124.493/5–2450: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Czechoslovakia


397. Embtel 768, May 24.1 Ur assumption correct Czech-US relations and US-satellite relations in general under careful review as result increasing pressures and harassments. However our policy continues be to avoid rupture relations as long as possible, primarily in belief (1) maintenance US missions even on greatly reduced scale permits some contact local populations and contributes maintenance their morale, and (2) polit and mil intelligence of considerable value still obtainable by missions on the spot. We realize these assumptions will [Page 568] be increasingly less true if pressures continuously intensify and will appreciate ur analysis advantages and disadvantages maintenance relations as situation develops.

Pursuant above policy request you address FonMin fol note, notifying Dept time of delivery so that prompt release may be made to press here.2

“I am directed by my Govt to state that it cannot admit as conforming general accepted principles and practices internatl comity that a receiving state shall attempt arbitrarily and unilaterally determine composition dipl missions of a state with which it maintains relations. Moreover, my Govt has previously rejected, and rejects once more, the allegations the Czech Govt has put forward as pretext for reductions US representation Czecho. US Govt furthermore has continuing confidence in good will and traditional feeling friendship people Czecho toward US, despite efforts Czech Govt to sever friendly contacts between Amer and Czech people.

In view, however, repeated provocations and groundless attacks against US and US representatives in Czecho during past few weeks, it is clear Czech Govt has belied its stated intention of promoting peaceful relations among nations and has made clear that it is no longer interested in maintaining normal diplomatic relations with US. US Govt therefore, while reserving its rights and customary privileges, intends reduce official representation to conform with conditions arbitrarily imposed by Ministry’s note under ref.3

In view forced reduction its personnel in Czecho and in recognition curtailed relations between two countries imposed by Czech Govt, US Govt hereby announces its intention to close its Consulate Gen in Bratislava4 and requests Czech Govt to close within two weeks its Consulate Gen, including the office of the commercial counselor, in NY.”

Pls explore fol point orally with FonOff. In report his latest conference Mme Pauker re staff reduction Rum Minister Schoenfeld stated: “I told her there were couple of points I desired to clarify. Did Rum proposal of staff of ten include chief of mission or was he in addition. She indicated he was additional. I then said: total of eleven, including him. She confirmed this”.5 If Czechs wld accept same interpretation as Rum, Emb too cld be increased by one. Rpt London 2538; Paris 2414.

  1. Supra.
  2. The note quoted here was delivered to the Czechoslovak Foreign Ministry on May 27. The text, which was released to the press in Washington that same day, was also included in a note from the Acting Secretary of State to Czechoslovak Ambassador Outrata of May 27, not printed.
  3. By the end of May 1950, the American staff of the Embassy in Praha, which had numbered nearly 70 in mid-April, had been reduced to 13.
  4. The Consulate General in Bratislava was closed on June 6, 1950.
  5. The quotation here is from telegram 375, May 22, from Bucharest, not printed, in which Minister Rudolf Schoenfeld reported on his conversation that day with Romanian Foreign Minister Ana Pauker.