UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Anglo-French relations: 1898-1914 Kelly, Eric 1937-11-29

You don't seem to have a PDF reader installed, try download the pdf

Item Metadata


831-UBC_1937_A8 K3 A5.pdf [ 21.68MB ]
JSON: 831-1.0098639.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0098639-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0098639-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0098639-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0098639-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0098639-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0098639-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

ANGLO-FRENCH RELATIONS: 1898-1914 by Eric Kelly A Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment for the Degree of Master of Arts in the Department of History The University of British Columbia October - 1937 TABLE OF COETENTS page Introduction I-II. Chapter I The Departure from Isolation . 1. Chapter II The Anglo-French Entente 23. Chapter III The Testing of the Entente -56. Chapter 17 The Further "Encirclement" of Germany? 118. Chapter V The Agadir Crisis, 1911 151. Chapter VI The Tightening- of the Entente Cordiale, 1918-1913 183. Chapter VII The Last Bays of Peace 231. Chapter VIII How Britain Entered the War 291. Bibliography I-XLIVINTRODUCTION The period which this study covers, that of the years immediately preceding the World War, is one to which many hist orians have turned their attention. The diplomatic game of power-politics as it was played hy governments in these years, the fundamental causes of the War, and the problem of war guilt have furnished subjects for thousands of volumes. The various questions which have arisen probably never will be solved to the satisfaction of all students of the period. But as Dr. P.W. Slosson reminds us, this should occasion no surprise, for there is quite as wide a diversity of opinion over the merits of the wars of Napoleon, or those of Rome and Carthage. Nor does this fact of differing opinions imply that investigation and discussion of the period are of no practical valuei At least two important points have been attained. As a result of histor ical research, and with the opening of the archives of belliger ent Powers, scholars axe in possession of most of the facts and written records which can contribute to more definite verdicts. Again, and more important, many of the extreme opinions widely held during the War, and in the years following, have been dis-2 credited and replaced by more moderate views. Haile research has made scholars already aware of most of the problems which the period presents, writers will for a 1» Slosson, P.W,, Europe Since 1870, (Boston, 1935), 332. 2. Ibid., 333. -II-long time to come undoubtedly differ over the significance of certain events and particular points, and will differently estimate the diplomatic blunders which prevented a peaceful settlement of the crisis of the summer of 1.91.4» Most reliable authorities seem to agree, however, on this one point—that the catastrophe was the ioint product of a number of underlying causes,, some deeply rooted in Europe*s past,, others of more recent origin. These are usually fitted into a few general categories such as nationalism, imperialism, militarism and the press;; the irresponsibility of diplomats to their own parliaments or peoples; and finally a system of secret alli ances which divided Europe into two rival camps. It is the purpose of this study to trace the signifi cance of the rftle of the Anglo-French Entente in the diplomat ic background of the War, and more especially to ascertain to what extent it was a factor in bringing Great Britain, so long an adherent of the policy of isolation from continental en tanglements, Into the conflict. I wish to acknowledge here my profound Indebtedness to Professor P. H. Soward, to whom I owe my Interest in modern European history, and whose encouragement, suggestions and guidance have made this study possible. I must acknowledge also the kindness of the French Consul in Vancouver, B. C», without whose generous gift to the Library of the University of British Columbia of the valuable Documents Diplomatiques Francais this study could not have been undertaken. 5 CHAPTER I The Departure from Isolation ANGLO-FRENCH RELATIONS 189.8-1914. CHAPTER. I The Departure From Isolation. There can be no intelligent understanding of the reasons for Britain's entry into the World War unless there is a defin ite knowledge of the nature and development of, Anglo-French re lations as they existed an June 28, 1914. It is true that Brit ain was engaged within the Entente in relationships with Russia, as well as with France,, but the Anglo-Russian rapprochement was never, as popular, in England as the Anglo-French, Down to the outbreak of the War,; England steadily viewed with disfavour the chief aim, of Russian foreign policy - the seizure of the Straits and Constantinople. When the War broke out it was not as an ally of Russia that Britain took up the swordw Sir Edward Grey persistently refused to make a direct issue in England the Austro-Serbian dispute which had involved Russia so deeply with Austria, In his memoirs he states, ttthe notion of being in volved in a mar about a Balkan quarrel was repugnant....there 1 was no sentiment urging us to go into a war- on Serbia's behalf.'* Even the chauvinistic Bottomley journal, "John Bull*, published a leading article in the last days under the heading, wTo Hell 1. Viscount Grey of Fallodon,. Twenty-five Tears,. (london, 19^25), I, 335. -2-1 with Servia....,once more to Hell with Servia.'1 Nor. did England enter the War. primarily, because of the invasion of Belgium, by Germany,- despite the manner in which propagandists, used this breach of neutrality to justify the purity of Britain's motives in the eyes of the public. Grey had promised on August 2 to give Prance the protection of the British fleet in the event of the German fleet coming into the Channel ox through the North Sea. to undertake hostile action against the French coast or shipping. This assurance was given before Germany had presented her ultimatum to Belgium, news of 2. which did not reach london until, the morning of August 3. Furthermore, Grey refused the proposal of the German ambassador to respect Belgian territory on condition that England remain 3 neutral in the coming struggle. One of the: main reasons why Britain was drawn into the War was because she was so closely bound to France by written and verba.1 promises, so bound by relationships which the Foreign Office had created, that Grey felt England must take part in any 4 war in which French security was menaced by, German aggression. 1. Cited In Barnes, H.E., The Genesis of the World War, (New York. -1927), 453. See Scott, J.Fi, Five Weeks, (New York,, 1927), chapter IX, for a study of British public opinion and the press, during the crisis of July, 1914. 2. Grey to Bertie, August 2,1914; Gooch & Temperley, British Documents on the Origins of the War, (cited hereafter as B.D.), (London, 192.7), XI, No. 487,, p.274. Fay, S.B., The Origins of the World War,, (New York, 1932), II, 540. 3. Grey to Goschen, August 1,, 1914, B.D., XI, No.448, p.261. 4. Loreburn, Earl, How the War Came, (London,, 1919 j, 16. D -3-In his memoirs Grey represents himself as regarding the obli gation to aid France as resting more upon the conviction of the 1 interests of England than upon the debt of honour to France. Doubtless both factors played a part in his decision,, but he felt the obligation to aid France so keenly that he has con fessed that he would have resigned if he had not been able to 2 bring England into the conflict. Earl Loreburn, in his book, "How. the War Camen, expresses England's position in August^ 1914, In this ways When the most momentous decision of our- whole history had to be taken we were not free to decide. We entered upon a war to which we had heen commit ted beforehand in the dark, and Parliament found itself; at two hours notice unable, had it desired, to extricate us from this fearful predicament. We went to war unprepared In a Hussian quarrel because we were tied to France.3 In the relationships between France and England as they existed In 1914 is to be found the key to the understanding of Britain's rdle in the drama of July and August of that year. The roots from which these relationships grew reach back into the years before 1914. It will be necessary to go back over these years to discover what they were. Before the twentieth century England's traditional policy had for centuries been one of "splendid isolation.*• By maintaining a cool detachment to continental entanglements she hoped to enjoy the balance of power in Europe between the rival 1. Grey, op. cit., II, 15,, 33-35. 2„ Ibid., I,, 312. 3. Loreburn, op. cit., 17. groups, and thus make her own influence in either scale decis ive. It was only at times when some one power sought to become overwhelmingly strong, or threatened to endanger British con trol of. the Channel, or her maritime or colonial supremacy, that England intervened actively and decisively in European 1 affairs. This was the basis for her participation in wars against Spain in the sixteenth century, against Louis XIV in the seventeenth century, and against Prance and Hapoleon in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. At other times she had rigidly excluded herself from continental, complications ' and taken a position of isolation. In the years following the Franco-Prussian War she still adhered to her traditional policy The forming of the Triple Alliance in 1882 between Germany, Austria and Italy, even though it destroyed to a great er degree than did the Treaty of Frankfort the European balance of power, did not lead England to depart from her established policy. She manifested little concern at the news of the great political combine erected by the Iron Chancellor. Although the Alliance further assured Germany of first place in Europe, Eng land, her insular position secured by her invulnerable fleet, and primarily a maritime and colonial power, was in no way frightened. She believed herself safe from danger, especially since at that time Germany w,as showing no great interest in an overseas, empire or in the building of a fleet. Bismarck could say truthfully* 1. Headlam-Morley, James, Studies in Diplomatic History, (Lon don, 1930), Chapter VI, part II, England and the Low Countries, 156 ff.. -5-As regards England we are in the happy situation of having no conflict of interests,, except com mercial rivalry and passing differences such as must always arise;, hut there is nothing that can bring about a. war between two pacific and hard working nations. •"-But at the end of the nineteenth century Britain found it necessary to reconsider her relationships to the Continent al. Powers,; and in the light of new factors in the international sphere, to reconsider also the fundamental principles of her foreign policy. Events of the previous years made such recon sideration a necessity. By the last decade of the century the forces of the Industrial Revolution which had come first to England had transformed the industrial, commercial, and financial life of the Continent, Ho longer were the other Great Powers content to leave British supremacy in the economic field unchallenged. Signs began to multiply of an imminent and widespread revolt against her hitherto unquestioned leadership. Since her supremacy mas held to be largely due to the "favoured place in the sun'* which she had won for herself in so many parts of the world, the revolt began to involve a fierce struggle for such ''places in the sun" as were still left open to occupation. This had far-reaching effects on British foreign policy. . Hence forth the field to be covered by diplomacy in the conduct of International affairs, instead of being confined as it had been since the Napoleonic Wars mainly to the Continent of Europe and the adjoining regions of Asia, extended rapidly, to every part of the globe. 1., Cited in Seymour, Charles, The Diplomatic Background of the War 1870-1914, (New Haven, 1916),, 134, footnote. However detached. Britain, might he from the internal politics of Europe, the protection of her imperial interests and trade routes brought her into contact and often into col lision with the colonial aspirations of other Powers. Inter national diplomacy still had its base in Europe, and it was still chiefly preoccupied with the maintenance of the old European equilibrium, but its outposts now stretched to the remotesta parts of the earth, and every extension of European power beyond the seas was apt to react upon the delicate equi poise of power in Europe * Aa a result Britain became involved in dangerous controversies with France and Eussia, and while she continued fairly friendly towards-Germany there was some times inevitable friction with that Power also. It was not until after the conclusion of the Triple Alliance, when he became thoroughly assured of the safety of Germany's position in Europe, that Bismarck consented to give his support to the demands of German industrialists for colonial possessions. The next few years saw the German colony of South West Africa established, German gains in the Cameroons, and German advance Into Bast Africa. It is true that at times the German ambitions brought temporary clouds over Anglo-German relations,, but generally speaking friendly settlement of dis putes was carried out. Although public opinion in both count ries was at times aroused over the clash of interests, the re lations of the two governments remained almost invariably friend ly. Both Gladstone and Salisbury were well disposed.towards Berlin, and in 1890; the latter concluded the important settle ment of African disputes which exchanged Heligoland for 7-Zanzibar. But after 1894 Anglo-German relations began to lose the friendliness of the days of Bismarck and of the opening years of William, II. Further disputes over colonial and east ern questions arose to try the tempers of Downing Street and the Wilhelmstrasae. Britain took exception to the Franco-German treaty of March 1894 which dealt with French and German interests in the Niger and Congo regions. Similarly Germany took offense at the arrangements Britain concluded with King Leopold of Belgium over the Bahr-el-Ghazelle territory of the Upper Nile and over territory west of Lake Tanganyika. With France relations became extremely strained over similar questions. Under Louis Philippe, Napoleon III and McMahon, France had taken over Asiatic and African territory of which Algeria was the most worthwhile. England had viewed these attempts at the reconstruction of a French empire with some alarm,, but her opposition became still stronger after 1880. After 1878, French Interests ceased to; be merely national?; she wished to make up for the disasters of 1870 in so far as pos sible by acquiring an overseas empire. Bismarck, anxious to turn her interests from Europe, had encouraged her at the Con gress of Berlin. Jules Ferry,, who became prime minister in 1883, carried out a vigorous policy of acquiring overseas possessions. This era of French colonial expansion opened up boundless vistas of Anglo-French controversies. In June, 1884, Lord Lyons wrote from Francet Generally speaking I am very unhappy about the grow ing ill-will between France and England which exists on both sides of the Channel. It is not, I suppose, that France has any deliberate intention of going to -8-war with us but the two nations come into contact in every part of the globe. In every part of It questions arise which, in the.present state of feeling, excite mutual suspicion and irritation. Who can say when and where, in this state of things,, some local events may not produce a serious quarrel, or some high-handed proceeding of some hot-headed officials occasion an actual collision.1 Africa was the main theatre of the struggle,but disputes took place in many other parts of the world. The tension which arose out of the dispute over Slam in 1893 brought the two countries to the verge of war. Furthermore, the weak position of Britain in Egypt at the end of the century left her open to the opposition of the Continental Bowers. Grey points out in this connection, when speaking of his first Foreign Office experiences in the years 1892-95", that as long as we assumed responsibility for the govern ment of Egypt, the Capitulations were like a noose around our neck, which any Great Power, having rights under the Capitulations could tighten at will.2 Both Germany and France had used this "noose* to gain con cessions from Britain;; Germany in connection with railway concessions in Turkey, and France in connection with the Siam 3 controversy. All the above factors combined to reveal how hollow was the phrase "splendid isolation." As Grey says, "it was not isolation,, and it mas far from splendid." Thus isolation in 1. Lyons to Granville, in Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond, Life of Lord Granville, (London,, 1905), II, 333. 2. Grey, op. cit., I, 11. 3., rbid.,, II. 4.. Ibid., 11. the opening half of the last decade of the century did not appear to he safe or comfortable. And with the passing of the years which brought the century to a close the main stream of international affairs, as it kept changing and eddying, he-came more turbulent for England. The Franco-Russian alliance became an accomplished fact in 1894, and the Triple Alliance had been renewed for six years in 1891. Thus in 1895 Britain found herself outside the two groups. Furthermore, the actions of the Impulsive Kaiser led to a widening rift in Anglo-German relationships. In the summer of 1895 he paid his annual visit to Cowes, on this occasion a most regrettable one. He annoyed the Committee of the Royal Yacht Squadron by criticizing their handicaps. He annoyed Lord Salisbury by scolding him for being late. He annoyed his uncle, the Prince of Wales, by his Irritating familiarities and over bearing ways. By such undeft touches he antagonized just those circles in England which were politically and socially the most 1 authoritative. Not only, did the actions of the Kaiser lead to hostility,, but Germany's Interest In the Transvaal at this time further loosened the bonds between the two nations and strained them almost to a breaking point. In 1894 Germany had shown a protective interest in the Transvaal. In 1895 this Interest had been confirmed and advertised by a series of high ly indiscreet speeches between President Kruger and the German 2 consul at Praetoria. Qn January 3, 1896, the Kaiser, though 1. Nicolson, Harold, Lord Carnock,. (London,, 1930), 125. 2. Spender,, J.A.„ Fifty Years of Europe, (London, 1933)» 158. -lO-he claims in his Memoirs that it was against his hetter judg ment and that he was reluctantly persuaded to agree to it hy his advisers, addressed the famous telegram to Eresident Kruger 1 to congratulate him upon the failure of the Jameson Raid. The most profound indignation was aroused in Britain at this action* "The nation will, never forget this telegram" wrote the "Morning 2 .. • Post." When Count Hatzfeldt in London wrote to the Herman Foreign Office an January 4, he reported: All the English newspapers, with the exception of the "Daily Mews", describe the message as an act of unfriendliness towards England, and even the "Standard"' speaks out sharply about it. This change is.all the more striking, as, so far, the whale of the London press, with hardly an exception, decidedly blamed Dr. Jameson's action.3 On January 21 he wrote to tell Holstein of the English reaction In these words! It Is not a question of annoyance on the part of the Government, but of a deep-seated bitterness of feeling among the public, which has shown it self in every way. I am assured that when the excitement was at its height, Germans in the City could hardly do any business with the Eng lish, In the best known large Club3, such as the Turf, there was extreme bitterness j, I myself, 1. *T express my sincere congratulations that, supported by your people, without appealing for the help, of friendly Powers, you have succeeded by your own energetic action against armed bands which invaded your country as disturbers of the Peace, and have thus been enabled to restore peace and safeguard the Independence of the country against attacks from outside."1 (January 3, 1896). Cited in Spender, op. cit., 160, footnote. 2. Cited in Gooch, G. P., History of Modern Europe 1878-1919, (London, 1923), 220. •3. Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, January 4, 1896, Dugdale, E. T. S., German Diplomatic Documents, 1871-1914, (London, 1930), II, 389. •li re ceived many insulting and threatening letters. I have no, doubt that the general feeling was such, that, if the Government had lost its head or had wished for war for any reason, it would have had the whole of public opinion behind it".1 The sending of the telegram w,as one of the most dis astrous errors of the Kaiser's early reign. "The raid was folly',1 observed Salisbury to Eckardstein in 18.99, "but the 2 telegram was even more foolish. * And although the British and German governments were later to resume their friendly, inter course, the rash act was net forgotten in England, while the German people were angered by the fury which the action of their 3 impulsive ruler provoked. Though Africa was the source of the most acute differ ences between Great Britain and Germany, there were other fields in which the policies of the two powers clashed. In the Cretan crisis of 1897 the support Germany gave to Turkey led to a fur ther estrangement with England. That same year she seized Kiao-chair in the Shantung peninsula, and the Kaiser's speech in con nection with that seizure and his reference to the "mailed fist" added to> the ill-feeling. It was during these years also that Germany began her naval programme which was to arouse later such grave fears In England. In June, 1897, Admiral Tirpitz was 1. Hatzfeldt to Holstein, January 21, 1896, Bugdale, op. cit.,, II, 403-04. 2. Eckardstein,,. Baron von, Ten Years at the Court of St. James, (London, 1921), 85. 3. "The outbreak of hatred, envy and rage which the Kruger telegram let loose In England against Germany contributed more than anything else to open the eyes of large sec tions of the German people to an economic position and the necessity for a fleet." Admiral Tirpitz in his Memoirs, cited in Spender, op. cit., 162. 12-appainted chief of. the German Admiralty;, in November of that year he introduced the first navy bill which created the High Seas Fleet. Meanwhile relations with France were even more un friendly. The French seizure of Tunis, the fortification of Biserta, the convict settlement in New. Caledonia, the occupa tion of the New Hebrides, the rivalry in Nigeria,, the coercion in Slam, the exclusion of British trade from Madagascar, the question of the Newfoundland fisheries, the British occupation of Dongola, and above all, the. British occupation of Egypt—all these thorny problems were continually; pricking the fingers of the diplomats in Downing Street and the ^.uai d'Orsay, and caus ing anxiety to the friends of peace on both sides of the Channel. The tension between the two governments and peoples reached a breaking-point over the Fashoda Incident in the Upper Nile in 18,98. Because It brought the two nations so very close to war, and yet marked a turning-point in their relations, it might be discussed In some detail. Ever since the evacuation -of the Egyptian Sudan and the tragic death of Gordon in 1885, England had been awaiting an opportunity to retrieve that area., Xh 1896 an expedition for its recovery was sent out under Kitchener. The belief that control of the Sudan was essential to the stability of the British regime in Egypt, combined with the fear of French expansion in central Africa, had forced the 1 , government to action. But British control of the area was not 1. Giffen, E. B», Fashoda, (Chicago, 1930), 27-29 -13-to be uncontested, for a simultaneous attempt to reach the Up per Nile was being made by the French. Captain Marchand had crossed Africa from west to east with a small expedition and succeeded in reaching the Upper waters of the Nile in July. When Kitchener, after defeating the Mahdi at Omdurman, advanced further up the river, and arrived at Fashoda, he found the fort flying the French flag and occupied by Marchand and his small force. Neither of the two forces would retire; they neither fought nor gave way; they left the struggle to be fought out between London and Paris. The diplomatic tension which resulted from this crisis was acute in the extreme. There seemed to be no possible com promise between the claims of the two powers. Such a clash over the Sudan had been foreseen by the statesmen of both lands some years before. Sir Edward Grey, when holding the post of Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs under Lord Rosebery, on being questioned in the House of Commons on March 28, 1905, about the rumoured advance of the French upon the Nile, had declared that a French advance into the Nile Valley "would be an unfriendly 1 act and would be so viewed by England." This unequivocal stand was endorsed by the succeeding Salisbury administration. The Grey declaration had aroused anger and resentment in the French Foreign Office - it was warning France off a vast district which belonged not to Great Britain, but to the Sultan of Turkey, and it was accompanying a British claim by what amounted to 1. Grey, op. cit., I, 20. 1 a threat of war.., The day after, the declaration, as Grey says, "there was 2 a row In Paris", and in the negotiations which followed, the French government politely hut firmly refused to recognize this new "Monroe Doctrine" in the Kile Valley. They proceeded on their way in equatorial Africa with the watchword "first come, 3 first served." Thus, the purpose of the Marchand expedition to link up. French possessions in east and west Africa hy control of the Upper Kile was in direct contravention of the Grey declar ation. Though France had declined to admit the validity of the , 4 pronouncement of. Greyi she was well aware that she would have to reckon with the consequences of ignoring Its veto. When the meeting of Kitchener and Marchand took place at Fashoda In 1898, a greater Issue was at stake than the clash of interests In Cent ral Africa alone. The danger wa-s all the greater because France feared British ambitions in Morocco which adjoined Algeria, while in the Far East and in many parts of the world French and British rivalry had been becoming particularly acute during the years 1, In his Memoirs, Grey states the British claim in the follow ing words, "The Soudan was still in hands of the Khalifa. The claim of Egypt to it, however had never been abandoned, though since the overthrow of Egyptian rule by the Mahdi in 1886, it was clear that the Soudan would never he reconquered "by Egypt again, without British assistance, nor would the Soudanese again tolerate the purely Egyptian rule against which they had revolted. It was, at any rate, evident that no other power except Egypt, or someone acting on behalf of Egypt had any claim'whatever to the Soudan and the Kile Valley." Grey, op. cit., I, 19. 2. Ibid., 20. 3., Gooch, op. cit., 277; Diplomaticus, Fashoda and lord Salis bury's Vindication, Fortnightly Review, LXIV, new series, December, 1898. 4., Monson to Salisbury, September 18, 1898, B.D., I, No. 191, p.165 -la-immediate ly preceding* Per a time it seemed highly probable that the whole question of French and British colonial antag onism, and national bitterness would be settled by the sword. A diplomatic contest began between the governments, while the press and public opinion In both countries grew more and more excited.. Britain would admit the claim of no other nation to the Mile Valley t, she had only one thing to say - the French must withdraw. On the other hand France did not admit the British claim;; and it needed little effort on the part of the Paris press to convince the nation that the rights and honour of France had- been outraged. The situation did not admit of compromise;- one side or the other had to give way* Peace hung on, a thread. Lord Rosebery in an address at Epsom stated that the: question was of supreme gravity. He said, I hope this Incident will be pacifically settled, but it must be understood that there can be no com promise of the rights of Egypt, Great Britain ha.3 been treated too much as a negligible quantity in recent years. Let other nations remember that cordiality can only rest on mutual respect for each other's rights, each other's territories, and each other's flag."1-An equally strong sentiment was expressed by Hicks-Beach, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a speech at Tynemouths It would be a great calamity that after a peace of eighty years, during which I had hoped that unfriend ly feeling had practically disappeared, those friend ly relations should be disturbed. But there are worse evils than war, and we shall not shrink from anything that may come,2 I, Cited in Gooch, op. cit,, 293 2.. Ibid., 293, Such-ominous utterances reveal the dangerous temper which the incident had evoked. During the negotiations the French Mediterranean fleet was ordered to Cherbourg, and at dead of night, with lights extinguished, passed Gibraltar. u.nperceived by British authorities. The mayors of the Channel ports were instructed to requisition the churches for hospital work, and report on the beds and ambulance available to, fit them for immediate service., A hundred million francs were spent in a few days in providing Cherbourg as a naval base with the necessary ammunition and stores. Orders to march were in all the commanding officers1 hands,: and everything was in readiness for mobilization, if the French Government should be confronted 1 with an ultimatum., English merchants in Paris held new orders in suspense, and standing orders were not executed.. Business 2 was almost at a standstill for a few days in September. In Britain,, too, there was a flurry of warlike preparation. The Mediterranean fleet was sent to Alexandria and Port Said to protect the Suez Canal and negative any idea of a French land-3 ing in Egypt, and at Portsmouth there was a ferment of activity. In vain the French protested the superior claims of the British. Their case was based principally on the fact that the country bordering on the White Kile, though it waa formerly under the government of Egypt, had become "res nullius" by its abandonment on the part of the Egyptian government}; and 1. Barclay, Sir Thomas, Thirty Tears Anglo-French Reminiscences, (London, 1914), 145.-46. 2., Giffen, op. cit,, 67. 3., Barclay, op. cit,,, 146. -17-that the French had a right to position on the Nile as much as the Germans or the Belgians. Furthermore, it was maintained. that the. French government, hy the reserves which they had made when the subject was mentioned in previous years, had retained for themselves the right to occupy the banks of the Kile when 1 they saw. fit. In spite of French protests Salisbury and the British government made it clear that there could be no alternative to French surrender but war.. The French minister finally yielded. Gn November 4, Baron de Courcel informed Salisbury that Fashoda would be evac-2 uated,. and on December 11 Marchand left his post. France was not in a position to risk a war - her fleet was weak and Britain might easily have taken the whole of her colonial empire. Fur thermore, Russia had shown herself unwilling to support her ally's policy if it involved war with Britain, which fact was a dash to 3 French hopes. Then too, it was realized that to quarrel with Britain was to play into the hands of Germany, and to destroy any chances of ultimately recovering the Rhine provinces. As Delcasse' told the French Chamber, sra conflict would have in-4 volved sacrifices disproportionate to the object.'•' within the following months negotiations were carried on between the two governments to determine the limits of zones of influence in 1., Salisbury to: Monson, Oct. 6, 1898, B.D-, I, No. 203,, p.173. 2. Salisbury to Monson, Nov. 4, 1898., ibid., No. 227, p. 188. 3. Giffen, op. cit., 163. 4. Ibid., 101 ff.. Charmes, Francis, Chronique de la Ojjinzaine, Revue des Deux Mondes, November 14, 1898. -la the Kile territories. As a result of these negotiations, by an agreement of March 21, 1899, a line was laid out from a point where the French—Congolese boundary meets the Nile-Conga mater-o shed, northward along the crest of that watershed to 11 North Latitude;; thence it was to follow in general the old boundary of 1802 between Wadai and Darfur. The French Government promised to. acquire neither territory nor political influence east of that line; and the British government promised to acquire neither 1 territory nor political influence west of it. In this way the very difficult situation was finally settled. But a legacy of extreme, bitterness waa left on each side of the Channel, and Fashoda furnished one more evidence and warning that the per sistence of ill-will between Britain and France would lead to Indefinite multiplication of provoking incidents, and in the 2 long run to war. " The British victory in the Fashoda crisis did not tend to ameliorate relations with France. The latter very naturally smarted under defeat, while her bitter feelings were intensified 3 by the anger aroused in England over the Dreyfus affair. In France feelings of jealousy and hatred were constantly manifest ed % the French journals railed angrily at Great Britain, and the attacks sometimes degenerated into purposeless scurrility, going so far- as to caricature Qjueen Victoria, ©ne of the leading journals of Paris exclaimed, "we offered Lord Salisbury Fashoda 1» Glffen, op. cit., 90. 2. Grey, op» cit., I, 41. 3. Barclay, a.p> cit., 162. -19-1 and our friendship,, and he replied that he only wanted Fashoda."' In such a manner ill-will and anger, were aroused on each side of the Channel—every old incident w,as raked up in order to fan the flame of irritation, every difference exaggerated to the utmost. It happened, moreover, that early in 18.99, and just he-fore the settlement of the negotiations following the evacuation of Fashoda, there broke out another controversial squall between the two powers. This dispute, which was almost the Fashoda in cident over again in miniature, was brought about by a concession which France: gained from the Sultan of Muscat for. a coaling-station on the Eersian Gulf. When, the arrangement was made pub lic in February, 1899, three British warships arrived on the scene to prevent the fulfilling of the concession and the hoist ing of the French flag. Under the threat of bombardment the Sultan withdrew his concession to the French, and the French had no recourse but vain protest. Thus, once again, France had attempted to dispute a British territorial monopoly, and again her- claims had been met by the solid fact of British predominance. Thus at the end of the century relations, between Great Britain and France could hardly have been worse, short of an actual conflict of war. "In England, France continued to be re garded as the national enemy,, and the nineteenth century closed with Anglo-French relations strained to the limit, and with the hope of reconciliation apparently excluded from the realm of 3 possibility." The future was of course hidden from both 1. Anon.,, ""France, Russia, and the Mile," Contemporary Review, December,.. 1898, 761. 2. Giffen, op. cit., 187. 3. Seymour, op. cit., 122. -20-peoples, and probably both, would have been incredulous over the idea of an entente within five years, Yet from these unpromis ing Incidents of 18.99 Prance and Great Britain were to advance steadily toward the convention of 1904. The. dangerous tension which had been developing over the period of years between Great Britain and the members of the Dual Alliance out of competing interests in. Asia and Africa, and which had culminated in the incidents of Port Arthur and Fashoda, now gave a new direction to British foreign policy, Nor, in the light of events of the past few years, were relationships with Germany, at all reassuring. , As early as April,1898, the following words appeared in "The Contemporary Review"2 to express the writer's views on the failure of English foreign policyt We have not the goodwill of France and Russia, nor the alliance of any other powers, nor yet the degree of strength in isolation which would enable the government to vindicate our rights against any combination,.,.from whatever point of view there fore we consider the foreign policy, of the present government we find that is unreal in its supposit ions, ruinous in its results, and absolutely, un worthy of the respect and confidence of those who put the Interests of the nation above the consid erations of party.1 Another writer In the same review states, "the present inter national complications cannot well pass off without England 2 having to make a momentous decision."' If, however, there was. any faith left in the hearts of 1. Anon,., The Failure of Our Foreign Policy, The Contemporary Review, April, 1898, 464-67. 2. Anon., The Arch-Enemy of England, The Contemporary Iivlew, December, 1898, 90.8,. the people or their rulers in the myth of the splendour of isolation, this faith was rudely dispelled with the outbreak of the Boer War. In the words of Harold Nicolson, On October 11, 18.99, Great Britain declared war.upon the Transvaal* It was only then that the full effects of Lord Salisbury's policy of isolation could be guaged. Great Britain woke up infamous.. British opinion was shocked to discover over-night how much we were disliked.1 During the War. a wave of anti-British feeling swept over the continenti press campaigns of the utmost virulence were directed against Britain in almost every country. This was true of Prance especially, and when Kruger fled from his own country he was most enthusiastically received at Marseilles and Paris. The isolated position of their country in a world wear ing so harsh a face began now to impress itself on the minds of British statesmen. In view of the fact that Britain had been clashing with every Great Power in every part o;f the globe, they began to realize that there was nothing of real splendour in isolation;, they began to doubt if it was safe, to feel that a continuation of such a policy might prove embarrassing and expensive, to question if could be longer maintained. The only escape from the discomforts of isolation was a policy of mak-2 ing friends. And in choosing friends a choice had to be made between the Dual Alliance and the Triple Alliance. It is in teresting to note that the path leading from isolation first chosen was not the path that was eventually pursued. 1. Nicolson, op. cit., 128. 2. Hammond, J. L., C. P. Scott of the Manchester Guardian, (london, 1934) , .135.. -22-The story o.f England's foreign policy from this date onward is that of the effort to find security in the face of new world conditions. The role most congenial to her, and most in keeping with her past traditions was that of refraining from continental entanglements. But it was now realized that she was no longer free to play that role. The idea persisted in England that Prance and Russia were still the traditional rivals, if not enemies, as they had heen all. through the nine teenth century. Thus it was that British preference for an ally, if an alliance became necessary, was for Germany. How ever, in spite of this first preference, events were to arise which decided and Impelled Britain to make common cause with her traditional rivals and supposed enemies against Germany. £t the very moment when relations between Great Britain and Prance and Russia were most strained* British policy went through an extraordinary transformation, and as a result of that diplomatic revolution during the first years of the twentieth century a totally new direction was given to British foreign policy.. The character and scope of that change, which brought England to conclude conventions with the implacable foe, France, after- seeking the affections of Germany, forma the subject of the chapter which follows. CHAPTER II The Anglo-French Entente CHAPTER II The Angla.-Erench Entente. Having determined to abandon the policy of aloofness from continental affairs,the first choice of the British states men of an ally was Germany. The Kruger telegram was neither forgotten nor forgiven in England, but there had been no further attempt to interfere in South Africa. Moreover, the support by the Triple Alliance during the reconquest of the Sudan, and the Kaiser's telegram of congratulation on the British victory of Atbara had proven most welcome at a time when Prance and Russia were proving most hostile. During the Boer War, while public opinion and the press in Germany were undoubtedly most hostile to Britain, the German government took a stand of neutrality and declined'to join Russia and Prance in a plan of intervention on behalf of the Boers. Nor was the idea of an alliance with Germany altogether new at this time. During Bismarck's day various attempts at such an alliance had been prosecuted from time to time, but 1 these had come to nothing. And again, as early as 1898 Mr. . Joseph Chamberlain had opened private negotiations with a similar purpose in view with Eckardstein, of the German embassy 1. Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, (Cambridge, 1923), HI, 144-47. -24 In London, and Count Hatzfeldt, the German ambassador. Meetings were held at the home of Alfred Rothschild or of Eckardstein two, or three times a week where possibilities of an alliance were 1 discussed. Count Hatzfeldt informed Bulow of these private negotia-tions with Chamberlain in a dispatch on March 29, 189,8, and the 3 latter replied on March 30,. In his reply he thanked Chamberlain for his offers but pointed out what he considered to be the draw backs to a. German alliance with England. He felt that England wished the support of Germany so as to become stronger than her rivals, and thus remove her from fear of attack, but he was afraid that if Germany should be attacked, she could not count on English support. Moreover, he expressed a doubt that if the British government made an alliance It would not be maintained if that government went out of power - he spoke of the English Parliamentary system as a back door by which England could es cape from fulfilling her treaty obligations. He considered the risks for Germany in such an alliance too great and thus offered to Chamberlain's proposals a polite refusal. In spite of the failure of these negotiations to bring material results, Chamberlain,; Hatzfeldt, and Eckardstein con tinued to work for good understanding between the two countries, 1. J. L... Garvin in his "Life of Joseph Chamberlain," emphasizes the fact that the initiative came from the German side. Garvin, J. L,,, Life of Joseph Chamberlain, (London, 1934), III,, 225:. 2. Hatzfeldt to the German Foreign Office, March 29, 1898, Dugdale, op. cit., II, 21-23. 3. Billow to Hatzfeldt, March 30, 18,98, ibid., 23-24. Garvin, op. cit.,, Ill, 261-62. 1 trying to bring about agreements in lesser matters. On his side Chamberlain continued to hope for an alliance and took the opportunity in speeches^ to educate public opinion along 2 that line. In spite.of Germany's failure to take advantage of the offers made in 18.9.8., new. overtures for the alliance were made in 1899.. In November of that year the Kaiser paid a visit to Yftndsor. His visit was a complete success, and a reconciliation between the courts after the effects of the Kruger telegram was brought about. But the visit meant more than this. Billow had accompanied the Kaiser, and Chamberlain,in conversation with the two, seized the opportunity to discuss with them the matter of ~ 3 an alliance. In these conversations he seems to have gained 4 the impression that they were favourable to the idea. Then on November 30 he delivered a glowing speech at Leicester In which he statedt There is something that every farseeing English statesman must have long desired, and that is that we should not remain permanently Isolated on the continent of Europe, and I think that the moment that aspiration was formed it must have appeared evident to everybody that the natural alliance is between ourselves and the Great German Empire.5 Chamberlain's speech aroused a storm of protest in Germany. German opinion at this time was decidedly pro-Boer 1. Garvin, op. cit.,. Ill, 267 ££. 2. His speech at Birmingham, May 13, 1898j ibid.,, 282-83. 3. Ibid., 498-506.. 4. Chamberlain's letter to Eckardstein; Eckardstein, op. cit., 130; Garvin, op. cit., Ill, 506, 510, 512, 514. 