740.00116 European War 1939/24

The Polish Ambassador (Potocki) to the Secretary of State


Sir: Upon instructions of my Government I have the honor to request your good offices in transmitting to the President the following reply of the Polish Government to his message of this morning.

The text of the reply is as follows:

“The Polish Government acknowledge with thanks President Roosevelt’s telegram regarding bombing from the air of civilians in unfortified centers of population during war. They entirely agree with the principles expressed and with the feelings which inspire them. It is with these principles in mind that the supreme military authorities in Poland issued formal orders to refrain in the event of war from the bombardment of open towns and from such similar action as would be of direct danger to the civilian population. Unfortunately Poland [Page 545] whose territory has been since this early morning the object of unprovoked aggression by German forces has already been the victim of several attacks by air. The reported losses in civilian population render it doubtful as to whether the opposing side is respecting the rules to which the President refers. These rules which are the outcome of natural human feelings remain in force on condition and on the understanding that they will be also scrupulously observed by the opposing party.”

Accept [etc.]

Jerzy Potocki