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DOCUMENTS - Part Two: Frontiers of Hungary - Chapter I. : Minutes of the Subcommittee on Territorial Problems

Document 4


Secret T Minutes 18

August 26, 1942


Mr. Isaiah Bowman, presiding
Mr. Hamilton Fish Armstrong
Mr. Adolf A. Berle
Mr. Herbert Feis
Mr. Maxwell Hamilton
Mr. Stanley K. Hornbeck
Mr. John V. A. MacMurray
Mrs. Anne O'Hare McCormick
Mr. Leo Pasvolsky
Mr. Myron C. Taylor
Mr. Philip W. Ireland
Mr. William Koren, Jr.
Mr. Philip Mosely
Mr. Harley Notter
Mr. Easton Rothwell

Slovak-Hungarian Frontier

The chairman opened the meeting at 5:06 p.m.

The chairman introduced the subject of possible adjustments in the Slovak-Hungarian boundary, emphasizing for the benefit of those who had not attended previous meetings that the committee had adopted the policy of discussing boundary changes only with regard to specific problem-areas rather than reopening the question of frontiers as such. He noted that Mr. Mosely had prepared an additional note on the problems connected with the southern and northern tiers of administra- tive districts of the disputed area along the Slovak-Hungarian frontier of 1937.1* At this request, Mr. Mosely explained that in the southern tier of districts, there were six on the west, three in the center and one


1 Document 48--Hungarian-Slovak Frontier--Alternative Frontier Solutions--Additional Note

* See document 4, p. 193. on the east, where the population was strongly Magyar; it was proposed that these ten districts, containing in 1930 309,306 Magyars and 59,757 Czechoslovaks, might be transferred to Hungary as part of a general settlement in that region. In answer to a question from Mr. Ber1e, Mr. Mosely explained that his recommendations took into consideration the transportation requirements of Slovakia; he believed that this transfer of territory would raise no local marketing problem since the districts concerned all included their own market towns.

At this point the chairman raised a question of principle with regard to decisions on boundary questions. It was his belief that at this stage the committee could profitably discuss only the issues involved in a given boundary problem; it should endeavor to make sure that these issues had been clarified and that all the relevant problems, such as the question of town-country relationships, transportation and the like, had been adequately studied. Final decision on the exact lines of a new frontier should, in his opinion, await study by a boundary commission in the field. Mr. Berle and other members of the committee assented to this proposition. Mrs. McCormick noted that in any case specific decisions would have to await the final determination of general principles and the over-all plan of the peace treaties.

Since Mr. Armstrong was not yet prepared to accept the proposed transfer of territory as outlined in Mr. Mosely's memorandum, the chairman suggested that the Slovak-Hungarian boundary problem be placed at the head of the agenda for the meeting of September 4. At that time he would except to poll the committee on the proposals submitted to it.

Mr. Armstrong indicated that he would like to ascertain the probable size of populations whose transfer might result from the adoption of Mr. Mosely's proposals for a new boundary and the practicality of such population transfers in this region. At the chairman's request Mr. Mosely undertook to prepare an additional memorandum on this question. He indicated orally that presumably there were now few Czechs or Slovaks living in the towns in the ten districts which it was proposed to transfer to Hungary. In his opinion, if a regional political organization were established for Eastern Europe and if internal social changes occurred in Hungary, this boundary question would be relatively unimportant. Mr. Armstrong did not agree that the popula- tions concerned would consider boundaries of diminished importance, at least in the period immediately following the cessation of hostilities. Mr. Mosely noted that the proposed boundaries would effect no substantial change in the strategic relationships between Slovakia and Hungary. (... SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN FRONTIER

A proposal for the transfer of ten administrative districts from Slovakia to Hungary was introduced. These districts were all contigu- ous to the 1937 Hungarian frontier and were largely Magyar in population and self-contained so far as local marketing is concerned; their transfer would effect no substantial change in the strategic relationships between Slovakia and Hungary. Additional information was requested on the transfer of population which might follow such a rectification of the boundary. Final recommendation on this boundary was scheduled for the meeting of September 4.

Box 59


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