|A Case Study on Trianon|
so. In fact, they could not even get them to vacate territory awarded to Hungary by the peace treaty.
In the period under review, every great power had, naturally, already come to the realization that the peace had been spoiled, that it had grave political and economic consequences, but still it was made, it existed, and three states (four, if we include Austria) defended its inviolability most decisively. Changing it therefore would have led to very serious conflict, which they wanted to avoid at all cost. On May 6, 1920, Millerand delivered the final peace terms to Praznovszky, the permanent secretary of the Hungarian peace delegation. In no way whatsoever did these take the wishes of the Hungarian government into consideration. The original peace terms therefore remained unaltered. The only difference was that now the cover letter referred to the possibility of a revision of the peace.36
The peace terms caused great disappointment in Hungarian government circles. Foreign Minister Teleki immediately called on Fouchet, and reported to him on the session of the Council of Ministers and the bewilderment reigning there. The French plenipotentiary emphasized the significance of the Millerand cover letter and of the Franco-Hungarian negotiations and the prospects these held out. For his part, he recommended acceptance of the peace terms. These were the instructions of the Quai d'Orsay.37
Paris had shown foresight, and its ideas were vindicated. The prospective revision of the peace and the promised economic support made their impact. The Hungarian government decided in favor of accepting the peace terms. What is more, satisfying a request of the French government, it endeavored to check the press attacks and demonstrations resulting from the official acceptance.38
Apponyi, the president of the Hungarian peace delegation, did not agree with his government's position. He did not trust the promises in the letter. The promises, he claimed, were general, while the peace conditions were concrete-they rejected the requested plebiscite. He again refused to sign the peace treaty and submitted his resignation to Horthy. The regent designated Foreign Minister Teleki to be the signatory.39 The Millerand faction, however, did not regard Horthy's decision as rational. They did not wish to weaken the position of the pro-French Teleki, who had been named to the post of prime minister, and immediately charged with such an unpopular task. Fouchet expressed his misgivings concerning this, whereupon
Horthy designated Agoston Benard, the labor minister, for the signing of the peace treaty, which was scheduled for June 4.40
After the delivery of the peace conditions, or rather, their acceptance, the pace of the Franco-Hungarian negotiations speeded up. It was important for the Hungarian government that they make their concrete territorial demands known to the French as soon as possible. Inasmuch as the Halmos memorandum, which served as the basis of discussions up until then, set forth these conditions only incompletely, and furthermore did not refer to the inseparability of economic and political questions, Teleki immediately instructed Csaky to hand Paleologue a new memorandum based on the original instructions. This occurred on May 12. The permanent secretary for foreign affairs accepted the new note only as information. He continued to regard the Halmos memorandum as the basis for discussion.41
As a consequence, the Hungarian government made efforts to synchronize the economic and political negotiations, and then to subordinate the former to the latter. In economic questions, in other words, it was not prepared to proceed further until it had gained the desired political concessions. The first stage of the economic negotiations therefore come to an end. On May 4 complete understanding was reached with the Schneider-Creusot firm, and this was set forth in a general agreement.42 The next step would have been the transmittal of a letter concerning the option. The government, however, was prepared to do this only in return for concrete political concessions.
In this situation Paleologue thought it expedient to send Halmos-the man he regarded as the most open and fervent devotee of Franco-Hungarian rapprochement-to Budapest, to inquire about the effect a verbal French declaration would produce in his homeland. If he judged such a declaration necessary, he was asked to report it to Fouchet.
The next day, May 13, Halmos traveled to Budapest. Paleologue on the very same day instructed France's high commissioner in Budapest to read to the Regent the declaration appended to the instructions if Halmos so requested.43
Immediately after his arrival in Budapest, Halmos informed Teleki of Paleologue's ideas, then on May 16 called on Fouchet, and requested that he make the planned declaration. The next day Fouchet visited Teleki and showed him the declaration in writing.
