File No. 861.00/2967

The Ambassador in France ( Sharp ) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]

5444. A letter of which the following is a translation [received for transmission to you] under date of October 14:2

Sir: In pursuance of the decision of the Provisional Czechoslovak Government, I have the honor to transmit [to you] the following communication:

By the declaration of the Government of the United States of September 3, 1918, the National Czecho-Slovak Council situated in Paris was recognized as the de facto Czecho-Slovak Government.

This recognition was confirmed by the Allied Governments as follows: by England in its agreement with the National Council of September 3, 1918, by France in its agreement of September 28, 1918, and by Italy in the declaration of the President of the Council of October 3, 1918.

I have the honor to inform you that in view of these repeated recognitions, the Czechoslovak Provisional Government was constituted by the decision of September 26, 1918, its seat being officially fixed in Paris:

  • M. T. G. Masaryk, President of the Provisional Government and of the Council of Ministers, Minister of Finance;
  • M. Edward Beneš, Minister of Foreign Affairs and of the Interior;
  • M. Milan Štefánik, Minister of War.

[Page 847]

The Ministry then decided to accredit near the Allied Powers the following representatives:

  • M. Stephen Osuský, Chargé d’Affaires at the Czechoslovak Legation in London, near the Government of Great Britain;
  • M. Leon Sychrava, Chargé d’Affaires at the Czechoslovak Legation in Paris, near the Government of France;
  • M. Leon Borský, Chargé d’Affaires at the Czechoslovak Legation in Rome, near the Italian Government;
  • M. Charles Pergler, Chargé d’Affaires at the Czechoslovak Legation at Washington, near the United States Government;
  • M. Bogdan Pavlů, at present at Omsk, will represent our Government in Russia;
  • The representatives for Japan and Servia will be appointed at a later date.

I have the honor to inform you that our decisions have been taken in agreement with the political chiefs of our countries. During three years our entire political and military action was exercised in complete understanding with them. Finally, on October 2, 1918, the Czecho-Slovak Deputy Staněk, President of the Czech Union in the Parliament at Vienna, announced solemnly that the Czecho-Slovak National Council of Paris as the supreme organ of the Council’s armies is called upon to represent the Czechoslovak Nation near the Allies and at the peace conference. On the 9th of October his colleague Deputy Zahradnik speaking in the name of the same union announced that the Czecho-Slovaks had definitely left the Parliament of Vienna, thus breaking for ever all ties with Austria-Hungary.

By the decision of our nation and of our armies we take in our hands from this time on as the National Provisional Government direction of the political destinies of the Czech and Slovak countries, and in this capacity we enter officially into relations with the Allied Governments, basing our action either upon the reciprocal agreements with them or their solemn declarations.

We desire to affirm this in the most solemn manner, at this time when great political events summon all nations to take part in decisions which will, perhaps, give to Europe for several centuries a new political regime.

Accept [etc.]

In the name of the Government of the Czechoslovak countries:

Edward Beneš
Minister for Foreign Affairs

Original follows by pouch.

Sharp
  1. Telegraphic text corrected to accord with that later received by pouch as enclosure to the Ambassador’s despatch No. 6696 of Oct. 16, 1918 (File No. 861.00/3150).