No. 26: Message from Greiser to the Polish Commissioner-General
SEVERAL months ago I had the honour to draw your attention to the fact that the ever-increasing number of Polish Customs Inspectors was not compatible with the execution of their prescribed duties. Since the latest additions there are now well over 100 Polish Customs Inspectors in Danzig territory. Their behaviour, both in their official and their private life, has given rise to increasing complaint. The Danzig population, like the German population, in their local frontier intercourse feel themselves constantly offended by the way in which the Polish Customs officials perform their duty and by their behaviour in private life.
I have no fear that incidents on the part of the population might arise on that account. Still less is the safety of the Polish officials in any way endangered. I have therefore taken steps to ensure that they may, as hitherto, perform their duties absolutely safely and without hindrance. I believe, however, that ways and means must be found to eliminate the constant friction and tension.
For all these reasons I consider it necessary forthwith to restrict the activity of the Polish Customs Inspectors to a general supervision in conformity with the agreement. In particular, I must urge that their official activities be confined to the offices, and not performed outside of them. I can also no longer permit the Danzig Customs officials to take instructions, even in the form of suggestions, from the Polish Customs officials. I will, however, see that questions addressed to officials will be answered officially.
I have directed the President of the Customs Administration of the Free City to instruct his officials accordingly. I have the honour, Mr. Minister, to request you to inform your Government accordingly and to exert your influence towards meeting the wishes of the Danzig Government.
I avail myself of this opportunity to revert to our conversation of the 8th February last. At that time I explained to you, Mr. Minister, that I would give instructions to abstain for the present from swearing in the customs officials, and that, should the occasion arise, I would communicate with you before administering the oath.
I have the honour to inform you, with reference to the contents of my letter of the 3rd January last (pages 2 and 3), that I have now left it to the discretion of the Finance Department of the Senate to administer the oath to the customs officials if they regard it as desirable.
I have, &c.
Source: The British War Bluebook; courtesy of Yale Law School Avalon Project
Added By: C. Peter Chen
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945