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Polish independence recognised by Britain
A poster encouraging Polish people to fight for their independence during the First World War Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Polish independence recognised by Britain

Austrian Empire breaking up

London, 18 October 1918 - Britain has recognised the independence of the new state of Poland.

Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, has said that the British government considered the creation of a united and independent Polish state, with free access to the sea, as a core condition of a just and lasting peace.

He further conveyed the British government’s admiration for the Polish people’s firm refusal to allow Germany and Austria to dictate the future status and boundaries of their country.

A Reuters telegram from Amsterdam declares that the Austro-Hungarian monarchy is ready to abolish military administration in Austrian Poland, and transfer the administration to the Polish Government as soon as the latter is ready to take control.

In the course of an audience with the Austrian Emperor, deputies from Austrian Poland to the Austrian Parliament signalled their intention to participate in the Polish government at Warsaw. In view of the Emperor’s acceptance of President Wilson’s point 13 of his ‘14 points’ he could offer no objection.

The breakup of the Austrian empire is a sensational development and is likely to be confirmed in the publication of a manifesto in favour of federalisation, where the different races of the empire will be given the right to self-determination, allowing them to form into independent states.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.