45. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Czechoslovakia 1

60675. Ref: Prague 1793 and 481.2

After careful consideration economic and political issues, USG has decided it would be in long-term US aviation interest and advance bridge-building concept to negotiate new air transport agreement with Czechoslovakia for U.S. and Czech airline services. However because Prague service holds little immediate commercial attraction to PAA based on poor operating results to date, US will want obtain best possible aviation deal and will thus be prepared to adopt firm bargaining position with Czechs.
We prefer new agreement, not merely amendment of 1946 agreement,3 because we would like Czech agreement be same as US agreements virtually all other countries. Such agreements include a principal and critical feature lacking in 1946 agreement with Czechs, namely, recognition right of airlines to decide in first instance amount of service (capacity) they will operate. Although 1946 agreement remains legally valid, we have tried downplay its operative usefulness by having present PAA service conducted “outside” that agreement and, in present situation, by calling for entirely new agreement. In final analysis, USG could denounce 1946 agreement, but we hope Czechs would not force issue to this extent.
Subject any views Embassy may wish express, it requested transmit note to MFA, text of which in following cable.4
Embassy may in its discretion impart orally flavor of this message. You may explain date earlier than November 15 out of question due other commitments.
US delegation would include Department and CAB representatives and airline industry observer, and be headed by Department officer.
FYI. If Czechs do not renew PAA’s permission beyond October 31, Department would wish to reexamine US offer to negotiate on November 15 since we would not want to be bound in advance to talks held under inauspicious circumstances. This does not rule out talks on November 15, but merely leaves us room for maneuver.5 End FYI.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, AV 9 CZECH–US. Confidential. Drafted by Styles; cleared in E, EUR, L, H, and the Civil Aeronautics Board; and approved by Solomon.
  2. Telegram 1793, June 29, summarized the contacts of a Czech note on revision of the 1946 bilateral air agreement. (Ibid., AV 6 US/PAA) Telegram 481, September 19, reported Pan American’s plans for service to Czechoslovakia and requested information on Department plans for extending Pan American’s landing rights. (Ibid.)
  3. For text of this agreement, signed in Prague on January 3, 1946, and entered into force on June 17, 1946, see 60 Stat. 1917.
  4. Telegram 60676 to Prague, October 6. (Department of State, Central Files, AV 6 US/PAA)
  5. In telegram 78442 to Prague, November 3, the Department of State commented: “interest in early aviation negotiations based primarily on desire to protect continuation PAA operation pending bilateral agreement. Understand that GOC has issued temporary indefinite permit to PAA. Therefore urgency from US viewpoint diluted.” (Ibid.)