Final Word from Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Mr. Chamberlain, 20 March 1939 I am circulating in the OFFICIAL REPORT the text of the Agreement signed on 15th March between Herr Hitler and the President of the Czecho-Slovak Republic. So far as I am aware, no written ultimatum was presented to Dr. Hacha prior to his acceptance of this Agreement. His Majesty's Ambassador in Berlin was instructed on 17th March to inform the German Government that His Majesty's Government desired to make it plain to them that they could not but regard the events of the past few days as a complete repudiation of the Munich Agreement and a denial of the spirit in which the negotiators of that Agreement bound themselves to co-operate for a peaceful settlement. Sir Nevile Henderson [ambassador to Germany] was also instructed to say that His Majesty's Government must take this occasion to protest against the changes effected in Czecho-Slovakia by German military action, which are, in their opinion, devoid of any basis of legality.


Mr. Chamberlain, 31 March 1939 His Majesty's Government have no official confirmation of the rumours of any projected attack on Poland and they must not, therefore, be taken as accepting them as true.... As the House is aware, certain consultations are now proceeding with other Governments. In order to make perfectly clear the position of His Majesty's Government in the meantime before those consultations are concluded, I now have to inform the House that during that period, in the event of any action which clearly threatened Polish independence, and which the Polish Government accordingly considered it vital to resist with their national forces, His Majesty's Government would feel themselves bound at once to lend the Polish Government all support in their power. They have given the Polish Government an assurance to this effect. I may add that the French Government have authorised me to make it plain that they stand in the same position in this matter as do His Majesty's Government. (Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, and France and the UK declared war on Germany on Sept. 3.) [Czech Republic Nazi United Kingdom Great Britain Neville prime minister World War II ]

Glossary of difficult words

Government - Chamberlain treats "government" as a plural noun, requiring the pronoun "they";

repudiation - refusal to fulfill or discharge an agreement, obligation, or debt; rejection of a proposal or idea;

to bind oneself (bound/bound) - to make a contractual or enforceable undertaking;

devoid - entirely lacking or free from.

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