THE VIENNA RELIEF FUND.
THE Report of the Vienna Emergency Relief Fund, issued from the Committee's Office, 12, Tokenhouse Yard, London, E.C., is a remarkable document. The balance-sheet shows that the total amount received in donations and gifts in kind came to over half a million. The administrative expenses were kept down to what must be considered the very low figure of £8,242, or less than 2 per cent. The Report also contains a detailed statement of the goods sent to Vienna. Considering the many difficulties in this country—the vast number of calls upon us all, first from our own people and then from our Allies, the enormous increase in the cost of everything, and the consequent diminution in the value of money, and still more the high taxation—it is a source of great satisfaction to think that we have been able to
listen, even if inadequately, to the cry of agony that came from Vienna. The Austrian Government was one of the worst in the world, for it combined Machiavellian aspirations with a weak will, but the rank and file of the population of the Austrian Empire, and even of the capital, were politically innocent in every sense of the phrase. They did not know what their
selfish old Emperor and his cynical servants were doing, and they would have had no power to stop it if they had known. The Report ends with the following paragraph :-
"Before closing the Report it is felt that a few words in regard to the economic recovery of Austria would not be out of place. There have been many Conferences, but so far no attempt has yet boon made to place the currency and the credit of the country on a proper footing, so as to enable production to commence and the Channels of trade to be reopened. This is most serious when one considers that it is now over three years since the Armistice. Charity at the most is only a palliative, and unless the Allied Governments sot- to work at once to assist Austria to take its place again amongst the trading nations of Europe, disaster will be the result. Even now it may be too late, the interminable delays having had their effect upon a starving and despairing population. The fund, thanks to the generosity of its subecribers, has been able to save many lives, but its work will have been in vain if tho Allied Governments continue to withhold assistance. They should fulfil the premises- made when the Treaty of St. Germain was signed and take up their share of the responsibility without delay, and not allow Austria to sink hack into chaos and disaster."