The Evidence in the Case
by James M. Beck
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A Discussion of the Moral Responsibility for the War of 1914, as Disclosed by the Diplomatic Records of England, Germany, Russia, France, Austria, Italy and Belgium.


JAMES M. BECK, LL.D. Late Assistant Attorney-General of the U. S. Author of "The War and Humanity."

With an Introduction by HON. JOSEPH H. CHOATE Late U. S. Ambassador to Great Britain

"Did these bones cost no more the breeding but to play at loggats with 'em? Mine ache to think on 't." HAMLET—Act V., Sc. 1.

Revised Edition, with Additional Material


Published by Arrangement with G. P. Putnam's Sons



(For Revised Edition)

Thirteenth Impression

BY JAMES M. BECK The Evidence in the Case. The War and Humanity.

This edition is issued under arrangement with the publishers, G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS, NEW YORK AND LONDON



Justum, et tenacem propositi virum Non civium ardor prava jubentium, Non vultus instantis tyranni, Mente quatit solida, neque Auster

Dux inquieti turbidus Adriae, Nec fulminantis magna manus Jovis. Si fractus illabatur orbis, Impavidum ferient ruinae.


Publishers' Note

The volume The Evidence in the Case is based upon an article by the Hon. James M. Beck, which came into print in the "New York Times" of October 25th. The article in question made so deep an impression with thinking citizens on both sides of the Atlantic that it has been translated into a number of European languages, and some 400,000 copies have been sold in England alone.

In making this acknowledgment, which is due for the courtesy of "The Times" in permitting an article prepared for its columns to be utilized as the basis for the book, it is in order for the publishers to explain to the readers that the material in the article has itself been rewritten and amplified, while the book contains, in addition to this original paper, a number of further chapters comprising together more than six times the material of the first article.

The present book is an independent work, and is deserving of consideration on the part of all citizens who are interested in securing authoritative information on the issues of the great European contest.

New York, December 12, 1914



[Footnote 1: Reprinted, by permission, from the N. Y. Times.]

For five months now all people who read at all have been reading about the horrible war that is devastating Europe and shedding the best blood of the people of five great nations. In fact, they have had no time to read anything else, and everything that is published about it is seized upon with great avidity. No wonder, then, that Mr. James M. Beck's book, The Evidence in the Case, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, which has grown out of the article by him contributed to the New York Times Sunday Magazine, has been warmly welcomed both here and in England as a valuable addition to the literature of the day.

An able and clear-headed lawyer and advocate, he presents the matter in the unique form of a legal argument, based upon an analysis of the diplomatic records submitted by England, Germany, Russia, France, and Belgium, as "A Case in the Supreme Court of Civilization," and the conclusions to be deduced as to the moral responsibility for the war.

The whole argument is founded upon the idea that there is such a thing as a public conscience of the world, which must and will necessarily pass final judgment upon the conduct of the parties concerned in this infernal struggle. Many times in the course of the book he refers emphatically to that "decent respect to the opinions of mankind" to which Jefferson appealed in our Declaration of Independence as the final arbiter upon our conduct in throwing off the British yoke and declaring our right to be an independent nation. That this "public opinion of the world" is the final tribunal upon all great international contests is illustrated by the fact that all mankind, including Great Britain herself, has long ago adjudged that our great Declaration was not only just, but necessary for the progress of mankind.

It is evident from his brief preface that Mr. Beck is a sincere admirer of historic Germany, and on the eve of the war he was at Weimar, after a brief visit to a little village near Erfurt, where one of his ancestors was born, who had migrated at an early date to Pennsylvania, a Commonwealth whose founder had made a treaty with the Indians which, so far from being treated as a "mere scrap of paper," was never broken. Like many Americans, Mr. Beck is of mixed ancestry, being in part English and in part Swiss-German. He has therefore viewed the great question objectively, and without any racial prejudice.

A careful study of the diplomatic correspondence that preceded the outbreak of the war had convinced Mr. Beck that Germany was chiefly responsible for it, and he proceeds con amore to demonstrate the truth of this conviction by the most earnest and forceful presentation of the case.

Forensic lawyers in the cases they present are about half the time on the wrong side, or what proves by the final judgment to have been the wrong side, but it is always easy to tell from the manner of presentation whether they themselves are thoroughly convinced of the justice of the side which they advocate. It is evident that Mr. Beck did not undertake to convince "the Supreme Court of Civilization" until he was himself thoroughly persuaded of the justice of his cause, that the invasion of Belgium by Germany was not only a gross breach of existing treaties, but was in violation of settled international law, and a crime against humanity never to be forgotten, a crime which converted that peaceful and prosperous country into a human slaughterhouse, reeking with the blood of four great nations. How any intelligent lawyer could have come to any other conclusion it is not easy to imagine, since Germany confessed its crime while in the very act of committing it, for on the very day that the German troops crossed the Belgian frontier and hostilities began, the Imperial Chancellor at the great session of the Reichstag on August 4th declared, to use his own words:

Necessity knows no law. Our troops have occupied Luxemburg, and have possibly already entered on Belgian soil. That is a breach of international law.... We were forced to ignore the rightful protests of the Governments of Luxemburg and Belgium, and the injustice—I speak openly—the injustice we thereby commit, we will try to make good as soon as our military aims have been attained. Anybody who is threatened as we are threatened and is fighting for his highest possessions can have only one thought—how he is to hack his way through.

Thank God, their military aims have not yet been attained, and from present appearances are not likely to be, but, as Mr. Beck believes, Germany will still be held by the judgment of mankind to make good the damage done.

In reviewing the diplomatic correspondence published by Germany that preceded the outbreak of the war, Mr. Beck lays great stress, and we think justly, upon the obvious suppression of evidence by Germany, in omitting substantially all the important correspondence on vital points that passed between Germany and Austria, and the suppression of important evidence in judicial proceedings always carries irresistible weight against the party guilty of it. While England and France and Russia were pressing Germany to influence and control Austria in the interests of peace, not a word is disclosed of what, if anything, the German Foreign Office said to Austria toward that end. To quote Mr. Beck's own words:

Among the twenty-seven communications appended to the German White Paper, it is most significant that not a single communication is given of the many which passed from the Foreign Office of Berlin to that of Vienna, and only two which passed from the German Ambassador in Vienna to the German Chancellor, and the purpose of this suppression is even more clearly indicated by the complete failure of Austria to submit any of its diplomatic records to the scrutiny of a candid world.

Notwithstanding the disavowal given by the German Ambassador at Petrograd to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, that the German Government had no knowledge of the text of the Austrian note before it was handed in, and did not exercise any influence on its contents, Mr. Beck establishes clearly by the admissions of the German Foreign Office itself that it was consulted by Austria previous to the ultimatum, and that it not only approved of its course, but literally gave to Austria carte blanche to proceed. And the German Ambassador to the United States formally admitted in an article in The Independent of September 7, 1914, that "Germany had approved in advance the Austrian ultimatum to Servia."

This brutal ultimatum by a great nation of fifty millions of people, making impossible demands against a little one of four millions which had itself just emerged from two conflicts and was still suffering from exhaustion—an ultimatum which set all the nations of Europe in agitation—is proved to have been jointly concocted by the two members of the Triple Alliance, Germany and Austria. But the third member of that Alliance, Italy, found it to be an act of aggression on their part which brought on the war, and that the terms of the Triple Alliance, therefore, did not bind her to take any part.

The peace parleys which passed between the several nations involved are carefully reviewed by Mr. Beck, who concludes, as we think justly, that up to the 28th of July, when the German Imperial Chancellor sent for the English Ambassador and announced the refusal of his Government to accept the conference of the Powers proposed by Sir Edward Grey, every proposal to preserve peace had come from the Triple Entente, and that every such proposal had met with an uncompromising negative from Austria, and either that or obstructive quibbles from Germany.

At this point, the sudden return of the Kaiser to Berlin from his annual holiday in Norway, which his own Foreign Office regretted as a step taken on his Majesty's own initiative and which they feared might cause speculation and excitement, and his personal intervention from that time until his troops invaded Luxemburg and he made his abrupt demand upon the Belgian Government for permission to cross its territory are reviewed with great force and effect by Mr. Beck, with the conclusion on his part that the Kaiser, who by a timely word to Austria might have prevented all the terrible trouble that followed, was the supremely guilty party, and that such will be the verdict of history.

Mr. Beck's review of the case of Belgium is extremely interesting, and his conclusion that England, France, Russia, and Belgium can await with confidence the world's final verdict that their quarrel was just, rests safely upon the plea of "Guilty" by Germany, a conclusion which seems to have been already plainly declared by most of the civilized nations of the world.

We think that Mr. Beck's opinion that England and France were taken unawares and were wholly unprepared for war is a little too strongly expressed. France, certainly, had been making ready for war with Germany ever since the great conflict of 1870 had resulted in her loss of Alsace and Lorraine, and had had a fixed and unalterable determination to get them back when she could, although it is evident that she did not expect her opportunity to come just when and as it did. That Great Britain had no present expectation of immediate war with Germany is clearly obvious. That she had long been apprehending the danger of it in the indefinite future is very clear, but that Sir Edward Grey and the Government and the people that he represented did all that they possibly could to prevent the war seems to be clearly established.

Mr. Beck's book is so extremely interesting from beginning to end that it is difficult when once begun to lay it down and break off the reading, and we shall not be surprised to hear, not only that it has had an immense sale in England and America, but that its translation into the languages of the other nations of Europe has been demanded.


