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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 14, 1958


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    The Polish Foreign Ministry outlines further action on the Rapacki Plan following its rejection by the NATO Permanent Council. This further action includes introducing new elements to the Plan and keeping it relevant and up-to-date.
    "Record on the Results of MOFA Collegium Session on Jan. 14, 1958 ," January 14, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Polskie dokumenty dyplomatyczne 1958 (Warszawa: Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych, 2011), Document #20, pp.44-47. Translated by Jerzy Giebułtowski.
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[after January 14], unsigned note:

decisions of the MoFA Collegium regarding

further action concerning to the Rapacki Plan


on the results of MoFA Collegium session

on Jan. 14, 1958

I. International debate over the Rapacki Plan reached a point that could be considered the end of a certain stage. The point that closes this stage is the determination of NATO Permanent Council, which  in principle rejected the plan.

At the root of the negative stance on the Rapacki Plan are the following considerations:

1. the Rapacki Plan weakens the idea of the Small Europe by effectively withdrawing the FRG from the bloc of 6 European states;

2. the Rapacki Plan prevents FRG remilitarization by depriving it of access to state-of-the-art military technology;

3. the Rapacki Plan makes it necessary to withdraw US troops from the FRG, because they cannot be organized without atomic weapons;

4. the Rapacki Plan leads to continued Soviet advantage in Europe as once nuclear weapons are banned, the classical forces of Warsaw Pact countries in this part of Europe would increase threefold;

5. in view of the Soviet initiative that comprises the Rapacki Plan among others and of favorable public opinion stance of this plan, we need to take a clear position.

II. At the current stage of the discussion of the have the following to note:

1. our initiative on the results of the Paris NATO session.

2. our initiative contributed to a more marked tendency for international détente (second tendency) in the capitalist world.

3. our initiative consolidated Poland’s position in the Western world and favorably contributed to further tightening of bonds with countries in the socialist camp.

III. The current stage ended at a moment when western states found themselves in a situation which consists in that they must switch from general declarations of readiness to talk to a rejection of the very idea of the Rapacki Plan.

At the moment those matters that have been put forward as key reservations became less important in the argument of the opponents of our initiative. It concerns in particular the argument of inadequately specific control system in the nuclear-free zone and the recognition of the GDR that is implicit in the Rapacki Plan.

IV. Our current tasks:

1. the presentation of the position of Western governments took place under circumstances that complicates their position and consolidating the political forces behind the tendency in favor of détente in the capitalist world;

2. keep the Rapacki Plan in the center of the international debate as long as possible, and in particular make every effort so that our plan be up-to-date until a top-level conference, where we could support it!

V. Since the Rapacki Plan moved to a new stage, it is necessary to take steps that would add weight  and keep the plan up-to-date. Therefore, we should take it into consideration that it is more difficult to dispel reservations put forward from the point of view of military considerations. So, we need to focus on selecting means that exert maximum influence on public opinion. It is also important to find a platform that would find support of the Labor Party.

VI. In our operations at this new stage we should disclose the Western tactics of abandoning or downplaying the former reservations (the issue of control the attitude to the GDR), and putting forward arguments that were known previously but for tactical reasons were not voiced.

The issue of sidelining the reservations concerning control should be appropriately utilized in press operations by disclosing the substance of the position of the West, while the fact of ignoring, at the current stage, the reservations about the attitude to the GDR could only be used in diplomatic talks.

VII. A developed conception of the Rapacki Plan should comprise new elements that would incorporate – as far as possible – the substance of reservations, We should not, choweverc, pull back from the current position on the Rapacki Plan and hat the same timeh reduce its assumptions, thus meeting half way the plan’s opponents.

Such a developed conception of the  plan should be a powerful stimulus, therefore our present tactics of small steps in elaborating further elements of the plan does not seem right any longer.

VIII. In the developed version of the Rapacki Plan, we stand by the fundamental idea – ban on production and stationing of nuclear weapons (tactical [weapons] and missiles).

The onslaught of NATO strategists is mainly targeted at the ban of tactical weapons that is already stationed on FRG territory. Thus it does not seem reasonable to propose the nuclear weapons ban in stages (first the new types of strategic weapons, and later tactical nuclear weapons). This will not weaken, in any substantial way, reservations of  military nature, and it will not be popular with public opinion, and it would also mean an indirect legalization of tactical nuclear weapons.

The new elements of the Rapacki Plan will consist in:

1. introducing the moment of guarantee that the nuclear-free zone will not be attacked with nuclear weapons;

2. expressing, in principle, the readiness to reduce and balance of conventional armed forces should be nuclear-free zone principle be (ban on manufacture and stationing of nuclear weapons);

3. elaborating of a control plan in the nuclear-free zone as well as conventional armed forces and types of weapons;

4. developing the legal form of a nuclear-free zone treaty.

IX. In the elaborating of new elements of the Rapacki Plan we could present them differently, in particular the matter of control could be presented via diplomatic channels, and our readiness to incorporate conventional armed forces and armament in a different way (e.g. in press interviews), so as not to expose this matter to diplomatic rejection before it becomes known.

It seems advisable to draft a document that would specify our position. Given that the Western powers have apparently dropped their plan to issue a démarche to us, we could prevent them from ending diplomatic exchange of views on the Rapacki Plan by handing this document to their ambassadors. Such a document would also be the basis for launching the initiative of talks with the FRG on the nuclear-free zone.

The document would be published after presenting it to the relevant governments via diplomatic channels, which would make it possible to use new arguments including in the document in our propaganda operation.

Clear specification (in the document) of certain assumptions (particularly in relation to conventional weapons) would make it more difficult to put forward initiatives regarding extension of the nuclear-free zone.

X. Parallel to the above presented steps we should mobilize our diplomatic mission in order to win support for the Rapacki Plan in other circles of potential followers.

To this end we should constantly supplement the argumentative material of diplomatic missions and appropriate propaganda materials should be prepared for them. In particular, we should prepare a White Paper with materials, which could be used in our propaganda campaign, and transmitted to [foreign] governments via diplomatic channels.

AMSZ, z. 10, w. 22, t. 199


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