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by Mr Lord, who was the chief American expert on Poland. But we mention it as an extreme instance of the 'economic interpretations' of British policy to which American critics are so much inclined. Mr Westermann is on firmer ground when he regrets the struggle among the Allied Powers for equality or priority of opportunity in the commercial exploitation of the Turkish Empire.' It may be doubted whether the failure of his pet project of a Greater Armenia has been such a disaster as he asks us to believe. But the story of the secret agreements, as he gives it, is not pleasant reading; and most readers will sympathise with his criticism of the French claim to Cilicia and the Greek claim to Smyrna. He is, however, disposed to admit that France has an equitable interest in Syria, and Great Britain in Mesopotamia. As for Italy's Adriatic claims, the American view is pretty clearly indicated in Mr Wilson's Note of Feb. 10, 1920, to the French and British Governments ('Quest. Adriat.,' pp. 123-9). But it is still more bluntly expressed by Major Douglas Johnson, who insists that what Italy desired was not so much naval security as a triple bridgehead to facilitate intervention and expansion in the Balkans. In the opinion of this expert, the Treaty of Rapallo, so generally praised as a sensible compromise, was forced on a reluctant Yugo-Slavia by French and British presThe best he can say of this treaty is that its terms would have been even more unjust but for the firm stand which Mr Wilson had made on certain points (What Happened,' pp. 138-9). This is not the place for a reasoned discussion of such charges against the latest phases of the peace settlement. But in this country, at all events, there are few thinking men who would not welcome the re-entry of America into the Councils of the Allies. At Paris America saved the Allies from some serious mistakes, and incidentally was disabused of some deep-rooted prejudices against their political habits and traditions. It is not too much to hope that the same advantages might be again secured by a new partnership in solving the problems which Paris created or ignored.


Some of the American criticisms which we have noticed bear upon the three treaties with Austria,

Hungary, and Bulgaria-the special subject-matter of the new volume in the History of the Peace Conference. It is easy to collect from the pages of the History the main lines of the official apology for the more debatable features of these treaties; for, although the History is not in any sense an official publication, its authors have taken pains to state fully and precisely the official view of every question, even when they regard it as unsatisfactory. They remind us that, when the Conference of Paris began its work, the new nationalities, and some of the old, had considerable armies on foot in Eastern Europe, and were sometimes taking steps to anticipate the verdicts of the Conference by a military occupation of territories which they particularly desired but were not confident of obtaining by an arbitration. Towards these violators of the armistices the Conference adopted a firm attitude, on the whole with gratifying results. But there were limits to the powers of moral persuasion. Unless the principal Allies were prepared to embark on a whole series of wars in Eastern Europe against their own clients and coadjutors, they were bound to frame the new treaties on lines which would more or less satisfy the aspirations of the Poles, the Czecho-Slovaks, the Yugo-Slavs, and the Rumanians.

Another consideration which could not be neglected was the desirability of making the new States strong enough, both in the economic and in the strategic sense, to hold their own in the struggle for existence. On the observing of these two counsels of prudence depended the peace and prosperity of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. It was impossible to observe them in every case without doing some violence to the principle of self-determination. But this principle had never been treated, even by Mr Wilson in his published utterances, as a categorical imperative which must not be qualified by considerations of the common welfare. The reestablishment of peace was the most urgent problem both for the victors and for the vanquished. It was better, for example, to divide the mixed populations of the Banat between Rumania and Yugo-Slavia than to settle the destiny of those populations strictly in accordance with their nationality, thereby sowing the seeds of a triangular war of these two Powers against each other

and against the new Hungary. It was better to assign the Germans of Bohemia to the Czecho-Slovak Republic than to incorporate them in a German-Austria which would be defenceless against the Czecho-Slovaks when the Conference dissolved; nor, if this latter alternative had been practicable, would it have been wise to impair the strategic frontiers and the economic organisation of Czecho-Slovakia to such a degree as to make her the weakest of the new States. In these and in similar cases it was hoped that the Minorities Treaties would mitigate the hardships of the minorities which were denied the right of self-determination.

