January 4. President Roosevelt told Congress: "We stand on our historic offer to take counsel with all other nations of the world to the end that aggression among them be terminated, that the race of armaments cease and that commerce be renewed. But the world has grown so small and weapons of attack so swift that no nation can be safe in its will to peace so long as any other single powerful nation refuses to settle its grievances at the council table." The President added: "At the very least, we can and should avoid any action, or any lack of action, which will encourage, assist, or build up an aggressor. We have learned that when we deliberately try to legislate neutrality, our neu­trality laws may operate unevenly and unfairly–may actually give aid to an aggressor and deny it to the victim. The instinct of self‑preservation should warn us that we ought not to let that happen any more." Congressional Record [Bound], Vol. 84, pt. 1, Jan. 4, 1939, p. 75.)


January 6. Baron Kiichiro Hiranuma became Premier of Japan. (Prince Konoye resigned Jan. 4. Simonds, Emeny, p. 687.)

Chancellor Hitler told Foreign Minister Joseph Beck of Poland Danzig should return to Germany politically but remain with Poland economically (". . . economically Danzig could not exist without a hinterland: . . . Danzig was German, would always remain German and sooner or later would return to Germany;" the Corridor presented a grave psychological problem for Germany ". . . the connection with the sea was for Poland." Ger­many would give Poland a definite guarantee of her frontiers on a treaty basis, "if means, could be found to bring about a final settlement of all separate questions on such a common sense footing, . . ." German, No. 200, p. 206.)


January 6. Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop again proposed reunion of Danzig, guarantee of Polish economic interests, extra­territorial connections with East Prussia, and guarantee of all Poland's present possessions. ("As the Führer had already said Germany's prime and unqualified desire was for a final, compre­hensive, and generous consolidation of our mutual relations." Ibid., No. 201, p. 208. Cf. offer of Oct. 24, 1938, supra.)


January 14. Prime Minister Chamberlain emphasized to France that Premier Mussolini had promised to withdraw his forces from Spanish territory after a final Franco victory. (France had less faith than the British in promises of Italy. Lee, p. 367.)


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January 15. French Radical Socialist party urged the government to consider the grave danger to France of Italian intervention in Spain. (Premier Blum had urged the necessity of sending food and armaments to Republican Spain. Ibid., p 367.)

Lord Halifax, British Foreign Minister, urged Georges Bonnet, French Foreign Minister, to satisfy some of Italy's claims: port facilities at Djibouti, Suez tolls, status of Italians in Tunis. (Appeasement. Ibid., p. 366.)


January 23. Prime Minister Chamberlain explained British scheme of voluntary national service. ("It is a scheme to make us ready for war . . . we might be forced to take part in a war begun by others, or we might be attacked ourselves if the government of some other country were to think we could not defend our­selves effectively . . . if we wish to protect our civilian popu­lation in time of war, we must prepare necessary organization in time of peace." London Times, Jan. 24, 1939, p. 12.)


January 26. Foreign Minister Bonnet announced France would con­tinue her policy of nonintervention in Spain. Cf. Jan. 15, supra. Lee, p. 367.)

Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop again told Foreign Minister Beck of German desires for "the reunion of Danzig with the Reich in return for a guarantee of Poland's economic interests there, and the building of an extra‑territorial motor‑road and railway connection between Germany and her province of East Prussia, for which Germany would make compensation by guaran­teeing the German‑Polish frontier." (". . . the allocation of exceedingly valuable sections of severed German territory to Poland, in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles, is regarded by every German, as a great injustice, which only Germany's extreme importance made possible at the time." German, No. 202, p. 209. Cf. Jan. 5, supra.)


January 27. President Roosevelt approved the sale of military plane to France. (Simonds, Emeny, p. 687. Cf. Lee, p. 387.)

German Minister of Agriculture, Walther Darré, said. Germany was ready to risk war if necessary to realize her aims: (After dissolution of Reich League of German Officers as too conservatives aristocratic, and non‑Nazi. Ibid., p. 369.)


January 28. Prime Minister Chamberlain explained pursuit of re­armament. ("We cannot forget that though it takes at least two to make a peace, one can make a war. And until we have come to clear understandings in which all political tension is swept away we must put ourselves in a position to defend ourselves against attack, whether upon our land, our people, or the prin­ciples of freedom with which our existence as a democracy is bound up and which to us seems to enshrine the highest attributes of human life and spirit." London Times, Jan. 30, 1939, p. 8. Cf. Lee, p. 369. Cf. Jan. 23, supra.)


January 30. Chancellor Hitler in conciliatory speech said: "Germany has no territorial claims on England and France except the return of her colonies." German, No. 241, p. 257; Germany must export or die. Lee, p. 370.)


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January 31. Prime Minister Chamberlain said British wanted evidence of desire for peace, such as willingness to negotiate arms limita­tion. (In answer to Chancellor Hitler's speech. Commons, Vol. 343, col. 81.)


February 3. President Roosevelt said American foreign policy was:

"1: We are against any entangling alliances, obviously.

"2. We are in favor of the maintenance of world trade for everybody–all nations–including ourselves.

"3. We are in complete sympathy with any and every effort made to reduce or limit armaments.

"4. As a nation–as American people–we are sympathetic with the peaceful maintenance of political, economic, and social inde­pendence of all nations in the world." ("The [foreign] policy has not changed and it is not going to change." State Release 1939, No. 489, p. 99.)


February 4. Dragisha Cvetkovich became Premier of Yugoslavia re­placing Milan Stoyadinovich. (The latter was believed to favor the Nazis; the former sought to strengthen the country by solving the Serb‑Croat conflict. Lee, p. 358.)


February 6. Prime Minister‑Chamberlain stated: ". . . the solidarity of interest by which France and this country are, united is such that, any threat to the vital interests of France . . . must evoke the immediate cooperation of this country," (Confirming French statement of Jan. 26 that all forces of Britain would be at disposal of France. Commons, Vol. 343, col. 623. German, No. 267, p. 291.)


February 7. Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop said German foreign policy was to fight bolshevism through the anti‑Comintern Pact and to regain their colonies. (". . . the struggle we have started is merciless. Towards the Soviets, we will remain adamant. We never will come to an understanding with Bolshevist Russia . . . we cannot admit that the riches of the world should be divided between great powers, and even small ones like Belgium or Holland, and that Germany should be completely deprived of them." French, No. 46, p. 55.)


February 10. Poland absolutely refused "to accept the establishment of `a corridor through the Corridor'; neither will she hear of the construction of a railway line which would be the property of Germany or of a motor road with extra‑territorial rights." ("Measures are being planned, which, according to the words of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, are meant to ease and simplify German transit through Pomerania." Ibid., No. 43, p. 52. Cf. Jan. 5, 26, supra.)


February 16. Britain and France qualified renewed adherence to the General Act of Geneva, requiring, obligation to arbitrate disputes, to except those "relating to incidents which may occur in the course of a war in which they are involved." (". . . both Governments desire to ensure themselves a completely free hand in dealing with neutral countries in the event of war, and refuse

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to submit to arbitrating any dispute's arising out of the interpre­tation of the neutrality laws in general, and out of the regulations governing the conduct of maritime warfare in particular. This attitude of the British and French governments can also be interpreted as a measure directed against the withdrawal of neutral states from the policy of sanctions, and in any case will seriously weaken the position of the neutral states in the event of war." German, No. 244, p. 260.)


February 18. M. V. de Lacroix, French Minister in Prague, wrote to the French Minister for Foreign Affairs that the conditions Germany required to precede their effective guarantee of Czecho­slovak frontiers were:

" (1) Complete neutrality of Czechoslovakia.

"(2) The foreign policy of Czechoslovakia must be brought into line with that of the Reich; adhesion to the Anti‑Comintern Pact is deemed advisable.

"(3) Czechoslovakia must immediately leave the League of Nations.

"(4) Drastic reduction of military effectives.

"(5) A part of the gold reserve of Czechoslovakia must be ceded to Germany. A part of the Czechoslovak industries having been ceded, a part of the gold‑reserve must accordingly pass into the hands of Germany.

"(6) The Czechoslovak currency from the Sudeten countries must be exchanged for Czechoslovak raw materials.

"(7) The Czechoslovak markets must be open to the German industries of the Sudeten countries. No new industry may be created in Czechoslovakia if it competes with an industry already existing in Sudetenland.

"(8) Promulgation of anti‑Semitic laws analogous to those of Nuremberg.

"(9) Dismissal of all Czechoslovak Government employees who may have given Germany any ground for complaint.

"(10) The German population of Czechoslovakia must have the right to carry Nazi badges and to fly the National‑Socialist flag." French, No. 48, p. 57. Hitler was planning to take over Bohemia and Moravia. Lee, p. 371.)

France reoccupied territory in East Africa ceded to Italy in 1935. (Because of Italy's denunciation of the Jan. 7, 1935, agree­ment. Cf. Dec. 17, 1938, supra. Ibid., pp. 364‑370.)


February 19. Polish‑Russian trade agreement signed. (To strengthen Poland. Ibid., p. 359.)


February 22. Prime Minister Chamberlain said British policy was "a policy of peace through strength, which will neglect no oppor­tunity of breaking down suspicions and antagonisms and at the same time will build up steadily and resolutely, with the help of our friends within and without the Empire, a strength so for­midable as to maintain our rights and liberties against any who might be rash enough to attack them." (In justifying huge rearmament program. London Times, Feb. 23, 1939, p. 8. Cf. Jan. 28, supra.).


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February 23. Lord Halifax repeated British pledge of Feb. 6. (Because the Axis press cast doubts on its seriousness. Lee, p. 370.)

France and Britain began faint naval maneuvers in the Med­iterranean. (Stiffening against Italian threats. Ibid., p. 370.)


February 24. Hungary and Manchukuo signed the Anti‑Comintern Pact. (Axis power politics. Ibid., p. 358.)


February 27. France and Britain recognized the Franco government in Spain. (Because they realized the Loyalist was a lost cause. Ibid., p. 368.)


February 28. Germany said, in answer to British and French query, it could not guarantee Czechoslovak frontiers. (Because con­ditions within the country and its relations with its neighbors were still far from satisfactory. Ibid., p. 371. Cf. Feb. 18, supra.)


March 4. Polish‑Rumanian defensive alliance renewed. (Against Russia. Ibid., p. 384.)

German Minister to Iran, Smend, reported growing anti­-German sentiment in British circles and anti‑German activity: espionage and sabotage. ("The return of Austria to the Reich . . . the solution of the Sudeten German problem . . ." German, No. 245, p. 261.)


March 5. Anti‑Communist National Defense Council replaced the Negrin government in Loyalist Spain. (In belated effort to win honorable terms from General Franco. Lee, p. 368.)


March 6. President Emil Hacha ousted pro‑Nazi from Ruthenian Cabinet. (Because of agitation for greater independence from Czechoslovakia. Lee, p. 372.)


March 8. Leslie Hore-Belisha, British Secretary of War, said, the

Territorial Army was "by a recent Government decision, being­ prepared, trained and equipped to meet the event of war in a European theatre." ("Conversations between ourselves and the French have not committed us in this respect, but prudent minds should be ready fox any eventuality. If we are involved in war, our contribution and the ways in which we can best make it will not be half‑hearted, nor upon any theory of limited liability." Commons, Vol. 344, cols. 2171, 2181‑2182.)


March 10. President Hacha dismissed President Joseph Tiso and the Slovak Cabinet, declared martial law in many towns, arrested certain leaders of the Separatist movement, disbanded the Hlinka Guards, an autonomist organization; entrusted the new government to Joseph Sivak. (Czechs rejected Slovak proposal for a confederation of states because it did not afford sufficient guarantees and involved serious risks for the future; the Slovaks declared for resistance; Czechs wished to be ready for any contingency. French, No. 52, 53, pp 61 f.) Tiso reported to have appealed to Germany for help. (Ibid., p. 62.)


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 Joseph Stalin in Russian policy statement denounced non­intervention, announced maintenance of peace and furthering of business relations with all nations, good‑neighbor policy, support for victims of aggression, self‑defense. (Predicted second im­perialist war. Lee, p. 395.)


March 11. M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in Berlin, indicated in a note to the French Foreign Minister that Germany had responded to the Tiso appeal by military preparation for troop movements. (French, No. 55, p. 63. Cf. Mar. 10. supra.)


March 13. Germany presented ultimatum to Czechoslovakia. (To demand dismissal of several ministers suspected of being anti-­Nazi. Ibid., No. 61, p. 67; No. 63, p. 68. Cf. Mar. 6, 10, supra.)


March 14. The autonomous Slovak and Ruthenian Diets proclaimed their independence and appealed to Germany and Italy for pro­tection; Hungarian troops crossed Carpatho‑Ukraine [Ruthenian] frontier; Hungary sent ultimatum demanding withdrawal of Czech troops from Ruthenia; German troops concentrated around Bohemia and Moravia and occupied Moravská-Ostrava. (Outcome of pressure from Berlin. Ibid., Nos. 65, 66, pp. 69‑75; No. 79, p. 90. Cf. Mar. 6, 10, 11, 13, supra.)

Prime Minister Chamberlain said British‑French Munich guarantee against aggression did not apply. (No aggression had yet taken place. Commons, Vol. 345., col. 223. Lee, p. 373.)


March 14‑15. President Hacha signed agreement making Bohemia and Moravia a protectorate of Germany; Czech gold reserves and foreign currency were to be claimed by Reich; German troops occupied the Czech territory. ("The Führer made it known from the beginning that his decision had been taken, and that anyone who opposed it would be crushed." French, Nos. 67‑69, pp. 75‑77. ". . . the aim of all their efforts ought to be to ensure tranquility, order, and peace in this part of Central Europe. The President of the Czechoslovak State has declared that to serve this purpose, and with the object of securing a final appeasement, . . . whoever tried to resist would be `trodden underfoot.' " Ibid., No. 77, p. 88.)


March 15. Prime Minister Chamberlain said the Slovak declaration of independence absolved Britain from obligation to guarantee Czech frontiers. ("The effect of this declaration put an end by internal disruption to the state whose frontiers we had proposed to guarantee. . . ." Commons, Vol. 345, col. 437. German, No. 259, p. 279.)


March 16. Germany issued necessary decree establishing protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. (State Release 1939, No. 495, pp. 220 f.)

Hungary formally annexed Ruthenia [Carpatho‑Ukraine]. (Lee, p. 373.)

Prune Minister Chamberlain said British‑French Munich guarantee was not in force. (It had not been ratified. Ibid., p. 373. Cf. Mar. 14, 15, supra.)


EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II                      181


Federation of British Industries signed cartel agreement with German firms. (Economic appeasement. Ibid., 371.)

Chancellor Hitler assumed protection of Slovakia. (Ibid., p. 373.) .


March 17. London Conference of Arabs and Jews on Palestine adjourned without agreement. (Rejected all British proposals. Ibid., p. 380.)

Prime Minister Chamberlain ended appeasement by denounc­ing Chancellor Hitler's broken fledges and warned against pos­sible domination of the world by force. (". . . there is hardly anything I would not sacrifice for peace. But there, is one thing that I must except, and that is the liberty that we have enjoyed for hundreds of years, and which we will never surrender . . . no greater mistake could be made than to suppose that, because it believes war to be a senseless and cruel thug, 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." British,. No. 9, pp. 12 f. Cf. Mar. 14, 15, 16, supra.)


March 18. France and Britain and Russia protested illegality of German annexation of Bohemia and Moravia. (Breach of Mu­nich agreement; Hitler had broken solemn pledge to Czecho­slovakia to protect and respect its independence. French, No. 78, p. 89; Lee, p. 373. Cf. Sept, 29, 30, 1938, supra.)

