11.00 A.M. – 1.30 P.M. Cabinet Meeting: Grey reports the replies
Posted on August 1st, 1914 by admin
11.00 A.M. – 1.30 P.M.: Cabinet Meeting Grey reports the replies from France and Germany on Belgian neutrality to the cabinet. They agree the words of the warning that Grey wants to give to Lichnowsky.
“The reply of the German Government with regard to the neutrality of Belgium is a matter of very great regret …. if there were a violation of the neutrality of Belgium by one combatant while the other respected it, it would be extremely difficult to restrain public feeling in this country.”
Churchill reads the letter from F. E. Smith assuring the cabinet of Conservative support for British intervention in a European war. The cabinet knows if they split up and resign they will be replaced by the Conservatives or a coalition that supports war on the side of France. Grey says that if the cabinet declares it will be neutral he will resign. Asquith says that he would go to.
The cabinet refuses Churchill’s request to fully mobilise the Navy by calling up reserves.
The neutralists in the cabinet recognise Britain might become involved in a European war if Germany invades Belgium to attack France but get the cabinet to agree even then the British Expeditionary Force will not be sent to the continent. This decision is reported on Monday in the British press. [More]