The French Yellow Book
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No. 7
M. Corbin, French Ambassador in London, to M. Paul-Boncour, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

London, March 13, 1938. M. MASARYK, the Czechoslovak Minister, acting on instructions from his Government, handed to the Foreign Office this morning a note in the following terms:

"I have reported to my Government the interview which you were good enough to grant me to-day.

"I have in consequence been instructed by my Government to bring to the official knowledge of His Majesty's Government the following facts: Yesterday evening (the 11th March) Field-Marshal Goering made two separate statements to M. Mastny, the Czechoslovak Minister in Berlin, assuring him that the developments in Austria will in no way have any detrimental influence on the relations between the German Reich and Czechoslovakia, and emphasizing the continued earnest endeavour on the part of Germany to improve these mutual relations.

"In the first statement the Field-Marshal used the expression: 'Ich gebe Ihnen mein Ehrenwort.'

"In the second statement Field-Marshal Goering asserted that, having given his own word previously, he was now able to give the word of the head of the State, who had authorized him to take over temporarily his official duties. He then repeated the above assurances.

"To-day (the 12th March) Field-Marshal Goering asked M. Mastny to call on him, repeated yesterday's assurances and added that the German troops, marching into Austria, have strictest orders to keep at least 15 kilometres from the Czechoslovak frontier; at the same time he expressed the hope that no mobilization of the Czechoslovak army would take place.

"M. Mastny was in a position to give him definite and binding assurances on this subject, and to-day spoke with Baron van Neurath, who, among other things, assured him on behalf of Herr Hitler that Germany still considers herself bound by the German-Czechoslovak Arbitration Convention concluded at Locarno in October 1925.

"M. Mastny also saw to-day Herr van Mackensen, who assured him that the clarification of the Austrian situation will tend to improve German-Czechoslovak relations.

"The Government of the Czechoslovak Republic wish to assure His Majesty's Government that they are animated by the earnest and ardent desire to live in the best possible neighbourly relations with the German Reich. They cannot, however, fail to view with great apprehension the sequel of events in Austria between the date of the bilateral agreement between Germany and Austria (July 11, 1936) and yesterday (March 11, 1938)."

At the same time, M. Masaryk, speaking personally, expressed to Lord Halifax the hope that the British Government would inform Berlin, in any manner they might consider appropriate, but in an emphatic way, that they are aware of the assurances given by the Government of the Reich to Czechoslovakia.

The document translated above should, until further notice, be regarded as confidential.


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