The Hungarian foreign minister was satisfied. He emphasized that the declaration would render a great service to the pro-French policy, which, for the sake of national unity, he, too, had adopted.44
On the afternoon of May 18, at 5 o'clock, Miklos Horthy ceremoniously received Fouchet, the representative of France. Besides the Regent, Foreign Minister Teleki, Prime Minister Simonyi Semadam, Finance Minister Koranyi, Minister of Agriculture Rubinek, Apponyi, Andrassy, Bethlen, Csaky, and Halmos were also present. For domestic political reasons Horthy and Teleki regarded the presence of these people at this important event as expedient, for many among them received the French orientation with reservations or with open hostility. The declaration, which summarized the main guiding principles of France's policy concerning Hungary, marked a significant advance in the Franco-Hungarian negotiations, which had been in progress since March. The first official move was on the part of the French, who implicitly recognized Hungary's territorial claims, and promised support for their attempts to satisfy them. The declaration emphasized that the peace and prosperity of East Europe could be assured only through the cooperation of the interested states. Therefore France was ready to support every effort that would promote this, including discussions between Hungary and the neighboring states, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia; it would advocate a review of the unjust decisions in the peace terms and the amplification, or rather, revision, of the rights guaranteed to minorities in the peace treaty. After the declaration was read, Fouchet emphasized that his government wanted to bring a strong Hungary into existence, and was therefore ready to support that goal economically and financially. Everyone received the declaration with great satisfaction. Horthy warmly praised its significance.45 Let us note, however, that the text of the declaration that was read and the one sent to Fouchet by Paleologue were not identical. Stylistic variations masked substantial differences in content. Who changed the text-Fouchet, or the Hungarians responsible for putting it into writing? We can only conjecture.46
The declaration, at all events, had its effect. Immediately after it was made, Horthy informed Fouchet that he agreed to the signing of the economic agreement. He requested that in order to negotiate the details he contact the interested Hungarian ministers, who had already received the necessary instructions.47
On May 29 the Hungarian government sent two letters to Saint- Sauveur,
the director of the Schneider-Creusot firm. In one it offered the take-over of the Hungarian railways as well as the Budapest and Diosgyor factories. (An appendix indicated exactly the state of the factories and the length of the railways.) The other offered an option of the construction of a commercial harbor in Budapest.48 Count Saint-Sauveur accepted both offers, and was ready to sign an agreement immediately. Upon the intervention of the French government, however, he was forced to forgo this.49 For the Quai d'Orsay now no longer regarded the above economic concessions as sufficient to new economic concessions-the granting of an option on the Credit Bank. Only in return for this was it prepared to make political concessions-that is, to hand over in writing the verbally delivered declaration, with the aim of making it public. Paleologue on several occasions stressed that the option on the Credit Bank was the sine qua non of the written declaration requested by the Hungarians.50
A diplomatic wrangle of several weeks' duration developed over this question. The Hungarian government did not wish, or rather, was unable, to meet this new request of Paleologue's, while the French permanent secretary for foreign affairs clung determinedly to his position. In the middle of June it seemed that the conflicts that had arisen brought the Franco-Hungarian negotiations to a complete halt. But what was really at issue here? Why was obtaining an option concerning the Hungarian Credit Bank so important to France, and why was the Hungarian government unable to fulfill its request?
