Document Numbers 146 - 160

26 July - 27 July 1914
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(34516) No. 146
Communication by German Ambassador.
July 26, 1914.

Sir Edward Grey,
Prince Lichnowsky called this afternoon with an urgent telegram from his Government to say that they had received information that Russia was calling in "classes of reserves," which meant mobilisation. If this mobilisation took place on the German frontier, Germany would be compelled to mobilise and France naturally would follow suit. Prince Lichnowsky was, therefore, instructed to request that we would urge the Russian Government not to mobilise. The Germans would not mind a partial mobilisation say at Odessa or Kieff but could not view indifferently a mobilisation on the German frontier.

I told Prince Lichnowsky that we had no information as to a generalmobilisation or indeed of any mobilisation immediately. (The Ukase mobilising 1,100,000 men has not been issued.)(1) It would, however, be difficult and delicate for us to ask Petersburg not to mobilise at all when Austria was contemplating such a measure we should not be listened to. The main thing was to prevent, if possible, active military operations and I told Prince Lichnowsky in general terms of the proposals for a meeting … quatre here which you had made at Paris-Berlin-Rome on the condition that Russia, Austria and Servia should suspend active military operations pending results of conference.(2) Prince Lichnowsky liked the proposal.

A. N.

(He was very excited.)

See DD Nos. 236 and 218.

(1) See No. 125.
(2) No. 140

(33890) No. 147.
Sir H .Rumbold to Sir Edward Grey.
Berlin, July 26, 1914.
D. 2:20 P.M.
R. 4:30 P.M.
Tel. (No. 92.)
Austria-Hungary and Servia

There was a demonstration in front of the Austrian Embassy last night, and large crowds paraded principal streets singing patriotic songs and Austrian national anthem. German public opinion continues to support Austria-Hungary strongly. Up to the present public were so satisfied of the strength of Austrian case that they were convinced that conflict with Servia would remain localised. There are now indications that German public and press are beginning to appreciate gravity of position. While not wanting war, they are nevertheless determined to see Austria-Hungary through.

Emperor returns suddenly to-night, and Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs says that Foreign Office regret this step, which was taken on His Majesty's own initiative. They fear that His Majesty's sudden return may cause speculation and excitement. Under-Secretary of State likewise told me that German Ambassador at St. Petersburg had reported that, in conversation with Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, latter had said that if Austria annexed bits of Servian territory Russia would not remain indifferent. Under-Secretary of State drew conclusion that Russia would not act if Austria did not annex territory.

(Repeated to Embassies.)

Published in BB No. 33 (last paragraph only).

(33864) No. 148.
Sir R. Rodd to Sir Edward Grey.
Rome, July 26, 1914.
D. 3:45 P.M.
R. 5 30 P.M.
Tel. (No. 122.)
Austro-Servian conflict.

I gather that Italian Government will endeavour to argue, even if Russia should intervene in support of Servia, that inasmuch as Austria did not consultItaly before delivering note, and inasmuch as by her mode of attack on Servia she would be constructively provoking Russia, the casus f deris contemplated by alliance would not arise. It is, however, admitted that this is not view taken by Germany.

(Repeated to Embassies and Nish.)

(33891 ) No. 149.
Sir H. Rumbold to Sir Edward Grey.
Berlin, July 26, 1914.
D. 7:35 P.M.
R. 8:15 P.M.
Tel. (No. 94.)

Your telegram No. 228 to Paris.(1)

Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs has just telephoned to me to say that German Ambassador at Vienna has been instructed to pass on to Austro-Hungarian Government your hopes that they may take a favourable view of a Servian reply if it corresponds to the forecast contained in Belgrade telegram No. 5.(2)

Under-Secretary of State considers very fact of their making this communication to Austro-Hungarian Government implies that they associate themselves to a certain extent with your hope. German Government do not see their way to going beyond this.

(Repeated to Paris and St. Petersburg.)

Published in BB No. 34.

Cf. No. 115, also DD No. 186 (footnote).


Very insidious on the part of the German Government. I presume Sir E. Grey will say something to Prince Lichnowsky about this somewhat peculiar way of treating our suggestion that Germany should join in making a communication at Vienna.
E. A. C. July 27.

This is the second occasion on which Herr von Jagow has acted similarly. A. N.

(1) No. 120
(2) No. 114

(33888) No. 150.
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.
Vienna, July 26, 1914.
D. 7 P.M.
R. 10 P.M.
Tel. (No. 105.)

