The Ambassador in Poland (Lane) to the Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs (Rzymowski)1

No. 852

Excellency: I have the honor to refer to the Embassy’s notes of August 19 and November 22, 19462 regarding the Polish national elections, to which no reply has yet been received, and pursuant to instructions from my Government to inform Your Excellency, as a signatory of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements, with particular regard to those sections of the two agreements which deal with the establishment of a Government in Poland, through the instrumentality of free and unfettered elections, of my Government’s continued concern over the pre-election activities of the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity. My Government is especially perturbed by the increasingly frequent reports of repressive measures which the Polish Provisional Government has seen fit to employ against those democratic elements in Poland which have not aligned themselves with the “bloc” parties.

It is a source of regret to my Government that its previous efforts to call the attention of the Polish Provisional Government to its failure to perform its obligations under the agreement cited have not resulted in any change in the course which that Government has pursued in connection with pre-election political activities. According to informal information reaching my Government from various authoritative sources, these repressive activities on the part of the Provisional Government have now increased in intensity to the point where, if they do not cease immediately, there is little likelihood that elections can be held in accordance with the terms of the Potsdam agreement which call for free and unfettered elections “on the basis of universal suffrage and secret ballot in which all democratic and anti-Nazi parties shall have the right to take part and put forward candidates”.

It is the view of my Government that this matter involves the sanctity of international agreements, a principle upon which depends the establishment and maintentance of peace and the reign of justice [Page 406] under law. The obligations with respect to the Polish elections which my Government assumed at Yalta and reiterated at Postdam, together with the Soviet and British Governments, and the obligations subsequently assumed by the Polish Government and frequently reiterated, provide for the conduct of free and unfettered elections of the type and in the manner described above. The fact that the subject matter of these agreements relate to elections in Poland is incidental. The essential fact is that they constitute an international agreement under which all four nations concerned have assumed obligations. I need hardly say that my Government is interested only in seeing that the Polish people have the opportunity to participate in a free and unfettered election and that my Government does not regard the results of such an election as being a proper concern of anyone other than the Polish people themselves.

My Government would be failing in its duty if it did not again point out that the continuation of the present policy of suppression, coercion, and intimidation as applied to political opposition in Poland constitutes a violation of the letter as well as the spirit of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements.

I avail myself [etc.]

Arthur Bliss Lane
  1. The source text was transmitted to the Department as an enclosure to despatch 1047, January 10, from Warsaw, not printed (860C.00/1–1347).

    On January 14, the British Embassy in Warsaw delivered a strong note to the Polish Government responding to an earlier Polish note containing allegations against the British Government and reminding the Polish Government of its obligations under the Yalta and Potsdam Agreements in connection with the forthcoming elections in Poland.

  2. For text of note of August 19, 1946, see Department of State Bulletin, September 1, 1946, p. 422. For text of note of November 22, 1946, see telegram 1095, to Warsaw, Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. vi, p. 517.