Part 3 out of 5
[Footnote 179: The unity of the German state is in no small measure a
matter of artificial Prussianization. Of this Prussianization Treitschke
was the great advocate, though he was himself ultimately of Slavonic
origin, and immediately of Saxon birth.]
[Footnote 180: We are reminded of the famous sentence in _The
Prince_:--_Dove non e giudizio da richiamare si guarda al fine_.]
[Footnote 181: Bernhardi adds: 'The conception of permanent neutrality
is entirely contrary to the essential nature of the state, which can
only attain its highest moral aims in competition with other states.' It
would seem to follow that by violating the neutrality of Belgium Germany
is helping that country to attain its highest moral aims. The suggestion
that Belgium is no longer a neutral Power was not adopted by the German
Government before the war, nor by Dr. von Bethmann-Hollweg in his speech
to the Reichstag on the Belgian question (see _supra_, p. 91).]
[Footnote 182: It was significant that Germany, while offering to
England at the end of July a guarantee of the integrity of the soil of
France, would not offer any guarantee of the integrity of French
colonies (_supra_, p. 82).]
[Footnote 183: Nothing has here been said, though much might be said, of
the distortion of history and ethnology by German nationalism, or
Pan-Germanism. It is well known that the Pan-Germans regard England as
Teutonic, and destined to be gathered into the German fold. In these
last few weeks we have been reproached as a people for being traitors to
our 'Teutonic' blood. Better be traitors to blood than to plain duty;
but as a matter of fact our mixed blood has many other strains than the
Teutonic. On the aims of the Pan-Germanists readers may with profit
consult a book by Paul Vergnet, _La France en danger_ (Oct. 1913).]
[Footnote 184: In fairness to Nietzsche it should be said that in his
later years he revolted against the Prussian military system.]
[Footnote 185: German professors have recently reproached England for
being allied with 'Muscovite barbarism'. Is Russia so barbarous, whose
sovereign convened the first Peace Conference? Have not England and
Russia striven together in peace (as they now strive together in war)
for a great common cause? The German White Book, which seeks to fasten
on Russia the blame of the present war, is oblivious of all that has
happened in these matters since 1898. The reader may with advantage
refer, on this subject, to a pamphlet by Professor Vinogradoff, _Russia:
the Psychology of a Nation_ (Oxford, 1914).]
In conclusion something must be said of the process by which our
understanding with France, still so elastic in 1912 and 1913, became the
solid alliance which now, on sea and land alike, confronts the German
forces. England gave France no positive engagements until the eleventh
hour; it may be argued that England gave them far too late, and that the
war might never have occurred if England had been less obstinately and
judicially pacific. But the English case for the delay is clear. We
hesitated to throw in our lot with France, because France would not
stand neutral while Germany made war on Russia. We shrank from the
incalculable entanglements which seemed to lie before us if we allied
ourselves with a power which was so committed. Why, we were asking
ourselves, should we fight the battles of Russia in the Balkans?
We were perhaps too cautious in suspecting that France might contemplate
this policy. She could not define beforehand the limits which she would
observe in defending Russia's cause. But she knew, as we now know, that
a war with Russia meant, to German statesmen, only a pretext for a new
attack on France, even more deadly in intention than that of 1870.
France could not do without the help of Russia. How then could she
afford to forfeit Russia's friendship by declaring, at Germany's
command, that she would do nothing to help Russia?
This loyalty to the Dual Alliance left France during the last days
before the war in a cruel dilemma. Russia, however well disposed, could
not help her ally in the first weeks of a war; and for France these were
the critical weeks, the weeks upon which her own fate must depend. She
appealed urgently to England for support.
But, even on July 31st, the English Cabinet replied that it could make
no definite engagement. This answer, it is true, had been foreshadowed
in earlier communications. Sir Edward Grey had made it abundantly clear
that there could be no prospect of common action unless France were
exposed to 'an unprovoked attack', and no certainty of such action even
in that case. But France had staked everything upon the justice of her
cause. She had felt that her pacific intentions were clear to all the
world; and that England could not, with any self-respect, refuse
assistance. The French mobilization had been delayed until July 31st, to
convince the British Cabinet of French good faith; and the French fleet
had been left in the Mediterranean to guard the interests of England no
less than those of France. We can imagine how bitter was the
disappointment with which France received the English answer of July
But we were loyal to our obligations as we understood them. If our
answers to France were guarded, our answers to the German overtures of
July 29th and August 1st show that we were fighting the battle of France
with diplomatic weapons. On August 2nd we went still further, by
undertaking to defend the French coasts and shipping, if the German
fleet should come into the Channel or through the North Sea. To justify
our position of reserve from July 31st to August 4th we may quote what
Mr. Asquith said the other day (September 4th):--
'No one who has not been in that position can realize the strength,
the energy, and the persistence with which we laboured for peace. We
persevered by every expedient that diplomacy could suggest,
straining almost to breaking-point our most cherished friendships
Those efforts failed. We know to-day that mediation had never any
prospects of success, because Germany had resolved that it should not
succeed. Ought we to have known this from the first? It is easy to be
wise after the event. But in England we have Cabinet government and we
have Parliamentary government. Before an English minister can act, in a
matter of national importance, no matter how positive his own
convictions may be, he must convince his colleagues, and they must feel
certain of convincing a democracy which is essentially pacific,
cautious, slow to move. Nothing short of the German attack on Belgium
would have convinced the ordinary Englishman that German statesmanship
had degenerated into piracy. That proof was given us on August 4th; and
on that day we sent our ultimatum to Berlin.
To-day all England is convinced; and we are fighting back to back with
the French for their national existence and our own. Our own, because
England's existence depends not only on her sea-power, but upon the
maintenance of European state-law. The military spirit which we have
described above (Chap. VI) tramples upon the rights of nations because
it sees a foe in every equal; because it regards the prosperity of a
neighbour as a national misfortune; because it holds that national
greatness is only to be realized in the act of destroying or absorbing
other nationalities. To those who are not yet visibly assailed, and who
possibly believe themselves secure, we can only give the warning: _Tua
res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet_.
Of the issue England is not afraid. The most unfavourable issue would
find her still convinced that she has taken the only course compatible
with honour and with public law. Military anarchism shall be destroyed
if England, France, and Russia can destroy it. On this object England
and France have staked their last ship and their last soldier. But, it
may be asked, what state-system do we hope to establish, if and when we
are successful in this great crusade?
What England not only desires but needs, and needs imperatively, is,
first, the restitution to Belgium of her former status and whatever else
can be restored of all that she has sacrificed. This is the
indispensable preliminary to any form of settlement. The next essential
is an adequate guarantee to France that she shall never experience such
another invasion as we have seen in August, 1914; without a France which
is prosperous, secure, and independent, European civilization would be
irreparably maimed and stunted. The third essential, as essential as the
other two, is the conservation of those other nations which can only
exist on sufferance so long as _Realpolitik_ is practised with impunity.
To minor nationalities it should be clear that England is their friend,
and cannot choose but stand their friend. Three times in her history she
has made war upon a would-be despot of the Continent, treating the
'Balance of Power' as a principle for which no sacrifice could be too
great. In these struggles she assisted the small Powers, less from
altruism than because their interest was her own. She supported Holland
against Philip II of Spain and against Louis XIV; against Napoleon she
supported not Holland only, but also Portugal and, to the best of her
power, Switzerland and Piedmont.
We do not argue--it would be absurd to argue--that England has always
been free from reproach in her dealings with the smaller states. Holland
may well remember the naval conflicts of the seventeenth century and the
English Navigation Laws. But Holland should also remember that, in the
seventeenth century, England was not yet a great Power; Holland and
England fought as rivals and on equal terms, in a feud which subsequent
alliances have healed, over a policy which England has long since
renounced as mischievous and futile. On Denmark we inflicted a great
wrong in 1807; it can only be extenuated by the fact, which Denmark
knows now though she did not know it then, that Napoleon had conspired
with Russia to seize the Danish fleet and use it against England.
Denmark, indeed, has better cause to complain that we gave her no
assistance in 1864. That mistake--for it was a mistake of weakness, not
deliberate treachery--has brought its own nemesis. We are still paying
for that particular mistake, and we are not likely to forget the lesson.
The case of Schleswig-Holstein shows how the losses of such a state as
Denmark may react on such a state as England.
England cannot afford that her weaker neighbours should become less
prosperous or less independent than they are. So far as the long arm of
naval power reaches, England is bound to give them whatever help she
can. From motives of self-preservation, if on no other ground, she could
not tolerate their subordination to such a power as Germany aspires to
found. Her quarrel is not with the German people, but with the political
system for which the German Empire, in its present temper, stands. That
system England is bound to resist, no matter by what power it is
English sympathies and English traditions are here at one with English
interests. England is proud to recollect how she befriended struggling
nationalities in the nineteenth century. She did not support Greece and
Italy for the sake of any help that they could give her. The goodwill of
England to Holland, to Switzerland, to the Scandinavian states, is
largely based upon their achievements in science and art and literature.
They have proved that they can serve the higher interests of humanity.
They have contributed to the growth of that common civilization which
links together the small powers and the great with bonds more sacred and
more durable than those of race, of government, of material interest. In
this fraternity each nation has a duty to the rest. If we have harped on
England's interest, it must not for a moment be supposed that we have
forgotten England's duty. But England stands to-day in this fortunate
position, that her duty and her interest combine to impel her in the
WAR WITH RUSSIA
How Russia and her Ruler betrayed Germany's confidence and thereby made
the European War.
WITH THE ORIGINAL TELEGRAMS
Druck und Verlag: Liebheit & Thiesen, Berlin.