NEW YORK, January 10, 1915.


On the eve of the Great War I sat one evening in the reading room of the Hotel Erbprinz in classic Weimar. I had spent ten happy days in Thuringia, and had visited with deep interest a little village near Erfurt, where one of my forbears was born. I had seen Jena, from whose historic university this paternal ancestor had gone as a missionary to North America in the middle of the eighteenth century. This simple-minded German pietist had cherished the apparent delusion that even the uncivilized Indians of the American wilderness might be taught—the Bernhardis and Treitschkes to the contrary notwithstanding—that to increase the political power of a nation by the deliberate and highly systematized destruction of its neighbors was not the truest political ideal, even of an Indian tribe.

This missionary had gone most fittingly to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where its enlightened founder had already given a demonstration of the truth that a treaty of peace, even though not formally expressed in a "scrap of paper," might be kept by white men and so-called savages with scrupulous fidelity for at least three quarters of a century, for even the cynical Voltaire said in sincerest admiration that the compact between William Penn and the Indians was the only treaty which was never reduced to parchment, nor ratified by an oath and yet was never broken. When Penn, the great apostle of peace, died in England, a disappointed, ruined, and heart-broken man, and the news reached the Indians in their wigwams along the banks of the Delaware, they had for him, whom they called the "white Truth Teller" so deep a sense of gratitude that they sent to his widow a sympathetic gift of valuable skins, in memory of the "man of unbroken friendship and inviolate treaties."

These reflections in a time of broken friendships and violated treaties are not calculated to fill the man of the twentieth century with any justifiable pride.

My mind, however, as I spent the quiet evening in the historic inn of Thackeray's Pumpernickel, did not revert to these far distant associations but was full of other thoughts suggested by the most interesting section of Germany, through which it had been my privilege to pass.

I had visited Eisenach and reverentially stood within the room where the great master of music, John Sebastian Bach, had first seen the light of day, and as I saw the walls that he loved and which are forever hallowed because they once sheltered this divine genius, the question occurred to me whether he may not have done more for Germany with his immortal harmonies, which are the foundation of all modern music, than all the Treitschkes, and Bernhardis, with their gospel of racial hatred, pseudo-patriotism, and imperial aggrandizement.

I had climbed the slopes of the Wartburg and from Luther's room had gazed with delight upon the lovely Thuringian forests. Quite apart from any ecclesiastical considerations that room seemed to suggest historic Germany in its best estate. It recalled that scene of undying interest at the Diet of Worms, when the peaceful adherence to an ideal was shown to be mightier than the power of the greatest empire since the fall of Rome. The monk of Wittenburg, standing alone in the presence of the great Emperor, Charles the Fifth, and the representatives of the most powerful religious organization that the world has ever known, with his simple, "Hier stehe ich; ich kann nicht anders," represented the truest soul and highest ideal of the nobler Germany.

These and other glorious memories, suggested by Eisenach, Frankfort, Erfurt, Weimar, Jena, and Leipzig, made this pilgrimage of intense interest, and almost the only discord was the sight of the Leipzig Voelkerschlacht Denkmal, probably the largest, and certainly the ugliest monument in all the world. It has but one justification, in that it commemorates war, and no monument ever more fully symbolized by its own colossal crudity the moral ugliness of that most ghastly phenomenon of human life. Let us pray that in the event of final victory Prussia will not commission the architects of the Leipzig monument, or the imperial designer of the Sieges-Allee to rebuild that Gothic masterpiece, the Rheims Cathedral. That day in Leipzig an Alsatian cartoonist, Hansi, had been sentenced to one year's imprisonment for a harmless cartoon in a book for children, in which the most supersensitive should have found occasion for nothing, except a passing smile.

On the library table of the Erbprinz, I found a large book, which proved to be a Bismarck memorial volume. It contained hundreds of pictures glorifying and almost deifying the Iron Chancellor. One particularly arrested my attention. It was the familiar picture of the negotiations for peace between Bismarck and Jules Favre in the terrible winter of 1871. The French statesman has sunk into a chair in abject despair, struck speechless by the demands of the conqueror. Bismarck stands triumphant and his proud bearing and arrogant manner fail to suggest any such magnanimous courtesy as that with which Grant accepted the sword of Lee at Appomattox. The picture breathed the very spirit of "vae victis." Had a French artist painted this picture, I could understand it, for it would serve effectively to stimulate undying hatred in the French heart. It seemed strange that a German artist should treat a subject, calling for a spirit of most delicate courtesy, in a manner which represented Prussian militarism in its most arrogant form.

This unworthy picture reminded me of a later scene in the Reichstag, in which the Iron Chancellor, after reviewing with complacency the profitable results of Germany's deliberately provoked wars against Denmark, Austria, and France, added the pious ejaculation:

Wir Deutsche fuerchten Gott sonst nichts in der Welt. (We Germans fear God but nothing else in the world.)

It is not necessary to impeach the sincerity of this pious glorification of the successful results of land grabbing. The mind in moments of exaltation plays strange tricks with the soul. Bismarck may have dissembled on occasion but he was never a hypocrite. It is the spirit which inspired this boastful and arrogant speech, which has so powerfully stimulated Prussian Junkerism, to which I wish to refer.

Had an American uttered these words we would have treated the boast as a vulgar exhibition of provincial "spread-eagleism," such as characterized certain classes in this country before the Civil War, and which Charles Dickens somewhat over-caricatured in Martin Chuzzlewit, but in the mouth of Bismarck, with his cynical indifference to moral considerations in questions of statecraft, this piece of rhetorical spread double-eagleism, manifests the spirit of the Prussian military caste since its too easy triumph over France in 1870-1871, a triumph, which may yet prove the greatest calamity that ever befell Germany, not only in the seeds of hatred which it sowed, of which there is now a harvest of blood past precedent, but also in the development of an arrogant pride which has profoundly affected to its prejudice the noble Germany of Luther, Bach, Beethoven, Goethe, Schiller, Kant, Humboldt, and Lessing.

To say that Germany "fears" nothing save God is contradicted by its whole diplomatic history of the last half century. In this it is not peculiar. The curse of modern statecraft is the largely unreasoning fear which all nations have of their neighbors. England has feared Germany only less than Germany has feared England and this nervous apprehension has bred jealousy, hatred, suspicion, until to-day all civilized nations are reaping a harvest horrible beyond expression.

The whole history of Germany since 1870 has shown a constant, and at times an unreasoning fear, first of France, then of the Slav, and latterly and in its most acute form, of England. I do not mean that Germany has been or is now animated by any spirit of craven cowardice. There has not been in recorded history a braver nation, and the dauntless courage with which, even at this hour, thousands of Germans are going with patriotic songs on their lips to "their graves as to their beds," is worthy of all admiration.

The whole statecraft of Germany for over forty years has been inspired by an exaggerated apprehension of the intentions of its great neighbors. This fear followed swiftly upon the triumph of 1871, for Germany early showed its apprehension that France might recover its military strength. When that fallen but indomitable foe again struggled to its feet in 1875, the Prussian military caste planned to give the stricken gladiator the coup de grace and was only prevented by the intervention of England and Russia. Later this acute and neurotic apprehension took the form of a hatred and fear of Russia, and this notwithstanding the fact that the Kaiser had in the Russo-Japanese War exalted the Czar as the "champion of Christianity" and the "representative of the white race" in the Far East.

When the psychology of the present conflict is considered by future historians, this neuropathic feature of Germany's foreign policy will be regarded as a contributing element of first importance.

Latterly the Furor Teutonicus was especially directed against England, and although it was obvious to the dispassionate observer in neutral countries that no nation was making less preparations or was in point of fact so illy prepared for a conflict as England, nevertheless Germany, with a completeness of preparation such as the world has never witnessed, was constantly indulging in a very hysteria of fear at the imaginary designs of England upon Germany's standing as a world power.

Luther's famous saying, already quoted, and Bismarck's blustering speech to the Reichstag measure the difference between the Germany of the Reformation and the Prussia of to-day.

I refuse to believe that this Bismarckian attitude is that of the German people. If a censored press permitted them to know the real truth with respect to the present crisis, that people, still sound in heart and steadfast in soul, would repudiate a policy of duplicity, cunning, and arrogance, which has precipitated their great nation into an abyss of disaster. The normal German is an admirable citizen, quiet, peaceable, thrifty, industrious, faithful, efficient, and affectionate to the verge of sentimentality. He, and not the Junker, has made Germany the most efficient political State in the world. If to his genius for organization could be added the individualism of the American, the resultant product would be incomparable. A combination of the German fortiter in re with the American suaviter in modo would make the most efficient republic in the world.

The Germany of Luther, that still survives and will survive when "Junkerism" is a dismal memory of the past, believes that "the supreme wisdom, the paramount vitality, is an abiding honesty, the doing of right, because right is right, in scorn of consequence."

