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203 Officer to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 94 [1] KUYBYSHEV, 27 May 1943, 6.15 p.m.


Your telegram No. 58, paragraph 2. [2]

I am afraid that the third paragraph of my telegram No. 83 [3]
could not have been clear. Question is not of 'full
representation' but as to whom the Soviet Government recognises as
Polish citizens. On January 1st, 1943, 300,000 Polish citizens
were registered at the Polish Embassy and receiving assistance.

But even then part only were recognised by the Soviet Authorities
as Polish citizens. A note from the Soviet Authorities to the
Polish Embassy on January 16th (see despatch KU8 second paragraph)
[4] made greater number Soviet citizens in the eyes of the Soviet
Government. Since then many of these latter have accepted Soviet
passports and few, if any, have been allowed to communicate with
the Polish Embassy. There remain only those Poles whom Soviet
Government admit as Polish citizens numbering something between
10,000 and 30,000. It is these we will try to care for. [5]

2. As Marshal Stalin himself within the last two weeks has
explained that the smaller category only are Polish citizens, it
is certain that any attempt to interest ourselves in the larger
category will immediately seriously involve us in the major
question, which, if it is taken up at all, should be taken up by
the United Kingdom Government in their role of conciliation in the
Polish-Soviet breach of relations. British Ambassador agrees. May
I assume that this is your view?
3. Acting on this assumption, the additional staff required to
enable us to fulfil our additional duties would be that asked for
in the first sentence of the third paragraph of my telegram 83 viz
(a) 3rd Secretary, (b) Clerical Officer able to read, speak and
type Polish. This is, of course, in addition to the clerical
officer asked for in my telegram P.10 [6] and assented to in your
telegram PK.8. [7] If there is any Secretary in the service who
has even an elementary knowledge of Polish, he would be invaluable
as (a)-(b) will not have to do confidential work, but I think it
would be undesirable to employ local men even if we were permitted
to do so. Possibly a suitable man could be found in Cairo. May I
approach the Minister of State [8] or will you make enquiries?
There is no possibility of obtaining help except very occasionally
from the British Embassy who have their own staff difficulties.


1 Repeated to Evatt in Washington as no. 20.

2 Dispatched 25 May. On file AA:A989, 43-44/715/5/2/2. The
cablegram conveyed the text of Curtin's public announcement on
Australia's assumption of responsibility for Polish interests in
the Soviet Union. It also conveyed (paragraph 2) Hodgson's
comments on the staffing implications for the legation, including
his assumption that 'until the contrary is shown that this [i.e.

the agreement with the Soviet Govt] means Soviet recognition of
full representation and that staff arrangements must be made on
that basis'.

3 Document 186.

4 Dated 24 March. In FA:A4231, Moscow, 1943. The note stated that
'owing to the negative attitude of the Polish government' the
Soviet Govt had rescinded the decree of November 1939 which
permitted residents of Polish territory incorporated in the Soviet
Union to hold Polish as well as Soviet citizenship.

5 For a fuller demographic assessment of the Poles in the Soviet
Union at this time see Officer's dispatch KU19/43 of 29 May in the
volume cited in note 4.

6 Not found.

7 Dispatched 29 April (item 970 in FA:A3196/A3831, 1942-43,
folder, personal outwards cables file copies, spares and master

8 R. G. Casey, U.K. Minister of State resident in the Middle East.

[AA:A989, 43-44/715/5/2/2]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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