The Guardian from London, Greater London, England on August 25, 1939 · 11
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The Guardian from London, Greater London, England · 11

London, Greater London, England
Issue Date:
Friday, August 25, 1939
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THE MANCHESTER GUARDIAN, FRIDAY. AUGUST 25, 1939 11 A RESOLUTE BRITAIN Premier's Answer and Appeal to Germany HITLER IN COUNCIL LAST NIGHT President Roosevelt and the Pope Call for Peace While in a restrained and solemn speech the Prime Minister was telling the Commons yesterday of the British eagerness, in face of the "imminent peril of war," for a truce to incitements and an opening of negotiation, Hitler from Berchtesgaden and Von Ribbentrop from Moscow were on their way to Berlin. After their arrival last night all German leaders and generals in the capital were called to a conference with the Fuhrer, which was still continuing at a late hour. President Roosevelt, as in the last crisis, intervened with a peace appeal, on this occasion addressed to the King of Italy, in the name of the "unheard voices of, countless millions," who asked that they "shall not be vainly sacrificed again," and the Pope from the Vatican wireless station also broadcast a peace plea to Europe. Mr. Chamberlain's Speech Mr. Chamberlain, in a thirty-three minutes' speech in the House of Commons, spoke of British unity and determination, and of the message the Cabinet had sent to Hitler. In a striking passage near the end the Prime Minister said: If, despite all our efforts to find a way of peace and God knows I have tried my best if in spite of all that, we find ourselves forced to embark upon a struggle which is bound to be fraught with suffering and misery for all mankind, and the end of which no man can foresee ; if that should happen we shall not be fighting for the political future of a faraway city in a foreign land, we shall be fighting for the preservation of those principles of which I have spoken, the destruction of which would involve the destruction of all possibility of peace and security for the peoples of the world. Points from Mr. Chamberlain's speech are In the face of the "violent campaign." of the German press Polish, statesmen have shown great calm and self-restraint. German allegations of ill-treatment of Germans living in Poland " bear a strong resemblance to similar allegations made last year in respect of the Sudeten Germans in Czecho-Slovakia." - Military preparations have been made in Germany on such a scale that that country is now in a condition of complete readiness for war. At the beginning of this week we had word that German troops were beginning to move towards the Polish frontier. The announcement of the Russo-German non-aggression pact was " a surprise of a very unpleasant character." The Staff talks in Moscow had proceeded " on a basis of mutual trust, when this bombshell was flung down." In Berlin the announcement was hailed as a great diplomatic victory which removed any danger of war since we and France would no Speaking later in the debate, Mr. Chamberlain said : " We are face to face -with a very grave situation. We are not yet at war. Perhaps we may escape being at war at all." j Yesterday's assembly of Parliament served as a striking demon-. stration of national unity in face of grave events. Both Mr. Greenwood, for Labour, and Sir Archibald Sinclair, for the Liberals, fully supported the Prime Minister in his emphatic declaration that Britain would honour her pledge to Poland, Mr. Greenwood affirming that " if, unfortunately, the time comes when this policy has to be implemented the foe will not find us a disunited people." Emergency Bill Passed m The motion empowering the House to pass the Emergency Powers Bill through all its stages in one day was carried by 457 votes to 4. In introducing the bill Sir Samuel Hoare. the Home Secretary, said the powers asked for were wide, drastic, and flexible, but he gave an assurance that they would be applied with moderation, toleration, and common sense. The Government had no intention of using these powers for peace-time purposes. The Bill was given its second and third readings in the Commons without "a division. It left the Commons at 9 30 p.m., and three-quarters of an hour later it had passed through the 'House of Lords and had received the royal assent. The Commons adjourned until Thursday, the Premier saying that he thought it extremely likely that the House would be called together again before that day. President Roosevelt yesterday appealed to the King of Italy to help to avert war. The President said that the American people accept the fact that the smaller nations have an absolute right to maintain their national independence. The Pope, that Mm? dancer Was vasr, out SCHOOL TEACHERS RECALLED "Key" Workers in Evacuation In view of the present situation, says an official announcement, it is considered desirable that teachers from schools in the evacuating areas should return to . duty and report , at their schools to-morrow morning. . ; - This announcement applies to teachers serving in schools in . the following areas :,.. , tj-?, London, i Acton.frt Edmonton. Hornsey. m, Barking, : Word. Wdttja-jtow. Rochester. ; Chatoaro.lUiwjhm. Southamptott'.Portsmputo, Gosport-Liver-dooI. Bootle, Crosby. Birkeead. Wallasey, on-Type. Gat hadt Birmingham, Smeta- longer be likely to fulfil our obliga-ions to Poland. "We felt it our first duty to remove any such dangerous illusion." The object of the Premier's communication to Herr Hitler, delivered by the British Ambassador, was to leave no possible loophole for misunderstanding. We do not seek to claim a special interest for ourselves in Eastern Europe. We do not think of asking Germany to sacrifice her national interests, but we cannot agree that national interests can only be secured by the shedding of blood or the destruction of the independence of other States. We want to see established inter national order based upon mutual understanding and mutual confidence. Essential principles of such an order include the observance of international undertakings and the renunciation of force in the settlement of differences. Nothing that we have done or that we propose to do menaces the legitimate interests of Germany. appealing to rulers and peoples. mere 13 aim uuk. wick, Hull, Bradford, Leeds, Sheffield, and. in Scotland, Edinourgn, uiasgow, uunaee, Clydebank. Rosy th. ' The Government wishes to emphasise that this is not a notification, that evacuation is to take nlace. If evacua tion should become necessary full notice will be given and everyone concerned will be told what to do. The possibility of putting -an evacuation scheme for school children into operation depends, as is well .known; .on organisation by school units under the charge of the teachers.. ... Teachers ' are, therefore, key men and their : attendance at their posts, like that of other key men. is important under present conditions. PEACE APPEAL BY MR. ROOSEVELT .Message to the King of Italy NATIONAL RIGHTS President Roosevelt has sent a message to the King of Italy urging him to use his influence for peace. Americans in Rome say that the message was addressed solely to the King and it was taken personally by the American Ambassador to the King in his summer residence in the North of Italy. Count Ciano, says Reuter, has also gone to see the King to receive a decoration. He offered to take the message, but the Ambassador said be had instructions to deliver it personally, and the two men travelled together to the King. A copy of the message was sent to Mussolini through his Foreign Office after it had been received by the King. THE MESSAGE The following is the text of the President's message : Again a crisis in world affairs makes clear the responsibility of heads of nations for the fate of their own people, and indeed of humanity itself. It is because of the traditional accord between Italy and the United States and the ties of consanguinity between the millions of our citizens that I feel I can address your Majesty on behalf of the maintenance of world peace. It is my belief, and that of the American people, that your Majesty and your Majesty's Government can greatly influence the averting of an outbreak of war. Any general war would cause to suffer all the nations, whether belligerent or neutral, whether victors or vanquished, and would clearly bring devastation to the peoples and perhaps the Governments of some nations most directly concerned. ITALY'S ACHIEVEMENTS The friends of the Italian people, and among them the American people, could only regard with grief the destruction of the great achievements which European nations, and the Italian nation in particular, have attained in the past generation. We in America, having welded a homogenous r.ation out of many nationalities, often find it difficult to visualise the animosities which so often have created a crisis among nations of Europe which are smaller than ours in population and territory, but we accept the fact that these nations have an absolute right to maintain their national independence if they so desire. If that be a sound doctrine then it must apply to the weaker nations as well as the stronger. The acceptance of this means peace, because fear of aggression ends. The alternative, which means of necessity efforts by the strong to domin ate the weak, wm lead not only to war but to long future years of oppression on the part of the victors and rebellion on the part cf the vanquished so history teaches us On April 14 last I suggested in essence an understanding that no armed forces should attack