60. Memorandum of Conversation0

SUBJECT

  • Call of the Polish Ambassador

PARTICIPANTS

  • The Polish Ambassador, Edward Drozniak
  • Dr. Marian Dobrosielski, Counselor
  • The Under Secretary
  • Mr. Griffith Johnson, E
  • Mr. W. Michael Blumenthal, E
  • Mr. George Springsteen, U
  • Mr. Julius L. Katz, EE

After describing the satisfaction of his Government at the general course of US-Polish relations, the Ambassador expressed his serious concern over the US intention to delay until about June 1 the sale to [Page 123]Poland of grain and other commodities under PL 480. If discussions commenced on June 1, it was likely, on the basis of previous experience, that deliveries would not begin until late September. This would coincide with deliveries from Poland’s own harvest and would not alleviate Poland’s immediate need for grain. The Ambassador explained that the present shortage arises from the over-estimation of production last year, as well as the fact that peasant deliveries have lagged because of international tensions and the late Winter in Poland. The Polish Government would not like to resort to forced deliveries and therefore hopes to meet the situation by means of imports from the US. The Ambassador therefore requested that Poland’s request of last February, for 600,000 tons of wheat, be considered immediately. He hoped that a decision could be reached during the visit to the US of Poland’s Foreign Trade Minister, Mr. Trampczynski.

Mr. Ball asked Mr. Katz what were the possibilities for accelerating discussions on grain. Mr. Katz noted that June 1 was not far off. Moreover, he pointed out that the Ambassador’s assumptions about the interval between initiation of discussions and the beginning of deliveries was not necessarily correct. While on some occasions our negotiations were long drawn out because of extraneous factors, we have on other occasions concluded negotiations very quickly, witness the recent amendment on cotton which was concluded in less than five days. Mr. Katz pointed out that we also wished to evaluate the results of discussions in Warsaw on certain matters of concern to the US.

Mr. Ball emphasized that we were most concerned about Poland’s failure to take steps to settle the problem of defaulted dollar bonds. He requested the Ambassador to impress upon his Government our difficulty in accepting new financial obligations from Poland while old obligations were in default.

Ambassador Drozniak stated that during his recent consultations in Warsaw he raised the question of bonds and this question is being considered seriously there. He regretted that he had no instructions as yet. He was informed about Ambassador Cabot’s conversation with Deputy Foreign Minister Winiewicz1 and was hopeful Minister Trampczysnki would bring with him some word on the bond problem.

At the conclusion of his visit the Ambassador stated that the bulk of Polish-American relations was pleasant but there had recently been an unpleasantry—our rejection of the Rapacki Plan.2 Our rejection was so swift and so out of hand as to have caused astonishment, not only by the Polish Government but by the population at large. The Polish Government [Page 124]continues to believe the idea of the Rapacki Plan to be sound and hopes one day it will be seriously considered.

Mr. Ball commented that it was not as though the Plan had not been given consideration. It had in fact been considered over some period of time. We could not afford, however, to permit any confusion or misunderstanding as to our position. We just do not feel that the assurances which exist in present East-West relations are adequate for an arrangement such as is envisaged in the Rapacki Plan.

  1. Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 65 D 330. Confidential. Drafted by Katz and approved in U on May 9.
  2. See Document 58.
  3. For text of the April 3 U.S. statement, see Department of State Bulletin, April 23, 1962, pp. 664–665.