1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Austria-Hungary/Government

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Government.—The present constitution of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (see Austria) is based on the Pragmatic Sanction of the emperor Charles VI., first promulgated on the 19th of April 1713, whereby the succession to the throne is settled in the dynasty of Habsburg-Lorraine, descending by right of primogeniture and lineal succession to male heirs, and, in case of their extinction, to the female line, and whereby the indissolubility and indivisibility of the monarchy are determined; is based, further, on the diploma of the emperor Francis Joseph I. of the 20th of October 1860, whereby the constitutional form of government is introduced; and, lastly, on the so-called Ausgleich or "Compromise," concluded on the 8th of February 1867, whereby the relations between Austria and Hungary were regulated.

The two separate states—Austria and Hungary—are completely independent of each other, and each has its own parliament and its own government. The unity of the monarchy is expressed in the common head of the state, who bears the title Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary, and in the common administration of a series of affairs, which affect both halves of the Dual Monarchy. These are: (1) foreign affairs, including diplomatic and consular representation abroad; (2) the army, including the navy, but excluding the annual voting of recruits, and the special army of each state; (3) finance in so far as it concerns joint expenditure.

For the administration of these common affairs there are three joint ministries: the ministry of foreign affairs and of the imperial and royal house, the ministry of war, and the ministry of finance. It must be noted that the authority of the joint ministers is restricted to common affairs, and that they are not allowed to direct or exercise any influence on affairs of government affecting separately one of the halves of the monarchy. The minister of foreign affairs conducts the international relations of the Dual Monarchy, and can conclude international treaties. But commercial treaties, and such state treaties as impose burdens on the state, or parts of the state, or involve a change of territory, require the parliamentary assent of both states. The minister of war is the head for the administration of all military affairs, except those of the Austrian Landwehr and of the Hungarian Honveds, which are committed to the ministries for national defence of the two respective states. But the supreme command of the army is vested in the monarch, who has the power to take all measures regarding the whole army. It follows, therefore, that the total armed power of the Dual Monarchy forms a whole under the supreme command of the sovereign. The minister of finance has charge of the finances of common affairs, prepares the joint budget, and administers the joint state debt. (Till 1909 the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were also administered by the joint minister of finance, excepting matters exclusively dependent on the minister of war.) For the control of the common finances, there is appointed a joint supreme court of accounts, which audits the accounts of the joint ministries.

Budget.—Side by side with the budget of each state of the Dual Monarchy, there is a common budget, which comprises the expenditure necessary for the common affairs, namely for the conduct of foreign affairs, for the army, and for the ministry of finance. The revenues of the joint budget consist of the revenues of the joint ministries, the net proceeds of the customs, and the quota, or the proportional contributions of the two states. This quota is fixed for a period of years, and generally coincides with the duration of the customs and commercial treaty. Until 1897 Austria contributed 70%, and Hungary 30% of the joint expenditure, remaining after-deduction of the common revenue. It was then decided that from 1897 to July 1907 the quota should be 66—46/49 for Austria, and 33—2/49 for Hungary. In 1907 Hungary's contribution was raised to 36.4%. Of the total charges 2% is first of all debited to Hungary on account of the incorporation with this state of the former military frontier.

The Budget estimates for the common administration were as follows in 1905:—


          Revenue

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

£21,167

Ministry of War

305,907

Ministry of Finance

4,870

Board of Control

18

The Customs

4,780,000

Proportional contributions

15,650,448

 

—————

Total         

£20,762,410

 

—————

 

          Expenditure-

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

£485,480

Ministry of War:—

          Army

12,679,160

          Navy

2,306,100

Ministry of Finance

177,000

Board of Control

13,250

Extraordinary Military Expenditure

4,785,500

Extraordinary Military Expenditure in Bosnia

315,920

 

—————

Total         

£20,762,410

 

—————

The following table gives in thousands sterling the joint budget for the years 1875-1905:—

Expenditure.


