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farther than “the submission of a report to the minister of war by the chief of the general staff.” Even in these discussions Belgium did not take the initiative; she only showed a willingness to discuss with the British officials plans for carrying out the obligations that Great Britain had assumed in 1839. But the Belgian Government in 1906 considered after these conversations that the general guarantee was adequate and that a supplementary agree
nent as to detailed plans for making good the guarantee was not necessary. “Baron Greindl's attitude towards Barnardiston's suggestions proves conclusively that he knew that these suggestions had not resulted in any convention.”
As to the conversation between Colonel Bridges and General Jungbluth, the Belgian chief of staff protested against the opinion of the English colonel that Britain would have landed troops in Belgium without her consent since, in his opinion, Belgium could not have prevented the Germans from passing through the country. General Jungbluth insisted that Belgium's consent was necessary and that Belgium was “perfectly well able to stop the Germans; that is to say, to make them lose sufficient time to deprive them of the advantage of a sudden attack.” In taking this stand, “Gen
eral Jungbluth defended her [Belgium's] freedom and neutrality.”
The French military map, it is contended, was not connected with the other documents and is, therefore, no evidence that France was a party to an alleged convention between England and Belgium. It only proves that the general staff of Belgium was on the look-out for information regarding the “military plans of neighboring powers.
powers." 26 As evidence that Great Britain so understood the attitude of the Belgian Government, Belgium points to the following official statement, published in the London Times, September 30, 1914:
For long past Great Britain knew that the Belgian army would oppose by force a "preventive" disembarkation of British troops in Belgium. The Belgian Government did not hesitate at the time of the Agadir crises to warn foreign ambassadors, in terms which could not be misunderstood, of its formal intention to compel respect for the neutrality of Belgium by every means at its disposal, and against attempts upon it from any and every quarter. 27
Britain disavows having ever had any intention of violating the neutrality of Belgium. Sir Edward Grey, however, admits that
In view of the solemn guarantee given by Great Britain to protect the neutrality of Belgium against violation from any side, some academic discussions may, through the instrumentality of Colonel Barnardiston, have taken place between General Grierson and the Belgian military authorities as to what assist
26 B. G. B., appendix 5, Col. Doc., 361-5. 27 B. G. B., appendix 6, enclosure 3.
ance the British army might be able to afford to Belgium should one of her neighbors violate that neutrality. Some notes with reference to the subject may exist in the archives at Brussels.
At that time there existed, he says, a fear in England and Belgium that Germany might attack France through Belgium as she had the year previous "adopted a threatening attitude towards France with regard to Morocco.” This feeling of apprehension, he asserts, has been kept alive by the fact that Germany “since 1906 has established an elaborate network of strategical railways leading from the Rhine to the Belgian frontier through a barren, thinlypopulated tract, deliberately constructed to permit of the sudden attack upon Belgium, which was carried out two months ago." 28
The conversation between the English Colonel Bridges and the Belgian chief of staff seems to have aroused a fear in Belgium that England would be the first power to violate her neutrality. Sir Edward Grey was informed of the existence of this feeling and spoke of it to the Belgian minister on April 7, 1913. He assured him that his Government would not be the first to violate the neutrality of Belgium, nor did he believe that public sentiment in England would ever approve of it. He promised the Belgian minister that his 'Government
28 B. G, B., appendix 3, Col. Doc., 353.
would never send troops into Belgium as long as her neutrality was not violated by any other power.28
The lord high chancellor of England also denied that his country had ever had any intention of violating the neutrality of Belgium. In a letter written to the Master of Christ's College, Cambridge, November 14, 1914, he said:
It is quite untrue that the British Government had ever arranged with Belgium to trespass on her country in case of war, or that Belgium had agreed to this. The strategic dispositions of Germany, especially as regards railways, have for some years given rise to the apprehension that Germany would attack France through Belgium. Whatever military discussions have taken place before this war have been limited entirely to the suggestion of what could be done to defend France if Germany attacked her through Belgium. The Germans have stated that we contemplated sending troops to Belgium. We had never committed ourselves at all to the sending of troops to the Continent, and we had never contemplated the possibility of sending troops to Belgium to attack Germany.30
It is charged by the Germans that “French and British troops had marched into Belgium before the outbreak of the war''; also, that “British military stores had been placed at Maubeuge, a French fortress near the Belgian frontier, before the outbreak of the war and that this is evidence of an intention to attack
29 B. G. B., appendix 1, Col. Doc., 350.
Germany through Belgium.” In answer to the first of these charges, the London Times prints (September 30, 1914) an official statement as follows:
The German press has been attempting to persuade the public that if Germany herself had not violated Belgian neutrality France or Great Britain would have done so. It has declared that French and British troops had marched into Belgium before the outbreak of war. We have received from the Belgian Minister of War an official statement which denies absolutely these allegations. It declares, on the one hand, that “before August 3 not a single French soldier had set foot on Belgian territory,” and again, “it is untrue that on August 4 there was a single English soldier in Belgium.
In answer to the second accusation, the lord chancellor said (November 14):
The Germans have stated that British military stores had been placed at Maubeuge, a French fortress near the Belgian frontier, before the outbreak of the war, and that this is evidence of an intention to attack Germany through Belgium. No British soldiers and no British stores were landed on the Continent till after Germany had invaded Belgium, and Belgium had appealed to France and England for assistance. It was only after this appeal that British troops were sent to France; and, if the Germans found British munitions of war in Maubeuge, these munitions were sent with our expedition to France after the outbreak of the war.
The idea of violating the neutrality of Belgium was never discussed or contemplated by the British Government.31
31 B. G. B., appendix 6, enclosures 1, 3. Mr. Alexander Fuehr, in his book on the neutrality of Bel