That the German people have rallied with enthusiastic unanimity to the flag in this great crisis, I do not question. This is, in part, due to the fact that the truth has never yet been disclosed to them, and is not likely to be until the war is over. They have been taught that in a time of profound peace England, France, and Russia deliberately initiated a war of aggression to destroy the commercial power of Germany. The documents hereinafter analyzed will show how utterly baseless this fiction is. Even if the truth were known, no one can blame the German, who now rallies to his flag with such superhuman devotion, for whether the cause of his country is just or unjust, its prestige, and perhaps its very existence, is at stake, and there should be for the rank and file of the German people only a feeling of profound pity and deep admiration. Edmund Burke once said, "We must pardon something to the spirit of liberty." We can paraphrase it and say in this crisis, "We must pardon something to the spirit of patriotism." The whole-hearted devotion of this great nation to its flag is worthy of the best traditions of the Teutonic race. Thor did not wield his thunder hammer with greater effect than these descendants of the race of Wotan. If the ethical question depended upon relative bravery, who could decide between the German, "faithful unto death"; the English soldier, standing like a stone wall against fearful odds, the French or Russian not less brave or resolute, and the Belgian, now as in Caesar's time the "bravest of all the tribes of Gaul."

No consideration, either of sympathy, admiration, or pity, can in any manner affect the determination of the great ethical question as to the moral responsibility for the present crime against civilization. That must be determined by the facts as they have been developed, and the nations and individuals who are responsible for this world-wide catastrophe must be held to a strict accountability. The truth of history inexorably demands this.

To determine where this moral responsibility lies is the purpose of these pages.

In determining this question Posterity will distinguish between the military caste, headed by the Kaiser and the Crown Prince, which precipitated this great calamity, and the German people.

The very secrecy of the plot against the peace of the world and the failure to disclose to the German nation the diplomatic communications hereinafter quoted, strongly suggest that this detestable war is not merely a crime against civilization, but also against the deceived and misled German people. They have a vision and are essentially progressive and peace-loving in their national characteristics, while the ideals of their military caste are those of the dark ages.

One day the German people will know the full truth and then there will be a dreadful reckoning for those who have plunged a noble nation into this unfathomable gulf of suffering.

Though the mills of God grind slowly, Yet they grind exceeding small, Though with patience He stands waiting, With exactness grinds He all.

Or to put this ancient Greek proverb in its German form:

"Gottes Muehle geht langsam aber die mahlt fein."


NEW YORK, November 30, 1914.

The Witnesses



MR. ASQUITH Premier. MR. BEAUMONT Councilor of Embassy at Constantinople. SIR F. BERTIE Ambassador at Paris. SIR G. BUCHANAN Ambassador at St. Petersburg. SIR M. DE BUNSEN Ambassador at Vienna. SIR E. GOSCHEN Ambassador at Berlin. SIR EDWARD GREY Foreign Secretary. SIR A. JOHNSTONE Minister at Luxemburg. SIR ARTHUR NICHOLSON Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. SIR R. RODD Ambassador to Italy. SIR H. RUMBOLD Councilor of Embassy at Berlin. SIR F. VILLIERS Minister to Belgium.



HERR VON BELOW (SALESKE[2]) Minister to Belgium. DR. VON BETHMANN-HOLLWEG Chancellor. HERR VON BUCH Minister at Luxemburg. HERR VON HEERINGEN Minister of War. HERR VON JAGOW Secretary of State. PRINCE LICHNOWSKY Ambassador at London. HERR VON MUELLER Minister at The Hague. COUNT POURTALES Ambassador at St. Petersburg. BARON VON SCHOEN Ambassador at Paris. HERR VON ZIMMERMANN Under Secretary of State. HERR VON TSCHIRSCHKY Ambassador at Vienna.

[Footnote 2: Herr von Below Saleske is referred to in despatches as Herr von Below.]



M. VIVIANI Premier of France. M. BERTHELOT Of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs. M. PAUL CAMBON Ambassador to England. M. KLOBUKOWSKI Minister to Belgium. M. DE MARGERIE Of the French Diplomatic Service. M. JULES CAMBON Ambassador to Germany.



M. SAZONOF Minister of Foreign Affairs. COUNT BENCKENDORFF Ambassador at London. M. BRONEWSKY Charge d'Affaires at Berlin. M. DE ETTER Councilor of Embassy at London. M. ISVOLSKY Ambassador to France. PRINCE KUDACHEF Councilor of Embassy at Vienna. M. SALVIATI Consul General at Fiume. M. SCHEBEKO Ambassador to Austria. M. SEVASTOPOULO Charge d'Affaires at Paris. M. STRANDTMAN Charge d'Affaires at Belgrade. M. SUCHOMLINOF Minister for War. M. DE SWERBEEW Ambassador to Germany.



M. DAVIGNON Minister of Foreign Affairs. BARON VON DER ELST Secretary General to Ministry of Foreign Affairs. COUNT ERREMBAULT DE DUDZEELE Minister at Vienna. BARON FALLON Minister at The Hague. BARON GRENIER Minister at Madrid. BARON GUILLAUME Minister at Paris. COUNT DE LALAING Minister at London.



M. PACHITCH Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs. M. BOSCHKOVITCH Minister at London. DR. PATCHOU Minister of Finance.



COUNT BERCHTOLD Minister of Foreign Affairs. COUNT CLARY UND ALDRINGEN Minister at Brussels. BARON GIESL VON GIESLINGEN Minister at Belgrade. BARON MACCHIO Councilor of Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. COUNT MENSDORFF Ambassador to England. COUNT SZAPARY Ambassador to Russia.



MARQUIS DI SAN GIULIANO Minister of Foreign Affairs.








Existence of the Court—The conscience of mankind—The philosophy of Bernhardi—The recrudescence of Machiavelliism—Treitschke and Bernhardi's doctrine—Recent utterances of the Kaiser, Crown Prince, and representative officials—George Bernard Shaw's defense—Concrete illustration of Bernhardiism 1



The issues stated—Proximate and underlying causes—A war of diplomats—The masses not parties to the war—The official defenses—The English White Paper—The German White Paper—The Russian Orange Paper—The Belgian Gray Paper—Austria and Italy still silent—Obligation of these nations to disclose facts 18



No apparent suppression by England, Russia, and Belgium—Suppression by Germany of vital documents—Suppression by Austria of entire record—Significance of such suppression 27



Silence which preceded ultimatum—Europe's ignorance of impending developments—Duty to civilization—Germany's prior knowledge of ultimatum—Its disclaimer to Russia, France, and England of any responsibility—Contradictory admission in its official defense—Further confirmation in Germany's simultaneous threat to the Powers—Further confirmation in its confidential notice to States of Germany to prepare for eventualities 31



Extreme brutality of ultimatum—Limited time given to Servia and Europe for consideration—Ultimatum and Servia's reply contrasted in parallel columns—Relative size of two nations—Germany's intimations to Servia—Brutality of ultimatum shown by analogy—Disclaimer of intention to take territory valueless 47



Possibility of peace not embarrassed by popular clamor—Difficulties of peaceful solution not insuperable—Policy of Germany and Austria—Russia's and England's request for time—Germany's refusal to cooperate—Germany's and Austria's excuses for refusal to give extension of time—Berchtold's absence from Vienna—Austria's alleged disclaimer of territorial expansion—Sazonof's conference with English and French Ambassadors—Their conciliatory counsel to Servia—Servia's pacific reply to ultimatum—Austria, without considering Servian reply, declares war—England proposes suspension of hostilities for peace parleys—Germany refuses—Its specious reasons—Germany's untenable position as to localization of conflict—England's proposal for a conference—Germany's refusal—Austria declines all intervention, refusing to discuss Servian note—Germany supports her with a quibble as to name of conference—Russia proposes further discussion on basis of Servian note—Russia then again proposes European conference—Austria and Germany decline 61



The French Yellow Book—Its editors and contents—M. Jules Cambon—The weakness of German diplomacy—Cambon's experience and merits—Interview between the German Kaiser and the King of Belgium—The Kaiser's change of attitude—The influence of the Moroccan crisis—The condition of the German people in 1913—The suppression of news in Austria—Attitude of the military party—Servia's warning to Austria—Germany's knowledge of the Austrian ultimatum before its issuance—Italy's ignorance of the Austrian ultimatum—Significance of the fact—Germany's reasons for concealing its intentions from Italy—The policy of secrecy—Prince Lichnowsky's anxiety—Cambon's interview with von Jagow—The methods of deception—Sazonof's frank offer—Germany's attempt to influence France—Cambon's dramatic interview with von Jagow—His plea "In the name of humanity"—The different attitudes of the two groups of powers 102



The Kaiser's return to Berlin—His inconsistent record and complex personality—German Foreign Office deprecates his return—Its many blunders—The Kaiser takes the helm—He telegraphs the Czar—The Czar's reply—The Kaiser's second telegram—His untenable position—The Czar's explanation of military preparations and pledge that no provocative action would be taken by Russia—King George's telegram proposing temporary occupation by Austria of Belgrade pending further peace negotiations—The Kaiser's reply—The Kaiser's telegram to the Czar demanding Russian discontinuance of military preparations—His insistence upon unilateral conditions—Germany's preparations for war—Its offer to England to insure its neutrality—England's reply—Russia's offer to stop conditionally military preparations—England requests Germany to suggest any peace formula—Austria expresses willingness to discuss with Russia Servian note—Motives of Austria for this reversal of policy—The Kaiser sends ultimatum to Russia—The Czar's last appeal—The Kaiser's reply—Russia's inability to recall mobilization—England's last efforts for peace—Germany declares war—The Czar's telegram to King George 138



The verdict of history not affected by result of war—Belgium at outbreak of war—The Treaty of 1839—Its affirmation by Bismarck—France's action in 1871—Reaffirmation by Germany of Belgian neutrality in 1911-1914—The Hague Peace Conference of 1907—England asks Germany's and France's intentions with respect to Belgium's neutrality—France replies—Germany's refusal to reply—Germany's second offer to England—Germany's ultimatum to Belgium—Belgium's reply—France's offer of five army corps—Belgium refuses aid—Germany's declaration of war against Belgium—The German Chancellor's explanation in the Reichstag—The Belgian King appeals to England—England's ultimatum to Germany—The "scrap of paper" incident—England declares war against Germany—The apologies for Germany's action discussed—Belgium's rights independent of Treaty of 1839 or The Hague Convention—Germany's allegation that France had violated Belgium's neutrality an afterthought—Von Mach's plea for the suspension of judgment—The Brussels documents discussed—The negotiations between England and Belgium—The German Chancellor's belated explanation of the "scrap of paper" phrase—Invasion of Belgium a recrudescence of Machiavelliism—The great blunder of Germany's diplomats and soldiers 196



The completeness of the evidence—The force of public opinion—The judgment of neutral States—The United States as a moral arbiter—A summary of the probable verdict of history 246


The Evidence in the Case



Let us suppose that in this year of dis-Grace, 1914, there had existed, as let us pray will one day exist, a Supreme Court of Civilization, before which the sovereign nations could litigate their differences without resort to the iniquitous arbitrament of arms and that each of the contending nations had a sufficient leaven of Christianity or shall we say commonplace, everyday morality, to have its grievances adjudged not by the ethics of the cannon, but by the eternal criterion of justice.

