THE question of the existing frontiers of Hungary has been revived. Count Bethlen himself clearly deprecates the raising of the question at this stage, but the less responsible leaders of political thought in Hungary continue the agitation. In England they have captured Lord Rothermere and the Daily Mail for their campaign, and Mr. Lloyd George, who apparently sympathizes with it, has volunteered the statement that he "was not a member of the Conference" and was "not cognizant of the grounds upon which the existing frontiers (of Hungary) were determined."[i] As they were actually published to the world on June 13, 1919, when Mr. Lloyd George was still at Paris, this assertion testifies to the remarkable ignorance on the subject displayed not only by the uninstructed public but even by those who ought to know better.

Like all other frontiers, except perhaps the Turkish, the frontiers of Hungary were drawn with a view to permanence. That is, they were meant to be final in principle though liable to modification in detail. But there was an important difference between the German and all other enemy frontiers. The German frontiers were based on the avowed legal obligation imposed by the principles of President Wilson. The other frontiers were based on a moral and not a legal obligation to conform to those standards. And in diplomacy, in Europe at least, the difference between a moral and a legal obligation is very great.

The Allies made an offer to Germany to make peace on the basis of the "Fourteen Points" and other speeches and addresses of President Wilson in 1918.[ii] Germany accepted this offer by sending delegates to negotiate an Armistice with the Allied Military Advisers, which was intended to be of a purely technical character.[iii] In all the other treaties the procedure was different. The other enemy Powers laid down their arms on the basis of unconditional surrender. For instance, the Armistice with Austria-Hungary, which was signed on November 3, 1918, was purely military and had no reference to the "Fourteen Points." Austria and Hungary separated from one another and ten days later a military convention was signed between the Allies and Hungary alone. This again was purely military and the line behind which the Hungarian forces were to retire was also purely military. Hungary had indeed become an independent state, but she had collapsed completely before her conquerors and had to accept any terms which they imposed.

President Wilson declared that, so far as the United States was concerned, he was legally bound by his "Fourteen Points," but the other Allies soon showed that they could accept no such legal obligation. Great Britain and France were committed to Italy by the Secret Treaty of London of 1915, which promised to cede to Italy large areas inhabited by Jugoslavs and Germans. This treaty was based clearly on strategic considerations and openly violated the claims of ethnic justice and national self-determination. At a discussion for settling the terms of the German Armistice on November 1, 1918, the Italian Prime Minister announced that he made a reservation as regards the Ninth Point of President Wilson, "A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy along clearly recognizable lines of nationality." Mr. Lloyd George supported him and carried the proposal that the German Armistice negotiations should exclude all matters not strictly German.[iv] As no offer of political terms was made to Austria-Hungary collectively, or to the two component states separately, the Allies were not legally committed to dealing with them on the basis of the "Fourteen Points."

When in 1919 the Allies produced the Treaty of London, along with other secret Treaties, they maintained that they were bound by them, inasmuch as they preceded the " Fourteen Points." These pledges definitely prevented a wholly ethnic settlement with Austria. Curiously enough they did not prevent it with Hungary. A secret treaty had been signed with Rumania as the price of her entry into the war in 1916. But the Allies ultimately held that she had abrogated this treaty by making peace with the enemy in 1917.[v] So, while the Allies held that they were not legally bound to apply the "Fourteen Points" to Hungary, they nevertheless were not compelled by any secret agreements to depart from a settlement upon ethnic and national lines.

