File No. 863.00/95

The Minister in Switzerland ( Stovall) to the Secretary of State


5448. The Vienna Government continues to lose in influence in proportion as the various nationalities gain assurance and improve their organization. This central Government only continues to exist in virtue of the well-organized bureaucracy on which it is based and the prestige of the past and its own momentum. In regard to Andrássy’s appointment as Minister for Foreign Affairs, officially announced on the 24th, if Andrássy sees that it is useless to try to save the Dual Monarchy he will probably endeavor to secure the position of Foreign Minister in Hungary. Hussarek’s resignation as Austrian Minister is expected and it is rumored that Lammasch may succeed him. In accepting such a position his task would be to direct a government which would maintain order during the liquidation of old Austria and to turn over the administration to the new states. Referring to the President’s answer to Austria, Lammasch is reported to have said:

I do not believe the answer of Wilson is so unfavorable as is so generally considered. The President demands that the Czechoslovaks and Yugo-Slavs, as regards their nationalistic aspirations, should have recourse to negotiations with the various nationalities and the Vienna Government, which they have as yet refused to do. The President excludes the negotiations regarding their positions as a nation from the peace conference, which can be considered as most significant. In any case it is a postponement which benefits us and it can be surely expected that the next answer of Wilson’s will be conciliatory.

The Austrian Upper House ended its debates on the 25th and it seems probable that its sessions will not be renewed. If so this probably means the end of the Austrian Parliament, as the Lower House has not been in session for some days. During last debates in Upper House, Czernin is reported to have stated:

The condition for most quickly reaching peace is to recognize the Czecho-Slovak and Yugo-Slav states, according to the principles of Wilson. The national councils of the various peoples should, as [Page 397] quickly as possible, create governments in order to get in touch with each other and create the conditions which will facilitate the way to peace.

This is most significant as a sign of the times, coming as it does from a bitter opponent of the Czechs.

It is reported that the special committee appointed by German-Austrian National Council has drafted a note to President Wilson regarding armistice and peace as well as a note to Germany and the neutral states notifying them of the formation of the German-Austrian state. A group of representative German Austrians is contemplating coming to Switzerland to [inform] themselves on neutral and enemy opinion regarding the Austrian situation.

The leaders of Czech National Council have now arrived Switzerland. During their absence Tusar is acting as leader of the National Council of Prague. He has informed the mayor of Vienna in reply to latter’s request for food that he was willing to discuss the matter, not with the Vienna Government, however, but with the mayor directly. It asserts, however, that the Czech National Council has decided not to deliver any food to Vienna, that the Czech railway employees impede any such export and that the Prague branch of the Austrian food transportation office has closed.

It is telegraphed from Lemberg that the Poles of eastern Galicia have adopted a proclamation stating:

In view of acceptance of President Wilson’s conditions we consider ourselves as of the unified, free, and independent Poland;
The Diet representative [of] all Poland should be convoked as soon as possible and should include delegates of all Polish territories;
A Polish Government should be formed representing all parts of Poland;
The Polish Committee of Paris is recognized as the representative of the Polish Nation in Allied countries.

Hungary: The Emperor has approved the proposition to establish an independent Hungary as far as concerns (foreign affairs?), army and economic agreements and consented to this to the Hungarian Parliament. A new Cabinet will take place of the Wekerle Cabinet and will try to carry [out] this [proposition] and their [then] attempt to make peace with the Entente. A man of the political complexion of Károlyi will probably be chosen Premier. Wekerle’s statement in Parliament that in the interest of the protection of the frontiers it was necessary to immediately bring back to Hungary Hungarian troops is of special importance.