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and give us a free hand to go to War with
lg. Serbia, we will undertake not to annex any
,i Serbian territory and not to destroy the inde-
. pendence of Serbia, and we will discuss with
E you any matters concerning Russian interests l
l which arise." We do not know Whether any- ·
. one really believed that this offer had any
_ chance of being accepted. It is quite possible
that it was used to persuade the Emperor
Ei to give his consent to the whole scheme, for r
there is nothing so absurd that the Emperor
,,W does not seem to have been capable of believing
it. As a matter of fact, it was an offer Which
_ could not have been accepted. It would mean
äï in effect that Russia should submit herself
‘ to the abandonment for all time of her
» interest in Serbia. Serbia would definitely
) come into the Austrian sphere of interest.
This obviously would be a great coneession
_ J by Russia, but for this concession no recom-
Q pense was offered. Had it been meant as a
real basis to negotiation, it would have been ‘
accompanied by some indication of compensa­ T
t T tion to be offered to Russia. There would
» XJ have been a suggestion of a bargain. Nothing
ç of the kind was made. The proposal there-
, i fore necessarily appeared merely as a means `
; of keeping Russia quiet until Austria had