5. Garvin, op. cit,, III, 506-08, -2.6-and anti-British, and the press denounced the idea of an asso-1 ciation with Britain. In view of this hostile public opinion, Bulow did not have the courage, when speaking in the Reichstag on December 11, to take up sympathetically Chamberlain's Leicester 2 . speech. Instead, he poured cold water on the proposal. This was accepted as a rude rebuff in England, and Chamberlain natur-3 ally deeply resented such treatment. Thus once more the ef forts of the British statesmen were wrecked by the determination of Bulow and the Emperor to cling to their principle of a free hand.. It was, however, in 1901 that the two countries reached a crossroads, and the failure of the negotiations which opened early In that year and continued until December definitedly de cided the separate paths that the two countries were to follow In the years ahead. In the middle of January, Baron Eckardstein was visiting at the home of the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth when Chamberlain was present. During this visit the Duke, Chamberlain, and Eckardstein discussed international questions and the future of Anglo—German relations. In a conversation after dinner on January 16, the Duke and Chamberlain formulated definitely their position on this latter question. Their state ment was embodied in a dispatch to the German Chancellor by Eckardstein after consultation with Hatzfeldt, and in a more 4 modified form in one to Holstein. It was reported that the 1. Garvin, op. cit., Ill, 508-09;- Eckardstein, op. cit., 133. 2. Garvin, op. cit.,, Ill, 511. 3.. Letter to Eckardstein, Eckardstein, op. cit., 151. Garvin, op. cit., Ill, 512-13. 4. Hatzfeldt to Bulow. and to Holstein, January 18, 1901, Eckardstein, op. cit., 185-187. -27-English leaders now realized that they must seek an alliance and that the choice lay between the Triple and Dual Alliance. In spite of the inclinations for a Russian alliance on the part of some of the Cabinet, Chamberlain and his friends would work for an agreement with Germany. This, they expected, would be brought about gradually, and as a starting point they suggested an arrangement regarding Morocco.. But should an alliance with Germany prove an impossibility they would turn to Russia. In Holstein's reply to Eckardstein of January 21. the former frowned upon the possibility of a rapprochement. He claimed that Germany would run too great a risk in an alliance with England, and concluded that If Germany was to stand sponsor for the British Empire she must extract at least an equivalent price for her services.. Moreover, he distrusted Salisbury and 1 complained that Germany had been often mistreated by him. While these negotiations were being carried on, the Kaiser made a hurried visit to England to be present at the death bed of Queen Victoria. The warmth of feeling he displayed on this visit made a deep impression on the Royal Family and on the whole public opinion in England. On his arrival on January, 20, Eckardstein told him of his recent conversation with Chamberlain, and the Kaiser expressed complete agreement with the idea of an alliance. Bulow, however, had urged caution In encouraging or discouraging the plan, fearing that eagerness on the part of Germany might diminish German gains. Thus, the 1. Holstein" to Eckardstein, January 21, 1901, Eckardstein, op. cit., 187. -28-Kaiser avoided committing his government to any definite agree ment while he encouraged friendly relations. During the next few months negotiations continued, hut little progress was made. Qn April 13 Lansdowne wrote the fol lowing to Lascelles regarding the negotiations! I doubt whether much will come of the pro ject. In principle the idea is good enough. But when each side comes, if ever it does, to formulate its terms, we shall break down; and I know lord Salisbury regards the scheme, with to say the least, suspicion.^ Berlin insisted on the necessity of England joining the Triple Alliance, and of transferring negotiations to Vienna. London,^ however, was most unwilling to undertake obligations towards Austria and Italy, and was not sure that Parliament would sanction such a treaty. Salisbury from the beginning showed little interest in the plan for an alliance. Time had not changed his belief that Isolation was England's wisest policy.. His memorandum of May 29, in which he criticized the draft of a proposed alliance, remains a classic on the subject of isolation, and of the special difficulties which beset a British government in departing from 2 it. Negotiations, however, did not entirely lapse. In Aug-urst, the Kaiser, in conversation with King Edward and Lascelles at Hbmhurg, expressed disappointment that an alliance had not 3 been concluded. Later, in November and December the question was reopened. A memorandum of Lansdowne's of November 11 1. Lansdowne to Lascelles, April 13, 19Q1. B.D., II, No. 81, p. 63. 2. Memorandum by Salisbury,. May 29, 1901, B.D., II, No. 86, p. 68. 3. lascelles to Lansdowne, August 25., 1901, ibid., No. 90, p. 73. -29-outlined the difficulties of an alliance hut suggested that instead of dropping negotiations a general agreement might he 1 formulated regarding policy in commercial interests. Then on December 19, when Metternich, who had replaced Hatzfeldt as German ambassador, called on Lansdowne before leaving for Berlin for Christmas, the latter took the opportunity to refer to the negotiations which had been carried on throughout the year. He "pointed out that England could not join the Triple Alliance, but he wished to preserve friendly relations with Germany,, and suggested a general commercial understanding be formulated. Metternich was sure that this would not be accept-2 able in place of an alliance. Lascelles relates a conversation with Billow on December 28 in which he told the Chancellor of the above conversation. Metternich had not yet reported the interview to Bulow, and the latter was glad to hear Lansdowne's views. He expressed the hope that the question would not be 3 dropped altogether. Thus the negotiations gradually faded out in platitud inous expressions of mutual goodwill and friendship. The last weeks were rather embittered when Mr. Chamberlain and Count Bulow exchanged angry words about the comparative humanity of British soldiers In the Boer War and the Prussian soldiers in 4 the Franco-Prussian War. In this manner the curtain was rung 1. Memorandum by Lansdowne, November 11, 1901, B..D», II, No.78, pp. 76-79. 2. Lansdowne to Lascelles, December 19, 1901, ibid., No. 94, pp. 80-83. 3. Lascelles to Lansdowne, January 3, 1902,ibid., No. 95, pp. 83084. 4. Lee, Sir Sidney, King Edward VII, (London, 1927), II, 132-33,137. -30-down on the final effort to link the fortunes of Great Britain with those of Germany.. It was in this way that the wire, as Bismarck would have put it, was cut between London and Berlin, and events began to move with tragic inevitability towards a situation in which it could not be repaired. Germany had failed to take up the Eng lish offers. Bulow, Holstein, and the Kaiser had consistently taken the view that England needed Germany as an ally more than Germany needed England. The possibility, which Chamberlain had so often tendered, that England and Russia,, or England and Prance might come to terms, was characterized.as ridiculous, and was considered as a mere "bogey" used as a threat to win a German alliance. Thus they put their terms for a German agreement too high - a simple defensive alliance would not do - England must 1 join the Triple Alliance - their policy was "all or nothing."* Brandenburg's simple summihg-trp of the whole situation strikes the correct note with a hint of tragedy when he says, "They had offered us their hand and had withdrawn it when we made the con ditions of acceptance too onerous for fulfilment. They never 2 came back to us. They went instead to our enemies." These Anglo-German negotiations at the opening of the twentieth century which have been outlined at some length are important as showing perhaps the chief reason why England chose an alliance with the members of the Dual Alliance in 1904 and 1.907.. British ministers had a©w been satisfied that if security L. Few ton,. Lord, Lord Lansdowne, (London, 1929), 208. 2. Brandenburg, Erich, Prom Bismarck to the ¥/orld War, (London, 1927), 181. - 31 -could no longer be found in isolation it was least of all to be sought in an alliance with Germany. The rebuff which their overtures had received, the feelings of animosity engendered by events of the past few years, along with the growing Anglo-German naval rivalry, were all determining factors in causing England to cast her vote in fay our of France and Russia against the Central Powers. However, before Britain took the first step in this move by forming the Anglo-French Entente she found herself a friend, not in Europe, but in the farthest East. The island of Japan, since she had been forced to open her doors to western trade, had transformed herself in an astonishingly short time into a power of the western model, mechanized and efficient. In view of the unrest in the Far East which resulted i from the state of disintegration in which China then found herself, and the scramble on the part of the Great Powers for concessions and territory, Lord Lansdowne, on succeeding Lord Salisbury as Foreign Minister in 1901, made it his policy to pool British interests with those of Japan. Negotiations for an alliance were concluded on January 30, 190S, when an agreement was signed in London. Lord Lansdowne described the agreement as "purely a measure of precaution, to be invoked should oocas-1 ion arise, in defense of Important British interests." It covered British interests in China, and Japanese interests both in China and Korea. Only in the event of either party being attacked by more than one power did it engage the other to come to its assistance. 1. Lansdowne to MacDonald, January 30,1902,B.D.II, No.124, pp.113-114. -32-But one of the chief results of the Anglo-Japanese alliance was to show to the world that British isolation might not be so impenetrable as had been supposed. This thought became more and.more fixed in the minds of the French statesman, who saw a further opportunity in the growing coolness between 1 Germany and England. The idea of any bond uniting the common destinies of England and France at the opening of the new century might well have seemed fantastic when it is recalled how strained the relations between the two countries had been. But the Fashoda Incident has been called, and not unwisely, "the last cloud in an expiring storm." The Convention of March 21, 1899, had cleaned the slate so far as territorial claims of Britain and France in Central Africa were concerned. Not only that, but the smooth manner in which the negotiations had been carried 9 out had brought into view, in French minds at least, wider possibilities of understanding and harmony. At the time when the March agreement was signed, M. Paul Cambon, who had succeeded the Baron de Courcel as French ambassador to London, suggested to Lord Salisbury that there were several other matters which might be settled in an equally friendly spirit. Salisbury, however, shook his head and smiled: ^1 have the greatest confid ence in M. Deloasse'," he said, "and also in your present govern ment. But in a few months time they will probably be overturned, and their successors will do exactly the contrary. No, we must 1. Cambon to Del cas so', March 13,1903, Documents Diplomatiques Francais, (cited hereafter as D.D.F.), (Paris, 1931) ,2e Se'rie, 'tome,III,No.137,p.184. - 33 -1 wait a bit." This period of waiting was to last until 1904, but in the interval many changes of great import bearing on the relationships of the two governments took place. In the first plaoe there was the widening of the gulf between England and Germany in spite of the attempts to bring the two into an agreement. And as these two drifted further apart, for various reasons warmer airs began to blow between England and France. The personalities of several new figures, who at this time appeared on the diplomatic stage in both countries, were of tremendous importance in determining the possibility of an Anglo-French reconciliation. So long as men like Hanotaux, a decided Anglophobe, and Salisbury, with his faith in isolation, were in control of the Foreign Offices, such reconciliation was out of the question. But with the coming to power of new figures a settlement of difficulties might be attempted. Deleasse's accession to power in the French Foreign Office in 1898 may be regarded as the first step in the formation of the Entente. M. Delcasse took over his office, succeeding M. Hano taux, immediately before the Fashoda Incident. Thus he was too late to avert that crisis, or to alleviate immediately the hard feelings which resulted. But the new direction which French; foreign policy assumed under his guidance made Fashoda the last of the incidents to seriously endanger Franco-British relations. He had entered the Foreign Office with the deliberate policy of making friends with Britain. On first coming to power he had 1. Cambon in an interview in the "Times," December 22,1920; cited in Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy. 111,305. -34-expressed this wish to a friend saying, "I do not wish to leave 1 this place without having concluded an entente with England.™ Through all the bitterness of anti-British rancour which seethed over France during the Fashoda crisis and in the succeeding years, and throughout those years when the English and German govern ments were in close association, M. Deleasse', who continued in office until 1905, held to his purpose and carried it through to splendid fulfilment. The efforts of M. Deleasse were brilliantly seconded in England by the ambassador he sent to London three months after his own accession to office. M. Paul Cambon was eminently fitted for the task of seeking the friendship of a successful antagonist without forfeiting any of the dignity of his own country. Prudent and firm, pertinacious and adaptable, long-sighted yet tactful, and uniting charm of manner with strength of will, he soon acquired lasting prestige in England, and proved an ideal ambassador for carrying out the policy of his chief. Rebuffed by Salisbury in his first overtures, he persisted in advocating S on all occasions his cause. On the English side of the Channel new personalities were coming into control also, who, because they were less bound than their predecessors by the traditional policies of the British Foreign Office, were to play important roleB in advancing 1. Berard, Victor, La Politique Francais,La Revue de Paris, July 1,1905,817. Porter, C.W., The Career of Th^ophlle Deloasse" (Philadelphia 1936),165. S. Cambon to Deleasse', March 13,1903, D.D.F.,2e Serie.III, H0il37,p.l85. -35-friendship with France. In October, 1900, lord Salisbury gave up the office of Foreign Seoretaryw For fifteen years, with the exception of one brief interval, he had conducted British foreign policy, and on the principle that France was Britain*s national enemy. How he was succeeded by Lord Lansdowne, who proved a ready listener to the advances of Deloasse' and Cambon, and who after 1902, was encouraged in this by the new prime minister, Mr. Balfour* In listing the names of those who prepared the way for the Entente a place of prime Importance must be given to Edward VII. While his influence on British foreign policy during his reign has been greatly over estimated on the Continent, and in Germany especially, he did play a very happy part in advancing friendship with Franoe. To him must go much of the credit for the successful termination of the negotiations whioh ended the old quarrels. Queen Victoria, who was noted for her German sympathies, and her inability to understand the French, was sucoeeded in 1901 by Edward VII. As the Prince of Wales he had travelled widely on the Continent; he had spent much time in Paris, and on the Riviera. He spoke French with perfect ease, had formed many warm attachments In France, and had a strong liking for the people. Ho small part in the negotiations, when these actually began, was that taken by Lord Cromer, the British Agent and Consul-General in Egypt. Knowing from his long experience in Egyptian affairs the inconveniences and possible dangers of French opposition in Egypt, he gave his strongest backing to the proposed Entente, and was most urgent that the newly -36-afforded opportunity for settling points of difficulty should 1 not be lost* On July 24, 1907, on the occasion of Lord Cromer's retirement, Lord Lansdowne stated stated in the House of Lords that the Anglo-French Entente would hardly have been obtainable in its eziisting shape but for Lord Cromer's high authority 2 among foreign representatives in Egypt* A writer in "the nineteenth Century", looking back on the events whioh led to the successful termination of negotiations for the agreement arrived at in 1904,,stated truthfully, "that it has been brought to a praotioal issue is owing largely to the tact of our sovereign, to the conciliatory spirit of Lord Lansdowne, to the statesmanship of Lord Cromer, to the diplom atic ability displayed by M. Delcasand by the French ambassador 3 in London." These men in positions of great authority were not alone in their desire for an Anglo-French understanding; they were warmly supported by a host of unofficial personages. The commercial interests gave support to their efforts. England was France's most valuable customer, and French production competed only to a slight degree with that of England. It was believed in commercial circles that Anglo-French friendship would be of benefit to the industry of both lands. After 1900 influential business men began a campaign for ameliorating the 1. Cromer to Lansdowne, July 17,1903, B.D.,11,Ho.359,pp.298-301; also his letter to Lansdowne, November 1,1903, cited in Newton, op.cit., pp.283-84. 2. Lee, op.cit., II, 218. 3. Blennerhassett, Rowland, England and France, The Nineteenth Century, June, 1904, 935. -37-relations of the two countries. Among these unofficial ambassadors of goodwill was Mr. .{afterwards Sir Thomas) Barclay. As President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Paris he was in a position to understand the advantages of an Anglo-French understanding. By long resldenoe in Paris he had won for himself a distinct place in the life of the French capital, and in spite of tiie soreness created by Fashoda, the Dreyfus Affair, and the Boer War, he spared no effort to effect a reconciliation between France and England. It occurred to him that the cause would be helped if the British Chambers of Commerce were invited to meet in Paris in 1900. The approval of Salisbury and Delcasse' was secured, and the meeting was arranged, it proved an encour aging success and paved the way for many English visitors to attend the great Paris Exposition which was held in that same year. These visits were followed by delegations of French Chambers of Commerce to England, and by exchanges of visits by members of Parliament and their wives. Though Kruger*s visit to France followed shortly after, and though antl-English feeling by no means disappeared in France, the seeds of goodwill had been sown, and the gross caricatures of Queen Victoria in 1 the French papers disappeared. It has been shown how as early as 1899 Cambon had suggested to Salisbury that the two governments might come to an understanding on matters over which they differed, and how he had been told to "wait a bit" on that occasion. No decisive advance was possible while Salisbury was In power and while 1. Barclay, Sir Thomas, Thirty Years Anglo-French Reminis-oenses, (London, 1914), for a full account of these early endeavours to sow the seeds of goodwill. -38-the Boer War was in progress. Deleasse' was moved to remark on one occasion to Sir Thomas Barclay that it was hopeless to 1 try to conciliate England. The British Documents do not begin the story of the negotiations for the Entente before May, 1903, but there is a hint of such negotiations in the German Documents many months earlier. On January 30, 190S, Count Metternich, the German ambassador in London, reported to the German Foreign Office that he had learned "in the strictest confidence that negotiat ions had been proceeding between Chamberlain and the French ambassador for the settlement of all outstanding differences 2 between France and England on colonial questions.1* On February 3 he wrote to inform the Foreign Office that Lansdowne had denied to him that there had been any agreement reached with 3 France on colonial questions. No doubt Lansdowne*s denial was correct; and it may be true that he was unaware of the conversations whioh Chamberlain was holding with Cambon on this matter, for we have seen Chamberlain engaging in private negotiations with the German ambassador in his attempts to form an Anglo-German agreement. But it was soon evident that negotiations with France were under way. There is another hint of this in an incident related by Eckardstein in whioh he tells of a conversation whioh took place between Chamberlain and Cambon. Re tells of an official 1. Bar day, op. cit., 210. 2. Metternich to the German Foreign Office, January 30, 1908, Dugdale, op. cit., Ill, 171. 3. Ibid., 172. -39-dinner on February 8, 1902, at Marlborough House which was attended by all the British and foreign ambassadors. After dinner he saw Chamberlain and Cambon go off into the billiard room. nI watched them," he relates, "and noted that they talked together for exactly twenty-eight minutes in the most animated manner. I could not of course catch what they said, and only 1 heard two words, 'Morocco* and 'Egypt*." Further light is thrown upon the significance of this conversation by what Eckardstein tells of a conversation he himself had with Chamberlain immediately following that which the latter had held with Cambon. "As soon as the French Ambass ador had left Chamberlain I entered into conversation with the latter. He complained very much of the bad behaviour of the German press towards England and himself. He also referred to the Chancellor's speech in the Reichstag and said: *lt is not the first time that Count Bulow has thrown me over in the Reichstag (referring to Bulow's public repudiation of the offer of alliance made in Chamberlain's Leicester sppech of November 30, 1899). Now I have had enough of such treatment and there can be no more question of an association between Great Britain and Germany.'" "From that moment," Eckardstein goes on to say, "I knew that Chamberlain was ready to adopt the alternative of an accession to the Dual Alliance which he had announced in our conversation of January, 1901, at Chatsworth, as being the consequence of a failure of an Anglo-German 2 negotiation." 1. Eckardstein, op. cit., 228. 2. Ibid., 228-29: supra 27. -49-If any doubt remained in the mind of Eckardstein about the truth of the impression he gained from his conversation with Chamberlain,it was dispelled by a conversation he held later that same evening with King Edward. As the company was leaving, the King asked to see him in his study. "He was in excellent humor," the German tells us, and offered his guest a cigar and a whiskey and soda. After talking of the Anglo-Japanese alliance, and of how it assured England's future in the Far East, he went on to say, unfortunately I can't face the future with the same confidence as regards Anglo-German relations. You know of course what has happened of late.... The renewed abuse of England in the German press, and the unfriendly and sarcastic remarks of Bulow in the Reiohstag have aroused so much resentment among my ministers and In public opinion that for a long time at least there cant be no more question of Great Britain and Germany working together in any conceivable matter. We are being urged more strongly than ever by France to come to an agreement with her in all colonial disputes, and it will probably be best in the end to make such a settlement. (1) The attitude of the British leaders to an Anglo-French understanding at this time is shown by conversations which Cambon held with Lansdowne, King Edward, and the Prince of Wales. Lansdowne was more ready for discussion of such a project than Salisbury had been. Three weeks after the incidents narrated above, Cambon mentioned to Lansdowne the conversation he had held with Salisbury in 1899, and enumerated the questions on which he would like to negotiate an agreement. "He asked," relates Cambon, "whether he might make a note of them, but I said he need not trouble as I would write him a personal letter 1. Eokardstein, op. cit., 229-30. -41^ enumerating them. This I did, and ^ foolishly - never kept a copy of it. Next evening (sometime early in 1902) there was a big dinner in Buckingham Palace. I was placed next to King Edward, who said, 'Lansdowne has shown me your letter. It is excellent. We must go on. I have told the Prince of Wales about it. You can discuss it also with him.' After dinner the Prince of Wales, later King George V, spoke to me eagerly of the letter and said: 'What a good thing it would be if we could have a general agreement.' He wanted to know when it would be concluded. I told him that we could not go quite so fast as he might wish, but that with patience and goodwill it 1 ought to be possible." The efforts of the diplomats in negotiating the under standing between the two countries were greatly facilitated by the visit which King Edward paid to Paris in the spring of 1903, when he made his first European tour as King of England. The general plan of his tour was a Mediterranean cruise in his yacht, the "Victoria and Albert," with a visit to the King of Portugal, who had visited England previously at the time of Queen Victoria's funeral and again in November of 1902. He planned to pay a call of courtesy on the King of Italy on the return journey overland, and to bring his tour to a close with a few days stay at Paris. This tour he decided on and planned on 2 his own initiative. 1. Cambon's interview in the "Times," Beeember 22, 1908, cited in Lee, op. cit., II, 218. 2. Lee, op. cit., II, 221. -42-The ministry acquiesced in the King's arrangements, but evinced no enthusiasm for the visit to Paris, expressing doubt, in view of the continued display of hostility to England in the French press and among the French people, whether the King could count on a cordial or even respectful reception in the French 1 capital. When Sir Edward Monson, the British ambassador at Paris, was asked by Delcasse as to how the King wished to be received, the former, who was slightly pesslmistio as to the wisdom of the proposed visit, at once telegraphed for instruct ions to King Edward who answered that he wished to be received "as officially as possible, and that the more honours that were 2 paid to Mm, the better it would be." King Edward arrived at Paris on May 1. As the long procession drove from the Bois de Boulogne Station to the British Embassy, the crowd was by no means enthusiastic - for the most part it was sullenly respectful. Cries were heard of "VI vent les Boers," "Vive Marchand" and "Vive Fashoda," muoh to the discomfiture of the French officials accompanying the King. He, however, was determinedly good-natured, saluting to right and to left, smiling whenever he was cheered. His suite was especially booed. After paying a visit to the President of the Republic, he returned to the Embassy, and there, in reply to a deputation from the British Chamber of Commerce in Paris, he delivered a speech which struck a personal note, and whioh, in its warmth 1. lee, op. cit., II, 223. 2. Ibid., 223. -43-of utterance, did much to win over the people of Paris. In his speech he said: It is scarcely necessary to tell you with what sincere pleasure I find myself onoe_more in Paris, to which as you Know, I have paid very frequent visits-with ever increasing pleasure, and for which I feel an attachment fortified by so many happy and ineffaceable memories. The days of hostility between the two countries are, I am certain, happily at an end. I know of no two countries where prosperity is more interdependent. There may have been misunderstandings and causes of dissension in the past; but that is all happily over and forgotten. The friendship of the two countries is my constant preoccupation,-and I count on you all, who enjoy French hospitality in their magnificent city, to aid me to reach this goal. (1). In the evening the King attended the Theatre Francais.. The house was full, but his reoeption was decidedly chilly. During the entr'acte he designedly left his loge to mix with the crowd, resolved to win it over. In the lobby by chance he met Bile. Jeanne Granier, an artiste whom he had seen act in England. Holding out his hand, he said to her, "Mademoiselle, I remember how I applauded you in London. You personified 2 there all the grace, all the esprit of France." Again the King had found the right thing to say, and his bonhomie was beginning to make itself felt. Hext day there was a review at Vincennes, and a reception: at the H&tel de Ville. En route to Vincennes the cheering was stronger and warmer than on the day before. At the HStel de Ville the King spoke only briefly, but his words were most happily phrased and full of kindliness: 1. Gifted in Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, III, 307. 2. Lee, op. cit., II, 238. -44-"I shall never forget my visit to your charming ci-ty; and. X .can assure you it is with the greatest of pleasure that I return each time to Paris, where I am treated exactly as if I were at home." (1) In the afternoon he drove out to Longchamp to attend a race meeting specially arranged by the Jockey Glub. In the evening there was a state banquet at the Elyse'e where the President and King exchanged professions of steadily growing friendship on behalf of their respective countries. In reply to M. Loubet, His Majesty said: nI am glad of this occasion, which will strengthen the bonds of friendship and contribute to the friendship of our two countries in their common interest. Our great desire is that we may march together in the paths of civilization and peace." (2) A gala performance took place at the Opera that evening, and other functions were arranged for the next day. On May 4 the King prepared to depart. The route to the Gare des Invalides, from which he was to leave, was lined with an enthusiastic crowd, and whereas on his arrival there had been cries of "Vivent les Boers," there now was heard "Vive Hotre Roi." The success of the visit had exceeded all expectations, largely owing to the King's personal charm of speech and manner, and his cheerful readiness to play a full part in a heavy programme of functions. Each day of his stay he had won public feeling more and more in his favour. On every side were heard expressions of gratification that the King had renewed the ties of friendship which had bound him to France while he was yet 1. lee, op. cit., II, 839. 2. Ibid., p.239. -45 Prince of Wales. There can be no doubt that his visit did, much to terminate the acute stage of estrangement between the two countries, to promote an atmosphere of goodwill between them, and to give a great impetus to the movement towards an Anglo-French rapprochement. By his visit King Edward secured 1 honourable mention among the architects of the Entente Cordial." Yet another step forward towards the Entente was taken two months later when on July 6 President Loubet paid King Edward a return visit. This visit was marked by the greatest cordiality. At a state dinner at Buckingham Palace M. Loubet declared in speaking of his royal host, "France preserves a precious memory of the visit which you paid to Paris. I am sure that it will have the most happy results, and that it will greatly serve to maintain and bind still more , 2 closely the relations which exist between our two countries." In return King Edward expressed the hope, "that the welcome you have received today has convinced you of the true friendship, indeed I will say the affection, which my country feels for 3 France." The toast of the Lord Mayor at the G-uildhall the next day was no less cordial when he said: "How we have shaken hands in the firm intention of letting no cloud obscure the path we have marked out, is it too much to hope that our statesmen will find means of removing forever the horrible possibility of a war between the two peoples who have so many common interests, 1. Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, III, 308. Charmes, Francis, Chronique de la Quinzaine, Revue des Deux Mondes, May 15, 1903, 469-76. 2. Fay, op. cit., I, 154. 3. Lee, op. cit., II, 244. -46-1 and whose hopes and aspirations are the same?" The whole visit proved a spectacular success* On the President's departure, the King, in reply to his guest's farewell message, telegraphed the following reply which found a warm response on both sides of the Channel: "It is my most ardent wish that the rapprochement between the two countries 8 may be lasting.1" By this visit another step was taken along the path of amicable understanding between England and France. M. Belcasse' had accompanied the President on his visit to England and had held conversations with Lord Lansdowne 3 in which the general outlines of a treaty of amity were sketched. In August the complete problems were discussed in detail by M. Cambon and the British foreign minister. By the beginning of September the negotiations had gone far enough to Justify Lord Lansdowne in drafting a confidential minute for the consideration of the Cabinet on the possibilities of reaching an understanding, with precise details as to how it might be reasonably achieved. The first fruits of the seeds of goodwill sown by the official visits and by the negotiations which followed were gathered when a general treaty of arbitration was signed on October 14, 1903. This convention was primarily the work of Sir Thomas Barclay and the Baron d'Estournelles de Constant, both of whom had spared no effort in arousing public opinion 1. Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, III, 308. 8. Fay, op. cit., I, 154. 3. Delcasse' to Cambon, July 21, 1903, D.D.F., 8es, III, Ho.368, p.471; Hewton, op. cit., 879. -47-on both sides of the Channel in its favour. In France, as a result of their efforts, the plan of such a convention was endorsed by the Chambers of Commerce of Bordeaux, Havre, Marseilles, Lille, Calais, Dunkirk, Toulouse, Lyons, Rouen, and other important business centres. Many municipal councils and peace societies had passed resolutions favourable to its conclusion. Eminent jurists and writers had expressed themselves at one with the plan, and many leading newspapers had given it hearty support. The proposal had also been taken up in an encouraging manner in England. Mr. Barclay had set forth the plan at a meeting of members of Parliament held in the House of Commons, and resolutions in its favour were passed by Chambers 1 of Commerce all over the United Kingdom. In the agreement signed by the governments in October it was agreed to submit all differences of a Juridical . order, particularly those relating to difficulties of inter pretation of treaties, provided that they did not affect the vital interests nor the honour of the contracting Parties, to the Hague Tribunal. This arbitration treaty connoted a perceptible improvement in the relations of the two countries, though it had merely a theoretic value. True, it removed no misunderstandings, but its adoption can be cited as an interim manifesto of goodwill. On its being concluded M. Cambon wrote to Mr. Barclay, thanking him for the part he had played in the making of the treaty. In his letter he said that the 1. Barclay's Thirty Years Anglo-Reminiscences gives an excellent account of this work. -48-treaty was "calculated to cut short a quantity of daily difficulties and incidents of which one can never foresee the 1 consequences." With the signing of this agreement, along with the negotiations which had already taken place, the atmosphere had now cleared to such an extent that real progress in the settle ment of controversial issues could be made. The two foreign ministerSj aided by M. Cambon,were busily engaged throughout the winter, and they proved that with goodwill on both sides even the thorniest problems could be solved. The task of reaohing an agreement was In no way easy -the many latent causes of dispute between the two countries were world-wide. At every turn the question of "compensations" turned up, "oompensations" which would justify each minister in the eyes of his government for the concessions and sacrifices he himself had to yield. But of all the problems the most formidable lay in Morocco and Egypt. France had never finally recognized the status of England in Egypt, and her refusal would have enabled her at any time to reopen the whole Egyptian question, and even manufacture possibly a "casus belli" whenever conditions might appear auspicious to an adventurous Cabinet. On the other hand, the Republic was known to have designs on Morocco to whioh England might, if it so suited her, take strong exception. The interests of the two powers in Slam likewise bristled with thorny points likely at any time to prick national tempers. The fishing rights whioh the French claimed in Newfoundland by virtue of terms laid down in the 1. Barclay, op. cit., 835. -49-Treaty of Utrecht of 1713 was another stumbling block to neighbourly relations. These problems, along with questions of rights and interests in West Africa, Madagascar, and in the Hew Hebrides, had all caused friction in the past. 1 The negotiations conducted throughout the winter months finally took practical shape on April 8, 1904, when an agreement was signed by the two governments. This agreement was made up of three separate conventions - the first dealt with Anglo-French interests in Newfoundland, and West and Central Africa, the second with those in Egypt and Morocoo, while a third dealt with those in Slam, Madagascar and the New Hebrides. The first agreement settled the old Newfoundland dispute. France now renounced her exclusive rights and privileges on the French Shore, and French fishermen were put on an equality with the British in taking fish. In compensation Britain relinquished certain territories in Western Africa. The frontier between the British colony of Gambia and the French Senegambia was modified to give France access to the river Gambia. The frontier between British and French Nigeria was modified so as to give France a more accessible route to Lake Chad. The Los Islands commanding the capital of French Guinea* Konakry, 1. On January 8, 1904, Lord Lansdowne was given a shock when Monson reported from Paris that Delcasse' had not oonsulted his colleagues in the Cabinet even on the general question of the proposed accord; Newton, op.cit., 287-88. Even as late as March 2, he had not taken the French Colonial Minister into his confidence. This almost incredible omission can be explained only by his extreme anxiety for secrecy, and for his desire to conduct the negotiations himself. So well entrenched in his office did he consider himself to be, he felt sure he could count on his personal prestige and influence to secure ratification; Newton, op. cit., 288-89; Porter, op.ext., 185. -50-1 were ceded to France* Of far greater importance was the Declaration respeot-2 ing Egypt and Morocco. Here again critical problems were solved satisfactorily by following the general principle underlying the whole agreement,of surrendering claims in one direction in return for compensation elsewhere. Both countries disclaimed any intention of altering the political status of either Egypt or Morocco. France undertook not to interfere in any way with British action in Egypt, nor to demand any time limit to British occupation, recognizing the paramount interests of Britain in that oountry. In return, Britain, recognizing the paramount interests of France in Morocco, gave France entire liberty to intervene there for the purpose of maintaining peace, and assisting the ruler to carry out necessary administrative, economie, financial and military reforms. Questions concerning the Egyptian debt were so settled as to give the Egyptian government a free hand in the disposal of the funds accumulated by the Caisse de la Dette so long as payment of interest on the debt was assured. French schools were to enjoy the same liberties as formerly, and all rights enjoyed by the French through treaties and customs were to be respected. Freedom of commerce was to be guaranteed for thirty years, and Great Britain promised to insure the freedom of the Suez Canal. In Morocoo France agreed on freedom of commerce for thirty years, 1. Convention between the United Kingdom and France respecting Newfoundland, West and Central Africa, April 8, 1904, B.D., II, 375-384. 2. Declaration between the united Kingdom and Franoe respecting Egypt and Morocoo, April 8, 1904, ibid., 385-98. 51-promlsed that there should be no fortifications on the northern ooast opposite Gibraltar, and undertook to conclude an agreement with Spain whereby the Anglo-French agreement might be fulfilled without encroaching on Spanish interests. In conclusion the two governments agreed "to afford one another diplomatic support in order to obtain the execution of the clauses" of the Declaration. In the third agreement the two signatories determined their respective zones of influence in Slam by mutual agreement. In Madagascar, Britain recognized the right of France to establish customs against which she had protested since 1896. Finally, the difficulties in the New Hebrides arising from disputes over land titles and the absence of jurisdiction over the natives 1 were referred to a commission. Along with the articles set forth above, which were made public, Lord Lansdowne and M. Cambon signed secret articles whioh contemplated an eventual partition of Morocco between 8 France and Spain should the state of Morocco disintegrate. When Spain adhered to the Anglo-French Agreement on October 3, 1904, and declared herself "firmly attached to the integrity of the Moorish empire under,the sovereignty of the Sultan," she signed a convention with France which frankly contemplated 3 partition. This latter pact was sent by Cambon to Lansdowne 4 with the request that it be kept secret. The secret articles 1. Declaration between the United Kingdom and France concerning Slam, Madagascar, and the Hew Hebrides, April 8, 1904, B.D., II, 396-98. 8. Secret articles of the declaration respecting Egypt and Morocoa, B.D., II, pp.398-95. 3. B.D., III, Ho.59, p.49. 4. Cambon to Lansdowne, October 6, 1904, ibid, Ho.58, p.48. -52-of these two treaties were not revealed to the public until 1 1911. The Agreement was received most cordially in England, the vast majority of the public and leaders hailing it as a great achievement. In the House of Commons opportunity was taken to express hearty satisfaction. Staunch imperialists criticized it, however, and their papers voiced some protest. But in the main it was regarded as a step to secure general peace by clearing away misunderstandings and differences with the traditional enemy. One of the few leaders to raise his voice against it was Lord Rosebery, who declared, "My mournful and supreme conviction is that this agreement is much more 2 likely to lead to complications than to peace.** In France the general sentiment was decidedly favourable, but there was some strong opposition. The protests came mainly from reactionaries and nationalists who felt that France had been worsted in the deal. It was maintained that France had given more than she had received - the concessions in Africa did not make up for the loss of rights In Newfound land - England had her positon in Egypt while France had yet 1. It has been asserted by a German historian, though without proof, that the German government in some official way speedily became informed of these secret articles, and saw in them an evidence of hostile feeling. Gooch endorses this assertion; Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, III, 340. Fay claims that there is no tangible proof that Germany was made aware of these secret dealings; op. cit., I, 164. 2. Cited in Churchill, W.S., The World Crisis, (New York, 1923), I, 15. ^53 to win hers in Morocoo. In spite of these protests, the Chamber and the Senate supported M. Delcasse' and approved the agreement. One of the fairest estimates of the value of the Entente to the French is found in the Revue des Deux Mondes, May 1, 1904, and the writer's views might well be applied to the English case also. He states: "It is impossible for us indeed not to express some regrets with regard to Egypt, and some apprehensions on the subject of Morocoo. But this does not alter our judgment on the totality of the arrangements concluded. How could such an agreement be worked out without reciprocal concessions?! We have yielded on some points, and some of these are costly. England has yielded also .... Above all the entente is concluded. Nothing henceforth divides us; we can now enter in on anew era where doubtless we have much to": forget, but in which we have also much to hope for." (1) In the light of future events it might be well to note here the attitude of Germany in the matter of the Entente of 1904. As early as March 23, 1904, Delcasse' had mentioned informally to Prinoe Radolin, of the German Embassy in Paris, the negotiations for the proposed Anglo-French agreement. 