10.00 A.M.: Cabinet Meeting Grey reports the latest
Posted on August 3rd, 1914 by admin
10.00 A.M.: Cabinet Meeting Grey reports the latest information. He tells the cabinet about the unconfirmed German demand for passage of its troops through Belgium. He mentions Lichnowsky’s promise that Germany will not attack the French coast if Britain is neutral but he doubts that Lichnowsky is authorised to say this.
Asquith announces he has overnight authorised the mobilisation of the British Army for home defence.
They discuss the statement Grey is to make to the House of Commons in the afternoon and agree the principle points.
Asquith now has resignation letters from three cabinet members and another announces he will resign. The meeting is very emotional. Asquith says in other circumstances he would resign but there would be no government with a majority in the House of Commons. He thinks coalitions are bad for the country.
Lloyd George makes a strong appeal for them not to go or delay and sit in their usual places when Grey speaks in the Commons, and the Government appears united. The Liberal Party members in the Commons are not aware of the cabinet resignations when Grey makes his statement. Later two members withdraw their resignations. [More]