167. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Conversation with Polish Diplomat

On June 6, I had lunch with Andrzej Wojtowicz, First Secretary of the Polish Embassy, with whom I have lunched often before. We talked mostly about the Presidentʼs visit to Warsaw.

Presidential Visit

Wojtowicz disclosed that his Embassy had received a circular telegram from Warsaw several days before describing the visit as a success. He was awaiting the return of Ambassador Trampczynski on June 9 for further details. The circular had stressed that “particularly on Germany” in the communiqué had Poland achieved its goal. Other Polish gains were the formulations on the European Security Conference (CSCE) and MBFR, both of which represented considerable advances.2

Wojtowicz said that the circular had skipped over the economic aspects of the visit, which Poland had originally regarded as key. Perhaps Trampczynski would have more to say when he got back. Wojtowicz himself thought that the communiqué passages on the economic and the scientific-technical commissions were inconsequential. Probably they came out of the meeting between President Nixon and Gierek. They looked to Wojtowicz like attempts to give the appearance of more substance on economic issues and to parallel economic passages in the US-Soviet communiqué. Frankly, agreement on the two commissions had caught the Polish Embassy by surprise.

Wojtowicz asked how the President has most benefitted from the visit. I thought that getting to know Polandʼs new leaders personally and the publicized contact with Polish citizens had been the main gains [Page 400] for the President.3 It had been a pity, however, that the Polish authorities had at first tried so hard to keep the crowds away. Wojtowicz pointed out that contrary to the Feron story in the New York Times, Polish media had announced the Presidentʼs schedule well in advance.4


Wojtowicz strongly hoped that the United States would not reduce its presence in Europe as a result of post-Summit atmospherics. If the Americans left, the Germans would certainly be the strongest force in Central Europe. The danger in that was obvious. How could the US help Poland keep Germany under control? That was a major problem for Warsaw now. Wojtowicz was not sure that we were correct in ascribing to the Soviet Union the objective of diminishing the US presence in Europe. This was in any case no Polish objective.

I pointed out that Four Power Responsibility for Germany continued (Wojtowicz thought that was a good thing), indeed had been reinforced by the Berlin Protocol just signed.5 Brandt was correct in his observation in his June 5 speech at Harvard that it is too often forgotten that the Berlin Protocol assures a US presence in Central Europe—and one to which the Soviets have agreed.


Wojtowicz said that the Soviets had not solicited Polish views before signing onto the US-Soviet communiquéʼs passages on these topics. He had the impression that neither the Soviets nor their Warsaw Pact allies had done much MBFR work yet, although Warsaw had some old schemes in the files which might be worth dusting off. On CSCE, more work had been done, of course. There had for example been a joint Polish-Hungarian study of the economic aspects of a Conference and also another joint study. Both joint studies had come out of the re [Page 401] cent Budapest meeting of Warsaw Pact foreign ministers. I told him that NATO had been doing a lot of preparatory work on both MBFR and on the CSCE.

US Oil Company in Poland

Saying that this was very secret, Wojtowicz related that six weeks ago the Polish government had asked Standard Oil of Indiana to send geologists to Poland to help their Polish counterparts explore for oil reserves off the Baltic coast. This invitation had come out of the high-level Polish trade/technical delegationʼs visit to the US in early May. Standardʼs geologists were now in Poland.

This was sensitive. Not only was the exploration going on near the Polish-GDR frontier, but, if oil were located and American engineers and technicians came in, they would be replacing Russians. The Soviet geologistsʼ exploration methods were outdated. Thatʼs why the Poles had sought out an American company.

I asked what was in it for Standard of Indiana. Wojtowicz thought that if exploitable oil reserves should be found, Standard would be paid in crude, which it could profitably ship by sea to nearby refineries in Hamburg or Sweden and then market in Western Europe.


Wojtowicz asked whether the President and the Soviet leaders had come closer on Vietnam. I said that I had no knowledge beyond that in the communiqué. Shaking his head, Wojtowicz observed that the Soviet Union had hardly stood by its North Vietnamese friends. Shrugging his shoulders, he added that that was “politics.”

Soviet-US Relations

What had the US gotten out of the Summit, Wojtowicz asked. The major gains, I thought, had been the SALT agreement and the personal acquaintanceship with the Soviet leaders and their views, which the President had gained from his long and detailed talks.

What about the Pravdaʼs post-Summit criticism of “left-wingers” opposed to Brezhnevʼs Western policy, I asked. Wojtowicz thought that this attack had been aimed at Maoist and New Left groupings in the Western European communist parties, rather than at an anti-Brezhnev faction within the CPSU.

Would the three Soviet leaders come to the United States together, I inquired. Not likely, Wojtowicz replied. He expected that Kosygin might like to come next fall, extending a visit to the UN General Assembly into a tour of the US.

Robert Gerald Livingston
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 699, Country Files—Poland, Vol. II 1972. Confidential. Sent for information. Drafted by Livingston. The original was sent to Kissinger, who initialed it. A copy was sent to Ash.
  2. See Document 164. The joint communiqué contained the following language on the Polish-West German treaty: “Both sides welcomed the treaty between Poland and the Federal Republic of Germany signed on December 7, 1970, including its border provisions.” (Department of State Bulletin, June 26, 1972, p. 915)
  3. On July 6 at 2:30 p.m., Chapin wrote in a memorandum to Colson: “We have film of the Presidentʼs trip to Poland which was taken by our documentary crew. It would seem to me that this would make outstanding film to be used by some of the Polish leaders or by people who are visiting the various Polish wards around the country. Perhaps we should even consider making a TV commercial out of it to be run in the Polish areas. The other thing that would be good is to use the soundtrack for radio.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files, Subject Files, Box 80, EX TR 38–3 WARSAW, POLAND)
  4. James Feron had reported on June 1: “President Nixon arrived in Warsaw today and succeeded in reaching the Polish people despite official attempts to avoid a repetition of the emotional welcome he received here in 1959, when he was Vice President…. Polish Communist party members had been told to stay home and watch the arrival on television…. There had been no publicity on either the Presidentʼs route into the city or his schedule.” Feron, “Nixon in Warsaw, Greets the Public and Meets Gierek,” New York Times, June 1, 1972, p. 1.
  5. For the text of the Final Quadripartite Protocol on Berlin, signed June 3, see Documents on Germany, 1944–1985, pp. 1204–1206.