(32283) No. 51.
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.
Vienna, July 16, 1914.
D. 1:50 P.M.
R. 3:35 P.M.
Tel. (No. 86.)
In reply to interpellations in Hungarian Chamber last night concerning tension prevailing between Austria-Hungary and Servia, Hungarian Prime Minister declared that relations between the two countries required clearing up, but that Government were not of opinion that this clarification need of necessity lead to warlike complications.Though hope of peaceful solution is expressed in speech, Count Tisza made a kind of general statement to the effect that every nation must be prepared for war.(1)
(1) See Nos. 65, 82.
(32300) No. 52.
Lord Granville to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 17.)
Paris, July 16, 1914.
The "Temps" in its issue of to-day's date publishes a leading article on the increase, present and prospective, of the Russian Army which is worthy of note, not only on account of the information which it contains of the details of the Russian military forces, but also because of the effect which it is likely to have on French public opinion which forms its judgement on the military situation of foreign nations largely on information supplied to it by newspapers of the standing of the "Temps." The following is the gist of the "Temps" article:
The "Temps" concludes this review of the Russian military strength by observing that the dead-weight of these new masses of soldiers is bound to have its effect on the balance of power. France is more interested than any other nation in the new state of affairs in the Russian Army, and the French contribution towards the common military effort involves the integral maintenance of the three-years' Service Law in France.
I have, &c.
(32459) No. 53.
Mr. Crackanthorpe to Sir Edward Grey.
Belgrade, July 17, 1914.
D. 12 30 P.M.
R. 4:25 P.M.
Tel. (No. 44.)
Vienna telegram No. 5 of 16th July.(1)
Present attitude of Servian Government is prudent and conciliatory. Servian Prime Minister has declared to Austrian Minister in unofficial conversation that Servian Government are prepared to comply at once with any request for police investigation and to take any other measures compatible with dignity and independence of State.
But general feeling is that a demand on the part of Austro-Hungarian Government for appointment of a mixed commission of enquiry, for suppression of nationalist societies or for censorship of press, could not be acceded to, since it would imply foreign intervention in domestic affairs and legislation.
(Repeated to Vienna.)
(1) No. 50
(32510) No. 54.
Lord Granville to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 18.)
Paris, July 17, 1914
I have the honour to inform you that the annual congress of French Socialists has been taking place in Paris during this week. The most important question which has been discussed is that of the attitude of Socialism in the event of a European War. The proposal put forward by Messrs. Keir Hardie and Vaillant, the French Deputy, that a declaration of war should be met by a general strikeon the part of the working classes in the countries concerned was the subject of a lengthy debate, in which a considerable difference of opinion was shown among the delegates. Several of them pointed out the difficulties attending the declaration of a general strike at a time when the country was on the verge of war. It was argued that such a course might merely play the game of the enemy country, where socialist organisation might be less strong or where the war was popular, however unjust. To be effective the General Strike would have to be declared simultaneously in both countries, and it was extremely difficult to ensure this happening. It was not to be supposed, said M. Guesde, the leader of one school of French socialists, that the German working class would declare, in company with the French, a general strike that would put their country in the hands of the Russians, France's allies. The delegates were reminded of the difficulties in the way of the success of a general strike in the face of mobilisation orders, martial law and the general excitement preceding awar. M. Hervé, the well-known anti-militarist, laid stress, in this connection, on the difficulty of distinguishing between an offensive and a defensive war.
M. Marcel Sembat, speaking in favour of the General Strike, asked what was the good of any international organisation if Socialists were going to quail before every obstacle. M. Jaurès said that though he quite recognised the objections to a general strike as being a one-sided measure which might recoil on his own country, he considered that it was the best means by which the working class could combat war, it was, at least preventive,and what the Congress should consider was how to make it as efficacious a weapon as possible.
After further discussion a Committee was appointed to draw up a formula which would be in accordance with the general opinion of the Congress.
M. Jaurés as spokesman of this Committee read the following motion:
This motion was carried by 1,690 votes against 1,174,eighty-three delegates abstaining.
Before separating, the Congress passed unanimously a motion approving the Franco-German inter-parliamentary unions at Bâle and Berne, and expressing the hope that autonomy would be granted to Alsace-Lorraine, as this would greatly conduce to a reconciliation between France and Germany.
I have, &c.
(32532) No. 55.
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July18.)
Vienna, July 13, 1914.
