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LETTERS OF 
PRINCE VON BULOW 




Prince von Biilow in 1908. 



[E.N.A. 
[Frontispiece 



LETTERS OF 
PRINCE VON BULOW 

A selection from Prince von Bulow's official 

correspondence as Imperial Chancellor 

during the years 1 903- 1 909, including, 

in particular, many confidential 

letters exchanged between 

him and the Emperor 



TRANSLATED AND 
WITH A PREFACE BY ' 

FREDERIC WHYTE 



EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS 




LONDON : 

HUTCHINSON & CO. (Publishers), LTD. 

PATERNOSTER ROW 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN 

AT THE ANCHOR PRSSS, TIPTREE, BS3BX 



CONIENTS 



CHAPTER 



PREFACE _ _ _ 

I. THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR I903 - 

II. THE YEAR I904 - - - 

III. THE YEAR I905 : JANUARY-APRIL 

IV. THE YEAR I905 : JUNE-NOVEMBER 
V. THE YEAR I906 - - - 

VI. THE YEAR I907 - ^ - 

VII. THE YEAR I908 - - - 

VIII. THE YEAR I909 - - - 

INDEX - - - - 



PAGE 

vii 

13 

27 

91 
127 

191 

202 

229 

289 

343 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Prince von Bulow in 1908 - - - Frontispiece 

PAGE 

The Imperial Chancellor's Palace, Berlin - - 3^ 

The Emperor William 11. - - - - 48 

Herr Richard von Kiihlmann - - - 112 

M. Delcass^ - - - - - - 128 

M. Isvolsky - - - - - -198 

Count von Metternich _ _ - - 266 

Prince and Princess von Biilow with a friend - - 320 



VI 



PREFACE 



The letters and memoranda here translated are taken from a 
considerably larger selection issued in two volumes in 
Germany, with an Introduction of no fewer than 96 pages 
from the pen of an *' anonymous " editor, ^ whom the 
publishers describe as " a very prominent personage," 

This Introduction, written with a strong bias against 
Prince von Biilow, will have been read with much interest 
by the German circles to which it is addressed, and with 
particular relish by opponents and censors of the ex-Chancellor, 
but it contains only a few points or passages that seem to call 
for reproduction in this English edition. 

The most important point to be noted is that the volumes 
were avowedly compiled without the consent and against the 
wishes of Prince von Biilow, who for some years before 
his death in November 1929 had been engaged in writing 
his autobiography. The Prince had been anxious, very 
naturally, to prevent the publication of these documents in 
popular form until he had been able to give in full his own 
version of the story which they partly tell. His standpoint, 
of course, will have been that they do not record the whole 
truth — that they call continually for elucidation and com- 
mentary ; that the written words were often modified and 
corrected or explained by spoken words, etc., etc. Prince 
von Billow's autobiography had been completed before he 
died, and it will soon be available. 

If the Prince, as one may perhaps assume, knew something 
of the attitude likely to be taken towards him by the '* promi- 
nent personage " in question, it is all the more explicable 
that he should have been disposed to veto the compilation, 

^ " Herausgegeben von einem Ungenannten " is the wording on the title-page. 
The title given to the German volumes is Deutschland und die Machte vor dem Krieg, 
" Germany and the Powers Before the War." The documents come from the archives 
of the German Foreign Office through the medium of the Grosse Politik der Europ- 
&ischen Kabhutte. 

vii 



PREFACE 

for, as I have said, the tone of the introductory pages is 
distinctly hostile to him. The writer gives him credit for 
wit and charm and grace and resourcefulness as a diplomatist, 
but for very little else. Here is a typical passage : 

... It is impossible to think of a greater contrast to Bismarck than 
Biilow. Bismarck, the overwhelming heavy-weight, whom we think 
of to-day almost as a Hving monument ; Biilow, the light and smiling 
and elegant, the winning and cultured and courteous — Biilow, whose 
very dimples have taken their place in the small-talk of history. In 
one of his memoranda Biilow remarks that " one may cut arrows out 
of any kind of wood," a phrase which has in it something in the nature 
of a confession. 

Our era, in truth, could scarcely point to a statesman who has 
possessed a more brilliant array of talents, a more dazzling adaptability 
and a more polished courtesy than this master of the art of secretiveness. 
How wonderful, for instance, was the cleverness with which Biilow 
passed off on an admiring world as a success so transparent a failure 
as the Algeciras Conference ! But here we see his limitations ; whereas 
such a piece of juggling may have ministered at the moment to the 
Prince's fame, the actual events damaged it : they were, in truth, but 
the outcome of his incapacity as a statesman. 

Many people have maintained that Prince von Biilow, 
had he been at the helm in 19 14, would have prevented the 
War. In the December of that fateful year, when he arrived 
in Rome as German Ambassador, King Victor Emmanuel's 
first words to him were : " If you had been in Berlin all these 
stupidities would not have happened ! " When, in 1909, he 
gave up the Chancellorship, Holstein, for so many years the 
redoubtable head of the German Foreign Office, remarked to 
him : "If you go, war will be unavoidable." The writer of 
the Introduction is candid enough to record these testimonies, 
but he prefaces them with some characteristic observations of 
his own : 

... It must be declared with all possible emphasis : Bii/ow beyond 
the possibility of doubt would have prevented the war. This is a verdict which 
neither friend nor foe can avoid. For Biilow's strength consisted in 
saving quite lost positions, and one comes to feel that he almost wished 
for such perilous positions in order that they should enable him to display 
his mastery, just as the matador's supreme moment is that of his greatest 
peril. . . . 

The writer of the Introduction seeks throughout to ex- 
hibit Biilow at his worst : as a pusillanimous and obsequious 



TUl 



PREFACE 

flatterer of the Kaiser ; as an ungrateful and false friend ; 
and in his outlook generally — but, above all, in regard to 
Anglo-German relations — as a short-sighted and misguided 
politician. 

The selection opens, he explains, with the Russo-Japanese 
War, because at this point *' the network " round Germany 
" begins to be drawn closer." He proceeds : 

In the second letter we see the proud assertion that Germany is living 
in deep tranquillity and that her situation is fully safeguarded. Then 
in the first communication from the Emperor we hear his cry of distress 
to Biilow : " England is working at high pressure to isolate us " — 
a discerning judgment which Biilow, the ever-smiling, makes light 
of. Nor had the words any effect upon his policy. 

The selection finishes with the end of Billow's Chancellor- 
ship, not long after the episode of the famous Daily Telegraph 
interview with the Kaiser, upon which some interesting light 
is thrown. 

Some thirty or forty pages of this German Introduction 
are devoted to an exposure of Billow's blunders and follies 
during the intervening six years, illustrated by copious citations 
from his letters, and emphasized by hostile and scornful 
criticisms from the pens of other writers. 

Among these he, of course, includes an extract from the 
vivid description of Billow's attitude towards the Kaiser in 
1905 given by Count Robert Zedlitz in his widely-read book.^ 
Here is the passage in full. It wiU often recur to our minds 
as we read Billow's communications to the Emperor, but, as 
we shall see in a moment, there was another side to the 
picture. 

Since I have been at Court I have had many opportunities of observ- 
ing Count Biilow, the Imperial Chancellor, at the closest quarters, 
especially in the New Palace. He is certainly an exceptional and striking 
personality. He combines great amiability, strength of character, and 
adroitness with the charm of one of the most graceful causeurs that 
I have ever met. But I found, curiously enough, how often, in spite 
of these fascinating and often quite irresistible gifts, which give one 
the feeling that here at last we have a man " above the pressure of weight 
of the surrounding atmosphere," there came moments in which all 
faith in his strength of character was destroyed. 

^ " Twelve Years at the Imperial Court," by Count Robert Zedlitz-Trut2schler, 
Controller of the Household ; translated by Alfred Kalisch. (Nisbet & Co.) 

is 



PREFACE 

No one could fail to admire — though it shook one's confidence — 
the inconceivable skill with which he would almost imperceptibly 
shift his ground whenever he had inadvertently expressed an opinion 
which did not quite find favour with the Emperor, and veer to his side. 

At such times the Emperor would fix him with a penetrating glance, 
and would suddenly break in, and — at once or after a few moments — 
brusquely state his own opinion, which admitted neither of doubt 
nor contradiction. As soon as he saw that look, and heard that tone, 
this adroitest of courtiers would relapse into devout silence till he found 
a chance of once more insinuating himself unobtrusively into the 
conversation. At such moments the extraordinary gifts and the excep- 
tional will-power of the Emperor impressed me more strongly than ever. 

Most people would jump to the conclusion, after reading 
these lines, that Billow was a weakling as well as a sycophant, 
unless they happened to have followed his career with some 
attention and to recall some of the numerous occasions on 
which, when really important things were at stake, he took his 
stand against the Emperor resolutely and effectively. We 
shall see instances of this in his correspondence, notably in his 
protest against the use of the words " en Europe " in the abor- 
tive secret Treaty of Bjorko and in his attitude regarding the 
Kaiser's visit to Tangier. ^ The real truth of the matter surely 
is that, being intent on fulfilling his arduous and important 
duties, and realizing that he could succeed in this only by- 
remaining upon good terms with his sometimes almost 
maniacal master, Biilow acted accordingly, treating the 
Emperor as a " mental case." This view of Billow's 
conduct seems supported by some remarks which were made 
by Zedlitz's father in 1908. Count Robert Zedlitz had been 
criticizing the Chancellor again on the same score — it was a 
frequent theme of his. Here is his father's comment. I 
have put its last sentence in italics. 

From Count Zedlitz-TrOtzschler, Senior. 

Breslau, Dec. 29, 1908. 
Dear Rob, 

Your very interesting letter of the 22nd reminded me of a conver- 
ation I had with the Ambassador Schweinitz a few months before his 
Jeath. The bright star you mentioned {i.e., von Biilow) was just appear- 
ing on the horizon, and this experienced diplomat, with his shrewd 
knowledge of men, described him almost exactly as you have done, on the 

^The Emperor's reply about the Bjorko Treaty (see p. 171) is the most 
sensational document in the whole book. 



PREFACE 

strength of your observations over so many years. Full of gifts and skill 
until it comes to a fight, he is weak when the conflict is upon him. But 
on one point, in my opinion, you are both deceived. It is certain that 
men who had not said, " Yes, of course," " As Your Majesty has rightly 
remarked," would have been done for in a very short time, and would 
have made themselves so impossible that nothing could have been 
achieved in this way. It is at any rate something for which we should be 
thankful that the coach has so long been saved from falling over the precipice 
and has been steered clear of the edge. 

Father. 

It is the reader who is most keenly interested in the 
psychology of the ex-Kaiser and of Prince von Biilow ^ who 
will derive most entertainment from the pages which follow, 
but they contain something for almost everybody in any way 
concerned with international affairs. They include all the 
letters exchanged between the Emperor and the Chancellor 
that are given in the German volumes, but only a small 
fraction of the rest of the correspondence : a fraction made 
up of the documents that seemed to bear most nearly upon 
the main topics under discussion, such as the relations 
between the two principal letter-writers themselves, the rela- 
tions between the Kaiser and the Tsar Nicholas and King 
Edward, the naval rivalry between England and Germany, 
the Franco-German tussle over Morocco, and last, but not 
least, the '* Yellow Peril." Printed thus, without their 
context,^ the letters tell a rather disjointed story, of course, 
but it is a story full of revelations and surprises. 

Frederic Whyte. 



^ Any such reader, by the way, should not miss the enlightening and very amusing 
pages on the ex-Kaiser and Biilow in Dame Ethel Smyth's " Streaks of Life." 

2 They are, of course, thus printed in the German edition also, and without many 
footnotes. The task of supplying footnotes to elucidate all the minor obscurities and 
references to unfamiliar names would, indeed, have been endless, and the effect very 
tiresome. 

For permission to use the passages from various books cited in the prefatory 
matter which introduces each section I must thank most cordially the authors and 
publishers named. — F.W. 

zi 



THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR 1903 



THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR 1905 

NOTE. 

As there are many allusions in the correspondence for 1903 -1904 
to the situation in the Far East, it may be useful to recall how matters 
stood out there at the time. 

Towards the close of 1903 there was increasing tension between 
Russia and Japan, the prelude to the war of 1904. At the end of the war 
with China, 1894-95, Japan was in the possession of the Liao-tung 
Peninsula with the fortress and dockyard of Port Arthur. By the 
Treaty of Shimonoseki (April 17, 1895) these were ceded to Japan 
by China. Russia protested against the cession, arguing that the perman- 
ent occupation of Port Arthur by a foreign Power would be a standing 
menace to the Peking Government and the independence of China. 
Germany and France joined in the protest, and the three Powers began 
to move their warships eastward. 

Japan, having as yet only a fleet of cruisers and lighter craft, gave 
way, and Port Arthur was restored to China. 

A few months later it was reported that Cassini, the Russian 
Ambassador at Peking, had arranged a secret convention with China, 
giving Russia the right to construct a branch of the Siberian Railway 
across Manchuria, to Port Arthur, and empowering the Russian Eastern 
Fleet to use its dockyard and harbour as its naval base. The existence 
of the convention was denied by Russia, and she would have probably 
continued to deny it until the new railway was nearer Port Arthur, 
but, in the winter of 1 897, Germany, to exact compensation for the murder 
of German missionaries in Shantung, sent a squadron to Kiao-chau 
Bay, and secured from China the lease of the place and part of the Shantung 
province for ninety-nine years. 

On this, the Russian Fleet occupied Port Arthur, and by a treaty 
with China (March 27, 1898) secured a lease of it and of the Liao-tung 
Peninsula for twenty-five years, to be prolonged by mutual agreement. 
Japan protested, and at first hoped for support from other Powers, 
but England was satisfied with the " lease " of Wei-ha-wei, and France 
with a lease of Kwang-chan-wa Bay in Southern China. England also 
received a vague assurance that the Yang-tse Valley would be recognized 
as her " sphere of influence." 

Japan then began preparations to assert herself against Russian 
domination in the Far East. The Army was reorganised and increased, 

15 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

and battleships and destroyers were built in European and American 
shipyards. Russia also increased her fleet and began to concentrate 
it in Far Eastern waters, while her armies in the East were steadily 
reinforced. In 1903 the Viceroy Alexeiev, anxious for war before 
Japan's preparations were complete, assumed a provocative attitude. 
War was now imminent sooner or later. 

Germany was friendly to Russia. The Emperor William had spoken 
rather wildly of the " yellow peril to European civiUzation in the East," 
and the friends discussed the question of safeguarding the " Russian 
rear " in Europe, in case of other Powers coming to the aid of Japan. 
Hence the suggestion of the neutralization of the Sound and the Belts, 
making the Baltic a closed sea against the navies of the Powers outside it. 

F. W. 



16 



THE CLOSE OF THE YEAR 1905 

To Count von Arco, 

Ambassador in Tokyo. 

" Berlin, Oct. 25, 1903. 
" Secret. 



" According to a Reuter telegram from London of the 
23 rd instant, Lloyds have doubled the insurance premium 
for ships sailing to the Far East on account of war risks. In 
other ways the London news is disturbing, particularly on 
account of the large coal contracts said to have been con- 
cluded in the last week principally for the Japanese, but also 
for the Russians, and for the British China station. This 
expectation of war would relate to an earHer stage, now 
closed. Yesterday news reached here from high quarters in 
Russia that Admiral Alexeiev ^ had aroused suspicion in the 
Tsar that he is working for war, and has been warned to keep 
quiet by a laconic telegram from the Tsar, ' I do not want 
war.* 

" Immediately afterwards the Emperor Nicholas nominated 
a Commission to serve as a Board of Control to the Viceroy. 
Whence it follows that attack from the Russian side is not to 
be expected. 

" I leave it to you to tell this to M. Aoki,^ naturally in strict 
confidence, with the addition that the incident has probably 
resulted in strengthening Count Lamsdorif's ^ position. We 
shall, indeed, only have proof of the correctness of this news 
if Admiral Alexeiev be then really recalled to St. Petersburg 
to report himself." 

^ Russian Viceroy in the Far East. 

* Viscount Aoki, He had been Japanese Foreign Minister, 1898-1900. 

* Count LamsdorfiF, Russian Foreign Minister. 

17 B 



1903] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

To Baron von Schoen, 

Minister in Copenhagen. 

*' Berlin, Nov. 13, 1903. 
" Very Secret. 

*' Herewith you will find a note on the conversation of 
our Most Gracious Master with His Majesty the Emperor 
Nicholas. Against the passage where it is stated that Prince 
Hans of Gliicksburg ^ has raised the question of the neutraliza- 
tion of Denmark and of Danish waters. His Majesty inserted 
in the draft : * Permanent, on every occasion.' There is not 
the slightest doubt that a direct and abrupt refusal to consider 
the idea of neutralization would have exposed His Majesty the 
Kaiser and, indeed, German policy generally to all sorts of 
suspicions from the Danish and perhaps also from the Russian 
side. The acceptance of the idea in principle, />., under 
reservation of later settlement of the details, was therefore a 
diplomatic necessity. 

" About these details I should like to say one thing : 
First, it is questionable whether it would be of advantage to 
Denmark if the two Great Powers, acting on the well-founded 
view that Denmark is not strong enough for this task, them- 
selves took in hand the defence of the entrances to the Baltic. 
This would mean the occupation of the strategic points on 
the Danish coast by Germany, by Russia, or by both Powers. 
Occupations of that kind are not welcomed by the occupied 
areas nowadays, because of the different instances in which 
a temporary occupation has gradually taken on a permanent 
character. Common action on the part of two Great Powers 
would perhaps recall in Denmark and elsewhere the German- 
Austrian common action of 1864. Yet common action could 
hardly be avoided, since presumably neither Germany nor 
Russia would be willing to renounce common occupation of 
the entrances to the Baltic. 

** In addition to this special question, other far-reaching 
aspects of a general nature also come into consideration. 
Germany enjoys to-day profound peace, and our position is all 
the more secure in that we are not directly interested in the 

^Hans, Prince von Schleswig-Holstein-Glucksburg, a Major-General in the 
Danish Army. 

18 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1903 

great questions in dispute either in the Near or in the Far 
East. Russia, on the other hand, may be suddenly involved 
in a war by land and sea. The Baltic, with the Pacific Ocean 
and the Black Sea, forms one of three maritime fronts of the 
Russian Empire open to attack ; it is, indeed, of special import- 
ance, because the capital lies in its area. If Germany closes 
the entrance to the Baltic to the attacking Power, she in fact 
makes the enemies of Russia her own. The consequences 
may develop in one of two directions. Either Germany will 
be drawn into the war, or the enemies of Russia will be in- 
duced to abandon the war by the movement of Germany 
to the Russian side. In the latter case the acutest hatred 
would be diverted from Russia towards Germany, as was the 
case after the Berlin Congress, and we should have to reckon 
in the future with the combined hostility of England, America 
and Japan to our colonial and commercial interests throughout 
the globe. I have propounded these ideas in detail in a 
telegram which I addressed to His Majesty from Sorrento 
before the Danish journey, and received His Majesty's 
approval of them. I particularly brought out the point that 
actual entry by Germany into tlie Franco-Russian group 
would be to invite a corresponding association of America 
and England. 

"If we were to take upon ourselves the hostility of 
Russia's enemies the German Government would be justified 
— indeed, it would be under obligation to the German people — 
in demanding in principle complete reciprocity from Russia. 
But it is not clear how full reciprocity could be accomplished 
to-day. Even in a mutual guarantee of the existing territory 
there would be no equality, since Russia would hardly have 
to co-operate in a German war within any foreseeable time, 
while the present world situation shows that Germany might 
at any moment have to help Russia in the defence of her 
eastern frontier. Moreover, the Tsar's remark that he ' must 
keep the French on a string ' leads to the conclusion that 
there can now be no question of a territorial guarantee which 
would make Russia a co-guarantor of the Peace of Frankfurt. 

" His Majesty the Emperor has therefore given express 
orders that the passage in His Majesty's note deaHng with 
Denmark is intended * of course for your purely private 
guidance.' His Majesty added (I quote his actual words): 
' Nothing must be done.' " 

19 



1903] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

To Count von Metternich, 

Ambassador in London. 

*' Berlin, Dec. 21, 1903. 

" Very Secret. 



" For some months, i.e.^ since a great naval war has been 
brought into the region of possibihty by the gradual aggrava- 
tion of the East Asiatic question, the idea of a neutrahzation 
of Denmark and of the entrances to the Baltic in Danish 
waters crops up here and there in the Press. 

" The well-known authority on international law and 
confidant of the Russian Government, Professor von Martens, 
has advocated this neutralization several times, most recently 
in the Kevue des deux Mondes of November 1 5 . High political 
circles in Denmark and the Danish papers are also discussing 
that question, either of their own motion or at the instigation 
of Russia. 

" A real neutralization of the Baltic would obviously only 
be attainable if the great Powers interested in the defence 
themselves took over the defence of the entrances — the 
Sound and the Great Belt. 

" There are many indications that this question will force 
itself on us sooner or later. Germany, which would only 
protect in any case a part of her commercial and maritime 
interests by the neutralization of the Baltic, should therefore 
consider in advance its advantages and disadvantages. In 
this matter the primary consideration is what would be the 
effect of the participation of Germany in the neutralization of 
the Baltic — a measure of a purely defensive character — on the 
political attitudes of England and the United States. 

" Neither State has, so to speak, anything to gain in the 
Baltic, and they could only be interested in tlie freedom of the 
entrances into this sea from the point of view that under 
certain circumstances they might find themselves in a position 
of aggressive intention against one of the Baltic Powers, 
Russia or Germany. The prospects of a conflict with England 
or America are indeed not the same for Russia and Germany. 
Germany is only indirectly interested in the great disputed 
questions of the day in the Far and the Near East, while 
Russia plays a premier role in both. Both Russia and her 

20 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON Bt)LOW [1903 

opponents must reckon with the possibihty of an early and 
sudden collision. Germany's co-operation in the neutraliza- 
tion of the Baltic might therefore be regarded and handled 
by the Anglo-Saxon Powers as assistance in the defence of the 
Russian coast rather than as an assurance of the security of the 
German coast. Without a certain degree of clearness as to 
the possible repercussion of Germany's co-operation in the 
closing of the Baltic, it is not possible to judge the opportune- 
ness of measures in many other respects desirable. I there- 
fore beg you to make a reasoned statement on the question : 
Whether Germany's participation in the neutralization 
of the Baltic and the defence of the entrances to it from the 
side of (i) England and (2) America would be predominantly 
regarded as a practical means for German coastal defence, or 
as taking sides for Russia in the current questions in dispute, 
and what would be its eventual results. Wire reply." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Berlin, Sunday evening, Dec. 27, 1903. 



(( 



Secret. 



" I tender my humble thanks to Your Imperial and Royal 
Majesty for graciously forwarding the letter of His Majesty 
the Emperor Nicholas. ... I beg respectfully to attach a draft 
answer to the political part of the letter, together with the 
original. With the help of the exhaustive explanations which 
Your Majesty was gracious enough to give me recently, I 
have given mature consideration to the question during the 
Christmas holiday. 

" I think the surest way to avoid either being pushed up 
against England's naval artillery — needlessly, and to serve 
Russian ends — or giving any reasonable ground to the Tsar 
for dissatisfaction or mistrust, is to put upon the worthy King 
of Denmark the responsibility for the ' Project of the 
Scheme,' ^ demanded from us. This would also minimize 
the danger of the Russians making use of positive proposals 

^ The English words are used within quotation marks in the original. 

21 



1903] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

from our side to bring the Chinese to unconditional with- 
drawal by the spectre of a German-Russian understanding 
in case of a Russian naval war. I ask allowance for my 
not quite perfect English. 

" I have read with great interest Hinzpeter's letter, which 
I respectfully return. What a strange conjuncture that the 
Countess Korff-Schmising should pray to her ancestress. 
Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia, for the good Lutheran and 
Protestant Emperor ! But this is an indication of the states- 
man like wisdom with which Your Majesty, by patience and 
justice, has gradually been able to lead back the Catholic 
aristocracy, embittered by the Kulturkampf [the religious 
conflict] to the path of loyalty and patriotism. 

*' Lascelles ^ will on the first opportunity speak to Your 
Majesty with regard to his Royal Master's proposed visit. 
His Majesty King Edward will assuredly understand that Your 
Majesty, on account of the importance of your cure, cannot 
be in Berlin before May. In the present state of affairs I 
should regard a visit from King Edward in Berlin as useful. 
The state of feeling at home towards England has long been 
calmer, but the state of feeling in England is still agitated. If 
His Majesty wishes to make the visit — he must know his 
own people and be informed of public opinion, and he is not 
in the habit of affronting either needlessly — then this visit 
must be possible also from the English standpoint. In my 
humble opinion we have no political reason for evading this 
visit. The saying of the oldest, and in many respects the 
profoundest, of all philosophers, Heraclitus, that * things are 
in a state of constant flux ' (Trdva ^et) is also valid for the 
relations between States and nations. The moment may 
very well come for the English to recognize that their interest 
lies with us rather than with others. 

" The charming postcard with the stout drummer of my 
regiment has given me great pleasure. It is being nicely 
framed and will stand on my table. I thank Your Majesty 
for the kind remembrance. 

*' I hope with all my heart that Your Majesty and Her 
Majesty the Empress have had a good Christmas. The old 
year now coming to an end has brought Your Majesty hard 
work, heavy anxieties and many conflicts, but also uninterrupted 

^ Sir Frank Lascelles, British Ambassador in Berlin. 

22 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1903 

and reasonably rapid advance, with unfailing energy in the 
right direction. For some weeks in the year I suffered painful 
anxiety on account of my Emperor and Master, but our 
prayers were fully answered. I shall never forget our anxiety 
and distress before October 10, and the joy and gratitude 
after it. May God bless, protect and guide Your Majesty in 
the coming year and for many, many years to come ! " 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Count von Bulow. 

" Dec. 27, 1903. 

" ' Reflections ' as a basis for the letter to be written by 
the Tsar to the King of Denmark. 

'* The Tsar writes that Your Excellency might set down 
some notes ; in your draft that fact will be ignored ! It 
would not do, and would annoy him and inspire him with 
mistrust. The answer must therefore be conceived as if I 
were submitting to him extracts on the basis oi proposals o 
the ' Danish ' papers which he might use as a foundation for a 
letter to the King which the King expects from him. To the 
latter I would write that the Tsar will get into communication 
with him himself and write to him about the matter. 

" This question of Danish neutrality must be energetically 
pursued as being mainly in the interest of Russia, whom we are 
helping, out of kindness, as an ' honest broker.' But in 
reality it is from the military standpoint a vital question for us. 
It means doubling our strength in war if we can rely upon 
Denmark. For it is undeniable that England — secretly — is 
working at high pressure to isolate us. The essentially 
ridiculous Treaties of Arbitration always have the advantage 
of concealing or developing budding friendships, and giving 
forth a halo-Hke semblance of success which deceives the mob ; 
as many countries happen not to be our friends, the intention 
is clear that we should be gradually isolated so that we can 
then be destroyed by them with a few hard blows ! And 
without Denmark that is easy. 

' The draft reply, which begins about Nihilism and anarchists 

23 



<(' 



1903] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

instead of about the Danish question, is not practical. These 
people — all the more because they are in evidence in Russia 
at the moment — should in no case be paraded before His 
Majesty. And as for co-operation against them, this phrase 
is so horribly hackneyed by its regular use in letters, notes, 
and your speeches, that it has lost all meaning. All the more 
that you, since your energetic attempt to secure a stronger 
attitude of the governments in this question — on the occasion 
of the murder of King Humbert — are obliged to see year 
after year go by without the slightest result in this matter. On 
the contrary, we have to put up with an officially recognised 
colony of anarchists in Berlin for the sake of the Russians, in 
order to lighten for the ' Little Father's ' police agents their 
task of watching them! Therefore we may still spare our 
fine phrase. When you have laid before me the first order 
for a mass execution of these rascals, then I shall admit some 
ground for the above-mentioned phrase, but not till then. 

*' We must indeed accept the situation as it is. From 
Alvensleben's^ really excellent report of yesterday it is quite 
clear that there is not to be war for the present. For England 
has clearly and formally refused the Japs the necessary money, 
and has bought under their very noses the Chilean ships that 
they wanted to have, so that they should not become arrogant 
through naval superiority and pick a quarrel. ^ Therefore 
the Japs^ cannot now attack without the sure prospect of 
disaster. Delay can only help the Russians ; they continually 
acquire more troops and ships by land and sea, and will in time 
gain so much the advantage that, although it might now be 
doubtful or difficult, war will be undertaken by them in the 
future with a steadily increasing prospect of easy success. 
Therefore there are general miHtary-political reasons, partly 
of a local nature, which will prevent war. 

^ Count von Alvensleben, German Ambassador in St. Petersburg. 

* Here the Emperor shows he was badly informed. The purchase of the Chilean 
ships by England was regarded by the Japanese as a friendly act, preventing Russia 
from obtaining them. King Edward VII had acted as arbitrator in a dispute 
between Chile and Argentina as to the line of the Andes frontier. The two Republics 
were preparing for war, and two powerful battleships had just been built in England 
for Chile. Under King Edward's award, the Republics were to cease all armaments 
and dispose of their new ships. Japan secured by purchase two Italian-built ships 
and renamed them the Nishin and Kasuga. Russia was trying to purchase the 
English-built ships, but the British Government exercised its right of purchase and they 
were taken into our Navy as the Belleisk and the Superb. F. W. 

' Thus abbreviated in the original. 

24 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON Bt)LOW [1903 

" If enough docks are built to accommodate damaged 
Russian ships in an emergency, then in time sufficient troops 
would be concentrated in the Far East to make impossible 
any reverse at present foreseeable. Then the Russians will 
take Korea, perhaps Peking also, whether others like it or not. 
It is also to the interest of England that this latent possibility of 
war should continue and no great war arise out of it ; that 
also keeps the Japs back. And since America has no spare 
dollars for them they can do nothing unless they risk a coup de 
tete, which is always possible, but this need not be considered 
in connection with the present political situation. 

" The foregoing provides evidence that Russia can never 
use us in order to make //j, as being in union with her, the 
means of bringing the Japs to ' withdraw.' They are 
' withdrawing ' just ' so ' and for the reasons given above, 
or they will ' attack ' as also above stated. Negotiation on 
the treatment of the neutrality of Denmark which allows us 
to seem equally interested with Russia does not change the 
Japanese tactics. 

" How we stand with the Kussians can be estimated exactly 
by every half-baked politician in the world ever since Wies- 
baden. Anyone who has read our own and the Russian 
Press attentively — and it is possible to read between the lines 
— will not for one moment doubt that we shall not be hostile 
to the Russians in their Eastern Asiatic conflict. 

" I recollect England's attempts from 1900 to 1902 to 
play us off against Russia in Manchuria, and the very clear 
refusal which that attempt met, and the check administered to 
them by your masterly reflections in the Reichstag. The facts 
are quite sufficient for an experienced politician. Never since 
'97 — Kiao-chau — have we left Russia in doubt that we will 
protect her rear in Europe should she intend an essay in high 
politics in Eastern Asia which might lead to warlike develop- 
ments (with the intention of reheving our eastern frontier 
from the frightful pressure and threat of the Russian armed 
masses !) Thereupon Russia took Port Arthur, and, relying 
upon us^ removed her ¥\tttfrom the Baltic, thus exposing herself 
to us by sea. At Danzig in '01 and at Reval in '02 the same 
assurance was repeated, with the result that whole Russian 
divisions are being and were removed from Russian Poland 
and from European Russia to Asia. That would not have 
happened if the Governments had not come to an agreement ! 

25 



1903] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

That is understood by the stupidest Japanese or British 
Capman.^ Therefore the "" well-injormed'' ktiotv exactly how we 
stand with the Russians ; for that, no threats are necessary ! 
We already know where we are^ the Japs included, and Copen- 
hagen makes no difference. The miserable little squadron 
which we maintain in the Gulf of Pechili tells the same tale ; 
it is eloquent enough to any military politician. Too weak to 
be intended for help or feared as an enemy. 

*' Since His Majesty the 'Emperor himself lays the greatest 
stress on the secrecy of the eventful arrangements concerning 
the guarantee of Danish neutrality, there is no reason to 
suppose that he will injure them or will allow them to be 
divulged by his Government. With regard to England, 
there is no reason for any anxiety about her hearing of the 
matter. And even if she did hear of it, it would not be a bad 
thing, since she has often in the past made ready for this 
emergency, and His Majesty would indeed be grateful to us if 
we took care that his dear old papa-in-law \Schwiegerpapd\ 
was protected from all unpleasantness ! " 



^ A slang word equivalent to " duflPer." 

26 



II 

THE YEAR 1904 



II 

THE YEAR 1904 

NOTE. 

The following extract from TAe Amual Register (Longmam) fot 1904 
will help us to understand better some of the allusions in the corre- 
spondence for this year : 

The desire of the German Emperor to cultivate friendly relations 
with England, notwithstanding the proceedings of his Government, 
was manifested by the accession of Germany in June to the arrange- 
ments made under the Anglo-French Agreement as to Egypt ; by the 
hearty reception which he gave shortly after to King Edward during his 
visit to Kiel, and by the visit of the German Fleet to Plymouth. In July 
an arbitration agreement, similar to that which had been concluded 
with France, was signed between Great Britain and Germany ; and the 
demand of the German Colonial Society and the Pan-German Congress 
for the vindication of Germany's " commercial and political rights 
in Morocco " in view of the agreement concluded with regard to that 
country between England and France, and for securing " a German 
naval base " on the Moroccan coast, met with no response from the 
German Government. 

But as regards the Far East the German Emperor openly favoured 
a policy of Russian and German aggrandisement at whatever cost to 
British trade and industry. When the 'Petropavlovsk was sunk he sent 
a telegram of condolence, proclaiming that " Russian mourning was 
German mourning " ; and when the Viborg regiment of infantry, 
of which he was the honorary colonel, was despatched to the war he 
telegraphed to its commander congratulating it on its prospect of meeting 
the enemy and having the " honour of fighting for the Fatherland," 
and expressing his wishes for its success. When the Russian Fleet 
put to sea from Port Arthur on June 23, its object was manifestly to make 
for the German harbour of Kiao-chau, where it could be dismantled 
and be again at the disposal of Russia after the war, that being the only 
means of saving it from destruction by the Japanese. 

In the province of Shantung, too, Germany's scheme of assuming 
a position similar to that of Russia in Manchuria had been partly carried 
out, though the Russian reverses had prevented her from completing 
it. She had secured railway and mining monopolies there and an 
extensive postal system of her own, and there were upwards of 500 
German officials, professors, and traders in the province. Even in 
Chifu, its treaty port, the harbour-master and the Imperial Chinese 
postmaster were both Germans. 

29 



II 

THE YEAR 1904 

To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, Monday morning, Jan. 4, 1904. 

" I have considered again and again Your Imperial and 
Royal Majesty's letter to the Emperor. At this moment 
the world situation is so tense that every word from Your 
Majesty doubtless falls with immense weight into the scales 
when war and peace are in the balance After once again 
reading Your Majesty's letter, I am firmly convinced that it 
will awaken suspicion in the Tsar and the impression that 
we want to encourage him to war at a moment when he 
appears to be hesitating before the decision. 

" With all his friendship for Your Majesty, the Emperor 
Nicholas is timid and distrustful at the moment. Moreover, 
he will often have heard how his grandfather, the Emperor 
Alexander II, was in his time urged on to war with Turkey 
by Berlin, a war from which Russia in the end reaped nothing 
but heavy losses and the strengthening of Nihilism in the 
interior. I fear that the passage relating to Eastern Asia in 
Your Majesty's letter will startle the Tsar. This danger will 
be avoided if Your Majesty, in place of the passage put in 
red brackets in the draft, which I again return, were to write 
somewhat as follows . . . ^ 



*' We can this evening send a second messenger to Saint 
Petersburg and simultaneously telegraph to Alvensleben not 
to give to the Tsar Your Majesty's letter sent off by the first 
messenger this morning, but to substitute the letter which 
the second messenger brings." 

^ Bulow's emendation is not given. 

31 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

To THE Emperor William II. 

'* Berlin, Jan. 8, 1904. 

" I have the honour to lay before Your Imperial and Royal 
Majesty the enclosed document which the Russian Ambassa- 
dor Count Osten-Sacken handed to me this evening. 

" In this document complaints are made of false rumours 
which are being spread in the Far East with respect to the 
aims of Russian policy. Referring to earlier Russian com- 
muniques, it was pointed out that it was a mistake to suppose 
that Russia intended to cut across the commercial and econ- 
omic policy of the Powers in China and to deprive them of 
the advantages acquired by virtue of existing treaties with 
China in those areas occupied by Russian troops. 

" Russia's chief preoccupation was naturally the protec- 
tion of her fundamental political interests arising out of her 
territorial contiguity with China, and especially her great 
railway. She had not yet succeeded in assuring this pro- 
tection by agreement with China on account of the ill-will of 
the Chinese Government. But Russia declared that at the 
present time, and without anticipating definite regulation in 
the future, she had no intention whatever of hindering the 
Powers in the enjoyment of their proper rights and privileges. 

" Count Osten-Sacken expressed his hope for the main- 
tenance of peace. According to his information from St. 
Petersburg, those in authority desired, if it were possible, to 
avoid war. Among other evidence, he stated that the Russian 
Secretary of Embassy in London, Poklevsky, who passed 
through here yesterday on the way to his post, had been 
commissioned in St. Petersburg to say in London, where 
he had many social connections, that Russia had none but 
peaceful intentions. In the view of those in authority 
in St. Petersburg, a war in Eastern Asia was not in the interest 
of Russia, since it would paralyse Russian participation 
in European affairs. 

" Incidentally Count Osten-Sacken remarked that the 
English Press was agitated in tone but that the English 
Government was pacific and trying to do everything possible 
for the maintenance of peace. Considering the peaceful 
disposition of His Majesty the Emperor Nicholas, and of 

32 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

the Russian Government, the only danger really lay in public 
opinion in Japan, which was being artificially worked up 
by the Japanese Press. It is to be hoped that the Japanese 
Government, which has more sense than the Japanese 
population, will succeed in calming the agitation. The 
Russian Government on their side will exercise all prudence 
and discretion in order to facilitate the task of the Japanese 
Government. 

" The document submitted by Count Osten-Sacken, which 
he states is being sent to aU the great Powers, reports a 
retreat of the Russian Government on the Manchurian 
question, Russia conceding to all the Powers an important 
part of what the Japanese had hitherto vainly demanded 
in respect of Manchuria. Probably this decision of the 
Russian Government is due in part on the one side to the 
steadily accentuated attitude of England, and on the other 
to the announcement of the American Government stating 
that American Consulates would be set up in Manchuria." 



Marginal Notes of the Emperor to this Report. 



a 



Donnerwetter ! This is really too strong tobacco ! 
So the poor Chinaman is responsible for all the trouble ! 
.... From the above exposition one really cannot see how 
these men, overflowing as they are with love of peace, 
can really have brought things to such a pitch as to be on the 
brink of war ! And no one — not even the ' Little Father ' — 
has approached the Hague Tribunal ! . . . 

'* This is what is called ' recuier pour mieux sauter ' ! 
If the Japanese view — as expressed by Hayashi — keeps 
the upper hand, then all the twaddle does not help Russia. 
Then the Japs will come forward and make war for the 
sufficiently clear reason that, as he says, now is ' the last 
favourable opportunity' If the Japanese Government succeed 
in pacifying the war temper, and do not even send troops 
across to Korea, then Japan has in ejfect lost Korea, for she has 
missed her '' last favourable opportunity.' Russia then appears 
indeed to be the one ^yielding ' or * drawing backy but by further 
postponement she will become steadily stronger and her 
superiority less in doubt and Japan's prospects steadily less 

35 C 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

favourable. After the threats and fuss and preparation 
for war, I should see in a renunciation by the Japanese of 
an expedition to Korea and in demobilisation without 
fighting, at the moment when Russia is apparently drawing 
backy a serious Japanese reverse, and a great moral success 
for the Russians. For, one might say, if the Japanese 
in the present favourable moment do not do anything to the 
Russians, when Russia, as can be clearly seen, is not prepared, 
then they will certainly not risk anything when after months 
or years Russia has been able to restore her superiority. 
That is to say, the Japanese are before everything else 
Asiatics — the Yellow Race, v/hose leaders they aim at being 
against the Whites — ^morally dead. Therefore — ^provided 
that the Japs do nothing and disarm — the momentary 
* withdrawal ' of the Russians is perhaps a great moral success ! 
Especially in the eyes of the Asiatics, who are very important 
for Russia ! The consequence is that wherever Russia 
may direct her attention — Afghanistan, Persia, Tibet — 
as soon as she expresses her wishes, the rulers in those countries 
will reflect : ' Japan, although supported by England^ does 
not dare to affront the Muscovites, therefore England alone 
will not ! ' 

" The note should be answered in this sense. 

"William I.R. 

" P.S. — My admiration of * the prudence and discretion,' 
of the Russians is to be particularly stressed ; and it should 
be indicated that the points cited are particularly suitable 
for the Hague Tribunal." 



To Baron von Holstein, 

Reports Councillor^ of the Foreign Office. 

"Berlin, Jan. 15, 1904. 

" The * previous question ' to be raised before answering 
your enquiry is whether you think war or peace in the Far East 

^ The actual heading to the letter is An den vortragenden Rat im Auswdrtigen Amt 
von Holstein. Vortragenden Rat means literally " Reporting Councillor." In point of fact, 
Baron von Holstein was at this time, and until his death in 191 1, the "presiding genius" 
of the Foreign Office. '^7^ 

34 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

more advantageous to us. The demarche inspired by you 
in Tokyo would, so far as I can judge, rather diminish the 
chances of a conflict. Moreover, we cannot very well, 
as regards Japan, refer to the very secret and purely personal 
telegram of His Majesty to the Tsar. His Majesty has no 
intention of putting himself forward as the champion of the 
white race against the yellow race, but His Majesty rightly 
desires that, however the dice may fall in the East, his good 
relationship with the Tsar and our diplomatic relations with 
Russia shall emerge uninjured from the conflict." 



Memorandum. 

" Berlin, Jan. 16, 1904. 

" Very Secret. 

*' His Majesty is in complete agreement with me that 
for the moment we should maintain reserve with regard to 
the Russo-Japanese conflict, and, above all, avoid anything 
that might particularly awaken a suspicion in Russia that we 
are urging war. v Russia and the Russian Tsar must, whatever 
may be the course of the present East Asiatic crisis, be 
convinced that they have in the German Emperor and in 
the German Government a loyal and safe neighbourr^ 

" His Majesty stated to-day that it seemed to him not 
impossible that Russia might seek our support in one form 
or another if circumstances became more critical. Since 
in politics one must be prepared for all eventualities, he 
asked me to set down my views on the question of what 
counter-demands we could make in such a case. 

" The earlier I am able to submit to His Majesty an 
aide-memoire on these lines the better. It should not be 
too long and should not be concerned with special stipulations. 
It must be drawn up in short clear propositions. It should 
not give the impression that we primarily or in principle 
fear an understanding or transaction with Russia. But 
it may well be asked why we cannot engage ourselves on 
the side of Russia without binding and adequate under- 
takings from the Russian side. It is important eventually 
to find a formula for this which will not arouse distrust 
in the Tsar, or give the Russian Government occasion 

33 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

to contemplate an understanding d tout prix with Japan, 
England, and America, or further concessions to France. 
The main point is the formulation of those guarantees which 
we should eventually ask from Russia." 



Memorandum. 

" Berlin, Feb. 14, 1904. 
" Secret. 

" His Majesty the Emperor told me yesterday he was 
deeply disappointed by the Tsar's answer to his letter. He 
had hoped that the warmth of his letter would induce the 
Tsar to turn the whole of his power against Japan. Instead 
of that the attitude of the Emperor Nicholas still remains 
as pusillanimous as before; he seems not to want to fight, 
and it is not impossible that he might leave Manchuria to 
the Japs in the end without a blow or with sHght resistance. 
Such a turn of affairs must under all circumstances be 
prevented. I replied that the surest means of securing 
the conclusion by the Russians of a hasty and contemptible 
[faukn] peace with Japan would be imprudent German 
encouragement addressed to the Tsar. If the Tsar realizes 
His Majesty's anxiety that he should set his teeth in Japan, 
that will induce him to let go immediately. 

*' His Majesty replied that I might be right from the 
statesman's point of view. He, however, had the sentiments 
of a sovereign, and as such the ridicule to which the Emperor 
Nicholas exposed himself by his flabby procedure wounded 
him. By it the Tsar was compromising all great sovereigns. 
In the interest of the prestige of monarchy something must 
be done to make the Emperor Nicholas act with more 
decision. I replied that His Majesty's duty was only to 
maintain his own honour and the interest of the Russian 
and German nation. For other rulers and nations the 
German Emperor was not responsible. The Emperor 
Wilhelm I and Frederick the Great would not have bothered 
their heads about the others. It was a matter of perfect 
indifference to the Great King what Louis XV and Peter III 
might do if he was only certain of his own advantage. His 
Majesty expressed the opinion that times were different 

36 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtJLOW [1904 

now. In those days there were no Socialists and Nihilists 
to reap advantage from the folly of princes. By his weak- 
kneed behaviour, the Tsar was injuring the monarchical 
principle. He should go to Moscow, summon Holy Russia 
to battle, mobilize the whole army, etc. I said His Majesty 
should leave it to the Tsar to decide whether he would do 
that. Princes like advice even less than other men. Too 
much advice would not turn the Emperor Nicholas in the 
direction desired, but would annoy him and make him 
distrustful. 

" His Majesty agreed that my arguments might be applicable 
from the political standpoint. But I overlooked an enormous 
danger which he, as a sovereign, was better able to appreciate 
than diplomats, who ordinarily reckoned with the present, 
namely the Yellow Peril. This was the greatest danger 
threatening the white race, Christendom, and European 
civilization. If the Russians retreated further before the 
Japanese, the yellow race would be in Moscow or Posen 
in twenty years' time. When I interposed that I did not 
believe in this danger, and that in any case it affected all the 
other World-Powers, Russia, England, America, and France, 
more seriously than ourselves. His Majesty insisted on his 
view, which I should put down in black-and-white and place 
in the archives. It was shameful for England to leave -^ 

her Russian ally in the lurch, and for England and the United 
States to sympathize with Japan. We must draw the Tsar's 
attention to the magnitude of the Yellow Peril, which he had 
not yet grasped. I replied that this would only result in 
the Tsar's asking us to give him armed assistance against 
a peril which seemed to us so serious. That would entail 
war with England. 

His Majesty the Emperor asked what issue I imagined 
for the dangerous situation created by the weakness of the 
Tsar, the perfidy of the English, and the self-seeking of 
the French. I told His Majesty that we were concerned 
only with avoiding two things : first, injury to our relations 
with Russia through the war. To this end we must avoid 
everything that might make us appear in Russia as untrust- 
worthy or malicious or treacherous neighbours. His 
Majesty also should do nothing that might estrange the 
Tsar personally. Secondly, we must carefully avoid allowing 
ourselves to be pushed by the Russians into an attitude 

37 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

of hostility towards Japan, or, indeed, towards England. 
We should avoid both risks best by cultivating a calm 
attitude." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, Feb, 18, 1904. 

'* I have the honour humbly to inform Your Imperial 
and Royal Majesty that the movement secretly inspired by 
us in the United States of America for the neutralization 
of China — ^with the exception of Manchuria — during the 
present war has so far succeeded, and that our co-operation 
has made a good impression. For the time being an end 
has been put, we hope, to the reports repeatedly cropping 
up that Germany wishes to use the present conflict for selfish 
purposes. 

" Moreover, Your Majesty's Ambassador in Peking, 
whom I specially charged to inform the Chinese Government 
of our successful demarche on her behalf, and to impress 
upon them the importance of a reciprocal attitude, reports 
as follows : ' The Ministers of the Waiwupu ask me to 
express to the Imperial Government their profound thanks 
for the steps taken for the benefit of China, and to give 
assurance that China will make every effort to maintain a 
strictly neutral attitude in accordance with the Imperial 
edict issued yesterday.' 

" Your Majesty's Ambassador in Washington, under 
date of the 13 th in St., was able to report on the matter as 
follows : ' The Secretary of State informs me that in addition 
to Italy, Austria-Hungary, and England, France also has to-day 
agreed to the American communication in principle. Mr. 
Hay admits that Delcasse made this pronouncement through 
the French Ambassador here only after enquiry in Petersburg, 
and that Russia, as Japan has already done, will accept the 
American proposal ' — the final agreement of Russia is, 
in the opinion of Your Majesty's Ambassador in St. Petersburg, 
shortly to be expected. Under date of the 1 5 th inst., evening. 
Count Alvensleben reports as follows : ' The effect of 
the explanation which I have just given Count Lamsdorff 

38 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

with regard to our attitude to the American proposal was 
evidently favourable. I think that I succeeded in completely 
removing the remnants of distrust. Count LamsdorfF thanked 
me and expressed his satisfaction that Germany had kept 
the political aspect of the question quite separate. Admiral 
Alexeiev had, as Count LamsdorfF confidentially informed 
me, expressed himself without hesitation against the neutraliza- 
tion of China on the supposition that Manchuria, the area 
of the eventual war zone, and the railways would be excluded, 
so long as this neutraHty w^as conscientiously and correctly 
observed by China and Japan. The American Government 
will agree to the foregoing as soon as His Majesty the Emperor 
has notified his approval, presumably to-morrow.' " 



To THE Emperor William IL 

" Berlin, Feb. 26, 1904. 

" I should like first of all to say to Your Imperial and 
Royal Majesty how deeply the death of the little Prince in 
Kiel has distressed me. May God console and strengthen 
the Royal parents, who love their children so devotedly 
and will be broken-hearted. 

" I tender respectful and hearty thanks for Your Majesty's 
gracious note. I am also very grateful for Leuthold's^ visit. 
I shall be obliged to take care for a few days as I have caught 
a bad cold and am very hoarse. If Szogyenyi comes again 
I shall tell him that it is the fault of his friends of the B.T.^ 

" The news which Your Majesty was kind enough to 
give me interested me extremely. I fully share the view 
that the English will leave no opportunity unused. That 
this opinion is also shared in French circles appears from the 
enclosed illustration from yesterday's Charivari. Charivari 
thinks that France's participation in the Russo-Japanese 
War will induce the English to raise their terms higher. 

" After the outbreak of war, the most immediate danger 
was that England would instigate unrest in China and then 
establish herself as the protector of world-commerce on 

^ The Emperor's physician. ^ The Berliner Tageblatt. 

39 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

the Yang-Tse. This danger, indeed, is not quite removed, 
but was pushed into the background after the Americans 
succeeded in securing the acceptance of the idea of a neutraliza- 
tion of Ciiina under the protection of all the Powers. The 
English have tried in vain to thwart an understanding on 
neutralization by proposing that not the whole of Manchuria, 
but only its eastern portion, should be regarded as a war 
zone. This limitation, which Russia would never have been 
able to accept, found, however, no support. It is to be hoped 
that the Chinese will not give the English and French an 
excuse for intervention by attacks on foreigners. Apart 
from this eventuality, the Russo-Japanese War, so long 
as it remains localized, will help the English only to take 
possession of Tibet, an eventuality in which nobody is 
directly interested except Russia. 

''It is quite a diiferent matter if there is a conflagration 
in the Balkans. The English hope that in that case as many 
of the Continental Powers as possible will be drawn in. 
Reports from different quarters state that the English actually, 
through their official organs, are inciting the Bulgars to war. 
Nevertheless, it seems that the latter have no such intention, 
because they fear that Russia will make them pay for it at 
the first opportunity if they go to war at a moment so un- 
favourable for Russia as the present is. If the direct negotia- 
tions now pending between the Sultan and the Bulgarian 
Government really lead to agreement, there is a possibility 
that we shall not see a Balkan war this summer. 

" Meanwhile nervousness has certainly increased among 
all the Mediterranean peoples, because all of them have to 
reckon with the eventuality of war. When the newspapers 
announced a week ago that Spain meant to strengthen 
the garrisons and fortifications on the Balearic Islands, the 
Canary Islands, at Ceuta, Ferrol, etc., I enquired by telegraph 
of Radovitz, Monts, and Wedel who had put this flea in the 
ear of the Spanish Government. None of the three Ambas- 
sadors could find anything out, and Radovitz announced 
that the Spanish Government officially declared that no 
foreign Government had even raised the question how 
Spanish neutrality should be maintained. A few days 
later Radovitz announced that the neutrality and defence 
question had been exaggerated and made the most of for the 
benefit of the Stock Exchange. Although I have not yet 

.40 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

secured the necessary evidence, I am inclined to think that 
the Spanish Ministers had other than Stock Exchange 
reasons for the rather insufficient measures they have taken. 
However, all questions of occupation and defence of islands 
and strategical points on the coast will become acute only 
if the Balkan War breaks out. The two factors on which 
the maintenance of peace depends are the Sultan and Prince 
Ferdinand. The Sultan can be influenced by fear. Prince 
Ferdinand by vanity. He has gradually succeeded in obtain- 
ing the appointment of Bulgarian diplomatic agents in St. 
Petersburg, Vienna, Rome, Paris, and London. He now 
ardently desires that Your Majesty should permit him to 
accredit an agent in Berlin also. I think that if Your Majesty's 
Consul-General in Sofia were commissioned to tell the 
Prince that if an understanding with the Porte was now reached 
Your Majesty would, in acknowledgment of this proof 
of pacific intentions, be glad to receive a Bulgarian agent 
in Berlin, then this prospect would have a decisive effect 
on the Prince's attitude. The negotiations between Constan- 
tinople and Sofia are reported by Marschall ^ to have now 
entered the decisive stage, and the conclusion of a protocol 
or the breaking-off of negotiations may be expected in the 
next few days. May I telegraph to Consul-General von 
Below in the above sense ? " 



To THE Emperor William IL 

" Berlin, March 23, 1904. 

" Secret. 



" Monts unobtrusively touched on the idea in conversation 
with Tittoni of a meeting between Your Majesty and Loubet. 
Tittoni had at first taken up this suggestion with enthusiasm, 
and told Monts that Lanza ^ would be commissioned to 

^ Baron Marschall von Bieberstein, German Ambassador at Constantinople. 

2 Count Monts, German Ambassador in Rome ; Count di Lanza, Italian Am- 
bassador in Berlin. 

41 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

submit a proposal of this kind here But since then several 
days have gone by without anything being heard of Lanza. 
This evening Lanza was with me, but remained as dumb 
as a fish on the question of the visit. This silence on the 
part of the Italians plainly indicates that soundings are being 
taken from the Italian side first of all with Barrere, and 
that he has rejected the idea. Under these circumstances 
I would offer as my respectful opinion that Your Majesty 
should leave the question of the meeting in Naples alone 
and also maintain the fullest reserve if any allusion should 
be made to the matter from the other side. This obviates 
the possibility that the idea of a meeting of Your Majesty 
with the President of the French Republic might be publicly 
represented as of German origin. It would be different 
if His Majesty King Victor Emmanuel were to mention the 
question of a meeting of three to Your Majesty as a joint 
Italian-French proposal. 

*' I hope the sun is shining brighter over Naples than it 
seemed to do eight years ago when I had the good fortune 
to accompany Your Majesty in a snowstorm to Camalvoli." 



To Count Monts, 

" Ambassador in Rome. 



Berlin, March z6, 1904. 



" I have once more had a serious conversation with 
Count Lanza. The quintessence of my detailed explanation 
was that upon the attitude of the Italian Ministers, and still 
more of His Majesty King Victor Emmanuel, during Loubet's 
visit depended the continuance, after this visit, of the alliance 
between Italy and Germany. This is the point of view from 
which the whole affair must be considered. 

" I shall deal with the matter by word of mouth and in 
writing very seriously, and showing my concern for the 
future, without hard words or bitterness, as often as oppor- 
tunity offers. Your Excellency will probably also be in 
the position to work in the same sense." 

42 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

To THE Emperor William IL 

" Berlin, March 19, 1904. 

** His Majesty the King of Italy has asked me through 
Count Lanza whether he should bring Signor Tittoni, 
the Minister for Foreign Affairs, with him to Naples. I 
would venture to urge Your Majesty to answer in the affirm- 
ative, as in view of the forthcoming French visit, which is 
to be given as dramatic a setting as possible, it seems to me 
desirable that the importance of Your Majesty's visit from 
an Italian standpoint should be emphasized in the eyes of 
those people who judge tilings by their outward appearance. 

" His Majesty the King has asked also whether toasts 
are being delivered in Naples. To this question, also, 
I think an affirmative answer should be given, as the King 
in this case will not be able to avoid expressing himself 
amicably with reference to the Triple AlHance. ..." 



To VON Below-Rutzau, 

Consul-General in Sofia. 

" Berlin, March 27, 1904. 

'* Prince Ferdinand, who, as I note once more from your 
latest communication, approaches me with confidence, 
may depend upon it that his frankness will entail on him 
no annoyance or injury. In order to avoid the latter, I 
must, of course, use great prudence. My Most Gracious 
Master, who has followed the course of his regency with 
attention, had received the impression — I do not know 
whether it originated with himself or from outside sources — 
that His Royal Highness desired a European war as a means 
of attaining his ends. I only succeeded gradually and not 
without difficulty in repelling this suspicion, which might 
again arise if the idea occurred to the Emperor that it is 
desired to establish in advance his policy as regards the 
Straits. For Germany's topographically unfavourable and 
in many ways dangerous situation has the one advantage 

43 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

that we have no pignon sur la Miditerranee^ and can therefore 
pursue a more elastic policy on Mediterranean and allied 
questions than States lying nearer to that sea. Therefore 
the Russo-French Dual Alliance has never caused any anxiety 
to the German Government. We knew, indeed, that this 
alliance was based on the French side on an idea of aggression, 
but on the Russian side on considerations of defence only, 
for a strengthening of France would worsen Russia's own 
prospects of obtaining the Straits. France has an interest 
of many centuries' standing in the Straits and the Medi- 
terranean coasts of Asia Minor and Syria, the old 
crusading area. Russia is aware of that, and, in deference 
to her relations with France, has for a quarter of a century 
taken no steps with regard to the Straits. Russia also 
knows — and this is inherent in the nature of the affair — ^that 
it would be easier to disinterest Germany than France in 
the matter of the Straits. Yet I note in this connection 
that neither on this nor on any other political question, great 
or small, is there any arrangement between ourselves and 
Russia. We desire to keep our hands free, and, moreover, 
we are conscious that a German attempt to secure political 
interest in the Bagdad railway zone would be the surest 
means of bridging the deep chasm which has hitherto 
separated Russian and French Eastern policy. That this 
chasm persisted until our own time is evidenced by a state- 
ment made by the Minister Hanotaux to a foreign ambassador 
at the time of the Armenian disturbances : ' J'espere que la 
Russie ne va pas soulever la question des detroits^ pane que cela 
sera trop gros pour nous! M. Delcasse is no more Russophile 
than his predecessor — rather the contrary. Since M. 
Delcass6 has been at the helm the contours of the old 
Crimea group (France, England, Italy) have begun to disclose 
themselves with increasing clearness against the mists of 
the future. But M. Delcasse is in addition a constant and 
convinced enemy of Germany. 

" The Prince has described a German-French grouping 
as the ideal. For my part, I believe in Thiers's phrase : 
" II nefaut jamais dire : Jamais I " But I also think that it will not 
be long before the French nation — ^without taking account of 
single outstanding individuals — ceases to say ' Jamais I ' 
The Prince will be able to judge whether the psychological 
moment for a German-French rapprochement has come, 

44 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

when signs appear that French statesmen judge it to be 
possible and conceivable that Germany and France should 
mutually guarantee their territorial position. This guarantee 
is, as you know, the basic idea and the principal article of 
every defensive alliance. But I doubt whether His Royal 
Highness, though he has every physical reason to look 
forward to a long life, will ever see that psychological 
moment. 

" Under these circumstances it is disinterested advice 
if I tell the Prince that he will do well to cultivate carefully 
his relations with France, though retaining his freedom 
of action ; for there are conjunctures in the not distant 
future in which Bulgaria may be a valuable trump in the 
French game. This would be the case to a greater extent 
to-day if there was a conviction that the Bulgarian nation 
would follow their Prince against every enemy. But it 
is still too soon for that. Naturally the Prince's personal 
position will be more strongly established both at home 
and abroad with every crisis which is surmounted and with 
every increase of strength of Bulgaria. 

" But that leads me back to the idea that the Prince should 
not hurry the great decision. Those very factors, indeed, 
which might influence him to-day to adopt the idea of hurrying 
forward constitute the most dangerous hostile elements 
to his personal interests. Among these factors the most 
important is England, who is the most ruthless in urging 
him on, and is generally not ready to give her support later 
to the one she has so urged on. Perhaps Japan will be the 
next to experience this truth, should Russia prove the more 
steadfast fighter of the two. Then comes Italy, who is bored, 
and hankers after experience with the levity of youth. Finally 
France, whose light-hearted Balkan policy is explicable 
less by the interests of the Dual AlUance than by the desire 
to divert attention from Morocco, perhaps also by the idea 
that she will gain more in the Mediterranean area by the 
Crimean grouping than with Russia. 

*' These three Powers, representatives of an active policy, 
naturally wish to draw Bulgaria into their direction. But 
would any of them stand by Bulgaria if Russia, in order 
' to secure herself against attack from the South,' occupied 
Varna and Burgas ? The Prince is more competent to answer 
this question than I am. But we both know that on the 

45 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

Russian side such an occupation has repeatedly been 
considered. I believe, too, that Russian political thinking 
is more concerned with this than with a descent on Turkish 
territory in the Adrianople vilayet. For as the opponents 
of a Russian seizure of Constantinople make a firmer stand 
and make closer contacts with one another, Russian policy — 
at all events, official Russian policy — is driven to maintain 
a convenient janitor in the Sultan, who is not to be unnecessarily 
annoyed. Moreover, the occupation of Varna and Burgas 
would be an emphatic warning, a reductio ad ahsurdum of the 
Bulgarian activist policy, while on the other hand a Russian 
landing on Turkish territory would make the Bulgarian 
activist party even more unmanageable than was the case 
with the naval demonstration of last year. From the Russian 
standpoint, therefore, everything is in favour of the occupation 
of strategic points on the Bulgarian, not on Turkish, territory. 
Therefore, from the Prince's standpoint, it appears that, 
in so far as no support is to be expected from the activist 
Powers, the right course is not to annoy Russia and Austria 
at present. Neither of them are pleased as it is by the direct 
agreement between Bulgaria and Turkey. The Prince 
had obtained an important success in regard to concessions 
secured from the Sultan in Constantinople up till now. The 
whole agreement is endangered by the Petrow amendment, 
the basic motive of which was, I suspect, the General's wish 
to put Natschewitsch's achievements in the shade. The 
Sultan is being energetically influenced against it by powerful 
elements, and I am not acting on baseless supposition when 
I say that the Sultan may perhaps one fine day declare that 
he will no longer be bound to what he has hithero accepted. 
It is, for example, conceivable that in this case he would 
be granted more favourable conditions for the gendarmerie 
or some other reform question. 

" The question of the gendarmerie brings me back to 
Austria, who is the most exacting on this matter. If I 
sought to set the Prince's mind at rest with regard to Austrian 
intentions, I was far from making a thorough examination 
of the real mind of the Dual Monarchy. I only examined 
the matter of possibilities, and I cannot discover how, 
without the support of Hungary or against her wishes, 
Vienna can be induced to take steps leading eventually to 
an increase of the Slav dominions of Austria. The voice 

46 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

of Hungary is to-day stronger than ever in the counsels 
of the Dual Monarchy ; that has been proved recently in 
the matter of the Army language question. Plans may 
perhaps be made without Hungary, but their execution 
without Hungarian assent is inconceivable. 

*' To sum up, I believe that the Prince has nothing to 
fear from Austria. If the Austrian Heir Apparent should 
eventually place the satisfaction of Slav instincts more in 
the foreground, he would forthwith encounter the opposition 
of Hungary. And without Hungary, Austria will never 
be able to do much. 

" With Russia the question is less simple. Official 
Russia menaces the Prince if he goes forward, revolutionary 
Russia if he does nothing ; both, the official and the revolu- 
tionary elements, would gladly see Varna and Burgas in 
Russian hands. But, so long as the Japanese War lasts, 
Russia desires quiescence in the Balkans. Of this interval 
of quiescence the Prince should take full advantage to con- 
solidate the position of Bulgaria as a power to be reckoned 
with in the Balkans by concluding a convention with the 
Sultan on the basis of what is attainable. When she has 
won this firm position she can await the issue, which wiU, 
in my opinion, be in favour of Bulgaria." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Berlin, March 30, 1904. 

" On the 7th ult. the Pasha of Fez had the native agent 
(Mochalat) of a German firm put in prison, without first 
informing in writing our Consular representative, as in treaty 
and custom bound, of the impending arrest and of the reasons 
for it. The efforts of the Vice-Consul in Fez to secure 
from the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Abdelkrim ben Sliman, 
the release of the Mochalat were not only fruitless, but 
resulted in compulsion being put on the prisoner to renounce 
in writing his status as a Mochalat and therewith his right 
to protection. On the receipt of this news Baron von 
Mentzingen demanded from Abdelkrim ben Sliman in a note 
handed in on the 15th ult. the immediate release of the 

47 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

Mochalat and assurance against further proceedings. The 
Minister did not fulfil the demand, and, moreover, in spite 
of repeated pressure on the part of the Vice-Consul, evaded, 
with empty excuses, the further demand of Baron von 
Mentzingen that he should send an answer with the least 
possible delay to Tangier by the messenger bearing our 
remonstrances. The imprisoned Mochalat was made to 
suffer for the intervention of Your Majesty's Minister by 
being put for a time in chains and being removed from his 
former comparatively endurable prison to an infected cell. 

"Baron von Mentzingen only received Abdelkrim ben 
Sliman's reply by word of mouth from one of the repre- 
sentatives of the Sultan at Tangier on the 14th inst. The 
explanation was unsatisfactory in every respect. Without 
assigning any reason for the man's imprisonment, the Minister 
sought to justify himself by the untrue statement, easily contro- 
verted by Baron von Mentzingen, that the, incident was 
explicable by an error in the lists of German Mochalats 
communicated to the Moroccan Government by us. The 
refutation of this untruth by Your Majesty's Minister was 
so complete that the Sultan's representatives themselves 
admitted the justice of the plea that Abdelkrim ben Sliman 
made for the release of the prisoner. Whether their admission 
is effective and hastens success should not, however, be 
important at the present stage of the proceedings. The 
mere release of the Mochalat would no longer be sufficient 
under the given circumstances. 

" For a long time now the Shereefian Government has 
been trying to avoid all its obligations to us. In regard 
to this Baron von Mentzingen reports : 

" ' Abdelkrim ben Sliman has hardly answered our 
written suggestions for months past, and he has met the 
verbal representations of the Vice-Consul either with promises 
or with references to German friendship and the difficult 
situation.' 

*' This system of passive resistance and wilful obstruction 
is being pursued by the Sultan's Government recently 
in every case, whether in relation to material questions, 
such as money payments, or on questions of giving satisfaction 
for outbreaks of fanaticism and hatred of the foreigner. 
Nevertheless, we have until now shown patience and con- 
sideration to the Moroccan Government because of its 

48 




The Emperor William II, 
A photograph taken about 1905. 



[E.N. A. 



P-4S 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

internal and external difficulties. That this cannot go on 
is made evident by the stubborn resistance of Abdelkrim 
ben Sliman in the question now at issue, in which he could 
satisfy our just demand without any material sacrifice. The 
non-fulfilment of our requests and the exacerbation of the 
conflict through pressure of the worst sort on the imprisoned 
Mochalat are characteristic of the present frame of mind 
of influential persons at the Sultan's Court. The frankly 
hostile attitude of Abdelkrim ben Sliman to Germany 
suggests that the Minister, whose French sympathies are 
well known, is being strengthened in his insolent resistance 
to us from outside. Our political and economic position 
in Morocco, especially in relation to the other Powers 
concerned there, though I do not presume to dictate, make 
it indispensable, I think, to break this resistance, and to 
insist on full satisfaction for the bad behaviour of Abdelkrim 
ben Sliman, contravening our treaty rights, and openly 
scorning our just claims. 

** Your Majesty's Minister in Tangier has also indicated 
it as imperative to secure quick and sufficient expiation for 
the flagrant breach of treaty in Fez. Demands for satis- 
faction should include, beside the immediate release of the 
imprisoned Mochalat, the grant of reasonable compensation 
to himself and to other persons affected by his imprison- 
ment, and the severe punishment of the Shereefian officials 
implicated in the affair. By such limitation of our demands, 
and by excluding all economic demands from the legal 
case at issue, we should best avoid any attempts at inter- 
vention by the Three Powers. Perhaps, however, it might 
seem feasible to secure the final Hquidation of our demands 
against Morocco, which have long been pending, within 
the framework of our procedure in the Fez incident. The 
course of the negotiations so far seems to show that it is 
nearly certain that the Shereefian Government will not take 
kindly to a rapid satisfaction of our demands. On the other 
hand, it is urgent to maintain respect towards us. To obtain 
a quick solution, we should now have to back up further 
negotiations with a show of military force. I venture, there- 
fore, with the profoundest respect, to draw attention to the fact 
that in an earlier case at the beginning of 1899, the despatch, 
graciously commanded by Your Majesty, of Your Majesty's 
training-ships Stosch and Charlotte, together with the small 

49 D 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

cruiser Bussard, brought the Shereefian Government to make 
rapid amends, and helped the complete success of our 
demands, up to that time unattainable. 

" I venture most humbly to beg Your Imperial and Royal 
Majesty to deign to grant the favour of sending to Tangier 
one of Your Majesty's ships in support of our demands 
and remonstrances against the Shereefian Government. 
In the case of your agreement with this proposal, I shall 
not fail to ask Your Majesty's authorization to get into touch 
with the head of the Admiral Staff of the Navy with this end 



m view." 



Memorandum. 

*' Berlin, April 6, 1904. 

*' I told the English Ambassador I had invited him in order 
to assure him that the health of His Majesty the Kaiser was 
excellent. The announcements to the contrary appearing 
in French journals and reproduced in the English Press were 
completely without foundation. Sir Frank seemed to have 
no idea that the English reports were French fabrications. 
He repeated his regret at the attitude of The Times in the matter, 
and promised to use his influence to prevent the English 
papers from publishing false reports of His Majesty's health. 
He will try to find out if this news can have travelled by way 
of Malta. 

" In the course of further conversation with the English 
Ambassador I laid great stress on my conviction that the 
Eastern Asiatic War would remain localized. We should not 
think of overstepping our strict and loyal neutrality. So long 
as we stood in readiness — as we certainly shall do — all rumours 
of a renewal of the Eastern Asiatic Triple Alliance were empty 
chatter ; not only was His Majesty's will decisive in this 
question, but also the desire and public opinion of the whole 
of Germany. France would not move under any circum- 
stances. Lascelles listened to this part of my explanation 
with great attention and sympathy. 

*' Sir Frank told me that the Anglo-French Agreement 
will soon be concluded. Lord Lansdowne had written to 

50 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

him that he relied on his making it understood here that it 
was not directed against Germany. I replied that we had 
not thought so. It was desirable for us that England and 
France should come to an understanding over a series of 
existing differences, since that made for world peace. 

" Lascelles thinks that feeling in England is less bitter 
against us than it was a few months ago. The moment 
would come when people in England would once more be 
convinced that Germany and England had no ground for 
mistrust and snarling. The next Premier would probably 
be the Duke of Devonshire, or perhaps Lord Spencer. 
Lord Rosebery, or possibly Grey, would be Foreign 
Minister. Recent articles in English papers about the 
aggressive intentions of Germany against England, Lascelles 
described as foolish." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, April 9, 1904. 