What would be the judgment of that august tribunal?

It may be suggested that the question is academic, as no such Supreme Court exists or is likely to exist within the life of any living man.

Casuists of the Bernhardi school of moral philosophy will further suggest that to discuss the ethical merits of the war is to start with a false premise that such a thing as international morality exists, and that when once the conventionalities of civilization are laid aside the leading nations commence and make war in a manner that differs only in degree and not in kind from the methods of Frederick the Great and Napoleon, and that these in turn only differed in degree from those of Alaric and Attila. According to this theory, the only law of nations is that ascribed by the poet to Rob Roy:

"The good old rule Sufficeth them, the simple plan That they should take who have the power, And they should keep who can."

Does the Twentieth Century only differ from its predecessors in having a thin veneering of hypocrisy, or has there developed in the progress of civilization an international morality, by which, even though imperfectly, the moral conduct of nations is judged?

The answer can be an unqualified affirmative. With the age of the printing press, the steamship, the railroad, and the telegraph there has developed a conscience of mankind.

When the founders of the American Republic severed the tie which bound them to Great Britain, they stated that "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

The Declaration assumed that there was a rule of right and wrong that regulated the intercourse of nations as well as individuals; it believed that there was a great human conscience, which rises higher than the selfish interests and prejudices of nations and races, and which approves justice and condemns injustice. It felt that this approval is more to be desired than national advantage. It constituted mankind a judge between contending nations and lest its judgment should temporarily err it established posterity as a court of last resort. It placed the tie of humanity above that of nationality. It proclaimed the solidarity of mankind.

In the years that have intervened since this noble Declaration, the world has so far progressed towards an enlightened sense of justice that a "decent respect to the opinions of mankind" has proved an efficient power in regulating peacefully and justly the intercourse of nations. Each nation does at least in some measure fear to-day the disapproval of civilization. The time gives this proof in the eager desire of Germany to-day—despite its policy of "blood and iron"—to gain the sympathetic approval of the American people, not with the remotest hope of any practical cooperation but to avoid that state of moral isolation, in which the land of Luther now finds itself.

The Supreme Court of Civilization does exist. It consists of cosmopolitan men in every country, who put aside racial and national prejudices and determine the right and wrong of every issue between nations by that slowly forming system of international morality which is the conscience of mankind.

To a certain class of German statesmen and philosophers this Court of Public Opinion is a visionary abstraction. A group of distinguished German soldiers, professors, statesmen, and even doctors of divinity, pretending to speak in behalf of the German nation, have consciously or unconsciously attempted to revive in the twentieth century the cynical political morality of the sixteenth.

As Symonds, the historian of the Renaissance, says in his Age of the Despots, Machiavelli was the first in modern times to formulate a theory of government in which the interests of the ruler are alone regarded, which assumes

a separation between statecraft and morality, which recognizes force and fraud among the legitimate means of attaining high political ends, which makes success alone the test of conduct and which presupposes the corruption, baseness, and venality of mankind at large.

Even the age of Cesare Borgia revolted against this philosophy and the name of Machiavelli became a byword. "Am I a Machiavel?" says the host in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and the implication of this question indirectly manifests the revolt of the seventeenth century against the sinister philosophy of the great Florentine.

Nothing can be more amazing than that not only leading militarists of Germany but many of its foremost philosophers and teachers have become so intoxicated with the dream of Pan-Germanism that in the utmost sincerity they have espoused and with a certain pride proclaimed the vicious principles of Machiavelli in all their moral nudity. There is an emotional and mystical element in the advanced German thinker, which makes him capable of accepting in full sincerity intellectual and moral absurdities of which the more robust common sense of other nations would be incapable. The advanced German doctrinaire is the "wisest fool in Christendom." The depth of his learning is generally in the inverse ratio to the shallowness of his common sense.

Nothing better demonstrates this than the present negation by advanced and doubtless sincere German thinkers of the very foundations of public morality and indeed of civilization. They have been led with Nietzsche to revile the Beatitudes and exalt the supremacy of cruelty over mercy. Indeed Treitschke in his lectures on Politik, which have become the gospel of Junkerdom, avowedly based his gospel of force upon the teaching of Machiavelli, for he points out that it was Machiavelli who first clearly saw that the State is power (der Staat ist Macht). Therefore "to care for this power is the highest moral duty of the State" and "of all political weaknesses that of feebleness is the most abominable and despicable; it is the sin against the holy spirit of politics." He therefore holds that the State as the ultimate good "cannot bind its will for the future over against other States," and that international treaties are therefore only obligatory "for such time as the State may find to be convenient."

To enforce the will of the nation contrary to its own solemn promises and to increase its might, war is the appointed means. Both Treitschke and Moltke conceived it as "an ordinance set by God" and "one of the two highest functions" of the State. The doctrine is carried to the blasphemous conclusion that war is an ordinance of a just and merciful God; that, to quote Bernhardi, "it is a biological necessity" and that "the living God will see to it that war shall always recur as a terrible medicine for humanity." Therefore "might is at once the supreme right and the dispute as to what is right is decided by the arbitrament of war," which gives a "biologically just decision."

This means that the 42 centimeter howitzer is more moral than a gun of smaller caliber and that the justice of God depends upon the superiority of Krupp to other ordnance manufacturers.

Treitschke tells us, and the statement is quoted by Bernhardi with approval, that "the end all and be all of a state is power, and he who is not man enough to look this truth in the face should not meddle with politics." To this Bernhardi adds that the State's highest moral duty is to increase its power and in so doing "the State is the sole judge of the morality of its own action. It is in fact above morality or, in other words whatever is necessary is moral."

Again we learn that the State must not allow any conventional sympathies to distract it from its object and that "conditions may arise which are more powerful than the most honorable intentions."

All efforts directed towards the abolition of war are denominated as not only "foolish but absolutely immoral." To indicate that in this prosecution of war for the increase of dominion, chivalry would be a weakness and magnanimity a crime, we are finally told that "the State is a law unto itself" and that "weak nations have not the same right to live as powerful and vigorous nations." Even as to weak nations, we are further advised that the powerful and vigorous nation—which alone apparently has the right to live—must not wait for some act of aggression or legitimate casus belli, but that it is justified in deliberately provoking a war, and that the happiest results have always followed such "deliberately provoked wars," for "the prospects of success are the greatest when the moment for declaring war can be selected to suit the political and military situation."

As the weak nations have no moral right to live it becomes important to remember that in the economy of Prussian Junkerdom there is only one strong race—his own. "Wir sind die Weltrasse." The ultimate goal is the super-nation, and the premise upon which the whole policy is based is that Germany is predestined to be that super-nation. Bernhardi believes—and his belief is but the reflex of the oft-repeated boast of the Kaiser—that history presents no other possibility. "For us there are two alternatives and no third—world power or ruin" (Weltmacht oder Niedergang). To assimilate Germany to ancient Rome the Kaiser on occasion reminds himself of Caesar and affects to reign, not by the will of the people, but by divine right. No living monarch has said or done more to revive this mediaeval fetich. To his soldiers he has recently said: "You think each day of your Emperor. Do not forget God." What magnanimity!

At the outbreak of the present war he again illustrated his spirit of fanatical absolutism, which at times inspires him, by saying to his army:

Remember that the German people are the chosen of God. On me, as German Emperor, the spirit of God has descended. I am His weapon; His sword; His Vicegerent. Woe to the disobedient! Death to cowards and unbelievers!

The modern world has had nothing like this since Mahomet and, accepted literally, it claims for the Kaiser the divine attributes attributed to the Caesars. Even the Caesars, in baser and more primitive times, found posing as a divine superman somewhat difficult and disconcerting. Shakespeare subtly suggests this when he makes his Caesar talk like a god and act with the vacillation of a child.

When the war was precipitated as the natural result of such abhorrent teachings, the world at large knew little either of Treitschke or Bernhardi. Thoughtful men of other nations did know that the successful political immoralities of Frederick the Great had profoundly affected the policies of the Prussian Court to this day. The German poet, Freiligrath, once said that "Germany is Hamlet," but no analogy is less justified. There is nothing in the supersensitive, introspective, and amiable dreamer of Elsinore to suggest the Prussia of to-day, which Bebel has called "Siegesbetrunken." (Victory-drunk.)

