The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant )
4462. Accounts reaching the Department indicate relatively large scale expulsion of Hungarians from Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Rumania into Hungary.
Please ascertain whether the government to which you are accredited is agreeable to a common approach to the Czechoslovak and Yugoslav Governments on this subject, making the following points, which the United States Government has already put on record in a note to the Czech Government last January as its preliminary views on the similar question of expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia:
- No unilateral action should be taken by the Czech (Yugoslav) Government to transfer, in whole or in part, its Hungarian-speaking minority.
- Ethnic minority groups should be transferred only under international auspices and pursuant to appropriate international arrangements.
- To facilitate orderly settlement of persons, all transfers should be gradual.
- Not only the needs of Czechoslovakia (and Yugoslavia) but also general considerations connected with the future security and peace of Europe and the problems facing the Allied occupation authorities in Hungary must be considered in any solution of the minority problem.
The Department further considers as unjustified any attempt to treat all members of an ethnic group as subject to expulsion on grounds of war responsibility.
Please propose also that appropriate instructions be given to ACC in Rumania to prevent unilateral action on the part of Rumania and to ACC in Hungary to establish necessary measures of control on the Hungarian frontiers.
It is understood that the term “Hungarian minority” referred to in the present telegram includes only permanent residents and not displaced persons or recent immigrants.
Please inform Schoenfeld so that he may bring substance of foregoing informally to attention of Czech Government.12
Sent to London and Moscow.13
- Rudolf Schoenfeld was the Chargé to the Czechoslovak Government in Exile in London. Although at this time the Czechoslovak Government had already been reestablished at Praha, the American Embassy in Praha was not opened until May 29 and direct communication with Washington had not been set up. The views of the Department of State were subsequently brought to the attention of Czechoslovak Foreign Ministry representatives in London and directly to Czechoslovak officials in Praha.↩
- Repeated to Moscow as telegram 1216.↩