Document Numbers 191 - 205

27 July - 28 July 1914
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(34320) No. 191.
Mr. Max Müller to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 28.)
(No. 34.)
Budapest, July 24, 1914.

In my telegram No. 2 of to-day (1) I had the honour to report that the action taken in Belgrade yesterday by the Austro-Hungarian Government, had met with an almost universally favourable reception at the hands of the press of Budapest.

In support of this statement I beg to submit a short summary of the opinions published by some of the more important newspapers.

The "Az Ujság," a Government paper, writes that comment is superfluous, as there cannot be, either in the Monarchy or abroad, any difference of opinion regarding the actual facts as stated in the note. The energetic tone of the demands corresponds with the gravity of the established facts. The hope is expressed that Servia will find means to avert the most serious consequences. The Hungarian nation must await developments quietly and with self-possession and in the full consciousness of its strength and preparedness to fight.

The "Budapesti Hirlap," a Government newspaper, considers that the demands made by the note are such that their fulfilment cannot be refused by a State which wishes to live in peace with its neighbour. The situation, says the "Budapesti Hirlap," is grave, but for that very reason it may be hoped that Servia will accept the demands.

The "Pester Lloyd," a Government paper, writes that Servia must realise that Austro-Hungarian patience is exhausted and that her day of reckoning has come. The inquiry of Serajevo has clearly proved the complicity of Servian officers and officials in the assassination of the Archduke and the existence, unchecked if not actually encouraged, within the Servian borders, of a movement aimed against the integrity of the Monarchy. Right and truth are on the side of Austria-Hungary, and if within 4 hours Servia has not accepted unconditionally, nothing remains but war. The "Pester Lloyd" appeals to the Powers not to interfere in this quarrel which concerns only Austria and Servia; any intervention will be regarded by the latter as an encouragement to continue her former course of behaviour towards the Monarchy.

The "Pesti Hirlap," an Opposition paper, writes that it is useless to try and disguise the fact that the note is a formal ultimatum and that the future depends solely on the answer of Servia.

The " Pesti Napló," an Opposition paper, says that the decided tone of the note place the Monarchy in the presence of a fait accompli, from which there is no going back. The decision lies in the hands of Servia. It will not be easy for Servia to accept the Austrian conditions, but if she can bring herself to take this difficult step, she can secure peace and quiet for herself as well as for the Monarchy. In the contrary event it means war. Hungarians have nothing to fear, they will do their duty.

The "Budapest," an Opposition paper, approves the d‚marche of the Government and qualifies the note as evidence of the quiet yet determined attitude of a nation that has received a deadly insult.

The "Neues Pester Journal " (1867 party) considers that the demands of the note are severe, but that they were dictated by the necessity of preserving the integrity of the Monarchy. It is open to Servia to accept them, otherwise the Monarchy is justified in compelling her to do so by force of arms.

The "Alkotmány," the organ of the Clerical party, holds that the action of the Government was necessary and that the nation will face the consequences with confidence and self-possession.

The "Budapester Tagblatt," an independent newspaper, describes the note as dignified in tone and firm and decided in substance, and says that it can only produce the desired "clearing up" and not a European war, as no Power wishes to support a policy of murder.

Alone the Socialist newspapers, especially the "Népszava," protest against the step taken in Belgrade which they qualify as the work of the autocracy. The "Népszava" declares that the working classes are opposed to the war which is provoked by the sins of the Monarchy, and considers that the ultimatum has been worded in such a way as to make it impossible for Servia to accept.

I have, &c.

(1) No. 106.

No. 192.
Sir F. Bertie to Sir Edward Grey.
British Embassy, Paris, July 27, 1914.

My dear Grey.
I am sure that the French Government do not want to fight and they should be encouraged to put pressure on the Russian Government not to assume the absurd and obsolete attitude of Russia being the protectress of all Slav States whatever their conduct, for this will lead to war.

I do not believe that the German Emperor and Government were accessories before the fact to the terms of the Austrian note. If they had been the Emperor would not have been away yachting.

The demonstrations in the streets here are nothing compared with those at Berlin where the attitude of the populace is not reassuring.

Iswolsky is expected back here to-day or to-morrow and he is not an element of peace.

