Posts Tagged ‘WW I’

By the Grace of God


Emperor and Autocrat

Of All the Russias,

Tsar of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland,

etc., etc., etc.,

Declare to all Our loyal subjects:


Impossible as it seemed, but treacherously preparing from the very beginning of the war, Bulgaria has betrayed the Slav cause: The Bulgarian army has attacked Our faithful ally Serbia, [which is already] bleeding profusely in a struggle with a strong enemy.


Russia and Our allied Great Powers tried to warn Ferdinand of Coburg against this fatal step. The fullfillment of an age-old aspiration of the Bulgar people – union with Macedonia – has [already] been guaranteed to Bulgaria by a means more in accord with the interests of the Slav world.


But appeals by the Germans to secret ambitions and fratricidal emnity against the Serbs prevailed.


Bulgaria, whose [Orthodox] faith is the same as Ours, who so recently has been liberated from Turkish slavery by the brotherly love and the blood of the Russian people, openly took the side of the enemies of the Christian faith, the Slav world and of Russia.


The Russian people react with bitterness to the treachery of a Bulgaria which was so close to them until recently, and draw their swords against her with heavy hearts, leaving the fate of these traitors to the Slav world to God’s just retribution.


Given at the Tsar’s Headquarters the 5th day of October, in the year from the Nativity of Christ the 1,915th, and of Our reign the twenty-first.


On the true authority of His Imperial Majesty,






Source: The World War I Document Archive


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The War

June 5, 1915. Dundee


The Ministerial Crisis of May 1915 is a highly complex episode in British political history The immediate cause was Lord Fisher’s resignation on May 15, but other elements—notably a sensational attack in the Times the previous day, alleging a severe shell shortage in France—played their part. A reconstruction of the Government was inevitable and after days of complex negotiations the first Coalition Government of the war was formed. Churchill’s removal from the Admiralty was a sine qua non for the Opposition. He struggled desperately to remain, but the pressures upon Asquith and not only from the Opposition were too great. He became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, with a seat in the Cabinet. It was a shattering demotion. “At a moment when every fibre of my being was inflamed to action ” he subsequently wrote, “I was forced to remain a spectator of the tragedy. ”


On June 5, in his constituency, he defended his role in the Dardanelles. — RRJ


I thought it right to take an opportunity of coming here to my constituency in view of all the events which have recently taken place, and also of the fact that considerably more than a year has passed since I have had the opportunity of speaking in Dundee. I have not come here to trouble you with personal matters, or to embark on explanations or to indulge in reproaches or recriminations. In war time a man must do his duty as he sees it, and take his luck as it comes or goes. I will not say a word here or in Parliament which I cannot truly feel will have a useful bearing upon the only thing that matters, upon the only thing I care about, and the only thing I want you to think about—namely, the waging of victorious war upon the enemy. [Cheers] I was sent to the Admiralty in 1911, after the Agadir crisis had nearly brought us into war, and I was sent with the express duty laid upon me by the Prime Minister to put the Fleet in a state of instant and constant readiness for war in case we were attacked by Germany. [Cheers.]


Since then, for nearly four years, I have borne the heavy burden of being, according to the time-honoured language of my patent, “responsible to Crown and Parliament for all the business of the Admiralty,” and when I say responsible, I have been responsible in the real sense, that I have had the blame for everything that has gone wrong. [Laughter and cheers.] These years have comprised the most important period in our naval history a period of preparation for war, a period of vigilance and mobilization, and a period of actual war under conditions of which no man has any experience. I have done my best, [cheers], and the archives of the Admiralty will show in the utmost detail the part I have played in all the great transactions that have taken place. It is to them I look for my defense.


I look also to the general naval situation. The terrible dangers of the beginning of the war are over. The seas have been swept clear: the submarine menace has been fixed within definite limits; the personal ascendency of our men, the superior quality of our ships on the high seas, has been established beyond doubt or question. [Cheers.] Our strength has greatly increased, actually and relatively from what it was in the beginning of the war, and it grows continually every day by leaps and bounds in all the classes of vessels needed for the special purpose of the war. Between now and the end of the year, the British Navy will receive reinforcements which would be incredible if they were not actual facts. Everything is in perfect order. Nearly everything has been foreseen, all our supplies, stores, ammunition, and appliances of every kind, our supplies and drafts of officers and men—all are there. Nowhere will you be hindered. You have taken the measure of your foe, you have only to go forward with confidence. [Cheers.] On the whole surface of the seas of the world no hostile flag is flown. [Loud cheers.]


In that achievement I shall always be proud to have had a share. My charge now passes to another hand, and it is my duty to do everything in my power to give to my successor loyal support in act, in word, and in thought. [Cheers.] I am very glad indeed that Mr. Balfour [cheers] has been able to undertake this great task. [Cheers.] The operations which are now proceeding at the Dardanelles will give him the opportunity of using that quality of cool, calm courage and inflexibility which 15 years ago prevented Ladysmith from being left to its fate and surrendered to the enemy.


I have two things to say to you about the Dardanelles. First, you must expect losses both by land and sea; but the Fleet you are employing there is your surplus Fleet, after all other needs have been provided for. Had it not been used in this great enterprise, it would have been lying idle in your southern ports. A large number of the old vessels of which it is composed have to be laid up, in any case, before the end of the year, because their crews are wanted for the enormous reinforcements of new ships which the industry of your workshops is hurrying into the water. Losses of ships, therefore, as long as the precious lives of the officers and men are saved, as in nearly every case they have been—losses of that kind, I say, may easily be exaggerated in the minds both of friend and foe.


And military operations will also be costly, but those who suppose that Lord Kitchener [loud cheers] has embarked upon them without narrowly and carefully considering their requirements in relation to all other needs and in relation to the paramount need of our Army in France and Flanders such people are mistaken and, not only mistaken, they are presumptuous.


My second point is this in looking at your losses squarely and soberly, you must not forget, at the same time, the prize for which you are contending. The Army of Sir Ian Hamilton, the Fleet of Admiral de Robeck, are separated only by a few miles from a victory such as this war has not yet seen. When I speak of victory, I am not referring to those victories which crowd the daily placards of any newspapers. I am speaking of victory in the sense of a brilliant and formidable fact, shaping the destinies of nations and shortening the duration of the war. Beyond those few miles of ridge and scrub on which our soldiers, our French comrades, our gallant Australians, and our New Zealand fellow-subjects are now battling, lie the downfall of a hostile empire, the destruction of an enemy’s fleet and army, the fall of a world-famous capital, and probably the accession of powerful Allies. The struggle will be heavy, the risks numerous, the losses cruel; but victory when it comes will make amends for all.


