Minutes of the Seventh Meeting of the International Commission

Minutes of the Seventh Meeting of the International Commission Held in Berlin on October 6,1938

The chairman opened the meeting at 12: 30 p.m.

The Czechoslovak Minister read the following statement in the name of his Government:

"The Czechoslovak Government has noted the decision of the four Great powers with profound sorrow. It accepts the frontiers of the area to be occupied by German troops from October 7 to 10 and undertakes to carry out the measures necessitated by this decision.

"At the same time I inform the International Commission that my Government will immediately proceed to demobilize two classes and that the other classes will follow as this becomes possible, since demobilization-and I must emphasize this-has been rendered considerably more difficult by the German occupation."

The State Secretary expressed the satisfaction and thanks of the German delegation that the Czechoslovak delegation had given an answer so promptly. At the request of the chairman, the French Military Attache summed up the results of the deliberations of subcommittee A, which had met the night before.

Subcommittee A submitted three documents to the International Commission for examination:

1. An agreement on the evacuation and occupation operations in the areas situated beyond zones I-IV.

2. An agreement on the removal of material from the Czechoslovak fortifications In zone IV and in the remaining zones.

3. A resolution demanding that the observers who might be sent by the British, French, and Italian Governments should be provided with letters of safe conduct.

The French Assistant Military Attache read the agreement on the evacuation and occupation operations in the areas situated beyond zones I-IV.

The Italian Ambassador asked why in its third part this agreement did not provide for a neutral zone on the ground as well as in the air.

The French Military Attache replied that the German and Czechoslovak delegates had already reached agreement on this point in subcommittee A.

The International Commission adopted the proposals of subcommittee A regarding the first agreement.

The chairman asked whether the Commission had any objection to the publication of the map with the zone to be occupied between October 7 and 10.

The Czechoslovak Minister said that he would prefer that this publication be postponed out of consideration for the domestic situation in Czechoslovakia.

The chairman asked how long, in the opinion of the Czechoslovak delegation publication should be held up.

The Czechoslovak Minister replied that a period of two or three days would suffice..

The chairman expressed the opinion that it would be better, in the interests of the population of the zones concerned, to publish the map without delay.

The Italian Ambassador moved that publication should be made in several stages.

The Czechoslovak Minister pointed out that, if official publication took place today, his Government would learn the details of the new demarcation line from] the press.

The chairman proposed that publication should not take place until the following day, October 7. In the meantime the Czechoslovak delegation could report 3 to Prague.

It was finally decided that this question should be decided by direct agreement between the German and Czechoslovak delegations.

The French Ambassador remarked that DNB had that morning published 4] reproduction of the map with exact data on the demarcation line.

The State Secretary said if that were so, the discussion they had just had was in danger of having been a purely academic one.

The French Assistant Military Attache read paragraphs 2 and 3 as formulated 3 by subcommittee A. The proposals therein contained were adopted by the International Commission.

The chairman asked whether any of the delegates had any further remarks to make regarding the future program of the Commission.

The French Ambassador asked what the position was regarding the possibility of a plebiscite. Was such a step to be adopted or not? If so, in which areas

In connection with this problem the Governments of Great Britain, France, and Italy were already making preparations to set up the formations provided for in the Munich Agreement. The press had announced that morning that the British Legion was busy providing uniforms for its members destined for the plebiscite zone.

The British Ambassador proposed that the question of a plebiscite should form the subject of direct talks between the German and Czechoslovak delegations.

The Czechoslovak Minister stated that apart from this there were also several other points which could be dealt with directly between the two delegations.

The chairman emphasized that apart from the reasons mentioned there were still other and more cogent reasons in favor of reaching a decision on the plebiscite question as soon as possible; the Munich Agreement had mentioned the end of November as the latest date for this.

The chairman further stated that he was, however, not in a position today to announce his Government's point of view on this question. He proposed that the theoretical aspect of this question should be examined in direct talks between the German and Czechoslovak delegations.

The Italian Ambassador asked what stage had been reached in the work of subcommittee B. If agreements had been reached in this subcommittee between the German and Czechoslovak delegations, could not the methods proposed be published, e.g. in the form of a communiqués

The Czechoslovak Minister urgently drew the attention of the German delegation, and particularly of the representative of the German Wehrmacht, to the pressing nature of the following three questions:

1. the question of food supplies

2. the question how the German authorities could ease the work of the Czechoslovak railway officials

3. The question of a modus vivendi for the customs.

The chairman said that, as far as point 2 was concerned, he had never heard: that Czechoslovak railway officials had been hampered so far in their work. Be would make inquiries. Point 3 could be the subject of direct talks at once.

The chairman further proposed that the plenary commission should adjourn and not meet again until Monday, October 10. In urgent cases he would call special meeting The chief delegates could in that event send representatives.

The Commission resolved not to issue a press communiqué today.

The meeting closed at 1 p.m.

Documents on German Foreign Policy 1918-1945
Series D Volume IV
United States Government Printing Office : Washington, 1955

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