The French Yellow Book

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No. 178 :
M. DE LA TOURNELLE, French Consul in Danzig, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Danzig, August 3, 1939.

IT is with great surprise and considerable anxiety that we have learned in Danzig of the measures of economic reprisal taken by the Polish Government in reply to the difficulties experienced by the Customs inspectors in the performance of their duties.

The smuggling of arms having been carried on for months without penalties and the Free City having been placed on a military footing without protest from Warsaw, so drastic a decision was no longer anticipated. Since August 1 the margarine of the Amada Company, an English company with Dutch capital, and the herrings caught by Dutch fishing boats flying the Danzig flag cannot be imported free of duty into Poland. The annual sales of these products amount to 15,000,000 and 5,000,000 zlotys respectively. The Amada Company imports 8,000 tons into Poland, which amounts to 95 per cent of the total quantity consumed in that country, and buys there 20,000 tons of colza, which amounts to 50 per cent of the total output.

By way of reprisal the Senate has ordered its Customs officials only to work with the Polish inspectors if they are what they purport to be and not frontier guards in disguise; at the same time no means of ascertaining this difference has been indicated to them.

In official circles there are hints of the possibility, if Poland persists in her "direct action," of the opening of the Customs frontier between the Reich and Danzig. But there is no concealing the fact that very serious consequences might result from such a step.


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