A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 5: Polish Memorandum on Reform of
the Warsaw Pact, January 10, 1957

This memorandum, also prepared by Polish Gen. Drzewiecki, deals with the question of reform of the Warsaw Treaty Organization. Prepared for Polish leader Władysław Gomułka for discussion with the Soviets, the memo does not question the need or the merits of the alliance—a highly sensitive topic in view of the Hungarian and Polish crises of 1956—but it does point out deficiencies within the organization. These include the obligations imposed on the East European members and the burden of high mili- tary spending which undercut the policy of raising living standards in the region. Of course, the attempt at reform was unsuccessful. As indicated elsewhere, the Soviet supreme commander angrily dismissed the objections, saying: "What do you imagine, that we would make some kind of NATO here?"2


MEMORANDUM

"The Warsaw Treaty and the Development of the Armed
Forces of the People's Republic of Poland"

The Warsaw Treaty, adopted in May 1955 (especially its military provisions), as well as different bilateral agreements signed by the representatives of the USSR and People's Republic of Poland prior to the Warsaw Treaty and ratified after the adoption of the Treaty, require a thorough analysis and revision. This mostly concerns Polish obligations regarding organizational, quantitative and technical supplies of the Armed Forces, the production of military equipment, and the strategic positioning of the country.

The need to revise earlier agreements is caused by the political and economic conditions of our country.

The earlier agreements and the ensuing obligations do not correspond to the policy of independence and sovereignty of our country enunciated by the party and the government of the People's Republic of Poland.

Despite the constant changes in the obligations acquired by Poland on the basis of the bilateral agreements, their implementation would not be feasible without considerable financial expenditures assigned to the Armed Forces and military industry. Such a policy would be inconsistent with the course of the party and the government aimed at the constant improvement of living standards of the Polish people.

Taking into consideration the above-mentioned situation, the General Staff of

2 See footnote 26 in the Introduction to this volume.

-87-

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