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Apart from professional and industrial training, men gradually learn to take part in various forms of recreation which might be supposed impossible to the sightless. There are rowing, swimming, walking, and running races, physical drill, and push-ball. Every week there are dances to which women may be invited. Dominoes, draughts, chess, and cards are played in the evenings. There is a popular debating society, and most of the men play some sort of musical instrument.
Under certain circumstances, patients' relatives are brought from all parts of the country free of cost, and are accommodated while in London at special homes arranged for their reception.
An exceedingly important part of the work is a system of after care of the men when they have left St. Dunstan's. The aim is to see every man comfortably resettled in civil life and to make sure that he does not deteriorate in capacity or otherwise. Arrangements are made, therefore, for keeping in touch by personal visitation with each man in his own home, supervising his work, encouraging his efforts, maintaining the comradeship begun at St. Dunstan's, and giving practical assistance when necessary by the supply of raw material, by arranging for the marketing of goods, and in various other ways.
An attempt to provide training and employment for partly disabled men after their discharge from the army or navy is being made on a somewhat extensive scale by the Lord Roberts Memorial Workshops. The first workshop of the kind was opened by the Soldiers' and Sailors' Help Society in London during the South African War. After the death of Earl Roberts the society inaugurated a memorial fund,
to be devoted to the extension of this workshop and the establishment of others in the large towns in the United Kingdom. There are now six or seven, and others are in contemplation. The shops are really industrial ventures with philanthropic backing. The principal manufactures are wooden toys and dolls, furniture, basket-work, and household articles. These are sold at market prices to the wholesale trade. On entering the workshop each man at once receives a wage of twenty shillings a week as a learner. The wages increase as he becomes more proficient. Women and girls are also employed - so far as possible, relatives of the soldiers. The idea here is, not to train men for the open labor market, but to give them permanent employment under conditions which could be modified to suit each man's physical capacity more readily than could well be the case in any undertaking subject to ordinary commercial competition. It is probable, therefore, that, as time goes on, the men least able to stand the strain of regular work will gravitate to the workshops.
The possibility of assisting ex-service men to settle on the land has been very carefully considered by the government. The course of the war has demonstrated sufficiently plainly that it is to the interest of the nation to increase the supply of home-grown food by bringing more land under cultivation. A double end would thus be served if assistance to ex-service men took the form of turning them into food-producers. A departmental committee was appointed to consider and report upon the subject, and has advocated the state purchase of land for the establishment of state colonies of settlers, and the provision of small holdings by county councils for ex-service men who do not care to go to the state colonies. With regard to the partly
disabled, the committee thought that many forms of agricultural work would be within their powers, and they advocated their settlement or employment along with the able-bodied. They were not in favor of what they termed 'colonies of cripples.'
Action on the lines of these recommendations has already been taken. By act of Parliament the Board of Agriculture was empowered to acquire eight thousand acres, and most of this has been secured. Houses have been erected, and some men have been selected for settlement and are in training. Over a year ago some fifty men were sent to two agricultural colleges for courses of six months' training or longer, with satisfactory results.
The question of land settlement in the United Kingdom on any extensive scale presents peculiar difficulties. Further legislation, giving powers of compulsory purchase of land, will probably be sought. But even if small holdings can be made available for every suitable man who is prepared to live on the land, it requires much faith to believe that anything considerable can be done to create an agricultural population out of our demobilized armies.
I have endeavored in a brief space to show what is being done in certain main directions for the 'refitting' of our maimed soldiers. But this is not, of course, the whole story. There are innumerable smaller efforts by private people, by philanthropic committees, and by municipalities and educational bodies. In connection with most, if not all, of the larger military hospitals there is an organization of voluntary workers, who undertake to teach various light handicrafts to men whose stay is prolonged. Many employers offer to train limited numbers of discharged men in various special industries. When the present writer was
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acting as honorary secretary to a branch of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Help Society such offers considerably exceeded the supply of men. It was not found possible, for instance, to find enough men to satisfy one firm which offered training and an immediate wage of thirty shillings a week for football sewing. Technical institutes all over the country are throwing open their classes to ex-soldiers, and the universities are also offering special facilities. It is, indeed, urged that, in view of the varied standards of education of the men of the new armies, the entire educational resources of the country should be made freely available to them. Commercial men, for instance, who have hitherto been content with one language, might now be persuaded to learn French or Russian or Italian. There must, however, be some element of persuasion in the matter. We are a conservative people, slow to change our habits, not greatly in love with learning. Some profess to think that this war, with all its sorrow and horror and loss, with all its glory and sacrifice and enthusiasm, with all the will to set right a great wrong which has been aroused, will change the thoughts and habits of our men and make us all a new people. But it will not. Many things in our world, we hope, will be a little better than they were before some bad things perhaps will disappear altogether and some new things be born. But we shall be essentially the same. And we shall still need to be persuaded a little for our own good.