Russia protested German annexation of Czechia and modi­fication of statute of Slovakia. ("The Government of the U. S. S. R. cannot recognize the incorporation of Czechia in the Reich, nor that of Slovakia in one form or another, as legal or as in conformity with the generally accepted rules of international law, or with justice, or with the principle of self-determination. Not only does the German Government's action not avert any of the dangers threatening world peace taut it actually tends to multiply them, to disturb the political stability of Central Europe, to increase the causes of anxiety already existing in Europe, and, finally, to deal a new blow to the feeling of security of nations.' " French, No. 82, p. 97.)


March 19. French Senate adopted special powers bill authorizing the Cabinet to rule by decree until Nov. 30. (Because of general. state of uneasiness. Lee, p. 379.)


March 20. Lord Halifax confirmed change in. British policy. ("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 by the necessity of self‑defense. 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

182                              EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II


suddenly been made so plain." British, No. 10, p. 22; German, No. 271, pp. 293 f. Cf. Mar. 17, supra.)

The United States refused to recognize the legality of the de facto situation of the protectorate. ("The Government of the United States has on frequent occasions stated its conviction that only through international support of a program of order based upon law can world peace be assured." State Release 1939, No. 495, p. 221.)


March 21. Germany notified Poland German renunciation of the Corridor depended on the return of Danzig and the extra­territorial connections with East Prussia. ("Poland owed her present territorial expanse to Germany's greatest misfortune: namely, the fact that Germany had lost the World War. The decision regarding the Corridor, I [von Ribbentrop] said, was generally accepted as being the heaviest burden placed on Ger­many by the Peace Treaty of Versailles. . . . The existence of the Corridor was a thorn in the flesh of the German people, of which the sting could only be removed in this way." German, No. 203, pp. 211 f. Cf. Jan. 5, 26, Feb. 10, supra.)


March 22. Germany and Lithuania signed treaty providing for the cession of Memel to the former and including a nonaggression clause. (". . . thereby clarifying the questions pending between Germany and Lithuania and thus opening the way for the forma­tion of friendly relations between the two countries." Ibid., No. 342, p. 363.)


March 23. The German Ambassador in Warsaw reported that Poland was calling up reserves. (". . . growing influence of military circles upon the conduct of Polish foreign policy." Ibid., No. 206, p. 213. Cf. Nos. 204, 205, pp. 212 f. Cf. also Mar. 21, supra.)

The United States terminated rates of duty in trade agreement with Czechoslovakia and suspended its operation. ("Whereas the occupation of the Czechoslovak Provinces of Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia by armed forces of Germany, and of the Province of Ruthenia by armed forces of Hungary and the assumption of de facto administrative control over these Provinces by Germany and Hungary renders impossible the present fulfillment by the Czechoslovak Republic of its obligations under the said Agreement;

"Whereas this condition will obtain so long as such occupation and administration continue; . . ." State Release 1939, No. 495; p. 242. Cf. Mar. 20, supra.)

Germany signed treaty guaranteeing the political independence and territorial integrity of Slovakia for 25 years. (To bring Slovakia almost as completely within German orbit as Bohemia­-Moravia. Lee, p. 373. Cf. Mar. 16, supra.)

Germany signed a trade agreement providing for joint exploita­tion of Rumanian agricultural and mineral resources. (German pressure; to serve needs of the Reich. Ibid., pp. 375, 384.)

Prime Minister Chamberlain said Britain had no desire "to stand in the way of any reasonable, efforts on the part of Germany to expand her export trade." ("Nor is this Government anxious


EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II                                                                                                                         183


to set up in Europe opposing blocs of countries with different ideas about the forms of them internal administration." Commons, Vol. 345, col. 1462. British, No. 11, pp. 23 f.)


March 26. Italy demanded Djibouti, the Suez Canal, and Tunisia. (Lee, p. 375. Cf. Mar. 16, supra.)

Poland rejected demands on her sovereignty: i.e., extra terri­toriality proposal; presented counter technical suggestions; said "any further pursuance of these German plans, especially where the return of Danzig to the Reich was concerned, meant war with Poland." ("Today, as always, the Polish Government attach the greatest importance to the maintenance of neighborly rela­tions with the (German Reich for the longest possible period of time. . . . All concessions on the part of Poland, however, can only be made within the scope of Polish sovereignty; . . ." German, No. 208, pp. 215 f.) Germany asked Poland to recon­sider and repeated demands of unconditional return of Danzig, extraterritorial connection with East Prussia, 25‑year nonaggression pact with frontier guarantees, joint protection of Slovakia; said Polish troop violation of Danzig would be the same as that of the Reich frontiers. (". . . the Polish proposals could not be regarded by the Fuehrer as satisfactory." Ibid., p. 215. Cf. Mar. 21, supra.)


March 27. Spanish Nationalist Government signed the Anti‑Comin­tern Pact. (The ticket to totalitarian respectability. Lee, p. 368.)


March 28. Spanish civil war ended, (Madrid surrendered to General Franco. Simonds, Emeny, p. 688.)


March 29. Prime Minister Chamberlain announced the Territorial Army would be placed on war footing and doubled. ("His Majesty's Government have been impressed with the need for availing themselves still further of the spirit of voluntary service which is manifest throughout the country. In particular they feel that they cannot allow would‑be recruits for the Territorial Army to be refused because, the units to which they apply are already‑over strength." Commons, Vol. 345, col. 2048. Cf. Jan. 23, 28. Feb. 22, Mar. 8, supra.)

France rejected Italian demands of March 26. (She would not cede a foot of land or one of her rights. Lee, p. 375.)

Poland warned that any German or Danzig Senate attempt to alter statute of Free City by unilateral action would be a casus belli. (Because Germany would consider a Polish coup de force against Danzig a casus belli. German, No. 211, p. 220. ". . . after the events in Czechoslovakia, and in the Memel district, the claim raised at this very moment with regard to Danzig had been interpreted as a danger‑signal by Poland." Ibid., p. 220. Cf. Mar. 21, supra.)


March 31. Japan annexed the Sinnan Islands, including the Spratly Islands claimed by France. (Cf. "New order" policy, Nov. 3 and 30, 1938. "The Sinnan Islands were no State's until June, 1921, when the Rasa Phosphate Co., a Japanese concern,

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having made extensive investigation of the Islands since 1917, invested a considerable amount of money in the building of per­manent establishments for the development of the Islands. Their enterprise received the full authorization and support of the Japanese Government, which dispatched. a naval surveying ship, Koshu, in 1929. In April of the same year a stone monu­ment was built signifying the Japanese occupation, replacing a wooden marker built in 1919. (A more imposing one was erected in August 1938 with due ceremony conducted by the officers and crew of the minelayer Katsuriki.) . . . The Japanese Govern­ment, basing their action on the close connection that has existed between the Islands and the Japanese Empire and on the right deriving therefrom under International Law, and motivated by their desire to avoid the possibility of further complications with the French Government, incidental to the hitherto vague administrative status of the Islands, . . ." Japan, Vol. II, pp. 278 ff.)

Apart from any question as to the merits of the conflict­ing claims of France and Japan, it may be observed that, as the Japanese Government is aware, the Government of the United States advocates adjustment of problems in international rela­tions by processes of negotiation, agreement, or arbitration.

"The Government of the United States does not consider that all islands or reefs which might be situated within the extensive area deliminated in the Japanese memorandum, and especially within that considerable part of the area lying to the eastward and southeastward of any of the islands named in the Japanese memorandum, can properly be treated as one island group, nor does this Government consider that the action of Japan in blanket­ing within the territory of Japan islands or reefs, either known or unknown, with respect to which the Japanese Government has heretofore exercised no acts which may properly be regarded as establishing a basis for claim to sovereignty, has any international validity." Note from Secretary of State Hull to the Japanese Ambassador, May 17, 1939, Japan, Vol. II, p. 280.

Prime Minister Chamberlain announced that Britain and France would defend Poland with all the power at their command "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.

("In order to make perfectly clear the position of His Majesty's Government . . ." Commons, Vol. 345, col. 2315. Cf. Mar. 29, supra.)


April 1. The United States recognized the Nationalist Government in Spain by proclaiming end of civil war and revoking embargo on export of arms and regulations as to contributions. (". . . in my judgment the state of civil strife in Spain described in said joint resolution of January 8, 1937, and the conditions which caused me to issue the said proclamation of May 1, 1937, have ceased to exist, . . ." [Statement of President. Roosevelt.] State Release 1939, No. 496, p. 246.)

Chancellor Hitler in defense of the taking of Czechia said he had rendered thereby a great service to peace. ("I have in good time made valueless an instrument that was designed to become

EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II                      185


effective in time of war against Germany." German, No. 281, p. 302; British., No. 20, p. 29. Cf. Mar. 17, supra.)


April 3. Prime Minister Chamberlain repeated guarantee to Poland of March 31, emphasizing its departure from traditional British ideas of policy, and mentioned the possible necessity of extending it to other countries. ("These recent happenings have, rightly or wrongly, made every State which lies adjacent to Germany unhappy, anxious, uncertain about Germany's future intentions." Commons, Vol. 345, col. 2485. Never before had Britain under­taken such obligations east of the Rhine. Lee, p. 382.)


April 6. Poland agreed to regard the British guarantee of March 31 as mutual obligation, pending conclusion of permanent agree­ment to that end. ("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." British, No. 18, p. 49. Cf. German, No. 286, p. 307.)

Italy assured Britain it was not considering any coup de main in Albania. (Greek, p. 25.)


April 7. Germany reproached Poland for responding to her offers with saber rattling. ("Poland had obviously not understood the offer. . . . The sort of reply which the Polish Government had given us to this offer was no basis for a settlement of the matter in question, . . ." German, No. 212, pp. 221 f. Cf. Oct. 24, 1938, Jan. 5, 6, 26, Feb. 10, Mar: 21, Apr. 6, supra.)

Italian troops invaded and occupied Albania. Cf. March 16, supra. ". . . for the reestablishment of peace, order, and jus­tice." Greek, p. 25. ". . . influential persons in Albania had requested Italian intervention on account of the unbearable situation created by King Zog." Ibid., p. 28.)


April 9. Italy assured Britain that she would respect the independence of Albania. (Greek, p. 27.)


April 13. Prime Minister Chamberlain announced Britain and France were bound to aid Greece and Rumania with total support "in the event of any action being taken which clearly threatens the independence of Greece or Rumania and which the Greek or Rumanian Government respectively considered it vital to resist with the national forces." ("His Majesty's Government feel that they have both a duty and a service to perform by leaving no doubt in the mind of anybody as to their position. I therefore take this opportunity of saying on their behalf that His Majesty's Government attach the greatest importance to the avoidance of disturbance by force or threat of force of the status quo in the Mediterranean and the Balkan Peninsula." Commons, Vol. 346, col. 13. Cf. Mar. 31, supra. Cf. Greek, pp. 30 f.)

Italy formally annexed Albania. (Cf. Apr. 7, 9, supra. Simonds, Emeny, p. 689.)

Britain and France asked a Russian unilateral guarantee of Poland and Rumania effective at the will of the two countries



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concerned and after Britain and France sent aid. (To safeguard Poland and Rumania from unwanted assistance, to assure Russia. of allies. Lee, p. 396.) Russia rejected proposal. (She would receive no aid herself if attacked by Germany or Japan; and Latvia, Esthonia, and Finland were not included in the guarantees. Ibid., p. 396. Cf. Mar. 31, supra.)


April 14. President Roosevelt asked Chancellor Hitler and Premier Mussolini for ten‑year guarantee of peace for thirty‑one European and Near Eastern states. ("You realize I am sure that through­out the world hundreds of millions of human beings are living today in constant fear of a new war or even a series of wars.

"The existence of this fear–and the possibility of such a con­flict–is of definite concern to the people of the United States for whom I speak, as it must also be to the peoples of the other nations of the entire Western Hemisphere. All of them know that any major war, even if it were to be confined to other conti­nents, must bear heavily on them during its continuance and also for generations to come. . . .

"I am convinced that the cause of world peace would be greatly advanced if the nations of the world were to obtain a frank statement relating to the present and future policy of governments." State Release 1939, No. 498, pp. 291 f. Cf. Peace, pp. 455 ff.)


April 15. Rumania refused to join political encirclement of Germany. (German, No. 291, p. 311. Cf. Mar. 23, supra.)


April 18. Prime Minister Chamberlain implied staff conversations were under way in those countries with which military obligations were undertaken. (In answer to a question in Commons. Commons, Vol. 346, col. 162. Cf. Feb. 6, Mar. 31, supra.)


April 19. Britain announced intention of defending independence of Denmark, The Netherlands, and Switzerland. (Warning to Germany. Simonds, Emeny, p. 689. Cf. German, No. 276, p. 296; No. 311, p. 333. Cf. Apr. 3, supra.)


April 20. Premier Mussolini rejected President Roosevelt's request of April 14. (He was a man of peace; such a request was absurd for it did not consider "the pyramidal errors of geography into which individuals have fallen who have not even the most rudimentary knowledge of European affairs." Lee, p. 389.)

Prime Minister Chamberlain announced the Government's in­tention to create a Ministry of Supply. (To deal with army supplies and acquisition and maintenance of raw materials for the defense program and questions of priority. Commons, Vol., 346, Col. 496‑497. Cf. Jan. 23, 28, Feb. 22, Mar. 8, 29, supra.)


April 25. Secretary of State Hull made a strong plea against resort to war for settling international differences. ("There is no contro­versy, no difference that can arise between nations, which could. not be settled with far greater benefit to all concerned by the peaceful processes of friendly adjustment than by resort to armed force." Peace, p. 459.)


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April 26. Prime Minister Chamberlain announced that the Govern­ment had decided to introduce a Military Training Bill. (". . . every other country in Europe has the powers which we seek to obtain under this Bill. . . . The Government have given con­sideration, also, to the new liabilities which . . . they have incurred in Europe within the last month . . . the object of the assurances we have given to certain countries as well as of the conversations now proceeding with other Governments is not to wage war but to prevent it. Bearing this object in mind we cannot but be impressed with the view, shared by other demo­cratic countries and especially by our friends in Europe, that despite the immense efforts this country has already made by way of rearmament, nothing would so impress the world with the determination of this country to offer firm resistance to any attempt at general domination as its acceptance of the principle of compulsory military service, which is the universal rule on the Continent." Commons, Vol. 346, col. 1151. Cf. Apr. 20, supra.)


April 27. Germany denounced the Anglo‑German naval agreement of June 18, 1935 (supra). ("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." British, No. 22, p. 69; German, No. 294, pp. 313 f.)


April 28. Chancellor Hitler rejected President Roosevelt's request of April 14 ("I took the trouble to ascertain from the States men­tioned, first, whether they feel themselves threatened, and sec­ondly, and above all, whether this inquiry by Mr. Roosevelt was addressed to us at their suggestion or at any rate with their consent. The reply was in all cases negative, in some instances strongly so. . . . Apart from this fact, all States bordering on Germany have received assurances and above all much more definite proposals than Mr. Roosevelt asked of me in his curious telegram. . . . The German Government are, nevertheless, pre­pared to give each of the States named an assurance of the kind desired by Roosevelt on the condition of absolute reciprocity, provided that the State concerned wishes it and itself addresses to Germany a request, together with appropriate proposals, for such an assurance." German, No. 343, p. 364.); abrogated the ten‑year nonaggression pact with Poland. ("The agreement which has now been concluded by the Polish Government with the British Government is in such obvious contradiction to these

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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 . . .

