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Aid to Poland


Although the Hungarian uprising attracted far more sympathy and publicity in the United States than did similar events in Poland, the Polish transition has more immediate concern for America than the Hungarian failure. The United States cannot afford to lose any opportunity to weaken the ties between the Kremlin and a satellite, and the present situation in Poland presents just such an opportunity.

Having relied on Moscow for economic support since the close of the last war, Poland is now looking for outside aid. A trade delegation has come to the United States asking for $300 million in economic help. Such a move no doubt upset the Kremlin, and represents a significant, dangerous move away from Russia. While the requested total is extremely large, especially considering the uneasy and changeable state of Poland's politics, any economic tie between Poland and this nation would represent a major break in Russia's satellite rule. There are, moreover, obvious humanitarian reasons for aid.

So far, negotiations with the State Department have not yielded any practical announced results. For Secretary Dulles' lieutenants, aware that the President would have to make a specific request of Congress for such aid, have been hedging. Judging by former restrictions on foreign aid appropriations, which prevented funds from going to Communist nations, the State Department can be sure that many prominent and vocal Congressmen would be unwilling to make an exception in the case of Poland. Many of these legislators are Republicans and, in theory, loyal to President Eisenhower. Although his active espousal of the economic cause of Poland might not suffice to soothe all opposition, it would certainly be a worthwhile attempt.

In appealing to Congress, the President must realize that his much touted objective of peacefully pushing back Russia cannot be obtained without expense. In the case of Poland, which can almost immediately become a market for many of our agricultural surpluses, the expense is indeed worthwhile. The Poles can never be free of domination by Moscow until their economy is stabilized. This first task is one with which America can help and from which the free world can benefit.

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