The Franco-Russian Alliance, 1890-1894

By William Leonard Langer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
CRONSTADT AND THE ENTENTE OF AUGUST 1891

ALTHOUGH the renewal of the Triple Alliance had not involved any material changes in the text, and although there had been no real extension of England's obligations to Italy or alteration of her relations to the Triple Alliance, it could hardly be expected that the uninitiated French and Russians should believe that such was the case. On the contrary they had every reason to feel convinced that the opposite was true, for the central powers and England seemed to be intent on advertising their entente and flaunting it in the face of the isolated states. Rudini himself, in announcing the renewal of the alliance in the Italian senate on June 29, had declared that there had been, some years ago, an exchange of views between England and Italy and that Sir James Fergusson had described this exchange in accurate terms in his replies to Labouchère's interpellations. The two countries, he continued, had proposed to coöperate for the maintenance of peace and the status quo. He did not see how the identity of views of Great Britain and Italy could be called in question.1

At the same time Labouchère returned to the attack, questioning the government in regard to the statements made by Rudini. Fergusson reiterated his former declarations that any measures to be taken in case of need for the maintenance of the status quo in the Mediterranean would be a matter for consideration according to the circumstances of the case. The exchange of views between England and Italy had been occasional, but there had been no change in the English attitude since 1888.2 On July 6 the undersecretary once more asserted that the purpose of the understanding was the maintenance of the status quo in

____________________
1
Chiala III, pp. 559-561.
2
July 2, 1891, Parliamentary Debates CCCLV, p. 210.

-170-

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