The Belgian Grey Book: Diplomatic Correspondence Respecting the War

From World War I Document Archive
(Difference between revisions)
Jump to: navigation, search
m
 
(One intermediate revision by one user not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
 +
<p align="right">
 +
[[Main_Page | WWI Document Archive ]] > [[Official Papers]] > '''The Belgian Grey Book: Diplomatic Correspondence Respecting the War'''
 +
</p><hr>
 +
 
<CENTER><B>No. 1.</B></CENTER>
 
<CENTER><B>No. 1.</B></CENTER>
 
<br>
 
<br>
Line 872: Line 876:
  
 
<CENTER><B>No. 45.</B></CENTER>
 
<CENTER><B>No. 45.</B></CENTER>
<hr>
+
 
  
 
<b>Baron Beyens, Belgian Minister at Berlin, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs. <br>
 
<b>Baron Beyens, Belgian Minister at Berlin, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs. <br>
Line 2,428: Line 2,432:
 
(See page 353.)
 
(See page 353.)
 
<HR>
 
<HR>
 
+
<p align="right">
<CENTER>Return to '''[[1914 Documents]]'''<br>Return to '''[[Official Papers]]'''</center>
+
[[Main_Page | WWI Document Archive ]] > [[Official Papers]] > '''The Belgian Grey Book: Diplomatic Correspondence Respecting the War'''
 +
</p><hr>
 +
<CENTER></center>

Latest revision as of 23:19, 28 May 2009

WWI Document Archive > Official Papers > The Belgian Grey Book: Diplomatic Correspondence Respecting the War


No. 1.


Count Errembault de Dudzeele, Belgian Minister at Vienna, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Vienna, July 24, 1914


Sir,
I have the honour to enclose herewith the text of the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Servia.

Enclosure in No. 1.


(Text of Austro-Hungarian note, for which see British Correspondence, No. 4, page 3.)


No. 2.


M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Paris, Berlin, London, Vienna, and St. Petersburg.
Brussels, July 24, 1914.


Sir,
The Belgian Government have had under their consideration whether, in present circumstances, it would not be advisable to address to the Powers who guarantee Belgian independence and neutrality a communication assuring them of Belgium's determination to fulfil the international obligations imposed upon her by treaty in the event of a war breaking out on her frontiers.

The Government have come to the conclusion that such a communication would be premature at present, but that events might move rapidly and not leave sufficient time to forward suitable instructions at the desired moment to the Belgian representatives abroad.

In these circumstances I have proposed to the King and to my colleagues in the Cabinet, who have concurred, to give you now exact instructions as to the steps to be taken by you if the prospect of a Franco-German war became more threatening.

I enclose herewith a note, signed but not dated, which you should read to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and of which you should give him a copy, if circumstances render such a communication necessary.

I will inform you by telegram when you are to act on these instructions.

This telegram will be despatched when the order is given for the mobilisation of the Belgian army if, contrary to our earnest hope and to the apparent prospect of a peaceful settlement, our information leads us to take this extreme measure of precaution.

Enclosure in No. 2.



Sir,
The international situation is serious, and the possibility of a war between several Powers naturally preoccupies the Belgian Government.

Belgium has most scrupulously observed the duties of a neutral State imposed upon her by the treaties of April 19, 1839; and those duties she will strive unflinchingly to fulfil, whatever the circumstances may be.

The friendly feelings of the Powers towards her have been so often reaffirmed that Belgium confidently expects that her territory will remain free from any attack, should hostilities break out upon her frontiers.

All necessary steps to ensure respect of Belgian neutrality have {nevertheless been taken by the Government. The Belgian army has been mobilised and is taking up such strategic positions as have been chosen to secure the defence of the country and the respect of its neutrality. The forts of Antwerp and on the Meuse have been put in a state of defence.

It is scarcely necessary to dwell upon the nature of these neasures. They are intended solely to enable Belgium to fulfil her international obligations; and it is obvious that they neither have been nor can have been undertaken with any intention of taking part in an armed struggle between the Powers or from any feeling of distrust of any of those Powers.

In accordance with my instructions, I have the honour to communicate to your Excellency a copy of the declaration by the Belgian Government, and to request that you will be good enough to take note of it.

A similar communication has been made to the other Powers guaranteeing Belgian neutrality.


No. 3.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Rome, The Hague, and Luxemburg.
Brussels, July 25, 1914.


Sir,
I have addressed an undated circular note, a copy of which is enclosed, to the Belgian representatives accredited to the Powers guaranteeing the independence and neutrality of Belgium.

Should the danger of a war between France and Germany become imminent, this circular note will be communicated to the Governments of the guaranteeing Powers, in order to inform them of our fixed determination to fulfil those international obligations that are imposed upon us by the treaties of 1839.

The communications in question would only be made upon telegraphic instructions from me.

If circumstances lead me to issue such instructions, I shall request you also, by telegram, to notify the Govenment to which you are accredited of the step we have taken, and to communicate to them a copy of the enclosed circular note for their information, and without any request that they should take note thereof.

My telegram will inform you of the date to be given to the circular note; which you should be careful to fill in on the copy which you hand to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

It is unnecessary to point out that this despatch and its enclosure should be treated as strictly confidential until the receipt of fresh instructions from me.

Enclosure in No. 3.


(See Enclosure in No. 2.)

No. 4



M. Michotte de Welle, Belgian Minister at Belgrade, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Belgrade, July 25, 1914.


Sir,
I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the text of the reply returned by the Servian Government to the Austro-Hungarian note of the 10 (23) July.

Enclosure in No, 4.:



[Text of the Servian reply; for which see British Correspondence, No. 39, page 31.]


No. 5.



Comunication made on July 26, 1914, by the Austro-Hungarian Legation at Brussels to the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

M. Pashitch gave the reply of the Servian Government to the Austro-Hungarian note before 6 o'clock yesterday. This reply not having been considered satisfactory, diplomatic relations have been broken off and the Minister and staff of the Austrian Legation have left Belgrade. Servian mobilisation had already been ordered before 3 o'clock.


No. 6.



Baron Beyers, Belgian Minister at Berlin, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Berlin, July 27, 1914.
(Telegram.)


According to a telegram from the British Chargé d'Affaires at Belgrade, the Servian Government have given way on all the points of the Austrian note. They even allow the intervention of Austrian officials if such a proceeding is in conformity with the usages of international law. The British Chargé d'Affaires considers that this reply should satisfy Austria if she is not desirous of war. Nevertheless, a more hopeful atmosphere prevails here to-day, more particularly because hostilities against Servia have not begun. The British Government suggest mediation by Great Britain, Germany, France, and Italy at St. Petersburg and Vienna in order to find some basis for compromise. Germany alone has not yet replied. The decision rests with the Emperor.


No. 7.



Count Errembault de Dudzeele, Belgian Minister at Vienna, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Vienna, July 28, 1914. (Telegram.)


The Minister for Foreign Affairs has notified me of the declaration of war by Austria-Hungary against Servia.


No. 8.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Berlin, Paris, London, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Rome, The Hague, and Luxemburg.
Brussels, July 29, 1914.


Sir,
The Belgian Government have decided to place the army upon a strengthened peace footing.

This step should in no way be confused with mobilisation.

Owing to the small extent of her territory, all Belgium consists, in some degree, of a frontier zone. Her army on the ordinary peace footing consists of only one class of armed militia; on the strengthened peace footing, owing to the recall of three classes, her army divisions and her cavalry division comprise effeetive units of the same strength as those of the corps permanently maintained in the frontier zones of the neighbouring Powers.

This information will enable you to reply to any questions which may he. addressed to you.


No. 9.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Berlin, Paris, and London.
Brussels, July 31, 1914.


Sir,
The French Minister came to show me a telegram from the Agence Havas reporting a state of war in Germany, and said:--

I seize this opportunity to declare that no incursion of French troops into Belgium will take place, even if considerable forces are massed upon the frontiers of your country. France does not wish to incur the responsibility, so far as Belgium is concerned, of taking the first hostile act. Instructions in this sense will be given to the French authorities."

I thanked M. Klobukowski for his communication, and I felt bound to observe that we had always had the greatest confidence in the loyal observance by both our neighbouring States of their engagements towards us. We have also every reason to believe that the attitude of the German Government will be the same as that of the Government of the French Republic.


No. 10.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs to all Heads of Belgian Missions abroad.
Brussels, July 31, 1914.

(Telegram.)


The Minister of War informs me that mobilisation has been ordered, and that Saturday, the 1st August, will be the first day.


No. 11.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Berlin, London, and Paris.
Brussels, July 31, 1914.


Sir,
The British Minister asked to see me on urgent business, and made the following communication, which he had hoped for some days to be able to present to me: Owing to the possibility of a European war, Sir Edward Grey has asked the French and German Governments separately if they were each of them ready to respect Belgian neutrality providecl that no other Power violated it:--

"In view of existing treaties, I am instructed to inform the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs of the above, and to say that Sir Edward Grey presumes that Belgium will do her utmost to maintain her neutrality, and that she desires and expects that the other Powers will respect and maintain it."

I hastened to thank Sir Francis Villiers for this communication, which the Belgian Government particularly appreciate, and I added that Great Britain and the other nations guaranteeing our independence could rest assured that we would neglect no effort to maintain our neutrality, and that we were convinced that the other Powers, in view of the excellent relations of friendship and confidence which had always existed between us, would respect and maintain that neutrality.

I did not fail to state that our military forces, which had been considerably developed in consequence of our recent re-organisation, were sufficient to enable us to defend ourselves energetically in the event of the violation of our territory.

In the course of the ensuing conversation, Sir Francis seemed to me somewhat surprised at the speed with which we had decided to mobilise our army. I pointed out to him that the Netherlands, had come to a similar decision before we had done so, and that, moreover, the recent date of our new military system, and the temporary nature of the measures upon which we then had to decide, made it necessary for us to take immediate and thorough precautions. Our neighbours and guarantors should see in this decision our strong desire to uphold our neutrality ourselves.

Sir Francis seemed to be satisfied with my reply, and stated that his Government were awaiting this reply before continuing negotiations with France and Germany, the result of which would be communicated to me.


No. 12.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Berlin, London, and Paris.
Brussels, July 31, 1914.


Sir,
In the course of the conversation which the Secretary-General of my Department had with Herr von Below this morning, he explained to the German Minister the scope of the military measures which we had taken, and said to him that they were a consequence of our desire to fulfil our international obligations, and that they in no wise implied an attitude of distrust towards our neighbours.

The Secretary-General then asked the German Minister if he knew of the conversation which he had had with his predecessor, Herr von Flotow, and of the reply which the Imperial Chancellor had instructed the latter to give.

In the course of the controversy which arose in 1911 as a consequence of the Dutch scheme for the fortification of Flushing, certain newspapers had maintained that in the case of a Franco-German war Belgian neutrality would be violated by Germany.

The Department of Foreign Affairs had suggested that a declaration in the German Parliament during a debate on foreign affairs would serve to calm public opinion, and to dispel the mistrust which was so regrettable from the point of view of the relations between the two countries.

Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg replied that he had fully appreciated the feelings which had inspired our representations. He declared that Germany had no intention of violating Belgian neutrality, but he considered that in making a public declaration Germany would weaken her military position in regard to France, who, secured on the northern side, would concentrate all her energies on the east.

Baron van der Elst, continuing, said that he perfectly understood the objections raised by Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg to the proposed public declaration, and he recalled the fact that since then, in 1913, Herr von Jagow had made reassuring declarations to the Budget Commission of the Reichstag respecting the maintenance of Belgian neutrality.

Herr von Below replied that he knew of the conversation with Herr von Flotow, and that he was certain that the sentiments expressed at that time had not changed.


Enclosure in No. 12.



Baron Beyens, Belgian Minister at Berlin, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs
Berlin, May 2, 1913.


Sir,
I have the honour to bring to your notice the declarations respecting Belgian neutrality, as published in the semi-official Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, made by the Secretary of State and the Minister of War, at the meeting of the Budget Committee of the Reichstag on April 29th:--

"A member of the Social Democrat Party said: 'The approach of a war between Germany and France is viewed with apprehension in Belgium for it is feared that Germany will not respect the neutrality of Belgium.'

Herr von Jagow, Secretary of State. replied: ' Belgian neutrality is provided for by International conventions and Germany is determined to respect those Conventions.'

" This declaration did not satisfy another member of the Social Democrat Party. Herr von Jagow said that he had nothing to add to the clear statement he had made respecting the relations between Germany and Belgium.

"In answer to fresh enquiries by a member of the Social Democrat Party, Herr von Heeringen, the Minister of War, replied: 'Belgium plays no part in the causes which justify the proposed reorganisation of the German military system. That proposal is based on the situation in the East. Germany will not lose sight of the fact that the neutrality of Belgium is guaranteed by international treaty.'

"A member of the Progressive Party having once again spoken of Belgium, Herr von Jagow repeated that this declaration in regard to Belgium was sufficiently clear."


No. 13.



Count de Lalaing, Belgian Minister at London, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 1, 1914.

(Telegram.) .

Great Britain has asked France and Germany separately if they intend to respect Belgian territory in the event of its not being violated by their adversary. Germany's reply is awaited. France has replied in the affirmative.


No. 14.



Baron Beyerns, Belgian Minister at Berlin, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Berlin, August 1, 1914.
(Telegram.)


The British Ambassador has been instructed to inquire of the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether, in the event of war, Germany would respect Belgian neutrality, and I understand that the Minister replied that he was unable to answer the question.


No. 15.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Berlin, Paris, and London.
Brussels, August 1, 1914.


Sir
I have the honour to inform you that the French Minister has made the following verbal communication to me:-

"Je suis autorisé à déclarer qu'en cas de conflit international, le Gouvernement de la République, ainsi qu'il l'a toujours déclaré, respectera la neutralité de la Belgique. Dans l'hypothèse on celte neutralité ne serait pas respectée par une autre Puissance, le Gouvernement français, pour assurer sa propre défense, pourrait être amené à modifier son attitude." (Translation.)



"I am authorised to declare that, in the event of an international war, the French Government, in accordance with the declarations they have always made will respect the neutrality of Belgium. In the event of this neutrality not being respected by another Power, the French Government, to secure their own defence, might find it necessary to modify their attitude."



I thanked his Excellency and added that we on our side had taken without delay all the measures necessary, to ensure that our independence and our frontiers should be respected.


No. 16.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs to Belgian Ministers at Paris, Berlin, London, Vienna, and St. Petersburg. Brussels, August 1, 1914. (Telegram.)

Carry out instructions contained in my despatch of the 24th July.


(See No. 2.)


No. 17.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs to Belgian Ministers at Rome, The Hague, Luxemburg.
Brussels, August 1, 1914. (Telegram.)


Carry out instructions contained in my despatch of the 20th July.
(See No. 3.)


No. 18.



M. Eyschen, President of the Luxemburg Government to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Luxemburg, August 2, 1914. (Telegram.)


I have the honour to acquaint your Excellency with the following facts: On Sunday, the 2nd August, very early, the German troops, according to the information which has up to now reached the Grand Ducal Government, penetrated into Luxemburg territory by the bridges of Wasserbillig and Remich and proceeded particularly towards the south and in the direction of Luxemburg, the capital of the Grand Duchy. A certain number of armoured trains with troops and ammunition have been sent along the railway line from Wasserbillig to Luxemburg, where their arrival is expected. These occurrences constitute acts which are manifestly contrary to the neutrality of the Grand Duchy as guaranteed by the Treaty of London of 1867. The Luxemburg Government have not failed to address an energetic protest against this aggression to the representatives of His Majesty the German Emperor at Luxemburg. An identical protest will be sent by telegraph to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at Berlin.


No. 19.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Belgian Ministers at Paris, Berlin, London, Vienna, and St. Petersburg.
Brussels, August 2, 1914.


