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No. 63, 66, 67, 70-73, 84-86, 90, 93-97, 100, 101, 112, 113, 115: Messages between Kennard and Halifax on Potential War

24 Aug 1939

ww2dbase----- The British War Bluebook No. 63 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Thursday, 24 Aug 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, August 24, 1939.

FOLLOWING is translation of Polish note to the Danzig Senate:-

"Herr Staatsrat Boettcher to-day informed Councillor of the Polish Commissariat-General of the resolution of the Senate of the Free City conferring on Gauleiter Forster the functions and position of the head of the State ('Staatsoberhaupt') of the Free City, this being confirmed in to-day's Danzig press. I address myself to the Senate of the Free City as the body which, in accordance with the legally binding Constitution of the Free City, exercises supreme authority in that territory, in order to make on behalf of my Government the following declaration-

"My Government sees no legal foundation for the adoption by the Senate of the Free City of a resolution instituting a new State function for which there is no provision whatever in the Constitution of the Free City, and to which, as would appear, the authorities hitherto functioning in the Free City would be subordinated. The Polish Government reserve the right to adopt a further attitude in this respect.

"In this connexion the Polish Government consider it necessary to remind the authorities of the Free City that they have already more than once warned the Senate of the Free City in the most decisive fashion against a policy of fait accompli, the consequence of which might be most serious and the responsibility for which would fall exclusively upon the authorities of the Free City of Danzig."


----- The British War Bluebook No. 66 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Thursday, 24 Aug 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, August 24, 1939.

M. BECK told me that he considered situation most grave. Attitude of Danzig authorities was becoming more provocative, though he had no intention for the moment of actually breaking off negotiations regarding customs inspectors and so forth.

2. M. Beck has, as requested, instructed Polish Ambassador in Berlin to seek immediate interview with State Secretary, and, unless he found attitude of Herr von Weizsäcker unsatisfactory, he would attempt to examine all points at issue with a view to ascertaining whether anything can be done to relieve present tension.

3. M. Beck referred to certain incidents on the frontier, and I asked him more especially whether one which has caused great indignation here was true: it was reported in the press this morning that body of Polish frontier guard shot on 16th August was returned in a state of shocking and gruesome mutilation. M. Beck said that the facts were as stated in the press and that Commissioner-General was protesting to Danzig Senate without, however, demanding any reply.

4. As far as I can see, calm prevails, and M. Beck has assured me that strict orders have been given to prevent any provocative action either of military or any other nature. Frontier is still covered by ordinary frontier guards, and there would seem from M. Beck's attitude no necessity for warning which, nevertheless, I and my French colleague have given him to do nothing which would further aggravate present critical state of affairs.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 67 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Thursday, 24 Aug 1939
Received: Friday, 25 Aug 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, August 24, 1939.

MY telegram of 24th August.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs informs me that Polish Ambassador in Berlin had an interview with Field-Marshal Goring this afternoon. The interview was most cordial and he told me the Marshal expressed his regret that his policy of maintaining friendly relations with Poland should have come to nought and admitted that he no longer had influence to do much in the matter. The Marshal had, however, no concrete suggestion to make beyond what had struck M. Beck as a most significant remark which he requested me to convey to you most confidentially. The Marshal stated that the question of Danzig and so forth were relatively small matters, but the main obstacle to any diminution of the tension between the two countries was Poland's alliance with Great Britain.

2. M. Beck had consulted the President and Marshal Smigly-Rydz, and it had been decided that if the German Government should put forward this suggestion in any other way the answer would be categorically in the negative. M. Beck feels that the German Government may make every effort to secure a free hand in Eastern Europe by such methods and he feels that it should be clearly understood that Poland will not be drawn into any intrigue of this nature.

3. I asked M. Beck about the proposed interview between M. Lipski and the State Secretary. M. Beck said that Herr von Weizsäcker was in Berchtesgaden and would probably not return until the end of the week, but that M. Lipski had asked for an interview and was awaiting reply.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 70 -----
From: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Sent: Friday, 25 Aug 1939
To: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland

(Telegraphic.) Foreign Office, August 25, 1939, 11 p. m.

PLEASE sound Polish Government on proposal for corps of neutral observers which, if accepted, would, of course, only come into operation if and when it was found possible to start any negotiations.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 71 -----
From: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Sent: Saturday, 26 Aug 1939
To: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland

(Telegraphic.) Foreign Office, August 26, 1939, 5 p. m.

IT is clear that Herr Hitler is laying chief emphasis on ill-treatment of Germany minority, and may use this at any moment as an excuse for taking some irrevocable action.

