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 WWII British Foreign Office and Secret Intelligence Service Files

World War II
British Foreign Office and Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) Files

21,210  pages of of British Foreign Office files related to World War II and adminstration of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS).


From 1782 to 1968, the Foreign Office (FO), in England was responsible for all correspondence with foreign states and negotiations with representatives of other states, liaising with other ministries where necessary. The Foreign Secretary was responsible for the conduct of the British Government's foreign policy on a day to day basis and for presenting that policy to the Cabinet and Parliament. It was replaced by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1968, when the Foreign Office merged with the Commonwealth Office to become the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Both the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) reported to the Foreign Secretary. The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was a British World War II organisaion created  to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis powers, and to aid local resistance movements. It was established after Cabinet approval, it was established by Minister of Economic Warfare Hugh Dalton on 22 July 1940.  The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6 (Military Intelligence, Section 6), is the British intelligence agency which supplies the British Government with foreign intelligence.

The idenity of the head of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) was to always remain a secret. Thus in ducments e was always refered to as "C."

Highlights from the files include:

Relationship between Special Operations Executive (SOE)  and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)

FO File 1093/155 contains documents dating from July 19, 1940 to November 14, 1942. Relations between SIS and SOE were difficult from the creation of SOE in July 1940 until it was wound up in 1946. SOE had been formed to 'set Europe ablaze' by engaging in sabotage and subversion, whereas SIS's job was to collect secret information, an activity that could be disrupted by SOE tactics. In return, SOE Chief, Sir Frank Nelson, complained in March 1942, that 'the general key word from top to bottom in the SIS organisation has been to delay rather than expedite the natural expansion of SOE'. The two organisations competed for resources and facilities and the friction between them led to 'a deplorable state of affairs', according to one note. During the war various attempts were made to affect a working compromise, and in 1942 each organisation was keen to list its grievances, which are documented in this file. 'C', in particular, was keen that ministerial control over SOE should revert from the Ministry of Economic Warfare to the Foreign Office. The file includes a copy of a report by the Joint Planning Staff dated 15 May 1942 on SOE and SIS coordination.

Accounts of British liasions with U.S. official in Washington and London

FO File 1093/238 contains documents dating from June 6, 1940 to January 29, 1943. In August 1940 Sir William Stephenson, head of British Security Coordination (BSC) in Washington,  forwarded to SIS a scheme for 15 Englishmen to write one article each per month 'presenting the English point of view dramatically and continuously to the thirty million readers of American magazines'. A note from 'C' to Cadogan dated 1 April 1941 stated that according to Stephenson, the 'President has stated categorically to my liaison that he proposes 'to act to bring USA in [to the war] very shortly'. Other reports from Stephenson concern the appointment of William J. 'Wild Bill' Donovan to an intelligence role in June 1941. Stephenson commented: 'You can imagine how relieved I am after three months of battle and jockeying for position at Washington that 'our man' is in a position of such importance to our efforts'. The file also contains a colourful account of US politician Wendell Willkie's tour of the Middle East and Russia. He reportedly made a 'great impression' on Stalin and wielded a sub-machine gun at a drunken party in which he pretended to shoot an apple off someone's head.

Japanese intercepted communications discussing the possibility of war with Britain

FO File 1093/315 contains documents dating from February 4, 1941 to March 13, 1941. This file includes transcripts of conversations between Japanese Embassy officials and various callers discussing the possibility of war with Britain, as well as reports of intercepted telegrams. It contains a top copy of a minute from Churchill to Cadogan, dated 21 February 1941, asking for a digest of these conversations for him to send to President Roosevelt. Churchill wrote, "Be careful in making the digest you do not lose the snappiness of the dialogues."  A long telegram to Lord Halifax in Washington of 23 February 1941, indicated that based on the Japanese conversations the Foreign Office had thought there was imminent danger of an aggressive move by Japan, but that it had not yet materialised. Cadogan wrote that 'they (Japanese) are so indiscreet that at first we were inclined to think we were having our leg pulled' but that 'if you were to read them all, I think you will agree that such play-acting would be a masterpiece beyond the Japanese'. The transcripts themselves record Japanese officials expressing admiration for Churchill. One Japanese official said, "We must admit that he is a very fine leader" and a "far greater man than Hitler". While another expresses the hope that Churchill would die soon as without him, "Britain would be like a ship without a rudder".

