The French Yellow Book

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No. 320 :
M. Corbin, French Ambassador in London, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. London, September 1, 1939.

(Received by telephone at 130 a.m.)

THE account of the conversation between the British Ambassador in Warsaw and M. Beck reached the Foreign Office at 6.30 p.m. The delay to which telegrams in Central Europe are subjected is the cause of the late delivery of this text, which should have reached London much earlier and the end of which had to be sent by telephone.

M. Beck stated that, in conformity with the British proposal, M. Lipski had been instructed to make contact with the German Government. In reply to a question from the British Ambassador, M. Beck explained that the Polish Ambassador would not be authorized, in the event of the text of the German proposals being presented to him, to accept such a document. The Polish Government, which has not forgotten the experiences of others or of similar ultimata, considers it indeed preferable not to receive a note delivered in such circumstances. M. Lipski's main duty would, therefore, be to establish contact and to discuss where and how negotiations could be opened.

M. Beck mentioned that the situation in Danzig was becoming and more serious, that it seemed indispensable to set up without delay a modus vivendi which would guarantee the release of the arrested Polish officials and the resumption of railway traffic. Perhaps the High Commissioner of the League of Nations would be able to act as intermediary in this connection.

The Polish Foreign Minister added at the end of the interview that he had no intention of going personally to Berlin nor of being another President Hacha, and that in the event of negotiations being opened he was afraid that, during their course, he would be obliged to appeal to the British Government for its good offices.

The written reply delivered to Sir Howard Kennard may be summarized as follows:

1. As already stated on several occasions, the Polish Government is prepared to agree to any exchange of views with the German Government on the basis of the British proposals;

2. The Polish Government is also prepared, subject to the desired conditions of reciprocity, to guarantee that the Polish troops will not commit any violation of the German frontier;

3. The immediate establishment of a modus vivendi in Danzig seems to the Polish Government essential;

4. The Polish Government deems it necessary to reserve its attitude towards the international guarantee mentioned by the British Government until a more definite idea can be reached of its exact implications;

5. The Polish Government hopes that it will always be able to call upon the good offices of Great Britain in the future.


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