A few minutes before 6 p. m., July 25, 1914, the Serbian Government made its reply to the Austrian note.
This declared that no attempts had been made, or declarations uttered, by responsible representatives of Serbia, tending to subvert Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina, since March 31, 1909, when protests against the annexation of these countries made in the Skupshtina (Serbian Parliament) were cut short by declarations of the Serbian Government. It drew attention to the fact that Austria-Hungary had since then made no complaint in this connection save in regard to a school book, concerning which it had received an entirely satisfactory explanation.
"Serbia has several times given proofs of her pacific and moderate policy during the Balkan crisis, and it is thanks to Serbia and to the sacrifice that she has made in the exclusive interest of European peace that that peace has been preserved. The Royal Government cannot be held responsible for manifestations of a private character, such as articles in the press and the peaceable work of societies—manifestations which take place in nearly all countries in the ordinary course of events, and which, as a general rule, escape official control. The Royal Government are all the less responsible, in view of the fact that at the time of the solution of a series of questions which arose between Serbia and Austria-Hungary they gave proof of a great readiness to oblige, and thus succeeded in settling the majority of these questions to the advantage of the two neighboring countries.
"For these reasons the Royal Government have been pained and surprised at the statements, according to which members of the Kingdom of Serbia are supposed to have participated in the preparations for the crime committed at Sarajevo; the Royal Government expected to be invited to collaborate in an investigation of all that concerns this crime, and they were ready, in order to prove the entire correctness of their attitude, to ...