Stalin agreed. Things went well: it only took a few hours to reach an agreement. That night, Ribbentrop and Molotov signed the treaty – and a secret protocol to it. In late July and early August 1939, Soviet and German officials agreed on most of the details of a planned economic agreement, and spoke specifically of a possible political agreement,[b] which, according to the Soviets, could only take place after an economic agreement.  The Soviet Union was unable to conclude a collective security agreement with Britain and France against Nazi Germany, particularly at the time of the Munich Conference in September 1938. In early 1939, the Soviets faced the prospect of opposing German military expansion in Eastern Europe virtually alone, and so they began to seek a change in policy. Hitler, for his part, wanted a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union so that his armies could invade Poland virtually without resistance from a great power, after which Germany could deal with the forces of France and Britain in the West without having to fight the Soviet Union on a second front in the East. The final result of the German-Soviet negotiations was the Non-Aggression Pact, dated August 23 and signed by Ribbentrop and Molotov in Stalin`s presence in Moscow. On August 25, 1939, the New York Times published a cover article by Otto D. Tolischus, “Nazi Talks Secret,” subtitled “Soviet and Reich Reconcile in the East.”  On August 26, 1939, the New York Times reported Japanese anger and the French surprise communist over the pact. . . .