Document Numbers 75 - 87

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21 July 1914 - 23 July 1914

No. 75.

Sir G. Buchanan to Sir Edward Grey.
St. Petersburg}, July 22, 1914.
D. 1 46 P.M.
Tel. (No. 162.) R. 2:20 P.M.

President of the Republic told me yesterday that he had discussed Persian question with Emperor and Minister for Foreign Affairs, and that both had given him most satisfactory assurances as to the instructions which have been sent to Russian consuls. Emperor had declared in the most positive terms that he would [?omitted: not] allow Persia to cause division between England and Russia.

French President of the Council confirmed the above, and added that Minister for Foreign Affairs had admitted that Russian consuls were in the wrong.

(Repeated to Tehran.)

No. 76.

Sir G. Buchanan to Sir Edward Grey.
St. Petersburg}, July 22, 1914.
D. 1:46 P.M.
Tel. (No. 168.) R. 3:22 P.M.

Servian Minister told me yesterday that he regarded present crisis as most dangerous one through which Servia had passed during the last two years. After repeating to me all that his Government had done to show their readiness to meet any leg itimate demands that Austria might address to them, he said that Count Tisza and Count Forgach were inflaming Austrian public opinion so as to force hands of aged Emperor. On my remarking that if Servia adhered to her present correct attitude it would be impossible for Austria to find a pretext for attacking her, Minister replied that she would create some incident that would furnish her with it.

I repeated above to President of the Republic, whom I saw immediately afterwards, and also mentioned what you had said in your telegram No. 38 of 20th July.(1) His Excellency expressed opinion that a conversation a deux between Austria and Russia would be very dangerous at present moment, and seemed favourable to moderating counsels by France and England at Vienna.

I also spoke to Minister for Foreign Affairs, whom I met later in the day. His Excellency said that if Austria could prove plot had been hatched in Servia there was no objection to her asking Servian Government to institute judicial enquiry, and this, he believed, Servia was ready to do. He thought, however, it would be advisable for three Governments to counsel moderation at Vienna. This should be done in friendliest manner, and should not tale the form of any collective action. He begged me to telegraph to you in this sense, and said he would speak to the President of the Republic to-day on the subject.(2)


Any counsel to Vienna will be a very delicate matter, and in any case I presume we should wait to know what the Austrian Government are going to say at Belgrade. -- G. R. C.

I very much doubt the wisdom of our making any representations at Vienna. It is for the German Government to do this. -- E.A.C.

I understand that the Secretary of State intends to see Count Mensdorff. This would be all to the good, but I would deprecate any representations or advice by the three Powers at Vienna. I feel sure that such action would be resented and would do harm. -- A.N.

I am going to see Count Mesndorff to-morrow. (3) -- E.G. July 22, 1914

(1) No. 67
(2) See Nos. 84, 90 and F No. 22.
(3) See No. 86.

(33322) No. 77.

Sir. H. Rumbold to Sir Edward Grey
Berlin, July 22, 1914.
D. 2:20 P.M.
Tel. (No. 88.) Confidential. R. 4 P.M.

Austria-Hungary and Servia.

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs spoke to me last night about forthcoming Austro-Hungarian démarche at Belgrade, which he evidently expected would have been made before now. He said that attitude of German Government was as described in semi-official statement published in "North German Gazette" of 19th July, and admitted that he had practically drafted this statement himself.(1) He insisted that question at issue between Austria and Servia was one for discussion and settlement by those two countries alone without interference from outside. That being his view, he had not considered it opportune to say anything to Austro-Hungarian Government. He added, however, that he had repeatedly impressed on Servian Minister (2) necessity of putting Servia's relations with Austria-Hungary on a proper footing. Servian Minister had said that his Government could not control Servian press, which was free to publish what it liked.

Secretary for Foreign Affairs observed, with regard to this point, that if a person would or could do nothing to put a st op to a nuisance the complainant must take remedy into his own hands. He said that, in his opinion, Austro-Hungarian Government had shown great forbearance towards Servia for a long time past.

