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DOCUMENTS - Part Two: Frontiers of Hungary - Chapter II. Proposals and Remarks to the Subcommittee on Territorial Problems
Document 8

Secret T Minutes 40

February 19, 1943


	Mr. Isaiah Bowman, presiding

Mr. Hamilton Fish Armstrong Mr. Harley Notter
Mr. Adolf A. Berle Mr. Leroy D. Stinebower
Mr. John V. A. MacMurray Mr. Philip Mosely
Mrs. Anne O'Hare McCormick Mr. John Masland
Mr. Leo Pasvolsky Mr. Easton Rothwell
Mr. Myron C. Taylor Mr. William Koren, Jr.
Mr. Cavendish W. Cannon Mr. Otto E. Guthe
Mr. C. E. Black Mr. John Campbell
Mr. Norris B. Chipman Mr. Richard Eldridge
Mr. Leon W. Fuller Mr. David Harris
Mr. Harry N. Howard Mr. Melvin M. Knight
Mr. Thomas F. Power, Jr. Mr. Andreas G. Ronhovde
Miss Julia Schairer Mr. H. Julian Wadleigh

The Possibility of Autonomy, Part I

The chairman noted that at the close of the last meeting the question of Transylvania, and particularly the possibility of establishing Szekler autonomy, had been referred to a sub-subcommittee. He asked Mr. Campbell to report the findings of this group. Mr. Campbell noted that the sub-subcommittee had had to assume the retention of this area by Rumania. Given that sovereignty there were two possible forms of autonomy: (1) an autonomy on a territorial basis, which would give extension to the local self-goverment of the Szeklers within Rumania so that they had certain rights as citizens of Rumania and others as citizens of the area; (2) autonomy in religious, educational and social matters in conjunction with all Magyars in Rumania, i.e., an attempt to force Rumania to take the idea of nationality out of its basic state doctrine. Under this second alternative Rumania would not try to establish a strictly Rumanian national state. He repeated that the question of autonomy arises if the territorial solution of the Transyl- vania question between Hungary and Rumania follows the 1919 line or some compromise different from the Vienna Award. It would not exist if the Szeklers and Magyars were transferred to Hungary. He pointed out that there was particular difficulty in transferring the Szeklers since they numbered one-half million persons, they had had exceptionally long residence in their home and that home was located in the geographical center of Rumania.

The chairman considered that a brief description of possible solutions previously discussed would help later discussion in detail on the autonomy issue. The subcommittee had previously discussed the possibility of a division of Transylvania along nationality lines, the possibility of making permanent the 1940 line and the possibility of the restoration of Transylvania to Rumania with some provision for autonomy. Such autonomy might restore the historical privileges enjoyed by the Szeklers in cu1tural matters and might perhaps extend local privileges in accordance with a new bill of rights. Mr. Campbell observed that if autonomy were granted on a territorial basis Szekler autonomy would remain a Rumanian question. By the second system of autonomy, Transylvanian autonomy would be put under some general


* Campbell and his group's written proposal is presented as Document 8, p. 221. scheme for the treatment of minorities. He explained once more that the subcommittee had assumed that the boundary between Rumania and Hungary would be west of the Székely district, since otherwise no question would arise of Szekler autonomy.

The chairman asked Mr. Cannon what his reflections were on this question of autonomy. He wondered what advantages or disadvantages Mr. Cannon saw with respect to autonomy population in accordance with 1919 principles. Mr. Cannon replied that in his opinion the best regime for the region would be a system of autonomy under which similar regimes would be applied both to the remainder of Rumania and the remainder of Hungary. He expected that Rumania would be considerably truncated even if it existed at all after the war. He noted that before 1848 the Szeklers had had more independence than other Hungarians. He considered this historical cohesion of considerable importance. The 1919 frontier had been, in his opinion, drawn too far to the west. In some respects the Vienna Award of 1940, under which some Magyars still lived in Rumania, had not been too bad a compro- mise. Almost any line would inevitably leave minorities on both sides. Geographical conditions made an exchange of these populations impracticable .

For these reasons he favored autonomy for the whole region of which the Székely districts was only a part. Instead of minority rights in the 1919 sense he wanted equal rights for all individuals. It had been proved that special minority legislation was not satisfactory in a democratic country which had majority rule. In his opinion the whole region of Transylvania might become a unit within which all elements would be assured adequate rights by a general bill of rights. By such a scheme the Szeklers would obtain a large measure of political power.

The chairman explained to Mr. Taylor, who had just arrived and had not been present during previous discussion of the Transylvanian problem, the difficulties which the subcommittee faced in this matter. Mr. Armstrong asked who would be sovereign and who would enforce the necessary rights in an autonomous Transylvania. Mr. Cannon replied that he thought of an autonomous Transylvania as an adminis- trative section of a lower Danubian federation made up of Hungary, Transylvania and the remainder of Rumania. Mr. Armstrong observed that Transylvania would therefore be considered a bridge between Hungary and Rumania, and Mr. Cannon added that it would be almost that. He did, however, see unitary policy-making in such matters as the defense of these three regions.

