The French Yellow Book

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No. 263 :
M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in Berlin, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Berlin, August 27, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 1.20 p.m.)

THE démarche made by me yesterday had to be made. No doubt no immediate result can be expected from it, first because apparently we have not yet reached the climax of the trial of strength; then because Herr Hitler had to wait to learn the reception accorded by London to his overtures before taking up his position. It may nevertheless have had some psychological effect, at once, by confirming Herr Hitler in the belief that we are ready to fight, by making him face his responsibility and by showing him that we remain in favour of a solution honourable for both parties.

It is not to be ruled out that this démarche may bear fruit at the moment when Herr Hitler must make his choice between peace and war.

We cannot, however, in my opinion, expect a happy result from it unless we are careful not to give the impression that we are on the watch for every possible compromise, whatever the cost may be. I know full well that this is not in the minds of the French and British Governments. I have simply emphasized the importance of making appearances correspond with the facts to the very end.


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