along the path of reconstruction and reconciliation.

Keen observers recognize that some day, perhaps not far in the future, Austria may be joined to Germany, if anything united is left of that unhappy country. To have linked Austria with Germany at the end of the war would have been foolhardy unless perhaps it could have been accomplished immediately before peace negotiations were even commenced. The present situation, however, requires that first Austria, as well as Germany, must learn to stand on her own feet. If the dream of a complete union of the German-speaking peoples is to come true, Austria and Germany must be assets to each other — not liabilities. Moreover, this problem goes well beyond the realm of such considerations and raises questions of a fundamental nature. First, Germany will think twice before admitting more than six million more Roman Catholics to her fold. Again, the new political balance of power in Germany — the old struggle of Austria against Prussia — should be carefully looked into. And lastly, it must be realized by interested parties that through the annexation of Austria, German trade and commerce would quickly acquire a powerful Danubian character.


If the Paris peace treaties constitute — from the external standpoint — the legal basis for the new Central Europe the Little Entente is the greatest single force in upholding the new order of things from within. The victorious allies of Central Europe, the Czechoslovak legions, Rumania, and Yugoslavia, saw at the outset that a close regional understanding was necessary to realize their programme. This programme was formally accepted as the basis of the war aims of the greater allies.

The keynote of the Little Entente is to be found in a series of bilateral treaties that have a distinctly nonaggressive character. Perhaps Dr. Beneš, backed by his collaborator, President Masaryk, has been more responsible than any other one person for making use of the forces of coöperation which have always been potentially present in that part of the world. If the most interested and most active party of the Little Entente is Czechoslovakia, her closest ally in the new arrangement is her sister-Slav state, Yugoslavia, to the south. Czechoslovakia needs the help of this enlarged state in balancing the power of Hungary, while Yugoslavia herself is in need of Czechoslovakia’s influence to keep Italy within her proper limits on the Adriatic and its hinterland.

Rumania, a non-Slavic state, is the third member of the defensive loose federation known as the Little Entente. Like Yugoslavia, Rumania’s position is extremely weak on many sides. Without noting, except in passing, her difficulties in the south with her Bulgarian subjects, there is also the critical case of Bessarabia in the east. It is only necessary, so far as Central Europe is concerned, to say that the real insecurity of her position lies in Transylvania. Rumania is much in need of a balance in power to keep Hungary from snatching this ancient province, which she has always considered an integral part of greater Hungary.

From the above outline, one can easily see that the Little Entente has a great plenty to do in keeping the status quo without any of the member states branching out into the field of new aggressions.

In the spring of 1922, Skirmunt, the Polish Foreign Minister, came to a practical realization of the fact that his country had distinct interests in Central Europe, and consequently arranged for Poland to become formally an associate member of the Little Entente.

Skirmunt came to this important decision in spite of the fact that Poland’s most crucial problems are to be found in her relations with Germany on the west, Russia on the east, Lithuania on the Baltic. Behind this decision undoubtedly the Polish Foreign Minister was well aware of the fact, pointed out by President Masaryk in The New Europe (1918), that Czechoslovakia and Poland could not exist singly and alone as independent states. Already many times in history, Masaryk observed, the fall of one of these states had been quickly followed by the dissolution of the other.

With the exception of the League of Nations, it is no exaggeration to say that the Little Entente is the greatest force for the preservation of peace — such as it is — in Europe to-day. The Little Entente has dealt more successfully with the difficulties of the Central European situation than anyone or anything has been able to do with those in Western Europe. Its prestige is already immense, as shown by the fact that many Governments well outside of Central Europe, including those of Italy and Greece, have wanted to become member-states. The requests of these states to join the federation have been rejected — not at all because of the desire to check the unifying and coöperative forces at work in the world to-day, but in the realization of the basic fact that the Little Entente is a purely Central European affair, and by becoming unnecessarily involved in questions outside of Central Europe, would lose its usefulness and effectiveness.


