DOCUMENTS

LEROY KING'S REPORTS FROM CROATIA

MARCH TO MAY 1919

 

Edited by Jerome Jareb

 

[Journal of Croatian Studies, Annual Review of the Croatian Academy of America, New York, N.Y., number I, 1960, pp. 75-168]

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King was a member of Archibald Cary Coolidge's mission. Coolidge's mission was dispatched to Vienna by the American Commission to Negotiate Peace to ascertain the situation in the former territory of the Habsburg Empire. LeRoy King was sent by Coolidge to Croatia to ascertain the situation there. From Croatia King wrote Coolidge thirty-one reports of which twenty-seven are published hereunder. Four reports, those numbered 6, 13, 14, and 30, could not be yet located. The editor hopes to publish them subsequently if and when they are found. Twenty-three reports are published for the first time and four of them have been already printed either in full or partially as indicated in the appropriate footnotes. For the convenience of readers, they are republished. The editor is grateful to Dr. Carl L. Lokke of the National Archives in Washington, D. C., who was so kind to locate the reports and furnish the copies of them. If not otherwise indicated, the footnotes and material within brackets are added by the editor. Some information about the origin and work of Coolidge's mission seems to be appropriate.

 

Colonel House was sent to Europe by President Wilson to represent him in the Allied negotiations at the end of World War I. At that time, House was receiving "misinformation from the English, French and Italians" about the situation in the former enemy countries and requested Washington to send American agents there.[1] The request was granted,[2] and Professor Archibald Cary Coolidge of Harvard University was appointed a special assistant to the Department of State on November 16, 1918, "with instructions to proceed to Eastern Europe to investigate and report upon conditions there.''[3] Professor Coolidge arrived in Paris on December 6. His commission was changed a little thereafter. On December 26 he was assigned to the American Commission to Negotiate Peace "for the purpose of proceeding to Austria for that Commission to observe political conditions in Austria-Hungary and neighborhood countries."[4] Coolidge and his collaborators arrived in Vienna on January 5, 1919. He stayed at Vienna almost all the time until the mission was withdrawn. The agents were sent into different areas of the former Austria-Hungary, dispatching reports to Coolidge who in turn forwarded them to Paris. At the end of March, Coolidge returned to Paris to report personally to the American Commission to Negotiate Peace. He remained there for about a week.[5] On May 16 Coolidge was ordered to close the mission and proceed to Paris.[6] He left Vienna on May 22, 1919, arriving in Paris two days later.[7]

 

Lieutenant Colonel Sherman Miles and Lieutenant LeRoy King were ordered by Coolidge to investigate the situation in the South Slav area. In the middle of January they went to Ljubljana and were involved in Carinthian troubles. At the end of January and beginning of February, Miles and King, joined by two other members of Coolidge's mission, Major Lawrence Martin and Professor Robert J. Kerner, investigated the situation in Carinthia. They proposed a new armistice line between the Austrian and South Slav forces. When the investigation was accomplished, Miles went to Paris and personally reported to the American Commission on February 20.[8] Lieutenant LeRoy King was sent to Belgrade in the second half of February and from there ordered to Zagreb. After his return from Paris, Miles proceeded to Rijeka. He investigated the situation there and along the Adriatic coast during March and April. At the end of April, he was ordered to Montenegro. From there he returned to Paris in the middle of May, 1919.[9]

 

How was it that Lieutenant King was ordered to Zagreb shortly after he was sent to Belgrade? During January and February, 1919, rumors spread that the Croats did not desire to be united with the Serbs but rather to establish their own sovereign state. On February 17 the following memorandum was submitted to the attention of the American Commissioners,

 

 

No. 86

Date: Feb. 17, 1919.

 

Source: Office of the Secretary General (Division of Current Diplomatic and Political Correspondence–A. W. Dulles).

 

Statement:

 

Telegrams which have been received from Rome report rumors of an agitation in Croatia for the formation of an autonomous state.

 

There is reason to believe that such a movement is supported by both Hungary and Italy, the former hoping thereby to obtain favorable conditions for access to the sea, and the latter hoping for a divided Jugo-Slav state. There is apparently a campaign from Italy to discredit the Servians in the eyes of the Croatians.

 

In this connection it is interesting to note the reports of recent negotiations between the Hungarians and Italians which apparently have as their object the support of Croatian aspirations.

 

Recommendation:

 

In view of the importance of this question, a telegram has been drafted to Professor Coolidge at Vienna, asking him to investigate these rumors regarding Croatia and to report by telegraph to the Commissioners.

 

It is recommended that this telegram attached herewith be approved.

 

A telegram has already been sent to the Legation at Belgrade for information in this regard.[10]

 

 

 

The following day, February 18, the Commissioners discussed the memorandum as it is evident from the point five of the minutes:

 

 

5. Memorandum No. 86 was read and the Commissioners considered the question of the movement which was probably being supported by both Hungary and Italy toward the formation of an autonomy state in Croatia. They agreed that this matter was serious, and that it would be well to receive Prof. Coolidge's report in the premises. Mr. Lansing believed, however, that such a report had been received within the last day or two from Vienna, and asked that this matter be investigated. He added, however, that if he were mistaken in this belief, he would gladly join the other Commissioners in approving the telegram to Prof. Coolidge, attached to Memorandum No. 86.[11]

 

We do not have the telegram available sent by the Commission to Professor Coolidge but here is Coolidge's answer, or one of the answers, to the Commission.

 

 

 

Professor A. C. Coolidge's Telegram to the U.S. Commision to Negotiate Peace [12]

 

Vienna, February 27, 1919. [Received 10:10 p.m.]

 

114. Reason for thinking Italy is encouraging Croatian Separatist movement. See annex 4th, report 110.[13] Doubt the rumor of Hungarian encouragement. Hungary at this time eager to get into touch with Serbia and come to an understanding presumably against Roumanians. Hungarian food agent in Trieste will try to do this or attempt may be made here. Am investigating subject and sending men to Agram [Zagreb].

 

Coolidge

 

 

 

Mr. Charles M. Storey to Professor A. C. Coolidge[14]

 

Vienna, February 25, 1919.

 

Subject: Hungarian attitude towards Serbia.

 

1. Baron Podmaninczy informed me that he was being sent to Trieste by President Karolyi for the ostensible purpose of securing fats for Hungary but in reality to attempt to make arrangements with the Serbs and Jugo-Slavs looking towards some rapprochement.

 

2. He further stated that the Hungarian Government hoped to be able to make a private arrangement with Serbia for the distribution of the Banat and the country lying west of the Tisza, which would control irrespective of the decision of the Peace Conference.

 

3. It is his opinion, and I think he represents the Government, that Hungary's future access to the sea lies through Serbia and Salonica rather than down through Croatia to Fiume, and it is with the purpose of securing such access that endeavors are now being made to form an alliance with Serbia.

 

4. Incidentally, he stated that he is in receipt of information to the effect that the Italians are doing their utmost to separate the Croats and the Serbs. In this connection, Lieutenant Goodwin[15] told me that the Italians have been asking for the translation into Italian of a good deal of Hungarian Integrity literature.

 

Very respectfully,

Charles M. Storey

 

 

 

Professor Coolidge ordered Lieutenant LeRoy King, then in Belgrade, to Zagreb at the end of February or the beginning of March 1919. King sent his first report to Coolidge from Zagreb on March 6. His last report, numbered 31, was written on May 16. The reports with the enclosures speak for themselves. Like all historical documents, they should be evaluated critically. It is regrettable that King did not get in touch with Stjepan Radić and his collaborators whose party really represented the Croats between two world wars. He rather accepted the views of the governmental circles who minimized the future importance of the Croatian Republican Peasant Party and often spread biased information against Radić. The footnotes tried to indentify the persons mentioned in the reports and correct some erroneously stated facts.

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King lives as a retired lawyer in Newport, Rhode Island, where his family has lived since colonial times. A graduate of Harvard University, Mr. King was in the diplomatic service for two or three years prior to World War I. During the war he served in France in the American Expeditionary Forces. After the war he practiced law, being a member of the New York and Rhode Island Bars. In 1933, Mr. King was appointed by President Roosevelt Director for Rhode Island of the National Emergency Council. He coordinated new agencies and became successively the head of The National Recovery Agency and Federal Housing Administration in Rhode Island. He resigned in 1938.[16]

 

King's reports from Croatia follow hereunder.

 

 

 

Professor A. C. Coolidge to the Commission to Negotiate Peace [17]

 

Vienna, March 16, 1919.

[Received March 19.]

 

Sirs: I have the honor to enclose herewith some reports and annexes sent me from Agram[18] by Lieutenant Leroy King.

 

I beg leave to call attention to the fact that according to Lieutenant King, although ill feeling between Serbians and Croats in Agram seems to be growing, the place at the time when he wrote seemed to be perfectly quiet, contrary to what we have seen in a number of newspaper reports.

 

I have [etc.]

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Report No. 1

General situation.

 

1. Agram is full to overflowing, many people having come here to escape from the Italian occupation in Croatia, Dalmatia and even Slovenia. There is order everywhere; the cafes and streets are full; the food good and plentiful; and much cheaper than in Belgrade or Vienna. The difference between the civilized atmosphere of Agram and Belgrade (which is like a dilapidated caserne) is very striking.

 

2.         Cardinal Bourne[19] arrives here in a day or two, coming from the East via Belgrade; and after a short stay is to proceed to Ljubljana and eventually to Rome. Major Temperley (who tells me he knows you and has lectured at Harvard) the British officer who has been in Jugo-Slavia for six or seven weeks, tells me that the Cardinal's journey through Jugo-Slavia is rather a mystery. He thinks that it has some bearing on church politics here; and that it is not merely a benevolent tour of inspection as announced. He also thinks that the fact he has been suddenly called to Belgrade today may mean that the British authorities do not wish him to be here when the Cardinal arrives. As you know Temperley you will be able to judge the value of his remarks. I have seen him three or four times and he is most friendly and confidential and has shown me several of his despatches. He tells me that the Archbishop of Agram is a "slippery customer".[20]

 

3.         Temperley tells me that he is certain that the French are now working with the Italians and have been in rapprochement with respect to policy in Jugo-Slavia with them for about a month. He wrote thus to London on February 22d. I noticed that, while the French Minister at Belgrade was rather extreme in his criticisms and hints against the Italians, all the French officers I have talked with have been very moderate, have had a tendency to avoid comments on the Italian extravangances and have even explained some of them away. This was particularly true of French officers I talked with on the journey from Belgrade to Agram, and I have never heard a direct criticism of the Italians by any French officers. This change of policy Temperley says is caused by the French fear of Germany, and of the possibility of an Italian understanding with that country. The French seem to be balancing the value of a united and satisfied Jugo-Slavia against the value of a satisfied Italy. They want both, of course, but will have a hard job to get them. I may mention here that the French are not sending their requisitioned ships to the Dalmatian Islands, as are England and the United States. The French forces are also not getting on particularly well with the Serbs in the Banat and near Ragusa [Dubrovnik].

 

4.         The French are quite intrigués about the Carinthian question. I fancy that the Italians, and I know that the Slovenes, have been talking to them about it. A Slovene, Dr. André Druskovic,[21] who is an ardent Jugo-Slav (and a fortiori an extra-ardent Slovene), who has been in Belgrade, talked to me at length tonight and said that Colonel Dosse in Belgrade had said to him that the French would only be too glad to draw a line in Carinthia as they had done in Styria; but that they did not want to interfere with Colonel Miles. The line they would draw (if they drew one at all) would of course be one of "purely military demarcation for the purposes of the armistice". The Slovenes, of course, are wild to have them do it as they hope that such a line would include practically the last Slovenes as was done in Styria. Druskovic spoke of the "Germanization" of the Slovenes that was now going on north of the Drau and said that, if a line was not drawn so as to protect them, they would be quite Germanized by the time the Peace Conference could decide on the final frontier. He also asserted that the Italians were backing the Austrians in Carinthia. I "eased" through the conversation successfully, and was later invited to come to Ljubljana as soon as possible to hear more arguments!

 

Major Temperley says the Slovenes told him that Miles had decided on the line of the Drau but that you had reversed his decision. Temperley laughed and said that he knew this was not true as you would never have let such a thing get out, even if it were true. It is all very entertaining to me who know the Slovene arguments and suspicions backwards and forwards.

 

5.         The French here have not mentioned the Carinthian matter to me. A French officer, Captain Cottier, has gone to Ljubljana to investigate transport conditions, but I know also that he is officier de renseignements [intelligence officer] for Colonel Dosse and is looking the ground over. I have heard nothing more of the French taking control of the frontiers between Austria and Slovenia.

 

I hear that the Italian officers in Ljubljana tried to make an incident out of the fact that the Italian flag was "insulted" in the station at that place. An Allied commission came up from Trieste and found there was nothing in it. (This from a Slovene source).

 

Two or three weeks ago two or three Italian officers were requested to leave a cafe here in Agram, and likewise tried to make an incident out of it.

 

I have seen no Italian officers or soldiers here.

 

6.         The French inform me that a British commission is in Graz. They used the expression "Qu'est-ce qu'ils fichent lá?" [What are they doing there?]

 

L. R. King

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Report No. 2

Political

 

Agram, 7 March, 1919.

 

1. The parties here are:

 

a)         The Serbo-Croat Coalition (Greatly in majority with a large number of delegates in Belgrade.)

It supports the existing provisional government of Jugo-Slavia, and its leader is the Minister of the Interior - a Serbo-Croat.[22]

 

b)         The Starkevitch [Starčević] [23] or Autonomist Party, led by Palovic. [Pavelić] [24]

This originally wished for the autonomy "of Croatia, under the leadership of 'the Serbian Royal House. It has now joined in supporting the existing provisional government, and did so at the opening of parliament, but contains many germs of dissatisfaction, and is rapidly turning into the party of "Constitutional opposition". It is thought here that a great mistake was made in not making its leader Palović [Pavelić] a minister. Temperley thinks that this party, though comparatively small, may cause trouble.

c)         The Reactionaries and Discontended.

Mostly ex-officers of Austrian Army (Jugos by blood) who have been retired because of their political leanings to the old regime; and ex-functionaries of the Austro-Hungarian Government. These have no representation in Parliament of course. But they may cause trouble in connection with other elements later.

 

d)         The Peasants Party. Republican.[25]

This party, led by Radic[26] a brilliant erratic man, has come out frankly for a Republican Jugo-Slavia (not a separate republic of Croatia). I am told that Radic himself has recalled from Belgrade the few deputies of his party who were sent to the Assembly.[27] Radic has stirred up many peasants in Croatia who now follow his republican standard: He tells them that under a republic they will have to pay no taxes, and otherwise excites them. He also makes capital out of any mistakes of the existing government. The peasants have frequently applied what they think are republican principles and have pillaged their richer neighbors to some extent. At present, however, the Peasants Party has had somewhat of a set back owing to the new Agrarian law introduced by the Coalition Party which provides for the redistribution of land, and for the dividing up of the great estates in Croatia. Under it no land holder can own more than 750 acres, consequently many "republican" peasants are today leaning toward the coalition as the latter has definitely promised them something. This is probably temporary.

 

e) The Socialist and Clerical Parties are unimportant in Croatia.

 

2.         The Croatians are not led by the R. C. Priests as are the Slovenes. There is no real clerical party, and little trouble is likely to come between them and the Serbs because of religion. Par contre, of the 22 members of the "Clerical Club" formed at Belgrade by Korvshetz [Korošec][28] three days ago, 19 are Slovenes.

 

3.         Sources of Existing and Future Trouble in Croatia.

 

a) The ex-Austrian officers and functionaries who are passive now; but who spread pessimism and are ready to urge on discontent.

 

b) Certain Jewish and other traders in Agram who are cut off from their former lucrative intercourse with Austria and Hungary.

 

c) The reported presence of agents of Italy, Austria, and Hungary who work among all classes and try to stir up revolt, disunion and pessimism. (I have so far verified no specific case of this evil; though I am assured it exists. It is a sort of "covering clause" which appeals to the suspicious Jugo.)

 

d) Unpopularity of the Serbian Army.

This really exists and is increasing, particularly in the country districts.

 

While the Government officials all take pains to protest ("too well") that the Serbs and Croats are one people, it is absurd to say so. The social "Climate" is quite different. The Serbs are soldier-peasants; the Croats are passive intellectuals in tendency. The Public Prosecutor, from whom one would expect a certain robustness of mind, told me frankly that the Croats had given up struggling against their Magyar oppressors long ago, and had devoted themselves to the arts. This applies, I suppose, to the upper classes. The peasant proprietors are mostly comfortably established and live off their rich soil. I fancy that many of the Serbs who live in Croatia have become somewhat like the Croats.

 

The Serbian Army is now scattered throughout Croatia; and there have been acts of "militarism" which the peasants do not like. Here in Agram one hears many expressions of dislike for the methods of Serbian military administration. These come from real Croats. I can imagine what the ex-Austrian officers, who glare at one in the cafés, must say about the Serbs. This growing unpopularity of the Serbian Army will easily be transformed into dislike of the Serbian people and influence. It is a dislike which already exists to some extent; and Major Temperley agrees with me in thinking it a real danger.

 

There is a sort of "mot d'ordre" going about to praise everything Serbian; but the required praise is not given with conviction. "Jugo-Slavia" provokes enthusiasm; but Serbia lurks beneath the phrase in many minds.

 

4.         The Croats care nothing about Serbian or Slovenian territorial claims as far as I can see. They are the vaguest thinkers and the least politically practical of the Jugos I have yet talked with. I am of course giving a first impression; but I don't think the average educated Croat knows so much about the proposed or claimed frontiers of Jugo-Slavia as does the average Slovene. They are rather distressed about Italy's acts than bitter about them. I have spoken with no Dalmatians yet.[29] Americans are very popular, but one feels this popularity is rather theoretical.

 

Of course most of the political leaders are in Belgrade now.

 

5.         To sum up. There are no visible signs of trouble in Agram. Crowds of people swarm in the streets until late at night without the slightest disturbance. Crowds of students wander peacefully about and mix with soldiers. On "Mardi Gras" the night of the carnival, everybody was throwing confetti about in a very normal gay way; singing and walking to and fro with hardly any policemen or guards to be seen. There may be something brewing, but there was no sign of it.

 

A Serbian general is here with some troops, but the French run the railroad and the people seem to be glad to let them do it. I am told the French are not particularly popular, but this may be because of the numerous Annamite soldiers who do pretty much as they please.

 

Bolshevism does not exist as far as I know at present.

 

L. R. King

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Report No. 3.

Agram, March- 7, 1919.

 

Notes taken from despatches sent to London by Major Temperley, February 2 to 22, 1919.

 

(Report of personal investigation).

Italian policy in occupied territory:

 

1.         This territory comprises the whole of Dalmatia from Zara [Zadar] to Sebenica [Sebenico, Šibenik] and Uain [Knin] and various islands of which the large one are Lesina [Hvar], Lissa [Vis], Curzola [Korčula], and Lagosta [Lastovo].

 

2.         Zara [Zadar]. Population severely coerced and the Croat newspaper strictly censored. There have been deportations and imprisonments of the Jugo-Slav inhabitants and the display of any Jugo-Slav colors forbidden.

 

3.         Sebenico [Šibenik]. This is the residence of the Italian Governor Mitto [Millo]. It is said that 200-300 deportations or imprisonments have taken place; together with severe punishments and intimidation. There is no local Jugo-Slav newspaper here; and none are allowed to be brought in. The telegram sent to Dalmatia by Prince Alexander was not allowed to be read in public. Food is rationed out chiefly in relation to the acquiescence of the people to Italian occupation and martial law is in force. It is alleged that the court officials of Titegno-Streeto [Tijesno] were made to swear allegiance to the King of Italy.

 

4.         Dris [Drniš]-Knin: These districts are very disturbed. 200 inhabitants have fled, and the miners of Siverica [Siverič] have refused to work for the Italians. The population is intimidated by an Italian Brigade at Dris [Drniš] and Knin. Some notables have been deported, and some have fled to Spalato [Split]. Major Temperley himself interviewed a school mistress who had been coerced and had fled over the lines to Sezdovac. Italian officers in Knin on 10 Jan. did not deny facts of situation.

 

It is evident that Italy is attempting to extend her influence to her interpretation of the armistice lines whether occupied de facto at present or not. Documents in Major Temperley's possession show that the Mayor of Wue [Vujević?] had given orders to ex-Austrian soldiers in Sezdavac (in Serbian occupation) to register at Wue; and had also tried to recruit labor at former place. Italians are cutting wood and sending it to Italy. They are making roads and tending to use food distribution as means of Italian propaganda.

 

5.         Trau [Trogir] district: This is much agitated as parts are occupied by Italians and parts by the Jugo-Slavs and peasants are cut off from their natural markets at Trau [Trogir] (unless they receive permits). The whole Trau [Trogir] district is almost solidly Jugo-Slav.

 

6.         On or about 30 January, the Italians ordered that stamped Jugo-Slav currency be not permitted to enter the territory occupied by them.

 

The Islands

 

7.         The population here is more easily coerced; as the islands are remote, and the Italian administration is only under observation from passing ships.

 

8.         Curzola [Korčula]: Out of 23,000 inhabitants but 5% are Italians. There are about 1,400 Italian troops in garrison. At first the Italians tried to conciliate, but this was soon abandoned. Local judges were removed because they refused to work for Italians, and there is now no judicial administration. The Italians have been brutal to population.

 

9.         Lesina [Hvar]: Similar actions have been taken here. Shooting affrays have occurred. The Italian requisition Jugo-Slav school buildings and thus interfere; but have not suppressed any schools. There is no mistaking the atmosphere of freedom in place like Brazza [Brač] (occupied by Serbs) and of fear in Lesina [Hvar]. Spies and gendarmes are everywhere and foreign officers and ships are looked on with greatest suspicion.

 

10.       Lissa [Vis]: A British requisitioned ship, manned by a Jugo-Slav crew, was refused on 6 February, the proper courtesies of the port, and, the Italian commandant's excuses were absurd.

 

11.       It is perhaps worth noting that the French do not send their requisitioned ships to the islands. Indeed since the end of January there has been a conspicuous reproachment [sic] between the French and Italians in policy — especially at Ragusa [Dubrovnik] and Spalato [Split].

 

12.       Ragusa [Dubrovnik]: Relations appear very strained between French and Serbs. There is a distinct tendency on the part of some Ragusans toward separation.

 

13.       Spalato [Split]: Things are more tranquil (20 February). The Italians have given up provoking incidents. Sir Vassic and Commander Barber, U.S.N. [United States Navy], have done much toward this.

 

14.       Montenegro: The country now appears on the whole very quiet. (Feb. 18)

 

Conclusions:

 

a)         The Italian regime is one of intimidation.

b)         Propaganda in Italian interest, as distinguished from Entente interest, is actively pushed.

c)         Certain definite illegalities have been committed.

d)         Italian attitude is unfavorable to interest of Entente and oppresive to population.

e)         Population is greatly excited.

f)          The longer these things go on the worse is the situation. Note: I have paraphrased much of this.

 

L.R.K.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Report No. 4.

Agram, 10 March 1919.

 

From: LeRoy King, 2nd. Lt. U.S,A.

To: Professor A. C. Coolidge.

 

Subject: General Situation.

 

Since sending my report No. 1 on March 7 I have been hearing more and more that the French are building up their raprrochment with the Italians. The Jugoslavs here have told me that they now considered the French somewhat imperialistic. The gist of what they say is that France is afraid of Germany; that she wants and claims the left bank of the Rhine; that she is prepared to support Italian claims on the Adriatic and elsewhere so that Italy and France may mutually support each other on the general basis of obtaining territory for the purpose of protection. France may also not want to risk the possibility of a future Italo-German alliance. The Yugos are discouraged and lay their "last hope" on Mr. Wilson. They are temperamental and easily elated and depressed; and now feel cut off from everywhere. One of their "politicians" who arrived from Paris three days ago reported that things were going badly for the Jugoslavs in Paris, and this has alarmed them. Altogether govern-mental circles are rather blue about the exterior situation. Things within the union are going pretty well.