British Foreign Office File on Assassination Priorities for Operation OVERLORD

Dated twenty-one days before the D-Day launch of Operation OVERLORD, the first memo in a file designated as FO 1093/292, has the subject "Assassination Priorities for OVERLORD," and states, "The Chief of Staff has asked me to look into this, and to advise him about suitable candidates to whom attention might be paid, prior to, on and after 'D' day. On the German side Stulpnagel, Runstedt, and Rommel look likely, but there may be some Vichy collaborators whose removal from the scene would assist."

This file contains dialogue about the possibility of the British Foreign Office and The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6, providing a list of French and Germans who would be priorities for assassination, most likely by the Special Operations Executive (SOE), which conducted operations in occupied Europe, after the launch of Operation OVERLORD.

The British Foreign Office on consideration thought it likely to provoke bloody reprisals, and doubted its effectiveness. Writing to Charles Peake, who was attached to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) on 16 May 1944, British diplomat Thomas E. Bromley said: "If we designate individuals to be liquidated and reprisals are taken by the Germans, we incur a measure of responsibility. Moreover, it is likely that for every successful assassination there will be two or three failures, as past records of these attempts show".

The files show that "C" the code name for Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), at the time Major-General Sir Stewart Menzies, did not like the idea either, saying that the removal of certain Germans would have little effect on the efficient functioning of "so widespread and highly organized a machine". By his own words Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Victor Cavendish-Bentinck, was opposed "not out of squeamishness, as there are several people in this world whom I could kill with my own hands with a feeling of pleasure and without that action in any way spoiling my appetite," but because it was "the type of bright idea which in the end produces a good deal of trouble and does little good."

The file contains memos regarding a story that Adolf Hitler was living in disguise in Perpignan, France. Though this was thought to be "quite fantastic", as the appointed British ambassador to France, Duff Cooper put it, "so was the story of Hess". "C" indicated that that reports confirmed Hitler was at his headquarters. Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Sir Andrew Cadogan minuted on 21 June 1944: "I suppose we should bomb Hitler if we could. I would much rather catch him, but I fear that is very unlikely."

An account of a drunken wartime meeting between Stalin and Churchill in Moscow

FO File 1093/247 includes a note from the SIS on the economic situation in the USSR based on internal Russian radio intercepts; and an exchange of letters in November 1941 between Charles Hardinge, a former Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office and onetime Viceroy of India, and the current  Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Cadogan on the arguments for and against declaring war on Finland. There is also correspondence on the 'extreme reticence' shown by Soviet Service representatives in London, and a letter from Churchill's Personal Assistant Desmond Morton to the Foreign Office dated 26 March 1942 speculating about the possibility of using the principle of 'base leasing' as compensation to the Soviet Union for their efforts.

The file also includes a letter from Cadogan to Halifax of 29 August giving an amusing account of Churchill's visit to Moscow and the Middle East. 'Nothing can be imagined more awful than a Kremlin banquet', the letter states, 'unfortunately Winston didn't suffer it gladly'. The account describes finding Churchill in the company of Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov, sitting at a heavily laden table covered with 'foods of all kinds crowned by a sucking [sic] pig and innumerable bottles'. The writer complained that 'what Stalin made me drink seemed pretty savage' and that Churchill, who by this time was 'complaining of a slight headache' seemed wisely to be 'confining himself to a comparatively innocuous effervescent Caucasian red wine'. All were apparently 'merry as a marriage bell' and stayed up until 3am. The account concludes by stating the 'two great men' got on terms and that 'Winston was impressed'.

Nazi Party  leaders' finances including Adolf Hitler

File FO 1093/152 contains a report  allegedly detailing the financial arrangements of leading Nazis, including Hitler, that was sent to the Foreign Office but its provenance was questioned. 'C' thought it anti-Nazi propaganda. The report claimed there was no available information on Hitler's foreign holdings and that he had invested all his property in various Nazi undertakings in Germany and Austria. There are also papers concerning a Daily Telegraph report on the finances of Rudolf Hess, who had arrived in the UK in May 1941, alleging that he had a fortune in various foreign banks. 'C', in a letter of 5 June 1941, said that 'unless my officers have been completely deceived by Hess, there is not the slightest probability in the story. He takes not the slightest interest in financial matters, nor does he appear to have any knowledge of business'. Nor, he added, were Hess's clothes 'those of a City magnate.'

