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                 PART FIVE 
            The Danzig Question 
          (May 15-August 19, 1939) 
    The Militarisation of the Free City 
              (May 15-June 30) 
                  No. 126 

M. LON NEL., French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                                 Warsaw, May
15, 1939.

     AT a time when Germany, by clever propaganda, is trying
to  persuade the world that the present risk of war  is  due
solely  to Poland's uncompromising attitude over the  Danzig
question,  and  to  her  stubborn  refusal  to  permit   the
incorporation  in  the Reich of a city  whose  character  is
indisputably  German, it will, perhaps, be useful  to  point
out   once  more  the  causes  which  determine  the  Polish
     In  refusing to allow the annexation of Danzig  by  the
Reich,  with its inevitable consequences-among the  foremost
of  which would be the occupation of the Free City not  only
by the S.A., the S.S., and a large militarized police force,
but also by troops with all the most up-to-date equipment in
use  in the Germany Army-Poland is not guided merely by  the
very   legitimate   fear,  prompted  by  memories   of   the
Czechoslovak experience, of being caught in the  fatal  mesh
of   continuous  concessions  and  renunciations.   Whatever
promises and "guarantees" Herr Hitler might offer by way  of
compensation  for the annexation of Danzig, it would  remain
none  the  less true that Germany, once master of  the  Free
City, would not be far from having Poland completely at  her
mercy.  It would be a simple matter for Germany to  restrict
the advantages of access to the sea, which Germany would  in
principle  have  recognized to Poland, and easier  still  to
deprive  her of the right of access altogether at the  first
convenient opportunity.
     Sea-borne  trade  figures largely in  Poland's  foreign
trade.  Two  thirds  of it in value,  and  more  than  three
quarters  in bulk, pass through the two ports of Gdynia  and
Danzig.  In  1938, in fact, of a total trade  of  19,200,000
tons, 16,300,000 tons passed through them.
     The tonnage handled by Gdynia and Danzig, which, as  we
shall see, is far from adequate for Poland's total needs, is
divided  between these two ports as follows: 9,200,000  tons
at  Gdynia, and 7,100,000 at Danzig. The analysis of imports
and exports is as follows:

                    Imports            Exports
 Gdynia.......  1,526,000 tons.    7,646,000 tons.
 Danzig.......  1,562,000 tons.    5,563,000 tons.
     One-third of the bulk, and 17 per cent of the value, of
Polish foreign trade therefore passes through Danzig,  while
46  per cent of the bulk and 48 per cent of the value passes
through Gdynia.
     As  the  Polish  Government  has  been  at  pains,  for
practical   reasons   and  in  order   to   avoid   wasteful
competition,  to  make the two ports  in  its  Customs  area
specialize  in  particular trades,  Danzig  has  become  the
principal  port for the export of Polish cereals  (in  1938,
407,000  tons  of agricultural produce against only  112,000
via   Gdynia)  and  Polish  timber  (813,000  tons   against
402,000).  The coal trade is shared between them. Coal  from
the  Dombrowa  basin is exported via Danzig  that  of  Upper
Silesia  via Gdynia; the latter thus takes first place  with
5,380,000  tons plus 1,000,000 tons of bunker  coal  against
3,500,000 tons via Danzig.
     If  Poland  wanted  to dispense with  Danzig  and  give
Gdynia  the  handling of all her commerce, she could  do  so
only  after  some  time had elapsed, and at  great  expense.
Gdynia  could  probably  cope  successfully  with  the  coal
exports,  but  this  port  is not  adequately  equipped  for
handling  either  cereals  or  wood.  Not  only  would   new
accommodation  (granaries, etc.) have to  be  provided,  but
even new quays and larger warehouses would have to be built.
The  construction  at the back of the  port  of  a  canal  2
kilometres long, a project already contemplated, would  also
be necessary.
     From   the   point  of  view  of  communications,   the
importance  to  Poland of the Free City  of  Danzig  is  not
confined to the use at present made of the harbour,  or  the
fact  that the mouth of the Vistula-the one important Polish
river-is  at  Danzig.  Though the  Silesian-Baltic  Railway,
built and operated by the Franco-Polish Railway Company,
runs  outside  the territory of the Free City,  the  Warsaw-
Gdynia  line, on the other hand, crosses it and runs through
Danzig itself.
     From  the  naval and military point of view, it  is  no
exaggeration  to  say that the territory of Danzig  commands
Poland's access to the sea.
     The  distance from Danzig to Hel is about 30 kilometres
as  the  crow flies; from the nearest point on the coast  in
Danzig  territory  to  Hel  is about  25  kilometres.  Ships
passing  near the Hel peninsula could, therefore, enter  and
leave  the Bay of Gdynia remaining all the time out of range
of the batteries on the Danzig coast.
     On  the  other hand, Gdynia is less than 10  kilometres
from  the  nearest point of Danzig territory  and  would  be
within  range of guns placed between Zoppot and the  western
limit of Danzig territory.
     Generally  speaking, if Germany were able to  construct
fortifications in the south-west territory of the Free City,
which forms a salient into the corridor, the defence of  the
latter would become still more difficult than it is now.
     For  the  militarisation of the Free City to  have  its
full value, the Germans would, it is true, have to establish
permanent  means of communication between the two  banks  of
the  Vistula so as to link up the eastern portion with  East
Prussia.  At  present, no bridge spans the  Vistula  between
Tczew (the last Polish town on the Vistula) and the sea, but
Germany's vast technical resources would allow her  to  fill
this  gap  quickly enough, and in any case make up  for  any
deficiencies by emergency measures.
     The  above  indications show how well  founded  is  the
uneasiness with which Poland regards the intentions of  Herr
     Poland could not possibly exist without free access  to
the  sea.  Napoleon  himself recognized  this,  adding  that
Danzig was essential to Poland "to enable her to dispose  of
her  produce." The "Corridor" and Gdynia are not  enough  to
ensure to Poland this "exit to the sea," which, in the words
of  Proudhon, is "vital to every large state." It should not
be  forgotten, moreover, that the events of last March  have
made  this  a  still more vital necessity  for  Poland;  she
could,   after  her  reconciliation  with  Lithuania,   have
utilized  the "Port of Memel," but this is now  out  of  the
question; while, on the other hand, since the annexation  by
the  Reich  of  Bohemia and Moravia, only  at  the  cost  of
surrendering  her independence to the Reich could  she  make
sufficient  use of the Czechoslovak railways  to  facilitate
appreciably her foreign trade.
     Herr  Hitler  does  not seem to have  understood  these
points; by
choosing to claim Danzig precisely on the morrow of a series
of  aggressions, one result of which has been  to  make  the
maintenance of the existing status of Danzig more than  ever
indispensable  to  Poland, he has shown a complete  lack  of
psychological insight.
     Before  the  partitions, the Poles called  Danzig  "the
Admiral  of  Poland," thus symbolizing the  importance  they
traditionally attached to this ancient port.  The  Poles  of
the  twentieth century, with their passion for the sea,  and
their high ideals for their reborn state, and what it should
become, are not prepared to allow themselves to be despoiled
in  Danzig  of the rights they consider essential  to  them.
They  are unanimous on this point; they will not put up with
any  settlement  which would not, in their  opinion,  appear
likely to safeguard them.

                  No. 127 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                                 Berlin, May
22, 1939.

     FROM   a   reliable  source  I  have  received  certain
indications of Herr von Ribbentrop's present attitude to the
International problems of the moment, which it appears to me
advisable to pass on to your department.
     The  Reich  Minister for Foreign Affairs  considers  it
absolutely unbelievable that Poland should have rejected the
Fhrer's   proposals.  These  were  Herr  Hitler's  personal
suggestions.  Herr von Ribbentrop himself would  never  have
approved   them.   In   his   opinion,   they   were   quite
incomprehensible  in "their clemency and their  generosity."
It was unthinkable that Herr Hitler should have revealed, at
the  same  time  such  modesty  in  his  demands,  and  such
generosity in his offers. Furthermore, last January, M. Beck
had accepted these advantageous proposals. It was because of
the internal situation in Poland that he had been unable  to
keep his word. The Warsaw government had therefore missed  a
most unlooked-for chance of securing the continued existence
of  Poland for twenty-five years. But nothing would be  lost
by waiting.
     The  possibility  that Poland might accept  the  German
point  of view, and enter into her orbit, although it seemed
highly  remote  at the moment, had not been  altogether  set
aside by Herr von Ribbentrop.
     But what, in fact, the Minister for Foreign Affairs  of
the Reich
thinks,  is  that  the Polish State cannot last  very  long.
Sooner  or  later it would be bound to disappear, once  more
partitioned  between  Germany  and  Russia.  In   Herr   von
Ribbentrop's mind the idea of such a partition  was  closely
linked  with  that  of a rapprochement  between  Berlin  and
Moscow.  To  him such a reconciliation seemed, in  the  long
run,  both  indispensable and inevitable.  It  would  be  in
accordance  with  reality, and with a tradition  still  very
much  alive in Germany and would be the only way of bringing
about  a  permanent settlement of the German-Polish dispute,
that  is,  according to the methods already applied  in  the
case of Czechoslovakia, the deletion of Poland from the map.
     But above all it would give the rulers of the Reich the
means of destroying the power of Great Britain. That was the
chief  objective which Herr von Ribbentrop had set  himself,
the  ide fixe, which, with fanatical determination, he  was
unceasingly striving to achieve.
     The hope, that a Russo-German cooperation would one day
give  the  Reich a chance of striking a mortal blow  at  the
world  power  of  the British Empire, had been  strengthened
latterly  in  Herr von Ribbentrop's mind by the difficulties
which were met with in the Anglo-Soviet negotiations. It was
true  that  the  Fhrer was still opposed to  the  political
designs  of the Minister for Foreign Affairs with regard  to
Soviet  Russia. Herr Hitler considered that, for ideological
reasons, it would be extremely difficult to bring about such
a   re-orientation  of  German  policy.  However,  Herr  von
Ribbentrop  had  his  backers, notably  amongst  the  Higher
Command   and   the   more  important  industrialists.   The
Chancellor  himself had, to a certain extent, already  taken
account  of  these  tendencies of his  Foreign  Minister  by
making  no  attack  against Soviet Russia  in  his  speeches
during the past few months, and by allowing the German Press
for  the  time being to lower the tone of its anti-Bolshevik
     One  of the immediate objects that the advocates  of  a
reconciliation with the U.S.S.R. hoped to gain, appeared  to
be  the  possibility of persuading Russia to play  the  same
role  in an eventual dismemberment of Poland that the latter
country  had  played  with  regard  to  Czechoslovakia.  The
ultimate  object appeared to be to make use of the  material
resources  and  man-power of the  U.S.S.R.  as  a  means  to
destroy the British Empire.
     It  is  possible that up to the present the Fhrer  has
resisted  these appeals or at any rate hesitated  to  commit
himself to such a policy, for ideological reasons. But, even
admitting  that  such  is  his present  attitude,  there  is
nothing to indicate that he will not change his mind.
     In  any  case, the ease and rapidity with which rumours
of  a  Russo-German reconciliation found credence in Germany
at  the  time  of M. Litvinov's resignation were  enough  to
allay  any fears that Herr Hitler might have had as  to  the
effect   on   public  opinion.  One  cannot  eliminate   the
possibility that it was to enlighten the Chancellor on  this
point that the advocates of Russo-German reconciliation  put
about these rumours.
     At   this   moment,   when   the   Anglo-Franco-Russian
negotiations seem to have entered upon a decisive phase,  we
should keep clearly conscious of this situation and bear  in
mind that the Reich would do its best to take advantage,  to
the  detriment of France and Great Britain, of any  failure,
howsoever veiled, in the conversations now taking place with

                  No. 128 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                                 Warsaw, May
25, 1939.

     WHILE   maintaining  an  attitude  of  reserve,   which
contrasts  with  the activity and blunders of  some  of  his
collaborators, the German Ambassador has, since  his  return
to Warsaw, had interviews with several of his colleagues.
     According  to information I have gleaned he  reproaches
M.  Beck  with having abandoned the "only reasonable policy"
under pressure from the Army and public opinion.
     As  to  the present situation, he declares that Germany
wishes  to  avoid  extreme measures towards  Poland  at  the
moment,   and  quotes  in  support  of  his  statement   the
"composure" with which his countrymen have taken the  recent
incidents  at  Danzig,  and  the  much  more  serious  ones,
according to him, at Tomaszow.
     But  he  does  not attempt to hide the fact  that  this
"patience"  is  only a question of passing  tactics  and  he
makes  no mystery of the hopes of his Government: "in  three
months,"   he   said   emphatically   in   the   course   of
conversations,  "England, France and  even  Poland  will  be
tired  and will not think any more of fighting for the  sake
of Danzig. Then we shall settle the problem under favourable

                  No. 129 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                                 Warsaw, May
25, 1939.

     WITHIN  the  last few days there has been a  series  of
incidents on the Danzig-Polish frontier. They were  for  the
most  part  insignificant, but their frequency, the  trouble
stirred up about them by the Danzig authorities, and the use
which these are obviously seeking to make of them give  them
exceptional importance.
     It  will,  therefore, be of interest  to  sum  them  up
briefly here;
1. The Kalthof incident (Customs post on the frontier of
East Prussia).
     A  troop  of the S.A. collected before a house occupied
by  the  Polish Customs officials and threatened  them.  The
officials  withdrew. The assailants entered  the  house  and
ransacked it.
     Informed  of  the  incident  the  Polish  Commissioner-
General  made  it known that he was sending his  deputy,  M.
Perkowski  to the spot, and informed the Danzig  authorities
who  agreed  to  have him accompanied by the police.  A  few
moments  later, the same authorities telephoned to say  that
they  had  no police available. M. Perkowski therefore  went
alone by car to Kalthof.
     While  he was visiting the ransacked building, a  group
of  "unknown  persons"  attacked his car  which  was  parked
outside.  The chauffeur, after firing two shots in the  air,
fired  on  his assailants. One of them was killed. The  dead
man  turned  out  to  be  an S.A. from  Marienburg  in  East
Prussia, Grbnau by name.
     The  crowd scattered immediately. M. Perkowski and  his
chauffeur joined the Customs officials, who had taken refuge
in  a  neighbouring  railway  station,  and  had  themselves
conveyed on a railway engine to Tczew, in Polish territory.
     The  German version separates the two portions  of  the
incident.  It  explains  Grbnau's death  in  the  following
manner: "A citizen was going through a deserted village in a
taxi  when he was killed by a Polish chauffeur who had first
dazzled the taxi-driver with his headlights."
     As  a  sequel  to the incident the Polish Commissioner-
General transmitted to the Senate of Danzig a note in which:
     (1) He pointed out that the Polish Government could not
admit  that the work of the Polish Customs officials  should
be interfered with in any way.
     (2) He demanded that an inquiry should be held.
     (3) He claimed compensation for damages.
     (4) He insisted upon a clear and precise declaration as
to  the  guarantees that the Senate was disposed to give  to
ensure the security of the Polish minority in the Free City.
     The  Senate, on its part, sent a protest on account the
death  of  the  S.A.  Grbnau, demanding also  compensation,
sanctions and apologies.
     At  this stage the Polish Customs officials returned to
their post.
     To  the  note  of the Polish Commissioner-General,  the
Senate  has  just replied with two notes. In  the  first  it
declared itself unable to accept the Polish version  of  the
incident and refused to accede to the requests of the Polish
Commissioner-General. In the second,  the  Senate  requested
the  recall  of  M.  Perkowski,  the  Commissioner-General's
deputy,  and of the Polish Inspector General of Customs  and
one  of  his  collaborators.  The  Danzig  note  accused  M.
Perkowski  of taking advantage of his diplomatic  rights  to
flee into Polish territory taking with him the murderer thus
enabling the latter to escape from the Danzig justice.
     Finally,  yesterday, May 24, the funeral of the  victim
took  place  at  Marienburg. Herr Hitler sent  a  wreath  of
flowers   by   special  aeroplane.  President  Greiser   and
Gauleiter  Forster took part in the ceremony.  The  speeches
made  dwelt  chiefly upon the virtues of their lost  comrade
without  making any allusion to Poland. But one of the  S.A.
took  a solemn oath over the grave of Grbnau to avenge  his
2. Incident at Pieklo (Picker) on the frontier of Danzig and
East Prussia, opposite Elbing.
     On   Sunday,  May  14,  there  was  a  further  hostile
manifestation before the Polish Customs post. But this time,
at  the  request  of  the  Polish Commissioner-General,  the
police intervened and dispersed the demonstrators.
3. Incident on the Tczew bridge (Dirschau).
     On Tuesday, May 16, in the early hours of the morning a
lorry  coming from Elbing (East Prussia) going  towards  the
Reich  across  the Corridor, drew up at the Polish  frontier
post  near the Tczew bridge. At that moment a Polish Customs
official  fired  a revolver shot in the air to  prevent  the
chauffeur  moving off. The Danzig version asserts  that  the
Customs  official  attempted  to  kill  the  chauffeur.  The
Vorposten,  the  official  organ  of  the  Senate,   devotes
considerable space to
the  incident,  preceding the story with the huge  headline:
"Fresh attempt at murder by Poles on Danzig territory."
4. Incident at Kohling.
     Two Polish frontier guards crossed the frontier. Called
upon  to  withdraw they left a bicycle in Danzig  territory.
The Senate speaks of a further violation of the frontier.
     Taking  their stand upon the whole series of incidents,
the  Senate sent the Polish Commissioner General a  note  of
protest which the Vorposten describes as extremely vigorous.
But it does not publish the  text.
     However,  from information which has reached Warsaw  it
would  seem  that the Senate requested the Polish Government
"to  take  the  necessary measures to  put  a  stop  to  the
hysteria  of the Polish officials before the trouble  caused
by it led to incalculable consequences."
     The Polish press, which had reacted violently after the
Kalthof  incident,  does not seem, on  the  other  hand,  to
attach  much importance to the incidents which followed.  It
publishes  brief  reports under the heading "Minor  frontier
     In  the same way only a very fleeting allusion is  made
to  yesterday's  notes from the Danzig  Senate.  A  telegram
reproduced  by the Gazeta Polska merely remarks "a  peculiar
feature of the Danzig requests is the recall of three Polish
     The  Pat Agency observes, in one of its bulletins, that
the   Senate's  request  for  the  recall  of   the   Deputy
Commissioner at Danzig cannot possibly be accepted, for  the
Polish Commissioner-General represents the Polish Government
at  Danzig  and  cannot be regarded as a  normal  diplomatic
Representative.  The  same considerations,  adds  the  semi-
official agency, hold good for the officials under him.
     The  same bulletin remarks that the Senate's notes  are
considered  in Warsaw as tending, for purpose of propaganda,
to  aggravate the relations between Poland and Danzig;  "the
unhealthy publicity given by the Senate to minute incidents,
and  to the notes addressed to the Polish Government, cannot
have  any other object than that of further inflaming public

                  No. 130 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                                 Berlin, May
30, 1939.

     I  HAVE  pointed  out that in the near future  we  must
expect  Germany to begin,  propos of Danzig, one  of  those
large-scale campaigns, thanks to which she has been able  to
lay  hands successively on Vienna, Sudetenland, and  Prague.
The  threat of war, formulated in a more or less  veiled  or
crude fashion, will still be, in all probability, the weapon
to  which  the  Reich  will  have recourse  to  vanquish  if
possible outside opposition. But before reaching this point,
the Nazi leaders-who today can well measure their losses  in
the  international field since March 1W will leave no  stone
unturned  in  order  to try to persuade  the  world  of  the
justice and purity of their intentions. It is necessary  for
us,  therefore,  to be ready to combat their propaganda  and
not  to  allow their arguments to pass without a  reply.  We
have  only to remember the case of Czechoslovakia to get  an
idea  of  the  methods of agitation which the Heads  of  the
Third Reich will most likely adopt once more.
     The  German tactics will consist principally, it seems,
in  drawing  the  attention of the  world  to  the  fact-not
disputed-that the majority of the population  of  Danzig  is
German  in  race  and language. The Nazis  will  furthermore
assert  that  the  provocative attitude of  the  Poles,  the
dislike  of  the  Danzig Germans for Poland,  and  the  many
incidents  thus  rendered  inevitable,  make  the  situation
intolerable,  and  demand  that a solution  shall  be  found
without   delay.  German  blood  spilt,  women  ill-treated,
harmless  peasants  or  peaceful city dwellers  hunted  from
their  homes by the hatred for Germany and obliged  to  seek
refuge  in the Reich-nothing will be lacking in the campaign
launched by the German propaganda, nothing will be neglected
so  that the Fhrer may, when the time comes, make the  very
most  of the role which he himself has assumed, that of  the
protector of all Germans.
     Despite  the fact that world opinion is forewarned,  we
cannot  exclude  the possibility that certain  elements  who
have  learnt nothing from the Czech affair, will still allow
themselves to be impressed.
     It  is essential, therefore, in my opinion, that as the
German  Press campaign develops, our newspapers should  take
special  pains  to  stress  the  weaknesses  in  the  German
arguments.  I  consider that the following points  could  be
developed with advantage.
     Can  Germany,  which  has  just  brutally  incorporated
Czechs  into the Reich, that is to say a whole people,  more
numerous  than  quite  a number of other  European  nations,
possibly  advance  ethnographic principles  to  support  her
claim for the return of 400,000 Germans to the Reich?
     Can Germany, while invoking the principle of Lebensraum
as  a  justification  for  the  annexation  of  Bohemia  and
Moravia,  possibly  deny that Danzig and  the  Corridor  are
indispensable to the life of Poland?
     Can  the  leaders  of  the Reich who,  having  rejected
historical principles last October, revived them in March to
excuse their seizure of Prague, possibly refuse to recognize
that  Danzig and the Corridor have been considerably  longer
under  Polish  than under German rule? (From  968  to  1939,
Pomerania  was Polish for six hundred and ninety  years  and
German for three hundred and sixty-three years only.)
     As  for  the dislike of the Germans in Danzig  for  the
Poles  and  the  intolerable nature of the  situation  which
reigns in Danzig, how can such statements be reconciled with
the  oft  repeated publicly stated affirmation of friendship
for  Poland given by the Fhrer himself since 1934  and,  in
particular,  with his remark on February 20,  1938:  "Danzig
has ceased to be one of the danger spots of Europe"?

                  No. 131 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                                 Warsaw, May
31, 1939.

     A  P.A.T.  AGENCY bulletin has given a  resum  of  the
letter  addressed  by  the  Polish  Commissioner-General  at
Danzig  to  the  President of the Senate, Herr  Greiser,  in
reply to the two notes addressed by the latter to the Polish
Government after the Kalthof incident.
     According  to  this resum M. Chodacki  states  in  his
letter  that responsibility for the events at Kalthof  rests
entirely  with  the  authorities  of  Danzig,  who,  despite
repeated representations from the Commissioner-General,  had
taken  no steps "to prevent the criminal activities  of  the
disturbers of the peace . . ."
     In  reply to the Senate's demand for the recall of  the
Polish Deputy Commissioner, M. Perkowski, and of two Customs
officials,  the  Commissioner-General  confined  himself  to
saying that he was unable to discover any lapse on the  part
of these officials and that, furthermore,
"he could not admit the right of the Senate to formulate any
demands in the matter."
     The  letter ended by declaring that, if the Senate  was
really  prepared to put an end to the existing tension,  the
Polish Government was, for its part, prepared to undertake a
joint examination "of the arrangements that could be made in
order  to  ensure  the  possibility of normal  activity  for
Polish  officials in the territory of the Free City, and  to
improve  the  relations  between  these  officials  and  the
authorities of Danzig."
     No comments accompanied this P.A.T. communiqu, but one
cannot  help  being struck by the conciliatory  tone  of  M.
Chodacki's   letter.  It  does  its  utmost   to   avoid   a
continuation of the discussions started by the Senate on the
prerogatives  of  the  Polish Commissioner-General  and  his
collaborators.  At  the  same  time  the  Polish  Government
implicitly  renounces  its claim for an  indemnity  for  the
damage   done  and  refrains  from  speaking  of  the   "new
guarantees" for its officials, and for the Polish population
of  Danzig,  which  had been demanded in a  previous  letter
immediately after the incident.

                  No. 132 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 1, 1939.

     FROM  a  reliable  intermediary, I  have  received  the
following  indications, given by a senior  official  of  the
Wilhelmstrasse,   on  the  manner  in   which   the   higher
authorities envisage the settlement of the Danzig problem.
     I give as "reliable" the information which the official
from whom it was obtained says he checked himself.
     "Three   possibilities  are  at  present  contemplated:
withdrawal on the part of Poland; war; and withdrawal on the
part of Germany.
     "(1)  The first solution is naturally preferred: it  is
one  which  is reckoned on and which is already being  aimed
at.  That is the reason why a state of crisis is kept up  in
Poland, in order to oblige her to remain mobilized,  and  to
exhaust   progressively  her  nervous  resistance  and   her
financial  resources.  It  is anticipated  that  the  action
undertaken will produce results in about two months.
     "Reliable-German diplomatic representatives abroad have
been in-
structed  to spread the report that France and England  will
not  fight for the sake of Danzig. I have, myself,  noted  a
revival  of  this  campaign  amongst  the  members  of   the
diplomatic corps in Berlin.
     "Reliable-Herr Hitler has no illusions on this subject,
for  he  has  in  his  hands the reports  of  the  competent
Embassies  in which it is declared that France  and  England
will fight without any doubt in support of Poland.
     "(2)  The higher authorities know, therefore,  that  if
war  broke  out with Poland over the question of  Danzig,  a
general war would result.
     "The  Fhrer  has asked General Keitel,  chief  of  the
General Staff, and General von Brauchitsch, C.-in-C. of  the
Army,  whether in their opinion, under existing  conditions,
an  armed  conflict would turn in favour  of  Germany.  Both
replied  that  much  depended  on  whether  Russia  remained
neutral  or  not. In the first case General  Keitel  replied
'Yes' and General von Brauchitsch (whose opinion has greater
value)  replied 'probably.' Both declared that,  if  Germany
had  to fight against Russia, she would not have much chance
of  winning. Both generals attached considerable  importance
to  the  intervention of Turkey, their  opinion  being  that
Turkey  was  likely to act in favour of the  Western  Powers
only if Russia herself join in.
     "The  prevalent opinion at the Wilhelmstrasse is  that,
if Poland does not yield, Herr Hitler's decision will depend
upon the signature of the Anglo-Russian pact. It is believed
that  he  will risk war if he does not have to fight Russia,
but that if, on the contrary, he knows that he will have  to
fight  Russia as well, he will give way rather  than  expose
his country, his party and himself to ruin and defeat.
     "Should  the  Anglo-Russian negotiations be  protracted
the  possibility of a lightning seizure of Danzig within the
next few weeks is not excluded.
     "(3) They are convinced at the Wilhelmstrasse that,  in
the  mind of the Fhrer, Danzig is a means, but not an  end.
They  stress the fact that, in his speech of April 28,  Herr
Hitler mentioned Alsace with a certain reticence."
     The  above  statements  fit in  as  a  whole  with  the
information  that  I have already sent to  Your  Excellency.
They  underline at the same time the primary importance that
is  attached here to the Anglo-Russian talks and the extreme
urgency of their being brought to a speedy conclusion.  They
indicate  the middle of August as the culminating  point  of
the  crisis, but they also make clear the very great  danger
of the
period  which  will  elapse before the present  negotiations
have been concluded.
     My  British colleague, who considers as I do, that this
information  is  very  serious,  informs  me  that  he   has
communicated it to London urging that the conclusion  of  an
Anglo-Franco-Russian pact be pushed forward  as  quickly  as
possible.  I  told him that for our part we would  leave  no
stone  unturned  to bring about this result with  the  least
possible delay.

                  No. 133 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 7, 1939.

     THE two notes which were handed by the Senate of Danzig
on  June 3 to the Polish Commissioner-General and, according
to  the  Vorposten, constituted "Danzig's last word" on  the
Kalthof  shooting,  are worth particular study.  They  would
seem,  in  fact,  to give a clearer picture of  the  tactics
which  the  Free City means to adopt towards Poland  at  any
rate for the next few weeks. On the one hand, the idea seems
to  be  to  turn  a  deaf ear to any proposal  for  renewing
collaboration,  or  even easing the existing  tension,  with
Poland. On the other hand the Free City seems to be planning
to  profit by the circumstances in order to proclaim  itself
an  independent  German state; it must,  therefore,  abolish
progressively all the Polish prerogatives. Thus it is taking
advantage  of  the  Kalthof incident, to  quarrel  with  the
Polish  Representatives whom the Senate wishes to reduce  to
the  level of ordinary diplomatic representatives  and  with
the  Polish Customs inspectors. If Poland should grow  weary
of  the  struggle, they would manage, in course of time,  to
obtain recognition by her of the Free City as an independent
German  state; and it will be remembered that it was towards
such a solution that M. Beck seemed inclined to turn at  the
time  when  he  was  on good terms with  Berlin.  If  Poland
resists and conflicts arise, which from a distance appear to
be  of  quite  minor importance, Poland will be  accused  of
adopting  an  uncompromising  attitude  and  of  wishing  to
undermine the essentially German character of Danzig.
     We  know that, as a result of the Kalthof incident when
the   chauffeur  of  the  Polish  Deputy  Commissioner,   M.
Perkowski, fired at a
[172 ]
Marienburg  butcher and killed him, the Senate demanded  the
"recall"  of  this  official,  for  abusing  his  diplomatic
privileges in order to make good the escape of the murderer,
as well as that of two other Customs officials.
     In  its  reply  the Polish Government  had  refused  to
recognise  the right of the Senate to make any demands,  but
at  the  same  time declared itself willing to  examine  the
arrangements  that  could be made in  order  to  ensure  the
possibility of normal activity for Polish officials  on  the
territory of the Free City "if the Senate was willing to put
an end to the existing tension."
     The  last two notes of the Senate had, as their object,
to  leave no doubt that it was not in the least prepared  to
end  the  existing  tension and  still  less  to  assist  in
ensuring  the possibility of normal activity for the  Polish
     The  presentation of these notes is in itself eloquent.
According  to  the  official Danzig  communiqu,  they  were
addressed  by  "the Government of Danzig to  the  diplomatic
Representative  of  the  Polish  Republic"  and  the  Polish
Commissioner-General, M. Chodacki, found  himself  addressed
as   "Herr  Minister."  The  first  note  warns  the  Polish
Government that "if it maintained its refusal to recall  the
three  officials mentioned, an order would be given  to  all
Danzig  officials, whether directly dependent on the  Senate
or  not,  to  cease for the future all private and  official
dealings with them."
     The  second note protests against the excessive  number
of  Polish Customs inspectors, which was "contrary to treaty
stipulations";  and notifies the Polish Representative  that
in  future the Customs officials would be obliged to take an
oath of allegiance to the authorities of the Free City.
     The  Polish Press, which had received orders not to lay
stress  on  the question, published only a brief  report  in
which the reply of the Senate was reduced to the proportions
of  a purely local event upon which it was not necessary  to
dwell. The few newspapers which brought the matter up again,
only  did  so in order to ridicule the Senate's claims.  The
I.K.C., for example, called Herr Greiser the "Burgomaster of
the  town  of  Gdansk."  The Kurjer  Warszawski  was  rather
sarcastic  about the senators who "in asking for a reduction
in  the  number  of Polish Customs officials revealed  their
ignorance of the statutes of their own city."
     The  remarks made by Herr Forster on Sunday last,  June
4,  at  the festival of the Danzig Labour Service, with  the
agreement of Reichsar-
beitsfhrer Hierl, seem to confirm the impression  that  the
Free  City is at present determined to carry on a policy  of
resistance  and  systematic sabotage of Polish  rights.  The
Gauleiter  compared the "unbridled fury" and the  "hysteria"
of  the  Poles with the calm of Danzig. "For us, Danzigers,"
he said, "we must not allow ourselves to lose our tempers-we
leave  that to our neighbours-we have only to wait, trusting
in the Fhrer. We have held out for peace, we can hold out a
little  longer.  The  Fhrer wants  a  strong  Danzig.  Four
hundred thousand people of Danzig are waiting, resolute,  at
the mouth of the Vistula, and look to no one but him."

                  No. 134 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 11, 1939.

     THE  force  of  6,000 S.A. now circulating  in  Danzig,
"with their packs on their backs, with entrenching tools and
armed  with carbines" which according to the Vorposten gives
the  town "almost the appearance of a mobilized city,"  have
now been joined, the Nazi journal informs us, by "motor-cars
and   motor-cycles  of  the  Reichswehr,  manned  by  German
soldiers."  The newspaper which is supposed to  reflect  the
views   of   the  Senate  affirms  that  there  is   nothing
sensational  in  this and that it is only a  question  of  a
simple military tournament amongst the S.A., "in which units
of the standing Army are taking part."
     It   is   stated,  furthermore,  in  National-Socialist
circles in the Free City, that these military motor-cars and
motor-cycles have merely brought from East Prussia  officers
accompanied by their orderlies and chauffeurs, who have come
to take part in the festivities.
     These  army  vehicles, as far as can be  gathered,  are
about  thirty in number and will take part in a rally to  be
held round the outer edge of the Free City.
     Neither  the  gathering of the S.A.  nor  the  presence
amongst  them  of the German regulars seems to  disturb  the
Polish  authorities who reckon that they will  leave  Danzig
the way they came.
     The  intention of the German leaders to "nibble" at the
statute  of Danzig is none the less evidenced anew by  these
     Such  were  the tactics formerly applied by Germany  in
the occupied Rhineland, but there they were confronted by  a
system of administra-
tion  which  it  was easier to defend; all the circumstances
(ceremonies,  strikes, catastrophes) were  utilized  by  the
authorities  of the Reich to try to introduce uniforms  into
the demilitarized zone.

                  No. 135 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 13, 1939.

     A  PERSON  in  close touch with this Embassy  has  just
gathered together the following observations from someone in
Herr von Ribbentrop's immediate entourage.
     Beneath  the apparent calm which at the moment prevails
in  Berlin  and  astonishes some people and worries  others,
they   are   feverishly  at  work  at  the   Wilhelmstrasse.
Preparations   are  being  made  to  face  all   manner   of
eventualities, but before directing his foreign policy  into
any  one  definite channel, Herr von Ribbentrop is  awaiting
the  outcome  of  the talks between the Western  Powers  and
Russia.  The Danzig question is, in his eyes, only a  detail
which  in  itself does not interest him. For him it  is  the
whole  Polish question which is at stake. This problem could
be settled:
     Either  by  an arrangement with England and France,  as
was the Czechoslovak problem,
     Or by an arrangement with Poland itself,
     Or by an arrangement with Russia.
     The first solution is ruled out by the attitude adopted
by France and England since March 15.
     The  second  has  met  with the rigid  resistance  from
Poland,  backed by the British guarantee. There  is  now  no
longer  much  hope of its being realized, for the  so-called
negotiations in progress between Warsaw and Berlin only deal
with  technical details and do not touch on the conflict  of
     There  remains,  therefore, the third solution,  namely
the destruction of the Polish State by partition between the
Reich and Russia.
     Herr von Ribbentrop has not given up this idea. He will
not abandon it until the Anglo-Russian pact is signed. Until
then  he  reserves all decisions, while continuing  to  show
every consideration to the Soviets.
     The  return of the "Condor" Legion should normally have
been an
occasion   for  diatribes  against  Bolshevism.   Herr   von
Ribbentrop  saw  to  it that none of the speeches  contained
anything  likely to offend Russia. The Fhrer himself,  when
addressing  the  "Condor"  Legion  never  uttered  the  word
"Bolshevism"   or   "Communism."   It   was   against    the
"Democracies,"  the  "warmongers and  war  profiteers,"  the
promoters  of  "encirclement," that  his  thunderbolts  were
directed. The reserve that he observed with regard to Russia
was evidently not due to chance. It was due to the influence
of  Herr von Ribbentrop who still has hopes of winning  over
the  Russians, or at any rate of seeing them remain  outside
the bloc constituted under the aegis of France and England.
     These considerations, which bear out information I have
already  communicated to Your Excellency,  seem  clearly  to
reflect  certain  designs of Herr  von  Ribbentrop  and  the
National-Socialist  Government with  regard  to  Poland  and
Russia.  One  could imagine perhaps that  the  Minister  for
Foreign  Affairs of the Reich is himself the  originator  of
these "confidences." Yet it is difficult to conceive how  it
would  be to his interest to spread news which would  incite
the  Western  Powers  to  speed up  the  negotiations  whose
conclusion  seems  to be so much feared in  Berlin.  On  the
other   hand,   Your  Excellency  is  aware   that   similar
information reached me from Field Marshal Goering as well as
from other sources.
     The manoeuvre which the advocates of collaboration with
Moscow hope to bring off, evidently consists of a repetition
to  the  detriment of Poland and with the aid of Russia,  of
the   device   already  employed  so  successfully   against

                  No. 136 

M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 14, 1939.

     SINCE  June  10,  the  date of  the  departure  of  the
President of the Senate, who will be away about eight weeks,
the situation has perceptibly deteriorated.
     An  anti-Polish  campaign  of unheard-of  violence  and
vulgarity  is being carried on by the two daily papers,  who
charge  the Polish Customs officials with the most  unlikely
offences.  The  reduction  of their  number,  which  is  not
limited by any agreement, is also de-
manded.  It  would  seem  that these officials  exercise  an
effective control and have been taking steps to prevent  the
smuggling in of firearms, especially since the March crisis.
The  Press wishes perhaps to point out to the large  numbers
of  visitors  who have come from the Reich for the  Cultural
Congress and the exercises of the S.A., how intolerable life
is  for  the German population of the Free City. A state  of
great excitement has been noted amongst the local militia.
     Business  circles, however, seem to think  that,  as  a
result  of Polish concessions, tension will diminish in  the
course of the next few weeks.


                  No. 137 

M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 16, 1939.

     IN  the  Danzig-Polish dispute, the  National-Socialist
party  is  stressing  the question  of  the  Polish  Customs
inspectors,  that is to say, they are giving indications  as
to  just where the shoe pinches them. As I pointed out in  a
previous dispatch it is reported that a considerable  number
of  firearms were being smuggled into the territory  of  the
Free City in February and March. It appears that, since that
time,  this  contraband has ceased and that the  inspectors,
doubtless  backed up by their Government, have been  showing
more  zeal  in  the  performance of their  duties.  Although
articles 200 and 201 of the Danzig-Polish treaty of  October
24,  1921, which prescribe for their conditions of  service,
does  not  fix a limit to their number, the Senate,  with  a
dogged   perseverance,  sends  note  after  note  protesting
against  their  increase  and  denying  them  the  right  to
exercise any authority outside the Customs offices, that  is
to  say,  for instance, to control the vehicles  passing  in
front of the said offices.
     The  local  Press accuses them of being agents  of  the
Frontier Guards service, carrying on espionage work, and not
officials  of the Ministry of Finance. At the same  time  it
attempts  to  back  up  its  attacks  by  transforming   the
slightest incidents into fantastic tales. For instance,  two
inspectors, who on May 25 took a look at the building  of  a
landing-stage  for  the ferry boat over  the  Vistula,  were
abused most violently by the two dailies on June 7.
     On  June  12, after a night spent in drinking together,
an  inspector  and two S.A. came to blows;  immediately  the
inspector was accused
of having tried to get the S.A. men drunk in order to kidnap
them and get them into Poland. He was arrested, and brutally
knocked  about,  and, up to date, permission  has  not  been
given for him to be visited in prison by subordinates of the
Polish Commissioner-General.
     However, attacks and accusations have not weakened  the
Warsaw  Government; on the contrary they have just increased
the  number  of the inspectors, whose task is becoming  more
and  more difficult, from 90 to 120. On the 10th the  Polish
Representative in the Free City handed a note to the  Senate
denying it the right to meddle with the questions of Customs
and  threatening a further increase in the  numbers  of  the
inspectors if their activity was further interfered with, or
if  the Danzig Customs officials were forced into taking the
oath of allegiance to the National-Socialist party. The text
of the note also hinted that, if need be, economic reprisals
would be taken against the Free City.


                  No. 138 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 20, 1939.

     ALTHOUGH  the  two speeches of Dr. Goebbels  at  Danzig
have  not  introduced any new factor into the  Polish-German
problem, they were, if one can follow the intentions of  the
German propaganda, intended to mark a date, and an epoch  in
its  evolution. After the warning shot of April 28, we have,
as it were, the beginning of the heavy artillery preparation
designed  to  intimidate  the  enemy  and  disorganize   his
countermeasures.  The circumstances, the violence  of  their
tone,  the obvious wish to work up chauvinistic passions  in
the  Free City to their maximum, all give added significance
to the words of the Minister of Propaganda.
     From  this  point of view last Saturday's is  the  more
interesting  of  the  two  speeches.  The  speaker,  it   is
reported,  spoke extempore. The warm welcome  of  the  crowd
seems to have made him improvise declarations thrilling with
enthusiasm  from the dress-circle in the theatre from  which
he  had just watched a gala performance. But it is, in point
of  fact, sufficient to read the text of the speech  to  see
that its terms had been most carefully weighed.
     Without   discussing  the  speech  as  a  whole,   four
essential points may be singled out as essential:
     (1) Dr. Goebbels reasserted the German character of the
Free  City, which no one attempts to deny. The visit of  the
Fhrer's  representative to Danzig is in itself  proof  that
the  population  is  perfectly at liberty  to  proclaim  its
attachment to the German "Volkstum."
     (2)  With  regard to the international aspects  of  the
problem  the  speaker  claimed that its present  development
could in no way be ascribed to the people of Danzig, who had
only  one  desire,  namely to belong to the  Greater  German
Reich.  This  wish was "understandable, clear, definite  and
unshakable."  "It is your misfortune," he added  "that  your
lovely  German city should be situated at the mouth  of  the
Vistula. According to the theories of Warsaw, cities at  the
mouths of rivers always belong to the country through  whose
territory the rivers flow. Rotterdam, therefore, belongs  to
Germany since this port is at the mouth of the Rhine and the
Rhine is a German river."
     (3) The Minister of Propaganda made a violent attack on
Polish and British policies.
     "The  Polish bullies," he said, "are now claiming  East
Prussia  and  German Silesia. According  to  them  the  west
Polish  frontier should be the Oder. Why not claim the  Elbe
or  the  Rhine? There they would meet their new  allies  the
English, whose frontier, as we all know, is the Rhine."  The
Polish chauvinists are often speaking of a great battle that
will  take  place  outside Berlin. These boastings  are  the
result of the fact that Polish policy is now passing through
its  "age  of  puberty." We must wait  until  this  disorder
disappears of itself.
     As  to  England,  Dr.  Goebbels  cannot  reconcile  the
statement  made  by Lord Halifax before the House  of  Lords
that  he  wished to see a peaceful settlement of the  Danzig
question,  and  the  fact  that the British  Government  had
"drawn  a  blank cheque in favour of Warsaw." Great  Britain
was  endeavouring  to  encircle Germany  and  Italy  and  so
"reviving  her 1914 policy." But National-Socialist  Germany
was  far  from being the feeble bourgeois Germany of  former
     "Therefore,"  said  Dr.  Goebbels,  "we  consider   the
oratory of Warsaw and London as so much bluster intended  to
hide under its volume of words, its deficiencies in strength
and determination."
     (4)  At  the  end of his speech the Head  of  the  Nazi
Propaganda let fall a more definite threat. Yet this  threat
was  scarcely  more  open than that made by  the  Chancellor
himself on April 28.
     "Our wish in the Reich," he cried out, "is as clear  as
your own,
wish; the Fhrer made this quite plain in his last speech to
the  Reichstag  when he said 'Danzig is a  German  city  and
wishes once more to be part of Germany.' The world must have
understood  these words. It should realise  too,  from  past
experiences,  that the Fhrer's words are not  platonic.  It
will,  in  any case, be making a grave error if it  imagines
that  Adolf Hitler withdraws before menaces, or gives in  to
blackmail. There can be no question of it."
     From  the  political  point of view,  Sunday's  speech,
which  was  almost entirely devoted to a eulogy of National-
Socialist culture, was not so interesting. Dr. Goebbels  was
content  with saying "political" frontiers were  of  limited
duration,  but that frontiers traced by language,  race  and
blood were unchangeable and eternal.
     So  this  strange "cultural" week will have  served  to
underline the will of the Reich to regain Danzig. The German
Press  proclaims it. The Montag writes that "the  plebiscite
has  been  held,"  Danzig has spoken. Danzig  has  made  its
choice. And the Volkischer Beobachter says that the word  of
the Fhrer, given two months ago, will be kept. "Today,"  it
writes, "the people of Danzig know that, in no circumstances
will  they be left alone and that they will come into  their
own,  come  what  may. Such is the historic significance  of
June 17, 1939.
     Under  what  form and when will the Fhrer  attempt  to
carry  out his project? No one knows, and he himself  is  in
all  probability waiting for the opportune  moment.  But  it
would seem that, for the time being, the Nazi authorities do
not contemplate immediate action. That is, as I have pointed
out  elsewhere, the conclusion to be gathered from the words
of   Herr  von  Weizscker,  which  confirm  those  of   his
conversation with Herr Burckhardt.
     As  far  as one can gather, in Herr Hitler's  eyes  the
affair  is not yet ripe. He wishes to await, before  acting,
the development in one way or the other, of the Anglo-Franco-
Russian negotiations (for in Berlin there is still the  hope
that  these negotiations may break down). He also  wants  to
await  the evolution of the Anglo-Japanese conflict.  During
this  respite that he has given himself and which will last,
from  what  I can gather, for about two or three months,  he
will  redouble  his  efforts in  the  sphere  of  propaganda
supporting  them probably with intimidatory  measures  of  a
military nature. It is apparently with the latter object  in
view that work is being intensified on the fortification  of
the German-Polish frontier in Slovakia, and on the Siegfried
Line.  It  goes  without saying that in  this  juncture  the
"bunkers" in the East will not play a purely defensive role.
     One  cannot  fail to notice-and I have confirmation  of
the fact from various quarters-that the radical elements  of
the  regime  seem, for the moment, to have  increased  their
influence  on the mind of the Chancellor. The delay  in  the
Moscow  conversations, the Tientsin incident which confronts
Great  Britain  with a formidable dilemma,  perhaps  certain
statements made in London which have been interpreted  as  a
sign of hesitation, have encouraged them and increased their
confidence. Under their influence German policy  is  on  the
watch  for any possible developments and is taking soundings
in  all  directions, even as far off as Arabia  and  at  the
court of Ibn Saud.
     However, pending further information, nothing justifies
the  belief that the Fhrer will risk a general war for  the
sake  of  Danzig. Danzig has no doubt great strategic  value
for  the  development of the policy of the Third Reich.  But
the  Nazi authorities will exhaust all means of turning  the
position before contemplating a frontal attack, that  is  to
say starting a war with Poland, which would mean, in turn, a
European war. I have been told that several of Herr Hitler's
advisers  keep  on repeating that, even in the  event  of  a
general  conflict, Germany will win. Herr Hitler is said  to
be not so sure, and quite apart from his horror of war which
one can take as genuine, he has never up till now undertaken
any move which was not certain of success.
     Things   would   be  different  if  some   particularly
favourable circumstance presented itself. In Berlin in  such
a  case  prudence would be thrown to the wind  in  order  to
stake all on the last throw of the dice, "come what may," as
the Volkischer Beobachter has put it.

                  No. 139 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 20, 1939.

     I  HAD an interview on June 16 with the State Secretary
at  the  very beginning of which he volunteered the  opinion
that,  as  far as he knew, all was quiet for the moment  and
that  he saw no reason why the situation should become  more
strained  in  the  near  future. He  repeated  with  special
reference  to  Danzig, that, in his opinion,  only  acts  of
aggression  on  the part of the Poles could  bring  about  a
conflict.  As  I  showed some skepticism he  declared  that,
although  the  central  Government  of  Warsaw  exercised  a
moderating influence, a state of mind
existed  among  certain  local authorities  which  made  him
seriously  afraid  of rash action on their  part.  Herr  von
Weizscker  was none the less confident with regard  to  the
immediate  future  and told me that he intended  to  take  a
holiday during the month of July.
     If   the   State   Secretary  had  not  obtained   this
information  from  a  reliable source,  it  may  be  doubted
whether,  prudent and reserved man as he is, he  would  have
offered   it  to  me  on  his  own  initiative.  From   this
declaration  made  to  me, therefore,  on  the  eve  of  the
"Kulturtag"  of  Danzig,  one may at  least  infer  that  no
immediate  action  on the part of the  Reich  is  likely  to
follow on Dr. Goebbels's speeches.
     Speaking generally, Herr von Weizscker considered that
the opening of conversations likely to bring about an easing
of  the  political tension would not be in any way aided  by
the  conclusion of a Franco-Anglo-Russian pact. To threaten-
the democracies should persuade themselves once and for all-
was  the  worst possible way of dealing with the  Fhrer.  I
pointed out that up till then only the reverse situation had
been seen. Such methods had never been considered either  in
Paris  or London, where it was fully realized that they  had
no effect on Herr Hitler. The cause of peace would have made
great  progress  if Berlin became convinced  that  they  had
equally little chance of success with the Democracies.

                  No. 140 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 20, 1939.

     WHEN  the moment arrives Chancellor Hitler will  settle
the   Danzig  question  as  he  pleases  and  on   his   own
responsibility, such is the view expressed and circulated by
the German Ambassador in Warsaw and his collaborators.
     But  they  are  also now enlarging the scope  of  their
propaganda.  They are speaking not only of Danzig,  but  now
insist  on  every occasion on the impossibility  of  Germany
allowing the Corridor to continue any  longer in existence.
     The  necessity for Germany to recover Upper Silesia  is
also mentioned by some of them.

                  No. 141 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 21, 1939.

     THE  innumerable  comments, to which  the  question  of
Danzig   an  the  Corridor  give  rise,  contain   so   many
inaccuracies  regarding  Poland attitude,  that  I  feel  it
necessary to define that attitude once more.
     (1)  Poland has always shown herself willing, since the
beginning  of last winter, to give up the right to represent
the Free City vis--vis foreign powers, and at the same time
to agree to the abolition of the office of High Commissioner
of  the  League of Nations, and to complete independence  of
the  Free  City from Geneva. Poland would not, in principle,
oppose  certain  modifications of the  constitution  of  the
City,  which  would  be only of minor importance  to  Poland
because  they  would not compromise vital  Polish  interests
(Customs  control transit facilities). Polish opposition  is
directed above all against a annexation by the Reich,  which
would,  it  is  considered,  invalidate  a  real  guarantees
relating to the utilization of the Vistula and the  port  of
Danzig, and constitute such a menace to the Corridor that it
would run the risk of being taken at any moment.
     (2)   Poland   is  now,  as  previously,  prepared   to
facilitate German rail and road communications between  East
Prussia and the rest the Reich by building, if necessary, at
her own cost, a motor-road the use of which by Germans would
involve  neither Customs control, no a passport or pass.  In
this respect the intransigency of the Polish Government only
applies to its absolute refusal to concede the principle  of
extra-territoriality  for  one  or  more  roads  across  the

                  No. 142 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 22, 1939.

     THREE  months have now elapsed since Germany made known
her  demands  to  Poland, and for that time Poland  has  not
ceased  to be in a state of alarm. At the beginning of  this
period,  one  could  wonder whether, in  the  circumstances,
Polish opinion would be able to retain its composure without
losing its resolution.
     The  ordeal  has  shown the Poles in a very  favourable
light. Their determination to resist has not flinched,  they
remain ready to face anything. At the same time, even if one
often  hears  the opinion expressed, especially amongst  the
masses  and  the  Army that "they must put  a  stop  to  the
present state of affairs and fight"; the nation has shown  a
remarkable  sang-froid  and  obeys  its  authorities   quite
docilely   when  they  advise  it  to  show   prudence   and
     The  Government  is  doing its utmost  to  prepare  the
defences of the country. Important results seem to have been
obtained  in  the last three months. Without  departing  one
whit  from  the  attitude they have adopted towards  Germany
they are doing everything possible to gain time and postpone
the conflict even though the majority do not believe that it
can be avoided indefinitely.

                  No. 143 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 22, 1939.

     THE  situation  is  still confused in  Berlin.  If  Dr.
Goebbels's  speeches have shown the stiffening  attitude  of
the  Reich  on the Danzig question, they have not  disclosed
Herr Hitler's intentions; the question must be settled,  but
when and how? Probably no one knows except the Fhrer; it is
not certain whether even he has made up his mind.
     Diplomatic circles are pessimistic. The events  in  the
Far  East  and  the  difficulties of the  negotiations  with
Moscow  contribute to this feeling. It is considered,  above
all,  that  the manifestations of June 17 and 18 have  given
proof  of  the  Fhrer's will to go ahead;  that  they  have
committed him before international opinion; and as,  on  the
other  hand, the Polish will to resist seems strong,  it  is
not  clear  how any solution can be found to the crisis  but
     Two  points  are  more  or less unanimously  taken  for
granted here: (a) A crisis over Danzig is inevitable  before
the  end  of the year; (b) Danzig is not for Herr Hitler  an
end in itself. He has other objectives in Poland, namely the
Corridor and Silesia. If any doubts may have existed on this
subject,  Dr. Goebbels took it upon himself to  remove  them
last  night, when he declared at the festival of the  summer
solstice  that  "Germany  intends  to  take  back  all   the
territory  which  has  belonged to  her  in  the  course  of
history." [1]

[1] This phrase did not appear in the German Press.

     The  majority of the diplomats accredited to Berlin are
searching  for a compromise solution, and growing uneasy  at
their inability to find one. They shut themselves up thus in
a  sort  of  contradiction, for, if one admits the limitless
character of the German claims, and they do admit it,  there
is  no  hope  for  the  moment of ending  the  situation  by
settling  the  Danzig  question, and thus  no  advantage  in
compromising  themselves over it. There are,  on  the  other
hand, some major disadvantages.
     Herr  Hitler has definitely committed himself over  the
Danzig  question, but he has not yet burnt his boats  as  he
did  with  regard to Czechoslovakia. He will not  burn  them
unless  he  definitely decides to go to the length  of  war,
except  in the event of his convincing himself that  he  can
force  the  enemy position simply by means  of  threats  and
intimidation.  That  is  why  I  am  convinced  that  it  is
important  today,  even more than before,  to  abstain  from
taking the initiative, or adopting any attitude which  could
be   interpreted  here  as  a  weakening   of   the   Allied
determination  to  oppose force by force.  It  seems  to  me
nearly  certain  that  we  shall not  be  able  to  avoid  a
formidable increase of tension in the situation this autumn.
Perhaps, however, if there is no giving way, on the part  of
the peace front, we shall see no repetition of the ultimatum
of  September 1938. What we must at any cost eliminate  this
time  is  the  risk of war developing out  of  a  threat  of
     According  to  my  latest information this  risk  still
exists. Is the information supplied by German agents  abroad
regarding  the  will to resist of the Allies  less  definite
than  it was before? I cannot say, but I have heard  from  a
good  source that Herr von Ribbentrop is once more convinced
that  at  the present juncture Great Britain will not  fight
over  Danzig.  I know, on the other hand, that Field-Marshal
Goering   is  very  worried  by  the  consequences   of   an
uncompromising policy and would like to see the Fhrer  play
for  time.  It is impossible to foresee which of  these  two
ideas  will  prevail,  especially as the  National-Socialist
authorities, acting evidently upon "orders," are  keeping  a
discreet  silence in their dealings with the diplomats.  The
Minister for Foreign Affairs seems to be still very much  in
favour  with  Herr  Hitler; on the other hand  Field-Marshal
Goering's  credit with the Fhrer is reported to  have  gone

                   NO. 144

M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 23, 1939.

     THE  publicity  given abroad to Dr.  Goebbels's  speech
made here on June 17 seems to have astonished the people  of
     In  former years similar sarcasm and violence had  been
leveled  at the heads of the German opposition parties,  and
the League of Nations, to which the latter could appeal, and
then  against the Jews; no one doubted that the Poles'  time
would  come once the others had been eliminated. If, by  his
language, the Minister of Propaganda of the Reich  gave  the
impression  abroad that he was bringing a new  element  into
the  situation, his words have not surprised the  population
in  the least; it had often heard similar phrases during the
course  of private meetings of the National-Socialist party.
There are a great many who regret giving the impression that
they had assented to a revision of the Danzig statute during
the  course of a demonstration, supposedly spontaneous,  but
in  which the majority of the demonstrators were present  by


                  No. 145 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 27, 1939.