Sir
I was careful to warn the German Minister through M. de Bassompierre that an announcement in the Brussels press by M. Klobukowski, French Minister, would make public the formal declaration which the latter had made to me on the 1st August. When I next met Herr von Below he thanked me for this attention, and added that up to the present he had not been instructed to make us an official communication, but that we knew his personal opinion as to the feelings of security, which we had the right to entertain towards our eastern neighbours. I at once replied that all that we knew of their intentions, as indicated in numerous previous conversations, did not allow us to doubt their perfeet correctness towards Belgium. I added, hovwever, that we should attach the greatest importance to the possession of a formal declaration, which the Belgian nation would hear of with joy and gratitude.


No. 20.



Note presented by Herr von Below Saleske, German Minister at Brussels, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Kaiserlich Deutsche Gesandtschaft in Belgien-Brüssel, den 2. August 1914.

Imperial German Legation in Belgium-Brussels, August 2, 1914.

 

(Très Confidentiel.)

Der kaiserlichen Regierung liegen zuverlässige Nachrichten vor über den beabsichtigten Aufmarsch französischer Streitkräfte an der Maas-Strecke Givet Namur. Sie lassen keinen Zweifel über die Absicht Frankreichs, durch belgisches Gebiet gegen Deutschland vorzugehen.

Die Kaiserliche Regierung kann sich der Besorgnis nicht erwehren, dass Belgien, trotz besten Willens, nicht im Stande sein wird, ohne Hülfe einen franzosischen Vormarsch mit so grosser Aussicht auf Erfolg abzuwehren, dass darin eine ausreichende Sicherheit gegen die Bedrohung Deutschlands gefunden werden kann. Es ist ein Gebot der Selbsterhaltung für Deutschland, dem feindlichen Angriff zuvorzukommen. Mit dem grössten Bedauern würde es daher die deutsche Regierung erfüllen, wenn Belgien einen Akt der Feindseligkeit gegen sich darin erblicken würde, dass die Massnahmen seiner Gegner Deutschland zwingen, zur Gegenwehr auch seinerseits belgisches Gebiet zu betreten.

Um jede Missdeutung auszuschliessen, erklärt die Kaiserliche Regierung das Folgende:

1. Deutschland beabsichtigt keinerlei Feindseligkeiten gegen Belgien. Ist Belgien gewillt, in dem bevorstehenden Kriege, Deutschland gegenüber eine wohlwollende Neutralität einzunehmen, so verpflichtet sich die deutsche Regierung, beim Friedensschluss Besitzstand und Unabhängigkeit des Königreichs in vollem Umfang zu garantieren.

2. Deutschland verpflichtet sich unter obiger Voraussetzung, das Gebiet des Königreichs wieder zu räumen, sobald der Friede geschlossen ist.

3. Bei einer freundschaftlicher Haltung Belgiens ist Deutschland bereit, im Einvernehmen mit den Königlich Belgischen Behörden alle Bedürfnisse seiner Truppen gegen Barzahlung anzukaufen und jeden Schaden zu ersetzen, der etwa durch deutsche Truppen verursacht werden könnte.

4. Sollte Belgien den deutschen Truppen feindlich entgegentreten, insbesondere ihrem Vorgehen durch Widerstand der Maas-Befestigungen oder durch Zerstörungen von Eisenbahnen, Strassen, Tunneln oder sonstigen Kunstbauten Schwierigkeiten bereiten, so wird Deutschland zu seinem Bedauern gezwungen sein, das Königreich als Feind zu betrachten. In diesem Falle würde Deutschland dem Königreich gegenüber keine Verpflichtungen übernehmen können, sondern müsste die spätere Regelung des Verhältnisses beider Staaten zu einander der Entscheidung der Waffen überlassen.

Die Kaiserliche Regierung giebt sich der bestimmten Hoffnung hin, dass diese Eventualität nicht eintreten, und dass die königliche Belgische Regierung die geeigneten Massnahmen treffen wird, um zu verhindern, dass Vorkommnisse, wie die vorstehend erwähnten, sich ereignen. In diesem Falle würden die freundschaftlichen Bande, die beide Nachbarstaaten verbinden, eine weitere und dauernde Festigung erfahren.

(Translation.) (Very Confidential.)



Reliable information has been received by the Imperial Government to the effect that French forces intend to march on the line of the Meuse by Givet and Namur. This information leaves no doubt as to the intention of France to march through Belgian territory against Germany.

The Imperial Government cannot but fear that Belgium, in spite of the utmost goodwill, will be unable, without assistance, to repel so considerable a French invasion with sufficient prospect of success to afford an adequate guarantee against danger to Germany. It is essential for the self-defence of Germany that she should anticipate any such hostile attack. The German Government would, however, feel the deepest regret if Belgium regarded as an act of hostility against herself the fact that the measures of Germany's opponents force Germany, for her own protection, to enter Belgian territory.

In order to exclude any possibility of misunderstanding, the German Government make the following declaration:-

1. Germany has in view no act of hostility against Belgium. In the event of Belgium being prepared in the coming war to maintain an attitude of friendly neutrality towards Germany, the German Government bind tllemselves, at the conclusion of peace, to guarantee the possessions and independence of the Belgian Kingdom in full.

2. Germany undertakes, under the above-mentioned condition, to evacuate Belgian territory on the conclusion of peace.

3. If Belgium adopts a friendly attitude, Germany is prepared, in co-operation with the Belgian authorities, to purchase all necessaries for her troops against a cash payment, and to pay an indemnity for any damage that may have been caused by German troops.

4. Should Belgium oppose the German troops, and in particular should she throw difficulties in the way of their march by a resistance of the fortresses on the Meuse, or by destroying railways, roads, tunnels, or other similar works, Germany will, to her regret, be compelled to consider Belgium as an enemy.

In this event, Germany can undertake no obligations towards Belgium, but the eventual adjustment of the reiations betweell the two States must be left to the decision of arms.

The Imperial Government, however, entertains the distinct hope that this eventuality will not occur, and that the Belgian Government will know how to take the necessary measures to prevent the occurrence of incidents such as those mentioned. In this case the friendly ties which bind the two neighbouring States will grow stronger and more enduring.




No. 21.



Memorandum of an Interview asked for at 1.30 a.m., on August 3, by Herr von Below Saleske German Minister, with Baron van der Elst, Secretary-General to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

At 1.30 A.M. the German Minister asked to see Baron van der Elst. He told him that he had been instructed by his Government to inform the Belgian Government that French dirigibles had thrown bombs, and that a French cavalry patrol had crossed the frontier in violation of international law, seeing that war had not been declared.

The Secretary-General asked Herr von Below where these incidents had happened, and was told that it was in Germany. Baron van der Elst then observed that in that case he could not understand the object of this communication. Herr von Below stated that these acts, which were contrary to international law, were calculated to lead to the supposition that other acts, contrary to international law, would be committed by France.


No. 22.



Note communicated by M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs to Herr von Below Saleske, German Minister.
Brussels, August 3, 1914 (7 A.M.).


The German Government stated in their note of the 2nd August, 1914, that according to reliable information French forces intended to march on the Meuse vi& Givet and Namur, and that Belgium, in spite of the best intentions, would not be in a position to repulse, without assistance, an advance of French troops.

The German Government, therefore, considered themselves compelled to anticipate this attack and to violate Belgian territory. In these circumstances, Germany proposed to the Belgian Government to adopt a friendly attitude towards her, and undertook, on the conclusion of peace, to guarantee the integrity of the Kingdom and its possessions to their full extent. The note added that if Belgium put difficulties in the way of the advance of German troops, Germany would be compelled to consider her as an enemy, and to leave the ultimate adjustment of the relations between the two States to the decision of arms.

This note has made a deep and painful impression upon the Belgian Government.

The intentions attributed to France by Germany are in contradiction to the formal declarations made to us on August 1, in the name of the French Government.

Moreover, if, contrary to our expectation, Belgian neutrality should be violated by France, Belgium intends to fulfil her international obligations and the Belgian army would offer the most vigorous resistance to the invader.

The treaties of 1839, confirmed by the treaties of 1870 vouch for the independence and neutrality of Belgium under the guarantee of the Powers, and notably of the Government of His Majesty the King of Prussia.

Belgium has always been faithful to her international obligations, she has carried out her duties in a spirit of loyal impartiality, and she has left nothing undone to maintain and enforce respect for her neutrality.

The attack upon her independence with which the German Government threaten her constitutes a flagrant violation of international law. No strategic interest justifies such a violation of law.

The Belgian Government, if they were to accept the proposals submitted to them, would sacrifice the honour of the nation and betray their duty towards Europe.

Conscious of the part which Belgium has played for more than eighty years in the civilisation of the world, they refuse to believe that the independence of Belgium can only be preserved at the price of the violation of her neutrality.

If this hope is disappointed the Belgian Government are firmly resolved to repel, by all the means in their power, every attack upon their rights.


No. 23.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Mnisters at St. Petersburg, Berlin, London, Paris, Vienna, The Hague
Brussels, August 3, 1914.
(Telegram.)


At 7 P.M. last night Germany presented a note proposing friendly neutrality. This entailed free passage through Belgian territory, while guaranteeing the maintenance of the independence of Belgium and of her possessions on the conclusion of peace, and threatened, in the event of refusal, to treat Belgium as an enemy A time limit of twelve hours was allowed within which to reply.

Our answer has been that this infringement of our neutrality would be a flagrant violation of international law. To accept the German proposal would be to sacrifice the honour of the nation. Conscious of her duty, Belgium is firmly resolved to repel any attack by all the means in her power.


No. 24



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Paris, Berlin, London, Vienna, St. Petersburg.
Brussels, August 3,1914 (12 noon).


Sir,
As you are aware, Germany has delivered to Belgium an ultimatum which expires this morning, 3rd August, at 7 a.m. As no act of war has occurred up to the present, the Cabinet has decided that there is, for the moment, no need to appeal to the guaranteeing Powers.

The French Minister has made the following statement to me upon the subject--

"Sans être chargé d'une déclaration de mon Gouvernement, je crois cependant, m'inspirant de ses intentions connues, pouvoir dire que si le Gouvernement Royal faisait appel au Gouvernement francais, commep Puissance garante de sa neutralité, nous répondrions immédiatemeIlt à son appel; si cet appel n'était pas forrnulé, il est probable, à moins bien entendu que le souci de sa propre défense ne détermine des mesures exceptionnelles, qu'il attendra pour intervenir que la Belgique ait fait un acte de résistance effective." Translation.



"Although I have received no instructions to make a declaration from my Government, I feel justified, in view of their well-known intentions, in saying that if the Belgian Government were to appeal to the French Government as one of the Powers guaranteeing their neutrality, the French Governmentl would at once respond to Belgium's appeal; if such an appeal were not made it is probable, that -- unless of course exceptional measures were rendered necessary in self-defence -- the French Government would not intervene until Belgium had taken some effective measure of resistance."



I thanked M. Klobukowski for the support which the French Government had been good enough to offer us in case of need, and I informed him that the Belgian Government were making no appeal at present to the guarantee of the Powers, and that. they would decide later what ought to be done.


No. 25.



His Majesty the King of the Belgians to His Majesty King George.
Brussels, August 3, 1914. (Telegram.)


Remembering the numerous proofs of your Majesty's friendship and that of your predecessor, and the friendly attitude of England in 1870 and the proof of friendship you have just given us again, I make a supreme appeal to the diplomatic intervention of your Majesty's Government to safeguard the integrity of Belgium.


No. 26.



Count de Lalaing, Belgian Minister at London, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs
London, August 3, 1914. (Telegram.)


I showed your telegram to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who has laid it before the Cabinet. The Minister for Foreign Affairs has informed me that if our neutrality is violated it means war with Germany.

(See No. 23.)


No. 27.



Herr von Below Saleske, German Minister at Brussels, M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

(The original is in French.)
Brussels, August 4, 1914 (6 A.M.).

Monsieur le Ministre,


J'ai été chargé et j'ai l'honneur d'informer votre Excellence qua par suite du refus oppose par le Gouvernement de Sa Majesté le Roi aux propositions bien intentionnées que lui avait sournises le Gouvernement Impérial, celui ci se verra, à son plus vif regret forcé d'exécuter-au besoin par la force des armes-les mesures de sécurité exposées comme indispensables vis-à-vis des menaces françaises.

Veuillez agréer, &c.
(Signé) VON BELOW.

(Translation.)



Sir,
In accordance with my instructions, I have the honour to inform your Excellency that in consequence of the refusal of the Belgian Government to entertain the well-intentioned proposals made to them by the German Government, the latter, to their deep regret, find themselves compelled to take-if necessary by force of arms-those measures of defence already foreshadowed as indispensable, in view of the menace of France.




No. 28.



Note communicated by Sir Francis H. Villiers, British Minister at Brussels, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, August 4, 1914.


I am instructed to inform the Belgian Government that if Germany brings pressure to bear upon Belgium with the object of forcing her to abandon her attitude of neutrality, His Britannic Majesty's Government expect Belgium to resist with all the means at her disposal.

In that event, His Britannic Majesty's Government are prepared to join Russia and France, should Belgium so desire, in tendering at once joint assistance to the Belgian Government with a view to resisting any forcible measures adopted by Germany against Belgium, and also offering a guarantee for the maintenance of the future independence and integrity of Belgium.


No. 29.



Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The Hague, August 4, 1914.


Sir,
The Minister for Foreign Affairs told me yesterday evening that the Netherlands Government would perhaps be obliged, owing to the gravity of the present situation, to institute war buoying upon the Scheldt.

M.. Loudon read me the draft of the note which would announce this decision to me.

I have the honour to transmit to you herewith a copy of the note in question which was communicated to me yesterday evening.

As you will observe, the Scheldt will only be closed at night. By day navigation will be possible, but only with Dutch pilots who have been furnished with the necessary nautical instructions. In this way both Dutch interests in the defence of their territory, and Belgian interests in the navigation of Antwerp will be safeguarded.

You will note that the Netherlands Government further ask that in the event of the war buoying being carried out, we should cause the lightships "Wielingen" and "Wandelaar" to be withdrawn in order to facilitate the maintenance of the neutrality of Dutch territory.

I would point out that the phrase used in this note, "sailing up the Scheldt," is not sufficiently explicit; sailing down would be permitted under the same conditions. The Minister has, however, given me this assurance.

As soon as the Netherlands Government have decided upon this exceptional measure I shall be informed of it.

About six hours are necessaIy to carry out war buoying.

I will at once telegraph to you.


Note enclosed in No. 29.



The Netherlands Government may be compelled, in order to maintain the neutrality of Dutch territory, to institute war buoying upon the Scheldt, that is to say, to move or modify a portion of the actual arrangement of buoys and lights.

At the same time this special arrangement of buoys has been so drawn up that when it is brought into force it will still be possible to sail up the Scheldt as far as Antwerp by day, but only with Dutch pilots who have been furnished with the necessary nautical instructions. In thus acting the Netherlands Government are convinced that they will be able to serve equally both the Dutch interests in the delence of Netherlands territory and Belgian interests in the navigation of Antwerp.

After the establishment of war buoying on the Scheldt, there would be no further reason to enter the tidal water of Flushing at night, and as the presence of the lightships "Wielingen" and " Wandelaar " is not indispensable to navigation by day, the Netherlands Government would be much obliged if the Belgian Government would be good enough, in the event of the establisllment of war buoying, to withdraw these boats in order to facilitate the maintenance of the neutrality of Dutch territory.


No. 30.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Belgian Ministers at London and Paris
Brussels, August 4, 1914.
(Telegram.)


The General Staff announces that Belgian territory has been violated at Gemmenich.


