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December 22, 2016
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October 5, 2012
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March 6, 1944
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el 1 ,e1; Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 so? - uei g'Ir 1 T-462 Earch 6, 1944 THE :ORIGINS OF THE CURZON LINE, _1 3 I. THE .EASTERN BOUNDARY OF CONGRESS POLAND From 1815 to 1912 the administrative bOundary which sep- arated Congress Poland from the rest Of the Russian Empire followed the eastern boundaries of the gubernike of -Vilna) Grodno and Volyn. For the most part it was wZIT-defined by rivers, following the Niemen from the border of East Prussia_ to the city of Grodno, the Bobr (Biebrza) arid the Narev to a point near Byelostok (Bialystok), then running.soUthwest to the Bug and following that river upstream to the border, of Galicia. This boundary roughly separated Polish-populated territory from areas with Lithuanian; White Russian or Ukranian majorities'. ,However, because of the. inter-mingling of ethnic groups in this region, it could not' be termed a clear-cut line of separation between ethnically Polish and non-Polish territory. In the north (guberniya of Suvalki) a ,solidly Lithuanian-populated area, and in the south (region of Kholm) an area ithA a-large Ukrainian population, probably. a majority, were left within Congress Poland. On the other hand, a considerable Polish population lived in districts lying to the east of the boundary in Russia proper, where it was strong in the cities (especially in Vilna, Grodno and Bialystok) and in certain of the rural districts. II. TERRITORIAL CHANGES DURING !THE WORLD WAR In March 1915 the Russian Government altered the boundary of Congress Poland by separating from it the district of Kholm, a step condemned by Polish spokesmen as alienation of territory which had been an integral part 'of Poland for centuries.. By the end of that year, however, the disposition of the whole -of Congress Poland, including Kholm, was in the hands of the Cen- tral Powers, whose armies had driven out the Russians. The Imp,vial Russian Government attempted to gain Polish support in 1916 by announcing plans to create an autonomous Polish. state "under the sceptre of the Russian sovereigns", which was to include "all Polish territories11. Almost' simultaneously, in November 1916; Germany and Austria proclaimed the establishment of a "hereditary and independent" Polish state. It was an-,' flounced that "the more precise regulation of the frontiers remains reserved until.after the war" but it was presumed that .they would be those, of the Congress Kingdom, inaluding Kholm. -The- secret rt2 tri'H _ ? _ Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -2- Thecsecret Austro-German agreement, however, upon which the proclamation was based, provided for the exclusion of the guberniya of Suvalki, which had a Lithuanian majority, from the new Poland. In February 1918.the Central Powers made a further change when they ceded to the Ukrainian Republic, by a treaty signed at Brest-Litovsk, the district of hholm. The Austrian Govern- ment hoped that this concession to Ukrainian ,nationalism would increase the chances of getting the food supplies which Austria so desperately needed. The Regency Council of the Kingdom of Poland, which the Central Powers had recently established but had not allowed to be represented at Brest-Litovsk, publicly' protested against the cession of KholLi to the Ukraine; because of this alienatiOn of territory which they held to be POlish, whatever remaining faith Polish leaders had in the Central Powers evaporated. In August 1918 the Soviet Government decreed the "irrevo= cable" annulment of the treaties made by the Russian tmpire partitioning Poland, "in view of their inconsistency with the principle of self-determination and with the revolutionary feeling of justice of the Russian people, which has recognized the inalienable right of the Polish people to its independence and unity. III. THE Q,UESTION OF POLAND'S EASTERN FRONTIER AT?THE AR S.PEACE CONFERENCE' I. Polish Claims The Polish case was presented to the Entente 'powers.dur- ing 1917 and 1918 by Roman Dmowski, President of the Polish National Committee, which was recognized by them in 1917 as "an official Pdlish organization". In January 1919 Dmowski and PadereWski became Polish delegates to the peace Confer-. ence. Memoranda presented to Balfour,- -Wilson and others by DmowSki'propoSed that Poland's eastern frontier should run roughly as follows: northward from the Dniester River passing to the east of Kamenets Podolsk, following the floryil and Slucz Rivers through the region of the Pripet Marshes, passing to the east of Minsk, Borisov and Polotsk, then turning westwards to pass to the ,north of Dtinaburg (Dvinsk)., reaching the Baltic Sea at a point north of Libau. The Poles thus claimed-exten- sive Russian territories beyond the boundary of Congress Poland inhabited chiefly by Ukrainians, White Russians and Lithuanians. All Lithuanian-inhabited territory was included, with the idea that Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 ? Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Mime, - - ? - - - - that the historic union of Poland with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania should be revived in modern form. Except in the southeast, this proposed line was almost as far east as the Polish frontier of 1772, before the first partition. The Poles based their claims chiefly on the historic association of these borderland regions and peoples with Polish culture and with the Polish state. Although these peoples were not Poles, neither were they Russians, the Polish spokesmen contended, and 'since none of them was capa- ble of independent political existence, their best guarantee lay in union or federation with Poland. In a formal state- ment before the Heads of Delegations at the Peace Conference in January 1919 Dmouski suggested that the frontier of 1772 be taken as the legal starting point for discussion of the terri- torial settlement in the east, but conceded that it might be modified so that "a large portion" of historically Polish territory would remain under Russia. He did not lay claim to Lithuania or to the Ukraine as parts of Poland but held that they should be united in some way with Poland, especially since anarchy or despotism was likely to reign in Russia for some time to come. On Lay 23, 1919 a resolution of the Polish Diet made the same claims and declared them to be consistent with the principle of self-determination. 2. The American Position at the Beginning of the Peace Conference; Recommelons of .151Ie InTr in-1918 the House "Inquiry" undertook a study of the- -------- eaStern limits of the "indisputably Polish" territory which, according to President Wilson's thirteenth Point, should be included within the future independent Polish state. Because of the unreliablility of the Russian census statistics (census of 1897), it was decided that only a "minimum" boundary could be described and that any judgment as to the ethnic composition of the population in areas lying to the east of such a boundary would have to be postponed until more evidence should become available. The memorandum, written by Dr. Robert H. Lord and others, proposed a minimum boundary whidh ran approximately as follows: southwards from the boundary of the L:uberniya of Suvalki along the pastern boundaries of the districts-Tuyezdy) of Sokolka, Volkovysk 1/ and Bielsk, all in the gubertiya of Grodno, 1/ In another-recommendation covering only the nbrtheastern frontier of Poland, Dr. Lord suggested the inclusion of $okolka, Bialystok and Bielsk within Poland, making no mention of Volkovysk. Such a frontier would be more reasonable ethno- logically and geographically than one which jutted eastward to include Volkovysk in Poland. Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -4- Grodno, then following the line of the Bug River to the bOrder of Eastern Galicia., The Kholm.area; where the Russian' census of 1897 showed Ukrainian-speaking majorities in four of the eight districts, was included within Poland becauSe of its large Catholic majority (nand here Catholic and Pole seem to be nearly identical terms"), and becauSe the authors of the -memorandum were convinced that the census statistics for this area were clearly false. The same considerations accounted for the decision to include in Poland the uyezdy of Bielsk, Sokolka and VolkoVysk, where the census sh-O-Je-a--:Thite Russian- speaking majorities; many of the ':ihite Russians were Roman Catholics. Apart from this conSideration it was thought nec- essary to include this area within 'Polandin order to estab- lish a "fairly broad territorial connection" between Poland and Lithuania and to leave open the possibility of an even- tual federal or tariff union between them. The "Inquiry" memorandum on Poland's eastern frontier conceded that a boundary following the suggested "Minimum linen would be "extremely unsatisfactory to most Poles", since sonic districts to the east of it, particularly in the region of Vilna, had a substantial Polish population and since strong ties existed between Poland and all the debatable territories in the east. The memorandum suggested that pleb- iscites, or a careful investigation ?on the spot by an inter- national commission, might be held in the sEuberniye of Grodna and Vilna and in the western parts of Minsk and Volyn, thus holding open the possibility of eastward revision along the whole length of the suggested line. The "Interpretation of the Fourteen Points", prepared at the request of Colonel House by Frank I. Cobb, editor of the New York World, and -jailer Lippmann, 'Secretary of "The Inquiry", and submiTTa-to President 'jilson in October 1918, stated that "on the east, Poland should receive no territory in, which Lithuanians. or Ukrainians predominate". It emphasized the President's word "indisputably" in nis reference to Polish territory, and envisaged the taking of an impartial census before the drawing of the frontiers. The Report .(or "Black Book") which the Intelligence Section of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace sub- mitted to the President and to the American Plenipotenti- aries on January 21, 1919, contained the final recommenda- tions of "The Inquiry". It took note of the impossibility of settling finally the territorial problems involving Russia's western frontier so long as the Bolshevik govern- ment remained in puwer. The Report did, however, recommend an eastern boundary for Poland which ran as follows: from a point on the southern border of Galicia near the source of the San River, northwards to the southern border Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 border of the province of Lubiin,-.then-following,that boun- dary eastwards to the Bug -River ?ahd northwards along"the?Bug ,to 'aodawa; then northeastwards ?to include-Pinsk and a large part of the Pripet I:arshes region within Poland, northeast- wards along the Sczara and Nlemen Riverb-, leaving-Grodab outside Poland, then across the guberniya of Suvalki, leaving to Poland its two southeastern districts,- to the border ?of East Prussia. Except' for the salient relDredented by. the. Ulodawa-Pinsk-Grodno triancle, where it departed sharply from the ethnic limits of "indisputably Polish" territory, this line was nearly identical with the line later. adopted by the Peace Conference as the provisional eastern frohtier of ? Poland, which has come to'be.known the nurzon'Line". The boundary recommended by the .0.merican experts left outside Poland virtually all territory with a Ukrainian majority, ? both in Eastern Galicia and in former Russian territory,:but the Ukrainian-inhabited area between this line aid the line ? of the Zbrucz and Horyil-Rivers--which-Poland evehtually ac- quired by the Treaty of Riga--was considered as a "possible addition to:Poland"-as a self-governing province, but only in case the Ukraine should not give-'evidences, of vitality' as-an independent state. It was-recommended that a Ukrainian state be established "provided Ukrainian nationalism is strong enough to justify that decisiOn", It was also recommended that encouragement be given to the reunion of the Ukraine with a federalized or genuinely democratic Russia, The zone of mixed and uncertdin ethnic?charabter in which the White Russians, who were not considered ready for politi- cal independence, were in the majority, the Repert proposed? to,divide between Poland and Lithuania. If the latter should remain independent of ,Russia and should agree to federal union with Poland, the line'along the Sczara and the-Niemen. was rec- ommended as the most suitable boundary between the two states; Lithuania would then be a sizeable state, extending from the Baltic Sea to the Pripet River and including the cities of Vilna, Grodno, NowogrOdek, and Minsk. It was pointed out that if .a federal union between Poland and Lithuania proved impos- sible, this boundary would certainly be unsatisfactory to the Poles and should be modified, after a careful census by an impartial commission, so as to coincide With the fairest eth- nic dividing line between Polish and Lithuanian populations. General Principles for the Determination of Poland's Eastern.Frofirnr At the Peace Conference the study Of Poland's frontiers was referred to. the Commission on Polish-Affairs, .en.which' each Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 each of the five principal Allied and Associated Powers was represented. I/ The Commission felt that it would be diffi- 'cult to come TO any decision in regard to Poland's territorial claims in the east without hearing all sides of the case, and at that particular time it was not certain what states would border Poland on the east. The Commission hesitated to give hearings to delegations claiming to represent Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, 4)r the Ukraine, since their governments were not recognized by the Allied Powers. Since no common policy in respect to Russia had been arrived at, it was agreed that the Peace Conference could not assign to Poland any Russian terri- tory not specifically renounced by a recognized government of Russia. As the Kerensky government, on March 30, 1917, had declared its willingness to recognize "an independent Poliph State composed of all regions inhabited by a population of Polish majority", it was agreed by the Commission on Polish Affairs that a line could be drawn marking the eastern limit Of territory about whose Polish characterthere was no doubt. On March 29, 1919, the Commission -adopted the following "Principles for the Determination of the Eastern Frontier of Poland": 1. The Declaration of the Provisional Government of Russia which recognized the "creation of an inde- pendent Polish State, constituted of all regions inhabited by populations of Polish majority", is considered as serving as the basis for the actual determination of the eastern frontier of Poland across the territories of the former .Russian Empire. This frontier will be drawn the same principles on which the western Polish frontiers were based. (Blimmarily, that primary considera- tion be given to ethnic factors, and that second- ary consideration, be given to religious, economic and 'rules Cambch was Chairman of the Commission. The American representative was Dr. Isaiah Bowman. On April 10 his place imas taken by Dr. Lord. Dr. Bowmnn returned as prin- cipal American representative in November. Thus, through- out the greater part of the period in which the Commission had under considPration the eastern frontiers of Poland, it fell to Dr. Lord to 7.)rsert tbo Americ-m viewpoint; Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -7- and administrative factors; and that account be taken of the exposed situation of Poland between ? Germany and Russia and of the need for strength- ? ening its defensive frontiers). 