860C.00/2–2447: Telegram

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

top secret

313. For the Secretary. In farewell talk with Mikolajczyk Feb 20 he said to me new “little” constitution recently passed by Sejm puts absolute power in hands of councils of state as follows:

National Council of State composed of President of Republic Bierut (Communist); Marshal of Sejm Kowalski (Communist); three vice [Page 420] marshals Zambrowski (Communist), Barcikowski (Communist) and Szwalbe (Socialist partial to Communists) and three members to be elected by Sejm (probably will be Communists); Councils of State in each wojwostwo; Councils of State in each powiat; and Councils of State even in the smallest villages. According to Mikolajczyk this govt by councils of state will put complete control of nation in hands of Communists and will remove from Council of Ministers and from Sejm last vestige of authority. He said that from now on there is absolute dictatorship in Poland.

Foreign observers including certain diplomatic representatives have expressed to me frankly apprehension re steps which are obviously in direction of Sovietiziation of Poland. I concur with them and with Mikolajczyk (and also with Zulawski former head of old Socialist Party whose last speech at Sejm complaining re deletion first speech was completely expunged from congressional record) that Communists feeling themselves firmly seated in saddle will now gradually take over complete control. Socialists for time being will be permitted, these observers comment, to have the impression they are still a potent factor in govt but as matter of fact it is probable [Cyrankiewicz?] will be allowed merely preside over meetings Cabinet which in any case will not be able make decisions of policy.

It would be foolish on my part to predict whether or not Poland eventually will be incorporated within Soviet Union. But it is clear that whatever the technique employed the policy of Poland’s Communist masters is to bring Poland more and more under Communist domination. The “little” constitution clearly demonstrates this intention.

Mikolajczyk and others have also commented to me re misleading provisions of amnesty decree. They recognize govt’s gesture to reassure Polish people by forgiveness for their political opposition but they say that these persons released temporarily under amnesty law in order that govt may obtain advantages (such as credits from US) can of course be rearrested as soon as need arises.

On Feb 22 made farewell calls on ForMin1 and on other FonOff officials. When Modzelewski referred to Mine’s2 recent trip to US and to satisfaction of Polish Govt’s results I took occasion to mention that while International Bank could not under its charter be influenced by political considerations in granting or refusing credits it could and in my opinion would be influenced by fact that good faith or lack of [Page 421] good faith is an element to be considered as to whether a govt requesting credits is or is not a good credit risk.

I took occasion to express my personal opinion on this my last visit to FonOff that Polish Govt had made great mistake despite my repeated pleas since August 1945 to continue its attacks thru the press and otherwise against US. I expressed personal hope that govt would adopt more friendly attitude to US and concluded with statement that altho we desired friendship with Poland I thought US could still continue as great power without friendship of Polish Govt, that I doubted whether Poland could thrive without support of US.

Modzelewski said that press attacks were merely propaganda and that we should not regard them too seriously. He said that as soon as the western frontiers are settled conditions would quickly be normalized. Amnesty for political offenses would also accelerate pacification which would include inter alia amelioration of relations with east (cynicism of this remark is so patent as to require no comment on my part).

I again urge Dept as well as our Govt’s representative on International Bank to give no favorable consideration to any request for economic or financial assistance to Poland until I have had an opportunity to discuss whole problem in Washington.

Keith was present at above mentioned talks with Mikolajczyk, Zulawski, Modzelewski and other FonOff officials.

  1. Zygmunt Modzelewski.
  2. Hilary Mine, Minister of Industry and Commerce and a leader in the Polish Workers’ Party (Communist), who had headed a Polish economic delegation which visited the United States in November–December 1946.