Since the beginning of the present war, the world has become familiar with these abhorrent teachings and as a result of a general revolt against this recrudescence of Borgiaism attempts have been made by the apologists for Prussia, especially in the United States, to suggest that neither Treitschke nor Bernhardi fairly reflect the political philosophy of official Germany. Treitschke's influence as an historian and lecturer could not well be denied but attempts have been made to impress America that Bernhardi has no standing to speak for his country and that the importance of his teachings should therefore be minimized.

Apart from the wide popularity of Bernhardi's writings in Germany, the German Government has never repudiated Bernhardi's conclusions or disclaimed responsibility therefor. While possibly not an officially authorized spokesman, yet he is as truly a representative thinker in the German military system as Admiral Mahan was in the Navy of the United States. Of the acceptance by Prussia of Bernhardi's teachings there is one irrefutable proof. It is Belgium. The destruction of that unoffending country is the full harvest of this twentieth-century Machiavelliism.

A few recent utterances from a representative physician, a prominent journalist, and a distinguished retired officer of the German Army may be quoted as showing how completely infatuated a certain class of German thinkers has become with the gospel of force for the purpose of attaining world power.

Thus a Dr. Fuchs, in a book on the subject of preparedness for war, says:

Therefore the German claim of the day must be: The family to the front. The State has to follow at first in the school, then in foreign politics. Education to hate. Education to the estimation of hatred. Organization of hatred. Education to the desire for hatred. Let us abolish unripe and false shame before brutality and fanaticism. We must not hesitate to announce: To us is given faith, hope, and hatred, but hatred is the greatest among them.

Maximilian Harden, one of the most influential German journalists, says:

Let us drop our miserable attempts to excuse Germany's action. Not against our will and as a nation taken by surprise did we hurl ourselves into this gigantic venture. We willed it. We had to will it. We do not stand before the judgment seat of Europe. We acknowledge no such jurisdiction. Our might shall create a new law in Europe. It is Germany that strikes. When she has conquered new domains for her genius then the priesthoods of all the gods will praise the God of War.

Still more striking and morally repellent was the very recent statement by Major-General von Disfurth, in an article contributed by him to the Hamburger Nachrichten, which so completely illustrates Bernhardiism in its last extreme of avowed brutality that it justifies quotation in extenso.

No object whatever is served by taking any notice of the accusations of barbarity leveled against Germany by our foreign critics. Frankly, we are and must be barbarians, if by these we understand those who wage war relentlessly and to the uttermost degree....

We owe no explanations to any one. There is nothing for us to justify and nothing to explain away. Every act of whatever nature committed by our troops for the purpose of discouraging, defeating, and destroying our enemies is a brave act and a good deed, and is fully justified.... Germany stands as the supreme arbiter of her own methods, which in the time of war must be dictated to the world....

They call us barbarians. What of it? We scorn them and their abuse. For my part I hope that in this war we have merited the title of barbarians. Let neutral peoples and our enemies cease their empty chatter, which may well be compared to the twitter of birds. Let them cease their talk of the Cathedral at Rheims and of all the churches and all the castles in France which have shared its fate. These things do not interest us. Our troops must achieve victory. What else matters?

These hysterical vaporings of advanced Junkers no more make a case against the German people than the tailors of Tooley Street had authority to speak for England, but they do represent the spirit of the ruling caste, to which unhappily the German people have committed their destiny. It would not be difficult to quote both the Kaiser and the Crown Prince, who on more than one occasion have manifested their enthusiastic adherence to the gospel of brute force. The world is not likely to forget the Crown Prince's congratulations to the brutal military martinet of the Zabern incident, and still less the shameful fact that when the Kaiser sent his punitive expedition to China, he who once stood within sight of the Mount of Olives and preached a sermon breathing the spirit of Christian humility, said to his soldiers:

When you encounter the enemy you will defeat him. No quarter shall be given, no prisoners shall be taken. Let all who fall into your hands be at your mercy. Just as the Huns a thousand years ago under the leadership of Etzel (Attila), gained a reputation in virtue of which they still live in historical tradition, so may the name of Germany become known in such a manner in China that no Chinaman will ever again even dare to look askance at a German.

And this campaign of extermination—worthy of a savage Indian chief—was planned for the most pacific and unaggressive race, the Chinese, for it is sadly true that the one nation which has more than any other been inspired for two thousand years by the spirit of "peace on earth" is the hermit nation, into which until the nineteenth century the light of Christianity never shone.

In a recent article, George Bernard Shaw, the Voltaire of the twentieth century, with the intellectual brilliancy and moral shallowness of the great cynic, attempts to justify Bernhardiism by resort to the unconvincing "et tu quoque" argument. He contends that England also has had its "Bernhardis," and refers to a few books which he affects to think bear out his argument. That these books show that there have been advocates of militarism in England is undoubtedly true. The present war illustrates that there was need of such literature, for a nation which faced so great a trial as the present, with a standing army that was pitiful in comparison with that of Germany and without any involuntary service law, certainly had need of some literary stimulus to self-preparation. No one quarrels with Bernhardi in his discussions of the problems of war as such. It is only when the soldier ceases to be a strategist and becomes a moralist that the average man with conventional ideas of morality revolts against Bernhardiism. The books to which Mr. Shaw refers can be searched in vain for any passages parallel to those which have been quoted from Treitschke, Bernhardi, and other German writers. The brilliant but erratic George Bernard Shaw cannot find in all English literature any such Machiavelliisms as those of Treitschke and Bernhardi.

Shaw's whole defense of Germany, betrays his characteristic desire to be clever and audacious without regard to nice considerations of truth. Much as we may admire his intellectual badinage under other circumstances, it may be questioned whether in this supreme tragedy of the world it was fitting for Shaw to daub himself anew with his familiar vermilion and play the intellectual clown.

It was either courage of an extraordinary but unenviable character or else crass stupidity that led Bernhardi to submit to the civilization of the present day such a debasing gospel, for if his brain had not been hopelessly obfuscated by his Pan-Germanic imperialism, he would have seen that not only would this philosophy do his country infinitely more harm than a whole park of artillery but would inevitably carry his memory down to a wondering posterity, like Machiavelli, detestable but, unlike Machiavelli, ridiculous.

Machiavelli gave to his Prince a literary finish that placed his treatise among the classics, while Bernhardi has gained recognition chiefly because his book is a moral anachronism.

One concrete illustration from Bernhardi clearly shows that the sentences above quoted are truly representative of his philosophy, and not unfair excerpts. In explaining that it is the duty of every nation to increase its power and territory without regard for the rights of others, he alludes to the fact that England committed the "unpardonable blunder from her point of view of not supporting the Southern States in the American War of Secession," and thus forever severing in twain the American Republic. In this striking illustration of applied Bernhardiism, there is no suggestion as to the moral side of such intervention. Nothing is said with respect to the moral question of slavery, or of the obligations of England to a friendly Power. Nothing as to how the best hopes of humanity would have been shattered if the American Republic—that "pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night" to struggling humanity—had been brought to cureless ruin. All these considerations are completely disregarded, and all Bernhardi can see in the situation, as it presented itself to England in 1861, was its opportunity, by a cowardly stab in the back, to remove forever from its path a great and growing nation.

Poor Bernhardi! He thought to serve his royal master. He has simply damned him. As Machiavelli, as the eulogist of the Medicis, simply emphasized their moral nudity, so Bernhardi has shown the world the inner significance of this crude revival of Caesarism.



All morally sane men in this twentieth century are agreed that war abstractly is an evil thing,—perhaps the greatest of all indecencies,—and that while it may be one of the offenses which must come, "woe to that man (or nation) by whom the offense cometh!"

They are of one mind in regarding this present war as a great crime—perhaps the greatest crime—against civilization, and the only questions which invite discussion are:

Which of the two contending groups of Powers is morally responsible?

Was Austria justified in declaring war against Servia?

Was Germany justified in declaring war against Russia and France?

Was Germany justified in declaring war against Belgium?

Was England justified in declaring war against Germany?

Primarily and perhaps exclusively these ethical questions turn upon the issues developed by the communications which passed between the various chancelleries of Europe in the last week of July, for it is the amazing feature of this greatest of wars that it was precipitated by the ruling classes and, assuming that all the diplomats sincerely desired a peaceful solution of the questions raised by the Austrian ultimatum (which is by no means clear) the war is the result of ineffective diplomacy.

I quite appreciate the distinction between the immediate causes of a war and the anterior or underlying causes. The fundamental cause of the Franco-German War of 1870 was not the incident at Ems nor even the question of the Spanish succession. These were but the precipitating pretexts or, as a lawyer would express it, the "proximate causes." The underlying cause was unquestionably the rivalry between Prussia and France for political supremacy in Europe.

Behind the Austrian ultimatum to Servia were also great questions of State policy, not easily determinable upon any tangible ethical principle, and which involved the hegemony of Europe. Germany's domination of Europe had been established when by the rattling of its saber it compelled Russia in 1908 to permit Austria to disturb the then existing status in the Balkans by the forcible annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and behind the Austrian-Servian question of 1914, arising out of the murder of the Crown Prince of Austria at Serajevo, was the determination of Germany and Austria to reassert that dominant position by compelling Russia to submit to a further humiliation of a Slav State.