If you get together meetings between yourself and the French; German and Italian Ambassadors call them consultations for the Austrians would resent a sort of repetition of the London reunions which ended in being dubbed the London Conference. They would consider that they were being treated as a Balkan Minor State.

The Quai d'Orsay represented by M. Berthelot is not sufficiently coulant with the German Ambassador. It might well have consented to announce in the Press as suggested by him that his d‚marches had been very friendly and that some mention should be made of solidarité.

Yours sincerely,

(34239) No. 193.
(Received July 28.)
(No. 369.)
Paris, July 27, 1914.
Sir F. Bertie to Sir Edward Grey.

I have the honour to inform you that the following communiqué has appeared in to-day's press;

"L'Ambassadeur d'Allemagne et le Président du Conseil par intérim ont eu un nouvel entretien au cours duquel ils ont recherché‚ les moyens d'action des Puissances pour le maintien de la paix."

This communiqué has doubtless been issued to check a chauvinistic movement in the press, the beginning of which I had the honour to report to you by my telegram No. 82 of the 25th instant.(1) The object of this movement was to make the public believe that the German Ambassador in Paris had, by the orders of his Government, made a démarche at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which amounted to giving France brutally to understand that, unless other Powers kept out of the quarrel, they would have Germany to deal with and the prospect of a general European conflagration. The "Écho de Paris" led this movement, which was taken up by other Nationalist organs and to some extent by the "Temps" and by M. Clemenceau in his newspaper "L'Homme Libre."

Had the French public become convinced that the action of M. de Schoen at the Quai d'Orsay was in the nature of a warning to France to remain quiet or to take the consequences, it is likely that great indignation would have been aroused here, and that the task of those interested in stimulating French public opinion to range itself decidedly on the side of Russia in the present controversy would have been facilitated.

I enclose an extract from the "Matin" of to-day's date, (2) giving a short account of the attitude of the Paris crowds yesterday. A hostile manifestation took place in front of the Austro- Hungarian Embassy, which is said to have been organised by either Servians or Czechs. The demonstrators were dispersed by police and the "Temps" states that the French Ambassador at Vienna was instructed to express the regrets of the French Government at the occurrence. I have, &c.

Cf. telegram No. 184.


"Satisfactory." E. A. C. July 29.

(1) No. 123.
(2) Not printed.

(34250) No. 194.
Sir F. Bertie to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 28.)
(No. 370.)
Paris, July 27, 1914.

I have the honour to transmit to you herewith copy of a memorandum from the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs as to the steps to be taken to prevent an outbreak of hostilities between Austria-Hungary and Servia.

The substance of the Memorandum was forwarded to you in my telegram No. 88 of to- day's date,(1) on information furnished verbally this morning by the Acting Political Director.


Enclosure in No. 194.

Memorandum communicated to Sir F. Bertie by M. Bienvenu-Martin.
Par une note en date du 25 de ce mois, son Excellence l'Ambassadeur d'Angleterre a fait connaitre au Gouvernement de la Republique que, d'apres Sir Edward Grey, la seule maniiere d'assurer, si c'etait possible le maintien de la paix dans le cas ou les rapports entre la Russie et l'Autriche deviendraient plus tendus serait une demarche commune a Vienne et a Saint- Petersbourg des representants de l'Angleterre, de la France, de l'Allemagne et de l'Italie en Autriche et en Russie; et il a exprime le desir de savoir si le Gouvernement de la Republique etait dispose a accueillir favorablement cette suggestion.(2)

Le Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres par interim a l'honneur de faire connaetre a son Excellence Sir Francis Bertie qu'il a invit‚ M. Jules Cambon a se concerter avec l'Ambassadeur d'Angleterre en Allemagne et a appuyer la d‚marche qu'ils jugeront opportune de faire aupres du Cabinet de Berlin.

Le Gouvernement de la Republique a, d'autre part, conformement au desir exprime par le Gouvernement britannique et que son Excellence Sir Francis Bertie lui a transmis par une note en date du 26 de ce mois,(1) autoris‚ M. Paul Cambon a prendre part a la reunion proposee par Sir Edward Grey pour rechercher avec lui et les Ambassadeurs d'Allemagne et d'Italie a Londres, les moyens de resoudre les difficultes actuelles.