From an Austrian gentleman in touch with the Ballplatz I hear that, while Count Berchtold is himself peacefully inclined, a feeling that strong steps should be taken against Servia exists in the minds of several members of the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Office whose opinions carry weight. These gentlemen argue that the Dual Monarchy will lose its position as a Great Power if it does not once for all make it clear at Belgrade that Servian provocation will no longer be tolerated on this side of the frontier, and they press for military measures to compel acceptance by Servia of what they hold to be a necessary demand for the participation of Austrian agents in the work of discovering and bringing to condign punishment the instigators and accomplices of the plot against the heir to the Austrian Throne. The Reichspost and other more or less independent organs of the Vienna press are conducting a vigorous campaign on these lines. The "Neue Freie Presse" has distinguished itself in clamouring for vengeance against Servia. On many sides regret is expressed that this country did not go to war with Servia in 1908, when Bosnia and Herzegovina were annexed, so that a blow might have been struck at the neighbouring monarchy which would have reduced it to impotence for a generation. Russia, it is alleged, was then not in a position after her war with Japan to render effective aid to Servia. That opportunity having been lost, as well as that offered by the recent Balkan wars, Austria-Hungary cannot afford once more to leave unpunished the insolence and audacity of the Servian nationalists.
The "Neue Freie Presse" claims that this time the Dual Monarchy would have the sympathies of the whole of Europe with her if she took severe measures against Servia. Even Russia would approve a campaign undertaken against a nation tainted with the crime of regicide at home, and ostentatiously condoning the Serajevo assassination, and the rest of Europe would certainly stand by Austria in a war of righteous self-defence against murder and outrage.
Against language such as this I have already reported in my despatch No. 140 of the 11th July (1) that a note of warning has been published in the form of an official communiqué describing as entirely unfounded all the firebrand accounts which the press had been allowed to publish of the results of the recent council of the Common Ministers and of the consultation held at Ischl between the Emperor and Count Berchtold on the 9th July. It is indeed generally assumed that the Emperor himself would be with difficulty moved to sanction an aggressive course of action leading almost certainly to international complications of the gravest kind. That more moderate counsels are more likely to prevail is also rendered probable bythe studied caution of the language held by the Hungarian Premier in his replies to interpellations in the Chamber at Budapest on the 8th July.(2) While admitting that the Archduke had fallen a victim to a deliberate plot and that six or eight bombs at least were ready to be hurled at his carriage on the fatal day, Count Tisza denied that the population of Bosnia as a whole was disloyal to the connection with the Dual Monarchy, or that any far-reaching conspiracy against Hapsburg rule existed among its people. TheGovernment, therefore, would take no precipitate action. It would "do its duty in every direction." What would be done in the area of foreign affairs, he was not competent to say. He condemned the wholesale assaults on Serb property which had unhappily taken place in Bosnia, and he expressed the hope that the modus vivendi now existing between the rival sections of the Slavonic race in Croatia would be maintained in future.
The declarations of Count Tisza have had the more effect in calming the public mind in view of the fact that the Austrian Reichsrat has been suspended since March last owing to Czech obstruction, and that the Hungarian Chamberoffers, therefore, at the present time, the only means of enlightening the representatives of the people regarding the intentions of the Government. Count Tisza had attended the deliberations of the Common Ministers of Foreign Affairs, War and Finance, on the day preceding his statement, and he expressed no doubt in his speech the sentiments that prevailed in that important council.
But though some restraint has thus been placed on the cry for vengeance against Servia, this country is still in a very angry mood, and the extracts daily published in Vienna from a portion of the Belgrade press serve to inflame still further the public mind. The Servian Minister, M. Jovanovitch, condemns these utterances, but points that they are partly accounted for, though certainly not justified, by the memory of innumerable attacks, couched in the mot insulting language, which the Vienna press has been in the habit of making on the Servian people. He also points to the language recently held by the Servian Prime Minister as expressing the true sentiments of the nation. M. Pasitch is reported to have said that the Servian Government are willing to assist in any manner required by the obligations of a civilised State in investigating the ramifications of the crime of the 28th June on Servian territory.
I have, &c.
(For the Ambassador),
(1) No. 46
(2) Cf. No. 65
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Arthur Nicolson.
Vienna, July 17, 1914.
