The Under Secretary of State ( Welles ) to President Roosevelt

My Dear Mr. President: The Polish Acting Foreign Minister, Count Edward Raczyński, called upon me yesterday, in the company of the Polish Ambassador. He left with me a letter addressed to you, which I am enclosing herewith.15

Count Raczyński also left with me a summary of the subjects to be submitted to you by himself, at the request of General Sikorski, as soon as you have the opportunity of receiving him. I am likewise transmitting this summary herewith.16

The financial assistance requested would seem to me to constitute a legitimate request on the part of the Polish Government under present conditions.

The main request, however, as mentioned in this summary, and the one to which I believe the Polish Government at present attaches the greatest importance, is the request in which this Government is Asked to interpose its good offices with the Soviet Government in the interest of Poland. This request involves the very urgent and fundamental problem now under discussion between ourselves and the British Government—namely, the war aims of the Soviet Union in connection with the restoration of its 1941 boundary.

I believe you may wish to tell Count Raczyński that this problem is one which you will take under consideration, without making any immediate commitment thereon.

I venture to make this suggestion because of my belief that until you have reached a final agreement with the British Government as to the policy to be adopted with regard to the Soviet Government, you would not wish to give the Polish Government any indication of what your definitive attitude may be.

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I am attaching herewith a statement which Count Raczyński urged be made at the White House after you had received him.17 I told him I would submit it to you for your consideration.

I hope you will tell him that at this stage you think it unnecessary to make any statement. I feel it would be unwise, because of our relations with the Soviet Union, to say at this time that the United States Government is determined “not to recognize any accomplished facts created under military occupation or armed pressure”. If you refer at this time solely to the restoration of the independence of one state, that statement might be construed by other countries bordering upon the Soviet Union as implying a disregard by this Government of their own aspirations. Our general policy has been laid down clearly in the Atlantic Charter18 and I do not believe that it is necessary for us, at this stage, to say anything further.19

Believe me [etc.]

Sumner Welles
  1. Not printed.
  2. Not attached to file copy.
  3. The proposed statement reads: “The President assured Count Raczyński that the U. S. Government fully maintains its resolve not to recognize any accomplished facts created under military occupation or armed pressure, and, that the restoration of an independent and sovereign Polish State remains one of the most important aims of this war.”
  4. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, p. 367. For correspondence on the Atlantic Conference meeting between the President and British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, see ibid., pp. 341 ff.
  5. Attached to this letter is a memorandum of February 27, from the Under Secretary to the Acting Chief of the Division of European Affairs, Ray Atherton, which states: “The President handed me back today the attached papers which I had left with him on February 19. I think I have already told you that the President approved the suggestions made in my covering letter and I, therefore, suggest that you go ahead upon that basis.”