Austro-Hungarian Red Book: von Merey to Berchtold, 14 July 1914

On 14 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Italy Kajetan von Merey sent a strictly private telegram to the Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs Count Leopold Berchtold (pictured). In his telegram, von Merey advises Berchtold on Austro-Hungarian policy towards Italy.

Count Leopold Berchtold

Count Leopold Berchtold

Herr von Merey to Count Berchtold. Rome, 14 July 1914.

If we are really forcing Servia to decide for war, I also hold the opinion that it would be idle to enter into previous negotiations with Italy; still to avoid the Marquis di San Giuliano [the Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs] taking personal offence, I must most decidedly advise that he should be informed by me one day before the action is undertaken. I do not think that even in this case he would influence the press in our favour, but the excluding and taking him unawares and by surprise would be slightly modified.

Should I be commissioned with this mandate, I beg you to consider that at this moment the Minister for Foreign Affairs is at Fiuggi, and towards the end of next week will go to Vallombrosa near Florence, that I must therefore be informed early enough to undertake the journey.


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


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