Mikołajczyk Papers

No. 1386
Memorandum by the Polish Deputy Prime Minister ( Mikołajczyk )1


Economic Conference With the American Delegation (Messrs. Clayton, Collado, Murphy, Despres, and Dunn on the American Side; Mikołajczyk, Rzymowski, and Modzelewski on Our Side) Held on July 25, 1945, at Babelsberg

Mr. Clayton informs us that, on the basis of a telegram received from Mr. Harriman,2 he has made arrangements for 1,000 military-motor vehicles to be sent to us, and that by now they are probably on the way.3

Mr. Murphy states that in addition we shall get six sedans.

In reply to a question asked by Mr. Clayton, the United States Representative to UNRRA, as to whether the UNRRA delegation had already arrived in Poland and whether we had received any UNRRA deliveries, Mr. Gomułka replies and stresses the problem of increased UNRRA deliveries which are necessary for Poland, particularly the problem of fats and oils. We shall need help for some time to come, and Mr. Gomułka points out that livestock has been destroyed, and he gives the approximate figures.

Mr. Clayton is particularly interested in the question of how long we shall need help from UNRRA and whether we have enough flour to feed the population.

Mr. Gomułka states that with regard to grains we shall not feel any shortages unless the crops do not turn out in the future as expected, and he stresses again the problem of fats and oils.

Mr. Clayton answers that the shortage of fats and oils is felt everywhere in the world, even in the United States, where the supply is about 10% short. Then he asks whether we applied for a loan from the United States for needed reconstruction of the country, as was done by Norway and Denmark. The United States expects a large number of such applications in the very near future. The United States Government wants to orient itself with regard to the total world requirements for loans for reconstruction so that it may grant credits in the proper ratio. Therefore he asks whether the Polish Government has prepared any figures on losses and on credit requirements.

[Page 1526]

Mr. Gomułka answers that we do not yet have any exact figures, but that the damages amount roughly to 20 billion in gold. First comes the problem of the reconstruction of ports. Mr. Gomułka asks about the technicalities involved in getting a loan (applications, banks, etc.).

Mr. Clayton explains that the loan will be granted by the United States Export–Import Bank. The Bretton Woods International Bank4 is still being organized and presumably will not begin to function for about a year.

Mr. Mikołajczyk brings up the question of designating a representative of the Polish Government to UNRRA. Heretofore the representative has been Mr. Kwapiński, who acted on behalf of the émigré London Government and who has now been recalled.

Mr. Dunn asks that a mission be designated to act on behalf of the Government of National Unity and that the names be given at Potsdam or through the American Ambassador at Warsaw.5

Mr. Mikołajczyk then brings up the problem of livestock in Poland, which was decimated by the occupation forces. This problem is connected with the question of fats and oils. If we do not get a sufficient amount of fats and oils from UNRRA, we shall be forced to reduce still further the already depleted livestock, which will have catastrophic consequences for agriculture. It would be desirable to obtain a certain number of cattle for breeding purposes from the United States.

Mr. Clayton explains that at this time there are not many cattle in the United States either, but that they could sell us a small number of breeding cattle. (In Washington beef can be obtained only once a month.)

Mr. Gomułka asks under what conditions and in what amount we could get a reconstruction loan from the Export–Import Bank.

Mr. Clayton points out that he would have to know what goods we need.

Mr. Gomułka mentions material for the reconstruction of ports, and in the first place for the reconstruction of highways and railroads. In answer to a question by Mr. Harriman, as to how many automobiles we have now, Mr. Gomułka states that the number is ridiculously small (10,000, including motorcycles, and even this small number of machines is in a deplorable condition and in constant need of repair).

Mr. Clayton asks whether we have sufficient production of steel to rebuild bridges, docks, etc.

[Page 1527]

Mr. Gomułka states that for our present opportunities our production is sufficient, but that our internal production will not cover the needs when the reconstruction of Poland proceeds farther.

Mr. Mikołajczyk points out the increasing needs in the future in connection with the reconstruction of Warsaw, and Mr. Modzelewski stresses the shortages of metallurgical establishments, rolling mills, etc.

Mr. Harriman is interested in our figures for the production of steel, particularly in the western areas which we have claimed.

Mr. Clayton inquires whether we shall need technical assistance for reconstruction, such as technicians, engineers, etc.

Mr. Gomułka thinks that we shall be informed as to the situation in this respect only after the return of our émigrés and our technicians from abroad, where we have a large number of them. He estimates in general, however, that we shall need that kind of assistance.

Mr. Gomułka states, in answer to a suggestion by Mr. Harriman, that with regard to agricultural machinery we shall need primarily tractors and combines.

Mr. Clayton inquires then about the technical condition of our textile production, particularly in Łódź.

Mr. Gomułka explains that the textile industry in Poland is not in bad shape and that it works, but that we shall need machinery in the future. In answer to a question by Mr. Harriman about raw material, Mr. Gomułka states that we shall import cotton from the Soviet Union, with which we have suitable agreements,6 but that obviously possible deliveries of that raw material from the United States can be the subject of a commercial agreement between Poland and the United States. As to the entire textile industry, Mr. Gomułka points out that we have received a large number of German plants, so that our total textile production will exceed the prewar figures.

Mr. Clayton asks us to prepare a memorandum in which we would specify what kind of goods we need from the United States. The first part of the memorandum should indicate items which are most urgently needed, i. e., needed in the course of the first year (1946), and the second part should indicate goods necessary for later objectives. Mr. Clayton also advises us to assign to our future Embassy at Washington an experienced specialist in economic affairs who would be well acquainted with the economic and present needs of our country. At the beginning it should be only one person attached to the Embassy and only later on, when the relations between the two countries have developed, should it be a special economic mission.

  1. Cf. ante, p. 403.
  2. Document No. 522, printed in vol. i .
  3. Cf. document No. 1156.
  4. i. e., the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which had its origin in proposals formulated at the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference held at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, July 1–22, 1944.
  5. Arthur Bliss Lane.
  6. See ante, p. 406, footnote 3.