Le Gouvernement de la Republique est pret egalement a donner aux agents francais a Saint- Petersbourg, a Vienne et a Belgrade des instructions pour qu'ils obtiennent des Gouvernements russe, autrichien et serbe de s'abstenir de toute op‚ration militaire active en attendant les resultats de cette conference. Il estime toutefois que les chances de succes de la proposition de Sir Edward Grey reposent essentiellement sur l'action que Berlin serait disposee a Vienne [sic]. Une demarche aupres du Gouvernement austro-hongrois pour amener la suspension des operations militaires parait vouee a l'echec si l'influence de l'Allemagne ne s'est pas exercee au prealable sur le Cabinet de Vienne.

Le Garde des Sceaux, President du Conseil et Ministre des Affaires Etrangeres par interim, saisit cette occasion de renouveler, &c.

Paris, le 27 juillet 1914. Cf. F No. 50 last paragraph.

(1) No. 183.
(2) No. 112.

(34291) No. 195.
Mr. Chilton to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 8.)
(No. 114.)
The Hague, July 27, 1914.

I asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs this morning whether he was at all anxious about the political situation in Europe. His Excellency said he was rather inclined to be optimistic about it.

I have since learned that all the Cabinet Ministers who are in the country or abroad have been summoned back to The Hague and that the Queen returned here to-day and held a Cabinet Council.

The Roumanian Minister has just telephoned to me that he hears that the Dutch Army is to be mobilised, but I think this is a little premature and I can get no confirmation of the rumour.

I have, &c.

(34252) No. 196.
Sir G. Buchanan to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 28.)
(No. 225.)
St. Petersburg, July 25, 1914

With reference to my telegram No. 167 of to-day's date,(1) giving the text of an official communiqé to the Press on the subject of the despatch by Austria-Hungary of an ultimatum to Servia, I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the translation of a further official communiqué published to-day in the "Vechernoe Vremya," which, though ostensibly dealing with the French President's visit in connection with international politics in general, is freely referred to by the Press as having a direct bearing on the Austro-Servian crisis.

The Russian press is unanimous in its condemnation of Austria's action against Servia and in assuming that it has been encouraged, or at least connived at, in Berlin. With the exception of the "Rech" the Press adopts a threatening attitude towards Austria and urges the Russian Government to mobilise its frontier forces at once

The "Novoe Vremya" states that the Russian Chargé d'Affaires at Vienna has been instructed to propose to the Austrian Government an extension of the time limit fixed in the Note to the Servian Government, in order to give the Russian Government time to be acquainted with its contents, and that the Austrian Ambassador here only informed the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at ten yesterday morning of the contents of the ultimatum which is to expire to-night at six. The same paper says that the official in charge of the Press Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has declared that the Austrian document leads to the conclusion that the Austrian Government are determined to bring about complications with Servia. The "Novoe Vremya" complains that not one of the Ministers of the Triple Entente Powers was at his post at Belgrade, while all the Representatives of the Triple Alliance were on the spot. It expresses the opinion that a Servian Government that would in forty-eight hours agree to carry out the insolent demands of Austria would in the next forty-eight hours cease to be a Government. Inacceptable demands have been purposely presented to Servia with threats of violence in event of non-compliance and, the "Novoe Vremya" says, the best reply thereto is the publication of the two above-mentioned communiqués. The same organ in its approval of the attitude of the Russian Government says that this time they have not been caught napping but have acted with the firmness in keeping with the dignity of Russia and the wishes of her people. This time Russia will be found united and ready. Russia wishes for peace for her internal development but if war comes, it will be a war of the people and not of the Government only. Most of the papers publish a telegram from Vienna to the effect that the Austrian Minister at Belgrade has been instructed to leave the town with all his staff if by six o'clock Servia has not notified her acceptance of all the demands of the ultimatum.