German Ambassador has expressed to me his confidential (sic) belief that Russia, having received assurance that Austria-Hungary will annex no Servian territory, will keep quiet during chastisement which Austria-Hungary is determined to inflict on Servia. I asked if he did not think public opinion might compel Russian Government to intervene on behalf of kindred nationality. He said that days of Pan-Slav agitation in Russia were over. Moscow was perfectly quiet, and everything depended on personality of Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, who could easily resist, if he chose, pressure of a few newspapers. His Excellency did not think Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs would be so imprudent as to take step which would probably bring into melting-pot many frontier questions in which Russia was interested, such as Swedish, Polish, Ruthene, Roumanian, and Persian questions. Nor was France at all in a condition to face war.

I said that I thought that the Austro-Hungarian Government had made matters a little difficult for other Powers by the tone of ultimatum to Servia, with many requirements of which one naturally sympathised if only they had been expressed in a more temperate manner. German Ambassador said that it was impossible to speak to Servia effectively in any other way. Germany knew very well what she was about in backing up Austria-Hungary in this matter. Servia required lesson and was about to receive one, but there ought to be no extension of the quarrel to other countries; Russia had no right to assume protectorate over Servia, and he doubted her acting as if she made any such claim.

Italian Ambassador says that the German Ambassador has held exactly the same language to him, and that it is founded on similar opinions of both German and Austrian Ambassadors at St. Petersburg. Italian Ambassador fears that it is over sanguine as to Russian inaction.

German Ambassador asked me if I had heard that Servian Government had made a pretence of giving way at the last moment. His Excellency had heard of a letter which you had addressed to the German Ambassador yesterday hoping that the Servian concessions would be regarded as satisfactory.(1) I said that I had heard that Servia had been willing to give in practically on every point. He said that it was all a sham, for Servia had ordered mobilisation and retirement of Government from Belgrade before making her offer, thus proving that she well knew it to be insufficient to satisfy legitimate demands of Austria-Hungary.

Published in BB No. 32 (paraphrased and parts omitted).


This is only Herr v. Tschirschky. E. A. C. July 27.

That is all and he is spreading the belief that Russia will keep quiet if no annexations occur! How little can he grasp the real situation. A. N.

(1) No. 115 and DD No. 186 (footnote).

(33893) No. 151.
Mr. Beaumont to Sir Edward Grey.
Constantinople, July 26, 1914.
D. 8:56 P.M.
R. 10 P.M.

Tel. (No. 456.)
I have every reason to believe that attitude of Turkey, in view of rupture of relations between Austria-Hungary and Servia, will be one of expectancy, and that her policy will be guided by future events, but that any opportunity of regaining lost territory will be eagerly seized. At present no change has keen made in arrangements for meeting between Grand Vizier and M. Venizelos, and unless, as seems probable, latter has to return to Athens, it will take place on 31st July.

Russian Ambassador is very pessimistic and considers Austrian action is aimed at Triple Entente and Russia in particular, as much as at Servia, Triple Alliance considering moment to be favourable to recover loss of prestige resulting from recent events in the Balkans and to crush Servia out of existence.

(33874) No. 152
Mr. Max Müller to Sir Edward Grey.
Budapest, July 26, 1914.
D. 5:50 P.M.
R. 10:30 P.M.
Tel. (No. 4.)

Budapest was last night scene of popular demonstrations of wild enthusiasm for war with Servia.

Early this morning notices were posted up ordering partial mobilisation of Budapest corps and of certain Honved regiments of reservists affected to report themselves within twenty-four hours. Persons belonging to Landsturm are to report themselves during following three days.

General Putnik, Chief of Servian General Staff, was arrested here last night by military authorities at railway station on the way to Servia.

(Sent to Vienna.)

No. 153.
Sir G. Buchanan to Sir Edward Grey.
St. Petersburg, July 26, 1914.
D. 8 P.M.
. R. 10:40 P.M.

I venture to hope that in any statement you may make in Parliament you may find it possible to show that if European peace is being endangered it is not Russia but Austria who is at fault. Russia has done her very best to induce Servia to accept all Austria's demands which do not conflict with her status as an independent state or with her existing laws. Austria has so far given no sign that she desires peaceful settlement of question and has addressed direct challenge to Russia. Blow struck at Servia was as Minister for Foreign Affairs said to me yesterday really aimed at Russia.

