December 1, 1939 – With the war in Europe four months old, and the threat of an invasion of France becoming more inevitable each day, French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier went before the world and delivered an address, re-committing France to the defense of Europe and not succumbing to the demands of Adolf Hitler. Germany, who was now occupying Poland and was proceeding to continue a pattern of taking over countries making up northern Europe, had offered a peace deal with France and Britain. But Daladier turned the offer down. When Germany invaded Poland on 1 Sep 1939, Daladier was initially reluctant to go into war, despite the terms of the Franco-Polish alliance, and delayed the declaration until 4 Sep. On 6 Oct, Hitler offered France and the United Kingdom a peace proposal, but Daladier rejected, saying that “We took up arms against aggression. We shall not put them down until we have guarantees for a real peace and security, a security which is not threatened every six months.”
And so Daladier went before the microphones in an address, carried throughout France, but also in Britain and broadcast by Shortwave to the U.S. – to outline the aims and willingness of France to reject the phony peace overtures and to stand their ground. It was a much needed vote of solidarity with Britain, who were running the risk of fighting the war alone, even though there were hints at support from the U.S. by way of arms and food shipments – it was still a deadly situation and this address, with simultaneous translation, conveys that feeling of an impending invasion and what would become a long and drawn out war.
Here is that address, as carried by the NBC Blue Network, on December 1, 1939.