My dear Nicolson,
There is only one topic in the Vienna press, even Albania in its throes being almost crowded out namely, when will the protest against Serbia be put in, and what will it contain? That there will be a protest nobody doubts, and it will probably be coupled with demands intended to humiliate Servia. From all I hear the Ballplatz is in an uncompromising mood, but very likely Count Berchtold, whom I am to see this afternoon, will be Sphynxlike as ever. The authority for the telegram I sent yesterday (1) was Count Lützow, ex-Ambassador at Rome. He has a place near us in the country and we motored over to luncheon. He had seen both Berchtold and Forgatch at the Ballplatz the day before, and had long conversations. He put on a serious face and said he wondered if I realised how grave the situation was. This Government was not going to stand Servian insolence any longer. No great Power could submit to such audacity as Servia had displayed, and keep her position in the world. A note was being drawn up and would be completed when the Serajevo enquiry was finished, demanding categorically that Servia should take effective measures to prevent the manufacture and export of bombs, and to put down the insidious and murderous propaganda against the Dual Monarchy. No futile discussion would be tolerated. If Servia did not at once cave in, force would be used to compel her. Count Lützow added that Count Berchtold was sure of German support and did not believe any country could hesitate to approve not even Russia.
All this of course is only repetition of what Count Lützow understood Count Berchtold to say, and he may have made the most of it but it all agrees strangely with the language of most of the Press, and almost all the people one meets. I expressed my doubts whether, if it really came to fighting, which I could not believe, Russia would allow Austria and Servia to have it out in a cockpit. Count Lützow said Austria was determined to have her way this timeand would refuse to be headed off by anybody. Count Tisza's speech does notseem to me to read very reassuringly. He said: "We must have a settlement (Klärung) with Servia, and we may possibly achieve it without war."
I cannot yet believe Austria will resort to extreme measures, but I think we have an anxious time before us. Tschirsky I feel sure is doing nothing to restrain this country. He confessed to me lately that he did not believe in the possibility of improved relations between Austria and Servia, and the German Military Attache does not conceal his belief that the hour of condign punishment for Servia is approaching. Schebeko told me this. Schebeko says Russia would inevitably be drawn in, if this happened. I hope the private information you kindly give me inconfidence in the postscript dated the 7th July to your letter of the 6th(2) is correct and that Berlin would be against strong measures against Servia being taken from Vienna.
Jovanovitch came to see me again this morning. He can get nothing out of the Ballplatz and rather dreads the end of the ominous silence which now prevails there. He says Servia will do anything that can be reasonably asked to put down crime, but that it is useless to ask for the suppression of sentiments felt by every Servian. It would be just as reasonable, he says, to ask the Poles, Ruthenes, Roumanians and Italians within the Dual Monarchy to surrender the dream of eventual coalition with the mainstock of their respective races beyond the border. Holding these sentiments does not necessarily make the different nationalities bad subjects. They will all keep quiet as long as they are well treated, but they keep in the back of their heads the idea that, if some day the Empire went to pieces, they would join hands with their kith and kin.
MAURICE DE BUNSEN
P.S. I have just had a talk with Berchtold. He was charming, announced himself for a visit to our place in the country next Sunday, invited us to stay with him at Buchlau, the place of the famous interview between Arenthal and Iswolsky, told me he had some horses running in some races shortly, but never mentioned general politics or the Servians. We talked a little about Albania and Greek atrocities in Epirus. He did not seem overpleased at the prospect of Greece and Turkey coming to terms, for fear Greece would now make herself more than ever disagreeable on the side of Albania. M. de B.
(1) No. 50
(2) No. 33. No copy of this postscript was made by Sir A.Nicolson.
(32609) No. 57.
Mr. Crackanthorpe to Sir Edward Grey.
Belgrade, July 18, 1914.
D. 11 A.M.
R. 12:35 P.M.
Tel. (No. 45.)
My immediately preceding telegram of 17th July.(1)
I gather from Austrian Minister that he is not personally in favour of pressing Servia too hard, since he is convinced that Servian Government are ready to take whatever measures can reasonably be demanded of them. He does not view the situation in a pessimistic light.
(Repeated to Vienna.)
(1) No. 53.
(32643) No. 58.
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.
Vienna, July 18, 1914
D. 2:10 P.M.
R. 3:30 P.M.
Tel. (No. 91.)
Russian Ambassador is afraid that article like the one quoted at length this morning in Vienna press from yesterday's "Westminster Gazette"(1) will encourage Austro-Hungarian Government to take severe action against Servia. Article is described as warning addressed to Servia by organ of British Government. I have told Russian Ambassador that article is certainly devoid of any official character or importance.
