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One nation, three names

04 August 2017

August 3rd, 1917

SPEAKING in the House of Commons on Thursday in last week Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck said that, while we were agreed on the point of the restoration of Serbia and Montenegro, the question of a larger Serbia was altogether different, and that it was doubtful if the peoples concerned really knew their own wishes. On that very day, as it happened, there was issued from Corfu a statement by the authorised representatives of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. The document is of the first importance. It expresses the desire of the peoples concerned to free themselves from all foreign oppression and to constitute themselves into a free, national, and independent State, based on the principle that every people should be free to govern itself. The statement proceeds to develop at some length and in detail the idea of this Jugo-Slav state. It is to be a constitutional, democratic, and parliamentary monarchy, “with the Karageorgevitch dynasty, which has always shared the ideals and feelings of the nation in placing above everything else the national liberty and will, at its head”. The title of the sovereign will be that of King of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; there will be one flag and one crown. Its territory will comprise all those regions where the nation now lives in compact masses and without discontinuity. The nation does not ask for anything which belongs to others, it desires only to free itself and establish its unity, and it rejects firmly every partial solution of the problem of its freedom from Austro-Hungarian domination. It will not be possible henceforward to say that the ideal of Jugo-Slavism has not been definitely expressed or formally adopted as a policy by the Jugo-Slav people. The one nation with the three names has spoken.


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