3. Regions where there is doubt regarding the ethnic character and the wishes of the population cannot, for the moment, be attributed to the Polish State. As a fourth principl.e the Commission proposed that it should designate certain territories located east of the line which would be drawn on the above principles, where an inquiry should be made as to the ethnic and religious char- acter and the wishes of the population; that this inquiry should be made on the spot if possible; and,that a definitive solution should be given to the question of the eastern fron- tier of Poland as soon as a Russian government, with whom the Allies could deal, was established. Early, in April an Inter-Allied Mission to Poland, on which Dr. Lord and General F.J. Kernan represented the United States, returned from Warsaw to Paris. Its report to the Peace Conference recommended that the eastern fron- tiers of :Poland be determined when circumstances permit; "on the basis of ethnographic considerations and of - wishes of the populations, without such frontiers many case being more restricted than those of the old Congress Poland". This last recommendation concerning the boundary of Congress Poland was not accepted by the Peace Conference, since it had been decided that the _greater part of the guberniya of Suvalki should not go to Poland. A The Tracing of a "Minimum Boundary" for Poland The task of fixing a line conforming to the agreed prin- ciples was left to the Sub-Commission specially created to study'this.problem. Its Chairman was General Le Rand (-Prance), and its other members were Dr. Lord (United States), Mr. Patdn (British Empire), and Marquess della Torretta (Italy). The . Sub-Commission had little difficulty despite the British delegate's reluctance to concede the southeastern portion of the district of Suvalki to Poland, in reaching agreement on the extreme northern part of the line, from the frontiers of East Prussia to Grodno, where it separated Polish-speaking from Lithuanian-speaking territory, nor on the dentral,part, where the Bug River, from Mielnik to Opalin, was considered: the line of ethnic separation between 'Polish and non-rPolish- _ pooulations. A11 "out one member favored following the line of. the Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 L Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 ? -8- of the .Bug ? from ?Opalin. 'to the: bo-rder of 'Eatern Galicia, but since. .the pritish ,delega.te_was? of.!,the :bpinion- that Some dis- tricts ,west- ,of.-the.Bug e. TomaszOw.and-Hrubie'szciw) were more Ukrainian than Polish.;:in_??pOpulation; .,con'side:bation of' this sector of the line was postponed until the status of Eastern ,Galicia-.,shouldihav.e.-been ILLEGIB ILLEGIB , _ The mostroyerdial?!parc., of. theuline7 wad7i-the:sec tor between Mielnik on the Bug and Grodno on the Niemen.. Dr. Lord favored?aeavIng,..--the districts',OfLSokalka,,?.Bialystok andiBlelsk to Poland., Her admitted that.:.7,the-IstatiStica showed Rus sianmaj in_.;SokoIka :and.7:.intheeastrn.. part dc.:.of ii three ...Aistricts5,,,but? .argued.-.)that White Rassiaris were Catholics, that- their.:_aiaIect and-.that ? "Pdlonization" was 'making rapid;iprogrspc;among thera-.7c:;liefelt that Poland,.:' should :.1:?.e.,Tiven.:::thecibenefitf.,-,of ;_any,ldoubt.':in?,thid,2ar'.ea,.7.aince - the restoration7,.ofTor.der, --.wp.s not,-,. fected for a long time.,--,;;Generalz..Le:14ond..1:aIbo; favored.,d.r'. _ "generous" solution_ for Poland in this region. Mr. Paton, however, -..objected to.;:anydepartUrecfrdm?:ethriic criteri'ai and suggested-,]Wainencutting.-.:thrdugh,;thithree district s , passing to the:-,west T.of the.L-citie?s of:Sokbika'..afidt-Btelsk ?and -to the.. The_.:Sub-Commis si'on :finally agreed";-,t on* ividi'ch. 27, :that Grodno-,shCuld zaeft, outside cPoiand...ibut that _Poland .should have the7.city_..ofT Bialystok:andi.the 3.7ailWay zline from there to the ',junction '.five_,-ki,Iometers4dciuthwest of. C-rodho,.., and _that ? the boundary, drawn _scimew4ere, between the,..ea'sternboun-' daries d_istricts.?of. Sokolka; 3.ie1sk :and Bialy'stok :and a line running parall'er. to the -,.?Bialistok-C-rbdno ,railway:about five kilometers to the east of it. The British representative then proposed that, since the population of this ',w4oie..areaseetrie-d:clea:rly more: White - Russian:_than...Polishy,:_the iboun6_aryJ,sh615.1d,:run as .clOse to the.. railway as(0ossibie; all-_the rway..'froi-a G-rbd_no tb rthe Bug5.1iver,, the -_cities -of?;Pidlystok and Bielsk to Poland and leaving theAunction kIeszczeli;:-situated ,south .Bfelsk on the:.line from Brest7Litovsk .VolkOvysk :Ru'ssia.-.J At. this point (Dr... Lord proposed that; -the Sub;-Commis-sion? -abandon too- close adherence to .the: line .'of ethnic' se-Carationt, -7which was? 'Miles: from Warsaw., 'in ;orders to ::take ;accOUnt of Poland's ".imperious ?strategic necessitie-s".,_ in faccordance with the ?principles; upon Po1and. s., "Doubtless _these' necessities .-coul&bey-neglec.ted." ,, the .said, "if' it was a, question -merely-of: tracing' .ayproVisional frontier, but -since the ...others Delegations tbelieve that the frontier which ILLEGIB ILLEGIB ILLEGIB Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 "No Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -9- which the. Sub-Commission is studyingwill perhaps be defini- tive, Poland should not be deprived of-all protection against Russia by having_ the Russian frontier only 70 miles from WarSaw".. -Torratta, representing Italy, said that he consid- ered the boundary under -discussion to be the definitive ? frontier. -Dr, Lord, on being asked whether, in taking the view that. it was to be only provisional he was speaking in the name ? of the American Government, replied that he was giving only his personal opinion? The chairman, General Le Rand, then remarked that, at the moment, it was. impossible to say whether the line shouldbe a provisional or the definitive frontier) and that only events could decide that question. The discus- sion then continued, with much greater attention paid to the strategioapd economic aspects of the lines under consideration, Dr.-,Lprd suggebted giving Poland the advantage of the defensive barrier formed by the Swislocz River and the ? Bialowieska Forest. 'General Le Rond immediately. supported ? Lordls suggestioa? as a good solution for military and economic reasonS,land a natural geographic boundary. He admitted that the T3ritish proposal, which the Italian member favored because it was fairer on both ethnic and strategic grounds to "our ally, Russia," was a much better ethnic line, but argued. that the population in this region was so mixed and had so little national consciousness that ethnic considerations should not be decisive, - Lord and Le Rond, after rejecting Paton's pro- posal of a compromise line following the Swislocz but in its southern 'portion leaving theBrest-Litovsk-Volkovysk railway entirely on the Russian side, finally persuaded their British and Italian. colleagues to accept the Swislocz-Bialoweska.line, to avoida-lasting.disagreement, The line adopted, in the sector between. the Niemen and the Bug-Rivers, ran as. follows: ? From the 'confluenceof the Niemen with the Lososnai following the Lososna to a point about two and?one- half kilometers upstream, then-taking-an approxi- mately south-easterly direction, the Grodno- Kuznitsa railway at a-point 500 meters northeast of the junction of KielbasIn,-turning south-south-east to reach the.LikOwka River, .at a point one kilometer west of Baranowo; following the Likowka and Laszanka Elvers to the Swislocz River; following the Swislocz upstream to a point four kilometers north. of Yalowka; followin a line to 'betraced on the ground reaching 9 the Jiainowka-Swislocz'. railway at the, point where that railway is cut by the Narew-NareWka road, running towards the southwest so as to reach the north-south forest road which passes about two kilometers west of ? Skupowo; Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Skupowo; following that forest road southwards, to the .point where it meets the Lesna-Prawa.RiverL . turning towards the south-west and following a line to be determined on the ground cutting the Brest- . Litovsk-Bielsk railway at the point where the Visoko-Litovsk-Kleshcheli road crosses that railway (about 10 kilometers south-south-east of Kleshcheli), reaching the administrative boundary between, the districts of Bielsk and Brest-Litovsk at the point Where it forms an acute angle nine kilometers north-- east