March 14, 1958
Deputy Minister Naszkowski's Record of the Conference of Chiefs of Diplomatic Missions
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
March 14, deputy minister Naszkowski’s record of the conference
of chiefs of diplomatic missions on the Rapacki Plan
Warsaw, March 14, 1958
On the 10th and the 11th of this month, the MoFA held a conference on the current stat and further actions regarding the Rapacki Plan. Participating in the conference were chiefs of diplomatic missions in: Paris, Washington, London, Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Brussels, the Hague, Rome, Berlin (embassy and military mission), Belgrade, Prague, and Budapest.
Mission chiefs gave their assessment of the repercussion of the Rapacki Plan in their respective countries, with particular emphasis on the time following the handing of the Memorandum of the PRP Government of February 14 of this year.30
The key moments mentioned by the speakers can be summarized as follows:
1) The plan found supporters in different circles in the individual countries, whereas the division into supporters and opponents of the plan is largely independent of party affiliation. A new phenomenon are the vigorous diplomatic consultations, which are now regularly held between our ambassadors and representatives of a number of Western governments (Norway, Canada, France).
2) After some initial doubts it was accepted in principle that the plan was drafted by the Polish government.
3) Discussion took place regarding the attitude of social democratic circles to the plan, underlining its significance as a platform of rapprochement with the social democratic movement.
4) It was pointed out that the plan could be used to activate the policy of small states (Scandinavia, Belgium).
5) Views were exchanged as to further popularization of the plan. In view of the damped sensitivity to the currently used methods that is the case in certain countries, new ways of exerting influence were discussed, as well as in light of the new, mainly ‘strategic’ arguments of the opponents.
6) Discussion was held on the plan to activate the Polish diplomacy and on further increase of Poland’s international prestige.
7) The attitude of friendly states and communist parties in the West to the plan was discussed.
Matters raised by mission chiefs were discussed by members of the MoFA leadership and several department heads.
In the summary of the discussion, the following moments were highlighted:
1) In the first place we should emphasize the plan’s political significance and prevent reducing further discussion over it only to deliberations of military consequences.
2) We should estimate that Poland could have won significant political capital as a result of its initiative only as a socialist state acting in concord with the entire socialist camp.
3) We should take advantage of possibilities afforded by the plan to reach more and more social democratic circles in the West and develop contacts and cooperation with them. It has a broader significance.
4) At the present stage, there is no need to modify or supplement the plan with new elements, but we should make full use of the arguments in the memorandum and underline our readiness to discuss the new aspects of the plan when the Western states start talks with us.
5) We should develop cooperation with circles that treat the plan fairly, and make no concessions to ideas based on anti-Soviet assumptions.
6) We should not lose sight of the partial co-dependence of our initiative with those Soviet initiatives that are aimed at a top-level conference and general solutions.
7) We should not accept the claim that the West is permeated with our activity related to the plan, but appropriately choose the means to influence every country and by different methods.
8) Avoiding primitive propaganda methods, we should not drop efforts to exert propagandistic influence in further popularization of the plan.
9) We should try to persuade the Western powers and the FRG to reply to our memorandum.
10) In our plan-related activity we should take into consideration the new danger caused by the US pushing for arming the Bundeswehr with nuclear weapons. We cannot take a passive stance in this matter. In conversations and statements, we should point out the serious consequences that a NATO decision to arm the Bundeswehr with nuclear weapons would necessarily entail.
11) We should deem it possible that Poland would take part in a conference of foreign minister and in summit conferences as well as get ready for that.
This was a working conference, and should be considered a success.
AMSZ, z. 10. w. 50, t. 478
30 See doc. no 62.
Deputy Minister Naszkowski recounts a conference of chiefs of diplomatic missions regarding further action on the Rapacki Plan. Topics include current supporters and opponents of the plan, how to continue popularizing the plan, and development of further contacts.
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