Britain, Thursday, 30th July
London Labour Party adopt resolution if there is a European war Britain should remain neutral in all circumstances.
Afternoon The Conservative Party leaders have suggested to Asquith that legislation on Ireland is put-off in view of the international situation. The Liberal leaders are pleased to agree with this.
Accordingly Asquith announces to the Commons the postponement of the second reading of the Bill on Irish Home Rule in light of the "almost unparalleled" gravity of European affairs.
3.30 P.M. Grey instructs Goschen to give Britain’s formal response to Bethmann's neutrality proposal. He says "You must inform the German Chancellor that his proposal that we should bind ourselves to neutrality on such terms cannot for a moment be entertained". [More]
Afternoon Grey tells Harcourt, a leading neutralist in the cabinet, about his rejection of Bethmann's "shameful" neutrality proposal.
Harcourt says Grey has done the right thing but Harcourt again meets with other cabinet neutralists to discuss what they might do. As many as seven or eight might resign.
Afternoon Telegram from Goschen says Jagow is asking Britain to do something to restrain St Petersburg while Germany tries to put pressure on Vienna for a "halt in Belgrade". Jagow has also remarked Bethmann would not have made his neutrality proposal if Grey's warning to Lichnowsky had arrived in Berlin earlier.
Afternoon Lichnowsky calls on Grey. Following a telegram from Bethmann he is also trying to get Grey to put pressure on Russia to stop its mobilisation against Austria-Hungary and to persuade France to stop its military preparations at once.
Grey tells Lichnowsky he believes the French are not making real war preparations such as calling up reservists. He says he is going to talk to the Paul Cambon and will also talk Benckendorff in the sense desired. He hopes that Bethmann's mediation efforts are successful.
Afternoon Cambon calls on Grey. He reminds Grey of their exchange of letters in 1912 which formalised the agreement that Britain and France would immediately discuss whether they should act together if either country or the general peace was threatened.
He draws Grey's attention to the French decision to pull its covering forces 10km back from the frontier with Germany. It is France that is threatened and war could break out at any moment. It is urgent to agree joint action. Grey says he will get a response from the cabinet the next day.
6.00 P.M. Liberal Foreign Affairs Group sends letter to Asquith saying they will withdraw their support from the government if Britain goes to war.
The letter claims nine tenths of the Liberal Party supports the group's stand.
7.35 P.M. Grey makes another effort to solve the crisis. He telegrams Buchanan saying as Berlin is trying to persuade Vienna to halt military action after taking Belgrade, and wait as the Powers arrange for Serbia to satisfy Austrian demands, it is hoped Russia will agree to discussions and suspend further military preparations. He does not yet know that Russia has declared general mobilisation.
Later Grey talks to Mensdorff saying he cannot intervene in Russia unless Vienna gives him something to offer.
8.45 P.M. King George replies to a message from the Prince Henry. He says he is glad to hear that William is working for peace.
He puts forward Grey's "halt in Belgrade" formula. "My Government is doing its utmost suggesting to Russia and France to suspend further military preparations, if Austria will consent to be satisfied with occupation of Belgrade ... as a hostage for satisfactory settlement of her demands, other countries meanwhile suspending their war preparations".