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92 Maloney to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 70 [1] MOSCOW, 21 March 1944, 4.44 p.m.


My telegram No. 12 to London, repeated to Canberra No. 19. [2]

1. I was requested to call and see Mr. Zorin, Chief of the
[Department, who was] [3] available on 20th March, in connection
with Polish matters. At the interview Zorin handed me the
following note:

'. . . In connection with communication of the Australian Legation
to the Peoples Commissariat of Foreign Affairs on the question of
the grant of exit visas for departure from the U.S.S.R. to Polish
citizens, the Peoples Commissariat has the honour to state that,
in accordance with the regulations in force in the Soviet Union,
consideration of applications from private citizens regarding
grant to them of exit visas falls within the competence of the
Authorities of the Department for Visas and Registration of the
Central Militia.

In view of the foregoing, the Peoples Commissariat of Foreign
Affairs cannot accept for consideration the lists of private
Polish citizens submitted by the Legation with a view to grant to
them of exit visas. Polish citizens applying for grant to them of
exit visas for leaving the U.S.S.R. must apply to the above-
mentioned authorities at the place where they reside.'

2. In answer to questions which I asked him for clarification of
his note, Zorin said:

(a) His Department would not, in future, deal with any
applications made by this Legation for exit visas for Polish
citizens in the U.S.S.R.;

(b) All applications for exit visas must be made by individual
Polish citizens to the Police Department in the district where the
applicant resides;

(c) With regard to the lists of names of Polish citizens already
submitted to his Department for exit visas by this Legation any
person whose name is on those lists would have to make individual
application as in (b). The Peoples Commissariat of Foreign Affairs
would not take further action in respect of those lists;

(d) It did not mean that the Soviet Government no longer
recognized the Australian Government as representing Polish
interests in the U.S.S.R;

(e) The Legation could submit special cases to his Department for
exit visas in special circumstances such as refusal or undue delay
in consideration of the individual's applications to local
Authorities. 3. This action, in my opinion, is a polite way of
taking from Australia representation of Polish interests in the
U.S.S.R. It indicates that no hope can be held out for the grant
of exit visas to any further Polish citizens except in very
special circumstances. I do not anticipate that the Legation will
have any success in applying for exit visas for individual Polish
citizens whose personal application has been rejected or delayed.

I suspect that in the majority of such cases there will be a
further delay or 'reasons' given for refusal. It is conceivable
that with the establishment of the Republic Commissariats of
Foreign Affairs we would be told that the matter was under the
jurisdiction of the Peoples Commissariat of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic in which the applicant resided.

4. I propose to notify all the Poles with whom we have been in
touch and whose applications are now pending, of the course they
must follow. This will take a considerable time as there are
thousands of people involved in our applications.

5. There will still no doubt be considerable correspondence with
the Poles so long as we continue to represent Polish interests and
the work of the Legation will hardly be reduced at all by this
decision. It merely removes any hope we had of assisting the Poles
to emigrate.

6. We are not advising the Polish Legation at Tehran and presume
that you will instruct London as to how the Polish Government
should be informed.


1 Repeated to London as no. 25.

2 Dispatched 25 January. On file AA:A989, 44/715/5/2/6, ii. It
described difficulties in submitting lists of Poles seeking visas.

3 Words in square brackets were followed by signs indicating
'mutilated'. V. A. Zorin was Head, Fourth European Dept, Soviet
Foreign Ministry.

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