760C.62/911: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Bullitt) to the Secretary of State

1541. For the President and the Acting Secretary. Daladier31 said to me this afternoon that he believed that Hitler was planning to attack Poland within the next 8 days most probably this weekend.

In my presence he gave orders to General Gamelin and Admiral Darlan to prepare for immediate war.

He [ordered?] Gamelin to mobilize at once certain special reserves and to bring his troops up to the French frontier. He ordered Darlan to keep the fleet ready for immediate action.

He added to them both that tomorrow morning he might decide to order general mobilization.

Daladier then said to me that he wished to transmit immediately a message to you. He felt that general European war was imminent and that Japan would also enter the war. He did not know whether or not an appeal by you at the present moment might have any deterrent effect but he hoped profoundly that you would issue a declaration stating that war seemed imminent and summoning all the nations of the earth to send delegates immediately to Washington to try to work out a pacific solution of the present situation.

He added that he would accept such a proposal instantly and with deep gratitude on behalf of France. He feared that Germany would reject such a proposal. In any event you would have done your utmost to prevent a horrible catastrophe for the entire human race, and you would have made the moral issue clear.

I hope that you will let me know in advance what action if any you intend to take. Daladier can be trusted not to divulge secrets.

  1. Édouard Daladier, President of the French Council of Ministers and Minister for National Defense.