110. Telegram From the Embassy in Poland to the Department of State1
535. For Under Secretary Hoover From Ambassador Jacobs. Embtels 526 and 527.2 Saw Winiewicz and handled matter as stated reference telegram. He replied that this “important” approach would be referred his government.
Substance his ensuing remarks as follows: Polish economy, as Gomulka fully realizes, requires considerable bolstering. Immediate problem is careful study of “unfinished balances” of six year plan and recalculation requirement needed integrate these balances into new five year plan. This will require search for more efficient methods know-how in industry as well as exploiting normal trade and credit opportunities as may be available.
In order accomplish this in best manner to suit Poland’s needs, intent Polish authorities (even before present government changes took place) is to get Poland on equal footing with all powers, including USSR, in matter foreign trade and commerce. Poland has more than enough natural resources, manpower to take care itself economically if only it could trade in usual and customary manner with all nations. He mentioned restrictive “controls” of west which prevent Poland from doing this. While he did not so state, got impression from his repetition of independence in trade that USSR also was in his mind.
He said many peoples in west and here either distort or misunderstand present developments. As Gomulka has stated there is no change (A) in Poland’s determination pursue its own road to socialism best suited to realities of needs of Polish people and (B) in continuance ties with USSR, Poland’s ally, as Gomulka has put it, on basis of equality between independent states.
Turning from these generalities to specific relations between US and Poland, Winiewicz said, in keeping with above, his government had for some time been hoping for better relations with US and he was sure this would continue be his government’s policy. With this in mind, his government had suggested in note replying our invitation send observers to November elections “a get together” to solve all outstanding problems.3 Said his government was very sincere in this but there had been no reply. He went on say kind of aid which Poland needs of US is restoration normal trade and commercial relations, as well as cultural and scientific exchanges in “know-how” fields so that [Page 289] each could benefit and prosper therefrom. He mentioned for instance, that nearly all Poland’s textile mills are geared handle short staple cotton for which US was best source—Egyptian cotton, for instance, was no use as mills could not handle it properly. Poland would like buy cotton, not accept as gift, but needs some credit for one, two or three years. Likewise, Poland needs wheat and adequate provision has been made to buy same but, even so, short and long term credit was sometimes needed because of temporary lack adequate foreign exchange. Said Poland’s industry, citing coal mining, could learn much from technical know-how of US. In brief, he thought this sort of “aid”, not gifts, from US, supplemented by long or short term credits through commercial channels (“consortium” mentioned) was solution.
At this point digressed to say that word “aid” had come to have unfortunate political connotation which carries with it stigma that donor would or has right interfere in internal affairs of recipient. This connotation, which he termed unfortunate, made it hard, if not impossible, for his government to accept any sort assistance which carried with it any show connotation that internal affairs of Poland were being inhibited or restricted. Type of assistance through mutual trade, commercial, cultural, scientific and technical exchanges, which he spoke of above, would avoid this problem.
In conclusion, he said he appreciated our interest in Poland in this matter.
My comments on publicity and some observations on whole question follow.4
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.48/10–2556. Confidential; Niact; Limit Distribution. Received at 4:16 p.m.↩
- Regarding telegram 526, see footnote 2 to telegram 527, supra.↩
- See footnote 2, Document 92.↩
- See Document 114. The source text bears a notation that it was read by Sutterlin (EE) at 6:45 p.m., October 25.↩