12 APRIL 1945, Page 1

The Russo-Polish Mystery

The remarkable statement issued by the Polish Government in London last week that fifteen Polish Resistance leaders were " missing " created a mystery which has not been resolved by any direct statement. It could probably be cleared up at once by a Russian explanation, but none is yet forthcoming. It is suggested that the fifteen are in Moscow and that negotiations are going on between them and the Soviet Government without any consultation with the British or American Ambassadors. If this is so, the mys- tery deepens, for the Crimea compromise provided that Mr. Molotov and the British and American Ambassadors in Moscow were to act as a Commission of Three for reorganising the Lublin Administration by bringing in representative Poles from inside and outside Poland. It would be a manifest violation of the spirit of the agreement if the Russians alone conducted negotiations with the Polish Mission and left their British and American colleagues uninformed. Mr. Molotov seems to have supported the claim of the Lublin Poles to veto the names of prospective Ministers submitted by the British Ambassador ; and it may be that, the Commission having arrived at a deadlock, Mr. Molotov decided to pursue researches independently ; but it is scarcely compatible with the continuance of the Commission that he should do so without informing his colleagues. The Foreign Secretary has ordered enquiries into the whole affair to be made at Moscow, and the Prime Minister's promised statement on the subject next week will be awaited with anxiety. At present it has a distinctly unpleasant look.