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The New Europe]

[4 October 1917


of disintegration are appearing in Austria, and that it cannot be an indifferent matter to us that in this war our Ally allows such scandalous incidents in its own State. It is not enough that, as the Premier says, we must create new penalties. For if I see seats in the Austrian Ministry offered to men who are guilty of such acts as I have described, I see symptoms against which every man must contend with all his might who supports this dynasty and wishes it to rule over a vigorous Great Power, and every man who is a supporter of the Hungarian national State, and wishes it to tread to the end the troublous paths of history with an honourable, loyal, and vigorous Ally.”


Professor C. E. Vaughan, late of the University of Leeds—who in 1915 published what will probably remain the definitive edition of the political works of Rousseau—has just done good service to the cause of a European settlement by issuing a cheap reprint of Rousseau’s essay on “A Lasting Peace through the Federation of Europe” (Constable, 2s. net). Although Rousseau wrote this essay in 1756, it contains many wise remarks and sound principles which are singularly applicable to the present day. One warning of Rousseau might well be taken to heart by the pacifist groups of to-day: “My friends! you must allow me to tell you that you give too much weight to your calculations and too little to the heart of man and the play of passion. Your system is excellent for Utopia, for the children of Adam it is worth nothing.”

Professor Vaughan contributes to this edition a most valuable Introduction, in which he applies the ideas of Rousseau to the current crisis. He points out that the basis of a Federation of the Continent and the indispensable condition of the maintenance of a lasting peace must be the reorganisation of Europe, and particularly of Central Europe, on national lines. He rightly regards the break-up of Austria as “one of the chief conditions of the coming peace,” without which “the war will have been waged in vain.”F. J. C. H.

In Bohemia’s Case for Independence (Allen and Unwin, pp. xii + 132, 2s. 6d. net) Dr. Edouard Beneš, the well-known lecturer of Prague University, gives an admirable summary of the material—historical, economic, and political—upon which is based the Czecho-Slovak claim to independence. It is a short and telling volume, which ought to be read and made known widely. The importance of Czecho-Slovak and Jugoslav liberation from German and Magyar control cannot be insisted upon too much. It is fundamental. Unless that immoral domination is broken up many of the root causes of the present war will remain untouched. Even at this stage of the war there is far too much ignorance and indifference towards this vital problem. Dr. Beneš’ plea will do much to clear the air, as will also the lucid and eloquent introduction contributed by Mr. Wickham Steed. G. G.