862.20/904

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Bingham) to the Secretary of State

No. 1351

Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatch No. 1341 of April 2, 1935,75 on the subject of Sir John Simon’s visit to Berlin, and to my despatch No. 1342 of the same date75 on Mr. Anthony Eden’s visit to Moscow.

The joint communiqué issued at Warsaw at the time of Mr. Eden’s departure, as published in London, reads as follows:

“During his stay in Warsaw Mr. Eden, the Lord Privy Seal, was received by the President of the Polish Republic and by Marshal Pilsudski. Mr. Eden had, in addition, several conversations with M. Beck, Minister of Foreign Affairs. He gave M. Beck an account of the recent exchanges of view which the British Ministers have had in Berlin and Moscow upon the basis of the London communiqué of February 3. During the conversations, which were cordial in tone, M. Beck gave Mr. Eden the views of the Polish Government upon the matters set forth in this communiqué, and upon the present international situation in general.

It was agreed that these exchanges of view, which were exploratory in character, had well fulfilled their purpose. The desirability of maintaining close contacts in regard to future developments in the European situation was emphasized.”

According to the information available, it appears quite evident that the Warsaw visit was a success in the sense that it established friendly contacts and relations and made definitely clear that Poland has no intention of signing the proposed Eastern Pact, rejected by Germany and urged by Russia, on the general ground that this would be a poor exchange for the security offered by Poland’s present pacts of non-aggression with both Germany and Soviet Russia. The Polish thesis seems to be that no regional Eastern security pacts could give her as much security as she now enjoys through her non-aggression treaties and her military alliances with France and Roumania.

The Prague visit, which was a very short one, produced the following joint communiqué, as published in the London Press: [Page 229]

“Mr. Eden arrived this morning at Prague. At a meeting which took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Eden had a cordial and friendly exchange of views with Dr. Beneš on all questions contained in the London Declaration of Feb. 3.

Dr. Beneš warmly thanked Mr. Eden for his visit to Prague and for the communications made to him on the results of his visit to the other capitals.

On his side, Dr. Beneš gave Mr. Eden a detailed explanation of the peace policy of Czechoslovakia.

Dr. Beneš and Mr. Eden noted the perfect identity of the aims and policy of the two Governments as regards the safeguarding of peace in general, and their sincere and unchanging attachment to the policy of the League of Nations.”

On his return to London from Prague, Mr. Eden’s journey was broken at Cologne by illness, said to have been a heart attack. This resulted in the delay of his report to the Cabinet. The Cabinet, however, meets in full session to-day, when the reports of Sir John Simon and Mr. Eden are to be received and considered and policy for the Stresa meeting, scheduled for April 11, to be determined. In the present condition of his health, it is unlikely that Mr. Eden will be able to attend this meeting, but Sir John Simon will go and it is freely predicted in the Press that the Prime Minister himself will attend.

The general British feeling seems to be that Mr. Eden’s mission has greatly smoothed the road for the Stresa conference next week. The Press generally has viewed the whole series of visits with satisfaction not so much from the view point of positive results, which were hardly expected, but because it is felt they have served a generally useful purpose in convincing the Governments of the countries visited of the sincerity of British policy in working for the peace of Europe through machinery providing collective security and in clarifying to them what the British policy really is.

Respectfully yours,

For the Ambassador:
Ray Atherton

Counselor of Embassy
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