Shortly after the Peace Conference met, two Commissions on frontiers were appointed, named respectively the Czechoslovak and the Rumanian, and these in fact determined the fate of Hungary. The smaller Allied nations -- Jugoslavs, Czechoslovaks, and Rumanians -- presented their case first to "the Ten"[vi] and then to these two Commissions. The two latter bodies framed their reports, which came before the Ten in May. Subsequently some alterations took place but in the main the recommendations of the Commissions were adopted. Their personnel varied a good deal at different times, but each Delegation had the ethnic, military and geographic sides well represented. The American representatives did not appear encumbered by instructions and generally though not always sought a settlement on ethnic lines. The British representatives followed similar principles, but the diplomatist (in the shape of Sir Eyre Crowe or one of his assistants) was always to the fore. If the French delegates had any instructions they did not reveal them, but the brilliant M. Tardieu and General LeRond plainly favored liberal treatment to the Jugoslav, Czechoslovak and Rumanian claims. The Italian delegates were fond of asserting that they had strict instructions. To judge from the line they took the strictest appeared to be to draw the Hungarian frontier, when it touched Jugoslavia, as much to the disadvantage of the latter as possible, and also wherever possible to leave all strategic posts of importance in Hungarian territory. This produced lengthy, if futile, resistance to the completion of the labors of the Rumanian Commission, but did not ultimately do much else.

No event affected the frontiers of Hungary more decisively than the Socialist revolution which broke out at Budapest in April, 1919, and enthroned Béla Kun as dictator. It was partly a socialistic experiment, partly a nationalist Hungarian protest against the gradual advance of the Czechoslovak army from the north and of the Rumanian from the east. Béla Kun finally sent forces to attack both Czechoslovaks and Rumanians, and it was this action that forced the Big Four to come to a decision regarding Hungary's new frontiers [vii] and order Béla Kun to retire behind them. This was the true and final decision. And the finis Hungariae -- the end of the old heterogeneous Kingdom -- was decreed on June 13, 1919, while the "Big Four" were still at Paris.


The negotiations directly preceding the signature of the Treaty of Trianon had no effect in changing the frontiers. The Hungarian Delegates were confronted with accomplished facts. In the resultant correspondence the Allies carefully avoided committing themselves as to any legal obligation under the "Fourteen Points," and, so far as possible, avoided discussion on ethnic and national questions.

The Hungarians demanded a general plebiscite in the case of all areas which it was proposed to detach from their Old Kingdom. This was categorically refused. But the grave difficulties in which the Great Powers found themselves ought to be stated. They had not conceded the extreme claims of the Czechoslovaks, Rumanians or Jugoslavs, and had thus bitterly offended all three. But they had publicly conceded permanent frontiers to the first two, and in effect also to the third. They had proclaimed this fact in their communication to Béla Kun on June 13, 1919. In August 1919 the Rumanians openly defied the advice, remonstrances and orders sent them from Paris. They entered Budapest, sacked and plundered it of all they could carry away, and only left it when they chose. The lesson was not lost on the other minor Allies. If any large revisions of the frontiers actually already conceded to Rumania and the rest in 1919 were contemplated in 1920, how were they to be made effective? Clearly only by summoning Marshal Foch and resorting to arms. This was not practicable in 1920. Neither the support nor the arms of the United States could be relied on, Italy and France were at variance, Great Britain had so overdrawn her military account that she could not even supply her promised quota of troops for the plebiscite in Upper Silesia. It is doubtful, too, if public opinion in any of these countries would have sanctioned an armed coercion of the minor Allies in the interest of an enemy.

It is in this light that we must regard the great demand put forward by the Hungarian Delegation for a plebiscite in all disputed areas. The demand was a clever one. Hungary, knowing what the frontiers already were, had nothing to lose if the plebiscites confirmed them. And a refusal of plebiscites exposed the Allies to criticism. In all probability this demand would not have been conceded by the Allies even at an earlier stage. But it was unthinkable in 1920. In their "Reply to the Hungarian Delegation" the Allies contended that the parts now separated from Hungary had fallen off of their own accord and had thus settled the matter by an informal sort of election or selection. This contention, though open to criticism, contained a good deal of truth and seemed at the time a good deal truer than it was. For the Great Powers undoubtedly mistook the fear of Bolshevism manifested in some of the disputed areas for a sign of a desire on the part of those areas to escape from the Magyar rule.