We noted above that the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian empire led to economic and industrial chaos in Central Europe. This disarrangement of well-established economic forces was sufficient to bring about considerable chaos; but one must also bear in mind that four years under strenuous war conditions would in themselves have caused endless trouble and unrest. Many people knew that, regardless of the outcome, four years of war spelled the doom of the empire of fifty-one millions of people, more than half of whom were held in alien subjugation.

In Central Europe to-day there are certain natural trade routes. Besides these natural factors, one must take into consideration the artificial paths of commerce and railways, established by the Hapsburg empire for strategic and military purposes. In Austria before the war all roads were constructed to lead to Vienna, and, with its natural advantages, Vienna became one of the great trade-centres of the world. Similarly, in Hungary, all roads led to Budapest. This dual plan worked admirably; but in its operation it was deliberately unfair to the peoples who later, as a result of the war, were freed from the commercial as well as the political yokes of Vienna and Budapest.

The new states and the enlarged states realized it as their first task in economic reorganization to supplement these artificially stimulated highways of trade, which favored Vienna and Budapest at the expense of smaller centres of population. New railways, which correct the balance of the economic system there, are opening rich new fields for commercial activity and exploitations.

One great hindrance in the new economic development of Central Europe is the high-tariff barriers. But normal conditions of commerce tend to break down restrictions of this kind, while the forces of coöperation have already succeeded in lowering these walls, as a result of the great number of most-favored-nations treaties concluded in the last two or three years. Meanwhile, because of the disappearance of the old established order of negation and oppression in Central Europe, railway traffic and river traffic are now being worked out and expanded along coöperative lines, so that in a few years’ time the natural economic forces of Central Europe will be given free play to develop themselves to the fullest possible extent.

As a result of the great growth of nationalistic feeling which culminated in Europe during and after the Great War, it was necessary for the statesmen and politicians in Paris to make drasticprovisions for the protection of the minority populations in the new national states. Whereas in the Europe of four or five centuries ago the frontiers of states were determined by religious groups of peoples, the basis of nearly every European state nowadays is in the new nationalism.

Nationalism as a movement began to gain force in the early decades of the nineteenth century, as a result of the French Revolution followed by the Napoleonic wars. Periodically throughout the century the fires of nationalism would break out in Europe and, after several bloody revolutions, they met with marked success. Beginning with success in Greece and Belgium in the early thirties, severe nationalist outbreaks followed from the forties to the seventies, resulting in the liberation of Italy and Germany. It was not until the end of the Great War that Poland and Czechoslovakia realized their liberation and that all the Yugoslavs and Rumanians were freed from their alien masters.

Like all other political and economic movements, nationalism attained such great momentum that it overstepped its proper limits. In the countries of Central and Southeastern Europe national groups are found so intermingled that the pure national state is a recognized impossibility, and the proposition of self-determination must, therefore, be carried out in a modest way.

The basic idea of some of the treaty clauses is the protection of minorities. It is simply grounded on the proposition of an honest equality of both treatment and rights. These provisions, in a word, guarantee freedom of conscience and of education, equal civil privileges and equality before the law. It is aimed to allow minorities to live their own lives in a way which is consistent with their cultural, religious, and economic heritage.

It must be recognized, in dealing with the complex problem of minorities, that only in certain circumstances can a given group be detached from one country and brought together with the major part of that race in another. In Bohemia, for example, the Czech and German populations are so intermixed that it would have been quite impossible to segregate the Germans in order to join them either with Austria in the south or Germany in the north and west. Likewise the Czech population, amounting to some two hundred thousand, in Vienna, cannot be separated from Austria and joined to Czechoslovakia, however desirable that would seem.

