The British War Bluebook
Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw). September 1, 1939,
12:50 a. m.
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No. 100.
Viscount Halifax to Sir H. Kennard (Warsaw).

(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document did contain an ultimatum, the Polish Government would naturally refuse to discuss it until the ultimatum was withdrawn.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.

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