Numbers 111-160

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WWI Document Archive > Official Papers > The French Yellow Book > Numbers 111-160

The French Yellow Book

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No. 111.
M. Mollard, French Minister at Luxemburg, to M. René Viviani, President of the Couneil, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Luxemburg, July 31, 1914.

The Minister of State has just left the Legation, he has just told me that the Germans have closed the bridges over the Moselle at Schengen and at Rennich with vehicles and the bridge at Wormeldange with ropes. The bridges at Wasserbillig and at D'Echternach over the Sûre have not been closed, but the Germans no longer allow the export from Prussia of corn, cattle or motor cars.

M. Eyschen requested me -- and this was the real object of his visit -- to ask you for an official declaration to the effect that France will, in case of war, respect the neutrality of Luxemburg. When I asked him if he had received a similar declaration from the German Government, he told me that he was going to the German Minister to get the same declaration.

Postscript.-- Up to the present no special measure has been taken by the Cabinet of Luxemburg. M. Eyschen has returned from the German Legation. He complained of the measures showing suspicion which were taken against a neutral neighlvour. The Minister of State has asked the German Minister for an official declaration from his Govermnent undertaking to respect the neutrality. Herr Von Buch is stated to have replied, " That is a matter of course, but it would be necessary for the French Government to give the same undertaking."

No. 112.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the French Ambassadors at London, St. Petersburgh, Berlin, Vienna, and Rome.
Paris, July 31, 1914

The British Ambassador has handed me a note from his Government asking the French Government to support a proposal at St. Petersburgh for the peaceful solution of the Austro-Servian conflict.

This note shows that the German Ambassador has informed Sir E. Grey of the intention of his Government to try to exercise influence on the Austro-Hungarian Government after the capture of Belgrade and the occupation of the districts bordering on the frontier, in order to obtain a promise not to advance further, while the Powers endeavoured to secure that Servia should give sufficient satisfaction to Austria; the occupied territory would be evacuated as soon as she had received satisfaction.

Sir E. Grey made this suggestion on the 29th July, and expressed the hope that military preparations would be suspended on all sides. Although the Russian Ambassador at London has informed the Secretary of State that he fears that the Russian condition (if Austria, recognising that her conflict with Servia has assumed the characterof a question of European interest, declares herself ready to eliminate from her ultimatum the points which endanger the principle of Servian sovereignty, Russia undertakes to stop all military preparations) cannot be modified, Sir E. Grey thinks that, if Austria stops her advance after the occupation of Belgrade, the Russian Government could agree to change their formula in the following way: --

That the Powers would examine how Servia should give complete satisfaction to Austria without endangering the sovereignty or independence of the Kingdom. In case Austria after occupying Belgrade and the neighbouring Servian territory should declare herself ready, in the interests of Europe, to stop her advance and to discuss how an arrangement might be arrived at, Russia could also consent to the discussion and suspend her military preparations, provided that the other Powers acted in the same way.

In accordance with the request of Sir E. Grey, the French Government joined in the British suggestion, and in the following terms asked their Ambassador at St. Petersburgh to try to obtain, without delay, the assent of the Russian Government :--

" Please inform M. Sazonof urgently that the suggestion of Sir E. Grey appears to me to furnish a useful basis for conversation between the Powers, who are equally desirous of working for an honourable arrangement of the Austro-Servian conflict, and of averting in this manner the dangers which threaten general peace.

" The plan proposed by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, by stopping the advance of the Austrian army and by entrusting to the Powers the duty of examining how Servia could give full satisfaction to Austria without endangering the sovereign rights and the independence of the Kingdom, by thus affording Russia a means of suspending all military preparations, while the other Powers are to act in the same way, is calculated equally to give satisfaction to Russia and to Austria and to provide for Servia an acceptable means of issue from the present difficulty.

"I would ask you carefully to be guided by the foregoing considerations in earnestly pressing M. Sazonof to give his adherence without delay to the proposal of Sir E. Grey, of which he will have been himself informed."


No. 113.
M. Paléologue, French Ambassador at St. Petersburgh to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister on Foreign Affairs.
St. Petersburgh, July 31, 1914.

The news of the bombardment of Belgrade during the night and morning of yesterday has provoked very deep feeling in Russia. One cannot understand the attitude of Austria, whose provocations since the beginning of the crisis have regularly followed Russia's attempts at conciliation and the satisfactory conversations exchanged between St. Peterburgh and Vienna.

Nevertheless, desirous of leaving nothing undone in order to prove his sincere desire to safeguard peace, M. Sazonof informs me that he has modified his formula, as requested by the British Ambassador, in the following way: --

"If Austria consents to stay the march of her troops on Servian territory, and if, recognizing that the Austro-Servian conflict has assumed the character of a question of European interest, she admits that the great Powers may examine the satisfaction which Servia can accord to the Austro-Hungarian Govermnent, without injury to her sovereign rights as a State and to her independence, Russia undertakes to preserve her waiting attitude.


No. 114.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the French Ambassadors at London, St. Petersburgh, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, and Constantinople.
Paris, July 31,1914.

The efforts made up till now concurrently by Great Britain and Russia with the earnest support of France (obtained in advance for every peaceful effort) with the object of a direct understanding between Vienna and St. Petersburgh, or of the mediation of the four Powers in the most appropriate form, are being united to-day; Russia, giving a fresh proof of her desire for an understanding, has hastened to reply to the first appearance of an overture made by Germany since the beginning of the crisis (as to the conditions on which Russia would stop her military preparations) by indicating a formula, and then modifying it in accordance with the request of Great Britain; there ought to be hope, therefore, negotiations having also been begun again between the Russian and Austrian Ambassadors, that British mediation will complete at London that which is being attempted by direct negotiations at Vienna and St. Petersburgh.

Nevertheless, the constant attitude of Germany who, since the beginning of the conflict, while ceaselessly protesting to each Power her peaceful intentions, has actually, by her dilatory or negative attitude, caused the failure of all attempts at agreement, and has not ceased to encourage through her Ambassador the uncompromising attitude of Vienna; the German military preparations begun since the 25th July and subsequently continued without cessation; the immediate opposition of Germany to the Russian formula, declared at Berlin inacceptable for Austria before that Power had even been consulted; in conclusion, all the impressions derived from Berlin bring conviction that Germany has sought to humiliate Russia, to disintegrate the Triple Entente, and if these results could not be obtained, to make war.


No. 115.
M. Dumaine, French Ambassador at Vienna, to M. René‚ Viviani President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Vienna, July 31,1914.

General mobilization for all men from 19 to 42 years of age was declared by the Austro-Hungarian Government this morning at 1 o clock.

My Russian colleague still thinks that this step is not entirely in contradiction to the declaration made yesterday by Count Berchtold.


No. 116.
M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, to M René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Berlin, July 31, 1914

Herr von Jagow sent for me and has just told me that he was very sorry to inform me that in face of the total mobilization of the Russian army, Germany, in the interest of the security of the Empire, found herself obliged to take serious precautionary measures. What is called "Kriegsgefahrzustand" (the state of danger of war) has been declared, and this allows the authorities to proclaim if they deem it expedient, a state of siege, to suspend some of the public services, and to close the frontier.

At the same time a demand is being made at St. Petersburgh that they should demobilize, as well on the Austrian as on the German side, otherwise Germany would be obliged to mobilise on her side. Herr von Jagow told me that Herr von Schoen had been instructed to inform the French Government of the resolution of the Berlin Cabinet and to ask them what attitude they intended to adopt.


No. 117.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to M. Paléologue, French Ambassador at St. Petersburgh.
Paris, July 31, 1914.

The German Government decided at mid-day to take at military measures implied by the state called " state of danger of war."

In communicating this decision to me at 7 o'clock this evening, Baron von Schoen added that the Government required at the same time that Russia should demobilize. If the Russian Government has not given a satisfactory reply within twelve hours Germany will mobilise in her turn.

I replied to the German Ambassador that I had no information at all about an alleged total mobilization of the Russian army and navy which the German Government invoked as the reason for the new military measures which they are taking to-day.

Baron von Schoen finally asked me, in the name of his Government, what the attitude of France would be in case of war between Germany and Russia. he told me that he would come for my reply to-morrow (Saturday) at 1 o'clock.

I have no intention of making any statement to him on this subject, and I shall confine myself to telling him that France will have regard to her interests. 'The Government of of the Republic need not indeed give any account of her intentions except to her ally.

I ask you to inform M. Sazonof of this immediately. As I have already told you, I have no doubt that the Imperial Government, in the highest interests of peace, will do everything on their part to avoid anything that might render inevitable or precipitate the crisis.


No. 118.
M. Paléologue, French Ambassador at St. Petersburgh, to M. René Viviani, President of Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
St. Petersburgh, July 31,1914.

As a result of the general mobilization of Austria and of the measures for mobilization taken secretly, but continuously, by Germany for the last six days, the order for the general mobilization of the Russian army has been given, Russia not being able, without most serious danger, to allow herself to be further out-distanced; really she is only taking military measures corresponding to those taken by Germany.

For imperative reasons of strategy the Russian Government, knowing that Germany was arming, could no longer delay the conversion of her partial mobilisation into a general mobilisation.


No. 119.
M. Klobukowski, French Minister at Brussels, to M.René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, July 31,1914.

L'agence Havas having announced that the state "of danger of war" had been declared in Germany, I told M. Davignon that I could assure him that the Government of the Republic would respect the neutrality of Belgium.

The Minister for Foreign AFfairs replied that the Govermnent of the King had always thought that this would be so, and thanked me. The Russian Minister and the British Minister, whom I saw subsequently, appeared much pleased that in the circumstances I gave this assurance, which further, as the British Minister told me, was in accordance with the declaration of Sir E. Grey.



