ADSS 1.179 Valerio Valeri, France, to Luigi Maglione, Sec State.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
ADSS 1.179 Valeri to Maglione: situation in France
Reference: Report number 9017/282, (AES 6346/39)
Location and date: Paris, 02.09.1939
Summary statement: Pope’s message received with sympathy; general mobilisation announced; press censorship announced; evacuation of Paris planned.
The news of the last initiative of the Holy See in favour of peace has not failed to create, in every class of people and without distinction of colour, a profound and favourable impression and it is still hoped that a supreme effort of the Holy Father could yet prevent what has now become irreparable, humanely speaking.
In the meantime, following the opening of hostilities on the German-Polish borer, France too, as Your Eminence knows, has decreed a general mobilisation starting from today at midnight and this mobilisation is being put into effect everywhere with increased speed.
Four days ago, a Ministerial decree introduced censorship all over the country and, following this measure, all news printed by the newspapers of broadcast by radio is under the complete control of the authorities.
The population, from what one can see, has accepted the military measures as well as those of public order with great calm. Following repeated appeals by the Government, the evacuation of children, women and all people who do not have an occupation considered important are being evacuated from Paris. They are leaving town by every means at their disposal and are going to various places in the provinces. At the same time all measures have been taken for the passive defence of the city.