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CAUSES OF THE GREAT WORLD WAR 13

 

together, and adjusted quite a number of outstanding and disputed accounts. France had acknowledged the British occupation of Egypt, and Great Britain had promised to regard the French sphere of influence in Morocco favourably. In the German Reichstag, Count Billow declared that in these arrangements Germany had nothing to complain about, as Northern Africa was outside the sphere of German affairs.

In 1905, the German Emperor went to Tangier, and delivered, naturally, an oration, declaring that he would uphold German interests in Morocco, and would not permit interference from the outside between himself and the free sovereign of a free country. It was explained later that Germany did not object to the understanding, but to the fact that she had not been consulted about it. Delcasse, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, was forced into retirement, and a Conference at Algeciras affirmed French rights in Morocco, Germany giving her assent. Probably the Tangier episode would never have taken place had not Russia at this time been fighting Japan, and it may be that Germany's complacency at the conference was influenced by the fact that the Russo-Japanese war was now over. Having got rid of her old-standing difficulties with France, Great Britain now came to an understanding with Russia regarding Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet, three points of contact with the affairs of India. In 1911, the Moroccan affair was once more thrust forward by the German occupation of Agadir. This action was so absolutely gratuitous as to preclude any doubt as to its meaning. Germany was obviously seeking to fasten a quarrel on France and, at the same time, endeavouring to test the strength of the Entente existing between Great Britain and France. Asquith and Lloyd George, speaking the mind of the British Government, announced that the latter would have regard both to her interests and treaty obligations; and once more the storm blew over. It was manifest that the German purpose in creating


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