No. 751

Department of State Wireless Bulletin1

No. 194

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Polish Government Orders U.S. Information Office Closed

The activities of the United States Information Service in Poland have been closed down at the request of the Polish Government, according to the U.S. State Department. The closing became effective Wednesday.

State Department Press Officer McDermott, in making the announcement late Thursday, said:

“The action of the Polish Government is of particular interest coming as it did so soon upon the recent visit of Soviet Deputy Premier Vyacheslav Molotov to Warsaw and within 48 hours after dispatch of the message from the President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. to the President of the United States2 setting forth Soviet professions of peace and friendship between peoples. With respect to the latter it is noted that the present action of the Polish Government, a government so closely associated with the Soviet model, in all ways, is the example of a deed as distinguished from words.”

Polish Office Ordered Closed in N. Y.

Meanwhile, the Department said the Polish Ambassador to the United States, Jozef Winiewicz, had been told that the Polish Research and Information Service in New York must be closed within 24 hours.

The State Department issued the following statement on the situation:

“The Polish Foreign Minister called on the American Ambassador, Joseph Flack, on August 8 and asked that the activities of the United States Information Service, including distribution of the English-and Polish-language Wireless Bulletins, film showings and library functions, should be terminated as of that date. Since the Polish Government insisted that this was final there was no alternative but to comply with this request.

Regards Action As Unwarranted

“The United States Government regards this action of the Polish Government as an entirely unwarranted interference with the free [Page 1506] exchange of information between nations, an exchange which this Government is always ready to foster on a fair and reciprocal basis. It is recalled, moreover, how much the Polish people appreciated, ever since the United States Information Service was established at Warsaw, the services it performed. There is every reason to believe that these activities in the interest of a better understanding between peoples will be missed by the Polish nation.

“The Polish Ambassador in Washington has been summoned today and informed that the Polish Research and Information Service at New York must be closed within 24 hours.”

In response to questions, Mr. McDermott said the Polish Foreign Minister, Stanislaw Skrzeszewski, gave no reasons for requesting the closing of the USIS office in Warsaw. The USIS in Warsaw included a library, motion picture theater and offices. The Polish Research and Information Service in New York was described as a propaganda agency.

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  1. The Department of State Wireless Bulletin was a summary of significant news items and official texts, transmitted daily to overseas Foreign Service missions.
  2. For text of the communication, sent on August 6, see Document 798.