From writings to date it has come to light that a race had begun between the Allied Great Powers-above all between England and France-to acquire Hungary's economic assets. It seemed that in the spring of 1920 the French government succeeded in out-distancing even England, which held the best assets. It was the French, who obtained-or were, rather, in the best position to obtain-the option for the construction of the railways, the most significant factories, and the harbor, and not the English, who also made serious efforts in this direction.51 In order to control the economic life of Hungary, it was important to obtain the option on the Credit Bank as well, or at least to prevent it from coming into English hands. Two hundred thirty Hungarian enterprises were under the control of the bank. In the Anglo-French rivalry that developed in the spring of 1920, the scales tipped in favor of the former. The president of the bank, Baron Adolf Ullmann, was not willing, even at the request of the government, to call off the negotiations then in progress with English
capitalists, and continued to give preference to the English. On April 12, 1920, right in the middle of the Franco-Hungarian economic negotiations in fact, Barons Gyorgy and Adolf Ullmann traveled to London at the invitation of Lord Furness.52 And this fact caused no small consternation at the Quai d'Orsay. Halmos's reports, according to which the Ullmanns had received instructions from the government to make only evasive statements and to undertake no obligations whatsoever,53 not even a moral one, did not assuage French fears in this regard. Paleologue was aware that the Ullmanns were hardly paying attention to the wishes of the government. Teleki, on his own, apprised Fouchet of this development.54 The directors of French diplomacy therefore increased pressure on the Hungarian government in the matter of the Credit Bank. They insisted on the option, and doing it, Paleologue explained to Csaky, for the sake of the Hungarians, for by controlling the interests of the Credit Bank in the ceded territories they claimed they could exert pressure on the neighboring states. Fouchet himself talked with Ullmann, and tried to obtain his agreement on the issue.55 Ullmann ultimately yielded to the multi-sided pressure. On June 12, after he had received the requested written guarantee from the prime minister, Bethlen, and Apponyi (according to the guarantee the option was an interest not of the Credit Bank, but of the government) he agreed to the deal. He personally traveled to Paris to complete the arrangements.56
The Hungarian government, however, kept putting off delivery of the option letters. It did not regard the French written declaration as an adequate recompense for the economic sacrifices: the declaration [that the French would support negotiations to be carried on with neighboring states-Magda Adam], of however great value in principle, cannot be viewed as sufficient compensation for the option," stressed Teleki in the briefing he gave to the delegation about to depart for Paris.57 He instructed Csaky and Bethlen to inform the French government of this, and to point out that ratification of the option by Parliament and defense of the French orientation against its opponents was only possible if, in exchange, they could point to political concessions that were commensurate with respecting economic sacrifices.58 On June 9 and June 12 similar memoranda were handed to Fouchet and Paleologue by Teleki and Bethlen who was acting on Horthy's instructions. Millerand and Paleologue acknowledged the latest Hungarian notes only under the heading of
information.59 The French permanent secretary for foreign affairs stressed that he would try his utmost, but could not make definite promises until Hungary had clarified the possibility of negotiations with her neighbors. He mentioned that they had been sounding out Prague, Belgrade, Bucharest, and Vienna for a long time, and the results were fairly satisfactory.60 He again outlined his plan concerning the economic and political unification of the Danubian states and his idea of making Budapest the center of this grouping. Finally, however, he put it explicitly on record that France did not intend to reestablish the Empire of Saint Stephen, but wished only to assist in solving the problems of South-East Europe.61
During his conversation with Csaky, Montielle, Paleologue's chef de cabinet, pointed out the difficult situation which his government had gotten into on account of its policy concerning Hungary. It could not compel its allies to overturn the peace, the signing of which France itself had been demanding for some time. He expressed his conviction, however, that the time would come when they could tear up the treaty-and in this they could count on the full support of France.62
Millerand submitted a note to the Conference of Ambassadors, and recommended the correction of the unjust decisions affecting Hungary and to this end called for direct discussions between the boundary commissions as well as between the interested states.63
