Report by the Subcommittee on
P. ( Terminal ) 17.
[ Babelsberg ,] 21st July, 1945.
Draft Statement on the Polish Question, as Submitted by Drafting Committee to Meeting of Foreign Ministers on 21st July 1
Members of the drafting Committee would omit passages in
The United Kingdom members would omit passages in square brackets.
- We have taken note with pleasure of the agreement reached among representative Poles from Poland and abroad which has made possible the formation, in accordance with the decisions reached at the Crimea Conference, of a Polish Provisional Government of National Unity recognised by the Three Powers. The establishment by the British and United States Governments of diplomatic relations with the Polish Provisional Government has resulted in the withdrawal of their recognition from the former Polish Government in London, which no longer exists.
- The British and United States Governments have already taken measures to prevent the alienation to third parties of property [including merchant vessels]2 belonging to the Polish State located on their territory and under their control, whatever the form of this property may be. They are ready to take immediate measures to arrange for the transfer in accordance with the requirements of the law of such property to the Polish Provisional Government. To this end they are prepared to discuss with properly accredited representatives of the Polish Provisional Government the manner and time of such transfer and the question of the liability of the Polish Provisional Government for the credits advanced to the late Polish Government and other outstanding debts and the relation of such advances to any assets of the Polish State available abroad. All proper facilities will be given to the Polish Provisional Government for the exercise of the ordinary legal remedies for the recovery of any property belonging to the Polish State which may have been wrongfully alienated.
- The Three Powers are anxious to assist the Polish Provisional Government in facilitating the return to Poland as soon as practicable of all Poles abroad who wish to go, including members of the Polish armed forces and merchant marine. It is their desire that as [Page 1121] many of these Poles as possible should return home and they consider that the Polish Provisional Government could itself greatly assist in this regard by giving suitable assurances. [They expect] that those Poles who return home shall be accorded personal and property rights on the same basis as all Polish citizens.
- [The British Government will at the same time take measures in order to prevent on British territory and on territories controlled by British authorities arrests of Poles who wish to return to Poland].
- The Three Powers note that the Polish Provisional Government is pledged to the holding of free and unfettered elections as soon as possible on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot in which all democratic and anti-Nazi parties shall have the right to take part and to put forward candidates. It is the confident hope of the Three Powers that the elections will be conducted in such a way as to make it clear to the world that all [democratic and anti-Nazi] sections of Polish opinion have been able to express their views freely, and thus to play their full part in the restoration of the country’s political life. The Three Powers will further expect that representatives of the Allied Press shall enjoy full freedom to report to the world upon developments in Poland before and during the elections.