 

2.         Last evening Dr. Druskovic, a Slovenian who has been trying to find out what we did in Carinthia, and who is a clever and well-informed man, having been until recently one of the under secretaries in the Jugoslav Ministry of the Interior, repeated to me the fear he had with regard to the present French attitude; and said that the French had begun to suggest and advise informally that the Jugoslavs ought to be more conciliatory toward Italy. He said that this developed a few days ago and was of an obvious nature. He did not say how it was being be done; but merely told me the above. I wired you last night (9 March),

 

"Indications here French are unofficially advising Jugoslavs to be conciliatory toward Italy."

 

3.         Druskovic also talked about Carinthia; repeated the Slovenes' desire for an early establishment of a line of armistice; spoke of the strategic weakness of the present line owing to the gap on the Styrian-Carinthian frontier (between the Drave and the west end of the line drawn by the French); asked me to call your attention again to that; and tried to get out of me my "personal opinion" as to where the line in Carinthia ought to go; he also asked if I had gone to Belgrade to see the French, etc. He said that Capt. Cottin [Cottier?], the French officer de renseignments at Laibach [Ljubljana], was going to investigate the Rosenbach tunnel and see what "the Germans had done to the track with their artillery." He also said that Major Temperley was going there at once also, but the latter is now in Belgrade and I doubt it.

 

4.         Here are some of the wild statements that one hears which show distrust of the French: That the French clerical party(?) is working through the Hapsburg remnants in Austria to bring discord into Jugoslavia. That the Italians have bought up the Temps for 30,000,000 frcs.

 

5.         It seems to me at present that the French want first to satisfy Italy; then to unify and strengthen what is left of Jugoslavia. They will probably support to the limit Jugoslav claims where they do not interfere with Italian ones — viz. Carinthia and Styria, particularly as they want to weaken the Germans. The Italians do not, however, want to see the Jugos receive lower Carinthia.

 

6.         Agram seems to be getting more normal and quiet every day. A crowd of students was shouting and singing in the square this morning; but I found out they were Dalmatians making a protest against Italy and cheering for the Union for the benefit of Cardinal Bourne. Agram is a very attractive place and the people hospitable and charming. I have been invited to accept a room in the house of some local Jugoslav aristocracy, and to leave the somewhat primitive hotel; and I get many invitations. There is not the slightest sign that our Carinthian enterprise has made the Jugos suspicious of me or my friendship for them. Druskovic, the Slovenian, has been very friendly and confidential; and has even invited me to go shooting with him in April on the south slopes of the Karawanken.

 

7. There is a strike of bank employees going on. They are asking for shorter hours. This is the only strike I have heard of and involves a very small number of people. Agram is full to overflowing, because of the thousands that have come from Dalmatia, with J. S. [Jugoslav?] troops, French Annamites, etc. The streets are full of all of them, and also of the functionaries of the erstewhile [sic] empire; and of the factory laborers, which latter number about 3,000 — very few considering the population of Agram and its environs. In spite of this mixed, idle crowd the most perfect order and normality prevails. Street cars and electric lights are in normal quantities. Agram shows the effect of the war much less than any city I have seen since leaving Switzerland in January. There has been no disturbance since December 5th when some soldiers with Bolshevik inclinations started a shooting which was over in a few hours.[30]

 

L. R. King.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Report No. 5.

Agram, 10 March 1919.

From: LeRoy King, 2nd., U.S.A.

 

To: Professor A. C. Coolidge.

Subject: Political.

 

1.         I am enclosing herewith (Annex A) a résumé of the political parties in Croatia and Slavonia prepared for me at my request, and explaining their perspective aims and competitive importance. It is very clear and well-done, having been written by Dr. Rogic [Rojc],[31] a former politician in Croatia.

 

2.         Annex B is an account of the political movements and events in Croatia. during the war, the revolution and the succeeding months, up to the present time. It gives the correct dates, etc., and was translated into English for me by Dr. Zoricic,[32] the Public Prosecutor in Agram.

 

3.         Annex C D and E were given to me with the request that I transmit them. The Austrian military documents are interesting as they show the continual opposition of the South Slavs to their rulers during the war, and the position of the Frankien[33] party (proHapsburg) which has ceased now officially to exist.

 

4.         The Frankien party, or the "Croatia for Croatians" party before the war, was opposed to all union with the Serbs or Slovenes, and relied on Hapsburg support. It was always small having only twelve members in Croatian Diet, and when Diet voted for Jugoslav union, it declared itself dissolved. I am told that some of its former members are trying to avoid the complete break-up of the party. Though these elements are not numerous here, they still constitute a source of discord, and ought to be included as a fifth possible cause of trouble in my report No. 2.

 

5.         Signs of centralization of the government of Jugoslavia at Belgrade are numerous. Enquiries about the construction and management of railways in Croatia must now be made directly to Belgrade. All naval officers in Croatia are ordered to Belgrade (to their annoyance as they know how dreary it is). Passports must be sent to Belgrade for their visas. This centralization seems an excellent thing to me as it means the union is being strengthened and the importance of Agram and Laibach [Ljubljana] as political centers is decreased. Also, lots of work can be done in Belgrade as there are no distractions whatsoever.

 

6.         The cause of unemployment in the factories is the lack of materials and machines. Nothing is imported, and the whole economic life has been upset so far as manufacturing goes. Luckily there are very few factories in Croatia and Slavonia; and the peasants still raise their produce, although they show a tendency to work merely for their own needs and not to send very much to market.

 

7.         Druskovic says that Slovenes are getting appointed to many of the minor governmental jobs in Belgrade. I am not surprised as they are the most politically awake of the Jugos and their average education is the highest. Dr. Zoricic [Zoričič] said today (jokingly but truly) that the Slovenes were sharp and good political intriguers, and that the Croats teased them about this.

 

 

Agram, 10 March 1919.

 

Memorandum for A. C. Coolidge, Esq.

 

List of Enclosures.

 

Annex AB. Resume of Political events in Croatia during the war and since the revolution. Prepared at my request by Dr. Loricic [Zoričič].[34]

 

Annex AB. Resume of political parties in Croatia and Slavonia. Prepared for me by Dr. Rojic [Rojc] and showing the aims of each at the present time.[35]

 

Annex C. Memorandum on Austrian-Hungarian policy toward South South Slavs during the war. (Food restrictions)

 

Annex D. Text of the agreement concluded at the Congress of Rome, 10 April 1918.[36]

 

Annex E. Copies of Austro-Hungarian military documents at Agram after the revolution, and showing the policy of that government and the feelings of the South Slavs.[37]

 

Note: C. D. and E. are transmitted at the request of the authorities in Agram.

 

Also: Under separate cover, copies of a pamphlet setting forth Croatian claims to the Adriatic Littoral which I have been urged to send to Paris for distribution.[38] The Jugos say that they have been trying to get soiree copies through but that the French couriers do not consider it official. I am sending them to you to send on to Paris if you so wish. This pamphlet is a careful study.

 

 

 

[Annex A]

Parties politiques en Croatie et Slavonie[39]

 

1. La Coalition Croato-Serbe. Expression de l'idéal d'union de tous les Serbes, Croates et Slovènes, de l'indépendance des Yougoslaves, faisant suite au programme des "Illyriens" et de Strossmayer, a, en dernier lieu, combattu la politique des Habsburgs. (Résolution de Fiume).

 

Pour la maîtriser, l'Autriche-Hongrie a annulé la constitution et a regné en Croatie-Slavonie à l'aide des commissaires, ce qui a eu comme suite trois attentats contre les commissaires. Au premier on a tué le secretaire du commissaire et un gardien de la paix, le deuxième a couté la vie à l'agresseur et au troisième (1913.) le commissaire a été blessé à la main.

 

Forcé pa ces faits l'Autriche-Hongrie ceda et à la fin du mois de decembre 1913. on en vint aux éléctions generales, à la suite de lequelles la coalition Croato-Serbe obtint la majorité absolue. (50 députés).

 

Pendant le guerre on a interdit le journal "Pokret", 1'organ de la coalition Croato-Serbe (Majorité du "Sabor" — Parlament Croate) expressement parce qu'il inserait des articles ententophiles, les députés Šurmin, Wilder, Medaković, Popović, Pribićević, Jović et d'autres étaient persecutés.

 

La coalition Croato-Serbe c'est adressé au roi en 1917. demandant l'union des Yougoslaves — évidemment sous la couronne de St. Etienne, comme c'était le seul moyen de discuter en diète sans la faire dissoudre.

 

La Coalition Croato-Serbe a à l'égard de 1a Serbie des sentiments les plus sincères et devouées et a accepté la dynastie Serbe sans discuter. Dèjá en 1903 au couronnement du roi Pierre presque toutes les corporations croates y étaient, ce qui a donné lieu à maintes poursuites à leur égard à leur retour.

 

La Coalition Croato-Serbe désire une nation forte Yougoslave avec de nombreuses bases pour son dévelopement et elle désire aux pouvoirs d'état leur entière concentration en un seul gouvernement pour l'état entier, mais avec une administration decentralisée.

 

A la Coalition Croato-Serbe la France était la plus proche de toutes les puissances de l'Entente par sa culture et sa littérature, pendant qu'avec l'Angleterre les rélations étaient moins frequantes, mais tous se rappellent avec gratitude du travail objectif de Scotus Viator (Mr. Seton Watson), dont les livres, combattant tout pessimisme au temps sombre de la persécution Austro-Hongroise étaient lus en secret. De meme on était réconnaissant à Mr. Steed pour les sympathies demontrées envers les Yougoslaves. Aussi proche était l'Amerique vu les rélations avec la Croatie en raison de grande émigration et par le rapport des nos gens entre la patrie et l'Amerique. La Croatie détestait l'Italie parce que oppressée économiquement et politiquement par l'administration autrichienne en faveur de l'Italie et de la population Italienne peu nombreuse (clause sur les vins,[40] langue officielle italienne au coeur de la population Croate etc.)

 

Dans la Coalition Croato-Serbe un groupe s'est formé: Dr Lorković et Dr Šurmin, lesquels ayant à Zagreb peu d'adhérents en ont encore moins en province. Ce grouppe diffère de la Coalition Croato-Serbe en se sens qu'il désire une forme plutôt féderative de l'état unifié Yougoslave.

 

2. Le parti Starčević, (en diète croate 12 députés) est minoritaire dans le peuple et dans la diète. Ce parti, ne reconnaissant pas le nom Serbe en Croatie-Slavonie, a demandé la reconstitution d'un état seulement "Croate", base sur le droit étatic Croate. Pendant les guerres balcaniques ce parti a commencé la politique du rapprochement avec les Serbes et en 1917, par une déclaration en diète, il a pris pour principe l'unité du peuple Croate, Serbe et Slovène, avec but l'union en un état indépendent. Par cet acte il c'est rapproché beaucoup de la Coalition. Croato-Serbe et il diffère principalement en ce qu'il demande maintenant la plus grande autonomie administrative et legislative pour les differents departements, arondés [sic] selon les besoins économiques et culturelles. A l'égard des Serbes et de la dynastie Serbe le parti a adopté une attitude chalereuse et a cessé dès les premiers jours après l'union la progande entammée [sic] en faveur d'un gouvernment républicain, ne voulant pas être un obstacle à l'union avec la Serbie monarchiste.

 

Le parti Starčević est sincèrement devoué à l'Entente, son principal organ "le Croate" (Hrvat) a été suspendu dès les début de la guerre en raison des ses articles ententophiles. En qualité de minorité irresponsible de la diète (sabor) il lui était possible entreprendre et il a entrepris la préparation de la révolution constitutionelle à laquelle la Coalition s'est joint au bon moment; ce dernier parti, de concert avec le parti Starčević, c'est masqué afin de pouvoir conserver jusqu'au dernier moment le pouvoir et a épargner de cette façon au pays et aux notables des cruelles persecutions.

 

Le parti Starčević, par son dévelopment depuis 1917 et par son travail en ces temps derniers, considérablement accru son autorité en Croatie-Slavonie, mais il est probable qu'au cours d'élections il n'obtiendrait pas une majorité absolue.

 

3.         Parti du pur droit Croate, (les Frankiens) a radicalement pris part pour le point de vue Croate sans s'occuper des Slovènes et Serbes, en s'appuyant sur les Habsburgs et leur armée. A la séance du sabor (diète) du 29. octobre 1918 après la proclamation de la séparation de l'Autriche-Hongrie et l'union avec la Serbie, pour laquelle il a également voté, le club diètal de ce parti a declaré que ce parti se dissolvait. Malgré cela ce parti tente encore d'éviter la dispersion complète mais cela ne lui réussira pas. Il avait 12 members à la diète. Devoué aux Habsburgs il n'a jamais été ententophile et naturellement ni serbophile ni favorable à la dynastie Serbe.

 

4.         Le parti paysan croate (parti de Mr. Radić) change ses programmes selon les interets du parti momentanés sans considéràtion pour le passé et sans pénétration de l'avenir. Mr. Radić, president, chef et travailleur du parti, est un homme très doué, très cultivé et documenté, très bon écrivain populaire, orateur et haranguer. L'instabilité du programme et de l'orientation du parti provient de son tempérament. Il y a encore peu de temps il était "Cesarovac" (à savoir Kaiseriste dans le sens autrichien) et "Habsburgiste", puis immédiatement ensuite il est devenu républicain ententiste, avec une telle rapidité, que l'on serait disposé a penser qu'il poursuivait les dex but à la fois – il vante les Habsburgs, il compose même un hymne aux Habsburgs et le publie dans son journal, puis ensuite les accable grossièrement.

 

Actuellment il est républicain, il est probable qu'il pense de cette manière gagner au détriment des autres partis des partisans et électeurs qui ne sont pas encore à même de s'orienter et qui sont saturés d'idées vagues issues de la guerre sur le républicanisme, le bolchevisme et sur la liberté sans bornes.

 

Si l'on ne s'occupe pas sérieusement à éclairer le peuple sur la situation politique réelle, il est capable d'être nuisible à la nation, quoique ce parti ne comptait au sabor que 3 députés.

 

A la suite de la dispersion du club saborial de Frankiens, deux ou trois députés sont passés de ce club au parti paysan. Par le fait de leur adhération le parti ne peut être consideré plus puissant et ils ne pouront rien modifier dans le parti.

 

Radić, et par conséquence son parti paysan a été pro-Serbe et Serbophobe, pour la dynastie Serbe et contre elle, pour la Russie et contre elle, pour les Habsburgs et pour l'Entente.

 

En outre Radić a voté pour l'union avec la Serbie, il revendique uniquement la formation d'un état républicain et une autonomie très large pour les diverses provinces.

 

5.         Le parti socialiste n'avait aucun delegué au sabor, vu qu'il a trouvé ses adhérents presque sans exception parmi les ouvriers, qui ne sont pas nombreux en Croatie, l'industrie étant très peu developpée.

 

En raison des luttes sociales, engagées après la guerre, le nombre de socialistes s'agrandit par des partisans en dehors de la classe ouvrière. Chez nous les socialistes ne sont pas anationaux. L'influence des socialistes à propos du developpement de notre état sera basée plutôt sur la force du mouvement socialiste à l'extérieur que sur la force de leur organisation au pays.

 

6.         L'ancien parti unioniste[41] a été dispersé en 1906 par la Coalition Croato-Serbe; a partir de ce moment il a cesse d'exister comme parti.

 

Les tentations du Ban Tomašić, Rauch, Cuvaj et Skerlecz de reconstituer ce parti n'ont pas réussi. A la diète de 1913 douze ont obtenu des mandates non comme représentants du parti unioniste, mais en raison des personnages. Ceux-ci ont également voté pour notre separation de l'Autriche-Hongrie et l'union avec la Serbie.

 

 

[Editor's translation:]

 

Political Parties in Croatia and Slavonia

 

1. The Croato-Serbian Coalition. It is an expression of an ideal union of all the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, and of the independence of the Yugoslavs. Being a continuation of the Illyrian and Strossmayer's programs, last of all it fought against the Habsburg policy (The Resolution of Rijeka).

 

For reason of control, Austria-Hungary set aside the constitution and ruled Croatia-Slavonia by the commissaries which had as a consequence, three attempts on the commissaries' lives. The secretary of the commissary and a policeman were killed in the first attempt, the aggressor paid with his life on the second attempt, and the commissary was hurt in the hand in the third attempt (1913).

 

Forced by these events, Austria-Hungary gave up and the general elections came along at the end of December 1913. Following the elections the Croato-Serbian Coalition obtained the absolute majority [in the Croatian diet] (50 deputies).

 

During the war the newspaper Pokret, the organ of the Croato-Serbian Coalition (majority in the Sabor — Croatian Parliament) was prohibited expressly for inserting Ententophile articles. Deputies Šurmin, Wilder, Medaković, Popović, Jović and others were persecuted.

 

The Croato-Serbian Coalition addressed the King in 1917, demanding the union of the Yugoslavs — evidently under the crown of St. Stephen, as that was the only way to discuss in the diet without causing its dissolution.

 

Regarding Serbia, the Croato-Serbian Coalition had the most sincere and devoted feelings and accepted the Serbian dynasty without discussion. Already in 1903 during the coronation of King Peter [of Serbia], almost all Croatian societies were there which gave rise to many persecutions with respect to them by their return.

 

The Croato-Serbian Coalition desires a strong Yugoslav nation with manifold foundations for her development. With regard to state powers it desires their entire concentration in a single government for the entire state but with a decentralized administration.

 

Of all the Entente powers, France was the closest power to the Croato-Serbian Coalition by her culture and literature while the relations with England were less frequent. However all remember with gratitude the work of Scotus Viator (Mr. Seton Watson) whose books, fighting against any pessimism during the dark time of Austro-Hungarian persecution, were read in secret. Likewise it should be acknowledged to Mr. Steed for the sympathies shown towards Yugoslavs. America was also close [to the Coalition] considering the relations with Croatia with regard to a large immigration and to the intercourse of our people in the fatherland and America. Croatia detested Italy because she was oppressed by Austrian administration economically and politically in favor of Italy and a small Italian minority (the wine clause,[42] Italian as the official language in the midst of a Croatian population etc.).

 

In the Croato-Serbian Coalition a group is formed: Dr. Lorković and Dr. Šurmin[43] who have few adherents in Zagreb and even less in the country. This group differs from the Croato-Serbian Coalition to the effect that it desires rather a federative form of the united Yugoslavs state.

 

2.         The Starčević Party (12 deputies in the Croatian diet) is a minority party among the people and in the diet. This party did not recognize the Serbian name in Croatia-Slavonia and demanded the reestablishment of an exclusive Croatian state based upon the Croatian state right. During the Balkan Wars this party started a policy of reconciliation with the Serbs and, according to a declaration in the diet in 1917, it took up the principle of the unity of Croatian, Serbian, and Slovene people with the aim to unite in an independent state. By this act, it is brought much closer to the Croato-Serbian Coalition. It differs from the Coalition mainly that it now demands the largest administrative and legislative autonomy for different provinces, organized only upon the economic and cultural needs. With regard to the Serbs and Serbian dynasty, the party adopted a cordial attitude. During the first days after [the proclamation of] the union it stopped the starting propaganda in favor of a republican govern-ment, not willing to be an obstacle to the union with the monarchist Serbs.

 

The Starčević Party is devoted to the Entente sincerely. Its principal newspaper Hrvat (Croat) was suspended at the beginning of the war owing to its Ententophile articles. Being an irresponsible minority in the diet, the party was in a position to undertake and it undertook the preparation for a constitutional revolution, to which the Coalition joined at an adequate moment. The latter party, in agreement with the Starčević Party, concealed that in order to preserve power to the last moment and in that way it spared the cruel persecutions to the country and notable persons.

 

By its development since 1917 and by its work during recent time, the Starčević Party considerably increased its authority in Croatia-Slavonia. However it is probable that it would not obtain an absolute majority in the elections.

 

3.         The Croatian Pure Party of Right (the Frankists) is radically for a Croatian point of view, disregarding the Slovenes and Serbs, and depending on the Habsburgs and their army. In the diet session on October 29, 1918, after the proclamation of the separation from Austria-Hungary and the union with Serbia, for which the party also voted, the diet club of the party declared that the party was dissolved. Yet the party still attempts to avoid a complete dispersion but it will fail. It had 12 deputies in the diet. Devoted to the Habsburgs, it was never Ententophile and naturally neither Serbophile nor favorable to the Serbian dynasty.

 

4.         The Croatian Peasant Party (Mr. Radić's party) changes its programs only for the temporary interests of the party without consideration for the past and without an insight of the future. Mr. Radić, president, chief, and worker of the party, is a very gifted, very cultured and learned man, a very good popular writer, orator, and haranguer. The instability of the program and the orientation of the party derives from his temperament. A short time ago he was for the Emperor, for the Habsburgs, then immediately afterwards he became an Ententophile republican with such a rapidity that one would be disposed to think that he pursued two aims at the time. He praised the Habsburgs. He himself composed an ode in honor of the Habsburgs and published it in his newspaper, then afterwards he attacked them rudely.

 

At the present time he is a republican. It is likely that he thinks thus, to the detriment of other parties, to gain followers and voters who are not still oriented and who are saturated with vague ideas, emanated during the war, about republicanism, bolshevism, and boundless freedom.

 

If other people do not engage themselves seriously to explain to the people the real political situation, he will be capable of being harmful to the nation although the party counted only 3 deputies in the sabor [diet].

 

Following the dispersion of the Frankist diet club, two or three deputies of this club joined the club of the peasant party. By the fact of their adherence, the party could not be considered more powerful and they could not modify anything in the party.

 

Radić, and consequently his peasant party, was pro-Serbian and Serbophobe, for the Serbian dynasty and against it, for Russia and against her, for the Habsburgs and for the Entente.

 

Moreover Radić voted for the union with Serbia. He demanded solely the formation of a republican state and a very large autonomy for the diverse provinces.

 

5.         The Socialiste Party did not have any deputy in the sabor [diet], in view of the fact that it found its adherents almost without exception among the workers who are not numerous in Croatia, because industry is slightly developed.

 

Because of social struggles, starting after the war, the number of the Socialists is increased by the partisans outside the working class. Our Socialists are not unnational. The influence of the Socialists with the regard to the development of our state will be based rather upon the force of the Socialist movement abroad than upon the force of their organization in the country.

 

6. The old unionist party[44] was dispersed by the Croato-Serbian Coalition in 1906. From that moment it ceased to exist as a party.

 

The attempts of Ban Tomašìć, Rauch, Cuvaj, and Skerlecz to reconstitute the party failed. In the diet of 1913, a dozen persons obtained the mandates not as the representative of the unionist party but by reason of their personal distinction. They also voted for our separation from Austria-Hungary and the union with Serbia.

 

 

 

Annex B [Political Events in Croatia During the War and Since the Revolution]

Agram, March 10

 

Dr. Schlegel,[45]

President, Croatian Press Association

 

The proclamation of war to Serbia was the cause to a great depression in all Yougoslav countries of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy. In the very moment Croatia was governed by the Ban Skerlecz and Bosnia and Hercegovina by the austrian [sic] general Potiorek. In Dalmatia governed count Attems but in fact it was under military rule.

