Full text of the Polish documents
issued by the Berlin Foreign Office
With a foreword by
C. HARTLEY GRATTAN
Howell, Soskin and Company, 1940, New York City
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
COPYRIGHT, 1940, BY HOWELL, SOSKIN & CO., INC.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
After the occupation of Warsaw, the German Foreign Office announced, on March 30,1940, that important parts of the archives of the Polish Foreign Office had fallen into German hands.
It was stated that a study of the voluminous dossiers had been undertaken. The sixteen documents contained in this book were released as the first product of this study. They are now published in their complete text for the first time in the United States.
The German White Paper
By C. HARTLEY GRATTAN
WHEN war breaks out every nation involved immediately begins a campaign to put the blame for the catastrophe on the enemy. The war of the "color books" is a phase of this activity. It has been going full-blast ever since the present war began.
Plainly no single "color book" on the outbreak of war can be read with the feeling that one is getting the whole truth and nothing but the truth. One cannot read all the "color books" printed and be certain that one is arriving at anything better than a tentative version of the truth. All one has to do to reinforce this conelusion is a look through the "color books" issued in 1914 and then consult the writings of Harry Elmer Barnes, Sidney Bradshaw Fay and others who have intensively studied the documents found in the archives of the various governments after the fighting was over.
While the "color books" should not be swallowed holus-bolus, neither should they be rejected in their entirety, no matter by which side they are issued. All of them contain some proportion of truth; and it may turn out in the long run that all of the documents printed in all of them are authentic. Even those which have been "cut" to fit a particular line of argumentation may be pieces of authentic documents. The number of complete and utter fakes among them may turn out to be few and far between. The fakery is far more apt to be in the argumentation the documents are selected or "cut" to support.
Objective truth is the least of the concerns of those fighting the "color book" war.
They are prosecutors endeavoring to convict an opponent of wrong doing. Conspicuous among the methods of doctoring material to make a case are two: leaving out documents of crucial importance to a true understanding of what happened; and deleting passages from documents selected for printing with the idea of concealing awkward facts. The former dodge is the easiest to detect at the moment the books are published, for the "color books" can at least be checked against a chronology of known events. But the deletions, or "cuts," ordinarily remain undetected until the archives are explored after the war is over. What they can mean is clearly shown in a book published in New York in 1923: Falsifications of the Russian Orange Book.
Reviewing the current crop of "color books" in the New York Times Ferdinand Kuhn, [r., has naturally emphasized omissions rather than cuts:
... the British documents . . . are only a selection. They include nothing of the diplomatic interchanges between London and Paris, even in the acute phase of the crisis; nothing about the English-French-Soviet negotiations in Moscow which dragged on until the announcement of the Russo-German nonaggression pact; and tell little of the Munich crisis or of what went before.
The gaps in the French record are maddening; they all but destroy its value for future historians. There is nothing here, for example, about the tremendous preliminaries to Munich; the documents jump from the aftermath of the Austrian anschluss in the Spring of 1938 to the Munich agreement itself. The whole sordid story of the Conference of Ambassadors, which fixed Czecho-Slovakia's boundaries for a few months after Munich is neatly omitted; there is nothing about Franco-Italian negotiations, and not a scrap about the Allied negotiations with Soviet Russia which, by their failure, opened the door to the GermanRussian pact and led inescapably to war.
The Germans ... began ... with Aug. 4, 1939. Nothing about Munich or Prague, or any of the shattering events that preceded last Summer appears in its pages. From the White Book one cannot tell how long the campaign against Poland was planned, what pledges of support Germany may have had from Italy, or what the ultimate objectives may have been if Britain and France had stood aloof. Even the story of the last two weeks preceding the war is incomplete, for it does not deal with German-Russian negotiations, although they must have played a vital part in German calculations.
At whom are the "color books" directed? At the citizens at home to convince: them of the righteousness of the government's cause; at the citizens of the enemy country to convince them that their government is in the wrong; and at the citizens of neutral countries. The purpose to be served in the latter case differs with the position of each belligerent. The new British and French "color books" are designed, as far as this country is concerned, to confirm the existing American prejudice in favor of the Allies and create a background for possible participation in the war on their side. The German books, on the other hand, are designed to keep us neutral, for American participation on the German side is out of the question. In neither instance are American interests the primary consideration. The various nations aim to serve their interests, not ours. If by any chance a belligerent does take up a line desirable for the American people as well, that is not because of any solicitude for us. It is because the policy which we think is desirable happens to be one which also serves the belligerent's purpose.
What Americans have to get straight is what policy will best serve their own interests. This cannot be done if flighty and emotional individuals guide public opinion. They are too apt to decide that it is more important that our policy help or hinder the policies of other nations than that it serves our own interests. We cannot, it should be clear, conclude that American policy is wrong because it happens to fit in with what Germany would like to have us do; nor that it is right because it happens to serve the interests of Britain and France. To argue in that fashion is to use criteria which are irrelevant to the issue. What we have to decide is what line best serves American interests and stick to it.
The documents were released in Berlin and presented by the German Government as those found by Germans in the Polish archives after the Poles had fled. They are a war-booty of Germany and were made known to the world without the wishes or desires of the senders or addressees. They were interpreted by German commentators as evidence of the fact that certain American ambassadors accidentally may have involved American diplomacy in a way that might have encouraged the British-French guarantee to Poland. Such encouragement of the British-French policy was certainly out of line with the expressed American policy of non-intervention, and the Germans have tied the disturbing fact of the diplomatists' apparent support of American participation on the Franco-British side to the familiar argument: the ambassadors encouraged the policy of "encircling" Germany and, in their view, if "encirclement" led to war, the United States would, in the end, support the Allies with its fighting forces.
The publication of these documents has been sharply rebuffed by American officials, including President Roosevelt and Secretary Hull, who have called into question their authenticity. This was inevitable. They could not be ignored; it would have been highly expedient to confirm their genuineness; so the only possible tack was to cast doubts of their authenticity.
It should be remembered, however, that there are plenty of documents of the last war, now issued as official publications of the State Department, which if they had been released in any fashion during the course of the war, would have been repudiated as vehemently as these. This is true of many of the memoranda Secretary of State Lansing composed during his career in the State Department; it is true of the so-called House-Grey agreement which was, by the way, suspected to exist at the time though the government denied it; it is true of many of the documents with regard to the Lusitania; and it is true of President Wilson's knowledge of the secret treaties of which he never persuaded himself to make a clean breast in his own lifetime. The point is that from past experience we know that in wartime an "official denial" of the authenticity of facts or documents, no matter the source from which they come, is insufficient reason to dismiss them entirely from consideration.
The documents here presented give but a partial view of the American position.
To say this does not mean that we have knowledge of the secret archives of the State Department; it merely requires that we call to mind the many relevant documents already released to the people by the American government which bear on this matter. By selecting a few documents which place American officials in an extremely bad light and failing to place them in anything like a full context, the Germans have made them appear to mean more than they really do. As pointed out earlier, this technique is an old one among editors of "color books." But as also pointed out, the falseness does not necessarily extend to the isolated documents themselves; it arises rather out of their arbitrary selection to reinforce an argument which is strained. In this particular case the Germans have released selected documents which might alarm those Americans who are convinced that neutrality is the proper American policy and perhaps start a fire under a government which such Americans already regard with a considerable measure of suspicion.
In this fashion the documents are used both to clear Germany of guilt in precipitating the war and to accuse American diplomatists of assisting and encouraging the Allies to precipitate it. It is not known whether a complete collection of documents would lead us to either conclusion.
But because they have been selected for this purpose it does not follow that the documents are false. Far from it, Our knowledge of the foreign policy of the Roosevelt administration is too extensive for us to rule them out of court. It is likely that they are authentic documents. This is the opinion of many Washington correspondents, including Sir Willmott Lewis of the London Times, who might be expected to be sceptical of them. When they are placed in the picture we have of President Roosevelt's foreign policy, they are not false notes. Could they not have been used to fill out the highly favorable, semi-official, picture of the President's policy drawn by Alsop and Kintner in "American White Paper"? Do they not fit neatly into the Roosevelt line of "action short of war" in support of Britain and France? Criticism should be directed against that policy as a whole, rather than at these stray documents which so neatly complement it. It and not these few papers will on some fateful tomorrow get the American people into really serious trouble. These papers are but straws in the wind.
New York City, May 10, 1940.
Telegram of the British Ambassador to Warsaw, Sir Howard Kennard, to London on April znd 1935, found among Polish dossiers. Obviously it is a telegram from the British Ambassador to Warsaw to the Foreign Office in London.
THE FOLLOWING is for Mr. Eden: I had an interview this afternoon with Marshal Pilsudski. The conversation was not carried on easily because a great part of the Marshal's remarks, all of which were spoken in French, were unintelligible both to myself and to two Polish Ministers who were present. A considerable portion of his remarks consisted of reminiscences, during which he asked about my war experience and paid tribute to the British army in the war.
The main political theme, so far as it could be disentangled, was that he had his pact with Germany and Russia, and that the latter country's policy was always very difficult to fathom, that other nations often misunderstood it and that Mr. Lloyd George in particular was a crowning example of these errors of judgment. As an instance of this he referred to Mr. Lloyd George's support of Denikin. The Marshal had always known that Denikin never had a chance, but Mr. Lloyd George had sadly miscalculated the situation. To the Marshal it appeared that Britain should occupy herself with her colonies and not follow Lloyd George's bad example.
What, for instance, he asked, was the political situation in Jamaica? I retorted that if Europe were only as little important as Jamaica we should not have to worry. I asked Marshal whether it was his judgment that there was no alternative to isolation for Britain. The Marshal replied that in his opinion there was none. I told him that, for our part, we wished for nothing better than to leave Europe to her own troubles, but that our experience was that those troubles had the unhappy knack of involving our own country. The Marshal did not dissent. I had an impression of a man now very feeble physically who despite his--.
In any event, he was not to be drawn into a discussion of current international politics. So far as he seems to have visualized his own country's situation under present conditions, it is that of a country which clings to its pacts with each of its great neighbors and refuses to move from its position or face any events which might compel it to revise the attitude which it has taken up.
Letter from the Polish General Staff (Department Two) in Warsaw, to the Foreign Minister in Warsaw. Dated: Warsaw, August 8th, I938.
CONCERNS the international situation as seen in Portugal.
The British military mission at present is busy in Portugal trying to outline military cooperation between Portugal and Great Britain. Admiral Wodehouse submitted the British demands to the staffs of the Portuguese army and navy, but all British projects were sabotaged by the Portuguese War Ministry and Government. In fact, the British mission did not receive a reply. Thereupon Admiral W odehouse conferred with British Ambassador Selby, who advised the Admiral to remain calm and reserved. Finally W odehouse sent a direct report to London. Concerning this direct report W odehouse himself said:
"I asked London whether I am to point the pistol to their heads or whether I am to wait. Anyway I shall now be more strict with them".
The Portuguese General Peixote E. Cunha, known as the right hand man of Salazar, who carries out reforms of the army personnel, told me that Portugal's future depended on an alliance with Great Britain, that Spain, quite independent of the outcome of the civil war, was a permanent threat to Portugal, and that Portugal would welcome the weakening of Spain even at the price of separating Catalonia from Spain.
Lieutenant N. Chamberlain, member of the British military mission, spoke of the danger of a European war. He said:
"We know that Germany and Italy are bluffing. Together with the younger officers of our staff I am of the opinion that we should start war immediately".
He explained that Germany could surprise nobody by new war machinery, that the Germany army was unprepared, that old German airplanes and armored material had but little practical value and that Germany was in a bad moral and economic position (possibility of overthrow of German regime). He added that Germany lacks ore, oil, rubber, and food. Germany's possible partner, Italy, was in even a worse condition, since she was without any war materials whatsoever. He assured me that under the present circumstances war seemed unavoidable and declared it would be better to start war now when there was less possibility of danger. He pointed out that at present Great Britain can count on close cooperation with United States. I asked Chamberlain whether England in this event meant to introduce military conscription. He answered that he did not think so, for the following reasons: London was convinced that the most useful weapons would be the navy, the air force and armored units, as well as participation in warfare of trade and industry. He added that it was possible of course that as a result of events of the war, general mobilization might have to be resorted to.
