Austria, Friday, 17th July

19 July The Joint Ministerial Council meet in secret to agree the final wording of the note and decide the diplomatic steps to be taken against Serbia. The note is to be presented to Serbia on the 23 July after the French leaders have left Russia. There is a forty-eight hour time limit for a response.
Tisza gets the meeting to agree that Vienna will announce in due course that Austria-Hungary does not intend to annex any Serbian territory. He hopes this will keep the Russians out of the conflict. It leaves open other possibilities for the dismemberment of Serbia. [More]

20 July Giesl, the Austro-Hungarian minister in Belgrade, is told he is to present the note to the Serbian government at 5 P.M. on the 23 July. The time is later changed to 6 P.M.
The ambassadors to the great powers are told they are to present it to the respective governments on the morning of the 24 July.
This helps limit the scope for diplomatic action during the 48 hour time limit for the Serbian reply to the note. Giesl is to sever diplomatic relations and leave Belgrade if he judges the reply to be unsatisfactory.

20 July Tschirschky tells Berchtold he thinks Italy, the third member of the Triple Alliance, will claim compensation if Austria-Hungary expands its influence in the Balkans.
Italy has an eye on the Trentino, an Italian speaking part of the Empire. Berchtold counters by saying Italy needs a strong Austria "as a bulwark against the Slav flood". As a small sop to Italy Berchtold agrees to inform the Italian Foreign Minister of the note to Serbia on the afternoon before it is delivered.

21 July, Bad Ischl The Emperor sees Berchtold and Hoyos and gives his assent to the note. He comments on the harsh nature of the demands to be made on Serbia and says he thinks Russia cannot possibly tolerate it.
The text of the note is picked up from Vienna by Giesl's legation counsellor and taken to Belgrade.

22 July A copy of the note is forwarded to Berlin.

Brief Time taken by Austria-Hungary to decide its response and the consequences [More]

Brief Tschirschky's role [More]