The confidential instructions issued by the Conference of Ambassadors on July 22, 1922, to the commissions appointed to fix the boundaries disregarded the above request of Millerand's. On the contrary, the instructions narrowed down and sharply circumscribed the activity of the commissions. They set as the top-priority task the fixing of the boundaries determined in the peace treaty.64 Supplementary instructions given to the commission handling the Hungarian boundaries pointedly underlined that the boundaries were to be drawn on the territory decided in the peace treaty. There could be no question of any modification that would make doubtful the base line designated in the peace treaty.65 While formerly England, Italy, and the USA had advocated correction of the unjust decisions of the peace treaty and, having broken French opposition, had carried through the formulation of this possibility in a cover letter, the situation was now reversed. They rejected Millerand's proposal, which had originally been their idea. How is this change to be explained? Above all, by the turnabout that occurred in French
foreign policy conception, and by the information they obtained-information that exaggerated the actual situation-about the secret Franco-Hungarian negotiations. They wished not to promote, but to block, France's economic and political efforts concerning Hungary. When in the middle of June it became evident that the French government was not willing to discuss concrete territorial revisions involving the neighboring states, and had replaced its earlier commitment with general promises, the Hungarian government made an attempt, before transferring the options, to assure France's support for the execution of its plan for Western Hungary, for the reorganization of the army, and for extracting guarantees regarding the rights of Hungarians living in the ceded territory. Teleki presented a request concerning this to Fouchet, as did Csaky to Paleologue.66
The French government was ready to discuss these questions with the Hungarians, but at a later time. It feared-with reason-that further discussion would again delay the conclusion of the Franco-Hungarian negotiations, thus causing them to fail. France's allies-above all, England-embarked on vigorous diplomatic activity to thwart the agreement. They protested in notes against the negotiations which, they claimed, ran counter to the peace treaty. (We shall return to these in detail later.) In response to these notes, the Hungarian government became uncertain. Within days, Teleki-according to Fouchet-looked a different man: he had become irresolute and circumspect.67
The domestic political situation in France made the rapid conclusion of the negotiations urgent. The Millerand faction's policy concerning Hungary was being attacked in the Chamber of Deputies and in the Senate. Their opponents questioned them, requesting information about the Franco-Hungarian negotiations.68
Since speed was necessary, Paleologue was ready to fall into line with Hungarian ideas relative to the concluding of the agreement, although there were significant differences still outstanding.69 On June 21 the documents were exchanged. Csaky, Bethlen, Halmos, and Kallay delivered the letters of option approved by the Hungarian government to the Schneider-Creusot firm. Following this Paleologue handed over the declaration to the Hungarian delegates,70 the original copy of which Fouchet delivered to Teleki in Budapest.71 At the time of the exchange of documents the French permanent secretary for foreign affairs confidentially informed the
departing Hungarian delegation that he had already initiated political action in the neighboring states.72
What was the substance of the agreement between the Hungarian government and the Schneider-Creusot firm? The option included the takeover of the operations of the state railways, construction of a commercial and industrial harbor in Budapest, a hydro-electric plant, a harbor in Csepel, a Danube-Tisza canal, the regulation of the Danube, and the transfer into French hands of significant shares of the Credit Bank.73 A further agreement provided that after the ratification of the options by the Hungarian parliament, the French government would provide Hungary with a 260-million-franc loan, would regard the political declaration as being in force, and would see to its implementation.
The French declaration that was delivered in writing was essentially identical to the declaration sent to Fouchet on May 13 by Paleologue, and consequently differed from the text read verbally to Horthy on May 18. We have already referred to the nature and causes of the divergence. The difference was significant on two points: 1. There was a new paragraph in the written declaration, according to which the declaration would come into force only when the Hungarian Parliament had ratified the economic concessions.74 Through this addition the French government wanted to assure the possibility of withdrawal, should the opposition defeat the agreement in Parliament. Paris saw clearly there was very little probability that Parliament would approve the options. 2. Left out of the declaration, however, was a very important sentence, which emphasized that the ethnic and economic injustices must be remedied without touching the basic structure of the peace.
On June 22, 1920, Paleologue sent instructions to the heads of the French foreign missions: they were to inform their respective governments about the Franco-Hungarian agreement. In the communication the French permanent secretary for foreign affairs outlined only the economic agreements. He did not, however, mention that those were functions of the appended declaration, nor did he mention the fact that he had also sent information on the agreement to the commission charged with fixing the Hungarian boundaries.
