Skip to main content

THE WELSH THE WELSH OUTLOOK The Editor does not necessarily identify himself with the opinions of contributors to The Welsh Outlook." Editorial responsibility is limited to the views expressed in the Notes of the Month," and in the unsigned article immediately following. NOTES OF THE MONTH England, France, and Upper Silesia. Every Liberal and every good Euro- pean will welcome the heroic and un- compromising stand which Mr. Lloyd George has taken on the Upper Silesian question. We have always had the greatest sympathy with, and admiration for, France, but it is now as clear as the sun that in every conceivable way--openly and furtive-ly-French Chauvinism is working for the economic ruin of Germany. The inordinate desire for the occupation of the Ruhr is known to the world, but undoubtedly Mr. Lloyd George knows a great deal more-and, among other things, the complicity of the Quai D'Orsay in the thoroughly discreditable Karl episode in Hungary recently. The Upper Silesian situation, however, has brought things dangerously near to a breaking point. A majority, roughly speaking, of twenty per cent. of the inhabitants of the province voted at the plebiscite in favour of Germany as against Poland, and no decent statesman could do otherwise than insist that such a decision cannot be overthrown by mere violence unless at the same time all hope of re-establishing public law in Europe is simultaneously abandoned. Far better sacrifice every alliance in the world than hand over a whole civilization to anarchy and chaos, and Mr. George has done well to be quite unequivocal in his declarations. In saying all this we do not wish to suggest that there may not ultimately be some room, or even need, for compromise. It is probably true that the Polish Premier was right in pointing out that the miners who back Korfanty are modem Polish immigrants. Upper Silesia has been largely Polish in language and race for many centuries differing in this respect from Lower Silesia, which has been completely Germanised. Mr. George is, however, absolutely correct in stating that since the fourteenth century Upper Silesia has formed no part of Polish territory. It belonged to Austria until it was annexed to Prussia by Frederick the Great in the 18th century. The Polish National Movement, however, affected Upper Silesia in modern times, and Korfanty sat in a German Parliament as a Polish Labour leader. The Poles, however, never JUNE, 1921. expected to obtain Upper Silesia, but it turned out at the Paris Conference that Clémenceau and Wilson were willing to give it to them. Mr. Lloyd George, however, rightly insisted on a plebiscite. No one seemed prepared to suggest making Upper Silesia an autonomous state, which might, after all, be the best solution. As it is, some sort of division is apparently inevitable, but such a division must reconcile fairly the majority vote with the strong Polish feeling of the minority in some districts. It is unfortunate that the whole question is not in the hands of the League of Nations. The imminent danger is that French Chauv- inism will insist on an unfair division, not in the interest of Polish Nationalism, but merely to deprive Germany of potential factories for shells. We must make it clear that this country is over- whelmingly with its Premier in trying to avoid this. The League of Nations and its Future. The League of Nations shews every sign of utility and progress-even if only judged by the very mechanical test of the acauisition of new members to the League of Nations Union, and at the moment it commands more enthusiastic support from the public than any political cry or programme. Its supporters should not, therefore, take too seriously the very emphatic statement made by Mr. Harvey, the new American Ambassador, on his arrival in England, to the effect that the United States will have nothing to do, either directly or indirectly, openly or furtively, with the League or with any Commission or Committee associated with it. To a realist like Mr. Harvey, the outstanding fact at the moment is that President Harding won the election as an out-and-out anti-Wilson candidate, and it is hardly time yet for him or his Ambassador to remember that thousands of American citizens, who were completely disillusioned in regard to the Wilsonian policy, voted for his opponent with a sly hope that he might find a way, if not of joining the League as it stood, yet of achieving some very similar purpose. Indeed, judging by the comments of the American Press, the League of Nations still has its powerful friends in both of the great American parties. The outstanding fact at the