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the integrity of Serbia, because she might find it necessary
during the war to retain Serbian territory.

Signor Salandra did not deny that the Triple Alliance had
been beneficial to Italy, but this did not prove that Italy
had been ungrateful to her partners, because the benefits
had been common to all of them. He cited the opposi-
tion to Italian operations against Turkey in the Aegean and
Adriatic Seas as proof of the jealousy of Austria-Hungary.
The final concessions offered by Austria-Hungary did not
respond to Italy's justifiable aspirations, and in part, at least,
they were merely specious. The proposed administrative
autonomy of Trieste under the Hapsburg Crown might at
any time be withdrawn under some ostensible pretext, and
Italy would in that event have to depend for redress upon
the untrustworthy guarantee of Germany. If the Triple Al-
liance had been renewed on the basis of Austria-Hungary's



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 127

tinal proposals, the conditions would have been much less
favorable for Italy; "for there would have been one sov-
ereign state and two subject states."

Continuing, Signor Salandra remarked that the German
Chancellor had apparently represented Prince von Btilow
as the authority for his insulting insinuations. He did not
doubt that Prince von Bulow had been inspired by good
intentions, but he had conmiitted great mistakes. "He
thought that Italy could be turned from her course by a
few millions ill-spent and by the influence of a few persons
who have lost touch with the soul of the nation."

Since the preparation of Volume I, Chapter IX, the
text of article 7 of the treaty by which Italy and Austria-
Himgary were united in the Triple Alliance has been
published. This now famous article, of which the signifi-
cant provisions were described in Volume I, page 328, on
the basis of an inductive analysis of the discussions with
regard to its bearing and interpretation, is as follows:

"Austria-Hungary and Italy, who have solely in view
the maintenance, as far as possible, of the territorial status
quo in the East, engage themselves to use their influence to
prevent all territorial changes which might be disadvanta-
geous to the one or the other of the powers (which are)
signatories of the present treaty. To this end they will give
reciprocally all information calcvilated to enlighten each
other concerning their own intentions and those of other
powers. If the case should arise, however, that in the
course of events the maintenance of the status quo in the
territory of the Balkans, or of the Ottoman coasts and
islands in the Adriatic or Aegean Sea, should become im-
possible, and that, either in consequence of the action of
a third party or for any other reason, Austria-Hungary
or Italy should be obliged to change the status quo for
their part by a temporary or permanent occupation, such.



128 The Great War

occupation would only take place after previous agreement
between the two parties which would have to be based upon
the principle of a reciprocal compensation for all territorial
or other advantages that either of them might acquire over
and above the existing status quo, and would have to satisfy
the interest and rightful claim of both parties."

It must seem astonishing that a document in which the
sense is in other respects so carefully elaborated should
have failed to specify the nature of the compensation
which either of the contracting powers might legitimately
claim in the circumstances indicated. But the reader will
probably agree that by her unequivocal violation of the
letter and spirit of the covenant, in failing to come to a
preliminary agreement with her ally, Austria-Hungary
exposed herself quite logically to a disadvantageous inter-
pretation of the nature and conditions of the necessary
compensation. It is significant, moreover, that in his con-
demnation of the action of the Italian government before
the Reichstag, Chancellor von Bethmann-HoUweg did not
deny in principle the justice of Italy's claim to compensa-
tion in Austrian territory.

Italy's assertion of a right to sovereignty and influence
eastward of the Mediterranean is the crucial, and at the
same time the difficult, element in the judgment of Italian
policy to the minds of many impartial observers. Were
the Italian pretensions in this quarter "an ignoble exploita-
tion of the needs of an ally fighting for her existence" or
an indispensable effort to defend the position of Italy
from practical submersion t There is little doubt that the
responsible chiefs of the Italian Cabinet and Foreign Office
regarded the situation as really serious. We are apt to
regard the Adriatic as an absolute barrier to logical pene-
tration eastward. We Americans are a continental people
and in our imagination the land unites and the sea divides.





Deiimnstration in Rome in favor of war.




Italian I'aiiiaiiK'nt.