"By this new alliance the Polish Government have subordinated themselves to a policy inaugurated from another quarter aiming at the encirclement of Germany. . . . 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." German, No. 213, pp. 222‑226; British, No. 14, pp. 33‑36); announced terms of proposed solution of Polish‑German problems. ("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. . . . Danzig is a German city and wishes to belong to Germany. . . . I regarded the peaceful settle­ment of this problem as a further contribution to a final loosen­ing of the European tension . . . you yourselves will judge whether this offer did not represent the greatest imaginable concession in the interests of European peace. . . . 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. . . ." German, No. 214, pp. 226‑229; British, No. 13, pp. 28‑31); said he regretted that both official and unofficial British policy clearly showed "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." (". . . the only claim I have ever made, and shall continue to make, on England is that for a return of our colonies." German, No. 295, pp. 314‑316; British, No. 21, p. 67.)


May 3. Vyacheslav Molotov replaced Maxim Litvinov as Foreign Commissar in Russia. (Indicated a trend in policy away from collective security and cooperation with the League of Nations toward a compromise with the Axis. Lee, p. 396.)


May 5. Poland rejected Germany's request for the return of Danzig and for a road through the Corridor: ("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. . . . The Polish Government cannot accept such an interpretation of the decla­ration of 1934 as would be equivalent to a renunciation of the right to conclude political agreements with third States and, consequently almost a renunciation of independence in foreign policy. . . . 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

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the German Reich. . . . The German guarantees of Slovakia did not exclude Poland, 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." British, No. 16, pp. 45 ff. "The population of Danzig is to‑day predominantly German, but its livelihood and prosperity depend on the economic po­tential of Poland. . . . I [Joseph Beck] 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. We have given the German Reich all railway facilities, 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. . . . 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. 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 recognizing what is de jure and de facto our indisputable property. . . . We in Poland do not recognize the conception of `peace at any price.' There is oily one thing in the life of men, nations, and states which is without price, and that is honour." Ibid., No. 15, pp. 40 ff. Cf. Apr. 7, supra.)


May 7. Chancellor Hitler told Premier Mussolini that the frontier of the Alps should be regarded forever as inviolable. ("They will, give Italy and Germany not only the possibility of peaceful and permanent collaboration through a clear division of their spheres of life, but also a bridge for mutual help and support. It is my irrevocable will and my legacy to the German people, . . ." German, No. 338, p. 361. Cf. Mar. 11, 198, supra.)

France learned of Germany's intention to come to an under­standing with Russia. (To assure benevolent neutrality or complicity in a partition of Poland, according to one of Chancellor Hitler's lieutenants. French, No. 123, pp. 132 f. Cf. May 3, supra.)


May 11. Prime Minister Chamberlain said that compulsory military training was introduced to impress Europe that Britain meant business in building a peace front and that any attempt to change the situation in Danzig by force that threatened Polish independ­ence would start a general war in which Britain would be involved. (". . . I want to make it equally plain that we are not prepared to sit by and see the independence of one country after another successively destroyed. . . . Such attempts in peacetime always have encountered our resistance, and it is because there can be no rest, no security, in Europe until the nations are convinced that no such attempt is contemplated that we have given those



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assurances to Poland, Rumania, and Greece that have been so warmly welcomed by them. It is with the same purpose of calming and stabilizing the situation that we have entered upon conversations with other countries, particularly Russia and Turkey." London Times, May 12, 1939, p. 10. Cf. Apr. 26, supra.)


May 12. Britain and Turkey, announced agreement on military cooperation in case of war in the Mediterranean area. (". . . to assure Great Britain and Turkey of mutual aid and assistance should the necessity arise . . . to ensure the establishment of security in the Balkans. . . ." Commons, Vol. 347, col. 955. Cf. Apr. 18, supra.)


May 15. Ambassador Neville Henderson told Ernst Von Weizsäcker, of the German Foreign Office, the German march on Prague. had produced reversal of British policy; Britain had given the word to help Poland in war; British public opinion backed a European war for the Poles. ("It was obvious that he [Henderson] wanted to make it clear to us that Great Britain did not desire war and wanted to avoid it by a German‑Polish compromise, but nonethe­less was ready and determined to aid Poland in accordance with her pledge, if we wanted to bring about a change in the status of Danzig by force, and thus cause Poland to declare war against us." German, No. 302, p. 322. Cf. Mar. 17, 20, 31, supra.).


May 17. Britain announced plan to set up single independent Pales­tine State eventually, limiting Jewish immigration until 1944; prohibited thereafter except with Arab consent. (Cf. Mar. 17, supra. Simonds, Emeny, p. 689.)


May 19. Prime Minister Chamberlain said Britain sought support of other countries interested in peace, yet nearer to the possible seat of trouble: i.e., Turkey and Russia, in supplying new stabilizing factor for Europe. (". . . unless some new stabilizing factor could be introduced into Europe, the dissolution of a large part of Europe might be imminent. . . . It was necessary to act quickly because apprehensions of attack were acute in certain particular quarters and we felt, therefore, that it was not possible to wait. . . ." Commons, Vol. 347, col. 1843. Cf. May, 12, supra.)

Finland, Norway, and Sweden declined offer of German non­aggression treaty. ("The Swedish and Norwegian Governments have again declared to the German Government that their respective countries do not feel menaced by Germany, and that, while maintaining the principle of neutrality, integrity, and independence, they have no intention of entering into non­aggression pacts with any country. They therefore consider an agreement of the kind unnecessary, and have agreed with the German Government not to pursue the plan any further. The negotiations with the Finnish Government have produced a like result." German, No. 344, p. 365. Cf. Apr. 28, supra.)


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May 22. Germany and Italy signed formal treaty of military alliance. (For Italy it was alliance with Germany or humiliation; an answer to encirclement; German renunciation of South Tyrol; German pressure. Lee, p. 392. Cf. Apr. 7, 13, supra,.)


May 27. Secretary of State Hull recommended revision of neutrality law to eliminate arms embargo. ("If we go in for embargoes on exports, for the purpose of keeping ourselves out of war, the logical thing to do would be to make our embargo all‑inclusive. Modern warfare is no longer warfare between armed forces only: it is warfare between nations in every phase of their national life. Lists of contraband are no longer limited to arms and ammunition and closely related commodities. They include not only those items which contribute toward making warfare possible, but almost every item useful in the life of the enemy nation. A nation at war is no less anxious to keep cotton or petroleum or, indeed, any useful product, from reaching an enemy nation than it is to keep guns and airplanes from reaching the enemy's armed forces. I doubt whether we can help ourselves to keep out of war by an attempt on our part to distinguish between categories of exports. Yet a complete embargo upon all exports would obviously be ruinous to our economic life. It therefore seems clear that we should have no general and automatic embargo inflexibly and rigidly imposed on any class or group of exports." State Release 1939, No. 505, p. 476. Cf. Peace, p.463.)


May 28. Ambassador Henderson told Field Marshal Hermann Goering Britain was determined to resist by force any new aggression: (As a result of the Prague coup; "I thought it more important . . . to understand the British point of view in consequence of it. British, No. 12, p. 26. Cf. May 15, supra.)


May 31. Germany and Denmark signed ten‑year nonaggression treaty (". . . earnestly desirous of maintaining peace between Germany and Denmark under all circumstances . . ." German, No. 345, p. 365. Cf. Apr. 28, supra.)

Foreign Commissar Molotov stated terms for defensive alliance with Britain: an effective pact of mutual assistance against aggression, a guarantee against aggression to be given to the states of Central and Eastern Europe "including all European countries bordering on the U. S. S. R., without exception," and a concrete military agreement to be concluded by the U. S. S. R., Great Britain, and France. (A desire for absolute equality and complete reciprocity. Lee, p. 397. Cf. May. 19, supra.)


June 1. Chancellor, Hitler promised German friendship for Yugo­slavia. (". . . as firmly established relations of mutual confi­dence between Germany and Yugoslavia (since historic events have made us neighbors with common frontiers fixed forever) will serve not only to ensure permanent peace between our two peoples and countries, but over and above that will constitute a factor of pacification for our sorely troubled continent." German, No. 340, p. 362. Cf. Apr. 28, supra.)

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June 3. Arthur K. Greiser, president of the Danzig Senate, protested increase in Polish customs officials. (". . . the ever‑increasing number of Polish Customs Inspectors was not compatible with the execution of their prescribed duties." British, No. 26, p. 87. Cf. Mar. 28, supra.)


June 6. Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles said a constructive peace policy for the United States included armament for self-­defense and assistance to South America; revision of neutrality laws so as not to encourage or assist aggressors; and to cooperate constructively for disarmament and equality of economic oppor­tunity. ("We cannot escape the fact that our nation is an integral part of a world closely knit together by the developments of modern science and invention. We cannot deny the self‑evident truth that the outbreak of a general war in any part of the world will inevitably have grave repercussions upon our national economy, and upon our social well‑being, and not im­probably upon our national security itself." State Release 1939, No. 506, p. 489. Cf. May 27, supra.)


June 7. Prime Minister Chamberlain said new France‑British‑Russian military alliance would include cases where a Government "might feel that its security was indirectly menaced by the action of another European Power." ("It is not intended that the full military support which the three Powers will agree to extend should be confined to cases of actual aggression on their own territory." Commons, Vol. 348, col. 400. Cf. May 31,‑supra.)

Germany signed nonaggression agreements with Esthonia and Latvia. (". . . earnestly desirous of maintaining peace between Germany and Esthonia under all circumstances, . . ." German, No. 346, p. 367; for Latvia, Ibid., No. 347, p. 368. Cf. April 28, supra.)


June 10. Polish Government rejected Danzig Senate protest and proposal of June 3. ("Essence of whole question is that territory of Free City is part of Polish Customs Territory, both legally and in virtue of treaty obligations." British, No. 27, p. 90.)


June 11. Léon Noel, French Ambassador in Warsaw, reported influx of S. A. men and German army motor cars and motor cycles in Danzig. (". . . it is only a question of a simple military tourna­ment amongst the S. A., `in which units of the standing Army are taking part'. . . . The intention of the German leaders to `nibble' at the statute of Danzig is none the less evidenced anew by these facts." French, No. 134, pp. 157 f. Cf. June 3, supra.)


June 13. Ambassador Henderson sought some way with Germany to get through the summer without war. ("As long as London was carrying on negotiations with Moscow, conversations between London and Berlin were naturally impossible; if the pact with Russia were concluded, however, it might be easier to talk with Berlin. . . . The substance of a talk between the British and German Governments might be how to put an end to the arma­ments race and revive economic exchange. The colonial question could also be discussed." German, No. 307, p. 329. Cf. May 28, supra.)


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June 14. Japan blockaded British and French concessions, mistreated British, and interfered with their shipping at Tientsin. (Four Chinese, who allegedly killed a Japanese customs officer, took refuge there. Simonds, Emeny, p. 690; Lee, p. 398.)


June 16. Lord Halifax reported that Herbert von Dirksen, German Ambassador, said Germany resented British regrouping of powers, because it was designed to operate coercive pressure on Germany. (". . . much of the feeling at the present time was due to all the discussion about our anti‑aggression negotiations with Russia." British, No. 23, p., 70., Cf., Apr. 28, supra.)


June 17. German State Secretary Weizsäcker warned French Ambas­sador Robert Coulondre that it was futile to threaten the Ger­mans with the Russians. ("The method of intimidation pro­duced in us the opposite of what was intended." German, No. 308, p. 330. Cf. June 7, supra.)


June 20. Ambassador Coulondre reported to the French Foreign Office that Germany would take Danzig and start a European war within two or three months. (". . . in Herr Hitler's eyes the affair is not yet ripe. He wishes to await, before acting, the develop­ment in one way or the other, of the Angle‑France‑Russian nego­tiations [for in Berlin there is still the hope that these negotiations may break down]. He also wants to await the evolution of the Anglo‑Japanese conflict. . . . But the Nazi authorities will ex­haust all means of turning the position before contemplating a frontal attack, . . ." French, No. 138, pp. 162 f. Cf. May 25, June 11, supra.)


June 22. Ambassador Coulondre reported that Danzig was not an end in itself for Hitler. (Field Marshal Hermann Goering said "Germany intends to take back all the territory which has belonged to her in the course of history." French, No. 143, p. 166.)


June 23. Britain denied she would always be hostile to Germany in every war. ("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 involving guar­antees by Great Britain to certain countries, could only operate if the countries concerned wore to be attacked by Germany. . . . 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." British, No. 23, pp. 71 f. Cf. Apr. 28, supra.).

France and Turkey signed a defensive alliance and an agree­ment ceding the Hatay Republic [Sanjak of Alexandretta] to Turkey. (". . . to establish peace and a feeling of security in the Near East and the Balkans." Times, June 24, 1939, p. 4.)

American-British cotton‑rubber agreement concluded. (". . . to acquire reserves of cotton and rubber, respectively, against

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the contingency of a major war emergency, . . . This Agree­ment shall come into force on a date to be agreed between the two governments." State Release 1939, No. 508, pp. 548 f. Cf. Peace, p. 63.)


June 27. Ambassador Coulondre reported signs of approaching crisis: 600,000 German reservists called up, large‑scale Italian troop maneuvers planned for August, and mobilization of two classes in Bulgaria; advice to foreign families to leave Germany before August; time limit on validity of German male passports; Aug. 15 "der tag" for the Reichswehr. (". . . in order to avoid any misunderstanding on this subject, one may ask whether it is not high time to speak plainly and frustrate this possible manoeuvre by dispelling any illusions which may still be held in Berlin." French, No. 145, p. 169. Cf. similar reports to Britain from Danzig. British, No. 29, p. 92; No. 31, pp. 94 f. Cf. June 20, supra.)


June 29. Lord Halifax warned that Britain was determined to resist aggression. (`. . . 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." (British, No. 25, p. 78; Cf. also German No. 312, p. 334) and added that instead of encirclement Germany was isolating herself successfully and completely. (". . . eco­nomically by her policy of autarchy, 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." British, p. 81.)


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June 30. Ambassador Coulondre told Germany that France would not be bound in case of Polish provocation. (Secretary Weizsäcker said ". . . we were not on the eve of a tremendous eruption, unless it were provoked by Polish excesses. That would cer­tainly mean finis Poloniae." German, No. 314, p. 336. Cf. Mar. 31, supra.)

Lord Halifax said the time had come for Britain, France, and Poland to consult to coordinate their plans. ("It would seem that Hitler is laying his plans very astutely so as to present the 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. . . . It is in the view of His Majesty's Government essential that . . . 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." British, No. 30, pp. 93 f. Cf. June 27, 29, supra.)


July 1. Secretary of State Hull expressed regret over the failure of Congress to revise the neutrality law after his recommendation of May 27, supra. ("Its failure to pass the House by a narrow margin is a matter of regret and disappointment from the stand­point of peace and the best interests of this country in its inter­national relations. This six‑point peace and neutrality proposal is not only best calculated to keep this Nation out of war in the event war comes, but also, what is all‑important at this time, best calculated to make a far greater contribution than could the present law or its equivalent toward the discouragement of the outbreak of war. At the same time, while doing this, it would like‑wise keep this Government and Nation 100 percent within the limits of universally recognized international law." Bulletin Vol. I, No. 1, p. 4. Cf. Peace, p. 465.)

