The French Yellow Book

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No. 81 :
M. GEORGES BONNET, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in Berlin. Paris, March 19, 1939.

I approve your action in replying as you did to the extravagant statement of Herr von Weizsäcker according to which, in my Paris conversation with Herr von Ribbentrop, I am alleged to have said that "Czechoslovakia would no longer be the subject of an exchange of views." This conversation took place without Herr von Weizsäcker, and in the presence of M. Leger and Count von Welczeck only.

I emphasized during this interview-and Herr von Ribbentrop took note of it-that our declaration in no way affected the Franco-Polish and the Franco-Soviet pacts. I then insisted at length that the guarantee promised to Czechoslovakia by the Munich Agreement should also be given by Germany. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Reich replied that he was afraid Czechoslovakia was still impregnated with the Beneš spirit, and that the question was not yet ripe. In spite of my insistence I failed to obtain from him any assurance as to when this guarantee would be given.

In the circumstances I asked you to see Herr von Ribbentrop again during the months of January and February, in order to get the German guarantee for Czechoslovakia. In accordance with my instructions, you saw Herr von Weizsäcker on December 21 and Herr von Ribbentrop on February 6. A written Note was handed in by you on February 8. In reply to this Note, the German Government handed you on March 2 a written memorandum, designed to justify the delay of the required guarantee. In that document it puts forward as a reason the fact that the question of the Polish and Hungarian minorities has not yet been settled and adds that, in its opinion, any intervention in Central Europe by the Western Powers in the form of a guarantee would do more harm than good.

If, in the course of the Paris conversations, I had declared that "Czechoslovakia would no longer be the subject of an exchange of views," obviously the German Government would not have accepted your démarches and would have refused to be a party to the exchange of notes between the two Governments. You should lose no opportunity to protest against a statement which is one more proof of the German Government's bad faith.

Georges Bonnet.

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