A rupture at that time would have destroyed all the efforts of the Foreign Office to keep the German military machine within bounds. It would have over-thrown von Jagow and von Bethmann-Hollweg and put in von Tirpitz as Chancellor and von Heydebrand, the reactionary leader of the Prussian Diet, as Secretary of State.
"With Herr von Heydebrand I regret that in the mechanism of the Foreign Office, which for eleven years has worked smoothly under me, a defect should on one occasion occur. "When the article in the Daily Telegraph appeared, its fateful effect could not for a moment be doubtful to me, and I handed in my resignation. This decision was unavoidable, and was not difficult to come to.
In fact, he would "avoid any war which was not required by German honour." Far different was the tone of the Conservative leader, Herr Heydebrand, who declared Mr. Lloyd George's "challenge" to be one which the German people would not tolerate; England had sought to involve them in a war with France, but they now saw "where the real enemy was to be found."
Gustav Stressemann, member of the Reichstag and Director of the North German Lloyd Steamship Company; and von Heydebrand, the so-called "Uncrowned King of Prussia," because of his control of the Prussian Diet. With these forces against each other the internal fight continued more bitter than ever.
Most of these are members from the Prussian Junker or squire class. They are strong for the rights of the crown and against any extension of the suffrage in Prussia or anywhere else. They form probably the most important body of conservatives now existing in any country in the world. Their leader, Heydebrand, is known as the uncrowned king of Prussia. On the left side the Social Democrats sit.