 

The situation at the above mentioned moment was characterized by the following facts: The Ban baron Skerlecz invited the president of the Croatian Press Association Mr. Schlegel in order to give him directions concerning the writing of the Croatian press. Mr. Schlegel declared the war against Serbia was considered in Croatia as fratricide war and therefore the government could not expect the Croatian press to excite masses against Serbia. Baron Skerlecz took this information with remark that all he would claim from the Croatian press was not to write against the central powers. In fact all the newspapers at this period were full of favorable items for the Allies and of unfavorables for the central powers, so that in a brief course of time a special censure had to be introduced especially for newspapers published at Zagreb. This kind of censure did not exist in other parts of the monarchy.

 

When Russia, France and England entered in the world war the selfconsciousness amidst the Yougoslavic intelligence in our countries rose automatically. The battle on the Marne, Russian successes in Galicia and especially the Serbian victory at Arangjelovac (December 1914) caused general enthusiasm here. At this period the military commander of Zagreb Scheure brought in many secret reports in which he states literally: "The town of Zagreb is entirely undermined with high treason. Always when there are roumours spreading at Zagreb telling news about some failures of central powers armies, I see in the streets of the town only cheerful and sneering faces. On the contrary when there are news about our victories, these faces are sad and mournful."

 

In spite of innumerable arrests and searchings of houses, in spite of innumerable hangings and shootings of our people in Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina and Dalmatia[46] the population at Zagreb was at this period in splendid spirits owing to the fact everybody believed firmly in the victory of the Allies. Only after the battle of Gorlice and after the retreat of the Russian armies a general depression arose until Italy's joining the Allied powers allowed the old optimism to reappear. But when after a short time the Yougoslavs were informed that Italy was claiming Yougoslavic territories (Austria was in a hurry to publish it) the moral depression of the Southern Slav lands of the monarchy reached its summit. At this time it was everybody's conviction that our frontier towards Italy should be heroically defended and no opportunity should be given to Italy to claim the Yougoslavic territories on the future peace conference as conquered by force of arms. At this moment nobody could even image [imagine] the arrangement of international relations and especially the protection of small nations could take the form proposed later by President Wilson.

 

Meanwhile the Yougoslavic committee at Genève succeeded in smuggling to Croatia news about the pact of Rome. Its resolutions — stating that every nation has the right to form its own national state, that the union and independence of the Yougoslavic nation is of vital interest for Italy, further that mutual relations and territorial claims should be arranged in a friendly manner on the base of the principle of peoples right of selfdetermination, and finally that to national minorities, existing within the frontiers of the other state, their own language, the development of their own culture, moral and economic interests must be guaranteed — caused a general rising of spirits so that the patriotic intelligence tried to inform of the change of conditions our soldiers on the Italian front. But the front was well watched the carrying out of this scheme was very difficult and of long duration. On account of the pact of Rome everybody considered Italy's exagerated [sic] claims on Yougoslavic territories set aside so that there would be no further necessity of our men fighting the Italian army.

 

Already from the beginning of this war our non commissioned officers tried to persuade Yougoslavic soldiers to surrender themselves voluntarily to the Serbs and Russians. Only in Russia there were over 250.000 Yougoslavic prisoners. This propaganda increased continually. Yugoslavic physicians recruited less and less men and sent them to hospitals, where they were kept as long as possible. The non commissioned Yougoslavic officers allowed permissions and sent soldiers home, where from they scarcely returned, our gendarms did not pursue runaway soldiers, the number of which continually increased, our newspapers spread "defaitisme" and rose the conviction in Allied powers final victory. The military commander of Zagreb informed Vienna government as follows: "The articles and war news in Croatian newspapers are composed in a manner that would let you estime [sic] they were Entente newspapers". The Russian revolution and its development caused new sorrows in Yougoslavic lands, but America's joining the war formed a final and unabated certainty the Allies must carry of the victory, especially if the Slav Nations of Austria-Hungary succeed in demoralizing and disorganizing the Austrian army.

 

Yougoslavic soldiers deserted in an increasing number the front. In the winter of 1917, there were more than 10.000 deserters in the large forests of the country. In the Austrian navy the Yougoslavic seamen organized a revolutionary committee which twice prepared mutinies. After the death of Francis Joseph the government pressure yielded to a certain point and the declaration of the Yougoslavic block of deputies in the Vienna parliament, proclaiming on the 30th of May 1918 [1917] as its program the national unity of all Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, was the cause the unique exclusivistic Croat party of Starčević accepted this program of the union of all S. H. S. [Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes] in one state.

 

When count Tisza fell in Hungary, the governor (Ban) of Croatia baron Skerlecz was removed too: His passivity concerning the Yougoslav movement had a great deal been useful to the accelerated disorganization of the monarchy. The government in Croatia and Slavonia was taken in hand by the Croato-Serb coalition with Ban Mihalovich on its head. This government made the action of disorganizing still more possible. The number of deserters had grown only in Croatia to an extent of nearly 50.000 men. (The so called "green cadre"). The newspapers wrote from day to day more in favour of the Allies so that count Czernin declared to the Ban Mihalovich: "The Croat papers write as if they were published in Paris or London. This is open enmity against the monarchy."

 

On account of the Pact of Rome it was possible to change the spirit of a great deal of Yougoslavic soldiers on the Italian front, and to make all preparations for its opening to the Italians. The military command of the Italian front asked the provincial Croat government to send more food to the front, but was refused under pretext food was wanting in Croatia. The emperor Charles remarked himself to the Ban Mihalovich: "My generals complain of your not sending them enough food for the army and that Croatia starves it on purpose." Everywhere in the country secret associations and revolutionary organisations arose with the sole task to arrange insurrection on a certain signal. Politicians prepared a block of parties under the name of "National Council", which was intended to lead the revolutionary movement by claiming the Union of all Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in one independent state with no regards to the existing frontiers of state and province.

 

The final realization of the "National Council" was accelerated by the break-down of the Macedonian front of the central powers, in which a remarkable share was taken by the Yougoslavic legions, composed of volunteers deserted from Austrian Yougoslavic provinces.

 

Already on the 19th of October 1918 the National Council published a proclamation claiming the union of all Yougoslavs in and outside the A. Hung. [Austro-Hungarian] monarchy in one and independent state. The first powerful blow to the existence of the monarchy was thus struck by the Yougoslavs. (A similar Czech proclamation was published on the 20th of October; other nationalities did it still later). On the 21st of October Mr. Wilson's renowned reply to the Austro-Hungarian note was published at Zagreb. It declared the Czecho-Slovak and Yugoslavs free to decide how they wanted to settle their relations towards the monarchy. As soon as Mr. Wilson's reply was published in the newspapers, the city of Zagreb was full of flags and big masses of people were passing in the streets acclaiming Mr. Wilson, Serbia, the Allies and Yougoslavia, deriding Austria and Hungary, and the Habsburg dynasty. On the 22nd of October there, were more than 30.000 manifestants in the streets of Zagreb claiming union with their brethern. On the square of St. Mark they took an oath to carry out this union.

 

The general in command of Zagreb informed Vienna of the revolution and asked for help. Meanwhile the Croat regiment numb. 25. at Zagreb (the cadre of the regiment, about 4000 men) was standing under arms and prepared to fight the troops which the general in command of Zagreb could possibly send against the Croat diet, convocated in those days. The session of the diet was opened on the 29th of October 1918 and amidst unspeakable enthusiasm the independence of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia from Austria-Hungary, the same as their union with Serbia was proclaimed. This proclamation was joined by the deputies present from the Slovene provinces and from Istria, Bosnia and Hercegovina.

 

The government of Vienna — faute de mieux — took notice of this separation and the whole A. Hung. [Austro-Hungarian] navy was handed over to the National Council by the A. Hungarian minister of war. At this time the navy in fact was already in the power of the National Council, as the Yougoslavic seamen had revolted and ex-pulsed [expelled] the non-Slav officers.

 

These events produced consequences also on the Italian front. Many Yugoslavic and Czech troops declared not to fight any more against the Allies and on the 24th of October the reserves began to move homewards. This was done by a great deal of the 36. division (Croats), Slovene parts of the 44. division and by the 12 cavallery regiment (Croats). The reinforcements of the infantry regiments numb. 16 and 53 (Croats) which ought to be sent by railroad to the battle-field (in the direction of the Island Papadopoli — railway station Susegana — to the east of Montello) began to move backwards to Zagreb, while the greater part of the Croatian regiment numb. 78 and three Czech regiments refused obedience on the battle field. At the same time Croat infantry regiments numb. 96 and 135 revolted and together with Czech troops opened the front to the Italians.

 

The situation in Tyrol was similar. One brigade, composed of the infantry regiments numb. 25 and 26 (Croats) and two regiments from Bosnia refused to obey and to go to the battlefield declaring not to be willing to fight French troops. They went back to Tolbach.

 

All these facts happened before the armistice between the Allies and the A. H. [Austro-Hungarian] monarchy was signed. Thus when the monarchy agreed to hand over to the Allies the Austro-Hungarian navy, it was disposing with a navy which was no more in Austrian possession. The monarchy had done [that] on the sole purpose to sow the, seed of enmity between Italy and Yugoslavia. Austria-Hungary signed the armistice when in reality the monarchy existed no more, her existence being annihilated by the proclamation of the new independent states.

 

At the above mentioned session of the Croat diet on the 29th of October 1918 when the independence of all Yougoslavs and their union with the Serbia was proclaimed, all the sovereign powers, which up to this moment were in hands of the emperor Charles, were by an unanimous resolution of the diet transferred to the National Council. Of all these facts the National Council informed by wireless messages the Allies and the Yougoslav committee at London and Genève. It is evident these news were intentionally stopped by an unkown power (Italy?), though they were repeatedly wired. On ac-count of that fact the Allies had not been informed of all these events when they signed the armistice.

 

Meanwhile the National Council at Zagreb resolved on the union of all Yougoslavs in one united state with Serbia and Montenegro, under the national dynasty of Karagjorgjević and on a basis of democratic structure of the state. This resolution was handed over in an address to the prince-regent Alexandre on the first of December 1918. for which purpose all members of the National Council corporatively came to Belgrade.[47] The prince-regent of Serbia expressed in his answer to the address that he accepts the resolution with deep joy and he proclaimed the union of Serbia with all the provinces of the independent state of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, which had been founded of the Yougoslavic territories of the A. H. [Austro-Hungarian] monarchy.

 

Some days after the Skupština (parliament) of the Serbian kingdom met and by the unanimous resolution accepted enthusiastically the declaration of the prince-regent, confirming at the same time the act of union of all Southern Slavs of the former monarchy with the kingdom of Serbia in one and united state, the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.

 

Immediately afterwards a united government was appointed and a combined cabinet was formed, consisting of politicians from all the territory of the new state and out of all important Serb, Croat and Slovene parties. Owing to difficulties appearing at this very time the prince-regent could not notify the appointment of the new govern-ment before the 6th of January.

 

In the unified state of S.H.S. [Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes] the situation is the following one: All the parties on the whole territory of the state, one excepted (Radić — the Croat peasant party) desire and claim one unified state under rule of the dynasty of Karagjorgjević. The Croat peasant party plans to form a Croat republic and an Alliance with republics of Serbs and Bulgars. This party claims only very poor success in some counties of upper Croatia, but in the remaining counties and provinces it has no adherents.

 

The differences among the other "monarchist" parties are to be seen only in the point of view in the matter of interior administration. The question is: is it to be a centralistic state with decentralized ad-ministration (like England) or is it to be founded on federalism (with several provincial parliaments).

 

As concerns Italy and Romania all these parties stsknd on the same point of view i. e. all territories where Yougoslavs live in majority and in compact masses are claimed to belong to Yougoslavia. In cases of contests a plebiscite under international control or American arbitration is desired.

 

In the former kingdom of Serbia there are several political parties with old political platforms and before-war orientation. A new political orientation is already seen and all parties try to find new platforms conforming to the common interest of the whole state and the new and by far more important situation. The Yougoslav democratic party was newly founded in which already 90 members of the State Council are assembled and which will probably soon become the majority of the State Council of today.

 

 

[Annex C — Food restrictions.]

 

Shortly after the beginning of the war food difficulties arose in the Austrian part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. The most fertile Austrian province Galicia was invaded by Russian troops and therefore no more able to supply with cereal and meat the German and Southern Slav provinces of Austria, which never produced enough food for their want.

 

In Hungary (Croatia and Slavonia included) the production of cereals surpassed the want and so it was Hungary who had to supply the army and moreover to export to Austria.

 

The Austrian government naturally did all possible to procure food to the German provinces even at the cost of Southern Slavs, who in the monarchy were always citizens of third degree. So it came that in the German provinces every person got six kilograms of meal monthly, whilst f. i. [for instance] in Bosnia only two kilograms were distributed.

 

It was a double stroke of German policy as firstly the German population was saved from starvation and secondly the Slavs, dying for want of food, were making place for the future German expansions in the southern provinces.

 

In Croatia and Slavonia there was a great deal of food, so it is but natural the autonomous government and the population wanted to help their brethern in the Austrian Southern Slav provinces. But the Hungarian food-controller interposed: the Austrian frontiers were watched and export of food to Austrian provinces was to be directed chiefly by orders from Budapest to German Austria and for the Army. The supplying of the much nearer Yougoslav provinces was impeded and made practically impossible.

 

Anyhow much food was smuggled especially to Bosnia, but all smuggling could not prevent the starvation being worse from year to year, so that many thousands of people were starved to death. (Near Doboj in Bosnia there is a churchyard with more than thousand graves of starved people.)

 

At this time of need an idea was popularized: if we are not allowed to export food to our brethern, we can import their children and save them from starvation.

 

A special committee was formed at Zagreb and thousands of children in the age of 5-15 years from the most needy parts of Istria, Dalmatia, Carniola, Bosnia and Hercegovina were brought to Croatia and especially to the richer Slavonia, where they were provided with clothes and given in charge of wealthy peasants, who took them gratuitously. Most of the children are already sent home. The following official figures will show the state of things at the end of December 1918:

 

 

 

Where the children came from

They were by birth

Total

Croats

Serbs

Slovenes

Istria

2081

--

--

2081

Dalmatia

1507

133

--

1640

Bosnia and Hercegovina

4891

7215

--

12106

Carniola

--

--

491

491

Total

8479

7348

491

16318

 

 

The Bosnian mussulmans (Croats and Serbs), having very rigid religious rules for preparing food, refused for a long time to send their children to Christians, and only after there was provided for special cooking under control of a mussulman priest, 157 mussulman children were sent to the city of Vinkovci in Slavonia.

 

As yet it is not possible to send home the children from Istria and a great part of Dalmatia because of the Italian invasion.

 

The Croatian committee at Zagreb mediated moreover the placement of some thousands of children in the Banat and the Bačka.

 

 

Agram, March 6, 1919. Transmitted by the Croatians

Occupation of Istria by Italy! [48]

 

Turning to account the favourable state of things on the battlefield at the end of October 1918, attendant on the breaking of the Austro-Hungarian troops which was brought about by the steadfast and deliberate revolutionary agency [agitation] of two elements from within, the Czechs and the Yougoslavs, Italy made a truce with the commander-in-chief of the late Austro-Hungarian army, but protracted the concluding of it with the object to make the most of it. By this truce the London Treaty was realized for Italy, for the Austro-Hungarian General Staff with the assent of the German and Hungarian governments and of the sovereign wanted to save the German and Hungarian provinces to the disadvantage of the Yugoslavs.

 

After the 29th of October 1918 the Yugoslavs of the late Austro-Hungarian monarchy declared their independence and union. Their national council at Zagreb proclaimed itself a sovereign authority for all the Yougoslavic provinces on the territory of the late dual monarchy; took in hand from the Austrian and Hungarian authorities all the executive i. e. the administrative and military power. Exercising this power, the National Council at Zagreb ordered the commandants of various troops on the southern front of the monarchy to cease the hostilities since Yougoslavia considered herself a friend of the Allies. From the first of November 1918 the whole Austro-Hungarian army began to return home in disorder and without any special command, throwing away their arms and suffering the troops of the Allies and especially those of Italy to advance and even welcoming them.

 

In the meantime Italy continued negotiating with the represent-atives of the General Staff of the overthrown monarchy, although these representatives had already no one behind them in whose name they could negotiate. This fact was well known to Italy, but she did not mind it having in view only the realisation of her "sacred egoism" and her dreams of the Adriatic Sea.

 

Istria and Trieste were also in the possession of Yougoslavia from the first of November 1918. In Trieste the National Italo-Yougoslavic committee had taken in its hands the authority. In all places of Istria the National Council at Zagreb had appointed civic functionaries, which succeeded to the office and duties of Austrian authorities and officials. A Commissioner for Istria was appointed by the same council to govern the whole province.

 

Yougoslavia had possessed herself of the naval ports of Pola and Lošinj already on the 31st of October 1918.

 

Italy making the most of the opportunity offering itself by the dissolving state of the Austro-Hungarian army, recognized the nascent state of things, which had found its expression in the realization of the Yougoslavia, only in so far as it was to her advantage. Accordingly in the name of the Allies she accepted the invitation of the National Committee at Trieste to send there the ships of the Allies to maintain order and peace. The torpedo-boat of the Yougoslavic Navy No. 3 was sent to Venice on November 1st with the order to invite the navy of the Allies to Trieste, and on her return she even led the way to the Italian navy into the mined harbour of Trieste.

 

The National Committee of Pola invited the navy of the Allies and the United States of America to enter Pola for the maintenance of peace and order. The Yougoslavic navy conducted the Italian navy into the naval port of Pola into which that navy entered in the name of the Allies and the United States of America hailing Yougoslavia and welcomed on part of the Yougoslavic sailors by the cries "Allies for ever", "Italy for ever"! But the Italians made also use of the following trick: They entered the harbour of Little Lošinj, the Yougoslavic garrison having opened them the harbour and shown them the way unobstructed by the mines which defended the entrance of the harbour.

 

That happened on the 4th of October [November] 1918 at a quarter past one in the afternoon; whereas the truce with the over-thrown monarchy became valid at 3 o'clock in the afternoon of the same day. Therefore Italy asserts that her troops had occupied the island of Lošinj by force of arms when the hostilities had not yet been stopped.

 

But when the Italians had declared to have occupied the island of Lošinj in the name of the Kingdom of Italy, the commandant of the Yougoslavic garrison at Lošinj, Slavomir Draksler, protested in writing, in the name of Yougoslavia against this proceeding stating that the Yougoslavic garrison at Lošinj had received the Italian navy as friends and Allies having otherwise been able to prevent it from entering the harbour by force of arms.

 

In the same way the Italians have occupied also the town of Poreč for and in the name of Italy; whereas they have occupied the rest of the whole Istria as well as the islands of Cres and Krk only in the name of the Allies and the United States of America.

 

While the Italians were at first discreet and circumspect, they have slowly begun to use violence which made their occupation the severest opression of liberty and the most sacred human rights of the Yougoslavs of Istria.

 

In the first place they forbade the setting of Yougoslavic flags and even those of the Allies, and then the wearing of Yougoslavic badges and cockades and in the second place the circulation and reading of Yougoslavic newspapers and any correspondence with other parts of Yougoslavia.

 

They have commenced closing Croatian schools and establishing Italian ones in places inhabited only by Yougoslavs. They have turned out the teachers so that Croatian schools had to be closed for want of teachers. They have forbidden even to pray and to preach in Croatian in the church and they have caused the Croatian inscriptions on churches and other public buildings to be taken down.

 

All the Yougoslavic civic Parish[49] Councils have been dissolved and in their place appointed either Italian, consisting of persons belonging to the minority of the population, or military persons. Into all public offices the Italian language has been introduced and at the end of the month of January an order was issued that parish seals must be made only in Italian. Croatian church and parish notices and time tables have been torn to pieces and the Italian posted up. Most of the Yougoslavic officials have been dismissed from their offices. Yougoslavic banking-houses have been forbidden to do any business. No associations, no clubs, no societies are suffered to exist and no meetings to be held.

 

The Yougoslavic educated classes in Istria have been treated as enemies and the Italians have special designs upon professional men as the clergy, teachers, the barristers, for they know right well these men to be the leaders of the people of Istria.

 

The situation of the Yougoslavs in Istria is utterly desperate. It is high time to stop this inhuman and illegal proceeding of the Italian troops, highly injurious to the Yougoslavs, in order to prevent a serious conflict between the population and the troops. It is beyond one's comprehension why the Italian troops treat the Yougoslavs in Istria so barbarously and in the name of the Allies and the United States of America too.

 

They commenced to carry into effect their plans of annexing with the annexation of the islands of Lošinj and Cres. The island of Cres was occupied by them on the 10th of October [November] 1918 in the name of the Allies and the United States of America. Next day, on the 11th of October [November] the commandant of the Italian garrison arbitrarily dismissed from office the district judge Constantine Marušić, who had also held the office of the chairman of the parish council, then the postmaster Michael Kirac and ordered them to leave the island on the spot, although by law, they are both of them parishioners of the island of Cres, being officials. Then the Croatian female teachers and all other officials and employees of the government offices were expelled as the civil engineer Anthony Ružić, and the clerks of the court John Dujanić, Francis Gorjan and Felix Koman.

 

On the 15th of December the French torpedo-boat "Kabili" entered the harbour of Cres. The Yougoslavic population gave the man-of-war, the crew and the officers a warm reception and presented a memorial about the proceedings of the commandant of the Italian garrison to the French officers. Early next morning the Italian soldiers arrested the female teachers of the Croatian school Gaspara Purić, Nikica Purić, Jane Opatić and Jennet Kastelan, and the former lady clerk of the court Jane Dujmović; then the bank clerk Stephen Kropec and the harbour official Bartholomew Sindičić, all of whom were conveyed under military escort into the military prison at Pola and from there to Venice.

 

These female teachers are in all, likelihood still in the prison "Ponte dei Sospiri" at Venice.

 

It is owing to the friendly welcome given to their Allies, the French, and to their complaint of the treatment of the Italians that these Yougoslavs have been thrown into prison.

 

Immediately after this transportation the Franciscan monastery in the same island has repeatedly been searched thoroughly. All the Croatian male and female teachers of the town of Cres having been confined, the schools had to be closed so that above 400 children have been left without instruction. Croatian prayers and sermons in church have been prohibited.

 

On the 31st of January 1919 the Franciscan monk Father Felix Auer was arrested and escorted into the military prison at Pola, having been accused of circulating Yougoslavic newspapers.

 

In the village of Martinščica in the island of Cres Italian soldiers arrested the parson Charles Hlača because he had refused to preach Italian in his church. He was led away from the island by force, remained for some days in prison and was then compelled to emigrate beyond the line of demarcation. The Croatian school has been closed, the teacher expelled, and an Italian female teacher appointed, who established the Italian school, frequented as yet only by five children.

 

The Yougoslavs have been treated in the same way in other places. According to the census taken by the Italian civic authorities under the late Austrian government there are in the island of Cres 5714 Yougoslavs and 2296 Italians, who live exclusively in the town proper of Cres, while the population of the whole island is entirely Yougoslavic.

 

The island of Lošinj was occupied by Italians in the name of the kingdom of Italy on the 4th on November 1918, as the Italians pretend one hour and three quarters before the truce with the late Austria-Hungary had become valid.

 

The first days of the Italian occupation witnessed the expulsion of the Yougoslavic educated classes. The moment they arrived they prohibited the putting up Croatian flags, the wearing of Croatian badges, the singing of Croatian songs and the Croatian sermons and prayers in the church.

 

From the island of Little Lošinj the former commandant of the whole island, Slavomir Draksler, and the whole Yougoslavic garrison have been simply ejected, naturally after the garrison had helped the Italians to enter the harbour considering them for friends. The same happened to John Samoketa, though he is parishioner and proprietor of a house on the island.

