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SERBIA AND THE PEACE WITH
BULGARIA ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL PARALLEL DEVELOPPEMENT
Serbia and the Peace with Bulgaria
a matter of fact the title of this Serbia and the pamphlet should be : project of the Treaty of
Bulgarian and not ^Serbia and the Peace with Bulgarian, because this pamphlet has been written on the ground
which has been proposed for the Treaty of Peace with Bulgaria by the Allied Commissions for Reparation and Finance. of the text,
Therefore, the title of this pamphlet has been taken only for the reason of Us shortness. If the situation of Serbia is
Treaty of Peace, will be its
which we hope pamphlet will keep
the changes through which the question of the Reit
paration to Serbia went, its
This edition, in English, is destined for Serbian friends from the United Sta-
America and from Great Britain. Our friends in France and French public opinion have already been infor-
med about in the
through our publications
L' Informations of the \0th
Paris, August, 1919.
former Minister of Commerce, Financial Delegate to the Peace Conference.
defending her country and the common cause of the Allies (in tryIn
the ing to prevent the junction between Turand and Central Powers Bulgaria
engaged in the war everything she had without any reserve, and during the whole war, without any key)
and without imposing any conditions whatever. Having been attacked from three different sides and by
forces three times superior to her own,
her territory, to retire her army and a number of civilian fugitives great
through the barren mountains of Albania to the Adriatic sea,
to live in
exile for three years.
During this period she lost one third of her population and half her national wealth. It is true that she has
come out of
out any spot on her honour, but compleher populately exhausted as regards tion and ruined as regards her econo-
mic and material wealth. Serbia will have to
duously for a very long period before she will be able to establish even a new base for her future economic developement.
greatest part of the responsibility for such a situation in Serbia lies with Bulgaria. Had Bulgaria not trea-
cherously attacked Serbia, she would probably not have been obliged to evacuate
her country, or she would only it normally, by the natural
road, along the railway line to Salonica, and in this case, the losses in men, cattle
and goods would never have reached the actual amount. During the Bulgarian occupation which lasted fully three years, and which extended itself to twothirds of our country, the
exterminated, continuously and syste-
matically, our population, and pillaged and exploited our national wealth.
Mackensen's saying, after the invasion This well-known is of Serbia, :
nothing else but
goods pillaged from Serbia have been publicly sold in Sofia on behalf of the
derstand us best
them that us, from the
point of view,
the same thing as the Prussian do for the French.
For these reasons we expected find
cipal source for our
and our economic recovery.
thus interpreted the situation created by the Peace Treaty with Germany and the Draft
of the Peace Treaty with which had given us, as regards Austria, immediate restitutions, the first nothing,
and the second: nearly nothing. It seemed to us that it was our duty when the Peace Treaty with Germany was concluded to await patiently till France and Belgium, which were both
interested, realized their principal ecotried also nomic )>
the during the negotiations concerning Austrian Treaty to read in the draft of this
Treaty the intention of the Allies to
Treaty rather the liquid-
ation of the late Austro-Hungarian
guarantee the necessary conditions for our reparations. In other words all our patient hope was concen-
on the Bulgarian Treaty.
But, unhappily the projected text is far from promising us even the base of
an economic restoration of Serbia.
has been to us a source of disilusion and censternation which
greater because we cannot expect from another side any adequate satisfaction
eluded at the end of September, 1918
Bulgaria no more than the Conven-
tions of Armistice concluded later with
Germany -- has
of Serbia, notwithstanding
in this respect.
by the Allies could be somewhat comprehensible if the economic condition and the ration
capacity of payment of Bulgaria made her incapable of effecting reparations in
our favour. case.
this is not
Here are some
war, during the war, and after the war.
Bulgaria has always had a greater population than Serbia and a superior percentage of labour than Serbia (in
1914 Bulgaria had more than 5,000,000 inhabitants and Serbia less than 4 1/2.) The territory of Bulgaria and her national production
have always been su-
In 1914 the area of Bulgaria
Serbia to 87,000 sq. km. Before the war she had at least one million hectars of cultivated land
which means very much
parison of our agricultural countries, which possess the same economic structure.
She has besides always had
agricultural implements than we.
possesses ten ploughs and Serbia none.
imported 7,000,000 fr. worth of agricultural implements, whilst Serbia did not import even half as much. Before the war she possessed nearly 2,000,000
oxen, we, less than 1,000,000; 600,000 horses and we scarcely 200,000 10,000,000 sheep and we less than ;
The value of her stock of
and poultry exceeded before the war by far one milliard of francs. Besides Bulgaria has always had a better cattle
geographical and mondial than we. She has ac-
which Serbia had not. Bulgaria's exploitation and her commercial traffic with the exterior has always been suher annual commercial perior to ours :
was superior to ours by 150,000Economic exper-ts gene-
wealth at 14 milliards and ours 1 1
at only This was the pre-
However, if we ask what is our economic situation, and that of Bulgaria, after the war,
think that one will re-
cognise without any discussion, that this respect,
than Bulgaria. As we have already stated, Serbia lost during the war about 30 of (
her population. In this loss the greatest part
represented by e.