Berlin, August 1914.
On June 28th the Austro-Hungarian successor to the throne, Arch-Duke
Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenberg, were
assassinated by a member of a band of servian conspirators. The
investigation of the crime through the Austro-Hungarian authorities has
yielded the fact that the conspiracy against the life of the Arch-Duke
and successor to the throne was prepared and abetted in Belgrade with
the cooperation of Servian officials, and executed with arms from the
Servian State arsenal. This crime must have opened the eyes of the
entire civilized world, not only in regard to the aims of the Servian
policies directed against the conservation and integrity of the
Austro-Hungarian monarchy, but also concerning the criminal means which
the pan-Serb propaganda in Servia had no hesitation in employing for the
achievement of these aims.
The goal of these policies was the gradual revolutionizing and final
separation of the south-easterly districts from the Austro-Hungarian
monarchy and their union with Servia. This direction of Servias policy
has not been altered in the least in spite of the repeated and solemn
declarations of Servia in which it vouchsafed a change in these policies
toward Austria-Hungary as well as the cultivation of good and neighborly
In this manner for the third time in the course of the last 6 years
Servia has led Europe to the brink of a world-war.
It could only do this because it believed itself supported in its
intentions by Russia.
Russia soon after the events brought about by the Turkish revolution of
1908, endeavored to found a union of the Balcan states under Russian
patronage and directed against the existence of Turkey. This union which
succeeded in 1911 in driving out Turkey from a greater part of her
European possessions, collapsed over the question of the distribution of
spoils. The Russian policies were not dismayed over this failure.
According to the idea of the Russian statesmen a new Balcan union under
Russian patronage should be called into existence, headed no longer
against Turkey, now dislodged from the Balcan, but against the existence
of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It was the idea that Servia should
cede to Bulgaria those parts of Macedonia which it had received during
the last Balcan war, in exchange for Bosnia and the Herzegovina which
were to be taken from Austria. To oblige Bulgaria to fall in with this
plan it was to be isolated, Roumania attached to Russia with the aid of
French propaganda, and Servia promised Bosnia and the Herzegovina.
Under these circumstances it was clear to Austria that it was not
compatible with the dignity and the spirit of self-preservation of the
monarchy to view idly any longer this agitation across the border. The
Imperial and Royal Government appraised Germany of this conception and
asked for our opinion. With all our heart we were able to agree with our
allys estimate of the situation, and assure him that any action
considered necessary to end the movement in Servia directed against the
conservation of the monarchy would meet with our approval.
We were perfectly aware that a possible warlike attitude of
Austria-Hungary against Servia might bring Russia upon the field, and
that it might therefore involve us in a war, in accordance with our duty
as allies. We could not, however, in these vital interests of
Austria-Hungary, which were at stake, advise our ally to take a yielding
attitude not compatible with his dignity, nor deny him our assistance in
these trying days. We could do this all the less as our own interests
were menaced through the continued Serb agitation. If the Serbs
continued with the aid of Russia and France to menace the existence of
Austria-Hungary, the gradual collapse of Austria and the subjection of
all the Slavs under one Russian sceptre would be the consequence, thus
making untenable the position of the Teutonic race in Central Europe. A
morally weakened Austria under the pressure of Russian pan-slavism would
be no longer an ally on whom we could count and in whom we could have
confidence, as we must be able to have, in view of the ever more
menacing attitude of our easterly and westerly neighbors. We, therefore,
permitted Austria a completely free hand in her action towards Servia
but have not participated in her preparations.
Austria chose the method of presenting to the Servian Government a note,
in which the direct connection between the murder at Sarajevo and the
pan-Serb movement, as not only countenanced but actively supported by
the Servian Government, was explained, and in which a complete cessation
of this agitation, as well as a punishment of the guilty, was requested.
At the same time Austria-Hungary demanded as necessary guarantee for the
accomplishment of her desire the participation of some Austrian
officials in the preliminary examination on Servian territory and the
final dissolution of the pan-Serb societies agitating against
Austria-Hungary. The Imperial and Royal Government gave a period of 48
hours for the unconditional acceptance of its demands.
The Servian Government started the mobilization of its army one day
after the transmission of the Austro-Hungarian note.
As after the stipulated date the Servian Government rendered a reply
which, though complying in some points with the conditions of
Austria-Hungary, yet showed in all essentials the endeavor through
procrastination and new negotiations to escape from the just demands of
the monarchy, the latter discontinued her diplomatic relations with
Servia without indulging in further negotiations or accepting further
Servian assurances, whose value, to its loss, she had sufficiently
From this moment Austria was in fact in a state of war with Servia,
which it proclaimed officially on the 28th of July by declaring war.
[Sidenote: see exhibits 1 & 2.]
From the beginning of the conflict we assumed the position that there
were here concerned the affairs of Austria alone, which it would have to
settle with Servia. We therefore directed our efforts toward the
localizing of the war, and toward convincing the other powers that
Austria-Hungary had to appeal to arms in justifiable self-defence,
forced upon her by the conditions. We emphatically took the position
that no civilized country possessed the right to stay the arm of Austria
in this struggle with barbarism and political crime, and to shield the
Servians against their just punishment. In this sense we instructed our
representatives with the foreign powers.
[Sidenote: see exhibit 3.]
Simultaneously the Austro-Hungarian Government communicated to the
Russian Government that the step undertaken against Servia implied
merely a defensive measure against the Serb agitation, but that
Austria-Hungary must of necessity demand guarantees for a continued
friendly behavior of Servia towards the monarchy. Austria-Hungary had no
intention whatsoever to shift the balance of power in the Balcan.
In answer to our declaration that the German Government desired, and
aimed at, a localization of the conflict, both the French and the
English Governments promised an action in the same direction. But these
endeavors did not succeed in preventing the interposition of Russia in
the Austro-Servian disagreement.
[Sidenote: see exhibits 4 & 5.]
The Russian Government submitted an official communique on July 24th,
according to which Russia could not possibly remain indifferent in the
Servio-Austrian conflict. The same was declared by the Russian Secretary
of Foreign Affairs, M. Sasonow, to the German Ambassador, Count
Pourtales, in the afternoon of July 26th. The German Government declared
again, through its Ambassador at St. Petersburg, that Austria-Hungary
had no desire for conquest and only wished peace at her frontiers. After
the official explanation by Austria-Hungary to Russia that it did not
claim territorial gain in Servia, the decision concerning the peace of
the world rested exclusively with St. Petersburg.
[Sidenote: see exhibits 6, 7, 8, 9.]
The same day the first news of Russian mobilization reached Berlin in
[Sidenote: see exhibits 10, 10a, 10b.]
The German Ambassadors at London, Paris, and St. Petersburg were
instructed to energetically point out the danger of this Russian
mobilization. The Imperial Ambassador at St. Petersburg was also
directed to make the following declaration to the Russian Government:
"Preparatory military measures by Russia will force us to
counter-measures which must consist in mobilizing the army.
"But mobilization means war.
"As we know the obligations of France towards Russia, this
mobilization would be directed against both Russia and France. We
cannot assume that Russia desires to unchain such a European war.
Since Austria-Hungary will not touch the existence of the Servian
kingdom, we are of the opinion that Russia can afford to assume an
attitude of waiting. We can all the more support the desire of
Russia to protect the integrity of Servia as Austria-Hungary does
not intend to question the latter. It will be easy in the further
development of the affair to find a basis for an understanding."
[Sidenote: see exhibit 11.]
On July 27th the Russian Secretary of War, M. Ssuchomlinow, gave the
German military attache his word of honor that no order to mobilize had
been issued, merely preparations were being made, but not a horse
mustered, nor reserves called in. If Austria-Hungary crossed the Servian
frontier, the military districts directed towards Austria, i.e. Kiev,
Odessa, Moscow, Kazan, would be mobilized, under no circumstances those
situated on the German frontier, i.e. St. Petersburg, Vilna, and Warsaw.
Upon inquiry into the object of the mobilization against
Austria-Hungary, the Russian Minister of War replied by shrugging his
shoulders and referring to the diplomats. The military attache then
pointed to these mobilization measures against Austria-Hungary as
extremely menacing also for Germany.
In the succeeding days news concerning Russian mobilization came at a
rapid rate. Among it was also news about preparations on the
German-Russian frontier, as for instance the announcement of the state
of war in Kovno, the departure of the Warsaw garrison, and the
strengthening of the Alexandrovo garrison.
On July 27th, the first information was received concerning preparatory
measures taken by France: the 14th Corps discontinued the manoeuvres and
returned to its garrison.
In the meantime we had endeavored to localize the conflict by most
[Sidenote: see exhibit 12.]
On July 26th, Sir Edward Grey had made the proposal to submit the
differences between Austria-Hungary and Servia to a conference of the
Ambassadors of Germany, France, and Italy under his chairmanship. We
declared in regard to this proposal that we could not, however much we
approved the idea, participate in such a conference, as we could not
call Austria in her dispute with Servia before a European tribunal.
France consented to the proposal of Sir Edward Grey, but it foundered
upon Austria's declining it, as was to be expected.
[Sidenote: see exhibit 13.]
Faithful to our principle that mediation should not extend to the
Austro-Servian conflict, which is to be considered as a purely
Austro-Hungarian affair, but merely to the relations between
Austria-Hungary and Russia, we continued our endeavors to bring about an
understanding between these two powers.
[Sidenote: see exhibits 15 & 16.]
