Document Numbers 67 - 74

20 July 1914 - 21 July 1914
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(32659) No. 67.
Sir Edward Grey to Sir G. Buchanan.
Foreign Office, July 20, 1914
D. 7 P.M.
Tel. (No. 336.)

It is possible that Servian Government have been negligent,and that proceedings at the trial at Serajevo will show that the murder of theArchduke was planned on Servian territory. If Austrian demands in Servia are kept within reasonable limit and if Austria can produce justification for making them, I hope every attempt will be made to prevent any breach of the peace. It would be very desirable that Austria and Russia should discuss things together if they become difficult. You can speak in this sense if occasion seems to require it.

Published in Oman, p. 18.

Cf. No. 76.

(33167) No. 68.
Sir Edward Grey to Sir H. Rumbold.
(No. 235.)
Foreign Office, July 20, 1914

I asked the German Ambassador to-day if he had any news of what was going on in Vienna with regard to Servia.

He said that he had not, but Austria was certainly going to take some step, and he regarded the situation as very uncomfortable.

I said that I had not heard anything recently, except that Count Berchtold, in speaking to the Italian Ambassador in Vienna, had deprecated the suggestion that the situation was grave, but had said that it should be cleared up.

The German Ambassador said that it would be a very desirable thing if Russia could act as a mediator with regard to Servia.

I said that I assumed that the Austrian Government would not do anything until they had first disclosed to the public their case against Servia, founded presumably upon what they had discovered at the trial.

The Ambassador said that he certainly assumed that they would act upon some case that would be made known.

I said that this would make it easier for others, such as Russia, to counsel moderation in Belgrade. In fact, the more Austria could keep her demand within reasonable limits, and the stronger the justification she could produce for making any demand, the more chance there would be of smoothing things over. I hated the idea of a war between any of the Great Powers, and that any of them should be dragged into a war by Servia would be detestable.

The Ambassador agreed wholeheartedly in this sentiment.

I am, &c.

Published in BB No. 1.
For Prince Lichnowsky's account of this conversation see DD No. 92.

(32981) No. 69.
Sir F. Bertie to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 21.)
(No. 357.)
Paris, July 20, 1914.

The "Matin" to-day gives prominence to a telegram sent from St.Petersburg by its special correspondent, M. Jules Hedeman, on the subject of the part which the Russian army would play in the event of a European war.

M. Hedeman states that his information is derived from military sources most competent to furnish it. The following is its substance:

The Russian army is now composed of forty-four army corps, and another one is to be added next year. Should war break out, thirteen army corps, namely, seven in Siberia and the Far East, two in Turkestan, three in the Caucasus, and one in Finland and St. Petersburg, would remain where they are; all the others would take the offensive on the German and Austrian frontiers.It is improbable that Russia would send any troops to the Russo-Roumanian frontier. Formerly, two Russian army corps would have been sent there to hold in check the Roumanian army, but things have changed, and Roumania is more likely nowadays to join in an attack on Austria-Hungary than to invade Russia, for the Roumanians covet the province of Transylvania, of which the population is Roumanian by race. This being so, Russia is free to oppose thirty-one army corps to Germany and Austria. It is difficult to say what number of army corps the two latter Powers will be able to place against Russia. Before the Balkan war, the Russian military authorities computed the number of Austrian army corps at fourteen, but since the growth of Servian power, and the alteration in Roumania's dispositions, and the ensuing change of attitude on the part of Austria's Servian and Roumanian subjects, the Austrian General Staff is obliged to reinforce the troops on the southern frontiers and in the south of the Empire generally, and this diminishes the strength of the forces which could be brought on to the Russian frontier.Moreover, there is the grave question of the Slav element in the Austrian army, which is not likely to fight well against Russia. Germany and France have respectively twenty-five and twenty-one army corps. Germany could, on the outbreak of war, only put at the most six army corps on the Russian frontier, as nineteen would be needed on the French frontier. The Russian army, thanks to the new strategical railways, can be mobilised and concentrated in sixteen days against ten needed by the German army. Of late, the Russian military experts are more and more inclined to favour an offensive movement. Russia knows that France cannot increase the numbers of her army beyond the total resulting from the three-years law, and does not ask her to make any further effort in that direction, as she, Russia, is ready to neutralise any further increase which Germany may attempt to make. If Germany were to add another 50,000 men to her army, Russia would double or treble that amount. What Russia asks from France is to have her war material in as perfect a state as possible. The revelations recently made in the French Senate made a disagreeable impression in St. Petersburg, but they were not taken "au tragique." It was considered there that it was preferable to recognise and criticise openly any existing defects than to hush the matter up as is done in Germany.

