119. Telegram From the Embassy in Poland to the Department of State1

1171. I had long talk with Winiewicz today on general subject of bridge building. Talk was cordial but rather vague. I pointed out that in my previous conversation with him on November 2, I had expressed interest in bridge building (Embtel 997).2 Now that President Johnson had won overwhelming popular mandate and had a Congress which would presumably be more amenable to his wishes than last one, time seemed to be particularly propitious for a little effort on both sides to improve relations.

We briefly discussed Rusk meeting with Rapacki and he indicated they would suggest about December 9 in New York for it.3

Winiewicz referred to decisions of Polish authorities to permit Atoms for Peace and Kennedy exhibits. He thought this was clear evidence of Polish agreement with our positive position. He said Jaroszewicz had telephoned him immediately after his conversation with me (Embtel 1139)4 to ask a lot of questions. Jaroszewicz was now having study prepared of possibilities for increased trade with US and nothing further could be said until study completed. We discussed at some length Jaroszewicz’s desire for more diversified Polish exports, particularly of machinery.

Winiewicz then went into considerable detail about Polish misgivings regarding MLF. He said that Poles had noted with concern ever increasing influence of West Germany in NATO. He said that Rapacki had spoken of this to Rusk on previous occasions and suggested that he would doubtless wish to mention it again. I pointed out that it was precisely because of tensions and unresolved questions that we felt this was appropriate time to build bridges. We could not now say what could be accomplished but we could start. This seemed to strike responsive chord.

We discussed PL 480 at some length. He showed positive interest in possibility of another agreement under Title IV but he was worried about terms we would impose. I said I could tell him nothing about them but would suggest an inquiry on their part.

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Winiewicz spoke with appreciation of McCloskey’s statement regarding Polish-American relations.5 He was rather critical of recent Frankel articles. He said that when he had reported in highest quarters after our previous conversation his assurances to me that Poland also desired better relations, he had been told that he had been quite right in giving me these assurances without even consulting higher authority.

I carefully left door open for further discussion.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL POL–US. Confidential; Priority.
  2. Telegram 997 from Warsaw, November 3, also reported on Polish reaction to Khrushchev’s ouster as Soviet leader. (Ibid., POL 15 USSR)
  3. See Document 120.
  4. Telegram 1139 from Warsaw, November 19, reported on Cabot’s discussion on the topic of “bridge building” with Vice President Jarosewicz. (Department of State, Central Files, POL POL–US) Regarding President Johnson’s policy of “bridge building,” see Document 4.
  5. At a November 18 press conference, Department of State spokesman Robert McCloskey stated that U.S.-Polish relations “continue to be good.” The Embassy reported on Polish reaction to this statement in airgram A–536 from Warsaw, November 25. (Ibid., POL 2–1 POL)