'* The Turco-Bulgar Agreement was signed yesterday 
evening, and therewith a notable step was taken towards 
the pacification for the time being of the Balkan Peninsula. 
The Sultan, like Prince Ferdinand, received from outside 
sources during the course of the negotiations advice calculated 
to thwart the understanding between the two. In particular 
the Sultan asked for a military convention with its point 
directed against Austria, while the Prince claimed the 
immediate extension of the Macedonian reform scheme 
to the vilayet of Adrianople. Yesterday the Sultan told 
Your Majesty's Ambassador that he had decided, in accord- 
ance with our advice, to allow the clause about the military 
convention to be struck out. On the other hand. Prince 
Ferdinand had a severe struggle, not only possibly with 
himself, but with his Prime Minister, General Petrow, 
who threatened resignation, to limit his demands as we 
had recommended. 

'* He says frankly that his desire not to be at variance with 

51 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

Your Majesty's intentions was decisive in his case. The 
Prince had been informed, in accordance with Your Majesty's 
decision, that Your Majesty would be disposed to receive a 
diplomatic agent of Bulgaria as soon as the Prince, by the 
conclusion of the Turkish convention, showed unequivocally 
his pacific temper. In opposition to the German and to 
official Russian policy, there are other Powers who regard the 
Japanese War as a suitable moment for solving, by means of 
a sharp conflict, the Balkan question in a sense adverse to 
Russia while she is engaged elsewhere, and for blocking 
Russia's road to the Mediterranean permanently. Until quite 
recently diplomatic and military agents were working, both 
with the Sultan and with Prince Ferdinand, to keep open, even 
to aggravate, the sore between Turkey and Bulgaria. 

" Your Majesty has always orientated German policy 
from the point of view that the flow of Russian power towards 
the Mediterranean was desirable for Germany and that, under 
some circumstances, a damming-up of the tide might be serious 
for us. In accordance with Your Majesty's direction, I have 
therefore tried to hinder the acute Eastern conflict, which, 
indeed, cannot be indefinitely deferred, from being settled at 
this moment to the one-sided advantage of the Western 
Powers. The most effective means of deferring it seems to 
be the Turco-Bulgarian Convention, which really removes the 
abnormal element in Turco-Bulgarian relations and therefore 
cuts away the ground from the intervention of a third party 
as well as is possible. 

" The terms of the Convention, so far as they are published 
at present, are as follows : 

"Bulgaria undertakes to prevent the formation of 
revolutionary komitadjis and armed bands against the 
Turkish Empire, and to punish, in accordance with the laws, 
those of her subjects who have undertaken revolutionary 
operations in the neighbouring provinces. Bulgaria will 
also hinder the import of explosives, etc., into the three 
Macedonian provinces. With reference to the execution of 
the reforms in the three provinces agreed on with the Entente 
Powers, the Sultan will amnesty those who are under arrest, 
in prison, or in banishment on account of revolutionary 
activities, will release them, and will allow them to return 
home, with the exception of those condemned for dynamite 
outrages. The Macedonian fugitives will be assisted by the 

52 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

Porte on their return in rebuilding tlieir homes. The emer- 
gency taxes and measures against free circulation by railway 
will be put an end to. Turkish subjects of Bulgar origin are 
eligible for pubUc positions in Turkey. A mixed commission 
will settle the other pending differences. There are stipula- 
tions for an extradition treaty for common criminals and for 
agreement on frontier protection. 

" Your Majesty's gracious greetings from Palermo and 
the charming picture postcards have given me and my wife 
much pleasure. We were glad to hear of your good im- 
pressions at the foot of Monte Pellegrino, and we hope with 
all our hearts that you will also have a pleasant time 
in Malta." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, April 17, 1904. 



(( 



" I received, with my humblest thanks, Your Majesty's 
very gracious telegram from Malta. How much I should 
have liked to accompany Your Majesty on the tour through 
the old town of the Order of St. John and to have received 
so many inspiring historical political impressions. 

** Your Majesty's statements about the Enghsh temper 
towards Russia there are highly interesting, especially at a 
time when so many elements in England — ^perhaps including 
King Edward ? — seem to be striving for a Russo-English 
understanding. Plainly such an understanding is eagerly 
desired from the French side. Therefore I am glad that 
Your Majesty, according to newspaper reports, appears to 
be staying on the east coast of Sicily and Italy, and that all 
possibility is ruled out of a chance encounter which would 
at the present moment be represented as a pursuit. French 
papers have the effrontery to state that Your Majesty would 
do everything possible to meet the French Fleet. It is added 
that France has no interest in such a meeting." 

53 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

THi Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Count von Bqlow. 

*' Syracuse, April 19, 1904. 

** The recent Anglo-French Agreement gives me food for 
thought in many directions. I think the French have used 
the advantage of their momentary political situation with the 
utmost skill. They have succeeded in making England pay 
dearly for their friendship without loosening their bond with 
Russia. The preponderant position which they have now 
succeeded in obtaining in Morocco is undoubtedly a great 
gain for them, which they have bought cheaply in exchange 
for the surrender of their more theoretical than real rights in 
Egypt. As our commercial interests in Morocco are con- 
siderable, I hope that on our side we are taking care to secure 
the necessary guarantees that our trade there will not suffer. 
On the other hand, England has received a perfectly free hand 
in Egypt. ..... 

" Possible points of friction with France are substantially 
reduced by the Agreement and England has also won much 
in the way of freedom of movement in various parts of the 
world. - It is only natural that the increasing friendship with 
France and the consequent assurance that there is nothing to 
fear from that quarter ivill have the result that English consideration 
for us will pass ?nore and more into the background. - "The language 
of the English Press also shows that irritation against us is not 
in any case diminishing. Under these circumstances, it must 
be regarded as a blessing that a naval demonstration on our 
part in Morocco did not take place. 

" William I.R." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, April 20, 1904. 

" Your Majesty's gracious telegrams from Malta and 
Catania were received with humblest thanks. The messenger 

54 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

leaving to-day brings a detailed and interesting report from 
BernstorfF on the Anglo-French Agreement. It seems to me 
to afford a mutual guarantee against the participation by 
either of the two countries in the war in Eastern Asia. But 
without doubt both Powers, by this Agreement and by their 
mutual rapprochement^ gain in international importance and 
in freedom of movement. And the attraction of the Anglo- 
French Entente for Italy will be stronger ; the attraction of 
each of the Western Powers separately for her was strong 
already. Probably a certain degree of coolness will ensue 
when the peace negotiations between Russia and Japan begin. 
Presumably England will then seek to limit the position of 
Russia in Eastern Asia as far as possible by supporting the 
Japanese programme, while France will hesitate to burden 
Russia with demands which are hard for the deeply wounded 
Russian temper to accept. Our trade relations in Morocco 
are the object of particular attention. How pleasant Your 
Majesty's reception in Catania must have been ! " 



To Count von Metternich, 

Ambassador in London. 

*' Berlin, June 4, 1904. 

\" The Belgian Minister, who was received yesterday at 
the Foreign Office, stated that he had reason to suspect that 
the Anglo-French Agreement contained a secret clause 
dealing with the Rhine frontier. Baron Greindl is a cautious 
diplomat of long standing, and it is unlikely that he made a 
statement of such import on mere supposition or without 
direct instructions from his Government. We must there- 
fore take his communication seriously.\ 

" When all conceivable explanations are exhausted, we 
come to the question whether the French Government may 
have set this report in circulation secretly in order to make 
Germany mistrustful of England and thus permanently hinder 
an improvement of German-English relations. The Belgian 
Government, for whom the Rhine question is a vital one, 
may for that very reason have been chosen as the agent for 
spreading the report. 

55 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

" But this hypothesis does not liquidate the matter. We 
must rather reckon, until further information, with the 
possibility that the Cabinets of London and Paris have really 
negotiated and come to an understanding on the Rliine 
boundary. That France, if she had her way, would like to 
bring the Rhine boundary into the treaty is a matter of course. 
But, on the other hand, we see fromthe whole character of the 
Anglo-French Agreement how weak a stand England made 
to French wishes. 

" The Russo-French Dual Alliance had a purely defensive 
character. It has never been suggested at any time or from 
any quarter that it dealt with the Rhine frontier. A Rhine 
frontier clause in the Anglo-French Agreement could only 
have one meaning, that English protection in the rear, if not 
active support, would be available under certain conditions 
for French plans of conquest. We should then no longer be 
faced, as was the case with the Russo-French Dual Alliance, 
with a purely defensive and therefore, for us, since we harbour 
no schemes of conquest, an unobjectionable agreement. 

" Confronted with the possibilities now revealed, the 
German Government would be, in duty bound, as I need not 
tell you, not to wait until stormclouds appeared on the 
horizon — they often rise very suddenly — but to take steps to 
find cover for their own rear forthwith. In the present 
world situation this would not be difficult. The only 
question is, as I remark for your personal information, 
whether we should alter the orientation of our policy on mere 
suspicion, that is, abstain from further efforts towards an 
improvement of our relations with England, or whether we 
should first take steps to ascertain with certainty the existence 
or non-existence of a Rhine clause. This might possibly be 
done by Your Excellency's asking Lord Lansdowne direct, 
stating completely your reasons, omitting anything which 
might give your statement a comminatory character, as indeed 
Your Excellency's personal relations require. The English 
Minister cannot possibly doubt that the enquiry on our part 
is inspired by disinclination to orientate our policy in a way 
which would involve a breach with the long-standing German- 
English traditions. Your Excellency could also make use of 
the idea that perhaps the French Government created this 
distraction. 

" Your Excellency is empowered to take or not to take 

56 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

this step with Lord Lansdowne, in case you see anything 
against it. In the latter case I beg you to wire by return. 
Naturally, Belgium must not be indicated as the source of 
information." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

"NORDERNEY, ]uiy 1 5, 1904. 

** Very Secret . 

" I have humbly informed Your Imperial and Royal 
Majesty that Witte has arrived here according to programme. 
I have spent a good deal of time with him outside our con- 
ferences on commercial matters. He takes most of his meals 
with us. An intelligent man with a wide outlook, he has 
gradually become very frank through this informal inter- 
course in the free and easy life at the seaside. Speaking of the 
situation in the theatre of war, he told me that Kuropatkin 
had said at a council of war before his departure that he would 
defeat the Japanese if they gave him a year and a half to do it, 
placed an army of 400,000 good troops at his disposal, and 
if he might sacrifice 40,000 of these in dead and wounded. 

" Referring to his declaration at that time, Kuropatkin had 
now written to him (Witte) that so far he had only 3,000 
Russians out of the fighting line and therefore still had a mar- 
gin of 27,000 (j/V). Kuropatkin is convinced that if Russia 
holds out he will beat the Japanese in the end. Witte shares 
this conviction. 

" If Witte considers the cessation of the war, except after 
important Russian successes, as impossible, at least for the 
moment, he maintains, on the other hand, that this war is in 
the highest degree unpopular among all classes of the Russian 
people. He leaves no doubt that an early peace after Russian 
military successes, even without territorial expansion, would 
be most welcome to him. Witte went so far as to tell me in 
complete confidence that as a patriot he must rejoice over 
Russian successes ; as a statesman he feared that quick and 
brilliant Russian successes would turn the heads of the 
governing circles in St. Petersburg. ' On demanderait alors che^ 
nous des cboses impossibles au Japan J* Russia would still have 

57 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

to suffer some military reverses, to induce her, when the 
fortunes of war inclined to her side after heavy trials, to con- 
clude a peace on reasonable terms. Russia only required to 
secure a guarantee from Japan that she would not again 
attack Russia within a reasonable space of time. 

" Witte did not say whether this was to be accompanied 
by the destruction of the Japanese military and naval power 
or by an alliance to be concluded with Japan after the war. 
But he expressed the opinion that it would be une Jo lie for 
Russia to insist on the possession of Manchuria or of Korea. 
He also thought that it might be advantageous for Russia at a 
given moment to make use of King Edward as a mediator, 
since this Royal personage was in contact with the Japanese 
and enjoyed their confidence. 

"It is comprehensible that Witte, at a momicnt when he 
is negotiating with me a commercial treaty which is of pro- 
found importance to both countries, and on the terms of which 
the material weal and woe of millions depends, should take 
the attitude that the prestige of Russia cannot be seriously 
shattered even by greater disasters in the Far East. But he 
makes no attempt to conceal the fact that the consequences 
of this war may be very serious for the Russian internal 
situation. 

" At present a mistaken and stupid domestic policy is 
being pursued in Russia. The policy adopted towards Jews 
and Finns, Catholics and Armenians, students and the Press, 
cannot be permanently carried out. The Government of 
Russia was more reactionary than under the Emperor Alex- 
ander III, and nearly as reactionary as under the Emperor 
Nicholas I. But the Russia of to-day was not the Russia of 
seventy years ago, even apart from the fact that the regime of 
Nicholas had been finally shattered in the Crimean War. 

" Discontent in Russia was now very great. Of a revolu- 
tion in the Western sense there could be no question ; such a 
happening in Russia would be for a long time out of the ques- 
tion. But there might be outrages as at the end of the 'seventies 
of the preceding century, when every week shots were fired at 
a Minister or a Governor-General, and finally at the Tsar. 
Such outrages would have a demoralizing effect. There was 
a weak sort of character who went from one extreme to the 
other : for example, from a quite retrograde and absolute 
administration to excessive liberal concessions. 

58 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

" The backbone of discontent in Russia could be broken 
now if more tolerance were shown to the non-Russian 
nationalities and communities, if the educated young people 
were less brutalized, some freedom granted to the Press, and 
if a modest degree of self-government were substituted in 
internal administration for extreme bureaucratic tutelage. 
If, under the terrorizing influence of outrage, the highest 
circles should think of giving Russia a Constitution, it would 
be the end of Russia. Russia could endure no Constitution 
in the European sense. A Constitution with Constitutional 
guarantees, parliament, and universal suffrage would lead to 
anarchy and split Russia asunder. 

" Witte praises Lamsdorff, who is his personal friend. 
Lamsdorff's misfortune is the possession of too sensitive a 
nature. He finds difficulty in freely expressing his ideas 
except tete-a-tete. That is why he likes to avoid all Cabinet 
and Council meetings. But Lamsdorff is rehable, as he showed 
in his youth — among other ways by his unconditional devotion 
for Giers, who was hated by the Old Russians because he was 
Germanophile. He was sensible, understood his job as a 
diplomat, and was, in spite of his timid aspect and malgre ses 
apparences feminines^ very firm at critical moments and in difficult 
times. The Tsar, in consequence of the intrigues of Alexeiev 
and Besobrasov, had deprived him of the conduct of Eastern 
Asiatic questions until just before the outbreak of war, and 
this was a misfortune for Russia. 

" In all European affairs, especially in connection with 
relations to other Powers, and especially the Oriental question, 
the Emperor Nicholas left Count Lamsdorff a completely free 
hand. For two years Lamsdorff had advocated good relations 
with Germany and urged them on the Tsar at every opportunity. 
Lamsdorff had recently laid before the Tsar an excellent 
memorandum written by himself in order to get rid of the old 
and harmful legend that Germany had deprived Russia of the 
fruits of victory after the last Turkish war. On the margin 
of this memorandum, in which Lamsdorff indicated that the 
Peace of Berlin was more favourable for Russia than Ignatiev's 
Treaty of San Stefano with its Greater Bulgaria, the Emperor 
Nicholas wrote : ' Very interesting and quite to the point.' 
Lamsdorff repeatedly told the Tsar that our attitude towards 
Russia in all European and extra-European questions was a 
loyal one and that no credence was to be given to the calumnies 

59 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

and gossip of the opponents of good relations between 
Russia and Germany. Witte thinks that LamsdorfF will 
remain Minister so long as his health, which is not of the 
best, holds out. His successor would eventually be Isvolsky 
(Copenhagen.) Isvolsky was more brilliant. 

" What Witte told me of His Majesty the Emperor was 
particularly confidential, with a request for the utmost 
discretion. Russian monarchs, continued Witte, had either 

* une ambition d'Bmpereur ' or ' une ambition personelle .^ The Em- 
peror Alexander III had possessed the first kind of ambition. 
With the Emperor Nicholas the personal element was the 
primary element. He wanted personally to cut a good figure, 
to direct everything himself. He feared nothing more than 
that it should appear that he allowed himself to be influenced 
by his Ministers. To avoid this suspicion he tried to get 
information and advice behind their backs. This tendency 
explained the influence of Besobrasov, of Alexeiev, and the 
Grand Duke Alexander Michailovich, who were responsible 
for the surprise efl"ected by the Japanese. The Emperor 
Nicholas was honest through and through, and a noble 
character in the best sense of the word. As a private person 
of blameless j)r^ to' he detested dishonesty and untruthfulness, 
such as was unfortunately to be met with among Russian 
officials. But since he had no real knowledge of the world 
or of men, he did not see through the little artfulnesses by 
which he was often deceived. Under the influence of the 
unlimited power of a Russian autocrat there gradually grew 
up in him, though he was by nature modest, a strong tendency 
to absolute autocracy and the belief that he was omnipotent. 
He really imagined that, if he did not want war, there would be 
none. On the Tsar's relation to Your Majesty, Witte said ; 

* For some years the relation on the Tsar's side was not good. 
The superiority of your Emperor impressed the Tsar and made 
him jealous. He was also urged to dislike of your Emperor 
from various quarters. He was distrustful of your Emperor 
and did not wish to see him. That, sans phrase^ was the real 
attitude of mind of the Emperor Nicholas from his accession 
to the time of the Danzig meeting. 

" ' Since that time a great revulsion of feeling, which has 
been more and more accentuated, has taken place. The 
meeting at Danzig went well, at Reval better, at Wolfsgarten 
excellently well. Since the outbreak of war the Emperor 

60 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

Nicholas knows where he is with your Emperor. He is now 
full of confidence in your Emperor, and, more than that, he 
really likes him. The Tsar's nature is such that his personal 
feelings are decisive.' 

"Of Her Majesty the reigning Empress Alexandra 
Feodorovna, Witte said she was ''me dme hien elevee^ but 
obstinate and narrow-minded. She had embraced a specifically 
orthodox mysticism. Entry into another Confession had 
been very difficult for her, just because she had a lofty and a 
proud disposition. 

*' For years she had suffered from the idea that her conver- 
sion might be attributed to reasons of policy. From inner 
conflicts of this kind arose the idea of justifying herself to her 
conscience by self-abnegation in the mystic side of the Ortho- 
dox Church, and of winning peace of soul in this way. The 
seed thus sown resulted in the cult of St. Seraphin, of whose 
existence most educated Russians had hardly heard and with 
whom Court circles had never bothered themselves until the 
Empress brought him into fashion. 

" The spiritualist Philippe had made use of the Empress's 
deep desire for a male heir to entice her into his net with his 
impostures. The Empress's influence on her Consort was 
very great, for the simple reason that the Tsar was always 
with her and was still in love with her. No one had any 
influence over the Empress except her Hessian relatives, and 
especially her brother, the Grand Duke. Whoever wanted 
to make sure of the Emperor must bring the Grand Duke 
into this game. This point was very important, for the Tsar 
was fickle ; one must keep one's eye on him and never let go 
of him. 

" The Empress Mother's influence over the Tsar had for 
a long time not been so great as that of the reigning Empress ; 
nevertheless, it was not negligible. In contrast to the reigning 
Empress, the Empress Maria Feodorovna was very popular, 
not only in St. Petersburg society, but with the whole nation. 

" With regard to Your Majesty, a complete change had 
taken place in the Empress Mother's attitude. At one time 
Germanophobe, the Empress Mother now respected and 
admired Your Majesty. Your Majesty's friendly relations 
with the King of Denmark had contributed substantially to 
this. Under his mother's influence the Emperor had also 
become Germanophile. 

61 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

" Witte seemed to be favourably regarded by the Empress 
Mother and the Heir Apparent, originally because he had 
enjoyed the confidence of Alexander III. Of his own rela- 
tions with the Tsar, Witte said that the Tsar had been annoyed 
with him for his sharp opposition to the Japanese policy of 
Alexeiev and the Yalu speculations of Besobrasov. The 
entourage of the Emperor Nicholas had said that Witte was a 
friend of the Japanese, Jews, and Finns. He had been over- 
thrown by such methods as those often practised at the Russian 
Court. But the Tsar was not so ill-disposed to him as was 
supposed in foreign countries. On his retirement from the 
Finance Ministry the Tsar had ' given him a fortune/ and 
had shown him other great kindnesses. Since the spring he 
had had many conversations with the Tsar. He knew very 
well that his rather brusque ways and his habit of calling 
things by their names was not agreeable to the Tsar. But 
the Tsar was very far from consigning him to the 
rubbish-heap. 

" Incidentally, Witte said the Tsar had expressed his 
pleasure at Your Majesty's having sent Your Majesty's Aide- 
de-camp, Count Lamsdorff, to St. Petersburg. The Tsar 
meditated sending one of his aides-de-camp on a similar 
errand to Berlin. The execution of this even must be left to 
mature in the Tsar's mind. He was, indeed, slow in decision. 
The Empress's piety had to a certain extent also attacked the 
Tsar. It was, continued Witte, more convenient to ascribe 
to Providence, rather than to one's own mistakes, the lack of 
military preparedness in the Far East and the diplomatic and 
military failures as against Japan. 

*' With regard to the Near East, Witte said that it was not 
to Russia's interest to allow the nationalities there to become as 
strong as the Western Powers would like to see them. Turkey 
must for the moment be kept on her legs. However, this 
was only possible on condition that the Sultan provided some 
sort of order in Macedonia, for no Russian Tsar could look 
placidly on at atrocities there, whoever might be really morally 
responsible for these butcheries of Christians. 

" Witte again repeated that the only right poHcy for both 
countries was an intimate relationship between Germany and 
Russia, and especially between the two greatest monarchs of 
the world. If both parties followed the course at present 
pursued we should soon attain the relations which obtained 

62 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

from the beginning of the nineteenth century up to the end 
of tlie 'seventies, to the advantage of both dynasties and of 
both nations. ' // faut revenir aux temps de Nicholas I et 
d' Alexandre II et ouhlier les malentendus de la fin du s'lecle dernier* 

" I avoided expressing to Witte concrete wishes in this 
direction or making proposals, partly because he, in spite of 
his close relations with Lamsdorff, is not authorized to under- 
take political negotiations, and partly, and more especially, 
because the psychological moment for it has not yet arrived. 
Incidentally, Witte made the observation : * Our relation to 
France has already changed, and will gradually change still 
more.* 

" In de scribing the Japanese attack on Port Arthur and the 
excitement over it in St. Petersburg, Witte related that some 
of the Grand Dukes had then proposed to the Tsar an advance 
against India. Witte described this proposal as tme folie 
jurieuse^ as he had always laid especial stress on the necessity 
for Russia to avoid offending England or America. He is 
peacefully inclined, not only because of the present peaceful 
trend of public opinion in Russia, to which he attaches more 
importance than do the Grand Dukes, the Generals, and 
Plehve, and that not only because he wants to maintain his 
chief achievement, the foreign exchange, at its present level, 
but also because he is frankly convinced that Russia must 
avoid foreign adventures, such as expansion of territory, and 
devote herself for many years to internal reforms and the 
economic development of her internal resources. 

" As the main reason for his desire for better relations with 
Germany, he pointed out that it could then be possible to 
break with the method of perpetual armaments, which arose 
from the mistrust arising out of the friction of the 'eighties. 

*' The commercial treaty negotiations are very troublesome. 
The Russians have conceded to us the minimum rates for the 
four chief grains (wheat, rye, oats, and barley), together with 
freedom in veterinary regulations, the two main demands 
which they have hitherto resisted with might and main. 
Witte mentioned in this connection that he made these great 
concessions only sur I'ordre formel de son Auguste Maitre, 
Now we are fighting over the other Customs duties on agri- 
cultural produce (geese, pigs, horses, fodder, barley, rape, 
eggs, potatoes, beans, timber, the Upper Silesian pig 
contingent, lubricating oil, etc.) and the Russian duties on 

63 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

manufactured goods (iron, machines, chemicals, leather and 
woollen goods, etc.). 

'* The outcome of the negotiations is to be kept secret, 
and the treaty, if it is drafted, must also be kept secret, on 
account of other countries with whom we have to come to an 
agreement, who should not know what concessions we have 
made to the Russians and they to us. Witte is a hard bargainer 
and has great expert knowledge. But I have tried not to let 
our bread go unbuttered, even if I have in the end to grant 
him an abatement of a duty of 20 marks per hundred kilo- 
grammes oiheurre jrais^ sale oufondu (Art. 134). 

" I received from Metternich a private letter, which I beg 
humbly to annex ; the letter is not intended for Your Majesty, 
nevertheless I venture to present it, because this completely 
unadorned and frank outpouring contains much that is 
worthy of attention. I agree with what Metternich says of the 
influence of the English monthly reviews, the poisonous 
matter of which infects small circles in the first instance, then 
wider strata of the population, and finally the whole public 
opinion of a generation. I am also convinced that Soveral 
has become a very important factor in German-English 
relations, but that he is not an irreconcilable opponent, and 
might be made useful to us if we got hold of him through 
his Southern vanity. In this, Metternich and Eckardstein, 
BernstorflF and Seckendorff are agreed. I also think that 
Mensdorff, though he may howl with the wolves {sit venia 
verbo) now and again in the Royal Family, is too good 
a black-and-yellow Austrian not to desire good relations 
between Germany and England, which are so much in the 
interest of the Habsburg monarchy. I have seen reports from 
Mensdorff which he could not know I should read, and in these 
he gave expression to this conviction and to his anxiety with 
regard to the too great tension in German-English relations. 

" On the other hand, I think it not impossible thatBencken- 
dorff is working for the worsening of German-EngHsh relations. 
For if these good relations are advantageous to Austria, there 
remains the fact that bad German-English relations or a 
German-English conflict would leave Russia as the tertia 
gaudens. Even Witte could not help pointing out to me that 
improvement in our relations with Russia would mean a 
corresponding increase in the amount we could spend on 
building ships. Metternich was also right when he said that 

64 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

we should not let BenckendorfF (and his Hatzfeld relations) 
have the slightest inkling, but we must continue to watch 
him carefully, until we can catch him avec la main dans le sac 
and nail him fast. . . . 

" The improvement of relations with England must be 
the object of continuous effort, because that is the only quarter 
in the present world situation from which we could be seriously 
threatened. It requires much patience, prudence, and self- 
control in face of English presumption and injustice. For 
just as we have to do in England, at Court, in society and in 
the Press, with so many occult proceedings, and as fresh 
disturbing incidents continually occur, it becomes doubly 
necessary to convince the main strata of the English nation 
that we nourish no hostile or aggressive intentions towards 
England. I am of the opinion that the reception prepared 
for His Majesty King Edward in Hamburg especially has had 
a favourable effect in this direction. 

" I hope with all my heart that Your Majesty's tour in the 
North is going well, and that it will aid Your Majesty's re- 
covery after so much work, trouble, and embarrassment. 
Here we have a cloudless sky and the sea is as calm and quiet 
as one of the lakes of the Havel. I would like to take Witte 
for a trip to Heligoland on the Foreile, which would have been 
a pleasant interlude in the tariff negotiations which last from 
morning till night. But in spite of his size and bodily strength 
— he has grown to a colossal bulk during the seven years 
since I saw him last — he has, like most of his countrymen, 
not got le pied marin and does not like to leave terra firman 



To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Kiel, June 24, 1904. 

" I have the honour most humbly to lay before Your 
Majesty herewith the four documents from London which 
contain the understanding reached between us and the 
English Government on Egypt. They are : two confiden- 
tial Notes from. Lord Lansdowne, dated the 15 th instant, to 
Your Majesty's Ambassador in London, of which one states 
the propositions agreed on both sides, while the other is 
concerned with the interpretation of these propositions, and 

65 E 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

Count Metternich's answers,which state the agreement of Your 
Majesty's Government with the contents of the two Notes. 
"I beg respectfully to make the following statement on 
the import of the agreements : 

" The English Government had originally asked us, like 
other Powers, simply to communicate our concurrence with the 
draft of aKhedivial decree agreed upon by them with the French 
Government. This decree is intended to give the English 
administration greater freedom in the field of Egyptian finance, 
and to impose corresponding limitations on the functions 
hitherto exercised by the International Commission of the Debt. 
" That Enghsh demand we declined, and on our side in- 
sisted that assurance must be given of the continuance of the 
* most-favoured-nation ' treatment hitherto enjoyed by us, in 
Egypt, especially in relation to the French. To this the 
English eventually gave effect. They guarantee the most- 
favoured-nation treatment for German trade in Egypt for 
thirty years, that is to say for the same period for which 
most-favoured-nation treatment is assured to the French 
by the declaration of April 8 of this year. 

" They further promise to observe the rights at present 
enjoyed in Egypt on the ground either of treaties and agree- 
ments or of customary right. Finally they promise protec- 
tion for the German schools in Egypt in their present liberties, 
and that Germans in the Egyptian service shall not be sub- 
jected to less favourable conditions than Englishmen in the 
Egyptian service. In return we agree : 

" To concur in the Khedivial decree ; 
Further to promise not to ask for a time-limit to the 
English occupation of Egypt, nor otherwise to put 
obstacles in the way of English policy in Egypt ; 
That after England has recognized the international 
character of the Suez Canal, we concur in the non- 
execution of certain conditions for the international 
supervision of the Canal contained in the Suez Canal 
Act of 1888. 
** AU these concessions on our part are the less serious for 
us since France had made exactly the same concessions to 
England in the Anglo-French Declaration of April 8 of 
this year. 

" Moreover, we are further safeguarded by the express 
declaration of Count Metternich in his second Note to Lord 

66 



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C( 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

Lansdowne in support of English policy in Egypt that we are 
only bound, especially in respect of a certain revision of the 
Capitulations, in so far as France is also bound. 

" On the other hand, we have the same assured legal 
position, henceforth, in Egypt as that secured to France in 
the Declaration of April 8 of this year. In particular, the 
door is bolted against any diiferentiation against German 
trade in Egypt for the next thirty years. 

'* The Agreement will now be confidentially communicated 
in its main outlines to the Governments of Austria-Hungary, 
Italy, and Russia, but it will otherwise remain secret for the 
time being." 



Memorandum. 

" Kiel, June 26, 1904. 

" Very Secret 

*' His Majesty King Edward drew me into a rather long 
political conversation to-day after breakfast on the Idma. 
His Majesty then began to speak of Eastern Asia. The 
Russians had themselves to blame for their failure. Their 
diplomacy was as unskilful as their war strategy on sea and 
land. 

" The Japanese were doing excellently in every way. 
Moreover, they were morally in the right. Russia had 
neither warrant nor provocation to go to Port Arthur, 
had nothing to do with Korea, and had seized Manchuria 
from China in a brutal fashion. The King further told me 
that Russia would never have got so far as war if she had 
taken his advice. He had communicated to the Emperor 
Nicholas, who was then staying at Spala, at the end of 
November, the basic conditions under which Japan would 
then have been ready to come to an understanding with 
Russia. The Emperor Nicholas had deferred answering 
these proposals until too late, a delay with which in any 
case the death of the little Princess Elizabeth of Hesse, 
which had made a great impression on him, ..lad something 
to do. The Japanese had steadily reiterated that they could 
not any longer restrain public opinion in Japan in favour 
of war if Russia did not speedily reply. When the Tsar 

67 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

at length decided to accept the Japanese proposals it was 
too late ; the leading men in Japan had meanwhile decided 
for war. 

" King Edward did not conceal his wish for an early 
end to the Eastern Asiatic war, and he would be willing 
to step in as a mediator with that in view. The Japanese 
would be now very accommodating. When I interjected 
that Russia could hardly make peace after defeat without 
a severe blow to her prestige, King Edward said he did 
not see how Russia's position was going to improve. One 
could not reckon on a Russian victory either by sea or land, 
and the wisest thing the Russians could do would be, as 
soon as possible, to conclude as acceptable terms of peace 
as were attainable. 

" The King also happened to speak of the ' Yellow 
Peril,' and said he could not recognize such a thing. The 
Japanese were an intelligent, brave, and chivalrous people, 
just as civilized as Europeans, and were distinguished from 
them only by the colour of their skin. It would be regrettable 
if the ' Yellow Peril,' in his opinion non-existent, were to 
influence our policy in a sense hostile to Japan. I replied 
to the King that we should continue to observe a neutral 
and loyal position in the East Asiatic war. We should not 
think of intervening in this conflict. 

" When I expressed my thanks to the King for his toast 
of yesterday, His_Majesty remarked that he had genuinely 
at heart the maintenance of peaceful and friendly relations 
with Germany. The Press on both sides had much to answer 
for. With patience and tact, it was to be hoped that both 
nations would gradually attain a better mutual understanding. 
He was completely in accord with the ' Small Egyptian 
Agreement.' \ In general, no special agreements were necessary 
between Germany and England, because no opposed political 
interests stood in our way. With France the situation 
had been otherwise. A settlement over long-standing and 
difficult points of diiference had become absolutely necessary. 
The understanding between England and France was not 
directed against Germany. He had no idea of isolating 
Germany,/ On the contrary, he desired to minimize the 
points of friction between all the Great Powers, and to assure 
universal peace in Europe for the longest possible period. 
Peace was a necessity for the nations groaning under the weight 

68 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

of their military obligations and the taxation required to 
meet them. The King added, with great frankness, that he 
ardently desired to reach a similar understanding with Russia 
to that so happily attained with France. It would be a good 
opening for world peace if England and Russia could agree 
satisfactorily on certain Asiatic questions. The task was 
difficult, but he did not doubt it would be solved. 

*' Incidentally the King remarked that he regretted to see 
disturbances come to a head in the Near East. He was for 
peace everywhere. He admitted that not much could be 
done with the Sultan and the Turks ; the former was unteach- 
able and the latter had outlived their day. The future in 
the Balkan Peninsula lay with the Rumanians, the Greeks, 
and the Bulgarians. The King indicated M. Isvolsky 
as the most capable of Russian diplomats ; during his recent 
stay in Copenhagen he had gladly entered into the King's 
desire for a settlement with Russia, which he had com- 
municated to St. Petersburg, where it had apparently not 
been taken into closer consideration. 

" LamsdorfF was an honest man, but too nervous and too 
bureaucratic. King Edward was pessimistic about the 
internal Russian situation ; he compared General Bobrikov 
to the bailiff Gessler.^ Of his relative Emperor Nicholas 
he spoke affectionately. 

"King Edward's attitude here has been most friendly. 
His intercourse with His Majesty the Emperor is friendly 
and unconstrained." 



Memorandum. 

" Kiel, June 29, 1904. 
" Secret. 

'' His Majesty King Edward is highly satisfied with the 
whole of his stay in Kiel, and particularly with his excursion 
to Hamburg. The King told me he had telegraphed to 
Lord Lansdowne that he could not have been better received 
in an English town than he was in Hamburg. 

'* The King had a political conversation with His Majesty 

1 The bailiff in " William Tell." 

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1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

the Emperor to-day for the first time ; this conversation, 
covering the ground of the earher conversation with me, 
went off well. The King also repeatedly engaged me in 
political conversations during the last few days, in which, 
on the one hand, he again took sides enthusiastically for Japan 
and the Japanese claims, and, on the other, there emerged 
his desire for the ending of the Eastern Asiatic war and the 
smoothing out of Anglo-Russian differences. The King 
thought the Japanese would in no case pursue a vengeful 
policy towards the Russians, if the latter would only evacuate 
Manchuria. Japan, rightly, could not allow any imcertainty 
about the return of Manchuria to China and the recognition 
of Japanese preponderance in Korea. Neither the King 
nor the other English gentlemen believed in the possibility 
of a turn of affairs in the war in Russia's favour. They thought 
revolutionary movements in Russia not unlikely. Lord 
Selborne incidentally said it was not desirable that Russia 
should retire completely in Eastern Asia, as she might then 
exert her whole strength in Eastern Europe." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Count von Bulow. 

" Neues Palais, Aug. 28, 1904. 

** Henry ^ is just back. Very full of impressions. 
Unusually warmly received ; I personally in high favour 
for the moment. Journey of Frederick Leopold put off at 
the direct request of H.M., since Chinese revolts have broken 
out and bands of Chun Chus so often attack the railway 
that H.M. cannot guarantee the safe arrival of the Prince 
in the theatre of war. H.M. designated the increasing 
activity of the Chinese as treacherous and so dangerous 
that he is meditating ' declaring war on China ' ( ! I !) — 
these are the Emperor's own words for my benefit ! That 
would be nice and pleasant for the rest of us Europeans ! 
The Grand Dukes quite apathetic and unenthusiastic ; they 
don't go into the field but spend their time in amusement 

'Prince Henry of Prussia represented the Emperor William II at the christening 
of the Russian Heir to the Throne. 

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LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

as usual. Spirits generally depressed, however. The 
Emperor has thoughtfully sent me a message : ' Willy need 
not be anxious at all, he may go fast asleep at night, for I 
vouch for it that everything will come perfectly right 1 ' 
Prince Henry himself very much struck with the Emperor's 
inexplicable optimism. The Russian people so friendly to me 
personally that on the news of the birth of the Heir to the 
Throne in Moscow there was an immediate demand for the 
German Emperor to be invited to stand godfather ; this 
state of mind is widespread throughout the country ! . . .'* 



To THE Emperor William II. 

NORDERNEY, Aug. 28, I904. 



a 



" Your Majesty's telegram just received, with my most 
humble thanks. The St. Petersburg impressions of his 
Royal Highness Prince Henry very interesting ! The most 
pleasing news of all is that Your Majesty has personally won 
so much ground among the masses in Russia. Just reward 
for a chivalrous and wise attitude. The Tsar's optimism 
with regard to eventual success not disadvantageous, since 
it excludes a premature conclusion of peace, which, without 
striking Russian successes, would not be without danger 
for the Russian dynasty. To drag China into the war would 
certainly be serious, since it might be a signal for the partition 
of China, which is not in our interests at present. I may 
reserve the intention of recurring, with great humility, to 
this point. That His Majesty the Emperor Nicholas does 
not desire the appearance of His Royal Highness Prince 
Frederick Leopold in the Eastern Asiatic theatre of war 
shows that the conditions there are bad. If, in this way, 
without any action on our part, and at expressed Russian 
desire, a Prussian Prince can only be present in the Japanese 
camp, that only helps us with the Japanese. Deeply disturbed 
that the Mirbach affair is still not settled in spite of Your 
Majesty's recent decision. With the heartiest wishes that 
so many cares may not be injurious to Your Majesty's 
health." 



71 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

To THE Emperor William IL 

"Berlin, Aug. 31, 1904. 
" Very Secret. 



" From Your Imperial and Royal Majesty's Ambassador 
in Washington there has arrived the following secret 
communication : 

" * President Roosevelt told me that, in case the Japanese 
annihilate General Kuropatkin's army. Port Arthur falls, 
and there is question of the conclusion of peace, he would 
seek for the following settlement : Korea remains under 
the Japanese protectorate, which should be equivalent to 
control. The Powers guarantee the neutralization of 
Manchuria, which is placed under the control of a Chinese 
Viceroy, nominated by Germany, not by England. Should 
he be re-elected President, he desires to go hand in hand 
with Germany in Eastern Asia. But he would like first 
to come to a clear understanding, and for that purpose 
is ready to take the initiative in carrying it out. He gave 
me to understand that he regarded it as desirable, as soon as 
the moment arrives, to discuss verbally with His Majesty 
the Kaiser the details of the policy which he thinks the best 
in the Far East.' 

'* I asked the Foreign Office for an opinion on President 
Roosevelt's proposals as a whole and in detail, and I beg 
humbly to submit to Your Majesty this opinion in the attached 
Memorandum with the further remark that I concur substan- 
tially in the explanations and proposals of the Foreign Office, 
and have only to offer the following remarks : 

" In considering the Roosevelt suggestions, it ought 
not, I respectfully submit, to be left out of account that the 
President is a great admirer of Your Majesty and would like 
to rule the world hand in hand with Your Majesty, as he 
certainly conceives himself to be the American pendant 
to Your Majesty. Therefore I should wish to agree all the 
more with the opinion set out in the Memorandum that 
Mr. Roosevelt is sincere and that no hostile intention to us 
underlies his proposal. In our concurrence in a Japanese 
protectorate over Korea, I should advise, if possible, no 
move regarding Russia until the latter shows inclination 

72 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

to accept such an arrangement. Then, should America 
succeed in securing a guarantee from the Powers for the 
neutralization of Manchuria, we can accept the decision. 
Naturally, it would be more convenient for us if the 
Viceroy of Manchuria was nominated, not by us, but 
by America or England. Yet I should also concur 
in this matter with the Foreign Office Memorandum, that 
we could confidently leave the refusal of this point to other 
Powers. 

*' We should, in my most humble opinion, defer as long 
as possible the statement that we are not disposed to 
involve ourselves in any fresh military undertakings in 
Eastern Asia — ^not, at least, until Mr. Roosevelt has com- 
mitted himself as deeply as possible for the ' Open Door,' 
especially in the Yang-Tse Valley. 

" I respectfully beg for Your Majesty's most gracious 
opinion : 

" Whether, with the foregoing reservations, the sug- 
gestions of President Roosevelt should be answered and 
further negotiated upon by Baron Speck von Sternburg in 
accordance with the proposals of the Memorandum." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, Oct. 28, 1904. 



a 



" I have the honour most humbly to submit to Your 
Imperial and Royal Majesty the annexed telegram from your 
Ambassador in Washington, in which President Roosevelt 
lays great personal stress on concluding an arbitration treaty 
with Your Majesty. 

" I beg Your Majesty's most gracious decision whether 
I should have a reply sent to the President to the effect that 
Your Majesty would willingly examine his suggestions more 
closely. 

*' I would take care that no decisions were accepted 
in the arbitration treaty which would bind us more closely 
than do those of the German-English Arbitration Treaty 
of the summer." 

73 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, Oct. 30, 1904. 



(( 



"In an annex I submit with the deepest respect to your 
Imperial and Royal Majesty the draft of a letter to His 
Majesty the Emperor Nicholas. I think it is better to draw- 
up Your Majesty's reply in this question of world-historical 
importance in the form of a letter : first, because the answer, 
corresponding to the importance of the matter, must touch 
all sides of the question ; secondly, because, in the present 
state of ajBFairs in Russia, it is not certain that a long cipher 
telegram from Your Majesty to the Tsar might not fall into 
the wrong hands. I should like most humbly to propose to 
transmit this letter of Your Majesty to the Emperor Nicholas 
by messenger, since sending one of Your Majesty's aides- 
de-camp would draw attention prematurely to the negotiations. 
It is all-important to keep the secret from the Anglo-French 
party at the Russian Court at present. In despatcliing this 
letter. Your Majesty might perhaps telegraph (in cipher) 
to His Majesty the Tsar Nicholas : ' Received your telegram. 
Agree with your views. I send answer by messenger.' 

" May God bless this effort." 

*' {Enclosure I) 

*' To the Emperor Nicholas II of Russia.^ 

" My dear Nicky ! 

" Your kind telegram has given me the pleasure 
to feel that I was able in a serious moment to be of some 
use to you. I have at once communicated with the 
Chancellor, and we both have drawn up the three articles 
of the treaty you wished. Be it as you say. Let us stand 
together. Of course the alliance must be purely defensive 
and exclusively directed against the European aggressor 
or aggressors in the form of a mutual fire insurance company 
against incendiarism. It is very essential that America 
should not feel threatened by our agreement. Roosevelt, 
as I know, owing to the innate American antipathy against 

^ Thus given in the original in Biilow's own English. 

74 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

all coloured races, has no special partiality for Japan, although 
the English do their utmost to work upon American opinion 
in favour of the Japanese. Besides, the Americans have a 
clear conception of the indisputable fact that a powerful 
Japanese Empire is a lasting danger for the American 
Philippines. 

" As for France, we both know that the Radical or anti- 
Christian party, which for the moment appears to be the 
stronger one, inclines towards England, Crimean tradition, 
but is opposed to war, because a victorious general would 
mean certain destruction to this Republic of miserable 
civilians. The Nationalist or Clerical party dislikes England 
and has sympathies for Russia, but does not dream of throw- 
ing in its lot with Russia in the present war. Between the 
two parties the Republic would remain neutral and do nothing. 
The English count upon this neutrality and upon the consequent 
isolation of Russia. I positively know that as far back as 
last December the French Finance Minister Rouvier told 
the Finance Minister of another Power that France would on 
no account join in a Russo-Japanese war, even though 
England sided with Japan. To make doubly sure, the English 
have handed Morocco over to France. The certainty 
that France intends to remain neutral, and even to lend 
her diplomatic support to England, is the motive which 
gives English policy its present unwonted brutal assurance. 

" This unheard-of state of things will change as soon as 
France finds herself face to face with the necessity of eventually 
choosing sides. As I said, the Radical party, which gravitates 
towards England, abhors wars and militarism, while the 
Nationahst party, while not objecting to war in itself, hates 
fighting for England and against Russia. Thus it will be 
in the interests of both parties to bring pressure to bear 
on and warn England to keep the peace. The main result 
will be, if you and I stand shoulder to shoulder, that France 
must formally and openly join us, thereby fulfilling her treaty 
obligations towards Russia. That, I expect, will put an end 
to made-up grievances about so-called breaches of neutrality. 
This consummation once reached, I expect to maintain 
peace, and you will be left an undisturbed and free hand to 
deal with Japan. 

'* Let me finally add that I sincerely admire your masterful 
political instinct which caused you to refer the North Sea 

75 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

incident to your Hague Tribunal. For this systematically- 
distorted incident has been used by the French Radicals, 
Clemenceau, and all the rest of the rag-tag and bobtail, as 
a further argument against France fulfilling her treaty 
obligations towards Russia. 

*' I enclose the draft of an agreement that you desired." 

" {Enclosure II) 

*' L,eurs Majestes FEmpereur d'Allemagne et VEmpereur de 
Toutes les Russks, afin de localiser, autant que faire se peut, la 
guerre RMSso-]aponaise, out arrete les articles suivants d'un fraite 
d^ alliance defensive. 

" Article I 

" Au cas ou Fun des deux Empires serait attaque par une 
puissance Europeemie, son allie I'aidera de toutes ses forces de 
terre et de mer. Les deux allie's, le cas echeant, feront egalement 
cause commune afin de rappeler d la France les obligations qu'elle 
a assumees aux termes du traite d' alliance franco-russe. 

"Article II 

" Ees deux haute s parties contractantes s'engagent d ne conclure 
de paix separee avec aucun adversaire commun. 



C( 



Article III 



" L' engagement de s' en tr' aider est valable egalement pour le 
cas ou des actes accomplis par I' une des deux hautes parties con- 
tractantes pendant la guerre tels que la livraison de charhon d un 
helligerant donneraient lieu apres la guerre d des reclamations d'une 
tierce puissance^ comme pretendues violations du droit des neutres^ 



To THE Emperor William II. 

"Berlin, Oct. 31, 1904. 

*' Your Imperial and Royal Majesty was so gracious as 
to give me the last communication from Lamsdorff. I 
read it on the return journey. From Lamsdorff's communica- 
tion it is quite clear that His Majesty the Emperor Nicholas 

76 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

does not regard the Hull- Vigo incident as closed, and for 
its settlement would like to play us off against England. 
That must not happen in any case, for in the matter of this 
incident and the behaviour of the " Roschestwensky " the 
French will under no circumstances act against England. 
On that matter, the language of all the French papers and 
information from Paris leave no doubt. Not only would 
it not have the effect intended by Your Majesty, to detach 
France from England and push her in the direction of our- 
selves and Russia, but it might perhaps have the contrary 
result. In my most humble estimation. Your Majesty 
should, in order to circumvent this danger, add to the letter 
(which now, as before, meets the case) the following post- 
script, the following propositions between the two last 
paragraphs of the draft (between ' towards Russia ' and 
* I enclose ') : * Naturally the damnable Hull incident must 
first be closed before we can undertake anything and approach 
France. My inform.ation leaves no doubt that in this matter 
Delcasse and Cambon have already settled the policy of 
the French Government in an Anglophile sense. We should 
only drive France on to the English side if we compelled 
France to declare herself in this matter.' " 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, Nov. 16, 1904. 

" I transmit to Your Imperial and Royal Majesty in the 
annex to this letter a draft reply to His Majesty the Emperor 
Nicholas. The reply this time must unfortunately be 
incomplete. Your Majesty has to do with a partner who 
is not so practised as Your Majesty in the political game, 
and for whom an exact statement of all the evidence was 
necessary to avoid the danger of mistaken interpretation. 
If the Tsar at the outset, instead of * Afin de localiser autant 
que /aire se pent la guerre Kusso-Japonaise,' said, ' Afin d' assurer 
le mainte (sic) de la paix en Europe,' the alliance will be more 
powerful and safer and will last longer. Naturally we must 
not let our interest in this alteration appear. 

" Now Your Majesty is faced with the horrid task of 

77 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

translating this long letter into good English. I am so sorry 
that Your Majesty should have this trouble. My justification 
for this presumption is that this is a matter of a really great 
and delicate situation quite unexpected by an attentive 
world. If they had the least suspicion in Paris and London 
of the contents of this document they would strain every 
nerve to prevent at the last moment the German-Russian 
alliance, by which the possibility of a Russo-French-English 
alliance is destroyed." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Count von Bulow. 

*' Gr. Strelitz, Nov. 23, 1904. 

** Dear Billow, 

" Herewith I send you a cipher just received from 
the Tsar which I have decoded with Cuno ^ and Hohenau.^ 
** His Majesty is beginning to have ' cold feet ' with 
regard to the Gauls, and is so flabby that he will not make 
this treaty with us without their permission — that means 
also not against them. It is in my opinion impossible 
that Paris should know anything about it before we have 
secured the ' Little Father's ' signature. For its communica- 
tion to Delcasse means a telegram to Cambon and that very 
evening its appearance in The Times and The Figaro, and with 
that the affair is done for ; for the row that would then 
break out in London would perhaps induce ' Little Father ' 
to make such modifications as would make the treaty worthless 
or frighten him off concluding it. I am very much worried 
by this turn of affairs but not surprised ; he is too weak- 
kneed towards the French — on account of the loan — and 
I should not be surprised if your friend Witte with the 
flabby Lamsdorff had not both of them had a fibiger in our 
pie. He — or the Tsar — ^will have perhaps made enquiries, 
secretly because of Paris, and Witte, in anxiety about some 
outstanding loan from there, has given his advice on this 
disastrous proposal. If they go on in this way the whole 
story will come out, and the net result is ' tata.' 

^ Count Cuno Moltke. * Count Wilhelm von Hohenau. 

78 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW [1904 

*' I have to-day received from Coerper ^ fresh news of 
the increasing bad feeling, of articles directly advocating 
aggressive action, and of conversations of the same tenor 
with ladies in naval circles, who told him frankly that war must 
soon be declared against us since our Fleet was still small 
enough for England to ' annihilate ' it without danger to 
herself, that in two years' time it would be already too late, 
and that they would then risk losing too many ships. He 
also announces further preparations in the shape of the 
putting in readiness of more reserve cruisers for peace 
service in the North Sea to join up with the ' Home Fleet/ 
Preparations for mobilization are being pushed forward 
at high pressure, and the possibility of a surprise attack 
with overwhelming force is brought nearer. 

" A casus belli for us in this situation would be the with- 
drawal of the Mediterranean Fleet from the Mediterranean 
into English waters. It would constitute a direct threat of war 
against us. This is the view also of the NavalChief of Staff. 

" We have had abominable rainy weather here at home 
and have stayed in the house playing cards. With regard 
to your early draft of a reply to the flabby Tsar, I beg you to 
send it through Adjutant-General von SchoU, so that he can 
put it into cipher straight away. 

" With kindest regards, 

'* Yours most sincerely, 

" William I.R. 



<c 



P.S. — The situation begins more and more to resemble 
that before the Seven Years' War." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Berlin, Nov. 24, 1904. 

" I beg humbly to hand to Your Imperial and Royal 
Majesty in the annex the draft of a reply to the Tsar. In 
this critical moment it is important : 

" (i) To keep the pourparlers secret. Hence the 
indirect appeal to the Tsar's loyalty. 

^ Naval Attachd in London. 

79 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

" (2) To show no agitation, so as not to drive 
the Tsar into the arms of England. Therefore we 
will not mention at all that the idea of an alliance 
arose in Russia. 

" (3) To keep an eye on England, but to show 
no nervousness. 

" (4) To keep open to the Tsar the possibility 

of a German-Russian understanding, even though he 

now jibs at it. 

*' I have kept the draft telegram as short and clear as 

possible, but what we say in this draft seems to me necessary. 

I would willingly have spared Your Majesty the trouble 

of translation into English, but Your Majesty knows English 

so much better than I do. 



(( 



(Enclosure) 



" Draft of a Telegram from the Emperor William II 
TO the Emperor Nicholas II of Russia. 

*' Best thanks for your telegram. That you will say 
nothing to France without my agreement is for me a fresh 
proof of your perfect loyalty. I should think it absolutely 
dangerous for France to be informed before a treaty is 
concluded between you and me. I am convinced that 
premature communication to France would result in the 
opposite of what we want. If France knows for certain 
that Russia and Germany are bound by a treaty to support 
one another it will warn the English to keep the peace 
in order not to place themselves in an unpleasant situation. 
But if France knows that a German-Russian treaty has been 
projected, but not yet concluded, the French Government 
might arrive at a decision to give the English a hint while 
there is still time. The possibility is not excluded that the 
English may then, in association with Japan, attack me all 
along the line in Asia and Europe as a preventive measure. 
Germany would then be temporarily crippled by the maritime 
superiority of the two others. Thereby the balance of 
power in the world would be destroyed for a time to my and 
your disadvantage, and in your conclusion of peace later 
on Japan with her friends would have completely the upper 
hand. 

80 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 



<< 



My desire was, and is, to maintain tiiis balance of power 
by 2L union between Germany, Russia, and France in the 
interest of peace. But I think that is only possible if first 
of all we are both agreed in some form and a treaty an 
accomplished fact. By informing France beforehand, you 
might precipitate a catastrophe. But if you find that you 
cannot conclude a treaty without the prior consent of France, 
then the less dangerous alternative for us both is not to 
conclude a treaty at all. Naturally, on my side I am keeping 
the secret of a pourparler as conscientiously as you. As you 
have only admitted Lamsdorff into the secret, so I have only 
spoken of it with Biilow and have taken pains to secure 
absolute secrecy. Our regard for one another remains 
in any case as before. I shall seek now as ever to be of 
use to you so far as I can do so within the limits of my own 
security. Your neutrality agreement with Austria has been 
communicated to me by the Emperor Francis Joseph. I 
am in complete agreement with it." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, Dec. 6, 1904. 



(C 



Very Secret. 

" Your Imperial and Royal Majesty is informed of the 
most recent newspaper reports from England, according 
to which the English Government has now begun to forbid 
German ships which were arranging to take coal from 
English ports for the Russian ships to leave the ports and 
is compelling them to unload their coal cargoes. The 
English Government justifies this proceeding on the English 
legal doctrine that a merchant ship which loads coal more 
than once for a foreign ship of war or other purpose must 
thereby be regarded as an auxihary vessel of that fleet, and 
consequently commits an offence against English obligations 
as a neutral. As Director-General Ballin has reported to 
the Foreign Office, he has a number of German vessels 
intended to carry coal to the Russian Fleet more than once. 
Cases of English intervention against our merchant ships 
may therefore recur. 

81 F 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

" According to the report of Woiflf's Bureau herewith 
most respectfully annexed, the Japanese allow threats 
to be made through its Press in Tokyo that they will use 
armed force against any breach of neutrality, and will no 
longer respect the neutrality of the State in question. This 
gives the impression that we are faced with Anglo- 
Japanese action. 

" To the question of what security Russia offers us 
against the eventual evil results of the coal deliveries and the 
other services rendered to her there is as yet no satisfactory 
reply. The letter already announced of His Majesty the 
Emperor Nicholas on Your Majesty's observations on the 
treaty project suggested by the Tsar himself is still awaited. 
The Russian Government shows coolness towards us, as 
Your Majesty will see from the enclosed report of Baron 
von Romberg of the ist instant. On the other hand, as the 
attached report of Prince Radolin of the 2nd instant shows, 
emphasis is recently laid with surprising diligence, not 
only in the French Press, but by the French Government, 
on the fact that the Dual Alliance remains unchanged and 
that Germany's advances to Russia would fail. The suspicion 
is not excluded that something about the Russo-German 
pourparlers has trickled through from the Neva to the Seine. 

'* In my most humble opinion it is indicated under these 
circumstances that we should compel Russia to avow her 
principles, while we make certain how far we can count 
on Russian help if we are drawn into a conflict over the coal 
deliveries. 

*' If we defer acquiring this certainty it may happen that 
the German coaling operations will be carried out in the 
interval, and that Russia would therefore have no further 
interest in our support. Ballin, for instance, as the annexed 
statement shows, only delivers the coal part of the way, 
not in the theatre of war itself. 

" In accordance with all this I would most respectfully 
ask Your Majesty's agreement to the draft request to St. 
Petersburg enclosed herewith. 

" At the same time, it might be advantageous if Your 
Majesty would address a letter to the Emperor Nicholas 
in the sense of the German draft, humbly submitted herewith. 

" The despatch of the request, together with the letter, 
is subject to the condition that in case we receive no satisfactory 

82 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

answer from St. Petersburg I will request Herr Ballin, in 
Your Majesty's name, not to deliver any more coal to the 
Russians." 



Memorandum. 



*' Berlin, Dec. 16, 1904. 



*' (i) / Our intentions towards England are absolutely 
peaceful. We shall act as prudently as possible towards 
England. We^^hall in every way strive to avoid incidents 
with England, ^he increase in our Fleet goes forward 
more slowly than in many other countries. The provision 
to be expected for the Fleet next winter will be kept within 
relatively modest bounds, without Navy scares, and will be 
quietly planned and carried out. In spite of this, is there 
any danger that we may be attacked by England within a 
measurable time ? 

** (2) Would the danger of an English attack on Germany 
be increased or diminished by the conclusion of an agreement 
of any kind between Germany and Russia ? 

"(3) In case of a German-Russian agreement, would 
England be more disposed than she is now to attack Russia 
and to draw us in on sympathetic grounds ? 

" (4) As against England, would a defensive alliance 
between Germany and Russia (both Powers bind themselves 
respectively to full support if one of them should be attacked) 
be more useful, or a neutrality agreement (by which Russia 
would cover our rear exclusively with regard to certain 
neutrality questions, such as coal deHveries, questions of 
ports, etc.) ? 

" (5) Would the one or the other form of agreement 
be more irritating to England ? Which Idnd of agreement 
would offer us more security against England ? 

*' (6) Will the danger of an EngUsh attack on us be 
increased by our benevolent attitude towards Russia in 
neutrality questions, and particularly in the matter of coaling ? 
Can serious incidents with England arise out of the coal 
deUveries ? Is it therefore advisable to conclude no agree- 
ment of any sort with Russia, but, on the other hand, to stop 
the coal deliveries ? 

83 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

" (7) Does the danger exist that England, if she hears 
of negotiations for an alliance between us and Russia, may 
suddenly make a surprise attack on us ? " 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, Dec. 24, 1904. 

" Your Majesty's Ambassador in Washington, Baron 
Speck von Sternburg, has arrived here, charged with special 
messages from President Roosevelt and commissioned to 
act as his mouthpiece. The state of his health is given as 
the ostensible object of his journey. 

" Baron Sternburg has briefly set out, in the accompanying 
aide-memoire, the views of the American Press regarding the 
political situation, especially the situation in Eastern Asia. 
From this it appears that President Roosevelt, in conformity 
both with his personal feelings and with the prevailing 
views amongst both the Republicans and Democrats in the 
United States, does not wish in any circumstances to act in 
opposition to Japan, whose expansion and increasing strength 
he does not fear, and whose friendship he wishes to win. 
On the other hand, he cherishes a deep-seated mistrust of 
Russia, and of her aggressive and reactionary tendencies. 
The President does not wish to hand over either China or 
Manchuria or Korea to the Russian system of isolation. 

" This outline Your Majesty's Ambassador amplified 
in verbal communications to myself. From these, it transpires 
that the dislike of Russia which President Roosevelt shares 
with almost the whole American people is too deep-rooted 
for any change to be expected. Naturally we cannot put 
ourselves into opposition to Russia in order to fall in with 
the Asiatic policy of America. Nevertheless, we must 
manage to give a reply to Roosevelt which will not endanger 
the gradual development of the friendly relations between 
Germany and America. As the main features of our reply, 
I might suggest the following points : 

" * Germany finds herself in a more difficult position 
than that of America. The latter need have no anxiety 
as to an attack from any direction, while H.M. the German 

84 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

Emperor has not the same desirable security with regard 
to the intentions which England and France may cherish 
towards Germany. /England has paid for her Entente 
Cordiale with France^"fey' heavy sacrifices. The renunciation 
of Morocco, in particular, is both surprising and suspicious. 
One could almost ask whether England thereby sought 
to assure herself of French support against Germany, either 
on behalf of an acquisitive policy in China or with a view 
to the creation, through French assistance, of an Anglo- 
Russo-Japanese alliance. 

" * With such an outlook, the Kaiser cannot afford 
to make an enemy of Russia. The aims of German policy 
are clear and simple, namely, purely defensiv^^ 

" ' Germany seeks for no expansion of her sphere of 
influence. The question of an extension of her sphere in 
China was specially considered in 1900, the year of the 
Boxing rising, and after mature deliberation, with special 
reference to the expense and dangers likely to be incurred, 
was finally rejected. In conformity with this non- 
aggressive character of German policy, H.M. the Kaiser's 
Government would willingly enter into defensive alliances 
for the preservation of the recognized status quo. Such 
a defensive alliance with America would perhaps be 
profitable for both parties, but His Majesty is well aware 
that the Constitution of the United States has expressed 
itself against entanglements to be feared from treaties of 
alliance. How far an alliance which ostensibly does nothing 
but guarantee the maintenance of the status quo, as now 
internationally recognized, would fit in with the interests 
and aims of Russian policy, only Russia herself can 
judge. At any rate, there exists no alliance between 
Germany and Russia. That Germany, who herself seeks 
no territorial advantages, should bind herself by treaty 
to support the aggressive policy of another Power, would 
be unnatural, save only in the case of Germany seeing 
herself threatened by some all-powerful enemy and 
being compelled to pay a high price for an ally who would 
protect her rear. H.M. the Kaiser hopes, none the less, 
despite somewhat threatening appearances — such as the 
Anglo-French Entente Cordiale and the powerful strength- 
ening of the English Channel Squadron — ^that the German 
Empire may be spared the pressure of such a serious situation. 

85 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

As has already been said, the German Empire seeks no 
advantage for herself — her aim is directed only towards 
self-preservation. If French policy succeeds in bringing 
Russia into the Anglo-Japanese group, then England, France, 
Japan, and Russia combined will probably be strong enough 
to dictate to the whole world — at any rate, strong enough to 
divide up Asia, and especially China, amongst them.' " 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, Dec. 26, 1904. 



a 



*' I thank Your Imperial Majesty for sending me the 
reply of His Majesty the Tsar Nicholas. The manner in 
which he deals with Your Majesty's last letter confirms the 
suspicion that Russia attaches either no value to an alliance 
with us or not so high a value as she would if she held more 
correct views on the political situation and the relations of 
the Powers. 

" In the enclosure I present a most interesting secret 
dispatch from von Arco. Japan seeks peace. The impend- 
ing Aoki mission seems, if we collate our reports from all 
sources, to be the third attempt to initiate negotiations for 
peace. Some weeks ago Viscount Hayashi suggested in 
London that England and Japan should discuss peace terms 
between themselves, and England suggested to Japan that 
it would be advisable to adopt the most conciliatory attitude 
possible. On the other hand, we know from Baron Sternburg 
that the Japanese made known their desire for peace to the 
American Ambassador in Tokyo, Mr. Griscom. Probably 
in connection with this, Mr. Hay, Secretary of State, brought 
forward the question of peace with Count Cassini, but he 
replied to the Ambassador that the war must go on to the 
bitter end. 

*' Since the Japanese feelers have not hitherto produced 
any tangible results from England or America, the Japanese 
think they will try to avail themselves of the friendly relations 
between Russia and Germany, which, from outside, they 
believe to be more intimate than they are in reality. A refusal 
to receive the Aoki mission would, in my respectful opinion, 

86 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

not suit German interests, since by so doing we would 
present ourselves quite unnecessarily before the world 
as the partisan of Russia, though for some time she has 
not allowed us to have any influence upon her. It would 
be equally detrimental to our prestige, however, if our 
refusal were couched in such terms as to convey the impression 
that we were, above all, afraid to express an opinion. On 
the other hand, the reception of the Aoki mission commits 
us to nothing. It would be perfectly natural were the long- 
established envoy of Japan in Berlin to be chosen as repre- 
sentative of Japan at the wedding of His Imperial Highness 
the Grand Prince. The combination of circumstances 
would be so natural that no political inferences could justly 
be drawn. 

" From the standpoint of Court etiquette, the objection 
might be made that a Prince of the Imperial House of Japan 
ought to attend the wedding of His Imperial Highness. 
But this formal objection should be disregarded in view of 
the useful purpose which the Aoki mission woald certainly 
fulfil. For even if the mission itself has no other results, 
it would enable us to obtain a fairly clear insight into Japanese 
policy and also into the Asiatic policy of the other Powers. 
The present situation is that America and Japan unite with 
us in the solution of the Far Eastern question, while Russia, 
France, and England, on the other hand, would like to keep us 
in ignorance of the fluctuations of the negotiations. It 
follows from this that we must not fall out with America 
and Japan, but, as far as possible, must remain in touch with 
them. The more we learn what is going on, the more 
does the danger of the situation diminish. In the next place, 
it would suffice were Your Majesty to let Aoki know that 
you would be prepared to receive him in a special audience 
on the occasion of the betrothal celebrations. As to the 
attitude to be adopted with regard to Aoki's communications, 
there is still ample time for consideration. 

" In the interval before Aoki arrives the war situation 
may change considerably ; so may many other factors 
dependent upon it. If we replied to Tokyo that, in the circum- 
stances, it would be more suitable to send an Imperial Prince 
to represent Japan at the betrothal celebrations instead of 
the undoubtedly useful and sympathetic Aoki, that would 
be interpreted as meaning that we wish to avoid any political 

87 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

pronouncement. This would be a blunter way of bringing 
the matter to a conclusion than if, after hearing the grievances 
of the Japanese, we then explained in a friendly manner : 
' We regret we are unable to help you ; our own situation 
forbids us to embark on new enterprises where we should 
only make new enemies.' This latter course would give 
less offence to the Japanese than if we definitely refused to give 
them a hearing. I think, therefore, it would be advisable 
if Your Majesty would authorize me to telegraph to von 
Arco that Aoki would be agreeable to Your Majesty as 
Japan's representative. Further, we might consider whether 
we should receive Aol^i as an Ambassador. In view of the 
sensitive national pride of the Japanese, that would be a 
great coup^ and would also cause immense annoyance to the 
English. 

" As regards America, I should advise that at present 
we dwell more on the danger of a Quadruple Alliance 
(England, France, Russia, and Japan) than on that of a Yellow 
Peril. The Americans will be more ready to believe in the 
former danger, as it is nearer to them. The latter is too. 
remote, and the peculiar characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon 
peoples is to grasp, for the most part, only that which lies 
nearest to their view. Further, Japan, as the fourth member 
of an alliance with three European Powers, is more dangerous 
than if she stands alone with China. The latter contingency 
is that which Roosevelt foreshadows when he says it would 
not be difficult to deal with Japan. ,For us, too, the 
Quadruple Alliance is a more urgent danger than the Chino- 
Japanese Alliance. The chief thing appears to me to be 
that we should get Aoki here. Whether we afterwards 
really embark on serious negotiations is of secondary 
importance. The advantage to us is that, through America 
and Japan, we should be rescued from the obscure corner 
to which not only England, but Russia, wishes to relegate 
us. . . . 

" On Christmas Day I had a long conversation with 
Lascelles. On this occasion he has made excellent use of 
his leave, and has discussed German relations not only with 
King Edward; but also with numerous English politicians 
and publicists. His impressions are roughly the 
same as those of Metternich ; the English distrust of 
Germany is just as great as that of Germany for England. 

88 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1904 

If we believe in the possibility of an English attack, so, on 
the other hand, many Englishmen are convinced that we are 
only building our Fleet in order to attack England as soon 
as we are strong enough. If the fresh allocation of the 
English Fleet arouses our anxiety, so, on the other hand, 
is the English Admiralty convinced that we are concen- 
trating all our energies on the construction of warships, 
and are assembling these in our home waters. If the English 
Press is hostile at present, it has for some years been the 
case that the German Press has adopted an unfriendly tone 
towards England. 

'* My reply to Lascelles was a variation of the Latin 
tag, ' Si duo jacimt idem^ non est idem* What the German 
Press may say with regard to foreign policy has little 
importance for practical purposes, for the German people 
have unfortunately little political education and the German 
Press is merely doctrinaire. With us, only the official policy 
counts at all, and ours, especially during the Boer War, was 
j^not. only correct and loyal, but even outspokenly friendly. 
In' England it is otherwise. The attitude of the great English 
newspapers has in fact a profound influence on the course 
of English policy, for English public opinion determines, 
in the last event, the direction of her policy. It is further 
a fact that the great English Press, just because, in contrast 
to the German Press, it possesses political traditions, is not 
in the habit of opposing the views of the English Government 
in decisive international questions. If the English Press 
adopts so hostile a tone against a foreign country as it is 
now doing against Germany, it must be a cause of serious 
anxiety. On the other hand, England is so superior to us 
at sea, that the possibiHty of a German attack on England 
is not worth discussing amongst sensible people. 

" The opposite is, however, quite conceivable. Lascelles 
denied most emphatically that either the English Government, 
or the Navy, or the City, or the great majority of the EngUsh 
people want war with us. Mistrust and irritation with us are 
at this time certainly great in England, but England seeks no 
conflict with us ; she wants peace. His Majesty King Edward 
has given Lascelles friendly messages for Your Majesty, 
which the latter hopes to convey to you on the occasion of his 
New Year audience. 

" His Majesty also said to him, ' I place full confidence in 

89 



1904] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

Count Billow.' \As Your Majesty has repeatedly and rightly 
said, the all-important thing with England is to get through 
the next few years with patience and smoothness, to give no 
cause for friction and no visible ground for suspicions. The 
situation resembles that of the Athenians, when they had to 
build the long walls on the Pir^us without interference fron;^ 
the more powerful Spartans before the work was complete." > 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Count von Bulow. 

*' Dec. 28, 1904. 

" Dear Bulow, 

" As regards the Tsar*s letter of reply, it is clearly a refusal 
even to consider an agreement without France's knowledge. 
An entirely negative result after two months' solid work and 
negotiations. The first failure which I, personally, have 
experienced. I hope it is not the first of a series of similar 
happenings. America and Japan must now be all the more 
carefully cultivated. The latter is, undoubtedly, much 
annoyed with England, and is in a depressed frame of mind 
because everything is not going exactly as she wishes. Paris 
must be pulled up sharply ! 

*' The French have certainly got wind of our negotiations 
and have thwarted them. Delcasse is infernally clever and 
very powerful. I am now heart and soul with the Bulgar — he 
is coming to my birthday festivities ! He has already promised 
to support the Bagdad Railway, and will try to bring the 
French round too. He is very much annoyed with Austria. 
He has joined a secret alliance with Hungary, whose revolt 
he considers absolutely certain on the death of the present 
Emperor. Franz Ferdinand is Czech pure and simple. He 
wants to make his wife Empress ! . . . 

*' William." 1 



^ In this instance the Emperor omitted, apparently, the usual " I.R." after his name 

90 



Ill 

THE YEAR 1905. : JANUARY-APRIL 



Ill 

THE YEAR 1905 : JANUARY-APRIL 

NOTE. 

