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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Anglo-German relations, 1898-1914 Daniels, Harriet Muriel Embling 1932-03-23

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AIT GLO - GERMAN RE LA TI0ITS 1898-1914. by Harriet Muriel Embling Daniels. Thesis submitted for the Degree of MASTER OP ARTS in the Department of HISTORY THE UNIVERSITY OP BRITISH COLUMBIA APRIL, 1932. CONTENTS. CHAPTER ' ^ I. Anglo-German Negotiations 1898-1901 1. II. .Anglo-German Relations 1898-1904 . .. 36. III. The Morocco Crisis 1904—1906 76IV. Naval Rivalry 1906-1912 100. V„ Hills of Difficulty 148« VI. The Last Years of Peace. 1912-1914...... 182. Conclusion . . . .207, Bibliography 211. ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 1898-1914. CHAPTER I. Anglo-German Negotiations 1898-1901. Recent revelations in European diplomacy have cast a blinding light upon the hidden places in the Foreign Offices of the powers of Europe. Some Governments have published un reservedly the documents that reveal a fascinating story of the tortuosities of foreign relations and diplomatic inter course; others have given to the world only a selection - albe it a selection made by impartial historians, not by ministers trying to clear themselves in the eyes of the present generat ion. In addition to actual diplomatic documents, there are numerous autobiographies, memoirs, and recollections from the pens of the chief actors in the decades prior to the cataclysm. Altogether there is a wealth of material available for anyone who wiahes to study the origins of the war and to attempt to apportion the guilt. One of the most important phases of the pre-war history of Europe is the relationship between two of the greatest powers, the kindred nations of England and Germany. At times it seemed as if the fate of Europe depended upon these two countries, their friendship or their enmity. Tradition and common interest 2. called for friendship, for unity of action; but an atmosphere of suspicion, of distrust, almost of dislike, arose in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Such an atmosphere grew out of Germany's change of policy - her expanding commer cial interests and consequent desire for colonies; her appar ently arrogant threats and demands; and later her determination to become a strong naval power. All these brought her into conflict with England and, in spite of the efforts of states men on both sides, led to Britain's entering the lists against her when the final test came. After a study of the documents relating to proposals of alliance between GBemany and England, the thought arises, what would have been the consequences of such an alliance, suppos ing it had been made. Time and time again the two Governments were on the verge of a defensive alliance; time and time again such negotiations failed. By the perversity of fate, when ever Germany proposed an.alliance English ministers became suspicious and wary; whenever England showed herself desirous of an agreement Germany became distrustful and reluctant. Yet both Governments professed the greatest desire for a satisfact ory understanding and good relations between the two countries. From the course of events one wonders in how far these extreme ly suave statements were sincere. Had such an alliance been possible would it have benefit ted Europe? The fond belief of statesmen and, indeed, of pro minent private men of the time was that such a combination 3. would have kept the peace of Europe for at least half a cent ury. That is possible, since it would manifestly have been too strong a combination for the other powers of Europe. Would it have operated for the good of the continent or would it have tyrannized the lesser nations? Either alternative was possible. Would the certainty of England's support or neutrality have led the Germans to ddopt an even more arrogant tone than ever? So long as they were in doubt as to England's policy they were more likely to move warily. They might delude themselves that Eng land was more in need of their assistance than they of hers. England saw with clearer eyes that Germany could not afford to let her perish, and in that belief rested content. She had, in fact, the balance of power between the Triple Alliance and the Dual Alliance, despite the Kaiser's determination that the two should league against her. That leads to a more diffic ult question - did it lie in her hands to prevent the Balkan situation of 1914 from developing into a world war? Had she come forv/ard and stated definitely that she would not remain neutral but would come.in on the side of the Dual Alliance, Germany might have curbed Austria and localised the conflict,* Thus another crisis would have been passed, but the forces that made such crises possible would still have been present. Sooner or later conflict between the two armed camps of Europe was inevitable. The idea of an alliance between the German Empire and Great Britain goes back to the days of Bismarck. After the 4. Franco-Prussian Avar had given him what he desired - a united Empire - Bismarck concentrated his energies on building this new state into one of the foremost countries of Europe. To this end he evolved a system of alliances to preserve the peace of Europe and, perhaps more important still, to protect this new power in time of danger. Germany is so situated that she runs a risk of invasion on all frontiers - from Russia, France, and Austria-Hungary. Bismarck, then, had to seek the friendship of at least two of these countries. Before the end of William I's reign, the master mind of the Empire had arranged a defens ive alliance with Austria and Italy for protection against France and Russia. At the same time he had lured Russia into a reinsurance treaty to keep her quiet. He was sure of Austria and reasonably sure of Italy, but not of Russ^ia. Russia and Austria had so many conflicting interests that an alliance for a prolonged period with the two was almost impossible. If Russia joined France, Germany would have to be careful. There was one other country to whom Bismarck might turn for protection against France and, if need be, against Russ^da. England seemed friendly towards the new Empire, whose interests as yet did not clash with hers. Austria and Italy would raise no objections to German friendship with England. The drawback lay in the friction between England.and Russia. An.open alli ance with England might well lead Russia and France into the same path and result in Germany's being threatened on two frontiers. On the other hand dare France attack if she knew 5 . England would help Germany? The situation Bismarck created in Europe was complicated in the extreme. He alone could juggle successfully with five halls and keep three of them in the air at once. Several times during his twenty years in office Bismarck approached England with the suggestion for a rapprochment or an alliance. Early in 1876 during a conversation with Lord Odo Russell, the English Embassador to Germany, he suggested a rapprochment between England and.Germany on the Eastern n Question. On January 12, 1876 Munster, German Ambassador to London, reported that Lord Derby referring to Bismarck's over tures had said, "Since he had been Foreign Minister, he had received no communication that had given him greater pleasure, and about which he had felt greater relief. He had a down right admiration for Your Highness and considered a rapproch ment between England and Germany to be the only right policy." In spite of Lord Derby's approval the matter dropped for the time being. Writing to Lady Salisbury on February 11, 1877 Salisbury expressed his opinions regarding such proposals, "Bismarck had made new proposals for an offensive and defens-2. ive alliance - which have happily not been accepted." Another noteworthy attempt was made in 1879 after the Congress of Berlin. Eckardstein relates that Bismarck broached the question to Beaconsfield at a dinner at the Chancellor's 1. G.D. vol.1.p.144. German Note. 2. Cecil - Life of Salisbury - vol.2.p.127. 6. Palace in 1878. Beaconsfield was cautious and wished time to 1. bring Parliament and public opinion into a favourable mood. Although no official note of such conversations is available, it is by no means improbable that the two statesmen did dis cuss the subject. Of the 1879 negotiations there is official proof on both sides. Presumably the proposal was made during Munster's visit to Beaconsfield at Hughenden about September 27, 1879. The reports sent by the Ministers to their respect ive superiors differ. Beaconsfield notified the l^ueen that the German Ambassador had proposed a defensive alliance of Germany, Austria and England, but he had not encouraged the idea. Munster, on the other hand, told Bismarck that Beaconsfield proposed an alliance, when he (Munster) spoke of the somewhat 2. cooler relations between Germany and Russia. In his despatch es of October 14 and 17 Munster speaks confidently of Beacons-field's good intentions and desire for the alliance, and of 3. Salisbury's favourable attitude. If Beaconsfield's account to the Queen expressed his true feelings. t>ne wonders how Munster could have been so sanguine. Beaconsfield may have reported thus to the Queen because he knew.her sympathy for Prance; while Munster may have placed a false interpretation on the English Minister's words. Whatever the situation in Sept ember and October, the following year found Gladstone in power 1. Eckardstein - p.134-5. 2. G.D. vol.1.p.145. German Note. 3. G.D.vol. I.p.l49» IV. 11. Munster to Bismarck, Oct. 14,1879 p.150. IV. 12. Same Oct. 17, 1879. 7. and different policies in vogue. As a result Bismarck became irrigated and abandoned negotiations. In January 1880 Salisbury thought it advisable to allay Bismarck's suspicions that English ministers did not trust him and refused his offers. Accordingly, he wrote on January 14, 1880 to Lord Odo Russell, asking him to assure Bismarck of Eng land's willingness at all times to co-operate with Germany. "Of course, we have to pick our steps so as not to seem to err from the straight path in France's eyes; for France is capable of giving us a great deal of trouble. But, on the sound rtile that you love those most whom you compete with least, Germany is clearly cut out to be our allv. - We may intermediately in 1. all things cultivate Bismarck's friendship without fear." Bismarck's last attempt at alliance with England in 1889 was also doomed to failure. On November 22, 1887 the Chancellor had written personally to Salisbury assuring him that the views of the heir to the German throne were not anti-British, and expressing fears that Pan-Slavism was becoming a menace to the peace of Europe. He also urged Britain to form an alliance with Austria and Italy, Germany's two allies, to maintain the status 2. quo in the Near East. Salisbury replied in courteous non committal manner. The most he offered to the Triple Alliance 3. was moral support. Nothing daunted, Bismarck in January 1889 1. Cecil - op. cit. - vol.2.p.373. 2. G.D; vol.1.p.345. Bismarck to Salisbury , November 22, 1887, 3. G.D. vol.1.p.355^ Salisbury to Bismarck, November 30, 1887-, 8. instructed Hatzfeldt (now German Ambassador in London) when in private conversation to intimate to Salisbury Bismarck's convict ion that the surest way to keep peace in Europe was through a defensive alliance for a limited period between Germany and Eng land against Prance. Such an alliance could be secret or have Parliamentary sanction. Should Salisbury feel obliged to re fuse it would not affect the good relations existing between 1. the two countries. Hatzfeldt, following these instructions, approached Salisbury, who accepted the suggestion but begged leave to postpone the discussion of details. He expressed the desire to regard the proposal as strictly confidential - a 2. desire that met with Bismarck's approval. For some time nothing more happened. Then in March, Herbert Bismarck visited London. While there he had a conver sation with Salisbury in which the desirability of an Anglo-German alliance to promote European peace came up for discuss^ion. Salisbury explained the difficulties of entering into a secret alliance. In a democratic country a treaty could not be really binding unless it had the approval of public opinion. If his Government entered upon an agreement and a situation arose where England should come to the assistance of her ally, unless public opinion approved, the Government was helpless and would have to stand aside in response to the demand of the people. Under such conditions, caution in entering into alliances was 1. G.D. vol.l.p.3 69. IV. 400. Bismarck to Hatzfeldt, Jan.11, 1889. 2. G.D. vol.1.p.372. IV. 403.Hatzfeldt to Bismarck, Jan.16, 1889. 9. essential. Nevertheless, Salisbury expressed his gratitude for the suggestion and hoped that at a later date he might be in a position to consider it; "meanwhile, we leave it on the table, without saying yes or no; that is unfortunately all I can do 1. at present." Thus ended Bismarck's efforts to come to terms with the country that claimed as its key-word for foreign pol icy "splendid isolation". So far the initiative had come from Germany. This was due to Bismarck's policy based on the needs of the Empire. As Salisbury had said the two countries had few divergent int erests. This remained true until the Wilheminic Era with its new policies and its colonial expansion. The retirement of the Chancellor in 1890 left the reins in the hands of men of less gigantic mould, men who could not play as skilfully with alliances, men who lacked the reputation of the maker of Germ any. The Kaiser announced his intention to follow the course laid out by Bismarck. His intentions may have been good, the fulfilment proved disastrous. Colonial expansion meant conflict with England in the few remaining parts of the world still unclaimed. In spite of various disputes" and irritations Anglo-German relations during the nineties' were fairly calm. There were occasions when feeling ran high on both, sides of the North Sea, but time and the skill of the diplomats prevented open rupture. There l.G.D. vol.1.p.373. lV.404-5.H.Bi§marckto Bismarck, Mar. 22, 1889. 10. existed fewer points of friction between England and Germany than between England and Russia ©r England and Prance. There fore it^ehoved England to keep on terms of friendship with Germany, or so at least thought the latter country and a few English statesmen. Toward the end of the century England awoke to find her self rather unpopular on the continent, just at a time when she was confronted by various thorny problems. Troubles in Africa and the Par East brought upon her the adverse criticism of the European nations. Some ministers viewed with alarm the situation into which England's policy of isolation had brought her. Accordingly, they applied themselves to the task of remedying it. The solution they chose was an alliance with another strong nation. Etassia and Prance were not very prom ising. To settle all the disputes then existing would demand a greater sacrifice than England was prepared at that time to make. Austria and Italy could not help her very materially. Germany, then, was the only one left. Prom every point of view she seemed most suitable - a strong military power, open to attack from Prance and Russia and therefore in need of guarantee against them. Moreover, she had sought alliance previously with England. The wooed, then, became the wooer. England approached Germany on the subject of en alliance. The men in charge of foreign affairs in Germany did not rush into England's arms. Here was the opportunity they had been awaiting many yearsyet they let it slip past. Why? 11. Because they were so sure of themselves and of England's need of Germany. If they waited a little longer England would find herself in a more difficult position and would have to offer higher terms. Confident that England would never come to terms with Russia and possibly not with Prance, compelled to remain on good terms with Russia, they felt they could afford to wait, to delay, always holding out the prospect of alliance in the future. In November 1897 during the Kiao-Chou incident and Russ ian action, Bulow suggested that Hatzfeldt might very discreet ly enquire it it were possible to bring about an improvement in Anglo-German relations. Germany desired some token of Eng-land's friendliness to bring pressure to bear on Russia. Be sides if she had to give up Kiao-Chou she might want"a harbour 1. in South China in the British.sphere of influence. Salis bury was not enthusiastic for he remembered the Kruger Tele gram and Zanzibar. He had personally no objections to Germ any's occupying Kiao-Chou and apparently did not want to see a concession to Russia. Hatzfeldt believed in the possibility of England's going over to Russia and Prance. This time he was mistaken. Britain came forward with an offer of alliance. Chamberlain and his group analysed the situation and declared in favour of agreement with Germany. On March 29, 1898 after a private dinner at Alfred Rothschild's house Chamberlain opened his mind freely to Hatzfeldt and made l.G.D. vol.3.p.18. XIV. 86.Hohenlohe to Hatzfeldt, Nov. 16,1897. p.17. XIV. 83. Same Nov. 13, 1897. 12. definite proposals. He explained that the political situation called for a change in England's traditional policy. Public opinion realised the danger and would support the making of alliances to preserve peace. Negotiations with Prance over West Africa were not progressing satisfactorily; China present ed difficulties. Could Germany and England agree on the great political issues? If Germany helped England now, England would aid. Germany in case of attack and work with her in China. It would practically mean the accession of England to the Triple Alliance. He stressed the need for a decision within the nest 1. few days. Here was the 16ng-looked-for opportunity. How would the German Government react? Biilow replied on March 30, 1898 to Hatzfeldt's despatch. He thanked Chamberlain for his over tures, hut pointed out various drawbacks for Germany. Alliance with Germany would so strengthen England that her enemies would not dare to attack. If, later on, Germany were attack ed could she be certain that England would come to her assist ance? He felt that the British Government, having made the alliance, would not be able to keep it for long since they might go out of power. This Parliamentary system in England left a back door by which she could escape from fulfilling the obligations of treaties. In considering this "no German statesman, however great his sympathies for England and how-l.G.D. vol.3.p.21. XIV. 196. Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, Mar.29 ,1898. 13. ever sure he might be that the maintenance of England's power is needed for upholding the world balance, would be likely to assume responsibility for the consequences which an Anglo-German treaty, entered into with an eye to future events, would entail 1. for Germany." A polite but definite refusal J Billow consider ed the risks too great. He and Holstein distrusted this sudden offer and suspected treachery. England would use Germany to gain her own ends; then if Germany found herself in trouble thro ugh her alliance with England, the latter would perfidiously desert her. Russia was to be feared for had she not said, "the only danger to peace would arise if we were forced to the conviction that Germany had come to a definite agreement with 2. England threatening the balance of power." Moreover, public opinion in Germany would not accept an English agreement. Holstein possessed the idea that alliance should be considered only in two eventualities (1) if Russia threatened Germany, 3 (2) if England showed herself less overbearing than at present. In view of this attitude there could be little doubt as to the fate of Chamberlain's overture. Ignorant of the dis trust and suspicion, Chamberlain made further suggestions on April 1. He abandoned the aggressive attitude towards Russia in.China. In its place he substituted the idea of saving the remainder of China and keeping it open for world trade. Germ-1. G.D. vol.3.p.23-4. XIV. 199. Billow to Hatzfeldt, Mar. 30, 1898. 2. Brandenburg - Prom Bismarck to the World War - p.107. 3.Ibid.p.108. 14. any's reward for co-operation would be special privileges in 1. Ghina. In an interview with Balfour on April 5 the English man had mentioned the conversations. Hatzfeldt,carefully ex plained the German reasons for reluctance. Balfour understood and remarked that he did not know how the British Parliament would react at present. He admitted the great risk for Germ any. Prom his comment that Mr. Chamberlain sometimes wished to advance too quickly Hatzfeldt deduced that he was not ill-pleased at Mr. Chamberlain's lack of success. Balfour agreed to the wisdom of removing ill-feeling by agreements in small matters and of preparing public opinion for a possible future 2. political rapprochment. In vain Hatzfeldt warned Berlin that England would not give concessions if she lost hope of co-operation in world 3. policy. Bulow, in the belief that Prance would not prejudice her Russian agreement to favour England, wished to let England try to gain allies in Europe. When she found that no one want ed her, and that she was not in a position to chose her allies, 4. Germany would begin discussions afresh. The Kaiser held views similar to those of his ministers, but he sounded a timely note of warning in his letter to .•'the Foreign Office, April 10, after having studied a despatch from Hatzfeldt. 1. G.D. vol.3.p.24. XIV. 203.Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, April 1, 1898. 2. G.D. vol.3.p.24. XIV. 211.Hatzfeldt to Hohenlohe, April 7, 1898. 3. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.109-110. 4.Ibid.p.109. 15. The English hope of an alliance must be kept up. "A friendly England gives us a spare card against Russia, and besides that, there is a prospect of our requiring colonial and commercial 1. treaties from England." If Germany declined the offer, a rapprochment with Prance would not be unlikely "in the pres-2. ent rabid mood of the English Cabinet." Hatzfeldt still continued to work for a good understand ing between the two countries. In conversations with Salisbury he tried to bring about agreements on lesser matters. Salis bury declared himself willing, but declined to permit England to do all the giving and Germany all the receiving. He avoid ed making any offers regarding colonial matters. Hatzfeldt considered it his task "to work by leisurely but friendly effort for an alliance with Germany and so to act that the 3. way was left open for an understanding later on'.' Under the circumstances that was all he could do. On his side Chamber lain continued to hope for alliance and took evdry opportunity in his speeches to educate public opinion to that end. Negotiations came to a standstill. Then the Kaiser took matters into his own hands and alarmed his Ministers. He wrote to the Czar of Russia telling him in grossly exagger ated language of the alluring offers made to Germany by England and asking what Russia would offer if he refused. Not a very tactful procedure; However, the Czar paid him back in his 1.Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.108. 2.Ibid.p.108. 3.Ibid.p.110-111. 16. own coin. His reply was cautious, but revealed some astound ing news. Three months previous England had offered Russia a complete settlement of all disputes then existent. He, the Czar, thought this so good that there must be some trickery 1. involved. Therefore, he unhesitatingly declined. After this the German Ministers became more convinced of the necessity of proceeding cautiously with "perfidious Albion"« No doubt, the Czar's report of England's offer to Russia was every bit as exaggerated as the Kaiser's report to him of the offer to Germany. It is, however, quite reasonable to suppose that England may have approached Russia. Holstein and Bulow agreed on the policy of alliance with neither Russia nor England, but of friendly relations with both countries. To avoid offending England Hatzfeldt continu ed academic discussions with. Salisbury and Billow did the same 2. with Lascelles in Berlin. The dying embers were fanned to a feeble flame when in the course of a conversation with the Kaiser, Sir Prank Lascelles mentioned that some influential men wished for an alliance which should be strictly defensive and should take effect only if either party were attacked by 3. two Powers at the same time. The Kaiser was impressed by the idea and seemed inclined to regard it more seriously than it was intended. Bulow and Holstein took care that nothing came of it. 1.Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.111. 2.Ibid.p.114. 3.B.D. vol.1.p.100.No.122. Lascelles to Balfour. Aug. 23, 1898. 17. Such then was the first attempt en the part of England to form an alliance with Germany. The story is told almost completely from German sources since the English Foreign. Office contains no despatches or memoranda on the subject. The neg otiations on their side must have been carried on privately. Until the biography of Joseph Chamberlain is published and the life of Lord Salisbury completed, the story from the English point of view remains a blank. Germany had failed to seize her opportunity in 1898. Would fortune favour her again and prove the value of her policy of watchful waiting? In spite of Salisbury's distrust ful attitude toward Germany, Chamberlain retained his confid ence and continued to work for his object. In November 1899 the Kaiser, accompanied by Billow, paid a visit to Windsor. Chamberlain had the privilege of several conversations with both men. He had now the idea of a general understanding between England, Germany, and the United States. Billow and the Kaiser, however, declined to be tempted. They saw no further advantage to Germany and accordingly refrained from committing themselves beyond a desire for good relations. The Kaiser instructed Chamberlain in how England should treat Germany if she desired that Country's friendship. The German was 'touchy' therefore England should handle him carefully and avoid making him impatient. Always it is Britain v/ho must conciliate GermanyJ Britain is asking favours, she must pay the price. Britain needs Germany, let hes? realise to the 18. full her dependence. Unfortunately for Germany; "The "best-laid schemes o' mice an' men Gang aft agley." Billow complacently concluded his memorandum; "I consider that Germany's future task will be, whilst possessing a strong fleet and maintaining good relations on the side of Russia as well as of England to await the further development of events pat-.1. iently and collectedly." Prom these conversations Chamberlain obtained the convict ion that he had Bulow's authorisation to proclaim to the world the desire of England and Germany for an alliance. Hence the famous Leicester Speech, November 30, 1899, in which he said: "There is something more which I think any far-seeing Eng lish 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. We have had our differences with Germany, we have had our quarrels and contentions, we have had our misunderstandings. I do not conceal that the people of this country have been irritated, and justly irritated, by circumstances which we are only too glad to forget; but, at the root of things, there has always been a force which has necessarily brought us together. What 1«G.D. vol.3.p.108-114. XV. 413. Memorandum by Billow at Windsor, Nov. 24, 1899. 19. then unites nations? Interest and sentiment. What interest have we which is contrary to the interest of Germany? "I cannot conceive any point which can arise in the immediate future which would bring ourselves and the Germans into antagonism of interests. On the contrary, I can see many things which must be a cause of anxiety to the statesmen of Europe, but in which our interests are clearly the same as the interests of Germany and in which that understanding of which I have spoken in the case of America might, if extended to Germany, do more perhaps than any combination of arms in order to preserve the peace of.the world. "If the union between England and America is a powerful factor in the cause of peace, a new Triple Alliance between the Teutonic race and the two branches of the Anglo-Saxon race will be a still more potent influence in the future of the world. I have used the word 'alliance1, but again I desire to make it clear that to me it seems to matter little whether you have an alliance which is committed to paper, or whether you have an understanding in the.minds of the statesmen of the respective countries. An understanding is perhaps better than an alliance, which may stereotype arrangements which cannot be regarded as permanent in view of the changing circumstances from day to day." Of this speech Grey says, "it was a public invitation to Germany and a public recommendation of policy to Britain and the British Empire. It made a great and critical moment fraught 20. 1. with the greatest possibilities." In a letter to ven Eckard stein dated December 1, 1899 Chamberlain said: "Count Billow, whose acquaintance I was delighted to make, also greatly im pressed me. He expressed a wish that I might be able at some time to say something as to the mutual interests which bound the United States to a triple understanding with Germany, as well as to Great Britain. Hence my speech yesterday which I 2. hope will be not unsatisfactory to him." Instead of welcoming the speech Bulow practically repud iated it in a speech in the Reichstag. It was done to satis fy public opinion; but the episode was distinctly unfortunate. Chamberlain considered it a personal insult and resented it greatly. In Billow's Memorandum there is little or nothing sufficiently encouraging to justify Chamberlain's claims. His desire to advance too quickly led him to read into Bulow's 3. polite words a meaning not intended. The episode did not shake his determination to effect an alliance between the two countries, but it may have sown the first seeds of distrust of Germany in his mind. "Thus once more the efforts of the Brit 1. Grey - Twenjjy-five Years - vol.1.p.43. 2. Eckardstein - op. cit. - p.130. 3. Bulow - Memoirs - vol.1.p.327. "Chamberlain'*s speech at Leicester about Britain's relations with America and Germ any v/as a gaucherie, I believe unintentional, but still a gaucherie for, in view of the general world situation and of public opinion in Germany such a delicate question should first have been discussed only intra muros, if it was intended to achieve the desired result. Chamberlain had far too much contempt for the force of German public opinion." 21. ish statesmen were wrecked by the determination of Billow and the Emperor to cling to their principle of a free hand, and by their disinclination to enter into an alliance which would prob ably involve them in a war with Russia, and consequently with Prance, in which they, as they firmly believed, would have to 1. shoulder the principal burden." Germany and*England came to the crossroads in 1901. Neg otiations, begun early in the year and carried on to the end of December, definitely decided the directions in which the two nations were in future to travel. The initiative for this attempt is assigned by the English to the German's and by the Germans to the English. Relations between the Governments had been tolerably good, in spite of the hostility of the press and public opinion. Germany stood by England when opinion on the continent was adverse during the Boer War. She had declin ed to join Russia and Prance in intervention on beEialf of the Boers. As always there had been points of friction, felt per haps more keenly on the German side, and there were destined to be others during 1901. About the middle of January 1901 Eckardstein visited the Devonshires at Chatsworth. In the course of after-dinner con versations, particularly the one on January 16, the Duke and Chamberlain formulated their position definitely regarding Anglo-German relations. Hatzfeldt was very satisfied and l.Pribram - England and Europe - p»79. 22. reported the substance of Eckardstein's converse tions to the Chancellor and in more modified form to Holstein. The despatch to the Chancellor, January 18, stated that England realised she must seek alliance. The choice lay between Prance and Russia on the one hand and the Triple Alliance on the other. In spite of the Russian sympathies of some of the Cabinet, Chamberlain and his friends would work for agreement with Germ any. This they expected would come about gradually, and as a starting-point suggested an arrangement regarding Morocco. Salisbury would leave for the South in a short time. When he had gone, Chamberlain and Lansdowne would discuss details. If they found it impossible to come to an agreement with Germany they would turn to Russia. With the exception of the Morocco 1 question, the conversation must be regarded as purely academic. Holstein replied on January 21 to Eckardstein's specially worded communication. He derided the possibility of an Anglo-Russian rapprochment. Germany ran too great a risk in alliance with England since such an alliance would lead inevitably to war. In view of the danger, the compensation from.England must be correspondingly great. Moreover, he distrusted Salis bury and considered the English.Minister had ill-treated Germany Then the Kaiser came to England just before the death of Queen Victoria and remained until after her funeral. His visit caused an outburst of friendly feeling in England and led to l.Eckardstein - op. cit. - p.185-6. 2.Ibid.p.187. 23. more cordial relations at the Court. Prom Eckardstein he heard the story of the recent conversations with Chamberlain. He telegraphed to Billow: "They are coming on it seems, just 1. where we had expected." Terrified lest some impetuous act on the part of the Kaiser should spoil his careftilly laid plans Biilow urged the necessity of neither encouraging nor discour aging the British hopes. "Everything now depends on neither discouraging the English nor letting ourselves be captured by them prematurely* Any eagerness would diminish our pros-2. pects of gain." He firmly believed in the absurdity of Eng land's swinging to the side of the Dual Alliance. Somewhat reluctantly the Kaiser consented and avoided committing Germ any to any definite agreement, while at the same time encour aging friendly relations. On March 9, 1901 Holstein in a private telegram to Eck ardstein said, "In my personal opinion - and that is all it amounts to at present - Germany miglit consider such a general  defensive alliance rather than an agreement on a special point, e.g. Morocco - where the risk is the same, but the ad-3. vantage less." At the same time he expressly warned Eckard stein not to suggest such a thing to the British, because the idea must come from them. He was rather afraid that Salisbury would communicate to St. Petersburg any German offer, thus 1.Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.157 2;ibid.p.l57. 3IG.D. vol.3.p.140. German Note. 24. affecting adversely Russo-German relations. Once more the old distrust and the underground methods of the mystery man of the Wilhelmstrasse were at work to the detriment of his country's welfare. He did not seem to realise that England might grow weary of making advances to a singularly unresponsive Germany, also he overestimated the value of Germany to England. "You ask too much for your friendship," Salisbury had remarked two or three years previous. Holstein had deeply resented the accusation hut had not taken heed of the warning. Instead he was awaiting the time when England's extremity would enable him to ask more. Actual proposals for alliance came in March. In a very secret despatch to Sir Prank Lascells, British Ambassador in Berlin, on March 19, Lansdowne reported a conversation with Eckardstein in which the German expressed his belief that his Government while averse to an agreement confined to China would consider favourably an understanding of a more durable and extended character - a defensive alliance which would operate only if England or Germany were attacked by two Powers (Prance and Russia). He thought England would be more in need of help than Germany, but Lansdowne considered the Russian frontier rendered Germany just as vulnerable as England and her scattered possessions. Lansdowne also stressed the diffic ulty of deciding what constituted self-defence. He feared one country being dragged into complications by the other. He concluded his despatch by remarking,"Baron Eckardstein was 25. careful to assure me that his suggestion was not made under instructions, hut I feel no doubt that he hag been desired to 1. 2. sound me." In this Lascelies agreed. This credits the German side with the initial definite proposal. Eckardstein's account of the same interview, contained in a despatch to Holstein on March 19, differs slightly. Lans-downe at a dinner asked Eckardstein confidentially if there' were hope of Anglo-German action in Localising possible Russo-Japanese conflict. Eckardstein feared not, unless Germany had assurance of support from England. The next afternoon, presumably the conversation reported by Lansdowne, the English Minister said he had been thinking of an Anglo-German defens ive alliance extending over a considerable period. He would not,- however, bring forward such a proposal until he felt reasonably sure that Germany would be disposed to accept. Eckardstein could not speak officially but would transmit any 3. suggestions to Berlin. In view of Holstein's emphatic instruc tions, Eckardstein could not report that he had made the first 4. suggestion. He does, however, say in his memoirs that he 1. B.D. vol.2.p.60.No.77. Lansdowne to Lascelles, Mar.19, 1901. 2. B.D. vol.2.p.61.Ho.78. Lascelles to Lansdowne, Mar.23, 1901. 3«Eckardstein - op. cit. - p.207-8. 4.cf. Gooch-Studies in Modern History-p.69. Mr. Gooch is strongly of the opinion that.Lansdowne's version is correct. He says:"Lansdowne was not only a man of spotless integrity and wide experience, but he was bound by every obligation of honour and precedent to provide the.Cabinet with an acc urate account of a conversation of such high significance. Eckandstein's report, on the other hand, was conveyed in the form Of a private telegram to Holstein, who in a letter of March 17- which reached him on March 19, sent a precise injunction:"I expressly forbid you the slightest mention of an alliance. The moment, if it ever comes, has not yet arrived." 26. gave Lansdowne a strong hint that the German Government would consider any English proposals for a defensive alliance. The main fact is evident,hy the middle of March 1901 the idea was under discussion. In many of the conversations Eck ardstein took Hatzfeldt's place. He seemed to think negotiat ions were proceeding satisfactorily until the Kaiser and Hol stein, irritated over the Chinese indemnity question, decided to send Dr. Stuebel to discuss that Problem and reach a speedy conclusion. This act was not calculated to clear the air for the alliance. Eckardstein was angry:"So there we were again. On the one side, an alliance trembling in the balance en which the fate of the world turned and oh the other these twopenny-1. halfpenny little money matters." Probably Eckardstein was a. little too optimistic re garding the satisfactory progress of the alliance negotiations. Hatzfeldt saw Lansdowne on March 22. Lansdowne said he had prepared a memorandum on the alliance question and desired to ask Hatzfeldt's personal opinion on various points. (1) Would the Imperial Government consent to a binding defensive agreement with England?, (2) Would the alliance be absolutely defensive or one in which the casus foederis would arise only when one of the two parties were attacked by two or more sides? (3) Should the agreement be secret or ratified by Parliament? (4) Was Japan to be included? Hatzfeldt replied cautiously l.Eckardstein - op. cit. - p.212. 27. (1) The Imperial Government might he disposed to consider an agreement resting on full reciprocity, particularly if it meant England's joining the Triple Alliance. In (2) and (3) the second idea would be preferable. (4) Probably the addition of 1. 2. Japan. Billow entirely approved of Hatzfeldt's answers. Lansdowne made no mention of this conversation. On March 29 he wrote to Lascelles that he had informed Eckardstein of his inability to continue the conversations en account of Salis bury's illness. He stressed the Prime Minister's reluctance to enter into such far-reaching agreements. Altogether he seemed rather cool in spite of his courteous language. Eck ardstein agreed to let the matter drop in view of the present situation. In April Eckardstein renewed discussions with Lansdowne. Conversations continued intermittently until the end of May without material progress. On April 13 Lansdowne wrote private ly to Lascelles regarding.Eckardstein's advances. In the course of his letter he expressed his private opinion, "I doubt wheth er much will come of the project. In principle the idea is good enough. But when each side comes, if it ever does, to formulate its terms, we shall break down; and I know Lord Sails-3. bury regards the scheme with, to say the least, suspicion." Berlin wished to make England.join the Triple Alliance and transfer negotiations to Vienna. London fought shy of 1. G.D. vol.3.p.141.XVII.46.Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, March 23, 1901. 2. G.D. vol.3.p.l43.XVll.48.Billow to Hatzfeldt, March .2.4., 1901. 3. B.D. vol.2.p.63.No.81.Lansdowne to Lascelles, April 13, 1901 28. undertaking obligations toward Austria and Italy, and did not feel sure of Parliamentary consent to such a treaty. Eckard stein knew this and yet felt sure of success. Lansdowne was expected to consent in principle to joining the Triple alliance before he was allowed to see the terms and discuss them. Ber lin positively refused to allow Hatzfeldt or Eckardstein to give written memoranda as a beginning for discussion, until London committed herself in writing. The result was deadlock. The attitude of English statesmen is expressed in various memoranda. On May 27 Mr. T.H. Sanderson went so far as to outline a convention. He pointed out the difficulties of decid ing exactly what constitutes a defensive war. If either side were allowed to judge for itself at the time of crisis it might be tempted to desert its ally. Naturally, he thought Germany more likely to desert England, than.England to desert Germany. Salisbury, in a memorandum of May 29, betrayed his distrust of Germany. Again he brought up the excuse that it does not lie within the power of a democratic country to pledge itself to assist another country in war. If England joined the Triple Alliance she would be undertaking too great a respon sibiltty and receiving.little compensation. He still preserved his belief in "isolation". "It would hardly be wise to incur novel and most onerous obligations in order to guard against a danger in whose existence we have.no historical reason for l.B.D. vol.2.p.66.No.85.Memorandum by T.H.Sanderson, May 27, 1901. ' 29. 1. "believing." He feared public opinion in Germany and its in-2. fluence on the actions of the German Government. Official circles, including King Edward, were not particularly pleased when the Kaiser referred to some of the English ministers as "unmitigated noodles" because they listened to Russia and fear ed the Kaiser may have a secret agreement with that country. It was treated as a joke in Britain, but it did not improve relations• As far as the Germans were concerned they wanted all or nothing. England must join the Triple Alliance, since Germany felt the risk of a separate alliance too great. The agreement must have the sanction of Parliament before it could possess any value. Until England transferred negotiations to Vienna and obtained Austrian consent, they would do nothing. There was no hurry as Germany's relations with both England and Russia were friendly. - Still the same leisurely procedure until England found herself forced by circumstances to bow before Germany's wishes. In a conversation between the Kaiser and King Edward and Sir Frank Lascelles at Homburg in August the Kaiser expressed disappointment that an alliance had not been concluded, since it would have placed the relations bet-3. ween the two countries on a much more satisfactory footing. In 1898 he had said no formal alliance was necessary because l.B.D. vol.2.t».68.Ho.86.Memorandum by Salisbury, May 29, 1901. 