I have, &c.

(33049) No. 70.
Mr. Max Müller to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 21.)
(No. 30.) . Budapest, July 14, 1914.

Since my return to Budapest a few days after the assassination of H.I.H the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his consort, I have been impressed, firstly, by the absence among all classes of the population of any real feeling of grief for the loss, in so tragic a manner, of their future ruler, and, secondly, by the intensity of the wave of blind hatred for Servia and everything Servian that is sweeping over the country. If I may say so, the Hungarian nation, so far as it is mourning at all, mourns not the person, but the dignity and office of the victim of the tragedy of Serajevo, and is willing to go to any lengths in its desire to revenge itself on the despised and hated enemy who is looked on as the author and inspirer of this outrage against the prospective wearer of the Crown of St. Stephen.

It was a matter of common notoriety how unpopular the late Archduke was among his future Magyar subjects, and, as I have had occasion to point out on more than one occasion, His Imperial Highness took no pains to render himself popular in Hungary. He was credited with cherishing a feeling of sympathy with the diverse non-Magyar nationalities and it was even said that, like the Emperor Joseph II, he intended to refuse to subscribe to the necessary oath before being crowned King of Hungary, and that he had leanings towards Trialism and was in favour of establishing a Southern Slav Kingdom as a third component part of the Hapsburg Monarchy. How far these reports were true it is not now necessary to inquire, and it may be taken for granted that once on the Throne he would have had to modify his views and yield to the force of circumstances. There can, however, be no doubt as to the sympathetic interest which he took in the aspirations of the various nationalities, and great hopes were founded on his accession both among the Southern Slavs and the Roumanians of Transylvania. This fact renders the crime of Serajevo all the more senseless. It is surely the irony of fate that the future ruler who was commonly regarded as a champion of Southern Slav rights should have fallen a victim to the criminal propaganda of Pan-Servian agitation. It is, therefore, not remarkable that there has been a special ring of truth in the eulogies of the murdered Archduke pronounced by representatives of the nationalities or published in the newspapers devoted to their interests. It was, however, only to be expected that, in the presence of so overwhelming a tragedy, criticism should be silent and Magyar politicians and pressmen of all shades of political opinion have observed the time-honoured principle "De mortuis nil nisi bonum," and while avoiding any reference to his admitted unpopularity in Hungary, have confined themselves to dwelling on the great services he had already rendered to the Monarchy, especially in regard to the army and navy, and the heavy loss which the sudden disappearance of a future ruler of such iron will and honesty of purpose meant to the joint interests of Austria-Hungary. When however, we pass from official to national mourning, the state of affairs is far different and is certainly surprising and somewhat distressing to the foreign observer. Among the public at large there has been practically no sign of mourning for the murdered Heir to the Throne, all amusements went on practically as usual and on the day following the assassination there was an especially large attendance at the races. But even in aristocratic and official circles no mourning has been observed. At the principal Club, of which practically all the members belong to the titled aristocracy, many of them being Chamberlains, &c., the only persons wearing mourning have been the Ministers and my colleagues. At the official Requiem Service, besides the large numbers of officials, members of Parliament, &c., who were bound to be present, the upper classes were conspicuous by their absence, most of them preferring to attend a wedding which was held here at the very hour of the Requiem Service, the bridegroom and the bride belonging respectively to the great houses of Szapary and Esterhazy. This attitude of the Magyar nation, especially of the members of the Magnate families, in the presence of a tragedy which has excited the abhorrence and aroused the sympathies of the whole civilised world, appeared to be so remarkable as to deserve special mention in this despatch. I have heard it said that it was partly due to the fancied slight put upon members of the Austrian and Hungarian aristocracies in not being invited to attend the ceremony in the Hofkapelle in Vienna, a circumstance which led to a public demonstration by a large body of noblemen on the occasion of the funeral procession to the station, and formed the subject of an undignified correspondence in the press and of an interpellation by Count Albert Apponyi in the Chamber of Deputies in Budapest. The slight, if there was any, was doubtless due to the requirements of the antiquated Spanish Court etiquette, which, I believe, actually excluded from the ceremony in the Hofkapelle the brother of the murdered Duchess.

