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248 Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, to Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Cablegram 137 LONDON, 4 September 1938

Czechoslovakia. Your telegram of 1st September [1] most useful and
helpful as it strengthens appreciably necessity of strongest
pressure on Dr Benes [2] and Czech Government for maximum
concessions to bring about settlement.

As position now is that by implication in messages to Hitler (see
Dominions Office telegram No. 207 [3]) Runciman [4] has indicated
that he does not consider Czech proposals go far enough and that
if in the course of negotiations Czechs do not go further to meet
Sudeten Germans' point of view, he, Runciman, would be prepared to
put forward proposals for a settlement. It is difficult to see how
Herr Hitler without putting Germany hopelessly in the wrong can
have advised Henlein [5] other than to continue negotiations. This
is interpretation generally being put on communique issued after
Berchtesgaden meeting although no official confirmation is yet
available. In these circumstances it is reasonable to hope
Hitler's speech at Nuremberg will not precipitate the crisis. If
it does not and negotiations continue, prospects of peaceful
settlement are greatly strengthened as every day gained owing to
approach of winter lessens danger of outbreak of hostilities.

BRUCE

1 Document 245. Because of the time difference Lyons's cable of 2
September was received in London on 1 September 1938.

2 President of Czechoslovakia.

3 See Document 247, note 3.

4 U.K. mediator in dispute between Czechoslovakian Government and
Sudeten German Party.

5 Konrad Henlein, leader of Sudeten German Party.


[AA : A981, CZECHOSLOVAKIA 18, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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