Poland refused to be provoked by influx of "tourists" into Danzig. (". . . the Polish Government were determined not to be scared by any psychological terrorism into imprudent action . . . 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." British, No. 32, p. 96.) Further report on military preparations in Danzig. (Ibid., No. 33, pp. 96 f; cf. July 3, Ibid., No. 34, 97: ". . . the process is intended to facilitate a coup by Herr Hitler should he decide on one." Cf. June 11, supra.)


July 4. French Consul General in Hamburg reported likely German­-Russian five‑year nonaggression pact. (". . . if some agree­ment is not shortly concluded between London, Paris, and Moscow, the Soviet Government will be prepared to sign a pact of non‑aggression with the Reich for a period of five years. For some time past there has been anxiety in those circles about the rapid evolution of the National‑Socialist system in the direction of autarchy and collectivization. People do not disguise their fear of seeing this tendency still further strengthened by political cooperation between Berlin and Moscow." French, No. 155, p. 180. Cf. May 3, 7, 22, supra.)

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July 8. Germany and Italy agreed on repatriation of Germans south of Tyrol who did not wish to become Italianized. (Chancellor Hitler renounced his designs on that region. Lee, p. 392; Simonds, Emeny, p. 690. Cf. May 22, supra.)


July 9. Ambassador Leon Noel warned the French Foreign Office that Germany wanted the Corridor and other territories that were detached from the Reich. ("The language used by those Germans who live in Poland, or who come here on a visit and even that which one may hear from the lips of certain close friends of Herr von Moltke, clearly confirm it; and while, of course, my German colleague personally shows himself much more prudent, nobody has ever heard him, say that the annexation of Danzig was the last of the Nazi claims." French, No. 159, p. 182. Cf. Ibid., No. 184, p. 221. Cf. June 20, 22., supra.)


July 10. Ambassador Kensuke Horinouchi told Secretary of State Hull Japan had no idea of entering a military pact with Germany and Italy. (Cf. Dec. 4, 1936, supra. ". . . there had been re­ports in this country. . ." Peace, p. 467)

 Ambassador von Dirksen reported that British public opinion thought war inevitable and had taken the initiative from the government. ("The feeling is gaining ground among the people that they must not put up with anything further, that their honor is at stake, that they would have to fight, and that the Govern­ment must not, give in again. . . However unfounded and dangerous this attitude of the British public may be, it is real and must be taken seriously, all the more so in a country in which public opinion plays such a decisive role as it does in England." German, No. 252, p. 211. Cf. May 15, supra.)

 Prime Minister Chamberlain repeated guarantee of help to Poland in threat to her independence she must resist. (Cf. Mar. 31, supra. "Recent occurrences in Danzig have inevitably given rise to fears that it is intended to settle her future status by unilateral action, organised 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." Commons, Vol. 349, col. 1788.)


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July l1. Secretary of State Hull again urged revision of the neutrality law. (Cf. July 1, supra. ". . . the interests of peace and the security of the United States require that we should continue to urge the adoption of the principles of the six‑point program." Bulletin; Vol. I, No. 3, p. 47.)


July 13. Von Ribbentrop wrote M. Bonnet, French Minister for Foreign Affairs, that Germany must reject "once for all and categorically" any interference of France in its spheres of vital interest ("Germany's relations with its Eastern neighbours, whatever form they assume, in no way affect French interests; they are a matter which only concerns German policy." French, No. 163, p. 190); warned any Polish, violation of Danzig soil or provocation "incompatible with the prestige, of the German Reich," would be met by immediate German march and "the total destruction of the Polish army." (Ibid., p. 191.) If France intended to attack Germany for refusing to tolerate violence to its interests by Polish armed opposition to any change from the status quo in Danzig, Germany would accept war. (". . . such threats could only further strengthen the Führer in his resolve to ensure the safeguarding of German interests by all the means at his disposal." Ibid., p. 191. Cf. June 30, supra.)

 Ambassador Coulondre reported increasing war preparations pointing to eventuality in August. ("The German General Staff is acting as though it had to be ready by a date which has been set for it, and this date, according to all appearances, will fall in the course of the month of August, at which period the harvest will he gathered, the fortifications will be ready, and the reservists will be assembled in large numbers in the camps." French, No. 164, p. 193. Cf. June 27, supra.)


July 14. Ambassador Henderson reiterated Prime Minister Chamber­lain's guarantee to Poland of July 10. (". . . Sir Edward Grey had been guilty of screening himself and the British Government behind a cloud of fog. The present British Government wished to avoid incurring such a reproach." German, No. 440, p. 447 f. Cf. British, No. 36, pp. 101 f.)

President Roosevelt asked repeal of arms embargo. ("Peace is so precious and war so devastating that the people of the United States and their Government must not fail to make their just and legitimate contribution to the preservation of peace. . . . The proponents, including the Executive branch of the Govern­ment, at the time when the arms embargo was originally adopted called attention to the fact that its enactment constituted a hazardous departure from the principle of international law which recognizes the right of neutrals to trade with belligerents and of belligerents to trade with neutrals. They believe that neutrality means impartiality, and in their view an arms embargo is directly opposed to the idea of neutrality. It is not humanly possible, by enacting an arms embargo, or by refraining from such enactment, to hold the scales exactly even between two belligerents. In either case and due to shifting circumstances one belligerent may find itself in a position of relative advantage or disadvantage. The important difference between the two

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cases is that when such a condition arises in the absence of an arms embargo on our part, no responsibility attaches to this country, whereas in the presence of an embargo, the responsibility of this country for the creation of the condition is inevitably direct and clear." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 3, pp. 43 f. Cf. Peace, pp. 468 f. Cf. July 1, 11, supra.)


July 17. Marshal Smigly-Rydz said Poland would fight even without allies if Germany took Danzig. ("Danzig is necessary for Poland. Who controls Danzig controls our economic life.") (German Ambassador von Moltke wrote: "The emphatic reiteration of the fact that Poland would, if necessary, resort to arms on account of Danzig, even without allies, is designed to discourage the theory, so injurious to Polish self‑esteem, that Poland's readiness to de­fend herself was merely the outcome of the British guarantee, and at the same time to make clear to the friendly Powers that there were definite limits to Poland's readiness to negotiate." German, No. 441, pp. 448 f. Cf. June 11, supra.


July 18. President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Hull again urged Congress to act on neutrality revision. (". . . failure by the Senate to take action now would weaken the leadership of the United States in exercising its potent influence in the cause of preserving peace among other nations in the event of a new crisis in Europe between now and next January." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 4; p. 57. Cf. Peace, p. 474. Cf. July 1, 11, 14, supra.)

Danzig Senate offered to settle questions with Poland through the intervention of the High Commissioner. ("This would . . . terminate a war of notes which only poisons the situation, . . ." British., No. 37, pp. 103 f. Cf. June 3, 10, supra.)


July 21. Lord Halifax urged discretion and cooperation on part of Poland to meet Danzigers. ("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. . . . 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." Ibid., No. 38, p. 105.)


July 24. Chamberlain makes statement concerning the special require­ments of Japanese in China. ("His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom fully recognise the actual situation in China where hostilities on a large scale are in progress and note that, as long as that state of affairs continues to exist, the Japanese forces in China have special requirements for the purpose of safeguarding their own security and maintaining public order in regions under their control and that they have to suppress or remove any such acts or causes as will obstruct them or benefit their enemy. His Majesty's Government have no intention of countenancing any act or measures prejudicial to the attainment of the above­mentioned objects by Japanese forces and, they will take this


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opportunity to confirm their policy in this respect by making it plain to British authorities and British nationals in China that they should refrain from such acts and measures." Commons, Vol. 350, col. 994.)


July 25. Poland still thought British‑French‑Polish démarche to Danzig Senate advisable. (There were no facts to indicate a German change of policy. British, No. 39, p. 107.) Nazi Party leader Albert Forster told League High Commissioner military precautions would be liquidated by the middle of September. (Ibid., No. 40, p. 107. Cf. July 19, supra)

Herr von Selzam reported from London extensive practice flights of British Royal Air Force July 11 and 21. (". . . to demonstrate to the world that the British Air Force is ready for action." German, No. 322, p. 344. Cf. July 10, 14, supra.)


July 26. The United States denounced the American‑Japanese com­mercial treaty of 1911. ("During recent years the Government of the United States has been examining the treaties of commerce and navigation in force between the United States and foreign countries with a view to determining what changes may need to be made toward better serving of the purposes for which such treaties are concluded. In the course of this survey, the Govern­ment of the United States has come to the conclusion that the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between the United States and Japan which was signed at Washington on February 21, 1911, contains provisions which need new consideration. . . ." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 5, p. 81. Cf. July 24, supra. Cf. Peace, p. 475.)


July 28. Sir Samuel Hoare, British Home Secretary, explained the necessity for including in the budget a Ministry of Information which would function only in war. ("In the event of war, the Ministry of Information, as I see it, would become the center of information, and the Foreign Office activities would be taken over by it." Commons, Vol. 350, col. 1833. Cf. Jan. 23, 28, Feb. 22, Mar. 28, 19, Apr. 20, 26, May 11, supra.)

British‑French‑Russian staff consultations were to be held in Moscow. ("Britain and France want to avoid at any, cost the postponement or breaking‑off of the negotiations, because they believe that, as long as negotiations are being carried on, Germany will not undertake anything in Danzig. . . . By sending two representative military missions to Moscow, it is hoped to create an atmosphere favorable to the conclusion of a political treaty as well." German, No. 323, p. 346. Cf. May 31, June 7, supra.)


July 31. Danzig Senate demanded Polish customs police be with­drawn. (British, No. 41, p. 108. Cf. June 3, 10, July 19, supra.)

Poland took economic reprisals against Danzig. (Because of action concerning Polish customs guards. French, No. 175, p. 210. Cf. No. 178, p. 214.)



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August 4. Poland notified Danzig Senate that her customs inspectors would be armed Aug. 6 and that she would oppose as act of violence any interference with their duties. (Rumor that East Prussia frontier would be opened. German,  No. 432, , p. 439. Cf. British,  No. 43, p. 110. Such a move would be casus belli. Ibid., No. 44, p. 111.)


August 7. Danzig Senate rejected Polish accusation, protested armed inspectors as violation of agreement. (German,  No. 434, p. 440. Cf. French, No. 183, p. 220. Cf. British,  No. 45, pp. 111 f.)


August 9. Germany protested Polish economic reprisals and note to Danzig Senate. (". . . the repetition of such a demand, in the form of an ultimatum, to the Free City of Danzig and the threat of retaliatory measures would lead to greater tension in the re­lationship between Germany and Poland, and that the responsi­bility of such consequences would devolve exclusively on the Polish Government; for the German Government herewith repudi­ates in advance all responsibility for them. . . . likely to bring about serious economic loss to the population of Danzig. Should the Polish Government continue to support such measures, there would, in the opinion of the Reich Government, be no choice left to the Free City of Danzig, as matters stand, but to seek other export and, consequently, other import possibilities." (German, No. 445, p. 453; British,  No. 47, p. 114. Cf. Aug. 4, supra.)


August 10. Poland rejected German protest and decided to consider as aggressive act any German. intervention that endangered her legal, rights and interests. ("The Polish Government, in fact, cannot perceive any legal foundation justifying Germany to interfere in the above‑mentioned relations." German,  No. 446, p. 453; British, No. 47, p. 114. Cf. Aug. 9, supra.)


August 11‑13. Conference of Chancellor Hitler, Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop, and Foreign Minister Ciano. (Simonds, Emeny, p. 690. Cf. May 22, supra.)


August 12. Beginning of Franco‑British‑Russian staff conversations. (Cf. July 28, supra. Ibid., p. 690. Cf. July 28, supra.)


August 15. Ambassador Coulondre told Germany the Franco‑British­-Polish alliance would function automatically. ("All, from the man in the street upwards, had realized that a danger, the most formidable of dangers to them, the loss of their liberty and of their independence, threatened them; and they have been prac­tically unanimous in considering the restoration of a balance of power in Europe as indispensable for the preservation of these blessings; . . ." French, No, 194, p. 234. "For her security France needed balance of power in Europe. If this were dis­turbed in favor of Germany, i.e. if Poland were overrun by Germany now, it would be France's turn next; or else France's power would have to decline to the level of Belgium or The Nether­lands. France would then be practically Germany's vassal and this is exactly what she did not wish to be." German,  No. 449, p. 456. Cf. May 31, supra.)


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Minister, von Weizsäcker told Ambassador Henderson that the limit of German patience had been reached. ("The policy of a ­country like Poland consisted of a thousand provocations." German,  No. 450, p. 458; cf. British,  No. 48, pp. 116 ff. Whereupon Ambassador Henderson told Minister von Weizsäcker Britain would meet force with force. "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 . . .")

 Lord Halifax suggested that Poland not let questions of face or procedure hinder settlement of local Danzig issues, that she moderate the press, and protect the German minority. ("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 his not forcing the issue, it is, evidently essential to give him no excuse for acting, . . ." British, 50, p. 119. Polish Foreign Minister Beck agreed to attempt local settlement. Ibid., No. 51, p. 120. Cf. July 21, supra.)


August 18. Ambassador Henderson again emphatically warned. Germany not to make the mistake of believing Britain would not assist Poland with arms. (Because of "a fundamental difference between British and German information and opinions." German,  No. 451, p. 459. Cf. Aug. 15, supra.)


August 19. German‑Russian trade agreement signed. (Simonds, Emeny, p. 690. Cf. May 3, 7, 22, July 4, supra.)


August 20. Ambassador Noel informed his Foreign Office that Chan­cellor Hitler would "settle the Danzig question" before Sept. 1. (French, Nos. 203, 204, p. 249: "German honor is at stake in Danzig and Germany cannot retreat: . . ." Cf. May 25, June 20, 27, supra.)


August 21. Ambassador Coulondre reported to his Foreign Office the beginning of German troop concentrations. ("Considering as I do that nothing should be left undone which might prevent Germany from proceeding further, I feel it my duty to stress once more the urgent and imperative necessity of taking the necessary measures, both as regards the calling up of reserves and the mobilization of industry, so that our preparations shall remain level with those of Germany.

"Even more them a military necessity, this is, in my, opinion, a political necessity. What constitutes one of the gravest dan­gers of war at the present time is the doubt which the Government of the Reich may still have concerning the intentions of France and Britain to lend Poland their support.

"If we prove by our military and other measures that we are actually getting ready to fulfill our obligations, we shall thereby make use of the best possible method to dissipate this doubt. On the other hand, the Third Reich would find dangerous en­couragement in the thought that a disparity in its favour may exist between the German preparations and our own." Ibid., No. 205, p. 250; Ibid., No. 207, p. 251.)

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August 22. It. was announced that the British Cabinet was of the opinion that the proposed German‑Russian nonaggression pact would not affect its obligation to Poland. (". . . they remain of the opinion that there is nothing in the difficulties that have arisen between Germany and Poland which would justify the use of force, involving a European war with all its tragic consequences, as the Prime Minister has repeatedly said. There are indeed no questions in Europe which should not be capable of peaceful solution, if only conditions of confidence could be re­stored." Cf. May 7, 22, July 4, supra. London Times, Aug. 23, 1939, p. 12.)

Prime Minister Chamberlain wrote Chancellor Hitler sug­gesting a truce to press polemics and incitement during which minority complaints could be dealt with and suitable conditions established for direct negotiations between Poland and Germany toward an internationally guaranteed settlement. ("At this moment I confess I can see no other way to avoid a catastrophe that will involve Europe in war." British,  No. 56, p. 127.) He reiterated that Britain would back Poland if necessary. ("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 that allegation, His Majesty's Government are resolved that on this occasion there shall be no such tragic misunderstanding." Ibid., pp. 125 f. Cf. German,  No. 454, pp. 461 f. Cf. Aug. 15, 18, supra.)