No. 31.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Herr von Below Saleske, German Minister at Brussels.
Brussels, August 4, 1914


Sir,
I have the honour to inform your Excellency that from today the Belgian Government are unable to recognise your diplomatic status and cease to have official relations with you. Your Excellency will find enclosed the passports necessary for your departure with the staff of the legation.


No. 32.



Herr von Below Saleske, German Minister at Brussels, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, August 4, 1914.


Sir,
I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency's note of the 4th August, and to inform you that I have entrusted the custody of the German Legation of Brussels to the care of my United States colleague.

No. 33.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs to Baron Grenier, Belgian Minister at Berlin.
Brussels, August 4, 1914. (Telegram.)


Please ask the Spanish Government if they will be good enough to take charge of Belgian interests in Germany, and whether in that event they will issue the necessary instructions to their Ambassador at Berlin.


No. 34.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Baron Beyens, Belgian Minister at Berlin.
Brussels, August 4, 1914. (Telegram.)


The German Minister is leaving to-night; you should ask for your passports. We are requesting the Spanish Government to authorise the Spanish Ambassador to be good enough to take charge of Belgian interests in Germany.


No. 35.



Baron Beyens, Belgian Minister at Berlin, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Berlin, August 4, 1914.


Sir,
I have the honour to transmit to you herewith a translation of part of the speech made to-day in the Reichstag by the Imperial Chancellor on the subject of the infamous violation of Belgian neutrality:--

"We are in a state of legitimate defence, and necessity knows no law.

"Our troops have occupied Luxemburg and have perhaps already entered Belgium. This is contrary to the dictates of international law. France has, it is true, declared at Brussels that she was prepared to respect the neutrality of Belgium so long as it was respected by her adversary. But we knew that France was ready to invade Belgium. France could wait; we could not. A French attack upon our flank in the region of the Lower Rhine might have been fatal. We were, therefore, compelled to ride roughshod over the legitimate protests of the Governments of Luxemburg and Belgium. For the wrong which we are thus doing, we will make reparation as soon as our military object is attained.

"Anyone in such grave danger as ourselves, and who is struggling for his supreme welfare, can only be concerned with the means of extricating himself; we stand side by side with Austria."

It is noteworthy that Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg recognises, without the slightest disguise, that Germany is violating international law by her invasion of Belgian territory and that she is committing a wrong against us.


No. 36.



Count de Lalaing, Belgian Minister at London, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 4, 1914.


Sir,
I have the honour to inform you that in the House of Commons this afternoon the Prime Minister made a fresh statement with regard to the European crisis.

After recalling the principal points set forth yesterday by Sir E. Grey, the Prime Minister read:--

1. A telegram received from Sir F. Villiers this morning which gave the substance of the second ultimatum presented to the Belgian Government by the German Government, which had been sent to you this morning, (see No. 27).

2. Your telegram informing me of tlie violation of the frontier at Gemmenich, a copy of which I have given to Sir A. Nicolson.

3. A telegram which the German Government addressed to its Ambassador in London this morning with the evident intention of misleading popular opinion as to its attitude. Here is the translation as published in one of this evening's newspapers:--

"Please dispel any mistrust which may subsist on the part of the British Government with regard to our intentions, by repeating most positively the formal assurance that, even in the case of armed conflict with Belgium, Germany will, under no pretence whatever, annex Belgian territory.

"Sincerity of this declaration is borne out by fact that we solemnly pledged our word to Holland strictly to respect her neutrality.

"It is obvious that we could not profitably annex Belgian territory without making at the time territorial acquisitions at the expense of Holland.

"Please impress upon Sir E. Grey that German army could not be exposed to French attack across Belgium, which was planned according to absolutely unimpeachable information.

"Germany had consequent]y to disregard Belgian neutrality, it being for her a question of life or death to prevent French advance."

Mr. Asquith then informed the House that in answer to this note of the German Government the British Government had repeated their proposal of last week, namely, that the German Government should give the same assurances as to Belgian neutrality as France had given last week both to England and to Belgium. The British Cabinet allowed the Berlin Cabinet till midnight to reply.


No. 37.



Count de Lalaing, Belgian Minister at Londonl, M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 4, 1914. (Telegram.)


The Minister for Foreign Affairs has informed the British Ministers in Norway, Holland, and Belgium, that Great Britain expects that these three kingdoms will resist German pressure and observe neutrality. Should they resist they will have the support ol Great Britain, who is ready in that event, should the three above-mentioned Governments desire it, to join France and Prussia, in offering an alliance to the said Governnlents for the purpose of resisting the use of force by Gerrnany against them, and a guarantee to maintain the future independence and integrity of the three kingdoms.I observed to him that Belgium was neutral in perpetuity. The Minister for Foreign Affairs answered: This is in case her neutrality is violated.


No. 38.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Belgium Ministers at Paris, London, and St. Petersburg.
Brussels, August 4, 1914.


Sir
I have the honour to inform you of the course of recent events as regards the relations of Belgium with certain of the Powers which guarantee her neutrality and independence.

On the 31st July the British Minister made me a verbal communication according to which Sir E. Grey, in anticipation of a European war, had asked the German and French Governments separately if each of them were resolved to respect the neutrality of Belgium should that neutrality not be violated by any other Power.

In view of existing treaties, Sir E. Villiers was instructed to bring this step to the knowledge of the Belgian Government, adding that Sir E. Grey presumed that Belgium was resolved to maintain her neutrality, and that she expected other Powers to respect it.

I told the British Minister that we highly appreciated this communication, which was in accordance with our expectation, and I added that Great Britain, as well as the other Powers who had guaranteed our independence, might rest fully assured of our firm determination to maintain our neutrality; nor did it seem possible that our neutrality could be threatened by any of those States, with whom we enjoyed the most cordial and frank relations. The Belgian Government, I added, had given proof of this resolution by taking, from now on all such military measures as seemed to them to be necessitated by the situation.

In his turn the French Minister made a verbal communication on August 1st to the effect that he was authorised to inform the Belgian Government that in case of an international war the French Government, in conformity with their repeated declarations, would respect Belgian territory, and that they would not be induced to modify their attitude except in the event of the violation of Belgian neutrality by another power.

I thanked his Excellency, and added that we had already taken all the necessary precautions to ensure respect of our independence and our frontiers.

On the morning of the 9nd August I had a fresh conversation with Sir F. Villiers, in the course of which he told me that he had lost no time in telegraphing our conversation ot July 31st to his Government, and that he had been careful to quote accurately the solemn declaration which he had received of Belgium's intention to defnd her frontiers from whichever side they might be invaded. He added: "We know that France has given you formal assurances, but Great Britain has received no reply from Berlin on this subject."

The latter fact did not particularly affect me, since a declaration from the German Government might appear superfluous in view of existing treaties. Moreover, the Secretary of State had reaffirmed, at the meeting of the committee of the Reichstag of April 29th, 1913, "that the neutrality of Belgium is established by treaty which Germany intends to respect."

The same day Herr von Below Saleske, the German Minister, called at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at 7 o'clock, and handed to me the enclosed note (see No. 20). The German Government gave the Belgian Government a time limit of twelve hours within which to communicate their decision.

No hesitation was possible as to the reply called for by the amazing proposal of the German Government. You will find a copy enclosed. (See No. 22.)

The ultimatum expired at 7 a.m. on August 3rd. As at 10 o'clock no act of war had been committed, the Belgian Cabinet decided that there was no reason for the moment to appeal to the guaranteeing powers.

Towards mid-day the French Minister questioned me upon this point, and said:--

"Although in view of the rapid march of events I have as yet received no instructions to make a declaration from my Government, I feel justified, in view of their well-known intentions, in saying that if the Belgian Government were to appeal to the French Government as one of the Powers guaranteeing their neutrality, the French Government would at once respond to Belgium's appeal; if such an appeal were not made it is probable that-unless, of course, exceptional measures were rendered necessary in self-defence-- the French Government would not intervene until Belgium had taken some effective measure of resistance."

I thanked M. Klobukowski for the support which the French Government had been good enough to offer us in case of need, and I informed him that the Belgian Government were making no appeal at present to the guarantee of the Powers, and that they would decide later what ought to be done.

Finally, at 6 a.m. on August 4th, the German Minister made the following communication to me. (See No. 27.)

The Cabinet is at the present moment deliberating on the question of an appeal to the Powers guaranteeing our neutrality.


No. 39.



Count de Lalaing, Belgian Minister at London, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 4, 1914. (Telegram.)


Great Britain this morning called upon Germany to respect Belgian neutrality. The ultimatum says that whereas the note addressed by Germany to Belgium threatens the latter with an appeal to the force of arms if she opposes the passage of German troops; and whereas Belgian territory has been violated at Gemmenich; and whereas Germany has refused to give Great Britain a similar assurance to that given last week by France; therefore Great Britain must once again demand a satisfactory reply on the subject of the respect of Belgian neutrality and of the treaty to which Germany, no less than Great Britain, is a signatory. The ultimatum expires at midnight.

In consequence of the British ultimatum to Germany, the British proposal which I telegraphed to you is cancelled for the time being. (See No. 37.)
No. 40.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to British, French, and Russian Ministers at Brussels.
Brussels, August 4, 1914.


Sir,
The Belgian Government regret to have to announce to your Excellency that this morning the armed forces of Germany entered Belgian territory in violation of treaty engagements.

The Belgian Government are firmly deterrmined to resist by all the means in their power.

Belgium appeals to Great Britain, France, and Russia to co-operate as guaranteeing Powers in the defence of her territory.

There should be concerted and joint action, to oppose the forcible measures taken by Germany against Belgium, and, at the same time, to guarantee the future maintenance of the independence and integrity of Belgium.

Belgium is happy to be able to declare that she will undertake the defence of her fortified places.

No. 41.



Count de Lalaing, Belgian Minister at London, M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 5, 1914.
(Telegram.)


Germany, having rejected the British proposals, Great Britain has informed her that a state of war existed between the two countries as from 11 o'clock.

No. 42.


M. Davignon, Belgium Minister for Foreign Affairs to the Belgian Ministers at Paris, London, and St. Petersburg.
Brussels, August 5, 1914.
(Telegram.)


After the violation of Belgian territory at Gemmenich, Belgium appealed to Great Britain, France, and Russia through their representatives at Brussels, to co-operate as guaranteeing Powers in the defence of her territory.

Belgium undertakes the defence of her fortified places.


No. 43.


M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Paris, London, and St. Petersburg.
Brussels, August 5,1914.


Sir,
Is my despatch of August 4 (see No. 38) I had the honour to inform you of the sequence of events which had attended the international relations of Belgium from July 31st to August 4th. I added that the Cabinet was considering the question whether Belgium, whose territory had been invaded since the morning, should appeal to the guarantee of the Powers.

The Cabinet had decided in the affirmative when the British Minister informed me that the proposal which he had communicated to me, and according to which the British Government were disposed to respond favourably to our appeal to her as a guaranteeing Power, was cancelled for the time being. (See No. 37.)

A telegram from London made it clear that this change of attitude was caused by an ultimatum from Great Britain giving Germany a time limit of ten hours within which to evacuate Belgian territory and to respect Belgian neutrality. (See No. 39.) During the evening, the Belgian Government addressed to France, Great Britain, and Russia, through their respective representatives at Brussels, a note, of which a copy is enclosed herewith. (See No. 40.)

As you will observe, Belgium appeals to Great Britain, France, and Russia to co-operate as guaranteeing Powers in the defence of her territory and in the maintenance for the future of the independence and integrity of her territory. She will herself undertake the defence of her fortified places.

As yet we are not aware how our appeal has been received.


No. 44.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Heads of Missions in all Countries having Diplomatic Relations with Belgium.
Brussels, August 5, 1914.


Sir,
By the treaty of April 18th, 1839, Prussia, France, Great Britain, Austria, and Russia declared themselves guarantors of the treaty concluded on the same day between His Majesty the King of the Belgians and His Majesty the King of the Netherlands. The treaty runs: "Belgium shall form a State independent and perpetually neutral." Belgium has fulfilled all her international obligations, she has accomplished her duty in a spirit of loyal impartiality, she has neglected no effort to maintain her neutrality and to cause that neutrality to be respected.

In these circumstances the Belaian Government have learnt with deep pain that the armed forces of Germany, a Power guaranteeing Belgian neutrality, have entered Belgian territory in violation of the obligations undertaken by treaty.

It is our duty to protest with indignation against an outrage against international law provoked by no act of ours.

The Belgian Government are firmly determined to repel by all the means in their power the attack thus made upon their neutrality, and they recall the fact that, in virtue of article 10 of The Hague Convention of 1907 respecting the rights and duties of neutral Powers and persons in the case of war by land, if a neutral Power repels, even by force, attacks on her neutrality such action cannot be considered as a hostile act.

I have to request that you will ask at once for an audience with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and read this despatch to his Excellency, handing him a copy. If the interview cannot be granted at once you should make the communication in question in writing.


No. 45.


Baron Beyens, Belgian Minister at Berlin, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Berlin, August 5, 1914.
(Telegram.)


I have received my passports and shall leave Berlin to-morrow morning for Holland with the staff of the legation.
No. 46.



Baron Guillaume, Belgian Minister at Madrid, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
St. Sebastian, August 5, 1914.
(Telegram.)


THE Spanish Government undertake the custody of Belgian interests in Germany, and are to-day sending telegraphic instructions to their Ambassador at Berlin.

(See No. 33.)


No. 47.


Baron Guillaume, Belgian Minister at Paris, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Paris, August 5, 1914.

Sir,
I have the honour to enclose herewith a copy of the notification of a state of war between France and Germany, which has been communicated to me to-day.

Enclosure in No. 47.
(See No. 157 of French Book, page 252.)


No. 48.



Communication of August 5, from Sir Francis Villiers, British Minister at Brussels, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

I am instructed to inform the Belgian Government that His Britannic Majesty's Government consider joint action with a view to resisting Germany to be in force and to be justfied by the Treaty of 1839.


No. 49.



Count de Lalaing, Belgian Minister at London, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 5, 1914.
(Telegram.)


Great Britain agrees to take joint action in her capacity of guaranteeing Power for the defence of Belgian territory. The British fleet will ensure the free passage of the Scheldt for the provisioning of Antwerp.


No. 50.


Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The Hague, August 5, 1914.
(Telegram.)


The war buoying is about to be established.

(See No. 29.)


No. 51.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Baron Grenier, Bclgian Minister at Madrid.
Brussels, August 5, 1914.
(Telegram.)


Please express to the Spanish Government the sincere thanks of the Belgian Government.

(See No. 46.)

No. 52.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Paris, London, and St. Petersburg.
Brussels, August 5, 1914.


Sir,

I have the honour to inform you that the French and Russian Ministers made a communication to me this morning informing me of the willingness of their Governments to respond to our appeal, and to co-operate with Great Britain in the defence of Belgian territory.


No. 53.



Jonkheer de Wecde, Netherlands Minister at Brussels, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, August 6, 1914.


Sir,
I have the honour to transmit to your Excellency herewith a copy of the special edition of the "Staatscourant," containing the declaration of the neutrality of the Netherlands in the war between Belgium and Germany, and between Great Britain and Germany.

Enclosure to No. 53.



LAWS, DECREES, NOMINATIONS, &c.

Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Marine, War, and the Colonies.

LES Ministres des Affaires Étrangères, de la Justice, de la Marine, de la Guerre et des Colonies, autorisés à cette fin par Sa Majesté la Reine, portent à la connaissance de tous ceux que la chose concerne, que le Gouvernement néerlandais observera dans la guerre qui a éclaté entre les Puissances amies des Pays-Bas, Grande-Bretagne et Allemagne, et Belgique et Allemagne, une stricte neutralitén et qu'en vue de l'observation de cette neutralité les dispositions suivantes ont été arrêtées:



ARTICLE ler.