The communication dwelt at length on the reasons that had induced the French government to draw close to Hungary. It alluded, inter alia, to the interdependence of the East European states, which made cooperation necessary, and to the dangers that isolated,
economically ruined small states were heir to. It pointed out that this situation might have serious consequences. Hungary might seek supporters against her neighbors, and thus put the general peace in jeopardy. For this reason, therefore, France regarded as important the consolidation of the economic situation of Hungary and reconciliation with the other successor states. The communique stressed that the economic and political prospect held in view decisively contributed to Budapest's decision to sign the peace.
It is worth noting how someone like Paleologue interpreted the political declaration. Its purpose, he emphasized, was to foster cooperation among the states that had come into being on the territory of the Austrian Monarchy, and to help bring about the normalization of relations between Hungary and her neighbors.76 The strictly confidential part of the instruction referred to one of the most essential incentives for the Franco-Hungarian negotiations-that is, it emphasized that "[i]t was necessary to act quickly, because our allies wanted the business for themselves, and endeavored to ruin us."77 The English attacks at first induced the French government not to withdraw, but to do the opposite: move quicker; they wanted to obtain the options as soon as possible, and with these in their possession they wished to oppose British demands from a more favorable position.78 Before we turn to a concrete survey of this question, we must briefly speak about the position of the French government toward the latest Hungarian demands. We have already mentioned that Paleologue kept postponing their discussion. At the time of the exchange of documents Csaky again asked the French government to support Hungary 1. in having the military clauses of the Trianon peace reviewed; 2. in holding on to the Western Hungarian territories; 3. in defending the interests of the Hungarian minority: 4. in locating the seat of the Danube commission and the Reparations Commission in Budapest; and 5. in bringing about the immediate reannexation of the territories, now held under occupation by Yugoslavia and Romania, that had been awarded to Hungary by the Trianon peace. The French permanent secretary for foreign affairs received the Hungarian ideas concerning this sympathetically, but promised a final answer only after they had been thoroughly studied. He therefore asked that they be put into writing. Csaky fulfilled his request on June 23.79
The next day Paleologue, through his chef de cabinet, Montielle, sent a message to the Hungarian delegation: on first reading he found
nothing in the request with which the French government could not in principle agree! He would inform them later, after the qualified officials had thoroughly studied the memorandum,80 of the form in which he wished to support the requests. But why did Paleologue feel it was necessary-or better yet, possible-to invite the experts at the Quai d'Orsay, above all, Laroche, to join the discussion of the questions, when they had up to this time been almost excluded from the Franco-Hungarian negotiations? The answer is simple. In the conversations to date territorial revision directed against the victorious neighboring states had been at issue. With this, however, many at the Quai d'Orsay-for example, Peretti, Cambon, Bertholot, Laroche-did not agree-indeed, they opposed it most vigorously. However, as we have seen, the latest Hungarian request, besides many other requests, related to adjustments of the boundaries of a defeated state, Austria, to the advantage of Hungary. And this fell under a different judgment. With this the French politicians in general agreed. They started from the position that if it were possible to conciliate the Hungarians at somebody's expense, then let it be only Austria's-the other defeated state's. This, moreover, could be accomplished: From a moral point of view it would be easier to decide against a defeated state, and to carry out the decision, by armed force if necessary, than against allies, whose opposition and regrouping were to be feared. But they also pursued this line of thought because-and for the French this was a very significant consideration-they wanted to weaken an Austria that was heading left-ward and striving toward Anschluss.
