File No. 763.72/11902
The Minister in Switzerland ( Stovall ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 12 a.m.]
5391. Following telegraphed to Swiss press from Budapest, October 24:
During speech of Delegate Balba, Count Károlyi entered Parliament and handed speaker telegram from Fiume, stating that Croatian soldiers of 79th infantry regiment had crowded into Honved barracks and disarmed Hungarian troops. Public buildings were occupied and the state attorney was taken prisoner and city police disarmed. The railroad station was occupied, the tracks were torn up. The Governor begs for help. Session of Parliament was interrupted. Members of opposition demanded resignation of Wekerle Government. Apponyi and Andrássy supported this, but counseled calm.
Pester Journal reports: Traveller from Fiume states that conflict between the Croatian and Hungarian soldiers in Fiume cost many lives and hundreds of wounded. Shop signs in Hungarian, German and Italian languages and Hungarian coats of arms destroyed. Croatian tricolor raised over public buildings. Croatian companies proceeded according to prearranged plan. Garrison of regiment recruited from Otočac disarmed Styrian battalion which was defending itself and occupied the harbor. All Government offices and post offices stations were seized by Croatian military. Hungarian and Italian population fled from Fiume. City governor resists in an outlying part of Fiume with four Hungarian companies. Reinforcements not yet arrived.
City Governor Toerek telephones Government that Croatian soldiers continued to hold railway centers of city. State railway station was destroyed. Suburban crowds entered city in the evening and joined the soldiers in robbing the bourgeois.
Az Uzag, 24th, reports demonstrations from Karlovitz; two infantry regiments are reported have mutinied and the railway storehouses were entered and robbed.