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50 THE GERMAN CHANGELLOR
Edward Grey’s proposal for a Quadruple
conversation. ,
I This was of the highest importance; it com-
pletely altered the whole diplomatie situation ; i
· and the effect of it might be disastrous. It _
. made it impossible for Germany at this
" moment to take any irrevocable step, and ip
this alone would have been quite suflicient _
. reason for postponing rnobilisation.
In order to explain why this was, we must
go back. The conversations which had been
L. broken off were those suggested by Russia.
f, M. Sazonoff had proposed negotiations on ,
p the basis of the Austrian Note to Serbia; N
g the object was that Austria and Russia should E;
i come to an understanding which would enable I
Russia to advise Serbia to accept the require­ ti i
ments made in the original Austrian Note. J
¥ This was a serious business proposal; if it p ­
l had been adopted and the conversations had ·
li been satisfactory, the whole difficulty would 5 ,
have been got over. The proposal had been ;
gladly welcomed by England, France, and E Z
Italy; it was because of this proposal that ]
{ Sir Edward Grey had suspended his sugges­ ,
> tions for a conference, and it was on this ’ ,
i that everyone had relied as the best means 5
Y of avoiding war. The German Government 1
ëï. J ïx