British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1914

Vol. XI: The Outbreak of War: Foreign Office Documents
June 28th-August 4th, 1914

Edited by G.P. Gooch, D.Litt. and Harold Temperley, Litt.D.
Vol. XI
Printed and Published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1926

Collected and Arranged with Introduction and Notes by J.W. Headlam-Morley, M.A., C.B.E., Historical Adviser to the Foreign Office

(Content reprinted courtesy of HMSO, 1996; format and presentation ©World War I Document Archive, 1996)

Explanation of Organisation and Acquisition of Documents
Index of Persons. Showing Writers of Despatches, &c., and official positions of the principal persons mentioned in the text.
List of Documents, June - July 1914 (by date and author).

(NB: All HTML markings, including reference marks, text locators and the like have been added by the Web editor, and do not constitute part of the original document, which was transferred from print to electronic form by scanning. AJP)

Foreword by the Editors.

The decision to publish the British Documents dealing with the Origins of the War was announced in a letter of the 28th November, 1924 (published in the "Times" on the 3rd December), addressed to Dr. R. W. Seton-Watson, and signed by the Right Honourable Austen Chamberlain (now Sir Austen Chamberlain), His Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

A few extracts from the Secretary of State's letter are here given:

"The published letters in which you (Dr. Seton-Watson) and Sir Sidney Lee drew attention to the difficulties created for the historian anxious to present a full and fair account of recent events by the traditional rules governing the publication of our national records, immediately attracted my attention and commanded my sympathy. I found, on making inquiry, that Mr. Ramsay MacDonald had already given instructions which, in substance, meet the suggestions contained in your letter of the 25th November, and that it only remained for me to confirm them....

"As regards the publication of the official documents bearing on the general European situation out of which the War arose, a collection of these documents will be edited for the Foreign Office by Mr. G. P. Gooch and Mr. H. W. T. Temperley, who will, I hope, be in a position to begin serious work at a very early date ...."

On inquiry at the Foreign Office the Editors learnt that Mr. Headlam Morley, the Historical Adviser of the Foreign Office, had already made a very full collection of the relevant British documents between the date of the assassination of the Archduke on the 28th June and the British declaration of war on Germany on the 4th August, 1914. They, therefore, requested him to complete this collection and to issue it as the concluding volume of their series. This he kindly consented to do, and has added a valuable introduction.

The Editors do not make themselves responsible for the introduction or notes of Mr. Headlam-Morley. They have limited their responsibility to examining the papers printed by him and to comparing them with the original documents and files. They have in one or two instances authorised the omission of certain documents affecting the internal affairs of neutral States, which have no direct bearing on the outbreak or origins of the war; but they believe that no important or essential document in the Foreign Office Archives has been omitted, and that publication of the official State papers has been in no way restricted. In addition to the official records, it has been found possible to print a number of the more important minutes, together with some extracts from the private letters of Sir Edward Grey, of Lord Carnock (Sir Arthur Nicolson in 1914) and of other diplomatic personages. The Editors desire to acknowledge their debt to Mr. Headlam-Morley for lightening an onerous task. They have also to acknowledge the help kindly afforded to them by Mr. S. Gaselee, the Librarian and Keeper of the Papers of the Foreign Office.

The publication by the Editors of the remainder of the volumes will follow as speedily as possible. The first two will cover the years 1898-1904, necessarily in a somewhat summary fashion. The remaining eight volumes will deal with the years from 1904 onwards in more detail.




ON the 6th August, 1914, two days after the declaration of war on Germany, there was laid on the table of the House of Commons a White Paper containing the diplomatic correspondence which had taken place from the 22nd July to the 4th August. The immediate object was to inform Parliament as to the events which had brought about the war and the part taken in them by the British Government, for application had to be made to the House of Commons for a vote of supply. Owing to the nature of its contents, this collection of documents aroused very remarkable interest; it was at that time the only full official record available from any country, for the German White Paper, which had been presented to the Reichstag on the 4th August, obviously contained only a very small and partial selection, and, in particular, inevitably omitted any record of the negotiations with the British Government. In response to numerous requests, reprints were issued in a more popular form, and during the following months translations were prepared and circulated in the languages of all the more important countries. As a result it attained a circulation probably greater than that enjoyed by any similar publication; over a million copies were issued.

Since the war demands have been repeatedly made that this collection should be supplemented by a fuller publication. It has been pointed out that what was necessarily an incomplete collection of documents could not be fully satisfactory to those who were investigating the causes and origins of the war. This demand was strengthened when first the Austrian and then the German Government issued a very full publication, including not only the correspondence with foreign countries, but also other very confidential documents.

The suggestion has also been made that important documents or passages from documents were omitted, and that others were altered with the object of suppressing evidence that might appear to be unfavourable to the cause of the British Government and its Allies. These suspicions were absolutely unfounded. The view held by Sir Edward Grey and those who were working with him in the Foreign Office was that throughout the critical days at the end of July and the beginning of August they had done everything in their power to avert the outbreak of war; they believed that this had also been the desire of their Allies France and Russia; there was, therefore, in their view nothing to hide; they desired that the publication should be as full and open as possible.

