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The sensitivities of 'small, backward nations': Austria-Hungary, Serbia, and the regulation of the Danube 1870-71.).

In the nineteenth century, the Habsburg Monarchy's relationship with Serbia was continually shaped by Austria-Hungary's own position within the European balance of power. This was nowhere more apparent than during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, which profoundly shifted the Monarchy's strategic position. With the sudden collapse of Napoleon III's regime in September 1870, Vienna lost its only potential ally against not just Prussia, but Russia as well. The war's outcome also encouraged Russia, at the end of October, to renounce the so-called Black Sea clauses of the Treaty of Paris of 1856, which had concluded the Crimean War, and which had prohibited Russia from maintaining military and naval facilities on its southern littoral. In the space of a few months, the Habsburg Monarchy round itself isolated and, in the eyes of its leaders, exposed to extreme risk of attack. At the same time, the success of Russia in shaking off the Black Sea clauses had its own effect in the Balkans: from the viewpoint of the Serbian government, a traditional counter-weight to Habsburg influence in the region had re-emerged. (1)

There was little the Monarchy could do to alter this calamitous situation. The defeat of France was definitive, and Austria-Hungary, held in check by a clear Russian threat, could not possibly intervene. Nor was the Monarchy in a position to enforce the temps of the Treaty of Paris. At the insistence of the Austro-Hungarian and British governments, an international conference on the Black Sea issue and the revision of the Treaty of Paris was convened in London in January 1871. However, this was essentially a face-saving exercise that had little purpose other than to register acceptance of Russia's fait accompli.

The Austro-Hungarian government nonetheless took advantage of the London, or Black Sea, Conference to raise another, related question of vital concern to it, the regulation of the Danube. This international waterway, shared by the South German states, the Habsburg Monarchy, and the Ottoman Empire together with its tributary vassal principalities, Serbia and Romania, was a potentially lucrative export route, but was unnavigable for much of its lower lengths. Despite the creation of two international commissions in 1856, one for clearing the mouths of the Danube, the other for discussing the removal of navigational obstacles further upstream, agreement on the latter issue had still not been reached as of 1870. (2) Austria-Hungary accordingly used the London Conference in an attempt to gain international agreement to undertake the clearance of these natural obstacles to trade. In doing so, it called on the Serbian government for support.

This article explores why Serbia, in seeming disregard of its own interests, refused to give that support for reasons bound up with the recent history of its relations with the Monarchy. Serbian reticence was due, in particular, to the interference of the Hungarian government in Austro-Hungarian foreign policy, a practice that had become frequent since the Ausgleich, or constitutional reordering of the Monarchy in 1867. The whole episode of the Black Sea Conference constituted yet another example of how the Austro-Serbian relationship was mismanaged in the years immediately following the Ausgleich. It serves as an object lesson in how great powers should not handle smaller powers and illustrates the difficulties of pursuing a coherent foreign policy in a multinational state.

From the moment the Ausgleich was concluded, the chancellor and foreign minister of the Monarchy, Count Friedrich Ferdinand von Beust, had to cope with the interventions in foreign policy of the new Hungarian minister-president, Count Gyula Andrassy. According to the terms of the Ausgleich, foreign policy was the exclusive preserve of the Emperor Francis Joseph and his designated foreign minister. However, both the Austrian and Hungarian ministers-president were entitled to be consulted about foreign policy issues, and Andrassy availed himself of this opportunity with determination. (3) Andrassy consistently maintained a hostile attitude towards Russia and advocated keeping a sharp eye on Russian intrigues in the Balkans, in particular among the South Slavs, whether in the Habsburg Monarchy or the Ottoman Empire.

It would be an exaggeration to say that these Hungarian interventions amounted to a separate, Hungarian "foreign policy," but unofficially Andrassy's attempts to influence Beust's policy were persistent and pervasive. Andrassy, a landed magnate and personable courtier, always had the ear of the Emperor if he wanted. Beust, a Saxon import somewhat unsure of his position in Vienna, found himself repeatedly forced to tolerate Andrassy's initiatives, many of which contradicted traditional Habsburg policy in the Balkans. (4)

The Principality of Serbia, then still a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, played a central role in this peculiarly Hungarian obsession, because of Serbia's potential attractive power over the Monarchy's own South Slavs, as well as its capacity for stirring up revolt among the Christian peoples of the Ottoman realms. Although Serbia was formally still an Ottoman province, the fact that it had its own hereditary Prince and government, and that it harboured ambitions to expand at Ottoman expense, meant that it could potentially play a much more disruptive role. Since the 1830s most of the great powers had accordingly kept consular representatives in Belgrade, which were effectively political positions, as Belgrade was one of the diplomatic listening-posts of the region. (5)

In April 1868 Andrassy, in a reflection of his preoccupation with South Slav affairs, secured the appointment of his protege Benjamin Kallay as Austro-Hungarian consul-general in Belgrade, a post Kallay occupied for the next seven years. Kallay, only twenty-nine at the time of his appointment, was a precocious if cold-blooded young nobleman, as well as a "friend of the Serbs" both within Hungary and abroad, and known for his command of languages, including Serbo-Croatian. Above all, Kallay saw himself as someone who could neutralize the potential threat Serbia posed, by persuading the Serbian government that the Hungarians, rather than Vienna, were its best friends and allies. Formally Kallay was Beust's subordinate, answerable only to Vienna; informally Kallay was very much Andrassy's man in Belgrade. He kept Andrassy posted on all his doings, and saw himself as much as the representative of Hungarian interests as of the Monarchy's. Between them Andrassy and Kallay pursued a policy of trying to control Serbia through a variety of "services" that would bind the Principality to the Habsburg Monarchy, even if the principal object of Serbian gratitude for such services, in their eyes, was supposed to be the Hungarian government. (6)

Unfortunately for the success of this policy, and for the future of Austro-Serbian relations, the "services" in question were for the most part not the priorities of Beust, the chancellor and official foreign minister in Vienna. Traditionally the Habsburg Monarchy had kept a watchful eye on Serbia from the moment it gained autonomy in the early nineteenth century, and it was no part of Vienna's policy to appease Serbian nationalism. It is true that Beust, in 1867, had been instrumental in securing the withdrawal of the remaining Ottoman garrisons from Serbia, a contributing factor to instability in the past. But the general tenor of Habsburg policy was one of supporting the territorial integrity of the Ottoman Empire, discouraging Serbian expansionism, and stirring up of unrest in the Ottoman Balkans. (7)

Up to a certain point, the Hungarians' unofficial "foreign policy" between 1867 and 1871 complemented Beust's policy and did its bit to reinforce the relationship with Serbia. Upon the assassination of Prince Michael Obrenovic in 1868, for instance, Hungarian influence helped win recognition of the Obrenovic dynasty in the person of Michael's underage nephew Milan, as hereditary prince, in the face of Ottoman reluctance to concede this. (8) In 1869 the Hungarians helped secure Ottoman agreement to the revision of Serbia's constitution by the Regents in charge during Prince Milan's minority, Milivoj Blaznavac and Jovan Ristir. (9) In a more risky undertaking, the Hungarian government undertook to prosecute ex-Prince Alexander Karadordevic for his supposed complicity in the murder of Prince Michael and effectively promised Alexander's conviction in the Hungarian courts. When this effort failed in 1871, Hungarian prestige in Belgrade dropped sharply, (10) Most disastrously, Andrassy and Kallay encouraged Blaznavac and Ristic to believe that, through Austria-Hungary's good offices, Serbia could somehow secure the administration of Bosnia-Hercegovina, an unlikely scenario given not only Ottoman objections, but also the opposition of the great powers to such a dangerous revision of the status quo in the Balkans. (11)

The cumulative effect of these Hungarian-led initiatives, rather than tying Serbia to the Monarchy, was to reinforce suspicion on both sides, but especially on the part of the Serbian government. Since the Hungarian government could not deliver on its more daring promises, the Serbian Regents concluded that the Hungarians were acting in bad faith all along, serving as camouflage for the traditional Habsburg policy of containing Serbia, and thwarting its ambitions for territorial expansion. Blaznavac, the first Regent, and an army officer who had committed himself in 1868 to the politically unpopular policy of accepting Austro-Hungarian patronage, felt particularly exposed by this turn of events. Ristic, the second Regent and a liberal of decidedly authoritarian stamp, had always been less receptive to Hungarian blandishments, and by 1870 was anxious to distance himself from the relationship. (12)

The failure of Austria-Hungary's attempt to resolve the Danube question, in 1870-71, was in part attributable to this mix of misunderstanding and suspicion created by the Hungarians. By the time the Franco-Prussian War broke out, the Serbian government was already wary of Hungarians bearing girls. In particular, the impracticability of Andrassy's Bosnian scheme was becoming obvious by the summer of 1870, not least because, in the context of the general European crisis, the scheme looked more and more like a concerted ruse by Vienna and Pest to neutralize Serbia and prevent events in the Balkans from getting out of control. Russia's renunciation of the Black Sea clauses, coming when it did, reminded the Serbian Regents of the limitations on Austro-Hungarian power in the Balkans. As a result, Serbia's behaviour during the Black Sea Conference reflected this changing perception. From lending a willing, if sceptical; ear to Hungarian overtures, Blaznavac and Ristic reverted to a default position of guarded hostility towards the Monarchy, choosing instead to see Russia as the principal regional hegemon.

