Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 15. July 26, 1939
Which is the Truth?
Which is the Truth?
The subject of the articles below is a well-debated one, and in view of its relative importance "Salient" has decided to publish them. They are offered without further comment.
Dear "Salient,"—Russia has done many dubious things, but it takes Mr. Witheford to accuse her of sharing equally with Britain in the Munich Agreement.
The undisputed facts are that Mr. Chamberlain was the prime mover in the organisation of the concessions which meant the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. There is much evidence to show that some action of the kind was contemplated long before September 30th.
Russia did not desert Czechoslovakia. The Czech government never appealed to Russia for help. Russia had no part at all in either the planning or the signing or the carrying out of the Munich Agreement. The terms of the alliance stated that the U.S.S.R. was to come to the help of Czechoslovakia if France did so, too. The Russian government repeatedly declared their determination to fulfil these obligations. Large forces were mobilised and held in readiness. (There were headlines "3,000,000 men near Russian frontier.") The air force could have been immediately useful. Some Czech authorities also say that Russia was willing to help even without France, as a part of her obligations as a League member if Czechoslovakia was attacked. But when Daladier joined with Chamberlain in forcing the Munich Agreement on the Czechs, the Czech government was forced to yield without attempting to fight.
(The Czech official report of the Agreement says that when the British representatives' attention had been called "to the consequences of such a plan from the internal political economic and financial aspect." the reply was. "If you do not accept, you will have to settle your affairs with the Germans absolutely alone. Perhaps the French may tell you this more gently, but you can believe me that they share our (i.e., the British) views.")