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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

286_______________________________________________
himself. The French Government were informed of the
warnings which had been conveyed by Sir Nevile Henderson
at Nuremberg.
" On 9th September the Cabinet met to consider the
situation and decided to take certain precautionary naval
measures, including the commissioning of mine-layers and
mine-sweepers. On nth September I made a statement to the
Press, which received widespread publicity, stressing in
particular the close ties uniting Great Britain and France and
the probability in certain eventualities of this country going
to the assistance of France. On the morning of i2th Septem-
ber the Cabinet met again, but they decided that no further
action could usefully be taken before Herr Hitler's speech at
Nuremberg that evening.
" In his speech on i2th September Herr Hitler laid great
stress upon the defensive military measures taken on Germany's
western frontier. In his references to Czechoslovakia he
reminded the world that on 22nd February he had said that
the Reich would no longer tolerate further oppression or
persecution of the Sudeten Germans. They demanded the
right of self-determination, he said, and they were supported
in their demand by the Reich. Therefore, for the first time
this speech promised the support of the Reich to the Sudeten
Germans if they could not obtain satisfaction for themselves,
and for the first time it publicly raised the issue of self-determi-
nation. He did not, however, close the door upon further
negotiations in Prague, nor did he demand a plebiscite. As
the speech was also accompanied by pacifying references to
Germany's frontiers with Poland and France, its general
effect was to leave the situation unchanged, with a slight
diminution of the tension.
" The speech, however, and in particular Herr Hitler's
reference to German support for the cause of the Sudeten
Germans, had an immediate and unfortunate effect among
those people. Demonstrations took place throughout the
Sudetenland, resulting in an immediate extension of the
incidents which had already begun on nth September.
Serious rioting occurred, accompanied by attacks upon
Czech police and officials, and by i4th September, according
to official Czechoslovak figures, there had been 21 killed and