Colonel Daly, of the British military mission, appeared to be optimistic over the results of the commission's work. He hinted that Great Britain would apply methods which would guarantee success. He said that at present everything was being done here to bring about an end of purchases of German war material. He added that recent experiences with German war materials in Rumania were unsatisfactory. Colonel Daly revealed that Germany lately had sold certain arms to Red Spain. On the British possibilities in a future war, Colonel Daly was of the same opinion as Chamberlain, and emphasized the fact that good results had already been achieved in obtaining cooperation with United States. As to the introduction of military conscription in Great Britain, Colonel Daly declared that England by general military preparations, target practice, and the establishment of strong volunteer corps, had created the necessary conditions for large scale extension of the British army. He added that Great Britain had organized great strategical reserves in the colonies, particularly in India.
In the last two years staff officers for future wars are systematically trained at academies: an Academy for training high officers for leading posts in political, administrative and military authorities, and an Imperial Military College for preparation of officers of lower rank. In addition, the number of preparatory courses for General Staff Officers has been doubled. Thus, said Daly, Great Britain has created an organization for the whole Empire in preparation for the coming conflict.
Commander Gade, American Naval Attache said to me at the time:
"We are completely on the side of democracy so far as ideas are concerned. At present the possibilities for speedy aid to Great Britain and France are being studied in America. One must conclude that help shall not be sent as in the World War, only after one year when the first American soldiers intervened actively, but in the course of seven to ten days. As soon as the war begins 1,000 airplanes are to be sent".
Commander Gade furthermore drew my attention to the unpermissible methods of German penetration in South America, to which the United States could not consent. Commander Gade is a man who enjoys the confidence of Roosevelt and is a personal friend of his. He has very close relations with Belgium, and is a friend of the Belgian King. He is very unfriendly towards Germany. Personally he is very wealthy.
From conversations with Chamberlain, Daly and Gade I derived a feeling of quiet certainty of close cooperation in case of a conflict. I talked more frequently with local Italians. They are extremely nervous, much interested in our attitude in a future conflict; with their backs to the wall they pointed to the menace to mankind and to civilization in a future war, which, for this reason, must be avoided at all cost.
While the French fleet was here, Commander Darrieux, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Atlantic fleet, regarded as the coming man of the French navy and known to me, from an earlier visit to Lisbon, as leader of a destroyer unit, invited me personally to board the Admiral ship as well as to the inspection of the aircraft carrier "Bearn". I went together with Captain Stefanowicz, and accompanied by the French Minister. We were the only foreigners there.
"Bearn" lay in the middle of the Tejo River, far away from any possibility of closer inspection. In the course of the conversation Commander Darrieux spoke pretty calmly about the possibility of future conflict. Above all he emphasized the fact that in France the rightist circles and rightist press are unnecessarily afraid and that they judged the situation incorrectly. He regards the pacifism of the democracies as their biggest mistake, for by this creed one cannot be first in starting the war. In this manner one puts a most valuable trump card into the hands of the opponents-that of surprise. But he has opinions somewhat beyond this view. He believes it will be possible to come to terms with the Italians.
In conclusion, I should like to emphasize the calm and unanimity of view of the representatives of Britain, France and the United States.
A letter of Doctor Grazynski, in Kattowitz, to Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, dated November 2nd, 1938.
I consider it my duty to inform you of what transpired between Mr. Kuulies Randa, former general director of the Trzynice factory plants, and Mr. Zieleniewski.
This conversation is of great importance, for Mr. Kuulies Randa is one of the most important Czech industrialists, whose name has lately been mentioned as a candidate for the presidency of the Czechoslovak Republic. Talking of the policy of Czechoslovakia, he expressed himself in the following terms:
"For a thousand years, the Czechs have formed a political unit of the Germanic Empire. After they acquired independence for Czechoslovakia, a group tried to formulate an independent policy. However, their efforts were frustrated, and the attempt failed. Now, in my opinion, the Czech state should return to its old role, participating in the political destiny of the German Reich."
Considering his position, Mr. Randa's words have great importance, and they indicate existing tendencies which have also been observed on other occasions.
(Signed) DR. GRAZYNSKI, WOJEWOD.
Report of the Polish Ambassador, Count Jerzy Potocki, Polish Ambassador at Washington, to the Foreign Minister in Warsaw. Refers to conversation with Ambassador Bullitt. Dated : Washington, November 21,1938.
To FOREIGN MINISTER in Warsaw:
The day before yesterday I had a long conversation with Ambassador Bullitt, who is here on a vacation.
In the beginning he remarked that very friendly relations existed between himself and Ambassador Lukasiewicz in Paris, whose company he greatly enjoyed.
Since Bullitt regularly informs Roosevelt about the international situation in Europe, and particularly about Russia, great attention is given his reports by Roosevelt and the State Department. Bullitt speaks vividly and interestingly. Nonetheless, his reaction to events in Europe resembled the view of a journalist more than that of a politician, for in his conversation he alluded to the entire scale of very complicated European problems. From them he draws very negative conclusions.
Bullitt shows great pessimism in his conversation generally. He said the beginning of 1939 would undoubtedly be very exciting, aggravated by the continuous display of the possibility of war and by threats from Germany, as well as by the danger in the unclarified situation in Europe. He agreed with me that the centre of gravity of the European question has moved from west to east, for the capitulation of the Democratic States in Munich revealed their weakness compared with the German Reich.
Then Bullitt spoke about the complete lack of preparation for war in Britain and about the impossibility of converting English industry to a mass war production basis, particularly in the airplane industry. He expressed himself with unusual enthusiasm about the French army and confirmed the fact, nonetheless, that French aviation is outmoded. According to what military experts told Bullitt during the fall-crisis of 1938, the war would last at least six years and would in their opinion end in the complete destruction of Europe, and with communism reigning in all States. Undoubtedly, at the conclusion, the benefits would be taken by Russia.
He spoke of Russia with contempt. He said the last purge, particularly the removal of Bluecher, has resulted in the complete disorientation of the Red Army which is not capable of any active war exertions. In general, according to him, Russia is at present the sick man of Europe. He compared it with the pre-war Ottoman State.
About Germany and Chancellor Hitler he spoke vehemently and with great hatred. He said that only energy at the end of the war would put an end to a future great German expansionism. To my question asking how he visualized this future war, he replied that above all the United States, France and England must rearm tremendously in order to be in a position to cope with German power. Only then, when the moment is ripe, declared Bullitt further, will one be ready for the final decision. I asked him in what way the conflict could arise, since Germany probably would not attack England and France. I simply could not see the starting point in this entire speculation.
Bullitt replied that the democratic countries definitely needed another two years, until they were fully armed. Meantime, Germany would probably have advanced with its expansion in an Easterly direction. It would be the wish of the democratic countries that armed conflict would break out there, in the East between the German Reich and Russia. As the Soviet Union's potential strength was not yet known, it might happen that Germany would have moved too far away from its base, and would be condemned to wage a long and weakening war. Only then would the democratic countries attack Germany, Bullitt declared, and force her to capitulate. In reply to my question whether the United States would take part in such war, he said, "Undoubtedly yes, but only after Great Britain and France had made the first move!" Feeling in United States is so tense against Nazism and Hitlerism, he said, that there is today a psychosis among Americans similar to that before America's declaration of war on Germany in 1917.
Bullitt then inquired about the situation in Eastern Europe. He confirmed the fact that Poland was still a country which would resort to arms and fight if Germany crossed its frontiers. I well understand the question of a joint frontier with Hungary, he said. Hungarians, too, are capable of helping us. A joint line of defense with Yugoslavia would make matters easier in regard to German expansion. Then Bullitt spoke on the Ukrainian question and on German efforts in the Ukraine. He confirmed the fact that Germany had a complete Ukrainian staff which would take over the Government of the Ukraine in the future and which would create there an independent Ukrainian state, under German control. "Such an Ukraine," Bullitt continued, "would naturally be very dangerous to you, as it would exercise direct influence on Ukrainians in Eastern Congress Poland."
"Already," he said, "German propaganda has moved entirely in an Ukrainian nationalist direction, and Carpatho-Ruthenian Ukraine would serve as a starting point in this future undertaking in whose continued existence Germany is much interested, especially for strategic reasons." Bullitt did not give the impression of being too well informed on the situation in Eastern Europe, and he conversed in a rather superficial way.
(Signed) JERZY POTOCKI, Ambassador of the Polish Republic.
Report of the Polish Ambassador to Paris, Jules Lukasiewicz, to the Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, refers to the position of France in Eastern Europe. Dated: December 17th, 1938, Paris.
To THE FOREIGN MINISTER in Warsaw:
Completing my wired information, which I had the honor to send to the Minister during the last few weeks, permit me to resume with this, my opinion on French Foreign policy after the conierence held in Munich and following the visit of Mr. von Ribbentrop.
The most important event of this time is naturally the Franco-German accord of December 6th, this year, reached by Minister Bonnet and von Ribbentrop. The French desire at least to balance relations with Germany after the Munich conference, as was done by England in publishing the well known Chamberlain-Hitler communication, is undoubtedly clear and strong, but it appears that Chancellor Hitler took the initial concrete step during the farewell visit held with French Ambassador Francois-Poncet, France accepted this benevolent beginning and was frankly satisfied to the point of expressing a desire for immediate realization. When he left at the end of October for Warsaw, Minister Bonnet informed me that the signature and publication of the accord were imminent. But his assumption was not realized for two reasons: one was the difficulty in reaching an accord on the text; and the other reason was the assassination of an attache in the German Embassy in Paris, causing a suspension for two weeks. It appears that difficulties in agreeing on the text of the accord were due to efforts of Foreign Minister Bonnet to construct an accord which would imply recognition not only of the German-Franco frontier, but also of the French colonial possessions. The final text of the accord takes this into consideration, or at least can so be interpreted. At the time when the text had been definitely drawn up, the German Government took the initiative by proposing that von Ribbentrop visit Paris. Bonnet immediately accepted the proposal, with due consideration of the interior political situation as it affects foreign propaganda, and because he wished to give the accord as impressive a character as possible, creating around the event an atmosphere that would result in an essential improvement of French relations with her neighbor.
Because of the general strike announced in France by labor unions and labor parties on November 30th, the visit of the German Foreign Minister had to be delayed. The visit occurred December 6th, in a quiet, courteous atmosphere both on the part of the French Government and of the French political moderates. Only the extreme oppositionist press commented in a very strong manner on the visit. The impression was gained that an overwhelming majority of the French populace wanted to believe in the possibility of a permanent bettering of German-French relations. However, the distrust was too great, and finally weighed most on the spirit. This distrust has been reinforced naturally by the anti-French campaign of the Italian press which has not encountered any serious objection on the part of Germany. Actually it can be said that hardly a week after the departure of Ribbentrop, the resonance of the visit has disappeared. This resonance has been replaced by a new uneasiness, caused as much by the Italian anti-French campaign as by the Memel and Ukraine questions. It can be asserted with absolute assurance that the declaration tranquilizing French public opinion most is the point least necessary, that is, the German-French frontier. On the other hand, there is no new easing in regard to German-Italian expansionist tendencies, which is in reality what disturbs public opinion here. It must be conceded, however, that the accord has undoubtedly strengthened the position of the government before Parliament, in the financial market and in public opinion, and that, on the other hand, it has increased and made more profound the divergence between the Daladier government and the extreme left opposition.
Referring to the official attitude on the accord, it can be assumed to be one of absolute reservation and a highly cautious attitude. Regarding the interview held with Ambassador Leger, I am informed that the French Government intends to tranquilize German-French relations on a general European basis, that is, as a point of general appeasement on the continent. It appears to me more than significant that Leger gave his words a concrete meaning and thinks that for betterment of German-French relations and French-Italian relations a quadri-partite pact will have to be arrived at in some manner or other. It is difficult, naturally, to ascertain up to what point this is Bonnet's and the French Government's idea. The semiofficial press which maintains close connections with the Quai d'Orsay allows one to judge that these plans are not unknown. It is evident, also, that Leger took part in all conferences held as result of Ribbentrop's visit.
