740.00119 Control (Germany)/5–645: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France ( Caffery )

1917. For Murphy. Your 2420, May 6, 8 p.m. We suppose that the Russians prefer the Karlsbad–Pilsen–Budweis Line because they seek political advantages from it. For your information in representing our own political considerations, the Department submitted a memorandum as follows to the President on May 5:

“This Government is now faced with major political problems in connection with Austria85 and Czechoslovakia on which we had every reason and right to expect real Soviet cooperation with us. Instead, we have so far had unilateral acts on the part of the Soviet Union, i.e., a recognition of an Austrian Government without consultation with us, refusal to agree to an airfield in the United States zone in Vienna, and a refusal to permit our Embassy to go to the seat of the Czechoslovak Government.

“It therefore seems that some hard bargaining is going to become necessary before these problems are settled in a manner satisfactory to us. The present military situation and its apparent possibilities offer some good material for such bargaining, provided immediate action is taken. It is therefore suggested that the Joint Chiefs of Staff be asked to consider urgently the following:

“If the American Armies pushed on to the Moldau River which runs through Prague, this would give us a strong bargaining position with the Russians. This river is a continuation of the Elbe where we have stopped farther north. Furthermore, the United States Third Army has now gone down the Danube through a good part of Upper Austria, which will presumably be in our zone of occupation in Austria. The Russians would, however, like to have us concede to them that part [Page 449] of Upper Austria north of the Danube. We propose that American forces advance to the Moldau River throughout its length. If they could do so we shall then be in a position of equality in both Austria and Czechoslovakia in dealing with the Soviet Government. Otherwise the Soviet Government will probably continue as it has done to the present to disregard our protests with respect to both Austria and Czechoslovakia.

“I submit the foregoing discussion of the political implications involved in this situation while fully realizing that the decision will no doubt have to be based primarily upon military considerations.”

Grew

[For the Department’s instructions to the United States Political Adviser for Germany regarding the political considerations which were to be kept before the American military authorities during the demarcation of lines between Soviet and Allied military forces, see telegram 1935, May 8, 7 p.m., to the Ambassador in France, volume III, page 281.]

  1. For documentation regarding the negotiations between the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union regarding control machinery and zones of occupation for Austria, see vol. iii, pp. 1 ff.