2.Ibid. 3.B.D. vol.2.p.73.No.90.Lascelles to Lansdowne, Aug«25, 1901. 3d. if a crisis arose an agreement could be reached within twenty-1. four hours. Hatzfeldt desired an alliance and wished to give in to some of England's wished. Berlin felt her repres entative was going too far and was probably not sorry to get him away from England in June. England returned to the question in November and Decem ber 1901. A memorandum of November 9 by Mr. Bertie admits the advisability of an agreement with a powerful and sure ally; but doubts the sincerity of Germany. If England stood in danger of destruction by Russ^ia, Germany, to ensure her own safety, would have to come to England's assistance. The price would be high, but probably no higher than the results of a 2. formal alliance. Lansdowne's memorandum of November 11, disagrees with Salisbury's attitude, sees various difficulties in alliance, and wishes to speak frankly to the German Ambass ador lest Berlin accuse them of not knowing their own mind and and of breaking off negotiations in a discourteous and unfriend ly manner. He sees the following difficulties; (1) OOf defin ing a satisfactory casus foederis; (2) Certainty of alienating France and Russia; (3) Complications with the Colonies which might not approve of hanging on the skirts of the Triple All iance; (4) Risk of being involved in a policy hostile to Amer ica; (5) Parliamentary sanction in the present mood.' Instead 1. B.D. vol.1.p.102.No.124.Lascelles to Salisbury, Dec. 21, 1898. 2. B.D. vol.2.p.73 -6.No.91. Memorandum by Bertie, Nov. 9, 1901. 31. of dropping the alliance completely have a general agreement 1. regarding policy in commercial interests. Before leaving for Berlin for Christmas, Metternich, the new German Ambassador, on December 19, called to see Lansdowne who took the opportunity to refer to the negotiations for all iance during the spring and early summer. He pointed out care fully that England could not take up the proposal to join the Triple Alliance at present. Metternich said it was to be an agreement between Great Britain and her colonies on the one side and the Triple Alliance on the other. He believed it would preserve peace for at least half a century, besides being of great value to Britain. He expressed surprise that Britain had not jumped at "the maginificent opportunity. By her ad herence to isolation England was in danger. She had offended Italy and driven her to turn to Prance for understanding. Regarding the Alliance, Germany had concluded . that Britain wished to drop negotiations, therefore he had not mentioned the subject. Lansdowne explained the summer holidays had made it difficult to carry on discussions for a time. Metternich thanked him for the explanations. He expressed the opinion that there might not again be such a favourable opportunity as last summer. As the years passed by he believed that Germany would draw closer to Russia. Lansdowne wished to preserve friendly relations and suggested a general commercial under-l.B.D. vol.2.p.76-9.No.92.Memorandum by Lansdowne, Nov. 11, 1901. 32. standing. Metternich was sure this would not be acceptable in place of alliance. To this djjaft of despatch King Edward added the following minute: "The King does not consider the language and arguments made use of by the German Ambassador to lord 1© Lansdowne as at all satisfactory." In reply to this Lascelles related a conversation with Billow on December 28. Metternich had not yet reported the interview with Lansdowne. Billow was glad to hear Lansdowne's explanation and agreed to postpone the discussions while ex pressing the hope that the question would hot be dropped alto-2. gether. Thus the negotiations ended in courteous language and pious hopes for the future. They had failed. Germany had demanded more than Britain was prepared to give. She had carr ied out her policy and belief to the letter. The result was contrary to her expectations. English statesmen who previously had been friendly began to distrust German motives. Chamber lain, the guiding force in the recent negotiations, decided 3 . to have nothing more to do with the people of Berlin. He and others had the impression "that Germany had never really been in earnest, but rather had kept them dangling for years and had used the situation as a pretext for asking colonial 1. B.D. vol.2.p.80-2.No.94.Lansdowne to Lascelles, Dec.19, 1901. 2. B.D. vol.2.p.83. No.94.Lascelles to Lansdowne,Jan.3, 1902. 3. Brandenburg - op. cit. -p.171.;Pribram - op. cit. - p.89. . July 1905 Chamberlain remarked,"Once burned twice shy; from that moment I was determined never again to run in double harness with that, man (Billow)." 33. 1. concessions For many years Germany had sought alliance with England. During that time England, secure in proud independence, polite ly declined to "be drawn into European entanglements. Granted, she worked generally with the members of the Triple Alliance, hut she refused a binding agreement. When, at the end of the century, changed conditions brought her into countless conflicts in da8?erent parts of the world, she decided upon a defensive alliance. She turned to the country whose overtures she had so often put aside. It was only natural that Germany, in her pride, should refuse to come the first time England lifted her finger to beckon. As they conceived it, the tables were turned, and.they were not averse to making England come as a suppliant. Unfortunatel?/, in their over-confidence, they misread the times, and the English character. The situation was not so serious that England need dance to Germany's piping, nor was England's love for Germany so great that she would continue to come back so long as Germany offered her a faint hope of success. She acted as Germany would have done. She offered herself in other markets. The very thing that the Germans dreaded and v/ished to avoid happened. England fulfilled her threat and turned to France and Russia. Distrust and suspicion poison the relationship between nations as between individual people. It is not quite clear I.Brandenburg - op. cit. p.171. 34. where this originated. Salisbury, in spite of his courtesy, revealed his distrust of Germany. He, in his turn, was sus pected by Holstein, who even carried his suspicion so far as to accuse Salisbury of using other nations to pull England's chestnuts out of the fire, and of waiting and planning for a European war in which England would play the part of onlooker 1. and take all the profits. This attitude of distrust spread from the officials to the public and the press. In such an atmosphere how could an alliance be formed, and if formed, how could it endure? Assured of support each country might have gone its own way, seeking its own interests by aggressive means. Neither would have allowed the other to influence its policy. Britain feared this in Germany; Germany, probably sensing this suspic ion, feared England might leave her in the lurch. The situat ion was impossible. ' The alliance might have kept peace in Europe, but it would probably have been through inspiring fear. Friendly relations and co-operation up to a point were possible and remained so for some years; but so long as the statesmen of the Filhelminic Era were in control a formal alliance was out of the question. Brandenburg's conclusion is fascinating in its simplicity and hint of tragedy; 11 They had offered us their hand and had l.B.D. vol.2.p.84.No.96.Holstein to Chirol, Jan. 3, 1902. G.D. vol.3.p.146. XVII. lol. Memorandum by Holstein, Oct.31, 1901. 35. had withdrawn it when we made the conditions of acceptance too onerous for fulfilment. They never came back to us. They went 1. instead to our enemies." 1.Brandenburg - op. cit. p.181. 36. CHAPTER II. Anglo-German Relations 1898-1904. During these years when England was slowly emerging from her era of "splendid isolation" and casting out feelers for all iances, her relations with Germany never lacked an element of uncertainty that lent spice to even the most casual intercourse. On the whole, the desire to work in harmony predominated - part ly because Germany fancied she could gain more by so doing^ and partly because she did not feel sufficiently strong on the sea to arouse the British lion too mueh. On the British side was a genuine desire to live on friendly terms with Germany - a desire which later gave way to distrust and doubt in view of Germany's erratic policy. This particular period witnessed the failure of the Anglo-German alliance, and the gradual swing toward Prance and later toward Russia culminating in the Anglo-French Agreements of 1904 and the Anglo-Russian understanding of 1907. Thorny problems occupied the diplomats of both countries during these six years. Caution and coolness were essential to bring the disputes to a peaceful settlement. The Portugese Colonies, the South African War, the Venezuelan Question, the Yangtsze Treaty, all taxed the powers of the official repres entatives. The Governments found their task rendered more diff icult by the violence of public opinion in both countries. Out-37. bursts of hostility towards Germany in the English Press made it hard for Salisbury and Lansdowne to preserve tolerably am icable relations officially. The extremely anti-British tone of the German Press aroused the ire of the British and increas ed the complications. There were, however, periods of relative calm between the storms. As always Germany asked too much for her friendship, or acted too impulsively, or had aims considerably different from those of Britain. The rash, bombastic utterances of the Kais er brought suspicion on Germany's motives. The new Empire's restless striving for first place among nations inevitably brought her into conflict with the proud mistress of the seas. On many occasions Britain proved yielding and conciliatory; hut she would not always pay the high prices Germany demanded. Reconciliation with Prance did not prove as costly as Germany had fondly imagined, so Britain turned to the German enemy. Eckardstein's prophecies, so long scorned as nafive and imposs ible by Holstein and Bulow, came true with the formation of the Anglo-French Entente. The first important agreement of this period was that be tween England and Germany over the Portugese Colonies in South Africa. In this case the initiative came from the German Gov ernment, HHd was somewhat reluctantly taken up by the English. In 1898 the Portugese financial position gave cause for consid erable anxiety. A loan seemed necessary, so the Governor-Gener al of Portugese East Africa sounded Paris, London, and Berlin 38. on the subject. In a memorandum of May 1, 1898, Mr. Bertie ad vocated discussing the future of the Portugese possessions in Africa and offering a loan to Portugal in return for guarantees and privileges. He believed Germany likely to ste-p in and, in 1." return for a loan, acquire some of the Colonies. By ancient treaties England was interested in the fate of Portugese poss essions; while the position of these colonies in Africa made their fate of importance to the British Empire. If they fell into the hands of a power hostile to England, complications were almost certain to arise. Since Prance and Germany also had some commercial interests involved, they were not disposed to sit calmly by while Britain came to an arrangement with Port ugal and walked away with the spoils. The Germans discovered that on June 3 the Portugese Ambass ador in London, M. de Soveral, left Lisbon with instructions to obtain a loan by mortgaging the revenues from the South African possessions of Portugal, rights of sovereignty being involved 2. in the mortgage. Billow considered it time for Germany to interfere since international interests were concerned. There fore on June 14 the German Ambassador called upon Salisbury to enquire the terms under which de Soveral proposed to raise money for his Government. As Chamberlain '©as carrying on the discussions Salisbury could supply no information. However, since he wished to maintain the best relations with Germany he 1. B.D. vol.1.p.44.No.65.Memorandum by Bertie, May 1, 1898. 2. G.D. vol.3.p.30-1.XIV. 266. Billow to Munster,June 18, 1898. 3 9. would in due time inform the Ambassador of any steps that might 1. concern the rights or legitimate interests of Germany. This did not satisfy Germany. Hatzfeldt asked Salisbury "whether we would join with Germany in a common action in regard to the financial operations which the Government of Portugal desired to carry through." Salisbury thought the whole affair concern ed only England and Portugal. Britain wished to maintain the status quo, but if it bacame necessary to distribute territory 2. he would consult Germany. Bulow was disposed to think it would be to British ad vantage to join Germany before coming to an agreement with Port ugal. Germany had helped England in.Egypt without deriving any benefit. She was not in the position to render political ser vices gratis, but expected some return. He had the idea that England was getting ready very quietly to seize a considerable portion of African territory without consulting German interests. Accordingly, he instructed Hatzfeldt to ask Salisbury his views on the future partition of Portugese colonies between England and Germany, also whether he would be ready to undertake a binding agreement on the question if Germany gave full recogn-3. ition. and consideration to British interests. On June 23 Salisbury had an interview with Hatzfeldt during which the latt er suggested two schemes - first, a parallel loan made by Eng-1. B.D. vol.1.p.48.Ho.66. Salisbury to Gough, June 14, 1898. 2. B.D. vol.1.p.49.Ho.67. Salisbury to Gough, June 21, 1898. 3. G.D. vol.3.p.32.XlV. 272. Bulow to Hatzfeldt, June 22, 1898. 40. land and Germany to Portugal, the security of each loan to be customs revenue of certain colonial territory to which the res pective countries would have first claim in case of "certain eventualities"; second, that Germany would give up to Britain Delagoa Bay and the Mozambique Province up tb the Zambezi, if Britain would allow Germany to take Portugese territory beyond the Zambezi up to the Rovuma and the Shir3, and the Colony of Angola in case the Portugese Empire fell. Hatzfeldt based the justice of the German claim on services rendered by Germany to England in the past. Salisbury requested time for considerat ion.!. In the meantime Germany took steps at Lisbon to prevent 2. an agreement without German consent. To the English she urg ed speed and silence in order to exclude France. England, how ever, was not disposed to rush into such an agreement. She de sired above all to maintain the status quo and prolong the life of the Portugese Empire. Knowing the German Colonial ambitions Salisbury distrusted this sudden outburst of enthusiasm. Accord ingly, the negotiations dragged a little in spite of German eff orts and assurances. As usual Salisbury felt the Germans were 3. asking too much and giving too little. Hatzfeldt, who had been fertile in suggestions for the basis of the understanding, feared this would cause his Government to break off discussions. 1. B.D. vol.1.p.52.Ho.70. Salisbury to Gough, June 23, 1898. 2. G.D. vol.3.p.35.Tattenbach to German Foreign Office, June 30 1898; B.D.vol.l.p.54. No.73.MacDonnell to Salisbury, July 6, 1898. 3. B.D. vol.1.p.58.No.78.Salisbury to Gough, July 20, 1898. 41. He told Salisbury it would be a splendid opportunity for estab lishing good relations lost. Germany could not stand alone. If this agreement failed to materialise she would have to turn to 1. Russia. Conversations continued, each side trying to secure the territory best suited to its own interests. In August Salis bury went on leave and left the Foreign Office in the hands of Balfour. Mr Bertie, in a memorandum of August 10, 1898, stress ed the advantages to be derived by Germany from the proposed 2. agreement, and questioned the presence of any for England. Just as a settlement seemed to be in sight, fresh difficulties arose over the inclusion of Timor. Germany refused to continue if this territory were not assigned to her. England was reluct-3. ant to agree. In reply to the statement that Balfour com plained Germany did nothing but threaten and neither conceded nor promised anything, Richthofen said it was incomprehensible at the moment "when we are letting England have South Africa and are ready to fulfil our promises. In our eyes the agree ment was to be the starting-point of a joint colonial policy. Our demands are the minimum for our leaving the Boers to them-4. selves." So eager were the Germans for a settlement that the Kaiser in a conversation with Lascelles went so far as to say, 1. B.D.vol.1.p.58.No.78.Salisbury to Gough, July 20, 1898. 2. B.D.vol.1.p.60,No.81.Memorandum by Bertie, Aug.10, 1898-. 3. G.D.vol.3.p.37.XIV.321.Richthofen to Hatzfeldt, Aug.19, 1898 4.Ibid; also B.D.vol.1.p.67.No.85.Balfour to Lascelles, Aug. 19, 1898. 42. "unless the negotiations in progress during the last few days between my Ambassador and Mr. Balfour lead to no more acceptable result than they had up to the present, the continued presence 1. of my Ambassador in London would be superfluous just nov/." On August 30, 1898 the Convention was signed. The respect ive areas of influence were carefully defined. A.secret Convent ion agreed to oppose the intervention of any third power in the specified territory; while a secret note prevented_one Govern ment's accepting concessions from Portugal unless the other 2. Government received similar concessions. In view of the complications Portugal had decided not to 3. borrow money. She did approach Prance, but the negotiations never materialized. After the Agreement had been signed Balfour told de Soveral that Germany and England were ready to make a 4. loan on very easy terms. Germany resented Britain's action in not keeping the agreement entirely secret. She felt this 5. postponed indefinitely its carrying out. In case the French caused trouble by persuading Portugal to borrow from them Hatz feldt suggested to Balfour that they intimate to Portugal that England and Germany would not permit intervention by a third 6. Power. Regarding this Salisbury wrote the following minute, 1. G.D.vol.3.p.38. XIV.334. Note. 2. B.D.vol.1.p.71.No.90.Balfour to Lascelles, Aug. 31, 1898.; p.73.No.91.Balfour to Hatzfeldt; p.74.Englosure In No.92. August 30, 1898. 3. B.D.vol.1.p.57.No.76.Salisbury to Macdonnell,July 13,.1898. 4. B.D.vol.1.p.75.No.93.Balfour to Soveral, Aug. 31, 1898. 5. G.D.vol.3.p.40. German note. 6. B.D.vol.1.p.75.No.94.Balfour to Lascelles, Sept. 1, 1898. 43. "I expected this. They are not content to wait for events to give them their share of Portugese territory but wish to force 1. the pace of destiny." On October 14, 1899 an Anglo-Portugese Agreement reaffirm ed the terms of the old treaties between England and Portugal, and made arrangements whereby Portugal, andertook not to allow the passage of arms and munitions across Portugese territory to the Boers in event of a South African War, and agreed not to pro 2. claim neutrality in such a war. When this so-called Windsor Treaty became known it aroused a storm of protest in Germany. Nearly every German official felt it to be contrary to the Anglo German agreement - a typical example of Albion's perfidy. Billow says it was "perfidious duplicity." England had gone behind Germany's back to render ineffectual the treaty over the Port-3. ugese Colonies. He even goes further and accuses the Prince of Wales of participating personally and energetically in under-4. mining the Anglo-German treaty over the Portugese Colonies. All the discussion, all the eagerness, all the mistrust, all the irritation had been to no purpose. The Agreement was never put into practice. Germany's schemes (if she had any) for acquiring new territory came to naught, not because of Eng land's later renewal of old Portugese treaties, and lack of 1. B.D.vol.1.p.76.Minute by Salisbury. 2. B.D.vol.1.p.93-4. Text of Agreement. 3. Billow - Memoirs - vol.1.p.327. 4.Ibid. p.326. 44. faith, as they believed, but because the negotiations had arous ed Portugal's suspicions and made her cautious. Following this Agreement came the trouble over Samoa bring ing with it great excitement in Germany. In 1889 by the Berlin Convention the Samoan Islands were placed under the joint con trol of Britain, Germany, and the United States. Trouble began when the King, Malietoa, died in August 1898. The Convention had provided for the legal election of a new king, but the Powers divided when the local chiefs elected a Pretender and the Chief Justice declared the election illegal and appointed the son of the old ruler. Illegal action on the part of the German representatives led to protests from the British and Americans and to acts of violence in Samoa. Germany, who had a sentimental interest in Samoa as the starting-point of her colonial aspirations, had long wanted a partition of the group so arranged as to give her the Island of Upolu. Acting on Bulow's instructions at the beginning of September 1898 Hatzfeldt approached the British Foreign Office with a proposal for partition of the islands as the best solut-1. ion of the difficulty. Germany was ready to offer concessions 2. to induce England to agree to the proposal. Hatzfeldt . : found Balfour attentive but non-committal. He promised to write to Salisbury, but did not see what England would gain by the Tonga Islands since she could have taken them long ago had 1. G.D.vol.3.p.42-3.XlV 567.Bulow to Hatzfeldt, Aug.31, 1898; p.43. Xiv:569.Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, 2. G.D.vol.3.p.44.German Note. (Sept, 1, 1898. 45. 1. she wanted. Salisbury successfully vetoed the suggestion by telegraphing to the Foreign Office that he did not think any thing could be done about Samoa because Australia would object 2. to any alteration. The question remained In abeyance until January 1899, when the German representatives put themselves in the wrong. The situation caused far more discussion on the German side than on the British. On January 20 the Emperor called at the British Embassy in Berlin to discuss Samoa and to stress the advisability of a more satisfactory arrangement. Billow on the 3. other hand thought the time not yet opportune. Since Salis bury showed no disposition to do anything for Germany in Samoa or elsewhere Hatzfeldt advised discussions of alliance between 4. France and Germany to bring him to his senses. Germany be came convinced that England was using the United States to drive Germany out of Samoa. Chamberlain suggested Germany might.give up the Samoa group and take compensation elsewhere since her interests there were decreasing. Hatzfeldt maintain-5. ed German interests were great in Upolu. Billow feared the good relations between England and Germany, which had been in evidence since the agreement regarding the Portugese Colonies, 1. G.D.vol.3.p.44.XIV.570.Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, Sept. 2, 1898. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.45.XlV.571.Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, Sept. 8, 1898. 3. B.D.vol.1.p.IO8VN0.128.Lascelles to Salisbury, Jan.20, 1899. 4 • G.D. vol. 3. r>. 48.XIV. 57 9.Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, Feb. 23, 1899. 5.G.D.vol.3.p.54.XIV.585.Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, Mar. 25, 1899. 46. would be spoilt if England persisted in treating Germany so harshly over Samoa. Public opinion would not allow the Govern ment to bow to England's wishes even if it so desired. The bombardment by the British and American ships, during which the German Consulate received damage, had increased the ill-feeling in Germany. Moreover the British had expressed no re gret whereas the United States had apologised. If England re fused to guarantee that she would uphold the previous treaty Germany would have to recall her ambassador from London. Eng-1. land would not behave like this if Germany had a strong navy. The Emperor grew very heated over the English treatment of Germany in Samoa. He regarded it as a personal matter and felt all his efforts towards an understanding had been in vain. England persisted in treating.Germany as a nonentity; but she would live to find them strong, then perhaps it would be too late to repent. He greatly feared public opinion would prevent his proposed'pleasure visit to Cowes which would be very dis-2. V appointing. His resentment f ound^further expression in a letter to Queen Victoria in which he abused British policy, and 3. harshly criticised Salisbury. Deeply hurt, the Queen admin istered grave reproof and forwarded a memorandum by Salisbury 4. refuting the Kaiser's accusations. 1. G.D.vol.3.p.56-7.XIV.590.Billow to German Foreign Office, April 1, 1899.; also B.D.vol.1.p.111.Ho.133.Lascelles to Salisbury, March 24, 1899. 2. B.D.vol.1.p.117.Ho.141.Lascelles to Salisbury, May 26, 1899. 3. G.D.vol.3.p.64.XIV.617.Emperor to Queen Victoria, May22,1899. 4. G.D.vol.3.p.64.XIV.620.Queen Victoria to the Emoeror, Junel2, 1899. 47. On April 4 Salisbury telegraphed the assurance that he would observe the terms of the Berlin Convention. The feeling existed in England and Samoa that Germany was trying to drive 1. England and the United States out of the islands. After fur ther difficulties a commission was dispatched to investigate the situation and make recommendations for a settlement of the ques tion. This Commission advised against a continuation of the joint control, in the interests of peace in Samoa. Hatzfeldt urged Salisbury to suggest some way out of the difficulty. Salisbury refused to be fturried. He saw no immediate need for settlement and stressed the problem of a fair division. Germany wanted Upolp, the most valuable island. Australia would object to Brit ain's surrendering these islands to a foreign power. Moreover, he was convinced as he told Lascelles that Germany was pushing the point not because of the value of the islands or of public opinion but because the Kaiser had set his hear$ on it. So negotiations ©ontinued to drag on and on driving the German Government to the verge of despair. On September 22 Salisbury informed Lascelles that England had agreed to arbit-3. ration by the King of Norway and Sweden. Then difficulties 4. arose again over the rules for the guidance of the arbiters. 1. B.D.vol.1.p.113.No.137.Lascelles to Salisbury, April 6, 1899. also Enclosure in No.137.Salisbury to Lascelles, April 4, 1899 2. B.D.vol.1.p.121.No.146.Salisbury to Lascelles,Sept. 15, 1899. 3. B.D.vol.Ip. 124.No.148.Salisbury to Lascelles,Sept. 22, 1899. 4. B.D.vol.1.p.125.No.149.Salisbury to Lascelles,Oct. 6, 1899. 48-. In the midst of this last phase came the Boer War. With that, German friendship assumed a new importance. The sympathy of Europe was with the Boers. A visit of the Kaiser to England would show that Britain had at least one friend on the Contin ent. The German Government found themselves in a somewhat awkward position. By making capital out of England's isolat ion they could try to force a settlement. Such action would lead to an outcry in Britain against the brutality and selfish ness of the Germans. On the other hand if they did not reach a favourable agreement public opinion in Germany would be an gry and disgusted. During an interview with Chamberlain, Eck ardstein urged him to accept Germany's very moderate proposals. Y/hen Chamberlain hesitated, Eckardstein warned him public opin ion might force German policy, hitherto loyal to England, into another direction. Chamberlain immediately raised the cry of blackmail; but Eckardstein refuted the accusation by reminding him that the proposals had been made weeks before war was 1. thought probable. The affair was settled by England's yielding. Germany received Upolu and salved her wounded pride. The final ratif ication took place on February 16, 1900. On that day Lascelles wrote to Salisbury that Richthofen was delighted with the settlement. He assured Lascelles that the German Government would in no way mix themselves up with the Boer War and would l.G.D.vol.3.p.68.XlV.637. Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, Sept. 20, 1899. 49. 1. decline to intervene if asked by other powers. The whole affair seems rather a storm in a teacup. Yet the ill-feeling aroused in Germany might easily have proved a serious menace to England in her hour of difficulty. The Germ ans could not see why England wished to stand in their way over such a small piece of territory. On the other hand had Germ any any greater claim then her partners? The English failed to see the justice of the German demand.and objected to the barely veiled threats.. Britain could have surrendered all claim in favour of Germany, but such an act would have set a dangerous precedent. If the German Navy had been larger the Kaiser might have been tempted to back up some of his bombastic utterances. However, the dispute was settled in Germany's favour and the new Empire proceeded to Demonstrate to Britain the value of its friendship in time of war. "It was highly significant that the negotiations over these comparatively minor matters should nearly have caused a breach in their dip lomatic relations. The way in which German policy invariably opened fire at once with its biggest guns was extremely anti pathetic to English statesmen, who were more tranquil and tol erant in their diplomatic intercourse and very sensitive to 2. threats." The Hague Conference in the summer of 1899 accomplished 1. B.D.vol.1.p.130.No.156.Lascelles to Salisbury, Feb. 16, 1900. 2. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.129. 50. little of material value. None of the Powers proved enthusias tic, hut it fell to Germany to bring odium upon herself for de clining to limit armaments or submit to arbitration. VJhen Britain suggested the establishment of a permanent tribunal Germany objected, but for the sake of appearances had to con-1. sent to a modified voluhtary sort of arbitration machinery. If anything the.Conference increased the impression, already existing, that Germany was intensely militaristic and a menace to peace proposals. Actually she was no more so than the other 2. powers• The question of the German attitude in the South African War caused Britain a certain amount of anxiety in view of the Kruger Telegram episode. At the time of the Jameson Raid German sympathy had been with the Boers. The Kaiser in partic ular wished to take some action to show this sympathy. Mars-chall- in his diary for January 3, 1896 stated that at a confer ence the Kaiser had made wild proposals for assisting the Boers 1. B.D.vol.l.p.229. Note 1. 2. Lowes Dickinson - The International Anarchy - p.347-52. There is abundant evidence that few of the statesmen of Europe believed anything could or would be done about arm aments. The official French report on the Conference said "From the first meeting it was easy to see that the delegate of every Power, while appearing animated by the desire to respond to the humanitarian intentions of their own Govern ments, derived either from their own convictions or from the instructions of their Governments (the same Governments that had the 'humanitarian intentions'), a resolve not to accept any measure which might result in really diminishing the defensive or offensive forces of their country, or even in limiting those forces$" Wilson - The War Guilt - p.69. Also supports these views. 51. Finally at Marschall's suggestion the Kaiser agreed to send a congratulatory telegram to Kruger. The widow of Kayser, the Director of the Colonial Department, claims that her husband thought of the telegram and made the first draft. The Chancell or, Prince von Hohenlohe, told his son that he had agreed to the 1. telegram "to avert something worse." Suffice it to say that the Kruger Telegram was sent and aroused a storm of anger in England, while pleasing the Boers. On January 21 Hatzfeldt wrote to Holstein privately that for a short time the Germans in London could do hardly any business with the English. Even he, himself, had received many insulting and threatening letters. Had the Government lost its head and wished for war, the whole of public opinion would have been behind it. Public opinion in England could control the Government. Salisbury had maintained a conciliatory attitude towards Germany in the belief that time 2. would bring calmness. The irritation remained for some time, and German interference and obvious backing of the Boers made the relations between the Governments difficult. Billow claims that even as late as June 1897 some of the bitterness still remained - Prince Albrecht of Prussia riding in the ceremonial procession on June 22 was repeatedly informed by the crowds, "If you want to send a telegram to Oom Kruger, you'll find a 3. Post Office round the corner on the right." German sympathy continued to be on the side of the Boers 1. G.P.Gooch - Recent Revelations in European Diplomacy - p.9. 2. G.D.vol.2.p.403.XI.53.Hatzfeldt to Holstein, Jan. 21, 1896. 3. Billow - Memoirs - vol.1.p. 16. 52. during the subsequent troubles. The Government, however, was not willing to risk a breach with England for the sake of the South African Republic. During the spring and summer of 1899 inditectly they urged conciliation and an avoidance of anything 1. that might lead to outbreak of hostilities. They determined in event of war to amintain an attitude of strict neutrality, and to work for localization of the conflict. As a rev/ard for such conduct they probably hoped to exact tribute from Britain in the future. On August 13, 1899 Richthofen instructed the German Consul at Pretoria to avoid declarations regarding the Transvaal since Germany must not be drawn into the dispute in 2. any form. In September Billow wrote to the Foreign Office that the language of the German Press should be calm and cool abovit the Transvaal crisis and confine itself strictly to facts. The German Government did not wish to incur the enmity of England since the other continental powers were certainly not considering 3. such a policy. The outbreak of war was the signal for a violent attack on British policy by the Continental press, particularly in France, Russia, and Germany. This attitude greatly inconvenien ced the Governments in their attempts to maintain neutrality. To add to the complications Dr. Leyds, a Boer official, toured 4. Europe in 1899 seeking aid against Britain. Billow, who states, 1. G.D.vol.3.p.85.XV.371.Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, June 7, 1899.;p.88.Billow to Flotow - July 4, 1899. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.95.XV.384.Richthofen to Biermann, Aug.13, 1899. 3. G.D.V01.3.p.l02.XV.395.Bulow to German Foreign Office,Sept.20, 4. G.D.vol.3.p.106.Note. (189953. "I was determined from the first to keep us clear of any steps 1. for the Boers, and against the British," urged Rilcher-Jenisch, the Charge d'Affaires in Brussels, to use his influence to pre vent Dr. Leyds from coming to Berlin because "I could not reuei-2. ve him." As a result on this occasion Dr. Leyds did not visit 3. Berlin. Prom Paris Monson reported the modification of the attitude of the French press. He also commented on the fact that France and Russia seemed to be conspiring to take advantage of Britain's extremity to get a European coalition against her. He thought Russia at the bottom of it, b$tt could not really say 4. as nothing definite had leaked out. The Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Goluchowski, saw no likelihood of coalition in the European capitals against England. He feit sure Germany would not countenance such action, so Russia would 5. not gain much support for her absurd proposals. In the midst of this hostility it was important for Eng land to feel she had at least one friend. English statesmen welcomed the proposed visit of the Kaiser as proof of his good will. Delay over the Samoan Question and consequent anti-Brit ish feeling in Germany nearly led to a cancellation of the visit in spite of the Kaiser's genuine desire to carry out the project. Once the question was settled satisfactorily for Germany the 1. Billow - Memoirs - vol.1.p.289. 2. G.D.vol.3.p. 106.XV.405.Billow to Rilcker-Jenisch, Oct. 16, 1899. 3. G.D.vol.3.p.106.Note.. 4. B.D.vol.l.p.233-6.Nos.285-7,9Monson to Salisbury,Oct.1,24,27, Nov. 3,. 1899. 5. B.D.vol.l.p.237.Nos.290,291. Rumbold to Salisbury, Nov.3, 1899 54. Emperor announced his intention to visit the Queen at the end of November. The hostility of public opinion in Germany caus ed the Emperor and his advisers to stress the purely family nature of the visit and to avoid any public functions while in England. The visit proved in every way satisfactory, the Kaiser and the Prince of Wales managed not to irritate each other, the Kaiser appeared sympathetic and very desirous of helping England as much as possible. British statesmen who were hon oured with an interview expressed gratification at the German Government's attitude and assurances. The English public £nr-got any anti-German feelings and welcomed the Emperor. Bulow-who accompanied the Kaiser, observed that the British were far less anti-German than the Germans were anti-British. Therefore he feared the possible influence of men like Chirol and Saund ers, who, knowing the depth of German hostility, might reveal their knowledge to the English public and thereby cause an un-1. favourable change in Anglo-German relations. During the v/ar the Kaiser wrote very sympathetic letters, full of advice, to the Prince of Wales. The Prince, although not altogether appreciating his nephew's kindness, on the whole avoided remarks that would offend. Occasionally the pro vocation v/as too great and the Prince administered sharp reproof 2. which was immediately met by an injured protest. For the 1. G.D.vol.3.p.108-114.XV.413.Memorandum of Bulow, Nov.24, 1899. 2. Lee - King Edward VII. - vol.1.p.754. 55. assistance of his English relatives Wilhelm drew up some notes on the War in the Transvaal. The first instalment he sent on December 21, 1899; the second, in which he suggested a plan of campaign and indulged in the famous football simile, came in 1. February 1900. This latter was destined to cause consider able irritation when the information came to light in the Dally Telegraph Incident. The Kaiser claimed to have submitted it to the General Staff for their approval before sending It to the Prince. In 1908 Billow stated in the Reichstag that neith er the said plan of campaign nor any other similar work by the Kaiser had been examined by the General Staff. The Emperor may have shown it to his aide-de-camp on duty, who did belong 2. to the General Staff. Nevertheless, the plan was sent, but failed to impress the English authorities. Why the Kaiser took all this trouble to be so gracious to England is somewhat obscure. By the time the war ended he was disposed to be any thing but gracious in view of imagined insults received from 3. English officials. Whether, as Lee firmly believes, he was doing it to cover his treacherous attempts to organize a con tinental coalition against England or not one can hardly say. Evidence does not point toward Germany as the instigator of such a plan. Before 1899 ended Chamberlain complained to Eckardstein 1. Lee - op. cit. vol.1.p.805. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.123. German Note 3. Lee - op. cit. vol.1.p.761. 56. about German army officersserving on the side of the Boers. He had received the information from Sir Alfred Milner. He regret ted the"effect of this news on public opinion when it became 1. known. • The Kaiser's comments on Hatzfeldt's despatch reveal deep indignation. He concludes, "The Ambassador must inform Mr. Chamberlain of my Order to all Army Corps, that none of their members including even troops that have been disbanded, are permitted to go to Africa. That is all that is reaui^ed. - If 2. we had a fleet, Ghamberlain would not have dared J " Bulow later assured Lascelles that reports concerning the number of German officers in Boer service had been exaggerated. The Gov-3. ernment knew of only two officers so far. Prom conversations with Chamberlain, Eckardstein got the impression that Britain might take some action regarding Delag-oa Bay to stop the Boers importing arms by this channel. He thought they would first approach Germany to see if she were 4. agreeable. Germany might th&s gain some concession. Billow took the precaution of informing Portugal that Germany must be 5. notified if any other nation asked for control of Delagoa Bay. As usual Germany was on the alert not only to protect her inter ests, but to gain all she could. Then came the incident that threatened to wreck the good l.G.D.vol.3.p.115-6.XV.426.Hatzfeldt to the German Foreign Office, Dec. 20, 1899. 2.Ibid. 3. B.D.vol.1.p.245.Ho.304.Lascelles to Salisbury, Jan. 4, 1900. 4. G.D.vol.3.p.116-7.XV.428.Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, Dec. 21, 1899. 5. G.D.vol.3.p.117.XV.453.Billow to Tattenbach. Dec. 25, 1899. 57. relations between England and the German Government. Britain claimed.and put into practice the right to search ships of neu tral nations suspected of carrying contraband of war. At the end of December 1899 British naval vessels seized three German mail steamers of the Woermann Line, the "Bundesrath", the "Gen eral", the"Hertzog',' on the charge of carrying contraband. They soon released the "General" and the"Hertzog", but took the "Bund esrath" to the Prize Court at Durban. German anger knew no bounds. Billow says, "It was inexcusable that the German Govern ment, while striving to come to an understanding with Britain, should have had difficulties thrown into its way at a critical moment from the British side by the unjustified and absolutely 1. brutal seizure of the German mail-boats." Tirpitz and the Naval Party took the opportunity to urge the need for speed in augmenting the German Navy. Through diplomatic channels Germany protested sharply against England's action and demanded immediate release of the ship together with compensation. The British Government resent ed the accusation that she had exceeded her rights. Eckardstein who was striving for an alliance, cursed the stupidity of the German Foreign Office for their aribtrary demands. In a private despatch to Eckardstein on January 14, 1900 Holstein revealed his impatience at the delay over the release and said the Emp eror was considering whether someone ought to be sent at once within forty-eight hours to find out directly from London wheth-l.Bulow - Memoirs - vol.1.p.527. 58. er an understanding was possible or if some other method must be resorted to. He deplored the apathy of the British Govern-1. ment. That they ever notified the English indirectly of their intention to send an Admiral with an ultimatum is distinctly 2. doubtful. Salisbury at length yielded, ordered the release of the vessel, and agreed to compensation. The incident was settled, but left ill-feeling on both sides which the newspap ers did their best to preserve. Throughout the entire course of the war efforts were made to intervene between Britain and the Boers. The origin of the scheme is veiled in the mists of obscurity. Lee lays the blame on the Kaiser who in conversations v/ith the Russians 3. hinted at a coalition. Brandenburg believes Prance first suggested it by her careful enquiries in October 1899 regard ing Germany's attitude towards England in South Africa and suggestions of precautionary measures against English expansion 4. in that area. ' Monson, the English Ambassador in Paris, sus-5. pected Russia. In March 1900 Russia definitely came forward with a proposal that Germany join in mediation. Germany de clined. In a private note to Lascelles the Emperor said Russia could do so on her own - Germany would not risk England's friend-6. shipj He told Lascelles during an interview that he thought 1. G.D.vol.3.p.121.XV.471.Holstein to Eckardstein, Jan.14, 1900. Eckardstein - op. cit. - p.142-3. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.121.German Note. 3. Lee - op. cit. - vol.1.p.761. 4. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.136. 5. B .D.vol. 1.p.233 • ITo.285-6. p. 234.No „ 287.Monson to Lansdowne . 