International affairs, already mightily disturbed by the Franco-Prussian conflict, were thrown into further uproar by the news of Russia's repudiation of the Black Sea clauses on 31 October 1870. (13) It was naturally in Vienna and Pest that the shock waves of the Russian action were felt most acutely. Beust was in the awkward position of having publicly advocated a revision of the Treaty of Paris as far back as 1867. (14) The chancellor had no difficulty, however, in voicing condemnation of Russia's move, since the whole point of the 1856 settlement lay in its internationally agreed regulation of the Eastern Question, and its restraints on Russian power. If the Russians could be allowed to get away with unilateral revision, there was no telling what they might choose to do next in the Near East. (15)

Andrassy's reaction was characteristically more intemperate. From the reports of foreign representatives, it appears that Andrassy was convinced that now was the time to settle accounts with Russia. The Italian charge d'affaires found Andrassy "extremely excited ... I was very struck by the violence of his language." (16) The Saxon envoy in Vienna noted how pleased the Ottoman ambassador was with Andrassy's attitude, which he claimed was reflected in Hungarian public opinion: "Above all it is the concern of the Hungarian Hotspurs to ensure that they use this opportunity for unambiguous demonstrations against Russia." (17) The Italian ambassador reported that Andrassy was of the opinion that "if Russia is not firmly opposed she will henceforth be mistress of the Near East. A war under unfavourable conditions would later be inevitable." (18) As late as 24 November, the British ambassador to Vienna was describing Andrassy as "quite wild for war." (19) The Austro-Hungarian common ministerial council of 14 November, called by the Emperor Francis Joseph to discuss the Black Sea crisis, was the sharpest confrontation yet between Beust and Andrassy on the subject of Russia. Beust was all too aware that his own policy lay in ruins. In the West, he had failed to prevent the French defeat and the imminent unification of Germany under Prussian leadership. In the East, Russia had burst the bonds imposed by the Treaty of Paris, generally increasing Hungarian dissatisfaction with his policy. (20)

Yet Beust was in a position of some strength to resist what amounted to a frontal assault by Andrassy. For a start, despite the affront to treaty obligations and Habsburg prestige, Francis Joseph had taken the news calmly, and where the Emperor led, the rest of the council followed. (21) In addition, it was difficult to see how the Monarchy could reverse Russia's action, given that no other great power, not even Britain, was inclined to dispute it forcibly. (22) After a ritual condemnation of the unilateral nature of Russia's move, therefore, Beust counselled what amounted to an acceptance of a fait accompli: Austria-Hungary should most certainly protest the Russian move, but must on no account adopt a threatening tone. (23) Accordingly, Andrassy's predictable philippics against Russia, and his demands for a rejection of the Russian circular followed by a joint diplomatic offensive aimed at enforcing the Treaty of Paris, fell on deaf ears. (24) Beust successfully argued that even a collective note would be a diplomatic fiasco, and that the Monarchy should feel its way more cautiously towards a resolution of the Black Sea issue. Above all, Austria-Hungary should do nothing that was not supported by the other great powers. (25)

In the weeks following, however, Beust found that it was not so easy to adopt a purely passive attitude, since he was at the mercy of domestic factors. Because of his opposition to Prussia and to German unification, Beust could count on no support from the Austrian German liberals. He was considered by the military, if not by the Emperor himself, to have bungled Austria-Hungary's chances of profiting from the Franco-Prussian War. And in Hungary the continuing violent reaction to the Black Sea crisis undermined what little support Beust had among Hungarians for his foreign policy. The tone-setting organ of the Deakist party, Pesti naplo, spoke darkly on 17 November of submitting the Black Sea question to "the arbitrament of war" and called for a "holy war" against Russia. (26) Behind the uproar in the Hungarian press, Beust was aware, stood Andrassy, whom some circles in Hungary were already describing as Beust's logical successor as foreign minister. (27)

The evidence suggests that Andrassy was counting on the upcoming meeting of the Hungarian Delegation, on 24 November, to orchestrate a call for Beust's resignation. (28) It was Beust's appreciation of this threat that led him to reverse his position and to adopt Andrassy's ideas on how to handle the Black Sea question. It is hard to accept that Beust really believed in any of the positions he subsequently assumed. His actions rather are to be interpreted as those of a politician bereft of a domestic base, compelled to fend off his most dangerous rival for the office of foreign minister, by going through the motions of accepting that rival's views. It was another example of the contortions into which the Dualist system could force its servants.

Under this pressure Beust started trying to show that he was reacting firmly to Russia's actions. In the two months before the opening of the London Conference, called to negotiate a settlement of the Black Sea dispute, the chancellor associated himself explicitly with the lost cause of a collective note. (29) He also put forward a number of other proposals for discussion at the conference, which had their origin in Andrassy's fertile brain but which were illusory to say the least. Among them was the designation of an Ottoman port on the Black Sea as an international naval base, to counterbalance Russia's as yet non-existent fleet there; 'and an increase in the number of warships which, ever since the Crimean War, the western allies in that conflict had stationed at the mouth of the Danube. Rather more practical was the suggestion that Austria-Hungary be empowered to carry out the regulation of the Danube, thus rendering it navigable along its entire length. (30)

On a simpler level, Beust needed to convince the Russians that he meant business, an ultimately fruitless exercise in view of the Monarchy's essential powerlessness to reverse Russia's fait accompli. Part of this exercise, nevertheless, involved squashing any ideas of trouble-making in the Balkans. On 23 November Beust thus dispatched a circular to the Monarchy's representatives in Belgrade and Bucharest. (31) The Beust circular was designed as a direct admonition to the two most likely sources of unrest in the Peninsula, the Serbian and Romanian governments. It proved, however, to be one of the factors which defeated the Habsburg Monarchy's cause at the London Conference. With regard to the unofficial "foreign policy" pursued by the Hungarians, it also proved to be a time bomb which, two months later, brought crashing to the ground the fragile edifice of Serbo-Hungarian "friendship" built by Andrassy and Kallay.

To Beust the connection between the Russian declaration and a threat to the status quo in the Balkans was self-evident. The Russian action, he wrote to his consuls in Belgrade and Bucharest, was likely "to create there the delusion that the state of affairs determined by treaty in the Near East has henceforth ceased to exist." Beust expressed the hope that neither the Romanian nor the Serbian government would be lured into taking steps "which would conjure up incalculable disaster for their country." (32)

The crucial passage--and the one which was to cause all the trouble when it became public two months later--was not at first sight controversial. With its tone of high-minded rebuke, it could have flowed just as easily from the pen of any of the Monarchy's foreign ministers since Serbia first achieved autonomy. The Serbian and Romanian governments, Beust wrote, must be under no illusions about the firmness of Austria-Hungary's commitment to uphold not only the principles which were agreed by the European conventions of 1856 and 1858, but also the subsequent conference resolutions with regard to the political existence of the lands of the lower Danube. To preserve the status quo in the Balkans, Austria-Hungary's leaders were resolved, if required, to deploy the whole force of the Monarchy. (33)

Thus, at precisely the time when Andrassy, through Kallay, was attempting to breathe new life into the Bosnian plan, with the added bait of an alliance or entente of sorts between Serbia and the Monarchy, Beust's circular introduced a decidedly jarring note. (34) Far from encouraging Belgrade to look upon a division of Bosnia as possible, it invoked the Treaty of Paris and the status quo, and virtually threatened the vassal states with war if they endangered either. Beust had not always made his unease with Andrassy's schemes as clear as he might have done; in fact his acquiescence in Hungarian meddling at times amounted to a weak-minded acceptance. The circular of 23 November, however, was a well-placed torpedo launched against Andrassy's impractical Serbian policy.

That being so, and given the ambiguity of Kallay's position between Vienna and Pest, it is perhaps not surprising that the Beust circular at first vanished without a trace. Kallay did not raise the matter with the Regents, as the circular clearly enjoined him to do, nor did a copy survive in the files of the Belgrade consulate. (35) The evidence, or rather lack of evidence, suggests that Kallay quietly consigned his unwelcome instructions to the fire. Kallay, however, was gambling against the odds. The Austro-Hungarian foreign ministry was in the habit of publishing selected documents on foreign affairs, and the circular of 23 November, which usefully demonstrated the Monarchy's support for the status quo, eventually round its way into one of these so-called Rotbucher. (36) But Kallay, at the end of 1870, was still convinced he was on the verge of a breakthrough with the Bosnian plan, and was determined to ignore Beust's instructions.

Only late in January 1871 did the Serbian Regents learn for the first time about what one of them, Ristic, called "The first bomb, which exploded over this confidential relationship." (37) A copy of the latest Austro-Hungarian Rotbuch finally reached Belgrade, and in it was published Beust's circular of 23 November. (38) As Ristic complained to Kallay, the explicit threat to Serbia and Romania, in the circular, was an affront to "their national self-esteem"; certainly it had created "an extremely bad impression" in Belgrade. (39) To this, Kallay's attempt to demonstrate that the circular "didn't have any significance and that because of this I hadn't mentioned it to them [the Regents]," must have sounded lame even in his own ears. (40)

What Ristic forebore to mention, but which both men knew perfectly well, was that there was a glaring contradiction between the policy towards Serbia avowed by Andrassy, and that which Beust continued to represent in Vienna. While the Hungarian minister-president promoted a plan which had as its centerpiece a reordering of the status quo in the Balkans, the Monarchy's foreign minister was still, it seemed, prepared to threaten Serbia with condign punishment if it disturbed the status quo.

The publication of the Rotbuch also coincided with the opening session of the international conference on the Black Sea question in London on 17 January 1871. This gathering, which concluded its work on 14 March, after signing the Treaty of London the previous day, was not a success for the Habsburg Monarchy, which failed to achieve most of its objectives vis-a-vis Russia and the Ottoman Empire. (41) As far as Serbia was concerned, the revelation of Beust's November circular increased the behind-the-scenes acrimony between Vienna and Belgrade. As a vassal principality of the Sultan, Serbia was not officially represented at the London Conference. However, as negotiations proceeded Serbia's unofficial support was increasingly given, not to the Austro-Hungarian, but to the Ottoman government. Nevertheless, while the November circular exerted an obvious negative effect, the Serbian government's growing disillusionment with Austria-Hungary had already been reflected in its stance on the Danube question before the Rotbuch had even appeared.

