860F.51/2–2548: Telegram

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


287. 1. Since my return1 I have given much thought to matter of contemplated International Bank loan to Poland for increased coal production and to that end have consulted exhaustively with fourteen selected members Embassy staff. Although after thorough and protracted discussion majority staff replied affirmatively when pressed to give “yes” or “no” answer to question whether they presently favored loan, it is nevertheless apparent that thinking here has changed materially since Embtel 1677, October 15, 1947.2

2. At that time, following premises formed basis of thinking: (a) power plants at Polish mines constituted weak point in production and if production rate was to be maintained or increased turbines and other heavy power units were essential; (b) primary purpose of loan was to enable Polish Government purchase such equipment, which would, however, not be available for 18 to 24 months after orders placed; (c) unless increased production thus stimulated substantial coal tonnage would not reach Western Europe; (d) benefits accruing to Polish Government from loan would not prevent continuation vicious attacks on US.

3. In review, consensus our thinking now as follows: (a) Polish Government contention (supported by UNRRA report of March 1947) that power plants require rehabilitation if target production to be met not supported by evidence; facts are that production did increase from 47.3 million tons in 1946 to 59.1 million tons in 1947 and latest available figures indicate production continuing slightly ahead of target; (b) in view of considerable time which must elapse before relief to this end could be had through benefits of loan we are not now convinced that in extremes Polish Government would be unable solve power rehabilitation problem by self-manufacture or purchase in Czechoslovakia or USSR or elsewhere; (c) evidence we now have of great need of Polish Government for dollars persuades us that coal exports to Western Europe will continue in substantial and increasing [Page 521] quantities whether or not loan made; (d) we feel slanderous and outrageous attacks on US will continue with or without loan. It must be remembered that when to Polish Government’s advantage they regard International Bank as US dominated and when otherwise, as independent international agency. Therefore, if loan is small (47 million) US will be attacked for niggardliness; if large, for attempting purchase Poland’s soul.

In conclusion, we continue hold view that dollar to satellite is dollar to USSR.

  1. Ambassador Stanton Griffis returned to Warsaw in February 1948 following a period of leave in Washington for consultation.
  2. Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. iv, p. 456.