The chairman considered that Transylvania would be one of the most critical areas in the whole region of Europe. In the case of Bukovina, another critical area, the power situation at the end of the war would be the controlling element. In Transylvania, where the population distribution was so mixed, it was extremely difficult to provide a territorial solution which separated the peoples. It was therefore necessary to discuss some alternatives to the 1919 system of minority protection.

The German Minority

The chairman suggested that it might be illuminating to concentrate for a time on another Transylvania minority, namely the Germans, concerning whom Mr. Mosely had recently given him some particularly interesting information. He thought that these Germans would have an important place in the scheme outlined by Mr. Cannon. Mr. Mosely explained, with reference to the map,1 that in eastern Transylvania proper there were some 250,000 German descendants of settlers who had some in the 12th and 13th centuries. They had always enjoyed considerable autonomy in local administration, church affairs and education. In fact, in recent centuries, membership in the Lutheran Church had been the basis of their autonomy rights. In the Banat there were some 350,000 Germans whose ancestors had settled there during the 18th and 19th centuries. These Germans were Roman Catholic and did not have a degree of autonomy equal to that of the first group.

In Rumania as a whole the German-speaking population was approximately 800,000. They had formed the German Pets people's Party, which had acted as a unit in politics in spite of the diverse makeup of the German population. The Saxons, or Germans in historic Transylvania, lived in mixed villages, which they shared largely with Rumanians rather than Magyars. After September 1940 they had enjoyed particular privileges. Their leader, who was appointed directly by Hitler, was empowered to issue decrees binding on German communi- ties in Rumania. Mr. Mosely thought that this establishment of a state within a state might so have exasperated the Rumanians that they would demand the expulsion of these Germans after the war. The German-speaking minorities in Bukovina, southern Bessarabia and southern Dobruja had already been evacuated to Germany.

The chairman declared that he had also been interested in the way taxes paid by these Germans found their way back as revenue for the


1 Rumanian Series, Map 5, Transylvania: Population according to declared nationality. German communities. Mr. Mosely explained that the Saxon church organization controlled the local schools. It was empowered to assess taxes for the maintenance of the church and the schools, which were collected by the Rumanian state. They were then turned over to the German "University" in the medieval sense of a Corporation.

Mr. Taylor asked what was the total population of Rumania. Mr. Mosely explained that in 1930 the total population had been 18 millions, of whom 5 1/2 millions lived in Transylvania. So far as was known here, none of the Germans in Transylvania had been repatriated, Mr. Armstrong wondered whether the fact that these Germans had been left, whereas those in Rumania east of the Carpathians had been repatriated, did not shed some lights on the division of spheres of influence between Germany and Russia which had apparent1y been worked out in the Russo-German understanding at the beginning of the war. Mr. Berle agreed that that understanding had probably included provisions concerning Rumania. Mr. Mosely pointed out that the Germans in Rumania had in general been very discontented because they had lost the dominant position which they had enjoyed before 1919. Universal suffrage had brought about a condition in which the Rumanians could outvote the Germans in local elections. This popula- tion was rising far more than the Rumanian population.

The Possibility of Autonomy, Part 2

The chairman considered that the subcommittee was now in a better position to look at the question of autonomy for Transylvania. He had understood Mr. Cannon to say that the principle of autonomy should affect a tri-partite bloc made up of Hungarians, Transylvanians and Rumanians. Mr. Cannon noted that his autonomy proposal was not intended to be accompanied by any effort to segregate the different elements in Transylvania. When they had gotten along best it was by direct bargaining. He hoped that they could revert to that system and that the Powers and the Hungarian and Rumanian governments would allow them to work out their local problems. It would be impossible for this country to impose any solution. He hoped that the different groups would bargain for position on the basis of equal rights for all individuals in the various groups. Mr. Armstrong observed that that would become a pretty bloody sort of bargaining, given the bitterness between Rumania and Hungary. Mr. Mosely explained in answer to a question by Mrs. McCormick that Transylvania had been practically independent for three hundred years although nominally under ottoman suzerainty. The chairman asked Mr. Cannon what he proposed to do concerning the boundary problem within his tripartite bloc. In particular where was the eastern boundary of Hungary to be? Mr. Cannon admitted that he had not thought his scheme in all details. He was inclined to restore the 1919 frontier of Hungary. The chairman thought that, inasmuch as Transylvania was being set up as a unit, it would be reasonable to give it as a boundary on the west the 1919 Rumanian-Hungarian boundary and on the east the 1914 Rumania-Hungarian boundary.