Austria-Hungary's root-and-branch commitment to maintaining the neutrality of the Black Sea was highly unrealistic and had effectively to be abandoned before the conference even began. Beust instead concentrated on demanding compensatory measures in return for accepting the Russian move. According to the chancellor's instructions to his chief negotiator in London, Count Rudolf Apponyi, the Ottoman government should regain the right to open and close the Straits, and also be obliged to open them to a minimum number of warships specified by the western powers. There should be an international naval base established at some Ottoman port on the Black Sea, with western warships in proportion to whatever force Russia chose to maintain. The western powers, who since 1856 had the right to station two ships each at the mouth of the Danube, should be allowed to add to this number. Finally, Austria-Hungary was to be made the directing power on the International Commission for the Danube, with the right to levy a toll on Danube shipping to cover the cost of making the entire river navigable. (42)

The precise status of the Straits, and the argument over the passage of foreign warships through them, were to preoccupy the great powers for the next forty years, and are not directly relevant to the present study. With regard to the question of an international naval base, and the forces at the mouth of the Danube, the Monarchy was setting itself up for a dismal diplomatic set-back, since not only the Russians, but also the Ottomans, were opposed to both ideas. The representative at the conference of the newly established German Empire could be expected to side with Russia; and the British government's main concern was to extract an acknowledgement of the sanctity of treaties from Russia. (43) Majority voting at the London Conference thus ensured that the Austro-Hungarian stance on both issues rapidly became untenable.

The question of the regulation of the Danube, by contrast, was the one area where the Monarchy stood some chance of making its weight felt, since it was in the economic interests of virtually all the participants to proceed with this. It was also the issue which most closely concerned the Serbian government. On 3 January, Kallay learned from Regent Milivoj Blaznavac that Serbia would be sending Cedomilj Mijatovic, administrative head of the finance ministry, to London as an independent observer. At Blaznavac' request, Kallay agreed to furnish Mijatovic with a letter of recommendation to Apponyi. (44)

According to Mijatovir's account, the Regents did not know exactly which aspects of the Danube question were to be raised in London. Serbia received no invitation to the conference, and none of the great powers had so far admitted Belgrade into its confidence. "All we can tell you at this moment is this," Ristic told Mijatovic, "go to London and defend Serbia's interests if they should be menaced!" (45) By prior arrangement with Serbia, the government of Romania, another riparian state with a vital interest in the matter, also sent a representative to shadow the proceedings. (46)

In fact the Serbian government soon became aware that the powers were considering the regulation of the Danube. Under the provisions of the Treaty of Paris in 1856, the river had been internationalized, meaning that its navigation was open to vessels of all nations. Specifically, Article XV of the Treaty prohibited "any impediment or charge": "there shall not be levied any Toll founded solely upon the fact of the Navigation of the River, nor any Duty upon the Goods which may be on board of Vessels." (47) In addition, two commissions of interested states were set up. Article XVI established the Danube European Commission, with the strictly limited task of clearing the silted-up mouth of the Danube, and equally strictly defined powers to levy tolls for this purpose. Article XVII, which was to cause the most trouble, created a permanent Danube River Commission, composed of Austria, the Ottoman Empire, Bavaria and Wurttemberg, "to whom shall be added Commissioners from the Three Danubian Principalities," nominated by the Ottoman government, commonly referred to as the Porte. (48) It was the job of this River Commission to "remove the impediments, of whatever nature they may be," affecting navigation, and to this end to undertake the necessary works "throughout the whole course of the River." (49) Article XVII did not, however, make any provision for the levying of tolls to pay for such works, nor did it specify who was to levy them. By 1871 this problem had still not been resolved.

For all the riparian states, but especially for the Habsburg Monarchy, this was an unsatisfactory situation. Commercial interests in the Monarchy, and particularly in Hungary, were fully aware of the possibilities that a freely navigable Danube would offer for trade with the outside world. (50) Strategically, too, the Monarchy was the power most naturally in a position to dominate the lower reaches of the river, a consideration given additional importance by the re-emergence of Russia as a naval power in the Black Sea. The continuing strained relationship between the Ottoman Empire and its vassal principalities meant that not much co-operation could be expected from that quarter. Moreover, the inclusion of Bavaria and Wurttemberg in the new German Empire altered the balance of votes on the River Commission, and made a redefinition of its powers all the more urgent. (51)

At the session on 3 February the Austro-Hungarian government therefore made three formal proposals to the London Conference with regard to the Danube. (52) One was for the extension of the lifespan of the European Commission, which had in any case not yet completed its clearance of the Danube delta, but which also, in the absence of any practical undertaking so far by the River Commission, was still the only effective international body involved. There was not much quarrel with this proposal, and after some haggling the European Commission was empowered to continue for another twelve years, until 1883.

The second proposal called for the number of naval vessels stationed at the river's mouth to be increased beyond the two from each power, as originally sanctioned by Article XIX of the Treaty of Paris. This was one of Andrassy's pet enthusiasms, and was never likely to get far. (53) As Beust himself admitted to the Ottoman ambassador on 8 February, he had instructed Apponyi to table this proposal in London principally to demonstrate its impracticality: "It is only thus ... that I can get rid of the Hungarians." (54)

The third proposal concerned the works necessary to make the Danube truly navigable. This brought the Monarchy into direct dispute with the Porte and, indirectly but no less sharply, with the Serbian government. On the reasonable assumption that it was the sole power capable of undertaking such a major project, the Monarchy proposed that it be allowed to do so, and to be given the power to levy an appropriate toll on river commerce to pay for the works. This measure involved amending both Article XV, to take account of the need for tolls, and Article XVII, to restructure the River Commission. In place of the existing Commission of Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, Bavaria and Wurttemberg, the Monarchy wanted a mixed commission composed of the two sovereign states on the lower Danube, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, and the two riparian principalities, Serbia and Romania. The presidency of this body would be held by the Monarchy's delegate. Essentially the Monarchy sought the right to carry out the works unilaterally if necessary. Of particular concern was the need to widen the river channel at the Iron Gates, the stretch of rapids below Orsova, which formed the boundary between northeast Serbia and Romania, and which constituted the single most serious obstacle to navigation. (55)

The Ottoman government had made it clear from the start that it did not believe the subject of the Danube belonged on the agenda of a conference called to discuss the Black Sea. Overruled on this point by the Austro-Hungarian and British delegates, the Ottomans nevertheless mounted a vigorous defence of what they regarded as their territorial integrity. Whatever the desirability of rendering the Danube navigable, to alter the character of the River Commission in the sense proposed by Austria-Hungary meant yet another revision of the Treaty of Paris, something to which the Ottoman leaders were instinctively opposed. Ali Pasha, the grand vizier, preferred to avoid the entire question, but if the Austrians insisted, to entrust the levying of tolls to the River Commission itself rather than to any single member of it. (56) As Baron Anton von Prokesch-Osten, Austria-Hungary's ambassador in Constantinople, reported on 20 February, Ali Pasha thought the proposal would "substitute for the equality of rights of the riverain powers the supremacy of Austria-Hungary on the river." (57) To the Austro-Hungarian objection that it was the Monarchy, inevitably, which would bear the lion's share of any costs, regardless of the income collected by tolls, the Porte simply replied that this was still a matter properly dealt with by the River Commission as a whole. (58)

It was thus clear from the start of the London Conference that differences existed between the Ottoman and the Austro-Hungarian positions on the regulation of the Danube. The Serbian government, apprised of the Austro-Hungarian proposals by Mijatovic on 22 January, immediately signalled its own opposition to them, which in effect allied Belgrade with the Porte. (59) Mijatovic was informed on the 28th that the Regents were "in favour of the free navigation of the Danube in conformity with the Treaty of Paris." (60) They also objected to the settlement of the regulation question at London in the first place: "The question of the Iron Gates in no sense falls within the competence of the European conference, but is solely for the riparian states." (61) By implication, this was to oppose entrusting the clearing of the river to Austria-Hungary alone. At the end of January, in a dispatch to its representatives in Constantinople and Bucharest, the Serbian foreign ministry frankly admitted that "our interests would be greatly harmed if the Austro-Hungarian proposal succeeded. Serbia and Romania would thus cease to be "Danubian" states." (62) For another power to undertake regulation of commerce on the Danube, in particular through the clearing of the Iron Gates, would amount to "the destruction of our rights." (63)

The London Conference had already held four of its six formal sessions, before the Austro-Hungarian foreign ministry and the Hungarians realized that Serbia was emphatically opposed to their position. Kallay, in reply to a belated request for information on the Danube question from his British consular colleague, had to confess as late as 10 February that he knew nothing "officially" of even the Monarchy's position, and was himself dependent on the press for his knowledge of proceedings in London. (64) The very next day, he received a telegram from Beust, urging him to prevail upon the Regents to cease opposing Austria-Hungary at the Conference. On the 12th, Beust forwarded Kallay a mass of documentation relating to the Danube, with instructions to use this in remonstrating with the Regents. (65)

As far as the Danube was concerned, there were intelligible reasons for the Serbian government's opposition. What neither Beust nor Kallay appreciated, however, was just how much additional ill will had been created in Belgrade by the publication of Beust's November circular. This document was a more realistic appraisal of the relationship between Serbia and the Monarchy than that which Kallay had been promoting for the past three years. Its revelation at a time when the Monarchy was confidently claiming Serbian support at the London Conference, however, had a devastating effect. The Regents, as we have seen, complained about the affront to "national self-esteem." (66) The official press in Serbia immediately echoed this tone of outrage, and there was a sudden rash of leading articles complaining about Austrian arrogance and insensitivity. (67)

Kallay at first made no mention of these reactions to Beust, as if he hoped that the issue would die away. In a dispatch to Andrassy on 28 January, however, Kallay did not disguise his alarm at the possible consequences of "this tactless telegram," which he saw as the culminating point in a long series of "blunders by Austrian statesmen." (68) Beust's stress on the inviolability of the 1856 treaties, and his slighting references to Balkan national aspirations, had each, according to Kallay, created a bad impression:
 ... the first because it diametrically opposes the well-meaning
 proposals expressed by Your Excellency in the interests of these
 provinces, the second because small, backward nations, which have
 nothing else but the concept of a future national greatness, are
 apt to be sensitive on this point. (69)


As a consequence, Kallay concluded, the whole thrust of "our affairs in the East" was endangered. (70)

The distinction which Kallay automatically drew between Austrian and Hungarian policy, without any sense of the oddity involved, was echoed by other observers. The Prussian consul, reporting a conversation with Ristic at the end of January, noted that the Regent expressed himself "with great bitterness" about Beust, but that Kallay at least "possesses more tact than his high chief." (71) Further comment came from the British consul, John Longworth, who reported on 3 February "a general feeling of indignation" in Serbia, as well as a certain bewilderment. Hence, Longworth concluded, Kallay likely suppressed the circular, because "the language he had consistently held had been in a diametrically opposite tenor, which was no more than indeed was to be expected when Count Beust had agreed to substitute an Hungarian for an Austrian agent at Belgrade." (72)

