245 Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister, to Mr N. Chamberlain, U.K. Prime Minister

Cablegram 84 2 September 1938,


For Prime Minister [1]

His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia in the light of all the available information today gave further consideration to the position of Czechoslovakia and the issues involved. The Commonwealth Government strongly supports the policy of the United Kingdom Government as declared in your speech of 24th March, 1938 [2], with special reference to the passage which refers to the probability that other parties to the original dispute would almost immediately be involved if war broke out, and as reaffirmed in Sir John Simon's [3] speech of 27th August at Lanark.

We view with regret and alarm the continued tendency of President Benes to hesitate in the face of an immediate and vital issue and his delay in making a public announcement of the most liberal concessions which the Czechoslovakian Government can offer to the Sudeten Germans as a basis for negotiations.

In this respect we concur entirely in the instructions sent to your Minister at Prague [4] to make immediate representations to President Benes to offer publicly immediately and without reservation those concessions which alone will enable a peaceful solution.

In our opinion the Czechoslovakian Government have not shown sufficient conciliation or offered concessions likely to satisfy the aspiration of the Sudeten Germans and we feel that the time has arrived when the Czechoslovakian Government should be informed that if the pronouncement referred to above is not made without further delay then Great Britain must consider the question of renouncing completely her declared interest in the solution of the Sudeten problem.


1 This cablegram was sent through the U.K. Dominions Secretary.

2 See Documents 154, 156, 158, 159, 160.

3 U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer.

4 Basil C. Newton.