860C.01/3–245: Telegram

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

482. ReEmbs 597, March 1, 3 p.m. Department approves of your proposal to send Stevens and a naval officer to Poland. Department does not, however, agree with the instructions of the Foreign Office to Clark-Kerr no. 1022, March 2, and have so informed the British Embassy here. We feel it would be a mistake to press at this time for a high level mission to Poland whose functions would include preparations for the elections. We do not believe that the Russians or the Lublin Poles would agree to such a mission now and to raise the matter would probably prejudice the sending of personal representatives by Clark-Kerr and yourself. After a new Polish Government is agreed upon, we could consider whether a mission of this kind should be established. A further objection is that the presence of such a mission might prejudice our efforts to avoid the premature holding of an election. It would seem sufficient to state that your representatives are proceeding to Poland to report to you on present conditions in Poland.

The Department is somewhat disturbed at the general attitude of the British Foreign Office toward the work of the Polish Commission. We do not agree that you should assume that Molotov is the advocate for the Lublin Poles and that you and Clark-Kerr represent other Poles. Whatever Molotov’s position may be in fact, we believe it important that the Commission should endeavor to operate as a unit. We believe that such was the intent of the Crimea decisions and that it is only in this way that success can be achieved.

Dept approves the positions you have taken in the Commission as reported in your 610, March 2, 4 p.m. However, while we can see the advantages in having a blunt talk with the Lublin Poles in Moscow at this stage, we feel that the effect abroad and on other Polish groups would be very unfortunate and even dangerous. It would be difficult to persuade the world and non-Lublin Poles that in these prior consultations the Lublin Poles had not laid down to their satisfaction the conditions of negotiations. We think it important that the Commission in Moscow should draw up the first list of Poles from the three groups mentioned in the Crimea communiqué who are to participate [Page 139]in the initial negotiations before and not after the arrival of the Lublin Poles. There would be no objection to the latters’ arrival at Moscow several days ahead of the others.

The foregoing observations are for your general guidance as to our views here. They are designed to be flexible, and we will continue to leave to your discretion their application in negotiation.