May 10, 1936


A Weekly Newspaper and Review

V o l . 167. N o . 5010.

L o n d o n , M a y 16 , 1936 R eg is tered a t tu * General P ost Of f ic e as a New s pape r .

S i x p e n c e




AGE ...........................................

P age

P age

. 612 ECCLESIASTICAL GEOGRAPHY ............. 618

M ICHAEL ANGELO ............. ............. 619

. 613 LETTERS FROM OVERSEAS ... ............. 620

IS SPAIN GOING COMMUNIST? (I I I ) .. . 615 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ... ............. 626 THE PROBLEM OF EVOLUTION ... . 616 THE NEW B O O K S ....................... ............. 628 SOCIAL RECONSTRUCTION . 617 THE ASCENSION ....................... ............. 640


r I ' HE fall o f Prince Starhemberg, the V ice-

Chancellor, further increases the dangerous instability o f Austria. Behind all the discussions last week at Geneva, the picture o f its ominous preeminence in the immediate future dominated the scene. The Austrian Government, a combination o f the Catholic Socialists and the ITeimwehr, has continued the policy o f the murdered Dollfuss, but it has never been able to rely, in the last eighteen months, any more than Dollfuss could ever rely, on that preponderant majority o f support which a government needs. Austria is too small a country to support the great conflicts o f ideas which are raging inside it. There are six million Austrians, two million o f them in Vienna, and in their heads and hearts there compete for sovereignty at least four sharply opposed ideals. The Austrian Fascist ideal which Starhemberg embodies looks to Italy and rejoices that behind all appearances it has been the strength o f Mussolini which has maintained the Austrian Government o f the last two years. The outburst o f congratulation fo r Mussolini— ill-timed like so many o f Prince Starhemberg’s utterances, fo r he is still a very young man fo r high responsibilities — brought the struggle between what he stands fo r and the Catholic Socialist policy to a head.

Dr. Schussnigg, the Chancellor, who has driven out Starhemberg, is, like him, a man still under forty. He is not a magnetic figure, but he is, fo r that very reason, all the better as an embodiment o f those unspectacular but profoundly moral and reasoned ideas which are the programme o f the Christian Social party. It rests mainly on the countryside, and it seeks to safeguard to the ordinary Austrians the essentials o f civilized European life. It is making a gallant effort to build in Austria a quiet and stable society o f men among whom property shall be well distributed, men who will

N ew S eries. Vol. C X X X V . No. 4409.

find in the interests o f family life their primary activity. But it is faced with the superior striking force o f political movements which think in terms not o f families but o f parties, and where familyless men pour all their enthusiasm and sacrifice all their strength fo r the achievement o f party triumph. In Austria, the Socialists centred in Vienna have been eclipsed as a revolutionary threat by the Austrian Nazis, because Nazi Germany stands so much nearer than Soviet Russia. The interest o f the powers is only incidentally in the internal fortunes o f Austria.

HOW ENGLAND LOOKS AT EUROPE The typical observers o f English or American newspapers go and return with a bias towards the Socialists as the Party o f the Left. This bias is more a matter o f the heart than the head. Foreign correspondents, young men anxious to see the world, and interested in political change, are commonly lacking in any background o f historical knowledge. They know little o f the past, and i f they are Americans have a hearty instinctive contempt fo r it. They come to Europe, they meet with obstruction and suspicion from governments, and their sharp superficial impressions grow sharper still. The great success o f a book like Inside Europe, a rapid, surface survey with a strong predilection fo r the parties o f the L e ft is a p roof how little most o f the English public know or care about Europe. They are content to have it disclosed to them by engaging but quite incompetent young guides as a new spectacle. The Central European States, in so far as they are known in England at all, are known through men like Masaryk, who carefully cultivated liberal opinion here, and it is extremely easy fo r Englishmen to form the impression that throughout these countries their own point o f view is very generally shared. Members o f the Labour Party are particularly liable to be content to build on a paper knowledge o f Europe the most imposing resolves fo r British policy.