In eastern Czechoslovakia there are more than six hundred thousand Hungarians. For the strategic reason of railroads it was necessary to include in the new Slovakia three junction-points in purely Hungarian territory. Some day, when the Prague Government carries out its railroad programme, these three strategic railroad centres, deliberately created by the old Hungary, will lose their vital importance, and it is hoped that at that time a readjustment of populations along the Hungarian-Czechoslovakian border will be in order. Such a rearrangement cannot possibly be carried into effect, however, until public sentiment in that part of the world has steadied down considerably.

Czechoslovakia has been trying very hard to deal with its various minority elements in a fair and just manner. Psychologically the problem has been exceedingly difficult, especially when we consider that the Germans within her borders were quite confident that the war would come out in their favor, and had in fact drafted a programme in 1916 — with the coöperation of Berlin and Vienna — which envisaged the political and cultural annihilation of the Bohemians, who under the Austrian monarchy still had successfully defended a fair number of their ancient rights.

The Germans, not expecting an adverse outcome of the war, were in a quite impossible frame of mind in late 1918, when the Czechoslovakian republic was created and organized, and, naturally, have not yet been able to adjust themselves to the new conditions. They obviously were not seeking a basis of equality with their Czech countrymen, but simply a domination, as sinister in its conception as any part of the German war programme.

When within one country there are two powerful racial groups, one working for domination, it is very difficult for the other, no matter how enlightened her politicians may be, not to be driven into a similar frame of mind. It was quite natural that at the close of the war the Czechoslovaks would not stand by and wait for the Germans to change their old point of view before going ahead to draft a constitution and to set their government into working order. It will be some time yet before the Bohemian Germans are willing to coöperate politically with the Czechs. Nevertheless, it is a happy thing to note, in fields of agriculture, industry, finance, and education, where politicians have little opportunity to exploit the feelings of the people, that the forces of coöperation are already well at work.

The question of the Hungarian minority in Czechoslovakia is far more difficult than that of the German, for the reason that Slovakia was before the war an integral part of Hungary while the Bohemian countries — Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia — were recognized to be autonomous units under the Austrian monarchy. A great percentage of the Hungarian people still consider Slovakia an integral and necessary part of Hungary, from all points of view, and have perhaps not yet seen how impossible the situation was for all those concerned, up to the close of the war. Nevertheless, Hungarian feeling has quieted down considerably in the last year, as evidenced by Hungary’s entrance into the League of Nations. In fact, Czechoslovakia and Hungary were at the point of reaching a working agreement, when the unfortunate murder of a Czech official on the Hungarian border occurred. This untimely incident will now delay serious negotiations for at least another six months.


Looking at the European situation from the widest point of view, we may say that the last year has seen the danger spot in Europe shifted from Central Europe westward. The occupation of the Ruhr was the outward evidence that Franco-German relations are the key to European reconstruction and reconciliation. With the Near East crisis somewhat allayed and Central Europe making progress in the work of reconstruction and readjustment, the world now looks anxiously toward Western Europe, with the hope that the crisis caused by the Ruhr occupation and other untoward events will soon pass away before the legions of peace and understanding.

As for Central Europe, it was the Ruhr occupation which blocked the forces of peace and coöperation in the most effective way during the last few months. Had it not been for the sound common-sense of the Austrian programme put into force last fall, and the firm stand of Czechoslovakia which kept the balance of the scales in favor of peace, as well as the unwillingness or inability of the Budapest politicians to throw Hungary into another war, Central Europe would now be in process of complete chaos and disintegration.

Perhaps it would be interesting to note the reasons why Czechoslovakia, so far as Franco-German relations are concerned, must tend toward a neutral policy rather than toward one favoring her French ally. To begin with, it was evidence of her strength that she has been able, unlike Poland, to turn down completely the pleas of France for military alliance. Even Marshal Foch, during the spring tour of the two countries, seemed quite incapable of convincing President Masaryk and Dr. Beneš of the necessity of this alliance.

The factors which forced Czechoslovakia to reject this French alliance were probably the following: —

(1) Czechoslovakia has a German population of more than 3,000,000 souls which she must convince that the important thing is the common welfare of Czechs and Germans in particular and the peace of Central Europe in general.

