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December 12, 1957

Confidential Report from Thomas J. Kieran (Ottawa) to Con Cremin (Dublin), ‘Poland and our Policy at U.N.O.’

This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)


PR/11/57 (Ottawa)

December 12, 1957

[handwritten] Copy sent to P.R./UN.

Copy filed on 417/153




Department of External Affairs,

Dublin, Ireland.


Poland and Our Policy at U.N.O.

1. At a party given by the New York Times representative in Ottawa, Mr. Raymond Daniell, the Chargé d’Affaires of Poland, Sieradzki, said to me that the Irish attitude at U.N.O. had been surprising – and very welcome to Poland and he had heard it suggested (from his people at UN) that our purpose was to win the support of the Communist and Afro-Asian groups in connection with the reunification of Ireland; and said that undoubtedly we would have the votes of both groups.

2. I said that our policy at UN was surprising perhaps because it was a non-bloc policy, and that objectivity and principle were not confined by us to our partition problem, which, however, I surmised could not be sold fairly by UNO so long as the votes of the nations were cast without reference to principle or objectivity.

3. Mr. Sieradzki said that we are in an enviable position, to be able to take a straight line at Ewan and that it is the desire of Poland to be in the same position, a desire not likely to be realised with the crowding-in other heavy neighbours.

4. I queried him, incidentally, about the Soviet line in regard to Ireland and said that I had been informed by a Soviet Ambassador that the Soviet would oppose us in any effort we might make at U.N. to solve our partition problem. And that, after all, was consistent, in keeping with the Soviet's having voted in favour of the partition of Palestine ten years ago.

5. He was relieved when I answered his question as to when the Soviet policy was as I suggested--some four years ago; and said that it would be found that Soviet policy had since then changed in this matter and he was sure the Soviet would favour the re-unification of Ireland. Poland certainly would vote for us if the matter should come up. If, I asked, Poland were free to vote on principle and objectively? He laughed at that.



There was value in Aiken’s advocacy for Ireland to take an independent position in constructing broad-based international support for change. Aiken acted as a potent bridgebuilder between the Western and Eastern camps and also between the Cold War blocs and nonaligned countries. Ireland’s democratic heritage, neutrality and anti-colonial history appealed to many constituencies, not least in Africa and Asia. Even its anti-Communist ideological orientation failed to deter admirers in the Eastern bloc, as they recognized that Aiken was sincere in seeking to propose fresh solutions and reduce international tension. An example of the positive feedback and encouragement that Aiken received is displayed in the attached Irish record of the Polish response.

Document Information


National Archives of Ireland, Department of Foreign Affairs/5/313/3D, published in "Documents on Irish Foreign Policy," Volume XI, Document No. 96. Contributed by Mervyn O'Driscoll.


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Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) and University of Southampton