Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/69

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45
AMBASSADOR MORGENTHAU'S STORY

"It is not customary," continued the Marquis, "for an emperor to have two representatives at the same court."

As the Marquis was unyielding, Wangenheim carried the question to the Grand Vizier. But Saïd Halim refused to assume responsibility for so momentous a decision and referred the dispute to the Council of Ministers. This body solemnly sat upon the question and rendered this verdict: Von Sanders should rank ahead of the ministers of foreign countries, but below the members of the Turkish Cabinet. Then the foreign ministers lifted up their voices in protest. Von Sanders not only became exceedingly unpopular for raising this question, but the dictatorial and autocratic way in which he had done it aroused general disgust. The ministers declared that, if Von Sanders were ever given precedence at any function of this kind, they would leave the table in a body. The net result was that Von Sanders was never again invited to a diplomatic dinner. Sir Louis Mallet, the British Ambassador, took a sardonic interest in the episode. It was lucky, he said, that it had not happened at his Embassy; if it had, the newspapers would have had columns about the strained relations between England and Germany!

After all, this proceeding did have great international importance. Von Sanders's personal vanity had led him to betray a diplomatic secret; he was not merely a drill master who had been sent to instruct the Turkish army; he was precisely what he had claimed to be—the personal representative of the Kaiser. The Kaiser had selected him, just as he had selected Wangenheim, as an instrument for working his will in Turkey. Afterward Von Sanders told me, with all that pride