of MieInik, leaving to Poland the villages of. Wolka, Piesczatka4 Stolbce and Wierpole, and follow- ing that administrative line to the Bug .River. On April 14 the bub-Commission submitted to:the.CommisL sion on Polish Affairs its recommendation on the eastern frontier of Poland from the border Of East Prussia to Opalln, a town on the Bug River due east Of lholm.. Detel4mination of ? the frontier south of that point was postponed.becaUse of the uncertainty over the status of Eastern Galicia. In de- scribing the application of the chosen principles to special areas, the Sub-Commission's report explained that between Grodno and Brest-Litovsk the recommended line ran a certain distance to the eastof the limit within which the Poles were known to have a compact ethnic majority, in order to secure, adequate communication between central Poland and the Polish part of the Suvalki district, and to give Polanda : "satisfactory defensive frontier" following a natural geo- graphic line of division.. The report stated that the line of the Bug, between Brest-Litovsk and Kholm (Opalin) had been taken as the frontier because the whole region tb, the. west of it was historically and economically connected, with. Poland, and the Ukrainian element in the population was cOM- paratively small and had little.national consciousness; in addition,, the Bug was the only natural defense line in this area. The recommended line left the fortresses of Brest- Litovsk .and Grodno outside Poland, although' two of the out- lying forts of the former stronghold.were situated west of the Bug and therefore,Poland;.the Crodno fortifica- tions situated west of the Nieden were left to Russia. In the case of both cities, the Sub-Commission based its deci- sion on both economic and strategic considerations, trying to balance the.need for .unimpeded navigation On the two rivers and for the free economic development of the two cities against the strategic value of the two fortresses to Russia. ? - The Commission on Polish Affairs accepted without modi- fication the recommendation of the Sub-Commission and embndi d Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 embodied it and its _owri Report ;lib. 2 to the 8Uprenie COuncil (April 22, 1919). The recommended frontier diverged from the boundary of 'Congre SY-Poland, ih the former Russian guber- niiia'' Of Suvalki', of which-only ;4,2100 ;SqUare -kilometers', with a populatiOn.. of '213 i'00071(den'Susof, ) On the Polish 'side Of1 the;:reCommended:: line -,nthe' ret 'wasr,'eStPected taThe- come part of, Lithuania'" Between :` thee Niemen and: the_Bug Rivers the rebOmmeridedfr-ontier_difClUded in,. P 10,670 sqaare.:kilroniet or'S of dthe )17,11b Crodnb,which' been Oa:beide:: the -.Vaufid'a-ry-,Of Congr e's'e Poland. 1 According to 'the ' c-ensus 1897-3.. th1saeaiTas nhabatedby 138,000 .. Poles, 179.1900'. White-Russians, `0 per;poo:.krainians'; 26 , 000 .1' Russians,:. and 199, 00071-JeWi ; only 241,000 Pole?inhabi'ted the area's the eaL-4t -"Of 'the 'recbiiithende ; ,Th August "1919, ter% th.V.: S'up'r eiii-e?.-0 0 LI noir' s deei s fon' that' Ea8t'ern. Cia : shOuld."- liaVe rovThioh? ol:(dinSr. undei. Polish' s s for the Study of the Eastern 'Frontier took '.up'thc-e-tiuesti-ori...Of the ?Seatbr;;;*15etween' Kholm end `the, northern borde":FJ O`f - . ? The': Amer ioan-, 7 - French, and Ita1i.nrher4b_ers, pneufCced-cate.goricallSrf:in; favor of the line of the Bug 1?.'Wheh had the advantage 'af:--beint a' clear geographical : frontier. Lord stated thatitwas impossible to trace anethnic botyridary7ln, this; 'a on-ns gi on einde' iiOvefferit aino`ng% the Ukrainians living we of Cf.;th.`e ug n thd-ichoa.m 'drelb:, he ? saw no reason to -separate from ' Poland 'a.,;:territory*:,intimately bound4:td it. for 660 years: tiSh menber, C61. Xisch,?I felt. that there were serious objections to-'this line, ince thc.:populatiori. in the siSuthea-dterri 'art of the :province off Lublin ( the ? Kholni-ar ea ) Orth6dok.rand speaking, as as was the majority of the population in the neighporing regions of Volhynia and , Eastern Ga1icia. Kisch proposed :a 'line , Which WOUld(lea-Ve.'':the Rug below (HrubieszOw and: run: 'southeast ? 'tO-telida 1.---phe',1-151-thern' terminus' of' the line: which :had been- ab'cepted. :as the western boundary- -of - Eastern_ Galicia, The Inembers';stressirigthe'unreli- ability of the pOpuldtioh"7, statistics and: the iknown.:Tdct - that 'treat nuiribers*o'f larginfahd,:- had. migrated eastward from the kh.o.lni-a.rea-!'aur'irig the War, to ;retreat from their position!: 'Kisch reluctantly 'band.-difed h1rsproposal, and the line of - the -Bug we:S.' unaninidusl?--aocepted- (August 27, 19l9): It was turn a:Ccepted-loy'?-the, Coffilissidri ori;l5bla-sh Affairs, which; in it's Reports No. 2'2) and No. 6 (Septem- ber 1), recommended td. the Supreme Council ''the .entire agreed line running from the border; of 'East Prussia to' the 'oorder of Eastern Galicia-, ? . t,. 5. Character ILLEGIB ILLtuits , Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 . . ? Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C61.297R000500160026-4 Charadter of the Proposed Boundary. .Report NO. 2 stated that the uommission had unanimously decided 1) "to propose the described line, as. the eastern. frontier of Poland" from .East Prussia :to KholM, and 2) "to draw the attention of the Peace,Conference"-to the following .proposals, made in another part of the Report a) that in certain territories situated to the east of that frontier,. to be sAptermined by the Commission, an investigation should be madeaS to the extreme linguistic and religious character and the wishes o? the population; b) that this investigation should .be :made, ifloossible?,-on the ground, c) that a defini- tive settlement, be made of the?question. of the eaStern frOn- tier of Poland as soon as Russian government with whom the Powers,woUld deal on this question should be established." Report Na. 6 stated that the Commission had unanimOusly de- cided that it would be -impossible, in the near future, to .take any Steps'vith regard to the attribution of the terri- tories of mixed populations situated east of the recommended line, since they were then occupied by Polish troops engaged in fighting Bolshevism and since the,S4reme Council had already laid down the principle that the final frontier Was :a .Matter to be settled either by direct agreement with a recoo.0hized Russian Government, set up. by a democratically . elected constituent assembly, or through arbitration, by the - League. of Nations. The report than proposed that the'rec- ommended line be 'accepted as the provisional eastern fron- tier of Poland, with the understanding that to the other territories, situated east of it, Might *in the futurebe joined to Poland. It was proposed that full Polish sover- eignty be recognized over territories= situated west of the line. This position was the one which Dr. ? Lord, American representative on the .Commission ,and on. the Sub-Commission,. had consistently maintained. He was convinced that there were solid blocs of=territory with Polish majorities situated east of the provisional ?frontier, and he felt that the in- habitants of the districts with Ilhite-Russian majorities. ' should be given an opportunity to choose union with Poland,. However, during the discussions in the commissions it was nover.clear to the participants ihether or not the line they were.drawinEz would become the permanent frontier. The British and Italian representatives. certainly.did not con-' sider any territory east of the line as ever likely toy' become become part of Poland. They actually favored a final' fron- tier running vest of the line finally recommended as a provisional frontier, and only accepted the latter'line in ? order Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -13- order to avoid a complete deadlock and because of the strong pleas made in its behalf by the French and American repre- sentatives on strategic and economic grounds, i.e. on grounds valid for the location of a definitive, nota provisional, frontier. When the Sub-Commission departed from the ethnic line in the Bialystok and Kholm areas in order to give Poland a better frontier from the standpoint of defense and of com- munications, its members were thinking in terms not of a provisional boundary but of a permanent Russo-Tolish_frontier. The net result was that Poland was given a carefully worked out strategic frontier, which followed marked geographical features: the Suvalki Lakes, the Niemen, the Swisleoz and the Bug. It should be noted, therefore, that while the Report of Commission specifically proposed the line as a, provisional frontier,, alq. members of the Commission considered it to lie somewhat further to the east than the line to which Poland was entitled on ethnic grounds, on the basis of the available statistics. It is for this reason that British .statesmen, in 1919 and in the Polish-Soviet crisis of 1920, consistently thought of the recommended line as the frontier of "ethnic Poland" and regarded POlish claims to further territory as unjustified and based on the desire to dominate non-Polish .peoples. 