860C.01/2–2445: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman)

455. ReEmbs 540, February 24, 3 p.m. Dept concurs with the steps taken by you at the first meeting of the Polish Commission and was pleased to learn of the affable atmosphere and flexibility shown in these preliminary discussions.

British Embassy has made available to Dept a copy of ForOf telegram to Clark-Kerr 746, February 18. In general Dept concurs [Page 131]in the positive instructions as to procedure given to Clark-Kerr which seem to constitute a general framework in which the Commission should carry out its duties. You should concert with him in the formulation of proposals along the following lines:

1. The various Polish leaders themselves should be encouraged to agree on the composition of the Government with the Commissioners acting as arbiters to insure that the Government which is set up will not only be representative of all democratic elements in Poland but also, because of its membership, will command respect in Polish circles abroad and particularly with the Polish forces fighting in the West. In this connection it would be most helpful if a high-ranking Polish General from the West, acceptable to the Soviet Government, could be included in the Government of National Unity in order that the Polish forces in the West might maintain their morale in the fight against the Germans and have sufficient faith in the new Government to return to their homeland upon the termination of hostilities.

2. Any individual Pole proposed by any of the three commissioners should be eligible to be invited for consultation unless conclusive evidence is produced to show that he does not represent the democratic elements in the country.

3. The three commissioners should request the authorities of the Provisional Government in Lublin to suspend legal proceedings and administrative measures against individuals save for crimes against the law or against the Red Army pending formation of the new Polish government.

It is Depts feeling that every effort should be made to maintain flexibility in the negotiations in order that agreement can be reached on a group of Poles who will be genuine representatives of the various democratic elements of the population.