It was, however, necessary to use discretion in making the selection. According to an established rule of courtesy, which the British Government has always strictly observed, no document which includes a record of conversations with the Ambassadors and Ministers of other Friendly Powers, or information confidentially conveyed by them, should be published without the consent of the Government concerned. On this occasion there was no time for reference to be made direct to them, for Parliament had to be informed immediately. All that was possible was to submit the printed proofs to the French, Russian and Italian Ambassadors. This threw on those preparing the work for publication at the Foreign Office additional responsibility. It was obviously not their duty to put forward for publication documents regarding negotiations between other countries in which the British Government had taken no part, but which had been communicated to them confidentially. The publication of such papers was for the Governments immediately concerned. This explains why, for example, there was omitted from Sir George Buchanan's telegram of the 24th July (No. 101) that portion which recounts the results of the conversations between M. Poincaré‚ and M. Sazonof. The authoritative publication of this must be made, if at all, by the French and Russian Governments in agreement. More matter of this nature was, however, included than under ordinary circumstances we should have expected. Never had there been a disclosure of negotiations, so immediate, so full and so frank. No objection seems to have been raised by any of the Ambassadors, and there is no record that they requested the alteration or omission of any document or passage.

Quite apart from this, it was of course only possible to publish a selection from the relevant documents. Everything had to be omitted which was not of real importance, for otherwise the course of events would have been obscured by the mass of material. The work oś selection was entrusted to officials of the Foreign Office. It was only referred at the final stage to Sir Edward Grey, who decided that one document, and only one, should be omitted (see No. 12, with the editorial note). In addition to their other work, they had thrown upon them the arduous and responsible task of making paraphrases of all cypher telegrams; this had to be carried out under the greatest urgency; they had, in fact, to work almost without intermission day and night.

In this new edition the reader has before him the complete text of all the despatches contained in the earlier edition and all the telegrams in their original and unparaphrased form; he is, therefore, in a position to form an opinion as to the integrity and skill which were shown in preparing the original White Paper. In order to facilitate comparison, a reference is attached to every document which was included in the original.

When it had been determined that a new edition should be issued, the question had to be considered on what principle this should be prepared. It would have been possible simply to publish in its original and unparaphrased form the complete text of the documents already published, inserting those passages which had been omitted and adding to them such documents of obvious political importance as had not been included. This would not have been satisfactory. It certainly would not have satisfied the criticisms and stilled the suspicions which had been aroused. The only thing to do was to publish the whole correspondence, including every telegram and despatch, however unimportant and incorrect, in any way relating to the origins of the war. This is the course which has been pursued, and the reader has before him in this edition everything, within the specified dates, contained in the Foreign Office records which appeared to have a bearing on the origin and outbreak of the war. He is in possession of all the documentary material which the Secretary of State and his advisers had before them at the time.

This volume contains also much material which was not available in 1914 and which could not have been used then. In addition to the official despatches and telegrams, it includes all relevant extracts from the private correspondence of Sir Edward Grey, which he has left in the Foreign Office. Permission has also been received to print certain minutes made at the time on the papers, not only by the Secretary of State, but by the higher officials. These are comparatively few and brief, for it was not the practice to write frequent or lengthy comments. They are, however, of great importance; they were written on the spur of the moment with full confidence that they would under no circumstances be published, at any rate until very many years had elapsed. They therefore show better than anything else could the impression made at the time on those whose duty it was to advise the Secretary of State. From them we can see how the confidence that this crisis would be surmounted, as so many other crises had been in the last few years, gradually gave way to concern and apprehension.

Among these minutes none will attract more attention than those written by the late Sir Eyre Crowe. A study of them will give to the reader some conception of the qualities which made him one of the most distinguished public servants of the time; the remarkable faculty of seeing and stating the essential points in a highly complex and difficult situation, the quickness and sureness of judgement and expression, the power of bringing his exceptional knowledge and experience to bear upon the particular problem with which he had to deal, and, above all, the intense feeling of responsibility and the single-minded devotion to the honour of his country. The personal memorandum addressed to Sir Edward Grey on the 1st July (No. 369) is especially remarkable. It was written under the stress of intense emotion; he believed that decisions were being made which would hazard the whole future of the country and a policy was being considered which would irreparably destroy its reputation. Recognition is due to the readiness with which Lord Grey has now consented to its publication, but we also know, from his own memoirs, that he was himself in substantial agreement with it, though at the moment it was impossible for him, because of the very serious division of opinion in the Cabinet and the country, to act in accordance with this advice, or even to explain and justify the course he followed.

Since the volume was in type, Lord Carnock (formerly Sir Arthur Nicolson) has, with high public spirit, deposited in the Foreign Office the correspondence which he, as Permanent Under-Secretary of State, conducted with Ambassadors and Ministers abroad. Many of these documents, which are of great historical importance, are now included. It may be explained that it was by the wish of Sir Edward Grey that the private correspondence, which is essential to the work of the office, should be chiefly undertaken by the Permanent Under-Secretary of State. It was understood that British Representatives abroad always had the right, if they so desired, of addressing the Secretary of State direct, but he wished to be freed from the additional burden which a large correspondence would have thrown upon him. The letters from abroad, which often contained very valuable information, in many cases unsuitable for embodiment in an official despatch, were usually submitted to the Secretary of State and, when of special importance, were circulated to the Prime Minister and, perhaps, other members of the Cabinet. They are, therefore, part of the information which was before the office and the Government.

