860c.01/7–2345: Telegram

No. 1135
The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Acting Secretary of State 1

7421. We were given following information at FonOff (Foreign Office) today by official directly concerned Polish affairs.

Agreement between British Treasury and former Polish Govt covers only leases on UK property. We were shown annex today which enumerates approximately 50 leases. (Re Department’s telegram 6019, July 212)
We were also shown draft of circular instruction which FonOff is sending out to British missions abroad re liquidation Polish diplomatic and consular establishments. These establishments will be assimilated into British missions as sections charged with administering relief and other social benefits such as disbursing funds for maintenance refugee camps and children’s hostels. Former Polish Govt submitted to FonOff list of diplomatic and consular offices broken down into three categories depending on character of work transacted. As re category A offices former Polish Govt recommended that all personnel be retained since they perform relief work almost exclusively. (Repeated to Moscow as 261) For category B offices former Polish Govt recommended reduction 50% in staffs. Category C comprises for most part diplomatic missions and former Polish Govt recommended retention of from 1 to 3 persons per office to serve as caretakers. FonOff circular asks for comment from British missions on proposed liquidation scheme for Polish Foreign Service and warns British missions not to permit Polish Foreign Service establishments after absorption to act in diplomatic or consular capacities. Circular also warns British missions not to allow officials Polish Govt Warsaw to assume control of or participate in affairs of diplomatic or consular establishments or [of?] former London Polish Govt until FonOff has negotiated with Warsaw Govt agreement covering final disposition or liquidation of such establishments.
The list of Polish diplomatic and consular offices given to FonOff did not cover such offices in US, Latin America or France. Diplomatic [Page 1128] and consular offices former London Polish Govt in US and Latin America according to FonOff official appear to be maintained by dollar remittances and French offices by French subsidies. Official stated in this connection that FonOff would like to have any information available re finances of Polish diplomatic and consular offices in US and Latin America.
British Embassy Warsaw has reported to FonOff that Communists are pressing for early elections in Poland but that Mikołajczyk is resisting in hope of achieving postponement until Oct or later when Red Army will presumably have withdrawn from Poland.
There have been some encouraging indications that larger numbers of Poles than was previously thought likely may return to Poland. British Govt does not wish to have direct question on return put to Polish military now serving abroad since it feels that replies at moment might be largely in negative and might prejudice future positions of many individuals. Emissaries from Polish Govt Warsaw have been propagandizing civilian and military officials in western Europe quite effectively however and a number have thus far voluntarily indicated desire to return Poland. British military authorities are trying to segregate Polish troops which indicate willingness to return. No estimates are available thus far as to numbers involved.
  1. The gist of this message was included in telegram No. 126 of July 25 from Grew to Byrnes (file No. 800.00 Summaries/7–2545).
  2. Document No. 1128.