« VorigeDoorgaan »
the extension to the rural districts of such admirable self-governing, democratic movements as the Workers' Educational Association and the Adult Schools. All who realise the magnificent work which these organisations are performing in the towns will appreciate the immense effect which they are capable of producing in the enrichment of the intellectual and social life of the villages.
The census of 1911 has shown that the rural exodus has already been arrested. The census of 1921, there is good reason to hope, may prove not perhaps that the townsman can easily be brought
back to the land,'but that an effective inducement, both economic and social, to remain can be held out to the labourers still left in the country fields and to a fairly large proportion of their children.
PERCY M. ROXBY.
THE AFTERMATH OF AGADIR:
SUOGESTIONS FOR A SETTLEMENT OF TERRITORIAL AMBITIONS
To those who have probed deeply into the foreign and colonial politics of the principal European countries during the last twelve months, especially in regard to Germany, several factors stand out very clearly in spite of official denials or evasions. These are : (1) That Germany has desired-does desire still-a station on the East Atlantic coast or on some Atlantic island, not merely the good harbour of Libreville in the French Gaboon (nearly under the Equator) but more especially to the north of the Tropic, and not far from the entrance into the Mediterranean ; (2) that Russia desires to interfere with Persia almost entirely with the idea of getting a through route vid Tabriz to the Persian Gulf, which would give her shipping and her trade goods an outlet into the warmer seas of the world; (3) that Germany has aspirations in the direction of the Congo Basin ; (4) that Great Britain still cherishes the wish to link up her South African colonies with her possessions in East Africa and the Sudan ; (5) that German aspirations for a great sphere of influence (in alliance with Austria) over the Turkish Empire in Europe, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, and Syria, are still fettered by French, Russian, Hungarian, and Italian objections; (6) that the revolution in China, though it may ultimately conduce to an enormous increase in the happiness of China through the better education of that country under a government more suited to twentieth-century ideals, may at the same time weaken the hold of China over her tributary provinces to the west and north, with the consequent raising of Russian, British, and Japanese ambitions or need for an interference in those directions; and (7) that the engagement of American (United States) officials to put in order the affairs of Liberia (on the Atlantic coast of West Africa), and of Persia, in conjunction with the American ten-year-old annexation of the Philippine Archipelago, cannot but raise the question as to the interference of New World Powers in the affairs of the Old World, at a time when more than ever the trend of popular feeling in America is to squeeze out gradually any pretension on the part of European States to rule in North, Central, or South America. In short, the world is faced with the possibility of a clash of interests between
one white Christian nation and another, or between several Christian Powers leagued together against a rival alliance.
Yet never did the world of intelligent educated people realise more than to-day the enormous cost of scientific warfare; its terrific risks in the way of national (one might almost write international) bankruptcy, social revolt, disease; and its weakening of the force of the white man in his relations with the coloured races, with the backward peoples of the world. If the nonCaucasian races are to be redeemed from the thraldom of rotten religions, preposterous customs, and that ignorance which brings about complete stagnation of intellect, it is necessary that the white man for many generations should be, in his united peoples, so preponderatingly strong that the 800,000,000 of yellow, brown, and black races must be constrained to follow his advice. The European, or white American, is checked from tyranny or misuse of his power by the lessons of history and of true Christianity; by that public opinion which is rapidly increasing in strength and unity of purpose amongst the civilised nations of the world, and which can now compel governments to behave with justice and kindness not merely towards their fellow humans of all types, but even towards the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the trees of the forest.
The only thoroughly dissatisfied nation of the white world at the present day is Germany. In common with several other writers on international relations, I have sought to show in this Review in what directions German aspirations might reasonably be satisfied without unfairness to those of other European Powers worthy of consideration. But the ideals of the thinking portion of the German people are somewhat changeable, and as the population and trade of Germany increases so does her appetite, until at last it would almost seem as if (judging from the German Press of November-December) she ascribes to herself a greater future than that to which she is justly entitled, and to Great Britain or to France a greater perversity or unreasonableness in checking those aspirations than really exists in the minds of British or French statesmen.
