House Resolution N




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July 24. Chamberlain makes statement concerning the special require­ments of Japanese in China. ("His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom fully recognise the actual situation in China where hostilities on a large scale are in progress and note that, as long as that state of affairs continues to exist, the Japanese forces in China have special requirements for the purpose of safeguarding their own security and maintaining public order in regions under their control and that they have to suppress or remove any such acts or causes as will obstruct them or benefit their enemy. His Majesty's Government have no intention of countenancing any act or measures prejudicial to the attainment of the above­mentioned objects by Japanese forces and, they will take this
EVENTS LEADING UP TO WORLD WAR II 199
opportunity to confirm their policy in this respect by making it plain to British authorities and British nationals in China that they should refrain from such acts and measures." Commons, Vol. 350, col. 994.)
July 25. Poland still thought British French Polish démarche to Danzig Senate advisable. (There were no facts to indicate a German change of policy. British, No. 39, p. 107.) Nazi Party leader Albert Forster told League High Commissioner military precautions would be liquidated by the middle of September. (Ibid., No. 40, p. 107. Cf. July 19, supra)

Herr von Selzam reported from London extensive practice flights of British Royal Air Force July 11 and 21. (". . . to demonstrate to the world that the British Air Force is ready for action." German, No. 322, p. 344. Cf. July 10, 14, supra.)


July 26. The United States denounced the American Japanese com­mercial treaty of 1911. ("During recent years the Government of the United States has been examining the treaties of commerce and navigation in force between the United States and foreign countries with a view to determining what changes may need to be made toward better serving of the purposes for which such treaties are concluded. In the course of this survey, the Govern­ment of the United States has come to the conclusion that the Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between the United States and Japan which was signed at Washington on February 21, 1911, contains provisions which need new consideration. . . ." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 5, p. 81. Cf. July 24, supra. Cf. Peace, p. 475.)
July 28. Sir Samuel Hoare, British Home Secretary, explained the necessity for including in the budget a Ministry of Information which would function only in war. ("In the event of war, the Ministry of Information, as I see it, would become the center of information, and the Foreign Office activities would be taken over by it." Commons, Vol. 350, col. 1833. Cf. Jan. 23, 28, Feb. 22, Mar. 28, 19, Apr. 20, 26, May 11, supra.)

British French Russian staff consultations were to be held in Moscow. ("Britain and France want to avoid at any, cost the postponement or breaking off of the negotiations, because they believe that, as long as negotiations are being carried on, Germany will not undertake anything in Danzig. . . . By sending two representative military missions to Moscow, it is hoped to create an atmosphere favorable to the conclusion of a political treaty as well." German, No. 323, p. 346. Cf. May 31, June 7, supra.)


July 31. Danzig Senate demanded Polish customs police be with­drawn. (British, No. 41, p. 108. Cf. June 3, 10, July 19, supra.)

Poland took economic reprisals against Danzig. (Because of action concerning Polish customs guards. French, No. 175, p. 210. Cf. No. 178, p. 214.)



