THINK the House will desire that I should begin my
statement this afternoon with a recital of the facts about
the change in the situation in Czechoslovakia, as far as I
know it. On loth March the President of the Czechoslovak
Republic dismissed certain members of the Slovak Govern-
ment, including the Prime Minister, Dr. Tiso, on the ground
that certain factors in the Slovak Government had not been
showing sufficient resistance to subversive activities, and that
the Federal interests of the State were thereby threatened.
On nth March a new Slovak Government was appointed,
under the Premiership of M. Sidor, former Slovak repre-
sentative in the Central Government at Prague. Dr. Tiso
appealed to Herr Hitler and received an official invitation to
go to Berlin. He had an interview with Herr Hitler on i3th
March, after which he returned to Bratislava to attend a special
session of the Slovak Diet, which had been called for i4th
March. At the conclusion of this session the independence
of Slovakia was proclaimed, with the approval of the Diet,
and a new Slovak Government was constituted under Dr.
Tiso, including M. Sidor.
" Yesterday afternoon the President of the Czechoslovak
Republic and the Foreign Minister left for Berlin. They
had an interview with Herr Hitler and Herr von Ribbentrop,
at the conclusion of which a signed communiqu£ was issued.
This communique stated that the serious situation which
had arisen as the result of events of the past week in what
was hitherto Czechoslovak territory had been closely and
frankly examined. Both sides gave expression to their mutual
conviction that the aim of all efforts in this part of Central
Europe should be the safeguarding of calm, order and peace.
The Czechoslovak President declared that, in order to serve
this purpose, and in order to secure final pacification, he pkced
the destinies of the Czech people and country with confidence
in the hands of the German Reich. Herr Hitler accepted this
declaration and expressed his determination to take the