Baron Inverchapel Papers

1,950 pages of  Baron Inverchapel papers dating from Janurary 1935 to February 1946, excluding 1941. Archibald Clark Kerr, 1st Baron Inverchape (1882-1951), known as Sir Archibald Clark Kerr between 1935 and 1946, was a British diplomat. He served as Ambassador to the Soviet Union between 1942 and 1946.  He was Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to  Iraq between 1935 and 1938. He was appointed Ambassador to China between 1938 and 1942 during the Japanese occupation. He was moved to Moscow in February 1942 where he forged a relationship with Stalin and facilitated a number of Anglo-Soviet diplomatic conferences. His work there and at the Big Three Conferences (such as Yalta and Potsdam) put him at the centre of international politics during the final, pivotal years of the Second World War. Throughout his posting in Moscow he sought  direction from the Foreign Office in London.

Hanbury-Williams report on the Special Operations Executive

A copy of the report by John Hanbury-Williams and Edward W. Playfair, produced at the request of the Minister for Economic Warfare to advise 'what improvements, alterations or extensions, if any, in the existing SOE machine are necessary or desirable to enable SOE fully to carry out the duties devolving on it under its charter'. The report conceded that SOE had built up something of a bad name, but considered that it was already improving and that its successes 'amply justify the continuation of the organisation on its present lines'

Details of a British scheme to bribe Spain into keeping out of the war

FO File 1093/233 and  FO 1093-234 relate to British efforts to prevent Spain from entering the war on the side of the Germans, and to stimulate resistance in Spain should the country be invaded. The British ambassador in Madrid, Sir Samuel Hoare, together with the Naval Attaché Captain Hillgarth, was particularly closely involved in a plot to 'give the Right Wing the sinews of war' and to form an organisation that would be 'pro-Spanish and anti-foreign'. The plot was organised by Juan March, who had been a double agent in the First World War, and who was paid a great deal of money to influence Spanish generals, including Franco's brother Nicholas, against joining the war on the German side. In 1941 the plans were threatened by the freezing of $10 million held in a US bank account that were to be paid to persons in Spain, using March as an intermediary for 'political services rendered'. In October 1941 an appeal was made, endorsed personally by Churchill, to the US Treasury to unfreeze the funds. There was considerable discussion of how much the Americans should be told, particularly since March's activities were not always legal.

Death of Admiral Sir Hugh Sinclair and appointment of his successor as 'C', Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)

FO File 1093/127 contains documents dating from November, 3, 1939 to December 1, 1939. The death from cancer on 4 November 1939 of Sir Hugh Sinclair, the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), provoked considerable discussion about who his successor should be, during a time of great difficulty for SIS. Sinclair himself had written to Sir Alexander Cadogan, the Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, recommending Colonel Stewart Menzies as his replacement 'in the event of my death.' Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, favoured naval officer Gerard Muirhead-Gould, and expressed dissatisfaction at the service he had been receiving from SIS. In the end Colonel Stewart Menzies was given the job and remained in his post until 1953. 

Lord Halifax Correspondence

6,506 pages of correspdence to and from Lord Halifax, various ministers' and officials' papers, dating from January 1938 to December 1940, while he was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Foreign Minster), from 21 February 1938 to 22 December 1940.  Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, (1881 � 1959), known as The Viscount Halifax from 1934 until 1944, was one of the most senior British Conservative politicians of the 1930s. He held several senior ministerial posts during this time, most notably that of Foreign Secretary between 1938 and 1940. As such, he is often regarded as one of the architects of the policy of appeasement prior to World War II. During the war, he served as British Ambassador in Washington. The files include a subject index  and a letter index.

FO File 800/434 contains the private papers of Sir John Balfour relating to Anglo-American Bases Agreement March 1941.

