XXXVII Neues Palais 30/X/1904
Neues Palais 30/X/1904
My dear Nicky
Your kind telegram1 has given me the pleasure to feel that I was able to be of some use to you in a serious moment. I have at once communicated with the Chancellor and we both have secretly -- without informing any other person -- drawn up the 3 Articles of the Treaty you wished. Be it as you say. Let us stand together. Of course the alliance would be purely defensive, exclusively directed against European agressor or agressors, in the form of a mutual fire insurance company against incendiarism. It is very essential that Amerika should not feel threatened by our agreement. Roosevelt, as I know, owing to the innate American dislike to all coloured races, has no special partiality for Japan, allthough England does her utmost to work upon American feeling in favour of the Japanese. Besides the Americans have a clear perception of the indisputable fact that a powerful Japanese Empire is a lasting danger to the American Philippines. As for France, we both know, that the Radicals and antichristian parties, which for the moment are the stronger ones, incline towards England, old Crimean traditions, but are opposed to war, because a victorious General would mean certain destruction to this Republic of miserable civilians. The nationalists or clerical party dislikes England and has sympathies for Russia, but does not dream of throwing in its lot with Russia in the present war. Between these two parties the Republic Government will remain neutral and do nothing, England counts upon this neutrality and upon the consequent isolation of Russia. I positively know that as far back as December last the French Minister of Finance Rouvier2 from his own accord told the Financial Agent of another Power, that on no account whatever would France join you in a Russo-Japanese war, even if England should take sides with Japan. To make these Republicans doubly sure, England has handed Marocco3 over to France. The absolute certainty that France intends to remain neutral and even to lend her diplomatic support to England is the motive which gives English policy its present unwonted brutal assurance. This unheard of state of things will change for the better as soon as France finds herself face to face with the necessity of choosing sides and openly declaring herself for Petersburg or London. As I said before, the Radicals who gravitate to England abhor war and militarism, whereas the Nationalists while not objecting to war itself, wont fight for England nor against Russia. Thus it evidently lies in the interest of both parties to bring pressure to bear on and warn England to keep the Peace. If you and I stand shoulder to shoulder, the main result will be that France must openly and formally join us both thereby at last fulfilling her treaty obligations towards Russia which are of the highest value to us, especially with respect to her fine harbours and good fleet, which would thereby be at our disposal too. This you may rest assured will put an end to made up grievances about so called breaches of neutrality. This consumation once reached I expect to be able to maintain peace and you will be left a free and undisturbed hand to deal with Japan. May I add that I sincerely admire your masterful political instinct which caused you to refer the North-Sea incident to the Hague Tribunal.4 For just this systematically distorted incident has been used by the French Radicals, Clemenceau and all the rest of the tag-rag-and bobtai1 as a further argument against the necessity of France's fullfilling her Treaty obligations towards Russia. Of course before we can take any steps in this question and approach France that tiresome North Sea incident must have been brought to a close. For as, I am informed, Declassée and Cambon have allready adopted the British view of this incident and accordingly fixed the attitude of the French Government in a friendly way for England. Should we therefore on this question bring pressure to bear on France, she would no doubt choose the British side, just what we dont want her to do. "Il faut que l'incident de la Mer Noire soit close"5 first, then only after that our action may begin.
I herewith enclose the draft of the Articles of the Treaty as you wished, may it meet with your approval; nobody knows anything about it, not even my foreign Office; the work was done by Bülow and me personally. "Moge Gottes Segen ruhen auf dem Vorhaben der beiden hohen Herrscher, und die Machtige 3 fache Gruppe, Russland, Deutschland. Frankreich für immer Europa den Frieden bewahren helfen, das Walte Gott";6 those were his words when we had finished.
I send to Suwalki7 in order to salute you on nearing our frontier. General der Infanterie vd. Goltz and Oberpräsident von Estpreussen von Moltke. The former commands the I Army Corps, after having been chief of our Engineering Corps; which post he filled after his return from Turkey, where he spent many years in the fruitless attempts at reorganisation. The latter is Governor of Eastern Prussia, a nephew of the old Field Marshal, and brother of my Gen. Adjutant, who commanded your Grenadiers and was often kindly received by you, when he came in special mission. With best love to Alix
I remain Ever your aff-ate cousin and friend
1. Undoubtedly the telegram dated October 28th, the text of which follows: "Of course you know the first details of the North Sea incident from our Admiral's telegram. Naturally it completely alters the situation. I have no words to express my indignation with England's conduct. I agree fully with your complaints about England's behaviour concerning the coaling of our ships by German steamers. Whereas she understand the rules of keeping neutrality in her own fashion, it is certainly high time to put a stop to this. The only way, as you say, would be that Germany, Russia and France should at once unite upon arrangements to abolish English and Japanese arrogance and insolence. Would you like to lay down and frame the outlines of such a Treaty? As soon as it is accepted by us France is bound to join her ally."
2. Maurice Rouvier, who was Minister of Finance 1902-1905. He became Premier January 25th, 1905, with M. Declassé as Foreign Minister. He was still Prime Minister when the Moroccan crisis arose, and M. Declassé resigned as a result of German threats. 3. The Anglo-French agreement of April 8th, 1904, contained a clause in which France recognized British predominance in Egypt and Great Britain recognized French influence in Morocco.
4. The Czar's proposal that the dispute arising out of the Dogger Bank incident should be submitted to an international commission of inquiry on the basis of the Hague Convention, was accepted by the British Government on October 28th, 1904.
5. The North Sea incident must be closed.
6. May the blessing of God rest upon the acts of the two high Rulers and may the mighty triple group, Russia, Germany and France forever help maintain peace in Europe; May God bring that about.
7. The Czar left Petrograd on November 8th, 1904, on a tour of military inspection of the western frontier of Russia. General von der Goltz and Herr von Moltke, Chief President of East Prussia, left Berlin for Suwalki on November 9th, and lunched with the Czar at Suwalki on November l0th.