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August 4. Poland notified Danzig Senate that her customs inspectors would be armed Aug. 6 and that she would oppose as act of violence any interference with their duties. (Rumor that East Prussia frontier would be opened. German, No. 432, , p. 439. Cf. British, No. 43, p. 110. Such a move would be casus belli. Ibid., No. 44, p. 111.)
August 7. Danzig Senate rejected Polish accusation, protested armed inspectors as violation of agreement. (German, No. 434, p. 440. Cf. French, No. 183, p. 220. Cf. British, No. 45, pp. 111 f.)
August 9. Germany protested Polish economic reprisals and note to Danzig Senate. (". . . the repetition of such a demand, in the form of an ultimatum, to the Free City of Danzig and the threat of retaliatory measures would lead to greater tension in the re­lationship between Germany and Poland, and that the responsi­bility of such consequences would devolve exclusively on the Polish Government; for the German Government herewith repudi­ates in advance all responsibility for them. . . . likely to bring about serious economic loss to the population of Danzig. Should the Polish Government continue to support such measures, there would, in the opinion of the Reich Government, be no choice left to the Free City of Danzig, as matters stand, but to seek other export and, consequently, other import possibilities." (German, No. 445, p. 453; British, No. 47, p. 114. Cf. Aug. 4, supra.)
August 10. Poland rejected German protest and decided to consider as aggressive act any German. intervention that endangered her legal, rights and interests. ("The Polish Government, in fact, cannot perceive any legal foundation justifying Germany to interfere in the above mentioned relations." German, No. 446, p. 453; British, No. 47, p. 114. Cf. Aug. 9, supra.)
August 11 13. Conference of Chancellor Hitler, Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop, and Foreign Minister Ciano. (Simonds, Emeny, p. 690. Cf. May 22, supra.)
August 12. Beginning of Franco British Russian staff conversations. (Cf. July 28, supra. Ibid., p. 690. Cf. July 28, supra.)
August 15. Ambassador Coulondre told Germany the Franco British­-Polish alliance would function automatically. ("All, from the man in the street upwards, had realized that a danger, the most formidable of dangers to them, the loss of their liberty and of their independence, threatened them; and they have been prac­tically unanimous in considering the restoration of a balance of power in Europe as indispensable for the preservation of these blessings; . . ." French, No, 194, p. 234. "For her security France needed balance of power in Europe. If this were dis­turbed in favor of Germany, i.e. if Poland were overrun by Germany now, it would be France's turn next; or else France's power would have to decline to the level of Belgium or The Nether­lands. France would then be practically Germany's vassal and this is exactly what she did not wish to be." German, No. 449, p. 456. Cf. May 31, supra.)
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Minister, von Weizsäcker told Ambassador Henderson that the limit of German patience had been reached. ("The policy of a ­country like Poland consisted of a thousand provocations." German, No. 450, p. 458; cf. British, No. 48, pp. 116 ff. Whereupon Ambassador Henderson told Minister von Weizsäcker Britain would meet force with force. "We seemed to be rapidly drifting towards a situation in which neither side would be in a position to give way and from which war would ensue . . .")

Lord Halifax suggested that Poland not let questions of face or procedure hinder settlement of local Danzig issues, that she moderate the press, and protect the German minority. ("I have the impression that Herr Hitler is still undecided and anxious to avoid war and to hold his hand if he can do so without losing face. As there is a possibility of his not forcing the issue, it is, evidently essential to give him no excuse for acting, . . ." British, 50, p. 119. Polish Foreign Minister Beck agreed to attempt local settlement. Ibid., No. 51, p. 120. Cf. July 21, supra.)


August 18. Ambassador Henderson again emphatically warned. Germany not to make the mistake of believing Britain would not assist Poland with arms. (Because of "a fundamental difference between British and German information and opinions." German, No. 451, p. 459. Cf. Aug. 15, supra.)
August 19. German Russian trade agreement signed. (Simonds, Emeny, p. 690. Cf. May 3, 7, 22, July 4, supra.)
August 20. Ambassador Noel informed his Foreign Office that Chan­cellor Hitler would "settle the Danzig question" before Sept. 1. (French, Nos. 203, 204, p. 249: "German honor is at stake in Danzig and Germany cannot retreat: . . ." Cf. May 25, June 20, 27, supra.)
August 21. Ambassador Coulondre reported to his Foreign Office the beginning of German troop concentrations. ("Considering as I do that nothing should be left undone which might prevent Germany from proceeding further, I feel it my duty to stress once more the urgent and imperative necessity of taking the necessary measures, both as regards the calling up of reserves and the mobilization of industry, so that our preparations shall remain level with those of Germany.

"Even more them a military necessity, this is, in my, opinion, a political necessity. What constitutes one of the gravest dan­gers of war at the present time is the doubt which the Government of the Reich may still have concerning the intentions of France and Britain to lend Poland their support.