     As I have previously pointed out, diplomatic circles in
Berlin are somewhat pessimistic about the development of the
international situation from the month of August onwards.
     It is possible that the approach of the period when the
crisis of 1938 broke out has something to do with this state
of  mind.  It is also likely that most of the heads  of  the
diplomatic  missions  have received information  similar  to
that  which has reached this Embassy. This may be classified
under three headings:
     (1)  Activity  within the German Army.  The  number  of
reservists called up is estimated, by our Military  Attach,
very  roughly  at 600,000 and shows a tendency to  increase.
Maneuvers are in progress in the fortified zone of the West.
     (2)  Military  measures in Italy and  Bulgaria.  Large-
scale maneuvers involving considerable bodies of troops  are
planned in Italy for the
month  of August. The Bulgarian Army is expected to mobilize
two classes at the same time.
     (3)  Various  indications: advice given by high  German
officials  to  foreign  families not to  remain  in  Germany
during  August; the general time-limit set for the  validity
of  the passports of the male population; information to the
effect  that  the  Reichswehr has been  instructed  to  hold
itself in readiness for August 15.
     It  is  a noteworthy fact that, whereas a rather marked
anxiety  is  beginning to arise among  the  middle  classes,
Germans  in  influential circles seem rather optimistic  and
are obviously trying to reassure foreigners whom they meet.
     One sentence struck me particularly in a statement made
to  one  of  my  colleagues  by  one  of  the  best-informed
personages in the party. "In the event of Danzig proclaiming
its return to the Reich," he said, "war would break out only
if   we   were   compelled  to  defend   ourselves   against
aggression."  This  passage reminded  me  of  certain  words
spoken  by  the  State Secretary in the course  of  my  last
interview with him. After telling me that in his opinion  no
tension was to be foreseen in the near future, he added: "We
have  no intention of attacking Poland." When I pointed  out
to him that in this case no conflict was to be feared, since
Poland  was  not  going to attack Germany, he  replied  that
serious  incidents might occur, and quoted, as  an  example,
the  possible  murder of a German consul.  In  the  farewell
audience  which  he granted to the Argentine  Ambassador  on
June 26, Herr Hitler also told him more or less plainly that
he had no intention of attacking Poland.
     Even  if one admits that these various pointers express
the  real intentions of the German Government, one  may  ask
how far they are reassuring. They may suggest that the Reich
is prepared to temporize, but they may also be a preparation
of  the  ground  for an annexation of Danzig conducted  from
within the city.
     One   may   suppose  that,  among  the  various   plans
considered  by  the  Nazi  leaders for  imposing  their  own
solution  of  the  problem of the Free  City,  the  idea  of
stirring up a "spontaneous" movement and inducing the Danzig
population  itself to proclaim its return to the  Reich,  is
particularly engaging their attention.
     In  this event the plan of action would probably be  as
follows:  At  a  moment chosen by the Fhrer, the  National-
Socialists of Danzig would proclaim the return of  the  city
to  the Reich. With their own resources, and without calling
upon German troops, they would cut
off the little Polish garrison of the Westerplatte, together
with  the  Polish  Customs  officials,  and  await  Warsaw's
reaction.  The  Polish Government would then have  no  other
course  than  to occupy the city by force in  order  to  re-
establish the status quo, which would serve as a pretext for
the launching of German military action.
     The object of such a maneuver is obvious. "If the Poles
undertook   the   forcible  suppression  of   a   'people's'
movement," a notability of the regime recently said  to  one
of  my  colleagues,  "it  would be they  who  would  be  the
aggressors. They would be taking the initiative in violence.
In  such a case, would Great Britain and France be justified
in attacking us?"
     It  is  thus calculated in Berlin that, when the  right
time  comes,  it would be possible for German propaganda  to
trouble  the  waters and create confusion, at least  in  the
public opinion of neutral countries. Ever since the Austrian
and  Sudeten affairs for that matter, Nazi policy has  shown
itself a past-master in the art of fomenting internal crises
and profiting by them.
     Such  a  conjecture makes it possible to reconcile  the
assurances given in various quarters that Germany "will  not
attack"  with the indication of approaching tension gathered
elsewhere.  The latest information received from our  consul
in  Danzig seems to show that this plan has already been set
in  motion,  at  least  in  its  early  phase.  The  Reich's
preparations in the Free City are being rapidly intensified,
and  Herr Himmler is said to have arrived incognito in order
to  inspect  their  progress. Everything that  is  happening
suggests that the Nazi Government wishes the armed forces in
the  city  to  be  so strong that, when the  appointed  time
arrives,  the  Fhrer may be able to take possession  of  it
without any need either for a Putsch by the Party or for the
dispatch of German troops.
     The  Warsaw  Government  has  doubtless  taken  such  a
possibility  into  account, and I  know  that  it  has  been
considered by the staff of our Ministry of Foreign  Affairs.
German  policy,  therefore,  cannot  reasonably  count  upon
taking  the other side by surprise or confusing the question
ad  libitum by playing upon the word "aggressor."  Moreover,
the  declaration  read  in  the  House  of  Commons  by  Mr.
Chamberlain on March 31 on behalf of the British and  French
Governments, and the statement made by the President of  the
Council  on  April 13 are sufficiently explicit to  convince
the  National-Socialist leaders that any act which infringed
Poland's  vital interests would entitle it to  ask  for  the
immediate support of France and Great Britain.
     Nevertheless, in order to avoid any misunderstanding on
this  subject, one may ask whether it is not  high  time  to
speak  plainly  and  frustrate  this  possible  maneuver  by
dispelling any illusions which may still be held in  Berlin.
If Your Excellency agrees, it would be desirable to specify,
for  the benefit of the responsible leaders of German policy
and  within the framework of the Franco-British declaration,
that  any  forcible action undertaken within the  Free  City
contrary to the statute -i.e., action which, in view of  the
allegiance of the National-Socialists of Danzig to the  Nazi
party,  could only be provoked and promoted by the Reich-and
which   Poland   should   feel  bound   to   resist,   would
automatically  lead to assistance being rendered  by  France
and Great Britain. Such useful specific information might be
given at the earliest opportunity by Paris and London.  This
would  bring  about  the collapse of the elaborate  presence
which  the  German  leaders  seem  to  be  so  industriously
building up.
     In  any case, in the absence of further information  it
does not appear that any German action in this direction  is
imminent.  At the Polish Embassy, where calm and  resolution
still  prevail,  it is considered that the alarmist  rumours
about German troop movements towards the Polish frontier (it
was  reported this morning that the Marshal Goering Regiment
had  left Berlin for Pillau, but this rumour is unconfirmed)
might  well  come  from German sources.  According  to  this
interpretation, National-Socialist agencies are  seeking  in
this way to foster confusion by spreading false news in  the
hope  of masking in advance any real military movements when
they take place.
     In  periods  of fermentation, the policy of the  Hitler
Government usually surrounds itself with a smoke-screen.  We
can  only  stand to gain by making this maneuver ineffective
through being on our guard against any surprise.

                  No. 146 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 27, 1939.

     IN his latest telegrams, M. de la Tournelle seems to me
to  present a very accurate idea of the situation in  Danzig
and its probable development.
     According  to  him, in order to reach  his  goal,  Herr
Hitler, after hav-
ing  progressively  destroyed the  Danzig  constitution  and
brought  the  population  to heel,  will  have  very  little
distance left to go.
     It  certainly  seems that, after failing  in  March  to
induce  Poland  to accept the annexation of  Danzig  by  the
Reich,  he  made up his mind to round off his work  in  this
direction  by  militarizing  the  Free  City.  In  order  to
complete its assimilation with "the rest of Germany," visits
by soldiers, sailors and National-Socialist militia from the
Reich  follow  one  another in increasing numbers.  Danzig's
military  forces may become strong enough to constitute,  in
themselves,  a  serious menace to the Polish Corridor,  when
the  "Free Corps" which is now being talked about  has  been
created.  If  Poland  should one day  feel  bound  to  react
against   this   menace   and   against   these   successive
encroachments, German propaganda will not fail to  represent
its attitude as provocative and brand it as aggression.
     The  German  game is arousing great anxiety  among  the
Poles, who see it for what it is.

                  No. 147 

M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London.
                                                 Paris, June
29, 1939.

     IN  a  telegram sent en clair by messenger, which I  am
communicating to you by air, M. Coulondre indicates that the
latest news received from Danzig supports the view that  the
Reich  is preparing the ground for a coup for the annexation
of  the  Free City conducted from within, the Danzig  Senate
and  population themselves proclaiming their return  to  the
Reich.  In  this event the Polish Government would  have  no
alternative  but to occupy the city, by way of the  harbour,
in  order  to  re-establish the status  quo.  Germany  would
represent  itself  as  "attacked"  and  would  exploit  this
equivocation  by  playing upon the word "aggression"  in  an
attempt  to confuse foreign public opinion and paralyze  the
reactions of the Governments of France and Great Britain.
     Our Ambassador informs me this morning that the Reich's
military  preparations  in  the  Free  City  appear  to   be
advancing more rapidly, and it seems to him to be essential,
in   order  to  frustrate  this  maneuver,  to  take   steps
beforehand and warn the Reich of the consequences which  its
attitude would inevitably entail.
     I  fully  share the feeling expressed by M.  Coulondre,
and  it seems to me most desirable that Lord Halifax, in the
speech  which  he is to make this evening, should  take  the
opportunity  to  give  the  rulers  of  the  Reich  a  plain
intimation   of  the  common  determination   of   the   two
Governments  to fulfill the obligations of assistance  which
they  have  assumed towards Poland, no matter  what  devious
means  Germany  might bring into play  in  order  to  create
ambiguity about the real character of her action. You should
approach  the Principal Secretary of State with this  object
in view.

                  No. 148 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
June 30, 1939.

     THE  State Secretary was good enough to ask me to  call
upon  him  today, in order to convey to me an expression  of
regret on the part of Herr von Ribbentrop, whom I had  asked
for  an  interview and who is at the moment unwell, and  his
hope that he will be able to see me next week.
     When  I  drew  Herr von Weizscker's attention  to  the
pessimism of the Diplomatic Corps, he once more told me that
he found it difficult to understand the reason for it. To be
sure  the  negotiations  of France and  Great  Britain  with
Russia,  and  the  agreement  with  Turkey,  gave  no  great
pleasure to Berlin, and in his opinion did not make  it  any
easier to reach peaceful solutions; without underrating  the
difficulties  of the situation he could see  no  ground  for
being particularly anxious.
     I  then  spoke  to  him about Danzig  and  Poland,  and
emphasized  the  disquiet  which  I  felt  over  information
pointing  to  an increase of military activity in  the  Free
City.  "I recollect," I added, "that sometimes people  still
say  in Germany that we are not going to fight for the  sake
of  Danzig.  I hope that your Government will  be  under  no
misapprehension in this respect. Danzig is a matter  between
Poland  and  you; but, whether it has to do with  Danzig  or
not, we shall stand beside Poland if a conflict breaks out."
     The  State  Secretary's  reply was,  in  substance,  as
follows: "The question whether such a conflict should  break
out  in  connection  with Danzig is, I  fully  recognize,  a
secondary one. We have no doubts
about  your alliance coming into play. France has  long  had
alliances  in  the East. But we find it hard  to  understand
that  Great  Britain should have delegated to a  Continental
country the responsibility of deciding whether she should go
to  war.  It  must have been the pressure of  the  Left-Wing
Opposition which caused Mr. Chamberlain to give way.
     "So  far  as  Danzig is concerned, plenty of  fantastic
rumours are in circulation. It is even said that the  Fhrer
is  to  be solemnly granted the freedom of the city on  July
15.  The police of the city, it is true, have recently  been
reinforced.  The population are in the state  of  excitement
that  might  be expected in the people of a town upon  which
the spotlights of the whole world are concentrated. Still, I
do not see that any startling coup is to be feared. There is
obviously a state of tension which could not continue over a
period  of  years; but at present I still  think  that  only
incidents  could  provoke a conflict. They would  need,  for
that  matter, to be more serious than those about  which  we
have  so far had occasion to complain. The Polish provincial
authorities continue to display frequent symptoms  of  great
excitability. Recently, after Mass, a general made a  speech
in which he advocated an extension of Poland's sphere on the
Baltic.  But  I  am  bound  to recognise  that  the  Central
Government  show  more calm and greater moderation.  I  have
even  fancied  that I could discern some  indications  of  a
desire on the part of M. Beck to seek a basis for a solution
of our difficulties."
     I  observed  to  Herr von Weizscker that  I  was  much
interested by this last remark of his, and asked him whether
he  would authorize me to make use of it. He replied in  the
affirmative,  at the same time desiring me to emphasize  the
fact  that  as  yet it was a question only  of  very  slight
indications, and that this was his personal opinion.
     Needless  to  say,  I stressed the absolute  solidarity
between  France and Great Britain in case of a conflict.  It
is  nevertheless important to note that, in a more  or  less
covert  form,  people here still attempt with  regard  to  a
Polish-German conflict, to draw a distinction between  Great
Britain's attitude and our own.


          Germany's Word of Honour
     (July 11, 1936-September 26, 1938)
       (July 11, 1936-March 12, 1938)
                   No. 1
  Austro-German Agreement of July 11, 1936
     BEING   convinced  that  they  are  making  a  valuable
contribution towards the whole European development  in  the
direction of maintaining peace, and in the belief that  they
are  thereby  best serving the manifold mutual interests  of
both German States, the Governments of the Federal State  of
Austria  and of Germany have resolved to return to relations
of  a normal and friendly character. In this connexion it is
     (1)   The   German  Government  recognizes   the   full
sovereignty of the Federate State of Austria in  the  spirit
of the pronouncements of the German Fhrer and Chancellor of
May 21, 1935.
     (2)  Each  of  the  two Governments regards  the  inner
political order (including the question of Austrian National-
Socialism)  obtaining in the other country  as  an  internal
concern of that country, upon which it will exercise neither
direct nor indirect influence.
     (3)  The  Austrian Federal Government  will  constantly
follow  in its policy in general, and in particular  towards
Germany,  a  line  in  conformity  with  leading  principles
corresponding to the fact that Austria
     By  such a decision neither the Rome Protocols of  1934
and their additions of 1936, nor the relationship of Austria
to  Italy  and  Hungary as partners in these protocols,  are
affected. Considering that the dtente desired by both sides
cannot become a reality unless certain preliminary

conditions are fulfilled by the Governments of both
countries, the Austrian Federal Government and the German
Government will pass a number of special measures to bring
about the requisite preliminary state of affairs.
                   No. 2
M. PUAUX, French Minister in Vienna,
     to M. YVON DELBOS, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
March 12, 1938.

     THIS  morning  German troops crossed  the  frontier  at
Bregenz, Innsbruck, Kufstein, Braunau and Salzburg.  In  the
latter town the German authorities have put under guard  the
Prince-Bishop, the Governor, and several prominent  Catholic
     Seventy  aeroplanes  have landed  a  battalion  of  the
Wehrmacht at the Aspern aerodrome in Vienna.
     Officers  of  the  Wehrmacht, the  S.A.  and  the  S.S.
arrived in Vienna during the night. German air squadrons are
maneuvering above the city.


            (March 12_15, 1938)
                   No. 3
M. FRANOIS-PONCET, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. YVON DELBOS, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
March 12, 1938.

     FIELD MARSHAL GOERING, during a reception he gave last
night, had a conversation with the Czechoslovak Minister. He
gave assurances that Germany had no evil intentions whatever
towards Czechoslovakia and that the latter State had
therefore nothing to fear from the Reich, and he gave his
word of honour to that effect. He then gave expression to
the hope that Czechoslovakia would not mobilize.
     Returning to his legation, M. Mastny informed Prague by
telephone of Field-Marshal Goering's communication. He  then
returned   to  the  reception  and  informed  the  Minister-
President  that, after having established contact  with  his
Government,  he  was  in  a  position  to  assure  him  that
Czechoslovakia would not mobilize. Field-Marshal Goering

then repeated what he had said before, adding that he was
not only speaking for himself, but in the name of the
Fhrer, who, having absented himself from Berlin for a time,
had placed all powers in his hands.
     This  morning,  towards  midday, Field-Marshal  Goering
called M. Mastny on the telephone. He informed him that  the
German troops had received orders to remain at 15 kilometres
from  the Czechoslovak frontier. M. Mastny replied  that  he
took  note  of  this,  but  that  his  Government  felt   it
indispensable  to  take  certain  police  measures  on   the
frontiers of his country. Field-Marshal Goering replied that
he had no objection to this.
     The  Czechoslovak Minister was again summoned yesterday
at 5.30 p.m., by Baron von Neurath.
     No doubt the conversation between M. Mastny and Field-
Marshal Goering, which betrays Germany's anxiety lest her
action should bring about the danger of a European war, has
not been considered sufficient.


                    No. 4
M. FRANOIS-PONCET, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. YVON DELBOS, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
March 12, 1938.

     BARON  VON  NEURATH merely repeated to the Czechoslovak
Minister,  on behalf of the Fhrer, the pacifying assurances
already given by Field-Marshal Goering.
     The  Czechoslovak  Minister  took  the  opportunity  to
declare  that  his  country  would  remain  perfectly  calm,
assured as it was of the loyalty of its Allies and of  their
support, should occasion arise.


                   No. 5
M. V. DELACROIX, French Minister in Prague,
     to M. YVON DELBOS, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
March 12, 1938.

     GERMANY'S  violent action against Austria is  naturally
considered by M. Krofta as an exceedingly serious menace  to
the  future of Czechoslovakia. But he does not believe  that
the  danger  is  immediate. He is of the  opinion  that  the
German Government is afraid that an action

against Czechoslovakia might lead to a general war, and the
declarations made by Field-Marshal Goering to M. Mastny are
a proof of this fear.
     The  Field-Marshal is said to have declared  yesterday,
at  11  p.m.  to the Czechoslovak Minister, that the  Berlin
Government  considered what was happening in  Austria  as  a
family  affair,  but that its relations with  Czechoslovakia
were  of an entirely different nature. Field-Marshal Goering
gave  his  word  of honour that that country  would  not  be
attacked by Germany.
     The   Field-Marshal  is  said  to  have  repeated  this
undertaking  a  little later during the night,  adding  that
this  time  he was doing so Officially, as Herr Hitler,  who
was for the moment in retirement, had entrusted him with the
direction of the State.
     Finally, this morning, Field-Marshal Goering is said to
have  telephoned to M. Mastny that, in order to prevent  any
incidents,  he had forbidden the German troops  to  approach
within  15 kilometres of the Czechoslovak frontier,  on  the
understanding  that  Czechoslovakia,  on  her  side,  should
abstain from any interference in Austro-German affairs.
     Yesterday,  at  5  p.m.,  on  an  inquiry  made  by  M.
Eisenlohr,  M.  Krofta  denied the rumour  that  the  Prague
Cabinet  had ordered mobilization or was thinking  of  doing
so.  At  the  request  of  the German  Minister,  M.  Krofta
repeated  this dmenti during the night, and the  newspapers
have  published  it  this morning.  The  Minister  has  also
described  as ridiculous the rumour that a great  number  of
Austrian   refugees   have   crossed   the   frontier   into
Czechoslovakia. It appears, in fact, that there are  in  the
country only between 90 and 100 refugees from Austria.
     M.  Krofta does not know whether they have returned  to
Austria.  The  Press  has  been advised  to  exercise  great
caution and moderation in commenting on the events.


                   No. 6
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. YVON DELBOS, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
March 12, 1938.

     THE Czechoslovak Minister has been received by Lord

and has pleaded the necessity of a positive demonstration in
favour of his country. He made the following suggestion:
     Our  Minister  in  Berlin, he said,  has  received  the
express assurance from Field-Marshal Goering that the  Reich
has  no  intention of encroaching upon the  independence  of
Czechoslovakia. The German Minister in Prague has  made  the
same declaration to M. Krofta.
     M.  Masaryk  asked  whether his  Government  might  not
inform   the  Foreign  Office  officially  of  this   double
declaration.  This  step would allow you  to  take  official
notice  of it and then to address a note to Berlin in  which
the  British Government would place on record the  assurance
given to Czechoslovakia.
     Lord Halifax noted this suggestion and promised to  put
it before the Prime Minister.


                   No. 7

M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. PAUL-BONCOUR, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
March 13, 1938.

     M.   MASARYK,  the  Czechoslovak  Minister,  acting  on
instructions  from  his Government, handed  to  the  Foreign
Office this morning a note in the following terms:
     "I  have reported to my Government the interview  which
you were good enough to grant me to-day.
     "I have in consequence been instructed by my Government
to   bring  to  the  official  knowledge  of  His  Majesty's
Government the following facts: Yesterday evening (the  11th
March) Field-Marshal Goering made two separate statements to
M. Mastny, the Czechoslovak Minister in Berlin, assuring him
that  the  developments in Austria will in no way  have  any
detrimental  influence on the relations between  the  German
Reich  and  Czechoslovakia,  and emphasizing  the  continued
earnest  endeavour on the part of Germany to  improve  these
mutual relations.
     "In  the  first  statement the Field-Marshal  used  the
expression: 'Ich gebe Ihnen mein Ehrenwort.'
     "In the second statement Field-Marshal Goering asserted
that, having given his own word previously, he was now  able
to  give  the  word  of  the head  of  the  State,  who  had
authorized him to take over temporarily his official duties.
He then repeated the above assurances.
     "To-day (the 12th March) Field-Marshal Goering asked M.
Mastny  to call on him, repeated yesterday's assurances  and
added  that  the German troops, marching into Austria,  have
strictest  orders  to keep at least 15 kilometres  from  the
Czechoslovak  frontier; at the same time  he  expressed  the
hope  that  no mobilization of the Czechoslovak  army  would
take place.
     "M.  Mastny was in a position to give him definite  and
binding  assurances on this subject, and to-day  spoke  with
Baron  von Neurath, who, among other things, assured him  on
behalf  of Herr Hitler that Germany still considers  herself
bound  by  the  German-Czechoslovak  Arbitration  Convention
concluded at Locarno in October 1925.
     "M.  Mastny  also  saw to-day Herr von  Mackensen,  who
assured him that the clarification of the Austrian situation
will tend to improve German-Czechoslovak relations.
     "The  Government of the Czechoslovak Republic  wish  to
assure  His  Majesty's Government that they are animated  by
the  earnest and ardent desire to live in the best  possible
neighbourly  relations with the German Reich.  They  cannot,
however, fail to view with great apprehension the sequel  of
events   in  Austria  between  the  date  of  the  bilateral
agreement  between Germany and Austria (July 11,  1936)  and
yesterday (March 11, 1938)."
     At  the  same  time,  M. Masaryk, speaking  personally,
expressed  to  Lord  Halifax  the  hope  that  the   British
Government  would  inform Berlin, in any manner  they  might
consider appropriate, but in an emphatic way, that they  are
aware of the assurances given by the Government of the Reich
to Czechoslovakia.
     The  document  translated above should,  until  further
notice, be regarded as confidential.


                   No. 8
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. PAUL-BONCOUR, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
March 14, 1938.

      FOLLOWING on the letter addressed yesterday by the
Czechoslovak Minister to Lord Halifax, the British
Ambassador in Berlin received instructions to call on Field-
Marshal Goering without delay, and to inform him of the
communication of the Czechoslovak Government, drawing his
attention particularly to the importance attached in
London to the assurances mentioned therein, and to their
full expectation that they would be respected. Sir Nevile
Henderson was at the same time instructed to ask whether the
British Government might publish the document, so as to
mitigate to some extent the emotion caused among the public
by the events in Austria.
     The  Czechoslovak  Minister has  just  heard  that  the
declarations  made to M. Mastny have been confirmed  to  the
British Ambassador by Field-Marshal Goering, and that Field-
Marshal  Goering had raised no objection whatever  to  their
publication.  His only reservations were in connection  with
the  arbitration  treaties, which, he said,  "concerned  the
Chancellor  and Baron von Neurath," and the implications  of
which he professed not to be fully aware.


                   No. 9
Extract from Mr. Neville Chamberlain's speech in the
         House of Commons on March 14,1938
     "I  am informed that Field-Marshal Goering on March  11
gave  a general assurance to the Czech Minister in Berlin_an
assurance which he expressly renewed later on behalf of Herr
Hitler_that it would be the earnest endeavour of the  German
Government to improve German-Czech relations. In particular,
on  March  12,  Field-Marshal  Goering  informed  the  Czech
Minister  that  German  troops  marching  into  Austria  had
received the strictest orders to keep at least 15 kilometres
from  the  Czech frontier. On the same day the  Czechoslovak
Minister  in  Berlin was assured by Baron von  Neurath  that
Germany  considered herself bound by the German-Czechoslovak
Arbitration Convention of October 1925."
                   No. 10
M. FRANOIS-PONCET, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. PAUL-BONCOUR, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
March 15, 1938.

     MR.  NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN, before referring publicly  in
his  speech of yesterday to the assurances given  by  Field-
Marshal  Goering concerning Czechoslovakia,  had  instructed
the  British  Ambassador in Berlin to ask the  Field-Marshal
whether he would authorize this Statement. The answer was in
the affirmative.


     Sir Nevile Henderson also received confirmation from
Field-Marshal Goering and Baron von Neurath that Germany
would, before the plebiscite of April 10, withdraw from
Austria the troops which had been sent there.


            (September 26, 1938)
                   No. 11
   Extract from Herr Hitler's speech at the Sports
        Palace in Berlin, September 26, 1938
     "And  now we are confronted with the last problem which
must  be  solved and which shall be solved. It is  the  last
territorial claim which I have to make in Europe, but it  is
a  claim  from  which I will not swerve, and  which  I  will
satisfy, God willing....
     "I  have  but few things to say. I am grateful  to  Mr.
Chamberlain for all his efforts, and I assured him that  the
German  people want nothing but peace; but I also  told  him
that I cannot extend any further the limits of our patience.
I  assured  him, moreover, and I repeat it here,  that  when
this  problem  is solved, there will be no more  territorial
problems  for Germany in Europe; and I further  assured  him
that   from  the  moment  when  Czechoslovakia  solves   its
problems,  that is to say, when the Czechs have come  to  an
arrangement with their other minorities, peacefully, without
oppression,  I shall no longer be interested  in  the  Czech
State.  And  this I guarantee. We don't want any  Czechs  at


         German Agitation Continued 
            Warning to Germany: 
      Letter from M. Georges Bonnet to Herr von
             (July 1-30, 1939) 
                  No. 149 
   Note by M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign
  Affairs, on his interview with Count von Welczeck, German
         Ambassador in Paris, July 1, 1939 
     I   HAVE   just  received  a  visit  from  the   German
Ambassador, whom I had asked to see me this morning.
     It  was  all the more desirable to see him in  that  M.
Coulondre  had  informed me that a  rumour  was  current  in
Berlin  to the effect that in the course of his recent  stay
in Berlin, Herr von Ribbentrop had instructed the Ambassador
to inform me that Germany had decided to seize Danzig.
     I therefore began by listening attentively to Count von
Welczeck, who spoke to me to the following effect:
     "It  is  only three days since I returned to Paris.  In
the  course  of my recent stay in Germany, I  saw  Herr  von
Ribbentrop in his country house, for he is unwell. We had  a
talk  together about Polish intentions. Herr von  Ribbentrop
made  serious  complaints about the ill-treatment  to  which
Germans are subjected in Poland. He considers that there are
two  parties  in Poland. One, the more reasonable,  realises
that a war between Poland and Germany would very rapidly end
in the defeat of Poland. To be sure, the Poles may entertain
the  hope  that  a  subsequent victory of France  and  Great
Britain, after the latter have come to their aid, would  re-
establish  them  in their rights; but meanwhile  they  would
have suffered the devastation of war and they would have had
enemy  soldiers  quartered among them for months  or  years,
which  is  never  very  pleasant. Side  by  side  with  this
reasonable  party, however, there is the party of hot-heads,
who are often in the pay of foreign agents. Above everything
else  they  want, for ideological reasons, to overthrow  the
National-Socialist  regime. They  are  ready  for  any  rash
action, they ill-treat the Germans, and they have war always
in view."
     The  Ambassador  does not think, however,  that  things
will take a
tragic turn. He proposes to stay in Paris for the next three
months,  and then go deer-stalking in Hungary. Nevertheless,
Herr von Ribbentrop considers that incidents may lead to war
between Poland and Germany at any momerit. Such a war  would
be  extremely popular in Germany."We in Germany,"  he  said,
"have an unrequited love for France. On the other hand,  the
German  people  have no love for the Poles, and,  in  a  war
against  Poland,  the Fhrer would have  the  whole  of  his
people behind him."
     Count  von Welczeck added, on his own account, that  it
was  regrettable that the question of Danzig  had  not  been
submitted   to   France  and  Great   Britain   before   the
Czechoslovak question; for, he said, this is really the last
claim of the Reich, though nobody can believe it.
     Finally,  the German Ambassador expressed  regret  over
the  refusal  to understand that Germany was entitled  to  a
zone   of  inlfluence  in  the  East,  which  was  perfectly
legitimate owing to Germany's geographical situation.
     After listening to Count von Welczeck, I replied:
     "On  the  morrow of the Munich Agreement, while  France
contemplated   large-scale   economic   collaboration   with
Germany,  she also accepted the idea that certain  countries
of   Central   Europe,  by  reason  of  their   geographical
situation, might have more extensive economic relations with
Germany  than with France. But at no time could France  have
dreamed  for a moment of giving Germany authority to violate
the frontiers of all her neighbours and establish herself in
Bucharest, Budapest or Warsaw."
     The  Ambassador  smiled and informed  me  that  such  a
project  had  never been in the minds of the rulers  of  the
     I added that, in the course of the conversation which I
had  had  with Herr von Ribbentrop, in Count von  Welczeck's
presence,  I  had  made formal reservations  respecting  our
relations  with  Poland and with the U.S.S.R.,  just  as  he
himself had made reservations respecting his relations  with
Italy. I had even pointed out to him that we had an alliance
with Poland, and Herr von Ribbentrop had said to me in reply
that  he was aware of the fact, and that it was a matter  of
indifference  to  him, since relations between  Germany  and
Poland were excellent.
     Count  von  Welczeck recognised that this was accurate,
and  added  that  Germany's relations with Poland  were,  in
fact, excellent at that time. The Poles had repeatedly  come
and  asked the Germans to give them Teschen, Oderberg,  part
of Slovakia, and a common frontier
with  Hungary.  They had been granted all  this.  Count  von
Welczeck was convinced that if, at that time, the Government
of  the Reich had said to Colonel Beck: "Very well, we  will
give you all this, but we must come to terms over Danzig and
the  Corridor," the matter would have been instantly settled
with the Poles.
     I   then  touched  on  the  question  of  German-Polish
relations, and insisted to Count von Welczeck that there was
by  no  means  any danger of war, provided that Germany  was
firmly resolved to maintain peace. The keys of peace or  war
were  not  in the hands of Poland, but in those of  Germany.
Count  von Welczeck was wrong in believing that counsels  of
violence  might  be  given  to  the  Poles  by  the  British
Government. I could assure him that it was not so. But I was
justifiably  anxious  about the  situation  which  had  been
created  in  Danzig. What was the meaning of the arms  which
had  been smuggled in there?-and of the S.S. men ? These did
not suggest very peaceful intentions.
     Count  von  Welczeck  replied that the  Danzigers  were
entitled to consider their own defence, in view of the  fact
that  they  could  see before their eyes a large  number  of
mobilised Polish troops; but he repeated that there  was  no
aggressive intention on Germany's part.
     I then told Count von Welczeck that he should entertain
no illusions about what the French attitude would be in such
an  eventuality. France had definite commitments to  Poland;
these  commitments  had been still further  increased  as  a
result  of  recent events, and in consequence  France  would
stand side by side with Poland immediately, I from the  very
moment Poland itself took up arms.
     I  then  read to Count von Welczeck the note which  had
been  drafted by the Political Department, and which covered
every case which might arise, including even the case, which
had  been  considered as possible, of  a  kind  of  internal
Putsch in Danzig.
     After reading this note, I told Count von Welczeck that
I  was  I  handing  it to him, and that I requested  him  to
reproduce  it in extenso in the telegram which he  would  be
dispatching to Herr von Ribbentrop. It was precisely because
I  had  met Herr von Ribbentrop in Paris and because  I  had
signed the Franco-German declaration that I did not want  to
leave  room  for the slightest misunderstanding between  the
French  Government and the German Government with regard  to
France's  attitude. If war should one day break out,  I  did
not want the Government of the Reich to be in a position  to
say:  "We  were not warned. The explanations of the Minister
for Foreign Affairs or of the
French  Government were not clear. We did not  know  exactly
what would be the reaction of the French Government." As  it
was, there could be no doubt. It was for this reason that  I
had  made a point, as an exceptional measure, of putting  my
views into writing.
     In  reply, Count von Welczeck told me that, in all  his
reports, he had not failed to inform his Government  of  the
precise  nature  of the French attitude,  and  that  he  had
repeatedly warned the Fhrer that France would stand side by
side  with  Poland in the event of war. "But," he continued,
"I  find it difficult to convince him, for we cannot  manage
to understand how Great Britain and France should commit the
mad  act  of  embarking upon war over Danzig,  when  leading
French statesmen, for the past fifteen years and even on the
morrow of the Treaty of Versailles, have recognised that the
statute of the Free City of Danzig could not last."  A  war,
moreover,  would  be  a  world catastrophe,  the  Ambassador
concluded,  for  the  French could  not  break  through  the
Siegfried Line any more than the Germans could break through
the  Maginot Line. Cities would be destroyed from  the  air,
but the war would not be ended in that way. Nevertheless, we
should be mistaken in believing that Germany could not stand
a  long war, for she has supplies which would enable her  to
do so.
     When  the Ambassador once more repeated that the Danzig
question  was  the last in which Germany was  interested,  I
told  him in reply that the Government of the Reich  already
had  behind it the Anschluss, the Munich Agreement, and  the
declaration of a protectorate over Bohemia on March 15,  and
that  therefore nobody could believe that this was really  a
final  claim,  for we should not fail to be  presented  with
     Finally,  I  told the Ambassador that he could  observe
the  unanimity with which the French nation had  rallied  to
the support of the Government. Elections would be suspended;
public  meetings  would  be  stopped;  attempts  at  foreign
propaganda  of  whatever kind would be suppressed;  and  the
Communists would be brought to book. The discipline and  the
spirit of sacrifice of the French people could not be called
in question by anybody.
     Count von Welczeck informed me that, on this point, all
his  reports made mention of the present admirable  attitude
of  the  French  people. He promised me that he  would  most
faithfully repeat to his Government the conversation we  had
had together, the importance of which he fully realised.
                  No. 150 
      Note handed by M. Georges Bonnet, Minister
     for Foreign Afiairs, to Count von Welczeck, German
 Ambassador, in the course of their conversation on July 1,
     I  RECEIVED  Herr von Ribbentrop in Paris a few  months
ago, and I signed with him the Franco-German declaration  of
December 6, 1938.
     The  personal relations which I formed with him on that
occasion  make  it  a duty for me at the present  moment  to
point  out to him very definitely the position of the French
Government,  and  to leave no doubt in his  mind  about  the
determination of France.
     In  December  last,  I clearly specified  to  Herr  von
Ribbentrop that the Franco-German declaration-in conformity,
for that matter, with the stipulation contained in Article 3-
could  not  be considered as affecting the special relations
of France with the countries of Eastern Europe.
     In  so  far as Poland, more particularly, is concerned,
events  since  then  have produced a  strengthening  of  the
French  alliance.  M. Daladier definitely indicated  in  his
declaration of April 13 last the scope of the engagements by
which the two countries are now linked.
     Today I make a point of recalling these commitments  to
Herr  von Ribbentrop's very special attention, and stressing
the  unshakeable determination of France to fulfil  them  by
exerting all her strength in support of her pledged word. At
a  moment  when  measures of all kinds are  being  taken  in
Danzig,   whose  scope  and  object  it  is   difficult   to
appreciate, it is particularly essential to avoid  any  risk
of  misunderstanding about the extent of the obligations and
about   the   attitude   of   the   French   Government:   a
misunderstanding whose consequences might be incalculable. I
therefore regard it as my duty to state definitely that  any
action,  whatever its form, which would tend to  modify  the
status  quo  in  Danzig, and so provoke armed resistance  by
Poland,  would bring the Franco-Polish agreement  into  play
and oblige France to give immediate assistance to Poland.
                  No. 151 
M. GAUQUI, French Charg d'Affaires in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 3, 1939.

     LAST  Friday a group of youths belonging to the "Hitler
Jugend" crossed the frontier in Pomerania. They were at once
arrested by Polish frontier guards and imprisoned. On  being
informed  of  this, the German Embassy intervened  with  the
Minister  for Foreign Affairs, who immediately  gave  orders
for the young Germans to be set at liberty.
     The  German  Press has not breathed a word  about  this
incident, nor, for that matter, has the Polish Press.
     It  was M. Beck who reported the incident to my British
colleague as a "significant fact."


                  No. 152 

M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 3, 1939.

     THE  Polish  Commissioner-General,  who  returned  from
Warsaw  this  morning,  told  me  that,  according  to   his
information,  the  Polish Government  has  no  intention  at
present of opposing the German military measures in progress
in  Danzig.  The  Government,  in  fact,  feels  that  great
prudence is enjoined on it by the responsibilities which  it
has  assumed towards Paris and London, that the preparations
in  question  are  up  to  the  present  only  defensive  in
character,  and that it is to its advantage  to  gain  time.
"Our  tolerance has limits," M. Chodacki said  to  me,  "but
they  have not yet been reached, and our conduct should have
great elasticity."
     I  asked him whether he would inform the Senate  as  to
these limits, and he replied in the negative.
     Finally,  according to him, the German  Government  was
still   conforming  to  diplomatic  usage  in  its  official
relations  with  the Polish Government  on  the  subject  of
Danzig. Thus, for instance, Berlin had just notified  Warsaw
of the call which the cruiser Knigsberg is  to make here on
August 28.



                   No. 153 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 4, 1939.

     As  I  have  reported  to  Your Excellency,  the  State
Secretary for Foreign Affairs asked me to call upon him last
Friday,  June 30. Since it may be supposed that he  did  not
summon  me  solely  in  order  to  convey  to  me  Herr  von
Ribbentrop's regrets that he was unable to receive me  owing
to  his  state of health, I wondered what might be the  real
reason which had led him to arrange this interview.
     In substance, Herr von Weizscker declared to me:
     (1)  That,  in  his opinion, there was  no  ground  for
anticipating a coup in Danzig from the German side.
     (2)  That  he believed in our determination to  support
Poland,  but  was  less convinced of  the  firmness  of  the
British attitude.
     (3)  That  certain slight indications led him to  think
that  M.  Beck  desired  to seek  a  basis  for  a  friendly
     What  is  happening  in  Danzig  which  is  arming   in
preparation for a siege, scarcely permits one to accept  the
reassuring statements made by the State Secretary  at  their
face  value.  The Free City would have no more reason  today
than  it  had  yesterday to put itself on a war  footing  to
resist a Polish attack, if it were not preparing itself,  on
the   orders  of  Berlin,  for  action  likely  to   provoke
intervention by Warsaw.
     The most favourable explanation of the remarks referred
to  under heading (1) above appears to me, therefore, to  be
that, while pursuing preparations for action in Danzig  from
within,  Herr  Hitler has not yet made up his mind,  and  is
consequently  assuming  towards  the  Powers   concerned   a
position  which  would  enable  him  to  procrastinate   and
possibly  even to cover at least a provisional retreat.  The
fact  that  he decided not to make a speech at the launching
of  the  cruiser  Ltzow  seems  to  lend  support  to  this
hypothesis.  On  his  side,  my British  colleague,  who  is
leaving today for London for a few weeks, tells me that  the
impression  which  he has formed from his  conversations  in
Government  circles is that the Fhrer has not yet  made  up
his  mind. The conversations I have had myself with  various
responsible persons in the Chancellor's entourage  leave  me
with  the impression that they do not know whether he  would
go  so  far as to risk a general war in order to settle  the
Polish affair. This may mean either that he has not
yet  reached his decision, or that these persons are unaware
what decision he has made.
     The  reassurances which, according to all  appearances,
Herr von Weizscker was instructed to convey to me, may also
have  another object; to lull the vigilance of  the  Western
Powers, in the hope that, when suddenly confronted with  the
fait  accompli,  they  will  confine  themselves  to  verbal
protests.  The  precedent of Bohemia is unfortunately  quite
recent.   Sir  Nevile  Henderson  received  from  Herr   von
Weizscker,  on  the  eve of the occupation  of  Prague,  an
assurance that the Reich "would behave in a proper way."
     As  for  the indications referred to in paragraphs  (2)
and  (3)  above, one may wonder whether they  are  not  both
alike intended to sap French resistance. I must at the  same
time  remark  that the opinion that Great Britain  will  not
hold to her position is unfortunately still very general  in
German  Government circles, and that moreover the indication
that  M.  Beck  was  seeking the basis  of  a  solution  was
reported  in the same terms to one of my colleagues  by  the
Italian Ambassador, which would seem to show that it is  not
without foundation.
     Furthermore,  whatever may be the precise  significance
of  Herr von Weizscker's declarations, they seem to me,  in
any  case,  to  throw into relief the importance  which  the
German  Government attaches to the attitude  of  the  Powers
concerned in the determination of its line of conduct in the
Danzig  affair. In this respect, the communication  made  by
Your  Excellency  to Count von Welczeck  on  July  1  should
enable  the  Chancellor to measure  the  risks  of  a  fresh


                   No. 154 

M. COUL0NDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 4, 1939.

     MY  Polish  colleague, whom I questioned  this  morning
about what he thinks of the situation, and about the way  in
which  his  Government  proposes to meet  it,  was  somewhat
evasive.  He  regards  as  an undoubted  fact  the  military
activity  proceeding  in Danzig: the arrival  of  militiamen
disguised as tourists, the importation of arms, the building
of army huts, the increase in numbers of the police. He also
feels that a time will come when the Polish Government  will
be  bound  to intervene; but he does not know, he  told  me,
either when or how.
     M.  Lipski  still  remains convinced  that  the  German
Government is putting the strength of the Allies' resistance
to  the test, but that it will not embark upon a general war
for  the  sake of Danzig. He seems not disinclined to  think
that the rumours which have recently been in circulation  on
the subject of an immediate Putsch in Danzig may well be  of
German  origin  and  have been put  about  with  a  view  to
ascertaining the reactions of the Western Powers.
     I  reported  to  him the indications  which  the  State
Secretary had given me regarding M. Beck's alleged desire to
seek the basis of an amicable solution. In reply, he told me
that  he  had no cognizance of any alteration in  M.  Beck's
     My  Polish  colleague showed himself  somewhat  anxious
about the situation in Slovakia. Certain signs, notably  the
presence   in  Berlin  of  two  members  of  the  Bratislava
Government, one of them being M. Tuka, lead him to fear that
the  German Government may be about to suppress what remains
of the independence of that country.


                   No. 155 

M. GARREAU, French Consul-General in Hamburg,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 4, 1939.

     THE German Press gives no information about the German-
Soviet  commercial  negotiations  at  present  in  progress.
Commercial  circles in Hamburg, however, which  are  usually
very  well informed, are under the impression that, if  some
agreement is not shortly concluded between London, Paris and
Moscow,  the Soviet Government will be prepared  to  sign  a
pact  of non-aggression with the Reich for a period of  five
     For  some  time  past there has been anxiety  in  those
circles  about the rapid evolution of the National-Socialist
system  in  the  direction of autarchy and collectivisation.
People  do  not disguise their fear of seeing this  tendency
still  further strengthened by political cooperation between
Berlin and Moscow. It is felt moreover that such cooperation
would  aggravate  the risks of an early  aggression  by  the
Reich   against  Poland  and  thus  precipitate  a   general


                   No. 156 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 6, 1939.

     FROM a series of conversations which he has just had in
military  circles, General Musse has derived the  impression
that,  in  order  to avoid figuring as an aggressor,  Poland
would proceed to great lengths in restraining its impatience
in face of the progressive militarisation of Danzig.
     Our  Military Attache thinks that the Polish Government
will  limit itself to platonic protests, unless a time comes
when  its  essential  interests are directly  threatened  in
Danzig.  It  will  react strongly only if  its  use  of  the
harbour, the Vistula, or the railway is impeded.


                   No. 157 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 6, 1939.

     M.  BECK  made  his  apologies for waiting  until  this
morning  to  receive me. He wanted, he said,  to  inform  me
about  the decisions that were reached yesterday evening  in
the  course  of a conference lasting four hours,  under  the
chairmanship of M. Moscicki, at which the Marshal, the Prime
Minister and himself were present
     In  the  course of this meeting the following decisions
were reached:
     The Polish Government remains resolved that its conduct
in  Danzig shall correspond to whatever action may be  taken
by  the  Hitler Government. For the time being,  progressive
militarisation  of the Free City does not appear  to  it  to
constitute, or as yet to be on the point of constituting,  a
reason  sufficient to justify a counter-stroke  which  would
run the risk of giving intervention by Poland the appearance
of  aggression. "Danzig," M. Beck said to me, "is under  our
guns.  Accordingly,  the  presence  in  that  city  of   the
equivalent  of  a whole division and a few guns  cannot,  in
itself,  seriously disturb us." This attitude  would  change
only  if and when Poland's essential interests (the  use  of
the  railway,  the  Vistula, or the harbour)  were  directly
     In  this  eventuality, moreover, the Polish  Government
would  in  the first place have recourse to measures  of  an
economic nature in order
to  defend  its rights, reserving other forms of  action  to
meet the most serious contingencies.
     I  brought M. Beck to the point of specifying that,  in
any  case, unless the march of events did not leave  it  the
necessary time, the Polish Government would subordinate  any
action  to previous consultation with the British and French


                   No. 158 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 6, 1939.

     IN  the course of our conversation, M. Beck said to  me
that it seemed to him preferable that the French and British
newspapers, without abstaining from informing their  readers
about  the  Nazi  intrigues in Danzig,  should  nevertheless
avoid  giving them too much importance or devoting too  much
space  to  them.  The  Polish  Press  has  received  general
directions   to   this   effect  and   is   observing   them
     M.  Beck indeed feels, as I myself have already  stated
to Your Excellency, that, if it did not take care to present
the  affairs of Danzig as one of the elements in  a  problem
which  would  continue to exist, even though there  were  no
longer any Danzig question, the Press would be playing  into
the hands of German propaganda. This propaganda is, in fact,
seeking  to  concentrate attention upon Danzig in  order  to
throw the other aspects of the situation into the background
and confuse public opinion in the Western countries.


                   No. 159 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 9, 1939.

     TEN days ago, at the very moment when the rumour spread
through  Europe that the problem of Danzig was on the  point
of receiving a "German solution"; while Dr. Goebbels's staff
seemed  to  be endeavouring to concentrate the attention  of
world opinion upon the Free City, as if to convince it  that
this problem constituted-incidentally, through the fault  of
Poland-the last obstacle to peace;
and  while  Count von Welczeck did not shrink from  assuring
Your Excellency that this was the Reich's last claim-at this
very  moment  the  Press service of the  Danzig  Senate  was
itself  circulating a booklet entitled Danzig:  What  is  at
stake? which contained this passage:
     "We  now  return  to  the solution of  the  fundamental
dispute  between Poland and Germany, which has been  put  on
one  side  since  1933. It is apposite  to  recall  in  this
connection  that, in so far as concerns Danzig the  Corridor
and  the  other  territories arbitrarily detached  from  the
Reich, it is a question of German soil, for whose possession
Poland  can  put forward no claim, either moral, historical,
civilising or cultural."
     It is, in fact, beyond any doubt no less than this that
is  in question at this moment in the eyes of the Germans as
regards Poland. The language used by those Germans who  live
in  Poland, or who come here on a visit, and even that which
one  may hear from the lips of certain close friends of Herr
von  Moltke,  clearly confirm it; and while, of  course,  my
German colleague personally shows himself much more prudent,
nobody  has ever heard him say that the annexation of Danzig
was the last of the Nazi claims.
     The  Poles are very well aware of the way in which  the
question  of  their relations with the Germans now  presents
itself, and they know the extent of the Teutonic appetite in
their  respect. It is this that explains why almost  all  of
them regard war with the Reich as inevitable.
     Whether  they share the latter view or not, the  rulers
of  the  country remain no less resolved-and the  moderation
which they display in their appreciation of the situation in
Danzig  definitely proves this-to do everything they can  in
order  that a conflict, if it cannot be avoided,  should  at
least be retarded as long as possible.


                   No. 160 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 10, 1939.

     IN  the  course  of a short stay in Danzig,  the  First
Secretary of this Embassy, from information given him by our
Consul   and   also  from  conversations   with   the   High
Commissioner   for  the  League  of  Nations,   the   Polish
Commissioner-General and certain Danzig authorities, has
gathered   some  interesting  impressions,  which   may   be
summarised as follows:
     (1) The wave of unrest which has been apparent for some
days  in  the Free City is appreciably on the ebb.  But,  in
order to estimate the significance and the extent, which  is
entirely  relative, of this regression, it  is  apposite  to
emphasize  the  fact that the effervescence which  had  been
observed  in  the Free City was considerably exaggerated  by
interested  propaganda and never presented the character  of
organised preparations for violent action.
     (2)  In  so far as can be ascertained, this appeasement
has  in  no way slowed down the militarisation of  the  Free
City, which is being methodically carried out.
     The  strength  of the police force has been  raised  to
3,000  men.  The  formation  of  the  Free  Corps  is  being
continued. Its nucleus was created out of 300 S.S. men  from
East Prussia, who wear on the sleeves of their uniforms  the
words  "Reichswehr  Danzig." The  barracks  contain  several
thousands of young men who have come from the Reich, but are
said  to  be  of  Danzig origin. Smuggling of arms  (rifles,
machine-guns,   anti-aircraft   batteries,   light    tanks,
aircraft,   etc.)  continues.  Entrance  to   the   Schichau
dockyard,  where this material is disembarked,  is  strictly
forbidden.  All the tailors and even all the dressmakers  of
the  Free City without exception have been requisitioned for
making uniforms.
     It  would  be  incorrect to say that these measures  of
rearmament  are  ostentatious, but they  are  known  to  the
authorities.  On the other hand, their rate, or  even  their
importance,  should not be exaggerated. In  any  case,  this
rearmament does not present the feverish character  of  such
measures as would be taken with a view to an early  coup  de
force.  It is a question rather of a progressive preparation
for  the  militarisation of the Free City, with  a  view  to
guarding against possibilities which perhaps do not  as  yet
present  themselves  in  a very definite  way  even  to  the
National-Socialists themselves.
     The Danzig authorities declare that the Free City wants
to  be in such a state "as not to allow itself to be invaded
without  resistance"  (like Prague!).  They  also  say  that
Danzig must defend itself against possible aggression by the
Poles.   This  argument,  for  that  matter,  is  not   pure
propaganda. It corresponds to a real anxiety on the part  of
the  population.  Recently,  while  in  Western  Europe  the
possibility of an approaching Putsch in Danzig was  kept  in
view, the Danzigers, for
their part, seem to have sincerely feared some such step  on
the part of Poland.
     (3)  In  considering the four elements-the  Poles,  the
Danzig population, the Party and the Senate-which constitute
the   local   elements   of  the  problem,   the   following
observations can be made:
     (a)  Between  the  Poles  and  the  Danzig  authorities
difficulties  are  endless. The Polish Commissioner-General,
M.  Chodacki, admits that every day he sees twenty or thirty
fresh  troubles arise. But both sides, for the  time  being,
avoid  turning them into incidents. The attitude assumed  by
the   Polish  Customs  inspectors  is  significant  in  this
respect. They shut their offices at night and appear not  to
notice the smuggling.
     In the course of his conversation with my colleague, M.
Chodacki  made  a  point of repeating that  Poland  remained
ready to negotiate. He has, he said, "a plan for negotiation
fully prepared" which M. Beck has approved. But for the time
being  it  is impossible to think of making use of  it.  "We
fall," he added, "between the rigid 'It is my will' of  Herr
Hitler, and the much more elastic Polish 'non possumus.'" It
is impossible to see for the moment in what way the distance
which separates them can be reduced.
     Meanwhile,  the  Poles continue to invest  considerable
sums  in  improvements in Danzig. They also point out  that,
during the first five months of the year, the traffic of the
port  (sailings of ships, tonnage) shows an increase  of  33
per cent over 1938.
     (b)  As  far  as  the Danzig population  is  concerned,
while,  before the present crisis, the proportion  of  those
who  wanted the maintenance of the existing status could  be
estimated  at  60  per cent, it is said at present  to  have
risen  to  at least 80 per cent. Opposition is  said  to  be
especially strong among the Catholics, many of whom  are  of
Polish  origin but have lost consciousness of the fact,  and
form 40 per cent of the population.
     Everybody  however  is agreed in recognising  that  the
feelings  of the Danzig population are of no importance.  It
appears  to be terrorized and is lavish with cries of  "Heil
     (c)  It  is  the  Party,  and, within  the  Party,  the
Gestapo,  to  whom all power belongs. But the  Party  simply
means  Berlin,  and in practice, Gauleiter Forster,  who  is
depicted  as  a kind of "butcher's assistant, and  a  jovial
fellow," who has belonged to the Party since his early youth
and has, apparently, the right of audience with Herr Hitler,
who likes him; but he is, of course, merely the Chancellor's
     (d)  Between the two is the Senate, which is  flattered
at figuring
as  a  Government  and at bottom more  or  less  shares  the
feelings  of the population, but is, of course,  obliged  to
speak and act as the Party decides.
     But the Senate is only a faade.
     In  observing the state of things at present prevailing
in  Danzig,  one  cannot help making a comparison  with  the
internal  situation  in  Austria  during  the  months  which
preceded  the  Anschluss; a population  without  enthusiasm,
sometimes secretly hostile, but passive; a Government  which
certainly  would  like to maintain the status  quo,  but  is
without  real power; finally, the Party, an active minority,
in fact the only active element.
     (4)  The  comparison which one is led to  make  between
Danzig  and  Austria is justified not only by  the  internal
situation  in  the Free City, but also by the methods  which
German policy seems for the moment disposed to employ there.
     In  order to attain her ends, Germany has hitherto  had
recourse  to  two  systems:  sometimes  surprise,  a  sudden
attack;  sometimes  slow preparation,  patient  waiting  for
favourable  circumstances. The Reich tried the first  method
in Austria at the time of the assassination of Dollfuss; but
it had to give way before Italy. It then sent Herr von Papen
to  Vienna and waited until the Western Powers' common front
had  dissolved. The success which attended the first  method
in  Czechoslovakia undoubtedly for a time led the rulers  in
Berlin  to  desire to act in a similar way  in  Danzig.  But
resistance  inside  the City, and the resolute  attitude  of
France and Great Britain, seem to have convinced them  that,
once again, they must have recourse to the second.
     There  are  many  indications  that  they  are  already
anxious  to  allay our watchfulness. The dmarche undertaken
by  Gauleiter  Forster's principal colleague,  Herr  Zarske,
Parliamentary  Press Chief and editor of the  Vorposten,  as
well  as  the  proposals  to the same  effect  put  to  High
Commissioner  Burckhardt by the Gauleiter of  East  Prussia,
Herr  Koch, although he is Herr Forster's sworn enemy,  seem
significant in this respect. Herr Zarske insistently repeats
that  "Danzig is really not worth a war." At the same  time,
Herr Zarske is anxious to a degree that is quite remarkable,
to  brush aside the memory of the Czechoslovak precedent. He
has  admitted that "this expedition was a mistake," and even
added that "in Berlin they do not know how to get out of  it
and would be very glad to find a solution...."
     No  doubt,  the progressive movement in this direction,
which everybody agrees is clearly taking place in Danzig, is
as yet only in its
initial  stage. Obviously many considerations or  fortuitous
incidents  may  change  its  course,  particularly  if  Herr
Hitler,  who  for the moment seems to want to trade  on  his
credit  in  order  to  make  the  Danzigers  wait  for   the
fulfilment of his promises, should be led to think that this
might be regarded as a sign of retreat.
     In  any  case,  there is one fact about  which  foreign
observers  in Danzig are unanimous. It is that it is  proper
not  to attach too much importance to the daily vicissitudes
in  the  little provincial world of the Free City. They  may
indeed,  these observers recognize, possess their  value  as
pointers and serve as a barometer; but the final issue lies,
and  will  continue to lie, between Berlin and  Warsaw,  and
between Berlin, London and Paris.


                  No. 161 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 11, 1939.

     A PERSON of high standing in National-Socialist circles
has made the following declarations to one of my colleagues:
     "Herr  von  Ribbentrop no longer  enjoys  the  Fhrer's
absolute  confidence. The Fhrer has given expression  to  a
certain  number  of  grievances  against  his  Minister.  In
particular,  he reproaches Herr von Ribbentrop  with  having
wilfully  concealed  from him several items  of  information
proving  the high war-potential of Great Britain.  Moreover,
he   accuses  his  Minister  of  having  committed  him,  in
connection  with  Danzig, to a difficult  undertaking  which
runs  the  risk  of  compromising Germany's  prestige  if  a
satisfactory solution is not soon found.
     "It  must  be  borne in mind that the  raising  of  the
Danzig  question  is Herr von Ribbentrop's  personal  doing.
However,  when he undertook the campaign for restoring  this
territory  to  the Reich, he did not realise that  he  would
meet with firm resistance on the part of the Western Powers.
     "It  seems  that  the Poles might still make  proposals
which  our  Government would agree to consider.  Of  course,
Warsaw would have to make substantial concessions to us, but
it   is  not  yet  too  late  to  contemplate  an  agreement
satisfactory to the two parties.
     "Moreover, the Poles would have everything to  gain  by
to  negotiate. For a conflict, whatever its issue might  be,
would in any case be fatal to them.
     "In fact either Poland would be defeated, and she would
then  fall entirely under our domination; or else (a  highly
improbable eventuality, for that matter), with the  help  of
Russia,  she would emerge victorious from the war.  In  this
case,  the  Russians  would never  reconcile  themselves  to
leaving the country, and that would be the end of Poland.
     "Have  you  not  been struck recently by  the  somewhat
changed tone of our Press towards Poland? You no longer find
accounts of Polish-German incidents. Nevertheless, according
to  our  information, the people of Poland continue, on  the
most trivial grounds, to molest our nationals living in  the
country. Our Minister wants to hold out a hand to the Warsaw
Government for one last time.
     "The Government, and especially those in control at the
Wilhelmstrasse,  view  the future with  some  anxiety.  They
realise that the feeling of hatred for Germany grows  daily.
Only yesterday, this hatred, this indignation, were peculiar
to  the rulers of certain States. Today, it looks as if  the
masses had been won over to these feelings. This development
is especially noticeable in the case of Great Britain."
     The  foregoing information must, of course, be accepted
with  reservations. It is, however, noteworthy,  because  of
the  standing of my informant, who certainly seems to be  in
the confidence of the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
     Moreover, it does as a whole tally closely enough  with
the  impression  which emerges from a study  of  the  German
newspapers, and also with information which I have  gathered
     The  Press campaign against Poland, which in  any  case
never  attained  the violence of the attacks  directed  last
year   against  Czechoslovakia,  has  recently  become  more
circumspect. Aggressive headlines and polemical articles are
reserved  for Great Britain. Incidents between  Germany  and
Poland  are  related  without  comment  and  are  not  given
prominence. Several papers have declared that Danzig is  not
a  casus  belli,  and the Deutsche Allgemeine  Zeitung  even
seems   to  invite  negotiation,  when  it  writes  that   a
reasonable  solution  is  entirely  within  the  bounds   of
possibility.  A  similar note is to be heard  in  Government
circles, where it is given to be understood that there would
be  no  refusal to negotiate if Poland were to  put  forward
     In  fact, Berlin has been surprised by the firmness  of
resistance  in  the matter of Danzig, and some embarrassment
is felt about it.
     While  noting this result, one should at the same  time
guard  against  concluding from it that the Third  Reich  is
ready  to  renounce Danzig. Not only is there no retreat  on
this  point,  but there is not even, properly speaking,  any
"marking time," since the militarisation of the Free City is
being carried on, while in Germany reservists continue to be
called  to the colours in numbers which, by the end  of  the
month  of  August,  in the opinion of our Military  Attache,
will reach one million men.
     On  the  contrary, Germany pretends that  all  that  is
claimed  is Danzig, which represents the Reich's  very  last
demand.  In order to know what to think about the  sincerity
of this assertion, one need only question Germans other than
those whose business it is to present the official point  of
view. There is not one of them who does not smile at such  a
question.  What Germany wants in Poland, obviously,  is  the
restoration  of  the frontiers of 1914. But  Danzig  is  the
point  of  least  resistance, and at this point  Germany  is
trying  to repeat the manauvre of infiltration which  proved
so  successful with Sudetenland. It hopes, by taking Danzig,
to  secure possession of the key which will open for it  the
gate to Poland.
     It  is  for  this reason, since intimidation no  longer
seems  likely  to  work,  that an attempt  is  made  to  add
persuasion  to  it  in order to shake the  attitude  of  the
Western Powers. With Danzig, Germany puts a full-stop to her
demands;  Europe  can  at  last breathe.  I  should  not  be
surprised  if, in using the words reported above,  Herr  von
Ribbentrop's associate had not been more or less wittingly a
party to this manoeuvre.
     Accordingly, it seems to me essential that  the  Allied
Governments,  who  see  the  trap,  should  strive   to   do
everything in their power to open the eyes of public opinion
in their respective countries. In order to avoid playing the
German game, it is important not to deal with the problem of
Danzig  separately,  but to keep in  mind  the  Czechoslovak
precedent  and  the  Reich's real  ambitions.  Why  give  up
Danzig,  when  we  know that Germany wants infinitely  more?
And,  even  if there were a chance that the Reich  would  be
satisfied  with  it, why run the risk of weakening  Poland's
morale,  since it is quite obvious that, if the  Reich  does
not want more, it will not undertake a universal war for  so
restricted an objective?
     Althongh  well aware of the facts, French  and  British
public opinion must realise that any pressure upon Warsaw in
order to
bring  it to yield to the German demands could only lead  to
the  worst  catastrophes, and that it rests with Poland,  of
its  own free will, and confident of Franco-British support,
to determine how far it can go to reach an agreed settlement
without  jeopardising its vital interests.  Whether  Germany
proceeds  by  trickery  or by threat,  the  means  which  it
employs  should  not make us forget the  fact  that  we  are
involved in a test of strength the issue of which may decide
the  fate  of Europe; in this respect, the wavering attitude
of  the  Reich  as it takes the measure of our reaction  can
only cause us to persevere in a policy of firmness.


