278 Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister, to Mr N. Chamberlain, U.K. Prime Minister

Cablegram 96 26 September 1938,

SECRET

Following for Prime Minister [1]

We have followed with great admiration your initiative and courage in the face of extreme difficulties. As we have approved of your policy we have not thought it necessary to encumber you with our advice, but think that the time has now come to make three points.

First, we think that the cession of Sudeten areas to Germany having been agreed upon in principle, the precise method of giving effect to the decision is not a matter of sufficient importance to warrant a dispute leading to war. We fully appreciate questions of national pride, but think that before a ruinous, and perhaps inconclusive, war is permitted, consideration should be given, not to the value of what has already been conceded, but to the value of the actual points now in difference.

Second, we think that the form of the questions to be put to the people of Sudeten areas by plebiscite, and also the questions of procedure relating to the plebiscite, should either be settled forthwith by agreement or left to be conclusively determined by some neutral authority. Unless these matters are cleared up before the actual taking over of areas by Germans we can foresee much future trouble and dangerous controversy under circumstances unfairly disadvantageous to Czechoslovakia.

Third, we think public opinion will require adequate assurances as to future of Czechoslovakia.

LYONS

1 This cablegram was sent through the U.K. Dominions Secretary.

[AA : A981, CZECHOSLOVAKIA 13]