On the other hand, however, I can say with absolute assurance, based on a long, detailed talk held with Foreign Minister Bonnet, that if the French Government tried to arrange appeasement with Germany on a wide European basis, it has suffered complete failure on this ground. The final result is, then, that the Bonnet-Ribbentrop accord can be considered entirely as a bilateral act whose significance is seen not to go beyond French-German relations. The accord brought France recognition of territorial frontiers and assurance that there existed no territorial questions between France and Germany. Such assurance is interpreted among French political mediums as recognition of the French Empire, excepting mandated territories. The understanding finally brought with it an improvement in neighboring relations, which is important in the light of passages in Hitler's "Mein Kampf," wherein the author designates France as Germany's prime enemy. Besides, it has been ascertained that the economic problems are extraordinarily complicated and require long negotiations, while the political atmosphere has not been improved sufficiently to simplify and quickly solve economic problems.
Concerning the first and third paragraphs of the accord, they are essentially "primum desiderium," perhaps including a more exclusive portion and answer to reality. It is worthy of special note that the conferences with Ribbentrop have brought about nothing new that suggests a basis for future expectations in two problems especially interesting to France: relations with Italy and the Spanish question.
Summing up, we may be certain that in the drawing up and signing of the accord, the French have tried, although discreetly, to give the event a major significance; while Germany has reduced its importance to that of a bilateral act.
Thus it is clear that the fate of the accord depends essentially on Berlin, since it is difficult to believe that French policy would undergo a serious change. From the moment that the suggestion was made for a French-German accord, the resulting von Ribbentrop visit to Paris has constituted a most important event, revealing the full extent of French policy, after the Munich defeat, especially in respect to the effect on French relations with Central and Eastern Europe.
First notice of the projected accord broke the silence of the French press regarding the French attitude on the alliance with us, and with regard to the mutual assistance pact with the USSR. The first to express themselves on this subject were the party organs "Humanite," "Populaire," "Odre" etc., including Pertinax and Madame Tabouis, all defending the Franco-Soviet pact, although not being able to put it on the same plane as the pact with us.
The rightist and semi-official press, on the contrary, papers such as "Temps" and "Petit Parisien," indicate that for France the essential problem is solely alliance with England, while in the present circumstances the pact with the USSR and the Polish alliance are of doubtful value. As for the rest, "Temps" has repeatedly expressed itself in editorials as urging France not to present any obstacles to the construction of a German empire in Central and Eastern Europe.
On the other hand, the German-French understanding has brought up again within the government the question of French international obligations, since some Russophiles, such as Mandel, desired to know if the accord were compatible with the alliance with us and with the Franco-Soviet pact. Finally, Bonnet, for this reason, has had to speak with me concerning the matter, and probably has done the same with the ambassadors of the USSR and Belgium. The first of these conversations was held before Bonnet declared himself satisfied with the text of the accord. Bonnet read the understanding to me, remarking that the reservation regarding relations with third parties referred also to relations with ourselves. He spoke a second time on the same subject upon my presenting the French Foreign Minister with the answer of the Polish minister to his previous communique of November 28th. Bonnet held in his hand the text of the Minister's confirmation that the interpretation on the viewpoint of the French Government was entirely accurate. Finally he advised me of the conference with Ribbentrop, voluntarily stressing the fact that he had confessed to the German intermediary that he regretted both the alliance with us and with the USSR. As for the rest, the communique found in the reports of the meeting of the Corrunittee on Foreign Affairs, of the 14th inst. appears to indicate that despite Bonnet's not mentioning his explanation of our alliance nor the pact with the USSR, he answered a question on the subject and affirmed the fact that French obligations toward us or the USSR would continue as before, and were fully valid.
It would be premature, however, to believe that the above totally cleared up our relations with the French Government, or with Parliament and the effect of the alliance with us on public opinion. I am of the opinion that it is more than certain that the French-German understanding has made the French active in the affairs which affect its alliance with Poland and the USSR, and, therefore, that they have neither violated nor under-valued these documents. It is worthy of notice that those now concerning themselves with previous French alliances as a result of the FrenchGerman accord have been almost exclusively Sovietophiles. The alliance with Poland has been more pretext than primary necessity in order to think about the maintenance of the French-Soviet pact. If the actual situation is analyzed from a purely political viewpoint, it must unfortunately show that neither the attitude of the government represented by Bonnet nor among Parliamentary politicians nor in the press is there anything to indicate the giving of new, vital force to the alliance with us or its conversion into a French foreign political instrument. On the other hand, so many indications are lacking that it permits the conclusion that in case, for some reason or other, France should see herself forced to comply with her obligations to us as result of the alliance that greater efforts would be made to break away from them than to fulfill them.
My opinion does not appear to be in accord with the declaration of Foreign Minister Bonnet, which I had the honor to communicate to the Minister. However, it is precise, and reproduces the exact situation. Bonnet is a person of weak character who is not in a situation to defend any cause, and who falls into the temptation of adapting himself to each of his interlocutors. Although I have in no case the intention of judging the sincerity of his statements toward us, I have not the least doubt that he will not adopt the same attitude expressed in his conference with me when confronted by his Government, Parliament and press.
Several times I have pointed out to Bonnet, directly and indirectly, the tremendous difference between our direct conversations and the statements of the semiofficial press and in Parliamentary discussions. My remarks up to the present have not had any result. We shall wait to see what discussion the Chamber of Deputies next brings up. In any case we will hinder the continuance of this situation which can be said to find us far from having a two-faced policy in what concerns us.
Our position in France is not the result of a fundamental modification of attitude toward us. The bitterness which the Czechoslovak crisis left has also played an exact, though minor role. The decisive nucleus of the question is found, however, much deeper, and is derived from the general French attitude in the face of the total complexity of the international situation. France finds herself, since the Munich conference, in the situation of a badly defeated person who cannot release himself from a enemy who continues to persecute, and thus, is not in a position to confront a series of new problems. Concerning international obligations, France is altogether too weak to break with them, but also too weak openly to articulate for the same. France therefore remains paralyzed and resignedly confined to adopting a defeatist attitude towards everything that is happening in central and eastern Europe. As things are today, France opposes the German-Italian axis in cooperation with England, to which it plays a passive role, and alongside of which nothing else interests her, whether or not the alliance with Poland or the USSR takes on special significance. This is not due to any doubt of our readiness to resist any excessive claims, but because it is not believed that such resistance could be any use. Thus the Carpatho-Russian question has not been solved in accordance with Hungarian wishes and Poland has played an important negative role. Summing up: France does not consider anything of positive value except an alliance with England, while an alliance with ourselves and the USSR is considered more of a burden, and she declares herself in their favor only in a displeased manner. This situation could be modified in case France, considering herself under English influence, started a political offensive against Germany, which is totally unlikely in the near future, or in the event that our resistance against German policy should prove efficacious and would therefore influence the attitude of other central and eastern European states. It is also possible that if Italy's attack were made in a more direct and dangerous manner and Italy finds herself protected in one form or another by Germany, France would be obliged to defend herself in a sector not supported by the English alliance, and in this case would try to profit by continental alliances, although only as auxiliary factors and of inferior value to English alliance.
Concerning Italy, it is almost certain that Chamberlain's visit to Rome will bring about an attempt to improve French-Italian relations which could now bring positive results, tending to demonstrate that France is still inclined to maintain a defeatist attitude regarding questions of central and eastern Europe. If it took up Europe's problems, French policy would show toward efforts of German expansion not only an absolute and passive attitude, but would be incapable of assuming the position which has characterized it for the last twenty years. I have the impression that the point of view taken by Minister Bonnet when confronted by Ribbentrop on the guaranty of the Czech frontier, was similar to the opinions expressed at the time by Ambassador Leger's conversation with me. If Mr. Ribbentrop so desired, he could obtain the guarantee of the new frontier even if it were previously guaranteed by us and Hungary. When he released this information, Minister Bonnet told me that Minister Ribbentrop received a French promise not to oppose German economic expansion in the Danube basin. Nor could Ribbentrop have received the impression that political expansion in the same region would encounter serious French resistance.
Concerning problems relating to European questions, particularly the Russian question, there is complete confusion in French policy and French public opinion. Confidence in Soviet Russia, that is, in its power, decreases each day more and more, and in the same manner sympathies decrease. The Soviet internal situation is judged pessimistically, rumors prevailing especially of a military uprising in Moscow which might result in a dangerous collaboration between Berlin and Moscow. The Ukrainian question is clouded by the impossibility of understanding the situation, which originated in turn, from the defeatist impression that Ukrainian action could start any month when Germany so desired, threatening its territorial integrity. This large number of problems keeps French public opinion in constant tension, which reflects itself in the press as well as among members of Parliament. This situation finds, on the government's part, an attitude that can be qualified as due to the lack of a strong Cabinet. One gets the impression that it is actually impossible to overcome this general psychosis with the most reasonable arguments.
(Signed) JULES LUKASIEWICZ, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland.
Report of the Polish Ambassador in Washington, Count Jerzy Potocki to Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, dated Washington, January 12, 1939, concerning the domestic situation in United States.
THERE is a feeling now prevalent in the United States marked by growing hatred of Fascism, and above all of Chancellor Hitler and everything connected with National Socialism. Propaganda is mostly in the hands of the Jews who control almost 100 percent radio, film, daily and periodical press. Although this propaganda is extremely coarse and presents Germany as black as possible above all religious persecution and concentration camps are exploited-this propaganda is nevertheless extremely effective since the public here is completely ignorant and knows nothing of the situation in Europe.
At the present moment most Americans regard Chancellor Hitler and National Socialism as the greatest evil and greatest peril threatening the world. The situation here provides an excellent platform for public speakers of all kinds, for emigrants from Germany and Czechoslovakia who with a great many words and with most various calumnies incite the public. They praise American liberty which they contrast with the totalitarian states.
It is interesting to note that in this extremely well-planned campaign which is conducted above all against National Socialism, Soviet Russia is almost completely eliminated. Soviet Russia, if mentioned at all, is mentioned in a friendly manner and things are presented in such a way that it would seem that the Soviet Union were cooperating with the bloc of democratic states. Thanks to the clever propaganda the sympathies of the American public are completely on the side of Red Spain.
This propaganda, this war psychosis is being artificially created. The American people are told that peace in Europe is hanging only by a thread and that war is inevitable. At the same time the American people are unequivocally told that in case of a world war, America also must take an active part in order to defend the slogans of liberty and democracy in the world. President Roosevelt was the first one to express hatred against Fascism. In doing so he was serving a double purpose; first he wanted to divert the attention of the American people from difficult and intricate domestic problems, especially from the problem of the struggle between capital and labor. Second, by creating a war psychosis and by spreading rumors concerning dangers threatening Europe, he wanted to induce the American people to accept an enormous armament program which far exceeds United States defense requirements.
Regarding the first point, it must be said that the internal situation on the labor .market is growing worse constantly. The unemployed today already number twelve million. Federal and state expenditures are increasing daily. Only the huge sums, running into billions, which the treasury expends for emergency labor projects, are keeping a certain amount of peace in the country. Thus far only the usual strikes and local unrest have taken place. But how long this government aid can be kept up it is difficult to predict today. The excitement and indignation of public opinion, and the serious conflict between private enterprises and enormous trusts on the one hand, and with labor on the other, have made many enemies for Roosevelt and are causing him many sleepless nights.
As to point two, I can only say that President Roosevelt, as a clever player of politics and a connoisseur of American mentality, speedily steered public attention away from the domestic situation in order to fasten it on foreign policy. The way to achieve this was simple. One needed, on the one hand, to enhance the war menace overhanging the world on account of Chancellor Hitler, and, on the other hand, to create a specter by talking about the attack of the totalitarian states on the United States. The Munich pact came to President Roosevelt as a godsend. He described it as the capitulation of France and England to bellicose German militarism. As was said here: Hitler compelled Chamberlain at pistol-point. Hence, France and England had no choice and had to conclude a shameful peace.