6. G.D.vol.3.p.124.Note. 59. it only fair England should know and recognise that his action had influenced the conduct of Prance and Russia or in his words, 1 c "that I have kept those two tigers quiet." When the Boers asked for mediation on March 10, 1900 Bulow consented. On this occasion the Emperor wrote to Bulow, "England, the Paramount Power! That pleases Sir Frank Lascelles and pleases in London. Should, however, London be inclined to go into mediation, at any rate it knows what it has to expect from us. If it turns to us, tant mieux; then my goal is attained, and England receives South Africa from me J VoilaJ The consequences you can imagine 2. for yourself." A typical example of the Kaiser's high-flown dreams J Any offers of mediation were declined and the war went on. In January 1901 the Kaiser won favour for himself in Eng land by hurrying to the deathbed of his Grandmother, Queen Vic toria. He stayed until after the funeral, and maintained excell ent relations with everyone during his stay. King Edward was particularly gracious when he bestowed the Order of the Garter on the German Crown Prince. The Kaiser honoured Lord Roberts with the Order of the Black Eagle. At the farewell luncheon, he expressed a wish for the formation of an Anglo- German alliance 3. which would preserve the peace of the world. Unfortunately, these cordial feelings cooled rapidly when he returned to Berlin. 1. B.D.vol.1.p.253.Ho.313.Lascelles to Salisbury, March 2, 1900. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.l24.Hote. 3. Lee - op. cit. - vol.2.p.11. 60. The German officials had lived in terror all the time the Emp eror was in England. The German people strongly disproved any friendly acts towards England. Prom then on the Kaiser grad ually became more and more iriitated with Great Britain. The German Press commented on the brutality of the Brit ish Army in South Africa much to the annoyance of the British. On October 25, 1901 Chamberlain made a speech at Edinburgh in which he defended British methods, denied brutality, and said the British soldiers *ere no worse than continental soldiers in previous wars. He mentioned the Prussians In the Franco-German war. The German public was beside itself with rage. Bulow tried to extract an apology from Chamberlain. When that failed to materialize he suggested a public explanation that the speech was not intended as an insult to Germany. Then he wished a written statement that he could use in the Reichstag. Lansdowne absolutely declined to take Chamberlain to task. He 1. could not see what Germany had to be so angry about. Austria 2. quite approved Lansdowne's firm stand on the question. Thus the bickering went on. For the most part the Germ an Government kept their heads and continually assured Britain of their desire for good relations. The Press they could not control, nor could the British ministers control their news papers. Thus the t^ow forces in each country often worked at 1. B.D.voih.l.p.263.Ho.326.Lansdowne to Buchanan, Hov.26, 1901; p.265.No.328.Lansdowne to Buchanan, Dec. 3, 1901. 2. B.D.vol.l.p.269.No.333.Plunkett to Lansdowne, Jan.19, 1902. 61. cross purposes and made the task more difficult. In the Par East during these years the relationship was just as uncertain. Here again the aims of each were different. Britain viished to maintain the open door and establish her in fluence in the richest parts of China. This brought her into conflict with Russia who looked with hungry eyes upon parts of China that offered her a warm ocean port. Germany wished to protect her already existing commercial enterprises in China and to extend her influence. In this she saw the advantage of co-operation with England provided the co-operation did not bring her into opposition to Russia. She would support no scheme that was directed against Russia. England felt this and became cautious• The murder of the German Minister and of German mission aries in China gave the Kaiser a wonderful opportunity for bom bastic speeches and sabre-rattling whose only achievement was the bringing of fresh suspicion on German motives. He succeeded in having the German General, Waldersee, appointed to the supre me command of the allied armies in 1900. In august the Emperor hinted to Lascelles that Salisbury was to blame for delay In 1. the final confirmation of appointment. At this time the German desire for joint action was so great that Hatzfeldt proposed to Salisbury a mutual engagement not to acquire territorial advantages in China as a result of 1.B.D.vol,2.p.7.Ho.8.Lascelles to Salisbury, Aug. 24% 1900. 62. lc present troubles. The outcome of this suggestion was the 2. Yangtsze Treaty of October 1900. When Russia claimed Manchur ia Britain wished to protest since this seizure of territory was contrary to the terms of the treaty. Germany, not wishing to incur the ill-will of Russia, maintained that Manchuria was 3. excepted from the Treaty. Lansdowne obligingly gave way and when questioned in the House of Lords brought his statements 4. into line with those of Bulow in the Reichstag. Lascelles had an idea that although Germany wished to remain on good terms with England she would not be sorry to see Britain and Japan fighting Russia in the Par East. She, of course, would remain a spectator but would reap the profits of a check to Russian aggression.' The Austro-Hungarian Ambassador in Berlin agreed 5. with Shis. In April Lascelles had an interview with the Emp eror during which he gathered the latter was trying to incite Britain to war with Russia. Russia was not to be trusted. She was advancing and Britain was doing nothing, thereby losing her 6. prestige in the East. This opinion regarding the Emperor's wishes for an Anglo-Russian war was shared by Mr.T.H.Sanderson of the Foreign Office, "The Emperor, who has I believe been 1. G.DZvol.3.p.133.XV1.221.Hatzfeldt to German Foreign Office, Sept. 14, 1900. 2. B.D.vol.2f.p.l5.No. 17.Salisbury to Lascelles, Oct.15, 1900. 3. B.D.vol.21p.32.Extract from Bulow's speech in Reichstag, March 15, 1901; p.26,No.35.Lansdowne to MacDonald, Marchl6, 1901. 4. B.D.vol,2.p.28.No.37.Lansdowne to Lascelles, April 7, 1901. 5. B.D.vol.2.p.46.Ho.59.Lascelles to Lansdowne, March 15, 1901. 6. B.D.vol.2.p.53.No.72.Lascelles to Lansdowne, April 11, 1901. 63. very excitable since his accident is apparently furious with us for not having got into a quarrel with Russia over the bus iness arid obviously that would have suited the Germans very Is well." Once again the same atmosphere of distrust] The Germans believed England wished to involve them in a war from which she could derive the benefits. How Englishmen believed the same regarding Germany. The Kais_^er's uncontrolled lang uage sowed antagonism. In 1902 Britain shook off her dislike of alliances so far as to negotiate and sign the Anglo-Japanese Agreement. During the early discussions the statesmen considered the in clusion of Germany but knowledge of the Kaiser's fear of the Yellow Peril combined with other difficulties deterred them from carrying out the idea. King Edward took an interest in the proceedings and when the Agreement was signed on January 30, 1902 he advised notifying the Kaiser and his Government 2. first before the Treaty was made public. Lansdowne accord ingly informed Eckardstein who thanked him warmly on behalf of 3. the German Government for this mark of confidence. The Kaiser wrote to congratulate the King on the new alliance "which we 4. all look upon as a guarantee of peace in the East." To Las celles he expressed not only approval b#t also surprise that such an alliance had not heen concluded earlier. He was also 1. B.D.vol.2.p.58.Sanderson to Satow, April 12, 1901. 2. B.D.vol.2.p.121.Minute by King Edward. 3. Lee - op. cit. vol.2.p.143-4. $.Ibid.p.144. 64. 1. grateful for the strictly confidential communication. Some what in contrast to this general rejoicing comes Billow's letter to Metternich, March 13, 1902; the Anglo-Japanese Agreement will set aside attempts at a rapprochment between England and Russia for the present. Metternich and Eckardstein should observe carefully the British Press since "it is important in view of German decisions in the future to see against whom the increased self-confidence, which you mention as a result of the departure from isolation will be directed. Against Russia, -France, - Ourselves?" The Anglo-Japanese group may come for-' 2. ward in opposition to Germany's aspirations in the Far East. The year 1902 found a continuation of the petty irrit ations. Metternich complained of the articles In "The Times" as keeping the fires of hatred burning. It almost seemed as if the German Press could be as anti-British as it pleased, but if the British papers retaliated the German Government immediately protested and blamed them for the existing ill-feeling. The -King and the Kaiser clashed over the Boer Generals in the summer of 1902. They were received in England, went on to the Contin ent and were accorded a tumultuous welcome in Holland, a chilly one by the French ministers in Paris, and a most enthusiastic one by the Berlin populace. The Kaiser wished to receive them in spite of the warnings of his ministers who were wise enough 1. B.D.vol.2.p.122.No.128.Lascelles to Lansdowne, Feb. 7, 1902. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.l57-8.XVll.l49.Bulow to Metternich, March 13, 1902. 65. to foresee the effect on England. At the command of the King Lascelles informed the Kaiser that If he carried out his intent ions "his visit to England would he very unpopular in this country." As a result the Kaiser decided to give up the idea, representing his act as "a spontaneous and calculated express-1. ion of courtesy and friendship to England." Then he said he would receive them as British subjects if they were presented by Lascelles. This fell through and the matter dropped. Here was another opportunity to stress his kindness to and consider-2. ation for England despite the hostility of public opinion. In November the Kaiser paid his proposed visit and further irritated his uncle. Open friction was avoided and the two parted apparently amicably - the Kaiser delighted with the impression he thought he had made, the King thankful to see his troublesome nephew safely away once more. ''Although treaties regarding Sotith Africa, East Asia, and the South Seas seemed to have removed so many causes of frict ion no real confidence had been established between either the Governments or the peoples of Germany and England. The two nations viewed each other with suspicion and attributed evil motives to every small difference. Press and Parliament in both countries were constantly giving expression to this distrust. Yet far-seeing men on both sides of the water ac. -l.Lee. - op. cit. - vol.2.p.148. 2.Ibid.p.148-9. 3.Eckardstein - op. cit. - p.245. When the Kaiser left on board his yacht King Edward was heard to murmur "Thank God he's gone J " 66. * knowledged the feeling that we were of the same kin, that both peoples, if they dealt honourable by one another, were unassail able economically and politically and might long maintain un-1 • broken the peace of the world." The desire to co-operate revealed itself again during the Venezuelan Affair 1902-3. Several of the European powers had accounts"of long-standing to settle with the Venezuelan Govern ment. Since diplomatic measures secured no result England and Germany began to consider the necessity of employing more forceful methods. On January 20, 1902 Bulow wrote to the Emp eror suggesting a peaceful blockade of Venezuelan ports if they received no satisfaction for German claims. He also wished to get in touch with the British Government with a view to securing combined action. The Emperor added the note - "If you can be sure Britain will not use the opportunity to make America sus picious of Germany and spoil the effect of Prince Henry of 2. Prussia's visit." In the summer Lansdowne felt that In view of the attitude of the Venezuelan Government toward.British shipping he would have to intervene. On July 23 Metternich proposed joint action against Venezuela, and suggested a pacif ic blockade. Lansdowne was ready to confer with the German Government but requested time to consider before giving a 3. definite answer. 1. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.153. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.l60-l.XV11.241.Bulow to Emperor, Jan. 20, 1902. 3. B.D.vol.2.p.153.Ho.171.Lansdowne to Buchanan, July 23, 1902. 67. The result of several discussions was the Agreement to co operate first in sending a final notice to Venezuela, then if that failed, to further, more drastic, action. Both countries classified their claims for damages, and pledged themselves 1. not to make an independent settlement. Pinal arrangements provided for a belligerent blockade with modifications. In 2. this Germany gave way to England's wishes. The situation required careful, handling because of the United States and the Monroe Doctrine. On the whole the Americans supported the European powers and avoided adding any complications. The English press objected to co-opextation with Germany and the United States public opinion leaned towards England. The bomb ardment and sinking of Venezuelan ships irritated the American public and threatened Anglo-American relations. Sir Michael Herbert telegraphed to Lansdowne on December 16, 1902 - "The Administration is not suspicious of us, but is undoubtedly apprehensive as to German designs. The impression prevails in Washington that Germany is using us, and our friends here re gret from the point of view of American good feeling towards 3. us, that we are acting with her." The Germans possibly realized the situation, for Metternich assured Lnasdowne they were desirous of meeting British wishes and would do nothing 1. B.D.vol,2.p.156.No.174.Lansdowne to Buchanan, Nov. 11, 1902. 2. G.D.vol.3«p.l62-4.XVll.258.Billow to Emperor, Dec. 12, 1902; .B.D.vol,2.p.160.No.177.Lansdowne to Metternich, Dec. 2, 1902; p.161.No.179.Lansdowne to Buchanan, Dec. 13, 1902. 3. B.D.vol.2.p.162.No.180.Herbert to Lansdowne, Dec. 16, 1902. 68. 1. to make the British role any more difficult. Lansdowne's statement in Parliament that no British men-of-war had taken part in sinking the Venezuelan vessels, and the Prime Minister's promise to uphold the Monroe Doctrine allayed any suspicions the American public may have entertained. They even went so far as to express relief that the British fleet was there to check the Germans. If the affair were settled speedily by arbitration Herbert considered that friendly relations between Britain and the United States would be strengthened rather than impaired by the Venezuelan incident. In support of this belief he quoted from a leading New York paper "the American people in general have come to place a higher value than they ever placed before on the mutual goodwill and the co-operation in common causes of the two great branches of the English-speaking race, the Great 2. Empire, and the Great Republic." Germany delayed her acceptance of arbitration until Roose velt, fearful of public opinion and desirous to preserve amiable relations, privately threatened to use the United States navy against possible German aggressive designs in Venezuela, if the Kaiser hesitated any longer. As a result, Germany yielded and Roosevelt publicly congratulated the Kaiser on his enthusiasm 3. for the cause of arbitrationJ Despite the efforts of Mr. Bowen, the Venezuelan representative, to cause friction between 1. B.D.vol.2.p.162.No.181.Lansdowne to Lascelles, Dec. 18, 1902. 2. B.D.vol.2pp.163-4.No.184.Herbert to Lansdowne, Dec. 29, 1902. 3#Newton - Lord Lansdowne'- p.257.; J.B.Bishop - Roosevelt and His Times - vol.1.Chap. 20. for Roosevelt's account of the Venezuela incident. 69. the English and German representatives during the negotiations, a settlement was made without either England or Germany break ing her original promises. Public opinion in England objected to such co-operation, and America was none too pleased, but Lansdowne said in after y.ears, "the Germans, upon the whole, ran 1. straight as far as we were concerned." "The Bagdad Railway overstepped the bounds of Turco-German 2. relationships and became an international diplomatic problem" when in 1903 Germany obtained new concessions from the Porte and organized a new company. The terminus of the line was to be at some point on the Persian Gulf. In view of Britain's inter ests in this Gulf and the route to India, it was natural she should watch with apprehension the progress of Germany's vast undertaking. As a guarantee for the expenses it was proposed to Increase the customs revenue of Turkey. In this the other nations had to be consulted. Prominent British officials fav oured British participation in the construction and control of the line, equal at least to that of any other power. When Lans downe brought this to the attention o£ the German Ambassador in March 1902 Metternich saw ho objections as he believed the door 3. was open in this project. In several memoranda Lansdowne expressed the desirability of international control of this line. Otherwise he felt it menaced British interests in Persia and in 1. Nexvton - op. cit. - p.260. 2. Earle - Turkey, the Powers and the Bagdad Railway - p.7. 3. B.D.vol.2.p.177-8.Ho.204.Lansdowne to Lascelles, March 18, 1 1902. In 1888 Britain had the chance of constructing a line to Bagdad,but did not take it up. In 1899 when Germany had become interested Britain could have joined in with the French and Germans but again she let her opportunity slip, cf. :Earle - op. cit. p.3x, 59-60. 70. India. Koweit v/as not the only possible terminus on the Pers ian Gulf. If Britain withheld her consent to an increase in the Turkish revenues and opposed Koweit as the terminus,She would probably delay the construction of the line; but ultimately, with or without her sanction, it would be completed. Then Brit ain would find herself in an awkward position. At that late date she would be able to obtain an interest in the railway, only at enormous cost, if at all. Therefore, he favoured join ing Germany,and any other nations who were interested, on an 1. equal footing while there was yet time. France, also, was willing to invest capital provided she had equal advantages. If Germany tried to arrange matters so that she would have control the French Government would refuse to countenance French participation. Germany appeared agreeable to International control, and organised a meeting at Berlin in 1903 of the financial interests to discuss terms. British cap italists proved reluctant at first, but Lansdowne finally per suaded the House of Baring to represent Britain officially. British public opinion opposed the scheme in the belief that it was a German enterprise and would involve Britain in more diffic-2. ulties. This hostility became so intense that the Government 3. repudiated the idea of co-operation. Therefore Britain had to drop out, to the disappointment of Lansdowne and many other laB.D.vol.2,p.178-9.Minute by Lansdowne; p.187-8.No.216.Memor andum by- Lansdowne, April 14, 1903. Balfour also favoured co-operation on a basis of equality, cf. Earle - op. cit. -p.181-2. 2. Earle- op. cit. - p.182-3. The British press indulged in a violent outburst against Germany and the Bagdad Railway. 3. Earle - op. cit. - p«185. Pressure from public, House of Commons and part of the Cabinet persuaded Balfoxu? not to risk the life of his ministry on the question of British particip ation in the Bagdad Railway. 71. 1. officials, also British finance. The French Government followed suit on the grounds that the proposed terms secured an unfair advantage in the control to Germany. Apparently Germany was raSher disappointed, and had been prepared to offer 2. better terms had Britain asked for further discussions. Bulow avers he wished to come to an understanding with England regard ing the terminus of the Bagdad Railway and to avoid anything that might "arouse opposition or suspicion in the breasts of India's masters." Arthur von Gwinner had agreed with Billow that "the splendid project of the Bagdad Railway could only be 3. carried out if England agreed to it." Thus through the host ility of the British public and their distrust of anything German, Britain lost an opportunity of co-operating with Germ any in an enterprise which concerned her greatly. Judged In the light of subsequent events the course pursued was a wise one. It was probably better for the allies in the war that the 4. railway had never been completed to the Persian Gulf. When the Anglo-German negotiations of 1901 failed, English statesmen turned to France. In January 1902 Eckardstein, at a dinner at Marlborough House observed Chamberlain and the French > l.B.D.vol.2.p.l96.Mimute by Lansdowne, also Earle - op. cit. p.185-7. 2. B.D.vol.2.p.l95-6.No.224.0'Conner to Lansdowne, Dec.15, 1903. 3. Billow - Memoirs - vol.1.p.564. 4. Earle - op. cit. - p.188. holds a different views "As events turned out, the failure of the Balfour Government to effect the internationalization of the Bagdad Railway was a coloss al diplomatic blunder. If the proposed agreement of 1903 had been consummated, the Entente of 1904 between France and England would have taken control of the enterprise out of the hands of the Germans, who would have possessed, with their Turkish collaborators, only 14 of the 30 votes in the Board of Directors." 72. Ambassador, Cambon, in animated conversation and overheard the words "Morocco" and "Egypt". That same evening Chamberlain hinted to the German representative he would no longer work for an alliance with Germany, and King Edward expressed his oninion 1 that it would be wise to accept the French offers of friendship. From then on very slowly but surely France and England drew closer, until in 1904 they settled their outstanding differences and entered into a secret understanding regarding Morocco. German diplomats had warned the Foreign Office times without number, but always their warnings had fallen on deaf ears or 2. had been ridiculed as naive. In 1903 Eckardstein wrote to Billow of his belief that an understanding between Britain, France, and Russia was Imminent. King Edward's stay in Paris had assisted matters, and France would soon try to draw Russia into any alliance with England. Billow thought the whole idea 3. impossible. But time soon proved the truth of Eckardstein's observations. King Edward's visit to Paris, proposed by himself to assist European relations with England, turned out success-4. fully. Billow, entirely unsuspicious for once, thought it merely a sign that France would not support Russia against Eng-5. land in the East. However, the impossible happened, the 1. Eckardstein - op. cit. - p.230. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.171.XVII.342.Metternich to German Foreign Office, Jan. 30, 1902; Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.192. 3. G.D.vol.3.p.l72.XVll.570.Biilow to Alvensleben, May 13, 1903. 4. Lee - op. cit. - vol.2.p.236-43.• G.D,vol.3.p.l75-6.XVll. 591.Metternich to Billow, June 2, 1903. 5. Brandenburg - op, cit, - p.193. 73. Entente Cordiale was formed. Confronted with the fait accompli Germany could do nothing save accept the situation with as good a grace as possible. She must have realised it meant the lessen ing of Britain's dependence on her goodwill, and of the probabil ity of a formal alliance between Britain and the Triple Allaince. Her only hope now was that Russia would gradually turn away from France towards Germany. Yet the situation was far from being hopeless. Friendship with. France, Britain said, did not mean enmity towards Germany. Britain and Germany still continued their efforts to maintain good relations and to work together whenever possible. Germany raised difficulties to her assent to the Khedivial Decrees by demanding the same privileges as had been accorded to France. England objected on the grounds that France had given England in return corresponding privileges in Morocco, while . Germany was asking favours and giving nothing. The other Powers 1. had agreed without question. Eventually England conciliated Germany by guaranteeing to German commerce in Egypt for thirty years the most favoured nation treatment, by promising to res pect existing German Agreements there, and by other concessions regarding German schools and the status of German officials. In return Germany recognised the Khedivial Decree of April 8, 1904 and agreed not to ask for a limit of time to Britain's 2. occupation of Egypt. Lansdowne regarded the German attitude 1. B.D.vol.3.p.19-20.No.18.Lansdowne to Metternich, June 6, 1904. 2. B.D.vol.3.p.21.No.19.Lansdowne to Metternich, June 15, 1904. 74. 1. as unjust and grasping, and.resented it accordingly. Various minor disputes irritated public opinion on either side during 1904. Some Englishmen became obsessed by the idea that the German navy was intended to annihilate England, and wrote wild articles in the press suggesting a preventive war or 'copenhagening the German fleet" before it grew large enough to 2. be a serious menace. The German Government were highly indign ant, but were reassured by the responsible English ministers. The str>rm gradually subsided, unfortunately leaving increased suspicion on both sides. The Kaiser experienced a spasm of bitterness towards England and wrote violent letters to Nicky. His idea now seemed to be a continental coalition against England, Nicky proved unresponsive and the affair sank into the background until 1905. For some reason Wilhelm firmly believed England was 3. maliciously awaiting an opportunity to attack Germany. He complained of slights, insults, and attacks on him personally in the English Press. Lansdowne admitted the Kaiser was not al together to blame for the strained relations that existed between the Emperor and his English uncle. "The King talks and writes about his ROJB.1 Brother in terms which make one's flesh creep, and the official papers which go to him, whenever they refer to His Imperial Majesty, come back with all sorts of annotations 4. of a most incendiary character." Even the Dogger Bank incid-1. Newton - op. cit. - p.329. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.184.X1X.332.Memorandum by Metternich, Dec, 18,3904 3. Newton - on. cit. - p.331. 4. Ibid. p. 530". 75e ent was ascribed, unjustly, to German hints to Russia. Gradually the situation was becoming worse. Seeds of dis trust and suspicion, once sown, are not easily eradicated. German distrust of English motives finally aroused the resent ment of the phlegmatic Englishman and created in England a host ile public opinion of which the Government had to take note if it wished to remain in power. Officials in both countries ob viously laboured to preserve a friendly relationship; but they could not control the Press. Agreements they signed, joint act ion they undertook during these six years, but always the path was stony. The understanding was reached only after dela3'-s, caused by petty grievances on either one side or the other, had robbed the settlement of mush of its value. The way seemed so difficult, the goal, when finally reached so insignificant that one is tempted to ask, "Was the result worth the struggle?" Yet it had to be. The two countries could not live in isolation In so many parts of the globe their interests met and overlapped Questions arose and had to be settled. Fighting against over whelming odds the statesmen struggled on, always professing friendship, always hoping the mirable would happen and Germany-and England fulfil their destiny side by side as guardians of the peace of the world. 76. CHAPTER III. The Morocco Crisis 1904-1906. After the signing of the Anglo-French Agreements in 1904 relations between England and Germany grew steadily worse. Although outwardly the German Government accepted the Agreement inwardly they resented it as interfering with their policies. To say that they deliberately set themselves the task of break ing the newly-formed bonds is perhaps going a little too far, despite the incriminating evidence of the following months. Germany's actions during the sudceeding two years laid her open to the accusation of attempts to isolate England by creating a European League, to lure France away from the Entente, or fail ing that to wreck the Dual Alliance by reviving the Three Emp eror's League. As always her diplomacy lacked finesse. If she knew v/hat she wanted, and even if that desire had a legal justification, her method of procedure was so blundering and arrogant that it aroused the resentment of the other Powers and defeated her own purpose. Her blustering statements, her steady increase in naval armaments, and her fear of a British attack bred in English ministers and in English public opinion a corresponding suspicion of German motives toward England. It seemed futile for the respective governments to reassure each other. Billow and Holstein told Lascelles the idea that Germany was preparing to attack Britain wou^-d be laughed to 77. scorn "by any German. Yet they considered Germany had every reason to fear that England intended to crush the German navy before it became too strong. Lascelles maintained on his side the absurdity of the German fears and the justice of the Brit-1. ish apprehensions. The Government might, and did, preserve an outv/ardly correct attitude; but the Press recognized the existing hostility and exerted its efforts, not to, ameliorat ing, but to accentuating the difficulties of the situation. To make matters even worse the King and the Kaiser were anything but kindly disposed to each other, particularly during the latter part of 1905. As a result the Kaiser talked wildly against that arch-intriguer, his uncle; while the King declined 2. to have anything to do with his tempestuous nephew. Such then was the background for the drama of the Morocco Crisis. Until 1905 no one had thought Germany really interest ed in Morocco despite various hints to the contrary. In 1899 the German Ambassador had raised the question in connection with a possible understanding between England and Germany. Salisbury had stated Britain desired maintenance of the status quo, but in event of a break-up of the existing Empire, she could not look with indifference on the fate of the Atlantic seaboard. He then enquired the views of the German Government. 1. B.D.vol.3.p.56-8.No.65(a).Lascelles to Lansdowne, Dec.28, 1904 p.58-9.No.65(b).Lascelles to Lansdowne, Dec.30, 1904 p.79. No.97. Lascelles to Lansdowne, Junel2, 1905 G.D.vol.3.p.212-3.XIX.372.Biilow to Emperor, Dec. 26, 1904. 2. Lee - op. cit. - vol.2.p.346-54. 78, The Ambassador proved non-committal, merely stating that he con sidered an exchange of views on the subject desirable in event 1. of an emergency. The matter came up again during the Kaiser's visit to England in November 1899, when Chamberlain discussed a 2. possible partition in which Germany would receive a share. As the Germans waited for the British to make the definite sug gestions in writing the negotiations dragged and finally came to 3. nothing. Germany lost her opportunity through her policy of not tunning after England. In 1900 Bulow said that Germany had maritime interests of her own in Morocco and no German Gov ernment could afford to look with indifference on the seizure of Moroccan territory or any arrangements in which Germany had not 4. been consulted. France, however, desired an agreement with England alone regarding Morocco. In 1902 the French Ambassador discussed with Lansdowne the disturbed state of Morocco and the advisabil ity, if intervention were necessary, of excluding various powers who had no real interests in the problem, namely Germany and the United States. He gave Lansdowne the impression that France 5. would not mind if the Moroccan Empire disintegrated. About 1. B.D.vol.2.p.256.BO.307.Salisbury to Lascelles, June 7, 1899; Brahdenburg - op. cit. - p.146. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.108-114.XV.413.Memorandum by Bulow, Nov. 24, 1899. 3. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.146. 4. Anderson - The First Moroccan Crisis 1904-1906. - p.64. 5. B.D.vol.2.p.274-5.No.330.Lansdowne to Monson, Dec. 31, 1902. France bought Italy by agreeing to allow her a free hand in Tripoli; and made an arrangement with Spain recognizing her sbbere of influence in Morocco. 79. . the same time Metternich expressed the belief that all the Pow ers wished to maintain the status quo in Morocco and to avoid 1. all intervention in that country. The previous year in an official memorandum the German Government. had set forth the principle of a policy of reserve in Morocco, as they did not consider the question in Itself of sufficient inportance to run 2. the risk of serious international compli.cations. In view of these reserved utterances France decided to follow her inclinations, ignore Germany, and come to an agree ment with England regarding her interests in Morocco. In the -Convention signed April 8, 1904 both countries declared their intention to uphold the status quo and the principle of the op en door in Morocco. Secret articles recognized French interests in that country and promised English diplomatic support to 3. France in event of any difficulties. Kt the time none of the Powers raised objections, rather they welcomed the improvement in Anglo-French relations that had made these arrangements poss ible. Germany received no official notification of the Agree ment concerning Morocco, but the news was published in the papers. Billow did not see anything detrimental to German inter-1. B.D.vol.2.p.275.No.331.Landdowne to Lascelles, Dec. 31, 1902. 2. B.D.vol.2.p.96. Enclosure in No.104.Memorandum Communicated by Metternich, Sept. 3, 1901. 3. Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.50. says regarding this Convention "On the face of the Agreement with France there was nothing more than a desire to remove caused of dispute between the two nations, to iaake up old quarrels, to become friends. It was all made public, except a clause or two of no importance, which were not published at the time, owing to regard, as I suppose, for the susceptibilities of the Sultan of Morocco; even these were published a few years later." An amazing statement! 80. 1. ests and passed over the incident. The Kaiser several times 2. expressed his indifference to the whole question. Backed by the terms of the Convention Prance soon proceed ed to take action in Morocco. Since the corruption and incom petency of the Sultan's Government rendered reforms necessary, Prance undertook to have these carried out thereby establish ing securely her Influence over the country. Then Germany began to bestir herself. Bulow and Holstein in particular became alarmed and initiated a policy doomed to disaster. In a Memorandum of June 3, 1904, Holstein set forth his point of view. If Prance obtained control of Morocco German commercial interests would suffer. Since Morocco was one of the few re maining parts of the world still open to free competition in trade, Germany could not afford to allow her interests there to be disregarded. Besides her prestige would suffer. There fore she must protest against Prance's intentions. It was perfectly safe to assume that British diplomatic support pro mised in the Convention would remain platonic. He concluded by saying "If we let ourselves be trampled on in Morocco, we 3. shall encourage them to do it again elsewhere." Billow held 1. B.D.vol.3.p.69-70.Ho.86.Lansdowne to Bertie, May 3, 1905. cf. Hale - Germany and the Diplomatic Revolution - p.79. for the attitude of some of the German Papers. They ex pressed dissatisfaction, asking where was Germany's place in the sun, and what would be the future of German trade in Morocco. 2. Brandenburg - op. cit„ - p.219; Billow - Memoirs - vol.2. p. 100-101. Billow testifies to the Kaiser's indifference to Morocco and his willingness to let Prance occupy, herself there and so turn her attention away from the lost provinces. 3. G.D.vol.3.p.220-1.XX.207.Memorandum by Holstein, June 3, 1904 81. the same views; he objected to these two powers arrogantly dis posing "of a great and most important field of colonial inter ests without even deigning to take the German Empire into con-• 1. sideration." "If once we suffered ourselves to be trampled on with impunity, this first attempt to treat us badlv would 2. soon have been followed by a second and a third." Obviously something must be done to checkmate the French. The German Ambassador in Morocco had complained of French 3. arrogance and urged the Germans to take action. Finally the Government sent Dr. Vassel to Fez to inform the Sultan that Germany had not consented to French proceedings. Although no effectual aid was promised - Billow distinctly said that Germany would not go to war with France over Morocco - the Sultan de-4. cided to resist the French. All this took place very quietly, almost secretly. Then out of a seemingly clear sky came the thunderbolt. In March 1905 the Kaiser visited Tangier and proclaimed the independence of the Sultan, and the integrity 5. of his domains. Europe was dumbfounded. What diabolical schemes was Berlin planning? The Kaiser proclaims his reluctance to comply with Billow.*s suggestion and evidence confirms the truth of his statements. When Billow suggested that the Emperor land at Tangier while he 1.Billow - Imperial Germany - p.78. 2.Ibid. p.80. 3. G,D.vol.3.p.219.XX.202.Mentzingen to Billow, April 5, 1904; Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.219. 4. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.219. 5. cf. Wilson - op. cit. - p.98. 82. was cruising in the Mediterranean, Wilhelm refused. At length, after exhausting arguments, Billow prevailed upon the Emperor, 1. who gave in"with a heavy heart." Even then Billow was not sure of his master. To make retreat impossible he published an official notice in the "Nord-Deutsche Allgemeine Zeiting" of 2. the coming visit to Tangier. Still the Kaiser was uneasy, he feared the possible effect on Baris and dreaded anything that might strengthen the bond between England and Prance. 3. Until the last moment he: hoped for some excuse not to land. Nevertheless, he had to carry out the programme. Europe blam-4. ed the Kaiser for this indiscretion, this time unjustly. For once, at least, his instincts were wiser than the counsels of his advisers. Billow had sown the ?/ind and was to reap the whirlwind. What he hoped to gain by this demonstration is 5. somewhat obscure. He seems for the time being to have be-1. Wilhelm II. - Memoirs - p.107. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.223.XX.262.Billow to Emperor, March.20, 1905. 3. G.D.vol.3.p.224.XX.285.Schoen to German Foreign Office, March 31, 1905; Schoen - Memoirs - p.19-20; Brandenburg -op. cit. - p.221. 4.Wilhelm II. - Memoirs - p. 109. He plaintively remar&s that he got the blame for obeying his ministers. 5.Pribram - op. cit. - p.102. says that the Kaiser disliked the idea "but he allowed himself to be persuaded by Billow, behind whom Holstein as the real instigator lay hidden, to call at Tangier on his Mediterranean cruise.; Gooch - Studies in Modern History - p.86. maintains Hol stein was the originator of the Tangier scheme. Billow approved it and forced it on the Kaiser. Hale - op. cit. - p.119, holds Billow and Holstein respon sible as instigators of Morocco action. Billow - Memoirs - vol,2.p. 107. claims that he was the in stigator of the whole affair, that Holstein had not as much influence during Billow's regime as before. 83. -come imbued with the Kaiser's delight in sabre-rattling. He probably hoped this act would overawe the powers and deter Fr-1. ance from further activities in Morocco. Unfortunately for him, the effect was the exact opposite. Europe regarded it as a piece of unwarrantable impudence. King Edward wrote to Lans downe; "The Tangier incident was the most mischievous and uncall ed for event which the German Emperor has ever been engaged in since he came to the throne. It was also a political theatric al fiasco, and if he thinks he has done himself good in the eyes of the world he is very much mistaken. He is no more nor less than a political 'enfant terrible' and one can have no faith in any of his assurances. His own pleasure seems to 2. wish to set every country by the ears." Lansdowne consider ed the incident in keeping with Germany's secret attitude to ward the Anglo-French Agreement, and the Kaiser's disposition to put a spoke in England's wheels. He did not think Germany 1. cf. Biilow - Memoirs - vol.2.p. 104. for Billow's own statement of his intentions regarding Morocco. He-says:"In the face of this chain of French aggressions it seemed to me necess ary to remind Paris again of the German Empire. It was not only the extent of our economic and political interests In and about Morocco which decided me to advise the Kaiser to set his face against Prance, but also the conviction that in the interests of peace we must no longer permit such provoc ations. I did not desire war with France either then or later, because I knew that every serious conflict as things lay in Europe would lead to a world war. But I did not hes itate to confront France with the possibility of war becavise I had confidence in my own skill and caution. I felt that I could prevent matters coming to a head, cause Delcasse's fall, break the continuity of aggressive French policy, knock the continental dagger out of the hands of EdwardVTI. and the war group in England, and, simultaneously ensure peace, preserve German honour, and improve German prestige." 2. Lee - op. cit. - vol.2.p.340. 84. had anything to complain about in the Morocco Agreement, since 1. it provided for the integrity of Morocco. Bulow had instructed the Kaiser to avoid committing Germ-2. an$r to any definite policy in his speeches at Tangier. He should have known that Wilhelm's tongue was likely to run away with him. The Emperor proclaimed that he would deal with the Sultan as an independent sovereign, secure recognition for Germ-3. any's just claims, and would expect Prance to recognize them. No wonder Europe gasped. How were they to know that Germany had no war-like intentions hut merely wished "to uphold German prestige, to show they were not willing to be left out, to check Prance's introduction of a policy of peaceful penetration until Germany's consent had been obtained by means of concessions 4. elsewhere." After Tangier Germany was definitely committed to a pol icy of upholding the integrity of Morocco in the face of Anglo-French opposition. She had Irrevocably pledged herself to the policy of the open door and equality of commercial interest among the nations in Morocco. She was working not for herself, but for Morocco and the lesser powers. She was the champion of the weak against the grasping might of the strong. She lived to regret her role. Had it not been so openly proclaimed 1. Newton - op. cit. - p.334. 2. Hale - op. cit.-p.101. 3. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.221. 4.Ibid.p.222. 85. she could probably have obtained compensations from Prance and 1. drawn closer to her in a general settlement of differences. 2. Prance was somewhat puzzled. Her efforts to find out what compensations Germany wished proved unavailing. The Wilhelm-strasse maintained a sphinx-like silence. Then the Sultan sug gested a conference of the Powers to discuss the situation. Germany, welcoming an honourable way out of the difficulty, immediately accepted the invitation and urged the others to 3. follow suit. Prance hesitated. England considered a Confer-4. ence unnecessary but promised to do as Erance wished. The smaller powers made their acceptance conditional upon that of England and Prance. negotiations proceeded between Prance and Germany regard ing the Conference. Prance was reluctant to agree. Delcasse, the Foreign Minister, pursued a policy antagonistic to Germany. 1. cf. Hieolson - Lord Carnock - p.164. Rouvier offered a direct Franco-German Agreement in settlement of outstand ing questions, p.166. Billow and Holstein never told the Kaiser at the time. When he learned of it several years later he wrote,"If I had been told about this, I should have gone into it thoroughly and the idiotic Conference would never have taken place." 2. B.D.vol.3.p.69-70.No.86.Lansdowne to Bertie, May 3, 1905; p.68.No. 84. Bertie to Lansdowne, April 27, 1905. 3. B.D.vol.3.p.79-80.No.77.Lascelles to Lansdov/ne, Junel2, 1905. p.80-2.No. 98.Lascelles to Lansdowne, Junel2, 1905. 