2 Radolin had informed Bulow of this conversation, the first definite knowledge which Bulow had received of the impending agreement. Aside from this informal notification, and the fact that the public articles were soon after printed in the newspapers, Germany was not officially notified of the text, nor formally consulted about the agreement, whioh involved in 1. Charmes, Francis, Chronique de la Quinzaine, Revue des Deux Mondes, May 1, 1904, 239. 2. von Radolin to Bulow, March 23, 1904, Dugdale, op. cit., 188 - 90. -54-1 a real way her commercial and political interests in Morocco* In spite of these facts the attitude of official Germany was at first friendly. In answer to a question on the subject in the Reichstag on April 12, Bulow cautiously stated that he could hardly say much because the English and French ministers had not explained it publicly. He went on to state: "I can only say that we have no cause to imagine that the Treaty has a point against any other Power. It seems to be an attempt to remove a number of differences by peaceful methods. We have nothing from the standpoint of German interests to object to in that. As to Morocco, the kernel of the Treaty, we are interested in the economic aspect. We have commercial interests, which we must and shall protect. We have, however, no ground to fear that they will be overlooked or infringed." (2) The pan-German party felt Germany to be humiliated by the agreement and gave voice to its protests. The Kaiser, however, expressed no alarm, and on his visit to Kiel in June he informed King Edward that he had no objection to the Treaty, 3 and that Morocco had never interested him. But as events moved forward Germany was not to take just as lightly a view of the Agreement as was inferred in the Chancellor's speech. The next few months were to reveal a dramatic change of front at Berlin, and the forces which were set moving by this change of front were to make Morocco the storm centre of European politics, and this in turn was to react upon Anglo-French relations in a most significant manner. 1. Fay, op. cit., I, 178. 2. Gooch, op. cit., 350. 3. Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, III, 338. -55-In this then lies the importance of the Anglo-French Agreement of 1904 - England had plunged into the contentious affairs of the Continent. For years the casting vote of England had been the great prize sought by the European Powers, and how she would bestow it, and whether it would be bestowed at all, had been one of the great problems. Now it had been cast in favour of France. True, in the Agreement of 1904 Britain had promised only "diplomatic support" to France in certain specified problems, and there was nothing in the secret articles to enlarge or strengthen that promise. It - may well have seemed to the British leaders that in pledging themselves to "diplomatic support" on certain colonial questions that England was paying a small price for ridding herself of the chronic trouble and friction with France. But if the forming of the Entente was an immense achievement, it was not an unalloyed gain. The price of partnership w&fiaa Great Power is entanglement in its feuds. The following chapter will show that the casting of the British vote on the side of France was to have serious implications in the future. CHAPTER III The Testing of the Entente -56-CRAPTER III The Testing of the Entente The Anglo-Freneh Agreement within a few short months brought Morocoo, a country which hitherto had played a relatively unimportant part in world affairs, to the very forefront of international politics. It was now to rival Alsace-Lorraine as a point of discord between Prance and Germany, and to react in a very real way upon Anglo-German and Anglo-French relations. To find how this came about will involve a somewhat detailed following of the events of the years 1904, 1905 and 1906. It has been charged against Germany that her sudden intervention in Moroccan affairs early in 1905 was due to her desire to break up the Dual Alliance, since at that time Russia was engaged in war with Japan, and that she was seeking a pretext to force a war on France, while the Republic would be 1 without the aid of her ally. From a military point of view that prospeot was undoubtedly extraordinarily attractive. General von Sohlieffen, the Chief of the German General Staff, declared to the Chancellor at this time that Russia could not possibly carry on two large wars, and at th.e same time added, "If the necessity of a war with France should present itself 1. Newton, Lord, op. cit., 340. Spender, J.A., Fifty Years of Europe, (London, 1933), 341; Tardieu, Andre*, France and the Alliances, (New York, 1908), 168f. -57-1 to us, the present moment would be undoubtedly favourable." In spite of the many who uphold this view, and of circumstances which are pointed to in substantiation of it, there is no evidence in the German documents to prove that the German Government 2 contemplated taking advantage of the situation. It has been frequently maintained also that Germany was influenced by a keen desire to weaken the Anglo-French Entente - that she was motivated by the desire to drive a wedge 3 between England and France. Just to what extent this influenced German action is not easy to decide. But this assumption also 4 seems to have little foundation in fact. The real reason for the sudden intervention in Morocoo would seem to have been largely one of prestige, combined with the desire to safeguard the interests of Germany in 5 Morocco* Fearing that France might, as in Tunis, take into her 1. Schlieffen to Bulow, April 20* 1904, cited in Brandenburg, op. cit., 209. 2. Fay, op. cit., I, 185. Dickinson, G.L., The International Anarchy, (London, 1926), 125; Brandenburg, op. cit., 209. 3. Seymour, Charles, The Diplomatic Background of the Great War, (Hew York, 1916), 168-74; Grey, Sir Edward, Twenty-Five Years, (London,1925) I, 54; Lee, op.cit*, II, 337. Spender, op. cit.* 235. 4. Ewart, J.S., Roats and Causes of the War, (Hew York, 1932), II, 751; Fabre-Luce, Alfred, La Vlctoire, (Paris,1924),118. Bourgeois, E., et Pages, 6., Les Origenes et les Respon-sabilites de la Grande Guerre, (Paris, 1922),307-09. 5. "Germany," Billow had written on June 3, 1904," must object to the control over Morocco that France has in view, not only for material reasons, but even more for considerations of prestige." Hote to Holstein, cited in Renouvin, P., How the War Came, Foreign Affairs, Til, April, 1929, p.387. -58-hands all the administrative machinery of the government and put Morocco under her political and economic domination, and this in spite of very real German interests, Germany decided to act. There can be no doubt that Germany had a good case for complaint against the French action, as shall be shown shortly. The difficulty was that in spite of her legal justification the policy which she adopted to defend her case lacked finesse. Her methods were blundering and her claims were asserted in a blustering and arrogant manner. Her crude diplomacy and the amount of violence she expended in the handling of her case aroused such resentment and fears that she defeated her own 1 purpose. In claiming a voice in the settlement of Moroccan affairs in 1905, Germany could rightfully point to substantial 2 eoonomio interests there. An equally important point, and one on which she based the legality of her claims, was that in 1880 she had been one of the Signatory Powers to the Madrid Convention. This Treaty had been signed by twelve of the Powers who met with the Sultan1s representative to determine the rights of foreigners in Morocco. In 1890 she had signed a commercial treaty with Morocco in which it was declared "that the subjects of the two parties will have the same rights and advantages as those which exist, or may come to exist, as 3 regards subjects of the most favoured nation." Clearly Germany 1. Trevelyan, G.M_., Grey of Fallodon, (London, 1937), 125. 2. Ewart, op. cit., II, 755-57; Barclay, op. oit., 276. 3. Cited in Ewart, op. cit., II, 757. -59-had a strong case when she asked to he considered in Moroccan affairs. From time to time after 1890 Germany had displayed her interest in Morocco. In 1899 the German ambassador and 1 Lord Salisbury had exchanged views on the future of Morocco. When the Kaiser made his visit to England in 1899 Chamberlain put forward the suggestion of a possible partition between 2 England and Germany, but this came to nothing. In 1900 Bulow had stated that Germany had interests in Morocco and that as a result she could not be indifferent to the future of that 3 country. Again, in 1901 when Chamberlain was proposing a possible agreement between England and Germany he favoured as a first step a secret agreement between the two countries 4 with reference to Morocco. Though nothing came of these proposals they do show that Morocco did have a place in German diplomacy. In spite of these very real German interests France had chosen to disregard Germany in carrying out her Moroccan policy. As M. Pens' Millet has said in criticizing this grave blunder In French policy, "With incredible blindness the Government took precautions with everybody except the only one of its neighbours whom it had serious cause to fear." 1. B.D., II, No.307, pp.256-57. 2. Brandenburg, op. cit., 146. 3. Anderson, E.N., The First MoroccanCrisis,(Chicago, 1930)64. 4. Supra 27. 5. Cited in Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, op. cit.,111,340; Report of the Belgian Minister in London June 8, 1905, Morel, E.D., Diplomacy Revealed, (London, 192 -60-By a treaty with Italy in 19G0 France removed Italian opposition 1 by promising to allow her a free hand in Tripoli. Negotiations with Spain failed in 1902 owing to a change in the government, but after the success of the Anglo-French Entente of April 1904, whioh assured France of British support in Moroooo, an accord was made with Spain, as has been shown, on October 3 of that 2 year. France did not attempt to assure herself of German support or acquiescence of her Moroccan plans, nor did she, according to diplomatic usage, give official notification to the German Government of the Franco-British Declaration referred 3 to above. She chose to ignore Germany, and assured of British, Italian,and Spanish support, proceeded to carry out her own plans. 1. Ewart, op. cit., II, 761-62. 2. Supra. 51 3. Bulow to the German ambassador in Paris, May 1, 1905: "It was conformable to international usage that France after the conclusion of the Anglo-French Accord concerning Morocoo, should communicate this Accord in the customary form to all the interested parties. M. Dele as se' has declared, it is true, that this communication had become superfluous by the fact of the publication of the conven tion in the French Journal officiel. The Minister will not omit to notice however, that these two methods of notification possess a character essentially different. The direct communication is not a simple act of courtesy. The French Government, in deciding to make it, would have declared itself ready to enter into discussion with the persons to whom it is delivered with reference to their interests, in case they estimated them to be affected. Publication in a French offioial paper, on the contrary, places the other persons interested who have not been interrogated in the presence simply of an accomplished fact." (Cited in Ewart, op. cit., II, 770;). -61 The Chancellor's Reichstag speech on April 18, 1904, was only a temporary acquiescence in the Anglo-Frenoh Agreement, and an invitation to France and Britain to consult Germany over Morocoo. The German Government in truth liked that Accord less than the German people, even though it knew nothing of the secret articles. Bulow, who publicly proclaimed that the -agreement placed Germany in no actual danger, admitted that "doubtlessly both Powers (France and Great Britain) win in international influence and in freedom of movement by this accord and by their rapprochement, and that the drawing force 1 of the Anglo-French Entente on Italy will also be strengthened." The prospective loss of Morocoo to Germany,and the general dissatisfaction in Germany over the conduct of foreign affairs, accentuated Bulow*s ill-will towards the agreement. To manifest its dissatisfaction at being excluded from the Moroccan settlement and to force M. Deloasse' to come to an agreement with Germany on that question, the German Government first considered in April the project of dispatching a warship to Tangier, ostensibly to settle certain grievances 2 which Germany held against Morocoo at the time. The proposal was not acted upon at the time however. On May 81, the German Foreign Office telegraphed to Mentzingen that "since a forceful action could be easily misunderstood and lead to erroneous 1. Bulow to William II, April 80, 1904; cited in Anderson, op. cit., 143. 8. Dr. Genthe, a German resident in Morocoo, had been recently murdered by natives; a native employee of a German firm had been illegally imprisoned; and certain indemnities from the Moroccan Government had to be collected. See also Dugdale, op. cit., Ill, 219. 1 conclusions about Germany policy1* the ship would not be sent. It is regretable that similar foresight was not adopted in the spring of 1905. Bulow, however, had not made up his mind to relinquish German ambitions in Morocco; he was determined to share in the settlement of Moroccan affairs. In spite of the fact that the Kaiser himself had little interest in Morocco, and had disclaimed in a conversation with the King of Spain at) Vigo on March 16, 1904, any interest in territorial acquisitions, but only in the maintainance of the "open door," Bulow held other views. It is only fair to say of the Kaiser that in these days he played no great part in determining German Moroccan policy; the motive force behind it was Bulow. Late in April, 1904, Bulow seized the opportunity to intervene In Moroccan affairs through Spain, with whose Government France was then negotiating for the later agreement. He gave every encouragement to Spain in order that she might receive 2 better terms from the more powerful France. But it was soon seen that Germany could derive little profit from the Franco-Spanish negotiations. German grievances against Morocco meanwhile remained unsettled. German trading firms were demanding protection against monopolistic actions of the French. In June France had practically gained control of the Sultan's finances. 1. Anderson, op. cit. ,148. 2. Ibid., 152-53} Lansdowne to Lascelles, June 1, 1904, B.B., III, Ho.61, p.53. Renouvin, Pierre, La Crise Europe*enne et la Grande Guerre, (Paris, 1934), 70. Nor had M. Delcasse up to this time shown any inclination to open up negotiations with Germany. Already disgruntled at the French foreign minister, the German Government now came to feel itself slighted and humiliated by this disregard. Its resistance towards his policy came to be concentrated upon the one grievance which could be best upheld in the eyes of the public, that France was infringing upon German economic interests in Morocoo. It therefore began to adopt a more active policy. On June 3 the Belgian minister at Berlin informed the German Foreign Office that he suspected that there were secret articles in the Anglo-French Accord concerning the Rhenish frontier. Count Metternich, although he believed the Agreement did contain secret articles concerning Egypt, doubted the suspicions of the Belgian minister, but mentioned the rumor to Lord Lansdowne on June 19. The latter assured him that the Accord contained no articles whioh concerned European 1 complications. Nevertheless, Bulow realized that any attempt of Germany to interfere in the Moroccan question would lead to far-reaching consequences, and would need caution; for this reason he sought to learn how the British Government regarded its obligations to France with respect to Morocco. With this in mind,Metternich discussed the question of Morocco with Lord Lansdowne on August 15. Expressing fears of French monopolization in Morocoo, he asked Lord Lansdowne, in view of the danger to German economic interests, how the British Government would interpret Article IV of the Anglo-French 1. Anderson, op. cit., 155. 64 Agreement, which article stated that the concessions for roads, railways, ports, etc., were to be granted "only on such condition as will maintain intact the authority of the State over these great undertakings of public interest." He wished also to know how Article IX pledging Great Britain to lend diplomatic support to France would be interpreted. Lord Lansdowne cautiously stated that he did not wish to express an opinion upon Article IX in a purely hypothetical case. He went on to say: "We made no attempt to dispose of the rights of other Powers, although we made certain concessions in respect of the rights and opportunities to which we were ourselves entitled. I could at any rate say that it was not at all probable that, if any Third Power were to have occasion to uphold its treaty rights, we should use our influence in derogation of them." (1) Metternich inferred from this interview that the British Government would limit the scope of Article IX, and that in case Germany's actions did not Infringe upon the Sultan's authority Germany would be quite safe in opposing France in Morocco. He reported, however, that Great Britain would oppose Germany seeking control of a harbour there* and warned his government that if a third Power should dispute politically the French position that both the English people and the government would support France. Within these limits 2 Germany might carry out her Moroccan policy. Just previous to receiving this reply Bulow had proposed dispatching an ultimatum to the Sultan, demanding under threat of a naval demonstration that the outstanding 1. Lansdowne to Lascelles, August 15 ,1904 ,B.D., III, Ho.62. 2. Anderson, op. cit., 156-7. -65-German claims be satisfied within three months. The Emperor, who remained steadily opposed to active interference in the Sheriflan Empire, refused his consent to the plan, and nothing was done. But while no German action was taken during these months, feeling continued to smolder. The non-committal communications from the French Government with regard to the Franco-Spanish agreement in October, along within the repeated petitions from German firms for defense of their interests augmented the bitterness against France. By the end of the year the Morocco question was still very much alive. As the American vice-consul remarked to a leading Moor, "Germany has not yet spoken, and until then we cannot believe that anything 1 definite.has been decided." Soon afterwards Germany put to one side her grievances with the Sultan and his government, and began to assume an attitude of friendliness. She began to encourage the Sultan to resist the "Tunisification" programme which Belcasse' and the French Government were believed to be forcing on Morocco. On February II, 1905, the French charge' at Tangier reported to Delcasse' an ominous communication received from JDihlmann, the German ambassador-; in which the latter stated, After the Anglo-French arrangement of 1904 we supposed the French Government was waiting for the Franoo-Spanish agreement before putting us in possession of the new situation. But now that everything is settled, we see that we have been systematically kept aloof. The Chancellor tells me that the German Government 1. Cited in Fay, op. cit., I, 181. 66-was ignorant of all the agreements concerning Morocco, and does not acknowledge himself bound to them in any way. (1) Delcasse' complained to Berlin of this language, and reminded the German Government that he had answered Prince Radolin's enquiries of March 23, 1904, and stated that Berlin had asked for no explanations of the Agreement. The German Under-Secretary, von Muhlberg, who received the complaint, replied that he knew nothing of Kuhlmann's declaration, but added that Germany was not bound by the Anglo-French or the 2 Franco-Spanish treaties. France meanwhile had been proceeding with her policies in Morocco. On January 11, 1905, the French minister at Tangier, M. Saint-Rene' Taillandier, had been ordered to Fez, the Moroccan capital, to lay before the Sultan a programme of reforms consisting of a military programme and a list of rigorous demands dealing with finances, tariffs and concessions for public works, in all of which France was to act as a general adviser, instructor and regulator. It has been alleged that the French Ambassador, in carrying out his mission, sought to produce the impression that he was acting on behalf of all the Great Powers in reorganizing the military and civil government 3 of Morocco. Germany was now convinced that very soon her 1. Gooch, G.P., History of Modern Europe, (London, 1923),351. Debidour, A., Histoire Diplomatique de l'Europe,(Paris,1920), 11,15. Paleologue, M., Uh Grand Tournant de la Politique M0r»diale,(Paris,1934), 238-39. 2. Gooch, op. cit., 351 ;i Paleologue, op. cit., 242. 3. Deloasse denied this charge; Ewart, op. cit., II, 768. It was denied-also by Taillandier, himself; Debidour, op. cit., Il;^i8; also in Berard, Victor, Le Livre jaune Sur Maroc, LaRevue de Paris, January 1,1906, 210. -67-economic activities in Morocco would be at an end if the French obtained their demands. Accordingly, Dr. Vessel was sent to Fez to inform the Sultan that Germany had not given her consent to the French programme. Bulow was careful to warn his agent, however, not to encourage the Sultan to expect German support in a war with 1 France, but yet the Sultan was to be encouraged to resist the French demands. The Sultan decided to call together an Assembly of Notables to examine what steps should be taken. 2 Kuhlmann approved this step as a "skilful anti-French move." In order to strengthen his hand against France, Bulow sought to win the support of President Roosevelt in the Morocoan question. As Germany and United States had cooperated cordially in preserving the "open door" in China, Billow endeavoured to extend this effort to Morocco, and to win the United States to his side against France and Britain. On February 25 he invited Roosevelt to unite with Germany in advising the Sultan that the calling of the Notables was a correct move in fortifying his government and in inaugurating reforms. Although not interested in Morocoo, the President agreed to instruct the American representative in Tangier to keep in close touch with his German colleague. This answer satisfied the German Government, for they now felt assured of 3 Roosevelt's moral support. 1. Fay, op. cit., I, 183. 2. Ibid., 182. 3. Anderson, op. cit., 185. 0 68 On March 10 a note was sent to the Sultan stating, that although the German Government realized that his country must be reorganized, Germany hopes that the rumours of a prospective change in existing conditions in Morocco - equal rights and freedom for all nations - are unfounded; Germany would disapprove of such a change. Germany and the United States are favourably inclined towards the maintenance of the present oonditions ..... the attitude of the other Powers is not definitely known. (1) Germany here showed her Btrong disapproval of the whole French action, and sought to augment Moroccan resistance without committing herself to any definite policy. When speaking in the Reichstag on March 15, the Chancellor intimated that Germany intended taking steps to defend her Moroccan interests. He stated: I understand entirely the attitude which is given here to events in and around Morocco. I regard it as a duty of the German Government to see that ..... our economic interests in Morocco are not injured. (2) At this same time a most dramatic coup was being planned. Holstein has been charged as the moving spirit behind 3 this, but in his memoirs Bulow takes unto himself the full 4 responsibility. In the spring of 1905 the Kaiser was planning a trip in the Mediterranean, and it was now suggested that he use the opportunity to land at Tangier to visit the Sultan. The Kaiser, in keeping with his past policy with regard to 1. Anderson, op. cit., 185. 8. Ibid., 186. 3. Brandenburg, op. cit., 220; Paleclogue, op. cit., 289, Hamman, Otto, The World Policy of Germany, 1890-1912, (London, 1927), 149. 4. Bulow, Prince von, Memoirs,(London,1931),II,107. Debidour blames the Kaiser; op. cit., II, 17. -69-1 Morocco, had small inclination for this under talcing, but was persuaded by Billow to agree. In order to prevent the ruler changing his mind the Chancellor had the newspapers announce the forthcoming visit. In answer to objections of the Kaiser, he wrote the same day, "Your Majesty's visit to Tangier will. embarrass M. Deloasse, traverse his schemes, and further our business interests in Morocco." A few days later he wrote; "For apart from the fact that the systematic exclusion of all non-French merchants and promoters from Morocoo according to the example of Tunis would signify an important economic loss for Germany, it is also a want of appreciation of our power when M. Delcasse has not considered it worth the effort to negotiate with Germany over his Moroccan plans. M. Delcasse' 3 has completely ignored us In this affair." The Emperor had agreed to the plan, but when he learned from the newspapers that the Tangier population was planning to exploit his visit against the French,he wrote to Billow; "Telegraph at once to Tangier that it is most doubtful whether I land, and that I am only travelling incognito as a 4 tourist; therefore no audiences, no receptions." The Chanoellor, however, pointed out that a public announcement of the visit had already been made, and if it was now given up it might appear that the plans had been changed owing to pressure from 1. Bulow, op. cit., II, 106. 2. Bulow to the Emperor, March 20, 1905, Dugdale, op. cit., Ill, 223. 3. Cited in Anderson, op. cit., 187. 4. Cited in Fay, op. cit., I, 183. -70-France. William again consented, though at Lisbon, and even at the last moment in the harbour at Tangier, he hesitated once 1 more. But he finally yielded and carried out the programme others had arranged for him. It was on March 31 he landed to play his dramatic role. The object of the visit had been previously explained in the Reichstag by Bulow on March 29, when he declared: A year ago the Kaiser told the King of Spain that Germany does not strive for territory in Morocco. It is therefore useless to attribute to- the Tangier visit any selfish purpose directed against its integrity or independence. No one who does not pursue an aggressive goal can find cause for apprehension. We have economic interests, and in Morocco, as in China, it is to our interests to keep the open door. (2). Onethe Kaiser's arrival at Tangier there was a reception of the foreign diplomats at which the French charge d'affaires unexpectedly made a speech as if he were welcoming the Kaiser to Morocco in the name of France, stating that his government had no thought of infringing upon the economic equality of other nations. The Kaiser replied somewhat brusquely that he would deal directly with the Sultan as a ruler of an independent country and would secure satisfaction for his own just claims, and expected that these would be 3 respected also by France. 1. Schoen to the German Foreign Office, March 31,1905, Pugdale, op. cit. ,111,224. Ludwig, op. cit. ,286-87 . 2. Cited in Gooch, op. cit., 352. 3. Brandenburg, op.cit.,221; Anderson,op.cit.,194. See also Newton, op. cit., 332-33, who relates a conversation which the Kaiser had with Prince Louis of Battenburg on April 1 in which-he unbosomed himself freely on the subject of his visit in his well-known style. This conversation was later reported to Lansdowne by King Edward. The Kaiser said: "I went to Tangier for the -71-In an address to the German colony he said, "I am happy to salute the devoted pioneers of ..German industry and commerce who aid me in my task of maintaining the interests of the Fatherland in a free country. The Empire has great and growing interests in Morocoo. Commerce can only progress if all the Pbwers are considered to have equal rights under the sovereignty of the Sultan, and compatible with the independence of the country. My visit is a recognition of this independence." (1) The theme of this address was further developed in a speech delivered to the Sultan's uncle and Plenipotentiary. "My visit is to show my resolve to do all in my power to safeguard German interests in Morocco. Considering the Sultan as absolutely free, I wish to discuss "with him the means to secure these interests. As for the reforms he contemplates it seems to me he should proceed with great caution." (2) The Kaiser's visit and his speeches"at Tangier created a sensation throughout Europe. What did Germany mean by this theatrical step? The real object of the visit was for the public at large shrouded in mystery, and this very naturally gave rise to the wildest of rumors. Bulow, himself, contributed to this by his instructions to the Foreign Office on March 24 to give out no explanations whatsoever to foreign 3 diplomats should they make inquiries, but to "play the Sphinx." It was most commonly held in Paris and in London that Germany express purpose of telling the French minister what my views were. I said, 'I know nothing of any agreement between France and Morocco. For me, the Sultan is an independent sovereign. I am determined not to have a repetition of what happened in Tunis .... When the minister tried to argue with me I said, "Good morning," and left him standing.'" Lee, op. cit., II, 340 -Paleolbgue mentions this conversation, 279. 1. Cited in Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, 111,339. 8. Ibid, 330. 3. Brandenburg, op. cit., 222. -78-was seeking a quarrel with France, or was endeavouring to 1 destroy the Entente. As has been mentioned above, there is no evidence to show that Germany was seeking such ends. The purpose of the German leaders seems to have been to uphold German prestige, to show that Germany was not willing to be left out where her interests were concerned, to check French pentration in Morocco until Germany's consent had been obtained or bought by means of concessions elsewhere. The French press had spoken openly of 8 setting up a second Tunis in Morocco, and certainly French policy seemed to be tending in that direction. Germany believed, and not without reason, that unless she entered an emphatic protest, Morocoo would be entirely lost to France. It is Important to realize that Delcasse' had not purchased Germany's assent to French policy. He had assured himself of the goodwill of Italy, Spain,and Great Britain,but he had totally disregarded Germany as a factor in Moroccan affairs,deepite her great economic interests there and her signing of the Madrid Treaty, and 3 despite the fact that of all Powers her pride was most sensitive. 1. Ewart, op. cllfc., 7,74, Supra. 57. 8. Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, op. cl t. ,111,339. 3. laniEflW Mr. G.P. Gooch censures Great Britain for her part in disregarding German interests. He states: "It is regrettable that the British cabinet did not perceive - or at any rate did not help France to perceive - the wisdom of securing German consent by a "solatium." Though the Secret Treaties of 1904 reserved no share for Great Britain in the contingent partition of Morocoo, and though It has been argued that it was reasonable for the contracting parties to make alternative arrangements in the event of Morocoo collapsing from internal weakness, our share in a transaction which suggested double-dealing involves the British Government in partial responsibility for the crises of 1905 and 1911." Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, op. cit., Ill, 340. 73-Though the Tangier visit was to bring about many unexpected and unhappy results it did have the desired result for Germany of making France aware that she could no longer disregard the Empire in Morocoo. On Maroh 31, the day of the Kaiser's landing, Delcasse' declared in the Senate: Nothing in our Moroccan policy /'nothing in our execution of the accords of April 8, and October 3, 1904, can explain the movements of the German press .... You may legitemately hope that in the western basin of the Mediterranean .... Franoe will succeed, without ignoring any right, without injuring any interest, in assuring her future. (I) At the same time he instructed M. Saint-Rene Taillandier, who was still carrying on his negotiations with the Sultan, to warn the monarch against following the proposals put forward in the German press for an international conference to discuss Moroccan a affairs. He felt it was wise also to now open up negotiations with Berlin for an understanding with regard to Morocco, and he made efforts to approach indirectly the German Government with this end in view. On April 7 he stated publicly in the French Chamber that ''France was ready to dissipate any misunderstandings 3 whioh .... may still exist." On April 13, while dining at the German Embassy, he repeated this offer to Prince Radolin, and discussed with him French policy in Morocco, pointing out that freedom of commerce for all nations was safeguarded in the 4 agreements made with England and Spain. Immediately after, the 1. Cited in Anderson, op. cit., 198. 2. Ibid., 198. 3. Ibid., 199. 4. Ibid., 199; Paleologue, op. cit., 290-91. -74-Britlsh Government was asked "to help convince the Emperor 1 that German interests were in no way threatened"ln Morocco. M. Delcasse was greatly handicapped in carrying out his policies at this time because he did not have the loyal 2 support of either the public or of his government. The ff«Ssr; that he had blundered and aroused German enmity, the feac; of complications with might result, along with, political jealousy, aroused by his long tenure of office and a dislike of his secretiveness, all combined against him. He was attacked by all parties as well as his colleagues; hardly a voice was raised in his support. On April 22 he offered his resignation, but 3 reconsidered it on the appeals of President loubet and Paul Cambon who was in Paris. M. Rouvier half-heartedly supported the foreign minister, but assured the Chamber that in future 4 he would personally supervise foreign affairs. Thus public opinion forced an almost complete surrender in the face of a German menace. It remained, however, to be seen how far France would yield before her desire for peace would conflict with her national honour. If the Kaiser's dramatic assertions at Tangier had forced Prance to reconsider her Moroccan policy, they also forced 1. Lansdowne to Lascelles, April 27,1905;B.D.,111,No.80,p.67, Hote (1). See also Ho.90,p.73, editor's note. 2. Hale, O.J.* Germany and the Diplomatic Revolution, (Philadelphia, 1931), Chapter V. Pale'ologue, op.clt., 293, 296; Porter ,C.W.,The Career of Theophile Delcasse7, (Philadelphia, 1936), 232-33. 3. Pale'ologue, op. cit., 300; Porter, op. cit., 239^40. 4. Porter, op. cit., 239. -75-Germany now to take positive action in that question. As Holstein said, na retreat would stand on the same level with 1 Olmutz and cause Fashoda to be forgotten." Bulow had now decided on the following policy: to continue denying any territorial amMtions in Morocco, to demand economic equality for all nations, to insist upon an international conference like that at Madrid in 1880 to discuss the whole question of 2 Moroccan reform. No separate negotiations with France would be considered. Had German policy with regard to Morocco not been so widely proclaimed to the world at Tangier, and in so theatrical a fashion, there is little doubt that the German Government could have obtained compensations from France and settled outstanding differences with the Republic. Delcasse' 3 was willing to settle such differences, and Rouvier was later to offer proposals to this effect. Germany, however, insisted always on the conference as the best means of settling the question. Bulow did not doubt that the proposal for a conference would be accepted, and that the conference on meeting would refuse to turn Morocco over to France. Writing to the Kaiser on April 14, he said: In case a conference meets, we are already certain of the diplomatic support of America in favour of the open door .... Austria will not quarrel with us over Morocco .... Russia is busy with herself .... _. —g • •— 1. Anderson, op. cit., 202. 2. Bulow to the Emperor, April 4, 1905, Dugdale, op.cit., Ill, 224. 3. Supra 73; Also, Lester to Lansdowne, April 21, 1905, B.D. Ill, No. 89, p.72; and Bertie to Lansdowne, April 27, 1905. Ibid, No.84, p.68. Renouvin, op.cit., 71. -76-The English Government - between Roosevelt and those English groups whioh think as the "Morning Post," "Manchester Guardian" and lord Rosebery(I) - will not stir. Spain is of no Importance, and also has a strong party in favour of the status quo. We should certainly be able to hold Italy in order .... If Franee refuses the conference she will put herself in wrong towards all the Signatory Powers (2) and thereby will give England, Spain and Italy a probably welcome excuse to withdraw. (3) On April 9 it was decided to send Count Tattenbach to Fez to combat the efforts of the French mission under Taillandier, and to win the Sultan's approval of a conference. At the same time, by messages to the Sultan, Bulow sought to prevent him from making any decisions before the Count arrived. Bulow realized that if the French succeeded in gaining the Sultan's acceptance of their proposals for reforms the entire German polioy would be frustrated. On April IS, by means of a oircular dispatch to the Signatory Powers of the Madrid Treaty, he explained Germany's stand and proposed the referenoe 4 of the whole question to an international conference. Meanwhile what was the British reaction to this situation? Both the Government and the public believed that Germany was striking as much at Great Britain as at France in 1. These three had criticized the Anglo-French accord. 2. Referring to those Powers which had signed the Treaty of Madrid in 1880. 3. Bulow to William II, April 4, 1905, oited in Anderson, op. cit., 203. 4. For this dispatch see Ewart, op. cit., II, 774-75. 77-In an effort to break the Entente. British feeling was well expressed by King Edward, who wrote indignantly on April 15 to Lord Lansdowne: The Tangier incident was the most mischievous and uncalled for event which the German Emperor has ever engaged in since he came to the throne. It was also a theatrical fiasco, and lf he thinks he has done himself good in the eyes of the world he is very much mistaken. He is no more or less than a political "enfant terrible,1* and one can have no faith in any of his assurances. His own pleasure seems to wish to set every country by the ears. (1) The criticism by Lord Lansdowne was no less severe. In a letter to Lascelles on April 9 he wrote: I am afraid that we can hardly regard this Tangier ebullition as an isolated incident. There can be no doubt that the Kaiser was much annoyed by the Anglo-French Agreement, and probably even more so by our refusal to vamp up some agreement of the same kind with Germany over the Egyptian question. We shall, I have little doubt, find that the Kaiser avails himself of every opportunity to put spokes in our wheels, and convince those who are watching the progress of the game that he means to take an important part in it. My impression is that the German Government have really no cause for complaint either of us or the French in regard to the Morocoo part of the Agreement. We made no secret of its existence. It dealt exclusively with French and British interests in Morocco, and so far as the other Powers were concerned, it provided adequate security for their interests, and for the integrity of Morocco itself. What else does the Kaiser want? (2) What was considered the threatening attitude of the Kaiser suggested to that a*dent spirit, Admiral Fisher, a "golden opportunity" for making war on Germany. In a letter 1. Lee, op. cit., II, 340. 2. Cited in Hewton, op. cit., 334. 76> to Lord Lansdowne on April 22 he actually undertook that if it came about, ftwe could have the German Fleet, the Kiel Canal, 1 and Sohleswig-Holstein within a fortnight." The British Government feared for a time that Germany was seeking a port in Morocco, and was very anxious to cheek the realization of such an objective. On April 22 Lord Lansdowne wrote to Bertie in Paris with regard to this matter: It seems to me not unlikely that German Government may ask for a port on the Moorish coast. You are authorized to inform Minister for Foreign Affairs that we should be prepared to join French Government in offering strong opposition to such a proposal and to beg that if question is raised French Government will afford us a full opportunity of conferring with them as to steps which might be taken to meet it. German attitude in this dispute seems to me most unreasonable having regard to M. Delcasse*s attitude, and we desire to give him all the support we can. (2) On April 24 Bertie communicated these views of Lord Lansdowne to M. Belcass^, but in his draft of the communication he seems to have gone a little further than did his chief, giving greater emphasis to the offer of British support. The British Government finds that the conduct of Germany in the Moroccan question is most unreasonable in view of M. Delcasse'*s attitude, and it desires to give his Excellency all the support in its power. It seems not improbable that the German Government may ask for a port on the Moroccan coast. In that event the British Government would be willing to join the French Government in offering strong opposition to such a proposal, and it asks M. Delcasse', in case the question is raised, to give the British-Government full opportunity to concert with the French Government upon the measures whioh might be taken to meet that demand. (3) 1. Cited in Newton, op. cit., 334-5. 2. Lansdowne to Bertie, April 22, 1905, B.D.Ill,No.90,472-73. 3. Draft by Bertie, April 24,1905,Ibid,No.91,pp.73-74. -79-1 M. Delcasse' was"very grateful11 for this offer of British support. He denied that Germany had made a request for a Moroccan port, but promised.to communicate with the British Government if such a request should be made, and to warn the Sultan against making any concessions to Germany. By the offer of support from Britain Delcasse' felt encouraged to hold to his policy in spite of Germany's opposition, and in spite of the lack of support from his own people. He was hot supported, however, by his premier, M. Rouvier* who as well as being premier, had assumed a general 2 control over foreign policy since April. M. Rouvier was much more cautious than the daring Delcasse^ he was essentially a man of peace, and feared an open conflict with Germany. Offers of British support did little to quiet his fears, since he realized that the British navy "did not have wheels." He now intervened personally in the question to attempt a settlement with Germany. In conversations with Prince Radolin on April 26 and April 28 he stated that the idea of a conference was not acceptable to Prance. He suggested that if Berlin was willing, the purpose of the proposed conference might be served by sending a French circular note to all the Signatory Powers, and if the majority of those Powers were opposed to French action in Morocoo, it would not be carried out. Again and again he endeavoured to learn what concessions Germany would ask for relinquishing her demand for a conference, and showed himself ready to enter into 1. Bertie to Lansdowne, April 26, 1905, D.D.,III,No.92, p.74 2. Supra. 74. 1 a general agreement concerning disputed colonial question®. But since Germany had so widely proclaimed her disinterestedness in Morocco she was not in a position to negotiate for compen sations. Moreover, it would have meant now sacrificing the Sultan to the French, after having encouraged him to resist them. Thus Germany was forced to continue travelling along the route on which she had set out. Meanwhile the German Government had sought the aid of the United States in overcoming the resistance of France and Britain to the holding of the conference. It was felt that the attitude of Britain would be greatly influenced by that of the United States, and therefore Germany asked £ President Roosevelt on April 5 for his support. On April 85 x the German ambassador in Washington again wrote the President," saying that the Emperor would be most grateful if he (Roosevelt) would intimate to England that he would like to see England and 1. Anderson, op. cit., £18-819; Hamman, op. cit., 166; Brandenburg, op. cit., 3£3. Ludwig, op. cit., 359. It is significant to note that Bulow and Holstein concealed from William II, M. Rouvier's offers of a direct Franco-German agreement. They doubtless felt that he, who was no very sound supporter of their Morocoan policy, might aooept. In this interpretation of his probable attitude they were correct. Some years later when the Kaiser came to learn of M. Rouvier's offers and their rejection by Bulow, he wrote, "If I had been told about this, I should have gone into it thoroughly, and that idiotic conference would never have taken place." See Hicolson, op. cit., 166. 