The prevalent hatred against everything which is in any way connected with German National Socialism is further kindled by the brutal attitude against the Jews in Germany and by the emigre problem. In this action Jewish intellectuals participated; for instance, Bernard Baruch; the Governor of New York State, Lehman; the newly appointed judge of the Supreme Court, Felix Frankfurter; Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau, and others who are personal friends of Roosevelt. They want the President to become the champion of human rights, freedom of religion and speech, and the man who in the future will punish trouble-mongers. These groups, people who want to pose as representatives of "Americanism" and "defenders of democracy" in the last analysis, are connected by unbreakable ties with international Jewry.
For this Jewish international, which above all is concerned with the interests of its race, to put the President of the United States at this "ideal" post of champion of human rights, was a clever move. In this manner they created a dangerous hotbed for hatred and hostility in this hemisphere and divided the world into two hostile camps. The entire issue is worked out in a mysterious manner. Roosevelt has been forcing the foundation for vitalizing American foreign policy, and simultaneously has been procuring enormous stocks for the coming war, for which the Jews are striving consciously. With regard to domestic policy, it is extremely convenient to divert public attention from anti-semitism which is ever growing in the United States, by talking about the necessity of defending faith and individualliberty against the onslaught of Fascism.
(Signed) JERZY POTOCKI,
Ambassador of the Republic of Poland.
Report of the Polish Ambassador in Washington, Count Jerzy Potocki to the Polish Foreign Office in Warsaw, January tbth, 1939.
To THE FOREIGN MINISTER in Warsaw:
The day before yesterday, I had a longer discussion with Ambassador Bullitt in the Embassy where he called on me. Bullitt leaves on the z rst of this month for Paris, from where he has been absent for almost three months. He is sailing with a whole "trunk" full of instructions, conversations, directions from President Roosevelt, the State Department, and Senators who belong to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In talking with Bullitt I had the impression that he had received from President Roosevelt a very detailed definition of the attitude taken by the United States towards the present European crisis. He will present this material at the Quai d'Orsay and will make use of it in discussions with European statesmen. The contents of these directions, as Bullitt explained them to me in the course of a conversation, lasting half an hour, were:
I.-The vitalizing foreign policy, under the leadership of President Roosevelt, severely and unambiguously condemns totalitarian countries.
2.-The United States preparation for war on sea, land and air which will be carried out at an accelerated speed and will consume the colossal sum of 1,250 million dollars.
3.-It is the decided opinion of the President that France and Britain must put end to any sort of compromise with the totalitarian countries. They must not let themselves in for any discussions aiming at any kind of territorial changes.
4.- They have the moral assurance that the United States will leave the policy of' isolation and be prepared to intervene actively on the side of Britain and France in case of war. America is ready to place its whole wealth of money and raw materials at their disposal.
When I raised the question as to what sort of horoscope Bullitt predicts for 1939, he replied that he feared danger of conflict between France and Italy, on account of colonies, in the spring. He thinks that the victory of Nationalists in Spain would put France in a very difficult situation for it is then surrounded by Fascist states on all sides. Mussolini will then surely speak up and threaten France with war. As to my question whether Germany would help Mussolini in such an undertaking, Bullitt replied that, according to his opinion, it is very doubtful if Hitler would let himself be induced, outside of giving moral support, actually to participate in such an undertaking, for it would then be clear that world war was inevitable.
Bullitt asserted most definitely that France should under no circumstances enter into any sort of agreement with Mussolini. During the last few months, the situation had so improved in France, that France alone could defeat the Italian army and Italian navy if Italy should launch an unprovoked attack. He branded Mussolini's actions and methods as most ordinary "gangsterism" and blackmail. During the course of the conversation, Bullitt also mentioned Eastern Europe and Germany. He said that Polish foreign policy under the excellent direction of its minister had stood the test and shown its feasiblity. Poland had come out of last years autumn crisis not only with arms in its hands, but also as a victor.
He questioned me immediately about relations between Poland and Soviet Russia, and about the significance of the renewal of the non-aggression pact between Poland and Russia. I replied that everything written by the press on the Russian question were mere speculations and conjectures. The renewal of the nonaggression pact with the Soviets was a necessity of the moment, since relations between Poland and the Soviets had deteriorated greatly, after the Czech crisis. The renewal of the non-aggression pact was merely a dot on the "i", no more and no less. It only aimed at renormalising relations which had been unbalanced by events.
In reply to his question regarding our trade agreement with the Soviets, I declared that that agreement was in consequence of our occupation of the Alsa region and the great industries there. Poland was compelled to seek new export markets which it found to some extent in Soviet Russia. Bullitt's feeling toward the Soviet Union is pronouncedly unfriendly and extremely disdainful. He declared moreover that Germany for the time being was unlikely to launch an attack on Eastern Europe since 011 the one hand Poland was too strong, while on the other hand, the situation was not yet sufficiently clarified as regards Hungary, Rumania and Yugoslavia. Certain preparations would still have to be carried out and positions consolidated. He expressed conviction moreover that Germany would carry out her plan concerning Ukraine, but not before 1940. I did not enter into discussion with Bullitt about such action. I merely asked whether Western Powers would become active in such event and whether they would attack the Reich allegedly in order to protect the Soviet Union. Bullitt replied that all imaginary armed interventions on behalf of some state which might become the victim of German aggression had been abandoned once and for all by democratic countries.
(Signed) JERZY POTOCKI, Ambassador of the Polish Republic.
Report of the Polish Ambassador at Paris, [ules Lukasieioic», to the Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw. Dated: Paris, February 1st, 1939
To THE FOREIGN MINISTER in Warsaw:
The Parliamentary debate on the question of French policy which was terminated here yesterday, with a vote of confidence for the Daladier Government379 votes against 234, prompts me to submit to you, Mr. Minister, my opinion on the present status of French relations with us and about agreements connecting France with Poland.
As I already mentioned in my previous report of December 17th, 1938, the problem of relations with Poland became acute in French political quarters, after the September events and through the signing of the French-German nonaggression declaration. Since that date, the French press began to devote more attention and space to relations with Poland. It was also possible to note among the politicians of the right wing as well as the left wing, more lively interest in this problem or an attempt to creat~ such interest. It became obvious that the antipathy against Poland which had been caused on account of September events was beginning to disappear to be replaced by a more reasonable, a more objective and a more realistic attitude.
In these circumstances, as well as on account of the deterioration of the French international position, your stay of several days at Monte Carlo and your visit to Chancellor Hitler at Berchtesgaden became the starting points for the entire
French press and numerous politicians here to criticize Minister Bonnet's policy toward Poland and a clarification of his attitude about the alliance with Poland was demanded. An important part of the press charged Bonnet with not having utilized your visit to Southern France for meeting you and establishing direct political contacts. When news about your departure to Berchtesgaden became known, the French press not only continued its former criticism, but levelled it especially at Minister Bonnet. Later it appears he tried to parry these attacks because in conversations with several members of parliament he expressed the opinion that Poland's domestic situation was extremely difficult and that we were menaced by Germany. However my connections and those of my assistants with a great number of deputies, as well as with representatives of the press, meantime improved to such an extent, that we did not find it difficult to counteract this exceedingly naive maneuver.
For the rest, the results of your meeting with the Chancellor were so significant that they gave rise to increased criticism of Minister Bonnet. It was understood in France that not only were not direct Polish-German relations deteriorated, but that we were not threatened, even indirectly, either by Chancellor Hitler's so called Ukrainian action or by any coercive measures in Central Europe. This period of disquiet was succeeded by a period of fear of mixing in the question of Eastern and Central Europe, a fear which has been prevalent here since the Munich Conference and which has been increased by direct war dangers. Although the Berchtesgaden meeting led to essential relaxation of the situation in Eastern and Central Europe the menace of German expansive activity can make itself easily felt in Western Europe; and this in connection with the brutal anti-French campaign conducted by Italy decreases French hopes that Italy will join the so called imperial policy.
The results of the visits of the English ministers at Rome did not diminish this disquietude in the least. Consequently, those who demanded a clarification of relations with Poland and a reasonable policy toward Poland became even more numerous. Extremely important was the fact that the action of Minister Bonnet's critics was not prompted by anxiety about Poland's situation, but by anxiety. about the ever more deteriorating international position of France and by the insight that French disinterest in Eastern and Central Europe questions would make our position regarding Germany more difficult.
In this atmosphere of press attacks, chiefly on account of Polish questions and a certain awkward uneasiness on the part of Minister Bonnet, the Chamber of Deputies began the debate on French foreign policy. The sentiments of the press were almost completely reflected by parliament. With a few exceptions-E. Flandin was the most remarkable one-there was hardly a deputy, who during his speech, did not mention relations with Poland or at least did not accuse Minister Bonnet of having shortsightedly let the opportunity pass to meet you. This time it was not only the Russophiles, who in defense of relations with Poland, saw a good approach for cooperation with Moscow, which is close to their heart, but also many definite opponents of the Franco-Soviet pact.
Thus it may be objectively stated that the question of relations with Poland has become acute through the deputies of Chamber, and, as seen from our side, in an extremely positive form. It was clear that thanks to this, and I regret to say, probably only thanks to this, the Government cannot pass over this issue in silence. Minister Bonnet, who is particularly sensitive to press and parliamentary attacks, as late as the end of last week apparently did not cease staging small maneuvers of diversion against his attackers, but nevertheless decided to make a statement concerning Franco-Polish relations. I had for example, unheard of difficulties in inducing the Paris press to republish an interview which you granted the North American Newspaper Alliance-the Quai d'Orsay was obviously working against me in this matter.
As you know, he (Bonnet) informed me about this in a casual conversation last Friday, the zoth of this month. In his exposition, which he read in the Chamber of Deputies on the 26th of this month, Minister Bonnet mentioned us twice. Pertinent passages of his speech were the following: First, in discussing the FrancoGerman declaration:
"Gentlemen, I need not tell you that we informed the important countries with whom we are connected in friendship, namely Poland, Belgium, England, the USSR and the United States of America of our negotiations with Germany. How did they receive this agreement? Neville Chamberlain declared in the House of Commons that the English Government learned with satisfaction that France has been in a position to conclude an agreement with Germany. In America, editorials in the three biggest newspapers of New York and Washington expressed full understanding of the French policy; Poland has informed us that its government is highly satisfied with the happy conclusion of Franco-German declaration."
Secondly, in discussing relations with Russia and Poland:
"Regarding relations with Soviet Russia and Poland, repeated consultations have taken place with these countries. Thus, during the September crisis I have been in close contact with Minister Litvinofl, whom I have seen repeatedly at Geneva and at Paris, and then again with the Ambassador of the USSR at Paris in order to exchange views of our two governments in accordance with the pact of 1935. France has also been maintaining its traditional friendly relations with Poland.
"On the occasion of the Franco-German declaration of December 6th, in accordance with the spirit of our agreements I informed the Polish Ambassador of our intentions. The Polish Government has thanked me and has communicated to me that it can only be glad about an action, the aims, the importance, and compass of which it highly appreciates. In the same manner, Mr. Beck, prior to his departure from Monte Carlo informed me about an invitation he received from Chancellor Hitler. I also beg the chamber not to forget that an agreement is in existence between Germany and Poland which was signed in 1934. Mr. Beck attached importance to informing our Ambassador of his conversation.
"In this manner, we have always been in contact with the Warsaw Government and every time it appeared opportune we have had such discussions with it as were justified by the particular relations of the two countries and by the development of events. At every opportunity too, very recently the Polish Government has given renewed assurance that French friendship is one of the important fundamentals of Polish policy.
"Thus, gentlemen, one ought finally to put an end to the erroneous description that our policy has destroyed the agreements which we concluded in Eastern Europe with the USSR or with Poland. These agreements are still existing and must be applied in the spirit in which they were begun."
The above statement of Minister Bonnet was supplemented in the speech of Premier Daladier which preceded the voting in the chamber on the vote of confidence. After a brief description of France's relations with its neighbors and with the United States, the Premier said the following:
"Is it necessary to add that it is by no means the government's intention to weaken the pacts connecting France with other peoples? Quite the contrary. We are determined to maintain them.
