760c.60f/37: Telegram.

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

1435. In accordance with the decision taken by my colleagues at the meeting of the Conference this morning (see my telegram number 1434), Cambon has sent me the following note.

“It would appear from the telegram which you were good enough to bring to the knowledge of the Conference of Ambassadors this morning that in the mind of the United States Government it was the Supreme Council of the Allied Powers assembled at Spa which has taken the initiative of imposing upon the Polish and Czechoslovak Governments the delimitation of the frontier in the region of Teschen, Spitz, and Orava.

I have been advised to confirm to you that if such is really the opinion of the Federal Government this opinion rests upon a misunderstanding.

The representative[s] of the Allied Governments reunited at Spa merely discussed the question of Teschen in response to the desire expressed by the Polish and Czecho-Slovak Governments. The latter having proven the impossibility of reaching an undisputed solution either by direct understanding or through a plebiscite, or through arbitration, had mutually agreed that the only solution acceptable to both interested parties was that which would leave to the Principal Powers the responsibility of tracing the frontiers themselves. Consequently Mr. Grabski, President of the Council of Ministers of Poland, and Mr. Benes, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia, communicated this point of view to the Allied representatives meeting at Spa. After having ascertained that this view met with their assent they addressed a letter to Mr. Millerand44 under date of July 10 in which they declared to the Supreme Council that owing to the impossibility of settling the questions of Teschen, Spitz, and Orava by the means previously contemplated, the Polish and Czecho-Slovak Governments left the definite settlement of the point at issue to the Allied Powers and bound themselves loyally to carry out the decision to be reached. They added that, convinced as they were that the Supreme Council would take into account the real interests of the two sister nationals, they considered the moment of the signature of that declaration as the starting point of new and sincerely cordial and amicable relations between Poland and Czechoslovakia.

[Page 58]

It was only after having received in their hands this formal declaration that the representatives of the Principal Allied Powers took cognizance of the question and decided to assume the responsibility of delimiting the frontier of the said regions. As a matter of fact they made reference in their decision to the spontaneous declaration which had thus just been made to them.

Thus it was that, desirous of securing in this matter the collaboration [of] the United States, the representatives of the Principal Allied Powers delegated to the Conference of Ambassadors upon which the American Government is represented the duty of settling this question, while at the same time requesting directly the Government at Washington to kindly cooperate in this task by sending the necessary instructions to its Ambassador at Paris.

It is to be feared that some material mistake altering the meaning of the telegram despatched by the French Government to its Ambassador at Washington may have led the United States Government to believe that the solution adopted at Spa was imposed upon the Polish and Czecho-Slovak Governments. The preceding explanations will demonstrate that this was not the case.

Moreover you have been able to see for yourself, my dear colleague, that Mr. Benes, in the name of the Czecho-Slovak Government, and Mr. Paderewski, in the name of the Polish Government, have specifically renewed before the Conference the engagement undertaken by their respective Governments loyally and unreservedly to accept the decision of the Conference of Ambassadors.

Under these circumstances I trust that you will be in a position to enlighten the United States Government as to the actual character of the decision reached at Spa and to secure with the utmost despatch the necessary instructions allowing you to associate yourself at the latest on the morning of July 27th, with the decision of the Conference of Ambassadors.

I am happy to confirm to you that in order to meet the views of your Government the Conference has decided to grant to the Commission of Delimitation necessary powers for proposing such rectifications to the frontier line with which you are familiar as it may deem justified by special local conditions.”

After careful consideration of all the circumstances and particularly in view of the importance of settling frontiers between Poland and Czechoslovakia at the earliest moment on account of the gravity of the situation in the East and the possible consequences it may entail for the peace of Central and even Western Europe, I most respectfully urge the acceptance of the solution proposed by the Conference, that is to say, the boundaries as set forth in detail in my number 1424, July 21st, 7 p.m., together with the agreement mentioned in said telegram and in my 1433, July 22nd, midnight,44 with such modifications as I [may be] able to secure on the question of coal, having in mind instructions contained in your 1284, July 22nd, 7 p.m., [regarding] other questions of detail which I may [Page 59] deem susceptible of amelioration, and the appointment of a Delimitation Commission composed of representatives of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers with powers as stated in Cambon’s letter quoted above.

  1. President of the Supreme Council.
  2. No. 1433 not printed.