Austro-Hungarian Red Book: Count Szecsen to Count Berchtold, 24 July 1914

On 24 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to France, Nikolaus Count Szecsen (pictured), sent a coded telegram to the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leopold Count Berchtold. This is a continuation of yesterday’s telegram.

Nikolaus Count Szecsen with his family

Nikolaus Count Szecsen with his family

Count Szecsen to Count Berchtold. Paris, 24 July 1914.

Cyphered.

Servia. Refers to my telegram of today [see yesterday’s post].

[The German Ambassador to France] Baron Schoen has just acted according to instructions received from Berlin. [The French Minister of Justice] Monsieur Bienvenu Martin told him that he could not reply definitely to this communication, but that he could say so much, that the French government shared the opinion that the controversy with Servia concerned only Belgrade and Vienna and that it hoped the question would be solved in a direct and peaceful way.

The Servian minister in Paris has already been advised that his government should give way as far as possible on all points [of the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum], but with the reservation that “the rights of sovereignty must not be touched”.

[The French diplomat] Monsieur [Philippe] Berthelot, who was present during the conversation, seemed to fear that public opinion in Russia would be all for interference. If the government in Petersburg can face this public feeling, a peaceful understanding is possible according to his belief.

With regard to our demands, it is his opinion that the Servian government should declare its willingness to accept in principle at once, and demand explanations and details on some points. For instance in what way Austrian organs would be supposed to control judicial inquiries in Servia.

Baron Schoen’s manner of speaking appears to have been very energetic. He called attention to the fact that it is a European necessity to do away with the centre of disquiet in Belgrade.

 

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

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