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DOCUMENTS   CONCERNING  GERMAN-POLISH  RELATIONS   AND   THE
     OUTBREAK  OF  HOSTILITIES  BETWEEN  GREAT  BRITAIN  AND
     GERMANY ON SEPTEMBER 3, 1939.
     
                           No. 1.
     
     TEXT OF GERMAN-POLISH AGREEMENT OF JANUARY 26, 1934.
     
(Translation.)
     The   German   Government  and  the  Polish  Government
consider that the time has come to introduce a new phase  in
the  political  relations between Germany and  Poland  by  a
direct  understanding between State and  State.  They  have,
therefore, decided to lay down the principles for the future
development of these relations in the present declaration.
     The  two Governments base their action on the fact that
the  maintenance  and guarantee of a lasting  peace  between
their  countries  is  an  essential  pre-condition  for  the
general peace of Europe.
     They  have  therefore  decided  to  base  their  mutual
relations on the principles laid down in the Pact  of  Paris
of the 17th August, 1928, and propose to define more exactly
the  application  of  these principles  in  so  far  as  the
relations between Germany and Poland are concerned.
     Each  of  the two Governments, therefore, lays it  down
that  the international obligations undertaken by it towards
a  third  party  do not hinder the peaceful  development  of
their  mutual  relations, do not conflict with  the  present
declaration, and are not affected by this declaration.  They
establish,  moreover, that this declaration does not  extend
to  those questions which under international law are to  be
regarded exclusively as the internal concern of one  of  the
two States.
     
1
     
2 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     Both  Governments  announce their intention  to  settle
directly all questions of whatever sort which concern  their
mutual relations.
     Should  any  disputes arise between them and  agreement
thereon  not be reached by direct negotiation, they will  in
each particular case, on the basis of mutual agreement, seek
a solution by other peaceful means, without prejudice to the
possibility  of  applying, if necessary,  those  methods  of
procedure in which provision is made for such cases in other
agreements  in  force  between them.  In  no  circumstances,
however,  will they proceed to the application of force  for
the purpose of reaching a decision in such disputes.
     The guarantee of peace created by these principles will
facilitate the great task of both Governments of  finding  a
solution  for  problems of political,  economic  and  social
kinds,  based on a just and fair adjustment of the interests
of both parties.
     Both  Governments  are  convinced  that  the  relations
between   their  countries  will  in  this  manner   develop
fruitfully,  and  will  lead  to  the  establishment  of   a
neighbourly relationship which will contribute to the  well-
being  not  only of both their countries, but of  the  other
peoples of Europe as well.
     The  present  declaration shall be  ratified,  and  the
instruments of ratification shall be exchanged in Warsaw  as
soon as possible.
     The  declaration is valid for a period  of  ten  years,
reckoned from the day of the exchange of the instruments  of
ratification.
     If  the declaration is not denounced by one of the  two
Governments six months before the expiration of this period,
it  will  continue in force, but can then  be  denounced  by
either Government at any time on notice of six months  being
given. Made in duplicate in the German and Polish languages.
     
     Berlin, January 26, 1934.
     
     For the German Government:
     FREIHERR VON NEURATH.
     
     For the Polish Government
     JOSEF LIPSKI.
     
 HITLER ON GERMAN-POLISH RELATIONS 3
     
STATEMENTS  MADE  BY  HERR  HITLER SINCE  THE  GERMAN-POLISH
     AGREEMENT RECORDING HIS SATISFACTION AT THE IMPROVEMENT
     IN GERMAN-POLISH RELATIONS.
     
                           No. 2.
     
               Reichstag Speech, May 21, 1935.
     
(Translation.)
     "WE recognize, with the understanding and the heartfelt
friendship  of true Nationalists, the Polish  State  as  the
home of a great, nationally-conscious people."
     "The  German  Reich  and,  in particular,  the  present
German  Government,  have no other  wish  than  to  live  on
friendly and peaceable terms with all neighbouring States."
     
                           No. 3.
                              
              Reichstag Speech, March 7, 1936.

(Translation.)
     "I  would  like the German people to learn  to  see  in
other  nations  historical realities which a  visionary  may
well  like to wish away, but which cannot be wished away.  I
should  like them to realise that it is unreasonable to  try
and  bring  these historical realities into opposition  with
the   demands  of  their  vital  interests  and   to   their
understandable  claims to live. I would therefore  like  the
German  people to understand the inner motives  of  National
Socialist  foreign policy, which finds it painful  that  the
outlet to the sea of a people of 35 millions is situated  on
territory  formerly  belonging  to  the  Reich,  but   which
recognises that it is unreasonable and impossible to deny  a
State  of such a size as this any outlet to the sea  at  all
....  It  is  possible  that  politicians,  particularly  by
invoking  might, may carry out such violations  of  national
interests; but the more frequently this happens, the greater
becomes  the  pressure  for an outlet  of  the  excited  and
constrained powers and energies."
     
4 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                           No. 4.
     
             Reichstag Speech, January 30, 1937.

(Translation.)
     "By  a  series  of agreements we have removed  existing
tensions   and  thereby  contributed  considerably   to   an
improvement in the European atmosphere. I merely recall  our
agreement with Poland, which has worked out to the advantage
of both sides .... And to my own fellow-citizens I would say
that the Polish nation and the Polish State have also become
a  reality  .... The peoples of these States  (i.e.,  Italy,
Poland  and the Balkan States) desire to live and they  will
live."
     
                           No. 5.
                              
            Reichstag Speech, February 20, 1938.

(Translation.)
     "It  fills  us, in the fifth year following  the  first
great foreign political agreement of the Reich, with sincere
gratification  to  be  able  to  establish   that   in   our
relationship  to  the State with which we  had  perhaps  the
greatest differences, not only has there been a d‚tente, but
that in the course of these years a constant improvement  in
relations  has taken place. I know perfectly well that  this
was  above all attributable to the circumstance that at  the
time  there was no Western parliamentarism in Warsaw, but  a
Polish field-marshal, who as an eminent personality felt the
significance,  so important to Europe, of  such  a  Germano-
Polish d‚tente. This good work, which had been doubted by so
many  at the time, has meanwhile stood the test, and  I  may
say  that, since the League of Nations finally gave  up  its
perpetual attempts to unsettle Danzig and appointed  in  the
new  commissioner a man of great personal attainments,  this
most dangerous spot from the point of view of European peace
has  entirely lost its menacing character. The Polish  State
respects the national conditions in this State, and both the
city of Danzig and Germany respect Polish rights. And so the
way to a friendly understanding has been successfully paved,
an understanding which, starting from Danzig, has to-day suc-
     
HITLER ON GERMAN-POLISH RELATIONS 5
     
ceeded  in  spite of the attempts of certain mischief-makers
in  finally  taking the poison out of the relations  between
Germany  and  Poland and transforming them into  a  sincere,
friendly co-operation."
     
                           No. 6.
                              
          Speech at Nuremberg, September 14, 1938.
                              
(Translation.)
     "In  Poland  a great patriot and a great statesman  was
ready  to  make  an  accord  with  Germany;  we  immediately
proceeded to action and completed an agreement which was  of
greater  importance  to the peace of  Europe  than  all  the
chattering  in  the  temple  of the  League  of  Nations  at
Geneva."
     
                           No. 7.
                              
       Speech in the Sportpalast, September 26, 1938.
                              
(Translation.)
     "The most difficult problem with which I was confronted
was  that  of our relations with Poland. There was a  danger
that Poles and Germans would regard each other as hereditary
enemies. I wanted to prevent this. I know well enough that I
should  not  have  been  successful  if  Poland  had  had  a
democratic Constitution. For these democracies which indulge
in  phrases  about  peace  are  the  most  bloodthirsty  war
agitators.  In Poland there ruled no democracy, but  a  man;
and  with  him I succeeded, in precisely twelve  months,  in
coming  to  an agreement which, for ten years in  the  first
instance, entirely removed the danger of a conflict. We  are
all   convinced  that  this  agreement  will  bring  lasting
pacification.  We  realise that here are two  peoples  which
must live together and neither of which can do away with the
other.  A  people of 33 millions will always strive  for  an
outlet to the sea. A way for understanding, then, had to  be
found;  it  has  been  found; and it will  be  ever  further
extended.  Certainly  things were hard  in  this  area.  The
nationalities   and   small   national   groups   frequently
quarrelled among themselves.
     
6 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
But  the  main  fact  is that the two Governments,  and  all
reasonable  and clear-sighted persons among the two  peoples
and  in  the  two  countries,  possess  the  firm  will  and
determination to I improve their relations. It  was  a  real
work of peace, of more worth than all the chattering in  the
League of Nations Palace at Geneva."
     
                           No. 8.
                              
             Reichstag Speech, January 30, 1939.

(Translation.)
     "We  have just celebrated the fifth anniversary of  the
conclusion of our non-aggression pact with Poland. There can
scarcely be any difference of opinion to-day among the  true
friends of peace with regard to the value of this agreement.
One  only  needs to ask oneself what might have happened  to
Europe if this agreement, which brought such relief, had not
been  entered into five years ago. In signing it, this great
Polish marshal and patriot rendered his people just as great
a  service  as  the leaders of the National Socialist  State
rendered  the German people. During the troubled  months  of
the  past year the friendship between Germany and Poland was
one  of  the  reassuring factors in the  political  life  of
Europe."
     
DETERIORATION  IN  EUROPEAN SITUATION RESULTING FROM  GERMAN
     ACTION AGAINST CZECHO-SLOVAKIA ON MARCH 15, 1939.
     
                           No. 9.
                              
   Speech by the Prime Minister at Birmingham on March 17,
                            1939.
     
     I  HAD  intended to-night to talk to you upon a variety
of subjects, upon trade and employment, upon social service,
and  upon finance. But the tremendous events which have been
taking place this week in Europe have thrown everything else
into
     
 DETERIORATION IN EUROPEAN SITUATION 7
     
the  background, and I feel that what you, and those who are
not  in this hall but are listening to me, will want to hear
is  some indication of the views of His Majesty's Government
as to the nature and the implications of those events.
     One  thing is certain. Public opinion in the world  has
received a sharper shock than has ever yet been administered
to  it,  even by the present regime in Germany. What may  be
the  ultimate effects of this profound disturbance on  men's
minds cannot yet be foretold, but I am sure that it must  be
far-reaching in its results upon the future. Last  Wednesday
we  had  a debate upon it in the House of Commons. That  was
the  day on which the German troops entered Czecho-Slovakia,
and  all of us, but particularly the Government, were  at  a
disadvantage  because the information that we had  was  only
partial; much of it was unofficial. We had no time to digest
it,  much less to form a considered opinion upon it. And  so
it  necessarily followed that I, speaking on behalf  of  the
Government,  with  all the responsibility that  attaches  to
that  position,  was obliged to confine  myself  to  a  very
restrained  and cautious exposition, on what at the  time  I
felt  I  could  make  but  little commentary.  And,  perhaps
naturally,  that somewhat cool and objective statement  gave
rise  to  a  misapprehension, and some people  thought  that
because I spoke quietly, because I gave little expression to
feeling, therefore my colleagues and I did not feel strongly
on the subject. I hope to correct that mistake to-night.
     But  I  want  to say something first about an  argument
which  has developed out of these events and which was  used
in  that debate, and has appeared since in various organs of
the  press.  It  has been suggested that this occupation  of
Czecho-Slovakia  was  the direct consequence  of  the  visit
which  I  paid to Germany last autumn, and that,  since  the
result  of  these events has been to tear up the  settlement
that  was  arrived at at Munich, that proves that the  whole
circumstances of those visits were wrong. It is  said  that,
as  this was the personal policy of the Prime Minister,  the
blame  for  the fate of Czecho-Slovakia must rest  upon  his
shoulders. That is an entirely unwarrantable conclusion  The
facts  as  they are to-day cannot change the facts  as  they
were  last September. If I was right then, I am still  right
now. Then there are some people who say: "We considered
     
8 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
you were wrong in September, and now we have been proved  to
be right."
     Let me examine that. When I decided to go to Germany  I
never  expected  that  I  was  going  to  escape  criticism.
Indeed,; I did not go there to get popularity. I went  there
first and foremost because, in what appeared to be an almost
desperate  situation, that seemed to me to  offer  the  only
chance  of  averting a European war. And I might remind  you
that,  when it was first announced that I was going,  not  a
voice  was  raised  in  criticism. Everyone  applauded  that
effort. It was only later, when it appeared that the results
of  the  final settlement fell short of the expectations  of
some who did not fully appreciate the facts-it was only then
that  the attack began, and even then it was not the  visit,
it was the terms of settlement that were disapproved.
     Well,  I have never denied that the terms which  I  was
able  to secure at Munich were not those that I myself would
have  desired. But, as I explained then, I had to deal  with
no  new  problem. This was something that had  existed  ever
since the Treaty of Versailles-a problem that ought to  have
been  solved  long  ago if only the statesmen  of  the  last
twenty years had taken broader and more enlightened views of
their duty. It had become like a disease which had been long
neglected,  and a surgical operation was necessary  to  save
the life of the patient.
     After  all, the first and the most immediate object  of
my  visit was achieved. The peace of Europe was saved;  and,
if  it  had not been for those visits, hundreds of thousands
of  families  would  to-day have been in  mourning  for  the
flower of Europe's best manhood. I would like once again  to
express  my grateful thanks to all those correspondents  who
have  written  me from all over the world to  express  their
gratitude and their appreciation of what I did then  and  of
what I have been trying to do since.
     Really  I  have no need to defend my visits to  Germany
last  autumn, for what was the alternative? Nothing that  we
could  have  done, nothing that France could have  done,  or
Russia  could  have done could possibly have  saved  Czecho-
Slovakia  from  invasion and destruction.  Even  if  we  had
subsequently gone to war to punish Germany for her  actions,
and  if  after  the frightful losses which would  have  been
inflicted upon all
     
DETERIORATION IN EUROPEAN SITUATION 9
     
partakers  in  the war we had been victorious  in  the  end,
never could we have reconstructed Czecho-Slovakia as she was
framed by the Treaty of Versailles.
     But  I  had  another purpose, too, in going to  Munich.
That  was  to further the policy which I have been  pursuing
ever since I have been in my present position-a policy which
is  sometimes called European appeasement, although I do not
think  myself  that that is a very happy term or  one  which
accurately  describes its purpose. If that  policy  were  to
succeed,  it  was  essential that no Power  should  seek  to
obtain  a  general domination of Europe; but that  each  one
should  be  contented  to obtain reasonable  facilities  for
developing  its  own resources, securing its  own  share  of
international trade, and improving the conditions of its own
people.  I felt that, although that might well mean a  clash
of  interests between different States, nevertheless, by the
exercise  of mutual goodwill and understanding of what  were
the  limits of the desires of others, it should be  possible
to  resolve all differences by discussion and without  armed
conflict. I hoped in going to Munich to find out by personal
contact what was in Herr Hitler's mind, and whether  it  was
likely that he would be willing to co-operate in a programme
of  that kind. Well, the atmosphere in which our discussions
were  conducted  was not a very favourable one,  because  we
were in the middle of an acute crisis; but, nevertheless, in
the intervals between more official conversations I had some
opportunities of talking with him and of hearing his  views,
and   I   thought   that   results   were   not   altogether
unsatisfactory.
     When I came back after my second visit I told the House
of  Commons of a conversation I had had with Herr Hitler, of
which  I  said  that,  speaking with great  earnestness,  he
repeated  what  he had already said at Berchtesgaden-namely,
that  this  was  the  last of his territorial  ambitions  in
Europe,  and  that he had no wish to include  in  the  Reich
people  of  other  races than German.  Herr  Hitler  himself
confirmed  this account of the conversation  in  the  speech
which  he  made at the Sportpalast in Berlin, when he  said:
"This is the last territorial claim which I have to make  in
Europe."  And a little later in the same speech he said:  "I
have  assured Mr. Chamberlain, and I emphasise it now,  that
when this problem is solved Germany has no more
     
10 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
territorial problems in Europe." And he added: "I shall  not
be  interested  in  the Czech State  any  more,  and  I  can
guarantee it. We don't want any Czechs any more."
     And  then  in the Munich Agreement itself, which  bears
Herr  Hitler's signature, there is this clause:  "The  final
determination of the frontiers will be carried  out  by  the
international  commission"-the  final  determination.   And,
lastly,  in that declaration which he and I signed  together
at  Munich, we declared that any other question which  might
concern our two countries should be dealt with by the method
of consultation.
     Well,  in  view  of  those repeated  assurances,  given
voluntarily to me, I considered myself justified in founding
a  hope  upon them that once this Czecho-Slovakian  question
was settled, as it seemed at Munich it would be, it would be
possible to carry farther that policy of appeasement which I
have described. But, notwithstanding, at the same time I was
not prepared to relax precautions until I was satisfied that
the  policy  had been established and had been  accepted  by
others,  and therefore, after Munich, our defence  programme
was  actually  accelerated, and it was  expanded  so  as  to
remedy  certain weaknesses which had become apparent  during
the  crisis.  I  am  convinced that after Munich  the  great
majority  of  British people shared my  hope,  and  ardently
desired that that policy should be carried further. But  to-
day  I  share their disappointment, their indignation,  that
those hopes have been so wantonly shattered.
     How can these events this week be reconciled with those
assurances which I have read out to you? Surely, as a  joint
signatory of the Munich Agreement, I was entitled,  if  Herr
Hitler  thought it ought to be undone, to that  consultation
which is provided for in the Munich declaration. Instead  of
that  he  has taken the law into his own hands. Before  even
the  Czech  President  was  received,  and  confronted  with
demands  which he had no power to resist, the German  troops
were  on the move, and within a few hours they were  in  the
Czech capital.
     According  to the proclamation which was  read  out  in
Prague  yesterday, Bohemia and Moravia have been annexed  to
the  German  Reich. Non-German inhabitants, who, of  course,
include the Czechs, are placed under the German Protector in
the  German  Protectorate. They are to  be  subject  to  the
political,
     
DETERIORATION IN EUROPEAN SITUATION 11
     
military  and economic needs of the Reich. They  are  called
self-governing  States, but the Reich is to take  charge  of
their  foreign policy, their customs and their excise, their
bank  reserves,  and  the equipment of  the  disarmed  Czech
forces. Perhaps most sinister of all, we hear again  of  the
appearance  of the Gestapo, the secret police,  followed  by
the   usual   tale   of  wholesale  arrests   of   prominent
individuals,  with  consequences  with  which  we  are   all
familiar.
     Every  man and woman in this country who remembers  the
fate of the Jews and the political prisoners in Austria must
be  filled to-day with distress and foreboding. Who can fail
to  feel his heart go out in sympathy to the proud and brave
people who have so suddenly been subjected to this invasion,
whose  liberties are curtailed, whose national  independence
has gone? What has become of this declaration of "No further
territorial ambition"? What has become of the assurance  "We
don't  want Czechs in the Reich"? What regard had been  paid
here  to that principle of self-determination on which  Herr
Hitler argued so vehemently with me at Berchtesgaden when he
was  asking  for the severance of Sudetenland  from  Czecho-
Slovakia and its inclusion in the German Reich?
     Now we are told that this seizure of territory has been
necessitated by disturbances in Czecho-Slovakia. We are told
that  the  proclamation  of  this  new  German  Protectorate
against  the  will  of  its inhabitants  has  been  rendered
inevitable  by  disorders  which threatened  the  peace  and
security  of her mighty neighbour. If there were  disorders,
were they not fomented from without? And can anybody outside
Germany take seriously the idea that they could be a  danger
to   that  great  country,  that  they  could  provide   any
justification for what has happened?
     Does not the question inevitably arise in our minds, if
it  is  so  easy  to  discover  good  reasons  for  ignoring
assurances  so  solemnly  and  so  repeatedly  given,   what
reliance  can be placed upon any other assurances that  come
from the same source?
     There   is  another  set  of  questions  which   almost
inevitably  must  occur in our minds and  to  the  minds  of
others, perhaps even in Germany herself. Germany, under  her
present  regime, has sprung a series of unpleasant surprises
upon  the world. The Rhineland, the Austrian Anschluss,  the
severance of
     
12 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     Sudetenland-all  these  things  shocked  and  affronted
public  opinion throughout the world. Yet, however  much  we
might  take  exception to the methods which were adopted  in
each of those cases, there was something to be said, whether
on  account  of racial affinity or of just claims  too  long
resisted-there was something to be said for the necessity of
a change in the existing situation.
     But  the  events which have taken place  this  week  in
complete disregard of the principles laid down by the German
Government  itself  seem to fall into a different  category,
and  they must cause us all to be asking ourselves: "Is this
the  end  of an old adventure, or is it the beginning  of  a
new?"
     "Is  this the last attack upon a small State, or is  it
to  be  followed by others? Is this, in fact, a step in  the
direction of an attempt to dominate the world by force?"
     Those  are grave and serious questions. I am not  going
to answer them to-night. But I am sure they will require the
grave  and  serious  consideration  not  only  of  Germany's
neighbours, but of others, perhaps even beyond the  confines
of  Europe.  Already there are indications that the  process
has  begun, and it is obvious that it is likely  now  to  be
speeded up.
     We  ourselves will naturally turn first to our partners
in  the  British Commonwealth of Nations and to  France,  to
whom  we  are  so closely bound, and I have  no  doubt  that
others,  too, knowing that we are not disinterested in  what
goes  on  in  South-Eastern Europe, will wish  to  have  our
counsel and advice.
     In our own country we must all review the position with
that  sense  of  responsibility which its  gravity  demands.
Nothing  must be excluded from that review which bears  upon
the  national safety. Every aspect of our national life must
be  looked  at  again  from that angle. The  Government,  as
always,  must bear the main responsibility, but I know  that
all individuals will wish to review their own position, too,
and  to  consider again if they have done all  they  can  to
offer their service to the State.
     I  do not believe there is anyone who will question  my
sincerity  when I say there is hardly anything I  would  not
sacrifice  for  peace. But there is one thing  that  I  must
except, and that
     
DETERIORATION IN EUROPEAN SITUATION 13
     
is  the  liberty that we have enjoyed for hundreds of years,
and  which  we  will never surrender. That I,  of  all  men,
should  feel called upon to make such a declaration-that  is
the  measure  of  the  extent to  which  these  events  have
shattered  the confidence which was just beginning  to  show
its  head  and which, if it had been allowed to grow,  might
have  made this year memorable for the return of all  Europe
to sanity and stability.
     It  is  only six weeks ago that I was speaking in  this
city,  and that I alluded to rumours and suspicions which  I
said  ought to be swept away. I pointed out that any  demand
to dominate the world by force was one which the democracies
must  resist, and I added that I could not believe that such
a  challenge  was intended, because no Government  with  the
interests of its own people at heart could expose  them  for
such a claim to the horrors of world war.
     And,  indeed, with the lessons of history  for  all  to
read,  it  seems  incredible  that  we  should  see  such  a
challenge.  I  feel bound to repeat that,  while  I  am  not
prepared   to   engage  this  country  by  new   unspecified
commitments operating under conditions which cannot  now  be
foreseen,  yet  no greater mistake could  be  made  than  to
suppose that, because it believes war to be a senseless  and
cruel thing, this nation has so lost its fibre that it  will
not take part to the utmost of its power in resisting such a
challenge  if it ever were made. For that declaration  I  am
convinced  that I have not merely the support, the sympathy,
the confidence of my fellow-countrymen and countrywomen, but
I  shall have also the approval of the whole British  Empire
and  of  all other nations who value peace, indeed, but  who
value freedom even more.
     
                           No. 10.
                              
 Speech by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the
              House of Lords on March 20, 1939.
     
     IT  is  quite  true, as both the noble Lord  who  spoke
first  and the noble Marquess have said, that recent  events
have  been a profound shock to all thinking people  in  this
country and very far outside it. It may perhaps be of use if
with all brevity I
     
14 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
give  the House a short narrative in order to make  sure  we
have  the setting correct of what has actually passed during
the last few days. The German military occupation of Bohemia
and  Moravia began on the morning of the 15th March, and was
completed, as we know, without serious incident. It is to be
observed-and  the  fact is surely not without  significance-
that   the  towns  of  M„hrisch-Ostrau  and  Vitkovice  were
actually occupied by German S.S. detachments on the  evening
of  the  14th  March, while the President  and  the  Foreign
Minister  of  Czecho-Slovakia were still  on  their  way  to
Berlin  and  before any discussion had taken place.  On  the
16th March Herr Hitler issued the decree, to which the noble
Marquess  has  just referred, proclaiming  that  the  former
Czecho-Slovak  territory occupied by German troops  belonged
henceforth to the German Reich and came under its protection
under  the  title  of  "The  Protectorate  of  Bohemia   and
Moravia."
     It  is not necessary to recapitulate the terms of  that
decree-it  has been published-but it should be  noted  that,
while  the  head of the Administration now to be set  up  is
said  to  hold  the  rank of Head of State,  and  while  the
protectorate   is   said   to  be   autonomous   and   self-
administering, a Reich protector is resident in Prague  with
full powers of veto on legislation. Foreign affairs and  the
protection  of  nationals  abroad  devolve  on  the   German
Government, which will also maintain military garrisons  and
establishments  in  the protectorate. The  protectorate  is,
further,  in  the  German Customs Union, and,  finally,  the
German   Government   can  issue  decrees   valid   in   the
protectorate  and take any measures for the preservation  of
security and order. Perhaps I might quote one short  article
which seems to me to sum up the situation. It says:-
               "The  Protectorate  of  Bohemia  and  Moravia
          shall  exercise its sovereign rights in consonance
          with   the   political,  military   and   economic
          importance of the Reich."
          
     As  to  Slovakia,  the  independence  of  Slovakia  was
proclaimed  on  the 14th March, but at the  request  of  Dr.
Tiso,  the  head  of  the  Slovak  State,  Herr  Hitler  has
undertaken to place Slovakia under German protection and the
military occupation of the territory by German troops is now
proceeding. As regards
     
DETERIORATION IN EUROPEAN SITUATION 15
     
Ruthenia, the occupation of Ruthenia by Hungary, which began
on the 14th March, has also proceeded. By the 16th March the
Hungarian  troops  had reached the Polish frontier  and  had
virtually   completed  the  occupation  of   the   province.
Therefore,  as  a  result  of  these  several  actions,  the
dismemberment  of  Czecho-Slovakia may be  said  now  to  be
complete.
     Before  I  come to some one or two of the  things  that
fell  from  the noble Lord who moved, I would  like  to  say
something  as to the grounds on which the German  Government
seek  to  justify  the  action that  they  have  taken.  The
immediate  cause  of the present crisis  in  Central  Europe
originated  in Slovakia, and it is claimed that  the  German
Government  was  entitled  to  intervene  on  receiving  the
request  for  assistance  from the  dismissed  Slovak  Prime
Minister. As your Lordships are well aware, there has always
been  a  party  in Slovakia which advocated  autonomy.  That
autonomy  was, in fact, achieved after Munich  in  agreement
between   the   various  Slovak  parties  and  the   Central
Government  in Prague. The extremist elements  in  Slovakia,
however, were not satisfied with these arrangements, but  on
all  the  evidence  that  is  available  to  me  I  find  it
impossible  to believe that the sudden decision  of  certain
Slovak  leaders to break off from Prague, which was followed
so  closely  by  their appeal for protection to  the  German
Reich, was reached independently of outside influence.
     It  is said that German intervention in Czecho-Slovakia
was justified owing to the oppression of the German minority
by  the  Czechs. But, as a matter of fact again it was  only
very  shortly  before Herr Hitler's ultimatum to  the  Czech
President that the German press began to renew its  campaign
of  last  summer about the alleged Czech brutalities against
German   citizens  Actually  the  position  of  the   German
minority,  which is about 250,000, would appear,  since  the
Munich  Agreement, to have been one of what might be  termed
exceptional privilege. Notwithstanding the right  of  option
which had been accorded by article 7 of that agreement,  the
members of the German minority were encouraged to remain  in
Czecho-Slovakia in order that they might form useful centres
of German activity and propaganda; and advice to that effect
was given to the minority by its leader.
     
16 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     It   was   as  a  result  of  the  German-Czecho-Slovak
Agreement for the mutual protection of minorities  that  the
German  Government obtained the legal right to take a direct
interest  in  the  treatment of their  minority  in  Czecho-
Slovakia. That minority at once obtained the right to set up
separate  organisations,  and the  Czecho-Slovak  Government
subsequently agreed that the German National Socialist Party
in  Czecho-Slovakia should be given full liberty  to  pursue
its  activities in Bohemia and Moravia. It is  difficult  to
avoid  the  conclusion that the bulk of the incidents  which
occurred   before  the  German  invasion  were  deliberately
provoked  and  that the effects were greatly  magnified.  It
must be added in fairness that the Czecho-Slovak authorities
received orders to act, and did act, with great restraint in
the  fact of that provocation. It is not necessary, I think,
to  say  much  upon  the  assertion that  the  Czecho-Slovak
President really assented to the subjugation of his  people.
In view of the circumstances in which he came to Berlin, and
of the occupation of Czech territory which had already taken
place, I think most sensible people must conclude that there
was  little  pretence of negotiation, and that  it  is  more
probable that the Czech representatives were presented  with
an  ultimatum  under the threat of violence, and  that  they
capitulated  in order to save their people from the  horrors
of a swift and destructive aerial bombardment.
     Finally,  it  is said that Germany was in  some  danger
from  Czecho-Slovakia.  But  surely  the  German  Government
itself  can hardly have expected that that contention  could
be  seriously entertained in any quarter. Indeed, if  I  may
sum up my own thought on these various explorations, I could
wish  that,  instead of the communications and  explanations
which  have  been  issued and which carry scant  conviction,
German  superior force had been frankly acknowledged as  the
supreme arbiter that in fact it was.
     In these circumstances, as you are aware, His Majesty's
Government thought fit at once to take certain action.  Here
I touch a point which was touched both by the noble Lord who
moved  and  by  the  noble Marquess who  followed  him.  His
Majesty's Government immediately suspended the visit of  the
President of the Board of Trade and the Secretary of the De-
     
DETERIORATION IN EUROPEAN SITUATION 17
     
partment  of Overseas Trade to Berlin, by means of which  it
had  been hoped that His Majesty's Government could directly
intervene   in  those  unofficial  contacts  of   industrial
representatives which were at that very moment taking place.
We  felt, and feel, as I think I said in my statement a  few
days  ago,  that in the circumstances which have arisen  any
development  of our efforts in that direction  was,  as  the
noble  Marquess said, frankly out of the question, and  that
that  and  many  other  things had to  be  and  must  remain
indefinitely  postponed. His Majesty's Government,  as  your
Lordships  also know, have recalled to report His  Majesty's
Ambassador in Berlin, and he reached this country yesterday.
     Further than those two practical steps, we have  lodged
a  formal protest with the German Government in the sense of
informing them that we cannot but regard the events  of  the
last  few  days  as  a complete repudiation  of  the  Munich
Agreement   and  a  denial  of  the  spirit  in  which   the
negotiators of that agreement bound themselves to co-operate
for  a  peaceful settlement. We have also taken occasion  to
protest  against the changes effected in Czecho-Slovakia  by
German  military action, and have said that,  in  our  view,
those  changes are devoid of any basis of legality. I think,
therefore,  that  we  may  claim to  have  left  the  German
Government  in  no  doubt of the attitude of  His  Majesty's
Government,  and  although I do not cherish any  exaggerated
hopes  of  what may be the effect of protests, I think  your
Lordships  will feel it abundantly right that such  protests
should be registered.
     I  have  from time to time seen efforts made by  German
apologists to justify the action of their Government by some
reference to the past history of the British Empire.  It  is
not  necessary to remind you that the principle on which the
British Empire is conducted is education in self-government.
Wherever we have been in the world, we have left a trail  of
freedom  and of self-government, and our record has  nothing
in  common  with the suppression of liberty and independence
of  people whose political developments had already  brought
them  to  the point of enjoyment of those opportunities  for
self-expression.  It has also been objected  that  what  has
happened in Czecho-Slovakia is of no interest or concern  to
this country. It is
     
18 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
quite  true that we have always recognised that, for reasons
of geography, if for no other, Germany must from some points
of  view  be  more interested in Czecho-Slovakia  or  South-
Eastern  Europe  than we are ourselves. It was  the  natural
field for the expansion of German trade. But apart from  the
fact  that  changes in any part of Europe  produce  profound
effects elsewhere, the position is entirely changed when  we
are   confronted  with  the  arbitrary  suppression  of   an
independent  sovereign State by force, and by the  violation
of   what   I  must  regard  as  the  elementary  rules   of
international conduct.
     It  is natural enough that in the light of these events
His  Majesty's Government should be told, as the noble  Lord
told  them this afternoon, that the policy of Munich  was  a
tragic  mistake. I cannot, of course, claim to  correct  the
noble  Lord upon an expression of opinion which he sincerely
holds,  but  I  can  correct him, I think,  on  one  limited
observation  that fell from him. He referred to  the  policy
pursued  by the Prime Minister as a personal policy.  If  by
that  he  means  that  it was a policy to  which  the  Prime
Minister  had  given every ounce of energy, imagination  and
resolution  that  he possessed, I should not  disagree  with
him,  but  if  he  suggests that it was a  policy  that  was
pursued  without  the  fullest  co-operation  of  myself  as
Foreign  Secretary,  and of every member  of  His  Majesty's
Government, then I must take leave to oppose to what he said
the most emphatic contradiction.
     My  Lords, the Munich Settlement, which was approved by
this  House  and  in  another place,  was  accepted  by  His
Majesty's  Government for two purposes, quite distinct.  The
first  purpose was to effect a settlement, as fair as  might
be  in  all  the extremely difficult circumstances  of  that
time,  of  a problem which was a real one, and of which  the
treatment was an urgent necessity if the peace of Europe was
to  be  preserved. As to that, I would say, as I  have  said
before in this House, that I have no doubt whatever that His
Majesty's  Government were right, in the light  of  all  the
information available to them, to take the course they  did.
The  second  purpose of Munich was to build  a  Europe  more
secure,  upon  the basis of freely accepted consultation  as
the means by which all future differences might be adjusted;
and that long-term purpose, my Lords, has been, as
     
DETERIORATION IN EUROPEAN SITUATION 19
     
we  have come to observe, disastrously belied by events.  We
are  charged with having too readily believed the assurances
which were given by Herr Hitler-that after Munich he had  no
further  territorial ambitions, and no desire to incorporate
non-German elements in the Reich. The noble Lord referred to
the Prime Minister as the "too-simple Prime Minister." I can
assure your Lordships that neither the Prime Minister nor I,
myself,  nor  any  member of His Majesty's  Government,  has
failed  at  any  moment  to  be  acutely  conscious  of  the
difference   between  beliefs  and  hope.  It   was   surely
legitimate and right to have hopes. But we have always acted-
and  I  challenge any noble Lord to produce any evidence  to
the  contrary-in the knowledge that only with time can  hope
be converted into sure beliefs.
     It  is  no doubt the case that previous assurances  had
been broken, whatever justification might have been advanced
by  Herr  Hitler,  on  the grounds of  his  mission,  as  he
conceives   it,  to  incorporate  ex-German  territory   and
predominantly German areas in the Reich. But in his  actions
until after Munich a case could be made that Herr Hitler had
been  true  to his own principles, the union of Germans  in,
and  the  exclusion of non-Germans from,  the  Reich.  Those
principles he has now overthrown, and in including 8 million
Czechs  under German rule he has surely been untrue  to  his
own  philosophy. The world will not forget that in September
last   Herr  Hitler  appealed  to  the  principle  of  self-
determination in the interests of 2 million Sudeten Germans.
That principle is one on which the British Empire itself has
been   erected,  and  one  to  which  accordingly,  as  your
Lordships will recollect, we felt obliged to give weight  in
considering Herr Hitler's claim. That principle has now been
rudely  contradicted by a sequence of acts which denies  the
very  right  on which the German attitude of six months  ago
was  based, and whatever may have been the truth  about  the
treatment  of 250,000 Germans, it is impossible  for  me  to
believe that it could only be remedied by the subjugation of
8 million Czechs.
     What  conclusions, as asked the noble Marquess, are  we
to  draw  from this conquest of Czecho-Slovakia? Are  we  to
believe  that  German policy has thus  entered  upon  a  new
phase? Is
     
20 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
German  policy any longer to be limited to the consolidation
of  territory predominantly inhabited by persons  of  German
race?  Or  is  German  policy now  to  be  directed  towards
domination  over non-German peoples? These  are  very  grave
questions which are being asked in all parts of the world to-
day. The German action in Czecho-Slovakia has been furthered
by  new methods, and the world has lately seen more than one
new  departure in the field of international technique. Wars
without declarations of war. Pressure exercised under threat
of  immediate  employment  of  force.  Intervention  in  the
internal struggles of other States. Countries are now  faced
with the encouragement of separatism, not in the interest of
separatist   or  minority  elements  but  in  the   imperial
interests  of Germany. The alleged ill-treatment  of  German
minorities  in  foreign countries which,  it  is  true,  may
sometimes,  perhaps  often, arise from natural  causes,  but
which may also be the subject and result of provocation from
outside, is used as a pretext for intervention.
     These  methods are simple and, with growing experience,
quite unmistakable. Have we any assurance that they will not
be  employed  elsewhere? Every country  which  is  Germany's
neighbour is now uncertain of the morrow, and every  country
which  values  its national identity and sovereignty  stands
warned  against  the  danger  from  within,  inspired   from
without.  During the last few days there have  been  rumours
that the German Government were adopting a harsh attitude in
their negotiations with the Roumanian Government on economic
matters. I am glad to say that the Roumanian Government have
themselves denied a report that went so far as to  speak  of
an  "ultimatum"; but even if there is no menace to  Roumania
to-day, or even if that menace has not to-day developed, and
even  though it may not develop on these lines,  it  is  not
surprising  if  the  Government  of  Bucharest,  like  other
Governments,  should  view with the gravest  misgivings  the
happenings of these last few days.
     For years past the British people have steadily desired
to  be on friendly terms with the German people. There is no
stronger  national  instinct  among  our  people  than   the
instinct  that leads them, when they have a fight, to  shake
hands and try to make it up. Our people were not backward in
recognising some of
     
DETERIORATION IN EUROPEAN SITUATION 21
     
the   mistakes  of  the  Versailles  Treaty  that   required
remedying, but each time during these last years that  there
has seemed a chance of making progress in understanding, the
German  Government  has taken action  which  has  made  that
progress impossible. More especially has that been the  case
in recent months. Very shortly after Munich certain measures
were  taken  by the German Government that gave  a  profound
shock  to world opinion. Quite recently it was to be  hoped,
although  there were many clouds still over  and  below  the
horizon,  that  we  could look forward  to  closer  economic
collaboration,  and  it was in the hope of  developing  that
economic  collaboration into something wider that,  as  your
Lordships  know, we had decided on those visits to  which  I
referred  a  moment  ago.  All  that  initiative  has   been
frustrated by the action of the German Government last week,
and it is difficult to see when it can be easily resumed.
     These  affairs,  as I said a moment or  two  ago,  have
raised  wide  issues,  and  the  events  in  Czecho-Slovakia
require  His  Majesty's Government and  require  every  free
people  to  rethink  their attitude  towards  them.  Broadly
speaking, there have been, at all events since the war,  two
conflicting  theses  as  to  the  best  method  of  avoiding
conflicts  and  creating security for  the  nations  of  the
world.  The first thesis is that which upholds the  creation
of and supports machinery for consultation, conciliation and
arbitration  with, if possible, the sanction  of  collective
force, and involves an invitation to all States, willing  to
accept a wide degree of obligation to one another, to  agree
that an attack on one should be treated as an attack on all.
That,  your Lordships know well enough, has been the  thesis
expressed in the Covenant of the League of Nations.  Perhaps
it  is true to say that more precise effect was sought to be
given  to it in the Geneva Protocol, and it has itself given
rise   to  a  number  of  regional  agreements  for   mutual
assistance between the several Powers concerned. That is the
first thesis.
     The second, which has been in conflict, has been upheld
by  those  who  consider  that systems  seeking  to  provide
collective  security,  as  it  has  been  termed,   involved
dangerously indefinite commitments quite disproportionate to
the  real  security that these commitments gave.  Those  who
took that view were per-
     
22 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
suaded that States, conscious of their own pacific purposes,
would  be wise to refrain from such commitments which  might
draw them into a war in which their own vital interests were
not  threatened, and that, therefore, States should not bind
themselves  to intervene in conflicts unless they themselves
were directly attacked.
     That  is  the  conflict  of philosophy  of  which  your
Lordships  are  very  well aware, because  in  one  form  or
another it has constantly been debated in this House. I have
no  doubt  that in considering these two theses the judgment
of many has been influenced by the estimate that they place,
rightly  or wrongly, upon the probability of direct  attack.
If  it  were  possible,  in their  judgment,  to  rate  that
probability low, then that low probability of direct  attack
had  to  be  weighed against what might  seem  to  them  the
greater risk of States being involved in conflicts that were
not  necessarily arising out of their own concerns.  But  if
and  when  it  becomes  plain to States  that  there  is  no
apparent  guarantee against successive attacks  directed  in
turn  on all who might seem to stand in the way of ambitious
schemes of domination, then at once the scale tips the other
way,  and in all quarters there is likely immediately to  be
found a very much greater readiness to consider whether  the
acceptance  of  wider mutual obligations, in  the  cause  of
mutual support, is not dictated, if for no other reason than
the necessity of self-defence. His Majesty's Government have
not  failed  to draw the moral from these events,  and  have
lost  no  time in placing themselves in close and  practical
consultation,  not only with the Dominions, but  with  other
Governments  concerned upon the issues  that  have  suddenly
been made so plain.
     It  is  not  possible  as  yet fully  to  appraise  the
consequences of German action. History, to which  the  noble
Marquess  always refers us with great profit and  enjoyment,
records many attempts to impose a domination on Europe,  but
all  these  attempts  have, sooner or later,  terminated  in
disaster  for those who made them. It has never in the  long
run proved possible to stamp out the spirit of free peoples.
If  history  is any guide, the German people may yet  regret
the  action  that has been taken in their name  against  the
people  of Czecho-Slovakia. Twenty years ago that people  of
Czecho-Slovakia recovered their liberties with  the  support
and encouragement of the
     
DETERIORATION IN EUROPEAN SITUATION 23
     
greater  part of the world. They have now been  deprived  of
them  by violence. In the course of their long history  this
will not be the first time that this tenacious, valiant  and
industrious  people have lost their independence,  but  they
have never lost that which is the foundation of independence
the  love of liberty. Meanwhile, just as after the last  war
the  world watched the emergence of the Czech nation, so  it
will  watch  to-day their efforts to preserve  intact  their
cultural  identity  and,  more  important,  their  spiritual
freedom  under  the last and most cruel blow of  which  they
have been the victims.
     
                           No. 11.
                              
Question  and  the Prime Minister's answer in the  House  of
     Commons on March 23, 1939.

Mr. Attlee  (by  Private  Notice) asked the  Prime  Minister
     whether  he  has any further statement to make  on  the
     European situation?

                           Answer.
                              
     The  Prime  Minister:  His  Majesty's  Government  have
already  made  clear that the recent actions of  the  German
Government  have raised the question whether that Government
is  not seeking by successive steps to dominate Europe,  and
perhaps   even   to   go  further  than  that.   Were   this
interpretation of the intentions of the German Government to
prove  correct, His Majesty's Government feel bound  to  say
that this would rouse the successful resistance of this  and
other countries who prize their freedom, as similar attempts
have done in the past.
     I  am not yet in a position to make a statement on  the
consultations which have been held with other Governments as
a  result  of recent developments. I wish to make it  clear,
however,  that  there  is  no desire  on  the  part  of  His
Majesty's  Government to stand in the way of any  reasonable
efforts  on the part of Germany to expand her export  trade.
On  the contrary, we were on the point of discussing in  the
most  friendly  way  the possibility of  trade  arrangements
which  would have benefited both countries when  the  events
took place which, for the time being at any rate, put a stop
to those discussions. Nor is this Govern-
     
24 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
ment  anxious  to  set  up  in  Europe  opposing  blocks  of
countries  with  different ideas about the  forms  of  their
internal  administration. We are solely concerned here  with
the  proposition that we cannot submit to a procedure  under
which  independent  States are subjected  to  such  pressure
under  threat  of force as to be obliged to yield  up  their
independence, and we are resolved by all means in our  power
to  oppose attempts, if they should be made, to put  such  a
procedure into operation.
     
                           No. 12.
                              
            Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax.

My  Lord,                                            Berlin,
May 28, 1939.
     I  PAID  a  short  visit  to  Field-Marshal  G”ring  at
Karinhall yesterday.
     2.  Field-Marshal G”ring, who had obviously  just  been
talking  to someone else on the subject, began by inveighing
against  the  attitude which was being  adopted  in  England
towards everything German and particularly in respect of the
gold  held  there on behalf of the National Bank of  Czecho-
Slovakia. Before, however, I had had time to reply,  he  was
called to the telephone and on his return did not revert  to
this  specific question. He complained, instead, of  British
hostility   in  general,  of  our  political  and   economic
encirclement  of  Germany  and the  activities  of  what  he
described as the war party in England, &c.
     3.  I  told the field-marshal that, before speaking  of
British  hostility,  he must understand  why  the  undoubted
change  of  feeling  towards Germany in  England  had  taken
place.  As  he  knew  quite  well  the  basis  of  all   the
discussions  between Mr. Chamberlain and  Herr  Hitler  last
year  had  been  to the effect that, once the  Sudeten  were
allowed  to enter the Reich, Germany would leave the  Czechs
alone   and  would  do  nothing  to  interfere  with   their
independence. Herr Hitler had given a definite assurance  to
that  effect in his letter to the Prime Minister of the 27th
September. By yielding to the advice of his "wild  men"  and
deliberately annexing Bohemia and Moravia, Herr  Hitler  had
not  only  broken  his  word  to  Mr.  Chamberlain  but  had
infringed the whole principle of self-determination on which
the Munich Agreement rested.
     4.  At this point the field-marshal interrupted me with
a
     
DETERIORATION IN EUROPEAN SITUATION 25
     
description  of  President Hacha's visit to Berlin.  I  told
Field-Marshall G”ring that it was not possible  to  talk  of
free  will  when I understood that he himself had threatened
to  bombard Prague with his aeroplanes, if Dr. Hacha refused
to  sign.  The  field-marshal did  not  deny  the  fact  but
explained  how the point had arisen. According  to  him  Dr.
Hacha  had  from the first been prepared to sign  everything
but  had  said  that constitutionally he  could  not  do  so
without   reference  first  to  Prague.  After  considerable
difficulty telephonic communication with Prague was obtained
and  the Czech Government had agreed, while adding that they
could  not guarantee that one Czech battalion at least would
not fire on the German troops. It was, he said, only at that
stage  that  he had warned Dr. Hacha that, if  German  lives
were  lost,  he would bombard Prague. The fieldmarshal  also
repeated,  in reply to some comment of mine, the story  that
the advance occupation of Witkowitz had been effected solely
in  order to forestall the Poles who, he said, were known to
have  the  intention of seizing this valuable  area  at  the
first opportunity.
     5.  I  thereupon  reminded Field-Marshal  G”ring  that,
while I had always appreciated the necessity for the Czechs,
in  view  of  their geographical position, to  live  in  the
friendliest  political  and economic  relations  with  Great
Germany, he had personally assured me last October that this
was  all that his Government desired. The precipitate action
of  Germany on the 15th March, which I again ascribed to the
wild   men  of  the  party,  had  consequently,  apart  from
everything  and  everybody else, been a great  shock  to  me
personally  and had undone all that I had sought to  achieve
during my two years at Berlin. Moreover, however indifferent
this  might  seem  to  him,  I  could  not  but  regard  the
destruction  of the independence of the Czechs  as  a  major
political error, even in Germany's own interests.
     6. The field-marshal appeared a little confused at this
personal attack on his own good faith, and assured  me  that
he  himself had known nothing of the decision before it  had
been taken. He would not, he said, have gone to San Remo  if
he had; nor had his stay there profited him, as he had hoped
owing  to  the  unexpected  amount  of  work  which  had  in
consequence been thrust upon him. He then proceeded to  give
a somewhat unconvincing explanation, though similar to that
     
26 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
which  Baron von Weiz„cker had furnished me with last March,
of  the German attempt to come to a satisfactory arrangement
with  the Czechs and of its failure owing to Czech obstinacy
and  the revival of what he called the Benes spirit  as  the
result of American encouragement.
     7.  As my time was limited, I told Field-Marshal G”ring
that  I  was  well  aware  of the  reasons  adduced  by  his
Government  to  justify its action, but I  thought  it  more
important  that  he  himself should understand  the  British
point  of  view in consequence of it. As the result  of  the
Prague  coup His Majesty's Government and the British people
were  determined to resist by force any new  aggression.  No
one  desired  an  amiable arrangement  between  Germany  and
Poland  in  respect  of Danzig and the  Corridor  more  than
ourselves.  But,  if  Germany endeavoured  to  settle  these
questions  by  unilateral action such as  would  compel  the
Poles to resort to arms to safeguard their independence,  we
and the French as well as other countries would be involved,
with all the disastrous consequences which a prolonged world
war  would entail, especially for Germany, &c. Field-Marshal
G”ring did not appear to question our readiness to fight and
restricted   his  reply  to  an  attempt   to   prove   that
circumstances in 1939 were different to those in 1914,  that
no  Power  could overcome Germany in Europe, that a blockade
this  time  would  prove unavailing, that France  would  not
stand  a long war, that Germany could do more harm to  Great
Britain  than the latter to her, that the history of Germany
was  one of ups and downs, and that this was one of the "up"
periods, that the Poles had no military experience and  that
their only officers of any value were those who had acquired
their  training in the German army, that they were  not  and
never had been a really united nation and that, since France
and  ourselves  could not, and Russia out  of  self-interest
would not, give them any effective military assistance, they
would  be  taught  a terrible lesson, &c. The  field-marshal
used,  in fact, all the language which might be expected  in
reply  to a statement that Germany was bound to be defeated.
While  I was perturbed at his reference to the unreality  of
Polish unity, which resembled the German arguments last year
in  regard to Czecho-Slovakia, he gave me the impression, by
somewhat   overstating  his  case,  of   considerably   less
confidence than he expressed.
     
DETERIORATION IN EUROPEAN SITUATION 27
     
     8.  At  the end of this tirade, moreover, he  asked  me
whether  England,  "out of envy of a  strong  Germany,"  was
really bent on war with her and, if not, what was to be done
to  prevent  it.  I said that nobody in their  senses  could
contemplate  modern war without horror, but that  we  should
not  shrink  from it if Germany resorted to another  act  of
aggression.  If, therefore, war was to be avoided,  patience
was   necessary  and  the  wild  men  in  Germany  must   be
restrained. Admittedly present-day Germany was in a  dynamic
condition,  whereas  England was by tradition  the  land  of
compromise. But compromise had its limits, and I did not see
how  the situation could be saved unless his Government were
prepared to wait in order to allow excited spirits  to  calm
down  again  and  negotiations to be  resumed  in  a  better
atmosphere.
     9.  At this point Field-Marshal G”ring remarked that if
the  Poles  tried  to seize Danzig nothing  would  stop  the
Germans from acting at once. As my time was short, I made no
comment  on  this  but  continued  that  neither  the  Prime
Minister  nor yourself had yet abandoned hope of a  peaceful
solution  either  as between Germany and Poland  or  between
Germany  and Great Britain, but that everything now entirely
depended on Germany's behaviour and actions.
     10.  As  I  had  already got up to go, the conversation
then took a more amicable turn. Though I was in a hurry,  he
insisted  on showing me with much pride the great structural
alterations which he is making to the house at Karinhall and
which include a new dining-room to hold an incredible number
of  guests and to be all of marble and hung with tapestries.
He  mentioned incidentally that the rebuilding would not  be
completed  before  November. He  also  produced  with  pride
drawings of the tapestries, mostly representing naked ladies
labelled  with  the  names  of  various  virtues,  such   as
Goodness, Mercy, Purity, &c. I told him that they looked  at
least pacific, but that I failed to see Patience among them.
     
     I have, &c.
     NEVILE HENDERSON.
     
28 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                 GERMAN-POLISH DISCUSSIONS.
                              
                      Explanatory Note.
     
     CERTAIN  discussions took place between the German  and
Polish Governments at the end of 1938 and in the early  part
of  1939.  The German and Polish statements regarding  these
negotiations are to be found in the annexed documents.
     
                           No. 13.
                              
 Extract from Herr Hitler's speech to the Reichstag on April
                          28, 1939.

(Translation.)
     There  is  little  to be said as regards  German-Polish
relations.  Here,  too,  the Peace Treaty  of  Versailles-of
course  intentionally-inflicted  a  most  severe  wound   on
Germany. The strange way in which the Corridor giving Poland
access  to the sea was marked out was meant, above  all,  to
prevent  for  all time the establishment of an understanding
between  Poland  and  Germany. This  problem  is-as  I  have
already  stressed-perhaps the most painful of  all  problems
for Germany. Nevertheless, I have never ceased to uphold the
view that the necessity of a free access to the sea for  the
Polish  State  cannot  be ignored, and  that  as  a  general
principle,   valid  for  this  case,  too,   nations   which
Providence has destined or, if you like, condemned  to  live
side  by  side would be well advised not to make life  still
harder  for  each other artificially and unnecessarily.  The
late  Marshal  Pilsudski, who was of the same  opinion,  was
therefore prepared to go into the question of clarifying the
atmosphere  of  German-Polish relations,  and,  finally,  to
conclude  an agreement whereby Germany and Poland  expressed
their  intention of renouncing war altogether as a means  of
settling  the  questions  which concerned  them  both.  This
agreement  contained  one  single  exception  which  was  in
practice conceded to Poland. It was laid down that the pacts
of  mutual  assistance already entered into  by  Poland-this
applied  to the pact with France- should not be affected  by
the agreement. But it was obvious that this could apply only
to   the   pact  of  mutual  assistance  already   concluded
beforehand, and not to whatever new pacts
     
GERMAN-POLISH DISCUSSIONS 29
     
might  be  concluded in the future. It is a  fact  that  the
German-Polish  Agreement resulted in a remarkable  lessening
of  the  European tension. Nevertheless, there remained  one
open  question between Germany and Poland, which  sooner  or
later  quite naturally had to be solved-the question of  the
German city of Danzig. Danzig is a German city and wishes to
belong  to  Germany.  On  the  other  hand,  this  city  has
contracts with Poland, which were admittedly forced upon  it
by  the  dictators  of the Peace of Versailles.  But  since,
moreover,  the  League  of Nations,  formerly  the  greatest
stirrer-up  of  trouble,  is  now  represented  by  a   High
Commissioner-incidentally  a man of  extraordinary  tact-the
problem  of  Danzig must in any case come up for discussion,
at the latest with the gradual extinction of this calamitous
institution.  I  regarded the peaceful  settlement  of  this
problem  as  a further contribution to a final loosening  of
the  European tension. For this loosening of the tension  is
assuredly  not  to  be achieved through  the  agitations  of
insane  warmongers,  but through the  removal  of  the  real
elements of danger. After the problem of Danzig had  already
been  discussed  several times some months  ago,  I  made  a
concrete  offer to the Polish Government. I  now  make  this
offer known to you, Gentlemen, and you yourselves will judge
whether this offer did not represent the greatest imaginable
concession  in the interests of European peace.  As  I  have
already pointed out, I have always seen the necessity of  an
access  to  the sea for this country, and have  consequently
taken  this necessity into consideration. I am no democratic
statesman, but a National Socialist and a realist.
     I considered it, however, necessary to make it clear to
the Government in Warsaw that just as they desire access  to
the  sea,  so  Germany needs access to her province  in  the
east.  Now  these  are  all difficult problems.  It  is  not
Germany who is responsible for them, however, but rather the
jugglers of Versailles, who either in their maliciousness or
their  thoughtlessness placed 100 powder barrels round about
in  Europe, all equipped with hardly extinguishable  lighted
fuses.  These  problems cannot be solved according  to  old-
fashioned  ideas; I think, rather, that we should adopt  new
methods.  Poland's access to the sea by way of the Corridor,
and,  on the other hand, a German route through the Corridor
have, for example, no kind of
     
30 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
military   importance   whatsoever.  Their   importance   is
exclusively  psychological and economic. To accord  military
importance to a traffic route of this kind, would be to show
oneself    completely   ignorant   of   military    affairs.
Consequently, I have had the following proposal submitted to
the Polish Government:-
     (1) Danzig  returns as a Free State into the  framework
          of the German Reich.
     (2) Germany receives a route through the Corridor and a
          railway  line  at her own disposal possessing  the
          same  extraterritorial status for Germany  as  the
          Corridor itself has for Poland.
     
     In return, Germany is prepared:-
     
     (1) To recognise all Polish economic rights in Danzig.
     (2) To  ensure  for Poland a free harbour in Danzig  of
          any  size desired which would have completely free
          access to the sea.
     (3) To  accept  at the same time the present boundaries
          between  Germany and Poland and to regard them  as
          ultimate.
     (4) To   conclude   a  twenty-five-year  non-aggression
          treaty with Poland, a treaty therefore which would
          extend far beyond the duration of my own life.
     (5) To  guarantee the independence of the Slovak  State
          by Germany, Poland and Hungary jointly-which means
          in  practice  the renunciation of  any  unilateral
          German hegemony in this territory.
     
