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May 17, 1958

A. Rapacki, 'Record of Conversation with the Ambassador of Great Britain, on May 17, 1958'

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May 17, record of conversation of the minister of foreign affairs

with the ambassador of Great Britain regarding the establishment

of the nuclear-free zone in Central Europe


Top secret

v. urgent

May 17, 1958



of conversation with the ambassador of Great Britain, on May 17, 1958


On May 17 at 12, the British ambassador, Berthoud handed me the reply, of the British Government to our  memorandum regarding the establishment of the nuclear-free zone in Central Europe.


Upon handing in the note Berthoud did not add any oral comment. I, on my part, said that we shall study the note carefully, and at an appropriate moment we shall reply, because we are determined to defend the merit of our proposal.


Berthoud informed me that the note would be published on Monday, May 19 in the evening and asked us also to postpone publication until the same moment. Consent was granted.


Attached is the text of the British note.4[1]5


/–/ Rapacki


AMSZ, z. 23, w. 14, t. 163


45 The note reads, among others: “Her Majesty’s Government have every sympathy with the Polish Government in their efforts to ensure and to increase the security of their country, and they share the desire of the Polish Government to see progress in disarmament and the reduction of international tension. Her Majesty’s Government consider, however that the proposals of the Polish Government raise wider issues to which nevertheless, they appear to offer no solution. Among these issues is the threat to the security of the Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which might arise, owing to the preponderant strength of Soviet conventional forces, if the Polish Government’s proposals were accepted.” [Source: Edmund Jan Osmańczyk, Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements, ed. Anthony Mango, third edition, vol. 3, (New York, London: Routledge, 2003), p. 1895. This is, apparently, the original text – JG]

Record of a conversation during which British Ambassador Berthoud presents Rapacki with a British note in response to the Polish memo on the Rapacki Plan.

Document Information


Polskie dokumenty dyplomatyczne 1958 (Warszawa: Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych, 2011), Document #156, p.377. Translated by Jerzy Giebułtowski.


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Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)