A page from Mr. R. H. Gretton's " Modern History of the English 
People," Volume II, will serve as a very interesting and useful preface 
to this section : 

The quality of our agreement with France had been expressed in a 
phrase new to the British public. It hardly savours too much of 
cynicism to say that this fact greatly assisted the establishment of friendly 
feelings. The " Entente Cordiale " became a street catchword ; and 
so an idea that might have taken years to bear fruit found its way at once 
to the populace. If it had remained entirely, or even almost entirely, 
on the diplomatic plane, it would have been seriously shaken this year. 
For, as far as the principal bargain was concerned, France appeared to 
have made a miscalculation. She had bargained a certainty in Egypt 
against a speculation in Morocco. The situation in Egypt had lasted 
long enough to make our position assured. But it soon appeared that 
there were others besides ourselves with a word to say about Morocco. 
The German Emperor visited Tangier in the spring of 1905, and in 
a speech there remarked that he could not allow any Power to step 
between him and the free sovereign of a free country. Incidentally, this 
event gave a new text for the Free Traders. A nation that set up tariffs 
and protected markets, like the French, could not move a step towards 
new expansion without alarming a great trading nation like Germany. 
Expansion to France meant a new closed market ; expansion to us 
meant a new open market for everybody. But this was a minor aspect 
of the affair. The more important aspect was that friction arose between 
France and Germany, and arose from an agreement of which we seemed 
to be getting the only profit. As it turned out, the storm fell solely 
upon M. Delcasse. King Edward went yachting in the Mediterranean 
in the spring, and, both on his way south and on his return, he stopped 
at Paris to visit President Loubet. M. Delcasse could not be saved. 
A logical people, like the French, could see the mistake he had made, 
and in June he resigned the Foreign Ministry. It was thought, perhaps 
with some truth, that Russia's grievous preoccupation in the Far 
East, paralyzing her for the moment in Europe, had deprived M. Delcasse 
of power upon which he had relied. A meeting between the Tsar 
of Russia and the German Emperor on their yachts in the Baltic added 
to French uneasiness. But the friendliness with England stood the strain. 
The French Fleet visited Spithead in July and was feted ; the Municipal 
Council of Paris visited the London County Council in September, 
and were received by the King. 

93 



Ill 

THE YEAR 1905 : JANUARY-APRIL 

To HeRR von KuHLMANNjl 

Charge d'affaires at Tangier. 

" Berlin, Jan. 2, 1905. 

" The suggestion put forward in your Report No. A298, 
that it should be made clear in the appropriate quarter in 
Morocco that Germany takes a political interest in Moroccan 
affairs, is worthy of consideration. Naturally we cannot go 
so far as to say that we will gxsr^ open support to the Moroccans. 
In this connection you must unhesitatingly deny the report 
emanating partly direct from Paris, partly in a roundabout 
way through Madrid, ' that the Sultan is alarmed at the 
unanimous action taken by the European Powers,' and you 
might also let sHp the observation that Germany, together 
with other of the Great Powers, has not yet occupied herself 
with the new phase of the Moroccan question. 

" Your Excellency must use your own judgment as to the 
time and place when it might be advisable to add that the 
Nationahst opposition in France through their Press opposes 
in the most violent manner the idea of any military operations 
in Morocco, since France would then no longer have a free hand 
for many years to avail herself of any desirable opportunity 
for revenge against Germany." 



To the Emperor William II. 

"Berlin, Jan. 15, 1905. 



(< 



Your Majesty's Ambassador in Washington cabled 
yesterday : 

^ Herr Richard von Kiihlmann, who was later First Secretary at the Embassy in 
London. 

95 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

" ' The Russian Ambassador informs me that yesterday he 
presented to the Secretary of State, Mr. Hay, and to the other 
Powers a formal statement with regard to the breach of 
neutraHty by China. Mr. Hay at first rephed he had no 
cognisance of the facts alleged by Russia, and doubted whether 
Russia were not taking too gloomy a view of the situation. 
He added, however, that he would telegraph at once to Peking, 
expostulating with the Chinese Government. Mr. Hay was 
clearly taken aback by his arguments.' 

" On the 1 2th the Press telegram from St. Petersburg had 
reported that the Russian Government had circularized the 
Powers with regard to the violation of Chinese neutrality. 
Russia finds herself under the necessity of acting in accordance 
with her own interests in the matter of Chinese neutrality. 

"Also on the 12th there appeared in the Journal de St. 
Vetershourg a complete reprint of articles which had appeared 
in the United Services Magazine, in which without any hesitation 
the rapprochement between England and Russia is advocated, 
and not Russia, but Germany, appears as the real enemy of 
Great Britain. 

" In this connection I might point out that L,e Temps on 
the 13th, under the heading ' L'Indo-Chine et le Japon,' has 
a remarkable article, which speaks out without restraint and 
lays down in detail exactly how and why French interests in 
Lower India are so dangerously threatened by Japan. 

" Against this threat France must defend herself on sea. 
Other Powers may also be ranged in opposition to Japan by 
the side of France. Asia to-day is mainly under the domination 
of England, France, and Russia. The control of China is on 
the way. Japan stands as warlike protagonist of the yellow 
races against the white in opposing these measures. It 
would be most natural for the threatened Powers to draw 
closer together ; for the present, however, England stands 
apart, by reason of her friendly relations with Japan. 

*' This same number of L<? Temps reprints the report made 
by Doumer when, as Governor-General of Indo-China in 
March 1897, he foresaw the danger from Japan. Both 
articles I herewith enclose. From the circumstances that the 
organ of Delcasse has reproduced a report in which Doumer 
appears as a prophet, one can perhaps infer that Delcasse ^ 

^ M. Delcasse, then French Minister for Foreign Affairs. M. Gjmbes was 

French Premier, and M. Doumer was Governor-General of Indo-China. 

96 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW [1905 

would like to see Doumer in the place of Combes. But 
this matter of internal politics is not of much importance 
compared with the apprehensions called forth by the utter- 
ances which have already been made public. The Russian 
Circular Note, as made public by the Russian Telegraph (up 
to the present it has not been officially issued), allows it to be 
understood that Russia is offended by China and on that 
account will take control of her. The Journal de St. Peters- 
bourg, by reproducing without criticism the ideas of the 
United Services Magazine, identifies itself with the policy that 
England should join with Russia and that England's real 
enemy is not Russia but Germany. The Temps finally says 
openly that Russia, France, and England, if they understand 
their own interests, should unite against the common enemy, 
Japan, for the accomplishment of their long-desired aims in 
Asia. Of course, it is rightly admitted that at present nothing 
can be reckoned on as far as England is concerned. None 
the less, the far-seeing M. Delcasse would hardly have let such 
an article appear, pointing directly at war with Japan, and 
quoting Doumer's report, as documentary evidence in this 
connection, unless he entertained hopes that by an extension 
of the quarrel in the Far East, England might be detached from 
the side of Japan. Further, it may be adduced that M. 
Delcasse views with much favour the prospect of a Franco- 
Anglo-Russian alliance for the control of China. 

*' All these plans will be greatly disturbed by the American 
Note of yesterday, the text of which I herewith enclose for 
Your Majesty. The main points of the Note are : The 
American Government has received intimations from various 
Powers that, in the event of a rupture between Russia and 
Japan, they will seize the opportunity to put forward their 
own views on the Chinese question. The President regards 
these intimations with apprehension, for such discussions will 
confuse and embitter the whole situation. The United 
States, for their part, will stand, as hitherto, for the integrity 
of China and the * Open Door.' Finally, the Ambassador is 
commissioned to ascertain the opinions of the various Powers, 
including Germany, on each point. This conclusion leaves 
nothing to be desired from the point of view of firmness. 

" The position which Your Majesty has adopted over the 
Eastern Asiatic question is absolutely clear. I beg Your 
Majesty's consent that in reply to the American questions 

97 G 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

I should state that Your Majesty's Government adheres to 
your earlier declarations, that in particular your standpoint 
may be ascertained by reference to the Anglo-German Agree- 
ment of October i6, 1900, in which your full intentions 
were imparted to all interested parties. Your Majesty's 
Government desires the maintenance of the * Open Door ' 
and wishes for no extension of influence.*' 



To HeRR von KtJHLMANN, 

Charge d'affaires at Tangier. 



(( 



Berlin, Jan. 16, 1905. 



*' We can rest assured that the French demands are not 
detrimental to German interests. We must not, however, 
bind ourselves in advance to undertake any responsibility for 
giving the Sultan advice on particular points, if the Sultan 
tries to ascertain our intentions. 

'* Should the Sultan ask to see Dr. Vassel he must, of 
course, comply. He can take the opportunity of remarking 
that the Nationalist party in France dreads war with Morocco, 
since in that event the frontier between France and Germany 
would be partially denuded of troops. 

'* Anything in the Press of an anti-French character, 
especially anything of English or American origin, may be 
turned to account, as long as Dr. Vassel is not used as the sole 
channel of communication. Will the change on the Moroccan 
outlook have any effect on American commercial interests ? 
Is the American representative taking the matter up ? Please 
report.' 



>> 



To HeRR VON KiJHLMANN, 

Charg^ d'affaires at Tangier. 

"Berlin, Jan. 30, 1905. 

*' When Dr. Vassel employed the expression, ' unfortunate 
idea,' he could not have been instructed in conformity with 

98 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

my telegram No. i. It therefore seems advisable to put 
forward once more the German point of view : 

" (i.) German and French interests are not identical. 

" (2.) The German Government has not received any- 
formal notification on the part of France of any intended 
change of policy in Morocco, and has also had no occasion 
up to now to take any notice of any such change of policy. 

" Dr. Vassel should speak to the Sultan in this sense in 
the course of their next conversation. Should the Sultan 
enquire whether Germany will support him, Dr. Vassel must 
reply that Germany cannot go to war with France over 
Morocco. There are, however, other problems which are 
capable of stirring up the distrust of each other felt by France 
and Germany. Actually the party in France which is most 
hostile to Germany, and most warlike, is opposed to a 
Moroccan war, for this would involve the dispatch of a large 
army and to a certain extent would involve the depletion of 
the garrisons along the German frontier. 

*' I leave to your own judgment : 

" Whether you will allow Dr. Vassel to fix a date for his 
conversation with the Sultan or will yourself appoint one ; 

*' Further, whether you think it advisable to speak to the 
Sultan's representative yourself in the foregoing sense. This 
latter course should only be taken into consideration if the 
Moroccan in question is not entirely under the influence of the 
French group." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, Feb. 14, 1905, 



(( 



*' I hasten to inform Your Imperial Majesty that on re- 
turning from my daily constitutional I found the telegram 
from the Tsar which Scholl had placed carefully sealed on my 
writing-table. From this telegram it appears, as a dispatch 
received at the same time from Tschirschky ^ confirms, that 
the Hamburg-America Line would like to put on us the 
responsibility and odium of the awkward matter of the coal 

^Hert von Tschirschky, then Prussian Minister in Hamburg. 

99 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

problem. Of this there can be no question. Your Majesty's 
personal relations with His Majesty the Emperor Nicholas are 
too important and the moment is too critical, with Delcasse 
and Lansdowne eagerly working for the formation of a Russo- 
Franco-English group, for either Your Majesty, or Y.M.'s 
Imperial Chancellor, not to stand completely aside from the 
whole matter. 

" I attach a report received to-day from Alvensleben, 
from which it appears that in St. Petersburg the desire for 
peace grows stronger. Russia should not be given the 
opportunity to say, ' Russia has been obliged to seek peace 
because Your Majesty or Your Majesty's Government has 
prevented the Hamburg-America Line from supplying the 
Russian Fleet with any more coal.' The sole responsibility 
for dispatching or not dispatching the colliers must be accepted 
by the Hamburg- America Line. I beg to enclose the draft of a 
telegram in this sense for Your Majesty to dispatch to the 
Tsar. At the same time, I am informing Ballin, through 
Tschirschky, that he cannot appeal against Russia either to 
Your Majesty or to me, and that above all things he must not 
allow political considerations to weigh with him, but must 
think solely of what is conducive to the economic interests 
of the Hamburg- America Line." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, Feb. 15, 1905. 



(< 



" Your Majesty's comment that it would be perfectly 
simple for the Russians to proceed with Ballin's colliers if 
they would only buy these up and man them themselves 
allows me to think that the Tsar has not yet been informed 
of the tentative proposal of the Hamburg-America Line. 
It would, in my opinion, be most useful if Your Majesty 
would telegraph to-day to the Tsar in the sense of the draft. 
The telegram is written in such a way that it will appear 
Your Majesty has made enquiries in Hamburg and is now 
letting the Tsar know the result of the enquiries. I should 
not be surprised if the Russian Fleet were led to seek peace 

100 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

through their handHng of the coal question — at our expense. 
Skrydlow has recently said openly : ' Peace at once ! ' The 
accompanying telegram, which is perfectly neutral and harm- 
less, will act as a check on any such plots and designs. 

" At this juncture I have received the enclosed telegram 
from Tschirschky, which I beg to lay before you. I will 
inform Ballin that he should, if it is at all possible, raise the 
proposal to sell to the Russians once again, and even insist on 
this.'' 



To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Berlin, Feb. 18, 1905. 

" I beg to bring to Your Majesty's notice a telegram 
despatched yesterday by Count von Arco. The correspon- 
dence to which he refers was occasioned by the report of the 
Ambassador that the Japanese Press had recently again 
announced, despite all denials, that a Russo-Franco-German 
Alliance had been formed. My Telegram No. 20, enclosed, 
combats these untrue reports. 

*' The latest telegram from von Arco reports official 
Japanese demonstrations of confidence in the policy of 
Germany. Viscount Aoki claims to see in this change for 
the better a result of his activities. Without wishing to 
depreciate the services of this true friend of Germany, I think, 
none the less, that two other factors have aided the Japanese 
conversion. 

" First of all the American Government, as soon as it was 
itself convinced of the disinterested character of German 
policy, laid stress upon this in its communications with 
Tokyo. In addition the violence of the French official Press 
has been such as might well cause a revulsion of feeling on 
the part of the Japanese. I took the Hberty of calling Your 
Majesty's attention to these views a month ago. As a proof 
of the continuance of this campaign against Japan I venture 
to enclose copies of an article which appeared in the Figaro 
on the 14th of this month, entitled ' Le Partage Necessaire.^ In 
this the partition of China is advocated. It should, according 
to the views of the Figaro^ be undertaken while Japan is 

lOI 



■^^ 1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

demobili2ed. Russia should be given the North, as far as 
Peking, England the Yang-Tse, France the Southern provinces, 
both Yunnan and Kwangsu. Germany and Italy should be 
given territorial gains, while America should receive commer- 
cial advantages. 

" This plan of partition, if it really exits, has been 
relegated to the background by the declaration of disinterested- 
ness obtained from America, but it need certainly not be en- 
tirely abandoned. It may well be understood that the Japanese 
fight shy of it to a certain extent. Therefore the categorical 
denial by Your Majesty's Ambassador of any agreement 
between the German Government and France or Russia will 
fall on good ground. For the present I will go no further. 
The Japanese are very reserved as to their policy and may hope 
to exploit a further advance on the part of Germany in such a 
way as will enable them to manoeuvre us into a position of 
opposition, not only to France — ^which would not matter so 
much — but also to Russia. Following up those ideas, I have 
emphasized to Tokyo that we cannot take any fresh steps 
towards the reception of the Aoki mission, but must await 
official action on the part of the Japanese Government. 

" If the Japanese think that a rapprochement with Germany 
suits their interest, they will come of their own accord, since 
they now have been given full proof of Your Majesty's 
friendly political intentions." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, March 5, 1905. 

" I must not fail to lay before Your Majesty the letter 
of the two Italian Ministers to Count Lanza, and the accom- 
panying French translation. The Italian Government in this 
explanation, in which a certain amount of frankness is shown 
and in which even some regret for the behaviour of their 
predecessors in office may be perceived, prove quite clearly 
how very important it is for Italy to have no breach with 
Germany. Italy feels that by herself she is no match for her 
north-eastern neighbour ; on the other hand, she knows 
French help has to be paid for — ^witness Savoy and Nice. For 

102 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

that reason Rome does not wish to lose the support of 
Germany. It has been a good thing to have startled Italy, 
both in order to test her mood and also as a warning. But, 
now that Italy has calmed down and undertaken ' not to do 
it again,' it is contrary to German interests to repulse her, or 
to drive her to join the opposition by wounding her highly- 
dev.eloped national pride. 

/ " It is strongly in our own interests, both for the sake of 
peace and all international alliances, that the structure of the 
Triple Alliance should be maintained intact, and especially 
because, so long as Italy is part of the Triple Alliance, she 
would be met with distrust on the part of our enemies. In 
the event of serious complications we should have no illusions 
as to active co-operation on the part of Italy. But at the same 
time it is not a negligible matter to ensure that Italy will remain 
neutral instead of joining with France.' 



fy—^-y 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, March 10, 1905. 



(( 



" I beg to lay before Your Majesty the letter received 
from His Majesty the King of Italy, which I enclose, together 
with a draft reply to this letter. I have considered the draft 
most carefully. If Your Majesty wishes to visit Italy, then 
of course the reply to H.M. King Victor Emmanuel must be 
couched in friendly terms. It so happens that the new 
Prime Minister, Crispi, formerly Under-Secretary of State, 
has hitherto been a warm supporter of the Entente with 
Germany, and it is advisable to help to smooth the way for 
him. The important thing is that Your Majesty can speak 
with affectionate appreciation to the King of Italy of Her 
Majesty Queen Elena. 

" It is clear from the despatch how much Their Majesties 
wish to make the personal acquaintance of Your Majesty and 
the Empress. Here is the vulnerable spot of King Victor 
Emmanuel, who in this resembles King Philip of old in 
Schiller's ' Don Carlos.' The whole international situation 
is so tense that we must not leave a stone unturned. We 
must not drive Italy into the French camp, for it will make all 

10:^ 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

the difference if eventually Italy decides to range her army 
alongside that of France or if she merely remains neutral." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Count von Bulow. 



<< 



Bremerhaven, March 11, 1905. 



" The news, just received through Wolff, of the nego- 
tiations for peace, set on foot through the Franco-English 
group on behalf of the Tsar, proves that Rothschild is not 
willing to provide funds for the war any longer. These 
negotiations should provide the main reason for the sudden 
abandonment of King Edward VII's journeys ! He will now 
make a Franco-Russo-British Alliance, so that he may put 
Tibet and Afghanistan in his pocket. Aoki may be commis- 
sioned by us to say that we raise no objection to Port Arthur 
being in the hands of Japan. 

" It is astounding in these circumstances that we who have 
stood loyally by the Tsar are now not even consulted in any 
way. (Jrhe surrender of Mukden see^s practically to involve 
the annihilation of the Russian ArmyT^ Ought we to send the 
Emperor of Japan some sort of congratulations ? My 
departure for Lisbon seems very, very doubtful to me. The 
weather here is awful. vKodama, the Chief of Staff of the 
Japanese Army, who is a great friend of Waldersee, might be 
given the order ' for merit. y 

' "William I.R." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

'* Berlin, March 11, 1905. 

" The report of the Daily Graphic transmitted to Your 
Majesty by Wolff has been contradicted already. Any 
congratulations to the Emperor of Japan on the siege of 
Mukden, or one-sided conferring of a decoration on a 
Japanese general during the continuance of the war, would 

104 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

givQ the deepest offence not only to His Majesty the Tsar 
Nicholas, but also to the whole Russian nation. 

"It is more desirable to be on more cordial terms with 
Japan, but, in view of the Japanese character and all that has 
gone before, this can only be achieved by gradual degrees. 
Too great haste on our part will only arouse Japanese distrust. 
And if we want to win over Japan it will be desirable to 
develop most carefully our entente with Russia, which, together 
with France, still forms a strong group in Europe." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, March 20, 1905. 

" I must not fail to lay before Your Imperial Majesty the 
accompanying article which the Norddeutsche Allgemeine 
Zeitimg has published to-day on my authority, dealing with 
Your Majesty's call at Tangier.^ 

" Your Majesty's visit to Tangier will embarrass M. 
Delcasse, will run counter to his plans, and will be most 
helpful to our commercial interests in Morocco." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" March 20, 1905. 

" Your Majesty will be pleased to see from my urgent 
report, received in the meantime, that I have corrected in the 
'Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung the rumours circulated by the 
English Press, taking as a basis Your Majesty's explanations 
given some years ago to King Alfonso. Through the hint 
that Your Majesty seeks no territorial advantages in Morocco, 
but only claims equal economic rights for Germany with 
other nations, the bottom has been knocked out of the sen- 
sational stories told by the Press. In these circumstances I 
would recommend that no alteration should be made in the 

^ The article contained the following announcement : 

" The Cologne Ga:(ette reports from Tangier on the 19th a well-authenticated 
rumour that H.M. William II will arrive at Tangier on the 31st of March." 

105 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

arrangements for Your Majesty's journey to Tangier. The 
ground for my objection to any change is tlie experience 
which we have had the opportunity of obtaining in the course 
of the year of the secretive habits of M. Delcasse. 

" If we now telegraph that Your Majesty would perhaps 
not visit Tangier at all, or at any rate only incognito and as 
a tourist, and that all audiences and receptions would be 
cancelled, Delcasse will spread abroad that there are grounds 
for assuming the French Government has made representa- 
tions in Berlin which, as proved by the curtailment of Your 
Majesty's programme of travel, have been crowned with 
success. 

" I venture to think I am in agreement with Your Majesty 
in the opinion that there is no need for us to prepare such a 
triumph for M. Delcasse, which he, with his customary 
virtuosity, will well know how to make the most of." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Count von Bulow. 

[About March 21, 1905]. 

*' You will see from Wolff and Wedekind that the German 
Colony and the Moroccans are preparing a great outburst over 
my visit and Britain is making use of it against the French. 

*' You should telegraph at once to Tangier that it is 
extremely doubtful whether I shall land, and that I am only 
travelling incognito as a tourist and therefore there will be 
no audiences and no receptions. 

*' William I.R." 



Memorandum. 

"Berlin, March 21, 1905. 

" His Majesty is in agreement with our handling of the 
Moroccan situation. With regard to the character of His 
Majesty's visit to Tangier, he awaits proposals which will be 
telegraphed to him at Lisbon. In the first place the question 

106 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

arises whether His Majesty can land without endangering 
his safety. If so. His Majesty will, under von Kiihlmann's 
guidance, visit the beauty-spots and sights of Tangier and 
breakfast with him. Further, a decision must be made as to 
whom His Majesty should receive on board as envoy of the 
Sultan of Morocco. All this must be carefully weighed and 
decided in order that His Majesty on arriving at Lisbon may 
find awaiting him a precise programme for Tangier, in- 
cluding a statement of what is to take place there, of the situa- 
tion of affairs there, and of the speeches he is to make." 



To HeRR von KiJHLMANN, 

Charge d'affaires in Tangier. 

"Berlin, March 24, 1905. 

" During the past two days an international Press cam- 
paign has been set on foot, having as its theme the theory that 
the utterances of the Norddetitsche Allgemeine Zeitung have no 
anti-French tendency, and that the German Emperor and 
the German Government have no intention of doing anything 
which could offend France. The plan underlying this cam- 
paign can be seen most clearly in the Daily Chronicle, which 
publishes an alleged interview with a mem^ber of the German 
Embassy in London, and in the next issue gives an interview 
with the French Ambassador, M. Cambon. The German 
diplomat is reported to have said that hitherto the Franco- 
Russian Alliance has prevented any rapprochement between 
France and Germany, but that, now Russia has been defeated, 
England can offer to France no equivalent for the advantages 
which an understanding with Germany would assure to her. 
M. Cambon, acting on this, deduces that Germany wishes to 
approach France, and indicates as a necessary preliminary 
that Germany must first give tangible proof of her good in- 
tentions. France could only consider a reconciliation after, 
for example, the question of Metz had been settled. 

" Such pronouncements aim at discouraging the Sultan of 
Morocco through the suggestion that Germany is utilizing 
the Moroccan affair to reconcile herself with France, and that 
France is laying down conditions for such a reconciliation 

107 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

*' I beg Your Majesty to take steps either through Dr. 
Vassel or by some other suitable means, or in an unosten- 
tatious way, to contradict these baseless rumours. For 
instance, you might call attention to the inherent absurdity 
of the idea that a German diplomat in England would be 
allowed to say to the representative of an English paper that 
France ought to abandon England and turn to Germany. 

" In both the leading articles of the Norddeutsche two 
points are clearly brought out, and the exposition is important 
to us, namely, that Germany desires no special territorial 
advantages, and that she is only directing her attention to the 
maintenance of the ' Open Door.' For the rest, we have no 
interests to serve in telling our opponents beforehand what 
we intend to do or how far we will go, and in particular we 
will not take the initiative in issuing any declaration." 



Memorandum. 

"Berlin, March 24, 1905. 

" If any questions are put to diplomats on the subject of 
Tangier and Morocco, I beg that they will make no reply, 
and merely present impassive countenances. Our deportment 
in these matters should resemble that of the Sphinx, which, 
when surrounded by inquisitive tourists, betrays nothing." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, March 26, 1905. 



(< 



" Concerning Your Majesty's visit to Tangier. 

*' The Sultan of Morocco, being greatly pleased at Your 
Majesty's visit to Tangier, is despatching his great-uncle, 
Malai Abd-el Malek, as the bearer of a Shereef 's manuscript, 
accompanied by three high dignitaries. 

" The programme drawn up by Your Majesty's Charg^ 
d' Affaires at Tangier is based on the assumption that Your 
Majesty will spend about five hours there. 

108 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 



(( 



Main points : 

" Reception of Malai Abd-el Malek on board (salute to 
be given in honour of the great-uncle of His Shereefian 
Majesty). 
'* On the landing-stage the Moroccan authorities will be 
drawn up, together with the Diplomatic Corps and 
the German colony. 
" Drive through the town to the Kasba — the old palace 
of the Sultans — and from thence to the market-place, 
where Your Majesty will watch a display of riding 
from a decorated pavilion. 
** Arrival at the Legation. Here a garden party will 
shortly afterwards be given to which the ladies of the 
Diplomatic Corps and people of importance will be 
invited. 
" With regard to these points, I beg Your Majesty to 
inform the Charge d' Affaires immediately of your decision. 
He will discuss the minor details verbally with Your Majesty 
and take Your Majesty's commands." 

*' Most respectfully, 

" BiJLOW." 



To THE Emperor William IL 

March 26, 1905. 



(( 



" Strictly Confidential. 

" Directly Your Majesty's visit to Tangier became known 
about I arranged for the Norddeutsche to recall the fact that 
last year Your Majesty when at Vigo had announced that we 
aimed at no territorial advantages in Morocco, but confined 
our attention solely to the preservation of the freedom of 
trade. As a result of this announcement it appears that the 
English colony in Tangier has decided to erect a triumphal 
arch in Your Majesty's honour. This proceeding affords 
justification of the attitude we have adopted. As the champion 
of equal economic rights for all nations we shall be auto- 
matically accepted as protector of the English business world in 
Morocco, whose interests have been sacrificed by the English 
Government. The English business man is too sharp not to 

109 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

know what it would mean for him and for anyone else who is 
not a French subject if Morocco gradually is converted into 
the same sort of protectorate as Tunis. 

" The French Press, which at first spoke with some anxiety 
of Your Majesty's visit to Tangier, and regarded it as making 
the Franco-Moroccan negotiations more difficult, has subse- 
quently become more daring. A member of the French 
Embassy in London has even given an interview to the Daily 
Chronicle, in which it is stated that while France will not refuse 
a reconciliation with Germany, nevertheless Germany must 
first of all prove her good intentions and, for example, give 
up Metz. I believe that utterances of this sort are intended to 
reach the Sultan at Fez, through Tangier, in order to make 
him believe that France is the stronger of the two Powers, and 
that she dictates the conditions which regulate the relations 
of the two Powers. 

*' Naturally it would not be to Germany's best interest 
were the Sultan to become discouraged just at the outset of 
the French negotiations and were to accept a French protec- 
torate. It is advisable to my mind, in order to prevent this, 
for Your Majesty to receive the Sultan's envoy with marked 
distinction, and expressly as the Envoy of a Sovereign State, 
and to send your greetings to the Sultan with the hope that he 
will shortly succeed in suppressing the revolt of Bu-Amama, 
since all seafaring and mercantile nations have an interest in 
the restoration of peace in Morocco. Should Your Majesty 
enquire whence Bu-Amama obtains the means for his pro- 
longed resistance, and should the envoy perhaps reply, ' From 
France in all probability,' Your Majesty should respond, ' I 
can hardly credit the French with such contemptible behaviour.' 

" The Sultan and his advisers have hardly yet recovered 
from the shock of finding that England, so long regarded as 
the protector of Morocco, has now abandoned her. In 
order to exacerbate this feeling, the French representatives in 
Fez are now spreading the report that German friendliness 
towards the Sultan is also aimed merely at obtaining from 
France permission to share in the spoils of Morocco, and that, 
having obtained this, Germany would be promptly satisfied. 
It would not be in Germany's interests to assist in the gradual 
absorption of Morocco by France through any discouraging 
of the Sultan. Apart from the fact that the systematic ex- 
clusion from Morocco of non-French traders and contractors 

no 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW [1905 

on the model of Tunis would involve Germany in substantial 
economic loss, it is also a misconception of our position as a 
Power if M. Delcasse does not think it worth his while to 
communicate with Germany concerning his Moroccan policy. 
M. Delcasse has completely ignored us on this occasion. 

" It seems indicated, therefore, that Your Majesty, without 
uttering any unfriendly words about France, should on your 
side ignore the French in Morocco, should make no reference 
to their proceedings in the country, and should not honour 
the French Charge d'Aifaires by speaking to him, but should 
greet him in silence. 

"It is not Hkely that any diplomat will speak to Your 
Majesty on the subject of French policy in Morocco. But 
should anyone do so Your Majesty will be ready with the 
reply that you loiow nothing whatever about French Moroccan 
policy. It would be quite different were the Sultan's envoy 
to summon up courage and ask Your Majesty's advice. It 
would then depend on Your Majesty's answer whether the 
Sultan would continue to defend the independence of Morocco 
or subject himself to France. The question as to whether 
Your Majesty will risk war with France over Morocco cannot 
be considered as coming within the picture. But, on the other 
hand, it is more than questionable whether the present civilian 
French Government, to which a victorious French general 
would be almost more dangerous than a foreign enemy, will 
risk a war with Morocco so long as there is the slightest 
risk of Germany taking part in it. At present, therefore, we 
must leave our ultimate aims obscure. 

" We cannot properly make an alliance with Morocco. 
If, on the other hand, we entirely deprive the Sultan of Ger- 
many's moral support and leave him without any hope, we 
sacrifice important German interests. On that account I 
suggest that Your Majesty's reply to the Sultan's envoy should 
be on the following lines : 

*" It is known that I do not covet any sphere of influence in 
Morocco, but that I attach importance to the retention, along 
with other nations, of equality of rights in trade and commerce. 
Other mercantile nations have identical interests. Since 
this is known to be my view, the English colony have greeted 
me enthusiastically to-day. The interests of the Sultan are 
therefore identical with those of almost all seafaring and trading 
peoples, if he preserves his independence, and with it the 

III 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

power to grant equal rights to all within his territory. The 
chief strength of every ruler lies in having his people at his 
back in a crisis. Then no one will attack him from without 
with impunity. The Sultan should therefore assure himself 
that the trusty persons whom he has summoned to Fez to 
advise him are of one mind with himself, and should then 
arrange his policy accordingly.' 

*' As it is known that the Moorish delegates now assembled 
in Fez are entirely opposed to the Sultan giving way to the 
French, the Sultan can here receive a clear indication of policy. 
Should the envoy enquire whether Your Majesty would 
support the Sultan in a war with France, I would respectfully 
suggest the reply : 

" * If I gave you a definite promise to-day, would you 
attack the French to-morrow ? I should like to maintain 
peace if possible, though I have a very strong Army, and I 
must therefore reserve my decision against the contingency 
of war actually breaking out between Morocco and France. 
I do not believe, however, that it will come to that. France 
will see what she can achieve by threats, but she knows her 
situation will be dangerous if she attacks Morocco without 
first assuring herself of German neutrality.' 

" Next to the discussion with the Sultan's envoy, the most 
important matter is Your Majesty's reply to a brief English 
address which might possibly be given at the English triumphal 
arch. It would be necessary there to lay special stress on our 
common interests in maintaining equal rights for all nations. 
By expounding this principle at this juncture Your Majesty 
will make it practically impossible for the English Government 
to take the French side in the event of later discussions 
between France and Germany. 

" Finally, I should like to consider the contingency of 
Your Majesty's being placed in the position of having to 
reply to a question, not emanating from a Moroccan quarter, 
as to the attitude Germany might be expected to adopt in the 
event of a French war against Morocco. To that the answer 
could be given : ' Germany has no obligations which would 
prevent her from acting solely according to her own interests 
in that event.' This reply sounds alarming to our opponents 
but does not commit us to anything. 

*' In conclusion, may I venture to add a few personal 
observations ? The Spanish Ambassador, Cologan, is one of 

112 




g 



i4 

c 
o 

> 

u 
o 



u 

X 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

the diplomats who were besieged in Peking. In the ensuing 
diplomatic negotiations he used his influence as doyen of the 
Diplomatic Corps in favour of the German proposals. He is 
friendly to Germany and has worked secretly in Tangier and 
Fez for the status quo and against the policy of France. Spain 
is, of course, too weak and too dependent financially on Paris 
to pursue openly a policy of hostility to France. 

'* The Russian Ambassador, Herr von Bacheracht, was 
Secretary to the Embassy in Berlin for many years. 

"As to the American Ambassador, Gummere, it would 
certainly interest him greatly if he could report at home that 
Your Majesty sent greetings to the President, and had drawn 
a parallel between the preserv^ation of the ' Open Door ' in 
China and in Morocco. 

'* Information on other possible details will be best 
obtained from Your Majesty's Charge d' Affaires, Herr von 
Kiihlmann, who during this interval when he has been in 
charge has acquitted himself very well. 

" Your Majesty's visit to Tangier constitutes the chief 
matter of world interest at the moment. Attempts will be 
made in Lisbon to ascertain from Your Majesty information 
about our ultimate aims in Morocco. The more Your 
Majesty plays the Sphinx until your arrival at Tangier, and the 
less that is known of your attitude till then, the more powerful 
will be the effect produced by your visit to Tangier." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, March 27, 1905. 



(C 



" Everyone here is profoundly impressed by the powerful 
speech made by Your Majesty in Bremen. In my opinion 
Your Majesty has seldom spoken with more weight and con- 
viction. I read the speech with profound admiration. 

** The speech was an excellent preliminary to the visit to 
Tangier, on which the eyes of all, both at home and abroad, 
are riveted. This visit has put Delcasse for the first occasion 
for a long time in an awkward situation. If the Tangier visit | 
goes off according to our expectations, Delcasse will be exposed I 

113 M 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

to the criticism of all Europe for his policy of hostility to 
Germany. 

"I have taken on myself to despatch a confidential telegram 
to Your Majesty to-day, dealing with the main points which 
may be raised on your visit to Tangier." 



To HeRR von KiJHLMANN, 

Charge d'affaires in Morocco. 



t( 



Berlin, March 27, 1905. 



" Have you yet discussed with Mr. Harris the suggestion 
of the Moroccan Government, which you recently reported, 
about taking the view of the Powers represented in Morocco 
as to the nature of the French demands ? How does Harris 
think the English Government would receive the idea of a 
request from Morocco for a diplomatic conference ? Would 
England, even in the case of a purely economic programme, 
refuse to take part, on the ground that after the agreement with 
France the English Government is no longer in a position to 
uphold against France any English interests in Morocco, 
even interests of a purely economic character ? 
^^ *' If England will not take part, the idea of a conference 
must be abandoned. If England will participate, then such 
a conference would afford the simplest means of maintaining 
the status quo and improving upon it. Germany, and probably 
America, would uphold the status quo and the integrity of 
Morocco, and so it would be made possible for the English 
Government, without taking the initiative themselves, to 
rescue the English., economic interests which have been 
sacrificed in Morocco? The decisions of other Powers would 
without any doubt whatever be influenced by the attitude 
of Germany, America, and England. 

*' That France would agree to the idea of such a conference 
is extremely improbable, unless the Sultan should announce 
that he would not be willing to make any concessions if the 
conference were not summoned. In view of the likelihood 
of French opposition, the question would have to be con- 
sidered whether it would be practicable for the Sultan to ask 
the Powers represented in Morocco straight out if they 

114 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

advised him to place himself under the protection of France. 
Certain questions must be brought before the public at the 
same time. Will the English nation remain apathetic ? 
Will the EngHsh Government consider itself pledged by the 
French agreement to advise the Sultan to come to terms 
with France at any cost, or will they make reservations ? 
As Harris has only just returned from England, his opinion 
is worth having. 

" You are authorized to discuss the matter with him 
as if it were only your own purely academic idea, and you 
should proceed to say that a similar step regarding the Powers 
was in contemplation by Fez some time ago, and that 
the Sultan will first have to ask for help before any assistance 
can be given him." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Count von Bulow. 

"Lisbon, March 28, 1905. 

" Now that Crete has declared itself entirely hostile to 
Greece, ought we to reconsider whether I can keep the 
appointment with the King in Corfu in the circumstances ? 
At this very moment the devil has broken loose in Tangier ; 
yesterday an Englishman was nearly murdered there. It 
seems to me the matter is very dubious, and as Tattenbach, 
who is an old hand, is also doubtful, I have given orders 
that he should accompany me and see how things are before 
I land. Here I am making the most fearful exertions in 
unspeakable heat in overcrowded and over-heated rooms. 

** Everyone is most agreeable. But it is too much of 
a good thing to remain in full-dress from 1.30 p.m. to 
2.30 the next morning — thirteen hours on end. I am 
absolutely worn out. The State entry went on for three- 
and-a-half hours at the most solemn pace and we were 
obliged to halt every few paces for a quarter of an hour ! 
And in an old rococo glass coach. The behaviour and 
demeanour of the crowds were quite irreproachable and 
orderly. To-day we are off again, and not a moment's rest. 
SummerUke heat. 

"William I.R." 

"5 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

To Prince Henrt of Prussia. 

"Berlin, March 30, 1905. 

*' I telegraphed yesterday to Admiral Baron von 
Seckendorff at Kiel, asking whether he could possibly come 
here either to-day or to-morrow to discuss an important 
matter. I learnt from the telegraph bureau that the 
Admiral had accompanied His Majesty on the Hamburg. 
I had meant to give him a written statement, with verbal 
explanations, in order that he might inform Your Highness 
of the political and military situation in Russia. I beg 
permission to set forth as briefly as possible in this letter 
what I had intended to communicate to the Admiral at 
greater length. 

*' News from St. Petersburg is serious ; the disturbances 
there continue alarmingly. The chief danger lies in the 
general feeling of insecurity. Count Osten-Sacken, almost 
in tears, summed it up to me yesterday in the words, * JJn 
peu d'energie pourrait nous sauver^ mais on ne la voit parattre 
nulle part ? 

" I consider it disastrous that obvious hostility prevails 
between Their Majesties the Dowager Empress [of Russia] 
and the reigning Empress. The former appears to be 
completely entangled in the political meshes of Witte, whom 
all parties now mistrust and who is alleged to cherish vindic- 
tive feelings against H.M. the Emperor Nicholas. Witte 
desires peace at once at all costs. This desire is shared by all 
the Liberals and Revolutionaries, who in Russia cannot 
always be distinguished from each other. Osten-Sacken 
said to me in private conversation, that while it is true the 
conclusion of peace at this moment would be received with 
satisfaction by the Russian Press and by financial circles 
throughout the world, it would be regarded by the Russian 
nation as a fearful humiliation, and for this the Tsar would 
be made responsible, directly and personally. * (^ pourrait 
etre la fin.' If, however, the Tsar could hold out, the situation 
would improve for him and become worse for Japan. 

" I should not attach much weight to the views of a 
civilian diplomat regarding a situation the chief factors 
of which are of a military nature but for the fact that our 

116 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

General Staff has formed the same opinion of the miUtary 
situation. They regard it as impossible for Russia, as would 
be the case with almost any other country, to be forced 
to make peace by further Japanese victories, either by land 
or sea. Japan might capture Saghalien and Vladivostok, 
but she would be obliged to halt somewhere on the Siberian 
steppes, and there wait, gun in hand and at a colossal cost 
in money, until the Russian Army, after several months, 
was once more ready to give battle. 

'* General Kuropatkin made two great mistakes : at 
Lio Yang he retreated without any visible necessity, and at 
Mukden he did not take into account the effect of the 
Japanese Army released by the fall of Port Arthur. On 
both occasions, however, Kuropatkin showed extraordinary 
skill in his retreat. The Russian soldier also showed quite 
remarkable powers of endurance and stubbornness in 
misfortune. The chief danger in the immediate future, 
according to our General Staff, is lest the new Commander- 
in Chief, Linevitsch, acting either on orders from St. Petersburg 
or from his own thirst for action, should again advance 
to the attack before his army is sufficiently strengthened 
and reorganized. In the present crisis our General Staff 
sees the decisive factor to be endurance. 

" My own assumption that time is on the side of Russia 
is strengthened when I see with what zeal both the friends 
of Japan and the internal and external enemies of the Tsar 
are pressing for peace. I received an indication of this 
recently when a man in a very high political position, in 
reply to the remark of a German ambassador that an unfavour- 
able peace, concluded in present circumstances, might cost 
the Tsar his Hfe, merely said, ' His danger is the lesser of two 
evils.' Naturally, a German royalist cannot adopt this point 
of view. The death of the Emperor Nicholas, at this moment, 
followed by the Regency, during the minority of an infant, 
of the Grand Duke Michael, who is totally inexperienced, 
even though protected by Witte, might easily bring about 
the end of the Tsar's dynasty and the rise of a Republic. 

" We have for 180 years almost always been on friendly 
terms with the Tsarist regime, and during most of our 
great national crises it has either been our friend or at least 
a benevolent neighbour. The Tsar's dynasty has indeed 
hardly any Russian blood in its veins. But a very different 

"7 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

state of affairs would probably arise in the event of a Russian 
Republic. The natural inclination of the Slavs towards 
the French would then find much more expression in politics 
than it does at present. 

" To me, the Tsar Nicholas is an object of respectful 
and genuine sympathy, but I must frankly declare that this 
sympathy alone would not have induced me to trouble 
Your Highness with this long disquisition. Only the 
prospect that the violent destruction of the Tsar and the 
collapse of his regime would create serious dangers for our 
own country have induced me to ask Your Highness whether 
you could yourself write a letter of warning to Your Imperial 
brother-in-law, if you see the sequence of events in the light 
that I do. In order to reinforce the warning, I would mention 
three main points : 

" (i) That the reforms which the Tsar has approved 
and ordered to be undertaken, especially those with regard 
to the extension of the powers of the Duma, should not be 
shelved but should be carried through at once. 

*' (2) That the internal disorders, which are financed for 
the most part by disloyal factions and often even from 
abroad, should be vigorously suppressed, and those officials 
who do not show sufficient energy at the psychological 
moment should be dismissed. 

" (3) That Russia should make full military use of her 
geographical situation, with its vast distances, in order 
to sap her opponent's strength by delays, instead of making 
peace in the present unfavourable circumstances — a peace 
whose humiliating conditions would give rise to general 
agitation against the Tsar and his dynasty. 

" I would not have taken on myself the responsibility 
of touching on these matters had I not discovered in the last 
few days that the Prussian General Staff supports my view, 
that time favours Russia, equally considers endurance will 
prove to be the decisive factor, and condemns over-hasty 
action. 

" The General Staff is concerned only with haste in 
military operations, while I, as a politician, object to premature 
overtures for peace, but the General Staff and I both agree 
in regarding endurance as the vital factor. 

" This matter, which for me is mainly a political question, 
touches, as I know, the heart of Your Royal Highness. 

n8 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

The disappearance of His Majesty the Tsar Nicholas would 
mean for Your Royal Highness the loss of a dear friend and 
relation. This catastrophe, however, would, in addition, 
involve a most threatening prospect for Germany, and, know- 
ing this, I have decided to give Your Royal Highness a 
brief description of the Russian situation as I envisage it, 
for I see no one but Your Royal Highness who can advise 
and warn the Tsar in this terribly difficult situation. 

'* The bearer of these lines is an official of the secret 
cipher bureau, and he has been directed to hold himself 
at Your Royal Highness's disposal, in case you feel inclined 
to write a letter of this description to the Tsar Nicholas, 
which letter would then be despatched from here to St. 
Petersburg by special courier." 



To HeRR von KiJHLMANN, 

Charge d'affaires in Tangier. 

" Berlin, March 30, 1905. 
*' Decipher this yourself. 

" Since the Press has made so much of the attempt on 
Harris's life, the Kaiser's entourage is strongly opposed 
to his landing in Tangier; but Count Tattenbach and 
His Excellency Count Eulenburg are resolute that he ought 
to land, provided there are no real dangers or unpleasant- 
nesses to be feared. Those who oppose the landing allege 
there are no proper means of getting about on shore ; to 
go on foot, they hold, would be unsuitable, so would riding 
on a donkey, and to go in a litter or a carriage is regarded 
as an effeminate method of transport, and by reason of his 
weak left arm the Emperor should be warned against ' an 
unbroken restless Arab stallion which has not been tested 
by the riding-master.' Could not, I wonder, the horse 
be led by two of the prominent Moorish citizens as a sign 
of greater honour, or could not the pavihon be pitched 
nearer the shore, or could not His Majesty go part of the way 

119 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

on foot — so as to see the town better — and part of the way 
in a litter or a carriage ? 

"It would be very helpful if the route to be followed 
could be shortened — for example, by abandoning the visit 
to the Kasba. 

" Please be responsible yourself for going into all these 
details and then discuss them all with Count Tattenbach, 
who will be the first to go on shore. The best thing would 
be to secure a horse which is guaranteed to be quiet, and have 
it thoroughly exercised by some trustworthy groom for some 
hours in the very early morning, and this would obviate 
all the difficulties and any shortening of the programme. 
Perhaps you have already thought of this. 

*' To return to the landing. The question of security 
also arises. You must impress on Count Tattenbach, 
who will certainly not be disincUned to do so, that he must 
satisfy himself that, quite apart from the presence of German 
detectives, provision be made for the greatest possible 
security." 



To HeRR VON KiJHLMANN, 

Charg^ d'affaires in Tangier. 



a 



Berlin, April 3, 1905. 



" (i) His Majesty's Government considers the idea 
of a conference as eminently practical. Tangier would be 
the most suitable place for it, as now all the interested Powers 
are represented there, which was not the case at the time 
of the last conference, held in Madrid in 1880. We will 
support the proposal of Morocco to this effect, 

" (2) President Roosevelt has recently declared that 
he will take care the American envoy is instructed to keep 
in close touch with you. 

" (3) In the reports hitherto received of a diplomatic 
nature regarding the Emperor's visit to Tangier there has 
been no mention of the terms in which the Spanish Minister 
expressed himself to His Majesty. If you know anything 
about it, please telegraph briefly the main features." 

120 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, April 4, 1905. 



(( 



" I very respectfully beg to inform Your Imperial and 
Royal Majesty of the further development of the present 
political situation since my last telegram, submitted to you 
on the 27th of last month. 

" Through Your Majesty's visit to Tangier the Moroccan 
question has been brought into the foreground. Your 
Majesty's impressive intervention, and the highly important 
pronouncements made to the French Consul and to the 
German colony, have made an enduring mark on 
opinion, both within and without Europe. At this point 
I should like to mention at once that the American Ambassador, 
who has been instructed directly by President Roosevelt 
to remain in close touch with Your Majesty's representative, 
on hearing of Your Majesty's declaration regarding the 
* Open Door,' exclaimed, ' That is just exactly what we also 
want.' One part of the English Press meanwhile is pleased 
to run amuck over it. Yet ' Mag sich der Most auch noch 
so wild gehdrden^ es giht ^ulet^t noch 'nen IVein/^ This section 
of the English Press will also become reasonable when it 
is clear that Germany is seeking no separate advantages, 
and that, despite German hostility and French machinations, 
the English instinct for the * Open Door ' will not find 
itself altogether suppressed (see, for example, the articles 
on this subject in the Morning Post and the Manchester 
Guardian). This will be so all the more if the English see 
that American diplomacy also ranges itself on the side of 
Germany's ' Open Door.' 

" The fear of Roosevelt is visibly increasing in England ; 
whether affection for him is increasing also I do not know. 
Delcasse, closely pressed in the French Senate, twists round 
the sharp corner of the Moroccan question. In the Chamber 
of Deputies yesterday he parried the interpellation upon 
it. In his Press he employs threats, while he alludes to a 
Franco-Anglo-Spanish group — a castle in the air. In order 
to disperse this it will suffice to explain still more clearly 

^ Roughly, " Though the must look unpromising, some wine will result." 

121 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

than hitherto the indisputable justice of our policy. I 
suggest that in order to strengthen the opposition to Delcasse 
the following points should be stressed : 

" (i) The abandonment of all territorial claims. 
*' (2) The demand for equal economic rights for all nations, 
by which should be understood not only freedom to trade, 
nor merely most-favoured-nation treatment, but the * Open 
Door ' in its widest sense. 

" (5) The trump card in our hand is, however, the 
allusion to the assembled European Powers having repeatedly 
held conferences, jointly with the United States of America, 
over the Moroccan question and concluded secret agreements. 
The last conference of this kind was held in Madrid in the 
'eighties. Now it is indisputable that Morocco, as a glance 
at the globe shows, is an object of interest to all the Powers. 
Following from this, if to-morrow the French Govern- 
ment were generously to work itself up and oifer to allow 
us to make a special agreement over economic concessions 
in Morocco, we can rightly only reply just what was said 
in 1897 over the Russo-Austrian Balkan negotiations by 
the Viennese Cabinet to St. Petersburg concerning the 
Hellespont : ' We do not consider ourselves entitled to come 
to an agreement over the Straits without the participation 
of the Allied Powers.' From Tangier, Your Majesty's Consul 
already telegraphs that the Sultan is mooting a plan to appeal 
from the formulated demands of the French to the Treaty 
Powers. 

" If it should happen that a conference is called together, 
we are already assured of the diplomatic support of America 
as regards the * Open Door.' England will, above all else, 
wish to avoid the risk of opposing America. Austria will 
not desire to embroil herself with us over Morocco, and I 
believe the same to be the case with Italy, especially as the 
Fortis Cabinet favours the Triple Alliance. I hold it unthink- 
able that a conference could have as result the enclosing of 
Morocco in the exclusive sphere of French influence and 
interests. 

"If it should happen that the Sultan's plan of a con- 
ference fails through France refusing to participate, this 
would put her in the wrong with the other Treaty Powers. 
Right and wrong are, moreover, highly important in inter- 
national affairs in cases where the law-breaker is not so powerful 

122 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

as to be able to over-ride everyone else. France is not in 
such a position to-day, for she will become yet more isolated 
through the development of her policy. Russia is occupied 
with her own affairs. England will find it very difficult 
to give France any further assistance in face of the entry 
of President Roosevelt on the scene and in view of the 
support given by a large part of the English nation to the 
policy of the * Open Door.' 

" In these circumstances Your Majesty can, in your 
powerful and impregnable position, await the settlement 
of the Moroccan position with calm." 



To HeRR von KiJHLMANN, 

Charge d'affaires at Tangier. 

" Berlin, April 6, 1905. 

" The position of Germany with regard to the Moroccan 
question is as follows : The fact that France has not discussed 
with us the conference to be held on April 8 does not hurt 
our dignity, and does not affect the legal contention, which 
applies not only to us, but to all the Treaty Powers, namely, 
that^the situation in Morocco cannot be altered through 
agrdeinents with individual Powers, but only by a joint 
conference of all the Treaty States. We have proceeded 
with caution at the outset, so as to run no risk of exposing 
ourselves to isolation. To-day, however, we have estabHshed 
confidential relations with America, and know that she will 
give diplomatic support to the policy of the ' Open Door.'X 
Tlirough this attitude of America, England will be obliged""^ 
to change her tone. The Italian Prime Minister, Fortis, 
has assured the German Ambassador in a convincing mianner 
that Italy does not want another Tunis. It is not to be 
expected that Austria will support France rather than us, 
and the smaller States will naturally favour the ' Open Door ' 
as soon as they find themselves in good company in so 
doing. 

" Russia did not take part in the last conference. If 
now that she has had a representative at Tangier, though 
only for a short time, she should wish to participate, we will 

123 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

raise no objection. I do not think that Russia either will 
be very enthusiastic over the conclusion of an Anglo-French 
Agreement. It seems, therefore, out of the question that the 
conference could have the effect of handing over Morocco 
to France on a majority vote. If, on the other hand, France 
objects to a conference, she will put herself in the wrong. 
In international relations right and wrong are of particular 
importance when the wrong-doer is not strong enough to 
over-ride all her opponents. France will hardly find herself 
in that situation now. 

" We can also now tell the Sultan that no one will help 
him if he does not show any desire to help himself. He ought 
to turn to the assembled Treaty Powers with the proposal 
to refer the French schemes to a conference. The conference 
must take place in Tangier and not in Madrid. Firstly, 
because now diplomatic representation is more complete in 
Tangier than it was twenty years ago. Secondly, because 
Spain, in view of the French Treaty, is in a peculiar position. 

" Dr. Vassel should therefore be instructed to speak to 
the Sultan in vigorous terms, and to point out that the 
Sultan must hasten to act before Spain sends out invitations 
to a conference at Madrid. You will also, I hope, find an 
opportunity of persuading Abd-el Malek and Kaid Maclean 
in this sense, as I understand from the papers they are leaving 
for Fez on Saturday. I should think it would be very 
helpful if Count von Tattenbach — who I am glad to hear 
is still in Tangier — ^would employ his influence to the same 
effect in all moderate circles. His experience and knowledge 
of the position in Morocco will afford welcome support to 
your efforts and add weight to our arguments. I beg that on 
receipt of this communication you will at once get into touch 
with Count von Tattenbach." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, April 11, 1905. 

" Count von Tattenbach wired three days ago, before 
Your Majesty had appointed him to be Chief of the Moroccan 
Embassy, that, according to his information, the French 

124 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

Envoy in Fez was trying to put an end to the Sultan's 
opposition to the programme of Delcasse. The Envoy 
has either threatened or bribed the Sultan's advisers, and the 
Sultan finds it difficult to maintain the opposition by himself. 
The head of the German Consulate, Dr. Vassel, is quite 
a competent business man, but by reason of his rather 
insignificant position he cannot make any headway against 
the French. It is therefore extremely necessary that a 
diplomatic mission should be at once despatched to Fez. 

" Without vouching for the accuracy of this report, 
I consider that an important and difficult mission of this 
character should possess not only a thorough knowledge 
of the local circumstances, but also considerable personal 
prestige. If only Dr. Rosen, that most industrious Envoy, 
were in Tangier, he would undertake to see how the land 
lies. As it is, Graf von Tattenbach is himself the only 
person who combines both qualifications. I have telegraphed 
to ask von Tattenbach whether he feels prepared to undertake 
this arduous task. If he agrees, I will propose him formally 
to Your Majesty for the mission. The Count has just wired 
that he is perfectly willing and can set off with the greatest 
despatch. 

" I therefore respectfully beg Your Majesty to order 
Count von Tattenbach to proceed immediately to Fez, 
in order to thank the Sultan for the reception given you in 
Tangier and for the welcome he extended to you through 
the mouth of a near relative. Such a mission of thanks 
is in accordance with custom and is free from any political 
objection. 

'' Count von Tattenbach will understand that his aim 
should be to encourage the Sultan in the idea that the adoption 
of the French demands, or so-called reforms, depends on the 
assent of the majority of those States which took part in the 
earlier conferences over the Moroccan question. These are, 
with the exception of Russia, who has no sea-borne trade 
worth mentioning, all the great European Powers, the United 
States of America, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, HoUand, 
Sweden, and Norway. 

*' I therefore beg Your Majesty to wire your gracious 
approval of the mission of Count von Tattenbach." 



125 



IV 
THE YEAR 1905 : JUNE-NOVEMBER, 



IV 
THE YEAR 1905 : JUNE-NOVEMBER 

NOTE. 

The following passage from Prince von Billow's book " Imperial 
Germany," the English version of which was published by Cassell and 
Co. in 1913 (2nd enlarged edition, 1916), gives us the Chancellor's own 
view, in retrospect, of the Moroccan question, which remained so promin- 
ent throughout this year : 

On March 31, 1905, His Majesty the Emperor, in pursuance of my 
advice, landed at Tangier, where he defended the independence and 
sovereignty of Morocco in unequivocal language. The demands 
of Germany to be consulted about Moroccan affairs were thus announced 
to the world. It was made clear that Germany intended to adhere to 
the International Treaty of 1880, based on the acknowledgment of the 
sovereignty of Morocco, and that she was not inclined to recognize 
the new situation created without her consent by the Anglo-French 
Moroccan Treaty and the action of France in that country. Our object 
was to substitute an international settlement by the signatory Powers 
of the Treaty of Madrid for the one-sided arrangement between England 
and France. We also had to prevent an international conference from 
simply giving its consent to French policy in Morocco. Both ends 
were attained by the fact that the Conference of Algeciras actually took 
place, and by the decisions it made. France violently opposed the 
scheme of calling a conference. For a time it seemed as if M. Delcasse 
would make the question of peace or war depend on this point. When 
the German Government refused to yield, France consented to the 
conference. M. Delcasse resigned the portfolio of Foreign Affairs. 
He retired, and we got our way because we stood firm. In Algeciras 
our position was naturally a difficult one, seeing that we were opposed 
to the Powers of the Entente, and that the other Powers took little interest 
in the Moroccan question. 

Nevertheless, we succeeded in preserving the sovereignty of the Sultan 
and in securing international control of the police organization and the 
Moroccan National Bank, thus ensuring the open door in Morocco 
for German economic interests as well as for those of all other countries. 
We did not attain all we wished, but at least all that was essential. We 
had foiled the attempt to set us aside in the settlement of an affair of great 
international importance. We should have a voice in the further 
development of Moroccan affairs, and we did not need to renounce 
our right to this without adequate compensation. The decisions of 

129 I 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

the Algeciras Conference bolted the door against the attempts of France 
to compass the " Tunification " of Morocco. They also proved a bell 
we could ring at any time should France show any similar tendencies 
again. Very soon after the Algeciras Conference the new state of affairs 
made itself felt in a painful manner in France. The " nefarious Algeciras 
document " was characterized as " European tutelage forced upon 
France," or at best as an " honourable retreat." It has been said that 
after the resignation of Delcasse we ought to have tried to come to a 
direct understanding with France. It is a question whether France 
was at all incHned to pay us an acceptable price. Anyway, it was not 
open to us to pursue this course, if only on account of our position with 
regard to Turkey and Islam. 

In November 1898, the Emperor William II had said in Damascus : 
" The three hundred milHon Mahommedans who live scattered over the 
globe may be assured of this, that the German Emperor will be their 
friend at all times." In Tangier the Emperor had declared emphatically 
in favour of the integrity of Morocco. We should have completely 
destroyed our credit in the Mahommedan world if so soon after these 
declarations we had sold Morocco to the French. Our Ambassador 
in Constantinople, Freiherr von Marschall, said to me at the time : 
" If we sacrifice Morocco in spite of Damascus and Tangier, we shall 
at one fell swoop lose our position in Turkey, and therefore all the 
advantages and prospects that we have painfully acquired by the labour 
of many years." 



15c 



IV 
THE YEAR 1905 : JUNE-NOVEMBER 



To Count von Metternich, 

Ambassador in London. 



({ 



Berlin, June 11, 1905. 



*' The British Ambassador, Sir Frank Lascelles, came to 
see me yesterday, before leaving for London, to discuss 
with me tlie subject of Anglo-German relations, which are 
a matter of anxiety and trouble to him also. The following 
is a resume of my remarks to him. 

" The mutual mistrust now existing between Germany 
and England is due to a great misunderstanding. There 
are Englishmen who believe that we want to attack, invade, 
undermine, weaken England ; there are Germans who beHeve 
the same of England. Over-excited Pan-German professors 
occasionally make foolish speeches, and retired officers 
write extravagant articles or fantasies like * The Battle of 
Dorking.' In England there are ex- Admirals, and even some 
members of the Government, who do the same. There is 
equal folly on either side. The only difference is that in 
Germany these stupidities belong more to the past, in 
England more to the present. The immense majority of 
sensible people in Germany have as little fear of war as have 
the English, but they are convinced that it would be an 
advantage to neither party and would result merely in other 
countries acquiring the world-market without firing a shot. 

" Remarks of an alarming kind, or of a kind unfriendly 
to England, made by His Majesty the Kaiser are occasionally 
repeated. The English, however, know His Majesty well 
enough to be aware that, if things came to the worst, he would 
not, as a Prussian officer and prince, be the man to hold 
back, but that never even in his dreams does he think of 

131 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

any kind of offensive against England. Of course. His Majesty 
has been sometimes disturbed and angered by the persistent 
insinuations put forward by the EngHsh newspapers regarding 
our policy, and by their, at times, indescribably exacerbating 
remarks. In this connection, among many other examples, 
I pointed to the quite brazenly mendacious statement that 
we sought to mix ourselves up in the Tibet affair. Quite 
recently, too (I pointed out), it had been declared in a 
pamphlet issued by an English Conservative that we mobi- 
lized our Fleet after the Dogger Bank incident. This 
assertion is simply absurd in its untruthfulness. 

" I informed the Ambassador confidentially, in emphatic 
words, that what happened on this occasion was precisely 
the opposite : that when we were sounded regarding the 
Dogger Bank incident by the Russians, not officially, but 
from a High Quarter, we answered that Russia could in no 
way count upon our support. Yet another suggestion 
by The Times was that we desired the prolongation of the 
Eastern Asiatic war, the outbreak of which we deplored 
at the time. The truth is that we exerted ourselves, and not 
without success, to bring about the conclusion of peace. 

" Our Fleet, I said, was used only for purposes of defence. 
The idea that we had the intention of building a strong 
Fleet in order to subdue the British Navy was one, I declared, 
that could be met with a shrug of the shoulders by any 
German naval officer or statesman in possession of his 
five senses. We had to have ships, as we could not tell 
by whom, or when, or by how many foes we might be attacked, 
and it was our duty to protect our trade emporiums, our 
seaports, and our overseas commerce. All other countries, 
America, no less than Italy, France, and Russia, were 
building ships also. 

" In regard to Morocco, we took our stand on treaties. 
The English would surely not maintain seriously that we 
must look on quietly if our rights were to be dealt with 
without reference to us. In the matter in question, we had 
waited a year, and had taken action only when the French, 
without asking us, had unwarrantably used our name in 
order to secure the sanction of the Sultan of Morocco for 
a programme which would make of Morocco a second 
Tunis. I pointed out to the Ambassador that we had 
commercial interests in Morocco which we could not 

132 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

suddenly sacrifice in this way. Moreover, our dignity was 
involved. 

" A Great Power like Germany could not allow herself 
to be treated as a quantite negligeabie, as the French had tried 
to treat us, despite our friendly and courteous attitude. 
We would know how to maintain our dignity, and our treaty 
rights should not be dealt with without our agreement. 
I said I thought the best way out of the Morocco affair would 
be the conference proposed by the Sultan. This would also 
expedite the bringing about of reforms in Morocco. 

*' Unless such a conference were held, everything would 
go on in Morocco in the old way. Incidentally, I intimated 
that we had heard, not officially, but from very good and reliable 
sources, that Delcasse had proposed to the English an 
offensive and defensive alliance against Germany. The 
way in which a great portion of the English Press had excited 
the French against us imparted, I said, an aspect of probability 
to this communication. I concluded with the remark that 
we observed a blind hostility to us in almost all the organs 
of English public opinion, and that we heard from all sides 
that Enghsh policy was directly unfriendly to us. I suggest 
that in your conversation with Sir Frank Lascelles you take 
the same line." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Berlin, June 22, 1905. 

" According to a telegraphic communication just received 
from Radolin, Rouvier has been trying since yesterday to 
force Delcasse's Morocco programme upon us as his own. 
He wants to make his acceptance of the invitation to the 
Conference dependent upon our previous acceptance of the 
main points of the Delcasse programme. Thus we should 
be placing ourselves in direct contradiction to the assurances 
which Your Majesty, when in Tangier, gave the Sultan of 
Morocco. And we should be preparing a triumph later 
for the worthy Delcasse 1 For this would constitute the 
proof that his programme, which involved the practical 
control by France of the army, police, and finance of Morocco, 

133 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

was right and acceptable, and that, moreover, he was over- 
thrown unfairly. Delcasse would at once become the Great 
Man again, and might, perhaps, hope to become Premier and 
Foreign Minister in Rouvier's place. 

" Rouvier, of whom we know that he does not want to 
have any conflict with us, has evidently allowed himself 
to be talked over by the Delcasse clan and is now endeavour- 
ing, tradesman-wise, to see to what extent his excessive 
demands will be acceded to. His chief argument is that he 
is appealing to our magnanimity in asking us to make con- 
cessions to him, to save his face with the Chamber of Deputies. 

" This is nonsense, for neither the Chamber of Deputies 
nor anyone else makes Rouvier responsible for the faults 
of Delcasse, and what the Chamber of Deputies is most 
anxious about is that there may be no war. Rouvier would 
be responsible for the Delcasse programme if he should 
eventually adopt it himself. Our confidence in Rouvier 
caimot, in my opinion, be extended so far that we should 
help him on, or, more properly, help Delcasse on, to a success 
at our own cost. 

"If my memory be not at fault, the Prince of Monaco 
stands in good personal relations with Rouvier. Perhaps, 
therefore, he will on this account, and as a friend of France, 
plead in favour of the Rouvier proposals. In this case, 
it would have a good effect by ricochet if, apropos of the 
Prince, the remark were made that we heard with real regret 
that Rouvier intended to accept the invitation to the Morocco 
Conference only after we had given our adhesion to the main 
points of the Delcasse programme. If that were really Rouvier's 
intention, we should have good reason for complaint on 
several grounds : in ^^- interests of Franco-German relations, 
for one thing, which we should like to see improved. We 
should not, indeed, make any attack on the Morocco Delcasse 
programme, but if Rouvier held by this programme we 
should be obliged to abandon the negotiations with France 
as hopeless, to conclude a defensive alliance with the 
Sultan of Morocco, and then to wait and see what France 
did. Thus would be created a situation out of which — 
especially in view of the Morocco rising and the support 
which it received from Algeria — serious complications might 
result. It might be added that we were the more hopeful 
that Rouvier would spare us this in that an acceptance of 

134 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

the main point of M. Delcasse's programme would have the 
result of admitting that this Minister's policy was right. 

" The political world in France and elsewhere would 
ask itself why Rouvier had thrown Delcasse over if he held 
his programme to be right in its essentials. Thus by 
accepting the Delcasse programme, now endorsed by Rouvier, 
we should be contributing to the otherwise impossible 
rehabilitation of Delcasse. lliese were the results which 
we should expect if France wanted to pursue the Delcasse 
policy without Delcasse. 

'* I would like to add that we should not, indeed, associate 
ourselves entirely, and certainly not for ever, with the Sultan 
of Morocco, but that, having regard to the maintenance of 
Your Majesty's status in the Islamite world, we could not 
hand over his sovereignty and the independence of Morocco 
so completely to France as Rouvier, following in Delcasse's 
footsteps, now desires." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

"Berlin, June 24, 1905. 

" Your Majesty's telegram received with respectful 
thanks. Rouvier keeps circling round the heart of the 
question like a cat round a bowl of hot porridge. 

" Until France has accepted the invitation to the 
Conference we cannot enter into preliminary negotiations 
over Morocco, ignoring the Sultan altogether. On the one 
hand, because such preliminary negotiations would drag 
on for ever ; on the other hand, because it is the Sultan's 
task to draw up the programme of the Conference. Once 
the holding of the Conference has been ensured, we shall 
be able without difficulty to agree with France over details 
and as to how long the Conference shall last. Clearly we 
have now come to a turning-point in the Morocco question. 

" If Rouvier goes on shilly-shallying and finessing 
the points of disagreement between Germany and France 
wiU grow acute, to the joy of the tertiigaudentes, who would 
like to see us at loggerheads. If Rouvier accepts the invitation 
to the Conference, as is feasible without injury^either for him 

135 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

or for France, the most difficult part of the Morocco question 
will have been got over." 



To Prince von Radolin, 

Ambassador in Paris. 



Berlin, June 24, 1905. 



*' His Majesty the Kaiser, to whom I had communicated 
news of the unsatisfactory turn which things have taken 
in Paris, has telegraphed me as follows. I may point 
out, apropos of this telegram, that the Prince of Monaco, 
who is attached to His Majesty and who is, moreover, a warm 
advocate of friendly relations between France and Germany, 
is at the moment staying at Kiel : 

*' * Prince of Monaco absolutely astonished and 
bewildered ! He had been telling me a few hours earlier 
that Radolin when driving him to the station the day before had 
assured him that all was going excellently. Rouvier had 
dined with him the day before Delcasse's fall and had been 
won over by him and his friends and had been stimulated 
by them into throwing Delcasse over — as had happened. 
Since then, Rouvier had visited the Prince almost daily and 
had held forth more and more sharply and harshly on the 
extravagance of Delcasse's attitude and action. 

" * President Loubet, it appears, had been so completely 
in the dark in regard to the communications over Delcasse's 
proceedings that he was quite at a loss what to say or do when 
he came to hear of them and of the prospects which resulted 
from them. Delcasse (Rouvier declared) was an unspeakable 
rogue, and, without the general public — or even he himself, 
Rouvier — realizing it or expecting it, had brought France 
to the brink of destruction. This, Rouvier said, was now 
recognized, and there was great indignation over it. He 
(Delcasse) had never succeeded in getting the country behind 
him. Rouvier' s present attitude was utterly inexplicable 
and in flat contradiction to what he had said to the Prince. 
London must have had a hand in the game. The Prince 
proposes to write to Rouvier at once to the above effect. 

* William LR.' 
136 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

" We are standing now on the brink of the turning-point 
of the Morocco question. Our hope that this turning- 
point had been reached with the fall of Delcasse has not been 
realized, as Rouvier, with his sudden volte-face^ which was 
first made known to me in your despatch of the nth inst., 
is now preparing to carry through the Delcasse programme. 

" If France refuses to take part in the Conference, Germany 
has the choice either to sit still and watch how France 
overpowers the Sultan, or to declare to France that we hold 
ourselves bound to support the Sultan and the status quo 
until the moment when a conference of the Treaty States 
shall free us from this responsibility. Only the second 
alternative accords with what has been the German policy 
down to now. There remains the further question, whether 
it be better to keep quiet until events constrain us to take 
some step or to intimate now at once to M. Rouvier what 
France must be prepared for eventually. Rouvier until 
now seemed to favour an amicable settlement of the 
Morocco question. He recently opened out ways which 
brought under consideration such a settlement. 

** The more we make clear to him the consequences 
of France's not joining the Conference and of the French 
proceeding to give their support to the Pretendant to the 
Throne, the more we shall lessen the danger of the situation. 
It seems therefore extremely desirable to inform Rouvier 
of this without loss of time. Any further delay might 
encourage and incite him to proceed on his present Delcasse 
line, whereby the cause of peace would not be served. Your 
Excellency will know best whether to communicate to the 
Premier direct the above intimation as to the conse- 
quences of France's not joining the Conference or whether 
to do so through one of your confidential intermediaries. 
In order not to alarm public opinion inopportunely, it is 
desirable that the Press should not be taken into our 
confidence." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

"Berlin, June 25, 1905. 

