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DELAY AND OPPOSITION OF BULGARIA

On that very day the Czar summoned the Kings of Bulgaria and Servia to submit their disputes to his decision. While this demand was based on a specific provision of the Servo-Bulgarian treaty, His Majesty also urged it on the ground of devotion to the Slav cause. This pro-Slav argument provoked much criticism in Austro-Hungarian circles which resented bitterly the assumption of Slav hegemony in Balkan affairs. However, on June 12 Bulgaria and Servia accepted Russian arbitration. But the terms were not agreed upon. While Mr. Venizelos and Mr. Pashitch impatiently awaited the summons to St. Petersburg they could get no definite information of the intentions of the Bulgarian government. And the rivalry of Austria-Hungary and Russia for predominance in the Balkans was never more intense than at this critical moment.

On June 14 Dr. Daneff was appointed prime minister in succession to Mr. Gueshoff. He had represented Bulgaria in the London Peace Conference where his aggressive and uncompromising attitude had perturbed his fellow delegates from the other Balkan states and provoked some criticism in the European press. He was known as a Russophil. And he seems now to have got assurance from Russia that she would maintain the Bulgarian view of the treaty with Servia, although she had at one time favored the Servian demand for an extensive revision of it. Certainly Dr. Daneff voiced the views and sentiments of the Bulgarian army and nation. I was in Sofia the week before the outbreak of the war between the Allies. And the two points on which everybody insisted were, first, that Servia must be compelled to observe the Treaty of Partition, and, secondly, that Central Macedonia must be annexed to Bulgaria. For these things all Bulgarians were ready to fight. And flushed with their great victories over the main army of Turkey they believed it would be an easy task to overpower the forces of Servia and Greece. For the Greeks they entertained a sort of contempt; and as for the Servians, had they not already defeated them completely at Slivnitza in 1886? Men high in the military service of the nation assured me that the Bulgarian army would be in Belgrade in eight days after war was declared. The Greeks too would quickly be driven out of Saloniki. The idea of a conference to decide the territorial question in dispute between the Allies found no favor in any quarter.

Now it is important that full justice should be done to Bulgaria. As against Servia, if Servia had stood alone, she might have appealed to the sanctity and inviolability of treaties. Circumstances had indeed changed since the treaty was negotiated. But was that a good reason, Bulgaria might have asked, why she should be excluded from Central Macedonia which the treaty guaranteed to her? Was that a good reason why she should not emancipate her Macedonian brethren for whose sake she had waged a bloody and costly war with Turkey? The Bulgarians saw nothing in the problem but their treaty with Servia and apparently cared for no territorial compensation without Central Macedonia.



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