Published in BB No. 2 (paraphrased -- parts omitted).
Cf. despatch No. 158.

I is difficult to understand the attitude of the German Government. On the face of it, it does not bear the stamp of straightforwardness. If they really are anxious to see Austria kept reasonably in check, they are in the best position to speak at Vienna. All they are doing is to inflame the passions at Belgrade and it looks very much like egging on the Austrians when they openly and persistently threaten the Servian Government through their official newspapers.

It may be presumed that the German Government do not believe that there is any real danger of war. They appear to rely on the British Government to reinforce the German and Austrian threats at Belgrade- it is clear that if the British Government did intervene in this sense, or by addressing admonitions to St. Petersburg, the much desired breach between England and Russia would be brought one step nearer realisation.

But I admit that all this is speculation. We do not know the facts. The German Government clearly do know. They know what the Austrian Government is going to demand, they are aware that those demands will raise a grave issue, and I think we may say with some assurance that they have expressed approval of those demands and promised support, should dangerous complications ensue. So much can, I think, be read in the present telegram.

Prince Lichnowsky's vague hints and apprehensions do not quite correspond to the actual situation which his Government is helping to create. -- E. A. C. July 22.

I will answer this telegram to-morrow after I have seen Count Mensdorff. (3) -- E. G. July 22, 1914.

This telegram is now not worth answering separately. -- E. G. July 24, 1914.

(l) See No. 73.
(2) Should presumably be "Charge d'Affaires." There was at that time no Serbian Minister in Berlin.
(3) See No. 86.

(33328) No. 78.

Sir Rodd to Sir Edward Grey.
Rome, July 22, 1914.
D. 2:35 P.M.
Tel. (No. 116.) R. 6 P.M.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, who is in constant touch with Austrian Embassy, told me that he feared that communication to be made to Servia had been drafted in terms which must inevitably be inacceptable. He had hopes that they might have been modified at Ischl. He is convinced that a party in Austria are determined to take this opportunity of crushing Servia, which would be quite against the interests of ltaly.

(Repeated to Vienna and Belgrade.)

Cf. despatches Nos. 161, 648 and 664.

(33657) No. 79.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir G. Buchanan.
(No. 289.)
Foreign Office, July 22, 1914.

I spoke to Count Benckendorff to-day of the apprehension felt about Austria and Servia. I told him of my last conversation with the German Ambassador.(1) I found that Count Benckendorff also had met the German Ambassador (2) and found him very apprehensive. I said that it was very desirable that the Russian Government should communicate directly with the Austrian Government. If Austria made a demand in Belgrade, and the Russian Minister there was understood to support the Servians in resisting the demand, and Austria and Russia kept each other at arm's length meanwhile, it would be a very difficult situation.

Count Benckendorff spoke of the difficulty of Russia making a friendly communication in Vienna; at present there was nothing to go upon.

I said that I had been thinking what might be done if I were in M. Sazonof's place. It might be possible for M. Sazonof to send for the Austrian Ambassador in St. Petersburg; to refer to the statements in the press that Austria was going to make some demand on Servia; to emphasise the strength of pro-Serb feeling in Russia, and how strong and irresistible this feeling might become if there were a crisis; and then to ask the Austrian Government to take Russia into their confidence by telling them exactly the extent and nature of their grievance against Servia, and what they felt it necessary to ask. It might then be possible for the Russian Government to get the Austrian demand kept within reasonable limits.

I also said that I had told Mr. des Graz, who was proceeding to Belgrade at the end of this week as our Minister there, that it was not our business to take violent sides in this matter, and that what he could say in Belgrade must depend upon what case the Austrians presented. If they proved that the plot to assassinate the Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been prepared and organised on Servian territory, and that Austria had real grounds of complaint against Servia, it would be possible for him to urge in Belgrade that the Servian Government really ought to give to Austria the utmost assurances they could for the prevention of such plots against Austria being carried on in Servia in future.

