860c.56/67: Telegram

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

18. Department’s January 25, 6 p.m. Discussed entire matter with Minister for Foreign Affairs today. I impressed on him at some length harmfulness of handling American questions by force and seeking to withhold fair treatment through obstruction; that there [Page 743] exist[s] no sound reason for conflict; that all difficulties for the past four years have been needlessly created by subordinate officers and that he could best serve Polish interests by insisting that these questions be handled in broader spirit in harmony with Polish friendship for the United States; that failing this we should inevitably continue to drift from one incident to another with regrettable results. I urged him to study my negotiations with Narutowicz (my despatch no. 1291, September 30th, 19225) and see if he could not carry out the assurances that had been given me looking to the elimination of pettifogging tactics and to a friendly effort to settle all American questions on their merits.

He said that he was impressed by the fairness of my statement and promised to take up the whole matter in the Cabinet with a view to securing effective action. I went over several other matters now pending and he has promised to press for favorable settlement. In the meantime he has promised me written assurances of satisfactory treatment for the United States Lines including free use of Bremen as soon as pending economic negotiations with Germany are completed, operations of the United States Lines to continue meantime under previous license. Chief of American section warmly supported my representations. Believe matter has been started in the right direction but we have still to reckon with obstructive minor officials. Discussion friendly and even cordial. Until now the Ministry has sought to evade the question by quibbling as to the exact status of the official who closed the office and by other irrelevant arguments but today there was distinct improvement in atmosphere over last week, clearly due to salutary effect of closing visa section.

  1. Not printed.