WWI: Joseph Chamberlain dies

Tariff Reform LeagueJoseph Chamberlain died on 2nd July 1914, aged 77.

Joseph Chamberlain was a founder MP of the Liberal Unionist party, and had been Secretary of State for the Colonies under Conservative Prime Minister Arthur Balfour, from 1895 to 1903, during the Second Boer War in South Africa. In 1903 he had founded the Tariff Reform League, which campaigned to turn the whole British Empire into a tariff-free union to promote trade between the nations of the Empire. The Tariff Reform League was disbanded on the outbreak of WWI. Joseph was married twice and had two sons, both of whom entered politics: his younger son Neville was Prime Minister from 1937 to 1940.

On 2nd July, Nikola Pašić, the Serbian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs received a telegram from Doctor M. R. Vesnitch, the Serbian Minister at Paris:

The French Government advise us to maintain an attitude of the greatest possible calm and composure in official circles as well as in public opinion.

On the same day, Alfred Dumaine, the French ambassador at Vienna, wrote to René Viviani, President of the Couneil and Minister for Foreign Affairs:

The crime of Serajevo arouses the most acute resentment in Austrian military circles, and among all those who are not content to allow Servia to maintain in the Balkans the position which she has acquired.

The investigation into the origin of the crime which it is desired to exact from the Government at Belgrade under conditions intolerable to their dignity would, in case of a refusal, furnish grounds of complaint which would admit of resort to military measures.

On 2nd July Kaiser Wilhelm announced that he would not attend the funeral of Archduke Franz Ferdinand due to ill-health.

The New York Times headlined their report: KAISER DIPLOMATICALLY ILL; Symptoms of Lumbago — Won’t Go to Archduke’s Funeral.

An official announcement, which is not taken seriously in all quarters, was issued at midday today to the effect that the Kaiser had suddenly been compelled to abandon his intention of going to Vienna tonight for the funeral of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife on account of “slight indisposition,” which overtook him early in the day.

Late on Thursday 2nd July, the train bearing the coffins of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie Chotek reached Vienna’s main railway station, Süd-Bahnhof. Because his marriage to Sophie had been morganatic (Ferdinand had to swear an oath to disinherit his children from inheriting anything via the Habsburg line), the Emperor Franz Joseph and his chamberlain Prince Alfred of Montenouvo intended there to be as little ceremony as possible for the funeral in Austria.

Archduke Karl, Blessed Charles of AustriaThe only family member who came to meet the train was Ferdinand’s nephew, the new heir-presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Marie. Archduke Karl was to become the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary, and the last monarch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2004 to become Blessed Charles of Austria.

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