     The  Polish Government have rejected my offer and  have
only  declared  that  they  are prepared  (1)  to  negotiate
concerning the question of a substitute for the Commissioner
of  the League of Nations and (2) to consider facilities for
the transit traffic through the Corridor.
     I have regretted greatly this incomprehensible attitude
of the Polish Government, but that alone is not the decisive
fact,  the worst is that now Poland, like Czecho-Slovakia  a
year   ago,  believes,  under  the  pressure  of   a   lying
international  campaign,  that  it  must  call  up   troops,
although Germany on her part has not called up a single  man
and had not thought of proceeding in
     
GERMAN-POLISH DISCUSSIONS 31
     
     any  way  against Poland. As I have said,  this  is  in
itself  very regrettable and posterity will one  day  decide
whether  it was really right to refuse this suggestion  made
this once by me. This-as I have said-was an endeavour on  my
part to solve a question which intimately affects the German
people by a truly unique compromise, and to solve it to  the
advantage  of  both countries. According  to  my  conviction
Poland  was not a giving party in this solution at  all  but
only  a  receiving party, because it should  be  beyond  all
doubt that Danzig will never become Polish. The intention to
attack on the part of Germany, which was merely invented  by
the  international press, led as you know to  the  so-called
guarantee  offer  and to an obligation on the  part  of  the
Polish  Government for mutual assistance, which would  also,
under  certain circumstances, compel Poland to take military
action  against  Germany in the event of a conflict  between
Germany  and  any other Power and in which England,  in  her
turn, would be involved. This obligation is contradictory to
the  agreement which I made with Marshal Pilsudski some time
ago,  seeing  that  in  this  agreement  reference  is  made
exclusively to existing obligations, that is at  that  time,
namely, to the obligations of Poland towards France of which
we  were aware. To extend these obligations subsequently  is
contrary  to  the terms of the German-Polish  non-aggression
pact.  Under  these circumstances I should not have  entered
into  this  pact at that time, because what sense  can  non-
aggression pacts have if in practice leaves open an enormous
number of one partner exceptions.
     There is either collective security, that is collective
insecurity and continuous danger of war, or clear agreements
which,  however,  exclude  fundamentally  any  use  of  arms
between  the contracting parties. I therefore look upon  the
agreement  which  Marshal  Pilsudski  and  I  at  one   time
concluded  as having been unilaterally infringed  by  Poland
and thereby no longer in existence!
     I  have  sent  a  communication to this effect  to  the
Polish Government. However, I can only repeat at this  point
that  my decision does not constitute a modification  of  my
attitude  in principle with regard to the problems mentioned
above.  Should the Polish Government wish to come  to  fresh
contractual   arrangements  governing  its  relations   with
Germany, I can but
     
32 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
welcome  such  an  idea,  provided, of  course,  that  these
arrangements  are  based on an absolutely  clear  obligation
binding  both parties in equal measure. Germany is perfectly
willing  at any time to undertake such obligations and  also
to fulfil them.
     
                           No. 14.
                              
German Government Memorandum handed to the Polish Government
                     on April 28, 1939.

(Translation.)
     THE  German  Government have taken note of the  Polish-
British declaration regarding the progress and aims  of  the
negotiations  recently conducted between  Poland  and  Great
Britain.  According  to  this  declaration  there  has  been
concluded  between  the Polish Government  and  the  British
Government a temporary understanding, to be replaced shortly
by  a  permanent agreement which will provide for the giving
of  mutual  assistance by Poland and Great  Britain  in  the
event  of  the  independence of one of the two States  being
directly or indirectly threatened.
     2. The German Government consider themselves obliged to
communicate the following to the Polish Government:-
     3.  When in 1933 the National Socialist Government  set
about  the  reshaping  of  German  policy,  after  Germany's
departure from the League of Nations, their first object was
to  stabilise  German-Polish relations on a new  plane.  The
Chancellor  of  the  German  Reich  and  the  late   Marshal
Pilsudski  concurred  in  the decision  to  break  with  the
political  methods of the past and to enter, as regards  the
settlement  of all questions affecting both States,  on  the
path of direct understanding between them.
     4.  By  means of the unconditional renunciation of  the
use  of force, guarantees of peace were instituted in  order
to  assist  the two States in the difficult task of  solving
all  political, economic and cultural problems by  means  of
the just and equitable adjustment of mutual interests. These
principles, contained in a binding form in the German-Polish
Peace Declaration of the 26th January, 1934, had this aim in
view  [sic] and by their practical success were intended  to
introduce an entirely new phase of German
     
GERMAN-POLISH DISCUSSIONS 33
     
Polish  relations. The political history of  the  last  five
years  shows  that they proved efficacious in  practice  for
both  nations. As recently as the 26th January of this year,
on   the   fifth  anniversary  of  the  signature   of   the
declaration, both sides publicly confirmed this fact,  while
emphasising  their  united will to maintain  in  the  future
their adhesion to the principles established in 1934.
     5.  The  agreement which has now been concluded by  the
Polish  Government with the British Government  is  in  such
obvious contradiction to these solemn declarations of a  few
months  ago  that the German Government can take  note  only
with  surprise and astonishment of such violent reversal  of
Polish policy. Irrespective of the manner in which its final
formulation  may  be  determined by both  parties,  the  new
Polish-British  Agreement is intended as a regular  pact  of
alliance,  which by reason of its general sense and  of  the
present state of political relations is directed exclusively
against  Germany. From the obligation now  accepted  by  the
Polish  Government it appears that Poland intends in certain
circumstances to take an active part in any possible German-
British conflict in the event of aggression against Germany,
even  should  this  conflict  not  affect  Poland  and   her
interests.  This  is  a  direct and open  blow  against  the
renunciation  of  all  use of force contained  in  the  1934
declaration.
     6.   The   contradiction  between   the   German-Polish
Declaration  and the Polish-British Agreement  is,  however,
even more far-reaching in its importance than that. The 1934
declaration was to constitute a basis for the regulation  of
all   differences   arising  between  the   two   countries,
independently    of    international    complications    and
combinations,  by means of direct discussion between  Berlin
and   Warsaw,  to  the  exclusion  of  external  influences.
Naturally,  such a basis must rest on the mutual  confidence
of  both  parties  and  on  the  political  loyalty  of  the
intentions of one party with regard to the other.
     7.  The  Polish  Government, however, by  their  recent
decision  to accede to an alliance directed against Germany,
have given it to be understood that they prefer a promise of
help  by  a third Power to the direct guarantee of peace  by
the German Government. In view of this the German Government
are obliged to conclude that the Polish Government do not at
present  attach  any  importance to seeking  a  solution  of
German-Polish   problems  by  means   of   direct   friendly
discussions with the German Government. The Polish
     
34 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
Government have thus abandoned the path traced out  in  1934
for the shaping of German-Polish relations.
     8.  The  Polish  Government cannot  in  this  connexion
appeal  to  the fact that the 1934 declaration  was  not  to
affect  the  obligations previously accepted by  Poland  and
Germany in relation to third parties, and that the Treaty of
Alliance between Poland and France maintained its value side
by  side  with that declaration. The Polish-French  Alliance
already existed in 1934 when Poland and Germany proceeded to
reorganise their relations. The German Government were  able
to accept this fact, since they were entitled to expect that
the  possible dangers of the Polish-French Alliance,  dating
from  the  period of the acutest German-Polish  differences,
would automatically lose more and more of their significance
through  the  establishment  of friendly  relations  between
Germany  and  Poland.  However, the  entry  of  Poland  into
relations of alliance with Great Britain, which was effected
five years after the publication of the declaration of 1934,
can  for this reason in no way be compared politically  with
the still valid Polish-French Alliance. By this new alliance
the  Polish  Government have subordinated  themselves  to  a
policy  inaugurated  from  another  quarter  aiming  at  the
encirclement of Germany.
     9.  The German Government for their part have not given
the least cause for such a change in Polish policy. Whenever
opportunity   offered,  they  have  furnished   the   Polish
Government, both publicly and in confidential conversations,
with   the   most  binding  assurances  that  the   friendly
development of German-Polish relations is a fundamental  aim
of  their  foreign  policy,  and that,  in  their  political
decisions,   they   will  always  respect  Poland's   proper
interests. Thus the action taken by Germany in March of this
year  with a view to the pacification of Central Europe  did
not,  in the opinion of the Government of the Reich, disturb
Polish interests in any way. This action led to the creation
of  a common Polish-Hungarian frontier, which had constantly
been  described  on Poland's side as an important  political
objective.  Moreover, the German Government gave unequivocal
expression  to  their readiness to discuss with  the  Polish
Government in a friendly manner all problems which,  in  the
Polish  Government's opinion, might arise out of the changed
conditions in Central Europe.
     10. In an equally friendly spirit the German Government
tried
     
GERMAN-POLISH DISCUSSIONS 35
     
to regulate yet another question outstanding between Germany
and  Poland,  namely, that of Danzig.  The  fact  that  this
question required settlement had long been emphasised on the
German  side, and was not denied on the Polish side.  For  a
long  time  past  the German Government have endeavoured  to
convince the Polish Government that a solution was certainly
possible which would be equitable to the interests  of  both
parties  and  that the removal of this last  obstacle  would
open  a  path  for a political collaboration of Germany  and
Poland with the most favourable prospects. In this connexion
the   German  Government  did  not  confine  themselves   to
allusions  of  a general nature, but in March of  this  year
proposed  to  the  Polish Government in a  friendly  form  a
settlement of this question on the following basis:-
     11.  The  return  of  Danzig to the  Reich.  An  extra-
territorial railway line and autostrada between East Prussia
and the Reich. In exchange, the recognition by the Reich  of
the  whole Polish Corridor and the whole of Poland's western
frontier; the conclusion of a non-aggression pact for twenty-
five  years; the maintenance of Poland's economic  interests
in  Danzig and the settlement of the remaining economic  and
communications problems arising for Poland out of the  union
of  Danzig  with  the Reich. At the same  time,  the  German
Government  expressed  their  readiness  to  respect  Polish
interests in ensuring the independence of Slovakia.
     12.   Nobody  knowing  conditions  in  Danzig  and  the
Corridor  and the problems connected therewith can deny,  in
judging   the   matter  objectively,  that   this   proposal
constitutes the very minimum which must be demanded from the
point   of  view  of  German  interests,  which  cannot   be
renounced.  The  Polish Government, however,  gave  a  reply
which,  although  couched in the form of  counter-proposals,
showed  in  its essence an entire lack of comprehension  for
the  German  point of view and was equivalent  merely  to  a
rejection  of  the  German proposals. The Polish  Government
proved  that they did not consider their reply suitable  for
the  initiation of friendly discussions by proceeding at the
same  time, in a manner as unexpected as it was drastic,  to
effect a partial mobilisation of the Polish army on a  large
scale.  By  these entirely unjustified measures, the  Polish
Government  demonstrated  the  meaning  and  object  of  the
negotiations which they im-
     
36 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
mediately   afterwards  entered  upon   with   the   British
Government.  The  German  Government  do  not  consider   it
necessary  to  reply to the partial Polish  mobilisation  by
counter-measures  of  a  military  character.  They  cannot,
however,  disregard  without a word the  decisions  recently
taken by the Polish Government, and are forced, to their own
regret, to declare as follows:-
     
     (1) The  Polish Government did not avail themselves  of
          the  opportunity  offered to them  by  the  German
          Government  for a just settlement  of  the  Danzig
          question,  for the final safeguarding of  Poland's
          frontiers  with  the  Reich,  and  thereby  for  a
          permanent    strengthening   of    the    friendly
          neighbourly  relations between the two  countries.
          The   Polish   Government  even  rejected   German
          proposals made with this object.
     (2) At  the  same time the Polish Government  accepted,
          with    regard   to   another   State,   political
          obligations  which are not compatible either  with
          the spirit, the meaning or the text of the German-
          Polish  Declaration  of the  26th  January,  1934.
          Thereby  the  Polish  Government  arbitrarily  and
          unilaterally  rendered this declaration  null  and
          void.
     
     13.  In spite of this necessary statement of fact,  the
Government  of  the  Reich  do not  intend  to  alter  their
fundamental attitude towards the question of the  future  of
German-Polish relations. Should the Polish Government attach
importance to a new settlement of these relations  by  means
of a treaty, the German Government are ready to do this, but
on  one condition, namely, that such a settlement would have
to consist of a clear obligation binding on both parties.
     
                           No. 15.
                              
   Speech made by M. Beck, the Polish Minister for Foreign
            Affairs in Parliament on May 5, 1939.
     
(Translation.)
     THE  session  of  the Parliament provides  me  with  an
opportunity  of filling in some gaps which have occurred  in
my work of recent months. The course of international events
might perhaps justify
     
     
GERMAN-POLISH DISCUSSIONS 37
     
more  statements by a Foreign Minister than my single expos‚
in the Senate Commission for Foreign Affairs.
     2.  On  the  other  hand  it was precisely  that  swift
development of events that prompted me to postpone a  public
declaration until such time as the principal problems of our
foreign policy had taken on a more definite form.
     3.  The  consequences  of the weakening  of  collective
international institutions and of a complete change  in  the
method of intercourse between nations, which I have reported
on several occasions in the Houses, caused many new problems
to  arise in different parts of the world. That process  and
its  results  have in recent months reached the  borders  of
Poland.
     4.  A very general definition of these phenomena may be
given  by  saying  that relations between individual  Powers
have  taken on a more individual character, with  their  own
specific features. The general rules have been weakened. One
nation simply speaks more and more directly to another.
     5. As far as we are concerned, very serious events have
taken  place. Our contact with some Powers has become easier
and  more profound, while in some cases serious difficulties
have arisen. Looking at things chronologically, I refer,  in
the  first place, to our agreement with the United  Kingdom,
with  Great  Britain.  After repeated  diplomatic  contacts,
designed  to  define  the scope and  object  of  our  future
relations, we reached on the occasion of my visit to  London
a   direct  agreement  based  on  the  principle  of  mutual
assistance  in the event of a direct or indirect  threat  to
the independence of one of our countries. The formula of the
agreement  is  known  to  you from the  declaration  of  Mr.
Neville Chamberlain of the 6th April, the text of which  was
drafted by mutual agreement and should be regarded as a pact
concluded between the two Governments. I consider it my duty
to  add  that  the  form and character of the  comprehensive
conversations held in London give a particular value to  the
agreement. I should like Polish public opinion to  be  aware
that  I  found on the part of British statesmen not  only  a
profound  knowledge  of  the general political  problems  of
Europe,  but  also such an attitude towards our  country  as
permitted  me  to discuss all vital problems with  frankness
and confidence without any reservations or doubts.
     6.  It was possible to establish rapidly the principles
of  Polish-British collaboration, first of  all  because  we
made it clear to each
     
38 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
other  that  the intentions of both Governments coincide  as
regards  fundamental European problems;  certainly,  neither
Great  Britain  nor  Poland have any  aggressive  intentions
whatever,  but  they  stand equally  firmly  in  defence  of
certain basic principles of conduct in international life.
     7.   The  parallel  declarations  of  French  political
leaders  confirm that it is agreed between Paris and  Warsaw
that  the  efficacy of our defence pact not only  cannot  be
adversely   affected   by  changes  in   the   international
situation, but, on the contrary, that this agreement  should
constitute  one  of  the  most  essential  elements  in  the
political  structure of Europe. The Polish-British Agreement
has  been employed by the Chancellor of the German Reich  as
the  pretext  for  unilaterally declaring  non-existent  the
agreement  which the Chancellor of the Reich concluded  with
us in 1934.
     8.  Before passing to the present stage of this matter,
allow me to sketch a brief historical outline.
     9.   The  fact  that  I  had  the  honour  actively  to
participate  in the conclusion and execution  of  that  pact
imposes on me the duty of analysing it. The pact of 1934 was
a  great  event  in 1934. It was an attempt to  improve  the
course  of history as between two great nations, an  attempt
to  escape from the unwholesome atmosphere of daily  discord
and  wider  hostile intentions, to rise above the  animosity
which  had  accumulated for centuries, and  to  create  deep
foundations  of mutual respect. An endeavour to oppose  evil
is always the best form of political activity.
     10.  The  policy of Poland proved our respect for  that
principle in the most critical moments of recent times.
     11.  From  this point of view, Gentlemen, the  breaking
off  of  that pact is not an insignificant matter.  However,
every  treaty  is  worth as much as the  consequences  which
follow it. And if the policy and conduct of the other  party
diverges from the principles of the pact, we have no  reason
for  mourning  its  slackening or dissolution.  The  Polish-
German Pact of 1934 was a treaty of mutual respect and  good
neighbourly relations, and as such it contributed a positive
value  to  the life of our country, of Germany, and  of  the
whole of Europe. But since there has appeared a tendency  to
interpret it as limiting the freedom of our policy, or as  a
ground for demanding from us unilateral concessions contrary
to our vital interests, it has lost its real character.
     
GERMAN-POLISH DISCUSSIONS 39
     
     12.  Let  us  now  pass to the present  situation.  The
German  Reich  has taken the mere fact of the Polish-British
understanding as a motive for the breaking off of  the  pact
of  1934. Various legal objections were raised on the German
side.  I will take the liberty of referring jurists  to  the
text  of  our reply to the German memorandum, which will  be
handed  to-day to the German Government. I will  not  detain
you any longer on the diplomatic form of this event, but one
of  its  aspects  has  a  special  significance.  The  Reich
Government,  as  appears  from  the  text  of   the   German
memorandum,  made  its  decision on the  strength  of  press
reports, without consulting the views of either the  British
or  the  Polish  Government  as  to  the  character  of  the
agreement concluded. It would not have been difficult to  do
so, for immediately on my return from London I expressed  my
readiness to receive the German Ambassador, who has hitherto
not availed himself of the opportunity.
     13.  Why  is this circumstance important? Even for  the
simplest   understanding  it  is  clear  that  neither   the
character  nor  the  purpose  and  scope  of  the  agreement
influenced this decision, but merely the fact that  such  an
agreement  had been concluded. And this in turn is important
for  an appreciation of the objects of German policy,  since
if, contrary to previous declarations, the Government of the
Reich  interpreted  the Polish-German  declaration  of  non-
aggression  of  1934 as intended to isolate  Poland  and  to
prevent  the  normal friendly collaboration of  our  country
with   Western  Powers,  we  ourselves  should  always  have
rejected such an interpretation.
     14.  To  make  a  proper estimate of the situation,  we
should  first  of  all ask the question, what  is  the  real
object of all this? Without that question and our reply,  we
cannot   properly   appreciate  the  character   of   German
statements  with regard to matters of concern to  Poland.  I
have  already  referred to our attitude  towards  the  West.
There remains the question of the German proposals as to the
future of the Free City of Danzig, the communication of  the
Reich with East Prussia through our province of Pomorze, and
the  further subjects raised as of common interest to Poland
and Germany.
     15.  Let  us, therefore, investigate these problems  in
turn.
     16.  As to Danzig, first some general remarks. The Free
City of Danzig was not invented by the Treaty of Versailles.
It has
     
40 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
existed   for   many  centuries  as  the   result-to   speak
accurately,  and  rejecting  the  emotional  factor-of   the
positive  interplay  of  Polish and  German  interests.  The
German  merchants  of  Danzig ensured  the  development  and
prosperity  of  that city, thanks to the overseas  trade  of
Poland. Not only the development, but the very raison d'ˆtre
of  the  city has been due to the formerly decisive fact  of
its  situation at the mouth of our only great river, and to-
day  to  its position on the main waterway and railway  line
connecting us with the Baltic. This is a truth which no  new
formulae can obliterate. The population of Danzig is  to-day
predominantly  German,  but  its livelihood  and  prosperity
depend on the economic potential of Poland.
     17.  What conclusions have we drawn from this fact?  We
have stood and stand firmly on the ground of the rights  and
interests of our sea-borne trade and our maritime policy  in
Danzig. While seeking reasonable and conciliatory solutions,
we  have purposely not endeavoured to exert any pressure  on
the  free national, ideological and cultural development  of
the German majority in the Free City.
     18.   I  shall  not  prolong  this  speech  by  quoting
examples. They are sufficiently well-known to all  who  have
been in any way concerned with the question. But when, after
repeated  statements by German statesmen, who had  respected
our  standpoint and expressed the view that "this provincial
town will not be the object of a conflict between Poland and
Germany,"  I hear a demand for the annexation of  Danzig  to
the  Reich, when I receive no reply to our proposal  of  the
26th March for a joint guarantee of the existence and rights
of  the  Free City, and subsequently I learn that  this  has
been  regarded as a rejection of negotiations-I have to  ask
myself, what is the real object of all this?
     19.  Is  it  the  freedom of the German  population  of
Danzig,  which is not threatened, or a matter of prestige-or
is  it  a  matter  of barring Poland from the  Baltic,  from
which: Poland will not allow herself to be barred?
     20.  The  same  considerations apply  to  communication
across  our  province  of Pomorze.  I  insist  on  the  term
"province  of Pomorze." The word "corridor" is an artificial
invention, for this is an ancient Polish territory  with  an
insignificant percentage of German colonists.
     21.   We  have  given  the  German  Reich  all  railway
facilities,
     
GERMAN-POLISH DISCUSSIONS 41
     
we  have  allowed its citizens to travel without customs  or
passport formalities from the Reich to East Prussia. We have
suggested  the  extension  of  similar  facilities  to  road
traffic.
     22. And here again the question arises-what is the real
object of it all?
     23.  We have no interest in obstructing German citizens
in  their communication with their eastern province. But  we
have, on the other hand, no reason whatever to restrict  our
sovereignty on our own territory.
     24.  On the first and second points, i.e., the question
of the future of Danzig and of communication across Pomorze,
it  is  still a matter of unilateral concessions  which  the
Government  of the Reich appear to be demanding from  us.  A
self-respecting nation does not make unilateral concessions.
Where,  then, is the reciprocity? It appears somewhat  vague
in  the  German  proposals.  The  Chancellor  of  the  Reich
mentioned in his speech a triple condominium in Slovakia.  I
am obliged to state that I heard this proposal for the first
time  in  the  Chancellor's speech of  the  28th  April.  In
certain previous conversations allusions were merely made to
the  effect  that  in the event of a general  agreement  the
question of Slovakia could be discussed. We did not  attempt
to  go further with such conversations, since it is not  our
custom  to  bargain with the interests of others. Similarly,
the  proposal  for  a  prolongation  of  the  pact  of  non-
aggression  for twenty-five years was also not  advanced  in
any  concrete form in any of the recent conversations.  Here
also unofficial hints were made, emanating, it is true, from
prominent  representatives of the Reich Government.  But  in
such  conversations  various other  hints  were  made  which
extended much further than the subjects under discussion.  I
reserve the right to return to this matter if necessary.
     25. In his speech the Chancellor of the Reich proposes,
as  a  concession on his part, the recognition and  definite
acceptance  of  the  present  frontier  between  Poland  and
Germany.  I  must  point out that this  would  have  been  a
question  of  recognising what is de jure and de  facto  our
indisputable property. Consequently, this proposal  likewise
cannot  affect  my  contention that  the  German  desiderata
regarding  Danzig  and  a motor road  constitute  unilateral
demands.
     26.  In the light of these explanations, the House will
rightly
     
42 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
expect  from me an answer to the last passage of the  German
memorandum, which says: "Should the Polish Government attach
importance to a new settlement of Polish-German relations by
means of a treaty, the German Government are prepared to  do
this."  It appears to me that I have already made clear  our
attitude, but for the sake of order I will make a resume.
     27.  The motive for concluding such an agreement  would
be  the word "peace," which the Chancellor emphasised in his
speech.
     28.  Peace is certainly the object of the difficult and
intensive  work  of  Polish diplomacy.  Two  conditions  are
necessary  for this word to be of real value:  (1)  peaceful
intentions,  (2)  peaceful  methods  of  procedure.  If  the
Government of the Reich is really guided by those  two  pre-
conditions   in   relation  to  this   country,   then   all
conversations,  provided, of course, that they  respect  the
principles I have already enumerated, are possible.
     29.  If  such  conversations  took  place,  the  Polish
Government  will,  according to their custom,  approach  the
problem  objectively,  having regard to  the  experience  of
recent times, but without withholding their utmost goodwill.
     30.  Peace  is  a  valuable and  desirable  thing.  Our
generation, which has shed its blood in several wars, surely
deserves   a  period  of  peace.  But  peace,  like   almost
everything in this world, has its price, high but definable.
We  in  Poland do not recognize the conception of "peace  at
any  price."  There is only one thing in the  life  of  men,
nations  and  States  which is without price,  and  that  is
honour.
     
                           No. 16.
                              
Memorandum  communicated  to the German  Government  by  the
     Polish  Government  on May 5, 1939,  in  reply  to  the
     German Government memorandum of April 28, 1939. *

(Translation.)
     As   appears   from  the  text  of  the   Polish-German
Declaration  of  the 26th January, 1934,  **  and  from  the
course  of  the negotiations which preceded its  conclusion,
this declaration had as its object
     
      *No. 14
     **No. 1.
     
GERMAN-POLISH DISCUSSIONS 43
     
to lay the foundations for a new framing of mutual relations
based on the following two principles:-

     (a) The  renunciation  of the use of force  as  between
          Poland and Germany, and
     (b) The   friendly   settlement  by   means   of   free
          negotiations  of  any contentious questions  which
          might  arise  in  the relations  between  the  two
          countries.
     
     The  Polish Government have always understood  in  this
manner their obligations under the declaration, and it is in
this  spirit that they have always been prepared to  conduct
neighbourly relations with the German Reich.
     2. The Polish Government had foreseen for several years
that  the difficulties encountered by the League of  Nations
in  carrying  out  its functions at Danzig  would  create  a
confused  situation which it was in Poland's  and  Germany's
interest to unravel. For several years the Polish Government
had  given  the German Government to understand  that  frank
conversations  should be held on this  subject.  The  German
Government,  however, avoided these and confined  themselves
to  stating  that  Polish-German  relations  should  not  be
exposed  to  difficulties by questions relating  to  Danzig.
Moreover,   the  German  Government  more  than  once   gave
assurances to the Polish Government regarding the Free  City
of  Danzig.  It is sufficient here to quote the  declaration
made  by  the Chancellor of the Reich on the 20th  February,
1938.
     The  Chancellor  made  publicly in  the  Reichstag  the
following declaration regarding Danzig:-
          
          "The Polish State respects the national conditions
     in  this  State, and the Free City and Germany  respect
     Polish  rights. It has thus been possible to clear  the
     way  for an understanding which, while arising  out  of
     the  question  of Danzig, has to-day in  spite  of  the
     efforts of certain disturbers of the peace succeeded in
     effectively  purifying relations  between  Germany  and
     Poland  and  has  transformed  them  into  sincere  and
     friendly collaboration."
     
     It  was only after the events of September, 1938,  that
the German Government suggested the opening of Polish-German
con-
     
44 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
versations  regarding the alteration  in  the  situation  in
Danzig  and regarding the transit routes between  the  Reich
and East Prussia. In this connexion the German memorandum of
the  28th April, 1939, refers to the suggestion put  forward
by   the   Reich  Minister  for  Foreign  Affairs   in   his
conversation  of  the  21st March,  1939,  with  the  Polish
Ambassador in Berlin. In this conversation emphasis was laid
on  the  German side on the necessity for a rapid settlement
of  these  questions  which was a  condition  of  the  Reich
maintaining  its proposals in force in their  entirety.  The
Polish  Government, animated by the desire to maintain  good
relations with the Reich, although surprised at the pressing
form  in which these proposals were put forward, and by  the
circumstances  in which they were advanced, did  not  refuse
conversations  although they considered the  German  demands
thus couched to be unacceptable.
     In  order to facilitate endeavours to reach an amicable
solution of the question, the Polish Government on the  26th
March,  1939, formulated their point of view in  writing  to
the  German  Government,  stating that  they  attached  full
importance to the maintenance of good neighbourly  relations
with  the  German  Reich.  The  Polish  point  of  view  was
summarised in the following points:-
     
     (a) The  Polish Government propose a joint guarantee by
          Poland  and  Germany of the separate character  of
          the  Free  City of Danzig, the existence of  which
          was  to be based on complete freedom of the  local
          population   in  internal  affairs  and   on   the
          assurance   of  respect  for  Polish  rights   and
          interests.
     (b) The  Polish  Government were  prepared  to  examine
          together  with the German Government  any  further
          simplifications for persons in transit as well  as
          the  technical facilitating of railway  and  motor
          transit between the German Reich and East Prussia.
          The Polish Government were inspired by the idea of
          giving  every possible facility which would permit
          the  citizens  of the Reich to travel  in  transit
          across  Polish territory, if possible without  any
          hindrances. The Polish Government emphasised  that
          their  intention  was to secure the  most  liberal
          treatment possible of the German desiderata in
     
GERMAN-POLISH DISCUSSIONS 45
     
          this respect with the sole reservation that Poland
          could not give up her sovereignty over the belt of
          territory  through which the transit routes  would
          run. Finally, the Polish Government indicated that
          their  attitude  in the question  of  facilitating
          communications  across Pomerania depended  on  the
          attitude of the Reich regarding the Free  City  of
          Danzig.
     
     In   formulating   the  above  proposals   the   Polish
Government   acted  in  the  spirit  of  the   Polish-German
Declaration of 1934 which, by providing the direct exchanges
of  views  on  questions  of  interest  to  both  countries,
authorised each State to formulate its point of view in  the
course of negotiations.
     The Polish Government received no formal reply to their
counter-proposals for a month, and it was only on  the  28th
April,  1939, that they learnt from the Chancellor's  speech
and  from  the German Government's memorandum that the  mere
fact of the formulation of counter-proposals instead of  the
acceptance   of   the  verbal  German  suggestions   without
alteration or reservation had been regarded by the Reich  as
a refusal of discussions.
     It  is  clear  that  negotiations in  which  one  State
formulates demands and the other is to be obliged to  accept
those  demands unaltered are not negotiations in the  spirit
of  the  declaration of 1934 and are incompatible  with  the
vital interests and dignity of Poland.
     In  this  connexion it should be pointed out  that  the
Polish  Government were unable at that time  to  express  an
opinion  regarding the Polish-German-Hungarian guarantee  of
the  independence  of Slovakia which was  alluded  to  in  a
general  way  in  the German memorandum and  more  precisely
stated  in the Chancellor's speech of the 28th April,  1939,
since  a  proposal of this description and in this form  had
never  been made to them before. It is, moreover,  difficult
to  imagine how such guarantee could be reconciled with  the
political  and  military  protectorate  of  the  Reich  over
Slovakia  which  had  been announced a few  days  previously
before  the  German  Reich formulated its proposals  towards
Poland.
     3.   The  Polish  Government  cannot  accept  such   an
interpretation  of  the declaration  of  1934  as  would  be
equivalent to a
     
46 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
renunciation  of the right to conclude political  agreements
with  third  States and, consequently, almost a renunciation
of  independence in foreign policy. The policy of the German
Reich  in recent years has clearly indicated that the German
Government have not drawn conclusions of this sort from  the
declaration  as  far as they themselves were concerned.  The
obligations publicly accepted by the Reich towards Italy and
the  German-Slovak  Agreement  of  March,  1939,  are  clear
indications  of  such  an  interpretation  by   the   German
Government of the declaration of 1934. The Polish Government
must  here recall that in their relations with other  States
they  give  and require full reciprocity as being  the  only
possible foundation of normal relations between States.
     The  Polish  Government  reject as  completely  without
foundation    all   accusations   regarding   the    alleged
incompatibility  of  the Anglo-Polish  Mutual  Guarantee  of
April,  1939,  with the Polish-German Declaration  of  1934.
This  guarantee has a purely defensive character and  in  no
way  threatens  the German Reich, in the  same  way  as  the
Polish-French   Alliance,  whose  compatibility   with   the
Declaration of 1934 has been recognised by the German Reich.
The  declaration  of  1934  in its  introductory  paragraphs
clearly  stated that both Governments have "decided to  base
their  mutual relations on the principles laid down  in  the
Pact  of  Paris of the 27th August, 1928." Now the  Pact  of
Paris, which constituted a general renunciation of war as an
instrument  of  national policy, just as the declaration  of
1934  constituted  such renunciation  in  bilateral  Polish-
German  relations, contained the explicit  reservation  that
"any  signatory Power which shall hereafter seek to  promote
its national interests by resort to war should be denied the
benefits  furnished by this treaty." Germany  accepted  this
principle  in  signing the Pact of Paris and re-affirmed  in
the  declaration of 1934, together with other principles  of
the Pact of Paris. It appears from this that the declaration
of  1934  would cease to be binding on Poland should Germany
have  recourse  to war in violation of the  Pact  of  Paris.
Poland's  obligations  arising out  of  the  Polish  British
understanding  would come into operation  in  the  event  of
German action threatening the independence of Great Britain,
and,  consequently, in the very circumstances in  which  the
dec-
     
GERMAN-POLISH DISCUSSIONS 47
     
laration  of  1934 and the Pact of Paris had  ceased  to  be
binding on Poland as regards Germany.
     The German Government in making a complaint against the
Polish  Government for undertaking obligations to  guarantee
the independence of Great Britain and in regarding this as a
violation by Poland of the declaration of 1934, ignore their
own  obligations towards Italy of which the Chancellor spoke
on   the  30th  January,  1939,  and  in  particular   their
obligations  towards Slovakia contained in the agreement  of
the  18th  and  23rd March, 1939. The German  guarantees  of
Slovakia  did  not  exclude Poland [sic],  and,  indeed,  as
appears from the provisions of the above agreement regarding
the distribution of garrisons and military fortifications in
Western Slovakia, were directed primarily against Poland.
     4. It appears from the above that the Government of the
German  Reich  had  no  justification for  their  unilateral
decision  to regard the declaration of 1934 as not  binding.
The  pact  was, indeed, concluded for ten years without  any
possibility of denunciation during that time. It  should  be
pointed out that the decision to regard the 1934 Declaration
as  not binding took place after the previous refusal of the
German  State to accept explanations as to the compatibility
of  the  Anglo-Polish guarantee with the  1934  Declaration,
which  it  was  the  intention of the Polish  Government  to
furnish to the representative of the Reich in Warsaw.
     5. Although the Polish Government do not share the view
of  the  German Government that the treaty of 1934 has  been
violated   by  Poland,  nevertheless,  should   the   German
Government  attach  importance to the fresh  regulation,  by
means  of  a treaty, of Polish-German relations  on  a  good
neighbourly  basis, the Polish Government would be  prepared
to  entertain suggestions of this kind with the  reservation
of  their  fundamental observations contained above  in  the
present memorandum
     
48 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                   ANGLO-POLISH AGREEMENT.

                           No. 17.

 Statement by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on
                       March 31, 1939.
     
     The  Prime  Minister (Mr. Chamberlain): The right  hon.
gentleman the leader of the Opposition asked me this morning
whether  I  could  make  a  statement  as  to  the  European
situation.  As I said this morning, His Majesty's Government
have  no  official  confirmation  of  the  rumours  of   any
projected attack on Poland and they must not, therefore,  be
taken as accepting them as true.
     I am glad to take this opportunity of stating again the
general  policy  of  His  Majesty's  Government.  They  have
constantly  advocated  the  adjustment,  by  way   of   free
negotiation   between   the  parties   concerned,   of   any
differences that may arise between them. They consider  that
this  is  the  natural and proper course  where  differences
exist.   In  their  opinion  there  should  be  no  question
incapable of solution by peaceful means, and they would  see
no justification for the substitution of force or threats of
force for the method of negotiation.
     As  the  House is aware, certain consultations are  now
proceeding  with  other  Governments.  In  order   to   make
perfectly clear the position of His Majesty's Government  in
the meantime before those consultations are concluded, I now
have  to  inform the House that during that period,  in  the
event   of  any  action  which  clearly  threatened   Polish
independence,  and  which the Polish Government  accordingly
considered  it  vital to resist with their national  forces,
His Majesty's Government would feel themselves bound at once
to  lend  the Polish Government all support in their  power.
They  have given the Polish Government an assurance to  this
effect.
     I may add that the French Government have authorised me
to  make  it  plain that they stand in the same position  in
this matter as do His Majesty's Government.
     
ANGLO-POLISH AGREEMENT 49
     
                           No. 18.
     
      Anglo-Polish communiqu‚ issued on April 6, 1939.
     
     The  conversations  with M. Beck have  covered  a  wide
field  and  shown that the two Governments are  in  complete
agreement upon certain general principles.
     It  was agreed that the two countries were prepared  to
enter  into  an  agreement  of a  permanent  and  reciprocal
character  to  replace the present temporary and  unilateral
assurance  given by His Majesty's Government to  the  Polish
Government.   Pending  the  completion  of   the   permanent
agreement,   M.  Beck  gave  His  Majesty's  Government   an
assurance   that   the  Polish  Government  would   consider
themselves under an obligation to render assistance  to  His
Majesty's  Government  under the same  conditions  as  those
contained  in the temporary assurance already given  by  His
Majesty's Government to Poland.
     Like  the  temporary assurance, the permanent agreement
would not be directed against any other country but would be
designed  to  assure  Great Britain  and  Poland  of  mutual
assistance  in the event of any threat, direct or  indirect,
to  the  independence  of  either. It  was  recognised  that
certain matters, including a more precise definition of  the
various  ways  in  which the necessity for  such  assistance
might  arise, would required further examination before  the
permanent agreement could be completed.
     It was understood that the arrangements above mentioned
should not preclude either Government from making agreements
with  other  countries  in  the  general  interest  of   the
consolidation of peace.
     
                           No. 19.
                              
  Agreement of Mutual Assistance between the United Kingdom
            and Poland.-London, August 25, 1939.
     
     THE  Government of the United Kingdom of Great  Britain
and Northern Ireland and the Polish Government:
     Desiring   to   place   on  a   permanent   basis   the
collaboration be-
     
50 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
tween   their  respective  countries  resulting   from   the
assurances  of  mutual assistance of a  defensive  character
which they have already exchanged:
     Have resolved to conclude an Agreement for that purpose
and have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries:
     
     The Government  of the United Kingdom of Great  Britain
          and Northern Ireland:
     The Rt.   Hon.   Viscount  Halifax,   K.G.,   G.C.S.I.,
          G.C.I.E., Principal Secretary of State for Foreign
          Affairs;
     
     The Polish Government:
     His Excellency   Count  Edward  Raczynski,   Ambassador
          Extraordinary  and Plenipotentiary of  the  Polish
          Republic in London;
     
     Who,  having exchanged their Full Powers, found in good
and due form, have agreed following provisions:-
     
                         ARTICLE I.
                              
     Should one of the Contracting Parties become engaged in
hostilities   with  a  European  Power  in  consequence   of
aggression by the latter against that Contracting Party, the
other  Contracting Party will at once give  the  Contracting
Party  engaged in hostilities all the support and assistance
in its power.
     
                         ARTICLE 2.
     
     (1)  The provisions of Article I will also apply in the
event  of  any  action  by a European  Power  which  clearly
threatened, directly or indirectly, the independence of  one
of  the  Contracting Parties, and was of such a nature  that
the  Party in question considered it vital to resist it with
its armed forces.
     (2)  Should  one  of  the  Contracting  Parties  become
engaged  in hostilities with a European Power in consequence
of action by that Power which threatened the independence or
neutrality  of another European State in such a  way  as  to
constitute   a  clear  menace  to  the  security   of   that
Contracting  Party, the provisions of Article I will  apply,
without  prejudice,  however, to the  rights  of  the  other
European State concerned.
     
ANGLO-POLISH AGREEMENT 51
     
                         ARTICLE 3.
                              
     Should  a  European  Power  attempt  to  undermine  the
independence of one of the Contracting Parties by  processes
of economic penetration or in any other way, the Contracting
Parties  will  support  each other  in  resistance  to  such
attempts.  Should  the  European Power  concerned  thereupon
embark   on  hostilities  against  one  of  the  Contracting
Parties, the provisions of Article I will apply.
     
                         ARTICLE 4.
                              
     The  methods  of  applying the undertakings  of  mutual
assistance  provided  for  by  the  present  Agreement   are
established  between the competent naval, military  and  air
authorities of the Contracting Parties.
     
                         ARTICLE 5.
     
     Without prejudice to the foregoing undertakings of  the
Contracting  Parties to give each other mutual  support  and
assistance immediately on the outbreak of hostilities,  they
will exchange complete and speedy information concerning any
development which might threaten their independence and,  in
particular,  concerning any development which threatened  to
call the said undertakings into operation.
     
                         ARTICLE 6.
     
     (1)  The  Contracting Parties will communicate to  each
other  the  terms of any undertakings of assistance  against
aggression  which they have already given or may  in  future
give to other States.
     (2) Should either of the Contracting Parties intend  to
give such an undertaking after the coming into force of  the
present  Agreement, the other Contracting  Party  shall,  in
order to ensure the proper functioning of the Agreement,  be
informed thereof.
     (3)  Any  new undertaking which the Contracting Parties
may   enter  into  in  future  shall  neither  limit   their
obligations  under  the  present  Agreement  nor  indirectly
create  new  obligations between the Contracting  Party  not
participating  in  these undertakings and  the  third  State
concerned.
     
52 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                         ARTICLE 7.
                              
     Should   the   Contracting  Parties   be   engaged   in
hostilities in consequence of the application of the present
Agreement, they will not conclude an armistice or treaty  of
peace except by mutual agreement.

                         ARTICLE 8.
     
     (1)  The present Agreement shall remain in force for  a
period of five years.
     (2)  Unless denounced six months before the  expiry  of
this  period  it  shall continue in force, each  Contracting
Party having thereafter the right to denounce it at any time
by giving six months' notice to that effect.
     (3)  The  present Agreement shall come  into  force  on
signature.
     In faith whereof the above-named Plenipotentiaries have
signed the present Agreement and have affixed thereto  their
seals.
     Done  in  English  in duplicate, at  London,  the  15th
August,  1939.  A Polish text shall subsequently  be  agreed
upon  between  the Contracting Parties and both  texts  will
then be authentic.
     
     (L.S.) HALIFAX.
     (L.S.) EDWARD RACZYNSKI.
     
DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 53
     
                           No. 20.

  Speech by Herr Hitler at Wilhelmshaven on April 1, 1939.

(Translation.)
     GERMANS! Volksgenossen und Volksgenossinnen!
     Whoever wishes to estimate the decline and regeneration
of  Germany  must look at the development  of  a  city  like
Wilhelmshaven.  A short time ago it was a dead  spot  almost
without  any title to existence, without any prospect  of  a
future;  to-day it is filled again with the hum of work  and
production.  It is good if one recalls again to memory  this
past.

DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 53
     
     When the city experienced its first rise to prosperity,
this  coincided  with the regeneration of the  German  Reich
after its battle for unification. This Germany was a Germany
of  peace.  At  the same time as the so-called  peace-loving
virtuous  nations were carrying on quite a number  of  wars,
the  Germany  of  that  time had only one  aim,  namely,  to
preserve peace, to work in peace, to increase the prosperity
of  her  inhabitants  and  thereby to  contribute  to  human
culture and civilisation.
     This  peace-time Germany tried with unceasing industry,
with  genius and with perseverance to set up its inner  life
and  to  assure for itself a proper place in the sun through
participation in peaceful rivalry with other nations.
     In  spite of the fact that this Germany was for decades
the  surest guarantor of peace and devoted herself  only  to
her  own  peaceful business, other nations, and particularly
their  statesmen,  could not refrain from  persecuting  this
regeneration  with  envy and hate and finally  answering  it
with a war.
     We   know  to-day  from  historical  records  how   the
encirclement  policy  of that time had  been  systematically
pursued by England. We know from numerous established  facts
and  publications that in that land one was imbued with  the
conception that it was necessary to crush Germany militarily
because  its  annihilation would  assure  to  every  British
citizen a larger measure of this world's goods.
     Certainly  Germany at that time committed  errors.  Its
worst  error  was to see this encirclement and  to  take  no
steps  in time to avoid it. The only reproach which  we  can
level at the regime of that day is the fact that it had full
knowledge of the devilish plan for a surprise attack on  the
Reich,  and even so was unable to make up its mind to  avoid
in  time  such  an attack, but allowed this encirclement  to
mature right up to the outbreak of the catastrophe.
     The result was the World War.
     In this war the German people, although they were in no
way  armed the best, fought heroically. No nation can  claim
for itself the glory of having beaten us to our knees, least
of all those whose statesmen to-day are boasting.
     Germany at that time remained unbeaten and unvanquished
on  land,  sea and in the air. And yet we lost the  war.  We
know
     
54 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
the  power which at that time vanquished Germany. It was the
power of falsehood, the poison of a propaganda which did not
shrink  from distortion and untruthfulness and which  caught
the German Reich because it was unprepared and defenceless.
     When  the  Fourteen  Points of  President  Wilson  were
announced,  many  German "Volksgenossen,"  particularly  the
leading  men of the time, saw in those Fourteen  Points  not
only  the  possibility for ending the World War  but  for  a
final pacification of all nations of this world. There would
come  a  peace of reconciliation and understanding, a  peace
which  would  recognise neither victors  nor  vanquished,  a
peace  without war indemnities, a peace of equal rights  for
all, a peace of equal distribution of colonial territory and
of  equal  consideration for colonial  desiderata.  A  peace
which  would  finally  be crowned  with  a  league  of  free
nations.  A peace which, by guaranteeing equal rights  would
make  it  appear superfluous for nations in future still  to
endure the burden of armament which, as is known, previously
weighed down so heavily on them.
     Disarmament, therefore, and in fact disarmament of  all
nations.
     Germany  was to give a good example by taking the  lead
and all undertook to follow her disarmament.
     The era of so-called secret diplomacy was to come to an
end   as  well.  All  problems  were  to  be  discussed  and
negotiated openly and freely.
     The  right of self-determination for nations was to  be
finally  established and be regarded as the  most  important
factor.
     Germany  believed  these assurances. Relying  on  these
declarations  Germany  laid down her  weapons.  And  then  a
breach of faith began such as world history has never seen.
     At  the moment when our people had laid down their arms
a  period  of  blackmail, oppression,  pillage  and  slavery
began.
     No  longer  any  word  of  peace  without  victors  and
vanquished,   but  a  sentence  of  condemnation   for   the
vanquished for time without end.
     No  longer any word of equal rights, but rights for one
side and absence of rights and injustice for the other.  One
robbery after another, one blackmail after another were  the
results.
     No  man  in  this democratic world bothered  about  the
suffering
     
DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 55
     
of  our  people. Hundreds of thousands fell in the war,  not
through  enemy action, but through the hunger blockade.  And
when  the  war  came to an end this blockade  was  continued
still for months in order to bring still further pressure on
our  nation. Even the German prisoners of war had to  remain
in  captivity  for indefinite periods. The  German  colonies
were  stolen from us, German foreign securities were  simply
confiscated, and our mercantile marine was taken away.
     Then came financial pillage such as the world has never
up  to  this  day seen. Payments were imposed on the  German
people  which reached astronomical figures, and about  which
English  statesmen said that they could only be effected  if
the  whole  German nation reduced its standard of living  to
the utmost and worked fourteen hours a day.
     What German spirit and German diligence had created and
saved  in  decades was now lost in a few years. Millions  of
Germans were torn away from the Reich, others were prevented
from  returning  into the Reich. The League of  Nations  was
made  not  an  instrument of a just policy of understanding,
but a guarantor of the meanest dictate that human beings had
ever thought out.
     A  great  people  was thus raped and  led  towards  the
misery that all of you know. A great people was deprived  of
its  rights  by  breach  of promise  and  its  existence  in
practice was made impossible. A French statesman gave  sober
expression  to  this  by declaring: "There  are  20  million
Germans too many in the world!"
     There  were Germans who, in despair, committed suicide,
others who lethargically submitted to their inevitable fate,
and  others  again who were of the opinion  that  there  was
nothing  left to do but to destroy everything; others  again
ground  their  teeth and clenched their  fists  in  impotent
rage,  others again believed that the past must be  restored
as it had been.
     Every individual had adopted some sort of attitude. And
I  at  that  time, as the unknown soldier of the World  War,
took up my position.
     It was a short and simple programme; it ran: removal of
the  domestic  enemies  of the nation,  termination  of  the
internal  division of Germany, co-ordination of  the  entire
national  force  of our people in a new community,  and  the
smashing of the Peace

56 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
Treaty in one way or another ("so oder so!") For as long  as
this  dictate of Versailles weighed upon the German  people,
it was actually doomed to go under.
     When  other  statesmen  talk  about  the  necessity  of
justice  reigning in this world, then I may tell  them  that
their  crime is not justice, that their dictate was  neither
rightful  nor legal, and that the permanent vital rights  of
peoples come before this dictate.
     The  German  people was created by Providence,  not  in
order to obey a law which suits Englishmen or Frenchmen, but
to  stand up for its vital right. That is what we are  there
for!
     I  was determined to take up this struggle for standing
up for German vital rights. I took it up first of all within
the  nation.  The place of a number of parties, classes  and
associations has now been taken by one single community, the
community of the German people!
     It  is the duty of us all to realise this community and
to  continue to intensify it. In the course of this  time  I
have had to hurt many an individual. But I believe that  the
happiness shared to-day by the entire nation must more  than
compensate every individual for the things which  were  dear
to him and which he individually had to give up.
     You  have all sacrificed your parties, your clubs, your
associations,  but  you have instead received  a  great  and
strong Reich!
     And  this  Reich  is  to-day, thank  God,  sufficiently
strong to take under its protection your rights. We are  now
no  longer dependent upon the favour or disfavour  of  other
States or their statesmen.
     When  over six years ago I came into power, I took over
a  pitiful  heritage.  The  Reich  appeared  to  possess  no
possibilities for existence for its citizens. At that time I
began  work with the only capital which I possessed. It  was
the  capital  of your power to work! It was  your  power  to
work,  my "Volksgenossen," that I began to put into  use.  I
had  not foreign exchange and no gold; I only had one thing:
my  faith  and your work! We have now founded a new economic
system, a system which is called: capital is power to  work,
and  money  is covered by our production. We have founded  a
system  based  upon the most noble principle  in  existence,
namely,  form  your life yourself! Work for your  existence!
Help yourself, then God will also help you!
     We  thus  began  a  gigantic  work  of  reconstruction,
supported

DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 57
     
by  the  confidence  of the nation, filled  with  faith  and
confidence in its permanent values. In a few years  we  tore
Germany from its despair. The world did not help us in doing
so!
     If  an  English  statesman  to-day  believes  that  all
problems  can  and  must be solved by frank  discussion  and
negotiations, then I would like to say to this statesman: an
opportunity  to do so existed for fifteen years  before  our
time!  If  the  world to-day says that one must  divide  the
nations  into virtuous and non-virtuous categories-and  that
the  English  and French belong in the first  place  to  the
virtuous  nations and the Germans and Italians to  the  non-
virtuous-then we can only answer: the decision as to whether
a nation is virtuous or not virtuous can hardly be made by a
mortal human being, and should be left to God!
     Perhaps this same British statesman will reply: God has
already delivered judgment, for he has given to the virtuous
nations  one-quarter  of  the  globe  and  has  taken   away
everything from the non-virtuous! In answer to that, one may
be permitted to ask: by what means have the virtuous nations
acquired this quarter of the globe? And the answer must  be,
they have not been virtuous methods!
     For  300  years  this  England has  acted  only  as  an
unvirtuous  nation, and now in old age she is  beginning  to
talk  about  virtue. It was thus possible  that  during  the
British  non-virtuous  period  46  million  Englishmen  have
conquered  almost a quarter of the world, while  80  million
Germans,  on account of their virtue, have to exist  at  the
rate of 140 to the square kilometre.
     Yes,  twenty years ago the question of virtue  was  not
yet quite clear in the minds of British statesmen, in so far
as  it touched conceptions of property. At that time it  was
still  thought to be compatible with virtue simply  to  take
away  from another people the colonies which it had acquired
by  contract or by purchase because one had the power to  do
so.
     A  power  which now it is true is to count as something
disgusting and contemptible. In this respect, I can only say
one  thing  to these gentlemen: we do not know whether  they
believe  that  sort of thing themselves or not.  We  assume,
however,  that  they do not believe it. For if  we  were  to
assume  that  they  really believed it themselves,  then  we
would lose every feeling of respect for them.
     