I am, &c.

Published in Oman, p. 18, but the transcription is not quite accurate.
(1) No. 68.
(2) See DD No. 85.

(33348) No. 80.

Mr. Crackanthorpe to Sir Edward Grey. -- (Received July 23.)
(No. 133.)
Belgrade, July 18, 1914.

In the course of a private conversation with the Secretary-General of the Servian Foreign Office this morning, I alluded to the suggestion made in the "Times" of the 16th instant to the effect that the wisest course for Servia would be to undertake herself and of her own motion an enquiry into the alleged South Slav conspiracy on Servian soil. M. Grouitch pointed out the impossibility of adopting any definite measures before learning the findings of the Serayevo Court which had hitherto been kept secret. With regard to Chabrinovitch, who had made the first attempt on the Archduke's life, it was already public knowledge that on his arrival in Belgrade recently the Servian Government had, as is usual in the case of Austrian subjects coming to reside in Belgrade, made the customary enquiry of the Austrian consulate as to his antecedent and had received satisfactory information upon this point. Of Princip the Servian Government knew nothing. On publication of the result of the enquiry at Serayevo the Servian Government would be fully prepared to comply with whatever request for further investigation the circumstances might call for and which would be compatible with international usage.

The Secretary-General said he was aware that there was an influential party in Austria who wished to take advantage of the present conjuncture to press Servia to extremes. But the Servian Government had certain knowledge that restraint would be exercised on Austria from Berlin. Should, however, the worst come to the worst and Austria declare war Servia would not stand alone. Russia would not remain quiet were Servia wantonly attacked, and Bulgaria would be immobilised by Roumania. Under present conditions a war between a Great Power and a Balkan State must inevitably, in the opinion of the Secretary-General, lead to a European conflagration.

(Copy sent to Vienna.)

I have, &c.

Cf. tel. No. 61, also S No. 30.

M. Grouitch made an interesting assertion as to Germany's intention to exercise restraint at Vienna. -- G. R. C. July 24, 1914. As to which, however, he has clearly been entirely misled. It would be interesting to know who misled him. -- E. A. C. July 24.

33357 No. 81.

Mr. Max Muller to Sir Edward Grey. -- (Received July 23.)
(No. 31.)
Budapest, July 16, 1914.

I regret to have to report that the conciliatory tone of the speech delivered by Count Tisza on the 8th instant has not abated the vehemence of the campaign waged between the Hungarian and the Servian presses, and it is impossible to close one's eyes to the dangerous effect which the exaggerated, perverted, or false reports published by the press from day to day are exercising on public opinion here.

It is indeed only natural that the assassination should have imparted to the relations between the Dual Monarchy and Servia certain grave characteristics of unrest and that the Servian racial origin of the assassin should have provoked a violent outburst of hostile feeling towards Servia. It is generally believed that a criminalagitation against Austria-Hungary by Panserb societies has been going on for years in Servia, unchecked by the Government, and the periods of acute tension between the two neighbouring States have been too frequent of late years for this new occasion of strife to be devoid of danger. All the more reason, one would think, for the press to preach patience until the complicity of the Servian Government is proved, but the exact opposite is the case both here and in Vienna.

I am assured on good authority that Count Tisza is exerting his influence to moderate the tone of the newspapers, but hitherto his efforts -- if indeed he is making them -- have been quite unsuccessful. The "Pester Lloyd" continues the publication of inflammatory extracts from the Servian newspapers under the heading "From the Servian Witches' Kitchen," and the very day after Count Tisza's speech a report was published here, of course without the slightest foundation in fact, that the Austro Hungarian Legation in Belgrade had been blown up.

Hungarian newspapers did not hesitate to reproduce the preposterous statements of certain Servian newspapers that M. Hartwig was poisoned at the Austrian Legation.

