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AND THE OUTBREAK OF WAR. 49
l to go so far that she could not retreat without
a iiasco far worse than that of Morocco, but he
H had done this without having taken the most .
g elementary precautions. He had m.ade no #
gi attempt to sound the British Government.
He had simply speculated on their weakness,
( and then at the last moment lost his nerve.
gg If British neutrality were to be a condition
of war, then it was his clear duty to have
. secured it in advance. The accusation by
the military authorities that the diplomatic
preparation had been incomplete is absolutely o
justiüed.
As a matter of fact, there was another
4 reason, a reason which was disclosed for the ·
ürst time in the Chancellor’s speech of last
August. On that evening, at some hour which
is not specified, but probably before the con-
clusion of the conference, he received from
il Count Pourtalés at Petrograd a telegram to
Q, the following effect:
M. Sazonoff, who has just asked me to
go to see him, informed me that the Cabinet A
i at Vienna has answered the desire which
p he has repeatedly expressed for the entry
on direct conversations with a categorical
refusal. No other course, therefore, was
open to them but to return to Sir i;
D