The Czechoslovak Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs (Clementis) to the American Chargé in Czechoslovakia (Klieforth)16

Sir: I have the honour to address to you the following information:

The Czechoslovak Government has always claimed frontiers for this country which were in existence before Munich, at the same time never failing to emphasize to the competent bodies that this point of view must not be prejudicial to future claims of rectification of frontiers to be raised at a suitable time in full accord with the Allied Governments, in favour of the Czechoslovak Republic and to the disadvantage of the enemy states. The period immediately following the end of war operations has on our part been considered as most suitable for this purpose. The Czechoslovak Government has therefore prepared proposals along this line in order to lay duly substantiated claims before all Allied Governments and, should such rectification concern the boundaries of the friendly neighbouring Polish State, naturally also before the Polish Government.

In the meantime, however, it has been brought to the knowledge of the Czechoslovak Government that the territory of Kladsko was placed under the administration of the Polish authorities and that, by a proclamation dated in April 1945, Mr. St. Piaskowski was appointed commissioner of the Polish Republic for the administrative province of Lower Silesia.

This proclamation, which was addressed to the population of Lower Silesia and South Brandenburg, and which having been posted also in the area of Kladsko, was evidently supposed to cover this area too, asserted that this province, Slavonic from time immemorial, had been taken from Poland.

With respect to the arguments contained in the aforesaid proclamation, I take the liberty of drawing your attention to the fact that the area of Kladsko, up to the year 1742 when first annexation by Prussia took place, had been a possession of Bohemia to which it belonged also ethnographically to such an extent that even at the [Page 514] present time, after more than two hundred years of forced Germanisation, entire groups of communities have never been deprived of their decidely Czech character.

It should be added to the statement of the Polish proclamation that the primary origin of these inhabitants is Slavonic, that these primarily Slavonic inhabitants used to and still do belong to the Czech branch. For this reason these people applied to the Czechoslovak Government to take charge of Kladsko until final determination of the frontiers should be made.

Owing to the fact that Kladsko gravitates to Czechoslovakia also economically and by its system of transport, it is the intention of the Czechoslovak Government to take over the control of this territory, as shown in the map attached hereto [encl. A],17 without any further delay.

The Czechoslovak Government would not consider the taking charge of Kladsko as a final act, being fully aware of the fact that this problem will ultimately have to be solved at the Peace Conference.

The Czechoslovak Government, knowing that such regulation of north-eastern boundaries of Czechoslovakia in her favour may concern future Polish frontiers, is determined to settle this point in amicable accord with the Polish Government.

I may add that the Czechoslovak Government does not consider the present note as providing for all claims concerning rectification of frontiers which may have to be raised in connection with ethnological, historical, geographical, economic, transport and other motives.

A similar note is being addressed to the representatives of the Governments of Great Britain, the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, France and to the Polish Government.

Accept [etc.]

Under Secretary of State:
Dr. V. Clementis m.p.
  1. Copy transmitted to the Department in despatch 3, June 5, from Prague; received June 13.
  2. Brackets appear in the original; map not reproduced.