There is more foundation for the wide-spread criticism of the funeral arrangements, which was also voiced by Count Apponyi in the House of Deputies. It was felt that the funeral should have been made an occasion for an impressive demonstration by the people of the Monarchy united for once in mourning for their murdered Archduke and in detestation of the crime to which he fell a victim. Count Apponyi criticised the absence of pomp and of any display of military force such as was due to the Head of the Army and Navy, he ridiculed the old Court etiquette which had been allowed to overrule the feelings of humanity and to prevent what would have been an impressive and useful demonstration of national unity.

The intensity of the feeling against Servia aroused by her alleged complicity in the assassination has assumed most dangerous proportions in all parts of the Dual Monarchy. In Serajevo the anti-Serb riots necessitated the establishment of a modified state of siege. In Vienna there were demonstrations by the mob directed against the Servian Legation. In Agram and other parts of Croatia there were violent anti-Serb demonstrations by Croats against Serbs, while the members of the Party of Right, especially of the Frank group, created the most outrageous scenes in the Sabor and assailed the members of the Serbo-Croat Coalition with cries of "Traitors" "Servian assassins," &c. From the Hungarian point of view, it must be remembered that the Croats who made these protestations of loyalty to the Dynasty are the very persons who are most anxious for separation from Hungary, and the incidentserves to bring into relief the wide gulf which separates the aspirations of Croat and Serb and places additional obstacles in the way of any satisfactory solution of the Southern-Slav question. In Budapest there have been no violent anti-Serbdemonstrations, but all classes of the population and the entire press without difference of shade of political opinion at once joined in ascribing the origin of the Serajevo outrage to Servian machinations. Not only the yellow journals, but respectable Government newspapers, among others the "Pester Lloyd," have indulged in the wildest invective against Servia and the Servian Government. A Government newspaper for instance describes Servia as a country which bases its national greatness on the assassination of Princes. Without waiting for the result of the investigation into the circumstances and origin of the crime, the press with one accord ascribed it to Servian influence. It was indeed evident from the first to anyone acquainted with the political conditions of the Monarchy that the crime was more probably nationalist than anarchist in its natureand had its origin in the Greater Servian propaganda, an anti-dynastic and irredentist movement; but up to the present nothing has been made public, as a result of the official inquiry, which could in any way associate the Servian Government with the crime. The most one can say at present is that the moral responsibility for the senseless outrage falls on the violent agitation that hasbeen carried on against the Dual Monarchy from Servia, partly through the press, and partly through political associations, especially since the events of 1908, and that the Servian Government share the responsibility inasmuch as they have failed to check the excesses of this nationalist Pan-Serbmovement. Under these circumstances it is impossible not to blame the attitudeof the Hungarian press which appears to do all in its power to still further inflame the already heated public opinion of this country. In spite of official dementis, the wildest tales as to the results of the inquiry into the assassination are circulated and obtain credence.We read of a wide-spread conspiracy in Bosnia amounting to a revolution. Servian officers are said to be directly implicated and the names of officers of high standing are mentioned as being accessories to the assassination, while it is universally believed that the bombs were specially provided from a Servian military arsenal. Certain newspapers attempted to connect the temporary retirementof King Peter from his duties as sovereign and the reported amalgamation of Servia and Montenegro with the assassination. Every day the "Pester Lloyd" dishes up for the edification of the public, under the heading "From the Servian Witches' Kitchen," the most violent extracts from the Servian newspapers.At first it must be admitted that the tone of the Servian press was correct and even sympathetic in its condemnation of the outrage, but under the influence of the unmeasured abuse of the Austrian and Hungarian newspapers, it soon changed its tone and gave back as much as it received.Though responsible Ministers on both sides have tried to calm public opinion, this acrimonious press campaign cannot but embitter the already sufficiently strained relations between the two countries and intensify the existing condition of nervousness. Here people of all classes talk openly of war with Servia and certainly such a war would be most popular. On the other hand, in spite of reports to the contrary, it is possible to assert that there are no signs as yet of any military movements that look like preparation for war.

