File No. 701.6311/153

The Ambassador in Austria-Hungary (Penfield) to the Secretary of State


908. Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs sent Chief Undersecretary Baron Macchio this morning to express astonishment of Imperial and Royal Government at the publication of your note requesting the recall of Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at Washington which appeared in the British, French, and German press simultaneously, with its receipt by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here. Surprise was also expressed at the terms of your telegram 899 of September 17, 11 a. m., communicated to them yesterday to the effect that the Department would be prepared to request safeconduct for Doctor Dumba from British and French Governments on the receipt of information that he had been definitely recalled. Baron Macchio further stated that the Imperial and Royal Government could as a matter of course have no thought of continuing an Ambassador at Washington who had become persona non grata. It would be readily understood, however, that the Emperor’s representative could not be peremptorily recalled before some report in the premises had been received from him. The formality of this procedure had been adopted in Baron Burian’s cipher telegram which was transmitted to Doctor Dumba in my 892 of September 13, 10 a. m.,1 to which a reply was still anxiously awaited through the good offices of the Department and which it was begged might be hastened. Should it not be possible to receive the desired report from the Imperial and Royal Ambassador through your intermediary, Doctor Dumba would be directed to proceed to Vienna to make verbal explanation of his action, in which event there could of course be no question of his return to Washington.

Baron Burian makes no attempt to exculpate Doctor Dumba but seems reluctant on administrative grounds to officially condemn him without a hearing. A photographic copy of the incriminating letter, which fortunately was promptly dispatched to me by the London Embassy, was exhibited to him, the genuineness of which he did not question.

  1. Not printed.