We further declared ourselves ready, after failure of the conference
idea, to transmit a second proposal of Sir Edward Grey's to Vienna in
which he suggested Austria-Hungary should decide that either the Servian
reply was sufficient, or that it be used as a basis for further
negotiations. The Austro-Hungarian Government remarked with full
appreciation of our action that it had come too late, the hostilities
having already been opened.
In spite of this we continued our attempts to the utmost, and we advised
Vienna to show every possible advance compatible with the dignity of the
Unfortunately, all these proposals were overtaken by the military
preparations of Russia and France.
[Sidenote: see exhibit 17.]
On July 29th, the Russian Government made the official notification in
Berlin that four army districts had been mobilized. At the same time
further news was received concerning rapidly progressing military
preparations of France, both on water and on land.
On the same day the Imperial Ambassador in St. Petersburg had an
interview with the Russian Foreign Secretary, in regard to which he
reported by telegraph, as follows:
"The Secretary tried to persuade me that I should urge my Government
to participate in a quadruple conference to find means to induce
Austria-Hungary to give up those demands which touch upon the
sovereignty of Servia. I could merely promise to report the
conversation and took the position that, after Russia had decided
upon the baneful step of mobilization, every exchange of ideas
appeared now extremely difficult, if not impossible. Besides, Russia
now was demanding from us in regard to Austria-Hungary the same
which Austria-Hungary was being blamed for with regard to Servia,
i.e. an infraction of sovereignty. Austria-Hungary having promised
to consider the Russian interests by disclaiming any territorial
aspiration,--a great concession on the part of a state engaged in
war--should therefore be permitted to attend to its affair with
Servia alone. There would be time at the peace conference to return
to the matter of forbearance towards the sovereignty of Servia.
"I added very solemnly that at this moment the entire Austro-Servian
affair was eclipsed by the danger of a general European
conflagration, and I endeavored to present to the Secretary the
magnitude of this danger.
"It was impossible to dissuade Sasonow from the idea that Servia
could not now be deserted by Russia".
On July 29th, the German Military Attache at St. Petersburg wired the
following report on a conversation with the Chief of the General Staff
of the Russian army:
"The Chief of the General Staff has asked me to call on him, and he
has told me that he has just come from His Majesty. He has been
requested by the Secretary of War to reiterate once more that
everything had remained as the Secretary had informed me two days
ago. He offered confirmation in writing and gave me his word of
honor in the most solemn manner that nowhere there had been a
mobilization, viz. calling in of a single man or horse up to the
present time, i.e. 3 o'clock in the afternoon. He could not assume a
guaranty for the future, but he could emphasize that in the fronts
directed towards our frontiers His Majesty desired no mobilization.
"As, however, I had received here many pieces of news concerning the
calling in of the reserves in different parts of the country also in
Warsaw and in Vilna, I told the general that his statements placed
me before a riddle. On his officers word of honor he replied that
such news was wrong, but that possibly here and there a false alarm
might have been given.
"I must consider this conversation as an attempt to mislead us as to
the extent of the measures hitherto taken in view of the abundant
and positive information about the calling in of reserves."
In reply to various inquiries concerning reasons for its threatening
attitude, the Russian Government repeatedly pointed out that
Austria-Hungary had commenced no conversation in St. Petersburg. The
Austro-Hungarian Ambassador in St. Petersburg was therefore instructed
on July 29th, at our suggestion, to enter into such conversation with
Sasonow. Count Szapary was empowered to explain to the Russian minister
the note to Servia though it had been overtaken by the state of war, and
to accept any suggestion on the part of Russia as well as to discuss
with Sasonow all questions touching directly upon the Austro-Russian
[Sidenote: see exhibit 19.]
Shoulder to shoulder with England we labored incessantly and supported
every proposal in Vienna from which we hoped to gain the possibility of
a peaceable solution of the conflict. We even as late as the 30th of
July forwarded the English proposal to Vienna, as basis for
negotiations, that Austria-Hungary should dictate her conditions in
Servia, i.e. after her march into Servia. We thought that Russia would
accept this basis.
During the interval from July 29th to July 31st there appeared renewed
and cumulative news concerning Russian measures of mobilization.
Accumulation of troops on the East Prussian frontier and the declaration
of the state of war over all important parts of the Russian west
frontier allowed no further doubt that the Russian mobilization was in
full swing against us, while simultaneously all such measures were
denied to our representative in St. Petersburg on word of honor.
Nay, even before the reply from Vienna regarding the Anglo-German
mediation whose tendencies and basis must have been known in St.
Petersburg, could possibly have been received in Berlin, Russia ordered
a general mobilization.
[Sidenote: see exhibits 18, 20, 21, 22, 23.]
During the same days, there took place between His Majesty the Kaiser,
and Czar Nicolas an exchange of telegrams in which His Majesty called
the attention of the Czar to the menacing character of the Russian
mobilization during the continuance of his own mediating activities.
On July 31st, the Czar directed the following telegram to His Majesty
"I thank You cordially for Your mediation which permits the hope
that everything may yet end peaceably. It is technically impossible
to discontinue our military preparations which have been made
necessary by the Austrian mobilization. It is far from us to want
war. As long as the negotiations between Austria and Servia
continue, my troops will undertake no provocative action. I give You
my solemn word thereon. I confide with all my faith in the grace of
God, and I hope for the success of Your mediation in Vienna for the
welfare of our countries and the peace of Europe.
"Your cordially devoted
This telegram of the Czar crossed with the following, sent by H.M. the
Kaiser, also on July 31st, at 2 p.m.:
"Upon Your appeal to my friendship and Your request for my aid I
have engaged in mediation between Your Government and the Government
of Austria-Hungary. While this action was taking place, Your troops
were being mobilized against my ally Austria-Hungary, whereby, as I
have already communicated to You, my mediation has become almost
illusory. In spite of this, I have continued it, and now I receive
reliable news that serious preparations for war are going on on my
eastern frontier. The responsibility for the security of my country
forces me to measures of defence. I have gone to the extreme limit
of the possible in my efforts for the preservation of the peace of
the world. It is not I who bear the responsibility for the
misfortune which now threatens the entire civilized world. It rests
in Your hand to avert it. No one threatens the honor and peace of
Russia which might well have awaited the success of my mediation.
The friendship for You and Your country, bequeathed to me by my
grand-father on his deathbed, has always been sacred to me, and I
have stood faithfully by Russia while it was in serious affliction,
especially during its last war. The peace of Europe can still be
preserved by You if Russia decides to discontinue those military
preparations which menace Germany and Austria-Hungary."
Before this telegram reached its destination, the mobilization of all
the Russian forces, obviously directed against us and already ordered
during the afternoon of the 31st of July, was in full swing.
Notwithstanding, the telegram of the Czar was sent at 2 o'clock that
[Sidenote: see exhibit 24.]
After the Russian general mobilization became known in Berlin, the
Imperial Ambassador at St. Petersburg was instructed on the afternoon of
July 31st to explain to the Russian Government that Germany declared the
state of war as counter-measure against the general mobilization of the
Russian army and navy which must be followed by mobilization if Russia
did not cease its military measures against Germany and Austria-Hungary
within 12 hours, and notified Germany thereof.
[Sidenote: see exhibit 25.]
At the same time the Imperial Ambassador in Paris was instructed to
demand from the French Government a declaration within 18 hours, whether
it would remain neutral in a Russo-German war.
The Russian Government destroyed through its mobilization, menacing the
security of our country, the laborious action at mediation of the
European cabinets. The Russian mobilization in regard to the seriousness
of which the Russian Government was never allowed by us to entertain a
doubt, in connection with its continued denial, shows clearly that
Russia wanted war.
The Imperial Ambassador at St. Petersburg delivered his note to M.
Sasonow on July 31st at 12 o'clock midnight.
The reply of the Russian Government has never reached us.
Two hours after the expiration of the time limit the Czar telegraphed to
H.M. the Kaiser, as follows:
"I have received Your telegram. I comprehend that You are forced to
mobilize, but I should like to have from You the same guaranty which
I have given You, viz., that these measures do not mean war, and
that we shall continue to negotiate for the welfare of our two
countries and the universal peace which is so dear to our hearts.
With the aid of God it must be possible to our long tried friendship
to prevent the shedding of blood. I expect with full confidence Your
To this H.M. the Kaiser replied:
"I thank You for Your telegram. I have shown yesterday to Your
Government the way through which alone war may yet be averted.
Although I asked for a reply by to-day noon, no telegram from my
Ambassador has reached me with the reply of Your Government. I
therefore have been forced to mobilize my army. An immediate, clear
and unmistakable reply of Your Government is the sole way to avoid
endless misery. Until I receive this reply I am unable, to my great
grief, to enter upon the subject of Your telegram. I must ask most
earnestly that You, without delay, order Your troops to commit,
under no circumstances, the slightest violation of our frontiers."
As the time limit given to Russia had expired without the receipt of a
reply to our inquiry, H.M. the Kaiser ordered the mobilization of the
entire German Army and Navy on August 1st at 5 p.m.
[Sidenote: see exhibit 25.]
The German Ambassador at St. Petersburg was instructed that, in the
event of the Russian Government not giving a satisfactory reply within
the stipulated time, he should declare that we considered ourselves in a
state of war after the refusal of our demands. However, before a
confirmation of the execution of this order had been received, that is
to say, already in the afternoon of August 1st, i.e., the same afternoon
on which the telegram of the Czar, cited above, was sent, Russian troops
crossed our frontier and marched into German territory.
Thus Russia began the war against us.
Meanwhile the Imperial Ambassador in Paris put our question to the
French Cabinet on July 31st at 7 p.m.
[Sidenote: see exhibit 27.]
