Britain, Saturday, 25th July

Morning Lichnowsky receives telegram from Berlin, prompted by his and Schoen's warnings that the feeling in London and Paris is Germany must be behind the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, declaring Germany had nothing to do with the Austrian ultimatum and Germany cannot ask Vienna to modify its demands because "Austria-Hungary's prestige, both internal and external, would be completely lost".

Morning Grey sees Lichnowsky. Grey says Austria-Hungary will mobilise if it rejects the Serbian reply but will not immediately start military operations, and Russia can be expected to mobilise in response to the Austro-Hungarian mobilisation.
The delay before military operations start and frontiers are crossed provides the opportunity for the four not directly involved powers - Germany, Italy, France and Britain - to mediate between the two opposing powers.
It is essential that Germany is one of the mediators. He also says Britain would not be indifferent to European complications.
Lichnowsky reads Grey the telegram from Berlin saying Germany has had nothing to do with the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum. [More]

Morning Benckendorff sees Grey to reinforce Sazonov's view that Britain should support Russia in the crisis.
He thinks that Grey's mediation proposals will give Germany the impression France and Britain are detached from Russia. It would be more effective to tell Germany that Britain might not be neutral if there is a European war. Grey replies he "has given no indication that we will stand aside". [More]

Late morning Grey telegrams Buchanan. He says British public opinion would not sanction going to war over the Austrian Serbian quarrel.
He thinks Russian mobilisation almost inevitable and he will launch his idea for four-power mediation after both Vienna and St Petersburg mobilise.

Afternoon Lichnowsky wires Jagow reporting his meeting with Grey. He says Grey's proposal is the only means of averting world war. Without German support mediation will fail.
Grey makes a strong distinction between an Austro-Serbian dispute and an Austro-Russian crisis. Austria has the right to demand satisfaction from Serbia but a clash with Russia could lead to world war and Britain could not be indifferent.
Lichnowsky says Germany should adopt a friendly and largely neutral position and work with Britain.

Late in the day Grey leaves for his fishing lodge at Itchen Abbas in Hampshire where he normally spends his weekends.

10.30 P.M. Telegram arrives from Buchanan reporting Sazonov's remarks that afternoon. He says Russia will not allow Austria-Hungary to crush Serbia but also says Russia would stand aside and allow four-power mediation.
Sazonov has confirmed Russia is taking pre-mobilisation measures. Buchanan has warned him that Germany will not allow Russia to get ahead militarily.
Sazonov thinks Germany is counting on British neutrality and if Britain makes it clear she stands with Russia and France there will be no war.
And, with reference to Asia, "we shall have to choose between giving Russia our active support or renouncing her friendship. If we fail her now we cannot hope to maintain that friendly cooperation with her in Asia". [More]