There never was a great subsidiary operation of war in which a more complete harmony of strategic, political, and economic advantages has combined, or which stood in truer relation to the main decision which is in the central theatre. Through the narrows of the Dardanelles and across the ridges of the Gallipoli Peninsula lie some of the shortest paths to a triumphant peace. That is all I say upon that subject this afternoon; but later on, perhaps, when the concluding chapters in this famous story have been written, I may be allowed to return again to the subject.


I am not with the croakers. [Cheers.] I see some of our newspaper friends are reproaching themselves and reproaching others for having been too optimistic. Let them lay their consciences to rest. It is the general duty of the Press, for the most part faithfully discharged, to sustain the public confidence and spirit in time of war. All the great commanders of the past, the rulers of States in time of crises, have always laboured to discourage pessimism by every means in their power. [Cheers.] Our Allies the French have a recent saying that pessimism in the civilian is the counterpart of cowardice in the soldier. That does not mean you must not face facts. You should face facts, but surely from the facts of our situation you will find the means of deriving much encouragement.


Why, when we look back and remember that we entered this conflict of military nations, of great States prepared mainly for war, that we entered this conflict ten months ago a powerful civilian nation, that no part of our national life, excepting always the Navy [cheers]—the British Navy was as ready as the German Army [loud cheers] and has proved itself more equal to its task [cheers]—but when we remember that no part of our national life, except the Navy, was adapted to war on a great scale, have we not in all that has happened since much to be proud of and much to be thankful for? [Cheers.] Is it not wonderful, for instance, that after so many years of peace we should have found ready to hand a Kitchener to recruit and organize our armies [cheers], a dauntless leader like Sir John French to command them [cheers], skilful generals like Sir Douglas Haig, Sir Ian Hamilton, a naval Commander-in-Chief like Sir John Jellicoe. Admirals like Beatty and Sturdee and De Robeck, and the gallant commodore who flies his broad pennant in the saucy Arethusa? And depend upon it behind them there are many more only waiting for the golden gleam of opportunity to perform surprising deeds of men in our cause.


It is the duty of all in times like these to give loyalty and confidence to their leaders, be they the soldiers in the active sphere or the statesmen who sit in anxious council here at home, to give them loyalty and confidence, not only when all goes smoothly, for that is easy, but to make them feel that they will not be blamed for necessary losses incurred in valiant enterprise or rounded on in reproach at the first check or twist of fortune. Then you will get from your leaders, be they military or civilian, you will get from them the courage, the energy, the audacity, and readiness to run all risks and shoulder the responsibilities without which no great result in war can ever be achieved. [Cheers.]


Now I would like to say something which will get me into trouble. [Laughter.] I do not think that the newspapers ought to be allowed to attack the responsible leaders of the nation [loud cheers], whether in the field or at home, or to write in a manner which is calculated to spread doubts and want of confidence in them or in particular operations, or to write anything which is calculated to make bad blood between them. I apply this not only to the Admirals and Generals, but to the principal Ministers at home, and especially the heads of the great fighting departments. No other nation now at war would allow the newspapers such a license in the present time, and if there is to be criticism, if there must be criticism, first, it should be only the loyal criticism of earnest intention. But if there is to be criticism, let it be in Parliament. If the speeches are such that we cannot allow the enemy to be a party to our discussions, then let Parliament, as is its right, sit for the time being with closed doors. But it seems imperative, in the interests of the country for the future, and for the safety and success of our arms, that irresponsible or malicious carping should not continue.


We in this country are the firm supporters of a free Press. A free Press is a natural and healthy feature in national life, so long as you have also a free Parliament and a free platform; but when, owing to war conditions, Parliament observes a voluntary but severe restraint, and when many of the subjects cannot be freely discussed without giving information to the enemy, then the balance of society is no longer true and grave injury results from the unrestricted action of the newspapers.


I have very much regretted that the Liberal Government which is now no more had no opportunity of stating its case in Parliament. It would, I think, have been found that Lord Kitchener had a very strong case to unfold on behalf of the War Office, and even I might have had something to say on behalf of the Admiralty; but the Government has perished, its long career, so memorable in our home affairs, is ended, its work whether in South Africa or Ireland has passed for good or for ill into history. I know that there are gathered here this afternoon many of those who were its opponents, and that we are going to work together on a different basis now; but before I come to the new Government and its prospects, I must ask your leave and your courtesy to say a few words in justice to the old. [Cheers.]


There was a Government which sought peace long and faithfully and to the end, but which, nevertheless, maintained our naval defence so that all the needs and dangers were provided against; there was a Government who placed in the field six times as many divisions of soldiers as had ever been contemplated by any party in the State at any time in our history; there was a Government which fulfilled in your name, in the name of the nation, every obligation of duty and of honour to France and to Belgium [cheers]; there was a Government which brought us into the war a united people and with such a record that in future times, when the wounded world looks back with its searching scrutiny upon all the events which have led up to this great catastrophe—will leave us such a record as will show to all time that Britain was absolutely guiltless of the slightest stain. [Cheers.] I thought you would permit me to say these few words about the Liberal Administration of which I have had the honour to remain for so many years a member, and that I might say them in justice to those who compose it and to the Chief who led it, and to the great party which so faithfully sustained it.


And before I leave it I would ask your leave to say a word about a great friend of mine, well-known to you in Scotland and passed now out of public life—Lord Haldane. [Cheers.] I deeply regret that he has ceased to fill the great office which he adorned. No more sincere patriot has served the Crown. There never has been an occasion in the Cabinets of the last seven years in which I have sat, that, as the need arose, Lord Haldane has not from his great knowledge of the German governmental system warned us to be on our guard against the dangerous side of their nature. [Cheers.] There never has been a time when he has not supported every provision for the defence of this country, military or naval. He it was who entered into those intricate arrangements with France which enabled our Army to be so swiftly brought to the scene of action, just in the nick of time. He it was who prepared that Expeditionary Army in the face of much opposition and in days when every penny was hard to get. He it was who organized the Territorial Force [cheers], which has so splendidly vindicated itself and its founder, and upon whose gallantry, discipline, and numbers the weight and even the success of our military operations hitherto have notably if not mainly depended. [Cheers.] Till a few months ago all the land forces which we employed in this war, which we put in the field, were the products of Lord Haldane’s organization, and in the fateful and convulsive days before Great Britain drew the sword of honour, when the chill of doubt struck into many hearts, whether we should act as we were bound—in those days no man stood closer to Sir Edward Grey and no man saw more clearly where our duty led us. [Cheers.]


