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54

DIPLOMACY AND THE WAR

place its fate at the mercy of the love of justice of other peoples, has a moral right to demand that we should do the same. But such a nation does not exist, because, in similar circumstances, no one has staked independence upon the favour of a third party.

The question that had to be answered was not, whether the murder of Serajevo and the participation of Serbian society offered sufficient grounds before a strict court of justice for demanding satisfaction and imposing a penalty; but the question that had to be decided was, what guarantees were necessary in order to destroy for ever the Serbian policy which was associated with this murder and which continually threatened our existence and the peace of Europe? The Peace Palace at The Hague has never delivered judgment in such a case. Even the protagonists of international reform expressed the general opinion at that time that questions which related to national honour and national existence were not fit to be brought before any court of justice.

When Krüger demanded, in a question of similar importance, that England should be guided by the decision of a tribunal, England refused Kröger's demand. In the treaty that was concluded between England and France it was stated, expressis verbis, that questions of this sort did not come within the jurisdiction of any court. Accordingly, as we did not wish to entrust the question of our existence to the international convention at The Hague, we followed a policy which was hallowed by precedent. In view