8. Bishop, J.B., Theodore Roosevelt and His Time, (Hew York, 1980), I, 468. Jusserand, J.J., What Me Befell, (London, 1933), 314-15. We might note in this connection that the United States had signed the Madrid Convention of 1880. -81-1 Germany In harmony In their dealing with Morocco.0 On May 13 another memorandum was sent to Roosevelt, insisting on the necessity of the conference and complaining 2 of English opposition. Again, on May 31 a third memorandum declared"that England is the only Power which opposes such a conference, though it seems she will drop her objections in a case you should participate in the conference." Roosevelt's attitude can best be gathered from the letter he wrote to Taft, the acting Secretary of State. It contained the following: I do not feel that as a Government we should interfere in the Morocoo matter. We have other fish to fry, and we have no real interest in Morocoo. I do not care to take sides between Prance and Germany in the matter. At the same time if I can find out what Germany wants I shall be glad to oblige her if possible, and I am sincerely anxious to bring about a better state of feeling between England and Germany. Each nation is working itself up to a condition of desperate hatred of the other; each from sheer fear of the other. (4) In a letter to the German ambassador on the same date he reiterated that the United States had no direct interest in Morocco, but offered to serve as a mediator between Germany and Great Britain - "to sound the British Government 5 and find out what its views are." 1. Bishop, op. cit., I, 469. 2. Ibid., 469. 3. Ibid., 471. 4. Ibid., 472. 5. Ibid., 474. 82-The British Government proved most unwilling to accept the mediation of the President and assured him through their ambassador that there was.no idea in England of attacking 1 Germany or of anticipating a German attack on England. The German Government, however, was encouraged by the attitude of Roosevelt, for it seemed to place the United States on the side of Germany. Distressed by the German rejections of French offers, and fearful of war, M. Rouvier went a step farther to meet Germany by offering at the end of April to get rid of Delcasse', suggesting that it could be done over some domestic difficulty 2 within the course of the next few weeks. In spite of this offer Germany proved unwilling to effect a direct settlement. Meanwhile, she was pressing Spain and Italy as well 3 as the United States for support. Then on May 13 Count Tattenbach arrived in Fez to persuade the Sultan to resist the French demands. A few days later he reported that M. Delcasse' had instructed the French minister to issue a veiled threat of violence against Morocoo should the Sultan agree to a 4 conference. Bulow thereupon warned M. Rouvier against M. Delcasse7*s "stormy and violent Moroccan policy." Pursuing 1. Durand to lansdowne, April 26, 1905, B.D. Ill, Kb.82, pp.67-68. 2. Brandenburg, op. cit., 223. Porter, op. cit., p.242. Anderson, op. cit., S19. Bulow to German Foreign Office, May 5, 1905; Dugdale, op. cit., Ill, 227. 3. Hicolson to Lansdowne, May 5, 1905, B.D., III, No.87, p.70. Egerton to Lansdowne, May 5, 1905. Ibid., Ho.88, p.71. 4. Anderson, op. cit., 223; Bourgeois et Pages, op. cit., 309. The French minister, Saint Rene'-Tai Hand ier denies this charge - see his letter to Rouvier, June 15,1905, cited in "Le Livre Jaune Sur Maroc," by Victor Berard, in the La Revue de Paris, January I, 1906, 212. -83-this matter still further, the Chancellor instructed Herr von Miguel, councilor in the German Embassy at Paris, to inform M. Rouvier amicably but firmly that Delcasse would have to go, and that Franco-German relations would not improve as long as 1 he remained in office. On May 28 the Sultan rejected the French proposals and gave his approval to the holding of an international conference to discuss Morocoan affairs. Bulow then warned the French premier that since the Sultan had acquiesced in the matter of German polioy Germany would "follow up the consequences if France continued the policy of intimidation and violence 2 hitherto pursued by Delcasse'." In this way the German Government was attempting to force the dismissal of the French foreign minister* But Delcasse', feeling sure of the support of Great Britain and of Russia, held out stubbornly against the proposed conference. To his colleagues, however, this policy seemed fraught with danger. The air was thick with rumours of a German ultimatum, and with talk of French unpreparedness for war. At a meeting of the cabinet on June 6, M. Delcasse', 1. Anderson, op. cit., 224, Pale'ologue, op. cit., 350. 2. The "Gaulois" published articles on June 9 and 17, 1905, asserting that Prince Henckel von Donnersmarek had also been sent by the German Government to Paris about June 1 to warn Rouvier that Delcasse' must be dismissed. See Bourgeois et Pages, op. cit., 310; Debidour, op. cit., II, 21; Fabre-Luce, op. cit., 119. Authorities seem to differ greatly on this point. Some doubt the truth of the facts as published by the "Gaulois," and attribute the story to French journalistic imagination. See Fay, op. cit., I, 187, footnote; and Anderson, op. cit., 225, footnote. Hale claims that the words attributed to the Prince were merely opinions and rumours current in Paris from June 6 to 17; op.cit., chapter VI. On the other hand, Porter, the biog rapher of Delcasse*, suggests that the Prince was sent as a; -84-though aware of his isolation, stoutly defended his stand and his policy of the past few years. He claimed that in an exchange of notes with Great Britain he had recently received an assurance of armed support in the event of a German attack. Asserting the possibility of a formal alliance with Great Britain, he urged the acceptance of her offer and the refusal of the idea of a conference. M. Rouvier and his oolleagues held, however, that the acceptance of the British offer would mean certain war with Germany, and felt that France should agree to the conference. Delcasse', after warning them that such a weak policy would only encourage German insolence, 1 resigned. The "British offer," on the strength of which the foreign minister was prepared to risk a Franco-German war, has remained somewhat of a puzzle to historians. In October of 1905 the "Matin" published a series of revelations concerning the fall of Delcasse'. These included the assertion, as coming from him, that he had been promised by the British Government, in case of a German attack, that the British fleet would be mobilized to seize the Kiel Canal, and would land one hundred 2 thousand men in Schleswig-Holstein. That such an offer was ever made by, or on behalf of, the British Government was denied at the time by the Foreign Office, and British leaders have always since denied that any offer of an alliance or of emissary of the Kaiser without the consent of the German Foreign Office; op. cit., 248-50. 1. Debidour, op. cit., II, 22-24. Pale'ologue, op. cit., 350-52; Porter, op. cit., 258-60. 2. Porter, op. cit., 262-63. 1 armed assistance was ever made to France. In the middle of May, 1905, M. Paul Cambon had complained to Lord Lansdowne of the attitude of the German Government. He stated that M. Delcasse regarded the situation not as "profoundly alarming," but as "sufficiently serious to occasion him much preoccupation." Lansdowne replied that the moral to him seemed to be that each government (of France and of England) should continue to treat the other with the most absolute mutual confidence, that each should keep the other fully informed of everything which came to its knowledge, and should, so far as possible, discuss in advance any contingencies by which in the course of events they should find themselves 2 confronted. In an effort to avoid misunderstandings Lansdowne and Cambon exchanged notes to verify the above conversation. Cambon, in his note dated May 24, referred to Lansdowne as having said that .... if the circumstances demanded it, if for example we had serious reason to expect an unprovoked aggression on the part of a certain Power, the British Government would be ready to concert with the French Government on the measures to be taken. (3) 1. Asquith, H.H., The Genesis of the War, (London, 1923), 90. See the written assertion of Lord Sanderson, August 17, 1922, in B.D.,III, No.105 (a), p.87, and the comment by Lord Lansdowne, April 4, 1927, Ho.105 (b), p.87. Lord Newton, the biographer of Lansdowne, states, "there are no traces of any such undertaking in Lord Lansdowne*s private papers." op. cit., 343. 2. Lansdowne to Bertie, May 17, 1905, B.D., III, No.94, p.76. D.D.F., 2es.,VI, No.443, pp.522-23. 3. D.D.F., 2e s, 71, NO.455, pp.538-39. 86-Landsowne, in his note, dated May 25, sought to avoid suoh a broad commitment, and said it was the British desire that there should be full and confidential discussion between the two Governments, not so much in consequence of some acts of unprovoked aggression on the part of another Power, as in anticipation of any complications to be apprehended during the somewhat 1 anxious period through which we are at present passing. In transmitting this note to Delcasse, Cambon remarked that the wording had been carefully studied by the British Government and had the approval of the Prime Minister, Arthur Balfour, and that it gave recognition of lansdowne*s willingness to discuss in advance measures to be taken in view of every contingency. According to the Ambassador's interpre tation Lansdowne intended it to apply not only in the case of an unprovoked aggression, as in the French version, but to every possible contingency. This would mean if France acoepted the British proposal, she might be led into a general entente 2 which would be in reality an alliance. Delcasse' and his advisers in the diplomatic service seem to have given this broad interpretation to Lansdowne*s 3 note. Having received the British message and the comments of Cambon on May 30, Delcasse' at once telegraphed to the latter: 1. B.D.III, No.95, p.77; D.D.F. 2es.VI, No.465,pp.558-559. 2. D.D.F. 2es, vT,No.415, pp.557-558; Paleologue,op.cit.,p,346. 3. Maurois, op. cit., 176; Pale'ologue, op. cit., 352; Barrere, Camille, La Chute da Delcasse*, Revue des Deux Mondes, August 1, 1932, 616. -87-Say to Lord Lansdowne that I am also of the opinion that the two Governments should more than ever give eaoh other their entire confidence and that I am ready to examine with him all aspects of a situation which does not fail to he a little disq.uieting.,, (1) More than this had not been promised at the time. On June 12 however, Lascelles, in Berlin, informed Lord Lansdowne that Bulow had mentioned that the German Government had received information to the effect that Britain had made an offer of a defensive and offensive alliance to France. He reported to Lansdowne that he had told the Chancellor that he, personally, knew nothing of such an offer, and that he greatly doubted if any such offer had been made. To this, the Chancellor had replied, that although his information was not official, it was of such a nature that he could not doubt its 2 accuracy. On the same date, in another dispatch, Lascelles informed his chief that Holstein had mentioned the same matter 3 to him. On receipt of this news Lansdowne sent for the German ambassador in London, Count Metternich, and told him that he could scarcely believe that the suggestion of such an alliance was seriously made, or that that the story was worth contradicting. If, however, he stated, the ambassador thought that a contradiction would serve a useful purpose, he was glad to assure him that no such an alliance had been offered or discussed by either 1. D.D.F., 2 s., 71, Ho.470,pp.563-64; minute by Hioolson, April 15, 1912, B.D., 71, Ho.576, pp.747-48. 2. Lascelles to Lansdowne,June 12,1905, B.D.III,No.97,pp.79-80. 3. Ibid., Ho.98, pp.80-81. -88-1 England or Prance. Thus it would seem from the evidence outlined above that no alliance was contracted. But there can be little doubt that Delcasse seems to have been encouraged by the friendly British attitude. He seems to have erred in inter preting Lansdowne*s friendly attitude as an assurance of a 2 British alliance and armed support. It has been suggested that his mistakenly wide interpretation in this matter may be explained by the probability that King Edward, while on a visit to Paris, intimated to him that in case of need Britain 3 would intervene on the French side. It has been offered also as an explanation that the suggestion of armed support came from Sir Francis Bertie, who was certainly strongly pro-French 4 In his sympathies. Mr. Fay suggests that the idea of landing one hundred thousand men in Sohleswig-Holstein originated perhaps with Sir John Fisher, for it was the kind of strategy 5 he had often urged and commended, it is quite clear, however, 1. Lansdowne to Lascelles, June 16, 1905 ,B.1B.'I:I1,, Ho.99, p.82 2. Swain, J.W., Beginning the Twentieth Century (Hew York, 1933), gives an interesting analysis of how Deloasse possibly made his error; 271. 3. Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, op. cit.,Ill, 343, footnote. King Edward had visited Paris on April 29, and on April 30 and May 3 he talked with M5- Delcasse. Lee, op. cit.., II, 342; Paleologue, op. cit., 315. 4. Dickinson, op; cit., 229. 5. Fay, op. cit., I, 198. This view is supported also in Wingfield-Stratford, Esme, Victorian Aftermath, (London, 1933), 228. -89-that Delcasse" greatly exaggerated the nature of Lansdowne*s offers, whatever may have been the assurances received from other English proposals,in order to persuade his hesitating 1 colleagues to stand firm against Germany. There was keen disappointment in England over the fall of the French foreign minister. Lord Lansdowne wrote to Bertie on June 12: Delcasse*s resignation, has, as you may well suppose, produced a very painful impression here. What people say is that if one of our ministers had had a dead set made at him by a foreign Power, the country and the Government would not only have stood by him, but probably have supported him more vigorously than ever, whereas France has apparently thrown Delcasse overboard in a panic, Of comrse the result is that the Entente is quoted at a much lower price than it was a fortnight ago. (2) In a letter to a friend he wrote in a similar vein when he said, "The fall of Delcasse is disgusting, and has sent the 3 Entente down any number of points in the market.1* Mr. Balfour, expressed the same view when writing to the King: Delcasse's dismissal or resignation under pressure from the German Government displayed a weakness on the part of France which indicated that she could not be counted on as an effective force in international polities. She could no longer be trusted not to yield to threats at the critical moment of a negotiation. (4) As Lord Newton says, it was one of the most humiliating 5 incidents that had occurred in France for many years, and since it was commonly believed in England that France had suffered this humiliation for having ventured to make friends with England, 1. Fay, op. cit., I, 199. 8. Lansdowne to Bertie, July 12,1905,B.D.,III,No.152,p.119; Newton, op. cit., 341. 3. Newton, op. cit., 341. 4. Maurois, Andre, King Edward and His Times,(London,1933),178. 5. Newton, op. cit., 342. -90-it was only to a lesser degree held to be a blow at England. Thus, while at the time the fall of Delcasse seemed a triumph for the German Government, the incident produced results quite unforeseen - it made the Anglo-French Agreement closer and deeper. M. Delcasse*s biographer has pointed out in this connection that it quickly become apparent that the important policies of the fallen minister were in no way materially affected by his resignation. The policy of the entente was sound, and rested upon the common interests of the Entente Powers, and this system was maintained. Furthermore, although Germany got rid of Delcasse, she did not get rid of the permanent staff of the Qua! d'Orsay. Paleologue, a sincere admirer of Delcasse*s diplomacy remained there, and the foreign diplomats who shared his views were not removed. M. Barrere said to his British colleague in Rome on June IS, 1908: .... that the leaders of French diplomacy, the two Cambons, Jusserand, and himself, were firmly united in sympathy for the policy of their late Chief and considered that there was no cause for alarm; the French position was a sound one in harmony with England and others. (1) This was made particularly clear when Germany made the blunder of insisting that the humiliation of France shcmld be complete. Had she been content to stop when the fall of Delcasse was brought about, and taken advantage of that moment to conciliate M. Rouvier, she might have arrested the development of the Entente at that point, and thus limited it to the friendly colonial agreement which its authors intended it to be. But 1. Egerton to Lansdowne, June 13, 1905, B.D., III, Ho.123, p. 95. -91-the German diplomats wished to take all the trioks in the game; as in so many oases they failed to seize the favourable moment. Before the end of the year the continuance of German pressure and threats had thrown France and Great Britain closer together, and given the Entente the weight and significance it was to hold until the outbreak of the Great War. The fall of Delcasse might be taken to mark the close of the first stage of the Morocco Crisis of 1905-1906. Germany had thus far gained her objectives - the Sultan had accepted the plan of a Conference-, and M. Delcasse*s fall had been secured. But so many complications had been aroused that the crisis continued just as acutely after that event as before. M. Deloasse's resignation did not relieve the tension as M. 2 Rouvier had hoped. There followed weeks of difficult negotiations with Germany before the two governments could agree on a formula establishing a basis on which the conference should meet. On June 11 M. Rouvier explained his position to the German ambassador as follows: 1. The views of lord Bertie on the fall of Delcasse are of interest. He says, "Delcasse would have fallen even if Germany had not been menacing, but he might not have fallen so soon. His elimination from the Cabinet was in great part due to his treatment of his colleagues. He did not keep them informed of what he did and proposed to do. He had got to consider himself indispensable .... Several of his chers collegues disliked him and it ended in his being put aside. The German Government took advantage of the feeling that a scapegoat should be found. They spent money and spread about that Delcasse*s mismanagement was the sole cause of the misunderstanding, and they so assisted in bringing about his fall." Bertie to Lansdowne, June 15,1905,Hewton, op. cit., p.341. 2. Lansdowne to Bertie,July 12,1905,B.D.,III,Ho.l5B, p.119 Paleologue, op. cit., 359-360. -92-I dislike a conference, but if I accept there must be a preliminary understanding. Yet if that is secured a conference is needless. We have no interest in infringing the sovereignty or integrity of Morocoo, but our common frontier of 1,200 kilometres makes us the party most concerned in law and order. You seem resolved to block all our proposals, and we cannot accept a conference where that would happen. We must therefore, first know how Germany regards reforms. (1) Germany insisted on the other hand that she could discuss the programme only when France agreed to accept the 2 conference. Meanwhile Britain supported the French stand most vigorously - Rouvier was assured of the entire support of the British Government. On June 16 Lansdowne remarked to Paul Cambon, who was leaving London for Paris to advise M. Rouvier, that he saw nothing to be gained, by admitting the theoretical necessity of a Conference; except perhaps to enable Germany which had brought about M. Deleasse's downfall, to secure a further success. Our attitude must of course depend upon that of the French Government, but if they maintained their refusal, so most certainly should we. (3) Without accepting or rejecting the idea of a conference M. Rouvier endeavoured to dissipate all misunderstandings with Germany, and invited the latter to negotiate further in order 4 to make unnecessary the proposed gathering. The German reaction was exceedingly hostile; the Government did not hesitate to use 1. Cited in Gooch, op. cit., 357-58; Pale'ologue, op. cit.,359-60. 2. Paleologue, op. cit., 365 3. Lansdowne to Bertie, June 16, 1905, B.D.illl, No.124, p.97. 4. Gooch, op. cit., p.358. See Victor Berard, Livre Jaune Sur Maroo, loo. cit., 213-214. -93-threats to bring France to terms. The French.Ambassador in Berlin reported that in a conversation with the Chancellor on June S3 the latter emphasized "the necessity not to let this question mauvaise, tres mauvaise, drag on, and not to linger on a road horde de precipices et meme d'abimes." At the same time the German representatives in Rome and Madrid were using violent language to win Italy and Spain to the German side. While these negotiations were being carried on, Germany was seeking also further support from President Roosevelt. In asking his mediation in the dispute it was proposed that he should suggest to Paris and London that the United States considered a conference the best means of 3 bringing the Moroccan question to a peaceful solution. Mr. Roosevelt did take up the task of mediation, and working through the French and German ambassadors in Washington, Jusserand and Sternburg, he played a valuable part in securing .. the assent of the French government to the holding oTxthe 4' proposed conference. 1. Debidour, op. cit., II, £7. Berard, Livre Jaune Sur MaroOjloc cit., S14. S. Lansdowne to Bertie, June SI, 1905, B.D., III, No.186,p.97. 3. Memorandum from the Kaiser to Roosevelt sent through Baron Sternburg, June 11, 1905, Bishop, op. cit., I, 477. Jusserand, op. cit., 317. 4. Bishop, op. cit., I, 477-79; Jusserand, op. cit., 319-80. On securing the assent of the French government on June £3, Roosevelt endeavoured to persuade Germany she should be satisfied with this triumph, and not to raise questions of minor details. Roosevelt to Sternburg, June £5, 1905; Bishop, op. cit., I,,_483-85. See also Paleologue, op. cit., 364*65. 94-M. Rouvier had. by this time become more inclined to accept the plan of a conference, despairing of any other solution. On June 88 he justified this course to the British charge d'affaires as follows: He (M. Rouvier) considered that under the conditions a conference was perhaps the best way of arriving at a satisfactory solution. The Emperor had made it a point of personal honour: France would go into it with the support of England, Spain and possibly Italy, whereas Germany would be alone; Germany was prepared to admit the preponderance of French interests on the Algerian frontier. It was absolutely necessary to arrive at some solution as the present situatinn was excessively dangerous. So long as the Conference was not accepted, Germany considered that she was entitled to a free hand in Morocoo, and she was very active. (1) The French assent now given, terms were then drawn up in an agreement to form a basis on which the conference 2 might be hild. These were signed on July 8. France was assured that Germany would pursue no goal at the Conference which would compromise the legitimate interests of France in Morocco, or thatrwould be contrary to the rights of France resulting from treaties or arrangements. Agreements reached were to be in harmony with the following principles: the sovereignty and independence of the Sultan; the integrity of his Empire; economic liberty without any inequality; the utility of police and financial reforms, the introduction of which would be regulated for a short time by means of an international agreement. It was further agreed that the 1. Lister to Lansdowne, June 88, 1905, B.D., III, No.134, p.107. 8. Before these were signed France submitted them to London for approval, Approval was given by Lansdowne. Lansdowne to Bertie July 1, 1905, ibid., No.137, p.110. -95-special interests of France as a frontier neighbour in the maintenance of order throughout the whole of Morocco should he recognized. Finally the two governments agreed to work out a programme for the conference which was to be submitted to the 1 Sultan for acceptance. An analysis of this agreement reveals clearly Germany's first reverse in her Moroccan campaign. It is true that the winning of the French assent to the plan of a confer ence, which the Republic had so vigorously opposed, might be taken as a diplomatic triumph, but the agreement of July 8 recognized the special interest of France in Morocco, and in 2 no way nullified her accords with Britain and with Spain. Germany had not weakened the Entente. Moreover, she had failed to make a colonial accord of her own with France, when she had refused the offers tendered by Delcasse and Rouvier. She had chosen rather to keep her promises to the Sultan, and to force a conference on an unwilling Europe, refusing offers of present colonial gain in the hope of winning these in the future. As Mr. Anderson puts it, "her virtue, not appreciated by any 3 other Power, was greater than her common sense.1* What is still more important, however, than Germany's failure to make any appreciable gains by this agreement is that her government had embittered the French nation against 1. These terms given in B.D., III, No.147, pp.115-116. 2. Fabre-Luce, op. cit., 120-121. Pale'ologue, op. cit.,381-82. 3. Anderson, op. cit., 256. -96-the Empire, and aroused it to the united defense of its 1 national honour. On July 11, M> Jusserand wrote to President Roosevelt: I leave greatly comforted by the news concerning Morocco. The agreement arrived at is one which we had considered, and the acceptance of which you did so very much to secure. Letters just received by me from Paris .... confirmed what I guessed was the ease, that is, that there was a point where more yielding would have been impossible; everybody in France felt it, and people braced up silently in view of possible great events. (2) Germany's actions had antagonized M. Rouvier and converted him solidly to the Entente. The British charge d'affaires reported on June 28; His Majesty (The German Emperor) had expected a complete climb-down to follow upon the change of direction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but as His Excellency (M. Rouvier) said, there was no reason because he had parted with M. Delcasse that he should throw himself "dans les bras de l'Empereur, et sur son ecu." (3) M. Cambon had informed Lord Lansdowne: that after all that had happened M. Rouvier was more convinced than ever of the necessity of maintaining a close understanding with this country (Great Britain). It was, in his view, essential that the two governments should treat one another with the fullest confidence, and that no further steps should be taken without previous discussion between us. (4) This policy, as expressed by the French leaders, met with Lord Lansdowne's entire approval, for it signified success in the 1. Paleologue, op. cit., 386-87, Report of the Belgian Minister in Paris, October 24, 1905, Morel, op.cit.,22-23. 2. Bishop, op. cit., I, 488. 3. Lester to Lansdowne, June 28, 1905, B.D., III, Ho.134,p.108. Also Paleologue, op. cit., 387. 4. Lansdowne to Bertie, July 12, 1905, B.D., III, Ho.l58,p.ll8. -97-efforts to maintain intact the Entente Cordials. He assured M. Cambon that "we had no intentions of withdrawing our 1 support." Yet another sign which further assured the strength of the Entente in the eyes of the world was the exchange of visits between the fleets of Great Britain and France which took place in July and August of 1905. The British Atlantic fleet was received at Brest in July with the greatest enthusiasm. "The feeling, openly expressed on all sides, was one of intense gratitude to the King and the British nation for the way in which they had stood by France in the recent Morocoo incident. It was a public ratification of the 2 Entente Cordiale." This visit was returned by the French fleet in August, when it was received in England with 3 enthusiastic demonstrations of English goodwill. Germany's vaction had thus furthered the process which Germans have called her "encirclement" and isolation. After the signing of the agreement of July 8 new and wearisome discussions began between the French and German governments to work out the formulae for deliberations at the forthcoming conference. It was not until September 28 1. lansdowne to Bertie, July 12, 1905, B.D. Ill, Ho.152,p.119. 2. Lee. op. cit., II, 345. Paleologue, op. cit., 387-88. 3. Paleologue, op. cit., 393-94. -98-1 that an agreement as to the programme was signed. The conference was to he held, not at Tangier, to which the French had objections, but in Algeciras, in southern Spain. In the programme drawn up the subjects for consideration were defined in general terms as the police force, the suppression of the smuggling of arms, the reform of finances, the opening up of new sources of revenue, the Sultan's undertaking not to part with any branch of the public service for the benefit of private interests, and the allotment of contracts for public works, A few minor disputes of a local nature were also regulated. After some opposition the Sultan agreed to the . 2 programme on October 23. L. A grave situation arose during these negotiations when news reached France that through Count Tattenbach a German firm had received from the Sultan a contract for building a mole in the harbour of Tangier, and also, that a loan had been arranged by German banks for 10,000,000 marks. France accused the German Government of double-dealing; and England and Spain joined her in protest. Billow upheld the transactions, asserting that the negotiations for the mole contract had been going on for months, and that the loan was not a real "loan," but merely a "Temporary advance" which could be repaid at any time. See Anderson, op. cit., 264-67. Also, Berard, LeLivre Jaune Sur Maroc, loc. cit., 217-22. Also, Francis Charmes, in his Chrohique de la Quinzaine, in La Revue des Deux Mondes, September 15, 1905, 472. 2. After this agreement was signed Bulow expressed to France the willingness of the German Government to negotiate over other colonial matters, such as the frontiers of the Cameroons, and the Bagdad Railway. M. Rouvier coldly replied that he had previously offered to negotiate on such matters so as to avoid the holding of the forthcoming conference, and to settle the Morocco question in a friendly manner between France and Germany alone. They could not return to that now, he said, until It was seen how the conference turned out. Brandenburg, op. cit., 229. 99-The Conference was to open in January of 1906. Before that time, however, a new government came into power in England, when on December 4, 1905, the Conservative administ ration of Balfour was replaced by the Liberal government of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. Sir Edward Grey succeeded Lord Lansdowne as Foreign Secretary. It seemed of supreme importance to the French Government to ascertain the intentions of this new administration in the matter of foreign policy before the Conference opened. Would France be able to count on its support as it had in the past been able to count on the support of Lord Lansdowne and his colleagues? In a speech on December 22 at the Albert Hall the new Prime Minister pledged his government to continue the policy of his predecessors, and affirmed his adhesion to the policy of the Entente Gordiale. But the French Government felt it necessary to have Sir (Edward Grey renew the assurances given formerly by Lord Lansdowne. Colonel Repington, the military correspondent of the "Times,* has related how on December 28 he met with Major Huguet, the French Military Attache in London, who stated that his Government was seriously alarmed about the intentions of Germany and was worried over the failure of the new British Foreign Secretary to renew the assurances given by his 1 predecessor. "The French knew," records Colonel Repington, "that our sympathies were with them, but they wanted to know 2 what we should do in case Germany confronted them with a crisis." He immediately reported his conversation with Major Huguet to 1. Repington,Colonel, The First World War,(New York,1921),1,2-6. Callwell, CE., Fie Id -Marshall Sir Henry Wilson, (London, 1927), 2. Repington, op.cit., I, 1. I»89 ff. -100-Sir Edward Grey, who was at the time electioneering in Northumberland. The latter replied on December 30, "I have not receded from anything that lord Lansdowne said to the • 1 French, and have no hesitation in affirming it." Colonel Repington communicated his conversation with the French Military Attach^ to Sir George Clarke, Secretary of the Defense Committee, and to Lord Esher, a member of that Committee. They agreed that in view of the German menace 2 active steps towards cooperation with France should be taken. nThey thought it indispensable that something should be done, and as both Lord Esher and Sir George Clarke were serving in official capacities, and as Repington was a free lance, it was eventually agreed that he should sound the French Government through Major Huguet, and that when the French views were thus privately and unofficially ascertained that they should pass the matter on to the British Government which would be completely uncommitted and able to continue the conversations or to drop 3 them as they pleased." The Colonel prepared a short list of questions which Major Huguet took to Paris on January 7. These were considered in Paris by M. Rouvier, the Prime Minister, M* Etienne, Minister of War, M. Thomson, Minister of Marine, and his naval staff, and by General Br un and General Brugere. On January 12.. Major 1. Repington, op. cit., I, 4. 2. Ibid., 5. 3. Ibid., 5-6. -101-Huguet again visited Colonel Repington, bringing a cordial reply from Paris and assuring him that everything possible would be done to make the necessary arrangements for cooperation. Colonel Repington then imparted this reply to the Defense Committee. Meanwhile, on January 10 M. Cambon, who had discussed 1 the matter with M. Rouvier, approached Sir Edward Grey on the matter of a closer and more definite understanding between the two governments. Grey replied as follows: that at the present moment the Prime Minister was out of town, and the Cabinet were all dispersed seeing after the elections; that we were not as yet aware of the sentiments of the country as they would be expressed at the polls; and that it was impossible therefore for me, in the circumstances, to give a reply to his Excellency's question. I could only state as my personal opinion that, if France were to be attacked by Germany in consequence of a question arising out of the Agreement (of April 8, 1904) which our predecessor had recently concluded with the French Government, public opinion in England would be strongly moved in favour of France. (2) When M. Cambon replied that "nothing would have a more pacific influence on the Emperor of Germany than the conviction, that if Germany attacked France, she would find England allied 3 against her," Grey answered that he thought "the German Emperor did believe this, but that it was one thing that this opinion should be held in Germany and another that we should 4 give a positive assurance to France on the subject*" He could give no assurance, he added, of which he was uncertain. 1. Huguet, General, L*Intervention Militaire Britannique en 1914, cited in Anderson, op. cit.* 337. 2. Grey to Bertie, January 10,1906 ,B.D., IIX,No.210(a), p.170. 3. Ibid., 171. 4. Ibid., 171. -102-He "did not believe that any Minister could, in present circumstances, say more than I had done, and, however strong the sympathy of Great Britain might be with France in the case of a rupture with Germany, the expression which might be given to it and the action which might follow must depend largely upon the circumstances in which the rupture took place." Since a positive answer was thus postponed until after the elections M. Cambon replied that he would repeat his request at that time. But he asked that in the meantime "the unofficial communications" between the British Admiralty and War Office and the French Naval and Military Attaches "as to what action might advantageously be taken in case the two countries found themselves in alliance in such a war" might be permitted to continue. "They did not pledge either Government" he added, and Sir Edward "did not dissent from 2 this view." The ministers of the Cabinet were scattered for the elections, but Grey sent a report of this conversation to the Prime Minister, and also to Lord Ripon, the senior minister available in London. On January 12, he met Mr. Haldane, Secretary of State for War, at Berwick, and discussed with him 3 the question of the Military conversations. He had learned that under the former government in the previous year such military and naval conversations had taken place, and that at 1. Grey to Bertie,JanuaryilQ,lffQ6, B.D.III, No.210 (a), p.171 2. Ibid. 3. Spender, J.A., The Life of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, II (hereafter cited as Spender, Campbell-Bannerman), London, 1923) 251f. rlOS-the present time official conversations were going on between Admiral Sir John Fisher and the French Naval Attache', while the military conversations were being held unofficially be-1 tween the French Military Attache' and Colonel Repington. When consulted on January 11, General Grierson, the Director of Military Operations, had stated "that if there is even a chance of our having to give armed assistance on land to France, or to take the field on her side in Belgium in consequence of a violation of Belgian territory by the Germans, we should have as soon as possible informal communication between the military authorities of France and/or in Belgium and the Gen-2 eral staff." In agreeing that these conversations might be carried on officially neither Haldane nor Grey could see anything against such a policy. As Grey argues in his memoirs: I was quite clear that no Cabinet could undertake any obligation to go to war; but the Anglo-French Agreement was popular in Britain. It was certain that if Germany forced a quarrel on France upon the very matter of that Agreement, the pro-French feeling in Britain would be very strong, so strong probably as to justify a British Government in intervening on the side of France or even to insist on its doing so. We must, therefore, be free to go to the help of France as well as free to stand aside. But modern war may be an affair of days. If there were not military plans made beforehand we should be unable to come to the assist ance of France in time, however strongly public opinion in Britain might desire it. We should in effect not have preserved our freedom to help France, but have cut ourselves off from the possibility of doing so, unless we had allowed the British and French staffs to concert s plans for common action. (3) 1. Grey, op. cit., I, 74-78. 2. Grierson to Sanderson, January 11,1906,B.D.,111,No.211,p.172 3. Grey, op. cit., I, 75, Also, Haldane, Viscount, Before the War, (New York, 1920), 44-49. -rl04-Such was the reasoning of the British officials who approved the conversations. In an interview with Cambon oh January 15 Sir Edward Grey gave his consent. That interview was recorded in a dispatch to the British ambassador in Paris: I told M. Cambon today that I had communicated to the Prime Minister my account of his conversation with me on the 10th instant. I had heard from the Prime Minister that he could not be in London before the 25th January, and it would therefore not be possible for me to discuss things with him before then, and the Members of the Government would not assemble In London before the 29th; I could therefore give no further answer today on the question he had addressed to me. He had spoken to me on the 10th of communications passing between the French Naval Attache* and the Admiralty. I understood that these communications had been with Sir John Fisher. If that was so, it was not necessary for me to do any more; but, with regardfto the communications between the French Military Attache and the War Office, I understood from him that these had taken place through an intermediary. •I had therefore taken the opportunity of speaking to Mr. Haldane, the Secretary of State for War, who had been taking part in my election contest in Northumberland on Friday,, and he had authorized me to say that these communications might proceed between the French Military Attache and General Grierson direct; but it must be understood^tha.t these communications did not commit either Government. M. Cambon said that the intermediary in question had been a retired colonel, the military correspondent of the "Times," who. he understood, had been sent from the War Office. (1) The Prime Minister seems to have had some misgivings about the interpretation which might be put upon these "commun ications." "I do not like the stress laid upon joint preparat ions," he wrote to Lord Ripon.on February 2, "It comes very close to an honorable undertaking; and it will be known on both 8 sides of the Rhine. But let us hope for the best." But he 1. Greyto^Bertie, January 15, 1906, B.D., ffill, No.215, p.177. Sanderson to Grierson, January 15, 1906, ibid. No.217 (a), pp.178-79. '8. Spender, Campbell-Bannerman, II, 257. -105-was cogniziant of and a party to the steps taken in this policy; he had been made aware of all the circumstances, and had given his consent on the understanding that they were provisional and precautionary measures, and that the Government was not bound by their results. Thus limited, he regarded them as raising no new question of policy and therefore within the 1 competence of the War Office. It was definitely understood 2 that these conversations did not bind the governments. On January 17 the conversations were begun between Major Huguet and General Grierson and continued uninterrupted between the general staffs until the outbreak of the War in 3 1914. The same line of reasoning which had led the British to enter upon these ncommunicationsn with France applied with equal force to Belgium, for both the British and French authorities expected Germany to violate Belgian neutrality should she wish to strike at France. On January 15, therefore, Sir Edward Grey instructed General Grierson to open conversations with the Belgian military authorities "as to the manner in which, in case of need, British assistance could be most effectually 4 afforded to Belgium for the defense of her neutrality.1* "Such 5 communications must be solely provisional and non-committal." 1. Spender, Campbell-Bannerman, II, E53. 2. Repington, op. cit., I, 13, Grey, op. cit., I, 76. 3. Repington, op. cit., I, 14. 4. Sanderson to Grierson, January 15, 1906, B.D., III, Ho;214, pp.176-77. 5. Grierson to Barnardiston, January 16, 1905 ibid, Ho.217 (b) p.179. 106-Colonel Barnardiston, the British Military Attache^in Brussels, broached the subject to the Belgian Chief of Staff, General Ducarne, on January 18, telling him that the British Minister would take up the matter with the Belgian Foreign Minister. After consulting the Minister of War, General Ducarne agreed 1 to the conversations. These conversations, both military and naval, were kept secret. The Anglo-Belgian negotiations were known to only a very few personsj the ones with France were not known 2 to all the members of the British Cabinet. How Sir Edward Grey had to again answer that larger request of the French ambassador, the request for a formal agreement between the two governments, which had been made on January 10, and the answer to which the Foreign Secretary had postponed until after the elections. After discussing the matter with the Prime Minister and Mr. Haldane, both of whom were in london after January 26, Sir Edward met M. Cambon on 1. Barnardiston to Grierson, January 19, 1906* B.D. Ill, No*221 (C 1), p.l87ff. Callwell, op. cit., I, 89. 2. Grey, op. cit., I, 93, Anderson* op. cit., 342. See Earl loreburn and lloyd George, both of whom were members of the Cabinet at this time. Loreburn, op. cit.* 80-81. Lloyd George, War Memoirs,.(London, 1933) I, 46-51. While Grey admits that he did not reveal these conver sations to the cabinet at the time, he states in his memoirs, "they must subsequently have become known to those ministers who attended the committee of Imperial Defense;" op. cit., I, 93. Lord Sydenham, a member of that committee until September, 1907, writes, "This was not so. In my time the question never came to me offic ially, and I only heard quite informally what was going on .... Whether different arrangements, enabling the Committee of Imperial Defense to be cognizant of the negotiations, were made after the end of September (1907) when I left for India I do not know." Written statement by Lord Sydenham, July 19, 1927, B.D,, III, Ho.221 (a),p.l85. -107-the last day of the month.