" I am returning to London, where I shall at once consult
with my colleagues. During the next few days there is a
grave responsibility upon everybody concerned to consider
very carefully the issues that are at stake. We must still make
great efforts to save the peace of Europe."
Mr. Chamberlain made a further statement on landing early
that afternoon at Heston^ speaking into the microphone and by
means of B.B.C. transmission to anxious listeners all over
" My first duty now that I have come back is to report
to the British and French Governments the result of my
mission, and until I have done that, it would be difficult for
me to say anything about it.
" I will only say this. I trust all concerned will continue
their efforts to solve the Czechoslovakia problem peacefully,
because on that turns the peace of Europe in our time."
During the week-end the gravity of the situation increased
hourly. The German ultimatum to Chechoslovakia was due to
expire on 1st October and all countries prepared themselves for
a war over a question already agreed in principle but whose dispute
by arms would probably have resulted in the total destruction of the
civilised world. On Monday night^ in a speech listened to by
the whole world^ Herr Hitler told the German people that his
patience was at an end. Immediately afterwards the Prime
Minister issued a statement to the Press.
" I have read the speech of the German Chancellor and
I appreciate his references to the efforts I have made to save
" I cannot abandon those efforts since it seems to me
incredible that the peoples of Europe who do not want war
with one another should be plunged into a bloody struggle
over a question on which agreement has already been largely
" It is evident that the Chancellor has no faith that the
promises made will be carried out. These promises were
made, not to the German Government direct, but to the
British and French Governments in the first instance.