German Ambassador has cited in conversation Minister for Foreign Affairs' views expressed in certain liberal papers favourable to Austria as representing views of His Majesty's Government and of British public opinion. It would, I think, be most inadvisable to allow belief to gain ground here that our sympathies are on side of Austria. As it is our position is a very delicate one and Minister for Foreign Affairs told me yesterday that Emperor had expressed great disappointment on hearing from him what I had said with regard to probable attitude of His Majesty's Government (see my telegram No. 166 of July 24).(1)

(1) No. 101.

(33865) No. 154.
Sir R. Rodd to Sir Edward Grey.
Rome, July 26, 1914.
D. 10:6 P.M.
R. 11 P.M.

Tel. (No. 123.)
Your telegram No. 232 to Paris of 26th July (1) Austria and Servia.

Minister for Foreign Affairs welcomes your proposal for a conference, and will instruct Italian Ambassador to-night accordingly.

As regards second paragraph, while agreeing in principle, he thinks that it would be prudent that Italy in her position as an ally should refer to Berlin and Vienna before undertaking formally to request the latter to suspend all action.

Austrian Ambassador has informed Italian Government this evening that Minister in Belgrade had been recalled, but that this did not imply declaration of war.

(Repeated to Embassies.)

Published in BB No. 35 (part omitted).

(1) No. 140.

(33867) No. 155.
Sir G. Buchanan to Sir Edward Grey.
St. Petersburg, July 26, 1914.
D. 8 P.M.
R. 11 P.M

Tel. (No. 172.)
By Imperial Ukase of the 26th July, Governments of St. Petersburg and Moscow have been placed in a "state of extraordinary protective activity" ostensibly in view of strikes. Strikes here are practically over and measure is doubtless connected with intending mobilisation.

(34071) No. 156
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 27.)
(No. 151.)
Vienna, July 19, 1914.

I had some conversation yesterday with my Italian and Russian colleagues concerning the press campaign which is being carried on in Vienna against Servia.

Duc Avarna told me he had asked Count Berchtold point blank the day before if the situation was to be considered grave. Count Berchtold had demurred to the precise expression used, but said the relations with Servia required clearing up, and the situation was peu sérène. The Duke then enquired if it was true that a stiff note was to be sent in at Belgrade and hoped if so it would make no unwarrantable demands. Count Berchtold said he did not himself know yet what would happen. The Serajevo proceedings were not yet at an end. All would depend on the precise results of the investigation which was being made by the competent court. Probably a communication would have to be made eventually to the Servian Government. It was too early to say what its contents would be. The Italian Ambassador gave me to understand that he had warned Count Berchtold against the danger of allowing the press to lead the public mind to expect that a kind of ultimatum would be sent and that failing immediate compliance at Belgrade force would be used. The present tone of the "Neue Freie Presse" and other important newspapers, especially the "Reichspost," was likely to have that effect and the Austro-Hungarian Government might find themselves in the end in a difficult position. The animosity of the people against Servia would have been stirred up to such a point that in order to satisfy public opinion language would have to be used in speaking to the Servian Government which would create perhaps a dangerous crisis. Duc Avarna added that he had pointed out to the Minister for Foreign Affairs in conclusion that it would be futile to attack a national aspiration by demanding for instance the suppression of so-called patriotic associations, and that it would be well to limit the demands to be made on Servia to a request for co-operation in exposing and bringing to punishment any promoters or accomplices of the crime who might be found in that country. His Excellency was left under the impression that when the time came Count Berchtold would act with due moderation and caution, but it might be difficult to explain to the general public what would be regarded as a retreat from the position originally taken up.