2. Is it not possible for Polish Government to adopt suggestion that they should approach German Government with enquiry as to whether they would contemplate making exchange of populations an element to be considered in any negotiation? It is true this would afford no immediate safeguard as it is a remedy that would take some time to apply, but it would be a pledge that Polish Government recognise the difficulty and are genuinely seeking means to overcome it, and it would give Polish Government some definite and new point on which to open up negotiation.

3. If action is to be taken by the Polish Government in this sense it ought to be done immediately.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 72 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Sunday, 27 Aug 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, August 27, 1939.

YOUR telegrams of 25th and 26th August.

I discussed questions of exchange of populations and neutral observers with M. Beck this morning.

2. As regards first, he said that in principle he saw no objection and was prepared to convey to German Government that he was ready to consider such a proposal, possibly not directly to State Secretary, but in such a manner that he was sure it would reach the highest authorities.

3. As regards question of neutral observers, he had again consulted President of the Council, but he would let me know his decision in the course of the day.

4. As he told me that the Pope had during the night, through the Nuncio, asked if there was anything he could do, I suggested to M. Beck that he should inform His Holiness that he was prepared to consider an exchange of populations and also use of neutral observers in order to demonstrate that German accusations of maltreatment were completely without foundation. The Pope could then communicate these proposals to the German Government with approval of Polish Government. M. Beck seemed to consider this favourably and promised he would give it his immediate consideration. I warned him that there was no time to lose.

5. As regards Danzig, M. Beck did not from his latest information anticipate fait accompli there to-day or in very immediate future. For the moment all was quiet there as far as he knew.

6. I again emphasised to his Excellency importance of his giving sufficient warning to His Majesty's Government of any action which Polish Government or army contemplated taking as result of any fait accompli at Danzig. His Excellency again promised to do this, though he made reservation that situation might arise where immediate action would be necessary.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 73 -----
From: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Sent: Monday, 28 Aug 1939
To: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland

(Telegraphic.) Foreign Office, August 28, 1939, 2 p. m.

OUR proposed reply to Herr Hitler draws a clear distinction between the method of reaching agreement on German-Polish differences and the nature of the solution to be arrived at. As to the method we wish to express our clear view that direct discussion on equal terms between the parties is the proper means.

2. Polish Government enjoy protection of Anglo-Polish Treaty.

3. His Majesty's Government have already made it plain and are repeating in their reply to Herr Hitler to-day that any settlement of German-Polish differences must safeguard Poland's essential interests and must be secured by international guarantee.

4. We have, of course, seen reports of Herr Hitler's reply to M. Daladier, but we should not consider intimation by Polish Government of their readiness to hold direct discussions as in any way implying acceptance of Herr Hitler's demands, which would, as made plain above, have to be examined in light of principles we have stated.

5. As Polish Government appear in their reply to President Roosevelt to accept idea of direct negotiations, His Majesty's Government earnestly hope that in the light of the considerations set forth in foregoing paragraphs Polish Government will authorise them to inform German Government that Poland is ready to enter at once into direct discussion with Germany.

6. Please endeavour to see M. Beck at once and telephone reply.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 84 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Wednesday, 30 Aug 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, August 30, 1939.

I FEEL sure that it would be impossible to induce the Polish Government to send M. Beck or any other representative immediately to Berlin to discuss a settlement on basis proposed by Herr Hitler. They would certainly sooner fight and perish rather than submit to such humiliation, especially after examples of Czecho-Slovakia, Lithuania and Austria.

2. I would suggest that if negotiations are to be between equals it is essential that they should take place in some neutral country or even possibly Italy, and that the basis for any negotiations should be some compromise between the clearly defined limits of March proposals on the German side and status quo on the Polish side.

3. Considering that the Polish Government, standing alone and when they were largely unprepared for war, refused the March terms it would surely be impossible for them to agree to proposals which appear to go beyond the March terms now that they have Great Britain as their ally, France has confirmed her support and world public opinion is clearly in favour of direct negotiations on equal terms and is behind Poland's resistance to a dictated settlement.

4. I am, of course, expressing no views to the Polish Government, nor am I communicating to them Herr Hitler's reply till I receive instructions which I trust will be without delay.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 85 -----
From: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Sent: Wednesday, 30 Aug 1939
To: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland

(Telegraphic.) Foreign Office, August 30, 1939, 5:30 p. m.

ATMOSPHERE may be improved if strict instructions are given or confirmed by Polish Government to all their military and civil authorities:-

(1) Not to fire on fugitives or members of the German minority who cause trouble, but to arrest them;

(2) To abstain themselves from personal violence to members of German minority, and to prevent similar violence on the part of the population;

(3) To allow members of the German minority wishing to leave Poland to pass freely;

(4) To stop inflammatory radio propaganda.

