• Anglo-Austrian Relations between the Wars.

      Batonyi, Gabor (2007)
      This paper is published in a special volume of the Außenpolitische Dokumente der Republik Österreich series, a major undertaking of the Austrian Academy. The book is the result of an international conference sponsored by the Austrian Foreign Ministry on the fiftieth anniversary of the Austrian State Treaty. More importantly, it is the first comprehensive review of the foreign policy of the First Republik, and of Austria¿s relations with both the great powers and the neighbouring small states. The chapter on Anglo-Austrian relations is an outline of a relatively well-known chapter of diplomatic history, but it is also a contribution to the ongoing historical debate about the extent of British involvement in Central European affairs. Making reference to Foreign Office documents, the private papers of British diplomats and rarely accessed Central European archival sources, the chapter explodes the myth of British `indifference¿ towards the Danubian region, and argues that Vienna remained a `favourable observation point¿ for British diplomats right until the Anschluß. In particular, it challenges the jaded thesis, maintained by both British and Central European diplomatic historians, that the 1930s ushered in a period of disengagement from Anglo-Austrian, Anglo-Czech and Anglo-Hungarian relations. Contrary to earlier works, the paper shows that the Foreign Office was far from indifferent to the survival of the First Republic, despite its disapproval and deliberately muted criticism of authoritarian rule and the oppression of the left-wing opposition. Whilst Austria had a special geopolitical importance for Britain, the author¿s reappraisal of Anglo-Austrian relations opens up new avenues in the research of British policy towards certain other Central European countries.