"If we prove by our military and other measures that we are actually getting ready to fulfill our obligations, we shall thereby make use of the best possible method to dissipate this doubt. On the other hand, the Third Reich would find dangerous en­couragement in the thought that a disparity in its favour may exist between the German preparations and our own." Ibid., No. 205, p. 250; Ibid., No. 207, p. 251.)

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August 22. It. was announced that the British Cabinet was of the opinion that the proposed German Russian nonaggression pact would not affect its obligation to Poland. (". . . they remain of the opinion that there is nothing in the difficulties that have arisen between Germany and Poland which would justify the use of force, involving a European war with all its tragic consequences, as the Prime Minister has repeatedly said. There are indeed no questions in Europe which should not be capable of peaceful solution, if only conditions of confidence could be re­stored." Cf. May 7, 22, July 4, supra. London Times, Aug. 23, 1939, p. 12.)

Prime Minister Chamberlain wrote Chancellor Hitler sug­gesting a truce to press polemics and incitement during which minority complaints could be dealt with and suitable conditions established for direct negotiations between Poland and Germany toward an internationally guaranteed settlement. ("At this moment I confess I can see no other way to avoid a catastrophe that will involve Europe in war." British, No. 56, p. 127.) He reiterated that Britain would back Poland if necessary. ("It has been alleged that, if His Majesty's Government had made their position more clear in 1914, the great catastrophe would have been avoided. Whether or not there is any force in that allegation, His Majesty's Government are resolved that on this occasion there shall be no such tragic misunderstanding." Ibid., pp. 125 f. Cf. German, No. 454, pp. 461 f. Cf. Aug. 15, 18, supra.)


August 23. German Russian nonaggression treaty signed. ("Guided by the desire to strengthen the cause of peace between Germany and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, and basing themselves on the fundamental stipulations of the Neutrality Agree­ment concluded between Germany and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics in April, 1926, . . ." German, No. 348, p. 370; British, No. 61, p. 135; Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 9, p. 172. Cf. May 7, 22, July 4, supra.)

The Danzig Senate appointed Gauleiter Albert Forster, Head of the State by decree. (". . . this is the consecration of a state of things which has, in fact, existed ever since the Nazi Party seized power." French, No. 225, p. 260; British, No. 62, p. 136. Cf. July 1, Aug. 15, supra.)

German Consulate General in Danzig reported Poles had fired on German passenger plane near Heisternest on the Hela Peninsula. (German, No. 435, p. 441.)

Chancellor Hitler replied to Prime Minister Chamberlain that Germany was prepared and determined to fight if attacked by Britain (". . . there can be no doubt as to the determination of the new German Reich to accept privation and misfortune in any form and at any time rather than sacrifice her national interests or even her honor." Ibid., No. 456, p. 467); if Britain carried out mobilization measures directed against Germany, Germany would mobilize immediately ("As Germany never in­tended to adopt military measures other than those of a purely defensive nature against either Great Britain or France and, as has already been emphasized, never has intended nor intends in


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the future to attack either Great Britain or France, the announce­ment which Your Excellency confirmed in your note can only constitute an intended threat against the Reich." Ibid., p. 467; only a change of attitude of the Versailles signatories could pro­vide a change for the better between Germany and Britain. (They, "since the crime of the Treaty of Versailles was committed, have steadily and obstinately opposed any peaceful revision of its terms." Ibid., p. 467. Cf. British, No. 60, pp. 132 ff.)

Chancellor Hitler told Ambassador Henderson the least Polish attempt to act further against Germany or Danzig would cause German intervention. (As a "protective measure" German, No. 455, p. 464; Cf. British, Nos. 57, 58, 59, pp. 127 132. Cf. Aug. 10, supra.)

President Roosevelt appealed to King Victor Emmanuel of Italy to formulate peace proposals. ("Again a crisis in world affairs makes clear the responsibility of heads of nations for the fate of their own people and indeed of humanity itself. It is because of traditional accord between Italy and the United States and the ties of consanguinity between millions of our citizens that I feel that I can address Your Majesty in behalf of the maintenance of world peace.