The Russian Ambassador told me that he had postponed his departure on leave of absence owing to the uncertainty of the situation, but that he now felt he could safely go away for two or three weeks and would probably leave for Russia in a day or two. There was however great irritation here against the Servians, and he had found the Ballplatz annoyed by the silence of the Servian Government which had quite rightly, in his opinion, postponed taking any action until it should be in possession of concrete accusations against specified persons on which it could take effective action. M. Schebeko deplored the violence of some of the organs of the press and he pointed out to me a number of articles which had appeared in yesterday's newspapers repeating and commenting on the language of the English press, which was interpreted as an encouragement to the Dual Monarchy to take severe action against Servia. Mention was made for instance of an article in the "Times" of the 16th July as bearing this interpretation, and an article of the "Westminster Gazette"(1) of the next day was reproduced at length in several of the Vienna papers under headings describing it as a warning to Servia by the official organ of the British Government. M. Schebeko thought it was a pity that the flames which were all too ready to flare up should be fanned in this way. I told his Excellency that the articles in question were certainly devoid of official inspiration, and I remarked that they did not appear to me to amount to more than the expression of the perfectly reasonable view that Servia would perhaps do well in her own interest to initiate proceedings against suspected persons in that country without waiting for a peremptory demand to that effect from this country. The Russian Ambassador said his Government had made a communiqu‚ to the St. Petersburg press expressing the conviction that the Austro-Hungarian Government would put forward no unreasonable demands, and that this had been intended as a hint that it would be well for this Government to act with moderation. He wondered if the British Government would see its way to making a similar statement in the newspapers. I said I did not myself see that there was any occasion for this at present, so far as I was aware of what the English newspapers were saying. The French Ambassador, while deploring the language of the press and noting with some anxiety the reports which reach him of growing irritation among the Serbs of Bosnia against the Dual Monarchy, is inclined on the whole to believe that in the end the Austro-Hungarian Government will see the wisdom of avoiding an armed conflict with Servia. He hears that, notwithstanding the hostile action of the Bosnian Croats against their Serb neighbours immediately after the assassinations, the understanding reached some years ago between the Croats and Serbs of Croatia has been only temporarily disturbed by recent events, and that Serbs and Croats throughout the southern provinces of the Dual Monarchy are likely to make common cause against any too oppressive measures that may be taken against them by the common Government. M. Dumaine has heard from Paris, as I have already had the honour to report by my telegram No. 98, Confidential, of the 20th July,(2) that the Italian Ambassador and Servian Minister in that capital have confided to the French Government their fears that Austria-Hungary may be led, in an outburst of anger against Servia, to make a sudden assault on Mount Lovchen, a position which, once in its hands, would enable this country to dictate its will to Montenegro and effectively to prevent armed co-operation between Montenegro and Servia. The capture of Mount Lovchen would no doubt be a serious blow to Servia as well as to Montenegro.

I trust however that my colleagues whose views I have endeavoured to summarise are right in their general belief that warlike complications will be avoided.

I have, &c.

(1) Nos. 58, 73.
(2) No. 71.

(34114) No. 157.
Mr. Max Müller to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 27.)
(No. 33.)
Budapest. July 28, 1914.

With reference to my Despatch No. 32 of the 17th instant,(1) I have the honour to report that no fewer than 4 interpellations regarding the present difficulties with Servia, one in the name of Count Julius Andrassy, appeared on yesterday's Order of the Day in the Chamber of Deputies, and Count Tisza's replies to the same were awaited with the greatest interest.

As I have already had the honour to inform you by telegram,(2) Count Tisza declared that he was still not in a position to reply to the questions addressed to him in regard to any contemplated action, but that he hoped to be able to make a detailed statement very shortly. He explained that it would not be in the interests of the country to open a discussion at the present moment on the questions which formed the subject of the interpellations.

Nevertheless a debate was commenced in which sharp criticisms were directed against the administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the methods adopted by the present Government in dealing with the Southern Slavs and the dilatoriness and want of decision evinced by the Government in their treatment of the incidents arising from the assassination of the Archduke. One speaker went so far as to say: "What is the present position of the Monarchy? A few old gentlemen, retired Excellencies and aged generals, have made a close ring and keep the King hermetically sealed in. They plod along on the same old lines. Such a policy can perhaps be defended in peaceful times. But now, in a moment of crisis, what is required is more consideration, more justice, more moderation towards the Hungarian Opposition, and more energy and greater determination in dealing with these old gentlemen."

Count Tisza stated that the position of affairs was not such as to justify the conclusion that a serious turn for the worse was either certain or even probable; the foreign situation was still uncertain and could be solved by peaceful means, though he could not overlook the possibility of serious conflict.

