President of United States of America to King of Italy, August 23, 1939

Appeal for intervention in cause of peace



King of Italy to President of United States of America, August 30, 1939

Reply to No. 122



President of United States of America to Herr Hitler, August 24, 1939

Appeal for a peaceful solution



President of United States of America to President of Poland, August 24, 1939

Appeal for a peaceful solution



President Moscicki to President Roosevelt, August 25, 1939

Reply to No. 125



President Roosevelt to Herr Hitler, August 25, 1939

Text of No. 126 and further appeal



King of the Belgians, August 23, 1939

Broadcast appeal in the name of the Oslo Group of Powers



Viscount Halifax to Sir R. Clive (Brussels) (telegram), August 24, 1939

British reply to No. 128



French Government to King of the Belgians

French reply to No. 128



President Roosevelt to King of the Belgians, August 25, 1939

United States reply to No. 128



President of Poland to King of the Belgians, August 25, 1939

Polish reply to No. 128



Pope Pius XII to King of the Belgians

Papal reply to No. 128



Sir R. Clive (Brussels) to Viscount Halifax (telegram), August 28, 1939

Joint offer of mediation by King of the Belgians and Queen of the Netherlands



Viscount Halifax to Sir R. Clive (Brussels) and Sir N. Bland (The Hague) (telegrams), August 31, 1939

British reply to No. 134



French Government to King of the Belgians and Queen of the Netherlands

French reply to No. 134



Italian Government to Queen of the Netherlands and King of the Belgians

Italian reply to No. 134



Polish Government to King of the Belgians and Queen of the Netherlands

Polish reply to No. 134



The Pope, August 24, 1939

Broadcast appeal for peace



Viscount Halifax to Mr. Osborne (Holy See) (telegram), August 25, 1939

British reply to No. 139



Mr. Osborne (Holy See) to Viscount Halifax (telegram), August 31, 1939

Further appeal by the Pope



Viscount Halifax to Sir N. Henderson (Berlin) and Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw)(telegrams), August 31, 1939

Action on No. 141



Sir P. Loraine (Rome) to Viscount Halifax (telegram), September 4, 1939

Peace efforts of Italian Government




Prime Minister to the German People, September 4, 1939




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


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


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-


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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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 communiqué 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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


"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* communiqué 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 Führer 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 à titre d'information that

* The official Italian news agency.


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 à 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 Führer'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 Führer of this condition, adding that, unless German Government were of contrary opinion, they did not think they could take further action."


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.


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?


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!