The present problem is to inquire how far Germany and her ally selected a just pretext to test this question of mastery.

The pretext was the work of diplomatists. It was not the case of a nation rising upon some great cause which appealed to popular imagination. The acts of the statesmen in that last fateful week of July, 1914, were not the mere echo of the popular will.

The issues were framed by the statesmen and diplomats of Europe and whatever efforts were made to preserve the peace and whatever obstructive tactics were interposed were not the acts of any of the nations now in arms but those of a small coterie of men who, in the secrecy of their respective cabinets, made their moves and countermoves upon the chessboard of nations.

The future of Europe in that last week of July was in the hands of a small group of men, numbering not over fifty, and what they did was never known to their respective nations in any detail until after the fell Rubicon had been crossed and a world war had been precipitated.

If all of these men had sincerely desired to work for peace, there would not have been any war.

So swiftly did events move that the masses of the people had time neither to think nor to act. The suddenness of the crisis marks it as a species of "mid-summer madness," a very "witches' sabbath" of diplomatic demagoguery.

In a peaceful summer, when the nations now struggling to exterminate each other were fraternizing in the holiday centers of Europe, an issue was suddenly precipitated, made the subject of communications between the various chancelleries, and almost in the twinkling of an eye Europe found itself wrapped in a universal flame. The appalling toll of death suggests the inquiry of Hamlet: "Did these bones cost no more the breeding, but to play at loggats with 'em?" and if the diplomatic "loggats" of 1914 were ineffectively played, some one must accept the responsibility for such failure.

This sense of responsibility against the dread Day of Accounting has resulted in a disposition beyond past experience to justify the quarrel by placing before the world the diplomatic record.

The English Government commenced shortly after the outbreak of hostilities by publishing the so-called White Paper, consisting of a statement by the British Government and 160 diplomatic documents as an appendix. This was preceded by Sir Edward Grey's masterly speech in Parliament. That speech and all his actions in this fateful crisis may rank him in future history with the younger Pitt.

On August 4th, the German Chancellor for the first time explained to the representatives of his nation assembled in the Reichstag the causes of the war, then already commenced, and there was distributed among the members a statement of the German Foreign Office, accompanied by 27 Exhibits in the form of diplomatic communications, which have been erroneously called the German White Paper and which sets forth Germany's defense to the world.

Shortly thereafter Russia, casting aside all the traditional secrecy of Muscovite diplomacy, submitted to a candid world its acts and deeds in the form of the so-called Russian Orange Paper, with 79 appended documents, and this was followed later by the publication by Belgium of the so-called Belgian Gray Paper.

Late in November France published its Yellow Book, the most comprehensive of these diplomatic records. Of the two groups of powers, therefore, only Austria and Italy have failed to disclose their diplomatic correspondence to the scrutiny of the world.

The former, as the originator of the controversy, should give as a matter of "decent respect to the opinions of mankind" its justification, if any, for what it did. So far, it has only given its ultimatum to Servia and Servia's reply.

Italy, as a nation that has elected to remain neutral, is not under the same moral obligation to disclose the secrets of its Foreign Office, and while it remains on friendly terms with all the Powers it probably feels some delicacy in disclosing confidential communications, but as the whole world is vitally interested in determining the justice of the quarrel and as it is wholly probable that the archives of the Italian Foreign Office would throw an illuminating searchlight upon the moral issues involved, Italy, in a spirit of loyalty to civilization, should without further delay disclose the documentary evidence in its possession.

While it is to be regretted that the full diplomatic record is not made up, yet as we have the most substantial part of the record in the communications which passed in those fateful days between Berlin, St. Petersburg, Paris, and London, there is sufficient before the court to justify a judgment, especially as there is reason to believe that the documents as yet withheld would only confirm the conclusions which the record already given to the world irresistibly suggests.

Thus we can reasonably assume that the Italian documentary evidence would fairly justify the conclusion that the war was on the part of Germany and Austria a war of aggression, for Italy, by its refusal to act with its associates of the Triple Alliance, has in the most significant manner thus adjudged it.

Under the terms of the Triple Alliance, Italy had obligated itself to support Germany and Austria in any purely defensive war, and if therefore the communications, which undoubtedly passed between Vienna and Berlin on the one hand, and Rome on the other, justified the conclusion that Germany and Austria had been assailed by Russia, England, and France or either of them, then we must assume that Italy would have respected its obligation, especially as it would thus relieve Italy from any possible charge of treachery to two allies, whose support and protection it had enjoyed from the time that the Triple Alliance was first made.

When Italy decided that it was under no obligation to support its allies, it effectually affirmed the fact that they had commenced a war of aggression, and until the contrary is shown, we must therefore assume that the archives of the Foreign Office at Rome would merely confirm the conclusions hereinafter set forth as to the moral responsibility for the war.

Similarly upon considerations that are familiar to all who have had any experience in the judicial investigation of truth, it must be assumed that if Austria had in its secret archives any documentary evidence that would justify it in its pretension that it had been unjustly assailed by one or more of the Powers with which it is now at war, it would have published such documents to the world in its own exculpation. The moral responsibility for this war is too great for any nation to accept it unnecessarily. Least of all could Austria—which on the face of the record commenced the controversy by its ultimatum to Servia—leave anything undone to acquit itself at the bar of public opinion of any responsibility for the great crime that is now drenching Europe with blood. The time is past when any nation can ignore the opinions of mankind or needlessly outrage its conscience. Germany has recognized this in publishing its defense and exhibiting a part of its documentary proof, and if its ally, Austria, continues to withhold from the knowledge of the world the documents in its possession, there can be but one conclusion as to its guilt.

Upon the record thus made up in the Supreme Court of Civilization, that tribunal need no more hesitate to proceed to judgment than would an ordinary court hesitate to enter a decree because one of the litigants has deliberately suppressed documents known to be in its possession. It does not lie in the mouth of such a litigant to ask the court to suspend judgment or withhold its sentence until the full record is made up, when the incompleteness of that record is due to its own deliberate suppression of vital documentary proofs.



The official defenses of England, Russia, France, and Belgium do not apparently show any failure on the part of either to submit any essential diplomatic document in their possession. They have respectively made certain contentions as to the proposals that they made to maintain the peace of the world, and in every instance have supported these contentions by putting into evidence the letters and communications in which such proposals were expressed.

When the German White Paper is examined it discloses on its very face the suppression of documents of vital importance. The fact that communications passed between Berlin and Vienna, the text of which has never been disclosed, is not a matter of conjecture. Germany asserts as part of its defense that it faithfully exercised its mediatory influence on Austria, but not only is such influence not disclosed by any practical results, such as we would expect in view of her dominating relations with Austria, but the text of these vital communications is still kept in the secret archives of Berlin and Vienna. Germany has carefully selected a part of her diplomatic records for publication but withheld others. Austria has withheld all.

Thus in the official apology for Germany it is stated that, in spite of the refusal of Austria to accept the proposition of Sir Edward Grey to treat the Servian reply "as a basis for further conversations,"

we [Germany] continued our mediatory efforts to the utmost and advised Vienna to make any possible compromise consistent with the dignity of the Monarchy.[3]

[Footnote 3: German White Paper.]

This would be more convincing if the German Foreign Office had added the text of the advice which it thus gave Vienna.

A like significant omission will be found when the same official defense states that on July 29th the German Government advised Austria "to begin the conversations with Mr. Sazonof." But here again the text is not found among the documents which the German Foreign Office has given to the world. The communications, which passed between that office and its ambassadors in St. Petersburg, Paris, and London, are given in extenso, but among the twenty-seven communications appended to the German White Paper it is most significant that not a single communication is given of the many which passed from the Foreign Office of Berlin to that of Vienna and only two which passed from the German Ambassador in Vienna to the German Chancellor. While the Kaiser has favored the world with his messages to the Czar and King George, he has wholly failed to give us any message that he sent in those critical days to the Austrian Emperor or the King of Italy. We shall have occasion to refer hereafter to the frequent failure to produce documents, the existence of which is admitted by the exhibits which Germany appended to its White Paper.

This cannot be an accident. The German Foreign Office has seen fit to throw the veil of secrecy over the text of its communications to Vienna, although professing to give the purport of a few of them. The purpose of this suppression is even more clearly indicated by the complete failure of Austria to submit any of its diplomatic records to the scrutiny of a candid world. Until Germany and Austria are willing to put the most important documents in their possession in evidence, they must not be surprised that the World, remembering Bismarck's garbling of the Ems dispatch, which precipitated the Franco-Prussian War, will be incredulous as to the sincerity of their pacific protestations.


The Austrian Red Book, published more than six months after the declaration of war, simply emphasizes the policy of suppression of vital documents, which we have already discussed. Of its 69 documentary exhibits, there is not one which passed directly between the Cabinets of Berlin and Vienna. The text of the communications, in which Germany claims to have exercised a mediatory and conciliatory influence with its ally, is still withheld. Not a single document is produced which was sent between July the 6th and July the 21st, the period when the great coup was secretly planned by Berlin and Vienna.

In the Red Book we find eight communications from Count Berchtold to the Austrian Ambassador at Berlin and four replies from that official, but not a letter or telegram passing between Berchtold and von Bethmann-Hollweg or between the German and Austrian Kaisers. The Austrian Red Book gives additional evidence that at the eleventh hour, and shortly before Germany issued its ultimatum to Russia, Austria did finally agree to discuss the Servian question with Russia; but the information, which Germany presumably gave to its ally of its intention to send the ultimatum to Russia, is carefully withheld. Notwithstanding this suppression of vital documents, the diplomatic papers of Germany and Austria, now partially given to the world, disclose an unmistakable purpose, amounting to an open confession, that they intended to force their will upon Europe, even though this course involved the most stupendous war in the history of mankind.

