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DIPLOMACY AND THE WAR

Germany, and he therefore sought a pretext for allying himself with Austria.

Who has played the part of these men during the course of recent events? Grey or Bethmann-Hollweg? Poincaré or William II?

The Central Powers, Germany and Austria, did not want a European war, but we wanted to defeat Serbia. The zenith of the political aims of our Government was the preservation of what existed, and not conquest for the sake of which it would have been worth while to risk a world war. The only German idea which altered the existing relation of the powers was the development of her navy, and even this thought did not involve the destruction, or even the weakening, of the power of other states, but it was only the externalization of her own prowess. In fact, this very ambition of our ally would have retarded the war most successfully, because it is surely obvious that the development of her Navy could only reach maturity during times of peace. The outbreak of war, before Germany had passed through the danger zone of naval weakness, threatened certain destruction to the results she had achieved at the expense of great sacrifices.

Austria-Hungary, however, was determined to solve the Serbian question fundamentally, because she was convinced that, unless she received substantial guarantees after the murder of Serajevo, Serbia would never abandon her aggressive policy, the Monarchy would run the risk of becoming paralysed, and her future would be in danger of falling to pieces like a sheaf