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

No. 1324

Sir: With reference to my despatch No. 1264 of August 31, 1936, with which was enclosed a copy of the Aide-Mémoire which I left with the Minister for Foreign Affairs when I called on him on August 29 to protest,28 in accordance with your telegram No. 51, August 26, against the harsh treatment accorded to American citizens who had been arrested in Poland in connection with the enforcement of the Polish foreign currency regulations, I have the honor to report that the Embassy has now received a communication dated October 9, 1936, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in reply to my representations to Colonel Beck. A copy and translation of the Ministry’s communication are enclosed herewith.

It will be noted that the Ministry’s communication is in several respects not responsive to my Aide-Mémoire. While the Ministry expresses [Page 413] regret at the treatment of American citizens in connection with the foreign exchange regulations, this regret is modified by the statement that some Americans, through attempts to mislead the customs officials, have clearly violated the Polish regulations. In spite of the fact that I requested from the Minister a statement in writing setting forth the manner in which the Polish Government intends in the future to enforce the foreign currency regulations with respect to American citizens,* the communication from the Ministry merely states that the Polish Government has taken steps to inform foreigners coming to Poland of the Foreign currency regulations.

It will be recalled that the memorandum29 attached to my Aide-Mémoire of August 29 dealt with the cases of Mina Galewska, Gitele Leifer, Max Bartfield, and Fanny Silberberg, who were the only Americans being detained in Poland on the date in question as far as the Embassy was aware. Very probably the Ministry of Foreign Affairs delayed its reply until these four cases had been settled. The Embassy knows of no American citizens who are at present being detained in Poland on charges of having violated the Polish foreign currency regulations.

Respectfully yours,

Orsen N. Nielsen

The Polish Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the American Embassy

No. P. II. SZ/21/13/36

Note Verbale

On August 29, last, the Chargé d’Affaires a. i. of the United States of America was good enough to leave with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs an Aide-Mémoire of the same date, through which the Embassy of the United States invited the attention of this Ministry to the treatment to which American citizens traveling in Poland had been subjected as a result of the new regulations concerning the control of foreign currencies. While regretting the circumstances under which the above-mentioned regulations have been applied to certain American citizens, such as those mentioned in the memorandum attached to the said Aide-Mémoire, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that in a number of cases some American travelers have clearly violated the regulations of the law of April 27, 1936, by trying to mislead the customs officials.

[Page 414]

Under these conditions the Polish officials charged with the execution of the regulations in question believed themselves obliged to increase their watchfulness during the exercise of their duty.

At the same time the Ministry of Foreign Affairs desires to inform the Embassy that the Polish Government has taken the necessary measures in order that the foreign travelers coming to Poland may be duly informed by the Polish Consulates, as well as by the frontier authorities, of the regulations issued by this Government concerning; the control of foreign currencies.

Finally, referring to numerous telephone conversations with the Embassy of the United States, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to emphasize that the four cases indicated in the memorandum attached to the Aide-Mémoire of August 29, last, have been definitely settled.

  1. Not printed; for report of representations, see telegram No. 83, August 29, 7 p.m., from the Chargé in Poland, p. 409.
  2. subsequently reminded the Director of the Western Department and the Chief of the Anglo-Saxon Section of the Foreign Office that the American Government awaited with interest the receipt of this statement. [Footnote in the original.]
  3. Not printed.