860F.01/4–2645: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan)

955. In reply to your 1086, April 7, midnight, and 1197, April 16, [14] 6 p.m.,64 and London’s 115, April 6, 6 p.m., and 134 April 16 [14], 6 p.m.,65 the Department approves London’s suggestion that Assistant Military Attaché Lieutenant-Colonel Aage Woldike and his clerk, Corporal Raphael Dunigan, be included in the skeleton staff for the mission to Czechoslovakia. (Department’s 784, April 4, noon). Please make necessary arrangements mentioned in the last paragraph of London’s 115, April 6, 6 p.m. The mission to Czechoslovakia will probably be staged at Caserta.

The British Embassy has informed the Department that the British mission to Czechoslovakia has been reduced from 23 to 7 or 8, including an Ambassador, Military Attaché and clerical staff. The Department believes that it is desirable to work in close harmony with the British in presenting similar plans for representation and hopes you will continue your conversations with Clark Kerr66 or Roberts.67 The Department does not desire at this time to undertake joint action with the British pending the reply to your request reported in your 1086, April 7, midnight.

War Department informs us that radio equipment and personnel are available at Caserta68 for use by our mission to Czechoslovakia. Instructions have been sent to hold these and arrangements will be made to have independent communications available to our mission. We agree with your 1197, April 16 [14], 6 p.m. that a request to the Soviet authorities at this time for permission to bring these facilities in would delay the fulfillment of the primary objective of immediate establishment of our representation.

In discussing the question of the establishment of the mission to Czechoslovakia the Department requests you, in your discretion, to make the following known to the Soviet authorities:

In accordance with Soviet objections concerning the lack of accommodations in Košice, this Government withdrew its request for transit [Page 444] permits for mission to Czechoslovakia (Department’s 784, April 4, noon) and resubmitted a request for a skeleton staff (your 1086, April 7, midnight). Consequently, we no longer consider the Soviet objections to the establishment of representation as valid and expect the Soviet authorities to make the necessary arrangements for the transit of our mission to Czechoslovakia. The Department has noted that Ambassador Zorin accompanied President Beneš to Košice and is apparently the only diplomat now present with the Czechoslovak Government. This Government regards Czechoslovakia as a sovereign state and expects equality in matters of representation, communication and transportation with all other diplomatic missions. We expect that our mission will be accorded the same facilities provided to Soviet missions in Western Europe.

Unless our mission is given permission to proceed immediately and be provided with facilities equal to other missions in Czechoslovakia, we must take the view that the Soviet Government is interfering with the right of this Government to carry on normal diplomatic relations with the Czechoslovak Government and that the objective of concerted action in the liberated areas agreed on at the Crimean Conference is not being carried out by the Soviet Government with respect to Czechoslovakia.

For your confidential information, this question of representation in Czechoslovakia was taken up urgently with Molotov immediately upon his arrival without any conclusive result. Please inform us at once when you have discussed this question with the Soviet Foreign Office. If no satisfactory reply is forthcoming within a week following your discussions, the Department may be compelled to announce to the press its inability to establish normal diplomatic relations with the Czechoslovak Government as a result of Soviet refusal to grant the required transit permission.

Repeated to London as Department’s Zecho 13.

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. Neither printed.
  3. Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, British Ambassador to the Soviet Union.
  4. Frank Kenyon Roberts, British Chargé in the Soviet Union.
  5. In Italy; location of Allied Force Headquarters, the unified inter-Allied command that planned and supervised military operations and military government in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.