748.00/9–2352: Telegram

No. 13
The Ambassador in Poland (Flack) to the Department of State


148. Current intensity of hate America campaign in general and more particularly recent newspaper articles (Embtel 140 Sept 201) and speech by prosecutor (Embtel 141 Sept 212) in trial of alleged Martyka assassins vilifying US, its Govt and Emb, on the basis of distorted testimony and entirely unwarranted inferences wld normally call for some type of official protest.

However, it is obvious any protest by Emb to FonOff of a type appropriate in countries with greater respect for normal standards of courtesy, international intercourse and truth than found in orbit wld be entirely fruitless here. Any protest wld undoubtedly be answered by references to freedom of the press in Pol, lack of governmental responsibility for speeches by prosecutors, etc. At worst, it might lead to opening up with Pol Govt of bitter controversy of a type which cld only endanger continued performance basic functions of our Mission here. We consider, therefore, that at this time, hate Amer campaign can be best met by VOA either by rejoinder or, positively, by presentation true US attitude and position.

However, failure on our part to take official note of scurrilous attacks when made by leaders of the Pol Govt, such as PriMin Cyrankiewicz in his Sept 21 recovered territories Congress speech (Embtel 144, Sept 213), involving vilification of US Govt and making specific ref to President of US, cld be construed as sign of weakness not only encouraging repetition but perhaps inviting undue aggressiveness on part of orbit unwarranted by developing position of Western strength.

I recognize, of course, that in general Pol policy is determined by that of USSR and Pol cannot be considered an independent force. However, our retention Mission here is based in part on our desire to keep alive concept of Poland as an independent sovereign power [Page 27] and this presumption of sovereignty carries with it certain obligations and responsibilities. Pol officials themselves make much of the sovereignty of Pol and cannot deny this.

I suggest, therefore, that the Dept consider the desirability of reacting to Martyka attacks and Cyrankiewicz’s speech or utilizing next similar speech by Pol President or PriMin (every indication is that there will be more such speeches during present Pol “election campaign”4) for some action along following lines:

Have Secy himself call in Pol Amb.
Have Secy tell Pol Amb curtly and without discussion or specific refs something like the following: “The Govt of the United States has taken particular note of the irresponsible and unfounded charges made against the US in public addresses by the highest officers of the Pol Govt. Whatever may be the domestic or international purposes for which such speeches are made, the voicing of such charges is inconsistent with the sense of responsibility expected of an independent sovereign member of the family of nations.”
Allow the general substance of this to leak out to the American press without anything by way of official announcement. Such a declaration to the Pol Amb in Wash delivered at appropriately high level might serve following purposes:
Prevent development of any idea on part of orbit that failure to protest abusive language is sign of weakness and thus contribute perhaps, in small way, to discouragement any Russian moves based on assumption of Western weakness.
Make clear to leaders of Pol Govt that rhetoric of type employed by them is of character for which at some time and under certain conditions they must be prepared assume responsibility. It is not impossible this might have some limited tendency to cause some measure of restraint.
Help in making American people aware the position their Govt without involving publication formal statement which might be unduly inflammatory or encourage too-heated feelings on part either of dissidents within iron curtain or people in West.
Avoid entering into controversy as to details which might tend, unless carefully controlled, to assume form of campaign of name-calling or mutual recriminations or retaliations.
Indicate firmness our position but be limited enough to prevent any complaints by Eur Allies re undue precipitancy.

I make this suggestion of course on the basis of limited info available here and may be impracticable in light of overall policy factor involving Sovs and the orbit as a whole. It reflects my reluctance to allow attacks such as those made in Martyka trial and that made by PriMin to pass unnoticed, coupled with full recognition [Page 28] of necessity of avoiding any action which might jeopardize basic objectives our underlying policy.

  1. Telegram 140 quoted from an editorial in Zycie Warhzawy concerning the Martyka murder trial then in progress. (748.00/9–2052)
  2. Telegram 141 summarized the closing speech, Sept. 20, of the prosecutor in the Martyka murder trial. (748.00/9–2152)
  3. Telegram 144 transmitted a summary and excerpts of Cyrankiewicz’ speech. (748.13/9–2352)
  4. In accordance with the provisions of the new constitution, approved by the Sejm on July 22, national elections were scheduled for Oct. 29.