With that I leave the past. A new Government has been formed, old opponents have laid aside their differences, personal interests and party interests have been adjusted or suppressed, and the Administration may now claim to represent the political energies and abilities and to command the loyalties of a united nation. [Cheers.] To support that Government, to make it a success, to make it an efficient instrument for waging war, to be loyal to it, to treat it fairly, and judge it with consideration and respect is not a matter of likes and dislikes, not a matter of ordinary political choice or option. It is for all of us a matter of self-preservation. [Cheers.] For nearly three weeks the country has had its attention diverted from the war by the business of Cabinet making and the dividing of offices and honours, and all those commonplace but necessary details of our political system which are so entertaining in time of peace. [Laughter.]


Now that is all over. It has taken long enough, but it is over, and I ask myself this question—What does the nation expect of the new National Government? I can answer my question. I am going to answer it in one word—action. [Loud cheers.] That is the need, that is the only justification, that there should be a stronger national sentiment, a more powerful driving force, a greater measure of consent in the people, a greater element of leadership and design in the rulers—that is what all parties expect and require in return for the many sacrifices which all parties have after due consideration made from their particular interests and ideals. Action—action, not hesitation; action, not words; action, not agitation. The nation waits its orders. The duty lies upon the Government to declare what should be done, to propose it to Parliament, and to stand or fall by the result. That is the message which you wish me to take back to London — Act; act now; act with faith and courage. Trust the people. They have never failed you yet.


Long speeches are not suited to the times in which we live, and, therefore, I shall detain you only a very few minutes more. As to the rights of the State in the hour of supreme need over all its subjects there can be no dispute. They are absolute. Nothing matters but that the nation lives and preserves that freedom without which life would be odious. The only question which arises is as to the degree to which it is necessary to exercise these indisputable rights. Now, I say frankly to you that if it were not possible to win this war without taking men by compulsion and sending them into the field, I should support such a measure; but I do not believe that it will be found necessary [cheers], and I am sure it is not necessary now. On the contrary, such is the character of our people that the only places which will never lack volunteers are the bloody trenches of France and Flanders. [Cheers.]


No nation has never at any time in history found such a spirit of daring and sacrifice widespread, almost universal, in the masses of its people. The French Revolution could not defend the soil of France without compulsion. The American Commonwealth could not maintain the integrity of its State without compulsion, but modern Britain has found millions of citizens who all of their own free will have eagerly or soberly resolved to fight and die for the principles at stake and to fight and die in the hardest, the cruellest, and the least rewarded of all the wars that men have fought. Why, that is one of the most wonderful and inspiring facts in the whole history of this wonderful island, and in afterdays, depend upon it, it will be taken as a splendid signal of the manhood of our race and of the soundness of our institutions. [Cheers.]


And having got so far, being now on the high road to three millions of men in the service of the Crown as Volunteers—having gone so far, to cast away this great moral advantage which adds to the honour of our Armies and to the dignity of our State, simply for the purpose of hustling into the firing line a comparatively small proportion of persons, themselves not, perhaps, the best suited to the job, who, even when taken, could not be for many months equipped to do that after all that happened would, it seems to me, be unwise in the extreme. [Cheers.]


But service at home, service for home defence and to keep our fighting men abroad properly supplied and maintained, that seems to me to stand on a different footing. Remember, we are confronted with a foe who would without the slightest scruple extirpate us, man, woman, and child, by any method open to him if he had the opportunity. We are fighting a foe who would not hesitate one moment to obliterate every single soul in this great country this afternoon if it could be done by pressing a button. We are fighting a foe who would think as little of that as a gardener would think of smoking out a wasps’ nest. Let us recognize that this is a new fact in the history of the world [cheers] or, rather, it is an old fact, sprung up out of the horrible abysses of the past.


We are fighting with a foe of that kind, and we are locked in mortal struggle. To fail is to be enslaved, or, at the very best, to be destroyed. Not to win decisively is to have all this misery over again after an uneasy truce, and to fight it over again, probably under less favourable circumstances and, perhaps, alone. Why, after what has happened, there could never be peace in Europe until the German military system has been so shattered and torn and trampled that it is unable to resist by any means the will and decision of the conquering Power. [Loud cheers.] For this purpose our whole nation must be organized [cheers] —must be socialized, if you like the word, must be organized and mobilized, and I think there must be asserted in some form or other—I do not attempt to prejudge that—but I think there must be asserted in some form or other by the Government, a reserve power to give the necessary control and organizing authority and to make sure that every one of every rank and condition, men and women as well, do, in their own way. their fair share. [Cheers.] Democratic principles enjoin it, social justice requires, national safety demands it, and I shall take back to London, with your authority, the message “Let the Government act according to its faith.” [Cheers.]


Above all. let us be of good cheer. [Cheers, and a voice, “Shame the devil and to hell with the Huns.”] Let us be of good cheer. 1 have told you how the Navy’s business has been discharged. You see for yourselves how your economic life and energy have been maintained without the slightest check, so that it is certain you can realize the full strength of this vast community. The valour of our soldiers has won general respect in all the Armies of Europe. [Cheers.] The word of Britain is now taken as the symbol and the hall mark of international good faith. The loyalty of our Dominions and Colonies vindicates our civilization, and the hate of our enemies proves the effectiveness of our warfare. [Cheers.] Yet I would advise you from time to time, when you are anxious or depressed, to dwell a little on the colour and light of the terrible war pictures now presented to the eye. See Australia and New Zealand smiting down in the last and finest crusade the combined barbarism of Prussia and of Turkey. [Cheers.] General Louis Botha holding South Africa for the King. [Cheers.] See Canada defending to the death the last few miles of shattered Belgium. Look further, and, across the smoke and carnage of the immense battlefield, look forward to the vision of a united British Empire on the calm background of a liberated Europe.


Then turn again to your task. Look forward, do not look backward. Gather afresh in heart and spirit all the energies of your being, bend anew together for a supreme effort. The times are harsh, need is dire, the agony of Europe is infinite, but the might of Britain hurled united into the conflict will be irresistible. We are the grand reserve of the Allied cause, and that grand reserve must now march forward as one man. [Loud and prolonged cheers.]


Source: The Churchill Centre

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My Fellow-Countrymen:
The entrance of our own beloved country into the grim and terrible war for democracy and human rights which has shaken the world creates so many problems of national life and action which call for immediate consideration and settlement that I hope you will permit me to address to you a few words of earnest counsel and appeal with regard to them.

We are rapidly putting our navy upon an effective war footing and are about to create and equip a great army, but these are the simplest parts of the great task to which we have addressed ourselves. There is not a single selfish element, so far as I can see, in the cause we are fighting for. We are fighting for what we believe and wish to be the rights of mankind and for the future peace and security of the world. To do this great thing worthily and successfully we must devote ourselves to the service without regard to profit or material advantage and with an energy and intelligence that will rise to the level of the enterprise itself. We must realize to the full how great the task is and how many things, how many kinds and elements of capacity and service and self-sacrifice, it involves.