Mr. Mosely observed that when he had been in Transylvania he had often asked Germans and Magyars how they felt concerning autonomy. Usually they were not favorable to the idea because they believed it would still leave them subject to the Rumanian majority in Transyl- vania. They also felt that they got along better with Rumanians of the Old Kingdom who were sent in as administrators and who could be more easily influenced or bribed. The Transylvanian Rumanians were less easy to circumvent. Mr. Cannon admitted that that was a consideration which argued against a scheme of autonomy.

The chairman observed that in some respects the line was very fine between autonomy and minority treaties. The latter had included a court of appeal to which a minority might take its case and which therefore helped to make the majority behave. Autonomy would have no such a sort of charter. Mr. Cannon pointed out that the population would be bound to respect this as individuals rather than as members of minority groups. The chairman thought that such a scheme might be made manageable, in part through a process of "reasoning". If autonomy concerning cultural matters such as courts, schools and religion went hand-in-hand with an autonomy which permitted the levying of special minority group taxes, then the situation obtaining in the United States would be approached. Mr. Mosely observed that the main difficulty concerning church schools was that the Saxons were doubly taxed, once for the Rumanian state schools and once for their own church schools. The chairman remarked that since our own practice was the same the United States could not well give advice on this issue.

Mr. Campbell declared that the autonomous scheme of Mr. Cannon might create a political vacuum and a field of unrest between Hungary and Rumania. An autonomous Transylvania would therefore require strong buttressing from the outside in order to enforce the original agreements. Rumanian and Magyar groups both inside and outside Transylvania might strive to disrupt the autonomous scheme. Mr. Cannon pointed out that his scheme presupposed some regional arrangement in Eastern Europe. Transylvania would be an autonomous unit of such a regional arrangement and would therefore have interna- tional status. Mr. Berle asked why Mr. Cannon's scheme was not worthy of study. In his opinion, since we were seeking internationa1 security, areas which threatened international security becarne of international interest and remained so until they reached some angle of political rest. He thought the United Nations had the right to interfere in order to make sure that Hungary and Rumania did not fight over Transylvania.

Mr. Pasvolsky agreed that Transylvania could not be allowed to become a source of war. Mr. Armstrong asked whether it would be more satisfactory to deal with Hungary and Rumania alone or to have to deal both with them and with an amorphous unit within which the United Nations had guaranteed that something would happen but where they would have to use force to see that it did happen.

The chairman asked whether the autonomy of Transylvania should be considered as autonomy relative to an international organization or to some international sovereign. Mr. Pasvolsky thought that the question could be framed by asking what would be an autonomous Transylvania's first court of appeal. He would also like to know how the troubles of the Germans and Magyars would be solved according to this scheme. The conflict was between Rumanians and Hungarians and "Saxons"; all these three units would still be thrown together in Transylvania. He asked whether the proposition was to take the whole of Transylvania and make it autonomous of 1914 Rumania.

Summary of Possible Solutions

The chairman explained that the proposal for autonomy had arisen after last week's discussion and examination of the map showing the 1940 boundaries of Hungary and Rumania.2 The first question was whether the subcommittee was prepared to say that for the peace of the world and for the decent treatment of the local population the 1940 boundary should be approved. Secondly, if that was not satisfactory, did the subcommittee wish to out off the southeastern extremity of territory gained by Hungary in 1940. The difficulty in that was that this area constituted the principal Szekler bloc. If Hungary was to be extended to include these Magyar-speaking people a boundary line very much like that of 1940 was inevitable. The third solution would be the transfer of populations. This had seemed difficult since the Szeklers were as


2 Rumanian Series, Map 4, Rumania: Eastern Frontier. rooted as a population can be and therefore transfer of populations had not appealed to the subcommittee. Fourth, the subcommittee had raised the question of whether within the 1940 boundaries or the 1919 line there were possibilities and advantages in the principles of autonomy. He explained to Mr. Pasvolsky that the meeting had opened with a brief report on the Szeklers by Mr. Campbell and on the German minority by Mr. Mosely. He did not think there was any need to consider the Rumanians separately. In sum, the three possible solutions were based, respectively, on territorial changes, on transfers of population, and on autonomy. The third possibility raised the question in relation to what sovereignty Transylvania would be autonomous.

The Possibility of Autonomy, Part 3

Mr. Pasvolsky asked what area was to be made autonomous. The chairman replied that it would be the whole area of Transylvania as shown by the map.3 Mr. Taylor remarked that that constituted nearly one-half of all Rumania without Bessarabia. Mr. Pasvolsky asked how the autonomy of this bloc of territory was going to solve the relations of the three peoples within that territory. In answer to Mr. Taylor's question, the chairman noted that there were five and one-half million people in all Transylvania, of whom approximately 3,400,000 were Rumanians, 1,500,000 Hungarians and 600,000 Germans. Mr. Taylor asked whether the scheme of autonomy was designed because of the pressure of the German minority. The chairman replied that it was not, but that account had to be taken of historical community life in Transylvania.

