The French Yellow Book

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No. 246 :
M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in Berlin, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Berlin, August 26, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 12.15 a.m.)

YESTERDAY Herr Hitler informed my British colleague that he was determined to remedy the weakness of his eastern frontier, due to the presence there of alien minorities. Sir Nevile Henderson asked him if, as in the Tyrol, he proposed to carry out an exchange of populations, but the Führer gave no definite answer.

My British colleague and I think that this is a most interesting idea and one which might make possible the reopening of conversations between Poland and Germany, and might even bring about an improvement in the relations between the two countries. We consider that this idea, which in principle at least harmonizes with the Führer's views, might be the object of an immediate proposal on the part of the Polish Government to the Government of the Reich.

This opinion is shared by my Polish colleague. At my suggestion, he will recommend it by telegram to his Government, which has already been informed of his conversation with the British Ambassador. I have pointed out to him that, at the present juncture, gaining time may be the decisive factor. It is not impossible that moderates in the National-Socialist party may find in the Russian pact fresh arguments to dissuade the Führer from going to war, by calling his attention to the unlimited economic possibilities of the Reich's collaboration with the Soviet.

Time presses, and a Polish approach should be made to Herr Hitler within 48 hours.

I take the liberty of impressing on the Department the importance of their instructing our Ambassador in Warsaw to give the above suggestion emphatic support.


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