 

On the 3rd of December 1918 the French torpedo-boat "Annamit" entered the harbour of Lošinj. The French commander of the man-of-war sent word to the Yougoslavs of the town that he wanted to see them. The Yougoslavs assembled and warmly welcomed the French officers in the house of the local Reading Society and presented a memorial to them of all that had happened until that day. The French torpedo-boat was scarcely gone, when the Italians arrested in the night the chairman of the National Council, the clergyman John Pavačić, the curate Simeon Pičinić, the female teacher Rade, and John Barbulić.

 

On the 2nd of December a French torpedo-boat was expected in Great Lošinj, but she did not put into port owing to the heavy sea. The Yougoslavs of the place had assembled and prepared for a hearty welcome of the French, but the Italian commandant had them all dispersed and the clergyman Bernard Baričević, the female teacher Štefa Paljević and Augustus Baričević arrested and next day transported into the prisons of Pola and from there to Venice. The mentioned clergyman has been confined at Golfo degli Aranci (Sardinia), while the rest has been imprisoned in various prisons of Venice.

 

The Yougoslavic persons of consequence are not allowed a stir. All Yougoslavic schools, clubs, reading societies have been closed and all meetings prohibited. They caused all the buildings of these institutions to be closed.

 

The Dean Clement Bonifačić D.D.[50] was expelled by force on the 3rd of January 1919.

 

In the village Nerezine in the island of Lošinj the Croatian teacher Matthew Lukež was in an off-hand manner ordered to leave the village on the 4th of February, although he had taught there for ten years past, the school was closed. To get children for their newly established Italian school they have begun promising the Slav parents victuals and other advantages, if they should send their children to this school. The population of the island of Lošinj is homogenous Croatian which fact is born out by the census returns of the last 30 years from which it appears evident what methods have been used by Italian authorities at Trieste to produce more Italians.

 

Accordingly to this Italian statistics there were in the island of Lošinj in 1880 7104 Yougosla is and 4508 Italians; in 1890 6559 Yougoslavs and 4921 Italians; in 1900 3460 Yougoslavs and 7786 Italians; in 1910 4318 Yougoslavs and 7553 Italians.

 

At Pazin, Simeon Kurelić, LLD. barrister and mayor of the town was arrested on the 25th of January 1919 and confined at Golfo degli Aranci (Sardinia), because two French officers had called at his house on the preceding day. The same reason was alleged for the arrest of the Professor Francis Frankola, the judge Stanko Rodić and the teacher Anthony Ladavac, all from Pazin. At Pazin all the Croatian parish councils have been dissolved, Italian officials appointed, Croatian inscriptions taken down and the Italian language introduced. In the district of Pazin one Croatian school after another have been closed and then turned into Italian.

 

Alexander Rubeša and George Kos, both teachers, former at Čepić, the latter at Kozjak (both places belonging to the community of Plomin) have been turned out and their schools closed. In the latter place even soldiers occupied the school in order to stop any further instruction until an Italian teacher should be found to denationalize Yougoslavic children.

 

The lady teacher of the Croatian school at Rabac (community Labin) Mrs. Maud Vrbančić was arrested on the 25th of December 1918 and escorted to prison at Trieste because she had the courage to charge the Italian soldiers with the theft of some things in the school-building. She remained at Trieste in prison 32 days having been thrown into the company of the refuse of human society: of common prostitutes, until she was acquitted having been charged with the breach of peace. Then she was escorted by soldiers beyond the line of demarcation. By this expedient the Italians have attained their énd, having got rid of another teacher and school.

 

On the 24th of January 1919 the parson of Šušnjevica, the Rev. John Aničić was arrested but no one knows why.

 

In the districts of Poreč and Kopar they caused by main force to be removed all those Yougoslavs who could be a hindrance to their imperialism, either through their knowledge or social position.

 

Thus the parsons of the village Kaštel near Buje and the village of Kaštelir John Mandić and D. Šantić have been turned out of their parishes soon after the commencement of the occupation. The parson of the village Korte, Andrew Kartnik was arrested on the 17th Dec. 1918, transported to Trieste and thrown into prison from which he has not yet been released.

 

Day after day Yougoslavic schools are being closed and the teachers turned out. That happened also to the teacher John Mavar in the village of St. Lucia near Piran. In the town proper of Pola they have closed Croatian schools which were frequented by above 1000 Yougoslav children. Besides the schools at Pomero, Premantura, Jadreškina, Kanfanar and Rovinjsko Selo have also been closed.

 

Croatian parish councils at Kanfanar and St. Vincent have been dissolved and Italian councils appointed, although the whole neighbourhood of these places is inhabited by a homogeneous Yugoslavic population and Italians are only to be found in the towns proper of Sanvincento and Kanfanar.

 

From the borough Kanfanar the parish secretary Andjeo Cerovac, the teacher John Lukež and from the village of Sanvincento the parson Mrakovčić with his sisters has been expelled.

 

Day by day Yougoslavic officials and inhabitants are transported over the line of demarcation. Some of these cases are mentioned below. Anthony Mrakovčić, the district commissary has been dismissed and ordered to leave the town of Pola and cross the line õf demarcation within two days with his wife and a baby scarcely a week old. The same happened to the commissaries John Frančetić and K. Lederer LLD. On the 15th of February 1919 Francis Barbarić, the school inspector of the district of Pola was dismissed and turned out of Pola so that both the district of Pola and that of Poreć have been left without a school inspector for Yougoslavic elementary schools.

 

Workmen and various employees of public undertakings and the arsenal are being discharged and have to leave the town within 2-4 days and to cross the demarcation line. Those poor people have to leave behind all their belongings and property although many of them are proprietors of houses in the town of Pola and are parishioners of that town according to the existing laws.

 

The district of Volosko-Opatija: On the 4th of Nov. 1918 the Italian man-of-war "Giovanni Acerbi" cast anchor on the roadstead before Opatija. Her commander Guido Po invited on board the chairman of the National Council and the chief magistrate of the district, Cukar LLD. They welcomed him as the representative of the Allies and the United States of America and expressed their hope that he would commence no military action on territory of Yugoslavia which was the friend of the Allies and the United States of America. The commander said that he got the order to land a small detachment of soldiers at Opatija which would remain there only for an hour or two and would then reembark.

 

He wanted to have a building assigned to accomodate his soldiers with a lodging. The National Council assigned him the quarters of the late Austrian staff which were soon occupied by a small body of Italian soldiers, consisting of 16 men. They immediately hoisted the Italian flag.

 

Next day the same commander demanded one more building at Opatija which he wanted as barrack for a larger body of soldiers which he was going to disembark. He got assigned the "Pension Sabados." Captain Po expressly declared to the representatives of the Yougoslavic authorities who had payed him a visit on board his ship on the 4th of November that he would not interfere unduly with the National guards or with local authorities, which promise he kept until the 8th of November when he departed.

 

On the 8th of December [November] a larger body of the Italian Bersaglieri arrived at Matulje (railway station of Opatija) under command of Captain Renaldi, who occupied the station of the southern railway company Matulje and the territory round the village of Matulje proper within the radius of 3 miles.

 

Already on the 9th of Nov. that captain ordered that the National Guards should be disarmed and disbanded, all flags struck, the Croatian inscription on the station taken down (witnesses: Lewis Osojnik, Perinići No. 80 and Stephen Vrdoljak, station Matulje).

 

Next day fresh Italian troops occupied the village of Kastav and its neighborhood. Their officer Sala tried to persuade the chairman of the parish council Francis Jelušić LLD. to begin with a vigorous propagation of the Italian idea among the population. Meeting with a rebuff from him, he threatened with persecution. The sub-lieutenant Tina billeted himself by force on the ailing widow of the late mayor of Kastav Kazimir Jelušić, although there were other quarters to be had (witness Frances Jelušić).

 

On the whole territory of the community of Kastav Italian troops devastated the vineyards by pulling out all the vine props and using them for fire wood. Thus a great damage has been done to the owners of those vineyards, since all the vines fell to the ground and were broken.

 

On the 11th of Nov. a whole battalion of Italian soldiers disembarked at Volosko under comand of colonel Frederico Bianchi. He was greeted by the chief magistrate of the district, Cukar LLD and the mayor Stanger. Immediately after landing one officer of that battalion made publicly known to the people that Italian troops occupied by military force Volosko in the name of the Allies and the United States of America. The colonel Bianchi called on the representatives of the National Council on the same day and declared that no public office or authority would be interefered with and that the Yougoslavic flag had to be hoisted on the building of the Magistracy of the district besides the Italian flag as the representative flag of the Allies and the United States of America. In the afternoon the same day the three representatives of the Italian party of Volosko Goporcich, Sandri and Percich (true "Italian" names indeed!) left for Trieste in a motor car to demand the dissolution of the National Council and the removal of Croatian flags.

 

In the meantime the Committee of the National Council had to find barracks for Italian soldiers.

 

On the 12th of Nov. about 20 persons belonging to the Italian party of Volosko assembled before the building of the Magistracy of the district and demanded the striking of the Yougoslavic flag. The chief magistrate of the district, Poščić LLD., intervened with the colonel Bianchi who promised that all should remain as it had been agreed. For all that on the 13th he sent an officer and an armed soldier to take down the Yougoslavic flag and commanded the Committee of the National Council to move from that building.

 

From that day the population of Opatija and Volosko has been incessantly worried and troubled.

 

The National Guard was disbanded, the wearing of Yugoslav badges, the hoisting of Yugoslav flags, the use of the Croatian language at the post office in sending telegrams and speaking by telephone have been prohibited.

 

At Ika Italian soldiers took down from a private house a Croatian flag, tore it from the flagstaff to pieces and carried it away (witnesses: the brothers Jurković, Opatija). In the streets and in tramcar Italian soldiers tear from the breasts of Yougoslav men and women the Yougoslavic cockades and throw them to the ground (witness: Avelina Jurković).

 

At Lovran an Italian sub-lieutenant demanded in a brutal manner from the parson Košir to hoist the Italian flag on his church and to celebrate high mass and sing Tedeum in celebration of the birth-day and name-day of the Italian Queen-mother Margareth (witness: the parson himself).

 

On the 25th of Nov. the houses of the chairman of the Committee of the National Council John Poščić LLD, the chief magistrate of the district, Marijan Cukar LLD, and the private gentleman John Mogorović LLD were suddenly searched thoroughly, they themselves arrested and in a blinding snow-storm conveyed in a camion motor-car across the mountain Učka to Pazin and thrown into prison. They were put into an icy damp cell where they caught a severe cold, but were neither allowed to send for the doctor nor was their wish to be tried at once complied with. Only on the 28th of Nov. a captain of the Carabinieri visited them in prison informing them that they were likely to be confined in the island of Sicily or Sardinia. On Sun-day the 1st of Dec. they were escorted by two carabinieri with two other prisoners and 20 Italian war-prisoners to Trieste. There they were dragged from one command of the carabinieri to the other since none would receive them. They put up with the carabinieri at the Hotel Metropole to be again next day dragged once more from one comand to the other, until they were at last at noon handed over to the military court and this sent them to prison in the Via Tigor No. 2, where they were thrown into a damp, dark and dirty cell with straw-mattresses on the ground. This cell was at the same time their W. C. They had to eat their convict food without knife, fork and spoon, with which utensils they were finally allowed to provide themselves. Into their cell five more persons were brought, but there were for 8 persons only 5 straw-mattresses. On the 3rd of Dec. they were brought up for examination before the military judge who informed them that they have been accused: firstly of having secretly held meetings of the Committee of the National Council although it had been dissolved by the Italians, and secondly that they had defended the people from the Italian army. Anyhow that accusation was supported by no evidence and so they would be set free already the next day. Notwithstanding all their exortions to hasten their cause they could not succeed to have their trial fixed before the 30th of January 1919. All of them were acquitted as there was no evidence against them. Owing to the dirt, dampness and cold all were taken ill, but they got no medical treatment. They got all kinds of vermin and they had to sleep on mattresses of reed (at last 13 persons on 7 mattresses). Although when arrested a treatment due to men of culture had been promised to them, they were treated worse than common criminals.

 

In the middle of the month of October [November] Italian troops occupied also the judicial district of Podgrad in the administrative district of Volosko. In the town proper of Podgrad the commandant of the Italian troops had all Yougoslavic flags lowered and the inhabitants have been ordered to salute Italian officers. Italian troops substituted Italian inscriptions for the Croatian on all Government offices. All the Yougoslavic chairmen of the existing parish councils have been discharged and military officers appointed. Although there are 99% of Slavs in that district, Italian language has everywhere been introduced.

 

Yougoslavic inhabitants are denied local passports unless they own [declare?] to be Italians. In this district as in all others of Istria the Yougoslavs are like in a prison, being able to stir abroad only secretly because those who do stir without a passport are fined with 3000 Crowns or five years of imprisonment.

 

In the neighbourhood of Opatija Italian soldiers have felled a great quantity of oaks without as much as asking permission of the owner and without any compensation for damages. In the first half of February the stationmaster of Matulje was dismissed being a Slav (witness Nikodem Gržetić).

 

In the village of Draga Moščenička young men arranged public balls and an Armando used to play the concertina. When one Sunday evening he had begun to play a polka after a Yougoslavic melody he was boxed to blood by an Italian officer and arrested. In prison he was given two Italian soldiers to teach him to play Italian "royal march" and next Sunday he had to open the ball with that march while all persons present had to rise.

 

The last act of the notorious Italian occupation was the occupation of the district and village of Krk. All the rural parts of that district are inhabited only by Yougoslavs except the town proper of Krk, which is populated by an Italian majority. The census returns for 1910. have 19,562 Yougoslavs and 1544 Italians.

 

The island of Krk does not form an item of the London treaty nor has it been mentioned in the stipulations of the armistice between the Allies and the late monarchy that Italy should occupy it in the name of the Allies and the United States of America. It is true that this island has not been occupied by them until the 15th of Nov. when they came and occupied it declaring that they did it in the name of the Allies and the United States.

 

At first they did not interfere with the Yougoslavic authorities and even suffered Yougoslavic flags, but by degrees they took in their hands the whole administration and at last they dismissed the chief district magistrate, Ernesto Karlavaris and ordered him to leave the island within two days. To his place they appointed an Italian, avvocato [lawyer] Pieracini, from Italy, who does not know a word Croatian. He ordered that all correspondence of the six entirely Yougoslav communities (which has as yet even under Austria been Croatian) should be in Italian only.

 

The Yougoslavs are denied passports especially into the territory of Yougoslavia so that even the bishop of the island Anthony Mahnić D.D. was not allowed to go on his ecclesiastical matters to Zagreb to see his archbishop.[51]

 

Italian soldiers even boast that they will confine even him. Some time also the judge Pajerić and the secretary of the bishop were arrested and taken by a torpedo-boat to Pola.

 

At Vrbnik the soldiers took down a Yougoslav flag from a private house and employed it as a rag for cleaning their rifles.

 

The above mentioned outrages, deeds of violence and insults have not been dealt with at full length and are only a small part of what has been committed by the Italian greediness and imperialism. So Istria has become the prey of the Italians, who never could take it by arms and who succeeded to occupy it only in coming as a friend and in the name of the Allies and the United States of America.

 

The Yugoslavs in Istria did not suffer even under the Austrian absolutism (when German authorities indulged in overbearing treatment of the Slavs) so much as they suffer now from those, who have entered, their country pretending to be the friends of oppressed nations. At the time when the whole world has been bled white to earn its liberty according to the principles of Mr. Wilson, there comes a people which will by sheer force of arms, barbarously employed even on women and priests, deprive the Yougoslavs of Istria of their most sacred goods, their language, personal liberty and name.

 

It is needless, superfluous and beyond the scope of this paper to produce any evidence in support of the fact that Istria belongs to the Yougoslavs, since the historical and the ethnografical evidence speaks for them.

 

The best evidence ever produced is the last census taken by Austrian authorities and Italian municipalities, which both of them surely had no reason to be partial in favour of the Slavs. According to the statistics there were in Istria: 223,318 Yougoslavs and only 147,477 Italians but if the census should be taken impartially and without any restraint of personal and moral freedom, whatever, it would be found that there are actually only about 100,000 Italians, i.e. 26% and 270,000, i.e. 70% Yougoslavs in Istria, while the rest belongs to other nationalities.

 

Zagreb, February 1919.

 

P. S. The above facts are given on official rapports and can be proved at any time. The Italian atrocities in Dalmatia are much worse; an acount of them will be given in a short time.[52]

 

 

 

Die Starčevićpartei und die aktuellen politischen Fragen [53]

 

Die Konferenz des Rates der Starčevićpartei legte den Standpunkt der Partei in den aktuellen politischen Fragen in der folgenden Resolution nieder:

 

1. Die Starčevićpartei steht auf dem Standpunkte, dass der Staat der SHS auf den Grundlagen der Verfassung und des Demokratismus gegründet zu sein hat. Als erste Bedingung dafür fordert sie die breiteste Selbstverwaltung aller autonomer und administrativer Bereiche im Staate, dieweil die breiten Schichten des Volkes das Recht und die Pflicht haben, am Ausbau und an Verwaltung des nationalen Staates teilzunehmen. Die Dezentralisation des einheitlichen Staates der SHS bildet für die Starčevićpartei weder eine nationale Stammesfrage, noch eine staatsrechtliche Frage der einzelnen historischen Territorien unseres Vaterlandes, sondern ausschliesslich eine politisch-administrative und verfassungsrechtlich-demokratische innere Frage der Ausgestaltung des Staates.

 

Die Starčevićpartei erachtet es als ihre Pflicht, auch künftighin all ihre Kräfte für die Entwicklung einer starken nationalen und staatlichen Einheit einzusetzen, die nur dann festgefügt werden kann, wenn die Verwaltung in die Hãnde des Volkes gelegt wird, damit es selbst im verfassungsmãssigen und parlamentarischen Wege in der Gemeinde, dem Bezirk, Komitat, Land und Staat, durch ihm verantwortliche Organe walte.

 

2.         Die Starčevićpartei nimmt an dem Staatsministerium teil, weil sie an dem Ausbau des Staates teilnehmen und sowohl die unleugbare und unteilbare Einheit des Volkes der SHS, als auch die nationale Eintracht manifestieren will, die uns in diesen Tagen unumgãnglich nottut. Dadurch identifiziere sie sich aber nicht mit einzelnen Taten einzelner Minister, die darauf vergessen, dass das Programm des Konzentrationsministeriums durch das Einvernehmen und die Vereinbarungen aller kooperierenden Parteien bestimmt sei.

 

Die Starčevićpartei fordert, dass die Grundprinzipien der Verfassung, die in den Beschlüssen der serbischen Skupština und des Nationalrates des SHS festgelegt wurden, beachtet werden, solange nicht im vermassungsm issigen Wege eine für den ganzen Staat gültige Verfassung angenommen ist. Die Verletzungen der Verfassungsprinzipien wird die Starčevićpartei im Staatsrate einer gründlichen Kritik unterziehen.

 

Die Starčevićpartei drückt ihrem Reprasentanten im Ministerium Dr. Živko Petričić das vollste Vertrauen aus.

 

3.         Die Starčevićpartei wird die zentralistische Politik, die keine Rücksicht auf die natürliche Entwicklung des Volkes und auf die bestehenden Umstãnde nimmt, umso mehr bekãmpfen, als hinter dieser Politik grnssentens Elemente des alten Regierungssystems stecken. Durch eine derartige verfassungswidrige und undemokratische Politik werden die Grundlagen des Staates nicht gefestigt, sondern nur Waffen in die Hânde ihrer ãusseren und inneren Feinde gespielt.

 

4.         Die Starčevićpartei wird auf der Wehr der Einheit des Volkes und des Staates stehen und jedwedes hegemonistisches oder separatistiches Bestreben bekämpfen, stets in der Einheit das Prinzip der vollsten Gleichberechtigung betonend. Zu diesem Zwecke wird sie die engste Kooperation mit allen verwandten südslawischen Parteien anstreben, damit dadurch je eher einen Block oder eine einheitliche Organisation aller aufrichtig südslawischen und aufrichtig demokratischen Elemente in unseren Staate gebildet werde.

 

Die Delegierten der Starčevićpartei in den Stratsrat.

 

Die Konferenz des Rates der Starčevićpartei wiihlte die folgenden Delegierten in dem Staatsrat: 1. Abg. Dr. Ante Pavelić (Ersatzmann Privatier Luka Starčević). 2. Abg. Dr. Živko Petrićić (Ersatzmann Abg. Vojislav Kempf). 3. Abg. Cezar Akačić (Ersatzmann Advokat Dr. Albert Predoević). 4. Abg. Ivan Peršić (Ersatzmann Abg. Franjo Kufrin). 5. Abg. Ivan Kovačević (Ersatzmann Abg. Dr. Petar Majer). 6. Abg. Dr. Ivo Krnic (Ersatzmann Schriftsteller Janko Leskovar). 7. Schriftsteller Kerubin Šegvić (Ersatzmann Journalist Šime Semić). 8. Arzt Dr. Nikola Winterhalter (Ersatzmann Dozent Dr. Ivo Karlović). 9. Pfarrer Dr. Svetozar Ritig (Ersatzmann Grosskaufmann Rudolf Pilepić). 10. Journalist Dr. B. G. Angjelinović (Ersatzmann Professor Dr. Blaž Jurišić). 11. Advokat Dr. Lavoslav Hanžek (Ersatzmann Druckereibesitzer Kuzma Rožmanić). 12. Advokat Dr. Eugen Laxa (Ersatzmann Vorstand der Handels- und Gewerbekammer in Zagreb Peroslav Paskiević). 13. Arzt Dr. Radovan Marković (Ersatzmann Advokat Dr. Bogdan Bradaška). 14. Universitátsprofessor Dr. Ladislav Polić (Ersatzmann Pubizist Dr. Ivan Gmajner). 15. Journalist Ivo Banjanin (Ersatzmann Dr. Branko Kettig).

 

[Editor's translation:]

 

The Starčević Party and the Actual Political Questions [54]

 

The conference of the Council of the Starčević Party put down the views of the party regarding the actual political questions in the following resolution:

 

1. The Starčević Party has views that the Serb-Croat-Slovene state has to be founded on the basis of the constitution and democracy. As the first condition for this, the party demands the largest self-management of all autonomous and administrative areas, while the common people will have the right and duty to participate in the consolidation and management of the national state. The decentralization of the united Serb-Croat-Slovene state is for the Starčević Party neither a national tribal question nor a state constitutional question of particular historic territories of our fatherland but exclusively a politic-administrative and constitutional-democratic internal question of the state organization.

 

The Starčević Party considers it its duty to employ also henceforth all its powers for the development of a strong national and state union which only then could be consolidated when the administration would be put in the people's hands so that the people themselves, through the organs responsible to them, would rule in the commune, district, county, province, and state by a constitutional and parliamentary way.

 

2.         The Starčević Party takes part in the state government because it wishes to participate in the state consolidation and to manifest the undeniable and indivisible unity of the Serb-Croat-Slovene people as well as the national harmony which is absolutely necessary to us in these days. Thereby however the party does not identify itself with particular actions of individual ministers who forget that the program of the concentration government must be decided by the consent and agreements of all cooperating parties.

 

The Starčević Party demands that the basic principles of the constitution which were laid down in the conclusions of the Serbian Skupština [National Assembly] and the National Council of the Serbs Croats, and Slovenes should be respected as long as a constitution valid for the whole state is not accepted by a constitutional way. The Starčević Party will subject the violations of the constitutional principles to a thorough criticism in the State Council.

 

The Starčević Party expresses the fullest trust: to its representative in the government Dr. Živko Petričić.[55]

 

3.         The Starčević Party will fight against the centralistic policy which does not consider the natural development of the people and the existing circumstances. It will fight against it all the more as mostly the elements of the old government systems are behind that policy. The foundations of the state are not strengthened by such an unconstitutional and undemocratic policy but only the arguments are given to her foreign and internal enemies.