No. 120.
René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the French Ambassadors at London, St. Petersburgh, Berlin, Vienna, Rome.
Paris, August 1, 1914.

Two démarches were made yesterday evening by the Austrian Ambassadors -- the one at Paris, which was rather vague, the other at St. Petersburgh, precise and conciliatory. Count Scézsen came to explain to me that the Austro-Hungarian Government had officially informed Russia that it had no territorial ambition, and would not touch the sovereignty of Servia; that it also repudiates any intention of occupying the Sandjak; but that these explanations of disinterestedness only retain their force if the war remains localised to Austria and Servia, as a European war would open out eventualities which it was impossible to foresee. The Austrian Ambassador, in commenting on these explanations, gave me to understand that if his Government could not answer the questions of the Powers speaking in their own name, they would certainly answer Servia, or any single Power asking for these conditions in the name of Servia. He added that a step in this direction was perhaps still possible.

At St. Petersburgh the Austrian Ambassador called on M. Sazonof and explained to him that his Government was willing to begin a discussion as to the basis of the ultimatum addressed to Servia. The Russian Minister declared himself satisfied with this declaration, and proposed that the pourparlers should take place in London with the participation of the Powers. M. Sazonof will have requested the British Government to take the lead in the discussion; he pointed out that it would be very important that Austria should stop her operations in Servia. The deduction from these facts is that Austria would at last show herself ready to come to an agreement, just as the Russian Government is ready to enter into negotiations on the basis of the British proposal.

Unfortunately these arrangements which allowed one to hope for a peaceful solution appear, in fact, to have been rendered useless by the attitude of Germany. This Power has in fact presented an ultimatum giving the Russian Government twelve hours in which to agree to the demobilisation of their forces not only as against Germany, but also as against Austria; this time-limit expires at noon. The ultimatum is not justified, for Russia has accepted the British proposal which implies a cessation of military preparation by all the Powers. The attitude of Germany proves that she wishes for war. And she wishes for it against France. Yesterday when Herr von Schoen came to the Quai d'Orsay to ask what attitude France proposed to take in case of a Russo-German conflict, the German Ambassador, although there has been no direct dispute between France and Germany, and although from the beginning of the crisis we have used all our efforts for a peaceful solution and are still continuing to do so, added that he asked me to present his respects and thanks to the President of the Republic, and asked that we would be good enough to make arrangements as to him personally (des dispositions pour sa propre personne); we know also that he has already put the archives of the Embassy in safety. This attitude of breaking off diplomatic relations without any direct dispute, and although he has not received any definitely negative answer, is characteristic of the determination of Germany to make war against France. The want of sincerity in her peaceful protestations is shown by the rupture which she is forcing upon Europe at a time when Austria had at last agreed with Russia to begin negotiations.

No. 121.
M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Berlin, August 1, 1914.

My Russian colleague received yesterday evening two 2 telegrams from M. Sazonof advising him that the Austrian Ambassador at St. Petersburgh had explained that his Government was ready to discuss the note to Servia with the Russian Government even as to its basis; M. Sazonof answered that in his opinion these conversations should take place in London.

The ultimatum to Russia can only do away with the last chances of peace which these conversations still seemed to leave. the question may be asked whether in such circumstances the acceptance by Austria was serious, and had not the object of throwing the responsibility of the conflict on to Russia.

My British colleague during the night made a pressing appeal to Herr von Jagow's feelings of humanity. The latter answered that the matter had gone too far and that they must wait for the Russian answer to the German ultimatum. But he told Sir Edward Goschen that the ultimatum required that the Russians should countermand their mobilization, not only as against Germany but also as against Austria; my British colleague was much astonished at this, and said that it did not seem possible for Russia to accept this last point.

Germany's ultimatum coming at the very moment when an agreement seemed about to be established between Vienna and St. Petersburgh, is characteristic of her warlike policy.

In truth the conflict was between Russia and Austria only, and Germany could only intervene as an ally of Austria; in these circumstances, as the two Powers which were interested as principals were prepared for conversations, it is impossible to understand why Germany should send an ultimatum to Russia instead of continuing like all the other Powers to work for a peaceful solution, unless she desired war on her own account.

No. 122.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Mintster for Foreign Affairs, to the French Ambassadors at London, Berlin, and to th‚ French Minister at Brussels.
Paris, August 1, 1914.

The British Ambassador, under the instructions ot his Govermnent, came to ask me what would be the attitude of the French Govermnent as regards Belgium in case of conflict with Germany.

I stated that, in accordance with the assurance which we had repeatedly given Belgian Government, we intended to respect their neutrality.

It would only be in the event of some other Power violating that neutrality that France might find herself brought to enter Belgian territory, with the object of fulfilling her obligations as a guaranteeing Power.


No. 123.
M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Berlin, August 1, 1914.

The British Ambassador has been instructed by his Government to make to the German Government a communication identical with that which he made to you on the subject of the neutrality of Belgium.

Herr von Jagow answered that he would take the instructions of the Emperor and the Chancellor, but that he did not think an answer could be given, for Germany could not disclose her military plans in this way. The British Ambassador will see Herr von Jagow to-morrow afternoon.


No. 124.
M. Barrère, French Ambassador at Rome, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Rome, August 1,1914.

I went to see the Marquis di San Giuliano this morning at half-past eight, in order to get precise information from him as to the attitude of Italy in view of the provocative acts of Germany and the results which they may have.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs answered that he had seen the German Ambassador yesterday evening. Herr von Flotow had said to him that Germany had requested the Russian Government to suspend mobilization, and the French Government to inform them as to their intentions; Germany had given France a time limit of eighteen hours and Russia a time limit of twelve hours.

Herr von Flotow as a result of this communication asked what were the intentions of the Italian Government.

The Marquis di San Giuliano answered that as the war undertaken by Austria was aggressive and did not fall within the purely defensive character of the Triple Alliance, particularly in view of the consequences which might result from it according to the declaration of the German Ambassador, Italy could not take part in the war.


No. 125.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the French Ambassadors at London, St. Petersburgh, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Madrid, Constantinople.
Paris, August 1, 1914.

The German Ambassador came to see me again at 11 o clock this morning. After having recalled to his memory all the efforts made by France towards an honourable settlement of the Austro-Servian conflict and the difficulty between Austria and Russia which has resulted from it, I put him in possession of the facts as to the pourparlers which have been carried on since yesterday: --

(1) A British compromise, proposing, besides other suggestions, suspension of military preparations on the part of Russia, on condition that the other Powers should act in the same way; adherence of Russia to this proposal.

(2) Communications from the Austrian Government declaring that they did not desire any aggrandizement in Servia, nor even to advance into the Sandjak, and stating that they were ready to discuss even the basis of the Austro-Servian question at London with the other Powers.

I drew attention to the attitude of Germany who, abandoning all pourparlers, presented an ultimatum to Russia at the very moment when this Power had just accepted the British formula (which implies the cessation of military preparations by all the countries which have mobilized) and regarded as imminent a diplomatic rupture with France.

Baron von Schoen answered that he did not know the developments which had taken place in this matter for the last twenty-four hours, that there was perhaps in them a " glimmer of hope " for some arrangement, that he had not received any fresh communication from his Government, and that he was going to get information. He gave renewed protestations of his sincere desire to unite his efforts to those of France for arriving at a solution of the conflict. I laid stress on the serious responsibility which the Imperial Government would assume if, in circumstances such as these, they took an initiative which was not justified and of a kind which would irremediably compromise peace.

Baron von Schoen did not allude to his immediate departure and did not make any fresh request for an answer to his question concerning the attitude of France in case of an Austro-Russian conflict. He confined himself to saying of his own accord that the attitude of France was not doubtful.

It would not do to exaggerate the possibilities which may result from my conversation with the German Ambassador for, on their side, the Imperial Government continue the most dangerous preparations on our frontier. However, we must not neglect the possibilities, and we should not cease to work towards an agreement. On her side France is taking all military measures required for protection against too great an advance in German military preparations. She considers that her attempts at solution will only have a chance of success so far as it is felt that she will be ready and resolute if the conflict is forced on her.


No. 126.
M. Pau1 Cambon, French Ambassador at London, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Paris, August 1,1914.

Sir Edward Grey said to me that, at a meeting this morning, the Cabinet had again considered the situation. As Germany had asked Great Britain to give a declaration of neutrality and had not obtained it, the British Government remained masters of their action; this could shape itself in accordance with different hypotheses.

In the first place, Belgian neutrality is of great importance to Great Britain. France has immediately renewed her engagement to respect it. Germany has explained "that she was not in a position to reply." Sir Edward Grey will put the Cabinet in possession of this answer and will ask to be authorized to state on Monday in the House of Commons, that the British Government will not permit a violation of Belgian neutrality.

In the second place, the British fleet is mobilised and Sir Edward Grey will propose to his colleagues that he should state that it will oppose the passage of the Straits of Dover by the German fleet, or, if the German fleet should pass through (venaient à le passer), will oppose any demonstration on the French coasts. These two questions will be dealt with at the meeting on Monday. I drew the attention of the Secretary of State to the point that, if during this intervening period any incident took place, it was necessary not to allow a surprise, and that it would be desirable to think of intervening in time.


No. 127.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to M. Paul Cambon, French Ambassador at London.
Paris, August 1,1914.

We are warned through several channels that the German and the Austrian Governments are trying at this moment to influence England by making her believe that the responsibility for war, if it breaks out, will fall on Russia. Efforts are being made to obtain the neutrality of England by disguising the truth.

France has not ceased in co-operation with England to advise moderation at St. Petersburgh; this advice has been listened to.

From the beginning M. Sazonof has exercised pressure on Servia to make her accept all those clauses of the ultimatum which were not incompatible with her sovereignty.