1/ 6. Position of the Supreme Council on the .Russian-Polish Frontier In considering the line recommended by the Commission on Polish. Affairs as the eastern boundary of territory which should be immediately included within Poland, the SupreMe Council had to take into account its general policy towards Russia. In a note sent to Admiral Kolchak on I,:ay 27, 1919, the Allied and Associated Powers had stated that the object of their policy was to restare,peace T.rithin Russia by.en- abling the Russian people to resume control of their own affairs, and "to restore peace along its frontiers by,arrang- ing for the settlement of disputes in regard to the bound- (aries. of the Russian state and its relations with its neighbors through :the. oeaceful-arbitration of the League of Nations." The experience of the last few months had con- vinced them that it. was not Oossible to attain those ends -by dealing 1/ A census taken by German_military authorities in 1918' and the. official Polish census of 1931 tended to confirm * the conviction of:Pr...Lord that districts with Polish _ -majorities extended continuously from Bialystok all the way to Vilna, and that the Commission's recommended line was therefore not the true frontier of "ethnic Poland". Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 .dealing with the Soviet Government. They therefore agreed to give assistance to Koldhak and his associates, Upon .certain conditions, one of which was ?that Russia recognize the. independence of. Poland, and that in the event that the Russo-Polish frontiers could not be settled be agreement, the matter be referred to the arbitration of the League of Nations. FroM this statement of policy it seems clear that the Allied and Associate Powers did not intend to Make any final decision on Poland's ?eastern frontier or to prejudide Russia's territorial rights in any way until the return of Russia to the family of nations. The :"minimum frontier" proposal of the Commission on Polish ?Affairs put that ques- tion squarely before the Supreme Council. On September 26, 1919; the Supreme Council accepted the conclusions of ReportsAqos. 2 and 6 subbitted by the, Commission. Under-Secretary Polk, the American representa- tive, stated specifically that he aporoVed the proposals of the Commission and concurred in the Councilsdcision. The Council thus decided that it 'alone, withOut the partici- pation of Russia, had the right to recognize Poland's "- sovereignty over former Russian territory .lying west of the recommended line, on:-the grounds that the ? existing situation of uncertainty had become very difficult both for the .Polish Government. and for the populations concerned, and that there was no immediate prospect of the restoration of orderly democratic government in Russia. As for the territories situated to the ?east of the line, the Supreme Council agreed -that the rights of both"Poiand and 'Russia should be con- sidered reserved. 7. The Declaration of December 8,-1919 At first the Supreme Council' decided to draw up an instrument to be signed by. the Allied and Associated Powers and by Poland, to. serve as an'. 'additional protocol to the ? Treaty of Versailles of June 28; 1919. The protocol was to establish Polish sovereignty over all territory lying west or the agreed line. Although it was generally agreed that this was merely a question of form, since the definite attri- bution of. the territory to Poland had already been decided, r. Polk, representing'the United States, announced in the meeting of November 29, 1919, that, without new instructions from his government,' he could not sign a treaty which seemed to close the door to any future negotiations with Russia. , Representatives of the other powers argued that it had already been Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 3 -15- been unanimously decided in .previous -meetings :.of the Supreme Council that Poland should have, sovereignty over all terri- tory situated to the west of the line in question. Mr. Polk said that he accepted that decision but questioned the desirability of embodying it in a solemn treatyi,since it was not intended to be the final frontier. Council thereupon decided to abandon the treaty form and merely to notify the Polish Government of the decision, by a simple declaration. On December 2, with Mr. Polk present, the Supreme Coun- cil approved the following declaration:, ::The.Principal Allied and Associated Powers, recognizing that it is 'desirable as soon .as possible to put a stop to the existing conditions of political uncertainty in which the Polish Nation is. placed, and without pre-judging the provisions which 'must in the future define the eastern frontiers of Poland, hereby declare that they recognize the right of .the Polish Government. to proceed, according to the.conditions-previously provided by the- Treaty with Poland of June 28, 1919,.to organize a 'regu- lar administration of the territories of the former Russian Zmpirs situated to the West of the line described below: Froth the Point where the old frontier between Russia and Austria-Hungary meets the Dug River, down the Bug northwards to the point where it is met by the administrative boundary between the districts of . Bielsk and Brest-Litovsk; following that boundary northwards to the point where it forms an acute angle about 9 kilometers?north-east?of Mielnik; north-eastwards along a line to be determined-on the ground, leaving to Poland the villages of Wierpole, Stolbce, Piesczatka and Wolka, and cutting the Bielsk- Brest-Litovsk railway at .the point where it crosses. the road between Vysoko-Litovsk and Kleszczeli, reach- ing the Lesna-Prawa River at the point where it is crossed by the north-south forest road passing.about 2 kilometers to the west of. Skupowo; northwards along a'line: to be determined on the ground along the above- mentioned forest road to the point where the Narew- ? Narewka road cuts the Hain6Wka-Swis1ocz railway; ? north-eastwards along a line to be determined on the ground to a point 4 kilometers .north of JalOwka where the river passing through that city joins the Swislocz .River.; following the Swislocz downstream, then the Laszanka and the Lik6wka upstream to a point about one and one-half kilometers west of. Baranowo; north- northwestwards to 4 point on the Grodno-Kuznitsa railway ( Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -16- railway about 500 meters north-West of the junction of Kielbasin; north-west to a.point on the course of the Lososna River about two and one-half kilo- . . meters southLwest of its confluence with the Niemen; ...following the course of the'Lososna downstream, then ' .that of the Niemen downstream, then that of the Igorka its source, passing Warwiszki; west-south-westwards to a point on the course of the Chernohanya (Marycha) River near Sztudjanka, along a line on the left bank to be. determined on the ground; the course of the Chernohanya upstream to a point about two and one-half kilometers east of Zelwa; .northwards along _a line to be determined on the .ground to a point on the Berzniki-Kopciowa road situ- ated two kilometers South-east Of Berzniki; north- westwards along a line to be determined on the ground