In entering into an analysis of the above mentioned statements of the French Premier and Foreign Minister, I must first say that Minister Bonnet's speech from beginning to end bore the character of a defense against criticism of his policy by the press, as well as the Parliament. His speech was a survey rather than a political address and for that reason the Foreign Minister's exposition was received by the Chamber with indifference and was fairly generally criticized as extraordinarily stale and colorless. And only the Premier's speech, which, both as to contents and tone was far more important politically, brought the Parliamentary debate on French foreign policy into an atmosphere commanding greater interest on the part of the Chamber and let it end, as it were, in a sentiment of stirred-up patriotism. It is certain however, that Minister Bonnet's speech was no success for him, and in no manner strengthened his position, which had been weak for some time. Minister Bonnet doubtless defended himself against attacks rather than circumscribing the positive outlines of French foreign policy. This, however, minimized the importance of his exposition as a document of the policy of the Government that he represents.
Despite all this, Parliamentary debate as well as utterances by members of the
government which have been mentioned above, are undeniable proof of a great step forward in the development of French political opinion since its complete collapse following the catastrophe of the Munich conference. In the first place, this refers to the problem of relations with Poland. For, as regards France's relations with England, United States, Germany, Italy or even with regard to the Spanish question, neither Parliamentary debate nor Government statements resulted in anything new. Central European questions, like the Far Eastern questions, were dealt with in passing and from a non-political viewpoint. An actual novelty, however, was the statement of the maintenance of obligations toward Soviet Russia and Poland, whereby weight was clearly placed on relations with Poland; these of late have developed in the form of amicable informative contacts on the basis of discussions and negotiations with Germany. If one recalls, what in the opinion of Frenchmen, our situation was four months ago, if we recall the attacks of which we were the butt, after the Munich Conference, and which ended with the Ukrainian question being generally shoved into the foreground by the French press and public opinion, if we further take into consideration that in the last analysis, until the end of December the vast majority of French politicians were inclined to consider not only Central Europe, but also Poland, as objects which were COl1~ ceded to German expansionism, then one can realize the profound and essential change which has taken place in the political opinion of the French concerning us. The obvious antipathy against Poland has been replaced by the understanding that on the continent we are the only state which, in the development of the problem of French security, is in a position to play an important and positive role.
The above, naturally, is a result of the essential deterioration of the French position. Moreover France is menaced by dangers which disturb the people and make them nervous. However, I do not believe that this change is merely a symptom of opportunism. The attitude of the French public toward Poland, which not long ago formed part of their tendency of offensively defending themselves against Germany, has now been replaced by an attitude which is still based on defense but now has been deprived of its offensive character.
It would be dangerous and incorrect to assert that the French Government already fully appreciates the alliance with Poland and is determined to make it an important element in its policy. For the time being, it can only be ascertained that the French Government which avoids trying to bind itself too categorically, is showing goodwill regarding the agreements between France and Poland and is doing its utmost to keep up good relations with us. This may not only be deduced from a certain defeatism characterizing Frances official policy after the Munich Conference but also from the lack of any new positive plan in this policy. Further favorable development of French policy towards us can happen either when dangers threatening France become more acute, or when our situation in Eastern and Central Europe experiences further consolidation and our influence there increases.
There are two tendencies fighting each other in French policy. The old efforts (noticeably decreased under the influence of recent developments) to subject to their influence the so called smaller states of the European continent or to use them as trade objects with Germany, and in addition, the always powerful efforts to assure peace for themselves in Europe. It is natural that at the moment a situation may arise in the general development and ours in particular, in which cooperation with Poland will become significant not only from the viewpoint of fundamental security of conditions, but, and this of course at the expense of a certain risk, the attitude towards an alliance with us, which up to now is still undecided and full of internal reservations, is likely to change to a desirable development. The view-but not as the result of our own activity and hegemony. For these very reasons our position seems very puzzling and our possibilities appear very dubious to them. Under the influence of recent events and your measures, Mr. Minister, confidence in the real independence and freedom of our policy has grown. But this does not mean that confidence has equally increased in our chances and possibilities of using our power.
Ambassador of the Republic of Poland.
Report of the Polish Ambassador to Paris, [ules Lukasiewicz, to the Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, dated Paris, February 1939.
To THE FOREIGN MINISTER, Warsaw:
A week ago, the Ambassador of the United States, W. Bullitt, returned to Paris after having spent three months holiday in America. Meanwhile, I had two conversations with him which enable me to inform Monsieur Minister on his views regarding the European situation and to give a survey of Washington's policy.
1. A foreign policy of the United States which endeavors to take part directly in the development of affairs in Europe does not exist. Such a foreign policy, moreover, would not be possible, as it would not be endorsed by public opinion which has not changed its isolationist attitude in this respect. On the other hand there is an extremely increased interest on the part of the American people in the European situation. Compared with this, even domestic events move into the background and lose the attention which they formerly enjoyed.
The international situation is regarded by official quarters as extremely serious and being in danger of armed conflict. Competent quarters are of the opinion that if war should break out between Britain and France on the one hand and Germany and Italy on the other, and Britain and France should be defeated, the Germans would become dangerous to the realistic interests of the United States on the American continent. For this reason, one can foresee right from the beginning the participation of the United States in the war on the side of France and Britain, naturally after some time had elapsed after the beginning of the war. Ambassador Bullitt expressed this as follows:
"Should war break out we shall certainly not take part in it at the beginning, but we shall end it."
In the opinion of Ambassador Bullitt, the above mentioned attitude of competent Washington circles lacks all ideological elements, and results entirely from the necessity to defend the realistic interests of the United States, which would be seriously and directly menaced both from the Pacific as well as from the Atlantic oceans, in case of a Franco-British defeat. Ambassador Bullitt states that the rumor according to which Roosevelt allegedly said that United States frontier was the Rhine, was false. On the other hand, he expressed the conviction that the President certainly said that he sold airplanes to France because the French army was the first line of defense of the United States. For this quite coincides with his views.
2. Italian claims toward Africa lacked all foundation and all arguments which could even partly justify them. France therefore cannot and may not make even seeming concessions. Any yielding on the part of France would mean the undermining of its prestige in Africa. Any possible compromise at the expense of French interests must therefore be excluded. Theoretically, there exists the apprehension that at a time of some tension, Britain in conjunction with Berlin might, perhaps, force on France a compromise which would not be compatible with its own interests. In such a case, however, France may count on the strong support of Washington. The United States has several immensely important means of compelling England. The mere threat to employ them might suffice to hold Britain back from a policy of compromise at the expense of France.
It must not be overlooked that British prestige has suffered a severe setback in American public opinion as a result of events in the Far East and owing to the results of the Munich Conference. On the other hand, American public opinion realizes how anxiously Britain is trying to cooperate with the United States. Under these conditions it may be assumed that Hitler and Mussolini will not let it come to open conflict with England and France on the basis of Italian demands upon France. It is of course the weak side of the United States that they already today have determined their attitude in case of eventual conflict, but at the same time are unable to take an active part in bringing about positive solution of European problems since isolationist American opinion would not allow this.
3. The relation of responsible American factors to Italy and Germany is chiefly negative, because they are of opinion that new successes of the Rome-Berlin axis, which undermine the prestige and authority of France and England as imperial powers, almost directly threaten the actual interests of United States. Thus Washington's foreign policy will also counteract any eventual further development of the situation in this direction. In its relations with Italy and Germany, the United States has at its disposal various means of force which are being seriously examined and drawn up today. These means, chiefly of an economic character, are such that they can be applied without fearing the slightest internal opposition. They will undoubtedly be sufficiently forceful and effective for Rome as well as for Berlin. Ambassador Bullitt is of the opinion that pressure exerted by United States simultaneously upon Italy, on the one hand, and upon England on the other, would contribute to a considerable extent in preventing armed conflict, or at least prevent the European situation from taking a development which, from the Washington viewpoint, may be undesirable.
Upon my remark that under the present circumstances it not clear whether United States is willing to fight Germany and Italy on account of French colonies or to fight against certain systems of ideologies, Bullitt categorically declared that Washington's attitude was dictated alone by the actual interests of the United States, and not by ideological problems. I must add that Ambassador Bullitt seems to be sure of France's unconditional resistance against Italian demands and that he consequently regards the possibility of mediation from the British or British-German side, the aim of which would be a compromise at France's expense, as out of the question.
For the time being, I should like to refrain from formulating my own opinion of Ambassador Bullitt's statements. Before doing so, I shall endeavor to get some additional explanations from him. One thing, however, seems certain to me, namely, that the policy of President Roosevelt will henceforth take the course of supporting France's resistance, to check German-Italian pressure, and to weaken British compromise tendencies.
(Signed) LUKASIEWICZ, Ambassador of Republic of Poland.
Report of the Polish. Ambassador in London, Count Edward Raczynski to the Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw. Dated London, March 9th, 1939
To THE FOREIGN MINISTER, Warsaw:
Today I had as a guest for luncheon, Mr. Hudson, Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Trade, whom I had invited together with some of his collaborators and officials of the Foreign Office and Treasury Department in connection with his planned journey to Warsaw during the second half of this month. This social gathering provided occasion for removing quickly and in a friendly manner the misunderstanding arisen between us and Britain with regard to British imports into Poland (allotment of quota). I will discuss this question in a separate report dated March roth.
The satisfactory development of this affair provided an excellent basis for a friendly exchange of views. Mr. Hudson, whom I have known for some years, but only superficially, made a profound impression on me because of a ratber primitive but dynamic straightforwardness, and because he openly discussed even precarious problems, which is a method greatly different from the discretion of Foreign Office officials. This method was probably applied to some extent, deliberately and intentionally, and due to the wish of the British Government to impress its continental partners in conversations by an outward demonstration of the power, resolution and optimism of Great Britain. This method was certainly also the result of the individual character of Mr. Hudson, who apparently is determined to play the role of Whitehall salesman, offering a large selection of "security and confidence" to partners declaring themselves for Great Britain. This fact however by no means diminishes the importance of Mr. Hudson's statements insofar as these are not quite assurances of commitments, but rather general and noncommittal utterances of a propagandistic value. The impulsiveness and directness of Mr. Hudson made the conversation extremely interesting, however.
Mr. Hudson openly admitted that the fundamental principle governing British attitude was the determination to meet the German menace. The potential danger from Italy was slight, in the view of Mr. Hudson. Mr. Hudson believes that Italy is so exhausted economically that it cannot risk independent action threatening England. He also displayed considerable optimism in his estimate of the German problem. He declared that in his view the danger was practically past. Above all, so he declared, Germany wants an economic understanding which is advocated, among others, by Herr Funk. Germany's difficult economic situation, which in the view of Mr. Hudson is accentuated by dwindling exports and which is bound to become still more difficult in the summer, made the Germans inclined to reach such understanding.
Mr. Hudson believes that an Anglo-German economic understanding would most probably take the form of cartel agreements which would, however, not be concluded at the cost of economically weak states. The British Government was, moreover, determined not to abandon any European market in favor of Germany. This did not imply, however, that Great Britain wanted to dispute the first place held by Germany in some markets in Central Europe for natural geo-political and similar reasons. *
* Mr. Hudson gave as one of the reasons, among others, for his optimism with regard to the result of his Berlin conversations, the following information given him by Rumanian Minister to London, Mr. Tilea:
German quarters only a few weeks ago when negotiating with Hungary on the regulation of economic relations for making over Hungarian agricultural production made the stipulation that Hungary must renounce the reestablishing of those industries wherein German export is interested. Of late Germany was said to have waived this stipulation, giving as a reason for this change the fact that an early economic understanding between the Reich and Great Britain is certain. Mr. Hudson said that he was in a position to corroborate from other sources the correctness of Mr. Tilea's information.
At this point Mr. Hudson, in characteristic manner, expressed confidence in a favorable development of events, declaring:
"At present we are negotiating in the economic field and are overthrowing the German system of bilateral transaction, and in the autumn we will induce Goering to come to London, and within a year we will have reached an agreement limiting armaments, and in eighteen months the painful colonial raw material problems will have been definitely settled by us, and peace and shaken political stability restored."
