124.60c/7–2445: Telegram

No. 1139
The Appointed Ambassador to Poland (Lane) to the Acting Secretary of State1

secret
niact

4463. From Lane.

In view delay obtaining for our Embassy to Poland Soviet clearance across Soviet occupied zone in Germany en route Warsaw, it is pertinent to summarize steps taken:

July 6 I inquired of Ambassador Murphy Frankfort whether Marshal Zhukov would clear passage of group provided information furnished re route to be traveled, names persons in party and numbers of passports. Arrangements with US military for three airplanes having been made July 18 Frankfort was requested that date to obtain Soviet clearance over Soviet controlled territory. Altho we understood Zhukov’s HQs had on July 21 given Murphy’s office reason to anticipate receipt that same day of a note granting permission such permission was not rec’d. It was therefore necessary to cancel at 9 a.m. July 22 plans for departure on 23rd as US military authorities Berlin require 24 hours notice of flight Paris Berlin.

Permission was then requested to cross Soviet controlled territory on July 26 which should have given sufficient additional time for action by Soviet authorities and would also have enabled advance notice to be given to Polish Govt for our reception in Warsaw and to US military to have our planes in readiness. Permission still not having been rec’d we have been obliged again to postpone departure for Warsaw and to set July 30 as tentative departure date.

Obstructionist Soviet tactics recall similar measures towards our missions in Rumania and Bulgaria and especially refusal for months to permit Embassy to Zecho to proceed thru Rumania on ground of military security. Even this fictional argument does not obtain in case of Embassy to Poland in view end European war. Furthermore, Soviet Govt has direct obligation thru Yalta decision to permit American Embassy to report on conditions in Poland. Fact that [Page 1132]British Chargé already arrived Warsaw great interest in US re conditions Poland and specifically re holding elections will undoubtedly create unfavorable public reaction unless immediate steps taken to grant our request. It will be recalled that Mr. Hopkins, in his conversations with Stalin last May,2 emphasized deterioration of public opinion in US towards Soviet Union as result of Polish question and had explained that this was principal reason for Mr. Hopkins going to Moscow and that this was principal cause of anxiety at that time. (Sent Dept; rptd Frankfort for Berlin as 53 for attention Secretary State and Moscow 207.)

I therefore recommend that the Secretary consider desirability of taking up this matter in Berlin on highest level.

  1. Sent over the signature of Caffery. The same message was sent directly to the Office of the Political Adviser at Frankfurt for transmittal to the United States Delegation at Babelsberg.
  2. See vol. i, p. 27.