What do the Minorities Treaties guarantee? Their principles were carefully elaborated at Paris by a strong Committee representative of the Five Principal Powers. They secure to all inhabitants of the contracting States the full and complete protection of life and liberty, without distinction of birth, nationality, language, race, or religion. They provide that every inhabitant of transferred territories shall automatically become a national of the State to which he is transferred, unless he prefers to adopt some other nationality which is open to him.* They provide that all nationals shall be equal in the eyes of the law, and shall enjoy the same civil and political rights. The languages of racial minorities are protected by requiring, first that there shall be no restriction on the free use of these languages in private intercourse, in commerce, in religious worship, in publications of any kind, or at public meetings; secondly, that facilities shall be given to the members of any such minority to use their own language, both orally and in writing, in the law-courts; thirdly, that such minorities may found, at their own expense, schools in which their own language is used; fourthly, that the government shall make adequate provision in the state-schools for instructing the children of the minorities through the medium of their own languages. Finally, it is provided that the minorities shall receive a fair proportion of any grants made by the State or by municipalities for religious, educational or charitable purposes.

* The German Treaty (Art. 91) excepts from the benefit of this concession those Germans who had settled as colonists in Polish provinces since 1908.


That such rules should have to be enforced by external authority on any modern State will seem surprising to those who are not aware of the treatment which has been experienced in the past by the Jews of Poland and Rumania, and by the Slovaks and the Ruthenians on both slopes of the Carpathians. Dr Seton Watson describes (History, IV, 246) the lot of the Slovaks under Magyar rule. In 1875 the Slovak Academy was closed, and its funds, library, and museum were confiscated; in the same year all the Slovak middle schools' were suppressed. Between 1869 and 1909 the number of Slovak primary schools sank from 1921 to 429. The Slovaks were practically excluded from the legal profession, from the higher ranks of the teaching profession, from the civil service of the State, and from that of their own countries and municipalities. Their language was not tolerated in the law-courts, in the post-offices, or on the railways. Finally, they were deprived of parliamentary representation. Undoubtedly there is need for the Minorities Treaties; the Magyars were not by nature more intolerant than their Polish and Rumanian neighbours, they were merely more skilful in the art of oppression. But it may be observed that the disabilities of the Slovaks were not all created by discriminating legislation. The Slovaks, for example, could qualify for parliamentary franchise; but they were excluded from the electoral rolls on illegal pretexts, or they were forcibly prevented from registering their votes, or the constituencies were so mapped out so as give their votes the minimum of weight.

Probably it will not be difficult to prevent the making of laws which violate the Minorities Treaties; it will be much more difficult to put a stop to administrative oppression and abuses of justice. The duty of enforcing the Treaties is committed to the Council of the League of Nations and to the Permanent Court of International Justice. Neither of these bodies can take action except at the instance of a member of the Council. What the Council may then do is not defined by the Treaties, which merely say that it may take such action and give such direction as it may deem proper and effective in the circumstances.' The action would presumably be diplomatic and therefore dilatory. The Permanent Court

has power to make a final decision which has the same force as an award under Art. 13 of the Covenant of the League; but the difficulty which the Court will certainly encounter is that of ascertaining the facts when a complaint is lodged, not against an unjust law, but against the alleged illegal acts of State officials. Also it must be remembered that there is no settled procedure for enforcing an award of the Permanent Court against a refractory government.


The Peace History mentions one particularly flagrant instance of the violations of a Minorities Treaty. The Rumanian Government undertook to accord to the communities of the Saxons and Czecklers in Transylvania local autonomy in regard to scholastic and religious matters.' But Major Temperley remarks (IV, 495) that they have avowedly broken up the Magyar university of Kolozvar (Transylvania) and dispersed the professors and the educational staff; and apparently no redress had been obtained up to March 1921. In view of such an occurrence it really seems superfluous to argue, as is done by an anonymous writer in the Peace History (v, 140), that the Minorities Treaties are unobjectionable because they confer no excessive powers on the League of Nations. The real question is whether the sanction of these Treaties has any value at all. It can never be worth much until the League and the Permanent Court have provided themselves with forms of procedure which will ensure prompt and effective redress of abuses under the Treaties. We may assume that even those who, like the French, regard the League of Nations under most of its aspects with a benevolent disdain are at least anxious that the Minorities Treaties shall be enforced. It is not simply a question of vindicating the abstract rights of man. Systematic disregard of the Minorities Treaties might easily set all Europe in a blaze.

This much will be evident to any one who cares to study the statistical tables which Mr B. C. Wallis has prepared for the fifth volume of the Peace History (v, 150-5). They are a rather startling commentary on the results of the attempt to apply the principle of nationality to the reorganisation of Eastern Europe. They remind us of the bitter reflexion of the Magyar delegates at Paris that the new States to be erected on

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