860F.01/400b: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

2857. Please address a note to the Foreign Minister of the Provisional Government of Czechoslovakia reading as follows:

“The Secretary of State has directed me to inform Your Excellency that the Government of the United States, mindful of the traditional friendship and special interest, which has existed between the peoples of the United States and Czechoslovakia since the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic, has watched with admiration the effort of the people of Czechoslovakia to maintain their national existence, notwithstanding the suppression of the institutions of free government in their country.

The American Government has not acknowledged that the temporary extinguishment of their liberties has taken from the people of Czechoslovakia their rights and privileges in international affairs, and it has continued to recognize the diplomatic and consular representatives of Czechoslovakia in the United States in the full exercise of their functions.

In furtherance of its support of the national aspirations of the people of Czechoslovakia the Government of the United States is now prepared to enter into formal relations with the Provisional Government, established at London for the prosecution of the war and the restoration of the freedom of the Czechoslovak people, under the Presidency of Dr. Beneš, and, while continuing its relations with the Czechoslovak Legation at Washington, would be pleased to accredit to the Provisional Government an Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, to reside in London, for the conduct of relations pending the reestablishment of the Government in Czechoslovakia.

I shall later communicate with Your Excellency regarding the diplomatic representative whom my Government would like to designate.”

This note should be accompanied by an aide-mémoire in the following sense: The relations between the American Government and the Provisional Government of Czechoslovakia will thus be conducted in a manner similar to that applicable to other refugee governments in London or in the course of establishment there. The relationship does not, however, constitute any commitment on the part of the American Government with respect to the territorial boundaries of Czechoslovakia or the juridical continuity of the Czechoslovak Government under Dr. Beneš. The American Government considers that the occasion for more formal reservations on these points has not arisen.