These, then, are the things we must do, and do well, besides fighting,?the things without which mere fighting would be fruitless:

We must supply abundant food for ourselves and for our armies and our seamen not only, but also for a large part of the nations with whom we have now made common cause, in whose support and by whose sides we shall be fighting.

We must supply ships by the hundreds out of our shipyards to carry to the other side of the sea, submarines or no submarines, what will every day be needed there, and abundant materials out of our fields and our mines and our factories with which not only to clothe and equip our own forces on land and sea but also to clothe and support our people for whom the gallant fellows under arms can no longer work, to help clothe and equip the armies with which we are co?ating in Europe, and to keep the looms and manufactories there in raw material; coal to keep the fires going in ships at sea and in the furnaces of hundreds of factories across the sea; steel out of which to make arms and ammunition both here and there; rails for worn-out railways back of the fighting fronts; locomotives and rolling stock to take the place of those every day going to pieces; mules, horses, cattle for labor and for military service; everything with which the people of England and France and Italy and Russia have usually supplied themselves but cannot now afford the men, the materials, or the machinery to make.

It is evident to every thinking man that our industries, on the farms, in the shipyards, in the mines, in the factories, must be made more prolific and more efficient than ever and that they must be more economically managed and better adapted to the particular requirements of our task than they have been; and what I want to say is that the men and the women who devote their thought and their energy to these things will be serving the country and conducting the fight for peace and freedom just as truly and just as effectively as the men on the battlefield or in the trenches. The industrial forces of the country, men and women alike, will be a great national, a great international, Service Army,?a notable and honored host engaged in the service of the nation and the world, the efficient friends and saviors of free men everywhere. Thousands, nay, hundreds of thousands, of men otherwise liable to military service will of right and of necessity be excused from that service and assigned to the fundamental, sustaining work of the fields and factories and mines, and they will be as much part of the great patriotic forces of the nation as the men under fire.

I take the liberty, therefore, of addressing this word to the farmers of the country and to all who work on the farms: The supreme need of our own nation and of the nations with which we are co?ating is an abundance of supplies, and especially of food-stuffs. The importance of an adequate food supply, especially for the present year, is superlative. Without abundant food, alike for the armies and the peoples now at war, the whole great enterprise upon which we have embarked will break down and fail. The world’s food reserves are low. Not only during the present emergency but for some time after peace shall have come both our own people and a large proportion of the people of Europe must rely upon the harvests in America. Upon the farmers of this country, therefore, in large measure, rests the fate of the war and the fate of the nations. May the nation not count upon them to omit no step that will increase the production of their land or that will bring about the most effectual co?ation in the sale and distribution of their products? The time is short. It is of the most imperative importance that everything possible be done and done immediately to make sure of large harvests. I call upon young men and old alike and upon the able-bodied boys of the land to accept and act upon this duty?to turn in hosts to the farms and make certain that no pains and no labor is lacking in this great matter.

I particularly appeal to the farmers of the South to plant abundant food-stuffs as well as cotton. They can show their patriotism in no better or more convincing way than by resisting the great temptation of the present price of cotton and helping, helping upon a great scale, to feed the nation and the peoples everywhere who are fighting for their liberties and for our own. The variety of their crops will be the visible measure of their comprehension of their national duty.

The Government of the United States and the governments of the several States stand ready to co?ate. They will do everything possible to assist farmers in securing an adequate supply of seed, an adequate force of laborers when they are most needed, at harvest time, and the means of expediting shipments of fertilizers and farm machinery, as well as of the crops themselves when harvested. The course of trade shall be as unhampered as it is possible to make it and there shall be no unwarranted manipulation of the nation’s food supply by those who handle it on its way to the consumer. This is our opportunity to demonstrate the efficiency of a great Democracy and we shall not fall short of it!

This let me say to the middlemen of every sort, whether they are handling our food-stuffs or our raw materials of manufacture or the products of our mills and factories: The eyes of the country will be especially upon you. This is your opportunity for signal service, efficient and disinterested. The country expects you, as it expects all others, to forego unusual profits, to organize and expedite shipments of supplies of every kind, but especially of food, with an eye to the service you are rendering and in the spirit of those who enlist in the ranks, for their people, not for themselves. I shall confidently expect you to deserve and win the confidence of people of every sort and station.

To the men who run the railways of the country, whether they be managers or operative employees, let me say that the railways are the arteries of the nation’s life and that upon them rests the immense responsibility of seeing to it that those arteries suffer no obstruction of any kind, no inefficiency or slackened power. To the merchant let me suggest the motto, “Small profits and quick service”; and to the shipbuilder the thought that the life of the war depends upon him. The food and the war supplies must be carried across the seas no matter how many ships are sent to the bottom. The places of those that go down must be supplied and supplied at once. To the miner let me say that he stands where the farmer does: the work of the world waits on him. If he slackens or fails, armies and statesmen are helpless. He also is enlisted in the great Service Army. The manufacturer does not need to be told, I hope, that the nation looks to him to speed and perfect every process; and I want only to remind his employees that their service is absolutely indispensable and is counted on by every man who loves the country and its liberties.

Let me suggest, also, that everyone who creates or cultivates a garden helps, and helps greatly, to solve the problem of the feeding of the nations; and that every housewife who practices strict economy puts herself in the ranks of those who serve the nation. This is the time for America to correct her unpardonable fault of wastefulness and extravagance. Let every man and every woman assume the duty of careful, provident use and expenditure as a public duty, as a dictate of patriotism which no one can now expect ever to be excused or forgiven for ignoring.

In the hope that this statement of the needs of the nation and of the world in this hour of supreme crisis may stimulate those to whom it comes and remind all who need reminder of the solemn duties of a time such as the world has never seen before, I beg that all editors and publishers everywhere will give as prominent publication and as wide circulation as possible to this appeal. I venture to suggest, also, to all advertising agencies that they would perhaps render a very substantial and timely service to the country if they would give it widespread repetition. And I hope that clergymen will not think the theme of it an unworthy or inappropriate subject of comment and homily from their pulpits.

The supreme test of the nation has come. We must all speak, act, and serve together!


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Wilson’s First Lusitania Note to Germany

13 May, 1915

Sent by the President of the United States, Mr. Woodrow Wilson.
United States, Foreign Relations of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1915, Supplement, pp. 393 ff.
The Cunard liner, Lusitania, was sunk by a German submarine on May 7,1915, with a loss of more than 1,100 passengers and crew, including 124 Americans.
The following note was sent by President Wilson under the signature

of Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan.
Department of State,
Washington, May 13, 1915

To Ambassador Gerard:

Please call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs and after reading to him this communication leave with him a copy.