 

1875.  

1885.  

1895.  

1900.  

1905.  

Ministry of Foreign Affairs  

396   

368.7

333   

433.4

493.8

Ministry of War (Army and Navy)

9005.4

10,085   

12,539   

13,887.5

18,087.7

Ministry of Finance

154.2

167.2

170.4

175   

177.1

Supreme Court of Accounts

10.5

10.6

10.7

12.5

13.3

Total         

9566.1

10,631.5

13,053.1

14,508.4

20,430.3


Revenue.


For the above Departments         

432   

258.2

260.7

260.3

331.9

Customs

997.4

402.2

4476   

5202.3

4799.7

Proportional Contributions

8136.7

9971.1

8316.4

9045.8

15,650.4

Total         

9566.1

10,631.5

13,053.1

14,508.4

20,430.3

Debt.—Besides the debts of each state of the Dual Monarchy, there is a general debt, which is borne jointly by Austria and Hungary. The following table gives in millions sterling the amount of the general debt for the years 1875-1905:—


1875.

1885.

1895.

1900.

1905.

232.41

231.02

229.67

226.81

224.31

Delegations.—The constitutional right of voting money applicable to the common affairs and of its political control is exercised by the Delegations, which consist each of sixty members, chosen for one year, one-third of them by the Austrian Herrenhaus (Upper House) and the Hungarian Table of Magnates (Upper House), and two-thirds of them by the Austrian and the Hungarian Houses of Representatives. The delegations are annually summoned by the monarch alternately to Vienna and to Budapest. Each delegation has its separate sittings, both alike public. Their decisions are reciprocally communicated in writing, and, in case of non-agreement, their deliberations are renewed. Should three such interchanges be made without agreement, a common plenary sitting is held of an equal number of both delegations; and these collectively, without discussion, decide the question by common vote. The common decisions of both houses require for their validity the sanction of the monarch. Each delegation has the right to formulate resolutions independently, and to call to account and arraign the common ministers. In the exercise of their office the members of both delegations are irresponsible, enjoying constitutional immunity.

Army.—The military system of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy is similar in both states, and rests since 1868 upon the principle of the universal and personal obligation of the citizen to bear arms. Its military force is composed of the common army (K. und K.); the special armies, namely the Austrian (K.K.) Landwehr, and the Hungarian Honveds, which are separate national institutions, and the Landsturm or levy-in-mass. As stated above, the common army stands under the administration of the joint minister of war, while the special armies are under the administration of the respective ministries of national defence. The yearly contingent of recruits for the army is fixed by the military bills voted by the Austrian and Hungarian parliaments, and is generally determined on the basis of the population, according to the last census returns. It amounted in 1905 to 103,100 men, of which Austria furnished 59,211 men, and Hungary 43,889. Besides 10,000 men are annually allotted to the Austrian Landwehr, and 12,500 to the Hungarian Honveds. The term of service is 2 years (3 years in the cavalry) with the colours, 7 or 8 in the reserve and 2 in the Landwehr; in the case of men not drafted to the active army the same total period of service is spent in various special reserves.

