The New Europe/Volume 2/The Liberation of Bohemia
The Liberation of Bohemia
It is interesting to note that some of those who in Parliament and in the press were most active in the cause of Bulgaria a year or 18 months ago, are now making a desperate effort to prejudice public opinion against Bohemia, and to challenge the policy of the Allied Note to America. The Nation, in its issue of 17 January, expressly declines to accept as part of “our programme of restoration and liberation a scheme for the dismemberment of Austria”; and Mr. Noel Buxton, in various letters and articles in the press, adopts the same view and tries to argue that the Austro-Hungarian problem can be solved on a basis of “home rule.” His whole attitude is an amazing example of that “sloppy thinking in regard to the war,” against which he himself protests in a letter to the New Statesman. As has more than once been pointed out in The New Europe, those who persist in treating the disruption of Austria-Hungary as an altogether new item in the programme of the Allies, are shutting their eyes—whether wilfully or as the result of sloppy thinking—to the fact that we have long stood committed to such a policy, by reason of our treaties with Russia, Italy, and Roumania, and of our moral obligations to Serbia. The disruption of Austria-Hungary represents a fundamental aim and aspiration of at least four of the Allied nations, and is now part of the settled policy of the French. Russian, and Italian Governments. Those in this country who oppose it must be under no illusions. They may be able to save Austria-Hungary from disruption, but only at the cost of the disruption of the Entente, and in the long run, of the British Empire itself, whose very existence would be threatened by the survival of Austria-Hungary in her present condition of hopeless military, political, economic, and financial vassalage to Germany.