He then engaged in a direct conversation with Austria; this was fresh evidence of his conciliatory spirit. Finally he has agreed to allow those Powers which are less interested to seek for means of composing the dispute.

In accordance with the wish expressed to him by Sir George Buchanan, M. Sazonof consented to modify the first formula which he had put forward, and he has drawn up a second which is shown not to differ materially from the declaration which Count Scézsen made yesterday to M. de Margerie. Count Scézsen affirms that Austria has no intention of seeking territorial aggrandisement and does not wish to touch the sovereignty of Servia. He expressly adds that Austria has no designs on the Sandjak of Novi-Bazar.

It would then seem that an agreement between Sir Edward Grey's suggestion, M.Sazonof's formula and the Austrian declarations could easily be reconciled.

France is determined, in co-operation with England, to work to the very end for the realisation of this.

But while these negotiations were going on, and while Russia in the negotiations showed a goodwill which cannot be disputed, Austria was the first to proceed to a general mobilisation.

Russia has found herself obliged to imitate Austria, so as not to be left in an unfavourable position, but all the time she has continued ready to negotiate.

It is not necessary for me to repeat that, so far as we are concerned, we will, in co-operation with England, continue to work for the success of these pourparlers.

But the attitude of Germany has made it absolutely compulsory for us to make out the order for mobilization to-day.

Last Wednesday, well in advance of Russian mobilisation, as I have already telegraphed to you, Herr von Schoen announced to me the impending publication of Kriegsgefahrzustand. This measure has been taken by Germany, and under the protection of this screen, she immediately began a mobilization in the proper sense of the word.

To-day M. Paléologue telegraphed that Count Pourtalès had notified the Russian Government of German mobilization.

Information which has been received by the Ministry of War confirms the fact that this mobilisation is really in full execution.

Our decree of mobilization is then an essential measure of protection. The Government have accompanied it by a proclamation signed by the President of the Republic and by all the Ministers, in which they explain that mobilization is not war, and that in the present state of affairs it is the best means for France of safeguarding peace, and that the Government of the Republic will redouble their efforts to bring the negotiations to a conclusion.

Will you be good enough to bring all these points urgently to the notice of Sir Edward Grey, and to point out to him that we have throughout been governed by the determination not to commit any act of provocation.

I am persuaded that in case war were to break out, British opinion would see clearly from which side aggression comes, and that it would realise the strong reasons which we have given to Sir Edward Grey for asking for armed intervention on the part of England in the interest of the future of the European balance of power.


No. 128.
M. Bollard, French Minister at Luxemburg, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Luxemburg, August 1, 1914.

The Minister of State instructs me to ask from the French Government an assurance of neutrality similar to that which has been given to Belgium. M. Eyschen has stated that at present, as the declaration in question was made to the President of the Council of the Belgian Government by the French Minister at Brussels, he thought that the same procedure would be most suitable with regard to the Grand Duchy.

This is the reason why he has abstained from making a request direct to the Government of the Republic. As the Chamber of Deputies meets on Monday, M. Eyschen wishes to have the answer by that date; a similar démarche is being made at the same time with the German Minister at Luxemburg.


No. 129.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to M. Mollard, French Minister at Luxemburg.
Paris, August 1,1914.

Be good enough to state to the President of the Council that in conformity with the Treaty of London, 1867, the Government of the Republic intends to respect the neutrality of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, as they have shown by their attitude.

The violation of this neutrality by Germany would, however, be an act of a kind which would compel France from that time to be guided in this matter by care for her defense and her interests.


No. 130.
M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Berlin, August 1,1914.

Special editions of newspapers are being distributed in the streets of Berlin announcing that the general mobilization of the army and the navy has been decreed and that the first day of the mobilization is Sunday, 2nd August.


No. 131.
M. Eyschen, Minister of State for Luxemburg, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Luxemburg, August 2, 1914.

I have the honour to bring to your Excellency's notice the following facts: --

On Sunday, the 2nd August, very early, 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 off armoured trains with troops and ammunition have been sent along the railway line from Wasserbillig to Lusemburg, 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.

The Minister of State,
President of the Government.

No. 132.
M. Mollard, French Minister at Luxemburg, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Luxemburg, August 2, 1914

The Minister of State for Luxemburg, M Eyschen, has just received, through Herr von Buch, German Minister at Luxemburg, a telegram from Bethmann-Hollweg, Chancellor of the German Empire, saying that the military measures taken by Germany in Luxemburg do not constitute a hostile act against this country, but are solely measures tended to assure the use of the railways which have been leased to the Empire against the eventual attack of a French army. Luxemburg will receive a complete indemnity for any damage.


No. 133.
Note handed in by the German Ambassador.
Paris, August 2,1914.

The German Ambassador has just been instructed, and hastens to inform the Minister for Foreign Affairs, that the Military measures taken by Germany in the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg do not constitute an act of hostility. They must be considered as purely preventive measures taken for the protection of the railways, which, under the treaties between Germany and the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, are under German administration.


No. 134.
M. Paléologue, French Ambassador at St. Petersburgh, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign A ffairs.
St. Petersburgh, August 2, 1914.

Yesterday at ten minutes past seven in the evening the German Ambassador handed to M. Sazonof a declaration of war by his Government; he will leave St. Petersburgh to-day.

The Austro-Hungarian Ambassador has not received any instructions from his Government as to the declaration of war.


No. 135.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the Representatives of France abroad.
Paris, August 2,1914.

The Russian Ambassador informs me that Germany has just declared war on Russia, notwithstanding the negotiations which are proceeding, and at a moment when Austria-Hungary was agreeing to discuss with the Powers even the basis of her conflict with Servia.


No. 136.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the French Ambassadors at London, St. Petersburgh, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, Madrid, Constantinople.
Paris, August 2, 1914.

This morning, French territory was violated by German troops at Ciry and near Longwy. They are marching on the fort which bears the latter name. Elsewhere the Custom House at Delle has twice been fired upon. Finally, German troops have also violated this morning the neutral territory of Luxemburg.

You will at once use this information to lay stress on the fact that the German Government is committing itself to acts of war against France without provocation on our part, or any previous declaration of war, whilst we have scrupulously respected the zone of ten kilometres which we have maintained, even since the mobilisation, between our troops and the frontier.


No. 137.
M. Paul Cambon, French Ambassador at London, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 2, 1914.

After the meeting of the Cabinet held this morning, Sir Edward Grey made the following declaration to me: --

"I am authorized to give an assurance that, if the German feet comes into the Channel or through the North Sea to undertake hostile operations against French coasts or shipping, the British fleet will give all the protection in its power.

"This assurance is of course subject to the policy of His Majesty's Government receiving the support of Parliament, and must not be taken as binding His Majesty's Government to take any action until the above contingency of action by the German fleet takes place."

Afterwards in speaking to me of the neutrality of Belgium and that of Luxemburg, the Secretary of State reminded me that the Convention of 1867, referring to the Grand Duchy, differed from the Treaty referring to Belgium, in that Great Britain was bound to require the observance of this latter (convention without the assistance of the other guaranteeing Powers, while with regard to Luxemburg all the guaranteeing Powers were to act in concert.

The protection of Belgian neutrality is here considered so important that Great Britain will regard its violation by Germany as a casus belli. It is a specially British interest and there is no doubt that the British Government, faithful to the. traditions of their policy, will insist upon it, even if the business world in which German influence is making tenacious efforts, exercises pressure to prevent the Govermnent committing itself against Germany.


No. 138.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs to M. Paul Cambon, French Ambassador at London.
Paris, August 2, 1914.

I note the points contained in your telegrams of the 27th, 30th, 31st July and the 1st August, and in that which you have sent to me to-day.

In communicating to the Chambers the declaration which Sir Edward Grey has made to you, the text of which is contained in your last telegram, I will add that in it we have obtained from Great Britain a first assistance which is most valuable to us.

In addition, I propose to indicate that the help which Great Britain intends to give to France for the protection of the French coasts or the French merchant marine, will be used in such a way that our navy will also, in case of a Franco-German conflict, be supported by the British fleet in the Atlantic as well as in the North Sea and Channel. In addition I would note that British ports could not serve as places for revictualling for the German fleet.


No. 139.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin.
Paris, August 2, 1914.

German troops having to-day violated the eastern frontier at several points I request you immediately to protest in writing to the German Government. You will be good enough to take as your text the following note which, in the uncertainty of communications between Paris and Berlin, I have addressed directly to the German Ambassador: --

" The French administrative and military authorities in the eastern district have just reported several acts which I have instructed the Ambassador of the Republic at Berlin to bring to the knowledge of the Imperial Government.

" The first has taken place at Delle in the district of Belfort; on two occasions the French Customs station in this locality has been fired upon by a detachment of German soldiers. North of Delle two German patrols of the 5th mounted Jaegers crossed the frontier this morning and advanced to the villages of Joncherey and Baron, more than ten kilometres from the frontier. The officer who commanded the first has blown out the brains of a French soldier. The German cavalry carried off some horses which the French mayor of Suarce was collecting and forced the inhabitants of the commune to lead the said horses.

"The Ambassador of the Republic at Berlin has been instructed to make a formal protest to the Imperial Government against acts which form a flagrant violation of the frontier by German troops in arms, and which are not justified by anything in the present situation. The Government of the Republic can only leave to the Imperial Government the entire responsibility for these acts."


No. 140.
M. Marcelin Pellet, French Minister at The Hague, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The Hague, August 3, 1914.

The German Minister called yesterday on the Minister for Foreign Affairs to explain the necessity under which, as he said, Germany was placed of violating the neutral territory of Luxemburg, adding that he would have a fresh communication to make to him to-day. He has now this morning announced the entry of German troops into Belgium in order, as he has explained, to prevent an occupation of that country by France.


