The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman) to the Secretary of State
[Received March 3—1:55 p.m.]
613. For the Acting Secretary. There is a difference in the English and Russian texts of the Crimea communiqué regarding Poland which has only recently come to light. You will note that in the English text of the communiqué appears the statement “to consult in the first instance in Moscow with members of the present Provisional Government, etc.” whereas in the Russian draft this is worded “consult in Moscow in the first instance with members, etc”. Molotov is making a great point of this phrase “in the first instance” and is interpreting it in its broadest possible implications that we must consult the Warsaw Poles in the first instance on all questions.
The question may be somewhat academic as Clark Kerr and I have agreed that the Commission should meet with the Warsaw Poles before meeting with any other Poles. However, it would be helpful in our discussions if the Secretary, Matthews91 or Bohlen could advise [Page 138]me what was intended by this phrase when it was inserted in the first draft submitted to Molotov at Yalta.
- H. Freeman Matthews, Director of the Office of European Affairs, accompanied President Roosevelt to the Crimea Conference.↩