The Consul General at Prague ( Linnell ) to the Secretary of State

No. 189

Sir: I have the honor to report that I called today on Dr. Emil Hácha, President of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and on General Alois Eliaš, President of the Council (Prime Minister). On July 12th I telegraphed the Department8 concerning my appointments for these calls since it was thought the matter might have some interest in connection with the application to the German Foreign Office for my exequatur. It appeared, however, that neither the President nor the Prime Minister had any other motive in arranging for my call than to meet me as a new Consul General for the United States and that they are in similar fashion arranging for other Consuls General to call. The Italian Consul General had already called on July 4, as reported in my telegram under reference.

The relations between the American Consulate General in Prague and the officials of the Government, both Czech and German, are very good, and all proper requests made by this office are complied with so far as the law and present policies of the Government permit. I have, however, to report that Mr. George Kennan, Consul assigned to this office, feels that he, as a former member of the diplomatic staff here, is looked at somewhat askance as a political reporter and is [Page 464] somewhat handicapped in his work by that fact. As instances: I had asked the Secretary to the President whether I might bring Mr. Kennan with me when I called on the President, but the reply was made that it would be preferred that I do not do this as Mr. Kennan had previously been a diplomatic officer here. Also, Mr. Kennan had invited a Czech official of the Government to dine with him on Wednesday, July 12th, and the invitation had been accepted. On that day, however, the official telephoned to him and said that he regretted he would not be able to keep the engagement for reasons he could not discuss over the telephone, but that he would be glad to explain if Mr. Kennan would come to see him later.

Also Mr. Kennan recently spoke to some of the German officers in the Prague office representing the Berlin Foreign Office and suggested that he would be glad to have them give him information concerning local affairs so that he would not be limited to the Czech representations only, but the Germans said that nothing could be done at this time but Mr. Kennan might return in two or three months.

All this is reported at Mr. Kennan’s request since he thinks the Department may feel that some other officer, who has not recently been a member of the diplomatic corps in Prague, might not suffer from the handicap which he believes affects him.

Respectfully yours,

Irving N. Linnell
  1. Telegram not printed.