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Martin Gwynne (Wednesday, July 2, 2003) gives the low-down on why Britain did not declare war on Stalin in Sept 1939


Why Britain did not declare war on the Soviet Union in Sept 1939 - cont'd

IN answer to a letter on your website about this historic puzzle, I have looked up the facts: following Germany's invasion of Poland, World War II began on September 3, 1939. Two weeks later, Russia also invaded Poland, from the east.

Naturally, reasonably well-informed members of the British and French public assumed that Britain would forthwith declare war on Russia, since on August 25, the United Kingdom and Poland had entered into a Pact of Mutual Assistance. This Pact was recorded in Cmd. Paper 6101, the principal Article of which stated:

"Should one of the Contracting Parties become engaged in hostilities with a European Power in consequence of aggression by the latter against the Contracting Party, the other Contracting Party were at once give the Contracting Party engaged in hostilities all the support and assistance in its power."

Plain enough for the ordinary man to understand.

Five years later, as the war was drawing to a close and the Soviet armies were of course everywhere victorious, His Majesty's Stationery Office in London published a re-print of the Cmd. Paper 6101. It had the appearance of being an exact replica of the original, BUT there was one significant addition on page 4. This read as follows:

"The Polish Government and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are agreed upon the following interpretation of the Agreement of Mutual Assistance signed this day as alone authentic and binding: 1 (a) By the expression 'a European Power' employed in this agreement is to be understood Germany."

Why the readily-available word "Germany" was not used to represent Germany in the original version of Cmd. Paper 6101 must be considered an interesting question!

The research which located all the above was done by the late Anthony Gittens.

Martin Gwynne

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David Irving adds

that in case readers would like a proper reference, what Mr Gwynne has written above is, he says, to be found in the sixth, revised, edition of Nesta Webster's World Revolution (Britons Publishing Company, 1971) which was then owned by Anthony Gittens. With Mrs. Webster's permission, Gittens added four chapters at the end of the book, and this episode is in the first of them, chapter XIV.

 © Focal Point 2003 David Irving