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ANGLO - FRENCH REMINISCENCES

(1876—1906)

BY

SIR THOMAS BARCLAY

64

AUTHOR OF PROBLEMS OF INTERNATIONAL PRACTICE AND DIPLOMACY,"

“THE TURCO-ITALIAN WAR AND ITS PROBLEMS," &c.

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PREFACE

.که / مزار پر

This book is due to a request made some years ago for a volume of memoirs. The present reminiscences include so much about myself that they are in fact memoirs as regards my connection with France and the genesis and fulfilment of the Entente.

My Anglo-German reminiscences, which cover a longer period, my short but intensely busy stay in America in 1903–4, my connection with the solution of the Balkan crisis of 1908-9, and other matters not directly affecting Anglo-French relations, with which I have had to do, are beyond the scope of and are not dealt with in the present volume.

I have tried throughout to preserve the more or less colloquial style which the title of the book implies, and have avoided as much as possible writing a history of Anglo-French relations under the Republic. When the archives of the two Foreign Offices and the letters and memoirs of several foreign ministers and diplomatists still living become available, a future generation will be better able than any contemporary writers to understand the true meaning of events which at present we can only interpret by surmise.

These reminiscences not only are not intended to give a consecutive or exhaustive narrative of the period they cover, but they relate only to the matters with which I have been more or less in contact, and the reader must look for nothing further. I have

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tried at any rate to be accurate, and if they give a one-man view of events, they are the views of a man who has been very close to the stage, who has not been deceived by the paint and decoration, and has throughout heard too much of the “ directions” from the wings to be taken in by any artificial perspective.

I have avoided speaking of some of the actors and giving my impressions of some of their performances, but that has been because I have distrusted my own judgment where personal feeling might warp it, and in diplomacy, as in politics, it is easier to be critical than to do better.

Occasionally the reader will meet with digressions he

may resent when getting interested in some subject. He must think himself in a club smokingroom with a talkative member, getting on in years, who must tell you a thing" by the by," and remember

, that he is only reading reminiscences.

I have to thank the proprietors of The Times, the Westminster Gazette, the Standard, the Daily Telegraph, the Manchester Guardian, the Scotsman, the Fortnightly Review, the Contemporary Review, and the Monthly Review, and the writers and owners of the different letters I have reproduced—as well as the authors and publishers where the letters have already been published—for their kind permission to quote them. I have also quoted largely from the now extinct Daily Messenger, whose services, under the management of Mr. Albert Keyzer, to the cause of Anglo-French friendship, I wish especially to acknowledge.

T. B. ATHENÆUM, April, 1914.

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