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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

124  _--------------------------------------------------------------
third Powers.   It is superfluous to recapitulate the historical
and political bases of this standpoint.
" * For this reason the German Government must from the
outset reject as inadmissible the protest lodged by the British
Government, even though only conditional. At the same
time, in view of the information quoted in your letter that
the Reich Government had made demands of the character of
an ultimatum in Vienna, the German Government does not
desire to omit, in the interests of truth, to make the following
statement respecting the events of the last few days.
" * A few weeks ago the German Chancellor, recognising
the dangers resulting from the intolerable position which had
risen in Austria, initiated a conversation with the then Austrian
Chancellor. The aim was to make yet another attempt to
meet these dangers by agreement upon measures which should
ensure a calm and peaceful development in consonance with
the interests of both countries and with those of the whole
German people. The Berchtesgaden agreement, had it been
loyally carried out on the Austrian side in the spirit of the
conversation of 12th February, would in fact have guaranteed
such a development.
" c Instead of this, the former Austrian Federal Chancellor,
on the evening of 9th March, announced the surprising
decision, taken on his own sole authority, to hold within a
period of a few days a plebiscite, which having regard to
the surrounding circumstances and in particular the detailed
plans for the carrying out of the plebiscite, was intended to
have, as it could only have, as its purpose the political repres-
sion of the overwhelming majority of the population of Austria.
This proceeding, standing as it did in flagrant contradiction to
the Berchtesgaden agreement, led as might have been foreseen
to an extremely critical development of the internal situation
in Austria. It was only natural that those members of the
Austrian Government who had taken no part in the decision
to hold a plebiscite should raise the strongest protest against
it. In consequence there ensued a Cabinet crisis in Vienna,
which in the course of the nth of March led to the resignation
of the former Federal Chancellor and the formation of a new
Government. It is not true that forcible pressure on the course
of these developments was exercised by the Reich, In partial-