or invade the territory of any other independent nation, and that this being assured discussions should be undertaken to seek progressive relief from the burden of armaments and open the avenues of international trade, including the sources of raw materials necessary for the peaceful economic life of each nation. CHRISTIAN IDEALS I said that in 'these discussions the United States would gladly take part, and such peaceful conversations would make it wholly possible for Governments other than the United States to enter into peaceful discussions of the political and territorial problems in which they are directly concerned. Were it possible for your Majesty's Government to formulate proposals for a pacific solution of the present crisis along these lines you are assured of the earnest sympathy of the United States. The Governments of Italy and the United States to-day advance those ideals of Christianity which of late seem so often to have been obscured. The unheard voices of countless millions of human beings ask that they shall not be vainly sacnncea again. Keuter. POPE'S APPEAL FOR PEACE There is Still Time " The Pope last night broadcast from the Vatican an appeal for peace that was addressed to " the rulers and the peoples."' The Pope said, " The danger is vast, but there is still time. Nothing is lost by peace. Everything is lost by war." He urged the rulers to " lay aside their arms and try to resolve the pi cacti i kjj m.. " - nW -method that is to sav. bv con sidered agreements," -and the peoples to "encourage we peacenu imuauve of their Governments." ON PAGE St TIm Rtmiaa Pact (from oar Maceow Correspondent) . Tim Moscow NagatUtiona (from oar Diplomatic Cuimpundcnt) The Pope's Peace Appeal Ob the Polish Frontier .(from o Warsaw Correspondent) ON OTHER PAGES : House of Lords. 19 Hoose of Commons ...1415 Lord: Halifax's Broadcast IS Bank Rate DonUed It Emergency Preparation in Man chester : IS Emergency Powers Bill ' It HITLER'S LONG MEETING WITH HIS WAR CHIEFS Into the Morning Hours PLAN AGAINST POLAND READY TO BE PUT INTO FORCE? Herr Hitler, Herr von Ribbentrop, and Field Marshal Goring met the German military chiefs in Berlin last night. The meeting began at seven o'clock and was still going on in the early hours of this morning. The general opinion in Berlin, reported Reuter this morning, was that Germany's decision regarding Poland is on the point of being carried out. Herr Forster, the Danzig Nazi leader, was yesterday declared to be the " Head of the Free City." It is suggested in Berlin that he can now ask for the protection of the Reich, and last night the official German News Agency significantly declared that Danzig was " encircled by Polish troops " and that the danger of an early attack was great. . Without giving any explanation the British and French military missions in Russia late last night suddenly reversed their decision to leave Moscow during the night. When they will now go is not known. Evacuation from Paris There has been a partial mobilisation in France and yesterday men were joining their units. At a long meeting of the Cabinet the new military measures taken were approved and the international situation was reviewed. The French authorities last night advised all those in Paris whose presence is not necessary to leave the capital while transport facilities are still available. Italy yesterday postponed the sailing of the Italian liners Conte di Savoia and Augustus for the United States. British residents in Germany have been urged to leave. EVENTS SWIFTLY MOVING IN BERLIN What Will the Day Bring? From our Correspondent Berlin, August 24. j Events of major importance have followed one another here to-day with such lightning speed that it is difficult to keep pace with them. The day opened with an announcement in huge letters on the front pages of the newspapers of the uncommonly speedy signing of the Berlin-Moscow pact. A rapid agreement had, however, been expected in well-informed quarters here who knew to what extent preparatory discussions had been carried. Special stress is laid on the fact that the pact is not only a non-aggression pact but also a consultative treaty, for this is held to ensure frequent discussions and thus close co-operation between Berlin and Moscow. Already Germany and Soviet Russia are spoken of here as the " two great Eastern Powers " who will now settle affairs among themselves in Eastern Europe, where they both have " vital rights " to protect. Herr von Ribbentrop, the German Foreign Minister, made a brief speech on his' arrival at Konigsberg this afternoon from Moscow, while his aeroplane was being refuelled before going to Berlin. He summed up the situation thus : The Fuhrer sent me to Moscow. This may have come as a surprise to many in Germany. But we National Socialists know that what the Fuhrer does