7 Dec. 45

repeated the assurance they had given in April 1938. It is, of course, a matter of history that after the defeat of the Allied armies in May and June 1940 the Italian Government declared war on France and that subsequently at 3 o'clock in the morning of the 28th October 1940 the Italian Minister at Athens presented the Greek Government with a 3 hours' ultimatum upon the expiry of which Italian troops were already invading the soil of Greece.

If I may quote to the Tribunal the words in which His Majesty's Minister reported that event, "The President of the Council has assured himself an outstanding . . ."

THE PRESIDENT: You have referred to a document?

COL. PHILLIMORE: It is not in any of my documents. It is merely carrying the story to the next document:

"The President of the Council has assured himself an outstanding place in Greek history, and whatever the future may bring, his foresight in quietly preparing his country for war, and his courage in resisting without demur the Italian ultimatum when delivered in the small hours of that October morning will surely obtain an honorable mention in the story of European statecraft. He means to fight until Italy is completely defeated, and this reflects the purpose of the whole Greek nation."
I turn now to the next document in the bundle. That is 2762-PS, a letter from Hitler to Mussolini, which I put in as GB-115. Although not dated, I think it is clear from the contents that it was written shortly after the Italian invasion of Greece. It has been quoted in full by the Attorney General, but I think it would assist the Tribunal if I read just the last two paragraphs of the extract:

"Yugoslavia must become disinterested if possible, however, from our point of view interested in co-operating in the liquidation of the Greek question. Without assurances from Yugoslavia, it is useless to risk any successful operation in the Balkans.

"Unfortunately I must stress the fact that waging a war in the Balkans before March is impossible. Therefore any threatening move towards Yugoslavia would be useless since the impossibility of a materialization of such threats before March is well known to the Serbian General Staff. Therefore Yugoslavia must, if at all possible, be won over by other means and other ways."
You may think the reference in the first two lines to his thoughts — having been with Mussolini for the last 14 days — probably indicates that it was written in about the middle of November, shortly after the Italian attack.