                   No. 162 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 13, 1939.

     BEING  due  to leave Berlin to-morrow evening,  I  went
this  morning  to  see  the  State  Secretary,  to  whom   I
introduced M. de Saint-Hardouin.
     Herr  von  Weizscker once again told me that,  without
wishing  to  look  too  far into the future,  he  personally
retained  the  belief that nothing would  happen  in  Danzig
which  could cause serious complications. According to  him,
the  danger of a conflict with Poland was still only  to  be
found  in the state of excitement of the population  and  of
the Polish local authorities, which might give rise to fears
that a serious incident might occur any day.
     At  the same time I found the State Secretary less easy
in  manner  than during our recent interviews. He  mentioned
with   obvious  displeasure  the  communication  which  Your
Excellency  had  made  to Count von  Welczeck.  "The  German
Government,"  he informed me, "is preparing a reply  to  it,
and  I  may  tell you that it will not lend  itself  to  any
     I pointed out that the German Government could not have
misinterpreted the spirit in which this step had been taken,
since  Your  Excellency  had  been  careful  to  show,  with
reference  to  the  declaration  of  December  6,  that  you
considered  it  an obligation of honesty to specify  clearly
the French Government's position in regard to the problem of
Danzig. But Herr von Weizscker evaded discussion, declaring
that he did not want to anticipate the reply which would
be  made  to us, and went on to talk about Mr. Chamberlain's
latest  statement in the House of Commons. "While it may  be
useful  to  define one's attitude clearly," he said,  "there
can be no justification for the endless repetition of public
declarations indulged in by the British Government."
     I  remarked that the Prime Minister's speech  was  very
cool  and very objective, and that to my knowledge this  was
the  first time that he had defined the British Government's
attitude concerning Danzig.
     But Herr von Weizscker did not agree with this. Such a
speech,  according  to him, could only have  the  effect  of
diminishing  the  possibilities of a friendly  understanding
still  further  by  hardening the present attitude  of  both
parties.   What  hope  was  there  that  the   Poles,   thus
encouraged, would be conciliatory? Moreover, the Reich could
not be affected by any intimidation.
     After pointing out that the same applied to the Western
Powers and that, moreover, I had found no wish to intimidate
in Mr. Chamberlain's statements, I asked the State Secretary
whether   at   the   moment  he  saw  any   possibility   of
conversations with Warsaw.
     "If  I  may  refer  to the information  about  Warsaw's
position  to  be found in the Polish Press," he replied,  "I
see none, for we are really worlds apart. I believe that for
the  time being there is nothing better to do than  to  wait
and keep as quiet as possible."
     The  State  Secretary's  tone  unmistakably  shows  the
impression produced upon the German Government by the  clear
and  resolute  attitude of the Western Powers in  regard  to
     Mr.    Chamberlain's   declaration,   in    particular,
unpleasantly surprised those who, like Herr von  Ribbentrop,
wished  to  cast  doubts  upon  the  possibility  of   armed
intervention  by  Great Britain in the event  of  a  German-
Polish conflict.
     Now  that our attitude is so clearly defined, and  that
it  is  known, moreover, to the German Government, I believe
that  it would be better to keep silent about Danzig, in  so
far  as  that depends on us. Anything which tends to  foster
polemics on this question could only make a waiting attitude
or an eventual retreat more difficult for the Reich.
     Lastly,  while it is impossible to foresee the decision
which Herr Hitler may take, at least it is essential not  to
throw  into  the  scales considerations of  prestige,  which
weigh heavily in totalitarian States.


                  No. 163 
  Personal letter addressed by Herr von Ribbentrop,
 German Minister for Foreign Affairs, to M. Georges Bonnet,
        French Minister for Foreign Affairs

                                   Fuschl, near Salzburg,
July 13, 1939.

     ON  July  1  you  handed to Count von Welczeck  a  note
personally  intended for me, which obliges me  now  to  make
known  to  you,  clearly  and in  a  manner  free  from  any
misunderstanding, the attitude of the German Government with
regard  to  Franco-German  relations  in  general,  and  the
question of Danzig in particular.
     On  December 6, 1938, the French and German Governments
signed  a declaration in accordance with which they solemnly
recognised the existing frontiers between France and Germany
as  finally fixed, and according to which also they  desired
to  use  all their efforts for the establishment of peaceful
and good neighbourly relations between the two countries.
     On  the  side  of  the Government of  the  Reich,  this
declaration  was  the  logical  sequel  to  the  policy   of
understanding  with France continually followed  ever  since
that  Government  came  into  power;  a  policy  which,   in
principle, it would still wish to maintain.
     As  to  your  remark about the reservation recorded  in
Article  3  of the Franco-German declaration concerning  the
special relations France and of Germany with regard to third
Powers,  it is unquestionably not correct to say  that  this
reservation  implies  a  recognition  of  France's   special
relations with Poland. In the conversations which took place
in   Berlin  and  Paris  at  the  time  of  the  preliminary
negotiations on the subject of the declaration, and  on  the
occasion  of the signature, it was on the contrary perfectly
clear that the reservation referred to the special relations
of friendship of France towards Great Britain and of Germany
towards Italy. We were in agreement, in particular,  at  the
time  of our conversations in Paris on December 6, 1938,  in
considering that respect for vital reciprocal interests must
be  the  prior  condition and the principle  of  the  future
development of good Franco-German relations.
     On  that occasion, I expressly pointed out that Eastern
Europe  constituted  a  sphere  of  German  interests,  and,
contrary  to what is stated in your note, you then  stressed
on your part, that, in France's
attitude  with regard to the problems of Eastern  Europe,  a
radical change had taken place since the Munich conference.
     In direct contradiction to this attitude established by
us  at the beginning of December stands the fact that France
has  taken  advantage of the Fhrer's generous  proposal  to
Poland  for the settlement of the question of Danzig and  of
Poland's  somewhat peculiar reaction, in order  to  contract
with  that country fresh commitments, strengthened and aimed
at  Germany. At the end of your note, these commitments  are
defined  in  such  a way that any military  intervention  by
Poland, on the occasion of any departure from the status quo
in  Danzig,  would  lead France to give  immediate  military
assistance to Poland.
     With regard to this policy of the French Government,  I
have the following comments to make:
     (1)  Germany,  just  as  it  has  never  interfered  in
France's  vital  interests, must reject, once  for  all  and
categorically, any interference by France in its spheres  of
vital   interest.  Germany's  relations  with  its   Eastern
neighbours,  whatever form they assume,  in  no  way  affect
French  interests;  they are a matter  which  only  concerns
German policy. Accordingly the Government of the Reich  does
not  find  itself in a position to discuss with  the  French
Government questions concerning German-Polish relations,  or
to  recognise  its  right  to exercise  any  influence  upon
questions dealing with the future settlement of the  destiny
of the German city of Danzig.
     (2)  For  your  personal guidance, I beg  to  make  the
following  statement about the German point of view  in  the
Polish question:
     The  Polish  government  has replied  to  the  Fhrer's
historic and unique offer, aiming at the settlement  of  the
question  of  Danzig  and at a definitive  consolidation  of
German-Polish relations, by threats of war which can only be
described as strange. At the present moment it is impossible
to  say whether the Polish Government will depart from  this
peculiar position and return to reason. But, as long  as  it
maintains  the unreasonable attitude which it has  taken  up
one  can  only  say  that any violation of  Danzig  soil  by
Poland,  or  any  Polish provocation incompatible  with  the
prestige  of the German Reich, would meet in reply  with  an
immediate march by the Germans and the total destruction  of
the Polish army.
     (3) The statement already mentioned, which is contained
in  the  final  sentence  of  your  note,  would,  if  taken
literally,  mean  that France recognises Poland's  right  to
oppose  by arms any departure in any respect from the status
quo in Danzig, and that, if Germany declines
to  tolerate  that violence should thus be  done  to  German
interests, France will attack Germany. If such was  in  fact
the  purpose  of French policy, I would beg you to  consider
that  such threats could only further strengthen the  Fhrer
in   his  resolve  to  ensure  the  safeguarding  of  German
interests  by all the means at his disposal. The Fhrer  has
always desired Franco-German understanding and described  as
madness a fresh war between the two countries, which are  no
longer separated by any conflict of vital interests. But, if
we  have  reached a point where the French Government  wants
war, it will find Germany ready at any moment. It would then
be  the  French Government alone which would  have  to  bear
before  its  people and before the world the  responsibility
for such a war.
     Because of the pleasant personal relations which I  was
able  to  form with Your Excellency on the occasion  of  the
signature of the declaration of December 6, 1938,  I  regret
that  your note constrains me to make this reply.  I  should
not  like  to abandon the hope that in the end, reason  will
prevail and that the French people will recognise where  its
real  interests are to be found. Since I have devoted myself
for  more  than twenty years to Franco-German understanding,
this would also represent to me personally the fulfilment of
a deeply felt wish.
very sincerely,
                                                 JOACHIM VON
                   No. 164 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 13, 1939.

     THIS  Embassy  has recently reported  to  the  Ministry
numerous  signs of abnormal activity in the German army  and
of  Germany's obvious preparations for the possibility of an
impending war.
     The  time  seems  to  have come, by coordinating  these
reports,  to attempt to take bearings in order to  determine
what measures remain to be taken by Germany to make it ready
to go to war; what delay the execution of these measures may
demand; and, especially, how and how long before an  act  of
aggression  we  can  ascertain that the  executiOn  of  last
minute  measures has begun. In other words, in  the  present
state  of  affairs, do we run the risk of finding  ourselves
prised by a war suddenly begun before we have been able to
learn of the German Government's decision to take such a
     The  most significant information obtained by us so far
bears upon the following points:
     (1)  Units  of  the  German  Army  are  changing  their
stations  constantly. Given the direction of these  changes,
apparently somewhat haphazard, it seems to be a question  of
manoeuvres  rather  than of a concentration  leading  to  an
imminent  conflict. In any case, the military activity,  the
intensity  of  the instruction and training  of  units,  and
their   bringing   up  to  strength  with  reservists,   are
perfecting the instrument which may some day be used. On the
other  hand, the ceaseless coming and going of these  units,
the  secrecy  maintained  about  their  movements,  and  the
increasingly frequent summons to reservists, are of  such  a
nature  as to facilitate operations of concentration,  which
at  the outset would not arouse attention because they would
not  present symptoms very different from those actually  in
existence today.
     It  may,  therefore,  be  asked whether  this  military
activity  and the precautions taken, as much to conceal  the
operations  effected (the numbers of the  regiments  on  the
move have in most cases been taken off their uniforms) as to
let  it be known that such operations are in progress  (some
reservists  are  called up long in advance,  and  the  Press
keeps on referring to fortification works being effected  in
the  East),  are at least not partly intended to  render  it
more  difficult to recognise the transition from this  state
of semi-mobilisation to a state of war.
     (2) The departure of troops on manoeuvres leaves in the
garrison  towns the impression that it will be a long  while
before  the regiments return to their quarters. In fact,  it
is  reported  that  some units have  set  off  after  making
arrangements like those taken before leaving for the  front.
For instance, identity discs have been issued to the men and
they have been instructed to make a note of the addresses of
their  families  in the individual bundles  in  which  their
personal effects are assembled.
     (3)  The  calling-up of the classes of  reservists  who
would  normally  have  been summoned  in  October  has  been
advanced.  The  reservists who should have  been  discharged
have been kept with the colours. One may anticipate that  by
the  month  of  August the German Army, in addition  to  its
normal  effectives, will muster nearly a  million  mobilised
     (4)  The gathering of the harvest has been accelerated.
With  this  object in view, the Minister for  Education  has
decided this year to fix
July  14,  instead of August 1, as the end of  the  term  in
places  of  higher  education  and  technical  schools.  The
students  who  benefit by this earlier release  must,  until
August 1, devote to harvest work the fortnight thus deducted
from their studies.
     In addition, one may note the haste with which supplies
are being accumulated.
     (5)  This  anxiety  to be rapidly provided  with  every
essential for war, often leads to the preference for what is
quickly obtainable over something better. For instance,  the
aircraft factories are said to have received orders to carry
on  the building of planes, despite the fact that they  will
soon be out of date, rather than lose the time necessary; to
adapt  their  workshops to the construction  of  the  latest
     (6)  With  the accomplishment of the partial occupation
of the Western fortifications, which, thanks incidentally to
these  ceaseless changes of garrison, could be progressively
occupied  without  appreciably modifying  the  plan  of  the
manccuvres   now   in   progress,   the   construction    of
fortifications  in  the  East  is  being  pressed   forward,
especially in Silesia. Both military and civilian labour  is
employed  upon  it,  and this task takes precedence  of  all
other public works, which are being slowed down.
     These various facts allow one to conclude that all  the
measures preparatory to war are now being taken. The  German
General  Staff is acting as though it had to be ready  by  a
date which has been set out for it, and this date, according
to  all appearance, will fall in the course of the month  of
August,  at  which period the harvest will be gathered,  the
fortifications  will be ready, and the  reservists  will  be
assembled in large numbers in the camps.
     But  even were all the measures now in process of being
carried  out  fully executed would it then  be  possible  to
launch an offensive, overnight? It seems, in the opinion  of
the  officials  of  this  Embassy, that  there  will  remain
certain  measures preparatory to immediate action which  can
only be taken at the last moment. From the military point of
view  these  measures will mainly consist in  bringing  into
position the covering and shock units; from the naval  point
of  view  in the recall of ships now on the high seas;  from
the  point  of  view of the air force in  the  putting  into
effect of the arrangements for air defence.
     In  respect of operations on land, the rapidity of  the
final  preparations and the greater or lesser facility  with
which  we may become aware of them will depend first of  all
on  the extent of the operations contemplated. It is certain
that the existing camouflaging and the
fact  that  the  population is accustomed to  the  sight  of
manoeuvres  of  which in any case they  no  longer  dare  to
speak,  since  they  know  that  any  indiscretion  will  be
severely  punished, will make it possible  to  pass  without
very  much  difficulty, if the extent of the  operations  in
view  is  limited, from the stage of manoeuvres to  that  of
concentration.  This, however, can only be the  case  if  we
assume  that Germany will decide on a defensive war  in  the
West  and  that any attack which might be launched  at  some
other point will require only a small number of effectives.
     In respect of naval operations, the necessity of giving
instructions   to  German  ships  to  change   their   route
sufficiently   in  advance  will  undoubtedly   compel   the
competent  authorities to acquaint the commanders  of  these
units  of  the  risk  of  war several  days  beforehand.  By
following  carefully the movements of  the  German  war  and
merchant  ships, we may be able to obtain the most  definite
and  probably the earliest possible indications of any final
decision of the Chancellor.
     In  respect  of  the air force plans, it seems  certain
that,  particularly in view of the dread of air raids  which
exists here, the German Government will not risk entering on
war  without  having protected its towns against retaliatory
raids. The placing and making effective of the anti-aircraft
defences   and  the  instructions  given  to  the   civilian
population  for  protective measures cannot pass  unnoticed.
Last  September  and last March it was possible  to  foresee
several days in advance, through the preparations for  anti-
aircraft  gunnery,  that  some  action  was  imminent.   The
experience gained by the German authorities in that  respect
will  undoubtedly enable them to devote less  time  to  such
preparations on the next occasion. In any case, however,  it
seems  impossible  that they should be postponed  until  the
very last day.
     From  these  different considerations it follows  that,
though Germany is able to put her army on a war footing very
rapidly, the circumstances are nevertheless not such  as  to
expose us to a surprise attack, as far as operations of  any
real importance are concerned.
     Everything that has been done up to the present  moment
seems to have a twofold object:
     (1)  To  be  prepared for any eventuality  from  August
     (2)  Most likely also to impress international  opinion
by behaving as though the possibility of war were accepted.


                  No. 165 
M. DE SEGUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 19, 1939.

     THE  information, which appeared yesterday in the  News
Chronicle   as   coming  from  German  circles  representing
moderate  opinion to the effect that the Fhrer proposed  to
settle  the  Danzig question by having himself nominated  as
President  of  the  Senate of the Free City,  has  caused  a
violent reaction in Polish Government circles.
     A  communique  from the Pat Agency was  issued  in  the
afternoon denying:
     (1)   That  political  conversations  between  the  two
Governments had taken place on the settlement of the various
points at issue between the two countries;
     (2)  that the Polish Government could ever agree  to  a
settlement  of  the  question of Danzig which  involved  the
abandonment  of  the four basic points in  the  attitude  of
Poland towards this problem;
     (3)  that  the  Polish Government could accept  without
reacting in an appropriate manner any new action in  respect
of  the  Danzig situation of such character as  to  threaten
their vital interests.
     The  communique adds that the fact that the sources  of
the  information are Rome and Berlin makes  it  possible  to
assess its true value.
     Putting  together  the report in the English  newspaper
and  the  rumours current yesterday in the western capitals,
which  provoked  a strong reaction in the  French  Press,  I
asked  the  Director  of the Western  Section  this  morning
whether  in his opinion we were not faced with a new  German
manoeuvre, differing from previous manoeuvres in  its  field
of  action, but directed to the same end as thataimed at  by
the  Hitler Government at the end of June. Count Potocki had
not  yet been able to form a general conclusion for lack  of
precise  information concerning these rumours. He  did  not,
however, dismiss the possibility of a new German feeler.


                  No. 166 

M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 20, 1939.

     THE    Gauleiter,   who   returned   on   Monday   from
Berchtesgaden,  received a visit from the High  Commissioner
     According  to  Herr  Forster,  Herr  Hitler  was  still
determined  to obtain authorisation for the construction  of
an   extra-territorial  motor  road  across   the   Corridor
accompanied  by the return of Danzig to the  Reich,  but  he
would  not have recourse to war to secure these concessions;
if   Poland  refrains  from  all  provocation,  measures  of
demobilisation will be taken some weeks hence  in  the  Free
City.  A violent anti-Polish article by the Gauleiter  would
mark the end of the present campaign.


                   No. 167 

M. DE SEGUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 20, 1939.

     MY  British  colleague  has just  informed  me  of  the
interview  which he and General Ironside had yesterday  with
Marshal Rydz-Smigly and M. Beck.
     General  Ironside  started by  giving  the  Marshal  an
assurance  that  Poland  could  rely  absolutely  on   Great
Britain. He then availed himself of this assurance to put to
these  gentlemen certain definite questions  on  the  action
contemplated  by  the  Polish Government  in  the  different
eventualities which might occur at Danzig. The questions put
and   the  answers  given,  sometimes  by  the  Marshal  and
sometimes  by  M.  Beck,  when  the  Marshal  referred   the
questions to him, were as follows:
     (1)  What will Poland do if the Anschluss is purely and
simply proclaimed without any such military demonstration as
the entry of German troops, etc.?
     Reply: Poland considers that a protest should be lodged
in Berlin by the three Powers.
     (2)  What  will  Poland do if units of  the  Reichswehr
openly occupy the territory of the Free City?
     Reply:  The Polish General Staff will send officers  to
the  commandant  of such units to demand an  explanation  of
such an action.
     Such are the replies given from the Polish side to  the
questions  put by the British General. They do  little  more
than  define  the procedure which would be  adopted  in  the
circumstances  suggested, without giving any  indication  of
the   Polish  reaction  if  the  Germans  refused  to   take
cognizance of protests against an accomplished fact.
     When   General   Ironside   spoke   of   the   possible
consequences of an "incident," the Marshal replied that  the
Germans  were  indeed  capable of  adopting  such  means  of
provoking  hostilities, but that, if they did so, they  were
bound  to  disclose their intentions in advance through  the
preliminary  measures  they must take before  proceeding  to
action. General Ironside asked what the actual situation was
from this point of view. The Marshal replied that the German
military  activities seemed to be directed towards  attempts
at  intimidation, but that for the time being they  did  not
seem to indicate arrangements for a possible conflict in the
near future.


                  No. 168 

Personal Letter from
M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to Herr von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister

July 21, 1939.
     I  am  in receipt of the letter you wrote to me, marked
"Personal," in reply to the communication I myself  sent  on
July 1 to Count von Welczeck.
     There  is  one  point  which  I  am  anxious  to   make
absolutely  clear. At no moment either before or  after  the
declaration  of  December 6, has it been  possible  for  the
German  Government  to  think that  France  had  decided  to
disinterest herself in the East of Europe.
     At  the  time  of the conversations of  December  6,  I
reminded you that since 1921 we had had a treaty of alliance
with Poland and since 1935 a pact with the U.S.S.R., both of
which  we  are determined to maintain. I then gave  definite
assurances on this point to the Ambassadors of Poland and of
the  U.S.S.R. by communications, which were given the widest
publicity in the Press. I remember, moreover, that
at  the time when I reminded you of the treaties which bound
us  to  Poland,  you were good enough to  reply  that  these
treaties  could not do any harm to Franco-German  relations,
since  your  own  relations with Poland were  at  that  time
     I  was the less surprised at the assurance you gave  me
since,  three months earlier, Herr Hitler had, in his speech
at  the Sports Palace in Berlin on September 26, referred to
the German-Polish agreement as a model of its type:
     "Within  barely one year we succeeded,"  he  said,  "in
arriving  at  an understanding with him (Marshal  Pilsudski)
which  by  its  very nature has removed the  possibility  of
conflict,  at  all events for ten years. We are  all  of  us
convinced  that this understanding will lead  to  a  lasting
peace. We appreciate that we have here two peoples who  have
to  live  side  by  side. A country  with  a  population  of
thirtythree millions will always seek access to the sea;  it
was  therefore  necessary to find the way to  an  agreement.
This  has  been  found and is steadily being developed.  The
decisive  factor should be a firm determination on the  part
of  the two Governments, and all reasonable and level-headed
men  among the two peoples and in the two countries, to work
for a constant improvement of their mutual relations."
     In  addition to this, in the course of our conversation
on December 6, one of the most pressing requests which I had
to  make  to  Your Excellency was in respect of  our  common
guarantee  to  Czechoslovakia in fulfilment  of  the  Munich
Agreement. Such a request I could not have addressed to you,
if  France  had  no  longer  been  interested  in  what  was
happening in Eastern Europe.
     Since  I  was unable to obtain a satisfactory reply  on
this  matter,  I  sent  you  a note  on  February  8,  1939,
recalling the agreement signed at Munich on September 29, in
order  once  more  to  impress upon  you  the  necessity  of
completing  without delay the arrangements  for  our  common
guarantee  to  Czechoslovakia. To this note you  replied  on
March  2,  asking me to await the clearing  up  of  internal
developments  in  Czechoslovakia  and  the  improvement   of
relations between that country and the neighbouring  States,
before  considering a general arrangement between the Munich
signatory Powers.
     Further,  the  actual statement which I made  from  the
Tribune of the French Chamber on January 26, 1939, confirmed
my  attitude  in a manner which admitted of no equivocation.
This statement, which you may find in our "Journal Officiel"
(p. 234), was reproduced in the Press throughout the world.
     "France  has  also maintained her traditional  friendly
relations  with  Poland. At the time  of  the  Franco-German
declaration  of  December 6, I had, in conformity  with  the
spirit  of  our agreement, advised the Polish Ambassador  of
our  intentions. In thanking me for keeping  them  informed,
the  Polish  Government expressed their appreciation  of  an
action,  the  aim, the significance and the  implication  of
which they fully realized.
     "Thus, Gentlemen, can we dispose of the legend that our
policy had led to the cancellation of our obligations in the
East of Europe with the U.S.S.R. or with Poland.
     "These  obligations  are  still  binding  and  must  be
honoured in the spirit in which they were entered into."
     Thus there is no equivocation whatsoever. You knew  the
treaty which united France and Poland. You never dreamed  of
asking  me  to  denounce it on the occasion of  the  Franco-
German declaration of December 6. At the time when we signed
that  declaration your relations with Poland were excellent,
and  there  was  nothing in the FrancoPolish  understandings
which were likely to arouse suceptibilities on your part.
     In  the speech he made in the Reichstag on January  30,
1939,  Hitler once again expressed his satisfaction  at  the
understanding between Germany and Poland. "At this  moment,"
he   declared,  "it  would  be  difficult  to  discover  any
divergence of opinion amongst the true friends of  peace  as
to the value of this agreement" (the German;, Polish pact of
non-aggression). These words were the more significant  from
our point of view because they were uttered some weeks after
an  important conversation at  at Berchtesgaden between Herr
Hitler and the Polish Foreign Minister, Monsieur Beck.
     In  the  month of March relations between  Germany  and
Poland  became strained, and that fact brought about  a  new
     France  bears no responsibility for the development  of
these  relations between Berlin and Warsaw. She has in  fact
always  refrained-and  will  continue  to  refrain-from  any
interference   in   matters   bearing   upon   the   special
relationships  of  the two neighbouring countries,  and  not
affecting in any way the general international situation and
the maintenance of peace.
     In  conformity  with the statements  which  I  had  the
honour to make to Count von Welczeck, we earnestly hope that
a bilateral arrangement between Germany and Poland may prove
feasible. But there is one point that I am bound to bring to
your notice, particularly in
view of the conversations which I had with you on December 6
and 7 in Paris, namely, that France is bound to Poland by  a
treaty  of  alliance, and will remain true to her bond,  and
scrupulously carry out all her promises.
     You are good enough, in reminding me of all the efforts
which  you yourself have made to bring about a rapprochement
between France and Germany, to call my attention to the fact
that   Herr   Hitler  has  always  desired  a  Franco-German
understanding  and  has stigmatized as "madness  a  new  war
between our two countries."
     Such  an  assurance is in accordance with  our  sincere
wishes.  I  desire, as you do, the continued maintenance  of
friendly  relations between France and Germany.  It  is  for
that  reason  that, in my communication  of  July  1,  whose
validity is maintained with all its implications, I  made  a
point of reminding you, with the frankness called for by the
circumstances, of the position of the French  Government  in
respect of Poland, particularly in relation to the situation
at Danzig.
     France  is eagerly desirous of peace. No one can  doubt
that  fact. Moreover, no one can doubt the determination  of
the  French  Government  to fulfil its  obligations.  But  I
cannot permit it to be said that our country would be in any
way  responsible  for war because it remained  true  to  its
pledged word.
     I  beg you, my dear Herr von Ribbentrop, to accept  the
expression of my sincerest regards.


                   No. 169 
M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 21, 1939.

     IT  is said on very good authority that during the last
week  some change has taken place in the Chancellor's  mind.
It  is  reported  that  the Fhrer is  now  convinced  that,
contrary to what he has hitherto been assured by some of his
advisers,  France and England are resolved to  fulfil  their
pledges to Poland and that consequently he will run the risk
of  starting  a  war if he goes too far  in  the  matter  of


                  No. 170 
M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 22, 1939.

     WITH  regard  to the statements made yesterday  on  the
Danzig   question  by  an  official  of  the   Ministry   of
Propaganda, a member of my staff gathered this morning  from
a very good source certain information which I think I ought
to  bring  to your attention without delay. It  was  on  the
instruction of State-Secretary Dietrich, who had  just  come
back  from  Berchtesgaden, where the Fhrer  is  staying  at
present,  that Dr. Bmer, the Head of the Press  Section  at
the  Ministry  of Propaganda, made to the correspondents  of
the foreign news agencies statements which the English Press
reproduced in a sensational form and an accurate summary  of
which has been given by the Havas Agency.
     In  essentials  these statements may be  summarized  as

      1. The German Government still refuses to contemplate
any other
      solution of the Danzig question than the return of the
Free City
      to the Reich.
      2. They wish to arrive at this solution by pacific
methods and
      have no intention of provoking an armed conflict on
this account.
      3. This solution cannot be indefinitely postponed; at
the same
      time, it is not a matter of immediate urgency; it
might not take
      place till some months hence.
      4. German political circles remain convinced that
Poland cannot in
      the long run maintain her uncompromising attitude and
that some
      intervention-presumably from the British side-will in
time curb
      the obduracy of Warsaw.
     Learning of these statements after the event and of the
use  made of them by the British Press, Herr von Ribbentrop,
who was still at Fuschl, near Salzburg, was extremely angry.
He  at  once ordered the Press Service of the Wilhelmstrasse
to  elucidate and comment on the pronouncements of Dr. Bmer
before the representatives of the foreign Press. Herr  Braun
von  Stumm, entrusted with this task, was instructed to call
attention  to  the fact that Dr. Bmer's pronouncements  did
not  introduce any new element and to stress with particular
emphasis  the  point  that, though  the  Reich  insisted  on
regarding the return of Danzig
to  Germany as the only possible solution, it had  never  on
the  other hand, regarded the Free City as a problem  to  be
settled by war.
     These  explanations  were  further  confirmed  in  some
obviously inspired comments which appeared in this morning's
     According to the reports collected by this member of my
staff,  this incident, like so many others, affords evidence
of the rivalry between the Wihelmstrasse and the Ministry of
Propaganda, or, more precisely, between Herr von  Ribbentrop
and  Dr.  Goebbels.  Although both  Ministers  claim  to  be
equally   anxious  for  the  most  radical  solutions,   the
eagerness  of each of them to be regarded by the  Fhrer  as
the  foremost champion of this view has caused a dispute  as
to  competence. Dr. Goebbels has never in fact given up  the
idea  of  indirectly influencing foreign policy by means  of
the  Press.  But  on  this occasion  Herr  von  Ribbentrop's
discontent is said to be due to the turn taken by the Danzig
question,  to  the fact that recent events  have  shown  his
calculations  to be wrong, and to the delicate situation  in
which he consequently finds himself with the Fhrer. In  the
face  of  the unexpected opposition met with in  London  and
Paris, as well as in Warsaw, Herr von Ribbentrop thinks that
for  the  time being his personal interest would be that  as
little as possible should be said about Danzig, and that the
matter  should  be left in abeyance pending more  favourable
circumstances.  He  therefore regards  the  statements  made
yesterday by Dr. Bmer as most inopportune.
     As  I  see  it, these indications, which I  have  every
reason  to  believe genuine and accurate, make the following
points clear:

     1. From Dr. Bmer's statements, as also from their
elucidation by
     Herr Braun von Stumm, there emerges a common element:
the desire
     not to see the issue forced at this moment. This is
undoubtedly a
     retreat, cloaked by the assurance of the pacific
feelings which
     Germany is supposed never to have ceased to entertain.

     2. In this respect the evidence set out above serves to
     various indications gathered from other sources in the
course of
     the last few days, namely, the change which is assumed
to have
     taken place last week in the mind of the Fhrer
following on direct
     information received from France and England and
consequent on
     recent evidences of Britain's strength in the air; and,
     news received from Danzig to the effect that measures
     demobilisation were about to be adopted by the Free

     3. By insisting that the Danzig question is not of an

     nature and by hinting at the possibility of a British
     Dr. Bmer, whether he merely carried out or went beyond
     orders given him at Berchtesgaden, has in any case
disclosed the
     difficulty which seems to be embarrassing the Nazi
leaders at the
     moment, as they are beginning to understand that the
era of
     unilateral action and of victories without risk has
come to an end.
     The  tendency  to  retreat-or  at  least  the  wish  to
temporise-which  can be inferred from the various  items  of
evidence   just   enumerated   (in   particular   from   the
declarations  of  the  Minister of  Propaganda  and  of  the
Wilhelmstrasse  on the subject of Danzig) do  not,  however,
detract in any way from the German Government's intention to
recover  the  Free  City. Although we  can  note  them  with
satisfaction, it is essential that we should not attach  too
much  importance  to them. They are obviously  a  matter  of
tactics, and must necessarily prove ephemeral in nature.  It
is possible that their one object is to lead us to relax our
vigilance,  or to weaken our will to resist by  holding  out
the false hope of possible negotiations.
     In  any  case,  it  must be kept in mind  that  in  the
meantime  the  German Army, so far as it  is  concerned,  is
carrying  on  with  its preparations in order  to  reach  an
advanced  state of mobilisation during the month of  August.
It  is  certain that if the Nazi leaders come to think  that
France   and   Britain  are  relaxing  their  military   and
diplomatic efforts-to which alone the present hesitations of
the  Reich  are  attributable-then the few faint  signs  now
discernible of a dtente would quickly vanish.
     Furthermore, now that there appears to be  some  slight
trace of at least a temporary withdrawal on the part of  the
rulers  of the Third Reich, it is essential, as M. Coulondre
has  stressed, that our Press should refrain from  premature
jubilation over victory; they should take their cue from the
organs  of  the  Reich, whether these put the  German-Polish
struggle in the background, or ignore it altogether.
                  No. 171 

M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 25, 1939.

     THE  impression prevails that August 1939 is  bound  to
bring  about a recrudescence of international tension,  and,
more especially, of
dangerous  German  initiatives in the Danzig  question.  The
statement  is  repeatedly made that the end of the  harvest-
namely,  the  period  August 15-20-will  coincide  with  the
beginning of a crisis so grave that European peace  may  not
be  able  to survive it. It is estimated that this  critical
period will end towards the early days of October, when  the
autumn  rains  begin to make it difficult  to  handle  large
bodies of mechanised troops on the Polish plains.
     It  is  true that during the last few days it has  been
possible  to  notice  among observers of  the  international
situation  a tendency to regard the future in a less  gloomy
light.  There  have  even been a few  who,  prematurely  and
altogether ill-advisedly, have thought themselves  justified
in talking of a "German retreat."
     The  truth  is  that  arguments for both  optimism  and
pessimism  can be drawn from an examination of the situation
as  it exists in Germany today. Symptoms of two kinds may be
observed:  some of them appear to indicate that  Germany  is
making  her  preparations with a view to war; others  permit
the  belief  that the Reich will not push the  German-Polish
struggle to the length of armed conflict.
     The  purpose of the present report is to set  down  and
compare the evidence that can be collected in either  sense,
in  order to deduce from it, not conclusions that it  is  in
present circumstances impossible to form, but at least a few
indications of a practical kind.
     Broadly speaking, symptoms of a military character  are
disturbing  whereas certain evidence of  a  more  reassuring
nature can be found in happenings in the political sphere.
     Since  the  end  of June we have witnessed  in  Germany
preparations that, to a certain extent, recall those of last
     It should be noted that the beginning of this period of
military  activity was marked by an inspection tour  by  the
Fhrer in the western fortified zone from May 14-20, 1939.
     Since that time Germany's military effort has taken the
following forms:
     (1)  Strengthening of the western fortification system,
deemed to be inadequate or faulty; creation of a third  line
of  defence, with the equipping of works calculated to  make
the anti-aircraft defences more efficient.
     (2)  Hasty construction of a series of defensive  works
on the German-Polish frontiers.
     (3) Progressive occupation, dating from June 20, of the
western fortifed zone.
     (4) Masked mobilisation achieved in stages by means of:
     (a)  The  retention with the colours of  men  who  have
served their time.
     (b) The calling up of reservists.
     These  reservists have been drafted from every military
class (covering men between the ages of 22 and 55) and  from
every  category  coming under military law. They  have  been
called up for periods, varying in length from a fortnight to
three months-periods that are often extended on the date  of
expiry.  It is, therefore, extremely hard to estimate,  even
approximately, the number of reservists at present with  the
colours. Judging by such outward signs as the appearance  of
the  streets, stations, barracks, and the various calling-up
notices,  several hundred thousand reservists have now  been
ordered back to their units. The estimate, already reported,
of  our  Military  Attach (600,000 men up  to  date  and  a
million  by  about August 15) appears to be a most  probable
one. On about August 15, then, Germany would have altogether
about two million men under arms.
     (5)  Numerous movements of men and materials in various
and,   so  to  speak,  opposite  directions.  Because  these
movements  are  cleverly  camouflaged-in  particular,   such
precautions  are taken as the removal of regimental  numbers
from  shoulder-straps and of number-plates from  cars-it  is
exceedingly difficult to follow them. It is equally hard  to
infer  from  them any general plan. The definite information
so  far collected makes it possible to assert, however, that
troop  movements of varying importance are taking  place  in
the following directions:
     (a) Towards the western fortified zone, the occupation,
or ganisation and equipment of which are all in progress.
     (b)  Towards the southern frontier of Poland. According
to  information received from Prague on July 18, 25,000  men
went  through  that city by rail and were reported  to  have
been  concentrated between Morawska-Ostrawa  and  the  Tatra
Mountains. On July 12 many troop trains (250 wagons in  all)
are said to have passed through Lundenburg station (Austria)
going  eastwards;  at the same time the  movement  of  large
forces in the direction of Beuthen was observed in Silesia.
     (c)  Towards  the  boundary between  the  Corridor  and
Pomerania,  whither,  it was reported, that  three  infantry
regiments of the
20th mechanised division, normally stationed at Hamburg, had
been sent.
     (d)  Towards East Prussia (embarking of reservists  was
observed at Stettin).
     As  opposed to this, no abnormal military activity  had
been  observed,  up  to  July 22,  at  any  point  upon  the
Hungarian and Jugoslav frontiers.
     (6) Militarisation of Danzig, by the organisation of  a
Volunteer Corps (of 20,000 men, recruited between the end of
June  and  the  beginning of July), the  secret  arrival  of
soldiers  and  men  of Nazi militia organizations  from  the
Reich, the smuggling in of large quantities of munitions and
other  war material, the reconditioning of existing and  the
construction of new defence works.
     (7)  Speeding  up  of  production in  every  branch  of
industry  concerned  with national  defence.  Combined  with
mobilisation, this intensified production (which in the case
of  Ruhr coal has reached record figures) has increased  the
shortage of German labour. On July 11 Field-Marshal  Goering
was  forced  to put severe restrictions upon  the  right  to
requisition  labour  for  works of public  utility.  Various
instances  have  been reported in which the  army  has  been
compelled to release young miners who had been mobilised.
     (8) Arrangements made to use female labour in order  to
replace   in  war-time  factory  operatives  who  might   be
     (9)  Reguisitioning of motor vehicles (private cars and
lorries),  horses  and motor fuels. In  many  districts  the
owners  of motor vehicles or of horses have been invited  to
keep  them  at the disposal of the military authorities,  in
some  instances  from  the first week  in  August,  and,  in
others,  on dates between August 15 and August 20. Highclass
fuels  like "aral" (benzine, benzol and motor spirit), which
in  times  of crisis are always reserved for the army,  have
been requisitioned in Bohemia and Moravia.
     (10)  Measures  taken to organise the medical  services
for   war-time   needs.  In  Berlin   premises   have   been
requisitioned for the establishment of a hospital containing
600  beds. In the Dresden area doctors have received  orders
to   place  themselves  at  the  disposal  of  the  military
authorities as from August 3 or August 5.
     (11) Restrictions placed upon the granting of leave and
on travellers' facilities. It has been reported that in many
military units leave had been cancelled as from July  15  or
August  1. Again, in various factories holidays are reported
to have been cancelled if they fell
due in the second week of August and onwards. At Dresden the
police  have  stamped  passports, valid  for  long  periods,
"valid until August 20."
     (12)  Order  given to aircraft factories to discontinue
the adaptation of plant to the needs of the newest types  of
aircraft  and  to proceed with the production,  at  war-time
speed, of aircraft of types already in use.
     (13)  Placing at the disposal of the naval  authorities
of North Sea fishing-boats capable of being transformed into
     At  Hamburg the majority of trawlers have already  been
equipped  with  mine-laying apparatus; and stocks  of  mines
have  been  accumulated in the docks. This step had  already
been taken in September 1938.
     (14)  Organisation  in  many  areas  of  the  Reich  of
civilian defence drill-an arrangement which had already been
planned during last autumn, when the German-Czech crisis was
entering upon its most acute phase.
     We can therefore consider that everything is proceeding
as  though  the  Reich were aiming at reaching  an  advanced
state of mobilisation by the middle of August.
     Though,  in  many respects, the military activities  at
the  moment being pursued in the Reich are similar to  those
which  took place in Germany last summer, there are  certain
material differences:
     Last summer the preparations were made openly with  the
obvious design of making a display.
     This year the desire for concealment has outweighed the
wish to make an impressive show of military measures.
     So  far,  the preparations and the movements of  troops
which  have taken place give no evidence of a general  plan,
so  much  so  that  it  has proved impossible  to  determine
whether the German menace would be aimed at the east or  the
     The  German-Polish quarrel over Danzig and the Corridor
broke  out  immediately after the occupation of Bohemia  and
Moravia by German troops. In the development of this quarrel
the following stages can be distinguished:
     On   March  26  the  Warsaw  Government  rejected   the
proposals  made  to it by Germany, and informed  the  Berlin
Government that Poland would acquiesce neither in the return
of Danzig to the Reich nor in the establishment of an extra-
territorial passage across the Corridor.
     Since  then  the Polish Government has not changed  its
     In  his  speech  on April 28 the Fhrer  disclosed  the
proposal  which had been made to the Warsaw Government,  and
laid   stress  on  this  offer  as  being  "of  unparalleled
generosity"  and never to be repeated. However, he  declared
himself  ready  to negotiate "provided that the  matter  was
settled  in  an unequivocal manner"; he added  that  no  one
could  possibly  think that Danzig would ever  be  a  Polish
city, but he did not actually demand the return of Danzig to
the  Reich.  Since  then the Fhrer has never  broached  the
question again.
     Some of his lieutenants, in particular Dr. Goebbels  in
his  speech  on June 17, appeared to have gone further  than
the Chancellor. Their tone was, in fact, more truculent. But
fundamentally  they  did  not go  beyond  the  Fhrer's  own
declarations.  "Danzig  wants to be  German,"  Dr.  Goebbels
reiterated. "Its population must be aware that the Reich  is
very  amicably disposed towards them." But the  Minister  of
Propaganda did not actually demand the return of  Danzig  to
the Reich.
     On  several occasions the Nazis in the Reich and in the
Free  City  seem  to have contemplated establishing  a  fait
accompli in Danzig. But they refrained from doing so in  the
face  of  the resolute attitude of Poland and of its  French
and British allies, and also probably because they hoped for
a  weakening in the attitude of either Poland or the Western
     Similar   information  obtained  from  various  sources
during  the last week seems to make it clear that the Fhrer
himself, about the middle of this month, had arrived at  the
conclusion  that  on this occasion Germany  was  faced  with
extremely  serious resistance, and that, if he attempted  to
ignore it, the Reich was running the risk of precipitating a
general conflict. This reversal of opinion seems to  be  due
to the reports which the Chancellor has received direct from
agents sent to Britain and France.
     According to certain reports the recent visit to London
early in July of Lieutenant-Colonel Gerhardt Schwerin, Chief
of  the British Section of the German General Staff, and the
reports  of  the officers who were present in Paris  at  the
review  of  July  14  have  not been  without  influence  in
affecting  such a change in the Chancellor's  mind.  But  he
seems  to have been struck above all by the revival  of  the
French  Air  Force, which in 1938 had completely disappeared
as  a  factor in European politics, by the way in which  the
air  power  of  Great Britain asserted itself,  and  by  the
active  military  cooperation between  Britain,  France  and
their allies. Thenceforward, being con-
vinced  that  the Western Powers were determined  to  honour
their  obligations to Poland, the Fhrer  is  said  to  have
become uncertain as to the course to be pursued.
     The  statements  made by Dr. Bmer on July  21  to  the
correspondents of the foreign Press, the commentary on these
statements  given  on the same day by  a  spokesman  of  the
Wilhelmstrasse,  the  article  published  in  the   Danziger
Vorposten  of  July  23, and the pronouncements  which  Herr
Forster,  the Gauleiter of Danzig, has caused to  appear  in
the  German Press of today-all these seem to be inspired  by
the  one motive: ways of retreat must be kept clear for  the
Reich   Government,  should  they  decide  in  the   present
circumstances not to press the matter of Danzig further.
     The  spokesmen of the Minister of Propaganda and of the
Wilhelmstrasse  asserted  that  at  no  time   had   Germany
contemplated  war as a solution of the Danzig  problem,  and
that  it clung to the hope of reaching it by peaceful means.
"To  regain Danzig by peaceful methods is the political fact
from  which Germany will not depart," the Danziger Vorposten
printed  for  its part. As to Herr Forster,  he  took  up  a
defensive  attitude: he protested that he  had  at  no  time
planned  a Putsch; he claimed that the military preparations
made  by the Free City were merely precautions taken against
the possibilities of an attack by the Poles.
     In  adopting  this attitude the Danzig  Government  has
made it possible for itself to demobilise without having  to
admit  a  retreat. Like Dr. Bmer, Herr Forster had moreover
allowed it to be understood that there was no urgency  about
the problem of Danzig.
     Nevertheless, one fact cannot be overlooked: it remains
the  avowed  aim of the Nazi parties both in Danzig  and  in
Germany to secure the return of the Free City to the  Reich.
Upon this essential point there has been no question of  the
slightest  compromise.  The  conflicting  position   between
Warsaw  and  Berlin remains therefore unaltered. This  fact,
taken  in  conjunction  with the military  preparations  now
being  made in Germany, demands the most vigilant attention.
This  is true, whatever reason for confidence may be derived
from  the developments which have taken place in France  and
Britain during the past months, and from the impression they
have made upon the leaders of the Third Reich.
     From information received during the past few days from
various high-placed Germans, it follows that the leaders  of
the Reich are at
present in a state of extreme embarrassment, that once again
pressure in opposite directions is being brought to bear  on
the  Fhrer by his advisers, and that he inclines  first  to
one  group and then to another. Moreover, he is said  to  be
the  more perplexed since, behind the Danzig question, there
looms the more general problem of the relations between  the
Reich and the other European Powers, as the present state of
tension cannot go on indefinitely.
     In  no  case, then, can we consider that the master  of
the Third Reich has given up for good the idea of a solution
by  force. Undoubtedly, the best means to deflect  him  from
this  is  for the democracies to continue to show themselves
resolute, strong and hardworking. In existing circumstances,
any  sign that Germany might interpret as an offer to  begin
conversations-premature so long as the  Reich  continues  to
ignore  the  Polish  point of view-runs the  risk  of  being
regarded  as  a  sign  of  physical weariness  or  of  moral
     It  would  seem  that  it is by silently  demonstrating
their  renewed  forces and their energies that  the  Western
Powers  will  most effectively contribute  to  prevent  Nazi
Germany  from seeking a solution of her dispute with  Poland
by methods that might prove fatal to peace.

                  No. 172 

M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 25, 1939.

       IN  the course of another conversation which  he  had
with  the Gauleiter yesterday, the latter confirmed to  Herr
Burckhardt that Herr Hitler was prepared to wait as long  as
might be necessary in order to bring about a solution of the
Danzig question by peaceful means.
     Furthermore,  deferring  to the  protest  made  to  the
Commissioner  by  the Gauleiter, the Warsaw Government  will
henceforth  notify the Senate of any movements  by  rail  of
Polish troops upon the Free City's territories.


                   No. 173 

M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 27, 1939.

     IN  Berlin  today everyone is more or less in agreement
with  th  view  that  there  is  an  apparent  lull  in  the
international  situation,  an  that  this   pause   in   the
development  of  the  crisis is  due  to  the  impressio  of
strength  and  resolution given by  France  and  Britain  to
Germany  Nevertheless, among the members of  the  Diplomatic
Corps as well as in German circles, opinions vary as to  the
importance  to  be  attached to this lull,  and  as  to  the
possible  sequels to the deliberations now going on  in  the
minds of the rulers of the Reich.
     The Germans had hoped to annex Danzig without having to
face  the  possibility of a general war. It is  now  evident
that the affair has been badly started and that, if there is
a  desire  to carry it through to the end, the risk  of  war
must  be  reckoned with. In a recent dispatch  I  noted  the
signs  that lead one to believe that they do not  recoil  in
the  face  of  this contingency, and other and more  hopeful
signs that are averse to the idea of a war.
     It is likely, no doubt, that the Germans do not want to
go  war  for the sake of Danzig; but is it, then,  merely  a
question   of  Danzig?  If  this  problem  has   been   more
clamorously advertised and was pressed in preference to  any
other,  it  is because its solution has been considered  the
easier,  and that it involved less risk of war  than  I  any
other  question  in  which Germany  was  equally  concerned.
Events have proved this estimate to be inaccurate and  there
are  signs-or  there  thought to be signs-of  hesitation  at
Berchtesgaden  and  Berlin.  To  what  question   do   these
hesitations relate? Is it wise to infer from them  that  the
Chancellor,  having ventured somewhat rashly in the  matter,
will show himself more reasonable?
     The  facts  seem  to  be that since  Munich,  and  more
especially  since  March 15, two currents of influence  have
attempted to sway the Chancellor's mind. On the one hand  he
has  been told, and that is Herr von Ribbentrop's view, that
Germany  can still realise many of ambitions without risking
an  armed  conflict,  or  at any rate  without  provoking  a
general  war.  On  the other hand he was told-and  this  was
Field-Marshal   Goering's   view-that   in    the    present
circumstances  nothing more could be done without  going  to
     The   fact   that  Herr  von  Ribbentrop's  information
regarding  Danzig  proved  to  be  inaccurate  need  not  be
regarded  by the Chancellor as a proof that no other  German
requirement  can be met without war. It may have  been  that
Danzig  was  a  bad choice. In the past the Memel  question,
although  it  had been very definitely raised, was  kept  in
suspended activity, because circumstances seemed suddenly to
favour  a  transfer of attention to other problems.  On  the
other  hand,  the recognition that there was truth  in  what
might be called the "Goering line of thought" does not  mean
that-on  the  assumption  that there  can  be  no  conquests
without war-war will not be preferred to the surrender of  a
dynamic policy.
     It does not appear that the Fhrer has made a decision.
The keyboard is open before him: he can strike what note  he
will. Since all the military arrangements have been made  he
can,  either in the case of Danzig or of any other question,
decide to wait until the first propitious opportunity offers
(and  in  the  opinion of most Germans rifts  will  in  time
appear  in  the  democratic fronts,  of  which  it  will  be
possible  to  take advantage). Alternatively, accepting  the
risk,  he  can concentrate upon the particular  question  of
Danzig or upon the more general problem of German claims.
     While  there is rather less talk of Danzig, a  campaign
against Poland as a maritime state is already taking  shape.
In  this  connection an article in this morning's Vlkischer
Beobachter is significant. Voicing much the same  view,  the
Lokal  Anzeiger  writes: "The Polish  attempts  to  make  of
Poland  a maritime state at all costs do not conform  either
with  serious economic facts or with essential political  or
military interests."
     Thus the question of the Corridor, already mentioned in
private  conversation, now creeps into  the  Press  together
with that of Upper Silesia. A German manufacturer said to  a
Frenchman  within the last few days: "When we possess  Upper
Silesia, we shall have in our hands the last industrial area
of  Central  and Eastern Europe which was still outside  our
range.  Then  our economic power need have no more  fear  of
competition in the markets of the Near East."
     It  is  necessary, therefore, to remain on  the  watch.
What  the members of the Diplomatic Corps in Berlin describe
as an easing of the strain is probably no more than a period
of  reflection, upon which the reactions of France and Great
Britain will certainly exercise some influence.

                   No. 174 

M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
July 30, 1939.

     FROM   articles  in  the  Press,  as   well   as   from
conversations,  it  is becoming clear  that  the  particular
problem  of  Danzig is giving place to the  problem  of  the
Corridor and even to that of the structure of Poland itself.
     One wonders why the German Government, at a moment when
it  is  giving  unexpected prominence to the memory  of  the
events  of  1914, and when the twenty-fifth  anniversary  of
Germany's entry into the war is about to be commemorated  in
the  barracks  as  a  national  holiday,  should  be  openly
raising,  on  a  larger scale and under a  guise  much  more
"vital" to Germany, the problem of the claims of the Reich.
     Again, in certain circles not unconnected with Herr von
Ribbentrop's  entourage, the conviction is  being  expressed
that  Poland,  deprived of credits which  it  had  hoped  to
secure  from  Great  Britain, would  not  long  be  able  to
maintain the national effort it is making today.
     "We  know  that its economic situation is catastrophic;
we  are  receiving evidence of the discontent  to  be  found
among  the State officials. Poland will be unable to  resist
for  long, and will be forced to negotiate. It follows  that
the  Polish problem can be settled without war; for you  are
pledged to intervene only if Poland calls for your help."
     These  are  echoes  of  remarks  made  by  Germans   to
foreigners during the past few days.


 The Polish Resistance and the German Press Campaign
            (August 1-19, 1939)  
                  No. 175 
M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 1, 1939.

     THE Senate having adopted a policy of silence in regard
to the renewed protests made by the Polish Government on the
subject of
Customs  inspectors, that Government has just taken measures
of economic reprisals which may have grave consequences.
     The Polish Commissioner General has indeed notified the
authorities of the Free City that the inspection  by  Polish
officials  of the transformation of fats by the firm  "Amada
Unida" will cease as from August 1, and that the right given
to  Danzig  to  export them to Poland free of duty  will  no
longer  be  recognized. At the same time a similar treatment
is  to  be  applied  to the herrings caught  by  the  Danzig
fishing fleet. In both instances considerable interests  are
involved, and the parties concerned appear to be aggrieved.
     Certainly  herrings figure prominently  in  the  Polish
diet;  Dutch boats, sailing under the Danzig flag,  used  to
supply 6 million zlotys' worth. On the other hand, Amada, an
English  firm  run on Dutch capital, supplied  margarine  to
inland  Poland to the value of some 15 million zlotys,  this
being, according to its managing director, some 95 per  cent
of the country's import of the commodity; while, conversely,
the  firm  handled  50 per cent of the country's  export  of
     These  unexpected reprisals caused surprise that  found
expression  in  the local Press of July 31.  The  two  daily
newspapers  protested  loudly against  this  linking  of  an
economic  question with one which they held to be political,
namely  that  of the inspectors. They considered  the  whole
matter  a  violation of the exchange agreement valid  up  to
July  31, 1940, and on several occasions they described this
attitude as being "direct action," a procedure which  seemed
to arouse in them great indignation.
     The  official reaction was no less strong. On August  1
the Senate gave orders to its Customs officials to disregard
for  the  future  the  Polish inspectors,  who,  they  said,
belonged  to  the corps of frontier guards and  not  to  the
Customs  service. No rule was established for distinguishing
between  these  two  categories, and it will  presumably  be
difficult to establish one, in view of the stream  of  abuse
with  which the whole body has been flooded for three months
by the official propaganda.
     This  step was heralded in the Press by a long  article
in  which  were set out all the delinquencies of  which  the
agents  of the neighbouring republic were said to have  been
guilty,   consisting  in  equal  proportions  of  cases   of
espionage and of gross indecency. It was recalled  that  the
Treaty  of  Paris provided in Section 14 for an  independent
Customs service in the Free City with merely a general right
of  control  by Poland. Poland had step by step  transformed
this   privilege  into  a  highly  specialized   system   of
inquisition, using such specious argu-

meets  as  the  development of commercial  activity  or  the
growth and complication of the Customs service. The Danziger
Neueste Nachrichten countered with the following figures:

Number of Polish Inspectors        27
Tonnage through the Port...  8.5 million tons, of   7.1
million tons, of
                             a value of 1.5 mil-    a value
of 500 mil-
                             liards of zlotys       lion
     So  far  as  numbers are concerned, in almost  all  the
posts on the frontier of East Prussia the inspectors largely
exceeded the Danzig officials of the same rank, for  example
at Kalthof by twelve to one.
     In  general this inspired article did not maintain  the
same presence of dispassionate consideration. Its conclusion
under  the  headline, "Poland wrecks the Customs Union,"  is
most provocative. It insists that the Warsaw Government must
give  up  its new claims, otherwise "the economic policy  of
Danzig must be directed not only to new outlets, but also to
new  sources  of  supply." The meaning  of  this  threat  is
obvious;  the reference is to rumours of an opening  of  the
frontier with the Reich.


                   No. 176 
M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 1, 1939.

