121.840 Welles, Sumner/41: Telegram

The Ambassador in Poland ( Biddle ), Then in France, to the Secretary of State

11. 1. Minister Zaleski12 pointed out following among other signs that Hitler might conceivably attempt to exploit Secretary Welles’ visit as an occasion to launch another “peace offensive”.

(a)
Prime Minister Chamberlain several days ago told Zaleski during latter’s London visit he expected strategic near future peace offensive by Hitler;
(b)
Polish Ambassador to the Vatican just cabled he had been strictly confidentially informed by a high ranking Vatican source that Marshal Goering had just communicated to Signor Mussolini in effect that Germany would be ready to talk peace on the following terms: (1) protectorate for Austria; (2) home rule for Czechoslovakia; (3) re-creation of a Polish state a little larger than the old Duchy of Warsaw. Minister Zaleski feels that if this report is true Marshal Goering’s instead of Hitler’s presentation of these proposals indicate that Hitler wants them to serve as a “pulse feeler” rather than a firm offer.

2. Zaleski is gratified to learn from Ambassador Potocki13 that he will have opportunity to meet Secretary Welles during his European visit.

Biddle
  1. August Zaleski, Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Count Jerzy Potocki, Polish Ambassador in the United States.