860F.00/10–647: Telegram

The Ambassador in Czechoslovakia (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State


1342. Internal political tension continues relax. During past two or three days I have found several of non-Communist leaders to be less jittery and less disposed to jump to conclusion that Communist drive on Slovak Democrat Party is merely forerunner of a determination to crush all opposition and take over govt. They beginning to ask themselves whether there may not be something to charges Communists are making against Slovak Democrats. Their present uneasiness is occasioned by fear of effect on public that would result should Communists establish truth of some of their charges. It may be expected that leaders of National Socialist Party and to a lesser extent of People’s Party will be less articulate in their support of Slovak Democrats until they have seen nature of proof Communists have promised to submit.

I am disposed to view that Communists have some proof and that while it may not be as sweeping or as conclusive as they assert and may not directly involve high leaders of Slovak Democrat Party it nonetheless may be regarded by fair-minded individuals as justifying a purge on a lesser scale than Communists desire. This in turn may lead to a more or less satisfactory compromise within the National Front unless instructions to Communists from Moscow precipitate an open conflict and call for extending purge to other non-Communist parties.