4. B.D.vol.3.p.89. No.3.08.Lansdowne to Lowther, June 5, 1905. p.92. No.116.Lansdowne to Lowther, June 8, 1905. 86. The Germans practically refused to do anything so long as he 1. remained in office. Rouvier, in the hope of improving Francd German relations, forced Delcasse's resignation. This appear ed as a triumph for Germany, but instead of pursuing their ad vantage by conciliating France the German Governmant still in sisted on international control in Morocco, and a Conference. Rouvier soon saw the folly of being a pawn in Germany's hands and stiffened French resistance. Moreover, England had assured 2. him of her unfailing support. Obviously the German aim was to prevent France from assum 3. ing a protectorate over Morocco. They might pose as bene factors of the world but at bottom they were working for their own interests. King Edward commented "In plain English - Germ-4. any ousts France from Morocco and puts herself in her place." English ministers were annoyed with Germany. They could not see why the German Government had to make so much fuss over Morocco where her interests were considerably less than those of France and England. None of the other Powers had voiced 1. B.D.vol.3.p.78.No.96.Bertie to Lansdowne, June 10, 1905. G.D,vol.5.p.227.XX.358.Memorandum by Holstein, May 2, 1905. Hale - op. cit. - Chapter V shows that Delcasse's policy was unpopular in the House of Deputies. Really Rouvier was giving in to his own countrymen in dismissing Delcasse as much as he was conciliating the Germans. Germany did object to Delcasse's Morocco policy but so did Rouvier and some of the French, and they knew it. The French press expressed general satisfaction at the Minister's resignat ion, regarding it not as a national humiliation imposed on France by Germany but as a natural result of Delcasse's own blind and mistaken policy. 2. B.D.vol.3.p.72.No.80.Lansdowne to Bertie. April 22, 1905; G.D.vol.3.p.2S2-3.XX.647.Metternich to Bulow, July 22, 1905 3. G.D.vol.3.p.234-7.Metternich to Billow, Jan.3, 1906; B.D.vol.3.p.222-3,No.240.Lascelles to Grey, Jan.13, 1906. 4. B.D.vol.3.p.106.Minute by King Edward. 87. objections, why should Germany. The German officials came to 1. believe that England v/ould like to see a war with Germany. If such a conflict broke out England would side with Prance. Had the Germans wished to prove to the French the unreliability of English promises of assistance, they were failing rather badly. Metternich told Lansdowne he thought the French would 2. come to terms "if you do not stiffen their backs for them." German honour was staked upon a Conference. In despair the Kaiser appealed to Roosevelt to exert pressure upon Prance and England to make"them accept. Roosevelt did not care to be mixed up in Morocco, nor did he wish to take sides between 4. Prance and Germany. Eventually the French compromised and agreed to a Conference. Then came the question of a programme. Again negotiat ions proceeded between Paris and Berlin; again Roosevelt had to 5. come to the rescue; again Britain supported France 6nd was taken fully into the French confidence. Whereas before the German Government had pressed eagerly for a Conference, now that France Had consented in principle, they dilly-dallied, refusing to say exactly what they wanted, always coming for ward with some fresh proposals, declining to .agree to a date 6. and place for meeting. At length, they reached an agreement, 1. G.D.vol.3.p.230.XX.418,Bulow to Tattenbach, June 7, 1905.; p.227-8.XX.368.Eulow to German Foreign Office, May 5, 1905. 2. B.D.vol.3.p.92-3.No.117.Lansdowne to Lascelles,June8, 1905. 3. Bishop - op.cit.- vol.1.p.468-71. 4.Ibid.p.472. 5.Ibid.p.479-87. 6.B.D.vol.3.p.128.No.179.Lister to Lansdowne,. Aug.15, 1905; p.!29.No.3.72.Cartwright to Lansdowne, Aug.24, 1905; p.140. No.182.Bertie to Lansdowne, Sept.24, 1905. 88. the Conference should discuss police, finance, customs and rev-enue, and equality in commerce. On the invitation of Spain, who was also interested in Morocco, the Conference was to he held in Spain early in 1906. Then came the question of representatives. The chief French delegate was M. Eevoil; the German, Herr von Radowitz, assisted hy Count Tattenbach; the sole British representative was Sir Arthur Nicolson. The other delegates played secondary roles for the most part, with the possible exception of the Aus-trians, the Italians, and the Americans. To Spain fell the honour of supplying the President of the Conference. Germany did not approve their early choice of a delegate and hastened to warn the Spanish Government that his appointment would be regarded as an unfriendly act. Nicolson regretted that Spain 2. should not be allowed a free hand in appointing her delegate. Nicolson had emphatic instructions to support France to the full 3. as agieed in Article IX. of the Anglo-French Convention. From one point of view the Morocco crisis and the Algecir-as Conference may be regarded as an Anglo-German duel. From beginning to end the British Government supported the French whole-heartedly. In the early stages France may have felt a little doubtful of British intentions, but continual assurances by word and deed convinced her that her fears were groundless. 1. B.D.vol.3.p.143.Enclosure I. in No.184., Sept. 28, 1905. 2. B.D.vol.3.p.l50.No.l92.Nicolson to Grey, Dec. 14, 1905. 3. B.D.vol.3.p.161.No.199.Grey to Nicolson, Dec. 20, 1905.; p.151.No.193.Grey to Nicolson, Dec. 14, 1905. 89. Eolstein's comforting belief in purely platonic support went by the boards. If Germany was out to wreck the Entente, Brit ain was determined to preserve it, and strengthen it.Metternich accused the English of being more French than the French, and of encouraging French resistance. Germany, knowing that the Agreement called only for diplomatic support, disliked the . attitude assumed by the"British public, who acted as if armed 1. support were promised. Germany, issuing a challenge to France, found herself answered by two countries instead of one. Before the end of the Conference she was destined to find herself practically isolated. She became entangled in the net she had spread for Britain; and then turned round and accused Britain of maliciously intriguing to encircle Germany. For a moment it is necessary to go back to July 1905 to a delightful comic-opera interlude enacted in Northern waters by the Admiral of the Atlantic and the Admiral of the Pacific. The Kaiser was at this time possessed with a bitter hatred for England. He directed all his efforts to isolating the object of his hate. In 1904 he had tried to secure an alliance with Russia but the attempt had fallen through. Nov/, the situation was different. Russia had suffered defeat at the hands of Jap an. The Czar felt isolated and friendless, for France, his ally, had done little to assist him during this ignominious war; while at the peace conference the nations were indiffer-1.B.D.vol,3.p.209-11.No.229.Gs?ey to Lascelles, Jan.9, 1906. 90. ent. Never would a better opportunity offer itself. The Kaiser cruising in Northern waters placed himself at the Czar's service should the Russian favour a meeting. The Czar wired back del ighted acceptance. The two yachts anchored at Bjttrko and ex changed courtesies. Willy caught Nicky at the psychological moment, posed as his ffciend and saviour, produced the treaty, scorned a year ago, and induced the Czar to sign. In Nicky's cabin, in the presence of the spirits of their ancestors, they pledged their kingly words and sealed their compact with an em brace. The treaty, according to the Kaiser's fond belief, was to be a landmark in history. He had won Russia, through her he would win France from the Entente. Then England would be alone, against a continental alliance. What a gloriotis revenge for all the slights and insults he had received at the hands of the English] "Thus the act was accomplished. How was it poss ible? The Emperor's explanation was simple and satisfying -God did it. For He was present, as were various spirits and shades of dead and departed kinsmen. A humble and depressed Czar and an inspired Emperor with his 'Losungen der Briiderge-meinde', tears, sighs, and embraces, many a dainty dish and flask of old wine, many a satisfying burst of anger at absent 1. enemies - no wonder the BjBrkb Treaty was signedJ " The Kaiserts triumph was short lived. Billow found fault 1.Anderson - op. cit. - p.285. 91. with the addition of the words "in Eurot)e" to the clause promis-1. ing assistance in case of war, Russia could be of most use to Germany in attacking England's Indian frontier. When the Czar's ministers found out, they condemned it as contrary to the spirit of the Dual Alliance. The unlucky Czar had to write to the Kaiser withdrawing his consent. The Kaiser stormed in vain. The Treaty never came into effect, so that attempt to isolate England failed dismally. The English knew practically nothing of the interview. The only British diplomatist who got any information was Mr. Tower in Munich, who knew a member of the Kaiser's suit. This German prince had sat next to the Czar at lunch on the fateful day. He had noticed the Czar seemed in high spirits; the Kaiser restlessly talkative and silent in turn, seemed preoccupied through the whole cruise. "The Kaiser's talk is ever of allian ces and political combinations, and he gave utterance on the cruise to his cherished idea of being able to effect a coalit ion between Germany, Prance, and Russia to the exclusion of 2. Great Britain." Lansdowne replied to Tower's letter, "I must say that the description of the Kaiser's language and demeanour fills me with disquiet. What may not a man in such a frame of 3. mind do next?" Of the real facts Europe remained in ignor ance . 1. Billow - Memoirs - vol.2.p. 131-2.; Pribram - op. cit. - p.104-5 '. Gooch - Studies in Modern History - p.79. Mr. Gooch says that Billow relied on Holstein's advice in every step in the Bjorkb* affair. 2. Newton - op. cit. - p.337. 3.Ibid.p.338. 92. To return to the Morocco question. The change of Govern ment in Britain at the end of 1905 placed Sir Edward Grey in charge of Foreign Affairs. He loyally, carried on the policy of Lansdowne in supporting France. His sympathies were with the French in this question and he left neither side in doubt as to his attitude. With Metternich he was quite frank. In event of war between France and Germany he felt sure that English public opinion would not allow the Government to remain neutral. Metternich argued that Germany might not be the aggressor; that England was bound to give only diplomatic support; that Germany v/as too strong a nation to allow herself to be overawed by Fran ce and Britain combined; that,so long as Britain supported France, Germany could not, for the sake of dignity, make the concessions that she could make to France alone. Grey remain ed adamant. France should have support to the full. He could not hope to improve Anglo-German relations nor the hostile atti tude of the British press until the Conference had settled the 1. question. Then he hoped to work for friendly relations, Metternich saw the dangers and warned his Government:"Here the Morocco question is generally regarded as a test of the Anglo-French Entente and our Morocco policy as an attempt to smash 2. it up," To the Frendh Ambassador Grey promised full diplomatic 1. B.D.vol.3.p.209-ll.No.229.Grey to Lascelles, Jan. 9, 1906. G.D.vol.3.p.234-7.Metternich'to Billow, Jan. 3, 1906. 2. G.D.vol,3.p.237.XXI.52.Metternich to German Foreign Office, Jan. 4, 1906. 93. backing. In answer to the French enquiries regarding armed assistance he was more wary. He felt that above all things he must preserve England's right to freedom of action; and avoid making pledges that he might not be able to fulfil. As he pointed out to Cambon it was one thing for him to warn Metter nich that in case of conflict England would intervene, but it was altogether different for him to repeat the same assurance to the Frendh. If the test came and he were unable to fulfil this threat to Germany no harm would be done; but if he made the promise to France and then had to break it he'and England 1. would be disgraced before the nations of Europe. So the French had to proceed without formal assurance of anything save full diplomatic support. Nevertheless there seemed to be an undercurrent of feeling that France was sure of British aid in an emergency. The rumour that England offered to land 120,000 men in Schleswig and give France military assistance in war against Germany has been emphatically denied by the British officials and has no evidence to support it in any of 2. the documents. However, military conversations between the General Staffs were permitted by Grey without the knowledge 1. B.D..vol.3.p.l70-l.No.210.Grey to Bertie, Jan.10, 1906.; p.177-8.No.216.Grey to Bertie, Jan.15, 1906.; p.180-2.No.219.Grey to Bertie, Jan.31, 1906.; p.266-7.No.299.Memorandum by Grey, Feb.20, 1906.; Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.82-5. 2. B.D.vol.3.p.87.No.105(a).Sanderson to Temperley, Aug.17, 1922 p.87.No.105(b).Comment by Lansdowne, Ap. 4, 1927. Newton - op. cit. - p.484. 94c of the whole Cabinet. He was very care'ful to make it absolute ly clear that neither Britain nor Prance were at all committed 1. by these conversations. "The communications must be solely provisional and non-committal", and should take place with the cognizance of the official heads of the Admiralty and the War 2. Office. The point was a very fine one. Admittedly It was advisable to be prepared for speedy action and transport of troops in case of necessity. Yet, in spite of Grey's stipulat ions, did not the conversations carry with them an obligation of honour? Nevertheless, the communications continued, plans were perfected and when the test came in 1914 were executed 3. as Haldane says without a hitch. One feels that whether Grey wished it or not he would be inevitably dragged into a 4. conflict should Prance and Germany fail to reach an agreement. The Conference opened at Algeciras on January 16, 1906, and dragged painfully on until the beginning of April. Most of the negotiating was done behind the scenes In conversations between representatives. There is no doubt that Hicolson 5. played a very important part in preventing failure. The United States delegate also worked to secure harmony but avoid ed doing anything to offend Prance and England. Germany, then, 1. Grey - op, cit, - vol.1.Chap.6. 2. B.D.vol.3.p.174.Minute by Grey. 3. Haldane - Before the War - p.33-5. 4. cf. Churchill - World Crisis - vol.1.p.27. "However explic itly the two Governments might agree and affirm to each other that no national or political engagement was involved in these technical discussions, the fact remained that they constituted as exceedingly potent tie." 5. cf. Nicolson - Lord Carnock - for the part played by Nicol-son at the Conference. 95. soon found herself in an awkward position. The most difficult question, as expected, was the Police. The French wanted the force in the hands of themselves and Spain. Germany held out for international control or control by the Sultan himself. Neither side could be shaken from its position. Several times it seemed as if the Conference must break up. In which case matters must be so manoeuvred that the blame for the failure would fall not on France but on Germany. Such was the aim of the French and the British, also the Spanish who, on the whole, despite German efforts to detach them, worked with the Entente. During the early stages, the German representative, Tatt-enbach, endeavoured to detach Nicolson from his loyalty to France, and urged him to bring pressure to bear on the French to accept German demands. He hinted that if the Conference failed it would be largely Nicolson's fault. Nicolson was furious, but controlled himself and informed Tattenbach that England intended to fulfil her obligations to France. While he certainly would not urge concessions on the French, he would 1. not encourage them to resist. He wrote home to Grey regard ing Tattenbach and the general situation. "He is a rasping, disagreeable man, not straightforward or truthful and evident ly has to exercise much effort to control his temper. M.Revoil complains that M.de Radowitz is too elusive to treat with, and that he cannot bring him to the point. This M.Revoil attri-l.B.D.vol.3.p.241.No.265.Nicolson to Grey, Feb. 4, 1906. 96. butes to the fact that the Germans do not really know what they want. I tell him that I have little doubt that they do 1. know; but unfortunately they keep it to themselves." At last Germany made concessions in the police question. The French declined to compromise. Opinion at the Conference swung away from France momentarily. Rumour had it that Eng lish support would be withdrawn unless France conciliated Germ any. Both Nicolson and the British Government denied the sug gestion and reassured the French. Whatever their private op inion the English would redeem their promise. Fortune favour ed the French for Berlin came to its senses. Billow, realizing that Germany was heading for the abyss, took the matter out of Holstein's hands; and devoted his efforts to getting out of the affair with as little loss of prestige for Germany as poss ible. That Germany was isolated he had little doubt, the vote of March 3 in the Conference had shown that. He could probably rely on the'support of Austria; but of Italy he could not be sure; and the United States were apparently more on the French 2. side. They agreed to French and Spanish control of the police under the inspection of a Swiss. In the Bank they ob tained international control.. On the face of it Germany attain ed what she wanted - international control in Morocco, the integrity of the Empire, and the frustration of the French 1. B.D.vol.3.p.243.No.268.Nicolson to Grey - Feb. 5, 1906. 2. cf. Bishop - op. cit. vol.1.Chap. 37. for the American attitude. 97, plans. Actually she achieved little save a loss of prestige, and a strengthening of the Entente. For the time being the tension relaxed and Europe, giving a sigh of relief, resumed its normal relations. Yet everyone knew Germany had suffered humiliation, in spite of polite ex changes of congratulation upon the settlement of differences with neither conqueror nor vanquished. Italy could no longer be relied upon. Russia had supported France. Spain could not be lured away from England and France. Even the United States leaned towards France. While England, the arch-demon and evil genius of Germany, was succeeding in her deep-laid schemes for isolating the great German Empire. As Brandenburg so admirably phrases it; "The Morocco Crisis and the Algeciras Conference weakened the Triple Alliance, but left the Dual Alliance unhurt 1. and the Franco-English Entente materially strengthened." That Germany had justification in objecting to French penetration of Morocco none can dispute. Had she proceeded in a more tactful manner she could probably have come to terms with France and have gained concessions elsewhere. But such was not her method. Threats and arrogance were in her eyes the only was to bring people terms. It was the blundering policy of the Wilhelmstrasse and the ill-considered remarks of the eloquent Wilhelm that set her feet on the path to humiliat ion. One is tempted to agree with Eckardstein's bitter condemn-1.Brandenburg - op. cit, - p.251.; Churchill - op, cit. -p.28. says "Algeciras was a milestone on the road to Arma geddon. " 98. ation of his Government's policy; "There has probably never been a national policy so laughable and so lamentable as that of the Wilhelminic Era,* It was worse than perfidious, it was 1. idiotic," Brandenburg gives a more rational and impartial judgment: "It was a petty policy dictated in turn by greed, perplexity, and love of prestige, which sought trivial things 2. rather than what was great and lasting." It was really the staunch English support of Prance that ruined Germany's Morocco venture. Without English backing Prance would have been easy prey for Germany. Russia, weakened after the Russo*Japanese War, could have given little effect ual aid to her ally. If Britain had stood aside Germany might have disposed of the French menace. England knew her danger too well to stand aside in event of a Franco-German conflict. Germany in possession of naval bases #ast across the Channel might prove too uncomfortable a neighbour. Her motives in supporting France in Morocco were not entirely disinterested. She had learned the disadvantages of isolation, and the appar ent impossibility of coming to a satisfactory agreement with Germany. Therefore, having settled her differences with Prance she exerted herself to keep and strengthen the new-found dlriend ship. To the minds of her ministers friendship with Prance 1, Eckardstein - op, cit. 2. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.60. - p.224. QQ did not mean enmity towards Germany. That she desired amicable relations with the Empire was shown in subsequent years. After the Conference friendly feeling began to show itself. Billow went out of his way to express his appreciation of the tactful, courteous way in which Sir Arthur Hicolson conducted affairs at Algeciras. He quite understood the British attitude and the way she had fulfilled her obligations to Prance. At the same time he voiced the strong conviction that relations between the two countries were improving, and thev could look forward to a 1. peaceful summer. This amicable message Barrington of the Foreign Office accepted as an earnest of goodwill. It is note worthy that for a time more friendly relations were established between the two Governments and between Emperor and King. Thus the crisis passed not actually causing an open breach, but leav ing a dangerous undercurrent of resentment and suspicion that became stronger as further crises came and went. 1.B.D.vol.3.p.540.Ho.404.Lascelles to Grey, May 17, 1906 100. CHAPTER IV. Naval Rivalry 1006-1912. In 1897 Germany set her foot on a path destined to lead ultimately to acute friction with England. In that year the Kaiser appointed Admiral von Tirpitz Secretary of State for the Navy. His Majesty's object was to build a German fleet for the protection of growing German trade and for the gratification of his own desires. To the world at large he proclaimed his purpose - the Navy was purely for defence and was directed against no one. Yet the preambles to the early Fleet Laws proclaimed the intention to build a Navy so strong that even the strongest sea-power would hesitate to attack it. Tirpitz himself later 1. wrote that the German fleet was built as a "risk-fleet". Laws providing for the construction of appropriate vessels pass ed the Reichstag in 1898 and 1900 and building proceeded accord ing to plan under the capable direction of Tirpitz. At first England, secure in her overwhelming superiority, looked on with tolerant amusement. King Edward was quite will ing to allow his nephew to enjoy his new toy, in peace, so long as it remained a toy. However, when the King visited the Kaiser at Kiel in 1904, he realised "that this toy was becoming a, little too life-size. In his childish desire to display to his uncle 1.Tirpitz - the German Navy in the World War - These Eventful Years - vol.1.p.314. 101, the wonderful achievements of which Germany was capable, the Kaiser assembled every available war-vessel in the harbour at 1. Kiel, despite the warnings of his advisers. King Edward and his suite realised to the full, then, the danger of such a rapidly growing, up-to-date fleet facing them across the North Sea. In his attempt to impress the English visitors the Kaiser had as usual gone too far and aroused not only admiration but 2. also disquiet in the hearts of his friends. He would have done well to follow Bernstorff»s advice "to guard our fleet like a hidden but indispensable treasure and to let the Eng-3. lish see and hear as little about it as possible." Prom 1904 onward the suspicion deepened in English minds that the German fleet was directed against the Island Mistress of the Seas. German statesmen, even the Kaiser himself, might protest Germany's innocence a hundred times in a year. Their words fell upon deaf ears or were used by the anti-German el ement as further proof of German deceitfulness. Germany's actions in Europe, they felt, belied her friendly protestations. Outbursts of antagonism in England naturally led to retaliation in Germany by the aggressive Navy League and the Pan-German element. As a result a veritable press war waged intermittently during the first decade of the nineteenth century. If the Eng lish were suspicious of Germany, the Germans were doubly sus-1. Bulow - Memoirs - vol.2.p.22. 2. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.271. 3.Ibid. p.273. 102. picious of England. Here was a country, whose fleet could wipe out the tiny German squardons in a few hours, complaining bitter ly against German intentions and uttering wild remarks about "Copenhagening" the enemy ships. Naturally, the German Navy League had little difficulty in making converts. The years 1904 and 1906 witnessed the so-called Naval. scare in England. Peeling on the continent was still against England. The Anglo-French Entente, concluded only a few months before, remained untested; Russia and England had not yet come to an understanding; while Germany's attitude was somewhat un certain. The Kaiser, suffering from a severe attack of Anglo phobia, dreamed of a Continental League against England. Hence his overtures to Russia in the autumn of 1904 and the Treaty of BjBrko in July 1905. This undercurrent of hostility aroused the fears of certain Englishmen. Wild rumours began.to circul ate regarding the intentions of the growing fleet concentrated across the North Sea. Sensational papers made the most of these reports and practically convinced some of their more credulous public that the Germans had actually planned a naval raid on 1. England. The ill-advised visit of the German squadron to Plymouth added fuel to the fire. Not only did It show the eff iciency of the enemy, but also gave rise to the suspicion, utter ly unjustified, voiced by the Daily Mail that the squadron had 2. heen sent to spy on the English. No wonder Metternich wrote 1. Hammann - The World Policy of Germany, 1890-1912. - p.161, 2. Hale - op. cit. p.52. 103. to Germany in tones of regret regarding the visit which had merely served to remind England that her control of the seas 1. might be challenged in the future. Papers like "Vanity Pair" preached a preventive war, while the "Array and Navy Gazette" heartily endorsed these views. Even the Civil Lord of the Admiralty in February sounded a warning. Sir Sohn Fisher be came First Sea Lord of the Admiralty and inspired various reforms in the English navy. Since Fisher's tongue was sharp and frank and his sympathies distinctly anti-German, German apprehensions increased under the tutelage of the Navy League. Eventually the scare died down leaving both nations profoundly distrustful and ready to misconstrue every action and every word. By way of precaution Britain changed the dis tribution of her fleet, concentrating more vessels in Home 2. waters and establishing new bases. In October 1906 Fisher wrote "our only probable enemy is Germany. Germany keeps her whole fleet always concentrated within a few hours of England. We must therefore, keep a fleet twice as powerful concentrated within a few hours of Germany" and again "the German button will only be pressed as regards the British Empire when the Channel and Atlantic Fleets are absent at sea from the vicinity 3. of German waters." Until 1906 Britain did not feel her superiority serious-1. Hale - op. cit. - p.52. 2. Lee - op. cit. - vol.2.p.328; Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.270. 3. Lee - op. cit. vol.2,p.331. and p.333. 104. ly challenged. Then came the introduction of the new type of battleship - the Dreadnaught - which rendered the old type practically worthless. Fisher triumphantly presented this supership to the world, boasting that one of these monsters was capable of wiping out the whole German Navy. Unfortunately he overlooked the fact that Germany also could build Dreadnaughts and that in this line she could compete on an equal footing with England. With the coming of the Dreadnaught, then, England lost the advantage of her superiority and immediately, the trouble began. Germany could and did build the new ships. She introduced a Supplementary Naval Bill in 1906 providing for a consider-1. ably augmented programme during the nest few years. At first Britain was a little sceptical of Germany's carrying out this programme. She soon found, however, that Germany was determ ined to build a strong navy, when towards the end of 1907 Tir-pitz secured an amendment to the existing Naval Law. In Oct ober, Captain Dumas, the Naval Attache in Berlin, reported that all parties in Germany seemed agreed upon the necessity for a strong Navy and were prepared to pay the price of con struction and maintenance. At the same time he did not think 2. the German Admiralty desired a war with England. Upon this report Hardinge and Grey commented; "It seems that a persist ent policy on the part of the English Admiralty in regulating 1. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.273. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.63-6.Enclosure in No.39. Dumas to Lascelles, Oct. 23, 1907. 105. the English building programme by the double of that of 'Germany 1. may in the end induce the German public to cry out 'Enough'." Britain had set herself the two-Power standard in naval armaments. Up to now she had had little difficulty in maint aining it. Germany's increased programme not unnaturally aroused resentment and a determination to uphold British super iority. As Haldane told the Emperor in 1906, the more shins 2. Germany built, the more Britain would build. Tirpitz • con tention that after passing through a "danger zone" the German fleet would emerge so strong the Britain would attack only at great risk of defeat was based on a misconception of British ideas and policy. He could not see, in spite of incessant warnings from greater statesmen, that Britain would augment her programme so that the "risk" period for her would exist only in the infinitely remote future; that it would be a test of endurance in which Britain with her vast resources and wealth would probably emerge victorious. In Hovember 1907 Stumm wrote from London that the Germans must get used to the idea that 3. the British fleet would always be superior to theirs. Times without number Metternich emphasised the British attitude and their belief that the maintenance of English supremacy at sea 4. was a matter of life and death. "There can be no mistake that the German naval programme has av/akened the vigilance of 1. B.D.vol.6.p.66.Minute by Hardinge and Grey. 2. Haldane - Before the War - p. 40. 3. G.D.vol.3.o.268-9.XXIV.21.Stumm to German Foreign Office, 'Nov. 25, 1907. 4. G.D.vol.3.p.269.XXlX.25.Metternich to Bulow, Dec. 14, 1907. 106, the British in the highest degree, and that England intends to maintain her supremacy at sea without question. It is to the interest of good Anglo-German relations that there should he no 1. illusion about this in Germany " MetternichTs was as a voice crying in the wilderness. The German Navy League con tinued its work of preaching against England and of deluding the people with the assurance that soon England would become tired of the contest and leave to Germany the undisputed poss-2. ession of the sea. Annoyed at German persistence, English papers criticised the new Naval programme and pointed out the necessity for in creased expenditure on the British fleet in order to maintain the required standard. These attacks excited the Kaiser to such an extent that he committed another faux pas and without consulting his responsible advisers wrote to Lord Tweedmouth, the First Lord of the Admiralty, protesting against the British suspicions and "perpetual quoting of the 'German Danger' " as "utterly unworthy of the great British nation with its world wide Empire and its mighty Navy"* "There is something nearly ludicrous about it. The foreigners in other countries might easily conclude that the Germans must be an exceptionally strong lot, as they seem to be able to strike terror into the hearts of the British, who are five times their superiors J * The 1. G.D.vol.3.p.272.XXIX.30.Metternich to Bulow, Feb. 3, 1908. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.118-31.Enclosure in No.81.Dumas to Lascelles, Feb. 12, 1908. 107. German Haval Bill is not aimed at England, and is not a 'chall enge to British supremacy of the sea' 'which will remain un-challenged for generations to come." At the same time he wrote to the King to inform him of this step. To say that British statesmen were amazed states the case mildly, Tweed-mouth sent the "astounding Communication from the German Emperor" 2. to Grey. King Edward administered reproof in a brief letter to his nephew: "Your writing to my First Lord of the Admiralty is a 'new departure' and I do not see how he can prevent our press from calling attention to the great Increase in building of German ships of war, which necessitates our increasing our 3. navy also." Tweedmouth replied to the Emperor's gracious communication in suitable terms and sent a copy of the British naval estimates fDr 1908-9 not yet made public. In spite of efforts to keep the episode quiet rumours spread and questions were asked in Parliament. The Cabinet tactfully treated the whole matter as private and declined to read the correspondence to the House. Billow knew nothing of the Kaiser's indiscretion 4. until the matter became public. Both sides finally agreed on 5. the inadvisability of publishing the letter and reply, and 1. Lee - op. cit. - vol.2.p.605-6. 2. B.D.vol".6.p. 132.Ho.82.Tweedmouth to Grey, Private, Feb.18, 3. Lee - op. cit.-vol.2.p.606. (1908. 4. Billow - Memoirs - vol.2.p.315. 5. The British Cabinet did not wish the public to know that Tweedmouth had communicated to the Emperor the British Haval Estimates. The Kaiser blamed the King for not wishing the publication of the letter because its influence would have been tranquillising. Unfortunately the Kaiser's judgment of the beneficial effect of the publication of his utterances regarding England was often at fault. Witness the Daily Tele graph Incident] 108. the affair ended without undue friction between the two Govern ments . The policy of the Liberals demanded a decrease in money spent on armaments and the use of the money thus saved for social improvements. During their two years in office they had, to the great disgust of the Conservatives, actually re duced the naval expenditure. The spectre of the German Peril rendered the continuation of this reduced programme difficult if not impossible. Public opinion feared lest Britain be caught unprepared and the Conservatives took advantage of the situat ion to launch a vigorous attack on the Liberals. Obviously the Government must yield to the wished of the people and Increase the expenditure on the Navy, or seek an arrangement with Germany to remove the menace and render the increase unnecessary. The leading statesmen were very much in favour of the latter course. This meant persuading Germany to reduce her programme or slack en her rate of construction. In view of the Kaiser's attitude success in this direction seemed rather unlikely. Metternich reported a conversation with Grey and Lloyd George about the naval question during which he had stoutly maintained that Britain must adopt a reassuring policy towards Germany before there could be discussion of the Navy. The Emperor added explosive marginal comments to the effect that he v/ould never discuss reduction of the Navy and would regard any such offic ial request from Britain as a declaration of war. "I do not wish for good relations with England at the price of not build-1090 ing the German Fleet. If England means only to show us her favour on condition of our reducing the fleet, it is impertin ence without limit and a deep insult to the German people and their Emperor, which the Ambassador must repBl at the very start. ... The German fleet is built against nobody and so not against England. It is governed by our own needs The Law will be carried out to the last tittle, whether the Brit ons like it or not; it is the same to us. If thev want war 1. let them begin it; we are not afraid of it." According to Metternich's reports, Lloyd George was very much in favour of an agreement for reducing the speed of construction and went 2. so far as to suggest a ratio of 3:2. However, in view of the Kaiser's mood,little could be done. In August 1908 King Edward visited the Emperor at Cron-berg. Grey provided him with a Memorandum in case the Kaiser discussed politics. In this he devoted considerable space to the Naval Question, stressing the necessity for an increased naval programme in Britain, and the consequent barrier to good relations, if Germany adhered to her policy. He pointed out the advantages and the improved relations that would result if 3. both sides slackened construction. Sir Charles Hardinge, who accompanied the King, had the honour of two conversations with the Kaiser. During the first of these they discussed the naval 1. G.D.vol.3.p.284-9.XXIV.99.Metternich to Billow, July 16, 1908. 2. G.D .vol.3.p.289-91.XXIV. 107.Metternich to Billow, Aug.l, 1908. 3. Lee - op* cit. - vol.2.p.616-7. 110. question rather frankly. The Kaiser refused to move from his former standpoint that the German navy was only for defence, that it was never intended against England, and that the naval law was being carried out exactly as published. Hardinge up held the justice of English fears and gave figures to prove that Britain's superiority was in danger. The Kaiser declared him misinformed and sent for a copy of "Hauticus" to prove the point. According to his own highly dramatised account he told Hardinge that as Admiral of the British Fleet he was better informed than Hardinge as a mere civilian. Finally, Hardinge abruptly remarked "You must stop building." To this the Kaiser retaliated "Then we shall fight. It is a question of national 1. honour." From this interview Hardinge gathered that the Kaiser was utterljr opposed to any discussion Involving reduction of 2. the German Havy Bill. To the Emperor such a suggestion on England's part savoured of dictation and impertinent meddling in the internal affairs of Germany. Whether or not Hardinge's 1. G.D.vol.3.p.291-5.XXIV.125.Emperor to Bulow, Aug. 12, 1908. The Kaiser's written accoun* of the interview is obviously highly coiLoured and exaggerated. His sense of the dramatic ran away with his pen. He wanted to convey the impression that he^had shown his teeth and that was the only way to bring the English to reason. Bulow says that the verbal account given later was much more moderate. Onlookers said the conversation was very amicable and informal, with the two men seated side by side on a billiard table and the Emp eror particularly gracious throughout. Billow - Memoirs -vol.2.p..313-4. cf. B.D.vol.6.p.184-90.Ho.117.Memorandum by Hardinge, Aug.16, 1908. for the British side. 2. Lloyd George,visiting Germany a little later, confirmed Hardinge's impressions. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.289. m © step in introducing this controversial subject into the conver sation, after he knew that the Kaiser had avoided political topics when talking to the King, was wise or tactful it did serve the purpose of enlightening the British statesmen (if they needed any enlightenment) regarding Germany's attitude. Billow regretted that Hardinge had approached the Kaiser instead of one of the responsible ministers on this topic. He felt that much asperity could have been avoided. Tirpitz was really not unwilling to discuss the question with the English naval experts and rather favoured a ship-building agreement. The difficulty at present lay in ways and means on account of the unfriendliness of British public opinion and British policy. The tension would have to die down before Billow could engage 1. in conversations with befitting dignity. Apparently Billow was beginning to contemplate the desir-2. ability of an arrangement with England. He had always upheld the policy of building a strong navy, but did not wish to do so at the expense of British hostility. Political developments showed him the dangers of German isolation, while the consist ent campaign of the English press and the constant warnings of Metternich convinced him of the reality of the British fears and the basis of their unfriendliness. During the latter part of the year 1908 he exerted himself in an effort to win the 1. G.D.vol.3.p.297-8.XXIV.161.Billow to Metternich, Sept.22 1908 2. J.Cambon - Billow and the War - Foreign Affairs - April 1932. vol.lO.Uo.3. says p.414. "In October 1908 von Billow was begin ning to see that the antagonism between the -two Powers was becoming more marked. He would have liked to reverse engines but it was too late for that, and his policy was destined to end in the catastrophe of 1914." 112. support of the Kaiser and Tirpitz to negotiations for an arran gement with England. He talked seriously to the Kaiser and "l. carried on a correspondence with Tirpitz. The Admiral firnily maintained that the basis of English hostility lav in commercial 2. jealousy not in naval armaments. When Metternich vigorously contradicted him, he scorned the Ambassador as one who did not 3. know what he was talking about. Finally, Bulow adked Tirpitr, directly if Germany could look forward with equanimity to an attack by England. After a delay of fourteen days the Admiral 4. replied in the negative. The Chancellor then suggested to Tirpitz the wisdom of strengthening German coast defences, submarines and small craft in order to resist more effectively any possible attack from Britain. Tirpitz believed In the necessity for rapid construct ion of a strong fleet of battleships, but what use would that be if England with her superior forces entered into a conflict? The German navy would be annihilated and the German coasts left unprotected. It was very important to avoid implanting the idea of a preventive war in the mind of the British public. Since influential quarters in England had plainly shown that a slackening of the German rate of construction would reassure the British. Would it not be possible to work out some programme 5. as the basis of an arrangement? However, Tirpitz remained 1. Bulow - Memoirs - vol.2.p.311. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.328.XXVlll.l3.Tirpitz to Billow, Hov.25, 1908. 3. Metternich wrote to Billow:"I doubt whether any impartial ob server, after a stay of only a few months in England, could have any opinion but that the cardinal point of our relations with England is the growth of our fleet. It may not be pleas ant hearing for us, but I see no good in hiding the truth, nor do I think it compatible with my duty." G.D.vol.3.p.329.XXV111. 17.Metternich tc Billow, Hov. 26, 1908. S.Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.292. 113. adamant. An;/ reduction in capital ships would indicate a re treat before British threats. British agitation and alarm showed clearly that the mere existence of a German fleet would force England to 'pay more attention to Germany in the future than in the past. To yield now meant great danger to Germany and further humiliation at the hands of England. Reduction of speed of construction required a Supplementary Naval Bill. Each year saw the Fleet nearer the end of the "danger period". The coast defences and submarines were being amply provided for, 1. but were not sufficient in themselves for adequate protection. At the end of the year Metternich wrote urging a reduction of tempo as the remedy for Anglo-German hostility. He felt that last summer had been the psychological moment, for English. statesmen were hesitating and doubtful and a little compliance on Germany's r»art might have gained much. Now they seemed 2. determined to meet Germany on the two-Power standard. At the same time Billow spoke in the Reichstag against spending more money than was absolutely necessary on naval armaments. He told Sir Edward Goschen, the new English Ambass ador in Berlin, that Germany would never build more ships than she needed for protection. He emphasised the purely defensive purpose of the fleet. Goschen pointed out that the English programme was open to modification, depending upon the attitude 1. G.D.vol.3.p.335-40.XXV111.51.Tirpitz to Billow. Jan, 4, 1909. