Austro-Hungarian Red Book: Count Szecsen to Count Berchtold, 26 July 1914

On 26 July 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to France, Nikolaus Count Szecsen (pictured with his family), sent a coded telegram to the Austro-Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leopold Count Berchtold. In his telegram, the Ambassador informs Berchtold of French attitudes towards Austria-Hungary following the Serbian response to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum.

Nikolaus Count Szecsen with his family

Nikolaus Count Szecsen with his family

Count Szecsen to Count Berchtold. Paris, 26 July 1914.


[The German Ambassador to France] Baron Schoen has, as instructed, communicated the fact that [the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador to Russia] Count Szapary communicated in Petersburg, that we are resolved not to touch the territorial integrity of Serbia. The representative of the [French] Minister of Foreign Affairs received this assurance with manifest pleasure.

The German Ambassador added the request that France would—as Germany had already done—use its influence in Petersburg to make Russia advice submission to Serbia.

The Minister declared that France was most anxious to see the conflict end by conciliation, but expressed surprise that the Serbian note, which seemed to comply with all our wishes, should have been found unacceptable.

He also spoke of [the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs] Herr Sazonov’s idea, that as the Serbian declaration of 1909 [i.e. referring to the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary] had been notified to the Powers, so should these be invited to examine the attitude of Serbia, and for this purpose, the dossier offered by Austria-Hungary should be asked for, and looked into. Baron Schoen explained the impracticability of this idea, and the Minister admitted that in this case we could not submit to a European Areopagus.

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



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