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Why We Are At War (2nd Edition, revised) by Members of the Oxford Faculty of Modern History

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Government are fully resolved to have war with Servia; that they
consider their position as a Great Power to be at stake; and that until
punishment has been administered to Servia it is unlikely that they will
listen to proposals of mediation. This country has gone wild with joy at
the prospect of war with Servia, and its postponement or prevention
would undoubtedly be a great disappointment.

I propose, subject to any special directions you desire to send me, to
express to the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs the hope of His
Majesty's Government that it may yet be possible to avoid war, and to
ask his Excellency whether he cannot suggest a way out even now.

No. 43.

_Sir E. Goschen to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received July 27.)_

(Telegraphic.) _Berlin, July_ 27, 1914.

Your telegram of 26th July.

Secretary of State says that conference you suggest would practically
amount to a court of arbitration and could not, in his opinion, be
called together except at the request of Austria and Russia. He could
not therefore fall in with your suggestion, desirous though he was to
co-operate for the maintenance of peace. I said I was sure that your
idea had nothing to do with arbitration, but meant that representatives
of the four nations not directly interested should discuss and suggest
means for avoiding a dangerous situation. He maintained, however, that
such a conference as you proposed was not practicable. He added that
news he had just received from St. Petersburgh showed that there was an
intention on the part of M. de Sazonof to exchange views with Count
Berchtold. He thought that this method of procedure might lead to a
satisfactory result, and that it would be best, before doing anything
else, to await outcome of the exchange of views between the Austrian and
Russian Governments.

In the course of a short conversation Secretary of State said that as
yet Austria was only partially mobilising, but that if Russia mobilised
against Germany latter would have to follow suit. I asked him what he
meant by "mobilising against Germany." He said that if Russia only
mobilised in south, Germany would not mobilise, but if she mobilised in
north, Germany would have to do so too, and Russian system of
mobilisation was so complicated that it might be difficult exactly to
locate her mobilisation. Germany would therefore have to be very careful
not to be taken by surprise.

Finally, Secretary of State said that news from St. Petersburgh had
caused him to take more hopeful view of the general situation.

No. 56.

_Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received July 28.)_

(Telegraphic.) _Vienna, July_ 27, 1914.

The Russian Ambassador had to-day a long and earnest conversation with
Baron Macchio, the Under-secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He told
him that, having just come back from St. Petersburgh, he was well
acquainted with the views of the Russian Government and the state of
Russian public opinion. He could assure him that if actual war broke out
with Servia it would be impossible to localise it, for Russia was not
prepared to give way again, as she had done on previous occasions, and
especially during the annexation crisis of 1909. He earnestly hoped that
something would be done before Servia was actually invaded. Baron
Macchio replied that this would now be difficult, as a skirmish had
already taken place on the Danube, in which the Servians had been the
aggressors. The Russian Ambassador said that he would do all he could to
keep the Servians quiet pending any discussions that might yet take
place, and he told me that he would advise his Government to induce the
Servian Government to avoid any conflict as long as possible, and to
fall back before an Austrian advance. Time so gained should suffice to
enable a settlement to be reached. He had just heard of a satisfactory
conversation which the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs had
yesterday with the Austrian Ambassador at St. Petersburgh. The former
had agreed that much of the Austro-Hungarian note to Servia had been
perfectly reasonable, and in fact they had practically reached an
understanding as to the guarantees which Servia might reasonably be
asked to give to Austria-Hungary for her future good behaviour. The
Russian Ambassador urged that the Austrian Ambassador at St. Petersburgh
should be furnished with full powers to continue discussion with the
Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, who was very willing to advise
Servia to yield all that could be fairly asked of her as an independent
Power. Baron Macchio promised to submit this suggestion to the Minister
for Foreign Affairs.

No. 62.

_Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received July 28.)_

(Telegraphic.) _Vienna, July 28_, 1914.

I spoke to Minister for Foreign Affairs to-day in the sense of your
telegram of 27th July to Berlin. I avoided the word "mediation," but
said that, as mentioned in your speech,[187] which he had just read to
me, you had hopes that conversations in London between the four Powers
less interested might yet lead to an arrangement which Austro-Hungarian
Government would accept as satisfactory and as rendering actual
hostilities unnecessary. I added that you had regarded Servian reply as
having gone far to meet just demands of Austria-Hungary; that you
thought it constituted a fair basis of discussion during which warlike
operations might remain in abeyance, and that Austrian Ambassador in
Berlin was speaking in this sense. Minister for Foreign Affairs said
quietly, but firmly, that no discussion could be accepted on basis of
Servian note; that war would be declared to-day, and that well-known
pacific character of Emperor, as well as, he might add, his own, might
be accepted as a guarantee that war was both just and inevitable. This
was a matter that must be settled directly between the two parties
immediately concerned. I said that you would hear with regret that
hostilities could not now be arrested, as you feared that they might
lead to complications threatening the peace of Europe.

In taking leave of his Excellency, I begged him to believe that, if in
the course of present grave crisis our point of view should sometimes
differ from his, this would arise, not from want of sympathy with the
many just complaints which Austria-Hungary had against Servia, but from
the fact that, whereas Austria-Hungary put first her quarrel with
Servia, you were anxious in the first instance for peace of Europe. I
trusted this larger aspect of the question would appeal with equal force
to his Excellency. He said he had it also in mind, but thought that
Russia ought not to oppose operations like those impending, which did
not aim at territorial aggrandisement and which could no longer be

[Footnote 187: "Hansard," Vol. 65, No. 107, Columns 931, 932, 933.]

No. 85.

_Sir E. Goschen to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received July 29.)_

(Telegraphic.) _Berlin, July_ 29, 1914.

I was asked to call upon the Chancellor to-night. His Excellency had
just returned from Potsdam.

He said that should Austria be attacked by Russia a European
conflagration might, he feared, become inevitable, owing to Germany's
obligations as Austria's ally, in spite of his continued efforts to
maintain peace. He then proceeded to make the following strong bid for
British neutrality. He said that it was clear, so far as he was able to
judge the main principle which governed British policy, that Great
Britain would never stand by and allow France to be crushed in any
conflict there might be. That, however, was not the object at which
Germany aimed. Provided that neutrality of Great Britain were certain,
every assurance would be given to the British Government that the
Imperial Government aimed at no territorial acquisitions at the expense
of France should they prove victorious in any war that might ensue.

I questioned his Excellency about the French colonies, and he said that
he was unable to give a similar undertaking in that respect. As regards
Holland, however, his Excellency said that, so long as Germany's
adversaries respected the integrity and neutrality of the Netherlands,
Germany was ready to give His Majesty's Government an assurance that she
would do likewise. It depended upon the action of France what operations
Germany might be forced to enter upon in Belgium, but when the war was
over, Belgian integrity would be respected if she had not sided against

His Excellency ended by saying that ever since he had been Chancellor
the object of his policy had been, as you were aware, to bring about an
understanding with England; he trusted that these assurances might form
the basis of that understanding which he so much desired. He had in mind
a general neutrality agreement between England and Germany, though it
was of course at the present moment too early to discuss details, and an
assurance of British neutrality in the conflict which present crisis
might possibly produce, would enable him to look forward to realisation
of his desire.

In reply to his Excellency's enquiry how I thought his request would
appeal to you, I said that I did not think it probable that at this
stage of events you would care to bind yourself to any course of action
and that I was of opinion that you would desire to retain full liberty.

Our conversation upon this subject having come to an end, I communicated
the contents of your telegram of to-day to his Excellency, who expressed
his best thanks to you.

No. 87.

_Sir Edward Grey to Sir F. Bertie_.

Sir, _Foreign Office, July_ 29, 1914.

After telling M. Cambon to-day how grave the situation seemed to be, I
told him that I meant to tell the German Ambassador to-day that he must
not be misled by the friendly tone of our conversations into any sense
of false security that we should stand aside if all the efforts to
preserve the peace, which we were now making in common with Germany,
failed. But I went on to say to M. Cambon that I thought it necessary to
tell him also that public opinion here approached the present difficulty
from a quite different point of view from that taken during the
difficulty as to Morocco a few years ago. In the case of Morocco the
dispute was one in which France was primarily interested, and in which
it appeared that Germany, in an attempt to crush France, was fastening a
quarrel on France on a question that was the subject of a special
agreement between France and us. In the present case the dispute between
Austria and Servia was not one in which we felt called to take a hand.
Even if the question became one between Austria and Russia we should not
feel called upon to take a hand in it. It would then be a question of
the supremacy of Teuton or Slav--a struggle for supremacy in the
Balkans; and our idea had always been to avoid being drawn into a war
over a Balkan question. If Germany became involved and France became
involved, we had not made up our minds what we should do; it was a case
that we should have to consider. France would then have been drawn into
a quarrel which was not hers, but in which, owing to her alliance, her
honour and interest obliged her to engage. We were free from
engagements, and we should have to decide what British interests
required us to do. I thought it necessary to say that, because, as he
knew, we were taking all precautions with regard to our fleet, and I was
about to warn Prince Lichnowsky not to count on our standing aside, but
it would not be fair that I should let M. Cambon be misled into
supposing that this meant that we had decided what to do in a
contingency that I still hoped might not arise.

M. Cambon said that I had explained the situation very clearly. He
understood it to be that in a Balkan quarrel, and in a struggle for
supremacy between Teuton and Slav we should not feel called to
intervene; should other issues be raised, and Germany and France become
involved, so that the question became one of the hegemony of Europe, we
should then decide what it was necessary for us to do. He seemed quite
prepared for this announcement, and made no criticism upon it.

He said French opinion was calm, but decided. He anticipated a demand
from Germany that France would be neutral while Germany attacked Russia.
This assurance France, of course, could not give; she was bound to help
Russia if Russia was attacked.

I am, &c.


No. 89.

_Sir Edward Grey to Sir E. Goschen_.

Sir, _Foreign Office, July_ 29, 1914.

After speaking to the German Ambassador this afternoon about the
European situation, I said that I wished to say to him, in a quite
private and friendly way, something that was on my mind. The situation
was very grave. While it was restricted to the issues at present
actually involved we had no thought of interfering in it. But if Germany
became involved in it, and then France, the issue might be so great that
it would involve all European interests; and I did not wish him to be
misled by the friendly tone of our conversation--which I hoped would
continue--into thinking that we should stand aside.

He said that he quite understood this, but he asked whether I meant that
we should, under certain circumstances, intervene?

