The Chargé in Poland (Benton) to the Secretary of State

No. 2594

Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Department’s Instructions Nos. 873 and 1026 of December 1, 192846 and May 13, 1929,47 respectively, [Page 476] and to my despatch No. 2180 of February 25, 1929,48 relative to negotiations between this Legation and the Polish Government for the conclusion of a Treaty of Naturalization.

Prior to his departure from Warsaw, Mr. Stetson49 engaged in various conversations with the then Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Juljusz Łukasiewicz, and with General Piskor, Chief of the General Staff, relative to the proposed agreement. At the time, Mr. Stetson pointed out, as I did in my Note 1309 of January 8, 192948 (copy of which was enclosed with my despatch referred to above), as well as in the conversations which I had with Polish officials, that we desired two things—namely, (1) an expression of their views with regard to the Treaty itself, and (2), pending the definite conclusion of the Treaty, an informal agreement which would make it possible for persons born in the United States of Polish parents, as well as those naturalized in the United States, to visit temporarily in Poland without fear of being punished for the failure to perform military service.

With regard to the Treaty itself, I beg to transmit herewith copy of an informal note, dated August 14, 1929, from Mr. Łukasiewicz to Mr. Stetson48 with which the former encloses what he describes as an “unbinding draft” of the proposed treaty. An English translation of the draft is also attached. Mr. Łukasiewicz’s “unbinding draft” should not be considered as a draft treaty, but merely as an expression of the point of view of the Polish Government to form a basis for discussion.

With regard to the informal agreement which the Department is anxious shall be reached with the Polish Government as soon as possible, I beg to state that from conversations between Mr. Stetson and Mr. Łukasiewicz it would appear that the Polish Government is now prepared to effect such an agreement by an exchange of notes. Before he left Warsaw Mr. Stetson drafted a note which I now have every reason to believe that the Polish Government will accept as a basis of exchange. The Department will note that while the Polish Government is willing to agree that persons born in the United States of Polish parents, as well as those naturalized there, may visit in Poland temporarily without fear of being punished, they insist that an exception be made of those Poles who leave Poland subsequent to having received a call to military service without, of course, first securing permission from the Ministry of War.

For the information of the Department, I enclose a draft copy of the note48 which, if agreeable to the Department, I propose to forward to the Polish Foreign Office in return for a similarly worded note from them. While there may of course be a few minor changes in phraseology [Page 477] so as to conform to Polish views, i believe the draft as submitted will meet the approval of the Polish Foreign Office and that an informal agreement on that basis can be speedily reached. I should appreciate the Department’s approval by telegraph of my proposed action.

I have [etc.]

J. Webb Benton
  1. See instruction No. 2993, December 1, 1928, to the Ambassador in France, Foreign Relations, 1928, vol. i, p. 499.
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  4. John B. Stetson, Jr., Minister in Poland, 1925–1930.
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