Austro-Hungarian Red Book: Berchtold to von Merey, 22 July 1914

On 22 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Leopold Count Berchtold (pictured) wrote a coded private telegram to the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Italy Kajetan von Merey. In his telegram, Berchtold instructs von Merey to give a copy of the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia to the Italian government.

Leopold Count Berchtold

Leopold Count Berchtold

Count Berchtold to Herr von Merey. Vienna, 22 July 1914.

Cyphered telegram.—Private.

As a sequel to the communications you have made to the [Italian Foreign Minister] Marquis di San Giuliano I beg you to inform him privately that our démarche in Belgrade has now been fixed for Thursday the 23th of July in the afternoon.

The note, which [the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Serbia] Baron Giesl is instructed to present to the Servian government contains a number of demands referring to the restraining of the movement which threatens our territory, which we found upon the results of the inquiry of Sarajevo, feeling that we must put an end to the agitation in our southern frontier countries and which originates in Belgrade. We have allowed the Servian government 48 hours’ time, to accept our conditions, because we feared Servia’s usual mode of procrastination.  The Signatary Powers will receive the communication on Friday the 24th of July and Your Excellency will be in a position on the same day to give the Italian government official information on our démarche in Belgrade. The step you are taking today is limited to Rome, Berlin and Bucharest, out of special consideration for the Alliance.

I must ask your Excellency to make the communication contained in this telegram personally to the Marquis di San Giuliano (or, if this is not possible, to his representative) not before Thursday afternoon. We wish absolutely to avoid that the news should reach Petersburg from Rome on the same day.


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


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