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Before the War   By: (1856-1928)

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First Page:

BEFORE THE WAR

by

VISCOUNT HALDANE

Secretary of State for War from December, 1905 to June, 1912; Lord High Chancellor from June, 1912 to May, 1915.]

[Illustration: London Stereoscopic Co .

Funk & Wagnalls Company New York and London 1920 Copyright, 1920, by Funk & Wagnalls Company [Printed in the United States of America] Published in February, 1920 Copyright under the Articles of the Copyright Convention of the Pan American Republics of the United States, August 11, 1910

PREFATORY NOTE

The chapters of which this little volume consists were constructed with a definite purpose. It was to render clear the line of thought and action followed by the Government of this country before the war, between January, 1906, and August, 1914. The endeavor made was directed in the first place to averting war, and in the second place to preparing for it as well as was practicable if it should come. In reviewing what happened I have made use of the substance of various papers recently contributed to the Westminster Gazette , the Atlantic Monthly , Land and Water , and the Sunday Times . The gist of these, which were written with their inclusion in this book in view, has been incorporated in the text together with other material. I have to thank the Editors of these journals for their courtesy in agreeing that the substance of what they published should be made use of here as part of a connected whole.

CONTENTS

PAGE INTRODUCTION 13

DIPLOMACY BEFORE THE WAR 35

THE GERMAN ATTITUDE BEFORE THE WAR 101

THE MILITARY PREPARATIONS 177

EPILOG 207

INDEX 227

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

VISCOUNT HALDANE Frontispiece

COUNT METTERNICH Facing page 57

M. PAUL CAMBON 78

VISCOUNT GREY (SIR EDWARD GREY) 87

CHANCELLOR VON BETHMANN HOLLWEG 101

ADMIRAL VON TIRPITZ 137

COUNT BERCHTOLD 153

COUNT OTTOKAR CZERNIN 170

BEFORE THE WAR

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

The purpose of the pages which follow is, as I have said in the Prefatory Note, to explain the policy pursued toward Germany by Great Britain through the eight years which immediately preceded the great war of 1914. It was a policy which had two branches, as inseparable as they were distinct. The preservation of peace, by removing difficulties and getting rid of misinterpretations, was the object of the first branch. The second branch was concerned with what might happen if we failed in our effort to avert war. Against any outbreak by which such failure might be followed we had to insure. The form of the insurance had to be one which, in our circumstances, was practicable, and care had to be taken that it was not of a character that would frustrate the main purpose by provoking, and possibly accelerating, the very calamity against which it was designed to provide.

The situation was delicate and difficult. The public most properly expected of British Ministers that they should spare no effort for peace and for security. It was too sensible to ask for every detail of the steps taken for the attainment of this end. There are matters on which it is mischievous to encourage discussion, even in Parliament. Members of Parliament know this well, and are sensible about it. The wisest among them do not press for open statements which if made to the world would imperil the very object which Parliament and the public have directed those responsible to them to seek to attain... Continue reading book >>




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