The letters of the Under-Secretary have a different character; they have no official authority; they do not claim to give instructions, or indeed even suggestions. The chief object with which they were written was to keep the Ambassadors and Ministers, especially those in more remote posts, in touch with the thought and opinion at home: a large part is occupied with passing on information from other Missions. Sir Arthur Nicolson would, for example, send to Sir Maurice de Bunsen at Vienna news and information which he had himself received from St. Petersburg and Berlin. It will also be noted that the private letters are exempt from the rule by which each official despatch is strictly confined to one subject; they pass freely from one subject to another; political and private matters succeed one another; and, for this reason, they are in this volume quoted in extracts.

In another way the scope of this work is wider than that of the original White Paper. It begins not with the presentation of the Austrian note to Serbia of the 23rd July, but with the assassination of the Archduke on the 28th June. This seemed desirable for many reasons, and particularly because the German official publication starts from this date. In addition, there has been printed in a preliminary section a very brief selection of despatches, which it is hoped may be useful as an illustration oś the diplomatic situation before the crisis began.

Although the volume contains a complete collection of all papers bearing on the origin of the war belonging to the month of July 1914, this does not imply that it includes all the political despatches and telegrams during that period. Down to the very end of the month there was a continuance of the normal diplomatic correspondence dealing with the ordinary current affairs. This, as far as it is worth publishing at all, will be included in the final volume of the series to be published by Dr. Gooch and Dr. Temperley. The task of discriminating between the two categories of documents presented less difficulty than was anticipated. Towards the end of June there was a considerable cessation of political activity. To some extent this was no doubt seasonal; as the summer advances parliaments adjourn, statesmen and diplomatists begin to take their holidays, and matters which a few weeks before seemed full of difficulty and anxiety assume a different aspect. We do not mean by this that there was any real modification in the profound anxiety with which every responsible person regarded the future of Europe; the danger of the clash between the two rival systems was obviously increasing with every addition to the armaments on both sides; but there seemed no indication that a crisis was approaching, and nothing to suggest that, whatever their ultimate designs might be, any of the Great Powers proposed to force the issue during the summer of 1914. There was a marked contrast between 1914 and the three previous years, in each of which during July Europe had been confronted with a serious and urgent crisis.

Moreover, some of the problems which had caused the gravest concern during the previous months had shown an improvement. The really serious danger throughout the spring and early summer of 1914 had been that of war between Greece and Turkey; such a conflict would almost inevitably have brought in Bulgaria on the side of the Turks, and there would have resulted a general Balkan war between those who wished to maintain and those who wished to overthrow the Treaty of Bucharest. From such a war it would have been very difficult for Austria and Russia to remain aloof. The crisis continued to the end of June when, for some reason which is not very apparent, informal negotiations which were being carried on with Dr. Dillon, the well-known journalist, as mediator, took a favourable turn, and it was arranged that M. Veniselos and the Grand Vizier, should meet at Brussels at the end of July, to come to a formal agreement. We have then a number of telegrams, which it has not been considered necessary to publish, recording the arrangements made for this meeting.

The other matter of immediate concern in the Balkans was Albania. Here again it has not been considered necessary to print the numerous telegrams giving an account of affairs in Albania during the month of July; the only event of importance was that an arrangement had been made by which Roumanian troops should be used to give to the Albanian Government that physical support of which they were so greatly in need. But it might be hoped that, even if some incident occurred on the Albanian frontier, it would be settled locally. All reports from Belgrade, Vienna, Berlin and other capitals were to the effect that the Serbian Government had no intention of creating any unnecessary difficulty. There was general agreement that the one thing the Serbian Government desired, at any rate for the next year or so, was peace; the first thing they had to do, after the recent large accessions of territory, was to make provision for the organisation and government of the new districts; they were occupied in negotiations for a concordat with the Vatican, and, moreover, the army, after two wars, required reorganisation and re-equipment. All this would make it extremely inconvenient to embark at this moment upon a new war. There were, of course, as was frankly acknowledged by the Serbians themselves, hot-heads who would shrink at nothing, but there was no evidence that they were likely to get the upper hand.

One thing which should perhaps be mentioned was the struggle which was going on at Sofia with regard to the provision of a loan to the Bulgarian Government; this had assumed a political aspect; the Dual and the Triple Alliances were both anxious to win over Bulgaria, and the granting of a loan would probably be the first step towards a closer political agreement. The problem was finally settled when a German loan was accepted on the 16th July.

If this was the condition of things in the Balkans, in the rest of Europe there was a marked absence of diplomatic controversy. The newspaper controversy between Russia and Germany on the subject of armaments, which had begun in March and continued spasmodically ever since, seemed at last to have died a natural death.