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 129

whereas in the economy of commercial intercourse, and
consequently in large measure of political relationship, the
contrary is nearer the reality. Practically, Smyrna and
Constantinople are nearer to Naples and Genoa than to
Vienna; while on the other hand, Italy would almost in-
evitahly fall under the political tutelage of a great power
that possessed the undivided mastery east of the Adriatic.

The sudden movement in the middle of May, 1915,
which stands out as the decisive factor in determining the
hnal policy of the Italian government has been described
by some as the thoughtless frenzy of an irresponsible mob,
by others as an artificial manifestation designedly formu-
lated and engineered. Both these views are undoubtedly
erroneous. No merely ephemeral ebullition or political
intrigue could have stirred the nation so profoundly. It
was an irresistible outburst of public feeling, unreflecting
perhaps in large measure, but genuine, spontaneous, deter-
mined. It was due to the coincident action of various
forces.

Allusion was made in Volume I to the recent develop-
ment of Nationalism in Italy, whose imperialistic doctrines
and program had been gaining very rapidly in popularity.
The nationalistic doctrines, which were expressed quite as
dogmatically and sensationally as the views of the more
conspicuous exponents of the corresponding school of
political philosophy in Germany, are the manifestation of
a violent epidemic which has invaded many of the civilized
countries in recent years. Gabriele d'Annunzio made him-
self the apostle of this movement in Italy. The central
organ of Nationalism was L'Idea Naziofiale. Academic
Nationalism taught the characteristic doctrine that the
state is a thing apart with its own independent existence,
the only truly real, absolute social entity, that nations are
by nature mutually antagonistic, and that war is prolific of



130 The Great War

the necessary civic virtues. Nationalists regarded the doc-
trines of Liberalism with hatred and contempt.

The great movement was partly the consequence of an
instinctive reaction against the cultural and economic
supremacy of Germany. Italians conscious of their past
leadership in civilization, proud of their traditional promi-
nence in art and letters, regarded with jealousy the tre-
mendous intellectual prestige of Germany.

The peaceful penetration of Italy by German financial
and industrial enterprise had been in progress for many
years. The most influential agency for promoting Ger-
man economic interests in Italy was the Banca Commer-
ciale Italiana of Milan, the foundation of which, in 1894,
was encouraged by Prime Minister Crispi as a means of
securing the support of the German banks for Italian
bonds. The capital of this institution grew from 5,000,000
lire ($965,000) to 156,000,000 lire ($30,108,000) in twenty
years. This capital was chiefly Italian; but the bank
turned the financial resources of Italy to account in con-
tributing to the supremacy of German industry. Of its
directors the majority were foreigners, and trained finan-
ciers of the leading banks in Berlin were prominent on the
board and in the management of the bank. The ItaHan
element on the board of directors was chiefly ornamental.
It consisted of prominent members of the aristocracy and
distinguished representatives of the social and political
world. This bank practically controlled the principal
steamship lines and possessed a very great influence over
leading manufacturing interests, which it is said to have exer-
cised to restrain Italian competition with German industry.

Italy seemed to be threatened with a German economic
hegemony.

Prince von Biilow committed the mistake of associating
his cause with a losing political faction. Signor GioHtti



Moral Factors in Belgium, France, Italy 131

was morally neither better nor worse than most of the
politicians amonjr whom he had risen to power; but he
excelled them in ability. Political methods like those of
Giolitti were long regarded with indulgence or even ap-
proval in our own country. For he was the great director
and manipulator of the spoils system. Von Biilow sub-
mitted the hnal concessions of Austria-Hungary to Giolitti's
consideration before they were presented to the govern-
ment. He negotiated with this adroit political boss, and
together they contrived a plan whereby the nation's foreign
policy might be captured. But Italy was tired of Giolittism
or had outgrown it. The publication of von Billow's un-
conventional intrigues irritated Italian sensibility. It created
a great revailsion of feeling, and the decision to intervene in
the European war seemed, therefore, to a large part of the
nation like an act of liberation from Giolitti and his whole
system.



