Page 3569

3569 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

was a very real one to Italy; much more

appealing than the thought of conquering

alien peoples.

Ultimately it became apparent that

Italy would probably join the Allies unless

Austria made her territorial concessions

sufficient to persuade her to stay out.

Austria was much averse to such a course,

but German influence was brought to bear

upon her to this end, and for many weeks

negotiations proceeded. The excuse for

this extraordinary state of affairs was a

special provision of the Triple Alliance

Treaty. According to the Frankfurter Zeitung of March 3, 1915: "Article VII.

of the Austro-German-Italian Treaty, the

terms of which have never before been

made public, not only provides for the

right of compensation in case one party

to the compact enriches itself territorially

in the Balkans, but also forbids either

Austria or Italy to undertake anything

in the Balkans without the consent of

the other."

As the price of her continued neutrality,

Italy demanded the cession of certain

islands in the Adriatic and districts about

Trent and Trieste, these last not only

because they were inhabited mostly by

people of Italian blood but also because

they were needed to round out her strategic

frontiers on the north and northeast. They

also demanded recognition of the Italian

possession of islands in the AEgean seized

during the war with Turkey, the abandonment of Austrian aspirations in Albania,

and recognition of the Italian possession

of Avlona, occupied some months before.

Austria procrastinated, and seems to

have hoped that the influence of Italians

opposed to war, particularly of Signor

Giolitti, would suffice to prevent any

radical step. Meanwhile, the Irredentist

and pro-Ally party grew more and more

urgent in their demands and chafed under

the delay. In the middle of May, affairs

were brought to a crisis by the resignation

of the Salandra ministry, which favored