The confidence of Mr. Hudson is the result of his Berlin discussions, which, as obvious from these words, however did not hinder him from thinking and talking of a "policy of developing means for resistance." He, himself, characterizing the attitude of his country's alleged British policy, has now discarded the methods and slogans of the past twenty years, and linked up with the fighting epoch at the end of 19th century, that is with epoch of Joseph Chamberlain and the tradition of "Jingo!"
Characteristic were the remarks he made apropos the issue of Russia. He asked me in particular:
1. How we judged Russia's power.
2. What significance we attached to the recently concluded trade agreement with Russia.
3. Whether it was imaginable that our relations with the Soviets would become closer.
4. Whether I thought that the Soviets were interested in friendly relations with Great Britain, and what would constitute good chances for his discussions on economic issues during his visit to Moscow.
These questions I answered in a more diplomatic style. Especially linking up with question four, I declared that the present Soviet representatives were endeavoring to "sham" great assurance and were asserting that inasmuch as there is danger of war, that danger exists chiefly in the sector of "least resistance," namely in the west. The Soviet Union, as they asserted, is so strong that it may look into the future without anxiety. Hudson thereupon told me that only yesterday he had heard the same, literally, from Ambassador Majskij. This interesting turn which Mr. Hudson gave to the conversation indicates:
1. That his mind is extremely occupied by the Russian part of his journey;
2. That he attached great importance to it;
3. That, contrary to previous experiences, the Russians no longer reciprocate love.
In this, one must consider that Mr. Hudson's intended Moscow conversations, aside from the political significance on which he obviously likes to dwell, will concern positive economic matters, and that the English above all will demand better equilibrium, from an English viewpoint, for Russian-English trade, by an increase in English exports to Soviets.
Immediately after writing this report, I had an opportunity to talk with Ambassador Majskij at last night's reception of Court. This conversation confirmed in me the belief that my judgment of the Hudson-Majskij meeting is correct. Mr. Majskij is of the opinion that in emphasizing the political significance of his mission, Mr. Hudson is figuring to attain economic results more likely by this method. In addition, Mr. Majskij accuses the English of a lack of the necessary historic perspective and says that they misjudged the equilibrium of power in Europe. He thinks that the English picture to themselves Great Britain's power as it was in 1870! They expect that the mere fact that they send an economic mission to Moscow will be received by the Soviet with enthusiasm and will be welcomed with ardent gratitude. However, as he had occasion to tell Mr. Hudson, he will be received in Moscow exceedingly courteously and will be listened to with adequate attention.
However, judgment as to the mission's usefulness and its significance will be reserved by the Soviets until the moment when Mr. Hudson makes positive statements. Finally Mr. Majskij said that the English charge that equilibrium is lacking in the Anglo-Russian goods exchange is without foundation. If the Soviets are not buying more in England this is only because quite a number of English factories in which Russia is interested are overburdened with armament orders and are not in a position to fill suggested orders.
Thus, my conversations with Messrs. Hudson and Majskij are shedding interesting light on English-Soviet Russian relations which have been talked about so much here recently, although usually colored by the conviction of the informant, and not very concrete. They permit me to deduce with fair probability that closer political contact between London and Moscow has not yet been established, and that such factors, as, for instance, the unexpected appearance of the Prime Minister at the one evening entertainment of the Soviet Embassy, which surprised public opinion, are only meant for public effect but do not result from the former confidential contact between two powers. The first concrete move of England is the extension of the Hudson mission to Moscow. This move has been received by Soviets, as hitherto, with reserve.
About his planned conversations in Warsaw, Mr. Hudson did not say much and in general terms emphasized that he has no prepared, fixed program. His aim is to bring about an increase of trade exchange and add to the strengthening of Polish exports to markets without currency restrictions, by simultaneously increasing English exports to Poland by possible aid through English "export credit."
( Signed) EDWARD RACZYNSKI, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland.
Report of the Polish Ambassador in Paris, Jules Luckatoiesicz, to the Foreign Minister in Warsaw, dated Paris, March zqth, 1939.
To THE FOREIGN MINISTER in Warsaw:
During the normal, friendly conversation that I held on the 24th of this month with Ambassador Bullitt, I told him approximately the following: that I do not know the text of the English proposal regarding the declaration of the four states, nor our reply to it (which is the truth). But if I allow myself to judge from the opinions of the press and its echo which reaches me from various sources, I judge the situation as follows:
Both in its manner and its content the English policy is not impelled by the desire to take new measures in view of the international events of the last few days, but because of public opinion. It is childishly ingenuous, and at the same time disloyal, to propose to a state that finds itself in Poland's situation that it should jeopardize its relations with a strong neighbor like Germany and hurl a catastrophe on the world, such as a war, solely for the purpose of attending to English domestic politics.
But it is still more ingenuous to suppose that the Polish government does not understand the true meaning of this maneuver and its consequences. Furthermore it is highly imprudent to commence an action as that which was publicly hinted by the English government, and to have Russian participation appear on the prime plane, thus changing so greatly the political picture of the states that should collaborate in their actions. The apparent efforts to arrange collaboration with Russia, in such form and on such ground as would be, convenient only to the necessities of Chamberlain's domestic policy, justifies the involuntary suspicion that they are not only concerned with the defense of these states which find themselves menaced by the new methods of German policy, but also with an ideological conflict with Hitlerism, and that the ultimate aim in the pursuit of its actions is not peace but to bring about the downfall of Germany. Anyone cognizant of the fundamental principles of Polish policy cannot imagine that the Polish government will adjust itself politically to such tenuous and dangerous tricks for Mr. Chamber lain.
In view of the experience of the past twenty years, during which England and France not only never fulfilled any of their international obligations but were never in a position conveniently to defend their own interest, it is impossible to believe that any state of Central or Eastern Europe, even those located on the other side of the Rome-Berlin axis, can seriously consider the English proposals, unless England decides to commit those acts which without doubt would confirm its decision to break off its relations with Germany.
If, a few days following the proposals to Warsaw, England had assembled its fleet, putting into effect obligatory military service, and if the French government had ordered the mobilization of its army in greater proportions than it has up to the present, then even such an unacceptable English proposal as that which was made to us could have been considered proof of good faith and loyal collaboration. But since precisely the opposite has occurred, it is to be supposed that all diplomatic negotiations started by London will have no possibility of success just so long as the English government does not decide to accept definite and concrete obligations supported by all those armed forces which it has at its disposal.
It is sad, almost tragic, that in the actual situation not only are the interests of one nat.ion being considered, but without exaggeration, negotiations are being conducted to evade war of catastrophic proportions. For example, in the case of Poland I am not aware either of the text of the English proposal, nor of Hitler's intentions. But from reliable indications I can form an opinion as to the true situation. The imprudent English proposal, tenuous in form and meaningless in content, places the Polish government between jeopardizing its relations with Germany or causing failure in its negotiations with London. In the first case, Hitler may see himself obliged to use force with us, to which we could answer only with force. This would provoke a general European conflict in whose first stage we would be obliged to withstand the pressure of the whole German might.
Not only would all our war industry be imperiled, but we run the danger of losing it. This would mean that at the very start of the conflict not only would we be in a most unfavorable position, but so would France and England. In the second case the failure of negotiations with London would give Hitler proof of the lack of honor and of the weakness of the French-English policy, encouraging him to new expansionist ventures in Central and Eastern Europe, which sooner or later would lead to the catastrophe of war. In such a state of affairs it is as childish as it is criminal to hold Poland responsible for war or peace. It must be asserted once and for all that a great deal of blame for this falls on England and France whose insensate or ridiculously weak policy has provoked the situation and events which are now transpiring. The English government does not understand that a general European conflict is inevitable, perhaps a world war, and that it should take place immediately since Hitler may select the most opportune moments.
Ambassador Bullitt gravely considered my statements and begged me to repeat them to him. I noticed how he tried mentally to retain each paragraph. Later he asked me whether we would accept a common alliance in the event that France and England proposed it. I replied that in this matter I could not give him an answer, but I answered that the critical center would not rest on proposals that are made to us, but on those means of accomplishments that England must adopt in the first place. Ambassador Bullitt declared himself completely in accord with my point of view. The following day, the 25th, he informed me that he had adopted my opinions, and, making use of his privileges, had instructed the American Ambassador in London, Kennedy, to call today, Saturday, at the residence of Prime Minister Chamberlain, and to repeat everything to him, emphasizing, categorically, the responsibility of English Government. Saturday, the 26th, Ambassador Bullitt received in my presence a telephone call from Ambassador Kennedy regarding the conversation held with Chamberlain. Concerning this I have already informed you, Mr. Minister, in the telegram which I sent immediately after my visit to Ambassador Bullitt. I believe that Ambassador Bullitt will certainly exaggerate, somewhat, the importance of statements made by his colleague regarding the English government, but I consider it my duty, Mr. Minister, to inform you of all the aforesaid because I considered that collaboration with Ambassador Bullitt in times so difficult and so complicated may render us decided service,
In any case it is absolutely certain that he entirely agrees with our point of view and is prepared for the most extensive collaboration possible. In order also to strengthen the procedure of the American Ambassador in London I called the attention of Ambassador Bullitt to the fact that it is not impossible that England might try some step in a dissembling fashion so as not to lose the esteem of the U. S. He answered that I was totally correct. In view of this I hope that the U. S. possesses means by which it can exercise efficacious pressure on England. He added that he would seriously consider assembling these means.
(Signed) JULES LUKAWIESICZ, Ambassador, Polish Republic.
Report of Polish Ambassador in London, Count Edward Raczynski to the Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, dated, London, March 29th, 1939. Political Report, Confidential.
To THE FOREIGN MINISTER in Warsaw:
The forceful development of the latest phase of the Czech crisis has deeply shaken public opinion here and has also caused an evolution in the attitude of the government for staunch opposition to Germany. Hitler's latest moves were only confirmation of what was predicted and additional proof that energetic action was necessary. The Czech events gained greater importance, however, in the impression which they made on the "conciliation camp" here. The adherents to the latter generally avoided sincere announcements of their predictions and hopes. They generally limited themselves to declaring that Great Britain must limit itself to a defense of western Europe as well as of the British Empire and the communications of the Empire. Central and western Europe, however, would serve as a sphere for German expansion from which England could retreat without any great loss. The arguments of this camp, although not loudly proclaimed, nevertheless are perhaps the most important ones: the expectation that Germany would find it difficult to absorb territories ceded to it, and, thanks to these difficulties and thanks to the opposition of Russia, would lose the capacity to expand and its forcefulness. It was foreseen that war between Russia and Germany would ensue, which would weaken both, not without affording indirect advantages to the Western Powers. The rapid succession of events by which Germany acquired valuable, bloodless booty showed the weakness of these arguments. It indicated the fact that in the last analysis this was an excuse for permitting the responsible statesmen of the Western Powers to withdraw along the line of least resistance. Serious misgivings arose when Germany, instead of losing force as a result of its action in the east, attained additional strength. From this conviction resulted an entirely new tone toward Germany: it found expression in the political English press in accordance with the government's wishes. According to the reports exchanged in political and diplomatic quarters here it was not completely certain of the modifications of the "conciliation" sector. Sir John Simon, according to general opinion, is found in this sector, and is also believed to be the father of the project of the joint declaration by Great Britain, France, Poland and the Soviet Union. The premier, also, despite the determined tone of his latest speeches, no longer seemed free from doubts as to the gains in the partition started at Munich. This wavering seems above all to concern English relations to Poland. In the defeatist and conciliatory theory mentioned above there was apparently no clearly defined status for us. Now, in view of the German successes, which were attained by pressure, people here begin to fear that Poland also would end up compromising with Germany, and thereby the latter would be enabled rapidly to attack Russia. Uneasy at the thought that in such a development the west would also get its turn, and that German pressure could not then be repulsed. This conclusion indicates that English-Polish relations stand a chance of becoming closer. In addition a serious argument has asserted itself for English cooperation with us: ever more crystallization of the conviction that Poland, aside from the Soviets, after all is the only factor in eastern Europe possessing full political independence and foreign and domestic relations which permit of independent decision. The school of "conciliation," as is known, is striving here for limitation of English influence in the eastern Mediterranean and for defense of the Dardanelles which safeguard access to Black Sea. It has been proven, however, that on the Balkan Peninsula, too, that is, in the forefield of Turkey, a situation exists which is not free from menace, and that the political mobilization of the states of the Balkan Entente in accordance with England's wishes and under its tutelage is meeting with difficulties. From all the above mentioned possibilities and from others which for the sake of brevity I pass over, the English Government chose the suggestion of joint declaration by England, France, Poland and the Soviets in order turn to us. Since, however, until very recently, divergencies and doubts reigned within the government as to the advisibility of this active method, a not very forceful or binding form of general declarations was chosen, drafted in a style permitting various interpretations. Proof that the resulting weakness is well recognized here can be gleaned from the fact that Poland's refusal to sign such a document did not cause great surprise here, and still another instance must be illuminated so far as I am able to do so this moment. I t is the status of BritishRussian relations. As I previously had the opportunity to inform you in connection with the departure of Minister Hudson to Warsaw and Moscow (on the tenth of this month) the British at the time already hoped very much to be able to cooperate politically with the Soviets. The Soviet, on the other hand, showed a lack of lively interest. At the time, they did it under a condition which so far has never been fully understood. Apparently they made signing dependent upon Poland's participation (see footnote). Footnote: In the Foreign Office, I was informed to this effect, while the Soviets, on the other hand, deny this. Apparently there is a caustic interpretation here: The invitation was sent to four states and the Soviets, as they assert, accept without any conditions. They accept, however, only in this form and with participation as the British proposal provides.
