Thursday, 31 October 2013

"If the Poles die in Russia the war effort will not be affected"

"To put matters brutally if these Poles die in Russia the war effort will not be affected. If they ..... to pass into Persia, we, unlike the Russians, will not be able to allow them to die and our war effort will be gravely impaired. Action must be taken to stop these people from leaving the USSR before we are ready to receive them (and then only at the rate we are able to receive and ship them away from the head of the Persia Gulf) however many die as a consequence"

These are the shocking words of Richard Casey, Minister Resident in the Middle East, in his telegram from Cairo to the Foreign Office on 22nd June 1942.

Baron Richard Casey, was an Australian politician and diplomat, appointed to the Cairo post by Winston Churchill, where he served from 1942 to 1944.

Three days later an official in the Foreign Office notes that although the sentiments are true, it might have been better to omit these views "I fear, (they) will read rather oddly to the future historian"!

Here are copies of the telegrams and notes from the National Archives FO371/32630
Richard Casey telegram - low definition
Richard Casey telegram - high definition

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