The Provocation of France

By Jean Charlemagne Bracq | Go to book overview

IX
THE AGADIR PROVOCATION

GERMANS have peculiar ways of their own. They often dispense with diplomatic courtesies which, in time of strained relations, make the continuance of international life possible. They who are so sensitive have done things which, with people of a similar spirit, would have meant war at once. The sudden sending of the Panther to Agadir on the coast of Morocco early in July, 1911, was a most warlike challenge. The Government in Berlin informed the French Minister of Foreign Affairs of the fact after the vessel had been sent. There was no disturbance on the coast,1 so that this was without excuse. It was the repetition of the Tangier Comedy. What France and England in answer to this ought to have done would have been to send their own men-of- war and have done everything which the German aggressors did, but such a course would have been fraught with momentous possibilities. It was said that this move on the part of Wilhelmstrasse was intended to please Pan-Germanists, and that the Government at their suggestion had already chosen Agadir as a future German port. This step was considered by many of them as a virtual seizure of that part of the disputed Moorish Empire. Other apologists of Germany said that the Panther incident was a means of compelling the French to negotiate, but the Quai d'Orsay had been ready at all

____________________
1
Le Temps, July 3, 1911.

-108-

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