The "Petersburgh Courier" in a violent leading article declares that the Austrian ultimatum is unparalleled in its insolence and cynicism not only as regards Servia but also as regards the Triple Entente. It does not doubt that the Austrian attack is being encouraged by Germany and attributes the conduct of the two countries to the mismanagement by the Triple Entente Powers of their affairs in the Near East. The article says the acceptance of the demands by Servia is out of the question and the only hope of saving the situation lies in vigorous action on the part of the Triple Entente. The "Petersburgh Courier" urges Russia to mobilise her frontier forces at once and to inform the Austrian Government that Servia will not have to fight alone against Austria.

The "Rech" says that it is evident from the Russian Note to Austria proposing an extension of the time limit and a transfer of the Austro-Servian question to international judgement, that the Russian Government do not understand the situation. Austria and Germany have emphasized the necessity of localizing the issue and Count Tisza has expressly announced that it is a case of compliance or war. The "Rech" is opposed to intervention and reminds its readers that Russia's allies have hitherto clearly shown their unwillingness to enter upon a conflict over complications in the Near East, adding that "Our English friends are already giving the wise advice to yield." The writer considers that the ultimatum is the first move in a pre-concerted plan to involve the Triple Entente in a European conflict and it is still possible to avoid the trap. The only way, however, to localize the conflict between Austria and Servia is, the "Rech" maintains, to refrain from any encouragement of Servia, in the matter of which Russia is already somewhat to blame.

The "Bourse Gazette" says that never within the last forty years has the question of peace or war in Europe been so acute and the full force of the ultimatum is being felt in Petersburg and Paris rather than at Belgrade. The "Bourse Gazette" advises Servia to weigh the situation carefully before taking a decision but at the same time warns Austria that the Russia of 1914 is not the Russia of 1908, and that whatever the result of an Austro-Servian war Russia will never, under any conditions whatever, permit any encroachment on the territory or independence of Servia.

The "Sviet " considers the chances of peace are small and the chances of confining the struggle to Austria and Servia are still less. This organ observes that it is generally believed that Germany and Italy have approved Austria's action which means that the chances of war have been carefully weighed at Berlin. Possibly the German Government consider, says the "Sviet," that war now would be more advantageous to Germany than war a year or two later, but if this surmise be correct the absence of the German Emperor in Norwegian waters is strange.

The "Russkoe Slovo" says that if England will but say one word peace will be maintained and a sharp reminder will at the same time be administered to Berlin and Vienna which will bring the two Cabinets to their senses.

I have, &c.

Enclosure in No. 196.
Official Communiqué. (From "Vechernoe Vremya" of July 25, 1914.)

The visit of the President of the French Republic has afforded an opportunity for the Governments of the two allied and friendly nations to note the fullest concordance of their views on various questions of international policy, the discussion of which in turn has been evoked by their solicitude for the maintenance of peace and the political equipoise in Europe and particularly in the Near East.

(1) No. 109.

(34288) No. 197.
Mr. Crackanthorpe to Sir Edward Grey.
Nish, July 28, 1914.
R. 8 A.M.

Two Servian merchant-vessels captured at Orsova by Hungarian monitor. Two other Servian steamers fired on and damaged.

I have urged on Servian Government greatest ( ? prudence) and moderation, pending efforts being made towards peaceful solution.

Published in BB No. 65 (paraphrased).

(34255) No. 198.
Sir G. Buchanan to Sir Edward Grey.
St. Petersburg, July 27, 19l4.
D. July 27, 8:40 P.M.
Tel. (No. 175.)
R. July 28, 9 A.M.

My telegram No. 173 of 27th July :(1) Austria and Servia.

I found Minister for Foreign Affairs this afternoon very conciliatory and more optimistic. He did not, he said, know whether Austria would accept friendly exchange of views which he had proposed, but, if she did, he wished to keep in close contact with the other Powers throughout the conversations that would ensue. He would, he said, use all his influence at Belgrade to induce Servian Government to go as far as possible in giving satisfaction to Austria, but her territorial integrity must be guaranteed and her rights as a sovereign State respected, so that she should not become Austria's vassal. He suggested that, in order to safeguard Austria against any revolutionary Servian propaganda in future and to dispose her to renounce some of her extreme demands, Powers might come to a private understanding to instruct their Ministers at Belgrade to keep in constant touch with each other, and to interchange all the information which any one of them might receive with regard to any Servian machinations or plots directed against Austria. In the event of any such information reaching them, they should be empowered to exercise pressure on Servian Government with a view to preventing such plots maturing. While there should be no question of their being invested with character of an international commission, Ministers would be able by co-operating together to maintain close supervision over any anti- Austrian movements. He again referred to fact that obligations taken by Servia in 1908, to which reference was made in Austrian ultimatum, were given to the Powers. On my enquiring whether he intended to put forward proposal to above effect, his Excellency said that it would be very difficult for him to do so. He would greatly prefer that it should come from you, and he asked me to say that if you approved he would be grateful if you could put it forward.