Please inform M. Beck, adding that I realise that Herr Hitler is using reports to justify immoderate action, but I am anxious to deprive him of this pretext. I am requesting German Government to reciprocate; and warning them that Polish Government can only be expected to maintain such instructions if no provocation is offered by members of the German minority.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 84 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Wednesday, 30 Aug 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, August 30, 1939.

M. BECK has asked me to say:-

1. His Majesty's Government may rest absolutely assured that Polish Government have no intention of provoking any incidents. On the other hand, they point out that German provocation at Danzig is becoming more and more intolerable.

2. In connexion with proposed British answer to Herr Hitler, Polish Government feels sure that His Majesty's Government will not express any definite views on problems concerning Poland without consulting Polish Government.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 90 -----
From: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Sent: Wednesday, 30 Aug 1939
Received: Thursday, 31 Aug 1939
To: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland

(Telegraphic.) Foreign Office, August 30, 1939.

MY telegram to Berlin gives the text of the reply of His Majesty's Government to the German communication which has been repeated to you.

2. Please communicate it to M. Beck. In doing so, you should point out that, whilst the first part of the German Government's reply consists of an indefensible and misleading presentation of the German case, the really important part of the reply consists of Germany's acceptance of the proposal for direct discussion, of the suggestion of the proposed international guarantee, and Germany's assertion that she intends to respect Poland's vital interests.

3. It is perhaps unnecessary to take exception at this stage to much that finds place in the German reply, of which His Majesty's Government would be as critical as, they have no doubt, would be the Polish Government, but His Majesty's Government have made an express reservation in regard to statement of the particular demands put forward in the German note. The point that seemed to call for immediate comment was the German demand that a Polish representative should present himself at Berlin to-day. M. Beck will see the line we took last night on this (see my telegram to Berlin) and the further reference we have made to point in our reply to German Government's latest communication. German Government are now drawing up proposals for a solution, and it will be in the light of these, and of other developments, that the decision as to future procedure, including place and conditions of discussion, will have to be taken.

4. M. Beck will see from the reply of His Majesty's Government that the proposal has been made for a military standstill during discussions, to which His Majesty's Government earnestly hope that the Polish Government will have no objection.

5. His Majesty's Government would be glad to have the views of the Polish Government urgently. In view of the fact that the Polish Government have authorised His Majesty's Government to say that they are prepared to enter into direct discussions with the German Government, His Majesty's Government hope that, provided method and general arrangement for discussions can be satisfactorily agreed, Polish Government will be prepared to do so without delay. We regard it as most important from the point of view of the internal situation in Germany and of world opinion that, so long as the German Government profess themselves ready to negotiate, no opportunity should be given them for placing the blame for a conflict on Poland.

6. You should, of course, emphasise that His Majesty's Government have made it quite clear to Herr Hitler that they are irrevocably determined to implement their obligations without reserve. On this point there is no misunderstanding in Berlin. The position of the Polish Government is very different from that which they occupied last March, since it is now supported both by direct British guarantee and promise of British participation in guarantee of any settlement reached on bases we have indicated, and the conversations would be carried on against this background.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 93 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Thursday, 31 Aug 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic) Warsaw, August 31, 1939.

I HAVE communicated to M. Beck the reply of His Majesty's Government to Herr Hitler and made the comments therein in the sense of your telegram of 30th August. M. Beck stated that before giving me a definite reply he would have to consult his Government but he could tell me at once that he would do everything possible to facilitate the efforts of His Majesty's Government which he greatly appreciated. I think he was greatly relieved to know that His Majesty's Government had not in any way committed themselves as regards demands put forward by German Government and he fully realised the main importance which His Majesty's Government attaches to the necessity for not giving the German Government any opportunity for placing the blame on Poland in any refusal to enter into direct negotiations.

2. He has promised me the considered reply of his government by mid-day to-morrow. [31 Aug 1939]

3. I took the opportunity of impressing upon him again the necessity of avoiding any incidents in the meantime and asked him whether any had recently occurred. He said he had just heard that there had been a clash between German and Polish military forces but as at present informed he did not think it had amounted to more than an exchange of shots without serious casualties.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 90 -----
From: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Sent: Thursday, 31 Aug 1939
To: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland

(Telegraphic.) Foreign Office, August 31, 1939, 12 noon.

You should concert with your French colleague in suggesting to Polish Government that they should now make known to the German Government, preferably direct, but if not, through us, that they have been made aware of our last reply to German Government and that they confirm their acceptance of the principle of direct discussions.

