File No. 863.00/101

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

[Telegram]

5543. There are the following governmental organs constituted or in the process of constitution in Austria [-Hungary] which should not be lost sight of:

1.
The Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Government.
2.
In Austria:
(a)
The Imperial Austrian Government;
(b)
The newly constituted Government of German-Austria;
(c)
The Czecho-Slovak National Council;
(d)
The Yugo-Slav National Council.
3.
In Hungary:
(a)
The Royal Hungarian Government;
(b)
The Budapest National Council.
(This summary does not include Galician Poles, who now politically form a part of Greater Poland, and the Ruthenians, who exert little influence on general situation.)

Austria. Andrássy represents Imperial and Royal Austro-Hunrgarian Government. His power is waning and even from German Austrians, who have appointed their own Minister for Foreign Affairs, he receives little support. Andrássy’s retirement and return to Hungary is probable.

(a)
The Imperial Austrian Government is represented by Lammasch and his new Cabinet described in my press telegram 5520 of the 31st.1 As Lammasch has been repudiated by Czechs and Yugo-Slavs, [Page 446] who refused to enter Cabinet, and as German Austrians are not interested in his Government but in formation of their own state, it seems improbable that this cabinet will be able to do useful work. If it gives up the task, the Emperor will be entirely isolated and in a practically hopeless situation.
(b)
The German-Austrian National Council: This body, composed of German delegates to Austrian Parliament, has worked out draft of constitution for German-Austrian state, power to be exercised by this assembly provisionally until permanent representative body can be elected. An executive commission including three presidents and twenty members of assembly constitute power as council of state. Various cabinet officers created. The council will designate one of these officers as preceptor of Government. Present laws to remain in force unless specially abrogated. It is reported that Socialist leader, Victor Adler, has been appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs. Steps are being taken to assure the government of Vienna. A peace note is being drawn up for President Wilson recognizing President’s principles and independence of Czechoslovak and Yugo-Slav states and steps are being taken to obtain recognition from neutral and co-belligerent powers. At present responsible Socialist leaders, Adler and Seitz, have predominant influence this Government. How long these law-abiding Socialists will retain power against pressure of current working for anarchy is a question.
(c)
The Czecho-Slovak National Council: During past few days, and subsequent to Andrássy note recognizing independent Bohemian state, Czechs have rapidly proceeded to take over administration, destroying outward insignia of union with Austrian state and seizing mail and telegraph services. Up to the present moment the revolution in Prague has been bloodless. Kramář and other Czech leaders are still in Geneva, but intend returning Prague shortly.
(d)
Yugo-Slav National Council: This body represents Slovenes, Croats and Servian population of Yugo-Slav territory, meeting at Agram. The Croatian Government still maintains Landtag, its governmental body during period of Croatian union with Hungary, but this body has entirely gone over to the Yugo-Slav state and recently adopted resolutions stating that its object was union of all Yugo-Slav peoples from Isonzo to Vardar. The Croatian troops will serve as nucleus in support of Yugo-Slav National Council. New state, however, is encountering two serious difficulties: (1) agitation of Italian populations, especially in Trieste and [Fiume], for union with Italy; (2) the acts of brigandage by the deserters roaming throughout Yugo-Slav countries, whose numbers are reported to approach 100,000.
[Page 447]

Hungary. (a) The Royal Hungarian Government: Károlyi candidacy to premiership was apparently unacceptable to Emperor, Andrássy and Lammasch. Hadik, a Liberal, but little known in political life, chosen. At same time, Emperor sent to Budapest as his personal representative Archduke Joseph, who has lived largely in Hungary, and is supposed to enjoy great popularity there, to endeavor to support Government of Hadik which is backed by Hungarian Parliament.

(b) The Budapest National Council: This is an unconstitutional and revolutionary body opposed to the Monarchy and to the present Government. Károlyi is its present leader and has been proclaimed Premier “by the grace of the people.” This body has drawn up indictments of Hungarian Government and of its policy during war, submitted my press telegram.

Beside this Budapest National Council, there has been formed Soldiers’ and Workmen’s [Council], which strikingly resembles first Bolsheviki councils. It is a serious question whether Károlyi, who has now frankly espoused cause not only of radical Magyars but also of oppressed Hungarian nationalities, will be able to keep control over the Socialist movement in Hungary. There is a probability of republic taking place of present Monarchy.

To summarize, I greatly fear that we may witness a rapid movement towards extreme socialism, which will sweep away not only present forms of government and the dynasty, but which will become a clearly defined Bolsheviki movement. There are [now] few extreme Socialist leaders in the country and these few are principally in Hungary, but the soldiers will form the nucleus for the Bolsheviki elements.

Stovall
  1. Not printed.