No. 141.
M.Klobukowski, French Minister at Brussels, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, August 3, 1914.

Yesterday evening the German Minister handed to the Belgian Government an ultimatum stating that his Government, having learnt that the French were preparing for operations in the districts of Givet and of Namur, were compelled to take steps, the first of which was to invite the Belgian Government to inform them, within seven hours, if they were disposed to facilitate military operations in Belgium against France. In case of refusal the fortune of war would decide.

The Government of the King answered that the information as to the French movements appeared to them to be inaccurate in view of the formal assurances which had been given by France, and were still quite recent; that Belgium, which since the;establishment of her Kingdom, has taken every care to assure the protection of her dignity and of her interests, and has devoted all her efforts to peaceful development of progress, strongly protests against any violation of her territory from whatever quarter it may come: and that, supposing the violation takes place, she will know how to defend with energy her neutrality, which has been guaranteed by the Powers, and notably by the King of Prussia.


No. 142.
M. Klobukowski, French Minister at Brussels, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, August 3, 1914.

To the assurance which I gave him that if Belgium appealed to the guarantee of the Powers against the violation of her neutrality by Germany, France would at once respond to her appeal, the Minister for Foreign Affairs answered:--

" It is with great sincerity that we thank the Government of the Republic for the support which it would eventually be able to offer us, but under present conditions we do not appeal to the guarantee of the Powers. At a later date the Government of the King will weigh the measures which it may be necessary to take."

No. 143.
M. Paul Cambon, French Ambassador at London, to M. René‚ Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 3, 1914.

Sir Edward Grey has authorised me to inform you that you could state to Parliament that he was making explanations to the Commons as to the present attitude of the British Government, and that the chief of these declarations would be as follows: --

" In case the German fleet came into the Channel or entered the North Sea in order to go round l the British Isles with the object of attacking the French coasts or the French navy and of harassing French merchant shipping, the British fleet would intervene in order to give to French.shipping its complete protection, in such a way that from that moment Great Britain and Germany would be in a state of war."

Sir Edward Grey explained to me that the notion of` an operation by way of the North Sea implied protection against a demonstration in the Atlantic Ocean.

The declaration concerning the intervention of the British fleet must be considered as binding the British Government. Sir Edward Grey has assured me of this and has added that the French Government were thereby authorised to inform the Chambers of this.

On my return to the Embassy I received your telephonic communication relating to the German ultimatum addressed to Belgium. I immediately communicated it to Sir Edward Grey.


No. 144.
M. Paul Cambon, French Ambassador at London, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 3, 1914.

Just as Sir Edward Grey was starting this morning for the meeting of the Cabinet, my German colleague, who had already seen him yesterday, came to press him to say that the neutrality of Great Britain did not depend upon respecting Belgian neutrality. Sir Edward Grey refused all conversation on this matter.

The German Ambassador has sent to the press a communiqué saying that if Great Britain remained neutral Germany would give up all naval operations and would not make use of the Belgian coast as a point d'appui. My answer is that respecting the coast is not respecting the neutrality of the territory, and that the German ultimatum is already a violation of this neutrality.


No. 145.
M. Paul Cambon, French Ambassador at London, to M René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 3, 1914.

Sir Edward Grey has made the statement regarding the intervention of the British fleet. He has explained, in considering the situation, what he proposed to do with regard to Belgian neutrality; and the reading of a letter from King Albert asking for the support of Great Britain has deeply stirred the House.

The House will this evening vote the credit which is asked for; from this moment its support is secured to the policy of the Government, and it follows public opinion which is declaring itself more and more in our favour.


No. 146.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to M. Paul Cambon, French Ambassador at London.
Paris, August 3, 1914.

I am told that the German Ambassador is said to have stated to the Foreign Office that yesterday morning eighty French officers in Prussian uniform had attempted to cross the German frontier in twelve motor cars at Walbeck, to the west of Geldern, and that this formed a very serious violation of neutrality on the part of France.

Be good enough urgently to contradict this news which is pure invention, and to draw the attention of the Foreign Office to the German campaign of false news which is beginning.


No. 147.
Letter handed by the German Ambassador to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, during his farewell audience, August 3, 1914, at 6.45 p.m.

M. le Président,

The German administrative and military authorities have established a certain number of flagrantly hostile acts committed on German territory by French military aviators. Several of these have openly violated the neutrality of Belgium by flying over the territory of that country; one has attempted to destroy buildings near Wesel; others have been seen in the district of the Eifel, one has thrown bombs on the railway near Carlsruhe and Nuremberg.

I am instructed, and I have the honour to inform your Excellency, that in the presence of these acts of aggression the German Empire considers itself in a state of war with France in Consequence of the acts of this latter Power.

At the same time I have the honour to bring to the knowledge of your Excellency that the German authorities will detain French mercantile vessels in German ports, but they will release them if, within forty-eight hours, they are assured of complete reciprocity.

My diplomatic mission having thus come to an end it only remains for me to request your Excellency to be good enough to furnish me with my passports, and to take the steps you consider suitable to assure my return to Germany, with the staff of the Embassy, as well as with the staff of the Bavarian Legation and of the German Consulate General in Paris.

Be good enough, M. le Président, to receive the assurances of my deepest respect.


No. 148.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the French Representatives abroad.
Paris, August 3, 1914.

The German Ambassador has asked for his passports and is leaving this evening with the staffs of the Embassy, the German Consulate General and the Bavarian Legation. Baron von Schoen has given as his reason the establishment by the German administrative and military authorities of acts of hostility which are said to have been committed by French military aviators accused of having flown over territory of the Empire and thrown bombs. The Ambassador adds that the aviators are said to have also violated the neutrality of Belgium by flying over Belgian territory. "In the presence of these acts of aggression," says the letter of Baron von Schoen, "the German Empire considers itself in a state of war with France in consequence of the acts of this latter Power."

I formally challenged the inaccurate allegations of the Ambassador, and for my part I reminded him that I had yesterday addressed to him a note protesting against the flagrant violations of the French frontier committed two days ago by detachments of German troops.


No. 149.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to M. Jules Cambon, French Ambassador at Berlin.
(Telegram communicated to French Representatives abroad.)
Paris, August 3, 1914.

I request you to ask for your passports and to leave Berlin at once with the staff of the Embassy, leaving the charge of French interests and the care of the archives to the Spanish Ambassador. I request you at the same time to protest in writing against the violation of the neutrality of Luxemburg by German troops, of which notice has been given by the Prime Minister of Luxemburg; against the ultimatum addressed to the Belgian Government by the German Minister at Brussels to force upon them the violation of Belgian neutrality and to require of that country that she should facilitate military operations against France on Belgian territory; finally against the false allegation of an alleged projected invasion of these two countries by French armies, by which he has attempted to justify the state of war which he declares henceforth exists between Germany and France.


No. 150.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to M. Allizé, French Minister at Munich.
Paris, August 3, 1914.

Be good enough to inform the Royal Bavarian Government that you have received instructions to adapt your attitude to that of our Ambassador at Berlin and to leave Munich.


No. 151.
M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the French Representatives at London, St. Petersburgh, Vienna, Rome, Madrid, Berne, Constantinople, The Hague, Copenhagen, Christiania, Stockholm, Bucharest, Athens, Belgrade
Paris, August 3, 1914.

I learn from an official Belgian source that German troops have violated Belgian territory at Gemmerich in the district of Verviers.


No. 162.
M. Klobukouski, French Minister at Brussels to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, August 4, 1914.

The Chief of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sends me a letter by which "the Government of the King declare that they are firmly decided to resist the aggression of Germany by all means in their power. Belgium appeals to Great Britain, France and Russia to co-operate as guarantors in the defence of her territory.

"There would be a concerted and common action having as its object the resistance of forcible measures employed bv Germany against Belgium, and at the same time to guarantee the maintenance of the independence and integrity of Belgium in the future."

" Belgium is glad to be able to declare that she will ensure the defence of her fortified places."


No. 153.
M. Paul Cambon, French Ambassador at London, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
London, August 4, 1914.

Sir Edward Grey has asked me to come and see him immediately in order to tell me that the Prime Minister would to-day make a statement in the House of Commons that Germany had been invited to withdraw her ultimatum to Belgium and to give her answer to Great Britain before 12 o'clock to-night.


No. 154.
M. Klobukowski, French Minister at Brussels, to M. René Viviani, President of the Council, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Brussels, August 4, 1914.

This morning the German Minister informs the Belgian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, that in consequence of the refusal of the Belgian Government the Imperial government find themselves compelled to carry out by force of arms those measures of protection which are rendered indispensable by the French threats.


No. 155.
M. Bapst, French Minister at Copenhagen, to M. Doumergue, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Copenhagen, August 6, 1914.

The French Ambassador at Berlin asks me to communicate to your Excellency the following telegram: --

"I have been sent to Denmark by the German Government." I have just arrived at Copenhagen. I am accompanied by all the staff of the Embassy and the Russian Chargé d'Affaires at Darmstadt with his family." The treatment which ve have received is of such a nature that I have thought it desirable to make a complete report on it to your Excellency by telegram.

On the morning of Monday, the 3rd August, after I had, in accordance with your instructions, addressed to Herr von Jagow a protest against the acts of aggression committed on French territory by German troops, the Secretary of Siate came to see me. Herr von Jagow came to complain of acts of aggression which he alleged had been committed in Germany, especially at Nuremberg and Coblenz by French aviators, who according to his statement "had come from Belgium." I answered that I had not the slightest information as to the facts to which he attached so much importance and the improbability of which seemed to me obvious; on my part I asked him if he had read the note which I had addressed to him with regard to the invasion of our territory by detachments of the German army. As the Secretary of State said that he had not yet read this note I explained its contents to him. I called his attention to the act committed by the officer commanding one of the detachments who had advanced to the French village of Joncherey, ten kilometres within our frontier, and had blown out the brains of a French soldier whom he had met there. After having given my opinion of this act I added: "You will admit that under no circumstances could there be any comparison between this and the flight of an aeroplane over foreign territory carried out by private persons animated by that spirit of individual courage by which aviators are distinguished.