- That interview was reported in a long dispatch to the British ambassador at Paris. When M. Cambon again asked whether France would be able to count on the assistance of England in the event of an attack upon her by Germany, Grey submitted first of all a review of the relations between the two governments as they stood at that moment. Pointing to the military and naval communications, he stated that if a crisis arose no time would be lost for want of a formal engagement. Secondly, only a week previously he had informed Count Metternich, the German ambassador in London, that it was his personal opinion that "in the event of an attack upon France by Germany arising out of the Morocco Agreement, public opinion in England would be so strong that no British Government could remain neutral." In this way, he assured M. Cambon that what would be the moral effect upon Germany of a formal engagement between France and England had been already given effect. In the third place, he pointed out that the present relationship between England and France as a result of the Entente of 1904 left France a free hand in Morocco and gave her unreservedly Britain's diplomatic support. But, should this promise be extended beyond diplomatic support, and "should we take an engagement which might involve us in a war," he felt sure that Britain would demand consultation with regard to French policy in Morocco, and demand concessions or alterations in that policy 1 which might seem desirable to avoid a war. 1. Grey to Bertie, January 31, 1906, B.D.,III, No.219, p.180. -108-In summing up his case, he asked M. Cambon "to weigh these considerations in his mind, and to consider whether the present situation as regards ourselves and France was not so satisfactory that it was unnecessary to alter it 1 by a formal declaration as he desired." To this M. Cambon replied that a war might break out so quickly that if it were necessary for the British Government "to consult and wait for manifestations of English public opinion, it might be too late to be of use." To his repeated request for some form of verbal assurance Grey pointed out the main difficulties in giving what could be "nothing short of a solemn undertaking.'' '.'It was one which I could not give without submitting it to 'the Cabinet," and if this were done, he felt sure that they would say it was too serious a matter to be dealt with by a mere verbal engagement, but it would have to be in writing. Such a change as this, Grey maintained, would transform the "Entente" into a defensive alliance. He admitted that pressure of circumstances - the activity of Germany, for instance - "might eventually transform the "Entente" into a defensive alliance," but he did not think such a change was needed at the moment. To this he added, that a defensive alliance could not be kept from Parliament; "no British Government could commit the country to such a serious thing and keep I the engagement secret." For Britain to support 1. Grey to Bertie, January 31, 1906, B.D., III, No.219, p.181. -109-France in a war with Germany, "much would depend on the manner in which war broke out." The British would not be willing to fight in order to put France in possession of Morocco, but "if it appeared that war was forced upon France by Germany to break up the Anglo-French 'entente,* public opinion would undoubtedly be very strong on the side of France." He added, however, that British sentiment was much averse to war and that he could not be certain whether this aversion would be overcome by the desire to aid France. He informed M. Cambon that he was willing to reopen the conversation at any time in the future, but he did, not think that the situation 1 justified, such a radical change as had been suggested. M. 2 CamboJi appeared to be satisfied with that answer. Thus Sir Edward Grey embarked upon the policy with France which he followed until the outbreak of the War. In his mind he was open and frank with both France and Germany. He had told the German ambassador of the probability of .British intervention in favour of France in the event of a Franco-German war. To France he had pledged full diplomatic support, while permitting preparations for an emergency. He had refused her absolute assurance of aid in case of war, preferring to keep, as he believed he had kept, British hands free. By this apparently simple, but what was really to prove 1. Grey to Bertie, B.D., III, Ho.219, p.182. 2. Memorandum by Sanderson, February 2, 19^06, B.D. Ill, Ho.220*{b), p.185. Campbell-Bannerman to Lord Ripon, February 2, 1906, cited in Spender, Campbell-Bannerman, II, 257. -110-an intricate policy, he hoped to satisfy the needs of Britain's foreign policy. He has justified this policy to what seems his own satisfaction in his speech in the House of Commons on August 3, 1914, and has further developed the justification in his Memoirs. He clings consistently to his contention that England was in no way bound to France, and that he had kept her hands 1 completely free. But it is difficult to understand how he could have deceived himself into this belief. It may be true, as he so often maintains, that the military and naval conversations, did not absolutely bind the two Powers, but it cannot be denied that they constituted an exceedingly powerful tie between them. It is impossible to escape the contention that at least a potent moral obligation to aid France had been created. In spite of Grey's protests such at least is 2 the verdict of history. As has been pointed out, these preparations continued down to the outbreak of war in 1914, and "inevitably came to involve England in increasingly binding obligations of honour to support France in case of a European War arising out of any question whatsoever - not merely one arising out of the Morocco question - provided 3 that France did not appear to be the active aggressor." 1. Grey, op. cit.* I, 76, 82, 85, 96, 251. 2. Cambridge History of British Foreign Policy, op. cit.^III, 508.Dickinson, op.clt.,398,405,470-71,480. Ewart,op.cit;yl, 115-131; Churchill,op.cit;,27. Loreburn,op;ci t;,17,225-26. Fay,op.cit;,1,208. Lutz*Hermann,Lord Grey and the World War, (London, 1928),94-105; Rewouvin,Pierre,0?he Part Played in International Relations by the Conversations between the General Staffs on the Eve of the World War,Studies In Anglo-French History, edited;by Alfred Coville and Harold' Temperley, (London,1935), 170. 3. Fay, op. cit;, I, 208. -Ill-Ana Grey stands condemned on this point out of his own mouth; as Gooch points out in speaking of the Foreign Secretary's speech of August 3, 1914, "His whole speech breathed the conviction that we should be forever disgraced if we left 1 France in the lurch.*1 A further weakness in this policy was that neither Sir Edward Grey's statement to M. Cambon, nor his approval of the naval and military conversations, was made with the knowledge and sanction of the Cabinet. (The explanation, he offers, of his failure to eonsult with his colleagues in these matters is by no means convincing.. He explains that the Ministers were scattered, seeing to the elections, and could not be summoned. It has been clearly shown that it would not 8 have been impossible to summon the Cabinet at that time. On January 81 the Prime Minister wrote to ask him if he wished to eonsult the Cabinet, and suggested January 30 and 31 and 3 February 1 as dates for a meeting. In his memoirs Grey 4 states he has no recollection of his answer to that question. He explains that the earliest date suggested by the Prime Minister was January 30 and that "the French had been kept 5 long enough waiting for a reply." But, this can hardly be 1. Cambridge History of. British Foreign Policy, op. cit., 111,508; 2. loreburn* op. cit., 80. Ewart, op. cit., I, 116. 3. Spender, Campbell-Bannerman, II, 253. 4. Grey, op. cit., I, 86. 5. Ibid., 86. -112-regarded as satisfactory since his interview with Cambon did not take place until the January 31, and moreover, since a .1 Cabinet meeting was held on that very day. It would therefore seem that he might easily have consulted his colleagues on such a grave matter before talking with Cambon, or at least immediately after. But he did not reveal his policy then, nor for a long time to come; it was not until 1912 that circumstances-caused the matter of military and naval conversations to be revealed to the Cabinet, and not until his speech of August 3, 1914, 2 that Parliament and the public were made aware of them. In the light of what experience showed him in after years Grey admits in his memoirs that the Cabinet should have been 3 consulted. The Conference of Algeciras opened formally on January 16, 19G6. Twelve Powers in addition to Morocco were represented. The presidential chair was occupied by the Spanish Foreign Minister, the Buke of Almadovar. For almost three months the Conference swung from crisis to crisis. It would be superfluous to record here in any detail the discussions which took place since they bore mainly on technical points. But behind the whole question lay the essential problem of the balance of power, and it is in this aspect only that interest lies. 1. loreburn, op. cit., p.81. Trevelyan, op. cit., 130 and 138. 2. See Lloyd George, op.cit.,I, 46-51, on this question of the Cabinet and its participation in matters of foreign affairs. 3. Grey, op. cit., I, 86-99. -113-Agreement was soon reached on a number of minor 1. problems. The really troublesome questions were those of the organization of the police and the establishment of a state bank, since the solution reached on these questions would determine whether France or Germany should emerge victorious. Germany's aim seems to have been to have the Moroccan police officered by the Minor Powers, or to permit the Sultan freely to choose his own police. She wished to prevent France from organizing them, and thus rejected France's demand for a police mandate, and later her revised proposal to share such a mandate with Spain. When the question of the State bank reached a deadlock a rupture in the Conference was expected. After much discussion, and after Roosevelt intervened on behalf of France, Austria put forward a plan of mediation that the Franco-Spanish police mandate be accepted under a Swiss 2 Inspector-General. This was accepted at the end of March. The bank question had meanwhile been settled on a basis of joint participation. The main difficulties having thus been overcome the Conference was hastily concluded and the final Act of Algeoiras was signed on April 7. While it is unnecessary to list all the details of the Act, the chief provisions might be noted to show how, 1. Such problems as - the surveillance and repression of contrabrand of arms. - the better collection of taxes and creation of new revenues - regulations concerning oustoms duties - the question of public services and public works. Anderson* op. cit., 350-351. 2. Anderson, op. cit., 392; Gooch, op. cit., 364-365. -114-though Germany had won her point in securing the holding of the Conference, France had won in practical results. From two thousand to twenty-five hundred police were to be distributed among the eight Moroccan ports, with Spanish and French officers to act as instructors under a Swiss-Inspector General at Tangier. Thus, in this all important question of police France really triumphed, for she had secured the predominant share of the control and excluded Germany and her Allies altogether. In a backward and disturbed area such as Morocco the police control was likely to be the lever of power. In the matter of financial control and commercial opportunity Germany had more success. A State Bank practically under the control of the four Powers - France, England, Germany and Spain - was set up, with equal opportunities for each nation. But France and her satellite, Spain, made further gains in that the regulation of the Customs Act and of the traffic of arms on the Algerian frontier was to be carried out by France in conjunction with Morocco, and on the Riff frontier by 1 Spain and Morocco. The effect of the Conference upon Morocco can be dispensed with in this study. To the Powers taking part Moroccan interests was not the issue. The conclusions reached "were determined by the exigencies of international relations and the interests of European Powers, not by the needs of 1, Gooch, op. cit., 366-367. -115-1 Morocco.n The less interested Powers had aimed chiefly at preserving peace. Prance and Spain had been concerned with maintaining their interests in Morocco and with preventing any other Power from gaining a foothold there. Germany alone appeared to be the champion of Moroccan rights, but only because that policy had been in accord with her interests. Throughout the Conference France had been steadily and openly supported by her neighbour, Spain, her old ally, Russia, 2 and her new friend, England. She had received less open, but no less effective, support from Roosevelt, on behalf of the v* 3 United States. Germany, on the other hand, received only scanty support from her friends. Austria was determined not to quarrel with France, while Italy, already pledged in advance by her secret arrangement with France respecting Morocco and Tripoli, supported the Republic and not her ally. Germany had established the theoretical principle that Morocco concerned all Powers equally, and the principle of the open-door. But France had practically safeguarded her individual action for the future. The French and Spanish military control assured those two Powers the main economic advantages. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the outcome, which according to official interpretation left neither victor nor vanquished. None the less, it was evident that Germany had 1. Anderson, op. cit.* 394. 2. Report of the Belgian Minister in Berlin, April 5, 1906, IMorel,, op. cit., 44-45. 3. Jusserand, op. cit.* 322-25. -116-emerged the loser. She had been opposed by every Power, except Austria, and she had failed to obtain more than lip service to her demands. What is more significant, she had driven France and Great Britain into a closer intimacy and had strengthened the ties between them. When Grey wrote to President Roosevelt a year later in a confidential letter giving an account of his policy, he summed matters up in these words: "The long and the short of the matter is that, to secure peace, we must maintain the Entente with France, and attempts from outside to 1 shake it will only make it stronger." It has been shown that Germany had an excellent case on which to base her interference in Morocco. But, as Nicolson 2 points out, she had handled it badly. By her menacing attitude and her policy of mystification, she had lost the confidence of Europe; she obtained no compensation, she had caused France, Spain, England and Russia to draw closer together. Above all else, she had given the Anglo-French Entente a new character; it now assumed a new meaning in international affairs. Not only had the two countries remained refractory to every effort made to disunite them, but in the play of events the Entente had changed its nature; after being originally signed for the purpose of liquidating past differences between the governments it had now become a 3 principle of action. As Tardieu says, "the Franco-English 1. Grey to Roosevelt in a confidential letter.December, 1906, cited in Trevelyan, op. cit., 115. 2. Nicolson, op. cit., 198, Trevelyan, op. cit., 125. 3. Tardieu, op. cit., 204-205. -117-binomial had acquired weight. It had changed from the 1 static to the dynamic state." The Morocco Crisis of 1905-1906 thus marked an important stage in the development of the Entente; from the test supplied by that Crisis it had emerged strengthened and confirmed. In 1901 Great Britain had offered an alliance to Germany; in 1904 she had settled her difficulties with France; in 1906 the two, brought more closely together, were discussing possible measures of war against Germany. The process which the Entente Powers like to call "insurance," and which the Germans describe as "encirclement" had begun. It must be realized, moreover, that the forces which had caused this situation still obtained as before. Algeciras was merely a breathing space between the rounds. Prestige and national interests were at stake on both sides; neither side appreciated the other's point of view. Each accused the other of aiming at its defeat, of being a menace. Neither side had learned anything from the Crisis except to be more cautious; neither had changed its method. So events were moving. The road to Armageddon lay open. 1. Tardieu, op. cit., 204* CHAPTER IV The Further "Encirclement" of Germany? -118-CRAPTER 17 The Further "Encirclement'1 of Germany? It was not surprising that the reconciliation with France should raise the question of an agreement between England and Russia to remove the many sources of friction which existed between the two Powers. A rapprochement with Russia was, as Sir Edward Grey states, "the natural complement; 1 of the agreement with France." There were numerous points of difference between the two in the Middle East, with Persia and the Indian frontier as particular danger points: And since Russia was an ally of France* Britain could not pursue at one and the same time a policy of agreement with the latter and a policy of hostility against the former. Moreover, now that Britain was definitely committed to European affairs, the assurance of Russian friendship in the face of the growing German menace, to which we shall turn shortly, would be most welcome. Russia, too, was anxious for British friendship. She had suffered a spectacular humiliation in the Far East in. 1. Grey, op. cit., I, 153$ The "Times* pointed out that such a rapprochement was "an inevitable corollary'' to the Entente Cordials; cited in Morel* op. cit., 68. See also Trevelyan* op. cit.,m 180-85. -119-in 1904-05, and a rapprochement with Britain added to her alliance with France would prove valuable in helping her regain her position as a Great Power. During the Morocoo Crisis of 1906 Russia like England had cast her vote in favour of France against Germany, and friendly feelings had heen thus fostered. But there was no easy pathway to such an agreement; many obstacles new and old blocked the way. Russian despotism was repugnant to British ideals of liberalism, and the internal affairs of Russia, the Czar's suspension of the Duma in 1906, and the treatment of Jews and Poles, did much to alienate British opinion and to stir up indignation. Nevertheless, when negotiations were seriously undertaken it was found possible to reach an agreement. As far back as 1903 such an agreement had been considered in England, and a conversation between Chamberlain and Delcasse, when the latter visited London in July of that year, may be taken as the starting point. of the. discussions which later culminated in the final convention of 1907. Delcasse' and Cambon acted the role of mediators between the two in discussions during 1903, but differences over Tibet, Manchuria, Turkestan and Persia proved 2 formidable difficulties. During the Russo-Japanese War* the position of Britain as an ally of Japan caused friction with Russia, although 1. B.D;, II, No.242, p.212. Gooch,G.P., Before the War, (London, 1936), I, 70. 2. D.D.F., 2eserie,IV,No.44,N6;56,No.58. Gooch, Before the War, I, 71-74. 120-during the opening phases of the war the relations between 1 the two governments remained friendly enough. A most critical point in Anglo-Russian relations was reached, however, during the War when a Russian squadron en route to the Par East fired on a Hull fishing fleet on the Dogger Bank. Fortunately both governments acted cooly .while Delcasse* pleaded in both 2 capitals for moderation. Thus the War had made necessary the postponment of negotiations for a general settlement. But the ending of the war removed the main obstacle to a rapproche ment, and England's closer association with Prance in 1904 and 1905 made the prospects far more promising. lansdowne went out of office with the change of government in 1905, but the same considerations which had induced him to enter into negotiations with Russia were not without influence on the new government. We have already seen the views of Sir Edward Grey in regard to . this matter. In the following months the two sides drew nearer. Ho useful purpose can be served here by entering 3 into the details of the negotiations. On August 31, 1907, a Convention was signed in Petrograd concluding arrangements concerning affairs in Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet. This Pact, though more limited in scope than the Anglo-French Agreement of 1904, had the same purpose of clearing off the slate the causes of antagonism between two historic rivals. 1. Conversation between King Edward and Isvolsky, April, 1904; cited in Lee, op. cit.* II, 284-87. 2. D.D.F., 2eserie, V, 468-477; Gooch, Before the War, I, 77-8. Porter, op. cit., 186. 3. The negotiations are given in B.D;, Vol.IV. For the part played by Sir Arthur Nicolson in these negotiations see Nicolson, Harold, Lord Carnock, (London, 1930), 203-57. -121-The contents of the Convention were all made public. It included no obligations of military or diplomatic support, and thus it did not at once lead to a closely-knit diplomatic partnership. But it did nevertheless complete the circle for a closer political cooperation hetweeen Russia, France and England. The Anglo-French Entente and the Dual Alliance had as a result of the new treaty, broadened into the Triple Entente which now confronted the Triple Alliance on the chess board of European diplomacy. Though not definitely allied to France and Russia, and in theory still retaining liberty of action, England had chosen to throw in her lot with these Powers. The French made no secret of their satisfaction over the new Convention, or of their opinion that Britain had 1 advanced a step further into their camp. The history of the next seven years is mainly that of the diplomatic conflict which led to the final struggle between the now established groups of Triple Alliance and Triple Entente. During these seven years all manner of seemingly unrelated subjeots are seen gradually becoming classified into causes for which - irrespective of their merits - the two groups were committed to stand. There developed an increasing crystallization of opposition between the two camps. During the first four years it developed more slowly, then after 1911, with the French occupation of Fez, the German threat at Agadlr, the Italian seizure of Tripoli, 1. Spender, J.A., Fifty Years of Europe, (hereafter cited as Fifty Years), 266. -122-the growing menace of Anglo-German naval rivalry, the failure of the Haldane Mission, and the Balkan Wars, it proceeded more rapidly. This growing tension was reflected in events both large and small over widely-separated areas. To give a full account of all the factors which made for this crystall ization of opposition would go far beyond the limits of this work. Ho attempt, therefore, is made to give a detailed analysis of the period. The aim, rather, is to bring to light those factors which tightened and strengthened the Anglo-French Entente. The first serious crisis to affect the new balance of power was the Bosnian Crisis of 1908. The Young Turk Revolution of 1908 seemed to offer to Isvolsky of Russia and to Aehrenthal of Austria a favourable opportunity for a mutually advantageous bargain at the expense of Turkey. Isvolsky saw in it an opportunity of opening the Straits, and Aehrenthal an opportunity of converting Austria's occupation of Bosnia-Herzogovina, assigned to her for administration by the Treaty of Berlin 1878, into a full annexation. While 1 Aehrenthal had long been considering the annexation, the initiative in this bargain seems to have come from Isvolsky in a lengthy aide-memoire dated July 2, 1908, which discussed 2 Balkan railways?, the entente of 1897, and Macedonian reforms. 1. Brandenburg, op. cit., 314. 2. Gooch, Before the War, I, 332, 394-95. -123-Aehrenthal was keen to accept the offer, and at the end of 1 August gave his assent, although no definite agreement was made. Following this reply, the two met as the guests of Count Berchtold at Buchlau on September 15 where the matter was discussed and further details were arranged. There were no witnesses to the discussions, and since no definite agreement was put in writing, violent controversy arose a few weeks later when the plans did not work out as Isvolsky had anticipated. He has claimed that the consent of the Powers was to be obtained in a Conference before the annexation took place; but the point of most bitter controversy was the date at which the changes were to be made. Whatever were the agreements reached,Isvolsky does not seem to have expected that Aehrenthal would act so precipitately, and he appears to have been taken by complete surprise when, on arriving at Paris on October 8, he received word that the annexation would take place within the next few 2 days. It was carried out on October 5. The news of the sudden annexation produced an instant reverberation throughout Europe; surprise and indignation were voiced on all sides. Isvolsky felt he had been tricked. A 1. Gooch, Before the War, I, for his reply. 2. The controversy is summed up in two articles in the Fortnightly Review of September and November of 1909 attributed to the two statesmen. Isvolsky*s statement that he had been trioked over the date is hard to understand in view of his statement of September 85 to Herr von Sohon at Berchtesgaden that the matter would be announced to the Delegations which were to meet on October 8. Gooch, Before the War, I, 400. •124-storm of indignation rose in Serbia, and there was talk of war. Ho warning of the change had been given to either the govern ments of Prance or of Britain. Turkey, very naturally, was most indignant, and in protest she organized a boycott of Austrian goods. In the eyes of Europe, presented with this "fait accompli,'* Turkey stood as a victim of Austrian aggression. It remained to be seen what stand the Powers would take. Aehrenthal had anticipated that Germany would support her ally, Austria, although the Kaiser was furious that his government had not been warned when the annexation was to have taken place. The Austrian statesman felt that if Germany stood with Austria, Russia and France would submit. France, he knew, was only remotely interested in the Balkans, and Russia, after her recent defeat, was notoriously unprepared for war. But what stand would Britain take? If she were to take a strong stand her two associates might hold out with her, and in this event the situation might well become difficult. Isvolsky was in a most painful position. He feared Aehrenthal was about to secure his part of the Buchlau agreement, before he himself had obtained the assent of the Powers to his share. In Paris he found the French Government sympathetic but rather non-committal. The French were prepared to adhere to the Russian Alliance and give support to the Russian Government, but it was made clear that public opinion could not be converted to the notion that enough was at stake to risk a war. The French Government, moreover, disapproved of Russia*s having come to an agreement with Austria without the knowledge of France. -125-In London he met with hardly little more success for his plans of opening the Straits. Grey admitted that the request for opening the Straits was "fair and reasonable" and not objectionable "dn principle," but insisted they must be opened "on terms of equality to all." He refused to consider opening them to Russian warships while leaving them closed against those of other Powers. This of course was what 1 Isvolsky wanted. But though the Russian Minister had failed to win support for his main objective, his visit to London was not wholly in vain. Grey was not prepared to accept the sudden annexation of Bosnia by Austria as a "fait accompli." He felt that action was a blow to good faith and to treaty obligations and should be discussed at a Conference of the Powers. He maintained that the annexation was an untimely and unmerited blow at the Young Turks, who, as it appeared to him, were struggling to put their house in order, and for whom British sympathy was known to be strong. Accordingly, standing on principle, he called for a European Conference, and if then the annexation was approved, he felt Turkey must 2 receive compensation. A visit to Berlin brought the unhappy Russian Minister no more comfort. Appeals to the German Government for discussion of the annexation at a Conference and for the 1. Grey, op. cit., I, 177-179. 2. Ibid., 175-77; Trevelyan, op. cit., 224. Also, Spender, J. A., and Asquith, Cyril, Life of Lord Oxford and Asquith, (cited hereafter as Spender, Asquith),(London, 1932), I, 244-49. -126-opening of the Straits proved vain. He saw clearly that Germany was determined to stand by her ally. Isvolsky saw his dreams fading; Britain would back him only in the matter of a Conference; and France was unwilling to give effective support in a matter in which she had not been consulted and in which she had little interest. Aehrenthal had the firm support of Germany, and with this support he refused to submit the question to a Conference unless it was agreed to beforehand that it would be held only to sanction the annexation and not to discuss it. During the next few months no settlement was arrived at. Meanwhile the tension was increased by the excitement which was raging in Serbia, which country was putting forward loud claims for compensation. Encouraged by Russian sympathy, armed bands were massed along the Austrian frontier and agitators sent into Bosnia. To keep a check on this situation an Austrian army was mobilized and kept in readiness. Meanwhile the Austrian war party was suggesting that the time was now at hand for a final settlement with Serbia; The situation became increasingly fraught with danger as the weeks rolled on. It was eased somewhat on February 26, 1909, by an offer of Austria to compensate Turkey for the loss of her shadowy rights over Bosnia-H&rzogovina with two and a half million pounds. But Isvolsky was unwilling to agree that a direct understanding between Austria and Turkey excluded the necessity of submitting the whole question to a -127-Conference.1 Isvolsky*s failure, however, was a foregone con clusion. The Serbian claim had no legal justification, and it was clear neither England nor France would go to war over a Balkan question. Russia standing alone against Austria and Ger many was unthinkable. In the weeks following Austria's settle ment with Turkey the Great Powers made several attempts to reconcile Isvolsky's views with those of Aehrenthal. When no solution seemed possible the German Government on March 17 made a proposal of mediation to the Russian Minister which eventually relieved the tension. The offer stated that the German Government would re quest Austria to invite the Powers to give their formal approval to the changes made by an exchange of notes, provided that Russia beforehand promised to give her sanction to the changes when invited by Austria to do so. Isvolsky, still clinging to the hope of a Conference, acknowledged the conciliatory purpose of the offer, but hesitated to give a definite answer. A week later, when no answer had been received from Isvolsky, Germany renewed her offer of mediation, this time with greater emphasis, in a note of March 23, which has been interpreted as somewhat closely resembling an ultimatum. Before suggesting that Austria should approach the Powers, Germany wished definitely to know that Russia would accept the 1. Isvolsky to the Russian Embassy at London, March 11, 1909, Siebert, B. de, Entente Diplomacy and the World, (New York, 1922); 248. -128-note, and Russia was informed "that a negative or even an evasive answer" on her part would result in Germany withdrawing 1 and allowing "things to take their own course." 2 Thus pinned down, Isvolsky, after consulting the Czar, surrendered, and gave an affirmative reply. After Russia accepted the proposal, England, France and Italy agreed also, and the exchange of notes followed giving a belated sanction to the annexation. Serbia, too, yielded, deciding to place her hopes in the future. On March 31 she made an agreement with Vienna promising to live on good neighbourly 3 terms with the Dual Monarchy. The long crisis was oyer. The results of this bloodless conflict on the chancelleries may not be passed over lightly. Its effects continued to be felt down the years until the time of the final conflict in 1914. In the phrase of Dr. Gooch, "it 4 left deep scars on the body politic of Europe." Austria had 1. Isvolsky to Russian Embassies at Paris and london, March 23, 1909, Siebert, op. cit., 260. 2. The idea that this note was sent as an ultimatum grew up in later days. Mr. Fay claims that this idea was exploited in the Russian Press and used by Isvolsky deliberately to save his face before his critics. The idea that it was to be regarded as an ultimatum was spread in England by Sir Arthur Hicolson; Fay, op. cit., I, 391. Mr. Fay adds that it was not intended by the German Government as an ultimatum, but merely as an attempt to bridge the gulf between Russia and Austria, and to prevent war between Serbia and Austria. Mr. Gooch agrees with this view - Gooch, Before the War, I, 348. Mr. Spender appears to view the note as an ultimatum however; - Fifty Years, 310. 3. Fay, op. cit., I, 393. 4. Gooch, History of Modern Europe, (cited hereafter as Modern Europe), 422-23. -129-unquestionably secured a diplomatic victory, but a Pyrrhic victory; viewed in the light of later years it brought mis-1 fortune rather than success. In the words of Mr. Dickinson, "Serbian irredentism had been provoked, and the formula she was 2 constrained to sign was nothing but words". She did not live up to her promise to "live in future on good neighbourly terms" with Austria - "she allowed her soil to be the hearth from which a subversive agitation was spread, encouraging disloyalty and treason among the Bosnians and other Slav subjects of the 3 Hapsburg Monarchy." And, as later events were to prove, this Serbian question threatened at every moment to involve Russia, and so Germany, Prance and Britain. Furthermore, Aehrenthal had caused Europe to view with distrust Austrian diplomacy, and he incurred the odium attendant upon the unjustified breach of a solemn treaty. His ally, Germany, likewise, in giving her support to the Austrian action, incurred some of the suspicion which fell upon him; especially the suspicion among the Entente Powers. It was commonly held that the Imperial Government was an accomplice in the whole situation, approvingv of its ally's action. It has been shown how the attempt of Berlin to find a final solution whioh would sanction Austria's "fait accompli", and yet at the same time afford Isvolsky a dignified line of retreat from his most difficult posit!on,was twisted into a "threat of force" or 1. Churchill, op. cit., I, 31; Trevelyan, op. cit., 224. 2. Dickinson, op. cit., 181. 3. Fay, op. cit., I, 394. -130-"ultimatum." It was represented as a brutal German attempt to humiliate Russia and drive a wedge into the Triple Entente. It was set down as new evidence of the brutality of Germany's 1 diplomatic methods. It was used as further evidence to prove Germany's reputation of thirst for mastery and leadership, 2 which was already obnoxious to France and the Western Powers. It was in Russia that the Bosnian Crisis left its most serious effects. In the press there was the most bitter resentment against a settlement which brought such deep humil-3 iation and submission to the dictates of a foreign Power. The Pan-Slav press was excited to a violent campaign against Germany, the tenor of which was that a war between Slavdom and Germanism was inevitable. To Isvolsky, personally, this diplomatic defeat was perhaps the most bitter experience of 1. Fay, op. cit., 395-96. 2. Brandenburg, op. cit., 332. Confirmation seemed to be given to this feeling by Emperor William's vainglorious and tactless speech when on a visit to Vienna in 1910, he proclaimed to the world that he had stood by his ally "in shining armour" - Fay, op. cit., I, 396. Grey uses this speech against the Kaiser; op. cit.* I, 186. It is interesting to note as Mr. Ewart, points out, that little notice has been taken of the fact that the British Prime Minister, Mr. Asquith, by his speech at-the Guildhall Banquet on November 9, 1908, plainly announced to the world that the United Kingdom was standing by her ally, France, and through France, by Russia. He said: "Nothing will induce us in this country to falter and fall short in any one of the special engagements which we have undertaken, to be disloyal or unfaithful even for a moment to the spirit of any existing friendship." Cited in Ewart, op. cit., I, 167-68. 3. Nicolson to Grey, March 29, 1909, Grey, op. cit., I, 188-89. -131-his life; the desire for revenge and for the recovery of lost personal prestige was never to leave him in the days which followed. The criticism levelled at him for his failure was one of the reasons for his leaving the Foreign Office for the Russian ambassadorship in Paris. There he was to work unceas-1 ingly for closer-knit bonds with France and England. In retirement Bulow stated with reference to the events of the years 1908-1909, nthe group of Powers whose influence had been so much overestimated at Algeuiras fell to 2 pieees when faced with the tough problems of Continental policy." Most certainly this is a sentiment of delusion, and not at all in accord with fact. If Austria and Germany had won a striking diplomatic victory, it was not at the expense of the Entente. The crisis in no way estranged the Three Powers. On the contrary, it had the completely opposite effect of consolidating and making much closer their relationship, in the face of what was interpreted as a Teutonic threat, the solidity of the Entente was considered even more of a necessity than previously, if German hegemony was to be checked. Mr. Churchill sums up the effects of the Crisis on France-Russian relations in these words: France, after her treatment in 1905, had begun a thorough military reorganization. Now Russia, in 1910 made an enormous increase in "her already vast army; and both Russia and France, smarting under similar experiences, closed their ranks, cemented their alliances 1. Fay, op. cit., I, p.397. Gooch, Before the War, I, 363. 2. Cited in Hicolson, op. cit., 309. rl32-and set to work to construct with Russian labour and French money, the new strategic railway systems of which Russia's western frontier stood in need. (1) And the Russian Ambassador, writing from Paris on April 1, 1909, shows the result on all three Entente governments when he reported; In connection with this (the Crisis), German and Austrian journals have emphasized the success of Austrian diplomacy, and the predominant position of the Dual Monarchy in the Balkans. In consequence of this, public opinion in France as well as in England demands more and more a still greater rapprochement between Russia, France and England, as they have already acted in common during the Austrian-Serbian conflict. Foreseeing the further development of the European situation, many newspapers come to the conclusion that precisely as Germany and Austria have now achieved a brilliant victory, so must the two Western Powers, together with Russia, now pay their attention to the systematic development of their forces in order to be able, once they are in a position not to fear a challenge of the Triple Alliance - and in this case Italy would separate herself from the Triple Alliance - to set up on their part demands which would restore the political balance which has now been displaced in favour of Germany and Austria .... This is the direction which the Paris, and also apparently, the London cabinet wish to give to their policy. (2) In another report of the same date he wrote: The cabinets of Paris and London have concluded from this that Russia, France and England must pay more attention than ever to action in common and must at the same time proceed to the necessary military measures in order to convince their opponents they are dealing with a political combinati which knows how to make itself respected and to carry through its demands. (3) 1. Churchill, op. cit., I, 31. 2. Russian Ambassador at Paris to Isvolsky, April 1, 1909, Siebert, op. cit., 266-67. 3. Ibid., 269-70. -133-The Czar expressed a similar view when he assured Uieolson on April 14 that the result of the crisis had been to strengthen the Entente. "We must," he said, "keep closer 1 and closer together." Important as is the Crisis of 1908 as a factor in the consolidating the Triple Entente, in the matter of England's participation in the alignment of the Powers before 1914 there was an infinitely more important factor, namely, the naval rivalry with Germany. Among all the many problems making for rivalry this question stands out in the foreground. In the Navy Law of 1900 Germany had embarked on her plan for building her navy. Britain, having "ruled the waves" for a hundred years, felt that rivalry in battleships was not only a menace in the matter of a possible attack, but an unwarranted infringe ment upon her rightful prerogative. German rivalry in colonies, in industry, in trade, or in shipping, these might have been tolerated, but a rival in the matter of naval power - never. Official assurances by German leaders failed utterly to dispel anxiety roused by the appearance of a German navy, the completion of the Kiel Canal and the fortification of Heligoland. It 1. Hicolson, op. cit., 313. The next year a misunderstanding arose between the Entente Powers in connection with the Czar's visit to the Kaiser at Potsdam on November 4, 1910. Sazonov, who accompanied the Czar, had interviews with the German Chancellor and Foreign Secretary. In the conver sations during the visit Sazonov promised Germany a free hand, so far as Russia was concerned, in the completion of the Bagdad Railway. France feared that Germany was trying to weaken the Dual Alliance. It was feared in England that Russia was abandoning the Triple Entente. The German press paid glowing tributes to Russia on account of what was regarded as a blow to France and England. As a matter of fact none of these apprehensions or hppes it transpired, were justified. Nicolson, op. cit.,336-38. -134-cannot be denied that Germany, in the words of Mr. Haldane, was within her "unfettered rights" in building up a fleet, if she chose to follow such a policy, but the faot remained, that in choosing such a course she rendered impossible friendly relations with England, and by persist ently clinging to that policy, she raised an almost insur mountable barrier to English amity. The inevitable result followed - the maintenance of close cooperation with Prance and Russia "became the pivot of British foreign 1 policy." The start of the rivalry goes back to the opening of the century when the first beginnings of the German navy resulted in the adoption by the British Government of the Cawdor programme calling for four new battleships a year. Sir John Fisher, who was. appointed First Sea Lord in 1904, proceeded drastically to change the distribution and composi tion of the fleet. The Channel Squadron was greatly reinforced and a Home Fleet stationed in the North Sea. The harbour of Rosyth in Scotland was developed into a permanent base, and in 1905 the "Dreadnought," the first of a new type of ship, which far surpassed all previous types in fighting power, was laid down. On February 3, 1905, Mr. Arthur Lee, First Lord of the Admiralty, in a speech to his constitutents struck an ominous note when he declared that the British fleet should concentrate 1. Ewart, op. cit., II, 683. -125-in the North Sea, and in anticipation of war, should "strike the first blow, before the other side found time to read in 1 the newspapers that war had been declared." These events had inevitable repercussions in Germany. Tirpitz in a new Naval Bill of 1906 added six new cruisers to the German fleet which had been refused in 1900, and secured money to widen the Kiel Canal. Anglo-German naval rivalry had begun in earnest; a dangerous stage was thus reached in 1906 with the admiralties of each Power attributing aggressive designs to the other. The Liberal Government which took office under Campbell-Bannerman in December, 1905, was opposed to increases in naval estimates. Pledged to inaugurate an extensive programme of social reforms there was need of economy in the 2 matter of armaments. As a result the naval estimates for 1906-08 showed a slight decrease. It was stated that one of of the four ships provided for in the Cawdor programme would be omitted, and the prime minister announced his intentions of proposing limitation of armaments at the second Hague Conference which had been called to meet in 1907. This intention was communicated to the other Powers. Any hope of the British for success in this plan was dispelled when the German Government announced that it eould not take part in any such discussion 1. Cited in Ewart, II, II, op. cit., 682. 