The British War Bluebook
Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (Received 7:15 p. m.) Warsaw, August 31, 1939.
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No. 96.
Sir H. Kennard to Viscount Halifax (received 7:15 p. m.)

(Telegraphic.) Warsaw, August 31, 1939.

MY telegram of 31st August.

M. Beck has just handed me in writing Polish reply to my démarche last night***; translation is in my immediately following telegram. He particularly asked that it should be treated as most confidential.

2. I asked M. Beck what steps he proposed to take in order to establish contact with the German Government. He said he would now instruct M. Lipski to seek an interview either with the Minister for Foreign Affairs or State Secretary in order to say Poland had accepted British proposals. I urged him to do this without delay.

3. I then asked him what attitude Polish Ambassador would adopt if Herr von Ribbentrop or whoever he saw handed him the German proposals. He said that M. Lipski would not be authorized to accept such a document as, in view of past experience, it might be accompanied by some sort of ultimatum. In his view it was essential that contact should be made in the first instance, and that then details should be discussed as to where, with whom, and on what basis negotiations should be commenced.

4. As regards Danzig he pointed out that the situation there was becoming extremely serious. Polish officials were being arrested, railway traffic was suspended, and he thought it essential that immediate steps should be taken to secure a modus vivendi as a result of which those arrested would be released and railway traffic would be resumed. He suggested M. Burckhardt might be able to effect this.

5. He confirmed that no other serious incidents had occurred, but stated that he feared that in connexion with any negotiations he would have to appeal to the intervention of His Majesty's Government.

6. He added that if invited to go to Berlin he would of course not go, as he had no intention of being treated like President Hacha.

*** i.e., the night of August 30/31. Back

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