"An act of aggression committed on the territory of a neighbour by detachments of regular troops commanded by officers assumes an importance of quite a different nature."

Herr von Jagow explained to me that he had no knowledge of the facts of which I was speaking to him, and he added that it was difficult for events of this kind not to take place when two armies filled with the feelings which animated our troops found themselves face to face on either side of the frontier.

At this moment the crowds which thronged the Pariser Platz in front of the Embassy and whom we could see through the window of my study, which was half-open, uttered shouts against France. I asked the Secretary of State when all this would come to an end.

"The Government has not yet come to a decision." Herr von Jagow answered. "It is probable that Herr von Schoen will receive orders to-day to ask for his passports and then you will receive yours." The Secretary of State assured me that I need not have any anxiety with regard to my departure, and that all the proprieties would be observed with regard to me as well as my staff. We were not to see one another any more and we took leave of one another after an interview which had been courteous and could not make me anticipate what was in store for me.

Before leaving Herr von Jagow I expressed to him my wish to make a personal call on the Chancellor, as that would be the last opportunity that I should have of seeing him. Herr vow Jagow answered that he did not advise me to carry out this intention as this interview would serve no purpose and could not fail to be painful.

At 6 o'clock in the evening Herr von Langwerth brought me my passports. In the name of his Government he refused to agree to the wish which I expressed to him that I should be permitted to travel by Holland or Belgium. He suggested to me that I should go either by way of Copenhagen, although he could not assure me a free passage by sea, or through Switzerland via Constance.

I accepted this last route; Herr von Langwerth having asked me to leave as soon as I possibly could it was agreed, in consideration of the necessity I was under of making arrangements with the Spanish Ambassador, who was undertaking the charge of our interests, that I should leave on the next day, the 4th August, at 10 o'clock at night.

At 7 o'clock, an hour after Herr von Langwerth had left, Herr von Lancken, formerly Councillor of the Embassy at Paris, came from the Minister for Foreign Affairs to tell me to request the staff of my Embassy to cease taking meals in the restaurants. This order was so strict that on the next day, Tuesday, I had to have recourse to the authority of the Wilhelmstrasse to get the Hotel Bristol to send our meals to the Embassy.

At 11 o'clock on the same evening, Monday, Herr von Langwerth came back to tell me that his Government would not allow our return by way of Switzerland under the pretext that it would take three days and three nights to take me to Constance. He announced that I should be sent by way of Vienna. I only agreed to this alteration under reserve, and during the night I wrote the following letter to Herr von Langwerth: --

"M. le Baron,
Berlin, August 3, 1914.

I have been thinking over the route for my return to my country about which you came to speak to me this evening. You propose that I shall travel by Vienna. I run the risk of finding myself detained in that town, if not by the action of the Austrian Government, at least owing to the mobilization which creates great difficulties similar to those existing in Germany as to the movements of trains.

Under these circumstances I must ask the German Government for a promise made on their honour that the Austrian Government will send me to Switzerland, and that the Swiss Government will not close its frontier either to me or to the persons by whom I am accompanied, as I am told that that frontier has been firmly closed to foreigners.

I cannot then accept the proposal that you have made to me unless I have the security which I ask for, and unless I am assured that I shall not be detained for some months outside my country.


In answer to this letter on the next morning, Tuesday, the 4th August, Herr von Langwerth gave me in writing an assurance that the Austrian and Swiss authorities had received communications to this effect.

At the same time M. Miladowski, attached to the Consulate at Berlin, as well as other Frenchmen, was arrested in his own house while in bed. M. Miladowski, for whom a diplomatic passport had been requested, was released after four hours.

I was preparing to leave for Vienna when, at a quarter to five, Herr von Langwerth came back to inform me that I would have to leave with the persons accompanying me at 10 o'clock in the evening, but that I should be taken to Denmark. On this new requirement I asked if I should be confined in a fortress supposing I did not comply. Herr von Langwerth simply answered that he would return to receive my answer in half an hour. I did not wish to give the German Government the pretext for saying that I had refused to depart from Germany. I therefore told Herr von Langwerth when he came back that I would submit to the order which had been given to me but " that I protested."

I at once wrote to Herr von Jagow a letter of which the following is a copy:

Berlin, August 4, 1914.

More than once your Excellency has said to me that the Imperial Government, in accordance with the usages of international courtesy, would facilitate my return to my own country and would give me every means of getting back to it quickly.

"Yesterday, however, Baron von Langwerth, after refusing me access to Belgium and Holland, informed me that I should travel to Switzerland via Constance. During the night I was informed that I should be sent to Austria, a country which is taking part in the present war on the side of Germany. As I had no knowledge of the intentions of Austria towards me since on Austrian soil I am nothing but an ordinary private individual, I wrote to Baron von Langwerth that I requested the Imperial Government to give me a promise that the Imperial and Royal Austrian authorities would give me all possible facilities for continuing my journey and that Switzerland would not be closed to me. Herr von Langwerth has been good enough to answer me in writing that I could be assured of an easy journey and that the Austrian authorities would do all that was necessary.

"It is nearly five o'clock, and Baron von Langwerth has just announced to me that I shall be sent to Denmark. In view of the present situation, there is no security that I shall find a ship to take me to England and it is this consideration which made me reject this proposal, with the approval of Herr von Langwerth.

"In truth no liberty is left me and I am treated almost as a prisoner. I am obliged to submit, having no means of obtaining that the rules of international courtesy should be observed towards me, but I hasten to protest to your Excellency against the manner in which I am being treated.


Whilst my letter was being delivered I was told that the journey would not be made direct but by way of Schleswig. At 10 o'clock in the evening, I left the Embassy with my staff in the middle of a great assembly of foot and mounted police.

At the station the Ministry for Foreign Affairs was only represented by an officer of inferior rank.

The journey took place with extreme slowness. We took more than twenty-four hours to reach the frontier. It seemed that at every station they had to wait for orders to proceed. I was accompanied by Major von Rheinbaben of the Alexandra Regiment of the Guard and by a police officer. In the neighbourhood of the Kiel Canal the soldiers entered our carriages. The windows were shut and the curtains of the carriages drawn down; each of us had to remain isolated in his compartment and was forbidden to get up or to touch his luggage. A soldier stood in the corridor of the carriage before the door of each of our compartments which were kept open, revolver in hand and finger on the trigger. The Russian Chargé d'Affaires, the women and children and everyone were subjected to the same treatment.

At the last German station about 11 o'clock at night, Major von Rheinbaben came to take leave of me. I handed to him the following letter to Herr von Jagow.

" Sir,
Wednesday Evening, August 5, 1914.

Yesterday before leaving Berlin, I protested in writing to your Excellency against the repeated change of route which was imposed upon me by the Imperial Government on my journey from Germany.

"To-day, as the train in which I was passed over the Kiel Canal an attempt was made to search all our luggage as if we might have hidden some instrument of destruction. Thanks to the interference of Major von Rheinbaben, we were spared this insult. But they went further.

" They obliged us to remain each in his own compartment, the windows and blinds having been closed. During this time, in the corridors of the carriages at the door of each compartment and facing each one of us, stood a soldier, revolver in hand, finger on the trigger, for nearly half an hour.

"I consider it my duty to protest against this threat of violence to the Ambassador of the Republic and the staff of his Embassy, violence which nothing could even have made me anticipate. Yesterday I had the honour of writing to your Excellency that I was being treated almost as a prisoner. To-day I am being treated as a dangerous prisoner. Also I must record that during our journey which from Berlin to Denmark has taken twenty-four hours, no food has been prepared nor provided for me nor for the persons who were travelling with me to the frontier.


I thought that our troubles had finished, when shortly afterwards Major von Rheinbaben came, rather embarrassed, to inform me that the train would not proceed to the Danish frontier if I did not pay the cost of this train. I expressed my astonishment that I had not been made to pay at Berlin and that at any rate I had not been forewarned of this. I offered to pay by a cheque on one of the largest Berlin banks. This facility was refused me. With the help of my companions I was able to collect, in gold, the sum which was required from me at once, and which amounted to 3,611 marks 76 pfennig. This is about 5,000 francs in accordance with the present rate of exchange.*

After this last incident, I thought it necessary to ask Major von Rheinbaben for his word of honour as an officer and a gentleman that we should be taken to the Danish frontier. He gave it to me, and I required that the policeman who was with us should accompany us. In this way we arrived at the first Danish station, where the Danish Government had had a train made ready to take us to Copenhagen.

I am assured that my British colleague and the Belgian Minister, although they left Berlin after I did, travelled by the direct route to England. I am struck by this difference of treatment, and as Denmark and Norway are, at this moment, infested with spies, if I succeed in embarking in Norway, there is a danger that I may be arrested at sea with the officials who accompany me.

I do not wish to conclude this despatch without notifying your Excellency of the energy and devotion of which the whole staff of the Embassy has given unceasing proof during the course of this crisis. I shall be glad that account should be taken of the services which on this occasion have been rendered to the Government of the Republic, in particular by the Secretaries of the Embassy and by the Military and Naval Attachés.


* Subsequently the sum thus required from M. Jules Cambon was given to the Spanish Ambassador to be repaid to the French Ambassador.

No. 156.
M. Mollard, French Minister at Luxemburg, to M Doumergue, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Paris, August 5, 1914.

