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Polish Government (British Relations)

Volume 436: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in view of the fact that the announced policy of His Majesty's Government was that Britain's future attitude would be determined by the performance of the new Polish Government, what the attitude of His Majesty's Government now is.

His Majesty's Government are continuing to judge by results and are discussing outstanding questions with the Polish Government with a desire to reach solutions in the interests of the people of both countries.

Is -the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have received first-hand information that these elections were very unfair, and that some of the Polish subjects who are anti-Soviet have been victimised; and will he do all that he can, as we realise he has done lately, to maintain the announced policy of His Majesty's Government?

I shall do my best. I would remind the hon Gentleman and the House that when we have had a great trouble as we have had in Europe, it is very difficult to settle all these problems at once. The Polish population has fallen from 35 million to 22 million of whom over eight million are dead.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that part of the performance of the new Polish Government has been a very agreeable trade treaty with this country, which brings some hundreds of thousands of tons of coal here?

I do not know about the amount of coal. But we are discussing all these things in a friendly spirit in the hope that we can bring relationships back to a proper basis.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the recent amnesty in Poland is an indication that the new Polish Government desire to proceed towards a more liberal and democratic regime?

I think that the best service which can be rendered to Poland now is that every Pole, whether a displaced person or in this country, should immediately make up his mind to go home and take part in the reconstruction of Poland.