I replied that I did not wish to say that, or to use anything that was
like a threat or an attempt to apply pressure by saying that, if things
became worse, we should intervene. There would be no question of our
intervening if Germany was not involved, or even if France was not
involved. But we knew very well that, if the issue did become such that
we thought British interests required us to intervene, we must intervene
at once, and the decision would have to be very rapid, just as the
decisions of other Powers had to be. I hoped that the friendly tone of
our conversations would continue as at present, and that I should be
able to keep as closely in touch with the German Government in working
for peace. But if we failed in our efforts to keep the peace, and if the
issue spread so that it involved practically every European interest, I
did not wish to be open to any reproach from him that the friendly tone
of all our conversations had misled him or his Government into supposing
that we should not take action, and to the reproach that, if they had
not been so misled, the course of things might have been different.

The German Ambassador took no exception to what I had said; indeed, he
told me that it accorded with what he had already given in Berlin as his
view of the situation.

I am, &c.


No. 98.

_Sir E. Goschen to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received July 30.)_

(Telegraphic.) _Berlin, July_ 30, 1914.

Secretary of State informs me that immediately on receipt of Prince
Lichnowsky's telegram recording his last conversation with you he asked
Austro-Hungarian Government whether they would be willing to accept
mediation on basis of occupation by Austrian troops of Belgrade or some
other point and issue their conditions from there. He has up till now
received no reply, but he fears Russian mobilisation against Austria
will have increased difficulties, as Austria-Hungary, who has as yet
only mobilised against Servia, will probably find it necessary also
against Russia. Secretary of State says if you can succeed in getting
Russia to agree to above basis for an arrangement and in persuading her
in the meantime to take no steps which might be regarded as an act of
aggression against Austria he still sees some chance that European peace
may be preserved.

He begged me to impress on you difficulty of Germany's position in view
of Russian mobilisation and military measures which he hears are being
taken in France. Beyond recall of officers on leave--a measure which had
been officially taken after, and not before, visit of French Ambassador
yesterday--Imperial Government had done nothing special in way of
military preparations. Something, however, would have soon to be done,
for it might be too late, and when they mobilised they would have to
mobilise on three sides. He regretted this, as he knew France did not
desire war, but it would be a military necessity.

His Excellency added that telegram received from Prince Lichnowsky last
night contains matter which he had heard with regret, but not exactly
with surprise, and at all events he thoroughly appreciated frankness and
loyalty with which you had spoken.

He also told me that this telegram had only reached Berlin very late
last night; had it been received earlier Chancellor would, of course,
not have spoken to me in way he had done.

No. 101.

_Sir Edward Grey to Sir E. Goschen_.

(Telegraphic.) _Foreign Office, July_ 30, 1914.

Your telegram of 29th July.[188]

His Majesty's Government cannot for a moment entertain the Chancellor's
proposal that they should bind themselves to neutrality on such terms.

What he asks us in effect is to engage to stand by while French colonies
are taken and France is beaten so long as Germany does not take French
territory as distinct from the colonies.

From the material point of view such a proposal is unacceptable, for
France, without further territory in Europe being taken from her, could
be so crushed as to lose her position as a Great Power, and become
subordinate to German policy.

Altogether, apart from that, it would be a disgrace for us to make this
bargain with Germany at the expense of France, a disgrace from which the
good name of this country would never recover.

The Chancellor also in effect asks us to bargain away whatever
obligation or interest we have as regards the neutrality of Belgium. We
could not entertain that bargain either.

Having said so much, it is unnecessary to examine whether the prospect
of a future general neutrality agreement between England and Germany
offered positive advantages sufficient to compensate us for tying our
hands now. We must preserve our full freedom to act as circumstances may
seem to us to require in any such unfavourable and regrettable
development of the present crisis as the Chancellor contemplates.

You should speak to the Chancellor in the above sense, and add most
earnestly that the one way of maintaining the good relations between
England and Germany is that they should continue to work together to
preserve the peace of Europe; if we succeed in this object, the mutual
relations of Germany and England will, I believe, be _ipso facto_
improved and strengthened. For that object His Majesty's Government will
work in that way with all sincerity and good-will.

And I will say this: If the peace of Europe can be preserved, and the
present crisis safely passed, my own endeavour will be to promote some
arrangement to which Germany could be a party, by which she could be
assured that no aggressive or hostile policy would be pursued against
her or her allies by France, Russia, and ourselves, jointly or
separately. I have desired this and worked for it, as far as I could,
through the last Balkan crisis, and, Germany having a corresponding
object, our relations sensibly improved. The idea has hitherto been too
Utopian to form the subject of definite proposals, but if this present
crisis, so much more acute than any that Europe has gone through for
generations, be safely passed, I am hopeful that the relief and reaction
which will follow may make possible some more definite rapprochement
between the Powers than has been possible hitherto.

[Footnote 188: See No. 85.]

Enclosure 1 in No. 105.

_Sir Edward Grey to M. Cambon_.

My dear Ambassador, _Foreign Office, November 22_, 1912.

From time to time in recent years the French and British naval and
military experts have consulted together. It has always been understood
that such consultation does not restrict the freedom of either
Government to decide at any future time whether or not to assist the
other by armed force. We have agreed that consultation between experts
is not, and ought not to be regarded as, an engagement that commits
either Government to action in a contingency that has not arisen and may
never arise. The disposition, for instance, of the French and British
fleets respectively at the present moment is not based upon an
engagement to co-operate in war.

You have, however, pointed out that, if either Government had grave
reason to expect an unprovoked attack by a third Power, it might become
essential to know whether it could in that event depend upon the armed
assistance of the other.

I agree that, if either Government had grave reason to expect an
unprovoked attack by a third Power, or something that threatened the
general peace, it should immediately discuss with the other whether both
Governments should act together to prevent aggression and to preserve
peace, and, if so, what measures they would be prepared to take in
common. If these measures involved action, the plans of the General
Staffs would at once be taken into consideration, and the Governments
would then decide what effect should be given to them.

Yours, &c.


No. 119.

_Sir Edward Grey to Sir F. Bertie_.

Sir, _Foreign Office, July_ 31, 1914.

M. Cambon referred to-day to a telegram that had been shown to Sir
Arthur Nicolson this morning from the French Ambassador in Berlin,
saying that it was the uncertainty with regard to whether we would
intervene which was the encouraging element in Berlin, and that, it we
would only declare definitely on the side of Russia and France, it would
decide the German attitude in favour of peace.

I said that it was quite wrong to suppose that we had left Germany under
the impression that we would not intervene. I had refused overtures to
promise that we should remain neutral. I had not only definitely
declined to say that we would remain neutral, I had even gone so far
this morning as to say to the German Ambassador that, if France and
Germany became involved in war, we should be drawn into it. That, of
course, was not the same thing as taking an engagement to France, and I
told M. Cambon of it only to show that we had not left Germany under the
impression that we would stand aside.

M. Cambon then asked me for my reply to what he had said yesterday.

I said that we had come to the conclusion, in the Cabinet to-day, that
we could not give any pledge at the present time. Though we should have
to put our policy before Parliament, we could not pledge Parliament in
advance. Up to the present moment, we did not feel, and public opinion
did not feel, that any treaties or obligations of this country were
involved. Further developments might alter this situation and cause the
Government and Parliament to take the view that intervention was
justified. The preservation of the neutrality of Belgium might be, I
would not say a decisive, but an important factor, in determining our
attitude. Whether we proposed to Parliament to intervene or not to
intervene in a war, Parliament would wish to know how we stood with
regard to the neutrality of Belgium, and it might be that I should ask
both France and Germany whether each was prepared to undertake an
engagement that she would not be the first to violate the neutrality of

M. Cambon repeated his question whether we would help France if Germany
made an attack on her.

I said that I could only adhere to the answer that, as far as things had
gone at present, we could not take any engagement.

M. Cambon urged that Germany had from the beginning rejected proposals
that might have made for peace. It could not be to England's interest
that France should be crushed by Germany. We should then be in a very
diminished position with regard to Germany. In 1870 we had made a great
mistake in allowing an enormous increase of German strength, and we
should now be repeating the mistake. He asked me whether I could not
submit his question to the Cabinet again.

I said that the Cabinet would certainly be summoned as soon as there was
some new development, but at the present moment the only answer I could
give was that we could not undertake any definite engagement.

I am, &c.


No. 122.

_Sir E. Goschen to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received August 1.)_

(Telegraphic.) _Berlin, July_ 31, 1914.

Neutrality of Belgium, referred to in your telegram of 31st July to Sir
F. Bertie.

I have seen Secretary of State, who informs me that he must consult the
Emperor and the Chancellor before he could possibly answer. I gathered
from what he said that he thought any reply they might give could not
but disclose a certain amount of their plan of campaign in the event of
war ensuing, and he was therefore very doubtful whether they would
return any answer at all. His Excellency, nevertheless, took note of
your request.

It appears from what he said that German Government consider that
certain hostile acts have already been committed by Belgium. As an
instance of this, he alleged that a consignment of corn for Germany had
been placed under an embargo already.

I hope to see his Excellency to-morrow again to discuss the matter
further, but the prospect of obtaining a definite answer seems to me

In speaking to me to-day the Chancellor made it clear that Germany would
in any case desire to know the reply returned to you by the French

No. 123.

_Sir Edward Grey to Sir E. Goschen_.

Sir, _Foreign Office, August_ 1, 1914.

I told the German Ambassador to-day that the reply[189] of the German
Government with regard to the neutrality of Belgium was a matter of very
great regret, because the neutrality of Belgium affected feeling in this
country. If Germany could see her way to give the same assurance as that
which had been given by France it would materially contribute to relieve
anxiety and tension here. On the other hand, if there were a violation
of the neutrality of Belgium by one combatant while the other respected
it, it would be extremely difficult to restrain public feeling in this
country. I said that we had been discussing this question at a Cabinet
meeting, and as I was authorised to tell him this I gave him a
memorandum of it.

He asked me whether, if Germany gave a promise not to violate Belgian
neutrality, we would engage to remain neutral.

I replied that I could not say that; our hands were still free, and we
were considering what our attitude should be. All I could say was that
our attitude would be determined largely by public opinion here, and
that the neutrality of Belgium would appeal very strongly to Public
opinion here. I did not think that we could give a promise of neutrality
on that condition alone.

The Ambassador pressed me as to whether I could not formulate conditions
on which we would remain neutral. He even suggested that the integrity
of France and her colonies might be guaranteed.