the most sensible loss.
have also said that our has suffered a
what do these losses consist ? The most sensible losses have been sufIn
fered by our live stock, our agricultural
implements, our industrial installations and our railways. As to the cattle
whose census has recently been made,
returned to our country, it's loss amounts to 70 80% the heaviest ;
been suffered by the loss of 90% horned cattle 70% :
to the loss of
labour, the greatest difficulty for the reconstitution of our national economy lies in
fered in draught cattle. In agricultural Serbia, the draught cattle represent the principal bassis of production and the essential factor of national work.
deficit in agricultural
is also enormous, as the Bulgarians and our other enemies took them away in
industry is also nearly completely annihilated as the greatest part of our industry was concentrated in
on the Sava and the Danube, towns which have been constantly bombarded.
One can rial
therefore say that the industquarter of Belgrade does not exist
to the railways
also say that they did not
time of our return to
ternational - -
principal line, with an in-
importance, could not be
and the only railway on the Sava which joins Belgrabridge de with the north and the west, with days
Budapest and Fiume, has not been
constructed yet As to the high roads it will be sufficient to say that during !
the whole occupation
been repaired at
may be permitted to emphasize that the last factor of the national producI
money, which has never been very abundant in Serbia tion
the capital, the
completely paralysed to-day in consequence of the circulation of the Auis
stro-Hungarian paper-money, which has been imposed upon us, and which only no international value whatsoever, but which has remained
without any security.
tual situation of Serbia.
Let us see
situation after the war. is
better than ours already,
the simple reason that she has been at
war one year
has been during the whole war, so to not one single point speak, at home :
In consequence she has been
able to conserve nisation intact.
economic orgaDuring the whole war
country to sell her products to Germany under very advantageous conditions for her.
during the whole Serbia, as has already
occupation of been said above, the Bulgarian
and the Bulgarian people have
nually been taking Serbian goods in order to transport them to Bulgaria,
by pillaging them, or by buying them for Levs at the arbitrary rate of 2 Dinars. Lastly, exchange of Lev either
one must not forget that during three years the Bulgarian State was collecting and enjoying the revenues of full
and other ria
taxes, requisitions, fines
sums of money Red Cross were
to her loss in population,
not even be compared with ours.
the same case with the Bulgarian losses in cattle, the the more so as Bulgaria
did not shrink from compensating
with cattle stolen in Serbia.
quantiis estimated at 3 cattle stolen of this ty millions of heads. As regards the agricultural implements and the industrial
machines, one can only speak of an amelioration of the Bulgarian situation in this respect. Especially her industry has profited by the Serbian mines partiHer railways also cularly coal mines. have supplied themselves with Serbian coal
number of banks have
considerably increased in Sofia during the war and many of them have also
doubled their capital
in three years.
think that these general observations are absolutely sufficient as regards the economic situation of Bulgaria after the war,
be necessary to resort to figures in order to prove that the means of production in Bulgaria
have not been dimini-
any way whatever during the
war, that Bulgaria's
has remained the same and has not
been deteriorated at all. On the contrary this wealth has increased.
to the State finances, Serbian and - - as will be seen a little
can only sustain our
Let us examine
which the Bul-
garian Treaty offering us and which is the financial situation awaiting us after the signature of the peace is
cattle - - a
they are giving
us only 10,000 head of horned cattle, and in all 28,000 head of cattle and all
This reonly within six months PER CENT presents just about this
of the pillaged and stolen cattle, and less than a half per cent of the Bulgarian pre-war live-stock,
20 ed, according to the statistics,
Bulgarian official 14,000,000 to the information
in 1911, to
of our Headquarters the Bulgarian army has taken away, during the eva-
10,000 heads of horned cattle. As to restitution of agricultural implements, industrial machines, railway material, --there is no question of same the Treaty.
true that there
concerning the restitution of coal, but only at the rate of 50,000 tons per year for ditional will
years and even this is conhowever, these supplies
after the approval of
Commission which will decide as a last resort if, and in what measure they would impede the success the inter-Allied
of Bulgaria's economic
repeat again that these facts are more prejudicial for us as the
Armistice with Bulgaria does not gua-
rantee any restitution to Serbia as in the case of Belgium, our Ally, of whose
we only can
been incomparably better treated than we.
Thus, the Convention of Armistice of the llth November, 1918 provides for
engines, of cars, of lorries, and of Besides the Peace agricultural goods.
Germany provides for Bela limit of three months, within gium, 137,400 head of cattle (100,000 horn-
and eight millions of tons of
coal per year, for 10 years. 2.
other objects stolen
restitution of the
which indemtity is rethe quested, Bulgarian Treaty puts us
case in the other treaties.