On the 13th, a Monday, on which day the majority of the local newspapers do not issue a morning edition, a report was spread about Budapest, and obtained very general credence, that on the previous day, the anniversary of King Peter's birthday, Belgrade had been the scene of anti-Austrian excesses, that Austrians and Hungarians had been attacked and their houses pillaged, and that the members of the Austrian Legation had had to take refuge in Semlin. It soon appeared that these reports were false and that the only foundation for them was to be found in the fact that Baron Giesl had been warned of possible anti-Austrian demonstrations and had thought it prudent to bring the matter to the notice of M. Pasics, who had at once ordered all possible precautions to be taken. It appeared too that certain members of the Austro-Hungarian colony had crossed over to Semlin for safety, while others had taken refuge in their Legation. The whole incident may probably be ascribed to a senseless panic among the Austro-Hungarian colony attributable to the inflammatory tone of the press of both countries. As a matter of fact there was no disturbance in Belgrade on that day, nor was there any anti-Austrian demonstration, as had been feared, on the occasion of the funeral of the late Russian Minister.(1)

These rumours, however, from Belgrade were for a time very generally believed here and served to intensify the already existing state of nervousness as to the likelihood of war. Coupled with reports as to mobilisation in Italy against Greece, they produced a panic on the Budapest Bourse, and prices fell heavily on Monday and Tuesday. It is, therefore, satisfactory to be able to report that the tone on the Stock Exchange has since then become more confident and that the fall in prices on the first two days of the week has in many cases already been made good. It is difficult to attribute this return of confidence to the tone of Count Tisza's speech on Wednesday,(2) and I believe it to be due to the conviction that if there was any immediate prospect of war or even of military preparation for war, it would not be possible for the Joint Minister for War, the Austrian Minister of the Landwehr, the Hungarian Minister of Honved and the Chief of the General Staff all to be on leave, as is, I am told, the case at the present moment.

I have, &c.

(l) Cf. S Nos. 21 and 30.
(2) No. 82.

(33358) No. 82.T Mr. Max Muller to Sir Edward Grey.---(Received July 23.)
(No. 32.)
Budapest, July 17, 1914.

In continuation of my Despatch No. 30 of the 14th instant,(1) I have the honour to report that the House of Deputies was on Wednesday [July 15] the scene of a further debate in regard to the present strained relations between Austria-Hungary and Servia resulting from the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand.

It is one of the consequences of the suspension of parliamentary life in Austria that the Hungarian Parliament has be come the forum for pronouncements regarding the foreign policy of the Dual Monarchy, with the Hungarian Minister President as the responsible exponent.

Two interpellations were on the order for the day. The first referred to the widespread agitation in Hungary, Croatia and the annexed provinces due to the Pan-Serb propaganda proceeding from Belgrade: it asserted that the conspiracy in Bosnia and the assassination of the Heir to the Throne were the direct result of these propaganda, and demanded an assurance that the Government were prepared to have recourse to the most energetic measures in order to combat this agitation. The deputy responsible for this interpellation delivered a violent and bellicose speech, in the course of which he read the Servian note which closed the crisis arising out of the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. By this note Servia definitely and unconditionally renounced her aspirations to Bosnia and Herzegovina, undertook to reduce her military forces to a peace footing and to withdraw her bands from the two provinces, and promised to live in peace and good neighbourly relations with Austria-Hungary.

The "Pester Lloyd" in a leading article on the debate remarks that the assassination shows how Servia has kept her promise and then proceeds as follows: --

"The outrage was planned in Belgrade; the murderers were trained in their handiwork in Belgrade; they were provided with money and instruments of destruction in Belgrade; Belgrade and all Servia are the home of an idea which ever aims at the destruction of our Monarchy and conceives the criminal plot for the accomplishment of that purpose and then consecrates its most adept pupil as national heroes."