is right. We experienced it again this time. Russia was to have been drawn into the encirclement front But the Fuhrer once more acted with lightning speed. He brought Russia out of the encirclement front "POLAND MOBILISES" The announcement of the signing of the pact was soon followed by reports from Danzig and Katowice stating that , military activity resembling a Polish mobilisation had been observed in the Polish Corridor and Polish Upper Silesia. The press came out with big headlines, " Poland mobilises." At the same time news was rushed out to the press of a third case of alleged shelling of a German 'plane, this time over Zoppot in Danzig territory, the case being regarded as particularly serious because bits of shell were reported to have fallen into the Zoppot streets. This shelling of German aeroplanes, of which, now three cases have been alleged, is regarded here as an act of aggression on the part of the! Polish Army, which, so it is said, lis considerably influenced by Chauvinists, whose aim is to precipitate war. 1 Then it became known that tne British Embassy had received instruc tions to advise all British residents to TRAINS IN COLLISION i Southport Excursions There was . a collision this morning between two excursion trains at Kirkby-in-Furness. About a dozen people were injured and others suffered from shock. 1 The trains were from Southport for places in Cumberland. One ran into the rear of the other as it was leaving Kirkby. Both lines were blocked. The .injured were taken to local hospitals. . ! " People in Paris whose presence in - . f ... i i. ...... xne civy.- J uut miusjicuasuic wave been advised to leave at once. leave the country in view of the "strained relations." Anyone inquiring of the Embassy or a British Consulate was given this advice.; Railway booking offices were soon besieged by people asking for tickets and reservations in sleepers. Then followed the news of the appointment by the Danzig Senate of Herr Forster as head of the Danzig State. When he made his big speech a few weeks ago in Danzig it was said abroad that he did not hold an official post and that therefore his words did not carry weight. Now, it is declared here, he can speak for Danzig and if he so chooses can place his Free City under the protection of the Reich. Reports of Poland's cutting of telephone communications and interrupting of railway and mail services with Danzig, and this evening more reports of the lining of Polish troops along the Danzig frontier only increased the tension. HITLER BACK IN BERLIN In the afternoon Herr Hitler arrived from Berchtesgaden and was greeted at the Chancellery by Field Marshal Goring, while a crowd of people solemnly watched his standard being hoisted on the mast on the Chancellery. He is accustomed to be in the capital in times of high political tension, for here he has his officers and advisers close to hand and can obtain a better survey of rapidly moving events than in his mountain retreat. All Cabinet Ministers and military leaders now in Berlin were summoned to the Chancellery to-night for a War Council. K had been thought by many here that the announcement of the Berlin-Moscow Pact would act as a deterring factor on the outbreak of hostilities, especially as Paris and London were reported to be utterly at a loss. The nation is realising gradually that it is not. Mr. Chamberlain's speech certainly meets with an unfavourable reception in political quarters here, where it is once more asked whether Great Britain really prefers to encourage Poland rather'than " call her to her senses." Britain and France are being made responsible for every act the Poles are- alleged to have committed, from the shelling of aeroplanes to the reported torturing of Germans and intentions to starve out Danzig. With Herr von. Ribbentrop back in Berlin and Herr Hitler also at the capital rumours are once more flying about, and the question which is uppermost in the minds of all is-what will the next twenty-four hours bring? B.B.C. BULLETINS Arrangements for To-day - From our Wireless Correspondent LoNDOw, Thursday. The B.B.C. has decided not to make apy radical increase in the number of news bulletins at present. ' Short announcements of news of special importance will be made on the National wavelength at 10 30 a.m. and 1 0 p.m. At other periods of the day the programmes , will be interrupted: in circumstances of real importance, such as the Premier's speech in the House of Commons to-day. . . Later - on there . may be . frequent bulletins' at stated times, which will be announced. ? 