Italy's representative in Belgrade offered an equally bleak analysis of the circular's effect, which risked "destroying the fruits of the patient work carried on indefatigably for three years by Mr. Kallay, and robbing the words of this agent of all shred of truth and authority." The Italian also alluded, like Kallay, to the practical impossibility of a unilateral intervention by Austria-Hungary, without the agreement of the other signatories to the Treaty of Paris. (73)

In the meantime, Kallay was obliged to make his own attempt at enlightening Beust about the effect of the circular, resorting to the obsequious double-talk he so often employed with him. (74) Something had to be reported officially to Vienna, since Kallay had only just seen Blaznavac who, as Kallay recorded privately, made no secret of the fact that the circular's effect was "extraordinarily unpleasant for him personally." (75) The Regent also complained that the circular "made difficult if not impossible the work of consolidating good relations with us ... the Russians could never have done anything so useful to their interests as Beust's telegram." (76)

In his report to Beust, Kallay at first tried the tactic of recalling the chancellor's past expressions of goodwill towards the Balkan Christians. The frequency of these, Kallay claimed, had gradually created in Serbia the conviction that Serbia's future welfare lay in a closer association with "its powerful neighbour Austria-Hungary." (For "Austria-Hungary," here, it was really "Hungary" which Kallay had in mind.) Serbian loyalty was important, Kallay wrote, because in any general conflict a hostile Serbia could exert "an extremely harmful influence" over the Monarchy's South Slavs. This had so far been avoided. Not only had Russian influence waned, but Serbia was now accustomed to see Beust as its "most powerful protector." (77)

The circular of 23 November had consequently made a painful impression in Belgrade. It was perceived as a threat, and all the more perturbing because it came from such a powerful neighbour. Making the same point he had made to Andrassy on 28 January about the touchiness of Serbian national feeling, Kallay claimed that Beust's own instructions had consistently ordered him, Kallay, "not to step on Serbian national aspirations too forcefully." (78) Since Beust's circular appeared to do precisely that, Kallay feared for the results, since "every step which alienates Serbia from us, necessarily has as a consequence its gravitation towards Russian policies." (79) And so it proved, although Kallay completely ignored the extent to which his own and Andrassy's dabbling in secret diplomacy had contributed, and was still contributing, to this result.

In mid-February, and with the London Conference entering its final stage, Kallay received a lengthy justification from Beust for the publication of his November circular. (80) Beust's acid commentary on the reaction to the circular in Serbia, and the rebuke this implied for Kallay's own alarmism, put Kallay in a difficult position vis-a-vis the Regents. It was clear Beust was in no mood to accept the strictures of the Serbian press and government. (81)

Instead, Beust went on the offensive, listing all the benefits Serbia had derived from the Monarchy in recent years. These included evacuating the fortresses in 1867, securing the recognition of the hereditary nature of the Obrenovic succession, and sponsoring the 1869 Constitution. The chancellor professed himself unwilling to believe that the negative public reaction to his circular had really affected the Serbian government. The Regents, Beust insisted, completely misinterpreted the circular if they saw in it evidence of a new, anti-Serbian policy on the part of Vienna: "Far from pursuing views hostile to Serbia, ... the only cause which I have committed myself to pleading is that of the maintenance of the treaties which guarantee the rights of the Principalities." (82)

Beust followed this up with a second dispatch the same day, making a specific appeal for Serbia's support over the question of regulating the Danube. (83) The documentation which accompanied this, and of which Kallay was urged to make full use in reasoning with the Regents, was designed to show that Austria-Hungary was concerned above all not to prejudice the rights of the Danubian principalities at the London Conference. (84) Beust argued that, on the contrary, the Monarchy was precisely the party best able to defend the interests of all the riparian states, including Serbia. The main reason for the lack of progress in regulating the Danube, as the Serbian government should know, was the continuing dispute between the vassal states and the Porte, not Austria-Hungary. It was because this conflict of interests between Ottomans and Christians was unlikely to be resolved in the near future that the Monarchy wanted the power to regulate the Danube effectively transferred to itself. It was in that way that regulation--a matter of high priority for all parties--could be undertaken without unnecessary delay. In short, the Serbian government must see that its interests marched far more with those of Austria-Hungary, than with those of the Porte. (85)

On 17 February Kallay went to see Ristic to explain both Beust's circular and the Monarchy's position with regard to the Danube. He started by reading out Beust's dispatch of 1 2 February, justifying the November circular, and got the impression that "he [Ristic], it seems, was extremely pleased with it." (86) On the subject of the Danube, however, and despite deploying "every possible reason" why Serbia should support Austria-Hungary, Kallay ran into a brick wall: "Although he [Ristic] didn't say so outright, I could already see that they aren't going to do so. I mentioned that if they maintain their opposition this is nothing other than mistrust of us." (87)

With Blaznavac, whom he saw the next day, Kallay received an identical response: emollient assurances that Beust's explanations more than made up for the November circular; prevarication and a promise to think it over with regard to the Danube. (88) A couple of days later, Blaznavac proposed publishing Beust's explanation to allay public indignation. (89)

Whatever expressions of satisfaction Kallay received from the Regents, their subsequent refusal to concede to the Danube proposal was probably reinforced by the ill will which Beust's circular had initially generated. Privately, the Regents had been sharply reminded that the Austria they felt they knew best, the Austria that threatened, and took Serbian insignificance for granted, still existed. Not only did this cast a questionable light on Hungarian assurances of friendship, it clashed with any attempt by Vienna to downplay the original intent of the November circular. In retrospect, Risti6 claimed that Beust's reluctance to see his February dispatch published, as the Regents suggested, proved that the November circular "could not have any other meaning than that which we had given it, and in addition to us everyone else who read it." (90)

Most importantly from Kallay's point of view, his credibility as a negotiator was fatally undermined. By February 1871, there was no reason for the Regents to treat his interpretations of either Austrian or Hungarian policies with anything but skepticism. The prosecution of Alexander Karadordevic remained in limbo, and both Regents were increasingly dismissive of the Bosnian scheme. The need to smooth over Beust's circular appears to have taxed Kallay's powers of explanation to the limit. Filip Hristic, Serbia's representative in Constantinople, reported that, according to the reports the Italian embassy there was receiving from Belgrade, "Kallay's position ... has become untenable." (91) Kallay's own record does not quite bear out this highly coloured report, but what he did write down is evidence enough that things had gone seriously wrong. On 18 February Ristic came to the Austro-Hungarian consulate for a lengthy discussion of the Danube question, in the course of which it became abundantly clear that, on this issue at least, the Regents were determined not to cooperate. (92) Ristic vigorously denied that the Serbian position was due to mistrust of Austria-Hungary. Rather, as he put it to Hristic shortly after,
 we did not dare abandon the acquired right of our country (that the
 impediments to navigation and other matters be discussed in the
 River Commission), nor could we permit a precedent to arise
 threatening our country's autonomy (i.e. that Europe should resolve
 a local question of ours). (93)


This, on the face of it, was a reasonable apprehension for the government of a weak, semi-independent state to entertain, and Kallay accordingly devoted his efforts to prove that the Monarchy was not intent on abolishing the River Commission itself. He added that "we don't want the Conference to decide on the works, but it was necessary to mention in our proposals how we could afterwards seek the right to collect a toll, which depends wholly on the Conference." (94) According to Kallay's account, Ristic appears to have agreed in principle that the London Conference could at least recommend such a toll, provided the River Commission later approved this departure from its original charter. The Serbian government evidently regarded the River Commission as having the ultimate right to decide on the matter of tolls and the execution of works in general. (95)

Referring the question of tolls back to the River Commission, however, inevitably raised the issue of how far individual member countries of the Commission would be ready to meet the costs of clearing the Danube. When Kallay asked whether Serbia would be willing to do so, "if their demands were met and it were necessary for the Commission of River States to decide on the works," (96) Ristic immediately declared this to be impossible. Serbia's exchequer could not cover such expenses, "and precisely because of this they don't mind if someone else completes the works." (97) The Regent would not, however, despite Kallay's repeated urging, commit Serbia unconditionally to supporting Austria-Hungary's bid to clear the Danube, even if the River Commission were given the final say in the matter. In a phrase that must have been familiar to Kallay by now, Ristic protested that this was "an extremely important question," which could not be settled in a hurry. (98) Controversy later surrounded the precise details of this encounter. According to Kallay's version of events, the interview concluded when he expressed his regret,
 not without a certain irony, that they should be the ones helping
 the Porte most of all, what was more, they were the ones the Porte
 was using as an excuse and, probably, simply as a tool. He [Ristic]
 tried to placate me saying that we can certainly reach an
 agreement, to which I remarked that, unfortunately, it seems we
 can't. (99)


By contrast, the official Serbian account published later in the year showed Kallay adopting a much more threatening tone. Kallay was reported to have said that Austria-Hungary would be forced to set aside all its "partiality [prizrenja]" for Serbia and "without regard to the Serbian government's opposition, to work for the success of its proposals at the Conference." (100) To this--again, according to the Serbian version Ristic allegedly responded that the Monarchy "would be appealing to the right of the stronger." (101) He added that history showed, however, that those who relied on superior might to achieve their goals "almost always, sooner or later, run into someone stronger than themselves." (102)

Kallay later claimed that the version in the Serbian "Blue Book" was doctored to reflect the change in Serbian policy by September 1871, when this official collection of documents appeared. (103) Certainly the unctuous tone of Ristic's supposed rejoinder had all the hallmarks of an afterthought, the sort of thing one wishes one had said at the time but did not. In any case, Ristic was not notorious for sticking to the facts, whereas Kallay's diary, by its very nature, was a less questionable record. Nevertheless, there could be no doubt that, under the strains produced by the London Conference, relations were cooling rapidly.

