Reforged in the Austrian Catholic Resistance to Nazi Imperialism, led by a young member of the a x ctical e Reforged in the Austrian Catholic Resistance to Nazi Imperialism, led by a young member of the a x ctical e Peasant Organisations whose practical of tyranny includes over five years in Dachau, the People's a complete victory, by a small Party of Austria scored majority at the polls last Sunday. Final figures for the election were: People's Party, 85 seats; Socialists, 76 seats; Communists, 4 seats. This gives the People's Party a combined majority of five seats.
The new Government will form a Coalition. Herr Leopold Figl, leader of the People's Party, will become Chancellor, and Dr. Karl Renner, Socialist and Chancellor of the Provisional Government, may become President of the combined meeting of the Upper and Lower Houses in the New Parliament. One seat, it is reported, will go to the Communists.
Sy IN I IGOE
The B.B.C. commentator who observed with the starry-eyed sophistication of the liberally
educated on Sunday that the Austrian
voter " seemed to he more interested in attending Mess than going to the polling booths," was probably right; he was also, possibly, surprised when he heed that Austria had cast a record !umbel
of votes in the most orderly post-war election (including our own) in Europe. The Austrians cast their votes alien saying their prayers. But they cast
them for a party which has stated a clear-cut policy', combining the best in traditional Austrian democratic politics with the virility of the Catholic Resist MICE. THE. PLAN The People's Party has indicated its intention of looking to the plan of Mgr. Seipel in the post-war period of 1918 war: it is led by a peasant leader, Leopold Fig!, who is forty-three years ,if age, who was arrested by the Nazis ill 1938, held for over five years in Dachau, released in 1943. re-arrested in
1944 and charged with treason after the attempt on Hitler's Fife.
Liberalism saved him from condemnation to death by the Nazis, No Austi tan has a stronger record of antiNazism. No party has a wider following or more representative leadership from the working-classes FM's background is in the peasantry. The leaderS of the Socialist Party are for the most part from the bourgeois, university professors. But Austria has had enough sf compering ideologies. The Nazis had six years in which to use the noun. .iy us a test-tube: the impact of the Russians in Vienna will not be forgotten so long as the city stands.
The People's Party economic policy was stated some weeks ago by Herr Julius Rabb, a Minister holding office
in the Provisional Government of Dr. Karl Rennes.
Dr. Rabb declared that the first act of their party would be to follow the example act by Mgr. Seipel after the last war. When he was made Austrian Chancellor, Seipel stabilised Austrian currency, So would the People's Party. The Priest-Chancellor balanced the budget, established the currency On the basis of the schilling, and floated an international loan. setting Austria on the road to economic recovery. A similar situation existed to-day: the collapse of the Nazi Empire had reduced the area in which reichmarks could circulate. They were pouring into Austria creating the " bottomless pit of inflation " which bad faced Seigel.
Seipel's Party proposes to follow the
lead ha gave twenty-five years ago. It will protect wages and private property try stabilising the. Austrian currency on the schilling.
The citizen, said Dr. Rabb, would be protected by the People's Party from private exploitation: but the Party also made a point of protecting private initiative. Democratic principles demanded the democratic right of a proper freedom for those who wished to conduct their own enterprises. Ile agreed that certain services-electricity, the railways, water, etc.should be nationalised. But the whole State . being nationalised might quickly reduce it to " a milch cow for politicians."
Under the prevent circumstances it has been impossible for the People's Party. to outline a Foreign Policy: Austria is still an occupied country and it is doubtful if even Germans are suffering more than this small area Which is maintaining an occupation force of oveg a million soldiers.
But Herr Figl this week in a Stun Carried over to back page