Count Tisza commenced his reply by explaining that he was not yet in a position to add anything to what he had said on the 8th instant in regard to the steps that might have to be taken towards Servia, but the whole tone of his speech strikes one as less conciliatory, I might even say, as more menacing, than his previous statement. almost his first words were "The question with Servia must under all circumstances be cleared up"; though as to the ways and means of achieving this end he made no definite statement. The Government, he continued, were fully conscious of the magnitude of the interests dependent on the maintenance of peace and were not of the opinion that this clearing up must necessarily lead to warlike complications. His Excellency then proceeded to utter the solemn warning that war was the tragic ultima ratio to which recourse should not be had until all other methods of arriving at a solution had been exhausted, but for which at the same time every nation must be prepared and willing, if it wishes to maintain its position as a nation and a state.

These serious words of warning have been made the subject of special and almost universally favourable comment in the press of both halves of the Monarchy.

Count Tisza's reply now travelled over much the same lines as his reply to Count Julius Andrassy's interpellation on the 8th instant. He disclaimed again on behalf of the Government all responsibility for the Archduke's journey, which was undertaken by His Imperial Highness in his military capacity; he maintained that the general condition of Bosnia was not so desperate as was depicted by the interpellator, that the outrage was the work of a few isolated criminals and was disapproved by the bulk of the Servian population; he admitted that political agitation ex isted in Bosnia, but not a revolution; stricter measures, he said, administrative, police and educational, must be taken to combat the evil; peace and progress in the annexed provinces had produced a spirit of optimism from which there had been a terrible awakening, but that was no reason for despairing as to the future of the provinces. His Excellency again took up the cudgels on behalf of the Serbo-Croat Coalition in Croatia and defended them against the accusation of cherishing Panserb aspirations.

The conclusion of Count Tisza's speech was more peaceful than the commencement: --

"I must terminate my statement with the common-place remark that political agitation and propaganda certainly exist, against which we must fight; this fight must be waged with energy; we must do all in our power to detect and destroy the root of the evil, but we must avoid all appearance of panic or fear, all methodless and inconsequent activity, all superfluous talk."

The second interpellation put forward by Count Albert Apponyi, referred to the reports as to dangers threatening the Austro-Hungarian Legation in Belgrade and the lives and property of Austro-Hungarian subjects living there and requested authentic official information in regard thereto as the surest means of calming the excitement aroused among the public.

Count Tisza gave a succinct account of the occurrences in Belgrade on the previous Sunday which had given rise to such alarmist reports. Baron Giesl, His Excellency explained, had received from an apparently trustworthy source warning of the intended demonstration. He had accordingly brought the matter to the notice of M. Pasics who had ordered the necessary precautionary measures to be taken. As a matter of fact, Count Tisza proceeded, no demonstration did take place, and there was no proof that there was any foundation in fact for the warnings received by Baron Giesl. The incident would therefore, said Count Tisza, naturally have no consequence. His Excellency took advantage of this opportunity to address to the Hungarian press a request that when they received reports of events affecting the vital interests of the Hungarian nation, their first thought should not be how these reports could be made use of, for journalistic purposes, but rather whether their publication would redound to the honour and good repute of the nation. The state of nervousness and panic caused by such reports was fraught with grave dangers and the press should be careful to ascertain their accuracy before publishing them.

The debate showed clearly that in spite of the acute differences existing between the Government and the Opposition in internal questions, all parties are at one in their views as to the course to be pursued by the Joint Government in their relations with Servia.

As an illustration of the effect which Count Tisza's above-mentioned warning has had on the press, I would mention that the "Pester Lloyd " and other papers of this morning published a most circumstantial statement in regard to the movements of troops and mobilisation in Servia which would raise the footing of the Servian army from 45,000 to 110,000 men, and in spite of an official d'ementi from Belgrade and contradictions from Vienna, the "Pester Lloyd" in its evening edition maintains the general accuracy of its statement.

I have, &c.

Cf. Sir M. de Bunsen's despatch No. 65.
(1) No. 70

(33479) No. 83.

Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.
Vienna, July 23, 1914.
D. 1:50 P.M.
Tel. (No. 94.) R. 2:45 P.M.

In reply to interpellations in the Hungarian Chamber last night concerning present state of relations of the Dual Monarchy with Servia, Hungarian Prime Minister, in declining to give explanations, affirmed that it was not in the interests of the country to discuss the matter at the present moment. He expressed the hope, however, that he would be before long in a position to make a full statement. Situation, he said, was one which might lead either to a peaceful or to a very serious issue.

Cf. No. 85.

(33480) No. 84.

Sir G. Buchanan to Sir Edward Grey.
St. Petersburg, July 23, 1914.
D. 2:18 P.M.
Tel. (No. 165.) R. 3 P.M.
My telegram No. 168 of 22nd July.(1)

M.F.A. has instructed Russian Ambassador at Vienna to concert with his French and German colleagues with a view to giving friendly counsels of moderation.(2)

French Government are, I understand, sending similar instructions to the French Ambassador. (3)

Any such communication at Vienna would be likely to produce intense irritation, without any beneficial other effect. -- E.A.C. July 23.

I am afraid that it is not a judicious move, and I doubt if the Germans will join. -- A.N.

I fear "German" must be a mistake for "British," but wait till to-morrow. -- E. G.

Bring up these telegrams to-morrow with the one from Berlin giving Herr von Jagow's views.(4) -- E. G.

(1) No. 76.
(2) See No. 90.
(3) No. 97 and F No. 28.
(4) No. 77.

(33491) No. 85.

Mr. Max Muller to Sir Edward Grey.
Budapest, July 23, 1914.
D. 2 P.M.
Tel. (No. 1.) R. 4:30 P.M.

Minister-President last night declined to answer interpellation in regard to difference with Servia on the ground that it was not for the present in the interest of Monarchy to discuss question. His Excellency hoped to be able shortly to make detailed statement. He said situation did not warrant opinion that a serious turn of events was necessary, or even probable. It was still quite uncertain, and could be settled by peaceful means, though possibility of serious complication remains open.

Tone of speech was serious, if non-committal.

Public opinion continues excited, and war would be popular. There has been further fall on Stock Exchange. Press campaign continues unchanged, even in Government newspapers.

Dangerous factor in the situation is widespread conviction that war with Servia sooner or later is necessary for continued existence of Monarchy; that in the present question Austria-Hungary enjoys the sympathy and tacit approval of the Powers; and that war would therefore be confined to castigation of Servia by Austria-Hungary.

(Sent to Vienna.)

Cf. No. 88 and despatch No. 157.

(3781) No. 86.

Sir Edward Grey to Sir M. de Bunsen.
(No. 121.)
Foreign Office}, July 23, 1914.

Count Mensdorff told me to-day that he would be able to-morrow morning to let me have officially the communication that he understood was being made to Servia to-day by Austria. He then explained privately what the nature of the demand would be. As he told me that the facts would all be set out in the paper that he would give me to-morrow, it is unnecessary to record them now. I gathered that they would include proof of the complicity of some Servian officials in the plot to murder the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and a long list of demands consequently made by Austria on Servia.

A regards all this, I said that it was not a matter on which I would make any comment until I received an official communication, and it seemed to me probably a matter on which I should not be able to make any comment at first sight.

But, when Count Mensdorff told me that he supposed there would be something in the nature of a time-limit, which was in effect akin to an ultimatum, I said that I regretted this very much. To begin with a time-limit might inflame opinion in Russia, and it would make it difficult, if not impossible, to give more time, even if after a few days it appeared that by giving more time there would be a prospect of securing a peaceful settlement and getting a satisfactory reply from Servia. I admitted that if there was no time-limit, the proceedings might be unduly protracted, but I urged that a time-limit could always be introduced afterwards; that if the demands were made without a time-limit m the first instance, Russian public opinion might be less excited, after a week it might have cooled down, and if the Austrian case was very strong it might be apparent that the Russian Government would be in a position to use their influence in favour of a satisfactory reply from Servia. A time-limit was generally a thing to be used only in the last resort, after other means had been tried and failed.