2. Speech of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, December 21, 1905; Fay, op. cit., I, 237. 3. Belgian Minister in London, July 28, 1906, Morel, op. ci t., 49. -136-since it was felt to be impractical, and insisted that the 1 matter of limitation should not be raised at the Conference. Despite this attitude of Germany, the subject was brought up at the fourth plenary session by the British delegate. The matter, however, was passed over almost without debate and nothing of value achieved. It was unfortunate Germany did not take up this offer. There is little reason to believe that discussion would have led to any valuable formulae which could have prevented the catastrophe of 1914, but her partic ipation in such discussion would have lightened British suspicions of her peaceful intentions, and saved her from 2 incurring the odium of having wrecked the proposals. The Kaisers visit to Windsor in November, 1907, seemed to somewhat lessen the tension which had been growing up between the two countries. He wa$ most cordially received, and friends of peace in both countries were filled with 3 satisfaction. The aspirations of peace and friendship expressed by press and leaders appeared to be fully realized. The visit had not been intended for political discussion, but 4 the matter of the Bagdad Railway did arise. Sir Edward Grey 1. Russia and Austria were also opposed to its being discussed. E. Fay, op. cit., I, 233; Brandenburg, op: cit., S77-78. 3. Lee, op. cit., II, 557-559. 4. Ibid., 559. The Kaiser spoke of it first of all to Mr. Haldane who took the matter up with Grey. 137-Sir Edward Grey insisted that in any settlement of this question France and Russia would have to be consulted, for 1 their interests were involved. Some weeks later the Berlin Government stated its readiness to discuss the Railway with the British Government but placed a veto on discussion with Russia 8 and France. The matter ended there. This royal visit had brought a short period of reconciliation between the two countries. For a few weeks Anglo-German relations had breathed a cordiality they had not known for some years, and which they were not to know again for years to come. Under the influence of a warm royal welcome relationships had yielded to a revival of family associations, and a desire to resume the political intimacy of earlier years. But the good omens were soon to vanish, as darkening clouds 3 filled the sky. With the opening of 1908 the atmosphere became charged with electricity. Germany was unwilling to admit the right of any foreign Power to dictate the extent of her naval armaments. While William II was on English soil a new German Naval Bill reduced- the life of battleships from twenty-fiire to twenty years, and provided for the early replacement of old obsolete vessels by new ships of the new Dreadnought type. The construction of the new and replacement ships was to proceed at 1. Note of conversation between Grey and Haldane, November 14, 1907, B.D., VI, No.68, pp.95-96. 2. Lee, op. cit., II, 559-561. Haldane, op.cit., 62-66. 3. Lee* op. cit., II, 563. -138-tho rate of four a year from 1908 to 1911 and two a year from 1912 to 1917. It was this programme which seems to have brought home to the English ministers the full seriousness of the 1 situation. The Press on both sides was whipping up national passions. Then, early in 1908 the Kaiser wrote his well-meant but injudicious letter to lord Tweedsmouth, the First Lord of 2 the British Admiralty. This was a private letter, sent without the Imperial Chancellor's knowledge, in which the Emperor sought to produce a tranquillizing effect by emphasizing the fact that Germany was not thinking of challenging Britain's supremacy of the sea, and in which he endeavoured to justify 3 the German naval programme. Lord Tweedsmouth sent a courteous reply. But vague rumours of the exchange of letters leaked out 4 to reach the public ear. The Kaiser was suspected of attempting to influence a British minister to effect reductions in the naval budget. The matter came up in Parliament, where the English leaders defended their colleague, who had shown them the letter, and they maintained that the matter was one of a 5 purely private exchange of letters. The matter was thus closed. It was,however, a most imprudent act of the Kaiser*s, well-intended no doubt, but tactless, and it brought untoward results 1. Fay, op. cit., I, 237. Brandenburg, op. cit., 278. 2. For this incident see B.D. VI, Ho.88, 89, 90, 91. 3. Lee, op. cit., II, 606. 4. The "Times,1' March 6, 1908; article by Colonel Repington. 5. Lee, op. cit:, II, 607. -139-whioh added fuel to the flames of national feeling, and widened the gulf between the two countries. The growing conviction in Germany that England was trying to put a check on her navy, and "encircle" her in other ways, was fostered to a still greater extent by numerous visits and interviews which Edward VII had with French and Russian 1 rulers and ministers in the summer of 1908. In May President 2 Fallieres was cordially received in London, and given a dinner at the Foreign Office, to which the only person invited outside 3 the French and English group, was the Russian Ambassador. In June King Edward visited the Czar at Reval, accompanied by Admiral Fisher, Sir John French and Sir Charles Hardinge, who had long conversations with Isvolsky and the Russian Premier, Stolypin. There was no attempt to Reval to build up a closer Anglo-Russian combination, and assurances were offered to 4 Germany that no unfriendly steps towards her were taken. But the visit put the seal on the Anglo-Russian reconciliation, and rumours of agreements hostile to Germany increased the conviction that the Fatherland was being hemmed in. When in 1. Lee, op. cit., II, 596; Fay, op. cit., I, 240. 2. Lister to Grey, May 28, 1908, B.D.VI, No.95, pp.149-150. Lee, op. cit.., II, 584-86. 3. Fay, op. ci t., 1, 240. 4. Grey to do Sails, June 15, 1908, B.D.VI, No.97, p.154. 5. The idea that King Edward was a busy intriguer using these visits for political ends, particularly for weakening the Triple Alliance and for "encircling" Germany became more deeply rooted in the German mind. Lee, op. cit., II, 596. Grey*s comment on the years 1907-1908 are of interest. He says, "In looking through old papers, it is depressing to read of the distrust and suspicion with which Governments and peoples regarded each other in these'years. The impression given is of an atmosphere so miserable and unwholesome that nothing healthy could live in it;--140-the course of his stay abroad in the summer of 1908 His Majesty visited the Austrian Emperor at Ischl, vague rumours arose that England was endeavouring to weaken the Triple 1 Alliance by winning the support of Austria from Germany. Ho one recognized the Anglo-German tension more clearly, nor deplored it to a greater extent, that did Count Metternich in London, who accurately guaged the British feeling in this matter of naval armaments. He kept the German Government informed of British opinion, pointing out that while there was no real hostility to Germany there was a growing fear of her naval power, and that the increase of the German fleet prevented confidence. The Kaiser was incensed at the Ambassador's suggestion that English friendship could be obtained only at the cost of Germany's fleet. "If England only intends graoiously to offer us her hand on condition that we reduce our fleet. that is an unparalleled impertinence, and a bitter insult to the German people and their Kaiser, which the Ambassador must 2 reject." He was of course strengthened in this attitude by the leading naval circles. A positive refusal to discuss limitation was put forward by the Kaiser when Hardinge broached the subject to him on the occasion of King Edward's visit to Cronberg in August op.ci t. ,1,143; Again, speaking of the royal visits he states, "An even more fertile source of suspicion were royal visits. These visits were matters of civility and courtesy; as such their effect was good; they made a friendly atmosphere. But they caused me the greatest trouble;" {ibid., 149-151. 13. Gooch, Modern Europe, 439. Grey, op.cit., I, 150. 8. Cited in Brandenburg, op. cit., 284. -141-1 of 1908. Hardinge explained the uneasiness of the British leaders and pointed out the dangers of naval competition. He insisted on the necessity of limiting such rivalry; "You must stop or build more slowly." The discussion became rather heated; and the Kaiser replied rather brusquely, "Then we shall 2 fight, for it is a question of national honour and dignity." It was the last time that the British Government officially suggested an agreed limitation. In the following months English alarm steadily increased,and the tide of excited feeling rose higher. In October, 1908, further antagonism between the two countries was caused by the publication of the "Daily 3 Telegraph" interview. A conversation the Kaiser had held with a private citizen, Colonel Stuart-Wortley, whose guest the Emperor had been in 1907, was published with his approval in October E8, 1908. The interview was undoubtedly meant as a sincere gesture of friendship and as a contribution to friendly relations. But it produced the opposite result. The dominant note of the reported interview was the Kaiser's avowed friendship for Great Britain, as evinced both openly and secretly during the years of the Boer War, and since steadily maintained, though neither shared by his own people nor recognized by the British. He declared that although Germany was expanding her navy, the sole aim of her fleet was the protection of her 1. lee, op. cit., II, 618. 2. Pay, op. cit., I, 242; Brandenburg, op. cit., 243. The long memorandum of fir Charles Hardinge, August 16,1908 B.D. 711, Ho.117, pp.184-90. ' 3. For this incident see B.D. 71, pp.201ff. -142-Increasing trade, the maintenance of German interests in the Far East. He posed throughout his reported words as one who 1 was completely misunderstood in Great Britain. The gesture was another pathetic example of the Kaiser's ineptitude. However well-intentioned, it increased 2 the "malaise" it was intended to dispel. His protestation of friendship was jeered in England; his sincerity was doubted, and the idea that his advice had been of service against the Boers was resented. But his admission that the German public was hostile to Britain was noted, and thus further colour was added to the British mind of Germany as an Anglophobe nation. The publication of the interview caused a storm of newspaper attacks on both sides qf the Channel; In Germany the action was regarded as most ill-considered, and attacks were made on 3 the personal rule of the Kaiser by the Liberals and Socialists. 1. Lee, op. cit., II, 621. 2. Grey wrote in this connection, "The German Emperor is ageing me; he is like a battleship with steam up and screws going, but with no rudder, and he will run into something some day and cause a catastrophe." Grey to Ella Pease, November 8, 1908, cited in Trevelyan, op. cit., 154. 3. Before the interview was published the Kaiser had sent the manuscript to the Foreign Office for approval. It was forwarded to Bulow who was taking a cure at Horderney. He unfortunately omitted to read it. Minor officials did not • venture on any criticisms, supposing it had Bulow*s approval; it was allowed to go out, and was published October 28, 1908. As a result of the storm raised by this mistake Bulow offered his resignation, which was declined. In the debate which followed in the Reichstag the Kaiser felt the Chancellor did not adequately defend him and this incident led to a growing coolness between them. Brandenburg, op. cit., 291. -143-In 1908 belief in England that the German "menace" was a reality was growing stronger. Powerful voices were striking this note, and the danger was portrayed in such a manner as to catch popular imagination. From the opening of the century the "National Review" had preached Germany as "the enemy." Lord Cromer in a speech in the House of Lords in July, 1908, urged the Government to make provision for a coming conflict. On November 23 Lord Roberts in the same place made a stirring appeal for compulsory military service. Sir John Fisher had talked to KinCJ Edward of the wisdom of "Copenhagenlng" the German Fleet. In France also similar feelings were growing. During his cure at Marienbad in August of 1908 King Edward received a visit from Clemenceau, the French Premier, who urged upon England the creation of a 2 national army. To what extent these views represented public opinion is uncertain, but as long as the question of naval armaments remained unsolved,normal relations between Germany and England were an impossibility. The United Kingdom would not permit encroachment upon her ocean-predominance. As has been shown above Metternich in London was greatly perturbed over the growing tension; he saw the two countries drifing into misunderstandings and recriminations which might soon lead to war.. "It is not the economic development of Germany which makes our relations to England 1. Lee, op. cit., II, 604. 2. Goschen to Grey, August 29, 1908; B.D., 71, Ho.109, pp.157 Lee, op. cit., II, 628. -144-1 worse from year to year, but the rapid increase of our fleet." Hessuggested the desirability of slowing down the German programme of construction from four to three ships annually, and of trying to arrive at some understanding with England. Bulow personally favoured such a policy, and stirred by the Ambassador's repeated warnings, he took up the matter with Tirpitz. The Admiral's answer was a decided negative; he disagreed absolutely with the Ambassador's diagnosis of the situation. There must be no slowing down of pace, but rather the pressing forward of the programme with iron energy. If such alterations in the naval programme were insisted upon, as Bulow suggested, he would resign. The correspondence between the Chancellor and Tirpitz ended with Bulow giving way; they came to no agreement, and Bulow virtually abandoned Metternich's suggestion for the time at least. In February of 1909 there arose a new opportunity for coming to some agreement with England, but it came to nothing. The visit of the English King and Queen to Berlin produced a 2 . momentary detente. lord Crewe who accompanied their Majesties touched upon the question of naval competition in conversation with Bulow, but while the conversations were friendly enough, and while cordial assurances were given, they, 3 were without significance. 1. Metternich to Billow, cited in Gooch, Before the War, I, 269. 2. Lee, op. cit., II, 673-77. 3. Gooch, Before the War, I, 272. -145-Metternich reported at this time that the British Government believed Germany to be secretly accelerating her programme, that they were secretly alarmed, but had not asked for an explanation. Bulow replied that no acceleration was planned. This statement produced little effect, however, since the British" leaders preferred the information of the British Admiralty. Grey unofficially suggested an occasional exchange of information, but Bulow replied that since precise declar ations were not believed such a plan would be of no use. When, however, Asquith and Grey suggested inspection by the respective Naval Attaches, the Chancellor/ advised the accept ance of the proposal as a means of calming opinion in England. Tirpitz was also in favour of this within certain limits, but 1 the Kaiser refused his consent. nln England the suspicion grew that Germany was building at a faster rate than prescribed by law. The effect of the rivalry of the past few years came to a climax in the spring of 1909 in the form of the "German naval scare." As a result of the increasing British agitation, Mr. McKenna, First Lord of the Admiralty, in his speech of March 16, 1909, proposed that for three years England should lay down six Dreadnoughts. To aid his argument he hinted that Germany, by concealing her building activities, had almost reached equality in naval power with Britain. His words crystallized the 1. Gooch, Bp. cit., 272-73; Brandenburg, op. cit., 294-95. -146-general feeling of uneasiness which existed in England. This speech was followed by an Opposition attack led by Mr. Balfour which increased the prevailing fear. He pictured most vividly "the alarming circumstances in which this country finds itself," and declared that "the programme as presented by the Government is utterly insufficient." By 1910, he said, Germany would be ahead of Britain with thirteen Dreadnoughts to Britain's ten. By 1912 Germany would have twenty-five. His figures, time was to prove, were unbelievably fantastic - in 191E Germany had only twelve. But the British were in a mood to believe the wildest prophesying. "There was no limit to the stupidity of the stories which filled the newspapers, and the conversation 1 of the readers." The demand arose over all England, "we want eight and we won't wait," and in response to this cry, fantastic though it was, and based upon nothing more than suspicion, 2 dislike and apprehension, the eight were voted. Although Mr* McKenna later admitted his statements to have been incorrect, they had done their damage in further increasing Anglo-German 3 antagonism. 1. Ewart, op. cit., II, 690. Reports of the Belgian Minister in Berlin, March 22 and 31, 1909, Morel, op. cit;, 151-53. 2. Spender, Asquith, I, 253. 3. Fay, op. cit., I, 298. Mr. Winston Churchill, who suoceeded Mr. McKenna as First Lord of the Admiralty, has the following to say of this "naval scare;" "I was still a sceptic about the danger of the European situation, and not convinced by the Admiralty case. In conjunction with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, I proceeded at once to canvass this scheme and to examine the reasons by which it was supported. The conclusions which we both reached were that a programme of four ships would sufficiently meet our needs I could not agree with the Admiralty conten tion that a dangerous situation would be reached in the year 1912. I found the Admiralty figures on this subject -147-In July of 1909 Bethman-Hollw£g succeeded von Bulow as Imperial Chancellor, and Kinderlen-Wachter entered the German foreign office. The former was powerless to alter the course which had heen set in the past few years, but he agreed with Metternich as to the need for coming to some agreement over the naval question with England. His views were shared by the new Foreign Secretary. Thus a more accomodating spirit entered into the Wilhelmstrasse. The new Chancellor was determined on a frank exchange of views, and with this in mind he opened negotiations with the British Ambassador in Berlin, Sir Edward 1 Goschen, in August 1909. The discussions thus begun, and which lasted during the next few months, took much the same course as the later ones of 1912.. The Germans insisted, that desirable as any building truce might be in itself, it must'be conditional 2 upon a political agreement. In the eyes of the British, however, there was little hope of a political agreement unless 3 the tension was first relaxed by a substantial naval reduction. \ were exaggerated .... The gloomy Admiralty anticipations were in no respect fulfilled in the year 1912. The British margin was found to be ample in that year. There were no secret German Dreadnoughts, nor had Admiral von Tirpitz made any untrue statement in respect of major construction. The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight.** op. cit., I, 32-33. 1. Goschen to Grey, August 21, 1909, B.D., VI, Ho.186, p.883; Ho.187, p.284. 2. Ibid;, pp.283-84. 3- Hicolson to Grey, September 22, 1909; B.D;, VI, Ho;198, p.291. Goschen to Grey, October 15, 1909, ibid., Ho.200. -148-There was little room for compromise. The German Government could not agree to any departure from their building programme, (since it was claimed this would not be supported in the Reichstag), but they were willing to discuss "retarding the 1 rate" of building new ships. The draft political agreement that was suggested proposed that in the event of an attack made oh either Party by a third Power or group of Powers the 2 Party not attacked should remain neutral. The signing of such an agreement by the British would prevent them from supporting Prance or Russia and from taking a part in future 3 Continental affairs in which they might be greatly interested. Neither in 1909, nor in 1912, was Britain willing to pledge neutrality. It is not surprising therefore that the proposal was turned down. Politically it was open to the gravest objections, and on the naval side it offered no substantial 4 reduction. The negotiations were taken up several times in the 5 next year but led to no result. The British suggested the plan, of Instituting periodical reports by the naval attaches on both sides as to the progress of building new vessels, and 1. Goschen to Grey, November 4, 1909, B.D.vT, No.204, p.305. 2. Ibid. 3. Grey to Goschen, May 5, 1910; ibid., No.361, p.479. 4. Nicolson to Goschen, February 6, 1911, Nicolson, op. cit., 339. 5. Memorandum of Sir Edward Grey, B.D., VI* July 29, 1910, enclosure in No.387, pp.501-508. -149-the inspection of shipyards in both countries, in order to remove the suspicion of the English that Germany was building 1 more ships than was officially admitted. But these came to 2 nothing. During 1909 and 1910 English domestic polities was • disturbed by the acute constitutional struggle waged by the two Houses over finances. There were two general elections. These circumstances interfered with negotiations with Germany 3 so that by the end of 1910 no progress had been made. Despite the failure to mitigate the rivalry, the Anglo-German tension seemed less acute by 1911. The death of 4 King Edward seemed to bring about a slight detente. The Kaiser had come to London for the funeral in May, 1910, and his 5 manifest sympathy was warmly appreciated. In May, 1911, he accepted King George*s invitation to attend the unveiling of a statue of Queen Victoria. His reoeption in London was most cordial. Shortly afterwards the Crown Prince attended the coronation of King George. But just at this time, when the tension seemed eased, a new crisis broke out in Morocoo, the Crisis of Agadir, which put to an end the political dead calm. 1. Memorandum of Sir Edward Grey, July 29, 1910, B.D., VI, Ho.387, pp.501-2, and statement handed to Tirpitz by Captain Watson, August 24, 1910. B.D., VI, enclosure 3 in Ho.397, pp.517-18* 2. Brandenburg, op. cit., 368-369. 3. The negotiations outlined in the previous pages were summarised for the Cabinet Committee in a memorandum of May 24, 1911 by Sir Edward Grey, given in B.D., VI, Ho. 468, pp.631-35. 4. Goooh, Modern Europe, 457. 5. Brandenburg, op. cit., 359. -150-Thus, up to 1911, attempts to solve the rivalry in naval armaments had failed. It is difficult to see how there could have been any result but failure. During all the discussions the fundamental issues had not been touched. Was it possible to reconcile the interests of two powerful states;*.;.- the one of which desired to prevent change, the other of which was bent on changing a ratio of power which it felt to be unjust? Each side approached the question from its own point of view only. Each could make out a good case for itself; each had grounds for fear; each changed and magnified the objective of the other. Underlying this fundamental issue there were two significant problems - Britain was unwilling to make any political agreement with Germany which would in any respect limit her existing relationship with France - and Germany was unwilling to make any reduction in her naval programme which would satisfy Britain. While this question of naval rivalry remained no nearer solution, adhesion to the Triple Entente seemed more than ever a necessity to Britain. CHAPTER V The Agadir Crisis, 1911 -151-CHAPTER 7 The Agadir Crisis 1911 On July 1, 1911,the diplomatic world was startled and alarmed by an announcement on the part of the German Government that a gunboat, the "Panther," had been dispatched to Agadir. Agadir was an Atlantic port in the extreme south of Morocco, some five hundred miles south of Tangier. It was claimed that German, firms established in the south of Morocco had been alarmed by unrest among the local tribesmen and had applied to the home government for protection. The gunboat had been sent to their assistance, and to watch over German interests, which were said to be considerable in that area. As soon as normal tranquillity had been restored the ship 1 would leave. The news of this action on the part of the German Government, for which no warning had been given, aroused 2 indignation and surprise in the chancellories of Europe. What did it mean? To find an answer it will be necessary to review the course of Moroccan affairs after the Conference of Algeciras. 1. B.D*, 711, No.338, p.322. Aide-memoire communicated by Count Metternich, July 1, 1911; No.339, pp.322-23, minute by Sir Arthur Nicolson. 2. Agadir was a closed port, and not open to trade. It was doubted if there were German residents or merchants in the vicinity; -152-The Conference of 1906 had produced no truly satisfactory conditions in Morocoo; it was followed hy neither improvement in the internal conditions, nor by improvement in the relations between France and Germany. The French found themselves busily engaged in the onerous and thankless task of enforcing economic and administrative reforms. The Sultan's brother, Mulai Hafid, gained a strong following among the chieftains, who resented French and Spanish intrusion, and with this backing he revolted. In the disorders which arose in 1907 the murder of a doctor gave the French occasion to ocoupy Oudja, near the Algerian border, and further outrages led to the landing of troops in Casablanca and to the placing of French police in seaports on the west coast. In the struggle Mulai 1 Hafid proved strong enough to depose his brother. While negotiations were being carried on with regard to the recognition of the new Sultan, an incident at Casablanca threatened to cause a serious breach in Franoo-German relations. Six deserters from the French Foreign legion had been assisted by the German Consul at Casablanca in an attempt to escape aboard a German ship in September, 1908* French soldiers attempted to arrest them, and in the struggle which followed two German officials were maltreated. Over this incident a bitter dispute arose between the two governments. In spite of the excitement which flared in the press good sense prevailed 1. Ewart, op. cit., II, 806-13. For a criticism of French policy in Morocco during these years see the reports of the Belgian Minister in Berlin given in Morel, op. cit. p.68-70, 71-72, 117-18, 118-20, 121-22, 181. -153-among the leaders, for fault existed on both sides. The matter was referred to the Hague Tribunal for arbitration which declared both parties must share the blame. The incident itself was not important, but minor episode though it was, it proved painful and dangerous, and precipitated almost a crisis in the whole Moroccan Question and in the relations between France 1 and Germany. The Incident is important also in that it reveals clearly, as did the affairs of 1905 and 1906, how the British and French Entente policy might have become operative. In November, before the affair was settled, the French Government, through Sir Francis Bertie, asked whether France could count on the support of Britain in resisting what they chose to 2 term ,fthe unjustifiable demands'1 of the German Government. This request obviously contemplated for certain eventualities military support. Grey placed the following minute on Bertie's dispatch: ''The line, if the question becomes acute, will have "3 to be decided by the Cabinet.'' This reply or comment, which presumably would be conveyed to the French Government, was certainly not a refusal to consider giving support, and as Professor Mowat suggests, it would not, according to the normal 1. Gooch, Before the War, I, 275; B.D., Til, pp.l09r-131. The fears of the British officials that the incident might lead to grave results - minutes to Ho.129, p.118. Also, see Nicolson to Grey, November 5, 1908, Ho*130, p*118, for the alarm of the Hussian Government. 2. Bertie to Grey, November 4, 1908, B.D., VII, No;129, p.117* 3. Ibid., p*118. -154-interpretation of diplomatic language, be considered 1 discouraging. France, however, had no need at this time to ask further for the contemplated support. But there was little doubt that the increasing activity of the French in Morocco would inevitably result in the establishment of a preponder ating political influence there. Ho one saw this more clearly than the Kaiser, and it is to his credit that he displayed much wisdom in favouring a policy of friendly conciliation. He had never favoured the Bulow-Hdlstein Moroccan policy, and he now came to the conclusion that it was impossible to check the extension of French control in Morocco without resort to force. On October 4, 1908, he informed his Foreign Office that so far as was practicable Germany should withdraw with dignity £ from Moroccan affairs, and come to an understanding with France. Bulow was by this time also in favour of liquidating this question, and he thus intimated to France that Germany would be willing to negotiate a settlement. Pichon, the French premier, was anxious to avoid friction with Germany and 3 favoured a "detente." After short negotiations an agreement was signed on February 9, 1909. "To facilitate the execution of the Act of Algeciras," France, professing still to respect the independence and integrity of Morocco, promised equality 1. Mowat, R.B., Hew light on the Agadir Crisis, the Contemporary Review, Vol.141, June, 193£, 709. 2. Fay, op. cit*, I, £47-48. 3. Gooch, Before the War, I, £76. -155-of economic opportunity to the Germans; and Germany, promising to pursue only economic aims, recognized the special political interests of France in preserving peace and order, and promised 1 not to interfere with them. The conciliatory attitude of Germany was warmly welcomed in France as putting an end to a long standing source of irritation between the two nations. The British Government, too, was delighted, and expressed pleasure that a question which had occasioned such anxiety to England, and over which £ England was bound to give France support, was now settled. It was welcomed as well in most of the European capitals, more especially at this particular time, since Europe was entangled in the Bosnian Crisis. But unfortunately for the peace of Europe this pact of 1909 proved only a breathing-space and not a solution of Moroccan problems. For a short time it did bring about more cordial relations between France and Germany, but it did not bring to fruition all the happy results expected of it. The proposed economic partnership served as a basis for friendly relations during the next two years, and cooperation in the economic field was begun hopefully. But every one of the schemes embarked upon proved failures, whatever may have been the intentions of the parties. This was seen in plans made with regard to mines, railways, and other public works. At every 1. Fay, op. cit;, I, 248* 2. Grey-to Goschen, February 9, 1909, B.D., 711* jb,152, p.136, and Grey to Bertie, February 9, 1909, Io.l53, pp,136-37. -156-1 point, in every region, arrangements broke down. The Germans, not unnaturally, were angry and mistrustful. And as a result of the failure of the Agreement to reconcile the economic interests of the two Powers political crises continued to occur. At the same time, while the Pact of 1909 was failing to bring forth the results for which it had been arranged, further disorders in Morocoo were furnishing the French with a pretext for a steady extension of their police and military control. It can be easily understood that in the eyes of Germany the stipulated basis of the agreement, "the maintenance of the independence and integrity of the Shereefian Empire," 2 was becoming more and more of a myth. "It became clearer and clearer that with this extension of French influence the equality of economic opportunity contemplated in the 1909 Agreement, and the idea of an independent Sultan at the head of a well-regulated government, were both fictions in contradiction 3 with the actual trend of events." It was while events were passing thus in Morocco that Sir Edward Grey was asked in the House of Commons, in March of 1911, a question with regard to England's obligations to support France. Both his reply to this question, and the attitude of 1. Dickinson, op. cit;, 189; Ewart, op. cit., II, 815-17. For a criticism of French policy in this regard see Fabre-Iuce, op. cit., 123, and HaleVy, Elie, World•Crisis, 1914-1918, (London, 1930), 24. 2. Brandenburg, op; cit.* 370. 3. Fay, op. cit., I, 278. For the way in which France continued to extend financial and military control over the Sultan, see Ewart, op. cit;, II, 808-24 and The Belgian Minister in Berlin, April 21, 1911, Morel, op. cit., 177-78, and May 1, 1911, ibid., 181. -157-the French Foreign Minister to that reply are of interest, to say the least. Did there exist at the time he entered into office, Sir Edward was asked, any understanding, "expressed or implied, in virtue of which Great Britain would he under obligations to France to send troops, in certain eventualities, to assist the operations of the French army?" Grey replied, "The extent of the obligations to which Great Britain was committed was that expressed or implied in the Anglo-French Convention laid before Parliament. There was no other engagement 1 bearing on the subject." This answer, of course, gave no hint of the secret articles of the 1904 Agreement which were 2 unknown to Parliament at this time, nor of the military and naval "conversations" which began in 1906. When M. Cruppi, the French Foreign Minister, heard of Sir Edward's answer he complained to Sir Francis Bertie in Paris that Grey's statement was rather regrettably positive in its denial of the existence of an obligation to support France. "He regretted that you had found it necessary to repudiate so strongly the existence of any unknown Agreement between England and France,for your repudiation has had a regrettable effect in certain Parliamentary circles. He (M. Cruppi) knew what had passed between the Departments of the two Governments for he had seen the dossier. He would have preferred that there should have been a suspicion that an 1. B.D., VII, Ho*197, p.182. 2, Supra. -158-1 understanding did exist for possible eventualities." Meanwhile trouble was rising in Morocco. The new Sultan had roused native discontent, as had his predecessor, by his subservience to the French. This discontent came to a head in March, 1911, when a revolt broke out in Fez. This was the situation when the French sent out alarming reports that the Europeans in Fez were in danger. On April 5, Jules Cambon, the French Ambassador in Berlin, informed the German Government that a French expedition was to be dispatched to Fez to relieve the Sultan and to ensure the safety of the Europeans there. The troops started early in April, and arrived in Fez on May 21. The expedition was not dispatched before warning had been sent to the various Powers; and not before Kiderlen, who directed Germany's policy at this time, and the Chancellor had offered repeated warnings that such action might reopen the whole Moroccan Question. They warned Cambon that the occupation of Fez might be considered as a further step in the annulling of the Act of Algeciras, and that it would entitle Germany to resume complete liberty of action. They expressed the hope that the action would be delayed as long as possible, and that France and Germany might work out a satisfactory compromise on Moroccan affairs. This was a hint at compensation for Germany. It was pointed out that it was much easier to occupy a city than to leave it, and that once 1. Bertie to Grey, April 9, 1911, B.D., VII, No.205, pp.188-89. -159-Fez was in French possession public opinion on both sides would be roused, and a compromise would be difficult. They did not give an approval, nor did they lodge a protest, but e contented themselves with warnings, preferring to wait on events The French insisted that the action was only due to extreme necessity, and would be expressed in accordance with the spirit of the Act of Algeciras. The troops would restore order and then retire. Sir Edward Grey accepted the assurances of the French Government without question, and in pursuance of treaty promises to give France diplomatic support in Morocco, approved the expedition. Some English leaders at first shared the German feelings as to the difficulty of withdrawal once French troops had undertaken occupation. Sir Arthur Nicolson, the Foreign Under-Secretary, reports the Russian Ambassador in London, "did not conceal from me the fact that the Morocco question is disquieting^ the London Cabinet.... The experience of all European states, beginning with England, shows that it is 2 easier to occupy a city than to withdraw again. 1. Bertie to Grey, April 25, 1911, B.D,, VII, No.216, p.199. Goschen to Grey, April 28, 1911, ibid., No.227, p.206 and No.229, p,207. Minute by Sir Arthur Nicolson, April 28, 1911, ibid., No.230, p.209. Ewart, op. cit.', II, 829-831; Fay, op. cit., I, 278-79. Russian Charge ' d»Affaires at Berlin to Sazonov, April 13, and April 28, 1911, Siebert, op. cit., 578-80. 2. Russian Ambassador at London to Neratov, May 9, 1911 and May 23, 1911; Siebert, op; cit., 581. The question has been raised - were Europeans in real danger? On this point there is much conflict of evidence. How true the French reports were, to what extent they were exaggerated as a pretext for their actions, it is difficult to say. Fay, op. cit., I, 280; Dickinson, op. cit.,P 194--160-It is important to note at this stage that Delcasse, who had been forced from office over the Moroccan problem in 1905, had again become a member of the French Cabinet in Maroh, 1911. He had not charge of foreign affairs, but held only the naval portfolio. The Prime Minister, Monis, had told the German Ambassador that he had taken Deloasse' into his cabinet on account of his notable work in the navy, and because of his great technical knowledge. He further assured the Ambassador that,*Deleasse' has firmly promised not to mix in foreign policy; 1 anyway his views today differ from those of some years ago.1* But with the memories of 1905-06 unforgotten, it was natural that the German press should suspect Delcasse of taking a leading part in the directing of France's Moroccan policy of 1911* The Hussian Charge d'Affaires at Berlin,writing to Sazonov on April 28,informed him that "in some of the German papers, Delcasse is regarded as the true originator of French 3 Moroccan policy." M. Cruppi was Foreign Minister, but he was Ewart, op. cit., II, 834. Apparently neither the British nor German Governments had any apprehensions for the safety of their nationals. See questions asked in the House of Commons, April 25, 1911, with reference to the danger to British interests and Europeans at Fez; B.D., VII, Ho.129, pp.201-02. A fortnight after the arrival of the French occupation of Fez Spain had landed troops at larache and El-Kasar, which action, in imitation of the French precedent, was explained by the necessity of preserving order, and acoompanied by the assurance that the occupation would be only temporary. 1. Cited in Fay, op. cit., I, 280. 2. Report of the Belgian Minister in Berlin, March 3, 1911, Morel, op. cit., 170-72. 3. Siebert, op. cit.,rn 580. -161 rather weak, and without experience in foreign affairs. There was every good reason to suspect that the forceful, and energetic Deloasse with #he experience of 1905 behind him, would influence the work of Cruppi and the Cabinet. Such was 1 the assumption generally held in Europe. Mr. Porter, his biographer, claims that he "occupied a very influential position in this ministry," and that he "completely overshadowed 2 M. Cruppi." The German policy remained somewhat of a puzzle to the French when the expedition to Fez was first suggested, but Kiderden's policy is clearly revealed in a memorandum he drew a up on May 3. When Fez would be occupied by the French he would ask how long they intended to remain there. If they did not adhere to the time limit announced, Germany would then declare the Act of Algeciras annulled by the French action and demand compensation. As protests alone would prove useless Germany should send a warship to Agadir, claiming justification for this action by revealing it as a measure to protect the life and property of German subjects. The ship would be station ed there, and developments awaited to see if France would offer suitable compensation. In this way he felt past failures might be made up for, and a good effect would be provided on the 4 impending Reichstag elections. 1. Belgian Minister in Paris, March 4,1911, Morel, op. cit., 173. Russian Ambassador at Paris to Sazonov, March 14, 1911, Siebert, op. cit., 559. 2. Porter, op. cit., 284. 3. Given in Dugdale, op. cit., IV, p.204. 4. Fay, op. cit., I, 281-82. Brandenburg, op. cit.* 371. -162-The German Minister does not seem to have looked through carefully to the possible results his policy might have brought about. He did not co4sider, apparently, what effect his plan might produce on France and the outside world. What was to happen should France, in spite of his action, refuse compensation, or inadequate compensation? Would Agadir then be occupied indefinitely? These questions seemingly did not present themselves to his mind. He seems to have expected with rather extraordinary simplicity that his gesture of sending the ship would immediately bring forth offers of compensation from France. The Chancellor was in favour of this plan, and the Kaiser gave his approval to the principle of seeking compensation, although at this time he did not definitely 1 authorize the dispatch of a gun-boat. On May 21 the French occupied Fez. Kiderlen waited. On June 11 Cambon dropped a guarded hint to the Imperial Chancellor that France was prepared to discuss compensation for Germany, and mentioned concessions in the Congo. Kiderlen now saw his policy working out as he planned. He met Cambon at Kissengen on June 19 to discuss the matter of compensation. It was agreed on principle that compensation for Germany could be found in the Congo. Cambon returned to Paris to arrange matters with his Government, but not before Kiderlen warned him Germany must receive "a decent mouthful." During the next several days no offer was made from Paris. Kiderlen then 1. Brandenburg, op. cit., 372, and footnote (3) -163-decided to act. By occupying Agadir he hoped to force Franca to surrender suitable compensation; in negotiating v/ith her he wished his hand strengthened by a "fait accompli." On June E6 he visited the Kaiser who was at Kiel, described to him the situation as it existed, and secured his consent to dispatch a 1 warship. Accordingly, the gunboat "Panther," which was return ing from southern Africa, and which was the only vessel near enough to the North African coast to be of use in the plan, was ordered to drop anchor at Agadir on July 1. At the same time a note was sent to the Great Powers explaining the German 3 action. In spite of the explanation so offered,the real motive undoubtedly was to bring the French to the point of making a generous offer of compensation. The French Government was deeply stirred by this sudden action. Germany had given no warning of the step taken, whereas, France had given a preliminary notification of her 3 march to Fez. The news was received with consternation in Downing Street, for it raised great fears that Germany was 4 planning the setting up of a naval base in Morocco. On July 3 Sir Edward Grey informed the German Ambassador that "we regard the situation as so important that 5 it must be discussed at a Cabinet." On July 4, after 1. Dugdale, op* cit., IT, 6. 2. Supra.151, 3. Belgian Minister in Paris, July 2, 1911, Morel, op. cit.,190. 4. Belgian Minister in london, July 5, 1911, ibid., 191-92. 