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Poland (Western Frontier)

Volume 438: debated on Wednesday 4 June 1947

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20.

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement on the contents of the letter written by Sir Alexander Cadogan to the Foreign Minister of the former Polish Government regarding the western frontier of Poland; and if he will publish the text of the letter in HANSARD.

I assume that my hon. Friend is referring to a letter from Sir Alexander Cadogan, as Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, to Monsieur Romer, Foreign Minister in the Polish Government in London, dated 2nd November, 1944. This letter stated as regards Poland's western frontier that His Majesty's Government considered that Poland should have the right to extend her territory up to the line of the Oder, to include the port of Stettin. This letter, which was confidential, formed part of lengthy diplomatic discussions with the Soviet, Polish and United States Governments subsequently continued at the Crimea Conference and concluded in the Potsdam Agreement, by which the Polish Government undertook, pending the final delimitation of Poland's western frontier, the administration of territory beyond the Oder as far as the Western Neisse. The House is fully aware of the Potsdam Agreement, and I see no advantage in singling out this letter for special publication.

Could my right hon. Friend say whether this letter assured the Poles that we would support their frontier claims, whatever the Americans or other people might say?

My view is that the whole correspondence was superseded by the Potsdam Agreement, which decided this thing, or at least laid down how this territory was to be administered pending the official peace settlement. I am sorry that I cannot carry continuity too far.