Mr. Armstrong asked whether the subcommittee had discussed the previous whether the 1919 frontier had been too far to the west. Personally he thought there was some justification for a change and noted that Temperley and others who had taken part in the peace conference were doubtful over the merits of this boundary decision.* The chairman explained that this question had been raised at the last meeting when a map was displayed showing the 1919 American


3 Rumanian Series, Map 5, Rumania: Population by declared nationality.

* As concerns Hungary's 1920 frontiers, it was the changing of primarily the Czechoslovak-Hungarian borders that Harold Temperley considered possible and desirable. He alsc brought up the matter of taking the strip of land between Arad and Szatmár away from Romania. See Harold Temperley, "How the Hungarian Frontiers Were Drawn," Foreign Affairs, (April 1928), 441-446.

l roposal.4* By that proposal some 250,000 Magyars would have been transferred from Rumania to Hungary. Mr. Taylor asked what would happen if nothing was done about changing the 1919 frontier. The chairman replied that that would turn the territory back to Rumania but that if no United Nations force was in the area it would be invaded by the Hungarian Army without the slightest delay. Such an invasion was likely to take place the moment that at the last discussion the subcommittee had been in favor of occupying all Transylvania and returning at last temporarily to the 1919 boundary. Mrs. McCormick observed that under Mr. Cannon's proposal this area would be consid- ered apart from Hungary and Rumania. In reply to Mr. Armstrong's question, Mr. Mosely explained that in the area awarded to Hungary at Vienna in 1940 there were approximately a million Hungarians and 1,200,000 Rumanians.**

Mr. Cannon pointed out that any boundary solution would present this phenomenon of mixed populations. If the end war found any military strength remaining to these two states it would be followed, as Mr. Berle predicted, by an armed invasion by Hungary. If the Soviet Union occupied Bessarabia or Bukovina, some solution by which the Carpathian area could be detached from Rumania would be a helpful move and eventually of advantage to Rumania; otherwise the U.S.S.R. might acquire Transylvania as well. Mr. Armstrong remarked that a mountain barrier was not sufficient to stop a Russian invasion. Mrs. McCormick declared that she was unable to envisage a Transylvania autonomous with respect to both Hungary and Rumania. She could understand an autonomous Transylvania only within a larger bloc of states.

Mr. Cannon agreed. He declared that his tentative proposal was operative only if similar arrangements were made elsewhere in eastern Europe. Such a unit of three as he proposed should be tied up with other similar units of three. It would be an impossible solution if it were unique in Europe. He replied to Mrs. McCormick that he was in favor of similar solutions for other areas of mixed population. Mr. Berle suggested that it would be worthwhile studying autonomy relative to two sovereignties where a territorial solution was impossible. Study


4 Rumanian Series, Map 4, Rumania: Eastern Frontier.

* Cf. Map 6.

** According to the Hungarian census of 1941, there were 1,343,000 ethnic Hungarians and 1,069,000 Romanians living in Northern Transylvania. According to the Rornanian census of 1930, the one Mosely is referring to, the figures were 909,000 and 1,149,000, respectively. should be made of autonomy in relatlon to a court of appeal of which both sovereign states could take cognizance.

Economy of Transylvania

Mr. Taylor asked what was the relative economic value of this area to Hungary and to Rumania and what was the likely economic future of an autonomous Transylvania. Mr. Cannon replied that, although Mr. Mosely was better acquainted than he with the economy of Transyl- vania, he would like to point out that one of the greatest troubles in the Danubian basin had been the lack of forest and river control since the last war. Rumania's actions had resulted in flooding parts of Hungary. Deforestation had had important effects on the water supply and river flow. The flow of silt through the iron gates of the Danube had reached twenty times its pre-1914 level. He thought that the mineral and forest wealth of Transylvania would be beneficial to both sides under a scheme for autonomy. He referred the chairman to Mr. Mosely for an answer concerning the exact location of resources.

Mr. Mosely pointed out that Hungary had claimed Transylvania on economic grounds because of its forest wealth and because of the water control of Hungarian rivers. So far as industry was concerned, Transyl- vania was very important to Rumania since it contained most of Rumania's heavy industry and some of its light industry. These had been developed largely since Rumania had acquired sovereignty over the areas. In terms of agriculture, western Transylvania produced a surplus of grain; central and eastern Transylvania were self-sufficient in grain and exported animal products.

Views of Subcommittee Members

The chairman remarked that in the Political Committee he would be asked for a solution, not to lay out the elements of the problem. He suggested therefore polling the committee on their views. He noted that Mr. Armstrong had added to the suggestion for autonomy a rectification to the western boundary of Transylvania. He asked whether any member of the committee was prepared to express a preference. Mr. Armstrong replied that he would make a proposal. He preferred the return of Transylvania to Rumania, with a rectification of Transyl- vania's western frontier in favor of Hungary. He was definitely not in favor of the creation of a lot of small states such as East Prussia, Slovakia and Albania, Croatia, Transylvania, etc. He thought that the158 Ignác Romsics

creation of such states would aggravate the Balkanization of Europe, which had already proved so unfortunate.