Dans les limites du territoire de l'État;, comprenant le territoire du Royaume en Europe, outre les colonies et possessions dans d'autres parties du monde, aucun gellre d'hostilités n'est permis et ce territoire ne peut servir de base pour des opérations hostiles.



ARTICLE 2.



Ni l'occupation d'une partie quelconque du territoire de l'État par un belligérant, ni le passage à travers ce territoire par voie de terre par des troupes ou des convois de munitions appartenant à un des belligérants ne sontpermis, non plus que le passage à travers le territoire situd à l'intérieur des eaux territoriales néerlandaises par des navires de guerre ou des bâtiments des belligérants assimilés à ceux-ci.



ARTICLE 3.



Les troupes ou les militaires, appartenant aux belligérants ou destinés à ceux-ci et arrivant sur le territoire de l'Etat par voie de terre seront immédiatement désarmés et internés jusqu'à la fin de la guerre.



Les navires de guerre ou bâtiments assimilés à ces derniers, appartenant à un belligérant, qui contreviendront aux prescriptions des articles 2, 4 ou 7, ne pourront quitter ce territoire avant la fin de la guerre.



ARTICLE 4.



Les navires de guerre ou bâtitnents assimilés à ces derniers, qui appartiennent à un belligérant, n'auront pas accès au territoire de l'Etat.



ARTICLE 5.



La disposition de l'article 4 n'est pas applicable:

1° aux navires de guerre ou bâtiments d'un belligérant assimilés à ces derniers, et qui par suite d'avarie ou de l'état de la mer sont tenus d'entrer dans un des ports ou rades de l'Etat. Les navires pourront quitter lesdits ports ou rades des que les circonstances qui les ont contraints de s'y réfugier auront cessé d'exister;

2° aux navires de guerre ou bâtiments assimilés, appartenant à un belligérant, et qui font escale dans un port ou une rade situés dans le territoire des colonies et possessions d'outre-mer, exclusivement dans le but de compléter leur provision de denrées alimentaires ou de combustibles. Ces navires devront repartir dès que les circonstances qui les ont forcés à faire escale ont cessé d'exister, avec cette condition que le sejour en rade ou dans le port ne pourra durer plus de vingt-quatre heures;

3° aux navires de guerre ou bâtiments assimilés, appartenant à un belligérant, et qui sont utilisés exclusivement pour une mission religeuse, scientifique, ou humanitaire.

ARTICLE 6.

Les navires de guerre ou bâtiments assimilés appartenant à un belligérant, ne peuvent réparer leurs avaries dans les ports ou rades de l'État au'en tant que cette réparation est indispensable à la sécurité de la navigation, et ils ne pourront en aucune fason accroître leurs capacités de combat.

ARTICLE 7.

Les navires de guerre ou bâtiments assimilés, appartenant à un belligérant, et qui, au commencement de la guerre, se trouveraient sur le territoire de l'État, sont tenus de le quitter dans les vingt-quatre heures de la publication de la présente.

ARTICLE 8.

Si des navires de guerre ou bâtiments assimilés appartenant à divers belligérants se trouvent, en meme temps, dans les conditions visées à l'article 5, dans une même partie du monde, et sur le territoire de l'ttat, un délai d'au moins vingt-quatre heures doit s'écouler entre le départ des navires de chacun des belligérants. A moins de circonstances spéciales, l'ordre de depart est déterminé par l'ordre d'arrivée. Un navire de guerre ou un bâtiment assimilé, appartenant à un belligérant, ne peut quitter le territoire de l'Etat que vingtquatre heures après le départ d'un navire de commerce portant le pavillon de l'autre belligérant.

ARTICLE 9.

Les navires de guerre ou bâtiments assimilés, appartenant à un belligerant, visés à l'article 5 et à l'article 7, ne peuvent être ravitaillés en denrées alimentaires dans les ports et les rades du pays que dans lamesure nécessaire pour parfaire leurs provisions jusqu'à la liluite normale du temps de paix.

De même, ils ne penvent charger de combustible que dans la mesure nécessaire pour pouvoir atteindre, avec la provision qu'ils bont encore à bord, le port le plus rapproché de leur propre pays.

Un meme bâtiment ne peut etre ravitaillé à nouveau en combustible qu'à l'expiration d'une période de trois mois au moins après son précédent ravitaillement dans le territoire de l'Etat.



ARTICLE 10.



Une prise ne peut être amenée dans le territoire que lorsqu'elle est incapable de naviguer, qu'elle tient mal la mer, qu'elle manque de combustible ou de denrées alimentaires.



Elle doit s'éloigner des qlle la cause de son entrée darls le territoire cesse d'exister.

Si elle ne le fait pas, l'ordre lui sera donné de partir immédiatement; en cas de refus, il sera fait usage des moyens disponibles pour libérer la prise avec ses officiers et son équipage et pour interner l'équipage placé à bord par le belligérant qui a fait a prise.



ARTICLE 11.



I1 est interdit, sur le territoire de l'Etat, de former des corps ombattants ou d'ouvrir des bureaux de recrutement au profit es belligérants.



ARTICLE 12.



I1 est interdit, sur le territoire de l'État, de prendre du service à bord de navires de guerre ou de bâtiments assimilés.

ARTICLE 13.

Il est interdit, sur le territoire de l'État, d'aménager, d'armer ou d'équiper des navires destinés à des fins militaires au profit d'un belligerant, ou de fournir ou conduire à un belligérant de tels navires.

ARTICLE 14.



Il est interdit, sur le territoire de l'Etat, de fournir des armes ou des munitions à des navires de guerre ou bâtiments assimilés appartenant à un belligérant, ou de leur venir en aide d'une manière quelconque en vue de l'augmentation de leur équipage ou de leur aménagement.

ARTICLE 15.



Il est interdit, sur le territoire de l'Etat, sauf autorisation préalable des autorités locales compétentes, de faire des réparations aux navires de guerre ou bâtiments assimilés appartenant à un belligérant, ou de leur fournir des provisions de bouche ou de combustible.



ARTICLE 16.

Il est interdit, sur le territoire de l'Etat, de coopérer au dégréement ou à la réparation de prises, sauf en ce qui est nécessaire pour les rendre propres à tenir la mer; ainsi que d'acheter des prises ou des rnarcllandises confisquées, et de les recevoir en échange, en don ou en dépôt.



ARTICLE 17.



Le territoire de l'Etat comprend la mer côtière sur une largeur de 3 milles marins à raison de 60 par degré de latitude, à partir de la laisse de la basse mer.

En ce qui concerne les baies, cette distance de 3 milles marins est mesurée à partir d'une ligne droite tirée à travers la baie aussi près que possible de l'entrée, au point où l'ouverture de la baie ne dépasse pas 10 milles marins, à raison de 60 par degré de latitude.



ARTICLE 18.



En outre, l'intention est attirée sur les articles 100, 1°, et 205 du Code pénal; "Indisch Staatsblad," 190a, No. 62; Art. 7, 4°, de la loi sur la qualité de Néerlandais et sur le domicile (" Nederlandsch Staatsblad," 189Q, No. 268; 1910, No. 216); art. 2, No. 3 de la loi sur la qualité de sujet nëerlandais "Nederlandsch Staatsblad," 1910 No. 56; " Indisch Staatsblad," 1910, No. 296; art. 54 et 55 du Code pénal de Suriname; art. 54 et 55 du Code penal de Curacao).



De même, l'attention des commandants de navires, armateurs et affréteurs, est attirée sur le danger et les inconvénients, auxquels ils s'exposeraient en ne respectant pas le blocus effectif des belligérants, en transportant de la contrebande de guerre ou des dépêches militaires pour les belligérants (à moins qu'il ne s'agisse du service postal régulier) on en exécutant pour eux d'autres services de transport.



Quiconque se rendrait coupable d'actes prevus ci-dessus, s'exposerait à toutes les conséquences de ces actes, et ne pourrait obtenir à cet égard aucune protection ni intervention du Gouvernement néerlandais.



(Translation.)



The Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Marine, War, and the Colonies, authorised to that effect by Her Majesty the Queen, make known to all whom it may concern that the Netherlands Government will observe strict neutrality in the war which has broken out between Great Britain and Germany, and Belgium and Germany, Powers friendly to the Netherlands, and that, with a view to the observance of this neutrality, the following dispositions have been taken:-



ARTICLE 1.



Within the limits of the territory of the State, including the territory of the Kingdom in Europe and the colonies and possessions in other parts of the world, no hostilities of any kind are permitted, neither may this territory serve as a base for hostile operations.



ARTICLE 2.



Neither the occupation of any part of the territory of the State by a belligerent nor the passage across this territory by land is permitted to the troops or convoys of munitions belonging to the belligerents, nor is the passage across the territory situated within the territorial waters of the Netherlands by the warships or ships assimilated thereto of the belligerents permitted.

ARTICLE 3.



Troops or soldiers belonging to the belligerents or destined for them arriving in the territory of the State by land will be immediately disarmed and interned until the termination of the war.



Warships or ships assimilated thereto belonging to a belligerent, who contravenes the provisions of articles 2, 4, or 7 will not be permitted to leave the said territory until the end of the war.



ARTICLE 4.



No warships or ships assimilated thereto belonging to any of the belligerents shall have access to the said territory.



ARTICLE 5.



The provisions of article 4 do not apply to:-



I. Warships or ships assimilated thereto which are forced to enter the ports or roadstead of the State on account of damages or the state of the sea. Such ships may leave the said ports or roadsteads as soon as the circumstances which have driven them to take shelter there shall have ceased to exist.



2. Warships or ships assimilated thereto belonging to a belligerent which anchor in a port or roadstead in the colonies or oversea possessions exclusively with the object of completing their provision of foodstuffs or fuel. These ships must leave as soon as the circumstances which have forced them to anchor shall have ceased to exist, subject to the condition that their stay in the roadstead or port shall not exceed twenty-four hours.



3. Warships or ships assimilated thereto belonging to a belligerent employed exclusively on a religious, scientific, or humanitarian mission.



ARTICLE 6.



Warships or ships assimilated thereto belonging to a belligerent may only execute such repairs in the ports and roadsteads of the State as are indispensable to their seaworthiness, and they may in no way increase their fighting capacities.



ARTICLE 7.



Warships or ships assimilated thereto belonging to a belligerent who may at the commencement of war be within the territory of the State must leave within twenty-four hours from the moment of the publication of this declaration.



ARTICLE 8.



If warships or ships assimilated thereto belonging to different belligerents find themselves at the same time, in the conditions set forth in article 5, in the same part of the world and within the territory of the State, a delay of at least twenty-four hours must elapse between the departure of each respective belligerent ship. Except in special circumstances, the order of departure shall be determined by the order of arrival. A warship or ship assimilated thereto belonging to a belligerent may only leave the territory of the State twenty-four hours after the departure of a merchant ship which flies the flag of another' belligerent.



ART1CLE 9.



Warships or ships assimilated thereto belonging to a belligerent to which articles 5 and 7 are applicable may only be provisioned with foodstuffs in the ports and roadsteads of the country to the extent necessary to bring their provisions up to the normal limit in time of peace.



Similarly they can only be supplied with fuel to the extent necessary to enable them, with the stock they already have on board, to reach the nearest port of their own country.



The same vessel cannot again be provided with fuel until a period of at least three months shall have elapsed since it was last provisioned in the territory of the State.



ARTICLE 10.



A prize may only be brought into Dutch territory if such prizes is unnavigable, or unseaworthy, or short of fuel or foodstuffs.



Such prize must leave as soon as the reasons which caused her to enter Dutch territory cease to exist.



Should such prize fail to do so, immediate orders shall be given her to leave. In the event of a refusal, all possible means shall be employed to liberate the prize, with her officers and crew, and to intern the crew placed on board by the belligerent who has taken it as prize.



ARTICLE 11.



It is forbidden, in State territory, to form a corps of combatants or to open recruiting offices on behalf of the belligerents.



ARTICLE 12.



It is forbidden, in State territory, to take service on board warships or ships assimilated thereto.



ARTICLE 13.



It is forbidden, in State territory, to equip, arm, or man vessels intended for military purposes on behalf of a belligerent, or to furnish or deliver such vessels to a belligerent.



ARTICLE 14.



It is forbidden in State territory to supply arms or ammunition to warships or ships assimilated thereto belonging to a belligerent, or to come to their assistance in any manner whatsoever with a view to augment their crew or their equipment.



ARTICLE 15.



It is forbidden in State territory failing previous authorisation by the competent local authorities, to repair warships or ships assimilated thereto belonging to a belligerent, or to supply them with victuals or fuel.



ARTICLE 1 6.



It is forbidden in State territory to take part in the dismantling or repairing of prizes except in so far as is necessary to make them seaworthy; also to purchase prizes or confiscated goods, and to receive them in exchange, in gift, or on deposit.



ARTICLE 17.



The State territory comprises the coastal waters to a distance of 3 nautical miles, reckoning 60 to the degree of latitude, from low-water mark.



As regards inlets, this distance of 3 nautical miles is measured from a straight line drawn across the inlet at the point nearest the entrance where the mouth of the inlet is not wider than 10 nautical miles, reckoning, 60 to the degree of latitude.



ARTICLE 18.



lFurther, attention is called to Articies 100, Section 1, and 205 of the Penal Code; " Indisch Staatsblad," 1905, No. 62; Article 7, Section 4, of the Law respecting the status of Netherlands nationality, and respecting domicile (" Nederlandsch Staatsblad," 1892, No. 268; 1910, No. 216); Article 2, No. °, of the Law respecting the status of Netherlands nationality (" Nederlandsch Staatsblad," 1910, No. 55 " Indisch Staatsblad," 1910 No. 296; Articles 54 and 55 of the Penal Code of Surinam; Articles 54 and 55 of the Penal Code of Curacoa).



Sirnilarly, the attention of commanding officers, owners, and charterers of ships is called to the dangers and inconveniences to which they would expose themselves by disregarding the effective blockade of belligerents, by carrying contraband of war, or military despatches for belligerents (except in the course of the regular postal service), or by rendering them other transport services.



Any person guilty of the acts aforesaid would expose himself to all the consequences of those acts and would not be able, as regards them, to obtain any protection or intervention on the part of the Netherlands Govermnent.





No. 54.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague.
Brussels, August 6, 1914.

(Telegram.)

Please communicate the following note to the Netherlands Government:-

The Belgian Government have taken note of the establishment of war buoying on the Scheldt and of the fact that the Netherlands Government will ensure the maintenance of navigation.

It would be convenient that navigation should be possible from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset, and that the exchange of pilots should take place at Bath.

With every desire to fall in with the requests of the Netherlands Government, the Belgian Government think that it is desirable in the interests of the littoral ports to retain the lightships of Wielingen and of Wandelaar, and also the buoys of the Wielingen Channel.

(See No. 50.)


No. 55.



Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The Hague, August 6, 1914.

(Telegram.)


Navigation on the Scheldt is allowed from daybreak and so long as it is light. The Wielingen buoys will be replaced. The exchange of pilots at Eansweelnt is easier and better organised. Are you particularly anxious to have Bath?


No. 56.


M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague.

Brussels, August 7, 1914.
(Telegram.)


Please express to the Netherlands Government the sincere thanks of the Belgian Government for the measures taken to secure navigation on the Scheldt. The Belgian Government are in agreement with the Netherlands Government on the subject of the extent of navigation. They had proposed Bath, but accept Hansweert, since this port has better facilities for the exchange of pilots.


No. 57.


M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Paris and London.
Brussels, August 7, 1914.
(Telegram.)


Belgium trusts that the war will not be extended to Central Africa. The Governor of the Belgian Congo has received instructions to maintain a strictly defensive attitude. Please ask the French Government [British Government] whether they intend to proclaim the neutrality of the French Congo [British colonies in the conventional basin of the Congo], in accordance with article 11 of the General Act of Berlin. A telegram from Boma reports that hostilities are probable between the French and Germans in the Ubangi.