*' I beg respectfully to communicate to Your Imperial 
and Royal Majesty a telegram just received from Sternburg. 

137 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

From it one learns that the wily Rouvier has made the same 
attempt in Washington that he made in the case of the Prince 
of Monaco, namely, to make people believe that France has 
practically accepted the Morocco Conference. It will not 
be difficult to make this clear to Roosevelt. I have confined 
myself to telegraphing en clair to Sternburg the passage 
from the French Note, which runs : 

" ' Dans Vetat actuel des choses^ une reponse definitive a la 
question qui nous a ete posee serait encore de notre part insuffisam- 
ment eclairee. Le Gouvernement de la Kepublique est vivement 
frappe de cette double consideration que la conference pourrait 
etre dangereuse si elk n'est pas precedee d'une entente et inutile 
si elle la suit.' 

" That is what Rouvier calls ' accepting ' the Conference. 
On top of this the Paris Press declares that it is not Rouvier 
who is responsible for the pettifogging Expose^ but a supporter 
of Delcasse's named Revoil. Delcasse had this man appointed 
Governor-General of Algeria, but Combes gave him short 
shrift, getting rid of him in April 1903, because he thought 
that Revoil was working for a Moroccan war. Rouvier, 
curious to note, sought out Revoil and had the Morocco 
Expose drafted by him, and Revoil availed himself of the 
opportunity to rehabilitate his friend Delcasse, foisting the 
Delcasse programme like a cuckoo's tgg upon Rouvier, 
who manifestly knows nothing about colonial affairs. So 
long as Rouvier allows himself to be guided by Revoil 
the situation continues to be the same as though Delcasse 
were still at the helm. But I imagine that Rouvier, who is 
clearheaded by nature, will listen to reason and get rid of 
Revoil again if he thinks that he is being ill advized. 

" I assume that it would be in accordance with Your 
Majesty's views to convey our thanks to President Roosevelt 
through Sternburg. An explanation of the French mistake 
will, indeed, be scarcely necessary, but in my opinion it would 
none the less be useful if Your Majesty were once again to 
revert to the subject, perhaps in such terms as the following : 

" ' Convey my cordial thanks to the President. France, 
indeed, has by no means given in her adhesion yet, but my 
gratitude for the unselfish efforts of the President remains 
just as great. The difficulty consists in this, as the President 
has already learnt from you, that the French are ignoring 

138 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

the Sultan of Morocco completely, do not think it worth 
while even to answer his invitation to the Conference, 
but instead of that want to negotiate with me regarding the 
future of Morocco. I believe I might secure all sorts 
of advantages if I agreed to do so. I cannot do so, 
however, as I have told the Sultan that I regarded him 
as an independent Sovereign, and on hearing this from 
me, depending upon my word, he refused Delcasse's 
proposals. I cannot now let the Sultan down just 
because France turns a friendly countenance towards 
me. Would Theodore Roosevelt break his word when he 
had made a promise to a poor nigger ? I believe that he and 
I think alike on this point and that we shall understand each 
other. Moreover, I do not doubt that the matter of the 
Conference will come right. The difficulties just at the moment 
come from this, that Rouvier, who is well posted in regard 
to French home politics, but who has had no experience 
of colonial affairs, has had in taking up foreign questions 
to place his trust in Delcasse's followers, and these, naturally, 
have sought to bring Delcasse's programme back into 
repute. 

*' ' A friend of Rouvier's, the Prince of Monaco, who is 
here with me, feels no doubt, nevertheless, that it will be 
practicable to come to an understanding with Rouvier 
as soon as he has taken his bearings in his new position ; 
but, as I have said, I cannot come to an understanding with 
France over Morocco and leave the Sultan out of it, for this 
would be against my word. . . .' " 



To THE Emperor William II. 



<< 



Berlin June 28, 1905. 



li 



Prince Radolin telegraphs regarding his conversation 
yesterday with Rouvier, which lasted two hours. Rouvier 
again expressed the fear that he would be overthrown if 
he had to admit that he had been obhged to fall in ' uncon- 
ditionally ' with Germany's wishes. He made various 
proposals with a view to binding us to a definite programme 
before giving in his adhesion. These proposals might have 

139 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

the effect of estranging the Sultan from us and thus rendering 
the Conference abortive. The following proposals in 
particular are in question : 

*' (i) Rouvier desires that, before entering upon the 
Conference, one German and one French representative 
should togedier discuss with the Sultan, and decide upon 
the different items of the programme. This proposal seems 
a doubtful one, because such negotiations might be very- 
tedious and difficult. And it is, moreover, probable that until 
the Conference is definitely arranged the Sultan would 
continue to be subjected from the most different sides to 
influences inimical to peace. 

" (2) Another of Rouvier's proposals is that Germany 
and France should come to an understanding alone in regard 
to the main points of the programme, but that this under- 
standing should take effect only after France has formally 
given in her adhesion to the Conference. This proposal 
comes as a natural sequence to the recent French Expose 
rejected by us. It seems unacceptable all the more in that, 
according to Rouvier's wish, the advantages to be secured 
for France would have to be fixed in advance, while those 
to be secured for the other Powers would remain in suspense. 

" (3) Rouvier recommends the recall of the German, 
French, and English Ministers from Fez, on the ground that 
this would clear the situation and tend to the Sultan's peace 
of mind. A recall of our Minister at the present moment 
would look like a change of policy on the part of Germany, 
and would deprive us of all influence with the Sultan, whereas 
the influence of France is permanently secured by the presence 
of French troops on the frontier. Manifestly we could not 
agree to this before France gives in her adhesion to the 
Conference. 

X." Prince Radolin has been instructed, in reply to these 
proposals, to adhere to the position which we have already 
taken, ' first acceptance, then negotiations,' but at the same 
time to communicate the following to M. Rouvier. 

*' That we should be ready, as soon as the French Govern- 
ment shall have accepted the invitation to the Conference, 
to enter with her into an exhaustive and practical exchange 
of views over Morocco. \ 

*' The aim would be to agree as to the advice which our 
representatives at Fez should give the Sultan for the 

140 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

drawing up of the programme of the Conference. Rouvier 
could set himself right towards the Chamber and public 
opinion by taking some such line as the following, when 
announcing the agreement to the Conference : ' The French 
Government has withdrawn its original objection to the 
Conference, having been convinced by oral declarations 
given by the German Ambassador that Germany will not 
follow any aims at the Conference which stand in opposition 
to the lawful interests of France.' 

'' Such a declaration ought also to satisfy the French 
Chamber, if the Premier were to add that further exposition 
of the German case would be harmful as it had to be 
remembered that France and Germany were not deliberating 
in private, but were surrounded by an inquisitive group 
of interested parties." 



To Prince von Radolin, 

Ambassador in Paris. 



" Berlin, July 2, 1905. 



" We are in general agreement with the proposed exchange 
of Notes between you and M. Rouvier as well as with the 
exchange of Understandings, and we hope sincerely that upon 
this basis the desired understanding may come about. 

" We have some alterations in details to propose, both 
in the Notes and in the Interpretations, the effect of which 
will be to make the text read as follows : 

** ' Text of the Note. 
" ' Rouvier to Prince Radolin. 

" ' The Government of the Republic has reached the 
conviction, as the outcome of the exchange of views 
which has taken place between the representatives 
of both countries in Paris and Berlin, that at the 
Conference proposed by the Sultan of Morocco the 
Imperial Government will not pursue any aims which 

141 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

would have the effect of questioning the legitimate 
interests of France in that country or which would 
conflict with the rights arising from the Sultan's 
agreements (or ^'' arrangements"^^ and to be brought 
into agreement with the following principles : 



it ( 



Sovereignty and Independence of the Sultan. 
Integrity of the Kingdom. 

" ' Economic freedom without any inequality. 

'* ' Desirability of police and financial reforms, the 
carrying out of which within a brief period is to be 
effected in accordance with international agreement. 

" ' Recognition of the situation in Morocco as it 
is, resulting from the long frontier between Algeria 
and the Shereefian kingdom ; further from the special 
condition resulting for the two neighbouring countries 
therefrom. 

*' ' In consequence France withdraws her original 
objections to the Conference and accepts the 
invitation to it. 



*' ' Text of the Understanding. 

" ' The Government of the Republic and the German 
Government are agreed : 

" ' (i) Simultaneously to withdraw to Tangier their 
Present Ministers at Fez as soon as the Conference 
shall have met. 

" ' (2) "'^Acting together to give to the Sultan of 
Morocco through their representatives in Fez advice 
in regard to drawing up the programme which he will 
propose to the "Conference at a date (to be fixed) on 
the basis of the Notes exchanged between the Prime 
Minister and J Minister for Foreign Affairs and the 
German Ambassador in Paris.' 

" I cherish the hope that Your Excellency will succeed 
in inducing the French Government, upon this basis, to 
agree to the proposed alteration, and I authorize you in this 
case to proceed with the exchange of Notes and Inter- 
pretations as soon as possible." 

142 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW [1905 

To THE Foreign Office. 

** For His 'Excellency Baron von Ho Is te in ; to he put before him at 
once. 

" Norderney, July 20, 1905. 
*' Strictly Secret. 

" His Majesty, in a message marked ' To be deciphered 
by yourself ' and ' Stricdy Secret/ informs me that he 
asked the Tsar Nicholas ' whether he had any wish to see 
him ' [' ob dieser irgend welche Wiinsche fur ihn habe ']. The 
Tsar Nicholas repHed : ' Delighted with your proposal. 
Would it suit you meet at Bjorko-Sund, near Viborg, a 
pleasant, quiet place ; live on board our yachts ? In this 
serious time I cannot go far from the capital. Of course 
our meeting will be quite singly and homely. Look 
forward with intense pleasure to see you.' ^ 

" His Majesty requests me to telegraph him direct and 
at once a transcript of the defensive alliance proposed 
by us last November, * before it was pulled about and 
botched ' [verballhornisiert] by Count LamsdorfF. His Majesty 
particularly desires me to let nobody (not even the police) 
know about the projected entrevue. Nobody on the 
Hohen^ollern, it appears, knows anything about the meeting, 
about which absolutely nothing is to be made public in 
advance. 

" You are the only person to whom I am saying anything 
about the matter. As things stand at present, I regard 
the meeting as useful, (i) We shall at least learn something 
definite about further Russian intentions and plans at home and 
abroad ; (2) His Majesty will avail himself of this occasion to 
communicate to the Tsar the contemplated replacement 
of Count Alvensleben by von Schoen ; (3) Probably peace 
will be concluded. Possibly the Russian dynasty will survive 
the present crisis. 

'* In this case, as the General Staff recently pointed out, 
Russia in from six to eleven months from now will once again 
be in force along our frontier. Then King Edward will take up 

^ The Kaiser's own English. 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

again with renewed zest his efforts to bring about an Anglo- 
Russian understanding, of which he has never lost sight, and 
France will change her attitude towards us. In all these 
circumstances Russia remains as a massive lump of earth with 
which it remains useful to keep in contact until it has really- 
fallen into pieces. 

" Please telegraph to me at once the text of that proposed 
alliance. Telegraph me first of all what you advise me to 
suggest to His Majesty when I pass on the text to him. I 
believe your resourceful mind will know how to draw forth 
from the unfinished web the threads out of which something 
useful can eventuate for us. There can be no question of 
our intervening on behalf of Russia in the peace negotiations. 
It would be advantageous, however, if we could so far bind 
the Tsar that Witte and Count LamsdorfF, after the conclusion 
of peace, could not at once constitute a Russian-French- 
English Entente which the Novosti in St. Petersburg and 
Clemenceau in Paris are recommending, with the idea further 
in view that a solution would be reached of the Morocco 
question, which Delcasse in a misguided moment had allowed 
to become acute ." 



To THE Foreign Office. 

" For His Excellency Baron von Holstein. 

" NoRDERNEY, July 22, 1905. 

" Best thanks ! 

" Two important points : 

" (i) Should I telegraph His Majesty that we cannot allow 
Russia to let France into the secret and seek her adhesion until 
Russia has bound herself to us ? 

"Please telegraph reply. 

*' (2) It seems to me important that we should send a 
telegram to Tokyo (perhaps also to Washington) to intimate 
that the forthcoming meeting of the Emperor and Tsar does 
not signify any intervention in the peace negotiations which 
are now imminent. That there must be no risk of a repetition 
of what happened in 1895. Rather that it is to be expected 

144 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

that the meeting with the German Emperor, who has had more 
to do with the American effort to mediate than is known to the 
general pubhc, may strengthen the Russian Tsar in his decision 
to do everything to bring to an end a war so disastrous for 
Russia. 

" Wire me if you do not agree with me in regard to the 
Press instructions which are being sent by telegraph together 
with this." 



To THE Foreign Office. 

" Norderney, July 22, 1905, 
^^ Quite Secret. 



(N.B. — The letter begins by citing again the text of the Tsar's 
telegram to the Kaiser already given). 

*'...! have to-day addressed the following two 
telegrams to His Majesty : 

" (i) Quite Secret. 

*' Our draft of the proposed treaty ran as follows : 

*' England wants an English-Russian grouping [gruppie- 
rung\. France also, in view of Delcasse's present position, 
would probably welcome something in the nature of a 
German-French-Russian Entente. Witte and Lamsdorff are 
in favour of the English-French combination. In these 
circumstances we ought not to take the initiative in respect to 
raising the question of the treaty as there is danger that Count 
Lamsdorff would use our approaches and the Russian rejection 
of them against us in Paris, London, and Washington. We 
must wait until the Tsar makes known his wish — even if it be 
only in general terms — for joint action with us \den Wunsch 
nach einer gemeinsamen Haltung\. The Tsar will overcome 
the opposition of Lamsdorff and Witte if he tells them both 
firmly that he could never come to an understanding with 
England in view of the role played by her before and during 
the war ; any such understanding would make Russia remain 
a dupe, as France naturally would be more favourably disposed 
towards Liberal England than towards the Russian Empire. 

" If the Tsar should take the view that the sea-power of 

145 K 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

the Russian-German-French triple alliance would be less than 
that of the English-Japanese dual alliance, the answer to be 
made would be that England would never dare to take action 
if Russia, Germany, and France were allied because the English 
coast would then be threatened by France and Germany, 
while India and Persia would be threatened by Russia ; and 
that the anxiety of the English in regard to an attack on India 
is greater than appears outwardly. 

" If the Tsar should insist on the addition which was made 
by Count Lamsdorff and which is unacceptable to us {leur 
entente cordiale suhsisterait egakment en presence des difficultes qui 
pourraient surgir a I'epoque des negociations de paix entre la Kussie 
et la Japon), it might be pointed out to him that the moral 
impression produced by the announcement of the new 
grouping of Russia, Germany, and France would be so great 
that the Japanese demands would be considerably lowered 
thereby. C3n the other hand, England could not help Russia 
if as an ally of Japan she did not approach her until after peace 
had been declared and during the peace negotiations. 

" Should it come to the conclusion of the treaty of alliance, 
/.tf., to the adhesion of Germany to the Russo-French dual 
alliance, the new treaty of alliance must be made public by 
us in all its bearings. The real reason for this is that other- 
wise we should lose the trust of Roosevelt and the Americans. 
A better motive to give the Tsar, however, would be our 
regard for the Federal Council and the Reichstag. It is of 
no importance that Article IV (coal, etc.) should be made 
public also. 

" (2) On our side absolute secrecy has been kept in regard to 
the forthcoming meeting. From St. Petersburg, on the other 
hand, telegrams have been sent to several Paris newspapers 
stating that the Tsar was about to go for a fortnight's trip on 
board the Imperial yacht Polar Star\ officially it has been 
announced that only a trip along the coast is in question, but 
that it was believed that the Tsar would meet the Kaiser in 
Swedish waters. 

" If, in your interview with the Tsar, Your Majesty should 
strike the warm and cordial note which Your Majesty's whole 
attitude during the Russo-Japanese War has inspired, it wiU 
do the Tsar ^ much good at this moment, for him so full of 

^ D$m Hohen Herm in the German — " the exalted personage." 

146 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

trouble. Your Majesty's leitmotiv throughout has been : 
our only desire is that the Russian dynasty should come out 
of this crisis unhurt and Russia's standing as a Power un- 
weakened, for this is in the interest of the Russian monarchy 
as in the political interest of Germany, and the personal 
friendship of the German Kaiser and the King of Prussia for 
His Majesty the Tsar Nicholas is in full and complete accord 
with this interest. 

" I hope that the Tsar will not bring Lamsdorff with him 
this time. Should this happen, however. Your Majesty will 
call to mind the proverb, ' A. corsaire, corsaire et demi^ and will 
show Lamsdorff outwardly the friendliest possible mien. In 
this way it will be the more possible to nullify his influence 
over the Tsar." 



To THE Ambassador in London. 

NoRDERNEY, July 22, 1905. 






Quite Confidential. 

" Heartiest thanks for both of your exhaustive and very 
important private letters of the 5 th and 12th instant. 

" What interested me most, naturally, was what you tell 
me about the feeling of His Majesty the King in regard to 
us. Moreover, I attach much weight to the sober and well- 
informed judgment of Count Seckendorff. As you know, I 
have hitherto shared the opinion which both you and he 
express that King Edward really desires and works for better 
relations between Germany and England. I must, however, 
state that much has occurred recently to surprise me a little. 
You yourself tell me of what the Grand Duchess ^ of Mecklen- 
burg-Strelitz has to say about the King's having lost confidence 
in the Kaiser as the result of our Morocco policy. A letter 
from Scholzer, of which you have received a copy, goes to 
bear this out. Sternburg also records, on the strength of a 
communication from President Roosevelt, that the King 
made an urgent appeal to Hay, the Secretary of State, now on 
his deathbed, to detach Roosevelt from Germany. 

" It would have been useful if Seckendorff had given 

^ Grossher^ZOgin-Witwe in the German. Witwe = widow. 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

currency dort to your quite excellent exposition of our 
grievances against England. You have maintained with 
perfect accuracy that our Morocco policy is not directed 
against the Franco-English alliance and, above all, not against 
England. Our intentions were, and still are to-day, so little 
hostile to England that when taking the course we did in 
Morocco, and for some time afterwards, we were actuated by 
the hope (based upon the explanation you gave Lord 
Lansdowne this summer) that England would be, if not on 
our side, at least neutral in this matter in which there was 
question only of the 'Open Door' and economic equality 
of rights. 

" The news of a row between Prince Radolin and his 
English colleague is based upon a mis-statement in the account 
of the incident given to you. Sir Francis Bertie thought fit 
at a soiree at Prince Murat's in the presence of the Crown Prince 
of Greece to address remonstrances to Radolin, quite suddenly 
and in an excited tone of voice, regarding the ' senselessness ' 
of our efforts to bring about a Morocco conference. Radolin 
carried himself with dignity in the face of this unusually 
tactless outburst, and a few days later he even put in an 
appearance at the official reception at the English Ambassa- 
dor's, although he naturally maintained a somewhat cold 
demeanour. . . . 

" Seckendorff has been staying here since yesterday. 
Although he has already communicated his travel impressions 
to you, I am giving you a quite brief summary of them, as 
follows : 

" (i) Anxiety prevails in France in regard to us. No one 
there wants war with us. Even Delcasse pursued a policy 
of bluff, although in a very shortsighted and unskilful fashion. 
His retirement is regretted by no one in France. 

" (2) The advances of the English, and especially of His 
Majesty King Edward, flattered the French and especially 
the vain Delcasse, a man risen from humble circumstances. 
Seckendorff contests the idea that the King has set the French 
against us. I must add to my regret that many Frenchmen 
assure us of the contrary. Seckendorff does not believe that 
the French would enter into a genuine alliance with England. 
Their mistrust of la perfide Albion is (he thinks) too deeply 
rooted, and it has been strengthened by the irritating utter- 
ances in the English Press, 'qui sont trop cousues de fil hlanc.^ 

148 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

" Moreover, not only the French poHtician, but perhaps 
even more the Enghsh, could not help the French at all on 
land, and for France what will happen on land is all-important. 
The French (Seckendorff says) have no confidence in their 
own Army — least of all in their Generals. 

*' (3) Bertie and his staff are very anti-German. 

" (4) The Haute Finance of Paris is convinced that Russia 
will have very hard peace conditions imposed on her by Japan 
and will have to pay a very high indemnity. It is maintained 
that the assertions to the contrary made by Russian newspapers 
and diplomatists are mere talk. Paris financial circles calcu- 
late that the indemnity will come to from four to five milliards 
and they are ready to lend Russia the money. Russia, it is 
believed, cannot continue the war ; the internal condition 
of the country would not permit, and the people and now the 
Tsar are war-weary. But Russia possesses such great internal 
resources that international finance would always be willing 
to go on supplying her with money. 

** (5) Seckendorff does not believe that the people who 
count in the political world of England want to attack us. 
Nor does he believe that these are so foolish as to attribute 
seriously to us any intention of attacking England. In 
naval circles there would seem to be more support for the 
idea of a prophylactic war against Germany. Moreover, the 
English do not like us and are envious of us. With patience, 
calm, and * good manners ' the relations between us may be 
improved, but only slowly. 

*' (6) As already intimated, Seckendorff is of the opinion 
that His Majesty King Edward is not our enemy. His 
Majesty, he thinks, has merely had his feelings stirred up 
against us by the people round him who have been hostile 
to us almost all of them, and who keep telling him that his 
exalted nephew is ' incalculable ' and that His Majesty must 
be prepared for all kinds of coups de tete. 

*' (7) Among those specially hostile to us (he says) are 
Princess Victoria (the King's daughter), the Duchess of 
Connaught, and Princess Louis of Battenberg. ... It is the 
case that the indiscreet and tactless young Prince ^ excites the 
Kaiser, whom he amuses by his quips and jeers, against the 
Royal Family. 

* Th< Crown Prince, evidently. 

149 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

" (8) Seckendorff has asked more than once whether 
The Times might not be won over to us. Chirol,^ he thinks, 
cannot forgive Holstein the violent rupture of 1896. Walter, 
he adds, is aggrieved with Eckardstein. Do you think that 
you, with your tact, could do something in the right direction ? 

*' (9) His Majesty intimated to Seckendorff that Gleichen 
would be recalled in the winter. It should not, however, 
be made to look as though His Majesty had been forced into 
this step. It seems that His Majesty has already someone in 
view to replace Gleichen. 

*' (10) Seckendorff kept insisting that the King's efforts 
continue to be directed towards bringing about an agreement 
with Russia also. 



The Emperor William II 

TO Prince von Bulow. 



<c 



ViSBY, July 25, 1905, 



"My Dear Biilow, 

*' You will have learnt already from my telegram that the 
work of rapprochement \A.nndherung\ has borne fruit and the 
throw has succeeded ! The treaty has been considerably 
simplified inasmuch as the old Clause 4 has been abolished. 
In Clause i, ' European Power in Europe ' has been inserted 
so that Asia and India have been got rid of for us. In the 
new Clause 4 the Kaiser undertakes to enter into co-operation 
with France after the conclusion of peace [nach Abschluss des 
Friedens Frankreich ^ur Theilnahme ein':(ujiihren\ ; just as the 
treaty comes into force only after the conclusion of peace so that 
the tvititt present situation, with the war in progress, is abso- 
lutely not binding for us. 

" And now that this has come about people are wondering 
how such a thing can have become possible. The answer is 
very clear to me ! God has so ordained. In spite of mortal 
muddlings, in scorn of mortal meddlings,^ He has brought 

^ The late Sir Valentine Chirol, who in 1896 was The Times correspondent in 
Berlin. In 1905 he was Foreign Editor of the paper. 

* A rather free rendering of the Kaiser's rhetorical phrase. 

150 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

together what belonged together. Now His ways are different 
from our ways and His thoughts are loftier than ours. What 
Russia last winter rejected in her pride and endeavoured by 
means of intrigues to shape to our disadvantage has now been 
forced upon her by the terrible, hard, mortifying hand of the 
Lord and has been accepted gladly as a beautiful gift. My 
head became dizzy from the way I cudgelled my brains these 
days in my anxiety to make sure that I was setting about the 
matter in the right way, the interests of the country always 
before my eyes, but not less so the interests of the 
monarchical idea generally. Finally, I have raised my hands 
to the Lord over us all, and committed everything into His 
hands, and prayed. He will assuredly direct and lead me 
whither He wilt. I am but a simple tool in His hands and 
I will achieve what He entrusts me with, however difficult 
may be the task. And in conclusion I have uttered the 
wish of the Old Dessauer at Kesselsdorff, that if He be not 
willing to help me He should at least not help the other 
side. Having done so, I felt wonderfully strengthened, 
and my will and purpose are growing ever more firm 
and definite. ' You see it through, cost it what it may ! ' 
And so I looked forward to the interview with complete 
confidence. And what was I to meet with ? A warm, 
affectionate, hearty greeting such as could be given only to 
a really beloved friend. The Tsar embraced me and held 
me close as though I were his very brother, and he kept 
gazing at me with eyes full of joy and gratitude. The 
people round the Tsar — save for that oyster-like foreigner 

P 1 — showed me a cordiality I never before met with. 

Benckendorff even allowed his monocle to drop from his eye 
when I gave him my hand ! ! The Grand Duke Michael, 
Heir to the Throne, had expressly been made one of the party, 
and was ecstatic. 

" Soon the Tsar took me aside and said he was burning to 
have a long talk with me. We lit our cigarettes and were 
soon in medias res. He was extremely pleased about our 
Morocco arrangement, feeling that it opened out the way 
to permanently good relations with France, and he subscribed 
warmly to my hope that an enduring understanding and perhaps 

^ According to the official documents, " the expression applied by the Kaiser to 
Covmt LamsdorfF does not bear reproduction." 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

even an * agreement ' with Gaul might result from it. When 
I proceeded to draw his attention to the fact that, in spite of 
the instigation from the side of England, France had flatly 
refused to enter the lists against us, and thus showed that she 
was no longer inclined to fight us over Alsace-Lorraine, he 
said emphatically : ' Yes, that I saw ; it is quite clear the Alsace- 
Lorraine question is closed once for all, thank God.' The 
conversation then turned to England, and it very soon became 
clear that the Tsar cherishes a feeling of deep personal anger 
against England and the King. He described Edward VII 
as the greatest ' mischief-maker ' and the most insincere and 
most dangerous intriguer in the world. I could but agree with 
him, remarking that I had suffered from his intrigues in a 
very special degree during the last few years, which, more 
particularly after his reception at Kiel, was absolutely beyond 
denial. I said he had a passion for contriving plots with 
every Power and making * a little agreement.' Here the 
Tsar broke in with the words : ' Well, I can only say, he shall 
not get one from me, and never in my life against Germany 
or you, my word of honour on it.' 

" We then talked about the introduction and carrying 
through of the peace measure, and the Tsar thanked me very 
warmly for the proposal made in conjunction with Roosevelt 
and Meyer. To begin with, I had, he said, written him such 
a clear and obliging letter. Meyer he found a charming 
conversationalist and a charming man, and he had very 
quickly come to an understanding with him. And the best 
of the whole thing was that the three things had come about 
so opportunely together ! It is obvious, therefore, what a 
good thing it was that I wrote the Tsar that letter on the 
evening of June 4 after the bride had moved in, and sent it 
off at once. The Tsar has hopes that Roosevelt, in whom he 
places entire confidence, will manage to reduce some of the 
exorbitant demands which the Japanese will be making to 
reasonable proportions. 

*' He was very much troubled about Norway. On my 
telHng him that King Oscar feels indifferent as to who may 
be his neighbour, and would not object even to a republic, he 
threw up his hands over his head and exclaimed : ' So it has 
come to that ! As though we hadn't enough republics already 
in the world, to say nothing of monarchs of his type ! What 
is coming to the monarchical principle ! ' He went on to 

152 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

express the opinion tliat if no Swedish prince were forth- 
coming, and if Copenhagen were interested, Prince Waldemar 
might step in. He had some knowledge of Hfe, a nice elegant 
wife, and fine strapping children. I agreed with him, but 
pointed out that, according to private information from 
Copenhagen, the King of England had already intimated his 
willingness to agree to the choice of his son-in-law if it should 
be made. The Tsar was very disagreeably surprised to hear 
this. He seemed to have known nothing about it and he 
said he thought his cousin Carl quite unfitted for the position, 
as he had been nowhere, had no knowledge whatever of life, 
was an insignificant figure and lazy ; Waldemar would be 
much better. If Carl were chosen, England, ' by fair means or 
foul,' would stretch out her hand towards Norway, and 
acquire influence, and begin to intrigue, and eventually, by the 
occupation of Christians and, would lock up the Skagerrack 
and with it the whole lot of us in the Baltic ; in the same 
way in the North his Murman harbours would be done for. 

" This brought our first conversation to a close and I 
took leave of him, but he came back with me at once to the 
Hohen'^oilern, and as we were mounting the steps of his 
yacht he once again threw his arms round my neck, thanking 
me once more for my visit. 

" My dinner-party on the Hohen^ollern — which began 
only at 10.30 p.m. — was very lively, and the Tsar grew more 
and more animated. Hirsch, his excellent old doctor, re- 
marked to me that it was long since he had seen the Tsar 
in such bright spirits. He was glad to see him enjoying this 
respite from domestic preoccupations, and he said they all hoped 
the talk with me would do him good and have beneficent 
effects for Russia, at home as well as abroad. It was already 
bright daylight when the Tsar left the yacht, after conversing 
at length with all the members of my suite. The latter told 
me that both Fredericks and Count Heyden, in the course of 
their after-dinner talk, had declared to them unreservedly 
that a German-Russian-French alliance would be the best 
solution of the situation ; perhaps Japan might join in 
later. 

** It was clear to me from all this that the ground for my 
action was well prepared and that there was a general feeling 
already that it would be actually realized. For if the people 
round the Tsar could venture to speak of it so openly, it was 

153 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

obvious he himself could have no objection to it. And this 
proved to be the case. 

" Next morning I opened my Losungen ^ and came upon the 
following text : * Ein jeglicher wird seinen hohn empfangen nach 
seiner Arbeit ' — ' Each one of us shall receive his reward 
according to his work.' And having exchanged a brief 
handshake with my faithful Tschirschky, who had risen to the 
occasion splendidly from first to last, I stepped, full of radiant 
confidence, into the boat which was to take me to the Tsar's 
yacht, with the treaty in my pocket. 

" The Tsar welcomed me down on the gangway with a 
cordial embrace, and then with Micha^ we went below to 
enjoy, the three of us, an excellent breakfast. The conversa- 
tion turned now upon more or less the same themes as those 
detailed above. I was able to see how extremely vexed the 
Tsar was over the attitude of France in the Dogger Bank 
affair, and, referring to the way in which, at England's bidding, 
France drove Roschestwensky out of Cochin China almost 
into the hands of the Japs, he exclaimed : * The French behaved 
like scoundrels to me : by order of England my ally left me in 
the lurch ! And now look at Brest I How they fraternize with 
the English ! And they never told me anything about it 
before — did not even ask my permission ! ' In other respects, 
he said, the French Government and Press had behaved fairly 
well ; and the people of Paris had remained cold. 

" Was it possible, I asked, that any kind of understanding 
had been come to between them (the French and English) ? 
I said I thought that some kind of small * agreement ' — 
Edward VII had a weakness for ' agreements ' — might very 
well have been fixed up without co-operation on the part of 
France's ally. The Tsar's head sank gloomily. ' That is 
too bad ! ' he said. * What shall I do in this disagreeable 
situation ? ' 

" I felt that the moment had now arrived ! As his ally 
had maintained the policy of the free hand and reinsurance 
without informing the Tsar or consulting with him, it was 
open to him, without doing anything incorrect, to retaliate in 
similar fashion, suum cuique. How would it be, then, if we 
also made such a ' little agreement ' ? We had already once 

^ A book of " watch-words," or aphorisms, of the Moravian Brotherhood — 
Tuosungen der Briidergemeinde fiir 1905. 

* The Grand Duke Nicholas. 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

deliberated as to doing this in the previous winter, but nothing 
had resulted because of Delcasse and the tension with France. 
Now that that was all over and done with, and that we were 
good friends with the French, there was no longer any 
obstacle in the way I * Oh yes, to be sure, I remember well ! 
But I forgot (sic) the contents of it ; what a pity I haven't got 
it here.' ^ I possess acopy, which quite by chancel have herein 
my pocket. The Tsar took me by the arm and led me out of 
the room into his father's special cabin, and closed all the 
doors himself at once. * Show it to me, please ' ; and his 
dreamy eyes sparkled in the bright light. I drew the envelope 
out of my pocket, spread out the sheet on the writing-table of 
Alexander III in front of the portrait of the Empress Dowager, 
and laid it before the Tsar. He read through once, twice, 
three times, the text, which had once before been submitted 
to him. I sent up a fervent prayer to God that he should 
take our side and direct the young ruler ! 

" There was a stillness as of the grave ; one heard only 
the sound of the sea, and the sun was shining brightly 
and joyfully in the sombre cabin. Right in front of me I 
could see the Hoben^o/krn, dazzlingly white, the Imperial 
Standard waving in the wind high up aloft. On its black 
cross I could make out distinctly the words ^ Gott mit Uns^ 
[ ' God with us ' ]. 

" Now I hear the Tsar's voice close to me : * That is 
quite excellent. I quite agree ! ' My heart is beating so 
loud that I can hear it. I pull myself together, and answer, 
quite casually : ' Should you like to sign it ? It would be a 
very nice souvenir of our entrevueJ He went over the 
sheet once again. Then he said : ' Yes, I will.' I raised 
the lid of the inkstand, handed him the pen, and he wrote with 
a firm hand, ' Nikolas,' and as I stood up he threw his arms 
round me with signs of emotion and said : ' I thank God and 
I thank you ; it will be of most beneficial consequences for my 
country and for yours ; you are Russia's only real friend in 
the whole world — I have felt that through the whole war and 
I know it.' 

" Tears of joy stood in my eyes — indeed, perspiration was 
coursing down my forehead and my back — and I said to 
myself : * Frederic William III, Queen Louise, Grosspapa [the 

^ The ex-Kaiser in this letter records the Tsar's remarks in English for the 
most part. 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

Emperor William I] and Nicholas I must at this moment be 
close at hand ! At all events, they have been looking on, and 
all of them will have rejoiced ! ' 

" On my pointing out to the Tsar that it would be desirable 
to have the signatures of two witnesses, as was customary 
with documents of the kind, he agreed, and gave orders at 
once for Tschirschky to join us, and for Admiral Birilew to 
come below. You should have seen the joy of the former, 
who had been obliged to put up with ten years of the hardest 
period of Russian pride, mistrust, and arrogant treatment in 
St. Petersburg. To him and Birilew we communicated the 
fact of the treaty, and the old sailor silently took my hand in 
both his and kissed it reverently. 

" And so the morning of the 24th of July, 1905, became a 
turning-point in the history of Europe, thanks be to the grace 
of God ; and a great lightening of the situation for my dear 
Fatherland, which at last will be freed from the horrible fangs 
of Gaul and Russia ! 

*' The Tsar now inspected the Berlin and gave a great 
farewell lunch in honour of all the members of my suite, 
during which he was in the most expansive mood. 

'* I have to add that while we were waiting for the two 
gentlemen to come and add their signatures, I suggested to 
the Tsar — as he would have to have a copy of the treaty — 
that his brother might transcribe it, and he at once decided 
that this should be. It was thus made feasible for the possible 
Heir to the Throne or Regent to become acquainted with the 
treaty which otherwise would be kept quite secret. 

" We also had much talk regarding Denmark, and the 
Tsar expressed the wish that we should consider whether some 
way might not be found by which we both might guarantee to 
King Christian his possessions so that we might be sure that 
in case of war we could undertake the defence of the Baltic 
north of the Belt. A declaration of neutrality in accordance 
with which the Danes, quite rightly from their own stand- 
point, would allow enemy ships to be piloted into the Baltic 
right up to our harbour. In case the foe did not respect 
Denmark's neutrality — a contingency to be assumed probable 
owing to the great weakness of the country — then he would 
take possession of it and the neutral kingdom would be forced 
to join the enemy and would furnish him with an excellent 
basis for his operations against our coasts. Denmark at 

156 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

present was a Baltic State and not a North Sea State. I 
promised to go into the question with him. I shall question 
Schoen on the subject in Copenhagen, and shall hear from 
him what is thought there about neutrality. 

** The weather is splendid, the voyage most beautiful. 

*' Your true friend, 

" William I.R. 

" P.S. — In the course of our conversation regarding the 
internal situation of Russia I told him some home truths. I 
have advised him to do two things : 

'* First, to give the country a Habeas Corpus Act (like 
Magna Charta in England), couched in solemn language, 
bestowing on the citizens of his realm personal security and 
the right to justice, in place of the present bureaucratic 
procedure. 

" When this charter should have been prepared by the 
Ministry I advised him not to promulgate it immediately, but 
first to call together the State Council — as constituted upon 
lines which I sketched out — and to submit it to them. Only 
when this State Council should be in session, presided over by 
himself, should he allow people to begin to talk and argue 
about Parliament and Constitution — for everyone would have 
some different proposal to bring forward. Then, when 
people had talked themselves out (with all the passion and 
faculty for talk which mark the Slavs), and when all the arguing 
was done with, he could come forward and, pointing out, by 
reference to the past, that it was no easy matter to frame a 
Constitution, make a definite start at once with something 
more directly useful to the people ; here, he might say, is a 
guarantee for the personal security and just treatment of 
Russian citizens ; a right of Habeas Corpus before any man be 
sentenced, and the right to be brought before a judge and 
tried within thirty-six hours of having been arrested. 

*' Second, his Army, I said, had fought bravely in the 
field but had been very inadequately led — ^the Tsar ended by 
admitting this — and, moreover, for six months past had been 
engaged in combating revolution, doing a kind of police 
duty which it found very unpleasant. The Guards had 
remained at home. The troops of the line ought therefore 
to receive adequate indemnity. They should be placed upon 

157 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

the same basis as the Guards in respect to pay and advance- 
ment. At the same time tlie deeply humiliating status of the 
officers of the Second Class should cease. The Tsar promised 
me at once to issue an order to the Army as to this. This will 
result in the troops returning home cheered and contented 
when peace has been declared, even if they come home 
without a victory." 



To THE Foreign Office. 

*' NoRDERNEY, July 28, 1905. 

" I have telegraphed to His Majesty : 

" The words ^en Europe ' in the First Article of the Agreement 
cause me some hesitation. The one thing the English really 
fear is an attack on India. In Europe the Russians can do 
very little with their crippled Fleet, and not much with their 
Army, to help us against England. But if the English knew 
that, in the event of their attacking Germany, the Russians 
would be available for our support in Europe only, and 
Russia was thus under no engagement to make a push for 
India, they would be more inclined to let matters come to a 
conflict with us than if India would be thereby endangered. 
At first sight, therefore, it seems to me that it would be better 
if Article I ran : ' In the event of one of the Empires being 
attacked by a European Power, its ally will aid it with all its 
forces by land and sea.' ^ 

*' Such a wording, however, would not oblige us to send 
our troops or ships to Asia. For in case of war with England 
we should naturally have to keep all our forces together on 
our coasts. I may venture to keep this matter in my mind for 
a while, and come back again to the point with Your Majesty. 
The question seems to me exceedingly important, but there 
is no hurry about it, for the Agreement is to come into force 
only after peace is concluded. Very likely it can take such 
a form that one may be able to put forward the omission of the 
words ' en Europe ' as an extension of the alliance in favour of 

^ " En cas oil I'un des deux empires serait attaqu6 par une puissance europ^enne, 
on alli^ I'aidera de toutes ses forces de terre et de mer." 

158 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

Russia, an inclusion of the Asiatic possessions of the Tsar, 
and thus a friendly act of Your Majesty in his regard. 

" Metternich telegraphs from London that in the last few 
weeks English opinion has become more excited against us, 
and that an English attack upon us now seems to him more 
likely than was the case a year ago. Until the Agreement with 
Russia comes into force we must be cautious as "regards 
England, and keep our good looks for her. I am telegraphing 
this also, this evening, as there are many lines leading from 
Copenhagen ^ to London." 



To THE Foreign Office. 



(< 



Norderney, July 30, 1905. 



" His Majesty telegraphed to me this afternoon from 
Danzig : 

'* Strictly Confidential. 

" It was I who inserted the phrase ' en 'Europe ' after mature 
consideration and most deliberately. Without it we would 
have been pledged unconditionally to co-operation in Asia. 
Thus, for instance, in case of a conflict in Afghanistan, suppos- 
ing England had picked a quarrel with Russia there, we might, 
from the military point of view, find a legitimate claim for the 
co-operation of our troops put to us by Russia. Now as 
regards the ' push for India,' which is a favourite catch-word 
of diplomatic talk and an item listed in the diplomatic drug 
store for bringing pressure to bear on England, the thing is 
altogether an illusion. In former years I, once for all, 
studied this question very thoroughly and from every point 
of view obtained the opinion of the General Staff upon it. 
It is practically impossible for a great army to set out on a 
march against India without years of preparation and ex- 
penditure on quite an enormous scale. 

" The thing would take so long in its mere preliminaries 
that England would have plenty of time for fixing up her 
preparations and counter-measures. And then it is doubtful 

^ The Emperor William II made a visit to Copenhagen from July 31 to August 2, 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtJLOW 

if the invading army could reach the Indian frontier in condi- 
tion for the conflict, so that this idea has to be excluded from 
the region of sober ' practical politics.' This is all the more 
so because Russia is now seriously weakened for a long time 
to come in troops and resources, and besides this will lose 
millions in war costs, and also have to spend as much again 
on reconstruction and reorganization when peace is made. 
She will therefore be quite incapable of a military enterprise 
such as we are discussing during the lifetime of men now 
living. 

" On the other hand, there is quite a different situation if 
Russia, after concluding an alliance with Japan as one Asiatic 
Power with another, were to join her with the object of 
turning the ' Europeans * out of India. In union with the 
most powerful fleet in the East — ^that of Japan — and supported 
by China as a passive or active partner, the conquest of India 
from the other side might quite well be possible, all the more 
because the English naval forces would be reduced to a 
minimum, and no ships of the line would be abroad, all of 
these being stationed in European waters, and mostly in the 
Channel and the North Sea. If it comes to a war with Eng- 
land, Russian help for us will not be in Asia or in the chimeri- 
cal ' push for India,' but will consist in the fact that Russia will 
guarantee for us absolute security for our rear in Europe. 
Thus the *war on two fronts,' which we have been busily 
studying for the last twenty years, will be changed for a war 
on one front, as it was in 1870, with the whole united 
German Army against France only. This is, of course, on the 
supposition that France mobilizes against us to help England, 
which is not unlikely. 

" The very strange and surprising report published by 
Reuter yesterday morning, that the English Channel Fleet is 
suddenly to be sent into the Baltic, and with this the voting 
of an extraordinary expenditure of 120 million marks by 
Parliament for English naval purposes, namely the new base 
for the Navy at Rosyth — already abandoned for a while — 
besides other matters, such as Count Metternich's serious 
information as to the renewed excitement in England — con- 
firmed by Coerper in a private letter to Baron von Senden — 
do not allow us entirely to leave out of account the idea of 
unfriendly projects against us. 

" I have therefore talked over eventualities with Julius 

160 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

von Moltke,^ who is to succeed Count von Schlieffen in the 
winter. The following is the result : It is very unlikely that 
England, supposing she had part of her Fleet in the Baltic, 
would attempt a coup-de-main. For in that case this detach- 
ment of her Fleet would be cut off by our immediately occu- 
pying Denmark and closing the Belts, while our Fleet would 
have the opportunity of going off to the North Sea coast of 
England and doing a lot of damage there. But this is not a 
course likely to be taken by a circumspect opponent with 
sound ideas of war operations. But however England may 
declare, or in any way begin war against us, Your Excellency's 
part will be at once to send off two despatches to Brussels and 
Paris calling upon them to declare, within six hours, whether 
they are for or against us. We must immediately march into 
Belgium, whatever may be her reply. As for France, it 
depends on whether she remains neutral — an eventuahty that 
I think cannot be entirely left out of account, even though it 
is hardly probable ; in that case there need be no question of 
Russian treaty obligations. 

" But if France mobilizes, then it is a menace of war 
against us in favour of England, and in that case Russian 
regiments must march with us. It is my belief that the pros- 
pect of ravaging and plundering in the pleasant lands of 
France would afford the Russians enough delight to attract 
them to our side. We may eventually have to consider 
whether, as a bait for good conduct towards ourselves, we 
might offer France a rounding-off of her frontier at the ex- 
pense of Belgium, as a compensation for her lost provinces. 

" The appearance of the English Fleet in the Baltic has, 
of course, been called forth by the surprisingly warm recep- 
tion of our squadron at Copenhagen, which has much aston- 
ished England. Admiral May will doubtless consider it his 
duty at Copenhagen to remember that England regards both 
Denmark and Portugal as alike its satrapies and outposts and 
cannot understand that they should have any love-looks for 
us. It is the same in Sweden since an English princess made 
her appearance there. 

" We cannot count on active help from Russia in the near 
future, for war and revolution are keeping its armies occupied, 

1 Julius von Moltke was the nephew of the famous Helmuth von Moltke, the 
*' organizer of victory " in 1864, 1866, and 1870. He succeeded von Schlieffen as Oiief 
of the General Staff. 

161 L 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

and there is no longer any fleet. But she can keep our rear 
safe. Passive help is very good ! " 

" To this I lipve given the following reply : 

" Strictly Confidential. 

" I have just received with most respectful thanks Your 
Majesty's significant and most interesting telegram from 
Danzig. Your Majesty will not take it in bad part if I hold 
fast to my opinion that the Agreement will be much more 
valuable for us without the limitation ' en Europe.'' 

" The opinion that a Russian advance against India would 
have no chance of success is not shared by influential groups 
in England, as was lately shown by the Curzon-Kitchener 
dispute and is plainly evident from all the English writings 
about India. As the English — ^whether rightly or wrongly 
does not matter in this case — fear nothing more than a Russian 
push for India, so it is for me undoubtedly true that a treaty 
between Germany and Russia, in which the possibility of a 
Russian advance in Asia is expressly excluded, is less calculated 
to hinder an English attack on Germany than a treaty without 
such a limitation. An English advance against Russia in 
Asia is very much more unlikely than such action against us 
in Europe. The English are much more inclined to move in 
the latter than in the former direction. I would still, as 
before, consider it a very fortunate thing if the expression * en 
Europe ' were dropped out, but I fully grant that not only 
the matter itself, but also the ways and means for ultimately 
making the alteration possible, deserve serious consideration. 

" In my humble opinion, what Your Majesty says as to the 
value of security in the rear for us is most completely to the 
point. To have obtained this for us will be for Your Majesty 
a title to the highest renown. But if this advantage is to be a 
lasting one for us the Tsar will have to hold his own. I fear 
the position of His Highness will be a very precarious one if 
he alone takes the responsibility of accepting or refusing the 
Japanese peace conditions, and does not soon grant some kind 
of a Constitution. It would be of the highest interest to hear 
the views of King Christian on this point. 

" What Your Majesty says about Belgium hits the nail on 
the head. Everything suggests that the Belgians have so 
far no suspicion that, in such an eventuality, we would put 

162 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

this ' yes or no ' to them. Otherwise they would have spent 
a lot of money on putting up fortifications against us and 
given the French a hint to arrange their plans for such an 
event. 

" As regards England, the words of Goethe are always 
occurring to me : 

* Heute heute lass dich nicht fangen. 
So hist du tausendmal entgangen.' ^ 

" We must now assume towards England neither an 
apologetic nor an offensive tone. I have sent instructions 
to the Press to this effect. I believe also that it is extremely 
advisable not to decide the neutrality question at Copenhagen 
before Your Majesty has had a talk with Schoen, who must 
be well informed as to the feelings of the Danes on this 
matter." 



To THE Foreign Office. 
" Secret. 



NoRDERNEY, July 31, 1905, 



"As to the Morocco question, there are now three 
points to be considered : 

" (i) We must keep for ourselves the possibility of 
securing for France a free hand in Morocco at the moment 
when she has to decide as to her joining in the German- 
Russian understanding. The Morocco affair could not take 
a better turn for us than this, and it would be far and away 
the best ending for our Morocco campaign. 

" (2) To secure this, we must not prematurely abandon 
our principal and general standpoint in the Morocco question. 
But, also, the French are not to be allowed to believe that 
our ultimate aims go so far as finally obtaining for ourselves 
a footing in Morocco. 

*' It seems to me more advisable to let the Morocco 
question stagnate for a while than to hurry it. Pushfulness 
or threatening over the Morocco question at this moment 
would only press France closer up to England, and at the 

^ " Don't let yourself be entangled to-day ; it is thus you will go free a thousand 
times." 

163 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

same time lead the Emperor Nicholas to imagine that 
immediately after Bjorko he is to be compelled to choose 
between us and France. From this point of view, I ask 
you to examine once more the draft of the telegram to the 
Imperial Ambassador at Paris." 



To THE Foreign Office. 

" Norderney, Aug. 2, 1905. 



<c 



Secret. 



" In view of the situation created through the Agreement 
of Bjorko, including the expression * en Europe,' we must 
now, as far as possible, avoid friction with France. To 
bring the Russians into the Morocco question seems to me 
for the present inadvisable, for Count Lamsdorif, faced with 
a choice between us and France, would be evasive, while 
the Tsar would think that we wanted immediately to take 
advantage of the engagements he has entered into to push 
him forward against France. 

'* I wrote this morning to His Majesty that I held the 
addition of the words * en Europe ' to be pernicious and 
that I could not take any responsibility for them. As I 
could not obtain from His Majesty the Emperor and King 
a modification of the draft of the Agreement already drawn 
up and signed by His Highness, I begged him to appoint 
my successor." 



To THE Foreign Office. 

" ¥or His Excellency Baron von Holstein. 

" Norderney, Aug. 5, 1905. 
" Strictly Secret. 



" Hearty thanks for your letter received yesterday. 
As for the further proceedings regarding my offer of my 

164 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

resignation, there is only one possible course for me, namely, 
so to act as is useful for my country and the Crown, in order, 
so far as in me lies, to guard them both from the dangers 
of the present and the future. The question arises whether 
I must not declare to General-Lieutenant von Moltke that 
for me the situation has not been cleared up, even by his 
explanations, and that I must have a personal interview with 
His Majesty. My letter yesterday to His Majesty was to the 
point, practical and very definite. 

** Obviously, however, we must now come to a clear 
understanding on the highly important question of the 
revision of Article I in its bearing on our future policy, 
whoever may have to direct it. My own personal opinion 
is that if we can obtain from the Tsar an explanation of it — that 
could be available for public use — to the effect that Russia, 
notwithstanding the addition ' en Europe,' is, in case of an 
attack, to push foru^ard on the whole front, these additional 
words will no longer be injurious to us. This will make 
it easier to defend the whole Agreement in the Reichstag 
and before public opinion in Germany. But I ask you to 
wire to me without being influenced by this my personal 
opinion. 

" Meanwhile, as to what follows : As I have already 
written to you, from the very outset it seemed to me doubtful 
whether the deferring clause (until the peace) is not, after 
all, of no use to us. I would just now be ready to giYt it 
up if I were quite sure of getting rid of the ' en Europe ' 
in return for this. The change of Ambassadors at St. 
Petersburg has not been deferred by His Majesty, but by 
me. My whole desire is that a change at this moment 
should not disturb the Tsar and make Count Lamsdorff 
even more anxious and suspicious than he very probably 
is already. I would only abandon this idea if His Majesty 
had already spoken plainly to the Tsar, and explained the 
change of Ambassadors, and I do not know as yet about this. 
Otherwise my view would be that our first conversations 
with Count Lamsdorff should be through Count 
Alvensleben, who somehow or other inspires confidence 
at St. Petersburg, and that Schoen should not be sent to 
St. Petersburg until the autumn." 



165 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

To THE Foreign Office. 

*' Norderney, Aug. 5, 1905. 
" Strictly Confidential. 

** His Majesty the Emperor telegraphs to me that he is 
sending General-Lieutenant (Helmut) von Moltke to 
Norderney to give me explanations in an interview. His 
Majesty goes on to say : ' General-Lieutenant von Moltke 
is bringing you the draft of a letter from me to the Tsar, 
in which I explain to him that I assume as obvious, and antici- 
pate, that " toutes les forces de terre et de mer'' will obviously 
include all units of his Army, and even those on the Asiatic 
India border, and that in case these cannot be sent to Libau 
or Strassburg they will naturally come into action against 
India. Even without the words '* en Europe " we are not 
in a position to force a plan of operations against India, 
if they do not wish for it, or plead that they cannot carry it 
out. But they will be more readily drawn to this if they 
have come to an understanding with Japan. 

" ' The English " strategists " and Anglo-Indian politicians 
use the " push for India " — that is, the possibility of a Russian 
invasion — only as a bogey for home consumption — in 
London — in order to get sufficient forces against their enemies 
in India itself, which since Japan's victories over the " white 
race " no longer believe in its invincibility and has begun 
to be restless. English soldiers of high rank, who had them- 
selves served in India, have said to me that they had absolutely 
no fear of danger from Russia, for an invasion in any force 
by a column of efficiently organized troops was impracticable. 
Your Excellency was perfectly correct in saying that the 
frontier is well fortified and prepared for defence, but this 
has become one more reason for considering it unassailable. 

" * It is self-evident that without the words " en Europe ^^ 
the whole German Fleet might be obliged — at the desire 
of Russia — ^to go out with the special object of preventing 
the transport of English troops to India, and would thus 
be annihilated by the superior English Fleet, far from any 
home harbour as a base of operations. Your Excellency 
would find it extremely difficult to defend such a proceeding 
before the country, and people would begin referring to 

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LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

"the bones of the Pomeranian Grenadier." ^ A refusal 
of a request for support " en Europe " for an enterprise against 
India would be regarded by Russia as a breach of the 
Agreement. An excuse that we must watch France would 
be met by the reply that she was Russia's ally and therefore 
no danger to us.' 

" We have two possible courses as to the Agreement of 
Bjorko, as regards Article I : 

" (i) To strike out the words ' en 'Europe,^ This again 
may be brought about in two ways : 

" ia) His Majesty may write to the Tsar that the Agree- 
ment of Bjorko is, according to the German Constitution, 
valid only if it is countersigned by the Imperial Chancellor. 
I am opposed to the words ' en Europe* Therefore I send 
His Majesty the Tsar a new copy of the Agreement, signed 
by me, without these words, and request that he will have 
a similar Russian copy, countersigned by Count Lamsdorff, 
prepared. This is what is called ' taking the bull by the horns.' 
I doubt about its success. 

" Q)) Or His Majesty may write to the Tsar somewhat 
as follows : ' In the presence of the existing European 
situation, in both internal and external affairs, I more fully 
realize our soHdarity as monarchical rulers. I would therefore 
like to establish our Agreement on the broadest possible 
foundation. In Asia your prestige has suffered through 
the war. All my thoughts are at present directed to strength- 
ening this prestige along the whole line, and I therefore 
suggest to you the omission of the words " en Europe!^ I 
also desire that both our Ministers for Foreign Affairs should 
countersign the agreement. I send you a copy of it counter- 
signed by my Imperial Chancellor. Send me a similar 
draft of the Agreement signed by Count Lamsdorff.' 

" Such a letter would take less the line of bending or 
breaking, though its reasoning is somewhat far-fetched. 
But one sees the object in view. 

" (2) We might retain the words * en Europe ' but obtain 
from the Tsar an express declaration that Russia, in case of 
war, would go forward on the whole line. I have already 
had this idea for some time. The question is, how best 

^ The allusion is to Bismarck's refusal of a projected Eastern intervention with 
the words, " It is not worth the bones of even one Pomeranian Grenadier." 

167 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

to formulate it ? It might either be that His Majesty would 
write to the Tsar : 

" ' As in the event of either of us being attacked by a 
third European Power each of us has to move against this 
assailant, would it not be well for us even now to prepare 
the broad lines of an understanding as to simultaneous 
operations in Europe, Asia, and my colonies ? ' 

" This wording has the drawback that the Tsar could give 
an evasive answer. But if he agrees, military conferences 
might just now attract unwelcome attention. 

*' Or His Majesty might write in another way to the 
Tsar : 

" * I feel sure that you will agree with me if I assume 
that, if either of us is attacked by a third European Power, 
each of us is to make a general movement against the Power 
that thus assails us — that is, you in Asia also, and I in my 
Colonies.' 

" Or, finally, His Majesty may formulate this idea in the 
terms already suggested to His Majesty, namely, the form 
supplied to him in my letter of yesterday : 

" ' I take it to be obvious that * toutes les forces de terre et 
de mer,' in Article I of the Agreement, includes all the forces 
of your Army, and thus also those in Asia.' 

** Such are the ways that are open to us. I ask you to 
wire me your opinion on this matter fully and in precise 
terms." 



To THE Foreign Office. 

"NORDERNEY, Aug. 9, I905. 

" Strictly Confidential. 

" His Majesty the Emperor has, by His Excellency 
General- Adjutant von Moltke, sent me a draft of a letter of 
His Highness to His Majesty the Emperor of Russia, of 
which a copy is sent enclosed herewith. When he handed 
me this draft, General-Lieutenant von Moltke said to me 
that His Majesty the Emperor has not spoken to him or to 
anyone else of those with him, except von Tschirschky, 
about the Agreement before it was signed. Except His 

168 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

Majesty and Herr von Tschirschky, no one on board the 
Hohen^ollern had any idea of the possibihty of an agreement 
with Russia or of its contents. General von Moltke admitted, 
without the least hesitation, that he regarded the addition 
' en Europe' as essentially a source of wealoiess in the 
Agreement against which it seems that precautions must 
be taken, even without any regard to the obscure internal 
situation in Russia and her naval powerlessness. As to Herr 
von Tschirschky, General von Moltke asserted that he had 
made efforts to bar the addition of ' en Europe,' but his 
remonstrances had not been successful. 

" At the same time, General von Moltke disclosed to me, 
in the name of His Majesty the Emperor, that His Highness 
was deeply troubled by my offer of resignation. His Majesty 
did not understand why I wished to separate myself from 
him, seeing that he had the fullest confidence in me. His 
Majesty the Emperor could not believe that I would leave 
him in the lurch in his present difficult position. I replied 
that I had not asked His Majesty for my release from office 
out of any excessive idea of my own importance, or the mania 
for being in the right, or any wounded self-love, but because 
I am responsible to the German people for the conduct 
of our foreign policy. 

" I could not bear this responsibility, if His Majesty, 
without asking my advice, introduces alterations of such 
far-reaching effect as the addition ' en Europe ' in a document 
so vitally important as this draft Agreement is. I remain 
in the service only so long as I can be helpful to the country. 
If this becomes impossible for me, I have to go. I must 
defer my final decision as to my offer of resignation until 
I have a personal interview with His Majesty the Emperor. 
This would also give me the opportunity of suggestions 
as to the opportuneness or otherwise of his letter to the 
Tsar. 

'* I ask you to examine as carefully as possible the 
annexed draft of a letter. The question is : 

*' (i) Wliether the interpretation of Article I is now 
to be brought forward, or only dealt with later. 

" (2) Whether the way suggested by His Majesty is 
the right one, or whether the suggestion would be better 
in the form adopted in the enclosed ' Proposal B.' 

'* I am inclining more and more to the opinion that the 

169 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

Agreement should be allowed to become public only if it 
can be said in explanation of it that, in case of war, Russia 
is obviously pledged to an advance in Asia. For me it is 
doubtful if we shall get- any positive result through 
Lamsdorff. The way of a letter from the Emperor seems 
to me in itself the better plan. Unless, indeed, it may be 
that Lamsdorff has throughout never believed that we would 
spontaneously and deliberately leave Asia out of the 
reckoning for Russia, and simply put forward an unaltered 
statement of the idea that in case of war Germany, as well 
as Russia, must take action on every front ; but Germany, 
under the immediate menace of England against her coasts, 
and in presence of the unequal forces of the German and 
Russian Fleets, would not have to send any troops to Asia. 
It is a question — especially if the addition ' en Europe ' stands — 
if it would not be on many grounds advisable that the German- 
Russian Agreement should remain secret. 

** I should like to hear as soon as possible your ideas 
on this matter. 

" General von Moltke tells me also that at Bjorko 
His Majesty spoke very earnestly to the Tsar, advising the 
early introduction of serious internal reforms (the habeas 
corpus, the transformation of Russia into a Constitutional 
State, etc.), and warned him against an inconsiderate pro- 
longation of the war against the will of the country. Those 
about the Tsar were touchy on the subject of any extensive 
reforms, when such things were mentioned, optimistic 
and generally thick-skinned as to the internal situation in 
Russia, and thoroughly set on the continuation of the 
war. General von Moltke had, however, the impression 
that the Tsar now wants peace. The Tsar was in good 
humour, and looked well. He was evidently very pleased 
with His Majesty's visit, irritated against England, and 
disillusioned about France. 

" Proposal B. 

" Alternative Draft by Prince von Bulow. 

" According to German Constitutional Law, the agreement 
requires to be countersigned by the Chancellor of the 
Empire. I shall therefore have a copy of the Agreement 

170 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

countersigned by von Biilow sent to you. I have informed 
the Chancellor, in this connection, that under the Agreement 
each of us has to act against a Power that attacks us 
anywhere in the world by land or sea where we can get at 
and inflict damage on the enemy, and I take it that I am in 
full agreement with yourself, as doubtless you will very kindly 
intimate to me. 

'* I regard it as obvious that the words * tontes les forces 
de terre et de tner^ in Article I of the Agreement, include all 
the forces of your Army." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 

" Wilhelmshohe, Aug. 11, 1905. 
" My Dear Biilow, 

** I have just received your letter, sent by messenger. 
After careful consideration, I am quite unable to see that the 
situation has become, through the words ' en Europe,' so 
much more anxious and perilous for us than before that you 
have grounds for offering me your resignation. You have 
had from me the news of two events that even by themselves 
denote such an enormous advance on the past that they 
must be counted as of the highest value to us : (i) That 
His Majesty the Emperor has solemnly assured me that for 
Russia the Alsace-Lorraine question is un incident clos ; 
(2) That he has given me his word for it that he will 
never enter into an agreement or an alliance with England 
against us. If Bismarck had succeeded in securing even 
one of these points from Alexander II or III he would have 
been beside himself with joy and would have had the 
congratulations of the entire people on having scored so 
great a success. 

" These are two such weighty events that I believe they 
alone mean for our Fatherland a firmer safeguard than all 
agreements or other security for our rear. 

" From my private letters to you, you will have seen 
what a serious, yes, even a sacred, thing for me is the welfare 
of my country, and how persuaded I was that I was in a 
position to bring you an important lightening of your heavy 

171 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

task — and of this I am even now convinced — and that, above 
all else, I had it always in view to prepare the way for you 
and help you. Remember your parting words to me at 
Sassnitz : ' Oh, if it were only possible for you to meet the 
Tsar ! It would rejoice me exceedingly ; it would be the 
greatest blessing for both nations and for the world. You 
suggest it to him or ask him for it, then go in, and God be 
with you ! ' Now all this has happened ; I thought I 
was working for you, and that I had accomplished something 
special. And then you send me a few cool lines and your 
resignation ! ! ! 

" Will you, my dear Billow, please allow me to describe 
my state of mind to you ? To be thus treated by the best 
and the most intimate friend I have — now that my poor 
Adolf is dead — without having given any sound reason what- 
ever for it, this has been such a fearful shock to me that I am 
quite broken down and have to fear a serious nervous illness. 

" You say that, thanks to the words ' en 'Europe ' in the 
Agreement, the situation has become so serious that you can 
take no responsibility for it. To whom ? And in this same 
instant do you believe you justify yourself before God, 
in this anxious situation, now made more tense, for having 
left your Emperor and Master, to whom you swore fidelity, 
who has lavished upon you affection and honours, to face 
it alone, abandoning thus your Fatherland and, as I believed, 
your truest friend ? No, dear Biilow, you will not inflict this 
upon us both. We are both called by God, and made for 
each other, to labour and work for our dear German 
Fatherland. 

"Be it true — ^though I don't believe it — ^that through 
a mistake of mine the situation, as you hold, has become 
more serious, this has come about with the most entire good 
faith on my part ! You must know me well enough to 
admit this. You personally are worth a hundred thousand 
times more to me and to our Fatherland than all the treaties in 
the world. I have at once taken steps with the Emperor so 
that these two words shall be modified or struck out ! Do not 
forget that, contrary to my own personal desires^ you sent me 
to Tangier in order to secure a success for your Morocco 
policy. 

*' Read over my telegrams before that visit to Tangier. 
You have yourself admitted to me that you were so anxious 

172 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

about it that, when you got the news that I had started, 
you had some kind of nervous attack [Weinkrampf]. For 
your sake, as our Fatherland required it, I landed ; despite 
the impediment to my horsemanship due to my crippled arm, I 
mounted a strange horse, and that horse might have brought 
me within a hair's breadth of my life — ^that was your stake 
in the game ! I rode among a lot of Spanish anarchists, 
because you wished all this, and it was to \\t\^ your policy. And 
now you want to let me go my way by myself, because 
you think my position looks serious — ^this after I have 
done all this for you, and, as I assuredly believe, much more ! ! 
*' But, Billow, I have not deserved this of you ! No, 
no, my friend, you are to remain in office and at my side, 
and you will go on still working with me, admajorem Germanice 
gloriam. You are absolutely pledged to this by all I have 
accomplished this year; you cannot and dare not refuse 
me ; if you did, all your own policy of this year would be 
disavowed by yourself. I would be for ever blamed for it ! 
I could not survive this. Let me have a few days to rest and 
pull myself together before you come, for the nervous 
strain caused by your letter is great, and I am still in no 
condition for quietly discussing anything. 

*' Your true friend, 

"William LR. 

" P.S. — ^I appeal to your friendship for me to let me hear 
nothing more about your idea of resignation. Telegraph 
to me after this letter, ' All right,' ^ then I shall know you are 
staying on. For the morning after receiving your farewell 
visit of resignation wotdd not find the Emperor still living ! 
Think of my poor wife and children ! — ^W." 



Memorandum. 

'* WiLHELMSHOHE, Aug. 1 8, I905. 

*' Strictly Secret. 

" His Majesty tells me that, as regards the Bjorko Agree- 
ment, His Majesty the Emperor Nicholas has neither written 

* The words " All right " are in English in the original. 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

nor telegraphed. His Majesty also quite agrees that as to 
the question of the interpretation or revision of Article I, 
nothing further can be done for the present. His Majesty 
also fully understands that, until a complete mutual Agree- 
ment as to this is secured, any pubUcation of the Agreement 
is precluded by our political interests as well as by courtesy. 

" On his own initiative His Majesty the Emperor gave 
me the following account of how the present Agreement 
was brought about : As soon as the two Sovereigns came 
together after their first meeting, the Tsar said to His Majesty 
the Emperor that he was deeply touched by His Majesty 
coming to visit him at the moment of his heaviest trials. 
His Majesty was the only one who understood his position 
and with whom he himself could speak freely. He wished 
always to go hand in hand with His Majesty ; that was 
enjoined upon them both in the interest of monarchy. 
His Majesty the Emperor replied that he also was gladly 
prepared for such co-operation. 

" Why had not the Tsar in the winter entered into an 
agreement that would have guaranteed this combined action ? 
The Tsar answered that the difficulty had arisen from France. 
On many grounds Russia had need of France. Then, too, 
it was ' Dear Papa ' ^ who had brought about the alliance 
between France and Russia. But Germany remained 
unfriendly towards France, as had been shown on various 
occasions. His Majesty replied that the relations between 
Germany and France had improved since the retirement 
of Delcasse ; he himself desired a friendly attitude towards 
France. The Morocco question in particular had been for 
him a * stepping-stone ' towards preparing the way for better 
relations with France. He had no selfish views of any 
kind in Morocco. He would handle the Morocco question 
in a conciliatory and accommodating way and would certainly 
come to an understanding with France on the subject. The 
Tsar gave it as his opinion that, this being so, there was really 
nothing in the way of an Agreement between Russia and 
Germany. His Majesty the Emperor replied that he had 
the draft of such an Agreement with him. The Tsar was at 
once ready to sign it. When he signed the document, 
he kissed and embraced the Emperor with the words : 

* " Dear Papa " in English in the original. 

174 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

' I trust you ; you ate the only man in the world I entirely 
trust.' 

*' His Majesty also said to me that the Tsar was in a 
remarkably calm state of mind. He had no illusions as to 
the internal or the military situation of Russia, but showed 
great calmness and quite a dignified attitude. He said 
to His Majesty the Emperor that Russia was now in a situation 
very like that of Prussia after Jena and Tilsit ; but, like 
Prussia, she would yet rejoice in * a resurrection.' Every- 
thing now depended on showing patience and tenacity, 
and not losing confidence in the future. 

'* The Tsar was extremely embittered against England, 
and so were all those about him. From what the Tsar 
said. His Majesty had the impression that he wished for 
peace with Japan, and would like to establish intimate 
relations between Russia and Japan in the future. Amongst 
those about him also there was no sign whatever of hatred 
towards the Japanese, but rather of regret that Russia 
had been drawn into an armed conflict with these prickly 
Asiatics, instead of keeping friends with them. 

" On the other hand, as to how the relations between 
the Tsar and Lamsdorff stand, His Majesty the Emperor 
could say nothing for certain when I asked him about this 
subject. All through the conversations the Tsar never 
named him." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" NORDERNEY, Aug. 29, I905. 

" Most humble and hearty thanks for your gracious 
message. I think that this would be the moment to send 
a telegram (not in cipher) to the President, congratulating 
him on his success, and thanking him for the great service 
he has rendered to humanity by preparing the way for the 
peace. 

*' Your Majesty will be a better judge than myself as 
to whether it would not be advisable that Your Majesty 
should send a private, ciphered, telegram to His Majesty the 
Emperor Nicholas, expressing your conviction that this 

175 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

conclusion of peace is an honourable one, for which we have 
equally to thank Russian valour and the firmness of the 
Tsar." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 

**Rominten, Sept. 25, 1905. 

** The Tsar informs me that he has no objection to my 
initiating Witte into a knowledge of the Agreement ; I know 
nothing against this. It should be communicated only 
to Count Lamsdorff and the Ministers of War and of the 
Navy, as well as the Tsar's brother. 

" I shall therefore personally make the communication 
to Witte ; do not let him know anything of it from your- 
self directly or from the Foreign Office. Many good 
wishes ; fine weather here, and five stags, but no big ones. 

'* William LR.'' 



To THE Emperor William II. 

"Berlin, Sept. 25, 1905. 

*' I have received with most respectful thanks Your 
Majesty's most gracious telegram. I had this morning a 
two hours' conversation with Witte. It is clear that he has 
very strong anti-English feelings. He told me that at 
Paris he had succeeded in preventing, at the last moment, 
an Anglo-French Russian loan, patronized by Beckendorff 
and Nelidoff. He had convinced Rouvier that such a loan 
would mean a ' point ' against Germany and thus would 
not be in accord with French interests. Loubet has told 
him that he knew nothing of this scheme, otherwise he would 
have blocked it. The President has also assured him on 
his word of honour that he is not in favour of any kind of 
secret arrangement between France and England. Witte 
considers the Anglo-Japanese Treaty damaging for Russia. 

176 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtJLOW [1905 

Besides, he is angry at England having Unked the communica- 
tion of this Treaty to St. Petersburg with the announcement 
that the Enghsh market was open for Russian bonds to the 
amount of ten milHons sterling, a concession that England 
would soon have made worthless by turning the bonds 
over to France and Germany. 

" Witte's view of the situation may be summed up as 
follows : If Continental Europe does not stand together 
against England she will eventually secure the mastery 
of the world. England lives on the conflicts and divisions 
of others. In the first place, therefore, Germany, Russia and 
France must stand together; as soon as these are united 
the rest of Europe and America also will be with them. I replied 
to Witte that Your Majesty's policy was directed to this 
same object. Your Majesty wished for co-operation with 
Russia, and this not merely out of common dynastic interests, 
but also because it was to the interest both of Germany 
and Russia that the whole world should not become English. 