CHAPTER III

The Moral Impulses in the United Kingdom

The British Cabinet in 1914; its leading personalities, Mr. Asquith, Sir
Edward Grey, Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Churchill. The cabinet's aversion
to war. Various methods for preserving peace; the proposed "naval
holiday." British attitude regarding the European crisis until August 1,
1914 ; views of the Labor party, the press, French anxiety as to British
policy. Criticism of Sir Edward Grey's conversations on July 29th.
M. Cambon presses Sir Edward Grey for assurances, July 30lh and 31st.
The "fateful days of the century," August 1st and 2d; conflicting im-
pulses. First British promise to France. Memorable session of parlia-
ment, August 3d. Sir Edward Grey's statement of foreign policy ; the
two cardinal factors, the security of the French coast and the neutrality of
Belgium. Mr. Bonar Law responds for the opposition. Mr. John Red-
mond for the Irish Nationalists, "the coast of Ireland will be defended
from foreign invasion by her armed sons," the outburst of enthusiasm.
Mr. Ramsay MacDonald for the Laborites. Criticism of Sir Edward Grey's
speech. Formal statement of the German proposals for British neutrality.
The Belgian appeal, August 5th. The resolution for extraordinarj' supply,
involving a vote of £100,000,000. Prime Minister Asquith opens the dis-
cussion, August 6th. Lord Kitchener as Minister of War, a non-political
member of the cabinet. The debate on supply ; Mr. Bonar Law, Mr. Dick-
inson, and other speakers. Resolution for increasing the army. The
prompt adoption of the necessary measures.

The British Cabinet which was in office in 1914 not only
rendered itself conspicuous by its undeniable capacity dis-
played in the face of the unprecedented problems imposed
by the war, but it holds a unique position among British
ministries in that its record combines the accomplishment
of a series of remarkable domestic reforms with the vigor-
ous prosecution of warlike operations abroad on a scale
unparalleled for Great Britain. It demonstrated for the
first time in generations the fact that a Liberal administra-
tion did not necessarily involve a weak or capricious foreign
policy. Its leading members met the test of adaptability

132



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KING OF GREAT BRITAIN








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Moral Impulses in the United Kingdom 133

to the requirements of a very unusual situation when the
nation was unexpectedly drawn into the vortex of a gigantic
struggle.

The really dominating personalities in the cabinet at the
outset of the war were four in number: the Prime Minister
and First Lord of the Treasury, the Right Honorable
Herbert Henry Asquith; the Secretary of State for Foreign
Affairs, Sir Edward Grey ; the Chancellor of the Exchequer,
the Right Honorable David Lloyd George; and the First
Lord of the Admiralty, the Right Honorable Winston
Leonard Spencer Churchill. Mr. Asquith and Sir Edward
Grey are sedate in appearance and indifferent to popularity,
while Mr. Lloyd George and Mr. Churchill possess a more
ardent temperament, which instinctively finds expression
in a genial, expansive manner, appealing strongly to popular
enthusiasm.

Mr. Asquith was born September 12, 1852. Like Sir
Edward Grey, he was a Balliol College man at Oxford.
He entered the House of Commons in 1886, and became
Home Secretary in the Gladstone-Rosebery Cabinet of
1892-1895. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer from
1905 imtil 1908, when he succeeded Sir Henry Campbell-
Bannerman as Prime Minister. Reference has been made
in Volume I (page 283) to the sensational circumstances in
which he assumed, during a short time in 1914, the secretary-
ship of war in addition to his duties as head of the cabinet.

Mr. Asquith is naturally unpretentious, practical, judi-
cious. He possesses intellectual, rather than imaginative
or emotional, power. His mental forces act with precision.
He is convincing, but not brilliant, in debate. His speeches
are clear and incisive, but usually plain. Nevertheless,
abundant reserve forces of passionate feeling and energy lie
concealed beneath the calm exterior, which break forth in
moments of emergency and when impelled by indignation.



134 The Great War

Sir Edward Grey was born April 25, 1862, and has been
in parliament since 1885. He has held the portfolio of
foreign affairs since 1905. His manner and associations
are essentially insular, but without compromising the
breadth and detachment of his intellectual apprehension.
He has travelled very little; and it is even reported that he
is not master of the French tongue, the customary medium
of diplomatic intercourse. His most conspicuous intel-
lectual endowments are clearness and self-possession. His
presence conveys an impression of firmness and well-
considered conviction. He arouses a feeling of respect,
rather than enthusiasm. His speeches are unembellished
in style, even rugged at times, as we shall have occasion
presently to observe.

