Transcript

One outstanding example of joint action by the three major Allied powers was the solution reached on Poland. The whole Polish question was a potential source of trouble in post-war Europe, and we came to the conference determined to find a common ground for its solution. We did. We know everybody does not agree with it - obviously.

Our objective was to help create a strong, independent, and prosperous nation - that is the thing we must all remember - those words agreed to by Russia, by Britain, and by me: the objective of making Poland a strong, independent, and prosperous nation with a government ultimately to be selected by the Polish people themselves.

To achieve this objective, it was necessary to provide for the formation of a new government much more representative than had been possible while Poland was enslaved. There are, you know, two governments; one in London, one in Lublin, practically in Russia.

Accordingly, steps were taken at Yalta, to reorganise the existing provisional government in Poland on a broader democratic basis, so as to include democratic leaders now in Poland and those abroad. This new, reorganised government will be recognised by all of us as the temporary government of Poland. Poland needs a temporary government in the worst way - an interim government is another way to put it. However, the new Polish provisional government of national unity will be pledged to holding a free election as soon as possible on the basis of universal suffrage and a secret ballot.

Throughout history, Poland has been the corridor through which attacks on Russia have been made. Twice in this generation, Germany has struck at Russia through this corridor. To insure European security and world peace, a strong and independent Poland is necessary to prevent that from happening again.

The decisions with respect to the boundaries of Poland were frankly a compromise, I did not agree with all of them by any means. But we did not go as far as Britain wanted in certain areas; we did not go as far as Russia wanted in certain areas; and we did not go as far as I wanted in certain areas. It was a compromise.