The French Yellow Book

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No. 63 :
M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in Berlin, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Berlin, March 14, 1939.

THE State Secretary, who this morning received my British colleague, gave him in substance the following information:

Germany holds the Tiso Government to be the only legal Government. She considers the action taken against it by the Prague Government contrary to the constitution.

The Reich desires the maintenance of order, proper treatment for the German minority and the final elimination of "the Beneš spirit."

It has not yet been decided in Berlin what action will be taken, and up to the present no ultimatum has been addressed to the Prague Government. It is considered that matters can be settled in a decent manner, especially if the Czech Government respects the decision of the Slovak Diet. Moreover, the line of policy to be observed in regard to Czechoslovakia is a matter of divergent opinions and has not yet been fixed.

The State Secretary has indicated to Sir Nevile Henderson that the Reich Government had no contact with the Czech Government, but that he personally did not consider that there was any objection to such contact, provided that it took place between Governments.

In giving his account of that conversation to the Foreign Office my colleague said in conclusion that there is still hesitation in Berlin over the line of conduct to be adopted. This is certainly the impression which Herr von Weizsäcker gives; but I am not certain that the declarations of the State Secretary are still in accordance with the actual facts.

I am inclined to believe that the National-Socialist Government has from now on decided on a break-up of the nationalities constituting Czechoslovakia, a break-up which would be only the first step in a complete partition of the country.


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