The smaller Allies naturally had no desire for a plebiscite. It must be conceded that both issues and populations were so mixed and intermingled in both the Batchka and the Banat that the result sometimes might not have been favorable to the Allies. Again, in certain regions the question would have had to be, do you wish to be a Jugoslav, a Rumanian or a Magyar? Such a triple question is impossible, for a plebiscite which presents more than "Yes" or "No" to a voter is certain to cause confusion. Then, too, the method of the plebiscite, whether by communes or by districts, would have mattered much. But apart from all these considerations the minor Allies contended that the areas in question rightfully belonged to them, that they were largely in possession, and they were not going to vote about them. The Great Powers had no resource except to accept this view.


The guiding principle of the Czechoslovak Commission obviously was expressed in one word -- "viability." It was no use creating a new nation-state at all unless it could live; and the new nation could not live on Czechs and Slovaks alone. Their racial distribution was so curious and intricate that many Germans and many Magyars would have to form part of their body politic if there was to be any body politic at all. Czechoslovakia was bound in any case to be a patchwork quilt of different nationalities. The Commission were not to blame for throwing some Germans and Magyars into the pot-pourri. That is not the question; they could do nothing else. The question is whether they threw more than was necessary to make the new State "viable."

The Czechoslovaks started by demanding a "corridor" which would reach to the Jugoslav state, thus putting Czechoslovakia in direct territorial touch with a friendly state and facilitating access to the sea. The demand was made to meet the old difficulty that Bohemia has never had a sea-coast except when Shakespeare gave it one in "The Winter's Tale." The corridor proposal was almost equally fantastic. It soon was dropped in favor of a demand for a port on the Danube, which would provide Czechoslovakia with access to an international river, if not to the sea. Pressburg (Pozsony) was a half-German, half-Magyar town, the seat of the old Hungarian Diet and of historic memories. It was assigned to the Czechoslovaks and by them renamed Bratislava. This action, whatever the ethnical arguments, had a good deal to be said for it, but the addition of a large territory to the south-east (the so-called island of the Grosse Schütt) had nothing in its favor. It was only reluctantly that both British and American delegations acquiesced in the decision about the Grosse Schütt, for which no real defense can be found.

The union of Slovakia to Bohemia raised problems of great difficulty. It was known that the Slovaks had been both despised and oppressed by the Magyars in the past, but the difficulties of combining a slow, religious and agricultural population with the active, industrial and rather secularizing Czechs was not then understood. No one doubted that they preferred to be ruled by the Czechs rather than by the Magyars. This conclusion was probably correct. But this did not alter the fact that the Slovaks had for many centuries been united to the Kingdom of Hungary, and that the intermingling of races rendered it difficult to draw a good ethnic line to the South. The line ultimately drawn was certainly very favorable to Czechoslovak interests.[viii]

The Jugoslav frontier, starting from the extreme west of Hungary, follows an evident ethnic line eastward to near the junction of the Rivers Drave and Danube. Where the Drave joins the Danube the triangular space between the rivers went to Jugoslavia. There is, however, some ethnic justification for this. The important adjacent town of Pecs, with its valuable coal mines, was long occupied by Jugoslav troops. Nevertheless it was not only returned to Hungary, but the adjacent heights were so divided that no strategic advantage was granted to Jugoslavia.

After crossing the Danube the frontier swings upward, penetrating quite deeply into Magyar areas which could not be claimed upon ethnic grounds. The claim here was primarily strategic and is practically the only instance of such a concession. The old Serbian capital of Belgrade was so near the frontier that in former days any threat of war by a neighboring power produced an extreme state of nerves in the capital. Belgrade is now free from this danger for she has secured an ample tête du part. As both Magyars and Rumanians are thickly scattered in the Batchka and the Banat, Belgrade was given her protective half-circle at the expense of Hungary to the north and of Rumania to the east. The concept is sound, though the extension of it is perhaps too wide. Jugoslavia is given no offensive advantage in case of war with either neighbor, but spatial security strengthens her defenses. During 1919-20 there was a period of tension between Jugoslavs and Rumanians, and the possession of an ample tête du part by the former undoubtedly worked for peace.