The Minister of State came to see me at the Legation this morning, Tuesday, 4th August, 1914, at about half-past eight o'clock, in order to notify me that the German military authorities required my departure. On my answering that I would only give way to force M. Eyschen said that he understood my feelings in this matter, and it was just for that reason that he had himself come to make this communication which cost him so much, for it was just because force was used that he asked me to leave. He added that he was going to bring me written proof of this.

I did not conceal from M. Eyschen the grief and anxiety which I had in leaving my fellow-countrymen without defence, and asked him to be good enough to undertake their protection; this he promised to do.

Just as he was leaving he handed me the enclosed letter (Enclosure I.) which is the answer of the Luxemburg Government to the declaration which I had made the evening before, according to telegraphic instructions of M. Viviani.

About 10 o'clock, the Minister of State came again to the Legation and left me with a short note from himself, a certified copy of the letter which the German Minister had addressed to him on the subject of my departure from Luxemburg. (Enclosures II. and III.)

At the same time he told me that he had informed Herr von Buch that the Luxemburg Government would be entrusted with the protection of the French and would have charge of the Legation and the Chancery. This news did not seem to be agreeable to my German colleague, who advised M. Eyschen to move me to entrust this responsibility to the Belgian Minister. I explained to the Minister of State that the situation was peculiar. As I was accredited to Her Royal Higlmess the Grand Duchess and as my country was not in a state of war with Luxemburg, it was in these circumstances clearly indicated that it should be the Luxemburg Government which should look after the safety of my fellow-countrymen. M. Eyschen did not insist, and again accepted the service which I entrusted to him.

The Minister of State then asked me to be good enough to leave quietly in order to avoid any demonstration, which, as he said, would not fail to bring about reprisals on the part of the German military authorities against the French. I answered that I attached too much value to the safety of my countrymen to compromise it and that he had nothing to fear.

My departure, which was required to take place as soon as possible, was fixed for two o'clock; it was at the same time understood that I should leave in my motor car. As to a safe conduct, M. Eyschen told me that the German Minister was at that.very moment at the German headquarters to ask for it, and that he would take care that I received it in good time.

At a quarter-past two the Minister of State accompanied by M. Henrion, Councillor of the Government, came to take leave of me and to receive the keys of the Legation and those of the Chancery.

He told me that orders had been given for my free passage, and that I must make for Arlon by way of the Merle, Mamers and Arlon roads. He added that a German officer would wait for me at the Merle road in order to go in front of my motor car. I then left the Legation and made my way to Arlon by the road which had been determined on, but I did not meet anyone.

Your Excellency will have the goodness to find the enclosed text of the letter which I sent to the Minister of State before leaving my post (Enclosure IV.).


M. Eyschen, Minister of State, President of the Government, to M. Mollard, French Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Luxemburg.
Luxemburg, August 4, 1914.

In an oral communication made yesterday evening, your Excellency has had the goodness to bring to my knowledge that in accordance with the Treaty of London of 1867, the Government of the Republic intended to respect the neutrality of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg as they had shown by their attitude, but that the violation of this neutrality by Germany was nevertheless of such a kind as to compel France henceforth to be influenced in this matter by the care for her defence and her interests.

You will allow me to point out clearly that the decision of the Government of the Republic is based solely on the act of a third Power for which in truth the Grand Duchy is not responsible.

The rights of Luxemburg must then remain intact.

The German Empire has formally declared that only a temporary occupation of Luxemburg entered into their intentions.

I am glad to believe that the Government of the Republic will have no difficulty in establishing with me the fact that at all times and in all circumstances the Grand Duchy has fully and loyally fulfilled all the obligations of every kind which rested on it in virtue of the Treaty of 1867.

I remain, etc.,

Minister of State, President of the Government.

Private letter from M. Eyschen, Minister of State, President of the Government, to M. Mollard, French Minister, at Luxzemburg.

Sir, A short time ago I had with very great regret to inform you of the intentions of General von Fuchs with regard to your sojourn in Luxemburg.

As I had the honour to tell you, I asked for confirmatiorl in writing of the decision taken by the military authorities in this matter.

Enclosed is a copy of a letter which I have at this moment received from the German Minister.

He has assured me that in carrying out this step there will be no want of the respect due to your position and person.

Be good enough to receive the renewed expression of my regret and my deep regard.


To His Excellency the Minister of State, Dr. Eyschen.
Your Excellency,

In accordance with the instructions of his excellency General Fuchs, I have the honour to ask you to be good enough to-request the French Minister, M. Mollard, to leave Luxemburg as soon as possible and to return to France; otherwise the German military authorities would find themselves under the painful necessity of placing M. Mollard under the charge of a military escort and in the last extremity of proceeding to his arrest.

I beg your Excellency to have the goodness on this occasion to receive the assurance of my deepest regard.


M. Mollard, French Minister at Luxemburg, to His Excellency M. Eyschen, Minister of State, President of the Government of Luxemburg.
Luxemburg, August 4, 1914.

I have just received your communication and I submit to force.

Before leaving Luxemburg it is my duty to provide for the fortune`s and safety of my fellow-countrymen. Knowing the spirit of justice and equity of the Luxemburg Government, I have the honour to ask your Excellency to take them under your protection, and to watch over the safety of their lives and goods.

At the same time I will ask your Excellency to take charge of the Legation and the offices of the Chancery.

I should be much obliged to your Excellency if you would be good enough to lay before Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess the expression of my deepest respect, and my excuses for not having been able myself to express them to her.

In thanking you for all the marks of sympathy which you have given me I beg you to receive renewed assurances of my deep regard.


No. 157.
Notification by the French Government to the Representatives of the Powers at Paris.

The German Imperial Government, after having allowed its armed forces to cross the frontier, and to permit various acts of murder and pillage on French territory; after having violated the neutrality of the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg in defiance of the stipulations of the Convention of London, 11th May 1867, and of Convention V. of the Hague, 18th October 1907, on the rights and duties of Powerss and persons in case of war on land (Articles 1 and 2), Conventions which have been signed by the German Government; after having addressed an ultimatum to the Royal Government of Belgium with the object of requiring passage for German troops through Belgian territory in violation of the Treaties of the l9th April 1839, which had been signed by them, and in violation of the above Convention of the Hague

Have declared war on France at 6.45 p.m. on the 3rd August 1914.

In these circumstances the Government of the Republic find themselves obliged on their side to have recourse to arms.

They have in consequence the honour of informing by these presents the Government of _________ that a state of war exists between France and Germany dating from 6.45 p.m. on 3rd August 1914.

The Govermnent of the Republic protest before all civilised nations, and especially those Governments which have signed the Conventions and Treaties referred to above, against the violation by the German Empire of their international engagements, and they reserve full right for reprisals which they might find themselves brought to exercise against an enemy so little regardful of its plighted word.

The Government of the Republic, who propose to observe the principles of the law of nations, will, during the hostilities, and assuming that reciprocity will be observed, act in accordance with the International Conventions signed by France concerning the law of war on land and sea.

The present notification, made in accordance with Article 2 of the Third Convention of the Hague of the 18th October 190?, relating to the opening of hostilities and handed to Paris, August 4, 1914, 2 p.m.

No. 158.
Message from M. Poincaré, President of the Republic, read at the Extraordinary Session of Parliament, August 4, 1914.
(Journal Officiel of-the 5th August 1914.)

(The Chamber rises and remains standing during the reading of the message.)

"France has just been the object of a violent and premeditated attack, which is an insolent defiance of the law of nations. Before any declaration of war had been sent to us, even before the German Ambassador had asked for his passports, our territory has been violated. The German Empire has waited till yesterday evening to give at this late stage the true name to a state of things which it had already created.

"For more than forty years the French, in sincere love of peace, have buried at the bottom of their heart the desire for legitimate reparation.

"They have given to the world the example of a great nation which, definitely raised from defeat by the exercise of will, patience and labour, has only used its renewed and rejuvenated strength in the interest of progress and for the good of humanity.

"Since the ultimatum of Austria opened a crisis which threatened the whole of Europe, France has persisted in following and in recommending on all sides a policy of prudence, wisdom and moderation.

" To her there can be imputed no act, no movement, no word which has not been peaceful and conciliatory.

" At the hour when the struggle is beginning, she has the right, in justice to herself, of solemnly declaring that she has made, up to the last moment, supreme efforts to avert the war now about to break out, the crushing responsibility for which the German Empire will have to bear before history. (Unanimous and repeated applause.)

"On the very morrow of the day when we and our allies were publicly expressing our hope of seeing negotiations which had been begun under the auspices of the London Cabinet carried to a peaceful conclusion, Germany suddenly declared war upon Russia, she has invaded the territory of Luxemburg, she has outrageously insulted the noble Belgian nation (loud and unanimous applause), our neighbour and our friend, and attempted treacherously to fall upon us while we were in the midst of diplomatic conversation. (Fresh and repeated unanimous applause.)

" But France was watching. As alert as she was peaceful, she was prepared; and our enemies will meet on their path our valiant covering troops, who are at their post and will provide the screen behind which the mobilization of our national forces will be methodically completed.

" Our fine and courageous army, which France to-day accompanies with her maternal thought (loud applause) has risen eager to defend the honour of the flag and the soil of the country. (Unanimous and repeated applause.)

" The President of the Republic interpreting the unanimous feeling of the country, expresses to our troops by land and sea the admiration and confidence of every Frenchman (loud and prolonged applause).

" Closely united in a common feeling, the nation will persevere with the cool self-restraint of which, since the beginning of the crisis, she has given daily proof. Now, as always, she will know how to harmonise the most noble daring and most ardent enthusiasm with that self-control which is the sign of enduring energy and is the best guarantee of victory (applause). " In the war which is beginning France will have Right on her side, the eternal power of which cannot with impunity be disregarded by nations any more than by individuals (loud and unanimous applause). " She will be heroically defended by all her sons; nothing will break their sacred union before the enemy; today they are joined together as brothers in a common indignation against the aggressor, and in a common patriotic faith (loud and prolonged applause and cries of 'Vive la France').

