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February 14, 1958

Letter, A. Rapacki to Mr. Jacob D. Beam, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America in Warsaw

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



February 14, letter of the minister of foreign affairs to the US ambassador

regarding the nuclear-free zone in Central Europe

Warsaw, February 14, 1958



His Excellency Mr Jacob D. Beam

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

of the United States of America in Warsaw


Mister Ambassador,


I wish to refer to the conversation that I conducted on December 9, 1957 with the chargé d’affaires of the United States Embassy in Warsaw. In that conversation I presented the position of the Polish Government vis-à-vis the emerging tendencies to proliferate nuclear weapons in Europe, in particular to accelerate the arming of West Germany. The danger of further complications, primarily in Central Europe, which is the point of contact between the opposing military blocs, persuaded the Polish Government to engage then in direct diplomatic talks regarding the Polish proposal, put forward on October 2, 1957 on the UN forum, regarding the establishment of on nuclear-free zone in Central Europe.


The proposal met with keen interest among the government and political circles as well as among the broad public opinion in many countries.


Considering the body of opinion submitted in statements made in connection with the Polish proposal, and in order to facilitate negotiation, the Polish Government decided to present a more detailed elaboration of its proposals. This found expression in the attached memorandum,2[1]2 which the Polish Government is sending simultaneously to the governments of France, Great Britain and the USSR, and other interested countries.


The Polish government realizes that solving the problem on the global scale requires, in the first place, negotiations between the Great Powers and other interested states. That is why the Polish Government supports Soviet Government’s proposal regarding a top-level meeting of leading state activists with Heads of Government participating. Such a meeting could also bring agreement on the establishment  of an nuclear-free zone in Central Europe, if the interested parties did not reach agreement until such time. In any case, starting talks on the nuclear-free zone now would lead to a successful course of the negotiations.


The Polish Government hopes that the US Government will study the attached memorandum and that the proposals included therein will find understanding of the US Government. The Polish Government, on its part, is prepared to continue exchange of opinions with the US Government on this issue.


Please accept, Mister Ambassador, [words of] my deepest respect.


fA. Rapackif


AMSZ, z. 9, w. 47, t. 623


22 Doc. no 62.

Adam Rapacki, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, discusses the Polish Plan and the Soviet proposal for a meeting of various heads of state.


Document Information


Polskie dokumenty dyplomatyczne 1958 (Warszawa: Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych, 2011), Document #66, pp.149-150. Translated by Jerzy Giebułtowski.


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Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)