Austro-Hungarian Red Book: Berchtold to Emperor Franz Joseph, 7 July 1914

On 7 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Count Leopold Berchtold wrote to the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph. In his written report Berchtold details the result of the 7 July Crown Council for the Emperor.

Count Leopold Berchtold

Count Leopold Berchtold

Direct report of Count Berchtold to Emperor Franz Joseph. Vienna, 7 July 1914.

In the Crown Council held today, the question of an eventual warlike action against Servia was exhaustively discussed.

It was ascertained that a perfect identity of opinion cannot be established. Count Tisza held the view that a warlike action against Servia should only be resorted to if it was impossible to humiliate Servia diplomatically. Count Tisza fears that in the eventuality of war we should have to meet Servia’s friends and allies in the Balkans, and that Bulgaria is at present too weak to render effective aid.

When the accession of Bulgaria to the Triple Alliance, to which the German government has now consented, will have been accomplished, we shall be in a much better situation.

All the other members of the conference Council shared the view I hold, that the present opportunity for a warlike action against Servia should be made use of, because by delay our situation would suffer, and because the Bulgarian arrangement, towards which nothing has as yet been done, even if it fully succeeds, will not entirely compensate the certain deterioration of our relations with Servia and Roumania and the political conditions in our own country connected with it.

I will take the deferencial liberty of reporting by word of mouth to Your Majesty on Thursday morning, having been obliged to postpone my journey to Ischl, because Count Tisza requested me to present to Your Majesty a lengthy memoir on his view of the case, which cannot be completed before tomorrow night.

In profoundest deference,

Berchtold

 

Source: 1919 Austro-Hungarian Red Book, with minor edits

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