The British War Bluebook
Mr. Shepherd to Viscount Halifax. July 19, 1939
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No. 37

Mr. Shepherd to Viscount Halifax.

(Telegraphic.) Danzig, July 19, 1939.

GAULEITER FORSTER visited the High Commissioner at noon to-day. The latter has sent me, in a personal and confidential form, notes of conversation, of which the following is a translation:-

The Gauleiter told me the result of his interview with German Chancellor was as follows:-

1. There is no modification of German claims regarding Danzig and the Corridor as formulated in Chancellor's speech to Reichstag.

2. Nothing will be done on the German side to provoke a conflict on this question.

3. Question can wait if necessary until next year or even longer.

4. The Gauleiter said that the Senate would henceforth seek intervention of High Commissioner in difficult questions which might arise between the Senate and Polish representative. This would, he said, terminate a war of notes which only poisons the situation, but he added that "a single press indiscretion to the effect that the Senate and German Government are having recourse to politics would immediately terminate practice and more direct and consequently more dangerous method would again be applied." He said verbatim: "We are having recourse to High Commissioner and not to Geneva itself."

5. He requested High Commissioner to intervene officially at once in the matter of military trains not announced beforehand. Non-observance of this rule, which was established by an exchange of letters between the Senate and Polish representative in 1921, would have effect beyond local Danzig question and would, for example, entail a modification of German usage announcing to Polish Government visit of warships to port of Danzig. In addition, according to information at disposal of Senate, there were 300 men at Westerplatte in place of 100 agreed to. Herr Forster gave his word of honour that there were at Danzig only a few anti-aircraft guns, anti-tank guns and light infantry guns-no heavy guns, not an invading German soldier-nobody but Danzigers and four German officers. He claimed that a sharp watch at the frontier was necessary by the extensive importation of weapons for 3,000 Polish reservists resident in the district.

6. Herr Forster will publish an article which he had already read to me confidentially on the occasion of our last interview, when he said he would submit the question of publication to the Chancellor's decision. This article underlines point of view announced in Reichstag speech. Herr Forster declared that if repercussion of his article is not violent and if there is no incident, this will put an end to all Danzig-Polish polemics and press would be ordered to drop the subject of Danzig completely.

7. If there is a d├ętente in situation, all military measures now taken in Danzig would be dropped.

8. The Gauleiter promised his loyal collaboration.

9. High Commissioner would be happy if it were possible to obtain from Poland a positive reaction in any formal matter which might arise in the near future so that new methods may be given a good initiation.

10. The Gauleiter said that Herr Hitler would have liked to take an opportunity to talk to the High Commissioner about the Danzig situation, but that Herr von Ribbentrop, who was present at the interview at Obersalzberg, had raised objections to which the Chancellor replied evasively: "Well, it will be a little later, I will let you know."

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