840.50 UNRRA/1–1645

Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs ( Durbrow ) to the Adviser, War Areas Economic Division ( Gilpatric )

Mr. Gilpatric: While we agree that we should not interfere with UNRRA’s drafting,2 as it has in the past, its own instructions, we should at least in an informal way as members of UNRRA try to avoid, by talking to our representatives on UNRRA, that organization from taking steps which would cause political complications or go contrary to the announced policy of the United States Government.

In this particular case, the Polish Government in London3 is the Polish organization represented on UNRRA and not the Soviet-sponsored Lublin Committee.4

It would seem to be advisable to follow somewhat the British line in this matter and indicate to UNRRA that we do not feel that it would be politically advisable for it to enter into a formal detailed agreement here in Washington or in London with the Lublin Government.5 There is no question but that the UNRRA delegation will have to work with and cooperate with the Lublin Government on the spot and the Polish Government-in-exile has given its consent to this procedure as the only practical way to get relief supplies to Poland under neutral or United Nations supervision. We should, consequently, indicate to UNRRA that there would be no objection to the head of the UNRRA delegation making any kind of an agreement he wants to on the spot but not here before he leaves.

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Incidentally, it may be of interest, if you did not see it, that last week there was published in the Chicago Daily News a Moscow dispatch indicating that the reason UNRRA had not been able to send supplies to Poland was due to the opposition of the Polish Government-in-exile and particularly the Polish Ambassador here;6 an inspired story about as far from the truth as we could find. It might be followed up later in order to give the impression that the USSR is all set but that the London Poles and ourselves won’t act while as you know the only holdup is Soviet permission for visas and shipping procedures.7

Elbridge Durbrow
  1. Reference here is to a statement to this effect made in a memorandum by-Mr. Gilpatric to Mr. Durbrow, January 8, 1945 (840.50 UNRRA/1–1645).
  2. Polish Government in Exile. On the general question of recognition of a Polish Provisional Government of National Unity, see vol. v, pp. 110 ff.; also Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. i, pp. 714789, and vol. ii, pp. 11041135; and Conferences at Malta and Yalta, Index, p. 1011.
  3. Provisional Government of the Polish Republic.
  4. This policy had been outlined in a telegram, of December 9, 1944, from the British Foreign Office to the Brtish Ambassador in Washington (840.50–UNRRA/1–1645).
  5. Jan Ciechanowski.
  6. Soviet visas for the UNRRA delegation were not granted until July 6, 1945, by which time the separate factions had united to form a Polish Provisional Government of National Unity. UNRRA signed an agreement with this Polish government on September 14, 1945; see George Woodbridge, UNRRA: The History of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, 3 vols. (New York, Columbia University Press, 1950), vol. ii, pp. 204–205, and vol. iii, pp. 318–324.