The French Prime Minister gave an equivocal and unsatisfactory reply on
August 1st at 1. p.m. which gave no clear idea of the position of
France, as he limited himself to the explanation that France would do
that which her interests demanded. A few hours later, at 5 p.m., the
mobilization of the entire French army and navy was ordered.
On the morning of the next day France opened hostilities.
THE ORIGINAL TELEGRAMS AND NOTES.
THE NOTE OF AUSTRIA-HUNGARY TO SERVIA.
Presented July 23rd in Belgrade.
"On March 31st, 1909, the Royal Servian Minister to the Court of Vienna
made the following statement, by order of his Government:
"Servia declares that she is not affected in her rights by the situation
established in Bosnia, and that she will therefore adapt herself to the
decisions which the powers are going to arrive at in reference to Art.
25 of the Berlin Treaty. By following the councils of the powers, Servia
binds herself to cease the attitude of protest and resistence which she
has assumed since last October, relative to the annexation, and she
binds herself further to change the direction of her present policies
towards Austria-Hungary, and, in the future, to live with the latter in
friendly and neighborly relations.
"The history of the last years, and especially the painful events of
June 28th, have demonstrated the existence of a subversive movement in
Servia whose aim it is to separate certain territories from the
Austro-Hungarian monarchy. This movement, which developed under the eyes
of the Servian Government, has found expression subsequently beyond the
territory of the kingdom, in acts of terrorism, a series of
assassinations and murders.
"Far from fulfilling the formal obligations contained in the declaration
of March 31st, 1909, the Royal Servian Government has done nothing to
suppress this movement. She suffered the criminal doings of the various
societies and associations directed against the monarchy, the unbridled
language of the press, the glorification of the originators of
assassinations, the participation of officers and officials in
subversive intrigues; she suffered the unwholesome propaganda in public
education, and lastly permitted all manifestations which would mislead
the Servian people into hatred of the monarchy and into contempt for its
"This sufferance of which the Royal Servian Government made itself
guilty, has lasted up to the moment in which the events of June 28th
demonstrated to the entire world the ghastly consequences of such
"_It becomes plain from the evidence and confessions of the criminal
authors of the outrage of June 28th, that the murder at Sarajevo was
conceived in Belgrade, that the murderers received the arms and bombs
with which they were equipped, from Servian officers and officials who
belonged to the Narodna Odbrana, and that, lastly, the transportation of
the criminals and their arms to Bosnia was arranged and carried out by
leading Servian frontier officials._
"The cited results of the investigation do not permit the Imperial and
Royal Government to observe any longer the attitude of waiting, which it
has assumed for years towards those agitations which have their centre
in Belgrade, and which from there radiate into the territory of the
monarchy. These results, on the contrary, impose upon the Imperial and
Royal Government the duty to terminate intrigues which constitute a
permanent menace for the peace of the monarchy.
"In order to obtain this purpose, the Imperial and Royal Government is
forced to demand official assurance from the Servian Government that it
condemns the propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary, i.e. the
entirety of the machinations whose aim it is to separate parts from the
monarchy which belong to it, and that she binds herself to suppress with
all means this criminal and terrorizing propaganda.
"In order to give to these obligations a solemn character, the Royal
Servian Government will publish on the first page of its official organ
of July 26th, 1914, the following declaration:
"The Royal Servian Government condemns the propaganda directed against
Austria-Hungary, i.e. the entirety of those machinations whose aim it is
to separate from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy territories belonging
thereto, and she regrets sincerely the ghastly consequences of these
"The Royal Servian Government regrets that Servian officers and
officials have participated in the propaganda, cited above, and have
thus threatened the friendly and neighborly relations which the Royal
Government was solemnly bound to cultivate by its declaration of March
"The Royal Government which disapproves and rejects every thought or
every attempt at influencing the destinations of the inhabitants of any
part of Austria-Hungary, considers it its duty to call most emphatically
to the attention of its officers and officials, and of the entire
population of the kingdom, that it will hence-forward proceed with the
utmost severity against any persons guilty of similar actions, to
prevent and suppress which it will make every effort."
"This explanation is to be brought simultaneously to the cognizance of
the Royal Army through an order of H.M. the King, and it is to be
published in the official organ of the Army.
"The Royal Servian Government binds itself, in addition, as follows:
"1. to suppress any publication which fosters hatred of, and contempt
for, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and whose general tendency is
directed against the latters territorial integrity;
"2. to proceed at once with the dissolution of the society Narodna
Odbrana, to confiscate their entire means of propaganda, and to proceed
in the same manner against the other societies and associations in
Servia which occupy themselves with the propaganda against
Austria-Hungary. The Royal Government will take the necessary measures,
so that the dissolved societies may not continue their activities under
another name or in another form;
"3. without delay to eliminate from the public instruction in Servia, so
far as the corps of instructors, as well as the means of instruction are
concerned, that which serves, or may serve, to foster the propaganda
"4. to remove from military service and the administration in general all
officers and officials who are guilty of propaganda against
Austria-Hungary, and whose names, with a communication of the material
which the Imperial and Royal Government possesses against them, the
Imperial and Royal Government reserves the right to communicate to the
"5. to consent that in Servia officials of the Imperial and Royal
Government co-operate in the suppression of a movement directed against
the territorial integrity of the monarchy;
"6. to commence a judicial investigation against the participants of the
conspiracy of June 28th, who are on Servian territory. Officials,
delegated by the Imperial and Royal Government will participate in the
"7. to proceed at once with all severity to arrest Major Voja Tankosic
and a certain Milan Ciganowic, Servian State officials, who have been
compromised through the result of the investigation;
"8. to prevent through effective measures the participation of the
Servian authorities in the smuggling of arms and explosives across the
frontier and to dismiss those officials of Shabatz and Loznica, who
assisted the originators of the crime of Sarajevo in crossing the
"9. to give to the Imperial and Royal Government explanations in regard
to the unjustifiable remarks of high Servian functionaries in Servia and
abroad who have not hesitated, in spite of their official position, to
express themselves in interviews in a hostile manner against
Austria-Hungary after the outrage of June 28th;
"10. The Imperial and Royal Government expects a reply from the Royal
Government at the latest until Saturday 25th inst., at 6 p.m. A memoir
concerning the results of the investigations at Sarajevo, so far as they
concern points 7. and 8. is enclosed with this note."
The investigation carried on against Gabrilo Princip and accomplices in
the Court of Sarajevo, on account of the assassination on June 28th has,
so far, yielded the following results:
1. The plan to murder Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand during his stay in
Sarajevo was conceived in Belgrade by Gabrilo Princip, Nedeljko,
Gabrinowic, and a certain Milan Ciganowic and Trifko Grabez, with the
aid of Major Voja Tankosic.
2. The six bombs and four Browning pistols which were used by the
criminals, were obtained by Milan Ciganowic and Major Tankosic, and
presented to Princip Gabrinowic in Belgrade.
3. The bombs are hand grenades, manufactured at the arsenal of the
Servian Army in Kragujevac.
4. To insure the success of the assassination, Milan Ciganowic
instructed Princip Gabrinowic in the use of the grenades and gave
instructions in shooting with Browning pistols to Princip Grabez in a
forest near the target practice field of Topshider--(outside Belgrade).
5. In order to enable the crossing of the frontier of Bosnia and
Herzegovina by Princip Gabrinowic and Grabez, and the smuggling of their
arms, a secret system of transportation was organized by Ciganowic. The
entry of the criminals with their arms into Bosnia and Herzegovina was
effected by the frontier captains of Shabatz (Rade Popowic) and of
Loznica, as well as by the custom house official Rudivoy Grbic of
Loznica with the aid of several other persons.
THE SERVIAN ANSWER.
Presented at Vienna, July 25th, 1914.
(With Austria's commentaries in italics.)
The Royal Government has received the communication of the Imperial and
Royal Government of the 23rd inst. and is convinced that its reply will
dissipate any misunderstanding which threatens to destroy the friendly
and neighborly relations between the Austrian monarchy and the kingdom
The Royal Government is conscious that nowhere there have been renewed
protests against the great neighborly monarchy like those which at one
time were expressed in the Skuptschina, as well as in the declaration
and actions of the responsible representatives of the state at that
time, and which were terminated by the Servian declaration of March 31st
1909; furthermore that since that time neither the different
corporations of the kingdom, nor the officials have made an attempt to
alter the political and judicial condition created in Bosnia and the
Herzegovina. The Royal Government states that the I. and R. Government
has made no protestation in this sense excepting in the case of a text
book, in regard to which the I. and R. Government has received an
entirely satisfactory explanation. Servia has given during the time of
the Balcan crisis in numerous cases evidence of her pacific and moderate
policy, and it is only owing to Servia and the sacrifices which she has
brought in the interest of the peace of Europe that this peace has been
_The Royal Servian Government limits itself to establishing that since
the declaration of March 31st 1909, there has been no attempt on the
part of the Servian Government to alter the position of Bosnia and the
_With this she deliberately shifts the foundation of our note, as we
have not insisted that she and her officials have undertaken anything
official in this direction. Our gravamen is that in spite of the
obligation assumed in the cited note, she has omitted to suppress the
movement directed against the territorial integrity of the monarchy._
_Her obligation consisted in changing her attitude and the entire
direction of her policies, and in entering into friendly and neighborly
relations with the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and not only not to
interfere with the possession of Bosnia._
The Royal Government cannot be made responsible for expressions of a
private character, as for instance newspaper articles and the peaceable
work of societies, expressions which are of very common appearance in
other countries, and which ordinarily are not under the control of the
state. This, all the less, as the Royal Government has shown great
courtesy in the solution of a whole series of questions which have
arisen between Servia and Austria-Hungary, whereby it has succeeded to
solve the greater number thereof, in favor of the progress of both
_The assertion of the Royal Servian Government that the expressions of
the press and the activity of Servian associations possess a private
character and thus escape governmental control, stands in full contrast
with the institutions of modern states and even the most liberal of
press and society laws, which nearly everywhere subject the press and
the societies to a certain control of the state. This is also provided
for by the Servian institutions. The rebuke against the Servian
Government consists in the fact that it has totally omitted to supervise
its press and its societies, in so far as it knew their direction to be
hostile to the monarchy._
The Royal Government was therefore painfully surprised by the assertions
that citizens of Servia had participated in the preparations of the
outrage in Sarajevo. The Government expected to be invited to cooperate
in the investigation of the crime, and it was ready in order to prove
its complete correctness, to proceed against all persons in regard to
whom it would receive information.
