No. 673

601.4911/5–451: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Czechoslovakia 1


570. Vinar, Czech Chargé here, called on Asst Sec Perkins today to present two notes. One requests agreement for Dr. Vladimir Prochazka, [Page 1357] Vice President Czech Natl Assembly and Prof Law Charles University, as new Amb.2 Other seeks to open negots Washington on basis prelim discussion delegs IARA with view to transfer US Govt Span pesetas (roughly 10 million) already allocated or to be allocated Czechs as reparation from enemy property Spain in return for reduction Czech’s surplus property debt by dollar equivalent transferred pesetas.

Asst Sec took occasion to say he wanted Chargé to know great concern of Dept at what had happened to Oatis. Chargé replied he wld report this to his govt and added Oatis wld be given good treatment according to facts of case and Czech law. He said Dept cld be sure Czech Govt had no intention obtain bad publicity in this country and worsen relations with US Govt. Our impression these remarks made entirely on his own initiative and he has no info or instrs from FonOff about matter.

Request for agreement and approach re transfer pesetas being studied from standpoint possible leverage in Oatis case.

  1. Drafted by Vedeler of EUR/EE, cleared by EUR/RA, and approved by Assistant Secretary of State Perkins and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Bonbright. Repeated to Brussels.
  2. Czechoslovak Ambassador Vladimir Outrata left the United States on February 18, for what he described as a “brief visit to Czechoslovakia”. (Note from Outrata to the Secretary of State, February 18, 601.4911/2–1751) On March 8 Outrata paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Briggs in Praha. Outrata, who seemed ill at ease, carried on a “desultory” conversation on aspects of American-Czechoslovak relations and explained to Briggs that he was in Praha for routine consultation and would return to Washington in about 10 days. (Telegram 556 from Praha, March 8, 611.49/3–851) On April 2, Czechoslovak Chargé Vinar called at the Department of State to give informal notification of the recall of Ambassador Outrata. Vinar, who appeared to be unusually nervous and ill at ease during the call, adverted to press stories concerning Outrata’s recall and sought to refute the charge by the Ambassador’s former chauffeur that the Ambassador and his wife had been denied use of the Embassy automobile. (Memorandum of conversation by Vedeler, April 2, 601.4911/4–251) The note under reference here, dated April 30, is filed separately in file 601.4911/4–351.