French Government fear that German Government might take advantage of silence on part of Polish Government.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 90 -----
From: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Sent: Thursday, 31 Aug 1939
To: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland

(Telegraphic.) Foreign Office, August 31, 1939, 1:45 p. m.

BERLIN telegram of 30th August.

Please at once inform Polish Government and advise them, in view of fact that they have accepted principle of direct discussions, immediately to instruct Polish Ambassador in Berlin to say to German Government that, if latter have any proposals, he is ready to transmit them to his Government so that they may at once consider them and make suggestions for early discussions.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 96 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Thursday, 31 Aug 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, August 31, 1939.

MY telegram of 31st August.

M. Beck has just handed me in writing Polish reply to my démarche last night [night of 30-31 Aug 1939]; translation is in my immediately following telegram. He particularly asked that it should be treated as most confidential.

2. I asked M. Beck what steps he proposed to take in order to establish contact with the German Government. He said he would now instruct M. Lipski to seek an interview either with the Minister for Foreign Affairs or State Secretary in order to say Poland had accepted British proposals. I urged him to do this without delay.

3. I then asked him what attitude Polish Ambassador would adopt if Herr von Ribbentrop or whoever he saw handed him the German proposals. He said that M. Lipski would not be authorized to accept such a document as, in view of past experience, it might be accompanied by some sort of ultimatum. In his view it was essential that contact should be made in the first instance, and that then details should be discussed as to where, with whom, and on what basis negotiations should be commenced.

4. As regards Danzig he pointed out that the situation there was becoming extremely serious. Polish officials were being arrested, railway traffic was suspended, and he thought it essential that immediate steps should be taken to secure a modus vivendi as a result of which those arrested would be released and railway traffic would be resumed. He suggested M. Burckhardt might be able to effect this.

5. He confirmed that no other serious incidents had occurred, but stated that he feared that in connexion with any negotiations he would have to appeal to the intervention of His Majesty's Government.

6. He added that if invited to go to Berlin he would of course not go, as he had no intention of being treated like President Hacha.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 97 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Thursday, 31 Aug 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, August 31, 1939.

FOLLOWING is text of Poland's reply dated 31st August, 1939:

"(1) Polish Government confirm their readiness which has previously been expressed for a direct exchange of views with the German Government on the basis proposed by British Government and communicated to me by Lord Halifax's telegram of 28th August addressed to the British Ambassador, Warsaw.

"(2) Polish government are also prepared on a reciprocal basis to give a formal guarantee that in the event of negotiations taking place Polish troops will not violate the frontiers of the German Reich provided a corresponding guarantee is given regarding non-violation of frontiers of Poland by troops of the German Reich.

"(3) In the present situation it is also essential to create a simple provisional modus vivendi in the Free City of Danzig.

"(4) As regards the suggestions communicated to Polish Government on 28th August through the intermediary of the British Ambassador at Warsaw, an explanation of what the British Government understands by international guarantee would be required in regard to relations between Poland and the German Reich. In default of an answer to this fundamental question the Polish Government are obliged completely to reserve their attitude towards this matter until such time as full explanations are received.

"(5) Polish Government express hope that in the event of conversations with the German Reich being initiated, they will continue to be able to take advantage of good offices of His Majesty's Government."


----- The British War Bluebook No. 100 -----
From: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Sent: Friday, 1 Sep 1939
To: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland

(Telegraphic.) Foreign Office, September 1, 1939, 12:50 a. m.

YOUR telegrams of 31st August (Nos. 96 and 97):-

1. I am glad to learn that Polish Ambassador at Berlin is being instructed to establish contact with German Government.

2. I fully agree as to the necessity for discussing detailed arrangements for the negotiations and as to the undesirability of a visit by M. Beck to Berlin.

3. On the other hand, I do not see why the Polish Government should feel difficulty about authorising Polish Ambassador to accept a document from the German Government, and I earnestly hope that they may be able to modify their instructions to him in this respect. There was no mention of any ultimatum in the report on the German proposals which has been furnished to us, and the suggestion that the demand for the presence of a Polish plenipotentiary at Berlin on 30th August amounted to an ultimatum was vigorously repudiated by Herr von Ribbentrop in conversation with His Majesty's Ambassador. If the document did contain an ultimatum, the Polish Government would naturally refuse to discuss it until the ultimatum was withdrawn. On the other hand, a refusal by them to receive proposals would be gravely misunderstood by outside opinion.

