50. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Czechoslovakia1
Washington, April 13, 1967, 7:56 p.m.
175032. Ref: Prague 1685.2
- Department agrees with Embassy recommendation that Ambassador call on Minister of Transport and/or Minister of Foreign Trade [Page 175] supporting invitation to Czech delegation by both Douglas and Boeing to visit US plants. Washington representatives of both manufacturers informed Department April 12 that invitations still stand.
- Department concurs in Ambassador’s plan to arrange such calls through MFA and recommends that approach be made soonest. Czech delegation may be encouraged to call at Department and other interested US agencies.
- FYI. You should be aware that House Banking and Currency Committee presently holding hearings on further 5-year extension of Exim charter beyond June 30, 1968. Hearings have revealed vocal minority sentiment in favor of restricting authority of Exim to help finance exports to Communist countries. Despite such sentiment, outlook appears favorable for Exim re-chartering without restrictions. While publicity about Czech visit could complicate re-chartering approval and some publicity may be unavoidable if Czechs visit Douglas and Boeing plants, we believe invitations should be supported. Exim willing to receive Czech delegation if it comes to Washington, but you should not make specific reference to Exim in your conversations with Czechs. End FYI.
- Wallace, Douglas representative, discussed with Department officers April 12 need to invite Czech delegation ASAP, since decision on purchase may be made within 30 days. Delegation should expect to spend 10–12 days in US. Wallace believes Czechs no longer seriously considering purchase of UK’s VC–10.
- Karlik, Director General of Czechoslovak State Airlines (CSA) informed Wallace that Czechs under strong political pressure to purchase IL–62 from USSR, but that Karlik prefers US aircraft and needs USG help to continue having Boeing and Douglas considered. Thus, Karlik believes that approach by Ambassador would give CSA another opportunity to press for US aircraft.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, AV 12–2 CZECH. Confidential; Priority; Limdis. Drafted by Christiano; cleared in E, H, EUR, S/S, the Export-Import Bank, and the Department of Commerce; and approved by Katzenbach.↩
- Telegram 1685, April 10, reported on talks between a representative of Douglas Aircraft and Czech officials. (Ibid.)↩