" England has long been seeking, with all manner of 
intrigues, to divide Germany from Russia, but in this she 
will not succeed. Your Majesty stands firmly by Russia. 
For France Your Majesty has always had a conciliatory 
feeling, and will show this all the more, the more France 
sets herself free from the English, and the less she allows 
England to push her forward against us. 

" In accordance with Your Majesty's desire, I have said 
nothing to Witte about the Agreement of Bjorko. So far 
his view is that the ground for alliances must be still further 
cleared. When Your Majesty communicates the Agreement 
to him Your Highness might perhaps say to him, in this 
connection, that with it the foundation has been laid on which 
the house may now be erected. It has now come to the 
point when we have gradually to win France to co-operation 
with Germany and Russia. For this purpose it is also 
especially important that the Russian Ambassadors in Paris 
and London should be instructed in future to promote 
and support co-operation between Germany, France, and 
Russia, and not between England and France. 

*' Witte asked that we should make further friendly 
advances towards France on the Morocco question, and this 
I promised him I think that in the next few days we shall 
finally be at one *vith France on this. 

177 M 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

*' I believe that Witte would be very grateful if Your 
Majesty, after your interview with him, would telegraph 
to the Tsar that Witte can communicate to the Tsar whatever 
Your Majesty has told him. Witte fears that otherwise 
the Tsar may not give him any opportunity for a talk with 
him about the European situation and the alliance question. 

" This will be useful, for there will also be attempts to 
influence the Tsar in an English sense. Possibly Your 
Majesty will also consider this the time to telegraph to the 
Emperor Nicholas that Count Alvensleben is ill and tired 
out, and that Your Majesty proposes to send Schoen from 
Copenhagen as his successor — a man whom Your Majesty 
knows to be loyal, level-headed and conciliatory, and who 
has Your Highness's confidence." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 



a 



Rominten, Sept. 27, 1905. 



" The interview has passed off with a success beyond 
all expectations. Witte was surprisingly open and candid. 
He gave me an account of America. There, at first, he found 
everyone, from the President downwards, pro-Japanese. But, 
nevertheless, by receiving and influencing hundreds of 
reporters, he soon succeeded in converting everyone, high 
and low, and making them pro-Russian. The President, 
as well as the people, has by this time recognized and taken 
account of the Japanese peril in the future. The Americans 
have more of the ' colour ' and ' race ' feeling than the 
English. These latter have made a stupid mistake with this 
Japanese Alliance. 

" It amounts to a direct box on the ear and provocation 
to Russia, and at the same time a strengthening of English 
predominance in all Asia to the serious disadvantage of every 
other people. 

*' Nevertheless, in the very despatch of Lord Lansdowne 
giving information of the treaty, which is admittedly 
directed against Russia, England has added an offer as to 
the grant of ten million pounds sterling by means of an 

178 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

Anglo-French loan ! * Adding insult to injury ' ! Then 
he told me of the affair of the loan, which you know. In 
this connection he turned to France and spoke more fully 
of the necessity and also the advantage of an * Entente/ later 
to be a triple alliance, between Russia, Germany, and France. 
The Continent must act in close union, and the greater and 
lesser European States would, ipso facto of themselves, join 
up with this group, and America would come with them. 
Then England would soon find herself standing in isolation, 
and would finally realize that she could no longer, with her 
everlasting incitements, lies, and intrigues, play off one Power 
against another to her own advantage, no longer gain 
her ends, nor find servile nations to fight her quarrels. 

*' He became very angry about Nelidoif, who never 
troubled himself about Radolin, who, for his part, un- 
fortunately, did not keep in touch with him, despite the fact 
that he had distinct orders to do so. Witte was still wilder 
about Beckendorff, whom he describes as * !e chamhellan du 
Roi Edouard mats pas le gerant russe de sa politique de sa Majeste 
I'Empereur.' He would like to break his neck! 

*' Morocco, he hoped, would finally be satisfactorily 
settled. He had got on well with both sides in Paris. 
Radolin and Rouvier were practically agreed already, only 
Rosen was insisting on some questions of mere form, 
that were really superfluous. 

" Rouvier is willing to conform entirely to our proposals 
as to police questions, but wishes to have these dictated 
by the Conference, and not by us. His position in Parliament 
would be imperilled if now — before the Conference — he 
came to it with a solution insisted upon by us. On the other 
hand, if the Conference were already met, and resolved 
these matters according to our wishes, he could then tell 
the Deputies that it was settled according to the will of the 
united Conference of all the Powers, and then they would 
accept it. Personally, he is in complete agreement with 
our proposal. To carry it into effect, all he asks for is 
consideration for his Parliamentary position. I consider 
this quite intelligible, and desire that Radolin and Rosen 
should be directed accordingly. France must now be kindly 
addressed and friendship shown to her, to * save her face,' 
so that no rancour may remain and the turning movement 
be completed that will bring her into our confederacy. 

179 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

" After he had thus, speaking with warmth, completed 
his dissertation on the possibiHties and hopes of the new triple 
alliance, I told him of my correspondence with His Majesty 
and Roosevelt about the peace. Then I described Bjorko 
to him, with my impressions of His Majesty and those about 
him. Then, with His Majesty's consent, I informed him of 
the completion there of the league that would correspond to 
his ideas and wishes. The effect was striking ; tears stood 
in his eyes, and he was hardly able to find words in his excite- 
ment and emotion. At last he exclaimed: "" Dieu soit loue I 
Dieu merci ! A la fin cet infdme cauchemar qui pes ait sur nous, nous 
estpris ! ' And then he told me of unheard-of webs of intrigue 
that were spun against Germany at the Court ; of the drive 
against me from Copenhagen ; of the war party ; above all, 
the part played by the Montenegrin princess, and especially 
by the Prince of Montenegro. He had in his possession a 
heap of letters from the old scoundrel and sharper, addressed 
to Alexander III and Nicholas II, all overflowing with slanders 
against Germany, and in which, in the most shameless way, 
he urged them on to war against us. I laughed aloud at the 
thought that the old robber-chief got the Order of the Black 
Eagle from me when in Berlin ; he made out that Russia was 
dismissed by him in my favour ; and asked me to take his son 
into my Army ! The scoundrel ! 

" As concerns our agreement, I suggested to Witte that 
next, in order to win over France and gradually prepare the 
world for this tremendous event, the German and Russian 
Ambassadors should receive the like instructions, to the effect 
that inasmuch as the war had drawn the relations of the two 
Sovereigns closer together, and had brought into relief the 
common interests of both nations, it was the desire of both 
monarchs also to give an impression of this fact abroad. 
The Ambassadors were therefore to enter into regular inter- 
course with each other, and deal with all questions of general 
political interest in common from the same standpoint, 
special purely Russian or purely German questions being 
naturally excepted. This way of proceeding would soon 
make it plain to thoughtful men all the world over, and es- 
pecially in France, that between us matters were on a different 
basis from before ; then the consequences of the ' changed 
constellation of political affairs ' would be deduced, and would 
be reckoned with. Thus France would gradually see that 

180 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

it was more to her interest to join up with this strong group 
than to go hunting after an ephemeral Entente Cordiale 
with England, and then the moment would arrive when one 
might decide with confidence to propose their coming into 
the alliance. Till then it must under all circumstances 
remain a secret. 

*' I have got him to agree in every way with us, and he 
will inform Lamsdorff accordingly. Later, after dinner, 
Witte once more expressed to me his extreme pleasure about 
Bjorko, and assured me that all day he had been thinking 
of nothing else. I never ventured to hope for such results. 
He is returnkig home set up, with his heart lightened of a ton 
weight burden, and will stake everything on using this splendid 
foundation for building a good edifice upon it. He takes 
with him a letter to His Majesty, in which I suggest these 
identical instructions for our Ambassadors." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 

*' Glucksburg, Oct. 12, 1905. 

" My Dear Biilow, 

" Enclosed is a letter from the Tsar forwarded to me by 
Count Lamsdorff. It is a reply to the short letter which 
Witte took with him, in which I said flattering things about 
Witte and gave a summary of our conversation. 

*' It is clear that he is anxious about the connection with 
France. But there is no hurry about it, and all this can be 
smoothed over and settled down only by patience, equanimity, 
and courteous consideration. The Tsar wants alterations in 
view of some contingencies, especially with regard to France. 
He seems to feel himself hampered by some obligations of 
his father that might not be quite clear to him — at least, he 
acts as if it were so. 

*' My reply, sent in my personal cipher, is enclosed. I 
have declared myself ready to receive his suggested altera- 
tions for consideration ; we can make our counter-proposals 
and include in these alterations such as seem to him desirable. 
But I have told the plain truth to the Tsar in order to show 

181 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

him that to some extent there are obligations in our regard 
also, founded on our attitude during the war, and that these 
ought not to be blown away out of consideration for the 
French. But, after all, his connection with them is not in any 
way affected, provided it does not now — as formerly — imply 
a direct point against us. He must now stand by the flagstaff 
and show his colours. 

" Our holiday here is being spent happily and pleasantly 
in most glorious weather in an old historic castle beside the 
beautiful and romantic fiord. It has been made all the 
better by the betrothal of my good and excellent Eitel Fritz 
with the pretty Oldenburg lady, who looks most distinguished, 
and together they make a splendid pair. May the Lord be 
with them both with His most abundant blessing ! 

" Bright little Arthur of Connaught was here again, as 
well as Teck and Lord Clarendon, Chief Master of Ceremonies 
to His Majesty. Our intercourse with them was quite free and 
comradelike. They were all under the unpleasant impression 
caused by the Matin article, and depressed at the idea that 
anyone should imagine them to be capable of such a treachery 
in peace time ! As honourable gentlemen they have felt it 
keenly, and energetically denied the possibility of such an 
eventuality. His Majesty sent me by Arthur a carved 
walking-stick from Balmoral, with a message that it was very 
unfortunate that my son had not come there, for he would 
have had a distinguished ' reception ' ! I replied that * I had 
not a moment's doubt about this, but first the father, then the 
son ! ' He smiled, but he understood me. 

" Ballin has been talking to me ; Beit was with him 
lately. He (Beit) is the great speculator and Stock Exchange 
jobber of the City. He takes care of all the speculations of 
His Majesty, who must be almo?t a partner in his transactions. 
He must be always providing His Majesty with heaps of gold, 
of which he is always in need. One may say * he runs the 
King.' 1 Ballin asked whence came all the strife, ill-humour 
and hatred against us in England, and what was the attitude of 
the City towards it. Beit replied that the City did not want 
to have anything to do with it, stood fast for good relations 
with us, and did not trouble about the crazy Jingo Press, . . . 

" His reason for saying this was what he and many others 

^ In English in the original, 

182 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

in His Majesty's circle and among the initiated had often heard 
His Majesty declare. He (His Majesty) was resolved coAte 
que coute to bring about the realization of Chamberlain's 
plans regarding protective duties and the union of the 
Motherland with the Colonies against the rest of the world. 

" He knew quite well that I had openly declared that 
' in case of England introducing protective tariffs, that would 
be a blow to Germany's trade, which was the very apple of my 
eye ; and that immediately that was threatened I would draw 
the sword and fall upon England ! ! ! ' His Majesty, therefore, 
must arm against such an attack, concentrate his ships from all 
parts of the world in his home seas, so as to be equipped 
against the avenging blow of his angered nephew ! ! The 
two chief instigators who confirm His Majesty in this awful 
idiocy are said to be his two evil spirits : (i) Sir John Fisher, 
First Naval Lord of the Admiralty — his alter ego. Admiral 
May, a personage in highest favour at Court, is now at Gib- 
raltar in command of the Channel Fleet ; (2) Mr. Chamber- 
lain himself. His Majesty and Chamberlain, also, are old 
gentlemen, anxious before the end to do something quite 
astounding that will make the world talk of them, bursting 
with envy of German progress and the success of the yoting 
people — namely, you and me. 

" As Beit has access to the inner circle of His Majesty, 
Ballin went thoroughly into all this with him, showed him 
plainly the absurdity of all these ideas, and authorized him, on 
the ground of his personal knowledge of my view of world 
policy, to make plain to the King the absolute baselessness of 
all this, and the awful error in which he is involved. He 
also urged him henceforth to influence His Majesty in the 
direction of an understanding with me, and a trustful co-opera- 
tion with Germany. Beit promised to act in this sense. 

" Another well-lcnown man from London, with whom I 
soon afterwards spoke, confirmed by what he told me these 
assertions of Beit. Commercial circles and the City are 
firmly of opinion that they would lose as much as we would 
by a conflict with us, and are absolutely opposed to it. It is 
only the Court that is quite terribly anti-German. . . . 
Unfortunately there could be no hope of improvement in 
the near future unless there was also a radical change on the 
German side. To my question, * How and in what respect ? ' 
he gave me after some hesitation the short and terse reply, 

183 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

* By a change in the representative of Germany — in short, the 
Ambassador ' ! When I, very much astonished, remarked 
that I beHeved we had precisely the right man there, my 
friend lauglied out loud. He was the most thoroughly 
unpractical man we could ever have had in London, he declared. 
I may point out that my informant has no position in the 
Government service, but is a free man, who has an open mind 
and a clear judgment, and he simply took the opportunity of 
bringing to my knowledge the outcome of his actual ex- 
perience, for he is also very interested in the improvement of 
the relations between Berlin and London. 

" Your communication as to Stamboul does not at all 
please me. Marschall must just push on and bring about an 
alliance with the Effendis. Nothing is done by delaying and 
everlastingly hanging around. He must take the English or 
the Russians for his model. Thanks to me, he stands in a 
good position with the Effendis, and this must now be turned 
to use and advantage in majorem GermanicB gloriam. Count 
Schweinitz's report on his journey will have shown your 
Excellency how comfortably the Embassy carries out its business 
in Asia Minor. Marschall must really be taken to task. 

" With best greetings to the ladies; I regret to have made 
such a lengthy claim upon your time, but I believe my in- 
formation will interest you. With many good wishes. 

"Your faithful and grateful, 

" William LR." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 



<< 



LlEBENBERG (MaRk), Oct. 1 7, I905. 



** When Witte left Rominten he asked me if he might later, 
from time to time, privately and unofficially, send me accounts 
of his impressions at Petersburg, which might serve to facili- 
tate my proceedings in relation to His Majesty the Emperor. 
I suggested to him that he might write to Phili Eulenburg,^ 

^ Prince Philipp zu Eulenburg, who for some ^years was the Emperor's most 
intimate friend and adviser. In 1908, owing to accusations brought against him, he 
withdrew into private life. 

184 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1903 

who had received him and had several conversations with him. 
Enclosed is the first letter of Witte to Phili, forwarded by him 
to me, which is of interest as a contrast to the Tsar's telegram. 
It shows a diiference of view between him and LamsdorfF, 
and a dislike on the part of the latter for the agreement, which 
he seems to wish to have altered. Now we shall receive the 
proposals from him. When you have read the enclosed 
please send it back to Phili. 

" Monaco has brought favourable news from his ac- 
quaintances. Rouvier has clearly recognized the object in 
view ; he has all sensible Frenchmen at his back and has been 
essentially strengthened in his position by Delcasse's revela- 
tions. He asks for friendly considerateness on our side in 
connection with his task in Parliament. For the rest, we can 
trust ourselves to him, and we need not be disturbed if now, 
for the moment, a marked drift of friendliness towards England 
is noticeable in France. She has some ground for vexation in 
the success of our banks and as to the construction of the new 
breakwater at Tangier, which the French public takes to be 
an extra advantage to our side, and an unfair proceeding. 
They do not know that the arrangements for this were already 
completed before we took any part in the negotiation, as the 
Conference realized, and it was already all settled before my 
visit to Tangier. But Rouvier knows this, and sees in the 
affair no covert design on our part. The wish to come to an 
arrangement for a definite modus vivendi with us may be near 
at hand in France, and would, with time and the advance of 
peaceful feeling in the nation, become more and more evident. 

"It is raining cats and dogs here as if it had never so 
rained before. Many greetings to your people and to the 
Baden notabilities. 

*' Your true friend, 

" William I.R." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, Nov. 13, 1905. 



(< 



" In pursuance of Your Imperial and Royal Majesty's 
most gracious instructions to me, not to let us be excluded 

185 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

from such steps in the Balkan question as were being taken 
by Austria-Hungary and Russia, I communicated the assent 
of Your Majesty's Government to the programme of an inter- 
national financial control for Macedonia, proposed by the 
above-named Powers, in the May of this year. The contents 
of this programme are set forth in outline in an enclosed copy 
of the Note of the Ambassadors at Constantinople to the 
Porte on the 8th of this same month. The arrangem.ents 
provided in this programme appear to be throughout 
acceptable from the Turkish standpoint, and have already 
obtained the consent of all the other Powers concerned. 

*' Nevertheless, from the outset the Porte has opposed the 
Finance programme, as seeing in it an encroachment on the 
sovereign rights of the Sultan. After the efforts of the 
Ambassadors to dissuade the Turkish Government from this 
opinion had utterly failed, the great Powers decided that their 
representatives at Constantinople should ask for a collective 
audience with the Sultan, in order personally to induce His 
Majesty to accept the programme. To a collective Note 
addressed by the Ambassadors to the Porte, in pursuance of 
this decision, the Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs replied 
that he was not in a position to proceed further with regard to 
the request for an audience with the Sultan. Meanwhile, 
by my direction. Your Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople 
had repeatedly called the attention of the Sultan and the 
Turkish Government to the seriousness of the situation, but 
always without any result. 

"As so far the means of bringing Turkey in an amicable 
way to consent to the wishes of the great Powers seemed to 
be exhausted, Austria-Hungary and Russia approached the 
other Powers with an invitation to a naval demonstration in 
Turkish waters. Their programme for the demonstration 
came briefly to this, that each Power should be represented 
by one large ship and one smaller one of high speed ; that 
the squadron thus got together should assemble at the 
Pir^us, and after three days' warning go to Mitylene to seize 
the customs house and telegraph station there. If, after staying 
there eight days, no submission on the part of the Porte 
resulted, the same procedure was to be kept in view at Lemnos 
and Tenedos. In the hope that the Porte would even yet at 
the last moment, of its own accord, be ready to accept the 
Finance plan. Your Majesty's Government had meanwhile sent 

186 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

a noncommittal reply to the Austro-Russian invitation. 
But as, according to more recent information from Baron 
von Marschall, we can no longer, for the time being, count 
upon any submission of the Turkish Government, we must 
now — according to my most respectful opinion — follow in 
principle the example of the other Powers, so as not to incur 
the suspicion of Europe that we are looking after separate 
interests of our own in Turkey. On the other hand, we may 
be able to limit ourselves merely to showing our flag with the 
naval demonstration in case it is actually carried into effect. 
" I venture, therefore, to ask Your Imperial and Royal 
Majesty most respectfully for your gracious authorization 
that we shall accept the invitation of Austro-Hungary and 
Russia to the naval demonstration and accordingly Your 
Majesty's Special Service ship, the L,oreley, now at 
Constantinople, shall be sent to take part in the proceedings." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 

"New Palace, Nov. 26, 1905. 

" Dear Bulow, 

" I send you the letter which reached me this morning 
from the Tsar. He has, after all, decided to come out of his 
kennel [aus dem Bau heraus\ukommen\. The annexed 
' Declaration ' is a direct annulment of the Agreement, in 
case of a war with France. There is thus a return to the former 
status quo. This becomes still more interesting if one has 
previously read his warnings about complications in Morocco. 
He seems to suggest that the French are still cherishing desires 
for war — probably further instigated by Chamberlain — and 
that conflicts are possible. It is, of course, remarkable that he 
does not say that these can result only from a combination 
a deux — ^Anglo-French — and all the same he holds by his 
connection with France. Thereby, without more ado, he 
would become one of the allies of England. Thus practically 
the military coaHtion a trois is established. I do not precisely 
know whether he realizes this. 

187 



1905] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

*' Anyhow, he is not well informed, for Tattenbach has 
long since taken his departure, and everything there is going 
on quietly. It looks as if France has compelled him to exert 
some pressure on us. Hence the somewhat fatherly, but 
still almost threatening, admonition about Morocco. 

" The English are making every effort to prevent us from 
coming to a friendly attitude with France and bringing the 
two countries closer together. The Russians — after His 
Majesty had solemnly undertaken to promote the union of 
France with us — are rejusing their co-operation under the plea 
of its difficulties being too great. We must therefore take 
matters in hand ourselves, and, relying on our clear conscience 
and good purpose, try to accomplish the serious task of winning 
over France. 

" There has been sent to me from South Germany a 
pamphlet dealing with this subject, which was published a few 
days ago and has been circulated in thousands throughout the 
country. The pamphlet is forcibly and logically plain-spoken, 
and will be quite intelligible to the general public. I do not 
as yet know who the author is. 

" The attempt of the Tsar to make it clear to me that he 
must stand as loyally by his father's signature to the Dual 
Alliance as to his own signature at Bjorko is a good illustra- 
tion of those words of Scripture, ' No man can serve two 
masters ; he will accept the one and despise the other.' We 
evidently are to be this ' other.' For the ' Declaration ' is a 
reply to my desire expressed in the cipher message that he 
should safeguard me against attacks and warlike tendencies 
on the part of his ally in union with England, or some other 
State. This he coolly puts aside, and, on the other hand, he 
appeals to ' his treaty relations ' with some ' Busliranger ' 
or other who may happen to attack us ! 

*' This is rather poor thanks for our attitude during the 
last year, and rather reminds one of Butler's words, ' Dank vom 
Hause Osterreich ' ! ^ [' Thanks from the House of Austria ' !] 

" When Lamsdorff disappeared, that was no great mis- 
fortune ! As France will never attack us single-handed, but 
only in union with England and urged on by her, so in case of 
a warof ours with England, in which we must deal with France, 
the Tsar would at once take shelter behind the ' Declaration,' 

^ A familiar quotation from Schiller's " Wallenstein." 

188 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1905 

and rush to the aid of the two Powers. So there is the Coah- 
tion de facto ! Well, King Edward lias handled it cleverly. 
Now the land forces of France are completely at his disposal. 
" The hunting on the Gohrde was splendid, in good 
weather. I sincerely wish things may take a much better 
turn. 

" William I.R." 



189 



V 
THE YEAR 1906 



V 

THE YEAR 1906 

NOTE. 

The most notable incident touched upon in the following brief 
section was the meeting between the Kaiser and King Edward, on 
August 6, at Friedrichshof. The measure in which King Edward 
influenced European events during this period is a subject on which 
even English students of history disagree greatly. It may be of interest 
here to cite the views of Mr. H. Wickham Steed, as given in his well- 
known book "Through Thirty Years: 1892-1922 " (Heinemann). 
In 1906 Mr. Wickham Steed was Times correspondent at Vienna. 
He used to have frequent talks with King Edward during the latter's 
annual " cure " at Marienbad, In Chapter VII of his first volume, 
" The Beginnings of Trouble, 1906-1908," he writes as follows : 

Journalists who look upon their work as a pubHc trust cannot allow 
feelings of deference to dull their critical faculty when they approach 
eminent men. Towards King Edward I felt dutiful loyalty as an English- 
man ; but, as a journalist, my mind was open. He was the recognized 
leader of Europe. Whither was he leading her ? To some, the turn 
he had given to European affairs since his accession seemed statesman- 
ship of the first order. To others, including not a few public men 
in England, he appeared to be an amateur diplomatist the more dangerous 
because he wore the British Crown. Which was the truer view ? 
As I reflected upon my first talk with him and analyzed my impressions 
rather than his actual words, the reasons for his leadership and for the 
disquietude it had aroused became clearer. He was strongly magnetic — 
an essential quality in a leader ; but his mind moved with a swiftness 
that could hardly fail to disconcert the slow-thinking among his advisers 
who would also be likely to find his frankness startling and his directness 
of purpose uncomfortable. Moreover, he accepted and even appeared 
to welcome contradiction — a rare trait in a Sovereign. In any case, 
an uncommon man and a big man, I thought. Later experience convinced 
me that the chief secret of his power really lay in his goodness of heart 
and honesty of intention. He wished well to the world. While loving 
England with the encompassing affection that only those can feel who 
have looked upon England from without and know what she has meant 
and may mean to foreign peoples, he held her noble among the nations 
and desired her never to forget that noblesse oblige. There was in him 
no antecedent enmity towards any foreign country, though he could 
feel fierce resentment against persons who deliberately misrepresented 

193 N 



1906] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtJLOW 

or sought perversely to thwart him. His purpose was to keep the peace. 
From it he never swerved. The notion that he wished to " hem Germany 
in," to surround her with a ring of hostile States, was either ignorant 
or malicious ; but he knew, from long and intimate experience, how 
devious were German paths and what pitfalls might await the feet that 
trod them guilelessly. 



194 



V 
THE YEAR 1906 



To Count von Metternich, 

Ambassador in London. 



Berlin, Jan. 9, 1906. 



" You will have already seen by my Telegram No. 7 that 
your remarks regarding Sir Edward Grey in connection with 
the Morocco question are thoroughly in accord with the 
standpoint of the Imperial Government. 
C^*' Our policy as to Morocco throughout is no attempt to 
break up the Anglo-French Entente. The whole Morocco 
question generally is not of such exceeding importance that 
we should make it specially a question of our prestige. We 
have the sincere desire, while respecting our own dignity as 
well as that of France, so to come out of the Morocco Con- 
ference thaj: there shall be as its result neither victor nor 
vanquished^ There is proof of our conciliatory state of 
mind not -only in the attitude of our official Press but also in 
our lately published White Book, which we were only induced 
to publish on account of the issue of the one-sided French 
Yellow Book. In all this our attitude has been the avoidance 
of anything aggressive or embittered against the French 
Government, an effort on our part which has been recognized 
even by the French Press, so far as its statements are known to 
me. 

" There is an indication of some anxiety in English circles 
in a step taken by Baron Alfred Rothschild with the banker 
Paul Schwabach of this city. Rothschild sets out with the 
opinion that, for the moment, the poUtical horizon, if not 
darker, is yet overcast, and he thinks the new English 
Government would like nothing better than improved rela- 
tions between Germany and France as well as between 



1906] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

Germany and England, and that nothing would more contri- 
bute to a rapprochement between the two latter countries 
than a consolidation of the relations between the two former. 
Rothschild considers this a specially favourable opportunity 
for a joint effort of Germany and England in this direction 
with a common purpose, and he appears to be certain that 
the French would be pleased at an Anglo-German rapproche- 
ment^ provided account were taken of their own feelings and 
their interests safeguarded. Rothschild asked if the Imperial 
Government had any message for the British Government or 
wished for any kind of explanations from the latter. 

*' I have at once informed Rothschild, through Schwabach, 
that I am quite ready to communicate to him, in the most 
trustful way, and with full confidence in his friendly intentions 
towards us, my views on the present situation. In this, how- 
ever, the assumption is that a solution is being sought for, in 
which not only ' the interests of the French are safeguarded,' 
but also the interests of aU the States that are carrying on 
business in Morocco wiU be taken into just consideration, and 
German interests are identical with these. 

" I am still expecting Rothschild's views in reply. I 
want to have your opinion at once in view of your coming 
departure. 

*' Very likely you will see who is hidden behind Roths- 
child, and probably, like me, you will take it to be useful 
that you yourself, before your departure, should go to see 
Rothschild and discuss the situation with him according to 
my view. I shall be quite satisfied with this. Or would it 
be more advisable to make further use of Schwabach as an 
intermediary ? " 



To General-Lieutenant von Moltke, 

Chief of the Army General Staff. 

"Berlin, Jan. 24, 1906. 

'* I heartily thank Your Excellency for the very interesting 
communication of the 23 rd of this month concerning the 
position of France in the event of a war. Last June, at the 
time of Delcasse's resignation, the French newspapers of the 

196 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1906 

Nationalist type openly declared that under the Democratic- 
Socialistic regime of the time, and especially thanks to the 
Minister of War, Andre, France had been gradually made 
defenceless. I therefore consider the subsequent armaments 
of France as mainly a measure of internal policy. The 
Rouvier Cabinet want to preclude a repetition of accusations 
like these. 

" For the question of war or peace, France's own arma- 
ments in the near future are less of an influence than the 
prospects of armed support from another great Power in the 
event of war. If the Morocco Conference comes to an end 
without any result, then according to international law the 
status quo ante^ as it is sanctioned by the Treaty of Madrid, 
remains in force. And here comes in the possibility that 
France might seek to secure her claims by herself, and, sword 
in hand, attempt the conquest of Morocco. The present 
Government of France will only venture upon such a far- 
reaching and perilous undertaking if — now that Russia, even 
with the best of will, is hardly in a condition to come to her 
help — she feels quite sure of England's support by sea and 
land. 

" That the former English Government aroused her hopes 
in this direction we already knew even before M. Delcasse's 
revelations. But the present English Government has learned 
from the elections that the great majority of the English 
people do not want to pay any more war expenses, besides 
having enough of them from the Boer War. It is not to be 
left out of account that disastrous French defeats — given the 
case of Morocco not being left isolated in the war — might 
inspire the English people with a will for war ; but in view of 
the present unwillingness it will not be easy for France to 
venture on war with Morocco ; rather will her policy be 
given a conciliatory direction at the Conference. 

" The Prime Minister, Rouvier, has expressly given us 
the assurance, even if only verbally, that France asks for no 
general mandate for herself. Meanwhile it is an open secret 
that the French Government has suggested to various Cabinets 
that they, on their part, might propose a general mandate for 
France. Not one of them has so far been found prepared for 
this. On the contrary, several Powers have already let it be 
known that they would consider a French general mandate as 
a danger for all non-French business interests. As I have 

197 



1906] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

already remarked, the most important point will be the posi- 
tion assumed by the English Government. The new Cabinet 
declares ' that it cannot withdraw from the fulfilment of its 
treaty obligations/ But these are exclusively of a diplomatic 
character. Article 9 of the Anglo-French Morocco Treaty sets 
forth ' that both Governments will guarantee mutual diplo- 
matic support for the execution of the treaty.' But in case 
the general mandate is not to be obtained by diplomatic 
means, the French would not undertake anything further 
without a certainty that England was protecting their rear 
with her Fleet and Army. An enquiry in London to make this 
point quite clear would certainly precede any warlike action 
of France against Morocco. 

" I consider it to be unlikely, after the results of the 
English elections, that a consenting reply would be given on 
the English side. I feel confirmed in this opinion through 
hearing within the last few days that King Edward had spoken 
in a peaceful sense to a political personage who was setting 
out for Algeciras, and had expressed the wish to hear of the 
friendly settlement of the matters in hand. As we know. 
King Edward was not always of this opinion, but he has a 
keen instinct for English public opinion. A word of peace- 
ful advice from him will also be very effective in Paris. I 
believe that under these circumstances I can give my opinion 
for the probability of a satisfactory result of the Conference 
— ^that is to say, no French general mandate and the continued 
maintenance of the ' Open Door.' 

" Should any dark points arise later I shall not fail im- 
mediately to call Your Excellency's attention to them, and 
I shall be grateful if you, on your part, will let me know of any 
important military news. . . ." 



Memorandum. 

"Berlin, Jan. 25, 1906 

"The English Ambassador told me yesterday evening, 
after a dinner at his house, that he had received a private 
telegram from the Hon. Sidney R. Greville, Lord-in- Waiting 
to King Edward, and a trusted friend of the King, according 
to which King Edward had made ' overtures that deserved 

198 




M. Isvolsky. 



[E.N.A. 
p.igS 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1906 

attention ' on the subject of his exalted relations with his 
Imperial nephew. The Ambassador added in this connection : 
* The King is really now full of the wish to get back to 
better relations with the German Emperor. He has no 
intention of disputing as to who was right or who was wrong 
in any of the various points on which they have differed. 
Recriminations lead to nowhere. Kechthaberei ^ is of evil 
origin. With a spirit of conciliation, with good will, and, 
above all, with tact on both sides, as matters now stand a 
satisfactory situation might be established between the two 
monarchs. It would be great good fortune if the injurious 
and mischievous personal friction between the two Princes 
could be eliminated from the important poHtical relations 
between the two countries.' 

" In connection with this. Sir Frank came to talk about these 
political relations. He has got through some difficult years 
here. The misunderstandings on both sides had gradually 
reached such a height that at last he was almost doubting if 
there could be any good way out. The attitude of German 
public opinion during the Boer War had made a deep im- 
pression on England. On the other hand, the Englishman 
was resentful and, once offended, very difficult to smooth 
down again. Granted that the English people may also on 
its side have given bitter and exaggerated expression to feeling 
against Germany prompted by other circumstances, incidents 
and reasons. But he was convinced that the maximum point 
of the misunderstanding, ill-feeling and danger had gone by 
some weeks, or rather a few months, ago. He again saw 
land ahead, at which he was heartily glad, for he would regard 
a lasting division and an irreconcilable attitude between 
Germany and England as a great misfortune, not only because 
as English Ambassador at Berlin he was in duty bound to 
foster friendship between the two peoples, but also from the 
standpoint of his whole ideal of politics, of which I knew for 
the last thirty years. 

"The only obstacle (he thought) which still stood in the 
way of a gradual but certain rapprochement between Germany 
and England was the Morocco question. Unfortunately 
much mutual distrust still existed in Berlin, in London, and in 
Paris. I might rely upon it that Sir Edward Grey desired not 



^ The habit of insisting that one is in the right. A word often used in Germany. 

199 



1906] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

to embitter Germany and France against each other, but to 
bring about a detente between Germany and France. 
The present EngHsh Ministry wished not for war but for 
peace. But on the Morocco question they could not leave 
France in the lurch. The whole of the English people, 
Liberals as well as Conservatives, did not want to let the 
* Entente Cordiale ' be imperilled. In this connection the 
political interest that all England had in the Entente was 
linked with very marked motives of sentiment. 

"The English people also would not consider it 'fair' to 
let France go empty-handed out of Morocco, in which she 
had secured such important concessions. If the Morocco 
question could only be settled in some sort of a conciliatory 
way, and thus the normal peaceful and quiet modus vivendi 
of the past established, there would of itself come about, 
more quickly than seemed possible to many people, a reconcili- 
ation and mutual understanding between the English and the 
German peoples. The Ambassador spoke with great earnest- 
ness, but with sincerity and a conviction of the correctness of 
his ideas. 

*' While Sir Frank was speaking to me a telegram from the 
Enghsh representative at Algeciras to Sir Edward Grey was 
brought to him, which Grey had at once wired to him ' for 
his personal information.' Although he was not expressly 
empowered to do so. Sir Frank quite confidentially gave me 
the telegram to read. 

" It dealt with four points, (i) It appears that the German 
delegates at Algeciras showed no inclination to enter into a 
direct exchange of ideas with their French colleagues on the 
more important points of difference. (2) It seems also as if 
they had no wish to let others act as intermediaries between them 
and their French colleagues. (3) It seems as if they wanted 
the French delegates to put the French standpoint with 
reference to the more important points in dispute before the 
Conference without any previous private discussion. (4) The 
German delegates seem to be unwilling to make concessions 
to France in the region of finance in return for the renuncia- 
tion of a general mandate. I replied that as to (i), I did not 
beUeve that our delegates were deliberately declining friendly 
discussion with their French colleagues ; as to (2), I believed 
that the mediation of third parties — English, Italians, Ameri- 
cans — would not be rejected by our delegates; as to (3), I did 

200 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW [1906 

not believe that our delegates wanted to drive France into a 
tight place in the way suggested ; as to (4), on technical 
questions of detail I could not very well make a statement, as 
we had given our delegates a free hand in this direction. 
But as to this I could thus summarize the instructions that 
our delegates had been given — a peaceful solution of the 
questions in dispute in Morocco without prejudice to the 
rights, interests, and honour of either one or the other party 
concerned, and for this purpose the utmost possible spirit of 
conciUation so far as our position would admit, our aim being 
only the ' Open Door ' under permanent and honourable 
conditions, and equahty in matters of trade for the Powers 
that had interests in Morocco. 

"Speaking freely, and even in quite a confidential way. 
Sir Frank remarked that M. Revoil had been described to him 
as a man who would try to gain as much as possible, and for 
this end would at first put forward large claims, but if dealt 
with in a tactful and friendly way could be won over to a 
compromise. The French were not thinking of attacking us. 
They had also no wish whatever to let matters come to a war 
with us. But for every French Government there was a line 
of dignity, prestige, and sentiment beyond which they could 
not let themselves be pushed unless they wished to be driven 
from power. And just now, in view of the coming general 
elections in France, to remain at the helm was for the time 
being a matter of Hfe and death for those who now held it." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 

*' Friedrichshof, Aug. 16, 1906. 

" My interview with King Edward has come off to my 
complete satisfaction. The King was evidently in good 
spirits and felt very well here. As regards politics, the King, 
of his own accord, at once led the conversation to Russia, 
about whose internal conditions he seemed very anxious. I 
was pleased to have his statement that he had himself twice 
written personally to the Tsar giving him advice in a Liberal 

201 



1906] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

sense, and it was clear he was not very favourably impressed 
by the fact that he had received no reply to either of these 
letters. He had certainly expected a better result of his 
intervention. 

" Then the King went on to lament the lack of seriousness 
in Austro-Hungary and the general conditions there. The 
Emperor, he thought, was weak and had no longer his former 
energy with which to face the subversive elements in the 
country. On this, I turned our conversation, amongst other 
matters, to Count Albert Apponyi, whose policy I judged 
to be hardly satisfactory, verging on disloyalty. On this, the 
King interrupted me and expressed the opinion that he was 
altogether a visionary, and that I might well say that he intoxi- 
cated himself with his own talk, yet in other ways he was a 
clever and accomplished man. From the tone and manner in 
which the King spoke, one might gather that the Count is to 
be regarded as a factor for English policy in Hungary, on whom 
it might be well to keep a sharp eye. He went on to speak 
of the possibility that the Archduke Francis, after the Em- 
peror's death, would free himself from his sworn undertaking 
not to raise his wife to the rank of Empress, and said that in 
that case it would be most judicious for us to recognize the 
Countess Hohenberg as Empress. One must regard the 
matter as an internal affair of Austria. I fully agreed with 
His Majesty, and found him entirely of the view that we both, 
and the other great Courts of Europe, should act on a common 
understanding in such a contingency. 

''William I.R.'' 



202 



VI 
THE YEAR 1907 



VI 

THE YEAR 1907 

NOTE. 

In this section and in the next the subject of Austria is much to the 
fore and the diamond-cut-diamond intrigues of Isvolsky and Aehrenthal. 
Here the ghmpses into the course of European poHtics are very fitful 
and somewhat baflEling. To make much of them one needs to have by 
one some such book as Dr. G. P. Gooch's " History of Modern Europe " 
or Mr. Wickham Steed's " Through Thirty Years." In the chapter of 
this work akeady cited (on p. 193) Mr. Steed describes most interestingly 
the scheme for a Quadruple Entente, of which Aehrenthal was the 
principal author. The following passage will throw some light on the 
situation in Germany, Russia, and Austria in the years 1907-1908 : 

The Italian Ambassador [at Vienna, Duke Avarna], who had been 
working like a ferret, discovered that important negotiations had been 
going on between Austria-Hungary and Russia before Aehrenthal's 
visit to Billow at the beginning of May. " Something must have 
happened at Berlin," Avarna told me, " to alter Aehrenthal's plan 
of campaign. His present scheme for a Quadruple Entente, designed 
to exclude England and Italy from the Balkans, would be an infraction 
of the Triple Alliance, which consists not of one but of three distinct 
arrangements — Austro-German, Italo-German, and Austro-Italian. The 
Austro-Italian arrangement contained a clause to the effect that all 
Balkan questions shall be dealt with in agreement by the two AlUes. 
If, therefore, Aehrenthal is deaUng with these questions, directly or 
indirectly, without consulting Italy, he will justify Italy in calHng him 
to order and in taking separate action unless he plays straight. As he 
is going to Italy soon, the matter is of the utmost importance." 

From other quarters I received some indication of the general 
outUnes of the proposed Quadruple Entente. They were, roughly, 
that France should be compensated for her support of Germany at 
Constantinople by the withdrawal of German opposition to French 
expansion in Morocco ; and that Austria-Hungary should be compen- 
sated for similar support by German help in extracting from the Sultan 
a concession for an Austro-Hungarian railway from the Bosnian frontier 
through the Sanjak of Novi-Bazar as far as the main line of the Salonica 
Railway. Thus the Bosnian Railways would become part of an Austro- 
Hungarian through-route to Salonica, and a direct strategic connection 
with Macedonia would be created outside Serbian territory. What 
advantages were to accrue to Russia was not so clear. Eventual running 

20J 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

rights over a section of the Bagdad Railway ; the placing of a large 
Russian loan in France, Germany and Austria-Hungary, and a revision 
in favour of Russia of the stipulations of the Berlin Treaty in regard 
to the Dardanelles, were among the " compensations " suggested. 
But they were all largely hypothetical. Germany was to gain most. 
Besides giving her the support of three other Great Powers for her 
schemes in Turkey, and, in particular, for the Bagdad Railway enterprise, 
the Quadruple Entente would have destroyed one of her bugbears — 
the Anglo-French Agreement — and would have killed another — the 
incipient Anglo-Russian Agreement — before its birth. 



206 



VI 

THE YEAR 1907 

To Baron Speck von Sternburg, 

Ambassador in Washington. 

"Berlin, Jan. 5, 1907. 
" Secret. 

^^ To be deciphered by yourself or by the Councillor of 

the Embassy. 

*' I leave it to your judgment to make good use of the 
following points in your conversations with the President. 

" England's choice of Carnegie as a channel of communica- 
tion is regarded as particularly treacherously planned in order, 
under the cloak of friendship, to influence the chivalrous 
President against the person of our most gracious Master. 

" The utterly needless dragging-in of the commercial 
treaty negotiations is a further indication that with the wire- 
pullers in London it is a main point for them to hinder the 
present development of more cordial relations between us 
and America. Already England has been long regarding 
this with jealous eyes, especially since the mission of His 
Royal Highness Prince Henry. 

"As we are here informed from London, England is 
expecting to take advantage of The Hague Conference to 
improve Anglo-American relations at the expense of those 
between Germany and America. It is said that Mr. Bryce 
is to go to The Hague as England's leading representative and 
do all that is possible for a good understanding with the 
United States, and be very responsive to America's wishes. 
You can also say to President Roosevelt that we are ready 
even beforehand to talk over with the United States questions 
that may come up for discussion at The Hague. In this way 

207 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

there would be the best response to the wish of the President — 
as mentioned by Carnegie — to go hand in hand with us at the 
Conference ; this would also be the best means for dissipating 
any mistrust on the President's part. 

" From Your Excellency's telegram it is plain that 
President Roosevelt has not yet spoken with you about this 
business. His Majesty feels a painful impression at the 
President not having at once spoken of this question to you, 
and at his apparently giving credit to mere bill-posting 
reports. This is entirely for your personal information. 

" But there is nothing against your giving Messrs. Root 
and Carnegie, by word of mouth, some knowledge of the 
above." 



To Count von Metternich, Ambassador in London. 

" Berlin, Feb. 9, 1907. 

*' Your Excellency has been quite right in avoiding a 
discussion with the Foreign Office about the Bagdad Railway 
question. The observance of this same attitude for the future 
will commend itself to you, so as to avoid weakening our 
position in this business. 

" The concession for the construction of the Bagdad 
Railway has been handed over to the Anatolian Railway 
Company by His Majesty the Sultan, in legal form, and has 
thereby become German property. Sir Charles Hardinge 
plainly recognized this fact in the August of last year at 
Friedrichshof, when he expressly declared the Bagdad Railway 
to be an entirely German undertaking. He understands 
very well that Germany has a firm hold on this undertaking, 
and in all questions referring to it England will always have 
first to ask for an understanding with Germany. 

** Further, in the English House of Commons last summer, 
the representative of the Government, Mr. Runciman, admitted 
that the concession for the construction of the Bagdad 
Railway is the property of a German company. On its part, 
the German syndicate is in a position to carry forward the 
railway for years to come, without any foreign financial help, 

208 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1907 

so soon as the Porte supplies the securities for the construc- 
tion provided by its agreement. But the Porte can immedi- 
ately provide these securities, supposing that the view 
accepted by your guarantor is correct, that England will 
raise no new difficulty as to the 3 per cent, rise in customs 
duties, on the ground of the additional 250,000 * f^ Turkish.' 

" We have under these circumstances no need whatever 
to appeal to other nations for the financing of the undertaking. 
Still less can any other nations claim any share in the Bagdad 
Railway without important equivalent concessions, as if they 
could put forward some kind of already existing right. In 
the case of foreign financial circles wishing to have some part 
in the undertaking, it would accord better with the existing 
conditions of the affair if they would first, on their own part, 
make offers to the German syndicate and ask to purchase 
the subsequent concession by providing some equivalents. 

*' From what Your Excellency tells me, I take it that, 
despite the loyal assurances of Sir Charles Hardinge, there 
are those who do not yet take into account this view, based 
though it is on actually existing conditions. Above all, there 
is an indication of this in the attitude of England on the 
Bagdad Railway question. One can only be astonished when 
the English Government, in a business which concerns an 
exclusively German concession, thinks that it must in the first 
place let itself be guided by considerations regarding Russia. 
The wish for a loyal regard for our interests seems here hardly 
to put in any appearance. 

" The only way in which this English conception of the 
matter can be explained is that we are expected to inter- 
nationali2e a purely German railway enterprise, or that eventu- 
ally we are to hand over to England the most valuable part 
of the railway, the line from Bagdad to the Persian Gulf, 
and this obviously without any equivalent worth mention. 
So far as regards the question of internationalization, this 
would not be possible for us without much closer 
consideration, in the interest of the German investors who 
have secured and successfully made good the concession, not 
without serious effort and considerable expenditure of money. 
On the other hand, the transfer of the line from Bagdad to the 
Persian Gulf to England could never be seriously taken into 
consideration, because the Sultan would never declare himself 
satisfied with this idea. The same is true of Mr. Morley's 

209 o 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

suggestion to let the line end at Bagdad, and then make the 
Tigris navigable for shipping from Bagdad to the Gulf. 
One would never be able to get the Sultan to agree to a plan 
that would bring all southern Mesopotamia under the control 
of the English gunboats. 

*' Further, if Mr. Morley asserts that the Anglo-German 
negotiations as to the Bagdad Railway in the year 1903 were 
actually carried on by financial people without any connection 
with the English Government, in this he is quite wrong. 
According to the ministerial statements of Mr. Balfour, the 
German offer was at that time carefully examined by the 
English Government, and finally declined. (See Reports 
Nos. 243 and 279 of April 1903.) The blame for the failure 
of the negotiations at that time therefore falls entirely on the 
English Government. I may assume that Your Excellency has 
at once called the attention of the British Secretary of State 
to his mistake. If this is not the case, it would be desirable 
that you should bring the subject up again with him at the 
first opportunity that offers. For your confidential and 
personal direction, I further note as to this point that, in view 
of the Anglo-French Entente, we can no longer allow a par- 
ticipation of English and French capital under the favourable 
conditions then offered. 

*' As regards Your Excellency's suggestion that we should 
now as soon as possible bring about an understanding with 
Russia on the Bagdad Railway question, I do not know that 
this object is in itself worth the trouble of trying for. 
Meanwhile I doubt if just now we could get it. It is known 
to Your Excellency that in the October of last year M. 
Isvolsky gave us a verbal assurance that no difficulties would 
be raised against us about the Bagdad Railway. We have 
accordingly given him the expectation of our making no 
objection to a Russo-Persian Agreement as to trading con- 
cessions in North Persia, but at the same time declared that 
in return we must now be allowed to see a precise statement 
in writing as to the wishes of Russia that are to be taken into 
account, and that it would facilitate our agreeing to these if 
M. Isvolsky, in his memorandum relating to these matters, 
would repeat his verbal assurance as to the Bagdad Railway. 
M. Isvolsky has readily consented to this; meanwhile, however, 
nothing has come of the affair, 

" One can hardly be mistaken in assuming that he is less 

210 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1907 

concerned about an understanding with us on this question 
than as to an agreement with England about Central Asia 
and Persia, and that on this account he will want to make use 
of the Bagdad Railway question in its bearing on England. 
According to all appearances, the negotiations in view of an 
understanding with England have for the time come to a dead 
stop. In case of our raising the Bagdad Railway question at 
Petersburg at the present moment, the danger might arise of 
our thus giving Russia a trump card to play that might be of 
special value against England. An intimation from Isvolsky 
that we were trying to come to an understanding with, him 
over the Bagdad Railway question would presumably not fail 
to make an impression in London, and to make the present 
Government there amenable to very far-reaching concessions 
with regard to the wishes of Russia. 

*' I consider it to be indicated, therefore, that for the 
present we should maintain a complete reserve towards 
Russia on the Bagdad Railway question." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, May 6, 1907. 

" Your Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople was 
successful in preventing the assignment to Macedonian 
requirements of the so-called ' old revenues ' under the Public 
Debt Control. We had thus been able to take these revenues 
into account as a basis for a loan for the further construction 
of the Bagdad Railway. But it is lately rumoured from 
Constantinople that under the united pressure of England 
and France the Porte has come to an understanding pledging 
some part of the revenues in question for the purpose of 
a financial operation with the Ottoman Bank. In case of 
this business being definitely concluded, these revenues 
would remain under this liability until the year 19 10, and thus 
could not be drawn upon for Bagdad Railway loans. The 
further construction of the Bagdad Railway would thus be 
seriously imperilled by this financial operation with the 
Ottoman Bank. 

" According to communications from the Deutsche Bank, 

211 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

there is further ground for the presumption that England 
has taken in hand the buying-up of any shares of the Anatolian 
Railway Company that come on the market, in order as far as 
possible to depreciate German influence in this company 
and secure for herself a predominant position in it. The 
Sultan's attention has been called to this danger by Your 
Majesty's Ambassador. When His Majesty anxiously asked 
how this danger was to be obviated. Baron von Marschall 
replied that His Majesty might grant to the Anatolian Railway 
Company the concession it had asked for, for the irrigation 
of Konia, and at the same time authorize the doubling of 
its share capital for the purpose of carrying out this undertak- 
ing. If the company secured the doubling of its share 
capital it would place these shares well and thus obviate 
any danger of a surprise by England. Before the departure 
of Your Majesty's Ambassador from Constantinople the 
Sultan let him know that he had agreed to the doubling 
of the share capital of the Anatolian Railway Company in 
connection with the irrigation of Konia. 

" It will now be important to follow up this consent of the 
Sultan by concluding, as soon as possible, definite arrange- 
ments with Turkey. According to my most respectful 
opinion, in view of the serious and difficult position presented 
to us just now by the joint action of England and France 
in Turkey, the conduct of these negotiations, as well as the 
safeguarding of our other important interests in Turkey, should 
be entrusted, not to the present Charge d'Affaires, but to an 
official of the Diplomatic Service specially sent there. A reason 
for this is that the Sultan, according to my experience, pays 
very little attention to the Charge d'Affaires, and hardly ever, 
or only quite exceptionally, grants him an audience. Your 
Majesty knows the Sultan's peculiarities and what great 
importance he attaches to mere externals. It would no 
doubt flatter His Highness if Your Majesty would send him, 
as the substitute for Baron von Marschall, another envoy 
who has already been entrusted with important posts. As 
the fittest representative of Your Highness's Ambassador at 
Constantinople, Your Majesty's envoy to Rumania might be 
considered. Herr von Kiderlen has an exact knowledge of 
Eastern affairs as a result of his stay for several years at 
Bucharest, and is also familiar with this post at Constantinople 
through his earlier activities in that sphere. 

212 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW [1907 

*' I venture, therefore, to ask for Your Majesty's most 
gracious authorization, empowering me to send Your 
Majesty's envoy at Bucharest to Constantinople as the 
representative of Baron von Marschall." 



The Emperor William II 

TO Prince von Bulow. 

" Kiel, June 26, 1907. 
'* Dear Bernhard, 

" When this letter comes into your hands you will 
have had time to digest the contents of my telegram. These 
lines will tell you the sequel. I went to lunch to-day with 
Monaco. He told me that Etienne ^ had been most pro- 
foundly impressionm. Etienne had repeated the entire 
speech to him this morning in the presence of Mabilleau. 
After carefully balancing the pro's and con's, M. Etienne, it 
appears, had come at last to the conviction that the * Alliance 
of France with Germany ' would be the best [rich tigs te]^ and 
to have agreed to this in principle. It will be necessary, Etienne 
says, to work hard and to proceed gently and quietly in order 
to win people over gradually to the idea. After lunch Mabil- 
leau came up to me ; we moved away to one side, and he said : 
* Rh hi en I ]/ous Vave^ donne joliment d Etienne. Je vous suis 
projondement reconnaissant, car c'etait ahsolument necessaire, 
com me Etienne se faisait des illusions.^ Etienne, he said, had 
repeated the whole thing to him and he had become convinced 
that this was the only reasonable way. I had been quite 
right to make the situation so clear and definite to him ; ' a 
present il voit clair, et I'homme qu'il est, Je le connais pour cela, 
il en tirera les conclusions.' He, Mabilleau, would at once go 
to The Hague to see Bourgeois — for Bourgeois was the only 
homme in France, ' the coming man ' — and he would tell 
him everything and influence him in the right direction. He 
would also inspire his five million Mutuels with the same idea, 
and this would be a good weapon for Bourgeois with which 
to impress the authorities. ''''Yen suis convaincu, d'abord 
I' Alliance, ensuite la preponderance morale au Maroc' From this 

^ A former member of the French Government. He would appear to have been 
impressed by some public speech made by the Kaiser. Cf. nes'-J etter on page 214, 

215 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

it is to be seen how near Morocco lies to their heart — ^tliat 
they should actually be ready to proceed to an Alliance with 
us on its account ! Well, much water will run down the Seine 
and the Spree before that ! But I believe, all the same, that 
I have sown seeds which, God willing, will spring up presently 
into fine plants ! 

*' To-day at last the weather has become fine and Iduna 
has won. Many greetings to the Countess from 

" Your true friend, 

" William I.R." 



The Emperor William II 

TO Prince von Bulow. 



Kiel, June 26, 1907. 



" Yesterday evening the Prince of Monaco introduced 
M. Etienne to me. They both dined with me. He gives 
the impression of an extremely energetic man, thick-set, 
massive, with a broad, heavy head, a thick mop of grey hair, 
dark bushy eyebrows, eyes full of energy and intelligence, 
jovial bearing. After some general talk of an introductory 
sort, I perceived that he had something on his mind, and 
later in the evening, as we sat drinking beer at Borby, I gave 
him an opportunity of expressing himself freely. He at once 
brought the conversation round to Morocco. He put for- 
ward the French point of view with French verve and conver- 
sational talent. The upshot of our long talk was as follows. 

" Germany should recognize France as the predominant 
Power in Morocco. All France wants is to establish peace 
and order. A disturbed Morocco would prove in course of 
time an impossible and harmful neighbour to Algeria. 

" I : ' France will take Morocco, then ? ' 

** He : ' No ! A hundred and fifty thousand men would 
be wanted for that.' 

'* I : 'A protectorate ? ' 

" He : ' Not after the Tunis model ; only a moral pre- 
dominance, so as to be able to give advice.' 

214 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1907 

" I : * We all do that on the strength of the Algeciras 
Treaty.* 

" He : * France after Algeciras fell in with Germany's 
wishes in the belief that Germany would stand by her in 
order to make possible the recognition of her preponderance. 
This had not come about. Hence the strong feeling now 
against Germany.' 

"In Tangier, he went on to say, a declaration 
had been expected from me — un mot pour la France. 
That had not come about, hence the ill-feeling. There was 
nothing he was so anxious for as good relations between 
Germany and France. It was in my power to bring them 
about ; un mot, un heaugeste de I'Empereur, and everything would 
be in right order. A bon accord could then be created between 
the two countries, and, by way of compensation, rectifications 
or modifications of frontier lines in the colonies — in Africa, 
for instance — ^would be granted to us. 

" I answered as follows : 

" France had concluded the Morocco understanding 
with England in the spring of 1904 behind our back without 
communicating with us, and therefore against us. Our 
interests thereby had been seriously imperilled, as had been 
the interests of all other European Powers in Morocco. I 
knew this personally from the heads of these other States. 
I had allowed France a whole year in which to communicate 
with me on the subject, but no communication had come to 
me. Therefore it was that the Algeciras Conference had been 
called into life, so that the regulation of the condition of 
things in Morocco might be seen to, by the Great Powers 
acting together. Morocco was a free country under an 
autonomous hereditary dynasty, over which a single great 
Power could have no preponderance unless it were estab- 
lished by conquest or a protectorate. The Algeciras Treaty 
upon which we had taken up our footing would prevent that. 
This spring we had given an indisputable proof of our good- 
will to France when, going beyond the frontier belt, she 
occupied Udjda, which had been a transgression of the 
Algeciras Treaty and which had much upset the other nations. 
It had been as the outcome of my good advice that the Sultan 
had shown himself so accommodating as to accede to the 
multiform desires of France (the Mauchamp affair, etc.). 
These had been direct services which I had rendered France 

215 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

without having been in any way obliged to do so. All 
these services, however, had been accepted by France almost 
without a word of thanks, and then everything remained just 
as it had been. As for the beaugeste, why, I had made quite 
a number in the course of the nine years of my reign ! 
*' He : ' 0^/, out ! (^a nous a toucke au cceur I ' 
" I : ' Vous n*en ave^pas tire les consequences I ' 
*' I was very glad, I went on to tell him, that he of his own 
accord had intervened between our two countries. His having 
done so was very much to the interest of France, and it was the 
only thing to do. 

** The great questions of the future which were cropping 
up in the world required a united Europe, and Germany and 
France ought to go into them hand in hand. He agreed 
completely and declared that all ententes which had been con- 
cluded recently were harmless and that there was nothing 
in them to disquiet us. I repHed that Germany was strong 
enough to look on at all such political pastimes calmly and with 
a smile. In the end things could not be done without us 
in spite of all the ententes. The great countries of the future, 
Japan and America, already took account of us and placed 
themselves beside us. France, on the contrary, had sacrificed 
her freedom of action and was being taken in tow by England ; 
England was dictating in Paris whatever she liked, and France 
had become England's will-less slave. 

" As proof of what I said I instanced the abandonment at 
the last moment before the Kiel Week of the contemplated 
despatch of a French man-o'-war and the absence of the 
French Ambassador in Berlin in spite of the presence of so 
many of his countrymen : both of these things were done to 
gratify English wishes. When M. Etienne sought to 
question this, the Prince of Monaco, who was sitting beside 
me, bore out my statements. M. Etienne was extremely 
disturbed, but returned to the subject of Morocco and the 
heau geste. When he had j&red off a number of fine phrases 
I answered that we had done with beaux gestes for the moment, 
and that it was for France now to give definite tokens of 
her good will. I could not take into benevolent considera- 
tion France's wish for a moral preponderance in Morocco 
until la France aura conclu une alliance fixe avec I'uAllemagne. 
If the French were my allies, their wishes would find a 
favourable ear with me, things would go as well for them, 

216 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1907 

and their existence would be as well safeguarded as those 
of Austria and Italy. I could no longer accept the principle 
which France had been following down to now : the arm to 
Russia, the hand to Great Britain, a greeting to Germany. 
I now required at least the hand ; the arm would be still 
better. My own hand had been stretched out to her for nine 
years past in loyal fashion. France had offered her hand 
to all the others but had turned her back on me. In spite 
of everything, I still held out my hand. I advised her now 
to clasp hold of it before it was too late, so that France should 
not come into the situation which the Due de Decazes 
recently described to me with accuracy : * Vourvu que la 
France ne paje les pots casses par I'Angleterre.' Thus, first the 
Alliance, without hurt to her Alliance with Russia ; then 
preponderance morale in Morocco. When Etienne's face took 
on a dubious expression and he turned towards Monaco 
as though pleading for his support, the Prince replied : 

* UEmpereur a dit la verite. Je partage absolument son opinion. 

* UEmpereur a raison.' 

'* Here the drama came to an end. 

" The French are all enthusiastic over their stay and 
welcome here, and they condemn in the sharpest terms the 
absence of their Ambassador — in contrast with Tower and 
Inouye, who are here — as une hetise incomparable. 

" Etienne would much like to call on Your Serene 
Highness. So far as I can make out from French intima- 
tions, Cambon has had instructions from Paris not to go to 
Kiel, these instructions reaching him via his brother in 
London, whom he will perhaps have questioned surrep- 
titiously regarding the Kiel Week. 

" The weather remains horrible. Yesterday I accom- 
panied the Meteor on the Hohen^ollern, and was a witness 
of the way in which the yacht was seized by a hurricane-like 
squall and windspout simultaneously and lost her bow- 
sprit ; she will be all right again to-morrow we hope. Tem- 
perature 9 Grad. Hearty greetings. 

" Send a copy of this to Prince Radolin in Paris. 



<( 



William I.R.'* 



217 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, June 27, 1907. 

" Your Majesty's very interesting telegram of the 26th inst. 
and supplementary letter received with thanks. I can but 
congratulate Your Majesty on the masterly way in which you 
brought home to M. Etienne the essential points of our 
Morocco policy and their connection with our general policy. 

*' In the Islamic world in the present configuration of 
the world's politics and as long as the Franco-English Entente 
makes us the target for hostility, we ought not to abandon 
without full compensation the ascendency which we possess 
through the standing Your Majesty has won. Naturally 
such compensation is not to be looked for in the local colonial 
modification of frontiers and small concessions of Africa, any 
more than in any preferential treatment in Asia Minor, with 
which efforts are being made from the French side to tempt us. 

" Your Majesty hit the nail on the head when you pointed 
out that an alliance with France was the only price for which 
our position in Morocco could be saleable. We ought to 
remove entirely the impression that we could sell Morocco 
for small benefits, as though for a pourhoire [Trinkgeld]. For 
there is a question here not of Morocco only, but to a much 
greater degree of the reaction which such a commercial 
transaction would have on the Sultan in Constantinople and 
on the whole of Mohammedanism to the detriment of 
Germany's standing in the world. 

" We shall continue, therefore, to take our stand firmly 
on the basis of the Algeciras Treaty and wait quietly until 
the French come to us with really acceptable proposals. It 
is in keeping with the Gallic character that the French should 
be inclined to regard every previous mark of amiability on our 
side as a sign of weakness and that they should find in every 
concession of ours a pretext for putting forward new wishes. 

" Time is fleeting for us. It is being steadily realized 
in Germany and abroad that Your Majesty has acted rightly 
in German interests in taking up the position in regard to 
the Morocco Conference which the Algeciras Treaty put upon 
a basis not easily shattered. 

" The ascendency which Your Majesty possesses, as leader 
of the country and in firm alliance with Austria-Hungary, 

218 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON Bt)LOW [1907 

is so strong that her paper provisos and declarations cannot 
affect it. Thinking Frenchmen will not continue to close 
their eyes to this fact and to the necessity for them, which 
follows from it, to turn to us. It is to be hoped that Your 
Majesty's conversation with such men of note as Etienne and 
Mabilleau will help to spread cognizance of this. 

" I shall be happy to receive M. Etienne, and in my conver- 
sation with him I shall avail myself of the views expressed by 
Your Majesty as a valuable guiding line." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, June 30, 1907. 

*' I beg to inform Your Majesty that M. Etienne called 
on me yesterday. He struck me as a capable man. He 
began by giving expression to his warm gratitude for your 
gracious reception of him in Kiel. Two of Your Majesty's 
remarks to him impressed him particularly : your assertion 
that France's conduct towards Germany had been marked by 
hostile intentions and your reference to the possibility of a 
German-French alliance. Etienne proceeded to assure me that 
no one in France thought of making an attack on Germany. 
The French knew well, he said, that even a victorious war 
would only result in producing more wars. The alliances 
and ententes which France had contracted had no aggressive 
purposes in view but were made necessary by the strength 
of her German neighbour. The whole of France was for 
peace. It was, therefore, desirable for us to come to an under- 
standing over Morocco, which had given, and continued to 
give, so many causes of misunderstanding. Feeling in France 
was not yet ripe for an alliance with us. We had to take into 
account the racial sensibilities of the French, who were 
sensitive and proud and who did not allow themselves to be 
rushed into things. 

" In reply to M. Etienne I said it was conceivable that 
Your Majesty beHeved in the existence of warlike inclinations 
and tendencies in France as the Kevanche idea so often made 
itself conspicuous in the country. It would not have escaped 
M. Etienne's attention, moreover, that all the treaties into 
which France had entered with other countries had been 

219 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BOLOW 

given a turn against us by French public opinion. As far as 
Morocco was concerned, we took our stand on the Algeciras 
Treaty, the ink of which had scarcely had time to dry. While 
the French had originally regarded this treaty as a victory, 
they now seemed to regard it as a fetter. The treaty had been 
neither the one nor the other, but was an international 
treaty which, so long as it was in force, should not be broken 
or pulled about. As yet (I proceeded) it was difficult to say 
what would or could happen in five years when the term of 
the police mandate conferred on France and Spain for this 
period would lapse and render desirable new international 
arrangements regarding Morocco. 

*' All that was certain was that this would depend princi- 
pally on the nature of the relations between France and Ger- 
many. I was acquainted, I said, with the sensibilities of the 
French. I knew also that less could be done for the smoothing 
of Franco-German difficulties and sensibilities by official 
personages than by the public and the Press — les hommes de 
bonne volonte dans les deux pays. With patience and tact it 
should be possible to avoid clashes in the immediate future, 
but in this an important task needed to be fulfilled by the 
French Press which unfortunately too often adopted a hurtful 
tone towards us. In Morocco we abstained from all aggres- 
sive acts ; France, however, must carry out the duties en- 
trusted to her there by the Algeciras Treaty, and must in 
particular respect the economic equality of rights. The entire 
German people wanted peace and friendly relations with 
our French neighbour. The German people, however, 
must not be harassed and angered. And the idea should 
not be evoked in its mind that people were going out of their 
way to threaten it and damage it and hem it in. If a peaceful 
mood were attained in Europe, and especially as between 
Germany and France, ententes would follow, otherwise not. 
For such a peaceful mood we must work on both sides, 
quietly and silently, but steadily. 

" M. Etienne declared that all I had said was in keeping 
with the ideas which Your Majesty expounded to him. He 
recognized the truth of this conception of the situation and he 
would do all he could in France to the same ends. He hoped, 
more particularly, that co-operation between German and 
French capital — perhaps in Morocco also — would constitute 
a good preparation for the political understanding." 

220 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1907 

To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, July 16, 1907. 

** I beg to give Your Majesty the following account of 
the course down to date of the second Peace Conference at 
The Hague. 

" The Conference in its session of six weeks has only a 
few tangible results to show, as is not surprising in view of 
the ticklish nature of the subjects under consideration, the 
great number of people taking part, and the clash of the 
interests which have to be safeguarded in spite of all the 
idealistic hopes for international peace. 

" The deliberations are undertaken by four Commissions, 
the first three of which are divided into two Sub-Commissions. 

*' In the first Commission, which is presided over by 
M. Bourgeois, the former French Minister for Foreign Affairs, 
and which concerns itself with the development of inter- 
national arbitration, the German proposal for the creation of 
a Superior International Prize Court is under discussion. 
This proposal has been greeted by the Conference with great 
applause and is pointed to as a token that Germany contem- 
plates taking an active part in a practical way and for feasible 
ends in the work of the Conference. Side by side with the 
German proposal there is an English suggestion which on 
somewhat different lines is aimed equally at the introduction 
of an International Prize Court. A compromise between the 
two suggestions will probably result. 

" The second Commission, which, under the chairman- 
ship of the Belgian Prime Minister, M. Beernaert, is concern- 
ing itself with the usages of war on land, has not yet arrived 
at any definite result, as the Sub-Commissions are still engaged 
in considering schemes and proposals. 

*' The third Commission, to which specific questions of 
war usages on sea have been submitted, and where proceed- 
ings are presided over by Count Tornielii, the ItaHan Ambas- 
sador in Paris, has just concluded its deliberations on the 
application to warfare on sea of the Geneva Convention as 
revised last year. The proposal before it was one brought 
forward by the German delegation. It was made the subject 
of some words of grateful appreciation from Count Tornielii, 
and after the French member of the Court who had been 

221 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

appointed rapporteur had given in his report on it the work 
was considerably lightened. Thanks to the German pre- 
liminary work, the third Commission was enabled to bring 
forward the first definite plan entirely in the sense of the 
German proposal — for ratification. 

*' In the fourth Commission, which, under the chairmanship 
of the second Russian delegate, M. von Martens, has to 
deliberate on the right of prize-taking \Seeheute\ and contra- 
band, the proposal put forward by the United States of 
America for the abolition of the right of Seeheute was rejected 
owing to the opposition of England and Russia, which was 
backed up by France, Spain, Japan, and several smaller States. 
Your Majesty's first plenipotentiary delegate, Freiherr von 
Marschall, restricted himself wisely to the declaration that 
Germany had always shown herself sympathetic to the 
abolition of the right of prize-taking, but that she must make 
her eventual attitude towards the American proposal 
dependent upon the previous regulation of other naval 
warfare questions bound up with the right of prize-taking 
in order to ensure that the defence of private property on 
the sea should be safeguarded equally for all nations. 

" Two proposals made by Belgium and Brazil for the 
protection of private property on the sea were withdrawn, as, 
in view of the attitude of opposition adopted more especially 
by England, Russia, Spain, and Japan, they were as unlikely 
as the American proposal to be accepted unanimously. The 
English proposal in regard to the abolition of the idea of 
contraband is not likely to have a successful issue in view of 
the attitude adopted by Germany, France, and other Powers. 

" The disarmament proposal, the announcement of which 
produced so much talk, has not yet been brought forward 
by the English delegate, but it is expected to be submitted 
within the next few days. 

" Your Majesty's plenipotentiary delegates when they 
started for The Hague were provided with exhaustive instruc- 
tions which had been formulated in the Foreign Office with 
representatives of the naval and military departments and the 
other departments of the Empire and Prussia concerned. 
These instructions have hitherto been adequate, so that the 
delegates have found it necessary to seek further instructions 
only in regard to details. In view of the unsettled position 
of the work of the Conference and the insignificance of the 

222 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1907 

results as yet effected, the delegates have been able hitherto 
to confine themselves to handing in the printed protocols 
of the sessions of the Conference which give information 
regarding the course of the proceedings without offering any- 
more general political interest until now. 

*' We can look back with satisfaction upon the course of 
the proceedings down to now. As I have been told, quite 
impartial persons who have been at The Hague, and who have 
been in close touch with members of the Conference, have 
been saying what an excellent impression has been made on 
all sides by the German delegation and its thorough-going 
preparation for the tasks of the Conference. The Press also 
has taken a favourable line, and has recognized Germany's 
effort to co-operate eagerly and earnestly in the problems 
of the Conference." 



To THE Emperor William II. 



<i 



Berlin, July 29, 1907. 



** The second Hague Conference has progressed so far with 
its work that some of the more important proposals under 
discussion are now beginning to take shape. Among these is 
the proposal for the settlement of international disputes 
by arbitration which is before the first Commission. 

" The delegation of the U.S.A. has submitted a proposal 
whereby the States taking part in the Conference shall under- 
take to submit to the Parliament Court of Arbitration at The 
Hague all questions of rights and all disputes over the inter- 
pretation of treaties, provided that these disputes do not 
involve the vital interests, the independence, or the honour 
of the States concerned, and that they do not affect the inter- 
ests of another State. Great Britain, Austria-Hungary, and 
Switzerland have given their adhesion to this proposal, which 
goes beyond the Hmitations of the one which was previously 
put forward by Russia and assented to by Your Majesty's 
Government. France will probably agree to it also. Other 
States have hitherto hesitated to commit themselves. Your 
Majesty's first plenipotentiary delegate. Baron von Marschall, 
put the German point of view before the first Sub-Commission 
of the first Commission which has been dealing with the 

223 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

arbitration question on the 23 rd inst. His speeches are 
reproduced in the report of the proceedings sent herewith on 
pages 18-22. 

" The introduction of a compulsory method of arbitration 
for international disputes over specified questions of rights 
and interpretation was discussed already at the first Hague 
Peace Conference. It failed owing to the resolute opposi- 
tion of Germany. This opposition was based in the first 
place upon the considerations that the impartiality of inter- 
national arbitrators did not seem to be guaranteed, that the 
indiscriminate summoning before an arbitration court of 
small and large States alike was not consistent with the status 
of the large States, and that the possibility of appeal to an 
international arbitration court at any moment is not calculated 
to promote peace and conciliatoriness in international affairs. 

" The instructions given to our delegate at the second 
Peace Conference were based upon the general instructions 
then given by Your Majesty. 

' ' Baron von Marschall began his speech by making certain 
concessions to the idea of compulsory arbitration, and 
proceeded to intimate that Germany had herself agreed in 
the year 1904 to proposals for compulsory arbitration with 
Great Britain and the U.S.A. in regard to disputes as to 
rights and interpretation. The conclusion of such treaties 
with England and the United States was practicable because 
we were separated from these countries by the sea. It was 
otherwise with States which were close neighbours and which 
offered continual occasions for friction as the result of closer 
intercourse and in some cases of extensive frontier-lines. 
And we should view as quite unacceptable a world-wide 
arbitration treaty which would deprive us altogether, even 
as against smaller unfriendly States, of the opportunity of 
turning our power to account. 

" Your Majesty approving, we shall continue to stand by 
this position." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, Nov. 5, 1907. 



• « ■ 



The negotiations in regard to the Norwegian Inde- 
pendence Treaty \lntegritdtsvertrag\, the conclusion of which 

224 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW [1907 

was to have taken place at the end of September, have since 
met with a new delay. The signature of the Treaty has 
only just been effected. The latest postponement was due 
to the wish suddenly expressed by Sweden, and supported 
by France, either that Sweden should be allowed to sign 
the Treaty also, or that the passage in the agreement which 
speaks of the measures to be taken by the Powers for the 
protection of Norway in the case of her being threatened or 
injured should be cancelled. Russia having assented to 
Sweden's signing, the Swedish Government was informed that 
Your Majesty's Government also had no objection to her 
being allowed to do so provided the other parties agreed. 
As was to be expected, however, Norway refused in the most 
decided way to allow Sweden to sign, as Sweden thereby 
would be accorded the status of a protective Great Power and 
a differentiation in the ranks of the two peoples would come 
about. 

" In view of the decided opposition of Norway, Sweden, 
whose attitude from all appearances was influenced by England, 
allowed her claim to lapse. It seems, moreover, that during 
the final stage of the proceedings His Majesty the King of 
Norway took energetic action in the matter in England. 

" After the Swedish request had been withdrawn the 
Treaty was signed on the and instant by Your Majesty's 
Ambassador as well as by the representatives of Norway, 
England, France, and Russia. The fact of the conclusion of 
the Treaty has been made known ; on the other hand, the text 
will be published only after ratification, as it has first to be 
submitted formally to the Storthing. 

" Immediately after the signing of the new Independence 
Treaty, the Treaty of 1 8 5 5 between Sweden-Norway, England 
and France, directed against Russia, was cancelled in so far 
as Norway was concerned by an agreement between England, 
France, and Norway. 

*' The conclusion of the Treaty has not met with favour in 
Sweden, as there a ' point ' against Sweden is, without justifi- 
cation, attributed to it. It was pointed out already some 
time ago to the Swedish Minister here that this interpretation of 
the matter has no basis ; that no reference is made to Sweden 
in the Treaty, in which there is talk only of the possibility of 
the independence of Norway being threatened by ^ me puissance 
quelconque' The Treaty, according to our interpretation, 

225 p 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

contains no unconditional guarantee of independence ; rather, 
the Powers undertake only to use what may appear to be the 
most suitable method for maintaining the independence. 
We had given our approval to the wording of the Treaty 
only after we had effected an understanding with Russia that 
no obligation was being entered into for the maintenance of 
the independence of Norway by armed force." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 

*' Dec. 30th, 1907. 
" My Dear Biilow, 

** I have to-day read with interest and pleasure Rex's 
long-expected secret report. It is indeed a frank, clear 
judgment, and presents a plainly defined goal. I fully 
share his views. They are partly repetitions of what I 
have long been preaching to the Foreign Office, but I 
have, unfortunately, never been able to carry it into effect, 
since with us Germans the ' pale cast of thought ' constantly 
hinders ' enterprises of great pith and moment.' 

" In the autumn of last year, after agreement with you, I 
had a conversation with Yin-Tschang before he left, about 
the future of China. I described to him how heartily I desired 
and had tried to smooth the path of the Empress, and that, 
for this reason, I had given orders for the withdrawal of my 
troops. He was to tell Her Majesty this on my behalf. You 
will recollect the success of this step, and in any case it is 
recorded in your archives. It was a great stroke, and China 
again began to have confidence in us. On that occasion, with 
your agreement, I charged Yin-Tschang to communicate to 
Her Majesty the Empress a proposal for an entente cordiale 
which should guarantee the most important parts of China 
(not the distant outlying provinces and, on our side. Chow) 
with support in the event of attack. That he promised me to 
do. But as he has only now attained a position of influence, he 
has only just been able to set the business in train, and that, 
indeed, at a very suitable moment. 

" The Rex proposal therefore agrees with mine, and must 
be made the basis of immediate negotiations. An entente 

226 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON Bt)LOW [1907 

cordiale with China for the maintenance of the status quo is abso- 
lutely necessary for us. Otherwise the whole of our world 
policy is to be thrown on the scrap-heap. Therefore I have 
witnessed with pleasure the departure of the American Fleet. 
Its cruise around into the Pacific knocks all the calculations of 
the British and the Japanese on the head. The British must, 
nolens volens, again send a strong squadron to the East, which 
they imagined to be secure under Japanese protection ; that 
must weaken them in Europe against us. 

*' The Japanese naturally want China for themselves, but 
they also want to get rid of all the whites in Asia. But they 
are not yet ready with their Fleet, and therefore not inclined 
to fight with America at this stage. Therefore the situation 
h favourable for them and for us, since the pressure of nineteen 
ships of the line, fifteen armoured cruisers, that is to say, the 
largest fleet under a single command in the world, will prevent 
the others from attempts at partition to the prejudice of 
ourselves and America, in the best possible way. It is also 
in the American interest to conclude an entente cordiale with 
China for the maintenance of the status quo, so that her trade 
does not suffer. 

" In the long run Russia will also be disposed to make an 
agreement of this kind when once the Russians have properly 
grasped the situation, because they have a great interest in 
maintaining China, and not getting as Oriental neighbours 
other unfriendly Europeans as well as Japan. The Emperor 
has already given me indications to this effect. I have 
impressed upon him particularly the importance of good 
relations with China. All the European nations have 
concluded agreements here for particular purposes, in order to 
maintain and safeguard their interests. We must certainly 
do it now, since our most important future export interests 
are involved ; these demand the continued integrity of China. 

" By a division of the spoils such as the three rascals have 
in mind we are lost, and there is nothing more to be done I 
The modus operandi may be so selected that China concludes 
an entente with each of us separately. We can indeed work 
upon Roosevelt through Sternburg so that when he receives 
tlie proposal he gives it friendly consideration. We must 
without fail come to terms as soon as possible ! I have been 
working and toiling for years for this occasion. It was not 
easy ! Whenever I raised the question with Tschirschky he 

227 



1907] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

merely wrung his hands and said ' China, oh, China ! ' That 
was all ! That we, as a side issue, might place the Russians in 
a dilemma — ^which is very usual with such sneaks as Lams- 
dorfF and Isvolsky — ^never dawned on him ! But it is now 
high time to take firm hold of a favourable opportunity, and 
not for ever be looking round at other people to find what this 
and that man says. The others have never bothered about 
us ; so tit for tat ! 

"How much Ufe there still is in China is shown in the 
article of the Financial Chronicle which I sent to you yesterday. 
Moreover, Chinese self-respect is not to be under-rated, and 
if her Army reorganization was supported and influenced by 
us it would be a good thing ! England's whole policy during 
recent years is clear ! It is to make her position in Europe 
unassailable as far as we are concerned, and to tie up our 
maritime forces in Europe while she seizes the Yang-Tse 
Valley, so that we must bow to the storm and not disturb her 
in her conquest. That is the reason for all the understandings 
with the Mediterranean Powers, to have points d'appui every- 
where, and that is the reason for urging France forward in 
the Morocco question. 

" This policy is intended to bring about a collision between 
us, so that the Briton will be quit of both of us and will be 
able to consume her fat morsel undisturbed ! That also is 
the reason for the agreement with Russia over Persia, so that 
Russia will be pacified and quiet and will not be a nuisance. 
That also is the reason for the immense annoyance of the 
British at the cruise of the American Fleet, which indeed they 
have not concealed from me ; the naval balance of power is 
hopelessly deferred, and in the East will be quite different from 
what suits them. Therefore efforts must be made to keep 
the Fleet in the Pacific and if possible for it to visit the 
Philippines and China ! It is the covering force for the Yang- 
Tse until we are ready with our Fleet ! England ivill never 
venture to do anything against America. 

*' If it should seem that we are acting together resolutely 
for the maintenance of China, then pharasaical England will 
even perhaps join us ! And in this way Japan is rendered 
harmless. Here, then, is a great work to be done. Forward ! 
We have thought about it for long enough ! Enough phrases 
have been exchanged already ; now let us see action ! 

*' William I.R. " 
228 



VII 
THE YEAR 1908 



VII 



THE YEAR 1908 



NOTE. 

In this year perhaps the outstanding topic is the naval rivalry between 
Germany and England. We are given at great length the arguments 
used in 1908 to defend the building of the big German Navy. In his 
book " Imperial Germany " (already cited on p. 129), Prince von Biilow 
thus describes how the Navy came into being. It seems appropriate 
to reproduce here the following passages : 

The sea has become a factor of more importance in our national 
life than ever before in our history, even in the great days of the German 
Hansa. It has become a vital nerve which we must not allow to be 
severed if we do not wish to be transformed from a rising and youthfully 
vigorous people into a decaying and ageing one. But we were exposed 
to this danger as long as our foreign commerce and our mercantile 
marine lacked national protection at sea against the superior Navies 
of other Powers. The task that the armed forces of the German Empire 
had to fulfil had changed considerably, since the protection on the 
Continent that our Army secured us no longer sufficed to shield our 
home industries from interference, encroachment and attack. The Army 
needed the support of a Navy that we might enjoy the fruits of our 
national labour. 

When in the spring of 1864 the English Ambassador in Berlin 
drew the attention of the Prussian President of the Council at that time 
to the excitement in England caused by Prussia's advance against 
Denmark, and let fall the remark that if Prussia did not cease operations 
the English Government might be forced to take arms against her, 
Herr von Bismarck-Schonhausen replied : " Well, what harm can you 
do us ? At worst you can throw a few bombs at Stolpmiinde or Pillau, 
and that is all." Bismarck was right at that time. We were then as 
good as unassailable to England with her mighty sea power, for we 
were invulnerable at sea. We possessed neither a great mercantile 
marine, the destruction of which could sensibly injure us, nor any 
oversea trade worth mentioning, the crippling of which we need fear. 

To-day it is different. We are now vulnerable at sea. We have 
entrusted millions to the ocean, and with these millions the weal and woe 
of many of our countrymen. If we had not in good time provided 
protection for these valuable and indispensable national possessions, 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

we should have been exposed to the danger of having one day to look 
on defencelessly while we were deprived of them. But then we could 
not have returned to the comfortable economic and political existence 
of a purely inland State. We should have been placed in the position 
of being unable to employ and support a considerable number of our 
millions of inhabitants at home. The result would have been an econ- 
omic crisis which might easily attain the proportions of a national 
catastrophe. 

Ever since the end of the 'eighties in the nineteenth century the build- 
ing of a Fleet sufficient to defend our oversea interests had been a vital 
question for the German nation. It is greatly to the credit of the 
Emperor William II that he recognized this, and devoted all the power 
of the Throne and all the strength of his own personality to the attain- 
ment of this end. It only adds to his merit that he, as head of the Empire, 
championed the building of the German Fleet at the very moment when 
the German people had to come to a decision about their future, and 
when, as far as man can tell, Germany had the last chance of forging 
the sea weapons that she needed. 

The Fleet was to be built while we maintained our position on the 
Continent, without our coming into conflict with England, whom we 
could as yet not oppose at sea, but also while we preserved intact our 
national honour and dignity. Parliamentary opposition, which at that 
time was considerable, could only be overcome if steady pressure were 
brought to bear on Parliament by public opinion. In view of the anxious 
and discouraged state of feeling that obtained in Germany during the 
ten years following Prince Bismarck's retirement, it was only possible 
to rouse public opinion by harping on the string of nationalism, and 
waking the people to consciousness. A great oppression which weighed 
on the spirit of the nation had been occasioned by the rupture between 
the wearer of the Imperial Crown and the mighty man who had brought 
it up from the depths of Kyffhauser. This oppression could be lifted 
if the German Emperor could set before his people, who at that time 
were not united either by common hopes or demands, a new goal towards 
which to strive, and could indicate to them " a place in the sun," to which 
they had a right, and which they must try to attain. On the other hand, 
patriotic feeling must not be roused to such an extent as to damage 
irreparably our relations with England, against whom our sea power 
would for years still be insufficient, and at whose mercy we lay in 1897, 
as a competent judge remarked at the time, like so much butter before 
the knife. To make it possible to build a sufficient Fleet was the foremost 
and greatest task of German policy after Bismarck's retirement : a task 
with which I also was immediately confronted when, on June 28, 1897, 
at Kiel, on board the Hohen':(pllern, I was entrusted by His Majesty the 
Emperor with the conduct of foreign affairs, on the same day and the 
same spot on which twelve years later I handed in my resignation. 



232 



VII 
THE YEAR 1908 



To Count von Rex, 

Minister in Peking. 



Berlin, Jan. 3, 1908. 



'* An alliance between Germany, China, and the United 
States of America is impossible on account of the United 
States, since the latter would not be able to secure the necessary- 
agreement of the Senate. The goal of the negotiations for 
the rapprochement so much to be desired for us must for the 
time being be limited to the exchange of declarations. China 
would have to ask us and the United States for the support of 
her policy, which would have to be laid down as follows : 
that she would not consider territorial concessions in favour 
of any Power, and that the Open Door for the trade of all 
nations would be maintained, while Germany and the United 
States would have to declare to China their agreement with 
this policy and simultaneously assure her that they would 
direct their policy towards the complete maintenance of the 
integrity and independence of China. 

" This procedure should presumably be settled in 
Washington ; it would appear inoffensive to third Powers, as 
France and Japan have recently without the concurrence 
of China come to a corresponding agreement, and it would 
satisfy China, as we are guaranteeing, by the exchange of 
Notes, the common interest of Germany and the United States 
in the continuance of China as an integral whole^ as against 
the other Powers. China would probably prefer declarations 
of this kind to a treaty of aUiance which was limited expressly 
to the eighteen provinces of the Empire, because by such a 
treaty the outlying territories of China would be placed at 

^55 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

the mercy of attack by third parties. The secret agreements 
over concessions by China to us and the United States 
initiated by you are to be avoided under all circumstances, 
since they contravene the principle of the ' Open Door ' and 
would not be sciupulously kept secret either on the Chinese 
side or indeed in Washington. 

" Under strict secrecy and exclusively for Your Excellency's 
personal information, I add that the impression is to be 
avoided that we have any particular interest in the exchange of 
declarations. Indeed, the initiative must come from China, 
who must try to win over the United States to the idea, so that 
third parties should regard not Germany, but the United States, 
as the initiators. This will easily be arranged if China, in her 
demarches in Washington, pays the proper degree of attention 
to the characteristics of President Roosevelt, in particular 
his self-confidence and his active temperament ; naturally we 
shall be as useful as possible to China in these demarches. 

" Please try unobtrusively, perhaps through Yin-Tschang, 
to induce the Chinese to enter as soon as possible on these 
negotiations, which, of course, will have to be kept strictly 
secret on the Chinese side also until they are concluded. 

" The question of a wider understanding between 
Germany, Russia ^ and the United States of America is not 
yet ripe for discussion." 



To Count von Pourtales, 

Ambassador in St. Petersburg. 

" Berlin, Feb. 17, 1908. 

" From Your Excellency's welcome Report No. 5 5 of 
the nth instant, I have seen with interest, but not without 
astonishment, that the agitation of the Russian Press, based 
on completely erroneous conceptions, over the economic 
designs of Austria-Hungary in the Balkans, have found 
fertile soil in the mind of even so enlightened a statesman 
as M. Isvolsky. 

"Your Excellency has already been telegraphically 

^ In the despatch " Russia " is clearly an error, as the sense obviously requires 
" China." 

254 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

informed that, contrary to the rumours spread in the Press, 
we did not instigate the Austro-Hungarian Government to 
accept the project with regard to the Sanjak Railway, but that 
this project does not in our opinion offer any reason for anxiety. 
On this question I can only repeat that the right of the Austro- 
Hungarian Government to build this railway cannot be 
questioned, having regard to the stipulations of the Berlin 
Treaty. Since this right was conceded to Austria-Hungary 
without any limitation by all the signatory Powers of the 
Berlin Treaty, the choice of this particular moment for the 
inception of the undertaking must be left to the discretion of 
the Danubian monarchy. Qui sm jure utitur, neminem laedit. 

*' If the Vienna Cabinet have taken up the project just at 
the present moment, there are plainly economic reasons for 
this decision. In declaring that she is pursuing no political 
aims in the Balkans, Austria-Hungary has not given up her 
right to ensure her economic interests there. The Sanjak 
Railway is only concerned with the latter. The notion 
that the purely economic enterprise of the Sanjak Railway 
contravenes the Miirzsteg political programme is incom- 
prehensible to us. We are convinced that Baron Aehrenthal 
was actuated by the most loyal motives in his action, and that 
his bona fides in the whole question is placed beyond all 
doubt. As far as we are concerned, we are, as has already 
been communicated to Your Excellency elsewhere, completely 
sympathetic to the project, because we see in it not only a 
means for the further development of trade and commerce in 
the Balkans, but because the enterprise also seems to us 
likely to render good service in the urgently desired pacifi- 
cation of Macedonia. . . . We have evidence that the cam- 
paign of calumny which the Russian Press, supported by the 
English and French Press, is at present waging against us on 
account of our supposedly underhand Eastern policy, has 
not been without influence upon persons in high places in 
St. Petersburg, and that it threatens to convert the friendly 
feeling which has existed up till now into the contrary. 
We are not only accused of the treacherous instigation of the 
Sanjak Railway enterprise, but also of urging Turkey towards 
war, of intriguing in the Persian boundary dispute, and 
generally of tricky and hostile policy towards Russia. 

" After Your Excellency has succeeded in disposing 
satisfactorily of some of these absurd propositions, I beg that 

235 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

you will also describe to Isvolsky the other points as absurd 
and frivolous suspicions. We are not meddling in Eastern 
questions ; if we do so it will be in public declarations and in 
concert with the Powers. No doubt of our complete loyalty 
is justified. With regard to the Persian boundary dispute, we 
have three times of our own accord pressed the Porte for a 
peaceful settlement. 

*' We know that M. Isvolsky has not much power over 
the Press, but we think we may expect from his friendly 
disposition towards us that he will at least make the attempt 
to controvert the campaign of calumny which becomes day by 
day more intensive. We are trying to pacify our Press, but 
we fear that these efforts will be in vain if the Russian Press 
perseveres in this hitherto unheard-of fashion." 



To Count von Pourtales, 

Ambassador in St. Petersburg. 

'* Berlin, March 3, 1908. 
" Secret. 



" I have read with interest Your Excellency's welcome 
Reports Nos., 67, 70, 72, and 73, of the 21st and 
24th ult. I am grateful to you for this detailed 
information. The picture given in your reports of circum- 
stances in St. Petersburg is no pleasant one for us. The 
reports show that a zealous and not entirely unsuccessful 
campaign is being carried on against us. In this respect the 
remarks of the War Minister to General von Jacobi, which the 
latter communicated to His Majesty on the 23rd ult, 
give food for thought. I should also be very sorry if Your 
Excellency's news of the same date of a hostile report by 
Count Osten-Sacken should prove to be true. 

*'On the other hand, not much stress can be laid upon the 
assurances of goodwill with which M. Isvolsky is very 
prodigal, and which he has further elaborated in the private 
letter of the 14th ult. enclosed in this despatch. I have 
so far no reason to suspect the honesty of this declaration, 
but in the interest of our good relations I could wish that it 
had hitherto been better implemented by deeds. 

236 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

" In the meantime Your Excellency must continue now, 
as in the past, to take every opportunity, wherever hostile 
rumours are being spread, to confute them seriously and 
emphatically. I draw your attention in general to some 
instructions sent to you, and add the following observations : 

" To statements such as those indicated in your Report 
No. 73 that we are urging on the Turks against Russia, that 
we are said to be so omnipotent in Constantinople that we 
could, if we would, push through the Macedonian Reform 
question, you should reply, amongst other things, that we have 
never for a hundred years made any difficulties whatever for 
Russia in Eastern Europe, in contrast to other Powers, and 
that we have never carried on intrigues against Russia there, 
in which connection you can mention the Crimean War and 
the last Russo-Turkish War. We are not so influential in 
Constantinople, as is often maintained, either from ignorance 
or malice. 

'* This is especially so in questions — as, for example, in 
the Macedonian question — in which fundamental principles 
affecting Islam, Turkish vital interests, and the personal 
position of the Sultan in the Mohammedan world, indeed, 
his personal security, are concerned. In considering Sir 
Arthur Nicolson's remarks (repeated in your Report No. 67) 
on Turkey, and the possibility of Russia's putting an end to 
the Turkish dominion in Europe, Russian statesmen should 
bear in mind that there might be a snare laid for Russia, in 
the same way as Japan was incited by England against Russia. 

'* Your Excellency might very well remind M. Isvolsky 
that, according to our information, the Turks have no intention 
of attacking Russia so long as they are not too much annoyed. 
The conduct of Baron von Marschall and our conduct in Persia 
are part of the same policy, and indicate that His Majesty, 
our Gracious Master, is seeking to avoid conflicts and crises. 

" Both His Majesty and I think the sketch you have made 
of Isvolsky in this connection a very true one. His Majesty 
draws from it the conclusion that Your Excellency, in your 
handling of the Russian Minister, should follow the example, 
so far as possible, of your English colleagues. 

" Stronger action on the part of Your Excellency, especi- 
ally with regard to the Russian Press, seems to be indicated, 
so that it can no longer be said that the door of the German 
Embassy is generally closed to the Russian Press. 

237 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

" With regard to the conversation recorded in Report 
No. 72, Your Excellency might say to M. Stolypin : ' Look 
at Europe. There you have on the one side the Western 
Powers ; of these, France is a republic reeking with Radicalism 
and with Socialists. It is inconceivable that these elements 
should bona fide desire the maintenance of the Tsardom. 
England is in very much the same position with her out- 
spoken Liberalism.' Herr Stolypin will remember the illumi- 
nating phrase of Campbell-Bannerman : ' ha Douma est morte ; 
vive la Douma ! ' An alliance of Russia with these two 
Powers can only result in undermining and endangering the 
Tsardom. 

" On the other hand, if Russia turns to Germany and 
Austria-Hungary for support it will be otherwise. As 
convinced Monarchists we desire the maintenance of the 
Tsardom, and must desire it, since otherwise we ourselves 
should be exposed to the dangers of revolution and Socialism. 
We must necessarily desire for Russia the maintenance of the 
monarchy, stability at home, and power to execute the internal 
and external tasks lying before the Russian State. 

" In this connection Your Excellency might also draw 
M. Stolypin's attention to the fact that the results of Russian 
wars have always been disturbances at home and revolutionary 
changes of increasing intensity : the Dekabrist movement, 
the emancipation of the peasants after the Crimean War, 
the Nihilist movement after 1878, and finally the recent 
Russian revolution, are the milestones of this hitherto steadily 
increasing danger to the Russian State organism. 

" You will tell M. Stolypin clearly how much we regret 
the attacks of the German Press on him. I myself, and the 
principal Ministers of the Imperial Government, are similarly 
being constantly attacked and bespattered with mud in the 
same way by the German Radical and Jewish Press. We 
have, M. Stolypin and I, the same opponents, namely, the sworn 
enemies of every monarchy and of every Conservative Govern- 
ment. 

*' With regard to the attitude of the Russian Press towards 
us we can do nothing except complain once more, and 
support our complaint by pointing out the injury which these 
Press attacks do, not only in Germany, but in Russia itself. 

*' Finally I draw your especial attention to M. Isvolsky's 
remarks, given in Report No. 74, which awaken a certain 

238 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

suspicion that there is some secret knowledge in Russia of 
our official correspondence, and to impress upon you the 
necessity of taking the greatest precautions for the maintenance 
of the secrecy of the Embassy archives and cipher codes/' 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, March 6, 1908. 

" The Times publishes to-day a letter from its military 
correspondent drawing pubUc attention to a matter of the 
greatest importance. It has, writes the correspondent, 
come to his knowledge that the German Emperor has 
addressed to Lord Tweedmouth a letter dealing with English 
and German naval policy. The Imperial letter, which (the 
writer says) is undoubtedly genuine and has also been 
answered, arises out of an attempt to influence, in the German 
interest, the Minister responsible for the English Naval 
Estimates. The Imperial letter, and the answer to it, must 
immediately be laid before Parliament (according to The 
Times) ^ since the matter has become an open secret. I 
respectfully beg Your Majesty for a copy of the letter to 
Lord Tweedmouth, so that we may be armed against all 
eventualities, and so that I can consult Your Majesty after 
my return on the further course of the affair." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, March 6, 1908. 



<( 



" Count Metternich telegraphs : 

*" If in any way possible, I think the publication of the 
Imperial letter to Lord Tweedmouth the best way to make 
good in some degree the damage caused by The Times state- 
ment. Without publication false insinuations will be willingly 
beHeved. Questions in Parliament will undoubtedly be asked. 
The matter may cause the fall of Lord Tweedmouth and give 
a severe shock to the Liberal Government, which is favourably 

239 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

disposed towards us. All the elements friendly to us will 
be weakened and the Jingoes strengthened. Also the 
popularity of His Majesty the Emperor here in England will 
suffer, and mistrust of our policy will again increase.' 

" I cannot give any final judgment on the opportuneness 
of publication without knowledge of the wording of Your 
Majesty's letter, but I respectfully beg your agreement in 
principle to a publication on our side, in any case with the 
omission of personal passages, as, for instance, those con- 
cerning Lord Esher." 



To THE Emperor William IL 

"Berlin, March 8, 1908. 

" I tender Your Majesty my respectful thanks for the 
correspondence sent to me. 

" The wording of Your Majesty's letter is such that in my 
most humble opinion publication would in itself have a 
favourable effect, but such publication would not be possible 
without simultaneous communication of Lord Tweedmouth's 
answer. This contains a premature communication in regard 
to the English naval programme. That might evoke dis- 
agreeable attacks in England against the present Government, 
whose unweakened continuance in office is desirable for us. 
But, apart from this, the exchange of ideas and relations 
generally between our own and the English Navy would be 
made more difficult, and Your Majesty's relations with the 
English Navy would be disturbed. 

" Therefore we shall publish nothing without preliminary 
agreement with the English Government. We must for the 
moment await the statements to be made to-morrow in the 
English Parliament. 

" The English Press is almost unanimous in its judgment 
of the action of The Times. Count Metternich telegraphs 
to-day : 

*' * To-day's papers, although most of them demand 
publication of the correspondence, do not follow The Times 
lead, but write in a moderate tone. The attempt of The 

240 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON Bt)LOW [1908 

Times to make the incident an important international question 
is a complete failure.' 

" Our own Press, with few exceptions, is dignified and 
calm." 



To Count von Metternich, 

Ambassador in London. 



c< 



Berlin, March 17, 1908. 



" Many thanks for your interesting letter of the 8 th 
instant. Now that the incident of the correspondence with 
Lord Tweedmouth has been brought to such a satisfactory 
conclusion in the English Parliament, and public opinion and 
the Press have been more or less calmed on the matter, I 
think that the raising of the question in the Reichstag, which 
must doubtless be expected, should not lead to unpleasant 
consequences. In any case, I hope that the correspondence 
affair, whatever Sir Ernest Cassel thinks, will not prejudice 
German-English relations. 

*' What you tell me of the fantastic English notions of 
our naval construction I think very much to the point. But 
if everybody on that side is convinced that our Fleet con- 
stitutes a danger for England, we must all the more exert 
ourselves to point out to the English, on every opportunity 
that offers, how unfounded and, indeed, senseless their 
anxiety is, not only for the present but also for the future. 
That this corresponds also to His Majesty's intentions has 
already been communicated to you elsewhere. The contents 
of the Imperial letter to Lord Tweedmouth seem to me well 
calculated to allay English anxiety with regard to our Fleet. 
Further material for this purpose is provided in the annexed 
article by Corvette-Captain (ret.) Capelle, * 16 Jahre hinien- 
schijfsbau ' (* Sixteen Years of Battleship Building '). The 
supplement to the Figaro of the 8 th instant by the pubUcist 
Gaston Calmette, known both as Germanophile and Anglo- 
phobe, is also worthy of note. It begins, ' En verite voild. bien 
du bruit pour une omelette^ and goes on to declare that the 

241 Q 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

English Press presents to the world a spectacle that would 
be described as ridiculous on that side of the Channel if it 
had been a question of any other country. 

** I have given instructions that in future as much material 
as possible should be sent to you to combat the present 
ridiculous English anxiety about our Fleet. Meanwhile I 
entrust with complete confidence the necessary further hand- 
ling of this delicate question in respect of our relations with 
England to your experience and skill, and I remain. . . .'* 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Vienna, March 30, 1908. 

*' Most respectful thanks for your gracious telegram which 
I received here yesterday evening. What a pity that Jupiter 
Pluvius is making angry grimaces over Venice, while the said 
god is smiling in the pleasantest manner over more northerly 
Vienna. 

*' I have just come from His Majesty the Emperor Francis 
Joseph, whom I found better than I had expected. His 
Majesty, who has been keeping his room for some weeks and 
may not go out, has to spare himself. Mentally the Emperor 
was in good form. He summarized with astounding exacti- 
tude the different phases of the Macedonian problem. In 
warm words the Emperor expressed his thanks for the loyal 
and admirable support which Austria has found in Your 
Majesty in this and other questions. The Emperor hopes 
that the agitation evoked in Russia by the Sanjak Railway 
project will soon cease, and apparently ardently desires the 
continuation or the resumption of the entente with Russia 
on Balkan questions. The Emperor is looking forward with 
pleasure to Your Majesty's arrival in Vienna, and is pleased 
that Her Majesty the Empress will accompany you. 

*' What Your Majesty says about the new turn in the 
Balkan question is to the point. I tried as far as I could to 
strengthen Baron Aehrenthal in this attitude. He hopes 
that Isvolsky, after his vanity has been satisfied for the time 
being by the fuss and the various speeches in the Duma over 
the Sanjak Railway incident, will again draw nearer to Austria, 

242 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

Hungary, and Germany, since Russia, in her present situation, 
has no interest in causing a catastrophe in Eastern Europe, 
and therewith, presumably, a general conflagration. 

" I found Baron Aehrenthal distrustful of English schemes 
in the East, yet ardently desirous that our relations with 
England should gradually, but steadily, improve, since this 
is of supreme importance for Austria also, and for her especi- 
ally. I threw out the suggestion whether Austria-Hungary 
should not try to win over France for a reasonable and 
conservative Balkan policy. France, which has milliards 
invested in Turkish securities, and still more milliards in 
Russian loans, had, I said, a very great interest in the con- 
tinuance of Turkish rule. 

" Baron Aehrenthal agreed, but he thought that at present 
the French were swimming in English channels, that every 
word said to a Frenchman would instantly be reported to 
London and, if possible, misrepresented, and would then arouse 
fresh mistrust and annoyance there. Baron Aehrenthal has 
no illusions about Italy, but desires the retention of office 
by Giolitti and Tittoni, who were both relatively intelligent 
persons and especially were not out for adventures in the 
East. Aehrenthal desires that the Porte should make 
economic concessions in Tripoli to the Italians, since it would 
be much better if the Italians turned their hopes for the 
future to Tripoli rather than that they should take a bite at 
Albania or turn to Irredentism. 

" I replied to Baron Aehrenthal that this last point of view 
was certainly right, but that it would be difficult, in the 
Sultan's highly suspicious state of mind, to ask for satisfaction 
for Italy in Tripoli. 

*' All that Your Majesty was gracious enough to tell 
Tittoni about the Balkan question I find excellent. 

" The Archduke Francis Ferdinand, on whom I waited 
yesterday, was very friendly. He expressed his lively and 
sincere thanks to Your Majesty for your kindness and friend- 
ship. His Imperial Highness knows very well that the 
Habsburg Monarchy has an interest in supporting Turkey, 
since, on the disruption of the Turkish Monarchy, National 
States would be formed which would not only by their demo- 
cratic constitution set a bad example to the people of the 
Habsburg Monarchy, but would also exercise a dangerous 
attraction for the nationalities united under the Habsburg 

243 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

sceptre. The Archduke's ideal is and remains the Triple 
Alliance. He complained of the Italian Irredenta, and almost 
more of the Serb intrigues in Bosnia, in Herzegovina, and even 
in Croatia. The Archduke presented me to Princess Hohen- 
berg, whom I find charming, still pretty, ladylike, and tactful 
in manner and speech. 

" At dinner at Aehrenthal's I met last evening the Austrian 
Prime Minister, Beck, and the Hungarian Prime Minister 
Wekerle. The latter confirmed what the Archduke Francis 
Ferdinand had told me about Serb intrigues in Bosnia and 
South Hungary. Wekerle gives the impression of being very 
intelligent : a Swabian Schlaule [cunning old man] decked 
out with the sauce of the clever dialectic of a Hungarian 
parliamentarian. He said that all the Hungarian parties desired 
common action with Germany in the Hungarian interest. 
Baron Beck, too, seems to be a clever politician. When I 
remarked that ninety Socialists in the Austrian Imperial 
Diet elected at one blow immediately after the introduction of 
universal suffrage seemed to me rather serious, he pleaded their 
relative harmlessness in the Cis-Leithan provinces. 

*' Austrian Socialists would be less intransigeant than their 
German, and especially their North German, comrades ; 
in particular they would, like all Austrians, be Monarchists ; 
they appeared at the opening of Parliament in the Hofburg, 
and attended the Minister's parties like all the others. Beck, 
indeed, admitted that no lasting alliance could be made with 
the Socialists even in the Cis-Leithan provinces. 

" I will give my wife Your Majesty's kind and gracious 
compliments to-morrow evening in Berlin, where I return 
to-morrow. I earnestly wish good weather and all good 
wishes for the journey." 



To Count von Metternich, 
Ambassador in London. 



(( 



Berlin, June 12, 1908. 



(( 



Accept my best thanks for your Report 559 of the 5th 
inst., which was very welcome to me, and which I have 
read with special interest. I have laid it before His Majesty 

244 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BOLOW [1908 

the Emperor, and His Majesty deigned to make tiie following 
marginal comments : 

" (i) To ' they are building a great Fleet, and we fear 
that they will proceed with the same decision as in earlier 
decades of their history and that we are the object of their 
efforts': * Wrong I' 

" (2) To the concluding words of the same paragraph : 
* A fight with England which might be forced upon us, we 
should regard as a crime ' : ' Correct ! ' 



(C 



(3) At the close of the whole report : * Very Good.' 



" We have felt it deeply that at the moment when the King 
of England was preparing to start on his journey to Reval 
some German papers should write tactless and vulgar articles 
(Society correspondence) on the King's person. We suc- 
ceeded in preventing the publication of these disgraceful 
statements as far as possible. The more important papers 
have, without exception, declined them. But should they 
become laiown in England and commented upon, I beg you 
to point our that with us freedom of the Press has turned into 
impudence of the Press, and that the tone and attitude of our 
Press, especially of the papers depending on Society chatter, 
and the so-called comic papers, have become ruder to our own 
Emperor and our own Government than is the case in almost 
any other country. This phenomenon is a sad one, and is 
supremely disliked in all decent circles. 

" On your explanations re the Bagdad Railway and Persia, 
I may observe that we have no intention of economic penetra- 
tion in Persia, which might be disagreeable to the Russians and 
the English. Still less have we any intention of playing a 
political role in the Shah's realm. In this matter we are 
trying to have regard for the justifiable, and often for the 
unjustifiable, susceptibilities of both Powers and to avoid 
every appearance of meddling in the internal political situation 
of Persia. That cannot be unknown to the English Govern- 
ment ; if they maintain the contrary, they are acting against 
their better knowledge. 

" Fears about the Bagdad Railway are unfounded and 
exaggerated. We do not at all exclude the idea of an under- 
standing with Russia and England ; we only wish to keep the 

245 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

lead in the work initiated by German enterprise. To con- 
ferences h quatre^ such as England proposed last year, we shall 
not agree at the present political conjuncture." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, June 17, 1908. 



<< 



Secret. 

" I most respectfully submit to Your Imperial and Royal 
Majesty in the annex to this letter an extremely confidential 
private letter from the Ambassador, Count Pourtales, of the 
1 2th instant, and a telegram from Ambassador Count 
Metternich of the 1 5 th instant. 

" There is no mistaking the fact that once more intrigue 
and agitation against us is going on in every hole and corner. 
I still think that England would be very unwilling, for 
economic and financial reasons, to go to war. I believe that 
Russia needs and desires peace. Finally, I think that France 
herself, though she is not yet consoled for the loss of 
Alsace-Lorraine and of her preponderance legitime of 250 
years' standing on the Continent, and has not yet aban- 
doned the idea of a revanche, would think very seriously before 
facing the incalculable chances of a war. But, at the same 
time, I also think that it is to the interest of those Powers 
to make us appear excitable and restless. Those are the tactics 
of our enemies, because every real or apparent threat from 
our side gives the French an excuse for further fortification 
of their Eastern frontier, the English an excuse for building 
more Dreadnoughts, and the Russians for placing more 
troops towards their western border. For this reason it 
is to be regretted that Your Majesty's speech at Doberitz, 
intended for officers only, has been, by an indiscretion, made 
known to wider circles. We must work at making the Army 
ready and capable for war as quietly as possible, but avoid 
anything which may attract unnecessary attention from 
outside to our task and expose us to new suspicions and 
intrigues." 

246 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 



(< 



Travemunde, July 6, 1908. 



" Ballin, to-day back from London, has been to see me. 
At my request he will seek out Your Highness in Norderney. 
Impressions in London favourable. City and commercial 
circles still absolutely against war, as before. Annoyance 
and displeasure over the King's journey and Entente business 
increasing. Tension between Ministry and King for the same 
reason. Sir Ernest Cassel did not know of the counter- 
manding of the King's visit to me in the winter. . . . Cassel 
will do all he can to persuade the EngUsh Royal pair to visit 
Berlin. I let him know through Ballin that I shall not be 
back from the Baltic if His Majesty is passing through Ger- 
many to Marienbad. 

*' Ballin will tell you much that is interesting. He has 
managed the affair splendidly. I am starting to-day, weather 
permitting, and wish you a good summer. Best regards to 
the Princess. 

''William LR." 



To Count von Pourtales, 

Ambassador in St. Petersburg. 

"Norderney, July 15, 1908. 

" From an absolutely trustworthy person in close contact 
with the King of England we have learned that King Edward, 
in order to detach the Tsar from His Majesty the Emperor 
and to set him against our Imperial Master, told the former 
at Reval that the Sanjak Railway project had been hatched out 
by His Majesty the Emperor and suggested by us to the 
Austrians. His Majesty the Emperor Nicholas appears to 
have given credence to this calumny. 

" Your Excellency knows from despatches from us that 
there is not a word of truth in this insinuation. His Majesty 
the Kaiser knew nothing at all about the Sanjak Railway project, 

M7 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

and first heard of the matter through the newspapers after 
Aehrenthal's well-known speech in the Delegations. The 
assertion that our Gracious Master engineered the matter in 
Vienna is a ridiculous fabrication, purely designed to render 
His Majesty the Emperor's policy suspect to the Tsar, in 
order thus to draw the Russian monarch completely into the 
English pale and to incite him against us. I, too, knew nothing 
beforehand of the Austrian action, and was therefore not 
able to exercise any influence. It is just as wide of the mark 
to maintain that Baron Marschall is the real originator of the 
Austrian plan and that he suggested it to the Vienna Govern- 
ment. 

" Your Excellency will, through M. Isvolsky, ask for an 
audience with His Majesty the Emperor Nicholas and explain 
to the Russian monarch the real inwardness of the situation, 
making use of the interview of the correspondent of the 
Nome Vremjia, Jussanov, with me, so far as you may think 
it desirable to do so. I leave it to Your Excellency's proved 
tact whether to avoid mentioning King Edward in your 
interview, speaking instead of the ' English side,' or whether 
you should speak more plainly, if His Majesty the Emperor 
Nicholas in his reply gives you the required opportunity. 

'' Please tell the Russian Foreign Minister the reason and 
aim of your audience." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" NoRDERNEY, July 15, 1908. 
" Very Secret. 

" Your Imperial and Royal Majesty has my most respectful 
thanks for the gracious telegram from Odde. I am glad that 
Your Majesty had such a pleasant excursion, and hope sincerely 
that the weather will continue favourable. 

" I am grateful to Your Majesty for having been so good 
as to ask Ballin to seek me out here. The conversation with 
him was extremely interesting, particularly as Ballin has given 
me detailed information of the relation between Your Majesty 
and His Majesty King Edward. Evidently the King is 

248 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

laying himself out to annoy Your Majesty with all sorts of 
pin-pricks. Nothing amuses the King more, Ballki thinks, 
than when we show ill-temper. That the King regards as a 
sign of success. 

"At the same time the King would like it to appear 
as if Your Majesty had been brusque with him. These 
tactics the King pushes deliberately and cleverly. Our tactics 
must be designed not to expose ourselves and to offer the King 
no possibility of accusing us with justice in any matter of 
fact or form. That applies indeed to the question of the visit. 
The King will be pleased if any annoyance is apparent on 
our side over the failure thus far to return Your Majesty's 
last year's visit to England. He would then conclude, with 
satisfaction, that he had succeeded in making us angry. We 
must, on serious political grounds, hope that the English 
visit to Berlin will take place. With this end in view Ballin 
also thinks an early meeting between Your Majesty and His 
Majesty the King very desirable as a prelude to the Berlin 
visit and for discussion of its details. 

*' In Balhn's opinion, it would be best if this meeting could 
take place while the King is on the way to Marienbad. If 
that is not at all possible the meeting would have to be 
arranged for his return journey from Marienbad. To 
Strassburg or Metz the King will not come. It would be 
a mistake to propose to him a meeting there, since the refusal 
which might be certainly expected would make him more 
popular than ever in France. Could a rendezvous perhaps 
be arranged in Homburg, Kronberg, or Baden-Baden, if it 
cannot be managed on the way out ? 

' Ballin is convinced that it is in the German interest to 
avoid a collision with England for the next few years, subject, 
of course, to maintaining our dignity : not only because time 
is on our side on account of the increase of our population, 
the strengthening of our defences, and the hoped-for strength- 
ening of our finances, but also because, in all human proba- 
bility, an element of unrest will be removed from the English 
clockwork in due course with the King, who is beginning to 
age. Ballin thinks that after the decease of His Majesty the 
King the earlier correct attitude of England will be renewed 
by Ministers in agreement with Parliament, when once the 
prepossessions and rancours of the Sovereign are excluded 
from their calculations. Hence the great importance of 

249 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

getting over the next few years. ' Heute^ heute lass Dich 
nicht fangen, so hist Du tausendmal entgangen,' 

" In Ballin's view the German-EngHsh tension and the 
danger of war rests primarily on the German naval construc- 
tion and especially on the rate with which we are building 
battleships. To try to justify the building of these ships 
would only make pubhc opiaion in England still more mis- 
trustful. But we should avoid all pomp and speechifying at 
the launching of ships which might draw attention to them. 
The Englishman is not like the German, who takes his ideas 
(if not from the depths of his own consciousness) from books 
and statistics ; John Bull is impressed by what he actually 
sees before him. In any case the measure of our financial 
resources prevents our naval construction from assuming a 
magnitude which could mean aggression on a really vitally 
dangerous scale, and not merely an imaginary peril. We 
cannot simultaneously have the greatest Army and the greatest 
Fleet. We cannot venture on a rivalry in Dreadnoughts with 
England, who is so much richer than we are. The battle- 
ship disparity between ourselves and England will remain 
about the same for a long time. 

" Ballin repeated the suggestion whether it would not be 
possible to reach an understanding with England on the 
scope and degree of naval armaments. In his opinion that 
would be easier with the Liberals than with the Conservatives, 
and it is therefore urgently desirable to come to terms with the 
former. . . . 

** Ballin does not think the Russians will get much money 
in England ; on the other hand, he thinks that King Edward 
will try to arrange for a new Russian loan in France and will 
succeed. 

" What Ballin told me of the general economic depression 
is very interesting. Money now is as scarce in England and 
America as in Germany ; for the moment it was only obtain- 
able in France, because France was not over-developed 
industrially and because of the saving habits of the population. 
The English had come to grief with their Japanese 
investments. 

" Ballin made some sensible remarks on our reforms in 
Imperial finance. He does not ignore the fact that it will 
be difficult to prosecute it in our present business position 
and under the influence of German party spirit. He indicates 

250 



.fr,) 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

it as one of the hardest tasks ever formulated. Even the 
new taxes would only stop up the gigantic hole, if simul- 
taneously there were greater economy in all directions and in 
all offices. Everywhere in Germany there was too prodigal 
a spirit. We had gradually entered everywhere on ostenta- 
tious ways of life and business which could not continue. 
We must return to simpler and more frugal ways. . . ." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

NoRDERNEY, July 28, 1908. 



(( 



*' The foreign Press, hostile to Germany, is seeking to 
represent the present revulsion of feeling in Turkey as an 
English victory and a German reverse. English papers 
insinuate that we advised the Sultan in the sense of an early 
withdrawal of the Constitution. 

" The day before yesterday. Councillor of Legation 
Heliferich, formerly of the Colonial Division, where he 
attracted Your Majesty's notice by excellent pamphlets on 
colonial political questions (cotton cultivation, etc.) and 
was decorated at Your Majesty's desire, visited me. He 
is now Director of the Deutsche Bank, and comes direct 
from Constantinople, where he worked for two years in 
the interest of the Bagdad Railway. 

" Heliferich tells me that the whole of Islam, all respectable 
Turks, especially the loyal officers, saw in the Sultan's complete 
change of attitude the last possible means of saving Turkey, 
which in its present economic condition has been going 
to pieces. The first result of the change of policy would be 
a revival of Turkish national feeling, which would improve 
the position of Turkey in face of the attacks of Balkan 
nationalities and of certain Great Powers. In my most 
humble opinion, it is interesting that the official Paris Temps 
is already beginning to talk of the necessity for deferring 
indefinitely the Reform programme of the Powers, in view 
of the recent happenings in Constantinople. 

'* It also throws doubt on the eventual continuance of 

251 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

Russian and English co-operation on the Golden Horn 
in face of these events. Russia has hitherto favoured the 
reactionary elements and combated reform in all the 
countries which she seeks either to weaken or to attach 
to herself (Poland, Sweden, the Balkan States, Persia). She 
has always taken the Old Turks under her wing in Turkey, 
and worked against economic and political reforms. I 
hardly think that Russia will be pleased at the change of front 
in Constantinople. But it should be doubtful whether an 
English Liberal Government can oppose Liberal and 
Constitutional ideas in Turkey. 

*' Leaving aside other suspicions, I beg humbly to inform 
Your Majesty that Herr von Kiderlen is instructed to express 
to His Majesty the Sultan at the next Selamlik (that is on 
Friday) Your Majesty's good wishes and the hope that the 
wise and statesmanlike action he has taken will promote 
the well-being and the strengthening of the Turkish Empire." 



To Count von Metternich, 

Ambassador in London. 

'*N0RDERNEY, Aug. 5, I908. 

" Secret. 



" His Majesty the Emperor and King remarked on your 
Report No. 691 of the i6th ult., ' Bravo, Metternich ! ' 

'* The views put forward in your conversation with 
the Ministers, Sir Edward Grey and Mr. Lloyd George, 
were unquestionably the best. Moreover, your explanations 
had a favourable eftect on Mr. Lloyd George, as his subsequent 
speeches have shown. Nevertheless, we should — this is 
emphasized by His Majesty in connection with your letter — 
be under no illusion as to the very delicate character of the 
question discussed with the two Ministers. 

" The German people, like the English, are susceptible 
on questions affecting security, independence, and dignity. 
This susceptibility has been increased in our case by the 
unmistakable tendency of EngUsh policy to be on better 
terms with all other Powers than with Germany, and by the 
past disloyal and tendencious polemic directed against us 

252 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

by a great part of the English Press, and also by the French 
Press, applauded and incited by England. If a foreign 
country were to demand from us one-sided limitation of our 
armaments by sea or land, no German Government would 
be able to reply with anything but an absolute refusal. 

'' The whole German nation would be united in shoulder- 
ing any sacrifice, even a war on several fronts, rather than 
endure such an insult to its honour and its prestige. In 
this connection, I draw your attention to my speech in the 
Reichstag of April 30 of this year, in which I announced, 
with the concurrence of all parties, that we would not 
allow the level of our armaments to be prescribed by any 
other Power. 

*' What would the French say, or the English, if we were 
to try to force upon France an agreement on the ratio 
between Army strength and population, or a settlement on 
technical weapons or on the construction of frontier works ? 
What would the Russians say if they were to have to arrange 
the distribution of the troops on their western frontier 
in accordance with our wishes ? What would the whole 
world say if we tried to set up a Two-Power or even a Three- 
Power standard for our Army on which our fate rests, not 
less than England's on her Fleet, and at the same time forbade 
other Powers even to approach this standard ? 

" I am in complete agreement with your report that it 
is to German as well as English advantage to avoid a conflict 
which would have the most melancholy consequences 
from the political, economic, and social point of view for 
both nations, for Europe, and for the course of human 
civilization. With these considerations in mind, you have 
represented to the English Ministers that the indispensable 
preliminary to the desired understanding is the initiation 
of friendlier relations between England and Germany, and 
it will be your task to use your influence further in this 
direction. I leave it to you to decide whether it would be 
tactically right if you took any opportunity of remarking 
to influential persons in England that we built our ships 
purely for defensive purposes — ^that is to say, to meet the chance 
that England, in a war between Germany and France, 
might stand on the French side. For French aggression 
Germany must, unfortunately, always be prepared. But if 
England would promise neutrality in such a case it would 

253 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

be naturally easier for us to adopt a still slower rate of naval 
construction. 

" But, above all, your remarks will have served to indicate 
how completely unfounded in fact English alarm is. In 
our naval construction we are actually far behind England, 
and shall remain behind her for as long as one can see. In 
this connection, I draw attention to the last edition of 
Nauticus. We have, as His Majesty the Emperor again 
declared in Swinemiinde, no intention at all of equalling 
England in battleship building or of even substaniaUy 
approaching her level. The disparity between us and 
England in this respect will in any case remain as it is during 
the next few years, and probably for a very long time, perhaps 
permanently. We do not want to enter into a competition, 
into a rivalry of shipbuilding, with England. Admiral 
von Tirpitz has never had this idea. The idea of competitive 
shipbuilding against England was advocated by General 
Keim and some other enthusiasts in speeches and news- 
paper articles. This it was that induced His Majesty to 
take up the position he did in the Navy League crisis, 
and was the reason for General Keim's permission to retire. 

*' I hope that you will, as aforesaid, succeed in doing away 
with the really quite unfounded, and in Germany almost 
incomprehensible, English anxiety, enlighten the English 
on the real state of affairs, and prevent proposals which, 
if they were made in any comminatory form, would not 
be acceptable to the German people and the German Govern- 
ment. The question whether in the future mutual agree- 
ments between us and England on naval construction are 
possible cannot be answered with certainty to-day. The 
preliminary for such an agreement would be, in any case, 
a more friendly general policy on England's side towards 
Germany, regularly pursued over a considerable period. 
The further essential condition for entry into pourparlers 
of that kind is a definition of the line at which the English 
anxieties begin to take shape. 

" If the execution of our present naval programme, 
which is conditioned and based on the defensive needs of 
our coasts and the dimensions of our trade, seems to the 
English to constitute a threat, alteration of this policy would 
be hardly possible, because the nation would not under- 
stand the abandonment of a moderate agreed programme 

254 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BOLOW [1908 

based, after mature deliberation, on these governing factors. 
But if the EngHsh reckon on the accompHshment of this 
programme as a fait accompli, and are only afraid of fresh 
German plans for naval construction, the further develop- 
ment of the idea of an understanding, initiated from the 
English side, is perhaps not to be excluded. Your reports 
will give me further information with regard to your observa- 
tions there, without making the point the subject of official 
discussion. The discussion of the manifold difficulties of a 
political and technical nature which stand in the way of 
the English project of agreement can be deferred until then." 



To THE Foreign Office. 

" NORDERNEY, Aug. 20, I908. 

*' His Majesty telegraphed to me : 

" ' The suggestion for a milliard loan in England con- 
tained in the clipping from the Daily Telegraph of the 17th 
inst., submitted to me by the Foreign Office, interested me 
very much. On the English side it is certainly intended 
as a menace or a warning for us. But it need not be taken 
by us as such in any way. The idea which inspires this 
loan proposal — to offer an unattainable standard for any 
intended naval building rivalry on our side, that is to outbid 
us in the race on the financial side — ^is mistaken. We have 
a firm, limited programme, which has been public for many 
years. This is falsely decked out on the English side as 
competitive building, and an actual English competitive 
programme is being put forward, based on a competition 
they have themselves invented. The large sums of money 
necessary for this purpose are not to be a burden on the 
current Budget, and will escape as far as possible 
discussion in Parliament, with attendant recriminations 
against Germany. Hence the loan. 

" * I think this idea from the EngHsh standpoint fully 
justified and very practical. It is a method purely EngHsh 
in character, and if it is thrown to us as a chaUenge we should 
not take it up, since the matter does not directly concern 
us. I wish, therefore, that our Press should take as Httle 

255 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

notice as possible of the whole aflFair. If it is discussed at 
all, it should be discussed briefly and calmly, and in a business- 
like way, solely from the financial and not from the political 
point of view. As we maintain our right to regulate without 
restriction from outside our means of defence according 
to our estimated requirements, in this case the English may 
claim the same right/ 

" I ask you to influence our Press as far as possible in 
the sense of the Imperial instructions." 



To THE Foreign Office. 

NORDERNEY, Aug. 22, I908. 



<c 



" Please teU August Stein confidentially that he should 
on his own initiative, and without allowing the hand of 
the Foreign Office to appear, dissuade Lloyd George from 
visiting me. Reasons : his visit would naturally be known, 
and would be connected on both sides of the Channel with 
the naval programme. But the question of slowing down 
the rate of naval building is not yet ripe. Public opinion 
in Germany not yet prepared. By his visit, hopes would be 
raised in England that cannot for the moment be fulfilled, 
leading to harmful repercussions on public opinion. Also 
it would presumably injure his reputation in England, 
especially with the Opposition, if it was said that his efforts 
with the German Government had failed. Ask Stein to 
tell the Foreign Office, immediately after his conversation 
with Lloyd George, whether he succeeded in dissuading the 
English Minister from the idea of a visit, and telegraph the 
result to me." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Norderney, Aug. 26, 1908. 

" I thank Your Imperial and Royal Majesty most humbly 
for sending me the letters of Montague and Kerr, which I 

256 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [190& 

have looked at with interest. From Your Majesty's marginal 
notes to my letter of the 13th inst., I see that Your Majesty 
is not in agreement with my view of the situation on many 
points. I beg Your Majesty not to doubt my support of 
Your Majesty's naval efforts not only with my head, but 
with my heart. I know that the creation of the German 
Fleet is the historical task laid on Your Majesty. I venture 
to draw attention to the fact that since 1897 I have 
emphatically supported all provision for the Navy pubHcly 
and behind the scenes, in full session of Parliament and 
in Committee, by word of mouth and in writing. 

" Only a few days ago I read in an English review that 
the hostility of many Englishmen towards me was very 
justifiable, because I was one of the driving forces for the 
development of the German Navy, that I had persuaded the 
Reichstag to accept the Navy Supplementary Vote of 1 899, 
and had also the last Navy Supplementary Vote on my 
conscience, since that would hardly have got through without 
the dissolution of the Reichstag of December 13, 1906, 
and without the inner group that emerged from it. I need not 
repeat that we must not yield under any circumstances 
to English pressure or an English menace. Weeks ago 
I indicated to our Press that they should take a firm line in 
this direction. The articles, which were commended by Your 
Majesty in this connection, were written at my request. 
Just because I have the execution and completion of our 
naval programme so much at heart, I desire to shelter the 
growing tree from the gathering storm which may uproot it. 
'* So far as I can see, there seems to exist a difference 
between Your Majesty's view and my respectful judgment 
of the situation on two points. Your Majesty believes that 
the English will not let it come to war with us. In this 
connection it is naturally difficult to prophesy. No one 
can hold out the certainty that the English will not attack. 
In contrast to many other people, I did not believe in an 
immediate danger of war in the autumn of 1904, when the 
English concentrated their Fleet in the Channel. I now 
think war indeed conceivable, if the English regard the 
continuation of naval armaments on this scale ad infinitum 
as certain. It is not only the agitators in England who 
have ideas of war. The discontent goes deeper than that. 
The visit of the English King and Queen, now announced 

257 R 



T9o8] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

does not in itself constitute an unconditional guarantee for 
the immediate future. If the situation becomes more acute, 
indeed, the visit may never take place. 

The situation with which we should be faced in the event 
of war is a serious one. If we have to deal with England 
only, she can do more harm to us than we to her. If France 
is drawn into the war, it means for us probably war on three 
fronts, for Russia will hardly remain neutral in that case. 
Even if the Tsar wished it, the Slav tendency in Russia 
would press for entry on the side of France. Kolmar von 
der Goltz thinks the value of the Turkish Army less than it 
was. He seems to think that the Bulgars alone would defeat 
it. The Turks, turned Liberal, who organize ovations in 
front of the English Embassy, will with difficulty be persuaded 
to undertake anything against England. Neither Marschall 
nor Metternich believe it to be possible. Revolt in India 
seems unlikely, since the only warlike element there, the 
Mohammedans, are loyal. The Fellahs in Egypt are a 
cowardly lot, from whom no uprising is to be expected. 

*' Metternich has declared to me in the most definite 
fashion that no threat has ever reached him from the English 
side. In his opinion the English will never threaten us. 
They only put out feelers to see if by any arrangement with 
us they might on their side be relieved of the necessity of 
a fresh powerful addition to their Navy. Failing such an 
arrangement, they would proceed with a new huge naval 
programme. 

" Also it would, in Metternich's opinion, be quite wrong 
to tell the English we were now ready to enter on our official 
conversations on the matter. But we need not on that 
account cut off all hopes for the future. We could always 
repeat that our naval programme was moderate and fixed 
by law. If we categorically and for ever refuse ab ovo any 
understanding on naval construction, even in the numerous 
non-binding private conversations which every ambassador 
must conduct, then ill-humour in England will advance 
by geometrical progression ; in that way a real danger of 
war will naturally arise, and, above all, England will build 
more than ever. Her resources in this field are greater than 
ours. 

" The prospects of a peaceable development of affairs 
are bound up more or less with the Liberal Cabinet. A 

258 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

fundamental and permanent change in public opinion and 
of policy in England must be represented to English Liberals 
as an essential to any future understanding ; so long as the 
feeling in England is what it is to-day, there can be no talk 
of agreements, for we built precisely in defence against an 
attack by England, which, to judge by the language of the 
English Press, the state of feeling in England, and the 
tendencies of EngHsh pohcy, seems to be quite within the 
realm of possibility. 

"In conclusion, I should like to say one thing. Your 
Majesty may be assured that if the storm that threatens on the 
other side of the Channel should break, my heart will not sink 
into my boots. I shall then do my best in Your Majesty's 
service to see that we, however the luck goes, unseren Feinden 
viele Lekhen vor die Fusse werfen} Your Majesty may know 
how I have done all that is possible to mould events that Your 
Majesty's lifework may be carried through with God's help. 
It is a question of getting over the next few years." 



To Count Metternich, 

Ambassador in London. 

" Berlin, Sept. 22, 1908. 

*' His Majesty the Emperor related to me his conversation 
with Sir Charles Hardinge, but much more calmly than in 
his telegrams. The Emperor seems to have been agitated 
at Hardinge's making representations to him direct about 
our naval construction, and not without sharpness. I must 
say rnyself that it would have been more consonant with 
constitutional and diplomatic usage if Hardinge, instead 
of addressing himself to the Monarch, who could not be 
held responsible, had approached the Imperial Government 
direct or through Sir Frank Lascelles. Much asperity 
would have been thereby avoided. Confronted with this 
delicate question personally, the Emperor repHed more 
bluntly than would otherwise have been the case. His 



^ It seems better to leave this strange and ugly phrase in the original. Literally, 
■ throw many corpses before the feet of our enemies." 



259 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

Majesty stated emphatically to me, as you already know 
from the Imperial margiaal annotation, that we do not wish 
to exceed our present naval building programme, and could 
not for financial and military reasons, and that this programme 
in fact presents no danger to England. 

" Tirpitz would not be indisposed to discuss the naval 
question with the English experts. But he does not know 
how he could visit England without arousing attention. 
He said to me confidentially, seriously and definitely, and 
indicating his responsibility before his country and before 
history, that he thought it quite incomprehensible how the 
English, whose superiority at sea is unattainable, not to say 
unshakable, by us, could fear a German attack. Tirpitz 
seemed to me absolutely disinclined to come to an under- 
standing with the English on naval construction. He 
merely said that the existing programme, laid down by law, 
could hardly be modified, since all the bourgeois parties 
in the Reichstag and public opinion would not understand 
it. Also English policy must show a more friendly tone 
towards us in the diplomatic field and in the Press, for the 
German people would never consent to anything which could 
be ascribed to outside pressure. If there were first of all 
a detente between Germany and England, the question could 
then be worth considering, and perhaps not insoluble, 
whether both countries could not come to an understanding 
on naval building and thereby do away with their mutual 
fears." 



The Emperor Francis Joseph of Austria 
TO THE Emperor William II. 

"Budapest, Sept. 29, 1908. 

" My Dear Friend, 

*' Recent events in Turkey, which led to the restora- 
tion of constitutional conditions, have not been without 
repercussion on the provinces administered by my Govern- 
ment, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

" If these provinces, which have developed culturally 
and materially in a gratifying way, have expressed for some 

260 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

considerable time a desire for constitutional institutions, 
these aspiration have, in view of the altered situation in the 
Osmanli Empire, now taken such an emphatic form that my 
Government does not think it can continue to resist them 
if the peaceful development of affairs on the southern frontier 
of the monarchy is to remain secure against disturbance. 

*' Since the sovereign power alone can proceed to the 
granting of a constitution, I shall see myself compelled to 
declare the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

" We are acquainting the Imperial Ottoman Government 
with the position of affairs, and simultaneously are informing 
them that, in proof of our eminently peaceful policy, which 
rejects any idea of territorial acquisition in the Balkans, 
we are withdrawing our garrison troops in the Sanjak, and that 
in future we renounce the exercise of the privilege provided 
for us in the Berlin Treaty in respect of the Sanjak of Novi 
Bazar. 

'* I regard it as due to the close personal friendship 
and the political friendship as Allies, which unites us, to 
inform you of this event without delay. You will, I am sure, 
judge it with friendly benevolence and will not fail to 
appreciate that we have acted under the pressure of inexorable 
necessity. 

" Your faithful friend, 

" Francis Joseph." 



To THE Acting Secretary of State 

OF THE Foreign Office, Stemrich. 

" Norderney, Sept. 30, 1908. 

*' Herewith an important letter from Aehrenthal, which 
I should not like to submit to His Majesty without comment. 
In my covering note to this letter, of which I desire a draft, 
we should have to draw attention to the principal points 
in it. In raising the following points, I would expressly urge 
that if any objection might be taken in that quarter to this or 
that comment of mine, I beg you to bring it to my notice. 

" The proposed annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina 
by Austria might, of course, furnish the signal for the union 

261 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

of Crete with Greece, and for a declaration of independence 
by Bulgaria. But after Aehrenthal had assured himself of 
Russian concurrence and in the present state of Europe, 
we cannot oppose Austria's desires. Our position would 
then become really serious, if Austria lost confidence in us 
and swerved from our side. So long as we both stand 
together, we form, like the old German Federation, a block 
which no one will lightly venture to assail. It is just in 
important Eastern questions that we cannot well put our- 
selves into opposition with Austria, which has closer and 
greater interests in the Balkan Peninsula than ours. A 
refusal or even a hesitating and quibbling attitude in the 
question of the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina 
would never be forgiven by Austria. In the possession of 
these two provinces, the old Emperor Francis Joseph, 
and official Austria with him, sees compensation for the 
loss of Italy and Germany. 

*' We must, then, accept Aehrenthal's communication 
without pretended empressement, but with calm and clear 
assent, and let it be seen that our assent arises from our 
absolute trustworthiness where Austria is concerned. In 
the Emperor's reply to the Emperor Francis Joseph we can 
perhaps insinuate the idea that Baron Aehrenthal's prudence 
and skill certainly succeeded in carrying out the annexation 
in a manner not too hurtful to Turldsh self-respect, and so 
that it should not be taken by the Balkan States as an encourage- 
ment to hostile proceedings against the Turkish Empire. 
But that must in any case be cautiously expressed and only 
on the ground of a conservative peace policy. 

*' Aehrenthal asks an audience for Szogyenyi for 
October 5 th or 6th. Will His Majesty have returned by then 
from Rominten, or does His Majesty give audiences to 
ambassadors at Rominten ? Szogyenyi is very inquisitive. 
It is advisable that His Majesty should not make any state- 
ment in the audience to Szogyenyi about the annexation 
question or the world situation, but should say he will read 
the Emperor Francis Joseph's letter with the sentiments 
of close friendship and respect which he feels for the venerable 
gentleman, and reserve his answer. 

*' The Straits question. Here I might reply to Aehrenthal 
that I also am convinced of the identity of our own and 
Austria's interests in Constantinople, and would therefore 

262 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

willingly be prepared to act in concert with Austria in the 
further negotiations on this important and delicate point. 

" From Aehrenthal's letter it further appears that relations 
between Austria-Hungary and Russia have again very 
much improved. The Sanjak Railway incident seems to have 
been overcome. Certainly latent and profound differences 
exist between the two Empires. But both sides are obviously 
willing, by following an unimpassioned policy, not to allow 
the differences to be accentuated. 

" The Young Turk movement, which the Russians 
regard with antipathy and the Viennese with scepticism, 
draws the two Imperial Powers for the moment nearer 
together. Moreover, relations with Italy are handled by 
Aehrenthal much more cautiously than by his predecessor. 
Aehrenthal's idea of attracting Spain nearer to the Triple 
AlHance is right and deserves support. In spite of the 
dependence of the Spaniards on the French money market 
and on the English Court, they should, for monarchical 
reasons, not quite lose their sympathy with the Triple 
Alliance. 

" Aehrenthal's letter also breathes his hatred of Serbia. 
His Majesty knows from the (very secret !) communication 
from Aehrenthal to Schoen that Aehrenthal is playing with 
the idea of throwing Serbia into the jaws of Bulgaria on a 
suitable occasion. 

" Aehrenthal seems to think that the bell will toU for 
Turkish dominion in Europe at no distant date. Since he 
does not wish to see the Russians on the Balkan Peninsula, 
and cannot permit the emergence of a great Serb realm, 
stretching its tentacles as far as Laibach, Cilli and Trieste, 
an expansion of Bulgaria seems to him the most desirable 
eventuality. He indeed goes on the assumption that a Great 
Bulgaria would, in the nature of things, fall into opposition 
to Russia. From the Austrian standpoint, much is to be 
said for this view. But Austria should simultaneously take 
care that the Rumanians do not come off badly, since they 
form a useful make-weight against the Slav peoples in the 
Balkans. Even the Greeks deserve some consideration 
from this point of view. 

" What Aehrenthal says of our relations with England 
sounds very serious. His Majesty's attention must be drawn 
to that. Clemenceau was obviously speaking under the 

263 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

influence of what he had heard in Karlsbad from King 
Edward, and King Edward was under the influence of his 
visit to Friedrichsliof and the conversation which took place 
there between His Majesty and Hardinge. I would also 
like to suggest to His Majesty how injuriously German- 
English relations must be affected once more by the violent 
renewed agitation of the Navy League. Cui bono ? 
Nothing disturbs and annoys the EngHsh more than 
the idea that we mean to build ships ad infinitum. At home 
exaggerations of this kind do not help financial reform, 
but tend rather to make it more difficult, because they make 
people think that even the great sacrifices which are now 
being demanded from the taxpayer are but drops in the 
bucket against naval plans of that kind, when we also have 
to provide for the Army, social services, education, etc. 
The situation tends more and more towards a smoothing-out 
of the relations between all the Powers ; only between us 
and England does the divergence become more acute on 
account of the naval question, but by the side of England 
stands France, and by France, Russia. 

" Ad vocem Golt2, I should like to say, further, that he 
must in any case express his opinion of the chances of the 
Turks in a collision between Turks and Bulgars. We should 
QOt send a Prussian general to a foreign country for him to 
be beaten there. It would be a good thing for the Turks 
to engage a promiaent Frenchman for their finances and, 
if possible, an Englishman for their Fleet, before they let 
Goltz come. 

" I have noted with satisfaction that our Press is handling 
the Casablanca incident remarkably calmly. The speed 
with which French and English, EngHsh and Russians, 
Russians and Austrians, have agreed shows that, in spite of 
their former most acute differences, really dangerous differences 
are only aroused when the Press or too tricky diplomacy 
poisons their relations. It would be useful if our Press 
took this opportunity to point out how wrong it is that more 
Germans should be joining the French Foreign Legion. 
Would any foreigner join our colonial force ? That should 
be stigmatized and further warnings given. I beg you also 
to consider with Loebell whether our penalty for recruiting 
should not be increased. 

" I beg you to despatch the draft for my covering note 

264 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

to His Majesty as soon as possible. When this covering 
note comes back from His Majesty, a copy must be taken 
of my letter and of Aehrenthal's communication to me, 
which His Majesty will certainly return for the archives ; 
this, together with this letter of mine, must be laid before the 
Secretary of State. The originals of Aehrenthal's letter, 
and of mine to His Majesty, I beg him to return. I leave 
it to your judgment when and how I should answer the 
Aehrenthal letter. If the moment for it appears to you to 
have come, please submit a draft to me. 

" P.S. — Exaggerations by the Fioftenverein [Navy League] 
would only be harmless if we intended to come to an under- 
standing with England on naval construction. In this 
case, such excesses of the Navy League could be used to tell 
the English : your and our Navy cranks ask the impossible, 
but we are ready to come to an understanding with you over 
a reasonable limitation of construction on both sides. But 
if we have no such intention. Navy League demonstrations 
of that kind are directly dangerous, and doubly so now, 
when not a landlubber, like Salm, but a Grand Admiral, 
presides over the Navy League." 



Observations from the Emperor William II. 

*'Oct. 12, 1908. 

