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January 20, 1959

Code Message No. 803 from Ambassador Milnikiel in London to Winiewicz

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January 20, code message from the ambassador in London:

British opinions on the Rapacki Plan


Top secret



Code message No 803

from London, transmitted on Jan. 20, 1959, 21.00 hrs




Deputy foreign secretary O’Neill summoned me on January 20. He referred to my visit with aide-mémoire regarding the Rapacki Plan of Dec. 11, 1958.


His position:


1) In the period between submitting the aide-mémoire and today, there were events that have covertakenc the Rapacki Plan. This is a matter of Berlin and of a peace pact, submitted by the USSR.


2) The government of G. Britain in its note of Dec. 31, 1958, expresses consent not only to the already discussed issue of Berlin, but also to the issues of European security.


3) Negotiations, should they take place, will cover far broader issues than those put forward in the Rapacki Plan, as they include European and the resolution of the German question.


4) Taking up discussion on the Rapacki Plan today could lead to unintended compilations, especially in light of the publicized broad proposals.


My reply:


1) Thank you for your reply, which I shall transmit it to my government without delay.


2) From his words I infer that the government of G. Britain believes that in view of broader proposals regarding Germany, the Rapacki Plan should not be discussed now, should it? Answer: yes.


3) I understand that the Rapacki Plan is still on, but the government of G. Britain believes that there are more general conceptions, and that is why it prefers not to take a position on this matter at the present moment. Yes or no? The government of G. Britain is currently contemplating broader solutions.


4) I added that in my private opinion, the problem of denuclearization, that is the Rapacki Plan, will always be up-to-date regardless of the matter of Berlin or reunification of Germany.


5) I believe that the British side, at the present moment refrains from discussion of the merits of the Rapacki Plan and in view of other proposals it refrains from taking a position on our Rapacki Plan.


Are my conclusions correct? Answer: yes, precisely.


The conversation went on for about half hour, with each word carefully weighed and it was very hard. What I wanted to achieve was to make sure that the Rapacki Plan is on the agenda. From the course of the conversation it follows, in consequence, that the Rapacki Plan was put aside in view of the other proposals. Formally, our proposal still exists, and that is what we want, after all.


/–/ Milnikiel


AMSZ, ZD 6/77, w. 62, t. 917



Milnikiel writes to Winiewicz regarding a conversation between Milnikiel and British Deputy foreign secretary O’Neill. O'Neill does not think the Rapacki Plan should currently be brought up in light of the broader proposals on Germany.

Document Information


Polskie dokumenty dyplomatyczne 1959 (Warszawa: Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych, 2011), Document #26, pp.45-46. Translated by Jerzy Giebułtowski.


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