Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy Director of the Office of European Affairs (Thompson)


The Polish Ambassador had me to lunch with him today alone. In the course of the conversation, he referred to developments that had taken place while I was away from Washington and particularly to the difficulties encountered in obtaining export licenses. He said that these matters had been largely cleared up with the exception of the steel mill. He said his Government was prepared to have us make any kind of investigation, on the spot if necessary, to assure ourselves that the output of the mill had been used for civilian purposes in Poland.

I referred to the fact that when the Ambassador had returned from his last trip to Poland he had intimated that he would be able to conclude the agreement on compensation for nationalization and clear up other pending questions if we could improve the atmosphere by helping to break the impasse that had occurred with respect to the issuance of export licenses. I said that we had made every effort to clear up this situation and had succeeded with the exception of the steel mill. Pointing out that I was speaking personally and quite frankly I said that I felt sure he would understand that the question of the steel mill was not unrelated to the general international situation and that I saw little prospect of making any progress on that question at this time. I said that nevertheless I had been disappointed in that despite our successful efforts to clear up the question of the other export licenses, the compensation agreement was still not concluded nor had the lend lease settlement been reached. I said that we felt that these were matters which we were entitled to have settled irrespective of other questions. I pointed out that we had released a considerable [Page 556] quantity of Polish gold as a result of the negotiation for a compensation agreement. I said I realized that other matters had complicated the conclusion of this agreement but nevertheless the basic fact remained that Poland had received very real benefit from our action. I said that in clearing up the export licenses problem we had done our best to create the better atmosphere which the Ambassador had said was necessary for the conclusion of the compensation agreement. I pointed out that it was now up to him and his government to make a contribution. He had himself admitted that our offer of a lend lease settlement was very fair and that he recognized that the compensation agreement was also fair and that we were entitled to expect its prompt conclusion. I pointed out that unless this were done we could hardly expect to make further progress in solving mutual problems. At this point I referred to the fact that the Polish application to the International Bank for a loan was still pending and that although the United States did not control the Bank, the Bank would obtain its funds chiefly in the American market. I pointed out the fact that Poland had not carried out its obligations with respect to a compensation agreement and the lend lease settlement would certainly not facilitate progress with respect to this loan. I said I wished to make it very clear that I was not suggesting that if these agreements were concluded a Bank loan would be forthcoming, but merely wished to say, as the Ambassador had said upon his return to Poland, that a better atmosphere should be created and that I felt that the next move was up to Poland.

The Ambassador said he had already recommended to his Government that these matters be cleared up, but he had received no reply. He said that Mr. Zoltowski was now in Poland and he expected to have information on this question upon his return.

Llewellyn E. Thompson