3.00 P.M.: Grey makes a statement to a
Posted on August 3rd, 1914 by admin
3.00 P.M.: Grey makes a statement to a packed House of Commons. He explains that Britain has no alliance or binding military agreements with France.
As a result of the strong friendship France has with Britain her fleet has concentrated in the Mediterranean and Britain has now promised France the Royal Navy will protect the Channel and western coasts of France.
He goes on to talk about Belgium as a problem becoming worse by the hour. He tells the House it appears an ultimatum has been given to Belgium by Germany offering friendly relations if she facilitates the passage of German troops. He does not yet know if this news is accurate. He mentions King Albert’s appeal to Britain for diplomatic intervention.
He says Britain cannot stand aside and see Belgium lose her neutrality and France defeated. It would mean the whole of the continent falling under the control of a single power. Britain has always opposed such aggrandisement.
Grey says Britain, with its powerful Fleet, will suffer little more in war than if she stands aside. Trade will cease and Britain will suffer terribly whether or not she is in the war.
On the Conservative benches the cheering and clapping show overwhelming support for Grey. On the Liberal side the reaction is much less enthusiastic especially below the gangway. [More]