The mere fact that a meeting of the Common Ministers and the two Minister Presidents was held at Vienna on the 7th July (1) was sufficient to start the wildest rumours as to action to be taken against Servia, which were, however, dispelled by an announcement that the meeting had only occupied itself with the consideration of the measures to be adopted in Bosnia to combat the Pan-Serb propaganda and by the peaceful tone of the speech made by Count Tisza the following day in the Hungarian Parliament in reply to an interpellation addressed to him by Count Julius Andrassy.

Count Andrassy asked the Government

1. How it was possible that, in view of theconditions known to exist in Bosnia, the visit of the Archduke to Serajevo on a national Servian holiday had been allowed?

2. Why proper precautionary measures had not been taken?

3. How could one explain that after the first attempt on his life, the Archduke was allowed to proceed further?

4. What was the extent of the anti-Serb demonstrations in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

5. Did the Servian population suffer much loss, and if so, why were the demonstrations not at once checked?

6. Is there any truth in the widely-spread and not hitherto contradicted report that the threads of the conspiracy can be traced back to Belgrade, and if so what will the Government do to ensure the punishment of the guilty?

7. What measures does the Government propose to adopt in order that in future it may not be possible to conspire in safety and without punishment against the highest representatives of the State and against the internal safety?

Count Andrassy proceeded to trace the recent history of the Southern Slav movement, particularly of the Pan-Serb propaganda in the annexed provinces, which he described as the immediate source of the assassination. It seemed incredible, he said, that the authorities should have been ignorant of such a wide-spread conspiracy and great negligence had been shown in allowing theArchduke to visit Serajevo on a national holiday and in taking no adequate measures for his protection. He pronounced a severe indictment of the policy pursued toward the Southern Slavsand stated that as the Servians had increased in numbers and power from year toyear, so had their hatred towards the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy grown in intensity.

Count Tisza began his reply by explaining that the Archduke had on the occasion of his visit to Bosnia been acting independently in his capacity of Head of the Army and that he had gone where his military duties called him without consulting the Austrian or Hungarian Governments.

The inquiry into the crime had not proceeded far enough, His Excellency said, for him to be able to male any statement as to the exact extent of the conspiracy, but he must take decided exception to the view held by Count Andrassy that the whole political position in Bosnia was undermined and that a revolution might be expected there at any moment. It was not possible for him to say anything as to the results of the inquiry still proceeding, but, His Excellency asserted, the two Governments and all persons responsible for the foreign policy of the Monarchy were fully alive to their duty both as regards the tremendous interests attaching to the maintenance of peace, and as regards the interests connected with the very existence and the prestige of Austria-Hungary. They were fully alive to the fact that Southern Slav propaganda were carried on in Austria, Bosnia, Croatia and Hungary and this was a factor to be reckoned with. Count Tisza, however, proceeded to defend the loyalty of the majority of the Serbs domiciled in Hungary and the action of his Government in re-establishing a constitutional state of affairs in Croatia with a parliamentary majority taken from the Serbo-Croat Coalition and pointed out that the Croats who were now for party reasons attacking that majority, were the very persons who were most anxious to break the ties binding Croatia to Hungary. His Excellency took the opportunity of declaring how deeply he deplored the excesses committed against Servians after the outrage.

The whole tone of Count Tisza's speech was peaceful and conciliatory and its tendency should be to counteract the warlike feeling which is in the air in this country and which must render all the more difficult the efforts of responsible Minister towards a peaceable settlement.(2)

I have, &c.

(1) See No. 46
(2) See No. 65.

(33005) No. 71.
Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey.
Vienna, July 21, 1914.
D. 12:20 A.M.
R. 10 A.M.
Tel. (No. 93.)

The French Ambassador informs me confidentially that the Servian Minister and also the Italian Ambassador at Paris have expressed to the French [Acting] Minister for Foreign Affairs their anxiety lest the Austro-Hungarian Government might make a sudden attack on Mount Lovchen, in order to secure a position dominating Montenegro and enabling them to prevent co-operation between Montenegro and Servia. The Italian Ambassador here seems fairly confident that matters will be arranged with Servia without an appeal to force. The French and Russian Ambassadors share this view.

Cf. despatch of July 19, No. 156, and Count de Salis' despatch of July 26, No. 652.


Austria would put herself completely out of court by such an unwarranted attack. E. A. C. July 21.

