On 23 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs Leopold Count Berchtold (pictured) sent a telegram to the Austro-Hungarian Ambassadors to Spain, the Vatican, the United States, and Japan. In his telegram, he informs the Ambassadors of the delivery of the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum to Serbia to enable them to notify the governments they are accredited to.
Count Berchtold to the Imperial and Royal Ambassadors in to Spain, the Vatican, the United States of America, and the Empire of Japan. Vienna, 23 July 1914.
The Imperial and Royal Minister in Belgrade today, Thursday 23 July 1914, presented a note to the Royal Servian government in which the latter is called upon to accept a number of demands within forty-eight hours, which we were forced to address to Servia on the grounds of the inquiry instituted after the crime of Sarajevo [i.e. the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie Chotek] with a view of putting an end to the plotting in the southern provinces of the monarchy that has been traced to Servia, and in this case more especially to Belgrade.
To the Ambassador to Spain:
The above is for your information and for the direction of your speech with the government to which you are accredited. The decree containing all information on our démarche [i.e. step] in Belgrade, as addressed to the Imperial and Royal representatives at the courts of the Signatory Powers, will reach you by despatch-box.
To the Ambassador to the Vatican:
The above is for your information and for the direction of your speech and for communication to the Cardinal-State-Secretary. The decree containing all information on our démarche [i.e. step] in Belgrade, as addressed to the Imperial and Royal representatives at the courts of the Signatory Powers, will reach you by despatch-box.
To the Ambassador to the United States of America:
The above is for your Excellency’s information and for the direction of your speech, as well as for communication to the Secretary of State.
To the Ambassador to Empire of Japan:
As the results of the inquiry instituted in Sarajevo have shown that the assassination of the Archduke-heir to the throne was plotted together with Servian officers and government officials, and that this horrible crime is but the result of Servian agitation carried on for years among the population of our southern border provinces, we have been forced to address a number of demands in Belgrade on 23 July which are intended to stop the subversive movement directed against Austria-Hungary. We have allowed the Servian government a term of forty-eight hours for complying with our just demands.
I must ask your Excellency to communicate as much to the Imperial government.
It is possible that the further development of things will lead to a warlike conflict with Servia, eventually with Russia. I am asking your Excellency to keep this in mind and to telegraph me whether you think it might be beneficial to call the Tokyo government’s attention to the fact that this offers them a favorable opportunity [to strike at Russia?].
Source: 1919 Austro-Hungarian Red Book, with minor edits.