The thrust forward of the tête du part in front of Belgrade carried almost as far as Szegedin. Just beyond, the Jugoslav frontier meets the new Rumanian frontier, which runs north and east in a long, irregular line. It includes within the new Rumania three well-known Magyar towns -- Arad, Nagy Varad (Gross-wardein) and Szatmár. It is generally agreed that the real ethnic frontier lies much farther eastwards and excludes the strip in which these towns are situated. Hungarian wrath is mainly concentrated on the cession of this area (which we may call the Arad-Szatmár strip) to Rumania. However, the protest is based on some misconception. Strategy had nothing to do with the decision, for in fact the railway line is uncomfortably close to the frontier of Hungary, which in case of war could cut it at once. Hence it differs from the cession of the Batchka to Jugoslavia under the tête du part scheme.

It is not the case, as is often and ignorantly contended, that the Wilsonian principles prescribed the drawing of frontiers on ethnic principles alone. President Wilson admitted the importance of economic arguments and more particularly the principle of "economic viability." Without economic self-sufficiency and railway conveniences, the "well-defined national aspirations" of Czechoslovakia, for example, could not have been realized. The cession of the Arad-Szatmár strip to Rumania likewise involved the question of economic viability. To the north in the Carpathians lay a large and undoubtedly Rumanian population. Immediately between them was the Arad-Szatmár strip peopled with Magyars. The northern group of Rumanians could only be fed from the rich plains of the south, and their sustenance was carried by the railway through the Arad-Szatmár strip. If the Magyars retained this railway, everybody knew that the food supplies to the north would be subject to vexatious tariff or police obstruction and that supplies might be actually endangered. There was no way out of the difficulty except to build another railway line far to the east -- behind the ethnically Rumanian frontier. This was extremely hard. It would have run a tortuous way between the foothills of the Carpathians, and would not have been built in any reasonable time. The argument about violation of racial or ethnic principles is really misleading. No one denied that violation at the time. What the Allies said was that in this case economic necessity was a more compelling force than ethnic justice.

The argument now popular among apologists of Hungary, that the Allies fixed on frontiers in ignorance of the true racial character of the lands in dispute, is totally untrue. Perhaps Mr. Lloyd George was ignorant; his later utterances certainly lend color to this view. But the recommendation on which the line was drawn was agreed to by various experts of the Four Great Powers. When the report was presented there therefore was not a prolonged discussion either by the Ten or by the Four. But in the case of the Rumanian Commission's report, Mr. Lansing asked some pertinent questions which showed clearly that he appreciated the difficulty caused by the cession of the Arad-Szatmár strip. M. Tardieu, one of the French Plenipotentiaries, was himself a member of the Commission. Baron Sonnino and President Wilson were also fairly conversant with the arguments in favor of the new frontiers of Hungary. The Allies never admitted that they were legally bound to apply President Wilson's principles to Hungary. The acquiescence of the American Delegation in these frontiers must therefore be considered as an argument in their favor.


The difficulties in the way of any revision of the Trianon frontiers are very great. Efforts by Count Bethlen to cool the agitation show no sign of being successful. Lord Rothermere has been encouraged in his campaign by a vote of thanks to which a million Hungarian signatures are said to have been appended. But while the ardor of Hungarians to recover their lost territory is great, their discretion is not so apparent. On the face of it the campaign is merely for an adjustment of frontiers on more closely ethnic lines. It is to be recalled that the Magyars never stood for any such frontiers before 1914. They always insisted on ruling something like fifty percent of aliens. What reason have we to suppose that they will not wish to do this again?

