77. Memorandum of a Telephone Conversation Between the Secretary of State and the Representative at the United Nations (Lodge), Washington, July 10, 1956, 5:26 p.m.1


The Sec. returned the call. L. said he is beginning to think we should do something about the Posnan riot. He is thinking primarily about the effect on Polish-Americans. L. mentioned a possibility was setting up a Peace Observation Commission because Poland has international status. Or go at it as we did re bacteriological charges2 —propose we investigate the charge we instigated the riots. L. has been talking with the Polish Govt. in Exile and they are prepared for a Soviet veto but they seem to think something like this with a good preamble would be encouraging there. From what L. gets from Polish-Americans and Congress they would like it. They want a resolution in the SC which would be ultimately vetoed and which would have a preamble setting forth the facts of the situation in Poland today and which would call for a Peace Observation Commission in Poland. The Sec. said he is not negative on it but has been trying to think of some way usefully to bring it up and which won’t backfire. He will probably be questioned tomorrow and wonders what position to take. We don’t [Page 210] want to be too negative in denying we had anything to do with it because while it is true we never instigated anything at all and no money has been spent, nevertheless we do try to keep alive the spirit of liberty in these people. The President has stated they should have independence. If as a result of that, people have aspirations for better things, we don’t want to wholly deny a part. L. said another approach is that [Rokossovskiy?]3 is a Russian general and Soviet troops are there and interfere with Poland which is a member of the UN. The Sec. said something like that strikes him as being more important than just to challenge an investigation on the ground we had nothing to do with it. From a purely political standpoint it is not too bad to let some think we did. L. said the approach on the Russian end is better. L. has talked with Wilcox about it and he has all L. has and has a lot of stuff the Dept has L. hasn’t got. The purpose of his calling is as an American politician and his UN position. L. was not enthused when Hammarskjold said it was an internal affair. They agreed it is not simple and there could be a lot of dividends if it is played right. The Sec. said he has been thinking about it and referred to the Dept statement.4 The Sec. said we would run into a prompt veto and does not believe we would get support from the British and French if we went in on the ground there is interference by the Soviet Union in the internal affairs of Poland. The Sec. said the British and French are weak when things are breaking our way. The Sec. shares L.’s feeling. He questioned if he could get any of these Poles in this country maybe to present a petition or something of that sort. Both have heard from Congressmen. The Sec. said a petition to the SC. L. said the HR passed a resolution on it.5 The Sec. did not know about it. The Sec. said we should be able to capitalize on it. L. said we can get them to do anything if we figure out how and what to do.

L. said he has been doing some editorial work on the platform and has everything done except that on foreign relations. The Sec. has a draft and will give it to him at Cabinet Friday.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations. Transcribed by Phyllis D. Bernau.
  2. Reference is to the American response to the campaign to condemn the United States for bacteriological warfare against North Korea during the Korean war.
  3. Bernau left a blank at this point in the transcript; apparently Lodge was referring to Konstantin Rokossovskiy, Marshal of the Soviet Union and the Polish People’s Republic, Polish Minister of Defense, and Commander in Chief of the Polish Armed Forces.
  4. Apparent reference to a statement of June 29; for text, see Department of State Bulletin, July 9, 1956, p. 55.
  5. House Resolution 574, July 3, 1956, Congressional Record, Vol. 102, pt. 9, 84th Cong., 2d sess., pp. 11775–11780.