138 Mr M. MacDonald, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Circular Cablegram B59 LONDON, 16 March 1938, 6.30 p.m.

URGENT

Following for Prime Minister:-

In the speech to be made by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs [1] in the House of Lords this afternoon, the following passage will be included:-

'His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom are therefore bound to recognise that the Austrian State has now been abolished as an international entity, and is in process of being completely absorbed in the German Reich. They do so indeed without waiting for the plebiscite, the result of which, in view of the circumstances in which it is going to be held, is a foregone conclusion.'

This statement is intended to indicate our intention to recognise fait accompli of the absorption of Austria in the German Reich. We are now engaged in considering the question of time and the method of according recognition and will communicate with you further as soon as we are in a position to do so.

1 Viscount Halifax.

[AA : A981, AUSTRIA 17, ii]