Neither the recent utterances of Magyar statesmen nor their citations of racial statistics are particularly reassuring. The old Magyar statistics have often been assailed as fictitious, but the claim is hard to sustain. It implies that a percentage of falsification (say five percent in favor of Magyars against other races) has been made consistently in all four of the censuses that have been taken since 1880. This is not on the whole probable, and, in any case, such a percentage does not amount to very much. It is important to note, however, that Dr. Valko, Hungary's Foreign Minister, in a recent interview with the London weekly, European Finance, is reported as stating that there are nearly 2,000,000 Magyars in Rumania, 1,000,000 in Czechoslovakia, and 1,500,000 in Jugoslavia, or a total of 4,500,000 Magyars outside Hungary. According to the only figures which seem to me correct there should be respectively 1,550,000, 955,000 and 560,000 -- or a total of 3,065,000 Magyars outside Hungary. If we add to undoubted Magyars the whole Jewish population of the old area,[ix] we reach a figure of just over three and a half millions -- or, allowing a margin of 200,000 for normal increase and possible error, a maximum of 3,700,000 Magyars placed by the Treaty of Trianon under alien rule. This is certainly a pretty generous estimate. Yet, according to the Hungarian Foreign Minister, the figures should be eight hundred thousand more than this! Such a total is quite impossible and we can only hope that Dr. Valko has been misreported.

In addition to this we learn that Count Apponyi recently attended a banquet to celebrate the birthday of the Hapsburg claimant to the Hungarian throne -- "King Otto." Count Apponyi reminded his audience that the Hapsburgs still claimed the thrones of Austria and Bohemia. The report of this speech has been accepted as accurate. Count Apponyi, though not indeed a member of the government, is the first man in Hungary and was her chief representative at the signature of the Treaty of Trianon. His present utterance seems to go far beyond a detailed revision of that treaty and suggests that any revision would merely be a prelude to further and sweeping changes. When Count Apponyi speaks thus, and when the Foreign Minister makes a blunder of near a million in his statistics, we can hardly wonder if Rumania, Jugoslavia and Czechoslovakia loudly assert that to give an inch to the Magyar means that you encourage him to take a league.

The Hungarian Frontiers Readjustment League devotes No. III of its recent publications [x] to denouncing the Allied Delimitation Commission because it has made only very small changes in the original trace of the Trianon frontiers. Article 29 of the Treaty of Trianon gave the Commissioners far more extensive powers for revising the Hungarian frontier than they have used. Now Article 29 of that Treaty is practically the same as the equivalent article in the Treaties of St. Germain, Neuilly and Sèvres. But the Allied Reply to the Hungarian Observations on the Treaty of Trianon allowed the Delimitation Commission to take into account "ethnic and economic considerations" in revising the frontiers and gave a possibliity of appeal to the "good offices" of the League. A careful study of this article when correlated with the correspondence seems to show that this was intended to mean something a little more than was conceded under any other Treaty. If close to the border a village were separated from its market town or a mine from its mining centre, there would be a case for rounding off the frontier in favor of Hungary. Even so, however, such rectifications were only meant to be applied to relatively small areas and to areas adjoining the frontier as traced at Trianon. The wording clearly does not authorize the Commissioners to consider areas at a distance from the frontier, nor was it under any circumstances intended to authorize them to sanction the wholesale transfer of large populations or important towns. That was clearly far beyond the powers of a Delimitation Commission.

Publication No. III is therefore not very convincing when it seeks to awaken indignation against the Delimitation Commission. It admits that, as a result of an appeal to the Council of the League, "two small and purely Magyar villages" were "re-attached to the mother-country." It complains that the Allied Delimitation Commission rejected the Hungarian demand for the restoration of the great city of Kássa, which, together with a lateral railway line, lies a good many kilometers north of the present Czechoslovak frontier. It is hard to see how anyone could have imagined that a demand for its restoration came within the terms of reference of the Delimitation Commission. It was not they, but the statesmen at Paris, who were responsible for refusing this demand. The fact that it has been put forward by the Hungarian Government and endorsed by the Frontier Readjustment League must shake our belief in the "unbiased" character of the latter body. It is just about as "unbiased" as the Hungarian Government.

On one point, however, the Magyars have a strong case. The "islets" of Magyars well behind existing frontiers and enclosed within seas of Slavs or Rumanians were to be protected in the use of their language and religion and were not to suffer for their Hungarian nationality. Such protection was embodied in Minorities Treaties, signed alike by Czechoslovakia, by Jugoslavia and by Rumania, fully pledging the Powers in question. An immense mass of complaint against the execution of these treaties has been heaped up by industrious and militant Magyars. Much of it is clearly tendentious and partisan, especially in regard to the Czechoslovak régime. Moreover -- and it is important to note the fact -- the Jugoslav and Rumanian areas of Hungary are inhabited mostly by peasants. And the Jugoslav and Rumanian Governments since the war have distinguished themselves by breaking up big estates, dispossessing great landowners, and establishing peasants on the land. Of course the Jugoslav and Rumanian peasants get the best of the land, but Magyar peasants seem to share in these gifts, at any rate in Jugoslavia. The claim of Magyar landlords for enormous sums in compensation because their estates have been broken up is not likely to endear them to Magyar peasants. But when all is said, there is evidence for an amount of persecution of racial and religious minorities, especially in Rumania, which is alike distressing and disturbing. It is quite possible that no good government would reconcile these enclaves of Magyars to alien rule. But it is quite certain that no bad government will. The situation is difficult, but the League, with its possibilities for inquiry into the grievances of minorities, affords a remedy. It is indeed the only one. For, however reasonable may be rectifications of frontier along the border, and however extensive these may be, there are many islets of Magyars (as Torontal in the Banat or Szeklerland in Transylvania) which will in any case remain separated from Hungary. In the League and in publicity lies their only hope of protection against wrong.

One argument for revision which was foremost at an earlier stage seems less prominent now. It was urged in 1920 that the lopping off of the various outlying parts of Old Hungary spelt economic ruin to the new state. This argument has not proved sound in fact. Lord Rothermere and his friends destroy their own case by arguing against the economic soundness of Czechoslovakia and at the same time boasting of the economic soundness of Hungary as it stands. The "economic viability" of the New Hungary seems to be proved by its superiority in credits, certainly as against Austria and perhaps as against the Successor States generally. This argument tells against frontier revision. If New Hungary, mutilated as she is, is sounder financially and economically than her mutilators, it is the latter who must be protected against further change. In point of fact the economic argument has been dropped by Hungarian propagandists for a very good reason. If economic arguments are to outweigh ethnic ones, the Arad-Szatmár strip should remain with Rumania. But it is the dearest object of Hungary to regain this area, and on ethnic grounds her claim is as good as it is bad economically. So the ethnic argument is at present the only one which Hungary can dare to use.

The various arguments have now been examined and it remains to inquire whether any practical suggestions for revision can be made. It may be taken as certain that the Successor States will not, in practice, agree to any extensive restorations, or indeed to any restorations at all, unless these revisions are going to be accepted by the Magyars with gratitude as a final settlement. It is not clear that the Magyars will do this in any case. But at least a few suggestions may be here made.

Let us take the Jugoslav frontier first. The Baranya, that triangle between the Drave and the Danube, raises one problem. The Jugoslavs were lucky to have the frontier drawn as it was at this point, but there are real technical difficulties in taking the rivers as boundaries and the advantage of making any change is not obvious. The Batchka, from below Baja to near Szegedin, is now in Jugoslavia. But the Magyar claims to it are not very convincing. Of 126 parishes in the Bács-Bodrog area 44 are German, 41 Slav and 34 Magyar. No one proposes to erect an independent German state here, and the Slavs are numerically more important than the Magyars. Ethnographically the Batchka is a "no man's land," and why should the Magyars, who are the numerically weakest majority, have the area restored to them? No one seriously proposes to restore Belgium to Germany because of the Teutonic or Flemish minority. The same arguments hold regarding the division between Jugoslavia and Rumania of the area further east, known as the Banat.

