Britain, Friday, 17th July
17 July Bunsen wires again saying his informant is Count Lutzow, a former Austro-Hungarian ambassador in Rome, who has been in conversation with Berchtold and Forgách at the Austro-Hungarian foreign ministry.
Lutzow had asked Bunsen if he realised how grave the situation was. If Serbia did not at once cave in, force would be used to compel her. Berchtold was sure of German support.
17 July Lichnowsky sees a leading article in the Westminster Gazette which says strong action by the Austro-Hungarian government can be understood given the negative Serbian influence among Serbian citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Serbia should be ready to allay the fears of her great neighbour. Lichnowsky suggests to Berlin the article might have been inspired by Grey. A few days later Grey makes a statement that the article has nothing to do with him.
20 July Grey sees Lichnowsky and asks if he has any news of what Vienna intends to do regarding Serbia. Lichnowsky has no news but he thinks the situation is very uncomfortable.
Grey repeats his view that if Austria-Hungary keeps its demands within reasonable limits there is a chance of things being smoothed over. He hates the idea of war between any of the great powers on account of Serbia.
20 July, 7.00 P.M. Grey wires Buchanan saying it is possible the Serbian government has been negligent and if Austria-Hungary's demands are reasonable every effort should be made to prevent any breach of the peace.
To this end it would be a good idea if Austria-Hungary and Russia had direct talks if things became difficult. He can mention this if occasion demands.
20 July Bunsen's information is corroborated when Haldane receives a letter from Hoyos trying to justify the action Austria-Hungary is about to take.
Haldane forwards the letter to Grey with the comment: "This is very serious. Berchtold is apparently ready to plunge Europe into war to settle the Serbian question. He would not take this attitude unless he was assured of German support".
21 July Grey sees Benckendorff and presses his idea for direct talks between Russia and Austria-Hungary. Grey thinks direct talks are "the surest means" of avoiding a clash and keeping Vienna’s demands "within reasonable limits".
Grey makes clear to Benckendorff that it is not Britain's business "to take violent sides in this matter". Grey says Britain is willing to urge Belgrade to give the utmost assurances for the future prevention of further plots if the assassination plot originated in Serbia.
22 July Benckendorff writes privately to Sazonov reporting a conversation with Lichnowsky.
Lichnowsky fears the Austrian demarche will be unacceptable to Serbia. He thinks Berlin is unlikely to restrain Austria-Hungary. He suggests Russia communicates its concern to Vienna but Benckendorff doesn't think this will help.
Benckendorff tells Sazonov that if war breaks out it will be important for Russia to show it has done everything possible to avoid it, to win the support of the British government.
22 July A letter arrives from Rodd in Rome who says San Giuliano, the Italian Foreign Minister, who is in constant touch with the Austrian Embassy, fears the communication to be made to Serbia has been drafted in unacceptable terms. He is convinced a party in Austria is determined to take the opportunity of crushing Serbia.
22 July A report from Rumbold says Jagow has admitted he practically drafted an article in a leading German newspaper stating what may arise between Austria-Hungary and Serbia should remain localised.
He insists the question at issue should be settled by those two countries alone without interference from outside. That being his view, he has not considered it opportune to say anything to the Austro-Hungarian government.
22 July Crowe adds a comment to Rumbold's report. "It is difficult to understand the attitude of the German government. On the face of it, it does not bear the stamp of straightforwardness. If they really are anxious to see Austria kept reasonably in check, they are in the best position to speak at Vienna".
Crowe believes the German government knows what the Austro-Hungarians are going to demand and has promised its support should dangerous complications ensue.
22 July After meeting Grey, Lichnowsky reports to Berlin that Grey will advise Mensdorff that the British government will use its influence for Serbia to accept Austro-Hungarian demands provided they are moderate and reconcilable with the independence of Serbia.
It is vital that the Austro-Hungarian government is in a position to prove beyond doubt the connection between the Sarajevo murders and political circles in Belgrade.
Lichnowsky adds that the British assume Germany would not support any policy to use the assassinations as a pretext for Austria-Hungary to extend its influence in the Balkans.