It is not known whether the British Government turned to Moscow in an effort to get the signatures of the three powers, including France, and whether Moscow was unwilling to do so. At any rate there are Ill4ny indications lately that relations are less happy now than recently in connection with British initiative. I shall mention this point again when reporting on my conversation with Ambassador Kennedy. Here I should like to add that Ambassador Majskij, whom I frequently met at receptions given in honor of President Lebrun, hardly suppressed the fact that he was well pleased with the recent course of events and at the same time showed much self-assurance. An element for instability in the government here became very apparent during the recruiting dispute which for months has been the subject of hot controversies. In view of the considerable increase in the regular and territorial army, experts here explain the government's hesitancy in introducing the bill on recruiting for technical reasons. They claim that the measure would have only a symbolic, demonstrative importance for the near future and would not make it easier but rather more difficult in building up an army. Aside from the value of these statements, Mr. Chamberlain's vacillations seem to be traceable, above all, to his fear that the labor unions which oppose his recruiting schemes will line up against him, thereby stirring up differences in Parliament, which is now almost unanimous. Instead of introducing the recruiting law, the Premier for the time being announced in the House of Commons the doubling of the so-called Territorial Army up to a figure of 340,000 men.
My conversation with Ambassador Kennedy:
This sizing up of the situation here was the chief topic of conversation which I had on the 28th of this month with the American Ambassador, Mr. Kennedy, and which according to your instructions, Mr. Minister, I submitted to Director Lubionski.
I asked Mr. Kennedy point blank about the conference which he is supposed to have had recently with Mr. Chamberlain concerning Poland. Kennedy was surprised and declared categorically that a conversation of such special significance never took place. At the same time, and thereby contradicting his own assertion to a certain extent, Kennedy expressed displeasure and surprise that his colleagues in Paris and Warsaw "who are not, as himself, in a position to get a clear picture of conditions in England" should talk so openly about this conversation. As I saw that I would not attain very much in this way I turned the conversation to the present situation and begged the Ambassador to judge Britain's willingness for armed action. I have already reported to you, Mr. Minister, by telegram on this part of the conversation. Kennedy-who intimated that his opinion was based on a series of talks with local, competent quarters-declared he was convinced that should Poland decide to resist Germany by arms, especially with regard to Danzig, it would draw England in its wake. That would not be, as Kennedy emphasized, a result of greater cordiality than shown by Britain towards us in the past, but merely a result from political necessity. Should Poland on the other hand, be undecided, then conciliatory elements in the government would use that, as the Ambassador said, to induce Britain to renounce binding itself to us. Mr. Kennedy is of the opinion that in local government's doubts continue to exist whether Poland is irrevocably determined to resist with regard to Danzig. In view of the present conditions which are changing with lightning speed, assurances of this kind would necessarily have been repeated frequently.
I thereupon touched on the Russian question. Mr. Kennedy was pretty reticent and obviously did not want to be drawn into discussion on British procedure towards Moscow (and also on difficulties which this procedure might encounter). He confined himself to the characteristic utterance that the British government attached more importance to its cooperation with Poland than with Russia. That much I heard from Mr. Kennedy himself. On other hand, there are rumors circulating among journalists here to the effect that the Ambassador actually did talk with the Premier in recent days about Eastern Europe. On this occasion, it is asserted that he emphasized that America's sympathies for England in case of a conflict would depend to a great extent upon the determination with which England would take care of European states threatened by Germany.
( Signed ) EDWARD RACZYNSKI, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland.
Report of the Polish Minister to Stockholm G. Potarorourshi to the Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw, dated, Stockholm April 15th, 1939
To THE MINISTER of Foreign Affairs:
Referring to the report of April 8th this year, the I9-S-4 legation reports that further information apropos the stay of Minister Hudson declared that he had no considerable success. Minister Hudson apparently showed too little adroitness during his conversations here, which even offended economic quarters here. As a prominent representative of financial life here reported, Mr. Hudson was sounded out with reference to Sweden's attitude in case of war, whereupon he suggested that it would be necessary to discontinue all raw material deliveries to Germany. Thereupon, the Swedes gave him to understand that they wanted to maintain neutrality, and that if Germany in case of war would rule the Baltic Sea, Sweden could not refuse to deliver ores. The situation naturally would be different if the English were ruling the Baltic Sea. At a press conference, Hudson allegedly emphasized that it would be necessary to increase English imports from Sweden, whereby he indicated that if the work of the planned delegations of economic life would have no result, England must contemplate a revision of the commercial agreement. My informant told me that this aspect did not frighten the Swedes. He opined that the agreement was not too favorable. It contained for Sweden disadvantageous stipulations with regard to coal purchases which they could buy more cheaply elsewhere. The Swedes were not afraid about the marketing of goods which are bought now by the English. The English may increase the custom tariffs for steel or wood pulp but these products form but a small portion of exports to England; for the rest, Sweden is convinced that the products which England would not take, especially agricultural machinery, could be marketed without difficulties in Germany, with which country moreover trade could be conducted well in an orderly fashion. The export of agricultural products to England was a losing proposition for Sweden anyway, for the Swedes could obtain better prices in Germany.
This critical attitude of Swedish business quarters towards Hudson's appearance is confirmed by an article by the well-known economic expert, G. Cassel in "Svenska Dagbladet" of April 8th. This article deserves attention also on account of the fact that with regard to Polish-Swedish commercial" relations, it is directed against Sweden. Cassel declares that the unfavorableness of the Swedish-English trade balance cannot be interpreted in too simple a manner. The structure of international trade, for instance, makes for a great surplus of pounds (sterling) which Sweden has received from England, which are then used for the purchase of goods in other countries, which, in turn, with the same pounds buy English products. Swedes would like to negotiate in London about an increase of Swedish purchases in England. But the success of such an action would depend also on the goodwill of English exporters. On the other hand, English importers do not buy Swedish products which they need out of love for Sweden, but because they are good and cheap. In this connection Professor Cassel concludes his article as follows: "From the demands which England is making, Sweden nevertheless may learn several things. Our constant effort to induce other countries to buy Swedish products which we can sell to them only with the aid of financial subsidies, are of course deviations from sound economics. This subsidized export is constantly burdening our negotiations for commercial agreements and for the country accepting" these exports, is a basis for a steadily growing demand for an increase of its exports to Sweden. The issue became acute through the latest action* of England which was trying to exploit its power as a big importer for gaining a vaster market in Sweden."
"Goeteborgs Handels Och Sjoefarts Tidning" of April 12th comments on this article by Cassel and shares his opinion. This newspaper charges the English especially with the fact that the largest part of English imports from Sweden consists of raw materials and semi-finished products because they need them and not out of courtesy. With regard, however, to subsidized exports of dairy products, especially butter, which the English, thanks to the subsidy, are getting at a price sixty per~ cent lower than that which the Swedish consumers must pay, then nothing would be easier-if this gift is causing the English a headache-than to reduce the unfavorableness of the English trade balance by these imports from Sweden. This newspaper, which from the beginning, fought against the subsidy as a form of support for agriculture and dairies as damaging and burdening to Swedish economic life, is of the opinion that it would be to the advantage of Swedish agriculture if subsidies for butter export were abolished and prices for home consumption were lowered, and thus production would be directed into new channels.
(Signed) G. POTWOROWSKI, Minister of the Republic of Poland.
* These words were lost in transmission of the document and have been inserted in accordance with the apparent meaning.
Report of the Polish Ambassador in London, Count Edward Raczynski, to the Polish Foreign Minister in Warsaw. Political Report. Confidential. Dated: London, April 26th, 1939.
To THE FOREIGN MINISTER in Warsaw:
Events during the last few weeks have made relations between England and the Soviet Union the first order of the day. Thus it appears opportune to describe their development in the last few months and to present, jointly, statements made by the head of the British government generally under the pressure of aggressive questioning of the Opposition.
Although it has no sympathy for the Soviet regime the English government during the last few years has desired to maintain formally correct relations with the Soviet government but at the same time to avoid any intimate relationships. When Minister Eden visited Moscow in 1938 the communique then issued stated "on no fundamental question of international policy does there exist any counterview between the British and Soviet governments." When Mr. Chamberlain, who, differing from his predecessor, had his own point of view on foreign policy, came into power, he strenuously tried to arrange an understanding among the four Western Powers. Not only was a more cordial understanding with the Soviets impossible but the extensive pro-Soviet policy of the French government was regarded with disfavor.
This fundamental attitude did not change even during the days of the Czechoslovak crisis of September. Consequently, so much greater was the surprise produced by the communique of the Foreign Office on the evening of September 26th, which has not yet been entirely explained, wherein it was stated that if France became involved in war because of contracted obligations in Central Europe, Great Britain and Russia would be on her side. After this unexpected manifestation, which seemed to come more from a whim of the moment. than from a meditated plan, relations grew colder-due to Soviet criticism of the "Munich" policy and the hope of the English that German expansionism would come up against Russia.
The British press at that time devoted considerable space to the "Ukrainian problem," making it known this territory was not within the vital British sphere of interest. Even manifestations of representatives of the Government were made along this line. The new era began after a period of bewilderment at the time following the crisis, and after the conviction was reached that the policy of an "understanding" with Germany was probably being realized rapidly - as it appeared when Mr. Chamberlain returned from his last visit to the Chancellor of the Reich, being able to proclaim he had obtained "peace in our time." The British government began to show greater initiative in preparing the most propitious grounds for possible negotiations with Germany on whom it counted until the March crisis broke out. The gestures made toward Russia at that moment were more in the nature of an exhibit than actual political maneuvers (for example the ostentatious visit of Prime Minister Chamberlain to the Soviet Embassy), and yet, despite this, the inclusion of Moscow in the itinerary of Minister Hudson must be a symptom of an interest in Russia that is not merely of an economic nature.
At any rate the fundamental point of view does not vary greatly: formally correct although not cordial relations and the desire to maintain them at this level However, the opposition which asks for the creation of an "anti-aggression front" of "democratic" states, desires closer relations with Russia. Such tendencies exist even among some members of the Conservative Party who call for a decisive struggle with Germany (Churchill, Duff-Cooper). But the majority of the party does not support this point of view.