58 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     For   fifteen  years  Germany  had  borne   this   fate
patiently.  I  also tried at the beginning  to  solve  every
problem  by discussion. At every problem I made offers,  and
they  were  every time refused! There can be no  doubt  that
every people possesses sacred interests, simply because they
are identical with its life and its vital right.
     If  a  British  statesman  to-day  demands  that  every
problem  concerning vital German interests should  first  be
discussed with England, then I could make precisely the same
claim  and demand that every British problem must  first  be
discussed with us. Admittedly, this Englishman would answer:
Palestine is none of your business! But, just as Germany has
no  business in Palestine, so has England no business in the
German  Lebensraum! And if the problem is claimed  to  be  a
question  of general rights, then I can only agree  to  this
opinion if it were regarded as universal and obligatory. One
says we had no right to do this or that. I would like to ask
a  counter-question:  what  right-just  to  quote  only  one
example  has England to shoot down Arabs in Palestine,  only
because  they  are  standing up for their  home?  Who  gives
England the right to do so?
     We  at  any  rate  have  not slaughtered  thousands  in
Central  Europe, but have solved our problems in a  peaceful
and orderly manner! There is one thing, however, that I must
say:  the German people of to-day, the German Reich  of  the
present  time,  are not willing to sacrifice interests,  and
they  are  also  not willing to stand up to  rising  dangers
without  taking action! When the allies at one time  changed
the  map  of  Europe with no consideration  for  expediency,
justice, tradition or even common-sense, we did not have the
power to prevent them from doing so. But if they expect  the
Germany of the present day patiently to allow vassal States,
whose  only duty consists in their being set to work against
Germany,  to carry on as they like until the day comes  when
their  services are to be actively employed, then  they  are
confounding present-day Germany with the Germany of  pre-war
days.  Those  who  declare that they are  prepared  to  pull
chestnuts  out of the fire for these Great Powers must  also
expect to burn their fingers in the course of the process.
     We  have  really no feelings of hatred  for  the  Czech
people,  we have lived together for years. English statesmen
do not know

DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 59
     
that. They have no idea that the Hradschin was built not  by
an  Englishman  but  by Germans, and  that  the  St.  Veit's
Cathedral  was also not built by Englishmen but by  Germans.
Frenchmen also were not active there. They do not know  that
already, at a time when England was still very small, homage
was  done  to  a German Emperor on this hill,  and  that,  a
thousand years before I did so myself, the first German King
stood there and received the homage of this people. This the
English  do not know, they cannot know it and they need  not
know it.
     It  is sufficient that we know it, and that it is  true
that  for  a  thousand  years  this  area  belonged  to  the
Lebensraum  of  the  German people. We would,  nevertheless,
have  had nothing against an independent Czech State if this
State had not, firstly, oppressed Germans, and, secondly, if
it  had  not  been  an  instrument for a  future  attack  on
Germany.
     But  when  a  former French Air Minister  writes  in  a
newspaper  that it is the task of this Czechia,  because  of
her  splendid geographical position, to strike at  Germany's
industry  by air attacks in a war, then one will  understand
that  it  is  not without interest to us, and that  we  drew
certain conclusions therefrom.
     It  would have been a matter for England and France  to
defend  this  air base. It was our affair, at any  rate,  to
prevent  the possibility of such an attack taking  place.  I
believed  that  I could achieve this end in  a  natural  and
simple way. It was not until I saw that such an attempt  was
doomed to fail, and that the anti-German elements would once
more  gain the upper hand, and it was not until I  also  saw
that  this State had for a long time lost its inner capacity
to  live  and  that  it had already collapsed,  that  I  re-
enforced  ancient German right and reunited what had  to  be
united  by history, geographical position and all  rules  of
common-sense.
     Not for the purpose of suppressing the Czech people! It
will  have  more freedom than the oppressed peoples  of  the
virtuous nations!
     I  have, so I believe, thereby rendered a great service
to  peace,  for  I  have  in good  time  made  valueless  an
instrument that was designed to become effective in time  of
war against Germany.
     If people now say that this is the signal for Germany's
desire to attack the whole world, then I do not believe they
mean  it  seriously;  such a statement  could  only  be  the
expression of the
     
60 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
very  worst  of  consciences. Perhaps it  is  anger  at  the
failure  of  a far-reaching plan; perhaps it is belief  that
the  premises  can thereby be created for a  new  policy  of
encirclement? Whatever the case may be, I am convinced  that
I have thereby rendered a great service to peace.
     And  it is from this conviction that I determined three
weeks  ago to give the coming Party Rally the name of "Party
Rally  of  Peace." For Germany does not dream  of  attacking
other nations.
     What  we  do  not, however, desire to renounce  is  the
extension  of  our economic relations. To  this  we  have  a
right,  and I do not accept orders in this respect from  any
statesman inside or outside Europe!
     The German Reich is not only a great producer, but also
a  tremendous  consumer. In the same way  as  we  become  an
unreplaceable  commercial partner as  consumer,  so  are  we
suited as a producer honestly to pay for what we consume.
     We  do  not  dream  of  waging war  on  other  nations,
subject,  of course, to their leaving us in peace also.  The
German Reich is, however, in no case prepared permanently to
tolerate intimidation, or even a policy of encirclement.
     I  once  concluded an agreement with England-the  Naval
Agreement.  It is based on the ardent desire, shared  by  us
all, never to be forced to fight a war against England. This
desire  can,  however, only be a reciprocal one.  If  it  no
longer  exists in England, then the practical  premises  for
the agreement have been removed. Germany would accept even a
situation of this kind with calm composure! We are  so  sure
of  ourselves  because  we are strong,  and  we  are  strong
because  we  are united, and also because we keep  our  eyes
open!  And in this town more than elsewhere I can only  urge
you  to  look at the world and all happenings therein around
us  with open eyes. Do not deceive yourselves regarding  the
most  important prerequisite which exists in  life,  namely,
the  necessary power at one's own disposal. He who does  not
possess  power loses the right to live! We have had  fifteen
years'  experience of such a condition. That is why  I  have
made  Germany strong again and why I have created a  defence
force on land, on the waters and in the air.
     But  when  there is talk in other countries of  present
rearmament  and  of continued and still greater  rearmament,
then I can
     
DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 61
     
only  say  to these statesmen: it will not be me  whom  they
will tire out!
     I  am  determined to continue to march along this road,
and  I  am  convinced that we shall advance faster than  the
others.  No  Power in the world will ever wheedle  our  arms
from  us  by mere words. But should anyone at any time  show
any  desire to measure his strength against ours  by  force,
then  the  German people will always be in  a  position  and
ready and determined to do the same!
     And  our  friends think just as we do,  especially  the
State  with  which we are closely bound and  with  which  we
march, now, and in all circumstances, and for all time. When
hostile  journalists do not know what else to  write  about,
then they write of cracks in the Axis. They can be at ease.
     This  Axis is the most natural political instrument  in
the world. It is a political combination of ideas which owes
its existence not only to reason and the desire for justice,
but also to strength inspired by idealism.
     This  structure will hold out better than  the  present
alliances  of non-homogeneous bodies on the other side.  For
if  anybody tells me to-day that there are no differences in
world  outlook  or  ideologies between  England  and  Soviet
Russia, I can only say: I congratulate you, Gentlemen.
     I  believe we shall not have long to wait before we see
that  the  unity in world outlook between Fascist Italy  and
National  Socialist  Germany is, after all,  different  from
that  between  democratic Great Britain  and  the  Bolshevik
Russia of Stalin.
     But if there should really be no ideological difference
between them, then I can only say: how right is, after  all,
my attitude towards Marxism, communism and to democracy! Why
two  apparitions, when after all they are made of  the  same
substance?
     We  are experiencing in these days a very great triumph
and a feeling of deep inner satisfaction. A country that was
also  devastated  by  bolshevism,  in  which  hundreds   and
thousands  of  human beings, women, men,  children  and  old
people,   were  slaughtered,  has  liberated   itself,   and
liberated   itself  in  spite  of  ideological  friends   of
bolshevism  who  sit  in  Great Britain,  France  and  other
countries.
     We  can  only  too well understand this  Spain  in  her
struggle,
     
62 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
and  we  greet her and congratulate her on her  victory.  We
Germans can say so with special pride, for many young German
men have done their duty there.
     They  have  helped as volunteers to break a  tyrannical
regime  and  to  recover for a nation  its  right  to  self-
determination.  We  are glad to see how  quickly,  yes,  how
extremely  quickly, here also a change in the world  outlook
of  the  suppliers of war material to the Red side has  come
about, how extensively one now suddenly understands National
Spain and how ready one is to do business with this National
Spain,  perhaps  not  ideological  business,  but  at  least
economic business!
     This   also   is   an  indication  of   the   direction
developments are taking. For I believe that all States  will
have  to  face the same problems that we once had  to  face.
State   after  State  will  either  succumb  to  the  Jewish
Bolshevik pest or will ward it off. We have done so, and  we
have now erected a national German People's State.
     This  People's  State  desires to  live  in  peace  and
friendship  with every other State, it will, however,  never
again  permit itself to be forced to its knees by any  other
State.
     I  do not know whether the world will become Fascist! I
do   not   believe  that  the  world  will  become  National
Socialist! But that the world will in the end ward off  this
worst form of bolshevistic threat in existence, of that I am
absolutely convinced.
     And, therefore, I believe in a conclusive understanding
among  peoples which will come sooner or later. There is  no
point  in  bringing about co-operation among nations,  based
upon  permanent  understanding, until this  Jewish  fission-
fungus of peoples has been removed.
     To-day we must depend upon our own power! And we can be
satisfied  with results of this confidence in ourselves!  At
home and abroad!
     When  I  came into power, Germany was torn and impotent
at  home, and abroad a toy of foreign will. To-day  we  have
order at home and our economy is flourishing. Abroad we  are
perhaps  not  popular,  but we are respected.  That  is  the
decisive  factor. Above all, we have given millions  of  our
"Volksgenossen"  the  greatest  happiness  they  could  have
wished  for: their home-coming into our Great German  Reich.
And,  secondly,  we  have given great happiness  to  Central
Europe, namely, peace, peace pro-
     
DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 63
     
tected  by German power. And this power shall not be  broken
again by any force in the world. That shall be our oath.
     We  thus realise that the "Volksgenossen," more than  2
million in number, who died in the Great War, did not die in
vain.  From  their  sacrifice a new Great German  Reich  has
arisen. From their sacrifice this strong young German  Reich
of  the "Volk" has been called to life and has now stood its
test in life.
     And  in  the face of this sacrifice, we would not  fear
any  sacrifice if it should ever become necessary. This  the
world should take note of!
     They  can  conclude agreements, make  declarations,  as
many  as  they like: I put my trust not in scraps of  paper,
but I put my trust in you, my "Volksgenossen."
     Germans have been the victims of the greatest breach of
promise  of  all time. Let us see to it that our  people  at
home may never again become easy to break up, then no one in
the  world will ever be able to threaten us. Then peace will
be  maintained for our people or, if necessary, it  will  be
enforced. And then our people will flourish and prosper.
     It  will  be  able to place its genius, its capability,
its  diligence, and its perseverance at the disposal of  the
work  of peace and home culture. That is our desire;  it  is
that which we hope and in which we believe.
     Twenty years ago the party was founded, at that time  a
very  small structure. Recall the distance covered from that
time until to-day. Recall the extent of the miracle that has
been  worked upon us. And have faith, therefore, by the very
reason  of our miraculous progress, in the further  road  of
the German people in the coming great future!
     Germany: Sieg-Heil! Sieg-Heil! Sieg-Heil!
     
                           No. 21.
     
   Extract from speech by Herr Hitler to the Reichstag on
                       April 28, 1939.
     
(Translation.)
     I  believe  that  it is a good thing for  millions  and
millions of people that I, thanks to the last-minute insight
of  responsible men on the other side, succeeded in averting
such an explosion, and

64 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
found  a solution which I am convinced has finally abolished
this problem of a source of danger in Central Europe.
     The  contention that this solution is contrary  to  the
Munich  Agreement  can neither be supported  nor  confirmed.
This agreement could, under no circumstances, be regarded as
final, because it admitted that other problems required  and
remained  to  be solved. We cannot really be reproached  for
the fact that the parties concerned-and this is the deciding
factor-did  not turn to the four Powers, but only  to  Italy
and  Germany;  nor yet for the fact that the State  as  such
finally  split  up  of  its  own  accord,  and  there   was,
consequently,  no  longer  any  Czecho-Slovakia.   It   was,
however,  understandable that, long after  the  ethnographic
principle  had been made invalid, Germany should take  under
her  protection her interests dating back a thousand  years,
which  are  not only of a political but also of an  economic
nature.
     The future will show whether the solution which Germany
has found is right or wrong. However, it is certain that the
solution is not subject to English supervision or criticism.
For  Bohemia and Moravia, as the remnants of former  Czecho-
Slovakia,  have nothing more whatever to do with the  Munich
Agreement.  Just  as  English  measures  in,  say,  Northern
Ireland, whether they be right or wrong, are not subject  to
German supervision or criticism, this is also the case  with
these old German electorates.
     However,  I  entirely  fail  to  understand   how   the
agreement  reached  between Mr. Chamberlain  and  myself  at
Munich  can  refer  to this case, for the  case  of  Czecho-
Slovakia  was  settled in the Munich protocol  of  the  four
Powers  as  far as it could be settled at all at that  time.
Apart  from  this,  provision was merely made  that  if  the
interested parties should fail to come to an agreement  they
should  be  entitled to appeal to the four Powers,  who  had
agreed in such a case to meet for further consultation after
the  expiration  of three months. However, these  interested
parties  did not appeal to the four Powers at all, but  only
to  Germany  and  Italy.  That  this  was  fully  justified,
moreover,  is  proved by the fact that neither  England  nor
France   have  raised  any  objections  thereto,  but   have
themselves accepted the decision given by Germany and Italy.
No, the agreement reached between Mr. Chamberlain and myself
did  not relate to this problem but exclusively to questions
which refer to the mutual relationship between Eng-

DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 65
     
land  and  Germany. This is clearly shown by the  fact  that
such questions are to be treated in future in the spirit  of
the   Munich   Agreement  and  of  the  Anglo-German   Naval
Agreement,  that  is,  in  a  friendly  spirit  by  way   of
consultation. If, however, this agreement were to be applied
to  every  future  German activity of  a  political  nature,
England  too should not take any step, whether in  Palestine
or  elsewhere,  without  first  consulting  Germany.  It  is
obvious  that we do not expect this; likewise we  refuse  to
gratify  any  similar  expectation  of  us.  Now,   if   Mr.
Chamberlain  concludes from this, that the Munich  Agreement
is for this reason annulled, as if we had broken it, then  I
shall take cognisance of the fact and proceed accordingly.
     During the whole of my political activity I have always
expounded  the  idea of a close friendship and collaboration
between  Germany  and  England.  In  my  movement  I   found
innumerable  others  of like mind. Perhaps  they  joined  me
because of my attitude in this matter. This desire for Anglo-
German  friendship and co-operation conforms not  merely  to
sentiments which result from the racial origins of  our  two
peoples,  but  also to my realisation of the importance  for
the whole of mankind of the existence of the British Empire.
I  have never left room for any doubt of my belief that  the
existence of this empire is an inestimable factor  of  value
for  the  whole  of  human cultural and  economic  life.  By
whatever  means  Great  Britain has  acquired  her  colonial
territories-and  I know that they were those  of  force  and
often brutality-nevertheless, I know full well that no other
empire  has ever come into being in any other way, and  that
in  the final resort it is not so much the methods that  are
taken  into  account  in history as  success,  and  not  the
success of the methods as such, but rather the general  good
which  the  methods yield. Now there is no  doubt  that  the
Anglo-Saxon people have accomplished immeasurable colonising
work   in  the  world.  For  this  work  I  have  a  sincere
admiration.  The thought of destroying this labour  appeared
and  still appears to me, seen from a higher human point  of
view,   as  nothing  but  the  effluence  of  human   wanton
destructiveness. However, this sincere respect of  mine  for
this achievement does not mean forgoing the securing of  the
life  of my own people. I regard it as impossible to achieve
a  lasting  friendship  between the German  and  Anglo-Saxon
peoples if the other side does not

66 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
recognise   that  there  are  German  as  well  as   British
interests, that not only is the preservation of the  British
Empire  the  meaning and purpose of the lives of Britishers,
but  also  that for Germans the freedom and preservation  of
the  German Reich is their life purpose. A genuine,  lasting
friendship between these two nations is only conceivable  on
the  basis  of  mutual regards. The English people  rules  a
great  empire.  It built up this empire at a time  when  the
German  people was internally weak. Previously  Germany  had
been  a great empire. At one time she ruled the Occident  In
bloody  struggles and religious dissensions, and as a result
of  internal political disintegration, this empire  declined
in  power and greatness, and finally fell into a deep sleep.
But as this old empire appeared to have reached its end, the
seeds of its rebirth were springing up. From Brandenburg and
Prussia there arose a new Germany, the second Reich, and out
of  it  has grown at last the German People's Reich.  And  I
hope  that  all  English people understand that  we  do  not
possess  the slightest feeling of inferiority to Britishers.
Our historical past is far too tremendous for that!
     England  has given the world many great men and Germany
no  fewer.  The severe struggle for the maintenance  of  the
life of our people has in the course of three centuries cost
a  sacrifice  in  lives which far exceeds that  which  other
peoples have had to make in asserting their existence.
     If Germany, a country that was for ever being attacked,
was not able to retain her possessions, but was compelled to
sacrifice  many of her provinces, this was due only  to  her
political  misdevelopment  and her  impotence  as  a  result
thereof! That condition has now keen overcome. Therefore, we
Germans  do  not feel in the least inferior to  the  British
nation.  Our  self-esteem is just as great  as  that  of  an
Englishman for England. In the history of our people, now of
approximately  two  thousand  years'  standing,  there   are
occasions and actions enough to fill us with sincere pride.
     Now,  if  England cannot understand our point of  view,
thinking  perchance she may look upon Germany  as  a  vassal
State,  then  our love and friendly feelings  have,  indeed,
been  wasted on England. We shall not despair or lose  heart
on that account, but-relying on the consciousness of our own
strength and on the

DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 67
     
strength of our friends-we shall then find ways and means to
secure our independence without impairing our dignity.
     I  have  heard  the  statement  of  the  British  Prime
Minister to the effect that he is not able to put any  trust
in  German assurances. Under the circumstances I consider it
a  matter of course that we no longer wish to expect him  or
the  British people to bear the burden of a situation  which
is  only  conceivable in an atmosphere of mutual confidence.
When  Germany became National Socialist and thus  paved  the
way  for  her  national resurrection,  in  pursuance  of  my
unswerving  policy  of friendship with England,  of  my  own
accord  I  made the proposal for a voluntary restriction  of
German naval armaments. That restriction was, however, based
on one condition, namely, the will and the conviction that a
war  between  England  and  Germany  would  never  again  be
possible. This wish and this conviction is alive in  me  to-
day.
     I  am,  however, now compelled to state that the policy
of  England  is both unofficially and officially leaving  no
doubt  about  the fact that such a conviction is  no  longer
shared  in  London, and that, on the contrary,  the  opinion
prevails  there  that  no matter in  what  conflict  Germany
should  some  day be entangled, Great Britain  would  always
have  to  take her stand against Germany. Thus a war against
Germany  is  taken  for  granted in  that  country.  I  most
profoundly regret such a development, for the only  claim  I
have  ever  made, and shall continue to make, on England  is
that for a return of our colonies. But I always made it very
clear  that this would never become the cause of a  military
conflict. I have always held that the English, to whom those
colonies  are  of  no  value, would one day  understand  the
German  situation  and  would then value  German  friendship
higher  than  the  possession of  territories  which,  while
yielding  no  real  profit whatever to them,  are  of  vital
importance to Germany.
     Apart from this, however, I have never advanced a claim
which   might  in  any  way  have  interfered  with  British
interests  or  have become a danger to the Empire  and  thus
have meant any kind of damage to England. I have always kept
within the limit of such demands as are intimately connected
with Germany's living space and thus the eternal property of
the  German nation. Since England to-day, both by the  press
and  officially,  upholds the view that  Germany  should  be
opposed under all circumstances, and con-
     
68 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
firms  this by the policy of encirclement known to  us,  the
basis  for  the  Naval  Treaty  has  been  removed.  I  have
therefore  resolved to send to-day a communication  to  this
effect to the British Government. This is to us not a matter
of  practical material importance-for I still hope  that  we
shall be able to avoid an armaments race with England-but an
action  of  self-respect.  Should  the  British  Government,
however,  wish  to  enter once more into  negotiations  with
Germany on this problem, no one would be happier than  I  at
the  prospect  of still being able to come to  a  clear  and
straightforward understanding.
     
                           No. 22.
 Memorandum from the German Government denouncing the Anglo-
                   German Naval Agreement.

(Translation.)
     WHEN  in  the year 1935 the German Government made  the
British  Government the offer to bring the strength  of  the
German  fleet to a fixed proportion of the strength  of  the
naval forces of the British Empire by means of a treaty,  it
did so on the basis of the firm conviction that for all time
the  recurrence  of a warlike conflict between  Germany  and
Great  Britain was excluded. In voluntarily recognising  the
priority  of British interests at sea through the  offer  of
the  ratio  100:35  it  believed  that,  by  means  of  this
decision, unique in the history of the Great Powers, it  was
taking  a  step which would lead to the establishment  of  a
friendly  relationship for all time between the two nations.
This step on the part of the German Government was naturally
conditional  on the British Government for their  part  also
being  determined to adopt a political attitude which  would
assure a friendly development of Anglo-German relations.
     On this basis and under these conditions was the Anglo-
German Naval Agreement on the 18th June, 1935, brought  into
being.  This was expressed in agreement by both  parties  on
the conclusion of the agreement. Moreover, last autumn after
the  Munich Conference the German Chancellor and the British
Prime Minister solemnly confirmed in the declaration, which
     
DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 69
     
they  signed, that they regarded the agreement as symbolical
of the desire of both peoples never again to wage war on one
another.
     The  German Government has always adhered to this  wish
and  is  still  to-day inspired by it. It  is  conscious  of
having acted accordingly in its policy and of having  in  no
case  intervened  in the sphere of English interests  or  of
having  in  any  way encroached on these interests.  On  the
other hand it must to its regret take note of the fact  that
the  British Government of late is departing more  and  more
from  the course of an analogous policy towards Germany.  As
is  clearly shown by the political decisions made  known  by
the  British Government in the last weeks as well as by  the
inspired  anti-German  attitude of the  English  press,  the
British  Government  is now governed  by  the  opinion  that
England,  in  whatever  part  of  Europe  Germany  might  be
involved  in  warlike  conflict,  must  always  take  up  an
attitude  hostile to Germany, even in a case  where  English
interests are not touched in any way by such a conflict. The
British  Government  thus regards  war  by  England  against
Germany  no longer as an impossibility, but on the  contrary
as a capital problem of English foreign policy.
     By  means  of  this  encirclement  policy  the  British
Government has unilaterally deprived the Naval Agreement  of
the  18th June, 1935, of its basis, and has thus put out  of
force   this   agreement  as  well  as   the   complementary
declaration of the 17th July, 1937.
     The  same applies to Part III of the Anglo-German Naval
Agreement of the 17th July, 1937, in which the obligation is
laid  down  to  make  a  mutual  Anglo-German  exchange   of
information.   The   execution  of  this  obligation   rests
naturally  on  the  condition that a  relationship  of  open
confidence  should  exist between two  partners.  Since  the
German  Government to its regret can no longer  regard  this
relationship as existing, it must also regard the provisions
of Part III referred to above as having lapsed.
     The   qualitative   provisions  of   the   Anglo-German
Agreement of the 17th July, 1937, remain unaffected by these
observations  which  have  been  forced  upon   the   German
Government  against  its  will. The German  Government  will
abide by these provisions also in the future and so make its
contribution to the avoidance of a general unlimited race in
the naval armaments of the nations.
     Moreover,  the  German Government, should  the  British
Government  desire to enter into negotiations with  Germany,
in re-

70 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
gard to the future problems here arising, is gladly ready to
do  so.  It  would welcome it if it then proved possible  to
reach a clear and categorical understanding on a sure basis.

Berlin, April 27, 1939.
     
                           No. 23.
                              
Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin).

Sir,                                        Foreign  Office,
June 16, 1939.
     THE German Ambassador called at the Foreign Office this
morning to sign a technical agreement of no great importance
between  the  two  Governments, and I  had  a  few  moments'
conversation with him afterwards. In part this followed  the
familiar  line of assertion on his part of the  effect  that
was   being   produced  in  Germany  by  encirclement.   The
Ambassador  expressed the view that, just as the old  phrase
"The  Fleet in being" suggested pressure even without  overt
action,  so  now  the  regrouping of  Powers  that  we  were
organising  was,  in fact, designed to operate  as  coercive
pressure on Germany, and it was this which was resented. His
Excellency  said, and made the same observation at  a  later
stage  in our conversation, that much of the feeling at  the
present  time was due to all the discussion about our  anti-
aggression  negotiations  with  Russia.  In  his  view   the
situation  would  be  easier when  these  negotiations  were
settled  one  way  or the other. I thought this  observation
perhaps not without significance.
     2.  I replied by saying that, if anybody was encircling
Germany, it was herself by the policy that she persisted  in
pursuing.  Whatever might be thought about  the  policy  now
being  pursued by this country, it seemed to us quite  plain
that  the  German Chancellor had broken the china in  Europe
and  it  was  only  he who could put it together  again.  We
repeatedly made efforts from this side to open the way to  a
diminution of tension and improvement of relations, but this
had  so far elicited nothing in the nature of response  from
Herr Hitler.
     3. I told Herr von Dirksen that I hoped he would let me
know  if  at any time he had anything that he might wish  to
communicate
     
DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 71
     
to me that he thought of value, and he replied by expressing
a similar wish that I would not hesitate at any time to send
for him.

I am, &c.
     HALIFAX.
     
                           No. 24.
                              
 Memorandum from His Majesty's Government of June 23, 1939,
  replying to the German memorandum * denouncing the Anglo-
                   German Naval Agreement.
                              
                   General Considerations.
     
     IN  their memorandum of the 27th April last the  German
Government  state  that, in making their offer  in  1935  to
limit  themselves  to  a percentage  of  the  British  naval
forces, they did so "on a basis of the firm conviction  that
for  all  time the recurrence of a warlike conflict  between
Germany and Great Britain was excluded."
     2.  The  German  Government  justify  their  action  in
terminating  the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of  1935,  the
Supplementary Declaration of 1937, and Part III of the Naval
Agreement  of 1937, on the ground that the attitude  of  His
Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom showed that  they
now  held the view that, in whatever part of Europe  Germany
might  be  involved in warlike conflict, Great Britain  must
always  be  hostile to Germany even in cases  where  English
interests were not touched by such a conflict.
     3.  The  question whether the attitude of His Majesty's
Government can in any case justify the German Government  in
terminating  these instruments without, at  least,  previous
consultation  between  the  two Governments  is  dealt  with
hereafter.  It  is  not the case that in  whatever  part  of
Europe  Germany might be involved in warlike conflict  Great
Britain  must always take up an attitude hostile to Germany.
Great  Britain could only be hostile to Germany  if  Germany
were to commit an act of aggression against another country;
and  the  political decision, to which it is understood  the
German Government refer in their memorandum
     
     * No. 22.
     
72 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
involving  guarantees by Great Britain to certain countries,
could  only  operate if the countries concerned were  to  be
attacked by Germany.
     4.  In  the  memorandum from the German Government  the
claim  is  made to describe British policy as  a  policy  of
encirclement. This description is without any justification,
and  indicates a misunderstanding and misreading of  British
purposes which must be corrected.
     5.  The  action recently taken by the German Government
to  incorporate  certain territories in the Reich,  whatever
may have been held by them to be the justifying reasons, has
undoubtedly resulted in a great increase of anxiety in  many
quarters.  The  actions subsequently  taken  by  the  United
Kingdom  Government have no other purpose than to contribute
to the removal of this anxiety, by assisting smaller nations
to  feel  secure in the enjoyment of their independence,  to
which  they have the same right as Great Britain or  Germany
herself.  The  commitments which Great Britain has  recently
undertaken in pursuance of this purpose are limited, and  as
stated  above  could only become effective if the  countries
concerned were the victims of aggression.
     6.   Nor  have  His  Majesty's  Government  either  the
intention  or  the  desire to restrict  the  development  of
German  trade.  On  the  contrary,  under  the  Anglo-German
Payments  Agreement a considerable supply of  free  exchange
has  been  made available to Germany for the acquisition  of
raw materials. This agreement is as favourable to Germany as
any  which  has been concluded, and His Majesty's Government
would look forward to further discussion of measures for the
improvement  of  Germany's economic position,  if  only  the
essential  pre-condition  could  be  secured,  namely,   the
establishment of mutual confidence and goodwill which is the
necessary preliminary to calm and unprejudiced negotiation.
     7.  The  consistent desire of His Majesty's Government,
far from being the promotion of a war with Germany, has been
and  is to establish Anglo-German relations on the basis  of
the  mutual  recognition  of the needs  of  both  countries,
consistently  with  due  regard  for  the  rights  of  other
nations.
8. But, while for these reasons His Majesty's Government
cannot agree that there has been any change in their policy
or

DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 73
     
attitude which would justify the recent action of the German
Government, they must add that in their view the main object
of  the  Anglo-German Naval Agreement was  to  introduce  an
element  of stability into the naval situation and to  avoid
unnecessary competition in armaments.
     
          The Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935.
                              
     9.   For  this  reason  the  Agreements  contained   no
provision for unilateral denunciation at the instance of one
of  the  parties alone, but clearly contemplated termination
or  modification  only  by  mutual consultation-a  procedure
which  His  Majesty's  Government  regret  that  the  German
Government  have not seen their way to adopt in the  present
case. The Agreement of 1935, indeed, was expressly stated to
be  permanent  in  character, and His  Majesty's  Government
would  draw  the attention of the German Government  to  the
actual  terms  of the Exchange of Notes of  the  18th  June,
1935, which constituted the Anglo-German Naval Agreement  of
that  year,  from which both the character of the  Agreement
and   the  circumstances  in  which  its  modification   was
contemplated are made absolutely clear.
     10.  In the opening Note, Sir Samuel Hoare referred  to
the conversations which had taken place "the primary purpose
of  which has been to prepare the way for the holding  of  a
general conference on the subject of the limitation of naval
armaments."  He then referred to the German proposal  for  a
ratio   of   100:35  between  the  fleets  of  the   British
Commonwealth  and  Germany  and  said  that  "His  Majesty's
Government  regard  this proposal as a contribution  of  the
greatest   importance  to  future  naval   limitation."   He
expressed  the  belief that the Agreement would  "facilitate
the  conclusion  of a general agreement on  the  subject  of
naval limitation between all the naval Powers of the world."
     11.  In his reply of the same date, Herr von Ribbentrop
recapitulated  the  terms  of Sir Samuel  Hoare's  Note  and
confirmed  that it correctly set forth the proposal  of  the
German  Government.  He  expressed  the  opinion  that   the
Agreement  "will  facilitate the  conclusion  of  a  general
agreement  on this question between all the naval Powers  of
the world."
     12.  The  wording of the notes thus shows clearly  that
the

74 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
Agreement was regarded as a contribution to the solution  of
the  problem  of naval limitation. If the German  Government
now  allege that the Agreement has a different meaning,  His
Majesty's  Government must observe that such  an  allegation
finds  no  warrant  in  the terms of the  Agreement  itself,
comprehensive and detailed though they were.
     13.  The Agreement was equally clear on the subject  of
its duration. In Sir Samuel Hoare's Note it is stated to  be
"a  permanent  and definite Agreement as from to-day."  Herr
von   Ribbentrop  in  his  reply  stated  that  the   German
Government  also  regarded it "as a permanent  and  definite
agreement with effect from to-day."
     14.  In paragraph 2 (a) of the Notes it is stated  that
"the  ratio  of  35:100  is to be a permanent  relationship,
i.e.,  the  total  tonnage of the German Fleet  shall  never
exceed  a percentage of 35 of the aggregate tonnage  of  the
naval forces of the members of the British Commonwealth."
     15.  In paragraph 2 (c) of the Notes it is stated  that
"Germany  will  adhere to the 35:100 in  all  circumstances,
e.g., the ratio will not be affected by the construction  of
other Powers. If the general equilibrium of naval armaments,
as  normally  maintained in the past,  should  be  violently
upset  by any abnormal and exceptional construction by other
Powers,  the German Government reserve the right  to  invite
His  Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom  to  examine
the new situation thus created." This was the only provision
which  contemplated  any general modification  (i.e.,  apart
from  the  special case of submarines) of the terms  of  the
Agreement;  and it will be observed that the only  condition
foreseen  that  might  entail  modification  was  a  violent
disturbance  of the general equilibrium of naval  armaments.
Moreover,  under  the  terms of the  Agreement  modification
could even then only take place after the situation had been
examined in consultation with His Majesty's Government.
     16.  The  German Government, however, do  not  maintain
that  such a condition in fact exists. Still less have  they
invited  His  Majesty's Government to examine the  situation
before  taking  their  action. That  such  consultation  was
essential  is further clear from paragraph 3 of  the  Notes,
which   states  that  His  Majesty's  Government  recognised
Germany's right to depart from the 35

DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 75
     
per  cent.  ratio  in  the  circumstances  contemplated   by
paragraph 2 (c) "on the understanding that the 35:100  ratio
will  be  maintained in default of agreement to the contrary
between the two Governments."
     17.  Even if the memorandum which the German Government
have  now  addressed to His Majesty's Government is intended
to be read, not as a denunciation, but as a statement of the
opinion   of  the  German  Government  that  His   Majesty's
Government have so acted as to cause the Agreement  to  lose
its force, His Majesty's Government cannot admit that such a
plea   could   properly  be  advanced  without   any   prior
consultation between the two Governments as a reason for non-
compliance with the express terms of the Agreement.
     
          The Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1937.
     
     18.  Considerations of a similar character apply to the
German  action regarding Part III of the Anglo-German  Naval
Agreement of the 17th July, 1937. This Agreement also  makes
no  provision  for unilateral denunciation  or  modification
apart  from the special cases contemplated by the  so-called
"escalator clauses" which are not here relevant. Apart  from
these, the Agreement is expressed to "remain in force  until
the 31st December, 1942."
     19.  This Agreement is, moreover, complementary to  the
London Naval Treaty of 1936, to which France, Italy and  the
United  States  are also parties, and to similar  agreements
between His Majesty's Government and other naval Powers. All
these  instruments have as their object the avoidance  of  a
useless  and expensive competition in naval armaments.  This
may arise by one country producing special types of ships to
which  others feel they must reply; or by uncertainty as  to
the  actions and intentions of others and the suspicion that
large  numbers of ships are being built which must  then  be
matched  by  competitive  building  on  the  part  of  those
affected.  The  qualitative limits of these  agreements  are
therefore designed to prevent useless competition in  types,
and  the provisions for exchange of information are designed
to  destroy unfounded suspicions of excessive building. Even
if  the relations between two countries were not good,  this
would not

76 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
appear  to  His  Majesty's Government to afford  ground  for
terminating   an  agreement  which  eliminates  unprofitable
competition, and prevents a wasteful race in armaments which
can benefit neither party.
     
Qualitative limitation.
     
     20.  It  is  in  the  light  of  these  considerations,
presumably,   that   the   German  Government   desire   the
"qualitative provisions of the Anglo-German Agreement of the
17th  July,  1937, to remain unaffected." In principle,  His
Majesty's Government would share this desire: but  they  are
bound  to  point  out that the retention of the  qualitative
provisions alone will not suffice to create that feeling  of
mutual  security, to which it was the purpose of the  Anglo-
German  Agreement to contribute, and of which the provisions
for  the  exchange of information were the  expression.  His
Majesty's Government would, however, at all times  be  ready
to  consider  with the German Government the possibility  in
the words of their Note of reaching "a clear and categorical
understanding" on a sure basis.
     21.  From  the  terms  in which the  German  Government
announced their decision to retain the qualitative limits of
the  1937  Agreement, it is not clear  what  are  the  exact
limitations by which they consider themselves to be bound in
the  matter of cruisers. The qualitative limits of  cruisers
are fixed by Article 6 (1) of the Anglo-German Agreement  of
1937 as 8,000 tons displacement with guns not exceeding 6.1-
inch  calibre,  and it is by this limit that  all  signatory
Powers  of  the London Naval Treaty of 1936 are also  bound.
Although Article 6 (2) of the Anglo-German Agreement of 1937
permitted  Germany under certain circumstances  to  increase
her   8-inch  gun  cruiser  tonnage,  she  was  in  practice
precluded from building more than five such cruisers by  the
limits  of her quota under the 1935 Agreement. Now that  the
German Government have terminated the latter Agreement,  the
position  with regard to cruiser limits is no longer  clear,
but  it  is  presumed  that the limit to  which  the  German
Government intend to adhere is that of 8,000 tons  and  6.1-
inch  guns.  The German Government are requested to  confirm
this assumption.
     22.  The past forecasts of strength at the end of  1942
and 1943

DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 77
     
that  His  Majesty's  Government have  made  to  the  German
Government  have  been  given  solely  for  the  purpose  of
implementing  the  provisions of the 1935 Agreement.  It  is
clear that no further forecasts will be necessary since they
were  designed merely to allow Germany to make full  use  of
her  1935 quota. But if Germany is to be no longer bound  to
the  limit  of  35 per cent. specified in the Agreement,  it
should  be  clearly understood that His Majesty's Government
can  no longer be bound by their past forecasts of strength,
which must therefore be considered to be cancelled.
     23.  In  the  last  paragraph of their  memorandum  the
German Government declare that they are ready to enter  into
negotiations in regard to future problems, if His  Majesty's
Government  desire  to  do  so. As  indicated  above,  there
results  from the recent German action a situation which  is
in  some respects uncertain, and an exchange of views  would
help  to  clarify it. For instance, besides the question  of
tonnage and gun limits for cruisers, it is desirable to know
whether the German Government intend to regard themselves as
bound  by  all the articles of the Agreement of  1937  other
than those in Part III.
     24. If, however, what the German Government contemplate
is  the  negotiation of another Agreement to  replace  those
provisions  which  they have now terminated,  His  Majesty's
Government would be glad to receive some indication  of  the
scope and purpose which the German Government would consider
appropriate to such an Agreement.
     25.  In  particular His Majesty's Government desire  to
know,  first, when, in the German view, discussions for  the
conclusion of such an Agreement should take place. Secondly,
His  Majesty's  Government desire to  know  how  the  German
Government  would propose to ensure that any action  in  the
shape  of  denunciation or modification of the new Agreement
during the terms of its validity should carry the consent of
both parties.
     
 78 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                           No. 25.
   Speech by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs at
               Chatham House on June 29, 1939.
     
     WHEN I look back to the speech which I delivered at the
Chatham House Dinner in June a year ago, I am conscious,  as
we  all  are, of the great changes that have taken place.  A
year  ago we had undertaken no specific commitments  on  the
Continent of Europe, beyond those which had then existed for
some  considerable time and are familiar to you all.  To-day
we  are  bound  by  new agreements for mutual  defence  with
Poland  and Turkey: we have guaranteed assistance to  Greece
and Roumania against aggression, and we are now engaged with
the  Soviet  Government in a negotiation, to  which  I  hope
there may very shortly be a successful issue, with a view to
associating them with us for the defence of States in Europe
whose independence and neutrality may be threatened. We have
assumed obligations, and are preparing to assume more,  with
full   understanding   of  their  causes   and   with   full
understanding of their consequences. We know  that,  if  the
security  and  independence  of  other  countries   are   to
disappear, our own security and our own independence will be
gravely  threatened. We know that, if international law  and
order  is  to be preserved, we must be prepared to fight  in
its defence.
     In  the  past  we  have always stood  out  against  the
attempt  by  any  single  Power to dominate  Europe  at  the
expense  of  the  liberties of other  nations,  and  British
policy is, therefore, only following the inevitable line  of
its  own history, if such an attempt were to be made  again.
But  it  is  not enough to state a policy. What matters  is,
firstly,  to convince the nation that the policy  is  right,
and secondly, to take the steps necessary for that policy to
succeed.  I believe that at no time since the War has  there
been  such  national  unity on the main  essentials  of  our
foreign  policy, and that with this spirit of unity  goes  a
deep  and  widespread  determination  to  make  that  policy
effective. But I believe, too, that among all classes of our
people who, in virtue of their common citizenship, are being
called  upon  to  defend their country, and the  causes  for
which  it  stands,  there is an increasing  desire  to  look
beyond  the immediate present, and to see before  them  some
goal  for which they would willingly sacrifice their leisure
and, if need be, their lives.
     
DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 79
     
     We  are  already asking for great sacrifices  from  all
ages  and classes in the call for national service.  In  one
way and another, every man and woman has a part to play, and
I  know  is prepared to do so. The immense effort  that  the
country is making in equipping itself for defence at sea, in
the  air  and on land is without parallel in peace time.  We
have   an   unchallengeable  Navy.  Our  Air  Force,   still
undergoing   an   expansion  which   has   outstripped   all
expectations  of a few months ago, has now nothing  to  fear
from  any other. I have little doubt that its personnel,  in
spirit  and in skill, is superior to all others.  Our  army,
once  derided, but which survived to prove its worth so that
it  made  a boast of that derision, is, no doubt,  small  in
comparison  with  that  of  some other  countries.  But,  as
happened  once before, we are creating here also a  powerful
weapon for the defence of our own liberty and that of  other
peoples.  With  every week that passes,  that  effort  gains
momentum,   and   on   every  side   of   life,   political,
administrative, industrial, we have abundant evidence of how
firmly  this national effort is driven and supported by  the
people's  will.  Behind all our military  effort  stand  the
British  people, more united than ever before, and at  their
service their wealth and industrial resources. These, again,
are the object of contemptuous reference, but they have been
earned by the labour, skill and courage of our people.  None
of  this  formidable array of strength will be  called  into
play  except in defence against aggression. No blow will  be
struck,  no  shot fired. Of the truth of that,  everyone  in
this  country  is  convinced. I believe, myself,  that  most
people  in other countries really accept it in spite of  the
propaganda that dins into their ears the contrary.  What  is
also now fully and universally accepted in this country, but
what  may  not even yet be as well understood elsewhere,  is
that, in the event of further aggression, we are resolved to
use  at once the whole of our strength in fulfilment of  our
pledges to resist it.
     These  great  changes in our national life  could  not,
indeed,  be  brought  about, were they not  backed  by  deep
conviction, which is immensely strengthened by what we  hear
and  read almost daily from other parts of the world. We are
often  told  that, though once we were a great  nation,  our
ways  are now old-fashioned, and that our democracy  has  no
life  in  it. We read the mischievous misrepresentations  of
our  actions  and  of  our motives,  which  some  people  in
countries holding a different international philos-
     
80 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
ophy  from  our  own think fit to make. We  read  them  with
resentment,  knowing that they are false  and  knowing  that
those  who make them know it, too. These things do not  pass
unnoticed  here,  nor,  I  may say, do  provocative  insults
offered  to our fellow-countrymen further afield. I can  say
at  once that Great Britain is not prepared to yield  either
to  calumnies  or force. It may afford some satisfaction  to
those who have pronounced our nation to be decadent to learn
that  they  themselves  have found  the  cure-and  one  most
effective. Every insult that is offered to our people, every
rude  challenge  that  is made to  what  we  value  and  are
determined   to  defend,  only  unites  us,  increases   our
determination  and strengthens our loyalty to  those  others
who share our feelings and aspirations. Over a large part of
the world the old standards of conduct and of ordinary human
decency,  which man had laboriously built up, are being  set
aside. Things are being done to-day which we can hardly read
without  amazement; so alien are they to our  conception  of
how  men should deal with their fellow-men. Rules of conduct
between   nations  are  overridden  with  the  same  callous
indifference as rules of conduct between man and man.
     The  first thing, therefore, which we have to do is  to
see that our own standards of conduct do not deteriorate. On
that  point  there  must  be-and I  know  there  is-complete
national  unity.  We respect our fellow-men.  We  know  that
without  that there can be no real self-respect  either  for
individuals, or, in the long run, for nations. The day  that
we  lose our respect for our fellowmen, our democracy  would
have lost something on which its vitality depends, and would
justly  become what our critics like to think it,  moribund,
and dead, for it would, indeed, have lost the right to live.
If,  then  we  hold fast to these principles,  what  is  the
application  of them to our foreign policy? At a  time  when
our  aims are being constantly misrepresented, it is perhaps
well  to  restate  them boldly and with  such  plainness  of
speech  as  I  can command. And I would try to deal  briefly
both with our aims in the immediate present, and our aims in
the future; what we are doing now and what we should like to
see done as soon as circumstances make it possible.
     Our  first  resolve is to stop aggression. I  need  not
recapitulate the acts of aggression which have taken  place,
or the effect they

DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 81
     
have  had upon the general trust that European nations  feel
able  to  place in words and undertakings. For that  reason,
and for that reason alone, we have joined with other nations
to meet a common danger. These arrangements we all know, and
the  world  knows, have no purpose other than defence.  They
mean  what they say-no more and no less. But they have  been
denounced  as aiming at the isolation-or, as it  is  called,
the  encirclement-of Germany and Italy, and as  designed  to
prevent  them from acquiring the living space necessary  for
their national existence. I shall deal with these charges to-
night, and I propose to do so with complete frankness.
     We  are  told  that our motives are to isolate  Germany
within  a  ring  of  hostile States, to stifle  her  natural
outlets, to cramp and throttle the very existence of a great
nation.  What  are  the  facts? They  are  very  simple  and
everybody  knows  them.  Germany is isolating  herself,  and
doing  it most successfully and completely. She is isolating
herself  from other countries economically by her policy  of
autarky,  politically  by  a  policy  that  causes  constant
anxiety  to other nations, and culturally by her  policy  of
racialism. If you deliberately isolate yourself from  others
by  your own actions you can blame nobody but yourself,  and
so   long   as  this  isolation  continues,  the  inevitable
consequences  of  it are bound to become stronger  and  more
marked.  The  last thing we desire is to see the  individual
German man, or woman, or child suffering privations; but  if
they  do  so, the fault does not lie with us, and it depends
on  Germany  and  Germany  alone  whether  this  process  of
isolation continues or not, for any day it can be ended by a
policy  of  co-operation. It is well  that  this  should  be
stated plainly so that there may be no misunderstanding here
or elsewhere.
     I  come next to Lebensraum. This word, of which we have
not  heard  the  last,  needs to  be  fairly  and  carefully
examined.  Every  developed community is, of  course,  faced
with  the vital problem of living space. But the problem  is
not  solved  simply  by acquiring more territory.  That  may
indeed  only  make the problem more acute. It  can  only  be
solved by wise ordering of the affairs of a country at home,
and  by  adjusting  and improving its relations  with  other
countries abroad. Nations expand their wealth, and raise the
standard of living of their people by gaining the confi-

82 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
dence of their neighbours, and thus facilitating the flow of
goods  between them. The very opposite is likely to  be  the
consequence  of action by one nation in suppression  of  the
independent  existence of her smaller and weaker neighbours.
And  if Lebensraum is to be applied in that sense, we reject
it  and  must resist its application. It is noteworthy  that
this  claim  to  "living space" is being put  forward  at  a
moment  when  Germany  has  become an  immigration  country,
importing  workers  in  large numbers from  Czecho-Slovakia,
Holland  and  Italy to meet the needs of  her  industry  and
agriculture.  How  then  can  Germany  claim  to  be   over-
populated? Belgium and Holland, and to a less extent our own
islands,  have  already proved that  what  is  called  over-
population  can  be prevented by productive work.  The  wide
spaces  and the natural resources of the British Empire  and
the United States of America were not able to save them from
widespread distress during the great slump of 1929 to  1932.
Economically the world is far too closely knit together  for
any  one country to hope to profit itself at the expense  of
its  neighbours,  and  no more than any  other  country  can
Germany hope to solve her economic problems in isolation. It
is  no doubt impossible at present for us to foresee the day
when all trade everywhere will be completely free. But it is
possible  to  make  arrangements, given  the  opportunities,
which would greatly enlarge the area of freedom. Through co-
operation-and we, for our part, are ready to cooperate-there
is  ample scope for extending to all nations the opportunity
of a larger economic life with all that this means, which is
implied in the term "Lebensraum."
     If  the  world  were organised on such  lines,  neither
Germany  nor  Italy  need fear for her own  safety,  and  no
nation  could  fail  to  profit from  the  immense  material
benefits  which  the  general  application  of  science  has
brought  within  universal reach. But  no  such  society  of
nations  can be built upon force, in a world which lives  in
fear  of  violence,  and  has  to  spend  its  substance  in
preparing to resist it. It is idle to cry peace where  there
is  no peace, or to pretend to reach a settlement unless  it
can  be guaranteed by the reduction of warlike preparations,
and  by  the assured recognition of every nation's right  to
the  free enjoyment of its independence. At this moment  the
doctrine of force bars the way to settlement, and fills  the
world with envy, hatred, malice

DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 83
     
and  all uncharitableness. But if the doctrine of force were
once  abandoned,  so that the fear of war  that  stalks  the
world  was  lifted, all outstanding questions  would  become
easier  to solve. If all the effort which is now devoted  to
the   senseless  multiplication  of  armaments,   with   the
consequent increase of insecurity and distrust, were  to  be
applied to the common peaceful development of resources, the
peoples  of the world would soon find an incentive  to  work
together for the common good; they would realise that  their
true  interests do not conflict, and that progress and well-
being  depend upon community of aim and effort. The  nations
would then be in a position to discuss with real promise  of
success both political grievances and economic difficulties,
whether in the international or colonial field.
     This brings me to say something about the principles of
our  colonial administration. There was a time when  in  the
British Empire, as elsewhere, colonies were regarded  merely
as  a  source  of  wealth  and a  place  of  settlement  for
Europeans.  You  have  only  to read  any  of  the  colonial
literature  of those days to see for how little counted  the
rights and welfare of the natives. But during the last  half
century  a  very  different view has gained ground,  a  view
which  has  been  finely expressed  in  Article  22  of  the
Covenant,  namely,  that the well-being and  development  of
"people  not  yet  able  to stand by  themselves  under  the
strenuous conditions of the modern world" is "a sacred trust
of civilisation."
     That trust has been steadily fulfilled since the War in
the case of the Mandated Territories, on which the operation
of  the  provisions  of  Article  22  of  the  Covenant  has
conferred  immense  benefits. The  British  Commonwealth  is
fully  aware of the heavy responsibility resting upon it  to
see  that,  through respect for these principles, continuity
and  development  is assured to the native populations.  The
mandatory  system, in fact, derives from  exactly  the  same
inspiration   as   that  which  governs   British   colonial
administrative  policy. We have applied the same  principles
to India and Burma, where they are now steadily at work on a
scale that twenty or thirty years ago would have seemed  far
beyond the bounds of reasonable expectation. Within the last
few  years  we have seen the transformation of Eire  into  a
separate and independent member of the British Commonwealth,
enjoying with
     
84 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK

our  other partners of the Empire full Dominion status.  For
many  years  we tried, as the phrase went, to hold  Ireland,
under  the  mistaken  belief, which  is  to-day  invoked  to
justify  the  subjection  of Czecho-Slovakia,  that  it  was
indispensable  to our national security.  But  we  have  now
realised that our safety is not diminished, but immeasurably
increased, by a free and friendly Ireland. And so both  here
and  in every country for which we have been responsible  we
have steadily moved in one direction. The whole picture is a
significant  and  faithful reflection  of  British  thought,
projected  into  political  form,  and  expressing   itself,
through history and now, in the development of institutions.
We  recognise,  as  the United States have recognised,  that
self-government  should  be the ultimate  goal  of  colonial
policy,  a goal which is near or distant, according  to  the
capacity  of  the  peoples concerned  to  manage  their  own
affairs. In one of your own studies, "The Colonial Problem,"
the  type of research which enhances the name and reputation
of  Chatham House, you have considered the question  whether
colonies  pay. You drew attention to the benefits  of  cheap
imports which the consumers of a country possessing colonies
obtain  as  the  result  of  the  relatively  low  cost   of
production  of certain commodities in colonial  territories.
But  under an international system, under which the  present
trade  barriers  were  to  a great extent  abolished,  those
benefits,  already  shared as they  are  to  a  considerable
extent  by many countries not possessing colonies, would  be
shared  still more widely. On all sides there could be  more
free  and ready access to markets and raw materials  of  the
world;  wider  channels of trade down which would  flow  the
goods  which nations require to buy and sell. Such are  some
of the possibilities within everybody's reach.
     How does all this affect our wider problems? One of the
most  significant facts in world history is  the  extent  to
which the principle of trusteeship has come to be adopted in
the  British Commonwealth during the last thirty years,  and
there  is  surely something here that can be  used  for  the
great benefit of mankind. Can we not look forward to a  time
when  there may be agreement on common methods and  aims  of
colonial  development, which may ensure not  only  that  the
universally  acknowledged purpose of colonial administration
will  be  to help their inhabitants steadily to raise  their
level of life, but also that colonial territories may

DEVELOPMENTS IN ANGLO-GERMAN RELATIONS 85
     
make  a  growing contribution to the world's  resources?  On
such  an  agreed foundation of purpose we hope  that  others
might  be prepared with us to make their contribution  to  a
better world. If so, I have no doubt that in the conduct  of
our  colonial administration we should be ready  to  go  far
upon  the  economic  side, as we have already  done  on  the
political   side,  in  making  wider  application   of   the
principles  which  now  obtain in the mandated  territories,
including,  on terms of reciprocity, that of the open  door.
Whatever may be the difficulties of the colonial problem, or
of  any  other,  I  would not despair  of  finding  ways  of
settlement, once everybody has got the will to settle.  But,
unless  all  countries  do, in fact,  desire  a  settlement,
discussions  would  only  do more harm  than  good.  It  is,
moreover,  impossible to negotiate with a  Government  whose
responsible  spokesmen brand a friendly country  as  thieves
and blackmailers and indulge in daily monstrous slanders  on
British  policy  in  all parts of the  world.  But  if  that
spirit, which is clearly incompatible with any desire for  a
peaceful  settlement, gave way to something  different,  His
Majesty's  Government  would be ready  to  pool  their  best
thought  with  others in order to end the present  state  of
political and economic insecurity. If we could get  so  far,
what  an immense stride the world would have made! We should
have  exorcised the anxiety which is cramping and  arresting
business  expansion  and  we should  have  brought  back  an
atmosphere of confidence among nations and assurance for the
future  among  the  youth of this and every  other  European
country.  Our next task would be the reconstruction  of  the
international order on a broader and firmer foundation. That
is too large a topic for me to embark upon this evening, but
I should like to commend it to your thinking.
     We must ask ourselves how far the failure of the League
was  due to shortcomings in the Covenant itself, or how  far
it  was  the  absence of some of the greatest  countries  at
every  stage of its history that has crippled both its moral
authority and strength. Is it beyond the political genius of
mankind    to   reconcile   national   individuality    with
international  collaboration? Can human  purpose  rise  high
enough to solve the riddle? An examination of the history of
the   Covenant  may  perhaps  disclose  that  some  of   its
obligations were too loose and others too rigid. It has been
suggested,  for  instance,  that  some  system  of  specific
regional guar-
     
86 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
antees  for  the  preservation of the peace  would  be  more
effective  than the indefinite but universal obligations  of
Articles  10  and  16,  and it is not  impossible  that  the
grouping  of  the  Powers as it exists  to-day,  instead  of
dividing Europe, might be so moulded as to become the embryo
of a better European system.
     That  is one side of the problem. But it is not  enough
to devise measures for preventing the use of force to change
the  status quo, unless there is also machinery for bringing
about  peaceful change. For a living and changing world  can
never  be held in iron clamps, and any such attempt  is  the
high road to disaster. Changes in the relations, needs,  and
outlook  of nations are going on all the time. And there  is
no  more  urgent  need, if we are ever to  find  a  workable
system   of  international  organisation,  than  to   invent
peaceful means by which such changes can be handled.  To-day
when   the  European  nations,  forgetful  of  their  common
civilisation, are arming to the teeth, it is more  important
than  ever  that we should remind ourselves of the essential
unity  of European civilisation. European minds meet  across
political  frontiers. With the same background of knowledge,
with  the  same  heritage of culture, they  study  the  same
problems;  the  work of the great masters  of  science,  and
literature or art is the common property of all peoples; and
thinkers  in  every  land exchange knowledge  on  equal  and
friendly  terms. Truly is a divided Europe a  house  divided
against   itself.   Our  foreign  policy  must,   therefore,
constantly bear in mind the immediate present and  the  more
distant future, the steps we are now taking and the goal  to
which they are meant to lead.
     I have strained your patience, but if you will allow me
a  few  moments more I will endeavour to pick up the threads
of  my  thought and perhaps make a few points more explicit.
British policy rests on twin foundations of purpose. One  is
determination to resist force. The other is our  recognition
of  the world's desire to get on with the constructive  work
of  building peace. If we could once be satisfied  that  the
intentions of others were the same as our own, and  that  we
all  really  wanted  peaceful  solutions-then,  I  say  here
definitely,  we could discuss the problems that  are  to-day
causing the world anxiety. In such a new atmosphere we could
examine   the  colonial  problem,  the  questions   of   raw
materials, trade barriers, the issue of Lebensraum, the
     
DETERIORATION IN DANZIG SITUATION 87
     
limitation  of armaments, and any other issue  that  affects
the lives of all European citizens.
     But  that is not the position which we face to-day. The
threat of military force is holding the world to ransom, and
our  immediate  task is-and here I end as I began-to  resist
aggression.  I would emphasise that to-night  with  all  the
strength at my command, so that nobody may misunderstand it.
And  if  we are ever to succeed in removing misunderstanding
and reaching a settlement which the world can trust, it must
be   upon   some   basis   more  substantial   than   verbal
undertakings.  It has been said that deeds, not  words,  are
necessary.  That also is our view. There must  be  give  and
take  in practical form on both sides, for there can  be  no
firm  bargains on the basis of giving something concrete  in
return for mere assurances. None of us can in these days see
very far ahead in the world in which we live, but we can and
must  always  be sure of the general direction in  which  we
wish  to  travel.  Let us, therefore,  be  very  sure  that,
whether  or  not  we are to preserve for ourselves  and  for
others  the  things that we hold dear, depends in  the  last
resort  upon  ourselves, upon the strength of  the  personal
faith of each one of us, and upon our resolution to maintain
it.
     
       DETERIORATION IN THE LOCAL SITUATION AT DANZIG.
     
                           No. 26.
     
Note from  the President of the Danzig Senate to the  Polish
     Commissioner-General  of  June  3,  1939,   about   the
     question of Polish Customs Inspectors.
     
(Translation.)

Mr. Minister,
     
     SEVERAL  months  ago  I had the  honour  to  draw  your
attention  to  the fact that the ever-increasing  number  of
Polish  Customs  Inspectors  was  not  compatible  with  the
execution  of  their  prescribed duties.  Since  the  latest
additions  there  are  now  well  over  100  Polish  Customs
Inspectors  in  Danzig territory. Their behaviour,  both  in
their  official and their private life, has  given  rise  to
increasing complaint. The Danzig population, like the German
     
88 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
population,   in  their  local  frontier  intercourse   feel
themselves  constantly offended by  the  way  in  which  the
Polish  Customs officials perform their duty  and  by  their
behaviour in private life.
     I  have  no  fear  that incidents on the  part  of  the
population  might arise on that account. Still less  is  the
safety of the Polish officials in any way endangered. I have
therefore  taken steps to ensure that they may, as hitherto,
perform   their   duties  absolutely  safely   and   without
hindrance. I believe, however, that ways and means  must  be
found to eliminate the constant friction and tension.
     For all these reasons I consider it necessary forthwith
to restrict the activity of the Polish Customs Inspectors to
a  general supervision in conformity with the agreement.  In
particular,  I  must urge that their official activities  be
confined to the offices, and not performed outside of  them.
I  can also no longer permit the Danzig Customs officials to
take instructions, even in the form of suggestions, from the
Polish   Customs  officials.  I  will,  however,  see   that
questions   addressed   to  officials   will   be   answered
officially.
     I   have   directed  the  President  of   the   Customs
Administration  of the Free City to instruct  his  officials
accordingly. I have the honour, Mr. Minister, to request you
to  inform  your Government accordingly and  to  exert  your
influence   towards  meeting  the  wishes  of   the   Danzig
Government.
     I  avail  myself of this opportunity to revert  to  our
conversation  of  the  8th February last.  At  that  time  I
explained   to  you,  Mr.  Minister,  that  I   would   give
instructions to abstain for the present from swearing in the
customs  officials, and that, should the occasion  arise,  I
would communicate with you before administering the oath.
     I  have the honour to inform you, with reference to the
contents of my letter of the 3rd January last (pages  2  and
3), that I have now left it to the discretion of the Finance
Department  of  the Senate to administer  the  oath  to  the
customs officials if they regard it as desirable.
     I have, &c.
     GREISER
     
DETERIORATION IN DANZIG SITUATION 89
     
                           No. 27.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.

(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
June 11, 1939.
     FOLLOWING  is full summary of note, as published  here,
addressed  on  10th  June by Polish Commissioner-General  to
President of Danzig Senate in reply to latter's note of  3rd
June*:-
     2.  President  of  Senate's complaint of  behaviour  of
Polish  Customs Inspectors on and off duty is not  supported
by  any  proofs  and must be regarded as unfounded.  On  the
other  hand, behaviour of certain Danzig elements, including
Customs   officials,   has  been  highly   provocative,   as
Commissioner-General has frequently pointed out  orally  and
in  writing. Polish Inspectors have reacted with dignity and
moderation and refused to be provoked. The Polish Government
still  expect  Senate to take measures  to  secure  personal
safety  of Polish Customs Inspectors to allow free execution
of  their  duty, with reference to Point 3 of  Polish-Danzig
Agreement of 1922, which lays down that Polish officials  in
Danzig  should  receive the same treatment as  corresponding
Danzig officials.
     3.  As  regards  alleged  excessive  number  of  Polish
Customs  officials,  Polish  Government,  on  the  contrary,
consider  it  at present rather insufficient.  This  can  be
shown  by  present state of affairs as regards  handling  of
goods in Danzig harbour and passenger traffic between Danzig
and Poland, and is partly due to obstruction encountered  by
officials in execution of their duty.
     4.  Polish  Government, moreover, cannot agree  to  any
restriction of activity of Polish Inspectors as forecast  in
note of Danzig Senate. Present treaty arrangements would not
permit  of  Inspectors merely exercising general supervision
within  customs  offices,  a  restriction  which  would   be
contrary  to Sections 1 and 4 of Article 204 of  the  Warsaw
Treaty  of the 24th October, 1921. In this connexion  Polish
note   also  quotes  Article  10  of  Polish-Danzig  Customs
Agreement  of  the 6th August, 1934, which  lays  down  that
Danzig  officials  shall conform to instructions  of  Polish
Customs  Inspectors  in  connexion with  manifest  cases  of
smuggling.
     
* No. 26
     
90 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     5.  Polish  Government  must  regard  Senate  as  fully
responsible  for any disputes which may arise in  this  last
connexion, and must regard as illegal and contrary to treaty
obligations  any  attempts  by  Danzig  Customs  authorities
arbitrarily   to   restrict  Polish   rights   of   control.
Instructions given to Danzig Customs officials as  described
in  Senate's  note  must be regarded as a violation  of  the
principle   of   collaboration   between   Danzig    Customs
Administration  and  Polish  Inspectors.  Latter  have  been
instructed  to continue exercising their functioning  within
the   same  limits-which  are  in  conformity  with   treaty
situation-as in the past twenty years, and hope is expressed
that  they  will  not  meet  with  obstruction  from  Danzig
authorities.
     6.   As   regards   question  of  swearing-in   Customs
officials,  Polish note refers to written communications  of
Senate   on   this  subject  and  to  Commissioner-General's
interviews with President. Should Senate not take account of
fully  justified  demands of Polish Government,  and  should
they  proceed  to  swearing-in  of  officials  in  spite  of
assurance  by President of Senate that this would  not  take
place  except  after consultation with Commissioner-General,
Polish   Government  will  have  to  consider  question   of
strengthening   customs  control,   since   Danzig   Customs
officials  will in future be giving a less binding guarantee
of  their  respect  for,  and proper  execution  of,  Polish
Customs regulations.
     7.  Essence of whole question is that territory of Free
City  is part of Polish Customs Territory, both legally  and
in  virtue of treaty obligations. Authorities must therefore
be  assured  of  thorough-going execution  of  their  Polish
customs policy and regulations on external frontier of their
Customs  territory. Hence any measures by Danzig authorities
which threaten to obstruct, if only in part, the functioning
of  the  Polish Customs system can only provoke reaction  by
Polish Government in the form of measures designed fully  to
protect Poland's rightful interest.
     8. Polish Government desire, as before, to regulate all
vital  questions concerning Free City of Danzig in agreement
with  Danzig  Senate.  In  the situation  recently  created,
however, they consider it their duty to warn the Senate that
any  shortcomings or obstructions in functioning  of  Polish
Customs system and administration must react unfavourably on
the economic inter-
     
DETERIORATION IN DANZIG SITUATION 91
     
ests  of  Danzig  and  its population, a  consequence  which
Polish Government desire to avoid.
     
                           No. 28.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
June 27, 1939.
     I  ASKED  the  Vice-Minister for Foreign  Affairs  this
morning  what  information he had regarding the constitution
of  the  Freicorps at Danzig. He told me that  according  to
Polish information a corps of 4,000 was being formed of whom
2,000  would be quartered at barracks in Danzig  itself  and
2,000  in  new  buildings which were  being  constructed  at
Praust.
     2.  As  regards the general situation in Danzig it  was
perhaps a little better. There had been some fifty cases  of
Danzig  officials refusing to carry out the instructions  of
the Polish Customs Inspectors during the past fortnight, but
during  the  past few days there had been no cases  of  this
kind.  This  may be due to the fact that the  arms  for  the
Freicorps  were  being surreptitiously introduced  into  the
Free  City  from East Prussia during the past fortnight  and
that  presumably now that the arms were in Danzig  there  is
less  occasion  for  contravention  of  the  Polish  Customs
regulations.
     3.  M. Arciszewski did not think that Germany would  go
to  the  length  of risking a general war in connexion  with
Danzig,  but  felt that she would gradually  strengthen  her
position there, weaken any authority that Poland might still
have there and hope that Poland would finally be reduced  to
such  a state of economic exhaustion that she would have  to
accept  some  solution  as regards  Danzig  which  would  be
favourable  to  Germany.  Further,  Germany  would  in   the
meantime,  no  doubt, assiduously propagate  the  idea  that
Great Britain and France would not implement their guarantee
as  regards  Danzig and thereby endeavour still  further  to
undermine Polish morale.

92 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                           No. 29.
                              
            Mr. G. Shepherd to Viscount Halifax.

(Telegraphic.)                                       Danzig,
June 28, 1939.
     IN  contrast to calm in Warsaw, the last week has  been
increasingly eventful here.
     2.  For  the  past  fortnight the S.A.  men  have  been
nightly preparing defences around the Free City, and on  the
night  of  26th-27th June were ordered to  stand  by  for  a
possible emergency, perhaps in connexion with celebration in
Gdynia  of  Polish  Feast  of the  Seas  or  because  Polish
frontier  on  Danzig-Gdynia road was closed to traffic  from
midnight  on  26th-27th June until  4  P.M.  on  27th  June,
presumably   in  connexion  with  completion  of   anti-tank
defences.
     3.  The  approaches for a pontoon bridge are in  active
construction on both sides of the Vistula.
     4.  On  23rd  June Danzig members of German  Automobile
Club  received an urgent request to complete  and  return  a
questionnaire regarding their cars.
     5.  All  Danzig owners of motor lorries,  trucks,  &c.,
were  recently ordered to leave them over-night at  military
police barracks for inspection after which each vehicle  was
numbered and returned to its owner.
     6.  To-day  several hundred draught and  saddle  horses
have  been  similarly  ordered  to  barracks  nominally  for
inspection, but as some of them have come from distant parts
of  the  Free  City,  it seems possible  that  they  may  be
retained,  especially as carloads of saddles have also  been
delivered there.
     7. Formation of Freicorps is proceeding rapidly.
     8.   In   addition  to  unusually  heavily   advertised
programme  of  week-end events, nearly 1,000 S.S.  men  from
East Prussia and a number of high S.S. officers from Germany
arrived here almost unannounced on 25th June ostensibly  for
sporting contests with local S.S.
     9.  Dr. Boettcher was absent from Danzig and presumably
in Berlin on 26th June and 27th June.
     10. In a speech on 25th June Herr Forster said: "Before
us  lies  a  new  era and for Germany a great epoch.  During
recent  weeks our Danzig has become the centre of  political
events. We
     
DETERIORATION IN DANZIG SITUATION 93
     
are  all aware that we are in the final throes of our  fight
for  freedom. The Free State of Danzig has taken the longest
time.  Today  everyone knows that the Free State  will  soon
come to an end and we also know how it will end."
     11. A considerable number of visiting S.S. men remained
here when others left last Sunday night. Those remaining are
reputed  to have performed their military service in Germany
and  to be members of Adolf Hitler's Verfgungstruppen. They
are readily distinguishable by their deportment and slightly
different  uniforms from local S.S. men. About 300  of  them
are  in  military police barracks, which are now very  full,
and  others  are  in other former local barracks  which  are
capable  of accommodating from 1,000 to 1,500 men, and  have
hitherto been occupied by Danzig social welfare organisation
which  is  being  transferred to  an  hotel  that  has  been
requisitioned  for the purpose. According to  sub-editor  of
Dantziger Vorposten, the largest youth hostel in the  world,
which  is  approaching completion here, is to be used  as  a
barracks.
     12.  A number of workmen's dwellings at Praust are said
to have been requisitioned for storage of ammunition, and my
Argentine  colleague informs me that  he  saw  a  number  of
military police equipped with gas masks.
     13. All Danzig civil servants and students are required
to  remain within the Free City during their vacations,  and
the  latter  must  devote their holidays to harvesting.  All
categories  of  military police have been kept  in  barracks
yesterday  and  to-day,  and  to-night  members  of  various
National   Socialist  organisations  are  apparently   again
standing by, as remarkably few of them are visible about the
City.
     
                           No. 30.
                              
        Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).

(Telegraphic.)                             Foreign   Office,
June 30, 1939.
     You  should  at once seek interview with  Minister  for
Foreign  Affairs  and  ask  him how  the  Polish  Government
propose  to  deal  with the situation which  appears  to  be
impending.  It  would seem that Hitler is laying  his  plans
very astutely so as to present the

94 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
Polish  Government with a fait accompli in Danzig, to  which
it would be difficult for them to react without appearing in
the  role  of  aggressors. I feel that the moment  has  come
where  consultation between the Polish, British  and  French
Governments  is  necessary in order that the  plans  of  the
three Governments may be co-ordinated in time. It is in  the
view  of His Majesty's Government essential that these plans
shall  be so devised as to ensure that Hitler shall  not  be
able  so  to  manage  matters as  to  manoeuvre  the  Polish
Government into the position of aggressors.
     
                           No. 31.
                              
            Mr. G. Shepherd to Viscount Halifax.

(Telegraphic.)                                       Danzig,
June 30, 1939.
     HORSES continued to arrive yesterday, and about 600  of
them are being kept in barracks at which large quantities of
hay have also been delivered.
     2. For the last few nights the two great shipyards here
which normally work all night were closed under strict guard
and all workmen evacuated from them.
     3.  As  from  to-night Danzig and suburbs  were  to  be
blacked  out until further notice and, in case of  air  raid
alarm, all inhabitants were ordered to take refuge in  their
cellars  or  public shelters. This order was cancelled  this
afternoon.
     4.  Former  local  barracks are now occupied  by  large
number of young men with obvious military training who  wear
uniforms similar to Danzig S.S. but with deaths-head  emblem
on  the  right  collar  and "Heimwehr  Danzig"  on  sleeves.
Courtyard  is  occupied  by  about  fifteen  military  motor
lorries (some with trailers) with East Prussia licences  and
covered with tarpaulins, also by about forty field kitchens.
     5. Two thousand men are working twenty-four hours a day
in  three  shifts on construction of barracks at Matzkshuter
to  accommodate  10,000  men. Work  is  stated  to  be  well
advanced.
     6.  All  dressmakers here are said  to  be  working  on
bedding, clothing, &c., for barracks and their occupants.
     7.  It has just been announced that Tiegenmorse-Einlage
section  of  Danzig-Elbing road is closed for major  repairs
until 1st
     
DETERIORATION IN DANZIG SITUATION 95
     
August,  and it seems unlikely that pontoon bridge  will  be
ready before that date.
     8.  My  personal impression is that extensive  military
preparations  which are being pressed forward so  feverishly
are  part of large-scale operations but not intended for use
before  August,  unless unexpected developments  precipitate
matters  and that emergency defensive measures, referred  to
in  paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this telegram, may  be  due  to
fear  lest  those  preparations should cause  the  Poles  to
substitute  a sudden offensive for defensive measures  which
they have hitherto adopted.
     
                           No. 32.
                              
               Mr. Norton to Viscount Halifax.

(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
July 1, 1939.
     YOUR telegram of 30th June.*
     I  read M. Beck the gist of your telegram. M. Beck said
that  he would first give me a piece of information.  German
Government  yesterday  notified  the  Polish  Government  in
proper  legal manner that the K”nigsberg would visit  Danzig
for  three  days on 25th August. Polish Government  were  at
once  passing this on to the Danzig Senate with all courtesy
adding that they had no objection.
     2. Passing to the substance of your Lordship's message,
M.  Beck asked me to assure you that he entirely shared your
view  as to the necessity of foreseeing a situation in which
Poland   might  be  manoeuvred  into  a  dilemma  of  either
accepting a fait accompli or appearing to be aggressive.
     3.  He therefore was fully in favour of an exchange  of
views.  He  was,  however, leaving Warsaw this  evening  for
forty-eight  hours and would prefer to go  into  the  matter
more  thoroughly  with me on Tuesday  when  he  had  thought
things  over  especially as he had only  returned  yesterday
from a week's leave.
     4.  He  said  that reading between the  lines  of  your
message he felt you might be thinking of a joint d‚marche in
Berlin.  He did not at first sight think the time  had  come
for this. It might put
     
* No. 30.

96 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
us all into a position where we had to proceed more vigorously
than seemed wise to either of our two countries.
     5.  I  asked whether he thought Great Britain's  action
would  be  better  taken  with the  Danzig  Senate.  He  was
inclined to think so but preferred not to commit himself  at
the moment.
     6.  He  asked me assure you that despite some  people's
ideas  of  Polish  rashness,  the  Polish  Government   were
determined  not to be scared by any psychological  terrorism
into  imprudent  action. Only last night there  had  been  a
rumour  (the forty-ninth of its kind) that the Germans  were
going  to march into Danzig at once. He had seen the  Polish
Chief  of Staff and it had been decided that not one  Polish
soldier  was  to  be moved. He had gone  to  bed  and  slept
peacefully.
     7.  I  asked  if it was not the case that  recent  Nazi
activities in Danzig were creating a worse military position
for Poland. M. Beck replied that it was in a sense true, but
a  war was not won by a few thousand "tourists." The Germans
knew  that quite well and were mainly hoping to provoke  and
intimidate  Poland. They would not succeed, and it  must  be
clear to them now that any actual aggression would be met by
the solid block of Great Britain, France and Poland.
     8.  He  had not changed his attitude one jot  since  he
spoke  with you and the Prime Minister in London.  He  still
desired peaceful and normal relations with Germany.
     
                           No. 33.
                              
            Mr. G. Shepherd to Viscount Halifax.

(Telegraphic.)                                       Danzig,
July 1, 1939.
     YESTERDAY  morning four German army officers  in  mufti
arrived here by night express from Berlin to organise Danzig
Heimwehr.
     All  approaches  to  hills and dismantled  fort,  which
constitute a popular public promenade on western  fringe  of
the  city  have been closed with barbed wire and  "Verboten"
notices.
     3.  The  walls surrounding the shipyards bear  placards
"Comrades,   keep   your  mouths  shut   lest   you   regret
consequences."
     4.  Master of a British steamship whilst he was  roving
K”nigsberg from 28th June to 30th June observed considerable
military
     
DETERIORATION IN DANZIG SITUATION 97
     
activity,   including  extensive  shipment  of   camouflaged
covered  lorries  and  similar material  by  small  coasting
vessels. On 28th June four medium-sized steamers loaded with
troops,   lorries,  field  kitchens,  &c.,  left  K”nigsberg
ostensibly   returning  to  Hamburg  after  manoeuvres   but
actually  proceeding  to  Stettin. Names  of  steamers  were
Hohenhorn, with heavy derricks each capable of lifting about
50  tons, Sharhorn, Tilsit and Utlandhorn, all modern  well-
equipped vessels, each about 5,000 tons gross.
     
                           No. 34.
                              
               Mr. Norton to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
July 3, 1939.
     FROM  the  austere calm which continues to  prevail  in
Polish official circles and generally throughout Poland,  it
would  appear that gradual remilitarisation of Free City  of
Danzig  has not yet attained dimensions sufficiently serious
to alarm Polish Government.
     2.  They  are,  of course, aware that  the  process  is
intended  to  facilitate a coup by  Herr  Hitler  should  he
decide on one.
     3.  Their attitude to this latter possibility seems  to
be as follows :-
     (a) They  are  strengthening their  powers  of  defence
          ceaselessly  and to the extent of their  financial
          ability;
     (b) They have no intention of provoking a quarrel or of
          showing weakness;
     (c) If  their  rights  in Danzig and the  Corridor  are
          seriously  threatened they will reply by  counter-
          measures proportionate to the circumstances;
     (d) That   Herr   Hitler   will  think   twice   before
          challenging the anti-aggression front openly;
     (e) If he does so, Poland will put up the best show she
          can.
     
     4. This attitude may seem over-simplified, but at least
it  is  comprehensible, restrained, and  well-calculated  to
counteract German technique of "psychological terrorism."
     5.  It  is unfortunately inevitable that the initiative
should rest with the would-be aggressor.

98 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
      BRITISH ATTITUDE TOWARDS DEVELOPMENTS IN DANZIG.
     
                           No. 35.
                              
 Statement by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on
                       July 10, 1939.
     
     Mr.  Harold Macmillan asked the Prime Minister  whether
His  Majesty's  Government will issue a declaration  to  the
effect  that  any  change in the present status  of  Danzig,
other than by an agreement to which the Polish Government is
a party, whether brought about externally by military action
on the part of Germany or internally by a movement initiated
or  supported by the German Government, will be regarded  as
an  act of aggression on the part of Germany and, therefore,
covered by the terms of our pledge to Poland?
     Lieut.-Commander  Fletcher  asked  the  Prime  Minister
whether  any attempt to alter the existing regime at  Danzig
by  aggression from outside or penetration from within  will
be  regarded  as within the terms of our pledge to  maintain
the  independence  of Poland; and has a  communication  been
made to the Polish Government in these terms?
     Mr.  A.  Henderson asked the Prime Minister whether  he
has  any  statement  to  make on the  present  situation  in
Danzig?
     Mr.  V.  Adams asked the Prime Minister whether he  has
any  further  statement  to make  on  the  attitude  of  His
Majesty's Government towards the position of Danzig?
     Mr.  Thurtle asked the Prime Minister whether he is now
satisfied  that the head of the German Government no  longer
has  any doubt of the intention of this country to discharge
to  the full the undertaking it has given to Poland; or  has
he  under  consideration any further action with a  view  to
removing  any possible doubt or misunderstanding  which  may
still exist?
     The Prime Minister: I would ask hon. Members to be good
enough to await the statement which I propose to make at the
end of questions.
     Later-
     The  Prime Minister: I have previously stated that  His
Majesty's Government are maintaining close contact with  the
Polish  and French Governments on the question of Danzig.  I
have

BRITISH ATTITUDE DANZIG DEVELOPMENTS 99
     
nothing  at  present  to  add to the information  which  has
already  been given to the House about the local  situation.
But  I  may, perhaps, usefully review the elements  of  this
question as they appear to His Majesty's Government.
     Racially  Danzig is, almost wholly, a German city;  but
the  prosperity of its inhabitants depends to a  very  large
extent  upon  Polish  trade. The Vistula  is  Poland's  only
waterway  to  the  Baltic, and the  port  at  its  mouth  is
therefore of vital strategic and economic importance to her.
Another Power established in Danzig could, if it so desired,
block  Poland's access to the sea and so exert  an  economic
and   military  stranglehold  upon  her.  Those   who   were
responsible for framing the present statute of the Free City
were  fully conscious of these facts, and did their best  to
make  provision accordingly. Moreover, there is no  question
of any oppression of the German population in Danzig. On the
contrary,  the administration of the Free City is in  German
hands, and the only restrictions imposed upon it are not  of
a kind to curtail the liberties of its citizens. The present
settlement, though it may be capable of improvement,  cannot
in  itself be regarded as basically unjust or illogical. The
maintenance of the status quo had in fact been guaranteed by
the  German  Chancellor himself up to 1944 by  the  ten-year
Treaty which he had concluded with Marshal Pilsudski.
     Up  till  last March Germany seems to have  felt  that,
while  the  position  of  Danzig  might  ultimately  require
revision, the question was neither urgent nor likely to lead
to  a  serious  dispute.  But  in  March,  when  the  German
Government  put  forward an offer in  the  form  of  certain
desiderata  accompanied  by  a press  campaign,  the  Polish
Government realised that they might presently be faced  with
a  unilateral solution, which they would have to resist with
all  their forces. They had before them the events which had
taken  place in Austria, Czecho-Slovakia and the  Memelland.
Accordingly,  they  refused to accept the  German  point  of
view,   and  themselves  made  suggestions  for  a  possible
solution  of  the problems in which Germany was  interested.
Certain defensive measures were taken by Poland on the  23rd
March and the reply was sent to Berlin on the 26th March.  I
ask  the  House to note carefully these dates. It  has  been
freely   stated  in  Germany  that  it  was  His   Majesty's
Government's guarantee
     
     
100 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK

which  encouraged the Polish Government to take  the  action
which  I  have described. But it will be observed  that  our
guarantee  was not given until the 31st March. By  the  26th
March  no  mention of it, even, had been made to the  Polish
Government.
     Recent occurrences in Danzig have inevitably given rise
to  fears that it is intended to settle her future status by
unilateral action, organized by surreptitious methods,  thus
presenting Poland and other Powers with a fait accompli.  In
such circumstances any action taken by Poland to restore the
situation would, it is suggested, be represented as  an  act
of  aggression on her part, and if her action were supported
by other Powers they would be accused of aiding and abetting
her in the use of force.
     If  the sequence of events should, in fact, be such  as
is  contemplated  on  this  hypothesis,  hon.  Members  will
realise, from what I have said earlier, that the issue could
not  be  considered as a purely local matter  involving  the
rights  and  liberties of the Danzigers, which  incidentally
are  in  no  way threatened, but would at once raise  graver
issues affecting Polish national existence and independence.
We  have guaranteed to give our assistance to Poland in  the
case  of  a  clear  threat  to her independence,  which  she
considers  it vital to resist with her national forces,  and
we are firmly resolved to carry out this undertaking.
     I  have  said  that  while the  present  settlement  is
neither basically unjust nor illogical, it may be capable of
improvement. It may be that in a clearer atmosphere possible
improvements  could be discussed. Indeed, Colonel  Beck  has
himself  said  in  his speech on the 5th  May  that  if  the
Government of the Reich is guided by two conditions, namely,
peaceful  intentions and peaceful methods of procedure,  all
conversations  are  possible.  In  his  speech  before   the
Reichstag on the 28th April the German Chancellor said  that
if the Polish Government wished to come to fresh contractual
arrangements governing its relations with Germany  he  could
but  welcome  such an idea. He added that  any  such  future
arrangements  would have to be based on an absolutely  clear
obligation equally binding on both parties.
     His    Majesty's   Government   realise   that   recent
developments in the Free City have disturbed confidence  and
rendered  it  difficult at present to find an atmosphere  in
which  reasonable  counsels can prevail.  In  face  of  this
situation, the Polish Government have
     
BRITISH ATTITUDE DANZIG DEVELOPMENTS 101
     
remained  calm, and His Majesty's Government hope  that  the
Free City, with her ancient traditions, may again prove,  as
she   has   done  before  in  her  history,  that  different
nationalities  can work together when their  real  interests
coincide. Meanwhile, I trust that all concerned will declare
and  show their determination not to allow any incidents  in
connection with Danzig to assume such a character  as  might
constitute a menace to the peace of Europe.
     
                           No. 36.
                              
            Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax.
                              
My   Lord,                                           Berlin,
July 15, 1939.
     I  TOOK  the  opportunity  of  a  visit  to  the  State
Secretary  yesterday  to mention to  him  that  I  had  been
informed  that one of the Under-Secretaries at the  Ministry
for  Foreign Affairs, Dr. Keppler, had said that Herr Hitler
was convinced that England would never fight over Danzig.
     2.  I  said to Baron von Weizs„cker that when I was  in
London  I  had assured your Lordship and the Prime  Minister
that  Herr Hitler could not possibly be in any doubt  as  to
the  facts  of  the  case,  namely,  that,  if  Germany   by
unilateral action at Danzig in any form compelled the  Poles
to  resist,  Britain would at once come to their assistance.
He  (Baron  von Weizs„cker) could not himself be  under  any
misapprehension on the subject, and it seemed to  me  highly
undesirable that a member of his Department should  talk  in
this  misleading  fashion. That  sort  of  remark  would  be
repeated  in London, and would once more make His  Majesty's
Government  wonder  what further steps they  could  take  to
convince  Herr  Hitler that they were  in  earnest.  It  was
solely   because  they  doubted  whether  Herr  Hitler   was
correctly  informed  on this point that  they  continued  to
reiterate  their determination to resist force by  force  in
future.  If Herr Hitler wanted war, it was quite simple.  He
had only to tell the Danzigers to proclaim the re-attachment
of  the  Free City to Germany. Obviously that would put  the
onus  of action on the Poles, but not even that would  cause
us to hesitate to support them, if Germany
     
102 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
attacked  them, since we would realise quite well  that  the
Senate  at Danzig would only adopt such a resolution on  the
direct order of the Chancellor.
     3.  Baron  von Weizs„cker observed that he was  not  so
certain  that the Senate would not act one day  of  its  own
accord.  I told him that I could not possibly believe  that,
especially as I clearly realized that the Senate would  have
already so acted if it had not been for Herr Hitler's orders
to  the contrary. That he had given those orders was one  of
the  chief  grounds  for my belief that  Herr  Hitler  still
sought  a peaceable solution of this question. Nor  did  the
State Secretary demur to this.
     4.  As  regards  my  general  observations,  Baron  von
Weizs„cker said that Dr. Keppler, who had been in the  early
days  a kind of economic adviser of Herr Hitler's and  still
saw  him occasionally at long intervals, was an honest  man,
who  was  also  in  fairly  close relations  with  Herr  von
Ribbentrop.  There were Baron von Weizs„cker said,  so  many
distinctions  about a statement to the effect  that  England
would  not  go  to war over Danzig. Anybody, including  Herr
Hitler himself, might well say that England did not wish  to
fight  about Danzig, and it would be true. Nor did  Germany.
Anybody,  including  Herr Hitler, might  say  that  one  day
Danzig  would revert without war to Germany, and that  might
equally  be true as the result of a pacific settlement  with
the Poles in their own true interests.
     5. I admitted that there were possibilities of twisting
the  facts.  Yet these were, I said, plain enough,  and  His
Majesty's Government could never be reproached this time, as
they  had  been  in 1914, of not having made their  position
clear  beyond all doubt. If Herr Hitler wanted war, he  knew
exactly  how  he could bring it about. Baron von  Weizs„cker
replied to this that he would also draw a distinction  about
the  position  in 1914. He had never reproached  Sir  Edward
Grey for not having publicly announced British intentions at
that  time.  The fault, in his opinion, had  been  that  His
Majesty's  Government had not made them known  privately  to
the  German Government before it was too late. Why  did  His
Majesty's  Government to-day insist all the time upon  these
public  utterances?  If something had to  be  said  to  Herr
Hitler,  why could it not be said privately without all  the
world  being  kept informed? That had been the mistake  last
year during
     
TEMPORARY EASING DANZIG SITUATION 103
     
the   Czech  crisis.  Public  warnings  only  made  it  more
difficult for Herr Hitler to heed them.
     6.  Though  I appreciate personally the force  of  this
hint  of  the  State Secretary's in favour  of  the  private
communication  rather than the public  warning,  I  confined
myself  to replying that one of our main causes for  anxiety
in  England  was  our  belief that disagreeable  facts  were
withheld from Herr Hitler by those who were responsible  for
making  them  known  to  him. To this Baron  von  Weizs„cker
replied  that, while he could not tell me what  reports  the
Chancellor  read or did not read, Herr Hitler was influenced
by nobody, but regarded situations as a whole and was guided
solely by his own appreciations of them.
     
     I have, &c.
     NEVILE HENDERSON.
                              
          TEMPORARY EASING IN THE DANZIG SITUATION.
                              
                           No. 37
                              
              Mr. Shepherd to Viscount Halifax.

(Telegraphic.)                                       Danzig,
July 19, 1939.
     GAULEITER FORSTER visited the High Commissioner at noon
to-day.   The  latter  has  sent  me,  in  a  personal   and
confidential  form,  notes  of conversation,  of  which  the
following is a translation:-
     The  Gauleiter told me the result of his interview with
German Chancellor was as follows:-
     1. There is no modification of German claims regarding
Danzig and the Corridor as formulated in Chancellor's speech
to Reichstag.
     2. Nothing will be done on the German side to provoke a
conflict on this question.
     3.  Question can wait if necessary until next  year  or
even longer.
     4.  The Gauleiter said that the Senate would henceforth
seek   intervention  of  High  Commissioner   in   difficult
questions  which might arise between the Senate  and  Polish
representative.  This would, he said,  terminate  a  war  of
notes which only poisons the
     
104 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
situation, but he added that "a single press indiscretion to
the  effect that the Senate and German Government are having
recourse  to  politics would immediately terminate  practice
and more direct and consequently more dangerous method would
again be applied." He said verbatim: "We are having recourse
to High Commissioner and not to Geneva itself."
     5.   He   requested  High  Commissioner  to   intervene
officially  at  once  in the matter of military  trains  not
announced beforehand. Non-observance of this rule, which was
established by an exchange of letters between the Senate and
Polish  representative  in 1921, would  have  effect  beyond
local  Danzig  question  and would, for  example,  entail  a
modification of German usage announcing to Polish Government
visit  of warships to port of Danzig. In addition, according
to  information at disposal of Senate, there were 300 men at
Westerplatte  in place of 100 agreed to. Herr  Forster  gave
his word of honour that there were at Danzig only a few anti-
aircraft  guns,  anti-tank guns and light  infantry  guns-no
heavy  guns,  not  an  invading  German  soldier-nobody  but
Danzigers and four German officers. He claimed that a  sharp
watch  at  the  frontier  was  necessary  by  the  extensive
importation of weapons for 3,000 Polish reservists  resident
in the district.
     6.  Herr Forster will publish an article which  he  had
already  read  to me confidentially on the occasion  of  our
last interview, when he said he would submit the question of
publication  to  the  Chancellor's  decision.  This  article
underlines point of view announced in Reichstag speech. Herr
Forster declared that if repercussion of his article is  not
violent and if there is no incident, this will put an end to
all  Danzig-Polish polemics and press would  be  ordered  to
drop the subject of Danzig completely.
     7.  If  there  is a d‚tente in situation, all  military
measures now taken in Danzig would be dropped.
     8. The Gauleiter promised his loyal collaboration.
     9. High Commissioner would be happy if it were possible
to  obtain  from Poland a positive reaction  in  any  formal
matter  which  might arise in the near future  so  that  new
methods may be given a good initiation.
     10.  The  Gauleiter  said that Herr Hitler  would  have
liked   to   take  an  opportunity  to  talk  to  the   High
Commissioner about the Danzig situation, but that  Herr  von
Ribbentrop, who was pres-
     
TEMPORARY EASING DANZIG SITUATION 105
     
ent  at the interview at Obersalzberg, had raised objections
to which the Chancellor replied evasively: "Well, it will be
a little later, I will let you know."
     
                           No. 38.
                              
          Viscount Halifax to Mr. Norton (Warsaw).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                             Foreign   Office,
July 21, 1939.
     DANZIG telegram of 19th July.*
     I  am most anxious that this tentative move from German
side  should  not  be  compromised by publicity  or  by  any
disinclination on part of Polish Government  to  discuss  in
friendly  and reasonable spirit any concrete question  which
may be taken up by Senate through High Commissioner.
     2.  Unless  you  see  most  serious  objection,  please
approach M. Beck in following sense.
     3.  His  Majesty's  Government have learnt  with  great
regret  of  further  incident, but  they  hope  that  Polish
Government   will   handle  it  with  same   restraint   and
circumspection   which  they  have  hitherto   shown,   more
especially  as  there is some reason to  think  that  German
policy  is now to work for a d‚tente in the Danzig question.
It  is nevertheless essential not to destroy possibility  of
better atmosphere at outset, and I trust that more care than
ever  will  be taken on Polish side to avoid provocation  in
any sphere and to restrain press. Above all, if any sign  is
forthcoming  of  more reasonable attitude  on  the  part  of
Senate  or  German  Government, it is  important  that  from
Polish side this should not be made occasion for provocative
assertions that German Government are weakening. Moreover, I
hope  that  if Senate show any sign of desiring  to  improve
atmosphere  by  discussing concrete  questions,  the  Polish
Government for their part will not be slow to respond  in  a
friendly and forthcoming manner.
     4.  For your own information, I hope to arrange that we
shall   be  informed  through  High  Commissioner  and   His
Majesty's   Consul-General  in  Danzig  when  any   concrete
question  is  to  be  taken up by High Commissioner  at  the
request of Senate, and, of
     
* No. 37.
     
106 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
course,  of  the discussions, in order that we may  have  an
opportunity  of  discreetly  urging  moderation  on   Polish
Government.
     5.  Finally,  when  newspaper article  referred  to  in
telegram under reference appears, please do what you can  to
ensure  that  Polish Government and press treat  it  calmly,
perhaps  on  the  lines that it does not introduce  any  new
element  into  the situation. You might also  say  that  the
publication  of  the  proposed  article  does   not   modify
impression of His Majesty's Government that Senate  and  the
German  Government,  in  fact,  desire  a  d‚tente  and   an
improvement in the atmosphere.
     6.  Whatever  may  be the import of this  German  move,
position  of  Polish Government cannot be  worsened  in  any
respect by doing their utmost to make a success of procedure
proposed by Gauleiter to High Commissioner.
     
                           No. 39.
                              
               Mr. Norton to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Danzig,
July 25, 1939.
     
     YOUR telegram of 21st July.*
     I  developed  your Lordship's ideas  to  M.  Beck  this
morning.
     2.   M.  Beck  asked  me  to  assure  you  that  Polish
Government were always on the look-out for signs of a German
wish for a d‚tente. They are inspired by the same principles
as  your Lordship, since it was in everyone's interest  that
temperature  should be allowed to fall. Polish  Commissioner
in Danzig had received formal instructions to deal with each
question  in  a purely practical and objective manner.  Even
shooting  of  Polish Customs guard, which Polish  Government
now considered to have been deliberate, was being treated as
a local incident.
     3.  The  most important question was whether new German
tendency reported by M. Burckhardt was a manoeuvre  or  not.
M.  Beck  was  naturally suspicious since  Poland  had  much
experience  of  German mentality and Germans  real  interest
must be by any and every means to attempt to separate Poland
from Great Britain. At one moment they tried to achieve this
by  threats,  at another by talk of appeasement.  In  actual
fact Polish Govern-
     
* No. 38.

TEMPORARY EASING DANZIG SITUATION 107
     
ment  had  not  received the slightest concrete  sign  of  a
desire   for   a   relaxation  of  tension.   For   example,
remilitarisation    of    Danzig    was    proceeding    and
identifications  of fresh German troops on  Polish  frontier
had  been  received. Marshal Smigly-Rydz had not decided  to
counter  these  for  the moment since amongst  other  things
Poland  was  not  so rich as to be able to spend  money  for
military purposes freely.
     4.   Words  let  fall  by  Herr  Forster  were  not  in
themselves  sufficient evidence of German  intentions.  Herr
Forster  had  within  the last few  days  complained  to  M.
Burckhardt  about Polish intention to put  armed  guards  on
their railways in Danzig.
     M. Burkhardt had said that such complaint had better be
made by Herr Greiser. Latter had at once said that he had no
evidence  of any such Polish intention. M. Beck feared  that
this  allegation  by  Herr Forster was only  a  pretext  for
increasing militarisation of Danzig.
     5. All in all M. Beck, while entirely understanding and
sharing  your Lordship's general desire, did not at  present
see  any facts on which to base a forecast of German  change
of policy.
     6.  He  said incidentally that he had not given up  the
idea  that d‚marche in the form of warning to Danzig Senate,
supported  by French and British representations,  might  be
advisable.
     
                           No. 40.
                              
           Mr. F. M. Shepherd to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
July 25, 1939.
     HERR  FORSTER  informed High Commission yesterday  that
Danzig  question could, if necessary, wait a year  or  more,
and said that military precautions now being taken would  be
liquidated in the middle of September.
     2.  Meanwhile, there is increasing amount of horse  and
motor  transport visible, and frequent reports reach  me  of
men  being called up and of arrival of men and material from
East  Prussia.  While  I  cannot at  present  confirm  these
reports,  it  would  be  unwise to ignore  them.  There  are
numerous  warehouses  and other buildings  in  Danzig  where
material could be stored and men housed.
     
110 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     3. I learn that a certain Major-General Eberhard is now
in command here.
     
                           No. 41.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
July 31, 1939.
     I  ASKED  Minister  for  Foreign  Affairs  to-day  what
impressions he had brought back from his visit to Gdynia and
how  far he thought that the d‚tente at Danzig, foreshadowed
in  the  conversation  between the Gauleiter  and  the  High
Commissioner, should be taken seriously.
     2.  M.  Beck  said that, unfortunately, there  were  no
indications  that the Danzig Senate intended to behave  more
reasonably.  They had just demanded that the Polish  customs
police  who accompany the customs officials on their  duties
should  be  withdrawn, despite the fact that they have  been
employed  in  Danzig by the Polish customs  authorities  for
some years past.
     3.  It was possible that the remilitarisation of Danzig
was not proceeding so actively, and he had no information as
to  the intention of the German Government to send a General
Officer Commanding to Danzig.
     4.  He,  further,  had  no  information  of  a  serious
increase  in  German concentrations on the Polish  frontier,
but  he  was somewhat perturbed by the reports which he  had
received from some eight Polish Consular representatives  in
Germany  to the effect that an intensive official propaganda
is   now  being  conducted  in  Germany  demonstrating   the
necessity  of  an  isolated war against Poland  without  any
British  or  French  intervention. This,  coupled  with  the
notices which have been sent to German reservists who are to
be  called  up  during the second fortnight in  August,  was
somewhat  ominous. He said that an intensive propaganda  was
also being conducted in East Prussia, where reservists up to
58 years old were being called up.
     5.  M. Beck did not think that the moment had yet  come
to convey a serious joint warning to the Danzig authorities,
and felt that it would be well to await further developments
and  see how far the Gauleiter's suggestion of a d‚tente was
to be taken seriously.
     
TEMPORARY EASING DANZIG SITUATION 109
     
     6. The most essential thing was to show by every
possible means the solidarity of the three Governments of
Great Britain, France and Poland in their resistance to
German aggression in any form.
     
                           No. 42.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 2, 1939.
     I  DISCUSSED  the situation at Danzig  at  some  length
informally with the Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs to-day
and  asked him more especially for information regarding the
controversy  respecting the reduction of the Polish  customs
personnel in the Free State. M. Arciszewski said that  three
years  ago  there had only been about thirty Polish  customs
inspectors,  and  that  in view of  the  numerous  cases  of
smuggling and so forth, some eighty frontier guards had been
added  for the purpose of surveillance. The frontier  guards
wore a different uniform from the customs inspectors, and he
thought that provided the Danzig Senate were acting in  good
faith and any concession would not be interpreted as a  sign
of   weakness,  it  might  be  possible  to  come  to   some
arrangement  by  which  the customs officials  and  frontier
guards  should wear the same uniform and the number  of  the
latter might be somewhat reduced. He did not think that  any
threat  of a customs union with Germany should be taken  too
seriously as hitherto the Senate had never risked coming too
far  into  the open. He admitted that the general  situation
might  become  critical towards the end  of  this  month  He
agreed  that it was very difficult to fix a limit  at  which
the   Polish   Government  must  react  seriously   to   the
accentuation  of the surreptitious methods by which  Germany
was  endeavouring to bring about a fait accompli at  Danzig,
but he still thought that she would hesitate before going to
the length where a serious crisis must develop.
     He  admitted that the situation might develop within  a
few hours from the political to the military phase, but felt
that the military preparations at Danzig were to some extent
exaggerated. If the Reich really did not wish or  intend  to
participate in a European war over the Danzig question,  and
there were real
     
110 The BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK

signs of a d‚tente, it might be possible to resume
conversations, but he thought that Herr Forster's assertions
were in the present circumstances only a manoeuvre, and that
until there were serious indications that the German
Government's intentions were reasonable, it would not be
possible to discuss any practical solution.
                              
      FURTHER DETERIORATION IN THE SITUATION AT DANZIG.
                              
                           No. 43.
                              
               Mr. Norton to Viscount Halifax.

(Telegraphic.)                                   Warsaw,
August 4, 1939.
     M.  BECK  to-night,  through  his  "chef  de  cabinet,"
informed  me  that  at  four customs  posts  on  Danzig-East
Prussian  frontier  Polish customs  inspectors  were  to-day
informed  that  by  decision of  Danzig  Senate  they  would
henceforth not be allowed to carry out their duties.
     2.  Polish Government take a very serious view of  this
step. Previous action of Danzig Senate has been clandestine,
but this is an open challenge to Polish interests.
     3.   Polish  Commissioner-General  has  therefore  been
instructed  to deliver a note to-night requesting  immediate
confirmation that Polish customs inspectors will be  allowed
to  carry  out their duties, and warning to Senate  that  if
they are interfered with Polish Government will react in the
strongest manner. A reply is requested by to-morrow evening,
5th August.
     4.  "Chef  de  cabinet" could not say  what  steps  the
Polish  Government would take. M. Beck proposed to  give  me
further  information to-morrow morning.  Meanwhile,  he  was
most  anxious  that  his  Majesty's  Government  should   be
informed at once of the serious turn events have taken.
     5.  Polish  note is, I gather, not being published  nor
its contents revealed to press.
     6.  M.  Burckhardt  is  being informed  by  the  Polish
Commissioner-General.
     
 FURTHER DETERIORATION DANZIG SITUATION 111
     
                           No. 44.
                              
           Mr. F. M. Shepherd to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Danzig,
August 4, 1939.
     POLISH  representative saw the High  Commissioner  this
morning  on  his  return  from Warsaw  and  read  to  him  a
translation of a note which he will hand to the Senate  this
afternoon. It is polite but firm, and ends on a conciliatory
note.  Referring  to the threat to open  the  East  Prussian
frontier M. Chodacki requested the High Commissioner to give
the President of the Senate a personal message to the effect
that such a move would be for Poland a casus belli.
     2.  The President of the Senate complained to the  High
Commissioner  that Gauleiter had not passed on  to  him  the
desire  of the Fhrer to terminate the war of notes  and  to
work  towards a d‚tente. Herr Greiser was incensed at having
been  placed in a false position, and said he would not have
sent his notes of 29th July had he been kept au courant.
     3. The President and Polish representative will meet at
the High Commissioner's house on 7th August.
     
                           No. 45.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 9, 1939.
     POLISH  attitude towards the dispute over recent Danzig
attempt to eliminate Polish customs inspection has been firm
but  studiously moderate. There was at first no  attempt  to
represent the Danzig Senate as having climbed down, but,  as
was inevitable, the papers have since reproduced comment  to
this  effect from the French and British press.  The  Polish
Government  said  little  to the  press  about  what  really
passed,  and  even  now nothing has been said  of  any  time
limit.  Polish attitude to diplomatic conversations is  also
moderate.
     2.  It  is  true  that  on 7th August  the  independent
Conservative  Czas, in a commentary on Marshal Smigly-Rydz's
speech, said that Poland was ready to fight for Danzig,  and
that if a fait
     
112 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
accompli  were  attempted, then guns  would  fire.  It  also
emphasized  at length the Marshal's insistence  that  Poland
had no aggressive intentions (the German press does not seem
to be interested in that point).
     3. The Polish Telegraph Agency to-day-in a message from
its  German  correspondent-replies to  attacks  of  Deutches
Nachrichten-Bro  and German press, pointing  out  that  one
sentence in the article in Czas had been singled out to give
a  distorted picture of Polish opinion in order to represent
Poland  as a potential aggressor. "Polish provocations"  was
the  term  used in Germany to describe Poland's attempts  to
defend  her  just interests. "A volley fired by German  guns
will  be the closing point of the history of modern Poland,"
that  was  the  pious  desire of  "peaceful  and  persecuted
Germany."  The message concluded by emphasising  again  that
everyone knew that Poland had no aggressive intentions.
     4.  I fear that at times of strong national feeling  it
is  almost inevitable that occasional remarks like  that  of
Czas  should occur in the press. Experience shows  that  the
Germans can wax indignant with anyone and on any subject  if
Goebbels so desires. And the "provocation" of one article in
a  small and independent Warsaw newspaper compares strangely
with  the  official  utterances of  Dr.  Goebbels  and  Herr
Forster in Danzig and the daily military and civil violation
of all the treaties on which Poland's rights are based.
     5. Possibly the German campaign is intended to cover up
the  Senate's  withdrawal in Danzig, where the situation  is
regarded as somewhat easier.
     6.  I  shall,  of  course, continue to urge  moderation
here, both in official and press declarations.
     
                           No. 46.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 10, 1939.
     MINISTER for Foreign Affairs communicated to me  to-day
the  text of a communication which was made to Polish Charg‚
d'Affaires  at  Berlin by State Secretary yesterday  and  of
reply of
     
FURTHER DETERIORATION DANZIG SITUATION 113
     
the  Polish Government which was made this afternoon.  (Text
of these communications, which are strictly confidential and
are  not  being published at present, will be  found  in  my
immediately following telegram.*). Both these communications
were made verbally though notes were taken of their contents
in either case.
     2. M. Beck drew my attention to the very serious nature
of  German d‚marche as it was the first time that the  Reich
had  directly intervened in the dispute between  Poland  and
Danzig Senate. He had already, through Polish Ambassador  in
London,  warned  your  Lordship  briefly  of  what  he   had
communicated  to  me,  but he asked me  to  request  you  to
consider whether you could take any useful action in  Berlin
to  reinforce  Polish attitude. He would leave  it  to  your
Lordship to decide the nature of any such action, but  would
be  glad  in  any  case  to  learn  your  views  as  to  the
significance of this d‚marche on the part of the  Reich.  M.
Beck   has  made  a  similar  communication  to  my   French
colleague.
     3.  He  further told me that the High Commissioner  had
communicated  to  him the tenor of a conversation  which  M.
Burckhardt   had  had  with  Herr  Forster   this   morning.
Conversation was relatively moderate, and Herr Forster  said
Herr  Hitler had told him that no incident should take place
at  Danzig  at  present  time in  view  of  gravity  of  the
situation.  Herr  Forster  said  that  he  intended  in  his
declaration  which  he  is to make  to-night  to  deal  with
aggressive tone of Polish press.
     4.  M.  Beck finally said that he felt that  a  serious
political crisis would develop during the last fortnight  of
this month, which while it need not necessarily lead to  war
would  require  very careful handling. No  further  military
measures were being taken by the Polish Government  for  the
moment,  but  he  would at once inform  me  if  they  became
necessary.
     5.  M.  Beck  stated that while he had not  thought  it
necessary  to refer, in his reply to the German  Government,
to  the  specific question of Polish customs inspectors,  he
could   have  refuted  German  allegations  as  the   Polish
Government   had  documentary  proof  that  Danzig   customs
officials  had  definite instructions  from  authorities  to
inform Polish inspectors that they could no longer carry out
their functions.
     
* No. 47

114 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK

                           No. 47.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 10, 1939.
     MY immediately preceding telegram.*
     Following is translation of German note verbale:-
          "German   Government  have  learnt   with   lively
     surprise   of  tenor  of  note  addressed   by   Polish
     Government to Senate of Free City of Danzig,  in  which
     Polish  Government demand in the form of  an  ultimatum
     cancellation of an alleged measure whose existence  was
     based  on incorrect rumours. This measure, designed  to
     prevent activity of Polish customs inspectors, was not,
     in  fact,  decreed by Senate. In case  of  refusal  the
     threat was expressed that measures of reprisal would be
     taken.
          "The  German  Government  are  compelled  to  call
     attention  to the fact that repetition of such  demands
     having the nature of an ultimatum and addressed to  the
     Free City of Danzig as well as of threats of reprisals,
     would   lead   to   an  aggravation  of   Polish-German
     relations,  for  consequences of  which  responsibility
     will  fall  exclusively  on Polish  Government,  German
     Government being obliged to disclaim here and  now  any
     responsibility in this respect.
          "Further, the German Government call attention  of
     Polish  Government to the fact that steps which  latter
     have taken to prevent export of certain Danzig goods to
     Poland  are of such a nature as to cause heavy economic
     losses to the population of Danzig.
          "Should  Polish Government persist in  maintaining
     such  measures the German Government are of the opinion
     that  in  present  state of affairs the  Free  City  of
     Danzig   would  have  no  choice  but  to  seek   other
     opportunities of exporting, and, consequently, also  of
     importing goods."
          
          2. Following is translation of Polish reply:-
          
          "The  Government  of Polish Republic  have  learnt
     with  liveliest  surprise of declaration  made  on  9th
     August, 1939, by State Secretary at German Ministry for
     Foreign  Affairs to Polish Charg‚ d'Affaires ad interim
     at Berlin regarding exist-

* No. 46.
          
FURTHER DETERIORATION DANZIG SITUATION 115
          
     ing  relations  between Poland and  the  Free  City  of
     Danzig.  The  Polish  Government  indeed  perceive   no
     juridical  basis capable of justifying intervention  of
     Germany in these relations.
          "If   exchanges  of  views  regarding  the  Danzig
     problem have taken place between Polish Government  and
     German Government these exchanges were solely based  on
     goodwill  of  Polish  Government  and  arose  from   no
     obligation of any sort.
          "In  reply to above-mentioned declaration  of  the
     German Government the Polish Government are obliged  to
     warn the German Government that in future, as hitherto,
     they  will react to any attempt by authorities  of  the
     Free City which might tend to compromise the rights and
     interests which Poland possesses there in virtue of her
     agreements, by employment of such means and measures as
     they  alone shall think fit to adopt, and will consider
     any   future  intervention  by  German  Government   to
     detriment  of these rights and interests as an  act  of
     aggression."
     
                           No. 48.
                              
            Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 16, 1939.
     STATE Secretary, whom I visited yesterday evening, said
at  once  that  the situation had very gravely  deteriorated
since  4th  August. When I last saw him he had regarded  the
position as less dangerous than last year; now he considered
it  no less dangerous and most urgent. Deterioration was due
firstly  to Polish ultimatum to Danzig Senate of 4th August,
and  secondly  to  last sentence-which he  quoted-of  Polish
reply  to  German  Government of 10th August,  but  also  in
general  to  the unmistakable set policy of persecution  and
extermination of the German minority in Poland.
     I  told  Baron  von  Weizs„cker that  there  was  quite
another side to the case. Polish note of 4th August had been
necessitated by the succession of measures, and particularly
military ones, undertaken in Danzig with view to undermining
the Polish position
     
116 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
there;  Polish  reply of 10th August had  been  provoked  by
German  verbal  note  of  9th  August,  and  moreover   only
described  as  aggression "acts to the detriment  of  Polish
rights  and interests"; and Polish Ambassador had  only  the
day  before  complained  to me of the  number  of  cases  of
persecution of Polish minority in Germany.
     State  Secretary  replied with some  heat  that  though
isolated  cases of persecution of Poles had occurred,  there
was absolutely no comparison between them and what was being
done  in Poland. Hitherto, he said, not too much stress  had
been laid in the German papers on what was happening in this
respect, but there was a limit to everything and that  limit
had  now  been reached. As he put it the bottle was full  to
the  top.  (In  other words Herr Hitler's patience  was  now
exhausted.)
     He admitted the militarisation of Danzig, but said that
its  object had been entirely defensive in order to  protect
the town against what should have been its protector.
     As  regards the Polish note of 10th August he said that
if any German intervention to the detriment of Polish rights
and  interests in Danzig was to be regarded  as  an  act  of
aggression,  it meant asking Germany to disinterest  herself
altogether  in the Free City, since the whole basis  of  her
former  negotiations with Poland had been  with  a  view  to
modifying the position there in favour of Germany. It was  a
claim  which made the whole situation intolerable  and  even
His  Majesty's Government had admitted that there  might  be
modifications to be made.
     I  told Baron von Weizs„cker that the trouble was  that
Germany  could  never see but one side to any question,  and
always wanted everything modified in her favour. We disputed
with  acrimony  about  the rights and  wrongs  of  the  case
without  either apparently convincing the other. With  these
details I need not trouble you.
     I  eventually said that what was done could not now  be
undone. We seemed to be rapidly drifting towards a situation
in which neither side would be in a position to give way and
from which war would ensue. Did Herr Hitler want war? I  was
prepared  to  believe  that  Germany  would  not  yield   to
intimidation. Nor certainly could His Majesty's  Government.
If  Germany  resorted to force, we would resist with  force.
There could be no possible
     
FURTHER DETERIORATION DANZIG SITUATION 117
     
doubt  whatsoever about that. The position had been  finally
defined  in your Lordship's speech at Chatham House on  29th
June  and by the Prime Minister's statement in the House  of
Commons  on  10th  July.  From that attitude  we  could  not
deviate.
     In  reply  to  a  suggestion of mine,  State  Secretary
observed  that  whereas  it might just  have  been  possible
before 5th August, it was absolutely out of the question now
to  imagine  that  Germany could be the first  to  make  any
gesture. Even apart from the recent Polish ultimatum and the
verbal  note  about  aggression, a German  initiative  could
hardly  have been possible in view of Colonel Beck's  speech
on  5th  May in which he had deigned to say that if  Germany
accepted  the  principles laid down by him Poland  would  be
ready  to  talk, but not otherwise. That was language  which
Germany  could  not admit. I made the obvious retort.  State
Secretary's  only reply was that the fact remained  that  to
talk of a German initiative now was completely academic.
     Baron  von  Weizs„cker then proceeded to say  that  the
trouble was that the German Government's appreciation of the
situation  was totally different from that of His  Majesty's
Government.   Germany,  with  innumerable   cases   of   the
persecution of Germans before her eyes, could not agree that
the  Poles were showing calm and restraint: Germany believed
that  Poland was deliberately running with her eyes shut  to
ruin:  Germany  was convinced that His Majesty's  Government
did  not  realise  whither their policy of encirclement  and
blind assistance to Poland were leading them and Europe: and
that finally his own Government did not, would not and could
not believe that Britain would fight under all circumstances
whatever folly the Poles might commit.
     I  told  Baron von Weizs„cker that the last was a  very
dangerous  theory and sounded like Herr von  Ribbentrop  who
had never been able to understand the British mentality.  If
the Poles were compelled by any act of Germany to resort  to
arms  to  defend themselves there was not a shadow of  doubt
that  we would give them our full armed support. We had made
that  abundantly clear and Germany would be making a  tragic
mistake if she imagined the contrary.
     State   Secretary  replied  that  he   would   put   it
differently  (and he gave me to understand that  the  phrase
was  not his own). Germany believed that the attitude of the
Poles would be or was
     
118 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
such  as  to free the British Government from any obligation
to  follow  blindly every eccentric step on the  part  of  a
lunatic.
     I  told the State Secretary that we were talking  in  a
circle.  The  Polish Government had shown  extreme  prudence
hitherto,  and would, moreover, take no major  step  without
previous  consultation with us; just as in  accordance  with
their  military  agreement  I  understood  that  the  German
Government  would  take no irrevocable  step  without  prior
consultation  with  the  Italian Government.  His  Majesty's
Government had given their word and must be sole  judges  of
their  action. It was consequently hypothetical to speak  of
"under  all circumstances" or of blindly "following Poland's
lead."
     Baron  von Weizs„cker's reply was that Poland  had  not
consulted   His  Majesty's  Government  either   before   M.
Chodacki,  who  could  not have so  acted  without  previous
authority from Colonel Beck, had addressed his ultimatum  to
Danzig Senate, or before replying to the German verbal  note
of  9th  August. Yet, in his opinion, both these were  major
steps  fraught  with  the  most  serious  consequences.   He
admitted  that  some of the Poles were,  or  wished  to  be,
prudent,  but  they were, unfortunately, not the  rulers  of
Poland  to-day.  The real policy of Poland, over  which  His
Majesty's  Government  had  no control  and  of  which  they
probably  were  ignorant,  was the  thousands  of  cases  of
persecution and excesses against Germans in Poland. It was a
policy  based on the Polish belief in the unlimited  support
of  the British and French Governments. Who, he asked, could
now  induce the Poles to abandon such methods? It was  those
methods,  combined  with the Polish  press  articles,  which
encouraged them, which made the situation no longer  tenable
and  so  extremely dangerous. The matter had since 4h August
changed to one of the utmost seriousness and urgency. Things
had  drifted along till now, but the point had been  reached
when they could drift no longer.
     There  is  no  doubt  that  Baron  von  Weizs„cker  was
expressing, as he assured me very solemnly that he was,  the
considered  views of his Government and the position  as  he
himself  sees  it.  He told me, though he admitted  that  he
could not say anything for certain, that it was likely  that
Herr  Hitler would in fact attend the Tannenberg celebration
on  27th  August. But he hinted that things might  not  only
depend on a speech. Yet if nothing happens
     
FURTHER DETERIORATION DANZIG SITUATION 119
     
between  now  and then I fear that we must at  least  expect
there  on  Herr  Hitler's part a warlike pronouncement  from
which it may well be difficult for him later to withdraw. As
Baron von Weizs„cker himself observed, the situation in  one
respect  was  even worse than last year as  Mr.  Chamberlain
could not again come out to Germany.
     I  was  impressed  by  one  thing,  namely,  Baron  von
Weizs„cker's detachment and calm. He seemed very  confident,
and  professed  to  believe that Russian assistance  to  the
Poles  would not only be entirely negligible, but  that  the
U.S.S.R. would even in the end join in sharing in the Polish
spoils.  Nor  did  my  insistence on  the  inevitability  of
British intervention seem to move him.
     
                           No. 49.
                              
Explanatory Note on Herr Hitler's Meeting with M. Burckhardt
                     on August 11, 1939.
     
     M.  BURCKHARDT accepted an invitation from Herr  Hitler
to visit him at Berchtesgaden. M. Burckhardt accordingly had
a  conversation of a private character with Herr  Hitler  on
the  11th  August, in the course of which it  is  understood
that  the Danzig question in its relationship to the general
European situation was discussed between them.
     
                           No. 50.
                              
        Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                            Foreign    Office,
August 15, 1939.
     I  HAVE  the  impression  that  Herr  Hitler  is  still
undecided, and anxious to avoid war and to hold his hand  if
he  can do so without losing face. As there is a possibility
of  him not forcing the issue, it is evidently essential  to
give  him no excuse for acting, whether or not conversations
about  Danzig  at  some  future time  may  be  possible.  It
therefore seems of the first importance to endeavour to  get
the   local   issues  (customs  inspectors,  margarine   and
herrings)  settled  at once, and not  to  let  questions  of
procedure or
     
120 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
"face"  at  Danzig stand in the way. It also seems essential
that  the  Polish  Government should make  every  effort  to
moderate  their  press, even in the face of a  German  press
campaign  and to intensify their efforts to prevent  attacks
on their German minority.
     2.  In dealing with local Danzig issues, I would beg M.
Beck   to   work  through  the  intermediary  of  the   High
Commissioner, or at all events after consultation with  him,
rather than direct with the Senate. I should like M. Beck to
treat  M. Burckhardt with the fullest confidence, as  in  my
opinion he is doing his best in a very difficult situation.
     3.  While  the present moment may not be opportune  for
negotiations   on  general  issues  as  opposed   to   local
differences, the Polish Government would in my  judgment  do
well  to continue to make it plain that, provided essentials
can  be secured, they are at all times ready to examine  the
possibility  of  negotiation  over  Danzig  if  there  is  a
prospect  of success. I regard such an attitude as important
from the point of view of world opinion.
     4.  Before  speaking  to M. Beck on  the  above  lines,
please  concert  with  your French  colleague  who  will  be
receiving generally similar instructions in order  that  you
may take approximately the same line with M. Beck.
     
                           No. 51.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 15, 1939.
     I  SPOKE  to  the Minister for Foreign Affairs  in  the
sense of your telegram of 15th August.* M. Beck agreed  that
Herr Hitler was probably still undecided as to his course of
action.    German   military   activity   was   nevertheless
disturbing, though he did not take too alarmist  a  view  at
present.
     2.  M.  Beck  agreed that an effort should be  made  to
settle  local  issues  in  Danzig  and  said  that  he   was
endeavouring  to separate economic from political  questions
with a view to settling the former quickly and equitably. He
hoped that to-morrow's con-
     
* No. 50.
     
GERMAN MINORITY IN POLAND 121
     
versation  between Polish Commissioner-General and President
of the Senate might lead to some results.
     3. M. Beck said that if he could not arrive at a direct
settlement  of  new  incident which had  occurred  he  would
invoke M. Burckhardt's intervention.
     4.  This  incident was as follows: Three Polish customs
inspectors, while making their round of harbour in  a  motor
boat,  discovered  a  German  vessel  entering  the  harbour
without   lights,  and,  as  they  suspected  smuggling   of
munitions, turned their searchlight on her. On landing, they
were  arrested by Danzig police. Polish Commissioner-General
has  sent in a note demanding their release, though  not  in
unduly  energetic language. If he did not  receive  a  reply
shortly  he  would invite High Commissioner to  settle  this
incident.
     5.  As  regards press, he remarked that it was not  the
Poles  but  the  British and other foreign press  who  first
suggested that firmness of the Polish Government had  caused
the  Senate  to  yield  in  the  matter  of  Polish  customs
inspectors.
     
           TREATMENT OF GERMAN MINORITY IN POLAND.
     
                           No. 52.
     
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.

(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 24, 1939.
     WHILE I am of course not in a position to check all the
allegations   made   by  the  German   press   of   minority
persecutions here, I am satisfied from enquiries I have made
that the campaign is a gross distortion and exaggeration  of
the facts.
     2.  Accusations  of  beating with chains,  throwing  on
barbed  wire,  being  forced to shout insults  against  Herr
Hitler in chorus, &c., are merely silly, but many individual
cases specified have been disproved.
     3.  M.  Karletan, for instance, arrested  in  connexion
with  murder of Polish policeman on 15th August, was alleged
by  German press to have been beaten to death and  his  wife
and  children thrown out of the window. Manchester  Guardian
correspondent  tells me that he visited  him  in  prison  on
Sunday and
     
122 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
found  him  in  good  health. He  had  not  been  beaten  or
physically  injured at all. Story about wife and  child  was
equally devoid of any foundation whatever.
     4.  It  is  true that many of the German minority  have
left  Poland  illegally, but I hear  both  from  the  Acting
British  Consul at Katowice and from British Vice-Consul  at
Lodz  that  the Germans themselves have told many to  leave.
There  was  an  initial exodus last May.  Many  subsequently
asked  to come back, but the Poles were not anxious to  have
them,  as  they  had  no doubt been trained  in  propaganda,
sabotage  and  espionage activities,  such  as  Jungdeutsche
Partei  in Katowice have been conducting. In Lodz area  some
of  those who left recently raised all the money and  credit
they  could before leaving, and the Voivode told Vice-Consul
on 20th August that from evidence available he was satisfied
that German Consulate had transferred these funds to Germany
and was no doubt privy to their departure. Many of those who
left,  especially from Lodz, are of the intelligentsia,  and
they  are  said  to include Herr Witz, leader of  Volksbund.
British  Vice-Consul at Lodz says many German  organisations
have been closed there, but they were notoriously conducting
Nazi propaganda, and Polish authorities could not ignore  it
altogether. I think, however, many Germans have  lost  their
jobs,  especially in factories of military or  semi-military
importance, and some 2,000 workmen have left Tomaszow.
     5.  Many of those who left their homes undoubtedly  did
so  because they wished to be on German side of the front in
event of war, and in general there is by common consent less
individual  friction with members of the minority  now  than
last May.
     6.  Ministry for Foreign Affairs tell me that figure of
76,000   refugees  quoted  in  German  press  is   a   gross
exaggeration. I should say 17,000 was the absolute  maximum.
Gazeta Polska correspondent in Berlin has asked to be  shown
refugee  camps  of  the  76,000 and apparently  received  no
answer.
     7.  In  Silesia the frontier is not fully open,  but  a
special  frontier  card system is in force and  considerable
daily  traffic  is  possible. The German authorities  having
closed  frontier in Rybnik area where Poles cross to Poland,
Polish  authorities closed it elsewhere where Germans  cross
into  Germany.  In  view  of revelations  of  activities  of
Jungdeutsche Partei, the Polish
     
GERMAN MINORITY IN POLAND 123
     
authorities feel greater control of frontier traffic  is  in
any case necessary.
     8.  Polish press has recently published many complaints
of  wholesale  removal of Poles from frontier  districts  in
Silesia  and  East  Prussia  to  the  interior  of  Germany,
smashing  of  property, especially in  Allenstein  district,
closing  of all Polish libraries in Silesia and other  forms
of  persecution. According to semi-official  Gazeta  Polska,
from  April to June there were recorded 976 acts of violence
against the minority, and since then the number of cases  is
stated to have increased beyond all bounds. For the last two
days, however, no further information has been published, as
M. Beck has damped the press down.
     9.  In  general, responsible organs of the Polish press
have  not  published  violent tirades,  still  less  claimed
German territory for Poland, and A.B.C., recently quoted  in
Germany,  is  a  violent  Opposition newspaper  with  little
reputation and less influence.
     
                           No. 53.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.
     
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 26, 1939.
     SERIES  of incidents again occurred yesterday on German
frontier.
     2.  Polish  patrol met party Germans 1  kilometre  from
East  Prussian  frontier near Pelta.  Germans  opened  fire.
Polish  patrol replied, killing leader, whose body is  being
returned.
     3.  German  bands also crossed Silesian  frontier  near
Szczyglo,  twice  near  Rybnik and twice  elsewhere,  firing
shots  and  attacking  blockhouses and  customs  posts  with
machine   guns  and  hand  grenades.  Poles  have  protested
vigorously to Berlin.
     4. Gazeta Polska, in inspired leader to-day, says these
are  more than incidents. They are clearly prepared acts  of
aggression of para-military disciplined detachments supplied
with  regular army's arms, and in one case it was a  regular
army detachment. Attacks more or less continuous.
     5. These incidents did not cause Poland to forsake calm
and  strong  attitude of defence. Facts spoke for themselves
and acts
     
124 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
of aggression came from German side. This was best answer to
ravings of German press.
     6.  Ministry for Foreign Affairs state uniformed German
detachment  has since shot Pole across frontier and  wounded
another.
     
                           No. 54.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.

(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 26, 1939.
     MINISTRY  for Foreign Affairs categorically deny  story
recounted  by Herr Hitler to French Ambassador that  twenty-
four  Germans  were  recently killed at Lodz  and  eight  at
Bielsko. Story is without any foundation whatever.
     
                           No. 55.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 27, 1939.
     So  far as I can judge, German allegations of mass ill-
treatment of German minority by Polish authorities are gross
exaggerations, if not complete falsifications.
     2. There is no sign of any loss of control of situation
by  Polish civil authorities. Warsaw (and so far  as  I  can
ascertain the rest of Poland) is still completely calm.
     3.  Such allegations are reminiscent of Nazi propaganda
methods regarding Czecho-Slovakia last year.
     4.  In  any  case  it  is purely and simply  deliberate
German provocation in accordance with fixed policy that  has
since   March   exacerbated   feeling   between   the    two
nationalities. I suppose this has been done with  object  of
(a)  creating  war spirit in Germany, (b) impressing  public
opinion  abroad, (c) provoking either defeatism or  apparent
aggression in Poland.
     5.  It has signally failed to achieve either of the two
latter objects.
     6. It is noteworthy that Danzig was hardly mentioned by
Herr Hitler.
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 125
     
     7.  German treatment of Czech Jews and Polish  minority
is   apparently  negligible  factor  compared  with  alleged
sufferings of Germans in Poland, where, be it noted, they do
not  amount to more than 10 per cent. of population  in  any
commune.
     8.  In  face  of these facts, it can hardly be  doubted
that,  if  Herr Hitler decides on war, it is  for  the  sole
purpose of destroying Polish independence.
     9.  I  shall  lose  no  opportunity  of  impressing  on
Minister  for Foreign Affairs necessity of doing  everything
possible  to prove that Herr Hitler's allegations  regarding
German minority are false.
     
     DEVELOPMENTS LEADING IMMEDIATELY TO THE OUTBREAK OF
 HOSTILITIES BETWEEN GREAT BRITAIN AND GERMANY ON SEPTEMBER
                          3, 1939.
     
                           No. 56.
     
  Letter of August 22, 1939, from the Prime Minister to the
                     German Chancellor.
     
Your   Excellency,                      10  Downing  Street,
August 22, 1939.
     YOUR  Excellency  will have already  heard  of  certain
measures taken by His Majesty's Government, and announced in
the press and on the wireless this evening.
     These  steps  have,  in the opinion  of  His  Majesty's
Government,   been  rendered  necessary  by   the   military
movements which have been reported from Germany, and by  the
fact  that  apparently the announcement of  a  German-Soviet
Agreement  is taken in some quarters in Berlin  to  indicate
that intervention by Great Britain on behalf of Poland is no
longer  a contingency that need be reckoned with. No greater
mistake  could be made. Whatever may prove to be the  nature
of  the  German-Soviet  Agreement,  it  cannot  alter  Great
Britain's   obligation  to  Poland   which   His   Majesty's
Government have stated in public repeatedly and plainly, and
which they are determined to fulfil.
     It  has  been alleged that, if His Majesty's Government
had  made  their  position more clear  in  1914,  the  great
catastrophe would have been avoided. Whether or not there is
any force in
     
126 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
that  allegation, His Majesty's Government are resolved that
on   this   occasion   there  shall  be   no   such   tragic
misunderstanding.
     If  the  case  should  arise, they  are  resolved,  and
prepared,  to employ without delay all the forces  at  their
command,  and  it  is  impossible  to  foresee  the  end  of
hostilities  once engaged. It would be a dangerous  illusion
to  think that, if war once starts, it will come to an early
end  even  if a success on any one of the several fronts  on
which it will be engaged should have been secured.
     Having  thus made our position perfectly clear, I  wish
to  repeat  to  you my conviction that war between  our  two
peoples  would be the greatest calamity that could occur.  I
am  certain that it is desired neither by our people, nor by
yours,  and  I  cannot see that there  is  anything  in  the
questions arising between Germany and Poland which could not
and should not be resolved without the use of force, if only
a  situation  of  confidence could  be  restored  to  enable
discussions to be carried on in an atmosphere different from
that which prevails to-day.
     We have been, and at all times will be, ready to assist
in creating conditions in which such negotiations could take
place,  and  in  which it might be possible concurrently  to
discuss   the  wider  problems  affecting  the   future   of
international relations, including matters of interest to us
and to you.
     The  difficulties in the way of any peaceful discussion
in  the present state of tension are, however, obvious,  and
the longer that tension is maintained, the harder will it be
for reason to prevail.
     These difficulties, however, might be mitigated, if not
removed, provided that there could for an initial period  be
a  truce  on  both  sides-and indeed on all  sides-to  press
polemics and to all incitement.
     If  such a truce could be arranged, then, at the end of
that  period, during which steps could be taken  to  examine
and  deal  with  complaints made by either side  as  to  the
treatment  of  minorities, it is  reasonable  to  hope  that
suitable  conditions might have been established for  direct
negotiations  between  Germany and Poland  upon  the  issues
between  them  (with the aid of a neutral  intermediary,  if
both sides should think that that would be helpful).
     But  I am bound to say that there would be slender hope
of
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 127
     
bringing  such  negotiations to successful issue  unless  it
were  understood  beforehand  that  any  settlement  reached
would,  when  concluded, be guaranteed by other Powers.  His
Majesty's  Government would be ready, if  desired,  to  make
such  contribution as they could to the effective  operation
of such guarantees.
     At  this  moment I confess I can see no  other  way  to
avoid a catastrophe that will involve Europe in war.
     In  view  of the grave consequences to humanity,  which
may  follow  from the action of their rulers, I  trust  that
Your Excellency will weigh with the utmost deliberation  the
considerations which I have put before you.
     Yours sincerely,
     NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN.
     
                           No. 57.
                              
 Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received August 24).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 23, 1939.
     Two difficulties were raised last night before visit to
Herr  Hitler  was actually arranged. In first place  it  was
asked  whether I would not be ready to wait until  Herr  von
Ribbentrop's  return. I said that I could  not  wait  as  my
instructions were to hand letter myself as soon as possible.
An  hour  or so later I was rung up again by State Secretary
on  the telephone asking for gist of letter and referring to
publication of some private letter addressed to Herr  Hitler
last  year.  I  told  Baron von Weizs„cker  that  I  had  no
recollection of publication of any private letter last  year
and  assured  him that there was no intention of  publishing
this one. As regards Prime Minister's letter I said that its
three main points were (1) that His Majesty's Government was
determined to fulfil their obligations to Poland,  (2)  that
they were prepared, provided a peace atmosphere was created,
to discuss all problems affecting our two countries, and (3)
that  during  period  of  truce they  would  welcome  direct
discussions  between  Poland  and  Germany  in   regard   to
minorities.
     State  Secretary  appeared to regard these  replies  as
likely to be satisfactory, but deferred a final answer to  8
a.  m.  this morning. At that hour he telephoned me  to  say
that arrangements made
     
128 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
had  been  confirmed  and  that he  would  accompany  me  to
Berchtesgaden, leaving Berlin at 9:30 a. m.
     We  arrived Salzburg soon after 11 a. m. and motored to
Berchtesgaden,  where I was received by Herr Hitler  shortly
after  1 p. m. I had derived impression that atmosphere  was
likely  to be most unfriendly and that probability was  that
interview would be exceedingly brief.
     In  order  to  forestall this I began  conversation  by
stating  that  I had been instructed to hand  to  Chancellor
personally  a  letter from Prime Minister on behalf  of  His
Majesty's Government, but before doing so I wished  to  make
some  preliminary remarks. I was grateful to his  Excellency
for   receiving  me  so  promptly  as  it  would  have  been
impossible  for me to wait for Herr von Ribbentrop's  return
inasmuch as the fact was that His Majesty's Government  were
afraid  that  the situation brooked no delay.  I  asked  his
Excellency to read the letter, not from the point of view of
the  past, but from that of the present and the future. What
had been done could not now be undone, and there could be no
peace  in Europe without Anglo-German co-operation.  We  had
guaranteed Poland against attack and we would keep our word.
Throughout the centuries of history we had never, so far  as
I  knew, broken our word. We could not do so now and  remain
Britain.
     During the whole of this first conversation Herr Hitler
was  excitable and uncompromising. He made no long  speeches
but his language was violent and exaggerated both as regards
England  and Poland. He began by asserting that  the  Polish
question would have been settled on the most generous  terms
if it had not been for England's unwarranted support. I drew
attention  to  the  inaccuracies  of  this  statement,   our
guarantee  having been given on 31st March and Polish  reply
on  26th  March. He retorted by saying that the  latter  had
been  inspired  by  a  British  press  campaign,  which  had
invented a German threat to Poland the week before.  Germany
had  not  moved a man any more than she had done during  the
similar  fallacious press campaign about Czecho-Slovakia  on
the 20th May last year.
     He then violently attacked the Poles, talked of 100,000
German  refugees  from  Poland,  excesses  against  Germans,
closing   of   German  institutions  and  Polish  systematic
persecution of Ger-
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 129
     
man  nationals  generally. He said  that  he  was  receiving
hundreds of telegrams daily from his persecuted compatriots.
He  would stand it no longer, &c. I interrupted by remarking
that  while  I did not wish to try to deny that persecutions
occurred  (of  Poles  also  in  Germany)  the  German  press
accounts  were  highly  exaggerated. He  had  mentioned  the
castration of Germans. I happened to be aware of  one  case.
The  German  in  question  was a sex-maniac,  who  had  been
treated as he deserved. Herr Hitler's retort was that  there
had not been one case but six.
     His  next tirade was against British support of  Czechs
and  Poles.  He  asserted that the former  would  have  been
independent to-day if England had not encouraged them  in  a
policy  hostile  to Germany. He insinuated  that  the  Poles
would  be to-morrow if Britain ceased to encourage them  to-
day.  He  followed this by a tirade against  England,  whose
friendship he had sought for twenty years only to see  every
offer turned down with contempt. The British press was  also
vehemently abused. I contested every point and kept  calling
his  statements inaccurate but the only effect was to launch
him on some fresh tirade.
     Throughout the conversation I stuck firmly to point (1)
namely  our  determination  to  honour  our  obligations  to
Poland; Herr Hitler on the other hand kept harping on  point
(3),  the Polish persecution of German nationals. Point  (2)
was  not  referred to at all and apparently did not interest
him. (I had been warned that it would not.)
     Most  of  the conversation was recrimination, the  real
points  being those stressed in his reply in regard  to  the
threat to Poland if persecutions continue and to England and
France if they mobilise to such an extent as to constitute a
danger to Germany.
     At  the  end  of  this first conversation  Herr  Hitler
observed,  in  reply  to my repeated  warnings  that  direct
action  by Germany would mean war, that Germany had  nothing
to  lose and Great Britain much; that he did not desire  war
but  would not shrink from it if it was necessary; and  that
his people were much more behind him than last September.
     I  replied  that  I hoped and was convinced  that  some
solution  was  still  possible without  war  and  asked  why
contact  with the Poles could not be renewed. Herr  Hitler's
retort  was  that, so long as England gave  Poland  a  blank
cheque, Polish unrea-
     
130 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
sonableness  would  render  any  negotiation  impossible.  I
denied  the "blank cheque" but this only started Herr Hitler
off  again and finally it was agreed that he would  send  or
hand me his reply in two hours' time.
     
                           No. 58.
                              
 Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received August 24).
     
(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 24, 1939.
     FOLLOWING  is continuation of my telegram of  the  23rd
August.*
     After my first talk yesterday I returned to Salzburg on
understanding that if Herr Hitler wished to see me  again  I
would be at his disposal, or, if he had nothing new to  say,
he could merely send me his reply to Prime Minister by hand.
     As  in  the  event he asked to see me, I went  back  to
Berchtesgaden. He was quite calm the second time  and  never
raised  his voice once. Conversation lasted from 20  minutes
to  half  an  hour  but  produced little  new,  except  that
verbally he was far more categoric than in written reply  as
to  his  determination to attack Poland if  "another  German
were ill-treated in Poland."
     I   spoke   of  tragedy  of  war  and  of  his  immense
responsibility  but  his answer was that  it  would  be  all
England's fault. I refuted this only to learn from him  that
England  was determined to destroy and exterminate  Germany.
He  was, he said, 50 years old: he preferred war now to when
he  would be 55 or 60. I told him that it was absurd to talk
of  extermination.  Nations could not  be  exterminated  and
peaceful and prosperous Germany was a British interest.  His
answer  was that it was England who was fighting for  lesser
races  whereas he was fighting only for Germany: the Germans
would  this time fight to the last man: it would  have  been
different in 1914 if he had been Chancellor then.
     He  spoke  several  times  of his  repeated  offers  of
friendship  to England and their invariable and contemptuous
rejection.  I referred to Prime Minister's efforts  of  last
year  and his desire for co-operation with Germany. He  said
that  he had believed in Mr. Chamberlain's good will at  the
time, but, and especially since
     
* No. 57.
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 131
     
encirclement  efforts  of last few  months,  he  did  so  no
longer.  I  pointed out fallacy of this view but his  answer
was  that  he was now finally convinced of the rightness  of
views  held  formerly  to  him by others  that  England  and
Germany could never agree.
     In referring to Russian non-aggression pact he observed
that it was England which had forced him into agreement with
Russia. He did not seem enthusiastic over it but added  that
once  he made agreement it would be for a long period. (Text
of  agreement  signed to-day confirms this and  I  shall  be
surprised if it is not supplemented later by something  more
than mere non-aggression).
     I  took  line  at  end  that war  seemed  to  me  quite
inevitable if Herr Hitler persisted in direct action against
Poland  and  expressed regret at failure of  my  mission  in
general  to  Berlin  and of my visit to him.  Herr  Hitler's
attitude  was  that it was England's fault and that  nothing
short of complete change of her policy towards Germany could
now ever convince him of British desire for good relations.
     
                           No. 59.
                              
 Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received 8:30 p. m.).

(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 24, 1939.
     I  HAVE  hitherto not made particular reference to  the
underlined  portion  in Herr Hitler's reply*  to  the  Prime
Minister  in  regard  to German general  mobilisation  as  a
counter to British and French mobilisations.
     2.  When  Herr Hitler gave me his reply, readjusted,  I
asked him what exactly was intended by this sentence,  as  I
would,  I said, regard a general German mobilisation as  the
equivalent to war. The answer I got was confused, as was the
actual German text. But the gist was that if the French  and
British mobilisations convinced Herr Hitler that the Western
Powers  meant  to  attack  him he would  mobilise  in  self-
defence.   I   pointed   out  that  any   British   military
mobilisation  would  in  any case fall  far  short  of  what
already  existed in Germany. Herr Hitler's  reply  was  that
this sentence was more particularly intended as a warning
     
* Given in italics in No. 60.

132 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
to  France,  and that, as I gathered, the French  Government
was being or would be so informed.
     3.  I  feel  that  the main objects of  inserting  this
underlined  passage in his letter was (a) to  indicate  that
Germany  could not be intimidated; and (b) to  serve  as  an
excuse  for  general mobilisation if and  when  Herr  Hitler
decides on it.
     
                           No. 60.
                              
    Communication from the German Chancellor to the Prime
 Minister, handed to His Majesty's Ambassador on August 23,
                            1939.
     
(Translation.)
Your Excellency,
     THE  British  Ambassador  has  just  handed  to  me   a
communication  in which your Excellency draws  attention  in
the  name  of the British Government to a number  of  points
which in your estimation are of the greatest importance.
     I may be permitted to answer your letter as follows:-
     1.  Germany has never sought conflict with England  and
has  never interfered in English interests. On the contrary,
she has for years endeavoured-although unfortunately in vain-
to win England's friendship. On this account she voluntarily
assumed in a wide area of Europe the limitations on her  own
interests which from a national-political point of  view  it
would have otherwise been very difficult to tolerate.
     2.  The  German Reich, however, like every other  State
possesses  certain definite interests which it is impossible
to  renounce. These do not extend beyond the limits  of  the
necessities laid down by former German history and  deriving
from  vital economic pre-requisites. Some of these questions
held  and  still  hold a significance both  of  a  national-
political  and  a  psychological character which  no  German
Government is able to ignore.
     To  these  questions belong the German City of  Danzig,
and   the   connected  problem  of  the  Corridor.  Numerous
statesmen,  historians and men of letters  even  in  England
have  been  conscious of this at any rate up to a few  years
ago.  I  would add that all these territories lying  in  the
aforesaid German sphere of interest
     
 DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 133
     
and  in  particular those lands which returned to the  Reich
eighteen  months ago received their cultural development  at
the  hands not of the English but exclusively of the Germans
and  this, moreover, already from a time dating back over  a
thousand years.
     3.  Germany  was  prepared to settle the  questions  of
Danzig  and of the Corridor by the method of negotiation  on
the  basis  of a proposal of truly unparalleled magnanimity.
The  allegations disseminated by England regarding a  German
mobilisation  against  Poland, the assertion  of  aggressive
designs  towards Roumania, Hungary, &c., as well as the  so-
called guarantee declarations which were subsequently  given
had, however, dispelled Polish inclination to negotiate on a
basis  of  this  kind  which would have been  tolerable  for
Germany also.
     4.  The  unconditional assurance given  by  England  to
Poland  that she would render assistance to that country  in
all  circumstances  regardless of the causes  from  which  a
conflict  might  spring, could only be interpreted  in  that
country as an encouragement thenceforward to unloosen, under
cover  of  such  a  charter, a wave of  appalling  terrorism
against the one and a half million German inhabitants living
in  Poland. The atrocities which since then have been taking
place  in  that  country are terrible for the  victims,  but
intolerable for a Great Power such as the German Reich which
is  expected  to  remain  a passive  onlooker  during  these
happenings.  Poland has been guilty of numerous breaches  of
her  legal obligations towards the Free City of Danzig,  has
made demands in the character of ultimata, and has initiated
a process of economic strangulation.
     5.   The  Government  of  the  German  Reich  therefore
recently caused the Polish Government to be informed that it
was  not  prepared passively to accept this  development  of
affairs,  that  it will not tolerate further  addressing  of
notes  in the character of ultimata to Danzig, that it  will
not tolerate a continuance of the persecutions of the German
minority,   that   it   will  equally   not   tolerate   the
extermination  of  the  Free  City  of  Danzig  by  economic
measures, in other words, the destruction of the vital bases
of  the  population of Danzig by a kind of Customs blockade,
and that it will not tolerate the occurrence of further acts
of  provocation directed against the Reich. Apart from this,
the  questions of the Corridor and of Danzig must and  shall
be solved.
     
134 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     6.  Your  Excellency  informs me in  the  name  of  the
British  Government  that  you will  be  obliged  to  render
assistance to Poland in any such case of intervention on the
part of Germany. I take note of this statement of yours  and
assure  you  that it can make no change in the determination
of  the  Reich Government to safeguard the interests of  the
Reich as stated in paragraph 5 above. Your assurance to  the
effect  that in such an event you anticipate a long  war  is
shared  by myself. Germany, if attacked by England, will  be
found prepared and determined. I have already more than once
declared  before the German people and the world that  there
can  be  no  doubt concerning the determination of  the  new
German Reich rather to accept, for however long it might be,
every  sort of misery and tribulation than to sacrifice  its
national interests, let alone its honour.
     7. The German Reich Government has received information
to  the effect that the British Government has the intention
to  carry  out measures of mobilisation which, according  to
the  statements  contained in your own letter,  are  clearly
directed against Germany alone. This is said to be  true  of
France as well. Since Germany has never had the intention of
taking  military measures other than those  of  a  defensive
character  against England or France, and,  as  has  already
been  emphasised, has never intended, and does  not  in  the
future intend, to attack England or France, it follows  that
this  announcement as confirmed by you, Mr. Prime  Minister,
in  your own letter, can only refer to a contemplated act of
menace  directed against the Reich. I therefore inform  your
Excellency   that,   in   the  event   of   these   military
announcements  being  carried into  effect,  I  shall  order
immediate mobilisation of the German forces.
     8.  The  question of the treatment of European problems
on a peaceful basis is not a decision which rests on Germany
but  primarily on those who since the crime committed by the
Versailles dictate have stubbornly and consistently  opposed
any  peaceful revision. Only after a change of spirit on the
part  of the responsible Powers can there be any real change
in  the relationship between England and Germany. I have all
my  life  fought for Anglo-German friendship;  the  attitude
adopted  by British diplomacy-at any rate up to the present-
has,  however,  convinced  me of the  futility  of  such  an
attempt. Should there be

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 135
     
any  change  in this respect in the future nobody  could  be
happier than I.
     ADOLF HITLER.
     
                           No. 61.
                              
 Non-Aggression Pact between Germany and the Union of Soviet
                    Socialist Republics.

(Translation.)
     THE  Government of the German Reich and the  Government
of  the  Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, guided by  the
desire to strengthen the cause of peace between Germany  and
the  Union  of Soviet Socialist Republics, and taking  as  a
basis   the   fundamental  regulations  of  the   Neutrality
Agreement  concluded in April 1926 between Germany  and  the
Union  of  Soviet  Socialist  Republics,  have  reached  the
following agreement:-
     Article  I. The two Contracting Parties bind themselves
to  refrain from any act of force, any aggressive action and
any attack on one another, both singly and also jointly with
other Powers.
     Art.  2. In the event of one of the Contracting Parties
becoming the object of warlike action on the part of a third
Power,  the  other  Contracting Party  shall  in  no  manner
support this third Power.
     Art.  3. The Governments of the two Contracting Parties
shall  in  future  remain continuously  in  touch  with  one
another,  by  way of consultation, in order  to  inform  one
another on questions touching their joint interests.
     Art.  4.  Neither of the two Contracting Parties  shall
participate  in  any grouping of Powers  which  is  directed
directly or indirectly against the other Party.
     Art.  5.  In  the  event of disputes  or  disagreements
arising between the Contracting Parties on questions of this
or  that kind, both Parties would clarify these disputes  or
disagreements exclusively by means of friendly  exchange  of
opinion or, if necessary, by arbitration committees.
     Art. 6. The present Agreement shall be concluded for  a
period of ten years on the understanding that, in so far  as
one of
     
136 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
the  Contracting Parties does not give notice of termination
one  year  before  the  end of this period,  the  period  of
validity  of this Agreement shall automatically be  regarded
as prolonged for a further period of five years.
     Art.  7. The present Agreement shall be ratified within
the  shortest possible time. The instruments of ratification
shall  be  exchanged in Berlin. The Agreement  takes  effect
immediately after it has been signed.
     
     For the German Reich Government:
     RIBBENTROP.
     
     For  the  Government of the Union of  Soviet  Socialist
Republics:
     MOLOTOV.
     
Moscow, August 23, 1939.
     
                           No. 62.
     
           Mr. F. M. Shepherd to Viscount Halifax.
     
(Telegraphic.)                                       Danzig,
August 26, 1939.
     FOLLOWING is translation of decree of Senate dated 23rd
August:-
     "Decree:  Article  I.-Gauleiter of Danzig  is  Head  of
State ('Staatsoberhaupt') of the Free City of Danzig.
     "Article  2.-This  decree  comes  into  force  on  23rd
August, 1939."
     Following are translations of letters dated 24th August
(a)  from  President of Senate to Herr Forster, and  (b)  of
latter's reply:-
     "(a) At  its  meeting  yesterday the  Senate  passed  a
          resolution  according  to  which  you  have   been
          declared  Staatsoberhaupt  of  the  Free  City  of
          Danzig  as from yesterday. A copy of the certified
          resolution  is  enclosed.  In  addition,  a  legal
          decree  has been prepared to-day and signed making
          the   above-mentioned  resolution  of  the  Senate
          operative.  By  means of these  two  acts  of  the
          Government  the  Danzig  Constitution   has   been
          altered  in the above-mentioned sense. The  Senate
          has  authorized me to request you, Herr Gauleiter,
          to
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 137
     
          accept  this  office forthwith in order  in  these
          difficult   but   wonderful  last  decisive   days
          outwardly to give expression to the unity  between
          party  and State, which has so often been stressed
          and which inwardly has always existed.
     "(b) I  have  taken cognisance of the contents of  your
          letter  of  the 24th instant and of  the  enclosed
          certified   copy  of  the  decree  regarding   the
          Staatsoberhaupt of the Free City of Danzig of 23rd
          August,  1939,  and of the copy  of  the  Senate's
          resolution  of  the 23rd August, 1939,  which  was
          also  enclosed. It, of course, goes without saying
          that in my capacity as Leader of the N.S.D.A.P. of
          the  Danzig  district I am prepared in days  which
          are  so  fateful  for Danzig also to  conduct  the
          affairs of the State. With this decree promulgated
          on  the  23rd August, 1939, a state of affairs  is
          officially  sanctioned which, since the  accession
          to  power by the National Socialists in 1933,  has
          in practice been in force."
     
                           No. 63.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 24, 1939.
     FOLLOWING  is translation of Polish note to the  Danzig
Senate:-
     "Herr Staatsrat Boettcher to-day informed Councillor of
the  Polish  Commissariat-General of the resolution  of  the
Senate of the Free City conferring on Gauleiter Forster  the
functions   and   position  of  the  head   of   the   State
('Staatsoberhaupt') of the Free City, this  being  confirmed
in  to-day's Danzig press. I address myself to the Senate of
the  Free  City  as the body which, in accordance  with  the
legally  binding  Constitution of the Free  City,  exercises
supreme  authority in that territory, in order  to  make  on
behalf of my Government the following declaration-
     "My   Government  sees  no  legal  foundation  for  the
adoption  by  the  Senate of the Free City of  a  resolution
instituting a new
     
138 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
State  function for which there is no provision whatever  in
the  Constitution of the Free City, and to which,  as  would
appear,  the  authorities hitherto functioning in  the  Free
City  would  be subordinated. The Polish Government  reserve
the right to adopt a further attitude in this respect.
     "In  this  connexion the Polish Government consider  it
necessary  to remind the authorities of the Free  City  that
they  have already more than once warned the Senate  of  the
Free  City in the most decisive fashion against a policy  of
fait  accompli,  the  consequence of  which  might  be  most
serious   and  the  responsibility  for  which  would   fall
exclusively  upon  the  authorities  of  the  Free  City  of
Danzig."
     
                           No. 64.
                              
Speech  by  the  Prime Minister in the House of  Commons  on
August 24, 1939.
     
     WHEN  at  the  beginning  of this  month  Hon.  Members
separated for the summer recess, I think there can have been
few  among  us who anticipated that many weeks would  elapse
before   we  should  find  ourselves  meeting  here   again.
Unfortunately, those anticipations have been fulfilled,  and
the  Government  have  felt obliged to ask  that  Parliament
should  be  summoned again, in order to take  such  new  and
drastic  steps  as  are  required  by  the  gravity  of  the
situation.  In  the last debate which we  had  upon  foreign
affairs, which took place on the 31st July, I observed  that
the  Danzig  situation  required very  careful  watching.  I
expressed   my   anxiety  about  the  pace  at   which   the
accumulation  of  war  weapons  was  proceeding   throughout
Europe. I referred to the poisoning of public opinion by the
propaganda which was going on, and I declared that  if  that
could  be  stopped  and if some action  could  be  taken  to
restore confidence, I did not believe there was any question
which could not be solved by peaceful discussion. I am sorry
to say that there has been no sign since of any such action.
On  the  contrary, the international position  has  steadily
deteriorated until to-day we find ourselves confronted  with
the imminent peril of war.
     At  the beginning of August a dispute arose between the
Polish
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 139
     
Government  and  the Danzig Senate as to  the  position  and
functions of certain Polish Customs officials. It was not  a
question  of  major importance. Many more acute difficulties
have  been  easily  settled in the  past  under  less  tense
conditions  and even in this case discussions  had  actually
begun between the parties last week. While those discussions
were in progress, the German Press opened a violent campaign
against  the  Polish Government. They declared  that  Danzig
could not be the subject of any conference or any compromise
and  that  it  must  come  back to the  Reich  at  once  and
unconditionally. They went further. They linked up with  the
Danzig  question the question of the Corridor. They attacked
the  whole policy and the attitude of the Polish Government,
and  they  published circumstantial accounts of the  alleged
ill-treatment of Germans living in Poland. Now  we  have  no
means  of  checking the accuracy of those  stories,  but  we
cannot help being struck by the fact that they bear a strong
resemblance to similar allegations that were made last  year
in  respect  of  the Sudeten Germans in Czecho-Slovakia.  We
must also remember that there is a large Polish minority  in
Germany  and  that the treatment of that minority  has  also
been   the  subject  of  bitter  complaints  by  the  Polish
Government.
     There is no subject which is calculated to arouse  ill-
feeling  in any country more than statements about the  ill-
treatment  of  people of their own race in another  country.
This is a subject which provides the most inflammable of all
materials,  the  material most likely  to  cause  a  general
conflagration. In those circumstances one cannot but  deeply
regret that such incidents, which, if they were established,
would   naturally  excite  sympathy  for  the  victims   and
indignation  against  the  authors  of  this  alleged   ill-
treatment,  should be treated in a way which  is  calculated
still  further  to  embitter the atmosphere  and  raise  the
temperature  to  the danger point. But I think  it  will  be
agreed  that,  in  face  of this campaign,  declarations  by
Polish  statesmen have shown great calm and  self-restraint.
The  Polish  leaders, while they have  been  firm  in  their
determination  to resist an attack upon their  independence,
have  been unprovocative. They have always been ready, as  I
am sure they would be ready now, to discuss differences with
the  German  Government, if they could be  sure  that  those
discussions would be carried on without threats of force  or
violence, and with some
     
140 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
confidence that, if agreement were reached, its terms  would
be  respected afterwards permanently, both in the letter and
in  the  spirit. This Press campaign is not the only symptom
which  is ominously reminiscent of past experience. Military
preparations have been made in Germany on such a scale  that
that country is now in a condition of complete readiness for
war,  and  at  the beginning of this week we had  word  that
German  troops  were  beginning to move towards  the  Polish
frontier. It then became evident that a crisis of the  first
magnitude was approaching, and the Government resolved  that
the  time  had  come  when they must seek  the  approval  of
Parliament for further measures of defence.
     That  was the situation on Tuesday last, when in Berlin
and  Moscow  it  was  announced that negotiations  had  been
taking  place, and were likely soon to be concluded,  for  a
non-aggression pact between those two countries.  I  do  not
attempt  to  conceal from the House that  that  announcement
came  to the Government as a surprise, and a surprise  of  a
very unpleasant character. For some time past there had been
rumours  about an impending change in the relations  between
Germany and the Soviet Union, but no inkling of that  change
had  been  conveyed either to us or to the French Government
by the Soviet Government. The House may remember that on the
31st  July I remarked that we had engaged upon steps  almost
unprecedented in character. I said that we had shown a great
amount   of   trust  and  a  strong  desire  to  bring   the
negotiations   with  the  Soviet  Union  to   a   successful
conclusion when we agreed to send our soldiers, sailors  and
airmen  to Russia to discuss military plans together  before
we  had  any  assurance that we should be able to  reach  an
agreement  on  political matters. Well,  Sir,  nevertheless,
moved  by  the  observation  of the  Russian  Secretary  for
Foreign  Affairs,  that if we could  come  to  a  successful
conclusion of our military discussions, political  agreement
should not present any insuperable difficulties, we sent the
Mission.
     The  British and French Missions reached Moscow on  the
11th August. They were warmly received, in friendly fashion,
and  discussions were actually in progress and had proceeded
on  a  basis of mutual trust when this bombshell  was  flung
down.  It, to say the least of it, was highly disturbing  to
learn that while these conversations were proceeding on that
basis, the Soviet Govern-
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 141
     
ment  were  secretly  negotiating a pact  with  Germany  for
purposes  which,  on the face of it, were inconsistent  with
the  objects  of their foreign policy, as we had  understood
it.  I  do  not  propose this afternoon to  pass  any  final
judgment  upon  this  incident.  That,  I  think,  would  be
premature  until  we have had an opportunity  of  consulting
with  the  French  Government as  to  the  meaning  and  the
consequences  of  this  agreement, the  text  of  which  was
published  only  this  morning. But the  question  that  the
Government  had  to  consider  when  they  learned  of  this
announcement was what effect, if any, this changed situation
would have upon their own policy. In Berlin the announcement
was   hailed,  with  extraordinary  cynicism,  as  a   great
diplomatic victory which removed any danger of war, since we
and   France  would  no  longer  be  likely  to  fulfil  our
obligations to Poland. We felt it our first duty  to  remove
any such dangerous illusion.
     The  House will recollect that the guarantee  which  we
had  given  to  Poland was given before any  agreement  with
Russia  was talked of, and that it was not in any  way  made
dependent upon any such agreement being reached. How,  then,
could  we,  with  honour, go back upon such  an  obligation,
which  we  had so often and so plainly repeated?  Therefore,
our  first act was to issue a statement that our obligations
to  Poland and to other countries remained unaffected. Those
obligations rest upon agreed statements made to the House of
Commons,  to  which effect is being given in treaties  which
are  at  present in an advanced stage of negotiation.  Those
treaties,   when   concluded,  will  formally   define   our
obligations, but they do not in any way alter, they  do  not
add   to   or  subtract  from,  the  obligations  of  mutual
assistance  which have already been accepted. The communiqu‚
which  we  issued  to  the Press after the  meeting  of  the
Cabinet  this week spoke also of certain measures of defence
which we had adopted. It will be remembered that, as I  have
said, Germany has an immense army of men already under  arms
and  that  military preparations of all kinds have been  and
are being carried on on a vast scale in that country.
     The  measures  that we have taken up to now  are  of  a
precautionary and defensive character, and to give effect to
our  determination  to  put  this  country  in  a  state  of
preparedness  to meet any emergency, but I wish emphatically
to  repudiate any suggestion, if such a suggestion should be
made, that these measures imply an
     
142 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
act  of menace. Nothing that we have done or that we propose
to do menaces the legitimate interests of Germany. It is not
an  act  of  menace  to prepare to help  friends  to  defend
themselves  against  force. If neighbours  wishing  to  live
together peacefully in friendly relations find that  one  of
them  is contemplating apparently an aggressive act of force
against another of them, and is making open preparations for
action, it is not a menace for the others to announce  their
intention  of  aiding  the one who is the  subject  of  this
threat.
     There is another action which has been taken to-day  in
the  financial  sphere.  Hon. Members  will  have  seen  the
announcement that the Bank Rate, which has remained at 2 per
cent. for a long time past, has to-day been raised to 4  per
cent.,  and the House will recognise that this is  a  normal
protective measure adopted for the purpose of defending  our
resources  in  a  period of uncertainty. There  is  in  this
connexion  a  contribution to be made  by  British  citizens
generally. The public can best co-operate in reducing as far
as possible any demands which involve directly or indirectly
the  purchase  of  foreign exchange;  next  by  scrupulously
observing  the  request of the Chancellor of  the  Exchequer
that  capital should not at present be sent or moved out  of
the country; and, finally, by holding no more foreign assets
than  are  strictly  required  for  the  normal  purpose  of
business.
     In  view  of  the attitude in Berlin to  which  I  have
already referred, His Majesty's Government felt that it  was
their duty at this moment to leave no possible loophole  for
misunderstanding, and so that no doubt might  exist  in  the
mind  of the German Government, His Majesty's Ambassador  in
Berlin  was instructed to seek an interview with the  German
Chancellor  and to hand him a message from me on  behalf  of
the British Government. That message was delivered yesterday
and  the  reply  was  received  today.  The  object  of   my
communication  to the German Chancellor was to  restate  our
position  and  to  make  quite  sure  that  there   was   no
misunderstanding. His Majesty's Government  felt  that  this
was all the more necessary having regard to reports which we
had  received as to the military movements taking  place  in
Germany   and   as  to  the  then  projected   German-Soviet
Agreement.  I therefore made it plain, as had been  done  in
the  communiqu‚ issued after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday,
that if the case
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 143
     
should  arise  His  Majesty's Government were  resolved  and
prepared  to  employ without delay all the forces  at  their
command.
     On  numerous occasions I have stated my conviction that
war  between our two countries, admitted on all sides to  be
the  greatest  calamity  that could occur,  is  not  desired
either  by  our own people or the German people.  With  this
fact  in mind I informed the German Chancellor that, in  our
view,  there  was  nothing in the questions arising  between
Poland  and Germany which could not be, and should  not  be,
resolved  without the use of force, if only a  situation  of
confidence  could be restored. We expressed our  willingness
to   assist  in  creating  the  conditions  in  which   such
negotiations could take place. The present state of  tension
creates great difficulties, and I expressed the view that if
there  could  be a truce on all sides to press polemics  and
all  other forms of incitement suitable conditions might  be
established  for  direct negotiations  between  Germany  and
Poland upon the points at issue. The negotiations could,  of
course,  deal also with the complaints made on  either  side
about the protection of minorities.
     The German Chancellor's reply includes what amounts  to
a re-statement of the German thesis that Eastern Europe is a
sphere  in  which Germany ought to have a free hand.  If  we
this  is  the  thesis-or  any  country  having  less  direct
interest  choose  to interfere, the blame  for  the  ensuing
conflict  will  be ours. This thesis entirely  misapprehends
the  British  position. We do not seek to  claim  a  special
position for ourselves in Eastern Europe. We do not think of
asking  Germany to sacrifice her national interests, but  we
cannot agree that national interests can only be secured  by
the shedding of blood or the destruction of the independence
of other States. With regard to the relations between Poland
and  Germany, the German Chancellor in his reply to  me  has
referred again to the situation at Danzig, drawing attention
to the position of that city and of the Corridor, and to the
offer  which  he  made  early  this  year  to  settle  these
questions  by  methods  of negotiation.  I  have  repeatedly
refuted  the allegation that it was our guarantee to  Poland
that  decided the Polish Government to refuse the  proposals
then  made.  That  guarantee was not, in fact,  given  until
after  the  Polish refusal had been conveyed to  the  German
Government. In view of the delicacy of the situation I  must
refrain for the present from any further comment upon the
     
144 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
communications  which  have  just  passed  between  the  two
Governments. Catastrophe has not yet come upon us. We  must,
therefore, still hope that reason and sanity may find a  way
to  reassert themselves. The pronouncement we made  recently
and  what I have said to-day reflects, I am sure, the  views
of  the French Government, with whom we have maintained  the
customary close contact in pursuance of our well established
cordial relations.
     Naturally,   our  minds  turn  to  the   Dominions.   I
appreciate very warmly the pronouncements made by  Ministers
in  other parts of the British Commonwealth. The indications
that  have  been given from time to time, in some  cases  as
recently  as  yesterday, of their sympathy with our  patient
efforts in the cause of peace, and of their attitude in  the
unhappy event of their proving unsuccessful, are a source of
profound  encouragement to us in these critical  times.  The
House will, I am sure, share the appreciation with which His
Majesty's  Government have noted the appeal for  peace  made
yesterday  by King Leopold in the name of the heads  of  the
Oslo States, after the meeting in Brussels yesterday of  the
representatives  of those States. It will  be  evident  from
what  I  have said that His Majesty's Government  share  the
hopes  to  which that appeal gave expression, and  earnestly
trust that effect will be given to it.
     The  Foreign  Secretary, in a speech made on  the  29th
June  to the Royal Institute of International Affairs,*  set
out  the  fundamental bases of British foreign  policy.  His
observations on that subject were, I believe, received  with
general  approval. The first basis is our  determination  to
resist methods of force. The second basis is our recognition
of  the  world  desire  to pursue the constructive  work  of
building  peace. If we were once satisfied, my noble  Friend
said,  that  the intentions of others were the same  as  our
own,  and  if  we  were satisfied that all  wanted  peaceful
solutions, then, indeed, we could discuss problems which are
to-day causing the world so much anxiety. That definition of
the basic fundamental ground of British policy still stands.
We want to see established an international order based upon
mutual  understanding and mutual confidence, and  we  cannot
build such an order unless it conforms to certain principles
which  are essential to the establishment of confidence  and
trust. Those principles
     
* No. 35

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 145
     
must  include  the observance of international  undertakings
when  they have once been entered into, and the renunciation
of  force  in the settlement of differences. It  is  because
those  principles, to which we attach such vital importance,
seem  to us to be in jeopardy that we have undertaken  these
tremendous and unprecedented responsibilities.
     If,  despite all our efforts to find the way to  peace-
and  God knows I have tried my best-if in spite of all that,
we  find ourselves forced to embark upon a struggle which is
bound  to  be  fraught with suffering  and  misery  for  all
mankind  and  the end of which no man can foresee,  if  that
should  happen, we shall not be fighting for  the  political
future  of  a far away city in a foreign land; we  shall  be
fighting for the preservation of those principles of which I
have  spoken,  the  destruction of which would  involve  the
destruction of all possibility of peace and security for the
peoples  of the world. This issue of peace or war  does  not
rest  with  us,  and  I  trust  that  those  with  whom  the
responsibility does lie will think of the millions of  human
beings whose fate depends upon their actions. For ourselves,
we  have  a  united country behind us, and in this  critical
hour I believe that we, in this House of Commons, will stand
together,  and that this afternoon we shall show  the  world
that, as we think, so will we act, as a united nation.
     
                           No. 65.
                              
 Speech by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the
             House of Lords on August 24, 1939.
     
     MY  Lords, I am glad to accede to the invitation of the
noble Lord opposite, and perhaps your Lordships will forgive
me  if I make a statement of somewhat greater length than is
customary in answer to a formal question. It will perhaps be
of  some  usefulness  if I sketch  in  a  word  or  two  the
background of the international developments which have  led
to  the  recall of Parliament. The events of this  year  are
fresh  in all our minds, and the cumulative effect  of  them
had been to lead many countries of Europe to feel themselves
confronted  with  an  attempt on  the  part  of  Germany  to
dominate and control their destiny, and there were few
     
146 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
which  had not reason to fear that their liberties  were  in
greater  or  less degree in danger. As a matter of  history,
successive British Governments have felt obliged  to  resist
attempts by a single Power to dominate Europe at the expense
of others, and the imposition of one country's will by force
of  arms. This country has stood for the maintenance of  the
independence of those States who both valued their liberties
and  were  ready  to  defend them, and have  endeavoured  to
uphold the principle that changes which must inevitably take
place  in  the relations between nations can and  should  be
effected  peacefully and by free negotiation  between  those
concerned.
     His   Majesty's  Government  accordingly  entered  into
consultation  with the countries who felt themselves  to  be
more  immediately  threatened,  for  the  sole  purpose   of
concerting  resistance to further aggression if such  should
be  attempted.  His Majesty's Government at  the  same  time
endeavoured  to make clear their attitude both by  word  and
deed  so that no doubt might anywhere exist as to the policy
which  they  were  determined  to  pursue.  They  introduced
compulsory service and made efforts unprecedented  in  times
of  peace to expand and equip the armed forces of the  Crown
and  to  place both the civil and military defences  of  the
country in a state of full preparedness. The declarations of
policy  which  have been made in this House and  in  another
place  have  sought  to set out both general  principles  of
British  policy  and  also  the attitude  of  His  Majesty's
Government  to  particular questions, such as Danzig,  which
have from time to time held the forefront of the stage.  The
declarations which were thus made and the action  which  was
taken  met,  I  think,  with the general  approval  both  of
Parliament and people.
     Before  the  adjournment  early  this  month  my  right
honourable   friend  the  Prime  Minister  said   that   the
situation, in which the accumulation of the weapons  of  war
was going on at such a pace, was one which could not but  be
regarded with anxiety. He referred to the bad feeling  which
was being created by poisonous propaganda, and said that  if
that  could be stopped and if some action could be taken  to
restore  confidence in Europe, there was no  question  which
should  not be capable of solution by a peaceful  means.  Of
such action, however, there has unhappily been no sign,  and
since the House adjourned the international situation
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 147
     
has  deteriorated, until to-day we are confronted  with  the
imminent peril of war.
     At  the  beginning of August further differences  arose
between   the  Polish  Government  and  the  Danzig   Senate
concerning the position and functions of the Polish  Customs
Inspectors   in  the  Free  City.  These  differences   were
relatively unimportant in themselves and in an atmosphere of
less  tension  would  no doubt have been  capable  of  being
settled  amicably, as similar differences have been  settled
in  the  past. Discussion of the questions at issue  was  in
fact  proceeding at the end of last week. But while  efforts
were  being  made  to set the machinery  of  negotiation  in
motion,  the German press opened a violent campaign  against
the  Polish  Government. This campaign, as noble  Lords  may
have  noticed, was not confined solely, or even principally,
to  the  question of Danzig. On this question it was  stated
that  there  could  be  no compromise:  Danzig  must  return
unconditionally  to  the  Reich.  With  it  was  linked  the
question of the so-called Corridor, and the attack on Poland
has extended to cover the general attitude and policy of the
Polish  Government, and in particular the  position  of  the
German minority in Poland.
     In  regard  to  the German minority I would  say  this.
Every country must be concerned to secure just treatment for
minorities,  and must naturally feel particular interest  in
minorities  allied to it by race. No one  in  this  country,
certainly, would wish to defend conditions under which  such
treatment was denied to any minority section, but if  causes
of  complaint exist let them not be made the ground for such
embitterment of the atmosphere as must make any settlement a
hundred  times  more difficult, but let them be  fairly  and
dispassionately brought to examination, so that  before  the
public  opinion of the world some ground may be  established
for  their  consideration and redress. It is  impossible  to
ignore  the fact that the accusations against Poland bear  a
strong resemblance to the accusations made last year against
Czecho-Slovakia, and it is right also to remember that there
is  a  large Polish minority in Germany, of whose  treatment
the Polish Government also bitterly complain.
     Of  the general attitude of Poland it must be admitted,
I  think,  that in the face of a campaign which  appears  to
threaten not only their independence of action, but also the
existence of Poland as a
     
148 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
nation,  the  declarations of the Polish leaders  have  been
firm  but quite unprovocative. I am confident that they have
been, and are at all times, ready to discuss the differences
between  themselves and Germany, if they could be reasonably
certain  that  the  discussion would take place  under  free
conditions, without the menace of force, and with  assurance
that  the  results of the discussion would  be  loyally  and
permanently observed. If at times the Polish newspapers have
replied  in kind to the onslaught of the German press,  this
has  not  been  reflected  in the  attitude  of  the  Polish
Government. Concurrently with the press campaign  there  has
been  much active military preparation in Germany, and  that
country  is being placed on a footing of complete  readiness
for   war.  At  the  beginning  of  this  week  there   were
indications  that  German  troops were  moving  towards  the
Polish  frontiers,  and, in the face of what  was  obviously
becoming a very menacing situation, His Majesty's Government
decided  that  the  time had come when they  must  seek  the
approval of Parliament for further measures of defence.
     That,  in  outline, was the situation when on  the  22d
August,  the day before yesterday, it was officially  stated
in Berlin and Moscow that negotiations had been in progress,
and were to be at once continued, for the signature of a non-
aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Germany.  I  do
not  conceal  the  fact  that this announcement  came  as  a
surprise  to  His Majesty's Government. For some  time  past
there  had been rumours of a change in the relations between
the  German and Soviet Governments, but no hint  of  such  a
change  was  conveyed  by  the  Soviet  Government  to   His
Majesty's  Government  or the French Government,  with  whom
they  were  in  negotiation; and on the 31st July  last  the
Prime  Minister remarked in another place that His Majesty's
Government  were  showing a great degree  of  trust,  and  a
strong  desire to bring their negotiations with  the  Soviet
Government to a successful issue, when, before any agreement
had  been finally reached on political matters, they  agreed
to  send  a  Military Mission to Moscow to discuss  military
plans.  The  Military Missions of France  and  this  country
reached  Moscow  on  the 11th August, and the  conversations
were  proceeding  to all appearance on  a  basis  of  mutual
confidence, and it is, I do not conceal from your Lordships,
certainly disturbing to learn that while these conver-
     
 DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 149
     
sations  were  taking  place  the  Soviet  Government   were
secretly negotiating a pact with Germany for purposes which,
on the face of it, were inconsistent with the objects, as we
had understood them, of their foreign policy.
     I would not now pass any final judgment on this matter.
That  would  be premature until we have had time to  consult
with  the  French  Government as  to  the  meaning  and  the
consequences of the agreement, the actual text of which  has
been  published this morning, but one matter  forces  itself
upon  the  immediate attention of His Majesty's  Government.
They  had  to  consider what effect this  changed  situation
should  have  on their policy. In Berlin the  agreement  was
somewhat  cynically  welcomed as a great diplomatic  victory
which  removed the danger of war, since, so it was  alleged,
Great  Britain  and  France would  no  longer  fulfil  their
obligations to Poland, and His Majesty's Government felt  it
their  first  duty  to  remove this dangerous  illusion.  It
should be recalled, if it is not in mind, that our guarantee
to  Poland was given before any agreement with Russia was in
prospect,  and without condition that such agreement  should
be  reached.  His  Majesty's Government  therefore  at  once
issued  a  statement that their obligations  to  Poland  and
other  countries  remained unaffected; and throughout  these
days, as noble Lords will imagine, we have been in close and
constant  contact with the French Government, whose attitude
is  identical  with  our own. Our obligations  rest  on  the
agreed  statements  which were made in  this  House  and  in
another place, and which are binding. Effect is being  given
to  them  in  treaties, which are in an  advanced  stage  of
negotiation,  and  these treaties will formally  define  the
mutual  obligations of the parties, but they neither add  to
nor subtract from the obligations of mutual assistance which
have been already accepted.
     Certain  necessary measures of precaution have  already
been  taken.  Some  of  these  measures  have  already  been
announced,  and  other  steps  will  be  taken,  as   judged
necessary,  as  soon as the legislation is passed,  which  I
understand  it  is  proposed to  invite  your  Lordships  to
consider  this afternoon. There is another action which  has
been  taken  to-day in the financial sphere. Your  Lordships
will  have  seen the announcement that the bank rate,  which
has remained for a long time past at 2 per cent., has to-day
been  raised  to  4 per cent. The House will recognise  that
this is a nor-
     
150 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
mal protective measure, which is adopted for the purpose  of
defending  our  resources in a period of uncertainty.  There
is,  in this connection, a contribution to be made generally
by  British  citizens.  The public can  best  co-operate  by
reducing,  so  far as possible, any demands  which  involve,
directly  or  indirectly, the purchase of foreign  exchange;
next,  by  scrupulously  observing  the  Chancellor  of  the
Exchequer's  request that capital should not at  present  be
sent  or  moved out of the country; and, finally, by holding
no  more  foreign assets than are strictly required for  the
normal purpose of business.
     My  Lords,  I  have said that His Majesty's  Government
have tried to make their position quite clear, but, in order
that no possible doubt might exist in the mind of the German
Government,   His  Majesty's  Ambassador   in   Berlin   was
instructed  yesterday to seek an interview with Herr  Hitler
and  to  give  him  a message on His Majesty's  Government's
behalf.  The object of this message to the German Chancellor
was  to  restate  our position and to make quite  sure  that
there was no misunderstanding. His Majesty's Government,  as
I  have suggested, felt that that was all the more necessary
having  regard to the reports which we have received  as  to
the  military  movements  in Germany  and  as  to  the  then
projected   German-Soviet  Agreement.  My  right  honourable
Friend  the  Prime  Minister, therefore, on  behalf  of  His
Majesty's  Government, made it plain, as had,  indeed,  been
made plain in the statement issued after the meeting of  the
Cabinet  on Tuesday last, that if the case should arise  His
Majesty's  Government were resolved and prepared  to  employ
without delay all the forces at their command.
     On numerous occasions the Prime Minister has stated his
conviction, which is shared, I would suppose, by all  people
of this country, that war between the British and the German
peoples-admitted  on all sides to be the  greatest  calamity
that could occur-was not desired either by our people or  by
the  German people. And the Prime Minister further  informed
the  German  Chancellor that we did not see that  there  was
anything in the questions arising between Germany and Poland
which  could not and should not be resolved without the  use
of  force,  if  only  a  situation of  confidence  could  be
restored.  We  have expressed our willingness to  assist  in
creating the conditions in which such negotiations could
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 151
     
take place. It was obvious that the present state of tension
created great difficulties, and the Prime Minister expressed
the  view  that, if there could be a truce on all  sides  to
press  polemics  and  all incitements, a suitable  condition
might be established for direct negotiations between Germany
and  Poland  upon the points between them. The  negotiations
could,  of  course,  also deal with the complaints  made  on
either side about the treatment of minorities.
     The German Chancellor's reply includes what amounts  to
a re-statement of the German thesis that Eastern Europe is a
sphere in which Germany seeks to have a free hand; if we  or
any   country  having  less  direct  interests   choose   to
interfere, the blame for the ensuing conflict will be  ours.
The  British position is, of course, that we do not  in  any
way  seek to claim a special position for ourselves;  we  do
not  think  of  asking  Germany to  sacrifice  her  national
interests,  but  we  do insist that the interests  of  other
States  should  be respected. We cannot agree that  national
interests can only be secured by the shedding of blood or by
the  destruction of the independence of other  States;  and,
unfortunately, events such as those of last  March  make  it
difficult to accept assurances, even now repeated, about the
limitations of German interests. Herr Hitler has often  said
that  he has fought for a better Anglo-German understanding,
but  it  has,  as  we see it, been the acts of  Herr  Hitler
himself  that have time and again destroyed our earnest  and
sincere  endeavours  to that end; and as  regards  relations
between  Germany  and  Poland,  the  German  Chancellor  has
referred again to the situation at Danzig, drawing attention
to the position of that City and of the Corridor, and to the
offer which he made only this year to settle those questions
by  methods of negotiation. The allegation that it  was  our
guarantee  to  Poland that decided the Polish Government  to
refuse  the proposals then made has been repeatedly refuted.
That  guarantee  was  not, in fact, given  until  after  the
Polish refusal had been conveyed to the German Government.
     My  Lords,  in view of the delicacy of the situation  I
would refrain at this time from any further comment upon the
communications  which  have  just  passed  between  the  two
Governments. Catastrophe has not yet come upon  Europe,  and
we  must,  therefore, still hope that reason and sanity  may
find means to reassert
     
152 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
themselves. As to the military measures that we have  taken,
it  must  be  remembered that, as I have said,  Germany  has
already  an immense number of men under arms, and  has  also
made military preparations of all kinds on a vast scale. The
measures  taken in this country have so far been only  of  a
precautionary and defensive kind, but no threats will affect
our  determination to do what is necessary  to  prepare  the
country  for any emergency. I would with emphasis  repudiate
any  suggestion  that the measures we  are  taking  imply  a
contemplated act of menace on our part. Nothing that we have
done  or  propose  to  do constitutes a  threat  to  any  of
Germany's  legitimate interests. It is no act of  menace  to
prepare  oneself to help one's friends to defend  themselves
against the use of force.
     In  a  speech that I made some six weeks or two  months
ago  to the Royal Institute of International Affairs I tried
to set out in terms which were fortunate enough to meet with
almost unanimous approval the twin foundations of purpose on
which British policy rests. The first was a determination to
resist  force,  and  the second was the recognition  of  the
world's  desire  to  get on with the  constructive  task  of
building  peace.  And  if  we could  once,  as  I  said,  be
satisfied that the intentions of others were the same as our
own, and that we all really wanted peaceful solutions, then,
I  said, we could discuss all the problems that were causing
the  world  anxiety. That definition of the  policy  of  His
Majesty's Government stands. Our object is, and has been, to
build  an  international order based on mutual understanding
and  mutual confidence, but that order can only rest on  the
basis   of   certain  moral  principles  which  are   widely
recognised  to be essential to the peaceful and the  orderly
life of nations, and among those principles I place high the
renunciation of forcible solutions and the respect  for  the
pledged   word   in   international   relationships.    And,
fundamentally, it is those principles which are to-day as we
see  it  in  danger,  and it is those  principles  which  we
consider it vital to try and protect.
     There  are  some  who  say that the  fate  of  European
nations  is no concern of ours, and that we should not  look
far  beyond  our  own frontiers. But those  who  thus  argue
forget, I think, that in failing to uphold the liberties  of
others  we  run  great risk of betraying  the  principle  of
liberty itself, and with it our own freedom and
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 153
     
independence. We have built up a society with  values  which
are accepted not only in this country but over vast areas of
the world. If we stand by and see these values set at nought
the  security  of  all  those things on  which  life  itself
depends seems, to my judgment, to be undermined, and that is
a  fundamental matter on which I scarcely think  that  there
will  be  any  difference of opinion. I have no  doubt  that
those  with  whom  rest the issues of  peace  and  war  will
measure   their  responsibilities  to  present  and   future
generations  before precipitating a struggle in  which  many
nations of Europe must immediately be involved, of which the
duration  cannot be foreseen, and by which  even  those  who
stand  aside  from active participation will be vitally  and
dangerously  affected. And I would earnestly  hope  that  in
face  of all the certain consequences of a resort to  force,
and  before  any  step  is taken which cannot  be  retraced,
reason may yet prevail. His Majesty's Government have  noted
with  warm  appreciation the appeal for peace made  by  King
Leopold after the meeting at Brussels yesterday in the  name
of  the  heads  of the Oslo States. It will be evident  from
what  I  have said that His Majesty's Government  share  the
hopes to which that appeal gave such moving expression,  and
earnestly trust that effect may be given to it.
     My  Lords, in this moment of anxiety I trust  that  the
ground on which His Majesty's Government have determined  to
take  their stand will meet with the approval of all parties
in  this  House. I believe it will, and I do not doubt  that
the  Government may rely on the support of the whole country
in  any  measures  necessary to defend  the  cause  of  just
dealing between the nations and to preserve secure the place
of honourable freedom in the world.
     