While the Convention of Armistice and the Peace Treaty with Germany France and to
proceed, with special delegates, to
on the enemy
to us quite a series of difficult
one requires the proof that the objets in question have in reality been taken
away, that they
be found on the
Such conditions favour of the enemy, and
can only be
instead of giving us a serious guarantee
they only can render our right illusory. Let it be permitted to us to mention here that
Belgium has been able
her objects in Germany,
which already amounts only thanks to this 3.
quantity 600,000 tons
The Treaty with Bulgaria provida special inter-allied Commission
ing of Reparations, does not reserve to Ser-. bia even the right to be heard by this
Belgium of whose success,
we only can
rejoice, receives according to the Treaty with Germany, the right
permanent representative in Supreme Commission for Reparations, even with the right to vote. Such to have, a
a dffference of treatment to the detri-
ment of Serbia which,
Belgium, has never ceased to fight on the side of the Allies, and has suffered the heaviest sacrifices,
as even Bulgaria, a vanquished enemy,
has obtained the right to be continually represented in that Commission, a right refused to victorious Serbia.
But the greatest disillusion contained in the Peace Treaty with Bulgaria are the clauses which guarantee to 4.
Bulgaria that she will not have to pay one penny above 2 1/4 milliards which are provided as
Under any head whatever,
reparation. - - not
of the engagements which she had to-
wards the Central Powers (War debts). These are the engagements, which, according to Article 262 in the German Treaty, Germany had transferred, as In
her assets, to the Allies.
debts which the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance estimates at about 6 milliards
imagine that received have would
such a present from
Germans. Thus Bulgaria has had the chance to liberate herself of this heavy charge, which she had willingly accepted beforehand only to be able to carry on up to the end her perfidious aggres-
sion against Serbia. Thus, thanks to the
generosity of our Allies, ria is put,
our name and
detriment, beside Belgium, in a privileged situation, while Allied Serbia is left to
support alone the expenses
war which was imposed upon
This fact alone suffices
idea of the financial
Serbian and Bulgarian states after the war. But in order to illustrate still better this situation let us
Before the war Bulgaria had only 750 millions of debts. During the war debt has increased abroad by six
the country by one According to the Peace Treain
would have to pay as reparations only 2 milliards and a qurater. Therefore Bulgaria would have a total charge
of 10 milliards in
Bulgaria's war debts of 6 milliards Bulgaria would have, after the war, a total
burden of only 4 milliards.
burden would only represent 28 Yz%
of her national wealth.*) Truth to say, we greatly doubt that the Bul*) garian war debts amount to six milliard francs. However, this makes no change as this sum is irrevelent to our calculation, as can be seen.
the other hand, the financial
tuation of Serbia
would be the
wing: Serbia's pre-war debts amounted to one milliard of francs. During the war
abroad for two milliards and
country an inheritance left by the enemy of 1 milliard of paper money without any value whatever. A ceived in the
burden therefore of 4 milliards of
In other words Serbia's financial burden would amount to 80% of her actual national wealth as against Bulgaria's of 28 Yz%. It
follows therefore that Serbia, at-
out of this
as vanquished Bulgaria which has been the aggressor and which has been sen-
tenced to pay the reparations. picture would be true only
Bulgaria really did pay the
vided for reparations, which is however doubtful as Art. 2. stipulates that the
have the right to pro-
pose a reduction of the payment.
not forget besides that Bulsupport these char-
garia will be able to
ges so much more easily as she has conserved her economic organisation intact,
while Serbia, besides the above-mentioned charges, will have to struggle
with her ruined economy and a capacity of production incomparably reduced.
To complete bia's
the illustration of Ser-
financial situation after the war,
mention one more fact
The question of the advance in cash, first payment of the indemnity,
has not yet found a favourable solution for Serbia and without this advance ;
- - like
ruined Belgium which has received, and deservedly received, on account of such an advance
to satisfy the
sary reparations for her
Serbia comes out of -
which she en-
gaged all her children and goods from the economic and financial point of view, and yet it is very easy to give an answer to a question which ari-
what are the reparawhich Bulgaria would have ob-
by misfortune, the Central Powers had been victorious. tained,
draw the benevolent
our great Allies to the situation of our Delegation and our Government in the face of such
and we have
the right to hope that the Allies, after these will ameliorate explanations,
our above mentioned situation
Bulgaria. the definite
Peace Treaty with Bulgaria will create which would correspond, ap-
least, to the part
and the policy held by these two States towards the Allies during the war, and which would correspond more to the great principles of Justice and Equity on which the Allies are trying to found the World's Peace.
BY THE SAME AUTHOR 1
System of direct taxation in Serbia. (In German). Berlin, 1904. Treaty
Customs - procedure
(destined for commercial schools).
Belgrade, 1910. 3.
Municipal Loan; Belgrade,
Problem of Supply in the
Supply and economic restoration of the Country ; Corfu, 1917.
The monetary system
of the Serbians, Croatians and Slovenes. (In French). 1919. Paris,
IMPRIMERIE SLAVE VI. J1LEK rue du Faub.-St.-Martin -
000 039 785
MPRIMERIE SLAVE VI J1LEK 182, rue du Fbg.-St.-MartSn, 182