860F.00/6–2248: Airgram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom


A–558. Reference is made to the Embassy’s airgram No. 1311 dated June 22, 19481 concerning the Department’s position towards any political committee or government-in-exile which may be envisaged by the Czechoslovak refugee leaders. This general subject has been discussed by representatives of the Department at several meetings with Dr. Juraj Slavik, former Czechoslovak Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Stefan Osusky, former Czechoslovak Minister to England and France, Dr. Fedor Hodza, former Member of the Czechoslovak Parliament and Secretary-General of the Slovak Democratic Party, and others.

In this connection a memorandum of the Political Representatives of Czechoslovak Democracy was formally presented by Dr. Osusky to the Department on June 25 with a view to learning whether there was any objection to informing the press of its submission to the Department and to releasing the text of the statement. The memorandum was prepared by Dr. Osusky, Dr. Slavik, Dr. Papanek, and other Czechoslovak democratic leaders in this country in consultation with those abroad. It states their legal and political position towards the present regime in Czechoslovakia, which is considered an unlawfully [Page 425] established totalitarian Communist dictatorship. The statement informs the United States Government of their determination to work for the restoration of law and a democratic order in Czechoslovakia, and expresses the hope that the United States will view with sympathy their plans to assist the Czechoslovak refugees and to further the cause of democracy in Czechoslovakia.2

Dr. Osusky was informed that no objection was seen to his proposals for publicizing the memorandum and that after the text of the statement was released it would be used by the Voice of America as in the case of a number of other statements of the Czechoslovak refugee leaders. It was also indicated to Dr. Osusky that efforts of his group were regarded with sympathetic interest so long as the activities and organization of the refugee leaders did not approach the character of a government-in-exile.

The Department has learned from this conversation with Dr. Osusky and from other meetings with these leaders that they plan to establish an organization, possibly under the name of the Czechoslovak Committee, which would have its headquarters in the United States with branches or participating groups in other countries where the refugees are chiefly located. It has been stressed in these dicussions that their activities or organization must not prove a source of embarrassment to the Department in the relations of this Government with that of Czechoslovakia.

  1. Not printed; it reported that the British Foreign Office had discouraged Czechoslovak political refugees in the United Kingdom from attempting to form any “government-in-exile” and was interested in the Department of State’s position on the question (860F.00/6–2248).
  2. The memorandum summarized here was subsequently published in the New York Times on June 30, 1948. Osusky had made the memorandum public the previous day during a press conference in New York.