File No. 763.72/11343c

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Japan ( Morris )

[Telegram]

Following statement issued today by Secretary of State.2 Give publicity and repeat to Harbin, Vladivostock and Peking.

The Secretary of State makes the following announcement:

The Czecho-Slovak peoples having taken up arms against the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, and having placed organized [Page 825] armies in the field which are waging war against those Empires under officers of their own nationality and in accordance with the rules and practices of civilized nations; and

The Czecho-Slovaks having, in prosecution of their independent purposes in the present war, confided supreme political authority to the Czecho-Slovak National Council,

The Government of the United States recognizes that a state of belligerency exists between the Czecho-Slovaks thus organized and the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires.

It also recognizes the Czecho-Slovak National Council as a de facto belligerent government clothed with proper authority to direct the military and political affairs of the Czecho-Slovaks.

The Government of the United States further declares that it is prepared to enter formally into relations with the de facto government thus recognized for the purpose of prosecuting the war against the common enemy, the Empires of Germany and Austria-Hungary.

Lansing
  1. The statement was also telegraphed to the Consul at Archangel with instructions to “give widest publicity.” It was circulated in other countries by the Committee on Public Information.