33. Memorandum of Conversation0

SUBJECT

  • Polish Ambassador’s Call Upon the Secretary

PARTICIPANTS

  • Romuald Spasowski, Ambassador of the Polish People’s Republic
  • The Secretary
  • EE—Richard W. Tims

The Polish Ambassador called on the Secretary at his own request. He stated that his call was primarily one of courtesy, but that he was leaving for Warsaw in ten days and would like to be able to tell his government [Page 69]the United States’ views on certain subjects, particularly the President’s proposal to explore uses of funds that had accumulated in Poland from U.S. sales of commodities under PL 480. He asked whether there was anything he might say regarding the United States’ ideas of such uses as well as how soon the bilateral discussion of them might be expected to start.

The Secretary replied that the negotiation of this matter naturally would depend on when Congress might amend the Battle Act.1 In any case, he thought formal negotiations might well be preceded by informal discussions at that time. The United States was thinking, he said, of projects in which the United States and Poland could cooperate for peaceful and friendly purposes, such as research for the solution of problems in medicine and agriculture, for example, as well as undertakings for broad benefit in economic and related fields.

The Ambassador said that in another field, that of cultural exchanges, Polish-American relations had developed in gratifying fashion. He said that upon his return from Warsaw he would like to take up with the Department the question of working out an informal agreement to facilitate a further improvement of planning in this field.

The Secretary said that there were two points he would like to emphasize to the Ambassador at this time, regarding the current status of United States-Polish relations. First, he said, he believed these relations were on a solid foundation of friendship and interest, and the United States sincerely wanted to see them continue and develop. Second, there was a critical area of which the Polish Government should take careful note in these relations, that of Cuba. The United States, he said, must take the gravest view of any move from outside this hemisphere to set up or assist an alien power within it. The Monroe Doctrine was very much alive, whatever changes may have occurred in ways of enforcing it. He said he believed Poland’s relations with Cuba were of marginal importance compared with its relations with the United States, and it was to be hoped that Poland would not jeopardize the latter by extending aid to the present Cuban government.

The Ambassador replied that Poland’s relations with Cuba were only normal trade relations, and that Poland could not say it would refrain from such normal trade with any country. However, he said he understood the United States’ viewpoint which the Secretary was enunciating, and he would report it to his government.

The Ambassador in closing said that he wished to make a statement about Polish-German relations. In general, he said, Poland’s views were [Page 70]well known. Regarding the most recent development, however, involving certain approaches to Poland by the German Federal Government ostensibly in the interest of improving their relations, he wished to say that the Polish Government was unable to take them seriously. They did not feel that there was any sincere intention behind the German moves, because these were counterbalanced by contrary German statements and actions which continued to go on at the same time. The Ambassador said he understood the Secretary would be seeing German Foreign Secretary von Brentano in Washington next week, and he was telling him these things in the hope that he would bear them in mind during his talks with von Brentano.2

The Secretary replied that he of course could not speak for the motivation of the German Government in the matter alluded to, but that he was interested in having the Ambassador’s views on the subject and would bear them in mind.

  1. Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 65 D 330. Official Use Only. Drafted by Tims and approved in S on March 3.
  2. For text of the Mutual Defense Control Act of 1951, P.L. 213, approved October 26, 1951, see 65 Stat. 644.
  3. Brentano visited Washington February 17.