No. 680

249.1111–Oatis, William/5–2651: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Czechoslovakia 1


612. Believe your note Embtel 744 May 232 was good stroke in endeavor reopen discussions with Siroky in Oatis case. FonOff apparently cabled Czech Emb here at once to verify your statement about our not being responsible for radio and newspaper reports on RFE and Oatis.

Chargé Vinar telephoned Dept May 25, proceeding circuitously by initially requesting info on various means by which Dept made official statements and eventually reaching question publicity linking RFE and Oatis. He was assured Dept made authoritative comments without formal releases giving prepared text or statement by Sec at press conferences (neither of which was done in disclaiming knowledge any Czech proposal re RFE and Oatis), and Dept had stated in response inquiries press representatives we had no knowledge any such proposal. Dept’s representative added if this not printed it was owing to conclusion by press correspondents matter not of news value. Bearing in mind Urdesp 309 May 173 and Czech avoidance publicity re Oatis developments, Dept’s representative concluded conversation by pointed comment we had had nothing to do with radio and press stories alleging Czech proposal RFE for Oatis deal, had not publicized Oatis case (Vinar noted he had seen very little in press by way Departmental utterances), and were concerned about sensational or unreliable reports on subject but we did not control what appears in press as he would doubtless realize from his experience here.

  1. Drafted by Vedeler (EUR/EE) and cleared with McDermott (SA/M) and Reinhardt (EUR/EE).
  2. Document 675.
  3. Not printed.