                           No. 66.
                              
    Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (received 8 p. m.)
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 24, 1939.
     M.  BECK  told  me  that he considered  situation  most
grave.  Attitude  of Danzig authorities  was  becoming  more
provocative,  though he had no intention for the  moment  of
actually   breaking   off  negotiations  regarding   customs
inspectors and so forth.
     2.   M.  Beck  has,  as  requested,  instructed  Polish
Ambassador
     
154 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
in  Berlin to seek immediate interview with State Secretary,
and,  unless  he  found  attitude  of  Herr  von  Weizs„cker
unsatisfactory, he would attempt to examine  all  points  at
issue  with a view to ascertaining whether anything  can  be
done to relieve present tension.
     3.  M.  Beck  referred  to  certain  incidents  on  the
frontier, and I asked him more especially whether one  which
has  caused great indignation here was true: it was reported
in the press this morning that body of Polish frontier guard
shot on 16th August was returned in a state of shocking  and
gruesome  mutilation. M. Beck said that the  facts  were  as
stated  in  the  press  and  that  Commissioner-General  was
protesting to Danzig Senate without, however, demanding  any
reply.
     4.  As far as I can see, calm prevails, and M. Beck has
assured me that strict orders have been given to prevent any
provocative  action either of military or any other  nature.
Frontier  is still covered by ordinary frontier guards,  and
there  would  seem from M. Beck's attitude no necessity  for
warning which, nevertheless, I and my French colleague  have
given  him  to  do  nothing  which would  further  aggravate
present critical state of affairs.
     
                           No. 67.
                              
             Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax.
                              
 (Despatched at 2:35 a. m. on August 25 and received at 9:30
                    a. m.  on August 25.)

(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 24, 1939.
     MY telegram of 24th August.*
     The Minister for Foreign Affairs informs me that Polish
Ambassador  in  Berlin had an interview  with  Field-Marshal
Goring this afternoon. The interview was most cordial and he
told me the Marshal expressed his regret that his policy  of
maintaining friendly relations with Poland should have  come
to nought and admitted that he no longer had influence to do
much  in  the matter. The Marshal had, however, no  concrete
suggestion to make beyond what had struck M. Beck as a  most
signifi-
     
* No. 66.

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 155
     
cant  remark  which he requested me to convey  to  you  most
confidentially.  The  Marshal stated that  the  question  of
Danzig  and so forth were relatively small matters, but  the
main  obstacle to any diminution of the tension between  the
two countries was Poland's alliance with Great Britain.
     2.  M.  Beck  had consulted the President  and  Marshal
Smigly-Rydz,  and  it had been decided that  if  the  German
Government should put forward this suggestion in  any  other
way  the  answer would be categorically in the negative.  M.
Beck  feels that the German Government may make every effort
to  secure a free hand in Eastern Europe by such methods and
he  feels  that it should be clearly understood that  Poland
will not be drawn into any intrigue of this nature.
     3. I asked M. Beck about the proposed interview between
M.  Lipski  and the State Secretary. M. Beck said that  Herr
von  Weizs„cker was in Berchtesgaden and would probably  not
return  until  the end of the week, but that M.  Lipski  had
asked for an interview and was awaiting reply.
     
                           No. 68.
                              
   Supplementary Communication from the German Chancellor
   handed to His Majesty's Ambassador on August 25, 1939.
                              
     THE  following is a translation of the text of a verbal
communication made to Sir Nevile Henderson by Herr Hitler at
his interview on the 25th August:-
          "By  way of introduction the Fhrer declared  that
     the  British  Ambassador had given  expression  at  the
     close  of the last conversation to the hope that, after
     all, an understanding between Germany and England might
     yet  be  possible. He (the Fhrer) had therefore turned
     things over in his mind once more and desired to make a
     move as regards England which should be as decisive  as
     the  move as regards Russia which had led to the recent
     agreement. Yesterday's sitting in the House of  Commons
     and  the  speeches of Mr. Chamberlain and Lord  Halifax
     had  also  moved the Fhrer to talk once  more  to  the
     British Ambassador. The assertion that Germany affected
     to conquer the world was ridiculous. The British Empire
     em-
          
156 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     braced  40 million square kilometres, Russia 19 million
     square   kilometres,  America  9  1/2  million   square
     kilometres, whereas Germany embraced less than  600,000
     square  kilometres. It is quite clear  who  it  is  who
     desires to conquer the world.
     
     "The  Fhrer makes the following communication  to  the
British Ambassador:-
     
          "1.   Poland's  actual  provocations  have  become
     intolerable. It makes no difference who is responsible.
     If  the  Polish Government denies responsibility,  that
     only  goes  to show that it no longer itself  possesses
     any    influence   over   its   subordinate    military
     authorities. In the preceding night there  had  been  a
     further  twenty-one  new  frontier  incidents;  on  the
     German   side   the   greatest  discipline   had   been
     maintained.  All incidents had been provoked  from  the
     Polish side. Furthermore, commercial aircraft had  been
     shot  at. If the Polish Government stated that  it  was
     not  responsible,  it  showed that  it  was  no  longer
     capable of controlling its own people.
          "2.   Germany   was   in  all  the   circumstances
     determined  to  abolish these Macedonian conditions  on
     her eastern frontier and, what is more, to do so in the
     interests of quiet and order, but also in the interests
     of European peace.
          "3. The problem of Danzig and the Corridor must be
     solved.-The  British Prime Minister had made  a  speech
     which  was  not in the least calculated to  induce  any
     change  in the German attitude. At the most, the result
     of  this speech could be a bloody and incalculable  war
     between  Germany  and  England. Such  a  war  would  be
     bloodier than that of 1914 to 1918. In contrast to  the
     last war, Germany would no longer have to fight on  two
     fronts.  Agreement  with Russia was  unconditional  and
     signified a change in foreign policy of the Reich which
     would  last a very long time. Russia and Germany  would
     never again take up arms against each other. Apart from
     this,  the  agreements reached with Russia  would  also
     render  Germany  secure economically  for  the  longest
     possible period of war.
          "The  Fhrer  had  always wanted  an  Anglo-German
     understanding. War between England and Germany could at
     the  best bring some profit to Germany but none at  all
     to England.
          "The   Fhrer   declared  that  the  German-Polish
     problem  must  be  solved and will be  solved.  He  is,
     however, prepared
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 157
     
     and  determined after the solution of this  problem  to
     approach  England once more with a large  comprehensive
     offer. He is a man of great decisions, and in this case
     also  he  will be capable of being great in his action.
     He  accepts the British Empire and is ready  to  pledge
     himself personally for its continued existence  and  to
     place the power of the German Reich at its disposal if-
     
     "(1) His colonial demands which are limited and can  be
          negotiated  by peaceful methods are fulfilled  and
          in  this  case he is prepared to fix  the  longest
          time limit.
     "(2) His obligations towards Italy are not touched;  in
          other words, he does not demand that England gives
          up  her  obligations towards France and  similarly
          for  his  own  part  he cannot withdraw  from  his
          obligations towards Italy.
     "(3) He   also   desires  to  stress  the   irrevocable
          determination of Germany never again to enter into
          conflict  with  Russia. The  Fhrer  is  ready  to
          conclude  agreements with England  which,  as  has
          already  been emphasised, would not only guarantee
          the   existence  of  the  British  Empire  in  all
          circumstances as far as Germany is concerned,  but
          also  if  necessary an assurance  to  the  British
          Empire  of German assistance regardless  of  where
          such  assistance should be necessary.  The  Fhrer
          would  then  also be ready to accept a  reasonable
          limitation of armaments which corresponds  to  the
          new political situation, and which is economically
          tolerable.   Finally,  the  Fhrer   renewed   his
          assurances  that he is not interested  in  Western
          problems and that a frontier modification  in  the
          West  does  not enter into consideration.  Western
          fortifications  which have been constructed  at  a
          cost of milliards were final Reich frontier on the
          West.
     
     "If the British Government would consider these ideas a
blessing  for Germany and also for the British Empire  might
result. If it rejects these ideas there will be war.  In  no
case  would  Great  Britain emerge stronger;  the  last  war
proved this.
     "The  Fhrer  repeats that he is a man of ad  infinitum
decisions by which he himself is bound and that this is  his
last offer.

158 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
Immediately after solution of the German-Polish question  he
would approach the British Government with an offer."
     
                           No. 69.
                              
  Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received 7 p. m.).

(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 25, 1939.
     IN my immediately preceding telegram* I give text of  a
verbal  communication  which  Chancellor  made  to  me  this
morning.  He was absolutely calm and normal and  spoke  with
great  earnestness  and  apparent  sincerity.  Minister  for
Foreign Affairs was present but took practically no part  in
the conversation.
     Herr  Hitler  began by saying that he  had  always  and
still  desired  good relations with Great Britain,  and  his
conscience compelled him to make this final effort to secure
them.  It  was his last attempt. He suggested that I  should
fly  to  England  myself in order to put  the  case  to  His
Majesty's Government.
     3.  Conversation lasted an hour, my attitude being that
Russian  Pact in no way altered standpoint of His  Majesty's
Government,  and  that I must tell him quite  honestly  that
Britain could not go back on her word to Poland and  that  I
knew  his  offer would not be considered unless it  meant  a
negotiated  settlement of the Polish question.  Herr  Hitler
refused to guarantee this on grounds that Polish provocation
might  at  any moment render German intervention to  protect
German  nationals inevitable. I again and again returned  to
this point but always got the same answer.
     I  told Herr Hitler that I could not discuss rights and
wrongs of mutual provocation and incidents: that was for the
Polish Ambassador to discuss with Herr von Ribbentrop and  I
suggested that he should do so. Herr Hitler's reply was that
M.  Lipski had seen Field-Marshal Goring, but had  not  been
able to propose anything new.
     5.  I told Herr Hitler that we could not abandon Poland
to  her  fate,  but I made the entirely personal  suggestion
that  M.  Beck and Herr von Ribbentrop should meet somewhere
and  discuss the way out which alone might save Europe  from
war. Herr Hitler's
     
* Conveying the substance of No. 68.
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 159
     
reply  was that he had invited M. Beck to come and talk  the
matter  over  last March only to have his invitation  flatly
refused.  Only  intervention by Herr von Ribbentrop  in  the
discussion  was to confirm this and to say that  M.  Lipski,
who had had to convey this message, was obliged to put it in
other words to soften the abruptness of it.
     6.  When  I  kept saying that His Majesty's  Government
could  not in my opinion consider his offer unless it  meant
at  the  same  time a peaceful settlement with Poland,  Herr
Hitler  said: "If you think it useless then do not  send  my
offer  at all." He admitted the good intentions of  M.  Beck
and  M.  Lipski, but said they had no control over what  was
happening  in  Poland.  Only signs  of  excitement  on  Herr
Hitler's  part were when he referred to Polish persecutions.
He  mentioned  that Herr von Ribbentrop  on  his  return  to
Germany from Russia had had to fly from Konigsberg over  the
sea  to avoid being shot at by the Poles, who fired at every
German  aeroplane that flew over normal routes across Polish
territory. He also said that there had been another case  of
castration.
     7.  Among various points mentioned by Herr Hitler were:
that the only winner of another European war would be Japan;
that  he was by nature an artist not a politician, and  that
once  the Polish question was settled he would end his  life
as  an  artist and not as a war-monger; he did not  want  to
turn  Germany  into nothing but a military barracks  and  he
would  only  do so if forced to do so; that once the  Polish
question was settled he himself would settle down;  that  he
had  no interest in making Britain break her word to Poland;
that  he  had  no wish to be small-minded in any  settlement
with  Poland and that all he required for an agreement  with
her  was  a gesture from Britain to indicate that she  would
not be unreasonable.
     8.  After  I  had  left, Herr von Ribbentrop  sent  Dr.
Schmidt  to  the Embassy with text of verbal  statement  and
also  a message from him to the effect that Herr Hitler  had
always  and  still wished for an agreement with Britain  and
begging  me  to urge His Majesty's Government  to  take  the
offer very seriously.

160 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                           No. 70.
                              
        Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                  Foreign Office,  August  25,
1939, 11 p. m.
     PLEASE sound Polish Government on proposal for corps of
neutral observers which, if accepted, would, of course, only
come  into  operation if and when it was found  possible  to
start any negotiations.
     
                           No. 71.
                              
        Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).

(Telegraphic.)                  Foreign Office,  August  26,
1939, 5 p. m.
     IT  is  clear that Herr Hitler is laying chief emphasis
on  ill-treatment of Germany minority, and may use  this  at
any moment as an excuse for taking some irrevocable action.
     2.  Is  it not possible for Polish Government to  adopt
suggestion that they should approach German Government  with
enquiry as to whether they would contemplate making exchange
of   populations  an  element  to  be  considered   in   any
negotiation?  It  is  true this would  afford  no  immediate
safeguard  as  it is a remedy that would take some  time  to
apply,  but  it  would  be a pledge that  Polish  Government
recognise the difficulty and are genuinely seeking means  to
overcome  it,  and  it  would give  Polish  Government  some
definite and new point on which to open up negotiation.
     3. If action is to be taken by the Polish Government in
this sense it ought to be done immediately.
     
                           No. 72.
                              
  Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (received 5:5 p. m.).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 27, 1939.
     YOUR telegrams of 25th and 26th August.*
     I  discussed  questions of exchange of populations  and
neutral observers with M. Beck this morning.
     
* Nos. 70 and 71.

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 161
     
     2.  As regards first, he said that in principle he  saw
no objection and was prepared to convey to German Government
that he was ready to consider such a proposal, possibly  not
directly  to State Secretary, but in such a manner  that  he
was sure it would reach the highest authorities.
     3.  As  regards question of neutral observers,  he  had
again  consulted President of the Council, but he would  let
me know his decision in the course of the day.
     4.  As  he told me that the Pope had during the  night,
through the Nuncio, asked if there was anything he could do,
I  suggested  to M. Beck that he should inform His  Holiness
that  he was prepared to consider an exchange of populations
and  also  use of neutral observers in order to  demonstrate
that  German  accusations  of maltreatment  were  completely
without  foundation. The Pope could then  communicate  these
proposals  to the German Government with approval of  Polish
Government.  M. Beck seemed to consider this favourably  and
promised  he  would give it his immediate  consideration.  I
warned him that there was no time to lose.
     5.  As  regards Danzig, M. Beck did not from his latest
information anticipate fait accompli there to-day or in very
immediate future. For the moment all was quiet there as  far
as he knew.
     6.  I again emphasised to his Excellency importance  of
his giving sufficient warning to His Majesty's Government of
any  action  which  Polish Government or  army  contemplated
taking  as  result  of  any  fait accompli  at  Danzig.  His
Excellency  again  promised  to  do  this,  though  he  made
reservation  that  situation  might  arise  where  immediate
action would be necessary.
     
                           No. 73

        Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).

(Telegraphic.)                  Foreign Office,  August  28,
1939, 2 p. m.
     OUR  proposed  reply  to  Herr Hitler*  draws  a  clear
distinction  between  the method of  reaching  agreement  on
German-Polish differences and the nature of the solution  to
be arrived at. As to the method we wish to express our clear
view  that  direct  discussion on equal  terms  between  the
parties is the proper means.
     
* No. 74

162 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     2.  Polish  Government enjoy protection of Anglo-Polish
Treaty.
     3.  His Majesty's Government have already made it plain
and  are repeating in their reply to Herr Hitler to-day that
any  settlement of German-Polish differences must  safeguard
Poland's   essential  interests  and  must  be  secured   by
international guarantee.
     4.  We  have, of course, seen reports of Herr  Hitler's
reply  to M. Daladier, but we should not consider intimation
by  Polish  Government  of their readiness  to  hold  direct
discussions  as  in  any  way implying  acceptance  of  Herr
Hitler's demands, which would, as made plain above, have  to
be examined in light of principles we have stated.
     5.  As  Polish  Government appear  in  their  reply  to
President  Roosevelt to accept idea of direct  negotiations,
His Majesty's Government earnestly hope that in the light of
the  considerations set forth in foregoing paragraphs Polish
Government  will authorise them to inform German  Government
that Poland is ready to enter at once into direct discussion
with Germany.
     6.  Please  endeavour  to  see  M.  Beck  at  once  and
telephone reply.
     
                           No. 74.
     
 Reply of His Majesty's Government dated August 28, 1939, to
 the German Chancellor's Communications of August 23 and 25,
                           1939.*
     
     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 peoples.
     
* Nos. 60 and 68.
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 163
     
     2.  The  Chancellor's message deals with two groups  of
questions:  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 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 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 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  the  28th  April  last  the  German  Chancellor
recognised the importance of these interests to Poland.
     But,  as was stated by the Prime Minister in his letter
to  the  German Chancellor of the 22nd August, His Majesty's
Government  consider it essential for  the  success  of  the
discussions which

164 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
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
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 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 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
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 165
     
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 the 22nd August,  and
His Majesty's Government do not doubt that they are as fully
recognised by the Chancellor as by themselves.
     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. 75.
                              
  Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received 2:35 a. m.
                         August 29).

(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 28, 1939.
     I SAW the Chancellor at 10:30 this evening. He asked me
to  come at 10 p. m., but I sent word that I could not  have
the  translation  ready  before the  later  hour.  Herr  von
Ribbentrop  was present, also Dr. Schmidt. Interview  lasted
one and a quarter hours.
     2. Herr Hitler began by reading the German translation.
     
166 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
When  he  had finished, I said that I wished to make certain
observations   from  notes  which  I   had   made   in   the
conversations  with  the Prime Minister  and  His  Majesty's
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. In the first place I
wished to say that we in England regarded it as absurd  that
Britain  should  be  supposed by the  German  Government  to
consider  the  crushing of Germany as a settled  policy.  We
held  it  to  be no less astonishing that anyone in  Germany
should doubt for a moment that we would not fight for Poland
if her independence or vital interests were menaced.
     3.  Our  word was our word, and we had never and  would
never break it. In the old days Germany's word had the  same
value, and I quoted a passage from a German book (which Herr
Hitler had read) about Marshal Blucher's exhortation to  his
troops  when  hurrying  to  the  support  of  Wellington  at
Waterloo: "Forward, my children, I have given my word to  my
brother Wellington, and you cannot wish me to break it."
     4.  Herr  Hitler  at once intervened  to  observe  that
things  were different 125 years ago. I said not so  far  as
England   was  concerned.  He  wanted,  I  said,   Britain's
friendship.  What value would he place on our friendship  if
we  began it by disloyalty to a friend? Whatever some people
might   say,   the  British  people  sincerely  desired   an
understanding  with Germany, and no one  more  so  than  the
Prime  Minister  (Herr  von  Ribbentrop  remarked  that  Mr.
Chamberlain  had  once said to him that it was  his  dearest
wish). To-day the whole British public was behind the  Prime
Minister.  The  recent vote in the House of Commons  was  an
unmistakable  proof of that fact. The Prime  Minister  could
carry  through his policy of an understanding if,  but  only
if,  Herr  Hitler  were  prepared to co-operate.  There  was
absolutely  no truth in the idea sometimes held  in  Germany
that  the British Cabinet was disunited or that the  country
was  not unanimous. It was now or never, and it rested  with
Herr   Hitler.   If  he  was  prepared  to  sacrifice   that
understanding in order to make war or immoderate demands  on
Poland,  the  responsibility was his. We offered  friendship
but  only  on the basis of a peaceful and freely  negotiated
solution of the Polish question.
     5.  Herr  Hitler replied that he would  be  willing  to
negotiate,  if  there  was  a Polish  Government  which  was
prepared to be
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 167
     
reasonable  and  which  really controlled  the  country.  He
expatiated  on  misdoings  of the  Poles,  referred  to  his
generous  offer  of March last, said that it  could  not  be
repeated  and asserted that nothing else than the return  of
Danzig  and  the  whole of the Corridor would  satisfy  him,
together with a rectification in Silesia, where 90 per cent.
of  the  population had voted for Germany  at  the  post-war
plebiscite  but where, as a result of Haller-Korfanti  coup,
what the Plebiscite Commission had allotted had nevertheless
been grabbed by Poland.
     6.  I  told  Herr  Hitler that he must  choose  between
England  and  Poland. If he put forward  immoderate  demands
there  was  no  hope  of a peaceful solution.  Corridor  was
inhabited  almost entirely by Poles. Herr Hitler interrupted
me  here  by  observing that this was only  true  because  a
million  Germans had been driven out of that district  since
the  war.  I  again  said the choice lay with  him.  He  had
offered  a Corridor over the Corridor in March, and  I  must
honestly  tell  him that anything more than that,  if  that,
would  have  no  hope  of  acceptance.  I  begged  him  very
earnestly to reflect before raising his price. He  said  his
original offer had been contemptuously refused and he  would
not  make it again. I observed that it had been made in  the
form of a dictate and therein lay the whole difference.
     7.  Herr  Hitler continued to argue that  Poland  could
never be reasonable: she had England and France behind  her,
and  imagined that even if she were beaten she  would  later
recover, thanks to their help, more than she might lose.  He
spoke  of  annihilating Poland. I said that reminded  me  of
similar  talk  last year of annihilation of the  Czechs.  He
retorted  that we were incapable of inducing  Poland  to  be
reasonable.  I  said that it was just because we  remembered
the   experience  of  Czecho-Slovakia  last  year  that   we
hesitated  to press Poland too far to-day. Nevertheless,  we
reserved to ourselves the right to form our own judgment  as
to  what was or what was not reasonable so far as Poland  or
Germany  were  concerned. We kept our  hands  free  in  that
respect.
     8.  Generally  speaking, Herr Hitler  kept  harping  on
Poland,  and  I  kept on just as consistently  telling  Herr
Hitler that he had to choose between friendship with England
which  we offered him and excessive demands on Poland  which
would put an end

168 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
to  all hope of British friendship. If we were to come to an
understanding it would entail sacrifices on our part. If  he
was  not  prepared to make sacrifices on his part there  was
nothing  to be done. Herr Hitler said that he had to satisfy
the  demands of his people, his army was ready and eager for
battle, his people were united behind him, and he could  not
tolerate further ill-treatment of Germans in Poland, &c.
     9.  It  is unnecessary to recall the details of a  long
and  earnest  conversation in the course of which  the  only
occasion in which Herr Hitler became at all excited was when
I  observed  that it was not a question of  Danzig  and  the
Corridor,  but one of our determination to resist  force  by
force. This evoked a tirade about the Rhineland, Austria and
Sudeten and their peaceful reacquisition by Germany. He also
resented my references to 15th March.
     10.  In the end I asked him two straight questions. Was
he  willing  to negotiate direct with the Poles and  was  he
ready to discuss the question of an exchange of populations?
He  replied in the affirmative as regards the latter (though
I  have no doubt that he was thinking at the same time of  a
rectification of frontiers). As regards the first,  he  said
he  could  not  give me an answer until after he  had  given
reply  of His Majesty's Government the careful consideration
which  such a document deserved. In this connexion he turned
to  Herr  von  Ribbentrop and said: "We must  summon  Field-
Marshal Goring to discuss it with him."
     11.  I  finally repeated to him very solemnly the  main
note  of  the whole conversation so far as I was  concerned,
namely,  that it lay with him as to whether he  preferred  a
unilateral solution which would mean war as regards  Poland,
or  British friendship. If he were prepared to pay the price
of  the  latter by a generous gesture as regards Poland,  he
could  at a stroke change in his favour the whole of  public
opinion  not  only in England but in the world.  I  left  no
doubt  in his mind as to what the alternative would be,  nor
did he dispute the point.
     12.  At the end Herr von Ribbentrop asked me whether  I
could  guarantee  that the Prime Minister  could  carry  the
country  with him in a policy of friendship with Germany.  I
said there was no possible doubt whatever that he could  and
would,  provided Germany co-operated with him.  Herr  Hitler
asked whether England would be willing to accept an alliance
with Germany.

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 169
     
I  said,  speaking  personally, I did  not  exclude  such  a
possibility  provided the developments of  events  justified
it.
     13.  Conversation  was conducted in  quite  a  friendly
atmosphere,  in  spite of absolute firmness on  both  sides.
Herr Hitler's general attitude was that he could give me  no
real reply until he had carefully studied the answer of  His
Majesty's  Government.  He said that  he  would  give  me  a
written  reply to-morrow, Tuesday. I told him that  I  would
await  it,  but  was quite prepared to wait.  Herr  Hitler's
answer was that there was no time to wait.
     14. I did not refer to the question of a truce. I shall
raise  that point to-morrow if his answer affords  any  real
ground  for hope that he is prepared to abandon war for  the
sake of British understanding.
     
                           No. 76.
                              
 Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received 4:55 p. m.).
     
(Telegraphic)                                        Berlin,
August 29, 1939.
     Following are additional points in amplification of  my
telegram of 28th August*:-
     Herr Hitler insisted that he was not bluffing, and that
people  would make a great mistake if they believed that  he
was.  I replied that I was fully aware of the fact and  that
we  were  not  bluffing either. Herr Hitler stated  that  he
fully  realised  that  that was the case.  In  answer  to  a
suggestion  by him that Great Britain might offer  something
at  once  in  the way of colonies as evidence  of  her  good
intentions,  I  retorted  that concessions  were  easier  of
realisation in a good rather than a bad atmosphere.
     
                           No. 77.
                              
   Speech by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on
                      August 29, 1939.
     
     The  Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain): Since the  House
met  on  Thursday last there has been little change  in  the
main  features of the situation. The catastrophe, as I  said
then, is not
     
* No. 75.

170 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
yet on us, but I cannot say that the danger of it has yet in
any  way  receded. In these circumstances it  might  perhaps
have seemed that it was unnecessary to ask the House to meet
again  before  the date which had been fixed, but  in  times
like  these  we have felt that it was right that  the  House
should  be kept as far as possible continuously informed  of
all  the  developments in the situation as they took  place.
That  will continue to be the principle which will guide  us
in further meetings of this House.
     There  is  one thing that I would like to say  at  this
moment  with  regard to the press. I think it  is  necessary
once more to urge the press to exercise the utmost restraint
at  a  time  when it is quite possible for a few thoughtless
words  in a paper, perhaps not of particular importance,  to
wreck  the whole of the efforts which are being made by  the
Government  to obtain a satisfactory solution. I have  heard
that  an account purporting to be a verbatim description  of
the  communication of the British Government to Herr  Hitler
was  telegraphed  to  another country  last  night  or  this
morning.  Such  an account could only be an  invention  from
beginning  to  end.  It is, I think, very  unfortunate  that
journalists in the exercise of their profession should  take
such   responsibilities  upon  themselves,  responsibilities
which  affect  not  only themselves,  but  the  inhabitants,
perhaps, of all the countries in the world.
     I  hope that it will not be necessary this afternoon to
have  any  long Debate. I will attempt to give the House  an
account  of the events of the last few days, but, of course,
there  has  been no change in the policy of the  Government,
and,  therefore, there would not appear to be any  necessity
for  any  lengthy  discussion. On the day  after  the  House
adjourned-on Friday, that is-we received information in  the
course  of the morning that the German Chancellor had  asked
the  British Ambassador in Berlin to call upon him at  half-
past  one  that day, and in the course of the  afternoon  we
were told by telephone that Sir Nevile Henderson had had  an
interview lasting about an hour and a half with Herr Hitler,
that  he  was  sending us an account of that interview,  and
that  Herr  Hitler had suggested to him that it would  be  a
good  thing if he were to fly over to this country the  next
morning  in  order  to give us a verbal  and  more  extended
account of the conversation. We received the record  of  the
interview from our

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 171
     
Ambassador  on that evening, on Friday evening, but  it  was
not  completely deciphered until after midnight, and  I  did
not  myself  see  the whole of it until  the  next  morning,
Saturday  morning. On Saturday Sir Nevile Henderson  arrived
by plane from Berlin shortly before lunch, and we understood
from  him  that  in  Berlin  it was  not  considered  to  be
necessary that he should go back the same day, as the German
Government  were  very anxious that we should  give  careful
study   to  the  communication  he  had  to  make   to   us.
Accordingly, we devoted the whole of Saturday and the Sunday
morning   to   a  very  careful,  exhaustive  and   thorough
consideration of the document which was brought to us by the
British Ambassador and of the reply that we proposed to send
back,  and  our  final answer was taken  by  the  Ambassador
yesterday  afternoon,  when  he  flew  back  to  Berlin  and
delivered it to the Chancellor last night.
     I  should be glad if I could disclose to the House  the
fullest information as to the contents of the communications
exchanged with Herr Hitler, but hon. members will understand
that  in  a  situation of such extreme  delicacy,  and  when
issues so grave hang precariously in the balance, it is  not
in   the  public  interest  to  publish  these  confidential
communications  or  to comment on them  in  detail  at  this
stage.  I  am,  however, able to indicate in  quite  general
terms  some  of the main points with which they  deal.  Herr
Hitler   was   concerned  to  impress  upon  His   Majesty's
Government his wish for an Anglo-German understanding  of  a
complete and lasting character. On the other hand,  he  left
His  Majesty's Government in no doubt of his views as to the
urgency   of   settling  the  German-Polish  question.   His
Majesty's  Government have also frequently  expressed  their
desire  to  see  the  realisation of  such  an  Anglo-German
understanding,  and  as  soon as circumstances  permit  they
would  naturally  welcome an opportunity of discussing  with
Germany the several issues a settlement of which would  have
to  find  a place in any permanent agreement. But everything
turns  upon  the  manner in which the immediate  differences
between Germany and Poland can be handled and the nature  of
the  proposals  which might be made for any  settlement.  We
have made it plain that our obligations to Poland, cast into
formal  shape  by  the agreement which was  signed  on  25th
August, on Friday last, will be carried out. The House  will
remember

172 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
that the Government have said more than once, publicly, that
the  German-Polish differences should be capable of solution
by peaceful means.
     Meanwhile, the first prerequisite, if there  is  to  be
any  general  and  useful discussion, is  that  the  tension
created  by frontier clashes and by reports of incidents  on
both sides of the border should be diminished. His Majesty's
Government accordingly hope that both Governments  will  use
their  best  endeavours to prevent the  occurrence  of  such
incidents, the circulation of exaggerated reports,  and  all
other  activities that result in dangerous  inflammation  of
opinion.  His  Majesty's Government would hope  that  if  an
equitable settlement of Polish-German differences  could  be
reached by free negotiation, this might in turn lead on to a
wider agreement which would accrue to the lasting benefit of
Europe  and  of  the  world at large.  At  this  moment  the
position is that we are waiting for the reply of Herr Hitler
to  our  communication. On the nature of that reply  depends
whether further time can be given for the exploration of the
situation and for the operation of the many forces which are
working  for peace. A waiting period of that kind  is  often
very  trying,  but nothing, I think, can be more  remarkable
than  the calm which characterises the attitude of the whole
British   people.  It  seems  to  me  that  there  are   two
explanations of that attitude. The first is that none of  us
has any doubt of where our duty lies. There is no difference
of   opinion  among  us;  there  is  no  weakening  of   our
determination. The second explanation is our confidence that
we are ready for any eventuality.
     The House might like to hear one or two particulars  of
the  preparations which have been made. Obviously, there are
many  things which I cannot very well say here because  they
could  not  be  confined to those whom I see before  me.  My
statement must, therefore, be in very general terms. Some of
the  measures  which  we  had to  take,  such  as  those  in
connexion  with requisitioning, necessarily must cause  some
degree  of inconvenience to the public. I am confident  that
the  people  of  the  country generally recognise  that  the
nation's  needs  must now be paramount and  that  they  will
submit  willingly, and even cheerfully, to any inconvenience
or  hardships that may be involved. At any rate, we have not
had to begin here by issuing rationing cards. To deal

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 173
     
first  with  the  active defence of  the  country,  the  air
defence  of  Great Britain has been placed  in  a  state  of
instant  readiness. The ground anti-aircraft  defences  have
been  deployed  and  they are manned  by  territorial  anti-
aircraft units. The regular squadrons of the Royal Air Force
have been brought up to war strength by the addition of  the
necessary  reservists, including a portion of the  Volunteer
Reserve. The fighter and general reconnaissance squadrons of
the Auxiliary Air Force have been called up and are standing
ready  and the balloon barrage is in position. The  Observer
Corps  are  at  their posts, and, indeed, the whole  warning
system  is  ready night and day to be brought  into  instant
operation.  The coast defences are ready and are  manned  by
the   coast   defence   units  of  the   Territorial   Army.
Arrangements have also been made for the protection  by  the
National  Defence companies, by the Militia and by units  of
the  Territorial  Army of a very large number  of  important
points  whose  safety  is essential  for  the  national  war
effort.
     As  to  the Navy, the House will remember that in  July
last it was announced that the Reserve Fleet would be called
up  at  the  beginning of August in order to  take  part  in
combined Fleet and Air exercises. For that purpose a  number
of  reservists  were called up under the provisions  of  the
Reserves and Auxiliary Forces Act. As a result, the Navy was
in an advanced state of preparedness when the present crisis
arose, and the whole of our fighting Fleet is now ready at a
moment's  notice to take up the dispositions which would  be
necessary in war. A number of other measures have been taken
during  the  past week to increase the state  of  our  naval
preparedness.  I need not go into all the details,  but  the
naval  officers  in charge of the various  commercial  ports
have been appointed and have taken up their duties, and  the
naval  ports and bases have been put into an advanced  state
of   preparedness.  As  hon.  members  will  be  aware,  the
Admiralty  has  also  assumed control of merchant  shipping,
acting  under  the powers conferred by the Emergency  Powers
Act,  and  written instructions have already been issued  to
merchant  shipping on various routes. A considerable  number
of  movements  have been carried out of units of  the  armed
land  forces both at home and overseas. These movements  are
part of prearranged plans to provide that in order to ensure
a greater state of readiness a

174 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
number  of  units  should, if possible, move  to  their  war
stations  before  the  outbreak of war.  The  Civil  Defence
regional  organisation  has  been  placed  on  war  footing.
Regional  commissioners and their staffs are  at  their  war
stations.
     The  main responsibility for the organisation of  Civil
Defence measures generally rests with the local authorities.
Instructions  have  been sent to the  local  authorities  to
complete  all  the preparatory steps so that action  can  be
taken  at  the shortest notice. Plans for the evacuation  of
school  children,  mothers  with young  children,  expectant
mothers and blind persons from certain congested areas-plans
which  have involved an immense amount of detailed thinking-
are ready. Those who have to carry out those plans have been
recalled for duty, school teachers in evacuation areas  have
been  kept  in  easy reach of school assembly  points  since
Saturday, and a rehearsal of the arrangements for evacuating
school children was carried out yesterday. Nearly a week ago
local  authorities were warned to make arrangements for  the
extinction  of public lighting and to prepare the  necessary
aids  to  movement when the lighting has been  extinguished.
Arrangements  have  been completed for calling  up  at  very
short  notice  of the personnel of the Air-Raid  Precautions
Service,  and  duty  officers are available  throughout  the
twenty-four hours at key posts. The last item I  mention  is
that  the  necessary preliminary steps have  been  taken  to
prepare hospitals for the reception of casualties.
     I  have given a number of instances of steps which have
been  taken  over and above the measures which have  already
been put into operation. A complete and continuous survey is
being  carried  out  over the whole  range  of  our  defence
preparations,  and preparatory measures are being  taken  in
order to ensure that further precautionary measures, if  and
when they should be found necessary, can be given effect  to
as  rapidly as possible. The instances I have given  to  the
House  are  merely  illustrations of the  general  state  of
readiness, of which the House and the country are  aware.  I
think  that they justify and partly account for the  general
absence  of  fear, or, indeed, of any violent  emotion.  The
British  people  are said sometimes to be slow  to  make  up
their  minds, but, having made them up, they do not  readily
let go. The issue of peace or war is still undecided, and we
still will hope,
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 175
     
and still will work, for peace; but we will abate no jot  of
our  resolution to hold fast to the line which we have  laid
down for ourselves.
     
                           No. 78.
                              
Reply  of  the  German  Chancellor to the  Communication  of
     August  28, 1939, from His Majesty's Government.*  This
     reply  was  handed to Sir N. Henderson by  Herr  Hitler
     during the evening of August 29, 1939.

(Translation.)
     THE  British Ambassador in Berlin has submitted to  the
British Government suggestions which I felt bound to make in
order-
     (1) to  give  expression once more to the will  of  the
          Reich    Government   for   sincere   Anglo-German
          understanding, co-operation and friendship;
     (2) to  leave no room for doubt as to fact that such an
          understanding 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 people.
     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
realisation 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
     
* No. 74

176 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
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,  finally
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 mobilisation. 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 actions of  maltreatment
which  cry to Heaven, and other kinds 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   justified  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
indifference.
     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  recognised   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 Government 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,

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 177
     
still  less  weeks,  but  perhaps only  hours.  For  in  the
disorganised  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  in  favour   of   the
development 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  makes  the
following declaration:-
     Though  sceptical as to the prospects 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 emphasised, 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 a  proof  of  the
sincerity  of Germany's intentions to enter into  a  lasting
friendship with Great Britain.
     The  Government  of the Reich felt, 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
therewith.
     For  the  rest,  in making these proposals  the  German
Government have never had any intention of touching Poland's
vital

178 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
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 despatch to Berlin of
a  Polish  Emissary  with full powers.  They  count  on  the
arrival  of  this  Emissary on Wednesday, the  30th  August,
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. 79.
                              
 Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received 9:15 p. m.).
     
(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 29, 1939.
     HERR  HITLER  handed  me  German  reply  at  7.15  this
evening.  Translation of full text will follow  as  soon  as
possible.
     2.  In  reply  to  two British proposals,  namely,  for
direct    German-Polish   negotiations   and   international
guarantee of any settlement, German Government declares:-
     (1) That, in spite of its scepticism as to the prospect
          of  their  success, it accepts direct  negotiation
          solely  out of desire to ensure lasting friendship
          with Britain, and
     (2) In  the  case  of  any modifications  of  territory
          German  Government cannot undertake or participate
          in any guarantees without consulting the U.S.S.R.
     3.  Note observes that German proposals have never  had
for  their  object any diminution of Polish vital interests,
and  declares  that German Government accepts  mediation  of
Great  Britain with a view to visit to Berlin of some Polish
plenipotentiary.  German Government, note  adds,  counts  on
arrival  of such plenipotentiary to-morrow, Wednesday,  30th
August.
     4.   I  remarked  that  this  phrase  sounded  like  an
ultimatum,  but after some heated remarks both  Herr  Hitler
and Herr von Ribbentrop assured me that it was only intended
to stress urgency of the moment when the two fully mobilised
armies were standing face to face.
     5.  I  said  that  I  would  transmit  this  suggestion
immediately

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 179
     
to  His  Majesty's  Government, and asked whether,  if  such
Polish  plenipotentiary did come, we could  assume  that  he
would  be  well  received  and  that  discussions  would  be
conducted  on  footing of complete equality.  Herr  Hitler's
reply was "of course."
     6.  German  demands  are declared  to  be  revision  of
Versailles Treaty; namely, return of Danzig and the Corridor
to Germany, security for lives of German national minorities
in  the  rest of Poland; note concludes with statement  that
the  German Government will immediately elaborate  proposals
for  an  acceptable solution, and inform British Government,
if possible, before arrival of Polish plentipotentiary.
     
                           No. 80.
                              
Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received 10:25 p. m.).
     
(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 19, 1939.
     INTERVIEW  this evening was of a stormy  character  and
Herr  Hitler  far  less  reasonable  than  yesterday.  Press
announcement  this evening that five more Germans  had  been
killed  in  Poland  and  news  of  Polish  mobilisation  had
obviously excited him.
     2.  He  kept  saying that he wanted British  friendship
more  than anything in the world, but he could not sacrifice
Germany's  vital  interests  therefor,  and  that  for   His
Majesty's  Government to make a bargain over such  a  matter
was  an  unendurable proposition. All my attempts to correct
this complete misrepresentation of the case did not seem  to
impress him.
     3.  In  reply  to his reiterated statement that  direct
negotiations with Poland, though accepted by him,  would  be
bound  to fail, I told his Excellency that their success  or
failure  depended on his goodwill or the reverse,  and  that
the choice lay with him. It was, however, my bounden duty to
leave him in no doubt that an attempt to impose his will  on
Poland  by  force  would inevitably bring  him  into  direct
conflict with us.
     4. It would have been useless to talk of a truce, since
that can only depend on whether M. Beck or some other Polish
representative came to Berlin or not.
     
180 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                           No. 81.
                              
       Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                  Foreign Office,  August  30,
1939, 2 a. m.
     WE   shall   give  careful  consideration   to   German
Government's  reply,* but it is, of course, unreasonable  to
expect that we can produce a Polish representative in Berlin
to-day, and German Government must not expect this.
     It  might be well for you at once to let this be  known
in proper quarters through appropriate channels. We hope you
may receive our reply this afternoon.
     
                           No. 82.
                              
  Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received 1 p. m.).

(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 30, 1939.
     YOUR message** was conveyed to the Minister for Foreign
Affairs  at  4  a.  m.   this morning. I  had  made  similar
observation  to  Herr Hitler yesterday  evening,  his  reply
being that one could fly from Warsaw to Berlin in one and  a
half hours.
     2.  I repeated the message this morning by telephone to
State  Secretary, who said that it had already been conveyed
to Herr Hitler. He added that something must be done as soon
as possible.
     3.  While  I still recommend that the Polish Government
should swallow this eleventh-hour effort to establish direct
contact with Herr Hitler, even if it be only to convince the
world  that  they were prepared to make their own  sacrifice
for  preservation of peace, one can only conclude  from  the
German  reply that Herr Hitler is determined to achieve  his
ends  by  so-called peaceful fair means if he  can,  but  by
force  if  he  cannot. Much, of course, may also  depend  on
detailed  plan  referred to in the  last  paragraph  of  the
German reply.
     4.  Nevertheless, if Herr Hitler is allowed to continue
to  have the initiative, it seems to me that result can only
be  either war or once again victory for him by a display of
force and encourage-
     
*No. 78.
**No. 81.
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 181
     
ment  thereby to pursue the same course again next  year  or
the year after.
     
                           No. 83.
                              
       Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin).
                              
(Telegraphic)                 Foreign  Office,  August   30,
1939, 2:45 p. m.
     WE  are considering German note * with all urgency  and
shall send official reply later in afternoon.
     We  are  representing at Warsaw  how  vital  it  is  to
reinforce   all  instructions  for  avoidance  of   frontier
incidents,   and   I  would  beg  you  to  confirm   similar
instructions on German side.
     I welcome the evidence in the exchanges of views, which
are   taking   place,  of  that  desire   for   Anglo-German
understanding of which I spoke yesterday in Parliament.
     
                           No. 84.
                              
   Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (received 10 a. m.).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 30, 1939.
     I  FEEL sure that it would be impossible to induce  the
Polish   Government   to  send  M.   Beck   or   any   other
representative immediately to Berlin to discuss a settlement
on  basis  proposed  by  Herr Hitler. They  would  certainly
sooner   fight  and  perish  rather  than  submit  to   such
humiliation,  especially after examples of  Czecho-Slovakia,
Lithuania and Austria.
     2.  I  would  suggest that if negotiations  are  to  be
between  equals it is essential that they should take  place
in some neutral country or even possibly Italy, and that the
basis for any negotiations should be some compromise between
the  clearly defined limits of March proposals on the German
side and status quo on the Polish side.
     3.  Considering  that  the Polish Government,  standing
alone and when they were largely unprepared for war, refused
the  March terms it would surely be impossible for  them  to
agree to proposals which appear to go beyond the March terms
now that
     
* No. 78.

182 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
they  have Great Britain as their ally, France has confirmed
her support and world public opinion is clearly in favour of
direct  negotiations on equal terms and is  behind  Poland's
resistance to a dictated settlement.
     4.  I  am, of course, expressing no views to the Polish
Government,  nor  am I communicating to them  Herr  Hitler's
reply  *  till I receive instructions which I trust will  be
without delay.
     
                           No. 85.
                              
        Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                Foreign  Office,  August   30,
1939, 5:30 p. m.
     ATMOSPHERE  may be improved if strict instructions  are
given  or  confirmed  by  Polish  Government  to  all  their
military and civil authorities:-
     (1) Not  to  fire on fugitives or members of the German
          minority who cause trouble, but to arrest them;
     (2) To  abstain  themselves from personal  violence  to
          members of German minority, and to prevent similar
          violence on the part of the population;
     (3) To  allow members of the German minority wishing to
          leave Poland to pass freely;
     (4) To stop inflammatory radio propaganda.
     Please inform M. Beck, adding that I realise that  Herr
Hitler is using reports to justify immoderate action, but  I
am  anxious  to deprive him of this pretext. I am requesting
German  Government  to reciprocate; and  warning  them  that
Polish  Government  can only be expected  to  maintain  such
instructions if no provocation is offered by members of  the
German minority.
     
                           No. 86.
                              
  Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (received 8:15 p. m.).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 30, 1939.
     M. BECK has asked me to say:-
     1. His Majesty's Government may rest absolutely assured
          that  Polish  Government  have  no  intention   of
          provoking
     
* No. 78.

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 183
     
          any  incidents. On the other hand, they point  out
          that German provocation at Danzig is becoming more
          and more intolerable.
     2. In  connexion with proposed British answer  to  Herr
          Hitler,  Polish  Government feels  sure  that  His
          Majesty's Government will not express any definite
          views   on  problems  concerning  Poland   without
          consulting Polish Government.
     
                           No. 87.
                              
       Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                Foreign  Office,  August   30,
1939, 5-30 p. m.
     IN   informing   German  Government  of   the   renewed
representations which have been made in Warsaw, please  make
it  clear  that  Polish Government can only be  expected  to
maintain  an  attitude  of  complete  restraint  if   German
Government reciprocate on their side of frontier and  if  no
provocation  is  offered by members of  German  minority  in
Poland. Reports are current that Germans have committed acts
of sabotage which would justify the sternest measures.
     
                           No. 88.
                              
       Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin).
     
(Telegraphic.)                Foreign  Office,  August   30,
1939, 6:50 p. m.
     WE understand that German Government are insisting that
a Polish representative with full powers must come to Berlin
to receive German proposals.
     2.  We  cannot advise Polish Government to comply  with
this procedure, which is wholly unreasonable.
     3. Could you not suggest to German Government that they
adopt  the normal procedure, when their proposals are ready,
of  inviting Polish Ambassador to call and handing proposals
to  him  for transmission to Warsaw and inviting suggestions
as to conduct of negotiations.
     4.  German Government have been good enough to  promise
they will communicate proposals also to His Majesty's Govern-

184 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
ment.  If latter think they offer reasonable basis they  can
be  counted  on  to  do their best in Warsaw  to  facilitate
negotiations.
     
                           No. 89.
                              
Reply of His Majesty's Government to the German Chancellor's
     Communication  of  August 29,  1939.*  This  reply  was
     handed  by  Sir N. Henderson to Herr von Ribbentrop  at
     Midnight on August 30, 1939.
     
     His   Majesty's  Government  appreciate  the   friendly
reference in the Declaration contained in the reply  of  the
German Government to the latter's desire for an Anglo-German
understanding and to their statement of the influence  which
this consideration has exercised upon their policy.
     2.   His   Majesty's   Government  repeat   that   they
reciprocate  the  German Government's  desire  for  improved
relations,  but  it will be recognised that they  could  not
sacrifice the interests of other friends in order to  obtain
that  improvement.  They fully understand  that  the  German
Government  cannot sacrifice Germany's vital interests,  but
the  Polish  Government  are in the same  position  and  His
Majesty's Government believe that the vital interests of the
two countries are not incompatible.
     3.  His  Majesty's  Government  note  that  the  German
Government  accept the British proposal and are prepared  to
enter into direct discussions with the Polish Government.
     4.  His Majesty's Government understand that the German
Government  accept  in  principle  the  condition  that  any
settlement  should be made the subject of  an  international
guarantee.  The  question of who shall participate  in  this
guarantee  will  have  to  be  discussed  further,  and  His
Majesty's  Government hope that to avoid loss  of  time  the
German  Government will take immediate steps to  obtain  the
assent of the U.S.S.R., whose participation in the Guarantee
His Majesty's Government have always assumed.
     5.  His  Majesty's Government also note that the German
Government accept the position of the British Government  as
to Poland's vital interests and independence.
     6.  His  Majesty's  Government  must  make  an  express
reservation  in  regard to the statement of  the  particular
demands put
     
* No. 78.

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 185
     
forward  by  the German Government in an earlier passage  in
their reply. They understand that the German Government  are
drawing  up  proposals  for  a  solution.  No  doubt   these
proposals will be fully examined during the discussions.  It
can  then be determined how far they are compatible with the
essential  conditions  which His Majesty's  Government  have
stated  and  which in principle the German  Government  have
expressed their willingness to accept.
     7.  His Majesty's Government are at once informing  the
Polish  Government  of  the German Government's  reply.  The
method  of  contact  and arrangements for  discussions  must
obviously be agreed with all urgency between the German  and
Polish  Governments, but in His Majesty's Government's  view
it  would be impracticable to establish contact so early  as
to-day.
     8.  His  Majesty's Government fully recognise the  need
for  speed  in the initiation of discussion, and they  share
the   apprehensions  of  the  Chancellor  arising  from  the
proximity  of  two mobilised armies standing face  to  face.
They  would accordingly most strongly urge that both parties
should   undertake   that,  during  the   negotiations,   no
aggressive military movements will take place. His Majesty's
Government  feel confident that they could  obtain  such  an
undertaking  from  the  Polish  Government  if  the   German
Government would give similar assurances.
     9. Further, His Majesty's Government would suggest that
a  temporary  modus  vivendi might be arranged  for  Danzig,
which  might prevent the occurrence of incidents tending  to
render German-Polish relations more difficult.
     
                           No. 90.
                              
        Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).
                              
  (Sent to Sir H. Kennard on August 30 and acted on in the
                early morning of August 31.)
     