In view of recent acts of the German authorities in violation of American rights on the high seas which culminated in the torpedoing and sinking of the British steamship Lusitania on May 7, 1915, by which over 100 American citizens lost their lives, it is clearly wise and desirable that the Government of the United States and the Imperial German Government should come to a clear and full understanding as to the grave situation which has resulted.

The sinking of the British passenger steamer Falaba by a German submarine on March 28, through which Leon C. Thrasher, an American citizen, was drowned; the attack on April 28 on the American vessel Cushing by a German aeroplane; the torpedoing on May 1 of the American vessel Gulflight by a German submarine, as a result of which two or more American citizens met their death and, finally, the torpedoing and sinking of the steamship Lusitania, constitute a series of events which the Government of the United States has observed with growing concern, distress, and amazement.

Recalling the humane and enlightened attitude hitherto assumed by the Imperial German Government in matters of international right, and particularly with regard to the freedom of the seas; having learned to recognize the German views and the German influence in the field of international obligation as always engaged upon the side of justice and humanity; and having understood the instructions of the Imperial German Government to its naval commanders to be upon the same plane of human action prescribed by the naval codes of other nations, the Government of the United States was loath to believe — it cannot now bring itself to believe — that these acts, so absolutely contrary to the rules, the practices, and the spirit of modern warfare, could have the countenance or sanction of that great Government. It feels it to be its duty, therefore, to address the Imperial German Government concerning them with the utmost frankness and in the earnest hope that it is not mistaken in expecting action on the part of the Imperial German Government which will correct the unfortunate impressions which have been created and vindicate once more the position of that Government with regard to the sacred freedom of the seas.

The Government of the United States has been apprised that the Imperial German Government considered themselves to be obliged by the extraordinary circumstances of the present war and the measures adopted by their adversaries in seeking to cut Germany off from all commerce, to adopt methods of retaliation which go much beyond the ordinary methods of warfare at sea, in the proclamation of a war zone from which they have warned neutral ships to keep away. This Government has already taken occasion to inform the Imperial German Government that it cannot admit the adoption of such measures or such a warning of danger to operate as in any degree an abbreviation of the rights of American shipmasters or of American citizens bound on lawful errands as passengers on merchant ships of belligerent nationality; and that it must hold the Imperial German Government to a strict accountability for any infringement of those rights, intentional or incidental….

The Government of the United States, therefore, desires to call the attention of the Imperial German Government with the utmost earnestness to the fact that the objection to their present method of attack against the trade of their enemies lies in the practical impossibility of employing submarines in the destruction of commerce without disregarding those rules of fairness, reason, justice, and humanity, which all modern opinion regards as imperative…. The Government and the people of the United States look to the Imperial German Government for just, prompt, and enlightened action in this vital matter with the greater confidence because the United States and Germany are bound together not only for special ties of friendship but also by the explicit stipulations of the treaty of 1828 between the United States and the Kingdom of Prussia.

Expressions of regret and offers of reparation in case of the destruction of neutral ships sunk by mistake, while they may satisfy international obligations, if no loss of life results, cannot justify or excuse a practice, the natural and necessary effect of which is to subject neutral nations and neutral persons to new and immeasurable risks.

The Imperial German Government will not expect the Government of the United States to omit any word or any act necessary to the performance of its sacred duty of maintaining the rights of the United States and its citizens and of safeguarding their free exercise and enjoyment.


Source: World War I Document Archive

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Joint Resolution Declaring that a state of war exists between the Imperial German Government and the Government and the people of the United States and making provision to prosecute the same.

Whereas the Imperial German Government has committed repeated acts of war against the Government and the people of the United States of America; Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, that the state of war between the United States and the Imperial German Government which has thus been thrust upon the United States is hereby formally declared; and that the President be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to employ the entire naval and military forces of the United States and the resources of the Government to carry on war against the Imperial German Government; and to bring the conflict to a successful termination all of the resources of the country are hereby pledged by the Congress of the United States.

Speaker of the House of Representatives
Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate

Approved, April 6, 1917

Woodrow Wilson

Source: American Declaration of War on Germany

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The Austro-Hungarian Ultimatum to Serbia

Vienna, July 22, 1914

Your Excellency will present the following note to the Royal Government on the afternoon of Thursday, July 23: On the 31st of March, 1909, the Royal Serbian Minister at the Court of Vienna made, in the name of his Government, the following declaration to the Imperial and Royal Government:

Serbia recognizes that her rights were not affected by the state of affairs created in Bosnia, and states that she will accordingly accommodate herself to the decisions to be reached by the Powers in connection with Article 25 of the Treaty of Berlin. Serbia, in accepting the advice of the Great Powers, binds herself to desist from the attitude of protest and opposition which she has assumed with regard to the annexation since October last, and she furthermore binds herself to alter the tendency of her present policy toward Austria-Hungary, and to live on the footing of friendly and neighborly relations with the latter in the future.

Now the history of the past few years, and particularly the painful events of the 28th of June, have proved the existence of a subversive movement in Serbia, whose object it is to separate certain portions of its territory from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. This movement, which came into being under the very eyes of the Serbian Government, subsequently found expression outside of the territory of the Kingdom in acts of terrorism, in a number of attempts at assassination, and in murders.

Far from fulfilling the formal obligations contained in its declaration of the 31st of March, 1909, the Royal Serbian Government has done nothing to suppress this movement. It has tolerated the criminal activities of the various unions and associations directed against the Monarchy, the unchecked utterances of the press, the glorification of the authors of assassinations, the participation of officers and officials in subversive intrigues; it has tolerated an unhealthy propaganda in its public instruction; and it has tolerated, finally, every manifestation which could betray the people of Serbia into hatred of the Monarchy and contempt for its institutions.

This toleration of which the Royal Serbian Government was guilty, was still in evidence at that moment when the events of the twenty-eighth of June exhibited to the whole world the dreadful consequences of such tolerance.

It is clear from the statements and confessions of the criminal authors of the assassination of the twenty-eighth of June, that the murder at Sarajevo was conceived at Belgrade, that the murderers received the weapons and the bombs with which they were equipped from Serbian officers and officials who belonged to the Narodna Odbrana, and, finally, that the dispatch of the criminals and of their weapons to Bosnia was arranged and effected under the conduct of Serbian frontier authorities.

The results brought out by the inquiry no longer permit the Imperial and Royal Government to maintain the attitude of patient tolerance which it has observed for years toward those agitations which center at Belgrade and are spread thence into the territories of the Monarchy. Instead, these results impose upon the Imperial and Royal Government the obligation to put an end to those intrigues, which constitute a standing menace to the peace of the Monarchy.

