Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, April 21, 1925
Commissariat General of the League of Nations
Here I am again, dearest Mildred, and all the sadder to think that you will so soon be in Paris. Elisina will try to arrange for Bill to stop over long enough to see you on his way to school.See letter of April 26, 1925. The Blisses missed William Royall Tyler, whose train was late; see letter of May 3, 1925. I do so want you to have a look at him, he’s growing so fast and changing. He’s very happy at Harrow, and is doing well, though like his sire he’s very weak in mathematics.
I had a good rest at Antigny. Salter was with us, the angel, full of plans for the good of the world, plans which I believe he’ll pull off, as he has pulled off so many already.In 1925, Arthur Salter published two essays, “I. Economic Recovery in the World” and “II. Economic Conflicts as the Causes of War,” in which he classified the causes of past wars as principally four—religious, dynastic, nationalist, and economic. He believed that the first two of these causes had ceased to be significant and that the third was declining in importance. He argued that it was urgently important to take preventative measures against the fourth cause. Valentine Chirol, Yüsuke Tsurumi, and Arthur Salter, The Reawakening of the Orient and Other Addresses (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1925), 115–60.
I tell him that we aren’t giving him his money’s worth in the way of excitement, here in Hungary; things are going so well. The honeymoon is over, it is time, and opinion is beginning to criticise us—naturally, as we have only spent less than one-third of the loan so far and have now run eight months without any deficit, people would like to carve the loan up and blow it in, and are getting to regard us, who won’t play, as a nuisance.Since only one-third of the hundred-million gold-crown loan had been spent, the Hungarians wanted to use the surplus for tax relief. This surplus amounted to sixty-three million gold crowns. See Zoltán Peterecz, Jeremiah Smith Jr. and Hungary, 1924–1926: The United States, the League of Nations, and the Financial Reconstruction of Hungary (London: Versita, 2013), 164. According to Peterecz, “the Financial Committee decided that this surplus and a further 30 million gold crowns ($6 million) could be used for productive purposes, subject to the agreement of the Commissioner-General. The Council approved that for about 95,000 state officials the increase in salaries of 15% in February should be permanent to the amount of 20 million gold crowns, even if it meant a 15 million ($3 million) extra burden on the budget annually. The low point of the report was the tax question. It remained very high, 75 gold crowns ($15) per head, which was extremely high for Hungary and meant 135% of the pre-war level. As Smith put it in Geneva, ‘the taxation in Hungary has reached the limit of possibility and capacity.’ It was obvious that sooner rather than later some tax reduction was necessary and the government started to work on it.” And we’ll have some fun during the coming year, no doubt, but as far as one can tell at present Hungary will certainly get on her feet again, and to stay. Her fundamental position is stronger than Austria’s, and she has a real government that governs, and a people accustomed to be governed. There are times when one is aware of the drawbacks of such a system, but when it’s a matter of putting through essential reforms one is deeply thankful for it. Party questions, however troublesome in small ways, are kept in their place here and not allowed to compromise great issues.
Please let me know what your plans are. It would be delightful if you could manage to come this way before this job is over. I’d so much enjoy showing you the Hungarian on his native heath. I shall be very much tied between here and Geneva for a few months to come, as the Hung. Govt. has a lot of important things to put up at the June meeting, and I shall have to be there, and very likely again in September. I hope to get a bit of leave sometime during Bill’s summer holidays. I feel that during this time when he’s growing so fast he’ll lose me if I don’t keep hold of him constantly. I wonder how he’ll strike you. Elisina’s coming out here as soon as he goes back to School early in Mar.
I wrote to you from Antigny immediately on getting your wireThe whereabouts of this telegram are not known. from Stockholm repeated on [sic].See letter of April 15, 1925. I hope you got the letter, but you’ll gather its gist—Smith is away in U.S. and I’m in charge here, so can’t budge.