(Telegraphic.)                            Foreign    Office,
August 30, 1939.
     MY  telegram to Berlin gives the text of the  reply  of
His  Majesty's  Government * to the German communication  **
which has been repeated to you.
     2.  Please communicate it to M. Beck. In doing so,  you
should
     
*No. 89
**No. 78.
     
186 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
point  out  that,  whilst  the  first  part  of  the  German
Government's   reply   consists  of  an   indefensible   and
misleading  presentation  of the  German  case,  the  really
important part of the reply consists of Germany's acceptance
of  the proposal for direct discussion, of the suggestion of
the   proposed   international  guarantee,   and   Germany's
assertion  that  she  intends  to  respect  Poland's   vital
interests.
     3.  It is perhaps unnecessary to take exception at this
stage to much that finds place in the German reply, of which
His  Majesty's Government would be as critical as, they have
no  doubt, would be the Polish Government, but His Majesty's
Government  have made an express reservation  in  regard  to
statement  of  the  particular demands put  forward  in  the
German  note.  The point that seemed to call  for  immediate
comment  was  the German demand that a Polish representative
should  present himself at Berlin to-day. M. Beck  will  see
the  line  we  took last night on this (see my  telegram  to
Berlin *) and the further reference we have made to point in
our  reply  to  German  Government's  latest  communication.
German  Government  are  now  drawing  up  proposals  for  a
solution, and it will be in the light of these, and of other
developments,  that  the decision as  to  future  procedure,
including place and conditions of discussion, will  have  to
be taken.
     4.  M.  Beck  will see from the reply of His  Majesty's
Government  that the proposal has been made for  a  military
standstill  during  discussions,  to  which  His   Majesty's
Government  earnestly hope that the Polish  Government  will
have no objection.
     5.  His Majesty's Government would be glad to have  the
views of the Polish Government urgently. In view of the fact
that  the  Polish Government have authorised  His  Majesty's
Government  to  say  that they are prepared  to  enter  into
direct discussions with the German Government, His Majesty's
Government   hope   that,  provided   method   and   general
arrangement  for  discussions can be satisfactorily  agreed,
Polish  Government will be prepared to do so without  delay.
We regard it as most important from the point of view of the
internal situation in Germany and of world opinion that,  so
long  as  the German Government profess themselves ready  to
negotiate,  no opportunity should be given them for  placing
the blame for a conflict on Poland.
     
*No. 81.
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 187
     
     6.  You should, of course, emphasise that His Majesty's
Government have made it quite clear to Herr Hitler that they
are  irrevocably  determined to implement their  obligations
without  reserve. On this point there is no misunderstanding
in  Berlin.  The position of the Polish Government  is  very
different from that which they occupied last March, since it
is  now  supported  both  by direct  British  guarantee  and
promise  of  British  participation  in  guarantee  of   any
settlement  reached  on  bases we have  indicated,  and  the
conversations would be carried on against this background.
     
                           No. 91.
                              
  Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received 2 45 a. m.
                         August 31).
     
(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 30, 1939.
     I  INFORMED Herr von Ribbentrop to-night of the  advice
given  to  the  Polish Government in your telegram  of  30th
August to Warsaw.*
     2.   Practically  his  only  comment   was   that   all
provocation  came from the side of Poland. I  observed  that
His  Majesty's Government had constantly warned  the  Polish
Government  that all provocative action should be vigorously
discouraged and that I had reason to believe that the German
press accounts were greatly exaggerated. Herr von Ribbentrop
replied  that  His  Majesty's Government's  advice  had  had
cursed ("verflucht") little effect. I mildly retorted that I
was  surprised  to hear such language from  a  Minister  for
Foreign Affairs.
     
                           No. 92.
  Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received 9:30 a. m.
                         August 31).
     
(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 30, 1939.
     I  TOLD  Herr  von  Ribbentrop this  evening  that  His
Majesty's  Government found it difficult  to  advise  Polish
Government  to accept procedure adumbrated in German  reply,
and suggested
     
*No. 85.

188 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
that  he should adopt normal contact, i.e., that when German
proposals were ready to invite Polish Ambassador to call and
to  hand  him  proposals for transmission to his  Government
with  a  view to immediate opening of negotiations. I  added
that  if basis afforded prospect of settlement His Majesty's
Government could be counted upon to do their best in  Warsaw
to temporize negotiations.
     2. Herr von Ribbentrop's reply was to produce a lengthy
document  which he read out in German aloud  at  top  speed.
Imagining that he would eventually hand it to me I  did  not
attempt  to follow too closely the sixteen or more  articles
which  it  contained.  Though I cannot  therefore  guarantee
accuracy  the  main points were: restoration  of  Danzig  to
Germany;   southern  boundary  of  Corridor   to   be   line
Marienwerder, Graudenz, Bromberg, Sch”nlanke; plebiscite  to
be  held  in  the  Corridor on basis of  population  on  1st
January,  1919,  absolute majority to decide;  international
commission  of British, French, Italian and Russian  members
to    police   the   Corridor   and   guarantee   reciprocal
communications with Danzig and Gdynia pending result of  the
plebiscite;  Gydnia to be reserved to Poland; Danzig  to  be
purely commercial city and demilitarised.
     3.  When I asked Herr von Ribbentrop for text of  these
proposals in accordance with undertaking in the German reply
of yesterday, he asserted that it was now too late as Polish
representative had not arrived in Berlin by midnight.
     4.  I  observed that to treat matter in this way  meant
that  request for Polish representative to arrive in  Berlin
on  30th August constituted, in fact, an ultimatum in  spite
of what he and Herr Hitler had assured me yesterday. This he
denied, saying that idea of an ultimatum was figment  of  my
imagination.  Why  then I asked could he  not  adopt  normal
procedure  and  give  me copy of proposals  and  ask  Polish
Ambassador to call on him, just as Herr Hitler had  summoned
me a few days ago, and hand them to him for communication to
Polish  Government?  In  the most  violent  terms  Herr  von
Ribbentrop  said that he would never ask the  Ambassador  to
visit him. He hinted that if Polish Ambassador asked him for
interview  it  might  be different.  I  said  that  I  would
naturally inform my Government so at once. Whereupon he said
while those were his personal views he would

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 189
     
bring  all that I had said to Herr Hitler's notice.  It  was
for Chancellor to decide.
     5.  We  parted on that note, but I must tell  you  that
Herr  von  Ribbentrop's whole demeanour during an unpleasant
interview  was aping Herr Hitler at his worst. He  inveighed
incidentally  against Polish mobilisation,  but  I  retorted
that  it  was  hardly  surprising  since  Germany  had  also
mobilised  as  Herr  Hitler  himself  had  admitted  to   me
yesterday.
     
                           No. 93.
                              
   Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (received 8 a. m.).
                              
(Telegraphic)                                        Warsaw,
August 31, 1939.
     I  HAVE  communicated  to M.  Beck  the  reply  of  His
Majesty's  Government to Herr Hitler and made  the  comments
therein  in  the sense of your telegram of 30th August.*  M.
Beck  stated that before giving me a definite reply he would
have  to consult his Government but he could tell me at once
that  he  would  do  everything possible to  facilitate  the
efforts   of  His  Majesty's  Government  which  he  greatly
appreciated.  I think he was greatly relieved to  know  that
His  Majesty's  Government  had not  in  any  way  committed
themselves  as  regards  demands  put  forward   by   German
Government  and he fully realised the main importance  which
His  Majesty's Government attaches to the necessity for  not
giving the German Government any opportunity for placing the
blame  on  Poland  in  any  refusal  to  enter  into  direct
negotiations.
     2.  He  has  promised me the considered  reply  of  his
government by mid-day to-morrow.**
     3.  I took the opportunity of impressing upon him again
the  necessity of avoiding any incidents in the meantime and
asked him whether any had recently occurred. He said he  had
just  heard  that there had been a clash between German  and
Polish military forces but as at present informed he did not
think  it  had  amounted to more than an exchange  of  shots
without serious casualties.
     
*No. 90.
**i.e., meaning August 31.
     
190 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                           No. 94.
                              
        Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                  Foreign Office,  August  31,
1939, 12 noon.
     You  should  concert  with  your  French  colleague  in
suggesting  to Polish Government that they should  now  make
known  to the German Government, preferably direct,  but  if
not,  through us, that they have been made aware of our last
reply  to  German  Government and that  they  confirm  their
acceptance of the principle of direct discussions.
     French  Government  fear that German  Government  might
take advantage of silence on part of Polish Government.
     
                           No. 95.
                              
        Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).
     
(Telegraphic.) Foreign Office, August 31, 1939, 1:45 p. m.
     BERLIN telegram of 30th August.*
     Please  at  once  inform Polish Government  and  advise
them,  in view of fact that they have accepted principle  of
direct   discussions,   immediately   to   instruct   Polish
Ambassador  in Berlin to say to German Government  that,  if
latter  have any proposals, he is ready to transmit them  to
his  Government so that they may at once consider  them  and
make suggestions for early discussions.
     
                           No. 96.
                              
  Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (received 7:15 p. m.)

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, August 31, 1939.
     MY telegram of 31st August.**
     M.  Beck has just handed me in writing Polish reply  to
my  d‚marche last night***; translation is in my immediately
following telegram.# He particularly asked that it should be
treated as most confidential.
     
*No. 92.
**No. 93
***i.e., the night of August 30/31.
#No. 97.
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 191
     
     2.  I  asked M. Beck what steps he proposed to take  in
order  to  establish contact with the German Government.  He
said  he  would now instruct M. Lipski to seek an  interview
either  with  the  Minister  for Foreign  Affairs  or  State
Secretary  in  order  to  say Poland  had  accepted  British
proposals. I urged him to do this without delay.
     3.  I  then  asked him what attitude Polish  Ambassador
would  adopt if Herr von Ribbentrop or whoever he saw handed
him  the German proposals. He said that M. Lipski would  not
be  authorized to accept such a document as, in view of past
experience,  it  might  be  accompanied  by  some  sort   of
ultimatum. In his view it was essential that contact  should
be  made in the first instance, and that then details should
be  discussed  as  to where, with whom, and  on  what  basis
negotiations should be commenced.
     4.  As regards Danzig he pointed out that the situation
there was becoming extremely serious. Polish officials  were
being  arrested,  railway  traffic  was  suspended,  and  he
thought it essential that immediate steps should be taken to
secure  a  modus vivendi as a result of which those arrested
would  be released and railway traffic would be resumed.  He
suggested M. Burckhardt might be able to effect this.
     5.  He  confirmed that no other serious  incidents  had
occurred,  but stated that he feared that in connexion  with
any negotiations he would have to appeal to the intervention
of His Majesty's Government.
     6. He added that if invited to go to Berlin he would of
course not go, as he had no intention of being treated  like
President Hacha.
     
                           No. 97.
                              
  Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (received 6:30 p. m.)
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
August 31, 1939.
     FOLLOWING is text of Poland's reply dated 31st  August,
1939:
     "(1) Polish  Government confirm their  readiness  which
          has   previously  been  expressed  for  a   direct
          exchange  of  views with the German Government  on
          the basis pro-
     
192 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
          posed by British Government and communicated to me
          by   Lord   Halifax's  telegram  of  28th   August
          addressed to the British Ambassador, Warsaw.*
     "(2) Polish   government  are  also   prepared   on   a
          reciprocal  basis to give a formal guarantee  that
          in  the  event of negotiations taking place Polish
          troops  will  not  violate the  frontiers  of  the
          German Reich provided a corresponding guarantee is
          given  regarding  non-violation  of  frontiers  of
          Poland by troops of the German Reich.
     "(3) In  the present situation it is also essential  to
          create  a simple provisional modus vivendi in  the
          Free City of Danzig.
     "(4) As  regards the suggestions communicated to Polish
          Government on 28th August through the intermediary
          of   the   British  Ambassador   at   Warsaw,   an
          explanation   of   what  the  British   Government
          understands  by international guarantee  would  be
          required in regard to relations between Poland and
          the  German Reich. In default of an answer to this
          fundamental  question  the Polish  Government  are
          obliged   completely  to  reserve  their  attitude
          towards  this  matter  until  such  time  as  full
          explanations are received.
     "(5) Polish  Government express hope that in the  event
          of  conversations  with  the  German  Reich  being
          initiated, they will continue to be able  to  take
          advantage   of  good  offices  of  His   Majesty's
          Government."
     
                           No. 98.

 Message which was communicated to H.M. Ambassador in Berlin
  by the State Secretary on August 31, 1939, at 9:15 p. m.

(Translation.)
     HIS    Majesty's   Government   informed   the   German
Government,  in  a  note dated the 28th August,  1939,**  of
their  readiness  to  offer their mediation  towards  direct
negotiations between
     
*Conveying the substance of No. 74.
**No. 74
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 193
     
Germany and Poland over the problems in dispute. In so doing
they made it abundantly clear that they, too, were aware  of
the  urgent  need  for progress in view  of  the  continuous
incidents and the general European tension. In a reply dated
the  28th August,* the German Government, in spite of  being
sceptical as to the desire of the Polish Government to  come
to  an  understanding,  declared  themselves  ready  in  the
interests  of  peace  to  accept the  British  mediation  or
suggestion.   After   considering  all   the   circumstances
prevailing  at  the time, they considered  it  necessary  in
their note to point out that, if the danger of a catastrophe
was  to  be  avoided, then action must be taken readily  and
without delay. In this sense they declared themselves  ready
to receive a personage appointed by the Polish Government up
to the evening of the 30th August, with the proviso that the
latter  was, in fact, empowered not only to discuss  but  to
conduct and conclude negotiations.
     Further,  the German Government pointed out  that  they
felt able to make the basic points regarding the offer of an
understanding  available to the British  Government  by  the
time the Polish negotiator arrived in Berlin.
     Instead  of  a  statement regarding the arrival  of  an
authorised Polish personage, the first answer the Government
of   the   Reich   received  to  their  readiness   for   an
understanding  was the news of the Polish mobilisation,  and
only  towards  12 o'clock on the night of the  30th  August,
1939,  did  they  receive a somewhat  general  assurance  of
British  readiness  to  help  towards  the  commencement  of
negotiations.
     Although  the fact that the Polish negotiator  expected
by  the  Government of the Reich did not arrive removed  the
necessary  condition for informing His Majesty's  Government
of  the  views of the German Government as regards  possible
bases   of   negotiation,  since  His  Majesty's  Government
themselves  had  pleaded  for  direct  negotiations  between
Germany and Poland, the German Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Herr  von  Ribbentrop, gave the British  Ambassador  on  the
occasion  of  the  presentation of  the  last  British  note
precise  information as to the text of the German  proposals
which  would  be regarded as a basis of negotiation  in  the
event of the arrival of the Polish plenipotentiary.
     
*No. 78.

194 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     The   Government   of  the  German   Reich   considered
themselves  entitled to claim that in these circumstances  a
Polish personage would immediately be nominated, at any rate
retroactively.
     For  the Reich Government cannot be expected for  their
part continually not only to emphasise their willingness  to
start negotiations, but actually to be ready to do so, while
being  from  the  Polish  side merely  put  off  with  empty
subterfuges and meaningless declarations.
     It  has  once  more been made clear as a  result  of  a
d‚marche  which  has  meanwhile  been  made  by  the  Polish
Ambassador  that  the latter himself has no  plenary  powers
either to enter into any discussion, or even to negotiate.
     The  Fhrer and the German Government have thus  waited
two days in vain for the arrival of a Polish negotiator with
plenary powers.
     In  these  circumstances the German  Government  regard
their  proposals as having this time too been to all intents
and  purposes  rejected, although they consider  that  these
proposals, in the form in which they were made known to  the
British  Government  also, were more than  loyal,  fair  and
practicable.
     The  Reich Government consider it timely to inform  the
public  of the bases for negotiation which were communicated
to  the  British  Ambassador by  the  Minister  for  Foreign
Affairs, Herr von Ribbentrop.
     The  situation  existing between the German  Reich  and
Poland  is  at  the moment of such a kind that  any  further
incident  can  lead  to an explosion  on  the  part  of  the
military forces which have taken up their position  on  both
sides. Any peaceful solution must be framed in such a way as
to  ensure  that the events which lie at the  root  of  this
situation  cannot be repeated on the next occasion  offered,
and  that  thus not only the East of Europe, but also  other
territories  shall  not be brought  into  such  a  state  of
tension.  The  causes of this development lie  in:  (1)  the
impossible  delineation  of  frontiers,  as  fixed  by   the
Versailles  dictate;  (2) the impossible  treatment  of  the
minority in the ceded territories.
     In  making  these proposals, the Reich Government  are,
therefore,  actuated  by  the  idea  of  finding  a  lasting
solution which will remove the impossible situation  created
by  frontier  delineation, which may assure to both  parties
their vitally important line of
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 195
     
communication,  which may-as far as it is at  all  possible-
remove  the minority problem and, in so far as this  is  not
possible,  may  give  the  minorities  the  assurance  of  a
tolerable future by means of a reliable guarantee  of  their
rights.
     The Reich Government are content that in so doing it is
essential that economic and physical damage done since  1918
should  be  exposed and repaired in its entirety.  They,  of
course,  regard  this obligation as being binding  for  both
parties.
     These  considerations lead to the  following  practical
proposals:-
     (1)  The Free City of Danzig shall return to the German
Reich in view of its purely German character, as well as  of
the unanimous will of its population;
     (2)  The  territory  of  the so-called  Corridor  which
extends  from  the  Baltic  Sea to  the  line  Marienwerder-
Graudenz-Kulm-Bromberg (inclusive) and thence may run  in  a
westerly direction to Sch”nlanke, shall itself decide as  to
whether it shall belong to Germany or Poland;
     (3)  For this purpose a plebiscite shall take place  in
this territory. The following shall be entitled to vote: all
Germans who were either domiciled in this territory  on  the
1st January, 1918, or who by that date have been born there,
and  similarly  of Poles, Kashubes, &c., domiciled  in  this
territory on the above day (the 1st January, 1918)  or  born
there up to that date. The Germans who have been driven from
this territory shall return to it in order to exercise their
vote  with  a view to ensuring an objective plebiscite,  and
also  with  a  view  to  ensuring the extensive  preparation
necessary  therefor. The above territory shall,  as  in  the
case  of the Saar territory, be placed under the supervision
of  an international commission to be formed immediately, on
which shall be represented the four Great Powers-Italy,  the
Soviet  Union,  France  and England. This  commission  shall
exercise  all  the rights of sovereignty in this  territory.
With  this  end  in view, the territory shall  be  evacuated
within  a  period of the utmost brevity, still to be  agreed
upon, by the Polish armed forces, the Polish police, and the
Polish authorities;
     (4)  The  Polish  port  of Gdynia, which  fundamentally
constitutes  Polish sovereign territory  so  far  as  it  is
confined  territorially to the Polish settlement,  shall  be
excluded from the

196 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
above  territory.  The exact frontiers of this  Polish  port
should  be  determined between Germany and Poland,  and,  if
necessary,  delimited  by  an  international  committee   of
arbitration;
     (5)  With a view to assuring the necessary time for the
execution of the extensive work involved in the carrying out
of  a  just plebiscite, this plebiscite shall not take place
before the expiry of twelve months;
     (6)  In  order  to guarantee unrestricted communication
between Germany and East Prussia and between Poland and  the
sea  during  this  period,  roads  and  railways  shall   be
established to render free transit traffic possible. In this
connexion  only  such  taxes  as  are  necessary   for   the
maintenance  of  the  means  of communication  and  for  the
provision of transport may be levied;
     (7)  The  question as to the party to  which  the  area
belongs  is  to be decided by simple majority of  the  votes
recorded;
     (8) In order to guarantee to Germany free communication
with her province of Danzig-East Prussia, and to Poland  her
connexion with the sea after the execution of the plebiscite-
regardless  of  the results thereof-Germany  shall,  in  the
event  of  the plebiscite area going to Poland,  receive  an
extra-territorial traffic zone, approximately in a line from
Butow  to  Danzig  or  Dirschau, in which  to  lay  down  an
autobahn  and  a  4-track railway line.  The  road  and  the
railway  shall  be so constructed that the Polish  lines  of
communication are not affected, i.e., they shall pass either
over or under the latter. The breadth of this zone shall  be
fixed  at  1  kilometre, and it is to  be  German  sovereign
territory.  Should the plebiscite be favourable to  Germany,
Poland  is to obtain rights, analogous to those accorded  to
Germany,  to  a  similar extra-territorial communication  by
road  and  railway for the purpose of free and  unrestricted
communication with her port of Gdynia;
     (9)  In  the  event  of the Corridor returning  to  the
German Reich, the latter declares its right to proceed to an
exchange  of population with Poland to the extent  to  which
the nature of the Corridor lends itself thereto;
     (10) Any special right desired by Poland in the port of
Danzig  would be negotiated on a basis of territory  against
similar  rights  to be granted to Germany  in  the  port  of
Gdynia;
     (11)  In order to remove any feeling in this area  that
either

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 197
     
side was being threatened, Danzig and Gdynia would have  the
character of exclusively mercantile towns, that is  to  say,
without military installations and military fortifications;
     (12)  The peninsula of Hela, which as a result  of  the
plebiscite might go either to Poland or to Germany, would in
either case have similarly to be demilitarised;
     (13)  Since the Government of the German Reich has  the
most   vehement  complaints  to  make  against  the   Polish
treatment of minorities, and since the Polish Government for
their  part feel obliged to make complaints against Germany,
both   parties  declare  their  agreement  to   have   these
complaints   laid  before  an  international  committee   of
enquiry,  whose task would be to examine all  complaints  as
regards  economic or physical damage, and any other acts  of
terrorism.  Germany  and  Poland  undertake  to  make   good
economic  or other damage done to minorities on either  side
since the year 1918, or to cancel expropriation as the  case
may  be,  or to provide complete compensation to the persons
affected  for  this  and  any other encroachments  on  their
economic life;
     (14)  In  order to free the Germans who may be left  in
Poland  and  the Poles who may be left in Germany  from  the
feeling  of being outlawed by all nations, and in  order  to
render  them  secure against being called  upon  to  perform
action  or  to  render  services  incompatible  with   their
national  sentiments, Germany and Poland agree to  guarantee
the   rights  of  both  minorities  by  means  of  the  most
comprehensive and binding agreement, in order  to  guarantee
to  these  minorities the preservation, the free development
and  practical application of their nationality  (Volkstum),
and   in   particular  to  permit  for  this  purpose   such
organisation  as they may consider necessary.  Both  parties
undertake  not  to  call upon members of  the  minority  for
military service;
     (15)  In  the event of agreement on the basis of  these
proposals,  Germany and Poland declare themselves  ready  to
decree  and  to  carry out the immediate  demobilisation  of
their armed forces;
     (16)  The further measures necessary for the more rapid
execution of the above arrangement shall be agreed  upon  by
both Germany and Poland conjointly.

198 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                           No. 99.
                              
       Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                  Foreign Office,  August  31,
1939, 11 p. m.
     PLEASE inform German Government that we understand that
Polish Government are taking steps to establish contact with
them through Polish Ambassador in Berlin.
     2.  Please  also  ask them whether they  agree  to  the
necessity  for  securing  an  immediate  provisional   modus
vivendi  as regards Danzig. (We have already put this  point
to  German  Government.) Would they agree that M. Burckhardt
might  be  employed for this purpose if it were possible  to
secure his services?
     
                          No. 100.
     
        Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).
                              
(Telegraphic.)            Foreign Office, September 1, 1939,
12:50 a. m.
     YOUR telegrams of 31st August*:-
     1.  I am glad to learn that Polish Ambassador at Berlin
is   being  instructed  to  establish  contact  with  German
Government.
     2.  I  fully  agree as to the necessity for  discussing
detailed  arrangements for the negotiations and  as  to  the
undesirability of a visit by M. Beck to Berlin.
     3.  On  the  other hand, I do not see  why  the  Polish
Government  should feel difficulty about authorising  Polish
Ambassador  to accept a document from the German Government,
and  I  earnestly hope that they may be able to modify their
instructions to him in this respect. There was no mention of
any  ultimatum  in the report on the German proposals  which
has been furnished to us, and the suggestion that the demand
for  the  presence of a Polish plenipotentiary at Berlin  on
30th   August  amounted  to  an  ultimatum  was   vigorously
repudiated by Herr von Ribbentrop in conversation  with  His
Majesty's  Ambassador.  If  the  document  did  contain   an
ultimatum, the Polish Government would naturally  refuse  to
discuss  it until the ultimatum was withdrawn. On the  other
hand,  a  refusal  by  them to receive  proposals  would  be
gravely misunderstood by outside opinion.
     
* Nos. 96 and 97.

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 199
     
     4.  I  should  have thought that the Polish  Ambassador
could  surely  be  instructed  to  receive  and  transmit  a
document  and  to say (a) if it contained anything  like  an
ultimatum,  that  he anticipated that the Polish  Government
would  certainly be unable to discuss on such a  basis,  and
(b) that, in any case, in the view of the Polish Government,
questions as to the venue of the negotiations, the basis  on
which  they should be held, and the persons to take part  in
them,  must  be  discussed  and  decided  between  the   two
Governments.
     5.   If   negotiations  are  initiated,  His  Majesty's
Government will at all times be ready, if desired,  to  lend
any assistance in their power to achieve a just settlement.
     6.  As regards an international guarantee, this will no
doubt  have  to  be  fully  discussed.  What  His  Majesty's
Government  had  in mind was a guarantee  of  the  full  and
proper observance of any settlement reached.
     7.  As  regards Danzig, we fully share the view  of  M.
Beck  as  to  the  importance  of  establishing  some  modus
vivendi. We have already made a suggestion in this sense  to
the  German Government and will in the light of paragraph  4
of  your  telegram of 31st August** do so again.  If  German
Government agree, I will at once approach M. Burckhardt.
     8.  Please  speak to M. Beck immediately in  the  above
sense.
     
                          No. 101.
                              
    Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (dated 7 43 p. m.
       September 1 and received 2 a. m.  September 2).
     
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
September 1, 1939.
     YOUR telegram of 1st September* was decyphered at 4  a.
m.  to-day.
     2.  M.  Lipski had already called on the German Foreign
Minister  at  6:30 p. m.  yesterday. In view of  this  fact,
which was followed by German invasion of Poland at dawn  to-
day,  it  was  clearly useless for me  to  take  the  action
suggested.
     
**No 96
*No. 100.
     
200 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                          No. 102.
 Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received 12:10 a. m.
                        September 1).

(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
August 31, 1939.
     
     FOLLOWING  is  translation from text  of  communication
handed  by Polish Ambassador to German Minister for  Foreign
Affairs this evening:-
     "During  the course of the night the Polish  Government
received from the British Government news of the exchange of
information   with  the  German  Government  regarding   the
possibility  of direct discussion between the Government  of
the Reich and the Polish Government.
     "The  Polish  Government  are weighing  favourably  the
British  Government's suggestion; a formal  answer  in  this
matter  will  be  communicated  to  them  in  the  immediate
future." I understand that no discussion took place.
     
                          No. 103.
 Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received in the early
                hours of September 1, 1939).

(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
September 1, 1939.
     WRITTEN  communication was made  to  the  Ministry  for
Foreign Affairs early this morning in the sense of paragraph
2 of your telegram of 31st August.*
     
                          No. 104.
                              
     Explanatory Note upon the actual Course of Events.
                              
     THE  reply to the German Government of 28th August was,
before  its delivery, communicated to the French and  Polish
Governments. The Polish Government authorised His  Majesty's
Government  to inform the German Government that Poland  was
ready at once to enter into direct discussions with Germany.
     
*No. 99.
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 201
     
     It  will be seen that paragraph 4 of the British  reply
of  28th  August  made  plain the  attitude  of  the  Polish
Government on this point.
     The British reply was handed to Herr Hitler at 10:30 p.
m.  on  28th August, and he promised to give a written reply
the following day.
     The German reply in writing was handed to His Majesty's
Ambassador  at  7:15 p. m. on 28th August.  Apart  from  the
complete distortion of events leading up to the crisis,  the
German Government's reply demanded the arrival in Berlin  of
a  Polish emissary with full powers during the course of the
following day.
     The   reply   of  the  British  Government   is   self-
explanatory. It was communicated by His Majesty's Ambassador
to  the  German Minister for Foreign Affairs at midnight  on
30th  August. Herr von Ribbentrop's reply was to  produce  a
long  document which he read out rapidly in German.  It  was
apparently   the   sixteen-point  plan  which   the   German
Government have since published. When Sir N. Henderson asked
for  the  text  of  these proposals in accordance  with  the
undertaking  in  the German reply of 28th  August  Herr  von
Ribbentrop  asserted that it was now too late as the  Polish
plenipotentiary  had not arrived in Berlin by  midnight,  as
had   been  demanded  by  the  German  Government  in  their
communication of the previous evening.
     The Polish Government on learning of these developments
informed  His  Majesty's Government during the afternoon  of
31st  August  that they would authorise their Ambassador  to
inform  the  German Government that Poland had accepted  the
British proposals for negotiations.
     The  Polish  Ambassador in Berlin (M. Lipski)  was  not
received  by Herr von Ribbentrop until the evening  of  31st
August. After this interview the German Government broadcast
their  proposals  forthwith. M.  Lipski  at  once  tried  to
establish  contact  with Warsaw but  was  unable  to  do  so
because  all  means  of  communication  between  Poland  and
Germany had been closed by the German Government.

202 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                          No. 105.
                              
   Speech by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on
                     September 1, 1939.
     
     The  Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain): I do not propose
to  say  many words to-night. The time has come when  action
rather than speech is required. Eighteen months ago in  this
House  I prayed that the responsibility might not fall  upon
me  to  ask this country to accept the awful arbitrament  of
war.   I  fear  that  I  may  not  be  able  to  avoid  that
responsibility.  But,  at  any  rate,  I  cannot  wish   for
conditions  in which such a burden should fall  upon  me  in
which I should feel clearer than I do to-day as to where  my
duty  lies.  No man can say that the Government  could  have
done more to try to keep open the way for an honourable  and
equitable  settlement  of the dispute  between  Germany  and
Poland. Nor have we neglected any means of making it crystal
clear  to  the  German Government that if they  insisted  on
using force again in the manner in which they had used it in
the  past we were resolved to oppose them by force. Now that
all  the  relevant documents are being made public we  shall
stand  at the bar of history knowing that the responsibility
for  this terrible catastrophe lies on the shoulders of  one
man-the  German Chancellor, who has not hesitated to  plunge
the  world  into misery in order to serve his own  senseless
ambitions.
     I  would  like  to thank the House for the  forbearance
which  they  have  shown  on two  recent  occasions  in  not
demanding from me information which they recognised I  could
not give while these negotiations were still in progress.  I
have   now  had  all  the  correspondence  with  the  German
Government put into the form of a White Paper. On account of
mechanical  difficulties I am afraid there are still  but  a
few  copies  available, but I understand that they  will  be
coming  in in relays while the House is sitting.  I  do  not
think it is necessary for me to refer in detail now to these
documents,  which  are already past history.  They  make  it
perfectly  clear that our object has been to try  and  bring
about  discussions of the Polish-German dispute between  the
two   countries   themselves  on  terms  of  equality,   the
settlement  to be one which safeguarded the independence  of
Poland  and of which the due observance would be secured  by
international guarantees.

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 203
     
There is just one passage from a recent communication, which
was  dated  the 30th August, which I should like  to  quote,
because it shows how easily the final clash might have  been
avoided had there been the least desire on the part  of  the
German  Government  to arrive at a peaceful  settlement.  In
this document we said:-
          "His Majesty's Government fully recognise the need
     for  speed  in the initiation of discussions  and  they
     share the apprehensions of the Chancellor arising  from
     the proximity of two mobilised armies standing face  to
     face.  They would accordingly most strongly  urge  that
     both   parties   should  undertake  that   during   the
     negotiations  no  aggressive military movements  should
     take  place.  His Majesty's Government  feel  confident
     that  they  could obtain such an undertaking  from  the
     Polish  Government if the German Government would  give
     similar assurances."
     
     That telegram, which was repeated to Poland, brought an
instantaneous  reply from the Polish Government,  dated  the
31st August, in which they said:-
          "The  Polish  Government are also  prepared  on  a
     reciprocal  basis  to give a formal  guarantee  in  the
     event  of negotiations taking place that Polish  troops
     will  not  violate  the frontiers of the  German  Reich
     provided  a corresponding guarantee is given  regarding
     the  non-violation of the frontiers of Poland by troops
     of the German Reich."
     
     We  never  had any reply from the German Government  to
that  suggestion, one which, if it had been followed,  might
have saved the catastrophe which took place this morning. In
the German broadcast last night, which recited the 16 points
of the proposals which they have put forward, there occurred
this sentence:-
          "In   these  circumstances  the  Reich  Government
     considers its proposals rejected."
     
     I  must  examine that statement. I must tell the  House
what  are  the circumstances. To begin with let me say  that
the  text of these proposals has never been communicated  by
Germany to Poland at all. The history of the matter is this.
On  Tuesday, the 28th August, in replying to a Note which we
had  sent  to them, the German Government said, among  other
things, that they would immediately draw up proposals for  a
solution acceptable to themselves and

203 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     "will, if possible, place these at the disposal of  the
     British  Government before the arrival  of  the  Polish
     negotiator."
     
     It  will be seen by examination of the White Paper that
the  German Government had stated that they counted upon the
arrival  of a plenipotentiary from Poland in Berlin  on  the
30th, that is to say, on the following day. In the meantime,
of  course,  we  were  awaiting these  proposals.  The  next
evening,  when  our Ambassador saw Herr von Ribbentrop,  the
German Foreign Secretary, he urged upon the latter that when
these  proposals were ready-for we had heard no  more  about
them-he  should  invite the Polish Ambassador  to  call  and
should  hand  him  the  proposals for  transmission  to  his
Government. Thereupon, reports our Ambassador, in  the  most
violent  terms Herr von Ribbentrop said he would  never  ask
the  Ambassador to visit him. He hinted that if  the  Polish
Ambassador asked him for an interview it might be different.
     The  House  will see that this was on Wednesday  night,
which,  according to the German statement of last night,  is
now  claimed to be the final date after which no negotiation
with  Poland  was  acceptable. It is plain, therefore,  that
Germany  claims to treat Poland as in the wrong because  she
had  not  by  Wednesday night entered upon discussions  with
Germany  about  a set of proposals of which  she  had  never
heard.
     Now  what of ourselves? On that Wednesday night, at the
interview to which I have just referred, Herr von Ribbentrop
produced  a  lengthy document which he read out  in  German,
aloud,  at  top  speed. Naturally, after  this  reading  our
Ambassador asked for a copy of the document, but  the  reply
was  that  it was now too late, as the Polish representative
had not arrived in Berlin by midnight. And so, Sir, we never
got  a  copy of those proposals, and the first time we heard
them-we  heard them-was on the broadcast last  night.  Well,
Sir,  those  are  the  circumstances  in  which  the  German
Government   said  that  they  would  consider  that   their
proposals  were  rejected.  Is  it  not  clear  that   their
conception of a negotiation was that on almost instantaneous
demand  a  Polish plenipotentiary should go to  Berlin-where
others  had  been  before  him-and should  there  receive  a
statement  of  demands to be accepted in their  entirety  or
refused?  I  am not pronouncing any opinion upon  the  terms
themselves,  for I do not feel called upon  to  do  so.  The
proper course, in our
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 205
     
view-in  the  view  of  all of us-was that  these  proposals
should have been put before the Poles, who should have  been
given  time  to consider them and to say whether,  in  their
opinion,  they did or did not infringe those vital interests
of  Poland  which  Germany  had assured  us  on  a  previous
occasion she intended to respect. Only last night the Polish
Ambassador  did see the German Foreign Secretary,  Herr  von
Ribbentrop. Once again he expressed to him what, indeed, the
Polish Government had already said publicly, that they  were
willing to negotiate with Germany about their disputes on an
equal  basis.  What was the reply of the German  Government?
The  reply  was that without another word the German  troops
crossed  the  Polish frontier this morning at dawn  and  are
since  reported to be bombing open towns. [An  Hon.  Member:
"Gas?"] In these circumstances there is only one course open
to  us.  His  Majesty's Ambassador in Berlin and the  French
Ambassador  have  been  instructed to  hand  to  the  German
Government the following document:-
          "Early this morning the German Chancellor issued a
     proclamation to the German Army which indicated clearly
     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  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, namely,  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 fulfil their obligations to Poland."
     
     [An  Hon.  Member: "Time limit?".] If a reply  to  this
last  warning is unfavourable, and I do not suggest that  it
is  likely  to  be  otherwise, His Majesty's  Ambassador  is
instructed to ask for
     
 206 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
his passports. In that case we are ready. Yesterday, we took
further  steps  towards  the  completion  of  our  defensive
preparations. This morning we ordered complete  mobilisation
of the whole of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. We
have also taken a number of other measures, both at home and
abroad,  which  the  House will not  perhaps  expect  me  to
specify  in detail. Briefly, they represent the final  steps
in  accordance with prearranged plans. These last can be put
into  force rapidly, and are of such a nature that they  can
be deferred until war seems inevitable. Steps have also been
taken  under the powers conferred by the House last week  to
safeguard the position in regard to stocks of commodities of
various kinds.
     The  thoughts  of  many  of  us  must  at  this  moment
inevitably  be turning back to 1914, and to a comparison  of
our  position now with that which existed then.  How  do  we
stand  this time? The answer is that all three Services  are
ready, and that the situation in all directions is far  more
favourable  and  reassuring than in 1914, while  behind  the
fighting  Services we have built up a vast  organisation  of
Civil  Defence under our scheme of Air Raid Precautions.  As
regards  the  immediate  man-power requirements,  the  Royal
Navy,  the Army and the Royal Air Force are in the fortunate
position   of  having  almost  as  many  men  as  they   can
conveniently  handle  at this moment.  There  are,  however,
certain  categories of service in which men are  immediately
required, both for Military and Civil Defence. These will be
announced  in  detail through the Press and the  B.B.C.  The
main and most satisfactory point to observe is that there is
to-day  no  need  to  make an appeal in a  general  way  for
recruits such as was issued by Lord Kitchener 25 years  ago.
That appeal has been anticipated by many months, and the men
are already available.
     So  much for the immediate present. Now we must look to
the  future.  It is essential in the face of the  tremendous
task which confronts us, more especially in view of our past
experiences  in this matter, to organise our man-power  this
time upon as methodical, equitable and economical a basis as
possible.  We, therefore, propose immediately  to  introduce
legislation directed to that end. A Bill will be laid before
you  which  for  all practical purposes will  amount  to  an
expansion  of the Military Training Act. Under its operation
all fit men between the ages of 18 and 41 will

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 207
     
be  rendered  liable to military service if and when  called
upon. It is not intended at the outset that any considerable
number  of  men  other than those already  liable  shall  be
called  up, and steps will be taken to ensure that the  man-
power  essentially required by industry shall not  be  taken
away.
     There is one other allusion which I should like to make
before   I  end  my  speech,  and  that  is  to  record   my
satisfaction,   and  the  satisfaction  of   His   Majesty's
Government, that throughout these last days of crisis Signor
Mussolini also has been doing his best to reach a solution.
     It  now  only  remains for us to set our teeth  and  to
enter  upon  this  struggle, which  we  ourselves  earnestly
endeavoured to avoid, with determination to see  it  through
to  the end. We shall enter it with a clear conscience, with
the support of the Dominions and the British Empire, and the
moral approval of the greater part of the world. We have  no
quarrel  with  the  German people, except  that  they  allow
themselves to be governed by a Nazi Government. As  long  as
that  Government exists and pursues the methods  it  has  so
persistently followed during the last two years, there  will
be  no peace in Europe. We shall merely pass from one crisis
to  another,  and see one country after another attacked  by
methods  which  have  now become familiar  to  us  in  their
sickening technique. We are resolved that these methods must
come to an end. If out of the struggle we again re-establish
in the world the rules of good faith and the renunciation of
force,  why, then even the sacrifices that will be  entailed
upon us will find their fullest justification.
     
                          No. 106.
                              
Speech by Herr Hitler to the Reichstag on September 1, 1939.
     
(Translation.)
     FOR months we have been suffering under the torture  of
a  problem  which  the Versailles Diktat  created-a  problem
which has deteriorated until it becomes intolerable for  us.
Danzig  was  and is a German city. The Corridor was  and  is
German.   Both   these   territories  owe   their   cultural
development  exclusively to the German  people.  Danzig  was
separated from us, the Corridor
     
 208 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
was annexed by Poland. As in other German territories of the
East,  all  German minorities living there  have  been  ill-
treated  in the most distressing manner. More than 1,000,000
people  of  German blood had in the years 1919-20  to  leave
their homeland.
     As  always, I attempted to bring about, by the peaceful
method  of  making proposals for revision, an alteration  of
this  intolerable  position. It is a lie  when  the  outside
world says that we only tried to carry through our revisions
by  pressure.  Fifteen years before the  National  Socialist
Party  came  to power there was the opportunity of  carrying
out    these   revisions   by   peaceful   settlements   and
understanding.  On my own initiative I have,  not  once  but
several   times,   made  proposals  for  the   revision   of
intolerable  conditions. All these proposals, as  you  know,
have been rejected-proposals for limitation of armaments and
ever,   if   necessary,  disarmament,  proposals   for   the
limitation  of war-making, proposals for the elimination  of
certain  methods of modern warfare. You know  the  proposals
that I have made to fulfil the necessity of restoring German
sovereignty  over German territories. You know  the  endless
attempts   I   made   for  a  peaceful   clarification   and
understanding of the problem of Austria, and  later  of  the
problem of the Sudetenland, Bohemia, and Moravia. It was all
in vain.
     It  is impossible to demand that an impossible position
should  be cleared up by peaceful revision and at  the  same
time   constantly  reject  peaceful  revision.  It  is  also
impossible to say that he who undertakes to carry out  these
revisions   for  himself  transgresses  a  law,  since   the
Versailles  Diktat is not law to us. A signature was  forced
out  of  us with pistols at our head and with the threat  of
hunger for millions of people. And then this document,  with
our signature, obtained by force, was proclaimed as a solemn
law.
     In the same way, I have also tried to solve the problem
of  Danzig,  the  Corridor, &c.,  by  proposing  a  peaceful
discussion. That the problems had to be solved was clear. It
is quite understandable to us that the time when the problem
was to be solved had little interest for the Western Powers.
But  that  time  is  not  a matter of  indifference  to  us.
Moreover,  it  was  not  and  could  not  be  a  matter   of
indifference to those who suffer most.
     In my talks with Polish statesmen I discussed the ideas
which you recognise from my last speech to the Reichstag. No
one  could  say  that  this was in any way  an  inadmissible
procedure or undue

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 209
     
pressure.  I  then naturally formulated at last  the  German
proposals, and I must once more repeat that there is nothing
more modest or loyal than these proposals. I should like  to
say  this to the world. I alone was in the position to  make
such  proposals, for I know very well that  in  doing  so  I
brought myself into opposition to millions of Germans. These
proposals  have  been refused. Not only were  they  answered
first  with  mobilisation,  but with  increased  terror  and
pressure  against our German compatriots  and  with  a  slow
strangling   of   the   Free  City  of  Danzig-economically,
politically,  and in recent weeks by military and  transport
means.
     Poland  has directed its attacks against the Free  City
of  Danzig. Moreover, Poland was not prepared to settle  the
Corridor  question  in  a  reasonable  way  which  would  be
equitable to both parties, and she did not think of  keeping
her obligations to minorities.
     I  must  here  state something definitely; Germany  has
kept  these obligations; the minorities who live in  Germany
are  not persecuted. No Frenchman can stand up and say  that
any  Frenchman  living in the Saar territory  is  oppressed,
tortured, or deprived of his rights. Nobody can say this.
     For  four  months  I have calmly watched  developments,
although  I never ceased to give warnings. In the  last  few
days  I have increased these warnings. I informed the Polish
Ambassador three weeks ago that if Poland continued to  send
to Danzig notes in the form of ultimata, if Poland continued
its methods of oppression against the Germans, and if on the
Polish  side an end was not put to Customs measures destined
to  ruin  Danzig's  trade, then the Reich could  not  remain
inactive. I left no doubt that people who wanted to  compare
the  Germany  of  to-day with the former  Germany  would  be
deceiving themselves.
     An  attempt was made to justify the oppression  of  the
Germans  by  claiming  that  they  had  committed  acts   of
provocation. I do not know in what these provocations on the
part  of women and children consist, if they themselves  are
maltreated,  in some cases killed. One thing I do  know-that
no  great Power can with honour long stand by passively  and
watch such events.
     I  made one more final effort to accept a proposal  for
mediation  on  the  part  of  the British  Government.  They
proposed,  not  that  they themselves should  carry  on  the
negotiations, but rather that
     
210 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
Poland and Germany should come into direct contact and  once
more to pursue negotiations.
     I  must  declare that I accepted this proposal,  and  I
worked out a basis for these negotiations which are known to
you.  For two whole days I sat with my Government and waited
to  see  whether it was convenient for the Polish Government
to  send  a plenipotentiary or not. Last night they did  not
send  us  a plenipotentiary, but instead informed us through
their  Ambassador  that they were still considering  whether
and  to  what extent they were in a position to go into  the
British proposals. The Polish Government also said that they
would inform Britain of their decision.
     Deputies,  if  the  German Government  and  its  Leader
patiently endured such treatment Germany would deserve  only
to  disappear  from the political stage. But  I  am  wrongly
judged if my love of peace and my patience are mistaken  for
weakness or even cowardice. I, therefore, decided last night
and   informed   the  British  Government  that   in   these
circumstances  I can no longer find any willingness  on  the
part   of   the   Polish  Government  to   conduct   serious
negotiations with us.
     These  proposals for mediation have failed  because  in
the  meanwhile  there, first of all, came as an  answer  the
sudden  Polish general mobilisation, followed by more Polish
atrocities.  These were again repeated last night.  Recently
in  one  night  there  were as many as  twenty-one  frontier
incidents;  last night there were fourteen, of  which  three
were quite serious. I have, therefore, resolved to speak  to
Poland in the same language that Poland for months past  has
used towards us. This attitude on the part of the Reich will
not change.
     The  other  European  States  understand  in  part  our
attitude. I should like here above all to thank Italy, which
throughout  has  supported us, but you will understand  that
for  the  carrying on of this struggle we do not  intend  to
appeal  to  foreign  help.  We  will  carry  out  this  task
ourselves.  The  neutral States have  assured  us  of  their
neutrality, just as we had already guaranteed it to them.
     When  statesmen in the West declare that  this  affects
their  interests, I can only regret such a  declaration.  It
cannot for a moment make me hesitate to fulfil my duty. What
more  is wanted? I have solemnly assured them, and I  repeat
it,  that  we ask nothing of these Western States and  never
will ask anything.
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 211
     
I have declared that the frontier between France and Germany
is a final one. I have repeatedly offered friendship and, if
necessary,  the  closest co-operation to Britain,  but  this
cannot  be offered from one side only. It must find response
on the other side. Germany has no interests in the West, and
our  western wall is for all time the frontier of the  Reich
on the west. Moreover, we have no aims of any kind there for
the  future.  With this assurance we are in solemn  earnest,
and  as  long  as others do not violate their neutrality  we
will likewise take every care to respect it.
     I  am happy particularly to be able to tell you of  one
event. You know that Russia and Germany are governed by  two
different doctrines. There was only one question that had to
be  cleared  up. Germany has no intention of  exporting  its
doctrine. Given the fact that Soviet Russia has no intention
of  exporting its doctrine to Germany, I no longer  see  any
reason why we should still oppose one another. On both sides
we  are clear on that. Any struggle between our people would
only be of advantage to others. We have, therefore, resolved
to  conclude  a  pact which rules out for ever  any  use  of
violence  between  us. It imposes the obligation  on  us  to
consult  together  in certain European questions.  It  makes
possible  for  us economic co-operation, and  above  all  it
assures  that the powers of both these powerful  States  are
not wasted against one another. Every attempt of the West to
bring about any change in this will fail.
     At  the  same  time I should like here to declare  that
this political decision means a tremendous departure for the
future,  and  that  it is a final one.  Russia  and  Germany
fought against one another in the World War. That shall  and
will not happen a second time. In Moscow, too, this pact was
greeted exactly as you greet it. I can only endorse word for
word the speech of the Russian Foreign Commissar, Molotov.
     I  am determined to solve (1) the Danzig question;  (1)
the  question of the Corridor; and (3) to see to it  that  a
change  is  made  in  the relationship between  Germany  and
Poland that shall ensure a peaceful co-existence. In this  I
am  resolved  to continue to fight until either the  present
Polish  Government is willing to bring about this change  or
until  another Polish Government is ready to  do  so.  I  am
resolved to remove from the German frontiers the element  of
uncertainty, the everlasting atmosphere

212 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
of conditions resembling civil war. I will see to it that in
the  East  there  is,  on the frontier,  a  peace  precisely
similar to that on our other frontiers.
     In  this I will take the necessary measures to see that
they  do  not  contradict the proposals I have already  made
known in the Reichstag itself to the rest of the world, that
is to say, I will not war against women and children. I have
ordered  my  air  force  to restrict itself  to  attacks  on
military  objectives. If, however, the enemy thinks  he  can
from  that  draw carte blanche on his side to fight  by  the
other  methods he will receive an answer that  will  deprive
him of hearing and sight.
     This  night for the first time Polish regular  soldiers
fired  on  our own territory. Since 5:45 a. m. we have  been
returning the fire, and from now on bombs will be  met  with
bombs.  Whoever fights with poison gas will be  fought  with
poison gas. Whoever departs from the rules of humane warfare
can  only  expect that we shall do the same. I will continue
this  struggle, no matter against whom, until the safety  of
the Reich and its rights are secured.
     For  six  years now I have been working on the building
up  of  the German defences. Over 90 milliards have in  that
time  been spent on the building up of these defence forces.
They  are now the best equipped and are above all comparison
with what they were in 1914. My trust in them is unshakable.
When  I called up these forces and when I now ask sacrifices
of  the German people and if necessary every sacrifice, then
I  have  a  right to do so, for I also am to-day  absolutely
ready,  just  as  we were formerly, to make  every  personal
sacrifice.
     I  am  asking of no German man more than I  myself  was
ready throughout four years at any time to do. There will be
no  hardships for Germans to which I myself will not submit.
My  whole  life  henceforth belongs more  than  ever  to  my
people.  I  am from now on just first soldier of the  German
Reich.  I have once more put on that coat that was the  most
sacred  and  dear to me. I will not take it off again  until
victory is secured, or I will not survive the outcome.
     Should  anything happen to me in the struggle  then  my
first  successor  is Party Comrade Goring;  should  anything
happen  to Party Comrade G”ring my next successor  is  Party
Comrade Hess.

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 213
     
You would then be under obligation to give to them as Fhrer
the  same  blind loyalty and obedience as to myself.  Should
anything  happen  to Party Comrade Hess,  then  by  law  the
Senate  will be called, and will choose from its  midst  the
most worthy-that is to say the bravest-successor.
     As  a  National Socialist and as German soldier I enter
upon  this  struggle with a stout heart. My whole  life  has
been  nothing but one long struggle for my people,  for  its
restoration,  and for Germany. There was only one  watchword
for  that  struggle: faith in this people. One word  I  have
never learned: that is, surrender.
     If,  however, anyone thinks that we are facing  a  hard
time,  I  should  ask him to remember that once  a  Prussian
King,  with  a ridiculously small State, opposed a  stronger
coalition,  and  in three wars finally came  out  successful
because  that  State had that stout heart that  we  need  in
these  times.  I  would, therefore, like to assure  all  the
world  that a November 1918 will never be repeated in German
history.  Just as I myself am ready at any time to stake  my
life-anyone  can take it for my people and for Germany-so  I
ask the same of all others.
     Whoever,  however, thinks he can oppose  this  national
command, whether directly or indirectly, shall fall. We have
nothing to do with traitors. We are all faithful to our  old
principle.  It  is  quite unimportant whether  we  ourselves
live,  but it is essential that our people shall live,  that
Germany shall live. The sacrifice that is demanded of us  is
not  greater  than the sacrifice that many generations  have
made. If we form a community closely bound together by vows,
ready  for anything, resolved never to surrender,  then  our
will  will master every hardship and difficulty. And I would
like  to close with the declaration that I once made when  I
began the struggle for power in the Reich. I then said:  "If
our  will  is  so strong that no hardship and suffering  can
subdue  it,  then  our  will  and  our  German  might  shall
prevail."
     
214 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                           No. 107

 Herr Hitler's Proclamation to the German Army on September
                          1, 1939.

(Translation.)
     THE Polish State has refused the peaceful settlement of
relations which I desired, and has appealed to arms. Germans
in  Poland are persecuted with bloody terror and driven from
their  houses.  A  series  of violations  of  the  frontier,
intolerable to a great Power, prove that Poland is no longer
willing to respect the frontier of the Reich.
     In  order to put an end to this lunacy, I have no other
choice than to meet force with force from now on. The German
Army  will  fight the battle for the honour  and  the  vital
rights  of reborn Germany with hard determination. I  expect
that  every  soldier,  mindful of the  great  traditions  of
eternal German soldiery, will ever remain conscious that  he
is   a  representative  of  the  National-Socialist  Greater
Germany. Long live our people and our Reich!
     
     No. 108.
     
   Proclamation by Herr Forster and Exchange of Telegrams
  between Herr Forster and Herr Hitler, September 1, 1939.
                              
     HERR FORSTER'S proclamation to the people of Danzig, as
given over the German wireless, was as follows:-
(Translation.)
          "Men  and women of Danzig: The hour for which  you
     have  been longing for twenty years has come. This  day
     Danzig  has  returned to the great  German  Reich.  Our
     Fhrer, Adolf Hitler, has freed us.
          "The  Swastika flag, the flag of the German Reich,
     is  flying  to-day for the first time from  the  public
     buildings  of  Danzig. It also flies  from  the  former
     Polish  buildings, and everywhere in the  harbour,  the
     towers  of the ancient town hall and St. Mary's Church.
     The bells ring in Danzig's hour of liberation.
          "We  thank  our  God that He gave the  Fhrer  the
     power  and the opportunity of freeing us from the  evil
     of the Versailles

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 215
     
     Diktat. We Danzigers are happy to be able to become now
     citizens of the Reich. Men and women of Danzig, we wish
     to  stand together in this solemn hour and stretch  out
     our  hand  and take a solemn oath to the Fhrer  to  do
     everything  that  lies in our power  for  our  glorious
     Greater  Germany.  Long live German Danzig,  which  has
     been  liberated and returned again to the  Reich!  Long
     live our great German fatherland!"
     
     Herr  Forster also sent the following telegram to  Herr
Hitler:-

(Translation.)
          "My  Fhrer,  I  have  just signed  the  following
     constitutional  law concerning the  reunion  of  Danzig
     with the Reich, and I have put it into force:-
          "The constitutional law concerning the reunion  of
     the  Free  City  of Danzig with the German  Reich  from
     September 1:-
          "Article 1. The Constitution of the Free  City  of
     Danzig is cancelled with immediate effect.
          "Art. 2. All legislative and executive power is in
     the hands of the head of the State.
          "Art.  3.  The  Free  City  of  Danzig  with   its
     territory and population shall immediately form part of
     the territory of the German Reich.
          "Art.   4.  Until  the  Fhrer  makes  a  definite
     decision  about the introduction of German  Reich  law,
     all  legal  provisions  of the Constitution  remain  in
     force  as they are at the moment of the issue  of  this
     constitutional law.
          "I  ask you, my Fhrer, in the name of Danzig  and
     its population, to agree to this constitutional law and
     to carry out the re-incorporation of Danzig by a law of
     the German Reich. The eternal gratitude and everlasting
     faith  of  Danzig  is  devotedly  pledged  to  you,  my
     Fhrer."
     
     Herr Hitler sent the following telegram in reply:-
     
(Translation.)
          "I  accept the proclamation of the Free  State  of
     Danzig concerning the return to the German Reich.
          "I  thank  you, Gauleiter Forster, and all  Danzig
     men and

216 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
          women for the resolute loyalty which you and  they
     have  preserved  for  so  many years.  Greater  Germany
     greets  you with overflowing heart. The law for reunion
     is  ratified forthwith. I appoint you herewith as  head
     of the civil administration of Danzig."
     
                          No. 109.
                              
       Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin).
     
(Telegraphic.)              Foreign  Office,  September   1,
1939, 4:45 p. m.
     MY  immediately following telegram contains the text of
a  communication that you should, in conjunction  with  your
French colleague, make at once to the German Government.
     2. You should ask for immediate reply and report result
of   your   interview.  I  shall  then  send   you   further
instructions.
     3.  In  reply to any question you may explain that  the
present communication is in the nature of warning and is not
to be considered as an ultimatum.
     4.  For  your own information. If the German  reply  is
unsatisfactory  the next stage will be either  an  ultimatum
with time limit or an immediate declaration of war.
     
                          No. 110.
                              
       Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin).
                              
(Telegraphic.)              Foreign  Office,  September   1,
1939, 5:45 p. m.
     FOLLOWING   is  text  referred  to  in  my  immediately
preceding telegram:-
     On   the   instructions  of  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 indicated clearly 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

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 217
     
German  troops  have 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  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   fulfil   their
obligations to Poland.
     
                          No. 111.
                              