EXTRACT FROM ARTICLE IN "WESTMINSTER GAZETTE," JULY 17, 1914.
I do not see that the article justifies the interpretation put upon it by the Russian Ambassador. He assumes the article to have been inspired by His Majesty's Government and asks himself what our object was in getting it written. It was not inspired by us at all.
(1) Cf. No. 73, also despatch No. 156.
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.
Vienna, July 18, 1914.
D. 2:10 P.M.
R. 3:35 P.M.
Tel. (No. 92.) Confidential.
Belgrade telegram No. 44 of 17th July.(1)
Minister for Foreign Affairs did not mention Servia at interview I had with him yesterday, but Italian Ambassador informed me that, in reply to his question whether situation was becoming grave, Minister for ForeignAffairs demurred to that expression, but admitted that situation required "clearing up" and was far from "serene." Italian Ambassador does not believe that unreasonable demands will be made on Servia, but he blames Austro-Hungarian Government for allowing public opinion to expect from daily language of press that a kind of ultimatum will be sent in, leading possibly to war. He does not think that either Minister for Foreign Affairs or Emperor would sanction such an unwise proceeding.
(Repeated to Belgrade.)
Cf. Despatch No. 156.
(1) No. 53.
(32659) No. 60.
Sir G. Buchanan to Sir Edward Grey.
St. Petersburg, July 18, 1914.
D. 8:50 P.M.
R. 10:30 P.M.
Tel. (No. 161.)
In the course of conversation to-day Minister for Foreign Affairs expressed the great uneasiness which Austria's attitude towards Servia was causing him. He had received disquieting telegrams from the Russian Ambassadors at London, Berlin, and Rome, and proposed to ask the French Government to give a word of warning at Vienna. He had just seen the German Ambassador and had impressed on him that Russia's sole desire was to be left in peace. She cherished no aggressive designs against anyone, and wished to devote all her efforts to the development of her internal resources, and to the construction of the railways of which she stood in such need. The period of expansion through which she had passed was now over.The increase in her armaments was not directed against any other Power, but was necessary for the peaceful development of her vast Empire. Germany was, relatively speaking, in a far stronger position than Russia, as she had not the same length of frontiers to defend or such an extent of territory.
The Pan-Serb agitation in Austria was an internal growth,and blame could not be thrown on Servia any more than Germany could be held responsible for the Pan-German or Italy for the Italian propaganda that was carried on within the Austrian Empire.
In reply to a question of mine, his Excellency said that anything in the shape of an Austrian ultimatum at Belgrade could not leave Russia indifferent, and she might be forced to take some precautionary military measures.
(32651) No. 61.
Mr. Crackanthorpe to Sir Edward Grey.
Belgrade, July 19, 1914.
D. 11:30 A.M.
R. 3:30 P.M.
Tel (No. 46.)
In the course of private conversation with the Under-Secretaryof State for Foreign Affairs yesterday I alluded to the "Times" article of the 16th instant, suggesting that the Servian Government should of their own motion undertake to enquire into alleged South Slav conspiracy on Servian soil. Under-Secretary of State pointed out that, until result of proceedings at Serajevo was made public, the Servian Government had no material on which such an enquiry could be based. He assured me that on the publication of the findings of the Court the Servian Government would be fully prepared to comply with whatever request for further investigation the circumstances might call for and which would be in accordance with international usage.
He said he was aware that there was an influential party in Austria who wished to take advantage of the present situation to press Servia to extremes; but the Servian Government had certain knowledge that restraint would be exercised on Austria from Berlin. Should, however, Austria force on a war, Servia would not stand alone. Russia would not stand by and see Servia want only attacked, and Bulgaria would be immobilised by Roumania.
(Sent to Vienna.)
Cf. Despatch No. 80.
(32784) No. 62.
Mr. Crackanthorpe to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 20.)
(No. 129.) Very Confidential.
Belgrade, July 13, 1914.
With reference to my telegrams Nos. 42 and 43 of the 11th and 12th instant, (1) I have the honour to report that by a strange fatality M.deHartwig, the Russian Minister to Servia, succumbed to heart failure within the precincts of the Austrian Legation on the evening of the 10th instant.