1,500,000 POLES UNDER ARMS Complete Readiness CALM ATMOSPHERE IN WARSAW Soviet " Assurance " From our own Correspondent Warsaw, August 24. No mobilisation orders have been issued yet. About half a million more reservists have been called up during the last twenty-four hours, and still more are being called up hourly. As they arrive they are put into uniform and sent to the frontier. The first to be called up were officers and specially trained technicians. It is expected that by midnight the Polish defending forces will be about 1,500,000 strong. All troop trains are moving towards the western frontier, and the entire Army is in a state of complete readi ness. " Poland would fight even if she' had to heht alone. It is our deeo con viction that if we are forced to fight we shall fight for Poland's and Europe's freedom," says an official statement broadcast to-night to the nation. SOVIET "ASSURANCE" Sir Howard Kennard, the British Ambassador, and M. Noel, the French Ambassador, were in conference with Colonel Beck, the Foreign Minister, to-day. Another and an unexpected caller at the Foreign Office was Mr. Scharonoff, the Soviet Ambassador, who, it is believed but not confirmed, brought an assurance that Russia attaches the utmost importance to her non-aggression pact with Poland and is in no way likely to give her new one with Germany greater value. The Inner Cabinet met to-night. Although political quarters do not hide their conviction that "zero hour" is approaching there is no panic nor any special nervousness. Street corners are watchea by special military units and policemen. Bridges and public buildings are guarded. The main post and telegraph offices have been taken over by the military authorities, and a large number of private motor-lorries have been requisitioned for the transport of material and fodder. Never theless, life eoes on almost normally. and although in the morning there was a feeling of anxiety in Warsaw the atmosohere this evening was calm. The shops are open, and there are no queues outside except at tne shops selling gas masks, business is normal, and prices have not risen. There is no special rush on the banks. Restaurants and theatres are full to-night. Only a small minority of the popu lation has left Warsaw, wnere large hotels have been reserved for mili tary purposes. The evacuation of some hospitals is reported from parts of Polish Silesia. Most of the officials in the German Embassy have left Warsaw, and the documents are being removed. German journalists are leaving to-night. INCIDENTS ON FRONTIER Serious incidents occurred on the Polish-German frontier to-day. A force of German frontier guards and a military patrol crossed from East Prussia and occupied an estate at a spot nearly a mile inside Polish territory. The Germans were forced back by the Poles. In Polish Silesia German military units attacked a number of frontier posts, and two Polish soldiers were seriously wounded. One of them was taken by the Germans into Germany. The Polish Embassy has sent a protest to the German authorities. At Rvhnik the Germans fired at the offices of the Polish Customs guard. A Polish diplomatic courier was arrested on the Polish-German frontier ; this is the first arrest of the kind that has occurred. A German bomber crossed into tne Teschen area near Bogumin, the important Polish railway junction, but was chased back to German territory by a Polish 'plane. The roiisn authorities have ordered an official protest. IN DANZIG Reports that the Polish-Danzia frontier was closed to-day are denied in official quarters to-night. Herr Forster's announcement proclaiming himself head of the Danzig State is regarded here as a further violation of the Danzig Statute. I understand that at present Poland is not to take anv action Th view ie that it is for the League of Nations and its Committee of Three, which is entrust ea to watch over the Free City, to decide. More than 120 Poles are retvrtd tn have been arrested in Danzig. Many of the arrests took place when Polish trains passed through Danzig territory. In Zoppot (Danzig) when the police searched trains several Poles protested, but the police pointed pistols at them and said that these gave them the right to search. LORD HALIFAX'S BROADCAST Lord HalifaT reaffirmed in a broad cast speech last night . that the Riasso-Genaan . pact could make no difference to the undertaking given by Britain to Poland. Among the countries to which Lord Halifax's speech was relayed were tne united states, r ranee, Scandinavia, Hungary, and South America. Later the speech was re-broadcast fully in German and in summary in French, Spanish, Italian, and Portu guese. RAILWAY STRIKE OFF - The -railwav 'strike, which- was to have taken place to-morrow midnight, definitely off.