760c.61/135: Telegram

The Ambassador in Great Britain (Davis) to the Secretary of State


1170. It is reported by the Polish Legation in London that the situation of Poland is desperate, principally because the Poles have lost morale. The only way to restore this is by showing outside interest and support. Without this it is probable that Poland will completely collapse. The British declare they cannot supply any troops as Parliament would not be willing to incur additional expense. It is believed that an adequate number of British volunteers are available, especially for aviation, but Poland lacks money to pay them. The Polish Legation has requested me, in view of these conditions, to find out whether it is at all possible that the United States would be willing to enter into a joint arrangement whereby Poland would pay Great Britain for troops by taking over a corresponding amount of the debt which Great Britain owes to America. Of course this would necessitate that the United States release Great Britain to this extent and give very liberal terms to Poland in regard to future payment. It would not, however, increase the total amount owed by Europe to America.

I have told the Polish Legation that it is my opinion that it is absolutely out of the question to secure American troops for use in Poland and that while Congress is adjourned no money or new credits can be given. I did not encourage any hope that the above proposal would be adopted but I agreed to present it and ask that you give an early answer.

The Poles fear that if the British give any assistance it will be on condition that any claims which Poland may have to East Silesia be released in favor of Germany.