No. 58.


M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at Paris and London.
Brussels, August 7, 1914.


Sir,
With reference to my telegram of this morning, I have the honour to request you to bring to the notice of the French [British] Government the following information:-

While instructions have been sent to the Governor-General of the Congo to take defensive measures on the common frontiers of the Belgian colony and of the German colonies of East Africa and the Cameroons, the Belgian Government have suggested to that officer that he should abstain from all offensive action against those colonies.

In view of the civilising mission common to colonising nations, the Belgian Government desire, in effect, for humanitarian reasons, not to extend the field of hostilities to Central Africa. They will, therefore, not take the initiative of putting such a strain on civilisation in that region, and the military forces which they possess there will only go into action in the event of their having to repel a direct attack on their African possessions.

I should be glad to lenrn whether the French [British] Government share this view and in that case whether it is their intention, during the present conflict, to avail themselves of article 11 of the General Act of Berlin to neutralise such of their colonies as are contained in the conventional basin of the Congo.

I am addressing an identic[sic] communication to your colleague at London [Paris].


No. 59.



Baron Guillaume, Belgian Minister at Paris, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Paris, August 8, 1914.

Sir,
I have had the honour of speaking to the President of the Republic with respect to your telegram of yesterday. I had received it during the evening and had immediately communicated it to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. They asked for time to consider it before answering.

M. Poincaré has promised me to speak on this subject to-day to the Minister of the Colonies. At first sight he could see little difficulty in proclaiming the neutrality of the French Congo, but he nevertheless reserves his reply. He believes that acts of war have already taken place in the Ubangi. He has taken the opportunity to remind me that tbe protection accorded us by France extends also to our colonies and that we have nothing to fear.


No. 60.



Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister to The Hague, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The Hague, August 9, 1914.
(Telegram.)


The Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs has begged me to convey to you the following information, the United States Minister at Brussels having declined to do so:-

The fortress of Liége has been taken by assault after a brave defence. The German Government most deeply regret that bloody encounters should have resulted from the attitude of the Belgian Government torwards Germany. Germany is not coming as an enemy into Belgium, it is only through the force of circumstances that she has had, owing, to the military measures of France, to take the grave decision of entering Belgium and occupying Liége as a base for her further military operations. Now that the Belgian army has upheld the honour of its arms by its heroic resistance to a very superior force, the German Government beg the King of the Belgians and the Belgian Government to spare Belgium the further horrors of war. The German Government are ready for any compact with Belgium which can be reconciled with their arrangements with France. (See No. 70.} Germany once more gives her solemn assurance that it is not her intention to appropriate Belgian territory to herself and that such an intention is far from her thoughts. Germany is still ready to evacuate Belgium as soon as the state of war will allow her to do so.

The United States Ambassador had asked his colleague to undertake this attempt at mediation. The Minister for Foreign Affairs has accepted this mission without enthusiasm. I have undertaken it to oblige him.


No. 61.


Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at Paris, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Paris, August 9, 1914.
(Telegram.)


The French Government are strongly inclined to proclaim the neutrality of the possessions in the conventional basin of the Congo and are begging Spain to make the suggestion at Berlin.

(See No. 59.)


No. 62.



Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Hague, August 10, 1914.


Sir,

In response to a call on the telephone, yesterday evening at 9 o'clock, I went to the Department for Foreign Affairs.

Jonkheer Loudon told me that my German colleague had just left his room, and had handed him a document which the United States representative at Brussels had declined to forward to you.

The United States official in charge of the German Legation at Brussels stated that he had received no special instructions from Washington to intervene officially with the Belgian Government in the interest of Germany.

The United States Minister consequently telegraphed to his colleague at The Hague, who informed the German representative of Mr. Whitlock's refusal.

The German Government, therefore, took the initial step by approaching the United States Ambassador at Berlin.

In these circumstances, and in view of the urgency of these matters, Herr von Müller begged Jonkeer Loudon to act as the intermediary of the German Government in this negotiation with you.

His Excellency read me the German text of the document. I did not hide my astonishment at this attempt at mediation, and its poor chance of success in this form; but, solely in order to oblige the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs, I promised to telegraph to you immediately; and this I did yesterday.

You will find the German document enclosed in original and translation.

<TBODY> </TBODY>
Enclosure 1 in No. 62.



DIE Festung Lüttich ist nach tapfrer Gegenwehr im Sturm genommen worden. Die Deutsche Regierung bedauert es auf das tiefste, dass es infolge der Stellungnahme der Belgischen Regierung gegen Deutschland zu blutigen Zusammenstössen gekommen ist. Deutschland kommt nicht als Feind nach Belgien. Nur unter dem Zwang der Verhältnisse hat es angesichts der militärischen Massnahmen Frankreichs den schweren Entschluss fassen müssen, in Belgien einzurücken und Lüttich als Stützpunkt für seine weiteren militärischen Operationen besetzen zu müssen. Nachdem die Belgische Armee in heldenmutigem Widerstand gegen die grosse Überlegenheit ihre Waffenehre auf das glänzendste gewahrt hat, bittet die Deutsche Regierung seine Majestät den König und die Belgische Regierung, Belgien die weiteren Schrecken des Krieges zu ersparen. Die Deutsche Regierung ist zu jedem Abkommen mit Belgien bereit, das sich irgendwie mit Rücksicht auf seine (voir pièce No. 70) Auseinandersetzung mit Frankreich vereinigen lässt. Deutschland versichert nochmals feierlichst, dass es nicht von der Absicht geleitet gewesen ist, sich Belgisches Gebiet anzueignen,und dass ihm diese Absicht durchaus fernliegt. Deutschland ist noch immer bereit, das Belgische Königreich unverzüglich zu räumen, sobald die Kriegslage es ihm gestattet. " Der hiesige Amerikanische Botschafter ist mit diesem Vermittlungsversuch seines Brüsseler Kollegen einverstanden."

Enclosure 2 in No. 62.



(Translation.)

THE fortress of Liége has been taken by assault after a brave defence. The German Government most deeply regret that bloody encounters should have resulted from the Belgian Government's attitude towards Germany. Germany is not coming as an enemy into Belgium. It is only through the force of circumstances that she has had, owing to the military measures of France, to take the grave decision of entering Belgium and occupying Liége as a base for her further military operations. Now that the Belgian army has upheld the honour of its arms in the most brilliant manner by its heroic resistance to a very superior force, the German Government beg the King of the Belgians and the Belgian Government to spare Belgium the horrors of war. The German Government are ready for any compact with Belgium which can in any way be reconciled with their arrangements with France. (See No. 70.) Germany gives once more her solemn assurance that she has not been animated by the intention of appropriating Belgian territory for herself, and that such an intention is far from her thoughts. Germany is still ready to evacuate Belgium as soon as the state of war will allow her to do so.

The United States Ambassador here concurs in this attempt at mediation by his colleague in Brussels.


No. 63.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague.

Brussels, August 10, 1914.
(Telegram.)


The Belgian Government have received the proposals made to them by the German Government through the intermediary of the Netherlands Government. They will forward a reply shortly.

(See No. 62 and Enclosures.)


No. 64.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague.
Brussels, August 10, 1914.
(Telegram.)


Doubt exists as to the meaning of the word "Auseinandersetzung," which you translate by "arrangement." Please ascertain whether the German Government have in mind any arrangements which we may have come to with France, or a settlement of the dispute between France and Germany.


No. 65.


M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the British, Russian, and French Ministers at Brussels.
Brussels, August 10, 1914.


Sir,
I have the honour to inform your Excellency that the Belgian Minister at The Hague, at the request of the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs, has forwarded to us the following proposal from the German Government. (See No. 62, enclosure 2.)

The Belgian Government propose to return the following reply to this communication:-



"La proposition que nous fait le Gouvernement allemand reproduit la proposition qui avait été formulée dans l'ultimatum du 2 août. Fidèle à ses devoirs internationaux, la Belgique ne peut que réitérer sa réponse à cet ultimatum, d'autant plus que depuis le 3 août sa neutralité a été violée, qu une guerre douloureuse a été portée sur son territoire, et qxle les garants de sa neutralité ont loyalement et immédiatement répondu à son appel."

(Translation.)



"The proposal made to us by the German Government repeats the proposal formulated in their ultimatum of August 2. Faithful to her international obligations, Belgium can only reiterate her reply to that ultimatum, the more so as since August 3 her neutrality has been violated, a distressing war has been waged on her territory, and the guarantors of her neutrality have responded loyally and without delay to her appeal."



The Belgian Government consider that the Powers guaranteeing the neutrality of Belgium should have cognizance of these documents.


No. 66.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Belgian Ministers at London, Paris, and St. Petersburg.
Brussels, August 10, 1914.



Sir,

I have the honour to inform you of the circumstances which led to the departure of the Belgian representative from Luxemburg.
No. 67.



Mr Whitlock, United States Minister at Brussels, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, August l l, 1914


Sir,
The United States Legation received a telegram to-day from Washington, conveying the information that the United States Government had, at the request of the German Government, consented, as a matter of international courtesy, to undertake the protection of German subjects in Belgium.

In accordance with the instructions contained in this telegram, we will, therefore, if you see no objection, undertake to use our good and friendly offices with the Belgian Government for the protection of German subjects. The pleasant relations which we have had with you in this matter up to the present convince me that we may continue them with the same object on the same pleasant footing.


No. 68.



Sir Francis Villiers, British Minister at Brussels, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, August 11, 1914.


Sir,
I have telegraphed to Sir E. Grey the German communication and the proposed reply.

I have received instructions to express to your Excellency the entire concurrence of His Britannic Majesty's Government. The latter can only declare their approval of the terms of the reply which the Belgian Government propose to give to this attempt to sow discord between the Powers at present united for the defence of the treaties violated by Germany.

(See No. 60 )


No. 69.



M. Klobukowski, French Minister at Brussels, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, August 11, 1914.


Sir,
I have the honour to inform your Excellency that the French Government give their entire concurrence to the reply which the Belgian Government propose to return to the new German ultimatum.

That reply is one which was to be expected from a Government and a people who have so heroically resisted the hateful violation of their territory.

France will continue to fulfil her duties as a guaranteeing Power of Belgian neutrality and as a faithful friend of Belgium.

(See No. 65.)


No. 70.



Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The Hague, August 12, 1914.
(Telegram.)


THE German text contained a mistake: instead of seine Auseinandersetzung it should read "ihre," and thus be translated "their conflict with France."

(See No. 64.)


No. 71.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague.
Brussels, August 12,1914.
(Telegram.)


Please communicate the following telegram to the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs:-

"The proposal made. to us by the German Government repeats the proposal which was formulated in the ultimatum of August 2nd. Faithful to her international obligations, Belgium can only reiterate her reply to that ultimatum, the more so as since August 3rd, her neutrality has been violated, a distressing war has been waged on her territority, and the guarantors of her neutrality have responded loyally and without delay to her appeal.


No. 72.



M. Sazonof, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
St. Petersburg, August 13, 1914.
(Telegram.)


Please thank the Belgian Government for their communication, and express to them the pleasure which the Russian Government feel at the firm and dignified attitude, upon which they are heartily to be congratulated.

(See No. 65.)


No. 73.



Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs,
The Hague, August 13, 1914


Sir,
I had the honour to receive your telegram of yesterday, and I at once communicated to the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Belgian reply to the second German proposal.

His Excellency undertook to forward the Belgian communication to the German Minister forthwith.

(See No. 71.)


No. 74



Baron Guillaume, Belgian Minister at Paris, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Paris, August 16, 1914.


Sir,
In the course of a conversation which I had this morning with M. de Margerie, I turned the conversation to colonial affairs and to the action which you had instructed me to take in your telegram and your despatch of the 7th instant.

M. de Margerie reminded me that the French Government had approached Spain, but the latter had not answered before knowing the views of Great Britain. It seems that the latter has still given no answer.

M. de Margerie considered that in view of the present situation Germany should be attacked wherever possible; he believes that such is also the opinion of Great Britain, who certainly has claims to satisfy; France wishes to get back that part of the Congo which she had been compelled to give up in consequence of the Agadir incident.

M. de Margerie added that a success would not be difficult to obtain.

(See Nos. 57 and 58.)


No. 75.



Count de Lalaing, Belgian Minister at London, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 17, 1914.


Sir,
In reply to your despatch of August 7th, I have the honour to inform you that the British Government cannot agree to the Belgian proposal to respect the neutrality of the belligerent. powers in the conventional basin of the Congo.

German troops from German East Africa have already taken the offensive against the British Central African Protectorate. Futhermore, British troops have already attacked the German port of Dar-es-Salaam, where they have destroyed the wireless telegraphy station.

In these circumstances, the British Government, even if they were convinced from the political anzl strategical point of view of the utility of the Belgian proposal, would be unable to adopt it.

The British Government believe that the forces they are sending to Africa will be sufficient to overcome all opposition. They will take every step in their power to prevent any risings of the native population.

France is of the same opinion as Great Britain on account of German activity which has been noticed near Bonar and Ekododo.

(See Nos. 67 and 58.)


No. 76.



M. Tombeur, Belgian Vice-Governor of the Katanga, to M. Renkin, Belgian Minister for the Colonies.
Elizabethville, August 26, 1914.
(Telegram.)


The Germans are continuing their skirmishes on Tanganyika and attacked the port of Lukuga, on August 22nd. Two of their natives were killed and two wounded. Fresh attacks are expected.


No. 77



Count Clary and Aldringen, Austro-Hungarian Minister at The Hague, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs
(Forwarded through the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs.)
The Hague, August 28, 1914.
(Telegram.)


On the instructions of my Government, I have the honour to inform your Excellency as follows:-

"Vu que la Belgique, après avoir refusé d'aecepter

les propositions qui lui avaient été adressées à plusieurs reprises par l'Allemagne, prête sa coopération militaire à la France et à la Grande-Bretagne qui, toutes deux ont déclaré la guerre à l'Autriche-Hongrie, et en presence du fait que, comme il vient d'être constaté, les ressortissants autrichiens et hongrois se trouvant en Belgique ont, sous les yeux des autorités Royales, dû subir traitement contraire aus exigences les plus primitilres de l'humanité et inadmissibles meme vis-à-vis des sujets d'un État ennemi, l'Autriche-Hongrie voit dans la nécessité de rompre les relations diplomatiques et se considère dès ce moment en état de guerre avec la Belgique. Je quitte le pays avec le personnel de la légation et confie la protection de mes administrés au Ministre des Etats-Unis d'Amérique en Belgique. De la part du Gouvernement Impérial et Royal les passeports sont remis au Comte Errembault de Dudzeele."

(Signé) CLARY.

"Whereas Belgium, having refused to accept the proposals

made to her on several occasions by Germany, is affording her military assistance to France and Great Britain, both of which Powers have declared war upon Austria-Hungary, and whereas as has just been proved, Austrian and Hungarian nationals in Belgium have had to submit, under the very eyes of the Belgian authorities, to treatment contrary to the most primitive demands of humanity and inadmissible even towards subjects of an enemy State, therefore Austria finds herself obliged to break off diplomatic relations and considers herself from this moment in a state of war with Belgium. I am leaving the country with the staff of the legation and I am entrusting the protection of Austrian interests to the United States Minister in Belgium. The Austro-Hungarian Government are forwarding his passports to Count Errembault de Dudzeele."


No. 78.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Baron Fallon, Belgian Minister at The Hague.
Antwerp, August 29,1914.
(Telegram.)


