Collected Diplomatic Documents Relating to the Outbreak of the European War

Collected Diplomatic Documents Relating to the Outbreak of the European War

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Collected Diplomatic Documents Relating to the Outbreak of the European War

Collected Diplomatic Documents Relating to the Outbreak of the European War

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The object of this volume is to bring together the official correspondence published by the various European Governments relating to the outbreak of the present war. The correspondence thus collected is not new, though official translations of the Serbian and Austrian Books now appear for the first time. Such a compilation of documents for the most part already widely known may appear to need some justification.

The work has been undertaken, not in order to excite new attention, but rather for the benefit of students of history and politics. In these days historical evidence is apt to become rapidly overlaid by a mass of commentary and criticism through which the student has to dig back to the original sources. This volume is mainly designed to facilitate such work.

With this end in view, the intention has been to republish only those original documents which the various Governments have laid before the world as authentic records of events. Commentaries, even when proceeding from the Governments themselves, are therefore excluded. For instance, the preface to the cheap edition of the British White Paper is not reprinted in this volume. To this rule, however, certain exceptions have been made. For obvious reasons it has not seemed fair to exclude from a volume published in England the commentaries contained in the German White Book and the Austrian Red Book. Further, the special interest attaching to the question of Belgian neutrality has been held to justify the publication, in an appendix to the Belgian Grey Book, of certain commentaries, emanating from Belgian and British official sources, on the charges brought in Germany against the good faith of the Belgian and British Governments. It is, however, hoped that these commentaries will not distract attention from the original documents published in the same appendix. The same considerations have led to the inclusion, as an appendix to the German White Book, of Herr von Bethmann Hollweg's speech in the Reichstag on August 4, as containing the German case for the violation of Belgian neutrality. Finally, the attention excited by Signor Giolitti's speech in the Italian Parliament has seemed to justify its inclusion as an appendix to the Serbian Book.

Documents which were not included in the collections originally published by the various Governments but have been published subsequently officially in the Press are given at the end of the volume (Part X).

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