Austro-Hungarian Red Book: Baron Macchio to Count Berchtold, 25 July 1914

On 25 July 1914, the First Section Section Chief at the Austro-Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Baron Karl von Macchio, sent a coded telegram to the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leopold Count Berchtold (pictured), who was at Ischl to meet the Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Franz Joseph. In his telegram, Macchio relates his conversation with the Russian Chargé d’Affaires (the defacto Ambassador) to Austria-Hungary.

Leopold Count Berchtold

Leopold Count Berchtold

Baron von Macchio to Count Berchtold in Ischl. Vienna, 25 July 1914.

Cyphered telegram.

The Russian Chargé d’Affaires came to see me in the morning, and, in the name of his government, expressed the wish that the term of our Note [i.e. ultimatum] to Servia might he prolonged. This wish was based on the fact that the Powers had been completely taken by surprise by our step, and that the Russian government would consider it a natural sign of regard from the Vienna cabinet to the cabinets of the Powers to give them an opportunity to study the communication to them and also the dossier, insight into which was offered.

I answered the representative that I would immediately communicate what he had told me to your Excellency, but that I could already tell him, that there was no chance of our consenting to prolong the term which had been fixed. As to the reasons which the Russian government gave for justifying its demand, they seemed to be based on a mistaken idea, as though the Note to the Powers had been sent out with a view to learning their opinion of the case. All we intended was to inform the Powers on our step, and thus comply with a duty of international etiquette. We consider our action as an affair which regards exclusively us and Servia, and to which we were compelled against our will by the development of circumstances which are threatening our most vital interests and which the patience and toleration we have shown for years could not change.

I promised the Russian representative that I would let him have your answer as soon as I could, and I therefore beg for telegraphic information on whether your Excellency approves the answer I gave.

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

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One comment

  1. […] On 25 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leopold Count Berchtold (pictured), sent a coded private telegram to the First Section Section Chief at the Austro-Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Baron Karl von Macchio. In his telegram, Berchtold confirms that Baron Macchio gave the right answer to the Russian Chargé d’Affaires (see post). […]

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