Moscow Embassy Files

Memorandum by the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman)



Present: The Polish Foreign Minister, Mr. Romer
The American Ambassador, Mr. Harriman

Place: Spaso House

Subject: The Polish Boundary Situation.

Mr. Romer called on me October 16 to discuss the situation generally and to hand me the attached letter from Mr. Mikolajczyk regarding Molotov’s statement about the position the President had taken at Teheran.1

I told Mr. Romer that I preferred to answer Mr. Mikolajczyk’s letter verbally and would be glad to call on him. I explained to him that the President had not agreed to the Curzon Line at Teheran as the boundary between Russia and Poland, in fact the President had made it plain that he did not intend to take any position on the boundary question either privately or publicly. I said further that I could not comment on Mikolajczyk’s account of his talk with the President. I said that I had not taken issue with Mr. Molotov’s statement as I was present at the meeting as an observer, as Mr. Molotov had not referred to me for confirmation, and as the meeting was not the proper place for me to discuss with Mr. Molotov what the President had or had not said at Teheran. I said I personally appreciated the fact that Mikolajczyk had not entered into an argument over the President’s position and I felt that his restraint had been wise in his own interests as well.

I told Mr. Romer that I was convinced Mr. Mikolajczyk would serve his interests best by not repeating Molotov’s statement regarding the President’s position to his associates in London as it would only raise further issue publicly which would lead to difficulties adverse to Polish interests.

Mr. Romer said he believed that Mr. Mikolajczyk would be satisfied with my oral statement to him (Romer) and would not request me to confirm it to him (Mikolajczyk) personally.

I told Romer that I would not discuss with him at all the question of the boundary but on the question of getting together with the Lublin Poles I personally felt that he would never again have as good [Page 205] an opportunity as now, on account of the presence of the Prime Minister and Mr. Eden. As so much depended on the details of how the relationships could be worked out I felt that the Prime Minister and Mr. Eden could be of great assistance to him. If he went home he would find that the relationship between the Poles in Lublin and Moscow would become more and more cemented, bitterness within Poland would be accentuated and nothing but difficulties could be looked forward to. My impression is that Romer sees much more clearly than Mikolajczyk the need for an early solution.


The Prime Minister of the Polish Government in London (Mikolajczyk) to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman)

Mr. Ambassador , I learned with the shock of surprise from Mr. Molotov’s statement at the meeting on October 13th that at the Teheran Conference the representatives of all the three Great Powers had definitely agreed that the so-called Curzon Line should be the frontier between Poland and the Soviet Union.

In this connexion I should like to recall that during the conversations which I had the honour to have with the President in Washington, in June 1944, I was told that only Marshal Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill had agreed on the Curzon Line. In particular, the President indicated that the policy of the U. S. Government was contrary to the settlement of territorial problems before the end of the war. The President said that at the Teheran Conference he had made it clear that he held the view that the Polish-Soviet conflict should not be settled on the basis of the so-called Curzon Line and he assured me that at the appropriate time he would help Poland to retain Lwów, Drohobycz and Tarnopol and to obtain East Prussia, including Koenigsberg, and Silesia. On the other hand, the President expressed the view that Marshal Stalin would not give his consent to the return of Wilno to Poland.

I would be most grateful to you, Mr. Ambassador, if you could help to clear this misunderstanding on a subject of such vital importance to Poland.

Accept, Mr. Ambassador, the expression of my high consideration and esteem.

Stanislaw Mikolajczyk
  1. See supra.