The Chargé in Great Britain ( Laughlin ) to the Secretary of State

No. 10241

Sir: With reference to the Department’s telegram No. 1663 of September 27, 7 p.m.,1 relative to the future boundaries of the Czecho-Slovak State, I have the honor to transmit herewith enclosed a copy of a Note I have just received from the Foreign Office together with a memorandum setting forth the difficulties with which this question is connected. A map showing the ethnic distribution of the Czecho-Slovaks is also enclosed.2

I have [etc.]

Irwin Laughlin

The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ( Balfour ) to the American Chargé ( Laughlin )

No. 178793/W/3

Sir: With reference to Mr. Page’s Note, No. 1272, of the 30th September last, relative to the future boundaries of the Czecho-Slovak State, I am directed by Mr. Secretary Balfour to transmit to you, herewith, a memorandum as to the difficulties with which this question is connected, and to assure you that His Majesty’s Government would be glad to receive any views which the Government of the United States may entertain on the subject.

I have [etc.]

For the Secretary of State,
R. Graham

Suggestions for Reply to the American Ambassador Concerning Boundaries of the Czecho-Slovak Nations

The Czechs and Slovaks having repeatedly declared their desire to form one single State, H. M. G. treats their territories as those of one single State.
The enclosed map, which may be taken as reliable, shows the ethnic distribution of the Czecho-Slovaks. It will be noted that they [Page 377] inhabit the Austrian provinces of Bohemia and Moravia and part of Austrian Silesia, and the north-western and northern districts of Hungary.
The northern and north-western frontier districts of Bohemia are predominantly German in population. With regard to them we shall be confronted by a very difficult problem—to what extent the new Czecho-Slovak State should inherit the historic frontiers of Bohemia, which are also its natural geographical frontiers, and to what extent the ethnic divisions could be made the basis. In some districts, e. g. round Eger and Reichenberg, the frontier might perhaps be rectified to some extent without unduly impairing Bohemia’s strategic defences or economic resources; in other districts these interests are of such paramount importance as to override all other considerations.
The matter has not hitherto been the subject of official considerations. We are of course collecting materials bearing on this and similar problems, and it would be of great advantage if those who do the work for H. M. G. were given opportunities for exchanging views with those who do similar work for the American government.


L. B. N.
  1. Not printed.
  2. Map not reproduced.