The Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs (Beck) to the American Ambassador in Poland (Biddle)10

No. P.II.SZ.82/1/38

Mr. Ambassador: On August 17, 1937, His Excellency the Secretary of State, Mr. Cordell Hull, handed a note to the Chargé d’Affaires a. i. of Poland, in which he presented in detail the point of view of the United States Government concerning negotiations aiming at a commercial convention between our two countries.

The Polish Government has carefully examined the suggestions of the United States Government contained in the above mentioned note, and it has the honor to reply to that note as follows:

As concerns the system mentioned in the beginning of the note and applied in Poland in the field of the regulation of imports, the Polish Government, after a detailed examination of this problem, has the honor to inform that a modification of the system according to the principles suggested by His Excellency the Secretary of State, Mr. Hull, would not conform with the principles of Polish commercial policy, the Polish Government would, nevertheless, be willing to facilitate the realization of an agreement as concerns the basic problem. Following this principle the Polish Government suggests that a provision be made in the proposed convention between the two countries, which would permit the correlation between the amount of American imports to Poland and the capacity of absorption of the Polish market for the import of various products at appropriate periods. It is in this spirit that the Polish Government would authorize its delegation to work out in common the technical details of an eventual agreement.

As concerns the problems of sanitary clauses which were brought up during the sojourn in Washington of Mr. Sokolowski, the Under Secretary of State in the Polish Ministry of Industry and Commerce, and which have again been raised in the above mentioned note, the Polish Government wishes to express its great satisfaction at the willingness of the United States Government to regulate this matter in accordance with the proposals considered; it is understood that the final details will be worked out in the course of direct negotiations.

The Polish Government welcomes with satisfaction the understanding which the United States Government has shown for the special [Page 534] character of the interests existing between Poland and the Baltic countries, based on the “Baltic clause”; the Polish Government awaits therefore a final favorable decision of the United States Government in this respect.

In regard to the proposition made by Mr. Sokolowski concerning the “anti-dumping” question and the “countervailing duties”, the Polish Government feels that this question, to the positive solution of which it attaches a particular importance, could, prior to negotiations, be the object of a favorable examination on the part of the United States Department of Finance. A favorable attitude of the Department of Finance in this matter would constitute an element enabling the Polish Government to arrive at a positive decision with regard to negotiations as a whole. The viewpoints expressed by Mr. Sokolowski and the wishes which he has expressed, although they refer to the interpretation of Federal laws, concern one of the essential problems of the regulation of Polish exports to the United States.

The Polish Government has the honor to take note of the results of the examination, which has taken place so far, of the lists of articles, and it feels that in the course of direct negotiations the Polish delegation will be able to supply additional explanations as concerns various particular points. This will no doubt facilitate to the United States Government the adoption of a more favorable attitude in regard to points in which, according to the note of August 17, 1937, it appeared difficult to satisfy Polish demands.

At the same time the Polish Government would appreciate it if it could obtain from the United States Government with the shortest possible delay the wishes of the United States Government in customs matters in order to be able to examine their scope with care.

In the hope that the foregoing will contribute to a further rapprochement of the viewpoints of both Governments on matters which are to be the object of future negotiations, the Polish Government desires to receive at the earliest possible date the opinion of the United States Government as concerns the possibility of commencing commercial negotiations between our two friendly countries as well as the eventual date thereof. On its part the Polish Government is ready to start these negotiations beginning in the month of April 1938.

With reference to the last paragraph of the note of the United States Government, the Polish Government is ready to insure the confidential character of the note of August 17, 1937, and on its part has the honor to request that the propositions contained in the present note be treated confidentially.

Please accept [etc.]

[Page 535]

[There was some further inconclusive discussion during 1938 and 1939 between the American and Polish Governments regarding the opening of negotiations for a trade agreement. These discussions were discontinued after the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939.]

  1. Copy transmitted to the Department by the Ambassador in his despatch No. 308, January 15, 1938; received January 25.
  2. File translation revised by the editors.