File No. 860c.01/90

The French Ambassador ( Jusserand ) to the Secretary of State


Mr. Secretary of State: My Government has just informed me that, in its opinion, the Allied Powers should not, without uttering a joint protest, witness the events which tend to culminate in another partition of Poland and to deliver up to Austro-German domination integrant parts of that ancient Kingdom.

Continued silence on this point would be contrary and harmful to the rights of the peoples which we have ceaselessly affirmed and to the fundamental requirements of a just and lasting peace. Again we should not turn a deaf ear to the appeals that come to us from the Polish patriots.

It is, to my Government’s mind, the duty of the Allies to uphold the claims that have ever been formulated with respect to Poland and have been particularly so formulated with so much eloquence and accuracy by the President of the United States. It is likewise advisable in every respect to promote and encourage the resistance of a people whose role in the midst of our enemies may prove of the highest importance for the very outcome of the war.

In compliance with instructions received, I have the honor to inquire of Your Excellency whether the American Government would not be disposed to join in a declaration a draft of which is herein enclosed. The text would of course be modified wherever it may be deemed advisable so to do. The early publication of such a document however is regarded as extremely desirable by my Government.

Be pleased to accept [etc.]


Draft of a Declaration Concerning Poland

The Governments of __________ and of __________ continue to consider the constitution of an independent Polish state as one of the prime conditions of the organization of a Europe constituted in accordance with the principle of nationalities and secure from the surprises of another war; they regard as null and void peace treaties imposed by force which ignoring the right of peoples to dispose of themselves, assign to Ukraine or to the Central Empires territories that are unquestionably Polish from the ethnographic as well as from the historic standpoint.

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They again proclaim their resolution to pursue the creation of an independent, autonomous and free Poland capable of insuring its economic, political and military development, with access to the sea.