Please inform the Austrian Legation through the Minister for Foreign Affairs that I have received Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Belgium, and add the following:



"La Belgique a toujours entretenu des relations d'amitié avec tous ses voisins sans distinction. Elle a scrupuleusement rempli les devoirs que la neutralité lui impose. Si elle n'a pas cru pouvoir accepter les propositions de 1' Allemagne, c'est que celles-ci avaient pour objet la violation des engagements qu'elle a pris à la face de l'Europe, engagements qui ont été les conditions de la création du Royaume de Belgique. Elle n'a pas cru qu'un peuple, quelque faible qu'il soit, puisse méconnaître ses devoirset sacrifier son honneur en s'inclinant devant la force. Le Gouvernement a attendu, non seulement les délais de l'ultimatum, mais la violation de son territoire par les troupes allemandes avant de faire appel à la France et à l'Angleterre, garantes de sa neutralité au mêrne titre que l'Allemagne et l'Autriche-Hongrie, pour coopérer au nom et en vertu des traités à la défense du territoire belge.

En repoussant par les armes les envahisseurs, elle n'a meme pas accompli un acte d'hostilité aux termes de l'article 10 de la Convention de La Haye sur les droits et devoirs des Puissances neutres.

L'Allemagne a reconnu ellemême que son agression constitue une violation du droit des gens et ne pouvant la justifier elle a invoque' son intérêt stratégique.

La Belgique oppose un déementi formel à l'affirmation que les ressortissants autrichiens et hongrois auraient subi en Belgique un traitement contraire aux exigences les plus primitives de l'humanité.

Le Gouvernement Royal a donné, dès le début des hostilités, les ordres les plus stricts quant à la sauvegarde des personnes et des propriétés austro-hongroises.



(Signé) DAVIGNON.

"Belgium has always entertained friendly relations with

all her neighbours without distinction. She had scrupulously fulfilled the duties imposed upon her by her neutrality. If she has not been able to accept Germany's proposals, it is because those proposals contemplated the violation of her engagements toward Europe, engagements which form the conditions of the creation of the Belgian Kingdom. She has been unable to admit that a people, however weak they may be, can fail in their duty and sacrifice their honour by yielding to force. The Government have waited, not only until the ultimatum had expired, but also until Belgian territory had been violated by Gerrnan troops, before appealing to France and Great Britain, guarantors of her neutrality, under the same terms as are Germany and Austria-Hungary, to cooperate in the name and in virtue of the treaties in defence of Belgian territory. By repelling the invaders by force of arms, she has not even committed an hostile act as laid down by the provisions of article 10 of The Hague Convention respecting the rights and duties of neutral Powers.

" Germany herself has recognised that her attack constitutes a violation of international law, and, being unable to justify it, she has pleaded her strategical interests.

" Belgium formally denies the allegation that Austrian and Hungarian nationals have suffered treatment in Belgium contrary to the most primitive demands of humanity.

" The Belgian Governrnent, from the very commencement of hostilities, have issued the strictest orders for theprotection of Austro-Hungarian persons and property."


No. 79.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Belgian Ministers abroad.
Antwerp August 29, 1914.


Sir,
Under date of the 17th August, I addressed a despatch to the Belgian Minister at London, in which I felt bound to call attention to certain allegations made by the German Government which are mentioned in the Blue Book recently published by the British Government.

I have the honour to enclose for your information a copy of the despatch in question and of its enclosures.

I request that you will bring its contents to the notice of the Government to which you are accredited.

Enclosure 1 in No. 79.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs., to Count de Lalaing, Belgian Minister at London.
Brussels, August 17, 1914.


Sir,
The Blue Book recently published by the British Government contains (see No. 192, p. 92) the text of a telegram despatched from Berlin on the 31st July by Sir E. Goschen to Sir E. Grey, in which the following passage occurs:-

" It appears from what he [his Excellency the Secretary of State] said, that the German Government consider that certain hostile acts have already been committed by Belgium. As an instance of this, he alleged that a consignment of corn for Germany had been placed under an embargo already."

The incident to which the German Secretary of State alluded in his conversation with Sir E. Goschen, and which he considered as an hostile act on the part of Belgium, doubtless refers to the application of the Royal decree of the 30th July, which provisionally prohibited the export from Belgium of certain products. As you will see from the explanation in the following paragraph, the incident with which we are reproached has in no wise the eharacter which Germany has wished to attribute to it.

The Royal decrees dated the 30th July and published in the Moniteur belge the following day forbade, provisionally, the export, both by land and by sea, of a series of products, more especially of cereals. On the 31st July the German Minister at Brussels called my attention to the fact that the Antwerp customs were detaining cargoes of grain addressed to Germany, which, as they were merely transshipped in our port, were in reality only in transit. Herr von Below Saleske requested that the vessels carrying these cargoes should be allowed to depart freely. The very day on which the German Minister's request was received the Foreign Office brought the matter to the notice of the Ministry of Finance, and the following day, the 2nd August, that Department informed us that instructions had been forwarded to the Belgian Customs giving full and entire satisfaction to Germany.

I cannot do better than enclose, for your information, copies of the correspondence exchanged on this subject with Herr Below Saleske. You will observe that nothing in our attitude can be taken as showing any hostile dispositions towards Germany; the steps taken by the Belgian Government at that time were nothing more than those simple precautions which it is the right and duty of every State to adopt in such exceptional circumstances.

It would be as well that you should address a communication to the British Government in order to explain the real facts of the case.

Enclosure 2 in No. 79.



Herr von Below Saleske, German Minister at Brussels, to M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, July 31, 1914.


Sir,

I am informed from Antwerp that the Customs have forbidden the despatch of vessels containing cargoes of grain for Germany.

In view of the fact that it is not in this case a question of the export of grain, but of grain in transit, the goods in question having been merely transhipped at Antwerp, I have the honour to ask your good offices in order that the vessels in question may be allowed to leave for Germany.

At the same time I beg your Excellency to inform me if the port of Antwerp is closed for the transit of those goods specified in the Moniteur of to-day.

Awaiting your Excellency's reply at your earliest possible convenience, I have, &c.


Enclosure 3 in No. 79.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Herr von Below Saleske, German Minister at Brussels.
Brussels, August 1, 1914.


Sir,
Is reply to your Excellency's note of the 31st July, I have the honour to inform you that the Belgian decree of the 30th July concerns only the export and not the transit of the products mentioned.

I at once communicated your note to the Minister of Finance and begged him to issue precise instructions to the Customs officials in order that any error in the application of the abovementioned decree might be avoided.

Enclosure 4 in No. 79.



M. Davignon, Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Herr von Below Saleske, German Minister at Brussels.
Brussels, August 3, 1914.


Sir,
With reference to the note which your Rxcellency was good enough to address to me on the 31st July, I have the honour to inform you that the Minister of Finance has instructed the Customs that the prohibitions established by the Royal decrees of the 30th July last, only apply to actual exports, and do not, therefore, extend to goods regularly declared in transit at the time of import. Moreover, when duty-free goods are declared to be for actual consumption, although they are really intended for export, they are commonly the object of special declarations of free entry which are considered as transit docurnents. In short, if it should happen that such goods had been declared as for consumption without restriction, as though they were to remain in the country, the Customs would still allow them to leave the country as soon as it had been duly established by despatch receipts, bills of lading, &c., that they were to be exported forthwith in transit

I would add that the export of grain with which your note deals was authorised on the 1st August.


APPENDIX.



DOCUMENTS REGARDING THE RELATIONS BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND BELGIUM PREVIOUSLY TO THE OUTBREAK OF WAR.



No. 1.



Sir Edward Grey, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, to Sir F. Villiers, British Minister at Brussels.*


Foreign Office, April 7, 1913.


Sir,
In speaking to the Belgian Minister to-day I said, speaking unofficially, that it had been brought to my knowledge that there was apprehension in Belgium lest we should be the first to violate Belgian neutrality. I did not think that this apprehension could have come from a British source.

The Belgian Minister informed me that there had been talk, in a British source which he could not name, of the landing of troops in, Belgium by Great Britain, in order to anticipate a possible despatch of German troops through Belgium to France.

I said that I was sure that this Government would not be the first to violate the neutrality of Belgium, and I did not believe that any British Government would be the first to do so, nor would public opinion here ever approve of it. What we had to consider, and it was a somewhat embarrassing question, was what it would be desirable and necessary for us, as one of the guarantors of Belgian neutrality, to do if Belgian neutrality was violated by any Power. For us to be the first to violate it and to send troops into Belgium would be to give Germany, for instance, justification for sending troops into Belgium also. What we desired in the case of Belgium, as in that of other neutral countries, was that their neutralitv should be respected, and as long as it was not violated by any other Power we should certainly not send troops ourselves into their territory.

I am, &c.,
E. GREY.


No. 2.



Extract from a Despatch from Baron Greindl, Belgian Minister at Berlin, to the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, dated December 23, 1911.

(From the "Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung," October 13, 1914.)


"Von der französischen Seite her droht die Gefahr

nicht nur im Süden von Luxemburg. Sie bedroht uns auf unserer ganzen gemeinsamen Grenze. Für diese Behauptung sind wir nicht nur auf Mutmassungen angewiesen. Wir haben dafür positive Anhaltspunkte.

" Der Gedanke einer Umfassungsbewegung von Norden her gehört zweifellos zu den Kombinationen der Entente cordiale. Wenn das nicht der Fall wäre, so hätte der Plan, Vlissingen zu befestigen, nicht ein solches Geschrei in Paris und London hervorgerufen. Man hat dort den Grund gar nicht verheimlicht, aus dem man wünschte, dass die Schelde ohne Verteidigung bliebe. Man verfolgte dabei den Zweck, unbehindert eine englische Garnison nach Antwerpen überführen zu können, also den Zweck, sich bei uns eine Operationsbasis für eine Offensive in der Richtung auf den Niederrhein und Westfalen zu schaffen und uns dann mit fortzureissen, was nicht schwer gewesen wäre. Denn nach Preisgabe unseres nationalen Zufluchtsortes hätten wir durch unsere eigene Schuld uns jeder Möglichkeit begeben, den Forderungen unserer zweifelhaften Beschützer Widerstand zu leisten, nachdem wir so unklug gewesen wären, sie dort zuzulassen. Die ebenso perfiden wie naiven Eröffnungen des Obersten Barnardiston zur Zeit des Abschlusses der Entente cordiale haben uns deutlich gezeigt, um was es sich handelte. Als es sich herausstellte, dass wir uns durch die angeblich drohende Gefahr einer Schliessung der Schelde nicht einschüchtern liessen, wurde der Plan zwar nicht aufgegeben, aber dahin abgeändert, dass die englische Hilfsarmee nicht an der belgischen Küste, sondern in den nächstliegenden französischen Häfen gelandet werden sollte. Hierfür zeugen auch die Enthüllungen des Kapitäns Faber, die ebensowenig dementiert worden sind, wie die Nachrichten der Zeitungen, durch die sie bestätigt oder in einzelnen Punkten ergänzt worden sind. Diese in Calais und Dünkirchen gelandete englische Armee würde nicht an unserer Grenze entlang nach Longwy marschieren, um Deutschland zu erreichen. Sie würde sofort bei uns von Nordwesten her eindringen. Das würde ihr den Vorteil verschaffen, sofort in Aktion treten zu können, die belgische Armee in einer Gegend zu treffen, in der wir uns auf keine Festung stützen können, falls wir eine Schlacht riskieren wollen. Es würde ihr ermöglichen, an Ressourcen aller Art reiche Provinzen zu besetzen, auf alle Fälle aber unsere Mobilmachung zu behindern oder sie nur zuzulassen, nachdem wir uns formell verpflichtet hätten, die Mobilmachung nur zum Vorteil Englands und seines Bundesgenossen durchzuführen.

" Es ist dringend geboten, im voraus einen Schlachtplan für die belgische Armee auch für diese Eventualität aufzustellen. Das gebietet sowohl das Interesse an unserer militärischen Verteidigung als auch die Führung unserer auswärtigen Politik im Falle eines Krieges zwischen Deutschland und Frankreich."

Translation.



" From the French side the danger threatens not only in the south from Luxemburg ; it threatens us along our whole common frontier. For this assertion we are not dependent only on surmises. We have positive facts to go upon.

"The combinations of the Entente cordiale include, without doubt, the thought of an enveloping movement from the north. If that were not the case, the plan of fortifying Flushing would not have evoked such an outcry in Paris and London. No secret was made there about the reasons why it was wished that the Scheldt should remain unfortified. The object was to be able to ship a British garrison without hindrance to Antwerp, and to obtain in our country a base of operations for an offensive in the direction of the Lower Rhine and Westphalia, and then to carry us along with them, which would not have been difficult. For after giving up our national place of refuge, we should by our own fault have deprived ourselves of any possibility of resisting the demands of our doubtful protectors after being so foolish as to admit them to it. The equally perfidious and naïf revelations of Colonel Barnardiston at the time of the conclusion of the Entente cordiale showed us clearly what was intended. When it became evident that we were not to be intimidated by the alleged threatening danger of the closing of the Scheldt, the plan was not indeed abandoned, but altered in so far as the British auxliary force was not to be landed on the Belgian coast, but in the nearest French harbours. The revelations of Captain Faber, which have been no more denied than the information of the newspapers by which they were confirmed or elaborated in certain particulars, are evidence of this. This British army, landed at Calais and Dunkirk, would not march along our frontier to Longwy in order to reach Germany. It would immediately invade us from the north-west. This would gain for it the advantage of going into action at once, of meeting the Belgian army in a region where we cannot obtain support from any fortress, in the event of our wishing to risk a battle. It would make it possible for it to occupy provinces rich in every kind of resource, but in any case to hinder our mobilisation or to allow it only when we had formally pledged ourselves to complete mobilisation solely for the benefit of Great Britain and her allies.



"I would strongly urge that a plan of action should be drawn up for this eventuality also. This is demanded as much by the requirements of our military defence as by the conduct of our foreign policy in the case of a war between Germany and France.



No. 3.



Circular Telegram addressed to His Britannic Majesty's Representatives Abroad.*
(Telegraphic.) Foreign Office, October 14, 1914.


The story of an alleged Anglo-Belgian agreement of 1906 published in the German press, and based on documents said to have been found at Brussels, is only a story which has been reproduced in various forms and denied on several occasions. No such agreement has ever existed.

As the Germans well know, General Grierson is dead, and Colonel (now General) Barnardiston is commanding the British forces before Tsing-tao. In 1906 General Grierson was on the General Staff at the War Office and Colonel Barnardiston was military attaché at Brussels. In view of the solemn guarantee given by Great Britain to protect the neutrality of Belgium against violation from any side, some academic discussions may, through the instrumentality of Colonel Barnardiston, have taken place between General Grierson and the Belgian military authorities as to what assistance the British army might be able to afford to Belgium should one of her neighbours violate that neutrality. Some notes with reference to the subject may exist in the archives at Brussels.

It should be noted that the date mentioned, namely, 1906, was the year following that in which Germany had, as in 1911, adopted a threatening attitude towards France with regard to Morocco, and, in view of the apprehensions existing of an attack on France through Belgium, it was natural that possible eventualities should be discussed.

The impossibility of Belgium having been a party to any agreement of the nature indicated, or to any design for the violation of Belgian neutrality, is clearly shown by the reiterated declarations that she has made for many years past that she would resist to the utmost any violation of her neutrality from whatever quarter and in whatever form such violation might come.

It is worthy of attention that these charges of aggressive designs on the part of other Powers are made by Germany, who, since 1906, has established an elaborate network of strategic railways leading from the Rhine to the Belgian frontler through a barren thinly-populated tract, deliberately constructed to permit of the sudden attack upon Belgium which was carried out two months ago.


No. 4.



Docurments as published in facsimile in a special Supplement to the "Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung" of November 25, 1914.

(1.)
Lettre à M. le Ministre de la Guerre au sujet des

Entretiens confidentiels.



(Confidentielle.) Bruxelles,
le 10 avril, 1906. M. le Ministre,

J'ai l'honneur de vous rendre compte sommairement des entretiens que j'ai eus avec le Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston et qui ont fait l'objet de mes communications verbales.

