860F.01/4–2145: Telegram

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

Zecho 43. My 3 of March 17, 1944,52 and Department’s 3524 of May 2, 1944.53 In a note of April 20, Ripka, who is in charge of Czechoslovak Foreign Office in London54 renews the proposal for a civil affairs agreement with the American and British Governments because of arrival of American forces on Czechoslovak territory.

Substance of Ripka’s note is as follows:

Early in 1944 the Czechoslovak Government suggested to American and British Governments conclusion of an agreement on the relationship between Czechoslovak administration and Allied High Command whenever Allied armies entered Czechoslovak territory. At that time the two Governments rightly did not consider the matter urgent. The victorious advance of General Patton’s55 army to Czechoslovakia [Page 441] has fundamentally changed the situation and need for an agreement now becomes obvious.

The Czechoslovak Government is anxious for conclusion of such an agreement at earliest possible moment. Since advance of American troops brooks no delay Ripka suggests an immediate provisional agreement by which, until a formal agreement can be discussed and concluded, the relationship between Czechoslovak administration and American troops will be adjusted in accordance with principles suggested by the Czechoslovak Government in 1944, particularly points 1, 6, 7, and 8 of the draft proposed in note of March 16.56

It would be appreciated if this urgent matter could be dealt with as rapidly and effectively as possible to regularize the situation which has arisen through the lack of such an agreement between the Czechoslovak Government and the Supreme Allied Command.

As is known, a similar agreement was signed between the Czechoslovak and Soviet Governments May 8, 1944. End Summary.

I understand Czechoslovak Government has also approached SHAEF on this matter.

  1. Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iii, p. 515.
  2. Ibid., p. 520.
  3. Ripka had been named Minister for Foreign Trade in the new Czechoslovak Government appointed by President Beneš in Košice on April 4. Ripka was the only member of the new government present in London.
  4. Gen. George S. Patton, Commanding General of the United States Third Army.
  5. For text of the Czechoslovak draft agreement, see telegram Zecho 3, March 17, 1944, 5 p.m., from the Chargé” to the Czechoslovak Government in Exile in London, Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iii, p. 515.