Paleologue invited Laroche to join in the discussion of the latest Hungarian memorandum, and the latter informed Csaky on June 24 of the French position on this matter. It appeared from Laroche's communications and from the telegrams sent by Millerand to Fouchet that despite Paleologue's message cited above, the French government had a series of objections to the matters taken up in the memorandum.81 Thus, for example, they regarded as untimely the request for a change in the military clauses, because-as they emphasized-Germany would regard this as a precedent. This question could only be raised officially after the complete disarmament of Germany and only with Great Britain's prior approval.82 Laroche, furthermore, declared the proposal relating to Western Hungary unacceptable.83 He justified this with the argument that France could not openly make a declaration whose aim and intent was a radical
modification of the peace, that is, it could not take a position in favor of Hungary in the manner requested. It would, however, reject any proposal. regardless of its source, that would want to force Hungary to evacuate these territories. In addition, it also regarded as unfulfillable the request for protection of Hungarian minorities, and deemed unacceptable the demand for a Yugoslav evacuation as well. The French government accepted in its entirety only that part of the memorandum which asked for the creation of the two commissions, but it promised concrete support for this. In Budapest they acknowledged with disappointment that the negotiators have not succeeded in getting even the smallest political demands accepted by the French.84
The French government made the Franco-Hungarian negotiations appear as being purely economic in character. Thus it is understandable that Hungary's neighbors received them sympathetically at the outset. They began with the assumption that France's Hungarian policy would restrain the ambitions of Italy and England in their region, and it would thwart these two nations' plans for a Danubian confederation. A Hungary under French influence, moreover, would represent a smaller danger to the given status quo than if it were to fall within the Italian or British sphere of interest.85 French diplomats emphasized this to the Prague, Bucharest, and Belgrade governments. When, at the beginning of June, the French government turned to the Prague, Belgrade, and Bucharest governments with a proposal that they begin direct negotiations with Hungary under the sponsorship of France, all three states responded positively. According to a report made by Paleologue's chef de cabinet, Montielle, to Praznovszky, Benes and Vesnic were enthusiastic about the proposal. Although Take Ionescu was not enthusiastic, he also accepted the French proposal. He felt it necessary to emphasize that "hope-fully France will not take part in these negotiations as Hungary's ally."86 It was at this point that Benes first proposed the start of negotiations to the Hungarian government.
At almost the same time Yugoslavia and Romania also expressed their willingness to start negotiations. The Romanian government, through Stircea, its representative in Budapest, offered to establish diplomatic relations with Hungary. Unlike Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, it was ready to do this even before the ratification of the Trianon peace. It requested help from the French government toward this end.87 Paleologue supported the Romanian idea. His
position, which he made known to Budapest on several occasions, was that Hungary had to come to an agreement above all with Romania. He perceived that negotiations with Romania had to be started. It was the opinion of those in charge of French diplomacy that the Hungarian government should not at the outset bring up the political and territorial demands, because "a premature insistence on these would in all probability knock the Romanian government off a track that was favorable to us-one onto which it had already turned, mainly in response to French pressure-and would drive it completely into the arms of the Serbs and the Czechs, in which case we would find the ring around us completely closed." In the given situation, read Praznovszky's report, Hungary's first-priority foreign policy task was to break this developing ring. This could be accomplished by means of an agreement with the Romanians.88
Under the impact of the events of July, the readiness of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Romania to negotiate with Hungary disappeared. What were those events?
