Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918

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World History

247.

The Anglo-French Guarantee of Polish Independence, March 31, 1939

2

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain): The right hon. gentleman the leader of the Opposition asked me this morning whether I could make a statement as to the European situation. As I said this morning, 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.

I am glad to take this opportunity of stating again the general policy of His Majesty’s Government. They have constantly advocated the adjustment, by way of free negotiation between the parties concerned, of any differences that may arise between them. They consider that this is the natural and proper course where differences exist. In their opinion there should be no question incapable of solution by peaceful means, and they would see no justification for the substitution of force or threats of force for the method of negotiation.

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.

2 Great Britain, Documents Concerning German-Polish Relations and the Outbreak of Hostilities between Great Britain and Germany on September 3, 1939. Presented by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to Parliament by Command of His Majesty, Miscellaneous No. 9 (1939), Cmd. 6106, His Majesty’s Stationery Office, London, 1939, p. 36.

3 The text of the agreement may be found in ibid., pp. 37–39. Its first article reads as follows: "Should one of the Contracting Parties become engaged in hostilities with a European Power in consequence of aggression by the latter against that Contracting Party, the other Contracting Party will at once give the Contracting Party engaged in hostilities all the support and assistance in its power."

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Chicago: "The Anglo-French Guarantee of Polish Independence, March 31, 1939," Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918 in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan (Chicage: Lippincott, 1951), 847–848. Original Sources, accessed September 23, 2021, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=53B1Z1YSCNHVFSR.

MLA: . "The Anglo-French Guarantee of Polish Independence, March 31, 1939." Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, edited by Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan, Chicage, Lippincott, 1951, pp. 847–848. Original Sources. 23 Sep. 2021. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=53B1Z1YSCNHVFSR.

Harvard: , 'The Anglo-French Guarantee of Polish Independence, March 31, 1939' in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918. cited in 1951, Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. , Lippincott, Chicage, pp.847–848. Original Sources, retrieved 23 September 2021, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=53B1Z1YSCNHVFSR.