It is difficult to determine whether Haldane's mission was a serious attempt of Asquith's Liberal government at "changing the foreign policy line" (i.e. an attempt to settle the relations with Germany and possible entering into an alliance with it), or a manifestation of Great Britain's traditional policy towards her allies on the Continent (i.e. a "balance of power" policy favouring the existing Entente partners - France and Russia). The events of January until April 1912 bring a lot of evidence and "evidence" for the former as well as for the latter interpretations. The truth is that the situation was not clear. There is no doubt that both on the British government, in the House of Commons and outside the immediate sphere of high politics there existed people for whom the alliance with the "traditional enemy" - France - was a thorn in their flesh and that they, therefore, desired its break-up. Moreover, many a British were impressed by Germany's economic rise and its ambitions to such an extent that they viewed an alliance with Germany as the best way of securing the national interests for the future. However, the followers of the Entente with France (and Russia) were strong enough not to allow this change of foreign policies. Nevertheless, the negotiations of Great Britain at the beginning of World War I in summer 1914 show that the attempts at establishing "a new line" in foreign policies of the island state were not an illusion but represented a serious effort to make a fundamental change in the sphere of international relations. This is the way one should see it.
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