The debate then turned to the question of the bitter dissensions between the Government and the Opposition, and to the grave prejudice which they caused the country at a time when all parties should show a united front to the foreign enemy. After much mutual recrimination, Count Tisza, in reply to an appeal of Count Julius Andrassy, promised that, as long as the present tension in foreign relations continued, he would on his part do all in his power to mitigate the excesses of party conflict, but though he was most eager for an understanding with the Opposition, he could not, with that object in view resign his position as leader of the Government, under present circumstances, so long as he retained the confidence of his party. His Excellency concluded by stating that he had always been prepared to take the initiative at the proper moment towards the re-establishment of normal parliamentary conditions and that he felt that the proper moment would be provided by some foreign complication. He was, however, prepared not to wait any longer for such foreign complications to arise, but at once to enter into negotiations with the Opposition with a view to restoring a healthy and regular parliamentary life and enabling the Opposition to draw a veil over the past.

It remains to be seen whether these excellent intentions will be realised or will merely remain a pious aspiration.

I have, &c.

(1) No. 82.
(2) No. 85.

(33912) No. 158.
Sir H. Rumbold to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 27.)
(No. 299.)
Berlin, July 22, 1914.


I have the honour to report that, when I saw Herr von Jagow late yesterday afternoon at his weekly reception, his Excellency spoke of his own initiative about the démarche which the Austro-Hungarian Government were about to make at Belgrade. He evidently had expected the Austro-Hungarian Government to act before now.

I said that I had read with interest the communiqu‚ which had appeared in the "North German Gazette" of the 20th instant.(1) Herr von Jagow said that that communiqué‚ faithfully represented the views of the German Government. He could tell me that he had practically drafted it himself. His Excellency observed incidentally that, although the German Bourse had been, and still was, weak, he knew for a fact that this weakness was due to the manoeuvres of speculators.

Herr von Jagow maintained with great emphasis that the question at issue between Austria-Hungary and Servia was one which concerned those two countries alone. Austria-Hungary felt that she must "have it out" with Servia and he saw no reason why third parties should interfere. That being his opinion he did not see that he could have made any remarks to the Austro-Hungarian Government on the subject of their forthcoming démarche.

His Excellency said that he did not accuse the Servian Government of direct complicity in the plot which had led to the murder of the Archduke, but he considered that by doing nothing to check the unbridled utterances of a portion of the Servian press, the Servian Government were partly responsible for the creation of a situation which made that crime possible. He had told the Servian Minister over and over again that it was very desirable that Servia should put her relations with Austria Hungary on a proper footing and should take steps to control the Servian press. The Minister had replied that the press was free in Servia and that his Government could not control it.

Herr von Jagow remarked to me that if a man had a neighbour who either could not or would not put a stop to a nuisance, he had the right to help himself as best he could. His Excellency considered that Austria had shown great forbearance for a considerable time past. I understood this remark to apply to the Austrian attitude in Balkan affairs generally, and this impression was confirmed when Herr von Jagow added that if he had been Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs at the time, he would have annexed the Sandjak.

The impression left on me by this conversation was that Herr von Jagow would approve prompt and vigorous action on the part of Austria-Hungary at the present juncture, and that he is aware of the general character of the d‚marche to be made at Belgrade.

I have, &c.


This confirms the impression that Herr von Jagow has, if anything, egged on the Austrians. E. A. C. July 29.

(1) Cf. Nos. 73, 77.

(33914) No. 159.
Sir H. Rumbold to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 27.)
(No. 301.)
Berlin, July 24. 1914.

The Berlin press has almost without exception expressed complete approval of the attitude adopted by the Austro-Hungarian Government in the note addressed to the Servian Government. The hope is generally expressed that any conflict which may ensue will be solely between Austria-Hungary and Servia, but at the same time it is made quite clear that if any other Great Power intervenes the German people will be prepared to support their Austrian allies, if necessary by force of arms.

The "Lokal-Anzeiger" is so far the only newspaper to print an article which can in any way be assumed to represent the views of the German Government. This article is as follows:

"We have before us an historical document of the first order. To appreciate properly the tone and contents of this note, one must in the first place bear in mind that its authors composed it under the influence of the wrathful indignation inspired by the crime of Serajevo. They had hitherto maintained complete self control and had not been afraid even to incur the reproach of weakness and indecision. Now however that they had put pen to paper to establish the responsibility for the murder of the Austrian Heir Apparent and to draw the inevitable deductions, every sentence of this terrible indictment breathes a spirit of scornful indignation against the leaders and instigators of the Pan-Slav movement. With outspoken clearness the Servian Government are held responsible for what has happened, with stern directness all the facts are marshalled which have been a cause of so much trouble to the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy during recent years. Vienna and Budapest have taken some time to consider the matter but they have at last made up their minds to take the bull by the horns and hold him fast until peace and security shall have been safeguarded for all time. Count Berchtold and Count Tisza have couched their accusations and demands in language which accords well with the fateful gravity of the situation and no one can any longer be in doubt as to what is now at stake. The Servian Government have had time enough to prepare for this eventuality: they are well enough informed as to the proceedings and state of feeling in the Dual Monarchy to know that the patience even of the aged and much tried Emperor is exhausted. The short time limit set to them should therefore be sufficient for them to take such decisions as they think fit. The day of reckoning with Servia is at hand. After the events of recent years its coming was inevitable if our ally did not mean to sacrifice her prestige in the world and especially in the Near East. Speculations on this point have been rife, but all doubts have now been set at rest and we may note with great satisfaction that the requirements of the situation have been recognised at Vienna and courageously enunciated.

"This note will be regarded as a severe blow at Belgrade. There is no doubt that the Servian Government are faced by a disastrous choice they have now got to pay for past misdeeds. Either they accept the humiliating conditions of the note, which must damage their prestige for a long time to come, or else they refuse in that case the Austrian guns, which have too often been loaded and unloaded in the past, will go off. There will be no further question of haggling, bargaining or negotiating, the time for consideration, goodwill, hope and confidence is past. Servia must make her choice quickly and without reserve. She will perhaps sound St. Petersburg, Paris, Bucharest and Athens. But it will avail her nothing. Vienna knows what she wants, and she will not rest until her wishes have been enforced in their entirety. The German people are relieved to feel that the Balkan situation is at last to be cleared up. They congratulate their ally on her resolute decision and will not fail to give proof of their loyalty and readiness to help in the difficult days which may possible be in store for her."

In its evening issue the "Lokal-Anzeiger" was still more decided in its attitude:

"There is no going back," it says, " either for the Dual Monarchy or for those who are determined loyally to fulfil their duties as allies if serious contingencies arise."

With reference to Russia the same article goes on to say:

"We cannot assume that she will be prepared to touch a thing which is stained with innocent blood. Servia will fulfil the Austrian demands or else she will go under."

The Conservative "Kreuz-Zeitung," after expressing full approval of the action of Austria-Hungary, goes on to express the hope that the internal situation in Russia will prevent that country from doing anything to stiffen the back of Servia. France, it thinks, is for the moment comparatively peaceably inclined and, "as England is completely taken up with the Home Rule question," it considers that Servia has little prospect of support from the Powers of the Triple Entente. It was therefore to be hoped, the paper continues, that Servia would, however unwillingly consent to Austria's demands. Even if popular passions or other unforeseen circumstances should upset this calculation, there was reason to expect that the inevitable war would be localised between Austria and Servia. The German Government would no doubt use their influence in this direction, whilst England was doing the same as regards her friends. In any case, however,Germany's alliance with Austria-Hungary was fully operative, and it was perhaps desirable to emphasise the fact that the German people were in all circumstances ready and willing to meet to the fullest extent the obligations arising out of that alliance.

Similarly the "Tågliche Rundschau" says:

"How is Germany affected by all this? Primarily not at all, if Austria and Servia are let alone. But to the last degree if, contrary to all statesmanlike expectations and in the face of the most elementary moral sense, such should not be the case." Even the Radical " Tageblatt" endorses the action of Austria-Hungary. "However much," it says, "every decent person must wish for the maintenance of peace, it must be admitted that Austria-Hungary could not have acted otherwise and she can count on the fullest moral and material support at any rate of her allies, in the action now undertaken."

The Liberal "Vossische Zeitung" too admits that Austria could not have acted otherwise if she wished to maintain her position as a Great Power. The future of the Hapsburg Monarchy, it says, was now at stake. Either that Monarchy would put forth all its strength to restore an imposing Edifice of State, or else total ruin would be the result. "What Austria is now doing, she is compelled to do in self defence; but whoever seeks to intervene without just cause, would be committing an outrage against his own people and against all the peoples of Europe."

