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      May 31, 1943.
      SECTION 1.
Mr. O'Malley to Mr. Eden,--(Received 31st May)
      British Embassy to Poland
(No. 51.) 45, Lowndes Square, S.W.1.
24th May. 1943.
MY despatch No. 43 of the 30th April dwelt on the probability 
      that no confederation in Eastern Europe could play an effective 
      part in European politics unless it were affiliated to the Soviet 
      Government, and suggested that so long as the policy of this 
      Government was as enigmatic as it now is it would be inconsistent 
      with British interests that Russia should enjoy a sphere of influence 
      extending from Danzig to the Aegean and Adriatic Seas. The suppression 
      of the Comintern on the 20th May may be considered to have brought 
      to an end what was in the past the most objectionable phase of 
      Soviet foreign policy and to entitle the Soviet Government to 
      be regarded less distrustfully than formerly. It is not, then, 
      without hesitation that I address this further despatch to you, 
      which also gives grounds for misgivings about the character and 
      policy of' the present rulers in Russia.
2. We do not know for certain who murdered a lot of Polish 
      officers in the forest of Katyn in April and May 1940, but this 
      at least, is already clear, that it was the scene of terrible 
      events which will live long in the memory of the Polish nation. 
      Accordingly, I shall try to describe how this affair looks to 
      my Polish friends and acquaintances, of whom many had brothers 
      and sons and lovers among those known to have been taken off 
      just three years ago from the prison camps at Kozielsk. Starobielsk 
      and Ostashkov to an uncertain destination: how it looks, for 
      instance, to General Sikorski, who there lost Captain Fuhrman, 
      his former A.D.C. and close personal friend; to M. Morawski. 
      who lost a brother-in- law called Ooltowski and a nephew; or 
      to M. Oaleski, who lost a brother and two cousins.
3. The number of Polish prisoners taken by the Russian armies 
      when they invaded P %oland, in September 1939, was about 180,000, 
      including police and gendarmerie and a certain number of civilian 
      officials. The total number of army officers was round about 
      15,000. At the beginning of 1940 there were in the three camps 
      named above round about 9,000 or 10,000 officers and 6,000 other 
      yanks, policemen and civil officials. Less public reference has 
      been made to these 6,000 than to the 10,000 officers, not because 
      the Polish Government are less indignant about the disappearance 
      of other ranks than about the disappearance of officers, or were 
      less insistent in enquiries for them, but because the need of 
      officers to command the Polish troops recruited in Russia was 
      more urgent than the need to increase the total ration strength 
      of the Polish army. There is no reason to suppose that these 
      6,000 other ranks and the police and the civilians were treated 
      by the Soviet Government differently to the officers, and mystery 
      covers the fate of all. For the sake of simplicity, however, 
      I shall write in this despatch only of the missing officers, 
      without specific reference to other ranks, to police prisoners 
      or to civilians. Of the 10,000 officers, only some 3,000 or 4,000 
      were regular officers. The remainder were reserve officers who 
      in peace time earned their living, many with distinction, in 
      the professions, in business and so on.
4. In March of 1940 word went round the camp at Kozielk, Starobielsk 
      and Ostashkov that, under orders from Moscow, the prisoners were 
      to be moved to camps where conditions would be more agreeable, 
      and that they might leak forward to eventual release. All were 
      cheered by the prospect of a change from the rigours which prisoners 
      must endure to the hazards and vicissitudes of relative freedom 
      in Soviet or German territory. Even their captors seemed to wish 
      the prisoners well, who were now daily entrained in parties of 
      50 to 350 for the place at which, so they hoped, the formalities 
      of their discharge would be completed. As each prisoner was listed 
      for transfer, all the usual particulars about him were rechecked 
      and reregistered. Fresh finger-prints were taken. The prisoners 
      were inoculated afresh and certificates of inoculation furnished 
      By Authority of 
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