840.50 UNRRA/2–645

Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs ( Durbrow ) to the Assistant Secretary of State ( Acheson )

Mr. Acheson: Mr. John Russell of the British Embassy21 gave me a copy of the attached telegram received from London22 expressing the British Government’s apprehension regarding UNRRA’s proposal to consign supplies to the Republic of Poland.23

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It will be noted that the British Government feels that, if UNRRA is of the opinion that the supplies should, for practical reasons, be consigned to the Republic of Poland, the Administration should make it absolutely clear in a public statement that this does not constitute recognition of that Government; that their dealings with that Government are on a purely de facto basis. The British Government apparently prefers to have the goods consigned to a department of the Polish administration or to an individual by name if that is possible.

The telegram suggests that the British Embassy take up this question with the Department, and if we agree, that the matter should then be taken up informally with UNRRA.

In regard to the suggestion in the last paragraph of the telegram that it would be advisable for UNRRA to adopt the same procedure used by the American Red Cross in Poland, the American Red Cross has informed me that they have consigned their goods to the Polish Red Cross in Lublin purposely in order to avoid any implication that they recognize the Lublin Government.

In view of the British Government’s feelings and the complications which might result from any attempt to consign the goods to the Polish Government in Lublin, it would appear advisable that we concur with the British to have the goods consigned to UNRRA in Lublin.

I told Mr. Russell that it was my understanding that we had informally indicated that we felt it would be advisable to consign the goods to UNRRA in Lublin and as far as I know they had agreed to do this.

Since Mr. Russell would like to know what our basic thoughts are on this matter, please let me know what you feel I may pass on to him.24

E[lbridge] D[urbrow]
  1. Second Secretary of Embassy.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Provisional Government of the Polish Republic.
  4. Neither a reply to this memorandum nor any communication to the British Embassy has been found in the Department files. Subsequent correspondence indicated that UNRRA messages regarding consignment of supplies to Poland were sent via Department of State facilities to the Embassy in Moscow for transmission to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union of the Provisional Government of the Polish Republic (Modzelewski).