For the military and administrative service of the army the Dual Monarchy is divided into 16 military territorial districts (15 of which correspond to the 15 army corps) and 108 supplementary districts (105 for the army, and 3 for the navy). In 1902, since which year no material change was made in the formal organization of the army, there were 5 cavalry divisions and 31 infantry divisions, formed in 15 army corps, which are located as follows:—I. Cracow, II.Vienna, III. Graz, IV. Budapest, V. Pressburg, VI. Kaschau, VII. Temesvár, VIII.Prague, IX. Josefstadt, X. Przemysl, XI.Lemberg, XII. Herrmannstadt, XIII. Agram, XIV. Innsbruck, XV. Serajewo. In addition there is the military district of Zara. The usual strength of the corps is, 2 infantry divisions (4 brigades, 8 or 9 regiments, 32 or 36 battalions), 1 cavalry brigade (18 squadrons), and 1 artillery brigade (16-18 batteries or 128-144 field-guns), besides technical and departmental units and in some cases fortress artillery regiments. The infantry is organized into line regiments, Jäger and Tirolese regiments, the cavalry into dragoons, lancers, Uhlans and hussars, the artillery into regiments. The Austrian Landwehr (which retains the old designation K.K., formerly applied to the Austrian regular army) is organized in 8 divisions of varying strength, the "Royal Hungarian" Landwehr or Honveds in 7 divisions, both Austrian and Hungarian Landwehr having in addition cavalry (Uhlans and hussars) and artillery. It is probable that a Landwehr or Honveds division will, in war, form part of each army corps except in the case of the Vienna corps, which has 3 divisions in peace. The remaining men of military age (up to 42) as usual form the Landsturm. It is to be noted that this Landsturm comprises many men who would elsewhere be classed as Landwehr.

The strength of the Austro-Hungarian army on a peace footing was as follows in 1905:—


 

Officers.

Men.

Horses.

Guns.

Infantry—

 

 

 

 

          Common Army

10,801

187,604

1,152

..  

          Austrian Landwehr

1,883

23,905

174

..  

          Hungarian Honveds

2,258

21,149

262

..  

Cavalry—

 

 

 

 

          Common Army

1,890

45,486

40,740

..  

          Austrian Landwehr

170

1,861

1,282

..  

          Hungarian Honveds

390

4,170

3,510

..  

Field Artillery

1,630

27,612

14,520

1,048

Fortress Artillery

408

7,722

131

..  

Technical troops (Pioneers, and
Railway and Telegraph Regiment)

588

9,935

19

..  

          Transport Service

461

4,312

3,097

..  

          Sanitary Service

85

3,062

..  

..  

Total         

20,564

336,818

64,887

1,048

Belonging to the

 

 

 

 

          Common Army

15,863

285,733

59,659

1,048

          Austrian Landwehr

2,053

25,766

1,456

..  

          Hungarian Honveds

2,648

25,319

3,772

..  

The troops stationed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1905 (376 officers and 6372 men) are included in the total for the common army.

The peace strength of the active army in combatants is thus about 350,000 officers and men, inclusive of the two Landwehrs and of the Austrian "K.K." guards, the Hungarian crown guards, the gendarmerie, &c. The numbers of the Landsturm and the war strength of the whole armed forces are not published. It is estimated that the first line army in war would consist of 460,000 infantry, 49,000 cavalry, 78,000 artillery, 21,000 engineers, &c., beside train and non-combatant soldiers. The Landwehr and Honved would yield 219,000 infantry and 18,000 cavalry, and other reserves 223,000 men. These figures give an approximate total strength of 1,147,000, not inclusive of Landsturm.

Fortifications.—The principal fortifications in Austria-Hungary are: Cracow and Przemysl in Galicia; Komárom, the centre of the inland fortifications, Pétervárad, Ó-Arad and Temesvár in Hungary; Serajewo, Mostar and Bilek in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Alpine frontiers, especially those in Tirol, have numerous fortifications, whose centre is formed by Trent and Franzensfeste; while all the military roads leading into Carinthia have been provided with strong defensive works, as at Malborgeth, Predil Pass, &c. The two capitals, Vienna and Budapest, are not fortified. On the Adriatic coast, the naval harbour of Pola is strongly fortified with sea and land defences; then come Trieste, and several places in Dalmatia, notably Zara and Cattaro.

Navy.—The Austro-Hungarian navy is mainly a coast defence force, and includes also a flotilla of monitors for the Danube. It is administered by the naval department of the ministry of war. It consisted in 1905 of 9 modern battleships, 3 armoured cruisers, 5 cruisers, 4 torpedo gunboats, 20 destroyers and 26 torpedo boats. There was in hand at the same time a naval programme to build 12 armourclads, 5 second-class cruisers, 6 third-class cruisers, and a number of torpedo boats. The headquarters of the fleet are at Pola, which is the principal naval arsenal and harbour of Austria; while another great naval station is Trieste.

