548.G1/30: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Consul General at Hamilton ( Beck )

82. From Long and Atherton for Dodds. Your 113, April 18, 9 p.m. The general plight of refugees was within the full competence of your conference and would include those mentioned or certainly some sections of them, with specific reference to those who were permitted to pass through the Caucasus into Iran. However, the main purpose of the conference was twofold: (a) To consider the plight of those unfortunate persons still within the jurisdiction of Nazi authority and subject to their terrors, and (b) those who had escaped or might escape from territory under their authority but still remaining [Page 154] subject to the danger of being overtaken by Germany and subjected again to persecution.

The particular persons mentioned in your telegram as a matter of fact are not now subject to Nazi persecution and those who continued to evade the Nazi armies are not now subject to Nazi oppression. Consideration of this last mentioned category is closely linked up with political and boundary disputes between the Soviet and Polish Governments25 and is so entwined with those questions that it would not appear that an effective solution of this particular problem can be reached until the political issues involved have been settled.

In this connection it should be borne in mind that the Soviet Government informed the Polish Government on December 1, 194126 that it did not recognize as Polish citizens persons of Ukrainian, White Russian, and Jewish race who resided in eastern Poland up to November 1, 1939, and that the Soviet Government has not only maintained its position in this regard but in a note dated January 16, 194327 informed the Polish Government that since the Poles had put forward a demand in conflict to the sovereign rights of the Soviets in regard to the territories of eastern Poland the Soviet Government no longer recognized the right of persons of Polish race from this area to claim Polish citizenship.

Consequently, a discussion of this question in the conference could hardly lead to a clear recommendation devoid of political implications. And if a discussion is had before the conference and if the delegation will be asked for an affirmative response to an inquiry on that point by the press or interested parties upon the conclusion of the conference, the reply should be very carefully drafted and as brief as possible and reduced to writing. [Long and Atherton.]

Hull
  1. See vol. iii, pp. 314 ff.
  2. For text of communication, see Polish-Soviet Relations, 1918–1943, Official Documents, issued by the Polish Embassy in Washington by authority of the Government of the Republic of Poland, p. 165.
  3. Ibid., p. 170.