I doubt if Austria will proceed to any extreme measures although Berlin is apparently anxious. A.N.

(33462) No. 72.
Sir Edward Grey to Sir F. Bertie.
(No. 478.)
Foreign Office, July 21, 1914.

I spoke to M. Cambon to-day of the great apprehension felt as to what Austria was going to demand of Servia. I said that I had found the German Ambassador very apprehensive. Whether or not he knew what Austria was going to demand I could not say, for he had not told me. Probably Berlin was trying to moderate Vienna. I told M. Cambon of what I had said to Prince Lichnowsky yesterday as to the necessity of Austria making her demand as reasonable as possible and making public as strong justification as possible for it.(1)

I am, &c.

Cf. M. Cambon's account of this conversation in F No. 19.
(1) No. 68.

(33199) No. 73.
Sir H. Rumbold to Sir Edward Grey. (Received July 22.)
(No. 297 )
Berlin, July 20, 1914.

The following semi-official statement appeared in the "North German Gazette" of yesterday's date:

"In the utterances of the European press in regard to the existing tension between Austria-Hungary and Servia it is increasingly recognised that Austria Hungary's desire to clear up her relations with Servia is justified. In this connection we share the hope expressed in more than one quarter that a serious crisis will be avoided by the Servian Government giving way in time. In any event the solidarity of Europe, which made itself felt during the long Balkan crisis in maintaining peace among the great Powers, demands and requires that the discussions ("Austinandersetzungen") which may arise between Austria Hungary and Servia should remain localised." (1)

The "Cologne Gazette" also published an inspired telegram from Berlin yesterday dealing with the relations between Austria-Hungary and Servia. In this telegram satisfaction was expressed at Mr. Lloyd George's recent speech and at the article in the "Westminster Gazette" of the 17th instant (2) to the effect that Austria-Hungary was justified in resisting attempts to alienate the Servian population of the Monarchy and that the Servian Government would do well to realise the justice of her neighbour's apprehensions and to do all in her power to allay them. It was earnestly to be hoped, says the telegram, that the Servian Government would show themselves seriously desirous of stamping out the nationalist propaganda against Austria-Hungary with which the country was permeated.

I learn that the recent article in the "Times" (3) on this subject has also been much appreciated here.

I have, &c.

(1) Cf. No. 77 and despatch No. 158.
(2) See No. 58.
(3) Cf. No. 61.

No. 74.
Sir R. Rodd to Sir Edward Grey.
Rome, July 20, 1914.

My dear Sir Edward,
It is perhaps a little outside my province to write officially about Germany from Rome, and I had better therefore confine my observations to a private letter. I have just received by the Bag a copy of your despatch No. 214 of the 6th instant to Berlin, (1) recording your conversation with the German Ambassador on the subject of the anxiety and pessimism prevailing in Germany with regard to the position between Austria and Servia.

I find exactly the same feeling of uneasiness prevailing at the Germany Embassy here. The Ambassador who had hoped to have taken leave in these summer months, has realised that, as things are at present, it would not be possible for him to go away. He is not actually in Rome, and I have not seen him, for more than a fortnight, so what I have heard of late comes from the juniors.

They seem to anticipate that the Austro-Hungarian Government is about to address a very strong communication to Servia, and fear that Servia, having a very swelled head, and feeling confident of the support of Russia, will reply in a manner which Austria can only regard as provocative. The recent declaration of M. Pasich, which has appeared in the press and has not been contradicted, tends to confirm this view. They believe that the position of Austria in respect of her Slav subjects is such that she cannot accept any but a submissive answer from Servia without compromising her prestige altogether. The one hope for a solution is that Russia may give counsels of prudence at Belgrade, but they do not feel by any means assured that this will be so. I asked what the attitude of Germany would be and my informant was convinced that if the issue remained between Austria and Servia, Germany would have nothing to say, but that if Russia intervened on behalf of Servia, Germany was bound to intervene on behalf of Austria. Their hope was that we and Germany would act together in endeavouring to exercise a moderating influence on our respective friend, and localise the issue if there was to be one. I have been a good deal impressed by the apprehension of the Germans as to the dangers of the political situation at the present moment.

Very sincerely yours,

( 1) No . 32 .

Created: 6 August 1996, 01:20 PM Last Updated: 6 August 1996, 01:20 PM