Private Secretaries' Private Office Papers

9,094 pages of  Secretary of State Private Secretaries' Private Office Papers. The Private Office papers, which record correspondence between the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister, and between the Secretary of State, the under secretaries of state and all other ministers and senior officials, both at home and abroad, who needed to be kept informed, are fundamental to the conduct of foreign affairs. This collections papers dealing with the Prime Minister's visit to Italy,  Moscow Conference,  Prime Minister's visit to Washington and North Africa, the situtation in France, Tehran Conference and the Crimea Conference.

Telegram noting Churchill's concern about letting Russia overrun Berlin

FO File 1093/190 contains documents dating from Februrary 28, 1945 to April 8, 1945. In addition to miscellaneous intelligence papers, this file contains summary reports for the Foreign Office meetings between the Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Intelligence Committee and includes discussion of the possibility of using German generals, captured as prisoners of war, to try and accelerate the cessation of hostilities. It also includes a series of telegram exchanges between Winston Churchill and US President Roosevelt concerning General Eisenhower's military strategy and in particular Churchill's concern that letting the Russians overrun Berlin would only reinforce the impression that they were 'the overwhelming contributor to our common victory' and could lead to 'formidable difficulties in the future'. Despite their disagreement, Churchill praised Eisenhower's handling of Allied Command and proclaimed the Americans the 'truest friends and comrades that ever fought side by side'.

Paul Lewis Claire Case

FO File 1093/225 covers Paul Lewis Claire, a French naval officer who had transferred to the Royal Navy after the fall of France and who subsequently went on to work for SIS. He was arrested in July 1941 trying to cross the Spanish border into Vichy France. Faced with the possibility of his treachery, the British ambassador in Spain, Sir Samuel Hoare, had only two options, according to the file: '(1)  capturing or killing him and running the risk of irrevocably compromising the Mission. (2) Letting him get to France with the information that will destroy our present intelligence operation in Spain and do even greater harm elsewhere'. In the end, 'C' advised that Claire could be intercepted and taken to Gibraltar by road. But the plan went awry and Claire died in transit. Hoare wrote to Anthony Eden, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, a couple of days later that 'it could not have been a worse affair'. He continued: 'with great personal risk to ourselves and still greater to the existence of the mission we have got rid of him - he is dead'. Hoare complained that it was 'not the kind of mission that should be put on my shoulders'.  Eden's apologetic reply expressed his 'deep regret' at having had such an 'unpleasant incident thrust upon you' but praised Hoare's handling of the situation. The file also contains press reports on the incident and how to handle them. 'C' wrote that the 'whole story will be denied' and that a 'policy of silence and complete ignorance' was best.

Atomic energy: Operation X

Ducuments dating from 1944 covering Sir R Campbell and Mr Nevile Butler papers on obtaining material from Belgium for Briatin's nuclear program.

Arrest of The Times correspondent Dudley Clarke in Madrid

FO File 1093/252 covers Dudley Clarke, who while working undercover as a correspondent for The Times, had been running a strategic deception section in the Middle East since 1940. In October 1941 he was arrested in Madrid dressed - 'down to a brassiere' - as a woman. He told Spanish police that he was a novelist who wished to study the reactions of men and women in the street, but he told the British consul that he was taking feminine garments to a lady in Gibraltar and thought he would try them on 'for a prank'. The police apparently considered it a 'homosexual affair' and released him but the Germans were convinced they were onto a 'first class espionage incident'. Cadogan advised the Embassy in Madrid that they should 'get him to Gibraltar by quickest means'. The file contains two photographs of him, including one in women's dress.

The scope of Secret Intelligence Service operations after the war

FO file 1093/347 contains documents dating from January 24, 1946 to July 8, 1946. This file concerns the future of special operations after the war, including a draft Directive sent to the Foreign Office by 'C' on 30 January 1946: 'In time of peace all permitted activities abroad will be subject to the approval and control of the Foreign Office'. Special operations would give 'covert support to British national interests' by 'influencing prominent individuals, disbursing subsidies, countering hostile propaganda and by para-military activities as appropriate'. Priority would be given to those countries, including the Middle East, which were 'likely to be overrun in the early stages of a conflict with Russia'. A circular telegram sent to HM Representatives overseas on 26 March 1946 said the Chiefs of Staff had decided SOE should come to an end as a separate organisation. 'In future there will, therefore, be a single Secret Service and 'C''s local representative will be solely responsible in your country'. There are various revised drafts of the Directive, and a paper setting out Menzies' requirements for planning purposes in accordance with it.

