860F.01/3–2845: Telegram

The Chargé to the Czechoslovak Government in Exile ( Schoenfeld ) to the Secretary of State

Zecho 30. My 24, March 17, 4 p.m.26 Due to Soviet objections, the Diplomatic Corps near the Czechoslovak Government will not accompany the Czechoslovak authorities when they leave London this evening for Czechoslovakia.

Ripka, whom I saw at 5 this afternoon together with Ambassador Nichols,27 received the following message at 3:15 this afternoon from Tchitchaiev, the Soviet Chargé d’Affaires:28 [Page 430]

“The Soviet military authorities consider that the military situation in the district of Košice and in the adjoining districts prevents at present moment the positive solution of the question of the Diplomatic Corps. Apart from this, there are difficulties in accommodation of a considerable number of members of the Diplomatic Corps. For the accommodation of the Diplomatic Corps, it is necessary to carry out necessary preliminary preparations after the arrival of the Czechoslovak Government on the spot.

In view of the above-mentioned facts, the Soviet Military Command considers it unavoidable to postpone the arrival of the Diplomatic Corps in Czechoslovakia for some time. In this connection it is envisaged that subsequently the transfer of the Diplomatic Corps to Czechoslovakia will be realized not at once, but in parts and that the Embassies and, Missions will be represented in minimal numbers, at least in the beginning.

As regards the collaborators of the Czechoslovak Government apparatus, officers and public functionaries, there are no objections to their transfer to the liberated territory.”

Ripka said that Tchitchaiev added orally that the Soviet member of the ACC29 in Bucharest had been instructed to refuse a transit permit across Rumania for the Diplomatic Corps (my 29, March 26, 9 p.m.30).

In the circumstances the Czechoslovak Government felt unable to ask the Diplomatic Corps to accompany their officials when they leave London this evening.

Ripka spoke of his great embarrassment at this last-minute development and said that the Soviet authorities had been informed as long ago as February 9 of the plans for the Diplomatic Corps to proceed and that they had been given lists of persons early in March.

Repeated to Ankara as 22.

  1. Not printed; it reported that at the suggestion of the Czechoslovak Foreign Office, a list of persons comprising the American Embassy staff which would accompany Czechoslovak Government group on their return to Czechoslovakia was handed to the Soviet Chargé in London on March 16, with a request for transit permit across Soviet occupied territory between Black Sea ports and Czechoslovakia (860F.01/3–1745).
  2. Philip B. B. Nichols, British Ambassador to the Czechoslovak Government in London.
  3. Ivan A. Chichayev, Counselor of the Soviet Embassy near the Czechoslovak Government in London.
  4. Allied Control Commission.
  5. Not printed.