Mrs. McCormick confessed that she could not think of any single solution which was more satisfactory than another. If we made this area autonomous we would get twenty similar autonomous regions in Europe. On the other hand, the unsatisfactory conditions would not be altered by restoration of the Rumania and Hungary. She thought that there would be some amelioration by the temporary solution of allied occupation previously proposed by Mr. Berle. This could be justified because Transylvania constituted a danger spot for peace. Mr. Berle explained, upon being questioned by the chairman, that he had thought of the occupation of only that part of Transylvania which had been awarded to Hungary in 1940. Mr. Taylor declared that he had not been present at previous discussions of this problem and therefore did not feel competent to express his views.

Mr. Berle admitted that no solution was satisfactory; therefore it was particularly important that some solution be adopted rather than that an attempt for the impossible postpone all decision. He thought that in this case a territorial solution was at its weakest. Two contingencies would justify two different solutions. If a Balkan Federation turned out to be a going concern, he was in favor of autonomy. If there was no such Federation he was in favor of Mr. Armstrong's solution. Of the two he hoped that the former would be possible. Mr. MacMurray declared that he felt utterly hopeless concerning any solution. In the absence of one he thought it best to build on whatever had been established in the way of adjustment during the years since Rumania had ruled Transylvania. He was therefore in favor of the return to the 1919 boundary.

The chairman declared that before Mr. Pasvolsky left the meeting he had expressed his hope that the subcommittee would provide an answer to his question on how autonomy for Transylvania would improve Hungarian-Rumanian relations.

Mr. Cannon pointed out that at present Transylvania constituted an issue between Hungary and Rumania. By creating an autonomous Transylvania the question would be transferred to one of the relations of Magyars, Germans and Rumanians in that territory. If they could work out a solution under international guarantee, it would be only instead of a Hungarian-Rumanian problem. He was opposed to the establishment of autonomy where populations would be segregated. In those cases administrative measures could be expected to solve the problem. Mr. Armstrong explained that he agreed in part with Mr. Cannon but felt that Hungary and Rumania would continue to interfere in the affairs of Transylvania. Mr. Cannon pointed out that that was the reason why he desired his scheme to be put in force inside a larger political organization. Mr. Armstrong asked whether it was better to begin with something which was admitted not to be satisfactory than to leave the question open for later decision. When Mr. Berle asked whether this problem had ever been settled by any boundary solution Mr. Armstrong pointed out that the war did not begin over Transyl- vania. The chairman recalled that before 1919 there had been a Rumanian minority within Hungary but after 1919 conditions had been revised to that there was a Hungarian minority within Rumania and that since 1940 there had been minorities of countries on opposite sides of the frontier. Mr. Berle admitted that settlements had been made but was not sure that the area had ever settled down. Mr. Armstrong thought that there had been some degree of settling down in the last two years and that it would have been greater if there had been fewer Hungarians in Transylvania. He asked how many Hungarians would be restored to Hungary by a rectification of the frontier.

The chairman pointed out that this was a key area for minority questions, territorial questions, cultural questions, and the relations of two states. Mrs. McCormick thought that since centralization had not worked there might be some hope in decentralization. Mr. Armstrong declared that we might hope for better regimes in Rumania and Hungary than had been in power in the past. The overthrow of Hungarian feudalism would be a step in this direction. It might be that the territorial reduction of Rumania would also be helpful.

The chairman asked Mr. Knight whether there was anything in the economic situation of the area which indicated a particular solution. Mr. Knight replied that he did not think the purely economic situation was so important. He thought that some improvement might be expected if one adopted the American proposal of 1919 and tried to give Rumania the areas of 75 percent Rumanian population and Hungary the areas of 75 percent Magyar population. He pointed out that the mines were found largely in the Transylvanian Alps. He did not think that much would be 1eft of Rumania of the larger part of Transylvania was taken away. He pointed out that although there was a sharp natural boundary of Transylvania on the east he could not envisage that territory out off from Rumania and set up as an autonomous unit. He did not think that that would bring peace. Mr. Campbell pointed out that the southern half of Transylvania contained most of the mines and industries and that therefore Rumania had not been industrially damaged by the Vienna Award.

Transylvanian Politics

The chairman concluded that the committee was divided in its views on Transylvania. Mr. Knight added that one couldn't move the Szeklers any place. Mr. Cannon pointed out that Transylvania was also an example of an area where political demagoguery among Hungarians, Rumanians and Germans had reached an apogee. He thought that if the local population had been left in peace a satisfactory political situation would have resulted. The trouble was that it had been disturbed by elements both from within and from without Transylvania. Mrs. McCormick added that there might be more chance for peace if neither Hungary nor Rumania had a chance to interfere.

