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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 05, 1953

CPSU CC PROTOCOL, 'RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS OF THE JOINT MEETING OF THE CPSU CENTRAL COMMITTEE PLENUM, THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE UNION OF THE SSR, AND THE PRESIDIUM OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE USSR'

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    This protocol concerns the meeting of the CPSU Presidium & Soviet Council of Ministers as Stalin was about to die.
    "CPSU CC Protocol, 'Record of Proceedings of the Joint Meeting of the CPSU Central Committee Plenum, the Council of Ministers of the Union of the SSR, and the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR'," March 05, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the President, Russian Federation (AP RF),f. 2, op. 2, d. 196, ll. 1-7. Published in Istochnik, 1 (1994), pp. 106-111. Translated by Daniel Rozas. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112870
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Record of Proceedings
of the Joint Meeting of the CPSU Central Committee Plenum,
the Council of Ministers of the Union of the SSR,
and the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR,
5 March 1953

Meeting began at 20:00 hours and ended at 20:40 hours.

PRESENT:

Members of CC CPSU: Cdes. Andreev, Andrianov, Aristov, Artuinov, Babev, Bagirov, Baibakov, Belyaev, Benediktov [...]

Candidate members of CC CPSU: Cdes. Aleksandrov, Artem'ev, Akhazov, Bagramyan, Bakradze, [...]

Chairman of the Central Revisional Commission:

Cde.

Moskatov.

Ministers of USSR:

Cdes.

Bol'shakov, Voronov,
Kuz'minykh, Kurshev, Psurtsev,
Skvortsov, Tret'yakov, Fomin.

Members of the Presidium of

the Supreme Council of USSR:

Cdes.

Lebedeva, Tarasov,
Fedorova.

Chaired by Cde. Khrushchev.

Cde. Khrushchev yields the floor to the USSR Minister of Health, Cde. Tret'yakov for an informative announcement on the condition of the comrade I.V. Stalin's health.

Cde. Tret'yakov's announcement is taken into consideration.

Cde. Khrushchev says that from the very beginning of comrade Stalin's illness, members of the CC Presidium Bureau have been continuously present at his bedside. Currently Cde. Bulganin is keeping watch, which is the reason for his absence from the meeting.

Cde. Malenkov is given the floor.

Cde. Malenkov speaks:

Everyone understands the enormous responsibility of the country's leadership which now rests on the shoulders of all of us.

Everyone understands that the country cannot suffer even one hour of interruption in leadership.

That is the reason why the Bureau of the Central Committee Presidium of the party has convened a joint meeting of all important organs of our country - the Plenum of the party's Central Committee, the Council of Ministers of the Union of SSR, and the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Council.

The Bureau of the CC Presidium charged me to apprise you on a number of measures for organizing the party and government leadership in order to ratify them by a joint decision of the Plenum of the party's Central Committee, the Council of Ministers of the Union of SSR, and the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Council.

The Presidium Bureau charged me to report that in drafting these organizational measures we were acting on the understanding that, in this difficult time for our party and our country, the most important consideration for the party and the government is the provision of uninterrupted and correct leadership over all the country's aspects, which, in its own right requires the highest unity within government, the prevention of any kind of disorder and panic, in order to thus unconditionally provide for a successful administration of policy adopted by our party and our government both in our country's domestic and international affairs.

Following this, the floor is given to Cde. Beria.

Cde. Beria informs that the Bureau of the CC Presidium has thoroughly examined the current situation in our country with respect to comrade Stalin's absence from the party's and country's leadership. The CC Presidium Bureau believes that it is now necessary to appoint the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. The Bureau submits the proposal to appoint Cde. G.M. Malenkov as Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers.

Cde. Malenkov's candidacy is proposed by the Bureau members unanimously and with common purpose. We are convinced that you will share our belief that at this difficult time which has come upon our party and our country we can have but one candidacy for the post of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers - the candidacy of Cde. Malenkov. (Numerous outcries from the seats: "Right!, ratify").

Then, Cde. Khrushchev gives the floor to Cde. Malenkov.

Cde. Malenkov submits, by authority of the Bureau of the CC CPSU Presidium, the following proposals:

1. Appoint as first deputies of the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers Cdes. L.P. Beria, V.M. Molotov, N.A. Bulganin, and L.M. Kaganovich. (Numerous outcries from the seats: "Right!, ratify"). The proposal to appoint Cdes. Beria, Molotov, Bulganin and Kaganovich as first deputies of the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, says Cde. Malenkov, is submitted by the Bureau members unanimously and with common purpose.

2. Replace the two organs in the USSR Council of Ministers - the Presidium and the Presidium Bureau - with just one organ - the Presidium of the USSR Council of Ministers.

Confirm the members of the Presidium of the USSR Council of Ministers as the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, the first deputies of the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers and deputies of the Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers who are members of the CC CPSU Presidium.

3. Recommend Cde. K.E. Voroshilov for the post of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of USSR, having divested Cde. N.M. Shvemik of these responsibilities.