I said that I felt obliged to refuse definitely any promise to remain
neutral on similar terms, and I could only say that we must keep our
hands free.

I am, &c.


[Footnote 189: See No. 122.]

No. 133.

_Sir Edward Grey to Sir E. Goschen_.

(Telegraphic.) _Foreign Office, August_ 1, 1914.

M. De Etter came to-day to communicate the contents of a telegram from
M. Sazonof, dated the 31st July, which are as follows:--

"The Austro-Hungarian Ambassador declared the readiness of his
Government to discuss the substance of the Austrian ultimatum to Servia.
M. Sazonof replied by expressing his satisfaction, and said it was
desirable that the discussions should take place in London with the
participation of the Great Powers.

"M. Sazonof hoped that the British Government would assume the direction
of these discussions. The whole of Europe would be thankful to them. It
would be very important that Austria should meanwhile put a stop
provisionally to her military action on Servian territory."

(The above has been communicated to the six Powers.)

No. 134.

_Sir F. Bertie to Sir Edward Grey.--(Received August 1.)_

(Telegraphic.) _Paris, August_ 1, 1914.

President of the Republic has informed me that German Government were
trying to saddle Russia with the responsibility; that it was only after
a decree of general mobilisation had been issued in Austria that the
Emperor of Russia ordered a general mobilisation; that, although the
measures which the German Government have already taken are in effect a
general mobilisation, they are not so designated; that a French general
mobilisation will become necessary in self-defence, and that France is
already forty-eight hours behind Germany as regards German military
preparations; that the French troops have orders not to go nearer to the
German frontier than a distance of 10 kilom. so as to avoid any grounds
for accusations of provocation to Germany, whereas the German troops, on
the other hand, are actually on the French frontier and have made
incursions on it; that, notwithstanding mobilisations, the Emperor of
Russia has expressed himself ready to continue his conversations with
the German Ambassador with a view to preserving the peace; that French
Government, whose wishes are markedly pacific, sincerely desire the
preservation of peace and do not quite despair, even now, of its being
possible to avoid war.

No. 148.

_Sir Edward Grey to Sir F. Bertie_.

(Telegraphic.) _Foreign Office, August_ 2, 1914.

After the Cabinet this morning I gave M. Cambon the following

"I am authorised to give an assurance that, if the German fleet comes
into the Channel or through the North Sea to undertake hostile
operations against French coasts or shipping, the British fleet will
give all the protection in its power.

"This assurance is of course subject to the policy of His Majesty's
Government receiving the support of Parliament, and must not be taken as
binding His Majesty's Government to take any action until the above
contingency of action by the German fleet takes place."

I pointed out that we had very large questions and most difficult issues
to consider, and that Government felt that they could not bind
themselves to declare war upon Germany necessarily if war broke out
between France and Germany to-morrow, but it was essential to the French
Government, whose fleet had long been concentrated in the Mediterranean,
to know how to make their dispositions with their north coast entirely
undefended. We therefore thought it necessary to give them this
assurance. It did not bind us to go to war with Germany unless the
German fleet took the action indicated, but it did give a security to
France that would enable her to settle the disposition of her own
Mediterranean fleet.

M. Cambon asked me about the violation of Luxemburg. I told him the
doctrine on that point laid down by Lord Derby and Lord Clarendon in
1867. He asked me what we should say about the violation of the
neutrality of Belgium. I said that was a much more important matter; we
were considering what statement we should make in Parliament
to-morrow--in effect, whether we should declare violation of Belgian
neutrality to be a _casus belli_. I told him what had been said to the
German Ambassador on this point.

No. 153.

_Sir Edward Grey to Sir E. Goschen_.

(Telegraphic.) _Foreign Office, August_ 4, 1914.

The King of the Belgians has made an appeal to His Majesty the King for
diplomatic intervention on behalf of Belgium in the following terms:--

"Remembering the numerous proofs of your Majesty's friendship and that
of your predecessor, and the friendly attitude of England in 1870 and
the proof of friendship you have just given us again, I make a supreme
appeal to the diplomatic intervention of your Majesty's Government to
safeguard the integrity of Belgium."

His Majesty's Government are also informed that the German Government
has delivered to the Belgian Government a note proposing friendly
neutrality entailing free passage through Belgian territory, and
promising to maintain the independence and integrity of the kingdom and
its possessions at the conclusion of peace, threatening in case of
refusal to treat Belgium as an enemy. An answer was requested within
twelve hours.

We also understand that Belgium has categorically refused this as a
flagrant violation of the law of nations.

His Majesty's Government are bound to protest against this violation of
a treaty to which Germany is a party in common with themselves, and must
request an assurance that the demand made upon Belgium will not be
proceeded with and that her neutrality will be respected by Germany. You
should ask for an immediate reply.


Extract from the Dispatch from His Majesty's Ambassador at Berlin
respecting the Rupture of Diplomatic Relations with the German

(Cd. 7445.)

_Sir E. Goschen to Sir Edward Grey_.

Sir, _London, August_ 8, 1914.

In accordance with the instructions contained in your telegram of the
4th instant I called upon the Secretary of State that afternoon and
enquired, in the name of His Majesty's Government, whether the Imperial
Government would refrain from violating Belgian neutrality. Herr von
Jagow at once replied that he was sorry to say that his answer must be
"No," as, in consequence of the German troops having crossed the
frontier that morning, Belgian neutrality had been already violated.
Herr von Jagow again went into the reasons why the Imperial Government
had been obliged to take this step, namely, that they had to advance
into France by the quickest and easiest way, so as to be able to get
well ahead with their operations and endeavour to strike some decisive
blow as early as possible. It was a matter of life and death for them,
as if they had gone by the more southern route they could not have
hoped, in view of the paucity of roads and the strength of the
fortresses, to have got through without formidable opposition entailing
great loss of time. This loss of time would have meant time gained by
the Russians for bringing up their troops to the German frontier.
Rapidity of action was the great German asset, while that of Russia was
an inexhaustible supply of troops. I pointed out to Herr von Jagow that
this _fait accompli_ of the violation of the Belgian frontier rendered,
as he would readily understand, the situation exceedingly grave, and I
asked him whether there was not still time to draw back and avoid
possible consequences, which both he and I would deplore. He replied
that, for the reasons he had given me, it was now impossible for them to
draw back.

During the afternoon I received your further telegram of the same date,
and, in compliance with the instructions therein contained, I again
proceeded to the Imperial Foreign Office and informed the Secretary of
State that unless the Imperial Government could give the assurance by 12
o'clock that night that they would proceed no further with their
violation of the Belgian frontier and stop their advance, I had been
instructed to demand my passports and inform the Imperial Government
that His Majesty's Government would have to take all steps in their
power to uphold the neutrality of Belgium and the observance of a treaty
to which Germany was as much a party as themselves.

Herr von Jagow replied that to his great regret he could give no other
answer than that which he had given me earlier in the day, namely, that
the safety of the Empire rendered it absolutely necessary that the
Imperial troops should advance through Belgium. I gave his Excellency a
written summary of your telegram and, pointing out that you had
mentioned 12 o'clock as the time when His Majesty's Government would
expect an answer, asked him whether, in view of the terrible
consequences which would necessarily ensue, it were not possible even at
the last moment that their answer should be reconsidered. He replied
that if the time given were even twenty-four hours or more, his answer
must be the same. I said that in that case I should have to demand my
passports. This interview took place at about 7 o'clock. In a short
conversation which ensued Herr von Jagow expressed his poignant regret
at the crumbling of his entire policy and that of the Chancellor, which
had been to make friends with Great Britain and then, through Great
Britain, to get closer to France. I said that this sudden end to my work
in Berlin was to me also a matter of deep regret and disappointment, but
that he must understand that under the circumstances and in view of our
engagements, His Majesty's Government could not possibly have acted
otherwise than they had done.

I then said that I should like to go and see the Chancellor, as it might
be, perhaps, the last time I should have an opportunity of seeing him.
He begged me to do so. I found the Chancellor very agitated. His
Excellency at once began a harangue, which lasted for about 20 minutes.
He said that the step taken by His Majesty's Government was terrible to
a degree; just for a word--"neutrality," a word which in war time had so
often been disregarded--just for a scrap of paper Great Britain was
going to make war on a kindred nation who desired nothing better than to
be friends with her. All his efforts in that direction had been rendered
useless by this last terrible step, and the policy to which, as I knew,
he had devoted himself since his accession to office had tumbled down
like a house of cards. What we had done was unthinkable; it was like
striking a man from behind while he was fighting for his life against
two assailants. He held Great Britain responsible for all the terrible
events that might happen. I protested strongly against that statement,
and said that, in the same way as he and Herr von Jagow wished me to
understand that for strategical reasons it was a matter of life and
death to Germany to advance through Belgium and violate the latter's
neutrality, so I would wish him to understand that it was, so to speak,
a matter of "life and death" for the honour of Great Britain that she
should keep her solemn engagement to do her utmost to defend Belgium's
neutrality if attacked. That solemn compact simply had to be kept, or
what confidence could anyone have in engagements given by Great Britain
in the future? The Chancellor said, "But at what price will that compact
have been kept. Has the British Government thought of that?" I hinted to
his Excellency as plainly as I could that fear of consequences could
hardly be regarded as an excuse for breaking solemn engagements, but his
Excellency was so excited, so evidently overcome by the news of our
action, and so little disposed to hear reason that I refrained from
adding fuel to the flame by further argument. As I was leaving he said
that the blow of Great Britain joining Germany's enemies was all the
greater that almost up to the last moment he and his Government had been
working with us and supporting our efforts to maintain peace between
Austria and Russia. I said that this was part of the tragedy which saw
the two nations fall apart just at the moment when the relations between
them had been more friendly and cordial than they had been for years.
Unfortunately, notwithstanding our efforts to maintain peace between
Russia and Austria, the war had spread and had brought us face to face
with a situation which, if we held to our engagements, we could not
possibly avoid, and which unfortunately entailed our separation from our
late fellow-workers. He would readily understand that no one regretted
this more than I.

After this somewhat painful interview I returned to the embassy and drew
up a telegraphic report of what had passed. This telegram was handed in
at the Central Telegraph Office a little before 9 P.M. It was accepted
by that office, but apparently never despatched.[190]

[Footnote 190: This telegram never reached the Foreign Office.]




The following document is contained in the German Version of the German
White Book (pp. 28-31); and though it adds little to our knowledge of
the Austrian case against Servia, it deserves to be reprinted, as it is
omitted altogether in the official version in English of the German
White Book. The authorship of the document is uncertain. It has the
appearance of an extract from a German newspaper.