Post World War II relations between the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)

FO File 1093/393 Contains documents dating from March 28, 1949 to December 24, 1949. This file contains discussions on which agency should operate where in the post-war world. It includes a report on 'Relations between the Secret Service (SIS) and the Security Service' by a cross-agency working party, presented to the Director-General of MI5 and 'C' by Guy Liddell, the Deputy-Director General of MI5, on 29 April. 'C' responded in a letter to Sir Percy Sillitoe of 18 May, broadly accepting the report's conclusions but raising several points, underlining the distinction between the Security Service's remit (Commonwealth and Defence tasks) and SIS's (intelligence about foreign powers). In his reply of 23 May, Sillitoe said he thought 'C' was pressing this point 'a little too far', since the Security Service also needed to collect information about foreign countries, for security planning purposes.

By July, the two Services had reached agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding, which included the objective of ultimately sharing a London headquarters. It also stated that the 'employment of secret agents in foreign countries is the exclusive responsibility of SIS, but the Security Service will not in future be ruled out of direct access to foreign security authorities where this is necessary for the purpose of exchanging information and co-ordinating operations'. There is further minuting on the question of joint accommodation for the Agencies, including a note by Strang of points raised by Bevin, including the statement that 'It is important that 'C' should not be chained to his desk. What can we do to liberate him?'

World War II: Fuhrergebiet - German National Redoubt Deception British Files

British Foreigen Office files containing intelligence reports which reveal the full extent of the Allies' belief in a Nazi National Redoubt in the Austrian Alps. National redoubt is a general term for an area to which the remnant forces of a nation can be withdrawn if the main battle has been lost, or even beforehand if defeat is considered  inevitable. The Allies belived that Hitler had made plans for an area where, "the elite of Nazi Germany" would make "a last desperate stand". The redoubt would be a refuge for "war criminals, Nazi fanatics and those with nothing to lose". Intelligence reports from the time suggested there would be enough food and munitions stored in underground caves for 60,000 men to hold out for two years and to act as a centre to direct the activities of pro-Nazi elements across Europe. 

The file contains the first-hand testimony of Walter Hirsch, a master builder at Hitler's Austrian HQ in Ober Salzburg, who believed that Hitler had been shot by a German General in March 1944 and his body stored in a crypt under Hitler's private room. Himmler is described in the file as the 'soul' of the Nazi movement and reports detail his plans to build a post-hostilities 'resistance' using identities stolen from soldiers who died in battle and civilians killed in air raids. The file also contains the testimony of a 19-year-old Austrian deserter who had worked at the Fuhrer's headquarters. He provides a detailed description of Hitler, "pale and covered in loosely, hanging flesh", his daily routine, "coffee, bread and marmalade'for breakfast", and the personalities that surrounded him, such as his barber, who was said to look like "a circus clown".

By the time American forces reached and controlled Bavaria and Western Austria at the end of April 1945, it became clear that the National Redoubt was a myth.

German Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels oversaw the creation of false information about a redoubt. German Intelligence Services produced faked blueprints and reports on construction supplies, armament production and troop transfers to the Redoubt. Rumors spread about the redoubt, causing many Germans to beieve that it actullay existed.

During the last months of the war the allies made preparations to attack this fortress that didn't exist.


On 29 March 1944 the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Anthony Eden, informed the House of Commons of the Government's intention to publish a collection of the most important British documents on foreign policy between 1919 and 1939.  The result was a product imilar tothe United States Department of States' "Foreign Relations of the United States" series.

This collection contains 1,618 pages, two volumes from the series DOCUMENTS ON BRITISH FOREIGN POLICY1919-1939 Volume VI and VII covering June 8 to September 4, 1939.

From the preface of  Volume VI: "The nine chapters in this volume cover just under ten weeks of diplomatic negotiations. As in the previous volume there is at least on the British side no halting-place or decisive date during the period. Nevertheless, the weeks from June 8 to August 14, 1939, include a significant phase of the Anglo-Franco-Russian negotiations. This phase began with Mr. Strang's arrival in  Moscow to assist His Majesty's Ambassador, and ended with the opening If military discussions with the Russians. The instructions to the British Military Mission are printed in an appendix  to the present volume.

