our readiness to come to an understanding on this point with England, in the hope that it may bring about a desired appeasement.
World-embracing international arbitration treaties dictated by an international areopagus I consider just as impossible as general international disarmament. Germany takes up no hostile position toward arbitration. In all the new German treaties of commerce there are arbitration clauses. In the main it was due to Germany’s initiative that an agreement was arrived at at the second Hague conference for the establishment of an International Prize Court.
Arbitration treaties can certainly contribute in a great measure to maintain and fortify peaceful relations. But strength must depend on readiness for war. The dictum still holds good that the weak becomes the prey of the strong. If a nation can not or will not spend enough on her defensive forces for her to be able to make her way in the world, then she falls back into the second rank.
* * * * *
By Kaiser Franz Josef and Count Berchtold.
* * * * *
The Imperial Rescript and Manifesto.
Ischl, July 28.
Dear Count Stuergkh:
I have resolved to instruct the Ministers of my Household and Foreign Affairs to notify the Royal Servian Government of the beginning of a state of war between the Monarchy and Servia. In this fateful hour I feel the need of turning to my beloved peoples. I command you, therefore, to publish the inclosed manifesto.
To my peoples! It was my fervent wish to consecrate the years which, by the grace of God, still remain to me, to the works of peace and to protect my peoples from the heavy sacrifices and burdens of war. Providence, in its wisdom, has otherwise decreed. The intrigues of a malevolent opponent compel me, in the defense of the honor of my Monarchy, for the protection of its dignity and its position as a power, for the security of its possessions, to grasp the sword after long years of peace.
With a quickly forgetful ingratitude, the Kingdom of Servia, which, from the first beginnings of its independence as a State until quite recently, had been supported and assisted by my ancestors, has for years trodden the path of open hostility to Austria-Hungary. When, after three decades of fruitful work for peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I extended my Sovereign rights to those lands, my decree called forth in the Kingdom of Servia, whose rights were in nowise injured, outbreaks of unrestrained passion and the bitterest hate. My Government at that time employed the handsome privileges of the stronger, and with extreme consideration and