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Prague, March 12. 1938.
GERMANY'S violent action against Austria is naturally considered by M. Krofta as an exceedingly serious menace to the future of Czechoslovakia. But he does not believe that the danger is immediate. He is of the opinion that the German Government is afraid that an action against Czechoslovakia might lead to a general war, and the declarations made by Field-Marshal Goering to M. Mastny are a proof of this fear.
The Field-Marshal is said to have declared yesterday, at 11 p.m., to the Czechoslovak Minister, that the Berlin Government considered what was happening in Austria as a family affair, but that its relations with Czechoslovakia were of an entirely different nature. Field-Marshal Goering gave his word of honour that that country would not be attacked by Germany.
The Field-Marshal is said to have repeated this undertaking a little later during the night, adding that this time he was doing so officially, as Herr Hitler, who was for the moment in retirement, had entrusted him with the direction of the State.
Finally, this morning, Field-Marshal Goering is said to have telephoned to M. Mastny that, in order to prevent any incidents, he had forbidden the German troops to approach within 15 kilometres of the Czechoslovak frontier, on the understanding that Czechoslovakia, on her side, should abstain from any interference in Austro-German affairs.
Yesterday, at 5 p.m., on an inquiry made by M. Eisenlohr, M. Krofta denied the rumour that the Prague Cabinet had ordered mobilization or was thinking of doing so. At the request of the German Minister, M. Kraft repeated this dementi during the night, and the newspapers have published it this morning. The Minister has also described as ridiculous the rumour that a great number of Austrian refugees have crossed the frontier into Czechoslovakia. It appears, in fact, that there are in the country only between 90 and 100 refugees from Austria.
M. Krofta does not know whether they have returned to Austria. The Press has been advised to exercise great caution and moderation in commenting on the events.
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