Paris Peace Conf. 184.011102/420

Mr. Albert Halstead to the Secretary of State3

No. 76

Subject: The situation in Hungary.

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the situation in Hungary. The Magyar element in West Hungary is wholly indisposed to accept with calmness the decisions of the Peace Conference to join to Austria certain portions of the three western counties. The attitude is assumed that as no treaty has been negotiated with Hungary, the decisions of the Conference with regard to this former Hungarian territory carry no weight. The threat to resist Austrian attempts to take over the territory is significant of the state of mind of the Magyar leaders, but it does not threaten any actual clash between the Magyars and Austrians, because Austria has no military force that could be utilized for the occupation of the territory now assigned to it. The Folksvehr consist of men who find life comfortable at the expense of the government and who enjoy the authority that the uniform and the gun give to each. As a fighting force it has no value whatsoever.

It need not be emphasized, I am sure, that the attitude of the Magyar minority in West Hungary is not conducive to breeding respect for the authority of the Entente.

In Hungary proper the continued seizure of all kinds of property by the Roumanians and their contempt for the instructions of the Peace Conference are developing despair which tends to lead them to seek assistance wherever it may be obtained; while the Roumanians pretend that they are carrying out orders, and continue their thefts.

The authorities of the White Army under the leadership of Admiral Horthy who is the commander in chief of the Hungarian army, are enlisting men for military service. It is reported that efforts are being made to secure Jugo-Slavic assistance in driving the Hungarians [Roumanians?] out. The enlistment of men seems to be confirmed, but that the government of Jugo-Slavia would engage in such an enterprise would appear doubtful, because it would leave them open to aggression on the west from Italy, with whom relations cannot be said to be the most amicable.

I have [etc.]

Albert Halstead
  1. Copy transmitted to the Commission by Mr. Halstead under covering letter No. 427, September 7; received September 11.