Saturday, May 16, 2015

ADSS 1.37 Cortesi to Maglione: Polish response to papal conference

ADSS 1.37 Filippo Cortesi, Poland to Luigi Maglione, Sec State.

Reference: Telegram 22 (AES 2766/39)

Location and date: Warsaw, 10.05.1939.

Summary statement: Polish government is not favourable to the Conference.

Language: Italian


The Foreign Minister (1) informs me:

President Republic (2), Poland’s Marshals [sic] (3), President Council Ministries (4), examined in meeting proposal of Holy Father, are in agreement with His august intentions, are afraid Conference members would not understand Poland’s Danzig interests and also feel not fully prepared to debate such matters: non-success may increase danger of war; suggest Holy See diplomatic action; are prepared to reconsider their point of view if interested Powers are favourable. (5)

(1) Jozef Beck (1894-1944), Polish Foreign Minister 1932-39.
(2) Ignacy Moscicki (1867-1946), President of Poland 1926-39.
(3) Edward Rydz-Smigly (1886-1947), Marshall of Poland 1936-41.  The Marshall was the highest command in the Polish armed forces given to commanders who achieved victory on the battlefield. Rydz-Smigly’s honour derived from his successes against the Red Army in 1920.
(4) Felicjan Slawoj Skladowski (1885-1962), Prime Minister of Poland 1936-39.
(5) The point of view of the Polish Government indicated above is confirmed in the message of Howard Kennard (1878-1955) British Ambassador to Poland 1937-39, to Lord Halifax (1881-1959), British Foreign Secretary (1938-40): “The Polish Government would prefer the alternative suggested by you, namely that the Pope should offer his good offices.  M. Beck feels that a conference without due preparation might possibly do more harm than good”. (DBFP, Series 3, Volume 5, n426, pp475-76).

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