On June 22, Count Saint-Sauveur arrived in Budapest at the head of a French delegation. He was given a spectacular reception; even Horthy received him at Godollo. He had discussions with Apponyi and members of the Hungarian government. Saint-Sauveur prepared a detailed account of his observations in Budapest, in which he analyzed Hungary's political and economic situation. He stated that Hungary could not exist within its new boundaries without an economic agreement with the neighboring states.89
During his stay in Budapest the count gathered information, spoke with various people, and made recommendations. He did not, however, conclude an agreement. Still, after his departure the news spread rapidly that at Godollo he had indeed signed an agreement. Renner bought the text of this agreement from one of the civil servants in the Hungarian Ministry of Finance for 100,000 crowns.90 The Austrian chancellor passed the alleged secret agreement to Benes, who forwarded it immediately to Paris, together with a note of protest. The 11-page document, which had allegedly been signed in Horthy's presence at Godollo on the evening of the 19th, listed in the most minute detail the territories that Hungary was to get back. The aim of the alleged agreement was therefore a radical alteration of the Trianon and Saint Germain peace.91
The document could have been either a forgery, or one of the dozens of Hungarian plans that were drawn up at that time. Benes
and Renner used this alleged agreement to launch sharp attacks against a Franco-Hungarian rapprochement and in this they were supported by Germany, Yugoslavia, Romania, England, Italy, and in part by the USA as well, giving credence to their propaganda, making it that much easier to attack the French government.92 When, however, the uproar surrounding the Franco-Hungarian agreement reached its highest pitch, the moves toward rapprochement between the two states had already lost much of its old intensity. Both sides-but mainly the Hungarian-were considering pulling back.
In analyzing the question, it is scarcely possible to ignore the domestic political factors-e.g., the ever-intensifying attacks of the domestic opposition-that demanded a more cautious policy on the part of both sides. The question was nonetheless decided primarily by external factors-international power relations. We must mention above all the policy of Great Britain. We have already noted that From the outset the Foreign Office opposed Millerand's Danubian plans, and attacked his policy concerning Hungary. In the first week of May-and thus at the very start of Franco-Hungarian negotiations-Hohler, the English high commissioner, on the instruction of his government, initiated a counter-action. He attempted to turn Horthy, with whom he maintained close relations, against France. He called the Regent's attention to the fact that France herself was also in an extraordinarily difficult economic and financial situation-it was compelled to rely on the assistance of the USA and England-and therefore Hungary could hardly hope for assistance from her.93 But on May 27 he presented a written request, a demarche, to the Regent, in which he protested against the Franco-Hungarian economic plans, and at the same time offered to strengthen Anglo-Hungarian economic relations.94 On June 4 England sent a note to the Hungarian government, in which she protested against the leasing of the Hungarian railways because-the note emphasized-this would be contrary to the provision of the Trianon peace regarding reparations. The charge' d'affaires mentioned that his government was also protesting against this development in Paris: simultaneously with the Budapest protest, Derby, the English ambassador in Paris, had delivered Curzon's letter to Millerand, which protested against the Franco-Hungarian combinations.95 After the energetic intervention of the English, Teleki began to waver considerably. He did Finally agree to the signing of the June 22 agreement, since Paleologue, the French permanent secretary for
foreign affairs, characterized the protest of the English in Budapest as insignificant, while he denied the one lodged in Paris. He did this both in his conversation with Halmos (on Teleki's instruction Halmos had asked him about English interventions) and in a telegram that he sent to Fouchet.96 But what ultimately restored Teleki's confidence was that Paleologue confidentially informed Halmos that there was agreement between England and France on the Hungarian question. Fouchet, however, informed Teleki that Paleologue had discussed the question with Derby, the English ambassador in Paris, and the matter was settled.97 In his June 10 report Csaky again touched on this question. He set forth his impressions and information concerning the matter. According to these there existed an Anglo-French agreement, according to which Hungary was to fall within France's sphere of interest.
After the signing of the options, the Anglo-French competition for Hungary's favors only intensified. The French at this time were not yet ready to withdraw. On the contrary, they intensified their diplomatic activity for the final acquisition of the options, and wanted to negotiate with Great Britain only afterwards. They wished to use the options as a trump card at the planned Millerand-Lloyd George meeting, where they were also going to put the Hungarian question on the agenda. There is a note to be found in the French foreign ministry that refers to this, noting that the option was important in that it could be used to oppose other English demands.98 Only later, at the end of July or the beginning of August, that is, after the Anglo-French meeting, did the French begin to pull back.
|A Case Study on Trianon|