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ll 24 THE GERMAN CHANCELLOR
the very beginning of the crisis, they were
immediately confronted by fundamental ques­ ix
tions essential to their vital interests, of a
{ii kind which did not arise for Great Britain nl
until France and Belgium became involved
in the war. But even from the German
statements of the case, I cannot ünd any
{ suggestion that Russia had intended or deter­ I
mined on war in the year 1914. I ünd on the
other hand that it has again and again been
stated that Russia intended war in 1916 at gi
i a time when her preparations would have _
{ been completed. Real evidence for this is `
wanting; it is a charge probably as baseless
i as the similar charge made against Great
i Britain ; but given that it was a just suspicion, .
it is a reason why Germany should have forced
the crisis in 1914 when Germany was ready, t
but Russia was not yet ready, and is therefore `
real evidence against the charge that Russia I
was directly responsible for the war. i
I should not be in the least surprised or
disturbed to iind that as the crisis developed
there arose a definite war party at St. Peters-
burg, who, when the challenge to them had g
once been made, were willing and even eager ä
to take it up, and were as ready to submit `§
the great questions at issue to the arbitrament ï*