"She is faithfully-helped by Russia, her ally (loud and unanimous applause); she is supported by the loyal friendship of Great Britain (loud and unanimous. applause)....

" And already from every part of the civilised world sympathy and good wishes are coming to her. For to day once again she stands before the universe for Liberty, Justice and Reason (loud and repeated applause) 'Haut les coeurs et vive la France! ' (unanimous and prolonged applause).


No. 159.
Speech delivered by M. René Viviani, President of the Council, its the Chamber of Deputies, August 4, 1914.
(Journal Officiel, August 5, 1914.)
M. René Viviani, President of the Council.

The German Ambassador yesterday left Paris after notifying us of the existence of a state of war.

The Government owe to Parliament a true account of the events which in less than ten days have unloosed a European war and compelled France, peaceful and valiant, to defend her frontier against an attack, the hateful injustice of which is emphasized by its calculated unexpectedness.

This attack, which has no excuse, and which began before we were notified of any declaration of war, is the last act of a plan, whose origin and object I propose to declare before our own democracy and before the opinion of the civilised world.

As a consequence of the abominable crime which cost the Austro-Hungarian Heir-Apparent and the Duchess of Hohenburg their lives, difficulties arose between the Cabinets of Vienna and Belgrade.

The majority of the Powers were only semi-officially informed of these difficulties up till Friday, July 24th, the date on which the Austro-Hungarian Ambassadors communicated to them a circular which the press has published.

The object of this circular was to explain and justify an ultimatum delivered the evening before to Servia by the Austro:Hungarian Minister at Belgrade.

This ultimatum in alleging the complicity of numerous Servian subjects and associations in the Serajevo crime, hinted that the official Servian authorities themselves were no strangers to it. It demanded a reply from Servia by 6 o'clock on the evening of Saturdays July 25th.

The Austrian demands, or at any rate many of them, without doubt struck a blow at the rights of a sovereign State. Notwithstanding their excessive character, Servia, on July 25th, declared that she submitted to them almost without reserve.

This submission, which constituted a success for Austria-Hungary, a guarantee for the peace of Europe, was not unconnected with the advice tendered to Belgrade from the first moment by France, Russia and Great Britain.

The value of this advice was all the greater since the Austro-Hungarian demands had been concealed from the Chanceries of the Triple Entente, to whom in the three preceding weeks the Austro-Hungarian Government had on several occasions given an assurance that their claims would be extremely moderate.

It was, therefore, with natural astonishment that the Cabinets of Paris, St. Petersburgh and London learned on 26th July that the Austrian Minister at Belgrade, after a few minutes' examination, declared that the Servian reply was inacceptable, and broke off diplomatic relations.

This astonishment was increased by the fact that on Friday, the 24th, the German Ambassador came and read to the French Minister for Foreign Affairs a note verbale asserting that the Austro-Servian dispute must remain localised, without intervention by the great Powers, or otherwise "incalculable consequences" were to be feared. A similar démarche was made on Saturday, the 25th, at London and at St. Petersburgh.

Need I, Gentlemen, point out to you the contrast between the threatening expressions used by the German Ambassador at Paris and the conciliatory sentiments which the Powers of the Triple Entente had just manifested by the advice which they gave to Servia to submit?

Nevertheless, in spite of the extraordinary character of the German démarche, we immediately, in agreement with our Allies and our friends, took a conciliatory course and invited Germany to join in it.

We have had from the first moment regretfully to recognise that our intentions and our efforts met with no response at Berlin.

Not only did Germany appear wholly unwilling to give to Austria-Hungary the friendly advice which her position gave her the right to offer, but from this moment and still more in the following days, she seemed to intervene between the Cabinet at Vienna and the compromises suggested by the other Powers.

On Tuesday, 28th July, Austria-Hungary declared war on Servia. This declaration of war, with its aggravation of the state of affairs brought about by the rupture of diplomatic relations three days before, gave ground for believing that there was a deliberate desire for war, and a systematic programme for the enslavement of Servia.

Thus there was now involved in the dispute not only the independence of a brave people, but the balance of power in the Balkans, embodied in the Treaty of Bukarest of 1913, and consecrated by the moral support of all the great Powers.

However, at the suggestion of the British Government with its constant and firm attachment to the maintenance of the peace of Europe, the negotiations were continued, or, to speak more accurately, the Powers of the Triple Entente tried to continue them.

From this common desire sprang the proposal for action by the four Powers, England, France, Germany and Italy, which was intended, by assuring to Austria all legitimate satisfaction, to bring about an equitable adjustment of the dispute.

On Wednesday, the 29th, the Russian Government, noting the persistent failure of these efforts and faced by the Austrian mobilisation and declaration of war, fearing the military destruction of Servia, decided as a precautionary measure to mobilise the troops of four military districts, that is to say, the formations echeloned along the Austro-Hungarian frontier exclusively.

In taking this step, the Russian Government were careful to inform the German Government that their measures, restricted as they were and without any offensive character towards Austria, were not in any degree directed against Germany.

In a conversation with the Russian Ambassador at Berlin, the German Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs acknowledged this without demur.

On the other hand, all the efforts made by Great Britain, with the adherence of Russia and the support of France, to bring Austria and Servia into touch under the moral patronage of Europe were encountered at Berlin with a predetermined negative of which the diplomatic despatches afford the clearest proof.

This was a disquieting situation which made it probable that there existed at Berlin intentions which had not been disclosed. Some hours afterwards this alarming suspicion was destined to become a certainty.

In fact Germany's negative attitude gave place thirty-six hours later to positive steps which were truly alarming. On the 31st July Germany, by proclaming " a state of danger of war," cut the communications between herself and the rest of Europe, and obtained for herself complete freedom to pursue against France in absolute secrecy military preparations which, as you have seen, nothing could justify.

Already for some days, and in circumstances difficult to explain, Germany had prepared for the transition of her army from a peace footing to a war footing.

From the morning of the 25th July, that is to say even before the expiration of the time limit given to Servia by Austria, she had confined to barracks the garrisons of Alsace-Lorraine. The same day she had placed the frontier-works in a complete state of defense. On the 26th, she had indicated to the railways the measures preparatory for concentration. On the 27th, she had completed requisitions and placed her covering troops in position. On the 28th, the summons of individual reservists had begun and units which were distant from the frontier had been brought up to it.

Could all these measures, pursued with implacable method, leave us in doubt of Germany's intentions?

Such was the situation when, on the evening of the 31st July, the German Government, which, since the 24th had not participated by any active step in the conciliatory efforts of the Triple Entente, addressed an ultimatum to the Russian Government under the pretext that Russia had ordered a general mobilization of her armies, and demanded that this mobilisation should be-stopped within twelve hours.

This demand, which was all the more insulting in form because a few hours earlier the Emperor Nicholas II., with a movement at once confiding and spontaneous, had asked the Garman Emperor for his mediation, was put forward at a moment when, on the request of England and with the knowledge of Germany, the Russian Government was accepting a formula of such a nature as to lay the foundation for a friendly settlement of the Austro-Servian dispute and of the Austro-Russian difficulties by the simultaneous arrest of military operations and of military preparations.

The same day this unfriendly démarche towards Russia was supplemented by acts which were frankly hostile towards France; the rupture of communications by road, railway, telegraph and telephone, the seizure of French locomotives on their arrival at the frontier, the placing of machine guns in the middle of the permanent way which had been cut, and the concentration of troops on this frontier.

From this moment we were no longer justified in believing in the sincerity of the pacific declarafion which the German representative continued to shower upon us (hear, hear). We knew that Germany was mobilizing under the shelter of the " state of danger of war."

We learnt that six classes of reservists had been called up, and that transport was being collected even for those army corps which were stationed a considerable distance from the frontier.

As these events unfolded themselves, the Government, watchful and vigilant, took from day to day, and even from hour to hour, the measures of precaution which the situation required; the general mobilization of our forces on land and sea was ordered.

The same evening, at 7.30, Germany, without waiting for the acceptance by the Cabinet of St. Petersburgh of the English proposal, which I have already mentioned, declared war on Russia.

The next day, Sunday, the 2nd August, without regard for the extreme moderation of France, in contradiction to the peaceful declarations of the German Ambassador at Paris, and in defiance of the rules of international law, German troops crossed our frontier at three different points.

At the same time, in violation of the Treaty of 1867, which we guaranteed with the signature of Prussia the neutrality of Luxemburg, they invaded the territory of the Grand Duchy and so gave cause for a protest by the Luxemburg Government.

Finally, the neutrality of Belgium also was threatened The German Minister, on the evening of the 2nd August, presented to the lament an ultimatum requesting facilities in Belgium for military operations agamst France, under the lying pretext that Belgian neutrality was threatened by us; the Belgian Government refused, and declared that they were resolved to defend with vigour their neutrality, which was respected by France and guaranteed by treaties, and in particular by the King of Prussia. (Unanimous and prolonged applause.)

Since then, Gentlemen, the German attacks have been renewed, multiplied, and accentuated. At more than fifteen points our frontier has been violated. Shots have been fired at our soldiers and Customs officers.. Men have been killed and wounded. Yesterday a German military aviator dropped three bombs on Lunéville. The German Ambassador, to whom as well as to all the great Powers, we communicated these facts, did not deny them or express his regrets for them. On the contrary, he came yesterday evening to ask me for his passports, and to notify us of the existence of a state of war, giving as his reason, in the teeth of all the facts, hostile acts committed by French aviators in German territory in the Eifel district, and even on the railway near Carlsruhe and near Nuremberg. This is the letter which he handed to me on the subject: --

" M. Le President,
" The German administrative and military authorities have established a certain number of flagrantly hostile acts committed on German territory by French military aviators. Several of these have openly violated the neutrality of Belgium by flying over the territory of that country; one has attempted to destroy buildings near Wesel; others have been seen in the district of the Eifel, one has thrown bombs on the railway near Carlsruhe and Nuremburg.