Mr. Mosely pointed out that the Rumanians in Transylvania disliked the interference of Rumanians from the Old Kingdom in Transylvania affairs. On the other hand, for them to return to Hungarian sovereignty would mean giving up the advantages which they had secured since 1918. They would fear a reversal of the land reforms and the reimposi- tion of cultural disabilities. They would therefore be opposed to Transylvanian autonomy if that meant the predominance of the Magyars. On the other hand, if the Rumanians would still be dominant in an autonomous Transylvania it would be a satisfactory solution to the local Rumanians. Mr. Taylor concluded that an autonomous Transylvania was impracticable without outside pressure and asked who would really run such an autonomous state. It was pretty far away from Washington.

Suggestion by the Chairman

The chairman declared that he was going to propose a solution in the form of a question directed to Mr. Mosely. He asked the latter whether he would be satisfied with a solution which would rectify the western boundary by shifting it eastward a little in order to take in perhaps one-fourth to one-third the area of the Vienna Award, and then establish the rights of the Germans and Szeklers in the rest of Transyl- vania along the lines of their former rights and privileges. Mr. Mosely thought that might work very well. It would result in the shift of some 300,000 Magyars and 100,000 Rumanians to Hungary. The latter might be exchanged for 100,000 Magyars still in Rumania. Such an exchange would of course leave the Szeklers untouched. The chairman reminded Mr. Mosely that the Szeklers would retain their historical rights and privileges.

Mrs. McCormick observed that the Szeklers constituted the most nationalistic group of Magyars in Rumania. Such a solution would therefore not remove the trouble. When asked by the chairman what solution she preferred she replied that she favored a solution within a large regional grouping. When the chairman remarked that it all seemed to come back to an international organization to maintain the peace. Mrs. McCormick concurred and pointed out that without force the settlement would not stick. The chairman expressed the hope that the committee would cease referring local problems to a solution in world wide terms.

Mr. Mosely pointed out that there could be no solution unless the Magyars and Rumanians could get over their mutual irredentism. The trouble was that Hungarian irredentism would last as long as the Szeklers continued in their present home. It might, however, be lessened by social reforms in Hungary and by local autonomy for the Szeklers in Rumania. For example, the Szeklers might be permitted to study at the University of Budapest and then return to practice law in the district, rather than be forced to attend Rumanian universities and study law in the Rumanian language. In answer to Mrs. McCormick's question as to who would guarantee such an arrangement, Mr. Mosely declared that it might be the obligation of a regional organization.

Mr. Notter suggested that since the tangle was so bad alternative solutions might be presented to the political committee, 1) in the event that a regional structure was possible and, 2) in case it proved impossi- ble. He reminded the subcommittee that there was one constant, namely the thrust of the Soviet Union. The binding force which would guarantee a solution might be outside military pressure; but it might be a common fear. If the Szeklers were left in Rumania they would either be discontented and subject to exploitation for political purposes by the U.S.S.R. or they would maintain good relations with the Rumanians out of a common fear of Communism.

Postponement of Decision

The chairman concluded that he would ask the members of the subcommittee to think this problem over for a week. He would ask each member for his views at the start of the next meeting. He thought that sometimes people had more confidence in their conclusions if allowed time for reflection. He reminded them that the documentation would help with the necessary facts. RELATIONS OF CZECHS AND SLOVAKS

The chairman suggested that the subcommittee consider next the relations of Czechs and Slovaks. These were relevant to the consider- ation of the East European Union which was scheduled for discusaion in the political committee the next day. This East European Union would have special problems in the areas which bordered on Germany. The subcommittee had already looked at the problem of Czech bound- aries but had not looked inside of Czechoslovakia to study the political forces and the possibility of establishing or re-establishing Czech-Slovak relations. He understood that Mr. Howard had information and views on this subject.

Basic Data

Mr. Howard explained that there were three special problems in Czechoslovakia. First, the relations of Czechs and Slovaks; second, the relations of Czechs and Germans; and third, the relation of Ruthenia to the Czech state. The first had been one of the greater problems in the effort of making a Czechoslovak state. The Slovaks had joined with the Czechs of their own free will in accordance with the declaration of Turiansky Svt Martin in October 1918.* From 1918 to 1940 there had been a dispute over whether the constitutional structure of Czechoslovakia should be unitary or federal. The Slovak Autonomists had been organized in the Slovak Popular Party led by Father Hlinka. They had formed the largest Slovak Party but had never had a majority in Slovakia and had ceased to grow after 1935. From 1927 to 1929 they had shared in the government and Slovaks in general had taken a large share in the government of the state. The last prime minister of Czechoslovakia had been a Slovak, Milan Hoda. In 1927, an adminis- trative reform had gone part way to meet the demands of the Slovaks. It had set up four provinces; Bohemia, Moravia-Silesia, Slovakia and Ruthenia. With the rise of Hitler and the greater demands of the Sudetens, Father Hlinka and his party had also increased their demands on the state. During the premiership of Dr. Hoda there had been moves by the Government tending toward autonomy for Slovakia. This scheme had, however, never passed Parliament. In 1938, at the time of the Munich crisis, the extremist wing among the Autonomists, had


* The Declaration of Turiansky Svt Martin, deciding on Slovakia's secession from Hungary, and its annexation to the Czechoslovak state, was signed by the representatives of the Slovak political parties on October 30, 1918. allied with the Magyars and Sudetens to carry out their demand for independence.