La première visite date de la mi-janvier. 31. Barnardiston me fit part des préoccupations de l'état-major de son pays relativement à la situation politique généra]e et aux éventualités de guerre du moment. Un envoi de troupes, d'un total de 100,000 hommes environ, était projeté pour le cas où la Belgique serait attaquée.

Le lieutenant-colonel m'ayant demandé comment cette action serait interprétée par nous, je lui répondis que, au point de vue militaire, elle ne pourrait qu'être favorable; mais que cette question d'intervention relevait également du pouvoir politique et que, dès lors, j'étais tenu d'en entretenir le Ministre de la Guerre.

M. Barnardiston me répondit que son Ministre à Bruxelles en parlerait à notre Ministre des Aflaires Etrangères.

Il continua dans ce sens: le débarquement des troupes anglaises se ferait sur la côte de France, vers Dunkerque et Calais, de fa,con à hâter le plus possible le mouvement.

[ * The following marginal note occurs in the facsimile:-

"L'entrée des Anglais en Belgique ne se ferait qu'après la violation de notre neutralité par l'Allemagne."]

Le débarquement par Anvers demanderait beaucoup plus de temps, parce qu'il faudrait des transports plus considérables et d'autre part la sécurité serait moins complète.

(Ceci admis, il resterait à régler divers autres points, savoir: les transports par chemin de fer, la question des réquisitions auxquelles l'armée anglaise pourrait avoir recours, la question du comma:ndement supérieur des forces alliées.

II s'informa si nos dispositions étaient suffisantes pour assurer la défense du pays durant la traversée et les transports des troupes anglaises, temps qu'il évaluait à une dizaine de jours.

Je répondis que les places de Namur et de Liège étaient à l'abri d'un coup de main et que, en quatre jours, notre armée de campagne, forte de 100,000 hommes, serait en état d'intervenir. Après avoir exprimé toute sa satisfaction au sujet de mes déelarations, mon interlocuteur insista sur le fait que: (1) notre conversation était absolument confidentielle; (2) elle ne pouvait lier son Gouvernement; (3) son Ministre, l'état-major général anglais, lui et moi étions seuls, en ce moment, dans la confidence; (4) il ignorait si son Souverain avait été pressenti.

Dans un entretien subséquent, le Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston m'assura qu'il n'avait jamais recu de confidences d'autres attaehés militaires au sujet de notre armee. Il précisa ensuite les données numériques concernant les forces anglaises; nous pouvions compter que, en douze ou treize Jours, seraient débarqués: deux corps d'armée, quatre brigades de cavalerie, et deux brigades d'infanterie montée.

Il me demanda d'examiner la question du transport de ces forces vers la partie du pays où elles seraient utiles et, dans ee but, il me promit la composition détaillée de l'armée de débarquement.

Il revint sur la question des efiectifs de notre armée de campagne en insistant pour qu'on ne fit pas de détachements de cette armée à Namur et à Liège, puisque ces places étaient pourvues de garnisons suffisantes.

Il me demanda de fixer mon attention sur la nécessité de permettre à l'armée anglaise de bénéficier des avantages prévus par le rèwlement sur les prestations militaires. Enfin, il insista sur la question du commandement suprême.

Je lui répondis que je ne pouvais rien dire quant à ce dernier point, et je lui promis un examen attentif des autres questions.

Plus tard, l'attaché militaire anglais confirma son estimation précédente: douze jours seraient au moins indispensables pour faire le débarquement sur la côte de France. Il faudrait beaucoup plus (un à deux mois et demi) pour débarquer 100,000 troupes à Anvers.

Sur mon objection qu'il était inutile d'attendre l'achèvement du débarquement pour commencer les transports par chemin de fer, et qu'il valait mieux les faire au fur et à mesure des arrivages, à la côte, le Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston me promit des données exactes sur l'état journalier du débarquement.

Quant auxprestationsmilitaires, je fis part à mon interlocuteur que cette question serait faeilement réglée.

A mesure que les études de l'état-major anglais avan,caient, les données du problème se précisaient. Le colonel m'assura que la moitié de l'armée anglaise pourrait être débarquée en huit jours, et que le restant le serait à la fin du douzième ou treizième jour, sauf l'infanterie montée, sur laquelle il ne fallait compter que plus tard.

Néanmoins, je crus devoir insister à nouveau sur la nécessité de connaitre le rendement journaliew, de facon à régler les transports par chemin de fer de chaque jour.

L'attaché anglais m'entretint ensuite de diverses autres questions, savoir: (1) nécessité de tenir le secret des opérations et d'obtenir de la presse qu'elle l'observât soigneusement; (2) avantages qu'il y aurait à adjoindre un oflicier belge à chaque état-major anglais, un traducteur à chaque commandant de troupes, des gendarmes à chaque unité pour aider les troupes de police anglaises.

Dans une autre entrevue, le Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston et moi examinâmes les opérations combinées dans le cas d'une agression de la part de l'Allemagne ayant comme objectif Anvers et dans l'hypothèse d'une traversée de notre pays pour atteindre les Ardennes francaises.

Par la suite, le colonel me marqua son accord sur le plan que je lui avais présenté et m'assura de l'assentiment du Général Grierxon, chef de l'état-major anglais.

D'autres questions secondaires furent également réglées, notamment en ce qui regarde les officiers intermédiaires, les traducteurs, les gendarmes, les cartes, les albums des uniformes, les tirés à part traduits en anglais de certains règlements belges, le règlement des frais de douane polur les approvisionnements anglais, l'hospitalisation des blessés de l'armée alliée, &c. Rien ne fut arrêté quant à l'action que pourrait exercer sur la presse le Gouvernement ou l'autorité militaire.

Dans les dernières rencontres que j'ai eues avec l'attaché anglais, il me communiqua le rendement jonrnalier des débarquements à Boulogne, Calais et Cherbourg. L'éloignement de ce dernier point, imposé par des considérations d'ordre technique, occasionne un certain retard. Le premier corps serait débarqué le disième jour, et le second corps le quinzième jour. Notre matériel des chemins de fer exécuterait les transports, de sorte que l'arrivée, soit vers Bruxelles-Louvain, soit vers Namur-Dinant, du premier corps serait achevée le onzième jour, et celle du deuxième corps, le seizième jour.

J'ai insisté une dernière fois et aussi énergiquement que je le pousrais, sur la nécessité de hâter encore les transports maritimes de fac,on que les troupes anglaises fussent près de nous entre le onzième et le douzième jour; les résultats les plus heureux, les plus favorables peuvent être obtenus par une action convergente et simultanée des forces alliées. Au contraire, ce sera un échec grave si cet accord ne se produit pas. Le Colonel Barnardiston m'a assure que tout sera fait dans ce but.

Au cours de nos entretiens, j'eus l'occasion de convaincre rattaché militaire anglais de la volonté que nous avions d'entraver, dans la limite du possible, les mouvements de l'ennemi et de ne pas nous réfugier, dès le début, dans Anvers. De son côté, le Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston me fit part de son peu de confiance actuellement dans l'appui ou l'intervention de la Hollande. Il me confia également que son {gouvernement projetait de transporter la base d'approvisionnements anglaise de la côté francaise à Anvers, dès que la mer du nord serait nettoyée de tous les navires de guerre allemands.



Dans tous nos entretiens le colonel me communiqua régulièrement les renseignements confidentiels qu'il possédait sur l'état militaire et la situation de notre voisin de l'est, &c. En même terllps, il insista sur la nécessité impérieuse pour la Belgique de se tenir au courant de ce qui se passait dans les pavs rhénans qui nous avoisinent. Je dus lui confesser que, chez nous, le service de surveillance au delà de la frontière, au temps de paix, ne relève pas directement de notre état-major; nous n'avons pas d'attachés militaires auprès de nos légations. Je me gardai bien, cependant, de lui avouer que que j'igmorais si le servlce d'espionage, qui est prescrit par nos règlements, était ou non prepare. Mais il est de mon devoir de signaler ici cette situation qui nous met en état d'infériorité flagrante vis-à- vis de nos voisins, nos ennemis éventuels.

Le Général-Major, Chef d'É.-M.

(Translation.)



Letter [from the Chief of the Belgian General Staff] to the [Belgian] Minister of War respecting the confidential Interviews.
(Confidential.)
Brussels, April 10, 1906.

Sir,

I have the honour to furnish herewith a summary of the conversations which I have had with Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston, which I have already reported to you verbally.

His first visit was in the middle of January. Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston told me of the preoccupation of the British General Staff concerning the general political situation and the existing possibilities of war. Should Belgium be attacked, it was proposed to send about l00.000 men.

The lieutenant-colonel having asked me how we should interpret such a step, I answered that, from the military point of view, it could only be advantageous; but that this question of intervention had also a political side, and that I must accordingly consult the Minister of War.

Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston replied that his Minister at Brussels would speak about it to our Minister for Foreign Affairs.

He continued as follows: The disembarkation of the British troops would take place on the French coast, in the neighbourhood of Dunkirk and Calais, in such a manner that the operation might be carried out in the quickest possible way.

[* The following marginal note occurs in the facsimile:-

" The entry of the English into Belgium would only take place after the violation of our neutrality by Germany."]

Landing at Antwerp would take much longer, as larger transports would be required, and, moreover, the risk would be greater.

This being so, several other points remained to be decided viz., transport by rail, the question of requisitions to which the British Army might have recourses the question of the chief command of the allied forces.

He enquired whether our arrangements were adequate to, secure the defence of the country during the crossing and transport of the British troops-a period which he estimated at about ten days.

I answered that the fortresses of Namur and Liège were safe against a surprise attack, and that in four days our field army of 100,000 men would be ready to take the field. After having expressed his entire satisfaction at what I had said, my visitor emphasised the following points: ( 1) Our conversation was absolutely confidential; (2) it was in no way binding on his Government; (3) his Minister, the British General Staff, he, and myself were the only persons then aware of the matter; (4) he did not know whether his Sovereign had been consulted.

At a subsequent meeting Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston assured me that he had never received any confidential information from other military attachés about our army. He then gave me a detailed statement of the strength of the British forces: we might rely on it that, in twelve or thirteen days, two army corps, four cavalry brigades, and two brigades of mounted infantry would be landed.

He asked me to study the question of the transport of these forces to that part of the country where they would be most useful, and with this object in view he promised me a detailed statement of the composition of the landing force.

He reverted to the question of the effective strength of our field army, and considered it important that no detachments from that army should be sent to Namur and Liège, as those fortresses were provided with adequate garrisons.

He drew my attention to the necessity of letting the British Army take full advantage of the facilities afforded under our regulations respecting military requirements. Finally, he laid stress on the question of the chief command.

I replied that I could say nothing on the latter point, and I promised that I would study the other questions with care.

Later, the British military attaché confirmed his previous estimate: twelve days at least were indispensable to carry out; the landing on the coast of France. It would take much longer (from one to two and a half months) to land 100,000 men at Antwerp.

On my objecting that it would be useless to wait till the disembarkation was finished, before beginning the transport by rail, and that it would be better to send on the troops by degrees as they arrived on the coast, Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston promised me precise details of the disembarcation table.

With regard to the question of military requirements, I informect my visitor that that question would easily be arranged.

As the plans of the British General Staff advanced, the details of the problem were worked out with greater precision. The colonel assured me that half the British Army could be landed in eight days, and the remainder at the end of the twelfth or thirteenth day, except the mounted infantry, on which we could not count till later.

Nevertheless, I felt bound once more to urge the necessity of knowing the numbers to be landed daily, so as to work out the railway arrangements for each day.

The British attaché then spoke to me of various other questions, viz.: (1) The necessity of maintaining secrecy about the operations, and of ensuring that the Press should observe this carefully; (2) the advantages there would be in attaching a Belgian officer to each British staff, an interpreter to each commanding officer, and gendarmes to each unit to help the British military police

At another interview Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston and I examined the question of combined operations in the event of a German attack directed against Antwerp, and on the hypothesis of our country being crossed in order to reach the French Ardennes.

Later on, the colonel signified his concurrence in the scheme I had laid before him, and assured me of the assent of General Grierson, Chief of the British General Staff.

Other questions of secondary importance were likewise disposed of, particularly those respecting intermediary officers, interpreters, gendarmes, maps, illustrations of uniforms, English translations of extracts from certain Belgian regulations, the regulation of customs dues chargeable on the British supplies, hospital accommodation for the wounded of the allied army, &c. Nothing was settled as to the possible control of the Press by the government or the military authorities.

In the course of the last meetings which l had with the British attaché he communicated to me the daily disembarkation table of the troops to be landed at Boulogne, Calais and Cherbourg. The distance of the latter place, included owing to certain technical considerations, would cause a certain delay. The first corps would be landed on the tenth day, the second corps on the fifteenth day. Our railways would carry out the transport operations in such a way that the arrival of the first corps, either towards Brussels-Louvain or towards Namur-Dinant, would be completed on the eleventh day and that of the second corps on the sixteenth day.

I finally urged once again, as forcibly as was within my power, the necessity of accelerating the transport by sea in order that the British troops might be with us between the eleventh and the twelfth day; the very best and most favourable results would accrue from the concerted and simultaneous action by the allied forces. On the other hand, a serious check would ensue if such co-operation could not be achieved. Colonel Barnardiston assured me that everything would be done with that end in view.

In the course of our conversations I took the opportunity of convincing the military attaché of our resolve to impede the enemies' movements as far as lay within our power, and not to take refuge in Antwerp from the outset. Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston, on his side, informed me that he had at present little confidence in the support or intervention of Holland. He likewise confided to me that his Govrnment intended to move the British base of supplies from the French coast to Antwerp as soon as the North Sea had been cleared of all German warships.

At all our interviews the colonel regularly communicated to me any confidential information he possessed respecting the military condition and general situation of our eastern neighbour, &c. At the same time he laid stress on the imperative need for Belgium to keep herself well informed of what was going on in the neighbouring Rhine country. I had to admit to him that in our country the intelligence service beyond the frontier was not, in times of peace, directly under our General Staff. We had no military attachés at our legations. I took care, however, not to admit to him that I was unaware whether the secret service, prescribed in our regulations, was organised or not. But it is my duty here to call attention to this state of afIairs, which places us in a position of glaring inferiority to that of our neighbours, our possible enemies.

Major-General,
Chief of General Staff.



(Initialled.)
Note.-Lorsque je rencontrai le Général Grierson à Compiègne, pendant les manceuvres de 1906, il m'assura que la réorganisation de l'armée anglaise aurait pour résultat non seulement d'assurer le débarquement de 150,000 hommes, mais de permettre leur action dans un délai plus court que celui dont il est question precédemment.



Fin septembre 1906.

Note.-When I met General Grierson at Compiègne at the manoeuvres of 1906 he assured me that the reorganisation of the British army would result not only in ensuring the landing of 150,000 men, but in enabling them to take the field in a shorter period than had been previously estimated.



End of September 1906.



(Initialled.)



(2)



(Confidentielle.)

I,'attaché militaire anglais a demandé à voir le Général Jungbluth. Ces messieurs se sont rencontrés le 23 avril.

Le Lieutenant-Colonel Bridges a dit au général que l'Angleterre disposait d'une armée pouvant être envoyée sur le continent, composée de six divisions d'infanterie et huit brigades de cavalerie, soit en tout 160,000 hommes. Elle a aussi tout ce qu'il lui faut pour défendre son territoire insulaire. Tout est prêt.

Le Gouvernement britannique, lors des derniers événements, aurait débarqué immédiatement chez 1nous, même si nous n'avions pas demandé de secours.

Le général a objecté qu'il faudrait pour cela notre consentement.