" Aehrenthal's action takes on more and more the aspect 
of an ensign's escapade. He said nothing to us ; he gave 
such veiled intimations to Isvolsky and Tittoni that they 
regard themselves as completely duped ; he left the Sultan, 
whom it most concerns, entirely out of account ; laid his 
Master open to the charge of concerting the affair with the 
treaty-and-peace-breaker Ferdinand ; brought the Serbs 
to fever-heat ; annoyed Montenegro extremely ; incited 
the Cretans to revolt ; threw our Turkish policy, carefully 
built up over a period of twenty years, on to the dust-heap ; 
angered the EngHsh and helped them to occupy the position 
we had won in Stamboul ; bitterly annoyed the Greeks 
by his Bulgarophile tendency; tore the Berlin Treaty to 
pieces and confused the Concert of the Powers in the most 

265 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

dangerous way ; upset the Hungarians, because Bosnia 
ought to have been annexed to them ; enraged the Croats, 
because they intend annexation to themselves. For total 
achievement it constitutes a European record which no 
diplomat has ever yet reached. 

"He is certainly not a far-seeing statesman. We must 
endeavour in this muddle to get back to a better footing 
with England. That can be done by the Straits question — 
if it should arise — if we support their standpoint benevolently, 
and demand the opening of the Straits for all Powers, not for 
Russia only. Rumania, as a border State (on the Black 
Sea) will also desire that. But this question must first be 
privately discussed with Turkey, and Marschall must take 
soundings. England and Germany are the two Great 
Powers who were apparently not informed beforehand 
in the whole uproar, and they therefore have a free hand 
and should come to an understanding. All the more so 
as both desire the welfare of Turkey. 

" William I.R." 



To Count von Metternich, 

Ambassador in London. 



(< 



Berlin, Oct. 13, 1908. 



" Best thanks for your interesting telegrams. Austria- 
Hungary declares that it is not consonant with her dignity 
for the Bosnian question to be discussed at a conference. 
We must support our Ally in this view. Moreover, according 
to the latest news, it appears to be not impossible that Austria- 
Hungary may come to an understanding with Turkey over 
the Bosnian question, by which Austria-Hungary, on the 
assumption that it is merely a question of a formal act of 
ratification, will perhaps agree to a conference. In our 
view a preliminary condition for a conference is that its 
aim should be unity among the Powers, not only upon the 
agenda, but also in the solution of all questions. 

" ¥ or your purely personal information. I wonder whether 
a conference would really correspond with our interest. 
We and Austria-Hungary would, presumably, be constantly 
outvoted by Russia, England, France, and Italy. I don't 

266 




Count von Metternich. 



[E.N. A. 
p. 266 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

believe in danger of war in the East. Russia is not in a 
position to stand up to the excellent Austro-Hungarian 
Army, the war-shouting of Serbia and Montenegro is not 
to be taken seriously. Perhaps it is better for the world 
to be intensively occupied for a time with Eastern questions 
than if Morocco or, indeed, the German-English difference 
were to occupy the foreground. Further, I note expressly 
our honest desire to mitigate the last-named, on which I am 
in agreement not only with His Majesty the Kaiser, but with 
Admiral Tirpitz. 

" In England they continue to have completely mistaken 
ideas alike on our Navy plans and our supposed Machiavellian 
policy. We join with England in the wish to maintain 
the existence of the Turkish Empire. Our loyal support 
of Austria-Hungary, our ally of thirty years' standing, 
cannot be taken amiss by England, as she herself has given 
her full support to France in the much more dubious Morocco 
question. 

*' Do you think the moment is favourable to ask England 
to meet our views on the Bagdad Railway as a kind of com- 
pensation for our agreement to the idea of a conference ? 

" Tell Isvolsky that I anticipate his visit to us with 
pleasure and lively interest." 



To Herr von Tschirschky, 

Ambassador in Vienna. 



a 



Berlin, Oct. 13, 1908. 



" On my return from Norderney yesterday I hastened 
to confer on the present situation with M. von Szogyenyi, 
who intends leaving for home in a few days. I spoke to 
the Imperial and Royal Ambassador to the following effect : 

** The slight displeasure which he sensed in our most 
Gracious Master when he had the honour of delivering, 
while at Rominten, the Emperor Francis Joseph's letter, 
announcing the decision for the absorption of Bosnia and 
Herzegovina and the evacuation of the Sanjak, was at an end. 
Moreover, it had been owing to the circumstance that, by 
an extraordinary coincidence, a similar communication 
had reached the President of the Republic in Paris a few days 

267 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

earlier. I had yesterday the opportunity of a prolonged 
talk with His Majesty the Emperor and King, and was now 
in a position to say that His Majesty fully appreciated the 
standpoint, and shared the view that I had taken from the 
first day, that we had neither occasion nor had we any inclina- 
tion to submit the action of our Ally to criticism, but had the 
firm intention of supporting and continuing to support 
her in fulfilment of our obHgations as an ally. And, even 
in the event of emergence of difficulties and complications, 
our ally could rely upon us. I found difficulty in believing 
that serious complications could arise. 

" A hostile or even warlike attitude was not to be feared 
from Russia, since she required calm and peaceful develop- 
ment after the serious shocks she had experienced. England 
was probably little inclined to fire a single shot over the 
Eastern question. I felt certain that France did not desire 
war at all, least of all over Eastern events. The ill manners 
of the Serbs and Montenegrins would not, as I see it, indeed, 
be taken tragically in Vienna. But however events might 
develop, our ally might be assured that we should not 
allow ourselves to be influenced in our behaviour as allies, 
either by Clemenceau's anxieties mentioned to me in Baron 
Aehrenthal's last letter, nor by certain measures taken by the 
Russians on our Eastern frontier. His Majesty the Emperor 
and King, whose friendship for the revered Emperor 
Francis Joseph is well known, remains unshakable in his 
loyalty to his Imperial ally. 

*' As for the congress idea, we found Baron von 
Aehrenthal's standpoint not only comprehensible, but 
also correct. It would not beseem the dignity of the Habsburg 
monarchy if she admitted that her decisions taken to meet 
the situation should be submitted to the criticism and the 
decision of a congress. Participation by Austria-Hungary 
in a congress could, we were also convinced, only follow on 
the assumption that His Majesty had reached a previous 
agreement with Turkey on the sovereignty of His Apostolic 
Majesty in Bosnia and Herzegovina. How far this was 
possible at present could not yet be decided ; in any case 
we were ready to support the wishes and the efforts of Austria- 
Hungary. Also I had already taken steps to convince the 
Turks that it was only a question of finding a pretext for the 
eventual absorption of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that 

268 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW [1908 

it did not seem to us comprehensible that it should conjure 
up complications on a matter of pure form and so disturb 
not only their good relations with Austria-Hungary, but 
also with us. 

" In the closest confidence I added to my interlocutor : 
against a congress or a conference there was also the circum- 
stance that a meeting of this kind might on other questions 
take a course unwelcome to Austria-Hungary and to us. 
It lay quite within the realm of probability that a grouping 
of the Powers might take place in which Russia, England, 
France, and perhaps also Italy, might range themselves 
on one side, and Austria-Hungary and Germany on the 
other. Thus we would be easily outvoted by the others. 

" In my view it was certainly not advisable publicly to adopt 
a standpoint of refusing in principle. Still less was it indicated 
to show any eagerness. Rather it seemed to me wise, 
when we were asked to express an opinion, to say that the 
meeting of a conference would only seem to be useful if 
previously complete unity had been reached between the 
Powers on all the questions to be discussed, so that it would 
have to deal merely with formal ratification. But it was a 
long way to the attainment of this object. 

" It seemed to me desirable that the recognition of the 
situation created in Bulgaria should not take place until 
compensation was forthcoming to make good to Turkey 
the loss she had suffered. A natural preliminary would be 
a settlement of the railway question on lines satisfactory 
both to Turkey and to the company concerned. Th e 
demands were justified not only by reasons of political 
morals, but also — and that had the greatest weight with us — 
by the circumstance that Turkey's creditors would suffer 
substantial injury by an unsatisfactory solution of the 
railway question and inadequate attention to the tributary 
relation between Turkey and Eastern Rumelia. The 
strength of our friendly policy towards Austria-Hungary 
would be considerably increased in the Parliament, and in 
the public opinion of our own country, if the poHcy of the 
monarchy remained carefully thought-out so that German 
economic interests were not injured. 

" I beg Your Excellency to be kind enough to express 
yourself without delay to Baron Aehrenthal in the sense 
of the foregoing. If circumstances should demand it, 

269 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

Your Excellency would go to Budapesth for this purpose. 
I beg you also to express to Baron Aehrenthal my most 
sincere thanks for his kind and valuable letter, and to tell 
him that I reserve for myself the pleasure of referring to 
it in detail as soon as the excessive demands on my time 
by pressing foreign and domestic business permit." 



The Emperor William II to 

THE Emperor Francis Joseph. 

*' Berlin, Oct. 14, 1908. 
" My Dear Friend, 

" I thank you heartily for the kind letter in which 
you were kind enough to inform me of the annexation of 
Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am well able to appreciate 
the reasons which induced you to take this important step ; 
in this question also you can rely on my unalterable friend- 
ship and respect as on the close friendly alliance which 
unites our Empires. The annexation will certainly prove 
a benefit to the two provinces, which have developed so 
excellently under your administration. 

" Your decision simultaneously to withdraw the 
garrisoning in the Sanjak of Novi Bazar and for the future 
to renounce the exercise of the privileges obtained by you 
in the Berlin Treaty with regard to this Sanjak I regard as 
a wise measure with which I am in complete agreement. 
This step will certainly have a good effect, as it gives proof 
of the peaceful nature of your intentions and wiH make it 
easier for Turkey, support and consideration for whom is 
equally in the interest of our two allied Empires, to acquiesce 
in the new order of affairs. 

" Your faithful friend, 

" William I.R." 



To the Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, Oct. 22, 1908. 
" Secret. 

" M. Isvolsky is evidently coming to Berlin with the idea 
of eliciting from us statements of which he could make use 

270 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

in London, Vienna, Constantinople, and also with the dis- 
trustful Tsar. Therefore I have considered in detail with 
Herr von Schoen what we should say to him. The subject 
is dealt with in two memoranda which I submit to Your 
Imperial and Royal Majesty in the annex to this letter with 
the request that Your Most Gracious Majesty will let me 
know whether you agree. 

" M. Isvolsky naturally harbours the hope to hear much 
that is sensational about the Eastern situation and our 
relations to other Powers, in order to turn it and make use 
of the material as seems good to him. Since there is no 
occasion for us to lift Isvolsky out of the morass into which 
he has walked, I humbly venture to suggest that Your 
Majesty should consider whether it would not be advisable 
for Your Majesty to say nothing of importance to him 
about poHtics, but simply to refer him to the Secretary 
of State and to me with the remark that Your Majesty is 
not particularly interested in the special questions under 
consideration. 

" Moreover, it would in my most humble opinion be advis- 
able that Your Majesty should handle M. Isvolsky personally 
with calm friendliness, so that he cannot play the part of 
a martyr. It would naturally be very flattering for the vain 
man if Your Majesty were to say that Your Majesty hoped 
that Isvolsky would long remain in office, but that if at any 
time he had to resign, he must come to Berlin as Ambassador. 

"ANNEX I 
" General Considerations 

" (i) We have no fundamental disinclination for or ob- 
jection in principle to the idea of a conference. Nevertheless, 
an essential condition for the conference would be previous 
complete unity between the Powers on all the questions to be 
discussed. 

" (2) We have neither inclination nor occasion for retro- 
spective criticism of the Austro-Hungarian action. Austro- 
Hungary is an independent Great Power, pursuing an inde- 
pendent Balkan policy. It is a mistake to criticize every 
Austro-Hungarian step. 

*' (3) Firm and honest support for Austria-Hungary, our 
constant ally, is demanded of us for reasons of loyalty and of 

271 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

good sense. Austria-Hungary has acted after consulting the 
necessities of her situation. 

'* (4) We have less reason now than before to range 
ourselves on the side of Turkey, since England has taken 
Turkey under her special protection and is more Turkish 
than the Turks. In default of direct political interest in 
Turkey, any policy is possible for us there, naturally with 
reservations on our important economic interest. 

*' (5) Satisfaction in Russia's decision not to claim any 
compensation for herself. 

*' (6) In the Straits question we have no primary interest. 
Our attitude to this question depends upon the general 
situation and the grouping of the Powers and their attitude 
towards us. Russia knows that we shall not combat her 
Straits policy ; but it is too much to ask that, in the present 
grouping of the Powers, we should give her active support 
and so embarrass our friends and allies. Russia's ally, 
France, does not desire any infringement of full Turkish 
sovereignty either in the Sanjak or in the Straits. 

" (7) The guaranteeing of the European dominion of 
Turkey seems to us an idea whose execution is in the general 
interest as it is in the interest of peace. 

" (8) Fundamentally we are glad to have been informed 
so late by Isvolsky. In this way we have no responsibility 
and a free hand. 

*' (9) The Turks have already put themselves in communi- 
cation with Austria-Hungary and Turkey, and that, so far 
as Bulgaria is concerned, on French advice." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, Oct. 30, 1908. 

" I am sending Your Imperial and Royal Majesty with this 
a number of newspaper articles on the interview which Colonel 
Stuart Wortley has published on the basis of the conversation 
which he had with Your Majesty. 

" The English Press for the most part comments on the 
interview in sceptical, critical, and unfavourable terms. 
EngHshmen of authority like Lord Roberts and Sir Edward 
Grey have refused to express themselves at all regarding this 
interview. The French and Russian papers avail themselves 

272 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

of the occasion to indulge in heated attacks upon Your 
Majesty and upon the policy of Germany. What is more, the 
German Press, with a few very slight exceptions, is of the 
opinion that through the interview our policy and our country 
will be grievously injured. 

" The attacks of the German newspapers are unjust, for 
Your Majesty had the grace to send me, through the Minister 
Baron von Jenisch, the remarks of the English author for me 
to examine. I was at Norderney at the time, with a great 
mass of important questions to attend to (the Eastern Crisis, 
Imperial Finance Reform, and other home matters), and 
therefore I did not myself read Colonel Wortley's long 
composition, which was very illegibly written on poor 
paper, but sent it on to the Foreign Office for examination. 
In doing so I gave strict instructions that the article should 
be most carefully examined in regard to its possible 
effects and that I should be informed where alterations, 
additions, and omissions seemed necessary. The Foreign 
Office returned the English manuscript with a report in which 
it suggested some small alterations, while making no kind of 
serious objection to its publication. The Councillor of the 
Foreign Office engaged in such duties who was staying with 
me wrote to the Minister Baron von Jenisch in the sense of 
this report. 

" If I myself had taken cognizance of the manuscript I 
would have requested Your Majesty not to give permission 
for its publication at the present moment. If Your Majesty 
disapproves of my conduct in not having examined the English 
manuscript myself in the pressure of other matters on my 
mind, and if you make the lack of caution shown by the 
Foreign Office a subject of complaint against me, I beg you 
respectfully to release me from my post. If, however, I have 
not lost Your Majesty's confidence, I can remain on only if I 
am enabled to meet the unjust attacks upon my Imperial 
Master openly and emphatically. I must therefore ask 
Your Imperial and Royal Majesty's gracious permission to say 
officially in the Norddeutschen Allgemeine Zeitung that the 
attacks brought against Your Majesty in a great portion of 
the Press are entirely unjust, that Your Majesty sent me the 
manuscript of the English author, that I had it sent on to the 
Foreign Office, and that the latter had suggested only slight 
alterations." 

273 S 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 



^^ Quite Private. 



Eckartsau, Nov. 5, 1908. 



" In previous conversations, in which I acted the part 
only of Hstener, Franz Ferdinand dealt in a very spirited way 
with the Annexation question. He has taken a hand in the 
whole thing, and a very active hand. He is full of recognition 
for Baron von Aehrenthal, whom, it seems, he sought out 
himself. Extraordinarily v/arm in his opinion of the attitude 
we have taken and of our fidelity as an ally — almost enthusias- 
tic ; very severe on King Edward VII and England ; crushing 
in his judgment of Count MensdorfF, whom he will get rid of 
— he may become ' His Majesty King Edward's Ambassador 
in Vienna ! ' for he represents only the latter's interests. 

" Isvolsky, he said, was regarded with hatred and contempt. 
Recently a secret Mission was sent to him (the Archduke 
Franz Ferdinand), through which the promise was made him 
that good friendship would always be maintained with 
Austria, and that no man would be set against Austria by 
Russia as a result of the present somewhat warlike develop- 
ment (Serbia). Baron von Beck, he said, is a dead man 
and will soon make way for Herr von Bienerth. 
Weidmannsheil I ^ . . . 

"William I.R." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 

"Vienna, Nov. 6, 1908. 
*' Very Secret. 

" The Archduke said he had received despatches during 
the night telling about the Austrian Ambassador's reception 
by the Tsar. The Ambassador had had to wait four weeks 
before he could deliver the Emperor Francis Joseph's letter. 
In the Russian Foreign Office the excuse was given that a 
search had had to be made in the archives for the Articles of the 

^ A huntsman's greeting or farewell. 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

Treaty, which could not be found at first. When he received 
the Ambassador the Tsar confined himself to drawing-room 
talk and spoke about the weather. Not a single word about 
politics. Tlie Archduke characterized this behaviour as 
most improper [ungehdrig\. 

*' Direct negotiations with Turkey have been striven for, in 
order to avoid a conference. The Archduke claims to be a 
friend of Turkey and holds it to be important that Turkey be 
strengthened and supported. Bosnia and Herzegovina are to 
be administered as an Imperial Province in the way we 
administer the Keichsiand [Alsace-Lorraine]. He declared he 
was very glad that everything had gone so well, thanks to our 
loyal attitude, to which he could not do justice enough. 
Only one thing annoyed him, namely, that the Bulgar had made 
his coup simultaneously ; it was improper that he should now 
be always mentioned and quoted along with His Majesty the 
Emperor ; that should have been avoided. 

" The two days here passed very harmoniously and 
brightly, thanks to his pleasant ease of manner and cordial 
friendliness. He sent you his special greetings. The hunt 
went off brilliantly, he arranging everything himself and 
taking the lead personally. I brought down 65 stags. 

*' I have the impression that there are no warlike develop- 
ments imminent, unless Serbia and Montenegro be completely 
mad. 

" Best thanks for your friendly telegram, just received. 
I remember you always in my morning and evening prayer. 
' Er half uns durch alien Menschenhass und Neid dock durch I ' 
* There is a silver lining to every cloud.' God be with you, 
in old and faithful friendship. 

"William I.R." 



To THE Secretary of State for the Imperial Navy, 

VON TiRPITZ. 

*' Berlin, Nov. 30, 1908. 

" Secret. 



" I thank Your Excellency most warmly for your com- 
munication of the 25th inst., and return you herewith the 
article from the Saturday 'Keview of September 11, 1897, 

275 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

which was enclosed. I have brought the contents of this 
article to the attention of the Imperial Ambassador in London. 
In the Reichstag on the 19th of this month I had used these 
precise words : 

' ' ' And is it, then, so unnatural that our economic expansion, 
due to the growth of our population and to our productive 
powers, should have changed the once friendly feeling of the 
English people — at least in the case of a section of the English 
people — into mistrust or have imbued it with a certain 
misgiving ? ' 

" In these words I gave expression to an opinion on the 
cause of the German-English antagonism which corresponds 
with Your Excellency's views. My remarks on the subject, 
however, have called forth hot rejoinders, not only from the 
anti-German Times, but even from the Liberal Westminster 
G2i':^ette, which is not unfriendly to Germany. I enclose the 
articles in question. 

" In the meantime Lord Roberts' motion, of which there 
has been talk, has been under debate in the House of Lords. 
Even if Lord Roberts may have exaggerated his disquietude 
in regard to a German invasion, the voting has shown that a 
large section of the Enghsh peers followed him in a field — 
universal military service — which is very unpopular in 
England. The ' free ' English regard universal military service 
as a degrading institution of the Continent. It will by 
its expense call for new taxes. It will also affect English habits 
and customs in the most unpleasant fashion in this, that it will 
restrict the freedom of movement of the men of military age, 
who in England very often desire to go to the Colonies while 
still quite young. If the Peers have supported so unpopular a 
Bill by a great majority, one cannot resist the thought that a 
great number of them must stand in fear of serious danger of 
their country. 

" Everyone who has been in England latterly agrees that 
in point of fact, however unjustified it may be, there prevails 
a great alarm in regard to a possible attack by the German 
Fleet. In 1897 such an article as that in the Saturday Review 
was an exception — such an abnormality that it is still remem- 
bered now, twelve years later. On the other hand, we cannot 
close our eyes to the fact that malicious articles against 
Germany are now the order of the day in all the English 
newspapers. Conservative, Liberal, and Radical. If Ministers 

276 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

who have been schooled in diplomacy express themselves 
more cautiously, cries of alarm in respect to the German 
danger are being given out loudly and publicly not just once 
in a way, but repeatedly by Ministers, Members of Parliament, 
and officers. . . . 

*' An eloquent piece of evidence in the same direction 
is to be found in the persistent questions and debates in 
Parliament regarding the Navy, the Two-Power standard, etc. 
I append copies of two despatches on the subject from Count 
Metternich, dated the 24th and 25 th inst. I am also sending 
for Your Excellency's consideration a highly-thought-of 
article from the Standard, a thoroughly serious organ, wherein 
the idea of a preventive war is energetically put forward. 
Fear of our Fleet and of our plans for developing it persists in 
England. It is unjustified, but it is a fact with which we have 
to reckon. Moreover, the idea of a preventive war clearly 
expressed in the Standard — the idea, that is, of an EngUsh 
attack on Germany, before it be too late — is not new ; it has 
been put forward repeatedly in the English Press. It is to 
be expected that in all probability this idea will gradually 
take possession of the English people, just as their feeling of 
mistrust in regard to our intentions in building up our Fleet 
has taken root with them. Bearing in mind the tenacity with 
which the English fasten on to such an idea once it has become 
generally accepted, I must as a responsible statesman take 
into serious consideration the question how we are to act if 
confronted with such a contingency. I am, therefore, taking 
it on myself to submit to Your Excellency, to whom it now 
falls as authoritative expert in the matter to furnish a reply, 
the question whether, if it came to a sudden clash of arms, 
Germany and the German people could meet an English 
attack with calm and confidence." 



To Count von Metternich, 

Ambassador in London. 

" Berlin, Dec. 11, 1908. 

"... In the Reichstag I have avoided as long as possible 
speaking on the Disarmament question, although it has been 

277 



1908J LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

dealt with exhaustively or been touched upon by all the 
speakers. I had to answer a direct question from the side of 
the Liberals. In doing so I was at pains in the first instance 
to avoid even mentioning England, and I went on to point out 
that our geographical position pointed to the need of a strong 
Army on land^ and that for this reason, and owing to our expan- 
sive social policy which is already so far advanced, our 
armaments on the sea were restricted and could have for aim 
only the defence of our coast. 

" I beg you, in order to ensure a proper understanding of 
my speech, to make use of what I have here told you about 
its occasion, and to make known also what I said yesterday to 
Goschen, who dined with me. I explained to Goschen that 
our Fleet-building plan, as you are aware, has been fixed legally ; 
that it has pased the Reichstag and the Bundesrat [the Federal 
Council] ; that the Government is committed to it, and could, 
therefore, with difficulty do anything against it — at all events, 
directly ; but that latterly many different kinds of technical 
and financial considerations had been brought forward — some 
of them in the Reichstag — ^which made it necessary to deliberate 
whether it were well to build so many big ships at once as 
were provided for by the law. 

" Should the Reichstag be influenced by these considera- 
tions, at least the speed at which the building will proceed 
would be lessened, I said. I would gladly lend a hand in this 
direction. 

" I enclose a verbatim report of my speech. 

*' Make all this loiown wherever you think proper. I 
hope it will have a reassuring effect and in any case serve to 
prove the loyalty of our policy." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von Bulow. 



(.(. 



New Palace, Dec. 13, 1908. 
11.30 a.m. 






Your Serene Highness, 

Herewith I send you a transcript — made by my aide-de- 
camp — of a report received by me this morning written by 

278 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

the Naval Captain von Hintze on the situation in Russia and 
the chances of an outbreak of war. 

" The report is written with the acuteness, logic, and 
clearness which characterize all liis communications regarding 
Russia and the people and conditions of the country. I 
believe he is right in what he tells about the trains of thought 
he describes and the conclusions they lead to in the different 
Russian circles in question. 

" The report presents also an interesting foil to the tele- 
gram which you sent me yesterday evening. Now we know 
the grounds on which the demands for the freedom of the 
Straits has been built up, and why the Austrian bid in respect 
to Batoum has not come off. 

" Of importance is the statement that in London they so 
snubbed Benckendorff over the Straits that he even began to 
think of withdrawal. Naturally it had to come to this, for 
England has now undertaken energetically the support of the 
Young Turks — and thereby the strengthening of Turkey. 
For this is the exact opposite to Russian wishes and interests : 
these for centuries past have aimed at the gradual weakening 
of the Ottoman Empire, and an opening of the Dardanelles is 
in full accordance therewith. 

"It is clear that the Tsar noiv identifies himself with the 
wishes of Isvolsky and of a majority of his subjects in regard 
to the opening of the Straits, and that the conference is 
merely a veil. 

" And thus the stone of the Straits question has been set 
rolling and will now with difficulty be stopped. AU that 
remains for us to do now is to make a way clear for it and take 
care that it shall not knock up against anyone and do damage. 
How is this to be done ? 

'' We knew already from their own utterances that Aehren- 
thal had already discussed the Straits question with Isvolsky. 
Also that, generally speaking, there is in Austria no objection 
to handling this question in a way favourable to Russia's 
wishes. England has snubbed Russia and suggested direct 
negotiations with Turkey. Turkey — ^whether of her own 
accord or by the advice of England does not matter — has not 
wanted to hear anything about it. France sits in a dilemma 
between London and St. Petersburg and seeks to mediate. 
Italy wobbles this way and that, hoping to get ' compensation ' 
one way or the other. The highest bidder will have her 

279 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

support. That is the situation. Originally a conference was 
to be called ' to investigate the changes in Bosnia and 
Herzegovina and the independence of Bulgaria, as well as to 
handle other questions affecting the Balkan countries ' : i.e., 
it was to effect a revision of several Articles in the Treaty of 
Berlin, it being hoped that all the parties concerned would 
agree thereto. 

" The Tsar, however, desires to modify the Treaty of Paris 
by means of the demand for a conference for dealing with the 
question of the opening of the Straits and thus amalgamates 
the two questions or else sets aside the first. Thereby a 
quite altered combination of the Powers might be brought 
about. It might revive a grouping similar to that in the old 
Crimean War, but in a weakened form. In any case it would 
not be out of the question to bring the three Imperial Powers 
nearer together by exercising some cleverness and to strengthen 
the monarchical principle. If Austria and Germany — ^which, 
it is true, did not exist at the time of the Crimean War — ^were 
to show their readiness to meet the Tsar in regard to the Straits 
question, and if they exerted themselves to remove the ob- 
stacles in the way, as we now know that he attaches so much 
importance to the point that he does not even shy at an appeal 
to arms, we should help him to a new success, which would 
bring him into opposition to England, satisfy Russian 
public opinion, and render a great service to Isvolsky. France 
has to decide whether she will go in with her Russian ally — 
that is, with the Imperial Powers — or whether she will hold 
with England. She will assuredly do the first by reason of 
the twelve milliards. England will be damaged in her position, 
whether she sides as she has done hitherto, with Turkey — in 
which case she must go against the opening of the Straits — or 
else demand the opening for all, and, therefore, for herself 
also, which Russia won't have. She must bring down on her- 
self the hate either of the Turks or of the Russians, which 
means that she must do for herself [sich ilberwerfen] either with 
the Slav world or the Mohammedan world. In the latter 
case the consequences would very soon make themselves felt 
in ugly fashion in Egypt and in India. For it is, in fact, the 
unrest in these countries that is the reason for England's 
sudden friendliness for the Turks. 

" The Russians are already counting on, and arming for, 
a war in which we also would be involved ; we are not afraid 

280 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

of it ; I believe, however, that it could be prevented by the 
opening of the Straits, which, proposed by two Emperors to 
the third, would bring about a tolerable relationship between 
the three Imperial Powers ; to which France, nolens volens, 
would, for good or for evil, have to agree, and Italy also ; 
and England would, at the least, become very civil. In any 
case the situation is very serious. 

" The comical thing is that just in this position of affairs 
the Demon of Saving has broken loose in the Reichstag and 
indulging in veritable orgies, whereby the Army and the Navy 
are being prevented from preparing for coming events and 
maldng th.tvi\st\YQS proof against attack ?iS they might have done. 

*' In Austria three Army Corps are practically ready for 
mobilization. An interesting historical fact is to be noted 
in respect to Austria in the Napoleonic Wars. On every 
occasion when she, with pains, had got her Army in order, and 
balanced her finances, and regulated her currency, and set 
herself to economise drastically ^ Napoleon fell upon her suddenly 
and she lost everything again. 

'* We must now get armed and ready for the fight ! We 
have, however, made a bad beginning, with 50 millions 
deducted from the Navy ; this makes it impossible for us to 
construct sea-mines, many hundreds of which are still lacking 
for the defence of our harbours and river-mouths ! In the 
present position of things it is almost treason to the country ! 
How many milliards might we not lose thereby in our com- 
merce ! The very effort to make great economies on our 
armaments in such a troublous time takes on the appearance 
of weakness and tempts the enemy to make an attack. 

" The concluding sentence in yesterday's St. Petersburg 
telegram, that ' the Tsar is my friend, now as ever, and that I 
can rely upon him,' comJng after the rough declaration that 
* he wants to have the Straits ' — er wolle die Meerungen hahen — 
shows us the way in which his friendship can be won and kept 
and also turned to account. Berlin, then, must get to work 
quickly, together with Vienna, and the Straits question must be 
negotiated with St. Petersburg. Thus can the Tsar be won 
over to the Im.perial Powers and Isvolsky's vanity satisfied 
at the same time. 

" William I.R." 

281 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 
To THE Emperor William II. 



t< 



Berlin, Dec. 14, 1908. 



" I beg to thank Your Imperial and Royal Majesty for 
sending me the interesting report of your aide-de-camp, 
Naval Captain von Hintze, and the accompanying instructions 
issued by Your Majesty. The aim of an understanding between 
the three Imperial Powers now to be striven for again, to 
which Your Majesty graciously points, would unquestionably 
be furthered by an understanding between us and Austria in 
regard to the Straits question. 

'* In my opinion, the first thing to do to this end would be, 
as Your Majesty urges, to give Russia to understand that we 
and Austria will raise no difficulties against Russia in this 
question. But, at the same time, Russia must, on the other 
hand, have it made clear to her eyes whence the difficulties in 
the matter come. This can best be achieved, as I beUeve, by 
Russia being put into direct negotiations with England under 
the auspices of the French, the Russians' allies. I therefore 
venture to ask for Your Majesty's gracious approval of the 
following instructions to Your Majesty's Ambassador in 
St. Petersburg : 

" 'In acknowledgment of Telegram No. 347 of the 12th 
inst., I beg you to say to His Majesty, the Emperor of Russia, 
through Captain von Hintze, that our standing in regard to 
the Russian wishes respecting the Straits is too well known 
to need further exposition. Our standing found expression 
officially in the protocol added to the secret treaty of 1887, 
and our benevolent attitude towards Russia has not changed 
on this point since the lapse of the treaty. Moreover, we know 
also that our Austrian ally on the occasion of the discussions 
between Aehrenthal and Isvolsky loyally held out the prospect 
of right of passage through the Straits for Russia. On that 
occasion both Ministers went forth on the assumption that 
no difficulties were to be expected from England in this 
connection, as for twenty years past, since the miscarriage [?] 
of the Drummond Wolff Treaty in regard to Egypt, England 
had always openly declared, notably through the authorized 
voice of her Ambassador, in the preceding year by O'Conor, 
and by the late Duke of Edinburgh in his time, that England 
was no longer interested in the Straits and that she left their 

282 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

defence to Turkey. An unlooked-for change, however, 
had come about in the English standpoint. Public opinion 
in England had gone out unanimously with such force to the 
Young Turks' revolutionary movement — as it has done to 
every so-called '' jreiheitlkh '^ movement, even when resulting 
in an upheaval in other countries — that the English Govern- 
ment was not in a position to agree to any arrangement which 
looked like an act of unfriendliness to Turkey. This change 
of standpoint has rendered worthless the assuredly sincere 
Austrian offer in the Straits question, and thereby alone the 
position of Isvolsky in respect to his own countrymen has 
become a difficult one. 

" 'We should not hesitate to give expression, public ex- 
pression, to our readiness to fall in with Russia in regard to 
the Straits question, and we have no doubts as to our Ally 
being equally willing. We submit to the Russian Emperor, 
however, the question whether it would be to the advantage 
of Russia for us to come forward in the matter from the start. 
The animosity which to our keen regret prevails against us in 
England, and to some extent in France, is so great that for us 
to come forward would imperil rather than advance Russia's 
wishes . We have, in point of fact, had the frequent experience 
of late that for us to adopt an attitude in a matter was enough 
to cause England and France to adopt a contrary attitude. 

" * Therefore we should think it better in Russia's interests 
that she should in the first place avail herself of France as an 
intermediary with England ; France, who herself has no direct 
interest in the Straits, will scarcely refuse this service to her 
ally, and her voice counts for much in England. It is to be 
assumed that England is to be won over easily to the Russian 
wishes in this way, as her 'Entente and good relations with 
France are certainly held of greater account than a momentary 
fit of ill-humour on the part of Turkey. If France takes up 
the wishes of Russia in London with some vigour, Russia can 
count on a success, for the assent of Germany and Austria is 
assured to her beforehand.' 

" In connection with these instructions I have the honour 
to add that I have thought it desirable not to bring bluntly 
before Russia the true reason of English friendliness towards 
Turkey on which Your Majesty has laid stress — ^the thought 

* i.e.. Every movement associated with the cause of freedom. 

283 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

of her own Mohammedan subjects in India and Egypt — but 
only to emphasize the sentimental enthusiasm [Schwdrmerai] 
which die English are unquestionably showing just now for the 
revolutionary fteedom-loving [freiheitlich} element in Turkey. 

" In conclusion, may I point out to Your Majesty with 
reference to the remark about Batoum made by His Majesty 
the Emperor of Russia, as recorded in Captain von Hintze's 
telegram herewith returned, that His Majesty the Emperor 
Nicholas has evidently been misinformed on this point. Baron 
Aehrenthal did not in the Note offer the freeing of Batoum 
from the provisions of the Treaty of Berlin ; all he did was, 
at an earlier stage in the discussion, to point out, apropos of 
Isvolsky's insistence, that all alterations in the Berlin Treaty 
must be discussed at a conference, that in this case the question 
of Batoum also must be discussed, in respect to which Russia 
has long since disregarded the provisions of the Berlin Treaty. 

" With reference to the cancelling of the order for sea- 
mines, I at once obtained information from the Imperial 
Naval Office. Neither Rear-Admiral Capelle, Director of the 
Administrative Department, nor Captain Dalinhardt, head of 
the Accountancy Division, are able to tell me where the news 
had its source. In the Estimates for 1909, one-and-a-half 
million marks were granted for sea-mines. The grant, it 
appears, met with no difficulties in the Imperial Treasury ; 
moreover, no order for sea-mines given by the Imperial Naval 
Office has ever been refused by the Reichstag. The Naval 
Estimate has not yet been under discussion. Moreover, in the 
general debates there has been no talk of sea-mines." 



To Count von Metternich, 

Ambassador in London. 

" Berlin, Dec. 25, 1908. 

" Your despatch of the 26th {sic) inst. regarding the 
conversation you had with Mr. McKenna has been brought by 
me confidentially before the attention of Admiral von 
Tirpitz. The First Lord of the Admiralty on that occasion 
said, among other things, that the increase in the crews of our 
Fleet would give a sure indication as to whether we contem- 
plated an extension of our present naval programme. Admiral 

284 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

von Tirpitz declares that this notion is completely mistaken. 
I think, however, I do not need to give you the arguments and 
facts on the strength of which the Admiral has requested me 
to correct Mr. McKenna's statement, as I see from the despatch 
of the Naval Attache, which since then has been sent, that 
Admiral von Tirpitz has clearly taken occasion to communi- 
cate the necessary explanations to the First Lord of the 
Admiralty through Captain Widenmann. On the other 
hand, I must not fail to send you an article from the Kreti^ei- 
tung of the 14th inst., on which the Secretary of State for the 
Imperial Navy also has called attention and which is con- 
cerned with the question of the Two-Power standard. 
Perhaps you may have an opportunity to draw the attention 
of Mr. McKenna and of other persons of note to optimistic 
opinions expressed by so high an authority as Sir William 
Whyte in respect to the superiority of the English Navy 
over all conceivable combinations of the other Sea-Powers. 
The line of criticism which is taken by English naval 
experts in regard to the naval policy followed by the English 
Government demonstrates that in England also there are 
men of weight who possess insight enough to admit, to a 
great extent through its own fault, the British Government 
is now forced into considerable extra expense on naval 
armaments if it does not abandon the carrying out of the 
principle of the Two-Power standard. 

" You are aware, for the rest, that I am far from wanting 
to close my eyes to the fact on which you lay stress whenever 
occasion offers, that the planned-out development of our 
Navy, and in particular the rate at which it is being proceeded 
with, have produced a state of disquiet in England which 
has in it an element of danger, and which calls for attention 
on our side. On December 10, in the Reichstag, I demon- 
strated very distinctly that an excess in our naval construction 
beyond the limits prescribed by needs of defence and provided 
for accordingly by law was ruled out, and, what was more, 
ruled out for certain elementary and unalterable reasons. 
My explanation, however, does not seem to have had the 
effect in England which we looked for. So far as I have been 
able to make out from here, it has received very little attention 
in the Press, and the latest conversation between Mr. McKenna 
and our Naval Attache discloses clear indications of a 
continued mistrust. 

285 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

" In these circumstances I ask myself whether even so 
substantial a concession to English nervousness as a slowing- 
down in the progress of our present naval programme as 
provided for by law would suffice to dissipate the anxieties 
which, whether in good faith or bad, are being professed in 
England in respect to our intentions and to bring about a 
decided change in English public opinion and in the attitude 
towards us in official quarters. 

" Perhaps, indeed, our Navy Bill, which provides for the 
construction of four large ships during each of the three years 
1909, 1 910 and 191 1, while the rate is lowered to two ships 
each year for 191 2 and 191 3, might allow of the possibility, 
without decreasing the total strength of the Nav}'^, of our 
meeting the English wishes by building only three ships a 
year, instead of four, in 1909, 1910 and 191 1, and carrying for- 
ward the difference to the years 191 2, 1913 and 191 4. 

*' I am ready to ask Admiral von Tirpitz for his opinion 
as to the feasibility of this idea from the practical standpoint 
of the naval construction. It is important, however, that I 
should have at the same time your opinion as to what effects 
in England would result from a measure, the carrying of which 
is only to be achieved after overcoming the considerable 
difficulties I shall encounter on the part of the Kaiser [an 
Allerhochste S telle] as well as on the part of the Navy, and which 
doubtless wiU excite the displeasure also of a not inconsiderable 
section of our representatives of the people [Volksvertratmg\. 

" It is, of course, indubitable that the slowing-down of 
our rate of construction here suggested would be very welcome 
to the present Liberal Government in view of their financial 
difficulties. The question, however, which in my opinion 
we have chiefly to consider, is this : whether such a departure 
from the strict prosecution of our naval programme as legally 
provided for would produce a lasting effect also outside the 
circles of the extreme Liberal Pacifists in England. I am 
thinking of the Imperialistic Liberal Wing, and still more of 
the Unionist party with its Chauvinistic elements. 

" On the basis of the news to hand, among others of the 
utterances of Sir Edgar Speyer on the occasion of his latest 
visit to Berlin, I gather that we must reckon on the possibility, 
if not on the probability, of the Conservatives coming into 
power in England in the New Year. I would therefore 
take the measures in question into serious consideration only 

286 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1908 

if you felt sure of their being accorded on the Unionist side 
also such a reception as would serve as a guarantee that our 
concession would not be regarded on the English side as a 
merely transitory profession of platonic friendship. 

" Moreover, in view of the continuity of foreign policy 
which is so sedulously laid stress on of late in England, 
the Liberal party, even if they should remain for some time 
at the helm, would be able to assume political liabilities in 
regard to us only in combination with the leaders of the 
Opposition. 

" I beheve, however, that you will agree with me that 
we ought only to abandon our naval policy, based as it has 
been down to now exclusively on our needs of defence and 
on the political situation now existing, if simultaneously there 
were a definite prospect of our being given the assurance that 
in the event of warlike complications we should not find 
England on the side of our opponents. A one-sided response 
on our side to English wishes, without corresponding con- 
cessions on the English side, would be precluded on the ground 
that we must avoid the appearance of having acted under 
pressure from England. . . .'* 



To THE Emperor William IL 

** Berlin, Dec. 29, 1908. 

" I beg to enclose herewith a very confidential despatch 
just received from Radolin on the present feeling in France. 
I would point out that this despatch seems to point to a certain 
agitation. When Radolin was last in Berlin scarcely a fort- 
night ago I asked him what attitude he thought France would 
adopt if Austria were attacked by Russia and Germany were 
brought into the conflict as Austria's ally. 

" Radolin then answered without hesitation that in his 
opinion even in this case the French would scarcely venture to 
do anything against us, as their disinclination for war, and in 
particular the fear of the Republican authorities in respect to 
the internal consequences of war, were too great. On the 
other hand. Count Mirbach-Harif, until recently Second Secre- 
tary at the Paris Embassy, now Councillor of Embassy at St. 

287 



1908] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

Petersburg, who is clever and notable for his calm judgment, 
told me a few days ago that in his opinion, in the case above- 
mentioned of a German- Austrian war against Russia, it would 
be impossible for France to remain neutral. 

*' From this to the state of feeling described by Radolin, 
however, is a far step. In any case we must envisage the 
position to which he draws our attention with the serious- 
ness it calls for. The reproaches which are being made 
against us by the French are completely without grounds. 
We have handled the question of the Casablanca deserters 
with so much calm and patience that we have been subjected 
to violent reproaches in our own Press for having been 
altogether too pliable with France. I heard at the time from 
many directions that, especially in our military circles, people 
were loud in condemnation of me because our attitude to- 
wards the French in the question of the deserters was held to be 
too tolerant and yielding. Nevertheless, we did not hesitate 
to submit the question to the Hague Arbitration Court. 

*' It is absolutely untrue and a hateful perversion of the facts 
to state that we took up the deserters' question more sharply 
than was warranted in order to avoid troubles at home. 
It was at the very time that our internal troubles were accen- 
tuated that we decided to submit the incident to the Arbitra- 
tion Court at The Hague, thereby giving a strong proof of 
conciliatoriness. If Radolin goes on to say that we should leave 
France alone for the present I consider he is quite right. 
We must bother France now as little as possible. When a 
certain feeling of tranquillity has come about we shall try to 
come to an understanding with the French Government over 
Morocco. 

" I believe, besides, that the irritability of the French to 
which Radolin points is to be attributed primarily to the con- 
stant work of the English in Paris. According to a despatch 
from Quadt, a Russian Secretary recently transferred from 
Tangier to Teheran confided to him that Lowther, the Enghsh 
Minister at Tangier, now Ambassador at Constantinople, had 
definite instructions in Morocco to inflame Germans and 
French against each other whenever he could. These 
English underground machinations are not Hkely to cease so 
long as the English nervousness continues in regard to our 
ship-building, which is the beginning and the end of the 
English mistrust and anger against us." 

288 



VIII 
THE YEAR 1909 



VIII 

THE YEAR 1909 

NOTE. 

The most exciting thing in this final section is its close. Which 
are we to believe — or to come nearest to believing — the Kaiser's con- 
temporary account of the Dal/j Telegraph incident, or Billow's ? Dr. 
G. P. Gooch kindly allows me to cite from his obituary estimate of 
the Chancell r in the Contemporary Keview for December 1929 the follow- 
ing comment upon the matter. Dr. Gooch shows himself a severe 
judge of Billow in the whole of his article, but he ends it on this 
characteristically fair note : " The curtain will rise again on the 
pubhcation of his Memoirs, which may aid us to correct any injustice 
in the reflections inspired by his death." 

" Though the Kaiser's share in the direction of foreign affairs was less 
than we used to beheve, his improvizations and aberrations drove 
his counsellors almost to despair. There is no more reveaHng document 
in the Grosse Politik than the long and poignant letter of September 28, 
1909 {Die Grosse Politik, xxiv, pp. 203-7), in which the fallen Chancellor 
pours out his heart to his successor and recalls the compromising speeches, 
telegrams, and letters, which flowed from the impulsive ruler without 
consulting his responsible adviser. The two men worked together 
in tolerable harmony till the Daily Telegraph affair brought the end 
within sight, though they were never on the affectionate terms which 
existed between the monarch and Eulenburg. The Chancellor declared 
that he had never read the text which had been sent to him at Norderney ; 
but his statement is difficult to believe, and some of his critics denounce 
it as a cowardly lie. Be this as it may, his handling of the crisis in the 
Reichstag infuriated the Kaiser, who, for a few days, completely lost 
his balance and cried aloud that he had been " betrayed." The quarrel 
was patched up for a time ; but on the rejection of the inheritance 
tax in the summer of 1909 the Chancellor resigned. According to 
Billow the resignation was voluntary ; according to the Kaiser he was 
dismissed." 

It may be noted that Baron von Schoen, one of the most generally 
respected of German diplomatists, who was Secretary of State for 
Foreign Affairs in 1908, refuses to beUeve in Billow's alleged duplicity 
in this matter. Baron von Schoen in his Memoirs speaks with 
sympathy and appreciation of the Chancellor, with whom he was closely 
associated for many years. 

291 



vm 

THE YEAR 1909 
To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Berlin, Jan. 29, 1909. 

** I beg to return to Your Majesty the very interesting 
letter from His Majesty the Emperor of Russia. 

" As Your Majesty will have seen from the tone and con- 
tents of the letter, it is fairly easy to distinguish between those 
passages in which the Russian Emperor speaks from his own 
knowledge and standpoint and those in which his words owe 
their information and inspiration to M. Isvolsky. This 
applies in particular to the complaint not merely over the 
* Austrian * policy, but over the ' Aehrenthalian ' policy, and to 
the account of the violation of the Miirzsteg Entente ^ through 
the announcement of Austria's intention to build the Sanjak 
Railway. Your Majesty has pointed out the inaccuracy of this 
account in your marginal note, in which you quite justly lay 
the responsibiUty on Isvolsky's attitude after Reval. In 
point of fact the circumstances were so, as Your Majesty is 
aware that Russia benefited very well by the Entente with 
Austria during the Japanese War and the internal difficulties 
resulting therefrom, but that the vain M. Isvolsky, who thought 
he would make himself less popular in Russia by a co-operation 
with Austria than by a step in the East taken either without 
or actually against Austria, availed himself of the pretext of 
the Sanjak Railway to destroy the Entente and to induce his 
Imperial Master to attempt in Reval the inauguration of a 
new Russian Eastern policy. The Sanjak Railway was 
obviously only a pretext for this ; for all that was in question 
in respect to it was that Austria wanted at last to avail herself 

* Isvolsky and Aehrenthal had come to an understanding at Miirzsteg in Styria. 

293 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

of a right which had been formally guaranteed to her by the 
Powers for thirty years past and from the exercise of which 
Russia sustained no harm either politically or economically. 

" I venture, none the less, respectfully to express my 
opinion that for the present Your Majesty would do well 
not to spin out any further the thread of the discussion of 
these things so as not to lead on to useless discussions over 
things which cannot now be changed, but that Your Majesty 
should postpone any lengthy reply to the Emperor's letter 
until a more favourable psychological moment. 

" I avail myself of this occasion to lay before Your 
Majesty four more despatches from Count Pourtales. 
According to the one marked A.S.163, M. Isvolsky has again 
tried to find out from Your Majesty's Ambassador what 
attitude we should adopt in the event of an attack by Austria 
on Serbia. Count Pourtales answered evasively, declaring 
that the eventuality referred to by M. Isvolsky was absolutely 
improbable. With Your Majesty's gracious permission I 
shall instruct Count Pourtales, in future, whenever M. Isvolsky 
touches upon this subject again, to confine himself to saying 
that we regard the possibility of an Austrian attack on Serbia 
as out of the question. Any more detailed pronouncement 
would not only be quite unnecessary for us, but might also 
entail some danger that Isvolsky, either direct or through some 
English or French friends, might contrive to sow seeds of 
distrust of us in Vienna. 

" According to the despatch marked A.165 8, it would seem 
also that in the English Diplomatic Corps, which is con- 
siderably more inclined for active mischief-making than is 
its own Government, the conviction has been taking shape 
that Russia is not at present good material for kindling warlike 
movements on the Continent. However, the difficulties 
against which the Anglo-Russian friendship is coming up, 
according to A. 165 5, in the Persian question, make intelligible 
England's desire to create a diversion for Russia in some 
other direction. The longer and the more undisturbed 
the tete-d-tete between the two Powers in Persia, the more 
difficult it will be — especially with regard to public opinion 
in both countries — to maintain their good understanding. 
We have only to play the role of the benevolent looker-on, 
who keeps his inner feelings of joy to himself. I propose, 
however, with Your Majesty's approval, to send a transcript 

294 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

of the despatch to Your Majesty's Ambassador in London, 
in strict confidence, for his own enlightenment in the 
matter. 

" In despatch A. 165 9 Count Pourtal^s writes of a coolness 
also in the Franco-Russian relations. Such a coolness can 
only become intensified if no third party intervenes and more 
especially if both friends do not notice that we know anything 
about their little domestic differences. I shall not, therefore, 
give our Embassy any intimation even of the purport of this 
despatch. 

" There are other indications to hand that the French are 
no longer quite at ease in regard to the policy and the fan- 
faronades of M. Isvolsky. The French Ambassador has twice 
asked the question whether we should intervene between 
Russia and Austria either alone or with France. The Italian 
Ambassador has developed the same idea. So far I have only 
replied evasively that the moment for any kind of intervention 
did not seem to me to have come. 

" I am, however, of the opinion that we ought certainly 
not to enter into any kind of mediation in co-operation with 
the French. An attempt at mediation between Russia and 
Austria-Hungary, whether successful or not, would in any 
case evoke mistrust of us in Vienna and would make us look, 
not merely in the eyes of the Austrians but in the eyes of the 
whole world, like lukewarm friends. It is certain that this 
would be represented and turned to account as a political 
defeat of Germany. Moreover, France would take to herself 
all the credit for the benefit which would accrue to Russia. 

" France's notion about mediation comes only from her 
fear of a warlike conflict over the East. This fear has been 
implanted in the French by their distrust of Isvolsky's policy. 
The French have no use at all for a general conflagration; 
they have no desire to fight us just because the Russians want 
to prevent Austria from wiping out the Serbs. Moreover, 
they are well aware that their ally is by no means equipped for 
a war, and they are naturally nervous, also, ' last, but not least,' 
about their money invested in Russia. 

" If, then, we refuse our co-operation in a mediation the 
French must endeavour by themselves to prevent warlike 
developments — that means they must exert themselves actively 
in St. Petersburg and advise calm and conciliatoriness. 
That, of course, is naturally very burdensome for the French, 

295 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

as they know they will thereby alienate the Russians greatly. 
That is why they want to drag us into action. 

" We have no inducement, naturally, to take a hand in this 
game and to pull the chestnuts out of the Russian fire for the 
French to our own harm. All the benefits of any such 
move would be for the French, all the harm for us. If 
we play a waiting game, France must act on her own, and then 
the encirclement ring which at last has grown breakable will 
gradually burst asunder. I beg Your Majesty's permission, 
therefore, to continue to set my face against all suggestions of 
intervention from whatever side they may come." 



Memorandum. 

Berlin, Feb. 10, 1909. 



tc 



" Sir Charles Hardinge, who called on me yesterday, began 
our conversation by saying that he was commissioned by Sir 
Edward Grey and the British Government to tell me how glad 
the English Government was that Germany and England had 
of late in many respects taken up the same attitude in the Balkan 
question. It would be natural that we, as Austria's ally, should 
avoid all appearance of seeming to exert pressure upon Austria. 
Baron Aehrenthal would, of course, be particularly sensitive 
as to this. The English Government, however, were aware 
that we in discreet and tactful fashion had helped considerably 
towards inducing Austria-Hungary to adopt a more concilia- 
tory bearing towards Turkey. 

" I replied that we wanted to see a strong, independent, 
prosperous Turkey. To this end we wished, also, to see the 
new regime in Turkey consoHdated, and that we should do 
what we could in this direction. 

" In regard to the latest Russian proposal, Sir Charles 
Hardinge said that he had advised the Turks to agree to it in 
principle. In respect to details, Russia and Turkey would be 
able to come to an understanding. 

*' It was clear that the English Government will take a 
friendly line towards the Russians in this matter. As to our 
own standpoint, I expressed myself to Sir Charles Hardinge 
somewhat as follows : 

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LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

" We welcomed everything that could lead to an 
understanding between Turkey and Bulgaria, and therefore 
we welcomed the Russian proposal also if it should 
prove acceptable to both parties. We hoped that England, 
having such good relations with Russia as well as with Turkey, 
would do all she could in a financial way to further Turkey's 
wishes. We, however, wished to make it perfectly clear that 
the rights and interests of the Eastern Railway, in which 
German capital was interested, as well as of creditors of the 
Turkish Debt, should remain safeguarded. 

" Sir Charles Hardinge hopes that the danger of war between 
Turkey and Bulgaria has been warded off. The English 
Military Attache at Sofia remains still of the opinion that 
Bulgaria, in a military sense, is stronger than Turkey and would 
perhaps get to Constantinople if there were a clash ; but he 
thinks that Prince Ferdinand is too disinclined for war to let 
things come to an outbreak of hostilities. The situation 
would appear to be more threatening in Serbia and Montenegro. 
Both of these small States would end by breaking loose, as they 
believed that, if beaten, they would not be left in the lurch by 
Russia. On my remarking to Sir Charles Hardinge that 
Serbia and Montenegro would certainly not venture to break 
loose if Russia were to declare to them that they would fight 
a leur propre risque et peril, he expressed the opinion that such 
a declaration would be impossible for the Tsar as protector of 
all the Slavs. The Powers, however, must continue to warn 
the Serbians and Montenegrins against a coup de tete. 

*' It was also to be desired that Austria, if she should be 
forced to take steps against Serbia, should declare in advance 
that she would not annex that country and that she would 
respect its integrity. Sir Charles asked me whether I believed 
that Austria was disposed to fulfil the Montenegrin wishes in 
respect to Spizza. I replied that this seemed to me completely 
out of the question. A Great Power could not make any 
territorial concessions without a war. Neither His Majesty, 
the Emperor Francis Joseph, nor the Heir to the Throne would 
do that. Mr. (sic) Hardinge seemed to have expected this 
reply and expressed his opinion that efforts must be made to 
indemnify Serbia and Montenegro by economic equivalent. 

*' Sir Charles turned the conversation also towards Crete. 
Here he takes his stand entirely by the side of Turkey. In 
Paris, he implied, there was a great disposition to sympathize 

297 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

with the wishes of Greece. The Greeks threatened a Minis- 
terial crisis and an insurrection in Crete if the island were not 
soon handed over to them. 

" The English Government believed that this question could 
not be settled before the middle of the summer after it had 
become possible to restore peace in the Balkans. Sir Charles 
Hardinge complains that the difference between Russia and 
Austria has taken the shape of a personal duel between Isvolsky 
and Aehrenthal. He had many objections to make as to 
Aehrenthal's modus operandi^ but seemed to have no special 
respect for Isvolsky's character and to view Aehrenthal as the 
more serious-minded politician. He seemed to think it 
very probable that Isvolsky had given Aehrenthal carte blanche 
in regard to Buchlau, if he did not encourage him to annex 
Bosnia and Herzegovina. Naturally he would have had it 
in mind to treat this as an equivalent in the matter of the Dar- 
danelles question. But of this now there could be no talk. 
It seems that Isvolsky has been told openly in London that the 
moment is as inopportune as it could possibly be for the regu- 
lation of the Dardanelles question. In Paris, Hardinge said, 
the same attitude had been taken. 

" Apart from the wish to see Turkey consolidating herself, 
all Hardinge's remarks pointed to the keen hope that peace 
in the Balkan Peninsula and in Europe might not be disturbed. 
Sir Charles is no pessimist in this connection. Russia, 
he feels, is far from being in a position to make war ; the 
French have not the slightest desire for war ; Germany 
and England want peace. 

" Sir Charles Hardinge seems to have quite abandoned 
the idea of the conference. He said that the conference 
should in no case be held without a previous exact under- 
standing upon all contentious points. If, however, such 
an understanding were achieved, the conference would 
really be unnecessary. 

" Hardinge congratulated us in very cordial words on 
the conclusion of the Morocco Treaty. This would be 
received in England with a general feeling of relief. This 
arrangement would help also to produce better relations 
between England and Germany. EngHsh statesmen, he said, 
had been freed from a great anxiety by the conclusion of the 
Treaty, as they had always been afraid that a Franco-German 
conflict might have resulted from the Morocco question. 

298 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON Bt)LO\V [1909 

" Hardinge at the close of our conversation said he was 
very glad indeed to have had this exchange of views, and that 
he hoped that England and Germany would go together 
not merely in the Balkan question, but in as many others 
as possible. He spoke in terms of warm praise of our 
Ambassador, Count Metternich, who, he said, had won 
general esteem in England by his loyalty and who 
understands English affairs and opinions thoroughly. 

" Sir Charles Hardinge did not utter a single word 
on the question of the Navy." 



Memorandum. 

"Berlin, Feb. 11, 1909. 

" Lord Crewe, who called on me to-day, gave warm 
expression, just as Sir Charles Hardinge did yesterday, 
to the wish for good relations between us and England. 
He hopes that the visit of His Majesty the King of England 
has removed many misunderstandings and that it may prove 
of favourable influence on the intercourse between the two 
countries. 

" In the course of our conversation. Lord Crewe came 
propria motu to refer also to the Navy question. He 
intimated in this connection that England naturally did not 
contemplate making any rules ^ for us in regard to our ship- 
building, but that as the existence and future of the British 
Empire depend upon her strength on the sea, England 
also, on her side, must do what is necessary for her security. 

" I replied that we should never have thought of taking 
it ill of England. England, however, need not look for 
anything dark or perfidious behind our ship-building. 
Anything of the kind lay far from our thoughts. I said it 
was inconceivable to us that a reasonable people like the 
English could believe in the idea of a German invasion. 

*' Lord Crewe replied that a large section of the EngHsh 
people, but not the present EngUsh Government, were dis- 
turbed by our building battleships in preference to others. 

^ Vorschriften in the German. The word may mean rules, orders, commands> 
instructions, etc., according to the context. 

299 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

We justified our naval armaments, he said, by pointing to 
the need of protecting our trade ; cruisers were better 
adapted for this. I answered that no one in Germany- 
thought of building a Navy that should be stronger than 
England's. Our geographical position laid on us the necessity 
of keeping up a large Army, so that the extent of our financial 
and economic forces made it appear completely out of the 
question for us to go beyond England in ship-building or 
even to come near her. 

" Our main strength would always lie in our Army. 
The German people wished to be, and were bound to be, so 
strong on the sea that no other Power should be able simply 
to run over it [^j- . . . einjach uherrennen\. It was a mistake 
on the part of the English to believe that we were building 
our Fleet against England. There were other countries 
against which we had to defend ourselves on the sea. 

" Lord Crewe, who conducted the whole conversation 
in the very friendHest tones, quite recognized the reason- 
ableness of this. Incidentally, he expressed the opinion that 
England sooner or later would have to adopt universal 
military service. 

" I observed that, if this should happen, I should regard 
it as a fortunate development, and for us as well as for 
England, as universal military service made people disposed 
to peace." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Berlin, Feb. 19, 1909. 

" The first Secretary of the Russian Embassy has just 
intimated on behalf of the Ambassador that Prince Ferdinand 
has enquired in St. Petersburg whether he might come to 
the funeral of the Grand Duke Vladimir, his proche parent 
et ami intimeJ His Majesty the Tsar has answered in the 
affirmative. 

" In the prevailing circumstances. Prince Ferdinand 
will be treated in accordance with his ' new ' rank. M. 
Isvolsky has discussed frankly with the Turkish Ambassador 
in St. Petersburg the situation thus brought about, and he 

300 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

begs the Imperial Government also to take note of the 
embarrassing position wherein the Russian Government is 
placed in this case." 



To THE Secretary of State for the Imperial Navy, 
Admiral von Tirpitz. 

" Berlin, Feb. 19, 1909. 
" Strictly Private. 

*' I beg to inform you that the conversation between 
His Majesty the Kaiser and King Edward has strengthened 
me in the conviction that it is best for the present not to go 
into the question of the Navy with England. I derived 
the same impression from my talk with Lord Crewe. 

*' I have latterly, in the course of many conferences with 
members of the Reichstag, been using my influence to ensure 
that our Naval Estimates should be passed without reduction, 
without opposition, and, if possible, without discussion. 
On the other hand, it is naturally very desirable that no further 
increase of the Navy should be agitated for by the Navy League. 
I hold it as absolutely necessary, further, that our Press should 
talk as little as possible about the new English naval programme 
soon to be expected, and that it should merely record the 
facts. In so far as influence can be exercised over the Press 
from here, I have done what has been necessary, and I hope 
that Your Excellency also will support my efforts in this 
direction." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, Feb. 19, 1909. 

" I have the honour to bring before Your Majesty two 
telegrams from Your Majesty's Ambassadors in London 
and Paris. According to them, the English and French 
Governments are taking steps in common with Vienna to 

301 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

bring about a settlement of the conflict between Austria 
and Serbia. 

"If M. Pichon has emphasized to Prince Radolin the 
fact that such a demarche in Vienna is characterized by friendli- 
ness towards Austria, this demarche none the less could not 
be reconciled with the attitude which we, with Your Majesty's 
approval, have taken up towards our ally during the entire 
Eastern crisis ; rather would Austria get the impression that 
we also were advising her to be conciliatory towards Serbia, 
who has subjected the patience of the Habsburg Monarchy 
to a severe ordeal. 

*' I therefore beg Your Majesty's assent to the following 
answer to be communicated to the Governments of England 
and France : 

" * From the proposals which have been made to us, 
we note with satisfaction that the English and French 
Governments agree with us in the wish to eliminate as far as 
possible all danger of a warlike outbreak in the East, and to 
prevent therefore a clash between Austria-Hungary and 
Serbia. While we are in complete agreement with both 
Powers in respect to these aims, we have doubts as to the 
modus procedendi proposed. 

" ' According to our view, any action aiming at the 
avoidance of a conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia 
ought to be taken in Belgrade. The provocations which came 
from Serbia, officially and non-officially, have put forth 
threats of war, and in connection with a question which does 
not affect the Serbian Kingdom, for the passing of the 
two Turkish provinces into the possession of Austria- 
Hungary has produced no change for Serbia, either practically 
or legally ; and therefore it is impossible to know for what 
*' compensation " ought to be made to Serbia. 

" ' Therefore we cannot encourage Austria through 
the mouths of other Powers, and at least with the appearance 
of an exertion of pressure from these Powers, to accord 
kiad words and make promises to a Serbia who threatens 
war. 

" * Austria-Hungary has declared repeatedly that she 
does not want to attack Serbia ; the Monarchy has shown 
this attitude by great patience in ignoring all provocations 
from Serbia. Disturbance of the peace is threatened 
only from the Serbian side ; the persistent machinations and 

302 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

threats of Serbia can only create one situation, which for the 
neighbouring Monarchy is becoming unbearable, and which 
compels her to employ the right of every Power to create 
peace on her frontier. 

" ' If in reality Serbia, as she has just declared in con- 
tradiction to the previous attitude of her Government, 
her Parliament, and the Heir to the Throne, is not thinking 
of war and will keep quiet, there is no cause for anxiety, 
in view of the assurance given by Austria and demonstrated 
by the facts that she does not want to attack Serbia. 

" ' As, however, Austria-Hungary has repeatedly declared 
that she wants to grant Serbia certain economic advantages, 
we should consider it useful in Serbia's own interest to make 
a demarche to the end that Serbia should give guarantees 
against a continuation of her provocative attitude, that the 
Serbian Government should bring its actions and official com- 
munications within its own borders into harmony with 
the peaceful assurances it has given to the Powers, and should 
then turn direct to Austria-Hungary in order to treat with her 
regarding the economic advantages to be conceded to her. 

" ' Only when Serbia shall have given the required 
guarantees would it be possible, according to our view, 
for the Austro-Hungarian Government to consider the 
question whether it would be disposed to treat direct with 
Serbia. 

" ' A demarche in Belgrade would gain greatly by all 
the Powers, including Russia especially, taking part in it. 
Russia might well be convinced in friendly fashion by her 
French ally of the usefulness of such a step. We are, however, 
ready to co-operate in Belgrade with England and France 
alone.' 

" This answer would combine with loyalty to our ally 
a certain responsiveness towards England and France by 
acknowledgment of their peaceful aims. With Your Majesty's 
gracious approval, the answer communicated to London and 
Paris shall be brought also to the knowledge of the Vienna 
Cabinet. 

" In conclusion, I have the honour once again to bring 
before Your Majesty's attention the telegram from Count 
Metternich of the i8th inst., which has already been shown 
you. According to the opening sentences of this telegram, 
the Franco-English proposal, apart from the efforts towards 

303 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

the maintenance of peace and order, would seem to have 
been dictated by the wish to ease the position of M. 
Isvolsky. We have no inducement to help towards this." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Berlin, Feb. 20, 1909. 

" The Austro-Hungarian Ambassador has just informed 
me that the French Ambassador in Vienna addressed an 
enquiry to Baron von Aehrenthal. Baron von Aehrenthal 
replied that the news regarding an ultimatum to Serbia was 
entirely unfounded. Austria had at present no reason to 
depart from her eminently peaceful policy, which was marked 
by a long-continued patience in the face of Serbian provoca- 
tions. If they were uneasy in Paris, it was open to the French 
Government to convince the Serbs of the madness of their 
poHcy. For any intervention in the matter, Belgrade was 
the place, not Vienna. 

*' Pichon has informed the Austrian Ambassador in Paris 
of the Anglo-French demarche^ justifying it on the ground 
of disquieting news from St. Petersburg." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, Feb. 22, 1909. 



<c 



(( 



I have the honour to bring before Your Majesty's 
attention the private letter from Baron von Aehrenthal 
enclosed herewith. 

" The letter deals for the most part with the position 
in the East, as is natural in the present state of political 
affairs. 

*' If Baron Aehrenthal begins by expressing the hope of 
reaching a definite understanding with Turkey very soon, 
this expectation has been justified by the news just received 
here. The Turkish Ambassador in London, who has been 
appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs, is, I have learnt, 

304 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

journeying to Constantinople without making a halt anywhere 
in order to sign the treaty with Austria-Hungary as soon as 
possible. 

*' Baron Aehrenthal proceeds to deal very exhaustively 
with the question of the Austro-Hungarian relations with 
Serbia. 

" In view of the refusal which, with Your Majesty's 
approval, was given to the Anglo-French proposal for a 
demarche in Vienna, it is in accordance with our policy to 
continue to stand quietly and firmly by the side of the Austro- 
Hungarian Monarchy in the further development of the 
Serbian question as presented by Baron Aehrenthal in his 
letter. 

" Should Austria eventually be forced into extreme 
measures and into taking up arms against Serbia, a Russian 
attack, in spite of all the Slav incitements, is scarcely probable 
according to all human calculations. The state of Russia's 
Army and of her finances, her internal situation, and, above 
all, the interests of the dynasty, stand in the way of any 
warlike steps on her part. 

" Nevertheless, the Russian Government would be 
landed in an awkward position by a crushing of Serbia 
at the hands of Austria if they had to look on at it quietly. 
M. Isvolsky, however, has not yet been able to decide to 
declare distinctly and unmistakably in Belgrade that Serbia 
can count on no kind of Russian help in a conflict with Austria. 
He has hoped, instead, that we should allow ourselves to 
be moved by the Anglo-French proposal to extract concessions 
from Austria which he would then have turned to account 
with his Serbo-Slav brethren as his own achievement. 

"As we have checked this plan, M. Isvolsky will either 
have to resort of his own accord to energetic peace efforts 
in Belgrade or he will be peremptorily counselled by 
France to do so. It would naturally have been more to 
the taste of France to persuade us into exercising pressure 
in common with herself on our ally than to be forced to 
admonish her own ally to be calm and reasonable. As, 
however, we have placed ourselves firmly and openly by 
the side of Austria, France will be obliged, with or without 
England, to address peaceful advice to St. Petersburg. 
For France does not want war for several reasons ; in any 
case, she will do everything to prevent herself from being 

305 u 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

forced on account of Serbia into a war against us and 
Austria-Hungary, in which she would have to fight on the 
side of Russia for Utopian ideas of Slav brotherhood. 

" A serious and downright renunciation of Serbia by- 
Russia, whether spontaneous or made under pressure from 
France, would create undoubted calm there. This will 
not come about as long as M. Isvolsky continues to persist 
in the demands he made some time ago for the autonomy 
of Bosnia and Herzegovina and for a territorial ' indemnifica- 
tion ' of Serbia. 

*' I beg Your Majesty, before I answer Baron Aehrenthal's 
letter, to favour me with an audience in connection with the 
questions dealt with therein and with the answer to be sent 
to it." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

"Berlin, Feb. 25, 1909. 

" I beg to inform Your Majesty that I have telegraphed 
to Count Metternich in the sense commanded with reference 
to the Austro-Serbian differences. 

"As it had come to my knowledge that the French 
Ambassador here had already been commissioned by his 
Government to feel the way towards combined action, and 
as M. Cambon will have the honour to-morrow to see Your 
Majesty, I have thought that I should be falling in with your 
intentions by placing him in direct acquaintance with the 
proposal of Baron von Aehrenthal. While doing so, I 
got the impression that the French Government had already 
made suggestions in St. Petersburg in the sense of a change 
of attitude and is willing to go further in this direction. 
This is indicated by the attitude of the official French Press 
for some days past and by the tone of the Russian papers 
received to-day. It will be as well for us, therefore, to leave 
further action in St. Petersburg to the French, and to act 
as though we knew nothing about the French pressure 
on St. Petersburg, in order to make it easier for the Russians, 
ostensibly propria motu and not under pressure from her 
allies, to fall in with the German-French-English action 
now to be taken in Belgrade." 

306 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Berlin, March 2, 1909. 

*' I beg to bring before Your Majesty's attention a draft 
which, after consultation with the French Ambassador 
here, it was proposed to use as the basis of the contemplated 
demarche in Belgrade, and for which the French Government 
was to make special efforts to secure also the agreement 
of Russia. 

"Yesterday the French Ambassador said that France had 
doubts as to the concluding clause, in which there is question 
of direct negotiations between Austria and Serbia. It was 
pointed out to M. Cambon in reply that this was precisely 
the main thing. We had to stipulate unconditionally 
that this should be established from the start ; otherwise 
there would be confusion, and after the Belgrade demarche 
we should have got no further. We could not urge Austria, 
as M. Isvolsky seemed to suggest, to treat with Russia as 
though Russia were Mandatory Power of Serbia ; Austria 
would be as little disposed to admit that the other Powers 
should intrude in her dealings with Serbia. Austria and 
Serbia were independent States and must therefore treat 
with each other independently, all the more that what was 
in question was the granting of concessions by Austria of 
her own accord. 