Mr. Howard believed that there were four possible solutions of the Slovak problem. The first was to set up an independent Slovakia. This had very doubtful chances of success without German aid. The present puppet-state of Slovakia was a totalitarian state which had never rested on free elections. The second solution was to return Slovakia to Hungary, to which it had belonged in 1914. There was little evidence of any desire for this in Slovakia except for the Magyar elements. According to the 1930 census the Magyars constituted only 600,000 out of a population of 3,300,000.* Third, there was the possibility of a connection with Poland. There was no reason for this or desire for it within Slovakia. Finally, there was the possibility of restoration of Czechoslovakia under some kind of decentralized structure.


The chairman asked for Mr. Cannon's opinion on this issue. The latter saw no reason why Czechoslovakia could not be reconstructed as a going concern. He thought that the Slovaks had learned a lesson from their experience of "independence". They were gentle people who had been politically undeveloped because of their long period of rule by Hungary. He thought the Czechs would have been willing to allow more Slovak self-government if adequate Slovak political leadership had existed.

Mr. Cannon preferred the frontiers approximately as they were in 1919, with the idea that adjustments might be made at a later date. Personally he was in favor of some adjustments of the Slovak-Hungarian frontier in favor of Hungary. He did not think, however, that we should take any steps in that direction at the present time. He noted that Bene was already declaring that the Czechoslovak government-in-exile could not make commitments affecting the position at home. In November, however, he had gone so far as to speak of decentralization. Mr. Cannon pointed out that the agitation for Slovak autonomy originated in part with the Slovaks in the United States, who were ready to raise a fuss although they were not prepared to go back to Slovakia and help solve its political problems. The chairman remarked that they seemed to act just like the alumni of a university.


* The data exclude Subcarpathian Ruthenia. Mr. Cannon continued that he was hopeful of very tolerable relations between the Czechs and Slovaks. He admitted that the Czechs had been guilty of some tactlessness or stubbornness and that the S1ovaks generally did not trust the Slovak members of the government-in-exi1e, who, they claimed, were too Czechified. He thought, however, that there were other Slovaks in exile who were inclined to cooperate in favor of Czechoslovakia. These included Hoda and Osusk, the former Czechoslovak Minister in Paris. The difficulty was that the latter was in an advanced state of personal enmity with Bene and that Hoda was not on good terms with Bene. Masaryk was, however, confident that a good arrangement could be made.

The chairman pointed out that on the assumption of an allied victory the terms of surrender must be specified at the close of hostilities and then applied over a period of time. This application must progress logically step by step. Reference of the importance of this to the tongue of Hungarian territory in Transylvania had been made at the last meeting. It applied equally to other areas in Europe. This meant that although the subcommittee could analyze and theorize, the effect of the final terms of surrender would be such that the United Nations ought to have an opinion on the ultimate solution of territorial problems at the time of the surrender. Furthermore, these solutions should be adumbrated in the steps taken as a result of the terms of the surrender. All this pointed up the difficulties which resulted from the fact that the different leaders of European countries were in disagreement and that because they were in exile they were not sure of home opinion or home support. Mr. Armstrong believed that Osusk did not count for very much. The chairman continued that, on the supposition that the United States Government favored the restoration of Czechoslovakia with possible modest boundary rectifications, it had to be decided how far we would carry our conclusions into action at the moment of surrender when the United Nations would be predominant. The United Nations would have to have an idea on what they favored. He recognized that even a tentative conclusion bristled with difficulties.

Mr. Pasvolsky asked who would oppose the restoration of Czechoslo- vakia. The chairman suggested that perhaps the Slovaks would. Mr. Pasvolsky then asked what we meant by the restoration of sovereignty to those peoples who had not been forcibly deprived of sovereignty. If the Serbs and Croats or the Czechs and Slovaks wanted to part company, was that not acceptable unless they insisted upon fighting a war on the question? He did not think that we could adjudicate Slovak claims to independence at this time. The chairman suggested that one must start by considering the wishes of the peoples, but Mr. Pasvolsky ointed out that one people might wish to separate and another to continue union. Mr. Pasvolsky thought that in that case we would have to step in. Mr. Berle pointed out that if we occupied we did it nominally for military reasons. The military administration of a unified Czecho- slovakia would be followed by an invitation to hold an election in which the issue could be framed so that it concerned Czechoslovakia as a whole. Mr. Pasvolsky declared that this constituted the restoration of Czechoslovak sovereignty.


