The French Yellow Book

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No. 363 :
M. Francois-Poncet, French Ambassador in Rome, to M. Georges Bonnet, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Rome, September 2, 1939. 11.10 p.m.

(Received September 3, at 3.10 a.m.)

SIR PERCY LORAINE and I have returned to our respective Embassies, after waiting an hour in Count Ciano's room for the communications from London and Paris. It was agreed that, as soon as the telephone replies had reached him, Count Ciano would make them known to us.

At 7.20 p.m. Count Ciano informed me that Lord Halifax accepted the Italian suggestion, but on condition that the German troops should withdraw to the frontiers of the Reich. Count Ciano told me that he did not think he was in a position to put forward such a request to Germany. This was likewise Signor Mussolini's opinion.

The speech delivered in the Chamber of Deputies by M. Daladier intimated that the position of the French Government was the same as that of the British Government. Consequently, it seemed that the Italian suggestion would have to be abandoned.

Count Ciano informed me that he had therefore just telephoned to Signor Attolico that, in these circumstances, Signor Mussolini did not think he could follow up his suggestion.

The above news has been conveyed to your department by a telephone call received by M. Hoppenot.


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