5. Grey to de Salis, July 3, 1911, B.D., VII, No.347, p.328. -164* consultation in.the Cabinet, he told him that the British attitude could not be disinterested in view of British interests in Morocco,and of Britain's treaty obligations to France;".... a new situation had been created by the dispatch of a German ship to Agadir. Future developments might affect British interests more directly than they had hitherto been affected, and therefore we could not recognize any new arrangements "that 1 might be come to without us*" In a note of July 2,i after announcing to the Powers the dispatch of the "Panther," the German Government issued the following notice: "The German Government is quite ready to enter upon an amicable exchange of views in order to obtain a solution of the Moroccan question satisfactory to all Powers," and "it is altogether disposed to examine in a friendly spirit 2 every proposition made by the French Government." In pursuance of this statement negotiations between Jules Cambon and Kiderlen began, negotiations which were to prove most difficult, and 3 which were to be extended over the next four months. Sir Edward Grey seems to have expected information from Berlin in the matter of German policy after his conversation 4 with the German Ambassador on July 4; but Kiderlen disregarded 1. Grey to do Salis, July 4, 1911, B.Di, VII, No.366, p.334. Mr. Asquith expressed the same view in almost identical words in answer to a question on Moroccan affairs in the House of Commons on July 6, 1911; cited in ibid., Ho.364,p.342. 2. Cited in Ewart, op. cit., JJ, 839-40. 3. Only a few days before the dispatch of the "Panther" to Agadir Mi Monis had been succeeded in the French premiership by M. Caillaux, and M. Cruppi as Foreign Secretary by M. de Selves. 4. Grey, op. cit., I, 223. -165-the very obvious hint given in that conversation that England wished to be consulted. This failure to give reassurances to Grey was to prove a great mistake; but the German "Government appears to have felt it unnecessary, and gave the British Government no assurances until three weeks later. Grey would oertainly have been less disturbed had he known that Germany's objective was compensation outside Morocco, and not a naval base on the coast. Kiderlen seemingly felt quite safe in disregarding Britain because he was not seeking Moroccan territory. He had as a matter of fact mentioned to Cambon at the commencement of the negotiations that the conversations must be confined to the two Powers - that it would be impossible to admit a third Party, without bringing in all the signatories 1 of the Act of Algeoiras. To this negotiation "8. deux" M. Cambon agreed, but made it quite clear that France "meant to remain absolutely faithful to her understandings with Great Britain" and to "keep His Majesty's Government informed of any conversations which might take place on the above or any £ other basis." There can be no value for the purpose of this study in here recording the Franco-German negotiation in any detail. It is sufficient to point out only their extremely thorny and difficult nature. On July 15, after a previous meeting in which eaoh side was reluctant to commit itself to anything 1. Goschen to Grey, July 10, 1911, B.D., VII, Ho.367, p.345. Bertie to Grey, July 11, 1911, ibid., Ho.369, p.347. 2. Goschen to Grey, July 10, 1911, ibid., No.367, p.345. -166-definite, Kiderlen asked for all the French Congo for Germany. The French Ambassador appeared shocked at such a demand. He replied that while French public opinion might consent to compensation for Germany, the ceding of a whole oolony was 1 unthinkable. He stated, however, that part of the Congo might be ceded if Germany on her part was willing to yield to France territory in Togoland and the Cameroons. The negotiations reached a point of extreme tension at this stage, and the interview between Cambon and Kiderlen on July EO, following E that of the 15, was rather bitter. It was at this point, when the negotiations seemed to be.making little progress, that England intervened. When Kiderlen demanded the French Congo the French and British Foreign Offices exchanged views as to the possible outcome. On July 30 the possibility of holding an international confer ence in the event of a breakdown of the negotiations was discussed by Sir Francis Bertie and the French Foreign Minister. The latter replied that the negotiations had reached a critical stage and although they had not as yet broken down, they would likely continue for some long time, but should they fail France would not object to Britain inviting a conference as 3 had been suggested. It will be noted from these communioations that the British and the French were considering together 1. Bethmann's report of this meeting to the Kaiser is given in Dugdale, op. cit., IV, 11-13. 3, Bertie to Grey, July 18, 1911, B.D., VII, pp.371-73, and minutes added, especially minute by Hicolson, p.373. 3. Grey to Bertie, July 19, 1911, B.D., VII, Ho.397, pp.376-77. Bertie to Grey, July 30, 1911, ibid., Ho.401, pp.378-79. -167-eventualities in this crisis. It must be noted also that in anticipation of a possible outbreak of war, the "Conversations" between the General Military Staffs, which had been inaugurated during the first Morocoo Crisis of 1905-1906, were now being 1 pressed. Thus, by July 20 something of a crisis had been reached. Negotiations were on the point of rupture, and there were feelings of strain, uncertainty and apprehension. Sir Edward Grey seems to have shared these feelings. He, therefore, asked the German Ambassador to come to see him on July SI. In his speech in the House of Commons, on November 37, 1911, he tells of the conversation which took place. After stating to the Ambassador that he understood that there was danger of the negotiations ending in failure, he went on to say: I wished it to be understood that our silence in the absence of any communication from the German Government - our silence since the Cabinet communication of July 4, and since the Prime Minister's statement of July 7 in this House - our silence since then must not he interpreted as meaning that we were not taking, in the Moroccan question, the interest which had been indicated by our statement of the 4th of that month. .... We thought it possible that a settlement might be come between Germany and France .... without affecting British interests. We would be very glad if this happened, and in the hope that it would happen at a later stage we had hitherto put it aside .... I heard that negotiations were still proceeding, and I still hoped they might lead to a satisfactory result, but it must be understood that if they were unsuccessful, a very embarrassing situation would arise. I pointed out to the German Ambassador that the Germans were in 1. Infra.iHEwart, op. cit., II, 849; Grey, op. cit., I, 343. Mr. lloyd George in a speech in Toronto, October 10, 1933, made reference to these military conversations. -168-the closed port of Agadir*... which was the most suitable port on that coast for a naval base.... We could not say-to what extent the situation might be altered to our disadvantage, and if the negotiat ions with France came to nothing we should be obliged to. watch over British interests and to become a party to discussion of the matter.... I wished to say all this now while we were still waiting in hope that the negotiations with France would succeed, for if I did not say this now, it would cause resentment later on if the German Government had been led to suppose by our previous silence - our silence since July 4 - that we did not take an interest in the matter." The Foreign Secretary explained to the House, "I made that statement on July 21 because I was getting anxious, because the situation seemed to me to be developing unfavour ably, and the German Ambassador was still not in a position 1 to make a communication to me from the German Government." Count Metternich*s report of this conversation reached Berlin the next day, and the German Government gave a reassuring answer as to their intentions on July 23. It would have been well had Downing Street waited for that reply r before taking their next step, or had Germany given her guarantee of good faith earlier, for a few hours after the interview between Grey and Metternich a new element of danger 1. This speech of November 27, 1911, is cited in Knaplund, Paul, Speeches on Foreign Affairs, (London, 1.93!) ,145-71. The content of the conversation with Metternich is given also in a dispatch from Grey to Goschen, July 21, 1911, B.D., Til, No.411, p.390. An extract from Metternich's report of the conversation is given in Dugdale, op. cit., IV, 13. With regard to Grey's statement of British policy to Metternich on July 4, and to which Grey complains the German Government gave no answer, Professor R.B.Mowat says, "This statement did not call for any answer; it was just a declaration of policy. It could not even be formally acknowledged by the German Government, for -169-had been introduced into the already delicate situation. In the evening of July 21, and thus before the German reply had been received, Mr. lloyd George, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, made a resounding declaration of British policy. In a public address at the Mansion House he reviewed the general situation and stated that Britain should at all hazards maintain her place and her prestige among the Great Powers of the world...* If a situation were to be forced on us in which peace could only be preserved by the surrender of the Great and beneficent position Britain has won by centuries of heroism and achievement, by allowing Britain to be treated, where her interests were vitally affected, as if she were of no account in the Cabinet of nations, then I say emphatically that peace at that price would be humiliation intolerable for a great country like ours to endure. (1) This speech coming from a Minister who was supposed to belong to the most pacific section of the Cabinet created an immense sensation in Germany, where it was interpreted as a threat on the part of the British Government, and as an act of unwarranted interference in the Franco-German negotiations. It greatly increased the already existing tension between Germany and England growing out of the naval competition. It might indeed in the existing state of affairs have led to war Grey appears to have sent no Hote, but passed on the statement in his conversation v/i th Metternich. There was, therefore, nothing to alarm the Cabinet in the fact that no reply came." Hew light on the Agadir Crisis, loo. cit., 712. 1. Lloyd George gives an account of his action in volume I of his "War Memoirs," p.41-45. Both Sir Edward Grey and the Prime Minister had been consulted before this speech was given and approved it. Grey, op* cit., I, 225; Churchill also approved it; Churchill, op* cit., 43. -170-had not the Kaiser and Bethmann been determined not to allow the Moroccan question to cause an aotual conflict. The reply of the German Government to Sir Edward's questions in the Interview of July El had been dispatched before the text of the Chancellor's speech had reached Berlin. The German answer 1 to those questions was given by Metternich on July E4. On the following day he again saw Grey, and on this occasion he presented a strong protest against the Mansion House speech. Grey, however, remained determined in his defense of the a British stand, and conversations between the two on July 86 3 and 27 were more courteous, On July 27 the British Prime Minister made a reassuring speech in the House of Commons in which he made it clear that while Britain had no desire to participate in the negotiations then being carried on between Prance and Germany, and while it was the British hope that these might issue in a settlement satisfactory to both Parties, in the event of a rupture, however, Britain would be obliged to watch over her interests, and become an active Party in the discussion of the situation. ''That would be our right as a Signatory of the Treaty of Algeciras; it might be our obligat-4 ion under the terms of our agreement of 1904 with France." 1. Grey to Goschen, July 24, 1911; B.D., VII, Ho.417, pp.394-96. 2, Grey to Goschen, July 25, 1911; ibid., Ho.419, pp.397-99. Also Russian ambassador in London to Heratov, August 1, 1911, Siebert, op. cit., pp. 594-95. 3, Brandenburg, op. cit., 380-81. 4. Asquith, The Genesis of the War, 149; B.D., 711, Ho.426 p.406. -171 The British stand at this time had an immediate effect on the situation which had been arrived at in the past weeks. It greatly increased Anglo-German tension, but it simplified the difficulties which had arisen over Morocco. The British had accurately defined their attitude to this problem, displayed what their interests were, denied all hostile intention, expressed the hope for a peaceful solution, yet made it clear to Germany that Great Britain would be on the side of France if war was forced upon the Republic. Germany now adopted a more conciliatory attitude towards France; she did not immediately recede from her policy of demanding concessions, but she was careful to avoid acts of provocation, and her future conduct of the negotiations tended to open in 1 directions of accommodation and retreat. The immediate danger of a rupture in July was thus passed; but the core of the question remained unaltered. Kiderlen and Cambon were unable to carry their negotiations to a satisfactory settlement for some time. The discussion lasted for another three months, with compensations proposed, rejected and proposed anew. Several times the situation became so acute that a breakdown was threatened. A particularly critical stage was arrived at in September. A solution was finally reached however. On October 11 an agreement was signed over Morocco, and on November 3 a settlement over the Congo. On the following 1. Churchill, op. cit., 47; Fay, op. cit., I, §89-90. Russian Ambassador in London to Neratov, August 1, 1911, Siebert, op. cit., 596. -178-day a joint treaty was drawn up. By these agreements Germany agreed that the French might establish virtually a protectorate over Morocco, while, on her part, France ceded to Germany more than one hundred thousand miles of the French Congo. The Agadir Crisis had come peacefully to an end. But, although it had ended in a peaceful solution, the Crisis had created reverberations in Europe which were to be felt down to 1914. Much more had been at stake than merely the question of whether France should obtain Morocco, or Germany territory in the Congo. In this crisis there was displayed once again a clash between the two opposing camps in the field of power politics. As in 1906 over Morocco, and as in 1908 through their friendship with Russia, so again in 1911, France and England stood together to oppose Germany. And, as in the former instances, this latest crisis led to a tightening of the bonds between the two Entente Powers. The action of Germany had given rise to increased suspicion in the minds of leaders in both France and Britain of the Imperial Government's war-like intention. We know today from facts obtainable that there was no intention on the part of Germany to go as far as war in this matter, but the manner in which her policy was conducted did little to reassure the English and French leaders. Her action was regarded as further evidence of her war-like .tendencies, and as another instance of her brutal tactics in diplomatic sabre-rattling^ Sir Edward Grey certainly shared this view. -173-In his memoirs he states that the Agadir Crisis convinced the Entente Powers of the dangerous reality of German militarism, and made them more anxious to act together. "The Agadir Crisis was intended to end either in the diplomatic humiliation of I Prance or in war." Winston Churchill was only one of a number of others who concurred in this interpretation. "It (the Agadir Crisis) had terminated in the diplomatic rebuff of Germany. Once more she had disturbed all Europe by a sudden 2 and menacing gesture." The importance of these suspicions of German intent ions, which now further coloured the minds of British and French leaders, may not be minimized, but it was as a clash between the two diplomatic groups of Powers that Agadir takes on significance in the play of forces before 1914. The Entente Cordials was given deeper meaning; during the days of tension resulting from the "coup" of Agadir it had grown in cohesion and strength. Nicolson was expressing the feeling of many in England and in France when he wrote on July 24, 1911,to Sir Edward Goschen, There is no disguising the fact that the situation is a serious and delicate one, and it is not simply a question as to whether the French will give such and such concessions to Germany, or whether the establishment of 1. Grey, op. cit.* I, 240. 2i Churchill, op*cit;, I, 65. For similar expressions of this view - Nicolson, op*cit;, 350-51; memorandum of Sir Eyre Crowe, January 14,1912^.D* ,711, Appendix III,p.284; memorandum by Mr* H;A. Gwynne, editor of the "Morning Post," July 25,1912, B.D. ,7II,p*795; poincare', Raymond, Memoirs * (London, 1926), I, 37-41. -174-Germany in such and such ports of Morocco is or is not a vital question for us. The whole question is whether we intend to maintain the Triple Entente, and I think that it is upon this broad ground that the situation should be viewed. (1) Whether the English leaders, and especially Sir Edward Grey, who has made such protestations to the contrary, would admit it or not, the Entente was being hardened into an alliance. In his speech of August 3, 1914, when discussing the Crisis of 1911, he explained "that he took precisely the same line that had been taken in 1906," at which time, "in my view public opinion in this country would have rallied to 3 the material support of France." France was to be supported diplomatically, and, if necessary, by arms. As Mr. Ewart points out, "the great significance of this attitude was, and, is,- that (as in 1914) the merits of the quarrel were immater-4 ial." Whether France or Germany was right, the British Government was determined to support France. Even before the French troops had arrived at Fez, on May 18, 1911, when talking with Count Metternich, Grey maintained, in the words of the Russian Ambassador, who reported this conversation on May S3, that France "was not only justified, but obliged to protect 1. Hleolson to Goschen, July 24, 1911, nicolson, op. cit., 350. S. Speech by Sir Edward Grey in the House of Commons, August 3, 1914; Grey,op.cit., II, appendix B, S97. 3. Ibid., 296. 4. Ewart, op. cit., II, 853. -175-the interests of the French, English and other foreigners in the capital of Morocco*" He made it clear to Metternich "that the Agreements between England and France imposed on England the obligation to support France." The German Ambassador did not oppose these arguments; he expressed thor oughly friendly sentiments, but pressed the contingency that the French occupation of Fez might' be of "considerable duration." In that case the hands of the Powers would be Treed. Sir Edward replied "that even in this case, the 1 English standpoint would remain unchanged." In his own report of this conversation sent to Sir Edward Goschen on May 18, Grey states that he told Metternich, "the question of Morocco was one in regard to which some of us were bound by Treaty engagements, which would of course come into * operation if difficulties arose. It was not like a general 2 question in which there were no special engagements." Relating further details of this cc-nversation,the Russian Ambassador reports, (and these he gained from Sir Edward himself), "Count Metternich had asked what the consequences would be if the Morocco Government came under French influence, and the Algeciras Aot were violated. Sir Edward replied, that, in the event of entanglements, all English obligations would 3 become •operative.*" After the Mansion House speech, the 1. Russian ambassador to london to Heratov, May 23, 1911, Siebert, op* cit., 583. 2. Grey to Goschen, May 18, 1911, B.D., VII, Ho.278, p.256. 3. Siebert, op. cit., 584. -176-Ambassador reported that "there is no use concealing the fact -one step further, and a war between England and Germany might 1 have broken out as a result of the Franco-German dispute." On August 16 the same Ambassador reported a conversation with Grey in which the latter stated, "in the event of war between 2 Germany and France, England would have to participate." To preserve the Entente with France, England had been drawn to the verge of war, and had the need arisen, would have plugged into war itself. With respect to this latter and very much more important steptit must be noted that England was prepared to mobilize not only her entire Fleet but also her Expeditionary 3 Army against Germany. The preparations made in anticipation of a conflict were far more advanced than was realized by British public opinion. Mr. Churchill tells how on July 25 Sir Edward Grey, after his interview with Count Metternich, stated to him, "I have just received a communication from the German Ambassador so stiff that the Fleet might be attacked at any moment. I have just sent for McKenna (head of the Admiralty) to warn him." The warning orders were then sent 4 to. the Fleet. 1. Russian Ambassador to London to Neratov, August 1, 1911, ibid., 595. 2. Ibid., 598. 3. Callwell, CE., Field-Marshall Sir Henry Wilson, (London, 1927),I,96ff. Wilson was Director of Military Operations. 4. Churchill, op. cit., I, 44. B.D., 711, Editor's Note to No.637, p.625. -177-As has been shown the Crisis was not settled until November. During the tense days of September Grey felt the danger, and on September 17 wrote to Nicolson: The negotiations with Germany may at any moment take an unfavourable turn, and if they do so, the Germans may act very quickly, even suddenly. The admiralty should remain prepared for this. It is what I have always said to McKenna. Our fleets should, therefore, always be in such a condition and position that they would welcome a German attack, if the Germans should decide on that suddenly. We should, of course, give the Admiralty news immediately of any unfavourable turn in the Franco-German negotiations. (1) It was not commonly known that from September 8 to September 22, in constant expectation of hostilities, the tunnels and bridges on the South-Eastern Railway were being patrolled day and night. And Nicolson's biographer tells us, "it was not until the morning of September 22, om the receipt of news from Berlin that Herr von Kiderlen was weakening, that Nicolson was able to give the word that a state of 'war prepar-2 edness* might be relaxed." The extent of the preparedness which had been maintained can be guaged from the letter Nicolson wrote to Lord Hardinge on September 14: I spent a week at Balmoral last week, but nothing very important occured during my visit. I was glad to find that the King is perfectly sound as regards foreign affairs. I have had some talks since my return with Haldane, Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill; I am glad to find that all three are perfectly ready - I might almost say eager - to face all possible eventualities, and most careful preparations have been made to meet any contingencies that may arise. These three have thoroughly grasped the point that it is not merely Morocco which is at stake. It really amounts to a question of whether we ought to submit to any dictation by Germany, whenever she considers it necessary to raise her voice. I may tell you in confidence that preparations for landing four or 1. Cited in Nicolson, op. cit., 346; also in B.D., VII. No.647, p.638. 8. Nlcblspn:,. p»p. cit., 346-47. -178-six divisions on the Continent have been worked out to the minutest detail* On the other hand, reports which we have received from our various military informants all point to the fact that the French army has never been in a better state of equipment, organization and armament, or been inspired by so strong a feeling of perfect confidence and unity.... (1) These preparations in both England and France were the being carried out along lines laid down byA General Staffs of the two countries cooperating the one with the other. The military and naval conversations begun in 1906 had been carried on down to the present Crisis. On July 20, after Kiderlen's demands proved unacceptable to the French, and the day before Lloyd George's Mansion House Speech, there took place at the French Ministry of War a Conference between General Wilson, the.Head of the Department for Military Operations of the English General Staff, and General Dubail, the French Chief of Staff. The purpose of their meeting was "to determine the new 1. Hicolson, op. cit., p.347. lord Haldane tells how he was prepared to mobilize the Expeditionary Force "to send it straight off to the Continent;" Autobiography, (London, 1929), 224-25. The details of military and naval preparations undertaken at this time are given in a memorandum by Brigadier-General Sir G.H. Hicolson drawn up on November 6, 1911. It is given in B*D., VII, Ho.639, pp.626-629. It is headed "action taken by the General Staff since 1906 in preparing a plan for rendering military assistance to France in the event of an unprovoked attack on that Power by Germany." Further light is given in Churchill's aooount, op. cit., I, 49-64. He gives a full account of the meeting of the Committee of Imperial Defense held on August 23, showing the difference between the military and naval points of view expressed there. See also Spender, Fifty Years of Europe, 337-38. in the matter of French preparations, Hicolson's summary given above is borne, out in^ispatches of Colonel Fairholme, the British Military Attache in Paris, given to Bertie and passed on to Grey. See B.D., VII, Ho.641, August 25, 1911 pp.632-34; Ho.643, September 2, 1911, pp.634-635; Ho.644 ' September 8, 1911, pp.635-37. ' -179-conditions for the participation of an English army in the operations of the French armies in the Horth-East in case of a war with Germany." It was definitely stated, as was usual in the earlier conversations, "that these conversations, devoid of all official character, cannot bind either Government in any way", and were aimed merely at planning for certain indispensable 1" preparatory measures. Six weeks after this meeting, aooording to Mr. Fay, General Dubail stated to the Russians, as if there were no doubt in the matter, that the French army was ready to take the offensive against Germany "with the aid of the English 2 army on its left wing." Members of Parliament were totally unaware of these preparations, preparations for dispatching men 3 to the Continent, or of the orders given to the Fleet. The events set forth in the pages of this ohapter must have made clear the manner in which the entente was being gradually transformed into what amounted to a virtual military 1. A memorandum of this matter is given in B.D., VII, 10.640, pp.629-632. See also Fay, op. cit., I, 291-92. Asquith himself expressed fear that the French might come to rely too much on English support. He wrote to Grey on September 5, 1911 as follows: "Conversations such as that between General Joffre and Colonel Fairholme seems to me rather dangerous, especially the part which refers to possible British assistance. The French ought not to be encouraged, in present circumstances, to make their plans on any assumptions of this kind." Grey's answer is of interest, written on September 8. He replied, "It would create consternation if we forbade our military experts to converse with the French. Ho doubt these conversations and our speeches have given an expectation of support. I do not see how it can be helped." Grey, op. cit., I, 95. 2. Fay, op. cit., I, 292. Lutz, Hermannm Lord Grey and the World War, (London, 1928), 90. 3. Conwell-Evans, T.P., Foreign Policy from a Back Bench, (London, 1932), 56. -180-alliance; how a gradual transition had taken place from the static to the dynamic state. It had become an alliance in almost everything but name. Britain, with Sir Edward Grey directing foreign affairs, was following a policy of which he was seemingly unaware, a policy which seems not to'vhave been clear to him, a policy he partially concealed and which he frequently repudiated, but yet nevertheless which he rigidly pursued. Great Britain had entered into entente relations with France. When disputes arose between that Power and Germany, Britain supported her diplomatically, and had it been demanded by the occasion, would have lent military assistance. Growing tension between England and Germany, along with her new friendship with Russia, the ally of France, made this entente policy of greater importance to Britain and even of greater necessity. Britain was definitely committed to that policy at the end of 1911, and Sir Edward was determined to continue in that path. In his speech to the House of Commons on November 27 he stated he was willing to enter into new friendships, but these must not be to the detriment of those already existing. He said: One does not make new friendships worth having by deserting old ones. New friendships by all means let us make, but not at the expense of the ones we have. I desire to do all I can to improve the relations with Germany, as I shall presently show. But the friendships we have have lasted now for some years, and it must be a cardinal point of improved relations with Germany that we do not sacrifice one of these.... We keep our friendships. We intend to retain them unimpaired, and the more we can do, so long as we can preserve that -181-position, so much the better, and we shall endeavour to do it." (1) He felt it was England's paramount duty to hold fast to the Entente. And this he continued to do during the last days before Armageddon. 1. B.D., 71, Ho.721, p.733. CHAPTER VI The Tightening of the Entente Cordiale, 1912-1913 -182-CHAPTER VI The Tightening of the Entente Cordiale, 1912-1913. The preceding chapter has shown how the Agadir Crisis was to prove a most important episode in the play of events which was preparing the way for the tremendous conflict soon to array in combat the nations of Europe. The Agreement concluded on November 4, 1911, between France and Germany can by no means be regarded as a reconciliation. France did not forgive Germany for what she chose to interpret as the Imperial Power*s policy of intimidation. Germany, on her side, resented the fact that France had proved less pliable in the negotiations than she had counted on. But her resent ment was vented more particularly upon Britain for having intervened in a Franco-German dispute, and for having forced oh Germany a diplomatic defeat. It was held that but for the British interference Germany could more easily have come to a settlement with France, and a settlement less damaging to German dignity and prestige. In England, despite the assurances and explanations of British policy during the Crisis which Sir Edward Grey offered in the House of Commons on November 27, there were many expressions of dissatisfaction from a public eager for peace; dissatisfaction which was aimed at the Government -183 when it was realized how close to the abyss of war the nation had been led. When first the Entente with France had been concluded the country as a whole had supported the new policy, rejoicing in the hope that it meant the end of dangerous quarrels with the Republic, But after Agadir it was realized that in some mysterious way the nature of the Entente had changed, and that it was bringing new dangers to peace and making relations with Germany more difficult. Mr. J.l. Hammond, in his life of CP. Scott of the "Manchester Guardian," points out how at this time many Liberals turned against Grey's conduct of the Entente policy, suspecting that it was being transformed into 1 "something sinister." Three main objections were stressed by those who were protesting against the direction in which British foreign policy was pointing; England was seemingly being tied dangerously to French ambition, the resulting tension with Germany was leading to a great naval expenditure, and the rights of weaker peoples, like those of Morocoo and Persia, were being disregarded. Whether or not these objections were valid, or whether or not those who put them forward understood fully the difficulties of the international situation which faced the Foreign Office and which had led those in charge there to lean so heavily in favour of the Entente, cannot be discussed here. Whatever might be argued in this regard, 1. Hammond, J.L., CP. Scott of the "Manchester Guardian," (London, 1934), 149ff. -184-nevertheless the objections to Grey's policy were vigorously set forth in the press, and especially in the Liberal journals. The "Manchester Guardian" was most outspoken in its criticism, but it was by no means alone in the views it expressed. Mr. Hammond states: Seldom, indeed, has a Government or Minister encountered such skilled and such severe criticism from political opponents as Grey encountered from his political friends .... The Liberal Foreign Secretary found himself depending almost entirely on Conservative support, a support often embarrassing and misleading, for among Liberal writers his only steady advocate was Mr. J.A. Spender, the able and experienced editor of the "Westminster Gazette." (1) Some measure of the extent of the opposition in the House of Commons to the foreign policy of the Government is revealed in the papers of Mr. Noel-Buxton, in 1911 a private member of the' House, and later a cabinet minister. He reveals how a number of the Liberal Party, alarmed by the Agadir Crisis, were roused to consider ways and means of effecting some control, however slight, over the policy which Grey, Asquith and Haldane were developing, a policy with which, it was felt, Parliament was not kept sufficiently in touch. Accordingly, Mr. Hoel-Buxton and Mr. Arthur Ponsonby )later Lord Ponsonby) organized a Foreign Affairs Group of the Liberal Party, the aims of which were to establish a more effective contact with the policy of the Foreign Office, and especially,to improve AngEoHGeafman 1. Hammond, J.L.* op. cit., 150-51. Ensor, R.C.K., England, 1870-1914, (London, 1936), Appendix C, 578-74, gives an interesting study of Grey's relationship to the Liberals. -185-1 relations. The first resolution of the group read: This meeting of the Liberal Foreign Affairs Group views with great concern the relations of Great Britain and Germany, regards with disapproval any policy which might seek to oppose the legitimate aspirations of Bermany, and urges upon H.M. Government the necessity 2 of taking action with a view to reaching an understanding. This opposition was not sufficiently serious to threaten the position of the Government, but Mr. Asquith and Sir Edward Grey perceived that the only way to satisfy public opinion was to do everything possible to appease relations with the Germany, if this could be done without endangering eitherAAnglo-French Entente or British naval supremacy. The Ministers hoped that with the settlement of the Agadir question a new chapter would be opened. It was felt that efforts should be made to heal the smarts from which Germany might be suffering, and to 3 arrive at a common understanding on the matter of naval strength. This task was to be made easier by the fact that certain members of the German Government entertained similar 1. Gonwell-Evans, T.P. * Foreign Policy From a Back Bench, 1904-1918, (London, 1932), 81. This study is based on the papers of Lord Hoel Buxton. 2. Ibid., 82-83. Meetings of the Group continued at frequent intervals. Mr. Phillip Mprrel became Chairman in 1913, and Mr. Ponsonby in 1914. The outbreak of the War brought the organization to an end. The Committee, says Mr. Conwell-Evans, failed in its purpose. "Few of the members exerted themselves with sufficient vigour. They were in general too easily satisfied and lulled into tranquillity by the soothing speeches of the Foreign Secretary, and by the misleading assurances of the Prime Minister." 84. 3. Spender, Asquith, II, 64. Churchill, op. cit., 95. Halevy, E., A History of the English People, 1895-1915, (London, 1934), II, 557. Russian Ambassador in London to Heratov, February 28, 1912, Siebert, op. cit*, 614-18. Kuhlman, in London, to the Chancellor, January 8 1912 Dugdale, op. cit., IV, 56. ' -186-sentiments. It has been shown how Bethmann-Hollweg, impressed by the persistence with which Count Metternich urged from London a policy of caution on his government in the matter of the naval programme, had favoured a rapprochement. A previous chapter revealed how negotiations had been opened in 1909 and had continued until they were broken off at the time of the 1 Agadir Crisis. The Emperor now consented to the reopening of these negotiations:,; though he had little faith in their resulting in success. The negotiations which took place in the first half of 1912 were opened by two business men, Albert Ballin, the head of the Hamburg-American Line, and Sir Ernest Cassel, a rich and influential London banker, eaeh of whom was "persona grata" with his own Government, and each anxious to bring about better understanding between the two nations. These two constituted themselves unofficial diplomats early In 1918, and their work paved the way for the Haldane Mission. Ballin suggested that Mr. Winston Churchill, who had succeeded Mr. McKenna as First Lord of the Admiralty, should come to Berlin. Mr. Churchill answered on January 7, 1912, 2 that it would be inexpedient for him to make a special journey. Mr. Churchill referred the matter to Sir Edward Grey and Lloyd George, and with the concurrence of the Prime Minister, it was agreed to send Cassel to Berlin with a special memorandum. >1. Supra 147-49. 2. Churchill to Cassell, January 7, 1912, B.D.,VI,No.492, p.666. •187-1 Sir Ernest, through Ballin, saw the Kaiser and the Chancellor, and returned home bringing a cordial letter, and a statement from Bethmann-Hollweg of the newly proposed German Havy Law. It was suggested that Sir Edward Grey should visit Berlin as the most effectual way of bringing negotiations to a successful 2 conclusion. Sir Edward replied to the German offer through Cassel that if the German naval expenditure could be so arranged by a modification of the rate of construction, or in some other way so as to render unnecessary any serious increase of British naval expenditures, "the British Government will be prepared at once to pursue negotiations, on the understanding, that the point of naval expenditure is open to discussion and that there is a fair prospect of settling it favourably." If this under standing proved acceptable to Germany, a British Minister would go to Berlin. Bethmann replied that this was acceptable, provided England gave adequate guarantees of a friendly orientation ot her general policy. "The Agreement would have to give expression to a statement that both Powers agreed to participate in no plans, combinations or warlike engagements 3 directed against either Power." Grey was unwilling to accept the invitation for himself to go to Berlin, and it was arranged that Mr. Haldane, 1. Memorandum by the Chancellor, January 29, 1912, Dugdale, op. cit., IV, 71. 8. Grey to Goschen, February 7, 1912; B.D., VI, Ho.497, pp.668-69. 3. Fay, op* cit;, I, 301-02; Churchill, op. cit*, 96-100. •188 1 the Minister of War, should undertake the mission. Mr. Haldane arrived in Berlin on February 8, 1912. The details of the discussions which followed his 2 arrival need not be set forth in this study. Haldane has given a full account of what took place in his book, "Before 3 the War." He was cordially received in Berlin, where he held conversations with the Kaiser, Bethmann and Tirpitz. After the general field of Anglo-German relations was surveyed, colonial and marine problems were discussed. The Kaiser declared himself ready, if a political agreement could be reached, to renounce the building of a new ship in 1912, and to delay the three new ships Germany proposed building in 1912, 1914 and 1916, until 1913, 1916 and 1919. The British Minister welcomed this suggestion and attempted to work out 1. His reasons are given in Grey, op. cit., I, 250-52; Grey to Goschen, February 7, 1912, B.D., VI, Ho.497, pp.668-69. This dispatch tells why Mr. Haldane was chosen. It was convenient for Mr. Haldane to undertake the mission. He was Chairman of a University Committee on scientific education, and was at this time planning to go to Berlin with his brother, Professor Haldane, to make some studies on that subject. It was felt he could at the same time enter upon a frank exchange of views with the German Chancellor to discover if there was a favourable prospect for negotiations to improve the relations of the two countries. 2. Grey informed the French and Russian ambassadors of the undertaking and also of what took place at Berlin. In the negotiations which followed Haldanefs return the Russian and French Governments were kept informed of . developments. From the British and French documents we learn that the French Government was most uneasy at the prospect of an Anglo-German understanding. 3. Also, Diary of Lord Haldane's visit to Berlin, B.D., VI, Ho.506, pp.676-684; Reports of the conversations by William II and the Chancellor are given in Dugdale, op. cit., IV, 74-76. See also Bethmann-Hollweg, Th.von, Reflections on the World War, (London,1920),47ff. -189-with the Chancellor the formula for a political agreement. The Chancellor, however, wanted a promise of benevolent neutrality from England, and of help in localizing a conflict in the event of one of the Parties being involved in a war with one or several opponents. Such a proposal, Haldane aaw, was too far-reaching for his Government. It would preclude England from coming to the assistance of France should Germany attack her and aim at getting possession of such ports as 1 Dunkirk, Calais and Boulogne. Furthermore, such a formula might hamper England in discharging her treaty obligations to Belgium, Portugal and Japan. He offered, instead of the German proposal, a much more modified formula - that neither of the contracting Parties should make an unprovoked attack on the other, nor join any coalitions designed against the other. This did not satisfy the Chancellor. A new formula had to be formed. In colonial matters it was easier to come to a tentative agreement, which, however, was not to be regarded as binding on either. In the matter of the Portuguese colonies Germany was to get Angola, and England Timor; Germany might buy the Belgian Congo, in return for granting a right of way to the Cape-to-Cairo Railway. It was further indicated that England might cede to Germany Zanzibar and Pemba in the event of a satisfactory arrangement being arrived at in the matter of the final sector of the Bagdad Railway. 1. Asquith, The Genesis of the War, 56-57. -190-Haldane returned to London bringing with, him the drafts for a political and colonial agreement. The Kaiser had given him as well the draft of the new German Haval Law to show privately to his colleagues, although its contents had not yet been revealed to the Reichstag. When the British leaders studied the new Naval Law they found it much less to their liking than they had anticip ated it would be. It provided not only for three new capital ships, but at the same time there was to be a greater increase in personnel and in the number of minor craft. To meet this new programme would involve England in tremendous expenditures during the next few years. It was agreed by the Cabinet that Grey should inform Count Metternich of the grave difficulties which these naval proposals put in the way of the desired rapprochement, and point out that for any political agreement to be made at a time when both countries were making increased 1 naval expenditures was an impossibility. There were diffic ulties also in the matter of a colonial agreement. The settlement reached in this problem would depend on the settle ment of the naval estimates. Hence Grey suggested the latter 2 point should be discussed first. The Kaiser and Chancellor felt that Grey was how changing the basis for negotiations agreed upon in Berlin with Haldane; he was, they felt, shifting from the neutrality 1. Memorandum by Grey, February 22, 1912, B.B.,71, Ho.523, pp.696-97. 2. Brandenburg, op. cit., 408; Fay, op. cit., I, 309; 191-agreement, and. giving priority to a criticism of the Naval 1 law. Meanwhile, negotiations continued in london through Metternich. But there was little chance of suocess. The problems of the neutrality agreement and naval limitation proved stumbling blocks. On March 29 Grey informed Metternich that the English Government could not accept the German neutrality formula. The British were offering in its place a more restricted formula, which Germany, in her turn, rejected, feeling that it gave no satisfactory security against war 2 with England. To avoid severing communications altogether, the proposal was revived as to the possibility of a periodical exchange of information on the progress of ships under const-3 ruction; and the discussion of colonial questions - the African colonies, the Bagdad Railway, Persia - was continued in the hope that an understanding on special points might prepare the ground for a compromise agreement later on. The negotiations for a treaty of neutrality and for a reduction of the fleets was considered to have failed. On April 15 the German Naval law was submitted to the Reichstag where it was accepted on 1. Memorandum communicated by Metternich, March 6, 1912, B.D., VI, No.529, pp.704-06. 2. Grey to Goschen, March 29, 1912, B.D., VI, No.557, p.730; also March 15, 1912, No.539, pp*714-15. Pay, op. cit., I, 311, Brandenburg, op. cit., 413. 