The relations between England and Germany are sufficiently indicated in the despatches printed at the beginning of the volume. It may be mentioned that the Baghdad Agreement, which had been the subject of negotiations for some months, had been initialled at the end of May and wag ready for signature subject to the adjustment of certain supplementary points; the negotiations on this matter, which do not fall within the scope of this volume, continued as late as the 22nd July.

Relations with France were normal; there were no important political questions at issue between the two Governments, and, as will be seen, there were no despatches from the Embassy in Paris during the month of July dealing with French political affairs, whether internal or external, e.g., nothing referring to the visit of the President of the Republic to Russia, and nothing giving an account of the attitude either of the French Government or the French press with regard to the assassination of the Archduke and its possible consequences, or the debate in the Chamber on the condition of the army. Sir F. Bertie doubtless considered that these topics, and French opinion on them, were being treated with sufficient detail and accuracy by the English press, and therefore thought that he could add little by reporting on them officially; but from one point of view this is unfortunate, because it resulted that the only information forwarded from Paris was two or three articles published in the Matin and the Temps. These articles, if read by those who have no intimate knowledge of the tendencies of French policy and French public opinion during June and July 1914, may easily produce an unfortunate and misleading impression. Quite frankly, their publication alone, as they stand, is very unfair to France, for they do not represent, and scarcely claim to represent, we will not say French public opinion, but any fraction of French public opinion; but the whole principle on which this volume is produced rendered it impossible to omit them. Their inspiration, as Lord Granville points out, is Russian, but we cannot even say that they represent general Russian opinion or that of the Russian Government as a whole, which could scarcely have committed itself to the approval of articles the political effect of which must be so unfavourable. The only party which would profit by them would be the German Government, which would find just the support they desired for appealing to the German nation for continued increase in armaments.

There was, from the point of view of the British Government, one problem by which they were seriously exercised and which seemed to require immediate treatment, namely, the relations with Russia. Grave difficulties had arisen in Asia; the Russians were very dissatisfied with what appeared to them to be the undue advantages which the British Government had gained from their control of the oil-fields in Mesopotamia. On the other hand, the British Government had for long serious grounds for complaint at the action of the Russian Consuls in Persia. There were, moreover grave apprehensions, felt largely by the Government of India, concerning the situation in Afghanistan. One party among the Russians was gravely dissatisfied with the results of the Agreement of 1907. It appeared to them that the British Government had succeeded in obtaining advantages under the agreement greater than those which had fallen to Russia, and, in particular, they were annoyed at seeing the mineral wealth of the neutral zone absorbed by British companies. On both sides a feeling of distrust was arising; without mutual confidence there could be no real friendship, and undoubtedly mutual confidence was not present. This might quite conceivably have had very serious consequences. The position of M. Sazonof was not secure. There were constant rumours that he would not long be able to maintain himself, and if he fell from power, no one could foresee by whom he would be succeeded. There was always at the Court, and to a large extent in the army, a strong German party; the growing danger of revolution would almost inevitably have had the effect of causing the Russian Government to turn for support to Germany and of reviving the old understanding between the two nations for the maintenance of monarchical institutions against the forces of disorder. Anything of this kind would have had the gravest effect: at once the whole settlement in Asia would have been in jeopardy. Under these circumstances, the Government were concerned in bringing about a better understanding in regard to the various points at issue, and this is the subject of constant telegrams, despatches and private letters, which continued as late as the 22nd July. All this falls outside the scope of this volume, for it had no immediate connection with the outbreak of the war. Reference to it is made in Nos. 49 and 75, from which it appears that M. Poincaré‚ had, on his own initiative, made it the subject of personal representations to the Tsar and M. Sazonof.

There is, however, one point which cannot be passed over On the 9th July, Sir George Buchanan, in a private letter to Sir Arthur Nicolson, said:

"Sazonof is always reproaching me with the inveterate suspicion with which Russia is regarded in India and in certain circles in England. He is apparently ready to do almost anything to allay it, and seems even to have suggested to the Emperor that Russia should guarantee India against attack. In speaking to me on the subject two days ago, he remarked that it might be offensive to us as a Great Power to be offered such a guarantee without giving some equivalent guarantee in return, and he suggested that a formula might be found under which we might mutually guarantee the inviolability of each other's Asiatic possessions. On my replying that our Allies, the Japanese, might regard such a guarantee on our part as directed against themselves, Sazonof said that there was no reason why they should not be brought in also. They would be very flattered by such a proposal, and the guarantee would then have a triple instead of a dual character. I do not know whether he is seriously thinking of putting forward such a proposal officially."

