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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

During the Parliamentary vacation events in Ciechoslovakia
became increasingly grave. Lord Runcimans efforts to find a
solution acceptable to Czechs and Sudeten Germans, though
welcomed by both parties, proved unavailing: concessions
which might have been received with relief a little earlier, before
feelings had become acerbated by delay, were, when at last
made, no longer acceptable. The C^ech army had been partially
mobilised since the end of May: in August the German army
was put on what was virtually a war footing for autumn
manoeuvres of unprecedented si^e. Nor were these war-like
preparations confined to the two countries directly concerned.
On 2jth August, following urgent representations of the con-
sequences of using force made by the British Ambassador in
Berlin to the German Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Chancellor
of the Exchequer, speaking at Lanark, had repeated the Prime
Ministers "warning ofz^th March that, if war broke out over
the question of Ciechoslovakia, it would be unlikely to be confined
to those who had assumed direct obligations. These warnings
were repeated by the British Ambassador on $ist August and in
the early days of September* Meanwhile French reservists had
been called up to man the Maginot Line. Though by this time
no doubt could have been left in Herr Hitler s mind as to the
gravity with which Britain would regard a resort to force and the
determination of France, if not of Russia, to honour her treaty
obligations to Ciechoslovakia, Germany*s resolve to support the
demands of the Sudeten Germans showed no sign of abating. On
12th September, in Jds long-awaited address to the Nuremberg
Conference, Herr Hitler spoke with passionate conviction of the
rights of his fellow Germans in Chechoslovakia and promised them
the aid of the Reich if they could obtain these rights in no other way.
On i^th September, following a succession of serious
incidents in the unhappy Sudetenland and the declaration of
martial law by the C^ech Government, the Sudeten leaders broke
off negotiations and declared their unalterable desire to return to
the Reich. By this time Lord Runciman, despairing of establish-
ing any permanently satisfactory co-operation between two peoples
i*                                 263