3. In this less difficult field mutually satisfactory agreements were worked out, and were complete for signatures on the eve of the War. -192-1 May 14. The Haldane Mission had proven a failure - neither of the two great questions, which loomed so large in the minds of the Governments had been solved - the two questions which constituted the essence of the negotiations. Britain had failed to achieve a slackening in the pace of German naval construction, and Germany had failed to obtain her objective, a promise of English neutrality. Britain might claim in accounting for the failure that Germany*s terms were too onerous. In reply, Germany could answer that England was asking of her too great a sacrifice in demanding that she regulate her fleet, not in accordance with the standard she regarded as necessary to protect her commerce and uphold her prestige, but by the standard prescribed by the security and 2 prestige of a foreign power. 1. On March 18, Mr. Churchill had laid before the British Parliament the Havy Estimates, providing for two keels to every additional German one, and for the other greatly increased naval expenditures which he had threatened as England*s reply to the expected Herman Haval law. The Atlantic Fleet would be moved from Gibraltar to Home Waters and replaced at Gibraltar by the Mediterranean ships which had hitherto had their base at Malta. He indicated, however, that if Germany made no increase neither would England. He did not make this proposal officially to Germany however, Churchill, op. cit., 107ff; Fay, op. cit., I, 311. A year later, on March 26, 1913 Mr. Churchill made an appeal to Germany for a "naval holiday," a cessation of new construction for twelve months, but this evoked no response. Asquith, op. cit., 102. 2. Halevy, op. cit., II, 572. -193-But in this particular study, the great importance of the failure of the Mission is that it reveals, among other facts, the solidarity with which Britain was clinging to her Entente policy. Polncare's boast, as reported by Isvolsky, that he had wrecked the negotiations by bringing pressure to 1 bear on Sir Edward Grey, seems to be a gross exaggeration. But there can be no doubt that Grey's rejection of Germany's proposals of neutrality was based upon French feeling. He was quite definite in his opinion that the friendship of France was too high a price to pay for German friendship. On May 26, 1911, when invited by the Prime Minister to give before a meeting of the Committee of Imperial Defense to which Dominion delegates to the Imperial Conference were invited, "an exposition, comprehensive and strictly confiden-2 tial," of the international situation, he had stated as an important point in his policy: We must make it a cardinal condition in all our negotiations with Germany that if we come to any understanding with Germany of a public kind which puts us on good relations with Germany, it must be an understanding which must not put us back into the old bad relations with France and Russia. That means to say that if we publicly make friendship with Germany, it must be a friendship in which we take our existing friends in Europe with us. (3) From a report of the German Ambassador in London, of March 17, 1912, we learn: 1* Infra 201 and note 5. 2. Asquith, op. cit., 121. 3. Extract from the Minutes of the Committee of Imperial Defense at a Meeting of May 26, 1911, B.D., VI, Appendix V, p.783. -194-Th. e Minister (Sir Edward Grey) said he would frankly tell me why the British Government objected to incorporating the word "neutral" or "neutrality" in the treaty. With regard to the proposal for a treaty, Sir Edward Grey said he must consider not only relations with Germany, but also those with other countries. The British Government must reckon with the facts of Germany's growing naval power, which would be considerably increased by the projected Navy Bill* Therefore Great Britain could not jeopar dize her existing friendships. A direct neutrality treaty would most certainly irritate French sensibility, which the British Government must avoid. Sir Edward Grey could not go so far as to imperil the friendship. with France. (1) That the maintenance of cordial entente relations with France was the pivotal factor in the conduct of British foreign policy is further emphasized by Grey's Memoirs, where he states in telling of the plans for the Haldane Mission; I always felt that the pro-German element here had a right to demand that our foreign policy should go to the utmost point that it could to be friendly to Germany. That point would be passed only when something was proposed that would tie us to Germany and break the Entente with France. (2) These previous paragraphs prove beyond doubt that Britain's membership in the Entente contributed very largely to the failure of the negotiations begun by the visit of Haldane to Berlin. But what is of infinitely greater importance, 1. Cited in Ewart, op. cit., I, 174* 2. Grey, op. cit., I, 252. For further evidence that the British Foreign Office was determined to make no political understanding or neutrality agreement with Germany which would in any way limit England's freedom to aid France, see Grey to Goschen, May 5, 1911, B.D., VT, Ho.361, p.479; Hicolson to Hardinge, April 11, 1911, Ho.461, p.621; the minute of Sir Eyre Crowe, March 3, 1913, pp.702-03; and after the failure of the Haldane Mission, Goschen to Hicolson, April 20, 1912, Ho.579, p.750, and Grey to Hicolson, April 31, 1913, Ho.580 'p.751 -195-the failure of the negotiations reacted in turn upon Britain's Entente policy, reacted in such a manner, that she made further decisions in favour of the Entente, which gave more rigid form and more solid substance to its rather nebulous relationship. After the negotiations had admittedly broken down, when speaking in the House of Commons on July 10, 1912, the Foreign Secretary took the occasion to reaffirm his attachment to the Entente. He said: The starting point of any new development in European foreign policy is the maintenance of our friendship with France and Russia. Taking that as our starting point, let us have the best possible relations with other countries. (1) During the same debate, Mr. Bonar law, leader of the Opposition, made a statement in this regard, worthy of note: The right honourable Gentleman said tonight that the Triple Entente - the good understanding with France and Russia - should be the starting point of our foreign policy. I prefer to say that it is the keynote of our foreign policy The strength of this particular part of our foreign policy is this: It is not the policy of that Government, it was not the policy of their predecessors; or it was equally the policy of their predecessors. What is far more important, it is the policy which is necessitated by the facts of the situation. It is the national policy of this country. It was really for the purpose of saying this that I have taken part in the debate. It is the policy of country, and if the party to which I belong is ever returned to power, it will equally be the policy of that party. (2) 1. Cited in Ewart, op. cit*, I, 175. 2. Ibid., 176. -196-The feeling that Britain was now attached more definitely than ever to the Entente was also keenly felt in Berlin. On June 7, 1912, the Russian Charge there telegraphed to his Foreign Office: Hot the fact of the conclusion of an alliance between England and France makes itself felt, but rather the circumstance that the Germans have been finally convinced that England is now turning away from the possibility of a rapprochement with Germany - a rapprochement which Germany in truth passionately desired. (1) Although the Haldane conversations, and the negotiat ions which followed had failed to establish an Anglo-German agreement, and although the French had been kept informed of 2 what was transpiring while the negotiations were in progress, and given every assurance that no action prejudicial to the 3 Entente would be considered, the negotiations had caused great uneasiness in Paris. This was especially true in the case of Mr. Raymond Poincare. He had come to power in the French Government immediately after the Agadir Crisis at the head of a nationalist Ministry. Although Britain had supported France during the Crisis of 1911, he was most anxious to tighten 4 relations between the two nations. The actions of Germany in Moroccan affairs in 1905 and 1911, her support of Austria in the Bosnian Crisis of 1908, fcnd the bellicose gestures of the Kaiser had aroused in a small 1. Siebertv op. cit., 644. 2. Poincare, op. cit., I, 80-82. Grey, op. cit., I, 251* 3. B.D., VI, numbers, 498,499,504,505,509,513,514,525,540, 550,556,558,559,564, and D.D.F. 3e serie, II, Numbers 9 4,12,30,35,105,119. 4. Poincare', op. cit., I, 71. -197-1 group of French leaders a new national spirit. The feeling had been created by 1911 that France had suffered long enough from the German "menace." There had grown up a determination that in the future, if Germany should make a new threat of force, it would be better to risk a war than accept a new humiliation. The desire for "revanche," and the recovery of Alsace-Lorraine had been revived anew. This new national spirit of determination and self-confidence had been fostered also by the assurance of English friendship, and the conviction that in the event of a Franco-German conflict the support of Britain could be counted upon. It was not that these French leaders wanted war, any more than did the mass of the French people, but if Germany in her desire for the hegemony of Europe, should attempt again to use the "mailed fist" it was felt it would be better to fight than to yield. And the long-felt suspicion of Germany had led French leaders to feel sure that Germany, in line with what was interpreted as her aggressive designs of the past, would most certainly attempt 2 some new threat in the future. This, then, created the feeling that war was "inevitable." France would have to fight; France must prepare for such a day by increasing her army and navy at home, and by further cementing her friendships with Great 3 Britain and Russia. 1. Sohmitt, B.E., Triple Alliance and Triple Entente (New York, 1934), 94. 2. Ibid., 93. 3. Fay, op. cit., I, 312-16. -198-This new feeling was personified in M. Poincare', and the small group with which he was associated. He was not only the embodiment of the "reveil national,1' but by his determination, firmness and ability, he, more than any other man, did most to strengthen and stimulate it. One of the first tasks to which he gave himself was the establishment 1 of closer relationships with England. While Poincare was anxious to strengthen the Entente, his feeling was shared by a good many people in England, who, with the failure of the Haldane negotiations, began to make themselves articulate in this view, and to express the opinion that the bonds with France should be drawn still more closely. Previous pages have shown how anxious the Government was to preserve the Entente, and if there were many who desired better relations with Germany, there was this most active group which desired even closer relations with the Republic. The "Morning Post," the "Daily Express," the "Spectator," the "Daily Graphic," the "Observer," and the "Pall Mall Gazette" conducted a campaign to transform the Entente into 2 an alliance. On May 31, 1912 the Russian Ambassador wrote from London in this connection: 1. Poincare, op.cit. ,1*71. For a year Poincare directed French foreign policy as prime minister. He was then elected President of the Republic, in which office he continued to exert a powerful influence on foreign affairs as well as on domestic policies. 2. Halevy,op.cit.,11,565; M.Fleuriau, Charge d'Affaires of France in London to Poincare', May 30,1912, D.D.F., 3Qserie, III, Ho.56, pp*76-77, and Ho.57, pp.78-79. -199-I have sent you lately various newspaper articles, dealing with a question which is very important in itself, but which, as far as I know, has so far been discussed only by the Press - i.e., the question of an alliance between England and France. I think that this press campaign has been the indirect result of various articles published in the "Times" and written by its military correspondent, Colonel Repington, who is himself one of the most convinced adherents of the Entente of England with France and Russia. These articles referred to England's military position in the Mediterr anean, which has been rather weakened since the withdrawal of the British Squadron,(1) and which is not, in the belief of a considerable part of the British public, sufficiently secured by substituting a French squadron, as long as the relations of the two countries are based upon an entente and not an alliance. (2) In his report of June 2, 1912, the same official wrote* I should not like to' assert, that the majority of the nation has already been won for an alliance with Franoe. Things do not move so fast in England, but, roused by a certain part of the British public, which from various, undefined, and not always patriotic reasons, begins to incline towards Germany, this majority is beginning to feel a certain anxiety, and believes that a policy based exclusively on ententes is not wholly satisfactory; (3) Sir Francis Bertie, the British Ambassador in Paris, seems to have shared these views. On March 27, 1912, he had taken a rather curious step. Although no concessions had been made to Germany, and although the negotiations at that date had virtually broken down, he appears to have been alarmed, and evidently fearing that Sir Edward Grey might be influenced 1. Incident to the growth of the German navy which had made necessary the strengthening of the British Home Fleet. Supra. 2. Siebert, op. cit., 640-42; Sir Henry Wilson favoured an Alliance; Callwell, op. cit., 112-13. 3. Siebert, op. cit., 642-43. -200-by members of the Cabinet such as Loreburn, Harcourt and others, who were more eager for an understanding with Germany, and who might make trouble if they learned of the Anglo-French military and naval conversations of which they had not as yet been.made aware, he called on M. Poincare, quite privately and unofficially, and asked leave to speak "as though he were not 1 an ambassador." He suggested to M. Poincare that he would do well to point out firmly to Sir Edward Grey the dangers involved in any neutrality agreement with Germany. "It is essential," he declared, "that Cambon express his dissatis faction. If you will only employ firm language in London, 2 the false step I dread will not be taken." 1. Poincare', dp. cit.,I, 85. Wolff, Theodor, The Eve of 1914, (New York, 1936), 109-110, suggests that Bertie's action might have been inspired by Nicolson, or by "other opponents of the Liberal pacifists at home." 2. Poincare' to Cambon, March 28, 1912, D.D.F., 3© serie, II, No. 269, pp.264-65; Poincar^, op. cit.,I, 86. A dispatch from Bertie to Grey giving an account of an interview he held with Poincare on March 27 contains no hint of this conversation; B.D., VI, No.564, pp. 736-37. Bertie, pro-French as he was, was suspicious of, and opposed to, the Haldane Mission from the beginning of the undertaking. On February 11, 1912, he wrote to Nicolson; "I think that the Haldane Mission, which it was absurd and of no use to surround with mystery, is a foolish move, intended I suppose to satisfy the Grey-must-go radicals. It certainly creates suspicion here, not with Poincare and perhaps not with those of the Ministry who are in his confidence, but with many political people. We ought to bear in mind, that in any territorial arrangements or exchanges which we may make with the Germans we may injure the interests of our friends if not our own. The French consulted us in the course of their negotiations with the Germans whether we wouldv have any objection to certain cessions of territory including islands. We ought to act similarly in regard to the French if there be questions of cessions of British territories to Germany. It is evident that the German Government whatever they may pretend to us will not abate their intention to compete with us at sea. The more dignified course for -201-Poincare welcomed this suggestion of Sir Francis; it was entirely in accord with Ms own views. Accordingly, he at once sent an energetic dispatch to Cambon to the effect 1 proposed. Cambon presented the substance of this dispatch to 2 Grey on March .29. This happened to be the very date on which the British Cabinet finally decided to give a negative answer 3 to the German Chancellor's neutrality formula. Although Cambon's interview with Grey preceded the Cabinet meeting of 4 that day, it was not his interview which had the decisive 5 effect on the Cabinet decision. That decision had already 6 been arrived at. In view of the very evident determination of the British leaders from the outset not to concede to any neutrality agreement which would limit British freedom in taking 7 sides with France, and in view of the fact that even before March 29 negotiations had virtually broken down, it is not true us would be not to waste words, but to go on in increasing ratio, to construct against the German building programmes. Any undertaking given to us by the German Government would not be -observed in the spirit as would any engagements entered into by us. We have many examples of this...." B.D., op. cit., VI, No.509, pp.687-88. 1. Poincare' to Cambon, March 28, 1912, D.D.F., 3e seriell, No. 269, p. 265. 2. Cambon to Poincare, March 29, 1912, D.D.F., 3e seVie, II, No. 271, pp.266-67; B.D. VI, No. 559, p. 731. 3. Grey to Goschen, March 29, 1912, B.D., VI, No. 559, p. 730. 4. Cambon to Poincare, March 29, 1912, D.D.F., 3e serie II, No. 271, p. 267. 5. According to Isvolsky, Poincare' boasted of having wrecked the negotiations with Germany by bringing pressure to bear on the British leaders: Un Livre Noir (Paris, 1922), I, 365-66; op. cit., 133-34, 394-95. 6. Cambon to Poincare', March 29, 1912, D.D.F., 3e serie, No. 271, p. 267. Grey to Bertie, March 29, 1912, B.D., VI, No.559, p.731. Woodward, E.L., Great Britain and the German Navy, (London, 1935),360. 7. Supra 190-91. -202-to say that this interview did weigh heavily in determining 1 the British policy. M. Poincare' was now impelled to endeavour to secure from England a binding statement in writing. The plan of Mr. Churchill to with draw British ships from the Mediterranean for a stronger concentration of the fleet in home waters against Germany, which was fore-shadowed in his speech on March 18, had aroused lively discussion not only in the 2 British, but also in the French press. It was seen that if Britain withdrew her forces from the Mediterranean and protect ed the north coast of France against the possibility of a German attack, France could, in return for this protection, withdraw her fleet from Brest, and look after British interests, 3 as well as her own, in the Mediterranean. It was in this connection that many British papers were urging that the 4 Entente should be extended into a defensive alliance. The French Government felt the time was now ripe to 5 attempt to work out a more precise agreement. In reviewing the situation M.- Paul Cambon was summoned from London to 1. Mr. Barnes believes that it was the influence of Poincare which led to the British refusal; op. cit., 133-34, 394-95. 2. Supra 198-99; Poincare', op. cit., I, 111; Fay, op. cit., I, 318. 3. Schmitt, Triple Alliance and Triple Entente, 96. 4. "The only alternative to the constant menace of war is a new system of precise alliance," in the "London Daily Express," May 27, 1912, cited in Fay, op. cit., I, 319. 5. Poincare', op. cit., I, 87-88. -203-attend their deliberations. He returned to London on April 14, and on the following day visited Sir Arthur Hicolson at the 1 Foreign Office. Hicolson has recorded their conversation in 2 a minute of some length. M. Cambon first reviewed AnglO-French relations as far back as 1905, pointing out the main develop ments in the forming of the Entente. In reviewing the situation of the moment he stressed the danger in the Agadir Crisis and French fears of future relations with Germany. His Government, he said, was not sure, "as to how far France could count upon British support in the event of any difficulties with Germany." He went on to say: In these circumstances, M. Poincare considered that it was necessary to take stock of the position of France, and to see on what outside assistance she could rely when the moment arrived* It was evident that the attitude of England was a very important factor, and the recent endeavours of Germany to neutralize her clearly indicated that England was regarded as the Power which held largely the balance for or against peace. Were Germany assured that England would remain neutral, her hands would be free for dealing with France. Were she in doubt, she would hesitate. But it was of great importance to France also to be assured what would be the attitude of England, and if she could count on her. M. Poincarl was anxious to be clear in his mind on that point, and the very recent assurances and commuhications which he had reoeived from H.M. Government had not been sufficiently clear and precise thoroughly to satisfy and enlighten him. (3) Hicolson answered that, in a question of such importance, he naturally could give only his personal opinion. He assured the French Ambassador, that he, personally, was a 1. Cambon to Poincare, April 18,1912,D.D.F., 3e II,Ho.362, pp.369-71; Hicolson, op.cit., 267. 2. Minute by Sir Arthur Hicolson April 15,1912, B.D., VI, Ho.576, pp.747-49; Hicolson, op.cit*, 267-69. 3. Hicolson, op. cit., 268-69. -204-warm adherent of the understanding with France, and that "no one would be hetter pleased than himself if it were strengthened." But there were many factors which had to be taken into consideration. He first of all doubted if the British Government would be at all disposed to tie their hands in any possible contingency. "They would," he felt sure, "desire to preserve complete liberty of action." Then, it must be remembered, among large sections of the community there was a strong feeling, which was shared possibly by some members of the Government, that an understanding should be arrived at with Germany. In view of these circumstances, Hicolson said; If, at this moment, France were to come forward with proposals so to reshape our understanding, as to give it more or less the character of an alliance, I felt pretty sure that neither the Government as a whole nor large sections of British public opinion would be disposed to welcome such proposals, which would be regarded by many as offering umbrage and a challenge to Germany. It would be far wiser to leave matters as they were; and not to strain an understanding which was at present generally popular, and did not by itself afford the slightest 1 reason to any other country to resent or to demur to it. This important minute, which analyses so lucidly the British policy of that time, was sent to the Prime Minister and to the Foreign Secretary. That Hicolson had correctly interpreted the policy of his Government is revealed by the answers received from Asquith and Grey. The former replied on 1. Hicolson, op;cit.,269. For some reason the French and English kept Russia in the dark in the matter of these negotiations. Denials that negotiations were undertaken were made to the Russian ambassadors in London and Paris by Hicolson and Poincare. Siebert, op. cit., 641 and 644. -205-April 18, "I entirely approve the language used by Sir 1 Arthur Nicolson." Sir Edward wrote on April 21: You could have taken no other line with Cambon except what you did take. I shall have to say the same; I shall however, impress upon him that although we cannot bind ourselves under all circumstances to go to war with France against Germany, we shall also not bind ourselves to Germany not to assist France* (2) Thus, the endeavour of the French to ascertain to just what extent they could rely on British assistance was checked by the refusal of the British Government to commit 3 themselves in advance to any binding engagement. The attempt was to be renewed again in the fall. But although the British had rejected the French overtures in the spring of 1912, a few weeks after their rejection, circumstances arose which led the Cabinet to make certain dispositions and arrangements in the fleet which in effect committed Great Britain to intervention in any war between Franoe and Germany. Mr. Spender, in his "Fifty Years of Europe," referring to these naval arrangements, emphasizes 1. Minute to No*577, B.D., VI, p.749. 2. Grey to Nicolson, April 21,1912, B.D.VI,No*580, p.751. 3. M. Poincare's answer to Cambon's summary of the conver sation with Nicolson is of interest. He wrote: "The conversation you had with the Under-Secretary will have certainly enlightened the British Government as to the price we attach to the Entente Cordiale, and which we would wish to see affirmed in writing so that its existence could not be doubted. I am glad to learn that Mr^ Nicolson shares personally in this opinion." Poincare to Cambon, April 30, 1912, D.D.F., 3fe serie, II, Ho.396, p.414. -206-their importance when he says, "If there is one link in the long chain of fate or circumstances compelling Britain and France to stand together upon which we can lay our finger and 1 say that here the decision was taken, it is this." What was this important .move? In May, 1912, Mr. Churchill, accompanied by Mr. Asquith, had visited Malta to confer with General Kitchener as to the situation in Egypt and the British position in the Mediterranean. Upon their return, Churchill announced more definitely in Parliament on July 22, when introducing a Supplementary Naval Estimate, the plan of the Admiralty for withdrawing ships from the Mediterranean for concentration in the North Sea, which act had been foreshadowed in his 2 earlier speech of March 18. At the same time he proposed to the French Naval Attache a draft plan for the cooperation of 3 British and French fleets. The French, however, hesitated to accept this plan, because Churchill had drafted with it a eautious preamble, stating that the plan was in no way to affect the liberty of action of either Party - a statement, in the eyes of the French, which robbed the proposed concert 4 of action of its value. 1. Spender, Fifty Years, 384. 2. Supra* 7 f 3. French Naval Attache in london to Delcasse, July 18,1912, D.D.F*, 3e serie, III, No.207, pp.270-72. Renouvin, P., Conversations Between the General Staffs on the Eve of War, Studies in Anglo-French History, Coville and Temperley, editors,164; Poincare, op.cit.,I, 110-111; Porter, op.cit.,303. 4. Cambon to Poincare, September 21,1912,D.D.F., 3e serie,III, No.431,p.524,No*448,p.544. Poincare7, op.cit., I, 111. 207-Consistently adhering to their policy of making sure that their hands would be free, the British were exceedingly anxious to avoid a binding written agreement. But, even though there was no written agreement, of which they were so afraid, an arrangement by which Britain would withdraw her Mediterranean fleet to the North Sea, while the French would shift their fleet from Brest to Toulon, was most dangerous; in fact it would contain all the elements of limiting British freedom of action, in so far as it would of necessity create an obligation on the part of Britain to protect the northern coast of France .1 in the case of that country being engaged in a war. Mr. Churchill, himself, was keenly aware of the obligation which would thus be created. He perceived that the French would be encouraged to count upon British assistance, which fact would virtually create the obligation upon England, and thus limit 2 England's freedom of action. Despite the dangers inherent in such a policy, the Cabinet decided in August that naval conversations should take place between the French and British admiralties, conversations similar to those which had been held since 1906 between the 3 General Staffs. Mr. Harold Hicolson, in his father's biography, states that few of the Cabinet realized the vital importance 4 of the move at the time. But when the step was decided upon 1. Trevelyan, op. cit., 217. 2. Churchill, op. cit., 114-16. 3. Ibid., 115. 4. Hicolson, op. cit., 271. -208-it was not without warnings from Mr. Churchill. In his "World Crisis" he tells how he fully realized that "the moral claims which France could make upon Great Britain if attacked hy Germany, whatever we had stipulated to the contrary, were 1 enormously extended*" He set forth the dangers of such a policy in a minute of August 23 to Sir Edward Grey and the 2 Prime Minister. He tells how difficult the negotiations were; 3 but adds,"We did our utmost to safeguard ourselves." The technical naval discussions could only be conducted on the basis that the French Fleet should be concentrated in the Mediterranean, and that in case of a war in which both countries took part, it would fall to the British fleet to defend the Northern and Western coasts of France. The French,, as I had foreseen, naturally raised the point that if Great Britain did not take part in the war, their Northern and Western coasts would be completely exposed. We, however, while recognizing the difficulty steadfastly declined to allow the naval arrangements to bind us in any political sense. It was eventually agreed that if there was any menace of war, the two Governments should consult together and concert beforehand what common action, if any, they should take. The French were obliged to accept this position, and to affirm definitely that the naval conversations did not involve any obligation of common action. This was the best we could do for ourselves and for them* (4) While these negotiations were still under consider ation, but before any decision had been reached, it was announced prematurely, through an error of French Admiralty officials, when M. Delcasse was absent in his constituency, 5 that the Brest Fleet was to be transferred to the Mediterranean. 1. Churchill, op. cit*, 115. 2. Ibid., 115. 3. " c 115. 4. " 116. . 5. D.D.F., 3e serie, III, Ho.431, p.523, and footnote on p.523; Poincare, op. cit*, I, 112; Porter, op. cit.,304. -209 This news caused great excitement in the Press of both countries, and was interpreted as a certain sign that an Anglo-French 1 naval agreement had been definitely concluded. France was thus assuming before the whole world the task of protecting against possible attack Britain's route to India between Gibraltar and Port Said now stripped of British capital ships, and Britain was making herself responsible f&r the defense of the French coast on the North Sea, the Channel and even the Atlantic. As the negotiations continued, the 2 draft agreement drawn up in July was discussed and amended 3 , several times until it finally took shape in February, 1913. On April 4 the French Naval Attache in London reported that the Admiralty considered "the agreement" as "definitely 4 concluded." His reference is to three conventions which laid the foundation for Franco-British naval cooperation in the Mediterranean, Western Channel and the Straits of Dover. The 5 text of these agreements is given in the French Documents. 1. Poincare, op.cit., I, 112. Woodward,op.cit.,380-81. 2. Supra. / 3. Delcasse to Poincare, September 17,1918, letter enclosing a preliminary draft of a naval convention with notes; D.DiF*, 39 serie,III, No.420,pp.506ff; Cambon, to Poincare, September 19,1912, ibid., No.431, pp.523ff. Poincare to Cambon, September 20, 1912, ibid., No.436,p.530. Captain de fregate Le Gouz-de-Saint-Seine to Vice-Admiral Aubert, September 21,1912, ibid. No.449, p.546. See also,. Halevey, op.cit., II, pp.603-04; Renouvin, Pierre, Conversations between the General Staffs on the Eve of the War; loc. cit., 164. 4. Le Commandant de Saint-Seine to Vice-Admiral Aubert, D.D. F., 3® serie, VI, No.198, p.247. 5. Ibid., V, No.397, p.483-490. -210-1 At the same time cooperation was provided for in the Far East. 2 As Mr. Churchill tells us, these technical agreements were merely provisional, binding the contracting parties only to take the necessary steps for cooperation in the Mediterranean or else where "in the event of a war in which Great Britain and France are allied against the Triple Alliance," and to defend the Straits of Dover and the Channel "in the event of being allied with the French Government in a war with Germany." M. Poincare' tells in his Memoirs how unsatisfactory this arrangement was to the French. They could not remain 3 satisfied with so loose an arrangement. Accordingly there was once more urged upon Sir Edward Grey the necessity of a written agreement. M. Cambon in London pressed the matter in the fall of 1912. "How could we," he asked, "expose our Channel and Atlantic coasts to the insult of a German fleet without knowing how far we could rely on England?" When the Foreign Secretary explained that no engagement could be entered upon without referring it to Parliament for its consent, M. Cambon replied: It is no question of an agreement here and now; we only want some assurance as to the defence of our coast. Could we not revert to Lord Lansdowne's proposal, and agree that in the event of a threatening situation we would put our heads together, and decide how best mutually to protect ourselves from the dangers of war? In a word, if in presence of such danger we should consider an alliance or a military convention our best way out, we should resort to this. If our opinions differed, and then either of us refused to go to war, each party would take its own 1. D.D.F., 3e serie, V, No. 303, p.385; ibid, VT, No.198, p.247. 2. Supra 208. Porter, op. cit., 305. 3. Poincare, op. cit., I, 112. -211-preoautions; France could not police the Mediterranean without agreement in other respects. (1) When the French insisted on the matter, Sir Edward Grey took it up with Mr. Asquith. The Prime Minister saw the same difficulties as his Foreign Secretary. It was finally agreed, however, that an exchange of letters might take place between the two Powers, it being first clearly understood that these letters must not be ranked as diplomatic documents, but merely as a personal correspondence between a Secretary of State and an Ambassador, and secondly that the wording must be approved 2 by the Cabinet. The British Cabinet discussed the matter on October 30, and it was at this meeting that all its members were at last informed of the Anglo-French "conversations" which 3 had been conducted steadily since 1906. The British letter was drawn up and approved, and according to the plan, an exchange of letters took place with Cambon on November 22 and 23. So important is this exchange of letters, they must be given here. Grey's letter, courteously expressed, read as follows: 1. Cambon to Poincare, September 21, 1912, D.D.F., 3E seVie, II, No.448, p.545. Poincare, op.cit., I, 113. 2. Cambon to Poincare, October 31,1912, D.D.F* 3E se*rie, IV, No.301, pp.318-20; Poincare, op.cit., I, 113; Grey, op. cit., I, 96-97. 3. Grey, op. cit., I, pp.96-97. Lloyd George tells that when the Cabinet heard of these, most of them for the first time, "The majority of its Members were aghast. Hostility barely represents the strength of the sentiment which the revelation aroused; it was more akin to consternation." Grey and Asquith endeavoured to allay apprehensions by "emphatic assurances" that Britain was not bound by the conversations, op.cit., 50. -212-Sir Edward Grey to M. Cambon, French Ambassador in london. 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 time 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 cooperate 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 eould, 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 theylwould be prepared to take in common. If these measures involved action, the plans of the general staffs would at once be taken into consid eration, and the Governments would then decide what effect should be given to them. Yours, e t c., E. Grey. The letter which M. Cambon gave in exchange for that of Sir EdwardTs reads: M. Cambon to Sir Edward Grey (Translation) French Embassy, London, November 23, 1912. Dear Sir Edward, - You reminded me in your letter of yesterday, November 22, that during the last few years the -213-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 x 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 consult ations between experts were not, and should not be, consid ered as engagements binding our Governments to take action in certain eventualities; that, however, I had remarked to you that, if one or the other of the two Governments had grave reason to fear an unprovoked attack on the part of a third Power, it would become essential to know whether it eould count on the armed support of the other. Your letter answers that point, and I am authorized to state that, in the event of one of our two Governments having grave reason 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 Govern ments 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, etc., 1 Paul Cambon. 1. These letters cited in Grey, op. cit., I, 97-98. Mr. B.E. Schmitt in his article, "Triple Alliance and Triple Entente," American Historical Review, April, 1924, asks us to compare the concluding paragraph of each of the letters with the political clauses of the Franco-Russian Alliance. These latter read: "The two Governments declare that they will take counsel together upon every question of a nature to jeopardize the general peace; in case.that peace should be actually in danger, and especially if one of the two parties should be threatened with an aggression, the two parties undertake to reach an understanding on the measures whose immediate and simultaneous adoption would be Imposed upon the two Governments by the realization of this eventuality...." Mr. Schmitt points out that it is difficult to make any distinction between the engagements contracted in each case. -214-These letters, exchanged in November, 1912, fixed the relations between'the British and French Cabinets down to the outbreak of the Great War so far as any written statements were concerned. Actually the only engagement undertaken in them was to make a joint study of the situation should a crisis arise. France had received a promise that there should be a conferring in the face of danger, and with this, a hypot hetical acceptance of the plans drawn up by the General Staffs. Thus, literally, there was no alliance, no definite promise that armed help would be given. In actual wording the letters left the hands of the British Government free, and that freedom was to be frequently solemnly reiterated in later months by 1 the Prime Minister and Sir Edward Grey. And theoretically the British hands were free. But as Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman 2 had pointed out in 1906, and as Mr. Asquith had himself pointed 3 out in 1911, the military conversations were dangerous in the 1. On March 10, 1913, the following question was put to the Prime Minister in the House of Commons: "There is a general belief that this country is under an obligation, not a treaty obligation, but an obligation arising out of an assurance given by the Ministry, in the course of diplomatic negotiations, to send a very large armed force out of this country to operate in Europe. That is the general belief." Mr. Asquith replied, "I ought to say that is not true." On March 24, 1913, two weeks later, he went even further to say, "As has been repeat edly stated, this country is not under any obligation, not public and known to Parliament, which compels it to take part in a war. In other words, if war, arises between European Powers, there are no unpublished agree ments which will restrict or hamper the freedom of the Government or Parliament to decide whether or not Great Britain should participate in a war." Cited in Ewart, op. cit., I, 128. 8. Supra. 104. 3. Supra. 179 (note 1). -215-encouragement they giave the French. Mr. Churchill had expressed warnings in 1912 that the new arrangements for the British and French fleets tied England and France in a dangerous manner, creating, as they did, an inescapable moral obligation to protect the coast of France in the events of a Franco-German war - that is to participate on the French side, no matter how the war arose. In the words of Mr. Hicolson, the British had "committed themselves to a guarantee which would involve 1 England either in a breach of faith or a war with Germany." And now, in November of 1912, in the Grey-Cambon letters, the conversations, military and naval, assumed a new character and significance, in however a guarded form it might be, in the form of a written agreement. It is necessary to examine only briefly England's diplomatic relationship with France to see how very closely her fate was in reality bound up with that of France by the end of 1912. By her departure from isolation at the start of the century, and by the very act of entering into the Continental system, however anxious she might be to think herself free, she was forced to accept obligations and invite risks. Her Agreement with France in 1904 had been based on a common policy with regard to Morocco, and it had virtually insured the solid arity of the two Powers in case of a war arising over Morocco. But, as Mr. Fabre-luce points out, the Agreement of 1912 prepared 1. Nicolson, op. cit., 272 -216-th e way. for concerted action on a much more widely extended basis. Coming at a time when the question of Morocco was settled, and the Agreement of 1904 consequently no longer need apply, the new agreement "meant in fact that Franco-BritishL solidarity would now he extended to all other problems in 1 which the Entente might have common interest." And, what is more important, the technical supplements to the Entente defined this attitude more clearly. The cautious correspondence of Grey and Cambon was backed by conversations between the military and naval experts which decided on possible methods of common action, and by an intimacy between them which prepared the way for such action, and which anticipated it. In the eyes of the British Cabinet the letters were intended to put on record the fact that the British were still free to act as they/ thought best in a time of crisis; from this view, they were interpreted as an admission on the part of the French of Britain's freedom. But, the French saw in them a quite different interpretation, or at least, a quite different emphasis; to them the letters were an admission on the part of the British to France's claim for support. There can be little doubt that M. Poincare took from them this assurance. On February 27, 1913, Isvolsky wrote to Sazonov, reporting a conversation with Poincare: 1. Fabre-luce, op. cit., 154; Lutz, op. cit., 88. -317-England is not bound to France by any definite political engagement, but the tone and nature of the assurances given by the Cabinet of London allow the French Government, in the existing political conjunctures, to count upon the armed support of England in case of conflict with Germany. (1) The British leaders were sure their hands were free, and did not hesitate to tell the people that this was so. The French meanwhile were fully prepared to gamble, as on a sure certainty, 2 on British participation in a war which might break out. There was a further element of danger in this relat ionship of 1913. The indefinite nature of the Entente at this time did not give the British any right to exercise any measure of control over French policy. It merely gave the latter, in their minds at least, as has been shown, increased hopes for victory should the threat of war come, without enabling the former to exert any effective influence in the direction of peace. Mr. Churchill has written no truer words .than those he penned when he described the situation, "Everyone must feel, who knows the facts, that we have the obligations of an alliance, without its advantages, and above all without 3 its precise definitions." 1. Un Livre Noir, II, 32-33; Schmitt, Triple Alliance and Triple Entente, loc. cit., 461. 3. The French authorities in drawing up Plan XVII, upon which their plan of campaign in 1914 was based, counted definitely on British naval assistance. They were not entirely sure of military aid on land, but stated that, "on sea* however, we can count without risk upon the effective support of the British fleet." Porter, op. cit., 307; Fay, op. cit*, I, 324. 3. Churchill, op. cit., 116, 217. Chamberlain, Austen, Down the Years, (London, 1935), 66. -218-The exchange of letters in 1912, following upon the consistent diplomatic support which England had given France throughout the Morocco Crisis of 1911, had thus established a wider basis of mutual confidence between the two Governments. After 1912 England was brought still further within the orbit of French policy by her closer relationship with Russia. Just as her friendship with Franoe before 1907 was a factor in aiding England to negotiate the Anglo-Russian Convention of that year, the closer friendship in 1912 was an important factor in drawing tighter the bonds with Russia in 1913 and 1914. It is true that British relations with Russia never reached the same degree of intimacy as those with France. This is accou