 

4.         The Starčević Party will defend the unity of the people and state and fight against every hegemonist and separatist attempt, always emphasizing the principle of the fullest equality in the unity. For this purpose it will strive for the closest cooperation with all kindred Yugoslav parties so that thereby a block or a united organization of all sincere Yugoslav and sincere democratic elements in our state would be formed sooner.

 

 

The Delegates of the Starčević Party in the State Council

 

The conference of the Council of the Starčević Party elected the following delegates to the State Council:[56] 1. Deputy[57] Dr. Ante Pavelić (substitute, private person Luka Starčević). 2. Deputy Dr. Zivko Petričić (substitute, deputy Vojislav Kempf). 3. Deputy Cezar Akačić (substitute, lawyer Dr. Albert Predoević). 4. Deputy Ivan Peršić (substitute, deputy Franjo Kufrin). 5. Deputy Ivan Kovačević (substitute, deputy Dr. Petar Majer). 6. Deputy Dr. Ivo Krnic (substitute, writer Janko Leskovar). 7. Writer Kerubin Šegvić (substitute, journalist Šime Semić). 8. Physician Dr. Nikola Winterhalter (substitute, Assistant Professor Dr. Ivo Karlović). 9. Parish priest Dr. Svetozar Ritig (substitute, wholesaler Rudolf Pilepić). 10. Journalist Dr. B. G. Angjelinović (substitute, Professor Dr. Blaž Jurišić). 11. Lawyer Dr. Lavoslav Hanžek (substitute, printery owner Kuzma Rožmanić). 12. Lawyer Dr. Eugen Laxa (substitute, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Manufacture in Zagreb Peroslav Paskiević). 13. Physician Dr. Radovan Marković (substitute, lawyer Dr. Bogdan Bradaška). 14. University Professor Dr. Ladislav Polić (substitute, publicist Dr. Ivan Gmajner). 15. Journalist Ivo Banjanin (substitute Dr. Branko Kettig).

 

 

 

Professor A. C. Coolidge to the Commision to Negociate Peace[58]

No. 165.

 

Vienna, March, 23, 1910.

[Received March 26.]

 

I have the honor to enclose herewith some reports from Lieutenant LeRoy King in Agram

 

I have [etc.].

Archibald Cary Coolidge

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Report No. 7

Agram, 13 March 1919.

 

French Commission to Carinthia.

 

1.         I sent the following wire in code today: "Temperley and Colby going Carinthia with French Mission. Colby to be Agram Saturday [March 15]."

 

2.         The French are sending a commission to Carinthia to draw a purely military line of demarcation. Temperley says he suspects it may be more than this but, if so, the French have been very clever in concealing it up to now. Colby wrote me yesterday saying he had been asked to go; but saying further that he was "on the fence", as he did not want to be "a member of the commission if it is contrary to the wishes of the Peace Commission, or if there is any danger in getting involved in a matter which goes beyond military considerations". The French told him their purpose was purely "d'empecher des coups de fusils" [to prevent shootings].

 

3.         I wrote Colby (he will get my letter before he leaves) that I knew nothing of what has happened in Paris or what your ideas were; but gave it as my opinion that he should find out how matters stood before joining the French in such an enterprise.

 

4.         I have just heard that Colby is leaving Belgrade tomorrow for Laibach [Ljubljana] and Carinthia with the French Commission, so he has evidently not waited to hear from me. I shall however see him in Agram on his way through, and answer such questions as I can. I shall also speak to Miles tomorrow by telephone as he will have returned from Pola by then.

 

5.         The French are of course worried about our work in Carinthia because I believe they want to support all Jugo Slav claims where these do not conflict with Italy's. Also by so doing in Carinthia and Styria they can take as much as possible away from Germany. Fear of Germany lies at the basis of their policy. What they have heard from the Slovenes makes them fear that our work resulted unfavorably for the former.

 

6.         Now, if they can get even a "military" line drawn by a commission on which there is an American officer, they will have an argument against our work. There is also a good chance that when they get started they will begin investigating political and economic aspects, although now they affirm that these will not be considered.

 

7.         Major Temperley says he is watching for what he calls the "cloven hoof" to appear although up to now he has seen no sign of it. The French are not particularly pleased to have either him or me here although they are scrupulously polite. The Croatians, on the other hand, can't do enough for us. The French are becoming quite unpopular in Agram, particularly the soldiers who are numerous and not particularly well behaved.

 

8.         Major Temperley has been most nice to me. He shows me his papers, and keeps me well informed of what he hears. Colby told him that the French Minister at Belgrade had referred to you (before him, Colby) as "Le Monsieur qui fait des frontieres" [Sir who makes the frontiers]. Temperley expressed his opinion that this was pretty crude. Temperley was in Belgrade day before yesterday having been sent for to talk over the Carinthian matter with General Plunkett.

 

LeRoy King.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Report No. 8

Agram, l3 March 1919.

 

General situation.

 

1.         I hear the French are planning also to "rectify" the existing armistice frontier in Hungary (between Hungary and Jugo Slavia) by means of a commission.

 

2.         Temperley showed me a telegram from Salonika (sent by Gen. Bridges and based on French information) stating that an expedition for the invasion of Montenegro was being prepared in Albania under Italian auspices. King Nicholas is on his way to Italy, and will arrive at the right moment.

 

3.         Temperley thinks that a deal may possibly be made with Italy whereby some of her claims in Asia Minor may be granted in exchange for concessions by her in Dalmatia. He thinks that the Treaty of London is not very clearly defined in some aspects and can be juggled. This is purely an expression of opinion on his part and quite unofficial.

 

4.         Temperley says that as things look now with relation to Fiume [Rijeka], that the U. S. and England will probably support Jugo Slavia, France will support Italy, and Japan have the casting vote. He is incled to think that Japan will hold with England.

 

L. R. King.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Report No. 9.

Political.

 

1.         With reference to the summary of political parties in Croatia (Annex A, my report No. 5) prepared under government influence here, I still think that it is quite accurate. The strength of the Coalition Party is slightly exaggerated; the weakness of the Radić, Starkevitch [Starčević] and Frauheit [Frankist] elements slightly overstated. But is remarkably fair for a purely governmental document.

 

2.         In the historical account of recent political events (Annex B, my report No. 5) there is also an exaggeration of Croatia leadership in the Jugo Slav movement. Slovenia led Croatia in this movement, and Croatia did not really come out for a united Jugo Slavia till October 1918.

 

3.         There was an attempted demonstration in Agram two or three days ago by Radić's followers. His party only mustered 100 people for this demonstration which amounted to nothing, and seems to show that the republicans are not very strong in the town of Agram. It is among the peasants that Radić is stronger.

 

4.         Things continue quiet and normal here. I am told that the Starkevitch [Starčević] party has won a small victory in municipal-politics.

 

L. R. King

 

 

 

Professor A. C. Coolidge to the Commission to Negotiate Peace[59]

 

No. 186

Vienna, April 3, 1919.

[Received April 7.]

 

Sirs: I have the honor to enclose a number of reports from Lieut. LeRoy King. Some of them may already have been sent to Paris, perhaps with an insufficient number of copies. There has been a delay and confusion somewhere, which I hope to avoid in future.

I have [etc.]

Archibald Cary Coolidge

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Report No. 10.

Agram, March 19, 1919.

Subject: Commission to Carinthia and Styria.

 

1. With reference to my report No. 7 entitled "The French Commission in Styria and Carinthia"[60] and the telegram I sent you with reference to Colby's coming, I now report the following developments that have taken place: Colby did not arrive with the French Commission on Saturday morning [March 15] as I had expected from a telegram to that effect shown me by Major Temperley. Col. Dehave, the chief of the mission told Major Temperley upon his arrival here that Colby had not come with him because he had not yet received authority to do so, but was expecting a telegram. Dehove then asked Temperley to wait in Agram and to let him know when he was coming to Laibach [Ljubljana]. Temperley thinks that this shows that the French are anxious to have both an American and British officer on the Commission and Temperley himself thinks that he could do nothing but listen and report on the findings of the Commission, if an American officer were not also on it. As Temperley expresses it, he would like to have an American officer of equal rank with him on the Commission, so that if necessary they could make a stand together. Temperley therefore waited in Zagreb, hoping to hear from Colby.

 

2.         I left for Fiume [Rijeka] on Saturday night according to the permission wired by you, leaving with Temperley my telephone address in case either he or Colby wished to communicate with me. On my return from Fiume [Rijeka] on Monday, March 17th, I learned from Temperley that Colby had not turned up, nor had any message come from him.

 

3.         I found a telegraph message from Col. Dehove as follows: "Ljubljana 17/3. Ai recu communication d'une decision approuvant votre adjonction a la mission que je dirige. je serai heureux de vous avoir comme collaborateur et je vous serai oblige de me telegraphier quel jour vous pourrez venir Lioubiana ou je vous attends. Vous pourriez vous entendre pour le voyage avec major Temperley de l'Armee Anglaise a qui je telegraphie egalement."[61]

 

4.         As I had heard nothing whatever about such appointment, I telegraphed you at once as follows: "French have wired me that my appointment in place Colby was to have had has been approved and asking when I can join them. Have answered that I know nothing of such appointment and have referred matter to you as my chief. Agree fully with what you say about me in this connection in your letter of March 15.[62] Colby has not come here nor have I heard from him. My rank much lower than his. Please telegraph instructions."

 

5.         I also telegraphed Col. Dehove that I have referred the matter to you as I have received no order or authority to join the Commission.

 

6.         I do not know what has happened in the case of Colby, but I imagine that he has now declined the invitation of the French and that the latter are again trying to get me to come. The decision approving my appointment referred to in Col. Dehove's telegram may refer to a decision made in answer to Col. Dosse's request that I be appointed and which I wired you about from Belgrade over two weeks ago. I refer you to my report "The French Army and the Styrian-Carinthian question", written in Belgrade and sent to you from there.

 

7.         My opinion is that it would not be wise for me to serve on this commission, both because of my former work in Carinthia and because this is to be, according to the French, a purely military commission. Having investigated political, economic and other questions in Carinthia myself, I feel that questions would come up in the course of the work, in connection with which I would be consulted, thereby making it extremely difficult for me to stick purely to the question of a military line. This is particularly true as I suspect that the French are fully prepared to bring ethnical considerations into the investigation, if they get any sort of a chance to do so. Also I believe that my rank is too low to place me on an equal footing with the other Allied officers.

 

8.. In my opinion, if an American officer is appointed to this commission, it should be one who had not taken part in Col. Miles' investigation in February, but who is familiar with the results of that investigation.

 

9. Major Temperley left this afternoon (March 19) for Laibach [Ljubljana] with the idea that if an American officer is not appointed to the Commisšion that he will listen in and report only. I also received this afternoon a telegram from you, in answer to my telegram quoted in §4, stating that you had wired to Paris for instructions.

 

Respectfully yours

LeRoy King 2/Lt. F. A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

Copy to Chargé d'Affaires, American Legation, Belgrade

 

 

Agram, March 19, 1919.

 

Report No. 11.

Subject: General Situation.

 

1.         I had a very satisfactory talk with Col. Miles in Fiume [Rijeka]. It was of great value to me as I can now visualize the situation there and know what is going on. I shall not write anything about Fiume [Rijeka], as I know Col. Miles is keeping you fully informed.

 

2.         Relations between the French and Yougoslavs at Agram.

 

The French here are becoming very unpopular; the combination of their occupation of the country and the fact that they are believed to have a rapprochment in policy with Italy is causing this. Also rumors from Paris that things are going badly there for Yougoslavia makes the people here think that the French are not proving themselves to be the friends the Yougoslavs expected. The French officier de renseignements [intelligence officer] here tells me that while he personally dislikes the Italians, he knows that France must hold with Italy as against Germany; that France cannot look to England or America in the future for protection against Germany. He says that his position here and that of the French in general is increasingly difficult, that the Serbians are trying to secure all power in Yougoslavia, and that they are very jealous of the French occupation of the country. He even said that the Serbs in Agram were deliberately stirring up public opinion against the French.

 

3.         French commerce in Yougoslavia.

 

There are indications that the French are working to establish a commercial foothold in Yougoslavia. This is natural, considering the great opportunity they have owing to their present occupation, which, although co-equal with and parallel to that of the Serbian Army, gives them great power here, as they control the railroads. I hear the French are making inquiries about the future commercial needs of the country, what manufactured articles are now, and will be in demand etc. A large number of educated Croatians speak French already, and German is very much out of fashion, although nearly everyone knows it. The French publishing house, Hachette et Cie, has established an agency at Fiume [Rijeka].

 

4.         Anti Italian feeling in Agram.

 

On Saturday evening [March 15] a report was published here that the Italians had declared that they were about to annex Fiume [Rijeka] and would take it over in a few days. Though this report was unofficial and has since been declared so by the Government at Belgrade, it caused great excitement in Agram, which excitement is still continuing to a less extent, although the Government is doing everything possible to calm the people and has succeeded very well. When the report was first published the theatres and cafes were all closed as a sign of mourning (although I believe this may have been partly a precautionary measure by city officials), and crowds, chiefly students, paraded about the streets, demonstrating against Italy. There were some cries of "a bas la France" [down with France] and "the entente is a swindle". The whole manifestation was without disorder and from what I learned from witnesses, such as Major Temperley (I was not in Agram myself that night) visible signs of the excitement soon disappeared. There is still, however, a strong undercurrent excitement; people are very depressed, fear the worst, not only for Fiume [Rijeka], but for Dalmatia and Istria and would probably make another demonstration if more bad news or even rumors came. There is some talk going about with reference to mobilising the Yougoslav forces against Italy, but I am convinced it is only the hotheads who even consider this. The more balanced people think that a clash with Italy is inevitable in the future if Italy obtained Dalmatia and Fiume [Rijeka]. Another rumor to the effect that Fiume [Rijeka] is to be internationalized seems to cause as much bitterness as the report that Italy is to have it. I cannot insist too strongly on the temperamental nature of the Croatians, how they become elated one day and depressed the next at very slight things; but the fact is clear that at the time of writing they are very discouraged. They now look upon America as their last hope and trust that Mr. Wilson's arrival in Paris will help their cause, but they are very impatient, particularly in view of what they think is Italy's unrestricted grabbing. While the report mentioned above concerning Italy's being about to take Fiume [Rijeka] has been declared unofficial, it has not yet been denied (March 19). A report in the paper on March 19 that Mr. Wilson is going to take up personally the frontier questions between Italy and Yougoslavia had a good effect, and the excitement on this point is very much less. Contradictory reports of all kinds are published in the news-papers and it is difficult to trace their origin. The communication between Zagreb and Western Europe seem to be very bad.

 

5. I think that the report that the Italians were about to take Fiume [Rijeka] was probably sent out by them, as a "ballon d'essai" [feeler].

 

Respectfully yours

LeRoy King 2/Lt. F.A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

Copy to Chargé d'Affaires, American Legation, Belgrade

 

Report No. 12.

Agram, March 20, 1919.

Subject: Political Situation.

 

1. General.

 

There are still no signs of political disturbance in Croatia. The discontented elements referred to in my earliest reports seem to be keeping pretty quiet. The whole political structure of Jugoslavia is being reformed at Belgrade and the elements in opposition to the Jugo-Slav union as it now stands seem to be marking time. Petričić,[63] a minister of the Government at Belgrade, resigned immediately after the Prince-Regent's speech on March 14th. He is a member of the Croatian Starkevitch [Starčević] or Autonomist party, and this may be an indication that the Starkevitch [Starčević] Party was not pleased with the Prince-Regent's speech to Parliament. The exterior situation is the important question at present, and the demonstrations of March 15th were entirely against Italy.

 

2.         The beginnings of the Democratic Party of Jugoslavia.

 

The information contained in this paragraph was given. to me by a Dalmatian politician named Milić,[64] who was introduced to me by Mayor Temperley, and who has a detached point of view with regard to Croatia. On February 15th, 1919 a meeting was held in Serajevo [Sarajevo], to which came delegates from various parties in the whole of Jugoslavia, exclusive of Serbia, for the purpose of laying the foundation of a future Democratic Party. Delegates from the following parties, and in approximately the following proportions, met on this occasion and declared that a Democratic Party of Jugoslavia now existed. The proportion of delegates sent by the various parties and districts in Jugoslavia was about as follows: 2 "Jugoslav" delegates from Istria; 2 "Jugoslav" delegates from Trieste; 10 "Slovene Liberal"; 10 "Grupa S.H.S." [Group of the Slovenes, Croats, Serbs] (the more radical wing of the Serbo-Croate coalition);[65] 25 "Serbo Coalition"; 10 "Jugoslav" delegates from the Banat; 1 Medjumurje delegate; and many delegates from Bosnia and Hercegovina. The programme of this new party is to support the union as it now stands. As far as I can find out, very little has been done up to the present, since the meeting at Serajevo [Sarajevo]. The "Jugoslav" Democratic party as listed above, is waiting until the various parties in Serbia proper are realigned, be-fore being able to decide what political groups in the latter country will join with it in forming the final Democratic Party of Jugo-Slavia.

 

3.         Future party of opposition.

 

a. The Autonomist or Starkevitch [Starčević] Party of Croatia will furnish the greatest strength in opposition. There are also autonomist elements in Hercegovina (Mostar district) and in Bosnia (in the Maglaj district). The combined autonomist elements in Jugoslavia are small in total compared with the total number of Unionists. Milić, my Dalmatian informant, while thinking that the Croats are rather passive and unenterprising as compared with the Dalmatians, Slovenians and Serbs, is convinced that they will support a united Jugoslavia. The Starkevitch [Starčević] Party, he is convinced would give up its autonomist policy, rather than see Croatia separate from the rest of Jugoslavia. The autonomist elements in Bosnia and Hercegovina are largely Roman-Catholics, who fear too close a union with Serbia.

 

b. There are also a small number of so-called "Croatian Progressives," whose status is somewhat uncertain, and the Radić Party (republican) which at present is not represented in the Jugoslav Parliament and which will probably join with various discontented elements which as yet have no political organisation.

 

4.         The Democratic Party as represented at present in the Jugoslav Parliament.

 

There are about 85 members in the Parliament in Belgrade[66] who represented the beginning of the Democratic Party of Jugoslavia exclusive of Serbia: 30 members Serbo-Croat Coalition; 3 members Grupa S.H.S. [Group of the Slovenes, Croats, Serbs] (radical wing of the Coalition); 10 members Slovene Liberal Party; 10 members Dalmatians; 4 members Bacska-Banat; 2 members Istrians; 1 member from Medjumurje; about 30 members Serbo-Croats from Bosnia and Hercegovina. The 22 Clerical Slovene delegates are very loyal to the existing Jugoslav Government and will work with the Democratic Party in supporting it, although up to the present time they have not declared themselves part of the Democratic Party.

 

5.         Opposition to Democratic Party as now represented in Jugo-slav Parliament.

15 members Starkevitch [Starčević] party of Croatia (of whom 14 are Croatians and 1 a Serb from Croatia); 3 members "Progressive" Croatians (programme uncertain); 8 members Independent Catholic Croatians from Bosnia; 2 or 3 Serbo-Croatian Socialists.

 

6.         The Dalmatian, point of view in regard to the Croat.

 

My Dalmatian informant, Milić, tells me that the Dalmatians and the Serbians in general consider the Croatians to be the most "opportunist" race in Jugoslavia. He says they have been so long accustomed to Magyar rule and oppression that they lack initiative and have a tendency to follow the easiest course. It may be noted in this connection that the Slovenes came out for the Jugoslav union some time before the Croatians did. The vast majority of Croatians however, are strongly supporting a united Jugoslavia, and the above comment of Milić, in my opinion, does not mean much more than that the Dalmatians consider themselves to be a finer race.[67]

 

7. Geographical distribution of autonomist and unionist political groups in Jugoslavia.

 

On the attached map[68] marked annex 1 I have indicated the areas in Jugoslavia, exclusive of Serbia, where the preponderant feeling is for the Union as it now exists (black), and for some form of autonomy or federalism (red). This information was given me by my Dalmatian informant Milić and is probably fairly accurate, although I have had as yet no opportunity to verify it. My informant tells me that in the areas marked in black practically the whole population supports the existing union; whereas in the areas marked in red, the population to about 70 or 80% of its total numbers supports some form of autonomy or federalism. The area around Zagreb marked in red is a Starkevitch [Starčević] area. In Slavonia there are hardly any Starkevitchs which is a Croatian party. The city of Zagreb itself has a predominant autonomist sentiment, because the people would like to see Zagreb the most important city in Jugoslavia and do not welcome the idea of being second to Belgrade.

 

Respectfully yours

LeRoy King 2/Lt. F.A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

Copy to Chargé d'Affaires, American Legation, Belgrade

 

Report No. 15.

Subject: Arrest of Radic.

 

1. Radic was arrested in Agram the night of the 25th-26th of March. He had come back from Fiume [Rijeka], where he had been under an assumed name, and where he was known to have been in contact with Italian officers. I am informed from a reliable source that Radic was to have returned to Fiume [Rijeka] yesterday, and that two Italian officers were waiting for him at Bakar. It is known, I am told, in government circles that Radic's game was to cause a disturbance here and so give an excuse to the Italians to send troops to Croatia. I am inclined to take this latter statement under reserve as the suspicion and distrust of Italy is so great here at the present time that every unfavorable or disturbing event is laid to the charge of the Italians. I feel that the Italians would certainly profit by any such disturbance if they could, but whether such a disturbance was deliberately planned by them remains to be proved. I think that Radic has probably approached them on the subject.[69]

 

2.         Shortly after Radic's arrest a deputation of 15 peasants from among his followers called on the Ban (Governor) and told him that unless Radic was released a revolution would be started; that Radic's followers in the city and in the neighborhood were organized and had arms and ammunition. The Ban refused to release Radic and the deputation of peasants left. According to information at hand here in Agram, the attempted revolution was to have taken place today, but up to the present there has been no sign of any disturbance whatever, and the government appears to have perfect control. From the fact that no disturbance or manifestation has taken place in the city since the arrest of Radic it seems evident that his supporters cannot be very numerous or determined.

 

3.         Colonel Dehove of the French 2me bureau, who recently returned from Laibach [Ljubljana] and now has his office here, has informed me that shortly before Radic's arrest he, Radic, went to see the French Officer de Renseignements [intelligence officer] and told the latter a disturbance was being prepared, but that it was being organized by "agents from Belgrade". Colonel Dehove thinks Radic did this to protect himself both ways, i. e. to avoid the blame so far as the French were concerned if the revolution came off, and not to lose prestige with them if the revolution were a failure. It is to be noted that Colonel Dehove made no reference to Radic's dealings with the Italians (alleged by the Jugo-Slav authorities in Agram).

 

4.         Since Radic's arrest two Frankist leaders named Prebeg and Pazman[70] have also been arrested. They are known to have been working in conjunction with him and belong to the former (now officially dissolved) Frankist, or "Croatia for the Croatians" party. These so called Frankists represent one of the discontented elements in Croatia, and have naturally drifted toward Radic. The Frankists before the revolution in October used to look to the Hapsburgs for rupport. They had planned to hold a meeting with Radić and to effect a fusion of the two parties. The Frankists are reported to have been working against Jugo-Slavia in Italy, and elsewhere, since their party was officially dissolved; and before the collapse of the Hapsburg Empire had acted as informers and political spies in the Austro-Hungarian interest.

 

5.         Last night a small meeting of about 20 of Radic's followers was held in a coffee house here in Agram at which the advisability of making an attempt to rescue Radic from prison was discussed. It was decided at this meeting that such a proceeding was impossible as the police were too active. At all events no such attempt was made.