     A  FORTNIGHT  ago various reliable reports reached  the
Embassy  which seemed to show that about the middle of  July
an  important change had taken place in the attitude of  the
Fhrer.  He  had  become  convinced that  France  and  Great
Britain were firmly resolved to honour their obligations  to
Poland, and that, this being so, the Reich ran the risk,  if
it  pushed  the matter of Danzig to extremes,  of  provoking
general  conflict.  The impression had moreover  been  given
that  the  leaders  of  the Reich were  anxious  to  provide
themselves  with  means of drawing back or  of  letting  the
matter  rest for a time without relinquishing their aims  or
excluding the possibility of pursuing them actively, if  and
when more favourable circumstances presented themselves. The
first phase of the Danzig affair, therefore, appear to  have
led  to  a  set-back  for  Herr  von  Ribbentrop,  whom  his
opponents, and

especially Field-Marshal Goering, accused, it was  said,  of
having  irresponsibly involved Germany in a  most  dangerous
policy. At that moment, it might have been deduced that  the
cause of peace had scored an important point.
     Subsequently,  certain  signs led  to  the  speculation
whether a revulsion of feeling had not occurred in the  mind
of  the all-powerful Lord of the Third Reich in the opposite
direction. The German newspapers (as also the Nazi organ  at
Danzig),  which  towards August 22 stressed  the  desire  of
Germany to obtain satisfaction by peaceful methods, have  in
the last few days devoted themselves to showing that Germany
has  nothing  to  fear even from a general conflict,  which,
they  declare,  would  find her in a  much  more  favourable
position than in 1914. This is particularly the theme of the
majority of the articles devoted to the celebration  of  the
twenty-fifth  anniversary of the entry of Germany  into  the
Great War.
     At  the  same time it became clear that the  Press  was
enlarging the scope of the German-Polish quarrel. It was  no
longer a question solely of Danzig, but also of the Corridor
and  even of Poznania and Upper Silesia. This was a somewhat
remarkable  alteration of the tactics hitherto  followed  to
minimize the quarrel between Berlin and Warsaw and to convey
the  impression that the German claims only affected a  city
which was indisputably German in character.
     Finally, the Nazi propaganda this very morning  resumed
the campaign against the Polish Customs officials, which  it
had  abandoned from June onwards. Although for the last  few
weeks the inspectors of Polish Customs in order to avoid any
clash,  have  allowed  considerable  supplies  of  arms  and
munitions to enter the territory of the Free City, they  are
declared  by  the German newspapers to have  exceeded  their
rights and to have behaved as "regular bandits." This  is  a
fresh  application of the methods to which Germany  resorted
in the Sudeten affair.
     In  the new attitude assumed by Germany in the last few
days  there is undoubtedly a considerable element of  bluff.
But  it  would, nevertheless, be unwise to remain  satisfied
with that explanation.
     Other factors have probably come into play.
     We  may  be  faced with the resumption of an  offensive
attitude on the part of people like Herr von Ribbentrop, who
have  not given up hope of persuading the Fhrer that  Great
Britain  will not in the end maintain her firm attitude  and
that,  in  order  to avoid war, it would again  agree  to  a
solution similar to that of Munich.

     The  surprise visit of the Fhrer to Berlin on July 28,
his   interview   at  the  Wilhelmstrasse  with   Herr   von
Ribbentrop,  the  fact that he proposes to conduct  together
with  him  a  new  inspection of the Western fortifications,
clearly indicate that the Chancellor wishes to show that  he
has not in any way withdrawn his confidence from his Foreign
Minister.  Now it is known that, in respect of Danzig,  Herr
von  Ribbentrop  is  one of the strongest  supporters  of  a
radical solution.
     It  may  also  be asked whether, in view  of  the  slow
progress  of the Anglo-Franco-Soviet negotiations, the  Nazi
leaders  do  not  feel  tempted to return  to  the  plan  of
lightning action, which would in a few weeks "liquidate" the
Polish army and face the Western Powers with an accomplished
fact. It is a plan which the German military authorities  do
not  consider free from danger; on the other hand it may  be
assumed  that they do not consider its execution impossible,
provided  that Russian neutrality is assured.  The  risk  of
seeing  Germany  rally to the support  of  such  a  solution
cannot  be entirely excluded, so long as the Russian  riddle
remains unanswered.
     However  that  may be, there certainly  exist  at  this
moment two opposite currents of opinion in Germany.
     The  supporters  of  the one are yielding  to  the  war
psychosis  and  consider a catastrophe as  inevitable.  This
point  of  view  is  very  widespread,  especially  in   the
provinces,  where  it  is supported by  the  calling  up  of
reservists,   the  departure  of  soldiers  for  unspecified
destinations,    the    antiaircraft    preparations,    the
requisitions,  the  restrictions  on  food  and   on   other
commodities  which are becoming more and more noticeable-the
continual movements of troops and the calling-up of the last
reserves of workers.
     The  others-whose faith in the Fhrer remains  unshaken
are-convinced  that the Chancellor will  once  more  work  a
miracle and will succeed-without war-in restoring Danzig  to
the Reich. Some maintain that he has a scheme, the execution
of which will astound the world.
     In  circles that are usually well-informed they declare
that  they have no knowledge. The Fhrer himself, they  say,
does  not  know which policy he will adopt. It  will  depend
entirely on the circumstances.
     In  the same circles it is recognized that the only war
that  Germany can possibly risk is a very short one and that
the  chances of seeing the end of a war within a few  months
are extremely slender. The same people hold that the leaders
of the Reich will have to come to their decision between now
and the beginning of September, the date at which

     the Nuremberg congress is to begin. The critical period
would be the second half of August.
     The  leaders of the Third Reich seem, then, to be still
equally subject to doubts and to temptations. In so  far  as
they  become convinced that from now on Poland can count  on
the  effective help of France and England and that  a  short
war  is a mere chimera, we may hope that logic will outweigh
their  leaning  towards  solutions  based  on  trickery  and


                  No . 177 
M. DE SEGUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 2, 1939.

     THIS morning I questioned M. Arciszewski concerning the
retaliatory measures taken by the Polish Government  against
the  Free  City.  He  replied that the position  was  rather
serious, that the Polish Government had had the matter under
consideration  yesterday evening and that,  without  knowing
the  result of its deliberations, he thought he could assure
me  that  everything depended on the attitude taken  by  the
Senate  in  regard  to the difficulties encountered  by  the
Polish Customs control.
     M.   Arciszewski  gave  me  to  understand   that,   in
accordance   with  its  declared  principles,   the   Polish
Government  would  not  refuse to replace  by  others  those
Customs   inspectors   whose  relations   with   the   local
authorities  had  become strained as  a  result  of  certain
     When  I  asked him what might be the intentions of  the
Senate in regard to the opening of the Customs frontier with
East   Prussia,  M.  Arciszewski  replied  that  the  Polish
Government had no special reason to fear such a possibility,
but  that  it  was  bearing in mind all contingencies  which
might  occur during the coming weeks. The view of the Polish
Government was that as long as the Government of  the  Reich
remained uncertain, what course of action Poland would adopt
in  the  various contingencies which might arise,  it  would
continue to feel its way.
     M.   Arciszewski  was  naturally  not   very   explicit
concerning the tactics which his Government might adopt; but
it  is  in  all probability in order to keep the Germans  in
their present state of uncertainty that
the  Polish Government has chosen not to remain consistently
passive in face of the Nazi actions in the Free City.


                   No. 178 
M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 3, 1939.

     IT is with great surprise and considerable anxiety that
we  have  learned  in  Danzig of the  measures  of  economic
reprisal  taken  by the Polish Government in  reply  to  the
difficulties  experienced by the Customs inspectors  in  the
performance of their duties.
     The smuggling of arms having been carried on for months
without penalties and the Free City having been placed on  a
military  footing without protest from Warsaw, so drastic  a
decision  was  no  longer anticipated. Since  August  1  the
margarine  of  the  Amada Company, an English  company  with
Dutch  capital,  and the herrings caught  by  Dutch  fishing
boats flying the Danzig flag cannot be imported free of duty
into  Poland. The annual sales of these products  amount  to
15,000,000  and  5,000,000 zlotys  respectively.  The  Amada
Company imports 8,000 tons into Poland, which amounts to  95
per cent of the total quantity consumed in that country, and
buys  there 20,000 tons of colza, which amounts  to  50  per
cent of the total output.
     By  way  of reprisal the Senate has ordered its Customs
officials  only to work with the Polish inspectors  if  they
are  what  they  purport to be and not  frontier  guards  in
disguise;  at  the  same time no means of ascertaining  this
difference has been indicated to them.
     In official circles there are hints of the possibility,
if Poland persists in her "direct action," of the opening of
the Customs frontier between the Reich and Danzig. But there
is  no  concealing  the fact that very serious  consequences
might result from such a step.


                   No. 179 
M. DE SEGUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 3, 1939.

     THE  Minister for Foreign Affairs has given the British
Ambassador the following explanations on the subject of  the
recent decision of the

Danzig  Senate: About three years ago the Polish  Government
added  to  the  Polish  Customs inspectors  serving  in  the
territory of the Free City some Customs officials, who  were
given  the special duty of checking the smuggling which  was
then  beginning to grow, and it was to free themselves  from
this  unwelcome hindrance that the Senate wished to be  able
to  distinguish  the  inspectors from the  ordinary  Customs
     M.  Beck  added  that the Polish Government  would  not
object to a fusion of these two classes of officials and  to
giving  them  the same uniforms, provided that  the  Customs
service  could  in future perform its duties  in  conditions
that permitted of reasonable efficiency.


                   No. 180 
     M.  DE  SAINT-HARDOUIN,  French  Charg  d'Affaires  in
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
     Berlin, August 3, 1939.
     IN  the  course of the last week a very definite change
in  the  political atmosphere has been observed  in  Berlin.
Whereas  after  the middle of July there appeared  to  be  a
certain  dtente,  towards the end of the month  there  were
signs  of  a  fresh stiffening of attitude.  The  period  of
embarrassment,  hesitation, inclination to temporization  or
even to appeasement which had been observable among the Nazi
leaders,  has  been  succeeded by a  new  phase:  today  the
actions  of the leaders of the Third Reich and the  language
of their Press reveal two dominating purposes:
     To convince the German people that it is threatened, as
in 1914, and that its very existence is imperiled.
     To  convince public opinion at home and abroad that the
Third  Reich is invincible and that neither threats nor  any
human  power  can  arrest it in the  pursuit  of  its  vital
     Nothing  is neglected which may give the German  people
such confidence in its own might as to allow it to await the
future with calmness, to resist attacks of all kinds and  to
break through any obstacles which may impede its path.
     I  will  try  to show elsewhere how this propaganda  is
conducted.  It is not without interest to ask  oneself  what
motives have inspired it. It is probable that the rulers  of
the Reich are endeavouring to allay the

fears  which  spread  through the population  when  military
preparations   are,  as  at  the  present  moment,   greatly
     On  every  side  I  am informed of what  amounts  to  a
recrudescence  of  the  war psychosis which  had  manifested
itself  last  September. The anxiety to  allay  the  general
alarm  is  particularly  shown by  the  persistence  of  the
efforts  to convince the people that there is no  danger  of
     On  the  other hand, at a time when the German military
preparations  are  being intensified and  accelerated,  when
clashes  between  the Poles and the members  of  the  German
minority  seem  to multiply, when polemics regarding  Danzig
are being resumed, the Nazi leaders are doubtless anxious to
impress foreign opinion with the conviction that Germany  is
now  once again prepared to go to any lengths, if necessary,
in  order  to  obtain satisfaction and show that  the  Reich
would  not  give  way, even if faced by  the  coalition  the
crowning-piece  of  which  would be  a  Franco-Anglo-Russian
     At  the  same time the possibility must not be  ignored
that  the  leaders  of the Third Reich may  have  wished  to
stimulate  the somewhat failing enthusiasm of  their  people
and to convince them that, their existence being threatened,
they  must  defend themselves and that it is not so  much  a
question  of  the  Germans "dying for Danzig"  as  of  their
fighting for the life of the German people itself.
     The  military  activity displayed by  the  Third  Reich
since  June  has  all  the  time  called  for  the  greatest
vigilance  on  our part. The tone now adopted by  its  Press
must make us more vigilant still and as resolute as ever.

                   No. 181 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 6, 1939.

     THE  clash  which  occurred on  August  4  between  the
authorities  of  the  Free  City  and  the  Polish   Customs
inspectors has been reported by M. de Seguin. But I consider
it  essential that I should touch on these Occurrences again
in  order  to  make  clear  certain details  which  remained
obscure, and to deduce from them certain indications in view
of the coming difficulties.
     On  the  afternoon of the 4th the Ministry  of  Foreign
Affairs learnt

that  at  four  of  the Danzig Customs  posts  on  the  East
Prussian  frontier, the Polish Customs inspectors  had  been
given  notice  by  the heads of the Danzig posts  that  they
could not continue to perform their duties after Sunday  the
6th.  The  Polish Government took the step of  addressing  a
note  to  the Senate, requesting it to give by the following
evening a written assurance that the Customs officials would
be  allowed  to continue to perform their duties,  otherwise
the  Polish Government reserved to itself the right to  take
necessary steps to safeguard its rights. Toward 8  p.m.  the
French and British representatives were informed of the wish
of  M. Beck to communicate matters of importance to them  in
the  evening. At about 10 p.m. the Private Secretary of  the
Minister  for  Foreign Affairs summoned a secretary  of  the
British Embassy and M. de Seguin, and informed them  of  the
events  of  the  afternoon  and of the  Polish  Government's
intentions.  Count Lubienski added that M. Beck expected  to
be   in   a  position  to  inform  the  French  and  British
Governments next morning of the steps the Polish  Government
might be led to take in the event of the Senate of the  Free
City not giving a favourable reply.
     The  Polish note was delivered during the night to  the
President of the Senate in person.
     At 830 a.m. the Polish Commissioner informed the League
High   Commissioner   of   the  Polish   dmarche.   Shortly
afterwards,  M. Greiser telephoned to M. Chodacki  that  the
Senate  of  the Free City would not put any difficulties  in
the  way  of  the  Polish  officials performing  the  duties
assumed  by  them,  but  that it would  not  "for  technical
reasons" reply in writing to the Polish note before Monday.
     The  Polish Government decided to be satisfied for  the
time  being  by  this reply, and at the end of  the  morning
informed the two Embassies of the relaxation in the crisis.
     Such  was the course of events. One point has  not  yet
been cleared up: what exactly took place between German  and
Polish  officials  at  the  four  frontier  posts?  In   his
conversation on Saturday morning with Sir Howard Kennard, M.
Beck  made  it  clear  that  the  German  notification   was
addressed only to Customs officials in the strict  sense  of
the  term (the Department is aware of the distinction  which
the Senate seeks to establish between Customs inspectors and
the  ordinary  Customs officials whom it  calls  "Grenzer").
According  to  further  information  from  official   Polish
circles,  there  had  been  no notification  to  the  Polish
officials, but a threat to remove them by force, if they did
not  give up their posts. Finally, according to the  version
reported by M. de la

Tournelle,  M.  Chodacki had taken his  action  because  the
President  of the Diet had issued orders for the  arrest  of
the "Grenzer" before 3 p.m. of that day.
     In  itself  the episode of August 4 seems to have  been
closed  by Herr Greiser's answer to the Polish note,  always
supposing that the Senate's promised note arrives to confirm
its  terms. But this answer does not end the controversy  on
the  subject  of the distinction the Senate claims  to  draw
between Customs inspectors and Customs officials. It neither
provides, nor does it point towards, a final solution of the
problem of the working of the system of Customs supervision.
However,  a  new  factor has appeared. Although  Poland  has
taken  no  action against the remilitarization of  the  Free
City,  she has taken a stand against the threat of an attack
aimed  openly and publicly against her rights in the  sphere
of the Customs. Before August 4 the Reich might speculate as
to  how far it could go with its policy of "nibbling."  This
is  now  determined,  and henceforth the  Reich,  before  it
frames  its  future  policy, will  have  to  take  into  its
calculations the Polish will to resist.


                   No. 182 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 7, 1939.

     IN  a recent conversation, M. Beck informed the British
Ambassador that military measures might have been taken, had
the  Senate  rejected the Polish note. It is, therefore,  of
interest to refer to treaty articles applying either to  the
case  of an attack on Danzig from outside, or to that of  an
attempt to alter by force the present status of the city.
     The  Treaty  of  Versailles contains  no  provision  in
regard  to  these, nor does the Convention of  1920  specify
either  the circumstances or methods of possible action  for
the defence of the Free City.
     "In  its  sitting of November 17, 1920, the Council  of
the  League of Nations adopted a report declaring  that  the
Polish Government seemed particularly fitted to receive from
the  League  of Nations in case of necessity the mandate  to
undertake the defence of the Free City, but adding that this
mandate  could  at no time be given in a general  form,  but
only after consideration by the Council of the circumstances
peculiar to each case."

     The  Consultative Military Commission of the League  of
Nations, declared at this same date:
     "(1) The League of Nations can undertake the defence of
Danzig only by mandate.
     "(2) A contingent mandate is of no military value; only
a permanent mandate can be taken into account.
     "(3)  The  defence of the Free City cannot be separated
from that of the province of Pomerania.
     "(4) Poland is the only Power in a position to organize
the defence of the Free City.
     "(5) Poland must be allowed to build fortifications  in
the  territory  of the Free City and to garrison  them  with
Polish troops.
     "(6) These fortifications would be built facing the sea
and  towards  East Prussia. On the Pomeranian side  Poland's
western frontier constitutes Danzig's line of defence.
     "Following this statement, the Council of the League of
Nations  decided to consult General Sir Richard  Haking,  at
that  time High Commissioner in Danzig. On January 25, 1921,
he  declared that Danzig had no need of defences as the Free
City  could  not be defended against a German attack,  which
was the only possible contingency."
     In   June  1921,  the  Council  adopted  the  following
     (1)  The  Polish  Government  is  specially  fitted  to
ensure,  if  circumstances require it, and in the  following
conditions,  the defence of Danzig by land, as well  as  the
maintenance of order on the territory of the Free  City,  in
the event of the local police forces proving insufficient.
     With  this object in view, the High Commissioner  will,
if occasion arises, request instructions from the Council of
the  League  of Nations and will, if he thinks  fit,  submit
     (2)  It  will nevertheless be within the competence  of
the High Commissioner to anticipate the authorization of the
Council  and  to address a direct invitation to  the  Polish
Government  to  ensure  the  defence  of  Danzig,  or   "the
maintenance of order," in the following cases:
     (a)  In  the  event of the territory of the  Free  City
being  the   object  of  aggression,  threat  or  danger  of
aggression  from a neighbouring country other  than  Poland,
after  the  High  Commissioner has assured  himself  of  the
urgency of the danger;
     (b)  In  the  event  of Poland being,  for  any  reason

suddenly  and  effectively  prevented  from  exercising  the
rights  possessed by her under Article 28 of the  Treaty  of
November 9th, 1920.
     In  these two cases the High Commissioner should report
to  the  Council  the reasons for the action  which  he  has
     (3) As soon as the object in view has been achieved  to
the satisfaction of the High Commissioner, the Polish troops
will be withdrawn.
     (4) In all cases where Poland has to ensure the defence
of  the Free City, the Council of the League of Nations  may
provide  for the collaboration of one or more States Members
of the League.
     (5)  The High Commissioner, after consultation with the
Polish  Government, will present to the League of Nations  a
general report on the measures for which it may be necessary
to provide in the above-mentioned cases.
     Theoretically, therefore, Poland could be  called  upon
to provide for the defence of Danzig either if the League of
Nations appealed to it directly, or in certain circumstances
at  the  behest  of the High Commissioner appointed  by  the
League  of  Nations. But Poland does not  hold  a  permanent
mandate  nor has she herself the right to intervene  in  the
matter, but is required by the resolution of the Council  in
1921  to  take no action until asked to do so  by  the  High
     At  the  end of last May, the Counselor of the Ministry
of  Foreign Affairs in charge of questions affecting  Danzig
reminded  M. Burckhardt when the latter was passing  through
Warsaw  of his rights in this respect, the High Commissioner
replied  that  if a contingency occurred that would  justify
his  intervention, he would straightway have recourse to the
Committee of Three.


                   No. 183 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 7, 1939.

     I  HAVE received from M. Beck the following particulars
with  regard to the note that has today been handed  to  the
Polish Commissioner by the Danzig Senate.
     The  thesis already formulated verbally by Herr Greiser
to  M.  Chodacki is repeated in this note: that  the  Polish
Government, whose protest was based on mistaken information,
had no cause to take

umbrage.  Moreover, the Senate declares that it is ready  to
discuss  the  various points at issue in the matter  of  the
Danzig Customs with the Commissioner.
     Although  one  may  take it that the Senate's  note  is
hardly  diplomatic  in expression, M. Beck  is  sufficiently
pleased  with  it: he would seem to be right in interpreting
this reply as a refusal on the part of the Nazi elements  in
     The  latter, either at Berlin's instigation or possibly
on  their own initiative, provoked this incident to see  how
the land lay.
     The Polish Government considered that, after everything
that has happened recently in Danzig from the military point
of  view,  the  time  had come to call  an  immediate  halt.
"Although  openly  conducted," said  M.  Beck  to  me,  "the
smuggling of arms and men was not recognized by the  Senate.
This  time, however, we had to make a stand, as here was  an
action being taken officially against our interests."
     The  Foreign  Minister added that  the  Polish  Customs
officers  in  the  Free  City  had  been  ordered  from  the
beginning  of  this incident to carry out  their  duties  in
uniform  and armed, in case there should be an attempt  made
to arrest them.
     During  the  negotiations that are about to take  place
with the Senate, Poland will be very conciliatory as far  as
the  details  of  the  Customs control are  concerned;  with
respect to the principle itself of that control it will,  on
the other hand, be very firm.
     In  M.  Beck's  view  the general  situation  is  still
serious;  he  tells  me,  however,  that  he  considers  the
attitude  which  the Danzig Senate has just  adopted,  after
consulting  with Berlin, as a favourable sign  which  should
encourage  us  all  to  persevere in  our  joint  policy  of
     Only  by  strict  adherence to  this  policy  could  we
overcome,  without  a  war arising, a further  crisis  which
Colonel  Beck also expects at the end of August or early  in


                   No. 184 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 7, 1939.

     WHEN stressing the vital importance that Danzig has for
Poland, the Polish Press does not fail to emphasize the fact
that  for  Germany the fate of the Free City is not  of  any
great significance but really

only  a  part of a very much wider problem which  the  Reich
avoids mentioning at present for obvious tactical reasons.
     M. Smogorzewski, writing in the Gazeta Polska, observes
with  relation to this that many Germans, even in  front  of
foreign  journalists, have not troubled of late  to  conceal
that   a  settlement  of  the  Danzig  question  cannot   be
considered  without  a  settlement of  the  problem  of  the
Corridor,  and that the access of eighty million Germans  to
East  Prussia was more important than the access  of  twenty
million Poles to the sea.
     The  officials of the Wilhelmstrasse and of the  German
Propaganda Ministry are said to have received orders  a  few
days  ago  not  to  make such remarks; but  M.  Smogorzewski
quotes  several examples to show that this is  actually  the
theory  held by the German leaders: Dr. Goebbels' speech  at
Cologne  on May 19 last, in which the Corridor question  was
plainly stated; a special number published by the review Der
Deutsche im Osten on the occasion of Dr. Goebbels' visit  to
Danzig,  which  stated  that a final adjustment  of  German-
Polish  relations would involve the return to the  Reich  of
Danzig, the Corridor and "other territories"; and an article
appearing in the Schwarze Korps for July 20 which  spoke  of
Poland's access to the sea as an absurd anomaly, etc.
     The Polish Press has hitherto done no more than briefly
report  Herr Forster's statements to the representatives  of
Paris  Soir  and  the  Daily Express.  There  is  reason  to
believe,  however, that it has taken careful note  of  them;
Danzig's Bavarian Gauleiter incautiously provided it with  a
number  of arguments when he declared that what the  Germans
want is "the restoration of Germany's pre-War frontiers  and
the  certainty  of  not  having hostile  neighbours  on  her
eastern  border," adding: "Our claims seek only  to  redress
the wrongs perpetrated by the Treaty of Versailles."
     In this connection I would point out to your Department
that  the pamphlet Danzig-de quoi s'agit-il? which is  being
circulated in France by the German Propaganda department, is
in  fact  the translation of a booklet in German, copies  of
which were distributed some time ago by the Press service of
the Danzig Senate.
     It too contains passages (pp. 16-17 of the French text)
declaring  in so many words that Germany demands the  return
not  only  of Danzig (her "last claim," according  to  Count
Welczeck)  but  also  "the Corridor  and  other  territories
arbitrarily torn from the Reich."

     In  my opinion such an avowal deserves to be noted  and
commented upon by our Press.


                  No. 185 
M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 8, 1939.

     LAST week-end seems to have opened a new chapter in the
development   of  the  Danzig  question:  that   of   Polish
resistance to the encroachments of the Senate and the  Nazis
of the Free City. This will to resist has assumed two forms:
the  ultimatum addressed to the Senate on August  5  on  the
subject  of  the Polish Customs officers, and Marshal  Rydz-
Smigly's speech at Cracow (August 6). The result has been  a
revival  of  anti-Polish agitation in the German and  Danzig
newspapers,  but  at any rate for the present  this  further
outburst  of ill-feeling seems chiefly designed to hide  the
setback suffered last Saturday in Danzig.
     The  Nazi  plan, as it appeared since the beginning  of
June,  evidently consisted in the gradual eviction of Poland
from Danzig by an unremitting series of infringements of the
statute; when the remilitarization of the Free City had been
completed, the next objective of the attack was the  Customs
barrier separating Danzig from East Prussia.
     Here too the Danzig Nazis proceeded by stages, and  all
things  considered,  with  a great  deal  of  caution.  They
differentiated  among the Polish officials  between  Customs
officers  and frontier guards. The latter were  singled  out
for  a  start, although of course there was every intention,
if successful, to turn their attention towards breaking down
entirely the Polish Customs control.
     The conflict arose over the Amada margarine factory. By
way  of  a  protest against the captiousness to which  their
agents  were subjected, the Polish authorities on  August  2
prohibited  the  importation of this  firm's  products  into
Polish territory. The Senate retorted by ordering the Danzig
Customs  officials to collaborate only with  Polish  Customs
officers, and not with frontier guards disguised as  Customs
     Next  day,  on  August  4, Herr Forster  demanded  that
reprisals  should cease and threatened to do away  with  the
Customs  control.  That same day, a  high  official  of  the
Danzig Customs House ordered the arrest of Polish inspectors
looked  upon  as  "Grenzer"  (frontier  guards).  On   being
informed of this order, the Warsaw Government
issued  on  the morning of the 5th an ultimatum expiring  at
six  p.m.,  whereupon  the Danzig Senate,  startled  by  the
reaction  of  the  Poles,  finished  by  giving  way,  after
alleging  that  it  knew nothing of the  measure  which  had
provoked the Polish ultimatum.
     Poland,   which  had  for  months  tolerated  countless
infringements  of  the  Danzig statute  in  order  to  avoid
incidents, had scored the first point.
     Next day, August 6, in the speech which he delivered at
Cracow   before  150,000  legionaires,  Marshal  Rydz-Smigly
announced  that  Poland was determined to meet  "force  with
force"  and  to  oppose any direct or  indirect  attempt  to
tamper  with her interests and rights. He added that Danzig,
bound  to Poland for many centuries, formed the lung of  her
economic organization and that in this matter the Government
of Warsaw had made its position completely and unequivocally
     Thus the attempt at intimidation has been unsuccessful.
From  now  on  the  nibbling process will meet  with  Polish
resistance.  That is what the past week-end  has  meant  for
     In  Berlin as in Danzig, it appears that the Nazis have
been  somewhat  disconcerted by the firmness of  the  Warsaw
Government.  On  Sunday morning the newspapers  were  silent
about  the  events  which  had  taken  place  in  Danzig  on
Saturday.  Not  until  Monday afternoon  did  a  tendentious
version  find its way into the whole Press which  strove  to
make  things  out  as if the Senate had  purely  and  simply
rejected the "barefaced" demand which the Poles had made and
"accompanied  by  threats." The  Government  in  Warsaw  was
accused  of having taken action as a result of false rumours
and  its attitude was announced as "a particularly dangerous
provocation."  Furthermore, the papers  in  Danzig  and  the
Reich  asserted  that the Senate would seek  to  settle  the
question  of  the  Danzig  Customs officials'  authority  by
negotiation  and that it upheld the fundamental  distinction
between Customs inspectors and frontier guards.
     This was a thinly veiled retreat.
     The  comments  of  the  Czas on  Marshal  Rydz-Smigly's
speech  conveniently provided the Nazis with an  opportunity
to  cover  this  retreat  with  a  clamour  of  threats  and
imprecations.  The Polish Conservative organ wrote  that  if
the  Danzig  Nazis tried to create a fait accompli,  "Polish
guns  would  speak."  "We are being threatened!"  cried  the
entire  German Press. "Poland has overstepped all limits  in
her  insolence  and  irresponsibility.  Poland,  beware!  It
should be understood

in Warsaw, as well as in Paris and in London, that if Polish
guns convert the German city of Danzig into a heap of ruins,
German guns will not remain silent."
     After accepting the Polish ultimatum last Saturday, the
Nazis  had in their turn started to utter threats. Thus  the
balance tended to be established.
     From  the fact that after a long series of concessions,
the  Poles last Saturday scored a point, one cannot draw any
conclusions as to the ultimate outcome of the Danzig affair.
Berlin and Warsaw still stand in complete opposition.

                   No. 186 
M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 8, 1939.

     IT  is  only after a lapse of two days that the  German
Press  has seized on the happenings in Danzig to let fly  at
Poland,  which it accuses of war-like provocation. Similarly
the  Czas article, which has supplied the campaign that  was
initiated   yesterday  with  abundant  material,   was   not
immediately  made  use  of by the  German  Press.  Thus  the
Essener   National  Zeitung,  although  regarded  as   semi-
official,  abstained  from  commenting  on  the  article  in
tonight's edition.
     One   may   therefore  wonder  whether  these   violent
diatribes  which  are  not  spontaneous  but  seem  in  some
respects to recall the process applied in September 1938  to
Czechoslovakia,  are intended as the time  when  the  German
army  will be ready draws near, to pave the way for the test
of  strength which is generally expected at the end of  this
month,  or whether it is not simply a question of the German
leaders covering by this means the retreat which the  Danzig
Senate has been forced to make and preventing the Poles from
glorying in their success or attempting to follow it up.
     Although  there is a great deal of war talk  among  the
people,  because  the  papers  encourage  it,  and  military
preparations are becoming more noticeable, still  it  should
be stated that nothing abnormal has happened since Saturday,
the day of the Polish ultimatum to the Danzig Senate.


                   No. 187 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 8, 1939.

     THE  latest  Polish-Danzig incident and the  manner  in
which  it  was settled are very typical of the attitudes  of
the contending parties.
     The Nazis continue to "nibble" in every possible way at
what  remains of the statute of the Free City and the relics
of  Poland's rights and interests in Danzig, no doubt hoping
to  enable Herr Hitler to declare some day that "by the will
of  the  people of Danzig" nothing remains but the documents
of  the  regime instituted by the Treaty of Versailles,  and
that  it would be absurd to unleash a war for the sake of  a
scrap of paper.
     But at the same time Germany has been careful, hitherto
at  least,  not  to push things to extremes. The  Poles,  in
their  wish  to  gain  time, had lately tolerated  all  that
happened  in  Danzig, and the Nazis had  taken  the  fullest
possible  advantage  of the patience  they  displayed.  This
time, in face of a determination to resist, they have become
conciliatory;  according  to  information  received  by   my
English  colleague, the Senate have officially  communicated
their  draft  memorandum  to the High  Commissioner  of  the
League of Nations, who is not accustomed to such courtesies,
and  they  have  drawn  back with the evident  intention  of
renewing their advance at the first opportunity.
     The   margin  of  concessions  which  Poland  is  still
prepared  to  make in her wish to temporize  has  become  so
narrow, however, that any incautious act might well have the
most  serious consequences. It would be well if Berlin  were
to understand this.


                   No. 188 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 10, 1939.

     HERR FORSTER, in a conversation which he had at the end
of the morning with the High Commissioner of the League, and
the tenor of which the latter has communicated to the Polish
Commissioner-General, said that the situation  was  regarded
as  extremely serious in Berlin and that certain articles in
the Polish Press had incensed the

Chancellor; especially an article published three  days  ago
by  the  Czas, which has led the Government of  Warsaw  once
again to renew its counsels of moderation to the Press.
     "In  order  not to make things more complicated,"  Herr
Hitler  had enjoined him, Herr Forster continued,  to  avoid
any   new  incident  in  Danzig.  M.  Beck,  comparing  this
indication with the fact that the speech made by General von
Brauchitsch  this  afternoon  in  Danzig  was  comparatively
moderate,  considers  that  to  appreciate  fully  the  real
significance  of the German move one should take  this  into


                   No. 189 
     M.  DE  SAINT-HARDOUIN,  French  Charg  d'Affaires  in
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
     Berlin, August 10, 1939.
     THE  respite  in  the  anti-Polish campaign  which  had
followed  the  verbal acceptance by President  Greiser  last
Saturday (August 5) of the Polish ultimatum in the affair of
the  Customs  inspectors turned out  to  be  only  of  short
duration.  The  Nazis, both in Danzig and in the  Reich,  at
first a little taken aback by the Polish resistance, did not
take  long  to  recover  themselves.  At  the  moment,   the
agitation against Poland is more violent than ever.
     The  Germans  in  Danzig, as  well  as  in  the  Reich,
completely  overlooking the origins of the  present  crisis,
declare  that  they  are  threatened,  so  as  to  be   able
themselves to adopt a threatening attitude with a  semblance
of  justification. Behind the question of the Free City, the
deep-seated animosity between Germans and Poles,  which  was
artificially masked by the 1934 agreement, is becoming  more
and  more apparent with its full implications and with ever-
increasing acuteness.
     (1)  On  August  5,  in the course  of  the  day,  Herr
Greiser, President of the Senate, taken aback by the  Warsaw
Government's  sudden  determination to  resist  had  hastily
parried this with verbal assurances which he had promised to
confirm in writing by Monday, (August 7). It had seemed  for
a moment as though the Danzig authorities were going to seek
a  peaceful solution to the quarrel raised by the Free  City
in respect of the Polish Customs inspectors.
     The  German Press itself, despite the biased  character
of  its version of the discussion last Saturday between  the
Free   City   authorities  and  M.  Chodacki,  hinted   that
negotiations were about to begin between

Danzig   and  the  Poles.  The  D.N.B.  Agency's  communiqu
referred to them.
     In  the note handed to M. Chodacki by the Senate on the
7th,   there   is,  however,  no  longer  any  question   of
negotiation, according to our Consul in Danzig. In any  case
since  August 9, no more mention of it has been made in  the
German  Press, which merely proclaimed the need for a  swift
and thorough settlement of the dispute. That same day it was
announced that at a mass meeting of Danzigers to be held  on
the  evening  of  August 10, Herr Forster  would  speak  "in
protest against the Polish threats."
     It  is difficult not to see in this decision the result
of  the  interview which the Danzig Gauleiter had with  Herr
Hitler at Berchtesgaden on the 8th. The Czas article perhaps
helped to suggest to the Chancellor the idea of a strong and
solemn  protest  by the Free City against "Polish  threats."
Actually  the moment had come for the Nazis to change  their
tactics.  Their  system had now come up against  the  Warsaw
Government's  determination to  resist  "nibbling."  It  was
therefore   necessary  to  come  back  to  the   method   of
intimidation,  but this time making out that they  were  the
victims  of  intolerable bullying and would  be  obliged  to
defend themselves by every means.
     That  will  doubtless be the tenor of the speech  which
Herr  Forster is to deliver this evening in Danzig, a speech
composed  on  Herr Hitler's instructions and which  official
German  circles have already announced will be  vehement  in
     In  striving  thus  to  create  an  unbearable  tension
between  Danzig and Warsaw, and apparently seeking  in  this
way to wreck all chances of a friendly agreement between the
two States, the rulers of the Reich would seem, if we are to
believe  what  we  hear from well-informed quarters,  to  be
pursuing  a  well-defined aim: to get the Senate to  declare
that it can no longer continue the talks with Poland on  its
own and must ask the Reich to safeguard the interests of the
Free  City within the scope of diplomatic action.  The  idea
seems  to be to prepare the diplomatic abdication of  Danzig
in  favour of the Reich. In this way the differences between
Danzig  and  Warsaw  would  be  transformed  into  a  direct
conflict  between  Warsaw  and  Berlin.  This  would  be   a
procedure  similar to that followed in the Sudeten  dispute,
in  which,  at  the  decisive moment, the  Reich  took  Herr
Henlein's   place.  Meanwhile  the  campaign  of  incitement
against  Poland in the German Press has gone far beyond  the
legal quarrel raised over Danzig.

     By  making  great  play with certain  articles  in  the
Polish  Press, such as that which appeared in Czas  the  day
before  yesterday, and then one in the Kurjer Polski  today,
the  German papers have blazoned with sensational  headlines
the  charge that Poland not only wishes to "conquer"  Danzig
and East Prussia and to reach the line of the Oder, but that
she  seeks  the  complete destruction of the Reich  and  the
extermination of the German people, as formerly Rome desired
the  ruin of Carthage. Normally such threats-if in fact they
are being uttered in Poland-should not in the least affect a
nation  as  proud  of its size and of its  strength  as  the
Greater  German  Reich.  They  should  provoke  nothing  but
ridicule. They are, however, being exploited to the full  to
fan  the  hatred  against  Poland and  seem  to  reveal  the
intention to aggravate systematically the present crisis.
     The public pronouncements made in the last few days  by
eminent  personalities of the Third Reich, more  especially,
Field-Marshal Goering and General von Brauchitsch, are  also
not of a kind to simplify a solution of this crisis.
     On  the  25th anniversary of Germany's entry  into  the
War, the Embassy pointed out the two main objects which  the
leaders of the Reich have in view: to persuade their  people
that Germany is threatened and that if the Reich made war it
would  be  in self-defence; to convince public opinion  that
the war could have no end but a victory for the German arms,
as the Reich was invulnerable and invincible.
     It  is this two-fold intention that was revealed in the
speech   delivered  by  Field-Marshal  Goering  before   the
"Rheinmetall" workmen on Sunday, the interview which he gave
to  the  Nachtausgabe (August 9), and the words spoken  this
very  day  by  General von Brauchitsch  to  workmen  of  the
armament factories.
     In  the present circumstances these speeches might well
seem  to  be the exhortation of a captain to his men  before
leading  them  to  the attack against the Polish  enemy  and
against the "encircling Powers."
     It  is  not  certain, however, that such  is  the  true
meaning  and the real aim of the anti-Polish campaign  whose
revival at the present time we have just noted.
     General  von  Brauchitsch stated  that  if  the  Fhrer
demanded  the  last and supreme sacrifice  from  the  German
soldier, each would answer to his call; but he also asserted
that  the Chancellor would not lightly risk the life of  one
single  German and that he would not decide to do so  unless
there were no alternative.
     As  for Field-Marshal Goering, his chief concern was to
cover up the

weak points in Germany's armour. He was at pains to make  it
clear  that  Germany did not want war, that  the  Reich  was
awaiting  the peace it desired with calm and with confidence
in  the  Fhrer, but that it would defend itself if it  were
refused this peace or if someone were to commit the folly of
plunging Europe into war.
     Neither   Field-Marshal   Goering   nor   General   von
Brauchitsch touched on the problem of Danzig. It is  a  fact
worth noting.
     The  campaign of agitation now taking place in  Germany
may have several objects in view:
     Either  to  prepare the people's minds for a  war,  the
prospect  of  which  is  very far  from  filling  the  great
majority of Germans with enthusiasm;
     Or to prepare a way out for the German Government. Only
recently  a  claimant,  the  Reich  has  abruptly  become  a
defendant. To read the German newspapers, it would  seem  to
be  less  a  matter  of annexing Danzig than  of  preventing
Poland  from  taking  it,  an  intention  which  the  Warsaw
Government has never held;
     Or,  finally,  to intimidate the Poles  and  bluff  the
Western Powers in the hope either of forcing Poland to  come
to terms or of isolating her.
     One cannot a priori reject any of these possibilities.

                  No. 190 
M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 12, 1939.

     IN  view  of  the tone of the Press, of  the  continual
calling-up  of  reserves, of the intense  military  activity
which   is  all  the  time  increasing,  and  of  new   food
restrictions  (there are queues outside the butchers'  shops
this  morning),  the  nervousness of the  public  has  grown
suddenly sharper.
     The semi-official Press is busy creating the impression
that important decisions are about to be taken today or  to-
morrow. According to current rumours the Reichstag will meet
on Tuesday.
     September  2  is,  in  fact, the opening  date  of  the
Nuremberg  Congress, which is to be the  Congress  of  Peace
(the  medal  symbolizing  this  celebration  has  just  been
struck) and the preparations for which

are  being  pushed forward with all speed. Between  now  and
then,  it  is  hinted, Germany will in fact have  made  "her
Peace secure."
     That is the date which this Embassy always indicated as
the  one fixed for the Germany Army to be ready. Herr Hitler
has  begun  his consultations. He would seem to  be  on  the
point of making a decision.
     It seems very difficult to believe, separated as we are
by only three weeks from that Congress of Peace and with the
troops  not  yet concentrated, that, despite  the  illusions
which  are  held here about a "Blitzkrieg" which  would  not
give France and England time to intervene, anyone could hope
to  obtain  this  peace, in so short a  time,  after  having
imposed the German solution by warlike means. What they  are
therefore  counting on, is capitulation without war  by  the
Western  Democracies,  alarmed by  the  Reich's  display  of
military  strength and by the self-confidence  which  it  is
going to show in the course of the next few days.
     Nevertheless,  it is quite certain that  the  Reich  in
building up this bluff is becoming more deeply involved both
in  the  political and in the military spheres, and that  it
runs  the  risk of reaching a point from which it  would  be
difficult  to  draw  back. In that case, however,  it  seems
probable to judge from the information so far in our  hands,
that  the  Reich  leaders will wait for the  result  of  the
spectacular gatherings at Tannenberg and Nuremberg,  as  the
Danzig meeting did not produce the expected results. But  if
the  Congress of Peace were postponed or if preparations for
it  were  interrupted, the possibility of  immediate  action
being  taken should, to my mind, be at least more  seriously

                   No. 191 
M. DE SAINT-HARDOUIN, French Charg d'Affaires in
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 12, 1939.

     GERMAN  propaganda  is  now discoursing  on  the  harsh
treatment  of  Germans by the Poles in order  to  create  an
"atmosphere" which recalls the similar agitation made at the
time  of  the Sudeten affair, hoping in this way to convince
world-opinion  and  also to attempt for  the  last  time  to
persuade France and Great Britain to abandon Poland  to  her
     In  order to avoid that, in the game now being  played,

should  reach  a point from which she could no  longer  draw
back,  one  may wonder whether it would not be advisable  to
make  it  clear  in some form or another  that  we  are  not
deceived   and  to  try,  on  our  side,  to  prevent   this
"atmosphere"  from being created. Undoubtedly  it  would  be
necessary  to  act  with care so as not  to  exasperate  the
leaders  of  the Reich by reminding them of  what  they  are
supposed to know or by arguing with them. But in my view  it
would  be  useful to show that our attitude  to  the  Danzig
question remains unchanged and to explain objectively why we
cannot  allow our hearts to be softened by the fate  of  the
German population in Poland (as the German Press invites  us
to do).
     I  therefore  advise that our wireless stations  should
broadcast, in an unprovocative manner, the following  themes
(they are not new, but their very repetition would not  fail
to have its effect):
     (1)  To  justify  her  claims on  Danzig  Germany  puts
forward  the  racial argument; why, then,  is  it  occupying
     (2)  From an historical point of view Germany maintains
that  Danzig  is  "Urdeutsch," that is  to  say  within  the
homeland of the German people; even if we admitted this,  it
is  still inconceivable that the Reich has finally renounced
its  claims on a land that was German at a far earlier  date
and  accepts  the expulsion of the indigenous population  of
the Upper Adige.
     (3)  For its own purposes, the German Press makes daily
mention  of  the incidents of which the German  minority  in
Poland  is  supposed to be a victim; but it would  be  worth
recalling  those incidents of which the Polish  minority  in
Germany  has  been  victim; that minority  is  as  large  as
Germany's minority in Poland (between 700,000 and a  million
souls);  it is deprived of its essential liberties; recently
several Polish schools have been closed. While the treatment
undergone  by  Germans abroad distresses deeply  the  German
Reich, it remains entirely silent about the regime which  it
imposes in the "Protectorate" of Bohemia and Moravia, whence
it  expels  journalists  and where it  will  allow  no  eye-

                   No. 192 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 12, 1939.

     ATTENTION is drawn by Polish newspapers to the  article

in  the Angriff by Dr. Goebbels on the occasion of Herr  von
Ribbentrop's conversations with Count Ciano. They point  out
that  Germany  makes no secret of her desire for  a  general
revision of her eastern frontiers.
     Dr.   Goebbels's  remarks  provide  further  proof   of
Germany's intentions of conquest, says the communiqu at the
semi-official A.T.E. Agency, appearing in the Gazeta Polska.
Danzig  is  only a pretext; Germany wants to  establish  her
hegemony  and  seeks  to use Danzig as  a  spring-board  for
action on a larger scale in Eastern Europe.


                  No. 193 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 15, 1939.

     I HAVE the honour to send herewith to your Department a
translation of the notes exchanged between the Commissioner-
General  of the Polish Republic in Danzig and the  President
of the Senate of the Free City, on August 4 and 7.
     Your  department will also find enclosed the text of  a
communication   addressed  by  the  President   of   Customs
Administration of the Free City to the Head  Office  of  the
Polish Customs on August 4.


The COMMISSIONER-GENERAL of the Polish Republic,
     to the PRESIDENT of the Senate of the Free City of

     I HAVE learned that the local authorities of the Danzig
Customs on duty at the posts situated on the frontier  which
separates the Free City from East Prussia have addressed  to
the  Polish  Customs  inspectors a  communication  which  is
without precedent in the history of Polish-Danzig relations.
This  document  states that the Danzig  authorities  intend,
from  7  a.m.  on  August 6 to prevent a certain  number  of
Polish Customs inspectors from carrying out their duties  of
control  which  form part of the recognized  rights  of  the
Polish  Government on the Customs frontier. I  am  convinced
that this infringement of the existing agreements, which has
been committed by the local authorities, is the result of  a
misunderstanding   or   of   a   false   interpretation   of
instructions given by the Senate of the Free City.

     You are, I am sure, aware that the Polish Government
could not
permit  the  fundamental rights of Poland to be violated  in
this way.
     I expect to receive from you before 6 p.m. on August 5,
1939,  a  reply assuring me that you have countermanded  the
steps taken by your subordinates.
     Since  the aforesaid incidents have occurred at several
frontier  posts, I am obliged to inform you that all  Polish
Customs  inspectors  have been ordered to  carry  out  their
duties, as from August 6, in uniform and armed, and this  in
all the frontier posts where they may consider it helpful to
their duties. Any attempt to interfere with the execution of
their  duty, any attack or intervention by the police,  will
be  considered  an act of violence directed  against  Polish
State   officials  in  the  discharge  of   their   official
functions.  Should such abuses occur, the Polish  Government
would  immediately initiate reprisals (retaliatory measures)
against the Free City and the responsibility for these would
fall entirely on the Senate.
     I  hope  to  receive a satisfactory reply at  the  time


His EXCELLENCY the Diplomatic Representative of the Polish
     M. M. CHODACKI, Minister Plenipotentiary in Danzig.
     IN  answer to your two notes of August 4, one of  which
was  not  delivered to me until the 5th, I must  express  my
astonishment that you should take advantage of a  completely
baseless  rumour to send to the Danzig Government on  behalf
of  the Polish Government an ultimatum demanding a reply  at
short notice, and that acting in this way without reason you
should  court, at a time of great political unrest,  dangers
which  might lead to incalculable disasters. The order which
the  Polish  Government has abruptly  given  to  all  Polish
Customs inspectors to carry out their duties in uniform  and
armed is contrary to all the stipulations of the Treaties in
force  and  cannot be considered other than as a provocation
likely  to cause incidents and acts of violence of the  most
serious nature.
     In  accordance with what I have since stated-and  as  I
informed  you  immediately by telephone on the afternoon  of
Saturday,  August 5-no official body, and in  particular  no
section  of the Customs Administration of the Free  City  of
Danzig  has ordered its officials from August 6, at 7  a.m.,
to  prevent  a  certain number of Polish Customs  inspectors
from carrying out their duties. I refer you, moreover, to my
note  of June 3, 1939, in which I dealt at sufficient length
with the

question  of the relationship between the Polish and  Danzig
Customs officers on the frontier.
     The  Danzig Government protests with the utmost  energy
against  the  reprisals with which it is threatened  by  the
Polish  Government.  It  considers this  procedure  entirely
inadmissible  and  holds the Polish Government  as  entirely
responsible for any consequences which might occur.
                                                 I am, etc.,



The PRESIDENT of the Customs Administration of the Free City
of Danzig,
     to the Head Office of the Polish Customs.
     THE  Senate of the Free City of Danzig has informed the
Polish Diplomatic representative in Danzig, in its letter of
July 29 of this year, that it has advised the Danzig Customs
Administration that the "so-called" frontier guards shall no
longer be treated as Polish Customs inspectors.
     I  beg  to  refer  you to this communication  from  the
                                    By Order,
                          Director of the Danzig Customs


                  No. 194 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 15, 1939.

     I HAD this morning a conversation lasting one hour with
the  State  Secretary with whom I thought  it  advisable  to
resume contact on my return to Berlin.
     Herr  von Weizscker asked me what impression I brought
back from Paris regarding the international situation.
     I  gave him as exact a picture as possible of France at
work, calm and peaceably inclined, but resolved to make  all
the  sacrifices necessary for the defence of her honour  and
her  position in the world. I made it clear that  during  my
stay  in  Paris, I had been able to satisfy myself that  the
Government's  foreign  policy, which  was  supported  almost
unanimously  by the country, had been and remained,  exactly
the  same  as the French Prime Minister and Your  Excellency
had clearly defined
it,  particularly with reference to Poland  and  Danzig.  It
would  be  nothing short of dangerous to close our  eyes  to
obvious facts. Our positions were taken up quite definitely.
Between  France,  England,  and  Poland,  undertakings   for
assistance  had  been  entered  into,  which  would  operate
automatically in case of aggression against any one of them.
But  the  French Government was also still inspired  by  the
most  sincere  wish to see an easing of the tension  and  an
agreement  reached  between Germany and Poland,  and  I  was
able,  in  all  sincerity and with a full knowledge  of  the
facts, to state that my Government would always use its good
offices to promote any settlement to which Poland, as a free
and sovereign state, might think it possible to subscribe.
     I  added that, on the other hand, I thought I had found
in   Berlin  an  atmosphere  slightly  different  from  that
prevailing  when  I had left it in July.  The  Gauleiter  of
Danzig  between two visits to Berchtesgaden,  had  made  two
violent speeches, one in the Free City, and one at Frth; in
the  Press,  space devoted to Polish incidents was  on  some
days  assuming greater proportions, and the newspapers  went
so far as to speak of German honour in connection with these
incidents. I was, therefore, very anxious to learn from  the
State Secretary exactly how matters stood.
     Herr  von  Weizscker replied that in  actual  fact  he
regretted  that he could not tell me that the situation  was
still  the same as when he had described it to me before  my
departure.  In May, and June, he had expressed  the  opinion
that time would do a great deal to improve matters, that the
Poles   would  gradually  come  round  to  wiser  and   more
conciliatory  views.  But the Poles were  a  changeable  and
excitable people, and the English and French guarantee, that
"automatic" guarantee about which I had spoken, an offspring
of the policy of encirclement, had inclined them to follow a
course  contrary  to  that  which had  been  anticipated  in
Berlin;  time  had therefore worked in an adverse  direction
and  they had now reached the point where an ultimatum  from
Warsaw to the Danzig Senate had been followed by an exchange
of  notes  in  which Poland went so far as to say  that  she
would  consider  any  fresh  German  intervention  that  was
harmful to Polish rights and interests in Danzig as  an  act
of aggression.
     The  State Secretary then asked for these notes  to  be
brought  to him so that he could show them to me. I  pointed
out  to  him  that I was not in a position  to  discuss  the
matter and would have to reserve my opinion.
     He  did  not insist, only mentioning that he had wished
to give me
a  striking  example in support of his allegations,  and  he
afterwards showed me a file of typewritten sheets:  "There,"
he  said,  "is  this morning's list of acts  of  persecution
suffered  by the German minority in Poland. I have  as  many
every morning.
     "Fortunately  it's an ill wind that  blows  nobody  any
good.  This  Polish  policy  must  have  the  advantage   of
ultimately  loosening the bonds between you  and  Warsaw;  I
refuse to believe that France intends always to screen these
Polish pranks."
     In  view  of this direct hint and the insight which  it
afforded  into  what the Germans had at the  back  of  their
minds, it seemed to me necessary that I should be still more
explicit in my reply than I had been at the beginning of the
     I  first of all reminded Herr von Weizscker that if we
had  strengthened our bonds with Poland and if  England  had
similarly  bound  herself, he was well  aware  that  it  was
because  of the events of last March, for which Germany  was
alone  responsible. Without renouncing either  our  role  in
Europe,  or our alliances, or our friendships, we  had  been
willing,  after  December 6, to consider  Germany's  special
position  in central Europe. But the absorption  of  Bohemia
and  Moravia had brought about a positive reversal of French
opinion.  All,  from  the  man in the  street  upwards,  had
realized  that a danger, the most formidable of  dangers  to
them,  the  loss of their liberty and of their independence,
threatened them; and they have been practically unanimous in
considering the restoration of a balance of power in  Europe
as  indispensable  for the preservation of these  blessings;
hence  our  policy, that was wholly devoid of  any  idea  of
encirclement.  I  indicated that this  detailed  explanation
would no doubt enable the State Secretary to understand  why
there  could be no question of our loosening our  ties  with
Poland,  and  why the automatic operation of our  guarantees
about which I had spoken was "real."
     Herr von Weizscker then interrupted me in order to ask
me  whether this automatic action would come into play  even
if  it were not a question of an "unprovoked" aggression.  I
advised him not to lose himself in subtleties; the fact  was
that  if  any  of  the  three Allies, France,  England,  and
Poland, were attacked, the other two would automatically  be
at her side.
     After  all,  everything I had seen while in  Paris  had
convinced  me of the moderation and even of the  caution  of
the  Polish  Central Government. I had been able to  observe
that it turned a blind eye to the

importation   of   arms  into  Danzig,  although   the   re-
militarization of the City is prohibited by its Statute.
     "No  doubt,"  retorted the State  Secretary,  "but  the
Statute could not foresee that the City would have to defend
itself against its guardian! . . ."
     I  quote this phrase because it is very typical of  the
state  of mind of the Wilhelmstrasse. I added that if  minor
incidents  occurred in regions with German  minorities,  the
same  was  the  case  in  Germany  in  regions  with  Polish
     Finally  in  order to leave no shadow of doubt  in  the
mind  of Herr von Weizscker, I added that even as he  could
rest  assured  that  France was employing  the  language  of
wisdom  in  Warsaw (a language which was moreover  perfectly
well  understood) and that she sincerely desired  a  German-
Polish understanding, so the German Government must likewise
take it as definite that France would not exert upon Poland,
an  integral part of our defensive front, a pressure capable
of  impairing  the  moral strength of that  Power.  In  that
respect  we  had  had  one experience  which  would  not  be
     Returning  then to the attitude of the Reich,  I  asked
the  State  Secretary whether he could give me  an  explicit
statement  of  official intentions. We had to  consider  the
claims  of  the  Reich, and the Polish attitude.  If  I  had
understood  rightly what had been said to  me  in  June  and
July,  the  claims  of the Reich could wait  if  the  Polish
attitude permitted. Had the situation changed?
     "It has changed," replied the State Secretary showing a
certain  embarrassment; "I can tell  you  no  more  for  the
moment; I only wish to add that I am pleased to see you back
here at this time."
     I  assured the State Secretary that I should devote the
whole  of  my  strength to the service of peace,  which  was
particularly precious to my country.
     To  those  who know the covert way in which  the  State
Secretary expresses himself, the language which he  used  to
me  is distinctly pessimistic. Ten days ago he still gave my
English  colleague a less gloomy view. There  are,  he  told
him,  four  possible  risks of an  armed  conflict:  (1)  An
English  preventive war; (2) German refusal to believe  that
England would fight for Danzig; (3) Things might go  so  far
that  a  retreat would no longer be possible; (4) A  serious
Polish incident.
     He  eliminated Nos. 1 and 2 automatically.  As  regards
No.  3 Herr Hitler, he said, would know how to stop in time.
He  only  retained No. 4, the serious Polish  incident,  and
this was what he had told me.

     Today, Herr von Weizscker is no longer willing even to
limit  the risk of war to No. 4, and two or three  times,  I
had the feeling that he wanted to give me to understand that
events might move rapidly.
     Is  his  attitude a maneuver intended  to  impress  the
French Government? This is possible, and I hope in that case
that my reactions showed him that it was labour lost. In any
case,  while  I  was making my statement  he  took  numerous
notes, which is contrary to his habit.
     Does  his  attitude on the contrary mean that,  without
having  detailed information of what is his master's secret,
he   knows  that  important  decisions  have  been  made  or
discussed? That is also possible.
     Perhaps  also he combined tactics and truthfulness.  In
life  things are seldom entirely black or white. It  is  not
unlikely that the same may also be true of Herr Hitler.  The
latter,  in  all probability, does not want  a  general  war
because  he knows that he would have many chances of  losing
everything  by it, and because he is convinced that  he  can
hold   out  longer  than  the  democracies  in  the  present
bloodless war. It may therefore be anticipated that he  will
strive  to  the last to achieve his plan without  a  general
conflict.  For  none of my colleagues here doubts  any  more
than  I  do, that he has a plan, and that as regards Poland,
it  comprises, in addition to Danzig, the reincorporation of
the  Corridor and Polish Silesia at the very least, that  is
to  say  the  return to the old frontiers,  and  the  German
Press,  moreover, does not hesitate to formulate such claims
from time to time.
     But  it is equally likely that the Fhrer, while he  is
anxious to avoid a general war, may become irritated and his
anger  gradually increasing against this neighbour who dares
to  defy him, in his desire to bring matters to a conclusion
with  Poland, he may be led to wage war against the  latter,
minimizing,  more  or  less  consciously,  the  risk  of  an
extension of the conflict.
     To  guard as far as possible against this danger  which
appears  to  me  formidable  and  imminent  I  consider   it
     (1)  To  maintain  absolute  firmness,  an  entire  and
unbroken  unity  of  front, as any weakening,  or  even  any
semblance  of  yielding will open the way  to  war;  and  to
insist  every  time the opportunity occurs on the  automatic
operation of military assistance.
     (2)  To maintain the military forces of the Allies, and
in particular our own, on an equality with those of Germany,
which are being continuously increased. It is essential that
we  should at the very least retain the previously  existing
ratio between our forces and those of the

Reich, that we should not give the erroneous impression that
we are "giving ground."
     (3)  To  expedite to the very utmost the conclusion  of
the agreement with the Soviets. I can never repeat too often
how important a psychological factor this is for the Reich.
     (4)  To advise Warsaw to be more careful than ever  and
to  intensify  the measures taken to avoid local  incidents,
for  example, by sending emissaries direct from the  central
authority to the danger zones.


