Arthur Bliss Lane
|Arthur Bliss Lane|
|United States Ambassador
4 August 1945 – 24 February 1947
|President||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Preceded by||Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Stanton Griffis|
June 16, 1894|
Brooklyn, New York
|Died||August 12, 1956(aged 62)|
Arthur Bliss Lane (16 June 1894 – 12 August 1956) was a career diplomat for the United States, serving in Latin America and Europe. During his diplomatic career he dealt with the rise of a dictatorship in Nicaragua in the 1930s, World War II and its aftermath in Europe, and the rise of the USSR-backed communist government in Poland.
Lane was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York on June 16, 1894. He attended Yale University. After graduating in 1916, he became private secretary to the U.S. Ambassador to Italy in Rome. In 1919-1920 he was 2nd secretary in the U.S. embassy to Poland. In 1921-1922, he was 2nd secretary in London, UK. During this time he was secretary to the U.S. delegation to the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris in 1921. He then went to Berne, Switzerland in 1922. From 1923 to 1925 he worked at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. Lane then worked in the embassy in Mexico from 1925-1933.
He was appointed U.S. Minister to Nicaragua (1933–1936). While serving there he met with General Somoza while the President of Nicaragua Sacasa held discussions with rebel leader Augusto César Sandino. Sandino called for the National Guard run by Somoza to be disbanded as it had been set up by the U.S. as they withdrew Marine forces from Nicaragua. Sandino was murdered by Guardsmen after the meetings; the U.S. claims that Lane had counseled Somoza to be patient but Somoza and later, the Sandinistas, claimed that Lane gave Somoza permission for his actions. Lane spent the next two years trying to reconcile Somoza and Sacasa, leaving the country before the next election as the U.S. adopted more non-interventionist policy.
He was next U.S. minister to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (1936–1937); Kingdom of Yugoslavia, (1937–1941) (until the German invasion); and Costa Rica (1941–1942). He was then appointed United States Ambassador to Colombia (1942–1944), and subsequently to Poland from 1944 to 1947, first to the Polish government in exile in London and later in Warsaw after the war.
While in Poland, Lane resigned his post on February 24, 1947, in protest of the takeover of the country by the Communist puppet regime, and wrote a book detailing what he considered to be the failure of the United States and Britain to keep their promise that the Poles would have a free election after the war. In that book he described what he considered the betrayal of Poland by the Western Allies, hence the title, I Saw Poland Betrayed. The book was translated into Polish and published in the United States, and later disseminated by an underground samizdat publishing house in Poland in the 1980s.
According to Lane, the U.S. and Britain at the Tehran Conference agreed to the dismemberment of eastern Poland. He considered this act a treacherous breach of the United States Constitution, since Roosevelt never reported his decision to the Senate. The Yalta Conference was the final death blow to Poland's hopes for independence and for a democratic form of government, said Lane.
Following his career at the State Department, Lane was active in investigating the Katyn Massacre and also active in several anti-Communist organizations, such as the National Committee for a Free Europe. He would also later campaign for Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1952 presidential election, in opposition to his former boss, Democrat Harry Truman.
- Presidents, Diplomats, and Other Mortals: Essays Honoring Robert H. Ferrell, edited J. Garry Clifford and Theodore A. Wilson, University of Missouri Press, 2007, p 75-76
- "Poland" (List of Ambassadors to Poland). United States Department of State. 2004. Retrieved 2007-08-24.
- Guide to the Arthur Bliss Lane Papers MS 5, Yale University Library
- A film clip "Longines Chronoscope with Arthur Bliss Lane (March 24, 1952)" is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
Matthew E. Hanna
|United States Minister to Nicaragua
December 7, 1933–March 14, 1936
William H. Hornibrook
|United States Minister to Costa Rica
October 27, 1941–March 17, 1942
Robert M. Scotten
|United States Ambassador to Colombia
30 April 1942–18 October 1944
John C. Wiley
Anthony J. Drexel Biddle, Jr.
|United States Ambassador to Poland
4 August 1945–24 February 1947