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.333-5, XXVlll.40.Metternich to Billow, Dec.29, 114. of others. Billow understood, but explained the difficulty If not impossibility of changing the German programme already fix-1. ed by lav/. Goschen was a little sceptical of all Billow's pro testations of friendship. He wrote to Hardinge in a private letter: "I wonder while he is talking whether he momentarily believes what he is saying. He is so convincing and speaks with such a glorious air of sincerity that it really looks as if he did. One would think to hear him talk that England poss essed nowhere in the world a greater admirer, or a sincerer 2. friend, and yet! " This time, however, Billow appeared genuine ly willing to attempt to reach some understanding, not to accom modate England, but to render Germany's position in Europe more secure. If England wanted a naval agreement she would have to pay for it. It would be a bargain in which the scales tipped to the advantage of Germany. In December Grey Informed Metternich that, although Billow may have been technically correct when he said that Germany had received no proposals from England regarding naval expenditure, England had frequently expressed her willingness to compare Havy Estimates and discuss them with a view to reduction. He made it perfectly clear that England had not made definite pro posals because she understood that German expenditure was fixed by law and did not depend upon English estimates. He explained 1. B.D.vol.6.p.l69.No.l08.Goschen to Grey, Dec. 10, 1908. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.171-2.No.109.Goschen to Hardinge, Private, Dec. 11, 1908. 115. again that the English programme depended on that of Germany; that German delay or reduction would he well received and would 1. tend to improve relations. Billow came forward a little more definitely when in January he Instructed Metternich to explain to Grey, if the occasion arose, that Britain would gain nothing by a mere offer to limit her programme in return for a German reduction. The German programme was absolutely independent of British estimates, being intended only for purposes of defence. Germany would depart from her naval programme only if England 2. were prepared to accommodate her in other parts of the world. During the King's State visit to Berlin, the naval quest ion remained in the background. The King and the Kaiser refrain ed from discussing political matters to any great extent. Both sides expressed pleasure at the success and cordiality of the meeting but were inwardly sceptical of any lasting beneficial effect on the relations between the two countries. Metternich, present during the visit, apparently took advantage of the opportunity to warn Tirpitz of the dangers of his obstinacy. Billow reports that as they stood on the platform awaiting the King's train, Metternich remarked to Tirpitz: "Unless you make it possible for Prince Billow to bring off the Naval Agreement he wants with England, and is doing his utmost to get, this will probably be the last time that an English King comes here 1. B.D.vol.6.p.172-3.No.110.Grey to de Salis, Dec. 18, 1908. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.340.XXVlll.59.Biilow to Metternich, Jan. 11, 1909. 116. 1. to visit a German Emperor." Another voice was heard in supp ort of Billow when von Bussche-Haddenhausen sounded a warning that Anglo-German relations, improved for the moment by the Royal visit, would slip hack into their old hostility when the English Na$al Bill was brought in. Germany must realise that her fleet would never be strong enough to crush Britain. "If we fail to come to an understanding with England - and this I consider possible now that we are tackling the naval question-2. all our other political aspirations may largely be ruined." Discussion in Parliament of the English Naval Estimates led to many misunderstandings and much ill-feeling in Germany. As a result the Kaiser grew indignant, while the German Admir-3. alty felt insulted and became unapproachable. Disliking the atmosphere of mutual suspicion Grey suggested that Germany allow the British Naval Attache free access to the Naval Yards to see for himself how many ships were under construction, in return Britain would accord the same privileges to the German 4. Attache. To Goschen he expressed the wish that both count ries would put all their cards on the table regarding naval 5. construction and thus avoid misunderstandings. Billow declin ed to entertain these proposals for exchange of information on 1. Billow - Memoirs - vol.2.p.407. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.344-5.XXVlll.91.Memorandum by von Bussche-Hadden hausen to German Foreign Office, Feb. 19, 1909. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.252.Enclosure in No.162.Trench to Goschen, March 26, 1909.jp.255.Enclosure in No.165.Heath to Goschen, March 30, 1909. 4. B.D.vol.6.p.240.No.155.Grey to Goschen, March 5, 1909: p.241. No.154. Same, March 10, 1909.•p.242-3.No.155.Same, March 17,19 5. B.D.vol.6.p.242-3.No.155.Grey to Goschen, March 17, 1909. (09 117. the grounds that it would he useless since Britain refused to believe the authentic facts supplied to them recently. In April Goschen advised England to adopt the increased programme and lay down the four extra ships at once. This would probably convince the Germans of the British determination to retain supremacy at sea, then they might be ready to recognise the uselessness of competition and ease the financial strain by 2. dropping a ship or two. Yet, in spite of his outwardly uncompromising attitude, Billow was working hard to secure some basis for negotiation. In April he again approached the Kaiser and at Venice managed to secure his consent in principle to a naval arrangement pro vided England would agree at the same time to a general polit ical understanding. Immediately, Billow returned to Germany and drew up a variety of drafts of treaties to which a naval agree ment could be added - a general defensive alliance, an agreement for neutrality, an Entente promising general friendship and con sultation in time of danger; special treaties for such questions as the Bagdad Railway, foreigners' rights in Egypt, the right of capture at sea. "Taken in their entirety these proposals indicated a well thought-put plan for the permanent settlement of all disputes as the basis of the common political attitude 3. of both States." In Metternich's absence, he sent Stumm to 1. G.D.vol.3.p.349.XXVlll.ll4.Biilow to Metternich, March 19, 1909 2. B.D.vol.6.p.261.Ho.170.Goschen to Grey, Private, April 9, 1909 S.Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.344. 118. London to sound the Foreign Office. Unfortunately the English 1. showed little enthusiasm. Grey pointed out the difficulty of uniting the two camps in Europe into one. The most he could 2 do would be to discuss the difficulties frankly as they arose. Obviously, Grey declined to entertain any suggestion that might imperil the Entente. Metternich spoke truly when he said to Billow in 1906: "The instruments are never simultaneously in Key with one another, the harmony of the one is answered by the other's discord. England and Germany have not the same sound-3. ing boards." Although he spoke more particularly of the pres his remarks apply also to the Governments. The question natur ally arises, could Billow have carried through his suggestions? Tirpitz held himself opposed to material naval reductions such as Britain would no doubt have demanded. The most he would concede was a fixed ratio of 3:4 for future construction, with the strict injunction to the Foreign Office that England, not 4. Germany, must make the fitjst definite proposals. The Kaiser agreed with Tirpitz and emphasised the prerequisite British attitude - "Courteous negotiations between equals instead of 5. peremptory desires imposed by one party only." In the face of this opposition Billow's chances of success seemed infinitely small. 1. G.D.vol.3p.351.Note.; Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.345. 2. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.345. 3. Billow - Memoirs - vol.2.p. 194. 4. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.346. 5. Billow - op. cit. - vol.2.p.419. 119. Nevertheless the Chancellor continued Ms efforts. On June 3, 1909 he summoned.a Conference to discuss the subject. Those present besides Bulow wereTirpitz, Metternich, Bethmann-Hollweg, Schoen, Muller, and Moltke. The Chancellor stated the case clearly - the English fear of possible German equality v/ith her in Naval armaments was becoming more serious all the time and was leading to English hostility to German aims all over the world. Tirpitz affirmed that Germany could not com fortably face a war v/ith England during the next few years. Metternich once more refuted Tirpitz' idea that English anta gonism had a commercial basis. The Chancellor then suggested that Metternich be instructed to approach England about the naval question without making any definite proposals but merely hinting that German concessions v/ould consist in slowing dov/n the rate of construction and abstaining from supplementary pro grammes. England would of course have to give reciprocity in these matters and a political assurance. Tirpitz. was really opposed to drav/ing up any formula for a general understanding, the initiative ought to come from England. In his opinion, 1. Germany's danger period v/ould be over by 1915. On June 23 Bulow authorised Metternich to make it clear to the British Foreign Office on every available occasion, v/ith out forcing discussion on England, that a naval understanding was not out side the bounds of possibility provided Britain avoided threats 1.G.D.vol.3.p.352-60.XXV111.168.Minutes of Discussion on Question of Understanding with England, June 3, 1909. 120. 1. and directed her general policy into a more friendly channel. By the summer of 1909 Germany had definitely intimated her willingness to receive proposals from England with a view to a naval agreement and a political understanding. That, a t least, was a step in the right direction. However, it was one thing to initiate discussions, but it was a very much more difficult task to carry these discissions through to a satisfactory con clusion. In July of 1909 Billow retired and was succeeded by Beth-mann-Hollweg. The nev; Chancellor lacked the brilliance of his predecessor, but inspired more trust in the minds of the English statesmen. They had never felt entirely sure of Billow's protest ations of friendship. His deeds had on occasion seemed to con tradict his words . The new man came into power with a genuine determination to work for an agreement with England. In this respect he inherited all the difficulties that had confronted Billow. As he himself states: "the fleet was the pet of Germany and seemed to embody the energies and enthusiasms.of the nation. Whenever an issue arose between the naval authorities and the political administration the public almost invariably supported the former. The direction of the fleet had lain for years in the hands of a man who had arrogated to himself a political author ity far beyond his functions and who had had a lasting Influence 2. on the political point of view of an important circle." There-1. G.D.vol.3.p.360.XXV111.181.Billow to Metternich, June 23, 1909. 2. Bethmann-Hollweg - Reflections on the World War.- p.91. 121. fore, the Chancellor's attempts at a rapprochment with England 1. proved unpopular with the general public. In August of 1909 Goschen reported to Grey a conversation with Bethmann-Hollweg during which the Chancellor had asked if the British Government were ready in principle to revise Anglo-German relations In such a way as to lead to a good understanding and to enter at their own time into a griendly exchange of views regarding the general relations between the two countries and such proposals for a technical naval agreement as the Imperial Government was now ready to put forward. He made a special plea for strict secrecy both from other powers and from the press . The arrangement should be one which would provide on 2. either side the necessary sense of security. At the Foreign Office suspicion was rife and caution urged. Many feared that a formula would fetter England, ruin her friend-3 ship with France and Russia and leave her at the mercy of Germany. Grey thought England could at once consider naval proposals but the general agreement would be better between the two great 4. groups of powers - the Triple alliance and the Entente. Hardinge emphasised to Grey the necessity of a naval agreement 5. first since anything further was really superfluous. The 1. Bethmann-Hollweg - op. cit. - p«89. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.283.Ho.186.Goschen to Grey. Aug.21, 1909;p.284. Ho.187.Same, Aug.21,1909;G.D.vol.3.p.407.XXV111.222.Beth-mann-Hollweg to Emperor, Aug.21, 1909. 3. B.D.vol.6,p.284.Minute by Langley;p.286.Ho.191.Mallet to Grey, Aug.26, 1909,Private. He also says England had better inform Russia before the Kaiser tells the Czar some distort ed tale. 4. B.D.vol.6.p.284.Minute by Grey. 5. B.D.vol.6.p.285.Ho.189.Hardinge to Grey, Private, Aug.25, 1909. 122. Foreign Secretary thanked Bethmann-Hollweg for his friendly communication and promised to consider the ideas when the Prime 1. Minister returned. The Chancellor decided to wait for British 2. proposals calmly and without display of great eagerness. At the beginning of September acting on Grey's instructions Goschen informed Bethmann-Hollweg that the British Government were prepared to discuss naval expenditure at any time and would cordially welcome proposals. With reference to the political understanding they would consider anything not inconsistent with 3. the maintenance of existing British friendships. The Chancell or expressed pleasure at the warmth of the British response, but 4. could not go definitely into the matter until October. In the meantime Britain notified her friends of German overtures. "/hen Goschen returned from leave in October he intimated to Schoen that England set great store by the conclusion of a naval agreement followed probably by a political understanding. When Schoen hinted that Germany was interested more vitally in the political agreement Goschen gave him to understand that Eng land could not give Germany more than she had given Fi-ance and 5. Russia. A day or two later the Chancellor declined to make any definite proposals beyond suggesting the possibility of.re-1. B.D.vol.6.p.285.No.188.Grey to Goschen.Private.Aug.23.,1909. 2. G.D.vol.3.p.408.XXV111.224.Bethmann-Hollweg to'Metternich, Aug.31, 1909. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.288,No.194.Grey to Goschen, Sept.l, 1909.; G.D.vol.3.p.408.3DOn.il.226.Goschen to Bethmann-Hollweg, Sept. 2, 1909. 4. B.D.vol.6.p.289.No.196.Goschen to Grey, Sept.3, 1909. 5. G.D.vol.3.p.409.XXVlll.238.Memorandum by Schoen, Oct. 12, 1909 123. laxing the tempo of construction within the existing Bill. He would want some very definite assurance from England of pacific intentions first to make the path easier for the German Govern ment. Goschen, feeling that the German Minister wished to throw the initiative for making naval proposals on England, pointed 1. out that it was Germany's turn. Grey used similar language 2. to Metternich in London. A Memorandum by Schoen dated November 1 gives a^ insight into the German point of view. For Germany the political agree ment was a conditio sine qua non bound up inseparably with a naval agreement. The two would have to be published. Since Germany did not really want a neval agreement and England did, the English would have to pay for It on the political side. "England wants something from us and must pay for it." Germany could not depart from her naval laws but might build more slow ly if England did the same. Exchange of information through the Naval Attaches was useless, but might be agreed to with the reservation that there is a limit beyond which secrecy 3. would have to be maintained. On November 4 Goschen reported the Chancellor's proposals. On the naval side each country should pledge itself for a cert ain period not to build more than a stated number of ships, the number to be settled by the naval experts. Regarding the 1. B.D.vol.6.p.293-6.Ho.200.Goschen to Grey, Oct.15, 1909. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.303.No.202.Grey to Goschen, Set.28, 1909. 3. G.D.vol.3.p.411-2.XXV111.253.Memorandum by Schoen, Nov.1,1909 124. exchange of fuller information through Naval Attaches he said little and did not seem enthusiastic. On the political side the two Governments should give a mutual assurance that neither of them entertained any idea of aggression the one against the other, that they would not attack each other, and further that in the case of an attack made on either power by a third power or group of powers, the power not attacked should stand aside. Goschen informed Schoen that he thought the naval proposals hardly went far enough while the political proposals went too far under the 1. existing circumstances. The comments of Foreign Office offic ials on this despatch eloquently foretell the fate of these negotiations. Crowe thought the bargain tied Britain but not 2. Germany and was therefore a little one-sided. Hardinge con sidered any naval agreement that did not limit the present Germ an programme useless. He suggested a courteous reply to Germany that the Cabinet would consider the proposals carefully, then using the internal situation and possible elections in January as an excuse for adjourning a decision and letting the question drop altogether. In this way they could avoid any difference of opinion and any accusation of refusing Germany's offered hand 5. of friendship. Grey acted on Hardinge's suggestion and explained to Metternich that England v/ould have to defer decision until after 4. the General Election in January. The German Government quite 1. B.D.vol.6.p.504-7.Ho.204.Goschen to Grey, Hov. 4, 1909. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.310.Minute by Crov/e. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.312.Minute b;y Hardinge. 4. B.D.vol.6.p.312-3.Ho.205.Grey to Goschen, Hov. 17, 1909. 125. 1. understood the situation although they regretted the delay. Prom Schoen Goschen gathered that Germany was not likely to come forward at any later date with any more acceptable pro~ 2. posal for a naval arrangement. This merely strengthened the suspicion at the Foreign Office. Grey, Crowe, and Langley heartily agreed that "Little doubt is allowed to remain that the whole object of Germany is (1) to obtain a political agree ment with England tinder which Germany would be free to deal with third countries without the possibility of England inter vening, however inimical to British interest such German deal ings might be, and (2) to retain full liberty as to the com pletion of the German naval programme, subject to the construct ion of a few capital ships being spread over a slightly longer period than is at present contemplated. The German proposals reveal no genuine wish to meet the views of His Majesty's Gov-3. ernment." Although Goschen felt the presence of a sincere desire on the part of Germany to come to an understanding with Britain, he did not believe that Germany intended to give her 4. goodwill for nothing. With that, the negotiations were dropped for some time. In March Metternich reminded Grey that he had not said anything about the German proposals since the General Election. Grey pleaded the excuse of internal uncertainty and the apparent 1. B.D.vol.6.p.312-3.Wo.205.Grey to Goschen, Nov.17, 1909.; p.314-5.No.207.Goschen to Grey, Nov.25, 1909. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.314-5.No.207.Goschen to Grey, Nov.25, 1909. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.315.Minute by Grey, Crowe, and Langley. 4. B.D.vol.6.p.323.Report of Anglo-German Relations for 1909. 126. lack of intention to modify the German navy programme which to 1. the English was the key to the situation. Discussions took place intermittently throughout the year without any display of enthusiasm on either side. Britain wanted a naval agreement with definite limitation of the existing German programme. In return for this she was not prepared to make the far-reaching declarations of assurance on the political side required by Germany to whom the naval agreement meant nothing and the pol itical agreement everything. Neither side evinced a disposit ion to come forward with acceptable proposals. Each waited for the other to make the first move. In Germany the Navy had be come a national and a party question. Reduction as a concess ion to England v/ould have been looked upon as an unpardonable display of weakness by the general public. Accordingly, the Government resolved to make England pay for her dfesires. Both sides were helplessly drifting with the tide. In August Goschen reopened the negotiations by handing 2. an English Memorandum to the Chancellor. Bethmann-Hollv/eg expressed gratification that the British Government had shown 3. its goodwill by reopening the discussions. He went over the old ground again regarding Germany's attitude. He signified hi readiness to allow the interchange of information to Naval Attaches provided it did not bind Germany not to go beyond the 1. B.D.vol.6.p.442.No.336.Grey to Goschen, March 22, 1910. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.511.Ho.393.Goschen to Grey, Aug. 15, 1910. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.521-4.No.400.Goschen to Grey, Oct. 12, 1910. 127. provisions of the existing Fleet Lav;. Once again he stressed the importance of a political agreement, complaining of English opposition to German interests in every part of the world, and the reserve of British diplomats towards their German colleagues in contrast to their intimacy with the representatives of other nations. Then he said (according to Goschen) "I maintain that if the British people had not been taught by their Governments to regard Germany as an enemy, the expansion of the German Fleet would have caused them as little anxiety as the expansion of the Navy of the United States." This statement caused a miniature storm. Britain naturally resented the Chancellor's accusations and instructed Goschen to defend British policy. The Chancellor accepted the frank explanations in good part, but the Foreign Office protested vigorously that the Chancellor had never passed this particular remark. Goschen must have made a mistake or misunderstood the Chancellor's words. They were obviously anxious to smooth things over, but did it in 1. their usual blundering underhand fashion. Grey, not wishing to make trouble, let the matter drop. Regarding the original conversation with the German Chancellor Goschen confided to Nicolson that he felt like replying to the Chancellor's accus ations, "that if it was irritating to Germans to find English-l.cf. B.D.vol.6.p.557-60.No.417.Goschen to Grey, Dec.2, 1910.; p.561-2.No.419.Same, Dec.5, 1910.:p.562-4.No.420.Same, Dec. 9, 1910.;p.566-7.No.421.Grey to Goschen, Dec.12, 1910.; n.568-70.No.424.Goschen to Grey, Dec. 16, 1910. 128. men always in possession it was equally irritating for English men, wherever they had vested and important interests, to have Germans poking their noses in and demanding shares in concerns and interests which had been built up by years of British hard 1. work and enterprise." The Kaiser did not help negotiations by informing Goschen that England's opposition to Germany had to stop. He would not undertake to bind himself not to increase the existing naval programme. The irritation In Germany was quite natural and justified, for instead of coming to Germany first England had joined the Franco-Russian Alliance which had from the beginning been directed against the Germans. When Goschen commented on this language to Kiderlen, that gentleman said the Kaiser had 2. gone beyond what he meant, to say. Such, incidents were typ ical of the Emperor and really signified little, but they un doubtedly tended to increase the suspicions of those British officials who ?/ere sufficiently anti-German without being made more so by such ill-advised utterances. The only advance made in 1910 was the agreement of both Governments in principle to the exchange of information through the Naval Attaches. They still had to decide upon the ways 1. B.D.vol.6.p.529-50.No.402.Goschen to Nicolson, Private, Oct. 14, 1910. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.530-3.No.403.Goschen to Grey, Oct. 16, 1910. 129. and means of exchange and the form in which assert to such an 1. agreement should he made. The early part of 1911 brought further particulars re garding the exchange of information to Attaches and assurances on both sides of willingness and desire to reach an understand ing on both naval and political questions. Negotiations dragged on with intolerable slowness. One can understand Crowe's feel ing when he once minuted a despatch "Words - words - words." In March Nicolson wrote that he did not believe these discuss ions would ever come to any result, but thev could not leave 2. the Chancellor's overtures unanswered. On April 11, 1911 Crowe summarised his view of the objective of the present Germ an efforts: (1) Ostentatiously seeking British friendship; (2) Doing everything possible to createfriction between Britain and other States with a view to levying political blackmail; (3) Being absolutely prepared for a war when it comes; (4) En couraging the pacifist movement in England to prevent Britain from taking any serious measures for combining with Prance and 3. Russia to resist a German attack. 1. B.D.vol.6.p.575.No.425.Grey to Goschen, Dec. 16, 1910.; G.D.vol.3.p.418.XXV111.367.Memorandum by Chancellor to Goschen, Oct. 13, 1910.;p.421.XXVlll.388.Metternich to Bethmann-Hollweg, Dec.17, 1910. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.604.No.450.Nicolson to Buchanan, March 14, 1911. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.620.Minute by Crowe. Crowe's views were extreme and not entirely representative of the Government's attit ude, but because of his reputation for efficiency and intell igence his ideas must of necessity have influenced his collea gues and are therefore worthy of attention. In a review of B.D.vol.6.in the American Historical Review for October 1930 S.B.Pay says:"Inevitably his hostile dissection of the reports from Germany greatly influenced Sir Edward Grey and the other officials who ner.t read them, and who generally endorsed with brief comments Crowe's long criticisms. Crowe appears to have been accepted as an infallible authority on German;/. But unfortunately he was prone to accept baseless gossip as gospe 1 150. In May the Chancellor regretted it was now too late to put into effect the proposal to reduce the tempo within the existing bill. He had no other proposal to make but would con sider anything Britain cared to put forward regarding the Navy Question. He would await definite advances before putting forth his suggestions for a political agreement since he knew Britain 1. wanted the two together. Britain made no definite response. June saw only further details in connection with the exchange of Information to Attaches. Neither side seemed to be in any particular hurry to reach an agreement on this phase or any other, so they tacitly permitted the negotiations to lapse. Moreover, during the Agadir crisis feeling ran so high on both sides of the North Sea that all talk of an agreement was out of the question. In the autumn came rumours of an increase in the German Naval Estimates. The Naval Attache in Berlin advised Britain to adopt a heavy naval programme for several years in order to con-vince German public opinion of the futility of attempting to surpass the English Fleet. He felt convinced that this was 2. the only way to restore the German sense of proportion. Heed less to sav Crowe heartily agreed and advised in addition indef-3. inite inactivity regarding the negotiations. truth One has heard much of the malign influence of Holstein in the Wilhelmstrasse. What of that of Crowe in Downing St.?" American Historical Review, Oct. 1930.vol.36. No.1.p.154-5. 1. B.D.vol.6.p.621-2.No.462.Goschen to Grey, May 9, 1911. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.644-6.Enclosure in No.476.Watson to Goschen, Sept. 27, 1911. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.647.Minute by Crowe. 131. In the meantime the German Naval Attache in London was sending home exactly the type of report Tirpitz and the Kaiser most loved to receive. England was directing her Navy against Germany. During the crisis in August and September the entire English fleet had mobilised and only awaited a signal from Prance to fall on Germany. Now that the impetuous Churchill was in charge at the Admiralty moderation during crises would not be in vogue. The menace from England was so great that Germany ought to ask herself if her present armaments were sufficient. A consistent naval programme would soon call the English bluff and make her realise the impossibility of pre-1. venting Germany from becoming a naval power. The faithful Metternich, conscious of his own helplessness, still carried out his duty and refuted the Attached statements. Britain was ready for any sacrifice to maintain her superiority at sea. Last summer she had taken precautionary measures, but had cert ainly not mobilised the whole fleet. Moreover, Churchill as Lord of the Admiralty could not decide upon war. In view of the English state of mind any extension of the German Navy Lav/ meant not only "a fresh effort to come up to ours but one high er in proportion." The ratio of superiority would be adhered to in England "quite apart from whether we build more or less." England had no intention of destroying the German navy or she would have done so years ago when it was easy. Upon this master-l.G.D.vol.4.p.42-5.XXXl.ll.Widermann to Tirpitz, Oct.28, 1911. 132. ly survey of the situation the Kaiser commented "I do not agree 1. with the Ambassador's judgment. The Naval Attache is right." In the face of such obstinacy what could a sane man do? In November the Chancellor complained somewhat bitterly about the English neglect of the negotiations which he had in-' 2. itiated with so much good will and anxiety to please England, He urged Metternich to sound Grey with the object of starting the ball rolling again. He desired to obtain a satisfactovj political formula from England to check the Kaiser's determin ation to introduce a new Havy Law in the spring of 1912 and to 3. find out what England really wanted. After the Agadir Crisis public opinion in England swung gradually round in favour of Germany. Metternich informed his Government that the British Cabinet could not long ignore the new tendencv provided some unforeseen action on Germany's part 4. did not cause a reaction. Accordingly, in January Grey in structed Goschen to renew the negotiations as soon as conven-1. G.D.vol.4.p.46-7.XXXI.18.Metternich to Bethmann-Hollweg, Hov.1.1911. Metternich wrote to Bethmenn-Hollweg privately complaining of the damage being done by the Attache who was secure under the protection of Tirpits and refused to con fine himself to the purely technical. The Attache frequent ly said he felt it his duty to spend the rest of his time in England warning against the danger from England in his report If Metternich Refused to forward these reports there would be a disturbance and the Kaiser would declare the Attache right and Metternich wrong, cf. G.D.vol.4.p.54.XXXI.47.Metternich to Chancellor, Dec.10, 1911. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.647.No.477.Goschen to Grey. Nov. 3, 1911. 3. G.D.vol.4.p.48-50.XXXI.31.Bethmann-Hollweg to Metternich, Nov 22, 1911. 4. G.D.vol,4.p.50-2.Metterncih to Bethmann-Hollweg, Hov.24, 1911 p.52.XXXI.72.Metternich to Bethmann-Hollweg, Dec.9, 1911. 133 . 1. lent after the Reichstag election. On January 28, 1912 Gos chen reopened the discussions by giving Kiderlen a Memorandum 2 on the details of exchange of information through Naval Attaches At this juncture came the now famous Haldane Mission of February 1912 which neither side is prepared to claim the honour of initiating. The Kaiser and Bethmann-Hollweg give all the • credit to the English; while many of the English maintain that the Germans took the first step. Overtures came through un official channels. Harold Nicolson in his biography of Lord Carnock stiggests that Ballin and Cassel put their heads togeth er and concocted a scheme whereby Cassel would tell the British Government that the Emperor had expressed a wish to receive a Cabinet Minister in Berlin; and Ballin would tell the Emperor that the British Government desired to send a special repres-entative to Germany to discuss an accommodation. Churchill was in correspondence Mth Cassel in January of 1912, apparent ly with reference to a proposal from Ballin and Cassel that he should visit Berlin to have discussions with a certain august friend. Churchill felt it unwise to make a special trip at 4. present, using his official position as an excuse. Lloyd George, since Agadir had felt something should be done to hesl 1. B.D.vol.6.p.661.No.487.Grey to Goschen, Jan. 17, 1912. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.662.No.489.Goschen to Grey, Jan.28, 1912. and Enclosures p.662-3. 3. Nicolson - op. cit. - p.362. 4. B.D.vol.6.p.666.No.492.ChurchIll to Cassel, Jan.7, 1912. Private; p.666-7.No.493.Churchill to Grey, Jan.20, 1912; G.D.vol.4.v,71.German Note XXXI.97. 134. any smart from which Germany might be suffering. As a result he and Churchill worked together In consultation with Grey and obtained the Prime Minister's consent to send Cassel to Berlin 1. with a Memorandum to present to the Emperor. Accordingly, Cassel went to Berlin and through Ballin ob tained an audience with the Kaiser to whom he handed a memorand um along the following lines: Naval superiority recognised as essential to Britain; the present German Naval Programme should not be increased but if possible retarded and reduced; as England desired not to interfere with German colonial expansion, she would discuss forwarding German aspirations in that direction. Proposals for reciprocal assurances debarring either Power from 2. joining aggressive designs against the other would be welcome. According to his own account the Emperor was astounded at such a step. He sent for the Chancellor who was equally amazed. How ever, they decided to welcome the British move and drew up a 3. suitable reply in which every word was carefully weighed. Whether the good gentlemen in Berlin were astonished or not matters little. Their reply expressed their pleasure in wel coming the British move, and their full accord with the terms of Cassel's draft provided the 1912 estimates for which arrange ments had been completed were Included in the present German naval programme. The best way to press negotiations rapidl;/ 1. Churchill - op.cit.- vol.1.p.95-6.;G.D.vol.4.p.71.German Note. XXXI.97. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.71.XXXI.97.Memorandum by Chancellor, Jan.29, 1912 No.l. 3. Wilhelm 1ft. - Memoirs - p.148-9. 135. forward would "be for Grey to visit the Emperor as soon as poss-1. ible. With this, Cassel returned to London. The matter came before the Cabinet who decided to comply with the request to send a minister to Berlin. Although Grey feared possible sus picions in Paris and St. Petersburg if such a visit took place, he felt that a refusal would be a wanton rebuff. He had no great hope that anything would come of these new overtures but considered that no great harm would be done if the visit were 2. kept strictly private and Informal. To send Grey was out of the question, as he was not in the habit of visiting the con tinent. The choice fell upon Haldane who knew Germany well and often spent a holiday there. Goschen paid a flying visit to London to discuss the matter and returned to Berlin to make 3. arrangements. On February 8 Haldane arrived in Berlin ostensibly on a commission to study university education in Germany. He met the Chancellor at the British Embassy and discussed the sit uation frankly. He impressed upon Bethmann-Hollweg that the German policy of piling up magnificent armaments had the in evitable consequence of drawing together other nations in the interests of their own security. Britain had naturally made preparations for defence but had no secret military treaties. 1. G.D.vol.4.p.72.XXXI.97.Memorandum by Chancellor, Jan.29,1912. Ho.II. 2. Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.242-3. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.667.No.494.Grey to Goschen, Feb.2, 1912.Private; Haldane - Before the War - p.57. 136, However, if Prance were attacked and her territory occupied, Germany could not safely rely on British neutrality. British interests and commercial needs demanded that she lay down two keels for every one laid down by Germany. Haldane received the impression that Bethmann-Hollweg sincerely desired to avoid 1« war. The next day, February 9, Haldane had a long talk with the Kaiser and Tirpitz during which he repeated the same state ments regarding Britains attitude to naval armaments. The Emperor provided him with a copy of the draft of a new Fleet Lav;. They discussed the Lav/ in general terms with Tirpitz fighting hard for it in its entirety and Haldane pointing out the necessity for modification if improved relations were to follow. Tirpitz broached the idea of a ratio. He felt the two-Power standard a hard one for Germany. Haldane pointed out that Germany v/as free, so was England. Finally they agreed to drop the idea of defining a standard proportion in any gen eral agreement reached and to say nothing in it about ship building. The Emperor would announce to the German public that the agreement on general questions ( if they concluded one ) had entirely modified his wish for a new fleet law, as origin ally conceived, and that It shotxld be delayed and future ship building be spread over a longer period. The Emperor seemed agreeable and said the Chancellor would arrange a formula with Haldane. When Haldane received this he wovild return to London 1.Haldane - op. cit. - p.58. 137. and put the matter In the hands of the Cabinet, since he had come not to make an actual agreement but only to explore the 1. ground for one. The last interview with the Chancellor took place on Sat urday, February 10. They worked over the whole field of a gen eral agreement and as a result of some of Haldane's remarks the Chancellor received a mistaken imnression of the extent to which 2. England was prepared to go in her concession. Haldane seemed to agree that the relaxation of tempo proposed by Tirpitz within 3. the new Law would be acceptable. Bethmann-Hollweg suggested as a formula for the basis of an agreement: (1) assurances of desire for peace and friendship; (2) neither power to enter into any combination directed against the other, and each power to declare expressly that it is not bound by any such combination; (3) if either power became entangled in war with one or more other powers the other would maintain at least benevolent neut rality and do its utmost to localise the conflict: (4) the duty of neutrality should not be applicable in so far as it may not be reconcilable with existing agreements. Neither power shotild make new arrangements that would prevent the maintenance of 4. neutrality. Haldane felt this went too far and endangered British freedom of action. He suggested a revision of the draft 1. Haldane - op. cit. - p.60-2. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.74-5.XXXI.112.Emperor to Bethmann-Hollweg, Feb. 9, 1912.; p.75-6.XXX1.120.Bethmann-Hollweg to Metternich, Feb. 12, 1012. 3.It was really no concession at all, although Tirpitz later stated in his memoirs that.he was prepared to drop the entire law if England offered a suitable political agreement. Un fortunately, he gave no indication of this during the negot iations, cf. Brandenburg. - op. cit. - p.405. 4.Haldane - op. cit. - p.64. 138. by confining the terms to an undertaking by each Power not to make any unprovoked attack upon the other:not to join in any combination or design against the other for purposes of aggress ion; not to become party to any plan or naval or military com bination, alone or in conjunction with any other power, direct-1. ed to such an end. The Chancellor agreed to this. Haldane returned to London full of hope that relations would be improved and convinced of the sincerity of Bethmann-Hollweg, yet uneasy on three points: (1) He had a strong impression that the new Fleet Law v/ould be insisted on. (2) He feared the possibility of Tirpitz displacing Bethmann-Hollweg as Chancellor. (3) He noted a want of continuity in the supreme direction of German 2. policy, especially Foreign Policy. On the British side at least, many officials entertained grave doubts as to the success of the mission and indeed the advisability of embarking upon such a venture at all. Hicolson regarded it "with anxiety and dismay. He foresaw that in the last resort Herr von Bethmann-Hollweg would not be strong enough to impose upon Admiral von Tirpitz any substantial reduction of the naval programme. He feared, on the other hand, that Mr. Haldane might be inveigled into making political concessions 3. in return for some flimsy assurance of naval retardation." On February 10 Goschen wrote privately to Hicolson that it seem-1. Haldane - op. cit. - p.65.;B.D.vol.6.p.682.Appendix 1. 2. Haldane - op. cit. - p.70. 3. Hicolson - op, cit. - p.362-3. 139. ed as If Germany were going to obtain a political agreement for nothing and give no naval agreement. Haldane could not do any more and had at least been firm on the idea of two keels 1. to one. On February 11 Bertie wrote from Paris that in his opinion the Mission was a foolish move that had created grave suspicion in Paris. Britain should go on increasing her naval expenditure and not waste words trying to come to.an agreement with Germany which would be of no value since the Germans never 2. did keep the spirit of their agreements. The visit of an English Cabinet Minister to Berlin sup posedly of an unofficial nature not unnaturally aroused the 1. B.D.vol.6.p.674-5.No.504.Goschen to Nicolson, Feb.10, 1912. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.687-8.No.509.Bertie to Nicolson, Private, Feb. 11, 1912. Poincare tells an amazing story of Bertie's actions at the time of the Haldane Mission. He pays tribute to the entire loyalty of the British Cabinet to the French all through in keeping her informed of all things in the negotiations. Bertie came to Poincare on March 27 and asked if Poincare would allow him to forget for a few moments that he (Bertie) was an ambassador. Poincare agreed to forget the fact if Bertie wished. Bertie then spoke of Grey's assurance to France that Britain had refused the declaration of neut rality requested by Germany. He pointed out that Grey had refused it now, but he was surrounded by men with German leanings. He then went on to say:"This makes me feel a little uncomfortable; it is imperative that this declaration of neu trality shall not be made, and there is some risk of it if the German Government returns again and again to the charge. It may be true that we are only asked to be neutral in the event of Germany being attacked; but who can say that the day may not arrive when France, irritated beyond measure and thre atened by Germany, will not be forced to take the offensive? No, believe me, it will not do for M.Paul Cambon to appear satisfied, and if only you speak resolutely to London, the British Government will do more than hesitate before committing the blunder which I dread." Poincare says that Cambon prompt ly saw Grey and hoisted the danger flag. Y/hen the neutral ity agreement was definitely off and negotiations dropped, Cambon was much relieved and Nicolson said Grey was also. For the story cf. Poincare - Memoirs - vol.1.p.81-91. 