                  No. 195 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 15, 1939.

     ON  the  morrow of the discussions between Count Ciano,
Herr von Ribbentrop, and the Fhrer (August 11, 12, and  13)
the situation, as seen from Berlin, is far from clear. It is
not  possible to discern with any degree of certainty either
the  immediate intentions of the leaders of the  Reich,  nor
the  manner  in  which they intend, at a  given  moment,  to
escape from the present deadlock nor to what extent they are
really prepared to run the risk of a general conflict.
     There  are,  however, certain facts which  control  the
     (1)  The  military preparations of the Reich are  being
speeded  up  and  intensified, and it may be  accepted  that
Germany has today reached an advanced stage of mobilization.
These  factors  have  increased the war psychosis  which  is
becoming   more   and  more  prevalent  among   the   German
     (2)  In the Danzig problem, the Reich has become  still
more  entangled, and over and above the question of the Free
City,  those of the German-Polish frontiers, and, in a  more
general  way  of the east of Europe, have been  clearly  put
before German public opinion;
     (3) In spite of the categorical statements of the Reich
Press,  it  is  still  impossible to  gauge  the  degree  of
understanding  and  effective  solidarity  already  achieved
between Rome and Berlin;
     (4)  In  addition to symptoms which call for the utmost
vigilance, others would seem to indicate that Berlin has not
yet  decided to precipitate matters, and that they have  not
given up all idea of temporizing.

     (1) For several weeks past it has been evident that the
Reich was taking all necessary measures to have considerable
forces  under arms from the middle of August (August  15  to
20),  and  by  that  date  to have  the  country's  military
preparedness  in  all directions at an advanced  stage.  The
measures  observed at the present time can therefore  hardly
occasion surprise. On the other hand, they can no longer  be
explained  only  by  the necessity-as officially  pleaded-of
training the troops (regulars or reserves). If compared with
the military measures of last autumn, they are more and more
clearly  distinguished  from the  latter  by  the  following
     Extreme  care is taken to maintain secrecy, and secrecy
is  effectively  maintained to  a  large  extent  thanks  to
methods of concealment developed almost to a fine art;
     Mobilization  is  effected on  a  much  more  extensive
scale; the civilian population-in so far as it is not called
up-is  subject  to  requisitioning in much greater  measure.
This  fact is particularly appreciable in the case of female
labour;  levies  and requisitioning of all kinds  (vehicles,
petrol,  livestock,  sundry  commodities)  have  attained  a
volume so great that the economic activity of the country is
seriously disorganized, while stocks and their replenishment
are hampered;
     The  anxiety  to  put  Germany  in  the  best  possible
condition  to sustain a war is such that, however great  the
part  played  by  bluff,  it  is  impossible  to  avoid  the
impression  that  more  serious contingencies  are  not  set
aside.   Such,  moreover,  is  the  feeling  of  the  German
population, among whom the fear of a war is universal;
     Up  to  the  present, if we except  the  assembling  of
troops  in many places in Upper Silesia and in East Prussia,
no important concentrations constituting an immediate threat
to   Poland  have  yet  been  observed.  Technical  experts,
however, are of opinion that in the present state of  German
mobilization such concentrations could be effected in a  few
     (2)  If, at the time of the Polish ultimatum of  August
5,  some  surprise and some wavering was noticeable  in  the
attitude  of  the Nazis in Danzig and in the Reich,  Germany
was,   nevertheless,   not  slow  in  regaining   her   self
     After  the  Senate climbed down in the  matter  of  the
Polish Customs officers, the leaders of the Reich, tried, as
we  had  for several days been given to understand from  the
German   side  they  would,  to  take  over  the  diplomatic
representation  of  the interests of Danzig.  This  was  the
meaning of the verbal note handed by the German Government


to Warsaw on August 9. The Polish reply of the 11th in which
the  Warsaw  Government declared that it would consider  any
fresh  German intervention in the differences between Danzig
and  Poland as an act of aggression, cut short this attempt.
This  reply  appears to have profoundly irritated  the  Nazi
leaders and the Fhrer himself.
     Meanwhile,  the  campaign in favour of  the  return  of
Danzig  to  the  Reich  was becoming more  violent.  On  the
evening   of  August  10,  Gauleiter  Forster,   back   from
Berchtesgaden,  made a speech in Danzig at  a  demonstration
organized  in  order to testify to the will  of  the  Danzig
population  to  be  reincorporated in  the  Reich.  In  this
speech, drafted in accordance with instructions received  in
Obersalzberg,  he expressed the conviction that  the  Fhrer
would  know how to realise the unanimous will of the  people
of  Danzig  to return to their German Fatherland.  Two  days
later,  back  in  Germany once more, he  delivered,  in  his
native  town of Frth, a second speech in which some thought
they  recognized the Fhrer's style, and in  the  course  of
which   he   exclaimed:  "Whatever  happens,   Danzig   will
certainly, in the long run, return one day to the Reich."
     The speeches of Herr Forster, and likewise the articles
published  at  the  same  time in  the  Reich  Press  marked
moreover  a  new  phase  in the anti-Polish  campaign.  Herr
Forster  not  only explicitly stated the German claims  with
regard  to  Danzig;  he called the Polish  State  itself  to
account just as the Czechoslovak State was called to account
last  year.  He denied Poland the right of existence  as  an
independent state. This argument was abundantly developed in
semi-official  newspapers such as the  National  Zeitung  of
Essen, which, in its issue of August 13, proclaimed that the
existence  of Poland was not in the least necessary  to  the
European  balance of power. The period of German  claims  to
Pomerelia,  Poznan,  and Upper Silesia,  was  thus  at  once
     The  arguments now put forward are, moreover, strangely
similar  to  those  which were produced before  against  the
Republic  of  M. Benes: total incapacity of the  Government;
heterogeneous character of a population of which  one  third
is made up of minorities; and strategic weaknesses. Finally,
accompanying  the threats and ill-treatment  alleged  to  be
directed against the City of Danzig and the members  of  the
German  minority  in Poland appeared the  further  argument,
which had also been advanced at the time of the German-Czech
crisis, namely that of German honour.
     Certain  newspapers  even went so  far  as  to  declare
openly that the

Polish  problem was in itself only one particular case,  and
that it was now time to settle the "Eastern problems."
     It  must,  nevertheless, be observed that,  up  to  the
present,  no member of the Reich Government has taken  up  a
position  over the Danzig problem so definite as to  make  a
final breach inevitable. The Fhrer has not referred to  the
subject  since  April  28.  From  what  is  known   of   his
discussions with M. Burckhardt, at the time of the  latter's
visit  to Berchtesgaden on August 12, it would seem that  he
has  not  altered his attitude since. Nor have  any  of  his
Lieutenants made any definite pronouncements. The newspapers
themselves, while proclaiming their faith in the  inevitable
return of the Free City to the Reich, have not yet mentioned
any  date,  nor declared that this return would have  to  be
secured "in one way or another" (so oder so).
     (3)   The  German  Press  has  not  given  any  precise
information  concerning the conversations  at  Salzburg  and
Berchtesgaden.  In so far as any items of  information  have
been  given,  these have sometimes proved contradictory.  To
give  one instance, certain newspapers have maintained  that
Germany  and Italy had, of course, examined the question  of
the  revision of the order of things established in  Central
and  South-Eastern Europe by the treaties  of  1919.  Others
have  declared  that  neither Germany  nor  Italy  had  ever
contemplated giving the Western Powers the pleasure of  such
a digression.
     From  what  it has been possible to observe in  Berlin,
the   predominant  impression  left  by  the  German-Italian
conversations  may  be  summed  up  as  follows:  Italy  has
endeavoured to exercise a moderating influence, to  restrain
the  Reich.  But  the  results of  this  attempt  are  still
     (4)   The   situation  created  by  the  Salzburg   and
Berchtesgaden conversations is therefore precarious. Certain
indications, it is true, permit the hope that the danger  of
war  is  not immediate. The crops have not yet been entirely
gathered  in;  the  harvest was very  late  and  was  partly
damaged  by  the very abundant rains of the last few  weeks.
Work  on the fortifications is not completed either  on  the
Western  Front,  or  on  the  German-Polish  frontier.   The
preparations  for  the demonstrations at Tannenberg  (August
27)  and  Nuremberg  (September 2-10) are  apparently  being
continued.  The  members of the Diplomatic Corps  have  just
been  invited  to the Congress, which, as nearly  a  million
Germans are expected to attend, will disorganize the railway
service for several weeks.

     Nevertheless,  these indications, cannot be  considered
entirely conclusive.
     The principal dangers of war may, therefore, be reduced
to these two:
     (a)  Illusion  as to the attitude of France  and  Great
     (b)  The hope of being able to destroy the Polish  Army
     the  Western  Powers have been able to  give  effective
assistance, and  of having by this means created a "war map"
which would set London and Paris thinking.
     (a)  There is no doubt that certain of the Nazi leaders
and,  in particular, Herr von Ribbentrop, still hope to give
some   sort  of  satisfaction  to  the  Western  Powers   by
restricting  the  German  claims to Danzig,  setting  aside,
provisionally, the question of the Corridor and other claims
against Poland.
     (b)  The  idea  that the German Army  could  crush  the
Polish  Army and take Warsaw in a few weeks, or even  a  few
days,  before  France and England had time to intervene,  or
even  to come to a decision, is fairly widespread among  the
public  and in certain official circles. The Fhrer  himself
is said to consider the undertaking as not impossible. It is
said  that certain officers in his circle encourage  him  in
that view.
     What  is  most  likely  at the present  time,  is  that
Germany,  while  endeavouring to  carry  through  the  first
solution (a) is continuing to push on her preparations  with
a  view  to  being able if necessary to attempt  the  second
solution (b).
     The   best   means  of  counteracting  this   manoeuvre
obviously aimed at gaining possession of Danzig in order  to
prepare  the ruin of Poland, to demoralize the small  States
guaranteed  by  France and England, and to bring  about  the
collapse of the entire system, built up to resist aggression
is,  it  would seem, to invite the Germans, if they were  to
submit proposals to us to this effect, to address themselves
to Warsaw.
     At  the same time it is, however, essential, in view of
the  extent  of the military measures adopted by the  Reich,
that we should not allow ourselves to be forestalled by  the
German  mobilization.  Moreover, it is  by  maintaining  our
military  forces on a level with theirs that we  shall  most
effectively  help to persuade the Reich that  we  are  fully
resolved  to  keep our engagements with our  Polish  allies,
and, if need be to intervene immediately in their favour.


                  No. 196 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 16, 1939.

     M.  BECK  has confirmed to me that he will  make  every
effort  to reach a peaceful settlement of the Danzig dispute
and  that he would have recourse to the good offices  of  M.
Burckhardt should the occasion arise.
     In  the  course  of this morning, a conversation  which
seems  to  have  been  satisfactory took  place  between  M.
Chodacki  and Herr Greiser. The latter notified  the  Polish
Commissioner  General  that  the  Polish  Customs   officers
arrested two days ago were to be released.
     Last  night, it is true, a fresh incident occurred with
regard  to  which M. Beck told me he had as yet no  detailed
information:  a  Polish soldier was killed  on  the  Polish-
Danzig frontier.
     In  order  to cooperate in the settlement of  questions
still  outstanding, technical experts are going from  Warsaw
to Danzig.
     In  this  connection, I once more advised the  Minister
for Foreign Affairs to act in such a way that the population
of  Danzig,  the majority of whom are hostile  to  the  Nazi
agitation,  should  have  the  feeling  that  its   economic
interests   are   being  to  the  fullest  possible   extent
safeguarded by Poland.
     M.  Beck replied that, acting in this spirit, he  would
oppose any measure of retaliation the necessity of which did
not arise.


                   No. 197 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 17, 1939.

     FOR some days past, the German Press has entered upon a
new  chapter of its anti-Polish campaign. It claims  that  a
sort  of  pogrom  has been started by organized  groups  and
certain  local  authorities against the Germans  in  Poland.
This  morning  there  were sensational headlines  announcing
that  on  the other side of the frontier a positive man-hunt
was  in  progress  against the "Volksdeutschen,"  that  mass
arrests  were  being made among them, that Polish  officials
were  distributing arms to shady elements of the  population
and that an intoler-

able  terror  menaced  the entire German  minority.  Lastly,
refugees  were  said  to  be already  flocking  into  German
     Thus  we  meet again the tactics and methods  by  which
Nazi  propaganda, nearly a year ago, was able to induce  the
German  people and part of foreign opinion to  believe  that
there  was  serious  disorder in  Sudetenland,  that  bloody
conflicts  were occurring there daily, and that the  Germans
there were treated as outlaws. Acting on orders from Berlin,
agents  of  Herr Henlein were trying to create  a  panic  in
Northern Bohemia, and compelling members of the minority  to
cross  the frontier and seek refuge, without any reason,  in
refugee  camps,  organized  with  great  publicity  in   the
neighbourhood of Dresden or in Silesia.
     The object of this maneuver is clear; the intention  is
now,  just  as it was in September 1938, to inflame  popular
passions  within  the  country  and  create  externally,  by
artificial  means, the impression, either that the  opposing
party   was   indulging   in  more  and   more   intolerable
provocations, or that its central authority, overwhelmed  by
irresponsible  elements,  is no  longer  in  a  position  to
maintain order. In both cases, the Reich can find a  pretext
for  intervention,  in  the need  either  to  avenge  German
honour,  or  to  replace  the  irresolute  authorities   and
themselves  undertake the protection of their  "brothers  by
     It  should  be noted that as a result of this campaign,
the Danzig question tends to recede into the background. The
problem   assumes  wider  proportions  and  by   implication
includes the question of the Corridor and that of the Polish
Provinces with a German minority.
     In  view  of  the  results, direct and indirect,  which
National-Socialist  policy  proposes  to  secure   by   this
propaganda,  it is, in my view, important to counteract  the
latter as rapidly as possible, and demonstrate to the rulers
of  the  Reich  that  foreign opinion, at  least  among  the
Western  Powers is no longer taken in by maneuvers to  which
we now know what value to attach.
     This counteracting process should be comparatively easy
if,  as  M. Lipski asserts, 95 per cent of the facts brought
forward  by the German Press in support of its campaign  are
exaggerated, distorted, or even merely fabricated. Thus  the
Polish  Ambassador  gave me the following  example:  In  its
issue  of August 15, the Angriff reported on its front page,
in  sensational manner, the murder of a German  engineer  in
Eastern Galicia. "Horrible Polish murder," the heading read,
"German engineer murdered."
     This murder, had in actual fact, been committed as  far
back as

June  15.  The  murderer was arrested, and the  case  is  at
present before a Polish Court. It has been established  that
the  crime in question, whose motive was passion, and devoid
of  any  political bias, comes under common law. As a result
of  their  consul's  report  on the  murder  of  this  Reich
subject, the German authorities came to the same conclusion,
and  on July 3, the German Ambassador in Warsaw informed the
Polish  Ministry of Foreign Affairs that,  in  view  of  the
character of the crime they would refrain from intervening.
     Nevertheless National-Socialist propaganda  seized  the
occasion  of the victim's funeral which took place  on  June
23, to write up the affair as though it had been a political
assassination, and the Angriff now returns to the charge.
     This case is typical. It is not the only one; according
to  M. Lipski, many other examples might be quoted. In every
case of this kind it would be desirable to set the facts  in
their  true  light as soon as possible, and,  in  this  way,
convict    the   German   propaganda   of   mendacity    and
overstatement.  These rectifications, would  of  course,  be
most  valuable,  in  the first instance,  to  the  competent
Polish authorities. However, in so far as the Western Powers
make  common  cause  with the Poles the interests  of  their
propaganda are obviously identical.
     Perhaps,  if Your Excellency thought it advisable,  our
Embassy in Warsaw might, if required, draw the attention  of
the Polish administration to this matter.
     By   setting   the  facts  in  a  true  light,   in   a
dispassionate  and  objective  manner,  our  Press  and  our
broadcasting  stations (particularly in their broadcasts  in
the  German language) would very efficiently help in  taking
the edge off the German propaganda and enlighten readers and
listeners, including those in the Reich, on the calculations
and the ulterior motives of Nazi policy.


                   No. 198 

M. ROGER CAMBON, French Charg d'Affaires in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
August 18, 1939.

     THE British Ambassador had, on the date already
mentioned, a conversation with Herr von Weizscker, which
was very similar to the conversation reported by M.
Coulondre, but which dealt exclusively with German-Polish
relations and their international repercussions.
     In  the  course of this conversation, the German  State
Secretary  was  particularly  aggressive  and  even   brutal
towards Poland, on account of the notes sent by Warsaw  both
to  the  Senate  and  to  the  Wilhelmstrasse,  and  of  the
treatment  meted  out to the German-speaking  population  in
Polish  territory. Without referring to the  possibility  of
England remaining outside the conflict, he declared that the
last limit of German patience had now been reached.
     According to Sir Nevile Henderson's account, he replied
with  equal  vigour and put forward the other  side  of  all
these questions. Not for one moment did he feel that he  was
even holding the interest of the person to whom he spoke.
Lord Halifax has had this report sent to Colonel Beck for


                   No. 199 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 18, 1939.

     DESPITE  some  indications of  a  local  relaxation  at
Danzig,  the  situation becomes increasingly  tense.  It  is
difficult  to  say for the moment whether it  will  reach  a
climax  before  or after the Nuremberg Congress.  There  are
indications  favouring  either view. Consequently,  I  shall
venture  to  recall the chief suggestions made  in  my  last
     (1)  It is of the utmost importance to keep abreast  of
Germany  in all military matters. Germany is at the  present
time  calling  up large numbers of reserves and  is  forming
them  into  divisions,  and also carrying  out  considerable
movements of troops and war material.
     (2)  It is imperative to bring the Russian negotiations
to  a  satisfactory conclusion as soon as possible. I  learn
from various sources that it is now the military authorities
who  are most active in pressing the Chancellor to go to war
with  Poland. The most powerful deterrent would  be  a  pact
with the Russians.
     (3)  The  most  burning question today is perhaps  less
that of Danzig than that of the German minorities in Poland,
and  I  wonder if Germany is not behaving thus in  order  to
find points of attack less explicitly covered than Danzig by
the  Franco-British guarantees. It seems dear that the Reich
is  now trying to confuse the issue and to collect a dossier
of such Polish acts of provocation as would permit her

to  intervene  against Poland in a military sense  on  other
grounds than Danzig, in the hope that these alleged acts  of
Polish  provocation  would place the  conflict  outside  the
framework  of  the  pact  existing between  Poland  and  the
Western  Powers.  It would be useful to remember  this  when
drawing  up  the  agreements  which  are  at  present  being
     (4)  On the other hand, the treatment dealt out to  the
German  minorities is one of the things to which Herr Hitler
is most sensitive. Besides, this tendency has been reflected
in the German Press for some days.
     (5)  It is of course important to bring no pressure  to
bear  on  Poland  which might injure her moral  strength  or
vital  interests, and to leave her free to decide the  limit
of the concessions she can make regarding Danzig, but at the
same  time  it seems to me that we should let her  know  the
value  we  attach to the safeguarding of peace, so that  she
should  give no grounds for complaint nor justification  for
the  German maneuver concerning the treatment of minorities,
and  should do all she can to avoid incidents with  Germany,
especially in the German-inhabited districts.
     (6) Given the extremely precise indications, which have
reached me from a safe source, on the Chancellor's state  of
mind, I consider that the Government should make use of  its
powers  and forbid the Press to make any attack which  might
be taken as a personal insult against the Head of the German


                  No. 200 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 18, 1939.

     As  the  German  campaign against Poland develops,  the
analogies between it and that undertaken last autumn against
Czechoslovakia  are  becoming more and  more  apparent.  The
methods  used by the Reich on both occasions are so  similar
that  we  can  try and ascertain what point the  crisis  has
reached by a comparison with the events of 1938.
     (1)  M.  Burckhardt went back to Danzig on  August  14.
Last year, on about the same date, Lord Runciman arrived  in
Prague  to reopen negotiations between Herr Henlein's  Party
and the Government in Prague. But from that time onwards  it
was seen that these conferences

and  the agreements which might be reached between the Czech
Government and the Sudeten Party were of secondary  interest
in  the  eyes of the German rulers. It is more or  less  the
same  today with the settlement of local questions affecting
Danzig.  Yet it should be noted that the Nazis of  the  Free
City  and  of  the  Reich  seem  far  more  disposed  to  be
conciliatory in the settlement of these questions  than  the
German negotiators ever were with regard to the Czechs.
     (2) Ever since the month of May last year-on May 28  to
be  precise-the Fhrer had resolved not only to  settle  the
Sudeten  question, but also to have done with Czechoslovakia
altogether.  For a long time, the rulers of  the  Reich  had
made  no  secret of their desire to wipe Czechoslovakia-that
"air-craft carrier for Soviet Russia"-off the map.
     For  the moment, the Danzig question has fallen into  a
secondary  place.  The problem of the German  minorities  in
Poland, and indirectly that of the German frontiers of 1914,
have come into the foreground: but it cannot yet be affirmed
that  the  Fhrer  has  decided  to  liquidate  Poland.  The
existence  of  that  State has so  far  been  challenged  in
comparatively  few  newspaper articles. The  destruction  of
Poland  has not yet been presented to the German  public  as
one of the essential aims of German policy.
     (3) From the end of August, 1938, it was clear that the
Reich,  in  fomenting a revolt of the Sudeten  Germans,  was
looking  for  a pretext for military intervention.  Such  is
probably the aim of the agitation going on at present  about
the  German minorities in Poland, but the manoeuvre has  not
yet  reached such an advanced stage. Violent as it  is,  the
campaign  against the Poles is a long way from reaching  the
size  and  the violence assumed by the anti-Czech  agitation
towards the middle of August last year.
     It is true that for some days past the German Press has
been describing ill treatment of every sort which is said to
be  inflicted  on the Germans in Poland: it speaks  of  mass
arrests,  "man-hunts," the distribution of arms to  doubtful
elements, of tens of thousands of people compelled  to  seek
refuge in Germany, of the violation of frontiers by military
planes.  But  last  year, tales such as these,  considerably
amplified  and dramatized, were spread all over  the  German
papers  for whole weeks, while the crisis reached  its  peak
only at the end of September.
     (4)  In  conclusion, therefore, we cannot say that  the
German-Polish crisis is any nearer its culmination now  than
was  the German-Czech crisis at a corresponding period  last
     This  remark does not apply to symptoms of  a  military

In  this sphere, the preparations would seem to be on a  far
vaster  scale and in a much more advanced stage. This  is  a
point to which we must attach the utmost importance.


                  No. 201 
M. ROGER CAMBON, French Charg d'Affaires in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 19, 1939.

     TAKEN  in conjunction with the interview of the British
Ambassador  with Herr von Weizscker, the conversation  held
by  the latter with M. Coulondre on August 10 would seem  to
have been a "friendly warning" of the imminence of a German-
Polish  conflict, given to France by the State Secretary  by
order  of Herr von Ribbentrop, though less brutally than  to
Great Britain.


                  No. 202 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 19, 1939.

     A  Pat  Agency  telegram from Berlin,  reproduced  this
morning  in  the Gazeta Polska, states that the persecutions
of the Poles have now reached terrifying proportions. In the
period from April 1 to June 30, it is stated that there have
been 976 acts of violence, attacks on farms, destructions of
property  and  forced evacuations from  the  frontier  zone.
Since July 1, the situation is said to have grown worse.



                  Part Six 
          The International Crisis 
       (August 20-September 3, 1939) 
       The German Will to Aggression 
            (August 20-22, 1939) 
                  No. 203 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 20, 1939.

(Received by air at 11 a.m.)
     FROM a very reliable source I learn that Wilhelmstrasse
circles  are  gravely concerned by the turn  of  events  and
believe that Herr Hitler is determined to "settle the Danzig
question" before the 1st September.


                  No. 204 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Berlin, August 20,
1939. 12.25 p.m.

(Received at 1.40 p.m.)
     ONE  of my colleagues heard yesterday evening from high
officials of the Wilhelmstrasse some very pessimistic  views
on  the development of the international situation. In their
opinion,  German  honour is at stake in Danzig  and  Germany
cannot  retreat: they saw no hope of avoiding war. As  to  a
military intervention by Great Britain in favour of  Poland,
they  did  not believe in it. "Why should England  intervene
for  Danzig, after allowing the Reich to seize Austria,  the
Sudeten territory, the Czech regions and Memel?"
     These  German high officials, whose remarks also showed
an ex-
treme  animosity towards the British, behaved as  if,  while
personally  feeling deep anxiety and grave apprehension  for
the future, they were trying hard to impress on my colleague
the imminence of a conflict on which Germany was resolved.


                  No. 205 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Berlin, August 21,
1939.1.50 a.m.

(Received at 7 a.m.)
     A  VERY  important  new  fact in the  military  sphere,
namely,  the beginning of a concentration of German  forces,
is  brought  to  light by the latest information  collected,
particularly after today's investigations.
     There  are  sure  signs that the units  of  the  Berlin
armoured  division are on a war footing and that  they  will
probably  move tonight. Many roads in the eastern  direction
are  under  military guard; others have  been  prepared  for
troop  movements. Today, some tanks have been  sent  off  by
     From  Vienna comes news of an intense military activity
since  August 19. At Bremen, the 22nd Division is  mobilized
to war strength and ready to leave.
     Mobilization  has already been carried out  on  a  very
large  scale:  but  it  is  not possible  to  estimate  even
approximately  the  actual  figures.  I  do   not   consider
exaggerated the number given by a foreign source,  according
to  which the land forces alone amount to 2,400,000  men.  A
very large proportion of reservists has also been called  up
for the Air Force.
     It may be that, by all these preparations, Germany only
means  to  support  the political maneuver  which  is  being
carried   out  by  her  at  present.  But  it  will   become
increasingly  difficult for her to stop on the  slope  where
Germany now finds herself.
     Considering as I do that nothing should be left  undone
which might prevent Germany from proceeding further, I  feel
it  my  duty  to stress once more the urgent and  imperative
necessity  of  taking  the necessary measures,  both  as  to
calling  up  reserves and the mobilization of  industry,  so
that our preparations remain level with those of Germany.
     Even  more  than a military necessity, this is,  in  my
opinion, a political necessity.
     What  constitutes one of the gravest dangers of war  at
the  present time is the doubt which the Government  of  the
Reich may still have concerning the intentions of France and
Britain to lend Poland their support.
     If  we prove by our military and other measures that we
are  actually  getting ready to fulfill our obligations,  we
shall  thereby  make  use  of the best  possible  method  to
dissipate  this  doubt. On the other hand, the  Third  Reich
would  find  dangerous encouragement in the thought  that  a
disparity  in  its  favour  may  exist  between  the  German
preparations and our own.


                  No. 206 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 21,
1939. 3.41 p.m. 
(Received at 535 p.m.)
     THE  Pat  Agency publishes a communiqu to  the  effect
that  it is authorized to give a categorical denial  to  the
absolutely  baseless  inventions of the  Reich's  propaganda
services  as  regards  the  "terror"  of  which  the  German
minority  in  Poland is said to be the victim,  the  alleged
"tortures"  of arrested Germans and the "mass  flights  into
     On  the other hand, the Polish newspapers announce that
many   Polish  schools  in  the  frontier  zone  have   been
requisitioned by the German authorities, that soldiers  have
been billeted in them, and that the classroom furniture  has
been thrown out into the street.
     They  announce too that many people employed in  Polish
institutions  or organizations in German Silesia  have  been
sent  to labour camps and that the Polish workers have  been
sent to the interior of Germany.


                  No. 207 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Berlin, August 21,
1939. 5.29 p.m.  

(Received 7 p.m.)
     OWING  to  the large numbers of troops moving  eastward
during  the  whole of yesterday and the heavy  traffic  last
night on the Magdeburg-


Berlin  motor road, it is no longer possible to  doubt  that
the concentration of forces is in progress.
     However, Germany has not officially mobilized,  and  is
supposed to be using the army and calling up reserves for  a
period  of  training; the reserves are being  called  up  by
individual summons and not by proclamation.
     I think that for our part it would be best to avoid any
ostentatious  action while taking all necessary  steps.  The
measures  we adopt will be all the more effective for  being
discreet.  The  German Government will always  get  to  know
enough about them to realize what they mean It will be  able
neither  to consider our attitude as a provocation, nor  our
preparations as a piece of bluff.


                  No. 208 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Berlin, August 21,
1939. 9.7 p.m.

(Received on the 22nd at 12.10 a.m.)
     I  HAVE  just  heard, from a source  which  is  usually
reliable,  that the immediate intentions of Germany  are  as
     (1) Orders have been given to all officer pilots of the
Berlin  region  to  join their posts at midnight  to-morrow,
with three days' provisions. Similar information reached  me
from   another   source  this  morning  stating   that   the
concentration of German forces was to be completed in two or
three days' time.
     (2)  An important decision is to be taken by the  Reich
in  the night from Tuesday to Wednesday, in connection  with
the  Danzig affair. This step on the precise nature of which
no  information  has  been given, would cause  very  serious
international tension and would probably involve the closing
of the German frontiers.
     (3)  At  the  same time, Bohemia and Moravia  would  be
granted  an  independence similar to that  of  Slovakia,  an
action  calculated to have the appearance of generosity  and
meant  to  confuse  French and English  public  opinion,  to
separate the Allies and to isolate Poland.
     (4)  The  Fhrer  would merely have the Siegfried  Line
manned:  he  would not declare war on France or on  Britain,
and  would remain on the defensive. Even should the  Western
Powers  formally declare war on Germany, Herr  Hitler  would
wait to be attacked and avoid taking
any  initiative.  He  is said to hope that  the  French  and
British  Governments will come to see the  futility  of  any
intervention and will then accept the situation  created  de
facto on the eastern frontiers.
     I  am  not  able  to  vouch for the accuracy  of  these
indications; yet they come from a well-informed  source  and
seem  to  me likely to be true, as a maneuver of  this  kind
seems to correspond pretty well with Herr Hitler's mentality
and methods.
     There  must be no illusions concerning the independence
that  the  Czech provinces might obtain: by  making  such  a
gesture  while at the same time acting against  Poland,  the
Third  Reich  would endeavour to create the impression  that
the  establishment  of a just peace was  its  sole  concern,
while actually carrying on its policy of conquest.


                  No. 209 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Berlin, August 21,
1939.9.55 p.m.

(Received 11.30 p.m.)
     IN  THE  opinion  of our Military Attach,  the  German
forces  will have completed their concentration  in  two  or
three days' time. The greater part of the German forces will
be concentrated on the Polish frontier.


                  No. 210 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw.
                                      Paris, August 21,
1939. 10.30 p.m.

     THE German Press and wireless are widely exploiting the
alleged persecutions, of which the German minority in Poland
is  supposed  to be the victim, just as they did  last  year
over the Sudetens.
     The  Polish Government would be well advised, in  order
to  frustrate  this  manoeuvre: (1) To  make  the  necessary
rectifications  through the same channels,  and  perhaps  to
provide the English and French wireless with all details  in
order  that they may refute these allegations; (2) To  take,
locally, all such steps as may prevent incidents which might
be exploited by the German propaganda.

     Although I have no doubt that the Government in  Warsaw
is fully aware of all this, I leave it to your discretion to
confirm  this,  in whatever way seems to you most  expedient
and with all due discretion.

                  No. 211 
M. GARREAU, French Consul-General in Hamburg,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Hamburg, August 22,
1939. 4.10 p.m.

(Received 6 p.m.)
     I  LEARN  on  good authority that the German Government
hopes,  by  a lightning attack, to dispose of Poland  before
the  end of the month. The Reich seems to be convinced  that
Great  Britain  and  France,  equally  disconcerted  by  the
Russian  attitude,  will not move. The Reich  believes  that
Moscow  is preparing a great political upheaval which  would
tend to bring the ideologies of the two totalitarian regimes
into harmony.
     The  rumour that the offensive against Poland would  be
launched  on  August 22 has been circulating in Hamburg  for
several days. A great number of railway employees have  been
ordered  to  report  in  various Polish  towns,  notably  in
Warsaw,  Ibrun and Poznan, on a date which would be notified
towards  the end of the month. From this it would seem  that
the  occupation  of  these centres by the  German  Army  was
expected very soon.
     Many  motor-cars  have been requisitioned  in  Hamburg.
They are at once given military numbers and repainted grey.
     The  departure of the 20th Mechanized Division for  the
Polish  frontier has taken place within the last  48  hours;
these  troops  left Hamburg partly by train  and  partly  in
three  motor convoys which set out respectively for Rostock,
Ludwiglust and Lbeck.


                  No. 212 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 22,
1939. 4.16 p.m. 

(Received 8.45 p.m.)
     HEARD that, in accordance with the request that I  made
to  the  Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Polish Government
will daily from
to-morrow  give the necessary corrective statements  to  the
Havas  Agency, to your Department through the Polish Embassy
in Paris, and to me.
     I took this opportunity to have a conversation with one
of  M.  Beck's private secretaries, in which I stressed  the
points  desired  by  Your Excellency.  He  assured  me  that
Poland, fully aware of the necessity for avoiding incidents,
would redouble her vigilance in this matter.
     He  told  me that instructions had been given yesterday
morning  to the Government newspapers to refrain,  for  some
days at least, from all attacks on the Reich and from giving
prominence  to any news items which might possibly  irritate
the Germans.


                  No. 213 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 22, 1939.

(Received by courier the 23rd at 12.30 p.m.)
     A  RESERVE officer, who has just been called  up  in  a
Department of the German War Office, declared to a  reliable
intermediary  that  in the General Staff  it  is  considered
certain  that  action  against Poland  will  be  taken  very
shortly.  It  is not doubted that this action  will  produce
decisive results in a very few days.
     They  would  seem,  in fact, to be  anticipating  that,
under the violence of the blows rained upon her, Poland will
collapse internally. They appear to be counting a great deal
upon  upheavals  among  the racial minorities,  chiefly  the
     The announcement of the non-aggression pact with Russia
has  contributed  powerfully to  the  strengthening  of  the
Army's confidence in the success of German arms.



  Mr. Chamberlain's Message and Herr Hitler's Reply
               (August 23-26) 
                  No. 214 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 23, 1939. 
(Received by telephone at 11.25 a.m.)
     THE  British Ambassador, who is to be received  by  the
German Chancellor today, has flown to Berchtesgaden.  He  is
taking a message from Mr. Chamberlain to Herr Hitler.
     According  to  information sent to  me  by  Sir  Nevile
Henderson,  the purport of this document is  known  to  Your
Excellency.  He emphasized that his mission is  shrouded  in
absolute secrecy.


                  No. 215 
M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Danzig, August 23,
1939. 8.35 p.m. 
(Received at 11 p.m.)
     ANOTHER  six Polish railwaymen were arrested yesterday;
they  are  charged with being in possession of arms supplied
to  them by the Customs officials. Two of these arrests have
been  maintained. The body of the Polish soldier  killed  in
Danzig  territory is said to have been sent  to  the  Polish
Commissioner-General's  office,  after  being  filled   with
viscera taken from other dead bodies.
     Two  Polish  schools have just been  requisitioned  for
military purposes, by order of the Senate of the Free City.


                  No. 216 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET. Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Berlin, August 23,
1939. 11.50 p.m.

(Received at 12 midnight.)
     I  HAD  an interview this evening with the State Under-
Secretary who

had  summoned me to hear the message sent by Mr. Chamberlain
to  Herr  Hitler and the Chancellor's reply.  Herr  Woermann
made no comment whatever upon this communication.


                  No. 217 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 24, 1939. 
(Received a 1 p.m. by telephone.)
     I  SAW  the  British  Ambassador at  midday  today.  My
colleague  had two interviews with the Chancellor yesterday,
one  in the morning lasting about three-quarters of an hour,
when  he  handed over the message from Mr. Chamberlain,  the
other  in  the  afternoon lasting about half  an  hour.  Sir
Nevile  made  every  effort  to convince  Herr  Hitler  that
England would fight at Poland's side. He firmly believes, so
he told me, that he had succeeded.
     For  his  part, the Chancellor spoke of almost  nothing
but the treatment of the German minorities in Poland. Should
hostilities  break  out,  the  blame,  he  said,  would   be
Britain's,  and,  recalling  that  he  had  made  reasonable
proposals  last April, he alleged that the British guarantee
had  encouraged the Poles to ill-treat the German minorities
and   had   stiffened   the   Warsaw   Government   in   its
uncompromising attitude; in his view, the limit had now been
reached,  and  if,  in  Sir Nevile's own  words,  any  fresh
incidents were to take place against a German in Poland, "he
would march."
     My  colleague had asked Herr Hitler, should the  latter
have  nothing  further  to say to him,  to  have  his  reply
delivered to him at Salzburg. Herr Hitler had sent for  him,
and  that  was  the  only favourable sign that  the  British
Ambassador had gathered from his visit.
     During  the  second  interview,  the  Chancellor  again
emphasized strongly the necessity for putting an end to  the
ill-treatment which, according to him, was being  meted  out
to the German minorities in Poland.
     Sir  Nevile Henderson, while doubting whether there  is
still  any  hope of avoiding the worst, considers  that  the
only  chance  of,  at least, delaying matters  lies  in  the
immediate  establishment  of  contact  between  Warsaw   and

     He  has, therefore, suggested to his Government that it
should  advise  M. Beck to seek contact with the  Chancellor
without delay.
     My colleague thinks that Herr Hitler is waiting for the
return  of  Herr von Ribbentrop to take his final  decision,
and  that therefore only a few hours remains for this  final
     Herr  Hitler  is adopting precisely the  same  attitude
toward  Poland as he did towards Czechoslovakia in the  last
days of September.


                  No. 218 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. ROGER CAMBON, French Charg d'Affaires in London.
                                      Paris, August 24,
1939. 1.25 p.m. 
     THE  French Government will make a most urgent dmarche
to  the  Polish  Government to the effect  that  the  latter
should abstain from military action should the Senate of the
Free City proclaim the return of Danzig to the Reich. It  is
indeed important that Poland should not take up the position
of  an aggressor, which might impede the entry into force of
some  of  our pacts and would furthermore place  the  Polish
Army  in  Danzig  in a very dangerous position.  The  Warsaw
Government  would  in  such a case reserve  its  freedom  to
defend its rights by diplomatic action.

                  No. 219 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 24,
1939. 6 p.m. 
(Received 10.30 p.m.)
     REFERRING  to  the conversation held yesterday  between
the  Polish Ambassador and M. Daladier, M. Beck informed  me
today  that  in  view of the scope of the  Reich's  military
measures  directed  against Poland,  the  Polish  Government
decided   last   night  to  take  additional   precautionary
     These  measures are being carried out. They  are  on  a
much  larger  scale than those taken hitherto,  and  aim  at
bringing  a  great part of the Army up to war strength.  The
corresponding requisitions have been made at the same time.


                  No. 220 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 24,
1939. 6.30 p.m.
(Received 10.25 p.m.)
     ON the instructions of M. Beck the Polish Ambassador in
Berlin  has  asked  for an interview with  the  Reich  State
Secretary.  Provided that Herr von Weizscker  does  not  at
once  assume a provocative attitude, he will remind him that
the  Warsaw  Government has always shown  itself  ready  for
discussion under normal conditions, and has not changed  its
attitude in this respect.


                  No. 221 
M. ROGER CAMBON, French Charg d'Affaires in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 24, 1939. 
(Received by telephone at 6.40 p.m.)
     THE British Embassy in Paris has been put in a position
to  report the essential points of the written communication
handed  by Herr Hitler to the British Ambassador in  Berlin,
in reply to Mr. Chamberlain's letter.
     The British Government has taken special precautions to
keep  this  document a strict secret. The attention  of  the
British  Embassy in Paris has been specially drawn  to  this
     I,  nevertheless,  think I should  communicate  to  the
Department,  for in case they may be useful,  the  following
details of this reply:
     (1)  For  years  Germany  has  tried  in  vain  to  win
Britain's  friendship, by going to the  very  limit  of  the
Reich's interests.
     (2)  Like  other  States, Germany  has  historical  and
economic  interests which she cannot renounce.  Among  these
interests  are  the German city of Danzig  and  the  related
problem of the Corridor.
     (3)  Germany  is  ready to settle these questions  with
Poland  on  the  basis  of generous proposals.  The  British
action  has  dissuaded the Poles from  negotiating  on  this
     (4)  The  unconditional guarantee given by  Britain  to
Poland  has  encouraged the latter to terrorize  the  German
minorities,  which number a million and a half people.  Such
atrocities cannot be tolerated by a
great  Power.  Poland has likewise violated  numerous  legal
obligations which she had assumed with regard to Danzig. She
sent  various  ultimata  and initiated  the  process  of  an
economic strangulation of the Free City.
     (5)  Germany recently made it clear to Poland that  she
was  not prepared to acquiesce in the development of such  a
state  of  affairs.  She  would  not  tolerate  any  further
ultimata  or  the persecution of minorities. She  would  not
consent  to  the  economic ruin of Danzig,  nor  consent  to
receive  fresh Notes amounting to downright provocations  to
the  Reich.  Furthermore, the questions of  Danzig  and  the
Corridor must be settled.
     (6)  Herr  Hitler has taken note of the fact  that  the
British Government will come to Poland's assistance  in  the
case  of  intervention by the Reich. This is no way modifies
the  determination  of  Germany  to  protect  the  interests
mentioned  above.  Herr Hitler shares the  Prime  Minister's
view as to the probability of a long war, but he is ready to
undergo  any ordeal rather than sacrifice Germany's national
interests or honour.
     (7) The German Government has received intelligence  of
the  British  and French Governments' alleged  intention  to
take  certain mobilization measures. Germany, on  the  other
hand,  has  no  wish  to  take other than  purely  defensive
measures  against  France  and Britain.  A  passage  in  Mr.
Chamberlain's   letter  seems  to  confirm   the   foregoing
intelligence  and  can be construed  only  as  a  threat  to
Germany.  If the measures in question are taken,  they  will
force Germany to order a general mobilization immediately.
     (8) A pacific solution of present difficulties does not
depend upon Germany, but upon those Powers which, ever since
the   Treaty  of  Versailles,  have  opposed  any   peaceful
     (9)   No  improvement  in  Anglo-German  relations   is
possible  until there is a change of mind among  the  Powers
responsible. Herr Hitler has struggled throughout  his  life
for  the  betterment of relations between  his  country  and
Britain.  Up to the present, his efforts have been in  vain.
None  more than he would welcome any change that might  come
about in this respect in the future.


                  No. 222 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw.
                                      Paris, August 24,
1939. 6.40 p.m. 
     You  should see M. Beck at the earliest possible moment
and  tell him that in the new conditions resulting from  the
Russo-German  Pact, the French Government  is  more  anxious
than  ever  that  Poland  should at all  cost  avoid  laying
herself open to the charge of being the aggressor-this being
the  whole purpose of the German manoeuvre-and thus  playing
into Germany's hands. The disadvantages arising from such  a
position would be as grave for Poland as for her allies,  on
account   of  the  repercussions  it  might  have   on   the
obligations,  virtual or actual, which bind  the  latter  to
other Powers.
     In   the  same  way,  the  French  Government  urgently
recommends  that  the  Polish Government  abstain  from  all
military   action  in  the  event  of  the   Danzig   Senate
proclaiming the City's return to the Reich. To any  possible
decision  of  this sort, it is important that Poland  should
reply only by an action of the same kind, that is to say, by
making  all reservations and stating her intention of having
recourse to all legal remedies which may be afforded to  her
by diplomatic usage.
     The  Warsaw Government will understand this counsel all
the  better since it corresponds to the intentions expressed
by  Marshal Rydz-Smigly to General Ironside on July  19.  As
for  us,  we  have all the more grounds for clearly  putting
forward  this  advice as it is in harmony with  our  General
Staff's  view of the problem: for the Staff considers  that,
from  the  strategical point of view, a Polish  Army,  after
advancing  into  the Free City territory,  would  be  in  an
extremely delicate position.
     You  should emphasize to M. Beck that, in our view, the
question is one solely of expediency and that, by taking  up
such  a  position,  the  Polish  Government  would  only  be
safeguarding the full effect of our assistance and would  in
no way be hampering its liberty of decision, in the event of
a definite German military attack; nor would the validity of
the  French  position with regard to Poland, as  defined  by
agreements  which  it  is necessary to  recall,  be  thereby

                  No. 223 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 24,
1939. 7 p.m. 
(Received 1155 p.m.)
     THE   Polish   Press  today  announces  the   following
     (1)  Arrest  at  the  Silesian  frontier  of  a  Polish
diplomatic  courier. He is said to have been  imprisoned  at
Breslau  and is being detained, in spite of intervention  by
the Consulate and by the Embassy.
     (2)  Last night a three-engined German bomber flew over
Bohumin.  A  Polish fighter went up after it and the  bomber
returned to German territory.
     (3)  The  body of the Polish soldier killed  on  Danzig
territory  some  days ago has been returned in  a  mutilated
condition to the Polish authorities. This has aroused  great
     (4) The Polish Press publishes the following statements
about the two German commercial aircraft which, according to
the D.N.B., were shot at in the vicinity of Danzig: at eight
o'clock in the morning, a German plane was seen flying  over
Polish  territory, but no shot was fired.  At  four  o'clock
another  plane  flew  over the forbidden  zone  of  the  Hel
peninsula.  After  the  Polish anti-aircraft  batteries  had
fired three warning salvos the German plane turned back.


                  No. 224 
M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Danzig, August 24,
1939. 750 p.m. 
(Received 11.30 p.m.)
     DEEMING  the  claims of the Senate to be  unacceptable,
the  Polish  Government  has today broken  off  the  Customs
     The  Danzig authorities, according to the local  Press,
deplore this breakdown.


                  No. 225 
M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Danzig, August 24,
1939. 7.51 p.m. 
(Received 10.15 p.m.)
     BY  a decree of August 23, the Senate has approved  the
Gauleiter's appointment as Head of the State. I am informing
our Ambassadors in Warsaw and Berlin.
     According  to  the  Danziger  Vorposten,  this  is  the
consecration  of  a  state of things  which  has,  in  fact,
existed ever since the Nazi Party seized power.


                  No. 226 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 24,
1939. 8.25 p.m. 
(Received August 25, 12.25 a.m.)
     IN  view  of  the threatening situation  in  Danzig,  I
thought it my duty to approach M. Arciszewski again. I  said
that,  things being as they are in the Free City, we  relied
upon the Polish Government not to take any initiative likely
to  bring about irreparable results without first consulting
us.  I  requested  him to inform M. Beck of my  conversation
without delay.


                  No. 227 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 24,
1939. 9 p.m. 
(Received 1030 p.m.)
     I  HAVE  once again drawn M. Beck's attention,  in  the
course  of  an  interview, to the urgent  need  of  avoiding
incidents  and rash acts, and of doing all that is  possible
in this direction.
     M. Beck expressed his entire agreement.


                  No. 228 
M. FRANOIS-PONCET, French Ambassador in Rome,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Rome, August 24, 1939.
9.50 p.m. 
(Received 11.20 p.m.)
     RECEIVED  today at 3 o'clock by the King of Italy,  the
United  States  Ambassador delivered to him a  message  from
President Roosevelt, calling attention to the dangers of the
present situation and urging the King to do all he could  to
promote a peaceful solution.

                  No. 229 
M. DE SAINT-QUENTIN, French Ambassador in Washington,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                Washington, August 24, 1939.
10.11 p.m. 
(Received August 25 at 6.50 a.m.)
     THE  Under-Secretary of State has just informed me that
President Roosevelt had today, 24th, sent a message to  Herr
Hitler  and to the President of the Polish Republic adjuring
them   to  settle  their  differences  by  means  of  direct
negotiation, by arbitration or by conciliation with the help
of a citizen of a neutral country.
     The   message  emphasizes  that  such  solutions  would
presuppose  an undertaking by the parties concerned  not  to
commit  any act of aggression against each other  during  an
agreed period, and to respect each other's independence  and
territorial integrity.
     Yet  the substance of the two communications would seem
not  to  be identical. Recalling the President's message  of
April 14 last, the appeal to Herr Hitler would appear to lay
stress on the willingness of the American Government, in the
event of a peaceful solution of the German-Polish dispute to
contribute to the reconstruction of world economy.
     The  text  of  these documents will be communicated  to
Your  Excellency by Mr. Bullitt and published  to-morrow  in
the Press.


                  No. 230 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, August 24,
1939. 10.12 p.m.

(Received August 25 at 2.50 a.m.)
     THE Polish Ambassador has not been able to see Herr von
Weizscker,  who is said to have left for Berchtesgaden.  He
was  received  at  5  p.m.  on August  24  by  Field-Marshal
Goering.  According to information which has been given  me,
the  Field-Marshal was cordial, deplored the aggravation  in
German-Polish relations, but made no suggestion of any  kind
and  in general avoided giving political significance to the


                  No. 231 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, August 24,
1939. 10.15 p.m.

(Received August 25 at 2.50 a.m.)
     ACCORDING to information just given me by M.  Beck,  M.
Chodacki has been instructed to deliver to the Senate of the
Free  City,  either tonight or to-morrow, a letter,  on  the
subject  of the appointment of Herr Forster as Head  of  the
Danzig State.
     The  Government of Poland intends by this  document  to
challenge  the  legality of the appointment and  to  declare
that  the responsibility for all possible results will  fall
upon  the  Senate, should this initiative result  in  Poland
being faced with accomplished facts contrary to law.


                  No. 232 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Berlin, August 24,

(Received August 25 at 12.30 p.m.)
     NEWS  has  reached me that official circles  in  Berlin
consider that, by the pact of August 23, Germany and  Russia
have  agreed  to  settle between themselves,  not  only  the
matter of Poland, but all questions
concerning Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, and this to the
exclusion of all other Powers.
     From  rumours  circulating, it would seem  that  it  is
expected  here  that the first consequence  of  the  German-
Russian Pact will be the partition of Poland.
     According  to a statement attributed to State Secretary
Lammers,  Berlin  and  Moscow have decided  to  establish  a
common  frontier on the Vistula. Russia would  receive  free
port facilities at Danzig.
     According to other rumours, Poland is to be reduced  to
the  role  of a buffer State; Lithuania would play the  same
part and would recover Wilna.
     The  provinces of Bohemia and Moravia would  receive  a
limited independence and would act, so to speak, as a bridge
between the Slav and Germanic worlds.
     The Reich and Soviet Russia would also revise by mutual
agreement the frontiers of the Baltic States and of Rumania.
     I pass on this information with reserve, while pointing
out  that  it  probably corresponds with  certain  cherished
hopes  on  the  German side. In this respect,  the  greatest
importance is attributed by political circles in  Berlin  to
Article  3,  which  provides for  a  permanent  consultation
between the two Governments.
     On  the  other  hand,  they seem to  expect  Poland  to
capitulate, and to attach great importance to Germany's  not
appearing to be the aggressor.


                  No. 233 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 25,
1939. 3.15 a.m. 

(Received at 6 a.m.)
     I CALLED on M. Beck yesterday evening, as instructed by
your telegram of August 24.
     According to what he told me:
     (1)   The  remark  attributed  by  General  Sir  Edmund
Ironside to Marshal Rydz-Smigly was actually made by M. Beck
himself; the latter fully confirmed its substance.
(2) Should the Anschluss be proclaimed by the "municipal
authorities" of the Free City, the Warsaw Government would

get  in  touch with their allies and would refrain from  any
military  action  until  actually confronted  by  direct  or
indirect aggression on the part of the Reich.
     (3)  Aware  of the necessity of not allowing themselves
to  be  maneuvered  by  Germany into a false  position,  the
Polish Government, inspired by the same spirit as ourselves,
will continue to maintain the greatest composure.
     Should  Herr Forster proclaim the Anschluss,  added  M.
Beck,  this  could  only  be  at  the  instigation  of   the
Chancellor, and action by Germany would probably follow with
very little delay.


                  No. 234 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 25,
1939. 3.15 a.m.  

(Received at 5.10 a.m.)
     FROM the information given me yesterday by M. Beck,  it
appears  that Herr Forster on the night of the 24th  ordered
the arrest of the chief officials of the Polish railways  in
Danzig.  M.  Beck instructed M. Chodacki to  make  immediate
representations to the Senate, and to point out the  gravity
of  this measure which, if upheld, would be liable seriously
to  impair  one of the essential rights still  remaining  to
Poland in Danzig territory.
     If  these  representations should have no  result,  the
Polish  Government  reserved  the  right  to  consider   the
adoption   of  measures  of  retaliation.  M.  Beck   stated
definitely  in  reply to a question I put  to  him  on  this
matter,  that such methods could be only of an  economic  or
administrative nature.


                  No. 235 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 25,
1939. 1 p.m. 
(Received August 26, at 4 a.m.)
     HAVAS dispatches transmitted to Paris announce a series
of  incidents provoked by Germans which occurred last  night
on the Polish frontier.
     A  refutation of certain groundless German  allegations
has likewise been published by the same Agency. A communiqu
from  the  D.N.B. Agency, which appeared in the  Press  this
morning under the title "Blood Bath at Bielsko," claims that
Germans in this town have been subjected to threats. This is
formally  denied  by  the  Polish  authorities.  The  latter
further announce that National-Socialist badges bearing  the
inscription "Frei Korps," as well as a large quantity of war
material, have been seized by the Polish police in a  search
made  in  the  house  of  a German named  Maskoh,  in  Upper


                  No. 236 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 25,
1939. 3.48 p.m.  

(Received at 6.10 p.m.)
     GENERAL FAURY, in full agreement with me, called on the
Marshal this morning, to draw his attention to the incidents
which,  according  to  the Germans, were  occurring  on  the
Polish  frontiers, and to urge him once again  to  give  the
strictest  instructions to the Polish troops to observe  the
utmost self-restraint.


                  No. 237 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 25,
1939. 3.48 p.m.  

(Received at 6.47 p.m.)
     ACCORDING  to  the  Polish  Press,  several   acts   of
aggression  were  committed by Germans on  Polish  territory
during  the night of the 23rd-24th at midnight. About twenty
Germans  entered the station and Customs House of  Makoszow,
near  Katowice, and fired several hundred shots. From  12.30
a.m. to 1.45 a.m. and from 2.30 a.m. to 2.50 a.m. fresh acts
of  aggression took place. A machine-gun attack was made  on
the Customs House near Rybnik. A protest has been handed  to
the German Government by the Polish Embassy.


                  No. 238 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 25,
1939. 6.5 p.m.  

(Received at 630 p.m.)
     FROM  remarks  made to General Faury by  Marshal  Rydz-
Smigly it appears that the latter is fully aware that German
maneuvers are aimed at inciting Poland to imprudent  action;
he  declares that he clearly perceives the trap and will not
fall into it.


                  No. 239 
M. CHARLES-ROUX, French Ambassador to the Holy See,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Rome, August 25,
(Received by telephone at 6.10 p.m.)
     TONIGHT'S  Osservatore  Romano announces  that  letters
have  just  been exchanged between the King of the  Belgians
and the Pope.
     The  King of the Belgians has personally informed  Pope
Pius  XII  of the declaration made by him on behalf  of  the
Heads of States represented at the Brussels Conference.
     His  Holiness  has  replied by  thanking  him  for  his
communication  and expressing his high appreciation  of  the
initiative  taken by the conference. He draws  attention  to
the  similarity of their declaration to his own  message  of
yesterday,  repeats the statement of principle  set  out  in
that  message, recognizes the identity of purpose in  favour
of  peace  and  the  welfare  of the  nations,  and  finally
expresses  the  hope that this common effort for  peace  may
still attain its goal.


                  No. 240 
M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Danzig, August 25,
1939. 6.40 p.m.  

(Received August 26, at 9.30 am.)
     THE  rate  at  which  military preparations  are  being
carried  out  here grows faster and faster.  Young  men  are
being brought in lorries from
East  Prussia and at once equipped and sent to their  battle
positions,  while  more  heavy anti-aircraft  batteries  are
being placed along the shore.


                  No. 241 
M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Danzig, August 25,
1939. 8.18 p.m.  

(Received August 26, at 3.10 a.m.)
     THE Danzig Senate has received a very serious note from
the Polish Government, protesting against the appointment of
the Gauleiter as Head of the State.
     This morning the Free City authorities decided upon the
dismissal  of fifteen Polish officials who were  members  of
the  Port  Council  and appointed Germans in  their  places.
Three  hours later the persons concerned were informed  that
there  had  been a misunderstanding and were able to  resume
their functions.
     In  the  course  of  a  frontier incident,  two  Polish
soldiers  are  said  to have been killed 400  metres  inside
Polish territory.


