860C.5034/10–1545: Telegram

The Ambassador in Poland (Lane) to the Secretary of State

413. I stated to Minister Mine today that although I had had conversations on the general subject of nationalization of industry with President Bierut, Minister of Finance, and himself, I had no precise knowledge of Polish Govt’s intentions. I added that probably he would be asked in Washington regarding Govt’s policy and that this would undoubtedly have a bearing on our Govt’s policy of granting credits.

Minc replied that Polish Govt had decided to nationalize all key industries including mines, metallurgical and textile factories as well as petroleum industry. He said that procedure to be followed has not yet been adopted. As to compensation he said that the respective Ministries would be empowered to negotiate with former owners.

Left memorandum with Mine based on Dept’s 162, Oct. 3, 11 a.m.30 regarding desire to obtain permission for engineers of Silesian Holding Company to examine company properties. Minc said it would be preferable for them to come to Poland after nationalization decree is issued which will probably be before his departure for Washington so that they may then negotiate with Govt as to compensation.

In reply to my query he said that only the key industries will be nationalized and that small private businesses will be left intact. He said that the decree will define what constitutes a key industry and added that few of key industries are American owned.

It is evident from my talk with Minc that Polish Govt has definitely decided to embark on nationalization policy. I feel, therefore, that in addition to the points emphasized in my 403 Oct. 13, noon, we should notify Polish Govt that we will insist on adequate compensation for any American owned industries which may be nationalized. The Dept may wish to consider the advisability of our suggesting to Polish Govt that until we have been informed of precise terms of nationalization decree and precise means by which compensation is to be made our Govt would not be disposed to grant credits.

As it will be difficult for us to determine to what extent United States may be discriminated against today until the Polish Govt furnishes us with the terms of their commercial arrangements with other Govts as requested by us, I recommend our making the furnishing of [Page 392] such information as a further condition to our favorable consideration of the recent requests for credits.32

  1. Not printed.
  2. Telegram 412, October 15, from Warsaw, reported that a meeting had been held at the French Embassy in Warsaw attended by representatives of the British, French, Belgian, and United States Missions at which the question of the nationalization of property was discussed. At the meeting, it had been agreed that the Missions should request their respective Governments to instruct them to make oral representations to the Polish Government regarding the expropriation. (860C.5034/10–1545)