Courtesy Reuters

Czechoslovakia Plans for Peace

CENTRAL EUROPE, with its great number of small sovereign states, has always seemed in some American eyes a strange mass of various and sometimes conflicting tendencies and hence a constant danger to peace. The outbreak of the First World War was linked with little Serbia, just as the beginning of the Second World War will be connected with the Czechoslovak crisis of 1938. And yet the causes of these two world conflicts are not to be found in those small states alone. During the 20 years of her free and independent existence Czechoslovakia endeavored sincerely to make herself a point of stabilization in Central Europe. Her whole foreign policy was based on coöperation and understanding between nations. She regarded this policy as the only real guarantee of security and peace.

By means of treaties Czechoslovakia reinforced old friendships and made new ones. She found a way to establish correct relations even with her former enemies. With republican Austria she was on good terms from the beginning. With Germany she concluded a commercial treaty as early as 1921, the first of the Allies to take such action after the war, and until Hitler came to power she never had the smallest sort of conflict with that nation. Through the Little Entente she helped neutralize the dangerous aspirations of irredentist Hungary. The conflict with Poland over Těšin and Javorina was solved by the peaceful method of arbitration by the Supreme Allied Council and the Hague Court. With Soviet Russia she entered into de facto relations in 1922, and concluded a treaty of mutual assistance with her in 1935. She accepted the system of collective security as the guiding principle of her foreign policy and never violated it. The League of Nations and intimate collaboration with democratic France and England formed the basis of her foreign policy. In the struggle to lay the foundations for lasting peace the Allied Great Powers are now returning, after most painful experiences, to the principles which Czechoslovakia strove for 20 years

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