HC Deb 05 August 1914 vol 65 cc1963-4

VOTE OF CREDIT, £100,000,000.


May I ask the Prime Minister if he has any information he can give us to-day?


Our Ambassador at Berlin received his passports at seven o'clock last evening, and since eleven o'clock last night a state of war has existed between Germany and ourselves.

We have received from our Minister at Brussels the following telegram: I have just received from Minister for Foreign Affairs"— that is the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs— a note of which the following is a literal translation: 'Belgian Government regret to have to inform His Majesty's Government that this morning armed forces of Germany penetrated into Belgian territory in violation of engagements assumed by treaty.

Belgian Government are further resolved to resist by all means in their power.

Belgium appeals to Great Britain and France and Russia to co-operate, as guarantors, in defence of her territory.

There would be concerted and common action with the object of resisting the forcible measures employed by Germany against Belgium, and at the same time of guarding the maintenance for future of the independence and integrity of Belgium.

Belgium is happy to be able to declare that she will assume defence of her fortified places.'"

We have also received to-day from the French Ambassador here, the following telegram received by the French Government from the French Minister at Brussels:

"The Chef du Cabinet of the Belgian Ministry of War has asked the French Military Attaché to prepare at once for the co-operation and contact of French troops with the Belgian Army, pending the results of the appeal to the guaranteeing Powers now being made. Orders have therefore been given to Belgian provincial governors not to regard movements of French troops as a violation of the frontier."

This is all the information I am at the moment able to give to the House, but I take the opportunity of giving notice that to-morrow, in Committee of Supply, I shall move a Vote of Credit of £100,000,000.