The Linz Program. From Gustav Kolmer, ed., Parlament und Verfassung in Österreich [Parliament and Constitution in Austria], vol. 3 (Wien: k.u.k. Hof-Buchdruckerei, 1905), pp. 212-214. Translated by Jeremy King & Rachel Coll, 2001. Explanatory remarks and original German phrasing provided in brackets [].

 

In June 1882, Representative Schönerer returned from Breslau [in the German Empire], ..., and set to strengthening the organization of his party on the basis of a program that men of the most diverse political orientations had assembled 2 years previously, for a German People's Party that never came into being. Engelbert Pernerstorfer and Dr. Victor Adler had given the program a socialist content, while Dr. Friedjung, Dr. Pattai, Dr. Sylvester, and Diet Representative Krenmayr had incorporated progressive and German populist [deutschvolkliche] themes. Now Schönerer, with his closest adherents, made the so-called Jewish Plank – aimed at fighting Jewish corruption and maintaining the purity of the Aryan race – an underpinning to the far-reaching national, political, and economic program. The slogan was "Through Purity to Unity." For the constituting of the new party, a meeting of like-minded people was planned in Linz for August 24, 1882. The police forbade the meeting, which was then postponed until September 24, and forbidden again. Representative Schönerer published his program, which received the name of "Linz Program" ... and consisted of 36 points – the essence of which read as follows:

 


I. In the interest of making those crownlands of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy which previously belonged to the German Confederation into a maximally independent and strictly unitary organized whole, the following goals are to be pursued:

1. Personal union with Hungary [i.e., the reduction of Austria's relationship with Hungary to nothing more than a sharing of the same Habsburg ruler];

2. The incorporation of Dalmatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina into Hungary;

3. Either the unification of Galicia and the Bukovina with Hungary or the concession of a special status to those lands, similar to the status of Croatia vis-a-vis Hungary.

II. In the interest of preserving the German character of those crownlands which previously belonged to the German Confederation, a law is demanded that declares German to be the State language. It is to be decreed in particular that:

4. The German language is to be the exclusive language of the military, representative bodies, and public offices, and accordingly that all official internal communication is to be carried out exclusively in German, and no one is to be allowed to hold a State position or any other public office unless he is completely fluent in German;

5. In areas with a linguistically mixed population, at least one elementary school is to use German as the language of instruction, and the German language is to be an obligatory subject in all secondary schools, at the same time that no student may be forced to acquire another language, whether native to the crownland or the district;


6. All State exams, the successful completion of which qualifies candidates for employment by the State or crownland, are to be administered exclusively in German.

III. In the interest of giving the fullest possible consideration to constitutional principles, the following goals are to be pursued:

7. The current system of representation is to be transformed into a genuine popular assembly, through a progressive expansion of the right to vote;

8. Only experienced men true to their principles and possessed of an uncompromising character and proven disinterestedness may be elected to the Parliament;

9. Priests, State officials, and the presidents, members of the board, and directors of railroads or corporations that do business with the State, that are bankrupt, or are being liquidated may not be elected to the Parliament.

IV. The fullest possible implementation of the liberal principles laid down in the Fundamental Laws of the State, and thus

10. Freedom of association and of assembly;

11. Freedom of the press, the abolition of the newspaper stamp tax, security deposit, and legal restrictions, and the lifting of restrictions on the circulation of periodicals;

12. Maintenance and complete implementation of the principles on which our elementary schools are built;

V. Serious efforts at establishing order in the State budget, and thus


13. A final settling of accounts with Hungary with regard to the shared debt and the debt of 80 million to the Austro-Hungarian Bank, as well as a shifting of the costs of occupation onto the occupied territories [i.e. Bosnia and Herzegovina];

14. Regulation of the currency;

15. The achievement of savings through simplification of the judiciary and administration, without endangering the defensive power of the Empire through a reduction of military expenditures, and the formation of a regular budget.

VI. Drastic changes to the current system of taxation, and thus

16. The introduction of a progressive income tax (the setting of a higher tax rate for income on investments, ...);

17. Reform of the inheritance tax, introduction of a luxury tax, taxation of stock market transactions;

18. Reform of indirect taxes, such that the prices of indispensable foodstuffs are affected little or not at all, while luxury items are affected considerably. Revision of the laws concerning administrative fees and stamps, as well as revision of tariffs.

VII. As a precondition for a prospering economy, the following goals are to be pursued:

19. Creation of a common customs area with the German Empire, together with Hungary and the Balkan countries;

20. Introduction of obligatory trade associations and workers' factory associations, and the creation of Chambers of Commerce with separate sections for commerce, the trades, agriculture, forestry, and the interests of the working class;


21. The creation of an Economic Council to which all legislative proposals and decrees having an economic content must be submitted for approval.

VIII. Economic undertakings of importance to all must be taken over by the State or regulated in such fashion that both public and private interests might be protected. Thus

22. Nationalization of the railroads and regulation of transportation tariffs, as well as the creation of appropriate waterways, in particular the Danube-Oder Canal;

23. Nationalization of the insurance industry;

24. Passage of a law on corporations that provides protection against moral and economic threats.

IX. The support of domestic production and honest labor, and thus

25. Reform of trades regulations, ...;

26. Reform of factory legislation (establishment of standard working hours, employer liability for workers' injuries; introduction of factory inspectors);

27. Creation of swift and equitable [billig] justice (introduction of oral and public proceedings, penal colonies for individuals who present a danger to the community).

X. Maintenance of a strong peasantry, and thus

28. Creation of agricultural credit institutions;

29. Effective intervention by the State to prevent further indebtedness and devaluation of farms, especially by providing up to half of the legally assessed value [to the owner] in cases of foreclosure;

30. Reform of rural inheritance rights, and creation of a homestead law.


XI. Protection of the Monarchy against external threats, and thus

31. Fortification of the eastern boundary of the Empire;

32. Maintenance of the defensive capabilities of the Empire;

33. Considerable expansion of the Navy.

XII. The devotion of special attention to foreign affairs.

34. Support for a long-term strengthening of the alliance with Germany through a State treaty;

35. Strong and purposeful policy in the Orient, in particular the defense of Austrian interests along the lower Danube and in the Balkan countries;

36. Strong defense of Austria’s maritime interests, especially in the Mediterranean and in the Mediterranean countries.