860C.00/11–1645: Telegram

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

568. British Ambassador showed me yesterday despatch to Foreign Office dated November 14 which will probably leave for London 16th referring to action of National Council of Homeland in limiting number of political parties to six86 (PPE (Polish Workers’ Party) PPS (Polish Socialist Party) PSL (abr unknown87) SL (abr unknown88) Democratic Party and United Labor Party89). In his despatch Bentinck refers to elimination from officially accepted parties National [Page 418] Democrat Party90 (originally party of Dmowslie91 and Paderewski) and Social Democrat Party of Zulawski.92 Bentinck recommends that no representations be made regarding exclusion of these parties on ground that former has had fascist elements connected with it and that it has been anti-Russian in its outlook and that latter is of little importance due to poor health of Zulawski.

I told Bentinck that in my opinion limitation of parties is contrary to the spirit of Yalta Agreement and to agreement reached in Moscow93 leading to formation of Provisional Govt of National Unity and that if we are to acquiesce in exclusion of a party merely because we do not think that inclusion would be wise from a political point of view, we could be faced with the same charge which is now being made against the Polish Govt of not permitting democratic parties to participate in the elections.

I suggested to Bentinck that he and I recommend to our respective Govts that they consult with one another as to whether it would not be preferable for the three Yalta Powers, or if this is not feasible, for the British and US Govts to protest to the Polish Govt regarding the arbitrary limitation of the number of parties in Poland on the ground that this is contrary to the spirit of the Yalta decision and the Moscow conversations.

Bentinck agreed to send a letter to Warner94 of the Foreign Office giving my opinion and suggesting that it would be perhaps wise for our two Govts to consult in the matter.

I should be grateful if Dept would telegraph me whether it concurs in my views and, if so, what action it proposes to take in the matter.

Repeated to London as 76.

  1. Regarding the limitations imposed upon Polish political parties, see footnote. 81, p. 413.
  2. The abbreviation is for the Polish Peasant Party (Polska Stronnictwo Ludowe), the party of Mikolajczyk.
  3. The abbreviation is for the Peasant Party (Stronnictwo Ludowe), the Communist-dominated peasant political organization.
  4. In his telegram 497, October 30, 4 p.m., Ambassador Lane reported having been informed that Karol Popiel had agreed to merge his Christian Labor Party with that portion of the same party headed by Zygmunt Felczak; the Ambassador further reported that the party would henceforth be called the “United Labor Party” as Felczak, who was a Communist, insisted on eliminating the word “Christian” (860C.00/10–3045).
  5. Telegram 531, November 7, 9 a.m., from Warsaw, reported that the Polish security police had arrested numerous members of the National Democratic Party including five of seven signers of a petition requesting legalization of the party (860C.00/11–745). The National Democratic Party had been a major conservative political organization in Poland between the two world wars.
  6. Roman Dmowski, member of the Polish delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 and the founder and early leader of the National Democratic Party.
  7. In October 1945, Zulawski announced the formation of a new socialist party, the Polish Social Democratic Party, so named to distinguish it from the Communist-dominated organization which had taken over the traditional socialist party label, Polish Socialist Party. The Polish Government, however, refused to legalize this Polish Social Democratic Party, harassed its members, and in December 1945, Zulawski concluded an agreement with the leadership of the Communist-dominated Polish Socialist Party whereby Zulawski’s followers would join the legal socialist party as individuals.
  8. Regarding the agreement reached in Moscow on June 20, 1945, among Polish political leaders, see telegram 2218, June 21, from Moscow, p. 352.
  9. Christopher F. A. Warner, Counselor in the British Foreign Office and Head of the Northern European Affairs Department.