Aus dem oesterreich-ungarischen Material.

Wien, 27. Juli. Das in der oesterreichisch-ungarischen Zirkularnote an
die auswaertigen Botschaften in Angelegenheit des serbischen Konflikts
erwaehnte Dossier wird heute veroeffentlicht.

In diesem Memoire wird darauf hingewiesen, dass die von Serbien
ausgegangene Bewegung, die sich zum Ziele gesetzt hat, die suedlichen
Teile Oesterreich-Ungarns von der Monarchie loszureiszen, um sie mit
Serbien zu einer staatlichen Einheit zu verbinden, weit zurueckgreist.
Diese in ihren Endzielen stets gleichbleibende und nur in ihren Mitteln
und an Intensitaet wechselnde Propaganda erreichte zur Zeit der
Unnerionskrise ihren Hoehepunft und trat damals ossen mit ihren Tendenzen
hervor. Waehrend einerjeits die gesamte serbische Bresse zum Kampfe gegen
die Monarchie ausrief, bildeten sich--von anderen Propagandamitteln
abgesehen--Ussoziationen, die diese Kaempfe vorbereiteten, unter denen
die Harodna Odbrana an Bedeutung hervorragte. Aus einem revolutionaeren
Komitee hervorgegangen, fonstituierte sich diese vom Belgrader
Auswaertigen Amte voellig abhaengige Organisation unter Leitung von
Staatsmaennern und Offizieren, darunter dem General Tantovic und dem
ehemaligen Minister Ivanovic. Auch Major Oja Jantovic und Milan
Pribicevic gehoeren zu diesen Gruendern. Dieser Berein hatte sich die
Bildung und Ausruestung von Freischaren fuer den bevorstehenden Krieg
gegen die oefterreichisch-ungarische Monarchie zum Ziele gesetzt. In
einer dem Memoire angefuegten Anlage wird ein Auszug aus dem vom
Zentralausschusse der Narodna Odbrana herausgegebenen Vereinsorgane
gleichen Namens veroeffentlicht, worin in mehreren Artikeln die Taetigfelt
und Ziele dieses Vereins ausfuehrlich dargelegt werden. Es heisst darin,
dass zu der Hauptaufgabe der Narodna Odbrana die Verbindung mit ihren
nahen und ferneren Bruedern jenseits der Grenze und unseren uebrigen
Freunden in der Welt gehoeren.

_Oesterreich ist als erster und groesster Feind bezeichnet_. Wie die
Narodna Odbrana die Notwendigkeit des Kampfes mit Oesterreich predigt,
predigt sie eine heilige Wahrheit unserer nationalen Lage. Das
Schlusskapitel enthaelt einen Apell an die Regierung und das Volk
Serbiens, sich mit allen Mitteln fuer den Kampf vorzubereiten, den die
Annexion vorangezeigt hat.

Das Memoire schildert nach einer Aussage eines von der Narodna Odbrana
angeworbenen Komitatschis die damalige Taetigkeit der Narodna Odbrana,
die eine von zwei Hauptleuten, darunter Jankovic, geleitete _Schule zur
Ausbildung von Banden_ unterhielt, Schulen, welche von General Jankovic
und von Hauptmann Milan Pribicevic regelmaessig inspiziert wurden. Weiter
wurden die Komitatschis im _Schiessen und Bombenwerfen, im Minenlegen,
Sprengen von Eisenbahnbruecken_ usw. unterrichtet. Nach der feierlichen
Erklaerung der Serbischen Regierung vom Jahre 1909 schien auch das Ende
dieser Organisation gekommen zu sein. Diese Erwartungen haben sich aber
nicht nur nicht erfuellt, sondern die Propaganda wurde durch die
serbische Presse fortgesetzt. Das Memoire fuehrt als Beispiel die Art und
Weise an, wie das Attentat gegen den bosnischen Landeschef Varesanin
publizistisch verwertet wurde, indem der Attentaeter als serbischer
Nationalheld gefeiert und seine Tat verherrlicht wurde. Diese Blaetter
wurden nicht nur in Serbien verbreitet, sondern auch auf
wohlorganisierten Schleichwegen in die Monarchie hineingeschmuggelt.

Unter der gleichen Leitung wie bei ihrer Gruendung wurde die Narodna
Odbrana neuerlich der zentralpunkt einer Agitation welcher der
_Schuetzenbund mit 762 Vereinen, ein Sokolbund mit 3500 Mitgliedern, und
verschiedene andere Vereine angehoerten_.

Im Kleide eines Kulturvereins auftretend, dem nur die geistige und die
fueoerperliche Entwickelung der Bevoelkerung Serbiens sowie deren
materielle Kraeftigung am Herzen liegt, enthullt die Narodna Oobrana ihr
wahres reorganisiertes Programm in vorzitiertem Auszug aus ihrem
Vereinsorgan, in welchem "die heilige Wahrheit" gepredigt wird, dass es
eine unerlaessliche Notwendigkeit ist, gegen Oesterreich, seinen ersten
groessten Feind, diesen Ausrottungskampf mit Gewehr und Kanone zu fuehren,
und das Volk mit allen Mitteln auf den Kampf vorzubereiten, zur
Befreiung der unterworfenen Gebiete, in denen viele Millionen
unterjochter Brueder schmachten. Die in dem Memoire zitierten Aufrufe und
Reden aehnlichen Charakters beleuchten die vielseitige auswaertige
Taetigkeit der Narodna Oobrana und ihrer affilierten Vereine, die in
Vortragsreifen, in der Teilnahme an Festen von bosnischen Vereinen, bei
denen offen Mitglieder fuer die erwaehnte serbische Vereinigung geworben
wurden, besteht. Gegenwaertig ist noch die Untersuchung darueber im Zuge,
dass die Sokolvereine Serbiens analoge Vereinigungen der Monarchie
bestimmten, sich mit ihnen in einem bisher geheim gehaltenen Verbande zu
vereinigen. Durch Vertrauensmaenner und Missionaere wurde die Aufwiegelung
in die Kreise Erwachsener und der urteilslosen Jugend gebracht. So
wurden von Milan Pribicewitsch ehmalige honvedoffiziere und ein
Gendarmerieleutnant zum Verlassen des Heeresdienstes in der Monarchie
unter bedenklichen Umstaenden verleitet. In den Schulen der
Lehrerbildungsanstalten wurde eine weitgehende Agitation entwickelt. Der
gewuenschte Krieg gegen die Monarchie wurde militaerisch auch insofern
vorbereitet, als serbische Emissaere im Falle des Ausbruchs der
Feindseligkeiten mit der Zerstoerung von Transportmitteln usw., der
Anfachung von Revolten und Paniken betraut wurden. Alles dies wird in
einer besonderen Beilage belegt.

Das Memoire schildert ferner den Zusammenhang zwischen dieser Taetigkeit
der Narodna Oobrana und den affilierten Organisationen mit den
Attentaten gegen den Koeniglichen Kommissaer in Agram Cuvaj im Juli 1912,
dem Attentat von Dojcic in Agram 1913 gegen Sterlecz und dem
missglueckten Attentat Schaefers am 20. Mai im Aramer Theater. Es
verbreitet sich hierauf ueber den Zusammenhang des Attentats auf den
Thronfolger und dessen Gemahlin, ueber die Art, wie sich die Jungen schon
in der Schule an dem Gedanken der Narodna Dobrana vergifteten und wie
sich die Attentaeter mit Hilfe von Pribicewic und Dacic die Werkzeuge zu
dem Attentat verschafften, wobei insbesondere die Rolle des Majors
Tankofte dargelegt wird, der die Mordwassen lieferte, wie auch die Rolle
eines gewissen Ciganovic, eines gewesenen Komitatschi und jetzigen
Beamten der serbischen Eisenbahndirektion Belgrad, der schon 1909 als
Zoegling der Bandenschule der damaligen Narodna Odbrana austauchte.
Ferner wird die Art dargelegt, wie Bomben und Waffen unbemerkt nach
Bosnien eingeschmuggelt wurden, die keinen Zweifel darueber laesst, dass
dies ein wohl voerberiteter und fuer die geheimnisvollen Zwecke der
Narodna oft begangener Schleichweg war.

Eine Beilage enthaelt einen Auszug aus den Akten des Kreisgerichts in
Serajewo ueber die Untersuchung des Attentats gegen den Erzherzog Franz
Ferdinand und dessen Gemahlin. Danach sind Princip, Cabrinovic, Grabez,
Crupilovic und Papovic gestaendig, in Gemeinschaft mit dem fluechtigen
Mehmedbasic ein Komplott zur Erwordung des Erzherzogs gebildet und ihm
zu diesen Zweck aufgelauert zu haben. Cabrinovic ist gestaendig, die
Bombe geworfen und Gabrilo Princip das Attentat mit der Browningpistole
ausgefuehrt zu haben. Beide Taeter gaben zu, bei der Veruebung der Tat die
Absicht des Mordes gehabt zu haben. Die weiteren Teile der Anlage
enthalten weitere Angaben der Beschuldigten vor dem Untersuchungsrichter
ueber Entstehung des Komplotts, Herkunft der Bomben, welche fabrikmaessig
hergestellt wurden, fuer millitaerische Zwecke bestimmt waren und ihrer
Originalpackung nach aus dem serbischen Waffenlager aus Kragujevac
stammten. Endlich gibt die Beilage Auskunft ueber den Transport der drei
Attentaeter und der Waffen von Serbien nach Bosnien. Aus dem weiteren
Zeugenprotokoll ergibt sich, dass ein Angehoeriger der Monarchie einige
Tage vor dem Attentat dem oesterreichisch-ungarischen Konsulat in Belgrad
Meldung von der Vermutung erstatten wollte, dass ein Plan zur Veruebung
des Attentats gegen den Erzherzog waehrend dessen Anwesenheit in Bosnien
bestehe. Dieser Mann soll nun durch Belgrader Polizeiorgane, welche ihn
unmittelbar vor Betreten des Konsulats aus nichtigen Gruenden
verhafteten, an der Erstattung der Meldung verhindert worden sein.
Weiter gehe aus dem Zeugenprotokoll hervor, dass die betreffenden
Polizeiorgane von dem geplanten Attentat Kenntnis gehabt haetten. Da
diese Angaben noch nicht nachgeprueft sind, kann ueber deren
Stichhaltigkeit vorlaeufig noch kein Urteil gefaellt werden. In der
Beilage zum Memoire heisst es: Vor dem Empfangssaal des serbischen
Kriegsministeriums befinden sich an der Wand vier allegorische Bilder,
von denen drei Darstellungen serbischer Kriegserfolge sind, waehrend das
vierte die Verwirklichung der monarchiefeindlichen Tendenzen Serbiens
versinnbildlicht. Ueber einer Landschaft, die teils Gebirge (Bosnien),
teils Ebene (Suedungarn) darstellt, geht die Zora, die Morgenroete der
serbischen Hoffnungen, auf. Im Vordergrunde steht eine bewaffnete
Frauengestalt, auf deren Schilde die Namen aller "noch zu befreienden
Provinzen": Bosnien, Herzegowina, Wojwodina, Gyrmien, Dalmatien usw.


