740.0011 European War 1939/12508

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

The Polish Ambassador called to see me this morning. The purpose of the Ambassador’s visit was to request this Government to urge the Soviet Government to return to the basis of the Treaty of Riga between Poland and Russia. He said that the statement carried in the press the other day indicating that General Sikorski had announced the conclusion of an understanding with Russia, which would make it possible for Polish nationals to side with the Soviet against Germany, had been premature and consequently highly unfortunate. He said that while he understood that conversations in this regard were being carried on in London, no definite conclusions had been reached and he was most hopeful that this Government, if and when Russia turned to the United States for assistance, would insist that Russia agree to restore to the Polish people that portion of Polish territory which had been occupied by Russia as a result of the partition agreement with Germany.

I stated that the request he made necessarily met with the greatest sympathy on the part of this Government. I said that our views with regard to the matter of a restoration of an independent Poland [Page 238] were well known to him and to the Polish Government and that his request would be borne very much in mind whenever an opportune moment arose for this Government to be useful in connection therewith. I said, however, that up to the present moment, the Russian Government had addressed no communication to this Government and had made no request for assistance. I said that I would be glad to keep the Ambassador informed as to all developments in this regard.

S[umner] W[elles]