“His Majesty the King declares that he considers himself from tomorrow in a state of war with Austria-Hungary.”
The undersigned has the honor to make known at the same time to his Excellency the Foreign Minister, that passports will be placed this very day at the disposal of the Imperial and Royal Ambassador at Rome, and he will be obliged to his Excellency if he will kindly have his passports handed to him.
[By The Associated Press.]
LONDON, May 24, 5:45 A.M.—A Reuter dispatch from Amsterdam says the Vienna Zeitung publishes the following autograph letter from Emperor Francis Joseph to Count Karl Stuergkh:
Dear Count Stuergkh: I request you to make public the attached manifesto to my troops:
“VIENNA, May 23.—Francis Joseph to his troops:
“The King of Italy has declared war on me. Perfidy whose like history does not know was committed by the Kingdom of Italy against both allies. After an alliance of more than thirty years’ duration, during which it was able to increase its territorial possessions and develop itself to an unthought of flourishing condition, Italy abandoned us in our hour of danger and went over with flying colors into the camp of our enemies.
“We did not menace Italy; did not curtail her authority; did not attack her honor or interests. We always responded loyally to the duties of our alliance and afforded her our protection when she took the field. We have done more. When Italy directed covetous glances across our frontier we, in order to maintain peace and our alliance relation, were resolved on great and painful sacrifices which particularly grieved our paternal heart. But the covetousness of Italy, which believed the moment should be used, was not to be appeased, so fate must be accommodated.
“My armies have victoriously withstood mighty armies in the north in ten months of this gigantic conflict in most loyal comradeship of arms with our illustrious ally. A new and treacherous enemy in the south is to you no new enemy. Great memories of Novara, Mortaro, and Lissa, which constituted the pride of my youth; the spirit of Radetzky, Archduke Albrecht, and Tegetthoff, which continues to live in my land and sea forces, guarantee that in the south also we shall successfully defend the frontiers of the monarchy.
“I salute my battle-tried troops, who are inured to victory. I rely on them and their leaders. I rely on my people for whose unexampled spirit of sacrifice my most paternal thanks are due. I pray the Almighty to bless our colors and take under His gracious protection our just cause.”
[By The Associated Press.]
Rome, May 20.—Amid tremendous enthusiasm the Chamber of Deputies late today adopted, by a vote of 407 to 74, the bill conferring upon the Government full power to make war.