File No. 763.72/10884

The President of the Czecho-Slovak National Council ( Masaryk) to the Acting Secretary of State

Mr. Secretary: Sending you the enclosed memorandum1 I may be allowed to say a few words on the question of recognition.

You will understand our wish that the great American Republic would join the French Republic in recognizing our National Council (in Paris) as the representative of the future Government of the Czecho-Slovak free state. I think that this recognition has become practically necessary: I dispose of three armies (in Russia, France, and Italy), I am, as a wit said, the master of Siberia and half Russia, and yet I am in the United States formally a private man.

There may be perhaps some apprehension that other national councils might demand the same recognition. I do not think so; our position is quite different, similar only to the position of the Poles. Everybody understands that an Irish committee, should there be any, cannot be recognized; the Jugoslavs are represented by Serbia, the Rumanians by Rumania, and need no recognition like ourselves. Armenian and other committees are also in a quite different position. We have an army, the most essential attribute of sovereignty according to international views, not having a territory—yet, the French Republic by her recognition has solved the question and created a precedent. I hope the United States will join France.

This recognition has for us a great practical value: we can more effectively protect our soldiers who are taken prisoners by the Austrians, etc.

Believe me [etc.]

Prof. Masaryk
  1. Memorandum on the Czecho-Slovak Army in Russia not printed; for papers relating to this army, see Foreign Relations, 1918, Russia, vol. II.