The chairman concluded that past discussions had showed that the subcommittee had agreed on the necessity of a certain succession of procedures with respect to the countries which they had considered, France, Italy, Poland, Czechoslovakia, et cetera. The first necessity was for the restoration of the pre-war frontier; second, there must be provided the means for complete order; third, there must be provided conditions under which the people might express their political views; fourth, the code under which the people were going to live would have to be provided, whether it was the old code or something worked out ad hoc.

He asked whether the members of the Committee agreed with this summary. Mrs. McCormick declared her agreement but pointed out that the Czechoslovak problem was far different from that of Transyl- vania. The Slovaks would be satisfied with additional local autonomy, gains which they were already acquiring. The chairman added that the Czech problem concerned two blocs of peoples rather than a mixture. He then asked the other members of the subcommittee what they thought of his general review. Mr. MacMurray expressed out that on almost every case the subcommittee had recommended minor boundary changes for the purposes of amelioriating local conditions. Mr. Taylor being informed that this formula excluded the Sudeten question, agreed with the chairman's summary. Mr. Berle and Mr. Pasvolsky also concurred.

William Koren, Jr.


The subcommittee agreed that necessary steps to be taken in areas where territorial disputes existed could be summarized as follows: first, restoration of the pre-war frontiers; second, guarantee of complete internal order; third, establishment of conditions under which the people might express their po1itical views; and fourth, reestablishment of the old code of laws or provision of an ad hoc temporary code.


Basic Data

The subcommittee was informed concerning the numbers, location and history of the German minority in Rumania. It was pointed out that the "Saxons" of Transylvania had always enjoyed special privileges and that at present they constituted virtually a state within a state since a leader appointed by Hitler was empowered to issue decrees governing their affairs.

The mineral, forest, agricultural and industrial wealth of Transyl- vania was briefly indicated. It was pointed out that careless forest policy in Transylvania caused floods in eastern Hungary. The Vienna Award had left the major portion of the mines and heavy industry of Transylvania to Rumania.

Summary of Possible Solutions

It was considered that because the Rumanian-Hungarian rivalry over Transylvania made that area a possible danger to peace, the United Nations had a legitimate excuse for actively concerning themselves with it until it reached some angle of political rest.

Possible long-term solutions were thought to include: first, boundary rectifications; second, transfers of population; third, autonomy. Having considered the inadequacies of the first two at the previous meeting, the subcommittee devoted most of its attention to the possibilities of an autonomous regime.

Schemes For Autonomy

Four schemes of autonomy were suggested: one would provide for the continuation of traditional Szekler and Saxon privileges in conjunction with a small territorial adjustment on favor of Hungary; the second would provide an autonomous regime for the Székely distric within Rumania; the third proposed "denationalization" of Rumania sa that the national minorities would be protected by a bill of rights which applied to them as individual citizens; the fourth proposed that Transylvania be established as an autonomous unit of a tripartite state composed of Hungary, Transylvania and Rumania.

The subcommittee felt that the last scheme would be impracticable unless similar arrangements for areas of mixed population were made in other parts of Europe. Its chances of success wouls be improved if the proposed tripartite state formed part of a Balkan Federation. Autonomy in this sense did not rule out tectification of the eastern frontier of Hungary.

Criticism of Autonomy

The subcommittee was not convinced that the creation of an autonomous Transylvania would eliminate the struggle between Rumania and Hungary or the rivalries of the local national groups. The Transylvanian Rumanians might welcome the elimination of domina- tion by the Old Kingdom, but the Magyars and Germans would probably prefer the relatively mild rule of the latter. Social reform in Hungary and the chastening of Rumania by loss of territory to Russia were uncertain guarantees of a détente between the two states. Autonomy could probably be maintained only by outside pressure.

Doubt was also expressed over the advisability of aggravating the "Balkanization" of Europe, even within the framework of a regional federation.

Postponement of Decision

In view of the divergence of opinions expressed by members of the subcommittee, it was decided to postpone decision on this issue until the next meeting.


Basic Data

It was explained that the Slovaks had freely entered the Czechoslo- vak state and had taken a considerable share in government. Their subordinate position was largely the result of their lack of political168 Ignác Romsics

experience under Hungarian rule. The Slovak Popular Party led by Father Hlinka, which had stood for Slovak autonomy had never had a majority in Slovakia and had ceased to grow after 1935. The indepen- dence achieved in conjunction with German and Hungarian action was the work of extremists. Slovak nationalist movements were to a 1arge extent fomented by Slovak organizations in this country.

Future Probabilities

There seemed to be little popular support for the maintenance of an independent Slovakia after the war and still less for the incorporation of Slovakia in Hungary or Poland. In spite of friction between exiled Slovaks and the Government-in-exile headed by President Bene, difficulty in re-establishing Czechoslovakia was not anticipated. The constitution and boundaries of the state would have to await the expression of the will of the inhabitants. Action by the United Nations would be required only if Czechs and Slovaks threatened to go to war.

Box 59

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