760c.61/36: Telegram

The Minister in Poland (Gibson) to the Acting Secretary of State

162. My 143, March 14, 6 p.m.6 Substance of peace terms has been published here for several days and seem to have rather startled public opinion. The intentions of the Polish Government have manifestly undergone material change both as to substance and procedure since Patek first discussed his plans with me some time ago. (My telegram number 68, February 8, 11 p.m.) The Polish [conditions] are much more far-reaching than Patek had led the representatives of the powers to believe and leave him open to the charge of imperialism which his moderate language has hitherto belied. There is no doubt that Polish ambitions in the east have grown rapidly since the Bolshevik peace offering under the skillful fanning of various moderating influence [sic]. A new sense of independence and self importance is manifest. I cannot but feel that [Page 382] this growing impatience of restraint is in large measure due to the refusal of the great powers to guide and counsel Poland during the past two months. Until a short time ago the inclination of the Polish Government and people was partly guided by the expressed wishes of the great powers. The Polish Government has not been able to secure any expression of opinion since the peace offer and the feeling has grown among all classes that Poland has been cast adrift politically and must shift for herself. With this there has inevitably come an increasing conviction that Poland had best get all the advantages she can out of the present situation and that no matter how unreasonable her actions may be they no longer concern the powers who have refused to interest themselves in Polish-Bolshevik relations. These are the developments I have feared for some time, as will be seen by my telegram number 87 February 19th.6 The present tendency is undoubtedly towards increasing independence of the Allied Powers and is but ill disguised satisfaction to pro-German and reactionary elements here.

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