To this Sir Arthur Nicolson, in a private letter to Sir George Buchanan, while expressing in a general way his personal interest in the suggestion, said that of course it was quite impossible for him to give any opinion until he had had time to talk it over with Sir Edward Grey. On the 19th July the following private and secret telegram was received by Sir Edward Grey from Sir George Buchanan:

"In conversation Minister for Foreign Affairs enquired whether I had informed you of what he had said in regard to a triple guarantee of our respective Asiatic possessions. I replied that I had done so in a private letter to Sir A. Nicolson, which you no doubt would already have seen, but that, as it was a question on which you would have to consult your colleagues in the Cabinet, you had not had time to communicate to me the views of His Majesty's Government on the subject. I then asked him whether he wished us to consider what he had said as a serious proposal as, if so, I thought it would be better to (group undecypherable) put it forward in a more concrete form. Minister for Foreign Affairs said he had spoken in all seriousness. While the two Governments had confidence in each other's good intentions, public opinion in England regarded Russia with suspicion and he had made this suggestion with the object of allaying that suspicion once and for all. He would accept almost any formula that would in our opinion achieve this result.

"I thought it best not to pursue the conversation further, but I gathered that, should the idea of such a triple guarantee commend itself to His Majesty's Government, Minister for Foreign Affairs will leave it to them to suggest what form it should take."

To this, the next day, Sir Edward Grey answered:

"I am personally attracted by idea of triple guarantee, and am very glad that Minister for Foreign Affairs has made it a serious proposal. I will consult Prime Minister and, if he approves, the Cabinet, as soon as the Parliamentary and Irish situation gives them time."

This was the end of the matter, but in general the programme was that Sir George Buchanan should, during the autumn, settle down to a formal and thorough discussion of all these questions, with the hope of putting the relations of the two countries on a more satisfactory footing. During August Prince Louis of Battenberg, First Sea Lord, was also to visit St. Petersburg in connection with the technical Anglo-Russian naval conversations to which Sir Edward Grey had given his consent.

In accordance with the rules of international courtesy referred to above, the documents in the present volume especially concerning each Allied and Neutral country have been communicated to the Governments for their agreement. It is a matter of the highest satisfaction that in every case this has been given without reservation, and (except in one or two personal references to living people of no political importance) no omissions of any kind have been necessary; modifications of the text would under no circumstances have been considered. In particular, the warmest recognition is due to the readiness with which the French Government, who, of course, are peculiarly interested in this volume, have completely accepted and identified themselves with the principle of full publication. It was indeed inevitable that a completely uncensored publication of this kind must include telegrams and other documents which, often on second-hand evidence, contain statements which are clearly incorrect or misleading. For instance, the private letter (No.320 (b)) contains two statements. The first of these is merely a second-hand statement of something which the President of the Republic is reported to have said. It is obviously of no importance and is in contradiction with the language used by him to Sir F. Bertie on the same day (see No. 373). The unsupported statement of a foreign diplomatist as to the state of French military preparations is also clearly of no real evidential value. The whole thing does not seem to have been worth reporting. And again, the record of a private conversation between a British representative abroad and a foreign diplomatist may be so worded as to produce an incorrect impression of the policy of the Government which the latter represents. Representations have been made, not only by belligerents, pointing out instances of this kind. In some cases it has been possible to add a brief note indicating the points on which the report of the observations made might be misleading. We may, for example, refer to the remark made by M. Grouitch to Mr. Crackanthorpe (No. 61), that should Austria force on a war, "Serbia would not stand alone. Russia would not stand by and see Serbia wantonly attacked, and Bulgaria would be immobilised by Roumania." This was in no way an intimation, either official or unofficial, that there was any kind of definite agreement between Russia and Serbia; it is merely an interpretation of the situation which will be found in almost every conversation which took place. It is nothing more than what M. Schebeko said to Sir Maurice de Bunsen (No. 56) when he observed that if there was a proposal for the condign punishment of Serbia, Russia would inevitably be drawn in. It was, in fact, a mere commonplace.

Or, again, there is the observation attributed to M. Paléologue (No. 125) that the French Government would wish to know whether the British Government would maintain her engagements under the naval arrangements. In referring to this point he was not acting under instructions; it was out of the question that the French Ambassador at St. Petersburg should have been instructed to raise a matter of this kind; he was only, with characteristic impulsiveness, giving expression to his own personal view.

Arrangement of Documents

Go to List of Documents, June - July 1914 (by date and author).
Return to top of document

The arrangement of the documents is strictly chronological, the date of incoming communications being not that of despatch, but that on which they were received in the Foreign Office. The documents for each day are placed in the following order:

(1.) Incoming despatches;

(2.) Telegrams received and despatched, so far as possible in chronological sequence, according to the hour at which they were despatched from the Foreign Office to the Post Office or received in the Foreign Office. The hour of receipt in the Foreign Office appears to indicate not the time when the telegram was received from the Post Office, but the time when the decyphering clerk began work on it;

(3.) All outgoing despatches are grouped together at the end of the day;

(4.) Papers originating in the Foreign Office, and communications from foreign representatives in London, are generally placed together in the early afternoon, unless they contain some definite indication as to the hour of despatch or receipt.

The documents are in every case printed from the official copy preserved in the archives. Of outgoing despatches and telegrams, this is the final draft as approved by the Secretary of State or the Head of the Department. The more important political documents, including particularly the records of his conversations with foreign Ambassadors, were always drafted by Sir Edward Grey; sometimes apparently dictated to a shorthand-writer, but in the majority of cases in his own handwriting. Incoming despatches are printed from the original as received in the Office. For incoming cypher telegrams, the only original is the copy prepared by the decyphering clerk; it was the custom of the Office that this should be at once duplicated, first in typescript and afterwards, for all important telegrams, in print; when this was done the original MS. was not kept.