I then asked if he had heard of your proposal with regard to conference of the four Powers,(2) and, on his replying in the affirmative, I told him confidentially of instructions which you had sent me and enquired whether he would prefer direct exchange of views, which he had proposed, to such a conference. German Ambassador, to whom I had just spoken, had expressed personal opinion that former would be more agreeable to Austria. His Excellency said he was perfectly ready to stand aside if conference was accepted by other Powers, but he trusted that, if it took place, you would keep in touch with Russian Ambassador.

Italian Ambassador alone of my three colleagues has so far received any instructions.

(Repeated to Embassies and Nish.)

Published in BB No. 55 (paraphrased parts omitted).

(1) No. 170.
(2) No. 140.

(34312) No. 199.
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.
Vienna, July 27, 1914.
D. July 27, 12:7 A.M.
Tel. (No. 111.)
R. July 28, 10:30 A.M.

The Russian Ambassador has had to-day a long and earnest conversation with Baron Macchio, Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.(1) Having just returned to his post from St. Petersburg he said that he was well acquainted with the state of Russian public opinion and with the views of the Russian Government. He could assure Under-Secretary of State that if actual war with Servia began it would be impossible to localise it, for Russia, which had yielded on previous occasions, and especially during annexation crisis in 1909, was not prepared to give way again. He earnestly hoped, therefore, that something might be done before an actual invasion of Servia took place. Under-Secretary of State said that this would now be difficult, as a skirmish had already taken place on the Danube in which the Servians had been the aggressors. Russian Ambassador has replied that he would do his utmost to keep the Servians quiet pending any discussions that might yet take place, and he told me that he would advise the Russian Government to induce the Servian Government to fall back before the Austrian advance when it takes place, and to avoid any conflict as long as possible. Time so gained should suffice to enable settlement to be reached. He had just heard of a satisfactory conversation yesterday between the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Austrian Ambassador at St. Petersburg. Former had agreed that much of the Austro-Hungarian note to Servia was perfectly reasonable, and in fact an understanding was practically reached between them as to guarantees Servia might be reasonably asked to give to Austria-Hungary for her future good behaviour. Russian Ambassador urged that Austrian Ambassador at St. Petersburg 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 Austria Hungary could fairly ask of an independent Power. Under-Secretary of State promised to submit this suggestion to Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Russian Ambassador is rendered a little more hopeful of possible settlement by fact communicated to him, as also to me, by the French Ambassador that the German Ambassador at Paris made yesterday evening to the French Government some observations showing that Germany no longer excluded altogether idea of mediation to stop hostilities breaking out. But Russian Ambassador thinks that best prospect of arrangement lies in a direct negotiation at St. Petersburg in the manner proposed by him.

(Repeated to Embassies and Nish.)

Published in BB No. 56 (paraphrased and last paragraph omitted).

(1) For this see R No. 41.


The first ray of hope. E. A. C. July 28.

(34304) No. 200.
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.
Vienna, July 27, 1914.
D. 12:45 A.M.
Tel. (No. 112.)
R. 11 A.M.

Following from Military Attaché for D.M.O.:

"Mobilisation confirmed of 5th corps complete and 9th corps at least partially. Main railway line Prague-Pilsen-Vienna-Budapesth-Temesvar closed during period of transport seems to indicate these corps may be included in expeditionary forces.

"All cavalry regiments of 2nd corps leaving for Galicia now 6 regiments of field artillery now being mobilised. One other regiment of 2nd corps left Vienna to-day uncertain yet which.