Extract from the Dispatch from His Majesty's Ambassador at Vienna
respecting the Rupture of Diplomatic Relations with the Austro-Hungarian

(Cd. 7596)

_Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey_.

_London, September_ 1, 1914.


The rapidity of the march of events during the days which led up to the
outbreak of the European war made it difficult, at the time, to do more
than record their progress by telegraph. I propose now to add a few

The delivery at Belgrade on the 23rd July of the Austrian note to Servia
was preceded by a period of absolute silence at the Ballplatz. Except
Herr von Tchinsky, who must have been aware of the tenour, if not of the
actual words of the note, none of my colleagues were allowed to see
through the veil. On the 22nd and 23rd July, M. Dumaine, French
Ambassador, had long interviews with Baron Macchio, one of the
Under-Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs, by whom he was left
under the impression that the words of warning he had been instructed to
speak to the Austro-Hungarian Government had not been unavailing, and
that the note which was being drawn up would be found to contain nothing
with which a self-respecting State need hesitate to comply. At the
second of these interviews he was not even informed that the note was at
that very moment being presented at Belgrade, or that it would be
published in Vienna on the following morning. Count Forgach, the other
Under-Secretary of State, had indeed been good enough to confide to me
on the same day the true character of the note, and the fact of its
presentation about the time we were speaking.

So little had the Russian Ambassador been made aware of what was
preparing that he actually left Vienna on a fortnight's leave of absence
about the 20th July. He had only been absent a few days when events
compelled him to return. It might have been supposed that Duc Avarna,
Ambassador of the allied Italian Kingdom, which was bound to be so
closely affected by fresh complications in the Balkans, would have been
taken fully into the confidence of Count Berchtold during this critical
time. In point of fact his Excellency was left completely in the dark.
As for myself, no indication was given me by Count Berchtold of the
impending storm, and it was from a private source that I received on the
15th July the forecast of what was about to happen which I telegraphed
to you the following day. It is true that during all this time the "Neue
Freie Presse" and other leading Viennese newspapers were using language
which pointed unmistakably to war with Servia. The official
"Fremdenblatt", however, was more cautious, and till the note was
published, the prevailing opinion among my colleagues was that Austria
would shrink from courses calculated to involve her in grave European

On the 24th July the note was published in the newspapers. By common
consent it was at once styled an ultimatum. Its integral acceptance by
Servia was neither expected nor desired, and when, on the following
afternoon, it was at first rumoured in Vienna that it had been
unconditionally accepted, there was a moment of keen disappointment. The
mistake was quickly corrected, and as soon as it was known later in the
evening that the Servian reply had been rejected and that Baron Giesl
had broken off relations at Belgrade, Vienna burst into a frenzy of
delight, vast crowds parading the streets and singing patriotic songs
till the small hours of the morning.

The demonstrations were perfectly orderly, consisting for the most part
of organised processions through the principal streets ending up at the
Ministry of War. One or two attempts to make hostile manifestations
against the Russian Embassy were frustrated by the strong guard of
police which held the approaches to the principal embassies during those
days. The demeanour of the people at Vienna, and, as I was informed, in
many other principal cities of the Monarchy, showed plainly the
popularity of the idea of war with Servia, and there can be no doubt
that the small body of Austrian and Hungarian statesmen by whom this
momentous step was adopted gauged rightly the sense, and it may even be
said the determination, of the people, except presumably in portions of
the provinces inhabited by the Slav races. There had been much
disappointment in many quarters at the avoidance of war with Servia
during the annexation crisis in 1908 and again in connection with the
recent Balkan war. Count Berchtold's peace policy had met with little
sympathy in the Delegation. Now the flood-gates were opened, and the
entire people and press clamoured impatiently for immediate and condign
punishment of the hated Servian race. The country certainly believed
that it had before it only the alternative of subduing Servia or of
submitting sooner or later to mutilation at her hands. But a peaceful
solution should first have been attempted. Few seemed to reflect that
the forcible intervention of a Great Power in the Balkans must
inevitably call other Great Powers into the field. So just was the cause
of Austria held to be, that it seemed to her people inconceivable that
any country should place itself in her path, or that questions of mere
policy or prestige should be regarded anywhere as superseding the
necessity which had arisen to exact summary vengeance for the crime of
Serajevo. The conviction had been expressed to me by the German
Ambassador on the 24th July that Russia would stand aside. This feeling,
which was also held at the Ballplatz, influenced no doubt the course of
events, and it is deplorable that no effort should have been made to
secure by means of diplomatic negotiations the acquiescence of Russia
and Europe as a whole in some peaceful compromise of the Servian
question by which Austrian fears of Servian aggression and intrigue
might have been removed for the future. Instead of adopting this course
the Austro-Hungarian Government resolved upon war. The inevitable
consequence ensued. Russia replied to a partial Austrian mobilisation
and declaration of war against Servia by a partial Russian mobilisation
against Austria. Austria met this move by completing her own
mobilisation, and Russia again responded with results which have passed
into history. The fate of the proposals put forward by His Majesty's
Government for the preservation of peace is recorded in the White Paper
on the European Crisis[191]. On the 28th July I saw Count Berchtold and
urged as strongly as I could that the scheme of mediation mentioned in
your speech in the House of Commons on the previous day should be
accepted as offering an honourable and peaceful settlement of the
question at issue. His Excellency himself read to me a telegraphic
report of the speech, but added that matters had gone too far; Austria
was that day declaring war on Servia, and she could never accept the
conference which you had suggested should take place between the less
interested Powers on the basis of the Servian reply. This was a matter
which must be settled directly between the two parties immediately
concerned. I said His Majesty's Government would hear with regret that
hostilities could not be arrested, as you feared they would lead to
European complications. I disclaimed any British lack of sympathy with
Austria in the matter of her legitimate grievances against Servia, and
pointed out that, whereas Austria seemed to be making these the starting
point of her policy, His Majesty's Government were bound to look at the
question primarily from the point of view of the maintenance of the
peace of Europe. In this way the two countries might easily drift apart.

His Excellency said that he too was keeping the European aspect of the
question in sight. He thought, however, that Russia would have no right
to intervene after receiving his assurance that Austria sought no
territorial aggrandisement. His Excellency remarked to me in the course
of his conversation that, though he had been glad to co-operate towards
bringing about the settlement which had resulted from the ambassadorial
conferences in London during the Balkan crisis, he had never had much
belief in the permanency of that settlement, which was necessarily of a
highly artificial character, inasmuch as the interests which it sought
to harmonise were in themselves profoundly divergent. His Excellency
maintained a most friendly demeanour throughout the interview, but left
no doubt in my mind as to the determination of the Austro-Hungarian
Government to proceed with the invasion of Servia.

The German Government claim to have persevered to the end in the
endeavour to support at Vienna your successive proposals in the interest
of peace. Herr von Tchirsky abstained from inviting my co-operation or
that of the French and Russian Ambassadors in carrying out his
instructions to that effect, and I had no means of knowing what response
he was receiving from the Austro-Hungarian Government. I was, however,
kept fully informed by M. Schebeko, the Russian Ambassador, of his own
direct negotiations with Count Berchtold. M. Schebeko endeavoured on the
28th July to persuade the Austro-Hungarian Government to furnish Count
Szapary with full powers to continue at St. Petersburgh the hopeful
conversations which had there been taking place between the latter and
M. Sazonof. Count Berchtold refused at the time, but two days later
(30th July), though in the meantime Russia had partially mobilised
against Austria, he received M. Schebeko again, in a perfectly friendly
manner, and gave his consent to the continuance of the conversations at
St. Petersburgh. From now onwards the tension between Russia and Germany
was much greater than between Russia and Austria. As between the latter
an arrangement seemed almost in sight, and on the 1st August I was
informed by M. Schebeko that Count Szapary had at last conceded the main
point at issue by announcing to M. Sazonof that Austria would consent to
submit to mediation the points in the note to Servia which seemed
incompatible with the maintenance of Servian independence. M. Sazonof,
M. Schebeko added, had accepted this proposal on condition that Austria
would refrain from the actual invasion of Servia. Austria, in fact, had
finally yielded, and that she herself had at this point good hopes of a
peaceful issue is shown by the communication made to you on the 1st
August by Count Mensdorff, to the effect that Austria had neither
"banged the door" on compromise nor cut off the conversations.[192] M.
Schebeko to the end was working hard for peace. He was holding the most
conciliatory language to Count Berchtold, and he informed me that the
latter, as well as Count Forgach, had responded in the same spirit.
Certainly it was too much for Russia to expect that Austria would hold
back her armies, but this matter could probably have been settled by
negotiation, and M. Schebeko repeatedly told me he was prepared to
accept any reasonable compromise.

Unfortunately these conversations at St. Petersburgh and Vienna were cut
short by the transfer of the dispute to the more dangerous ground of a
direct conflict between Germany and Russia. Germany intervened on the
31st July by means of her double ultimatums to St. Petersburgh and
Paris. The ultimatums were of a kind to which only one answer is
possible, and Germany declared war on Russia on the 1st August, and on
France on the 3rd August. A few days' delay might in all probability
have saved Europe from one of the greatest calamities in history.

Russia still abstained from attacking Austria, and M. Schebeko had been
instructed to remain at his post till war should actually be declared
against her by the Austro-Hungarian Government. This only happened on
the 6th August when Count Berchtold informed the foreign missions at
Vienna that "the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at St. Petersburgh had been
instructed to notify the Russian Government that, in view of the
menacing attitude of Russia in the Austro-Servian conflict and the fact
that Russia had commenced hostilities against Germany, Austria-Hungary
considered herself also at war with Russia."

