740.0011 European War, 1939/61: Telegram

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

1024. The British Ambassador has just delivered to the Chef de Cabinet of Ribbentrop a note dated September 3 addressed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs25 in the following sense.

In the communication from the British Ambassador to the German Minister for Foreign Affairs on September 1, the German Government was informed that unless the German Government was prepared to give the British Government satisfactory assurances that the German Government had suspended all aggressive action against Poland and were prepared promptly to withdraw their forces from Polish territory the British Government would without hesitation fulfill their obligations to Poland. The note continues that although this communication was made more than 24 hours ago no reply has been received but German attacks upon Poland have been continued and intensified. Unless, therefore, not later than 11 a.m. British summer time today, September 3, satisfactory assurances to the above effect have been given by the German Government and have reached the British Government in London a state of war will exist between the two countries as from that hour.

I understand that the French Ambassador will deliver a similar communication at noon today although in the French note there may be a time limit set of 6 or 9 hours.

  1. British Cmd. 6106, Misc. No. 9 (1939), doc. No. 118, p. 175.