March 1, 1915.



On June 28, 1914, the Austrian Crown Prince was murdered at Serajevo. For nearly a month thereafter there was no public statement by Austria of its intentions, with the exception of a few semi-inspired dispatches to the effect that it would act with the greatest moderation and self-restraint. A careful examination made of the files of two leading American newspapers, each having a separate news service, from June 28, 1914, to July 23, 1914, has failed to disclose a single dispatch from Vienna which gave any intimation as to the drastic action which Austria was about to take.

The French Premier, Viviani, in his speech to the French Senate, and House of Deputies, on August 4, 1914, after referring to the fact that France, Russia, and Great Britain had cooperated in advising Servia to make any reasonable concession to Austria, added:

This advice was all the more valuable in view of the fact that Austria-Hungary's demands had been inadequately foreshadowed to the governments of the Triple Entente, to whom during the three preceding weeks the Austro-Hungarian Government had repeatedly given assurance that its demands would be extremely moderate.

The movements of the leading statesmen and rulers of the Triple Entente clearly show that they, as well as the rest of the world, had been lulled into false security either by the silence of Austria, or, as Viviani avers, by its deliberate suggestion that its treatment of the Serajevo incident would be conciliatory, pacific, and moderate.

Thus, on July 20th, the Russian Ambassador, obviously anticipating no crisis, left Vienna on a fortnight's leave of absence. The President of the French Republic and its Premier were far distant from Paris. Pachitch, the Servian Premier, was absent from Belgrade, when the ultimatum was issued.

The testimony of the British Ambassador to Vienna is to the same effect. He reports to Sir Edward Grey:

The delivery at Belgrade on the 23d of July of the note to Servia was preceded by a period of absolute silence at the Ballplatz.

He proceeds to say that with the exception of the German Ambassador at Vienna (note the significance of the exception) not a single member of the Diplomatic Corps knew anything of the Austrian ultimatum and that the French Ambassador, when he visited the Austrian Foreign Office on July 23d (the day of its issuance), was not only kept in ignorance that the ultimatum had actually been issued, but was given the impression that its tone would be moderate. Even the Italian Ambassador was not taken into Count Berchtold's confidence.[4]

[Footnote 4: Dispatch from Sir M. de Bunsen to Sir Edward Grey, dated September 1, 1914.]

The Servian Government had formally disclaimed any responsibility for the assassination and had pledged itself to punish any Servian citizen implicated therein. No word came from Vienna excepting the semi-official intimations as to its moderate and conciliatory course, and after the funeral of the Archduke, the world, then enjoying its summer holiday, had almost forgotten the Serajevo incident. The whole tragic occurrence simply survived in the sympathy which all felt with Austria in its new trouble, and especially with its aged monarch, who, like King Lear, was "as full of grief as age, wretched in both." Never was it even hinted that Germany and Austria were about to apply in a time of peace a match to the powder magazine of Europe.

Can it be questioned that loyalty to the highest interests of civilization required that Germany and Austria, when they determined to make the murder of the Archduke by an irresponsible assassin the pretext for bringing up for final decision the long-standing troubles between Austria and Servia, should have given all the European nations some intimation of their intention, so that their confreres in the family of nations could cooperate to adjust this trouble, as they had adjusted far more difficult questions after the close of the Balko-Turkish War?

Whatever the issue of the present conflict, it will always be to the lasting discredit of Germany and Austria that they were false to this great duty, and that they precipitated the greatest of all wars in a manner so underhanded as to suggest a trap. They knew, as no one else knew, in those quiet mid-summer days of July, that civilization was about to be suddenly and most cruelly torpedoed. The submarine was Germany and the torpedo, Austria, and the work was most effectually done.

This ignorance of the leading European statesmen (other than those of Germany and Austria) as to what was impending is strikingly shown by the first letter in the English White Paper from Sir Edward Grey to Sir H. Rumbold, dated July 20, 1914. When this letter was written it is altogether probable that Austria's arrogant and unreasonable ultimatum had already been framed and approved in Vienna and Berlin, and yet Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Minister of a great and friendly country, had so little knowledge of Austria's policy that he

asked the German Ambassador to-day (July 20th) if he had any news of what was going on in Vienna. He replied that he had not, but Austria was certainly going to take some step.

Sir Edward Grey adds that he told the German Ambassador that he had learned that Count Berchtold, the Austrian Foreign Minister,

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 Minister then replied that it would be desirable "if Russia could act as a mediator with regard to Servia," so that the first suggestion of Russia playing the part of the peacemaker came from the German Ambassador in London. Sir Edward Grey then adds that he told the German Ambassador that he

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,

and the German Ambassador assented to this assumption.[5]

[Footnote 5: English White Paper, No. 1.]

Either the German Ambassador was then deceiving Sir Edward Grey, or the submarine torpedo was being prepared with such secrecy that even the German Ambassador in England did not know what was then in progress.

The interesting and important question here suggests itself whether Germany had knowledge of and approved in advance the Austrian ultimatum. If it did, it was guilty of duplicity, for the German Ambassador at St. Petersburg gave to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs an express assurance that

the German Government had no knowledge of the text of the Austrian note before it was handed in and had not exercised any influence on its contents. It is a mistake to attribute to Germany a threatening attitude.[6]

[Footnote 6: Russian Orange Paper, No. 18.]

This statement is inherently improbable. Austria was the weaker of the two allies, and it was Germany's saber that it was rattling in the face of Europe. Obviously Austria could not have proceeded to extreme measures, which it was recognized from the first would antagonize Russia, unless it had the support of Germany, and there is a probability, amounting to a moral certainty, that it would not have committed itself and Germany to the possibility of a European war without first consulting Germany.

Moreover, we have the testimony of Sir M. de Bunsen, the English Ambassador in Vienna, who advised Sir Edward Grey that he had "private information that the German Ambassador (at Vienna) knew the text of the Austrian ultimatum to Servia before it was dispatched, and telegraphed it to the German Emperor," and that the German Ambassador himself "indorses every line of it."[7] As he does not disclose the source of his "private information," this testimony would not by itself be convincing, but when we examine Germany's official defense in the German _White Paper_, we find that the German Foreign Office admits that it was consulted by Austria previous to the ultimatum and not only approved of Austria's course but literally gave that country a carte blanche to proceed_.

[Footnote 7: English White Paper, No. 95.]

This point seems so important in determining the sincerity of Germany's attitude and pacific protestations that we quote in extenso. After referring to the previous friction between Austria and Servia, the German White Paper says:

In view of these circumstances Austria had to admit that it would not be consistent either with the dignity or self-preservation of the Monarchy to look on longer at the operations on the other side of the border without taking action. The Austro-Hungarian Government advised us of its view of the situation and asked our opinion in the matter. We were able to assure our Ally most heartily of our agreement with her view of the situation and to assure her that any action that she might consider it necessary to take in order to put an end to the movement in Servia directed against the existence of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy would receive our approval. We were fully aware in this connection that warlike moves on the part of Austria-Hungary against Servia would bring Russia into the question and might draw us into a war in accordance with our duties as an Ally.

Sir M. de Bunsen's credible testimony is further confirmed by the fact that the British Ambassador at Berlin in his letter of July 22d, to Sir Edward Grey, states that on the preceding night (July 21st) he had met the German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and an allusion was made to a possible action by Austria.

His Excellency was evidently of opinion that this step on Austria's part would have been made ere this. He insisted that the question at issue was one for settlement between Servia and Austria alone, and that there should be no interference from outside in the discussions between those two countries.

He[8] adds that while he had regarded it as inadvisable that his country should approach Austria in the matter, he had

[Footnote 8: von Jagow.]

on several occasions, in conversation with the Servian Minister, emphasized the extreme importance that Austro-Servian relations should be put on a proper footing.[9]

[Footnote 9: English White Paper, No. 2.]

Here we have the first statement of Germany's position in the matter, a position which subsequent events showed to be entirely untenable, but to which it tenaciously adhered to the very end, and which did much to precipitate the war. Forgetful of the solidarity of European civilization, and the fact that by policy and diplomatic intercourse continuing through many centuries a united European State exists, even though its organization be as yet inchoate, he took the ground that Austria should be permitted to proceed to aggressive measures against Servia without interference from any other Power, even though, as was inevitable, the humiliation of Servia would destroy the status of the Balkan States and threaten the European balance of power. The inconsistency between Germany's claim that it could give Austria a carte blanche to proceed against Servia and agree to support its action with the sword of Germany, and the other contention that neither Russia nor any European State had any right to interfere on behalf of Servia is obvious. It was the greatest blunder of Germany's many blunders in this Tragedy of Errors.

No space need be taken in convincing any reasonable man that this Austrian ultimatum to Servia was brutal in its tone and unreasonable in its demands. It would be difficult to recall a more offensive document, and its iniquity was enhanced by the short shriving time which it gave either Servia or Europe. Servia had forty-eight hours to answer whether it would compromise its sovereignty, and virtually admit its complicity in a crime which it had steadily disavowed. The other European nations had little more than a day to consider what could be done to preserve the peace of Europe before that peace was fatally compromised.[10]

[Footnote 10: English White Paper, No. 5; Russian Orange Paper, No. 3.]

