660c. 11212/34

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

No. 1752

Sir: Adverting to the Department’s telegraphic Instruction No. 29 of April 17, 7 P.M.,1 relative to American indirect shipments into Poland, I now have the honor to transmit herewith a memorandum of a conversation between myself and Mr. Allen on the one hand, and Mr. Kwiatkowski, Minister of Industry and Commerce, and Mr. Dolezal, Vice Minister, on the other. The Department will find the memorandum in question self-explanatory.

I shall have the honor to keep the Department informed of the results of any future conversations which I may have with Mr. Kwiatkowski on the subject.

I have [etc.]

John B. Stetson, Jr.
[Enclosure]

Memorandum of a Conversation Between the American Minister in Poland (Stetson), the American Commercial Attaché (Allen), and Certain Officials of the Polish Ministry of Industry and Commerce, May 17, 1928

Mr. Stetson announced his desire to open the old question of a trade treaty with the United States, sketching the course the negotiations had taken during the past two years.2 He explained that the American Legation in Warsaw had for some time refrained from any initiative in the matter, at the express request of Mr. Ciechanowski, the Polish Minister in Washington. A recent visit to the United States had, however, given Mr. Stetson an opportunity of talking with Mr. Ciechanowski and of conferring with the Department of State, [Page 925]whereupon it was deemed advisable for Mr. Stetson to solicit an opinion from the competent Polish officials in Warsaw as to whether the present might not be a favorable time to define and discuss any differences in point of view which it may be necessary to resolve before a commercial treaty between the United States and Poland can be concluded.

Mr. Kwiatkowski replied that far from looking upon the question as old, he was inclined to view it as a new one, because the Poland of today was far different from the Poland of the time when the subject first came up. He expressed himself as most cordial to the suggestion of the American Minister and eager to facilitate discussions in whatever way he could. He emphasized his hope that practical aspects would characterize any discussions which might take place to the exclusion of academic or theoretical considerations.

After acknowledging his pleasure at meeting an attitude of mind so receptive, Mr. Stetson took occasion to allude to the Polish-German commercial treaty negotiations. He had observed an opinion during his trip abroad, doubtless deliberately inspired, that failure of the two parties to agree in spite of repeated attempts was an incurable disposition on the part of the Poles which rendered reasonable dealing with them impossible. If, in the face of such propaganda, Poland might now speedily negotiate a trade treaty with the United States, she would furnish a most effective denial to these damaging insinuations of third parties, and at the same time, further fortify the country’s good reputation abroad.

Mr. Kwiatkowski’s reply showed that he was deeply impressed by this thought.

Mr. Stetson continued that he would be glad to begin work as early as officials from the Polish side might find it convenient and wondered whether the Polish Government was ready to discuss objections it found to American proposals already advanced.

Mr. Kwiatkowski said that the matter would first be considered by a special commission who could make a report to him in about two weeks. After studying the report, he would be pleased to confer again with Mr. Stetson with a view to arranging for appropriate exchange of opinions and full consideration of the problem. Here Mr. Kwiatkowski digressed into some affable but sincere remarks about American co-operation with Poland, the substance of which was that in effective benefits and absence of friction, the results already visible of American participation in Polish affairs was truly astounding and exceeded anything that could possibly have been imagined a few years ago. Digressing even further, Mr. Kwiatkowski referred to his joy and pride, the harbor of Gdynia, and asked whether Mr. Stetson had seen it lately. It so happened that Mr. Stetson had just returned from a [Page 926]trip which included a visit to Gdynia and was able to make several remarks concerning the accomplishment of the project which were highly pleasing to Mr. Kwiatkowski.

In taking leave, Mr. Stetson offered any assistance to the Commission he could render which might ease their immediate task.

  1. Not printed.
  2. On August 31, 1925, the Department submitted to the Polish Legation a draft commercial treaty similar to the treaty between the United States and Germany signed December 8, 1923, Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. ii, p. 29. The records of the intermittent negotiations following the submission of the draft are not printed.