VOL. 171 No. 5106

LONDON MARCH 19th, 1938



By Edward Quinn


By Christopher Dawson


An Editorial


Listener’s Comments and Catholic



MOVES From a Paris Correspondent

Full List of Contents on page 356.

THE WORLD WEEK BY WEEK The Incorporation of Austria

The incorporation of Austria in the new German Reich was accomplished with dramatic suddenness by an overwhelming display of force over the week-end. The plebiscite, which Dr. Schuschnigg had announced in a final endeavour to strengthen the position of the Fatherland Front, was met by a succession of peremptory demands by Herr Hitler, demands which were conceded to avoid bloodshed and were immediately followed by the appearance of the German troops, and then by a triumphal progress to Vienna by the German Fiihrer himself. When all allowances are made for those who have been cheering through prudence, who are with the Nazis today, though they would have been voting “ J a ” in the Schuschnigg plebiscite, the extent of the welcome accorded to Hitler on his first return to the land of his birth has been an impressive spectacle. It was testimony to the way a common sense of race and the consummation of a union expressly forbidden these last twenty years by outside Powers, has even outweighed in innumerable Austrian hearts a distaste for the harsher features, and above all, for the anti-Catholic character of the present regime in Germany. In these hours of its final defeat we must salute the courageous battle waged alike against the forces of international revolution in Vienna and of German Nazism by the Austrian Fatherland Front. The highest courage, if not always the highest wisdom, was displayed to the end. The Root of Austrian Weakness

The eventual incorporation of Austria with Germany is something which was primarily prohibited in the peace treaties from considerations of power politics and the balance of forces. It was from the beginning a grave weakness for those Austrians who attempted to realize in their small and economically handicapped country a thoroughly Christian form of Corporative

State, that they worked behind the barrier of a treaty which no German could think of with any pleasure. In fact, independent Austria existed down to 1933 because the Western Powers chose to forbid the anschluss. The position of Austria was virtually undermined as soon as Britain, France and Italy, its three effective supports, quarrelled among themselves. They quarrelled, as all the world knows, at the initiative of the British, to the amazement of the Italians, and the frantic consternation of the French, in 1935, over Italian action in Abyssinia. M. Laval, who had just reached a close understanding with Italy, brought about by the Nazi triumph in Germany, worked desperately to minimise the cleavage, but he failed, and Italy turned from France and Britain to forge the Axis with Berlin. The French journalist, Bertrand de Jouvenel, the son of the former French Ambassador in Rome, has published the details of the offer he brought from Signor Mussolini, after the final conquest of Abyssinia in June, 1936. It was made to M. Blum, then at the outset of his disastrous Popular Front Government. It offered to restore the Stresa Front for the maintenance of Austria and Czechoslovakia. When the Harm was Done

On March 12th, at the third session of the second Congress of the Parti Populaire Français, the Right Wing group led by the ex-Communist Jacques Doriot, M. Bertrand de Jouvenel said : “ On June 1st, 1936, the very day of M. Blum’s accession to power in France, Signor Mussolini received me in the presence of his Minister for Foreign Affairs—at that time Signor Suvich. Signor Mussolini said to me : ‘Germany has just reoccupied the Rhineland, and will hold you beyond the bridges of the Rhine by means of fortifications. You Frenchmen will be powerless the day that the integrity and independence of Austria and