740.00119 EAC/4–2845: Telegram

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

4329. At April 25 meeting of the European Advisory Commission9 the United Kingdom representative10 circulated a formula providing recognition of the full political authority of the Czechoslovak Government within 1937 boundaries and reserving final determination of Czechoslovak frontiers until frontiers in central Europe are defined [Page 512] in the peace settlement.11 Except for substitution of “definitely” for “definitively” in the last sentence this formula is the same as that transmitted by their Chargé d’Affaires near the Czechoslovak Government in attachment to his despatch No. 266 FF April 18, 1945 to the Department12 in the EAC13 Strang stated that his Government had as yet made no communication to the Czechoslovak Government but that he believed this formula would be acceptable to that government.

Strang proposed that a statement like that contained in the second paragraph of the United Kingdom formula be made to the representatives of the Czechoslovak Government by the Allied Consultation Committee of the EAC in reply to a question raised by the latter regarding steps for declaring invalid the Munich agreement and German acts deriving from it. The only Soviet comment on this formula was that the Soviet Government had had nothing to do in any form with the Munich agreement.14 This brief comment gave no indication whether the Soviet Government agrees with the United Kingdom position that the final settlement of the Czechoslovak frontiers should be held in abeyance pending the general peace settlement.

[Page 513]

Since the United Kingdom formula is in general accord with previous expressions of United States policy I propose to agree to the step proposed unless otherwise instructed.15

  1. Ambassador Winant was the United States Representative on the European Advisory Commission. For documentation regarding the participation by the United States in the work of the European Advisory Commission, see vol. iii, pp. 1 ff.
  2. Sir William Strang.
  3. The formula read as follows:

    “In his note of 5th August, 1942, addressed to the Czechoslovak Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Eden declared on behalf of His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom that, as Germany had deliberately destroyed the arrangements concerning Czechoslovakia reached in 1938, His Majesty’s Government regarded themselves as free from any engagement in this respect. Mr. Eden added that, at the final settlement of the Czechoslovak frontiers to be reached at the end of the war, His Majesty’s Government would not be influenced by any changes effected in and since 1938.

    “Bearing this declaration in mind, His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom for their part agree that the Czechoslovak Government should exercise full political authority from the date of the unconditional surrender of Germany throughout the area bounded by the frontiers of Czechoslovakia as these existed before December 31st, 1937. His Majesty’s Government consider, however, that the question of the final settlement of the Czechoslovak frontiers must remain in abeyance until international frontiers in Central Europe are definitively laid down in the peace settlement.” (Mosely File: Lot 52 M 64, Box 6, File Czechoslovakia–205)

    For the exchange of notes between the United Kingdom and the Czechoslovak Republic concerning the policy of His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom in regard to Czechoslovakia, London, August 5, 1942, see British and Foreign State Papers, vol. cxliv, p. 986.

  4. Not printed.
  5. European Advisory Commission.
  6. The Munich Agreement signed on September 29, 1938, by Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, regarding the cession of the Sudeten area of Czechoslovakia to Germany; for text, see E. L. Woodward and Rohan Butler, (eds.), Documents on British Foreign Policy, 1919–1939, Third Series (London, His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1949), vol. ii, p. 627, or Department of State, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, series D, vol. ii, (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1949), p. 1014. Documentation regarding the German-Czechoslovak crisis is printed in Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. i, pp. 483 ff.
  7. There is no indication that the Department replied to this telegram nor that the matter was considered further in the European Advisory Commission.