140, curiosity and the suspicions of England's friends. Grey, anxious to preserve harmony, instructed the British representatives in France, Russia, and Japan, to reassure the Governments and to communicate the information that Britain intended to renew dis cussions v/ith Germany for a naval understanding. He, himself, spoke to the diplomats in London. Haldane visited Camboh in Berlin to clear away any distrust. Haldane's report went before the Cabinet for careful perusal, the draft of the German Haval Law attracting partic ular attention. They found upon examining that particular document closely that it provided for substantial increases notably in personnel. They one and all saw that in the face of this Bill, Britain would have to increase her Estimates. The German meagre concessions amounted to nothing, while the form ula they proposed would tie England's hands. As Grey said, they had to realise that the political formulae were not safe and that a substantial naval agreement, such as would relax tension 1. and give security, was not to be obtained. By February 24 Metternich had gained the impression that the proposals made by Haldane were not going to be accepted in their entirety by the British Government. He voiced his feel ing to Grey who confirmed it. Grey believed that negotiations 'on individual points would drag on some time, the main thing l.Grey - op, cit. - vol.1.p.244. 141. was to reach an agreement on the Supplementary Bill and the 1. political declaration as soon as possible. In a Memorandum to Metternich he pointed out the increases in the German Bill and the correspondingly necessary increases by the British' 2. Admiralty. This news annoyed the Kaiser and made him £eel that the British Cabinet had disavowed Haldane and drooped the 3. points upon which he had agreed with Germany. Further talks with Haldane assured Metternich that the Cabinet was not dev iating from its original standpoint, it earnestly wished an agreement on the various questions, but the Estimates were heing increased and more ships recalled from the Mediterranean to the Channel. This drove the Emperor almost to the verge of declaring war. He vowed that he would stand by the Hovelie, that the increased man-power did not enter into the discussion 4. with England. On March 6 Metternich pointed out that Haldane had not complained of the increase in personnel during the early neg otiations. The British Government were making objections to points that had seemed satisfactory when Haldane was in Berlin. The German Government repeated their readiness to reduce the 1. G.D.vol.4.p.76-7.XXXI.135.Metternich to Bethmann-Hollweg, Feb. 24, 1912. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.698-9.Enclosure in Ho.524. 3.1n aletter to the Chancellor the Emperor stated "We demand of England a fresh orientation of her entire policy in the sense that she renounces her existing Ententes and that we step more or less into the position occupied by France." ' G.D.vo'1.4.r>.78.Hote. 4.G.D.vol.4.p.78-81.XXXI. 145.Me11ernich to Bethmann-Iio 1 Iweg, March 1, 1912.;p.81.XXXI.156.Emperor to Metternich, March 5, 1912. 142. tempo of construction within the new Bill and trusted this 1. would supply a satisfactory basis for continuing negotiations. Grey heped that friendly discussions and relations would go on even if no definite agreement were reached. He added to Goschen that the German Government seemed to be treating Haldane as if ' he had had full powers to make a binding agreement and were 2. distorting what he had said. Haldane reported an extraordin ary conversation in the course of which Metternich said he had heard that if Britain offered a suitable political formula the proposed fleet law as it stood would be withdrawn and a much 3. more moderate one substituted. On March 14 Grey, in response to a reminder from Metternich communicated to him the British draft of a formula. "England will make no unprovoked attack upon Germany and pursue no aggress ive policy towards her. Aggression upon Germany is not the sub ject and forms no part of any treaty understanding or combinat ion to which England is now a party nor will she become a party 4. to anything that has such an object." Metternich, realising that this would not suit Germany, tried to persuade Grey to make some mention of neutrality, but the wary Grey declined to enter any trap that would hamper England's freedom of action in event 1. B.D.vol.6.p.704-6.Ho.529.Memorandum by Metternich, March 6, 1912. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.707-8.Wo.530.Grey to Goschen, March 6, 1912. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.710-1.Ho.533.Memorandum by Haldane, March 12, 1912.; p.712.No.535.Grey to Nicolson, March 13, 1912. 4. B.D.vol.6.p.713-4.Enclosure in No.537. 143. 1. of Franco-German hostilities. Grey pointed out that he had confidence in Bethmann-Hollweg hut he had to consider that there may he a change of policy if Bethmann-Hollweg fell from 2. power. When this reached the ears of the Emperor, he gave vent to his feelings:"Hever in my life have I heard of anyone concluding an agreement with one and regarding one particular statesman, Independently of the reigning Sovereign. From the foregoing, it is evident that Grey does not in the least real ise who the ruler here is, and that I am the Ruler. He actual ly dictates to me who my: Minister is to he, supposing I con-3. elude an agreement with England." The formula failed to satisfy the Chancellor who seemed to wish a guarantee of absol ute neutrality as the only basis upon which he could undertake 4. to renounce any substantial part of the Supplementary Law. When Metternich explained the Chancellor's difficulties and his desire to continue confidential relations with England, Grey 5. used the coal question as an excuse for delaying discussions. After that both sides by mutual consent abandoned the attempt to find a suitable formula. Britain introduced her in creased naval estimates, and Germany passed the Novelle. The 1. B.D.vol.6.p.714.Ho.538.Metternich to Grey, March 14, 1912; p.714.No.539.Grey to Goschen, March 15, 1812; GID.vol.4. p.82-3.XXXI.178.Metternich to German Foreign Office, March' 14, 1912. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.718-9.No.544.Grey to Goschen, March 16, 1912. 3. G.D.vol.4.p.83.Note. 4. B.D,vol.6.p.719-21.No.545.Grey to Goschen, March 19, 1912; G.D.vol.4.p.85.XXXI.188.Bethmann-Hollweg, March 18, 1912. 5. B.B.vol.6.p.724-5.Ho.548.Grey to Goschen, March 22, 1912. 144. door-.leading to a naval understanding had closed, hut the door leading to a settlement of eolonial and territorial questions was still left open. The failure of these negotiations pleased the anti-German section of the Foreign Office. Nicolson felt that so long as Germany could not rely on Britains abstention or neutrality she 1. would not be disposed to disturb the peace. To Goschen he voiced his relief that the formula was off. He had been afraid 2. Britain might be trapped. These sentiments Goschen heartily 3. reciprocated. In Germany opinions varied. The Kaiser and the Naval Group maintained that the British effort had been from the beginning to force Germany to drop her proposed Navy Bill in return for colonial concessions that would have involved Germany in conflict with other nations. However, the Kaiser "saw through him (Hald ane) and his honest colleagues in time and thoroughly spoiled their little joke ... though I may have increased their hatred I have won their respect which will cause them in due time to resume negotiations, let us hope, in a more modest tone and with 4. a favourable outcome." Bethmann-Hollweg believed the attempt 5. really honourable on Britain's part. He admitted that the introduction of the Navy Bill was to a certain extent a mistake in that it did not relax the tension. The Haldane Mission did 1. B.D.vol.6p.740-1.No.566.Minute by Nicolson for Grey, Ap.4, 191 2. B.D.vol.6pp\747.Ho.575.Nicolson to Goschen, Ap.15, 1912.Priv ate . 3. B.D.vol.6.p.750.No.579.Goschen to Nicolson, Ap.20, 1912.Priv-cl "fcG • 4. G.D .vol.4.p. 87-8.XXXI.209.: \7iIhelm 11.Memoirs .p. 160. 5. Bethmann-Hollweg - op. cit. - p.57. 145. 1. make combined work easier than before and" more fruitful. Once again attempts to reach an understanding had result ed in nothing save vain hopes and empty words. Once again German statesmen had ignored the warnings and nhisinterpreted the signs. Britain desired a naval understanding to relieve the financial pressure and to calm public hostility towards Germany, but she did not desire it at the price of her liberty of action in European crises. German-policy may have been pac ific, if so thought the Britisher why did she want a strong navy, and a.pledge of our neutrality?" Her actions throughout the past few years had been anything but reassuring to an out sider. To a certain extent British suspicions were .justified. On the other hand she had less cause to fear Germany than Germ any had to fear her. Her fleet was more than a match for the German and would remain so if she adhered to her two-power standard. However, unreasonable as these fears may seem, they were undoubtedly genuine at the time. Unfortunately, the dis trust on both sides prevented the statesmen from negotiating an agreement on a sensible basis. Both sides wanted too much for their friendship. The platforms upon which they opened discussions were poles apart. The miracle would have been if they had sefiured an agreement. The blame for failure falls not on one alone but on both. Britain knew that she had no intention of attacking Germany -a seapower could hardly annihil ate a continental power like Germany. On the other hand the 1.Bethmann-Hollweg - op. cit. - p.59. 146. Germans, not understanding British temperament, could not feel perfectly certain. The same applied to the Germans and the British suspicion of their peaceful intentions- Some of the German writers believe that Germany should have accepted the British formula as at least better than nothing. "An exagger ated determination to possess naval power on Germany's part led her to rush blindly past the second turning-point, which nevertheless might have offered auspicious prost>ects for a 1. better future for the Empire." The mistake in the first place lay in the German ambition to create a strong navy, which sooner or later must lead her into direct conflict with England, and in the failure on the part of leading officials to recognise what Metternich so clear ly saw, that "fear would never drive the English into our arms, 2. but into facing us fully armed." The tension had poisoned Anglo-German relations during these years. It relaxed so far during the next two that the two Governments were able to draw up several agreements on colonial and other questions, that might have formed the prelude to an Entente had the war not suddenly rendered them void. All the painful negotiations and discussions from 1908-1912 led only to a tacit agreement for each Government to go its own way in the Naval (Question. Bri tish statesmen learned the lesson of preparedness. Churchill 1. Hammann -,op. cit. - p.239. 2. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.295. 147. took charge of the Admiralty and silence reigned over the naval question. "But It was not the silence of sleep. V/ith every rivet that von Tirpitz drove into his ships of war, he united British opinion throughout wide circles of the most powerful people in every walk of life and in every part of the Empire. The hammers that clanged at Kiel and WillieImshaven were forging the coalition of nations by which Germany was to be resisted and finally overthrown. Every threatening gesture that she made every attempt to shock, or shake the closely knit structure of 1. the Entente made it close and fit together more tightly." The tone of the British statesmen "was not the restraint impos ed by fear of the 'nearly completed fleet in the North Sea' but 2. the calm resulting from the resolve to be prepared." 1.Churchill - op. cit. - p.118. 2.Ibid.p.119. 148 CHAPTER V. Hills of Difficulty. After the Algeciras Conference Anglo-German relations entered upon a period of comparative calm. The naval question had not yet assumed its later immense proportions and there were no serious individual .'points of friction, merely a general 1. rivalry. The Morocco crisis had revealed to the German states men the dangers of their position. The Anglo-French Entente had proved stronger than they anticipated. If Russia and Eng land drew closer together^ German encirclement, they believed, would be complete. Accordingly, they attempted to improve their relations with England in order to prevent if possible an Anglo-Russian rapprochment. Grey says that after the Algeciras Con ference "the sun of German cordiality shon on London". He felt that if Germany would only let well alone, relations would be come still better. Unfortunately, they would try to improve the occasion and so make it more difficult for the British Gov-2. ernment. Billow's meditations suggested the possibility of renewed attempts to reach an.understanding. "I want to remain on good terms with England, but on a footing of complete equal ity, on a basis of complete independence. - It is not merely criminal, it is stupid, to embitter German feeling against Eng-1. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.266. 2. Grey - op. cit. vol.1.p.110. 149. land, to fan tiny sparks into a blaze. - We have numerous points of contact with England: she is our best cixstomer; so far she has opened her ports and her trade to us as to her own subjects. •. Obviously there are points of friction, questions In which reciprocal concessions may be necessary, but not one in which. with calm goodwill and requisite doigte, it is impossible to reach an understanding along peaceful lines in the interest of 1. both countries." So while the King and the Kaiser exchanged cordial letters, the statesmen and diplomats of both countries conversed in amicable terms and indulged in polite expressions of desire for; and determination tc promote^good relations. In May the Emperor graciously hinted that if Haldane cared to come over to Germany to see something of their military org-2. anization he would be warmly welcomed. Tschirschky confirmed Lascelles impression that the Kaiser really desired friendship with England. He spoke of the gratification in Germany over the cordial reception in England of the Burgomasters and their reception by the King. Bulow had expressed the hope that this would lead to the establishment of a friendly understanding be-3. tween Germany and England. These remarks immediately aroused the suspicions of the wary Crowe. He commented: "Past history has shown us that a friendly Germany has usually been a Germany asking for something by way of proving our friendship. It will 1. Billow - Memoirs - vol.2.p.227. 2. B.D.vol.3.p.356-7.Ho.415.Lascelles to Grey, May 24, 1906. 3. B.D.vol.3.p.357. Ho.416.Lascelles to Grey, May 24, 1906. 150. be prudent to be prepared for proposals for an understandinn-1. being made to us by Germany on similar lines." "The way to maintain good relations with Germany is to be ever courteous and correct, but reserved and firm in the defence of British interests and to object and remonstrate invariably when Germany offends We were never so badly treated by Germany as in the years when we were always making concessions in order to gain their real friendship and goodwill. They are essentially 2. people whom it does not pay to run after." Exactly the same sentiments as German statesmen had frequently expressed regarding their dealings with England-^ Grey heard thet Radolin had informed Bourgeois officially that an entente was proceeding between Germany and England, but it was in no way intended to impair relations between Prance and England. This intelligence Grey denied. Admittedly the King on his way to Marienbad would meet the Kaiser but that had 3. no political significance. A few days later Metternich com plained that a sensitiveness in Prance seemed to be preventing English friendship with Germany as well as with Prance. In add ition to the understanding with Prance, Britian had now expressed a desire for one with Russia. 'Germany failed to see why she should be excluded from the ring. Inclusion would assure peace while exclusion would cause an attempt to break the ring. Grey 1. B.D.vol.3.p.358.Minute by Crowe. 2. B.D.vol.3.p.359-60.Minute by Crowe. 3. B.D.vol.3.p.361-2.Grey to Bertie, July 9, 1906. 151. pointed out that England merely sought to settle with Russia differences that had nothing to do v/ith Germany. Should any auestion arise in which German interests v/ere affected, natur-1. ally they would consult her. Apparently the negotiations 2. with Russia v/ere causing a little uneasiness in German circles. By August the King and the Kaiser had so far overcome their mutual antipathy and the relations between their respective countries had improved sufficiently to warrant a meeting at Gronberg on August 15, on the King's outward journey to Marlen-bad. The visit passed off well without any distinctly political 3. conversation between the two menarchs. Hardinge, who accom panied King Edward, discussed the general trend of relations v/ith the Emperor's ministers in friendly manner. The Emperor seemed genuinely friendly towards England and expressed pleasure 4. at Haldane's coming visit. The press exercised reserve in its 5. comments, avoiding either hostility or sincere cordiality. A few days later the Emperor and his officials welcomed Haldane and entertained him hospitably. He talked v/ith many prominent men and felt that the majority were peaceably in clined, anxious to be on good terms with England and of the opinion that to this end the Anglo-French Entente v/ould prove 6. a help rather than a hindrance. With the assistance of the 1. B.D.vol.3.p.363.Ho.422.Grey to Lascelles, July §.1. 1906. 2. B.D.vol.4.p.231-2.Ho.216.Grey to Hicolson, May 23, 1906. 3. Lee - op. cit. - vol.2.p.529. 4. B.D.vol.3.p.366-70.Ho.425.Hardinge to Grey, Aug.16, 1906. Private. 5. B.D.vol.3.p.370-2.Ho.426.Gartwright to Grey, Aug.20, 1906. 6. Haldane - Before the War - p.22-46Autobiography - p.201-7. 152. military staff he studied the army organisation and was present at a parade. Naturally he saw only what was already known to the public. His attendance at the parade threatened to cause a storm in Prance, where the belief prevailed that it commemor ated the German victory at Sedan. However, the Ambassadors cleared up the situation and Anglo-French friendship continued 1. unimpaired. The year 1906 concluded with friendly feeling on both sides in official circles. The Governments recognized the importance of proceeding slowly and co-operating whenever possible until public opinion recovered from its attack of hostility. As a proof of his goodwill the Kaiser offered to present to England a replica of a statue of William of Orange, King of England. The King accepted the gift in the correct spirit. The Prime Minister expressed his suspicions privately:"He who makes more fuss of you than usual has either deceived you or proposes to do so." Parliament gratified its sense of humour by placing 2. the statue near the Orangery in front of Kensington Palace. The following year continued these amicable relations but to a lesser degree. Early in the year King Edward in the course of his travels on the continent met the King of Italy at Gaeta. Articles appeared in the Neue Preie Presse and in the 1. B.D.vol.3.p.374.No.451.Lascelles to Grey, Aug.31, 1906. . p.575.No.433,Lascelles to Grey, Sept.l, 1906; p.376.No. 435.Diary of Haldane's visit to Germany. 2. Lee - op. cit. - vol.2.p.531-2. 153. Cologne Gazette crediting King Edward with the intention of is olating and humiliating Germany. As a result Berlin want "stark staring raving mad" under the impression that war between England 1 e and Germany was imminent. Further newspaper articles calmed the public and restored their sanity. Lascelles reported a great feeling of 'nervosity' in Germany probably because the people felt their country no longer occupied its previous posit ion in Europe. Instead of blaming their own policy they believed themselves the victims of the machinations of some wicked man -at one time they blamed Delcasse, now they suspected King Edward. Many were afraid of being deserted by Italy at Ehe Hague as at 2. Algeciras, for they v/ould have to oppose disarmament. The second Hague Conference, summoned by Russia on the request of the United States, met in the summer of 1907. Several times during 1906 and 1907 the Kaiser expressed his opposition to the discussion of limitation of armaments and declared the whole conference absolute nonsense. Britain, already becoming alarmed at the increased naval forces around her, wished to bring the question before the Conference. All the countries secretly considered the meeting useless and the discussion of disarmament futile, but they kept quiet, allowed Britain to bring up the idea and left it for Germany to incur the odium of shelving the question. Other matters proved equally difficult 1. B.D.vol.6.p.28.Ho.15.Lascelles to Grey, April 19, 1007.Private 2. B.D.vol.6.p.28.Ho.15.Lascelles to Grey, April 19, 1907.Private p.29-32.Ho.l6.Cartwright to .Grey, April 23, 1907. 154. and unproductive of success. An Obligatory Court of Arbitration was turned down because Germany.declined to have anything to do with it. Once more Germany emerged with an enhanced reputation for standing in the way of anything that would promote the peace of the world. Once again she was no more to blame than the other 1. countries, only less discreet in her conduct. This year witnessed the culmination of the Anglo-Russian negotiations which had been causing the Germans considerable anxiety, For many years English and Russian interests had con flicted in Asia. So long as this friction continued Germany felt fairly safe. It was the keynote of her policy to keep Eng land and Russia apart, so long as she could not bind either of them to her in friendship. However, the conclusion of the Anglo-French Entente inevitably meant an attempt on the part of France to bring England and Russia together and so to change the Dual Entente into the Triple Entente. During the negotiations of 1906 the Germans tried hard to interfere on both sides. Their veiled hints probably had more effect on Isvolsky and the R'uss-2. ians than on the English. On the surface they affected to welcome the improved relations between England and Russia and admitted that no German interests were involved in the discuss ions. Although Billow expressed little anxiety, the Kaiser was none too pleased: "A pretty state of affairs," he said, "in 1. Lowes Dickinson - on. cit. -.n.354-6.jBrandenburg - op. cit. p.275-7. 2. B.D.vol.4.p.246-9.Ho.234.Lascelles to Grey, Oct.29, 1906.; p.255-7.Ho.243.Annual Report fnr Russia, 1906; p.282-3.Ho.260. Nicolson to Grey, March 26, 1907.;p.412.No.369.Nicolson to Grey, Nov. 7, 1906. 155. future v/e shall have to deal v/ith the Franco-Russian Alliance, the Entente Cordiale "between France and England, and the Entente between England and Russia, and in the second place v/ith Spain, 1. Italy, and Portugal as satellites in this system of alliances." When the agreement was announced in September 1907 the Germans received it calmly, the official circles maintaining a correct attitude as in the case of the Anglo-French agreement of 1904. Bulow expressed to Hardinge his satisfaction at the removal of causes of friction in Asia and his belief that the understanding 2. would help to consolidate the interests of peace in Europe. The press was moderately favourable, but the commercial Inter ests wished Germany had also participated and feared possible 3. injury to German trade in Persia. Cartv/right in Munich ob-4. served some bitter press attacks on the agreement. Once more they had to accept the fait accompli v/ith as good grace as poss ible. With the Anglo-Russian Entente the ring around Germany 5. was complete. There were nov/ telegraph wires in existence between Paris and St.Petersburg, 1891; London and Tokio, 1902; London and Paris, 1904; Paris and Tokio, 1907; St.Petersburg 6 and Tokio, 1907; and London and St.Petersburg, August 31, 1907. "The system of alliances created by Bismarck had only embraced a great part of the European continent: that of the Triple En-1. Pribram - op. cit. - p.120. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.43-6.Ho.25.Memorandum by Hardinge, Aug.19, 1907. 3. B.D.vol.4.p.599-600.Ho.540.Lascelles to Grey, Oct.l, 1907. 4. B.D.vol.4.p.601-2.Ho.542.Cartv/right to Grey, Oct.8, 1907. 5. Hammann - op. cit. - p.176. 6.Ibid.p.174." 156. tente drew within its orbit a great part of the Eastern Hemis phere." "If we bring unbiased judgment to bear upon these events our verdict will be that the diplomatic brains of the western Great Powers particularly of England, were far superior to those of Germany, both in the clearness with which they per ceived their goal and in the logical accuracy with which they carried on their negotiations. It must alwayys be considered one of the greatest mistakes made by Germany's leading states men, that they maintained in general a passive attitude, in con tradistinction to the untiring and ceaseless activity of the French and the British, and that they neglected to follow Bis marck's example in securing allies by satisfying the covetous-1. ness of the other Powers." Thus have the German and Austrian historians judged the policy of the Entente as a carefully thought out scheme methodically carried to a conclusion. Their statements are open to criticism. They credit the Entente statesmen with deep-laid plans. In all probability these men, particularly the English, merely saw the danger to their own country if the points of friction were allowed to remain and grow worse. They saw in Europe a compact group led by a seemingly aggressive state and dreaded the consequences of facing the group alone or of being drawn into its orbit as a dependent nation. Apprehen sion caused them to come to an understanding. Then Germany com plained of encirclement and Machiavellian politics conducted by the malicious, intriguing King of England. It never seemed to I.Pribram - op. cit. - p.118. 157. occur to her statesmen that It might he advisable for them to change their tactics and be a little more conciliating before it was too late. Early in 1907 Hardinge suggested that King Edward should invite the Kaiser to Windsor in the autumn. The Emperor had not yet returned the King's Kiel visit of 1904 because of the strained atmosphere during the Morocco Crisis. How relations had improved sufficiently for a visit to prove beneficial. In June the invitation was issued to the Kaiser and accepted. Pinal arrangements were made when the King broke his journey to Marien-bad at WilheImshBhe in August 1907 to spend a few hours with his nephew. As usual the composition of the Kaiser's suite caused a little trouble. The possibility of his bringing two ministers and one of these the Chancellor brought protests from Grey who wished to avoid anything that might suggest a visit of 1. political importance and alarm Prance. Lascelles thought prob ably Bulow would not come, but had heard that the Kaiser intend-2. ed to arrive escorted by a fleet of cruisers. Since the Emp eror seemed determined to regard the visit as a state visit, it would be best to recognise it as such, at the same time using the absence of the Chancellor to emphasise the slight political importance attached to it. This would avoid any offence to 3. Prance. This disturbance had scarcely died down, when the 1. B.D.vol.6.p.80.No.47.Grey to Knollys, Aug.28, 1907.Private• 'p.81.No.48.Grey to Lascelles, Sept,18. 1907.Private. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.82.No.49.Lascelles to Grey, Sept.20. 1907. 3.Ibid. 158, Kaiser became alarmed about his health and telegraphed his desire 1. to send the Crown Prince in his place or to postpone the visit. However, the indisposition soon passed, and united pressure from Billow and the King induced His Imperial Majesty to reconsider his decision. The Emperor and Empress arrived on Hovsmber 11 and remain ed until November 18. The visit was successful in every way, and the Kaiser highly gratified by his cordial reception both by the Royal Family and the London public. He again stressed his great desire for the best relations between the two countries. At the Guildhall Luncheon^November 13,he said, "The main prop and base for the peace of the world is the maintenance of good relations between our two countries, and I shall further strengthen them as far as lies in my power. Blood is thicker than water., The 2. German nation's wishes coincide with mine." The most import-3. ant political matter discussed was the Bagdad Railway. At the conclusion of the visit the Empress returned to Germany and the Kaiser went on to Highcliffe Castle, the home of Col. Stuart-4. Wortley, for a rest and a holiday. The press in both countries received the visit favourably and viewed it as an effective re conciliation. "For a few weeks Anglo-German relations breathed a cordiality which they had not known since the Kruger telegram 5 and which they were not to know again for a dozen years or more." 1. B.D.vol.6.p.88.Ho.56.Grey to Lascelles , Hov.l, 1907; Billow -Memoirs - vol.2.p.296. 2. Lee - op. cit. - vol.2.p.558-9. 3. cf. Infra, p. 4. Lee - op. cit. - vol.2.p.561. 5.Ibid. p.563. 159. Unfortunately, the good effect wore off very soon. Naval rivalry and the strengthening Anglo-Russian friendship aroused public opinion on both sides. The French President came to Eng land in May of 1908 and was enthusiastically received. This visit coupled with the proposed meeting of the King and the Czsr 1. ruffled the temper of the German press. On their v/ay to Reval the King and Queen stopped at Kiel to meet Prince and Princess Henry."- of Prussia. When they left the harbour they were escort ed by a squardon of German destroyers. "The smart appearance of the whole German North Sea Fleet lying at anchor in the port gave food for reflection upon the recent German naval programme of construction, while the intricate evolutions of the torpedo flotilla, which excited the admiration of all the naval officers on board the Royal Yacht served as a useful object lesson of the 2. efficiency of the German Navy." At Reval there was no talk of alliances against Germany, only a general pleasure at the establishment of cordial relations between England and Russia and discussion of such matters as affected Anglo-Russian inter-3. ests. German dissatisfaction was acute, although Metternich 4. admitted to Grey that it had no justification. Bulow estimates 1. B.D.vol.6.p.l50-3.No.96.Cartwright to Grey, June 1, 1908. 2. B.D.vol.5.p.237-45.No.195.Hardinge Memorandum of Reval visit, June 1908. 3. Bulow - Memoirs - vol.2.p.308. 4. B.D.vol.6.p.154.No.97.Grey to de Salis, June 15, 1908. Really the Germans had some grounds for their apprehensions since several important officials were present at the meeting Stolypin and Isvolsky on the Russian side, and French, Fisher Hardinge, and Nicolson on the English side. This seemed to hint at more than a family reunion. Harold Nicolson suggests that the Germans feared the effect of King Edward's tact on the Czar, in contrast to the somewhat patronizing tone adopt ed by the Kaiser. The Germans were relying on the relation-ship"between Kaiser and Czar .to keep the line open between Berlin and St.Petersburg.Nicolson-op.citr-p.274. 160. Reval as the central political event of 1908 and remarks that, "I had no doubts whatever on the political significance of this meeting nor of the political consequence that might follow it 1. if our policy were clumsy and incautious." A view with which Brandenbtirg agrees in principle, "Here it was that the foundat ions of a practical political Entente betv/een Russia and England were laid, and here too, Russian policy first turned decisively 2>. away- from friendship with Germany. » The main feature of the King's meeting with the Kaiser 3. at Cronberg in August 1908 has already been described. One subject that occupied the two monarchs was the retirement of • Sir Prank Lascelles and the question of his successor. For some months the matter had taxed the resources of the Foreign Office without any satisfactory result. At this meeting, how ever, they agreed upon Bir Edward Goschen as the new British Ambassador to Berlin. In October the Kaiser brought down upon his head a verit able deluge of criticism by permitting the publication of some of his opinions on Anglo-German relations. The idea was con ceived as a result of the Kaiser's stay at Highcliffe Castle and was intended to assist better relations between England and Germany by revealing the Kaiser's never-failing friendship. It told of his keeping Russia and France from intervening against HBulow - Memoirs - vol.2.p.307. Another example of Billow's wisdom] 2. Brandenburg - op. cit. -.p.310. 3. cf. supra, p.109-110. 161. England in the Boer War, of his supplying a plan of campaign to Queen Victoria, of his friendship in spite of the opposition of German public opinion- This and much else it related, often in the exaggerated language of the Kaiser himself. The manu script had been sent to the Kaiser by Col. Stuart-Wortley for his approval. He forwarded it to Bulow at Horderney. That gentleman, being busily occupied with matters of vital import ance, passed it on to the Foreign Office with strict orders, heavily underlined, to make such corrections, additions or de letions as may seem suitable and then to return the revised copy to him. This they did with speed and secrecy. Bulow noted a few minor corrections but still did not read it. He told his assistant to see if he considered it suitable for publication. This done, he rettumed it to the Emperor, passed by Foreign 1. Office and Chancellor. Thus the ill-fated report found its way into the press and was the raison d'etre of an article in the Daily Telegraph, October 28, 1908. The affect in England was the exact opposite of that in tended. All the papers held it up to ridicule and regarded many of the assertions as an insult to the English people. In Germany it led to a violent campaign against the personal rule 2. of the Kaiser. Bulow was horrified and offered to resign. The Kaiser suffered a nervous collapse and thought of abdicat-1. Bulow - Memoirs - vol.2.p.329. Jules Cambon is inclined , on the testimony of Zimmermann to believe that Billow read the Manuscript and yet passed it. cf. Cambon - Billow and the War - Foreign Affairs.April 1932.vol.10.Ho.3.p.410. 2. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.291. 162. ing. Goschen wrote privately to Grey that "everybody was angry 1 • with somebody." To Metternich Grey expressed regret at the effect of the interview, but saw nothing in the way of £nglo-2. German friendship and co-operation. On the whole the Incident served to reveal to the Germans some of the faults of their official system; and to put the English even more on their guard against Germany. By December Grey thought all talk about it should cease or Germany would turn her irritation against Eng land. Besides it had served a good purpose.* "Never since I have been in office has opinion here been so thoroughly awake with regard to Germany and on its guard as it is now. I haven't the faintest tremor of anxiety about that. Never has the Emper or's position been so low in the world. Why then not let well alone J " Just before the storm over the Daily Telegraph Incident Austria formally announced the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovnia, an act which precipitated a European Crisis that might have led to war had the powers affected been prepared. The crisis of the winter 1908-9 did not affect Anglo-German relations as might have been expected. For the most part both countries worked together for the preservation of peace. Grey disapproved of the violation of treaty rights by stronger powers and declined to recognize the legality of Austria's act. When Serbia became 1. B.D.vol.6.p.217-8.No.136.Goschen to Grey, Nov. 13, 1908. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.206-8.No.130.Grey to Goschen, Nov. 7, 1908. 3. B,D.vol.6.p.225*6.No.142.Grey to Bertie, Dec.l, 1908.Private. 163. involved, and with her, Russia, he/urged.the: application of pre ssure in Vienna to enforce a policy of moderation. Germany supported her ally, Austria, and declined to exert pressure in Vienna, when she considered the provocation had come from Bel grade. On the whole, the two Foreign Offices succeeded in dis cussing the different phases of the crisis in a calm sensible manner. Wo doubt, there was resentment in Germany because Eng land would not order Russia and Serbia to give in. Still Gre;^ stood firm, until the Serbian reply' to Austria convinced him that the provocation was not entirely on one side, and until Germany presented to St.Petersburg a diplomatic ultimo turn which caused the Russians to surrender all along the line. Suggestions made by either Government to preserve peace were carefully examined by the other and if considered unsuitable were politely rejected with friendly explanations. In spite of this co-oper ation, various actions strengthened the distrust already firmly ingrained in the minds of the officials of both sides. Germany felt that Grev was not so much opposing Austria as Austria's 1. ally. They accused Nicolson, then English Ambassador at St. 2. Petersburg, of inflaming Russia against Austria and Germany. 3. This Nicolson denied. He had spoken freely to Isvolsky of the difficulties but had never urged him to adopt a line that might widen the breach between him and Vienna. There can be no doubt that Nicolson deplored Isvolsky's retreat after the German warn-1. Bulow - Imperial Germany - p.51. 2. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.331. 3. Nicolson - op. cit. - p.310-12. 164. 1. ing. He resented the humiliation of the Entente raid feared that France and Russia v/ould desert England. Then Germany's end v/ould he accomplished. She would be dictator in Europe and in 2. a position to challenge England's maritime supremacy. This pessimistic point of view and distinct anti-German bias boded ill for Germany when Hicolson became Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign Office in 1910. The Crisis passed leaving the division between the two groups more marked, and the hatred be tween the individual members more intense. Between England and Germany, however, it left a certain hond,in that both had worked for peace and had succeeded in maintaining it. It "may have in creased the mutual suspicion to a slight extent; but in that it pales Into insignificance beside the naval question and the Agadir Crisis. During one of the calm intervals the King and Queen paid a state visit to Berlin, February 1909. Their reception, al though somewhat lacking in warmth at first, rapidly became cord ial and enthusiastic. Both King and Kaiser v/ere delighted with the splendid success. The tone of the press left nothing to be 3. desired. Politically the visit signified nothing. Heither side seriously expected it would. It was merely a necessary gesture of courtesy. The summer of 1909 witnessed the change in leadership 4. in Germany..already.'-.mentioned. Billow, unpopular v/ith the Kaiser 1.B.D.vol.5.p.736.Ho.764.Hicolson to Grey, March 24, 1909. 2.Ibid; also Hicolson - op. cit. - p.306-8. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.232.Ho.146.Goschen to Grey, Feb.12, 1909. 4. cf. supra, p.120. 165. since the Daily Telegraph Incident, had to go. During his regime Germany had failed to come to an agreement with England and had precipitated various crises that led to her "encirclement". Yet he had heen popular in Germany. Brandenburg condemns him in carefully measured terms. "He lacked a sense of the great inter dependence of the nations v/ith whom our fate was also bound up and he had no grasp of the broad lines of the world's history. The policy of missing opportunities, the responsibility for v/hich rests with him, brought Germany into a position the difficulty of v/hich he occasionally experienced but did not realise in its full extent. Outwardly he was leaving the Empire strong and sectxre, in reality, hov/ever, in an extremely critical 1. position demanding the utmost prudence, skill and energy." Jules Cambon, the French Ambassador in Berlin, says of him: "Billow did not fight the war; but he piled up in Europe all the reasons and all the resentments that made war inevitable. He did so to gain prestige for his own policy; he slighted Prance systematically; he irritated England; he gave Austria a license to do what she pleased. He has no occasion, therefore, to be surprised that all the animosities v/hich his policy aroused 2. should have combined against Germany." The new Chancellor took office v/ith the fixed intention to improve Anglo-German relations and if possible to reach some 1. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.248-9. 2. Cambon - Bulow and the Y/ar - Foreign Affairs, p.415. l.lien Holstein was dying he urged Billow to stay and guide Germany, because if he left the Chancellorship Germany v/ould become involved in disastrous war. cf. Billow - Memoirs vol.2.p.456-7. also Gooch-Holstein-in "Studies in Modern History". 166. agreement. His apparent sincerity created a favourable impress ion in England. Goschen wrote "If the Chancellor is as well disposed as he is reported to be, there then appears to be some ground for the hope that the new era will result in a quieter. 1. more open and less cantankerous foreign policy." The remainder of 1909 and most of 1910 were taken up with the naval question and its attendant tension. In May 1910 Germ any tried to start trouble over persia. Fearing injury to German commerce there, she pressed England for an agreement. England could not see why the matter had suddenly become so urg-2. ent. Fortunately, the Germans dropped the question in a short 3. time explaining that there had been a misunderstanding. May 6, 1910 King Edward died. The man whom Germany had feared was removed at last. Actually his death made little diff erence to the course of events in Europe. The legend of his intrigues had little foundation. His ministers guided the for eign policy of England, the King by his personal charm strength ened the links they had made. He was by no means his own Foreig Minister in spite of the Emperor's belief. The Kaiser came to England for his uncle's funeral and succumbed once more to the charm of the country. During all these years the Bagdad Railway proved an in terminable subject for discussion. England, jealous of her in-1. B.D.vol.6.p.279-82.Ho.185.Goschen to Grey, July 23, 1909. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.484-5. Ho.369.Grey to de salis, May 21, 1910. 3. B.D.vol.5.n.486-7. Ho.371.de Salis to Grey, May 24, 1910. 167. fluence in the Persian Gulf and fearful of losing the gateway to India, used every means in her power to obstruct the scheme unless the whole line became international, or she obtained con trol of the Gulf Section. Nevertheless, she kept the door open as far as possible for her participation. Grey recognised that the railway would be finished in spite of Britain, therefore he would prefer to participate. Still he v/ould do nothing to offend Russia and France'who both regarded the line as prejudicial to •1. their interests. Unfortunately, this decision kept him from coming to an agreement v/ith Germany. When the Kaiser visited Windsor in November 1907 he ex pressed regret to Haldane that there was so much friction over the Bagdad Railway. What did Britain want as a basis of co operation? Speaking from a military point of view Haldane be lieved England wanted a "gate" to protect India. In response to a further question Haldane explained that a "gate" meant control of the section near the Persian Gulf. The Kaiser then said,"I will give you the gate'.' Having ascertained that the Kaiser really meant this, Haldane went up to London to consult with Grey, who welcomed the prospect of discussion but stipul ated the inclusion of France and Russia. At first the Emperor feared there would be difficulty with Russia but Schoen assured him that Isvolsky was ready to discuss the question. Haldane 1.B.D.vol.4.p.382.No.529.Grey to Spring-Rice, May 11, 1906.; B.D.vol.6,p.336-7.Ho.222.Grey to Bertie, April 6, 1906. 