August 23. German‑Russian nonaggression treaty signed. ("Guided by the desire to strengthen the cause of peace between Germany and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, and basing themselves on the fundamental stipulations of the Neutrality Agree­ment concluded between Germany and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics in April, 1926, . . ." German,  No. 348, p. 370; British,  No. 61, p. 135; Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 9, p. 172. Cf. May 7, 22, July 4, supra.)

The Danzig Senate appointed Gauleiter Albert Forster, Head of the State by decree. (". . . this is the consecration of a state of things which has, in fact, existed ever since the Nazi Party seized power." French, No. 225, p. 260; British,  No. 62, p. 136. Cf. July 1, Aug. 15, supra.)

German Consulate General in Danzig reported Poles had fired on German passenger plane near Heisternest on the Hela Peninsula. (German,  No. 435, p. 441.)

Chancellor Hitler replied to Prime Minister Chamberlain that Germany was prepared and determined to fight if attacked by Britain (". . . there can be no doubt as to the determination of the new German Reich to accept privation and misfortune in any form and at any time rather than sacrifice her national interests or even her honor." Ibid., No. 456, p. 467); if Britain carried out mobilization measures directed against Germany, Germany would mobilize immediately ("As Germany never in­tended to adopt military measures other than those of a purely defensive nature against either Great Britain or France and, as has already been emphasized, never has intended nor intends in


EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II                                              203


the future to attack either Great Britain or France, the announce­ment which Your Excellency confirmed in your note can only constitute an intended threat against the Reich." Ibid., p. 467; only a change of attitude of the Versailles signatories could pro­vide a change for the better between Germany and Britain. (They, "since the crime of the Treaty of Versailles was committed, have steadily and obstinately opposed any peaceful revision of its terms." Ibid., p. 467. Cf. British,  No. 60, pp. 132 ff.)

Chancellor Hitler told Ambassador Henderson the least Polish attempt to act further against Germany or Danzig would cause German intervention. (As a "protective measure" German, No. 455, p. 464; Cf. British, Nos. 57, 58, 59, pp. 127‑132. Cf. Aug. 10, supra.)

President Roosevelt appealed to King Victor Emmanuel of Italy to formulate peace proposals. ("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 traditional accord between Italy and the United States and the ties of consanguinity between millions of our citizens that I feel that I can address Your Majesty in 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." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 9, pp. 158 f; British,  No. 122, p. 232. Cf. Peace, pp. 475 f.)

Albert, King of the Belgians, appealed on behalf of the Oslo Powers for open negotiation of disputes in spirit of brotherly cooperation. ("A lasting peace cannot be founded on force, but only on a moral order." British,  No. 128, p. 239.)


August 24. President Roosevelt appealed to Chancellor Hitler that Poland and Germany refrain from any hostile act during a truce and agree to solve controversies by direct negotiation, arbitration, or conciliation and offered to contribute share of the United States to solution of disarmament and economic problems. (". . . be­cause of 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  everywhere may yet be averted." Peace, p. 477; Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 9, p. 157; British,  No. 124, p. 234); and to President Moscicki of Poland. ("The manifest gravity of the existing crisis imposes an urgent obligation upon all to determine every possible means which might prevent the outbreak of general war." Ibid., p. 236; Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 9, p. 158. Cf. Peace, p. 478.)

Poland planned to challenge Forster appointment as head of the state. ("My government sees no legal foundation for the adoption by the Senate of the Free City of a resolution instituting a new 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." British,  No. 63, pp. 137 f. French, No. 231, p. 262.)

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France urged Poland to abstain from military action should the Danzig Senate proclaim its return to the Reich. ("It is, indeed, important that Poland should not take up the position of an aggressor, which might impede the entry into force of some of our pacts and would furthermore place the Polish Army in Danzig in a very dangerous position." French, No: 218, p. 256. Cf. No. 222, p. 259.)

Prime Minister Chamberlain repeated the fundamental bases of British foreign policy (See June 20, supra.) and named the observance of international agreements once entered and renunciation of force as principles essential to establishment of confi­dence and trust. ("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." Commons, Vol. 351, col. 10. British,  No. 64, p. 145. Cf. statement of Lord Halifax, No. 65, pp. 146 ff.)

The British Ambassador to Poland telegraphed to Lord Halifax that Marshal Goering told the Polish Ambassador in Berlin that the Polish alliance with Britain was the main obstacle to diminution of tension. (Germany was trying to get a free hand in Eastern Europe. British, No. 67, p 155.)

Britain responded sympathetically to Oslo Powers' appeal. ("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." Ibid., No. 129, p. 240.)

The Pope appealed for peace. ("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." Ibid., No. 139, p. 245.)


August 25. British‑Polish Mutual Assistance Agreement signed. ("Desiring to place on a permanent basis the collaboration between their respective countries resulting from the assurances of mutual assistance of a defensive character which they have already exchanged: . . ." British,  No. 19, pp. 49‑52; Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 12, p. 270.)

Chancellor Hitler offered to pledge the Reich to protect the British Empire if his colonial demands were granted, if the Axis were continued, if he would never have to fight Russia. ("The Führer had always peen strongly in favor of Anglo‑German understanding. . . . He approved of the British Empire; . . . The agreement with Russia was unconditional and represented a turning point in the foreign policy of the Reich with the greatest long‑range possibilities. Under no circumstances would Russia and Germany again take up arms against one another. Apart from this fact the agreements made with Russia would safeguard Germany, in economic respects also, for a war of the longest duration. . . . The Führer would then also be ready to accept a reasonable limitation of armaments, in accordance with the new political situation and economic requirements." German,


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No. 457, p. 469; British,  No. 68, pp. 155 ff.; No. 69, pp. 158 f.) Ambassador Henderson told Chancellor Hitler Britain would not abandon Poland to her fate. (The "Russian Pact in no way altered standpoint of His Majesty's Government." Ibid., p. 158.)

President Roosevelt sent second appeal to Chancellor Hitler. ("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 messages, to agree to solve the controversy which has arisen between the Republic of Poland and the German Reich by direct negotiation or through the process of conciliation.

"Countless human lives can be yet saved and hope may still be restored that the nations of the modern world may even now construct a foundation for a peaceful and a 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." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 9, p. 160; British, No. 127, p. 237. Cf. Peace, p. 480.)

Chancellor Hitler told France he bore no enmity toward France, did not want war, but rather good relations with her. ("The Polish provocation, however, has placed the Reich in a position which cannot be allowed to continue. . . . Not only has the Warsaw Government rejected, my proposals, but it has subjected the German minority, our blood brothers, to the worst possible treatment, and has begun mobilization. . . . No nation worthy of the name can put up with such unbearable insults. France would not tolerate it any more than Germany. These things have gone on long enough, and I will reply by force to any further provocations. . . ." French, No. 242, pp. 267 f.)

Italy issued mobilization orders. (For reservists. Times, Aug. 26, 1939, p. 1.)

Japan protested German‑Russian pact. (As violation of Anti-­Comintern Pact. Ibid., p. 1.)


August 26. British Ambassador at Warsaw reported German breaches of Polish frontier and military incidents. ("They are clearly prepared acts of aggression of para‑military disciplined detach­ments supplied with regular army's arms, . . ." British,  No. 53, p. 123.)

Germany renewed promise to respect Belgian territory as long as others would and to defend it if violated. (Belgian, p. 70.)

British asked Poland to include exchange of populations in negotiations with Germany. (". . . it would give Polish Gov­ernment some definite and new point on which to open up negotiation." British,  No. 71, p. 160.)

Premier Daladier begged Chancellor Hitler to make a final attempt at a peaceful settlement with Poland. ("Your desire for peace could exercise its influence with full determination towards this end without detracting anything from Germany's honor." German, No. 460, pp. 473 f.; French, No. 253, pp. 274 f.)

France urged direct negotiations between Germany and Poland. (". . . at the present juncture, gaining time may be the decisive factor. It is not impossible that moderates in the National-Socialist party may find in the Russian pact fresh arguments to

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dissuade the Fuehrer from going to war, by calling his attention to the unlimited economic possibilities of the Reich's collabora­tion with the Soviet. Time presses, . . ." French, No. 246, p. 271.)

Poland promised to consult Britain and France before making any important decision, to answer attacks on economic rights with suitable nonmilitary retaliation, to act immediately without previous consultation where delay would be dangerous following unpredictable situation. (To avoid a fait accompli for its allies. Ibid., No. 247, p. 271.)

Hungary rejected Rumanian non‑aggression pact offer. (Wanted minorities. Times,  Aug. 27, 1939, p. 31.)

Ambassador Horinouchi told Secretary of State Hull Japan had decided to "abandon any further negotiations with Germany and Italy relative to closer relations under the anti‑Comintern Pact to which they have been parties for some time." (". . . the change in affairs in Europe made this course manifest, and, fur­thermore, it was plain that his Government would find it impor­tant to adopt new foreign policy in more or less respects." Peace, p. 481. Cf. Aug. 23, supra.)

Yugoslav Government announced Serb‑Croat accord. (Ac­cepted by Prince Paul as basis for new National Union Cabinet. Times,  Aug. 27, 1939, p. 1.)


August 27. Chancellor Hitler wrote Premier Daladier war seemed in­evitable. (". . . no nation with a sense of honor can ever give up almost two million people and see them maltreated on its own frontiers. I therefore formulated a clear demand: Danzig and the Corridor must return to Germany. The Macedonian condi­tions prevailing along our eastern frontier must cease. I see no possibility of persuading Poland, who deems herself safe from attack by virtue of guarantees given to her, to agree to a peaceful solution. . . . I see no possibility open to us of influencing Poland to take a saner attitude and thus to remedy a situation which is unbearable for both the German people and the German Reich." German,  No. 461, pp. 476 f.; French, No. 267, pp. 285 f.); that objectionable as his methods were in revising the dictate of Versailles, he found solutions without bloodshed acceptable to others. ("By the manner in which these solutions were accom­plished, statesmen of other nations were relieved of their obliga­tion, which they often found impossible to fulfill, of having to accept responsibility for this revision before their own people." Ibid., p. 284; German,  No. 461, p. 475.)

British Ambassador reported German allegations of ill treat­ment of German minority gross exaggeration. ("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. . . . 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." British,  No. 55, pp. 124 f.)

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Britain suggested Poland get the Pope to act as intermediary. (To approach Germany with suggestions of neutral observers and exchange of populations. Ibid., No. 72, p. 616.)

France notified Belgium that she would respect the letter's neutrality as long as another Power would. ("The Government of the Republic have neglected nothing that might contribute to the maintenance of peace. If their efforts should fail, the French Government know that the Belgian Government would act in exact conformity with their international obligations." French, No. 270, p. 287.); also Luxemburg. (Ibid., No 279, p. 292.) Britain sent identic notification. (Belgium, p. 70.)


August 28. Britain told Germany they would welcome a mutual dis­cussion and agreement after a peaceful settlement of German­-Polish differences by negotiation which would safeguard the essential interests of Poland and secure international guarantee of the settlement. ("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." British,  No. 73, 74, pp. 161‑165; German,  No. 463, p. 479; French, No. 277, pp. 290 ff )

Ambassador Henderson told Chancellor Hitler he must choose between England and Poland. ("If he put forward immoderate demands there was no hope of a peaceful solution." British,  No. 75; p. 167.) Chancellor Hitler wanted return of Danzig and the whole Corridor and a rectification in Silesia (because of post­war plebiscite. Ibid., p. 167); indicated willingness to negotiate. The Ambassador said the Prime Minister could carry Britain in a policy of friendship for Germany and the possibility of a German-­British alliance need not be excluded. ("If he [Hitler] were prepared to pay the price of the latter by a generous gesture as regards Poland, he could at a stroke change in his favor the whole of public opinion not only in England but in the world." Ibid., p. 168. Cf. French, N. 287, pp. 295 f.)

Belgium and The Netherlands offered their good offices to Britain, France, Germany, and Italy. (". . . in the hope of averting war." British,  No. 134, p. 242; French; No. 284, p. 294.)

Poland called up more reservists. (". . . on account of the intentions towards Poland expressed in the communication made by the German Chancellor to the British Ambassador, . . ." Ibid., No. 272, p. 288.)

Nobuyuki Abe succeeded Premier Hiranuma of Japan. (Si­monds, Emeny, p. 690.)


August 29. Prime Minister Chamberlain reported on British prepara­tion for war. ("The issue of peace or war is still undecided, and we still will hope, 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." Commons; Vol. 351, col. 116; British,  No. 77, pp. 174 f.)

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Chancellor Hitler consented to direct negotiations with Poland provided Russia was . included among the guarantors; asked Polish plenipotentiary by Aug. 30. (". . . the written communi­cation received from the British Government gives them [the German Government] the impression that the latter also desire a friendly agreement along the lines indicated to Ambassador Henderson. The German Government desire in this way to give to the British Government and to the British people a proof of the sincerity of the German intention of arriving at a state of permanent friendship with Great Britain." German,  No. 464, p. 481; British,  No. 78, p. 177; No. 79, 80, pp. 178 f.; French, No 291, 293, pp. 298 f.; No. 298, pp. 302 ff.; No: 336, p. 327.)

Occupation of Slovakia by German troops completed. (At request of Dr. Joseph Tiso for protection from Polish invasion. Times,  August 29, 1939, p. 11; August 30, 1939, p. 9.)


August 30. Lord Halifax instructed Henderson to notify Germany that she must not expect a Polish representative in Berlin that day. "We understand that German Government are insisting that a Polish representative with full powers must come to Berlin to receive German proposals. We cannot advise Polish Government to comply with this procedure, . . . Could you 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." British, No. 88, p. 183.) Ambassador Henderson said Poland should endeavor to establish direct contact. (". . . Hitler is determined to achieve his ends by so‑called peaceful fair means if he can, but by force if he cannot. . . 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 encouragement thereby to pursue the same course again next year or the year after." Ibid., No. 82, pp. 180 f.) British Ambassador at Warsaw, Sir Howard William Kennard, said Poland would not send representative to Berlin. ("They would certainly sooner fight and perish rather than submit to such humiliation, especially after examples of Czecho‑Slovakia, Lithuania, and Austria. . . . I should 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 Polish side." Ibid., No. 84, p. 181.) Lord Halifax warned Poland to abstain from violence and stop inflammatory radio propaganda. ("At­mosphere may be improved if strict instructions are given or confirmed by Polish Government to all their military and civil authorities. . . . Not to fire on fugitives or members of the German minority who cause trouble, but to arrest them; to abstain themselves from personal violence to members of Ger­man minority, . . . to allow members of German minority wishing to leave Poland to pass freely; to stop inflammatory radio propaganda." Ibid., No. 85, p. 182.) Britain refused to


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advise Polish plenipotentiary to go to Berlin to receive German proposals. (". . . wholly unreasonable." Ibid., No. 88, p. 183.) Britain consented to Russian participation in the guarantee, but said immediate German and Polish contact would be im­practicable; asked pledge of no military aggression during negotiations and a temporary modus vivendi for Danzig. (To prevent the occurrence of incidents tending to render German‑Polish relations more difficult." Ibid., No. 89, pp. 184 f.; German,  No. 466, pp 484 f.) Ambassador Henderson told Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop he should give proposals to the Polish Ambas­sador and open negotiations in the normal manner. (Cf. British,  Nos. 84 and 88, supra. Ibid., No. 92, p. 188,) Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop said the question of proposals no longer existed. ("By midnight Germany had received no answer from Poland. . . . this urgency was the outcome of the fact that two fully mobilized armies were standing face to face within firing distance of each other and that at any moment some incident might lead to serious conflict." German,  No. 466, p. 483. "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. . . . When I asked Herr von Ribbentrop for the text of these proposals . . ., he asserted that it was now too late as Polish representative had not arrived in Berlin by midnight. 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. . . . This he denied, saying that idea of an ultimatum was figment of my imagination. . . . 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." British,  No. 92, p. 188.). (For text of sixteen proposals, see German,  No. 466, pp, 485 ff.; "In putting forward these proposals, the German Government are attempting find a final solution, putting an end to the intolerable situation arising from the present demarcation of frontiers, securing to both parties their vital lines of communication, eliminating as far as possible the problem of the minorities, and, in so far as this should prove impossible, rendering the fate of the minorities bearable by effectively guaranteeing their rights." Ibid., p. 486.)


