No. 3 NAI DFA Paris Embassy 19/34A

Confidential report from Con Cremin to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Paris, 2 September 1939

I attended the session of the Chamber this afternoon at which M. Daladier1 read a declaration of the Government in regard to the present situation. The declaration reviewed the efforts made by the French for peace during the past 20 years and in particular those made during the past few years, referred to the exchange of letters last week-end between M. Daladier and Herr Hitler, characterised as a lie the German contention that Poland had rejected the proposals published on 31st ulto. which, the President of the Council claimed, had never been submitted to Poland, made a reference to the various efforts made in the last few weeks by persons in authority and in particular the 'noble efforts of Italy' and said that the French Government did not even now at the eleventh hour despair of some peaceful solution being found. He went on to deal with the outstanding events of German foreign policy in the last four years and with particular reference to the contrast between Herr Hitler's words and his actions in regard to Austria, Sudeten Germany, Czechoslovakia and finally Poland, asserted that it is impossible to place any reliance whatever in what he says. He emphasised the closeness of the co-operation at present between Great Britain and France and read the text of the message which the French Ambassador at Berlin2 was yesterday instructed to deliver on the same lines as that presented by the British Ambassador. He emphasised that France is determined to observe her obligations and for that purpose has mobilised, but maintained that France has mobilised only in defence of what she considers to be right and because the destruction of Poland would only make inevitable the subsequent destruction of herself, that French people have no hate for any nation or people and none against the German people. This latter statement as well as the reference of M. Daladier to the brutality of the invasion of Poland were greeted with enthusiastic applause.

The declaration contained no announcement of definite action on the part of France; although the Government has emphatically reiterated its intentions of observing its obligations towards Poland it appears to be postponing making a declaration of war on Germany apparently in the hope that some peaceful settlement may be found even at this late hour.

The Government's declaration in the Chamber seems to be received with unanimous approval and at certain stages was warmly applauded.

[stamped] (Signed) C.C. Cremin

1 Edouard Daladier (1884-1970), French Prime Minister and Minister for National Defence (1938-40).

2 Robert Coulondre, French Ambassador to Germany (1938-9).

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