generally parallel to the line .of small lakes situ- ated between Berzniki and Zegary, about 2 kilometers to the east of these lakes; westwards to a point on GaIadusya Lake about two kilometers north of Zegary, crossing that lake to its extreme north-western point, leaving the city of Punsk to Poland, and reaching: the northern boundary of the province of .Suvalki at the southernmost point of the salient about 7 kilometers north-wet of Punsk; northwards along the boundary of the province of Suvalki to the point 'where it meets the old frontier between Russia and East Prussia. The rights which Poland may be able to prove over the territories situated to the east of the said line are expressly reserved. This declaration, dated December 8, 1919 and signed by Clemenceau, was communicated to the Polish Government. The line of December 8-1-, which later came to be known as the "Curzon Line", 'extended southward only as far as the, northern border of Eastern Galicia. In. the same meet- ing of December 2 in which it. was adopted, the Supreme Council directed the Drafting Committee to prepare a draft treaty which would attribute Western Galicia to Poland and fix its boundaries. The Council had already, on Novem- ber.21, laid down the line separating Western. from Eastern Galicia. This line, together with that of December 8, formed a continuous line from the border of East Prussia to the border of Czechoslovakia,- The Allied and.Associ- ated Powers had definitely decided that the territory sitUated Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 3 situated td.the west of that line :should become part Of' the. Polish state, although it.. had not yet been assigned to Poland by_formal treaty. They had.definitely reserved their,deei- ,. sion as to the dispcthition.,of the territories eaut ofthe line which was claimed by Poland. In,the,case.of the,former- Russian territory, the decision was to await the restoration of a representative regime in Russia; in the caselof-the former Austrian territory ,(Eastern Galicia), where no Russian rights were recognized; the decision pn the regime to be . eetablished was wholly in:the hands of the Allied and Associ- atediPowers, tO whom Austria had ceded' it. IV. POLISH-RUSSIAN HOSTILITIES. IN1920 AND THE,BRITISH AREISTICE PROPOSALS. . A. Poland's Attempt Lg. Realize its Territorial Claims Force Force . - The Polish Government did not accept the line fixed' by. - the Supreme council, even as a "provisional frontier", ?since it laid claim to a frontier much further to ,the east, and at the time the Polish armies were in military-occupation of ' areas situated east of the line which the Poles regarded as parts of Poland held by right, not territories occupied prO- visionally at the sufferance of the Allied Powers. The - - Polish leaders had had ample demonstration of the'impotenae' ' of the Peace enforce its:decisiohs in Eastern Europe. Setting forth their claim to the historic boundarie6 of 1772, they determined to obtain a "secure_ frontier in the east by initiating a military offensive against the Bolshe- viks. Pilsudski planned to support an "independent" Ukrainian state (including former. Russian territory but not Eastern Galicia), which was to be'Xederated'with Poland and to serve as a buffer against Russia. When the Poles announced'their.intention of holding plebiscites in the-oecupied territory east of the line of December 8, in justify the annexation of that terri- tory to Poland, the Conference of Ambassadors, in February 1920, notified the Polish Government that this procedure was ."open to grave objectione, since Only, the Allied and Associ- ated Powers had the right to decide when and how the consul- tation of' the inhabitants of those areas should take place; any elections held under Polish occupation would be regarded as null and void and as having no. influence whatever on the ultimate territorial settlement. The American observer at the meeting of the Conference of Ambassadors, Mr. Wallace, stated Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -18- stated that the United. States "had no objection" to the communication of this statement to Poland. At about the same time the Allied Powers agreed that .they could not accept the responsibility of.advising Poland and other border states "to continue a war* which. may be injurious to their own inter- ests; still less would they advise thet to adopt a policy of aggression towards Russia;. if however Soviet Russia attacks Anbide their legitimate frontiers the Allies-will give them every possible support." Mr. Lloyd George informed ,the Poles that Poland could expect no assistance from Great Britain in. holding territory beyond its'ethnic'limits, and intimated that he desired the Poles to make peace with the Bolsheviks. The French, however, who were- persisting 'in their,atteMpts to form a "defensivell anti-Bolshevik Alliance. including ' Poland, Rumania and the Baltic nationsl-alpparently did not discourage the Poles from undertaking a military offensive against Russia. The Polish compaign in the spring of 1.920 was at first successful, and the army of Pilsudski reached Kiev But the Bolsheviks, having disposed of the "white" armies, of Kolchak and Denikin, were able to turn the tide against the Poles and to drive them back rapidly toward LwOw and Warsaw. Poland then made an appeal to the western powers for assistance. B. British- Armistice Proposals to'? Poland and Russia,. July 9-10 1920 The 'British Government .undertook to bring about an armistice between the Poles'and.the To1sh0Vik; in order to avert the danger that the7western'powers_would:be?drawn into ,xar?with Russia to save Poland's independence. On July 10, at the Conference of Spa, Lloyd_tleorge? talked with Grabski, the Polish Premier, and secured his written 'agreement- to sign an immediate armistice with Soviet Russia on the following terms:that. the' the line fixed by the Peace Conference on December a, 1919,. while the Soviet armies would halt at a line 50 kilometers to the east .of that line; that Vilna be handed over immediately to the LithUanians,and remain outside the zones- te be occupied by the Poles and by the Bolsheviks;' that in Eastern Galicia the' Polish and Soviet armies each 'retire ten kilometers from.the'line which they,. had reached at the date of the armistice; 'that Poland -send representatives- to a conference at London, attended by delegates_ from Soviet Russia; Finland,'-Latvia and Lithuania, and held under the-auspices of the' Peace Conference, with the object of negotiating a lasting peace between.Rtissia and its western Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -19- western neighbors. ..The British Government a.greed-to. make :these sane proposals to Soviet Russia? ,and, in theevent of Russian refusal aridof the crossing of the stipulatedline by the Russian armies,- to render, in conjunction with Britainsi ,* allies,- "all the assistance, possible, consistent with. their-own:exhaustion and heavy. liabilities-elsehel:e":- ' The .next day the British Government, proposed the same terms to the Soviet Government. In .a note radioed to Moscow the proposed armistice line "the line laid down .last year by the Peace Conference as:the-eastern bound- ary-within which Poland was entitled, to establish:a PeIish administration, running approximately as follows: Grodno, Yalovka, Nemirow, Brest-Litovsk, orogusk, Ufitilug, east of Grubeshbv? (Hrubiesz6w),..Krilovi ancl thence west .of Rawa Rusha, east of,the.Carpathians". .North.of-Grodno the proposed armistice line departed- from_th.0Jine of December 8, in order to leave Lithuania_outside.both.Polish and:Bolshevik zones of occupatiaa; It vas to run north-eastwards to, Vilna and.,the Lithuanians,' not 4y- the Poles. The 'British note added that. Great Britain "was -bound, ... to defend the integrity: and independence..:of Poland within its .legitimate ethnographic. frontiers; if, therefore, Soviet ? Russia.... will not be content with the withdrawal of the Polish armies from Russian soil on the condition of a mutual armistice, but intends to take action hostile to Poland in its own territory, the British Government and its Allies would feel bound to assist the Polish Nation to defend its existence with all the means at their disposal." C. Analysis of Great BritairOs "Curzon-Line"-Proposal ? While the line laid down by the Peace Conference,' after- wards ..known as the Curzon line because-the British-note of July 11 was signed by. the: Foreign Secretary,-LOrd CurZon, was proposed only as an armistice lineand. not as'a final frontier, the references to therwithdrawal-Of Polish armies . "from Russian Soil" (i.e., tthe'line,of.Debember 8)-and to the defense of Poland "within, its legitimate ethnographic frontiers" (i.e., extending.nd further east than the line of December 8) Indicated that the British-Government.regarded that, line as a proper basis for a final frontier Settlement between Poland and Russia. Statements made at the time in Parliament by Lord Curzon and Lloyd George confirm that' interpretation. The definition Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -20 -The. definitionof , the , terM' -"Cdizoh Line - is?