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

No. 846

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s cabled Instructions Nos. 94, of April 21 last,6 and 102, of April 30, and to my cablegrams Nos. 84, of April 22,6 86, of April 23, and 103, of May 7, in connection with the status of American banks in Poland, and to transmit herewith for the Department’s information copy of a communication addressed to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on May 9, repeated in substance on June 13. The reply of the Polish Government under date of June 24, in copy and translation, is also enclosed.

It will be observed that the Polish Government does not formally commit itself on the principle of American participation in banking operations of the character in question, but states merely that when the matter arises it will be given consideration in the spirit of reciprocity.

Inasmuch as this communication is at variance with the informal assurances previously received, I am again approaching the Foreign Office in an endeavor to obtain a more satisfactory solution.

I have [etc.]

Hugh Gibson
[Enclosure 1]

The American Legation to the Polish Ministry for Foreign Affairs

F.O. No. 650

Note Verbale

The American Legation has the honor to inform the Ministry for Foreign Affairs that it has received from its Government an inquiry as to whether American banks will be permitted regularly and actually to join the syndicate of paying banks in Poland, if they subject themselves to the regulations of March 23, 1920, or whether, on the other hand, they will be obliged to liquidate completely.

The Legation understands informally that any American banks wishing to join may do so under the same conditions as banks of [Page 697] other nationalities, but in order that an appropriate reply may be made to the inquiry mentioned it will be appreciated if the Ministry for Foreign Affairs will be good enough to transmit an official assurance in this sense.

[Enclosure 2—Translation7]

The Polish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the American Legation

No. BE/4808

Note Verbale

In reply to the note verbale of the Legation of the United States under date of June 13, 1921, No. 677,8 the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has the honor to communicate the following, based on the information obtained:

The Syndicate of Polish banks in question (Syndykat Przekazowy Banków Polskich, Spółka Akcyjna), conformably to its by-laws, enclosed, is a joint stock company of which the Polish banks are until now exclusively the stockholders.

The eventual question of the accession of foreign banks has not yet been discussed, for until the present no foreign bank is operating in Poland, with the exception of certain banks of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which are obliged to liquidate their affairs within a given time, or indeed may be “nostrifiées” (assimilated by Polish interests.)

Concerning the American banks, the Ministry of Finance is unaware that any American bank has solicited a concession in Poland.

In general, the question of permitting foreign joint-stock banks to do business in Poland has not yet been regulated by judicial decision; it is however certain that the future limitations on this subject, depending upon the conventions to be concluded between Poland and the respective States, will at all events be based upon the principle of complete reciprocity.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. File translation revised.
  4. See first sentence of despatch no. 846, June 25, from the Minister in Poland, p. 696.