_This assertion is incorrect. The Servian Government was accurately
informed about the suspicion resting upon quite definite personalities
and not only in the position, but also obliged by its own laws to
institute investigations spontaneously. The Servian Government has done
nothing in this direction._
According to the wishes of the I. and R. Government, the Royal
Government is prepared to surrender to the court, without regard to
position and rank, every Servian citizen, for whose participation in the
crime of Sarajevo it should have received proof. It binds itself
particularly on the first page of the official organ of the 26th of July
to publish the following enunciation:
"The Royal Servian Government condemns every propaganda which should be
directed against Austria-Hungary, i. e. the entirety of such activities
as aim towards the separation of certain territories from the
Austro-Hungarian monarchy, and it regrets sincerely the lamentable
consequences of these criminal machinations."
_The Austrian demand reads_:
"_The Royal Servian Government condemns the propaganda against
_The alteration of the declaration as demanded by us, which has been
made by the Royal Servian Government, is meant to imply that a
propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary does not exist, and that it
is not aware of such. This formula is insincere, and the Servian
Government reserves itself the supterfuge for later occasions that it
had not disavowed by this declaration the existing propaganda, nor
recognized the same as hostile to the monarchy, whence it could deduce
further that it is not obliged to suppress in the future a propaganda
similar to the present one_.
The Royal Government regrets that according to a communication of the I.
and R. Government certain Servian officers and functionaries have
participated in the propaganda just referred to, and that these have
therefore endangered the amicable relations for the observation of which
the Royal Government had solemnly obliged itself through the declaration
of March 31st, 1909.
The Government ... identical with the demanded text.
_The formula as demanded by Austria reads_:
"_The Royal Government regrets that Servian officers and functionaries
... have participated_...."
_Also with this formula and the further addition "according to the
declaration of the I. and R. Government", the Servian Government pursues
the object, already indicated above, to preserve a free hand for the
The Royal Government binds itself further:
1. During the next regular meeting of the Skuptschina to embody in the
press laws a clause, to wit, that the incitement to hatred of, and
contempt for, the monarchy is to be must severely punished, as well as
every publication whose general tendency is directed against the
territorial integrity of Austria-Hungary.
It binds itself in view of the coming revision of the constitution to
embody an amendment into Art. 22 of the constitutional law which permits
the confiscation of such publications as is at present impossible
according to the clear definition of Art. 22 of the constitution.
_Austria had demanded_:
_1. To suppress every publication which incites to hatred and contempt
for the monarchy, and whose tendency is directed against the territorial
integrity of the monarchy._
_We wanted to bring about the obligation for Servia to take care that
such attacks of the press would cease in the future._
_Instead Servia offers to pass certain laws which are meant as means
towards this end, viz.:_
_a) A law according to which the expressions of the press hostile to the
monarchy can be individually punished, a matter, which is immaterial to
us, all the more so, as the individual prosecution of press intrigues is
very rarely possible and as, with a lax enforcement of such laws, the
few cases of this nature would not be punished. The proposition,
therefore, does not meet our demand in any way, and it offers not the
least guarantee for the desired success._
_b) An amendment to Art. 22 of the constitution, which would permit
confiscation, a proposal, which does not satisfy us, as the existence of
such a law in Servia is of no use to us. For we want the obligation of
the Government to enforce it and that has not been promised us._
_These proposals are therefore entirely unsatisfactory and evasive as we
are not told within what time these laws will be passed, and as in the
event of the notpassing of these laws by the Skuptschina everything
would remain as it is, excepting the event of a possible resignation of
2. The Government possesses no proofs and the note of the I. and R.
Government does not submit them that the society Narodna Odbrana and
other similar societies have committed, up to the present, any criminal
actions of this manner through anyone of their members. Notwithstanding
this, the Royal Government will accept the demand of the I. and R.
Government and dissolve the society Narodna Odbrana, as well as every
society which should act against Austria-Hungary.
_The propaganda of the Narodna Odbrana and affiliated societies hostile
to the monarchy fills the entire public life of Servia; it is therefore
an entirely inacceptable reserve if the Servian Government asserts that
it knows nothing about it. Aside from this, our demand is not completely
fulfilled, as we have asked besides:_
"_To confiscate the means of propaganda of these societies to prevent
the reformation of the dissolved societies under another name and in
_In these two directions the Belgrade Cabinet is perfectly silent, so
that through this semi-concession there is offered us no guarantee for
putting an end to the agitation of the associations hostile to the
Monarchy, especially the Narodna Odbrana._
3. The Royal Servian Government binds itself without delay to eliminate
from the public instruction in Servia anything which might further the
propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary provided the I. and R.
Government furnishes actual proofs.
_Also in this case the Servian Government first demands proofs for a
propaganda hostile to the Monarchy in the public instruction of Servia
while it must know that the text books introduced in the Servian schools
contain objectionable matter in this direction and that a large portion
of the teachers are in the camp of the Narodna Odbrana and affiliated
_Furthermore, the Servian Government has not fulfilled a part of our
demands, as we have requested, as it omitted in its text the addition
desired by us: "as far as the body of instructors is concerned, as well
as the means of instruction"--a sentence which shows clearly where the
propaganda hostile to the Monarchy is to be found in the Servian
4. The Royal Government is also ready to dismiss those officers and
officials from the military and civil services in regard to whom it has
been proved by judicial investigation that they have been guilty of
actions against the territorial integrity of the monarchy; it expects
that the I. and R. Government communicate to it for the purpose of
starting the investigation the names of these officers and officials,
and the facts with which they have been charged.
_By promising the dismissal from the military and civil services of
those officers and officials who are found guilty by judicial procedure,
the Servian Government limits its assent to those cases, in which these
persons have been charged with a crime according to the statutory code.
As, however, we demand the removal of such officers and officials as
indulge in a propaganda hostile to the Monarchy, which is generally not
punishable in Servia, our demands have not been fulfilled in this
5. The Royal Government confesses that it is not clear about the sense
and the scope of that demand of the I. and R. Government which concerns
the obligation on the part of the Royal Servian Government to permit the
cooperation of officials of the I. and R. Government on Servian
territory, but it declares that it is willing to accept every
cooperation which does not run counter to international law and criminal
law, as well as to the friendly and neighborly relations.
_The international law, as well as the criminal law, has nothing to do
with this question; it is purely a matter of the nature of state police
which is to be solved by way of a special agreement. The reserved
attitude of Servia is therefore incomprehensible and on account of its
vague general form it would lead to unbridgeable difficulties_.
6. The Royal Government considers it its duty as a matter of course to
begin an investigation against all those persons who have participated
in the outrage of June 28th and who are in its territory. As far as the
cooperation in this investigation of specially delegated officials of
the I. and R. Government is concerned, this cannot be accepted, as this
is a violation of the constitution and of criminal procedure. Yet in
some cases the result of the investigation might be communicated to the
_The Austrian demand was clear and unmistakable_:
_1. To institute a criminal procedure against the participants in the
_2. Participation by I. and R. Government officials in the examinations
("Recherche" in contrast with "enquete judiciaire")._
_3. It did not occur to us to let I. and R. Government officials
participate in the Servian court procedure; they were to cooperate only
in the police researches which had to furnish and fix the material for
_If the Servian Government misunderstands us here, this is done
deliberately, for it must be familiar with the difference between
"enquete judiciaire" and simple police researches. As it desired to
escape from every control of the investigation which would yield, if
correctly carried out, highly undesirable results for it, and as it
possesses no means to refuse in a plausible manner the cooperation of
our officials (precedents for such police intervention exist in great
number) it tries to justify its refusal by showing up our demands as
7. The Royal Government has ordered on the evening of the day on which
the note was received the arrest of Major Voislar Tankosic. However, as
far as Milan Ciganowic is concerned who is a citizen of the
Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and who has been employed till June 28th with
the Railroad Department, it has as yet been impossible to locate him,
wherefor a warrant has been issued against him.
The I. and R. Government is asked to make known, as soon as possible,
for the purpose of conducting the investigation, the existing grounds
for suspicion and the proofs of guilt, obtained in the investigation at
_This reply is disingenuous. According to our investigation, Ciganowic,
by order of the police prefect in Belgrade, left three days after the
outrage for Ribari, after it had become known that Ciganowic had
participated in the outrage. In the first place, it is therefore
incorrect that Ciganowic left the Servian service on June 28th. In the
second place, we add that the prefect of police at Belgrade who had
himself caused the departure of this Ciganowic and who knew his
whereabout, declared in an interview that a man by the name of Milan
Ciganowic did not exist in Belgrade_.