-cbmplicated by inconsi stencies ;Jin the: text ..of:?the British, nbteJof July 11. The line ' deseribed-:-in:thehote ran .from -Grodhb all the way to the Carpathiahs; ,passing to: the-wet of Ea'stern Galicia, in which Poland has: beeh authorized5tto ;establish: a"- civil adminis- tration,. ,It was '6oMbinati?Ori: of thelfri'6% ofl:De6ember 8, which ran only through farmer Russian territory, and ,of the _y western bbrderof EasternYGalicia. adopted by t; thelyea-Ce Con- ference: ihi. NOVemb en,- 1919 but not _embodied',in any-f ormal tr'eaty or declaration.- 4/. HOwevefe, '_the., note ano:- 'contained the same provision regarding-Easternalicia.Which.Grabki hadj-accepted at Spa.,nathelSr'that ?ther,af.miticelineinthati'proVih6e -should bethe_lineocOupledThy:thetwo-armiesonuthe%date-ofzthe.opn- . elusion of the. 'armistice:? , The note as enerefOre.;ambiguoUs, ? and the term:',1 Our c anft -'applied="eithe'r7tbr-the- line of::December betw'een.Grodno,iand-the-border2bf="tEa'st'drn' Galicia,o to.-:th4t: western"bathdarY. oi:Eat -ern extending --(3=Itheil3brder".(1)T:-Cz-eoho'slovakia.',.k/ ? The Soviet- Government rej ected the : British- armisticet ' proposal,". stating its.:int6ntion.,Of dealingdirectl with Poland.. It replT :stated that -Soviet -Ruesi& *as-Willing to agreezto a-finaL,frontier .more -.favorable: tb _P6126.nd'. than - the line of _Dec ember-8 -,', particulalyGin. the' re-gione of iBi6av-St6k ? 2.1 The. Declaration of December. 8 ;.; 1919rwas :accodparifed by an official map on which a continuous line, extending to the Carpathians was shown.' ,LiThi 'map:may. hayd been 're- sponsible for the inconsistencies!bf zon s:descrip- tion of the proposed line. ihe,,Soviet:overnmen G 1 s :proposal .on January f 11,7.1.9441- of '_-the Curzon Line _accepted.' in -1919' by,-,the Suprerne - Coun- cil of ,the 7Allied,Power,g'!, as.r:the , future "froritier tbe twe en .Poland :and -Russia- was accompanied map arid ta':de.serip- '-tidn of the :line, in ..which :the, line is described by naming v.thesame: eitkes-_ as had :the :British note =.o.i:July 1920, -from :Gr ono to the:.-Carpathins. This, in itHe Sovietcview, the Curzon. linvwould.)leave:-,to-the 'Soviet :Union not_only all former:-Ru_ssian- territory Ilying , east ?of'. the-,' line, of- Decpmber_? 81 ;1919 ,-but ,also;Ithe :whole Eastern' Galicia ,.:,w4ch,-neyer was a part of _imperial :Russia ::.but : was 'incorporated into the U. S. S. R. in -1939.7..:The Soviet ? statement that this line was adopted by the Peace Con- ference as the final frontier and confirmed as such by the Conference of Spa is erroneous. (See I zvestiya , January 13, 1944) ILLEGIB ILLEGIB Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -21- and Kholm. 11 Curzonts .second,note, sent on July. 20, men- tioned the 'Soviet Government's willingness to concede to Poland a final frontier not labs favorable than "the ethno- graphic frontier originally -suggested by the Supreme Council", and stated. the British Government's desire that the Polish- Russian frontier correspond, as far as possible,.to the wishes of the populations concerned. The-note-repeated the threat. that. the crossing of the proposed armistice line by the Soviet armies would result, in a decision by Great Britain and its allies to give to Poland the aid which they had promised in that event. D. Poland's Military Victory and the Establishment of the Riga Line The Soviet Government ignored the British warnings, while its armies crossed the Curzon line late in July and marched on Warsaw. The.proposed conference in London never took place-, and the Polish-Russian territorial conflict was settIed not under the auspices of the Allied Powers but " directly between the two .states imMediately cohcerned.. In august :the Poles threw back the Russian army before Warsaw and in a counter-offensive drove them eastward far beyond the Curzon line. The Western powers urged moderation on Poland, desiring the conclusion of peaceas quickly as possible, but they made no .1/ The Soviet Government* must have been laboring under some misunderstanding concerning the line of December 8, since that line left the former Russian district of BialYstok and the wholeof the Kholm area to Poland.' There. is some evidence that the Soviet leaders actually comteMplated a .final frontier which would leave Bialystok to Russia and thus. would be less favorable to Poland than the line of December 8. Whatever generosity they showed -toward Poland's boundary claims was the result of their convic-; tion that, simultaneously with the entry ofthe.victori- dus Soviet army, Poland would experience a proletarian. revolution, and that the frontier between Soviet Russia and. a Soviet Poland would have no political%significante. Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -22- no specific statements as to what line they favored as a final frontier. The British wished to avert another "impe- rialistid adventure" by PilsUdski: probably they would have preferred that the frontier approximate the Curzon line, but they left the matter entirely in the hands of the Poles And the Bolsheviks. The French, who ali along had been more favorable to the Polish cause than had the British, had taken no responsibility for thearmistice proposals, and had not , desired to invite Soviet Russia's participation in a: gen8ral peace conference, saw their policy vindicated by the Polish victory at Warsaw, to which the French General Weygand con- tributed, and by Poland's successr after the victory, in securing a peace which satisfied its territorial claims. - Receiving no consistent advice from the western powers, the Poles made peace on their own terms, to which the Bolsheviks, anxious for peace at-any price, agreed. By the preliminary treaty of Riga, concluded on October 12, 1920, Poland secured a frontier over one hundred miles east of the Curzon line, running through regions which had clear White Russian and Ukrainian majorities. This frontier was con- firmed by the final treaty of Riga on liarch 18, 1921, E. The American Position Dur- ing the Crisis of 1920 During the Soviet-Polish war the United States took a somewhat inconsistent position. On the one hand it desired the conclusion of peace, while on the other it maintained that no territorial settlement reached by the parties at war could have any validity, since the Bolsheviks could not speak for the interests of Russia. At the time-of Pilsudski's invasion of the Ukraine in the spring of 1920, the United States Government informed Poland that it did not feel in a position to give any advice, since it could not 'promise aid to Poland in case. its independence should be threatened by Soviet Russia. At the time of the*Soviet advance toward Warsaw, however, the Department of State felt compiled to state its position regarding the territorial integrity both of Poland and of Russia. On August 2, 1920 the Secretary of State re-stated the established policy of the United States in favor of the integrity of Poland, making no reference to its boundaries. At the same time he said that the United States, while sympathizing with the attempts to arrange a Polish-Soviet armistice, could not participate in a general European con- ference involving the recognition of the Boishevik regime or the Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 N -23-' ? . or the "partition" of-hi:storic:Russia without:_the.consent of a representative Russian.Goverpment.