August 3l. Germany announced she considered her proposals rejected. ("Owing to the non‑arrival, of the Polish delegate who was ex­pected by the German Government, there no longer existed the primary condition for informing the British Government, . . . It was clearly too much to expect of the German Government that they should continue not only to reiterate their willingness to enter upon such negotiations, but even to sit and wait and allow themselves to be put off by the Polish side with feeble subterfuges and empty declarations.

"In the meantime a démarche by the Polish Ambassador has again shown that not even he is authorized to enter upon any dis­cussion whatsoever, much less to negotiate.

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"Thus the Führer and the German Government have now waited for two days in vain for the arrival of an authorized Polish delegate." Ibid., No. 468, p. 490. Cf. note to Britain. British,  No. 98, pp. 192 ff.)

Britain urged Poland to confirm to Germany their acceptance of principle of direct discussion. ("French Government fear that German Government might take advantage of silence on part of Polish Government." Ibid., No. 94, p. 190. Cf. also No. 95, p. 190.) Poland confirmed it. (Ibid., No. 97, pp. 191 f.) Poland refused to authorize her Ambassador to Berlin to accept German proposals. (". . . 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." Ibid., No. 96, p. 191. Cf. Ibid., No. 102, p. 200. Cf. French, Nos. 311 and 313, pp. 310 f.

Premier Mussolini offered to arrange a conference September 5. (". . . With the object of examining the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles which are the cause of the present trouble." Ibid., No. 306, p 307.)

Britain began evacuations. (Precautionary measure. Times,  Sept. 1, 1939, p. 1.)

Germany cut communications with Warsaw. (French, No. 319, p. 315: ". . . the German radio bulletin is at pains to point out that negotiations have been broken off.")


September 1. Germany invaded Poland. ("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." Chancellor Hitler's Proclamation to the German Army. British No. 107, p. 214; German,  No. 471, p. 502: "In the night Polish soldiers of the Regular Army fired the first shots in our own territory. Since 5:45 a.m. we have been returning their fire." British,  No. 105, p. 205; No. 112, p. 218; No. 113, p. 219; French, No. 322, p. 317; No. 329, p. 323; Bulletin, Vol. 1, No. 10, p. 184.)

Halifax informed of armed German aggression. ("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. . . . Mr. Beck has also given me a cate­gorical and official denial that any Polish act of aggression occur­red last night as stated by Deutsches Nachrichten-Buero." Sir H. Kennard to Halifax, British,  No. 112, pp. 218‑219.)

Halifax informed Sir H. Kennard that the Polish Ambassador called upon him early in the morning and told him "that he had been officially informed from Paris that German forces had crossed


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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. British, No. 113, p. 219.

Chancellor Hitler stated war aims to the Reichstag: the Danzig question and the Corridor question; a change in German‑Polish relations to ensure a peaceful coexistence of the two states, to limit attacks to military objectives. ("I am determined to eliminate from the German frontiers the element of insecurity, the atmosphere which permanently resembles that of civil war.. . . . I will not wage war against women and children. . . . Whoever fights with poison gas will be fought with poison gas. Whoever disregards the rules of human warfare can but expect us to do the same." German,  No. 471, p. 502. Cf. British,  No. 106, pp. 211 f.; French, No. 318, p. 319.)

Chancellor Hitler named his successors: Herman Goering and Rudolf Hess. ("Should anything happen to me in this war." German,  No. 471, p. 503.)

Britain and France notified Germany that unless it suspended all aggressive action against Poland and withdrew its forces from Polish territory, they would fulfill their obligations to 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." British,  No. 105, p. 205; German,  No. 472, p. 504; No. 473, p. 506.) Britain ordered complete mobilization of army, navy, and air force. (Expected unfavorable reply from Germany. British,  No. 105, p. 206.) "It how only remains for us to set our teeth and to enter upon this struggle, . . . 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." Ibid., p. 207. Cf. Ibid., No. 110, p. 217.) France mobilized. (French, No. 356, p. 338.).

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Danzig annexed by Germany. (By proclamation of Albert Forster, head of Danzig state: "The hour for which you have been longing for twenty years has, come. This day Danzig has re­turned to the great German Reich. Our Füehrer, Adolf Hitler, has freed us." British,  No. 108, p. 214; Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 10, p. 185.)

Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop insisted no German act of aggression had taken place. (". . . for months Poland had pro­voked Germany. It was not Germany that had mobilized against Poland, but Poland against Germany. In addition to that, on the previous day regular and irregular Polish units had invaded German territory." German,  No. 472, p. 505. Cf. Ibid., No. 473, p. 506; British,  No. 111, p., 217.)

Poland denied any Polish aggression of August 31. (Ibid., No. 112, p. 219.)

Norway declared its neutrality. (Norway, p. 27.)

Switzerland declared its neutrality. (". . . the basis of its policy for many centuries and to which the Swiss people are deeply attached; in that these principles are consonant with their aspira­tions, their internal organization and their position in relation to other States. By virtue of the special mandate which has just been conferred upon it by the Federal Assembly, the Federal Council formally declares that the Swiss Confederation will pre­serve and defend, with all the means at its disposal, the inviolabil­ity of its territory and the neutrality which the treaties of 1815 and their complementary obligations have recognized as being in the true interests of the whole European political system." French, No. 326, p. 321.) France promised to respect it. (". . . in accordance with the treaties of 1815 and their comple­mentary obligations. Ibid., No. 334, p. 326.)

France accepted Premier Mussolini's proposal for a peace con­ference. ("The French Government values highly the spirit in which the proposal of the Royal Government has been made, and reaffirms its willingness to seek all possible means, and to asso­ciate itself with any steps intended, to facilitate and render pos­sible an amicable settlement of the dispute which has arisen be­tween Germany and Poland." Ibid., No. 327, p. 322; German,  No. 475, p. 507.)

Finland declared her neutrality. (Finnish, No. 5, p. 38.)

President Roosevelt appealed to Britain, France, Italy, Ger­many, and Poland to have their armed forces "in no event and under no circumstances" bombard civilians or unfortified cities under conditions of reciprocity. {"If resort is had to this form of inhuman barbarism during the period of the tragic conflag­ration. with which the world is now confronted, hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings who have no responsibility for, and who are not even remotely participating in, the hostilities which have now broken out, will lose their lives." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 10, p. 181.) Favorable replies were received from France, Britain, Poland, Germany. (Ibid., pp. 181 ff.)

Italy announced her neutrality. (The Fascist Council of Min­isters decided "that Italy will not take any initiative in military operations." Ibid., p. 182.)


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September 2. Poland asked aid of France and Britain. (". . . it was essential that there should be some diversion as soon as possible in the West." British,  No. 115, p. 221.)

Chancellor Hitler accepted Premier Mussolini's proposal for a conference if French and British notes of September 1 were not ultimatums and if he were allowed twenty‑four hours grace (Ibid., No. 143, p. 247). Britain and France both denied warnings were ultimatums; France approved grace period in principle; Britain took grace period into consultation, said armistice was insufficient, evacuation must precede (French, No. 360, p. 346).


September 3. President Roosevelt forecast "official" neutrality for the United States. (". . . this proclamation is in accordance with international law and with American policy. . . . This Nation will remain a neutral nation, but I cannot ask that every American remain neutral in thought as well. Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts. Even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or his conscience." Bulletin, Vol. I, No, 11, p. 202. Cf. Peace, pp. 484 f.)

Britain sent ultimatum to Germany. ("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 you ion 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, fulfill 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,' " Halifax to Henderson, British, No. 118, pp. 224‑225.)

Britain declared state of war existed with Germany. ("No, such undertaking, was received by the time stipulated, and, conse­quently this country is at war with Germany." British,  No. 120, p. 229.)

Germany rejected the British ultimatum. (Britain "clearly encouraged Poland to continue in her criminal attitude which was endangering the peace of Europe. On these lines the British Government rejected the proposal made by Mussolini which still might have saved the peace of Europe, although the German Government had expressed their readiness to accept such proposal. The British Government are thus responsible for all the misery and suffering that has overtaken now, or is about to overtake, so

214                              EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II


many peoples. German,  No. 479, pp. pp. 510 f.; British,  No. 119, p. 227.)

France delivered ultimatum to Germany.

("You should present yourself to‑day, September 3, at noon, at the Wilhelmstrasse and ask for the German Government's reply to the communication which you handed in at 10 p. m. on Septem­ber 1. If the reply to the questions contained in the communica­tion is in the negative, you should recall the responsibility of Germany which you evoked during your last interview, and you should notify to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Reich or to his representative that the French Government find themselves, by reason of the German reply, compelled to fulfill as from to‑day, September 3, at 5 p. m., the engagements which France entered into towards Poland, and which are known to the German Gov­ernment." Bonnet to Coulondre in Berlin, French, No. 365, p. 350; cf. also No. 345, p. 332.)

France declared war on Germany. ("The Supreme effort, attempted by the Government of the French Republic and by the British Government with a view to maintain peace by the cessa­tion of aggression, was frustrated by the refusal of the German Government. In consequence, as a result of the aggression aimed by Germany against Poland, a state of war exists between France and Germany as from September 3, 1939, at 5 p. m." Bonnet to Heads of Diplomatic Missions accredited to Paris. French, No. 368, p. 352.)

Britain suspended all obligations of the London Naval Treaty of March 26, 1936. (". . . in consequence of the state of war which exists with Germany and in accordance with the provisions of Article 24 . . ." Ibid., Vol. I, No. 11, p. 239.) .

British Steamship Athenia sunk with loss of 30 Americans. (Torpedoed. Ibid., p. 227.)

India declared war on Germany. ("I, Victor Alexander John, Marquess of Linlithgow, Governor‑General of India and ex‑officio Vice‑Admiral therein, being satisfied thereof by information re­ceived by me, do hereby proclaim that war has broken out between His Majesty and Germany." Ibid., Vol. V, No. 130, p. 552.)

Australia declared war on Germany. (". . . I, Alexander Gore Arkwright, Baron Gowrie, the Governor‑General aforesaid, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council, do hereby pro­claim the existence of war." Ibid., p. 552.)

New Zealand declared war on Germany. ("His Excellency the Governor‑General has it in command from His Majesty the King to declare that a state of war exists between His Majesty and the Government of the German Reich, and that such state of war has existed from 9:30 p. m., New Zealand standard time, on the third day of September, 1939." Ibid.; p. 552.)

Belgium declared its neutrality. (Belgian, p. 72.)


September 4. Italy abandoned attempt at mediation. (Because of British reply to Chancellor Hitler's questions. British,  No. 143, p. 249.)


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September 5. The United States proclaimed its neutrality. ("Whereas a state of war unhappily exists between Germany and France; Poland; and the United Kingdom, India, Australia, and New Zealand.

"And whereas the United States is on terms of friendship and amity with the contending powers, and with the persons inhabit­ing their several dominions;

"And whereas there are nationals of the United States residing within the territories or dominions of each of the said belligerents, and carrying on commerce, trade, or other business pursuits therein;

"And whereas there are nationals of each of the said belligerents residing within the territory or jurisdiction of the United States, and carrying on commerce, trade, or other business or pursuits therein;

"And whereas the laws and treaties of the United States, with­out interfering with the free expression of opinion and sympathy, nevertheless impose upon all persons who may be within their territory and jurisdiction the duty of an impartial neutrality during the existence of the contest;

"And whereas it is the duty of a neutral government not to permit or suffer the making of its territory or territorial waters subservient to the purposes of war; . . ." Proclamation No. 2348, Vol. 4, Federal Register, p. 3809. Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 11, pp. 203, 208.)

Panama invited American republics to consult. ("In view of the recent international events which have stirred the entire world, the Government of Panama has joined with the greatest pleasure the joint request which the Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, the United States of America, Mexico, and Peru have sent to the sister republics of the American continent for the purpose of placing into operation the procedure of consultation provided for and agreed upon in the pertinent conventions and declarations of Buenos Aires and Lima, . . ." Ibid., p. 235.)


September 6. Union of South Africa declared war on Germany. (". . . I do by this my Proclamation in the name and on behalf of His Majesty the King declare and make known that from this the sixth day of September, 1939, the peaceful relations between the Union and the German Reich are severed and that the Union is, for the purposes of all laws, at war with the German Reich as from the aforementioned date." Bulletin, Vol. V, No. 130, p. 552.)

Iraq severed diplomatic relations with the Reich. (Council of Ministers decided to support British stand. Times,  Sept. 8, 1939, p. 5.)

President Roosevelt proclaimed the agreement of June 23, supra, with Britain for the exchange of cotton and rubber. (Rati­fied July 17, ratification deposited August 25. "In accordance with the provisions of article 8 of the agreement it was agreed upon by both Governments that the agreement should enter into force on August 25, 1939. On that day by an exchange of notes the effective date was formally made of record." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 11, p. 240.)

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September 8. President Roosevelt proclaimed a national emergency. ("Whereas a proclamation issued by me, on September 5, 1939, proclaimed the neutrality of the United States in the war now unhappily existing between certain nations; and

"Whereas this state of war imposes on the United States cer­tain duties with respect to the proper observance, safeguarding, and enforcement of such neutrality, and the strengthening of the national defense within the limits of peace‑time authorizations; . . ."; Vol. 4, Federal Register, p. 3851.)

Britain established virtual long-range blockade of Germany. ("Germany was resorting to unrestricted submarine warfare, . . ." Times,  Sept. 9, 1939, p. 1.)


September 10. Canada declared war on Germany. ("Now Therefore We do hereby Declare and Proclaim that a State of War with the German Reich exists and has existed in Our Dominion of Canada as and from the tenth day of September, 1939." Bulletin, Vol. V, No. 130, p. 562.)

United States neutrality laws extended to Canada. (Ibid., Vol. I, No. 12, p. 246.)


September 11. Germany announced counter-blockade of Britain. (Britain had announced blockade September 3, 1939. Times, Sept. 12, 1939, p. 1: ". . . in the economic warfare forced on her by Britain Germany is . . . not only able to resist every pres­sure of blockade and every form of British hunger warfare, but to reply to it with the same methods.")


September 13. American Ambassador Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr., reported on German bombardment in Poland. (". . . in. my opinion the German forces are taking advantage of every oppor­tunity, without regard to the danger to the civilian population which may be involved. It is also evident that the German bombers are releasing the bombs they carry even when they are in doubt as to the identity of their objectives." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 12, p. 250.)


September 14. Secretary of State Hull said the United States had not abandoned any of its rights under international law. ("these restrictive measures [neutrality regulations] do not and cannot constitute a modification of the principles of international law but rather they require nationals of the United States to forego, until the Congress shall decide otherwise, the exercise of certain rights under those principles." Ibid., p. 245.)