                  No. 242 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Berlin, August 25,

(Received by telephone at 11 p.m.)
     THIS afternoon I had an interview with Herr Hitler, who
had asked to see me at 5.30.
     This  is the substance of what he told me: "In view  of
the  gravity of the situation," he said, "I wish to  make  a
statement  which I would like you to forward to M. Daladier.
As  I  have  already  told him, I bear  no  enmity  whatever
towards  France. I have personally renounced all  claims  to
Alsace-Lorraine and recognized the Franco-German frontier. I
do  not  want  war with your country; my one  desire  is  to
maintain good relations with it. I find indeed the idea that
I  might  have to fight France on account of Poland  a  very
painful one. The Polish provoca-
tion,  however,  has placed the Reich in  a  position  which
cannot be allowed to continue.
     "Several months ago I made extremely fair proposals  to
Poland, demanding the return of Danzig to the Reich and of a
narrow  strip of territory leading from this German city  to
East  Prussia.  But  the  guarantee  given  by  the  British
Government  has  encouraged the Poles to be  obstinate.  Not
only has the Warsaw Government rejected my proposals, but it
has  subjected  the German minority, our blood-brothers,  to
the worst possible treatment, and has begun mobilization.
     "At  first," pursued Herr Hitler, "I forbade the  Press
of  the  Reich to publish accounts of the cruelties suffered
by  the  Germans in Poland. But the situation has now become
intolerable. Are you aware," he asked me emphatically, "that
there have been cases of castration? That already there  are
more  than  70,000  refugees in our camps?  Yesterday  seven
Germans  were  killed by the police in Bielitz,  and  thirty
German   reservists  were  machine-gunned   at   Lodz.   Our
aeroplanes  can  no  longer  fly between  Germany  and  East
Prussia without being shot at; their route had been changed,
but they are now even attacked over the sea. Thus, the plane
which was carrying State Secretary Stuckart was fired at  by
Polish warships, a fresh incident which I was not yet  in  a
position to bring to the notice of Sir Nevile Henderson this
     Raising  his  voice, Herr Hitler went  on:  "No  nation
worthy  of the name can put up with such unbearable insults.
France  would  not tolerate it any more than Germany.  These
things  have gone on long enough, and I will reply by  force
to  any further provocations. I want to state once again:  I
wish  to  avoid  war with your country. I  will  not  attack
France,  but  if she joins in the conflict, I  will  see  it
through  to  the bitter end. As you are aware, I  have  just
concluded  a  pact with Moscow that is not only theoretical,
but,  I  may say, practical. I believe I shall win, and  you
believe  you  will win: what is certain is  that  above  all
French  and German blood will flow, the blood of two equally
courageous  peoples. I say again, it is  painful  to  me  to
think  we  might come to that. Please tell this to President
Daladier on my behalf."
     With  these  words, Herr Hitler rose to show  that  the
interview  was over. Under the circumstances  I  could  make
only  a  brief reply. I told him, first of all, that I  knew
that all misunderstanding had now been removed; yet that, in
a  moment as grave as this, I emphatically gave him my  word
of  honour as a soldier that I had no doubt whatever that in
the  event  of Poland's being attacked, France would  assist
her  with all the forces at her command. I was able  however
to give him

my word also that the Government of the Republic would still
do  all  it could to preserve peace and would not spare  its
counsels of moderation to the Polish Government.
     The  Chancellor replied: "I believe you; I even believe
that  men like M. Beck are moderate, but they are no  longer
in control of the situation."
     I  added that if French and German blood were to  flow,
this  blood-money, however costly, would  not  be  the  only
payment  to  be  made.  The ravages  of  a  war  that  would
certainly be a long one would bring a succession of  ghastly
miseries  in  their  train.  Though  I  was,  as  he   said,
definitely  certain of our victory, I feared,  at  the  same
time,  that at the end of a war, the sole real victor  would
be  M.  Trotsky. The Chancellor, interrupting me, exclaimed:
"Why, then, did you give Poland a blank cheque?"
     I replied by recalling the events of last March and the
deep  impression they had made on French minds, the  feeling
of insecurity to which they had given rise and which had led
us  to  strengthen our alliances. I repeated that  our  most
ardent  desire was to maintain peace; that we  continued  to
exert a moderating influence in Warsaw; and that I could not
believe  that  it  was  impossible to  bring  the  incidents
complained of to an end.
     I had hinted earlier that the German Press seemed to me
to  have  considerably exaggerated the number and importance
of  these  incidents, and I had mentioned in particular  the
case  reported  by the Angriff on August 15  of  the  German
engineer  who  was said to have been brutally  murdered  for
political reasons, whereas, in actual fact, he had  been  on
June 15 the victim of an ordinary quarrel whose motives were
exclusively  passionate. Herr Hitler  replied  that  he  had
indeed  been informed of our moderating influence in Warsaw;
yet the incidents were increasing. As for the events of last
March, he added, it was true that he had taken the provinces
of  Bohemia  and Moravia under his protection,  but  he  had
preserved  the liberties of the inhabitants, and anyone  who
touched a hair of their heads would pay dearly for it;  this
was a point of honour for the Reich. The Polish minority  in
these regions were not subjected to any kind of brutalities;
in  the Saar, too, not a single Frenchman had had any reason
for  complaint.  "It is very painful for me,"  repeated  the
Chancellor once again, "to think I might have to fight  your
country; but the decision does not rest with me. Please tell
this to M. Daladier."

     I  was unable to prolong the interview any further, and
after these remarks I took my leave.


                  No. 243 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. BARGETON, French Ambassador in Brussels.
                                      Paris, August 25,
1939, 11 p.m.  
     I  SEND  you herewith the French Government's reply  to
the  broadcast  appeal  by  His  Majesty  the  King  of  the
Belgians, which you should communicate without delay to  the
Prime Minister.
     "The  noble and magnanimous appeal made by His  Majesty
the  King of the Belgians in the name of the representatives
of  the  Oslo group of States meeting at Brussels  has  been
welcomed  by  the French Government with keen  and  profound
     "The  contributions  which France  has  made  on  every
possible  occasion  to the service of  peace,  her  constant
anxiety  that  all  differences between  peoples  should  be
settled  by  peaceful means, can leave no doubt  as  to  the
general attitude of the French Government; it remains always
ready  to  cooperate in any initiative aimed at creating  an
atmosphere  favourable to the easing  of  the  international
     "On  the  other hand, it is resolved not to accept  any
settlement  imposed  by  violence,  or  under  threat,   and
believes  that  this attitude contributes to  the  cause  of
peace, and, at the same time, to the creation in Europe  and
throughout   the   world,  of  conditions   in   which   the
independence  of  every state would be  guaranteed  and  the
respect of their most sacred rights assured."

                  No. 244 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 25,
1939. 11.5 p.m. 
(Received August 26 at 136 a.m.)
     PRESIDENT  MOSCICKI  has just  sent  the  King  of  the
Belgians  a  telegram thanking him for his  "noble"  speech.
"Poland,"  he adds, "is also convinced that a lasting  peace
cannot  be founded on the crushing of the weak, and  equally
that the surest guarantee of peace lies in the

peaceful  settlement of international affairs  by  means  of
direct negotiations conducted on the basis of mutual respect
for each other's rights and interests."


                  No. 245 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Berlin, August 26,

(Received by telephone at 12.5 a.m.)
     IN the course of an interview with Sir Nevile Henderson
today,  Herr  Hitler  made  the following  statement  to  my
colleague, the substance of which I report herewith as I had
it  from  the  latter. "I am prepared," said the Chancellor,
"to  make  one  more attempt to re-establish good  relations
between our countries and to preserve peace. I am willing to
consider, within certain limits, a disarmament programme.  I
still  want  colonies, but I can wait, three, four  or  even
five years; in any case, this will not be grounds for a war.
Moreover,  it  need not be a question of the  former  German
colonies.  The  important thing for me is to find  fats  and
timber." My British colleague replied that to pass on  these
proposals with any hope of their being useful, he would have
to be convinced that Germany would not attack Poland.
     Herr  Hitler replied: "It is impossible for me to  give
any  such undertaking; I prefer that you should not pass  on
my proposals."
     The    British    Ambassador   has   the    impression,
nevertheless, that hostilities will not break out during the
48  hours  that  his mission will take, for he  is  secretly
leaving  for  London to-morrow morning by air.  I  asked  my
colleague  if  Herr Hitler had not referred  to  Poland.  He
answered that the Chancellor had repeated his claims of last
April, namely, the return of Danzig, and access to the  Free
City across the Corridor.



     M. Daladier's Letter and Herr Hitler's Reply
               (August 26-27) 
                  No. 246 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                              Berlin, August
26, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 12.15 a.m.)
     YESTERDAY  Herr  Hitler informed my  British  colleague
that he was determined to remedy the weakness of his eastern
frontier, due to the presence there of alien minorities. Sir
Nevile  Henderson asked him if, as in the Tyrol, he proposed
to carry out an exchange of populations, but the Fhrer gave
no definite answer.
     My  British colleague and I think that this is  a  most
interesting  idea  and  one which might  make  possible  the
reopening  of conversations between Poland and Germany,  and
might  even  bring  about an improvement  in  the  relations
between the two countries. We consider that this idea, which
in  principle  at least harmonizes with the Fhrer's  views,
might be the object of an immediate proposal on the part  of
the Polish Government to the Government of the Reich.
     This  opinion is shared by my Polish colleague.  At  my
suggestion,  he  will  recommend  it  by  telegram  to   his
Government,   which  has  already  been  informed   of   his
conversation with the British Ambassador. I have pointed out
to  him  that, at the present juncture, gaining time may  be
the decisive factor. It is not impossible that moderates  in
the  National-Socialist party may find in the  Russian  pact
fresh arguments to dissuade the Fhrer from going to war, by
calling    his   attention   to   the   unlimited   economic
possibilities of the Reich's collaboration with the Soviet.
     Time  presses, and a Polish approach should be made  to
Herr Hitler within 48 hours.
     I  take the liberty of impressing on the Department the
importance of their instructing our Ambassador in Warsaw  to
give the above suggestion emphatic support.


                  No. 247 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                    Warsaw, August 26, 1939.
12.55 a.m.
(Received at 4.30 a.m.)
     COUNT   SZEMBECK  has  confirmed  both  to  my  British
colleague and myself, the reply given me by M. Beck  in  the
course of our conversation about Danzig late last night; the
Polish  Government  fully appreciates the  motives  and  the
excellent grounds for our recommendations and will do all in
its  power to avoid confronting us with a fait accompli;  it
will  consult  with Great Britain and with ourselves  before
making  any important decision; it will not reply to attacks
on  its  rights in customs and transport matters  except  by
suitable  retaliatory measures of a non-military  character;
only  in  the event of a situation arising, in circumstances
at  present impossible to predict, which would be so serious
that  any  delay  would appear dangerous,  does  the  Polish
Government  reserve  the  right to act  immediately,  having
informed   us,  but  without  undertaking  to   consult   us
     I  replied  to Count Szembeck that, in so far  as  this
last  part  of  his statement was concerned,  I  could  only
regard  it as a reservation made with a view to some  wholly
unpredictable eventuality, and volunteered so to  speak  "to
leave no doubts."


                  No. 248 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Berlin, August 26,
1939. 1.40 a.m.
(Received at 9.55 a.m.)
     MY  British  colleague, who has already transmitted  by
telegram  the overtures made by Herr Hitler to Britain,  has
left for England to explain them verbally and recommend them
for consideration.
     These  proposals  are in actual fact  characterized  by
important new features (handing over of colonies other  than
those  formerly German; transfer of populations to eliminate
minority  disputes; partial disarmament). In my opinion,  it
is  important  to avoid two dangers revealed  by  the  Czech
     The first of these would be for us to be content, after
a settlement

of the German demands on Poland, with vague undertakings and
hypothetical  promises in further matters. In this  respect,
it   is  enough  to  recall  the  collective  guarantee   to
     The second would be to lend ourselves to a maneuver  to
break  up the Allied Front. No pressure of a kind calculated
to  demoralize Poland should be contemplated. Danzig is only
the  point of least resistance by which the Reich is  trying
to  penetrate  into that country. As M. Lipski  said  to  me
yesterday: "What the Germans want is to be able to lay hands
on  Poland,  and  one  day have the  Polish  Army  at  their
     Finally,  no  negotiation should be entered  upon,  and
this  is  an  essential  preliminary condition,  before  all
threat of force has been withdrawn.


                  No. 249 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw.
                                      Paris, August 26,
1939. 2.20 a.m.
     As  suggested by M. Coulondre and M. Lipski, you should
give  emphatic  support  to  the  proposals  to  the  Polish
Government  made  in  the telegram from  our  Ambassador  in
Berlin, which I transmit herewith.

                  No. 250 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Berlin, August 26,
1939. 11.4 a.m.
(Received at 2.15 p.m.)
     OFFICIAL  German circles take strong exception  to  the
message  of the President of the United States. They profess
to  be  unable to understand the reasons which prompted  Mr.
Roosevelt  to  launch this appeal. They  maintain  that  the
Reich, by signing a whole series of non-aggression pacts, of
which  the  Russo-German  Pact is the  latest,  has  already
responded by deeds to the manifesto of April 14.  It  is  to
the    democratic   countries,   which   encourage    Polish
intransigence,  and not to Germany that Mr. Roosevelt  ought
to   address  himself.  The  Reich  will  never  entrust  to
international procedure the care of protecting  Germans  and
of defending its vital interests.

     The  President's proposals are no longer even mentioned
in this morning's Press.


                  No. 251 
M. DE DAMPIERRE, French Minister in Ottawa,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                        Ottawa, August 26,
1939. 12 a.m.

(Received at 10 p.m.)
     THIS  morning the Prime Minister addressed  an  appeal,
through the German, Italian and Polish Consuls at Ottawa, to
Herr  Hitler  and  Signor  Mussolini,  as  well  as  to  the
President of the Polish Republic. The messages intended  for
Warsaw and Berlin are couched in identical terms. The  Havas
Agency is telegraphing the full text of these documents.
     The  Governor-General has told me that he  approves  of
this  initiative  and  that  it would  have  a  considerable
repercussion upon Canadian public opinion.


                  No. 252 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 26,

(Received by telephone at 1 p.m.)
     I  HAVE just seen M. Arciszewski and put before him the
plan  suggested  by  M. Coulondre, with  a  request  to  let
Colonel  Beck know of it immediately, as Colonel Beck  could
not see me before twelve.
     M.  Arciszewski showed himself personally favourable to
this  suggestion, of which he understood the importance  and
advantages.  Apart  from  the  arguments  set  forth  by  M.
Coulondre,  I also stressed the following considerations:  a
Polish  initiative in the sense indicated  would  bring  the
problem  into  the  field  of  nationality  questions,   and
consequently tend to safeguard the territorial  status  quo.
The Chancellor could not reject it without serious drawbacks
from his own point of view. Moreover, Italy, because of  the
precedent  of the Tyrol, would probably take an interest  in
this solution.


                  No. 253 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin.
                                      Paris, August 26,
1939. 2.50 p.m.
     IN  reply  to  the message which, at the  end  of  your
interview  of  the  25th August, Herr Hitler  asked  you  to
convey  to  M.  Daladier,  please deliver  urgently  to  the
Chancellor  on  behalf of the President of  the  Council  of
Ministers the personal letter which follows:
     Your Excellency,
     The  French  Ambassador  in Berlin  has  sent  me  your
personal message.
     Faced  as  we  are, as you remind me, with the  gravest
responsibility  that can ever be assumed  by  two  heads  of
government, that of allowing the blood of two great  peoples
to  be shed, when they desire nothing but peace and work,  I
owe  it to you, I owe it to our two peoples to say that  the
fate of peace still rests solely in your hands.
     You  cannot  doubt my sentiments towards  Germany,  nor
France's  pacific  dispositions  towards  your  nation.   No
Frenchman  has  ever  done more than I  have  to  strengthen
between  our  two peoples not merely peace,  but  a  sincere
cooperation  in their own interest as well  as  in  that  of
Europe and the whole world.
     Unless  you attribute to the French people a conception
of  national  honour  less high than  that  which  I  myself
recognize in the German people, you cannot doubt either that
France will be true to her solemn promises to other nations,
such  as  Poland, which, I am perfectly sure, wants also  to
live in peace with Germany.
     These two facts are easily reconciled. There is nothing
today which need prevent any longer the pacific solution  of
the  international crisis with honour and  dignity  for  all
peoples, if the will for peace exists equally on all sides.
     I  can vouch not only for the good will of France,  but
also  for that of all her allies. I can personally guarantee
the readiness which Poland has always shown to have recourse
to  methods  of free conciliation, such as may be  envisaged
between  the  Governments of two sovereign nations.  In  all
sincerity  I  can assure you that there is not  one  of  the
grievances  invoked by Germany against Poland in  connection
with  the  Danzig question which might not be  submitted  to
decision  by  such  methods with a view to  a  friendly  and
equitable settlement.
     I  can  also pledge my honour that there is nothing  in
the clear and

sincere  solidarity  of France with Poland  and  her  allies
which  could  modify in any manner whatsoever  the  peaceful
inclinations  of  my  country.  This  solidarity  has  never
prevented us, and does not prevent us today, from helping to
maintain Poland in her pacific inclinations.
     In  so serious an hour I sincerely believe that no  man
endowed with human feelings could understand that a  war  of
destruction  should be allowed to break out without  a  last
attempt  at a pacific adjustment between Germany and Poland.
Your  will  for peace may be exercised in all confidence  in
this  direction without the slightest derogation  from  your
sense  of  German  honour. As for myself, the  head  of  the
Government  of  France, a country which,  like  yours,  only
desires  harmony between the French people  and  the  German
people, and which, on the other hand, is united to Poland by
bonds  of friendship and by the pledged word, I am ready  to
make all the efforts that an honest man can make in order to
ensure the success of this attempt.
     Like  myself, you were a soldier in the last  war.  You
realize, as I do, how a people's memory retains a horror for
war  and  its  disasters, whatever may  be  its  result.  My
conception  of  your eminent rise as leader  of  the  German
people,  to guide them along the paths of peace towards  the
full  accomplishment of their mission in the common work  of
civilization,  prompts me to ask you for  a  reply  to  this
proposal.  If  the blood of France and that of Germany  flow
again,  as they did twenty-five years ago, each of  the  two
peoples  will fight with confidence in its own victory,  but
the  most  certain victors will be the forces of destruction
and barbarism.



                  No. 254 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw.
                                      Paris, August 26,
1939. 3.45 p.m.
     THE  following  instructions  have  been  sent  by  the
Foreign Office to your British colleague:
     During any conversations that may be opened between the
German  Government  and  the  Polish  Government  upon   the
questions at issue between the two countries, and  in  order
to  prevent  the  Government of the Reich from  seizing  the
pretext  of  alleged ill-treatment inflicted on  the  German
minorities in Poland to break off such conversations,

it is suggested that the Government of Warsaw should provide
for  the  appointment in those regions of neutral observers,
offering every guarantee of impartiality.
     You  should let the Polish Government know that you are
in  agreement with the dmarche that your English  colleague
is to make to this effect.


                  No. 255 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 26,
1939. 4.45 p.m.

(Received 7.20 p.m.)
     ACCORDING  to a telegram from M. Lipski, the Chancellor
yesterday  reported  to  our Ambassador  the  murder  of  24
Germans near Lodz and of eight others near Bielsko.
     M.  Arciszewski informs me, and I have  no  reason  for
doubting  his  statement,  that these  two  allegations  are
totally groundless.


                  No. 256 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Berlin, August 26,

(Received by telephone at 4.45 p.m.)
     THIS afternoon's papers announce in huge headlines  the
"Polish attack in Danzig territory," in the course of  which
two  Germans,  a S.S. and a S.A. are supposed to  have  been
killed.  "A  new and tragic violation of the  frontier  near
Danzig"  is the heavy-type headline spread across its  whole
front  page  by  the  Brsenzeitung, which  alleges  in  its
leading  article that news is coming in hour by hour proving
that troops are taking up position with a view to attack.
     "England  is responsible" is another headline  in  this
same  journal, repeating the words of Herr Rudolf  Hess,  at
the opening of the 7th Congress of Germans Abroad, yesterday
     Apart  from  these  fresh  incidents  alleged  to  have
occurred in Danzig territory, the Press sums up and develops
the  accusations  against Poland which  were  analyzed  this


                  NO. 257 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      London, August 26,

(Received by telephone at 8.46 p m.)
     LORD  HALIFAX, to whom I communicated the substance  of
the  telegrams in which M. Coulondre described his interview
with   the   Chancellor,  observed  that  this  conversation
corresponded  in  the  main with that  between  the  British
Ambassador  and  Herr  Hitler on the same  day.  The  latter
reaffirmed his respect for the British Empire and his desire
to  establish  permanent  bonds  of  friendship  with  Great
     He  added  that he had no objection against  the  close
relations  uniting England and France, and that  he  had  no
quarrel  with  the  latter over the western  frontier.  Herr
Hitler,  after specifying that the Polish question  must  be
settled  as  a  preliminary, mentioned  the  possibility  of
broaching the problem of disarmament if a general settlement
could be arrived at.
     He  also alluded to the colonial problem, but in  terms
devoid of a provocative character.
     In all references to the settlement of the difficulties
of the Reich with Poland, he never stated clearly the manner
in  which  he thinks that they could be solved. The language
he  used  may  mean either that he feels it to be  simply  a
question  of solving the problem of Danzig and the Corridor,
or that he contemplates more far-reaching changes.
     Herr  Hitler  insisted that he did not  wish  to  raise
questions in too narrow or absolute a manner, nor  would  he
ask the British Government to default on their pledges.
     What  he wanted was that the British Government  should
make  a  gesture that would induce Poland to be amenable  to
reason.  During the whole interview the Chancellor  had,  as
usual,   an  appearance  of  complete  sincerity  and   deep
conviction.  Taking note of these various  indications,  Sir
Nevile Henderson interpreted Herr Hitler's advice to him  to
visit  London as a sign of the latter's good will.  He  even
believed  that  the postponement of the Tannenberg  ceremony
indicated that the Fhrer would allow a certain delay in the
carrying  out of his plans and would at least wait  for  the
replies from Paris and from London.
     Lord Halifax, together with his colleagues of the inner
Cabinet,  listened to the Ambassador's account, and  is  now
preparing a reply to
Herr  Hitler. In its general lines, the document will  first
proclaim  the British Government's faith in the  possibility
of  continuing  the negotiations with a view to  avoiding  a
conflict.   It   will   emphasize  that   the   Chancellor's
declarations do not, however, throw any light on the  manner
in  which  he  envisages the settlement of his  difficulties
with Poland.
     The British Government would regard it as dishonourable
to  fail in its obligations. It could not, therefore,  stand
aside  and take no interest in the solutions which might  be
contemplated for the present dispute.
     The  importance of preventing any fresh violence at the
expense  of  the  German minority, in  order  to  facilitate
direct  negotiations  between Berlin and  Warsaw,  is  fully
recognized in London. The British Government would therefore
be  pleased to see this subject discussed. But they  realize
that  these  conversations will have no  chance  of  success
     (1)  Herr Hitler shows a sincere intention to take into
consideration the vital interests and the economic rights of
     (2) The settlement envisaged is made subject to certain
international guarantees.
     The document containing the British Government's answer
would add that a general discussion, if it should be opened,
could not have a better preface than a pacific settlement of
the German-Polish quarrel.
     In conclusion, Lord Halifax told me that this document,
when drawn up and approved by the Cabinet, will be forwarded
to the French Government.
     I  took  it  upon myself to assure him that  our  reply
would be likewise communicated to the British Government.


                  NO. 258 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 26,
1939. 9.5 p.m.
(Received 11.75 p.m.)
     COLONEL  BECK  has  just  informed  me,  through  Count
Szembeck, that the Polish Government were inclined to  adopt
our  suggestion. However, for fear that Herr  Hitler  should
misunderstand their intentions, they do not desire  to  take
the initiative.
     M.  Lipski  is being asked to find an intermediary  who
might in-

troduce  the  question. Count Szembeck thinks  that  certain
neutral   colleagues,  or  even  persons  in   Field-Marshal
Goering's  circle,  would  accept  this  mission.  Generally
speaking as soon as the initiative in this sense is taken by
somebody,   the  Polish  Government  will   reply   in   the
     It  would  be  advisable for M. Coulondre to  get  into
touch on this matter with M. Lipski as soon as possible.


                  No. 259 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      London, August 26,

(Received by telephone at 10 p.m.)
     ACCORDING  to  what  Sir  Nevile  Henderson  said  this
afternoon to a member of Lord Halifax's staff, the  question
of  the exchange of populations had been the subject of only
one  very  vague  allusion  in  the  course  of  yesterday's
conversations  with Herr Hitler, and it had  arisen  in  the
following way.
     During  the interview the Fhrer spoke at one point  of
"Macedonian   conditions"  which  complicated   the   racial
problems on the German-Polish frontier.
     The   British  Ambassador  then  remarked   that   this
situation  is the more to be deplored as national sentiments
were today so strong that one could understand the exchanges
of population which certain countries had carried out.
     Moreover,  this  remark,  which  could  not,   properly
speaking, be considered as a suggestion, was not taken up by
the German Chancellor.


                  No. 260 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      London, August 26,

(Received by telephone at 10 p.m.)
     I  INVITE  reference to M. Coulondre's telegram,  which
was communicated to me this morning.
     In his telegraphic report of his conversation yesterday
with  Herr Hitler, the British Ambassador in Berlin did  not
mention the possibility

of  the  Fhrer reverting to the programme he had laid  down
last April, which was limited to the question of Danzig  and
to that of a motor road across the Corridor.
     Sir  Nevile  Henderson,  in his  communication  to  the
Foreign  Office,  definitely said that no  allusion  to  the
proposals of last April was made yesterday by Herr Hitler in
the course of their interview.


                  No. 261 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Berlin, August 27,
1939. 12.15 a.m.
(Received at 430 a.m.)
     I  REGRET to have to report to Your Excellency that the
proposal of Prime Minister Daladier has not been taken up by
Chancellor  Hitler. For forty minutes I commented  upon  the
President's moving letter. I said everything that  my  heart
as  a  man  and  a  Frenchman could  prompt  to  induce  the
Chancellor  to  agree  to a supreme  effort  for  a  pacific
settlement of the question of Danzig. I conjured him, in the
name  of history and for the sake of humanity, not to thrust
aside  this last chance. For the peace of his conscience,  I
begged  him, who had built an empire without shedding blood,
not  to  shed it now, not to shed the blood of soldiers  nor
that of women and children, without being absolutely certain
that  this could not be avoided. I confronted him  with  the
terrible  responsibilities  that  he  would  assume  towards
western civilization. I told him that his prestige is  great
enough  outside Germany to remain undiminished even after  a
gesture of appeasement, the men who feared him would perhaps
be  astonished,  but would admire him, mothers  would  bless
him.  Perhaps I moved him; but I did not prevail.  His  mind
was made up.
     Herr  Hitler, after reading the Prime Minister's letter
and  paying tribute to the noble thoughts it expressed, told
me  that ever since Poland had had the English guarantee, it
had become vain to seek to lead her to a sound comprehension
of   the   situation.  Poland's  mind  was  set  in   morbid
resistance. Poland knew that she was committing suicide, but
was doing so telling herself that, thanks to the support  of
France and England, she would rise once more.
     Besides,  he  added, things have now gone too  far.  No
country having any regard for its honour could tolerate  the
Polish provocations. France,

in Germany's place, would have already gone to war. No doubt
there  were some reasonable men in Warsaw, but the  soldiery
of  that barbarous country had now broken loose. The central
Government no longer had the situation in hand.
     I laid stress on the importance of the French proposal:
not  only did M. Daladier undertake that Poland would  agree
to  seek  a  solution  by free conciliation,  but  he  bound
himself,  with  all the authority vested in his  person,  to
work for the success of an attempt at pacific settlement.
     Herr   Hitler  replied  that  he  did  not  doubt   the
sentiments  of  M. Daladier and his sincere desire  to  save
peace,  but he thought that the advice of the Prime Minister
to  Warsaw,  however  pressing it might  be,  would  not  be
listened  to, for Poland was deaf since she had the  British
guarantee.  Moreover, if Poland showed  any  willingness  to
talk  matters over, it would, doubtless, be in order to gain
time for her mobilization.
     I  returned many times to my point. I pointed out  that
Poland and Germany had not talked to one another for a  long
time,  that in the course of the crisis the points  of  view
might  perhaps have drawn closer, that at any  rate  it  was
impossible to find this out unless conversations took place,
and  that  both sides might refrain from taking any military
measures while contacts were made.
     "It  is  useless," Herr Hitler replied to  me.  "Poland
would not give up Danzig; and it is my will that Danzig,  as
one of the ports of the Reich, should return to Germany."
     In  face  of  the impossibility of breaking  down  Herr
Hitler's  resistance, and after having invoked the arguments
of  sentiment reported at the beginning of this telegram,  I
thought  I  ought to leave the door ajar by  expressing  the
hope that the Fhrer had not said his last word.
     As I was taking leave, Herr Hitler announced to me that
he would reply in writing to M. Daladier's proposal.


                  No. 262 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 27, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 9.35 a m.)
     HAVE arranged with Herr Hitler that no publicity should
given  until further notice to the letter from M.  Daladier,
and  to the imminent reply from the Fhrer. I must beg  that
all  the  competent  services should receive  the  strictest
instructions to this effect.


                  No. 263 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 27, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 1.20 p.m.)
     THE  dmarche made by me yesterday had to be  made.  No
doubt  no  immediate result can be expected from  it,  first
because apparently we have not yet reached the climax of the
trial  of strength; then because Herr Hitler had to wait  to
learn  the  reception accorded by London  to  his  overtures
before taking up his position. It may nevertheless have  had
some  psychological  effect, at  once,  by  confirming  Herr
Hitler  in the belief that we are ready to fight, by  making
him  face  his  responsibility and by showing  him  that  we
remain in favour of a solution honourable for both parties.
     It  is not to be ruled out that this dmarche may  bear
fruit  at  the moment when Herr Hitler must make his  choice
between peace and war.
     We  cannot,  however,  in my opinion,  expect  a  happy
result  from  it  unless  we are careful  not  to  give  the
impression  that  we  are on the watch  for  every  possible
compromise, whatever the cost may be. I know full well  that
this  is  not  in  the  minds  of  the  French  and  British
Governments.  I  have simply emphasized  the  importance  of
making  appearances correspond with the facts  to  the  very


                  No. 264 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 27,
1939, 3.20 p.m.
(Received at 5.31 p.m.)
     COLONEL  BECK finds that, in spite of fresh  incidents,
the  aggressiveness of the Germans on the  Polish  frontiers
has rather diminished

during  the last twenty-four hours. He told me that  it  was
his  impression that the Chancellor had not yet  decided  to
make war.


                  No. 265 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, august 27,
1939, 3.20 p.m.

(Received at 5 p.m.)
     THE   Polish   Press  report  fresh  German   acts   of
aggression, pointing out that they are increasing in  number
on the most different points of the frontier.
     Two  of  these  incidents on the  frontier  of  Eastern
Prussia  led  to casualties. In the district of  Mlawa,  two
Polish frontier guards were killed by German soldiers firing
from German territory. Not far from there, near Dzialdowo, a
column  of German artillery having entered Polish territory,
one of the gunners was killed.
     Eight  other  less serious incidents are reported  from
Pomerania, in the district of Czestochowa and in Silesia. On
the Slovak frontier an attack was made on a Polish post with
machine-gun fire.
     According  to the papers, German aeroplanes have  again
flown over Polish territory and the prohibited zone of Hel.


                  No. 266 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 27, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 530 p.m.)
     HERR VON RIBBENTROP communicated to me today a copy  of
Herr  Hitler's  reply to M. Daladier. This  reply  is  of  a
negative character.
     The  Minister  for Foreign Affairs, after  having  read
this  document,  stated to me: "I must add to  the  Fhrer's
letter  that since yesterday the situation has become  still
more acute. The Polish Government is no longer master in its
own  country.  This may perhaps be as well, as otherwise  we
should  have  to  hold it responsible for  the  provocations
directed  against  us. But I must warn  you  that  we  shall
strike at the first incident."


                  No. 267 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 27, 1939.
     HERR  VON  WEIZSCKER has handed me,  and  I  have  the
honour to forward to you herewith the original of Chancellor
Hitler's reply to the personal letter from M. Daladier.
     I   attach  two  copies  of  the  translation  of  that
     A  duplicate  copy of Herr Hitler's message  must  have
been handed to you by the German Embassy in Paris.
     I  dispatch  the  present communication  by  a  special


     To  His  Excellency,  M.  DALADIER,  President  of  the
Council of Ministers of France, at Paris.
     I  can understand the thoughts that you have expressed.
Nor  have  I,  for my part, ever minimized the  high  duties
devolving on those on whom the fate of peoples rests. As  an
ax-Serviceman  I am as aware as you are of the frightfulness
of war. Owing to this outlook and to this experience, I have
likewise  made  sincere efforts to eliminate  all  cause  of
conflict  between our two peoples. Some time ago  I  gave  a
public assurance to the French people that the return of the
Saar  territory  was the preliminary condition  of  such  an
appeasement.  As  soon as this return had  been  effected  I
solemnly  confirmed my renunciation of any other claim  that
might affect France.
     The German people has approved my attitude.
     As  you  were able to ascertain on the occasion of  our
last  meeting, the German people, fully conscious  of  their
own  attitude,  did  not  and do not  harbour  any  kind  of
bitterness  or  of  hatred towards  their  old  and  gallant
opponent. Quite the contrary. The appeasement on our Western
Frontier engendered a growing sympathy, at least on the part
of the German people, a sympathy which on numerous occasions
showed  itself particularly demonstrative. The  building  of
great  fortifications in the West, which  has  absorbed  and
absorbs many millions of marks, amounts at the same time for
Germany to an official act of acceptance and fixation of the
final   frontier  of  the  Reich.  The  German  people   has
consequently renounced the two provinces which

belonged  in  the  past  to  the  German  Empire,  and  were
conquered  afresh with much blood and defended a  last  time
with  yet  more blood. This renunciation does not represent,
as  your  Excellency  will  certainly  agree,  any  tactical
attitude for external consumption, but a decision which  was
strictly confirmed by all the measures that we have taken.
     You could not, Mr. Prime Minister, mention one instance
in  which,  either by a line or a speech, I have ever  acted
contrary  to this final fixation of the Western frontier  of
the German Reich. By this renunciation and this attitude,  I
thought  to  have  eliminated every conceivable  element  of
conflict  between our two peoples, which  might  lead  to  a
repetition  of the tragedy of 1914-1918. But this  voluntary
limitation of the vital aspirations of Germany on  the  West
cannot  be  considered as an acceptance, valid in all  other
spheres,  of the Diktat of Versailles. I therefore  year  by
year sought to obtain, by means of negotiation, the revision
of at least the most incredible and most intolerable clauses
of  this  Dikat. I found this impossible. That this revision
ought  to take place many far-seeing people in all countries
considered  to  be  obvious. Whatever  reproaches  might  be
leveled  at my methods, however much you might feel  obliged
to  oppose them, no one has the right to overlook or to deny
that,  thanks  to  them, it has been possible,  in  numerous
cases,  without fresh shedding of blood, not only to find  a
solution  satisfactory for Germany, but also that,  by  such
methods, the statesmen of other nations have been freed from
the  obligation (which it was often impossible for  them  to
fulfill)   of   assuming  before  their  own   peoples   the
responsibility for this revision. For, in any case, it is  a
point  upon  which your Excellency will agree with  me:  the
revision  was  inevitable.  The  Dikat  of  Versailles   was
intolerable. No Frenchman of honour, you least  of  all,  M.
Daladier,   would  have  acted,  in  a  similar   situation,
differently  from  me. I have, therefore,  in  this  spirit,
endeavoured to wipe out from the world the most unreasonable
of  the provisions of the Dikat of Versailles. I made to the
Polish  Government  a  proposal  which  alarmed  the  German
people.  No one but I myself could have attempted  to  bring
such  a proposal to the light of day. And therefore it could
be  made  only  once. I am now convinced,  in  my  innermost
conscience,  that  if  England  in  particular,  instead  of
launching  a savage Press campaign against Germany,  and  of
spreading  rumours of German mobilization, had by one  means
or another induced Poland to show herself reasonable, Europe
would  be  enjoying  today  and for  twenty-five  years  the
profoundest   peace.  But  on  the  contrary,  through   the
mendacious allegation of German aggression,

Polish  public opinion was alarmed, it became more difficult
for  the  Polish Government to take of their own accord  the
clear-cut   decisions   required,  and   above   all   their
appreciation  of the actual limits of what was possible  was
thereby  obscured when we made our offer  of  a  promise  of
guarantee.  The  Polish  Government rejected  my  proposals.
Polish  public  opinion, convinced that England  and  France
would  henceforth fight for Poland, then started to  advance
demands which could be treated as ludicrous follies if  they
were  not  infinitely  dangerous  as  well.  Then  began  an
intolerable  reign  of  terror,  a  physical  and   economic
oppression  of the million and a half Germans  still  to  be
numbered in the territories separated from the Reich.  I  do
not  want  to  speak  here  of the horrors  that  have  been
perpetrated.  But  Danzig  itself, following  the  incessant
encroachments   of  the  Polish  authorities,   has   become
increasingly  aware  of being subjected,  with  no  hope  of
redemption, to the arbitrary exactions of a force  alien  to
the national character of the city and of its population.
     May I be allowed, M. Daladier, to inquire how you would
act,  as  a  Frenchman,  if, as  the  unhappy  result  of  a
courageous struggle, one of your provinces was separated  by
a  corridor occupied by a foreign Power; if a great city-let
us  say  Marseilles-were forcibly prevented from proclaiming
itself  French, and if Frenchmen residing in this  territory
were  at  the present moment beset, beaten, maltreated,  nay
bestially done to death? You are a Frenchman, M. Daladier; I
know  therefore  how you would act. I am a German.  Have  no
doubt, M. Daladier, as to my feeling of honour and as to  my
conviction that it is my duty to act precisely thus. If  you
suffered  what  we  are  suffering,  would  you  accept,  M.
Daladier, that Germany should want to intervene without  any
motive  so  that the corridor should continue to cut  across
France?-so   as  to  prevent  the  return  of   the   stolen
territories  to  the mother country?-so as to  prohibit  the
return of Marseilles to France? In any case, the idea  would
never  occur to me, M. Daladier, that Germany should  embark
on  a struggle with you for this reason. For I and all of us
have renounced Alsace-Lorraine to avoid a fresh shedding  of
blood.  And  still  less should we shed blood  in  order  to
maintain  a state of affairs which would be intolerable  for
you  and  which  would be of no value to us.  All  that  you
express in your letter, M. Daladier, I feel exactly  as  you
do.  Perhaps, just because we are ax-Servicemen, we are able
to understand each other more easily in many spheres. But  I
beg  of  you,  do understand this equally well;  it  is  not
possible  for  a  nation of honour to  give  up  nearly  two

of   human  beings  and  to  see  them  ill-treated  on  its
frontiers.  I  have therefore formulated a  precise  demand;
Danzig  and  the  Corridor  must  return  to  Germany.   The
Macedonian  situation  must  be liquidated  on  our  eastern
frontier.  I  do not see the possibility of  bringing  to  a
pacific  solution a Poland who now feels herself  inviolable
under the protection of her guarantees. But I should despair
of  an  honourable  future  for my  people  if,  under  such
circumstances, we had not decided to settle the question  in
one  way or another. If, consequently, fate compels our  two
peoples  to  fight  afresh, there would  nevertheless  be  a
difference between the motives of the one and the others. I,
M.  Daladier, should then be fighting with my people for the
reparation  of  an  injustice which was inflicted  upon  us,
while  the  others  would  fight  for  maintenance  of  that
injustice. This is the more tragic, since many of  the  most
important  personalities of your own nation have  recognized
the  insanity  of  the  solution of 1919,  as  well  as  the
impossibility  of its indefinite prolongation.  I  perfectly
realize  the heavy consequences which such a conflict  would
involve.  But  I  believe that the heaviest  would  fall  on
Poland, for it is a fact that, whatever the issue of  a  war
born  of  this question, the Polish State of today would  be
lost  anyhow.  That  for this result our  two  peoples  must
engage in a new and bloody war of extermination, is a matter
of  the  deepest sorrow not only for you, M.  Daladier,  but
also  for me. But, as already indicated, I fail to  see  any
possibility  for  us  to obtain any result  from  Poland  by
reasonable  means  so  as to redress a  situation  which  is
intolerable for the German people and for the German nation.


                  No. 268 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 27,
1939. 8.40 p.m.
(Received at 10.25 p.m.)
     THE  arrival  at the Polish Frontiers of a  new  German
division  in  the  north-west and of a  second  division  of
reserves in Eastern Prussia is reported.
     The  German  troops in Slovakia are advancing  westward
and have reached Poprad.
     The   latest   information  gathered  by   the   Polish
authorities confirms that the German mobilization appears to
be general.


                  No. 269 
M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Danzig, August 27,
1939. 10 p.m.
(Received August 28, at 1.15 a.m.)
     THE  population of the districts adjoining  the  Polish
frontier  has  been  evacuated. Only military  vehicles  are
circulating  in Danzig, where life is that of an  entrenched
camp. Defence arrangements appear to be complete.
     All  Polish stocks, notably 3,000 tons of wheat,  2,500
tons   of  petrol,  and  1,000  tons  of  salt,  have   been
confiscated by the Senate.


                  No. 270 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. BARGETON, French Ambassador in Brussels.
                                      Paris, August 27,
1939. 10.30 p.m.
     PLEASE request the King of the Belgians to grant you an
audience, and hand him the following communication on behalf
of the Government of the Republic:
     "The  Government of the Republic have neglected nothing
that  might contribute to the maintenance of peace. If their
efforts  should fail, the French Government  know  that  the
Belgian Government would act in exact conformity with  their
international obligations.
     "In  the  event  of  Belgium adopting  an  attitude  of
neutrality,  the French Government would, of course,  as  in
1914,  fully respect this neutrality. Only in the  event  of
Belgian  neutrality  not being respected  by  another  Power
might  France  be  led to modify her attitude  in  order  to
secure her own defence.
     "The binding promises of assistance given by the French
Government  to  Belgium,  as  expressly  stated   in   their
communication to the Belgian Government of August 24,  1937,
as a matter of course, retain their full value."


                  No. 271 

M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to the French Ambassadors in London, Warsaw,
Washington, Istanbul,
     and Bucharest.
                                         Paris, August 27,
1939. 11 p.m.
     ON the evening of August 26 the Chancellor of the Reich
declared verbally to our Ambassador in Berlin that he  could
not  accept M. Daladier's suggestion to agree to  a  supreme
attempt at a pacific settlement with Poland.


   Herr Hitler Agrees to Hold Direct Conversations
                    with Poland 

            (August 28-30, 1939) 

                  No. 272 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, August 28,
1939. 1.50 p.m.

(Received at 430 a.m.)
     ACCORDING to what Colonel Beck has told me, the  Polish
Government  feel  compelled, on account  of  the  intentions
towards  Poland expressed in the communication made  by  the
German  Chancellor  to the British Ambassador,  to  complete
their  military  measures by calling  up  fresh  classes  of
     This  seems to mean putting on a war footing  those  of
the first line divisions which have not yet been mobilized.

                  No. 273 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 28,
1939. 12 a.m.

(Received at 1.35 p.m.)
     THE  Polish  troops have received orders  from  Marshal
Rydz-Smigly  not  to reply to any German provocation.  Their
task is to drive back

any incursions into Polish territory but to take strict care
not to cross the frontier.

                  No. 274 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 28,
1939. 3.30 p.m.

(Received at 5.45 p.m.)
     THE  Polish  Press reports ten fresh  cases  of  German
aggression in Polish territory at widely separated points of
the  frontier.  Either patrols have penetrated  into  Polish
territory,  or rifles and machineguns have been  fired  from
German  territory on the frontier guards stationed in Polish
     Near  Dzialdowo,  (on  the East  Prussian  frontier)  a
patrol of German cavalry was encountered 6 kilometres within
the  frontier line. A German cavalryman and his  horse  were
killed. A skirmish took place near Nowy-Targ, on the  Slovak
     From the official Polish version it transpires that  in
each  case  the  German  patrols only  encountered  frontier
guards on the Polish side.


                  No. 275 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 28,
1939. 6 p.m.

(Received at 8.40 p.m.)
     IN  an interview which I had with the German Ambassador
on  July 15, the latter admitted that, while he had cause to
complain of some administrative measures taken by the Polish
authorities  against Germans, he had not had to complain  of
acts of any other kind for some time past.
     I  advised  M. Arciszewski to take steps  to  cause  an
investigation  to  be made on the spot by  some  neutral  in
order  to  destroy the legend that the German Chancellor  is
trying to establish.


                  No. 276 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Warsaw, August 28,
1939. 6.5 p.m.

(Received at 9.5 p.m.)
     THE  ill-treatment, murders, etc., of which  the  Poles
are  accused  by Chancellor Hitler are sheer calumnies.  The
denials  issued  by  the  national  authorities  cannot   be
doubted.  It is impossible for Germans to be killed  on  the
outskirts  of Danzig or at Bielsko without the knowledge  of
the  French who live in these districts. Moreover, it should
be pointed out that the Germans did not mention any definite
facts, names or dates.
     No protest has been lodged with the Polish Minister for
Foreign Affairs by the German Ambassador.


                  No. 277 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 28, 1939.

(Received by telephone 6.15 p.m.)
     THE  Prime  Minister has just communicated  to  me  the
final   text  of  the  British  reply  to  the  Chancellor's
communication. A few verbal changes have been  made  by  the
inner Cabinet in the initial text, but the general tenor  is
not altered.
     I have the honour to transmit the following document to
Your Excellency:
     The   Secretary   of  State  again  insists   that   no
indiscretion  should take place with regard to the  contents
of the document in question.
     (1)  His Majesty's Government have received the message
conveyed to them from the German Chancellor by His Majesty's
Ambassador in Berlin, and have considered it with  the  care
which it demands.
     They note the Chancellor's expression of his desire  to
make  friendship the basis of the relations between  Germany
and  the  British Empire, and they fully share this  desire.
They  believe  with  him  that if  a  complete  and  lasting
understanding between the two countries could be established
it would bring untold blessings to both nations.
     (2)  The Chancellor's message deals with two groups  of

those  which are the matters now in dispute between  Germany
and  Poland  and those affecting the ultimate  relations  of
Germany and Great Britain. In connexion with these last, His
Majesty's Government observe that the German Chancellor  has
indicated certain proposals which, subject to one condition,
he would be prepared to make to the British Government for a
general  understanding.  These  proposals  are,  of  course,
stated  in  a  very  general form and would  require  closer
definition, but His Majesty's Government are fully  prepared
to   take  them,  with  some  additions,  as  subjects   for
discussion,  and  they would be ready,  if  the  differences
between  Germany  and  Poland are  peacefully  composed,  to
proceed  so  soon as practicable to such discussion  with  a
sincere desire to reach an agreement.
     (3) The condition which the German Chancellor lays down
is  that there must first be a settlement of the differences
between  Germany  and  Poland. As  to  that,  His  Majesty's
Government  entirely agree. Everything, however, turns  upon
the  nature of the settlement and the method by which it  is
to  be  reached.  On these points, the importance  of  which
cannot be absent from the Chancellor's mind, his message  is
silent, and His Majesty's Government feel compelled to point
out that an understanding upon both of these is essential to
achieving  further progress. The German Government  will  be
aware  that  His  Majesty's Government have  obligations  to
Poland  by  which they are bound and which  they  intend  to
honour.  They could not, for any advantage offered to  Great
Britain,  acquiesce  in  a settlement  which  would  put  in
jeopardy the independence of a State to whom they have given
their guarantee.
     (4)  In  the  opinion  of  His Majesty's  Government  a
reasonable  solution of the differences between Germany  and
Poland could and should be effected by agreement between the
two  countries on lines which would include the safeguarding
of Poland's essential interests, and they recall that in his
speech of April 28 last the German Chancellor recognized the
importance of these interests to Poland.
     But,  as was stated by the Prime Minister in his letter
to  the  German  Chancellor  of  August  22,  His  Majesty's
Government  consider it essential for  the  success  of  the
discussions which would precede the agreement that it should
be  understood  beforehand that any  settlement  arrived  at
would   be   guaranteed  by  other  Powers.  His   Majesty's
Government   would  be  ready  if  desired  to  make   their
contribution to the effective operation of such a guarantee.
     In  the  view of His Majesty's Government,  it  follows
that the next

step  should be the initiation of direct discussions between
the  German  and Polish Governments on a basis  which  would
include   the   principles   stated   above,   namely,   the
safeguarding  of  Poland's  essential  interests   and   the
securing of the settlement by an international guarantee.
     They  have  already received a definite assurance  from
the  Polish Government that they are prepared to enter  into
discussions on this basis, and His Majesty's Government hope
that  the  German Government would for their  part  also  be
willing to agree to this course.
     If,  as  His Majesty's Government hope, such discussion
led to an agreement the way would be open to the negotiation
of  that wider and more complete understanding between Great
Britain and Germany which both countries desire.
     (5)  His  Majesty's Government agree  with  the  German
Chancellor that one of the principal dangers in the  German-
Polish  situation  arises from the  reports  concerning  the
treatment of minorities. The present state of tension,  with
its  concomitant frontier incidents, reports of maltreatment
and  inflammatory propaganda, is a constant danger to peace.
It  is  manifestly a matter of the utmost urgency  that  all
incidents  of  the  kind  should  be  promptly  and  rigidly
suppressed and that unverified reports should not be allowed
to  circulate,  in order that time may be afforded,  without
provocation  on either side, for a full examination  of  the
possibilities of a settlement. His Majesty's Government  are
confident  that  both  the Governments concerned  are  fully
alive to these considerations.
     (6)  His Majesty's Government have said enough to  make
their  own attitude plain in the particular matters at issue
between  Germany  and  Poland. They trust  that  the  German
Chancellor  will  not  think  that,  because  His  Majesty's
Government  are  scrupulous concerning their obligations  to
Poland,  they are not anxious to use all their influence  to
assist  the  achievement  of a solution  which  may  commend
itself both to Germany and to Poland.
     That such a settlement should be achieved seems to  His
Majesty's   Government  essential,  not  only  for   reasons
directly  arising  in regard to the settlement  itself,  but
also because of the wider considerations of which the German
Chancellor has spoken with such conviction.
     (7)  It  is unnecessary in the present reply to  stress
the  advantage of a peaceful settlement over a  decision  to
settle  the questions at issue by force of arms. The results
of  a decision to use force have been clearly set out in the
Prime Minister's letter to the Chancellor of

August  22,  and His Majesty's Government do not doubt  that
they  are  as  fully  recognized by  the  Chancellor  as  by
     On  the  other  hand, His Majesty's Government,  noting
with  interest  the  German Chancellor's  reference  in  the
message,   now  under  consideration  to  a  limitation   of
armaments,  believe that, if a peaceful  settlement  can  be
obtained,  the assistance of the world could confidently  be
anticipated for practical measures to enable the  transition
from  preparation  for  war  to  the  normal  activities  of
peaceful trade to be safely and smoothly effected.
     (8)  A  just  settlement  of  these  questions  between
Germany  and Poland may open the way to world peace. Failure
to  reach  it  would ruin the hopes of better  understanding
between  Germany  and  Great Britain, would  bring  the  two
countries  into  conflict, and might well plunge  the  whole
world  into war. Such an outcome would be a calamity without
parallel in history.


                  No. 278 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 28, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 6.15 p.m.)
     M.  LIPSKI has received the instructions announced  (my
telegram  of August 26) which authorize him to make indirect
overtures with a view to settling the question of minorities
by exchanges of population.
     The   Polish  ambassador  intends  to  act   on   these
instructions when an opportunity arises.


                  No. 279 

M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. HENRY CAMBON, French Minister in Luxemburg.
                                     Paris, August 28, 1939.
6.45 p.m.
     PLEASE transmit the following communication to M. Beck,
on behalf of the French Government.
     "The  Government of the Republic believes that, in  the
present  circumstances,  it  can  contribute  to  allay  the
preoccupations of the Government of Luxemburg  by  declaring
its  firm  intention, should the need arise, to respect  the
inviolability of the Grand Duchy's terri-

tory.  It  is only in the event of an infringement  of  that
inviolability  by another Power that the Government  of  the
Republic  might  be  compelled to change this  attitude,  in
order to secure its own defence."

                  No. 280 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, August 28,
1939. 8.10 p.m.

(Received at 10.40 p.m.)
     THE  British Ambassador has just informed Colonel  Beck
of  the  substance of the reply which the British Government
is  giving to Herr Hitler. He requested him at the same time
to  confirm  that Poland was still prepared to  hold  direct
conversations with Germany under the conditions set  out  in
the British document.
     Colonel Beck, who expressed great satisfaction  at  the
English  answer, replied in the affirmative to  the  British
Ambassador's question.


                  No. 281 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, August 28,
1939. 8.15 p.m.

(Received at 11 p.m.)
     AMONG  other  contradictions of false allegations,  the
Press  publishes  the following news, supplied  by  the  Pat
     1. The Vice-Vovode of Silesia, M. Malhomme, accused by
the   German   wireless  stations  of  having  ordered   the
maltreatment  of women and children, has been seriously  ill
for a month and is under treatment at Warsaw;
     2.  Plundering by bands of insurgents in Silesia  is  a
complete  invention. Captain Blacha, who is  alleged  to  be
leading them, has been dead two years.


                  No. 282 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, August 28,
1939. 8.20 p.m.

(Received at 9.50 p.m.)
     THE  number of Germans residing in Poland is less  than
one  million. It is therefore far from reaching  the  figure
given by Herr Hitler.
     I  may  add  that  in a conversation with  me  on  that
question, in 1937, the German Ambassador recognized that the
number  of Poles in Germany and Germans in Poland was almost
the same.


                  No. 283 
 Note addressed to M. Bargeton, French Ambassador in
  Brussels, by the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, on
                  August 28, 1939

                                             (Transmitted at
8.38 p.m.)
(Received at 10 p.m.)
     BY  his note of August 28, 1939, the Ambassador of  the
French  Republic was good enough to define, on the  occasion
of  the present international crisis, the attitude that  the
French Government would observe towards Belgium in the event
of a conflict in Europe becoming unavoidable.
     The   King's   Government  has  taken  note   of   this
communication,  by  which  the Government  of  the  Republic
intimates  that  if Belgium in such a contingency  maintains
her neutrality, the French Government is firmly resolved, in
conformity  with  its  traditional  policy,  integrally   to
respect this neutrality.
     On  its  side, the King's Government, faithful  to  the
policy of which France took cognizance in the declaration of
April  24,  1937,  intends to remain outside  any  conflict;
consequently  it  will not tolerate any  violation  of  this
neutrality  and  will  resist with all  the  forces  at  its
disposal such violation if it should occur.
     If,  contrary  to  its expectation,  Belgium  were  the
object of an aggression, she would not hesitate to appeal to
France.  She  does  not doubt that in this  case  she  would
receive   the   assistance  requested,  according   to   the
assurances now renewed by the Government of the Republic.

     The  King's  Government thanks the  Government  of  the
Republic  for this fresh proof that it remains true  to  its
traditional policy towards Belgium.
                  No. 284 
M. BARGETON, French Ambassador in Brussels,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Brussels, August 28,
(Received by telephone at 11.30 p.m.)
     THE Prime Minster has just summoned me and requests me
to inform you that the Queen of the Netherlands and the King
of the Belgians have agreed to offer their "good offices" in
view of a settlement of the crisis. This offer is made to
the Governments of France, of England, of Germany, of Italy,
and of Poland. An identical communication is being made this
evening by the Netherlands Government to the representatives
of the said five Powers at the Hague.


                  No. 285 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Berlin, August 29,

(Received by telephone at 1.45 a.m.)
     THE  British Ambassador, who is engaged in drafting his
report  to  London, has this moment sent his first secretary
in  order  to  inform me of the substance  of  an  interview
lasting an hour and ten minutes which he had with Chancellor
     "While   showing  himself  very  calm,  the  Chancellor
refused  to  abate  any  of his claims  against  Poland.  He
demanded  all the Corridor, without even mentioning  Danzig,
and   territorial   changes  in  Upper  Silesia   with   the
possibility  of  an  exchange of populations.  He  declared,
however,  that  the English communication would  retain  his
most  serious attention and that he would give his reply  in
writing to-morrow."


                  No. 286 

M. HENRY CAMBON, French Minister in Luxemburg,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                   Luxemburg, August 29,
1939. 11.8 a.m.
(Received at 3.19 p.m.)
     THE declaration contained in your telegram of yesterday
has been handed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who has
charged  me  to  express  the  thanks  of  the  Grand  Ducal
Government to the French Government.


                  No. 287 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Berlin, August 29,

(Received by telephone at 1.20 p.m.)
     MY   British  colleague  has  acquainted  me  with  his
interview  with Herr Hitler, the substance of  which  is  as
     "All  through  the interview the Fhrer returned  again
and  again to his claims against Poland. In April he made  a
generous  offer, which could not be repeated. What he  wants
today    is    Danzig,   the   Corridor,   and   territorial
rectifications in Polish Silesia. Sir Nevile Henderson,  who
refused  to  be  drawn into a discussion of this  programme,
said and repeated: England accepts the offer to conclude  an
agreement  with  Germany;  but  England  stipulates   as   a
preliminary  condition  that  the  Reich  should  reach   an
agreement with Poland, by free negotiations, conducted on  a
footing of complete equality, safeguarding essential  Polish
interests,  under an international guarantee. The Ambassador
added that Poland was willing to discuss on that basis.
     "At  the  end  of  the interview my colleague  put  two
questions to Herr Hitler:
     "1.   Are   you   willing  to  take  part   in   direct
conversations with Poland?
     "'I  cannot answer you now,' replied the Fhrer, 'as  I
must first  of all study with the most careful attention the
communication of the British Government.' He added,  turning
towards   Herr  von  Ribbentrop:  'This  must  be  seen   to
immediately. Ask Field-Marshal Goering to work with you.'

     "2.  Would  you be disposed to consider an exchange  of
populations   for   the  settlement  of  the   question   of
     "'That  is  a formula which might be found favourable,'
replied the Fhrer.
     "Herr  Hitler informed the British Ambassador  that  he
thought  he  would give his reply this very day. Sir  Nevile
replied to him: 'It took us two days to draw up our note.  I
am in no hurry.'
     "'But I am,' replied the Fhrer.
     "Herr   Hitler  declared  that,  contrary  to   certain
insinuations made abroad, he was not bluffing.  The  British
Ambassador  answered the Chancellor that any  act  of  force
against  Poland could not fail to bring about a war  between
England and the Reich."

                  No. 288 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     London, August 29,
(Received by telephone at 3 p.m.)
     THE  written reply of Chancellor Hitler was  dispatched
by  an  aeroplane which left Tempelhof towards noon.  It  is
believed  at the Foreign Office that it should therefore  be
received towards 4.30 p.m.
     The  conversation  which  the  British  Ambassador  had
yesterday  with  Herr  Hitler  gave  no  indication  of  the
latter's intentions.
     Sir  Nevile Henderson definitely told Herr Hitler  that
it  was for the Reich now to make its choice between British
friendship  and  war, by the attitude which it  would  adopt
towards  Poland. Field-Marshal Goering was summoned  in  the
morning  by  Herr Hitler, probably in order to  discuss  the
     The   German  reply  to  M.  Daladier  has  created   a
pessimistic impression at the Foreign Office. Sir  Alexander
Cadogan  told me this morning that he did not  see  how  the
Chancellor,  after having announced his aims in  categorical
terms, could beat a retreat without discrediting himself.


