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OUR WAR MOTIVES

41

Russia tried to approach us again under the inlluence of the Kaiser (1910–1911). This policy, however, was so Hitle in accordance with the tendency of public opinion in Russia that it could not be pursued. The hope of revenge had become rooted in the popular mind, and it was fanned into flame by the German policy in the Near East; that is to say, the Hamburg-Bagdad scheme. Russia felt that she was paralysed in the East, and she was now being reduced to inaction in the West.

The first triumph of Russian policy was her success in creating the union of the Balkans under Russian protection for the purpose of becoming a menace, firstly to Turkey, but secondly also to Austria and Hungary (1912). This union of the Balkans was a complete defeat of our policy, and it drove us in fact out of the Balkans. If this union had been consolidated under Russian influence, Russian revenge would have been complete, and the balance of power would have changed very much to our disadvantage.

I believed that, as soon as the Balkan States became federated, Turkish supremacy in Macedonia could not be upheld any longer, and that the Macedonian and Albanian possessions were nothing but a burden to the Sultan. In those davs I considered that the suitable counter-measure would have been for us to support the autonomy of Macedonia in accordance with the demand of the Balkan vStates, and that we should warn Turkey that, if she refused to give way, she was likely to lose her European possessions, and further, we should have