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The French Yellow Book


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No. 105 :
M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in Berlin, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Berlin, April 28, 1939.

THE speech just made by the F├╝hrer to the Reichstag, in answer to President Roosevelt's message, lasted for two hours and a half. There were two parts to it. In the first, which was in the nature of a speech for the defence, the Chancellor recalled the main principles of his policy and endeavoured to show that the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia was not incompatible with these principles, Germany having merely acted in obedience to vital political and economic necessities.

The second part was the actual reply to President Roosevelt, whose message the Chancellor dissected into twenty or so questions to which he replied in turn.

Concerning relations with Poland, Herr Hitler declared that the Danzig problem remaining an open question that must be settled, he had made the following proposals to the Polish Government:

"1. Danzig to return within the framework of the Reich, Germany to obtain an extra-territorial railway and road across the Corridor.

"2. In return, all Polish rights in Danzig to be recognized. Poland to retain for ever the right to a free port in Danzig.

"3. Poland and Germany to guarantee the frontiers of Slovakia.

"4. Germany to recognize the German-Polish frontier as final."

"This proposal," he added, "was rejected in the same way as happened in the case of Czechoslovakia. Poland thought it to her interest to yield to the pressure of the Democratic Powers, which promised her their support; and to decline this unparalleled proposal which will never be made again.

"I hope to be able to settle this question by compromise, as no one can imagine that Danzig could ever become a Polish city.

"Since the international Press has imputed aggressive intentions to the Reich, Poland has felt obliged to mobilize and to accept a pact of assistance. Now, the treaty between Germany and Poland never envisaged the conclusion of such a pact. It applied solely to the alliance with France. The German-Polish non-Aggression Pact has therefore no further meaning. It has been violated, and it no longer exists.

"However, that does not involve any change in my attitude to the problems themselves. If the Polish Government should once more wish to enter into negotiations on this subject I am quite willing to do so, provided that this time the question is clearly settled."

Coulondre.

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