125.733/31: Telegram

The Chargé in Germany ( Kirk ) to the Secretary of State

353. Following is the translation of a note verbale dated May 9 received from the Foreign Office this morning.

“Under article 6, paragraph 1, of the order of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor of March 16, 1939 governing the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia,2 the foreign affairs of the protectorate are conducted by the Reich. The result is that the government of the protectorate does not receive foreign missions and that foreign missions accredited to the former Czechoslovak Government are no longer legally permitted to continue in the exercise of their official duties.

By transforming their former diplomatic missions accredited to former Czechoslovak Government into consulates general, several countries have taken this fact into consideration. A few powers have not yet done so.

In view of the fact that nearly 7 weeks have elapsed since the promulgation of the order of March 16, 1939, the Foreign Office is compelled to request the Diplomatic Mission in Berlin, whose jurisdiction now includes the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, to use their good offices with the diplomatic representatives of their countries still remaining in Prague and their collaborators to bring the settlement of their affairs to as early a close as possible.

At the same time, the Foreign Office has the honor to state that the Reich Government cannot grant these foreign diplomatic representatives and their collaborators the rights of extraterritoriality, left them until now out of courtesy, later than May 25.

Finally, the Foreign Office has the honor to point out that the heads of foreign consulates to be established or already established in Prague require the exequatur of the Reich Government and must discontinue their consular functions if this exequatur is not applied for within 6 weeks.”

[Page 458]

As the Department is aware exequaturs for officers of the American Consulate General at Prague have not been requested of the German authorities by the Embassy and accordingly the question of a decision on the matter referred to in the last paragraph of the above note is definitely raised. I request accordingly an expression of the Department’s views in the premises.

The contents of the above mentioned paragraph of the note has not as yet been the subject of discussion with the representatives of any other governments in Berlin.

  1. For text of the order, see note of March 17 from the German Chargé vol. i, p. 45.