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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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" We had arranged to resume our conversation at half-past
eleven the next morning, but, in view of the difficulties of
talking with a man through an interpreter and of the fact
that I could not feel sure that what I had said to Herr Hider had
always been completely understood and appreciated by him,
I thought it would be wise to put down on paper some com-
ments upon these new proposals of his and let him have them
some time before the talks began. Accordingly, I wrote
him a letter—which is No. 3 in the White Paper—which I
sent to him. I sent that soon after breakfast. It will be seen
that in it I declared my readiness to convey the proposals to
the Czechoslovak Government, but I pointed out what
seemed to me to be grave difficulties in the way of their
acceptance. On the receipt of this letter, the Chancellor
intimated that he would like to send a written reply. Accord-
ingly, the conversations were postponed, The reply was not
received until well into the afternoon.
" I had hoped that this delay might mean that some modi-
fication was being worked out, but when I received the letter—
which is No. 4—I found, to my disappointment, that, although
it contained some explanation, it offered no modification
at all of the proposals which had been described to me the
night before. Accordingly, I replied as in document No. 5,
asking for a memorandum of the proposals and a copy of
the map for transmission to Prague, and intimating my inten-
tion to return to England. The memorandum and the map
were handed to me at my final interview with the Chancellor,
which began at half-past ten that night and lasted into the
small hours of the morning, an interview at which the German
Foreign Secretary was present, as well as Sir Nevile Henderson
and Sir Horace Wilson; and, for the first time, I found in
the memorandum a time limit. Accordingly, on this occasion
I spoke very frankly. I dwelt with all the emphasis at my
command on the risks which would be incurred by insisting
on such terms, and on the terrible consequences of a war,
if war ensued. I declared that the language and the manner
of the document, which I described as an ultimatum rather
than a memorandum, would profoundly shock public opinion
in neutral countries, and I bitterly reproached the Chancellor
for his failure to respond in any way to the efforts which I had
K*