(2) Czechoslovakia’s main difficulty in the path of reconciliation is the Hungarian question. Inasmuch as the Hungarians played the German game with perhaps more violence than the Germans themselves, they must be dealt with in the most far-seeing way possible.

(3) Czechoslovakia is surrounded on three sides — the north, the west, and the south—by German peoples, and to take any aggressive measures against the Germans, either externally or internally, would spell the end of her independent existence. Her only hope is along the path of reconciliation and readjustment.

(4) Czechoslovakia built up the Little Entente for the purpose of keeping peace in Central Europe, and she is no way ready to have the Great Entente, which has already caused so much trouble since the Armistice, play a dictatorial rôle outside her recognized sphere of activity. She is convinced that Central Europe can be run far better by the Central European peoples than she can by any other group in the world. This is the very basis of the Little Entente idea.


The events of the last six months of this momentous year—1923 — have had, in the broadest sense of the word, a very important bearing on the processes of reconstruction and reconciliation now at work in Central Europe. For the sake of clarity, it will perhaps be best to summarize these developments under three headings, as follows: the Corfu incident and Central Europe; the question of a final solution of the Reparations problem; and the negotiations for the reconstruction loan to Hungary. A brief analysis of these problems should throw an illuminating light on Central Europe to-day and what it will in all probability stand for in the realm of international affairs in 1924.

First of all, why was Central Europe — that is, why were the individual states of Central Europe — concerned with the humiliating treatment which Italy accorded Greece not long ago, followed by her suspected attempt to make the Adriatic an Italian lake? It is of the sheerest unimportance to discuss whether the domination of the Adriatic was Mussolini’s real motive in occupying the Greek island of Corfu after the murder incident at Janina, because in every international crisis parties whose national or commercial interests seem menaced always speak and act just as if this were in reality the case.

At any rate, Yugoslavia considered her security threatened when Italian forces landed at Corfu in the first days of September, for negotiations between these two countries had once again come to a critical impasse over a definitive settlement of the Fiume question. With Italy standing guard at the mouth of the Adriatic, of what use to Yugoslavia would be any commercial rights at Fiume, the only outlet to the northern part of her state, in the event of further haggling between these two Governments? The whole Corfu incident inflamed public opinion in Yugoslavia as a gross violation of the rights of small nations, and, backed by England and the Little Entente, she sought a solution of the Italian-Greek affair which would make Italy withdraw her forces from the eastern side of the Adriatic.

It was my good fortune to be in Geneva when some of these matters were under deliberation. There the problem was to find a solution of the quarrel which would not further disturb the very delicate international situation. It is not for me here to pass on the merits of the League’s action in referring the dispute to the Council of Ambassadors in Paris; suffice it to say that the League Council considered this method the wisest way to make the general situation no worse than it already was. The Council of Ambassadors regulated the difficulty simply by accepting the recommendations for the solution which the Council in Geneva had worked out.

So much for the bare political side of the Corfu incident, so far as Central Europe was affected, and its happy ending. A glance at the map of Europe between the Baltic and the Mediterranean will at once reveal why both Czechoslovakia and Austria, in particular, are vitally concerned that the régime of free trade shall continue on the Adriatic. Both these countries do considerable exporting through the port of Trieste; in fact, more Czechoslovakian trade goes through this seaport than through any other, excepting only Hamburg.

Secondly, it is not a matter of surprise to note that all Central Europe anxiously awaits the final settlement of the Reparations problem. Until Germany is given a fair chance to stand firmly on her own feet and to assume her just and recognized obligations, the smaller European states, naturally more dependent on one another than the larger ones, find it exceedingly difficult to put their own affairs in good order. Furthermore, these countries bordering on Germany are far from indifferent when it comes to standing by to watch the processes of disintegration hard at work in that state.

