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Office of the Historian

File No. 763.72/95

The Ambassador in Great Britain (Page) to the Secretary of State


259. The Foreign Office informs me that the Czar gave his personal assurance to the German Emperor and to the British Government that not a Russian soldier should pass the Russian frontier unless Russia were attacked. Germany’s answer to that assurance was her declaration of war. The British Foreign Office believes that the German and Austrian plan of a general war was definitely made some time ago and is now deliberately carried out, this being considered the best moment for German success.

The Italian naval and military attachés say that Italy was not even consulted by Austria and Germany and that Italy would be glad of their defeat. All opinions here therefore point to Germany as the determined aggressor.

The Austrian Embassy to-day discussed with us the early taking over of their Embassy on the supposition, which they took for granted, that they would presently leave London.

During the whole forenoon such crowds of Americans filled the Embassy that their questions could be answered only by a sort of public address delivered at intervals. Individual attention to them was impossible. Most of them wish some hope of turning letters of credit into cash and some way to get home. The indications are that thousands more will come with the same inquiry.

A large meeting of Americans, perhaps 2,000, at a hotel to-day appointed committees to see what arrangements can be made with banks to-morrow. The bank holiday to-day is extended over three days.

American Ambassador