762.94/279: Telegram

The Ambassador in Japan (Grew) to the Secretary of State

80. Our telegram No. 73, February 8, 4 p.m.

The Counselor of the Polish Embassy has supplied us, in the strictest confidence, with the following information which throws some interesting light on the attitude of his Government toward the subject of the negotiations discussed in our telegram under reference:
About 2 weeks ago he was called to the Japanese Foreign Office by the Director of the European and Asiatic Bureau and asked to explain the reluctance of the Polish Government to adhere to the Anti-Comintern Pact. The Director expressed confidence that Germany would shortly move toward the Ukraine and he said that the interests of Poland required that she be definitely aligned with Germany and her friends when Germany so moved. The Counselor replied that Colonel Beck,15 in the course of his recent conversation with Hitler, had made clear Poland’s determination to enter neither ideological camp and to pursue a foreign policy calculated to serve her own interests alone, and that this expression of Polish attitude had been received by Hitler with much satisfaction. The Polish Government was impressed by (a) the failure of multilateral treaties as instruments of peace, and by (b) the impossibility of foreseeing the ends to which such treaties might be put. In line with the attitude defined by Beck to Hitler and with its views with regard to multilateral treaties in general, the Polish Government would not adhere to the Anti-Comintern Pact or any other multilateral treaty.
The Counselor explained to us that his Government has a specific reason for not adhering to the Anti-Comintern Pact even in its present form. If Poland were to adhere, she would be, as he put it, “merely a tail to a kite”: She would have no voice in the councils of the Anti-Comintern Powers and would probably be dragged against her will into various expansionist adventures, Poland herself being substantially satisfied in respect of the territory she now has. He thought that it would be the height of folly for his Government to become associated with either the Democratic or Fascist camps, and he felt confident that Poland would not move in either direction.
The Counselor’s speculative discussion with regard to the negotiations now taking place between Japan, Germany, and Italy was substantially along the lines of paragraphs 1 and 2 of our telegram under reference.
I urgently request that in any distribution outside the Department of the information contained in this telegram no reference be made to the source thereof.
  1. Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs.