360C.1121/6: Telegram

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

83. When the Minister of Foreign Affairs received me at his residence this afternoon I complied with the instructions contained in your 51, August 26, 5 p.m. and in the first non-confidential paragraph of your 53, August 26, 7 p.m.21 I gave him some details of certain cases, among them Atkinson and Nordegg22 and I expressed the earnest hope that the Polish Government would take effective measures to make impossible in the future similar harsh treatment of American citizens accused of violations of the exchange regulations.

The Minister said that although he is not familiar with the details of the several cases, he desired to express in advance his regret for any harsh treatment that Americans had received. He pointed out that the Polish officials at border points on heavily travelled routes have more experience in administering the regulations and normally exercise more discretion than similiar officials at obscure points. He stated that prior to the démarche made today by the Embassy his Ministry had taken up with the Prime Minister the matter of the treatment accorded travellers alleged to have violated the exchange regulations and had requested him to instruct the Ministries of the Interior and of Justice to take action that would remedy the situation. I here suggested that the source of the difficulties encountered by these travellers is the failure of local functionaries of the Ministry of Finance to distinguish between actual smuggling and other forms of violation of the regulation.

The Minister said, in conclusion, that he would make a careful study of the aide-mémoire23 which I left with him and that he then would take steps designed to rectify the situation, adding that his Government did not desire to inflict hardship on any Americans.

  1. Latter not printed.
  2. Sonia (Mrs. Martin) Nordegg was arrested at Rawicz on August 14, 1936 for violation of the Polish exchange regulations. Following American intercession, she was released on bail on August 18; and her passport was restored to her on August 25. (360c. 1121/10, 13)
  3. Not printed.