The Polish Ambassador ( Potocki ) to the Secretary of State 15

The Ambassador of Poland presents his compliments to the Secretary of State and upon instructions from his Government has the honor to inform him that the Polish Government have just learned that on the territory of Poland temporarily occupied by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics a plebiscite is about to take place with [Page 210] the aim to ascertain the will of the people in regard to the attachment of that territory to the U. S. S. R.16

The Polish Government state already now that the organization of such a plebiscite under military occupation is contrary to international law and that in consequence they will consider it as null and non-existent and that in no case will they recognize its result as having legal force.

No. 49–Sow/SZ–tjn–4
  1. The receipt of this note was acknowledged on October 24, 1939.
  2. On October 23, 1939, an election or plebiscite was held under Soviet auspices in the Polish territory occupied by the Soviet Union to ascertain the will of the population on the question of the transfer of such territory to the Soviet Union. The newly elected National Assemblies of the western Ukraine and western White Russia appealed on October 28, 1939, to the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union for inclusion in the Soviet Union as parts of the adjoining Ukrainian and White Russian Soviet Socialist Republics. By decrees of November 1 and 2, 1939, the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union granted the incorporation requested. This was followed by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Union on November 29, 1939, which made provision for the acquisition of Soviet citizenship by the inhabitants of the incorporated territories. See Republic of Poland, Polish-Soviet Relations, 1918–1943, Official Documents (Washington, n. d.), pp. 102–105; also, telegram No. 826, October 28, 1939, and telegram No. 850, November 2, 1939, from Moscow, Foreign Relations, The Soviet Union, 1933–1939, pp. 785 and 790, respectively.