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Austria cut down to size

07 June 2019

June 6th, 1919.

ON MONDAY last, at the Palace of St Germain’s, the Allies presented to the representatives of the Austrian Government the terms of submission. In striking contrast to the unmannerly Count Rantzau, Dr Kenner, the chief of the plenipotentiaries, remained standing while he received the document containing the Treaty, or such part of it as did not relate to certain questions reserved for consideration later. The Austrians were given fifteen days in which to make up their minds whether to sign or to refuse, but M. Clemenceau stated quite clearly that they really had no option, and Dr Kenner plaintively replied that he and his colleagues were entirely in the hands of the Allies. When he signs the Treaty he will be knocking the last nail in the coffin of the State which had declined from the glories of the Holy Roman Empire to the ramshackle Empire that staked all on its alliance with Germany, and has gone down with her. What remains of Austria will be a comparatively small State, unable to pursue schemes of military ambition, and deprived of the power to oppress the weaker races hitherto under its sway or near enough to be in terror of its aggression. The details of the territorial adjustments and delimitations are not yet to hand, but enough have been revealed to show that when the Treaty is signed, as signed it must be, the Austrian Empire will be no more.


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