8. The Servian Government will amplify and render more severe the
existing measures against the suppression of smuggling of arms and
It is a matter of course that it will proceed at once against, and
punish severely, those officials of the frontier service on the line
Shabatz-Loznica who violated their duty and who have permitted the
perpetrators of the crime to cross the frontier.
9. The Royal Government is ready to give explanations about the
expressions which its officials in Servia and abroad have made in
interviews after the outrage and which, according to the assertion of
the I. and R. Government, were hostile to the Monarchy. As soon as the
I. and R. Government points out in detail where those expressions were
made and succeeds in proving that those expressions have actually been
made by the functionaries concerned, the Royal Government itself will
take care that the necessary evidences and proofs are collected
_The Royal Servian Government must be aware of the interviews in
question. If it demands of the I. and R. Government that it should
furnish all kinds of detail about the said interviews and if it reserves
for itself the right of a formal investigation, it shows that it is not
its intention seriously to fulfill the demand._
10. The Royal Government will notify the I. and R. Government, so far as
this has not been already done by the present note, of the execution of
the measures in question as soon as one of those measures has been
ordered and put into execution.
The Royal Servian Government believes it to be to the common interest
not to rush the solution of this affair and it is therefore, in case the
I. and R. Government should not consider itself satisfied with this
answer, ready, as ever, to accept a peaceable solution, be it by
referring the decision of this question to the International Court at
the Hague or by leaving it to the decision of the Great Powers who have
participated in the working out of the declaration given by the Servian
Government on March 31st 1909.
_The Servian Note, therefore, is entirely a play for time._
The Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassadors at Paris, London, and St.
Petersburg, on Juli 23rd 1914.
The publications of the Austro-Hungarian Government concerning the
circumstances under which the Assassination of the Austrian successor to
the throne and his consort took place, disclose clearly the aims which
the pan-Serb propaganda has set itself and the means which it utilizes
for their realization. Through the published facts the last doubt must
disappear that the center of action of the efforts for the separation of
the south slavic provinces from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and their
union with the Servian Kingdom must be sought in Belgrade where it
displays its activity with the connivance of members of the Government
and of the Army.
The Serb intrigues may be traced back through a series of years. In a
specially marked manner the pan-Serb chauvinism showed itself during the
Bosnian crisis. Only to the far-reaching self-restraint and moderation
of the Austro-Hungarian Government and the energetic intercession of the
powers is it to be ascribed that the provocations to which at that time
Austria-Hungary was exposed on the part of Servia, did not lead to a
conflict. The assurance of future well-behaviour which the Servian
Government gave at that time, it has not kept. Under the very eyes, at
least with the tacit sufferance of official Servia, the pan-Serb
propaganda has meanwhile increased in scope and intensity; at its door
is to be laid the latest crime the threads of which lead to Belgrade. It
has become evident that it is compatible neither with the dignity nor
with the self-preservation of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy to view any
longer idly the doings across the border through which the safety and
the integrity of the Monarchy are permanently threatened. With this
state of affairs, the action as well as the demands of the
Austro-Hungarian government can be viewed only as justifiable.
Nevertheless, the attitude assumed by public opinion as well as by the
government in Servia does not preclude the fear that the Servian
government will decline to meet these demands and that it will allow
itself to be carried away into a provocative attitude toward
Austria-Hungary. Nothing would remain for the Austro-Hungarian
government, unless it renounced definitely its position as a great
power, but to press its demands with the Servian government and, if need
be, enforce the same by appeal to military measures, in regard to which
the choice of means must be left with it.
I have the honor to request you to express yourself in the sense
indicated above to (the present representative of M. Viviani) (Sir
Edward Grey) (M. Sasonow) and therewith give special emphasis to the
view that in this question there is concerned an affair which should be
settled solely between Austria-Hungary and Servia, the limitation to
which it must be the earnest endeavor of the powers to insure. We
anxiously desire the localisation of the conflict because every
intercession of another power on account of the various treaty-alliances
would precipitate inconceivable consequences.
I shall look forward with interest to a telegraphic report about the
course of your interview.
The Chancellor to the Governments of Germany.
Confidential. Berlin, July 28, 1914.
You will make the following report to the Government to which you are
In view of the facts which the Austrian Government has published in its
note to the Servian Government, the last doubt must disappear that the
outrage to which the Austro-Hungarian successor to the throne has fallen
a victim, was prepared in Servia, to say the least with the connivance
of members of the Servian government and army. It is a product of the
pan-Serb intrigues which for a series of years have become a source of
permanent disturbance for the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and for the
whole of Europe.
The pan-Serb chauvinism appeared especially marked during the Bosnian
crisis. Only to the far-reaching self-restraint and moderation of the
Austro-Hungarian government and the energetic intercession of the powers
is it to be ascribed that the provocations to which Austria-Hungary was
exposed at that time, did not lead to a conflict. The assurance of
future well-behaviour, which the Servian government gave at that time,
it has not kept. Under the very eyes, at least with the tacit sufferance
of official Servia, the pan-Serb propaganda has meanwhile continued to
increase in scope and intensity. It would be compatible neither with its
dignity nor with its right to self-preservation if the Austro-Hungarian
government persisted to view idly any longer the intrigues beyond the
frontier, through which the safety and the integrity of the monarchy are
permanently threatened. With this state of affairs, the action as well
as the demands of the Austro-Hungarian Government can be viewed only as
The reply of the Servian government to the demands which the
Austro-Hungarian government put on the 23rd inst. through its
representative in Belgrade, shows that the dominating factors in Servia
are not inclined to cease their former policies and agitation. There
will remain nothing else for the Austro-Hungarian government than to
press its demands, if need be through military action, unless it
renounces for good its position as a great power.
Some Russian personalities deem it their right as a matter of course and
a task of Russia's to actively become a party to Servia in the conflict
between Austria-Hungary and Servia. For the European conflagration which
would result from a similar step by Russia, the "Nowoje Wremja" believes
itself justified in making Germany responsible in so far as it does not
induce Austria-Hungary to yield.
The Russian press thus turns conditions upside down. It is not
Austria-Hungary which has called forth the conflict with Servia, but it
is Servia which, through unscrupulous favor toward pan-Serb aspirations,
even in parts of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, threatens the same in
her existence and creates conditions, which eventually found expression
in the wanton outrage at Sarajevo. If Russia believes that it must
champion the cause of Servia in this matter, it certainly has the right
to do so. However, it must realize that it makes the Serb activities its
own, to undermine the conditions of existence of the Austro-Hungarian
monarchy, and that thus it bears the sole responsibility if out of the
Austro-Servian affair, which all other great powers desire to localize,
there arises a European war. This responsibility of Russia's is evident
and it weighs the more heavily as Count Berchtold has officially
declared to Russia that Austria-Hungary has no intention to acquire
Servian territory or to touch the existence of the Servian Kingdom, but
only desires peace against the Servian intrigues threatening its
The attitude of the Imperial government in this question is clearly
indicated. The agitation conducted by the pan-Slavs in Austria-Hungary
has for its goal, with the destruction of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy,
the scattering or weakening of the triple alliance with a complete
isolation of the German Empire in consequence. Our own interest
therefore calls us to the side of Austria-Hungary. The duty, if at all
possible, to guard Europe against a universal war, points to the support
by ourselves of those endeavors which aim at the localization of the
conflict, faithful to the course of those policies which we have carried
out successfully for forty-four years in the interest of the
preservation of the peace of Europe.
Should, however, against our hope, through the interference of Russia
the fire be spread, we should have to support, faithful to our duty as
allies, the neighbor-monarchy with all the power at our command. We
shall take the sword only if forced to it, but then in the clear
consciousness that we are not guilty of the calamity which war will
bring upon the peoples of Europe.
Telegram of the Imperial Ambassador at Vienna to the Chancellor on July
Count Berchtold has asked to-day for the Russian Charge d'affaires in
order to explain to him thoroughly and cordially Austria-Hungary's point
of view toward Servia. After recapitulation of the historical
development of the past few years, he emphasized that the Monarchy
entertained no thought of conquest toward Servia. Austria-Hungary would
not claim Servian territory. It insisted merely that this step was meant
as a definite means of checking the Serb intrigues. Impelled by force of
circumstance, Austria-Hungary must have a guaranty for continued
amicable relations with Servia. It was far from him to intend to bring
about a change in the balance of powers in the Balcan. The Charge
d'affaires who had received no instructions from St. Petersburg, took
the discussion of the Secretary "ad referendum" with the promise to
submit it immediately to Sasonow.
Telegram of the Imperial Ambassador at St. Petersburg to the Chancellor
on July 24th 1914.
I have just utilized the contents of Order 592 in a prolonged interview
with Sasonow. The Secretary (Sasonow) indulged in unmeasured accusations
toward Austria-Hungary and he was very much agitated. He declared most
positively that Russia could not permit under any circumstances that the
Servo-Austrian difficulty be settled alone between the parties
The Imperial Ambassador at St. Petersburg to the Chancellor. Telegram of
July 26th 1914.
The Austro-Hungarian Ambassador had an extended interview with Sasonow
this afternoon. Both parties had a satisfactory impression as they told
me afterwards. The assurance of the Ambassador that Austria-Hungary had
no idea of conquest but wished to obtain peace at last at her frontiers,
greatly pacified the Secretary.
Telegram of the Imperial Ambassador at St. Petersburg, to the Chancellor
on July 25th 1914.
Message to H.M. from General von Chelius (German honorary aide de camp
to the Czar).
The manoeuvres of the troops in the Krasnoe camp were suddenly
interrupted and the regiments returned to their garrisons at once. The
manoeuvres have been cancelled. The military pupils were raised to-day
to the rank of officers instead of next fall. At headquarters there
obtains great excitement over the procedure of Austria. I have the
impression that complete preparations for mobilization against Austria
are being made.