Sir Edward Grey was the dean of the foreign ministers
of the Great Powers at the time of the world-convulsing
crisis. During nearly ten years he had guided the course
of British policy through an unusual succession of inter-
national tempests. He had zealously fostered the cohesive
force of the Entente Coj-diale, and his most noteworthy
achievement was the consummation of an understanding
with Russia. All Europe owed him a debt of gratitude for
his earnest efforts in preserving peace between the Great
Powers at the time of the Balkan crisis in 1912-1913.

The ambassadors' conferences held at that time in Lon-
don were his conception, and their deliberations were con-
ducted under his judicious guidance. Their effect within
the Balkan peninsula itself was limited; but they were an
effective means for mitigating the acuteness of the mutual
suspicion of some of the powers by facilitating a dispas-
sionate interchange and correlation of views. In conse-
quence of Sir Edward Grey's policy, British statesmanship
acquired a high position in the esteem and confidence of
the chancelleries of Europe.



Moral Impulses in the United Kingdom 135

Sir Edward Grey's present enemies paid eloquent tribute
to his reputation in 1913. Chancellor von Bethniann-
Hollvveii; declared before the Reichstag on April 7th:
" Europe will feel grateful to the English Minister of
Foreign Affairs for the extraordinary ability and spirit
of conciliation with which he conducted the discussions of
the ambassadors in London, and which constantly enabled
him to reconcile divergencies of view. Germany shares
all the more sincerely in this gratitude, because she knows
herself to be at one with the aims of English policy, and,
standing loyally by her allies, has labored in the same sense."

Count Berchtold declared before the foreign affairs com-
mittee of the Austro-Hungarian Delegations on Novem-
ber 19th, that "all Europe can find only words of gratitude
and recognition " for Sir Edward Grey, and that "the strictly
objective course of the British foreign policy had greatly
assisted in making possible the removal of numberless
difficulties in the situation without serious discord being
thereby produced."

But within little more than a year the Germans had dis-
covered in Sir Edward Grey the arch-conspirator, the
embodiment of treachery, who had deceived the world by
his specious devotion to peace. A widely-accepted theory
in Germany explains the great war as the consummation
of a premeditated design, with Sir Edward Grey as the
modern Machiavelli, whose apparently friendly attitude
was an ingenious disguise for lulling Germany into a
deceptive feeling of security. We have already examined
the German conviction that Germany was the victim of a
deliberate, hostile plot, and discovered that, on the basis of
the evidence at hand, this belief is at best no more than a
conjecture, without positive, incontrovertible proof. None
of Sir Edward Grey's actions during the anxious period of
discussion before the war are necessarily incompatible with



136 The Great War

sincere devotion to peace and a conviction that the most
effective means for the settlement of international diffi-
culties is a frank statement, dispassionate consideration, and
patient adjustment of the conflicting pretensions.

It is true that Sir Edward Grey's conduct has been very
severely criticised even in Great Britain and by members
of his own party on account of his concealment of the
Anglo-Russian understanding, which was not made public
xmtil after the closing of the session of parliament in 1907,
and his silence regarding the famous exchange of letters
with M. Cambon in 1912 and the conversations between
British and French military and naval experts, which were
not revealed to the House of Commons until August 3,
1914. We shall be governed in our judgment with respect
to this criticism by the opinion which we adopt regarding
the real character of the Triple Entente. For, if we accept
the German view that the purpose of this combination was
aggressive, we cannot absolve Sir Edward Grey from severe
blame for concealing from the House of Commons the
existence of agreements binding Great Britain to participate
in a continental war of aggrandizement. But if the purpose
of the Triple Entente was pacific, the foreign minister's con-
duct in not directly informing parliament of the existence
of agreements for the elimination of the causes of inter-
national friction is not necessarily reprehensible.