4. I should have thought that the Polish Ambassador could surely be instructed to receive and transmit a document and to say (a) if it contained anything like an ultimatum, that he anticipated that the Polish Government would certainly be unable to discuss on such a basis, and (b) that, in any case, in the view of the Polish Government, questions as to the venue of the negotiations, the basis on which they should be held, and the persons to take part in them, must be discussed and decided between the two Governments.

5. If negotiations are initiated, His Majesty's Government will at all times be ready, if desired, to lend any assistance in their power to achieve a just settlement.

6. As regards an international guarantee, this will no doubt have to be fully discussed. What His Majesty's Government had in mind was a guarantee of the full and proper observance of any settlement reached.

7. As regards Danzig, we fully share the view of M. Beck as to the importance of establishing some modus vivendi. We have already made a suggestion in this sense to the German Government and will in the light of paragraph 4 of your telegram of 31st August do so again. If German Government agree, I will at once approach M. Burckhardt.

8. Please speak to M. Beck immediately in the above sense.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 101 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Friday, 1 Sep 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, September 1, 1939.

YOUR telegram of 1st September was decyphered at 4 a. m. to-day.

2. M. Lipski had already called on the German Foreign Minister at 6:30 p. m. yesterday. In view of this fact, which was followed by German invasion of Poland at dawn to-day, it was clearly useless for me to take the action suggested.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 112 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Friday, 1 Sep 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, September 1, 1939.

MINISTER for Foreign Affairs has just telephoned to me in the middle of an air raid to beg me to point out to your Lordship that various cases of armed German aggression, which have occurred this morning on Polish soil, cannot be taken longer as mere isolated cases but constitute acts of war. Various open towns have been bombed from the air, with heavy civilian casualties, and his Excellency drew my attention to desirability of some military action from the air this afternoon.

2. His Excellency pointed out that at 6:30 p. m. Polish Ambassador saw Herr von Ribbentrop and expressed readiness of Polish Government to enter into direct negotiations. At dawn this morning, without any further diplomatic development or declaration of war, Germany had committed various acts of unprovoked aggression on a major scale, and thus, while Polish Government had made every effort to avoid serious clashes, German forces had deliberately attacked Polish territory and already caused deaths of numerous innocent civilians. Polish Government had, therefore, no course but to break off relations with German Government, and Polish Ambassador at Berlin has asked for his passports.

3. His Excellency failed to see what measures could now be taken to prevent European war, and while he did not say so in so many words it is obvious that he hopes His Majesty's Government will take some action of a military character to relieve the pressure on this field of operations.

4. M. Beck has also given me a categorical and official denial that any Polish act of aggression occurred last night as stated by Deutsches Nachrichten-Büro.

5. French Ambassador has suggested to me that French and British wireless should repeatedly point out that Germany has openly and flagrantly attacked Poland without warning.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 113 -----
From: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Sent: Friday, 1 Sep 1939
To: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland

Sir, Foreign Office, September 1, 1939.

THE Polish Ambassador called to see me at his request at 10:30 this morning. Count Raczynski said that he had been officially informed from Paris that German forces had crossed the frontier at four points. He added that the towns of Vilno, Grodno, Brest-Litovsk, Lodz, Katowice and Cracow were being bombed and that at 9 a. m. an air attack had been made on Warsaw, as a result of which there were many civilian victims, including women and children. As regards the German attack, he understood, although he had no official information, that the points at the frontier which had been crossed were near Danzig, in East Prussia and Upper Silesia. His Excellency said that he had few words to add, except that it was a plain case as provided for by the treaty. I said that I had no doubt on the facts as he had reported them that we should take the same view.

I am, etc.

HALIFAX.


----- The British War Bluebook No. 115 -----
From: Sir Howard W. Kennard, Ambassador to Poland
Sent: Saturday, 2 Sep 1939
To: Viscount Halifax, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, September 2, 1939.

M. BECK requested French Ambassador and me to see him to-day and points out while the Polish army was sternly resisting the German attack it found itself much hampered by German superiority in the air. It was possible for German Air Force to throw whole of their weight on this front at present, and he very discreetly suggested it was essential that there should be some diversion as soon as possible in the West.

2. He hoped, therefore, we would inform him as soon as possible of entry of the two countries into the war and that our aircraft would find it possible to draw off a considerable proportion of German aircraft operating on this front.

3. His Excellency also drew our attention to the fact that German aircraft had not confined themselves strictly to military objectives. They have bombed factories not engaged in war work, villages not near military objectives, and have caused severe losses among civilian population.

4. I trust I may be informed at the earliest possible moment of our declaration of war and that our air force will make every effort to show activity on western front with a view to relieving pressure here.
ww2dbase

Source: The British War Bluebook; courtesy of Yale Law School Avalon Project
Added By: C. Peter Chen





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