On the Rumanian frontier, the restoration of the Arad-Szatmár strip to Hungary can be urged. To meet the need of the Rumanians in the north an indented railway might be constructed among the foothills to the east, but this would be difficult and expensive. The Hungarian Government might offer to do it, and to pay for it, on condition that when completed Rumania will return to her the Arad-Szatmár strip. Such an offer would be easy for Hungary to make and difficult for Rumania to refuse.

Czechoslovakia offers more difficult problems. The Ruthene area in the extreme east undoubtedly suffers by lack of economic connection with Hungary. Two solutions are possible. The Ruthene area might be taken over and wholly administered by the League of Nations, or its economic policy and communications might be wholly entrusted to the League. Thus, while Hungary would not increase her territory, all grievances against Czechoslovakia would be removed.

The chief evil of the whole Hungarian settlement was the cession of the Grosse Schütt to Czechoslovakia, and it would certainly be an advantage if this island were handed back to Hungary. Furthermore, a careful reëxamination of the whole frontier between Czechoslovakia and Hungary would reveal cases where small Magyar areas could safely be handed back to Hungary. The chief difficulty lies in the fact that the administrative boundaries do not fit the ethnic ones. Counties are mixed, that is, are not wholly Magyar nor wholly Slovak. But parishes are not mixed. Each parish is normally the unit of one race, Magyar or Slovak. Hence the frontier could be differently drawn so as to restore a number of Magyar parishes to Hungary without much deranging the Czechoslovak state. This, and the restoration of the Grosse Schütt, would be a substantial measure of justice.

On the other hand, in this and in all other cases, there should be no question of restoring territory or revising the treaty before coming to a clear and explicit understanding with the Hungarian Government. The latter would have to pledge itself, before it received any benefits, to cease all revisionist agitation in the future. Nor should these restorations be made until the various governments concerned are clearly convinced of the good faith and moderation of the Hungarian Government. It is not easy to see how such proofs can be supplied. In fact, the Hungarian Government of the moment could not bind its successors. Certainly the politic hesitations of Count Bethlen, the statistical blunders of Dr. Valko, the chauvinistic dreams of Count Apponyi, and the "unbiased" arguments and facts of the Hungarian Frontier Read-justment League are such as to make the boldest pause. If any of these are responsible for the outbursts and arguments of Lord Rothermere, the danger of admitting the principle of revision is obviously greater still. In point of fact, the agitation is badly timed. Rumania, Czechoslovakia and Jugoslavia will not revise the frontier at the present time except under the compulsion of force, and the use of force for any such purpose by the Allies, by Hungary or by the League is at present unthinkable. It is even less likely that it was in 1920.

Ten years hence things may be different. The Successor States will be more stable, more assured of their power, and therefore more conciliatory, both to Hungarian pleas and in their attitude toward their Magyar minority populations. Czechoslovakia has already shown how much can be done by trying to work the Minorities Treaties on an equable basis. Let us hope that by that time all the arguments will have been thoroughly sifted, that the statistics of the Hungarian Foreign Minister of that day will be more accurate than those of Dr. Valko, and that the aspirations of "King Otto" and his followers will be confined at any rate within the limits of Hungary herself. For it is by taking herself seriously that Hungary will persuade others to take her seriously. Until she consents to put forward moderate demands she cannot expect even moderate concessions.

