November 9, 1914
I hear that William is already trying to square Belgium by promises of favorable terms if she will make peace: it would be like a mouse coming to an arrangement with the cat-only a scrap of paper. He evidently thinks that his adversaries must have the same honourable views as himself!
December 4, 1914 De Wets capture is announced, but I doubt his being hanged as he ought to be, or even shot.
London, December 16, 1914
At the golf club, where I had a late dinner, I found the bad news on the escape in the fog of the German cruisers after bombarding Scarborough and other open town’s. There seems to be no limit to these hun outrages on the system of modern warfare.
December 17, 1914
I also had some conversation with Grey on the situation in France -American mediation – the future of Belgium – Italy, etc. I referred to Russia’s ambitions in regard to Constantinople and the Straits. Grey said that we must carry out all the promises of 1908, that Russia shall have free passage for her ships of war between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, and vice versa, in time of peace, and that in time of war belligerents shall have equal rights, that is to say, no discrimination between them.
I suggested to Grey that if the Turks disappear from Constantinople the situation will be quite different from that which existed when his promise was given; that rights or privileges accorded to Russia could not reasonably be denied to Romania, a riverain of the Black Sea, or to Bulgaria, who is not only riverain but has territory outside the Dardanelles. The proper solution would be: Constantinople a free city, destruction of all forts on the Bosporus and at the Dardanelles and the adoption under European guarantee of the Suez Canal rules for the Dardanelles and Bosporus Straits. Grey doubts that Russia accepting this, but the question of the disposal of Constantinople and the straits would be a difficult matter when the time for the discussion of such subjects arrives. that is to say, no discrimination between them.
December 28, 1914
I am glad to see that we are rattling the Germans at Cuxhaven.
January 1, 1915
it is very distressing to lose another big ship by mine or submarine in the channel with so many lives.
January 2 two, 1915
I had vocation to see the president today: he told me that German Avions have thrown a good many bombs on Dunkirk, killing several people and doing considerable damage. We also hear of a British steamer having been sunk off the Dutch coast by a German submarine, but the crew saved, – I suppose by another ship, or in boats, for the submarine could not have accommodated them. What swine are the Germans!
January 25, 1915
Edmond the Rothchild came this morning and afterwards sent a Russian co-religionist established in Manchester to “talk” about what I think an absolute scheme, though they say that it has the approval of Grey, Lloyd George, Samuel and Crewe: they did not mention Lord Reading. It contemplates the formation of Palestine into an Israelite state, under the protectorate of England, France or Russia, preferably of England: they did not think that Russia or France would rise objections! Fancy the Christian holy places in the custody of the Jews, who would have to keep order between the Roman Catholic priests and the Orthodox popes -who are in the habit of fighting in the churches which each other, and to be restrained by the Turkish soldiers! The scheme-maker would be ready to leave the custody to an international board if necessary-or even the custody of the whole of old Jerusalem: they would build a new near. France as an eye on Syria, but I don’t think it would be advisable to have France on the borders of Egypt, or Russia either, though the Brothers Buxton see no harm in France in being there. What would the Pope, and Italy and the catholic France, with her hatred of Jews, say to the scheme? A portion of Uganda was offered the Zionists by Chamberlain some years ago, but it was not good enough for them.
Edmond de Rothschild has spent a good deal of money on the establishment of Jews in Palestine: it is his hobby: he does not wish to go to thither himself, for he has become French, he says, but there are thousands of his brethren, who, for material and sentimental reasons, long to leave the countries where they are now, and go to the promised land again. I told both of my visitors that we don’t want to have a protectorate of Palestine, and that France would object to Russia, and Russia would object to France, in that the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, and their adherence, would resist the up most of Jerusalem and the holy places being under an Israelite State. My Russian visitor says that such a solution must come within the next hundred years, perhaps in 40 years: he hopes that I don’t think him a dreamer! The Jews as the only people capable of reclaiming Palestine, by intensive culture! However, this scheme, like many others , is counting of chickens before the issue of the war.