Trade.—On the basis of the customs and commercial agreement between Austria and Hungary, concluded in 1867 and renewable every ten years, the following affairs, in addition to the common affairs of the monarchy, are in both states treated according to the same principles:—Commercial affairs, including customs legislation; legislation on the duties closely connected with industrial production —on beer, brandy, sugar and mineral oils; determination of legal tender and coinage, as also of the principles regulating the Austro-Hungarian Bank; ordinances in respect of such railways as affect the interests of both states. In conformity with the customs and commercial compact between the two states, renewed in 1899, the monarchy constitutes one identical customs and commercial territory, inclusive of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the principality of Liechtenstein.

The foreign trade of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy is shown in the following table:—


Year.

Imports.

Exports.

1900

£70,666,000

£80,916,000

1901

68,833,000

78,841,000

1902

71,666,000

79,708,000

1903

78,200,000

88,600,000

1904

85,200,000

86,200,000

1905

89,430,000

93,500,000

The following tables give the foreign trade of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy as regards raw material and manufactured goods:—


Imports.


Articles.

Value in Millions Sterling.

1900.

1901.

1902.

1903.

1904.

Raw material (including
    articles of food; raw
    material for agriculture
    and industry; and mining
    and smelting products.

\
|
|
|
/

41.5

40.5

41.8

45.9

51.9

Semi-manufactured goods

9.6

9.6

10.3

10.6

10.8

Manufactured goods

19.5

18.7

19.5

21.6

22.5


Exports.


Articles.

Value in Millions Sterling.

1900.

1901.

1902.

1903.

1904.

Raw material (as above)

34.1

34.1

35.9

39   

35.3

Semi-manufactured goods

12.6

11.1

11.1

12.4

12.6

Manufactured goods.

34.2

33.3

32.8

37.2

38.3

The most important place of derivation and of destination for the Austro-Hungarian trade is the German empire with about 40% of the imports, and about 60% of the exports. Next in importance comes Great Britain, afterwards India, Italy, the United States of America, Russia, France, Switzerland, Rumania, the Balkan states and South America in about the order named. The principal articles of import are cotton and cotton goods, wool and woollen goods, silk and silk goods, coffee, tobacco and metals. The principal articles of export are wood, sugar, cattle, glass and glassware, iron and ironware, eggs, cereals, millinery, fancy goods, earthenware and pottery, and leather goods.

The Austro-Hungarian Bank.—Common to the two states of the monarchy is the "Austro-Hungarian Bank," which possesses a legal exclusive right to the issue of bank-notes. It was founded in 1816, and had the title of the Austrian National Bank until 1878, when it received its actual name. In virtue of the new bank statute of the year 1899 the bank is a joint-stock company, with a stock of £8,780,000. The bank's notes of issue must be covered to the extent of two-fifths by legal specie (gold and current silver) in reserve; the rest of the paper circulation, according to bank usage. The state, under certain conditions, takes a portion of the clear profits of the bank. The management of the bank and the supervision exercised over it by the state are established on a footing of equality, both states having each the same influence. The accounts of the bank at the end of 1900 were as follows: capital, £8,750,000; reserve fund, £428,250; note circulation, £62,251,000; cash, £50,754,000. In 1907 the reserve fund was £548,041; note circulation, £84,501,000; cash, £60,036,625. The charter of the bank, which expired in 1897, was renewed until the end of 1910. In the Hungarian ministerial crisis of 1909 the question of the renewal of the charter played a conspicuous part, the more extreme members of the Independence party demanding the establishment of separate banks for Austria and Hungary with, at most, common superintendence (see History, below).

(O. Br.)