Statistical Note

The following Tables, compiled by Mr. B. C. Wallis, for my History of the Peace Conference (Vol. V, p. 151), show the present distribution of the territory and population of the former Kingdom of Hungary. The statistics of Mr. Wallis, based on an examination of four successive censuses and on estimates of population per village, are usually admitted to be the most correct yet produced. The figures here given are those of the Census of 1910, but the Jews have been disentangled from the mass of nationalities by using the religious statistics. The figures for Austria and Fiume are subject to slight revision in view of later rearrangements.

The first Table gives the area acquired from the former Hungarian Kingdom by the various new states, the percent of the total population of the former Hungarian Kingdom which each acquired, and the actual numbers of persons acquired.

Table II gives racial details regarding the last column of Table I, i. e. the numbers of each race incorporated into the various new states out of the population of the former Hungarian Kingdom.



  Square kms. acquired Percent of population Total population
New States from former of former acquired
  Hungarian Kingdom Kingdom acquired  
Hungary 91,100 36 7,540,000
Austria 4,100 2 330,000
Czechoslovakia 61,600 17 3,560,000
Jugoslavia 62,800 20 4,200,000
Rumania 101,900 25 5,210,000
Fiume 54   50,000
  -------- --- ----------
  321,554 100 20,890,000



New States Magyars Germans Jews Slovaks Rumanians Ruthenes Jugoslavs Others
Hungary 6,250,000 480,000 460,000 180,000 50,000   50,000 70,000
Austria 25,000 235,000 20,000       50,000  
Czechosl'a 955,000 120,000 270,000 1,720,000 10,000 430,000 5,000 50,000
Jugoslavia 560,000 460,000 40,000 60,000 70,000 10,000 2,850,000 150,000
Rumania 1,550,000 520,000 138,000 10,000 2,820,000 20,000 50,000 102,000
Fiume 5,000 2,000 2,000       15,000 26,000
  --------- --------- ------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -------
  9,345,000 1,817,000 930,000 1,970,000 2,950,000 460,000 3,020,000 398,000

[i] See Daily Mail, Sept. 8, 1927, and my article thereon in National Review, Dec., 1927.

[ii] I abbreviate the more strictly legal title of the Allied and Associated Powers, i. e. the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan. Also, I shall use the phrase "Fourteen Points" for the sake of brevity in future; the fact that other speeches, etc., were included is often overlooked but in reality is very important.

[iii] A clause about reparation was ultimately inserted in the Armistice, but this does not affect the main principle.

[iv] See Mermeix, "Les négociations secrètes," (Paris, 1921) pp. 228-9. Signor Orlando's reservation was not made public till April, 1919.

[v] Italy alone--because of her own secret treaty -- showed a desire to uphold the Rumanian Treaty, but she was ultimately overruled.

[vi] "The Ten" included the "Big Four" and their respective Foreign Ministers. As M. Clemenceau was President of the Conference, M. M. Pichon and Tardieu represented France.

[vii] For technical reasons the decision on the Jugoslav frontier was temporarily delayed, but the main line had been fixed and was not altered later except in a few details.

[viii] It should be mentioned that an area to the extreme east of Czechoslovakia was inhabited wholly by Ruthenes. These were assigned to her on the ground that the inhabitants had been ill-treated and denied educational facilities in their own language by the Magyars. This was true, and the Czechoslovak Government has undoubtedly given them more liberal treatment. It was not perceived at the time, however, that the economic connections of this Carpatho-Ruthene area were all to the south and with the new Hungary.

[ix] Jews in New Hungary, 460,000. Jews in territories separated from Old Hungary (not including Austria), 448,000. Of course by no means all these Jews would be pro-Magyar.

[x] Budapest: Hornyanszky, 1927.

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  • MAJOR HAROLD TEMPERLEY, Reader in Modern History, Cambridge University; British military and territorial expert at the Peace Conference; Editor of "A History of the Peace Conference of Paris," and Joint Editor of "British Documents on the Origins of the War"
  • More By Harold Temperley