Telegram of the Imperial Ambassador at St. Petersburg, to the Chancellor
on July 26th 1914.
The military attache requests the following message to be sent to the
I deem it certain that mobilisation has been ordered for Kiev and
Odessa. It is doubtful at Warsaw and Moscow and improbable elsewhere.
Telegram of the Imperial Consulate at Kovno to the Chancellor on July
Kovno has been declared to be in a state of war.
(Note that the official translator means _Kriegszustand_.)
Telegram of the Imperial Minister at Berne to the Chancellor on July
Have learned reliably that French XIVth corps has discontinued
Telegram of the Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador at London. Urgent.
July 26th 1914.
Austria-Hungary has declared in St. Petersburg officially and solemnly
that it has no desire for territorial gain in Servia; that it will not
touch the existence of the Kingdom, but that it desires to establish
peaceful conditions. According to news received here, the call for
several classes of the reserves is expected immediately which is
equivalent to mobilization. If this news proves correct, we shall
be forced to contermeasures very much against our own wishes. Our desire
to localize the conflict and to preserve the peace of Europe remains
unchanged. We ask to act in this sense at St. Petersburg with all
[Footnote 186: The German text inserts _auch gegen uns_, i.e. also
Telegram of the Imperial Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador at Paris.
July 26th 1914.
After officially declaring to Russia that Austria-Hungary has no
intention to acquire territorial gain and to touch the existence of the
Kingdom, the decision whether there is to be a European war rests solely
with Russia which has to bear the entire responsibility. We depend upon
France with which we are at one in the desire for the preservation of
the peace of Europe that it will exercise its influence at St.
Petersburg in favour of peace.
Telegram of the Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador at St. Petersburg
on July 26th, 1914.
After Austria's solemn declaration of its territorial
dis-interestedness, the responsibility for a possible disturbance of the
peace of Europe through a Russian intervention rests solely upon Russia.
We trust still that Russia will undertake no steps which will threaten
seriously the peace of Europe.
Telegram of the Imperial Ambassador at St. Petersburg to the Chancellor
on July 27th, 1914.
Military Attache reports a conversation with the Secretary of War:
Sasonow has requested the latter to enlighten me on the situation. The
Secretary of War has given me his word of honor that no order to
mobilize has as yet been issued. Though general preparations are being
made, no reserves were called and no horses mustered. If Austria crossed
the Servian frontier, such military districts as are directed toward
Austria, viz., Kiev, Odessa, Moscow, Kazan, are to be mobilized. Under
no circumstances those on the German frontier, Warsaw, Vilna, St.
Petersburg. Peace with Germany was desired very much. Upon my inquiry
into the object of mobilization against Austria he shrugged his
shoulders and referred to the diplomats. I told the Secretary that we
appreciated the friendly intentions, but considered mobilization even
against Austria as very menacing.
Telegram of the Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador at London on July
We know as yet nothing of a suggestion of Sir Edward Grey's to hold a
quadruple conference in London. It is impossible for us to place our
ally in his dispute with Servia before a European tribunal. Our
mediation must be limited to the danger of an Austro-Russian conflict.
Telegram of the Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador at London on July
The distinction made by Sir Edward Grey between an Austro-Servian and an
Austro-Russian conflict is perfectly correct. We do not wish to
interpose in the former any more than England, and as heretofore we take
the position that this question must be localized by virtue of all
powers refraining from intervention. It is therefore our hope that
Russia will refrain from any action in view of her responsibility and
the seriousness of the situation. We are prepared, in the event of an
Austro-Russian controversy, quite apart from our known duties as allies,
to intercede between Russia and Austria jointly with the other powers.
Telegram of the Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador at St. Petersburg
on July 28th, 1914.
We continue in our endeavor to induce Vienna to elucidate in St.
Petersburg the object and scope of the Austrian action in Servia in a
manner both convincing and satisfactory to Russia. The declaration of
war which has meanwhile ensued alters nothing in this matter.
Telegram of the Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador in London on July
We have at once started the mediation proposal in Vienna in the sense as
desired by Sir Edward Grey. We have communicated besides to Count
Berchtold the desire of M. Sasonow for a direct parley with Vienna.
Telegram of the Imperial Ambassador at Vienna to the Chancellor on July
Count Berchtold requests me to express to Your Excellency his thanks for
the communication of the English mediation proposal. He states, however,
that after the opening of hostilities by Servia and the subsequent
declaration of war, the step appears belated.
Telegram of the Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador at Paris on July
News received here regarding French preparations of war multiplies from
hour to hour. I request that You call the attention of the French
Government to this and accentuate that such measures would call forth
counter-measures on our part. We should have to proclaim threatening
state of war (drohende Kriegsgefahr), and while this would not mean a
call for the reserves or mobilization, yet the tension would be
aggravated. We continue to hope for the preservation of peace.
Telegram of the Military Attache at St. Petersburg to H. M. the Kaiser
on July 30th, 1914.
Prince Troubetzki said to me yesterday, after causing Your Majesty's
telegram to be delivered at once to Czar Nicolas: Thank God that a
telegram of Your Emperor has come. He has just told me the telegram has
made a deep impression upon the Czar but as the mobilization against
Austria had already been ordered and Sasonow had convinced His Majesty
that it was no longer possible to retreat, His Majesty was sorry he
could not change it any more. I then told him that the guilt for the
measureless consequences lay at the door of premature mobilization
against Austria-Hungary which after all was involved merely in a local
war with Servia, for Germany's answer was clear and the responsibility
rested upon Russia which ignored Austria-Hungary's assurance that it had
no intentions of territorial gain in Servia. Austria-Hungary mobilized
against Servia and not against Russia and there was no ground for an
immediate action on the part of Russia. I further added that in Germany
one could not understand any more Russia's phrase that "she could not
desert her brethren in Servia", after the horrible crime of Sarajevo. I
told him finally he need not wonder if Germany's army were to be
Telegram of the Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador at Rome on July
We have continued to negotiate between Russia and Austria-Hungary
through a direct exchange of telegrams between His Majesty the Kaiser
and His Majesty the Czar, as well as in conjunction with Sir Edward
Grey. Through the mobilization of Russia all our efforts have been
greatly handicapped if they have not become impossible. In spite of
pacifying assurances Russia is taking such far-reaching measures against
us that the situation is becoming continually more menacing.
I. His Majesty to the Czar.
July 28th, 10.45 p.m.
I have heard with the greatest anxiety of the impression which is caused
by the action of Austria-Hungary against Servia. The inscrupulous
agitation which has been going on for years in Servia, has led to the
revolting crime of which Archduke Franz Ferdinand has become a victim.
The spirit which made the Servians murder their own King and his
consort, still dominates that country. Doubtless You will agree with me
that both of us, You as well as I, and all other sovereigns, have a
common interest to insist that all those who are responsible for this
horrible murder, shall suffer their deserved punishment.
On the other hand I by no means overlook the difficulty encountered by
You and Your Government to stem the tide of public opinion. In view of
the cordial friendship which has joined us both for a long time with
firm ties, I shall use my entire influence to induce Austria-Hungary to
obtain a frank and satisfactory understanding with Russia. I hope
confidently that You will support me in my efforts to overcome all
difficulties which may yet arise.
Your most sincere and devoted friend and cousin
II. The Czar to His Majesty.
Peterhof Palace, July 29th, 1 p.m.
I am glad that You are back in Germany. In this serious moment I ask You
earnestly to help me. An ignominious war has been declared against a
weak country and in Russia the indignation which I fully share is
tremendous. I fear that very soon I shall be unable to resist the
pressure exercised upon me and that I shall be forced to take measures
which will lead to war. To prevent a calamity as a European war would
be, I urge You in the name of our old friendship to do all in Your power
to restrain Your ally from going too far.
III. His Majesty to the Czar.
July 29th, 6.30 p.m.
I have received Your telegram and I share Your desire for the
conservation of peace. However: I cannot--as I told You in my first
telegram--consider the action of Austria-Hungary as an "ignominious
war". Austria-Hungary knows from experience that the promises of Servia
as long as they are merely on paper are entirely unreliable.
According to my opinion the action of Austria-Hungary is to be
considered as an attempt to receive full guaranty that the promises of
Servia are effectively translated into deeds. In this opinion I am
strengthened by the explanation of the Austrian cabinet that
Austria-Hungary intended no territorial gain at the expense of Servia. I
am therefore of opinion that it is perfectly possible for Russia to
remain a spectator in the Austro-Servian war without drawing Europe into
the most terrible war it has ever seen. I believe that a direct
understanding is possible and desirable between Your Government and
Vienna, an understanding which--as I have already telegraphed You--my
Government endeavors to aid with all possible effort. Naturally military
measures by Russia, which might be construed as a menace by
Austria-Hungary, would accelerate a calamity which both of us desire to
avoid and would undermine my position as mediator which--upon Your
appeal to my friendship and aid--I willingly accepted.
IV. His Majesty to the Czar.
July 30th, 1 a.m.
My Ambassador has instructions to direct the attention of Your
Government to the dangers and serious consequences of a mobilization; I
have told You the same in my last telegram. Austria-Hungary has
mobilized only against Servia, and only a part of her army. If Russia,
as seems to be the case according to Your advice and that of Your
Government, mobilizes against Austria-Hungary, the part of the mediator
with which You have entrusted me in such friendly manner and which I
have accepted upon Your express desire, is threatened if not made
impossible. The entire weight of decision now rests upon Your shoulders,
You have to bear the responsibility for war or peace.
