File No. 860c.00/8

The Ambassador in France ( Sharp ) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]

5647. [Seyda]2 requests transmittal of following statement from Polish Press Bureau for publication.

The German authorities now occupying Russian Poland in order to revenge themselves upon the Polish press for its pro-Ally stand is preventing shipments of print paper from being made to those publications, especially those issuing daily. The German military authorities are still requisitioning food in Russian Poland and they have been especially active in this direction within the last several weeks in the Gubernia of Plock. This had caused considerable unrest among the local population. The provincial military governor General Wangenheim thereupon issued a proclamation stating that in the event of any further dissatisfaction on the part of the populace he will order the entire community destroyed. In the village of Budkowo a military bridge over the river Sierpienica was destroyed; the German military authorities arrested all of the inhabitants of the village, courtmartialled the local school [Page 882] teacher and condemned the man to death, carrying out the edict at once. In consequence of the tremendous patriotic manifestation arranged by the Polish people in Warsaw October 14, the Deutsche Warschauer Zeitung issued a statement to the effect that any further similar manifestations will be forcibly suppressed by the German military authorities. The statement is concluded with the announcement that requisitions of food by the Germans will be continued.

The Cracow Glos Narodu announced that the German Government has decided to institute proceedings for treason against all of the individuals and officers of organizations who signed the recent Polish manifesto published in German Poland to the effect that in view of President Wilson’s declarations and notes the Polish people regard all the parts of Poland as a free and independent entity. The manifesto was signed by all of the Polish Deputies to the German Reichstag and Prussian Diet, the publishers and editors of the several publications, and the officers of various Polish political organizations, in all about 1,000 persons.

The Regency Council at Warsaw has approved the new Polish Ministry headed by Premier Swierzynski. [Besides] those already named, General Pilsudski, the former commander of the Galician Legions, was named Minister of War, and Englich, the well known Polish banker from the Province of Posen was made Minister of Finance. On behalf of the new Ministry Premier Swierzynski informed the German Government that the Polish people expect Pilsudski to be released at once from the military prison in which the Germans are retaining him since the time when the Legionaries refused to take the Austro-German military oath. As yet the German authorities did not reply. The new Ministry at its first meeting approved in its entirety the program as presented by Premier Swierzynski; they also commenced the discussion over tentative plan of raising an internal loan. The heads of the political parties in Galicia selected Tetmajor and Witos, deputies to the Austrian Reichsrat, representatives of Galicia in the new coalition ministry. In view of the fact that the new coalition ministry is composed of and controlled by Polish leaders of pro-Allied sympathies, Alexander Lednicki and Count Ronikier, representatives of the old Ministry at Berlin and Moscow respectively, have resigned. Both Lednicki and Ronikier are in sympathy with the program of entering into an understanding with the Central Powers. It is expected that the representatives of the old Ministry at Vienna and Berne, both of whom are men of similar tendencies, also will resign at once.

Sharp
  1. Marjan Seyda, director of the Polish Press Bureau.