Sunday, September 13, 2015

ADSS 1.115 Osborne to Tardini: Britain will defend Poland

ADSS 1.115 D’Arcy Osborne, UK Minister to Holy See, to Domenico Tardini, Secretariat of State.

Reference: AES 5560/39

Location and date: Rome, 24.08.1939

Summary statement: Summary of Chamberlain’s (1869-1940) letter to Hitler.  UK will defend Poland against any force; still open to a fair settlement.

Language: English


The Prime Minister has written to Herr Hitler on behalf of His Majesty’s Government in the hope of being able to convince him, even at this late hour, that His Majesty’s Government will resist with force any forcible attempt to impose a settlement of the issue between Germany and Poland and that it would be a mistake to assume, once war started, that it would come to an early end with a success on one front only.  At the same time the Prime Minister expressed his conviction that there is nothing in those issues which could not be solved without use of force, if confidence could be restored, and stated that His Majesty’s Government are ready to assist in creating conditions in which such negotiations can take place. (1)


(1) The original memo carried on top a handwritten note by Tardini: “24 August, 1939, 10.30 hours.  Brought in by Minister Osborne”.  This memorandum contained the substance of the telegram of 23.08.1939 from Halifax to Osborne. DBFP, Series 3, Volume 7, n175, p149.

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