Sir Edward Grey's silence concerning the conversations
with France gains in gravity if we adopt the opinion that
Great Britain was thereby morally bound to intervene in
certain circumstances in favor of France, even if this obli-
gation was limited to cases in which France was the victim
of unprovoked aggression. The foreign minister's reticence
in these matters accorded with his natural spirit of reserve.
But his secrecy regarding the French "conversations" may
be explained in part as the consequence of the intense



Moral Impulses in the United Kingdom 137

suspicion excited in Germany by the disclosure of the
Anglo-French understanding in 1904, and the Anglo-
Russian agreement in 1907. Sir Edward Grey was prob-
ably convinced that the best way to make the military
understanding unnecessary vv^as to keep it secret.

Mr. Lloyd George was born of Welsh stock in 1863,
entered parliament in 1890, and succeeded Mr. Asquith as
Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1908. His native brisk-
ness of temperament and lively imagination have made
him the principal creative force in the cabinet. His free-
dom from all traditional restraints and his directness of
method are appropriate qualities in a statesman whose
function has been to translate into a concrete program of
legislation the aspirations of the rising British democracy.
For he brings a message to the cabinet direct from the
heart of the people.

Mr. Churchill came to the cabinet with the impetuous
energy and restlessness of youth. He too is free from
academic restriction. He is a man of varied and active
experience. Born November 30, 1874, the grandson of
the seventh Duke of Marlborough, he passed through the
military school at Sandhurst, and entered the army in 1895.
An enumeration of the widely-scattered scenes, of his mili-
tary career would illustrate the ubiquity and boundless
variety of British imperial interests. We may note only
that he was present with Kitchener at the Battle of Khar-
tum in 1898, and served with distinction in the South
African War. He became a member of parliament in
1906, and directly entered the ministry as Under-Secretary
of State for the Colonies. He was President of the Board
of Trade, 1908-1910, Home Secretary, 1910-1911, and First
Lord of the Admiralty, 1911-1915. He distinguished him-
self in the admiralty by his fearlessness in retiring the less
efficient admirals.



138 The Great War

Our examination of the evidence in the first volume led
us to the conviction that the idea of war was extremely
distasteful to the British Cabinet, although it does not
follow from this observation that the administration was
disposed to sacrifice any British rights or opportunities for
the sake of more cordial relations. But a further consid-
eration of a few characteristic incidents in the years just
before the war will exhibit a noteworthy diversity of opin-
ion among the leaders of the Liberal party as to the most
effective method for assuring peace.

Mr. Winston Churchill delivered a much-commented
address in Glasgow, February 9, 1912, in which he made
the following striking remarks:

"The British navy is to us a necessity, and for some
points of view the German navy is to them more in the
nature of a luxury. Our naval power involves British
existence. It is existence to us, it is expansion to them.
We cannot menace the peace of a single continental hamlet
nor do we wish to do so, no matter how great and supreme
our navy may become. But on the other hand, the whole
fortunes of our race and empire, the whole treasure
accumulated during so many centuries of sacrifice and
achievement would perish and be swept away if our naval
supremacy were to be impaired. It is the British navy
which makes Great Britain a great power. But Germany
was a great power, respected and honored all over the
world, before she had a single ship."

He declared that Great Britain would be the first power
to welcome and respond to a slackening of naval rivalry;
but if there were to be increases on the continent, she
would have no difficulty in meeting them. It is a
characteristic fact that this speech was received with
more general satisfaction by the opposition than by the
Liberal party.



Moral Impulses in the United Kingdom 139

We shall presently observe how the name of Lord
Haldane, then British Lord Chancellor, became associated
with an attitude toward Gernumy of quite a different tone.

Chancellor von Bethniann-Hollweg declared in his
speech before the Reichstag on December 2, 1914, that
he had in past years endeavored to bring about a frank,
understanding with Great Britain. The truth of this state-
ment can no more be refuted than can that of the counter-
vailing proposition that the British government was equally
desirous of arriving at a friendly accord. A peculiar ele-
ment in the situation and the existence of mutual suspicion
are chiefly responsible for the failure to achieve what was
desired by both parties.

At the beginning of 1912 information reached the British
government that it would be agreeable to the Kaiser if a
member of the cabinet could go to Berlin to discuss rela-



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