File No. 863.00/102

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


5595. The points of special interest in Austria--Hungary remain Budapest and Vienna which as the greatest centers of population are most seriously threatened by the Bolsheviki movement. In [Page 473] Prague the formation of the independent Bohemian state is proceeding smoothly and without bloodshed. The Hungarian troops are leaving the country and their places are slowly being taken by Czech recruits from classes that had not been previously enrolled. Both the railway and postal service appear to be completely under the control of the new Czech state. It is reported that the German consul at Prague called upon representatives of the new Government and expressed the hope of the German Government that the most friendly relations might be established between the Bohemian state and the German Empire. Kramárz while in Switzerland expressed surprise at the rapidity with which the administration had been taken over in Bohemia but regretted that it had been necessary to do this at a time when it was possible to assume control only of the Czech portions of the country which would leave the Germans of Bohemia to be incorporated into the Czech state at some future time.

In the Yugo-Slav countries there are two serious dangers: (1) differences between the Slav and the Italian people of the Istrian and Dalmatian coast, and (2) the brigandage of the deserters.

In Vienna the Lammasch Cabinet has entirely fallen into the background and its task of liquidating the Monarchy is finished as far as this can be done at the present time. The resignation of Andrássy and Spitzmüller, the common Minister of Finance, leaves the Minister of War as the only remaining Austro-Hungarian Minister. He is still occupied in endeavoring to effect the peaceful transfer to the various states of their respective nationals as soon as they can be demobilized. According to the last reports Victor Adler has assumed the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs for the new Austro-German state and has succeeded Andrássy in the Ball-platz. The agitation in Vienna in favor of the formation of Red guards and soldiers’ committees is evidence of the Bolshevik danger which will increase greatly with the return of the demobilized troops and which I fear may triumph unless the Allies have food to offer and forces to maintain order throughout the centers of population of Austria.

The Emperor is still at Vienna and has kept entirely in the background during the constitutional changes in the country. It is now rumored that the imperial court is to be dissolved and that the Emperor is planning to take refuge in Switzerland. The controlling influence in the German-Austrian state of such Socialist leaders as Adler, and in Hungary of Károlyi, makes it doubtful whether the Emperor could fall back on either of these states to maintain a humbler crown.

Hungary: Károlyi and the National Council secured an easy victory over the legal Government of Hadik. A strong Cabinet has [Page 474] been formed under Károlyi’s leadership which includes Batthyány and Lovaszy, the prominent members of his party and old opponents of the German alliance, Jászi, the Radical leader who was one of the few Magyars to consistently support the cause of the oppressed nationalities of Hungary, Garami, the Socialist leader. The complexion of this Cabinet is extremely radical and a step further to the Left could mean the acceptance of Bolshevism. Károlyi realizes the critical position of his Government and is making every possible concession to the laboring and soldier classes, favoring a republic, announcing the surrender of Hungary in order to secure an immediate end of hostilities, declaring Austrian responsibility for the war rests with former Monarchy, raising the pay of the soldiers, promising agrarian reforms and universal suffrage including women’s suffrage and the dissolution of the present parliament if it refuses to accept. It is still a question whether Károlyi will be able to hold his own against the Bolshevik movement and in Hungary as in Austria this is largely dependent on military assistance from the Allies.