The break-up of the German Reich may not come as quickly and easily as most observers would have us believe; nevertheless, every step along the path of dissolution brings on further political and economic disturbances which profoundly threaten the stability of the entire world. As for Central Europe’s concern in these untoward economic developments, one must bear in mind that Germany is the best buyer of goods from Czechoslovakia, Austria, and Switzerland, and — before the war—from England as well.

However, the essential interest of Central Europe in the immediate solution of this perplexing problem was not made sufficiently clear until President Masaryk and Dr. Beneš, the astute Czechoslovakian Foreign Minister, made their official trip to the Allied capitals of Western Europe in late October. The negative significance of this eventful visit was simply that the Poincaré Government failed to persuade Czechoslovakia of the wisdom of a military alliance with France under present conditions; but this result was a foregone conclusion from the outset. Positively, one may say that the outcome centred around the world-wide movement for a conclusive regulation of the Reparations tangle. Happily, President Masaryk and Dr. Beneš came to London when very important negotiations were taking place between the principal Powers with a view to finding a basis for calling a general conference to consider Reparations and Germany’s capacity to pay. Although it would be idle to speculate on what practical results will come out of these conversations, which were certainly given an added raison d’être by the timely presence of these two wellknown statesmen, it is safe to say that the British Government was exceedingly happy to learn precisely how Czechoslovakia in particular and Central Europe in general stood in this allimportant matter.

Thirdly, while the problem of Reparations affects Central European conditions very considerably from the outside, the plan for Austrian and Hungarian reconstruction is a question which touches the very heart of its political and economic organization. Above, reference has been made to the encouraging results of coöperative work in reviving Austria during the past twelve months. As for Hungary, the proposition of her financial restoration is psychologically and politically so utterly different from that of Austria that it could not possibly have been dealt with at the same time or in the same way.

The gradual abandonment of aggressive policies on Hungary’s part during the last two years has from the very beginning foreshadowed some kind of outside aid for her in order to facilitate the processes of internal readjustment necessary in this newly constituted state. When the Turks so masterfully upset the impossible conditions imposed on them by the Treaty of Sèvres and by subsequent secret agreements, the Magyars took heart and increased their lively propaganda for the revision of treaties in their favor.

Last spring the Prime Minister, Count Bethlen, went to Paris and London to make his brilliant plea for an international loan to save his country from imminent ruin. For wellknown reasons, Count Bethlen returned to Budapest without the loan, but he had successfully stimulated wide-spread interest in Hungarian affairs. Meanwhile, in the early summer, conversations between Czechoslovakia and Hungary were resumed, while Dr. Beneš was persuading other members of the Little Entente that Hungary’s appeal before the Reparations Commission and the League of Nations should be met with all due consideration. On September 29, the Council of the League addressed an official communiqué to the Reparations Commission, where the plan must first be worked out, that the League would approve of any measure aiming at the financial restoration of Hungary which the Commission might agree upon and submit to the League.

As the programme has already been elaborated in detail by the Reparations Commission and was announced publicly on October 16, it may be assumed that something will be done in the near future for Hungary to aid her to put her financial and economic house in order.


In conclusion, it is particularly fitting to note that at the present moment relations between Hungary and Czechoslovakia are the key to the peaceful consolidation and development of Central Europe.

Central Europe is a region of small, interdependent, national states. Under the active leadership of Czechoslovakia, the full force and meaning of this fundamental fact are just beginning to be realized. Economic laws must be taken into serious consideration, not violated and defied; the moral laws of human relationship must be wholeheartedly accepted and applied by states when dealing with one another and with their minorities. Further racial struggles resulting in bloodshed and desolation are utterly stupid and out of the question; through coöperation and understanding must come the solution of the perplexing social and industrial questions of the day.

In a word, this is perhaps the way Central Europe looks at the New World. Will it not soon mean that the phrase, ‘the Balkanization of Central Europe,’ will be utterly discredited and relegated to the past, as the genesis of the United States of Central Europe comes radiantly to life?