                  No. 289 

M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Danzig, August 29,
1939. 8.10 p.m.
(Received at 9.55 p.m.)
     I  AM  told  that the Senate has forbidden  the  Polish
company  Paged  to dispose of its stocks of wood  which  are
valued  at 5 million zlotys. It is also reported to me  that
200  Polish workers of the international shipyards have been
dismissed, after their identity papers had been  confiscated
and  without  having their wages paid.  An  orderly  of  the
military  section  of the General Commissioner's  office  is
said also to have been arrested.

                  No. 290 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, August 29,
1939. 10.3 p.m.
(Received August 30, 1939, at 12.15 a.m.)
     HERE are some data concerning the German minorities  in
     1. At the Census of 1931 they numbered 741,000 persons,
i.e.  2.13 per cent of the total population. Since then  the
coefficient of births being greater with the Poles than with
the Germans, this percentage can only have diminished.
     2.  The  German minority forms nowhere a compact group.
It  is spread all over the territory. One finds small German
islands as far as the Russian frontier.
     3. There is only a very feeble proportion of Germans in
the Corridor.
     4.  There  is no doubt that a great part of the  German
minority wishes to live on peaceful terms with the Poles.


                  No. 291 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 29, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 10.15 p.m.)
     HERR   HITLER  has  personally  handed  to  Sir  Nevile
Henderson the German reply to the British communication. The
British  Ambassador is transmitting it  at  this  moment  by
telephone to London.
     Here  is  what  Sir Nevile Henderson  told  me  of  his
     "The  interview  was  stormy; the Chancellor  told  me:
'Here  is  my reply to the two questions put by the  British
     "'A.  Direct conversations. Although I am skeptical  as
to  results,  I  accept.  But on  condition  that  a  Polish
plenipotentiary comes to Berlin to-morrow, August 30.
     "'B.  International  guarantee. I  could  only  give  a
territorial guarantee in full agreement with the  Government
of the U.S.S.R.'
     "On  Question  A, I pointed out to the Chancellor  that
his proposal resembled an ultimatum. He replied this was not
so because the present situation could not be prolonged. The
mobilized  Polish and German armies are facing  each  other;
fresh  incidents constantly occur; five more men were killed
today, but England laughs at that.
     "I  protested against such an allegation, and  insisted
that  the prescribed period should be prolonged. Herr Hitler
maintained  the  date  of the 30th,  pointing  out  that  an
aeroplane  only  took  90 minutes to  come  from  Warsaw  to
     "I  asked him whether the Polish plenipotentiary  would
be  received with all the courtesy due to him,  and  if  the
negotiation would be conducted on a footing of equality. His
reply was: 'Yes, of course.'
     "The Fhrer reminded me afresh of his demands: he wants
Danzig  and  the Corridor. He wants also the suppression  of
all possibility of incidents with Poland, and to that effect
he will have an economic plan drafted by to-morrow.
     "On  Question B, I replied to the Chancellor  that,  in
view of his agreement with the Soviets, his reservation  did
not seem to be likely to raise any difficulties.
     "In  taking  leave,  I told Herr Hitler  that  I  would
transmit his reply to my Government. I recalled that if  the
Reich,  failing an understanding, attacked Poland, it  meant
war with England."


                  No. 292 

M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. BARGETON, French Ambassador in Brussels,
     and to M. DE VITROLLES, French Minister in The Hague.
                                         Paris, August 29,
1939. 11 p.m.
     PLEASE   inform   immediately,   in   reply   to    the
communication which you have received tonight:
     For Brussels: the Belgian Prime Minister.
     For  the  Hague: the Netherlands Minister  for  Foreign
     That  the Government of the Republic welcomes with  the
greatest  interest the offer which the King of the  Belgians
and  the  Queen of the Netherlands have made of  their  good
offices with a view to a settlement of the European crisis.
     The French Government, which earnestly desires that the
noble  initiative  of the two Sovereigns should  attain  its
realization,  is  ready,  for  its  part,  to  further  this
endeavour with all its power.

                  No. 293 

M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     London, August 29,
(Received by telephone at 11.55 p.m.)
     I  HAVE  obtained  the following supplementary  details
regarding   the  conversation  which  took  place  yesterday
evening between Herr Hitler and Sir Nevile Henderson.
     After   adding  Silesia  to  his  former  claims,   the
Chancellor gave clearly to understand that what remained  of
Poland could not count upon an independent future.
     In resounding phrases, the German Chancellor emphasized
the  future  vistas that would open out from an Anglo-German
rapprochement. A golden age for humanity could not  fail  to
result  therefrom.  Sir Nevile Henderson appears  always  to
have  led him back to the necessity of a previous settlement
of the German-Polish difference.
     Herr  Hitler,  replying to a question from  Sir  Nevile
Henderson,  insisted  that  he could  never  return  to  his
proposal of March 23 to the Polish Government. He let it  be
understood that he would negotiate

with  Poland only if he were sure in advance that the Polish
Government would accede to all his wishes.
     Mr.  Chamberlain  said  a few words  to  me  about  the
diplomatic  situation. It is significant, according  to  the
Prime Minister, that Chancellor Hitler has so far abstained,
despite   his  menacing  preparations,  from  starting   any
decisive action. As you told Sir Eric Phipps, each day which
passes is in the Prime Minister's opinion, a day gained  for
the safeguarding of peace. The Fhrer cannot fail to realize
the "disgust" which has been provoked in the whole civilized
world  by the conclusion by Germany of an agreement  with  a
Power,  which,  on the very day before this  agreement,  was
regarded  by  Germany  as  her  worst  enemy.  The  resolute
firmness  shown by the Western Powers cannot have failed  to
impress him.
     I  said that Paris had welcomed the clear terms of  the
British  reply  brought  by  Sir Nevile  Henderson  to  Herr
Hitler,  and  notably  the  precision  with  which  it   was
indicated  that  no  enterprise  of  conciliation  could  be
considered   before  the  settlement  of  the  German-Polish
conflict.  The Prime Minister replied that it was only  Herr
Hitler who could imagine that Great Britain, in order to  be
reconciled  with Germany, would let herself be  lured  to  a
general conference, without regard for the country to  which
she  had given her guarantee. Mr. Neville Chamberlain  added
that  the facility with which the Moscow agreement had  been
concluded must have warped Herr Hitler's judgment.

                  No. 294 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw.
                                     Paris, August 30, 1939.
1 a.m.
      M. COULONDRE has given me a provisional account of the
interview which Sir Nevile Henderson had this afternoon with
Herr  Hitler,  in the course of which the German  reply  was
delivered. I am communicating this document to you.
     However  disagreeable  may be the  form  in  which  the
Chancellor  expresses his thoughts, nevertheless,  I  notice
that,  for  the  first time, he accepts the principle  of  a
direct conversation, to which he has hitherto been opposed.
     At  first  sight  it is a point which seems  worthy  of
attention.  It appears to me that it would be  difficult  to
meet it with a flat refusal.

     As  soon as the British Government is in possession  of
the  text  of  the German reply as well as of  the  comments
which  accompany it, I propose to consult with  the  British
Government with a view to defining our common attitude.

                  No. 295 

M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw.
                                           Paris, August 30,
1939.1 a.m.
     For  London.  I  am sending the following  telegram  to
Berlin and Warsaw:
     THERE is an increasing number of incidents between  the
German  troops and the Polish troops, who are now in contact
at many points.
     Should  it be possible to open negotiations,  I  wonder
whether  it would not be feasible to envisage the withdrawal
of these troops a few miles on either side of the Frontier.
     You   should   examine   the  possibility   of   making
suggestions of this nature in Warsaw and in Berlin.

                  No . 296 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 30, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 2 a.m.)
     ACCORDING  to  what  I have been  told  by  my  British
colleague,  his interview of yesterday has left him  with  a
rather  bad  impression. He is less optimistic than  he  was
     Nevertheless, he thinks that M. Beck should accept  the
invitation  of  the German Chancellor, for it  would  be  to
Poland's interest to show her good will before the  eyes  of
the  world.  Sir  Nevile Henderson is  telegraphing  to  his
Government in that sense.
     For  my  part  I  consider that the  Polish  Government
should agree to appoint a plenipotentiary, since, after all,
the German Chancellor

     accedes  to  the suggestion made to him by Britain  and
France for direct contact between Berlin and Warsaw.
     Nevertheless, there would be serious objections  to  M.
Beck's  coming  to Berlin in the present circumstances.  The
journey  would  inevitably recall the unhappy precedents  of
Dr.  Schuschnigg and Dr. Hacha. It would be exploited by the
Reich,  with  all  the  dramatic  effects  of  which  German
propaganda  is  capable, as a moral victory and  a  sign  of
weakening.  German demands would thereby be  increased.  If,
therefore, the Ministers of the two countries were to  meet,
it  seems to me that it should be in some town close to  the
frontier.  If,  on the other hand, the negotiations  had  to
take  place  in  Berlin,  they should,  in  my  opinion,  be
entrusted to M. Lipski. This solution would, moreover,  have
the advantage that the Polish Government would not appear to
be yielding to a time limit which has every appearance of an
     Should  the  negotiations take a favourable  turn,  the
subsequent visit of M. Beck would no longer present the same

                  No. 297 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 30, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 11.20 a.m.)
     GOING  far  beyond his demands of March 21, the  German
Chancellor today claims, besides Danzig, the Corridor, which
is  territory racially Polish, and also Gdynia, which  is  a
Polish   creation.  Furthermore,  by  claiming  an  economic
agreement  and  "the  elimination  of  any  possibility   of
incidents   with  Poland,"  he  is  opening  the   door   to
unspecified demands.
     The  reservation  which he makes  with  regard  to  the
establishment of an international guarantee recalls the  one
to  which  last autumn he subordinated the guarantee  to  be
given  to  the  Czechoslovak State  for  its  new  frontier.
According to all appearances, he expects a refusal from  the
Soviet.  It  is, moreover, impossible to imagine  that  such
terms,   which   would  mark  the  beginning   of   Poland's
enslavement, would be accepted by that country.


                  No. 298 
M. BARGETON, French Ambassador in Brussels,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                    Brussels, August 30,
1939. 12.5 p.m.
(Received at 1.55 p.m.)
     THE  Prime Minister of Belgium, whom I approached early
this  morning according to your instructions, expressed  his
most cordial thanks.
     Our reply is the first he has received, but he has also
received  intimation of a favourable reply from Britain.  He
has  up  to  the moment heard nothing from Rome  or  Berlin;
Press  reports lead him to suppose that one will be received
from Poland.


                  No. 299 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                              London, August
30, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 1.10 p.m.)
     I  GIVE below the text of the reply sent by Herr Hitler
to  the  British Government; the Foreign Office has on  this
occasion  repeated its request for absolute secrecy  already
made in connection with the previous communication.
     "The British Ambassador in Berlin has submitted to  the
British Government suggestions which I felt bound to make in
     "1.  To  give expression once more to the will  of  the
Reich  Government  for  sincere Anglo-German  understanding,
cooperation and friendship;
     "2. To leave no room for doubt as to the fact that such
an  under  standing could not be bought at the  price  of  a
renunciation  of  vital  German  interests,  let  alone  the
abandonment  of demands which are based as much upon  common
human justice as upon the national dignity and honour of our
     "The  German  Government have noted  with  satisfaction
from  the reply of the British Government and from the  oral
explanations  given  by  the  British  Ambassador  that  the
British  Government  for their part  are  also  prepared  to
improve the relationship between Germany and
England  and  to develop and extend it in the sense  of  the
German suggestion.
     "In   this   connexion,  the  British  Government   are
similarly  convinced that the removal of  the  German-Polish
tension,  which has become unbearable, is the  pre-requisite
for the realization of this hope.
     "Since  the  autumn of the past year, and on  the  last
occasion  in March 1939, there were submitted to the  Polish
Government  proposals, both oral and written, which,  having
regard  to the friendship then existing between Germany  and
Poland,  offered  the  possibility  of  a  solution  of  the
questions in dispute acceptable to both parties. The British
Government are aware that the Polish Government saw fit,  in
March  last,  definitely to reject these proposals.  At  the
same  time,  they  used this rejection as a  pretext  or  an
occasion for taking military measures which have since  been
continuously  intensified. Already in  the  middle  of  last
month Poland was in effect in a state of mobilization.  This
was  accompanied by numerous encroachments in the Free  City
of  Danzig due to the instigation of the Polish authorities;
threatening demands in the nature of ultimata, varying  only
in  degree,  were addressed to that City. A closing  of  the
frontiers,  at  first in the form of a  measure  of  Customs
policy but extended later in a military sense affecting also
traffic  and communications, was imposed with the object  of
bringing   about  the  political  exhaustion  and   economic
destruction of this German community.
     "To  this  were  added barbaric acts  of  ill-treatment
which  cry to Heaven, and other forms of persecution of  the
large  German national group in Poland, which extended  even
to the killing of many resident Germans or to their forcible
removal  under  the  most cruel conditions.  This  state  of
affairs  is unbearable for a Great Power. It has now  forced
Germany, after remaining a passive onlooker for many months,
in her turn to take the necessary steps for the safeguarding
of  legitimate  German  interests.  And  indeed  the  German
Government can but assure the British Government in the most
solemn  manner  that  a condition of affairs  has  now  been
reached  which  can no longer be accepted or  observed  with
     "The demands of the German Government are in conformity
with the revision of the Versailles Treaty in regard to this
territory,  which  has  always  been  recognized  as   being
necessary,  viz.,  return  of Danzig  and  the  Corridor  to
Germany,  the  safeguarding of the existence of  the  German
national  group in the territories remaining to Poland.  The
German  Government note with satisfaction that  the  British

ment also are in principle convinced that some solution must
be found for the new situation which has arisen.
     "They  further  feel  justified in  assuming  that  the
British  Government  too can have no  doubt  that  it  is  a
question  now  of conditions, for the elimination  of  which
there  no longer remain days, still less weeks, but  perhaps
only  hours.  For  in  the  disorganized  state  of  affairs
obtaining   in   Poland,   the  possibility   of   incidents
intervening,  which it might be impossible  for  Germany  to
tolerate, must at any moment be reckoned with.
     "While  the  British Government may still believe  that
these  grave  differences can be resolved by way  of  direct
negotiations,  the  German Government unfortunately  can  no
longer share this view as a matter of course. For they  have
made  the  attempt to embark on such peaceful  negotiations,
but,  instead  of  receiving any  support  from  the  Polish
Government, they were rebuffed by the sudden introduction of
measures  of  a  military character which have  led  to  the
developments alluded to above.
     "The  British  Government  attach  importance  to   two
considerations: (1) that the existing danger of an  imminent
explosion  should be eliminated as quickly  as  possible  by
direct negotiation, and (2) that the existence of the Polish
State, in the form in which it would then continue to exist,
should  be  adequately  safeguarded  in  the  economic   and
political sphere by means of international guarantees.
     "On   this  subject  the  German  Government  make  the
following declaration:
     "Though  skeptical as to the prospectus of a successful
outcome,  they  are  nevertheless  prepared  to  accept  the
English proposal and to enter into direct discussions.  They
do  so, as has already been emphasized, solely as the result
of  the  impression made upon them by the written  statement
received from the British Government that they too desire  a
pact  of  friendship in accordance with  the  general  lines
indicated to the British Ambassador.
     "The  German Government desire in this way to give  the
British  Government  and the British  nation  proof  of  the
sincerity  of  Germany's intentions to enter  on  a  lasting
friendship with Great Britain.
     "The  Government of the Reich feel, however,  bound  to
point out to the British Government that in the event  of  a
territorial rearrangement in Poland they would no longer  be
able to bind themselves to give guarantees or to participate
in   guarantees   without  the  U.S.S.R.  being   associated

     "For  the  rest, in making these proposals, the  German
Government have never had any intention of touching Poland's
vital   interests  or  questioning  the  existence   of   an
independent    Polish   State.   The   German    Government,
accordingly,  in  these circumstances agree  to  accept  the
British Government's offer of their good offices in securing
the  dispatch  to  Berlin  of a Polish  Emissary  with  full
powers.  They  count  on the arrival  of  this  Emissary  on
Wednesday, August 30, 1939.
     "The   German  Government  will  immediately  draw   up
proposals for a solution acceptable to themselves and  will,
if  possible,  place these at the disposal  of  the  British
Government before the arrival of the Polish negotiator."

                  No. 300 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 30, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 130 p.m.)
     THE  text  of  the  German reply  which  was  delivered
yesterday to Sir Nevile Henderson has just been communicated
to me by the British Embassy.
     It  is brutal and reads more like a Diktat imposed upon
a  conquered country than an agreement to negotiate  with  a
sovereign State.
     Even  if the conversations should be broken off  almost
as  soon  as  begun,  I  nevertheless consider  that  Poland
should,  at least, to start with, agree to open them through
the intermediary of her Ambassador in Berlin.


                  No. 301 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, August 30,
1939. 3.20 p.m.
(Received at 5.40 p.m.)
     THE  Press  announces the arrest of several members  of
the  German minority, affiliated to terrorist organizations,
who  have been instructed to engage in conjunction with  the
military authorities of the Reich in "acts of diversion" and
to  impede the transport of troops. At Lodz 17 kilograms  of
dynamite and 4 kilograms of nitro-glycerine have been

found  at  the houses of two employees of a German  bank.  A
similar organization has been discovered at Poznan. A member
of  the  German minority belonging to a similar organization
has  been arrested at the frontier in a car belonging to the
German Consulate at Katowice.
     The  victims of the terrorist outrage at Tarnow  number


                  No. 302 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                      Berlin, August 30,
1939. 5.40 p.m.

(Received at 7.45 p.m.)
     THREE  principal  facts emerge from  the  German  Press
     1.  The  newspapers continue to reflect the irritation,
noticed for the last two or three days. The campaign against
Poland continues in the same strain.
     2.  The whole problem of the Polish-German frontier  is
kept  well in the foreground. The racial principle is  again
invoked,  as  if the Reich, since March 15,  still  had  the
right to invoke it.
     3.   With   the  greatest  insistence  the   newspapers
underline the final character of the Berlin-Moscow Pact  and
its  wide  implications.  One is given  to  understand  that
Russia and Germany are in perfect agreement, not only on the
solution of the Polish problem, but also on the solution  of
other Eastern European problems.
     Similar  insinuations, which are worthy  of  attention,
should be compared with the declaration which the Chancellor
made  yesterday to Sir Nevile Henderson, according to  which
the  Reich  could  not  give Poland a territorial  guarantee
without the assent of Russia. However much intimidation  and
tactical maneuver may be behind this attitude, we cannot  in
my opinion watch too closely the development of Russo-German
relations.  Germany's object is to bring about  between  the
two countries complete political and military cooperation in
which the leadership will obviously be assumed by the Reich.
     In  this connection there has even been talk in certain
well-informed  quarters in Berlin of a  new  surprise  which
might  be  in store for us very shortly. One of the  reasons
why  the  Reich has up till now deferred its action  against
Poland would appear to be the mysterious negotiations  which
are being conducted by Berlin and Moscow.


                  No. 303 
M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Danzig, August 30,
1939. 10.15 p.m.
(Received at 1130 p.m.)
     As  a  reply to the seizure of trucks of goods  carried
out by the Danzig Customs Control, the Polish Government has
reduced from yesterday the number of passenger trains.
     Tonight,  the  Senate protested on the subject  to  the
Polish  Commissioner-General. An agreement was reached  this
afternoon  after  a  meeting of officials;  the  two  Polish
negotiators,   who  are  railway  officials,  were   however
arrested by the Gestapo when leaving the meeting.


                  No. 304 

M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. LON NEL French Ambassador in Warsaw.
                                     Paris, August 30, 1939.
11.20 p.m.
     THE  British  Government have submitted to  the  French
Government  the instructions sent to your British  colleague
by  the Foreign Office. You should, in accordance with these
instructions,  support  the  steps  taken  by  the   British



    Italy's Suggestion for a Conference and German
   Maneuvering to Bring  About the Rupture of Negotiations

                (August 31) 

                  No. 305 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 31, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 11 am.)
British Ambassador saw M. Beck during the night. The Polish


     Minister    for    Foreign   Affairs    welcomed    his
representations  and  promised  to  give  him   the   Polish
Government's reply at noon.
     Upon receipt of your instructions I supported the steps
taken by my colleague.


                  No. 306  

M. FRANOIS-PONCET, French Ambassador in Rome,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 31, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 15 p.m.)
     CONFIRMATION of telephone message to M. Georges Bonnet
at 12.50 p.m., August 31.
     Count  Ciano  summoned me at 12.35 p.m. to the  Palazzo
Chigi. He made the following verbal communication to me:
     Signor  Mussolini offers, if France and England  agree,
to  invite Germany to a conference which will take place  on
September 5 with the object of examining the clauses of  the
Treaty  of  Versailles which are the cause  of  the  present
trouble.  The  invitation to Germany will  be  sent  to  the
latter only after France and Great Britain have given  their
     Count  Ciano made the same communication to the British
     He   requests   an  immediate  reply  for   fear   that
hostilities may begin in the meantime.


                  No. 307 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 31, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 150 p.m.)
     M.  BECK  has just telephoned to me so say that  he  is
giving a favourable reply to the British Government and that
he  is  willing to enter into direct negotiations  with  the
Reich on the bases previously set forth by Lord Halifax. The
Polish Government is ready, subject to reciprocity, to  take
the  measures necessary to avoid any frontier incidents, and
suggests  that for the duration of the proposed negotiations
a  "simple" modus vivendi be applied to Danzig. Finally, the


     Government  expresses  a wish  to  know  what  form  of
international guarantee the British Government had in  mind,
and  trusts  that Poland can also count for the future  upon
the   good  offices  of  Great  Britain  to  facilitate  the
application of any agreement reached.
     M.  Beck informed me at the same time that, bearing  in
mind our suggestions, he is asking his ambassador to request
an  audience  at  the  Wilhelmstrasse  in  order  to  resume
contact.  M. Lipski is instructed to state that  the  Polish
Government  gives  a  reply  in  the  affirmative   to   the
memorandum  by  which  the British Government  informed  the
Polish  Government last night of the former's  conversations
with  the  Reich  on the subject of the possibilities  of  a
peaceful settlement of the dispute.
     M.  Beck insists that the reply which he has just  made
to  the British Government be kept secret both in Paris  and
in London.

                  No. 308 

M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London.
                                          Paris, August 31,
1939. 2 p.m.

     You  should  inform  the  British  Government  that  it
appears  to  me  of vital importance that,  as  soon  as  an
affirmative reply, favouring in principle the conversations,
is   received  from  the  Polish  Government,  the   British
Ambassador in Berlin should be instantly empowered  to  make
it known to the Wilhelmstrasse.

                  No. 309 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, August 31,
1939. 2.10 p.m.

(Received at 10.45 p.m.)
     INCIDENTS  all  along  the  frontiers  continue  to  be
reported. There were, however, no casualties yesterday.
     Within  Poland,  action against  German  espionage  and
terrorist organizations is increasing. At Novy-Sacz, members
of  the German minority have been arrested for preparing  an
attempt  on  a  railway bridge. A German,  whose  arrest  at
Katowice   I   reported  yesterday,   has   confessed   that
provocative outrages against certain German property


owners in Polish territory had been prepared about ten  days
ago  in  cooperation with the authorities of  the  National-
Socialist  Party of Silesia and upon instructions  from  the
     The  Press  reports  at  the  same  time  a  series  of
aggressive acts committed on the Slovak frontier by a  party
about 100 strong wearing swastika badges.

                  No. 310 

M. CHARLES-ROUX, French Ambassador to the Holy See,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 31, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 2.15 p.m.)
     THE  following message from His Holiness has just  been
transmitted  to me by the Cardinal Secretary of State,  with
the  request  that  it  be  forwarded  immediately  to  Your
     His  Holiness  is unwilling to abandon  hope  that  the
negotiations  now proceeding may bring about  the  just  and
peaceful  solution which the whole world has not  ceased  to
pray for.
     "In  the  Name of God, His Holiness therefore begs  the
Polish and German Governments to do everything within  their
power  to avoid any incident and to abstain from taking  any
measure  likely to aggravate the existing tension.  He  begs
the  French, British and Italian Governments to  give  their
support to his request."

                  No. 311 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                              Warsaw, August
31. 1939.

(Received by telephone at 3.10 p.m.)
     I  HAVE  just received the text of the reply  from  the
Polish  Government  to  the British  Government,  which  was
announced in my previous telegram. After reading it I am  in
a position to give details on the following points:
     1. The "simple" modus vivendi for Danzig, alluded to by
M.   Beck,   would  aim  solely  at  ensuring  provisionally
tolerable  conditions of existence for the Poles within  the
Free City. It would leave aside the question of the Statute.


     2.  The Polish Government declares that, as far as  the
international guarantee, in the relations between Poland and
the  Reich  is concerned, it must reserve its opinion  until
the British Government has forwarded further explanations.
     3.  The  Polish Government expresses the hope that,  in
the  event  of  its  entering into  conversations  with  the
Government  of the Reich, it may continue to be  assured  of
the good offices of the British Government.

                  No. 312 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Berlin, August 31,
1939. 3.10 p.m.

(Received at 5.10 p.m.)
     THE  German  Press is manifestly divided today  between
its  care  to keep the public on tenterhooks and its  desire
not  to  excite  public  opinion  too  much.  The  expectant
attitude which has been maintained during the last few  days
by  the  newspapers  is now visibly tinged  with  a  certain
     This attitude confirms what I have already reported  on
the  subject of the uncertainty and vacillation which  would
seem  to prevail in Government circles. The impression  that
the Reich has not decided to go any further is beginning  to
spread among the population.
     The  creation  of  a ministerial council  for  National
Defence would appear to be intended to some extent to convey
the  impression  that  the Government  is  doing  something,
although many people notice that things are not progressing,
despite the immense effort called for from the country.
     In  semi-official circles they entertain, or pretend to
entertain, a double hope.
     The first, which is steadily growing fainter, is to see
the  crisis  move towards a compromise similar  to  that  of
     The  second, which becomes more and more definite, aims
at  securing from Russia active assistance, the very promise
of which would make the strategic situation of Poland appear
     The Brsenzeitung this morning clearly threatens Poland
and its allies with this Russo-German military collusion. On
the  German  side,  without doubt, no  stone  will  be  left
unturned to achieve it, at least on


paper.  It is probably one of the last trump cards  kept  in
reserve by Herr von Ribbentrop.

                  No. 313 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 31, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 6.35 p.m.)
     THE  following  is  the substance of  the  instructions
which my Polish colleague has received from his Government:
     "The  Polish Government have tonight received from  the
British  Government a communication on the  subject  of  the
proposed  direct conversations between the  Polish  and  the
German  Governments.  The Polish Government  are  favourably
disposed   towards   this  suggestion:   they   propose   to
communicate   their  answer  immediately   to   the   German
     Having been instructed to advise Herr von Ribbentrop of
this  communication,  M.  Lipski asked  at  1  p.m.  for  an
     The State Secretary, Herr von Weizscker, telephoned to
M.  Lipski at 3 p.m. and asked him whether he was to deliver
this   message   in  his  capacity  as  plenipotentiary   or
Ambassador.  M.  Lipski  having  replied  that  it  was   as
Ambassador,  the  State Secretary told  him  that  he  would
inform Herr von Ribbentrop accordingly, and asked whether he
could  get  in touch with M. Lipski at his residence  during
the  subsequent hours. The Polish Ambassador replied in  the
affirmative.  He  had  received  no  reply  from  Herr   von
Ribbentrop  up  to  the  time at which  I  am  sending  this
telegram (6.15 p.m.)

                  No. 314 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August, 31, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 8 p.m.)
     MY  Polish  colleague informs me that he has just  been
received  by Herr von Ribbentrop and that he has handed  him
the communication prescribed.



                  No. 315 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 31, 1939.

(Received by courier on September 1, at 10 p.m.)
     AT  five  minutes  past nine this  morning  my  British
colleague telephoned me. "I know from a reliable source," he
said, "that if the Polish Government has not accepted before
noon  the  proposal  to send a plenipotentiary,  the  German
Government  will  consider that  Poland  has  given  up  any
intention to seek a peaceful solution of the dispute, and it
will give the German troops the order to attack."
     "First  of  all,  we  must get  a  clear  idea  of  the
situation," I replied, and I immediately went to see him.
Sir Nevile had been informed that, once before, on the
evening of the 25th, war had all but broken out and that
once again there was a risk of its breaking out today.
     I knew that Sir Nevile's information about the 25th was
accurate  but it seemed to me that if the German  Government
had  really  decided in the absence of the Polish  reply  to
attack  at  noon,  it  would have  officially  apprised  the
British Government, with which it was in contact. My British
colleague  told  me  then and there the  sources,  assuredly
trustworthy, from which he had received his information.
     Sir  Nevile  Henderson added that the night before,  at
midnight, he had gone to Herr von Ribbentrop to take  him  a
British  communication, intimating that Herr Hitler's  reply
had  been transmitted to Warsaw. The German Foreign Minister
had  rapidly  read through the detailed plan  of  settlement
given  in  the German reply, but had refused to deliver  the
text  of  it  to Sir Nevile, on the grounds that the  period
stipulated for a Polish plenipotentiary to be sent to Berlin
had expired.
     I  decided  to go immediately to the Polish Ambassador,
who  told  me  that he had been woken up at 2  a.m.  by  Sir
Nevile, who had urged him strongly to go immediately to Herr
von  Ribbentrop to establish the required contact. M. Lipski
had  refused,  because he was without instructions  to  that
effect  from his Government. He had, however, telephoned  in
the morning to Warsaw asking that some instructions be sent.
     After examining the position, it seemed to us desirable
that Poland while being careful not to appear to yield to  a
German  ultimatum, should not expose herself to the reproach
of having sought to avoid a


     direct conversation, which she had accepted both in her
reply to President Roosevelt's message, and in her exchanges
of views with Paris and London.
     M.  Lipski accordingly decided to telephone once  again
to  Warsaw,  and I myself telephoned to Your Excellency  the
communication which I here repeat as a reminder:
     "The  British  Ambassador has just  informed  me  that,
according to information which is not official, but which he
considers  reliable,  the  German  Government  is  seriously
displeased at the non-arrival of the Polish plenipotentiary,
and  he  considers  that  the present  situation  cannot  be
prolonged  beyond  the end of the morning without  involving
the most serious consequences.
     "I  consider  that this news should not  induce  us  to
depart  from the dignified composure with which the exchange
of views must be conducted.
     "But  it seems to me that it would certainly be to  the
interest  of the Polish Government to inform Berlin  without
delay   that  the  Polish  Government  accepts  the   direct
negotiations  which, moreover, have been  suggested  by  the
French  and  British Governments, and that, while  reserving
judgment on the German note, it is preparing to send  to  M.
Lipski the necessary instructions to meet the Germans in the
capacity of plenipotentiary.
     "I would add that it would seem advisable for M. Lipski
not  to  limit  himself  to receiving communication  of  the
German  claims,  but himself to present a statement  of  the
Polish  point  of  view in order that  the  balance  may  be
     "It  would probably be well if, in order to gain  time,
you would telephone to Warsaw immediately to this effect."
     At 12.10 p.m. Your Excellency was good enough to inform
me  by  telephone that the Polish Government would in a  few
minutes   give  a  reply  which  would  be  affirmative   in
     At  2  p.m. M. Lipski did, in fact, receive notice from
his Government that it favoured the establishment of contact
and  that  it  was  preparing a reply  on  the  subject.  He
immediately requested an interview with Herr von Ribbentrop.
At  3  p.m. the State Secretary, Herr von Weizscker,  asked
him   whether   he  was  requesting  this  audience   as   a
plenipotentiary or as an Ambassador. M. Lipski replied  that
it was as an Ambassador.
     My  Polish  colleague has just informed me (7.45  p.m.)
that  he  has just been received by the Minister for Foreign
Affairs and that he in


formed the latter of the communication transmitted to him by
his Government.

                  No. 316 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, August 31,
1939. 9.55 p.m.

(Received on September 1 at 1 a.m.)
     As  a  result  of the events of the last  few  days  in
Danzig,  the  Poles find themselves temporarily stripped  of
all  their  prerogatives, except  for  their  share  in  the
administration of the port, which up to the moment  has  not
been  directly  affected.  They have  lost  control  of  the
railways, Danzig Station has been occupied by the Nazis, and
the rolling-stock has been requisitioned.
     The safety of Polish citizens is no longer assured. The
Gestapo has arrested two officials who had come to negotiate
with  the  representatives of the Senate regarding  Danzig's
food supply and the passenger train services.
     All these facts are reported by the Polish Press, which
is  cautious  enough  not  to stress  them.  The  Press  has
obviously  received  instructions  to  avoid  focusing   the
attention  of  the public on the question. All these  events
appear under the general heading of German provocations with
no  more prominence than the frontier incidents and the acts
of terrorism.

                  No. 317 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 31, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 11.15 p.m.)
     I WAS summoned at 9.25 p.m. to the State Secretary, who
gave me the following communication.
     "I am instructed by my Government to deliver to you for
the  information of the French Government the two  documents
herewith."  [1]

[1] These documents contained the proposals which Herr von
read to Sir Nevile Henderson on the evening of August 30
(cf. No. 315)
and which the German wireless broadcast at 9 p.m. on the
31st, stating
that the Reich Government considered them as having been


     The first is a communiqu to the Press. The second is a
German plan for the settlement of the question of Danzig and
the Corridor and the German-Polish minorities problem."
     On  receiving these documents, I noted that  they  were
given  to me for information and stated that it would be  on
that basis that I should transmit them to my Government.
     My    British   colleague   had   received   the   same
communication at 9.15 p.m.

                  No. 318 

M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 31, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 11.30 p.m.)
     WE are faced with a new manoeuvre to make Poland appear
as  if  she  is  trying to evade any attempt at  a  peaceful
     In  order to frustrate this manoeuvre and to throw into
relief  the  method  used, it is enough to  emphasize  that,
despite the tone of the German note, the conditions which it
embodied  and  the  ultimatum-like  form  in  which  it  was
couched,  the Polish Government has not sought to avoid  the
conversation, but has on the contrary given its agreement in
principle in the communication which M. Lipski made to  Herr
von Ribbentrop.

                  No. 319 

M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
August 31, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 12.0 midnight)
     A  BULLETIN  on Polish-German relations has  just  been
broadcast  by Germany. In this connection M. Beck  has  sent
me,  by Count Lubienski, the following message intended  for
Your Excellency:
     At  1 p.m. today M. Lipski asked to be received by Herr
von Ribbentrop. The conversation must have taken place at  6
p.m.  M. Beck has no information about what had happened  as
communications between Berlin and Warsaw have been cut  off.
But  the German radio bulletin is at pains to point out that
negotiations have been broken off.


     M.  Beck is anxious to emphasize all the efforts  which
the  Polish  Government has made to facilitate the  work  of
conciliation  which  had  been undertaken.  In  addition  he
reserves  judgment on the German communication  and  wonders
whether we are faced with a last attempt at blackmail or  an
act preliminary to the opening of hostilities.
     I  asked  Count  Lubienski to indicate  to  the  Polish
Foreign   Minister  that  it  was  indeed   important   when
confronted  with a document the true character of  which  in
any  case  requires  to be made clear to reserve  our  final
judgment on its significance.


        The Outbreak of Hostilities 
               (September 1) 
                  No. 320 

M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 130 a.m.)
     THE  account  of the conversation between  the  British
Ambassador in Warsaw and M. Beck reached the Foreign  Office
at  6.30 p.m. The delay to which telegrams in Central Europe
are  subjected  is  the cause of the late delivery  of  this
text, which should have reached London much earlier and  the
end of which had to be sent by telephone.
     M.  Beck  stated that, in conformity with  the  British
proposal, M. Lipski had been instructed to make contact with
the  German  Government. In reply to  a  question  from  the
British  Ambassador,  M.  Beck  explained  that  the  Polish
Ambassador would not be authorized, in the event of the text
of  the  German proposals being presented to him, to  accept
such  a  document.  The  Polish Government,  which  has  not
forgotten  the experiences of others or of similar ultimata,
considers  it  indeed  preferable  not  to  receive  a  note
delivered  in  such  circumstances. M.  Lipski's  main  duty
would,  therefore, be to establish contact  and  to  discuss
where and how negotiations could be opened.
     M.  Beck  mentioned that the situation  in  Danzig  was
becoming  and more serious, that it seemed indispensable  to
set up without
delay  a modus vivendi which would guarantee the release  of
the  arrested Polish officials and the resumption of railway
traffic.  Perhaps  the High Commissioner of  the  League  of
Nations  would  be  able  to act  as  intermediary  in  this
     The  Polish  Foreign Minister added at the end  of  the
interview  that he had no intention of going  personally  to
Berlin nor of being another President Hacha, and that in the
event  of  negotiations being opened  he  was  afraid  that,
during  their course, he would be obliged to appeal  to  the
British Government for its good offices.
     The  written reply delivered to Sir Howard Kennard  may
be summarized as follows:
     1.  As  already stated on several occasions, the Polish
Government  is  prepared to agree to any exchange  of  views
with  the  German  Government on the basis  of  the  British
     2.  The Polish Government is also prepared, subject  to
the desired conditions of reciprocity, to guarantee that the
Polish  troops will not commit any violation of  the  German
     3.  The  immediate establishment of a modus vivendi  in
Danzig seems to the Polish Government essential;
     4.  The Polish Government deems it necessary to reserve
its  attitude towards the international guarantee  mentioned
by  the British Government until a more definite idea can be
reached of its exact implications;
     5.  The Polish Government hopes that it will always  be
able  to call upon the good offices of Great Britain in  the


                  No. 321 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                    Warsaw, September 1,
1939. 2.11 a.m.
(Received 5.10 a.m.)
     THE  fifteen  points  of  the German  claims  broadcast
tonight by wireless, call for the following comments:
     1.  Herr  Hitler is trying by this broadcast to  escape
from  the diplomatic negotiation in which, contrary  to  his
methods,  he  got  involved by Great  Britain.  It  is  thus
important  to  make  every effort  if  the  Reich  does  not
immediately  attack  Poland, to  re-open  the  conversations
between Berlin and London.
     2.  One is bound to conclude from the very text of this

that  if the plenipotentiaries had come to Berlin they would
have  been  compelled  to accept these  terms,  without  the
possibility of discussion.
     3.  Ethnographical maps show that in  1914  the  region
referred  to  in  the broadcast was inhabited  by  a  Polish

                  No. 322 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 8 70 a.m.)
      THE Polish Army Headquarters report that German troops
debouching from Danzig, crossed the Eastern frontier of  the
Corridor  this morning from 4 o'clock onwards, in particular
near  Kartuzy  and Gardeja. German aeroplanes have  attacked
the Polish town of Tczew to the south of Danzig.
       Aggression by German armed bands and also flights  of
aircraft  have also been reported at various points  of  the
Silesian frontier.


                  No. 323 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.

 (Received by telephone at 8.30 a.m.)
     ACCORDING  to the latest information just  received  by
the Polish Army Headquarters the German attack is general on
all frontiers.
     In  East Prussia, in South Poznania, in Silesia and  on
the  Slovak frontier, there has been bombing without warning
at numerous points.
     In  addition, Danzig has proclaimed its Anschluss  with
the Reich.

                  No. 324 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 11.30 a.m.)
     THE  session of the Reichstag has just come to an  end,
having lasted one hour.

     In his opening speech Field-Marshal Goering stated that
it was only at 3 o'clock in the morning that the decision to
summon the Reichstag had been taken. He added that more than
one  hundred delegates were absent because they were in  the
ranks of the Wehrmacht.
     The  following is an analysis and a translation of  the
essential passages of the speech made by the Chancellor:
     "Since  1919  we have all been suffering  the  torments
inflicted  upon  us by a problem created by  the  Diktat  of
Versailles,  a problem which has become intolerable  in  its
     "Danzig  has  always been, and is, a German  city:  the
Corridor  has  always  been,  and  is,  German.  Both  these
territories  owe their cultural development  to  the  German
people.  Danzig was separated from Germany, and the Corridor
annexed. In other regions, Germans have been ill-treated  in
such  a manner that more than a million of them have had  to
abandon their homes.
     "I  have  always tried to obtain an alteration of  this
position by peaceful methods. It is a lie to pretend that we
have always had recourse to violence. In each case, not once
but  several  times,  I  have tried to obtain  indispensable
modifications through the way of negotiation.  My  proposals
for  limitation of armaments, for the abolition  of  certain
arms  and for the elimination of certain methods of warfare,
which  I  considered incompatible with the law  of  nations,
were rejected.
     "I  tried  in  vain to solve amicably the  problems  of
Austria,  the Sudeten, Bohemia and Moravia. It is impossible
to  claim that only peaceful revisions can be admitted,  and
at the same time continually persist in rejecting them.
     "For  us,  the Treaty of Versailles has never  had  the
force of law!"
     Then,  passing  on  to the situation  existing  in  the
Polish  regions with German minorities, the Fhrer  declared
that no people with any feelings of honour would accept  for
long such a state of affairs.
     "I  made,  however, a final effort," the Fhrer  added.
"The  British Government proposed that direct contact should
be  established between Poland and Germany. I accepted  this
proposal and I prepared bases for negotiation. For two whole
days    I   waited   without   the   Poles   sending   their
plenipotentiaries. Last night the Polish Ambassador informed
us that his Government was examining in what degree it would
agree to the opening of negotiations.
     "If  it could be thought that the German Reich and  its
Leader  could be treated in that way, nothing would be  left
for Germany but to disappear from the political stage.

     "I am wrongly judged.... My love for peace is not to be
mistaken for cowardice. I accordingly decided to inform  the
British   Government  last  night  that  I  considered   the
negotiations to have failed.
     "As  a  first  reply to my acceptance,  Poland  decreed
general   mobilization.  There  was   a   recrudescence   of
terrorism.  I  then decided to speak to Poland  in  her  own
     "If  France  and England consider that their  essential
interests  are  thus  affected, that is  an  attitude  which
cannot make me hesitate to fulfill my duty.
     "I have already declared that I ask nothing and that  I
never will ask anything from the Western Powers. That  is  a
declaration which has a final value.
     "I  have always offered England my friendship, but love
can never be unilateral. I have no interest in the West. Our
Western frontier is final. Our western wall is for all  time
the frontier of the Reich. In that region we have no aims of
any  kind  for the future. This attitude will not change.  I
thank  Italy  for  having understood our  attitude  and  for
having backed us, but you will understand also that for  the
carrying on of this struggle I have no need of foreign  aid.
We  shall carry out this task ourselves. I shall respect the
neutrality of the neutral countries to the same extent  that
they respect it themselves.
     "You  know that Russia and Germany are governed by  two
different doctrines. But between the two countries there was
only one question that had to be cleared up. Germany has  no
intention  of  exporting  her  doctrine,  nor  Russia  hers.
Neither  of the two countries has any reason to  take  up  a
position against the other. We have, therefore, resolved  to
conclude  a pact which excludes for ever any use of violence
between  us, which imposes the obligation on us  to  consult
together  in  certain European questions and makes  possible
for  us economic cooperation. Never again can it happen that
the  powers of these two countries will be used against  one
another. Any attempt on the part of Western Powers to  bring
about  any change in this will fail. This political decision
means  a  tremendous departure for the future, and it  is  a
final one. I believe that the whole German people will  hail
this political attitude with satisfaction.
     "In the World War Germany and Russia fought against one
another, and in the end both of them were its victims.  This
will not happen a second time.
     "The  pact of non-aggression and consultation has  been
ratified  by Berlin and Moscow. In Moscow the pact has  been
greeted with as much

satisfaction as in Germany. I can only endorse word for word
the  speech made yesterday by M. Molotov.
     "And now. here is our goal I am determined to solve:
     "1. The Danzig question;
     "2. The question of the Corridor:
     "3.  To  see  to  it  that  a change  is  made  in  the
relationship between Germany and Poland that shall ensure  a
peaceful collaboration of the peoples.
     "I  am  resolved to continue to fight until the  Polish
Government  accepts  this change, or  until  another  Polish
Government  accepts  it. I wish to remove  from  the  German
frontier  in  the East every element of discord and  lasting
danger. There must reign in the East a peace similar to that
on our other frontiers.
     "The  necessary measures will be taken so that the  war
is  not  directed  against and does  not  affect  women  and
children.  But  if the enemy thinks he can  from  that  draw
carte  blanche  on  his side to act as  he  wills,  he  will
receive a reply which will deprive him of hearing and sight.
     "This  night Polish soldiers fired upon our  territory.
Since a quarter to six we have been returning the fire. From
now  on,  bombs  will be with bombs. And if  gas-warfare  is
started, we shall reply with gas.
     Whoever  departs from the rules of humane  warfare  can
only expect that we shall do the same. The struggle will  be
continued  until the safety of the Reich and its rights  are
     "I  have  worked for six years and I have spent  ninety
milliards  in  building up our army. It is better-armed  and
much  finer  than  the army of 1914. I  have  an  unshakable
confidence  in it. If I ask of this army and of all  Germans
sacrifices, it is because I myself am prepared to make every
personal  sacrifice.  I  am  prepared  to  accept  any  post
whatever,  however dangerous it may be. I  have  consecrated
the  whole of my life to the National-Socialist movement.  I
have  had no other ambition than to be the first soldier  of
the Reich. I have taken this uniform and I shall not lay  it
aside  until  the victory is secured, or I will not  survive
the outcome.
     :"If anything should happen to me, my successor will be
Goering. If anything should happen to Goering, Hess will  be
the successor.
     "I  ask that they should be given an obedience as blind
as  is given to me. If anything should happen to Goering and
to  Hess,  an electoral college appointed by me will  choose
the most worthy, that is, the most valiant."

     The  Fhrer  then stated that a National-Socialist  did
not  know  the word capitulation, and that a second November
1918 could never be. "It matters little," he said, "that  we
individuals disappear, provided that our country lives  on."
The  Chancellor exhorted the deputies to see that the morale
of  the  people was maintained, and he concluded  by  saying
that  he counted upon the spirit of sacrifice and discipline
of men, women and youth.

                  No. 325 
   Appeal of President Roosevelt to Great Britain,
         France, Italy, Germany and Poland

September 1, 1939.
     "THE  ruthless  bombing from the air  of  civilians  in
unfortified centres of population during the course  of  the
hostilities  which  have raged in various  quarters  of  the
earth  in  the  past few years, which have resulted  in  the
maiming  and  death  of thousands of defenseless  women  and
children, has profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity.
     "If  resort  is  had to this sort of inhuman  barbarism
during  the  period of tragic conflagration with  which  the
world  is  now confronted, hundreds of thousands of innocent
human  beings, who have no responsibility for, and  who  are
not  even  remotely participating in, the hostilities  which
have broken out, now will lose their lives.
     "I  am therefore addressing this urgent appeal to every
Government, which may be engaged in hostilities, publicly to
affirm its determination that its armed forces shall  in  no
event and under no circumstances undertake bombardment  from
the  air of civilian populations or unfortified cities, upon
the  understanding that the same rules of  warfare  will  be
scrupulously observed by all their opponents.
     "I request an immediate reply."
                  No. 326 
M. WALTER STUCKI, Swiss Minister in Paris,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.
     THE  Federal Government has instructed me, by telegram,
to notify Your Excellency as follows:
     "The  international situation, which makes it necessary
for the Swiss

Confederation  to  take  military  measures,  leads  it   to
formulate, once again, its unshakable resolve to  depart  in
no way from the principles of neutrality which have been the
basis  of  its  policy for many centuries and to  which  the
Swiss  people are deeply attached, in that these  principles
are   consonant  with  their  aspirations,  their   internal
organization and their position in relation to other States.
By  virtue  of  the  special mandate  which  has  just  been
conferred  upon  it  by  the Federal Assembly,  the  Federal
Council formally declares that the Swiss Confederation  will
preserve and defend, with all the means at its disposal, the
inviolability of its territory and the neutrality which  the
treaties  of  1815 and their complementary obligations  have
recognized  as  being  in the true interests  of  the  whole
European political system.
     "The  Confederation will make it a point of  honour  to
facilitate,  as  it  has  during past  wars,  the  impartial
activity of humanitarian work which may help to relieve  the
sufferings   arising  from  a  conflict.  Relying   on   the
assurances which have been solemnly reiterated, the  Federal
Council  is convinced that the present declaration  will  be
considered  as a faithful statement of the implications  for
the  Swiss  Confederation of the treaties and  international
obligations which concern it."
                  No. 327 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. FRANOIS-PONCET, French Ambassador in Rome.
September 1, 1939.
(By telephone at 11.45 a.m.)
     YOUR telegram of August 31.
     You should inform Count Ciano as follows:
     "The  French  Government values highly  the  spirit  in
which  the  proposal of the Royal Government has been  made,
and  reaffirms  its willingness to seek all possible  means,
and   to  associate  itself  with  any  steps  intended   to
facilitate and render possible an amicable settlement of the
dispute which has arisen between Germany and Poland.
     "The  French  Government pays sincere  tribute  to  the
effort  made  to  this  end by the Italian  Government,  and
thanks  it for its communication regarding a plan to call  a
conference,  which  has  been  transmitted  by  the   French
Ambassador in Rome and to which a favourable reply has  been
     "The French Government must nevertheless point out that
in  its  opinion such a conference could not raise  problems
touching the inter

ests of powers not represented, and no arrangement could  be
made  affecting the interests of any power unless that power
were present.
     "The French Government considers that the activities of
such a conference should not be restricted to an attempt  to
seek   partial  and  temporary  solutions  of  limited   and
immediate  problems: it should, by raising all the  problems
of a general character which are at the root of any dispute,
result  in general appeasement such as will allow the  peace
of  the  world to be re-established and organized  on  solid

                  No. 328 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 12 noon.)
     As the telegram which I dispatched yesterday by special
courier  may  arrive  too  late, I  think  it  desirable  to
summarize it.
     On  August  31,  at  9.5  a.m.,  my  British  colleague
telephoned  me to say that he had learned from a trustworthy
source  that if at 12 noon Poland had not agreed to  send  a
plenipotentiary,  the  German  Government  would  order  its
troops to march.
     I  went to see him immediately. He confirmed his  news,
which  had  come  from Herr von Ribbentrop's  entourage.  He
added that, during the night, he had taken the British reply
to  the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The latter read to him
the  text of the German plan for a German-Polish settlement,
but  he read it so quickly that the Ambassador was only able
to  gather  fragments of it. Sir Nevile Henderson asked  for
the text, but Herr von Ribbentrop refused to give it to him,
on  the grounds that the time allotted to Poland for sending
a plenipotentiary had expired.
     I  went  immediately to M. Lipski and got him  to  urge
Warsaw  by  telephone  to  let him  have  an  immediate  and
affirmative reply from the Polish Government to the proposal
for conversations.
     I  myself  telephoned  Your  Excellency  suggesting  an
approach to Warsaw on the same lines.
     At  12.10 p.m. Your Excellency telephoned me that in  a
few  minutes the Polish Government would give an affirmative
reply  in  principle. I immediately informed my English  and
Polish colleagues. At 1 p.m. M. Lipski received the order to
deliver the communication which I
telegraphed to you. After Herr von Weizscker had asked  him
at  3  p.m. whether he came as a plenipotentiary  or  as  an
Ambassador, he was received at 7.45 p.m. by the Minister for
Foreign  Affairs. The latter took note of his  communication
but did not inform him of the German plan for settlement. At
9.15  p.m.  and 9.25 p.m. my English colleague  and  I  were
successively summoned by Herr von Weizscker, who handed us,
for  the information of our respective Governments, the text
of  the German plan and a communiqu to the Press. At 9 p.m.
as it appears, these documents were published.

                  No. 329 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 12.15 p.m.)
     THE  Polish Ambassador went to the Foreign Office  this
morning to inform the State Secretary of the information  he
had  received,  via Paris, regarding the acts of  aggression
which  Germany had just committed against Poland. He  stated
that  Polish  territory had been attacked at four  different
points  and  that air raids had been made on various  towns,
causing,  especially in Warsaw, victims among  the  civilian
population, some of whom were women and children.
     Count  Raczynski stated that events appeared to him  to
justify the application of the British guarantee. Giving his
personal  view, Lord Halifax replied that for him there  was
no shadow of doubt of this.

                  No. 330 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 12.45 p.m.)
     REUTER'S   AGENCY  has  just  published  an  authorized
bulletin, the essential passage of which I reproduce below:
     "It  is pointed out in official circles in London  that
if  Herr Hitler's proclamation to the German people,  as  it
has been reported, is intended to signify, as it appears  to
do, that Germany has declared war on

Poland, it can be stated on the highest authority that Great
Britain and France are inflexibly resolved to fulfill to the
end their obligations towards the Polish Government.
     "The  German  version of the course of the negotiations
is,  of course, entirely mendacious. On August 29 the German
Chancellor informed His Majesty's Ambassador that he  would,
on   the   following  day,  expect  in   Berlin   a   Polish
plenipotentiary   having  full   powers   to   negotiate   a
     "He added that he hoped to draw up his proposals in the
     "In  other  words,  he expected the  Polish  Government
would  submit  to the same treatment as that  which  he  had
imposed  on  the President of the Czechoslovak Republic  and
would  send to Berlin an emissary ready to accept terms  the
nature  of  which  was  completely  unknown  to  the  Polish
     "As  can  readily be understood, the Polish  Government
did  not  consent  to  putting itself  in  this  humiliating
     "Even  when  peace terms are imposed upon  a  conquered
Power, it is not customary to forbid negotiators to refer to
their Governments for instructions.
     "It  is impossible in such a short while to comment  on
the  mendacious statements of the German Government, but the
attitude of His Majesty's Government may be briefly  defined
as follows:
     "If  the  German Government had been sincerely desirous
of  settling the dispute by negotiation, it would  not  have
adopted  a procedure which is in the nature of an ultimatum.
It  would,  on  the contrary, as is the normal  practice  of
civilized  Governments, have opened  negotiations  with  the
Polish  Government with a view to fixing the place and  time
for the opening of the negotiations.
     "In the opinion of His Majesty's Government, the Polish
Government was fully justified in refusing to submit to  the
treatment which the German Government endeavoured to  impose
on it.
     "As regards the terms which have now been published and
have  never,  up  to  the moment, been communicated  to  the
Polish  Government, His Majesty's Government  can  only  say
that these terms should naturally have been submitted to the
Polish  Government,  leaving  the  latter  enough  time   to
ascertain  whether  they interfered or not  with  the  vital
interests   of  Poland,  which  Germany,  in   her   written
communication to the British Government, had declared it was
her intention to respect."


                  No. 331
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                    Warsaw, September 1,
1939. 1.50 p.m.

(Received at 5.58 p.m.)
     M. BECK has just telephoned to me to emphasize:
     1. The aggressive nature of the action directed against
the Polish  frontier by the German troops.
     2.  The  fact that yesterday, at 730 p.m. in the course
of  an  interview which he had himself requested, M.  Lipski
confirmed  to  Herr  von Ribbentrop that  Poland  was  still
prepared to negotiate.
     3.  That  German  aircraft have this morning  bombed  a
great number  of localities.
     M. Lipski has been instructed to ask for his passports.
     The  Government  is putting into force the  legislation
prepared for application in war.
     M.   Beck  also  informed  me  that,  in  view  of  the
circumstances,  he  left  it  to  the  French  and   British
Governments  to  take  proper account  of  the  reply  given
yesterday by the Polish Government.
     LON NEL
                   No. 332 
M. FRANOIS-PONCET. French Ambassador in Rome,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Rome, September 1,
1939. 2.30 p.m.

(Received at 430 p.m.)
     THE French Government's reply to the Italian suggestion
for the calling of a conference was delivered by me today at
12.45 p.m. to Count Ciano.
     The French Government's reply was manifestly gratifying
to  Count Ciano; he told me that he was very pleased with it
and  thanked me. He nevertheless added that he was not in  a
position to tell me whether the Italian proposal could still
serve  any  purpose and whether it could  be  sent  to  Herr

                  No. 333 
 The French Government's Reply to the Appeal of the
 President of the United States of America regarding Aerial

September 1, 1939.
     THE  French  Government hastens to reply to the  appeal
which  the  President of the United States  of  America  has
addressed  to  all the Governments which are  liable  to  be
involved  in  the conflict, requesting them to refrain  from
having  recourse, in any event and circumstances, to  aerial
bombardment of civilian populations.
     The  French  Government highly appreciates  the  spirit
which  inspires the step taken by Mr. Franklin D.  Roosevelt
and  affirms  its intention to conduct hostilities,  if  war
should  be imposed upon it as a result of German aggression,
in  strict  conformity with the laws of warfare, and  to  do
everything  within  its power to spare civilian  populations
the  sufferings which modern warfare can involve. It  is  in
this  spirit  of  humanity, which has ever dictated  in  all
circumstances  the  conduct of the French  Government,  that
orders have already been given to the Commanders-in-Chief of
all the French forces.
     These  orders exclude in particular the bombardment  of
civil   populations  and  restrict  aerial  bombardment   to
strictly military objectives.
     It is, of course, understood that the French Government
reserves  the  right to have recourse to any action  it  may
consider appropriate if its adversary should not observe the
restrictions which the French Government has itself  imposed
upon the operations of its own Air Force.
                  No. 334 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. WALTER STUCKI, Swiss Minister in Paris.
September 1, 1939.
     I  beg to acknowledge receipt of the Swiss Government's
declaration  of  neutrality of which you  have  notified  me
today. I take due note of this communication.
     The  French Government, so far as it is concerned, will
not fail scrupulously to respect the neutrality of the Swiss
Confederation and

the  integrity  of  the territory of that Confederation,  in
accordance with the treaties of 1815 and their complementary

                                                     I   am,
Sir, etc.,

                  No. 335 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 530 p.m.)
     MY  recent  telephonic communication with the Political
Department:  Sir Alexander Cadogan has just apprised  me  of
the  instructions  which the British Government  propose  to
send to Sir Nevile Henderson, and which he will be requested
to carry out at 5 o'clock in the afternoon.
     The text is as follows:
     "On   the  instructions  received  from  His  Majesty's
Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, I have the
honour to make the following communication:
     "Early  this  morning, the German Chancellor  issued  a
proclamation to the German Army which clearly indicated that
he was about to attack Poland. Information which has reached
His  Majesty's  Government in the  United  Kingdom  and  the
French  Government indicates that German troops have crossed
the  Polish  frontier and that attacks on Polish  towns  are
     "In  these  circumstances it appears to the Governments
of  the  United Kingdom and France that by their action  the
German   Government  have  created  conditions   (viz.,   an
aggressive  act  of  force against  Poland  threatening  the
independence of Poland) which call for the implementation by
the  Governments  of the United Kingdom and  France  of  the
undertaking to Poland to come to her assistance.
     "I  am  accordingly  to  inform Your  Excellency  that,
unless  the  German  Government are  prepared  to  give  His
Majesty's Government satisfactory assurances that the German
Government  have  suspended  all aggressive  action  against
Poland  and  are prepared promptly to withdraw their  forces
from  Polish  territory,  His Majesty's  Government  in  the
United   Kingdom  will  without  hesitation  fulfill   their
obligations to Poland."
     Sir Alexander Cadogan has informed me that, in the view
of the

British  Government,  the  above  communication  should   be
embodied  in  an identical and joint note delivered  by  our
Ambassador on behalf of our two Governments.


