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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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75 wounded, the majority of whom were Czechs. Martial
law was immediately proclaimed in the affected districts. On
the evening of i3th September Herr Henlein and other
Sudeten leaders assembled at Eger and sent a telegram to the
Czechoslovak Government declaring that they could not be
responsible for the consequences of martial law and the special
Czech emergency measures if they were not immediately
withdrawn. Attempts by Lord Runciman's Mission to bring
the Sudeten leaders into discussion with the Czechoslovak
Government failed, and on i4th September Herr Henlein
issued a proclamation stating that the Carlsbad Points were no
longer enough and that the situation called for self-determi-
nation. Thereupon, Herr Henlein fled to Germany, where,
it is understood, he has since occupied himself with the
formation of a Sudeten legionary organisation reported to
number 40,000 men. In these circumstances Lord Runciman
felt that no useful purpose would be served by his publishing
a plan of his own.
" The House will recall that by the evening of i4th Septem-
ber a highly critical situation had developed in which there
was immediate danger of the German troops now concen-
trated upon the frontier entering Czechoslovakia to prevent
further incidents occurring in Sudetenland, and fighting
between the Czech forces and the Sudeten Germans, although
reliable reports indicated that order had been completely
restored in those districts by i4th September. On the other
hand, the Czechoslovak Government might have felt com-
pelled to mobilise at once and so risk provoking a German
invasion. In either event German invasion might have been
expected to bring into operation French obligations to come
to the assistance of Czechoslovakia, and so lead to a European
War in which this country might well have been involved in
support of France.
" In those circumstances I decided that the time had come
to put into operation a plan which I had had in my mind for a
considerable period as a last resort. One of the principal
difficulties in dealing with totalitarian Governments is the
lack of any means of establishing contact with the personalities
in whose hands lie the final decisions for the country. So I
resolved to go to Germany myself to interview Herr Hitler