Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs (Elbrick)

Lord Jellicoe1 called at my request to discuss the status of the Polish Exile Government in London and of other Polish national groups outside Poland. I told him that the Department is anxious to see a unification of Polish thought among Polish exiles and that it had frequently expressed this thought to exile leaders and notably to Mr. Mikolajczyk. I said that this Government had made no definite plans for employing the services of such Poles but that it was not inconceivable that they could at some future date prove very useful. I said I believed that Mr. Stevens2 had touched upon this matter in a previous conversation with him. It is our firm belief that the various Polish anti-Communist groups, particularly the London group and Mikolajczyk and his followers, should come to some agreement in principle regarding this question; that this Government is not particularly interested in the form which such collaboration may take; and that it is not interested in favoring any one Polish group over another.

I said that recent reports gave us reason to believe that the British Government’s views on this subject3 may not conform to our own and [Page 424] that we felt that it was definitely to the interest of both countries to reconcile these views, if possible. Otherwise, we might find ourselves working at cross purposes which would result in undermining and weakening our individual efforts. I said that we thought it very desirable at this point to express our views and to obtain from him an expression of the British Government’s views in return.

Lord Jellicoe said that he would be glad to report this conversation to the British Foreign Office for its information and that he would inform us promptly of its reaction. He asked if we had formulated any program for making use of the Polish exile groups and I told him that we had not. I told him that this whole matter was in a preliminary stage at the moment and that it seemed only logical, in the event that a definite use may be found for them in the future, that their value would be enhanced if they were unified politically and not divided on relatively minor issues.

C. Burke Elbrick
  1. Second Secretary of the British Embassy in Washington.
  2. Francis Stevens, Acting Chief, Division of Eastern European Affairs.
  3. Airgram 1313, June 22, from London, not, printed, reported that the Embassy in London had been informed that the British Foreign Office would make every effort to dissuade Mikolajczyk from joining forces with the London Polish Government in Exile. The British feared that a strengthening of the Polish Government in Exile in London, accompanied by probable financial support from the United States, would make more difficult the resettlement or assimilation of displaced Poles residing in the United Kingdom and, in addition, might complicate British relations with the Polish Government in Warsaw (860C.00/6–2248). Telegram 2382, June 24, to Warsaw, not printed, replied that there was no indication that Mikolajczyk was willing to compromise with Polish exiles in the United Kingdom or accept any subordinate position in a possible new Polish National Committee (860C.00/6–2448).