"It is my belief and that of the American people that Your Majesty and Your Majesty's Government can greatly influence the averting of an outbreak of war." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 9, pp. 158 f; British, No. 122, p. 232. Cf. Peace, pp. 475 f.)

Albert, King of the Belgians, appealed on behalf of the Oslo Powers for open negotiation of disputes in spirit of brotherly cooperation. ("A lasting peace cannot be founded on force, but only on a moral order." British, No. 128, p. 239.)
August 24. President Roosevelt appealed to Chancellor Hitler that Poland and Germany refrain from any hostile act during a truce and agree to solve controversies by direct negotiation, arbitration, or conciliation and offered to contribute share of the United States to solution of disarmament and economic problems. (". . . be­cause of my confident belief that the cause of world peace–which is the cause of humanity itself–rises above all other considerations, I am again addressing myself to you with the hope that the war which impends and the consequent disaster to all peoples everywhere may yet be averted." Peace, p. 477; Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 9, p. 157; British, No. 124, p. 234); and to President Moscicki of Poland. ("The manifest gravity of the existing crisis imposes an urgent obligation upon all to determine every possible means which might prevent the outbreak of general war." Ibid., p. 236; Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 9, p. 158. Cf. Peace, p. 478.)

Poland planned to challenge Forster appointment as head of the state. ("My government sees no legal foundation for the adoption by the Senate of the Free City of a resolution instituting a new State function for which there is no provision whatever in the Constitution of the Free City, and to which, as would appear, the authorities hitherto functioning in the Free City would be subordinated." British, No. 63, pp. 137 f. French, No. 231, p. 262.)

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France urged Poland to abstain from military action should the Danzig Senate proclaim its return to the Reich. ("It is, indeed, important that Poland should not take up the position of an aggressor, which might impede the entry into force of some of our pacts and would furthermore place the Polish Army in Danzig in a very dangerous position." French, No: 218, p. 256. Cf. No. 222, p. 259.)

Prime Minister Chamberlain repeated the fundamental bases of British foreign policy (See June 20, supra.) and named the observance of international agreements once entered and renunciation of force as principles essential to establishment of confi­dence and trust. ("It is because those principles, to which we attach such vital importance, seem to us to be in jeopardy that we have undertaken these tremendous and unprecedented responsi­bilities." Commons, Vol. 351, col. 10. British, No. 64, p. 145. Cf. statement of Lord Halifax, No. 65, pp. 146 ff.)

The British Ambassador to Poland telegraphed to Lord Halifax that Marshal Goering told the Polish Ambassador in Berlin that the Polish alliance with Britain was the main obstacle to diminution of tension. (Germany was trying to get a free hand in Eastern Europe. British, No. 67, p 155.)

Britain responded sympathetically to Oslo Powers' appeal. ("Acquiescence in the imposition of settlements by force or threat of force can only hinder and thwart the efforts of those who strive to establish an international order of things in which peace may be maintained and justice done without violating the rights or independence of any sovereign State." Ibid., No. 129, p. 240.)

The Pope appealed for peace. ("It is by force of reason and not by force of arms that Justice makes progress; and empires which are not founded on Justice are not blessed by God. Statesmanship emancipated from morality betrays those very ones who would have it so." Ibid., No. 139, p. 245.)
August 25. British Polish Mutual Assistance Agreement signed. ("Desiring to place on a permanent basis the collaboration between their respective countries resulting from the assurances of mutual assistance of a defensive character which they have already exchanged: . . ." British, No. 19, pp. 49 52; Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 12, p. 270.)