 

6.         I hear that two government agents have been working in the surroundings of Agram among the peasants, during the last two holidays (Sunday and Tuesday last) [March 23 and 25]. They report that Radic's influence among the peasants is diminshing very much and that they found a majority for him in only three villages (Dugo Selo, Ludbreg and Novigrad) out of about twenty visited.

 

7.         At noon today I sent you the following telegram, having waited for a day since Radic's arrest to see if any trouble would develop. "Radic arrested yesterday account alleged dealings with Italy. No demonstration or disorder here." I sent the same telegram to the Chargé d'Affaires, American Legation, Belgrade.

 

8.         If any manifestations or disorder occur as the result of Radic's arrest I will inform you at once.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Agram, March 28, 1919.

 

Supplementary Report No. 15.

Subject: Radic's arrest.

 

1.         Since writing my report No. 15 another member of Radic's party, named Predavec,[71] has been arrested. No demonstration or disorder has occurred in the city of Agram, and up to the time of writing there is no sign of disorder in the country districts about Agram. The government is becoming more energetic and will sternly repress any disorder that may arise. It does not seem likely now that there will be trouble, but the government has taken every measure of precaution.

 

2.         A meeting of merchants, mostly Jews, was held in Agram to protest against the recent order of the government which forbids trading with Austria or Hungary. The Jews here who form one of the discontented elements because their trade is injured, resent this shutting off of their commerce, made speeches at the meeting against the government, declaring that they did not consider Austria and Hungary as enemy countries. As a result a Jew merchant named Weiser was arrested. This arrest shows that the government has undertaken a more vigorous policy. I am told that this meeting of merchants had no connection with the Radic party. They undoubtedly, however, chose this time for making their protest in hopes of embarrassing the government. There are from 3000 to 4000 Jews in Agram besides a few scattered throughout the country villages.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Agram, March 28, 1919.

 

Report No. 16.

Subject: General Situation.

 

Visit to Agricultural District East of Agram

 

1. On Tuesday March 25th I went out for the day to Percec [Prečec near Ivanić-Grad] an agricultural community about 30 miles east of Agram; and had an opportunity to talk with the peasants and to judge of their present condition. The district through which I passed is very fertile, and the fields seemed in good condition and were prepared for spring planting. The day was a holiday and the peasants in the villages were in their Sunday best and seemed quiet and contented. There were no signs of poverty; and I saw many fine horses and other animals. I had quite a conversation with an intelligent man who had been in America three years before the war and who talked English and German. He had come back from Ohio in 1912 to do his military service, had served through the whole war, and had been prisoner in Russia for two years. He had a very strong feeling of Jugo-Slav nationality and said that what he called the invasion of his country by Italy was what disturbed him at present. He said that in spite of the fact that he had been a soldier for six years he would instantly take up arms against Italy if it were necessary to drive her out of his country. He hoped that he would not have to do this as he is at present taking a course of instruction in agriculture, and hopes before long to become a `boss". When I asked him if he wanted to go back to America, he said that while he liked America he thought there would be a great opportunity in Croatia if only they could get peace and quiet and their own national frontiers.

 

We passed through many villages in an auto, and were everywhere greeted and saluted in a friendly way by the peasants. There was no sign of Bolshevism anywhere. In one village I saw a large house that had been burned and was told that this was the result of an act of retaliation by the peasants against a local storekeeper who had been charging exhorbitant prices through the war, and whose house had been burned at the time of the revolution in October.

 

Effect of recent news from Hungary

 

2.         The news from Hungary has had no marked effect here. The well-to-do people are anxious, and fear the spread of Bolshevism in Central Europe. While their greatest dread is it may come from outside the country, they are also somewhat afraid of the discontented elements in Croatia itself. Bolshevism is so ill defined a thing and so difficult to gauge, that people with property exaggerate the slightest sign of it. The failure of the supposed discontented elements to cause a disturbance after Radic's arrest has restored confidence to some extent, particularly as the two so-called critical days following his arrest have passed without any trouble. I hear that in the last two days some people have been drawing their money from the banks, and that the latter now require 14 days notice by depositors before allowing them to withdraw their funds.

 

3.         The Croatians have a wholesome respect for the Serbian Army. While many of them do not care much for the Serbians and consider that their civilization is much superior to that of the latter, they feel the military strength and prestige of Serbia, and those minorities among them who are either luke warm or secretly disloyal to the existing union, are not likely, in my opinion, to commit any open act of force in the face of Serbian military occupation. This small disloyal minority will limit itself to political intrigue and passive obstruction, and the opportunist tendency which exists among many Croatians will reconcile itself more and more to the union as it now exists, as the central government grows in prestige and particularly when it is recognized by the Entente. As I have said in my earlier reports this intriguing minority will have its best opportunity to cause trouble at the time the final decision as to the frontiers of Jugo-Slavia are announced, if this decision is considered by the Jugo-Slavs as a whole to be unjust to them.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

Supplementary.

Threatened strike of state employes.

 

4.         The state employees in Croatia, which term includes all persons in government employ from professors and school teachers to the minor employees in government offices, have been underpaid for some time and are feeling the rise in the cost of living, which though not so high as in other parts of Jugo-Slavia, still is increasing. Two or three days ago representatives from the many different classes of these employees attempted to hold a meeting in Agram for the purpose of organizing a strike for higher pay. The government authorities did not allow the meeting to take place as they wished to prevent the possibility of such a strike, which would be unfortunate and harmful at the present time. The representatives of the state employees, being for the most part intelligent people, saw the reason in this and consented not to attempt to hold such a meeting or to strike, in return for the government's promise that the pay of all would be increased, such increase to begin on the first of April. I am assured by a teacher in one of the schools here that such a strike is now out of the question.

 

French teachers in Agram schools.

 

5. Within the last few days the French have brought to Agram a certain number (about ten in all) of professors and teachers of the French language, who have already begun to hold classes in French in some of the schools in Agram. These classes are not yet very regular, but it is understood that they will become so and that more teachers will be brought by the French. The teachers are still in uniform and belong to the French Army.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Professor A. C. Coolidge to the Commission to Negotiate Peace[72]

 

No. 213.

 

Vienna, April 14, 1919.

[Received April 17.]

 

Sirs: I have the honor to enclose herewith some reports from Lieutenant LeRoy King in Agram.

 

I have [etc.]

 

Archibald Cary Coolidge

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Report No. 17.

Agram, April 1, 1919.

Subject: Arrest of Radic and its consequences.

 

1. Since forwarding my report No. 15 there have been no developments of any importance caused by the arrest of Radic. Sunday March 30th was a great market day in Agram, and many hundreds of peasants came from the surrounding country to sell their produce. It was expected by the authorities at least a demonstration protesting against Radic's confinement would be made, and the Serbian General Staff took every precaution and had troops in readiness in case of disorder. About 100 peasants collected in the square in front of the governor's house and sent a deputation demanding the release of Radic. This demand was refused and nothing happened afterwards, and at the close of the day most of the peasants went home. I think it can safely be said now that Radic's supposed influence and power has been discredited.

 

2.         I have recently visited the agricultural district around Kipenic [Kupčina?], a village 40 kilometers south of Agram on the road to Fiume [Rijeka]. A considerable number of the men from this district have emigrated to America, and a few whom I saw had come back just before the war. One fairly intelligent man to whom I talked said that Radic was "no good" and that while he had a few followers in the district his influence was on the whole small. I saw no sign of "bolshevism" anywhere; in fact a number of the peasants we met on the roads saluted our automobile and took off their hats. I find that many of the peasants have learned through returned prisoners from Russia to what condition that country has been reduced by the red government. One peasant came up to me of his own accord and said the [that] he hoped President Wilson would save Croatia from the Italians.

 

3.         Two days ago Predavec, one of the Radic leaders, was released because of lack of sufficient proof that he had been intriguing outside the country. I hear, however, that the proofs against Radic himself are complete.[73]

 

4.         A meeting of the democratic party of Jugo-Slavia was held in the town of Sisak (60 kilometers S. E. of Agram) two days ago. I am informed that it was very successful, and that the town of Sisak largely supports the status quo. It is impossible for me to verify all information that I get from government sources, but my experience has been that favorable news is accurately given, and my own observation and investigation in the country about Agram, convinces me that republican or separatist sentiment is neither well organized nor practically effective.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Agram, April 1, 1919.

 

Report No. 18.

Subject: General Situation.

Reported views of the Crown Prince.

 

1. Major Temperley, the English representative here, has just returned from Belgrade where he had a conversation with the Crown Prince of Serbia, during the course of which the latter brought out three points which may be considered as an indication of what his government is most anxious for at the present time. The Prince laid most stress on need of recognition by the Entente. This, of course, affects his own personal prestige as well as that of his government. He then spoke of the need of the promised munitions of war for the Serbian Army, using the present situation in Hungary as an argument both for recognition and for the proper equipment of the army. He then talked about the Italian "invasion", [expressing] his fears that Italy will succeed in some of her unjust claims. These three foregoing subjects were what he talked most about. He further asked Major Temperley about the feeling in Montenegro, and was frankly told by the latter of the anti-Serbian feeling there, and of the Mohammedan and Turkish influences, which will always be present, and which will require skillful political handling. As he did not speak of conditions in Croatia, I imagine that the indefference and lack of enthusiasm of the Croatians for the leadership of the Serbian Royal House, is not an agreeable subject of conversation.

 

French activities in Agram.

 

2. I am informed that the French are about to make Agram the headquarters of their line of communication from the west, and to transfer their staff, which is now at Fiume [Rijeka] to this city. The revolution in Hungary has given them an opportunity of changing the route of the Paris-Bucharest Oriental Express, which now passes through Agram, and will continue to do so if the French can arrange it. Commandant Rozier, the officer in command of French railway transportation here, tells me that he plans to send the express through Italy to Paris, thereby shortening the journey. The French would thus have direct rail communication with Paris, and be able to move whatever troops they may send here, more quickly. They are doing all they can to counteract the feeling of the Croatians against them (on account of their rapprochement in policy with Italy) by laying stress on the great advantage to Croatia that this new direct communication with the west will offer. The feeling against the French here, after making all allowances for the inevitable unpopularity that a foreign army of occupation creates, is still somewhat increasing, largely on account of their continued attempts to establish a commercial foot-hold. Rumors are current that the French are trying to buy up timber land in Slavonia and Croatia, and that they are everywhere laying a foundation for future commercial leadership. It seems to me more their method of procedure than the fact itself that irritates the Croatians.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Agram, April 1, 1919.

 

Report No. 19.

Subject: The Croatian National Character.

 

1. The Serbians, and particularly the Serbian Army, are not liked by most Croatians. The latter find the Serbians unsympathetic but have a wholesome respect for the Serbian Army. The Croatians are better educated, more pleasure loving, and weaker in character and moral fibre than the Serbians. They resent what they call the exterior crudities of the latter, and frequently speak of their own superior civilization. Their desire for freedom is not a practical and burning conviction like that of the Slovenes and Dalmatians.[74] They like to say that they have been oppressed for centuries by the Hapsburgs; but at the same time they frequently attribute their so-called superiority to the Serbians to their long close connection with that dynasty. Their idea of freedom is expressed rather in a wish to be let alone than in a desire and determination to have an important national existence in the world. Consequently many of them seem to know rather what they do not want than what they do want. This lack of conviction is the reason for the luke warmness and vagueness of political thought among them.

 

The great majority of the intelligent classes realizes that its political salvation lies in suporting the Jugo-Slav union as it now exists, and it will, in my opinion, continue to support it more and more vigorously, particularly as it sees that the union is developing into a practical and powerful government. The national characteristics mentioned above prevent the Croatian supporters of the union from pressing the idea of a united and great Jugo-Slavia with such fervor and enthusiasm as do the Slovenes; and also prevent at present the elements hostile to the union from opposing it with pratical vigor. The Croatians are neither idealists like the Slovenes, nor a strong military race like the Serbians; but a people to whom the easiest way is apt ever to suggest itself as a solution. The above conclusions apply in general to the upper and middle classes, and also in some degree to the peasants. It is suggestive that in Slovenia the peasants or popular party forms the largest and strongest element in that country which supports the idea of a united Jugo-Slavia; while in Croatia it is among the peasants that Radic, the republican agitator, has his chief support. In some cases peasants in Croatia have wished to form a republic out of a single village, their idea being that thus they would be left in sole possession of the land, and be unhampered by any exterior responsibility.

 

The most widely spread national expression of feeling that I have remarked among the Croatians is their dislike of Italy. Italy's claims for Fiume [Rijeka] and eastern Istria are what the Croatians protest against. They care very little about Italy's invasion of Slovene territory, and show no interest to speak of in the frontier disputes between the Slovenes and the Austrians. A considerable proportion of the students in Agram, who have taken a leading part in the demonstrations against Italy, are Bosnians, Dalmatians, and Istrians.[75]

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Agram, April 3, 1919.

 

Report No. 20.

Subject: Arrest of Radic and its consequences.

 

1. Wednesday 2nd April was another great market day in Agram. Thousands of peasants came in from the surrounding country to the market; and at noon a crowd of about 200 of them, men and women, collected together under the direction of some of Radic's supporters in the city, and marched toward the prison they thought Radic was confined. Their purpose was more to make a demonstration than to organize a serious attempt to release Radic, because, when they were confronted with a line of soldiers with fixed bayonets before they reached the prison, they dispersed instantly. No shots were fired and nobody was hurt in any way; and according to all information I can gather this demonstration was organized within the city from among the peasants who had come in to market, and was not planned beforehand. There have been no further arrests among Radic's supporters.

 

2. It is necessary to distinguish between the discontent and unrest which prevails among many Croatian peasants, and the definite republican doctrines that Radic has been spreading. Radic has taken advantage of discontent, and lack of knowledge on the part of the peasants as to what freedom means, to persuade some of them that by following him they could get what they think they want. He has not been successful in organizing effective support for himself among them. Many, however, still remain discontented. The government by means of the new agrarian law, and by an active campaign in the contry districts, is now trying to show these discontented peasants that the Jugo-Slav union will give them what they want and has already met with considerable success.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Agram, April 4, 1919.

 

Supplementary Note to Report No. 20.

Memorandum:

 

1.         Radic, through his leaders, is letting it be known that the reason for his arrest was that during the period from the 13th to the 24th of March he had collected the signatures of 115,000 peasants, signed to a memorandum declaring that they wished Croatia to be an independent republic. It is alleged by him that when the authorities arrested him they tried to destroy these signatures, but that they were unable to find them. The French here, with whom I have consulted, tell me that they doubt Radic's statement as to the number of signatures he procured; that in all events, in case of such a petition, it would be very difficult to verify the signatures, as many of them are represented by simple crosses, many of the peasants being illiterate.[76]

 

2.         Colonel Dehove of the French 2me bureau thinks that while much discontent does exist among the peasants, that organized support for Radic is a myth. He said that the attempts to secure the release of Radic, and the demonstration of Wednesday, April 2nd, were farces. He admits that it is extremely difficult accurately to gauge the extent of Radic's influence, as, were he successful, all discontented elements would probably flock to him, while now, as no organized support for him has developed since his arrest, the discontented elements are non-plussed. Colonel Dehove tells me that the Radic supporters say that the affair is by no means finished, and that further development will take place. There is talk that a great meéting of Radic's supporters, and other discontented people, notably the Frankists, is being organized for the first of May.

 

3.         A deputation of peasants visited the Ban yesterday, but their purpose was not to make a protest with respect to Radic, but to make certain demands with relation to the new agrarian law. This seems to show that the peasants are aware of the advantages that will accrue to them under this law. Some of the great land owners of Slavonia have recently gone to Belgrade to make a proposition to the government that in the case of great tracts of land with a sparse population of peasants, these properties be only partially divided among the peasants.

 

4.         The French tell me that it is estimated that in a Croatian parliament, elected at the present time, the representation of Radic's followers would amount to about 20 per cent of the total number of representatives.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Agram, April I, 1919.

 

Memorandum:

Circulation of Newspapers in Croatia.

 

Supporting the Union.

 

 

*Agramer Tagblatt,

5,000

 

Riječ,

36,000

 

Novosti,

28,000

 

Hvrat [Hrvat],

4,000

(Starkevitch [Starčević] organ published by Pavelić.)

Novo Vriyema [Vrijeme],

 

3,000

Independent.

 

 

Obzor,

10,000

 

Jutarni [Jutarnji] List,

12,000

 

Narodna Politica [Politika],

Small

 

Dom,

 

(Radic's organ, now defunct.)

 

 

 

*The Agramer Tagblatt (published in German) is very influential though its circulation is small.

These figures were given me by Major Temperley of the British Army.

 

 

 

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Agram, April 4, 1919.

Report No. 21.

Subject: Political Corruption in Croatia and a Note on the Serbians of Croatia.

 

1.         The lack of idealism among the Croatian politicians and the more intelligent classes is partly due to the almost universal political corruption which has infected Croatia in recent years. This is largely the result of the evil influence of the Ban, Khuen Hedervary,[77] who acquired that office in 1883, and remained in power for twenty years. He encouraged informers and bribery in the Magyar interests; and so ruined political morality in Croatia, that at the present time there is hardly a politician that is not tainted with the past or present political corruption. The large amount of local independence and home-rule without complete freedom that the Croatians enjoyed under their constitution gave rise, under Hedervary, to elaborate political intrigues within Croatia itself and subservancy to the Magyar govern-ment. The present generation of politicians is rotten; they are afraid of each other on account of past indiscretions, and have become cynical and time serving.

 

2.         It is fair to point this out, as one reason, for the present lack of enthusiasm in this country. In the middle years of the 19th century idealism did exist among the Croatians, and it is quite possible and likely that it will appear again in the future, when the south Slav nation is well established, and a younger generation of men rise to power.

 

3.         The Serbians of Croatia form an interesting class. They have some of the westernism of the real Croatians, and for this are looked down upon by the real Serbians. On the other hand the Croatians themselves dislike them almost as much as they do the latter. The Croatian-Serbs, of course, consider themselves real Serbians, and the victims of Hapsburg oppression. It is interesting to observe that the common tie of Slav blood and an almost identical language fails to cause sympathy between the Croatians and the Serbians; and to note that the former value the advantages they have gained through contact with western civilization far more than this tie. Croatia is intensely proyincial and local, and has a sort of potential decadence; potential, because Croatia has never been a great country and has had nothing great to slip away from, the greatness and power with which it was connected not having been part of itself.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Agram, April 8, 1919.

Report No. 22.

 

Subject: General Situation.

 

Reported Bolshevism in Styria.

 

1.         According to a report made by a Jugo-Slav colonel, who is under the command of General Maester [Maister],[78] in southern Styria, there have been a number of so-called "Bolshevik incidents" in the Prek Murye [Prekmurje], (county of Zalla); and certain Jugo-Slavs who live in the district north of the Mur, between Radkersburg and Nagy Kanizsa, have asked for assistance and protection. The Jugo-Slav forces are not occupying the strip of country south of the Mur, delimited roughly by the line Radkersburg-Puchendorf-Mureck. They admit that the Slovene population in this district are so "Germanized" as to make it impossible for them to occupy the country without constant hostile opposition. This last named territory is south of the demarcation line established by the French. The "Germanized" Slovenes are alleged to be in league with the Bolshevik elements north of the river. Major Temperley has just returned from a visit to Marburg. He went to Strass, a town on the Austrian side of the demarcation line, and interviewed its burgomaster, who admitted to him that there was some evidence of Bolshevism in that neighborhood. This is the only evidence from an Austrian source that I have been able to obtain. The Jugo-Slavs also say that Bolshevist agents from Hungary are at work in Styria.

 

Attitude of the Jugo-Slavs toward work of the American Commission in Carinthia.

 

2.         Major Temperley informs me that the Jugo-Slav authorities in Marburg [Maribor] still look with suspicion on the work of Colonel Miles' commission in Carinthia. He sums up their attitude by saying that he thinks they are afraid the Americans found out too much. He also says that it is indisputable that in Styria, at least, there are Slovenes who want to remain under Austrian rule.

 

Tone of opinion in Agram.

 

3.         Feeling in Agram with respect to the exterior situation has recently become calmer and more reasonable. There is an impression that Italy is not succeeding in her extravagant claims, and that Jugo-Slavia will secure practically the whole of Dalmatia. It is also thought now, that Italy will not secure Fiume [Rijeka] for herself; although there are fears that this port may be internationalized. However, the belief that Italy will not have it is the source of encouragement.

 

Fears concerning the spread of Bolshevism to Jugo-Slavia are less. I hear that there are no signs of this evil in the district surrounding Agram. It is difficult to obtain any news from Slovania [Slavonia], and the districts along the Hungarian frontier; but as the latter are under effective military control by the Serbian Army, I do not believe that Bolshevist agents would meet with much success. With respect to Slavonia, the fact that certain large land owners are planning to spend the Easter holidays on their estates, is an indication that things are quiet.

 

The visit of a party of journalists, French, American and British, to Agram, has given the propagandists here an opportunity to pour out their arguments and their hatred for Italy. I noticed that in talking to these journalists, as well as to me, they laid particular stress on the part Croatians played during the war, and the support they gave to the allied cause. They seem to feel a need of doing this, and produced documents and proofs of it. My own opinion is that this support was more theoretical and less practical than they assert.

 

Indications of French policy.

 

4. The French have not yet been able to divert the Inter-Allied Orient Express from passing through Vienna. Their plan is to have this train go through Modane and northern Italy, to Agram and Belgrade; but I gather that the Italians are raising objections, because they do not wish Jugo-Slavia to have the advantage of such a direct connection with France. The French seem convinced that there is serious Bolshevist tendency in Austria, and are worried by reports that they have received from Graz. Their fear of Germany is ever present, and these officers with whom I have talked here do not make much distinction between Austria and Germany: all are boche to them. While, they criticise individual acts of the Italians, they never go so far as to attack Italy's policy; although one feels that they are very suspicious of a possible rapprochement between Austria and that country. An Italian officer, who has been in Marburg [Maribor] for three weeks, has now gone to Graz, and I know from a report, written by a French officer, which I have seen, that his activities are being closely observed by the French. It is noted in the report just mentioned, that he is in relation with certain Austrian families whom he says he knew before the war.

 

One of the French journalists who is now here, Comte Begouen, of the Journal des Débats, in speaking with me of French aspirations to the left bank of the Rhine, remarked that he did not believe that France wished to give the German population inhabiting that area "the honor of French citizenship".

 

British economic commission in Jugo-Slavia.

 

5. Some civilians have come to Jugo-Slavia as part of a British "economic commission". Some of these individuals are planning to go down the Dalmatian coast; and more are soon coming out from England. The purpose of this commission is not quite clear, but it probably has a commercial, as well as "economic" object.

 

Censorship of newspapers in Agram.

 

6. The newspapers in Agram are still censored, though not very strictly. The chief subjects which are censored at present time are: Bolshevik activities in Germany, Hungary, and elsewhere; and allegations against Radic. Very little has been published about the Hungarian revolution.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Professor A. C. Coolidge to the Commission to Negotiate Peace[79]

 

Vienna, April 21, 1919.

[Received April 25.]

No. 235.

 

Sirs: I have the honor to enclose herewith a report from Lieutenant LeRoy King in Agram.

 

I have [etc.]

 

Archibald Cary Coolidge

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Agram, April 11, 1919.

Report No. 23.

Subject: General Situation.

 

Attitude in Agram toward the French.