The Serbian Regents' principal reason for obduracy was their fear of losing what modest control they had over the Danube River Commission, a prospect which appeared to have far outweighed any conceivable gains accruing to Serbia from the clearing of the river. (104) In his report to Beust on 18 February, Kallay pin-pointed this apprehension, suggesting that there was a reluctance to see the Iron Gates opened up at all, because of the possible military advantage this would give the Ottomans in any future confrontation with their fractious vassal. (105) There was also, in Kallay's view, a concern for prestige. The Serbian government "would not want someone else to carry out these works because of envy since it is not in a position itself to contribute even the smallest sacrifice towards this." (106) To Ristic, the next day, Kallay did not conceal that he thought "the Serbs are missing the mark both from the commercial as well as the political viewpoint," and were letting the Ottomans take advantage of them. (107)

In the meantime the shifting alignments among the great powers, occasioned by the London Conference, were having an additional effect in Belgrade. One of the paradoxical results of Russia's renunciation of the Black Sea clauses of the Treaty of Paris had been a Russo-Ottoman rapprochement, since the Russian government, anxious to secure Ottoman complaisance at London, was more than willing to guarantee the integrity of the Ottoman Empire in all other respects. (108) So obvious was this that the Emperor Francis Joseph, at a meeting with the Ottoman ambassador on 2 February, accused the Porte of making "common cause with the Russians." (109) As a consequence the Serbian government found itself in the same camp as the Russians. Kallay's arch-rival in Belgrade, the Russian consul Nikolai Shishkin, was not slow to capitalize on the fact, and as early as 19 February Kallay heard that "Russian hands have probably had a share in the Danube question too," as far as Serbia was concerned. (110) A few days later the warning was repeated. (111) On 25 February Kallay learned that, according to Mijatovic in London, "Russia is extremely pleased with Serbia's attitude in connection with the Danube question." (112) Such reports were more than enough to raise Hungarian suspicion, so alert were the Hungarians to the slightest indication of Russian intrigue.

Given this backdrop, therefore, it is not surprising that subsequent negotiations between Kallay and the Regents proceeded in an atmosphere of gathering mistrust on both sides, ultimately leading nowhere. On 23 February, in a marathon session with both Ristic and Blaznavac, Kallay rehearsed all of the arguments available to him. Serbia stubbornly refused to renounce its guaranteed right to a say in the River Commission. That right being assured, however, the Regents "would not in principle be against works on the Danube." (113) Yet when Kallay asked for a commitment to go beyond this statement and vote positively for the commencement of the works, the answer was still negative. After two hours' discussion, Kallay recorded his conviction that the Regents had opposed the works:

1) because they are afraid that the Danube will thereby be opened to the Turkish fleet, and 2) because they can't due to the poverty of the country take part in the works themselves, and don't want anyone else to complete them since on this basis the contractor would control the river police and the collection of tolls. (114)

Over the next few weeks, as the London Conference neared its end, recriminations mounted on both sides. Ristic on 27 February rejected the suggestion that Serbia was steering too close to Russia out of pique with Austria-Hungary. Serbia would not do Russia's bidding, "because if today the Russian consul gives orders, tomorrow perhaps orders will have to be taken from the Austrian consul." (115) Since the early nineteenth century, Serbian leaders had often insisted that they wished not to be the subservient instruments of either Austria or Russia. Kallay, however, was too preoccupied with the paradox of Serbia's cooperation with the Ottomans in sabotaging the Monarchy's plans for the Danube, to reflect on this detail. If Serbia were afraid of the Ottoman fleet, he wrote early in March to Bela Orczy, another Andrassy protege in the foreign ministry, perhaps this very reason "would be used to prevail on the Porte to give way [in London]." (116) In other words, the clearance of the Iron Gates could be presented to the Ottomans as a more effective means of bringing Serbia to heel.

This was clutching at straws, since the Ottoman government had its own agenda, and was moreover peculiarly indisposed to accept advice from Austria-Hungary at this stage of the Conference. (117) A reply which Kallay received from Orczy, on 10 March, ought to have given him pause. Orczy confirmed that:
 there really has been a rapprochement between Turkey and Russia,
 the chief reason for which is that Andrassy openly said to Halil
 Bey [the Ottoman ambassador to Vienna] that the salvation of Turkey
 could only be found in the cession of Bosnia. Because of this the
 grand vizier is now much more mistrustful of us and is listening to
 Ignatiev's promises. (118)


Wittingly or not, Orczy could not have provided a more timely reminder of the responsibility Andrassy bore for the new chill in relations. Only the day before, Andrassy had accused the Ottomans of surrendering to the Russians. (119) It is unlikely that he saw his own policies as part of the explanation for these unwelcome developments. Andrassy's exasperation with both Ottomans and Serbs was heightened by the knowledge that, by this time, the Monarchy's efforts to gain control of regulating the Danube had failed. In the final version of the Treaty of London--submitted for signature on 13 March 1871--it was the Ottoman, not the Austro-Hungarian, draft which prevailed. (120) Austria-Hungary was not designated as the sole power responsible for undertaking the necessary works, nor was Article XV of the Treaty of Paris amended. Instead, the Porte succeeded in its largely negative aim of upholding the exclusive competence of the Danube River Commission.

Article V of the new treaty simply provided for the Commission's eventual re-assembly as stipulated by Article XVII of 1856, and "without prejudice to the clause relative to the 3 Danubian Principalities." Any subsequent change in the Commission's composition and powers would have to be agreed upon by a special convention of the signatories. Article VI declared that any undertaking to clear the Iron Gates had to be agreed upon between "the Powers which possess the shores of that part of the Danube," that is, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. Effectively this gave the Porte, together with the representatives of the vassal principalities, a veto over any action. Moreover, although the Commission would be able to collect tolls for the works involved, this was only by declaring Article XV of 1856 inapplicable for the duration of those works. (121)

The Serbian government might not have been formally represented at the Conference, but through its envoy Mijatovic it made clear that, on this issue at least, it wholly supported the position of the suzerain power. Mijatovic cultivated good relations with all the participants at the Conference, and late in February circulated among them a memorandum setting out Serbia's position. (122) This claimed that resolving the Iron Gates question at the Conference "would contradict both a natural and an acquired right of Serbia." (123) The natural right was that of all countries over their physical terrain, abandonment of which would constitute "an extremely dangerous precedent." (124) The acquired right was that accorded the Principality by the Treaty of Paris, which had set up the River Commission and given Serbia a voice on it. "Obviously," according to Mijatovic, "the question of removing the obstacles which the Iron Gares put in the way of navigation, falls within the competence of the River Commission." (125) The Serbian government, therefore, had to protest against "any resolution of the Iron Gates question, either direct or indirect, under any other aegis than that of the River Commission." (126)

For the Ottomans, Serbia's opposition to a settlement outside the framework of the existing River Commission was most welcome, since they could point to agreement with this otherwise troublesome vassal in negotiations with the other powers. As Ristic informed his representative in Constantinople on 7 March, on the basis of the reports he was getting from London, the Porte was anxious to reassure Serbia that there could be no question of a separate Austro-Ottoman agreement on the Danube. On no account would the vassal principalities be frozen out of any deliberations concerning the navigability of the river. (127) From some other powers there was less practical support. Kallay learned that Mijatovic "has found in all circles in London great sympathy for Serbia." (128) This did not mean, however, that either Britain or Italy welcomed Serbia's obstructive role. Even the Russians, once they had won Austria-Hungary's acceptance of their own goals, indicated that sympathy did not mean positive backing for the joint Ottoman-Serbian position, although this stood at variance with their behaviour throughout the Conference. (129) Nevertheless, the inherent strength of the Ottoman government's position at the London Conference, where its agreement still remained essential for any change to the 1856 settlement, ensured that there would be no change. (130)

Considering the significant economic benefits that clearing the Iron Gates might bring, the Serbian government's tactics at the London Conference made little sense. However, from the point of view of a semi-independent statelet wary of foreign control and determined to safeguard what few international rights it had, such obstruction was at least understandable. (131)

In the end, the Monarchy's subsequent negotiations with Serbia over the Danube petered out in procrastination and disingenuous protestations of goodwill. These negotiations were designed to obviate the Treaty of London by persuading Serbia to entrust the defence of its interests entirely to the Habsburg Monarchy, on the ground that Article VI of the Treaty entrusted the regulation of the Iron Gates solely to Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, since these were the only two "Riverain Powers" in question. (132) By this point, however, the breakdown in trust on the Serbian side was near-complete. The Regents were increasingly concerned about the lack of progress regarding the Bosnian question. They were even more worried about the delays in the Karadordevic prosecution, since Karadordevic's very existence was seen as a threat to the stability of the regime. (133) Now it appeared that the Regents were making a link between these issues and compliance in the Danube question: everything was part of a plot between Vienna and Pest to manipulate Serbia for Austro-Hungarian interests.

The fundamental strategic objection to the regulation of the Danube, from the Serbian government's point of view, was that there was "great unease in the country against the removal of the obstacles on the Danube and that because of this the government can't act freely." (134) The Serbian Regents palpably did not want to commit themselves to genuine clearance of the Iron Gates, a reluctance which had its roots in considerations of security, finance, and simple prestige. The Monarchy, in contrast, was equally determined to undertake the works by one means or another, and regarded the Regents' resistance as misguided, not to say perverse. In such a climate it was all too easy for suspicion to flourish unchecked on either side. The Austrian diplomatic establishment traditionally regarded Serbia as a refractory nuisance, a factor which complicated unnecessarily the normal rules governing relations with the Ottoman Empire. (135) Andrassy and Kallay, for their part, were quick to attribute any problem in relations with Serbia to Russian intrigue, a habit of mind which did not take sufficiently into account the effect of their own actions in Belgrade. The Regents feared Austro-Hungarian control of the Danube almost as much as they feared attack by Ottoman naval units, and were beginning to regard the repeated Hungarian initiatives concerning Bosnia as part of some deep-laid Dualist plot to distract Serbia from formulating plans of its own. All sides, in this triangular breakdown in relations, were significantly lacking the power to see themselves as others saw them.

