10 APRIL 1936, Page 1

Conscription in Austria The breach of the Versailles and Locarno

treaties has been swiftly followed by a breach of that of St. Germains. Domestic discontent and Italian encourage- ment have driven Chancellor Schuschnigg to establish com- pulsory military service,—technically, be it noted, "for labour or military purposes "—in defiance of the military clauses of the .Treaty which limit the armed forces of Austria to a standing army of 80,000 men. The new law will give the Government control of 700,000 men liable to conscription. Austria has previously exceeded the Treaty limits, once with permission of the principal signatory Powers ; and, since Japan, Italy, and Germany have all been allowed to break their Treaty obligations with impunity, it is difficult to insist that Austria should observe hers. But her action is serious, because it is a direct provocation to Hungary, which applauds and approves, to follow her example. Hungary also will be sure of Italian approval, but if she openly defies the military clauses of the Treaty of Trianon, and rearms, the precarious political balance of Central Europe will be destroyed, and the Little Entente, which has protested against Austria's action, may be driven into more than mere protests. It becomes clearer every day that Europe cannot find peace merely by conniving at breaches of treaties.