M. Schebeko left quietly in a special train provided by the
Austro-Hungarian Government on the 7th September. He had urgently
requested to be conveyed to the Roumanian frontier, so that he might be
able to proceed to his own country, but was taken instead to the Swiss
frontier, and ten days later I found him at Berne.

M. Dumaine, French Ambassador, stayed on till the 12th August. On the
previous day he had been instructed to demand his passport on the ground
that Austrian troops were being employed against France. This point was
not fully cleared up when I left Vienna. On the 9th August, M. Dumaine
had received from Count Berchtold the categorical declaration that no
Austrian troops were being moved to Alsace. The next day this statement
was supplemented by a further one, in writing, giving Count Berchtold's
assurance that not only had no Austrian troops been moved actually to
the French frontier, but that none were moving from Austria in a
westerly direction into Germany in such a way that they might replace
German troops employed at the front. These two statements were made by
Count Berchtold in reply to precise questions put to him by M. Dumaine,
under instructions from his Government. The French Ambassador's
departure was not attended by any hostile demonstration, but his
Excellency before leaving had been justly offended by a harangue made by
the Chief Burgomaster of Vienna to the crowd assembled before the steps
of the town hall, in which he assured the people that Paris was in the
throes of a revolution, and that the President of the Republic had been

The British declaration of war on Germany was made known in Vienna by
special editions of the newspapers about midday on the 5th August. An
abstract of your speeches in the House of Commons, and also of the
German Chancellor's speech in the Reichstag of the 4th April, appeared
the same day, as well as the text of the German ultimatum to Belgium.
Otherwise few details of the great events of these days transpired. The
"Neue Freie Presse" was violently insulting towards England. The
"Fremdenblatt" was not offensive, but little or nothing was said in the
columns of any Vienna paper to explain that the violation of Belgian
neutrality had left His Majesty's Government no alternative but to take
part in the war.

The declaration of Italian neutrality was bitterly felt in Vienna, but
scarcely mentioned in the newspapers.

On the 5th August I had the honour to receive your instruction of the
previous day preparing me for the immediate outbreak of war with
Germany, but adding that, Austria being understood to be not yet at that
date at war with Russia and France, you did not desire me to ask for my
passport or to make any particular communication to the Austro-Hungarian
Government. You stated at the same time that His Majesty's Government of
course expected Austria not to commit any act of war against us without
the notice required by diplomatic usage.

On Thursday morning, the 13th August, I had the honour to receive your
telegram of the 12th, stating that you had been compelled to inform
Count Mensdorff, at the request of the French Government, that a
complete rupture had occurred between France and Austria, on the ground
that Austria had declared war on Russia who was already fighting on the
side of France, and that Austria had sent troops to the German frontier
under conditions that were a direct menace to France. The rupture having
been brought about with France in this way, I was to ask for my
passport, and your telegram stated, in conclusion, that you had informed
Count Mensdorff that a state of war would exist between the two
countries from midnight of the 12th August.

After seeing Mr. Penfield, the United States Ambassador, who accepted
immediately in the most friendly spirit my request that his Excellency
would take charge provisionally of British interests in Austria-Hungary
during the unfortunate interruption of relations, I proceeded, with Mr.
Theo Russell, Counsellor of His Majesty's Embassy, to the Ballplatz.
Count Berchtold received me at midday. I delivered my message, for which
his Excellency did not seem to be unprepared, although he told me that a
long telegram from Count Mensdorff had just come in but had not yet been
brought to him. His Excellency received my communication with the
courtesy which never leaves him. He deplored the unhappy complications
which were drawing such good friends as Austria and England into war. In
point of fact, he added, Austria did not consider herself then at war
with France, though diplomatic relations with that country had been
broken off. I explained in a few words how circumstances had forced this
unwelcome conflict upon us. We both avoided useless argument...

[Footnote 191: "Miscellaneous, No. 6 (1914)."]

[Footnote 192: See No. 137, "Miscellaneous, No. 6 (1914)."]




_Recueil de Documents Diplomatiques_:

_Negociations ayant precede la guerre_

_10/23 Juillet--24 Juillet/6 Aout 1914_


This important collection of documents, which has only reached us since
the publication of our first edition, confirms the conclusion, which we
had deduced from other evidence in our fifth chapter (_supra_, pp.
66-107), that Germany consistently placed obstacles in the way of any
proposals for a peaceful settlement, and this in spite of the
willingness of all the other Powers, including Austria-Hungary and
Russia, to continue discussion of the Servian question. That the crisis
took Russia by surprise seems evident from the fact that her ambassadors
accredited to France, Berlin, and Vienna were not at their posts when
friction began with Russia. (_Infra_, Nos. 4, 7, 8.)

The Russian evidence shows that, on July 29, Germany threatened to
mobilize if Russia did not desist from military preparations. This
threat was viewed by M. Sazonof as an additional reason for taking all
precautions; 'since we cannot accede to Germany's desire, the only
course open to us is to accelerate our own preparations and to assume
that war is probably inevitable.' (_Infra_, No. 58.) The reader will
also notice the curious fact that on July 30 the decree mobilizing the
German army and navy was published, only to be immediately withdrawn;
and that the German Government explained that the publication had been
premature and accidental. (_Infra_, Nos. 61, 62.) We know from the
British White Book (_Correspondence_, No. 99, Sir F. Bertie to Sir E.
Grey, July 30) that, on July 30, Germany showed signs of weakening in
her attitude to Russia.

It will be noted that war between Austria-Hungary and Russia was not
officially declared until August 6, five days after Germany had declared
war on Russia. (_Infra_, No. 79.)

In Nos. 36 and 46 will be found some curious details of the methods
employed by Austria-Hungary and Germany to delay the publication of the
Servian reply to Austria-Hungary.




Negociations ayant precede la guerre.

10/23 Juillet--24 Juillet/6 Aout 1914.

Imprimerie de l'Etat.

No. 1.

Le Charge d'affaires en Serbie au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.


Belgrade, le 10/23 Juillet 1914.

Le Ministre d'Autriche vient de transmettre, a 6 heures du soir, an
Ministre des Finances Patchou, qui remplace Pachitch, une note
ultimative de son Gouvernement fixant un delai de 48 heures pour
l'acceptation des demandes y contenues. Giesl a ajoute verbalement que
pour le cas ou la note ne serait pas acceptee integralement dans un
delai de 48 heures, il avait l'ordre de quitter Belgrade avec le
personnel de la Legation. Pachitch et les autres Ministres qui se
trouvent en tournee electorale ont ete rappeles et sont attendus a
Belgrade demain Vendredi a 10 heures du matin. Patchou qui m'a
communique le contenu de la note, sollicite l'aide de la Russie et
declare qu'aucun Gouvernement Serbe ne pourra accepter les demandes de

(Signe) Strandtman.

No. 2.

Le Charge d'affaires en Serbie au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.


Belgrade, le 10/23 Juillet 1914.

Texte de la note qui a ete transmise aujourd'hui par le Ministre
d'Autriche-Hongrie an gouvernement Serbe:...

(_For this note, see German White Book, pp. 18-22_ (supra _in Appendix

Un memoire concernant les resultats de l'instruction de Sarajevo a
l'egard des fonctionnaires mentionnes aux points 7 et 8 est annexe a
cette note'.[193]

(Signe) Strandtman.

[Footnote 193: This memorandum is in the German White Book, pp. 22-3
(_supra_, Appendix I), and not reproduced in the Russian Orange Book.]

No. 3.

Note Verbale transmise personnellement par l'Ambassadeur
d'Autriche-Hongrie a St.-Petersbourg au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres
le 11/24 Juillet 1914 a 10 heures du matin.

Le Gouvernement Imperial et Royal s'est trouve dans la necessite de
remettre le Jeudi 10/23 du mois courant, par l'entremise du Ministre
Imperial et Royal a Belgrade, la note suivante an Gouvernement Royal de

(Suit le texte de la note).

Voir document No. 2.

No. 4.

Le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres au Charge d'affaires en


St.-Petersbourg, le 11/24 Juillet 1914.

Veuillez transmettre au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres
d'Autriche-Hongrie ce qui suit....

(This communication is printed in the British White Book
(_Correspondence_, No. 13); see p. 177 _supra_ for the text in English.)

Communique a Londres, Rome, Paris, Belgrade.

(Signe) Sazonow.

No. 5.

Le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres aux Representants de Sa Majeste
l'Empereur en Angleterre, en Allemagne, en Italie et en France.


St.-Petersbourg, le 11/24 Juillet 1914.

Me refere a mon telegramme a Koudachew d'aujourd'hui; nous esperons que
le Gouvernement aupres duquel. Vous etes accredite partagera notre point
de vue et prescrira d'urgence a son Representant a Vienne de se
prononcer dans le meme sens.

Communique a Belgrade.

(Signe) Sazonow.

No. 6.

Telegramme de Son Altesse Royale le Prince Regent de Serbie a Sa Majeste

Belgrade, le 11/24 Juillet 1914.

Le Gouvernement Austro-Hongrois a remis hier soir au Gouvernement serbe
une note concernant l'attentat de Sarajevo. Consciente de ses devoirs
internationaux, la Serbie des les premiers jours de l'horrible crime a
declare qu'elle le condamnait et qu'elle etait prete a ouvrir une
enquete sur son territoire si la complicite de certains de ses sujets
etait prouvee au cours du proces instruit par les autorites
Austro-hongroises. Cependant les demandes contenues dans la note
Austro-hongroise sont inutilement humiliantes pour la Serbie et
incompatibles avec sa dignite comme Etat independant. Ainsi on nous
demande sur un ton peremptoire une declaration du gouvernement dans
l'officiel et un ordre du souverain a l'armee, ou nous reprimerions
l'esprit hostile contre l'Autriche en nous faisant a nous memes des
reproches d'une faiblesse criminelle envers nos menees perfides.--On
nous impose ensuite l'admission des fonctionnaires austro-hongrois en
Serbie pour participer avec les notres a l'instruction et pour
surveiller l'execution des autres conditions indiquees dans la note.
Nous avons recu un delai de 48 heures pour accepter le tout, faute de
quoi la Legation d'Autriche-Hongrie quittera Belgrade. Nous sommes prets
a accepter les conditions austro-hongroises qui sont compatibles avec la
situation d'un Etat independant, ainsi que celles dont l'acception nous
sera conseillee par Votre Majeste; toutes les personnes dont la
participation a l'attentat sera demontree seront severement punis par
nous. Certaines parmi ces demandes ne pourraient etre executees sans des
changements de notre legislation, ce qui exige du temps. On nous a donne
un delai trop court. Nous pouvons etre attaques apres l'expiration du
delai par l'armee austro-hongroise qui se concentre sur notre frontiere.
Il nous est impossible de nous defendre et nous supplions Votre Majeste
de nous donner Son aide le plus tot possible. La bienveillance precieuse
de Votre Majeste qui s'est manifestee tant de fois a notre egard nous
fait esperer fermement que cette fois encore notre appel sera entendu
par Son genereux coeur slave.