An extract from a letter (printed below as No. 376) written on July 20,1939, by Mr. Strang (in Moscow) to Sir Orme Sargent well describes the course of the discussions up to that date. Mr. Strang wrote: 'On the whole the negotiations have been a humiliating experience. Time after time we lave taken up a position, and a week later we have abandoned it; and we have had the feeling that Molotov was convinced from the beginning we should be forced to abandon it. This was, I think, inevitable. It is we, not the Russians, who took the initiative in starting negotiations. Our need for an agreement is more immediate than theirs. Unlike them, we have assumed obligations which we may have to fulfil any day; and some of the obligations we have undertaken are of benefit to the Soviet Union since they protect a good part of their western frontier. Having committed ourselves to these obligations, we have no other policy open to us than that of building up the Peace Front. The Russians have, in the last resort, at least two alternative policies, namely, the policy of isolation and the policy of accommodation with Germany. We are urged by our own press and our public to conclude an agreement quickly; and the Russians have good reason to assume that we shall not dare to face a final breakdown in the negotiations. This is the strength of their negotiating position, and this makes it certain that if we want an agreement with them we shall have to pay their price or something very near it.'

The two other main subjects of the volume are the Anglo-Turkish negotiations (following the Declaration of May 12, 1939, recorded in the previous volume), and the increasing German menace to Poland. The Anglo-Turkish negotiations were complicated and prolonged, but there was never any doubt on either side of the willingness of the other party to reach agreement.

The German menace to Poland was already a matter of the utmost gravity. During the period covered by the present volume the use made by the German Government of the Danzig question to exacerbate opinion both in Poland and the Reich, the increasing scope of German military preparations, and the deliberate 'playing up' of the 'encirclement' myth seemed to point to further German aggression in the near future.

There was, and indeed could be, no change in British policy towards those threats. The documents bring out clearly the difference between the situation in 1938 and that of the summer of 1939. In 1938 His Majesty's Government had to decide whether they would regard a German attack on Czechoslovakia as a casus belli involving Great Britain. Before the summer of 1939 the British decision to resist further German aggression had been taken. Parliament and public opinion had supported this decision, and the negotiations with the Soviet and Turkish Governments were an essential part of an attempt to secure a common front against aggression by the Axis Powers.

The choice between peace and war, therefore, lay with Germany. The conditions under which the Editors accepted the task of producing the volumes in this Collection, i.e. access to all papers in the Foreign Office archives, and freedom in the selection and arrangement of documents, continue to be fulfilled."

Content of this volume

CHAPTER I.  (June 8-13, 1939) Further proposals to the Soviet Government and instructions to Sir W. Seeds: the situation in Danzig: records of M. Burckhardt's conversations in Danzig, Warsaw, and Berlin.
CHAPTER II.  (June 14-20, 1939) Russian rejection of Anglo-French proposals: further instructions to Sir W. Seeds: Anglo-Turkish negotiations: the situation in Danzig.

CHAPTER III. (June 21-28, 1939) Russian rejection of revised Anglo-French proposals: British memorandum to the German Government on the latter's denunciation of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement: Anglo-Turkish negotiations: the situation in Danzig.

CHAPTER IV. (June 29-July 5, 1939 Further Russian objections to Anglo-French proposals: M. Zhdanov's article of June 29: the situation in Danzig: message from the Prime Minister to Signor Mussolini: Anglo-Turkish negotiations.

CHAPTER V. (July 6-12, 1939) Further Anglo-French discussions with the Soviet Government: Anglo-Turkish negotiations: the Danzig question and German-Polish relations.

CHAPTER VI. ( July 13-20, 1939) Further Anglo-French discussions with the Soviet Government: Mr. Strang's summary of the position on July 20: General Sir E. Ironside's visit to Poland: Anglo-Polish financial negotiations: the situation in Danzig. )

CHAPTER VII. ( July 21-27, 1939) Further Anglo-French discussions with the Soviet Government: Danzig and the German-Polish situation: Anglo-Polish financial negotiations: Anglo-Turkish negotiations. Further proposals to the Soviet Government and instructions to Sir W. Seeds: the situation in Danzig: records of M. Burckhardt's conversations in Danzig, Warsaw, and Berlin.

