University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Foreign Relations of the United States

Page View

United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. Eastern Europe; The Soviet Union
(1948)

Czechoslovakia,   pp. 733-758 PDF (10.0 MB)


Page 733


                       CZECHOSLOVAKIA
 ATTITUDE OF THE UNITED STATES WITH RESPECT TO THE CZECHO-
 SLOVAK GOVERNMENTAL CRISIS OF FEBRUARY 1948 AND ITS
 AFTERMATH
 860F.OOB/1-2848: Telegram
   The Charge in Czechoslovakia (Brains) to the Secretary of State
SECRET                           PRAHA, January 28, 1948-10 a. m.
  77. As indicated in recent telegrams from Embassy, Communist
drive has begun for 51 percent majority in Czechoslovakia election
campaign culminating early in May. Full propaganda advantage be--
ing taken of liberation of most of Czechoslovakia by Soviet Army and
also of much-needed grain deliveries which are now arriving froim
east. On other hand, there is great deal of goodwill among Czech
people toward western countries including US. I believe 80 percent
of Czech people favor western style democracy over Communism but
expediency and timidity render most of them inarticulate. Thereforer
it would be desirable for us to make some sort of gesture which would
encourage people to express their true feelings in the secrecy of vot--
ing booth. I believe such a gesture should not take form of loan or
other monetary handout which would only expose us to charge that
we are trying to buy souls of central Europeans with our dollars.
  I am convinced there are three things we could do which would ma-
terially consolidate this pro-western sentiment and that we should do
all of them without delay: (1) negotiate a commercial agreement,
(2) negotiate a cultural convention, (3) publish American documents-
in Czechoslovakia on true story of liberation of Praha.
  On first point Czech Foreign Office has been notified of Depart-
ment's attitude as stated in first paragraph Deptel 71, January 23.'
While formal Czech counterdraft not required by Department for
present, I have asked Clementis 2 to obtain reactions of various minis-
' In 1947 an American draft of a commercial treaty had been, referred to,
Czechoslovak authorities. Czechoslovak Foreign Office comments on this draft
had been communicated to the Embassy in Praha in December 1947. Telegram
71, January 23, 1948, to Praha, not printed, indicated that in view of the'
Czecho-
slovak comments Ambassador Steinhardt, then in Washington on; consultation,
could begin preliminary discussions on a treaty upon his return to Praha
(711.60F2/1-1348).
2Vladimir Clementis, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs; member of the
Czechoslovak Communist Party.
                                                          733.


Go up to Top of Page