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2004 | 39 | 123-135

Article title

Polish Diplomacy and an Attempt at Recreating the Powers Directorate in 1933


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When in November 1933 Józef Beck was taking over the post of the Minister of Foreign Affairs his tasks entailed primarily retaining the prewar status quo and the alliances signed for this purpose, as well as securing the country against the encroachment of two strong neighbours. Against this background, it is not surprising that Polish diplomacy strongly opposed the proposal made by Benito Mussolini on 18 March 1933, commonly known as the Pact of the Four. The original project, rather enthusiastically welcomed in Berlin and London, was recognised in Warsaw as a blow dealt against Polish sovereignty. From the spring to the late summer of that year Polish diplomacy embarked upon assorted forms of activity in accordance with the 'nothing about us without us' principle, for the purpose of annihilating a bloc composed of West European powers. In addition, the Pact of the Four was regarded as aimed against the prestige and status of the Polish State, and was acknowledged as such in the official stand of the Polish authorities. The attitude of political factors towards the suggestion of reviving the directorate was not lucid. The first steps were made against the particular participants of the bloc, especially France and Italy. For various reasons, it proved impossible to create a joint bloc of states hostile towards the Pact of the Four, although there were sufficient occasions to do so. For almost half a year the struggle waged against plans of creating an alliance of four partners absorbed the attention of Polish diplomats. The assessment of those endeavours is left to the reader. Nonetheless, it is simply impossible to dismiss the conviction that a Polish veto would be ignored in face of the willingness to sign such a pact, shown by London, Paris, Berlin and Rome.








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  • P. M. Zukowski, no address given, contact the journal's editor


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