1918.11.04_The London Times, p07 – The Macedonians

1918.11.04_The London Times, p07 - The Macedonians

(from our special correspondent.)
USKUB, Oct. 10 (received yesterday).
Alter an attempt to reach Salonika extending over eight days, during which we got as near as Strumnitza, we have been compelled to return to Veles, or Uskub, where we must await a partial reopening of the injured railway. Heavy rains have converted the deep dust of the roads into still deeper mud, and vehicular traffic of all kinds has been rendered well-nigh impossible.
Judging by what one sees in North Macedonia, the privations of the civilian population throughout Bulgaria must have been quite as intense as was reported and have not yet been relieved. The inhabitants are awaiting with impatience the reopening of the railway to Salonika, in the eager hope that their suffering will then bo mitigated. Bat I fear relief will be very slow in coming, as the railway for a long time must necessarily be used, solely for paramount military purposes. Of the feelings which the Serbian reoccupation of North Macedonia has evoked among the population, my general impression, after conversations with many natives, is that they are distinctly feelings of relief and sober and reasoned satisfaction. Apart from some districts where the people are pure Serbs, the population of this region is neither Serb nor Bulgar, though its language and customs approximate more to those of the former race than those of the latter. It has now known the rule of both nations that claim the right to assimilate it Its short experience of Serbian administration has gained its ap-Sroval, in spite of intense Bulgarian propaganda in iese parts that has been tolerated, and even favoured, for many years by the Turkish Government’ The Bulgars, on the other hand, have not been such fools as to oppress this people as they have oppressed the people of Old Serbia. They have done their best for the past- three years to gain its loyalty. But the people have suffered more privations under Bulgarian rule than they had. ever known before, and they lay the blamo on Bulgaria.
I am convinced that the Macedonians as a whole have no pronounced predilection for either of the contending claimants to their kinship, and of any separate national evolution* they have never dreamt. But that they now incline decidedly and unmistakably to the Serbs must be patent to all unbiased inquirers. All they yearn for now is peace and plenty and good government