Chancellor Hitler offered to pledge the Reich to protect the British Empire if his colonial demands were granted, if the Axis were continued, if he would never have to fight Russia. ("The Führer had always peen strongly in favor of Anglo German understanding. . . . He approved of the British Empire; . . . The agreement with Russia was unconditional and represented a turning point in the foreign policy of the Reich with the greatest long range possibilities. Under no circumstances would Russia and Germany again take up arms against one another. Apart from this fact the agreements made with Russia would safeguard Germany, in economic respects also, for a war of the longest duration. . . . The Führer would then also be ready to accept a reasonable limitation of armaments, in accordance with the new political situation and economic requirements." German,


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No. 457, p. 469; British, No. 68, pp. 155 ff.; No. 69, pp. 158 f.) Ambassador Henderson told Chancellor Hitler Britain would not abandon Poland to her fate. (The "Russian Pact in no way altered standpoint of His Majesty's Government." Ibid., p. 158.)

President Roosevelt sent second appeal to Chancellor Hitler. ("In his reply to my message the President of Poland has made it plain that the Polish Government is willing, upon the basis set forth in my messages, to agree to solve the controversy which has arisen between the Republic of Poland and the German Reich by direct negotiation or through the process of conciliation.

"Countless human lives can be yet saved and hope may still be restored that the nations of the modern world may even now construct a foundation for a peaceful and a happier relationship if you and the Government of the German Reich will agree to the pacific means of settlement accepted by the Government of Poland." Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 9, p. 160; British, No. 127, p. 237. Cf. Peace, p. 480.)

Chancellor Hitler told France he bore no enmity toward France, did not want war, but rather good relations with her. ("The Polish provocation, however, has placed the Reich in a position which cannot be allowed to continue. . . . Not only has the Warsaw Government rejected, my proposals, but it has subjected the German minority, our blood brothers, to the worst possible treatment, and has begun mobilization. . . . No nation worthy of the name can put up with such unbearable insults. France would not tolerate it any more than Germany. These things have gone on long enough, and I will reply by force to any further provocations. . . ." French, No. 242, pp. 267 f.)

Italy issued mobilization orders. (For reservists. Times, Aug. 26, 1939, p. 1.)

Japan protested German Russian pact. (As violation of Anti-­Comintern Pact. Ibid., p. 1.)


August 26. British Ambassador at Warsaw reported German breaches of Polish frontier and military incidents. ("They are clearly prepared acts of aggression of para military disciplined detach­ments supplied with regular army's arms, . . ." British, No. 53, p. 123.)

Germany renewed promise to respect Belgian territory as long as others would and to defend it if violated. (Belgian, p. 70.)

British asked Poland to include exchange of populations in negotiations with Germany. (". . . it would give Polish Gov­ernment some definite and new point on which to open up negotiation." British, No. 71, p. 160.)

Premier Daladier begged Chancellor Hitler to make a final attempt at a peaceful settlement with Poland. ("Your desire for peace could exercise its influence with full determination towards this end without detracting anything from Germany's honor." German, No. 460, pp. 473 f.; French, No. 253, pp. 274 f.)

France urged direct negotiations between Germany and Poland. (". . . at the present juncture, gaining time may be the decisive factor. It is not impossible that moderates in the National-Socialist party may find in the Russian pact fresh arguments to

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dissuade the Fuehrer from going to war, by calling his attention to the unlimited economic possibilities of the Reich's collabora­tion with the Soviet. Time presses, . . ." French, No. 246, p. 271.)

Poland promised to consult Britain and France before making any important decision, to answer attacks on economic rights with suitable nonmilitary retaliation, to act immediately without previous consultation where delay would be dangerous following unpredictable situation. (To avoid a fait accompli for its allies. Ibid., No. 247, p. 271.)

Hungary rejected Rumanian non aggression pact offer. (Wanted minorities. Times, Aug. 27, 1939, p. 31.)

Ambassador Horinouchi told Secretary of State Hull Japan had decided to "abandon any further negotiations with Germany and Italy relative to closer relations under the anti Comintern Pact to which they have been parties for some time." (". . . the change in affairs in Europe made this course manifest, and, fur­thermore, it was plain that his Government would find it impor­tant to adopt new foreign policy in more or less respects." Peace, p. 481. Cf. Aug. 23, supra.)

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