The only adverse criticism of the note which I have seen has appeared, curiously enough, in the Pan-German and Chauvinist "Post." The note it says, was no note but an ultimatum of the stiffest description. It was convinced of the bona fides of the Austro-Hungarian Government in attributing the Serajevo murder to Servian intrigues. But on what did they base their weighty accusation? Even if a Servian Major had had a hand in the intrigue and Servian frontier officials had been bribed and involved in the affair, it was going rather far to accuse a whole people of the murder, as was clearly implied in the note. Why did Austria not publish the evidence which she must surely have in her possession, why did she not furnish incontrovertible proof that she was not animated solely by a desire for revenge, and that there were solid facts which proved the existence of a Pan-Slav conspiracy against the Monarchy? The brief assertions made were certainly of a compromising nature for Servia, but one ought to know what the latter had to say in her own defence. Austria, however, left no time for a reply. She insisted on immediate compliance with a series of impossible demands. Why was it that she acted in this way? She knew that her prestige was at stake. It was evident that she wanted to bring about a war with Servia.

Hence arose the question whether she was right in thinking that Servia was so weakened by the last two Balkan wars as to be incapable of serious resistance, and also whether the Czech and Southern Slav regiments were reliable. A further question of great moment also presented itself would and could the Austro- Servian conflict be localised? This question could hardly, at present, be answered. It all depended on the attitude of Russia, and no one could guarantee that she would be content to remain a passive spectator. The pride of Bulgaria must also be taken into consideration, for she might be expected to regard with favour an opportunity to wipe out old scores against her hated rival. And if Russia supported Servia, would not France think that the moment had come to attack Germany, and so prevent her from supporting Austria?

"A whole string of questions," it concludes, "is involved in the delivery of the Austrian note. Never was the danger of a European war more imminent than now. Austria ought to realise her responsibility for the energy which she has now so unexpectedly displayed .... Is Austria acting independently? Well and good. Let her continue to act independently. We can wait."

The frequent comments on the habitual vacillation and indecision of the Vienna Cabinet, which appeared in the Press before the presentation of the Austro-Hungarian note, have practically amounted to goading on the Austro-Hungarian Government to take resolute and determined action once for all.

I have, &c.


If it is the case that the articles in the "Lokal-Anzeiger" may be assumed to represent the views of the German Government, it is not surprising that Austria should have felt she was being encouraged from Berlin. E. A. C. July 29.

(33916) No. 160.
Sir H. Rumbold to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 27.)
(No. 303.)
Berlin, July 24, 1914

The French Ambassador asked me to go and see him this morning. M. Cambon enquired what I thought of the Austro-Hungarian Note to Servia. I said that it contained certain demands, notably Nos. 5 and 6 which it appeared to me difficult for an independent State to accept. His Excellency agreed and said that,in his opinion, there would be war between Austria-Hungary and Servia.

M. Cambon went on to say that in his view it was more than a coincidence that the Note should have been presented at Belgrade at the moment when the French President was leaving St. Petersburg. Discussion between M. Viviani and M. Sasonow was now precluded for the moment. He then showed me a telegram which he had just received from the French Ambassador at Vienna. In this telegram M. Dumaine reported that, in the event of the rejection of their demands, the Austro-Hungarian Government were prepared to act with eight Army Corps. M. Dumaine further stated that Count Tisza had warned the Austrian Government that, given the composition of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a war, even with Servia alone, would raise the racial question in a dangerous form. The French Ambassador at Vienna further reported that his German colleague had been active in advising resolute action against Servia, though he admitted that he did not see eye to eye with the German Government on this point. M. Cambon said that he was going to see Herr von Jagow in the afternoon and should tell him privately that Herr von Tschirschky was partly to blame for the action of the Austro-Hungarian Government.

The Russian Chargé d'Affaires called at this Embassy in the course of the afternoon. He took a very gloomy view of the outcome of the crisis. He did not know what course his Government would take. It might be that if the King of Servia abdicated, a new situation would arise which might induce the Austro-Hungarian Government to moderate their demands. I said that the time limit made this difficult. I also said that Russia was so great and so important that she could afford not to consider the question of prestige in dealing with Slav opinion.

The French Ambassador came to the Embassy on his way back from the Foreign Office. I have had the honour to report by telegraph the substance of his conversation with Herr von Jagow.(1) As M. Cambon was on the point of leaving the latter, Herr von Jagow asked him whether he considered the situation serious. M. Cambon replied that he considered the situation very serious.

I have, &c.


Herr von Tschirschky has apparently been another link in the chain of encouragement given to Austria to go ahead ruthlessly. E. A. C. July 29.

(1) No. 103.