I have said nothing about the saddest task that is laid upon us - the provision for those men who have given more than life whose injuries to nerve-centres have rendered them physically or mentally helpless. Special institutions are being provided for their permanent care; they are beyond
'refitting,' and science and humanity can only see to it that they have every comfort and attention that ingenuity and love can provide.
In May, 1917, an inter-allied conference on the subject of the treatment of the disabled men was held in Paris. Representatives were present from France, Belgium, Russia, Portugal, Italy, Serbia, Great Britain, and Canada. A large number of resolutions was passed, and stress was laid on the necessity of propaganda in order to make
known to the disabled themselves the advantages accruing from the opportunities of reeducation which are offered, and to arouse in the public a just sense of the great social problem which is involved. It was recommended that a periodical review for the Allies should be published, dealing with prothesis, orthopaedics, and all subjects relating to functional and technical reëducation. The conference was organized by a Franco-Belgian committee and will probably be called together again.
AUSTRIA-HUNGARY AND THE BALKANS
BY NOEL BUXTON
[Unfortunately, through miscarriage in the mails, this paper is some six weeks overdue; but the Editors thought that Mr. Buxton's great knowledge of the Near-Eastern question would still be useful to those Americans who are interested in forming sound opinions on the phase of that question which is here treated.]
SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE presents a baffling mixture of races intermingled in inextricable confusion. The two main ingredients are German and Slav, but there are also Hungarians; Roumanians, partly Latin in language and descent, and inclined to patronize the other Balkan States on that account; Greeks, proud of what they believe to be their ancestors; Bulgars, Slav in language, Turanian in blood; Albanians, a race apart, with a peculiar language; and in the environs of Constantinople, a few Turks. To add to the confusion caused by the diversity of races and tongues there is, further, a medley of creeds-Greek Uniate, Greek Orthodox, Bulgarian Exarchist, Roman Catholic, Mohammedan; there are differences of alpha
bet and calendar even where the language is the same; and the particularism for which the Slav is famous.
This Babel of races was early laid hold of in the north by the House of Hapsburg, which incorporated it in a bureaucratic empire, and in the south by the Turk, who ground his subjects into the dust or massacred them in fits of ferocity, according to his wont.
In the nineteenth century two factors in this situation reached an acute stage of development, namely, the growth of nationalism and the disintegration of the Turkish Empire. The result was that the Balkan nations began to shake themselves loose from Turkey, and the many races of Austria-Hungary began to grow festive under their bureaucratic tutelage. This
movement reached a new stage after the war of 1866, when the monarchy was thrown back on the Balkans and forced to adopt the dual system giving Germans and Magyars a free hand in their home affairs, on the tacit understanding that they should combine to keep down the Slav majority.
With the subsequent German-Austrian alliance (1879), the policy of the Drang nach Osten reached its full stature, and the breach with Russia steadily widened. Germany, working through Austria-Hungary, wished to drive a corridor through the Balkans, hold Constantinople, and control Turkey. Russia, in the name of Panslavism, and moved by mystic and idealistic as well as by strategic reasons, wished to control the Balkans, possess Constantinople and the Straits, and turn the Black Sea into a Russian lake. France and England appeared on the scene, first as the enemies of Russia and the upholders of Turkey in the name of the balance of power, and then, by the same token, as the friends of Russia and the opponents of Germany.
The net result of the play of intrigue and counter-intrigue was that the Balkan States were set by the ears, national hatreds inflamed, domestic reforms checked all over Europe, and the Turk allowed to harry his subjects at his own sweet will. In 1907 it looked as if Austria-Hungary would make a bold and wise reform, raising herself from a dualistic to a triform state by giving the Slavs self-government. Instead, came Count Aehrenthal's annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, throwing Serbia into the arms of Russia.