As regards the spelling of proper names, no attempt has been made to establish uniformity. In outgoing despatches and telegrams and minutes, the form most generally in use at the time has been adopted; in incoming despatches the form used in the original has been preserved, though in some instances obvious errors have been corrected. This will explain the inconsistencies which will doubtless be noticed; we have, for instance, several ways of spelling names such as " Serajevo," " Sazonof, " etc.

The words En clair are placed at the head of all telegrams which were not in code or cypher.

References have been inserted, not only as stated above, to the original White Paper, but also to any other place in which the document, if not included in the White Paper, has been published. In order to facilitate the use of the volume, cross references have been put in and, in addition, references to the official publications of other Governments are given. A few editorial notes have been added. These are, however, confined to cases in which some question has been or might be raised regarding the completeness or authenticity of the text; no attempt has been made to deal with the subject matter of the correspondence. The responsibility for these notes attaches entirely to the compiler of this volume, and not to the Foreign Office or to the Editors of the series.

In order to insure uniformity with the other volumes, the Editors undertook the responsibility of supplying the List of Documents and the Indices. In addition, I have to acknowledge the cordial and useful co-operation which they have given me. Grateful recognition is also due to the members of the Foreign Office Library Staff for the readiness and thoroughness with which they have assisted in the search for all relevant documents, and dealt with the numerous enquiries addressed to them.

J.W. H.-M

List of Books Referred to and Abbreviations Used.

Return to top of document

A. Diplomstische Aktenstucke zur Vorgeschichte des Krieges 1914. 3 vols. (Republik Oesterreich, Staatsamt fur Aeusseres).

B. Belgian Grey Book (Printed in Collected Diplomatic Documents relating to the Outbreak of the European War).

Buchanan My Mission to Russia and other Diplomatic Memories by Sir George Buchanan. 2 vols. (1923.)

CDD Collected Diplomatic Documents relating to the Outbreak of the European War. (1914.)

DD Die Deutschen Dokumente zum Kriegsausbruch 1914. (Herausgegeben im Auftrage des Auswartigen Amtes). 4 vols (1919.) American translation: Outbreak of the World War German Documents collected by Karl Kautsky and edited by Max Montgelas and Walther Schucking. (1924.)

F. French Yellow Book (Printed in Collected Diplomatic Documents, o.c.).

Grey Twenty-Five Years 1892-1916, by Viscount Grey of Falloden, K..G. 2 vols.

Lichnowsky My Mission to London 1912-14, by Prince Lichnowsky.

Oman The Outbreak of the War of 1914-18, by C. Oman. (1919.)

Pourtalès Am Scheidewege zwischen Krieg und Frieden, by Graf Pourtalès. (1919.)

R. Russian Orange Book (Printed in Collected Diplomatic Documents, o.c.).

R II Die Falschungen des Russischen Orangebuches, herausgegeben von Freiherrn G. von Romberg. (1922.) English Translation: The Falsifications of the Russian Orange Book, by Baron G. von Romberg. Translated by Major Cyprian Bridge, with a foreword by G. P. Gooch. (1923.)

Renouvin Les Origines Immèdiates de la Guerre, by Pierre Renouvin (1925).

S. The Serbian Blue Book (Printed in Collected Diplomatic Documents, o.c.).

Siebert Diplomatisohe Aktenstucke zur Geschichte der Ententepolitik der Vorkriegsjahre, von B. von Siebert. (1921.) American translation: Entente Diplomacy and the World. Matrix of the History of Europe, 1909-14. Translated from the original texts in his possession by B. de Siebert. Edited, &c., by George A. Schreiner. (1921.)

Un Livre Noir Un Livre Noir. Diplomatie d'Avant Guerre d'après les Documents des Archives Russes. 2 vols. (1922/3.)

Names of the Writers of Minutes.

E.G. = Sir Edward Grey Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

A.N. = Sir Arthur Nicolson Permanent Under-Secretary of State.

E.A.C. = Sir Eyre Crowe Assistant Under-Secretary of State.

G.R.C. = Mr. G. R. Clerk Senior Clerk.

H.M. = Mr. H. Montgomery Assistant Clerk.

E.D. = Hon. J. Eric Drummond Private Secretary to Prime Minister.

E.P. = Lord Eustace Percy Secretary in the Diplomatic Service.

W.T. = Sir Wm. Tyrrell Private Secretary to Sir Edward Grey.

R.G.V. = Mr. R. G. Vansittart. Assistant Clerk.


Return to top of document


AKERS-DOUGLAS, HON. A., British Minister at Bucharest.
ANDRESSY, COUNT JULES, Hungarian statesman.
APPONYI, COUNT ALBERT, Hungarian statesman.
ASQUITH, RT. HON. H. E., British Prime Minister.
AVARNA, DUC D', Italian Ambassador at Vienna.


