Hiss Collection

United States Delegation Memorandum1

Concrete Proposals on the Polish Question

Territorial Problems

We should make every effort to obtain agreement for a Polish frontier in the east which should run along the Curzon Line in the north and central section, and in the southern section should follow generally the eastern frontier line of the Lwow Province. This would give to Poland the Polish city of Lwow and the economically important oil fields. This frontier would correspond generally with one of the suggested frontiers proposed in 1919 to the Supreme Allied Council.

In regard to German territory to be turned over to Poland, we should make every effort to limit this compensation to East Prussia (except Koenigsberg), a small salient of Pomerania, which would include an area about one hundred miles west along the Baltic coast to the Polish Corridor and Upper Silesia.

If we are unable to obtain Lwow Province for Poland, and if efforts are made to obtain greater compensation for Poland in the west, we should make every effort to keep this compensation to a minimum particularly because of the large population transfers which would have to be carried out if these purely German areas are included in Poland. We should resist vigorously efforts to extend the Polish frontier to the Oder Line or the Oder-Neisse Line.

Political Problems

The problem here involves the future independence of the Polish State. The Lublin Government in its present form cannot be regarded as representative of the Polish people. For this reason without violation of our commitments to the Polish people and without causing the most serious repercussions in American public opinion, we cannot transfer our recognition from the London Government to the Lublin Government. We must make every effort to resolve the question of the creation of a new interim Polish Government of national unity which should be composed of representative members of all important Polish political parties. This new interim government should not be in the form of an amalgamation of the Polish Government in London and of the Lublin Government. The first step in the direction of such a solution might be an agreement at this meeting to set up a Presidential Council which would be charged by the three powers (four if France would be included) with appointment [Page 511] of an interim Polish Government composed of the representatives of leading Polish political parties. This Presidential Council might be composed of Bierut, the present head of the Lublin Government, and a small number of Poles from inside Poland taken from the following list: Bishop Sapieha of Cracow, Vincente Witos—one of the leaders of the Polish Peasant Party and a former Prime Minister, Zulowski [ Zulawski ], a Socialist leader, Bishop Lukomski, Professor Buyak [ Bujak ], and Professor Kutzeba [ Kutrzeba).

This Presidential Council would be commissioned by the three or four powers possibly acting through the medium of the proposed Emergency High Commission or by agreement among themselves to form an interim government which would be pledged to the holding of free elections when conditions inside Poland permit. The High Commission or other Allied instrument would assume responsibility for seeing that the Presidential Council selected an interim government based on a fair representation of Polish political parties and also that the interim government would carry out its pledge to hold free elections as soon as conditions permit.

Among the representatives of the Polish political parties making up this government would, of course, be certain present members of the Lublin Government as well as Poles from abroad, in particular Mikolajczyk.

  1. The source paper is a carbon copy which bears no date and no indication of authorship. Its phraseology, however, reflects the outline of the proposed “note” to Roosevelt regarding Poland, to the preparation of which Stettinius agreed at the meeting of the Foreign Secretaries on February 1, 1945 (ante, p. 500).