740.0011 European War, 1939/31: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

999. I called on the Polish Ambassador this afternoon. He said that he believed that there had been no real intention on the part of the German Government and particularly of Ribbentrop16 to enter into direct negotiations with Poland with a view to reaching a settlement and stated that he had not even been furnished with the text of the German proposals for a basis for negotiations. Hitler, the Ambassador said, had decided to strike at the independence and territorial integrity of Poland and his speech in the Reichstag this morning17 could only be regarded as a declaration of war. The Ambassador added that he believed that Italy would remain neutral and that Soviet Russia would not involve itself extensively in a war.

  1. Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. British Cmd. 6106, Misc. No. 9 (1939), doc. No. 106, p. 161.