V. The Czar to His Majesty.
Peterhof, July 30th, 1914, 1.20 p.m.
I thank You from my heart for Your quick reply. I am sending to-night
Tatisheft (Russian honorary aide to the Kaiser) with instructions. The
military measures now taking form were decided upon five days ago, and
for the reason of defence against the preparations of Austria. I hope
with all my heart that these measures will not influence in any manner
Your position as mediator which I appraise very highly. We need Your
strong pressure upon Austria so that an understanding can be arrived at
Telegram of the Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador at St. Petersburg
on July 31st, 1914. Urgent.
In spite of negotiations still pending and although we have up to this
hour made no preparations for mobilization, Russia has mobilized her
entire army and navy, hence also against us. On account of these Russian
measures we have been forced, for the safety of the country, to proclaim
the threatening state of war, which does not yet imply mobilization.
Mobilization, however, is bound to follow if Russia does not stop every
measure of war against us and against Austria-Hungary within 12 hours
and notifies us definitely to this effect. Please to communicate this at
once to M. Sasonow and wire hour of communication.
Telegram of the Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador in Paris on July
31st, 1914. Urgent.
Russia has ordered mobilization of her entire army and fleet, therefore
also against us in spite of our still pending mediation. We have
therefore declared the threatening state of war which is bound to be
followed by mobilization unless Russia stops within 12 hours all
measures of war against us and Austria. Mobilization inevitably implies
war. Please ask French Government whether it intends to remain neutral
in a Russo-German war. Reply must be made in 18 hours. Wire at once hour
of inquiry. Utmost speed necessary.
Telegram of the Chancellor to the Imperial Ambassador in St. Petersburg
on August 1st, 12.52 p.m. Urgent.
If the Russian Government gives no satisfactory reply to our demand,
Your Excellency will please transmit this afternoon 5 o'clock
(mid-European time) the following statement:
"Le Gouvernement Imperial s'est efforce des les debuts de la crise de la
mener a une solution pacifique. Se rendant a un desir que lui en avail
ete exprime par Sa Majeste l'Empereur de Russie, Sa Majeste l'Empereur
d'Allemagne d'accord avec l'Angleterre etait applique a accomplir un
role mediateur aupres des Cabinets de Vienne et de St. Petersbourg,
lorsque la Russie, sans en attendre le resultat, proceda a la
mobilisation de la totalite de ses forces de terre et de mer.
"A la suite de cette mesure menacante motivee par aucun preparatif
militaire de la part de l'Allemagne, l'Empire Allemand se trouva
vis-a-vis d'un danger grave et imminent. Si le Gouvernement Imperial eut
manque de parer a ce peril il aurait compromis la securite et
l'existence meme de l'Allemagne. Par consequent le Gouvernement Allemand
se vit force de s'adresser au Gouvernement de Sa Majeste l'Empereur de
toutes les Russies en sistant sur la cessation des dits actes
militaires. La Russie ayant refuse de faire droit a cette demande et
ayant manifeste par ce refus, que son action etait dirigee contre
l'Allemande, j'ai l'honneur d'ordre de mon Gouvernement de faire savoir
a Votre Excellence ce qui suit:
"Sa Majeste l'Empereur, mon auguste Souverain, an nom de l'Empire releve
le defi et Se considere en etat de guerre avec la Russie."
Please wire urgent receipt and time of carrying out this instruction by
Please ask for Your passports and turn over protection and affairs to
the American Embassy.
Telegram of the Imperial Ambassador in Paris to the Chancellor on August
1st 1.05 p. m.
Upon my repeated definite inquiry whether France would remain neutral in
the event of a Russo-German war, the Prime Minister declared that France
would do that which her interests dictated.
SIR EDWARD GREY'S
RESPECTING THE EUROPEAN
_For the complete Correspondence see White Paper Miscellaneous No. 6
(1914) (Cd. 7467), presented to both Houses of Parliament by Command of
His Majesty, August 1914_
_Note communicated by Russian Ambassador, July 25._
M. Sazionof telegraphs to the Russian Charge d'Affaires at Vienna on the
11th (24th) July, 1914:
"The communication made by Austria-Hungary to the Powers the day after
the presentation of the ultimatum at Belgrade leaves a period to the
Powers which is quite insufficient to enable them to take any steps
which might help to smooth away the difficulties that have arisen.
"In order to prevent the consequences, equally incalculable and fatal to
all the Powers, which may result from the course of action followed by
the Austro-Hungarian Government, it seems to us to be above all
essential that the period allowed for the Servian reply should be
extended. Austria-Hungary, having declared her readiness to inform the
Powers of the results of the enquiry upon which the Imperial and Royal
Government base their accusations, should equally allow them sufficient
time to study them.
"In this case, if the Powers were convinced that certain of the Austrian
demands were well founded, they would be in a position to offer advice
to the Servian Government.
"A refusal to prolong the term of the ultimatum would render nugatory
the proposals made by the Austro-Hungarian Government to the Powers, and
would be in contradiction to the very bases of international relations.
"Prince Kudachef is instructed to communicate the above to the Cabinet
"M. Sazonof hopes that His Britannic Majesty's Government will adhere to
the point of view set forth above, and he trusts that Sir E. Grey will
see his way to furnish similar instructions to the British Ambassador at
_Sir G. Buchanan to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received July_ 25.)
(Telegraphic.) _St. Petersburgh, July_ 25, 1914.
I Saw the Minister for Foreign Affairs this morning....
The Minister for Foreign Affairs said that Servia was quite ready to do
as you had suggested and to punish those proved to be guilty, but that
no independent State could be expected to accept the political demands
which had been put forward. The Minister for Foreign Affairs thought,
from a conversation which he had with the Servian Minister yesterday,
that, in the event of the Austrians attacking Servia, the Servian
Government would abandon Belgrade, and withdraw their forces into the
interior, while they would at the same time appeal to the Powers to help
them. His Excellency was in favour of their making this appeal. He would
like to see the question placed on an international footing, as the
obligations taken by Servia in 1908, to which reference is made in the
Austrian ultimatum, were given not to Austria, but to the Powers.
If Servia should appeal to the Powers, Russia would be quite ready to
stand aside and leave the question in the hands of England, France,
Germany, and Italy. It was possible, in his opinion, that Servia might
propose to submit the question to arbitration.
On my expressing the earnest hope that Russia would not precipitate war
by mobilising until you had had time to use your influence in favour of
peace, his Excellency assured me that Russia had no aggressive
intentions, and she would take no action until it was forced on her.
Austria's action was in reality directed against Russia. She aimed at
overthrowing the present _status quo_ in the Balkans, and establishing
her own hegemony there. He did not believe that Germany really wanted
war, but her attitude was decided by ours. If we took our stand firmly
with France and Russia there would be no war. If we failed them now,
rivers of blood would flow, and we would in the end be dragged into war.
I said that England could play the role of mediator at Berlin and Vienna
to better purpose as friend who, if her counsels of moderation were
disregarded, might one day be converted into an ally, than if she were
to declare herself Russia's ally at once. His Excellency said that
unfortunately Germany was convinced that she could count upon our
I said all I could to impress prudence on the Minister for Foreign
Affairs, and warned him that if Russia mobilised, Germany would not be
content with mere mobilisation, or give Russia time to carry out hers,
but would probably declare war at once. His Excellency replied that
Russia could not allow Austria to crush Servia and become the
predominant Power in the Balkans, and, if she feels secure of the
support of France, she will face all the risks of war. He assured me
once more that he did not wish to precipitate a conflict, but that
unless Germany could restrain Austria I could regard the situation as
_Sir H. Rumbold to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received July 25.)_
(Telegraphic.) _Berlin, July 25, 1914._
Your telegram of the 24th July acted on.
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs says that on receipt of a
telegram at 10 this morning from German Ambassador at London, he
immediately instructed German Ambassador at Vienna to pass on to
Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs your suggestion for an extension
of time limit, and to speak to his Excellency about it. Unfortunately it
appeared from press that Count Berchtold is at Ischl, and Secretary of
State thought that in these circumstances there would be delay and
difficulty in getting time limit extended. Secretary of State said that
he did not know what Austria-Hungary had ready on the spot, but he
admitted quite freely that Austro-Hungarian Government wished to give
the Servians a lesson, and that they meant to take military action. He
also admitted that Servian Government could not swallow certain of the
Secretary of State said that a reassuring feature of situation was that
Count Berchtold had sent for Russian representative at Vienna and had
told him that Austria-Hungary had no intention of seizing Servian
territory. This step should, in his opinion, exercise a calming
influence at St. Petersburgh. I asked whether it was not to be feared
that, in taking military action against Servia, Austria would
dangerously excite public opinion in Russia. He said he thought not. He
remained of opinion that crisis could be localised. I said that
telegrams from Russia in this morning's papers did not look very
reassuring, but he maintained his optimistic view with regard to Russia.
He said that he had given the Russian Government to understand that last
thing Germany wanted was a general war, and he would do all in his power
to prevent such a calamity. If the relations between Austria and Russia
became threatening, he was quite ready to fall in with your suggestion
as to the four Powers working in favour of moderation at Vienna and St.
Secretary of State confessed privately that he thought the note left
much to be desired as a diplomatic document. He repeated very earnestly
that, though he had been accused of knowing all about the contents of
that note, he had in fact had no such knowledge.
_Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received July 27.)_
(Telegraphic.) _Vienna, July_ 27, 1914.
I have had conversations with all my colleagues representing the Great
Powers. The impression left on my mind is that the Austro-Hungarian note
was so drawn up as to make war inevitable; that the Austro-Hungarian