File No. 763.72/10415
The French Ambassador ( Jusserand ) to the Secretary of State
Mr. Secretary of State: With a view to broadening the national action it is now taking in Austria-Hungary, the success of which is already noticeable, the Czech National Council, whose headquarters is at Paris, deemed it expedient to define and strengthen the situation of the Czech Nation with the Allied Governments and, to that end, submitted to the Government of the Republic a political program embodying the following articles:
- Recognition by the Government of the Republic of the existence of a Czecho-Slovak state.
- De facto recognition of the Czecho-Slovak National Council as constituting the lawful Government of that state.
De facto recognition of all the
prerogatives of a government as appertaining to the National
Council and in particular—
- In financial matters. A loan (there is no question of subsidies) should be granted to it; the first would be in the amount of 20,000,000 francs.
- Every customary facility should be awarded to it in its relations with its foreign agents (passports, cipher telegrams, diplomatic pouches).
- A bureau which would serve as a permanent channel of communication between the National Council and the French Government should be created near that Government.
While reserving the right to scan and perfect the foregoing formulas, the Government of the Republic feels inclined to grant special prerogatives to the Czech National Council as it did some time ago in the case of the Polish Council and the Polish National Committee which also have their headquarters in Paris.[Page 814]
The question, in a general way, is to recognize the de facto existence of a Czech Nation with a national entity and to permit the Czech National Council to represent near the French Government the political and administrative interests of that Nation until it is able to adopt a final constitution.
The firmness of the principles by which the President of the United States is inspired and the public declarations made by him concerning the rights of the nationalities, have led my Government to believe that in so acting it thoroughly comports with the ideas for which the American people under the energetic impulsion of their President are fighting by the side of the French people.
Before proceeding with the political and administrative organization which is more precisely to fix the relations that it has been for a long time maintaining, in fact, with the Czech National Council, however, the Government of the Republic’ wished to have its views and intentions on the subject imparted to the President of the United States in order to be assured that they fully harmonize with his views.
I have the honor to beg Your Excellency kindly to enable me to report to my Government whether, as it hopes, it was not mistaken as to its plans coinciding with the views of the President of the United States.
Be pleased to accept [etc.]