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burg." We find him and the French ambassador at London on July 24 agreeing that it would be wise for the English cabinet to ask Germany to take the initiative in an effort at mediation between Austria and Serbia. Sir Edward Grey expressed at this time “his desire to leave no stone unturned to avert the crisis." 6 The policy of joint mediation was approved by Russia and Italy, and the French foreign minister declared his willingness to cooperate in any conciliatory action at Vienna."' 7 Germany, however, was opposed to intervention between Austria and Serbia, but Herr von Jagow, German foreign minister, said (July 25) that he was ready to join in with Sir Edward Grey's plan of mediation “if the relations between Austria and Russia became threatening." 8
As Austria had broken off relations with Serbia, these two powers were now on the verge of war and if this calamity were to be avoided either the former must modify her demands or the latter must grant them unqualifiedly. Italy was the only power that seemed to make a serious effort to induce Serbia to comply with Aus
6 F. Y. B., 32, 34.
7 The Russian foreign minister said (July 25) that "if Serbia should appeal to the Powers, Russia would be quite ready to stand aside and leave the question in the hands of England, France, Germany, and Italy.”
B. W. P., 17, 35; F. Y. B., 34.
tria's demands. The Italian minister for foreign affairs expressed the opinion on July 27 that it would have been wiser if Serbia had accepted Austria-Hungary's terms in their entirety. He was satisfied that Austria-Hungary would not agree to modify these terms, and he doubted if Germany would urge her to do so. The wise thing, therefore, was for Serbia to yield. Austria-Hungary, he thought, would be satisfied if Serbia would now agree to comply with the provisions of the Austrian note. Serbia could save her dignity by accepting the note under the advice of the four powers. She could then say that she had yielded at the suggestion of Europe rather than at the behest of AustriaHungary.
The Serbian chargé d'affaires at Rome expresed the opinion that if Austria would explain articles 5 and 6 of her note, “Serbia might still accept the whole note." It was not expected that Austria-Hungary would make these explanations to Serbia, but she might give them to the "powers engaged in discussions, who might then advise Serbia to accept without conditions." The Italian foreign minister requested the English ambassador at Rome to report this information to his Government. The former was very anxious that a discussion of this phase of the question should be undertaken at once, and seemed to want England to ap9 F. Y. B., 72; B. W. P., 57.
proach Austria-Hungary on the subject, though there is no clear statement of such a wish.10 Sir Edward Grey's reply to this proposal was that he would not take up the question with Austria-Hungary as that power had shown an unwillingness to "accept any discussion on basis of Serbian note.” 11 The British foreign minister did, however, present Italy's plan to the German ambassador, but made no proposal of his own.12
The Russian foreign minister had declared (July 26) that certain of the demands made by Austria-Hungary could not be met by Serbia without changing her laws and also incurring the risk of exciting mob violence against the Government.13 Three days later, after she had ordered partial mobilization and war between herself and Austria seemed imminent, Russia showed great anxiety to avoid a conflict. At that time Sir George Buchanan, English ambassador at St. Petersburg, asked the Russian foreign minister if he would object to the suggestion of Italy that Serbia promise the powers to meet fully the demands of Austria-Hungary. His reply was that “he would agree to anything arranged by the Four Powers, provided it was acceptable to Serbia”-that he was not “more Serbian than Serbia.” 14
10 B. W. P., 64. 11 B. W. P., 81. 12 B. W. P., 90.
13 R. O. B., 25.
The published correspondence of the various Governments does not show that the negotiations along this line proceeded any further, nor does it explain why they ceased at this point. It is charged that Austria did not expect nor want Serbia to accept her proposals.' The Serbian ambassador at Vienna considered, he says, on July 24 that war with Austria was inevitable, even if Serbia should accede to all of Austria's demands.15 The French ambassador at Vienna thought that the military party in Austria did not want Serbia to yield.16 On July 27, the British ambassador expressed the opinion that the Austro-Hungarian Government was anxious for war with Serbia and the AustroHungarian note had been “so drawn up as to make war inevitable.” 17 Germany, too, according to a Russian source, did not want the breach between Serbia and Austria to be healed. The Russian chargé d'affaires at Berlin contended that up until July 28 the Wolf Bureau had not published the contents of the Serbian note, for fear that it would have a conciliatory effect on the people.18
Two plans for the prevention of war had now failed, but there was left the possibility of inducing Austria-Hungary “either to approve the response from Belgrade or else to accept it as a basis for discussions.” To bring about one of
15 S. B. B., 52. 16 F. Y. B., 27.
17 B. W. P., 41.
these results was the aim of Sir Edward Grey. At first his efforts seem to have been directed toward the former objective and later toward the latter. 19
The Entente Governments felt that Germany was the only power that could influence Austria to abate her demands. The key of the situation,” according to M. Sazonof, Russian foreign minister, “was in Berlin." The first important move would have to be made by Germany. So on July 25 Sir Edward Grey expressed to the German ambassador at London the hope that his Government would “be able to influence the Austrian Government to take a favorable view" of the Serbian note, if it should prove to be as conciliatory as the forecast of it indicated. The German foreign office “passed on” the desire of Britain, but, according to her contention, apparently made no effore to influence Austria-Hungary to adopt the suggestion. Germany gave as a reason for her hesitancy in pressing Austria the danger that Austria would come out with a fait accompli. On July 29 the secretary of state for foreign affairs seemed distressed and said that AustriaHungary had done what he feared. He also felt that by passing on England's suggestion he had hastened a declaration of war.20
19 A. R. B., 29, 38, 43.
20 B. W. P., vi; 25, 27, 34, 54, 76; G. W. B., annex 15; A. R. B., 43, 44.