It appears that M. de Hartwig was desirous of offering to the Austrian Minister, who had returned to Belgrade the same day, a personal explanationin regard to certain rumours which had become public concerning his behaviour and attitude subsequently to the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand. I have no first-hand knowledge of what transpired at the interview and will therefore merely mention some of the reports which had been circulated, and which may have been discussed in the course of conversation.
(l .) The Reichspost of Vienna had recently published an articleattacking the Russian Minister for holding a bridge party on the evening of the Archduke's murder. It is true that M. de Hartwig was having a quiet game of bridge that evening with the Roumanian and Greek Ministers and the Italian Charge d'Affaires, but, under the circumstances, the article in the "Reichspost" seems to have contained some very unnecessary animadversions.
(2.) The Russian Minister had been accused of not hoisting the Russian flag at half-mast on the day of the funeral service for the Archduke. Though M. de Hartwig himself affirmed the flag was flying, several of my colleaguesstate that this was not the case. The Austrian Legation took a strong view of the matter and doubtless the Russian Minister was anxious to smooth matters over.
(3.) I regret to state that M. de Hartwig had recently been using very inappropriate and ill-advised language in regard to the private life and character of the present heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in the presence, among others, of my Italian colleague. I do not know whether his remarks were repeated at the Austrian Legation, but if this was so, it is probable that the interview must have been, on M. de Hartwig's side, somewhat emotional, sufficiently so to hasten an end which, according to doctors' evidence, could in any case have been only deferred a few days. I am however assured that the conversation between the two Ministers was quite friendly, and from what I have seen of Baron Giessl, I should judge that he would most certainly have met M. de Hartwig's explanations in a conciliatory spirit.
On news being received in Belgrade of the strange circumstances attending the Russian Minister's death, sinister reports were at once circulated to the effect that M. de Hartwig had taken a "cup of tea" at theAustrian Legation. I merely mention this as affording an indication of the somewhat mediaeval morals prevailing in this city.
I have, &c.
DAYRELL CRACKANTHORPE .
(1) No. 48
(82779) No. 63.
Sir H. Rumbold to Sir Edward Grey (Received July 20.)
Berlin, July 18, 1914.
I have the honour to report that I had some conversation with M. Cambon yesterday about the general political situation. His Excellency has just returned from leave of absence. He said that he had seen the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador, and for the first time since he had known him, had found Count Szgagny pessimistic as to the outlook. This pessimism may, perhaps, be partly due to the regret and depression felt by Count Szgagny at having in a few weeks to leave a post which he has held for over twenty years. M. Cambon wondered what was the role of the German Government in the matter of any demarche contemplated at Belgrade by their ally. The Italian Ambassador is equally curious on this point. If there has been an exchange of views between Berlin and Vielma about the nature of the steps to be taken at Belgrade, the result has been kept absolutely secret. The public are in the dark, with the result that a feeling of irritation has revealed itself in some quarters which was expressed a few days ago by the "Kreuz-Zeitung" in the following terms:-
I then asked the French Ambassador whether he did not consider that Russia and her supposed plans occupied public opinion in Germany to the same extent as England had done until lately-that in fact we had made way for Russia in this respect. M. Cambon quite agreed, and added that matters as between France and Germany were by no means what they should be. The Germans were not behaving in a friendly way towards his country. The air would have to be cleared some time or other. His Excellency alluded to the extreme sensitiveness in Germany at the present time on the question of espionage. The same point has struck me. The development of aircraft has, of course, been largely responsible for this result. It frequently occurs that aeroplanes, &c, cross the eastsrn or western frontiers of Germany. It was reported yesterday, for instance, that the airship " Z 4," in a flight along the Russian frontier had crossed on to Russian territory and been fired at by the Russian frontier guards.
A fortnight or so ago the Russian military attache left Berlin hurriedly as the result of the arrest of a sergeant named Pohl, from whom he had bought plans of two fortresses on the eastern frontier. Pohl was tried by court-martial two days ago, the proceedings being conducted in camera for reasons of State. The sergeant was sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment. Such incidents are not calculated to improve the feelings between Germany and Russia. The German press on the whole showed considerable restraint in their comments on this case. The " Tageblatt " pointed out that it was no good shutting one's eyes to the fact that a regular system of espionage existed, and that no country was blameless in this respect. But members of foreign embassies and legations should be particularly careful not to be mixed up in such matters.