 

1. Belief that the French are working in close union with the Italians against Jugo-Slavia is growing. The fact that the French are supporting the Italians in general policy is enough to convince the Croatians that they are supporting the former in every particular; that they have an equal determination to break up and hinder the Jugo-Slav state. I notice that the reports from Paris unfavorable to Jugo-Slavia are now laid as much to the charge of the French as to that of the Italians. The Croatians have a childlike way of believing that in order to be friendly to them, and have their interests at heart, one must be almost blinded by sympathy for their cause, and capable of seeing no side but theirs. They cannot yet entirely believe the fact that a person who does not like them may yet want to see them get justice. They frequently ask me whether such and such an allied officer is a "good friend" of theirs, and seem to think that such good friendship is essential to an equitable solution of their difficulties. Their history, national temperament, and the suppression of which they were the victims, all contribute reasons for this angle of view; and their present reactions make one detest more than ever the sinister Hapsburg policy which so weakened the sturdiness and effectiveness of this subject people. Having received the French in December with wildest enthusiasm, they have now completely changed face and suspect everything that they do.

 

2.         I have no reason whatever to suppose that the French wish to see Jugo-Slavia break-up; and Major Temperley, with whom I have talked at length, agrees with me in thinking that the French greatly prefer to see that union develop in a strong state. Some of the French officers here hint that the policy of their government in relation to Italy is a disappointment to them, while admitting that the future menace of Germany is an adequate reason for it. If this menace becomes too threatening the French would probably throw over Jugo-Slavia in order to meet it; but at present from indications here I do not believe that they are contemplating any such thing.

 

3.         The attached article was published in the Agramer Tagblatt on the 9th of April. As the French have control over the telegraph wires it was assumed at once by many people here that this appeal from Radic had been transmitted by them. As a matter of fact there is no proof whatever that they did this; and it is likely and probable that the contents of the article were sent by the Italians from Fiume [Rijeka] or elsewhere; or else deliberately invented by them. After Radic's arrest his wife went to the French staff, and appealed to them to obtain his release. This was quoted to me as a sign that the 'French are working with the Italians. It was most natural for Radic's wife to go to the French as they are in occupation of the country, and the foregoing accusation seems to be most ridiculous. Major Temperley in his last report to his government summed up the Radic situation as follows:

 

"I do not think that Radic is much of a menace either in prison or out of it. On the other hand the Serbian Army is certainly growing more unpopular."

 

Conditions in Agram are quiet and normal.

 

Bolshevist disturbance.

 

4.         I have heard nothing more of Bolshevist incidents in the Prek Murye [Prekmurje], or in lower Styria. I think that the district where the Hungarian, Austrian, and Jugo-Slav frontiers meet is apt to be a danger point, as it is easily reached from Budapest, and remote from Vienna and Belgrade.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

Dislike of the Serbian Army.

 

5.         I hear occasionally of alleged acts of "militarism" by the Serbian Army; and I am sure that it is not tender toward recalcitrant Croats. The Serbs are tactless and heavy handed; and I fear unnecessarily brutal. For example I am told that Serbian Generals have exceeded their authority in suppressing local newspapers, which criticized their interference with civil rights; and that two Hungarian officers, who fled from the Bolsheviks into Croatia, were brought to Agram in chains and locked up. One sees from time to time hand-cuffed prisoners being marched through the streets under heavy guard. I personally do not hear much criticism of the Serbs, but I frequently feel a silent dislike in the air for their army. It may be that the more intelligent Croats realize that they must swallow their dislike; and that the rest are afraid to express it. At all events the French are openly criticized; the Serbs hardly ever.

 

L. R. K.

 

[Enclosure to the report No. 23. See its point 3:]

Stjepan Radić — Vaterlandsverräter?[80]

 

Wir lesen in der "Riječ": Der Pariser "Temps" brings folgende Nachricht: Die italienische Delegation hat gestern folgendes Telegramm erhalten: "Für die Freiheit der Welt (1), für welche auch ich so viel(?!) kampfte, für die Freiheit(?1) des erniedrigten Kroatiens(?!), bitte ich Euch(!), meinen Schmerzenschrei zu hõren, der zugleich auch jener des kroatischen Volkes(?!) ist. Die Serben(?!) haben mich verhaftet. Dieses Telegramm sende ich mit Hilfe eines Freundes, dessen Namen ungennant bleiben muss, damit ihn die Serben(!') nicht aufspüren. In der Ni he Zagrebs haben wir ein Buch versteckt, welches 200.000 Bauern und Bürger unterschreiben haben(?!), die gegen die serbische Okkupation(?!) und gegen die Gründung des Kõnigreiches der SHS protestieren und die Entente bitten, sie zu befreien. Dieses Dokument sowohl wie such aile Unterschriften auf demselben stehen Ihnen zur Verfügung. Diese Burger reprasentieren heute ganz Kroatien(?!). Ich bitte Sie, nach Kroatien Bine Entente-kommission zu etìtsenden, damit sie sich von unseren Gefühlen überzeuge. Die Serben Sind nicht unsere Befreier. Sie verstehen uns nicht. — Stjepan Radić." — Weiter berichtet die "Riječ" aus Genf: In Paris ist ein neues Memorandum gegen die Verhaftung Radić und seiner Genossen erschienen. Dasselbe wird in Paris von italienischen Emisären verbreitet.

 

Wir wissen nicht, inwieweit diese Nachrichten der Wahrheit entsprechen, fordern aber diestrengste Untersuchung der Angelegenheit. Und wenn es sich herausstellen soute, dass Radic oder sonst irgend jemand tatsächlich mit äusseren Mãchten in Verbidung steht und gegen den Bestand des Staates SHS intriguiert, so fordern wir das rücksichtloseste Vorgehen gegen diese Elemente. Denn für die l5.ppische Rolle Bines Kerienskijs dürfen sich die Lenker des südslavischen Staates nicht hergeben, wenn sie den Staat selbst nicht in Gefahr bringen wollen.

 

 

 

[Editors' translation:]

Stjepan Radić — Traitor of the Fatherland?

 

We read in the Riječ:[81] The Paris Temps brings the following information: Yesterday the Italian Delegation received the following telegram: "For the sake of the world freedom(?!) for which I have also fought a great deal(?!), for the sake of the freedom(?!) of the humiliated Croatia(?!), please hear you (!) my grief cry which is also the cry of the Croatian people(?!). The Serbs(?) arrested me. I send this telegram with the help of a friend whose name must remain anonymous so that the Serbs(!) could not find him. In the vicinity of Zagreb we hid a book which is signed by 200,000 peasants and townsmen(?!) who protest against the Serbian occupation(?!) and against the establishment of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes and beg the Entente to liberate them. This document as well as the all signatures in it are at your disposal. Today these citizens represent the entire Croatia(?!). I beg you to send an Entente commission to Croatia so that they convince themselves of our feelings. The Serbs are not our liberators. They do not understand us. — Stjepan Radić." — Further the Riječ reports from Geneva: A new memorandum against the arrest of Radić and his colleagues was published in Paris. The same is circulated by the Italian emissaries in Paris.

 

We do not know to what extent these reports are true but we demand the strictest investigation in the affair. And if it turned out that Radić or anybody else has really been in connection with foreign powers and has plotted against the continuance of the Serb-Croat-Slovene state, we would demand the most reckless proceedings against these elements. Because the rulers of the Yugoslav state must not give up themselves for a silly role of a Kerenski if they do not wish to endanger the state itself.

 

 

 

Professor A. C. Coolidge to the Commission to Negotiate Peace[82]

 

No. 259.

Vienna, May 3, 1919.

[Received May 7.]

 

Sirs: I have the honor to enclose herewith some reports nos. 24, 25, and 26 from Lieutenant Leroy King.

 

I have [etc.]

Archibald Cary Coolidge

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Ragusa [Dubrovnik], April 19, 1919.

 

Report No. 24.

Subject: Journey to Sarajevo and Ragusa [Dubrovnik].

 

1. I left Agram on April 15th and arrived at Sarajevo 11 p. m. April 16th. The Bosnian narrow gauge railroad is in very good condition and the trains run on time. Owing to the narrow gauge none of the railroad equipment was taken away during the war, and although it is somewhat run down, the service is much better and more regular than on the standard gauge lines in other parts of Jugo-Slavia.

 

2. All through the journey to Sarajevo, up the valley of the Bosna, through rich and fertile country, everything appeared very normal. The country is not thickly settled, but fairly well cultivated, at least along the river.

 

3.         Sarajevo is quiet. There has not been any trouble or even threatened trouble there as far as I could find out from inquires made of Americans who had been living there for sometime. The large Mohammedan population cares nothing about politics, and is willing to support any government if it is only let alone. There is plenty of food and other supplies. Prices of food are slightly higher than they are in Agram.

 

4.         I left for Ragusa [Dubrovnik] on the evening of April 17th and arrived there the following morning. Colonel Miles is in Ragusa [Dubrovnik], not having gone to Montenegro, and I am planning to go up the coast to Fiume [Rijeka] with him in two or three days.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Ragusa [Dubrovnik], April 19, 1919.

Report No. 25.

 

Subject: Political Conditions in Bosnia.

 

1. I have had several talks with Bosnians about politics of that province, particularly with Mr. Jelic who is the director of the entire Bosnia, Hercegovina railway system.

 

2. There are no political questions comparable with those in Croatia. The Serbian party is large and strong, and carries the Mohammedans with it, as the latter are not very actively interested in politics. They are quite content to follow any decent leadership if it secures for them their religious and economic rights and gives them protection. The three great classes in Bosnia are the Serbian-Bosnians, the Croatians and the Mohammedans. In the case of the Serbians and the Croatians the difference is of religion; in fact in Bosnia it would be easier to divide the people under the head of Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Mohammedan rather than into racial categories. The Orthodox support the existing status quo: the Mohammedans do so also, because they want to be left alone and thus think they will retain their religious rights and protection. The Catholics are divided, many of them supporting the existing union, the rest some form of autonomy; but it, may be said that most Roman Catholics support the principle of a united Jugo-Slavia, and that out and out seperatism hardly exists. Some of them want autonomy but not disunion. The Socialists and discontented elements are in a very small minority, about 1% I am told. There is nothing in Bosnia that corresponds to the Radic movement in Croatia. Mandic,[83] a local agitator, who was pro-Austrian before the war, and working in the Austrian interests, in a similar way to the Frankist elements in Croatia, is trying to cause opposition to the government, and has allied himself with the autonomist Roman Catholics. In other words he is trying to make the best use he can out of any signs of discontent with the present regime. His influence, I am assured, is quite negligible. It can be said that Bosnia has fallen into line, and has accepted Serbian leadership in the union more naturally and easily than any other province. The thought of its people, its agricultural activities, and its history are all more or less united with Serbia;[84] in fact the question of religion as between the Catholics and Orthodox is the most marked divergence that exists. In several villages I noticed Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches built alongside one another. This indicates that they have been able to get on together satisfactorily in the past and will find no difficulty in the future if the Serbians do not get too tactless.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Ragusa [Dubrovnik], April 19, 1919.

Report No. 26.

 

Subject: Impressions of the Jugo-Slavs in general.

 

After living among the Slovenes, Croatians and Serbians for nearly four months; after having known many of them familiarly and observed their respective characters and processes of thought, I believe that it must be long before the Jugo-Slavs can develop into a great people; before they can understand and apply the freedom of the west to their own national life. I will not attempt to discuss the Serbs except to say that it is in time of war that such qualities as they have appear. In other words, an abnormal state of affairs is necessary to obscure their semi-civilization. It is on the field of battle that the civilized westerner meets the Serb on equal terms. The arts of peace, (and what more lofty art can civilized peace produce than the construction of a free and democratic state) have not been Serbian specialties in the past. The Serbs are the one south Slav people who have really held off their external oppressors and gained their freedom as a political organism by their own continuous and determined fighting. Neither the Slovenes nor the Croatians have won their freedom; it has been given to them: they have been turned loose with it, so to speak. They feel this themselves, and often try to establish a historical struggle for themselves, out of the fact that they; have been suppressed. One can be suppressed very easily without struggling not to be. They make the futile argument that they helped the cause of the Allies in the last stages of the war by betraying their imperial masters. What they did was simply to turn on those masters when the latter were beaten already by the Allies. It is a fact recorded by the British Intelligence Service that the worst atrocities in Serbia in 1915 were perpetrated by two Croatian regiments.

 

The Slovenes are superior to the Croatians, and their peasants show a higher percentage of literacy owing to the influence of the Roman Church, which in Slovenia is seen at its best. It has created the peasant's or popular party, and its priests have instilled a national idealism into the Slovenes which does not exist among the Croats. The Slovenes have intelligently rejected and loathe the Austrian policy; and are ashamed that they were ever associated with such a poisonous incubus, even though it was not their fault. The Croatians are opportunists, show the childlike indirectness and superficiality of the Slav, corrupted by a sinister residuum left by Magyar contact, which one finds constantly under their plausible surface. Many of the more intelligent have the sheepish admiration for the Hapsburgs that a reformed criminal has for the master burglar. Having little practical ambition, they are always talking about the superiority of their civilization to that of the Serbs, and saying that their only hope is in America; that America is their best friend: when in fact they have not the slightest conception of American ideals or freedom and think that we came into the war solely on account of the submarines. America is composed for them of President Wilson and millionaires. I have tried very hard to like the Jugo-Slavs; I have made many acquaintances among them; I have done everything to make allowances to myself for them and to discover potential greatness in them, but I am forced to admit that they are an inferior, or at least retarded, people, and are very far from being like the average western civilized man. There are, of course, many historical reasons which have bearing on their qualities of character; but I will not mention these as I am merely giving my impressions of their characteristics today. I have often considered Kipling's remark about the Russians. In one of his stories he says that a Russian is all right until he tucks in his shirt: this is true of the south Slavs as I know them. As the most western of eastern people they would be interesting; as the most eastern of western people they are distressing. In the case of the Croatians they have not even tucked in their shirts for themselves, they have had it done for them.

 

I think that the Jugo-Slavs will be able to make some kind of a state and in time may get it working, but I do not think it can, for a long time at least, be a truly western democracy. The Serbs, of course, are essential as they are the only element of real strength that exists in Jugo-Slavia today. Serbia's strength is military and does very well while the foundations are being laid. Military orders take the place of legislation and courts; but what is going to happen when the Serbs demobilize their army, tuck in their shirts again, and start making laws, administering civil justice, developing mines and forests and water power, sending ambassadors abroad, founding universities, and organizing the thousand and one instruments of a normal civilized state? Having established leadership in Jugo-Slavia in the beginning through their prestige and military record, and their connection with the Allies, they will naturally attempt to continue to lead in the more gentle and permanent instrumentalities of peace. The Croatians and Slovenes know much more about this sort of thing than the Serbians, and although they have never created any of them for themselves, they are used to railroads, books, and hotels. When the S.H.S. [Serb-Croat-Slovene] Government is recognized by the Entente, such potential statesmen as exist in Jugo-Slavia outside of Serbia will have more chance to show what is in them. Such recognition will be the recognition of those Jugo-Slavs who have never been independent, will give them the needed prestige, and make them equal with the Serbs under international law. They will then be able more effectively to meet the Serbs on an equal footing in the task of government.

 

I believe that the Jugo-Slav union will be permanent if not interfered with by its exterior enemies; and that there is not much danger of disruption within the country. The reasons for this belief have been elaborated in my earlier reports from Agram. I have been writing today on the assumption that the union will persist; and discussing the future success and effectiveness of this newly created democracy.

 

LeRoy King, Lieutenant, F. A.

 

 

 

Professor A. C. Coolidge to the Commission to Negotiate Peace[85]

 

 

Vienna, May 8, 1919.

[Received May 10.]

No. 268.

 

Sirs: I have the honor to enclose herewith a report I have just received from Lieutenant Leroy King since the closing of my report No. 265. Lieutenant King confirms the unprovoked nature of the Jugo-Slav attack. The estimates that he gives of the forces on both sides quite disagree with those informally given to me by the Italians here, who ought to be in a position to know. According to them the Jugo-Slav actual troops are considerably more numerous than the Austrians, and the Italians suggests no explanation of the defeat of the Jugo-Slav except incompetence and a general rising on the part of the population. According to the latest account the Austrian advance is still continuing in spite of General Segre's intervention. The fact is that, granting that the central authorities are anxious to restrain the Carinthians, it is not certain that they can do so. The control of the government of Vienna over the different provinces, never very strong in these last few months, seems to be growing weaker, as I have pointed out elsewhere.

 

I have [etc.]

Archibald Cary Coolidge

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Laibach [Ljubljana], 6 May 1919.

 

Report No. 27.

Subject: Carinthian Situation.

 

1. The Jugoslav authorities state that on 27 April they heard that treatment of Slovenes in Carinthia by Austrians had reached an intolerable pitch and that help was required. A food train was sent through the tunnel to Rósenbach and Jugoslav troops advanćed about 8 kil. from the N. end of the tunnel toward Klagenfurt. The Austrians were taken by surprise and 2 officers and about 300 men were captured on the 28. An advance was also made by Jugoslav troops N. of Völkermarkt. The Austrians then sent reinforcement, (it is alleged from Tyrol and elsewhere) and drove back the Jugoslavs to the original line, taking some prisoners.

 

2.         The recent advance of the Jugo Slav troops on the 28th was hurriedly undertaken by the Drava Division (H.Q. Laibach [Ljubljana]) without any notice of the termination of the armistice according to the Austrians.

 

3.         It appears that the President of the Slovene Provisional Government[86] (Laibach [Ljubljana] ), and other influential persons have property in Carinthia and it is generally thought in Laibach [Ljubljana] that they were anxious to have these properties secured by Jugoslav occupation; and that they exercised strong pressure on the command of the Drava Division. Whether they also actually tried to stir up a revolt among the peasants is not clear; but they probably exaggerated the help which might be expected from the Slovene peasants, and failed to take account of the weakness of the Jugoslav forces.

 

4.         The main Austrian attack began on the night of the 1-2 May and the Drava Division gave way and evacuated the Volkermarkt . salient and the north end of Rosenbach tunnel. On the third of May the Austrians attacked from the Freibach position, flanked the line of the Drau to the east, and advanced through the jaunthal on the 4th May. The Drava Division was much reduced in strength because about 1/3 of the troops had been sent away on agricultural work and to Agram.

 

5.         The Austrians had evidently expected a Jugoslav advance, and 'trouble among the peasants, for an order was captured dated 30 March 1919 giving preliminary disposition and preparing for reinforcements. The Austrian forces in Carinthia are roughly estimated as follows:

 

10 Regular Carinthian Battalions

4          "          Battalions from Vienna

3          "           Tyrol

1          "           Styria

 

18 Total say, 9,000 rifles

 

and at least a further 9,000 rifles in various "Volkswehralarm" Corps. I am told that the Jugoslav forces in Carinthia amounted to about 2,500 at the time of Austrian attack.

 

6.         The present Carinthian line from west to east (information supplied today by Jugoslav military authorities) is approximately

 

Ratschach (upper Save Valley) — N. E. to ridge of Mittagskogel — old Carinthian frontier to Loibl Pass — N. E. to Zell bei der Pfarre — E. N. E. to Moos — E. to Bleiburg — E. as far as old Styrian-Carinthian frontier.

 

This line, however, is only held at the S. end of Assling [Jesenice] tunnel, and at occasional points in the mountains, owing to inadequate forces.

 

7.         Austrians have lost 9 guns, 7 officers, 300 prisoners (casualties not known).

Jugoslavs have lost 7 guns, about 400 prisoners, and about 200 total casulties.

 

8.         The local government is very strongly criticised for its bad judgement in this unfortunate escapade which has given considerable territory to Austrians.

 

9.         An official telegram from General Segre arrived last night instructing the chief of Italian Armistice Mission at Laibach [Ljubljana] to inform the Military Command of the Drava Division that General Segre, in the name of the Entente and humanity, and to prevent further bloodshed in view of the approaching frontier delimitation and the coming peace, invites the Jugoslavs to cease hostilities on the basis of the present situation and line; and that he guarantees similar suspension of hostilities on part of Austrians if the Jugoslavs agree.

 

10.       It is not clear whether Gen. Segre has authority from Paris or if he is acting on his own initiative. The Laibach [Ljubljana] government is generally thought to have been extremely inopportune in the whole affair which may injure Jugoslavia's prospects in Paris and has given opportunity for Italian intervention.

 

11.       The above statements are the result of investigation made in Laibach [Ljubljana] yesterday and today by Capt. Thompson, British Intelligence Officer, and myself.

 

LeRoy King, Lt., F. A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge[87]

 

Agram, May 9, 1919.

 

Report No. 28.

Subject: Laibach [Ljubljana] Government and Carinthian situation.

 

1. There is much criticism on [in] Laibach [Ljubljana] of the local government which is blamed for the recent fiasco in Carinthia. I mentioned this criticism in my report No. 27 and I find that in Agram also the Laibach [Ljubljana] government is considered to be responsible for the ill advised advance of Jugo-Slav forces in Carinthia on the 28 April, which gave the German-Austrians the opportunity of attacking with a clear conscience. Colonel DeHove[88] of the French staff in Agram tells me that the Jugo-Slavs made a great mistake. He puts the blame on the local government at Laibach (Ljubljana] for exercising pressure on the staff of the Drava division, and on officers at the front. The government also exaggerated the probabilities of a peasant revolt and the stories of Austrian terrorism and treatment of the population. DeHove says the government will probably be forced to resign. The President and Vice-President appear to be chiefly to blame, and are alleged by many persons in Laibach [Ljubljana] to have wished for immediate military occupation by Jugo-Slav forces of certain districts in Carinthia where they and their friends have property holdings. DeHove believes that there is something in this allegation and says that the whole situation in Carinthia has been aggravated by personal jealousy and hatred between the President of the Laibach [Ljubljana] government and the Landeshauptmann [Governor] at Klagenfurt.[89]

 

2.         Who gave the actual order to advance is uncertain. There were practically no Serbian troops in Carinthia; though the Serbian general Smilyanic [Smiljanić][90] is in command, the discipline of the Jugo-Slavs is not good, and it is quite possible that certain Slovene officers on the front acted independently of him, and followed direct instructions from the civil authorities. The Serbians had a short while before given strict orders not to break the armistice under any condition; and I noticed that the attitude of certain Serbian staff officers at Laibach [Ljubljana] seemed critical of the local govern-ment although they did not say much. Colonel DeHove does not think that the Serbians were responsible for the advance. The Jugo-Slav forces in Carinthia were demoralized. In Styria I hear that one non-Serbian battalion has dwindled to nothing through desertions; and the technical control of the Serbian staff is not very efective.

 

3.         On the night of the 7-8th May there were reports that the Austrians had crossed the Styrian frontier and were marching in behind the demarcation line in that province. Colonel DeHove sent an officer to Graz to find out if this were true, and, if so, to protest to Graz government, and through Vienna to the Klagenfurt government. While the French had only arranged, or as he expressed it "Given their patronage" to the armistice in Styria, DeHove felt that he ought to make an attempt to stop possible bloodshed. As it turned out the Austrians had not crossed into Styria at all. I felt sure that they would not do so as they already had the Jugo-Slavs in the wrong and would not be willing to lose their own strong position by doing anything that might be constructed as a breach of the Styrian armistice by them.

 

4. I noticed that the French attitude has changed toward the Austrians somewhat and appears to be more conciliatory. DeHove said at once that the Austrians had not broken the armistice on the occasion in question and criticized the Jugo-Slavs "Piece of folly". He was also more friendly in tone about the work of Colonel Miles commission than ever before, said that the Americans or French, but not the Italians, might have intervened in Carinthia at this time, and spoke with dislike of Italian methods, disapproving General Segre's proposal to the Laibach [Ljubljana] government (See my telegram No. 4 from Laibach [Ljubljana] and my report No. 27) which he called "Tendancieux" [tendentious]. The French are apparently steering away from Italy a little now they have arranged their own affairs on the Western Front; and one feels at once that they are more popular in Agram than they were a month ago.