-,Any such territorial . settlement,:in the,,Depp.rtments-viewfwould,inevitably:fall when, "a%restored_RussIa,resolved_to.vindicate its territorial-Antegrityand unityft!,.. Jn...a.letter addressed to the'ItalianAmbassador-in mashingtop2i(August-l0),-:which was made oublic,,the,qes9retary of;qtate stated Gnat therUni'Ged Saes GovernmentNould regard wiCn.satisfaction ,_a-declara- tion by. thb,.Allied,EindAssecied Powers tlaat:-the:territorial integrity ah&true-boundaries?of,Russiashall-be-respected, and added:thatr.(these :boundaries 1!sha1lprpperIy:Ino1ude the whole-_of'the.Rassianj.Empire;" ,with,the.:,exceptions,.1.:alonELthe westerri:Trontier, .ofFinland_proper,and of. ethnic All_deciions of vital kapprtance:tor_Russia,..!'esbecially- thoSe concerning its sovereignty over the territory-of,the former Russian Empire", should be held in abeyance until a free and.united Russia should'returntocthe community of fr. natlnn ILLEGIB R ILLEGIB eolana ,:wasnot qell.necl-in.une'Secretary!s.letter, but in .a subsequent statement of its.,policy_.(Aup:Ust31);, after the Battle of Warsaw, the Department held to the oosition adooted by,,:the,PeaceclConference:in.lthe-previous:'year, 'namely that Polish claims -to territory'east7.of the'line:.of Decem- ber 8 should be held in abeYance-.antil RtiSsid also could be heard; pending the determination of the final frontier, Poland should establislLno-civil'administration'east'oftthat_line, and should.accompany-itsL.ffilitary advance:beyonthat by a declarationiof-its::determfnationto:.evaduatethe:occupied territory'aslsoon as:possibIe.,,,-.Atyhe%same time-it was hoped that Poland-_would.take_alI reasonable-meaSureS-to.end tie conflict,%with.the.Bolsheviks. ILLEGIB ILLEGIB Whtll uii roisii.Lovrn1ienu-_ala.concluae._peace witn the Bolsheviks at Riga, establishing a permanent :frontier far to the east Of tha Curzon linethe:Departmentof,State made no comment. In the light of its receht,Utteranbes,'it Could hardly aporove the boundary fixed'at Ric's.; since to do So would have constituted.recognition,of-te-alienation.of a ? part of historic Russii:i by the-BolShevikS.: Jiowever",-.perhaps because the termination of the war' was everywhere i-eceiired with relief, no statement TTasrissued expressingdisaporoval or refusing,iecsognition,:of.:the. treaty ,andjdf:the:new -frontier, which the_Amb,assador7of the KerenskyLregime in;1:TashinEton, in a note to theSecretary..of Statepondemned as "direct, , aggran.dizeMent by annexation to Poland. of Russian territory". . . In a- Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 ? In a reply to a letter from Dr. Robert H. Lord, inquir- ing as to the Department's position on the eastern frontier of Poland, the view was-stated that there was "a disinclina- tion to make any hasty recognition of Polish sPvereignty east of the so-called Curzon line"; however, the proviso made by the Supreme Council, that the rights which Poland may be able to establish over territories situated east of that line are exppssly reserved, "has not been overlooked by the Department . Thus the American Government, through- ? out 1920, maintained its position that the determination of the Polish-fRussian frontier must await the overthrow of the Bolsheviks; meanwhile neither the Curzon line nor any crtiaerline could be recognized as the final frontier. The United States thus held to the "ideal" policy long after Great Britain had abandoned it. At no time in 1920 did the American Government make any pronouncement in favor of a ?articular line as the final frontier between Poland and Russia. However, .the following conclusions on American policy on the boundary question seem justified by the evidence: 1. The Department of State did not recognize, approve, or acquiesce in-the frontier laid down by the Treaty of Riga. 2. The Department regarded the Curzon line as the boundary of "ethnic Poland" but consid- ered it subject to possible revision in Poland's favor if Poland's claims to any territories to the east of it should be recognized as valid, after an investigation of ethnic and other factors, by the Allied Powers, including a restored ,Russia, V. THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE RIGA LINE BY THE ALLIED POWERS A. The Deeision of the Conference of Ambassadors, March 14, 1923 . On March 14, 1923 the Conference of Ambassadors, at which Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan were repre- sented, decided to give official recognition to the Polish- Soviet frontier established by the Treaty of Riga. No men- tion was made of the integrity of Russian territory, nor to the principle to national self-determination. As grounds for the decision it was stated that the line had been determined ? d Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 re? Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -25 determined between Poland ana.Russia, and that Poland al?! readyha41.given to the Allied Powersguarantees regarding-the treatment of .minorities within Poland...- ?By 1923 it had. become clear to the British and French -.overnments that the restoration of Russia to the family.of nations would take place through the recognition, rather than through the Overthrow, of.the Bolshevik'regime. There seemed to be no valid reason why a boundary which had been -recognized as legal for over two years by the states directly concerned should not be given sanction by the Allied Powers. France had no hesitation in doing so, since the Riga frontier was eminently satisfactory to France l5ally, Poland. Great Britain, once peace had been restored in eastern Europe, no longer maintained a direct interest in the boundary issues and was willing to accept as valid the existing boundary be- tween Poland and Russia. While there may have been some tendency in official British circles to regard an ethnic frontier in the neighborhood of the Curzon line as having a greater chance of permanence than the Riga line, there was no practical political alternative to acceptance of the lat- ter. B. The Attitude of the United States The United States did not participate in the decision of the Conference of Ambassadors, nor aia it give any formal recognition of the boundary accepted as legal by the Allied Powers. This position was consistent with that of 1920, when the United States had refused to regard as final any settlement reached without the participation of a repre- sentative Russian government and without reference to the ethnic character and the wishes of the population6 involved. In 1923, althouRh the statements of policy made three years before were not repudiated, the American policy was put on different grounds, namely that the United States was not concerned with the merits of 'purely European questions? such as boundary, issues. Men certain practical matters, such as the administra- tion of the immigration laws, called for a definition of policy, the Secretary of State informed the interested agencies that the United States "took cognizance of the decision of the Conference of Ambassadors, which was in har- mony with the assertions of territorial sovereignty by Poland and effectively attributed to Poland the regions of Pinsk and Eastern Galicia". A ciroular instruction to diplomatic offi- cers said that "it was the general policy of the Department to avoid Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4 -26- to.avoid purely European territorial ad- justments and to.accept such adjustments, when effected by the governments concerned, as facts with respect to which this Government was not called upon to express either ap- proval or disapproval. Thus the United States recognized the Riga line as a fact but mould make no further state- ment on the subject which might seem to involve a judgment on the merits of the question. TS:JOCampbell:(Drafting Officer) Reviewed by TS:NBChipman HNHoward PEHosely EE:EDurbrow 4 '4 Declassified in Part - Sanitized Copy Approved for Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160026-4