34. Memorandum of Conversation0

SUBJECT

  • Review of Polish-United States Relations by the Polish Ambassador

PARTICIPANTS

  • Romuald Spasowski, Ambassador of the Polish People’s Republic
  • Dr. Marian Dobrosielski, Counselor of Embassy
  • The Secretary of State
  • EE—Richard W. Tims

The Polish Ambassador called at his request following his return from a month’s consultation with his Government in Warsaw.

The Ambassador said that while in Warsaw he had reviewed Polish-United States relations with Foreign Minister Rapacki, Politburo member Ochab, and other high officials, and that he would like to report to the Secretary on a number of points. His Government was pleased, he [Page 71]said, with the development of cultural exchange over the past year and would like to see it go still further, particularly the exchange of persons. They would also like to make an arrangement with the United States for technical assistance. In the field of consular relations the Ambassador said that his government was generally satisfied, but that the right to establish a consulate in New York City was one improvement which they would like to request. They would prefer to issue only diplomatic visas at Washington and to move their consulate from there to New York, where it would be much more useful to them, he said.

In the field of economic relations Ambassador Spasowski said his Government hoped to see a number of developments. They wished there could be a broader licensing of exports of industrial equipment. They were interested in obtaining investment credits from the United States, in addition to the $5 million credit recently negotiated and still pending. As regards trade, they hoped that the question of dumping recently raised against certain Polish exports would be cleared up. The Ambassador wanted the Secretary to know that this question had aroused serious concern in high quarters in Warsaw, since it threw the planning of exports into a state of uncertainty and threatened to delay the expansion of Polish-United States trade which had been counted on after the granting of most-favored-nation treatment last fall.

The Ambassador said his Government was actively looking into the question, raised by President Kennedy in his State of the Union message,1 of finding appropriate uses for Polish currency owned by the United States, and would be ready to negotiate this matter formally when the Battle Act was amended. Meanwhile, he said, they did not look with favor on a direct discussion of this subject with Polish institutions by visiting representatives of private American organizations, and they also hoped that its discussion by the Congress would not involve airing of difficult political issues.

The Secretary remarked at this point that we would favor starting informal discussions of ways to use the PL 480 proceeds, even before amendment of the Battle Act.

Ambassador Spasowski next stated that he was instructed to say his Government would like to begin negotiation with the United States of a three-year agreement to obtain further grains, cotton, and oils under PL 480. The Secretary queried whether such a time span might not have drawbacks in view of the impossibility of foreseeing all the complexities that far ahead, particularly outside the economic field. The Ambassador replied that they counted on a continued detente in political relations [Page 72]and that a longer period than the previous annual loans would facilitate planning and stability.

In concluding, the Ambassador remarked that his previous call on the Secretary had happened to take place on the eve of German Foreign Secretary von Brentano’s visit here, and that by a coincidence his call today just preceded the visit of Chancellor Adenauer.2 Apropos of this he wanted to repeat that his Government’s views about Germany had not changed. They felt more than ever that the Adenauer government was a menace because it supported groups demanding territorial revisions and because it was building up an aggressive military potential.

Before leaving, Ambassador Spasowski informed the Secretary that he was being withdrawn from his Washington assignment and that in the next few days agreement would be requested for his successor, Mr. Edward Drozniak, the present Deputy Minister of Finance and President of the Bank of Poland.

The Secretary complimented the Ambassador for his conduct of the mission to Washington during a period which had seen United States-Polish relations take a significant turn for the better, and expressed the hope that they might meet again in the future.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.48/4–1062. Official Use Only. Drafted by Tims and approved in S on April 17.
  2. For text of the State of the Union address, January 30, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1961, pp. 19–28.
  3. Adenauer visited Washington April 12–13.