As regards the general question of the relations between Germany and her eastern neighbour, I venture to think that the supposed hostile intentions of Russia have been largely conjured up by the German press itself. That press has no doubt given expression to the feeling of irritation and anxiety caused by the determined efforts of France and Bussia to develop their armaments to the utmost possible extent. Whatever confidence the Germans may have in the efficiency and quality of their army, the enormous masses of men at the command of Russia are a constant source of preoccupation to them. Speculation as to the events which might set those masses in motion against Germany seems to follow almost as a matter of course.
I have, &tc.
(32739) No. 64
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.-- (Received July 20.) (No. 145.)
Vienna, July 15, 1914
Since the assassination at Sarajevo of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his Consort I have received from Mr. Jones, His Majesty'sConsul at that place, a number of despatches describing the deed itself and the subsequent-course of events. I have not thought it necessary to trouble you with copies of these despatches, but I have now the honour to enclose some extracts from the last four which may prove of interest as a record of the state of local opinion.
I have, &c.
MAURICE DE BUNSEN.
P.S. Extracts from a fifth despatch just received are also annexed as part of the summary above mentioned.
M. de B.
July 17, 1914.
Enclosure in No. 64.
Information derived from Despatches received from Mr. Jones at Sarajevo, July 3-8, 1914.
Unconfirmed rumours were in circulation as to the issue of a decree expelling all Servian subjects from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as to the expulsion of the editor of a Serb paper at Sarajevo, in spite of his being an Austrian subject. The "Sarajevoer Tagblatt"of the 2nd July had been confiscated. Its issue of the3rd July reported anti-Serb demonstrations in various parts of the province, and the burning of the Orthodox Church at Capljina.
An article in the "Bosnische Post" declared that the murders had been proved to have been organised and instigated by the Servian "NarodnaObrana" (National Defence) at Belgrade; that a certain Miko Ciganovic distributed fire-arms and bombs in a Belgrade coffee-house to young men who expressed willingness to carry out the murder of the Archduke, and that Major Milan Pribicevic, of the Servian General Staff and Secretary of the "Narodna Obrana," supplied Ciganovic with the pistols and explosives. Mr. Jones was, however, informed that Major Pribicevic's connection with the assassinations was merely surmise of the editor. He further learnt that investigations had led to the discovery of two other undoubted accomplices of the assassin, students named Grabes and Ilic. A requiem mass for the Archduke and the Duchess was celebrated in the Catholic Cathedral on the 4th July and attended by the whole Consular corps with the exception of the Ottoman and Russian representatives.
Grabes had made to the police a statement implicating a Croat student, who was found to have had a bomb and a revolver in his possession and to have given them to his mother to hide. M. Dimovic, leader of the moderate Serb party in the Sabor, had gone into opposition owing to the attacks on the Serb population. Arrests and searches by the police were reported from various quarters. Mr. Jones further learnt that the Archduke had said, just after the first attempt on his life, that he would have done better to have followed Count Tisza's advice and refrained from paying an official visit to Bosnia.
Mr. Jones transmitted a translation of an article from the "Istina" (Truth) of the 7th July, the organ of the moderate Serb party, the first orthodox Serb journal to appear since the assassination, blaming in very moderate language the attacks on the whole Serb community for the crimes of misguided individuals, and recalling that the Servian race had weathered storms far severer than the present one.
Three Orthodox priests were brought to Sarajevo on the 14th July on a charge of complicity in the murders. It appears that the accused persons have of late in some cases proved more communicative, but the local papers are debarred from publishing their statements. Mr. Jones is informed that there are reasons for believing the plot to have originated in Servia.
(32742) No. 65.
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey (Received July 20.)
Vienna, July 16, 1914.
The Vienna Press being almost exclusively taken up with speculation as to whether and when and how the expected diplomatic protest at Belgrade will be put in by the Austro-Hungarian Government, much interest attaches to the only authentic declarations which have yet been made concerning the intentions of the Common Government, namely to the replies given to his interpellators in the Hungarian Chamber by Count Stephan Tisza, Hungarian Minister President.
Count Tisza's first statement was made on July 8th (1) when he declared in effect that, though he was then only in a position to give a very general reply, he might state that the investigation of the Sarajevo crime was being pursued in every direction, and it was the duty of all concerned to have regard certainly to the importance of the interests involved in the maintenance of peace, but to give due weight also to those great interests which are bound up with the existence and prestige of the Monarchy.