L'attaché militaire a répondu qu'il le savait, mais que comme nous n'étions pas à même d'empêcher les Allemands de passer chez nous, l'Angleterre aurait débarqué ses troupes en Belgique en tout état de cause.

Quant an lieu de débarquement, l'attaché militaire n'a pas precisé; il a dit que la côte était asses longue; mais le général tsait que M. Bridges a fait, d'Ostende, des visites journalières a Zeebrugge pendant les fêtes de Pâques.

Le général a ajouté que nous etions, d'ailleurs, parfaitement à même d'empêcher les Allemands de passer.

Le 24 avril, 1912.

(Translation.)

(Confidential.)

The British military attaché asked to see General Jungbluth. These gentlemen met on the 23rd April.

Lieutenant - Colonel Bridges told the general that Great Britain had, available for despatch to the Continent, an army composed of six divisions of infantry and eight brigades of cavalry, in all 160,000 men. She had also all that she needed for home defence. Everything was ready.

The British Government, at the time of the recent events, would have immediately landed troops on our territory, even if we had not asked for help.

The general protested that our consent would be necessary for this.

The militarv attaché answered that he knew that, but that as we were not in a position to prevent the Germans passing through our territory, Great Britain would have landed her troops in any event.

As to the place of landing, the military attaché was not explicit. He said the coast was rather long; but the genetal knows that Mr. Bridges made daily visits to Zeebrugge from Ostend during the Easter holidays.

The general added that, after all, we were, besides, perfectly able to prevent the Germans from going through.

April 24, 1912.



No. 5.



Extract from a brochure entitled " On the Violation of Belgian Neutrality,"
by M. J. Van den Heuvel, Belgian Minister of State.

(Translation.)

An official communiqué appeared at once in the Norddeutsche Allegemeine Zeitung, of the 13th October. The whole German press hastened to echo the Norddeutsche Allegemeine Zeitung. Large notices were posted on the walls in Brussels and innumerable little yellow notices made their appearance in the public places of other occupied towns. The discovery was of paramount importance; it was bound to prove to all impartial people the guilt of the Governments both of England and of Belgium and to show the foresight and correctitude of Germany.

According to the communiqué, it appeared from documents found in Brussels that, at the request of Great Britain, at the beginning of the year 1906, Belgium had, in anticipation of the violation of her neutrality by Germany, concluded with the Powers of the Entente a convention which had for its object the defence of her territory. Although a marginal note on the dossier of 1906 stated expressly that " the entry of the English into Belgium would only take place after the violation of her neutrality by Germany," the suggestion was that Belgium, in settling the arrangements for this contingent entry, had seriously misunderstood the duties of neutrals. Germany alone was the object of her suspicion and she had not " also foreseen the violation of Belgian neutrality by France, and to provide for that event, eoneluded with Germany a convention analogous to that concluded with France and Great Britain."

The communiqué recogrnises that it was open to Belgium, in the interests of self-protection, to make arrangemeats with the Powers which had guaranteed her international position. Indeed a neutralised State retains the right of making defensive treaties. The fact that the inviolability of such a State is under the ægis or guarantee of certain Powers does not deprive her of this right. Bat the arrangements which such a State can make with the guaranteeing Powers to guard against a contingent invasion are, after all, nothing but; measures for carrying out the pre-existing engagements of the guarantee.

The grievance alleged by the communiqué is that a convention should have been made by Belgium in anticipation of a penetration of hostile troops into Belgian territory, without notice being given to Germany, and without the latter Power being appealed to to make a similar convention in anticipation of an invasion of Belgium by French or Britlsh troops.

If a convention really existed, as the communiqué states, it is just to observe that a State which has prepared a plan of invasion is in ananomalous position in addressing reproaches to a State which limits its action to putting itself on guard and organising necessary measures of defence. And we must remember that the invasion of Belgium by Germany was, according to Herr von Jagow, forced upon the German General Staff by an event of long standing, namely, the Franco-Russian Alliance.

I As a matter of fact the convention which forms the gravamen of the German charges never existed.

Belgium did not make any special arrangements in anticipation of the nolation of her territory by Germany, either with England or with Fiance, either in 1906 or at any other date. It is in vain that Germany has searched and will search our archives, she will not find there any proof of her allegation.

The official communiqué of the 13th October published three documents; the second communiqué of the 24th November added a fourth document to the dossier. None of these documents establishes the existence of any convention whatever.

The first document is a report made to the Minister of War on the 10th April, 1906, by General Ducarne Chief of the Belgian General Staff. It relates to the conversations which took place at the request of Lieutenant-Coloncl Barnardiston, the British military attaché, between himself and General Ducarne, on the subject of the arrangements that England might be disposed to make to assist Belgium in the event of a German invasion. According to the German notices:-
The Chief of the Belgian General Staff worked out a comprehensive plan for joint operations by a British Expeditionary Force of 100,000 men with the Belgian Army against Germany in repeated conferences with Lieutenant-Colonel Barnardiston, at the instigation of the latter. The plan was approved by the Chief of the British General Staff, Major-General Grierson. The Belgian General Staff were supplied with all data as to the strength and organisation of the British forces ....The latter thoroughly prepared for the transport.... Co-operation was, carefully worked out in every detail.... Dunkirk, (Calais and Boulogne were contemplated as the points of disembarkation for the British troops.

This document shows that though the Belgian General Staff did not take the initiative, yet it did not refuse to discuss with the British military attaché a plan for the help which Britain, acting as guaranteeing Power, would be able, in case of need, to send to Belgium to repulse a German attack.

But what accusation against Belgium can be based on this? Since it is recognised that Belgium has the right to make defensive agreements for putting into operation the guarantees given by the guaranteeing Powers. the Belgian General Staff would have found it difficult to refuse entirely to consider suggestions made by the military attachés of those Powers. Such discussions do not interfere in any way with the freedom or responsibility of the Government, and it is they alone who can decide whether it is expedient or opportune to enter into a convention and, if so, what convention they should make, having regard to the duties and interests of the country.

In 1906 the Government believed that it was proper for them to rest content, as they had rested for more than sixty years, With the general guarantee embodied in the Treaty of 1839, and that the details of carrying out the guarantee could not be fixed beforehand, that in their very nature they must vary according to circumstances. Thus no convention was entered upon. The work of the British military attaché and the Belgian officers resulted in nothing but the submission of a report to the Minister of War by the Chief of the General Staff.

The second document is a military map. " A map showing the method of deployment of the French army was found in the secret dossier."` ~

The only inference to be drawn from this document-which is not connected in any way with the report already mentioned-is that the Belgian General Staff has always sought, as is the duty of all General Staffs, to obtain the most precise information possible as to the military plans of neighbouring Powers

But to pretend to argue from the mere possession of this map that France must have been a party to the alleged convention, of which Britain and Belg]ium are wantonly accused, is to transcend the bounds of fancy.

The third document is a report on the international position of Belgium sent by Baron Greindl Belgian Minister Plenipotentiary at. Berlin, to the Minister for Foreign Affairs at Brussels on the 23rd December, 1911.

Baron Greindl thought that a " French invasion was as probable as a German invasion."

The combinations of thc Entente Cordiale inclucle, without doubt, the thought of an enveloping movement from the north. . . . The equally perfidious and naif revelations of Colonel Barnardiston . . . showed us clearly what was intended. . . . This British army, landed at Calais and Dunkirk, would not march along our frontier to Longlry in order to reach Germany. It would immediately invade us from the north-west.... I would strongly urge that a plan of action should be drawn up for this eventuality also.

The inference to be drawn from this document is that the plans of the Belgian General Staff communicated to Baron Greindl dealt with the contingency either of an entry into Belgium through the gap of the Meuse or of an invasion of Luxemburgr by one or other of the belligerents. Baron Greindl thought it his duty to lay stress upon another hypothesis, namely, the danger of an enveloping movement by the north of France, which he had so often heard talked about in Berlin. But the whole of this report rebuts the accusation that Belgium had formed any engagements either with England or with France. Baron Greindl's attitude towards Barnardiston's suggestions proves conclusively that he knew that these suggestions had not resulted in any convention.

Such are the three documents published on the 13th October by the Norddeutsche Allegemeine Zeitung and placarded everywhere with such a flourish of trumpets. They do not contain the smallest scrap of evidence to support the German charge. No criticism adverse to Belgium can be based upon them. The German Government themselves understood this so well that they ordered fresh searches to be madsisl the archives.

The Norddedeuttsche Allegemeine Zeitung of 24th November gave us the result of this second search. It is a fourth document, reporting a conversation which took place between the British military attaché, Lieutenant-Colonel Bridges, and General Jungbluth. It bears date the 23rd.4pril, 1912:-

I.ieutenant-Colonel Bridges told the general that Great Britain had ... an army of 160,000 men.... The British Government at the time of the recent events would have immediately landed troops in Be!gium even if we had not asked for help. The general protested that our consent wou1d be necessary for this. The military attaché answered that he knew that, but, that as we were not in a position to prevent the Germans from passing through Belgium, Great Britain would have landed her troops in any event. As to the place of landing the military attaché was not explicit. . . . The general added that we were perfectly well able to prevent the Germans from going through.

The inference to be drawn from this document is that, in a private conversation between two officers of high rank, which had no reference to any official mission, the British officer expressed the personal opinion that in case of war Great Britain could land " immediately " troops in Belgium " even if we had not asked for help." The Belgian general at once protested. He insisted that " our consent " was necessary, and that there was all the less reason for dispensing with it since we " were perfectly well able " to stop the Germans; that is to say, to make them lose sufficient time to deprive them of the advantage of a sudden attack.

How is it possible to draw any inference unfavourable to Great Britain from the personal opinion of Lieutenant-Colonel Bridges when, from what has since happened, it is certain that the British Government did not intend to send, and did not in fact send, troops to Belgium, except upon a request from the Belgian Government put forward after the violation of her territory?

How is it possible to draw an inference unfavourable to Belgium from this conversation? General Jungbluth defended her freedom and her neutrality. And the very fact that the discussion took place and the vagueness which remained as to the places of landing, both prove that Belgium was not bound by any convention determining the manner in which help should be furnished by England.

Germany ought then to cease to accuse the Belgian Government of having given themselves since 1906 into the hands of the Powers of the Triple Entente. The first three documents which the Germans have taken from the files of the General Staff, like the fourth which has been brought up to support tbem, far from establishing any improper action whatever on the part of the Belgian authorities, show clearly that they have always taken the most scrupulous care to reconcile the precautions exacted by the necessity of safeguarding the independence and maintaining the honour of the country with the duties of the strictest neutrality.

'l'he loyal attitude of Belgium and Great Britain is clearly shown by the action which preceded the German ultimatum.

When Belgium saw the storm-clouds gathering on the darkened horizon she wanted to accelerate her military re-organisation. She worked at it for years. In 1902 she strengthened her cadres. After two years of discussion in 1905 and 1906 she decided to finish the fortifications of the fortress of Antwerp and to raise her defensive organisation to a pitch commensurate with the offensive force then at the disposal of the armies of Europe. Then came the renewal of the artillery, then the introduction of service personelle, finally the impositon of general liability to serve. These stages were arrived at with considerable difficulty because the nation, relying on treaties and determined herself to observe neutrality with the strictest impartiality, could not believe that in the twentieth century anyone could be cruel enough to think of violating the rights of a peaceful people.

In addition Belgium had faith in the energy and the valour of her army, and she counted on the help of her guarantors should need arise.

No. 6.



Viscount Haldane, Lord High Chancellor, to Dr. A. E. Shipley, Master of Christ's College, Cambridge.
November 14, 1914.


Dear Master Of Christ's,
The enclosed memoranda have been specially prepared for me the Foreign Office in answer to your question.

Yours truly,
(Signed) HALDANE.


Enclosure 1.



Memorandum.

It is quite untrue that the British Government had ever arranged with Belgium to trespass on her country in case of war, or that Belgium had agreed to this. The strategic dispositions of Germany, especially as regards railways, have for some years given rise to the apprehension that Germany would attack France through Belgium. Whatever military discussions have taken place before this war have been limited entirely to the suggestion of what could be done to defend France if Germany attacked her through Belgium. The Germans have stated that we contemplated sending troops to Belgium. We had never committed ourselves at all to the sending of troops to the Continent, and we had never contemplated the possibility of sending troops to Belgium to attack Germany. The Germans have stated that British military stores had been placed at Maubeuge a French fortress near the Belgian frontier, before the outbreak of the war, and that this is evidence of an intention to attack Germany through Belgium. No British soldiers and no British stores were landed on the Continent till after Germany had invaded Belgium, and Belgium had appealed to France and England for assistance. It was only after this appeal that British troops were sent to France; and, if the Germans found British munitions of war in Maubeuge, these munitions were sent with our expedition to France after the outbreak of the war. The idea of violating the neutrality of Belgium was never discussed or contemplated by the British Government.

The extract enclosed, which is taken from an official publication of the Belgian Government, and the extract from an official statement by the Belgian Minister of War, prove that the Belgian Government had never connived, or been willing to connive, at a breach of the Treaty that made the maintenance of Belgiain neutrality an international obllgation. The moment that there appeared to be danger that this Treaty might be violated, the British Government made an appeal for an assurance from both France and Germany, as had been done in 1870 by Mr. Gladstone, that neither of those countries would violate the neutrality of Belgium if the other country respected it. The French agreed, the Germans declined to agree. The appeal made by the British Government is to be found in the Parliamentary White Paper published after the outbreak of the war (see No. 114 of British Correspondence, page 8 ). The reason why Germany would not agree was stated very frankly by Herr von Jagow, the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Sir Edward Goschen, our Ambassador in Berlin; and it is recorded in the second White Paper (see No. 160 of British Correspondence, page 110) that we published. The attitude of the British Government throughout has been to endeavour to preserve the neutrality of Belgium, and we never thought of sending troops to Belgium until Germany had invaded it, and Belgium had appealed for assistance to maintain the international Treaty.

We have known for some years past that, in Holland, in Denmark, and in Norway, the Germans have inspired the apprehension that, if England was at war with Germany, England would violate the neutrality of those countries and seize some of their harbours. This allegation is as baseless as the allegation about our intention to violate the neutrality of Belgium, and events have shown it to be so. But it seems to be a rule with Gerrnany to attribute to others the designs that she herself entertains; as it is clear now that, for some long time past, it has been a settled part of her strategic plans to attack France through Belgium. A statement is enclosed, which was issued by us on October 14 last, dealing with this point.

This memorandum and its enclosures should provide ample material for a reply to the German statements.

Foreign Office, 9th November, 1914.

Enclosure 2.



Despatch No. 22 in the Belgian Grey Book.
(See pp. 311-12.)

Enclosure 3.



Extract from " The Times " of 30th September, 1914.
NEUTRALITY OF BELGIUM.

Official Statement.

The German press has been attempting to persuade the public that if Germany herself had not violated Belgian neutrality France or Great Britain would have done so. It has declared that French and British troops had marched into Belgium before the outbreak of war. We have received from the Belgian Minister of War an official statement which denies absolutely these allegations. It declares, on the one hand, that " before August 3 not a single French soldier had set foot on Belgian territory," and again, " it is untrue that on August 4 there was a single English soldier in Belgium." It adds:- For long past Great Britain knew that the Belgian army would oppose by force a " preventive " disembarkation of British troops in Belgium. The Belgian Government did not hesitate at the time of the Agadir crises to warn foreign Ambassadors, in terms which could not be misunderstood, of its formal intention to compel respect for the neutrality of Belgium by every means at its disposal, and against attempts upon it from any and every quarter.

Enclosure 4.



Circular telegram addressed to His Britannic Majesty's Representatives abroad on the 14th October, 1914.

(See page 353.)


WWI Document Archive > Official Papers > The Belgian Grey Book: Diplomatic Correspondence Respecting the War


Personal tools
Namespaces
Variants
Actions
Navigation
Toolbox