In order to attain this end, the Imperial and Royal Government finds itself compelled to demand that the Serbian Government give official assurance that it will condemn the propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary, that is to say, the whole body of the efforts whose ultimate object it is to separate from the Monarchy territories that belong to it; and that it will obligate itself to suppress with all the means at its command this criminal and terroristic propaganda. In order to give these assurances a character of solemnity, the Royal Serbian Government will publish on the first page of its official organ of July 26/13, the following declaration:

“The Royal Serbian Government condemns the propaganda directed against Austria-Hungary, that is to say, the whole body of the efforts whose ultimate object it is to separate from the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy territories that belong to it, and it most sincerely regrets the dreadful consequences of these criminal transactions.

“The Royal Serbian Government regrets that Serbian officers and officials should have taken part in the above-mentioned propaganda and thus have endangered the friendly and neighborly relations,to the cultivation of which the Royal Government had most solemnly pledged itself by its declarations of March 31, 1909.

“The Royal Government, which disapproves and repels every idea and every attempt to interfere in the destinies of the population of whatever portion of Austria-Hungary, regards it as its duty most expressly to call attention of the officers, officials, and the whole population of the kingdom to the fact that for the future it will proceed with the utmost rigor against any persons who shall become guilty of any such activities, activities to prevent and to suppress which, the Government will bend every effort.”

This declaration shall be brought to the attention of the Royal army simultaneously by an order of the day from His Majesty the King, and by publication in the official organ of the army.

The Royal Serbian Government will furthermore pledge itself:

1. to suppress every publication which shall incite to hatred and contempt of the Monarchy, and the general tendency of which shall be directed against the territorial integrity of the latter;

2. to proceed at once to the dissolution of the Narodna Odbrana to confiscate all of its means of propaganda, and in the same manner to proceed against the other unions and associations in Serbia which occupy themselves with propaganda against Austria-Hungary; the Royal Government will take such measures as are necessary to make sure that the dissolved associations may not continue their activities under other names or in other forms;

3. to eliminate without delay from public instruction in Serbia, everything, whether connected with the teaching corps or with the methods of teaching, that serves or may serve to nourish the propaganda against Austria-Hungary;

4. to remove from the military and administrative service in general all officers and officials who have been guilty of carrying on the propaganda against Austria-Hungary, whose names the Imperial and Royal Government reserves the right to make known to the Royal Government when communicating the material evidence now in its possession;

5. to agree to the cooperation in Serbia of the organs of the Imperial and Royal Government in the suppression of the subversive movement directed against the integrity of the Monarchy;

6. to institute a judicial inquiry against every participant in the conspiracy of the twenty-eighth of June who may be found in Serbian territory; the organs of the Imperial and Royal Government delegated for this purpose will take part in the proceedings held for this purpose;

7. to undertake with all haste the arrest of Major Voislav Tankosic and of one Milan Ciganovitch, a Serbian official, who have been compromised by the results of the inquiry;

8. by efficient measures to prevent the participation of Serbian authorities in the smuggling of weapons and explosives across the frontier; to dismiss from the service and to punish severely those members of the Frontier Service at Schabats and Losnitza who assisted the authors of the crime of Sarajevo to cross the frontier;

9. to make explanations to the Imperial and Royal Government concerning the unjustifiable utterances of high Serbian functionaries in Serbia and abroad, who, without regard for their official position, have not hesitated to express themselves in a manner hostile toward Austria-Hungary since the assassination of the twenty-eighth of June;

10. to inform the Imperial and Royal Government without delay of the execution of the measures comprised in the foregoing points.

The Imperial and Royal Government awaits the reply of the Royal Government by Saturday, the twenty-fifth instant, at 6 p.m., at the latest.

A reminder of the results of the investigation about Sarajevo, to the extent they relate to the functionaries named in points 7 and 8 [above], is appended to this note.«


«The crime investigation undertaken at court in Sarajevo against Gavrilo Princip and his comrades on account of the assassination committed on the 28th of June this year, along with the guilt of accomplices, has up until now led to the following conclusions:

1. The plan of murdering Archduke Franz Ferdinand during his stay in Sarajevo was concocted in Belgrade by Gavrilo Princip, Nedeljko Cabrinovic, a certain Milan Ciganovic, and Trifko Grabesch with the assistance of Major Voija Takosic.

2. The six bombs and four Browning pistols along with ammunition — used as tools by the criminals — were procured and given to Princip, Cabrinovic and Grabesch in Belgrade by a certain Milan Ciganovic and Major Voija Takosic.

3. The bombs are hand grenades originating from the weapons depot of the Serbian army in Kragujevatz.

4. To guarantee the success of the assassination, Ciganovic instructed Princip, Cabrinovic and Grabesch in the use of the grenades and gave lessons on shooting Browning pistols to Princip and Grabesch in a forest next to the shooting range at Topschider.

5. To make possible Princip, Cabrinovic und Grabesch’s passage across the Bosnia-Herzegovina border and the smuggling of their weapons, an entire secretive transportation system was organized by Ciganovic. The entry of the criminals and their weapons into Bosnia and Herzegovina was carried out by the main border officials of Shabatz (Rade Popovic) and Losnitza as well as by the customs agent Budivoj Grbic of Losnitza, with the complicity of several others.«

On the occasion of handing over this note, would Your Excellency please also add orally that — in the event that no unconditionally positive answer of the Royal government might be received in the meantime — after the course of the 48-hour deadline referred to in this note, as measured from the day and hour of your announcing it, you are commissioned to leave the I. and R. Embassy of Belgrade together with your personnel.

