Skip to main content

Historical documents

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

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

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.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top