6 Dec. 45

in Moscow, and we have heard in Hitler's speech of that date to his commanders-in-chief how it had gone down as a shock to the rest of the world. In fact, the orders to invade Poland were given immediately after the signing of that treaty, and the H-hour was actually to be in the early morning of the 25th of August. Orders were given to invade Poland in the early hours of the 25th of August, and that I shall prove in a moment.

On the same day — the 23rd of August — that the German-Russian agreement was signed in Moscow, news reached England that it was being signed. And of course the significance of it from a military point of view as to Germany, particularly in the present circumstances, was obvious; and the British Government immediately made their position clear in one last hope — and that one last hope was that if they did so the German Government might possibly think better of it. And I refer to Document TC-72, Number 56; it is the first document in the next to the last part of the Tribunal document book, in which the Prime Minister wrote to Hitler. That document becomes GB-55:

"Your Excellency:

"Your Excellency will have already heard of certain measures taken by His Majesty's Government, and announced in the press and on the wireless this evening.

"These steps have, in the opinion of His Majesty's Government, been rendered necessary by the military movements which have been reported from Germany and by the fact that apparently the announcement of a German-Soviet agreement is taken in some quarters in Berlin to indicate that intervention by Great Britain on behalf of Poland is no longer a contingency that need be reckoned with. No greater mistake could be made. Whatever may prove to be the nature of the German-Soviet agreement, it cannot alter Great Britain's obligation to Poland, which His Majesty's Government have stated in public repeatedly and plainly and which they are determined to fulfill.

"It has been alleged that, if His Majesty's Government had made their position more clear in 1914, the great catastrophe would have been avoided. Whether or not there is any force in that allegation, His Majesty's Government are resolved that on this occasion there shall be no such tragic misunderstanding.

"If the case should arise, they are resolved and prepared to employ without delay all the forces at their command; and it is impossible to foresee the end of hostilities once engaged. It would be a dangerous delusion to think that, if war once starts, it will come to an early end even if a success on any