The Austro-Hungarian Ultimatum to Serbia (German Original)
Wien, am 22. Juli,1914
Euer Hochwohlgeboren wollen die nachfolgende Note am Donnerstag, den 23. Juli nachm., der königlichen Regierung überreichen:
»Am 31. März 1909 hat der königlich serbische Gesandte am Wiener Hofe im Auftrage seiner Regierung der k. und k. Regierung folgende Erklärung abgegeben:
,Serbien anerkennt, daß es durch die in Bosnien geschaffene Tatsache in seinen Rechten nicht berührt wurde und daß es sich demgemäß den Entschließungen anpassen wird, welche die Mächte in Bezug auf den Artikel 25 des Berliner Vertrages treffen werden. Indem Serbien den Ratschlägen der Großmächte Folge leistet, verpflichtet es sich, die Haltung des Protestes und des Widerstandes, die es hinsichtlich der Annexion seit dem vergangenen Oktober eingenommen hat, aufzugeben, und es verpflichtet sich ferner, die Richtung seiner gegenwärtigen Politik gegenüber Österreich-Ungarn zu ändern und künftighin mit diesem letzteren auf dem Fuße freundnachbarlicher Beziehungen zu leben.’
Die Geschichte der letzten Jahre nun, und insbesondere die schmerzlichen Ereignisse des 28. Juni haben das Vorhandensein einer subversiven Bewegung in Serbien erwiesen, deren Ziel es ist, von der österreichisch-ungarischen Monarchie gewisse Teile ihres Gebietes loszutrennen. Diese Bewegung, die unter den Augen der serbischen Regierung entstand, hat in der Folge jenseits des Gebietes des Königreiches durch Akte des Terrorismus, durch eine Reihe von Attentaten und durch Morde Ausdruck gefunden.
Weit entfernt, die in der Erklärung vom 31. März 1909 enthaltenen formellen Verpflichtungen zu erfüllen, hat die k. serbische Regierung nichts getan, um diese Bewegung zu unterdrücken. Sie duldete das verbrecherische Treiben der verschiedenen, gegen die Monarchie gerichteten Vereine und Vereinigungen, die zügellose Sprache der Presse, die Verherrlichung der Urheber von Attentaten, die Teilnahme von Offizieren und Beamten an subversiven Umtrieben, sie duldete eine ungesunde Propaganda im öffentlichen Unterricht und duldete schließlich alle Manifestationen, welche die serbische Bevölkerung zum Hasse gegen die Monarchie und zur Verachtung ihrer Einrichtungen verleiten können.
Diese Duldung, der sich die k. serbische Regierung schuldig machte, hat noch in jenem Moment angedauert, in dem die Ereignisse des 28. Juni der ganzen Welt die grauenhaften Folgen solcher Duldung zeigten.
Es erhellt aus den Aussagen und Geständnissen der verbrecherischen Urheber des Attentates vom 28. Juni, daß der Mord von Sarajevo in Belgrad ausgeheckt wurde, daß die Mörder die Waffen und Bomben, mit denen sie ausgestattet waren, von serbischen Offizieren und Beamten erhielten, die der »Narodna Odbrana« angehörten, und daß schließlich die Beförderung der Verbrecher und deren Waffen nach Bosnien von leitenden serbischen Grenzorganen veranstaltet und durchgeführt wurde.
Die angeführten Ergebnisse der Untersuchung gestattes es der k. und k. Regierung nicht, noch länger die Haltung zuwartender Langmut zu beobachten, die sie durch Jahre jenen Treibereien gegenüber eingenommen hatte, die ihren Mittelpunkt in Belgrad haben und von da auf die Gebiete der Monarchie übertragen werden. Diese Ergebnisse legen der k. und k. Regierung vielmehr die Pflicht auf, Umtrieben ein Ende zu bereiten, die eine ständige Bedrohung für die Ruhe der Monarchie bilden.
Um diesen Zweck zu erreichen, sieht sich die k. und k. Regierung gezwungen, von der serbischen Regierung eine offizielle Versicherung zu verlangen, daß sie die gegen Österreich-Ungarn gerichtete Propaganda verurteilt, das heißt die Gesamtheit der Bestrebungen, deren Endziel es ist, von der Monarchie Gebiete loszulösen, die ihr angehören, und daß sie sich verpflichtet, diese verbrecherische und terroristische Propaganda mit allen Mitteln zu unterdrücken.
Um diesen Verpflichtungen einen feierlichen Charakter zu geben, wird die k. serbische Regierung auf der ersten Seite ihres offiziellen Organs vom 26./13. Juli nachfolgende Erklärung veröffentlichen:
Die k. Serbische Regierung verurteilt die gegen Österreich-Ungarn gerichtete Propaganda, das heißt die Gesamtheit jener Bestrebungen, deren letztes Ziel es ist, von der österreichisch-ungarischen Monarchie Gebiete loszutrennen, die ihr angehören, und sie bedauert aufrichtigst die grauenhaften Folgen dieser verbrecherischen Handlungen.
Die k. Serbische Regierung bedauert, daß serbische Offiziere und Beamte an der vorgenannten Propaganda teilgenommen und damit die freundnachbarlichen Beziehungen gefährdet haben, die zu pflegen sich die k. Regierung durch ihre Erklärung vom 31. März 1909 feierlichst verpflichtet hatte.
Die k. Regierung, die jeden Gedanken oder jeden Versuch einer Einmischung in die Geschicke der Bewohner was immer für eines Teiles Österreich-Ungarns mißbilligt und zurückweist, erachtet es für ihre Pflicht, die Offiziere, Beamten und die gesamte Bevölkerung des Königreiches ganz ausdrücklich aufmerksam zu machen, daß sie künftighin mit äußerster Strenge gegen jene Personen vorgehen wird, die sich derartiger Handlungen schuldig machen sollten, Handlungen, denen vorzubeugen und die zu unterdrücken sie alle Anstrengungen machen wird.’
Diese Erklärung wird gleichzeitig zur Kenntnis der k. Armee durch einen Tagesbefehl Sr. M. des Königs gebracht und in dem offiziellen Organe der Armee veröffentlicht werden.
Die k. Serbische Regierung verpflichtet sich überdies:
1. jede Publikation zu unterdrücken, die zum Haß und zur Verachtung der Monarchie aufreizt, und deren allgemeine Tendenz gegen die territoriale Integrität der letzteren gerichtet ist,
2. sofort mit der Auflösung des Vereines »Narodna Odbrana« vorzugehen, dessen gesamte Progagandamittel zu konfiszieren und in derselben Weise gegen die anderen Vereine und Vereinigungen in Serbien einzuschreiten, die sich mit der Propaganda gegen Österreich-Ungarn beschäftigen; die k. Regierung wird die nötigen Maßregeln treffen, damit die aufgelösten Vereine nicht etwa ihre Tätigkeit unter anderem Namen oder in anderer Form fortsetzen,
3. ohne Verzug aus dem öffentlichen Unterricht in Serbien, sowohl was den Lehrkörper als auch die Lehrmittel betrifft, alles zu beseitigen, was dazu dient oder dienen könnte, die Propaganda gegen Österreich-Ungarn zu nähren,
4. aus dem Militärdienst und der Verwaltung im allgemeinen alle Offiziere und Beamten zu entfernen, die der Propaganda gegen Österreich-Ungarn schuldig sind, und deren Namen unter Mitteilung des gegen sie vorliegenden Materials der k. Regierung bekanntzugeben sich die k. und k. Regierung vorbehält,
5. einzuwilligen, daß in Serbien Organe der k. und k. Regierung bei der Unterdrückung der gegen die territoriale Integrität der Monarchie gerichteten subversiven Bewegung mitwirken,
6. eine gerichtliche Untersuchung gegen jene Teilnehmen des Komplotts vom 28. Juni einzuleiten, die sich auf serbischem Territorium befinden; von der k. und k. Regierung hiezu delegierte Organe werden an den bezüglichen Erhebungen teilnehmen,
7. mit aller Beschleunigung die Verhaftung des Majors Voija Takositsch und eines gewissen Milan Ciganovitsch, serbischen Staatsbeamten, vorzunehmen, welche durch die Ergebnisse der Untersuchung kompromittiert sind,
8. durch wirksame Maßnahmen die Teilnahme der serbischen Behörden an dem Einschmuggeln von Waffen und Explosivkörpern über die Grenze zu verhindern; jene Organe des Grenzdienstes von Schabatz und Losnitza, die den Urhebern des Verbrechens von Sarajevo bei dem Übertritt über die Grenze behilflich waren, aus dem Dienste zu entlassen und strenge zu bestrafen,
9. der k. und k. Regierung Aufklärungen zu geben über die nicht zu rechtfertigenden Äußerungen hoher serbischer Funktionäre in Serbien und im Auslande, die, ihrer offiziellen Stellung ungeachtet, nicht gezögert haben, sich nach dem Attentat am 28. Juni in Interviews in feindlicher Weise gegen Österreich-Ungarn auszusprechen,
10. die k. und k. Regierung ohne Verzug von der Durchführung der in den vorigen Punkten zusammengefaßten Maßnahmen zu verständigen.
Die k. und k. Regierung erwartet die Antwort der k. Regierung spätestens bis Samstag, den 25. d. M., um 6 Uhr nachmittag.
Eine Memoire über die Ergebnisse der Untersuchung von Sarajevo, soweit sie sich auf die im Punkt 7 und 8 genannten Funktionäre beziehen, ist dieser Note beigeschlossen.«
Die bei dem Gerichte in Sarajevo gegen Gavrilo Princip und Genossen wegen des am 28. Juni d. J. begangenen Meuchelmordes, beziehungsweise wegen Mitschuld hieran anhängige Strafuntersuchung hat bisher zu folgenden Feststellungen geführt:
1. Der Plan, den Erzherzog Franz Ferdinand während seines Aufenthaltes in Sarajevo zu ermorden, wurde in Belgrad von Gavrilo Princip, Nedeljko Cabrinovitsch, einem gewissen Milan Ciganovitsch und Trifko Grabesch unter Beihilfe des Majors Voija Takositsch gefaßt.
2. Die sechs Bomben und vier Browningpistolen samt Munition, deren sich die Verbrecher als Werkzeuge bedienten, wurden dem Princip, Cabrinovitsch und Grabesch in Belgrad von einem gewissen Milan Ciganovitsch und dem Major Voija Takositsch verschafft und übergeben.
3. Die Bomben sind Handgranaten, die dem Waffendepot der serbischen Armee in Kragujevatz entstammen.
4. Um das Gelingen des Attentats zu sichern, unterwies Ciganovitsch den Princip, Cabrinovitsch und Grabesch in der Handhabung der Granaten und gab in einem Walde neben dem Schießfelde von Topschider dem Princip und Grabesch Unterricht im Schießen mit Browningpistolen.
5. Um dem Princip, Cabrinovitsch und Grabesch den Übergang über die bosnisch-herzegowinische Grenze und die Einschmuggelung ihrer Waffen zu ermöglichen, wurde ein ganzes geheimes Transportsystem durch Ciganovitsch organisiert. Der Eintritt der Verbrecher samt ihren Waffen nach Bosnien und der Herzegowina wurde von den Grenzhauptleuten von Schabatz (Rade Popovitsch) und Losnitza sowie von dem Zollorgan Budivoj Grbitsch von Losnitza mit Beihilfe mehrer anderer Personen durchgeführt.
Gelegentlich der Übergabe der vorstehenden Note wollen Euer Hochwohlgeboren mündlich hinzufügen, daß Sie beauftragt seien — falls Ihnen nicht inzwischen eine vorbehaltlose zustimmende Antwort der königlichen Regierung zugekommen sein sollte — nach Ablauf der in der Note vorgesehenen, vom Tage und von der Stunde Ihrer Mitteilung an zu rechnenden 48stündigen Frist mit dem Personale der k. und k. Gesandtschaft Belgrad zu verlassen.

