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271 Note of Meeting of U.K. and Dominions Representatives

Extract LONDON, 21 September 1938, 5.30 p.m.



Malcolm MacDonald, acting for Secretary of State for Dominion
S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner for Australia
C. T. te Water, High Commissioner for South Africa
Vincent Massey, High Commissioner for Canada
F. T. Sandford, Secretary, New Zealand High Commission
J. W. Dulanty, High Commissioner for Eire

MR MACDONALD explained the developments during the day in regard
to the Czechoslovak Government's reply to the joint communication
from the United Kingdom and French Governments on the 19th
September. [1] He pointed out that even now the situation could
not be regarded as by any means stable. It was, for instance,
likely that Poland and Hungary would now put forward claims on
behalf of their minorities in Czechoslovakia; it was unlikely
that, if left to themselves, they would make any attack on
Czechoslovakia, but it was always possible that they might be
incited to do so by Germany or that Germany herself might
intervene on their behalf. There was also Signor Mussolini's
recent speech which would hardly have been made without some prior
consultation with Germany. It was, moreover, possible that, when
the Prime Minister [2] came to discuss with Herr Hitler the
detailed conditions for giving effect to the transfer of the
Sudeten Deutsch areas, Herr Hitler might insist that German troops
should be sent into those areas in order to keep order, and this
would afford possibilities of a dangerous situation.

MR BRUCE pointed out the great importance of securing that the
action taken on the present occasion should, if possible, be a
prelude to a wider settlement and that some definite safeguards
should be secured against further aggression by Germany in Europe,
if possible through some formal declaration or action on the part
of Germany herself.


1 See Document 265, note 2.

2 Neville Chamberlain.

[PRO : DO 114/94]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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