" With regard to M. Isvolsky's present demarche in 
Belgrade, M. Cambon expressed the opinion that the Powers 
could perhaps support it as it aimed at what the Powers 
wanted. The reply was made to M. Cambon that we could 
not imagine that in matters in which the Powers had wished 
to moYt pari passu ^ they could now wish to appear at the beck 
and call of M. Isvolsky d la remorque de la Kussie. Moreover, 
we did not know how much pressure M. Isvolsky intended 
to exercise in his demarche and what he intended to promise 
Serbia in case she, as he expressed it, entrusted her fate into 
the hands of the Powers. 

" M. Cambon came round finally to the opinion that his 
Government ought to proceed with their efforts in the 
direction of a combined demarche. Otherwise it would 
imperil the bringing about of a general conflagration in 
which France would certainly be incurring the most risk. 

307 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtJLOW 

" M. Cambon concluded by speaking of the possibility 
that, in case M. Isvolsky should in fact return from Belgrade 
with quite binding assurances, the other Powers might 
individually, each on its own account, give the same assurances. 
On this side that would be declared a practicable way, and 
it would be declared possible that the Powers might communi- 
cate to Vienna the assurances received in this way. The 
reply was made to M. Cambon that in this case also an 
indispensable condition would be an understanding of all 
the Powers, including Russia, that the Serbs should be put 
into direct negotiations with Austria. 

" M. Cambon proceeded to talk about the Conference 
idea. He pointed out that, even if the Powers most closely 
concerned came to terms, there would remain a danger in 
the background so long as the changes in the Berlin Treaty 
had not been formally sanctioned. The reply was made to 
M. Cambon that neither we nor Austria had ever contested 
this, but that it seemed to us that it might be left to the last 
when all questions in dispute had been settled. Then it 
would surely be a mere matter of routine whether seven 
men should sit round a green table or whether a piece of 
paper should be sent round to the Powers for signature." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

** March 27, 1909. 

" Your Majesty's attention has been drawn already to 
the telegrams from London and Paris regarding the receptior 
given there to our proposal for the recognition of the 
annexation of Bosnia. 

" I beg to place before Your Majesty a transcript of the 
instructions which have been sent to Your Majesty's 
Ambassadors in London and Paris in reply. 

*' Side by side with our action there are negotiations 
in progress between the English and Austrian Cabinets 
in regard to a demarche to be undertaken by the Powers in 
Belgrade under the leadership of England, which aims at 
rendering an Austrian invasion of Serbia unnecessary. 

" From different indications we shall be asked by England, 

308 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

France, Russia, and probably Italy also, to take part in this 
step in Belgrade, if England and Austria come to an agree- 
ment regarding it. 

" I would like, with Your Majesty's permission, to refuse 
to take part in this action of the other Powers. In the 
first place, I do not anticipate any decisive results from the 
step in Belgrade ; secondly, we have no inducement to take 
part in a step which has been arranged without our co-operation. 
We are the better able to leave the responsibility to the other 
Powers in that the step in which we were previously ready 
to participate was prevented by M. Isvolsky's one-sided 
action, and in that our latest proposal, namely, to secure 
a firm basis for the step in Belgrade by recognition of the 
annexation, has been refused by England. 

" Now that Isvolsky's bluff has been exploded by 
Germany's firm attitude, England is obviously trying to 
begin the game all over again. Her refusal of the proposal 
accepted by Isvolsky, however, indicates her intention to have 
a voice in the matter again as soon as Austria-Hungary 
finds herself forced to invade Serbia. We must therefore 
show that we continue to regard the situation as serious, 
and that we shall not allow ourselves to be bullied, and that 
we are, moreover, resolved, as on the occasion of the recent 
crisis, to stand to the uttermost by the side of Austria- 
Hungary." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

Berlin, March 27, 1909. 



t( 



'* I beg to send Your Majesty, together with the despatch 
from Count Metternich herewith enclosed, a memorandum, 
written at the wish of the Secretary of State for Foreign 
Affairs, by Acting Councillor of Legation Kriege, vv^ho was 
in London last week for the signing of the Naval War Usages 
Treaty — a memorandum, namely : regarding his conver- 
sations with Your Majesty's Ambassador and with Consul- 
General Johannes. 

I beg Your Majesty to decide whether Count Metternich — 

309 



(( 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

to whom instructions went, in accordance with Your Majesty's 
previous command, to tell Sir Edward Grey that we could 
not see the advantage of the inspection by the German 
and English Naval Attaches of the ship-building of both 
countries — should proceed to intimate our refusal of the 
English proposal. Perhaps it might be in the interest of 
our own Navy to agree to Sir Edward Grey's proposal, which 
he anticipates would have a calming ejSFect upon English 
public opinion, now deeply troubled on the subject. 

" I have had a copy of Metternich's report, as well as 
of this memorandum by Kriege, sent to Admiral von Tirpitz, 
so that he has full knowledge of the matter in case Your 
Majesty should be pleased to command a personal report 
from him. If Your Majesty should be pleased to command 
an acceptance of the Grey-Asquith proposal, I would venture 
to ask you to let me know your decision as soon as possible 
so that Grey may know of it through Metternich before 
making his speech in the House of Commons on Monday 
afternoon. 

" [Enclosure] 

" The Acting Foreign Office Councillor Kriege to 
the Secretary of State Baron von Schoen. 

" Berlin, March 26, 1909. 

" On the 22nd inst. I gave an oral account to Your 
Excellency of the communications made to me in regard 
to the question of the Navy by the Imperial Ambassador, 
Count Wolif-Metternich on the 19th, during my latest 
visit to London, as well as of the conversation which I had 
on the following day on the same subject with the Imperial 
Consul-General Johannes. In accordance with instructions, 
I have the honour now to put this account before you in 
writing. 

" The Ambassador expounded to me in detail the same 
idea which some days later he set forth in his despatch of 
the 23rd inst., and, in doing so, gave expression to the wish 
that I should take the matter up in Berlin. He summed up 
his impressions of the present situation by saying that we 
now stand at a new turning-point in our relations with 

310 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

England, that hitherto it was to be assumed only that England 
would avail herself of any opportunity offered her by a 
European war even without her having any responsibility for it ^ 
to strike at us ; but that if the new understanding recently 
suggested by England did not take place, England would 
probably take steps to bring about such an opportunity 
herself. 

" The Imperial Consul-General gave his entire support 
to the opinion of the Ambassador, and while so doing 
drew attention to the following point : The financial 
position of England is by no means favourable, by reason 
especially of the Old Age Pensions recently introduced, 
which entail very heavy expenses. The British Government, 
unless it should be able to receive continually reliable news 
regarding the position of our fleet-building, would probably 
be forced by public opinion to make its own armaments 
proportionate to the current highly exaggerated news as 
to our armaments. The large outlay thereby necessitated 
would have to be covered by loans which, in view of the 
extent of the already existing National Debt, could not be 
raised on the basis possible hitherto of two-and-a-half or 
two-and-three-quarters interest. 

" The issue, however, of a loan at higher interest would 
entail a strong retrograde movement of the existing debt, 
which was taken up throughout England and especially in 
the wide strata of the well-to-do inhabitants. As a result of 
the indirect and direct losses which would come about, the 
commercial and professional classes, who are at present 
peace-loving, would be badly hit and would be made 
accessible to the idea of getting rid of the causes of their 
disquietude once and for all by a war. In this way the war- 
party already in existence might suddenly secure a decisive 
predominance in the country." 



^ It may be well to give here the German words : " bis jetzt sei nur anzunehmen 
dass England eine sich ihm ohne sein Zutun bietende Gelegenheit eines Europaischen 
Krieges 2um Losschlagen gegen uns beniitzenwerde.' 



311 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von BiiLOW. 

"April 3, 1909. 

"Dear Biilow, 

" Before Tirpitz went on to you to-day I discussed the 
whole rotten business of the English Fleet and the 
Dreadnoughts [' die gan^e englische ¥ lotten-und-Dreadnought- 
schweinerei '\ with him once again in the presence of Miiller 
and Plessen, and I authorized him to express himself to you 
in the same sense on the subject. We came unanimously 
to the conclusion, with the recorded facts before us, that 
Metternich incurs part of the blame by the way in which he 
has dealt with the situation ; inasmuch as he gave away in 
advance the colossal personal concession which I had placed at 
his disposal for possible use at a later stage — i.e.y that no 
supplementary law should come in 191 2 : that he gave this 
away in advance, without any reason, without receiving from 
England the slightest return except innumerable lies, deceptions, 
insinuations, and insults. Thereby the whole affair has 
been badly and wrongly ' gemanaged,' ^ and he, and con- 
sequently we, have been forced into a corner. Because : 

" (i) The English, although they are the Constitutional 
State ^^r excellence^ were guilty of the gross political mistake of 
jumping over all the Constitutional authorities and usages — 
yourself, Schoen, Tirpitz, etc. — ^to address themselves 
direct to the Monarch and Supreme War Lord and with 
threats and in tones of command, ' You must stop building.' 

*' This ought not to have happened, as there had been 
no * invitation to negotiation ' — as was now being declared 
in Parliament — but only a quite one-sided ttc^atst from England, 
which could be answered only in the way it was. Last 
autumn, when Metternich was being approached on the part 
of England with all kinds of enquiries and conversations — 
tentative — the Ambassadors ought to have brought it 
home to the Government with all possible sharpness and 
emphasis, and rubbed it into them in the roughest manner, 
and obliged them in the first instance to ask our pardon 

^ The Kaiser's own word. 

312 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

for their indescribable behaviour. Only after this had 
been done could one have considered binding proposals from 
London and have negotiated in regard to them. 

*' (2) Because the Ambassador unfortunately neglected 
to act as above indicated, Cronberg had to continue to put 
up with the tone and the bearing of England, who addressed 
Metternich and, through him, us, always in peremptory 
fashion, with a veiled demand what we should do ! Hence — 
even if the negotiations were tentative — the situation was never 
that of a discussion between two Powers of equal rights^ 
but always had the effect of a somewhat haughty advance 
on the part of a stronger Power to a weaker Power not regarded 
as of the same standing. Hence also the refusal, as always 
one's personal honour [die eigene Ehre] was almost at stake. 

" (3) Because the English overtures, as said — if also 
in tentative form — always only in the form of requests 
and demands, which were to be fulfilled at once, if possible, 
by us, were always addressed to us ; there was never to be 
gathered from them the intention of a negotiation between 
equals which would be as binding for one party as for the 
other. Thus neither at Cronberg — ^where it was a 
matter of 'you must stop building' — ^nor later in the con- 
versations in the autumn and winter, was there to be dis- 
covered the slightest sign that the English themselves had any 
real intention of reduction also ; but it was always made clear 
to us only that it would be in the English interest that we 
should stop arming. So that they might be able to maintain 
their advantage with as little money and trouble as possible. 
That was a standpoint to which, from a military standpoint, 
or from the standpoint of our national honour, we could 
not assent. 

" (4) Because all the machinations of England have 
their origin in this, that she wants to force from us an absolute 
recognition of the Two-Power standard, and that we simply 
cannot and will not and do not intend ^ to do this without 
capitulation before the world or without injury to our 
national honour. She can claim a superiority on the sea 
as much as she likes and build accordingly ; she can, more- 
over, construct this in accordance with any ratio; there 
is nothing to be said against this ; but to acknowledge the 



1 " einfach nicht konnen noch wollen, noch werden^ 

315 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW 

Two-Power standard, employed as it is against us alone — that 
I am quite unable to do, still less to confirm it for ever by 
agreements of any sort ! A certain advantage they are 
free to have, the Two-Power standard never ! — such are 
the words of Admiral von Tirpitz, uttered before witnesses. 

" (5) From the above the following results : that hitherto 
England has made no honourable overtures for negotiations 
as from equal to equal, but has only sought without committing 
herself to force us into a corner and in a one-sided manner to 
prevent us from building. Hence it was not possible to 
arrange anything. I am, however, after agreeing as to this 
with Admiral von Tirpitz, perfectly ready and agreeable'^ to 
negotiate with England if England will loyally invite us to enter 
into negotiations on the technical basis, sketched out by him on 
the ratio of three to four in ships of the line ; while allowing 
the proposal of last autumn to lapse — ^that of not adding 
a ship in 191 2. This can be adjusted diiferently in accordance 
with Tirpitz's proposal. 

'* Your Serene Highness will be good enough, therefore, 
to allow Tirpitz to work out a scheme in which numbers and 
types are provisionally set out side by side, and which will 
indicate roughly the proposals that we wish to make in case 
the English Government gives us another opportunity — 
of an official and binding nature — to express ourselves. 

" Naturally she must on her side propose and promise 
us loyally the discontinuance of the excess building. Thus 
what we want are negotiations in courteous form from 
equal to equal, and not one-sided peremptory wishes. This 
is the purport of Tirpitz's proposal to me, with which I 
am agreed. 

*' William I.R." 



To THE Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 
Baron von Schoen. 

" Venice, April 9, 1909. 

" I approve the draft of a communication to Admiral 
von Tirpitz. I would like, however, to have your opinion 

^ " vollkommen hereit tmd einverstanden." 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

whether an addition might not be made to it somewhat to 
the following effect : 

" ' I feel, however, that I must point out already at this 
stage that the introduction of negotiations on our side, 
on the basis proposed by Your Excellency to His Majesty 
as set forth in His Majesty's letter to me, meets with a serious 
objection. If we reply to the English invitation to an 
arrangement ^ with the proposal : 

" '(i) The ratio of four to three in ships of the line; 

" ' (2) Other decrease of armaments on the side of 
England ; and 

*'*(3) The withdrawal of our promise not to add 
another ship in 191 2, 
it is to be feared, in my opinion, that the English will 
not only at once regard this communication as a refusal 
of the negotiations, but, especially by reason of point three, 
acquire an impression of German plans and intentions 
which, in direct opposition to the effect expected by Your 
Excellency, will increase considerably the danger of war. 
In this case I should have to leave to Your Excellency, alone, 
the responsibihty to His Majesty, to the country, and to 
history, if the results were unwelcome and serious.' 

*' With reference to the end of the despatch, I would like 
to remark that it seems to me desirable also, in view of the 
excitement which has been noticeable in England, not to 
initiate the negotiations immediately. We might do well 
to give the impression that we had responded to the pressure 
of the English agitation in a way which did not seem to us too 
precipitate. On the other hand, it seems to me extremely 
desirable to utilize the disquietude which manifestly still 
prevails in England and the high estimate held there of 
German power, in what has the appearance of being its 
zenith, to demand English concessions. In view of the sober 
and prudent character of the English nation, it is not incon- 
ceivable that the present feeling will give place to a calmer but 
also more decided courageous attitude which may make 
the EngHsh Cabinet less yielding. 

" Provided no new troubles or excitements arise on either 
side, I would think a delay of two or three weeks sufficient 
before entering into the negotiations. It is important. 



Verstdndigmg. 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

also, not to be too late, as on the other side of the Channel 
decisions might be come to which might impart the character 
of an inglorious retreat to the inauguration of the negotiations 
and which naturally might thus make the step impossible. 

'* I entirely agree with the idea that we might establish 
a more far-reaching political understanding with England 
by means of the negotiations, and I look forward to going 
into the matter with Your Excellency on my return." 



Memorandum. 

"Venice, April 17, 1909. 



it 



His Majesty the Emperor is of the opinion that an 
understanding with England in regard to ship-building 
is possible only if framed in a general understanding with 
this country, whether this should take the form of a general 
guarantee of neutrality in case of war or of a far-reaching 
Colonial agreement, or an agreement not to injure each 
other or any such understanding. Within this framework 
the understanding with regard to ship-building would have 
to be included. This would have to be based upon reciproc- 
ity and, in my opinion, should take place only in agreement 
with the naval authorities. 

*' His Majesty insisted repeatedly that he had no thought 
of building a Fleet which would be as strong as, or stronger 
than, the English. He declared with the same emphasis 
that the ratio between us and England would always remain 
the same as at present. What he wanted was only that we 
should be able, by means of a systematically and rationally 
constructed Fleet (battleships, cruisers, torpedo-boats, 
submarines, mines, sea-fortresses) to defend our coasts, 
seaports, shipping and commerce. Moreover, it would 
not be directed against England as our sole rival, or even 
our principal rival, on the sea. He was more than ever 
convinced that a clash with England would be a misfortune. 
He did not want to have any competition in armaments 
with England. 

" On the other hand, the Government and the people 
in Germany had a right to demand that the naval programme 

316 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

taken in hand by the Federal Council and the Reichstag 
should be carried through. Moreover, from the moment 
the attitude of the English people and the English Press 
became threatening, no German Government could show 
pliability without losing respect." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor 
Prince von BiJLOw. 



<< 



Achilleion, April 21, 1909. 



" In the telegram of yesterday with reference to the 
despatch of the cruiser the wish was expressed that S.H.S. 
Hamburg be sent to Mersina, as alarming news con- 
tinued to come thence to Berlin. In a telegram which 
reached the Foreign Office simultaneously, Herr von 
Marschall intimates that Ferid Pacha has got Smyrna and 
Syria in order by his wise and energetic measures, and that 
the troubles in Mersina had only a local significance and 
involved no anxieties for foreigners. The Lorelei is already 
there and has up to now reported nothing. I do not know, 
therefore, why the Hamburg should be sent to Mersina — 
what can anyone want with the pair of small cruisers in the 
Mediterranean ? 

" They oifer no protection to the Germans in the interior, 
nor can they take action in Turkish towns — ^to which they 
have not hitherto had access — as the position in the interior 
of Turkey is a private matter, and alongside with the Fleets 
of the Mediterranean Powers, which may appear on the scene, 
they naturally would not impress the Turks. It seems 
to me that ' alarming news ' must be taken with greater 
reserve. Here on the spot one believes only three-fourths 
of what one is told, and this is true also of the well-informed 
King. The line of argument taken by Admiral von Tirpitz, 
of which you tell me against the requisitioning of the Gelder 
to replace the cruisers detached from the Fleet, ' that people 
abroad might get excited over it or make mistaken comments 
on it,' is to me incomprehensible and, moreover, not tenable. 

'* An order given by the Supreme War Lord for the main- 
tenance of the mobihzation strength of the war Fleet, which 

317 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

has been weakened by ships being detached from it, is rejected 
in view of its effect abroad ! That is no reason to my mind 1 
And it is scarcely in keeping with the dignity of the German 
Empire and of its armed might ! Two small cruisers must 
be replaced, because the Fleet would be forced to detach them 
from lack of foreign cruisers ; this necessary measure, perfectly 
intelligible in all countries, is represented as ' disturbing 
for people abroad ! ' [' das Ausland aufregend ! '] 

"In the first place, this is not so, and secondly it would be 
all the same to me if it were ! If people abroad are disturbed 
just now, it is over the Balkans and the Turks, not over the re- 
placing of two small cruisers in the German Fleet. Admiral 
von Tirpitz has, therefore, to telegraph to me a more serious 
justification to explain why he will not carry out my order 
to bring the Fleet to full strength by replacing the ships 
taken from it. The handling of this matter entails the danger 
that in the Reichstag they may get so used to the tapping of 
the Fleet in special cases that no one will discover or pay 
any attention to the lack of foreign cruisers and that what is 
allowed in respect to cruisers to-day will be allowed in respect 
to ships of the line to-morrow. This I could never allow. 
Let us beware, then, of creating such serious situations. The 
rule must be unconditionally kept that ships detached from 
the Fleet for foreign service owing to lack of foreign cruisers 
must at once be replaced. 

" I would add to this with reference to the replacing 
of the two cruisers shordy by training-ships that there is 
in existence an Order by me that training-ships are not to be 
employed in political service in general. 

*' This telegram is to be communicated to the Imperial 
Navy Office. 

" William I.R." 



To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Berlin, April 22, 1909. 

" When I was drafting my telegram in which I asked 
Your Majesty graciously to consent to the despatch of the 
Hamburgh the reassuring message from Baron von Marschall 
had not yet arrived here. Numerous and urgent appeals 

31S 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

for help had come to us, not only from Consulates, but from 
Germans connected with them who were in danger and from 
circles within our sphere of interest. Among those in danger 
I may mention in particular engineers employed on the Bag- 
dad Railway as well as German cotton-spinners in Adana with 
their many employes. 

" Our attention was called to the threatening situation 
in Mersina and other places on the coast by others also, 
notably from the side of the Greeks and of the French. 
The Greek Government had ordered the despatch of men-of- 
war with all possible speed to Mersina. 

" In the meantime Your Majesty will have taken note 
from the message from the Lorelei that the danger continues, 
and that the presence of ships is very much desired. This 
is made clear also by other messages. I am not blind to the 
fact that our ships can, and should, do nothing more than 
make a moral impression in the threatened seaports, and take 
on board any fugitive Germans in cases of need, which I 
hope will not occur. 

" If imperilled Germans remained without protection 
I feel that it would have the effect of impairing the sympathy 
and interest and encouraging regard for the Fleet which have 
contributed so much to Your Majesty's achievements in 
furthering the Fleet's work. The measures which are now 
being taken, especially the despatch of the Hamburg, have 
been gratefully received. I hope confidently that the 
situation will soon have been so calmed down that our 
cruisers can return. 

" Although Your Majesty's desire to prevent the weaken- 
ing of the Fleet is fully justified, it seems to me that it is 
not opportune to requisition supplementary ships for the 
Fleet so long as the duration of the absence of the tw^o cruisers 
in question is uncertain. Not long ago the Naval Votes 
were taken unanimously and without discussion, a fact 
which made an impression everywhere. To call forth 
discussion of the Navy now — and this would be the result 
of a requisition of supplementary ships — would in my 
respectful opinion have an injurious effect. 

*' I am asking Admiral von Tirpitz to reply fully to Your 
Majesty on the administrative aspect of the matter." 



319 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

To THE Emperor William. 

*' Berlin, April 27, 1909. 

■ " I beg to inform Your Majesty that, adequate security 
having been given for the safeguarding of our interests 
in the Eastern Railway, I am authorizing Your Majesty's 
representative in Sofia, in co-operation with the representa- 
tives of Austria and Italy, to recognize the independence 
of Bulgaria and, to this end, to seek an audience with the 
King. According to news from Vienna, the Emperor 
Francis Joseph has sent the King his congratulations on his 
recognition by telegraph. As a personal expression of 
congratulation to the King would, I feel, be in accordance 
with Your Majesty's gracious intention, I do not fail to submit 
the following draft of a telegram : 
" * To His Majesty King Ferdinand, Sofia. 

" ' In the certainty that the Government will provide 
in loyal fashion for the safeguarding of German material 
interests in the new control of the Orient railway question, 
I have authorized my representative to express to you my 
Government's recognition of the independence of thy 
country. It rejoices me at the same time to express my 
personal congratulation to thee and to be able to greet thee 
as King of Bulgaria. I kiss the hand of the Queen.' " 



To THE Emperor William II. 

*' Berlin, May 30, 1909. 

" In view of the circumstance that Your Majesty will 
be graciously receiving the Turkish Ambassador, Osman 
Nisami Pacha, I venture to submit the following remarks 
on both the political questions in the settlement of which 
the Ambassador is interested. 

'* The Turkish Government has now approached us 
officially with the request that Your Majesty should graciously 
grant permission to General Baron von der Goltz to enter 
the service of the Turkish Army. In accordance with Your 

320 




lE.X.A. 



Prince and Princess von Biilow with a friend. 



A photograph taken in 1909 in front of the Prince's country house near 

Baden-Baden. 



p. 3^0 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

Majesty's command, given me some time ago, I had already 
entered into communication with General von der Goltz 
and had asked him to inform me as to his position in regard 
to this matter. Baron von der Goltz has replied that he 
regards the task proposed to him in Turkey as a very difficult 
one. The principal difficulty lies in this, that the different 
military leaders do not agree. 

" He does not think that he would have the necessary 
authority if he now definitively entered the Turkish service. 
It would place him in great dependence on the Turks. He 
would, however, have complete authority if he came to Turkey 
as Royal Prussian General and gave advice to the Turks, 
as he did last year. Baron von der Goltz in connection with 
this matter has expressed the wish to have about four weeks' 
leave in July and afterguards from three to four months' 
leave in the autumn. 

" Within this period Baron von del Goltz hopes to be able 
to acquire full information on the subject and to plan accord- 
ingly. The arrangement might be effected next year should 
it seem to be workable, as the General anticipates. In any 
case he expresses the opinion that the question of his defin- 
itively entering the service of the Turkish Army should be 
left over. 

" The arrangement above suggested would, in Baron 
von der Goltz's opinion, satisfy all the Turkish needs, and 
in proposing it to the Turks we could take our stand upon 
the fact that the General so acted last year at the request 
of His Majesty the Sultan. The General sees in this arrange- 
ment the advantage for himself and for us that in the event 
of circumstances making any incident impossible for him 
he could at any time return. The matter, moreover, will 
look harmless to foreign eyes. In addition, the possibility 
of withdrawal would be provided in the event of certain 
conceivable developments if he were free to shorten his 
visits, or to give up the position entirely. 

" I can but express my complete agreement with the well- 
weighed reflections of Baron von der Goltz. In particular 
it would be well, in my opinion, in view of the present position 
in Turkey, if a period not exceeding the duration of a few 
weeks were chosen for the General's leave, and if Your Majesty, 
when receiving the Turkish Ambassador, would, in consenting 
to the General's request for leave, limit it to a short period." 

321 X 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 



The Ambassador in London, Count von Metternich, 
TO THE Imperial Chancellor, Prince von Bulow. 

" Berlin, June 2, 1909. 
" Private. 

** Included in the private correspondence regarding the 
question of the Navy, which your Serene Highness kindly 
brought before my notice yesterday, was a communication 
addressed to you by His Majesty the Kaiser.^ 

" This contains the charges against me : 

" (i) That I did not turn sufficiently to account as a 
means for securing concessions from England the assurance 
I gave the English Minister that neither His Majesty the 
Emperor nor the Imperial Government contemplated going 
beyond the limits of our naval programme laid down and 
ratified by law. 

'* The same idea is developed in the communication 
addressed to you by the Secretary of State for the Imperial 
Naval Office, and the latter has put the matter in the same 
sense in a special report to His Majesty. 

*' In respect to this, I beg to state that I have learnt for 
the first time of a possible Supplement to the Navy Bill 
for the year 191 2 only now in the course of my present stay 
in Berlin, end of May — ^beginning of June, while my conver- 
sation with the English Minister took place as far back as 
last winter. 

" That conversation was based on the commission 
given impersonally in the previous summer by His Majesty, 
and also by Your Serene Highness, to intimate to the English 
Minister, when opportunity offered, that neither His Majesty 
nor His Majesty's Government contemplated going beyond 
the limits of the naval programme ratified by law. Our 
needs were met thereby and our finances did not allow of 
more. His Majesty the Emperor commissioned me to give 
this assurance in his name. It was not proposed to ask for 
any kind of concession in return. The assurance was merely 
to have a calming effect. We have repeatedly made similar 
declarations — ^Your Serene Highness did so in the Reichstag 



^ " ein an Hocbdieselhen gerichtetes Alkrhbchstes Schreiben.^' 

322 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

last winter. His Majesty gave one himself, if I am correctly- 
informed, in his letter to Lord Tweedmouth. 

" (2) That I had not wrung from the English Govern- 
ment the expression of an apology for the unconstitutional 
behaviour of Sir Charles Hardinge in his conversation with 
His Majesty the Emperor at Friedrichshof. 

" His Majesty gave me an account of this conversation 
at the end of the previous summer, and went on to tell me 
that it was followed some hours later by a friendly conver- 
sation on the sofa and by the conferring of the Order of the 
Red Eagle, First Class, on the English Under-Secretary. 
His Majesty did not intimate to me in any way that I was 
to demand satisfaction from the English Government for 
what had happened at Friedrichshof. Nor did the instructions 
sent to me officially contain anything of the kind. Your 
Serene Highness, on the other hand, did instruct me to give 
the English Government to understand that surprise had 
been felt here that Sir Charles Hardinge should have addressed 
himself to His Majesty the Emperor direct, ignoring the 
official personages concerned in the matter. 

" So far and no further went my commission, which I 
only fulfilled, with the English Government. 

" I leave it entirely to Your Serene Highnesses discretion 
whether you will bring this memorandum to the knowledge 
of His Majesty. I am, of course, quite aware that my attitude 
on the Navy question — ^in connection with which I have felt 
it my duty repeatedly to point out that our relations with 
England have been chiefly poisoned thereby — does not meet 
with the approval of His Majesty, and that, in particular, 
also the Secretary of State for the Imperial Naval Office 
complains to His Majesty of my attitude. 

"It is naturally not pleasant for the controllers of the 
Navy to hear that our rate of construction and our relations 
with England are interconnected. I should, however, 
be false to history if I gave different information from what 
I do, and I cannot sell my conviction even for the favour 
of my Sovereign. It is doubtful to my mind, moreover, 
whether His Majesty would be served by a smooth and 
gratifying method of report until we suddenly see ourselves 
confronted with a war against England." 



325 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

To THE Emperor William II. 

" Berlin, June 10, 1909. 

"... I am convinced that at your meeting with His 
Majesty the Emperor of Russia things will go as well as they 
are now going in Vienna. I am glad that Schoen is accom- 
panying Your Majesty, as he is very sympathetic to the 
Russians and to His Russian Majesty. I enclose a copy 
of the Ten Commandments which I have given Schoen. 
I think they meet the requirements of Pourtales and Hintze. 

" I am inclined to think that the exchange of ' toasts * 
will be useful in themselves r^r ils relevent I'importance de 
I'entrevue. I would, however, venture to suggest that you 
lay stress on personal friendship which unites the two power- 
ful Sovereigns and which is a guarantee of peaceful tran- 
quillity. May I ask for a draft of the * toast ' to be delivered 
in St. Petersburg? 

'* The Ten Commandments 

" (i) Handle the Russians, especially Isvolsky, in a 
friendly way. We must discuss questions of policy with 
Isvolsky, as he will be brought into them by his Sovereign. 
Naturally, one must be cautious with him. Let him talk. 

" (2) Say to the Russians nothing which, if reported 
to Vienna (either directly, or indirectly via London or Paris), 
might call forth mistrust there. 

" (3) Don't broach the question of the Dardanelles. 
If the Russians should do so, reply to them in friendly fashion 
that this is a European question, but that the Russian wishes 
will certainly not be foiled by opposition from us, provided 
the further development of German-Russian relations permit 
of our maintaining a favourable attitude towards Pvussia. 

*' (4) Don't broach the question of Crete. If the Russians 
raise it, say that we are not the protecting Powers and have 
no interest in it. 

'* (5) In the event of any complaints in regard to 
Austria, we sigh, or smile, or shrug our shoulders in proportion 
to the amount of feeling evinced, but do not make any 
assent. 

324 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

" (6) We continue to emphasize more and more the 
traditional friendliness of German-Russian relations : the 
basis of monarchical order in the world and of peace. The 
three Emperors' Alliance remains our ideal ; but Russia 
ought to come into it. We cannot enter into any separate 
alliance with Russia, only together with Austria. 

" (7) If the Russians regard the situation in Turkey 
as unsafe and incalculable, do not contradict them ; but 
treat the Turkish proceedings yourself with serene confidence. 
We are not much concerned in the matter. 

" (8) Say no word against England. Anything said 
against her would be at once reported there, and, moreover, 
would only strengthen the Russians in their present friendly 
feeling for England. 

*' (9) We do not contemplate opposing Russia in Persia 
or elsewhere in the East. The Persian proceedings have 
no interest for us whatever. Nescio quid nobis magis farcimen- 
tum sit. 

. *' (10) It is not desirable to dwell too much on the 
proceedings of last winter. If the Russians get on the subject 
say to them : We were loyal towards Austria ; loyal and 
friendly towards Russia ; we have throughout desired 
peace. Do not talk at all about Bjorko." 



To Baron von Schoen, 

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. 

" Villa Edda, Norderney, Sept. 25, 1909. 

" Since the publication the day before yesterday in the 
Mdrkische Volks^eitung of the article which has doubtless 
come to your attention dealing with the interview in the 
Daily Telegraphy several newspapers have asked me whether 
I would like to use their columns for a communication in 
reply. I have answered that I have no wish to enter into a 
polemic. To-day I have received from the chief editor of 
the 5. Z. am Mittag^ the telegram of which I enclose a copy, 

^ Berliner Zeitmg am Miitag : the afternoon edition of the Berh'nef Zeitung. 

325 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

according to which the Kreu^eitung has reproduced the lies of 
the Mdrkische Volks\eitung. 

" The article in the A/drr/^ij"<r/^^ Volks^eitmgwoism essentials 
a rehash of the Martin slander. All the assertions made in 
the Mdrkische Volks^eitung are untrue. In the Daily Telegraph 
interview there were general observations on the desirability 
of improving German-English relations with which everyone 
was able to agree. It contained remarks on the Anglophobe 
feelings of certain sections of the German people which it 
would have been better not to put into the mouth of His 
Majesty but which were comparatively harmless. On the 
other hand, the interview contained three points to which the 
excitement called forth by the Daily Telegraph article is to be 
ascribed : the statement that the effort of France and Russia to 
humiliate England in the dust was prevented by His Majesty ; 
the statement that His Majesty had worked out a serious plan 
of campaign against the Boers for England ; and the statement 
that our Fleet in the Pacific Ocean could be used also against 
Japan and has been built with this idea in the background. 

" I do not need to tell you that I never advised His Majesty 
to express himself in the sense of these three points. I had 
no idea when His Majesty started on his journey to England 
in 1907 that he would express himself to this effect ; until 
the Daily Telegraph article appeared I had no idea that His 
Majesty had so spoken. 

*' I cannot remember that His Majesty ever wrote or tele- 
graphed to me at all from England on the subject of any utter- 
ances made by him to this effect during his stay there. All I 
know is that nothing of any utterances of the kind came to 
the knowledge of you yourself, who accompanied His Majesty 
to London on that occasion, or to the Ivnowledge of Metter- 
nich, who was in His Majesty's suite at Highcliffe. At least, 
neither of you ever said anything to me about it. I do not 
think I ever wrote to His Majesty during that stay of his in 
England, either about his conversations or about anything. 
In any case, I have never at any time declared myself to be in 
agreement with His Majesty on the points in question. As 
long as I was in office I always counselled His Majesty to be 
prudent in his utterances both in letter and orally. In 
particular, I always begged His Majesty to say nothing to the 
English that the Russians, French, Japanese, and Americans 
might not hear, and the other way about. I also begged His 

326 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BtlLOW [1909 

Majesty not to annoy the Japanese or to make them mis- 
trustful ; more than once I said to His Majesty that in poHtics 
it does not do to remind people too often of the services one 
has rendered them. The idea that I had approved or inspired 
the utterances of His Majesty in question is so senseless that I 
shall waste not another word on the subject. And the same 
assuredly holds good in regard to you and Metternich and the 
other advisers of His Majesty. 

'' Consequently all the assertions made in this connection 
in the Mdrkische Volks^^eltung articles are absolutely untrue. 
It is also, so far as my knowledge goes, incorrect to state that 
in the September articles of the Deutschen Kevue everything 
has been said that stood later in the Daily Telegraph. It is 
not correct that the MS. of the Daily Telegraph article had been 
submitted to me in typescript ; the typescript copy only 
reached the Foreign Office later. His Majesty, moreover, 
had not made any marginal notes on the MS., which I did not 
read at all. 

'* Equally untrue are the further statements in the article. 
The conversations which His Majesty the Emperor had with 
me in November and March were conducted by His Majesty in 
the most gracious and friendly fashion. It never entered 
His Majesty's head to refuse an offer of resignation made by 
me in March with the words: '' ]et^t nicht T [Not now!]. 
His Majesty assured me of his confidence on that occasion and 
continued to do so. His Majesty telegraphed to me again to 
this effect on my birthday and spoke to the same effect when 
I asked to be relieved of office in Kiel. His Majesty did not 
wish to reheve me of office, and it was only after a long 
conversation that I succeeded in convincing His Majesty that 
my continuance had been made imipossible through the situa- 
tion brought about by the rejection of the Inheritance Tax. 

" I have asked the editor of the T>. Z. in reply not to send 
a member of his staff to see me as I must keep to my decision 
not to enter into any polemic. I have asked him, however, 
to consider whether an official defence against the action of 
the Kreu^^eitung be not called for. It is naturally not to the 
convenience of the Party to bear the responsibility for my 
retirement. It ought not, however, to be allowed to shift the 
odium from itself to the Crown and to open the door, at the 
same time, to untruthful babblings, misrepresentations, and 
fresh talk about Camarillas and personal rule. A dementi^ I 

527 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

feel, ought to be issued by the Keichsan^eiger, and it should be 
perfectly clear, very definite, and weighty in expression." 



To THE Imperial Chancellor, 

VON Bethmann Hollweg. 

" Villa Edda, Norderney, Sept. 28, 1909. 

'* Schoen will have told you that I consider necessary the 
issuing of an official unequivocal and emphatic dementi of 
the unworthy calumnies to which I have for some time past 
been subjected. The charges against me which have been 
spread about are impudent and senseless lies. It is not true 
that I knew anything of the contents of the Daily Telegraph 
article before it was published. In the stress of official 
business, and feeling confidence in my subordinates, I did not 
myself read at the time the lengthy MS., and I was astonished 
and annoyed when, some weeks later, I made acquaintance 
with it through the WolfiF telegram brought to my notice. 
The publication by Wolff of the interview came about naturally ' 
\spontan\ and without application to me." 

[Prince von Biilow proceeds, in almost precisely the same words as 
those used in his letter to Baron von Schoen, to show that he had no 
responsibility whatever for the interview and in particular for the three 
statements which had occasioned all the excitement. Coming to the 
point where he had advised the Kaiser not to say anything to the 
English that the Russians and French, Japanese and Americans might 
not hear, he continues] : 

" Naturally, I should not have been for one moment in 
doubt that so drastic a blackening of the Russians and French 
to the English would only be taken by the latter as an attempt 
to obstruct the rapprochement which was in progress between 
them and these two countries, and that the result would be to 
produce the exact opposite effect to what was aimed at. 

" His Majesty's remark regarding the plan of campaign 
against the Boers I cannot have advised or approved simply 
from the fact that I read the letter in question addressed to Her 
Majesty Queen Victoria, and knew that it contained aphoristic 
and academic notes on the conduct of war which were of no 

328 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

practical significance for the progress of the South African 
campaign. And in respect to Japan I warned His Majesty 
over and over again not to make this sensitive and mistrustful 
race still more suspicious than it had become already as the 
result of many of his deliverances. (' Races of Europe, guard 
your most precious possession ! ' His speeches on the Yellow 
Peril, etc., etc.) I remember that two or three years ago I 
called back by telegraph a letter from His Majesty to Roosevelt 
which had gone off already several days before, because, from 
what I was told of its contents, it seemed to me to contain 
impudent reflections upon Japan. 

" I cannot remember having written at all to His Majesty 
during the autumn of 1907 with reference to the conversations 
held by him. This, however, I can state with the utmost 
certainty, that neither by letter nor by telegraph did I declare 
myself, nor could I have declared myself, in agreement with His 
Majesty over these three points. The Deutsche Tages:(eitung 
states that His Majesty the Emperor took occasion to show to 
* a politician ' letters from me in which I gave expression to 
my agreement. Let those letters be produced ! [Man ^eige 
mir diese Brief e}. They are as non-existent as the politician in 
question. I had as little previous knowledge of the utterances 
-of His Majesty under discussion as I had of the letter to Lord 
Tweedmouth, or of the protest against the candidature of the 
American Ambassador Hill, or of the Swinemund telegram 
to the Prince Regent of Bavaria, or of the telegram to Prince 
von Lippe, or of very many speeches, from the ' Huns ' 
speech of the summer of 1900 to the Schwarzseher [Pessimist] 
speech in the manoeuvres of 1906. 

" The attacks directed against me contain yet other and 
numerous untruths. It is untrue, for instance, that I went in 
June to Kiel in the hope that His Majesty would not accept 
my resignation. On the contrary, in view of the political 
situation internally, I had firmly made up my mind to retire. 
Without going into minor details, I will only draw attention 
to one point, namely, the assertion in the Kreu^eitung that I 
only had His Majesty's confidence * oflRcially,' and that, 
moreover, I had never won it back. His Majesty twice 
refused to accept my resignation, while insisting on his confi- 
dence in me. 

" After the exhaustive conversation I had with him in 
March he had in the most cordial and gracious fashion 

329 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

assured me of his indestructible confidence. Repeatedly he 
asked me to dinner, called on me, invited me to Potsdam, 
gave me his company in Berlin, Potsdam, and Wiesbaden in 
the most gracious and friendly way. When he said goodbye 
to me and my wife he invited us to Potsdam for the birthday 
of Her Majesty the Empress. Repeatedly (on my birthday, the 
3rd of May, before his journey to meet the Emperor of Russia, 
and again on the rejection of the Inheritance Tax) he has 
telegraphed to me in the most cordial tones and in a fashion 
that left no doubt as to his wish for me to remain in office. 
When I went to Kiel to ask him to relieve me of my post he 
discussed with me in friendly and confidential fashion the 
entire situation at home and abroad as well as the choice of my 
successor. 

" It was only after a long conversation with His Majesty 
that I succeeded in convincing him that in view of the rejection 
of the Inheritance Tax and the line taken by me in internal 
politics since the last elections I could not remain on as 
Imperial Chancellor. In what a light His Majesty would look 
if this were all play-acting ! I am convinced, however, that it 
was not play-acting, that His Majesty did not wish to part with 
me. Just as I, for my part, would not have retired if the issue 
of the Imperial finances reforms had not obliged me to do so. 

" Since my retirement my one wish has been to avoid all 
pubHcity and to lead an independent life. I am, however, 
entitled to ask that action be taken against contemptible 
calumnies of this description directed against a man who in 
difficult circumstances and not without success has been for 
twelve years a Minister and for nine years Imperial Chancellor. 
What will it lead to if this campaign of slander should con- 
tinue and if I can no longer keep silence — if it comes to pro- 
ceedings in the Courts and if my declaration which I make on 
oath were to be set against alleged utterances of His Majesty ? 
It would be one of the saddest episodes in German history — 
one which I would fain spare the Throne and the country. 

"It is to be anticipated, finally, that in the event of a 
further propagation of these scurrilities the foreign policy of 
last winter will come under discussion. The organs of the 
Centre Party declared so far back as January that I took action 
on the side of Austria in the Bosnian question hesitatingly and 
only because I was forced. Similar insinuations are now to 
be found in the Conservative Press. Now, the exact opposite 

530 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

was the case. From the very beginning I advocated with the 
utmost decision an unhesitating intervention on behalf of 
Austria. In tiiis matter I had to cope with hot argument and 
serious opposition from His Majesty. 

'* His Majesty, when the Bosnian question became acute, 
wanted to go in on the side of England and Turkey, which,, 
had we done so, would have brought into existence against us 
the coalition which our enemies had until then vainly sought 
to form, and would have placed us in the most serious position 
in which we had been since the Seven Years' War. And if in 
spite of the Daily Telegraph affair I remained on in office, it was 
chiefly because I was convinced that a weakening in that ])olicy 
of a firm alliance with Austria which I had advocated, initiated 
and pursued, would not only prevent the exorcising (in the 
meantime achieved) of the spectre of encirclement, but also 
imperil peace and the future of the Empire. 

" If the Keichsan^eiger -^uhlishts a clear and decided di mentis 
and if His Majesty sees me in the second half of October during 
my contemplated short stay in Berlin, and if I then proceed to 
Rome, the whole wretched business will stop. But the dementi^ 
if it is to have effect, must make it quite clear that all the in- 
formation of the Mdrkischen Volk^eitimg taken and worked up 
from a number of papers, both in regard to the Daily Telegraph 
interview and in regard to His Majesty's relations with me, 
is untrue on all points. I entertain no doubt that you, my 
honoured friend, who have been through all the toils and 
fights of this winter with me, will prevent further harm and 
trouble, in the interests of the Dynasty and the Fatherland." 



The Imperial Chancellor, von Bethmann Hollweg, 
TO THE Emperor William II. 

*' Linderhof, Sept. 28, 1909. 
*' Private . 

" I regret to have to inform Your Majesty that not only 
the Centre papers, but recently the Kreu^^eitung also, have 
entered upon a polemic over the transactions connected with 
the matter published by the Daily Telegraph and the retirement 
of Prince von Biilow and have thereby called forth considerable 

331 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

excitement. The assertions are to the effect that Prince von 
Bulow had previous knowledge of Your Majesty's conversa- 
tions at Highcliife and that he gave them his approval orally 
and in writing. It is declared, also, that the publication of 
these conversations later in the Daily Telegraph was brought 
about by Prince von Biilow, that the MS. (of which there were 
several copies) sent to him was read by the Under-Secretary 
of State Stemrich and Privy Councillor Klehmet, and that 
thereupon the Imperial Chancellor, who was at Norderney, 
authorized the publication. 

*' The retirement of Prince von Biilow is being attributed 
to these proceedings and not to the voting in the Inheritance 
Tax question. Prince von Biilow in a letter addressed to the 
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, has contested the accuracy 
of these assertions and asked for a dementi in the Keichan':ieiger, 
on the ground that it is not right that the odium of his retirement 
should be removed from the Parties that voted against the 
Inheritance Tax. 

'* The most important newspapers, also, ask for an official 
declaration from the Government, urging that the declaration 
given by the Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung^ in November 
last year did not correspond with the facts. I cannot regard it 
as opportune to issue an official declaration. The facts them- 
selves are not known to me at first hand ; I could only turn to 
the archives of the Foreign Office, which are not exhaustive, 
in respect to the particular proceedings referred to by the 
Kreu^^eitmg. To draw the All-Highest Person^ of Your 
Majesty into the dispute, however, by making public the 
confidential communications made to me by Your Majesty, is 
manifestly out of the question. Moreover, it seems undesir- 
able to reassert the accuracy of a solemn declaration of the 
Imperial Government such as that of November last year and 
thereby to caU forth a renewed discussion or interpretation. 
Finally, in my opinion, new matter would be introduced into 
the dispute. 

" I think, therefore, I ought respectfully to ask for your 
authorization to refuse for the present such a declaration as 
Prince von Biilow has asked for and to wait and see whether 
the Press discussion continues and attains serious dimensions. 

^ This was Bulow's official account of the whole incident. 

*In this case it seems well to translate the official German phraseology verbatim, 

532 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

In this case I would allow myself to submit to Your Majesty 
an appropriate proposal. 

" I shall return to Berlin after receipt here of Your 
Majesty's decision. 

" Bethmann Hollweg." 



The Emperor William II to the Imperial Chancellor, 
VON Bethmann Hollweg. 

" Rominten, Sept. 29, 1909. 

" What the Kreu^^eitimg brings to the front is nothing new 
but something long known. Moreover, it is nothing but an 
epitome made from Stein's book in which private proceedings 
— in spite of my repeated orders to him — are reproduced with 
amazing accuracy. This book brought about the astonishing 
reaction in my favour on the part of the German people and 
was vigorously attacked by the entire Press — even the Govern- 
ment Press — as it saw itself made to look very ridiculous in 
its agitation against me. The material in Stein's book com- 
prised so many secret things which only Biilow and I knew — 
for instance, the origin of the Kriiger telegram — that, much 
excited, I sent a man I could trust to ask Stein whence he had it. 
He replied that it had come to him on Billow's behalf for 
publication. Biilow denied to me that he had ever com- 
municated this material to anyone. Biilow has spoken 
with me repeatedly about Stein's book, at first condemning 
it, later praising it, and remarking that he Icnew Stein well 
and thought much of him, as he was a very gentlemanly 
and trustworthy man. At last, when the astonishing fact of 
the publication and its enorm.ous effect in my favour made me 
anxious about Billow's position, which now seemed to me 
imperilled, and when I communicated to him my anxiety, 
he gave me to understand by means of hints the material was 
supplied by him and published with his sanction. 

" The material, therefore, is perfectly authentic and the 
whole attitude of the Government during November has been 
exposed and condemned thereby. As was the case also with 
the people, a reassertion of the November declaration is 

333 



1909] LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW 

completely out of the question atid would be a renewed grievous 
injury to the Throne and to my Person, which I am not for a 
moment willing to tolerate. 

'* Government and people and Press were all alike en- 
meshed last November in a serious and fateful mistake which 
the Prince unfortunately omitted to clear up and correct — 
for he alone was in the position to do so. Stein's book 
gave the people the material which enabled them to form a 
clear view of things. And the swing round followed this 
clear view immediately. I have always feared that it would 
lead to such discussions, but I thought they would come 
sooner. It is a low trick of the Conservatives to make out 
that they are doing this to please me — in fact, that they are 
acting on my command ! That is disgraceful ! 

"After Bulow had said PATER PECCAVI IN 
EVERY FOBJid for bis behaviour and the Government's in 
November, I had forgiven him in the name of the Crown ! ^ 

" P.S. — One of the chief actors in the matter of the 
November declaration was — according to my information — 
Dr. Bassermann, the Leader of the National Liberals. When 
the enormity of the step — the absolute abandonment of the 
wearer of the Crown in face of the Reichstag — was pointed 
out to the Prince, and he was taken to task for allowing any- 
thing of the kind, he replied that unfortunately he could not 

^ It is interesting to compare the Kaiser's contemporary account of what happened 
at the end of 1908, as given in his letter of September 29, 1909, to Bethmann Holiweg 
with this later account of it in his Memoirs, the English edition of which has been 
published by Cassell and Co. : 

Towards the end of the winter the Chancellor requested an audience with mc. 
I walked up and down with him in the picture gallery of the palace, between the portraits 
of my ancestors and the paintings of the battles of the Seven Years' War and of the 
proclamation of the Empire at Versailles, and was amazed when the Chancellor harked 
back to the events of the autumn and undertook to explain his attitude. Thereupon 
I took occasion to talk with him about the entire past. This frank conversation and 
the explanations of the Prince, which satisfied me, released the tension between us. 
The result was that he remained in office. The Chancellor requested that I should 
dine with him that evening, as I had so often done before, in order to show the outer 
world that all was again well. I did so. A pleasant evening, enlivened by the visibly 
delighted Princess with charming amiability, and by the Prince with his usual lively, 
witty talk, closed that memorable day. Alluding to the Prince's audience with me, 
a wag wrote later in a newspaper, parodying a famous line : " The teai" flows, 
Germania has me again." 

By this reconciliation I also wished to show that I was in the habit of sacrificing 
my own sensitiveness to the good of the cause. Despite Prince Biilow's attitude 
towards me in the Reichstag, which was calculated to give me pain, I naturally never 
forgot his eminent gifts as a statesman and his distinguished services to the Father- 
land. He succeeded, by his skill, in avoiding a world war at several moments of 
crisis, during the period, indeed, when I, together with Tirpitz, was building our 
protecting Fleet. That was a great achievement. 

534 



LETTERS OF PRINCE VON BULOW [1909 

now hold back as he had already come to an understanding 
with Dr. Bassermann over the interpellation and the reply to 
it. 

" William I.R/' 



The Imperial Chancellor, von Bethmann Hollweg, 
TO the Foreign Office. 

'* Linderhof, Sept. 29, 1909. 

" Please inform Prince von Biilow by telegram that a letter 
in reply to his will be despatched from Berlin this evening, 
and write to him to the following effect : 

*' * Your Serene Highness wishes, according to your letter, 
that an official declaration be made in answer to the recent 
Press discussions over the Daily Telegraph. As His Majesty 
has been heavily involved in this matter, such a declaration 
would be out of the question without his sanction. His 
Majesty, however, has quite spontaneously given the definite 
order in respect to this Press campaign that we are to abstain 
from the issuing of any official declaration. The Imperial 
Chancellor regrets extremely in these circumstances that he 
cannot authorize an official pronouncement. He has full 
understanding and sympathy for the difficult and painful 
position of Your Serene Highness. He believes, however, 
that a service will be rendered to the public interest by the 
exercise of the utmost reserve.' " 



THE END 



335 



INDEX 



INDEX 



Abdel Malek, io8, 109, 124. 
Aehrenthal, Baron von, Austrian 

Minister, 205, 235, 242, 243, 244, 248, 

261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 268, 269, 270, 

274, 279, 282, 284, 293, 296, 298, 304, 

305, 306. 
Albert, Prince of Monaco, 134, 136, 138, 

139, 185, 213, 214, 216, 217. 
Alexander II, Emperor of Russia 

(1855-1881), 31, 63, 171, 
Alexander III, Emperor of Russia 

(1881-1894), 58, 60, 62, 155, 176, 180. 
Alexander Michaelovitch, Grand Duke 

of Russia, 60, 61, 117, 151. 
Alexandra, Queen of England, 257. 
Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress of 

Russia^ 61, 62, 116. 
Alexeiev, Admiral (Russian), 16, 17, 39, 

59, 60, 62. 
Alphonso Xni, King of Spain, 105. 
Alvensleben, Count von. Ambassador 

in St, Petersburg, 24, 31, 38, 100, 143, 

165, 178. 
Andrd, M., French Minister of War, 197. 
Aoki, Viscount, Japanese Minister, 17, 

86, 87, 88, loi, 104. 
Apponyi, Count Albert, 202. 
Arco-Valley, Count von. Ambassador 

in Tokyo, letter to, 17, 86, 88, 101. 
Arthur, Duke of Connaught, 182. 
Auguste Victoria, Empress of Germany, 

22, 330. 
Avarna, Duke, Italian Ambassador at 

Vienna, 205. 



B 



BACHERACHT,voN,Russian Ambassador, 

113. 
Balfour, Arthur James, 210. 
Ballin, Albert, General Director of 

Hamburg-America Line, 81, 82, 83, 

100, loi, 182, 183, 247, 248, 249, 250. 
Barr^re, Camille, French Ambassador 

in Rome, 42. 
Bassermann, Dr. Ernest, 334, 335. 



Beck, Baron von, Austrian Minister, 

244, 274. 
Beernaert, Auguste, Belgian Prime 

Minister, 221. 
Beit, Werner, 182, 183. 
Below-Rut:?au, von, German Consul in 

Sofia, 41 ; letter to, 43-47. 
Benckendorff, Count von, Russian 

Ambassador in London, 64, 65, 176, 

179, 279- 
Bernstorff, Count von, 5 5, 64. 
Bertie, Sir Francis Leveson, British 

Ambassador in Paris, 148, 149. 
Besobrasov, M., Russian Secretary of 

State, 59, 60, 62. 
Bethmann Hollweg, Theobald von. 

Imperial Chancellor, letter to, 328; 

his letter to William II, 331 ; the 

reply, 333 ; letter to Foreign Office, 

335- 
Bienerth, Baron von, Austrian 

Minister, 274. 
Birilew, Russian Admiral, 156. 
Bismarck, Prince viii, 171, 231, 232. 
Bourgeois, L^on, French Minister, 213, 

221. 
Bryce, James, 207. 
Bu Amama, no. 
Billow, Prince von, passim. 



Calmette, Gaston, Director of the 

Figaro, 241. 
Cambon, Jules, French Ambassador 

in Berlin, 77, 78, 107, 217, 306, 307, 

308. 
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir Henry, 238. 
Capelle, Rear- Admiral, 241, 284. 
Carnegie, Andrew, 207, 208. 
Cassel, Sir Ernest, 241, 247. 
Cassini, Cotmt, Russian Ambassador 

in Washington, 15, 86. 
Chamberlain, Joseph, 183, 187. 
Charivari, 39. 

Chirol, Sir Valentine, 150. 
Christian IX, King of Denmark, 18-2 

156, 162. 



339 



INDEX 



Clarendon, Earl of, 182. 

Clemenceau, Georges, 76, 144, 263, 268. 

Coerper, Herr, German Naval Attach^ 

in London, 79, 160. 
Cologan, Sefior, Spanish Ambassador, 

112. 
Combes, Justin Louia Emile, French 

Prime Minister, 96, 97, 138, 
Contemporary Remn', 291, 
Crewe, Earl of, 299, 300, 301. 
Crispi, Francesco, Prime Minister of 

Italy, 103. 
Curzon, Lord, Viceroy of India, 162. 



Figaro, 78, loi, 241. 

Financial Chronicle, zzj. 

Fisher, Sir John, Admiral, 183. 

Fortis, Signor, Italian Prime Minister, 
123. 

Francis Ferdinand, Archduke, 202, 243, 
244, 274, 275. 

Francis Joseph I, Emperor of Austria- 
Hungary, 81, 242 ; letter from, 260 ; 
262, 267, 268 ; letter from William II, 
270 ; 274, 297, 320. 

Frederick Leopold, Prince of Prussia, 
70, 71. 

Fredericks, Baron, 153. 



D 



Dahnhardt, Captain, 284. 

Daily Chronicle, 107, no. 

Daily Graphic, 104. 

Daily Telegraph, ix, 255, 291; famous 
interview with the Kaiser in, 325, 
326; 327, 328, 331, 332, 335. 

Decazes, Due, 217. 

Delcasse, French Foreign Minister, 38, 

44, 77. 78, 90. 93. 96, 97, 100, 105, 
106, III, 113, 122, 123, 129, 130, 133, 
134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 144, 145, 
148, 155, 174, 185, 196, 197. 

Deutsche Kevue, 327. 

Deutsche Tages^eitung, 329. 

Devonshire, Duke of, 51. 

Doumer, Paul, Governor-General of 
Indo-China, 96, 97. 



ECKARDSTEIN, BaRON VON, 64, I50. 

Edinburgh, Duke of, 282. 

Edward VII, xi, 22, 24 ; visit to Kiel, 
29; 53, 58, 65; conversation with 
Prince vonBiilow, 67-69 ; 70, 88, 89, 

93. 104, 143, 147, 149, 152. 153, 154. 

179, 182, 183, 189, 193, 198, 201, 202, 

245, 247. 248, 249, 250, 257, 264, 274, 

299, 301, 
Elizabeth, Princess of Hesse, 67. 
Esher, Lord, 240, 

Etienne, M., French Minister, 213-220. 
Eulenburg, Prince Philipp, 184, 185, 

291. 
Eulenburg, Count August, 119. 



Ferdinand, Prince of Bulgaria, 41, 
43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 51, 52, 90, 265, 
297. 300, 320. 

Ferid Pacha, 317. 



Geobge Crown Prince of Greece, 

148. 
George, Lloyd, 252, 256. 
Giers, Nicholas von, Russian Minister, 

Giolitti, Giovanni, 243. 

Goltz, Baron von der, Prussian 

General, 258, 264, 320, 321. 
Gooch, Dr. G. P., his "History of 

Modern Europe," 205, 291. 
Goschen, Sir WiUiam Edward, British 

Ambassador in Berlin, 278. 
Greindl, Baron, Belgian Minister, 55. 
Gretton, R. H., his " Modem History of 

the English People," 93. 
Greville, Hon. Sickiey Robert, 198. 
Grey, Sir Edward, 51, 195, 199, 200, 

252, 272, 296, 310. 
Griscom, Mr., American Ambassador 

in Tokyo, 86. 
Gummer^, Mr., American Ambassador 

in Tangier, 113. 



H 



Hanotaux, Gabriel, French Minister, 

44. 
Hans, Prince von Schleswig-Holstein- 

Gliicksburg, 18. 
Hardinge, Sir Charles, 208, 209, 259, 

264, 296, 297, 298, 299, 323. 
Harris, Mr., Correspondent of The 

Times in Tangier, 114, 115, 119. 
Hay, John, American Minister, 38, 86, 

96, 147. 
Hayashi, Count, Japanese Ambassador 

in London, 33, 86. 
Henry, Prince of Prussia, 70, 71 ; letter 

to, 116. 
HelfFerich, Karl, 251. 
Heyden, Count, 153. 
Hill, David, American Ambassador in 

Berlin, 329. 



340 



INDEX 



Hintze, Captain von, 279, 282, 324. 

Hinzpeter, Herr, 22, 

Hirsch, Dr., Physician to Nicholas 11 

of Russia, 133. 
Hohenau, Covmt von, 78. 
Holstein, Baron von, Head of German 

Foreign Office, viii, 34, 143, 144, 

150, 164, 



Ignatiev, Count, Russian Minister, 59. 

Isvolsky, Alexander, Russian Minister, 
60, 69, 205, 210, 228, 234, 236, 237, 
238, 242, 248, 265, 267, 270, 271, 
272, 274, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 
293, 294, 295, 298, 300, 305, 306, 307, 
308,309,324. 



Jacobx, General von, 236. 

Jenisch, Baron von, 273. 

Johannes, Consul-General in London, 

309, 310. 
Journal de St. Petersbourg, 96, 97. 
Jussanov, Russian journalist, 248. 



K 



Keim, Herr, Prussian General, 254. 
Kerr, Captain Mark, 256. 
Kiderlen-Waechter, von, German 

Ambassador in Constantinople, 212, 

252. 
Kitchener, Lord, 162. 
Klehmet, Herr, 332. 
Kodama, Japanese General, 104. 
Kreige, Dr. Johannes, 310. 
Kiihlmann, Richard von, letters to, 

95,98,107; 113; letters to, 114, 119, 

120, 123. 
Kuropatkin, General, 57, 72, 117. 



Lamsdorff, Count, Russian Minister, 
17, 38, 39, 59. 60, 62, 63, 69, 76, 78, 
81, 100, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 151, 
164, 165, 170, 175, 176, 181, 188, 
228. 

Lansdowne, Lord, 50, 56, 37, 65, 67, 69, 
178. 

Lanza, Count di, Italian Ambassador in 
Berlin, 41, 42, 43, 102. 



Lascelles, Sir Frank, British Ambas- 
sador in Berlin, 22, 50, 51, 88, 89, 
131, 132, 133, 199, 200, 201, 239. 

L# Matin, 182. 

Z^ Temps, 96, 97, 231. 

Leuthold, Dr., Physician to William II 
of Germany, 39. 

Loebell, F. W. von, 264. 

Loubet, M., President of French 
Republic (1899-1906), 41, 42, 93, 
136, 176. 

Louise Margaret, Duchess of Connaught, 
149. 

Lowther, Sir Gerard Augustus, British 
Ambassador in Tangier, 288. 



M 



Mabilleau, Leopold, 213. 

Maclean, Kaid, 124. 

Marschall von Bieberstein, Baron, 
German Ambassador in Constan- 
tinople, 41, 130, 184, 187, 212, 
213, 222, 223, 224, 237, 248, 266, 
317, 318. 

Martens, von. Professor, 20, 222. 

May, Sir William Henry, Admiral, 161, 
183. 

McKenna, Reginald, First Lord of the 
Admiralty, 284, 283. 

Mensdorff-Pouilly-Dietrichstein, Count, 
Austro-Hungarian Ambassador in 
London, 64, 274. 

Mentzinger, Baron von, 47, 48, 49. 

Metternich, Count von Wolff-, Am- 
bassador in London, letters to, 20, 
33; 66, 88; letters to, 131, 147; 139, 
160, 193, 208, 239, 240; letters to, 
241, 244 ; 246 ; letters to, 252 ; 258 ; 
letters to, 239, 266; 277; letter to, 
277 ; letter concerning Naval question, 
284; 299,303, 306, 309, 310, 312; 
letter from, 322; 327. 

Mirbach-Harff, Count von, 287. 

Moltke, Count Cuno von, 78. 

Moltke, Count Hellmuth von, 161, 163, 
166, 168, 169, 170, 196. 

Moltke, Julius von, 161. 

Monaco, Prince of, see Albert. 

Montague, Admiral, 256. 

Montenegro, Prince of, 180, 263. 

Monts, Count, Ambassador in Rome, 
40, 41 ; letter to, 42. 

Morley, John, 209, 210. 

Morocco, Sultan of, Abdul Asis, 48, 
49. 95. 98, 99. 107. 108, no, in, 112, 
114, 113, 122, 124, 123, 129, 132, 

133. 134. 135. 137, 139, 140, 141 
142, 213, 243. 
Miiller, George Alexander von, 312. 



341 



INDEX 



Mufat, Prince, 148. 

Mutsuhito, Emperor of Japan, 104. 



N 



Nelidoff, Russian Ambassador in 
Paris, 176, 179. 

Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia, 38, 
63, 136. 

Nicholas II, Emperor of Russia (1894- 
1917), xi, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23, 31, 32, 
35. 36, 37, 58, 59, 60, 62, 67, 69, 70, 
71, 74 ; draft letter to, 74-76 ; 78, 79, 
80; draft of telegram to, 80-81; 
82, 86, 90, 93, 99, 100, 104, 105, 
116-119, 143-147, 149, 151-158, 162, 
164, 165, 167, 168, 170, 171, 173-176, 
178, 180, 181, 187, 188, 201, 247, 
248, 238, 271, 274, 273, 279-284, 293, 
300, 324. 

Nisami, Pacha, Turkish Ambassador in 
Berlin, 320. 

Norddeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 103, 
107, 108, 109, 273, 332 



Revoil, M., Governor-General of 
Algiers, 138, 201. 

Rex, Count von. Minister at Peking, 
226 ; letter to, 233. 

Roberts of Kandahar, Earl, 272, 276. 

Romberg, Baron von, 82. 

Roosevelt, Theodore, President of the 
United States, 72, 73, 74, 84, 88, 97, 
113, 120, 121, 123, 138, 139, 146, 
147, 132, 178, 180, 207, 208, 227, 
234, 329. 

Root, Elihu, American Minister, 208. 

Roschestwensky, Vice-Admiral, 

134. 
Rosebery, Lord, 31. 
Rosen, Dr. Frederick, 123, 179. 
Rothschild, Alfred de, 104, 193, 196. 
Rouvier, Maurice, French Finance 

Minister, 73, 133-141, 176, 183, 197. 
Runciman, Walter, 208. 
Russo-Japanese War, ix, 39, 40, 47, 32, 

37, 67, 68, 70, 73, 76, 77, 86, 117, 

146, 149. 



O'CoNOR, Sir Nicholas, 282. 
Oscar II, King of Sweden, 132, 223. 
Osten-Sacken, Count von der, Russian 

Ambassador in Berlin, 32, 33, 116, 

236. 



Petrow, General, Prime Minister of 

Bulgaria, 46, 31. 
Pichon, M., French Minister, 302, 304. 
Plessen, Herr von, 312. 
Poklevsky, Herr, Russian Secretary of 

Embassy in London, 32. 
Pourtal^s, Count von, Ambassador in 

St. Petersburg, letters to, 234, 256 ; 

246 ; letter to, 247 ; 294, 293, 324. 



QuADT, Count von, 288. 



R 



Radolin, Prince von, Ambassador in 
Paris, 82, 133; letter to, 136; 139, 
140 ; letter to, 141 ; 148, 179, 217, 287, 
288, 302. 

Radovitz, Joseph von, 40. 



Saturday Keview, 275, 276. 

Schlieffen, Count von, 161. 

Schoen, Wilhelm von, Ambassador at 
St. Petersburg, letter to, 18; 143, 
137, 163, 165, 178, 271, 291, 310, 
312; letter to, 314; 324; letter to, 
323 ; 328. 

Scholl, von, Adjutant-General, 79, 99. 

Schwabach, Paul von, 193, 196. 

Schweinitz, Count von, x, 184. 

Seckendorff, Count von, 64, 116, 
147-130. 

Selborne, 70. 

Senden, Baron von, 160. 

Skrydlow, Vice- Admiral, loi. 

Smyth, Dame Ethel, x. 

Sophie, Princess of Hohenberg, 202, 244. 

Several, Luiz, Spanish Ambassador in 
London, 64. 

Speck von Sternburg, Baron, Ambas- 
sador in Washington, 73, 84, 86, 
137, 138, 147; letter to, 207; 227. 

Spencer, Lord, 31. 

Speyer, Sir Edgar, 286. 

Standard, z-ji. 

Steed, H. Wickham, his "Through 
Thirty Years" quoted, 193, 203. 

Stein, August, German journalist, 256, 

333, 334- 
Steinrich, Herr, 332. 
Stolypin, M., Russian Prime Minister, 

238. 
Szogy^nyi Marich, Herr, Austro - 

Hungarian Ambassador in Berlin, 39, 

262, 267. 



342 



INDE^ 



Tattenbach, Count von, iij, 119, 

120, 124, 125, 188. 
T'mes, The, 78, 132, 150, 239, 240, 241, 

276. 
Tirpitz, Admiral, 254, 260, 267 ; letter 

to, 275 ; 284, 285, 286, 301, 310, 

312,314,317, 318, 3i9>334- 
Tittoni, Signer, Italian Minister for 

Foreign Affairs, 41, 43. 243, 265. 
Tornielli, Count, Italian Ambassador 

at Paris, 221. 
Tschirschky, Herr von, German 

Minister, 99, 100, loi, 154, 156, 168, 

169, 227 ; letter to, 267. 
Turkey, Sultan of, Abdul Hamid II, 

46, 47, 51, 52, 69, 186, 208, 209, 210, 

212, 237, 251, 252, 265, 321. 
Tweedmouth, Lord, 239, 240, 241, 329. 



Vassel, Dr., German Minister in 
Morocco, 98, 99, 108, 124, 125. 

Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy, 
viii, 42, 43. 103. 

Victoria, Princess of Battenberg, 149. 

Victoria, Queen of England, 328. 



W 



Waldersee, Alfred, Count von, 104. 
Wedel, Count von. Ambassador at 

Vienna, 40. 
Wekerle, Alexander, Hungarian 

Minister, 244. 
William I, German Emperor (1861- 

1888), 36, 156. 
William II, German Emperor, ix, x, xi, 

i6, 18, 19; letter to, 21; 22, 23; 

letter from, 23; letters to, 31, 32; 

marginal notes by, 33, 34 ; 35, 36, 37 ; 

letters to, 38, 39, 41, 43, 47. Ji. 53; 

letter from, 54 ; letter to, 54 ; letter to, 

concerning the attitude of Russia, 



William n, German Emperor. — coni. 
57-65; letters to, 65-67, 69, 70; 
letter from, 70 ; letters to, 71, 72, 73, 
74, 76, 77 ; letter from, 78 ; letter to, 
79 ; telegram to Nicholas II, 80-81 ; 
letters to, 81, 84, 86 ; letter from, 90 ; 
93; letters to, 95, 99, 100, loi, 102, 
103, 104 ; letter from, 104 ; letter 
to, 105 ; letter from, 106 ; letters to, 
concerning Tangier, 108, 109, 113 ; 
letter from, 115; 119, 120; letters 
to, 121, 124; 129,130, 131; letters 
to, 133, 135; telegram from, 136; 
letters to, 137, 139; 143-149; letters 
from, 150-158 ; 15 8-169; letters from, 
171; 174; letters to, 175, 176; 
letters from, 176, 178, 181, 184; 
letter to, 185; letter from, 187; 
193, 199 ; letter from, 201 ; 207 ; 
letter to, 211 ; letters from, 213, 214; 
letters to, 218, 219, 221, 223, 224; 
letter from, 226 ; 232, 236; letters to, 
239, 240, 242 ; 245 ; letters to, 246 ; 
letter from, 247 ; letters to, 248, 251 ; 
254, 255 ; letter to, 256 ; 259, letter 
from the Emperor Francis Joseph, 
260 ; 261-264 ; observations, 265 ; 
267, 268 ; letter to the Emperor 
Francis Joseph, 270 ; letters to, 270, 
272 ; letters from, 274, 278 ; letter to 
282 ; 286; letter to, 287 ; 291, letters 
to, 293, 300, 301, 304, 306, 307, 308 ; 
letter from, 312; 315, 316; letter 
from, 317 ; letters to, 318, 320; 322, 
323; letter to, 324; 326-331; letter 
from Bethmann Hollweg, 331 ; letter 
to Bethmann Hollweg, 333, 335, 

White, Sir William, 285. 

Witte, Count, Russian Minister, 57-65, 
78, 116, 117, 144, 145, 176-179, 181, 
184, 185. 

Wolff, Theodor, German journalist, 
104, 106, 328. 

Wortley, General Stuart, 272, 273. 



Zedlitz, Count Robert, ix, x. 



343 



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