Sir N. Henderson to Viscount Halifax (received 10:30 p. m.).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Berlin,
September 1, 1939.
     YOUR telegrams of 1st September.*
     I  was  received by Herr von Ribbentrop  at  9:30  this
evening, and handed him the communication from His Majesty's
Government.  After  reading it, he said that  he  wished  to
state that it was not Germany who had aggressed Poland, that
on the contrary it was Poland who had provoked Germany for a
long  time  past;  that  it  was the  Poles  who  had  first
mobilised and that yesterday it was Poland that had  invaded
German territory with troops of the regular army.
     I  said  that  I  was instructed to ask  for  immediate
answer.  The  Minister  replied that  he  would  submit  the
British communication to the Head of the State.
     I replied that I realised that this would be necessary,
and that I was at his disposal at whatever time he might  be
in a position to give the Chancellor's answer.
     
* Nos. 109 and 110.

218 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
     Herr von Ribbentrop then remarked that if His Majesty's
Government had been as active, vis-…-vis Poland, as they had
been vis-…-vis Germany, a settlement would have been reached
at an early stage.
     French  Ambassador saw Herr von Ribbentrop  immediately
after and received an identic reply.
     As  I  was  leaving Herr von Ribbentrop  gave  me  long
explanation  of why he had been unable to give  me  text  of
German  proposals  two  nights ago.  I  told  him  that  his
attitude  on that occasion had been most unhelpful  and  had
effectively  prevented  me from making  a  last  effort  for
peace, and that I greatly deplored it.
     He was courteous and polite this evening. I am inclined
to  believe that Herr Hitler's answer will be an attempt  to
avoid  war with Great Britain and France, but not likely  to
be one which we can accept.
     
                          No. 112.
                              
   Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (received 2 p. m.).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
September 1, 1939.
     MINISTER for Foreign Affairs has just telephoned to  me
in  the middle of an air raid to beg me to point out to your
Lordship  that  various  cases of armed  German  aggression,
which  have occurred this morning on Polish soil, cannot  be
taken  longer as mere isolated cases but constitute acts  of
war.  Various open towns have been bombed from the air, with
heavy  civilian  casualties,  and  his  Excellency  drew  my
attention to desirability of some military action  from  the
air this afternoon.
     2. His Excellency pointed out that at 6:30 p. m. Polish
Ambassador  saw Herr von Ribbentrop and expressed  readiness
of  Polish Government to enter into direct negotiations.  At
dawn   this   morning,   without  any   further   diplomatic
development  or  declaration of war, Germany  had  committed
various acts of unprovoked aggression on a major scale,  and
thus, while Polish Government had made every effort to avoid
serious  clashes,  German forces had  deliberately  attacked
Polish territory and

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 219
     
already caused deaths of numerous innocent civilians. Polish
Government  had,  therefore, no  course  but  to  break  off
relations  with German Government, and Polish Ambassador  at
Berlin has asked for his passports.
     3. His Excellency failed to see what measures could now
be  taken to prevent European war, and while he did not  say
so  in  so  many  words  it is obvious  that  he  hopes  His
Majesty's  Government will take some action  of  a  military
character  to  relieve  the  pressure  on  this   field   of
operations.
     4. M. Beck has also given me a categorical and official
denial that any Polish act of aggression occurred last night
as stated by Deutsches Nachrichten-Bro.
     5.  French  Ambassador has suggested to me that  French
and  British  wireless  should  repeatedly  point  out  that
Germany  has  openly and flagrantly attacked Poland  without
warning.
     
                          No. 113.
                              
        Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).
                              
Sir,                                      Foreign    Office,
September 1, 1939.
     THE  Polish Ambassador called to see me at his  request
at 10:30 this morning. Count Raczynski said that he had been
officially  informed  from  Paris  that  German  forces  had
crossed the frontier at four points. He added that the towns
of  Vilno, Grodno, Brest-Litovsk, Lodz, Katowice and  Cracow
were being bombed and that at 9 a. m. an air attack had been
made  on  Warsaw,  as  a  result of which  there  were  many
civilian  victims, including women and children. As  regards
the  German  attack,  he  understood,  although  he  had  no
official information, that the points at the frontier  which
had been crossed were near Danzig, in East Prussia and Upper
Silesia. His Excellency said that he had few words  to  add,
except  that  it  was a plain case as provided  for  by  the
treaty.  I said that I had no doubt on the facts as  he  had
reported them that we should take the same view.
     I am, etc.
     HALIFAX.

220 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                          No. 114.
                              
       Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin).
                              
Sir,                                      Foreign    Office,
September 1, 1939.
     I  ASKED the German Charge d'Affaires to call on me  at
10,  Downing Street at 10:50 this morning, and informed  him
that  I  had done this because we had received a  good  many
reports  to  the effect that German forces had  crossed  the
Polish frontier at several points. Dr. Kordt interrupted  me
to  ask  whether I meant the Polish frontier or that of  the
Danzig Free State. I replied that the Polish Ambassador  had
mentioned four points, but that I did not know which  points
these  were.  We  also had information that  several  Polish
towns, including Warsaw, had been bombed.
     2.  I  asked  Dr. Kordt whether he had any  information
which would enable him to cast any light upon these reports.
He  replied  that he had no information whatsoever.  I  then
said that I assumed, therefore, that he had no communication
to make to us from his Government. Dr. Kordt replied that he
had  none with the exception of two notes which he had  sent
in  earlier  in  the morning relating to the  limitation  of
shipping  and  of the passage of aircraft  in  the  Gulf  of
Danzig.  Dr. Kordt explained that this related to the  whole
gulf  and  not  only to the port of Danzig. I  informed  Dr.
Kordt that I had not yet seen these notes.
     3.  I  went on to inform Dr. Kordt that the reports  to
which  I  had  drawn his attention created  a  very  serious
situation. It was not necessary for me to say anything  more
at the present except to let him know that the Cabinet would
meet later in the morning and that any further communication
which  we  might  have  to make would be  addressed  to  his
Government  in  Berlin,  but we should  inform  him  of  the
character of that communication.
     4.  Before he left, Dr. Kordt stated that he  had  just
listened  on  the wireless to the beginning of the  Fhrer's
speech in the Reichstag. He had not heard the latter mention
any  of  the  points  to which I have drawn  attention.  The
Fhrer had said, however, that the situation was intolerable
and that he was obliged to draw the necessary consequences.
     5.  Dr. Kordt subsequently telephoned at 11:30 a. m. to
say  that he had received a telephone message from the  News
Department in the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the
effect that the

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 221
     
news  that  Warsaw  and other towns were  being  bombed  was
untrue.  He also repeated to me a sentence from the Fhrer's
speech  to  the effect that since this morning shooting  was
taking  place  from the Polish side, and  the  Germans  were
shooting back.

     I am, etc.
     HALIFAX.
     
                          No. 115.
                              
   Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (received 8 p. m.).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                       Warsaw,
September 2, 1939.
     M.  BECK requested French Ambassador and me to see  him
to-day  and  points out while the Polish  army  was  sternly
resisting the German attack it found itself much hampered by
German  superiority in the air. It was possible  for  German
Air  Force to throw whole of their weight on this  front  at
present,  and he very discreetly suggested it was  essential
that  there should be some diversion as soon as possible  in
the West.
     2.  He hoped, therefore, we would inform him as soon as
possible of entry of the two countries into the war and that
our   aircraft  would  find  it  possible  to  draw  off   a
considerable proportion of German aircraft operating on this
front.
     3.  His Excellency also drew our attention to the  fact
that German aircraft had not confined themselves strictly to
military objectives. They have bombed factories not  engaged
in war work, villages not near military objectives, and have
caused severe losses among civilian population.
     4.  I  trust I may be informed at the earliest possible
moment of our declaration of war and that our air force will
make  every effort to show activity on western front with  a
view to relieving pressure here.
     
                          No. 116.
                              
   Speech by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on
                     September 2, 1939.
     
     The  Prime Minister: Sir Nevile Henderson was  received
by  Herr von Ribbentrop at half-past nine last night, and he
delivered
     
222 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
the  warning message which 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. Up
to the present no reply has been received.
     It  may be that the delay is caused by consideration of
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 while Poland
is   being  subjected  to  invasion,  her  towns  are  under
bombardment  and  Danzig is being  made  the  subject  of  a
unilateral  settlement  by force. His  Majesty's  Government
will,  as  stated yesterday, be bound to take action  unless
the  German forces are withdrawn from Polish territory. They
are  in  communication with the French Government as to  the
limit  of  time within which it would be necessary  for  the
British  and French Governments to know whether  the  German
Government were prepared to effect such a withdrawal. If the
German Government should 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  on 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 agree.
     There  is one other matter to which allusion should  be
made  in  order that the present situation may be  perfectly
clear.  Yesterday Herr Forster who, on 23rd August, had,  in
contravention of the Danzig constitution, 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  a
meeting of the Reichstag yesterday morning

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 223
     
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
agreement  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,
recognise  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 Government.
     Later  in the debate, the Prime Minister said: I  think
the  House  recognises that 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  synchronise 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 already taken up. I
am  bound to say that I myself share the distrust which  the
right hon. Gentleman expressed of manoeuvres of this kind. 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 communications which  we
have  had  with the French Government will receive  a  reply
from  them in the course of the next few hours. I understand
that the French Cabinet is in session at this moment, and  I
feel  certain that I can make a statement to the House of  a
definite  character to-morrow when the House meets again.  I
am  the last man to neglect any opportunity which I consider
affords  a  serious chance of avoiding the great catastrophe
of  war  even at the last moment, but I confess that in  the
present case I should have to be convinced of the good faith
of  the  other side in any action which they took  before  I
could regard the proposition which has been made as

224 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
one  to  which  we  could expect a reasonable  chance  of  a
successful issue. I anticipate that there is only one answer
I  shall be able to give to the House to-morrow. I hope that
the  issue  will  be  brought to a  close  at  the  earliest
possible  moment so that we may know where  we  are,  and  I
trust  that the House, realising the position which  I  have
tried  to  put before it, will believe me that  I  speak  in
complete  good  faith  and will not prolong  the  discussion
which,  perhaps,  might make our position more  embarrassing
than it is.
     
                          No. 117.
                              
              Mr. Preston to Viscount Halifax.
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                        Kovno,
September 2, 1939.
     FOLLOWING from M. Burckhardt:-
          "I  arrived  here by car evening of 1st September.
     From midnight 30th August until midnight 31st August  I
     was  under surveillance of agents of Gestapo in Danzig.
     On  1st  September at 8 a. m.  I was  visited  by  Herr
     Forster  and  Vice-President  of  Danzig  Senate.  Herr
     Forster informed me that he considered my functions  as
     High  Commissioner had terminated and that he  intended
     to  fly Hakenkreuz from building of High Commission. If
     I  wished to leave before he did so I had better depart
     within  two  hours.  During  these  two  hours  I   was
     constantly visited by agents of Gestapo who endeavoured
     to  induce  me to expedite my departure. I am remaining
     at  Kovno  for  the  present  intending  to  leave  for
     Geneva."
     
                          No. 118.
                              
       Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                Foreign Office,  September  3,
1939, 5 a. m.
     PLEASE seek interview with Minister for Foreign Affairs
at  9  a. m.  to-day, Sunday or, if he cannot see you  then,
arrange  to convey at that time to representative of  German
Government the following communication:-
          "In  the  communication which I had the honour  to
     make to

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 225
     
     you   on   1st  September  I  informed  you,   on   the
     instructions  of His Majesty's Principal  Secretary  of
     State  for  Foreign  Affairs, that, unless  the  German
     Government   were  prepared  to  give   His   Majesty's
     Government   in   the   United   Kingdom   satisfactory
     assurances that the German Government had suspended all
     aggressive  action  against Poland  and  were  prepared
     promptly   to   withdraw  their  forces   from   Polish
     territory,  His  Majesty's  Government  in  the  United
     Kingdom   would,  without  hesitation,   fulfil   their
     obligations to Poland.
          "Although  this communication was made  more  than
     twenty-four  hours ago, no reply has been received  but
     German  attacks  upon Poland have  been  continued  and
     intensified.  I have accordingly the honour  to  inform
     you  that,  unless  not later than 11  a.  m.,  British
     Summer   Time,   to-day  3rd  September,   satisfactory
     assurances to the above effect have been given  by  the
     German   Government  and  have  reached  His  Majesty's
     Government in London, a state of war will exist between
     the two countries as from that hour."
     
     If the assurance referred to in the above communication
is  received,  you  should inform me by any  means  at  your
disposal before 11 a. m.  to-day, 3rd September. If no  such
assurance is received here by 11 a. m. , we shall inform the
German  representative that a state of war  exists  as  from
that hour.
     
                          No. 119.
     
   Memorandum handed to Sir N. Henderson at 11:2O a. m. on
         September 3, 1939, by Herr von Ribbentrop.
     
(Translation.)
     THE   German  Government  have  received  the   British
Government's  ultimatum  of the 3rd September,  1939.*  They
have the honour to reply as follows:-
     1.  The  German Government and the German people refuse
to  receive,  accept, let alone to fulfil,  demands  in  the
nature of ultimata made by the British Government.
     2.  On  our eastern frontier there has for many  months
already reigned a condition of war. Since the time when  the
Versailles
     
*No. 118.

226 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
Treaty  first tore Germany to pieces, all and every peaceful
settlement  was  refused  to  all  German  Governments.  The
National  Socialist Government also has since the year  1933
tried again and again to remove by peaceful negotiations the
worst  rapes  and  breaches of justice of this  treaty.  The
British  Government  have been among  those  who,  by  their
intransigent  attitude, took the chief part  in  frustrating
every  practical revision. Without the intervention  of  the
British Government-of this the German Government and  German
people  are  fully  conscious-a  reasonable  solution  doing
justice  to  both  sides  would certainly  have  been  found
between  Germany and Poland. For Germany did  not  have  the
intention  nor  had she raised the demands  of  annihilating
Poland.  The  Reich  demanded only  the  revision  of  those
articles of the Versailles Treaty which already at the  time
of  the  formulation of that Dictate had been  described  by
understanding statesmen of all nations as being in the  long
run  unbearable, and therefore impossible for a great nation
and also for the entire political and economic interests  of
Eastern   Europe.  British  statesmen,  too,  declared   the
solution  in the East which was then forced upon Germany  as
containing  the germ of future wars. To remove  this  danger
was  the desire of all German Governments and especially the
intention of the new National Socialist People's Government.
The  blame for having prevented this peaceful revision  lies
with the British Cabinet policy.
     3.  The British Government have-an occurrence unique in
history-given the Polish State full powers for  all  actions
against Germany which that State might conceivably intend to
undertake.   The  British  Government  assured  the   Polish
Government  of  their military support in all circumstances,
should  Germany  defend herself against any  provocation  or
attack.  Thereupon  the Polish terror  against  the  Germans
living  in the territories which had been torn from  Germany
immediately assumed unbearable proportions. The Free City of
Danzig  was,  in  violation of all legal  provisions,  first
threatened with destruction economically and by measures  of
customs  policy,  and was finally subjected  to  a  military
blockade   and  its  communications  strangled.  All   these
violations of the Danzig Statute, which were well  known  to
the  British  Government, were approved and covered  by  the
blank cheque given to Poland. The German Government, though

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 227
     
moved  by the sufferings of the German population which  was
being   tortured   and   treated  in  an   inhuman   manner,
nevertheless  remained a patient onlooker for  five  months,
without  undertaking even on one single occasion any similar
aggressive  action against Poland. They only  warned  Poland
that  these  happenings would in the long run be unbearable,
and that they were determined, in the event of no other kind
of  assistance being given to this population, to help  them
themselves. All these happenings were known in every  detail
to  the British Government. It would have been easy for them
to  use  their great influence in Warsaw in order to  exhort
those in power there to exercise justice and humaneness  and
to  keep to the existing obligations. The British Government
did not do this. On the contrary, in emphasising continually
their  obligation to assist Poland under all  circumstances,
they  actually encouraged the Polish Government to  continue
in  their criminal attitude which was threatening the  peace
of  Europe. In this spirit, the British Government  rejected
the  proposal  of Signor Mussolini, which might  still  have
been  able to save the peace of Europe, in spite of the fact
that the German Government had declared their willingness to
agree  to  it. The British Government, therefore,  bear  the
responsibility for all the unhappiness and misery which have
now overtaken and are about to overtake many peoples.
     4.  After  all  efforts  at finding  and  concluding  a
peaceful  solution  had  been  rendered  impossible  by  the
intransigence of the Polish Government covered as they  were
by England, after the conditions resembling civil war, which
had  existed  already for months at the eastern frontier  of
the  Reich,  had  gradually developed into open  attacks  on
German territory, without the British Government raising any
objections, the German Government determined to put  an  end
to  this continual threat, unbearable for a great Power,  to
the  external and finally also to the internal peace of  the
German people, and to end it by those means which, since the
Democratic  Governments had in effect  sabotaged  all  other
possibilities of revision, alone remained at their  disposal
for  the  defence of the peace, security and honour  of  the
Germans.  The  last  attacks of the Poles threatening  Reich
territory  they answered with similar measures.  The  German
Government do not intend, on account of any sort of  British
intentions or obli-

228 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
gations  in  the  East,  to tolerate  conditions  which  are
identical   with  those  conditions  which  we  observe   in
Palestine,  which  is under British protection.  The  German
people, however, above all do not intend to allow themselves
to be ill-treated by Poles.
     5.   The  German  Government,  therefore,  reject   the
attempts  to force Germany, by means of a demand having  the
character  of an ultimatum, to recall its forces  which  are
lined up for the defence of the Reich, and thereby to accept
the  old  unrest  and the old injustice.  The  threat  that,
failing   this,  they  will  fight  Germany  in   the   war,
corresponds  to the intention proclaimed for years  past  by
numerous British politicians. The German Government and  the
German  people  have  assured the English  people  countless
times  how  much they desire an understanding, indeed  close
friendship,  with  them. If the British Government  hitherto
always refused these offers and now answer them with an open
threat of war, it is not the fault of the German people  and
of  their  Government,  but exclusively  the  fault  of  the
British  Cabinet  or of those men who for  years  have  been
preaching  the destruction and extermination of  the  German
people. The German people and their Government do not,  like
Great  Britain, intend to dominate the world, but  they  are
determined  to defend their own liberty, their  independence
and above all their life. The intention, communicated to  us
by  order  of  the British Government by Mr.  King-Hall,  of
carrying  the destruction of the German people even  further
than was done through the Versailles Treaty is taken note of
by  us,  and we shall therefore answer any aggressive action
on the part of England with the same weapons and in the same
form.
     
                          No. 120.
                              
   Speech by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on
                     September 3, 1939.
     
     The  Prime  Minister: When I spoke last  night  to  the
House  I  could not but be aware that in some parts  of  the
House  there were doubts and some bewilderment as to whether
there  had been any weakening, hesitation or vacillation  on
the part of His
     
DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 229
     
Majesty's  Government.  In  the  circumstances,  I  make  no
reproach,  for  if I had been in the same position  as  hon.
members  not sitting on this Bench and not in possession  of
all the information which we have, I should very likely have
felt  the  same.  The statement which I have  to  make  this
morning  will show that there were no grounds for doubt.  We
were  in  consultation  all day yesterday  with  the  French
Government and we felt that the intensified action which the
Germans  were  taking  against Poland allowed  no  delay  in
making  our  own position clear. Accordingly, we decided  to
send  to our Ambassador in Berlin instructions which he  was
to  hand  at  9  o'clock this morning to the German  Foreign
Secretary and which read as follows:-
     "Sir,
          "In  the  communication which I had the honour  to
     make  to  you on the 1st September, I informed you,  on
     the  instructions of His Majesty's Principal  Secretary
     of  State  for Foreign Affairs, that unless the  German
     Government   were  prepared  to  give   His   Majesty's
     Government   in   the   United   Kingdom   satisfactory
     assurances that the German Government had suspended all
     aggressive  action  against Poland  and  were  prepared
     promptly   to   withdraw  their  forces   from   Polish
     territory,  His  Majesty's  Government  in  the  United
     Kingdom   would,  without  hesitation,   fulfil   their
     obligations to Poland.
          "Although  this communication was made  more  than
     twenty-four  hours ago, no reply has been received  but
     German  attacks  upon Poland have  been  continued  and
     intensified.  I have accordingly the honour  to  inform
     you  that,  unless  not later than 11  a.  m.,  British
     Summer   Time,   to-day  3rd  September,   satisfactory
     assurances to the above effect have been given  by  the
     German   Government  and  have  reached  His  Majesty's
     Government in London, a state of war will exist between
     the two countries as from that hour."
          
     That  was  the  final  Note. No  such  undertaking  was
received  by  the  time stipulated, and, consequently,  this
country is at war with Germany. I am in a position to inform
the  House that, according to arrangements made between  the
British  and  French Governments, the French  Ambassador  in
Berlin   is  at  this  moment  making  a  similar  d‚marche,
accompanied also by a definite time
     
230 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
limit.  The House has already been made aware of our  plans.
As I said the other day, we are ready.
     This  is  a  sad day for all of us, and to none  is  it
sadder  than  to  me.  Everything that I  have  worked  for,
everything  that I have hoped for, everything  that  I  have
believed  in during my public life, has crashed into  ruins.
There  is  only  one thing left for me to do;  that  is,  to
devote  what  strength and powers I have to  forwarding  the
victory of the cause for which we have to sacrifice so much.
I  cannot tell what part I may be allowed to play myself;  I
trust  I  may  live to see the day when Hitlerism  has  been
destroyed and a liberated Europe has been re-established.
     
                          No. 121.
                              
  Herr Hitler's Proclamations of September 3, 1939, to the
             German People and the German Army.
     
(Translation.)
Appeal to the German People.
     GREAT  BRITAIN  has for centuries pursued  the  aim  of
rendering  the  peoples  of Europe defenceless  against  the
British policy of world conquest by proclaiming a balance of
power, in which Great Britain claimed the right to attack on
threadbare pretexts and destroy that European State which at
the  moment  seemed most dangerous. Thus, at one  time,  she
fought  the world power of Spain, later the Dutch, then  the
French, and, since the year 1871, the German.
     We  ourselves  have been witnesses  of  the  policy  of
encirclement  which  has been carried on  by  Great  Britain
against  Germany since before the war. Just  as  the  German
nation  had  begun, under its National Socialist leadership,
to  recover from the frightful consequences of the Diktat of
Versailles,  and  threatened  to  survive  the  crisis,  the
British encirclement immediately began once more.
     The  British war inciters spread the lie before the War
that  the  battle was only against the House of Hohenzollern
or  German  militarism; that they had no designs  on  German
colonies;  that they had no intention of taking  the  German
mercantile  fleet.  They then oppressed  the  German  people
under the Versailles

DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO HOSTILITIES 231
     
Diktat the faithful fulfilment of which would have sooner or
later exterminated 20 million Germans.
     I  undertook to mobilise the resistance of  the  German
nation against this, and to assure work and bread for  them.
But  as  the peaceful revision of the Versailles  Diktat  of
force  seemed to be succeeding, and the German people  again
began  to  live,  the  new British encirclement  policy  was
resumed. The same lying inciters appeared as in 1914. I have
many times offered Great Britain and the British people  the
understanding and friendship of the German people. My  whole
policy  was based on the idea of this understanding. I  have
always  been repelled. I had for years been aware  that  the
aim  of these war inciters had for long been to take Germany
by surprise at a favourable opportunity.
     I am more firmly determined than ever to beat back this
attack.  Germany  shall not again capitulate.  There  is  no
sense  in  sacrificing one life after another and submitting
to  an  even worse Versailles Diktat. We have never  been  a
nation of slaves and will not be one in the future. Whatever
Germans  in  the past had to sacrifice for the existence  of
our realm, they shall not be greater than those which we are
to-day prepared to make.
     This resolve is an inexorable one. It necessitates  the
most thorough measures, and imposes on us one law above  all
others:  If  the soldier is fighting at the  front,  no  one
shall  profit by the war. If the soldier falls at the  front
no one at home shall evade his duty.
     As  long  as the German people was united it has  never
been conquered. It was the lack of unity in 1918 that led to
collapse.  Whoever  offends against this unity  need  expect
nothing else than annihilation as an enemy of the nation. If
our  people fulfils its highest duty in this sense, that God
will  help us who has always bestowed His mercy on  him  who
was determined to help himself.
     
Appeal to the German Army on the Western Front.
     
     Soldiers  of the Western Army; just as before the  War,
so  after  the War Great Britain has pursued the  policy  of
Germany's  encirclement. In spite of the fact  that  Germany
has no demands to make on any other State to the West of the
Reich;  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  Germany  claims   no
territorial revision in this territory; and in spite of  the
fact that Germany has made, above all

232 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
to  Great Britain just as to France, the offer of a  cordial
understanding, indeed of friendship. The British Government,
driven on by those warmongers whom we knew in the last  War,
have resolved to let fall their mask and to proclaim war  on
a threadbare pretext.
     The  German  people and your comrades in the  East  now
expect  from  you, soldiers of the Western Front,  that  you
shall  protect the frontiers of the Reich, unshakable  as  a
wall of steel and iron, against every attack, in an array of
fortifications which is a hundred times stronger  than  that
western front of the Great War, which was never conquered.
     If  you do your duty, the battle in the East will  have
reached its successful conclusion in a few months, and  then
the  power  of  the  whole National Socialist  State  stands
behind you. As an old soldier of the World War, and as  your
Supreme  Commander, I am going, with confidence in  you,  to
the  Army on the East. Our plutocratic enemies will  realise
that they are now dealing with a different Germany from that
of the year 1914.
     
     (Signed ADOLF HITLER.)
     
            ATTEMPTED MEDIATION BY OTHER STATES.
     
Message  from  the President of the United States of America
     to  His Majesty the King of Italy of August 23, and His
     Majesty's Reply of August 30, 1939.
     
                          No. 122.
                              
  From the President of the United States of America to the
                       King of Italy.
     
     AGAIN  a  crisis  in  world  affairs  makes  clear  the
responsibility of heads of nations for the fate of their own
people, and, indeed, of humanity itself.
     It  is  because of the traditional accord between Italy
and  the United States and the ties of consanguinity between
the  millions of our citizens that I feel I can address your
Majesty on behalf of the maintenance of world peace.
     It  is my belief, and that of the American people, that
your
     
ATTEMPTED MEDIATION BY OTHER STATES 233
     
Majesty  and your Majesty's Government can greatly influence
the averting of an outbreak of war.
     Any  general war would cause to suffer all the nations,
whether   belligerent  or  neutral,   whether   victors   or
vanquished,  and  would  clearly bring  devastation  to  the
peoples  and  perhaps the Governments of some  nations  most
directly concerned.
     The  friends of the Italian people, and among them  the
American   people,  could  only  regard   with   grief   the
destruction of the great achievements which European nations
and  the Italian nation in particular have attained  in  the
past generation.
     We  in America, having welded a homogeneous nation  out
of  many nationalities, often find it difficult to visualise
the  animosities which so often have created a crisis  among
nations  of Europe which are smaller than ours in population
and  territory,  but we accept the fact that  these  nations
have   an   absolute  right  to  maintain   their   national
independence if they so desire.
     If  that is a sound doctrine, then it must apply to the
weaker  nations as well as the stronger. The  acceptance  of
this means peace, because fear of aggression ends.
     The  alternative, which means of necessity  efforts  by
the  strong to dominate the weak, will lead not only to  war
but  to  long future years of oppression on the part of  the
victors  and  rebellion  on the part  of  the  vanquished-so
history teaches us.
     On  the  14th  April last I suggested, in  essence,  an
understanding that no armed forces should attack  or  invade
the  territory  of any other independent nation,  and  that,
this being assured, discussions should be undertaken to seek
progressive relief from the burden of armaments and open the
avenue of international trade, including the sources of  raw
materials necessary for the peaceful economic life  of  each
nation.
     I  said  that  in these discussions the  United  States
would  gladly  take  part, and such  peaceful  conversations
would make it wholly possible for Governments other than the
United  States  to  enter into peaceful discussions  of  the
political  and  territorial  problems  in  which  they   are
directly concerned.
     Were  it  possible  for  your Majesty's  Government  to
formulate  proposals for a pacific solution of  the  present
crisis  along  these lines, you are assured of  the  earnest
sympathy of the United States.
     The  Governments of Italy and the United States can to-
day
     
234 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
advance  those ideals of Christianity which of late seem  so
often to have been obscured.
     The  unheard  voices  of countless  millions  of  human
beings ask that they shall not be vainly sacrificed again.
     
                          No. 123.
                              
From the King of Italy to the President of the United States
                         of America.
     
     I   am   grateful  for  your  interest.  I  immediately
transmitted  your message to my Government. As is  known  to
all, we have done and are doing everything possible to bring
about peace with justice.
     
Messages  sent  by  the  President of the United  States  of
     America to Herr Hitler and the President of Poland  and
     the reply of the President of Poland.
     
                          No. 124.
     
     The following is the text of the message from President
Roosevelt to Herr Hitler of August 14, 1939:-
     
     IN  the  message which I sent you on the 14th April,  I
stated  that  it  appeared to be that the leaders  of  great
nations had it in their power to liberate their peoples from
the disaster that impended, but that, unless the effort were
immediately  made, with good will on all sides,  to  find  a
peaceful    and    constructive   solution    to    existing
controversies,  the crisis which the world  was  confronting
must end in catastrophe. To-day that catastrophe appears  to
be very near-at hand, indeed.
     To  the  message  which I sent you last  April  I  have
received no reply, but because my confident belief that  the
cause  of world peace-which is the cause of humanity itself-
rises  above all other considerations I am again  addressing
myself to you, with the hope that the war which impends  and
the consequent disaster to all peoples may yet be averted.
     I therefore urge with all earnestness-and I am likewise
urging  the  President of the Republic  of  Poland-that  the
Govern-

ATTEMPTED MEDIATION BY OTHER STATES 235
     
ments  of  Germany  and Poland agree  by  common  accord  to
refrain  from any positive act of hostility for a reasonable
stipulated period, and that they agree, likewise  by  common
accord, to solve the controversies which have arisen between
them by one of the three following methods:-
     
     First, by direct negotiation;
     Second, by the submission of these controversies to  an
impartial   arbitration  in  which  they   can   both   have
confidence; or
     Third,  that  they  agree  to  the  solution  of  these
controversies   through  the  procedure   of   conciliation,
selecting as a conciliator or moderator a national of one of
the  American Republics, which are all of them free from any
connexion  with,  or  participation in,  European  political
affairs.
     Both Poland and Germany being sovereign Governments, it
is  understood, of course, that, upon resort to any  one  of
the alternatives I suggest, each nation will agree to accord
complete   respect  to  the  independence  and   territorial
integrity of the other.
     The  people  of the United States are as one  in  their
opposition  to policies of military conquest and domination.
They  are  as one in rejecting the thesis that any ruler  or
any  people  possess  the right to  achieve  their  ends  or
objectives  through the taking of action which  will  plunge
countless  of  millions  into  war,  and  which  will  bring
distress  and  suffering  to  every  nation  of  the  world,
belligerent  and neutral, when such ends and objectives,  so
far  as  they  are  just and reasonable,  can  be  satisfied
through  the processes of peaceful negotiation or by  resort
to judicial arbitration.
     I appeal to you in the name of the people of the United
States,  and I believe in the name of peace-loving  men  and
women   everywhere,   to  agree  to  a   solution   of   the
controversies existing between your Government and  that  of
Poland  through  the  adoption of  one  of  the  alternative
methods I have proposed.
     I  need hardly reiterate that should the Governments of
Germany and Poland be willing to solve their differences  in
the  peaceful manner suggested, the Government of the United
States still stands prepared to contribute its share to  the
solution  of the problems which are endangering world  peace
in the form set forth in my message of the 14th April.
     
236 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                          No. 125.
     
     The following is the text of the message from President
Roosevelt to the President of Poland of August 24, 1939:-
     
     The manifest gravity of the existing crisis imposes the
urgent  obligation upon all to examine every possible  means
which might prevent the outbreak of a general war. With this
in mind I feel justified in suggesting that certain possible
avenues  of  solution  be considered.  [Mr.  Roosevelt  then
mentions the three methods described in his message to  Herr
Hitler.]
     Should  you determine to attempt a solution by  any  of
these  methods you are assured of the earnest  and  complete
sympathy  of  the United States and of their people.  During
exploration  of  the avenues I appeal  to  you,  as  I  have
likewise appealed to the Government of the German Reich,  to
agree to refrain from any positive act of hostility.
     It  is,  I  think, well known to you that, speaking  on
behalf  of  the  United  States, I have  exerted,  and  will
continue  to exert, every influence on behalf of peace.  The
rank  and  file of the population of every nation-large  and
small-want  peace. They do not seek military conquest.  They
recognise  that  disputes, claims  and  counter-claims  will
always arise from time to time between nations, but that all
such  controversies, without exception, can be solved  by  a
peaceful procedure, if the will on both sides exists  so  to
do.
     
                          No. 126.
                              
     The  following is the text of the reply of  August  25,
1939, to President Roosevelt from President Moscicki:-
     
     I  appreciate  the noble message which your  Excellency
has  been kind enough to send me. I should like to emphasise
that the Polish Government have ever considered direct talks
between  Governments  to  be the  most  suitable  method  of
resolving  difficulties which may arise between  States.  We
consider  that  this method is all the more  suitable  where
neighbouring  States are concerned. On the  basis  of  these
principles Poland concluded
     
 ATTEMPTED MEDIATION BY OTHER STATES 237
     
non-aggression  pacts with Germany and Russia.  We  consider
also   that   the   method  of  conciliation   through   the
intermediary of a disinterested and impartial third party is
a  just  method  of resolving differences  which  have  been
created between nations.
     Although I clearly wish to avoid even the appearance of
desiring  to  profit  by this occasion to  raise  points  of
litigation, I deem it my duty, nevertheless, to  make  clear
that  in  the  present  crisis it is  not  Poland  which  is
formulating demands and demanding concessions of  any  other
State.  It  is,  therefore, perfectly  natural  that  Poland
should  hold aloof from any action of this kind,  direct  or
indirect. I would like to close by expressing my ardent wish
that  your  message  of peace may contribute  to  a  general
appeasement which is so necessary to enable the nations once
more   to   regain   the  blessed  path  of   progress   and
civilisation.
     
                          No. 127.
     
     The  following  is  the  text of President  Roosevelt's
second appeal to Herr Hitler, dated August 25, 1939:-
     
     I  have this hour received from the President of Poland
a  reply to the message which I addressed to your Excellency
and to him last night.
     [The  text of President Moscicki's reply is then given.
President Roosevelt continues as follows]:-
     Your Excellency has repeatedly publicly stated that the
aims  and  objects sought by the German Reich were just  and
reasonable.
     In  his reply to my message the President of Poland has
made  it  plain that the Polish Government is willing,  upon
the  basis  set forth in my message, to agree to  solve  the
controversy which has arisen between the Republic of  Poland
and the German Reich by direct negotiation or the process of
conciliation.
     Countless  human lives can yet be saved  and  hope  may
still  be restored that the nations of the modern world  may
even now construct the foundation for a peaceful and happier
relationship, if you and the Government of the German  Reich
will agree to
     
238 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
the  pacific means of settlement accepted by the  Government
of  Poland.  All  the  world prays that Germany,  too,  will
accept.
     
Broadcast Appeal by His Majesty the king of the Belgians  in
     the  name  of the Heads of States of the Oslo Group  of
     Powers on August 23, 1939, and Replies.
     
                          No. 128.

(Translation.)                 The Appeal.
     THE  declaration which I am about to read is being made
in  the  Palace of Brussels in the presence of  the  Foreign
Ministers of the Oslo Group of States and in the name of the
Heads of those States.
     The  world  is living through a period of tension  such
that  there is a risk that all normal collaboration  between
States  will become impossible. The Great Powers are  taking
measures  almost  equivalent to the  mobilisation  of  their
armed forces. Have not the small Powers reason to fear  that
they  will  be victims in a subsequent conflict  into  which
they  will be dragged against their will in spite  of  their
policy of indisputable independence and of their firm desire
for neutrality? Are they not liable to become the subject of
arrangements reached without their having been consulted?
     Even  if hostilities do not begin, the world is menaced
by   economic   collapse.  Mistrust  and   suspicion   reign
everywhere.  Beneath our very eyes the  camps  are  forming,
armies  are  gathering  and  a  fearful  struggle  is  being
prepared in Europe. Is our continent to commit suicide in  a
terrifying  war  at  the end of which no nation  could  call
itself victor or vanquished, but in which the spiritual  and
material  values created by centuries of civilisation  would
founder?
     War  psychosis  is  invading every home,  and  although
conscious   of   the   unimaginable  catastrophe   which   a
conflagration  would  mean for all mankind,  public  opinion
abandons  itself  more  and more to the  idea  that  we  are
inevitably to be dragged into it. It is important  to  react
against so fatal a spirit of resignation.
     There is no people-we assert it with confidence-which

ATTEMPTED MEDIATION BY OTHER STATES 239
     
would  wish to send its children to death in order  to  take
away  from  other nations that right to existence  which  it
claims for itself.
     It  is  true  that  all States do  not  have  the  same
interests,  but  are  there any interests  which  cannot  be
infinitely better reconciled before than after a war?
     The  consciousness of the world must be  awakened.  The
worst  can still be avoided, but time is short. The sequence
of  events  may  soon render all direct contact  still  more
difficult.
     Let there be no mistake. We know that the right to live
must rest on a solid basis, and the peace that we desire  is
the  peace  in  which  the rights of all  nations  shall  be
respected.  A lasting peace cannot be founded on force,  but
only on a moral order.
     Does not wisdom order us to withstand the war of words,
incitements  and threats, and agree to discuss the  problems
before  us? We herewith solemnly express the wish  that  the
men  who  are  responsible for the course of  events  should
agree  to  submit their disputes and their  claims  to  open
negotiation  carried  out  in  a  spirit  of  brotherly  co-
operation.
     It  is  for this reason that in the name of His Majesty
the  King  of  Denmark, the President  of  the  Republic  of
Finland,  Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxemburg,
His Majesty the King of Norway, Her Majesty the Queen of the
Netherlands, His Majesty the King of Sweden, and in  my  own
name,  each  of us, acting in agreement with our  respective
Governments,  issue this appeal. We express  the  hope  that
other heads of States will join their voices to ours in this
same anxiety to maintain peace and safety for their peoples.
     To-morrow  hundreds of millions of men will be  at  one
with  us  in their wish to stop the course of events leading
to war. We can only hope that those in whose hands rests the
fate  of  the  world will respond to these sentiments,  give
effect to the desire which they have so often expressed that
the  disputes which separate them shall be settled in peace,
and thereby avoid the catastrophe which threatens humanity.

240 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                          No. 129.
     
             Reply of His Majesty's Government.
     
        Viscount Halifax to Sir R. Clive (Brussels).
     
(Telegraphic.)                            Foreign    Office,
August 24, 1939.
     His  Majesty's  Government  welcome  and  are  in  full
sympathy with the appeal issued by His Majesty the  King  of
the  Belgians on behalf of representatives of the Oslo Group
of Powers assembled in conference at Brussels.
     His Majesty's Government for their part have repeatedly
expressed their desire to see all questions arising  between
nations  settled by free negotiation, and they  are  at  all
times  willing  to  do  their utmost to  contribute  to  the
creation  of conditions in which such negotiation  might  be
carried to a successful and satisfactory conclusion.
     Acquiescence in the imposition of settlements by  force
or threat of force can only hinder and thwart the efforts of
those  who  strive  to establish an international  order  of
things  in  which peace may be maintained and  justice  done
without  violating  the  rights  or  independence   of   any
sovereign State.
     
                          No. 130.
                              
 Translation of the reply of the French Government of August
                          26, 1939.
     
     The  noble  and  generous appeal  put  forward  by  His
Majesty  the  King  of  the Belgians  in  the  name  of  the
representatives  of  the Oslo Group of States  assembled  at
Brussels has been welcomed by the French Government with the
deepest sympathy. The contributions which France has made at
all   times   to  the  cause  of  peace  and  her   constant
preoccupation  to  see  peaceful  methods  set  up  for  the
settlement  of all the problems which arise between  peoples
leaves  no  room for doubt as to the general  views  of  the
French Government. They remain ready to associate themselves
with  any  initiative the object of which is  to  create  an
atmosphere

ATTEMPTED MEDIATION BY OTHER STATES 241
     
favourable  to  a lessening in international tension.  While
resolved  to  accept  no  solution imposed  by  violence  or
threats,  they  believe  that by  their  attitude  they  are
contributing  to the maintenance of peace and  at  the  same
time  to  the  establishment in Europe and in the  world  of
conditions assuring all States that their independence  will
be guaranteed and their most sacred rights respected.
     
                          No. 131.
                              
       President Roosevelt's reply of August 25, 1939.
                              
     I  have  read  with great satisfaction  Your  Majesty's
proclamation  of the 23rd August, and your  appeal  for  the
maintenance of peace made in the name of the Oslo  group  of
Powers. Your Majesty expressed the hope that other Heads  of
States might join their voices with yours in the same desire
to  preserve peace and safety for their peoples. I take this
opportunity  to  assure you that the people  of  the  United
States  and their Government cordially share the  hopes  and
aspirations so eloquently expressed by Your Majesty.
     
                          No. 132.
                              
     Translation of the Polish reply of August 25, 1939.
     
     I  have  noted  the noble speech of Your  Majesty  with
profound  admiration for the ideas which you have expressed.
Poland has always defended the idea that power, if it is  to
last,   cannot  be  based  on  the  oppression  of   others.
Similarly,  Poland has always considered the best  guarantee
of  peace to be the settlement of international disputes  by
the  method  of  direct negotiations based  on  justice  and
respect for the rights and interests of those concerned.

242 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
                           No. 133
     
               His Holiness The Pope's reply.
     
     In  his  reply, which was in the form of  an  autograph
letter, Pope Pius XII conveyed his gratitude to the King  of
the  Belgians  and  expressed  his  sincere  hope  that  the
sentiments  expressed by the King of the Belgians  would  be
favourably received by the parties concerned.
     
Joint  Offer  of  Mediation by His Majesty the King  of  the
     Belgians  and Her Majesty the Queen of the  Netherlands
     and Replies.

                          No. 134.
                              
  Sir R. Clive to Viscount Halifax (received 11:30 p. m.).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                                     Brussels,
August 28, 1939.
     I HAVE just been to see Prime Minister, who tells me he
had also convoked French, German and Italian Ambassadors and
Polish Minister for the following purpose:-
     The  King of the Belgians and the Queen of Holland wish
jointly  to offer their good offices in the hope of averting
war.
     Similar  communication was being made at The  Hague  to
the same five representatives.
     I promised to telephone immediately to your Lordship.
     
                          No. 135.
                              
             Reply of His Majesty's Government.
                              
Viscount Halifax to Sir R. Clive (Brussels) and Sir N. Bland
                        (The Hague).
     
(Telegraphic.)                Foreign  Office,  August   31,
1939, 3:30 p. m.
     YOUR telegram of 28th August: Initiative of Belgian and
Netherlands Sovereigns.
     Please  inform Belgian/Netherlands Government that  His
Majesty's   Government  have  received  with  pleasure   the
intimation  that the King of the Belgians and the  Queen  of
the Netherlands
     
ATTEMPTED MEDIATION BY OTHER STATES 243
     
wish jointly to offer their good offices in the interests of
moderation  in  the  present crisis,  and  in  the  hope  of
averting war. His Majesty's Government welcome this offer on
the  part  of the two Sovereigns, and will be glad  to  take
advantage   of  it  should  the  occasion  present   itself.
Meanwhile, they deeply appreciate the intentions which  have
prompted this initiative.
     
                          No. 136.
                              
               Reply of the French Government.
                              
     In  their reply the French Government welcomed with the
greatest  interest the offer of their good offices  made  by
the  two  Sovereigns.  For their part  they  were  ready  to
support  this  initiative  in  any  way  possible  and  they
sincerely wished it every success.
     
                          No. 137.
                              
    Translation of communiqu‚ recording reply of Italian
                         Government.
     
     "The Italian Government have taken careful note of  the
offer  of  their  good offices made by Their  Majesties  the
Queen of the Netherlands and the King of the Belgians.  They
deeply  appreciate this initiative and request  the  Belgian
Government to transmit on their behalf to the two Sovereigns
their sincere gratitude."
     
                          No. 138.
                              
               Reply of the Polish Government.
                              
     In  their reply the Polish Government referred  to  the
telegram from President Moscicki to President Roosevelt,  in
which  the principle of mediation had already been  accepted
by  Poland.  The  Polish Government further expressed  their
approval of the initiative taken by the two Sovereigns. They
also  emphasised that they were not for the moment  prepared
to make any more detailed
     
244 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
statement,  since none of the proposals of a similar  nature
had  hitherto called forth any favourable response from  the
German Government.
     
 Broadcast Appeal for Peace by His Holiness the Pope, August
    24, 1939, and the Reply of His Majesty's Government.
     
                          No. 139.
     
                         The Appeal.
     
(Translation.)
     ONCE  again a critical hour strikes for the great human
family;  an hour of tremendous deliberations, towards  which
our heart cannot be indifferent and from which our spiritual
authority, which comes to us from God to lead souls  in  the
ways of justice and of peace must not hold itself aloof.
     Behold us then with all of you, who in this moment  are
carrying  the burden of so great a responsibility, in  order
that through our voice you may hear the voice of that Christ
from  Whom  the world received the most exalted  example  of
living,  and  in whom millions and millions of souls  repose
their  trust in a crisis in which His word alone is  capable
of mastering all the tumultuous disturbances of the earth.
     Behold  us with you, leaders of peoples, men  of  State
and  men of arms, writers, orators of the radio and  of  the
public  rostrum and all those others who have the  power  to
influence  the  thought and action of their  fellow-men  for
whose destiny they are responsible.
     We,  armed  only  with the word of Truth  and  standing
above all public disputes and passions, speak to you in  the
name of God from "Whom all paternity in heaven and earth  is
named"-in  the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord,  who  desired
that all men be brothers-in the name of the Holy Ghost, Gift
of God most High, inexhaustible source of love in the hearts
of men.
     To-day,  notwithstanding our repeated exhortations  and
our   very   particular  interest,  the   fear   of   bloody
international  conflict becomes more  excruciating;  to-day,
when  the tension of minds seems to have arrived at  such  a
pass as to make the outbreak of
     
ATTEMPTED MEDIATION BY OTHER STATES 245
     
the  awful  scourge of war appear imminent, we  direct  with
paternal feeling a new and more heartfelt appeal to those in
power and to their peoples: to the former that, laying aside
accusations,  threats, causes of mutual distrust,  they  may
attempt  to resolve their present differences with the  sole
means  suitable thereto, namely, by reciprocal and  trusting
agreements; to the latter that in calm tranquillity, without
disordered agitation they may encourage the peaceful efforts
of those who govern them.
     It  is by force of reason and not by force of arms that
Justice makes progress; and empires which are not founded on
Justice  are  not blessed by God. Statesmanship  emancipated
from morality betrays those very ones who would have it so.
     The danger is imminent but there is yet time.
     Nothing  is lost with peace; all may be with  war.  Let
men   return   to  mutual  understanding.  Let  them   begin
negotiations anew. Conferring with goodwill and with respect
for  reciprocal  rights they will find that to  sincere  and
conscientious negotiators, an honourable solution  is  never
precluded.
     They  will feel a sense of greatness-in the true  sense
of  the  word-if by silencing the voices of passion,  be  it
collective or private, and by leaving to reason its rightful
rule,  they  will have spared the blood of their fellow  men
and saved their country from ruin.
     May the Almighty grant that the voice of this Father of
the Christian family, of this Servant of servants, who bears
amongst  men,  unworthily, indeed, but nevertheless  really,
the  person,  the voice and the authority of  Jesus  Christ,
find  in  the  minds and in the hearts of men  a  ready  and
willing reception.
     May  the  strong hear us that they may not become  weak
through  injustice, may the powerful hear us if they  desire
that  their  power  be  not  a  destruction  but  rather   a
protection for their peoples and a safeguard to tranquillity
in public order and in labour.
     We   beseech  them  by  the  blood  of  Christ,   whose
conquering force in the world was His mildness in  life  and
in  death. And beseeching them we know and we feel  that  we
have  with us all those who are upright of heart; all  those
who  hunger  and thirst after justice all those who  already
suffer every sorrow through the evils of life. We have  with
us the heart of mothers which
     
246 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
beats as one with ours; the fathers who would be obliged  to
abandon  their  families; the lowly who labour  and  do  not
understand; the innocent upon whom weighs heavily the  awful
threat;  the young men, generous knights of the  purest  and
noblest ideals. And with us also is the soul of this ancient
Europe  which was the product of the faith and of  Christian
genius.  With us all humanity seeks justice, bread, freedom;
not steel which kills and destroys. With us that Christ, Who
has  made  His one solemn commandment-Love of One's Brother-
the  very  substance  of His religion  and  the  promise  of
salvation for individuals and for nations.
     Recalling  finally that human efforts are of  no  avail
without Divine assistance, we invite all to raise their eyes
to  Heaven and to beseech the Lord with fervent prayer  that
His divine grace descend in abundance upon this world in its
upheaval,  placate dissensions, reconcile hearts  and  evoke
the resplendent dawn of a more serene future.
     To  this end and with this hope we impart to all,  from
the heart, our paternal Benediction.
     
                          No. 140.
                              
         Viscount Halifax to Mr. Osborne (Holy See).
                              
(Telegraphic.)                Foreign  Office,  August   25,
1939, 5:15 p. m.
     PLEASE inform the Cardinal Secretary of State, or if it
is   practicable  the  Pope  himself,  that  His   Majesty's
Government  have much appreciated the moving  and  dignified
appeal  for peace which His Holiness broadcast to the  world
last night.
     2.  In my own broadcast yesterday evening I referred to
the  Pope's message, but I should wish His Holiness to  know
in a more direct manner of the response which his words have
evoked  in  the  hearts and minds not only of His  Majesty's
Government, but of the people of this country as a whole.
     
ATTEMPTED MEDIATION BY OTHER STATES 247
     
  Further Appeal by His Holiness the Pope and action by His
                    Majesty's Government.
     
                          No. 141.
     
    Mr. Osborne to Viscount Halifax (received 3:45 p. m.)
     
(Telegraphic.)                                  Holy    See,
August 31, 1939.
     CARDINAL SECRETARY of State has just handed me  a  note
of which the following is a translation:-
          "The  Pope  is  unwilling  to  abandon  hope  that
     pending   negotiations  may  lead  to  a  just  pacific
     solution such as the whole world continues to pray for.
          "His  Holiness  therefore, in  the  name  of  God,
     beseeches the German and Polish Governments to  do  all
     that  is  in their power to avoid any incident  and  to
     abstain  from taking any step that might aggravate  the
     present tension.
          "His Holiness begs the British, French and Italian
     Governments to support his appeal."
     
     Copies of the above were also handed to the Ambassadors
of Germany, Poland, France and Italy. His Eminence also gave
a copy to the Spanish Ambassador and is causing a copy to be
conveyed to the United States Ambassador to the Quirinal.
     
                          No. 142.
                              
  Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin) and Sir H.
                      Kennard (Warsaw).
     
(Telegraphic.)                  Foreign Office,  August  31,
1939, 10 p. m.
     PLEASE  make  following communication to  German/Polish
Government:-
          "His  Majesty's Government have been  informed  of
     the Pope's appeal to your Government to do all that  is
     in  their  power to avoid any incident and  to  abstain
     from  taking any step that might aggravate the  present
     tension.

248 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
          "His  Majesty's Government desire to support  this
     appeal  with  all  the earnestness at  their  command."
     Similar  instructions sent to His Majesty's  Ambassador
     at Warsaw/Berlin.
     
                           No. 143
     
             Efforts by the Italian Government.
                              
    Sir P. Loraine to Viscount Halifax (received 3 a. m.,
                        September 5).
     
(Telegraphic)                                          Rome,
September 4, 1939.
     Following is translation of Stefani* communiqu‚  issued
to-night:-
          "In  view of aggravation of European situation  on
     31st   August,   Duce,   while  realising   exceptional
     difficulties which then made pacific solution extremely
     problematic,  wished  to make  final  attempt  to  save
     European  peace.  With this object English  and  French
     Governments were informed that Duce, if he  could  have
     previous  certainty  of  Franco-British  adhesion   and
     Polish  participation assured by action in  London  and
     Paris,  would have been able to summon an international
     conference  for 5th September with object of  reviewing
     clauses  of  Treaty of Versailles which  are  cause  of
     present   disturbance  in  life  of   Europe.   Italian
     Government  did  not  fail to  emphasise  necessity  of
     extreme  urgency  of replying, but French  and  English
     Governments were not able to convey their answer  until
     next  day,  1st  September. In the meantime,  in  night
     between   31st   August  and  1st  September   frontier
     incidents   occurred  which  led  Fhrer  to   initiate
     military  operations against Poland.  Replies  reaching
     Italian  Government being favourable in principle  both
     on  French  and English side and great interest  having
     been  shown on French side despite military clash which
     had already taken place between Germany and Poland in a
     possible  development of initiative  of  Duce,  Italian
     Government  on morning of 2nd September at  10  o'clock
     informed Chancellor Hitler … titre d'information that
     
* The official Italian news agency.
     
ATTEMPTED MEDIATION BY OTHER STATES 249
     
     there  was  still possibility of summoning  conference,
     preceded by armistice conference, which would have been
     designed  to  solve German-Polish conflict by  peaceful
     means.  Hitler replied to Duce, through our  Ambassador
     to  Berlin, that he did not reject … priori possibility
     of  conference. He wished, however, to know by  way  of
     preliminary  (a)  if  notes  presented  by  French  and
     British at Berlin had character of ultimatum, in  which
     case  negotiation would be useless; and (b) if he could
     count  on  a period of twenty-four hours to mature  and
     take   his  decision  on  matter.  Italian  Government,
     getting  again into contact with Governments of  London
     and Paris at 2 p. m. on 2nd September, informed them of
     Fhrer's  request.  In  late evening  reply  came  from
     London  and  Paris affirmative [sic] * as  regards  two
     requests above, but adding that France and England,  in
     view of new fact which had occurred between 31st August
     and 2nd September, viz., occupation of Polish territory
     by  German  forces, laid down as fundamental  condition
     for    participation   in   international    conference
     evacuation   of   occupied   territories.   In    these
     circumstances,  Italian Government confined  themselves
     again  to  informing Fhrer of this  condition,  adding
     that,   unless  German  Government  were  of   contrary
     opinion,  they  did not think they could  take  further
     action."
     
 THE PRIME MINISTER'S BROADCAST TALK TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE ON
                     SEPTEMBER 4, 1939.
     
                           No. 144
     
     GERMAN  PEOPLE.-Your country and mine are now  at  war.
Your  Government  has  bombed  and  invaded  the  free   and
independent State of Poland, which this country is in honour
bound  to defend. Because your troops were not withdrawn  in
response  to the Note which the British Government addressed
to the German Government, war has followed.
     With the horrors of war we are familiar. God knows this
     
*  See  Nos.  109, 110 and 116. The communication  from  His
Majesty's Government was in the nature of a warning and  was
not to be considered as an ultimatum. The Italian Government
were so informed.

250 THE BRITISH WAR BLUE BOOK
     
country  has  done  everything  possible  to  prevent   this
calamity. But now that the invasion of Poland by Germany has
taken place, it has become inevitable.
     You  are  told by your Government that you are fighting
because Poland rejected your Leader's offer and resorted  to
force. What are the facts? The so-called "offer" was made to
the  Polish  Ambassador in Berlin on Thursday  evening,  two
hours before the announcement by your Government that it had
been "rejected." So far from having been rejected, there had
been no time even to consider it.
     Your  Government had previously demanded that a  Polish
representative  should be sent to Berlin within  twenty-four
hours  to conclude an agreement. At that time the 16  Points
subsequently  put forward had not even been communicated  to
the   Polish  Government.  The  Polish  representative   was
expected  to arrive within a fixed time to sign an agreement
which he had not even seen. This is not negotiation. This is
a  dictate. To such methods no self-respecting and  powerful
State  could assent. Negotiations on a free and equal  basis
might well have settled the matter in dispute.
     You  may  ask  why Great Britain is concerned.  We  are
concerned  because  we gave our word  of  honour  to  defend
Poland  against aggression. Why did we feel it necessary  to
pledge  ourselves  to  defend this Eastern  Power  when  our
interests lie in the West, and when your Leader has said  he
has  no interest to the West? The answer is-and I regret  to
have to say it-that nobody in this country any longer places
any trust in your Leader's word.
     He  gave  his  word that he would respect  the  Locarno
Treaty; he broke it. He gave his word that he neither wished
nor intended to annex Austria; he broke it. He declared that
he would not incorporate the Czechs in the Reich; he did so.
He  gave  his  word  after Munich that  he  had  no  further
territorial demands in Europe; he broke it. He gave his word
that  he  wanted no Polish provinces; he broke  it.  He  has
sworn  to  you  for years that he was the  mortal  enemy  of
Bolshevism; he is now its ally.
     Can you wonder his word is, for us, not worth the paper
it is written on?
     
PRIME MINISTER TO GERMAN PEOPLE 251
     
     The  German-Soviet  Pact  was  a  cynical  volte  face,
designed to shatter the Peace Front against aggression. This
gamble  failed. The Peace Front stands firm. Your Leader  is
now  sacrificing you, the German people, to the  still  more
monstrous  gamble  of a war to extricate  himself  from  the
impossible position into which he has led himself and you.
     In this war we are not fighting against you, the German
people,  for whom we have no bitter feeling, but  against  a
tyrannous  and forsworn regime which has betrayed  not  only
its own people but the whole of Western civilisation and all
that you and we hold dear.
     May God defend the right!
     


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