September 17. Russia invaded Poland from the East. "Events arising out of the Polish‑German War has revealed the internal insolvency and obvious impotence of the Polish state. Polish ruling circles have suffered bankruptcy. . . . Warsaw as the capital of the Polish state no longer exists. No one knows the whereabouts of the Polish Government. The population of Poland have been abandoned by their ill‑starred leaders to their fate. The Polish state and its government have virtually ceased to exist. In view of this‑state of affairs, treaties concluded between the Soviet Union and Poland have ceased to operate. A situation has arisen in


EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II                                              217


Poland which demands of the Soviet‑Government especial concern for the security of its state. Poland has become a fertile field for any accidental and unexpected contingency that may create a menace to the Soviet Union. . . . Nor can it be demanded of the Soviet Government that it remain indifferent to the fate of its blood brothers, the Ukrainians and Byelo‑Russians [White Russians] inhabiting Poland, who even formerly were without rights and who now have been abandoned entirely to their fate. The Soviet Government deems it its sacred duty to extend the hand of assistance to its brother Ukrainians and brother Byelo­-Russians inhabiting Poland." Molotov, quoted in Times,  Sept. 18, 1939, p. 5.)

Russia notified Finland she would respect her neutrality. (Finnish, No. 7, p. 39.)

Italy promised Greece not to take the initiative in resorting to any military action against her. ("Even in the event of Italy entering the war, . . ." Greek, p. 41.)


September 18. German and Russian troops agreed provisionally on partition of Poland at Brest‑Litovsk. (Two armies met as campaign approached end. Times,  Sept. 19, 1939, p. 1.)

Denmark; Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland announced their intentions "to uphold their right to continue their tradi­tional commercial relations with all States including the belliger­ent Powers. (". . . to safeguard their own economic life." Finnish, No. 9, p. 41.)


September 19. Chancellor Hitler made general peace offer on basis of his territorial gains or war to a finish. ("Germany has there limited but unalterable claims, and she will realize those claims one way or another. . . . Today you have the Germany of Frederick the Great before you. . . . We will take up the gaunt­let and we will fight as the enemy fights. . . . This Germany does not capitulate. We know too well what fate. would be in store for Germany. . . The German people take notice of this and shall fight accordingly. . . . We are determined to carry on and stand this war one way or another. . . ." Times,  Sept. 20, 1939, p. 18.)


September 20. Britain and France determined to continue the war. ("France and Great Britain will not permit a Hitler victory to condemn the world to slavery and to ruin all moral values and destroy liberty." Ibid., p. 19.)


September 21. Premier Armand Calineseu of Rumania was assassi­nated by Iron Guard members. (Ibid., Sept. 22, 1939, p. 1.)

President Roosevelt called a special session of Congress to repeal the arms embargo. (". . . in order that it may consider and act on the amendment of certain legislation, which, in my best judgment, so alters the historic foreign policy of the United States that it impairs the peaceful relations of the United States with foreign nations. . . . I now ask again that such action be taken in respect to that part of the act which is wholly inconsist­ent with ancient precepts of the law of nations–the embargo provisions. I ask it because they are, in my opinion, most vitally

218                              EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II


dangerous to American neutrality, American security, and Ameri­can peace. . . . I give to you my deep and unalterable convic­tion, based on years of experience as a worker in the field of international peace, that by the repeal of the embargo the United States will more probably remain at peace than if the law remains as it stands today." Congressional Record [Bound], Vol. 85, pt. 1, pp. 10‑12.)


September 23. Premier Mussolini reaffirmed Italy's intention of remaining neutral unless attacked. ("In this present moment of un­certainties the ruling voice which spontaneously has arisen from the Italian masses says, `Strengthen our. army in preparation for any eventualities and support every possible peace effort while working in silence.' " Times,  Sept. 24, 1939, p. 42.)

Germany announced end of Polish campaign. ("In a con­nected series of destructive battles, of which the greatest and most decisive was in the bend of the Vistula, the Polish Army of a million men has beep defeated, captured, or routed.

"No single Polish active or reserve division, none of their independent brigades, etc., escaped this fate. Only fractions of individual groups were able to avoid immediate destruction by fleeing into the swamps of Eastern Poland. They succumbed there to Soviet Russian troops.

"Of the entire Polish Army only an insignificant remainder still is fighting at hopeless positions in Warsaw, in Modlin, and on the Peninsula of Hela." Ibid., p. 41.)

Consultative meeting of foreign ministers of the American republics. (". . . to consider, in a moment of grave emergency, the peaceful measures which they may feel it wise to adopt either individually or jointly, so as best to insure their national interests and the collective interests of the nations of the New World." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 14, p. 299.)


September 28. Germany and Russia partitioned Poland in border and friendship treaty. ("The German Reich Government and the Government of Soviet Russia, after the disintegration of the former Polish state, consider it their task to restore in this region law and order and to insure nationals living there an existence corresponding to their national character." Times,  Sept. 29, 1939, p. 1.)

Esthonia signed 10‑year mutual assistance pact with Russia, giving latter material, air bases, and military rights. ("Being desirous of promoting the friendly relations which were estab­lished by the Treaty of Peace concluded on February 2, 1920, and which are founded upon independent political existence and non‑interference in internal affairs of the other contracting party;

"Recognizing that the Treaty of Peace of February 2, 1920, and the Pact of Non‑aggression and Peaceful Settlement of Con­flicts of May 4, 1932, continue as heretofore the firm foundation of their mutual relations;

"Being convinced that it is in the interests of both of the contracting parties to determine the exact terms of insuring their mutual security; . . ." Bulletin,, Vol. I, No. 20, p. 543.)


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September 30. Polish provisional government established in Paris. (President of Poland, interned in Rumania, resigned. Ibid., No. 15, p. 342.)

Germany notified Britain her armed merchantmen would be sunk without warning. ("Several German submarines have been attacked by British merchant ships in the past few days. Hitherto German submarines have observed international law by always warning merchant ships before attacking them. Now, however, Germany will have to retaliate by regarding every vessel of the British merchant navy as a warship." Times,  Oct. 1, 1939, p. 43.)


October 3. Inter‑American Conference reaffirmed their declaration of solidarity, announced, sea safety zones in Western Hemisphere for neutrals ("Firmly united by the democratic spirit which is the basis of their institutions,

"Desirous of strengthening on this occasion the solidarity which is the outgrowth of that spirit, and

"Desirous of preserving peace in the American continent and of promoting its reestablishment throughout the world, . . ." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 15, p. 326; ". . . but the present war may lead to unexpected results which may affect the fundamental interests of America, and there can be no justification for the interests of the belligerents to prevail over the rights of neutrals causing disturbances and suffering to nations which, by their neutrality in the conflict and their distance from the scene of events, should not be burdened with its fatal and painful consequences.

"To this end it is essential as a measure of necessity to adopt immediately provisions based on the above‑mentioned precedents for the safeguarding of such interests, in order to avoid a repe­tition of the damages and sufferings sustained by the American nations and by their citizens in the war of 1914‑1918." Ibid.., pp. 331 f, and resolved to consult "in case any geographic region of America subject to the jurisdiction of any non‑American state should be obliged to change its sovereignty, and there should result therefrom a danger to the security of the American continent, . . ." Ibid., p. 334.)


October 5. Latvia signed 10‑year mutual aid treaty [giving Russia naval and air bases on Baltic]. (". . . for the purpose of de­veloping the friendly relations created by the peace treaty of August 11, 1920, which were based on the recognition of the independent statehood and non‑interference in the internal affairs of the other party; : . ." Ibid., No. 20, p. 542; Latvia, p. 103.)

Russia invited Finland to political discussion. (Finnish, No. 10, p. 42: "Now that the international situation has altered on account of the war.")


October 6. Chancellor Hitler demanded peace on his terms or a war of destruction. ("But if this war is really to be waged only in order to give Germany a new regime, that is to say, in order to destroy the present Reich once more and thus to create a new Treaty of

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Versailles, then millions of human lives will be sacrificed in vain, for neither will the German Reich go to pieces nor will a second Treaty of Versailles be made. And even should this come to pass after three, four, or even eight years of war, then this second Versailles would once more become the source of fresh conflict in the future.

"In any event, a settlement of the world's problems carried out without consideration of the vital interests of its most power­ful nations could not possibly, after the lapse of from five to ten years, end in any other way than that attempt made twenty years ago which is now ended. . . . If Europe is really sincere in her desire for peace, then the States in Europe ought to be grateful that Russia and Germany are prepared to transform this hotbed into a zone of peaceful development and that these two countries will assume the responsibility and bear the burdens inevitably involved.

"For the Reich this project, since it cannot be undertaken in an imperialistic spirit, is a task which will take fifty to a hundred years to perform.

"Justification for this activity on Germany's part lies in the political, organizing of this territory as well as in its economic development. In the long run, of course, all Europe will benefit from it. Second, and in my opinion by far the most important task, is the creation of not only a belief in, but also a sense of European security. . . . Neither force of arms nor lapse of time will conquer Germany. There never will be another No­vember 1918, in German history. It is infantile to hope for the disintegration of our people. . . ." Hitler, My New Order, pp. 750‑756. Conciliation, November 1939, No. 354, pp. 520-524.)


October 9. Finns mobilized. (Because of Russian demands. Finnish, No. 11, pp. 43 ff.)

German raider captured the American City of Flint. (Contra­band. Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 18, pp. 429‑431.)


October 10. Russia concluded 15‑year mutual assistance pact with Lithuania for military and air bases and right to fortify Lithua­nian‑German frontier. (". . . for the purpose of developing the friendly relations established by the Treaty of Peace of July 12, 1920, and based on recognition of the independent state existence and non‑intervention in the internal affairs of the other Party; recognizing that the Treaty of Peace of July 12, 1920, and the Pact on Non‑Aggression and the Peaceful Settlement of Conflicts of September 28, 1926, form as heretofore a firm basis for their mutual relations and undertakings; convinced that the defini­tion of the exact conditions of insuring mutual security and the just settlement of the question regarding the state appurtenance of the city of Vilno and Vilno Province, unlawfully wrested from Lithuania by Poland, meet the interests of both Contracting Parties, . . ." Ibid., No. 25, p. 705.)


October 11. President Roosevelt wrote President Mikhail I. Kalinin of Russia his hope that "the Soviet Union will make no demands on Finland which are inconsistent with the maintenance and development of amicable and peaceful relations between the two


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countries, and the independence of each." (Because of long­standing and deep friendship between the United States and Finland. Ibid., No, 17, p. 395.)


October 12. Prime Minister Chamberlain warned Germany to choose between definite guarantees for permanent European security and "war to the utmost of our strength." ("Peace conditions cannot be acceptable which begin by condoning aggression. . . . Past experience has shown that no reliance can be placed upon the promises of the present German Government. . . . Only when world confidence is restored will it be possible to find–as we would wish to do with the aid of all who show good will–­solutions of those questions which disturb the world; which stand in the way of disarmament, retard the restoration of trade, and prevent the improvement of the well‑being of the peoples. There is thus a primary condition to be satisfied. Only the German Government can fulfill it. If they will not, there can as yet be no new or better world order of the kind for which all nations yearn." Commons, Vol. 352, cols. 565‑566: Concilia­tion, Nov. 1939, No. 354, p. 533.)


October 14. Official Russian demands–garrisons and exchange of ter­ritories–presented to Finland. ("In the negotiations with. Fin­land the Soviet Union is mainly concerned with the settlement of two questions:

" (a) Securing the safety of Leningrad.

" (b) Becoming satisfied that Finland will maintain firm, friendly relations with the Soviet Union.

"Both points are essential for the purpose of preserving against external hostile aggression the integrity of the Soviet Union coast of the Gulf of Finland and also of the coast of Esthonia, whose independence the Soviet Union has undertaken to defend." Finnish, No. 13, p. 49.)


October 19. Poland protested to Lithuania the acceptance of territory ceded by Russia. (". . . which does not belong to the said Union." Bulletin,, Vol. I, No. 17, p. 403.)

Turkey signed 15‑year mutual assistance pact with France and Britain. ("Desiring to conclude a treaty of a reciprocal character in the interests of their national security, and to provide for mutual assistance in resistance to aggression, . . ." Ibid., No. 20, p. 544.)

Ambassador Joseph Grew‑told Japanese people American public opinion strongly resented Japan's actions in China. (". . . only through consideration of those facts, and through constructive steps to alter those facts, can Japanese‑American relations be improved. Those relations must be improved. . . . But the American people have been profoundly shocked over the wide­spread use of bombing in China, not only on grounds of humanity but also on grounds of the direct menace to American lives and property accompanied by the loss of American life and the crip­pling of American citizens; they regard with growing seriousness the violation of and interference with American rights by the

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Japanese armed forces in China in disregard of treaties and agree­ments entered into by the United States and Japan and treaties and agreements entered into by several nations, including Japan. The American people know that those treaties and agreements were entered into voluntarily by Japan and that the provisions of those treaties and agreements constituted a practical arrange­ment for safeguarding–for the benefit of all–the correlated prin­ciples of national sovereignty and of equality of economic oppor­tunity. The principle of equality of economic opportunity is one to which over a long period and on many occasions Japan has given definite approval and upon which Japan has frequently in­sisted. Not only are the American people perturbed over their being arbitrarily deprived of long‑established rights, including those of equal opportunity and fair treatment, but they feel that the present trend in the Far East if continued will be destructive of the hopes which they sincerely cherish of the development of an orderly world. American rights and interests in China are being impaired or destroyed by the policies and actions of the Japanese authorities in China. American property is being damaged or destroyed; American nationals are being endangered and sub­jected to indignities. . . . The traditional friendship between our two Nations is far too precious a thing to be either inadvertently or deliberately impaired." Ibid., pp. 513 ff.)


October 23. Finland made counterproposals to Russia. ("Finland understands the efforts which the Soviet Union is making to render the defense of Leningrad more secure. As she had re­peatedly stated before, Finland wishes her relations with the Soviet Union to remain friendly and good." Finnish, No. 14, p. 51.) Russia rejected them. (". . . in accordance with the views defined in the memorandum of the Government of the Soviet Union of October 14, the proposals advanced by them represent their minimum terms, . . ." Ibid., No. 15, p. 54.)


October 27. Poland protested German annexation of occupied territory. (". . . a new violation by the Reich of the elementary principles of international law relating to the conduct of an enemy in occu­pied territory." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 19, p. 458.)


October 31. Foreign Commissar Molotov said Russia had not only a right but a duty to adopt serious measures to strengthen its security. ("Leningrad lies at a shorter distance from another country than is necessary in order to bombard this town with modern long‑range guns. On the other hand, the approaches to Leningrad by sea are also dependent to a large extent on the inimical or friendly attitude towards the Soviet Union adopted by Finland, to which country the shore of the whole northern part of the Gulf of Finland belongs, as well as all the islands lying in the central part of that gulf." Finnish, No. 16, p. 56.)


November 1. Polish territory, Posen, and Upper Silesia annexed by decree of Germany. (Cf. Sept. 28, supra. Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 19, p. 458.)


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November 3. Russia incorporated Polish Western Ukraine and Western White Russia. (". . . owing to the collapse of the Polish State and the successful operations of our Red Army, . . ." Times,  Nov. 7, 1939, p. 5.)