 

 

 

Professor A. C. Coolidge to the Commission to Negotiate Peace[91]

 

Vienna, May 22, 1919.

[Received May 24.]

 

No. 284.

 

Sirs: I have the honor to enclose herewith a report from Lieutenant LeRoy King in Agram concerning conditions in Jugo-Slavia.

 

I have [etc.]

Archibald Cary Coolidge

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge

 

Agram, May 10, 1919.

 

Report No. 29.

Subject: General Situation.

 

General condition in Agram have improved during the past month. One feels that the people are settling down more and more to normal lives under the new order of things; and that the different elements of possible disruption and disturbance are less active. The government, and especially the police, are increasingly energetic and have suppressed any signs of Bolshevism or disloyalty with an effective hand.

 

The first of May.

 

The Socialists (among whom may be included various classes of discontent people) attempted to declare a general strike on this day. They held a meeting on the evening of the 30th of April for the purpose without obtaining the necessary authority. In consequence the government treated this meeting as illegal, in view of the recent order forbidding all unauthorized assemblies, and immediately arrested the entire gathering — 187 persons in all. These individuals were released a few days later, after their names had been taken and they had been duly warned that any further trouble they might cause would result in severe punishment. Nothing further happened; no general strike was declared; and whatever active socialists exist in Agram have since lying very low. One can say that the first of May passed off very quietly.

 

I learn that in Sarajevo certain "Communists" also tried to cause trouble for the government; but their numbers were very small, and they were energetically suppressed by the authorities. I am informed that in the whole of Bosnia there are but 6,000. organized Socialists, and of these only a quarter are extremists (Communists).

 

Radic:

 

Radic is still in prison awaiting his trial. His followers have dwindled. I am told that the peasants are working on the land in large numbers, and are accepting more and more the new regime, having gradually got over the idea that the millenium is coming immediately. There are of course discontended peasants yet, but the whole situation has improved. In one case, the peasants themselves have hired local gamekeepers to act as rural policemen and protect their crops. I do not believe that the peasants will ever cause trouble in a land so rich in agricultural possibilities as Croatia. Radic has lost followers through his arrest and his subsequent failure to develop effective support for himself. His peasant adherents seem to be deserting a lost cause. Individual peasants will often say that they are discontented; are against the government; want a republic, etc.: but they have neither the intelligence nor the necessary conviction to organize real opposition. In fact the discontented ones do not know what they really want; and it is only when an agitator like Radic holds up to them a visionary aegis that their restlessness shows the shadow of unity.

 

Police activity:

 

During the last ten days the police have been questioning hundreds of people in Agram as to the right of the latter to remain in Jugo-Slavia. They stop individuals in the streets, ask for their papers, examine their "permis de sejour"s [permissions to reside], and demand proofs of citizenship and reputable occupation. In this way they have discovered over 20,000 (this figure is given me by the government) persons who have apparently no right to remain in Agram according to the new government policy, which aims at getting rid of undesirables. Many Jews from Russia and Hungary, Austrians and Hungarians, and other aliens are to be deported as soon as possible. Their absence will relieve the overcrowded city; and will benefit the community in many ways. Also, the spread of Bolshevist and anti-governmental doctrines will be checked. I am assured that in each case every opportunity is given to the individual to prove his right to remain; and that those who are ordered to leave will have a reasonable time to settle their affairs and to leave the country by their own means; but, knowing the methods and training of the Croats, I feel sure that much injustice must be done by this wholesale proscription. At any rate it shows that the government is feeling surer of its power.

 

The Italian situation and the Peace Conference:

 

President Wilson's declaration concerning Fiume has greatly gratified and consoled this volatible people. They are very pleased and seem calmly to await the final decision. The armed occupation of Fiume [Rijeka] by the Italians does not disturb them much, as they are convinced that the former must give way, and that France and England will now support America in this question. They think that Orlando acted childishly in rushing away from the Conference, and that his country is somewhat isolated by the reported alliance between America, England and France.

 

The announcement of the conditions of peace with Germany has had a salutory effect in this country. The Croats are sobered by what they call the severity of the terms, and feel the prestige of Paris very deeply; particularly as they had been inclined to forget it owing to the length of time which has elapsed since the armistice. Nearly everyone with whom I have talked thinks that the conditions are too hard, although one can always convince him by argument that they are just. Doubts are expressed as to whether Germany will sign, until mention is made of the power and resources of the Allies.

Italian activity at Fiume [Rijeka]:

 

The Italians have occupied Fiume [Rijeka] in force and are fortifying their lines. They are digging trenches and putting up barbed wire. I learn from the French that they have advanced nearly up to Bakar, and are close to Sersak [Sušak?]. With respect to the latter place Colonel Dehove was not fully informed, and could not tell me much as he is not reporting on the Fiume [Rijeka] situation. There is no fighting: the Italians are merely digging themselves in. Col. Dehove informs me that General Grazioli announced that the Italians would not evacuate Fiume [Rijeka] under any circumstances and would fight for its possession if necessary. The slight affray between the French and Italians at Sersak [Sušak], which was reported in the Viennese papers about 1st of May, appears to have been negligible. The French, of course, will say nothing about it; but the Croats here who ought to know, and who would be glad to recount such an affair, treat it as of little importance.

 

Economic Situation:

 

There is plenty of food everywhere. Prices have risen a little owing chiefly to the decreasing value of the Jugo-Slav crown; and one hears complaints from working people that their money will not buy anything. Wages have increased and an eight-hour day is now in force. In Slovenia the 'valuta' [currency] question is more serious than here. The Laibach [Ljubljana] government is blamed for the great decrease in the value of the crown. It says in reply that nothing can be done until the amount of paper currency for which it must be responsible is determined; until it knows how much of German-Austria's war indemnity Slovenia must bear; what share of forth-coming loans will be its, etc. The monetary question in Croatia is less acute, probably owing to better management and more wealth.

 

I am frequently asked when the United States will establish commercial relations with Croatia, and am assured that such relations are needed and will be welcomed. The Croats want our supplies and capital; and particularly our help in financing a thousand and one enterprises. Our "help" means our doing it all, I fancy. These people are not energetic and lack initiative.

 

The Croats are beginning to receive manufactured articles from Italy, saying apologetically that they have to get them from some country. They say, of course, that they would prefer commercial dealings with America to those with any other country. There is, undoubtedly, an opportunity for commercial enterprise in Jugo-Slavia; and there will be a greater one in the future.

 

Visit of U. S. Congressmen to Agram.

 

Toward the end of April two congressmen arrived unexpectedly in Agram. One was from Pennsylvania, and one from Michigan, and both have many Croatian constituents in the United States. The local government was not notified of their coming; and they were here for two or three days before their presence was learned of. The Secretary of the Government tells me that they were rather put out by this seeming lack of attention, and proceeded to "investigate" conditions among the peasants with the aid of an interpreter of their own choosing. The local government regrets that they were not properly looked after, and thinks they went away prejudiced. One of them told the secretary of the government that he had found no national feeling against Italy among such peasants as he had interviewed. This statement is in direct contradiction to my own experience. I was away at the time, and did not see these two members of Congress.

 

LeRoy King, 2nd Lieut., F.A., U.S.A.

 

 

 

Lieutenant LeRoy King to Professor A. C. Coolidge[92]

 

Agram, 16 May, 1919.

Report No. 31.

 

Subject: General Situation.

 

1.         Since sending you my report No. 30 very little has happened in Agram. Conditions normal and quiet. Everyone is waiting for the various decisions of the Peace Conference concerning Jugo-Slavia. Great confidence in Mr. Wilson continues and it is felt by most people that the final settlement of the Fiume [Rijeka] and Dalmatian questions will not be unfavorable to this country. The Italians are still cordially detested; but the knowledge that America has come to the rescue has removed the panicky state of mind which was notice-able among the Jugo-Slavs during the winter.

 

2.         The Croatians, as usual, show little interest in the Carinthian boundary dispute. They hope in a general way that the Slovenes will succeed in their claims; but these claims do not concern the people of Agram.

 

3.         Two days ago I went to a village on the Save [Sava], thirty miles from Agram and in Slovenia, where I heard reports that the Italians were intriguing to separate Slovenia from the S.H.S. [Serb-Croat-Slovene Kingdom] by offers of sea-port facilities; and that some Slovenes of clerical leanings were now favouring such separation and a possible union with German Austria. I was told that the Serbians were very unpopular, and that their recent "failure" to support the Slovenes in Carinthia had caused distrust in the Belgrade Government. I thereupon wired you what I heard (telegram No. 8 Agram). I have since made many inquires here and cannot find the slightest basis for thinking that there is a separatist movement in Slovenia. I am assured that the clerical block at Belgrade (led by Koroschetz [Korošec]) support the union; though it has not joined the Democratic party of Jugo-Slavia. This is natural as the Democratic party has pronounced itself anti-clerical.

 

4. There is no doubt that the Laibach [Ljubljana] government is unpopular with the Slovenes on account of its mismanagement of the Carinthian affair; and for other reasons set forth in my last report. The Serbians are annoyed with the members of the Laibach [Ljubljana] government and it is likely that the latter are trying to save their heads by putting the blame on the Serbians, and by spreading reports of the Serbians' lack of cooperation in Carinthia and by alleging that the Belgrade government through its incompetence has caused the high price of living and other economic difficulties. The existing local government at Laibach [Ljubljana] is shifty, self-interested and with a talent for doing the wrong thing.

 

5: One hears the usual stories of Italian spies being everywhere in Croatia, but these agents usually retreat to the neighborhood of Fiume [Rijeka] as one asks questions about them. I am told that an Italian officer was asked to show his papers the other day in Agram and threatened to make an incident out of it. All these little things rather please the Croatians now that their slender courage has been stiffened by American support. The people are also beginning to think more of the riches and opportunities their land possesses; and to realize that, even if they do not obtain all their sentimental and extreme territorial claims, they will still have a large and valuable tract of land.

 

6. I am continually struck with the way things are settling down. The political parties are assuming more and more the nature of interior movements and expressions of thought within a nation; and are becoming concerned rather with the question of running a country that is a fait accompli than with juggling with the component parts of a somewhat experimental union. I feel this state of affairs; and, while the reasons for my conclusions are intangible for the most part, I am certain that I am right. The Progressives (Lorhovic [Lorkvić] party) and the Starkevic [Starčević] Party have joined forces[93] and this combination is trying to get the Clerical Party to form an opposition to the Democratic Party in connection with them. When the constitutional elections take place the Starkevists [Starčevićs] will certainly try to obtain autonomic concessions for Croatia. They continue to support the general principle of union.

 

 



[1] House to Lansing and Wilson, Paris, Nov. 8, 1918, U. S. Dept. of State, Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States. The Paris Peace Conference 1919, vol. I, p. 194. This collection is referred to as Paris Peace Conference hereafter.

[2] Lansing to House, Nov. 15, 1918. ibid., p. 196.

[3] Lansing to Coolidge, Nov. 16, 1918, Harold Jefferson Coolidge and Robert Howard Lord, Archibald Cary Coolidge, Life and Letters (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1932), p. 195.

[4] Lansing to Coolidge, Dec. 26, 1918, ibid., p. 196.

[5] Ibid., p. 212-13.

[6] American Commission to Coolidge, Paris, May 16, 1919, Paris Peace Conference, vol. XII, p. 525.

[7] H. J. Coolidge and R. H. Lord, op. cit., p. 215, and 217.

[8] Minutes of the Daily Meetings of the Commissioners, Feb. 20, 1919, Paris Peace Conference, vol. XI, p. 59.

[9] The editor hopes to publish Miles' reports from the Adriatic area later on.

[10] National Archives, Washington, D. C., State Department files. Hereafter State Dept. files. The telegram mentioned in the memorandum could not be located.

[11] Paris Peace Conference, vol. XI, p. 50.

[12] Ibid., vol. XII, p. 475.

[13] It is printed hereunder. See n. 14 infra.

[14] Ibid., vol. XII, p. 394-95. That is the annex 4th to report 110. Mr. Charles M. Storey was a member of Coolidge's mission investigating the situation in Hungary.

[15] Lieutenant Philip Goodwin was a member of Coolidge's mission investigating the situation in Hungary.

[16] I am thankful to Mr. King for information about his career which he made readily available in his letter of March 10, 1959.

[17] This letter and the reports numbered 1 to 5 with enclosures are in State Dept. files, Paris Peace Conf. 184. 01102/218. Two additional enclosures (Occupation of Istria by Italy; The Starčević Party and the Actual Political Questions) are in the same file. Probably they were attached to the report numbered 6 which is now missing. Coolidge's letter and the reports numbered 1 and 2 are published in Paris Peace Conference, vol. XII, p. 484-88. One sentence in the report numbered 1, at the end of the point 2, was omitted in print.

[18] Agram, German name for the Croatian capital, is almost always used in the reports instead of Zagreb. Because the term Agram appears often, we do not put the term Zagreb in the brackets as we do in similar cases.

[19] Francis Cardinal Boume (1861-1935), Archbishop of Westminster since 1903, Cardinal since 1911.

[20] Dr. Antun Bauer (1856-1937), Archbishop of Zagreb since 1914.

[21] I could not identify Dr. André Druškovič. He was not a known personality in Slovenian politics.

[22] Svetozar Pribićević (1875-1936), a Serb from Croatia. At first an extreme South Slav unitarist and centralist. His party, Samostalna Demokratska Stranka (Independent Democratic Party), formed a coalition with Radić's Croatian Peasant Party after the elections of 1927, under the name of Seljačko-Demokratska Koalicija (Peasant-Democratic Coalition). The coalition continued until the war, April 1941. Since 1927 Pribićević became a federalist, recognizing Yugoslavia as a multinational state. He went into exile in 1931 and died in Prague in 1936. During his exile he published an important work, La dictature du roi Alexandre (Paris: P. Bossuet, 1933). See n. 43 infra.

[23] Dr. Ante Starčević (1821-1896), founder of Hrvatska Stranka Prava (Croatian Party of Right) in 1861. His aim was the establishment of an independent, liberal and democratic, Croatian state.

[24] Dr. Ante Pavelić (1869-1936), a doctor of medicine, should not be mixed with his namesake Dr. Ante Pavelić (1889-1959), a lawyer, the founder of the Ustaša move-ment in 1930's and the head of the Independent State of Croatia 1941-1945.

[25] The exact name of the party was Hrvatska Republikanska Seljačka Stranka (Croatian Republican Peasant Party).

[26] Stjepan Radić (1871.1928), founder and leader of Croatian peasant movement. His name is usually written as Radic in the reports.

[27] The party did not participate in the Provisional Assembly from its start.

[28] Dr. Anton Korošec (1872-1940), a Catholic priest, was a leader of Slovenska Ludska Stranka (Slovenian People's Party). He was the president of the National Council of the Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs at Zagreb from October to December 1918.

[29] It would be better to say: Croatians from Dalmatia. Dalmatia is a Croatian province.

[30] The disturbance of December 5, 1918, was caused by Croatian national elements. See Josip Horvat, Politička Povijest Hrvatske 1918-1929 (Zagreb: Velzek, 1938), p. 165-69.

[31] Dr. Milan Rojc (1855-1930's). He was for many years the head of the educational and religious department of the Croatian autonomous government prior to 1918.

[32] Dr. Milovan Zoričić (born 1884), after World War II twice elected a judge of the International Court at Hague.

[33] The exact name of the party was Hrvatska Čista Stranka Prava (Croatian Pure Party of Right). The followers of the party were called Frankists according to the name of Dr. Josip Frank (1844-1911), leader of the party since 1895.

[34] That is actually the annex B.

[35] That is the annex A.

[36] We do not publish it because it is well known.

[37] These and similar other documents were later published; therefore we do not print them here. See Franjo Barac, ed., Croats and Slovenes, Friends of the Entente in the World War. A Few Official Document- Derived From the Archives of the Imperial and Royal Military Commands. Paris: Lang, 1919, 128pp. A French edition of the same book is also available.

[38] Milan Rojc, ed., The Yugoslav Littoral on the Adriatic Sea. Zagreb; Government Press, 1919, 67 pp. A French edition of the same pamphlet is also available.

[39] English translation follows immediately hereafter. See King's report numbered 9 for his comments.

[40] King's note: L'importation du vin italien sans payment de douane a ruiné les vignes de la Dalmatie.

[41] Rojc's note: Le parti unioniste etait Magyarophile et partisan de l'union avec la Hongrie.

[42] King's note: The import of the Italian wine without customs payment ruined the Dalmatian vineyards.

[43] Dr. Ivan Lorković (1876.1927) and Dr. Djuro Šurmin (1867-1937) were really Croatian leaders of the Coalition. With their exit the Coalition became a party of the followers of Svetozar Pribićević, i. e. it became mainly a Serbian party. Pribićević and his followers, joined by Slovenian liberals and several Serbian parties, organized the Democratic Party in 1919. In March 1924 Pribićević and his followers ceded from the Democratic Party and organized Samostalna Demokratska Stranka (Independent Democratic Party). See n. 22 supra. Lorković and Šurmin, on the other hand, with the followers of the Starčević Party organized Hrvatska Zajednica (Croatian Union). See n. 93 infra.

[44] Rojc's note: The unionist party was Magyarophile and a partisan of the union with Hungary.

[45] Toni Schlegel (1878-1929), a journalist. He was assassinated by a Croatian nationalist for his support of king Alexander's dictatorship. It is evident from this that Schlegel was the author of the report and Dr. Milovan Zoričić translated it. See King's report numbered 9 for his comments.

[46] Schlegel's note: The late Austrian general Togo Bekić published in January 1918 in the Agramer Tagblatt that according to his informations [sic] in Czechoslovak countries about 500 gallows had been erected, whereas in Yougoslavic lands there were 60,000! These figures may be exagerated [sic], they prove anyhow that Austria dealing with Yougoslavs did not spare gallows.

[47] Only a delegation of the National Council went to Belgrade.

[48] This and the following enclosure (The Starčević Party and the Actual Political Questions) were probably attached to the report numbered 6 which is now missing. See n. 17 supra.

[49] The word parish is used in British sense, i.e. it means commune, the smallest administrative division.

[50] He was appointed bishop of Split in 1923. Died in 1957.

[51] The bishop of Krk was a suffragan of the archbishop of Gorizia. Therefore, the archbishop of Zagreb was not his archbishop. Zagreb has been a center of the Catholics in Yugoslavia and its archbishop has been the president of the Bishop Conference, an assembly of all Catholic bishops of Yugoslavia, besides being the Croatian Metropolitan.

[52] It seems that the report on the situation in Dalmatia was not forwarded to King.

[53] Published in Agramer Tagblatt (Zagreb), February 21, 1919. See notes 48 and 17 supra. English translation hereafter.

[54] See n. 53 supra.

[55] Dr. Živko Petričić (born 1875), probably died in late 1930's or early 1940's.

[56] Most of the persons listed below were not important in Croatian politics after 1919. That political body actually was called the Provisional National Representation or Assembly (Privremeno Narodno Predstavništvo).

[57] The word deputy in this list means a deputy to the former Croatian Diet (Sabor), elected in 1913.

[58] This letter and the reports numbered 7 to 9 are in State Dept. files, Paris Peace Conf. 184. 01102/253.

[59] This letter and the reports numbered 10, 11, 12, 15, and 16 are in State Dept. files. Paris Peace Conf. 184. 01102/266. The report numbered 11 is published in Paris Peace Conference, vol. XII, p. 489-90.

[60] The report numbered 7 is entitled "French Commission to Carinthia."

[61] Editor's translation: Ljubljana, March 17. I received the communication of a decision approving your joining the mission which I direct. I shall be happy to have you as a collaborator and I shall be obliged to you for telegraphing me which day you could come to Ljubljana where I wait for you. You could arrange the journey with Major Temperley of the British Army to whom I am telegraphing likewise.

[62] Coolidge-King correspondence is probably preserved among Coolidge's political papers. Mr. King did not preserve it.

[63] See n. 55 supra.

[64] Probably Dr. Ivo Milić, born in Supetar on the island Brač in 1882. Prior to 1914 he was a deputy in Istrian provincial diet.

[65] The group was called according to its newspaper Glas Slovenaca, Hrvata i Srba (Voice of the Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs). It was headed by Dr. Srđan Budisavljevíć (born 1883) and Valerijan Pribićević (1870-1941), Svetozar Pribićević's brother. They broke with with the Croato-Serbian Coalition at the end of 1917 because they did not approve the Coalition's opportunistic policy towards Austria-Hungary.

[66] The members of the Parliament, i.e. of the Provisional National Assembly were not elected but appointed by political parties as it was agreed among them.

[67] See n. 29 supra.

[68] Map is missing.

[69] See the supplement to the report numbered 20 infra.

[70] Dr. Vladimir Prebeg (1862-1940's). During the 1920's he was vice-president. then president of the revived Hrvatska Stranka Prava (Croatian Party of Right). Dr. Josip Pazman, professor at the faculty of theology, Zagreb, died in the 1920's.

[71] Josip Predavec, vice-president of the Croatian Peasant Party since 1920, was assassinated by Serbian agents in July 1933.

[72] This letter and the reports numbered 17 to 22 are in State Dept. files, Paris Peace Conf. 184. 01102/317 and 348.

[73] Radić was released without any trial at the end of February 1920, then again arrested at the end of March 1920. See Franko Potoènjak, Malo istine iz naše nedavne prošlosti (Zagreb: Naklada Mirka Breyera, 1921), p. 22 ff. Potočnjak was vice-ban at that time. According to him there was no proof for Radié's dealings with the Italians. All alleged connections were based on hearsays.

[74] See n. 29 supra.

[75] It will be better to say: the Croats from Bosnia. Dalmatia, and Istria.

[76] For additional information see Vladko Maček, In the Struggle for Freedom (New York: Robert Speller & Sons, 1957), p. 81-82.

[77] Dragutin Graf Khuen-Hederváry (1849-1918), ban 1883-1903, -afterwards twice Hungarian prime minister, 1903 and 1910-1912.

[78] General Rudolf Maister (1874-1934), retired in 1923.

[79] This letter and the report numbered 23 are in State Dept. files, Paris Peace Conf. 184. 01102/385.

[80] English translation hereunder.

[81] Riječ (Word) was Svetozar Pribićević's newspaper.

[82] This letter and the reports numbered 24 to 26 are in State Dept. files, Paris Peace, Conf. 184. 01102/441.

[83] Dr. Nikola Mandić (1869-1945). Prior to 1914 a leader of the Croatian National Union, a political party of the Croats in Bosnia and Hercegovina. During World War II the president of the Croatian government in Zagreb, 1943-1945. Sentenced to death by Tito's court.

[84] Extremely biased information.

[85] This letter and the report numbered 27 are in State Dept. files, Paris Peace Conf. 184. 01102/461.

[86] Dr. Janko Brejc (1869-1934), a lawyer in Klagenfurt before World War I. After 1920 he withdrew from the politics.

[87] The reports numbered 28 and 31 are in State Dept. files, Paris Peace Conf. 184. 01102/507 without Coolidge's covering letter.

[88] In all other reports that name is spelled as Dehove.

[89] Dr. Arthur Lemiseh was head of Austrian Carinthian government at that time.

[90] General Krsta Smiljanić (born 1868).

[91] This letter and the report numbered 29 are in State Dept. files, Paris Peace Conf. 184. 01102/499. The report numbered 29 is published partially in Paris Peace Conference, vol. XII, p. 497-98.

[92] See n. 87 supra.

[93] They organized Hrvatska Zajednica (Croatian Union), a political party which fought for a federal organization of the state. After the enactment of the Vidovdan Constitution on June 28, 1921, the party withdrew from the National Assembly in Belgrade and started a close collaboration with Radić's Croatian Peasant Party. When Radić was assassinated in 1928, it merged with the Peasant Party.