File No. 860c.01/129
The Minister in Switzerland ( Stovall ) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 26, 2.52 a.m.]
4450. Following received through reliable Pole from persons who have just arrived from Berlin and who conferred with Polish delegates, Prince Radziwill and Count Adam Ronikier. Polish delegates to German Headquarters were furnished with limited powers by Polish Government being assigned simply the task of informing themselves relative to solution which the Germans proposed as substitute for Austro-Polish solution. They found that Germany has no proposal entirely prepared but was intransigent in opposition to Austro-Polish solution which Polish Government continues to regard as sole acceptable project. Discussion therefore turned on question as to how Poland should be compensated for non-inclusion of Galicia which would remain Austrian. My telegram No. 4353, August 16, 3 p.m., reported eight proposals said to have been submitted by Polish delegates. I learn that these proposals were in fact first presented April 29 but revived at recent conference and [Page 875] served as basis for discussion. Results of conference may be summed up as follows:
- No definite proposals submitted or decisions reached.
- Germany desires alliance with Poland and declares itself satisfied with proposals made April 29, with certain modifications.
- Germany not yet decided as to compensation to be granted Poland in return for alliance and abandonment of Galicia but discussed favorably Polish expansion toward east and guarantee of independent Poland with Danzig as free port.
The question of Polish throne was only considered in a general way and is regarded by [Germany] as of secondary importance. All statements in German press in this regard were merely try-out resulting from direct orders to press from German Foreign Office in order to observe reaction to such announcements in Central Empires. It was intimated to Polish representatives that in case of revolution in Austria, Polish Army which might have been previously formed under agreement with Germany could occupy Galicia.
Attitude of Polish Government reported to be that although Austro-Polish solution still desired, renouncement of [garbled group] negotiations contemplated in return for vast territorial compensations in the east. Polish Government believes that never again will similar opportunity arise to obtain German aid for expansion in Lithuania and Russia and desires to take advantage of occasion to enlarge its frontiers through alliance with Central Powers.
In reporting above, desire to point out that present Polish Activist Government represents, according to last elections, only minority of Polish people. I shall report at early date reception in Poland of outline.
German attitude toward Poland is barometer of condition of German military success. When Germany victorious, Poland is neglected politically and exploited economically. When situation less advantageous, Germany tries to allure Poland with political concession.