Count Mensdorff said that if Servia, in the interval that had elapsed since the murder of the Archduke, had voluntarily instituted an enquiry on her own territory, all this might have been avoided. In 1909 Servia had said in a note that she intended to live on terms of good neighbourhood with Austria; but she had never kept her promise, she had stirred up agitation the object of which was to disintegrate Austria and it was absolutely necessary for Austria to protect herself.

I said that I would not comment upon or criticise what Count Mensdorff had told me this afternoon, but I could not help dwelling upon the awful consequences involved in the situation. Great apprehension had been expressed to me, not specially by M. Cambon and Count Benckendorff, but also by others, as to what might happen, and it had been represented to me that it would be very desirable that those who had influence in St. Petersburg should use it on behalf of patience and moderation. I had replied that the amount of influence that could be used in this sense would depend upon how reasonable were the Austrian demands and how strong the justification that Austria might have discovered for making her demands. The possible consequences of the present situation were terrible. If as many as four Great Powers of Europe -- let us say Austria, France, Russia, and Germany -- were engaged in war, it seemed to me that it must involve the expenditure of so vast a sum of money and such an interference with trade, that a war would be accompanied or followed by a complete collapse of European credit and industry. In these days, in great industrial States, this would mean a state of things worse than that of 1848, and, irrespective of who were victors in the war, many things might be completely swept away.

Count Mensdorff did not demur to this statement of the possible consequences of the present situation, but he said that all would depend upon Russia.

I made the remark that in a time of difficulties such as this, it was just as true to say that it required two to keep the peace as it was to say, ordinarily, that it took two to make a quarrel. I hoped very much that if there were difficulties, Austria and Russia would be able in the first instance to discuss them directly with each other.

Count Mensdorff said that he hoped this would be possible, but he was under the impression that the attitude in St. Petersburg had not been very favourable recently.

I am, &c

Published in BB No. 3.
For Count Mensdorff's account of this conversation see A I No. 59.

(33669) No. 87

Communication by the Servian Minister.

Foreign Office, July 23, 1914.
Sir Edward Grey.

The Servian Minister called to-day, apparently with no very specified object. He said that his Government were most anxious and disquieted. They were perfectly ready to meet any reasonable demands of Austria, so long as such demands are kept on the "terrain juridique." If the results of the enquiry at Serajevo -- an enquiry conducted with so much mystery and secrecy -- disclosed the fact that there were any individuals conspiring or organising plots on Servian territory, the Servian Government would be quite ready to take the necessary steps to give satisfaction. But if Austria transported the question on to the political ground, and said that Servian policy, being inconvenient to her, must undergo a radical change, and that she must abandon political ideals, no independent State would or could submit to such dictation.

He mentioned that both the assassins were Austrian subjects -- Bosniaks; that one of them had been in Servia, and that the Servian authorities, considering him suspect and dangerous, had desired to expel him, but on applying to the Austrian authorities the latter had protected him and said that he was an innocent and harmless individual.

He asked for my opinion on the whole question. I told him that it was quite impossible to form an opinion, having no data on which to base one. All I could say was that I sincerely trusted that his Government would endeavour to meet the Austrian requests in a conciliatory and moderate spirit. I had no idea of the character of those requests nor on what they would be founded.


Published as despatch in BB No. 30, with slight alteration.

Cf. S No. 30.

(M. Cambon tells me that the Vienna Minister of War has ordered preparations to be made for mobilising 8 army corps---but on the advice of M. Tisza this measure has been postponed. M. Jules Cambon asked M. v. Jagow what were the terms of the Austrian note. The latter replied that hedid not know.)(1) A. N.

(1) Cf. F No. 15.

Created: 6 August 1996, 05:17 PM Last Updated: 6 August 1996, 05:17 PM