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                                  PAPER X

"The fabric of peace on the Continent of Europe, if not throughout the 
rest of the world, is in immediate danger." 

Message of the President of the United States sent direct to the 
   President of Czechoslovakia and the Chancellor of Germany, and 
   through the Secretary of State to the Prime Ministers of Great 
   Britain and France, morning of September 26, 1938 

The fabric of peace on the continent of Europe, if not throughout the 
rest of the world is in immediate danger. The consequences of its 
rupture are incalculable. Should hostilities break out the lives of 
millions of men, women and children m every country involved will most 
certainly be lost under circumstances of unspeakable horror. 

The economic system of every country involved is certain to be shattered 
The social structure of every country involved may well be completely 

The United States has no political entanglements. It is caught in no 
mesh of hatred. Elements of all Europe have formed its civilization. 

The supreme desire of the American people is to live in peace. But in 
the event of a general war they face the fact that no nation can escape 
some measure of the consequences of such a world catastrophe. 

The traditional policy of the United States has been the furtherance of 
the settlement of international disputes by pacific means. It is my 
conviction that all people under the threat of war today pray that peace 
may be made before, rather than after, war. 

It is imperative that peoples everywhere recall that every civilized 
nation of the world voluntarily assumed the solemn obligations of the 
Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 to solve controversies only by pacific 
methods. In addition, most nations are parties to other binding treaties 
obligating them to preserve peace. Furthermore, all countries have today 
available for such peaceful solution of difficulties which may arise, 
treaties of arbitration and conciliation to which they are parties. 

Whatever may be the differences in the controversies at issue and 
however difficult of pacific settlement they may be, I am persuaded that 
there is no problem so difficult or so pressing for solution that it 
cannot be justly solved by the resort to reason rather than by the 
resort to force. 

During the present crisis the people of the United States and their 
Government have earnestly hoped that the negotiations for the

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adjustment of the controversy which has now arisen in Europe might reach 
a successful conclusion. 

So long as these negotiations continue, so long will there remain the 
hope that reason and the spirit of equity may prevail and that the world 
may thereby escape the madness of a new resort to war. 

On behalf of the 130 millions of people of the United States of America 
and for the sake of humanity everywhere I most earnestly appeal to you 
not to break off negotiations looking to a peaceful, fair, and 
constructive settlement of the questions at issue. 

I earnestly repeat that so long as negotiations continue, differences 
may be reconciled. Once they are broken off reason is banished and force 
asserts itself. 

And force produces no solution for the future good of humanity. 


This message was sent to the nations concerned after Czechoslovakia had 
rejected Germany's terms for the surrender of the Sudeten area and it 
was apparent that Germany was prepared to abandon negotiations. The 
Munich Pact was signed on September 29. On September 30 Chancellor 
Hitler and Prime Minister Chamberlain issued a joint statement 
recognizing "the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one 
another again". See also Paper XII of this series.