BARCLAY, MR. C. A. DE R., British Charg‚ d'Affaires at Washington.
BARCLAY SIR G., British Minister at Bucharest.
BARNHAM, MR. H. D., Consul-General at Smyrna.
BARR RE, M. C., French Ambassador at Rome.
BAX-IRONSIDE, SIR H., British Minister at Sophia.
BEAUMONT, MR. H. H. D., British Chargé d'Affaires at Constantinople.
BELOW-SALESKE, HERR VON, German Minister at Brussels.
BENCKENDORFF, COUNT, Russian Ambassador in London.
BERCHTOLD, COUNT LEOPOLD VON, Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
BERNAL, MR. R., British Consul at Stettin.
BERTHELOT, M., Acting Political Director at the French Foreign Office.
BERTIE, SIR FRANCIS, British Ambassador at Paris.
BETHMANN-HOLLWEG, DR. TH. VON, German Chancellor and Prussian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
BEYEN, BARON, Belgian Minister at Berlin.
BIENVENU-MARTIN, M., Acting French Minister for Foreign Affairs.
BOLLATI, M. R., Italian Ambassador at Berlin.
BOSANQUET, MR. B. H. C., British Consul at Riga.
BRYAN, MR. W. J., Secretary of State, United States.
BUCHANAN, SIR GEORGE, British Ambassador at St. Petersburg.
BUNSEN, SIR MAURICE DE, British Ambassador at Vienna.


CADOGAN, HON. ALEXANDER, 3rd Secretary in British Embassy at Vienna.
CABON, M. JULES, French Ambassador at Berlin.
CAMBON, M. PAUL, French Ambassador in London.
CARLIN, M., Swiss Minister in London.
CARNEGIE, MR. L. D., British Minister at Lisbon.
CASTENSKIOLD, M. H. GREVENKOP, Danish Minister in London.
CHILTON, MR. H. G., British Chargé d'Affaires at The Hague.
CHURCHILL, MR. WINSTON, First Lord of the Admiralty.
CLERK, MR. G. R., Senior Clerk in British Foreign Office.
CRACKANTHORPE, MR. DAYRELL, British Chargé‚ d'Affaires at Belgrade.
CROWE, SIR EYRE, Assistant Under-Secretary of State in British Foreign Office.
CZERNIN, COUNT OTTOKER, Austro-Hungarian Minister at Bucharest.


DAVIGNON, M., Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
DES GRAZ, MR. C. L., British Minister at Belgrade.
DILLON; DR. E. J., British Journalist.
DOUMERGUE, M., French Minister for Foreign Affairs.
DRUMMOND, HON. ERIC, Private Secretary to British Prime Minister.
DUFF, MR. A. GRANT, British Minister at Dresden.
DUFF, MR. EVELYN GRANT, British Minister at Berne.
DUMAINE, M., French Ambassador at Vienna.


EGGELING, MAJOR VON, German Military Attaché‚ at St. Petersburg.
EHRENSVARD, COUNT, Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs.
ERSKINE, HON. WM. A., British Chargé d'Affaires at Athens.
ETTER, M. DE, Counsellor of Russian Embssy in London.
EYSCHEN, DR., Minister President of Luxemburg.


FINDLAY, MR. M. DE C., British Minister to Christiania.
FLEURIAU, M. DE, French Counsellor of Embassy and Charg‚ d'Affaires in London.
FLOTOW, DR. H. VON, German Ambassador at Rome.
FORGACH, DR. J. GRAF VON, Sektionschef in Austro-Hungarian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
FRANZ FERDINAND, ARCHDUKE, Heir Apparent to Austro-Hungarian Throne.


GENNADIUS, M. J., Greek Minister in London.
GERARD, MR. J. W., American Ambassador at Berlin.
GIESL v. GIESLINEN, BARON, Austro-Hungarian Minister at Belgrade.
GOSCHEN, SIR EDWARD, British Ambsssador at Berlin.
GRANVILLE, LORD, British Counsellor of Embassy at Paris.
GREENE, SIR C., British Ambassador at Tokyo.
GREY, SIR EDWARD, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
GROUITCH, M., Secretary-General in the Servian Foreign Office.


HARDINGE, SIR ARTHUR, British Ambassador at Madrid.
HARTWIG, M. DE, Russian Minister at Belgrade.
HEARN, MR. W. R., British Consul-General at Hamburg.
HEATHCOTE-SMITH, MB. C. E., Acting British Consul-General at Smyrna.
HENDERSON, CAPT. W., British Naval Attaché‚ to Berlin Embassy.
HERTSLET, SIR C., British Consul-General at Antwerp.
HOWARD, MR. ESME, British Minister at Stockholm.


IMPERIALI, THE MARQUIS, Italian Ambassador in London.
INOUYE, M. K., Japanese Ambassador in London.
ISVOLSKY, M., formerly Russian Foreign Minister, later Russian Ambassador at Paris.


JAGOW, HERR VON, German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
JONES, MR. J. F., British Vice-Consul at Serajevo.
JORDAN, SIR JOHN, British Minister at Pekin.


KATO, BARON, Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs.
KLOBUKOWSKI, M., French Minister at Brussels.
KOUDSCHEFF, PRINCE, Russian Counsellor of Embassy and Chargé d'Affaires at Vienna.


