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The announcement by the German Em- pe? to his troops that the peace ov,? rturel ?7 the Central Powers has failedthat ?e war "n?t continue would appear to ?mose of the idea that h? been vaguely SSng ?ape that Austria Hungary seeks to break awav from the Central Powers and obtain a separate peace, The overture was made collectively by the Central Powers, and rejected by the Entente collectively. it is Possible that Austria Hungary inspired it originally: for it is comprehensible that the new Emperor desires to put himself in good countenance with his motley peoples by bringing about a peace concluded with- out much regard to the terms, ana ridding them of an incubus of which they are weary unto death. That he can disentangle hmi; eelf from the toils is, however, unlikely, ana « separate peace, as a matter of fact, would involve chaotic military and political conse- quences. There are various indications of political unrest in the Dual Monarchy, chiefly in the direction of the reassertion oi the Austrian element almost snuffed out by the German and Magyar domination, but Us purport is for the: moment uncertain. The dismissal of two officials, Forgach and Maechio, who were concerned some yetiiTs ago in the fctfoiHcation of forged evi. dence against prominent southern S lavonic inar^onages. seems to fit in better with the report that the An&tvo-Hunganan Govern- ment- is negotiating with a Montenegrin prince for the establishment of a southern Slavonic State, than with the theory that it is a rebuff to Pan-Germanism It would obviously placate public sentiment in this zone of the Dual Monarchy. There is a great deal in the pohtioal meUi^g-pot m Eastern Europe at present, and both 11uma- nia ais well as conquered Serbia and the ad- ijacerat Slavonic lands are nul, unlikely to be affected by drastic changes on the lines of those beiug effected 111 ex- Russianf Poland. A statement issued by Renter's Agency from authoritative sources, after painting a lurid picture of the situation ot Ger- many in respect of food, warns us, however, j that she is not yet in a state of exhaustion, and there are no signs of revolution. Austria-Hungary is unquestionably much worse off, but a "revolution" is unlikely there, for the simple reason that there is hardly anybody capable of putting up a re- volution. There are left only women, child- ren, and the dregs of the men. The troops tre in the bonds of a stern disciple, they axe, in the case of the Austria-Hun- garians, too composite in nature to render easy any co-operation in action of the nature in- dicated, and the Government can continue make them tight. But they cannot make fisrht well; and the immense surrenders -iril iu Eastern Gahda. in June and Julv'of last year sit.er iiidex to the nature that the deterioration in Austro- Hunagrian moral is likely to assume than a serious internal rising. There is visible in this country a danger- ous tendency to gamble on the expectation that in the summer a short, sharp fight will see the end of things that a collapse of the enemy is approaching. It is dangerous, be- cause if the scarcity of food presses sharply in this country and the war continues to rage with little modification in the situation, there may be a sharp revulsion. Starting this year as early as we please, with abundant resources and a finished technique, we have every nrospect of drastic changes in the West in a situation that has remained, territorially. practically unaltered since Sep- tember. 1914, and that neeas. drastic changes to make it reallv satisfactory to the Allies. That is a,11 that, we have the right to expect, and it is sufficient to look forward to. The German occupation of the Danube grain port of Braila and the rapid closing in upon Foscani. one of the centres of the Russian line of resistance upon the course of the Sereth, remind the public that the wider emphasis placed upon the local, tran- sient, and occasional successes of our Ally in his rear-guard act'ons, han been permitted .to obscure the essential factthat the mili- tary situation in the Rumanian iheat'-e con- tinues to be dominated by the enemy. An important result can. however, be cKi' >ed by the Russians, that theyfSave secured time for the demolition of the grain stored at Braila. But the role of an army as a corps of incendiaries ruining a country it is impo- tent to defend, is only one, and not neces- sarily the most important, of its activities. The object of the Russians is to preserve their position on the Sereth the base for a counter-offensive into Rumania to pre- vent the enernv from exploiting in the com- ing year the "resource* <H tne no wheat- crrowing plains, end from gathering the crop 111 the ground which even the Russians could not de&troy. If the Sereth is lost, not only will the German campaign be rounded off with the acquisition of a defensible nili- tary frontier, but it will render a counter- attack by the Russia)is and a reorganised Rumanian Anny i-ery fiflicult. Incidentally, the Danube will be firman from source to sea—another.politico i phenomenon for the Allies and Europe to reckon' with. At present the rrospecL; nore that the Germans -will achieve their aim, »nd clear the Sereth, and the greater part of Rumamn. Mean- while Rumania has proved for Russia like the motor-car of Messrs rot/ash and Perl- rnmtte, iiot an asset but a liability. or_

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