The British War Bluebook
Mr. Norton to Viscount Halifax. July 1, 1939.
Previous Document Contents Next Document

No. 32.

Mr. Norton to Viscount Halifax.

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, July 1, 1939.

YOUR telegram of 30th June.

I read M. Beck the gist of your telegram. M. Beck said that he would first give me a piece of information. German Government yesterday notified the Polish Government in proper legal manner that the Königsberg would visit Danzig for three days on 25th August. Polish Government were at once passing this on to the Danzig Senate with all courtesy adding that they had no objection.

2. Passing to the substance of your Lordship's message, M. Beck asked me to assure you that he entirely shared your view as to the necessity of foreseeing a situation in which Poland might be manoeuvred into a dilemma of either accepting a fait accompli or appearing to be aggressive.

3. He therefore was fully in favour of an exchange of views. He was, however, leaving Warsaw this evening for forty-eight hours and would prefer to go into the matter more thoroughly with me on Tuesday when he had thought things over especially as he had only returned yesterday from a week's leave.

4. He said that reading between the lines of your message he felt you might be thinking of a joint démarche in Berlin. He did not at first sight think the time had come for this. It might put us all into a position where we had to proceed more vigorously than seemed wise to either of our two countries.

5. I asked whether he thought Great Britain's action would be better taken with the Danzig Senate. He was inclined to think so but preferred not to commit himself at the moment.

6. He asked me assure you that despite some people's ideas of Polish rashness, the Polish Government were determined not to be scared by any psychological terrorism into imprudent action. Only last night there had been a rumour (the forty-ninth of its kind) that the Germans were going to march into Danzig at once. He had seen the Polish Chief of Staff and it had been decided that not one Polish soldier was to be moved. He had gone to bed and slept peacefully.

7. I asked if it was not the case that recent Nazi activities in Danzig were creating a worse military position for Poland. M. Beck replied that it was in a sense true, but 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. They would not succeed, and it must be clear to them now that any actual aggression would be met by the solid block of Great Britain, France and Poland.

8. He had not changed his attitude one jot since he spoke with you and the Prime Minister in London. He still desired peaceful and normal relations with Germany.

Previous Document Contents Next Document
World War II Page
127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.