   Franco-British Dmarche in Berlin and the Entry
                     into War 
              (September 1-3)
                  No. 336 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 535 p.m.)
     THE  British Government, in a statement issued  to  the
Press  last night, was at pains to emphasize the  fact  that
the   German  proposals  to  Poland,  broadcast   one   hour
previously, came as a surprise and that these had never been
officially  communicated to them.  The  proposals  had  been
hurriedly read over once only to Sir Nevile Henderson on the
previous night.
     It  is  a  fact that when the British Ambassador  asked
Herr  von  Ribbentrop to let him have the text of  what  had
just been read over to him, he met with a refusal.
     The German Secretary of State put the paper in question
back into his pocket. I should like to draw the Government's
attention  to  this  action, in view of the  fact  that  the
German  Government has endeavoured to compromise the British
Government  by affirming that it had definitely exercised  a
mediatory function.


                  No. 337 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin.
                                     Paris, September 1,
1939. 5.55 p.m.
     THE following is in confirmation of my telephone call:
     The  British Government have instructed your  colleague
to present

to  the  German Government an urgent communication of  which
Sir  Nevile  Henderson will himself inform you.  You  should
associate yourself with this step.
     You  should confine yourself, if a reply is  given,  to
stating that you will refer the matter to your Government.

                  No. 338 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw.
                                     Paris, September 1,
1939. 6.25 p.m.
     As  I  have  already  informed you  by  telephone,  the
Italian  Government  has offered to  call  an  international
conference  in which France, Great Britain, Poland,  Germany
and Italy would take part.
     Please  let me know (at your very earliest convenience)
whether this proposal would find acceptance with the  Warsaw
     It  should  be  understood that the object  of  such  a
conference  would  be, the settlement of all  the  questions
involved  in the construction of a lasting peace  and  would
not apply merely to the current dispute.

                  No. 339 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                    Warsaw, September 1,
1939. 6.50 p.m.
(Received on September 2 at 330 a m.)
     THE  Reich's  Charg  d'Affaires  has  just  asked  the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs for his passports.

                  No. 340 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to all Diplomatic Representatives.
                                        Paris, September 1,
1939. 7 p.m.
     I  AM now to give you the following details relative to
the  events  of the last thirty-six hours, which reveal  the
responsibility of the Reich in the acts of aggression  which
have been committed against Poland.

     The  British Government having obtained the  assent  of
the  German Government to the opening of direct negotiations
with  Poland, the French and British Ambassadors  in  Warsaw
called  during the night of August 30-31 and in the  morning
of  August  31  upon M. Beck, with a view to  obtaining  his
consent to fall in with this procedure.
     At  noon  on  September 31 M. Beck gave notice  of  his
acceptance   and  indicated  that  he  had  instructed   his
Ambassador  in  Berlin  to  request  an  audience   at   the
Wilhelmstrasse in order to state that the Polish  Government
gave a reply in the affirmative to the British Memorandum.
     At  2  p.m. M. Lipski asked to be received by Herr  von
     At  3  p.m.  Herr von Weizscker asked him by telephone
whether  it was in the capacity of a plenipotentiary  or  an
Ambassador  that he had a communication to make.  M.  Lipski
explained  that he was acting as Ambassador,  and  Herr  von
Weizscker informed him that he would report the  matter  to
Herr von Ribbentrop.
     At  7.45 p.m., the Polish Ambassador delivered  to  the
Foreign  Minister of the Reich the communication with  which
his  Government  had entrusted him. Herr von Ribbentrop  did
not inform him of the German proposals.
     At  8.30  p.m.  the  German  radio  announced  that  an
important communication would be made at 9 p.m.
     This  broadcast  dealt  with the German  proposals,  of
which  the  British  Government was  alleged  to  have  been
informed  (this is untrue-see the official bulletin  on  the
subject  which  appeared in the Press of  September  1)  and
which  the Reich Government regarded as having been  refused
by  the  Polish  Government, the latter not  having  sent  a
plenipotentiary within the period fixed by the Reich.
     At about 10.30 p.m. the German radio announced a Polish
raid on the broadcasting station at Gleiwitz.
     On  September 1, at 4 a.m., it broadcast a proclamation
by  the Chancellor of the Reich, stating that Germany  would
henceforth meet force with force.
     Towards  7  a.m.  it announced that  the  Anschluss  of
Danzig to the Reich had been proclaimed by Herr Forster.
     At  830 a.m. a communication from M. LON NEL informed
this  Department  that the German troops  had,  at  5  a.m.,
attacked  on  all the Polish frontiers without ultimatum  or
previous warning.


                  No. 341 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 7.45 p m.)
     IT  was  noticed  at  this  morning's  session  of  the
Reichstag that the Fhrer received the applause of the whole
assembly  only  when he stated that he would  fight  like  a
soldier  and  that  he  would not  wage  war  on  women  and
children. Even then, enthusiasm was moderate. For  the  rest
of  the  time,  one half only of the deputies applauded  the
Fhrer. The praises bestowed upon M. Molotov found no  echo.
The atmosphere, generally speaking, was rather dull.
     Among  the people, although they still wish to  cherish
the  illusion that this is merely a German-Polish  conflict,
today's events have produced nothing short of consternation.
     It  is to be noted, moreover, that the Fhrer has taken
pains  to  represent the action of the German  troops  as  a
police operation rather than as the beginning of a campaign,
and that he avoided the word "war."

                  No. 342 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                    Warsaw, September 1,
1939. 9.29 p.m.

(Received on September 2, at 1.10 p.m.)
     THIS  afternoon  M. Beck received the Slovak  Minister,
who authorized him to publish a letter in which M. Szathmary
protests  "in the name of the Slovak nation," now  dominated
by   brute  force  and  powerless,  against  the  aggression
directed by Germany against "Poland, a friendly nation."


                  No. 343 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                    Warsaw, September 1,
1939. 9.31 p.m.

(Received on September 2 at 3 p.m.)
     M.  BECK  has  just made the following  reply  to  Your
Excellency's communication:
     "We  are  in  the  thick  of  war,  as  the  result  of
unprovoked aggression. The question before us is  not  of  a
conference but that the common action which should be  taken
by  the  Allies  to resist. I have heard nothing,  moreover,
from any quarter of the Italian plan."
     M. Beck added that the air attacks had been unrelenting
since  the morning. There have been considerable numbers  of
civilian  victims at Poznan and Lwow. German  aircraft  have
again flown over Warsaw.
     M. Beck has asked me to inform Your Excellency of these
attacks  in  order to show the position in which Poland  now
finds  herself.  The  people are  indignant  at  the  German
aggression  and  its  methods, but  still  remain  calm  and
     The atmosphere is no longer one for conciliation.

                  No. 344 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 1, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 11 p.m.)
     I  TOOK  the  steps  prescribed  in  Your  Excellency's
instructions in an interview with Herr von Ribbentrop at  10
     The  Minister for Foreign Affairs, after remarking that
my communication was identical with that which had just been
handed to him by my British colleague, replied as follows:
     "There has not been, on the German side, any aggression
against  Poland. It is Poland that, for months, has resorted
to  continual provocation by stifling the economic  life  of
Danzig,  ill-treating  minorities and incessantly  violating
the frontiers.
     "The  Fhrer  has  endured this  provocation  with  the
greatest  patience,  in  the hope that  Poland  would  again
revert to reason. But the

very  opposite  has been the case. Poland,  which  has  been
mobilizing  for  months, decreed general  mobilization  last
night.   The  Poles  have  made  three  attacks  on   German
territory. In such circumstances there can be no question of
German aggression.
     "I am handing your communication to the Fhrer and will
let you know his answer as soon as it reaches me."
     In  accordance  with Your Excellency's instructions  by
telephone,  I confined myself to telling Herr von Ribbentrop
that I would report his answer to my Government.
     My  colleague and I had asked to be received  together.
Herr von Ribbentrop preferred to receive us separately.

                  No. 345 
 Text of the communication handed over on September
  1, 1939, at 10 p.m. by M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in
           Berlin, to Herr von Ribbentrop
     According to instructions from the French Minister  for
Foreign  Affairs, I have the honour to submit the  following
     Early  this  morning,  the German Chancellor  issued  a
proclamation  to the German army which gave  clear  evidence
that he was just about to attack Poland.
     Information which has reached the French Government and
His  Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom goes to show
that  troops  have  crossed  the Polish  frontier  and  that
attacks are now being made on Polish towns.
     This  being so, it would seem to the French and British
Governments that by its action, (that is to say, an  act  of
force of an aggressive character against Poland, threatening
that  country's  independence), the  German  Government  has
brought  about those conditions which call for the  carrying
out  by  the Governments of France and of the United Kingdom
of their undertaking to Poland to come to her help.
     As  a  consequence,  I have to inform  Your  Excellency
that,  unless the German Government is prepared to give  the
French  Government satisfactory assurances that  the  German
Government  has  suspended  all  aggressive  action  against
Poland and is ready promptly to withdraw its

forces  from  Polish territory, the French  Government  will
unhesitatingly fulfill its obligations towards Poland.

I am, Sir, etc.

                  No. 346 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. CHARLES-ROUX, French Ambassador to the Holy See.
                                    Paris, September 1,
1939. 11.15 p.m.
     You should inform the Sovereign Pontiff that the French
Government,  deeply alive to the thought that  has  inspired
him, thanks him for his moving message.
     The  French  Government  have  given  their  unreserved
adherence to all the steps towards the maintenance of  peace
taken  during  these last days of August. It is  their  wish
that  these noble efforts may yet fulfill their purpose  and
allow a peace founded on justice and honour to prevail  once
more among all free nations.

                  No. 347 
   Havas Note communicated to the Press during the
            night of September 1-2, 1939

     THE   French   Government  has  been  made   cognizant,
yesterday,  as were several Governments, of an Italian  move
with  the  object of insuring the settlement of the European
difficulties. After carefully considering the  question  the
French Government has given a "positive" reply.
                  No. 348 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 2, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 11.55 a.m.)
     THROUGH  the Press and the wireless, Germany  is  still
maintaining  that  it was Poland who rejected  the  peaceful
settlement  put forward by the Fhrer, and who thus  made  a
conflict inevitable. German propaganda absolutely denies the
statement that the Polish Government was

informed  of  the  proposals which it is accused  of  having
     In  support  of  its contentions it  puts  forward  two
     No.  1. Herr von Ribbentrop, in the night of August 30-
31,  not only read to the British Ambassador the text of the
German  proposals,  but  it  is  further  claimed  that   he
commented at length on these proposals:
     No.  2.  In  the  evening of Thursday, August  31,  the
Polish  wireless, it is alleged, declared  that  the  German
proposals  could not be accepted as a basis for  discussion.
That,  so  it is claimed, is a clear proof that  the  Warsaw
Government  had  been  informed of the  German  plan  for  a
     As  to  No.  1 of the above paragraphs, the matter  has
already been put in its true light. Herr von Ribbentrop read
the  German  proposals  at  such a  speed  that  Sir  Nevile
Henderson could not get any definite idea of them.
     Although  the  British Ambassador explicitly  requested
that  the said document should be handed to him, the  German
Minister  for  Foreign Affairs replied that  this  plan  had
already    been   rendered   obsolete,   as    the    Polish
plenipotentiary had not presented himself on August 30.
     Such  was  the pretext used by Herr von Ribbentrop  for
refusing to hand the text to Sir Nevile Henderson.
     As  to  No. 2 of the above paragraphs, there is clearly
on  the  German side a manoeuvre to bring about a deliberate
confusion  between the plan read out by Herr von  Ribbentrop
at  midnight on the 30th, and the note addressed on the 29th
by the Reich Government to the British Government.
     In  the  latter  note, drawn up in  brutal  terms,  the
German  Government  laid  down most drastic  conditions.  In
particular  it  referred "to what would be  left  of  Poland
after the alleged agreement had been reached." If the Polish
wireless declared on the evening of the 31st that the German
proposals  were absolutely unacceptable, this assertion  can
apply  only  to  the German note of the  29th  sent  to  the
British Government and not to the German plan comprising  16
     Not  only was the Warsaw Government kept uninformed  of
the German proposals, but furthermore the French and British
Governments  did  not have in their hands the  text  of  the
German  plan  until after the German wireless had  announced
that Poland had rejected the proposals of the Reich and that
negotiations were broken off.
     It  was, in fact, at 9 p m. on the 31st that the German
wireless gave out the communiqu announcing the breaking off
of the negotiations and the text of the plan.

     But  it was only at 9.15 p.m. and at 9.25 p.m. that the
British  and  the  French Ambassadors had been  respectively
summoned by Herr von Ribbentrop in order to receive  a  copy
of the communiqu and of the plan.
     From  this it follows that there was never a time  when
Warsaw, or London, or Paris was in a position to examine the
proposals,  which were communicated to them  by  the  German
Government  only after the latter had already declared  them
to be null and void.
     Moreover,  the  fact  cannot be over-stressed  that  on
August  31,  as  early as 1 p.m., the Polish  Ambassador  in
Berlin requested Herr von Ribbentrop to receive him in order
to  inform  him  of  the consent by Poland to  conversations
being opened.
     It  was  not till 7.45 p.m. that M. Lipski was received
by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who confined himself to
taking  note of his communication, without informing him  as
to the contents of the German plan or even making mention of
it in any way.


                  No. 349 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, September 2,
1939. 12 noon.
(Received at 3 p.m.)
     IN  contradiction to German assertions, the aggressor's
aircraft  have  not  confined  themselves  to  striking   at
objectives of military importance.
     According  to an official communiqu in the  course  of
yesterday's  raids and those of last night 130 persons  were
killed,  among whom were only 12 belonging to the  army.  Of
the  civilian victims 50 per cent are women and children.  A
lunatic asylum for children was hit in Warsaw.
     Also, civilian refugees who were in a train coming from
Poznan  were  bombed. The victims in both  cases  were  very


                  No. 350 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET. Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw. September 2.
1939. 12 noon.

(Received at 2.50 p.m.)
     IN  reply  to  President  Roosevelt's  initiative,  the
German  Government  has, through the  good  offices  of  the
Netherlands, sent a note to the Polish Government, informing
it  that Herr Hitler had given orders to confine the bombing
from the air to military objectives.
     The   Polish  Government,  through  the  same  channel,
replied  that  it had given identical orders,  that  it  was
adhering to them in spite of cases of bombing which had made
many  victims among the Polish civilian population, but that
it  was reserving to itself the right to retaliate, if  this
happened again.
                  No. 351 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Warsaw, September 2,
1939. 1 p.m.

(Received at 6 p.m.)
     FIERCE  fighting is continuing, according to the latest
news  given  out  by the Polish General Staff,  on  all  the
Polish-German  frontiers. The Germans seem  to  be  exerting
their main efforts in Silesia and in the north and the south
of the industrial area.
     The  great  activity  of  the German  air  force  still

                  No. 352 
M. FRANOIS-PONCET, French Ambassador in Rome,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Rome, September 2,
1939. 1.10 p.m.
(Received at 2.30 p.m.)
     COUNT  CIANO  had asked me yesterday, September  1,  at
2.45  p.m., whether we had reason to think that Poland would
still agree to the calling of a conference. I had replied at
about  5 p.m. that the attitude of Poland was uncertain  but
that it was worth while all the same to give a trial to  the
course suggested by Signor Mussolini.

     Count Ciano summoned me again last night, at 9 p.m., to
the Palazzo Chigi. He declared to me that the Duce was in  a
state  of  great  hesitation and that he  feared  lest  Herr
Hitler, faced by military operations in full course,  should
accuse  him  of  trying to balk him of his  victory.  Signor
Mussolini,  however, did not give up the idea of intervening
and  was  still  on  the  watch to make  use  of  the  first
favourable opening.

                  No. 353 
M. LON NEL, French Ambassador in Warsaw,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                    Warsaw, September 2,
1939. 1.45 p.m.
(Received at 6 p.m.)
     THE  German air force keeps up its great activity.  The
civilian victims are numerous.


                  No. 354 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 2, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 2.30 p.m.)
     THE attitude the German Government is going to take  up
as  a result of the communication, made yesterday evening in
Berlin  by the French and British Ambassadors, is exercising
the  minds  of  the British Government. It is asking  itself
whether Chancellor Hitler, in order to increase his hold  on
Polish  territory,  is  not  deliberately  putting  off  his
answer.  Once  the  positions  which  he  may  judge  to  be
necessary  have been occupied, the Chancellor will  turn  to
the  other Powers and declare that he has no wish to  go  on
with the war with Poland, that, having taken back Danzig and
the  Corridor and brought help to the German minorities,  he
is  prepared  to  make  a magnanimous  peace  based  on  the
conditions he stated on August 31.
     Lord  Halifax deems it impossible to allow the  present
situation to continue any longer.
     That  was why, as early as last night, he had suggested
that  our representatives in Berlin should, without  further
delay,  inform the Government of the Reich of the obligation
under which both our

Governments would be to consider themselves in  a  state  of
war  with  Germany if satisfaction was not given, or  if  no
answer  had  reached them within a few hours.  Lord  Halifax
even  contemplated a communication in which the  Ambassadors
would  make  a declaration that France and England  consider
themselves from now on as being in a state of war  with  the
     We  must,  however, foresee a case in which  Chancellor
Hitler,  in order to gain time, might make a declaration  of
the  kind  specified  above. The British Government,  should
this  happen,  would be inclined to reply that  it  was  not
possible  to  open negotiations before Polish territory  had
been evacuated by the German troops.
     Lord   Halifax   would  highly  appreciate   an   early
intimation of your views on this subject.


                  No. 355 
       Message addressed by M. Albert Lebrun,
    President of the Republic, to the French Parliament.
               September 2, 1939 [1]
     GENTLEMEN  of the Senate, Gentlemen of the  Chamber  of
     You  have  been  summoned at a  critical  time  in  our
national life. War has broken out in Central Europe; men are
killing  one  another; innocent victims  are  falling  under
machine-gun fire from the air.
     How has this come about?
     Two  nations had differences to settle. They  could  do
this  by way of free and fair negotiations, as they had been
advised   from  every  side.  At  the  moment   when   their
plenipotentiaries  were  about  to  meet,  Germany  brutally
attacked  Poland, thus bringing about a state of  war  which
nothing could justify. (Applause.)
     England and France, steadfastly devoted to a policy  of
prudence,  wisdom and moderation, did all that  was  humanly
possible to avert this crisis. The voices of their Heads  of
Government,  together with the voices of the  highest  moral
and  political authorities in the world, joined in  adjuring
the  men  who  held  war or peace in their  hands,  to  give
careful  thought  to their decisions before  unleashing  the
dread scourge.
     That  was of no avail. And, unless they should be, even
at this
[1]  Chamber of Deputies. Sitting of Saturday, September  2,
1939 (Journal
Officiel, of September 3, 1939).

hour,   willing  to  listen  to  the  appeal  of   universal
conscience which is rising towards them, the worst  must  be
     With  great calmness, with cool resolve and in  perfect
order, France has taken the steps required by her own safety
and  her faithfulness to her obligations. (Loud applause  on
the  left,  on the extreme left, in the centre, and  on  the
     For  the last few days already, our young men have been
keeping  watch on the frontiers. Today general  mobilization
summons all the forces to the defence of our country.
     On  behalf of the nation I send our land, sea  and  air
forces  an affectionate greeting and the expression  of  the
unanimous  confidence which the country has in  them.  (Loud
applause everywhere.)
     The  people  within the country also  are  doing  their
whole  duty.  The  union of all citizens, more  sacred  than
ever,  has  once  more come about spontaneously.  Fortitude,
discipline,  hopefulness  have one  and  all  stirred  their
innermost souls. (Fresh applause.)
     They realise that over and above the fate of their  own
country  the  freedom  of  the  world  and  the  future   of
civilization are both at stake.
     They  can  be  relied  on to face the  most  portentous
decisions unflinchingly.
     Let us remain united! Long live France!
     (The deputies rise. Prolonged applause.)
                  No. 356 
Declaration read out on September 2, 1939, to the Chamber of
Deputies by M. Edouard Daladier, President of the Council of
 Ministers, and to the Senate by M. Camille Chautemps, Vice-
           President of the Council [1] 
     The Government yesterday decreed general mobilization.
     The whole nation is answering the call with serious and
resolute  calm. The young men have rejoined their regiments.
They  are  now  defending  our  frontiers.  The  example  of
dignified courage which they have just set to the world must
provide inspiration for our debates. (Applause.) In a  great
impulse   of  national  brotherliness  they  have  forgotten
everything which only yesterday could divide them. They
[1]  Chamber of Deputies. Sitting of Saturday, September  2,
1939 (Journal Officiel, of September 3, 1939).

no longer acknowledge any service but the service of France.
As  we send them the grateful greeting of the nation let  us
all  pledge  ourselves together to be worthy of them.  (Loud
and unanimous applause.)
     Thus  has the Government put France into a position  to
act in accordance with our vital interests and with national
     It  has  now the duty of setting forth before  you  the
facts as they are, fully, frankly, and clearly.
     Peace had been endangered for several days. The demands
of Germany on Poland were threatening to provoke a conflict.
I  shall show you in a moment how-perhaps for the first time
in  history-all the peaceful forces of the world, moral  and
material, were leagued together during those days and during
those  nights  to save the world's peace. But just  when  it
could  still  be hoped that all those repeated efforts  were
going  to be crowned with success, Germany abruptly  brought
them to naught.
     During  the  day  of August 31 the crisis  reached  its
peak.  When Germany had at last let Great Britain know  that
she agreed to hold direct negotiations with Poland, a course
which  she  had, let it be said, refused to me,  Poland,  in
spite  of  the  terrible threat created by the sudden  armed
invasion  of  Slovakia  by  the  German  forces,   at   once
endeavoured  to  resort  to  this  peaceful  method.   (Loud
applause  on  all  the  benches.)  At  one  o'clock  in  the
afternoon  M.  Lipski,  the Polish  Ambassador  to  Germany,
requested an audience from Herr von Ribbentrop. Peace seemed
to  be  saved.  But the Reich Minister for  Foreign  Affairs
would  not  receive  M. Lipski till 7.45 p.m.,  seven  hours
later.  While  the latter was bringing the  consent  of  his
Government  to  direct conversations,  the  German  Minister
refused  to  communicate  Germany's  claims  to  the  Polish
Ambassador, on the pretext that the Ambassador had not  full
powers to accept or reject them on the spot. (Sensation.)
     At  9  p.m.  the German wireless was communicating  the
nature  and  the full extent of these claims; it added  that
Poland  had rejected them. That is a lie. (Long applause  on
the  left,  on the extreme left, in the centre, and  on  the
right.) That is a lie, since Poland did not even know  them.
(Renewed applause.)
     And  at  dawn on September 1 the Fhrer gave his troops
the  order to attack. Never was aggression more unmistakable
and  less  warranted; nor for its justification  could  more
lies  and  cynicism have been brought into play.  (Unanimous
     Thus  was  war  unleashed at the  time  when  the  most

forces,  the authorities who were at the same time the  most
respected  and the most impartial, had ranged themselves  in
the  service of peace; at the time when the whole world  had
joined  together to induce the two sides to come into direct
contact  so  as  to  settle peacefully  the  conflict  which
divides them.
     The  Head of Christianity had given voice to reason and
feelings of brotherhood; President Roosevelt had sent moving
messages and proposed a general conference to all countries;
the  neutral  countries had been active  in  offering  their
impartial  good offices. Need I say that to  each  of  these
appeals the French Government gave an immediate welcome  and
complete assent? (Applause.)
     I myself, Gentlemen, if I may be allowed a reference to
my own person, thought it my duty as a Frenchman to approach
Herr Hitler directly. The Head of the German Government  had
let  me  know  on  August  25,  through  M.  Coulondre,  our
Ambassador in Berlin, that he deplored the fact that in case
of  an  armed  conflict between Germany and  Poland,  German
blood  and French blood might be shed. I immediately  had  a
definite  proposal  put  to the Fhrer,  a  proposal  wholly
inspired by the real concern to safeguard without any  delay
the  peace of the world now imperiled. (Loud applause on the
left, on the extreme left, in the centre, and on the right.)
     You  were  able to read, I think in fact that you  must
have  read these texts. You know the answer I was  given;  I
will not dwell on it.
     But  we  were not disheartened by the failure  of  this
step,  and  once more we backed up the effort to  which  Mr.
Chamberlain  devoted  himself  with  splendid  stubbornness.
(Loud  and  prolonged  applause on the  same  benches.)  The
documents  exchanged  between London and  Berlin  have  been
published.   On  the  one  side  impartial  and  persevering
loyalty;  on  the  other  side,  embarrassment,  shifty  and
shirking behavior. I am also happy at this juncture  to  pay
my  tribute  to  the  noble  efforts  made  by  the  Italian
Government.  (Applause.) Even yesterday we strove  to  unite
all men of goodwill so as at least to stave off hostilities,
to  prevent  bloodshed and to ensure  that  the  methods  of
conciliation and arbitration should be substituted  for  the
use of violence. (Loud applause.)
     Gentlemen,   these  efforts  towards   peace,   however
powerless  they were and still remain, will  at  least  have
shown where the responsibility lies. They insure for Poland,
the  victim, the effective cooperation and moral support  of
the nations and of free men of all lands.
     What  we did before the beginning of this war,  we  are
ready to do

     once   more.   If  renewed  steps  are  taken   towards
conciliation,  we  are still ready to  join  in.  (Loud  and
unanimous applause. On the extreme left, on the left, in the
centre, and on the right the deputies rise and
applaud again.)
     If  the fighting were to stop, if the aggressor were to
retreat within his own frontiers, if free negotiations could
still  be  started,  you  may well believe,  Gentlemen,  the
French  Government  would spare no effort  to  ensure,  even
today,   if   it  were  possible,  the  success   of   these
negotiations,  in the interests of the peace of  the  world.
(Loud and prolonged applause.)
     But time is pressing; France and England cannot look on
when   a   friendly  nation  is  being  destroyed   (renewed
applause),  a  foreboding of further onslaughts,  eventually
aimed at England and France. (Applause.)
     Indeed,  are  we  only dealing with  the  German-Polish
conflict?  We are not, Gentlemen; what we have to deal  with
is  a  new  stage in the advance of the Hitler  dictatorship
towards  the domination of Europe and the world.  (Loud  and
unanimous applause.) How, indeed, are we to forget that  the
German  claim to the Polish territories had been long marked
on  the  map  of  Greater Germany,  and  that  it  was  only
concealed  for some years to facilitate other conquests?  So
long as the German-Polish Pact, which dates back only a  few
years,  was profitable to Germany, Germany respected it;  on
the  day  when  it  became a hindrance to  marching  towards
domination  it  was  denounced  unhesitatingly.  (Applause.)
Today  we  are  told  that, once the German  claims  against
Poland  were satisfied, Germany would pledge herself  before
the  whole world for ten, for twenty, for twenty-five years,
for all time, to restore or to respect peace. Unfortunately,
we have heard such promises before! (Loud applause on a very
great many benches.)
     On  May 25, 1935, Chancellor Hitler pledged himself not
to  interfere in the internal affairs of Austria and not  to
unite  Austria  to  the Reich; and on March  11,  1938,  the
German  army  entered  Vienna;  Chancellor  Schuschnigg  was
imprisoned  for daring to defend his country's independence,
and no one today can say what is his real fate after so many
physical and moral sufferings. (Loud applause.) Now  we  are
to believe that it was Dr. Schuschnigg's acts of provocation
that  brought  about  the invasion and  enslavement  of  his
     On  September 12, 1938, Herr Hitler declared  that  the
Sudeten problem was an internal matter which concerned  only
the   German   minority  in  Bohemia  and  the  Czechoslovak
Government. A few days

later he maintained that the violent persecutions carried on
by the Czechs were compelling him to change his policy.
     On  September 26 of the same year he declared that  his
claim  on  the  Sudeten territory was the  last  territorial
claim  he  had  to make in Europe. On March 14,  1939,  Herr
Hacha  was  summoned  to  Berlin:  ordered  under  the  most
stringent pressure to accept an ultimatum. A few hours later
Prague  was being occupied in contempt of the signed pledges
given  to  other countries in Western Europe. In  this  case
also  Herr Hitler endeavoured to put on the victims the onus
which in fact lies on the aggressor. (Unanimous applause.)
     Finally, on January 30, 1939, Herr Hitler spoke in loud
praise  of the non-aggression pact which he had signed  five
years  previously  with Poland. He paid a  tribute  to  this
agreement  as  a  common  act of  liberation,  and  solemnly
confirmed his intention to respect its clauses.
     But it is Herr Hitler's deeds that count, not his word.
(Loud and repeated applause on all the benches.)
     What, then, is our duty? Poland is our ally. We entered
into   commitments  with  her  in  1921  and   1925.   These
commitments were confirmed.
     I, myself, in the Chamber said, on May 11 last:
     "As  a result of the journey of the Polish Minister for
Foreign  Affairs to London and of the reciprocal pledges  of
guarantee  given by Great Britain and Poland,  by  a  common
agreement  with  this noble and brave  nation  we  took  the
measures  required for the immediate and direct  application
of our treaty of alliance."
     Parliament approved this policy.
     Since  then  we  have never failed both  in  diplomatic
negotiations and in public utterances, to prove faithful  to
it. Our Ambassador in Berlin has several times reminded Herr
Hitler  that,  if  a German aggression were  to  take  place
against  Poland, we should fulfill our pledges. And on  July
1,  in  Paris, the Minister for Foreign Affairs said to  the
German Ambassador to France:
     "France  has  definite  commitments  to  Poland.  These
engagements  have been further strengthened as a  result  of
the  latest events, and consequently France will at once  be
at Poland's side as soon as Poland herself takes up arms."
     Poland  has  been  the object of the  most  unjust  and
brutal  aggression.  The  nations who  have  guaranteed  her
independence are bound to intervene in her defence.
     Great  Britain  and  France are  not  Powers  that  can
disown, or dream

of disowning, their signatures. (Loud and prolonged applause
on  the extreme left, on the left, in the centre, and on the
     Already  last  night, on September 1,  the  French  and
British  Ambassadors  were making a joint  overture  to  the
German  Government. They handed to Herr von  Ribbentrop  the
following communication from the French Government  and  the
British Government, which I will ask your leave to read  out
to you:
     "Early  this  morning  the German Chancellor  issued  a
proclamation to the German army which clearly indicated that
he was about to attack Poland.
     "Information which has reached His Majesty's Government
in  the  United Kingdom and the French Government  indicates
that  German troops had crossed the Polish frontier and that
attacks upon Polish towns are proceeding.
     "In  these circumstances, it appears to the Governments
of  the United Kingdom and France that, by their action, the
German   Government  have  created  conditions   (viz.,   an
aggressive  act  of  force against  Poland  threatening  the
independence of Poland) which call for the implementation by
the  Governments  of the United Kingdom and  France  of  the
undertaking to Poland to come to her assistance.
     "I  am  accordingly  to  inform Your  Excellency  that,
unless the German Government are prepared to give the French
Government   and   His  Majesty's  Government   satisfactory
assurances  that  the German Government have  suspended  all
aggressive  action against Poland and are prepared  promptly
to  withdraw their forces from Polish territory, the  French
Government  and  His  Majesty's  Government  in  the  United
Kingdom will without hesitation fulfill their obligations to
     And indeed, Gentlemen, it is not only the honour of our
country:  it  is also the protection of its vital  interests
that is at stake.
     For  a France which should allow this aggression to  be
carried  out  would  very soon find  itself  a  scorned,  an
isolated,  a discredited France, without allies and  without
support, and, doubtless, would soon herself be exposed to  a
formidable attack. (Applause.)
     This  is  the question I lay before the French  nation,
and  all  nations.  At  the very moment  of  the  aggression
against  Poland,  what  value has the guarantee,  once  more
renewed,  given  for our eastern frontier,  for  our  Alsace
(loud applause), for our Lorraine (loud applause), after the
repudiation  of  the guarantees given in  turn  to  Austria,
Czechoslovakia,  and  Poland? More  powerful  through  their
conquests, gorged with the plunder of Europe, the masters of
inexhaustible natural

wealth,  the aggressors would soon turn against France  with
all their forces. (Fresh applause.)
     Thus, our honour is but the pledge of our own security.
It is not that abstract and obsolete form of honour of which
conquerors speak to justify their deeds of violence:  it  is
the dignity of a peaceful people, which bears hatred towards
no other people in the world (loud and prolonged applause on
all  benches) and which never embarks upon a war  save  only
for the sake of its freedom and of its life.
     Forfeiting our honour would purchase nothing more  than
a precarious peace liable to rescission, and when, tomorrow,
we  should  have  to fight after losing the respect  of  our
allies  and  the  other  nations, we  should  no  longer  be
anything  more than a wretched people doomed to  defeat  and
bondage. (Loud and unanimous applause.)
     I  feel  confident that not a single Frenchman harbours
such  thoughts today. But I well know, too, Gentlemen,  that
it  is hard for those who have devoted their whole lives  to
the  cause of peace and who are still prompted by a peaceful
ideal to reply, by force if needed, to deeds of violence. As
head  of the Government, I am not the man to make an apology
for war in these tragic hours. I fought before like most  of
you. I can remember. I shall not utter a single one of those
words  that  the genuine fighters look upon as  blasphemous.
(Applause.) But I desire to do my plain duty, and  shall  do
it, as an honourable man. (Fresh applause.)
     Gentlemen,  while  we  are in  session,  Frenchmen  are
rejoining their regiments. Not one of them feels any  hatred
in  his heart against the German people. (Loud and unanimous
applause.) Not one of them is giving way to the intoxicating
call   of  violence  and  brutality;  but  they  are  ready,
unanimously, to discharge their duty with the quiet  courage
which  derives  its  inspiration from  a  clear  conscience.
(Fresh applause.)
     Gentlemen,  you  who  know  what  those  Frenchmen  are
thinking,  you  who even yesterday were among  them  in  our
provincial towns and in our countryside, you who  have  seen
them  go  off-you will not contradict me if  I  evoke  their
feelings  here.  They are peace-loving men,  but  they  have
decided to make every sacrifice needed to defend the dignity
and  freedom  of  their country. If they have  answered  our
call,  as  they  have  done, without a moment's  hesitation,
without  a  murmur, without flinching, that is because  they
feel, all of them, in the depths of their hearts that it is,
in truth, whatever may be said,

the  very  existence of France that is at stake.  (Loud  and
unanimous applause.)
     You know better than anyone else that no government, no
man,  would be able to mobilize France merely to launch  her
into an adventure. Never would the French rise to invade the
territory of a foreign country. (Loud and prolonged applause
on  all the benches.) Theirs is the heroism for defence  and
not  for conquest. When you see France spring to arms it  is
because she feels herself threatened.
     It  is  not  France only that has arisen;  it  is  that
whole,  far-flung empire under the sheltering folds  of  our
tricolour. (Applause.) From every corner of the globe moving
protestations of loyalty from all the protected or  friendly
races are reaching the mother country today. (Applause.) The
union of all Frenchmen is thus echoed beyond the seas by the
union of all peoples under our protection who in the hour of
danger  are  proffering both their arms  and  their  hearts.
(Loud  applause.)  And  I  wish  also  to  salute  all   the
foreigners settled on our soil (loud applause) who  on  this
very  day  in their thousands and thousands, as though  they
were  the volunteers of imperiled freedom, are placing their
courage  and their lives at the service of France.  (Renewed
     Our  duty  is to make an end of aggressive and  violent
undertakings;  by means of peaceful settlement,  if  we  can
still  do so, and this we shall strive our utmost to achieve
(unanimous  applause), by the wielding of our  strength,  if
all  sense  of morality as well as all glimmering of  reason
has died within the aggressors. (Renewed applause.)
     If we were not to keep our pledges, if we were to allow
Germany to crush Poland, within a few months, perhaps within
a  few weeks, what could we say to France, if we had to face
aggressors  once  more?  Then would  those  most  determined
soldiers  ask  us  what we had done with our  friends.  They
would feel themselves alone, under the most dreadful threat,
and  might lose, perhaps for all time, the confidence  which
now spurs them on.
     Gentlemen, in these hours when the fate of Europe is in
the  balance, France is speaking to us through the voice  of
her  sons,  through the voice of all those who have  already
accepted, if need be, the greatest sacrifice of all. Let  us
recapture,  as they have done, that spirit which  fired  all
the  heroes of our history. France rises with such impetuous
impulses  only  when  she feels in her  heart  that  she  is
fighting for her life and for her independence.
     Gentlemen,  today  France  is  in  command.  (Loud  and
applause  on  all the benches. The deputies sitting  on  the
left,  on the extreme left, in the centre, and on the  right
rise and applaud at great length.)
                  No. 357 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 2, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 4.15 p.m.)
     THE  sittings  of  both Houses of Parliament  yesterday
afternoon  were  marked by the same feeling of  dignity  and
quiet determination.
     According to the information I have gathered  from  all
sides,  the Members, who on returning from the parliamentary
recess  had  just  renewed contact with their  constituents,
were  struck  by the firmness shown by all sections  of  the
people regarding the foreign policy that should be followed.
All  Englishmen  were  absolutely  resolved  not  to  see  a
repetition  of  the  events  of last  September  and  March.
Convinced that sooner or later the British Empire would have
to  make a stand against German ambitions, the majority held
that  it was better to have done with it at once and not  to
continue   the  uncertainty  about  the  morrow  which   was
hindering any normal life.
     The  aggression by the Reich against Poland once known,
everyone understood that in any case the hour for action had
now  struck.  No one dreamed for a moment that it  was  even
possible  to  hesitate as to his duty in face  of  the  open
attack  on  a  country to which Great Britain  had  given  a
formal guarantee, thus pledging her honour.
     The  speech  by  the Prime Minister  in  the  House  of
Commons  was  therefore  in  agreement  with  the  unanimous
feeling  in  Parliament and the country. He was listened  to
with  the seriousness called for by the situation;  but  the
Members none the less drowned in cheers the words with which
Mr.  Chamberlain,  using a language  new  on  his  lips  and
obviously  satisfied to be able to express at last  what  he
thought  of the leaders of the Reich, branded Herr  Hitler's
"senseless ambitions" and the "sickening technique"  of  the
Nazi  Government. Cheers also welcomed the Prime  Minister's
speech in which he declared that it was no longer a time for
words but for deeds, that there was only one course left  to
Britain  and  that  she  was ready to  face  the  situation,
whatever it might be.
     The  leaders of the two sections of the Opposition gave
their support

to the Head of the Government, each in his own way, but both
of   them  with  the  same  determination;  and  the   House
unanimously voted a credit of 500,000,000 for war  supplies
and  various  extraordinary measures directed  to  the  same
     The Press this morning announces that all the Ministers
have proffered their resignations to Mr. Chamberlain, so  as
to allow him to form a National Government without delay. It
is,  however, uncertain whether the Labour Party will  agree
to  join  in.  The Left newspapers, in fact, say  that  this
party  would  rather  for  the  moment  stand  aside,  while
supporting  with all its power the Government's  policy,  in
the  country. There cannot be the slightest doubt  that  the
attitude  in  political circles completely corresponds  with
the prevailing opinion in the country. The British people is
united  as it has perhaps never been throughout its history,
by  its will to resist any German attempt at domination  and
to  safeguard  the  essential  principles  of  international
morality. It knows that it is entering upon an ordeal  which
undoubtedly  will  be a lengthy one and will  call  for  the
heaviest sacrifices; but it is resolved to carry out to  the
end  what it deems to be both a duty and a mission not  only
in  respect  of its own country but also in respect  of  the
civilized world.


                  No. 358 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 2, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 6.40 p.m.)
     M.  LIPSKI left the Polish Embassy early in the morning
with  his whole staff. The Polish mission has been  sent  by
train to Denmark, whence it will go back to its own country.
The  house will be looked after by two lesser officials left
in Berlin.
     I  tried  in  vain  during the day to telephone  to  my
Polish colleague.


                  No. 359 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 2, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 6.55 p.m.)
     HERR VON RIBBENTROP has not yet given an answer at 1.30
p.m. either to my British colleague or to me.
     Sir   Nevile   Henderson  and  I   are   awaiting   our

                  No. 360 
M. FRANOIS-PONCET, French Ambassador in Rome.
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Rome, September 2,
1939. 7.25 p.m.
(Received at 10 p.m.)
     THE  British Ambassador and I were called  today  at  2
p.m.  to  the Palazzo Chigi. Count Ciano informed  us  there
that  he had finally resolved to inform the Fhrer and  Herr
von  Ribbentrop, but without putting any pressure upon them,
that  France and Great Britain had agreed to the  suggestion
for  a conference to which they had hope of bringing Poland.
This  conference could follow very closely upon an immediate
armistice,  leaving  the  adversaries  in  their  respective
     This suggestion had not been at once rejected from  the
German  side,  but Herr Hitler had pointed out  that,  being
faced  with  a  French  note and a British  note  which  the
Ambassadors  of  the two countries had  handed  him  on  the
evening of the 1st, he wished to know if these notes were in
the  nature  of  an  ultimatum  or  not.  If  so,  he  would
definitely reject them. If the contrary was true,  he  would
ask  for  some time to think them over until noon to-morrow.
Herr  Hitler further requested that the answer  to  his  two
questions should be sent him through Rome.
     Count   Ciano   then   telephoned  directly   to   Your
Excellency,   who,  after  stating  that  the  note   handed
yesterday by the French Ambassador was not in the nature  of
an  ultimatum, gave approval in principle, in so far as  the
time  limit  was  concerned, subject to  the  views  of  the
President of the Council.
     Count  Ciano  then  telephoned  to  Lord  Halifax,  who
himself also

stated to him that the English note was not in the nature of
an  ultimatum and informed him that on the question  of  the
time limit he (Lord Halifax) must consult his Government. He
added  that  in  his  opinion to halt the  troops  on  their
positions  would  be insufficient; the occupied  territories
would have to be evacuated.
     Count  Ciano  replied  that in his  opinion  there  was
little possibility of obtaining this from the Germans.
     So  as to leave time for the necessary consultations to
be held, and after I had pointed out that the consent of the
Poles would be harder to get, we decided to part and to meet
again in Count Ciano's room at 4 p.m.

                  No. 361 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 2, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 7.30 p.m.)
     THE  Polish  Ambassador went this afternoon to  Downing
Street  and  was received during the Cabinet meeting,  which
was being held at the Prime Minister's house.
     Count Raczinski gave the information that, according to
the news received from Warsaw, the German offensive had been
violently resumed this morning along the whole Polish front,
and that since the beginning of the afternoon there had been
bombing  from the air of unprecedented intensity on a  great
many towns.
     The  Ambassador made a fresh and urgent appeal  to  Mr.
Neville Chamberlain for the immediate putting into force  of
the British guarantee.
     Sir  Alexander  Cadogan requested Sir  Eric  Phipps  by
telephone  to inform the French Government at once  of  this

                  No. 362 
M. CORBIN, French Ambassador in London,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 2, 1939.
(Received by telephone 9.45 p.m.)
     LORD  HALIFAX has just made a declaration in the  House
of Lords

which  was  received  with cheers. The  Secretary  of  State
pointed  out  that the British Ambassador was received  last
night  at  9.30 by Herr von Ribbentrop, to whom he delivered
the  warning  message that was read to the House  yesterday.
Herr  von  Ribbentrop  replied  that  he  must  submit   the
communication to the German Chancellor
     Our  Ambassador declared his readiness to  receive  the
Chancellor's reply, but up to the present no reply has  been
received. "It may be," Lord Halifax pointed out, "that delay
is  caused  to  a proposal which, meanwhile,  had  been  put
forward  by  the Italian Government that hostilities  should
cease and that there should then immediately be a conference
between  the  five  Powers-Great  Britain,  France,  Poland,
Germany, and Italy.
     "While   appreciating  the  efforts  of   the   Italian
Government, His Majesty's Government, for their part,  would
find  it  impossible  to take part in  a  conference  whilst
Poland  is being subjected to invasion. Her towns are  under
bombardment,  and  Danzig has been made  the  subject  of  a
unilateral settlement by force."
     This last passage was interrupted by great cheering.
     Resuming,  Lord  Halifax  recalled  that  the   British
Government,  as  stated yesterday, would be  bound  to  take
action  unless the German forces were withdrawn from  Polish
     "The  Government," he stated, "is in communication with
the  French Government as to the limit of time within  which
it  would  be  necessary  for the two  Governments  to  know
whether  the German Government were prepared to effect  such
     "If the German Government would agree to withdraw their
forces  then  His Majesty's Government would be  willing  to
regard  the position as being the same as it was before  the
German  forces crossed the Polish frontier. That is to  say,
the  way would be open to discussion between the German  and
Polish Governments of the matters at issue between them,  on
the  understanding that the settlement arrived  at  was  one
that  safeguarded  the vital interests  of  Poland  and  was
secured by an international guarantee.
     "If the German and Polish Governments wished that other
Powers should be associated with them in the discussion, His
Majesty's  Government for their part  would  be  willing  to
     "There is one other matter to which allusion should  be
made in order to make the present situation perfectly clear.
Yesterday,   Herr  Forster,  who  on  August  23   had,   in
contravention of the Danzig Con-

stitution,  become  the  head  of  the  State,  decreed  the
incorporation of Danzig in the Reich and the dissolution  of
the Constitution.
     "Herr Hitler was asked to give effect to this decree by
German  law.  At  the  meeting of the  Reichstag,  yesterday
morning, a law was passed for the reunion of Danzig with the
Reich. The international status of Danzig as a Free City  is
established  by  a treaty of which His Majesty's  Government
are  a  signatory,  and the Free City was placed  under  the
protection of the League of Nations.
     "The  rights  given to Poland in Danzig by  treaty  are
defined and confirmed by agreements concluded between Danzig
and  Poland. The action taken by the Danzig authorities  and
the  Reichstag yesterday is the final step in the unilateral
repudiation  of these international instruments which  could
only be modified by negotiation.
     "His  Majesty's  Government do not therefore  recognize
either  the validity of the grounds on which the  action  of
the  Danzig  authorities was based,  the  validity  of  this
action  itself, or of the effect given to it by  the  German
     At  the same time the Prime Minister made a declaration
in identical terms in the House of Commons. In the course of
this  statement,  which was greeted with warm  cheering,  he
said, in substance:
     "The Government is in a somewhat difficult position.  I
suppose  it always must be a difficulty for allies who  have
to  communicate with one another by telephone to synchronize
their  thoughts and actions as quickly as those who  are  in
the  same  room;  but  I should be horrified  if  the  House
thought  for one moment that the statement that I have  made
to  them  betrayed the slightest weakening  either  of  this
Government or of the French Government in the attitude which
we have taken up.
     "I  am  bound  to say that I myself share the  distrust
which  Mr. Greenwood expressed of maneuvers of this kind....
I should have to be convinced of the good faith of the other
side  ...  before  I  could  regard  the  proposition  of  a
conference as a proposition having reasonable chances  of  a
successful issue.
     "I  should have been very glad had it been possible for
me  to  say to the House now that the French Government  and
ourselves were agreed to make the shortest possible limit to
the time when action should be taken by both of us.
     "It  is  very possible that the communication which  we
have  had  with the French Government will receive  a  reply
from them in the course of the next few hours.

     "I  feel  certain  that I can make a statement  to  the
House of a definite character to-morrow when the House meets
again.  I anticipate that there is only one answer.  I  hope
that  the  issue will be brought to a close at the  earliest
possible moment so that we may know where we are."

                  No. 363 
M. FRANOIS-PONCET, French Ambassador in Rome,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
                                     Rome, September 2,
1939. 11.10 p.m.

 (Received September 3, at 3.10 a.m.)
     SIR PERCY LORAINE and I have returned to our respective
Embassies, after waiting an hour in Count Ciano's  room  for
the  communications  from London and Paris.  It  was  agreed
that,  as  soon  as the telephone replies had  reached  him,
Count Ciano would make them known to us.
     At  7.20 p.m. Count Ciano informed me that Lord Halifax
accepted  the Italian suggestion, but on condition that  the
German troops should withdraw to the frontiers of the Reich.
Count  Ciano  told  me that he did not think  he  was  in  a
position to put forward such a request to Germany. This  was
likewise Signor Mussolini's opinion.
     The  speech delivered in the Chamber of Deputies by  M.
Daladier   intimated  that  the  position  of   the   French
Government  was the same as that of the British  Government.
Consequently,  it  seemed that the Italian suggestion  would
have to be abandoned.
     Count  Ciano  informed me that he  had  therefore  just
telephoned  to Signor Attolico that, in these circumstances,
Signor  Mussolini  did  not think he  could  follow  up  his
     The above news has been conveyed to your department  by
a telephone call received by M. Hoppenot.

                  No. 364 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin.
                                  Paris, September 2, 1939.
12 midnight.
     I  WILL specify to you to-morrow morning the terms of a
new  dmarche which I would ask you to make on September  3,
at noon, at the Wilhelmstrasse.


                  No. 365 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin.
                                    Paris, September 3,
1939. 10.20 a.m.
     LAST night, following a communication made to us by the
British Government, and following the meeting of the  French
Chamber  of  Deputies, the French Government  at  a  Cabinet
meeting  took  the following decisions, which  I  have  been
charged to transmit to you.
     You  should  present yourself today,  September  3,  at
noon,   at  the  Wilhelmstrasse  and  ask  for  the   German
Government's reply to the communication which you handed  in
at 10 p. m. on September 1.
     If  the  reply  to  the  questions  contained  in  that
communication  is  in the negative, you  should  recall  the
responsibility of Germany which you evoked during your  last
interview, and you should notify to the Minister for Foreign
Affairs  of  the  Reich  or to his representative  that  the
French  Government find themselves, by reason of the  German
reply, compelled to fulfill as from today, September 3, at 5
p.  m.,  the  engagements which France entered into  towards
Poland, and which are known to the German Government.
     As from that moment you may ask for your passports.

                  No. 366 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 3, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 2 p.m.)
     MY  communication  by telephone at  1  p.m.  with  Your
     At 12.40 p.m. today I made the communication prescribed
by Your Excellency to Herr von Ribbentrop.
     The  First Secretary of this Embassy is at this  moment
asking for my passports.


                  No. 367 
M. COULONDRE, French Ambassador in Berlin,
     to M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
September 3, 1939.
(Received by telephone at 5.50 p.m.)
     I  HAVE  the  honour  to  confirm  as  here  below  the
communication which I made to Your Excellency  by  telephone
at 1 p.m.
     Herr von Ribbentrop returned at noon. I was received at
this hour by the State Secretary, but the latter informed me
that  he  was  not  in  a  position to  tell  me  whether  a
satisfactory  reply had been made to my letter of  September
1,  nor even whether such a reply could be given thereto. He
insisted  that I should see Herr von Ribbentrop himself.  In
these  circumstances I asked to be received by the  Minister
for Foreign Affairs at the earliest possible moment.
     I was received by Herr von Ribbentrop at 1230 p.m.
     I  asked  him  whether he could give me a  satisfactory
reply to my letter which I had handed to him on September  1
at 10 p.m.
     He replied to me as follows:
     "After   the  delivery  of  your  letter,  the  Italian
Government  notified  the German Government  of  a  proposed
compromise,  stating  that  the  French  Government  was  in
agreement. Later, Signor Mussolini intimated to us that  the
contemplated   compromise  had  failed  owing   to   British
intransigence. This morning the British Ambassador handed us
an  ultimatum, due to expire two hours later. We rejected it
for the reason which is explained in the memorandum which  I
handed  to the British Ambassador today and of which I  give
you a copy.
     "If   the   French  Government  feels  bound   by   its
commitments to Poland to enter into the conflict, I can only
regret  it,  for  we  have no feeling of  hostility  towards
France. It is only if France attacks us that we shall  fight
her, and this would be on her part a war of aggression.
     I  then asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if I was
to   infer  from  his  utterances  that  the  reply  of  the
Government of the Reich to my letter of September 1  was  in
the negative. "Yes," he replied.
     "In  these  circumstances  I  must,  on  behalf  of  my
Government,  remind  you  for the last  time  of  the  heavy
responsibility  assumed by the Government of  the  Reich  by
entering,  without  a declaration of war,  into  hostilities
against Poland and in not acting upon the suggestion made by
the Governments of the French Republic and of His Britannic

Majesty to suspend all aggressive action against Poland  and
to declare itself ready to withdraw its forces promptly from
Polish territory.
     "I  have  the painful duty to notify you that  as  from
today,  September 3, at 5 p.m., the French  Government  will
find  itself obliged to fulfill the obligations that  France
has  contracted towards Poland, and which are known  to  the
German Government."
     "Well,"  Herr  von  Ribbentrop remarked,  "it  will  be
France who is the aggressor."
     I replied to him that history would judge of that.

                  No. 363 
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
     to all the Heads of Diplomatic Missions accredited to
September 3, 1939.
     In  conformity with Article 2 of Convention III of  The
Hague, dated October 18, 1907, I have the honour to send you
herewith  the  notification relative to  the  State  of  War
existing between France and Germany.

     The  aggression  which the German Government,  scorning
the  methods of peaceful settlement of differences to  which
it  had  bound itself to have recourse, and the  appeals  to
free  discussion or to mediation addressed to it by the most
authoritative voices, committed against Poland on  September
1,  in  violation of engagements most freely  accepted  both
towards  Poland herself as well as towards all the signatory
States  of  the  Pact of renunciation of war of  August  27,
1928,   has   confronted  the  French  Republic   with   its
obligations  to  assist Poland, obligations  resulting  from
public treaties and known to the Government of the Reich.
     The  supreme effort, attempted by the Government of the
French Republic and by the British Government with a view to
maintain   peace   by  the  cessation  of  aggression,   was
frustrated by the refusal of the German Government.
     In  consequence, as a result of the aggression aimed by
Germany against Poland, a state of war exists between France
and Germany as from September 3, 1939, at 5 p.m.
     The  present  notification is made in  conformity  with
Article 2 of

     Convention  III of The Hague, dated October  18,  1907,
relating to the outbreak of hostilities.
                  No. 369 
       Joint Anglo-French Declaration 
     THE  Governments  of  the  United  Kingdom  and  France
solemnly and publicly affirm their intention should a war be
forced  upon them to conduct hostilities with a firm  desire
to  spare  the civilian population and to preserve in  every
way  possible these monuments of human achievement which are
treasured in all civilized countries.
     In   this   spirit   they  have  welcomed   with   deep
satisfaction President Roosevelt's appeal on the subject  of
bombing   from   the  air.  Fully  sympathizing   with   the
humanitarian  sentiments by which that appeal was  inspired,
they have replied to it in similar terms.
     They   had   indeed   some  time  ago   sent   explicit
instructions  to  the  Commanders  of  their  armed   forces
prohibiting  the bombardment, whether from the air,  or  the
sea,  or  by  artillery  on land,  of  any  except  strictly
military objectives in the narrowest sense of the word.
     Bombardment   by   artillery  on  land   will   exclude
objectives   which   have  no  strictly   defined   military
importance, in particular large urban areas situated outside
the battle zone. They will furthermore make every effort  to
avoid  the destruction of localities or buildings which  are
of value to civilization.
     As   regards   the  use  of  naval  forces,   including
submarines, the two Governments will abide strictly  by  the
rules laid down in the Submarine Protocol of 1936 which have
been  accepted by nearly all civilized nations. Further they
will only employ their aircraft against merchant shipping at
sea  in  conformity with the recognized rules applicable  to
the exercise of maritime belligerent rights by warships.
     Finally,  the  two  allied Governments  reaffirm  their
intention  to abide by the terms of the Geneva  Protocol  of
1925 prohibiting the use in war of asphyxiating or poisonous
or other gases and of bacteriological methods of warfare. An
inquiry  will  be addressed to the German Government  as  to
whether  they are prepared to give an assurance to the  same
     It  will, of course, be understood that in the event of
the  enemy  not observing any of the restrictions which  the
Governments  of  the  United Kingdom and  France  have  thus
imposed on the operations of their

forces these Governments reserve the right to take all  such
action as they may consider appropriate.
                  No. 370 
            Appeal to the Nation 
     by M. EDOUARD DALADIER, President of the Council of

September 3, 1939.

Men and Women of France,
     Since  daybreak  on September 1, Poland  has  been  the
victim  of  the most brutal and most cynical of aggressions.
Her  frontiers  have  been violated. Her  cities  are  being
bombed. Her army is heroically resisting  the invader.
     The  responsibility for the blood that  is  being  shed
falls entirely upon the Hitler Government. The fate of peace
was in Hitler's hands. He chose war.
     France  and  England  have made  countless  efforts  to
safeguard  peace.  This very morning  they  made  a  further
urgent  intervention in Berlin in order to  address  to  the
German Government a last appeal to reason and request it  to
stop hostilities and to open peaceful negotiations.
     Germany  met us with a refusal. She had already refused
to  reply  to  all  the men of goodwill who recently  raised
their voices in favour of the peace of the world.
     She therefore desires the destruction of Poland, so  as
to be able to dominate Europe quickly and to enslave France.
     In  rising against the most frightful of tyrannies,  in
honoring  our word, we fight to defend our soil, our  homes,
our liberties.
     I  am  conscious of having worked unremittingly against
the war until the last minute.
     I  greet with emotion and affection our young soldiers,
who  now  go  forth  to  perform the sacred  task  which  we
ourselves  did  perform  before them.  They  can  have  full
confidence in their chiefs, who are worthy of those who have
previously led France to victory.
     The   cause  of  France  is  identical  with  that   of
Righteousness.  It  is the cause of all  peaceful  and  free
nations. It will be victorious.
     Men and women of France!
     We  are  waging war because it has been thrust  on  us.
Every  one  of us is at his post, on the soil of France,  on
that land of liberty where

respect of human dignity finds one of its last refuges.  You
will  all  cooperate, with a profound feeling of  union  and
brotherhood, for the salvation of the country.

Viva la France!

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