Finland again rejected new Russian demands and offered counterproposals. ("The Government of Finland takes its stand on the integrity and neutrality of Finland. . . . The Government of Finland, acting in the name of a unanimous people, has thus given the U. S. S. R. positive proof of its desire to understand the considerations of security to which the U. S. S. R. attaches importance, and, similarly, in its efforts to reach a satisfactory settlement of political relations, it has gone as far as its independence, security, and neutrality permit. The ­concessions which Finland agrees to make to the U. S. S. R. in order to improve neighbourly relations and ensure peace represent, a very heavy sacrifice for the Finnish people, as they affect an area which has been inhabited by a Finnish population since very ancient date, and which for centuries has formed part of Finland's political territory." Finnish, No. 18, pp. 62, 65 f.)


November 4. The United States repealed the arms embargo in favor of a cash and carry policy. Neutrality Act of 1939. (Cf. Sept. 21, supra.; 54 Stat., Pt. I, p. 4.)

President Roosevelt issued new neutrality proclamations and defined combat areas. (Under new joint resolution: H. J. Res. 306; 76th Cong., 2d sess.; 54 Stat., Pt. II, p. 2673.)


November 7. Belgium and The Netherlands offered good offices ­("At this hour of anxiety for the whole world, before the war breaks out on the Western Front in all its violence, we have the conviction that it is our duty once again to raise our voice.

"Some time ago the belligerent parties have declared they would not be unrolling to examine a reasonable and well‑founded basis for an equitable peace.

"It seems to us that in the present circumstances it is difficulty for them to come into contact in order to state their standpoints with greater precision and bring them nearer one another.

"As the sovereigns of two neutral States having good relation with all their neighbors, we are ready to offer them our good offices. If this were agreeable to them, we are disposed to facili­tate by every means at our disposal that they might care to suggest to us and in a spirit of friendly understanding to ascer­tain the elements of an agreement to be arrived at.

"This, it seems to us, is the task we have to fulfill for the good of our peoples, and in the interest of the whole world." Times,  Nov. 8, 1939, p. 4.)


November 9. Finland again refused a military base to Russia. ("Fin­land cannot grant to a foreign Power military bases on her own territory and within the confines of her frontiers." Finnish, No. 19, p. 66; cf. No. 21, p. 69.)


November 13. Finnish‑Russian negotiations broken off. ('. . . we have unfortunately not succeeded in finding a basis for the pro­jected treaty between the U. S. S. R. and Finland, . . ." Ibid., No. 22, p. 70.)

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November 21. German‑Slovak treaty ceded to latter 225 square miles of Polish territory annexed in 1920, 1924, and 1938. (Hitler consented to the return. Times,  Nov. 22, 1939, p. 8.)


November 26. Russia protested to Finland "unexpected artillery fire from Finnish territory." (". . . the concentration of Finnish troops in the vicinity of Leningrad, not only constitutes a menace to Leningrad, but is, in fact, an act hostile to the U. S. S. R. which has already resulted in aggression against the Soviet troops and caused casualties. The Government of the U. S. S. R. have no intention of exaggerating the importance of this revolt­ing act committed by troops belonging to the Finnish Army–­owing perhaps to a lack of proper guidance on the part of their superiors–but they desire that revolting acts of this nature shall not be committed in future." Finnish, No. 23, p. 71.)


November 27. Finland rejected the protest. ("It appears, on the contrary, on investigation, that there was firing on November 26th from 15.45 to 16.05 o'clock (Soviet time) on the Soviet side of the frontier in the vicinity of the village of Mainila; which you mentioned. On the Finnish side the points could be seen where the shots had fallen, close to the village of Mainila, situated not more than 800 metres from the Frontier, beyond an open field. From the explosions caused by the seven shots which were heard, it was clear that the point where the arm or arms in question were fired was at a distance of about 1 ½–2 km southeast of the place where the shots exploded. . . Finland has committed no hostile act against the U. S. S. R. such as you allege to have taken place:" Ibid., No. 24,  p. 72.)


November 28. British Order in Council extended British contraband control to German experts. ("Whereas His Majesty has been compelled to take up arms against Germany in defense of the fundamental right of nations to a free and peaceful existence;

"And whereas German forces have in numerous cases sunk merchant vessels, British,  Allied and neutral, in violation of the rules contained in the Submarine Protocol, 1936, to which Germany is a party:

"And whereas merchant vessels, British, Allied and neutral, have been sunk by mines laid by German forces indiscriminately and without notification, in contravention of the obligations of humanity and the provisions of the Hague Convention No. VIII of 1907 to which Germany is a party:

"And whereas the sinking of these vessels has been effected without regard to their nationality or destination or to the nature, ownership or destination of their cargoes:

"And whereas these acts already have resulted in a grave loss of noncombatant life, British, Allied and neutral:

"And whereas it is manifest that the German Government have deliberately embarked on a policy of endeavouring to destroy all seaborne trade between the Allied and other countries by a ruth­less use of the forces at their disposal, contrary to the laws and customs of war, the rights of neutrals and the obligations of humanity:


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"And whereas this action on the, part of the German Govern­ment gives to His Majesty an unquestionable right of retalia­tion:

"And whereas the Allies of His Majesty are associated with Him in steps now to be announced for restricting further the commerce of Germany: . . ." Great Britain. Statutory Rules and Orders, 1939, Vol. II, pp. 3806‑3607.)

Russia denounced the Russian‑Finnish nonaggression treaty: ("The Finnish Government's reply to the note from the Govern­ment of the U. S. S. R., dated November 26, 1939, is a document which reflects the deep‑rooted hostility of the Finnish Govern­ment towards the U. S. S. R. and is the cause of extreme tension in the relations between the two countries.

"The fact that the Finnish Government deny that Finnish troops opened artillery fire on Soviet troops and caused casu­alties. . . . The refusal of the Finnish Government to with­draw the troops who committed this hostile act of firing on Soviet troops, and the demand of that Government for the simultaneous withdrawal of the Finnish and Soviet troops, a demand which would appear to be based on the principle of equality, reveals clearly the hostile desire of the Finnish Govern­ment to expose Leningrad to danger. . . . In concentrating a large number of regular troops in the immediate vicinity of Leningrad and subjecting that important vital centre of the U. S. S. R. to a direct threat, the Finnish Government have committed a hostile act against the U. S. S. R. which is incom­patible with the Treaty of Non‑Aggression concluded between the two States. . . . The Government of the U. S. S. R. cannot, however, admit that one of the parties should be allowed to violate the Treaty of Non‑Aggression, while the other party respects it." Finnish, No. 25, pp. 73 f.)


November 29. Russia broke diplomatic relations with Finland. ("At­tacks on Soviet troops by Finnish troops are known to be con­tinuing, not only on the Karelian Isthmus, but also at other parts of the frontier between the U. S. S. R. and Finland. The Govern­ment of the U. S. S. R. can no longer tolerate such a situation." Ibid., No. 26, p. 75; .cf. p. 91.

 Finland asked conciliation or arbitration according to Art. 5 of nonaggression treaty. ("In order to furnish signal proof of their sincere wish to reach an agreement with the Government of the U. S. S. R., and, with the object of disproving the Soviet Government's allegation that Finland has adopted a hostile attitude towards the U. S. S. R, and is desirous of menacing the safety of Leningrad, my Government are prepared to come to an understanding with the Government of the U. S. S. R. concerning the withdrawal of the defense troops on the Karelian Isthmus, with the exception of the units of frontier‑guards and Customs officials, to such a distance from Leningrad that it can no longer be claimed that they threaten the security of that town." Fin­nish, No. 27, p. 76.)

Secretary of State Hull suggested good offices of the United States to Russia and Finland. ("It would view with extreme

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regret any extension of the present area of war and the consequent further deterioration of international relations." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 23, p. 609.)


November 30. Russia invaded Finland. Mediation declined. (Finnish, No. 28, p. 77.)


December 1. President Roosevelt regretted Russian attack on Finland. ("To the great misfortune of the world, the present trend to force makes insecure the independent existence of small nations in every continent and jeopardizes the rights of mankind to self-government. The people and Government of Finland have a long, honorable, and wholly peaceful record which has won for them the respect and warm regard of the people and Government of the United States." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 23, p. 609.)

President Roosevelt appealed to Finland and Russia to refrain from air bombing of civilians. (Cf. Sept. 1. supra. Ibid. p. 610.)

Russia set up Finnish Soviet at Terijoki. (". . . apparently under the impression that it would be able with the aid of this shadow Cabinet to entice at least some part of the Finnish people over to its side." (Finnish, No. 29, p. 79; No. 33, p. 95 n; cf. No. 33, p. 100.) ("By the will of the people, indignant at the criminal policy of the contemptible Government of Cajander, Erkko and Tanner, a new government of our country–the People's. Provi­sional Government–was formed today in Eastern Finland. [Aimo Cajander is the former Premier of Finland, Eljas Erkko the former Foreign Minister, and V. A. Tanner, the present Foreign Minister.] . . . The people already rose in various parts of the country, and proclaimed the formation of a democratic republic. Part of the soldiers of Finland's army already have sided with the new government, backed by the people." Times,  Dec. 2, 1939, p. 4.)


December 3. Finland appealed to the League. (Under Arts. 11 and 15. Finnish, No. 28, p. 77.)


December 4. Russia rejected League proposals for settlement of the dispute with Finland. ("The U. S. S. R. is not at war with Fin­land and does not threaten the Finnish nation with war. Consequently reference to Article 11, paragraph 1, is unjustified. Soviet Union maintains peaceful relations with the Democratic Republic of Finland, whose Government signed with the U. S. S. R. on December 2, Pact of Assistance and Friendship. This Pact settled all the questions which the Soviet Government had fruitlessly discussed with delegates of former Finnish Government now divested of its power. By its declaration of December 1 the Government of the Democratic Republic of Finland requested the Soviet Government to lend assistance to that Republic by armed forces with a view to the joint liquidation at the earliest possible moment of the very dangerous seat of war created in Finland by its former rulers." Ibid., No. 33, p. 95 n.)


December 8. The United States protested British Order in Council of Nov. 28, supra. ("Whatever may be said for or against measures directed by one belligerent against another, they may not right­fully be carried to the point of enlarging the rights of a belligerent


EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II                                  227


over neutral vessels and their cargoes, or of otherwise penalising neutral states or their nationals in connection with their legiti­mate activities.

"Quite apart from the principles of international law thus involved, the maintenance of the integrity of which cannot be too strongly emphasized at this time when a tendency toward disrespect for law in international relations is threatening the security of peace‑loving nations, there are practical reasons which move my Government to take notice of the Order‑in-­Council here in question. In many instances orders for goods of German origin have been placed by American nationals for which they have made payment in whole or in part or have otherwise obligated themselves. In other instances the goods purchased or which might be purchased cannot readily, if at all, be dupli­cated in other markets. These nationals have relied upon such purchases or the right to purchase for the carrying on of their legitimate trade, industry, and professions. In these circum­stances, the British Government will readily appreciate why my Government cannot view with equanimity the measures con­templated by the Order‑in‑Council which if applied cannot fail to add to the many inconveniences and damages, to which innocent trade and commerce are already being subjected." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 24, pp. 651 f.)


December 9. Finland submitted aide‑memorie to the League. (Cf. Dec. 3, supra, Finnish, No. 30, p. 81.)


December 10. Finland appealed to all civilized nations for help. ("The people of Finland, who have always honestly endeavoured to build up their future in mutual understanding with all other nations and on the foundation of peaceful labour, are being ruthlessly attacked by their eastern neighbour without the slightest cause on the part of Finland. The conflict was thrust upon us. We have had no choice. The Finnish people fight for their inde­pendence, their liberty, and their honour. We defend the country of our birth, our democratic constitution, our religion, our homes, and everything civilized nations hold sacred. So far we still fight alone against the enemy invader, although in actual truth the struggle denotes the defence of the welfare of all humanity. We have already given proof of our will to do our best in this battle, but we trust that the civilized world, which has already revealed its deep sympathy for us, will not leave us alone in our struggle with a numerically superior enemy. Our position as the outpost of western civilization gives us the right to expect the active resistance of other civilized nations." Ibid., No. 31, pp. 88 f.)

The United States granted Finland $10,000,000 credit for agricultural supplies. (Finland paid her debts. Times,  Dec. 11, 1939; p. l.)


December 1l. Finland appealed for concrete help from the League. (". . . demonstrations of friendship, marks of encouragement, and the passing of judgment on the aggression are not enough. To be able to stand up against this treacherous aggression, the

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Finnish people have need of every possible practical support and assistance, and not merely of words of encouragement. The world's tears of indignation have gone to our hearts; Finland herself has shed tears enough in these last days. But we cannot protect the Finnish people from, the bullets, the bombs, the shrapnels, and the gas of the aggressor by international resolu­tions." Finnish, No. 32, pp. 93 f.)


December 12. Russia again rejected League appeal for armistice and mediation. (Cf. Dec. 4, supra. Ibid., No. 33., p. 95.)


December, 14. League of Nations Assembly expelled Russia and offered to coordinate world aid to Finland. ("Whereas, by the aggres­sion which it has committed against Finland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has failed to observe, not only its special agreements with Finland, but also Article, 12 of the Covenant of the League of Nations and the Pact of Paris; . . ." And whereas the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has not merely violated a covenant of the League, but has by its own action placed itself outside the Covenant;

"And whereas the Council is competent under Article 16 of the Covenant to consider what consequences should follow from this situation:" Ibid., pp. 110 f.)


December 15. The United States discouraged application for aircraft shipments to nations bombing civilians. ("In view of the policy to which the President referred [in his statement of Dec. 2, supra]. Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 25, p. 685.)


December 20. The United States embargoed "delivery to certain countries of plans, plants, manufacturing rights, or technical in­formation required for the production of high quality aviation gasoline." ("This decision has been reached with a view to conserving in this country certain technical information of stra­tegic importance as an extension of the announced policy of this Government in regard to the sale of airplanes, aeronautical equipment, and materials essential to airplane manufacture to countries the armed forces of which are engaged in unprovoked bombing or machine‑gunning of civilian populations from the air." Ibid., No. 26, p. 714.)


December 21. Rumania signed new economic agreement with Ger­many. (To amend exchange rate between leu and the mark. Times,  Dec. 22, 1939, p. 7. Cf. Mar. 23; supra.)


December 23. Twenty‑one American republics protested to France, Britain, and Germany. (Because of "the naval engagement which took place on the thirteenth instant off the northeastern coast of Uruguay, between certain British naval vessels and the German vessel Graf von Spee, which, according 'to reliable re­ports, attempted to overhaul the French merchant vessel Formose between Brazil and the port of Montevideo after having sunk other merchant vessels.


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"They are also informed of the entry and scuttling of the German warship in the waters of the River Plate upon the termination of the time limit which, in accordance with the rules of international law, was granted to it by the Government of the Republic of Uruguay.

"On the other hand, the sinking or detention of German merchant vessels by British vessels in American waters is publicly known, as appears–to begin with–from the recent cases of the Diisseldorf, Ussukuma, and others.

"All these facts which affect the neutrality of American waters, compromise the aims of continental protection provided for by the Declaration of Panama of October 3, 1939, . . . with a view to avoiding the repetition of further events. . . ." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 26, p. 723.)

President Roosevelt offered to send his personal representa­tive to the Pope. (". . . in order that our parallel endeavors for peace and the alleviation of suffering may, be assisted." Ibid., p. 712.)


December 30. Chancellor Hitler resolved to continue to fight. ("But the Jewish reactionary warmongers in the capitalistic democracies have awaited this hour for years. They had prepared and were unwilling to cancel their plans for destruction of Germany. These warmongers want war. They shall have it." Times,  Dec. 31, 1939, p. 4.)