File No. 763.72119/1747

The Serbian Minister ( Michailovitch ) to the Secretary of State

No. 647

Excellency: I beg to forward to you the enclosed copy of a letter that I have addressed to the Ambassadors of France, Great Britain, and Italy, concerning the Allied declaration at the Versailles conference on the fate of the oppressed nationalities of Austria-Hungary,—which will, I feel confident, interest you on account of its great importance for our common cause.

I beg to remain [etc.]

L. Michailovitch
[Enclosure—Translation]

The Serbian Minister at Washington ( Michailovitch ) to the British, French, and Italian Ambassadors ( Reading , Jusserand , Macchi di Cellere )

No. 647

Excellency: The Czecho-Slovak and Yugo-Slav movement in Austria-Hungary has drawn the sympathetic attention of the Allied Governments on account of the help it may bring to the Allied military action and also by reason of the justice of the demand of the oppressed nationalities in the Hapsburg Monarchy. The declaration of the Government of the United States is unquestionably important from that standpoint and that is why it was enthusiastically received wherever the Slav element is found because it is regarded as an encouragement to carry on the fight.

A few days after that declaration the Allied Council of War at Versailles expressed its opinion on the question of the national aspirations of the peoples of Austria-Hungary in a manner that puzzled the Czecho-Slovaks and the Yugo-Slavs and also furnished to our enemy—Austria-Hungary—the opportunity to turn it to advantage. Although we, the interested parties, have received no official communication relative to that declaration of Versailles—similar to that which acquainted us with the declaration of the Government of the United States,—we gather from the information given to the press that the Versailles declaration establishes a distinction between the independence of Poland and that of the other nationalities in extending nothing but sympathy to the Czecho-Slovak and Yugo-Slav movements. The Austrian press took advantage of this as the enclosed newspaper clipping will show.1

I take the liberty of drawing Your Excellency’s attention to that fact which demonstrates the necessity of maintaining closer relations, [Page 813] as to those questions, with those who are interested therein, not because they are entitled to such a treatment but because it is the only way to avoid possible mistakes and more effectively to carry on that action. Cooperation in those questions is not a matter of right but it is a duty for us all to act so as to achieve results that will promote our common cause. This, Excellency, is the reason for my addressing you with a request that you kindly bring your great influence to bear in having that important question advanced in a direction that would not only respond to the sentiments of the oppressed nationalities, but also, and particularly so, conform to our common interests.

Be pleased to accept [etc.]

[No signature indicated]
  1. Not printed.