The French Yellow Book

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No. 312 :
M. Coulondre, French Ambassador in Berlin, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Berlin, August 31, 1939. 3.10 p.m.

(Received at 5.10 p.m.)

THE German Press is manifestly divided today between its care to keep the public on tenterhooks and its desire not to excite public opinion too much. The expectant attitude which has been maintained during the last few days by the newspapers is now visibly tinged with a certain embarrassment.

This attitude confirms what I have already reported on the subject of the uncertainty and vacillation which would seem to prevail in Government circles. The impression that the Reich has not decided to go any further is beginning to spread among the population.

The creation of a ministerial council for National Defence would appear to be intended to some extent to convey the impression that the Government is doing something, although many people notice that things are not progressing, despite the immense effort called for from the country.

In semi-official circles they entertain, or pretend to entertain, a double hope.

The first, which is steadily growing fainter, is to see the crisis move towards a compromise similar to that of Munich.

The second, which becomes more and more definite, aims at securing from Russia active assistance, the very promise of which would make the strategic situation of Poland appear untenable.

The Börsenzeitung this morning clearly threatens Poland and its allies with this Russo-German military collusion. On the German side, without doubt, no stone will be left unturned to achieve it, at least on paper. It is probably one of the last trump cards kept in reserve by Herr von Ribbentrop.


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