860C.01/4–2645

The Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Union ( Stalin ) to President Truman 88

I have received your joint with Prime Minister Churchill message of April 18, and have also received on April 24 the message transmitted to me through V. M. Molotov.

From these messages it is clear that you continue to consider the Provisional Polish Government not as a kernel for the future government of national unity, but just like one of the groups equal to any other group of Poles.

Such an understanding of the position of the Polish Government and such an attitude towards it is very difficult to reconcile with the decisions of the Crimea Conference on Poland. At the Crimea Conference all three of us, including also President Roosevelt, proceeded from the fact that the Provisional Polish Government, as the one now operating in Poland and enjoying the confidence and support of the majority of the Polish people, should be the kernel, i.e. the main part of the new reorganized government of nation unity. You, evidently, do not agree to such an understanding of the matter. Declining the Yugoslav example as a pattern for Poland, you thereby confirm that the Provisional Polish Government cannot be considered as a basis and kernel for the future government of national unity.

2. It is also necessary to take into account the fact that Poland borders with the Soviet Union, what cannot be said of Great Britain and the United States.

The question on Poland has the same meaning for the security of the Soviet Union as the question on Belgium and Greece for the security of Great Britain.

You, apparently, do not agree that the Soviet Union has a right to make efforts that there should exist in Poland a government friendly toward the Soviet Union, and that the Soviet government cannot agree to existence in Poland of a government hostile toward it. Besides everything else, this is demanded by the blood of the Soviet people abundantly shed on the field of Poland in the name of liberation of Poland. I do not know whether there has been established in Greece a really representative government, and whether the government [Page 264] in Belgium is really democratic. The Soviet Union was not consulted when these governments were being established there. The Soviet Government did not lay claim to interference in these affairs as it understands the whole importance of Belgium and Greece for the security of Great Britain.

It is not clear why, while the question on Poland is discussed it is not wanted to take into consideration the interests of the Soviet Union from the point of view of its security.

3. Such conditions must be recognized unusual when two governments—those of the United States and Great Britain—beforehand settle with the Polish question in which the Soviet Union is first of all and most of all interested and put the government of the USSR in an unbearable position trying to dictate to it their demands.

I have to state that such a situation cannot favor a harmonious solution of the question on Poland.

4. I am ready to fulfill your request and do everything possible to reach a harmonious solution, but you demand too much of me. In other words, you demand that I renounce the interests of security of the Soviet Union, but I cannot turn against my country.

In my opinion there is one way out of this situation; to adopt the Yugoslav example as a pattern for Poland. I believe this would allow to come to a harmonious solution.

  1. Text of this document was quoted by the White House to the Department of State in a memorandum, dated April 26, 1945, by Adm. William D. Leahy, Chief of Staff to the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, to Mr. H. Freeman Matthews, Director of the Office of European Affairs. Text of this message was transmitted in telegram UNOIO 5, April 26, to the Secretary of State in San Francisco where he was Chairman of the United States delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization (860C.01/4–2445).