Description: The French nation has been prolific of consummate diplomatists all through history, but her annals record no more brilliant achievement than that of Theophile Delcassé and Paul Cambon when they brought Great Britain into a French alliance. Even those who disapprove the consequences of their act must admit the skill and the pertinacity with which the two statesmen pursued their purpose. Their difficulties were stupendous; British governments had for years stood aloof from Continental agreements, but precedent was forced to give way before the perspicacity and perseverance of these two French statesmen. Delcassé had contributed the Entente Cordiale to the French cause in 1904. This understanding pledged British diplomatic support to France in her imperialistic venture in Morocco-nothing more; but it also provided a foundation upon which Cambon could exercise his talents in leading Great Britain into a trap. The result of these activities was the equivalent of an Anglo-French alliance. The French, to accomplish their purpose, led the British into a series of military and naval conversations as a means of working out plans of joint operations whereby the latter could assist the former in case of a Franco-German war. The conversations had their official beginning in 1906 and continued until the outbreak of war in 1914, by which time Britain was so completely obligated to France as to make her entry into the war a foregone conclusion.
Date: June 1952
Creator: Healey, Gordon Daniel, 1909-