- ; :- .4 ; rFarthsr report on page "It ANOTHER DAY OF. PREPARATION Check on Exchange Dealings BANK RATE 4 P.C. Protecting National Art Treasures More measures taken yesterday to put Britain in a state of preparedness for war conditions included A Stock Exchange prohibition on dealings in Government and public securities at less prices than those applying on Wednesday. The raising of the Bank rate from 2 per cent to 4. Temporary closing of leading museums -and art galleries in London and the packing of national art treasures. The removal of the precious stained-glass windows of Canterbury Cathedral began yesterday as a precautionary measure. Under the direction of experts they will be taken to a secret place and buried. Plain-glass windows will be installed as substitutes. CONTINENTAL HOLIDAYS The Foreign Office last night advised holiday-makers intending to go to the Continent to postpone their holidays, as communications may become more difficult during next week. " TAKE YOUR GAS MASK" The Lord Privy Seal's Office stated yesterday that it had been reported that numbers of hop-pickers arriving on the Kentish hopfields had not brought their gas masks with them. " The Lord Privy Seal desires to remind the public of the instruction on this subject issued in the first public information leaflet : ' If you are going away for any length of tune remember to take your gas mask with you.' Those who ignore this advice may be running grave risks " SCREENING OF LIGHTS ouaicilicuk Kill me ..IGC111U Ui. JlBilfcb issued last nieht from Sir John Anderson's office says : It aoDenrs that manv neoDle still have the idea that lights need only be extinguished when an air-raid warning is sounded. It cannot be too clearly stated that from the moment a lighting order has been made no visible lights of any kind would be permitted. The black-out' would be automatic and continuous, and in any house or building where screening had not oeen carried out internal ilgnung would be forbidden altogether. The statement also urges all who have not yet made contact with their air-raid warden to do so "without delay." USE OF THE TELEPHONE JThe Postmaster General appeals to telephone users to limit conversations of non-essential character to the shortest possible minimum because of heavy demands on trunk end local lines. FOOTBALL TO-MORROW UNLESS . . Unless the international situation takes a more serious turn to-morrow's Football League programme will be carried out. A Football Association official said yesterday : " We are carrying on as usual unless we receive instructions from the authorities to cancel matches." At the Football League headquarters it was stated : i l C A . , 1 I 1 ... . . oaiixiaay s maicnes win taKe place unless there is war, in which case it is unlikely that the Government will allow big gatherings of people." POLICE LEAVE STOPPED All Metropolitan Police officers awav on holiday were recalled vestprrisv Officers due for leave have been asked to suspend their holidays. All other leave is also being stopped. Ambassador in London, issued the xouowing nonce yesieraay : The international situation has reached a point which makes it advisable for American travellers to leave England. We feel that it is our dub- to warn those Americans now in England that by remaining longer they are running the risk of inconvenience and possibly danger. All those who do not have any important reason for remaining are therefore urgd to return to the United States without delay. THE STOCK EXCHANGE Minimum Prices Business on the London Stock Exchange yesterday was done in abnormal conditions. The General Purposes Committee of the Stock Exchange ordered that British Funds, securities guaranteed by the Government under the Trade Facilities or other Acts, stocks of corporations and public boards of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Dominion, pro vincial, and colonial Government securities must not be negotiated at less than the lower of the prices quoted in the official lists of Wednesday. This meant the prices set out under the heading "Quotations August 23," and not prices marked under the heading " Business Done." . No lists of closing prices of bank and insurance shares were issued. . Dealings were declined by jobbers in the home railways market for a time, but eventually business was done at wide quotations indicating substantiallylower prices. The only market where there was any freedom'' of dealing was that for American securities, and atthe end of the day leading issues showed heavy losses. v COMMODITY MARKETS Commodity markets were inclined to idleness yesterday, not only because of the fear of war but because of the limitation of buyers that ;export embargoes" brought about, as; well as the raising of -the Bank rate. Raw sugar was -'nominally unaltered in price: and rubber though priced .easier, was deal t in in quantities n6t really adequate to test the market - Copper was. lower again, . but "cotton shot; urv c fear of supply difficulties. Wheat futures, lost nearly half - of a sharp r advance,-' on' weakening transatlantic advices..'-:"":"-

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