Further confirmation that the German Foreign Office did have advance knowledge of at least the substance of the ultimatum is shown by the fact that on the day the ultimatum was issued the Chancellor of the German Empire instructed its Ambassadors in Paris, London, and St. Petersburg to advise the English, French, and Russian governments that

the acts as well as the demands of the Austro-Hungarian Government cannot but be looked upon as justified.[11]

[Footnote 11: German White Paper, Annex 1 B.]

How could Germany thus indorse the "demands" if it did not know the substance of the ultimatum? Is it probable that Germany would have given in a matter of the gravest importance a blanket endorsement of Austria's demands, unless the German Government had first been fully advised as to their nature?

The hour when these instructions were sent is not given, so that it does not follow that these significant instructions were necessarily prior to the service of the ultimatum at Belgrade at 6 P.M. Nevertheless, as the ultimatum did not reach the other capitals of Europe until the following day, as the diplomatic correspondence clearly shows, it seems improbable that the German Foreign Office would have issued this very carefully prepared and formal warning to the other Powers on July the 23d unless it had full knowledge not only of Austria's intention to serve the ultimatum but also of the substance thereof.

While it may be that Germany, while indorsing in blank the policy of Austria, purposely refrained from examining the text of the communication, so that it could thereafter claim that it was not responsible for Austria's action—a policy which would not lessen the discreditable character of this iniquitous conspiracy against the peace of Europe,—yet the more reasonable assumption is that the simultaneous issuance of Austria's ultimatum at Belgrade and Germany's warning to the Powers was the result of a concerted action and had a common purpose. No court or jury, reasoning along the ordinary inferences of human life, would question this conclusion.

The communication from the German Foreign Office last referred to anticipates that Servia "will refuse to comply with these demands"—why, if they were justified?—and Germany suggests to France, England, and Russia that if, as a result of such noncompliance, Austria has "recourse to military measures," that "the choice of means must be left to it."

The German Ambassadors in the three capitals were instructed

to lay particular stress on the view that the above question is one, the settlement of which devolves solely upon Austria-Hungary and Servia, and one which the Powers should earnestly strive to confine to the two countries concerned,

and the instruction added that Germany strongly desired

that the dispute be localized, since any intervention of another Power, on account of the various alliance obligations, would bring consequences impossible to measure.

This is one of the most significant documents in the whole correspondence. If the German Foreign Office were as ignorant as its Ambassador at London affected to be of the Austrian policy and ultimatum, and if Germany were not then instigating and supporting Austria in its perilous course, why should the German Chancellor have served this threatening notice upon England, France, and Russia, that Austria "must" be left free to make war upon Servia, and that any attempt to intervene in behalf of the weaker nation would "bring consequences impossible to measure"?[12]

[Footnote 12: German White Paper, Annex 1 B.]

A still more important piece of evidence is the carefully prepared confidential communication, which the Imperial Chancellor sent to the Federated Governments of Germany shortly after the Servian reply was given.

In this confidential communication, which was nothing less than a call to arms to the entire German Empire, and which probably intended to convey the intimation that without formal mobilization the constituent states of Germany should begin to prepare for eventualities, von Bethmann-Hollweg recognized the possibility that Russia might feel it a duty "to take the part of Servia in her dispute with Austria-Hungary." Why, again, if Austria's case was so clearly justified?

The Imperial Chancellor added that

if Russia feels constrained to take sides with Servia in this conflict, she certainly has a right to do it,

but added that if Russia did this it would in effect challenge the integrity of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and that Russia would therefore alone

bear the responsibility if a European war arises from the Austro-Servian question, which all the rest of the great European Powers wish to localize.

In this significant confidential communication the German Chancellor declares the strong interest which Germany had in the punishment of Servia by Austria. He says, "our closest interests therefore summon us to the side of Austria-Hungary," and he adds that

if contrary to hope, the trouble should spread, owing to the intervention of Russia, then, true to our duty as an Ally, we should have to support the neighboring monarchy with the entire might of the German Empire.[13]

[Footnote 13: German White Paper, Annex 2.]

It staggers ordinary credulity to believe that this portentous warning to the constituents of the German Empire to prepare for "the Day" should not have been written with advance knowledge of the Austrian ultimatum, which had only been issued on July 23d and only reached the other capitals of Europe on July 24th. The subsequent naive disclaimer by the German Foreign Office of any expectation that Austria's attack upon Servia could possibly have any interest to other European Powers is hardly consistent with its assertion that Germany's "closest interests" were involved in the question, or the portentous warnings to the States of the Empire to prepare for eventualities.

The German Ambassador to the United States who attempted early in the controversy and with disastrous results, to allay the rising storm of indignation in that country, formally admitted in an article in the Independent of September 7, 1914, that Germany "did approve in advance the Austrian ultimatum to Servia."

Why then was Germany guilty of duplicity in disclaiming, concurrently with its issuance, any such responsibility? The answer is obvious. This was necessary to support its contention that the quarrel between Austria and Servia was purely "local."

NOTE.—In Chapter VII it will appear from the French Yellow Book that the Prime Minister of Bavaria had knowledge of the Austrian ultimatum before its delivery in Belgrade.



To convince any reasonable man that this Austrian ultimatum to Servia was brutal in its tone and unreasonable in its demands, and that the reply of Servia was as complete an acquiescence as Servia could make without a fatal compromise of its sovereignty and self-respect, it is only necessary to print in parallel columns the demands of Austria and the reply of Servia.


"To achieve this end the Imperial and Royal Government sees itself compelled to demand from the Royal Servian Government a formal assurance that it condemns this dangerous propaganda against the Monarchy; in other words, the whole series of tendencies, the ultimate aim of which is to detach from the Monarchy territories belonging to it, and that it undertakes to suppress by every means this criminal and terrorist propaganda.

"In order to give a formal character to this undertaking the Royal Servian Government shall publish on the front page of its 'Official Journal' of the 26th July, the following declaration:

"'The Royal Government of Servia condemns the propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary—i.e., the general tendency of which the final aim is to detach from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy territories belonging to it, and it sincerely deplores the fatal consequence of these criminal proceedings.

"'The Royal Government regrets that Servian officers and functionaries participated in the above-mentioned propaganda, and thus compromised the good neighborly relations to which the Royal Government was solemnly pledged by its declaration of the 31st March, 1909.

"'The Royal Government, which disapproves and repudiates all idea of interfering or attempting to interfere with the destinies of the inhabitants of any part whatsoever of Austria-Hungary, considers it its duty formally to warn officers and functionaries, and the whole population of the kingdom, that henceforward it will proceed with the utmost rigor against persons who may be guilty of such machinations, which it will use all its efforts to anticipate and suppress.'

"This declaration shall simultaneously be communicated to the Royal Army as an order of the day by His Majesty the King and shall be published in the 'Official Bulletin' of the Army.

"'The Royal Servian Government further undertakes:

"1. To suppress any publication which incites to hatred and contempt of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the general tendency of which is directed against its territorial integrity;

"2. To dissolve immediately the society styled Narodna Odbrana, to confiscate all its means of propaganda, and to proceed in the same manner against other societies and their branches in Servia which engage in propaganda against the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The Royal Government shall take the necessary measures to prevent the societies dissolved from continuing their activity under another name and form;

"3. To eliminate without delay from public instruction in Servia, both as regards the teaching body and also as regards the methods of instruction, everything that serves, or might serve, to foment the propaganda against Austria-Hungary:

"4. To remove from the military service, and from the administration in general, all officers and functionaries guilty of propaganda against the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy whose names and deeds the Austro-Hungarian Government reserves to itself the right of communicating to the Royal Government;

"5. To accept the collaboration in Servia of representatives of the Austro-Hungarian Government in the suppression of the subversive movement directed against the territorial integrity of the Monarchy;

"6. To take judicial proceedings against accessories to the plot of the 28th June who are on Servian territory. Delegates of the Austro-Hungarian Government will take part in the investigation relating thereto;

"7. To proceed without delay to the arrest of Major Voija Tankositch and of the individual named Milan Ciganovitch, a Servian State employe, who have been compromised by the results of the magisterial enquiry at Serajevo;

"8. To prevent by effective measures the cooperation of the Servian authorities in the illicit traffic in arms and explosives across the frontier, to dismiss and punish severely the officials of the frontier service at Schabatz and Loznica guilty of having assisted the perpetrators of the Serajevo crime by facilitating their passage across the frontier;

"9. To furnish the Imperial and Royal Government with explanations regarding the unjustifiable utterances of high Servian officials, both in Servia and abroad, who, notwithstanding their official position, did not hesitate after the crime of the 28th June to express themselves in interviews in terms of hostility to the Austro-Hungarian Government; and finally,

"10. To notify the Imperial and Royal Government without delay of the execution of the measures comprised under the preceding heads.

"The Austro-Hungarian Government expects the reply of the Royal Government at the latest by six o'clock on Saturday evening, the 25th July."

"The Royal Servian Government is of the opinion that it is mutually advantageous not to hinder the settlement of this question, and therefore, in case the Austro-Hungarian Government should not consider itself satisfied with this answer, it is ready as always to accept a peaceful solution, either by referring the decision of this question to the international tribunal at The Hague, or by leaving it to the great Powers who cooperated in the preparation of the explanation given by the Servian Government on the 17th-31st March, 1909."

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