ALTHOUGH President Carter has pledged himself to cutting down on government, he has just made an exception and authorize the State Department to hire a fulltime Polish translator.
It isn't that the President wasn't pleased with the translator the Department provided him with in Warsaw, (he even told Mr. Vance he would pray for him), it was just that Mr. Carter feels the United States is not getting its message over in Poland with the part-time help it has on its present payroll.
For those of you who are skiing or scuba diving during the holidays, this is what happened. President Carter arrived in Poland on his first stop abroad and gave a very stirring speech about American-Polish friendship. The American translator had trouble with the President's Georgia accent and told the Polish people that Mr. Carter was abondaning Washington and was lusting after Poland, or something to that effect.
In any case the Polish people, who are sick to death of American-Polish jokes, had their laugh at our expense in years.
Fortunately no serious damage was done. It could have been much worse for both countries if the translator had remained on duty during the conference.
President: It is a great honor for me to be here in Poland to reaffirm and to strengthen the historic and strong ties of friendship and mutual respect which exist between our two countries.
Translator: I am very happy to be here in the country where someone has stolen the pen of my aunt.
Secretary Gierek: Tell him that Polish people do not steal the pens of people's aunts. Ask him if he looked on the dresser next to the door!
Translator: The Secretary says he does not know where the pen of your aunt is, but says he will be very happy to put another quilt on your bed.
President Carter: I do not need another quilt. I wish to have a fruitfull discussions with the First Secretary concerning bi-lateral questions which involves the SALT talks.
Translator: The President says his soup spoon is dirty and he would like to have another one. He also wishes to thank you for the salt you put on his fruit.
Secretary Gierek: Tell the President the Polish people do not put salt on their fruit, and also that the reduction of arm forces in the Warsaw Pact is based on the reduction o fforces in NATO.
Translator: The Secretary wishes to inform you the train will be leaving late. He also does not change travelers' checks, but will take your personal chech providing you do not overtip the boatman.
President: Please inform the First Secretary I never overtip, and that my main concern on this trip is to press for human rights, which is still the cornerstone of my foreign policy.
Translator: President Carter said that he is only human and asks if you know of an honest merchant who will sell him a foreign policy he can put in stone on a corner.
Secretary Gierek: It is essential that our countries work together to stop the Arms Race. Inform the President that Poland is willing to do its part to reduce tensions in the world.
Translator: The Secretary says he would like to take off your arms and relieve your tension concerning the loss of the pen of your aunt. He wants to know if you looked under the kitchen table.
President: And in conclusion I wish to say on behalf of Rosalynn and myself I wish to thank you and Mrs. Gierek for your wonderful hospitality shown us, and I desire to visit you and your wife very soon.
Translator: The President says he lusts after your wife and has carnal desires to visit Poland again as soon as he gets the hall porter to bring up his luggage.