" I am instructed, and I have the honour to inform your Excellency, that in the presence of these acts of aggression the German Empire considers itself in a state of war with France in consequence of the acts of this latter Power.

" At the same time, I have the honour to bring to the knowledge of your Excellency that the German authorities will retain French mercantile vessels in German ports, but they will release them if, within forty-eight hours, they are assured of complete reciprocity.

" My diplomatic mission having thus come to an end it only remains for me to request your Excellency to be good enough to furnish me with my passports, and to take the steps you consider suitable to assure my return to Germany, with the staff of the Embassy, as well as with the staff of the Bavarian Legation and of the German Consulate General in Paris.

" Be good enough, M. le Président, to receive the assurances of my deepest respect.

" (Signed) SCHOEN."

Need I, Gentlemen, lay stress on the absurdities of these pretexts which they would put forward as grievances? At no time has any French aviator penetrated into Belgium, nor has any French aviator committed either in Bavaria or any other part of Germany any hostile act. The opinion of Europe has already done justice to these wretched inventions. (Loud and unanimous applause.)

Against these attacks, which violate all the laws of justice and all the principles of public law, we have now taken all the necessary steps; they are being carried out strictly, regularly, and with calmness.

The mobilisation of the Russian army also continues with remarkable vigour and unrestrained enthusiasm. (Unanimous anal prolonged applause, all the deputies rising from their seats.)</I. The Belgian army, mobilised with 250,000 men, prepares with a splendid passion and magnificent ardour to defend the neutrality and independence of their country.<i> (Renewed loud and unanimous applause.)

The entire British fleet is mobilised and orders have been given to mobilise the land forces. (Loud cheers, all the deputies rising to their feet.)

Since 1912 pourparlers had taken place between English and French General Staffs and were concluded by an exchange of letters between Sir Edward Grey and M. Paul Cambon. The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs yesterday evening communicated these letters to the House of Commons, and I have the honour, with the consent of the British Government, to acquaint you with the contents of these two documents.

Foreign Office,
November 22, 1912.
My dear Ambassador,

From time to time in recent years the French and British naval and military experts have consulted together. It has always been understood that such consultation does not restrict the freedom of either Government to decide at any future timet whether or not to assist the other by armed force. We have agreed that consultation between experts is not, and ought not to be regarded as, an engagement that commits either Government to action in a contingency that has not arisen and may never arise. The disposition, for instance, of the French and British fleets respectively at the present moment is not based upon an engagement to co-operate in war.

You have, however, pointed out that, if either Government had grave reason to expect an unprovoked attack by a third Power, it might become essential to know whether it could in that event depend upon the armed assistance of the other.

I agree that, if either Government had grave reason to expect an unprovoked attack by a third Power, or something that threatened the general peace, it should immediately discuss with the other whether both governments should act together to prevent aggression and to preserve peace, and, if so, what measures they would be prepared to take in common. If these measures involved action, the plans of the General Staffs would at once be taken into consideration, and the Governments would then decide what effect should be given to them.

Yours, &c.,

To this letter our Ambassador, M. Paul Chambon, replied on the 23rd November 1912: --

November 23, 1912.
Dear Sir Edward,

You reminded me in your letter of yesterday, 22nd November, that during the last few years the military and naval authorities of France and Great Britain had consulted with each other from time to time; that it had always been understood that these consultations should not restrict the liberty of either Government to decide in the future whether they should lend each other the support of their armed forces; that, on either side, these consultations between experts were not and should not be considered as engagements binding our Governments to take action in certain eventualities; that, however, I had remarked to you that, if one or other of the two governments had grave reasons to fear an unprovoked attack on the part of a third Power, it would become essential to know whether it could count on the armed support of the other.

Your letter answers that point, and I am authorised to state that, in the event of one of our two Governments having grave reasons to fear either an act of aggression from a third Power, or some event threatening the general peace, that Government would immediately examine with the other the question whether both Governments should act together in order to prevent the act of aggression or preserve peace. If so, the two Governments would deliberate as to the measures which they would be prepared to take in common; if those measures involved action, the two Governments would take into immediate consideration the plans of their general staffs and would then decide as to the effect to be given to those plans.

Yours, &c.,

In the House of Commons the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs spoke of France amidst the applause of the members in a noble and warm-hearted manner and his language has already found an echo deep in the hearts of all Frenchmen (loud and unanimous applause.) I wish in the name of the Government of the Republic to thank the British Government from this tribune for their cordial words and the Parliament of France will associate itself in this sentiment (renewed, prolonged and unanimous applause).

The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs made in particular the following declaration: --

"In case the German fleet came into the Channel or entered the North Sea in order to go round the British Isles with the object of attacking the French coasts or the French navy and of harassing French merchant shipping, the British fleet would intervene in order to give to French shipping its complete protection in such a way that from that moment Great Britain and Germany would be in a state of war."

From now onwards, the British fleet protects our northern and western coasts against a German attack. Gentlemen, these are the facts. I believe that the simple recital of them is sufficient to justify the acts of the Government of the Republic. I wish, however, to make clear the conclusion to be drawn from my story and to give its true meaning to the unheard-of attack of which France is the victim.

The victors of 1870 have, at different times, as you know, desired to repeat the blows which they dealt us then. In 1875, the war which was intended to complete the destruction of conquered France was only prevented by the intervention of the two Powers to whom we were to become united at a later date by ties of alliance and of friendship (unanimous applause), by the intervention of Russia and of Great Britain (prolonged applause, all the deputies rising to their feet).

Since then the French Republic, by the restoration of her national forces and the conclusion of diplomatic agreements unswervingly adhered to, has succeeded in liberating herself from the yoke which even in a period of profound peace Bismarok was able to impose upon Europe.

She has re-established the balance of power in Europe, a guarantee of the liberty and dignity of all.

Gentlemen, I do not know if I am mistaken, but it seems to me that this work of peaceful reparation, of liberation and honour finally ratified in 1904 and 1907, with the genial co-operation of King Edward VII. of England and the Government of the Crown (applause), this is what the German Empire wishes to destroy to-day by one daring stroke.

Germany can reproach us with nothing.

Bearing in silence in our bosom for half a century the wound which Germany dealt us we have offered to peace an unprecedented sacrifice (loud and unanimous applause).

We have offered other sacrifices in all the discussions which since 1904 German diplomacy has systematically provoked, whether in Morocco or elsewhere in 1905, in 1906, in 1908, in 1911.

Russia also has given proof of great moderation at the time of the events of 1908, as she has done in the present crisis.

She observed the same moderation, and the Triple Entente with her, when in the Eastern crisis of 1912 Austria and Germany formulated demands, whether against Servia or against Greece, which still were, as the event proved, capable of settlement by discussion.

Useless sacrifices, barren negotiations, empty efforts, since to-day in the very act of conciliation we, our allies and ourselves, are attacked by surprise (prolonged applause). No one can honestly believe that we are the aggressors. Vain is the desire to overthrow the sacred principles of right and of liberty to which nations, as well as individuals, are subject; Italy with that clarity of insight possessed by the Latin intellect, has notified us that she proposes to preserve neutrality (prolonged applause, all the deputies rising to their feet). This decision has found in all France an echo of sincerest joy. I made myself the interpreter of this feeling to the Italian C:hargé d'Affaires when I told him how much I congratulated myself that the two Latin sisters, who have the same origin and the same ideal, a common and glorious past, are not now opposed to one another (renewed applause).

Gentlemen, we proclaim loudly the object of their attack -- it is the independence, the honour, the safety which the Triple Entente has regained in the balance of power for the service of peace. The object of attack is the liberties of Europe, which France, her allies, and her friends, are proud to defend (loud applause).

We are going to defend these liberties, for it is they that are in dispute, and all the rest is but a pretext.

France, unjustly provoked, did not desire war, she has done everything to avert it. Since it is forced upon her, she will defend herself against Germany and against every Power which has not yet declared its intentions, but joins with the latter in a conflict between the two countries. (Applause, all the deputies rising to their feet.)

A free and valiant people that sustains an eternal ideal, and is wholly united to defend its existence -- a democracy which knows how to discipline its military strength, and was not afraid a year ago to increase its burden as an answer to the armaments of its neighbour; a nation armed, struggling for its own life and for the independence of Europe here is a sight which we are proud to offer to the onlookers in this desperate struggle, that has for some days been preparing with the greatest calmness and method. We are without reproach. We shall be without fear. (Loud applause, all the deputies rising to their feet.) France has often proved in less favourable circumstances that she is a most formidable adversary when she fights, as she does to-day, for liberty and for right (applause). In submitting our actions to you, Gentlemen, who are our judges, we have, to help us in bearing the burden of our heavy responsibility, the comfort of a clear conscience and the conviction that we have done our duty (prolonged applause, all the deputies rising to their feet).



No. 160.
(September 4, 1914.)
M. Delcassé, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the French Ambassadors and Ministers abroad.

Paris, September 4, 1914.

The following declaration has this morning been signed at the Foreign Office at London: --

"The undersigned duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments hereby declare as follows: --

" The British, French and Russian Governments mutually engage not to conclude peace separately during the present war. The three Governments agree that when terms of peace

come to be discussed, no one of the Allies will demand terms of peace without the previous agreement of each of the other Allies."


This declaration will be published to-day.


WWI Document Archive > Official Papers > The French Yellow Book > Numbers 111-160