In the end, the haggling between Austria-Hungary and Serbia over the Iron Gates became irrelevant, since the real problem lay rather in winning the cooperation of the Ottoman Empire itself. Agreement on the issue was to elude the members of the Danube River Commission for many years to come; and it was not until after the Congress of Berlin in 1878, when the balance of power in southeastern Europe had been vastly altered, that the Habsburg Monarchy was able to start the massive physical task of regulation. (136)

(1) Standard works on this period include: W.E. Mosse, The European Powers and the German Question 1848-1871, with Special Reference to England and Russia (Cambridge, 1958); idem, "The End of the Crimean System: England, Russia and the Neutrality of the Black Sea 1870-1871," Historical Journal, IV (1961), pp. 164-90; idem, The Rise and Fall of the Crimean System 1855-1871: The Story of a Peace Settlement (London, 1963); Heinrich Potthoff, Die deutsche Politik Beusts von seiner Berufung zum osterreiehischen Aussenminister bis zum Ausbrueh des deutsch-franzosischen Krieges 1870/71 (Bonn, 1968); ER. Bridge, From Sadowa to Sarajevo: The Foreign Policy of Austria-Hungary 1866-1914 (London and Boston, 1972); Barbara Jelavieh, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question 1870-1887 (Bloomington, 1972); Istvfin Dioszegi, Osterreich-Ungarn und der franzosisch-preussische Krieg (Budapest, 1974); Dietrich Beyrau, Russische Orientpolitik und die Entstehung des deutschen Kaiserreiches 1866-1870/71 (Wiesbaden, 1974); Heinrich Lutz, Oesterreich-Ungarn und die Grundung des deutschen Reiches: Europaische Entscheidungen (Frankfurt, 1979).

(2) Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 57-69; Joseph P. Chamberlain, The Danube: In Five Parts (Washington DC, 1918), pp. 70-73; Henri Hajnal, Le Droit du Danube International (The Hague, 1929), chapters 2-10.

(3) Under the Ausgleich both the Austrian and Hungarian halves of the Monarchy received separate, constitutional governments; foreign policy, the armed forces and external commercial relations were the responsibility of the Emperor and his three "common," or joint, ministers, with the proviso mentioned above. C.A. Macartney, The Habsburg Empire 1790-1918 (London, 1969), p. 561; Bridge, From Sadowa to Sarajevo, p. 18.

(4) Bridge, From Sadowa to Sarajevo, p. 46.

(5) Michael Boro Petrovich, A History of Modern Serbia 1804-1918 (New York, 1976), I, pp. 149 50, 319-29.

(6) For a comprehensive treatment of Hungarian influence in this period, see Ian D. Armour, "Austro-Hungarian Policy towards Serbia 1867-1871, with Special Reference to Benjamin Kallay" (PhD diss., University of London, 1994), passim; also Imre Ress, Kapcsolatok es keresztutak: Horvatok, szerbek, bosnyakok a nemzetallam vonzasaban (Budapest, 2004), pp. 190-92. An indispensable primary source for Kallay's Belgrade activities is the diary he kept. For the original, see Magyar Orszagos Leveltar, Budapest, Csaladi iratok, P344, Kallay Beni naploja, C.d. 1-4 (hereafter cited as Kallay Diary). This can profitably be supplemented with the superb translation edited by Andrija Radenir, Dnevnik Benjamina Kalaja 1868-1875 (Belgrade, 1976); hereafter cited as Dnevnik. All references to the Kallay Diary are to both the Hungarian original and the published version.

(7) Bridge, From Sadowa to Sarajevo, p. 35.

(8) Armour, "Austro-Hungarian Policy towards Serbia," pp. 99-100.

(9) Ian D. Armour, "Killing Nationalism with Liberalism? Austria-Hungary and the Serbian Constitution of 1869," Diplomacy and Statecraft, XXI (2010), pp. 343-67.

(10) Ian D. Armour, "Hungary's Failed Bid to Control Serbia: The Trial of Prince Alexander Karadordevic 1868-1871," International History Review, XXXI (2009), pp. 740-70.

(11) Ian D. Armour, "Apple of Discord: Austria-Hungary, Serbia and the Bosnian Question 1867 71," Slavonic and East European Review, LXXXVII (2009), pp. 629-80.

(12) Armour, "Austro-Hungarian Policy towards Serbia," pp. 89-91, 189-91; David Mackenzie, Jovan Ristic: Outstanding Serbian Statesman (New York, 2006), pp. 55-56, 64-65.

(13) The decision to renounce the Black Sea clauses, taken at a ministerial council on 15/27 November, was communicated to Russian embassies on 19/31 Oct. 1870. See B.H. Sumner, Russia and the Balkans 1870-1880 (Oxford, 1937), pp. 82-83; Mosse, The European Powers, pp. 334-48; idem, "The End of the Crimean System," pp. 167-68; idem, The Rise and Fall of the Crimean System, pp. 181-94. Throughout this article, dates for Russian and Serbian primary sources will give the Orthodox calendar date first, and the Western date second.

(14) Beust to Metternich, 1 Jan. 1867, in France, Ministere des affaires etrangeres, Les origines di plomatiques de la guerre de 1870-1871 (Paris, 1910-32), X/V, no. 3991, pp. 5-11; see also Potthoff, Die deutsche Politik Beusts, p. 71.

(15) Dioszegi, Osterreich- Ungarn und der franzosisch-preussischer Krieg, p. 182. Dioszegi's chapter on the Black Sea crisis (pp. 179-237) reproduces verbatim his earlier article, "Beust, Andrassy et la Question de la Mer Noire 1870-71," Annales universitatis scientiarium Budapestisensis de Rolando Eotvos nominate, Sectio Historica, IX (1969), pp. 163-206; see also Serge Goriainow, Le Bosphore et les Dardanelles (Paris, 1910), pp. 165, 184.

(16) Curtopassi to Visconti Venosta, 13 Nov. 1870, in Italy, Ministro degli affari esteri, I documenti diplomatici italiani 1861-1914, 2nd series: 1870-1896 (Rome, 1960-84, hereafter cited as DDI), I, no. 522, p. 440.

(17) Bose to Friesen, 13 Nov. 1870, quoted in Dioszegi, Osterreich-Ungarn und der franzrsischpreussischer Krieg, p. 183.

(18) Minghetti to Visconti Venosta, 16 Nov. 1870, DD1, I, no. 550, p. 465.

(19) Bloomfield to Granville, 24 Nov. 1870, Public Record Office, Kew (hereafter cited as PRO), Foreign Office (hereafter cited as FO) 362/3 (microfilm).

(20) Dioszegi, Osterreich-Ungarn und der franzrsisch-preusischer Krieg, pp. 188-89.

(21) Ibid., pp. 184-85.

(22) Despite the warlike tone of some of the British press and public opinion, prime minister William Gladstone and his foreign secretary, Lord Granville, were united in their view that, in Gladstone's words, "the whole policy of the Crimean War is now almost universally, and very unduly depreciated, and the idea of another armed intervention on behalf of Turkey, whether sole or with allies, is ridiculed." Gladstone to Hammond, 28 Oct. 1870, PRO, FO 30/29, 58; see also Mosse, "The End of the Crimean System," p. 169.

(23) Dioszegi, Osterreich-Ungarn und der franzosisch-preussischer Krieg, pp. 190-91.

(24) Ibid., p. 191.

(25) Ibid., pp. 193-94.

(26) Pesti naplo, 17 Nov. 1870, quoted ibid., p. 202.

(27) Pesti naplo, 18 Nov. 1870, quoted ibid., pp. 202-03; see also Kallay Diary, 18 Nov. 1870 (Dnevnik, p. 341).

(28) Kallay Diary, 3 Dec. 1870 (Dnevnik, p. 345); see also Dioszegi, Osterreich-Ungarn und der franzosisch-preussischer Krieg, p. 204. The Delegations, one Austrian, one Hungarian, were the yearly meetings of representatives of the two parliaments, charged with invigilating the work of Austria-Hungary's three common ministries.

(29) Ibid., p. 202.

(30) Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 44-45; also Dioszegi, Osterreich-Ungarn und der franzosisch-preussische Krieg, pp. 199-201, 204-06, 206-16; Lutz, Oesterreich-Ungarn und die Grundung des Deutschen Reiches, pp. 404-06. As Lutz puts it (p. 405): "We can see that this was above all a matter of Hungarian concern, and that Beust was clearly ... ready to accept even extremely exaggerated Hungarian demands."

(31) Beust to Kallay, 23 Nov. 1870; copy of the original in Beust to Prokesch-Osten, s.d., Haus Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Vienna (hereafter cited as HHSA), Politisches Archiv (hereafter cited as PA) XII/96. The circular was laid before the Hungarian parliament on 9 January 1871, and later published in a supplementary volume to one of the official collections of diplomatic documents which the foreign ministry brought out intermittently after 1868. See Auswartige Angelegenheiten: Correspondenzen des kais. kon. gemeinsamen Ministerium des Aussern, no. 4: Vom August 1869 bis November 1870, Nachtrag (Vienna 1871), pp. 10-11. See also Slobodan Jovanovic, Vlada Milana Obrenovica (Belgrade, 1926), I, p. 115. There is an English translation of the circular enclosed in Longworth to Granville, 3 Feb. 1871, PRO, FO 78/2185.

(32) Beust to Kallay, 23 Nov. 1870, HHSA, PA XII/96.

(33) Ibid. The reference to 1858 concerns the European Convention of 19 Aug. 1858, which established the 'United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia', under great power guarantee; see Charles and Barbara Jelavich, The Establishment of the Balkan National States, p. 115; and Michael Hurst (ed.), Key Treaties for the Great Powers 1814-1914 (Newton Abbott, 1972), I: 1814-1870, no. 71, p. 360.

(34) Armour, "Apple of Discord," p. 679.

(35) See the relevant file in HHSA, PA XXXVIII/187; also Kallay Diary, 24 Nov.-1 Dec. 1870 (Dnevnik, pp. 343-44), 23 Dec. 1870 et seq. (Dnevnik, pp. 348ff.)

(36) The first "Rotbuch" was published under the title Auswartige Angelegenheiten: Correspondenzen des kaiserlich-koniglichen Ministeriums des Aussern, no. 1 : Vom November 1866 bis Ende 1867 (Vienna 1868). Subsequent numbers reflect the change in name to "k.k. gemeinsames Ministerium des Aussern".

(37) Jovan Ristic, Spoljasnji odnosaji Srbjije novijega vremena (Belgrade, 1887, 1901), III: 1868-1872, p. 146; see also Kallay Diary, 24 Jan. 1871 (Dnevnik, pp. 357-58).