In 1912, under Russian auspices and through the statesmanship of M. Venizelos, came the Balkan League and the war against Turkey. But by checking Serbia's access to the Adriatic and setting up an independent Albania, Austria succeeded in causing strife
among the Balkan Allies, and the League broke up in the Second Balkan War. A weakened and exasperated Serbia was at once an easy victim and a dangerous neighbor to the Dual Monarchy, and so arose the machinations of the nationalist societies, the murder at Serajevo, and the great European war. Austria threatened Serbia, Russia backed her up; Germany supported Austria, France supported Russia, England supported France; Austria attacked Serbia, and Europe entered upon the fiercest and most barbarous war that the world has ever seen.
In discussing Austria-Hungary we should not forget that this country is in some ways a model of what the Balkans should be. Here a medley of quarrelsome and jealous races enjoy order, coöperation, a fair degree of prosperity and education, and proud and ancient traditions, the vitality of which has been shown in the war. The predictions of Austria's collapse have been falsified, and the death of the Emperor Francis Joseph, so far from being the signal for a general dissolution, has put on the throne a keen and energetic young ruler who is disposed toward reform.
In regard to the treatment of her subject nationalities, Hungary's record is bad; but even Hungary now possesses a cabinet pledged to universal suffrage. Austria passed her universal suffrage measure in 1907. Since then there has been a Slav majority in the Reichsrat, and the factor keeping the nationalities in subjection has been not so much pressure from above as racial antagonisms within. Divide et impera, in a country in which there is universal suffrage, is a form of chicanery which can succeed only in the absence of solidarity, energy, and political wisdom among those whom it is proposed to divide.
On the other hand, the small Balkan states, although their sturdy democracy and rapid progress after emer
gence from Turkish rule are in some ways a pleasing contrast with the somewhat effete bureaucracy of AustriaHungary, still bear both spiritual and material marks of their past misfortunes. To put it bluntly, most of the Balkan nations have yet to learn the most elementary lessons in racial tolerance. Bulgaria has shown an admirable spirit of forbearance toward the half million or so of Mohammedans and other Dissenters who dwell within her gates; but the other states still cling to the crudest policy of 'nationalization' by language penalties, suppression of churches and newspapers, and control of schools.
The truth of the matter is that Austria-Hungary is an empire and the Balkans are independent nations, whereas the ideal is a federative commonwealth. But which of the two is nearer the ideal, is not an easy matter to decide. However, it is safe to say that most advocates of the partition of AustriaHungary and the formation of several independent states are not moved by pure solicitude for the Slavs, but largely by fear of a Prussian Central Europe.
This fear of a Central Europe under German hegemony a vast compact of nations drilled and trained from Berlin and stretching from Hamburg to the Persian Gulf is a very real problem, and its solution is the Allies' main object. As some one has wittily said, 'Whatever else Germany may lose, she has at least conquered her allies.'
So far the Allies' counter-project has been to break up Austria-Hungary by force of arms, and then to establish the resultant group of small nations on the basis of Russian protection. At its best this policy seemed to ignore the possibility of Tsarist Russia becoming the enemy to be feared. And in this connection it is relevant to note that the most eloquent advocate of the Central Europe scheme, Dr.
Friedrich Naumann, bases his appeal throughout on fear-fear of France's desire for revenge, of England's commercial jealousy, but, above all, fear of Russian imperialism. To him and to the people whom he is addressing Central Europe is not the securing of dominance, but a measure of defense — a measure as grim as it is fatal. These considerations aside, the whole policy depended on a Russia willing, in the first place, to break up Austria-Hungary, and in the second place, always in future to go to war on behalf of some small state which might get embroiled with Germany or with a neighbor under German influence.
Since this policy was conceived, the Russian Revolution has taken place. Russia is now militarily incapable of encompassing the dismemberment of Austria-Hungary, as well as definitely opposed to this policy. Before surveying the new situation thus created, we should contemplate the following facts:
The Eastern question is merely a peculiar and aggravated form of the European question-the tradition whereby nations regulated their affairs by dominance within and competition without. This was especially apparent in Central and Eastern Europe, where the three empires - Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary-formed, as it were, a triangle of reaction. With the fall of tsardom one side of this triangle is knocked out, and the system cannot survive. Indeed, the system was so hard pressed before the war that the Junker party in Germany is said to have advocated 'ein frischer, fröhlicher Krieg' as a desperate attempt to uphold the old order. Instead, after three terrible years of war, ruin stares Germany in the face, and — tsardom falls; the blackest hearth of reaction in