760c.60f/34: Telegram

The Minister in Czechoslovakia ( Crane ) to the Secretary of State 36

172. The proper settlement of the Teschen question will do more towards stabilizing conditions in Central Europe than any one act which Council of Ambassadors can perform. As the dispute is largely due to the economic value of the country, proper guarantees for the distribution of coal should be enacted. The following facts in the case should be taken into consideration in coming to a decision.

1.
Czechoslovakia, in the beginning, was forced to accept plebiscite for territory which her statesmen claimed as an historic right.
2.
All parties including the Germans now opposed to its abandonment and consider that the Allies have thus twice favored the Poles as against them. Because situation now is extremely favorable for Czechs in Teschen.
3.
Benes who is supported by Masaryk risked political future in signing agreement with Grabski. Their one aim for past two months was to settle question immediately and come to an agreement with the Poles. In this they were opposed by all chauvinistic elements, also by Socialists friendly to Soviet Russia, that is by the Right and the Left.
4.
Since opening Parliament President’s position greatly weakened owing to opposition of Czech Clericals and Nationalists, headed by Kramar; agitation due to the sincere effort of the Government to come to reconciliation with the Germans. Opponents of the President now state only object of catering to the Germans was to get their votes in Teschen. Also on account of food shortage, poor economic conditions in cure [sic] of the Government and too much politics over Teschen, the church question ethical [sic].
5.
Result—continued increase in radical sentiment here during past few months. See my number 159, June 26.37 Recent reports from east Slovakia and Ruthenia show great increase in Communist agitation there.
6.
In submitting Teschen question to Council of Ambassadors contrary to wish of people and orders of Parliament a sincere proof of good will and desire to settle affairs with Poland has been shown.
7.
This country, largely through statesmanship of Masaryk, has shown greater stability than any one new or old in Central Europe. Since my arrival in May, 1919, there have been no serious disorders and the same Prime Minister and coalition of parties has been in control for a year. I consider it the keystone of the Central European situation. Masaryk policy has been one of moderation and conciliation towards neighbors and minorities.

If the partition of Teschen by the Conference reacts unfavorably in Czechoslovakia the position of Benes and Masaryk will be greatly weakened and strong reaction towards Russia will set in. I cannot over-emphasize the seriousness of the situation here in this event.

Crane
  1. Via the Embassy at Paris.
  2. Not printed.