The Czech crisis in March created a new situation. Soviet proposals to call a conference of states interested or "threatened" by continued German aggression may be entertained. Likewise for well-known reasons the English proposals for a common accord of the four powers is not considered. During this time both governments established relatively frequent contacts, but if the British government abandons its suggested intentions and decides to concede Poland the guarantee, then these relations will be broken off, provoking with it a large measure of discontent in the Soviet. Its (USSR) Ambassador gives everyone to understand that he is being kept at a distance and complains to representatives of this treatment. The Socialist (so called) representative Dalton, in a speech in the House of Commons April first, said that during the time between March 19th to March 31st there has not been any communication between the Soviet Embassy and the English Foreign Minister. Two hours before the well-known declaration of March 31st made by the Prime Minister, Ambassador Majskij was informed of its content. The declaration that it has been approved brings up naturally the question of what role Russia would play. The Prime Minister answered thus:
"The Government has been holding consultations with various powers among which naturally is the USSR. Lord Halifax has only today received the Soviet Ambassador with whom he held extensive conversations on this subject. The principles on which this task is to be accomplished would be based on those principles completely understood and approved by this government."
When the Prime Minister was asked by the opposition if he was sure there would be no ideological obstacle between Great Britain and the USSR, Chamberlain answered : "Yes, I have no hesitation in giving that assurance."
During the session of April third the opposition once more brought up the Russian problem. Because of this the Prime Minister found himself forced to make the following statement during his speech:
"I have no intention today of naming those Governments with which we intend to examine the situation now or in the near future. I must however mention the Soviet Union because the USSR is always present in the minds of members of the opposition and because they suspect that even ideological differences may separate us, although both countries have grave interests in common. I would not try to pretend for a single moment that such differences do not exist; they remain unchangeable. But our point of view is, as was expressed in answer to a question last Friday, that such ideological differences whatever their nature, had no influence at all on these matters. But what is important at the moment is preservation of our independence. And if I speak regarding our independence, not only do I think of that of my country, but of that of other states that may be in danger of aggression. For this reason we welcome collaboration of every state without regard to the form of its internal government, not because we intend to pursue an aggressive act, but because we wish to confront one."
On his part Lord Halifax confirmed the following to the House of Lords:
"Conferences are being continued and I am not in a position to express myself on them with any definite statement. But I can say that His Majesty's government understands perfectly the importance of the USSR's point of view and concedes the importance of maintaining good relations with this government. Notwithstanding, I cannot forget the fact that the relations of certain states with Russia have become complex because of certain conditions, although I can assure this House that in what concerns His Majesty's government they do not exist."
The events in Albania made the meeting of Parliament necessary for a day on April 13th, during vacations. The Prime Minister opened the discussions in which, after having reported on the international situation, he made known the decision of the government to guarantee Rumania and Greece. Notwithstanding, he did not mention the position adopted by the USSR. Only at the end of his speech, upon hearing shouts from the opposition "What about Russia?", did he express the hope that the "fact that I have not mentioned Russia in this speech should not be interpreted as proof that Great Britain is not maintaining close relations with representatives of the said country. A difficult problem must be solved. We have to consider not only what we wish, but what other people are also willing to do." These words can refer just as well to the conversations of Rumania and Poland as to the Russian point of view. Only when Sir John Simon answered numerous questions put to him during the discussion did he treat relations with Russia in detail:
"I shall now speak of Russia. In the name of the Government I wish to give a detailed report on this matter. I must begin by declaring that there is not the slightest desire on our part of excluding Russia or of underestimating or disesteeming Russian aid in favor of peace.
"Immediately after the beginning of the new policy we advocated prompt attainment of Russian collaboration. Immediately after the occupation of Czechoslovakia we communicated with the Russian government requesting it to adhere to an accord of four powers. The Russian Government promptly replied that it was satisfied to participate in the four-power accord if France and Poland also accepted the proposal.
"Now we will pass on to a very delicate point: as the House knows, this plan was not realized and we were obliged to follow another method, even though we pursued the same objective. Then Russia proposed a four-power conference. Reservations made by the British Government were not due to the procedure of the Soviet government: its point of view is the result, rather, of purely practical motives; it sought to find the fastest and most promising method in order successfully to reach an understanding among the interested states.
"Many difficulties would arise in the convocation of such a conference, but without any doubt, we would endeavor to overcome them just as long as we were convinced that it was the most practical method. The latest developments in Europe occurring in March-April necessarily caused uneasiness in a number of countries, since they saw their independence menaced and because they might see it happen to them. It might be a matter of days, or perhaps hours. With the object of opposing this danger, not behind Russia's back, since had no intention of so treating her aid, but because we were confronted by a problem which permitted no delay and because we were in complete accord with the French government, we felt we should do everything possible to re-establish confidence; for this reason the declaration known to this House was made.
"In fact, we accepted new and special obligations covering those states whose independence was being menaced by its own respective danger, or could be. During these negotiations we maintained close relations with Soviet Government. On March zoth we communicated with the Soviet Ambassador that it did not appear proper to continue maintaining the plan for the four-power accord and consequently our attitude had assumed a new line. The Russian Ambassador has been informed on the general method of this new line which we hope will lead to a guarantee jointly with France, of Poland and Rumania.
"The Russian Ambassador understood that this presupposed a revolutionary change in English policy and would contribute in a large measure to the maintenance of confidence in other countries. During conversations he was frankly given to understand that in no way had we any intention of excluding assistance of the Russian government just so long as it was ready to concede it in the most efficacious and effective manner possible. The resulting conditions at that time forced the Prime Minister to make a statement regarding Poland. But before making it the Russian Ambassador was informed of its content.
"On March 31st, the Ambassador told the Secretary that the Russian policy had recently been qualified by Mr. Stalin to a policy of assistance in favor of these states which struggled for their independence against aggression. The secretary accepted this definition as anyone of us who advocates the maximum assistance from all possible sides would have accepted it. The House can convince itself of these words since the principles which His Majesty's government used in the statement regarding the Polish problem were exactly the same principles reflected in the declaration of Mr. Stalin. It appears to us that these principles cannot be misunderstood by the Russian government and I wish the House would understand that the accusations are unjustified which charge us with having tried to avoid including Russia in the system which we wish to construct precisely as a system of peace in opposition to aggression, although in problems of this nature it is more difficult than it appears to work with various states at the same time. If we take into consideration the danger in which some free states of the world now find themselves, we would be stupid were we not convinced as to where assistance would come from and not to make use of it."
At this point, Representative Dalton interrupted Simon, asking if the government had taken into consideration, due to the circumstances, proposing a military alliance to collaborate with France and Russia. Sir John Simon made no direct reply to this question, but said that on England's part it was understood that such a proposal was inconvenient in principle: "These problems are not as easy as they appear. It does not appear to me despite the enormous Russian power that we can concentrate our efforts exclusively with that country. We should remember that there are still other countries for whom danger is more imminent than it is for Russia. Although I cannot say whether a proposal such as this has been made, I can tell this House, however, that the government has no objection in principle to this proposal."
Meanwhile new conferences are being held in London, with Russian participation, regarding the new relations of the powers created in Europe. Without any doubt England wants Russian participation in the relations of the powers, but it does not want to bind itself formally or too closely. From the explanations made to me by the permanent Sub-secretary Cadogan of the Foreign Office, it is inferred that England and France wish to limit themselves to obtaining a declaration from Russia stating that in case of war it would maintain a benevolent attitude so that, in this way, assurance may be had of access to basic materials, etc. This could be accomplished through a partial statement of the Soviet government which would state that in the case of a German attack on Poland or Rumania, Russia would make known its attitude beforehand. But the counter-proposal of the Soviet, which desires to arrange a pact of mutual aid-in either an Anglo-Russian bilateral form corresponding to the French-Soviet treaty, or as an accord among France, England and Russia-was unacceptable to England according to Cadogan, nor did France want it.
Cadogan referred to the necessary consideration of the reactions that would be provoked in other countries, mentioning among others, Poland, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Spain. At the same time Cadogan underlined the difficulties that the British government would have; he did not want to give a negative answer in such a way as to cause anger. Also, Minister Gafencu has been informed of this point of view. From his conversations he became convinced that the British government was avoiding a closer relationship with the Soviet. The Rumanian Foreign Minister expressed his opinion before me that actual Anglo-Soviet negotiations would be fruitless. Because of this, English policy, which still does not want to make any exclusively anti-German arrangements, tries to avoid any direct tie-up with the Soviet. But the future development of the international situation may take such a turn as to make the maintenance of this line impossible. For this reason negotiations continue despite the many obstacles. Another difficulty is the attitude of the Opposition and a certain part of the Conservative Party, with Churchill at the head, which openly prepares for war, and sees in the Soviet large reserves a mighty military service. The government will have to take into consideration the possibility of confronting these arguments, that "alliance" or some other form of unity with Russia could have avoided so drastic a resolution.
(Signed) EDWARD RACZYNSKI, Ambassador of the Polish Republic.
Notes of the Polish Commercial Counsellor Jan Wszelaki about conversation with the United States Ambassador to London, Joseph Kennedy on June tbth, 1939.
AMBASSADOR KENNEDY, whom Ambassador Biddle told of my arrival in London, asked me to see him, visit lasted 1 ¾ % hours. The following deserves to be noted:
1.-In the beginning the Ambassador asked me what Poland's view was regarding the economic position of Germany, emphasizing himself that in his view Germany could well ruin the world for a considerable time by armament expenditures, and that there was simply no alternative but war. His view was that were Germany to drop its policy as regards finance and economics, it would be for Germany like a lost war. War, on the contrary, would offer Germany the certainty of enforcing its demands and in view of this and if driven into a corner, Germany would not put off her date for making war. With a certain contempt, he spoke about optimists who believed that Germany could be easily or quickly overpowered or who speculated on a speedy overthrow in Germany.
2.-The Ambassador emphasized that the West would come close to bankruptcy if rearmaments continued for long at the present rate. Even if it would not come to war this year, neither Great Britain nor the United States would interrupt their armaments program or restrict it. Consequently Great Britain secretly introduced foreign currency restrictions. It is already impossible to invest British capital abroad without the government's permission or transfer it to other countries. Every day is bringing similar new difficulties and restrictions.
3.-1n the course of the conversation the Ambassador asked me about the situation in Poland and about our requirements. This gave me the opportunity of expounding thereon. The Ambassador told me that we were the only people in eastern Europe on whose armaments and military efficiency they all relied. He mentioned that in his opinion it had been proven that Polish volunteers on the Republican side in the Spanish War were better soldiers than all the others on both sides of the front. He asked me what we wanted from England in the way of material and money. I replied by giving him a general review using thereby, to a certain extent, an introductory statement which Colonel Koo made to the English the day before. I particularly drew his attention to cash credit. The Ambassador asked me how much cash we wanted from Britain. I said that we notified them of our requirements in this respect. Adding these up, no jointly fixed requirements would give the total sum of cash requirements. The Ambassador agreed that cash was of the greatest importance, saying that if England would now withdraw its help in this matter they would have to give ten times this amount later in order to obtain the same effect. He added that he was going to see the Premier Lord Halifax, and that he would mention the necessity of helping Poland immediately with cash.
4.-1n conclusion the Ambassador told me that his two sons, who, of late, had toured the whole of Europe and who were able to see and learn much, intended after their return to the United States to give lectures on the situation in Europe and individual states at Harvard University. The ambassador attached great importance to these lectures as an element for helping to shape American opinion.
"You do not believe," said the Ambassador, "to what extent my eldest boy who was recently in Poland, has the ear of the President. I may say that the President believes him more than me. Perhaps for the reason that Joe presents the case with such conviction and such enthusiasm."
I am to see the Ambassador again next week when I shall meet his son.
(Signed) JAN WSZELAKI, Commercial Counsellor.
THE GERMAN WHITE PAPER
Decree of Polish Minister for Trade and Industry tn Warsaw to Polish Commercial Counsellors in Paris and London, of July 13th, 1939
THE Ministry of Trade and Industry has learned that French and British shipping companies have already received exact instructions in case of the outbreak of war, as well as instructions about changes in constructions, alterations in constructions and additional constructions particularly at the bows of vessels run by these companies.
Consequently the Ministry for Trade and Industry request the speediest possible investigation of this matter and that the most exact information possible be sent to the Ministry. If possible the Ministry asks for the text of these instructions.
(Signed) L. MOZEZENSKI,
Director of the Maritime Department.