100. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Meeting of Polish Deputy Premier Jaroszewicz with the Secretary


  • The Secretary
  • Polish Deputy Premier Jaroszewicz
  • Others Present:
    • Romuald Spasowski, Polish Ambassador
    • Bohdan Lewandowski, Director, American Desk, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • Marian Dobrosielski, Counselor, Polish Embassy
    • EEH. C. Vedeler
    • LS—E. S. Glenn

In response to the Secretary’s opening question about the Polish party’s tour of various industrial centers in the U.S., Mr. Jaroszewicz [Page 278] said that it was an extensive and very useful trip, altogether a happy experience for all of them. They would speak well of the trip as well as of the visit generally when they returned to Poland. He was of the opinion that this visit to the U.S. would contribute to mutual understanding and the improvement of relations between Poland and the U.S. He had a number of very interesting and useful meetings in Washington with the President, the Secretaries of Commerce and Agriculture, Under Secretary Dillon, the Director of the ICA Ambassador Riddleberger, and the head of the Export-Import Bank Mr. Waugh,1 before leaving on the tour of industrial centers. He had tried in these conversations to raise the most important points of mutual interest and to discuss difficulties preventing a further development of relations between the two countries. These difficulties included both political matters and legal obstacles to the further expansion of economic relations. Thus he had raised with the President the question of the rearmament of West Germany and the rebirth of German militarism. The Polish Government found quite a number of things happening in West Germany which were now a matter of concern and so it was not possible for him to remain silent. He must still raise certain questions which remain unfinished items of business or points of friction. He must accordingly take up the problem of Radio Free Europe which spread falsehoods in Poland and interfered in Polish internal affairs.

The Secretary asked whether the Minister could give particular instances of objectionable broadcasts. He referred to the conversation with Foreign Minister Rapacki of last year2 in which the latter had raised the same point. The Secretary had indicated at that time that RFE was directed by private individuals and that we would have to take up such matters with them. In discussing the subject with the private people responsible for its operation we must have specific cases to mention.

Mr. Jaroszewicz replied that he was confident the Embassy would provide concrete cases of such falsehood and interference in Polish internal affairs. Reverting then to his previous meetings before departing Washington on the trip to industrial centers, he said that he had also discussed questions that were still slowing down the development of economic relations with the U.S. such as legislative factors interfering with the extension of private credits and Export-Import Bank credits to Poland. His party had found great understanding for the Polish point of view and they would very much like to see these obstacles removed so [Page 279] that it would be possible for Poland to obtain machinery and industrial products from the U.S.

The Secretary replied that he assumed an explanation had been given the Minister of the legislative difficulties owing to the separation of powers in our Government and to the different parties controlling Congress and the Executive.

Mr. Jaroszewicz said that they understood these difficulties but felt that it was nevertheless necessary to discuss them and they had done so with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at the luncheon which they had just enjoyed with the Committee. He appreciated the great authority of President Eisenhower and hoped that this could be exerted to the benefit of solving these problems. Referring again to their trip he said that they had conducted their travels in an excellent atmosphere and that they had been well received everywhere.

The Secretary then asked if he might raise one question. In the interest of the very thing the Minister was talking about, namely the achievement of better relations between the two countries, it would be useful to clarify the trade agreement which Poland had recently concluded with Cuba.3 The Secretary said that we did not yet have the text but hoped that it would be possible to get the text or complete information. The Department had noted from the press reports that the agreement mentioned possible military items for sale to Cuba, that is helicopters and aircraft. This was the kind of thing that could be expected to cause difficulties in our relations with Poland. Mr. Jaroszewicz replied that he was sure that a clarification would eliminate any misunderstanding.

The Secretary said that these provisions in the Polish-Cuban agreement regarding helicopters and aircraft appeared quite unusual since it was our understanding that Poland did not furnish aeronautical equipment to other countries. The Department would consequently like to have information. The Secretary elaborated on our concern pointing out that during the past year we had cut off shipment of arms to Cuba as a matter of importance in keeping armed parties from going from Cuba to neighboring countries.

Mr. Jaroszewicz said that he could assure the Secretary that Poland would not provide any military equipment to Cuba. The agreement was of limited importance and would involve only a small amount of trade. The agreement moreover set forth certain categories of goods which could be sold and did not specify that there must be transactions in goods in each category. The negotiation of the agreement did not include commercial contracts and none had yet been drawn. The need for [Page 280] the trade agreement on the part of Poland had been caused by its poor sugar crop this past year. As for the categories of helicopters and aircraft Poland produced no military aircraft that could be exported. If there were sales in these categories they would involve only small helicopters used for medical or similar purposes and nonmilitary aircraft used for such purposes as dusting crops.

The Secretary again expressed concern in this connection because of Cuba’s proximity to neighboring states such as Haiti and the Dominican Republic to which armed parties had been sent. Even small helicopters and aircraft not ordinarily used for military purposes might because of the situation of Cuba be directed to military activities. Mr. Jaroszewicz said that the Poles would be against any non-civilian use of goods which they might provide Cuba under the agreement. He further indicated that this was something to be taken into consideration. The Secretary replied that perhaps the Minister could then give us accurate detailed information on the agreement and its implementation. Mr. Jaroszewicz said that the agreement was not secret and there was no objection to acquainting the Department with its contents. In regard to its implementation no steps had been taken as yet.

In conclusion Mr. Jaroszewicz thanked the Secretary warmly for making possible this fine trip in this beautiful country. He expressed satisfaction with all the arrangements that had been so carefully made and said he would report in this spirit when he returned to Poland. The Secretary said that since he believed such exchanges were quite worthwhile it was gratifying to hear these words coming from the Minister. Mr. Jaroszewicz reiterated that he was grateful for this visit to the Secretary today and for the visit of his party to the U.S.

  1. Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. Confidential. Drafted by Vedeler and initialed by Herter.
  2. Regarding Jaroszewicz’ meetings with the President and with Dillon on March 25, see Documents 97 and 98. No records of Jaroszewicz’ meetings with the Secretaries of Commerce and Agriculture, Riddleberger, or Waugh have been found in Department of State files.
  3. See Document 86.
  4. Reference is to the Cuban-Polish trade and technical cooperation agreement signed in Havana on March 31.