168. suggested a conference in Berlin a quatre. Metternich opposed the scheme, hut was over-ruled. Schoen went to London the next 1. morning to make an official proposal to the Foreign Secretary. Grey informed France and Russia of the proposals and promised to take no action without them. In spite of his willingness to enter into discussions he did not think they would go through and suspected that the Kaiser had done it all on his own init-2. iative and impulse. His doubts proved correct. After a few weeks Berlin raised difficulties. Germany was willing to discuss the question of the terminus with England alone. A conference would probably fail and accentuate the differences between Germ-3. any and the other two powers. Thus the matter rested. In June of 1908 Metternich told Haldnae that he had strong ly opposed the idea of a conference a quatre because it would certainly fail and Germany would always be in a minority of one to three. However, whenever Britain wished to enter into neg-4. otiations alone Germany would be willing. In November Helffer-ich,alarmed at the German position in Turkey, urged the necessity of an understanding with Britain over the Bagdad Railway, as the key to the whole situation. "The dream of a Bagdad Railwav Germ-5. an down to the Gulf is over." For a time German influence in Turkey declined. The young 1. Haldane - Before the War - p.48-51.; B.D.vol.6.p.95.Ho.62. Note of Private Conversation between Grey and Haldane,Nov.21, 1907.;p.96-8.No.63.Memorandum by Haldane, Nov.15, 1907.; p.98.No.64.Grey to de Salis, Nov. 15, 1907. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.104.No.71.Grey to Nicolson, Nov.21,1907, Private. 3. Haldane - Before the Y.'c-r - p.51. 4. B.D.vol.6.p.368.No.267.Grey to de Salis, July 13, 1908. 5. G.D.vol.3.p.364-5.XXV111.560.Enclosure -Helfferich to Gwinner, Nov.30, 1908.• 169. Turks, who gained power in 1909, favoured the Entente. .They wished to procure the withdrawal of British opposition to the Railway and induced Gwinner to re-open negotiations with Cassel. On November 8, 1909 the Turkish Ambassador in London asked for a statement of the terms upon which England would withdraw her 1 • , objections. In the meantime Grey seized the opportunity to make application for a concession for a railway between Bagdad and the Persian Gulf via Buss or ah. and the Tigris Valley, without 2. a financial guarantee from the Turkish Government. The Otto man Government, fearing German wrath, put Britain off with pol ite excuses. Gwinner and Cassel carried on negotiations with the know ledge of their Foreign Offices. The German Company was willing to recognize a separate company formed by England or Turkey for the construction of the Gulf Section provided it had 50t inter-3. est in the new company. Seeing that England wished control of the Gulf Section, the business men in the Foreign Office decided to make her pay if they could. Metternich in October suggested that a general political and naval understanding he made a necessary prelude 4. to a railway agreement. In December Schoen, presenting the case to Goschen in diplomatic language, conveyed the impression that the Imperial Government might use the construction and con-1. Earle - op. cit. - p.221. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.374-5.No.272.Grey to Lowther, Aug.18, 1909. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.410.Enclosure in No.309.Memorandum of Gwinner-Cassel Conversations, Dec. 15, 1909. 4. G.D.vol.3.p.369-70.XXVll.580.Me11ernich to Bethmann-HoiIweg, Oct.28, 1909. 170. trol of the Bagdad-Persian Gulf Section of the Railway as a lever to push England further in the direction of a political'under-1. standing then she had yet shown any disposition to go. During 1910 and 1911 Britain successfully blocked the 4# increase in customs desired by the Turkish Government partlv to 2. supply Kilometric guarantees for the Railway. Grey endeavour ed to exert a little pressure on the Turks by demanding the con cession applied for in 1909 in return for consent to the customs 3. increase. Turkey explained the difficulty of giving a con cession that would compete with the Bagdad Railway; but offered to persuade Germany to give up the Bagdad-Gulf section and allow 4. Turkey to construct and control that part of..the line. The end of 1910 saw at least one step forward. The Czar 5. promised to withdraw his diplomatic opposition to the Railway, thus removing Russia from the field. During 1911 Turkey negot iated with England with the idea of forming a new company con sisting of Turkey, Prance, Britain, and Germany to control the 6. Gulf Section. Both Turkey and Germany appeared so desirous of conciliating Britain and drawing her into the enterprise that a settlement was merely a matter of time and patience. 1. B.D.vol.6.p.408.Wo.308.Goschen to Hardinge, Dec.15, 1909. Private. 2. Earle - op. cit.-p.226. 3. B.D.vol.6.p.433.Ho.324.Grey to Lowther, March 30, 1910.; p.468-72.Ho.352.Grey to Lowther, April 20, 1910. 4. B.D.vol.6.p.492-3.Ho.577.Grey to Lowther, June 6, 1910. 5. Earle - op. cit. - p.239. 6. G.D.vol.3.p.375.XXVll.670.Marschall to German Foreign Office, Feb.10, 1911;also XXV11.672.Same, Feb.24, 1911. 171. The early months of 1911 brought no new complications into Anglo-German relations. On the invitation of King George the Kaiser paid what was destined to be his last visit to England. He and the Kaiserin attended the unveiling of the memorial to Queen 1. Victoria. Once again the people of London received them cordially. The Emperor was delighted with everything and felt the absence of any veiled antagonism in the attitude of the Royal Family - a feeling that he noted with pleasure as a wel come change from the days of King Edward. He discussed the Morocco question with King George who seemed to think the Alge ciras Treaty a thing of the past. The friendly atmosphere created by this visit was soom poisoned by another of Germany's famous faux pas. On July 1 1911 the German gunboat "Panther" suddenly appeared in Agadir Harbour. On the same day the nations of Europe were informed that Germany considered it necessary to protect German lives and property endangered by the disturbances in Morocco. As soon as 2. order was restored the ship would be withdrawn. This step surprised Europe as much as the Tangier demonstrations had done six years previous. Everyone realised that the Algeciras Conference had not definitely disposed of the Morocco question, and that France would not rest until she had established herself in that territ-1. Wilhelm 11. - Memoirs - p.142-5. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.6-7.XXlX.155.Kiderlen to Metternich, June 30, 1911.; B.D.vol.7.p.322.Ho.338.Aide-Memoire by Metternich, July 1, 1911; p.322-3.Ho.539.Minute by Hicolson to Grey, July 1, 1911. 17S. ory. A Franco-German agreement in 1909 seemed for a time to produce calmness and a more cordial co-operation, but failed to bring lasting peace. In 1911 affairs v/ithin the Shereefian Empire reached such a state of chaos that France seized the op portunity to send an armed force to Fez on the pretext of restor ing order and protecting the lives of Europeans in the neighbour hood. The French Ambassador notified Germany of his country's intentions and motives. Kiderlen, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, expressed full confidence in the loyalty of the French Government, but added a veiled hint that if French troops remained in Fez until the Sultan governed only with the help of French bayonets Germany.would consider the Algeciras Act void 1. and hold herself free to act as she thought fit. Obviously something was going to happen. Kiderlen evolved a brilliant scheme to add to Germany's A prestige and her material possessions. Y/hen the French troops reached Fez Germany would politely enquire how long they expect ed to stay. The French Government would have to name a date, but would no doubt remain longer. Then Germany would declare the Sultan had lost his independence, therefore the Act of Alge ciras was null and void and the signatory Powers were free to act as they pleased. Since protests were generally useless, Germany should do something to make France offer compensation. France had seen fit to protect her business firms and subjects in Fez: Germany.would protect her firms at Mogador and Agadir 1.G.D.vol.4.p.1.XX1X.97.Memorandum by Kiderlen, April 28, 1911. 173. by sending a warship to anchor in the harbour. These ports were too far away from the Mediterranean for the act to cause England any anxiety. Moreover, they had fertile hinterlands that probably contained mineral wealth. In possession of such a pledge Germany could await developments and see whether Prance offered proper compensation from her own Colonial possessions. Should such compensation be forthcoming Germanv would withdraw 1. from the ports. A charming scheme had everything turned out according to planJ Unfortunately for Germany, Kiderlen»s reason ing proved faulty. He took no official advice, but by telling the Kaiser half-truths obtained his consent to the despatch of the 2. ships. He acted first and stopped to think afterwards. He "seems to have expected with extraordinary simplicity that a threatening gesture would straightway bring forth offers of com-3. pensation from Prance. Yet Metternich had warned him in May that Grey had said England was "bound by an agreement to support 4. Prance in Morocco. Had he stopped to think for even a moment he must have realised that such an act of provocation would 5. draw others besides Prance and Germany into the arena. 1. G.D.vol.4.p.2-4.XXIX.105.Memorandum by Kiderlen, May 3, 1911. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.6.XXIX.152.Kiderlen to German Foreign Office, June 26, 1911. S.Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.372. 4.G.D.vol.4.p.4-5.XXIX.119.Metternich to German Foreign Office, May 22, 1911. Grey was ready to send a British ship to Agadir, while the French were considering sending one to Agadir or Mogador. Finally they decided to refrain from doing so for the time being, cf. B.D.vol.7.p.326.Minute by Hicolson and Grey, Jtily 2, 1911. ;p.530-1.Ho.551.Grey to Bertie, July 3, 1911.;p.333.Ho.354.Hicolson to Grey, July 4, 1911.;p.333-4.Ho.355.Grey to Bertie, July 4. 1911. 174. Grey told Metternich on July 3 on behalf of His Majesty's Government that England's attitude could not be a disinterested one in view of her treaty obligations to Prance and of her own interests in Morocco. The despatch of the German warship had created a new situation in which further developments might affect British interests. For that reason they could not recog nize any new arrangement made without their knowledge and con sent. Metternich said England was perfectly at liberty to take 1. measures to protect her interests in Morocco. Kiderlen ignor-2. ed these hints and confined his negotiations to the French. He tried to make Cambon come forward v/ith some definite offer. When he failed he lost patience and suggested the whole of the French Congo to the amazement of Cambon. France refused this but still professed willingness to negotiate. The Kaiser found out hov; things were and expressed his annoyance at the handling 3. of the matter. Kiderlen,caught in his own net, wished to 4. use bluster and threats of force. "So this so-called great statesman v/ould not have hesitated to involve Germany in a war 5. for her very existence in order to gain the French Congo." Bethmann-Hollweg had to smooth things over and tone Kiderlen down. Altogether the situation was decidedly unpleasant for Germany. 1. G.D.vol.4.p.8.XXlX.i67«Metternich to German Foreign Office, May July 4, 1911; Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.214-5; B.D.vol.7. . p.328.Ho,347.Grey' to de Sails, July 3, 1911.;p.334.No.356 Grey to de Salis, July 4, 1911. 2. The French kept the British informed of German demands, cf. B.D.vol.7.p.371-2.Ho.392.Bertie to Grey, July 18, 1911. for information regarding the French Congo. 3. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.376. 4.Ibid.p.376.:G.D.vol.4.p.12.XXIX.189.Kiderlen to Chancellor, July 17, 1911.Private. 5.Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.377. 175. "In the expectation of an easy success they had plunged into an adventure without considering how they were to extricate tbem-1. selves if things took a different turn from what they expected." Then came a very unlooked for incident. The German For eign Office had left Metternich without instructions or'inform ation after Grey's message of July 4, London naturally wonder-2. ed what was going on. They heard rumours of extravagant Germ an demands and with their knowledge of the German methods fear ed the worst. So on July 21 Lloyd George went to see Grey. He enquired if Grey had received any answer from Germany. Upon receiving a reply in the negative he said that he had to speak in the City of London that evening and proposed to say something about the affair. He submitted to Grey the draft he had pre pared. Grey considered it quite justified and cordially agreed 3. with the suggestion. Therefore Lloyd George spoke at the Mansion House in the following strain: "But I am also bound to 1. Brandenburg - on. cit. - p.378. 2. B.D.vol.7.p.377-8.Ho.399.Grey to Asquith, July 19, 1911. Private. Grey told Asquith that he had not yet received any communication from Germany regarding the July 4 message. Perhaps they had better take some action or Germany will think she can do as she likes. By Friday, July 21 if no reply had been received Grey would like to be authorized to impress-on Germany that if Franco-German negotiations came to nothing England must become party to the Discussions of the situation, and that if Germany did not keep her informed of any new dev elopment of affairs at Agadir England would have to send a British ship there to see that British interests were not pre judiced. On July 20 Grey wrote to Bertie,"The French have drifted into difficulties, without knowing which way they really want to go. We are bound and prepared to give them diplomatic support, but we cannot go to war in order to set aside the Algeciras Act and put France in virtual possession of Morocco." He went on to say that if England went to war it would have to 'be for British interests not for French, cf. Hammond - Review of B.D.vol.7. in The Manchester Guardian Week ly, March 11, 1932. 3. Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.215-6. 176. say this - that I believe it is essential In the highest inter ests, not merely of this country, but of the world, that Brit ain should at all hazards maintain her place and her prestige amongst the Great Powers of the world I conceive that noth ing would justify a disturbance of international goodwill except questions of the gravest national moment. But if a situation were to be forced upon 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 a humiliat-1. ion, intolerable for a great country like ours to endure." This pronouncement burst like a bomb-shell in Europe. All construed it as a veiled threat on the part of Britain, more particularly since it came from a Cabinet Minister, and a man who had previously been considered pro-German in sympathy. Prance looked upon it as an assurance of British support. Germany thought it added insult to injury: and constituted a threat to 2. which she must not yield. As if her position were not suffic iently alarming already, without England entering the lists on the side of Prance J Undoubtedly, the speech would never have 1. Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.215-6.;B.D.vol.7.p.591. No.412. Extract from Lloyd George's Speech, July 21, 1911. 2. Before the text of the speech had reached the German Foseign Office Metternich, acting on instructions, had explained to Grey the German motives in sending the ship to Agadir. He had said that if secrecy were maintained in the negotiations and if the hostile tone of the British and French press did not spoil the discussions Germany would probably be able to make concessions. Grey wished to use this communication in Parl iament, but the German Government withheld permission in view of the Mansion House Speech, cf. B .D .vol.7 .T>.394-6.No.417 . . Grev to Goschen, July 24, 1911:p.397.No.419". Grey to Goschen, 177. been made, had Germany given Grey assurance -tha't'she <2id :'. not intend to take territory in Morocce. But Germany could not give that assurance withovit revealing her whole plan of campaig and thereby robbing it of its effectiveness, since any inform ation v/ould certainly be passed on to Prance. The only thing to do then was to bluff the affair through. Kiderlen ordered Metternich to remonstrate with Grey im mediately. Negotiations with Prance had been proceeding amic ably and had no concern v/ith British interests. If Britain wished to complain why did she not use the diplomatic channels instead of making a public threat, "if it was the British Gov ernment's intention to complicate and confuse the political situation and bring about a settlement by means of force, they could not have chosen a better way, than by the Chancellor's speech, which so ignored the dignity v/hich he claimed for Eng land or the position of a GreatLPower such as ourselves. ... If he (Grey) asserts that the press interpretation of the speech does not correspond with the words used, please tell 1. him that we expect a clear public statement to that effect." As might be expected the interview was somewhat stormy. Grey resented the tone of the German communication and said so "I felt that the tone of their communication made it not con sistent with our dignity to give explanations as tb the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer." However, he did say that I.G.D.vol.4.p.14-5.XXIX.210.Kiderlen to Metternich, July 24, 1911. 178 „ it was not intended to embroil German negotiations with Prance. Metternich could not see that Britain had any grounds for the suspicions voiced in the speech. No one questioned England's right to protect her own interests and no one intended to dis pose of those interests without consulting her. The more threats 1. Germany received the more determined would be her action. The tension thus created continued for some time, while the negotiations dragged painfully to a conclusion oh November 2. 4. The affair ended in another fiasco for Germany. She def initely surrendered her rights in Morocco and accepted in re turn a part of the French Congo. It was an ill-conceived scheme that served only to bring disgrace upon Germany and to strength en the Entente. The blame falls primarily upon Kiderlen who "considered that the only proper and successful way to conduct politics was to negotiate with a pistol in your hand, or at 3. least bulging in your coat pocket." Unfortunately for his prestige he encountered someone skilled in the use of the big stick and came off the w02?st in the encounter. No doubt the German act was deplorable and foolhardy, but Lloyd George's speech was hardly less ill-advised. If Germany had seriously 1. G.D.vol.4.p.15-6.XXIX.213.Metternich to German Foreign Office, July 25, 1911; Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.220-2.; B.D.vol.7. p.397-9,No.419.Grey to Goschen, July 25, 1911. 2. B.D.vol.7.p.786-8.No.761.Goschen to Grey, Dec. 16, 1911. The German papers were very critical of German handling of the Morocco question and dissatisfied with Bethmann-Hollweg and Kiderlen's methods. 3. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.384. 179. considered war'before,". July 21, she certainly dropped the idea after, but Lloyd George's words did not make the path of retreat very easy for a proud nation. Grey and Churchill both approved Lloyd George's step and considered that it had contributed large 1. ly to preserving the peace of Europe in 1911. The peace could have been preserved by more diplomatic methods that would have avoided the unpleasant resentment on both sides. In all probability the European'nations read more into the speech than was intended, bp:t such arguments had little soothing effect on the excited German public opinion. The words had been spoken by an Englishman, therefore they must have some hidden meaning directed against Germany. It would have been better for Anglo-German relations had Lloyd George refrained from overt action. As they discovered later, subterranean neg-2. otiations were proceeding to the satisfaction of both sides. Of course, Nicolson heartily approved the strong stand taken 3. by Britain on the side of the Entente. During August and September, England took serious precaut ionary measures. The Fleet was held in readiness, a special meeting of the Committee of Imperial Defence was convened August 23, 1911,every preparation was made and every detail worked out 1. Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.217.;Churchill - op. cit. - p.46. 2. Nicolson - op. cit. - p.349. 3.Ibid.p.345."I have every belief,"Nicolson wrote,"that the maintenance by us of our present attitude - and I am quite convinced that there will be no flinching on our side - may eventually render Germany more compliant and reasonable. She will "see that the Triple Entente is not so weak a com bination as she apparently imagined. She had in fact comm itted a great blunder. I think she will have great diffic-180. on paper, tunnels and bridges on the South Eastern Railway v/ere patrolled night and day. The War Office hummed v/ith secrets. In the midst of all these secret preparations, the oress exer-1. cised an exemplary restraint and kept itself quiet. However, the precautions proved unnecessary this time. By the end of September they relaxed the state of war preparedness. Bethmann-Hollweg, at least, decided not to harbour resent ment against England. On November 19 he wrote to Metternich hoping that Grey would be satisfied with his remarks regarding the Mansion House speech in the Reichstag debate of November 9. He had avoided any critieism of it because he wished to maint-2. ain the former good relations v/ith England. Once more, out wardly correct relations existed betv/een the two Governments. In a short time, the tide of public opinion in England turned in favour of Germany and enabled the Governments to enter upon negotiations for an understanding. Among the problems of these years the Agadir Crisis stands 3. out as the most important. Peeling on both sides ran high and the danger of war was very real. The episode should have proved conclusively to Germany that in event of a conflict v/ith Prance itlty in extricating herself from it without losing consider able prestige." Hicolson and Crowe had feared that Germany might take France from Britain and "if she had succeeded Prance would have been dependent on Germany and England would have been isolated and friendless in Europe." cf.Hammond -Review of B.D.vol.7. in Manchester Guardian Weekly, March 11, 1. Churchill-op. cit.-p.53,62,63. 1932. 2. G.D.vol.4.p. 17-8.XXIX.255.Bethmann-Hollweg to Metterni'ch,Nov. 19, 1911. 3. B.D.vol.7.The Agadir Crisis, just published gives very fully the British pert in the crisis and shows how staunchly they supported the French; hov/ very actively and conscientiously Grey worked for peace when war became a real danger; how acute was the tension between England and Germany. Unfortun ately the volume came out too late to permit Intensive study, 181, she could not count on British neutrality. Unluckily, the Germ an officials never profited by experience. These years did little to establish Anglo-German relations on a friendly footing. The Naval Question dominated everything and v;as not conducive to a rapprochment. Other matters the Governments discussed without undue friction, until the "Panther' Spring", but they never co-operated with the genuine cordiality and trust so essential to true friendship. 182. CHAPTER VI. The Last Years of Peace 1912-1914. Prom 1912 to 1914 Anglo-German relations improved suffic iently to enable the Governments to co-operate in the Balkan Question and to negotiate and initial agreements relating to colonial interests and the interminable Bagdad Railway. Public opinion in Germany remained distinctly hostile for some time 1. after the Agadir Crisis. The Kaiser felt so annoyed that he even reverted to the old idea of a continental league and sugg-2. ested to the Foreign Office an understanding with France. When Kuhlmann wrote from London that Anglo-German relations had again arrived at a turning-point; that Germany could obtain an an arrangement with England regarding colonies if she refrained from increasing the fleet and confined her efforts to the army, the Kaiser exploded. Kuhlmann had said: "The two ways now lie sharply apart for German policy - on the one hand is the poss ibility of an honourable peace, colonial expansion and success ful Kultur work with growing wealth, on the other a resurrect ion of old quarrels, a stiffer policy of mutual hostility and creation of serious risks." The Kaiser commented: "The other way round] The last sentence applies to England and not to us. 1. B.D.vol.6.p.653.Ho.483.Goschen to Grey, Jan. 3, 1912. 2. Brandenburg - op. cit. - p.388. 183. Kuhlmann is a diligent pupil of Metternich's and repeats all the nonsense which ahs been served up to me ever since I began build ing my fleet; but it has never impressed me; I shall not take the trouble to refute it; I want no colonial presents from Eng land, for they will always be made at other's expense and contain the seeds of conflicts, the end of which cannot be foreseen. The strengthening, which I consider necessary will and shall be 1. pushed ahead." In spite of the Kaiser's predelictions the German Govern ment continued to feel its way in London. Towards the end of December 1911 Metternich acting unofficially intimated his de sire to find some way to relax the tension between England and Germany. He mentioned the Portugese colonies and advisability, in view of the financial position of. Portugal, of revising the Anglo-German Agreement of 1898. He also talked of the Belgian 2. Congo. Then came the Haldane Mission with its grandiloquent scheme for a far-reaching settlement of all differences - naval, political, and colonial. 'Then, through inability to agree upon naval and political formulae, the Governments abandoned the discussions, they expressed their willingness to continue the colonial negotiation. However, before they could accomplish much in that direct ion, a change took place in the German Embassy in London. For 1. G.D.vol.4.p.56-7.XXXI.87.Kuhlmann to Bethmann-Hollweg, Jan. 8, 1912. 2. B.D.vol.6.p.650-1.Ho.480.Grey to Goschen, Dec.20, 1911. 184. some time Metternich's reports had proved unpalatable to the Kaiser and Tirpitz. Metternich realised his position but was too honest a man and too good a German to sacrifice his country welfare for his own gain. Ho one was surprised when in May 191 Metternich was recalled from London. Grey regretted his depart ure and paid tribute to him in the House of Commons. He had always felt that, rigid as Metternich had been in upholding German views against the English, In his reports he had always reported fairly everything Grey had said and had never turned a chance and unintentional slip on Grey's part to an unfair 1. advantage. Metternich was succeeded by Marschall von Bieher-stein, an exceptionally able diplomat known to be unfriendly to Britain. However, he was not destined to hold office long enough to influence Anglo-German relations. Already suffering Ill-health at the time of his appointment, he remained only a few weeks in England before returning to Germany to die. For two months Kuhlmann remained in charge of the Embassy until Lichnowsky arrived in November 1912/ The new Ambassador soon made himself very popular both in political and social circles. Unfortunately, he became so English in sjrmpathy that he lost the confidence of his Government and his words of warning fBll on deaf ears. He and Grey worked well together and each paid tribute to the other's personality and efforts in the cause of 2. peace . 1. Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.236-7. 2. Lichnowsky - My Mission to London - p.4. He says of Grey's 135. Marschall sized up the situation during his brief stay in London and reported to his Government the existence of a gen uine desire in England for a slackening of the tension and a belief that the question of limitation of armaments was defin-1. itely out of the way. Negotiations regarding the colonies were carried on dur ing 1912 chiefly by Kuhlmann. On April 17 the English Colonial 2. Secretary invited Kuhlmann to discuss the territorial questions. 3. The major question was that of the Portugese colonies. Germany hoped to see the Portugese Empire disintegrate in the near future so that she could seize territory in Africa. Early in June Metternich reported that Grey and Harcotu"t were ready to draft 4. a revision of the Anglo-German Treaty of 1898. The revision policy: "It was not his object to Isolate us, but to the best of his power to make us partners in the existing assoc iation. As he had succeeded in overcoming Anglo-French and Anglo-Russian differences, so he also wished to do his best to eliminate the Anglo-German, and by a network of treaties, which would in the end no doubt have led to an agreement about the troublesome question of naval armaments, to ensure the peace of the world, after our previous policy had led to an association - the Entente - which represented a mutual insurance against the risk of war." 1. G.D.vol.4.p.134-42.XXXI.241.Marscha11 to Bethmann-Hollweg, Aug. 5, 1912. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.128.XXXI.270.Kuhlmann to German Foreign Office, April 17, 1912. 3. cf. Lichnowsky - op, cit. - p.14-19. 4. G.D.vol.4.p.133.XXX1.281.Metternich to Bethmann-Ho1Iweg, June 4, 1912. 186, submitted did not altogether suit Kiderlen, but aftter months of keen bargaining they secured a draft satisfactory to both sides. On the whole Germany did quite well. She gave up her claim to Timor and a strip on the left bank of the Zambezi, but received in return the central part of Angola and the assurance of dis-. interessement regarding the islands of St.Thomas and Principe. The clause relating to the pretext for occupation was modified in accordance with German wishes. Then trouble arose over the British desire to publish this and the older Treaties. The Germans felt that publication would delay indefinitely the poss ibility of taking over the Portugese Colonies. They consider ed England had deluded them in 1898 and declined to be robbed of their spoils again. Grey stood firm. In July 1913 he agreed to postpone publication until the winter provided a paraphrase 1. were given shortly. The negotiations on this point dragged on until 1914. In April Grey told Lichnowsky he could nnt> sign 2. the Convention unless it were made public. Finally in July on the eve of the war Bethmann-Hollweg consented to publication. Jagow informed Lichnowsky that a despatch was on its way author ising the reopening of negotiations with Grey on the Portugese Colonies Agreement. He still considered publication unwise and likely to have a detrimental effect on German public opinion and Anglo-German relations. However, "we have given way to 1. G.D.vol.4.p.227.XXXVll.59.Lichnowsky to German Foreign Office, July 7, 1913. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.232.XXVll.115.April 1, 1914. 187. JOUT desires, but you will have to carry a special amount of 1. the responsibility." Another agreement ready for final sanction about the same 2. time was that concerning the Bagdad Railway. The Porte con tinued to negotiate with England concerning the Railway dviring 1912-13. In March of 1912 Germany reminded Turkev that she ex-3. pected to be kept au courant of the course of the negotiations. The Balkan crisis interrupted the conversations, but as soon. as a breathing space occurred the Turks resumed their efforts. In February of 1913 Hakki Easha came to London v/ith instructions 4. to leave no stone unturned to settle the matter with Britain. Disctissions were carried on by Grey and Pasha in conference 5. v/ith Lichnowsky and Kuhlmann. In March Jagow told Lichnowsky not to initiate the subject of the Railway but if Grey spoke of It to.give him to understand that Germany was ready to come to an agreement with Britain if she v/ould state what she wanted and what she was prepared to give. The settlement was in Brit ain's hands, she could delay the work but not prevent its final 6. completion. In -May Grey; told:"the French and-.Russians that England was not going to oppose the Railway in principle and would, If she obtained suitable terms, consent to the four per 7. cent increase in customs provided Russia and France agreed. 1. G.D.vol.4.p.233-4.XXXVll.137.Jagow to Lichnowsky,July27,1914. 2. cf.Lichnowsky-op. cit. - p.1920. Private3. G.D.vol.4.p.236.XXXI.331.Kiderlen to Marscha11,March 25, 1912. 5. Earle - op. cit. - o.254. 5.Ibid.p.255.;G.D.vol.4.p.256-55. 6. G.D.vol.4.p.239-40.XXXVll. 154. Jagow to Lichnowsky,March.25ml9l5 7. G.D.vol.4.p.241.German Note XXXVll.170. 188, He also suggested that Germany enter into negotiation with France 1. as well as v/ith England. So negotiations continued backwards and forwards until on June 15, 1914 Grey and Lichnowsky initialed a Convention regard ing the delimitation of England's and Germany's interests in Asiatic .Turkey. This covered a number of minor questions. Brit ain withdrew her opposition to the completion of the Bagdad Railway and consented to the increase in the customs to 3.5$. The terminus of the Railway should be Basra unless Britain agreed to an extension. HeIther should there be harbour construction on the Persian Gulf unless she agreed. Germany undertook to permit no discrimination in rates and traffic on the railway, and consented to the appointment of two British Directors on the Board of the Bagdad Railway Company. Both agreed to observe the policy of the open door in the operation of railways, ports and irrigation in Turkey-in-Asia. Any differences of opinion 2. arising from these terms should be submitted to arbitration. At the same time they settled other commercial questions between the rival English and German steamship lines In the Hear East ern waters; and between the Bagdad Railway Company and the Smyrna-Aidin Compan^r. Germany consented to recognise the rights of the Anglo-Persian Company in the oil-fields of South and 3. Central Persia,and South Mesopotamia. 1. G.D.vol.4.p.243.XXXVll.l85.Kuhlmann to Bethmann-Hollweg, May 28, 1915. A Franco-German Agreement was reached February 15, 19i4.cf.Earle - op. cit. - p.247-8. 2. Earle - op. cit. -.p.261-2. 3.Ibid.p.59-61. 189c The German object of the negotiations had been to free German commercial activities in Mesopotamia and especially the Bagdad Railway from English rivalry. The task had been diffic ult because England had enjoyed for centuries a preferential position in Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf whereas Germany i. had possessed legal rights there for scarcely twenty years. On the whole Germany had emerged with credit, nor had Britain lost. On July 27, 1914 the Emperor issued to Lichnowsky formal ' 2. authority to sign the Agreements. Unfortunately, the war broke out a few days later and the years of painful negotiation 3. came to nought. "The spectre of the twentieth century" had been laid too late to have a beneficial effect on European re lations . The Haval Question still interested both sides but no longer formed a subject for official negotiation. Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty made things move. He devoted all his energies to creating as strong and efficient a navy as poss ible. His watchword was "Preparedness". At Glasgow in 1912 he explained his point of view: "The purpose of British naval power is essentially defensive. Vie have no thoughts, and we have never had any thoughts of aggression, and we attribute no such thoughts to other great Powers. ... The British navy is to us a necessity, and from some points of view, the German navy is to them more 1. G.D.vol.4.p.253-5.XXXVll.449.Zimmermann to V.'edel, June 19,1914 2. G.D.vol.4.p.255.German Note; also XXXVll.469. 3. Earle - op. cit. -.p.142. 190. in the nature of a luxury. Our naval -cower involves British 1 existence. It is existence to us: it is expansion to them...." This caused an outburst in Germany but Churchill went his way undeterred. In 1913 and 1914 he brought in increased Naval Estimates to provide for the construction of as many ships as the yards could build. He provided for all the latest improve ments In armoured ships and guns. De adopted the oil-burners for new ships and developed the fifteen inch guns. To ensure greater protection for England he strengthened the Home and Channel Fleets by withdrawing ships from the Mediterranean and then in 1914 proposed the construction of new shins to strength-2. en the Mediterranean squadron. In spite of all these precautionary measures he preserved the idea of an agreement with Germany for a limitation of arma ments . . In March 1912 he spoke in Parliament in favour of a naval holiday. "If Germany will build no ships in any single 3. year, we shall folio?; their example." Berlin made no response Nevertheless, she watched with eagle eyes the development of English naval armaments. The German Naval Attache kept his Government fully informed of every British movement, whether true or merely rumour. He did not fail to urge upon Germany the necessity of carrying out her programme and even increasing the tempo of construction. This suited the Kaiser and the Pah-Germ an element. They looked with anxiety upon the forthcoming aid 1. Churchill - op. cit. -.p.101. 2. For particulars cf. Churchill - op. cit. - passim. 3. Nicolson - op. cit. -.p.375. 191. from the Dominions seeming to think that there would be no quest ion of their ships materialising. In December Bethmann-Hollweg with difficulty persuaded the Emperor to drop the idea of new 1. armament bills at present. In February 1913 Tirpitz, speaking in the Reichstag, said he would be the first to welcome an under standing with England. He took eare, however, to describe the 2. German Haval Bill as necessary and unalterable. When Churchill introduced the Haval Estimates for 1913-14 in March 1915 he again expressed England's willingness to partic ipate with all countries, particularly with the great neighbour on the other side of the Horth Sea, in a naval holiday for a year. In reporting this to his Government Lichnowsky voiced his doubt as to Churchill's seriousness in the matter. It was 3. probably an attempt to please the pacifist party in Britain. Stumm thought Germany would have to examine very carefully the Question of a naval holiday before entering upon it. They had 4. better wait and see if Britain were really serious. In June Churchill spoke informally to the German Haval Attache about the proposed Haval holiday. He thought it would be possible to discover a form acceptable to England and Germany. If the Cabinet agreed he intended to come forward with a more definite proposal again in.the autumn. He was sure the other countries would come in if England and Germany started the scheme 1. G.D.vol.4.p.259-61.XXXIX.145.Memorandum by Bethmann-Hollweg, Dec.14, 1912.;p.262-4.XXXIE.9.Bethmann-Hollweg to Emperor, Dec.18, 1912. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.266.Hote. 3. G.D.vol.4.p.273-7.XXXXX.24.Lichnowsky to Bethmann-Hollweg, March 27, 1913. 4. G.D.vol.4.n.283-4.XXXIX.35.Memorandum by Stumm, March 31,191 192, Lluller proved non-committal and certainly unenthusias tic. He warned his Government that there was dishonesty at the bottom of every single British. Naval Proposal. They were trying to bluff Germany that competition was vain. Because of their own financial difficulties of construction they were trying to delay 1. or prevent the German Naval Law being carried out. Lichnowsky very sensibly endeavoured to tone down the Attaches statements by presenting the British point of view. He did not want Brit ish naval policy and Churchill's actions to lead to bad feeling and suggested a very friendly refusal if any approaches were made. If the German Government wished, he would indicate casual ly to Grey that Germany would prefer Churchill not to come fcr-2. ward again with the idea of a naval holiday. As a result the British Foreign Office never approached the German Government 3. with a proposal for a naval holiday. In December 1913 the Pall Mall Gasette welcomed the im provement in Anglo-German relations announced in Bethmann-Hollweg' speech and expressed the belief that "Anglo-German relations would continue to improve according as those responsible for the Brit ish Navy took care to develop British sea-power,"and that "the only true basis for friendship" was sea-power. This the Kaiser 1. G.D.vol.4.p.286-90.XXXlX.59.Report by Millie r, June 20, 1913 As a result the Emperor urged the btiilding of four battle ships, but tirpitz refused, cf. p.290-1. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.291-2.XXXIX.46.LichnowsIcy to Bethmann-Ho 1 lweg, June 23, 1913. To this Germany agreed on June 29. cf.p.292. German Note. 3. G.D.vol.4.p.305-6.German Note. Lichnowsky - op. cit. - p21. says that officially Grey did not support the proposal and never spoke of it to him, although Churchill frequently did. 193. labelled as nonsense, "Friendship on the condition that one is always to recognise the other as the stronger eo ipso is absurd; it is nothing more nor less than a protectorate J And it means Germany's capitulation on the sea, which will not now or ever be 1. subscribed to by me. So they will have to do without it." The early months of 1814 witnessed a feeble attempt to re commence naval discussions. Tirpitz, on February 4 in the Reich stag, stated that the idea of a naval holiday could not be real ised but positive proposals had not yet reached Germany. If they came they would be examined with goodwill. In reply. Grey author ised Goschen to state that Britain had not made positive proposals because she had been given to understand by private intimations that such proposals would be unwelcome and would have a bad effect on public opinion in Germany. He asked exactly what Tirpitz meant and how proposals for a naval holiday would be received. 2. He would make proposals if they would be welcome. Bethmann-Hollweg told Goschen that Germany would be quite ready to examine any official proposal from the British Government for the reduct ion of expenditure on armaments. He did not consider the idea of a naval holiday realisable in practice but left it entirely to the British Government whether they chose to approach Germany 3. on the question. Hothing seems to have been done along these lines, so both sides followed their own inclinations. Tirpitz 1. G.D.vol.4.p.314.XXXlX.69.Kuhlmann to Bethmann-Hollweg, Dec. 11, 1913. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.318-9.XXXD:.74.Aide-Memoire by Goschen to Berlin, Feb. 6. 1914. 3. G.D.vol.4.p.319-20.XXXIX.77.Chancellor to Emperor, Feb.8, 1914. p.320-1.XXXIX.78.Emperor to Chancellor, Feb. 9. 1914. 194. had sufficient wisdom to agree with the Chancellor that the Navy must avoid anything to disturb the development of the 1. friendly English relations now being cultivated. In June, at the wish of the British Government and with the consent of the Kaiser, British warships visited Germany. The Emperor chose Kiel week, June 23 to 30,for the visit. Everything went off well. The men and officers fraternised amicably and neither side displayed undue curiosity in technical 2. matters. Three British cruisers were permitted to return through the Kiel Canal on the application of the British Admiral. In the midst of these festivities came the news of the assassin ation of the Archduke and his wife. This had little effect on the cordial relations or the length of the visit. The question of how far England and Prance were committed in military matters raised conjectures and caused some uneasiness in German official circles. Rumours were current which seemed to be confirmed by little incidents. Since Britain had decreased the strength of the Mediterranean sqtxadron Prance must have undertaken the policing of that sea. Milller reported in Sept ember 1913 that there must be closer communication between the Admiralties of London and Paris than between London and any other capital, for the Naval Attaches Sf Prance were shown more when 3. they visited the yards. In February 1914 he expressed the 1. G.D.vol.4.p.342.German Note. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.342-3.XXXIX.99.Jagow to Emperor, April 25, 1914; p.343.XXXlX.100.Treutler to German Foreign Office, April 27, 1914.;B.D.vol.ll.p.6-7.No.6.Rumbold to Grey, July 2, 1914.; p.8-10.Enclosure in No.7.Henderson to Rumbold, July 3, 1914.; Churchill - op. cit. - p.198. 