Yesterday he again replied to several interpellations, and though his words were characterised by the same caution as before they attained greater precision on one or two points. He said that a clear understanding must be reached with Servia. How this would have to be done, in what direction and by the use of what form of words, he was not yet in a position to state. He repeated that the Government was fully conscious of the great importance attaching to the preservation of peace.They did not believe that the settling of accounts with Servia would necessarily lead to war. He would not prophecy, but would merely say that war was the ultima ratio, to be resorted to only when a friendly solution proved absolutely impossible. But every nation should be in a position to make war as a last resource. Exaggerated language had been used about Bosnia. There was no danger of revolution there, and the forces maintained in Bosnia were sufficient to keep the peace. But the revolutionary societies and the schools were the field of a dangerous agitation, which must be resolutely put down.(2)
Count Tisza's speech is generally interpreted as confirming the expectation that a diplomatic protest will be addressed to Servia, founded on the results of the investigation which is still proceeding at Sarajevo. It is also held to foreshadow a period of great tension leading possibly even to war, if the desired object proves unattainable by other means.
The proceedings in the Hungarian Chamber disclosed no difference of opinion between the Government and the Opposition as regards the necessity of calling Servia severely to account. Count Tisza did not formulate the precise nature of the indictment which will be brought against the Servian Government, but in the speech of M.Szmrecsanyi, the first interpellator, Servia is accused of allowing a revolutionary propaganda to be carried on against the integrity of a neighbouring state, and of sending across the frontier a band of conspirators armed with bombs and revolvers. He stated that it was proved that the seat of the Great Servian propaganda was at Belgrade, and also that the propaganda was organised by the Narodna Obrana Association, whose President and Secretary were General Jankovitch and Major Milan Pribicevich. This revolutionary Society had formerly directed its activity against Turkey. It was subsidised by the Servian Government, and drew subscriptions also from abroad. It poisoned the minds of the students and openly advocated murder as a political weapon. Its attention since the Balkan wars had been specially directed to Bosnia and also to Hungary, where it sought to undermine the loyal sentiments of theSlavonic part of the population. He mentioned by name several of the principal Servian agitators, including the three brothers Pribicevich. The Society had started annual celebrations of the anniversary of the battle of Kossovo with the sole idea of glorifying the idea of a Great Servia and promoting the restoration of the Empire of Dushan. The propaganda was also carried on with great activity in Croatia, and numerous so-called Servian deserters poured across the frontiers to spy out the land. The success of the plot against the life of the Archduke had been hailed in Servia with ill-concealed delight. No one would think of accusing the Servian Government of having itself supplied the murderous weapons, but it was certainly guilty of encouraging the proceedings of the Narodna Obrana. This could no longer be tolerated. The speaker claimed tobe a friend of peace, but peace was incompatible with the continuance of the present state of affairs. The Government must act, and act quickly.
M. Szmrecsanyi promised to furnish the Government with the proofs of what he had alleged. Count Tisza corrected the statement that the Servian deserters were spies. They were more likely peasants trying to escape military service at home.
I have, &c.
MAURICE DE BUNSEN.
Cf. Mr. Max Müller's despatch No. 82.
1) No. 55.
(2) Cf. Nos. 51, 82.
(32813) No. 66.
Lord Granville to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 20.)
Paris, July 18, 1914.
I had the honour, when communicating to you in my despatch No. 347 of the 16th instant (1) the substance of a leading article in the"Temps" on the increase of Russian military strength, to state that that article appeared to me of interest, not only on account of the information therein given, but also because of the effect which information on such a subject and from such a source was likely to have on French public opinion.
The same observation applies to an article to which the "Matin" of to-day's date gives prominence and which has been written for that newspaper by M. Jules Hedeman, who is now in St. Petersburgh, for the visit of the French President. M. Hedeman is perhaps the best known special correspondent in France and his articles always attract much attention here. The following is the gist of the article published by the "Matin":
The "Temps" published yesterday a further leading article on the additions to the Russian army which have already taken place or are shortly to be carried out. It mentioned, in particular, three new Russian army corps which are to be stationed in Western Russia. The Austrian newspapers, so the "Temps" article observed, anticipate that these new army corps will be quartered round Kief and Odessa, while the German press, probably better informed, expects to see them stationed near Warsaw and Vilna.
I have, &c.
Russia is a formidable Power and will become increasingly strong. Let us hope our relations with her will continue to be friendly. A. N.
(1) No. 52.