CHAPTER II. (June 14-20, 1939) Russian rejection of Anglo-French proposals: further instructions to Sir W. Seeds: Anglo-Turkish negotiations: the situation in Danzig.

CHAPTER III.   (June 21-28, 1939) Russian rejection of revised Anglo-French proposals: British memorandum to the German Government on the latter's denunciation of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement: Anglo-Turkish negotiations: the situation in Danzig.

CHAPTER IV. (June 29-July 5, 1939) Further Russian objections to Anglo-French proposals: M. Zhdanov's article of June 29: the situation in Danzig: message from the Prime Minister to Signor Mussolini: Anglo-Turkish negotiations.

CHAPTER V. (July 6-12, 1939) Further Anglo-French discussions with the Soviet Government: Anglo-Turkish negotiations: the Danzig question and German-Polish relations.

CHAPTER VI.  ( July 13-20, 1939) Further Anglo-French discussions with the Soviet Government: Mr. Strang's summary of the position on July 20: General Sir E. Ironside's visit to Poland: Anglo-Polish financial negotiations: the situation in Danzig.

CHAPTER VII. (July 21-27, 1939) Further Anglo-French discussions with the Soviet Government: Danzig and the German-Polish situation: Anglo-Polish financial negotiations: Anglo-Turkish negotiations.

CHAPTER VIII. (July 28-August 4, 1939) Further Anglo-French discussions with the Soviet Government: Anglo-French military missions to Moscow: Danzig and the German-Polish situation: Anglo-Turkish negotiations.

CHAPTER IX. (August 5-14, 1939) German-Polish relations and the situation in Danzig: the Anglo-French Military Missions in Moscow: Herr Hitler's statements to M. Burckhardt.


The seven chapters in this volume cover twenty days. Chapters I through VI continue from August 15 to August 31, they record of the efforts made by His Majesty's Government to deter Germany from aggression against Poland. These efforts failed. The last chapter of the volume describes the diplomatic steps taken by His Majesty's Government on September 1, 2, and 3, and ends with the British declaration of war on Germany. The documents in this chapter include exchanges with the French Government on the times of delivery and expiry of an ultimatum to Germany, and exchanges with the Italian Government on the proposals of the latter for an international conference.

The minutes of the Anglo-Franco-Soviet military conversations in Moscow, and other documents relevant to these conversations, are included in an appendix.

Contents of this volume:

CHAPTER I. (August 15-20, 1939) Anglo-Franco-Soviet military conversations: attempts to secure Polish consent to the Russian demands with regard to the possible passage
of Russian troops through Poland: suggestions for an approach by His Majesty's Government to Herr
Hitler: Anglo-Italian exchanges.

CHAPTER II. (August 21-23, 1939) German military measures: announcement of the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact: message of August 22 from His Majesty's Government to Herr
Hitler: Herr Hitler's reply of August 23: the attitude of Italy. (August 21-23, 1939)

CHAPTER III. (August 24-25, 1939) Attempt to secure direct Polish-German negotiations: estimate of German intentions: Herr Hitler's communication of August 25 to Sir N.Henderson: signature of the Anglo-Polish Treaty.

CHAPTER IV. (August 26-27, 1939) Exchanges with the Turkish Government: further exchanges with the Italian Government: proposals for relieving German-Polish tension.

CHAPTER V. (August 28-29, 1939) Reply of His Majesty's Government to Herr Hitler's communication of August 25: Sir N. Henderson's interviews of August 28 and 29 with Herr Hitler:
Herr Hitler's communication of August 29. 

CHAPTER VI.  (August 30-31, 1 939) Reply of His Majesty's Government to Herr Hitler's communication of August 29: Anglo-Turkish negotiations: Sir N. Henderson's interview
of August 30 with Herr von Ribbentrop: negotiations of August 31: Italian decision to remain neutral: German communication of August 31, 1930.

CHAPTER VII. (September 1-4, 1939) The German attack on Poland: Note of September I from His Majesty's Government to the German Government: Italian proposal for a
conference: Anglo-Turkish negotiations, British ultimatum to Germany, September 3.