254 Lord Stanley, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Mr P. Liesching, U.K. Acting High Commissioner to Australia

Cablegram unnumbered LONDON, 14 September 1938, 12.10 p.m.

IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET

In view of ominous reports from various sources on Czechoslovak Situation which reached London in the course of yesterday evening, Mr Chamberlain [1] felt it essential to take some immediate action in the interests of peaceful solution.

His Majesty's Ambassador at Berlin [2] was instructed last night to arrange through Herr Ribbentrop [3] for immediate delivery of following personal message from Mr Chamberlain to Herr Hitler.

Message begins 'In view of increasingly critical situation I propose to come over at once to see you with a view to trying to find peaceful solution. I propose to come across by air and am ready to start tomorrow.

Please indicate earliest time at which you can see me and suggest place of meeting. Should be grateful for very early reply. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN.' Message ends. Please inform Prime Minister [4] as soon as possible for his personal information, emphasizing need for extreme secrecy since premature disclosure of above action might, as he will realize, be disastrous to chances of successful outcome of plan. Intention here is to make no public reference to Mr Chamberlain's proposal until Herr Hitler has had opportunity of sending reply which we hope we may receive at earliest possible moment.

1 U.K. Prime Minister.

2 Sir Nevile Henderson.

3 Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Minister for Foreign Affairs.

4 J. A. Lyons.

[PRO : FO 371/21771]