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By G. P. Gooch

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Extra resources for Before the War, Studies in Diplomacy

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What do we see on all sides ? We observe a tendency to ever-increasing naval and military armaments involving ever-increasing burdens upon the people for the defence o f whose countries their armaments were accumulated. There is also this— that in these days war breaks out with a suddenness which was unknown in former days, when nations were not, as they are now, armed to the teeth and ready to enter on hostilities at any moment. When we consider these features o f the international situation, we must surely feel that that country would indeed be endowed with an extraordinary amount o f what I might call self* sufficiency which took upon itself to say that it would accept, without question, without reservation, the doctrine that all foreign alliances were to be avoided as necessarily embarrassing and objectionable.

Thus began the discussions which, after many intervals and vicissitudes, were satisfactorily concluded twelve years later on the eve o f the world war. In the previous summer Sir Nicholas O ’Conor, British Ambassador in Constantinople, had reviewed the situation in a despatch. It was unpleasant to contemplate the construction o f a railway through Asia Minor to the Persian G ulf in which Great Britain would have no share. This opinion was shared by his chief, who was far more favourable to participation than his cautious words to Metternich in March appeared to suggest.

Though the surrender o f Gambia was out o f the question, concessions might perhaps be made elsewhere. It was for the French to make proposals. Delcass£ was ready with his plan, and indeed he had sought the conversation in order to press it, An understanding about Newfoundland, he explained, depended on the British attitude to French interests in Morocco. An agreement on Morocco would remove all other difficulties or render them compara­ tively easy to liquidate. There was no desire to get rid o f the Sultan or to annex the country.

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Before the War, Studies in Diplomacy by G. P. Gooch

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