Sir Thomas Inskip, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Circular Cablegram B295 LONDON, 29 August 1939, 12.53 p.m.


My telegram 293 Circular B. 28th August. [1]

Following for Prime Minister:-

1. His Majesty’s Ambassador [2] delivered the British reply to Herr Hitler [3] last night. The latter uncompromisingly claimed the town of Danzig and the whole of the corridor together with the rectification of Silesia where he stated go per cent. of the population in the post-war plebiscite had voted for Germany but which Poland had grabbed. Asked by Sir Nevile Henderson whether he was willing to negotiate direct with the Poles and to discuss the question of exchange of populations (my telegram Circular B.291 paragraph 6) [4] he replied in the affirmative as regards the latter and indicated that the whole question must be discussed with Goering [5] before a final reply was given.

2. Herr Hitler further asked whether England would be willing to accept an alliance with Germany. His Majesty’s Ambassador speaking personally did not exclude this possibility providing developments and events justified it. He also told Hitler that he must choose between moderation and understanding with England or resorting to force against Poland. England had never broken her word and would not break it now. Hitler’s written reply will be given today (Tuesday).

3. It is specially desired extreme secrecy should be observed with regard to this telegram.


1 Document 161.

2 Sir Nevile Henderson.

3 Adolf Hitler, German Chancellor.

4 Not printed (on file AA: A981, Germany 83B, iii).

5 General Hermann Goring, German Minister for Air and Commander- in-Chief of German Air Force.


[AA: A981, GERMANY 83B, iii]