The French Yellow Book
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No. 29
Communiqué published at the conclusion of the Franco-German conversations
Paris, December 6, 1938.

THE visit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Reich to Paris on December 6, has provided the opportunity for a Franco-German exchange of views over a wide range of questions. In the course of the conversations that have taken place, the principal European problems have been examined, most especially those which have a direct bearing on the political and economic relations between France and Germany. It has been recognized on both sides that the development of the relations between the two countries on the basis of the unequivocal recognition of their frontiers would not only serve their mutual interests, but also constitute an essential contribution towards the maintenance of peace.

In this spirit the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of both countries have signed a declaration which, while reserving the special relations of both Governments with third Powers, expresses their determination to cooperate in a peaceful spirit on a basis of mutual respect, and thus marks an important step on the way to general appeasement.

Declaration of M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs

I WISH first of all to greet H. E. the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the German Reich, whom we are happy to welcome and whose presence here emphasizes the importance of the documents we have just signed.

The efforts of the present French Government, continuing those of all its predecessors, have been directed with unswerving sincerity towards the maintenance and the organization of peace.

The furtherance of good neighbourly relations between France and Germany, as well as the expression of their mutual desire to develop peaceable relations, constitute an essential element in this enterprise.

For this reason I feel gratified at the signing of this Franco-German declaration, which, by solemnly recognizing the existing frontiers, puts an end to a long historical contest and opens the way to a collaboration which is made easier by the conviction that no difference which might endanger the peaceful basis of their relations now exists between the two countries.

This conviction is further reinforced by the mutual appreciation of the value of the intellectual exchanges which have always existed between the two nations, and by the esteem rightly felt for each other by two peoples which, after fighting heroically during the Great War, now desire to work in an atmosphere of understanding and peace.

Furthermore, I have no doubt that this joint declaration will bring to the cause of general appeasement a contribution the value of which will be confirmed in the future; it marks a particularly important stage in the task of reconciliation and cooperation in which France ardently desires to see all nations participate.

Declaration of Herr von Ribbentrop, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Reich

WITH to-day's declarations, France and Germany, taking into consideration the solid foundation constituted by the friendship uniting them to other States, have agreed to put an end to the age-long conflicts concerning their frontier, and, by mutually recognizing their territories, hope to facilitate the course of reciprocal understanding, and of consideration for the vital national interest of both countries.

As partners with equal rights, two great nations declare themselves prepared, after serious differences in the past, to establish good neighbourly relations in the future. With this declaration of good will, they express the conviction that no opposition of a vital nature exists between them, which could justify a serious conflict. The economic interests of the two countries complement each other. German art and the spiritual life of Germany owe valuable inspirations to France, just as Germany, on her side, has often enriched French art.

The mutual esteem which arose from the courage shown by the French and the German peoples during the World War can find its natural complement in peace, and still increase, thanks to the courageous effort of each nation in its daily work.

I am therefore convinced that the Franco-German declaration of today will help to remove historical prejudices and that the détente in our neighbourly relations which finds expression in this declaration will meet with unanimous approval not only from the leaders, but also from the peoples of our States.

The feelings of the German people towards a new orientation the relations between the two States were manifested by the warm welcome given at Munich to the French Prime Minister, M. Edouard Daladier. The marks of sympathy which I have received during the few hours of my stay in Paris prove how these feelings are also shared by the French population.

I hope and trust that the declaration of to-day will initiate a new era in the relations between our two peoples.

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