3. G.D.vol.4.p.297-8.XXXIX.134.Report by Miiller, Sept. 18, 1913. 195. belief that secret military and naval arrangements existed bet-1. ween England and Prance. Lichnowsky believed that the Brit ish navy would protect Prance if she were attacked but he did not think there was any written treaty of defence between the 2. two countries, for Asquith had stated in 1915 that there exist ed no secret arrangements between England and another Power that 3. would oblige England to take part in a continental war. As it turned out there were some grounds for the German suspicions. The military and naval conversations begun in 1906 had continued. During the Agadir Crisis, Prance tried hard to extract an assurance of armed support from Grey but failed. Asquith, who had heard about these conversations in 1906 and then forgotten all about them, was reminded again by Grey and considered them a dangerous encouragement to Prance and a trap for England. In 1912 the facts were laid before the Cabinet and discussed. The conversations were permitted to continue provided a statement that they were non-committal was put into writing by either side. This was done and the Grey-Cambon letters of November 1912 expressly recognised this fact, as well as the 4. promise to consult together in case of trouble. In 1914 Prance drew Russia into the circle by persuading Grey to permit naval conversations between the English and Russian Admiralties. Grey 1. G.D.vol.4.p.324-7.Enclosure, Report by Muller, Feb.19, 1914. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.523-4.XXXIX. 155Lichnews ky to Bethmann-Hollweg, Feb.. 19, 1914. 3. G.D.vol.4.p.272-3.XXXIX.126.Lichnowsky to Bethmann-Hollweg, March 25, 1913. 4. Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.92-6. 196. could not see the value of this but hesitated to risk offending Russia by refusal. The Cabinet consented, so the Grey-Cambon letters were communicated to Russia, who subscribed to their 1. text, and the conversations proceeded. The Germans learned of :these arrangements through their secret service and felt considerable alarm. Rumour exaggerated the incident until they believed that an Anglo-Russian naval agreement was pending. They accordingly requested Ballin to go to London to reconnoitre and to warn some of his influential friends privately that such an agreement would ruin Anglo-German relations. Ballin discover ed that the reports were false and that Grey had no intention 2. of consenting to any Haval Conventions. Prom 1912 on, with intervals of calm, the Balkans occupied the attention of Europe. Inevitably, the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente were drawn into the quarrels of the unruly states through the opposing interests of Austria and Russia. In this crisis, England and Germany co-operated for peace. Grey earnestly desiring to preserve the peace of Europe,took a step to draw nearer to Germany. On October 14, 1912 Grey's private secretary, Sir William Tyrrell, dined with Kuhlmann and told him that Grey was sincerely tired of the long quarrel and most heartily wished to extend his hand for a genuine and permanent reconciliation. He considered the time suitable for getting 1. Grey - on. cit. - vol.l.p.275-5. 2. G.D*.vol.4.p.375-7.XXXIX.640.Jagow to Ballin, July 15, 1914; p.377.German Note; p.377-8.XXXIX.643.Ballin to Jagow, July 24, 1914. 197 « into confidential political relationship and so offered Germany the "olive branch of peace". In the present crisis Britain and Germany had interests which seemed Identical. England's sole object was to localise the Balkan conflict, not to seek gain for herself. He thought an exchange of views first to establish-unanimity advisable. Then the two countries could show themselves openly to Europe hand in hand. In reporting this to his Govern ment Kuhlmann strongly advised a practical and detailed renlv •i. since Grey was obviously sincere. This approach was strictly confidential and personal. Neither Nicolson nor Goschen had 2. any knowledge of the matter. Kiderlen felt somewhat perplexed and doubtful. However, he decided to proceed in a cautious manner. Kuhlmann could inform Grey or Tyrrell that German;/- was perfectly willing to go hand in hand with England provided:(1) that the discussions were absolutely confidential, and any agree ment reached were Immediately made public; (2) that an agreement were arrived at, that neither power would fight against the other on foreign territorv, especially where its own vital Interests 3. were not concerned, simply to serve a third power. Exactly what the overture meant is difficult to say. At least, it ushered in a period of co-operation and successful negotiation. 1. G.D.vol.4.p.115-7.XXZ111.223.Kuhlmann to Chancellor, Oct.15, 1912. 2. G.D.vol.4.p.117.XXX111.232.Kuhlmann to German Foreign Office, Oct.16, 1912. 3. G.D.vol.4.p.117-8.XXX111.233.Kiderlen to Kuhlmann, Oct.20, 1912. TIiis account is taken purely from the German sources. No mention of it occurs in the contemporary English author ities . 1 O.C( „ 1. Grey worked hard for peace during the winter of 1912-13. On the whole the German Foreign Office seconded his efforts, and supplemented his proposals. True to his co^'c-r ;he ro-~s no assurance of armed support to his friends. Instead he att empted to conciliate all parties. He presided over and direct ed the Ambassadors' Conference in London and was probably large ly responsible for its success. He was fortunate in having as his colleagues admirable men with whom he was on friendly terms personally. Lichnowsky co-opsrated with him perhaps a little 2. too whole-heartedly to suit the German Government. As Grey afterwards said regarding the whole affair: "The details with which we dealt were insignificant - in themselves mere sparks: 3. but we were sitting on a powder magazine." They succeeded in finding a settlement of the questions, thus averting a general conflagration. Unfortunately their solutions were not perman ently effective and July 1914 found Europe again facing a crisis this time without either the will or the machinery to promote peace. The spring and summer of 1914 had been marked by an un usual tranquillity in Europe, as well as in Anglo-German relat ions. It proved to be the quiet before the stoimi. On June 28, the Archduke and his wife were assassinated at Sarajevo. Europe 1. cf.Lichnowsky's tribute to him in "My Mission to London" p.10-11. 2. They had to remind him at times during these years somewhat sharply that it was his duty to uphold their wishes. in his pamphlet "My Mission to London" he complains of his treat ment at the"hands of the German Foreign Office and puts it down to jealousy of his success in London. 5.Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.258. TOO, thrilled v/ith horror at the brutality of the outrage and for a time sympathised v/ith Austria in her desire for redress. Days passed without action. Rumours spread abroad, Europe waited in apprehension. Would Austria precipitate another crisis, and if so v/ould Europe succeed in averting war? On July 6 Lichnow sky spoke privately to Grey of the anxiety and pessimism he had found in Berlin and'the difficulty of Germany's position. He hoped that if trouble came England would do her best to mitigate 1. feeling in St.Petersburg. A day or two later he hoped that England and Germany would be able to keep in touch and avert 2. trouble. Thus they went on until the Austrian note to Serbia on July 24. Then the trouble began. Gre;y considered it the most formidable noteaddressed by one independent state to an-3. other. To Lichnowsky he said that he had no concern with the note unless it led to trouble between Austria and Russia. If relations between these two countries became threatening, Eng land could do nothing unless Germany proposed and participated 4. in moderating influence at Vienna. Germany obviously feared possible Russian action which would inevitably oblige her to fulfil her treaty pledge to Aus tria and so precipitate a world war. Yet she hesitated to put-pressure upon Austria. While Grey strove for peace and racked his brain for acceptable methods of mediation, Germany merely 1. B.D.vol.11.p.24.Ho.32.Grey £o Rumbold, July 6, 1914. 2. B.D.vol.11.p.33.Ho.41.Grey to Rumbold, July 9, 1914. 3. B.D.vol.11.p.73.Ho.91.Grey to Bunsen, July24, 1914. 4. B.D.vol.ll.P.78.Ho.99.Grey to Rumbold, July24, 1914. 200. "passed on" suggestions to Vienna, and urged Britain to hold St.Petersburg in check. She feared that her protests might annoy Austria and drive her to some rash act. As matters be came worse and Austria declared war on Serbia and Russia mobil ized, Grey's efforts became more frantic. He proposed a Con ference. Germany thought it constituted practically a Court of Arbitration and therefore could only be considered if the proposal came from Austria. Finally they promoted direct con versations between St.Petersburg and Vienna. While Germany was dallying with Vienna, Russia and France were urging Grey to declare his intention to give armed support to them In event of war. This Grey positively refused to do. If they Intended to precipitate a war they would have to do so then without certainty of British aid. On July 29 Grey told Lichnowsky that he did not want him to be misled by the friendly tone of their conversations into thinking that England would stand aside in a European conflict. If Germany and France were involved Britain may not stand aside That same evening, before the German Government received this news from Lichnowsky, the Chancellor sent for Goschen and made a strong bid for English neutrality in event of war. He said that he was continuing his efforts for peace but might not be successful. In event of Germany having to fulfil her treaty 1.B.D.vol.11.p.182-3.Ho.286.Grey to Goschen, July 29, 1914. KautsIcy Documents . p.321.Ho.368.Lichnowsky to German For eign Office, July 29, 1914. If this news had been received earlier, the Chancellor would never have made the neutral!t proposal, cf.B.D.vol.11.p.194-5.Ho.305.Goschen to Grey, July 30, 1914. 201. obligations to Austria he hoped that England would remain neut ral. He was prepared to give Britain assurance, if she stood aside, that Germany v/ould not annex French territory. Upon Goschen's asking if this applied also to the French colonies, he replied that it was not possible for him to give the same assurance there. Germany v/ould also respect the neutrality of Holland if the other belligerents did the same. Regarding Belgium he was not so sure, but would promise that if Belgium refrained from taking sides against Germany her integrity would be respected after the conclusion of the war. He hoped that this, would form the basis of an agreement between England and Germany and promote good relations. It was an unfortunate step, taken probably by a sorely perplexed Government. The English considered it an outrage and an insult. Grey said "the proposal 1. made to us meant ever-lasting dishonour if we accepted it." Crowe considered that these astounding proposals reflected dis-2". credit on the statesman who made them. Britain refused unconditionally. "My answer must be that we must preserve our full freedom to act as circumstances may seem to us to require in any development of the present crisis so unfavourable and regrettable as the Chancellor contemplates," wrote Grey. The one way to maintain good relations was for England and Germany to continue to work together to preserve 3. the peace of Europe. 1. Grey - op. cit. - vol.1.p.316. 2. B.D".vol.ll.p.l86.Minute by Crowe, July 50, 1914. 3. B.D.vol.11.p.193-4.No.303.Grey to Goschen, July 30, 1914.; Ka tit sky Documents .p. 408.Ho. 497.English Ambassador to German Chancellor, 202. On July 31 Grey told Lichnowsky that if Germany would get any reasonable proposal put forward which made it clear that Germany and Austria were striving to preserve European peace and that Prance and Russia would be unreasonable if they rejected it, he (Grey) would support it at St.Petersburg and Paris and even go the length of saying that if they did not accept it England would have nothing more to do with the con sequences. Otherwise, if France were involved England would 1. be drawn in. The same day Grey formally asked France and Germanv if 2. they v/ould respect the neutrality of Belgium. France gave 3. prompt reassurance, but Germany hedged the issue, Lichnow sky asked Grey on August 1 if England would promise neutrality if Germany guaranteed the integrity of France and her colonies. 4. Grey, however, felt compelled to keep his hands free. Germany was doing her utmost to keep England out of the war now that conflict seemed inevitable. Unfortunately, she had, by rashly giving the "blank cheque" to Austria, placed herself in an extremely precarious position. She did not real ly want war, but this time her clumsy diplomacy had made peace almost impossible. With Russia mobilising and France mobilis ing and England uncertain, she felt her very existence endanger ed. Everything now depended upon-rapid action on her part be-1. B.D.vol.11.p.215-6.Ho.340.Grey to Goschen, July 31,,1914; Kautsky Documents.p.403-4.Ho.489.Lichnowsky to German For eign Office, July 31, 1914; p.407.Ho.496.Memorandum by Jagow, July 31, 1914.. 2. B.D.vol.11.p.218.Ho.348.Grey to Bertie, July 31, 1914. 5.B.D,vol.11.p.234.Ho.382.Bertie to Grey, July 31, 1914.; p.254©5.Ho.383.Goschen to Grey, July 31, 1914. 4.B.D.vol.11.p.260-1.Ho.448.Grey to Goschen, Aug. 1, 1914. 203. fore her enemies were ready. She attempted to put the brakes on Austria rather too late in the day. The only way out was war. Accordingly she declared war on Russia,just at a moment when Grey was hoping that direct conversations between Austria and Russia might yet avoid a "world war. Mar with Russia meant war with Prance. Germany made a bid for French neutrality but on terms which no self-respecting nation could accept. She did her best to convince Britain that the French had taken the in itiative in violating the Franco-German frontier and also the neutrality of Belgium. Then she committed the final blunder of presenting the ultimatum to Belgium and upon its rejection, proceeding to march through the neutral country. This action gave Grey and the Cabinet the necessary motive for entering the war with a united nation behind them. Ho doubt the moral obligations to Prance and the protection of British interests constituted a sufficient incentive for a cert ain section of the Government, and might have satisfied a narrow majority in Parliament, but they would not have enlisted the 1. sympathy of the nation as a whole. Literally England had preserved her freedom of action, morally she had bound herself to Prance more closely than if she had had a written defensive alliance. On August 3 Grey explained the situation to the House emphasising the fact that they were free to act as they chose. l.On Sunday, August 1, the Conservatives decided to support the Government in event of war, and on Monday Morning, August 2, sent the following note to'the Cabinet at Downing St.:"Dear Mr.Asquith. - Lord Lansdowne and I feel it our duty to inform you that in our opinion, as well as that of all the colleagues whom we have been able to consult, it would be fatal to the honour and security of the United Kingdom to hesitate in sup porting France and Russia at the present juncture, and we offer our unhesitating support to the Government in any measures they may consider necessary for that object. Yours very truly,A.Bonar 204. He hourly expected the violation of Belgium v/hich he believed v/ould so rouse the indignation of the people that England's participation in the war v/ould be unavoidable. Soon after he had finished speaking the German ultimatum to Belgium arrived, 1. and he read it before the House rose. Even at the last minute Germany made one more effort to keep Britain out of the v/ar. At noon August 4 Lichnov/sky com municated official assurance that Germany v/ould not annex Bel gian territory and explaining that she had to prevent the French 2. advance. At 2P.M., August 4, Grey telegraphed to Goschen to ask for his passports at midnight unless Germany promised not 3. to violate Belgian neutrality. After that the Cabinet awaited the hour at v/hich the ul timatum v/ould expire. They had little doubt of the outcome. All preparations v/ere completed. During the week previous all precautionary measures had been taken. A trial mobilisation of the Third Fleet, planned months before, had taken place. 1. Grey - op. cit. - vol.2.p.294-309.Appendix D. for text of the"Speech. In reading the letter of November 22, 1912 addressed to Cambon to the House Grey omitted the last sentence: "If these measures Involved action, the plans of the general staffs would at once be taken into considerat ion and the Governments v/ould then decide v/hat effect should be.given to them." Grey says that up to 1923 he was not conscious of having omitted it. The only explanation he could give was that it was entirely unintentional, a question interrupted him at that point and he may have forgotten that 'he had not finished reading, or he may have thought the last sentence unimportant. In any case the complete letter was published two days later in the Official Book of Documents, cf. Grey - op. cit. - vol.2.p.16. 2. B.D.vol.11.p.312.Ho.587.Communication by the German Ambass ador, Aug.4, 1914.; Kautsky Documents.p.569.Ho.810.Jagow to Lichnow s Icy, Aug. 4, 1914. 3. B.D.vol.11.p.314.Ho.594.Grey to Goschen, Aug.4, 1914.; Kautsky Documents p.582.No.839.English Ambassador to German Foreign Office, Aug.4, 1914.Aide-Memoirc. Given by Goschen tc Jagow at 7.P.M. 205. When the liustro-Serbian quarrel assumed a European aspect the Cabinet had deemed it wise to hold the Fleet ready in case of emergency. On Wednesday, July 29, the Fleet was ordered to 1 proceed to its war stations with the utmost speed and secrecy. At the War Office everything was in readiness for the final word of command. Therefore, the Cabinet Ministers sat watch ing the passage of the hours that brought nearer and ever near er the great catastrophe. At 11.P.M. the Foreign Office despat died to Lichnowsky the formal declaration of war together with passports for him, his family and staff. Britain was at war with Germany. The war which neither wanted but both feared had come to pass. The nations were to pay dearly for their mutual distrust and antagonism.. The final climax of the drama had come suddenly. The events of the last days of peace crowded one upon the other in breathless confusion. Messages poured into the Foreign Offices of Europe day and night generally telling of further complic ations but occasionally conveying a brief gleam of hope. The men who guided the destinies of nations laboured unceasingly for their objectives. Those who desired to preserve the peace of Europe tried to check the machine in its headlong career to destruction. At last, they were forced to realise their help lessness and were condemned to watch the work of a lifetime being swept away. They must have felt as Grey did one evening during 1.Churchill - op. cit. - p.224. 206. the last week of peace, when he stood with a friend at a window of his room in the Foreign Office, watching the lighting of the lamps in the space below and remarked: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-1. time." l.Grey - op. cit. - vol.2.p.20. 20V CONCLUSION. The crucial year in Anglo-German relations was 1901. Then Britain, just emerging from her "splendid isolation", had as yet formed no alliances, ententes, or obligations. Desirous of improving her friendless position in Europe she turned to Germany as her most natural ally. Naval rivalry had not yet set up a barrier between them. There was no violent enmity nor were there any really irreconcilable differences. Britain, true to tradition, proved herself a -hard bargainer, unwilling to surrender one inch more than necessary. Germany, on her side, grossly miscalculated Britain's isolation and dire need, and set her price too high. Unable to reach a conclusion with Germany, England cast about her for possible allies. She turn ed to her old enemy. Prance. For that Germany had herself to thank. She had placed too high a valuation on her indispensa-bility, forgetting that there were other nations in Europe. After 1904 Britain had obligations. She valued her new-friendship greatly and German efforts to break the Entente only welded it closer. Friendship with England now entailed friend ship with France and later with Russia. Britain frequently said that her Entente did not stand in the way of good relation with Germany, but it actually made a close understanding almost impossible. In all the attempts at negotiation the British would take no step that might be considered by the French as 208. prejudicial to their interests. As the years went on this be came an even more hard and fast rule. Hot that Britain's mo tives v/ere altruistic. She dreaded German hegemony on the con tinent and feared becoming dependent on that aggressive power. Therefore, she clung to her friends. Unfortunately, German statesmen learned nothing by experience. They continued to labo\ir under the delusion that the stronger they made Germany and the more unyielding they proved the sooner they would con vince England of the necessity of deserting the Entente and of . throwing herself into Germany's arms. The creation of a strong fleet and the attempt to use it to demand from England a neutrality agreement really made matters worse. In spite of the warnings of their Ambassadors, they chose to believe that England would not support the Entente by force. They knew that no definite treaty obliged her to do so; and that Grey had determined to keep his hands fj?ee, so they lived in a fool's paradise until the eleventh hour when it was too late to retrieve their follies. Public opinion no doubt influenced their actions to a certain extent, but their own inclinations leaned towards public opinion. Mutual distrust that increased with the passage of time blinded the officials and made them hesitate to commit their countries to any agreement that was not impossibly one-sided. The Kaiser, Holstein, and Tirpitz, and, to a certain extent, Bulow suspected "perfidious Albion", and subscribed to the be lief that "All things come to those who wait". On the other 209. side, Grey, although a staunch upholder of the peace and sincere ly desiroxis of promoting good relations with every country in cluding Germany, secretly questioned the integrity and good faith of the Germans. For that reason he walked warily when ever negotiations were proceeding. Among the permanent offic ials at the Foreign Office, Eyre Crowe was steeped in the idea of the "German Menace". Every Minute reflected his fears and reiterated his warnings. From 1910 on he received the enthus iastic support of Arthur Nicolson, another follower of his cult. These two lived in perpetual terror of seeing Grey lead England into the trap set by Germany. They would have pledged England firmly and openly to the Entente and then have sat down fully armed to keep Germany in order, \7hether their system would have preserved the peace of Europe is open to question. Russia and France assured of her support might have been tempted to proceed less cautiously. The Austrian horse ran away with its German rider in 1914, might not the Russian horse have done the same with, its English rider? Yftiat would have happened can only be a matter for conjecture. The mistake lay deeper than the formation and strengthen ing of the Entente. It lay in the inability of the two nations to agree while Britain was still in the mood for a German under standing. It lay in the psychology of the two nations and their inability to understand each other's temperament and pol icies. Try as their statesmen did, they could not achieve a definite rapprochment. It is the irony of fate that, when they 210e reached a point where they could settle outstanding points of difference in a Convention that might have been the prelude to an era of cordial co-operation, the Crisis of 1914 came and cast them back into utter darkness. Once the year 1901 was passed the spectre of war stalked abroad more freely. Gradually, and at first almost unconscious ly, the nations of Europe arranged themselves for conflict. Crises came and went, each one more serious than the last. Still the statesmen hoped to continue their old tactics without pre cipitating a war. They had become involved in a system of their •own creation, so intricate that no one was clever enough or strong enough to cast it aside and lead the way to peace and freedom. Helplessly they went on , trusting in the goodwill of their colleagues, until one day they found themselves on the brink of the abyss and awoke to the danger only when it was too late to draw back from the edge. These sixteen years of Anglo-German relations represent a period of wasted opport unities. The future depends upon whether the present learns its lesson from the past rather more effectively than did the statesmen of the first decade of the nineteenth century. BIBLIOGRAPHY. - BIBLIOGRAPHY. Documents• 1. G.P.Gooch and H. Temperley, ed. - British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1914. - London - His.Majesty's' Stationery Office - 1927 -Vol, 1. (1927) The End of British Isolation. Vol. 2. (1927) The Japanese Alliance and the French Entente Vol. 3. (1928) The Testing of the Entente 1904-6. Vol. 4. (1929) The Anglo-Russian Rapprochment 1903-7. Vol,5. (1928) The Hear East, 1905-9. Vol. 6. (1930) The Anglo-German Tension, 1907-12. Vol. 7. (1952) The Agadir Crisis. Vol.11. (1926) The Outbreak of War (ed. J.W.Headlam-Morley) The editors have done their work thoroughly. The sel ection of documents included is adequate, the notes and tables of contents clear and helpful. Very valuable.Vol.7 unfortunately came out too late to be used in this study of Agadir. 2. E.T.S.Dugdale, dd. - German Diplomatic Documents, 1871-1914. - London - Methuen and Co. Ltd. - 1930 - 4 vols. Vol.1. The Bismarck Period. Vol.2. The nineties. Vol.3. The Growing Antagonism, 1898-1910. Vol.4. The Descent to the Abyss. These documents selected and translated from the German collection omit many documents that would be useful, Hecess ary, but not as adequate as they might be. 3. K.Kautsky - German Documents on the Outbreak of the World War - Hew York - Oxford University Press - 1924. Useful and detailed. Of value for the days of July and August 1914. 212. General. 1. E.rT.Anderson -mThe First Moroccan Crisis 1904-1906. -Chicago - University of Chicago Press - 1930. A careful piece of research based on the documents. Very detailed. On the whole fairly impartial, in places slightly anti-German. Some penetrating comments. A'use ful book. 2. H.H.Asquith - The Genesis of the War - London - Cass ell & Co. Ltd. - 1923. The views of a man who took part in many of the events he narrates. Clears up one or two obscure points, but on the whole does not contribute much to the story of the'se years. Easy reading. More detailed on the later years. 3. Th. von Bethmann-Hollweg - Reflections on the World War -London - Thornton Butterworth, Ltd. - 1920. Bethmann's apology for himself and Germany. Consists chiefly in shifting the blame on to the shoulders of the Triple Entente and England in particular. Some of his points just. One does not wonder that Germany came to disaster under his leadership. He reveals himself absol utely unsuitable to guide the destinies of a great nation through any crisis. Contributes little to our knowledge of the period. 4. J.B.Bishop - Theodore Roosevelt and His Time - Hew York -Charles Scribner's Sons - 1920. - 2 vols. Vol.1. Chapters 36 and 37 give a long letter by Roose-13 • velt giving an account of the events leading up to the Conference and of the Conference itself. He tells of his share in conciliating the rivals. He quotes several inter esting letters exchanged with the French and German Ambass adors . One wonders if he overestimates his own influence. Entertaining reading. E.Brandenburg - From Bismarck to the World War - London -Oxford University Press - 1927. A very scholarly work based on German Documents. He sees the faults and mistakes of German policy. His comments show a keen mind and a praiseworthy impartiality. Handi capped a little by not having access to the British .Docu ments, but gives s very studied and just account without them. Valuable. B.von Bulow - Imperial Germany - London - Cassell & Co. Ltd, 1914. Imperialistic in the extreme. Great faith in Germany and her policy. Great pride in her strength and wisdom,. Biased. He practically proves, but only to himself, that Germany gained by the Algeciras Conference, that her allies stood by her. B.von Bulow - Memoirs - London - Putnam - vol.1.-!L§§0i vol.2.-1951. Leisurely in style. Free expression of the author's opinions on everything and everybody. Intensely patriotic. Billow is the hero of his own story. Interesting revelat-214. ions of his character. Reveals the Kaiser in all his moods Hot impartial, rather spiteful at times. His statements often challenge argument. In many places he is obviously reading the past in the light of the present. 8. V/.S. Churchill. - The 'world Crisis - Hew York - Charles Scribner's Sons - 1923. vol.1. A brilliant study of naval preparations written by the First Lord of the Admiralty during the last years of peace. Great detail of the minute preparations for the protection of Britain against-attack. Interesting comments on British actions and on the crises. Fascinatingly writ ten in a journalistic style. Vivid and pictorial. 9. G.Lowes Dickinson - The International Anarchy 1904-1914 -Hew York - Century Co. - 1926, Useful for his point of view and opinions. Spares neither side in his criticism of the pre-war diplomacy. 10. E.M.Earle - Turkey, the Great Powers, and the Bagdad Rail way - Hew York - MacMillan Co. - 1923. An excellent study of the international complications in the Hear East and the part played in these by the Bag dad Railway. Illuminating comments and useful Information. 11. H.von Eckardstein - Ten Years at the Court of St, James' 1895-1905. - London - Thronton Butterworth Ltd. - 1921. A -remarkably fascinating account from the pen of a German diplomat. Delightful style, coloured by the author's personality. Inclined to the British side in his sympathies O 1 q Appears th have seen clearly the abyss toward which Germ an policy was heading - or is he reading the past in the light of what happened in 1914-18? Hot always strictly accurate. 12. S.B.Fay - The Origins of the World War - New York -Macriillan Co. 1928. 2 vols. A careful piece of reasearch work, the result of much consideration and wide reading. Very useful and exhaustive. 13. G.P.Gooch - Recent Revelations of European Diplomacy -London - Longmans, Green Z- Co. - 1930. The chapters on Germany and England and the Supple mentary chapters of 1927, 1928 and 1929 present a val-uable discussion of the works published in recent years by prominent men of these countries. Comments on the value of each work and the point of view of the author are particularly instructive and interesting. Valuable. 14. E. Grey - Twenty-five Years, 1896-1916. - London - Hodder and Stoughton - 1925. 2 vols. Important as being the Memoirs of the Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs in England during the crises that led to the war. Publishes many despatches and clears up some points in dispute. Defends his policy against the criticisms levelled at it. Some evirious statements. An idealist, in a sense a tragic figure. Very honest, very peace-loving, very attractive. Well-written, 216. 15. R.Haldane - Autobiography - London - Eodder .and Stoughton 1 9P9 Enjoyable personal reminiscences by a man who played an active part in political life. Particularly full on military preparations and his visits to Germany and comments on the German mind. Throws some light on his colleagues and their methods. An admirer of Grey. This book and "Before the War" are supplementary. 16. R.Haldane - Before the War - London - Cassell and Co.Ltd. 1920. Interesting, carefully considered. Written by a man who was in political life during these years. Hot bitter but inclined to blame Germany. Useful for the account of the author's visit to Berlin in 1906 and in 1912. Clearly written without excess of details. Gives illuminating comments on his colleagues and on the lead ing German officials whom he met. 17. 0..T.Hale - Germany and the Diplomatic Revolution - A Study in Diplomacy and the Press, 1904-6; - Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania Press - 1931. A valuable study of the influence of the press during a critical period in European relations. He brings out very clearly the dangers of a free press -how it can circulate false news and promote ill-feeling and make the task of the Governments harder. Clearly written. Facts well supported. One wishes the study covered more years. 217. 18. O.Hammann - The Y.'orId Policy of Germany 1890-1912. -London - George Allen & Unwin Ltd. - 1927. The hook is not so detailed as that of Branden burg, but Is good for a survey of these years. Is based on German documents and personal experience in addition. 19. S.Lee - King Edward VII. - A Biography - London - Mac-Millan & Co. Ltd. - 1927. - 2 vols. The official biography. The result of much pains taking work. Interesting. Decidedly anti-German in tone. Suspicious of every move on the part of the Kaiser. An essential book. 20. K.M.Lichnowdky - My Mission to London 1912-1914 - London-Cassell & Co. Ltd. - 1918. This is the short pamphlet dealing with Lichnow-sky's two years in London, It is pro-English in tone, and bitter against the stupidity of the German Officials who wrecked his mission at every turn. Of use for his statements on the agreements reached and on the members of the English Government. 21. E.Ludwig - Kaiser Wilhelm II. - London - G.P.Putnam's Sons, Ltd. - 1927. A fascinating study of a complex character. Vivid and vigorous in style. Hot altogether just to some of the characters. Remarkable for its force and sense of the dramatic, reads like a tragedy. Written with insight and genius that make the men of the Court live. 218. 22. E.Ludwig - July '14 - London - G.P.Putnam's. Sons - 1929. Excellent for conveying the atmosphere of the days of the July Crisis, gets the tension very well. Vivid, impressionistic pictures. The men in charge .of Foreign Affaris live and act again in this compelling story. 23. Lord Newton - Lord Lansdowne - London ~ Macmillan & Co. Ltd. - 1929. Clears up several points and supplies extra information, hut is rather disappointing. Readable. 24. H.Nicolson - Sir Arthur Nicolson, Lord Carnock - London-Ma cmll lan 8: Co. Ltd. - 1930. A remarkably frank, entertaining account of dip lomacy in Europe. Clever and dramatic. Statements well supported; opinions interesting and challenging. Worth reading. 25. K.F.Nowak - Kaiser and Chancellor - New York - Macmillan Co. - 1930. A brilliantly written piece of work. Under the author's able pen the personalities of this period live. The portraits of the Kaiser, Holstein and Bismarck are excellent. It is favourable to the Kaiser and not strictly reliable for facts. 26. R.Poincare - Memoirs 1912 - London - W.Heinemann Ltd. -1926. Used on Haldane Mission regarding Bertie's action. 219. 27. A.P.Pribram - England and the International Policy of the European Great Powers, 1871-1914. - Ford Lectures at the University of Oxford in Michaelmas Term 1929. - Oxford -At the Clarendon Press - 1931. A very praiseworthy brief survey of this fateful period. Hot room for much detail, but gives clear, im partial account. Pronounces a sane, well-balanced judg ment on the various events. Concise and well-written. 28. G.l/V.Prothero - German Policy Before the War - London -J.Murray - 1916. An expanded lecture delivered before the Royal Historical Society in January 1915. Hot based on docu ments. Anti-German. Hot very valuable. 29. T.Rhodes - The Real von Kuhlmann - London - Hoel Douglas 1925. A defence of Kuhlmann and his policies. Many of his statements challenge comment. Of no great value. 30. B.E.schmitt - England and Germairy 1740-1914. - Princeton Princeton University Press - 1916. A thoughtful piece of work, based on contemporary evidence from newspapers and articles, also from official publications at the time of the war. Rather anti-German. Some statements disproved in the light of fuller revelat ions of post-war period. 31. P.von Schoen - The Memoirs of an Ambassador - London -George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. - 1922. 220. Hot contributing much new material on the period. Gives his own opinions on the various crises. Was Intimately-connected with some of the pre-war events. Inclined to excuse his country as much as possible, although he does admit her guilt In some actions, notably in the violat ion of Belgian neutrality. Brief. Wilhelm II. - The Kaiser's Memoirs - London - Harper & Brothers Publishers - 1922. The Kaiser's justification of himself and his country's actions. Some of the allegations challenge denial. Coloured by the writer's personality. Written from memory and after the events. Interesting. Heeds to be used with great care. Grains of truth are deeply hidden. H.W.Wilson - The War Guilt - London - Sampson, Low, Marston and Co. Ltd. - 1928. A work based on a study of documents and memoirs. Attempts to be impartial but his conclusions are colour ed by his anti-German bias and his poor opinion of the Liberal Government. Useful because of his point of view and the ingenious selection of material to support his theories. Very detailed on the part relating to the Crisis of 1914. Rather brief on previous events. 221, Articles, Reviews, and Essays, vl. J.L.Bashford - Great Britain and Germany - A Conversation with von Billow, the German Chancellor - Nineteenth Cent ury - Vol.LVI.No.334. Dec. 1904. Interesting interview, contemporary evidence. Shows desire on the part of some to promote good relations be tween England and Germany. Gives Billow's opinions on outstanding points of friction. Intended for the benefit of the publi c. 2. C.A.Beard - The Inside of Germany's War Politics - Essays in Intellectual History. - New York - Harper and Brothers Publishers - 1929, Gives an outline of the domestic drama as it appears in the new German documents. A concise discussion of the state of affairs in the German Government both before and during the war. He shows the confusion that resulted from lack of responsibility of officials, and the influence of the High Command. 3. J.D.Bickford & E.N.-Johnson - The Contemplated Anglo-Germ an Alliance 1890-1901. - Political Science Quarterly -vol.42. - March 1927. An excellent account drawn largely from German Documents. Shows insight into the problem, comments shrewd and penetrating. Lays blame on German policy for failure of negotiations. 4. J.Cambon - Billow and the War - Foreign Affairs - vol.10. 222. Ho. 5. - April 1932. J' Very good article on Billow's Memoirs by a man who knew him in his official capacity. Just comments on Billow's policy. 5. S.B.Fay - Review of British. Documents on the Origins of the World War 1898-1914. Vol.6. - American Historical Review - Vol.XXXVI. Ho.l. - Oct. 1930. Excellent summary of the main points and a good criticism of Crowe's point of view at the Foreign Office 7. G.deT. Glazebrook - The End of British Isolation -Offprint from Queen's Quarterly Concise, useful article. Brief summary of direct ion of British policy from 1898-1907, based on documents Cle arly written. 6. S.B.Fay - Review of "The Coming of the War: 1914" by B.E.Schmitt - Journal of Modern History - Vol.3.Ho.l. March, 1931. A readable review. Criticises some of Schmitt's conclusions. Gives some useful points from the book. 8. G.P.Gooch - Baron von Holstein, the Mystery Man of the German Foreign Office 1890-1906. - Cambridge Historical Journal - vol.1. 1923-5. An interesting, comprehensive survey of Holstein term of office and its effect on Germany. Reveals very well the devious underground workings of Holstein in foreign affairs. 225. 9. G.P.Gooch. - Baron von Holstein - Studies in Modern History-London - Longmans Green and Co. - 1931. Really an enlargement of the previous article, well-written and interesting. 10. G.P.Gooch - Prince Billow's Memoirs - Contemporary Review -Vol.138. Ho.780. Dec. 1930. A review of Vol. 1. of Billow's Memoirs. An able piece of criticism, and a good summary of the contents, 11. G.P.Gooch - Prince Billow and the Kaiser - Contemporary Review - Vol.139.Ho.782. - Feb. 1931. A review of Vol.2. of the Memoirs. Excellent. 12. S.W.Halperin - Review of "Salisbury und die Turkische Frage im Jahre 1895" by Hugo Preller; "Fiirst Billow und England, 1897-1909" by Willy Becker: "Die englisehe Flotten politik vor dem Weltkrieg 1904-1909" by Fritz uplegger.-Journal of Madern History - vol.3.Ho.1.- March, 1931. Gives an idea of the theses of the books. Useful comments on the justice of the points of view taken in the books under review. 15. J.L.Haramond - Review of British Documents on the Origins of the World War 1898-1914 - Vol.7. - Manchester Guardian Weekly, March 11, 1932. An illuminating review, with some useful quotations from the volume. 14.D.Harris - Bismarck's Advance to England, January 1876. -Journal of Modern History - vol.3.No.3, - Sept. 193.1. Valuable information on the advances to England by Bis marck. Despatches from Lord Odo Russell to Lord Derby and replies tell their own story from the English point of view, and present well the English attittide and re luctance to enter in to formal binding alliances. 15. F.H.Herrick - The Abandonment of 'Splendid Isolation' : British Politics and the Foreign Office at the close of the nineteenth century - Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association. - 1950. An enlightening article on the workings of the Foreign Office. Shows the influence of permanent offic ials,and the appointment and system of training of officials and diplomats. 16. IvI.A.Huttman - Baron von Holstein, the Dark Force of the German Foreign Office - Essays in Intellectual History -Hew York - Harper!&.Brothers Publishers - 19298 A very useful article on this mysterious character. Throws light on his character and his policies, showing hov/ strongly he influenced the conduct of Foreign Affairs while he was in office. 17. R.B.IvIowat - Review of British Documents on the Origins of the World War, 1898-1914. Vol.6. - English Historical Review - Vol.XLVI. Ho.183. - July 1931. Brief. Gives the main thesis of the volume. 18. R.B.Mowat - Review of "The Coming of the War, 1914" by B.S.Schmitt - English Historical Review - Vol.XI.VII.Ho. 185 Jan. 1932. 225. Short, hut statss the main idea of the hook. 19o A.Parker - Bagdad Railway Negotiations - Quarterly Review Vol.228.No.453. - October 1917. Good article. .Clear presentation of the facts. Comments show the author to be under the influence of feeling during the war, therefore he is inclined to see selfish motives behind German acts. Not all the sources available when the article was written. 20. R.J.Sontag - British. Foreign Policy, 1898-193.2. -Journal of Modern History - Vol; 2. No.3. - Sept. 1930. Interesting in giving Sontag's views on British, pol icy as revealed or left obscure by the British. Foreign Documents. Opinions challenge comment. 21. H.Temperley -"The Coming of the V/ar, 1914" by B.E.S6nmit Review - Foreign Affairs - Vol.9.No.2. - Jan. 1931. Points well taken. Scholarly review. 22. Review of British Documents on the Origins of the 17 or Id War, 1898-1914, Vol.7. - Times Literary Supplement,March 10, 1932. Useful quotations and summary of the main idea of the volume. A pro-British bias in the reviewer. 23. A. von Tirpitz - The German Navy in the World War -These Eventful Years - London - Encyclopaedia Britanr.ica Co.Ltd. - 1924. 2 vols. - Vol.1.p.313-26. Not of much value. Written when the full bitternes of the war was at its height. Does set forth his main 226. thesis regarding Germany and England end the naval quest ion. Not studied or Impartial. 24c O.H.V.'edel - Austro-Hungarian Diplomatic Documents. 1908-1914. - Journal of Modern History - Vol.3.Ho.l,-March, 1931, A useful review article. Sketches and summarizes-the Information revealed in this publication of docximents. Good comments on Berchthold and his policy, gives him . credit for pursuing a continuous policy. 

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