"Consul at Ragusa reports troops leaving for Castelnuovo.

"Local papers publish account of great activity in Montenegro.

"Partial mobilisation is reported.

"According to good reports 12th corps is at first to be mobilised partially only.

"Railways between Hermanstadt and Kronstadt and the Roumanian frontier are both permanently closed to the public.

"Limit of zone of concentration in S. Hungary appear to be now from Mitrovitsa to Ica on the west to Bazfracs (sic)(1) (south of Weisskirchen) on east.

"My Italian colleague tells me that he has reliable information that troops in the Tirol will be withdrawn from the frontier and whole 14th corps held in reserve.

" I heard to-day unofficially that the military attachés will probably proceed 3rd August to destination not yet known."

(1) This should probably be Bazias.

(34339) No. 201.
Mr. Beaumont to Sir Edward Grey.
Constantinople, July 27, 1914.
D. July 27, 9:30 P.M.
Tel. (No. 457.)
R. July 28, 11 55 A.M.

Grand Vizier tells me that he was ready to start to-morrow for Brussels but interruption of railway communication and, I understood, the return of the Greek Prime Minister to Athens, will prevent an immediate meeting which is, he hopes, only deferred.

(Repeated to Athens.)

(34346) No. 202.
Sir R. Rodd to Sir Edward Grey.
Rome, July 27, 1914.
D. July 27, 9:15 P.M.
Tel. (No. 125.)
R. July 28, noon.

My telegram No. 123 of 26th July: (1) Austria and Servia.

I have just seen Minister for Foreign Affairs, who has returned to Rome. He greatly doubts whether Germany will be willing to invite Austria to suspend military action pending conference, but had hope that military action may be practically deferred by fact of conference meeting at once. He does not, as at present informed, see any possibility of Austria receding from any point laid down in note to Servia, but believes that if Servia will even now accept it Austria will be satisfied, and if she had reason to think such will be advice of Powers, Austria may defer action. Servia may be induced to accept note in its integrity on advice of four Powers invited to conference. This would save her face in allowing her to think she had yielded to Europe and not to Austria alone.

This is also view of Servian agent here, provided some explanation could be given as to how points 5 and 6 of conditions would be applied.

Minister for Foreign Affairs assured me both before and after communication of note and again to-day he has assurances from Austria that she demands no territorial sacrifices from Servia.

Telegrams from Vienna to press here stating Austria is favourably impressed with declarations of Italian Government had no foundation. He has expressed no opinion to Austria with regard to note.

(Repeated to Embassies and Nish.)

Published in BB No. 57 paraphrased part omitted).

(1) No. 154.

(34255) No. 203.
Sir Edward Grey to Sir G. Buchanan.
Foreign Office, July 28, 1914.
Tel. (No. 388.)
D. 1:25 P.M.

Your telegram No. 175 of 27th July.(1)

It is most satisfactory that there is a prospect of direct exchange of views between Russian and Austrian Governments.

I should be willing to put forward any practical proposal that would facilitate this, but I am not quite clear as to what Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs proposes Ministers at Belgrade should do. Could he not first mention, in exchange of views with Austria, his willingness to co-operate in some scheme of the kind? It might then take more concrete shape.

(Repeated to Paris No. 253; Berlin No. 216; Vienna No. 174; Rome No. 213; and Nish No. 28.)

Published in BB No. 69 (slightly paraphrased).

(1) No. 198.

(34228) No. 204.
Sir Edward Grey to Sir F. Bertie.
Foreign Office, July 28, 1914.
Tel. (No. 252.)
D. 1:30 P.M.

Your telegram No. 89 of 27th July.(1)

I suppose French reluctance is due to desire to avoid appearance of being detached from Russia, and I cannot urge them to risk that.

(1) No. 184.

(34427) No. 205.
Sir R.Rodd to Sir Edward Grey.
Rome, July 28, 1914.
D. 12:10 P.M.
Tel. (No. 126.)
R. 2:10 P.M.
Your telegram No. 200 of July 25th to Berlin.(1)

I have communicated substance to Minister for Foreign Affairs who immediately telegraphed in precisely similar terms to Berlin and Vienna.

Published in BB No. 68.

(1) No. 120.