XLII Neues Palais 21/XII/1904
Neues Palais 21/XII/1904
Sincerest thanks for your kind letter and two telegrams, as well as for your kind order regulating the coaling question. Of course we are unable today to foresee wether the declaration given by your Government will prove sufficient to meet every kind of complication which may arise out of the present run of affairs. It is however not my intention to press upon you any solution which might appear undesirable to you. We shall under all circumstances remain true and loyal friends. My opinion about the agreement is still the same; it is impossible to take France into our confidence before we two have come to a definite arrangement. Loubet and Declassé are no doubt experienced statesmen. But they not beeing Princes or Emperors I am unable to place them -- in a question of confidence like this one -- on the same footing as you my equal, my cousin and friend.
Should you therefore think it imperative to acquaint the French Government with our negotiations before we have arrived at definite settlement, I consider it better for all parties concerned to continue in our present condition of mutual independence, and of the spontaneous promotion of each others ends as far as the situation will permit. I firmly trust and believe that the hopes of our beeing useful to each other may be realized not only during the war, but also after it during the Peace negotiations, for our interests in the Far East are identical in more than one respect.
I wish you and Alix with all my heart a merry Xmas and a happy New Year, and may the Lord's Blessing be on you all, not forgetting the boy. With sincerest love to Alix believe me dearest Nicky
most aff-ate and devoted cousin and friend
- Emile Loubet, President of France.
The British Government, as you will have seen in the English press, seems to think the actual moment opportune for an action against the provisioning of your Baltic fleet with coal. Under pretext that it is its duty to maintain stricktest neutrality it has forbidden the German vessels belonging or chartered by the Hamburg-America Line to leave British ports. My fears -- I wrote to you longer ago -- that this would happen have at last come true, and it is now incumbent upon me to take early steps to fix the attitude Germany has to take up vis a vis of this action. It is far from my intention to hurry you in your answer to my last remarks about your proposal anent our defensive treaty. But you will I am sure be fully alive to the fact, that I must now have absolutely positive guarantees from you, wether you intend leaving me unaided or not in case England and Japan should declare war against me, on account of the Coaling of the Russian Fleet by Germany. Should you be unable to absolutely guarantee me, that in such a war you will loyally fight shoulder to shoulder with me, then I regret to assert to be under the necessity of immediately forbidding German steamers to continue to coal your fleet.
Alvensleben is under orders to at once elucidate the Coaling question with Lambsdorff. Best love to Alix.
Ever your most aff-ate cousin and friend
- It was announced at the time that a German ship had been stopped from coaling at Cardiff because its cargo was believed to be destined for the Russian Baltic fleet.