En ces moments difficiles l'interprete les sentiments du peuple serbe
qui supplie Votre Majeste de vouloir bien s'interesser au sort du
Royaume de Serbie.

(Signe) Alexandre.

No. 7.

Le Charge d'Affaires en Allemagne au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.


Berlin, le 11/24 Juillet 1914.

Tous les journaux du matin, meme ceux, rares, qui reconnaissent
l'impossibilite pour la Serbie d'accepter les conditions posees,
accueillent avec une grande sympathie le ton energique adopte par
l'Autriche. L'officieux "Local-Anzeiger" est particulierement agressif;
il qualifie de superflus les recours eventuels de la Serbie a St.
Petersbourg, a Paris, a Athenes et a Bucarest, et termine en disant que
le peuple allemand respirera librement quand il aura appris que la
situation dans la peninsule Balcanique va enfin s'eclaircir.

(Signe) Bronewsky.

No. 8.

Le Charge d'Affaires en France an Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

_(Telegramme)._ Paris, le 11/24 Juillet 1914.

La copie de la note officiellement remise a Belgrade a ete communiquee
par l'Ambassadeur d'Autriche an Gouvernement Francais. Plus tard
l'Ambassadeur d'Allemagne a visite le Ministre et lui a lu une
communication reproduisant les arguments autrichiens et indiquant qu'en
cas de refus de la part de la Serbie, l'Autriche serait obligee de
recourir a une pression et, en cas de besoin, a des mesures militaires;
la communication se terminait par la remarque qu'a l'avis de l'Allemagne
cette question devrait etre resolue directement entre l'Autriche et la
Serbie et qu'il etait de l'interet des Puissances de circonscrire
l'affaire en l'abandonnant aux Parties interessees. Le Gerant du
Departement Politique, qui assistait a l'entretien, demanda a
l'Ambassadeur s'il fallait considerer l'action autrichienne comme un
ultimatum--en d'autres termes, si, dans le cas ou la Serbie ne se
soumettrait pas entierement aux demandes autrichiennes, les hostilites
etaient inevitables? L'ambassadeur evita une reponse directe en
alleguant l'absence d'instructions.

(Signe) Sevastopoulo.

No. 9.

Le Charge d'Affaires en Serbie au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

_(Telegramme)._ Belgrade, le 11/24 Juillet 1914.

Pachitch est rentre a Belgrade. Il a l'intention de donner dans le delai
fixe, c'est a dire demain Samedi a 6 heures du soir, une reponse a
l'Autriche indiquant les points acceptables et inacceptables. On
adressera aujourd'hui meme aux Puissances la priere de defendre
l'independance de la Serbie. Ensuite, ajouta Pachitch, si la guerre est
inevitable--nous ferons la guerre.

(Signe) Strandtman.

No. 10.

Communique du Gouvernement Imperial.

St.-Petersbourg, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Les derniers evenements et l'envoi par l'Autriche-Hongrie d'un ultimatum
a la Serbie preoccupent le Gouvernement Imperial an plus haut degre. Le
Gouvernement suit attentivement l'evolution du conflit serbo-autrichien
qui ne peut pas laisser la Russie indifferente.

No. 11.

Le Charge d'Affaires en Autriche-Hongrie au Ministre des Affaires

_(Telegramme)._ Vienne, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Le comte Berchtold se trouve a Ischl. Vu l'impossibilite d'y arriver a
temps, je lui ai telegraphie notre proposition de prolonger le delai de
l'ultimatum et l'ai repetee verbalement au Baron Macchio. Ce dernier m'a
promis de la communiquer a temps au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres,
mais a ajoute qu'il pouvait predire avec assurance un refus categorique.

(Signe) Koudachew.

No. 12.

Le Charge d'Affaires en Autriche-Hongrie an Ministre des Affaires

_(Telegramme)._ Vienne, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Suite a mon telegramme d'aujourd'hui. Viens de recevoir de Macchio la
reponse negative du Gouvernement Austro-Hongrois a notre proposition de
prolonger le delai de la note.

(Signe) Koudachew.

No. 13.

Le Charge d'Affaires en Serbie an Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

_(Telegramme)._ Belgrade, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Recu avec retard le 14--27 Juillet 1914.

Je transmets la reponse que le President du Conseil des Ministres Serbe
a remis an ministre Austro-Hongrois a Belgrade aujourd'hui avant
l'expiration du delai de l'ultimatum....

(The text of the reply will be found in the British White Book
(_Correspondence_, No. 39) and also in the German White Book, pp. 23-32
(supra, Appendix I.).)

No. 14.

Le Charge d'affaires en Allemagne au Ministre des affaires Etrangeres.

_(Telegramme)._ Berlin, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Ai recu Votre telegramme du 11/24 Juillet. Ai communique son contenu an
Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres. Il me dit que le Gouvernement Anglais
l'a egalement prie de conseiller a Vienne la prolongation du delai de
l'ultimatum; il a communique cette demarche telegraphiquement a Vienne,
il va en faire autant pour notre demarche, mais il craint qu'a la suite
de l'absence de Berchtold parti pour Ischl, et vu le manque de temps,
ses telegrammes ne restent sans resultats; il a, en outre, des doutes
sur l'opportunite pour l'Autriche de ceder an dernier moment et il se
demande si cela ne pouvait pas augmenter l'assurance de la Serbie. J'ai
repondu qu'une grande Puissance comme l'Autriche pourrait ceder sans
porter atteinte a son prestige et ai fait valoir tous les arguments
conformes, cependant je n'ai pu obtenir des promesses plus precises.
Meme lorsque je laissais entendre qu'il fallait agir a Vienne pour
eviter la possibilite de consequences redoutables, le Ministre des
Affaires Etrangeres repondait chaque fois negativement.

(Signe) Bronewsky.

No. 15.

Le Charge d'affaires en France an Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

(_Telegramme_). Paris, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Ai recu le telegramme du 11/24 Juillet concernant la prolongation du
delai de l'ultimatum autrichien et ai fait la communication prescrite.
Le Representant de France a Vienne a ete muni d'instructions conformes.

(Signe) Sevastopoulo.

No. 16.

L'Ambassadeur en Angleterre an Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

(_Telegramme_). Londres, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Recu telegramme du 11 Juillet. Grey a prescrit a l'Ambassadeur
d'Angleterre a Vienne d'appuyer notre demarche concernant la
prolongation du delai de l'ultimatum. Il m'a dit en meme temps que
l'Ambassadeur d'Autriche etait venu le voir et avait explique qu'on ne
devrait pas attribuer a la note autrichienne le caractere d'un
ultimatum; il faudrait la considerer comme une demarche qui, en cas
d'absence de reponse ou en cas de reponse insuffisante au terme fixe,
aurait comme suite la rupture des relations diplomatiques et le depart
immediat de Belgrade du Ministre d'Autriche-Hongrie, sans entrainer
cependant le commencement immediat des hostilites.--Grey a ajoute qu'a
la suite de cette explication il a indique a l'Ambassadeur d'Angleterre
a Vienne que dans le cas ou il serait trop tard pour soulever la
question de la prolongation du delai de l'ultimatum, celle de l'arret
des hostilites pourrait peut-etre servir de base a la discussion.

(Signe) Benckendorff.

No. 17.

Le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres a l'Ambassadeur a Londres.

_(Telegramme)._ St.-Petersbourg, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Dans le cas d'une nouvelle aggravation de la situation, pouvant
provoquer de la part des Grandes Puissances des actions conformes, nous
comptons que l'Angleterre ne tardera pas de se ranger nettement du cote
de la Russie et de la France, en vue de maintenir l'equilibre europeen,
en faveur duquel elle est intervenue constamment dans le passe et qui
serait sans aucun doute compromis dans le cas du triomphe de l'Autriche.

(Signe) Sazonow.

No. 18.

Note verbale remise par l'Ambassadeur d'Allemagne au Ministre des
Affaires Etrangeres le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Il nous revient de source autoritative que la nouvelle repandue par
quelques journaux d'apres laquelle la demarche du Gouvernement
d'Autriche-Hongrie a Belgrade aurait ete faite a l'instigation de
l'Allemagne est absolument fausse. Le Gouvernement Allemand n'a pas eu
connaissance du texte de la note Autrichienne avant qu'elle ait ete
remise et n'a exerce aucune influence sur son contenu. C'est a tort
qu'on attribue a l'Allemagne une attitude comminatoire.

L'Allemagne appuie naturellement comme allie de l'Autriche les
revendications a son avis legitimes du Cabinet de Vienne contre la

Avant tout elle desire comme elle l'a deja declare des le commencement
du differend Austro-Serbe que ce conflit reste localise.

No. 19.

Le Charge d'affaires en France an Ministre des affaires Etrangeres.

_(Telegramme)_ Paris, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Me refere a mon telegramme du 11/24 Juillet.

Aujourd'hui un journal du matin a publie, sous une forme pas entierement
exacte, les declarations d'hier de l'Ambassadeur d'Allemagne, en les
faisant suivre de commentaires qui attribuent a cette demarche le
caractere d'une menace. L'Ambassadeur d'Allemagne, tres impressionne par
ces divulgations, a visite aujourd'hui le Gerant du Departement
Politique pour lui dire que ses paroles n'avaient nullement eu le
caractere de menace qu'on leur attribue. Il a declare que l'Autriche
avait presente sa note a la Serbie sans entente precise avec Berlin,
mais que cependant l'Allemagne approuvait le point de vue de l'Autriche
et que certainement 'la fleche une fois partie' (ce sont la ses propres
paroles), l'Allemagne ne pouvait se laisser guider que par ses devoirs

(Signe) Sevastopoulo.

No. 20.

