The Secretary of Slate to the Ambassador in France (Wallace)
1302. Your 1434, 1435, 1436,45 July 23rd.
- First. Our position regarding settlement of Teschen, Spis and Orava question was not based primarily upon impression that proposed method of settlement had been imposed upon the Poles and the Czechoslovaks. It was based, to a great extent, upon questions of principle and procedure. In the first place, both countries voluntarily requested a plebiscite. Although we have received intimations that one or more of the Allied Powers did not desire to have the plebiscite carried out as planned, we have never received any information from Poland or Czechoslovakia that they had changed their views or that they would not abide by the results of the plebiscite. The Spa Council without consultation with us decides to proceed to a settlement of the question. We are then informed of the arbitrary decision of the Council which is apparently transmitted to the Council of Ambassadors, with instructions to adopt it with the mere notification to us of their decision and with the expressed assumption that we will accept it and instruct our representative on the Council of Ambassadors to act accordingly.
- Second. While we do not recognize the propriety of such disposition being made without consulting or obtaining our approval, and while we do not recognize that this question requires such hasty settlement as to make it impracticable to consult us upon the contemplated action, we nevertheless did realize the desirability of disposing of this matter as soon as possible and our counter proposal was made with the distinct purpose of avoiding any unnecessary delay. The argument that the procedure proposed by us might not be acceptable to the Poles and to the Czechoslovaks is not well founded. Our view is that such a plan could be carried out within the limitations of the agreement executed by both Governments at Spa because any Commission designated by the Council of Ambassadors would act as its agent.
- Third. After making our position clear as above indicated you are then authorized to act along the lines of the recommendation of the last paragraph of your 1435 as regards the territorial solution. Our reservations as to the powers of the boundary commission to make such changes and rectifications in the provisional line as might be found just and practicable are not based upon any concrete views as to whether or not any specific property should go to either one of the countries but is based primarily upon the wish that our representative on the Commission should have an equal voice in the final determination of a frontier which as yet the Allied Powers alone have been instrumental in fixing.
The Department has not yet full details of the economic settlement outlined in your 1433,45 and, while in complete accord on the principle that an agreement of such a nature should be accepted by Poland and Czechoslovakia, desires to reserve final approval especially as regards signature by the United States. Meanwhile, it would at least be important to secure Polish and Czechoslovak undertaking to accept economic agreement to be later submitted to them to adjust the question of coal deliveries, et cetera. You may collaborate in the drawing up of a tentative agreement as indicated in last paragraph of your 1435, and work for modifications as you suggest. In connection with coal question, you might find it desirable to consult Boyden and Logan of Reparations Commission.