Visiting Germany in the autumn of 1911 I conversed with a number of persons qualified to discuss the aspirations of Germans, reasonable and unreasonable. They admitted that since 1909 no action had been taken by Great Britain unduly to check German intentions to play a great part in the opening up of Turkey in Asia, or an Austrian desire to be paramount in the Balkan Peninsula. Russia even was thought in 1910-11 to have accepted, however unwillingly, the idea of a future Austro-German predominance in these regions, no doubt with certain reserves regarding Armenia and the passage of the Bosporus and Dardanelles. I was told, however, that France in various directions, chiefly of an underground financial nature, remained the chief opponent of the German railway and commercial advance in these regions, more especially in regard to the Levant (Syria and the Aleppo district). Among possible foes nearer home who might impede the eventual creation of a huge Austro-German Empire of many kingdoms, principalities, and republics, stretching from Hamburg to Basrah and from Memel to Trieste and Salonica, was the large and compact kingdom of Hungary, which by its Sclavonic province of Croatia intervenes (as regards direct continental connexion) between Austrian Carniola and Istria on the north, and Dalmatia, Novi Bazar, and Servia on the south-east (the newly-annexed province of Bosnia-Herzegovina though accorded a large measure of autonomy is the joint appanage of the Austrian and Hungarian Crowns). Consequently, any Austro-German railway or strategic advance towards the control of the Balkan Peninsula can only be undertaken with the sympathy and participation of Hungary. The population of Hungary consists of nearly 10,000,000 Magyars, who are the head and forefront of the Hungarian nation, but also of 5,500,000 Slavs (Croatians, Slovaks, Servians, and Ruthenians), 2,200,000 Germans, and 3,000,000 of Roumanians. Both the Germans in Transylvania, and Roumanians in that eastern portion of Hungary complained until very recently of harsh treatment on the part of the Magyar predominance in matters of education, religion, and local administration. But these complaints seem to have died down almost completely of late, either from the removal of the grievances or disabilities or a gradual adoption of the (tiresome Asiatic) Magyar language. Croatia also seems to be inclined more than before to make common cause with the government of Buda-Pest.
To the east of Hungary an Austro-German advance overland (economic as much as political) is checked by the autonomous province of Austrian Poland, to say nothing of the militant Slavs in Bohemia. This strategical difficulty might be quite sufficiently appeased if by some arrangement with German Austria the Hungarian kingdom agreed to the transference of Croatia to the Austrian system, taking in exchange the Ruthenian-Moldavian province of Bukowina, and agreeing likewise that the self-governing State of Bosnia-Herzegovina should depend rather on the Austrian than the Hungarian Crown. But would the obstinate Magyars who at present stand between Austria and the adoption of free trade (if she wished to change her policy in order to cheapen the necessaries of life) agree to any such rearrangement, even if they achieved a greater measure of independence? For many reasons, moral as well as material, the idea of a war between the Germans on the one hand, or of Germany and Austria united, and the Magyars on the other-a war in which Germany would be the aggressor and Hungary the defender of its acknowledged rights-is felt to be a problem so dangerous and so distasteful that Germans prefer to turn away, and to contemplate some other means of approaching the colonisable territories of Turkey in Asia, or even abandoning any very serious enterprise in this direction in favour of an 'Atlantic' future.
Germany wants to get to the Mediterranean. This longing has existed for 2000 years and more amongst the populations of North Central Europe. But between Germany and this desired access to the genial lands lie Eastern France and Switzerland on the one hand, and the Austrian Tyrol and Carinthia on the other. In course of time the community of interests between the German-speaking population of the German Empire and of Austria proper and Western and Northern Bohemia must of necessity become as close as the ties between Bavaria and Prussia. With the existing AustroGerman Customs union (only influenoed by the Ausgleich, or 'compromise' of fiscal affairs between Austria and Hungary), Germany scarcely needs any other arrangement to make full use of Trieste as a German Mediterranean port. But the pact between Austria and Hungary does affect Trieste very seriously. And, on the other hand, there is Italy always lying in wait to join hands with Hungary some day, and attempt to wrest from AustroGermany Trieste and Istria, on the ground that these countries form a part of unredeemed Italy. It is true that they contain about 500,000 Italian-speaking people, somewhat in sympathy with a coast and island Italian population in Dalmatia. (This lastsubjects of Venice for some five hundred years--speaks a remarkably interesting and archaic form of Italian, which preserves a more Latin pronunciation.) But Trieste has never been an Italian town in the same sense as Genoa and Venice, Cattaro and Ragusa. It has always belonged to the Holy Roman or Austrian Empires since the break-up of the real Roman Empire ruled from Rome or Ravenna, and the population of the hinterland away from the coast is almost exclusively Sclavonic. Now that Italy has crossed the Mediterranean and established herself in the Tripolitaine, any aspirations she might entertain towards interference with Trieste, Istria, Albania, or any other part of the Northern or Eastern Adriatic coasts would really be utterly unreasonable and wholly undeserving of any sympathy in the United Kingdom.
Both Germany and Austria, in the minds of their private citizens, bad entertained velléités in regard to the Germanising of the Tripolitaine through concessionnaire companies, and had based