LALAING, COUNT DE, Belgian Minister in London.
LE GALLAIS, MR. N., British Consul for Grand Duchy of Luxemburg.
LICHNOWSKY, PRINCE, German Ambassador in London.
LOUDEN, M. J., Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs.
LOWTHER, SIR H., British Minister at Copenhagen.

Return to top of document


MACCHIO, BARON, Austro-Hungarian Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
MARTINO, SIGNOR, Secretary-General of Italian Foreign Office.
MAVROCORDATO, M., Roumanian Minister at Vienna.
MAX MÜLLER, MR. W. G., British Consul-General at Budapest.
MAXSE, MR. E. G., British Consul-General at Rotterdam.
MENSDORFF, COUNT A., Austro-Hungarian Ambassador in London.
MONTGOMERY, MR. H., Assistant Clerk in Foreign Office.
MULLER, MR. E. H., British Consul at Löderitzbucht.


NICOLSON, SIR ARTHUR, British Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
NICHOLAS II, Tsar of Russia.


OPPENHEIMER, SIR F., Commercial Attaché to British Embassy at Berlin.


PAGE, MR. WALTER H., United States Ambassador in London.
PALÉOLOGUE, M. MAURICE, French Ambassador at St. Petersburg.
PASHITCH, M. N.. Servian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs.
PATCHOU, DR. LAZA, Acting Servian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs
PERCY, LORD EUSTACE, Secretary in British Diplomatic Service.
PLAMENATZ, M. PETER, Montenegrin Premier and Minister for Foreign Affairs.
POINCARÉ, M. RAYMOND, President of the French Republic.
POBRUMBARO, M. E., Roumanian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
POURTALÈS, COUNT, German Ambassador at St. Petersburg.
PRATT, MR J. T., British Consul at Tsinan.


RIZOFF, M., Bulgarian Minister at Rome.
ROBERTS, MR. J. F., British Consul-General at Odessa.
RODD, SIR RENNELL, British Ambassador at Rome.
RUMBOLD, SIR HORACE, British Counsellor of Embassy and Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin.
RUSSELL, CT.-COL. HON. ALICK, British Military Attaché at Berlin.
RUSSELL, HON. THEO, British Counsellor of Embassy at Vienna.


SALIS, COUNT J. DE, British Minister at Cettinj.
SAN GIULIANO, MARQUIS DI, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
SARELL, MR. P. C., British Consul at Dunkirk.
SAVERY, MR. F., British Chargé d Affaires at Munich.
SAZONOF, M., Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
SCHEBEKO, M., Russian Ambassador at Vienna.
SCHOEN, BARON VON, German Ambassador at Paris.
SCHUBERT, HERR CARL VON, Secretary of German Embassy in London.
SELBY, MR. W. H., Assistant Private Secretary to Sir E. Grey.
SINCLAIR, MR. W. H. M., British Consul-General at Brindisi.
SPALAIKOVITCH, DR. M., Servian Minister at St. Petersburg.
STORCK, HERR W. VON, Austro-Hungarian Chargé d'Affaires at Belgrade.
SUKHOMLINOFF, M., Russian Minister for War.
SWERBEIEV, M., Russian Ambassador at Berlin.
SWINDEREN, M. R. DE MAREES VAN, Netherlands Minister in London.
SZÀPÀRY, COUNT Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at St. Petersburg.
SZÀCSEN, COUNT, Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at Paris.
SZÀGÀNY COUNT, Austro-Eungarian Ambassador at Berlin.


TEWFIK PASHA, Turkish Ambassador in London.
TIRPITZ, ADMIRAL VON, Secretary of State of German Admiralty.
TISZA, GRAF STEPHAN, Hungarian Minister-President.
TRAUTMANNSDORFF, COUNT, Counsellor at Austro-Hungarian Embassy in London.
TSCHIRSCHKY, HERR VON, German Ambassador at Vienna.
TYRRELL, SIR WILLIAM, Principal Private Secretary to British Secretary of State
for Foreign Affairs


VANSITTART, MR. R. G., Assistant Clerk in British Foreign Office.
VESNITCH, DR. M. R., Servian Minister at Paris.
VENIZELOS, M., Greek Prime Minister.
VILLIERS, SIR F., British Minister at Brussels.
VIVIANI, M. RENÉ, French President of the Council and Minister for Foreign Affairs.


WALLENBERG, HERR K. A., Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs.
WESENDONK, HERR VON, Secretary at German Embassy in London.
WILLIAM II, German Emperor.


YARDE-BULLER, COL. H., Military Attaché to British Embassy at Paris.
YANOVITCH, M. YOVAN, Servian Minister at Vienna.
YOVANOVITCH, DR. M., Servian Chargé d'Affaires at Berlin.


ZIMMERMANN, HERR VON, German Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

Return to top of document
Return to Explanation of Organisation and Acquisition of Documents
Return to Index of Persons. Showing Writers of Despatches, &c., and official positions of the principal persons mentioned in the text.
Go to List of Documents, June - July 1914 (by date and author).