851.00/1818: Telegram

The Chargé in France ( Wilson ) to the Secretary of State



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I asked Bonnet for his personal opinion whether France would march to Czechoslovakia’s assistance if the latter were attacked by Germany. He said that if Great Britain promised to support France then France would certainly march. In the absence of a British promise of immediate support he felt it would be suicidal for France to embark alone on war against Germany and Italy with merely the hope that the Russians would send some aeroplanes. He said that facts had to be faced. In such a war France would find enemies on three frontiers and the only action she could take for Czechoslovakia would be to attack the German counterpart of the Maginot line. He reiterated that in the absence of a promise of support from Great Britain it would be impossible for France to go to Czechoslovakia’s aid. He said that this was his personal and confidential opinion. Publicly he would have to state the opposite just as others now in office stated the opposite although he believed that most of them agreed with his conviction that under existing conditions a prudent policy is the only conceivable policy for France.

Bonnet said that he felt there was little danger of the French Government embarking on the dangerous adventure open intervention in Spain. The Spanish conflict is rapidly drawing to a close and there is not enough time left for the present government even if it so desired to [Page 40] send men and munitions in sufficient numbers to save the Spanish Government.