File No. 763.72/12496

The President of the Polish National Committee ( Dmowski ) to the Secretary of State

Sir: In the course of our conversation this morning, I had the honor of presenting to you the subject of the Polish Army in France, the position of which has undergone an essential change within the last few weeks.

On the 4th of June, 1917, the President of the French Republic issued a decree creating an autonomous Polish Army, fighting under its own national colors.

The French Government undertook the organization of that Army by the French military authorities and out of its own funds. As there was at that time no Polish political body which could exercise the supreme authority over that Army, and no Polish ranking officers who could command it, the Army, though composed of Poles, remained under the authority of the French Government, and all appointments were made by the French Ministry of War. Under these conditions, the successful organization of the Army, its thorough training and the introduction of a model discipline was accomplished. But from the national and political point of view, the situation of the Army remained abnormal.

This situation changed gradually as a result of the constitution of the Polish National Committee now recognized as the Polish official [Page 879] organization by the Governments of France, Great Britain, Italy and the United States.

On the basis of an agreement with the French Government, the Polish National Committee undertook the direction of the political side of the Army. Lastly, some ranking Polish officers, among them General Joseph Haller, arrived in France and offered their services to the Polish National Committee. This made possible to accomplish the organization of the Polish Army, as an autonomous national army, under the Polish political authority and Polish military command.

On August 7, 1918, the Polish National Committee addressed to the French Government a proposal that the Polish National Committee be recognized by France and other governments as the supreme political authority of the Polish Army and that the said Committee should appoint a commander-in-chief of the Polish Army in France and of all Polish military forces wherever they might be organized.

The French Government agreed to the proposal of the Committee: The Polish National Committee has been recognized by France as the supreme political authority of the Polish Army, and General Joseph Haller appointed by the Polish National Committee as commander-in-chief of the Polish Army, took oath on the Polish colors on October 6, 1918. The military representatives of France, of the United States, Great Britain, and Italy were present at the ceremony.

The Government of Great Britain by an official act of October 15, 1918, recognized the Polish National Army as autonomous, allied and co-belligerent.

I have the honor to beg the Government of the United States to associate itself with the Governments of France and Great Britain by recognizing the Polish Army, under the supreme political authority of the Polish National Committee, as autonomous, allied, and co-belligerent.

I am [etc.]

Roman Dmowski