740.0011 European War 1939/19908: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador to the Polish Government in Exile (Biddle), at London

Polish Series No. 12. Your 18, March 3, 5 p.m.40

We feel strongly that the issuance of the joint declaration along the lines proposed would not be opportune just now and hope that a way may be found to let the project quietly drop without protracted discussions. Although the proposed declaration does not attempt to establish the precise outlines of a post war Europe, it nevertheless goes so far in this direction that a serious discussion of it would be almost certain to accentuate various inherent differences and might even result in the raising of a number of post war problems the consideration and disposition of which at this time would tend to distract the United Nations from their primary task of winning the war.
Unless you perceive some objection thereto it is, therefore, suggested that you immediately inform Sikorski that your Government is firmly of the opinion that the proposal should be quietly shelved with as little further discussion of it as possible. You should make it clear to Sikorski, and in your discretion to Cripps41 as well, that the views of your Government are not based upon any disagreement with the principles enunciated in the proposed declaration but by its conviction that at the present stage the unity of effort of the United Nations might be better preserved and more effectively utilized if we continue to take our stand upon the principles of the Atlantic Charter. We feel sure that you will be able to handle this delicate matter in such a manner that the interested Governments will understand that our [Page 117] attitude is not prompted by any lack of sympathy or understanding on our part.
Please keep us fully informed regarding your conversations on this subject so that we may be able to supplement your remarks in our talks with Sikorski should the matter arise during the course of his coming visit.
  1. Not printed; but see footnote 34, p. 113.
  2. Sir Stafford Cripps, Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons in the British War Cabinet as reconstituted in February 1942.