As The Times reports today (p. 12), the Berlin Commission of Ambassadors which is implementing the Munich agreement has finished demarcating the major zones to be transferred to Germany, and has adjourned until Monday. But there's still much to do. For example, there's still the question of what to about Sudeten Germans outside the transfer zones. Originally their fate was to be decided by plebiscite, but it seems an exchange of populations is now preferred by the Commission. This might mean that the volunteers of the British Legion, who are to police the plebiscite areas, won't be going after all (Manchester Guardian, p. 17). The British Legion Volunteer Police are nearly ready to go, however, if called upon: they paraded in their uniforms ('blue serge suit with special constable's peaked cap') at Olympia yesterday and will do so again today (The Times, p. 9). The President of the Legion's North-Eastern Area, Brigadier-General E. P. A. Riddell, sent the following letter to the contingent from his section:
You are going to a foreign country as Great Britain's representatives of peace and order. On your personal conduct, tact, and understanding depends the success of your mission. The prestige of England and the British Legion is in your keeping. One false step on your part might have disastrous results for your country and your great organization. Watch your step. I wish I were physically fit to go with you. God bless you and guide you.
On the other hand, the National Council of Labour (representing the Labour Party, parliamentary and national executive, and the Trades Union Congress) is going to send observers to Prague:
[...] so that it may receive direct information of the consequences of the carrying out of the Munich Agreement and, in particular, learn the position of the minority of German democrats, Jews, and Czechs in the ceded territories.
This group is estimated to number about a million people; there are many refugees and reports, already, of concentration camps being set up the occupying Germans. The Council will need to secure Foreign Office approval first, but Attlee and Arthur Greenwood have been to see Halifax already so perhaps that's a formality.
Herbert Morrison, leader of the London County Council, has asked for 35000 ARP volunteers, men and women, in particular for fire and ambulance services (Daily Mail, p. 5). Men aged between 18 and 25 are not eligible. The Daily Mail understands (p. 11) that all major cities are to get balloon barrages (London's is going into operation today for the first time). And the Air Ministry has announced that officers and men of Auxiliary Air Force fighter and balloon squadrons, called up on 26 September, are to be released from service.
The head boys of Bembridge School on the Isle of Wight sent this letter to Chamberlain (The Times, p. 7):
To the Right Hon. Neville Chamberlain.
Dear Prime Minister, -- At the unanimous wish of the boys of the school we desire to express our gratitude for your supreme achievement in preventing war. Many of those on whose behalf we are addressing to you this letter would have been amongst the first victims of the threatened war, for, although we are not yet old enough to vote and have no influence on public policy, we should have been called upon almost immediately to sacrifice perhaps our lives. We are thus representative of many millions of the youth of the world.
We thank you for your courage, patience, and wisdom and for the further steps of justice and conciliation which you have outlined for the appeasement of Europe.
We are, dear Prime Minister, very respectfully and sincerely yours,
(Signed by head boys).
Late-breaking news on the flight of the Mercury: flares have been set up at Table Bay (near Capetown) to guide it in (Daily Mail, p. 11).
Well, that's the last of my post-blogs on the Sudeten crisis! In the next day or so, I'll put up one more post as some sort of summary.
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