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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 02, 1958


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    Poland requests that India express support for the Polish plan for nuclear disarmament in Europe.
    "Note by Foreign Secretary Subimal Dutt on Conversation with Polish Ambassador," April 02, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Subimal Dutt, Sub Folder 32, pg. 569-570
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Ministry of External Affairs – SECRET

I saw the Polish Ambassador this morning at his request. He said that Poland expects to be invited to the summit conference likely to take place later this year. The Polish Government have therefore set up a unit for the special study of problems relating to the conference. They expect India also to be invited to the conference and would therefore like to exchange with us ideas about the time, composition, agenda, and procedures of the conference.

2.     The ambassador then proceeded to say for our private information that recently the Polish Government had sent a protest to the UK Government against the supply for Matador missiles to West Germany. The reply of the US government to this protest was in the Polish view unsatisfactory. The US government had said that no decision has yet been reached as to whether these missiles will carry nuclear warheads.

3.     The ambassador then said that the supply of missiles and atomic weapons to West Germany cuts across the Rapacki Plan. The Polish Government believe on the basis of the Polish Prime Minister’s talk with our Prime Minister that we are generally in favour of the Plan. The recent West German Parliament’s support to the supply of atomic weapons to the West German Army will in the Polish view lead to an armament race on the same lines as in 1952-52. This has been causing great concern to the Polish government. The Polish Government would like the Government of India to express their views on this latest development and lend support to the Polish Plan for disengagement in the heart of Europe. The Ambassador added that when West Germany was first admitted to the NATO the admission was subject to the condition that not atomic weapons would be supplied to Germany. Now this condition has apparently been given up.

4.     I told the Ambassador that I would report to the Prime Minister what he had told me. Personally speaking I said that it is not the Government of India’s general policy to comment on the happenings and developments in other countries unless such comments were made in the broad context of a problem which is of concern to the world. It was not sure therefore that the Prime Minister would like to express his views specifically on the West German Parliament’s resolution on the arming of West Germany with atomic weapons. However we recognized the Polish concern in this matter.

We also recognize the fact that the greater the number of countries with atomic weapons the more difficult becomes the problem of atomic disarmament.

5..     We have not yet given our open support to the Rapacki Plan. My personal view is that while we agree with the principle underlying the Plan it can only be one of a number of possible alternatives whereby the first step towards the relaxation of international tensions could be taken. It might not be advisable for us to identify ourselves with this Plan at this stage.

6.     Incidentally, the Polish ambassador told me that a number of Polish journalists are coming to this country and propose to interview leading personalities on the atomic armament of West Germany and enquired whether the Prime Minister and Defence Minister would like to discuss this topic with them. Their intention is also to interview leading public figures like, for example, the Congress President.

7.     We shall also have to consider whether a special unit should be created in our Ministry for discussion of problems which are likely to go before the summit conference. It is good to give particular attention to these problems [unclear word] with our limited personnel the same people will have to be in charge of this special unit as would even otherwise deal with the problems connected with the summit conference. There is of course no difficulty about our keeping in touch with Poland and other countries if they so desire on the subject of summit conference. We need not concert our views together with a view to arriving at agreed conclusions.

(S. Dutt), 2.4.58

Separate Copies: P.M, S.G


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