L'ambassadeur en Angleterre au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

_(Telegramme)._ Londres, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Grey m'a dit que l'Ambassadeur d'Allemagne lui a declare que le
Gouvernement Allemand n'avait pas ete informe du texte de la note
autrichienne, mais qu'il soutenait entierement la demarche autrichienne.
L'Ambassadeur a demande en meme temps si l'Angleterre pouvait consentir
a agir a St. Petersbourg dans un esprit de conciliation. Grey a repondu
que cela etait completement impossible. Le Ministre a ajoute que tant
que les complications n'existaient qu'entre l'Autriche et la Serbie, les
interets Anglais n'etaient engages qu'indirectement, mais qu'il devait
prevoir que la mobilisation autrichienne aurait comme suite la
mobilisation de la Russie et que des ce moment on se trouverait en
presence d'une situation a laquelle seraient interessees toutes les
Puissances. L'Angleterre se reservait pour ce cas une complete liberte

(Signe) Benckendorff.

No. 21.

Le Charge d'affaires en Serbie an Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

_(Telegramme)._ Belgrade, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Malgre le caractere extremement conciliant de la reponse serbe a
l'ultimatum, le Ministre d'Autriche vient d'informer, a 6-1/2 du soir,
le Gouvernement Serbe par note, que n'ayant pas recu an delai fixe une
reponse satisfaisante il quitte Belgrade avec tout le personnel de la
Legation. La Scoupchtina est convoquee a Nich pour le 14/27 Juillet. Le
Gouvernement Serbe et le Corps Diplomatique partent ce soir pour la meme

(Signe) Strandtman.

No. 22.

L'Ambassadeur en Angleterre an Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

_(Telegramme)._ Londres, le 12/25 Juillet 1914.

Grey a dit a l'Ambassadeur d'Allemagne qu'a son avis la mobilisation
autrichienne devait entrainer la mobilisation de la Russie, qu'alors
surgirait le danger aigu d'une guerre generale et qu'il ne voyait qu'un
seul moyen pour une solution pacifique: qu'en presence des mobilisations
autrichienne et russe, l'Allemagne, la France, l'Italie et l'Angleterre
s'abstiennent d'une mobilisation immediate et proposent tout d'abord
leurs bons offices. Grey m'a dit que ce plan necessitait avant tout
l'agrement de l'Allemagne et l'engagement de cette Puissance de ne pas
mobiliser. En consequence il a adresse tout d'abord a Berlin une
question a ce sujet.

(Signe) Benckendorff.

No. 23.

Le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres a l'Ambassadeur en Italie.

_(Telegramme)._ St. Petersbourg, le 13/26 Juillet 1914.

L'Italie pourrait jouer un role de tout premier ordre en faveur du
maintien de la paix, en exercant l'influence necessaire sur l'Autriche
et en adoptant une attitude nettement defavorable au conflit, car ce
dernier ne saurait etre localise. Il est desirable que vous exprimiez la
conviction qu'il est impossible pour la Russie de ne pas venir en aide a
la Serbie.

(Signe) Sazonow.

No. 24.

Le Gerant du Consulat a Prague au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

_(Telegramme)._ Prague, le 13/26 Juillet 1914.

La mobilisation a ete decretee.

(Signe) Kazansky.

No. 25.

Le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres a l'Ambassadeur en Autriche-Hongrie.

_(Telegramme)._ St. Petersbourg, le 13/26 Juillet 1914.

J'ai eu aujourd'hui un long entretien sur un ton amical avec
l'Ambassadeur d'Autriche-Hongrie. Apres avoir examine avec lui les 10
demandes adressees a la Serbie, j'ai fait observer qu'a part la forme
peu habile sous laquelle elles sont presentees, quelques-unes parmi
elles sont absolument inexecutables, meme dans le cas ou le gouvernement
Serbe declarerait les vouloir accepter. Ainsi, par exemple, les points 1
et 2 ne pourraient etre executes sans un remaniement des lois serbes sur
la presse et sur les associations, pour lequel le consentement de la
Scoupchtina pourrait etre difficilement obtenu; quant a l'execution des
points 4 et 5, elle pourrait produire des consequences fort dangereuses
et meme faire naitre le danger d'actes de terrorisme diriges contre les
membres de la Maison Royale et contre Pachitch, ce qui ne saurait entrer
dans les vues de l'Autriche. En ce qui regarde les autres points, il me
semble, qu'avec certains changements dans les details, il ne serait pas
difficile de trouver un terrain d'entente si les accusations y contenues
etaient confirmees par des preuves suffisantes.

Dans l'interet de la conservation de la paix qui, aux dires de Szapary,
est precieuse a l'Autriche au meme degre qu'a toutes les Puissances, il
serait necessaire de mettre au plus tot possible une fin a la situation
tendue du moment. Dans ce but il me semblerait tres desirable que
l'Ambassadeur d'Autriche-Hongrie fut autorise d'entrer avec moi dans un
echange de vues prive aux fins d'un remaniement en commun de quelques
articles de la note autrichienne du 10/23 Juillet. Ce procede
permettrait peut-etre de trouver une formule qui fut acceptable pour la
Serbie, tout en donnant satisfaction a l'Autriche quant au fond de ses
demandes. Veuillez avoir une explication prudente et amicale dans le
sens de ce telegramme avec le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.
Communique aux Ambassadeurs en Allemagne, en France, en Angleterre et en

(Signe) Sazonow.

No. 26.

Le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres a l'Ambassadeur en Allemagne.

_(Telegramme)._ St. Petersbourg, le 13/26 Juillet.

Veuillez communiquer le contenu de mon telegramme a Vienne d'aujourd'hui
au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres Allemand et lui exprimer l'espoir,
que de son cote il trouvera possible de conseiller a Vienne d'aller
au-devant de notre proposition.

(Signe) Sazonow.

No. 27.

Le Charge d'Affaires en France au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

_(Telegramme)._ Paris, le 13/26 Juillet 1914.

Le Directeur du Departement Politique m'informe, que lors de la
communication qu'il a faite a l'Ambassadeur d'Autriche du contenu de la
reponse serbe a l'ultimatum, l'Ambassadeur n'a pas cache son etonnement
de ce qu'elle n'ait pas donne satisfaction a Giesl. L'attitude
conciliante de la Serbie doit, selon l'avis du Directeur du Departement
Politique, produire la meilleure impression en Europe.

(Signe) Sevastopoulo.

No. 28.

Le Charge d'Affaires en France an Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

(_Telegramme_). Paris, le 13/26 Juillet 1914.

Aujourd'hui l'Ambassadeur d'Allemagne a de nouveau rendu visite au
Gerant du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres et lui a fait les
declarations suivantes:

"L'Autriche a declare a la Russie qu'elle ne recherche pas des
acquisitions territoriales et qu'elle ne menace pas l'integrite de la
Serbie. Son but unique est d'assurer sa propre tranquillite. Par
consequent il depend de la Russie d'eviter la guerre. L'Allemagne se
sent solidaire avec la France dans le desir ardent de conserver la paix
et espere fermement que la France usera de son influence a Petersbourg
dans un sens moderateur". Le Ministre fit observer que l'Allemagne
pourrait de son cote entreprendre des demarches analogues a Vienne,
surtout en presence de l'esprit de conciliation dont a fait preuve la
Serbie. L'Ambassadeur repondit que cela n'etait pas possible, vu la
resolution prise de ne pas s'immiscer dans le conflit austro-serbe.
Alors le Ministre demanda, si les quatre Puissances--l'Angleterre,
l'Allemagne, l'Italie et la France--ne pouvaient pas entreprendre des
demarches a St. Petersbourg et a Vienne, puisque l'affaire se reduisait
en somme a un conflit entre la Russie et l'Autriche. L'Ambassadeur
allegua l'absence d'instructions. Finalement le Ministre refusa
d'adherer a la proposition allemande.

(Signe) Sevastopoulo.

No. 29.

Le Charge d'Affaires en France au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

(_Telegramme_). Paris, le 13/28 Juillet 1914.

Le Directeur du Departement Politique a declare qu'a son avis personnel,
les demarches successives allemandes a Paris ont pour but d'intimider la
France et d'amener son intervention a St. Petersbourg.

(Signe) Sevastopoulo.

No. 30.

Le Charge d'Affaires en Allemagne au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

(_Telegramme_). Berlin, le 13/26 Juillet 1914.

Apres la reception a Berlin de la nouvelle de la mobilisation de l'armee
autrichienne contre la Serbie une grande foule, composee, aux dires des
journaux, en partie d'elements autrichiens, se livra a une serie de
bruyantes manifestations en faveur de l'Autriche. A une heure avancee de
la soiree les manifestants se masserent a plusieurs reprises devant le
palais de l'Ambassade Imperiale en poussant des cris hostiles a la
Russie; la police etait presque absente et ne prenait aucune mesure.

(Signe) Bronewsky.

No. 31.

L'Ambassadeur en Angleterre au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.


Londres, le 14/27 Juillet 1914.

Ai recu votre telegramme du 13-26 Juillet. Prie me telegraphier si, a
Votre avis, Vos pourparlers directs avec le cabinet de Vienne
s'accordent avec le projet de Grey concernant la mediation des 4
Gouvernements. Ayant appris de l'Ambassadeur d'Angleterre a St.
Petersbourg que Vous etiez dispose a accepter cette combinaison, Grey a
decide de la transformer en une proposition officielle qu'il a faite
hier soir a Berlin, a Paris et a Rome.

(Signe) Benckendorff.

No. 32.

Le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres aux Ambassadeurs en France et en


St. Petersbourg, le 14/27 Juillet 1914.

(Printed in the British White Book (_Correspondence_, No. 53.).)

No. 33.

Le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres aux Ambassadeurs en France, en
Angleterre, en Allemagne, en Autriche-Hongrie et en Italie.


St. Petersbourg, le 14/27 Juillet 1914.

Ai pris connaissance de la reponse transmise par le Gouvernement Serbe
au Baron Giesl. Elle depasse toutes nos previsions par sa moderation et
son desir de donner la plus complete satisfaction a l'Autriche. Nous ne
voyons pas quelles pourraient etre encore les demandes de l'Autriche, a
moins que le Cabinet de Vienne ne cherche un pretexte pour une guerre
avec la Serbie.

(Signe) Sazonow.

No. 34.

Le Charge d'Affaires en France au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.


Paris, le 14/27 Juillet 1914.

L'Ambassadeur d'Allemagne a confere aujourd'hui de nouveau longuement
sur la situation avec le Directeur du Departement Politique.
L'Ambassadeur a beaucoup insiste sur l'exclusion de toute possibilite
d'une mediation ou d'une conference.

(Signe) Sevastopoulo.

No. 35.

L'Ambassadeur en France au Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres.

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