(38) Auswartige Angelegenheiten: Correspondenzen des kais. kon. gemeinsamen Ministerium des Aussern, no. 4: Vom August 1869 bis November 1870, Nachtrag (Vienna, 1871), pp. 10-11.

(39) Kallay Diary, 24 Jan. 1871 (Dnevnik, pp. 357-58).

(40) Ibid. (Dnevnik, p. 358).

(41) The conference met six times, on 17 and 24 January, 3 and 7 February, and 13-14 March (Beyrau, Russische Orientpolitik, p. 249, note 177). The best accounts are in Dioszegi, OsterreichUngarn und der franzosisch-preussische Krieg, pp. 226-37; Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 47-84; and, for a general assessment, Lutz, Oesterreich-Ungarn und die Grundung des Deutschen Reiches, pp. 405-06. The text of the Treaty of London is in Hurst, Key Treaties for the Great Powers 1814-1914, II: 1871-1914, no. 97, pp. 467-70. The conference protocols were published in Correspondenzen des kais. kon. gemeinsamen Ministeriums des Aussern, no. 5: Vom November 1870 bis April 1871 (Vienna, 1871), pp. 61-89.

(42) Beust to Apponyi, 22 Dec. 1870, summarized in Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 44-45. The instructions sent Apponyi reflected decisions taken at the common ministerial council of 17 Dec., for a fuller discussion of which see Dioszegi, Osterreich-Ungarn und der franzosisch-preussische Krieg, pp. 211-16.

(43) See Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 45-46; Dioszegi, Osterreich-Ungarn und der franzosisch-preussische Krieg, pp. 207-11, 226-29. The Ottoman reasons for rejecting these proposals were a fear of offending Russia, and a genuine concern for Ottoman prestige in accepting such arrangements; see the excellent discussion of Ottoman thinking in Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 42-44, and the instructions in Ali Pasha to Musurus Pasha, 21 Dec. 1870, printed in ibid., appendix I, pp. 171-75.

(44) Kallay Diary, 3 Jan. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 353); also Kallay to Beust, 9 Jan. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191. On Mijatovic's activity during the London Conference, see Count Chedomille Mijatovich, The Memoirs of a Balkan Diplomatist (London, New York, Toronto and Melbourne 1917), pp. 25-30. Kallay, who first met Mijatovic in 1869, recorded that "He is a very intelligent person, and thinks soberly"; Kallay Diary, 8 May 1869 (Dnevnik, p. 178).

(45) Mijatovich, Memoirs of a Balkan Diplomatist, p. 25.

(46) An important, though not particularly revealing source for Serbia's strategy during the London Conference is the so-called 'Blue Book' published by the Serbian government later that year: Prepiska, knezevsko-srpskog ministarstva inostranih dela o Dunavskom Pitanju na londonskoj konferenciji drzanoj 1871 god. (Belgrade, 1871), hereafter cited as Prepiska ... o Dunavskom Pitanju; a copy is enclosed in Kallay to Beust, 25 Sept. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191. On the concerting of strategy with the Romanian government, see Radivoj Milojkovic (Serbian minister president and foreign minister 1869-72) to Serbian envoy in Bucharest, 20 Dec. 1870/1 Jan. 1871, no. 1, p. 1; and Serbian envoy in Bucharest to Milojkovic, 31 Dec./12 Jan. 1871, no. 2, p. 1.

(47) Hurst, Key Treaties for the Great Powers, I, no. 61, p. 322; also Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 57-58; Chamberlain, The Danube, p. 30.

(48) Hurst, Key Treaties for the Great Powers, I, pp. 322-23. The three principalities referred to in 1856 were Serbia, Moldavia, and Wallachia; in 1866 Moldavia and Wallachia merged as Romania. Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 58 ff., refers rather confusingly to the European Commission as the "International Commission".

(49) Hurst, Key Treaties for the Great Powers, I, p. 323.

(50) Britain, as a major grain importer, was also keen on a navigable Danube. Even before the Crimean War, "nearly five percent of all British grain purchases came from the Danubian Principalities"; Richard Charles Frucht, "War, Peace and Internationality: The Danube 1789-1916," in Apostolos E. Vacalopoulos, Constantinos D. Svolopoulos and Bela K. Kiraly (eds.), Southeast European Maritime Commerce and Naval Policies from the Mid-Eighteenth Century to 1914 (Boulder, Colorado, 1988), p. 85.

(51) Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 60-61, sums up the Austro-Hungarian position most succinctly.

(52) Protocol no. 3, 3 Feb. 1871, in Correspondenzen des kais. kon. gemeinsamen Ministeriums des Aussern, no. 5, Anhang, pp. 75-76; see also Beust to Apponyi, 19 Jan. 1871, ibid., no. 59, pp. 26-28.

(53) Dioszegi, Osterreich-Ungarn und der franzosisch-preussische Krieg, pp. 199-202, 204-06; for Article XIX, see Hurst, Key Treaties for the Great Powers, I, p. 323.

(54) Halil Pasha (Vienna) to Ali Pasha, 8 Feb. 1871; quoted by Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, p. 63.

(55) Ibid., pp. 63-64. Granville, Musurus Pasha and Count Szecsen first discussed the question on 27 Jan., and the formal texts of the Austro-Hungarian proposals were sent to Constantinople by Musurus on 5 Feb. Ali Pasha's negative reply was dated 7 Feb. There is a summary of the Austro-Hungarian proposals in Curtopassi (Italian charge in Vienna) to Visconti Venosta, 23 Jan. 1871, DDI, 2nd series, II, no. 73, pp. 70-71.

(56) Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 64-65.

(57) Prokesch-Osten to Beust, 17 Feb. 1871, quoted, ibid., p. 65.

(58) Ibid.

(59) Mijatovic to Milojkovic, 10/22 Jan. 1871, in Prepiska ... o Dunavskom pitanju, no. 3; Milojkovic to Mijatovic, 16/28 Jan. 1871, ibid; both p. 2.

(60) Ibid.

(61) Ibid.

(62) Milojkovic to representatives in Constantinople and Bucharest, 19/31 Jan. 1871, ibid., no. 5, p. 3.

(63) Ibid.

(64) Kallay Diary, 10 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, pp. 359-60).

(65) Beust to Kallay, 12 Feb. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191 (Weisungen); also Kallay Diary, 11 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 360), and 16 Feb. 1871 (ibid.), which summarizes the material received.

(66) Kallay Diary, 24 Jan. 1871 (Dnevnik, pp. 357-58).

(67) Ibid., pp. 147-48, 148.

(68) Kallay to Andrassy, 28 Jan. 1871, Orszagos Szechenyi Konyvtar, Budapest (hereafter cited as OSZK), Folio Hungaricae (hereafter cited as FH) 1733 (Kallay-Andrassy correspondence)/206, 204.

(69) Ibid., ff. 204-05.

(70) Ibid.

(71) Rosen to Bismarck, 31 Jan. 1871, quoted in Johann Albrecht von Reiswitz, Belgrad-Berlin, Berlin-Belgrad (Berlin, 1936), pp. 186-187. As Reiswitz comments (p. 187), the whole incident was yet another indication "how very differently [zweierlei] policy was driven in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy."

(72) Longworth to Granville, 3 Feb. 1871, PRO, FO 78/2185, including an English translation of Beust's circular of 23 Nov. 1871, and a French translation from the Serbian press, suggesting that Beust should stop trying to be more concerned over the Ottoman Empire than the Ottomans themselves.

(73) Joannini to Visconti Venosta, 5 Feb. 1871, DDI, 2nd series, II, no. 126, pp. 134-35.

(74) Kallay to Beust, 4 Feb. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191. Though dated the 4th, this dispatch appears not to have been sent until 6 Feb.; see Kallay Diary, 6 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 359). Also worth reading are Radenic's notes 266 and 266a, pp. 735-36, which highlight the contrast between Kallay's language to Beust, and that reserved for his letter to Andrassy the saine day; see Kallay to Andrassy, 6 Feb. 1871, OSZK, FH 1733/208-10.

(75) Kallay Diary, 4 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 359).

(76) Ibid.

(77) Kallay to Beust, 4 Feb. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191.

(78) Ibid; see also Kallay to Andrassy, 28 Jan. 1871, OSZK, FH 1733/204-05. Kallay was probably alluding here to Beust's instructions to him of April 1868, which certainly state that "it is not advisable to oppose cherished dreams too abrasively"; Beust to Kallay, 5 Apr. 1868, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/177; reprinted in Vojislav J. Vuckovic (ed.), Politicka akcija Srbije u juznoslovenskim pokrajinama Habsburske monarhije 1859-1874 (Belgrade, 1965), no. 195, pp. 349-55. Considering that this passage was culled from a document which also enjoined Kallay "to warn the princely government against adventures into which they could let themselves enticed by their own unreflective urge for action, or as a result of foreign incitements" (p. 350), and which specifically rejected the idea of a Serbian presence in Bosnia-Hercegovina (pp. 353-53), Kallay's reading was a tendentious one to say the least.

(79) Kallay to Beust, 4 Feb. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191.

(80) Beust to Kallay, 12 Feb. 1871 (Weisung, copy), HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191. This was the first of two dispatches sent by Beust the same day, neither of which is numbered. The second dealt with the Danube question, and was accompanied by other material to bring Kallay up to date on the subject.

(81) Ibid. Beust is referring here to Kallay to Beust, 4 Feb. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191.

(82) Beust to Kallay, 12 Feb. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191. Cf. the description of the same dispatch by Ristic, Spoljasnji odnosaji Srbjije, pp. 149-50, who claims (p. 149) that the chancellor was reacting to the furore created in Serbia by the circular, and "hurried to mitigate the effect of his thoughtless step."

(83) Beust to Kallay, 12 Feb. 1871 (no number), HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191.

(84) Ibid., enclosing: 1) a foreign ministry memorandum of February 1869; 2) Beust's instructions for Apponyi and Szecsen, the Austro-Hungarian representatives at the London Conference; 3) Beust to Prokesch-Osten, 21 Jan. 1871; 4) amplification of instructions to Apponyi and Szecsen, 10 Feb. 1871; and 5) Apponyi to Beust, 8 Feb. 1871, complaining about Serbia's behind-the-scenes activity during the Conference. Items 2, 3 and 4 are reproduced in the Rotbuch: Correspondenzen, no. 5, nos. 59, 61 and 70, pp. 26-28, 28-30, 36-37.

