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

On 22 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Italy Kajetan von Merey (pictured) sent a private coded telegram to the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Leopold Count Berchtold in Vienna. In his telegram, Merey seeks clarification from Berchtold on the policy to adopt with Italy regarding the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia.

Kajetan von Merey

Kajetan von Merey

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


Your Excellency authorised me to communicate our démarche [i.e. step] in Belgrade to [the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs] Marquis di San Giuliano one day earlier, and promised to send the dates by telegram. As the fact of the démarche was generally known, this instruction could only refer to the content of the note.

This instruction has not been annulled, and now I see to my regret from the decree of the 20th of July just arrived by courier, that though our démarche in Belgrade will take place on the 23rd of July I am not to communicate with the minister before the 24th instead of a day earlier.

In the face of this situation, and because according to your instructions by telegram I told the minister in our conversation of yesterday that I was without information on our démarche in Belgrade, I ask myself whether I ought not give the information in question tomorrow instead of on the 24th.

I must assume that your Excellency has changed your mind—unhappily without informing me of the fact, and that I ought to act according to the instructions of the decree of the 20th.


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


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