From John T. Whitaker, The Pittsburgh Press, 26 February 1940:
Hitler has suggested … that a small Polish state might be reconstructed and that “home rule” might be extended to Bohemian Czechs if, as the British and French say, they are fighting only because of these aggressions in Central Europe.
No change in Austria is proposed and Hitler insists, it is added, that some gesture must be made toward the return of Germany’s former colonies.
If this is Hitler’s basis for peace, Mr. [Sumner] Welles will waste his time, observers believe, if he tried to commend it to the British and French governments, which feel that they are winning the war…. [Source]
Although in the second and (unfinished) third books of Mein Kampf he treats the possession of overseas colonies as a less-than-ideal way for Germany to provide her own sustenance, by the late 1930s Adolf Hitler was demanding the return of the German colonies that had been taken away under the Treaty of Versailles. The return of those colonies was an alternative to territorial expansion in Europe as a solution to Germany’s need for farmland.
There was no good reason for Hitler to offer to reverse the unification of Germany with Austria, nor to give back the Sudetenland or all of the Polish state as it had existed prior to September 1939, since traditional German lands, populated primarily by Germans, were involved. The Germans in those territories were happy to be united with Germany. The pretense of Allied propaganda that Austria had become Germany’s victim was particularly ridiculous. Furthermore, there were considerations of military defensibility that made it inadvisable to give complete independence to the Czechs and Poles, given the likelihood of someday being attacked from that direction by the Soviet Union. Home rule for the Czechs and a reduced Polish state (commensurate with the Polish population) under German hegemony were reasonable offers.
The Allies on the other hand, with pressure behind the scenes from President Franklin Roosevelt and Jewish International Finance*, seemed to be bent on war (which would be very lucrative for money-lenders and American industries). It was Britain and France that had declared war on Germany.
The war at this stage consisted primarily of an attempt to starve Germany through a blockade. Instead of negotiating for peace, about five weeks later the Allies attempted to augment their blockade by occupying Norway, only to be beaten to the punch by Germany.
* See The Forrestal Diaries, p. 122, entry dated 27 December 1945: Played golf today with Joe Kennedy. I asked him about his conversations with Roosevelt and Neville Chamberlain from 1938 on. He said Chamberlain’s position in 1938 was that England had nothing with which to fight and that she could not risk going to war with Hitler. Kennedy’s view : That Hitler would have fought Russia without any later conflict with England if it had not been for Bullitt’s urging on Roosevelt in the summer of 1939 that the Germans must be faced down about Poland ; neither the French nor the British would have made Poland a cause of war if it had not been for the constant needling from Washington. Bullitt, he said, kept telling Roosevelt that the Germans wouldn’t fight, Kennedy that they would, and that they would overrun Europe. Chamberlain, he says, stated that America and the world Jews had forced England into the war. In his telephone conversation with Roosevelt in the summer of 1939 the President kept telling him to put some iron up Chamberlain’s backside.