(85) Beust to Kallay, 12 Feb. 1871 (no number), HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191. Cf. Kallay Diary, 16 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 361), where, after studying the material for the better part of a day, Kallay summarized the Austro-Hungarian position as follows: "We support the commission of riparian states in principle, but it is now not active, however we would like only to remove the obstructions at the Iron Gates at our own expense but in agreement with the riparian states."

(86) Ibid., 17 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 361). Kallay makes no mention of holding back any of Beust's dispatch. Ristic, by contrast, later simply recorded that "Kallay read out to us several passages"; Ristic, Spoljasnji odnosaji Srbjije, p. 150.

(87) Kallay Diary, 17 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 361).

(88) Ibid. See also Kallay to Beust, 18 Feb. 1871 (no. 7), HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191, recording the Regents' "surprise and satisfaction" at Beust's account of the circular.

(89) Kallay Diary, 19 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 362).

(90) Ristic, Spoljasnji odnosaji Srbjije, pp. 150-51.

(91) Hristic to Ristic, 10/22 Feb. 1871, in Grgur Jaksie (ed.), Pisma Filipa Hristica Jovanu Risticu (1868-1880) (Belgrade, 1953), no. 34, p. 42; cf. Joannini to Visconti Venosta (a copy of which would have been sent to the ambassador in Constantinople), 5 Feb. 1871, DDI, 2nd series, II, no 126, pp. 134-35.

(92) See Kallay Diary, 18 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 361-62), for a lengthy account; also Kallay to Beust, 18 Feb. 1871, HHSA, Administrative Registratur (hereafter cited as AR) XXXIV/48; and Kallay to Andrassy, 19 Feb. 1871, OSZK, FH 1733/211. Alternative, and conflicting, accounts are also in: Milojkovic to Mijatovic, 10/22 Feb. 1871, in Prepiska ... o Dunavskom Pitanju, no. 26, pp. 18-21; Ristic to Hristic, 9/21 Feb. 1871, in Srpska Kraljevska Akademija, Pisma Jovana Ristica Filipu Hristicu od 1870 do 1873 i od 1877 do 1880 (Belgrade, 1931; hereafter cited as Pisma Jovana Ristica), no. 13, p. 27; and Ristic, Spoljasnji odnosaji Srbjije, pp. 175-77. Kallay later claimed that the version of these discussions, published by the Serbian government in the Prepiska in September 1871, was amended to take account of the change in Serbian policies since the spring: Kallay to Beust, 25 Sept. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191; and Kallay Diary, s.d. (Dnevnik, p. 405).

(93) Ristic to Hristic, 9/21 Feb. 1871, Pisma Jovana Ristica, p. 27. Cf. Kallay Diary, 18 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 361), which bears out this particular message. See also Ristic, Spoljasnji odnosaji Srbjije, p. 175; and Milojkovic to Mijatovic, 10/22 Feb. 1871, Prepiska ... o Dunavskom Pitanju, p. 19. The rights referred to were those accorded Serbia under the Treaty of Paris of 1856.

(94) Kallay Diary, 18 Feb. 1871 (op. cit.)

(95) Ibid.

(96) Ibid.

(97) Ibid. (Dnevnik, p. 362).

(98) Ibid.

(99) Ibid.

(100) Milojkovic to Mijatovic, 10/22 Feb. 1871, in Prepiska ... o Dunavskom Pitanju, no. 26, p. 20.

(101) Ibid. The Prepiska document only refers to "one of the Regents," whereas Ristic, Spoljasnji odnosaji Srbjije, p. 175, claims to have made this intervention himself.

(102) Ibid. Italics in original.

(103) Kallay to Beust, 25 Sept. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191, where Kallay specifically cites document no. 26, cited above, and one other.

(104) The best source for this would appear to be Ristic to Hristic, 9/21 Feb. 1871, Pisma Jovana Ristica, p. 27, which is undeniably contemporaneous.

(105) Kallay to Beust, 18 Feb. 1871, HHSA, AR XXXIV/48; see also Kallay Diary, s.d. (Dnevnik, p. 362).

(106) Ibid.

(107) Ibid., 19 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 362), and paraphrasing Kallay to Beust, 18 Feb. 1871, HHSA, AR XXXIV/48.

(108) On this development, see Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 80-81.

(109) Halil Pasha to Ali Pasha, quoted, ibid., p. 81.

(110) Kallay Diary, 19 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 362).

(111) Ibid., 23 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 363).

(112) Ibid., 25 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 364).

(113) Ibid., 23 Feb. 1817 (Dnevnik, p. 363).

(114) Ibid.

(115) Ibid., 27 Feb. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 364).

(116) Ibid., 1 Mar. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 364).

(117) For the Ottoman reaction to Francis Joseph's criticism of 2 Feb., see Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 81-83, especially the detailed justification of Ottoman policy provided in Ali Pasha to Halil Pasha, 19 Apr. 1871, which Jelavich reprints as Appendix IV, pp. 183-87.

(118) Kallay Diary, 10 Mar. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 366). Count Nikolai Ignatiev was the Russian ambassador to Constantinople.

(119) Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, p. 82, quoting Esad Bey (Ottoman consul in Pest) to Ali Pasha, 9 Mar. 1871.

(120) The text of the Treaty relating to the Danube is in Hurst, Key Treaties for the Great Powers, II, p. 469; Prepiska ... o Dunavskom Pitanju, Appendix, p. 31, reproduces the three articles (IV-VI) in the original French. For a summary of the provisions, see Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, pp. 65-67.

(121) Hurst, Key Treaties for the Great Powers, II, p. 469.

(122) The memorandum took the form of a letter to the Ottoman ambassador; see Mijatovic to Musurus Pasha, 3/15 Feb. 1871, in Prepiska ... o Dunavskom Pitanju, no. 22, pp. 13-16. Mijatovic then sent copies to the other participants; Mijatovic to Granville, Brunov, Bernstorff, Apponyi, Cadorna and de Broglie, 10/22 Feb. 1871, ibid., no. 23, pp. 16-17.

(123) Mijatovic to Musurus Pasha, 3/15 Feb. 1871, ibid., no. 22, p. 14.

(124) Ibid. Cf. Kallay Diary, 18 and 23 Feb. 1817 (Dnevnik, pp. 362, 363).

(125) Mijatovic to Musurus Pasha, 3/15 Feb. 1871, in Prepiska ... o Dunavskom Pitanju, no. 22, p. 15.

(126) Ibid. See also Mijatovic to Milojkovic, 6/18 Mar. 1871, ibid., no. 30, p. 24, where Mijatovic, summing up the events of the Conference, describes the memorandum to the powers as "the only step left open to us," in view of what Mijatovic depicts as an initial inclination among the powers to accept the Austro-Hungarian proposal.

(127) Ristic to Hristic, 23 Feb./7 Mar. 1871, in Pisma Jovana Ristica, no. 16, pp. 31-32.

(128) Kallay Diary, 7 Mar. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 366).

(129) Ibid; also 12 Mar. 1871 (Dnevnik, pp. 366-67). Cf. Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, p. 68, who shows that, on the Danube question, "the Russian government used the opportunity to extend repeated courtesies to Constantinople."

(130) Ibid., pp. 65-69, 81-84.

(131) See the post-Conference summation in Mijatovic to Milojkovic, 6/18 Mar. 1871, in Prepiska ... o Dunavskom Pitanju, no. 30, pp. 25-26. This dispatch was one of the two Kallay later claimed had been amended prior to publication, to enhance the 'victory' over Austria-Hungary; Kallay to Beust, 25 Sept. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191. On the Serbian government's relative indifference to the clearing of the Iron Gates, cf. Emil Palotas, "The Problems of International Navigation on the Danube in Austro-Hungarian Politics during the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century," in Vacalopoulos et al. (eds.), Southeast European Maritime Commerce and Naval Policies, p. 102: "the Danubian principalities were little interested in the economic, technological and administrative legal impacts of international navigation. They paid more attention to political considerations."

(132) Beust to Kallay, 22 Mar. 1871, HHSA, PA XXXVIII/191. See the text of the Treaty in Hurst, Key Treaties for the Great Powers, II, p. 469. It is true that Article VI refers only to "the Powers which possess the shores of that part of the Danube where the Cataracts and the Iron Gates offer impediments to navigation." Since Article V, however, states that the continuance of the River Commission "shall be fixed by a previous understanding between the Riverain Powers, without prejudice to the clause [in the Treaty of Paris] relative to the 3 Danubian Principalities," it seems clear that the right of the vassal states at least to be heard on the Commission was indisputable. Radenic (Dnevnik, note 271, p. 738) describes Beust's arguments as "not very convincing".

(133) Kallay Diary, 28 Mar. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 371); Armour, "Apple of Discord," pp. 678-79; idem., "Hungary's Bid to Control Serbia," pp. 756-57.

(134) Kallay Diary, 27 Mar. 1871 (Dnevnik, p. 378).

(135) See, for instante, Prokesch-Osten to Beust, 24 Feb. 1871, HHSA, PA XII/98.

(136) On the subsequent history of the clearing of the Iron Gates, see Jelavich, The Ottoman Empire, the Great Powers and the Straits Question, pp. 122-23; W.H. Medlicott, The Congress of Berlin and After, 2nd edition (London 1963 [1938]), pp. 91-93.

Ian D. Armour has taught History at Grant MacEwan University since 2006, and previously taught at Staffordshire University and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, where he completed his PhD in 1994. His speciality is the history of the Habsburg Monarchy's relationship with Serbia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but he has a strong side-interest in German history. He is the author (with Ian Porter) of Imperial Germany 1890-1918 (Longman, 1991), and sole author of A History of Eastern Europe 1740-1918. Empires, Nations and Modernisation (Bloomsbury, second edn 2012), and Apple of Discord: The Hungarians, the Habsburg Monarchy and Serbia 1867-1881 (fothcoming from Purdue University Press).
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