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The Young Turks: Proclamation for the Ottoman Empire, 1908

1. The basis for the Constitution will be respect for the predominance of the national will. One of the consequences of this principle will be to require without delay the responsibility of the minister before the Chamber, and, consequently, to consider the minister as having resigned, when he does not have a majority of the votes of the Chamber.

2. Provided that the number of senators does not exceed one-third the number of deputies, the Senate will be named as follows: one-third by the Sultan and two-thirds by the nation, and the term of senators will be of limited duration.

3. It will be demanded that all Ottoman subjects having completed their twentieth year, regardless of whether they possess property or fortune, shall have the right to vote. Those who have lost their civil rights will naturally be deprived of this right.

4. It will be demanded that the right freely to constitute political groups be inserted in a precise fashion in the constitutional charter, in order that article 1 of the Constitution of 1293 A.H. [Anno Hegira=] be respected.

7. The Turkish tongue will remain the official state language. Official correspondence and discussion will take place in Turkish.

9. Every citizen will enjoy complete liberty and equality, regardless of nationality or religion, and be submitted to the same obligations. All Ottomans, being equal before the law as regards rights and duties relative to the State, are eligible for government posts, according to their individual capacity and their education. Non-Muslims will be equally liable to the military law.

10. The free exercise of the religious privileges which have been accorded to different nationalities will remain intact.

11. The reorganization and distribution of the State forces, on land as well as on sea, will be undertaken in accordance with the political and geographical situation of the country, taking into account the integrity of the other European powers.

14. Provided that the property rights of landholders are not infringed upon (for such rights must be respected and must remain intact, according to law), it will be proposed that peasants be permitted to acquire land, and they will be accorded means to borrow money at a moderate rate.

16. Education will be free. Every Ottoman citizen, within the limits of the prescriptions of the Constitution, may operate a private school in accordance with the special laws.

17. All schools will operate under the surveillance of the state. In order to obtain for Ottoman citizens an education of a homogenous and uniform character, the officials schools will be open, their instruction will be free, and all nationalities will be admitted. Instruction in Turkish will be obligatory in public schools. In official schools, public instruction will be free. Secondary and higher education will be given in the public and official schools indicated above; it will use the Turkish tongue. Schools of commerce, agriculture, and industry will be opened with the goal of developing the resources of the country.

18. Steps shall also be taken for the formation of roads and railways and canals to increase the facilities of communication and increase the sources of the wealth of the country. Everything that can impede commerce or agriculture shall be abolished.
Source: Modern History Sourcebook

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