Appoint Cde. N.M. Pegov as Secretary of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Council, having divested him of responsibilities as Secretary of CC CPSU. Appoint the current Secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of USSR Cde. A.F. Gorkin as the deputy Secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of USSR.

4. Combine the USSR Ministry of State Security [MGB] with the USSR Ministry of lntemal Affairs [MVD] into one Ministry -the USSR Ministry of lntemal Affairs. Appoint Cde. L.P. Beria USSR Minister of lntemal Affairs.

5. Appoint Cde. V.M. Molotov USSR Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Appoint Cdes. A.Ia. Vyshinskii and Ia.A. Malik first deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs of USSR, and Cde. V.V. Kuznetsov deputy Minister [of MID USSR].

Appoint Cde. A. Ia. Vyshinskii permanent USSR representative at the UN.

Deem it necessary to maintain in China an Ambassador and CC CPSU Representative, and appoint CC CPSU member and deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of USSR Cde. V.V. Kuznetsov for this post.

6. Appoint Soviet Union Marshal Cde. N.A. Bulganin as USSR Minister of War and Soviet Union Marshal Cde. A.M. Vasilevskii and Soviet Union Marshal Cde. G.K. Zhukov as first deputy USSR Ministers of War.

7. Merge the USSR Ministry of Foreign Trade and the USSR Ministry of Trade into a single Ministry - the USSR Ministry of Domestic and Foreign Trade.

Appoint Cde. A.I. Mikoyan Minister of Domestic and Foreign Trade, Cde. LG. Kabanov first deputy Minister, and Cdes. P.N. Kumykin and V.G. Zhavoronkov deputy Ministers.

8. Combine the Ministry of Automotive and Truck Industry, the Ministry of Machine and Tool Production, the Ministry of Agricultural Machinery and the Ministry of Machine-Tool Production into a single Ministry - the Ministry of Machine Production.

Appoint Cde. M.Z. Saburov Minister of Machine Production, having divested him of the responsibilities of Chairman of USSR Gosplan [State Planning Commission].

9. Combine the Ministry of Transport of Machine Production, the Ministry of Shipbuilding Industry, the Ministry of Heavy Machine Production and the Ministry of Building and Road Construction into a single Ministry - the Ministry of Transport and Heavy Machine Production. Appoint Cde. V.A. Malyshev Minister of Transport and Heavy Machine Production.

10. Combine the Ministry of Electric Power Stations, the Ministry of Electronic Industry, and the Ministry of Communications Industry into a single Ministry – the Ministry of Electric Power Stations and Electronic Industry.

Appoint Cde. M.G. Pervukhin Minister of Electric Power Stations and Electronic Industry.

11. Appoint Cde. G.P. Kosachenko Chairman of USSR Gosplan.

12. Recommend Cde. N.M. Shvernik for Chairman of VTsSPS [Central All Soviet Transportation Union], having divested Cde. V.V. Kuznetsov of these responsibilities.

13. The Bureau of the CC Presidium proposes to replace the two organs under the Central Committee of CPSU - the Presidium and the Bureau of the Presidium - with a single organ, the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee, as provided by the party Charter.

For the purposes of greater effectiveness in governing, limit the composition of the Presidium to 11 members and 4 candidates.

Ratify the following membership of the CPSU Central Committee Presidium:

Members of the CC Presidium - Cdes. I.V. Stalin, G.M. Malenkov, L.P. Beria, V.M. Molotov, K.E. Voroshilov, N.S. Khrushchev, N.A. Bulganin, L.M. Kaganovich, A.I. Mikoyan, M.Z. Saburov, and M. G. Pervukhin.

Candidate members of [the] CC CPSU Presidium - Cdes. N.M. Shvemik, P.K. Ponornarenko, L.G. Mel'nikov, and M.D. Bagirov.

14. In connection with the adopted decision on the CC CPSU Presidium and the Presidium of the USSR Council of Ministers, liquidate the permanent Commissions under the CC CPSU Presidium on Foreign Affairs and on Questions of Defense.

15. Elect Cdes. S.D. Ignat'ev, P.N. Pospelov and N.N. Shatalin as CC CPSU Secretaries.

16. Deem it necessary for Cde. N.S. Khrushchev to concentrate on work in the CPSU Central Committee and for that purpose divest him of the responsibilities of first secretary of the Moscow Committee of CPSU.

Approve CC CPSU Secretary Cde. N.A. Mikhailov for the post of first secretary of the Moscow Committee of CPSU.

17. Divest Cdes. P.K. Ponornarenko and N.G. Ignatov of responsibilities as CC CPSU Secretaries, in connection with their transfer to leadership positions in the USSR Council of Ministers, and Cde. L.I. Brezhnev, in connection with his transfer to the post of Director of Political Administration of the Ministry of the Navy.

Cde. Malenkov informs that the proposals which he just enumerated at this meeting have been advanced by the CC Presidium Bureau members unanimously and with common purpose.

For the purpose of examining the decisions of the present joint session of the CC CPSU Plenum, the USSR Council of Ministers and the Presidium of the Supreme Council of [the] USSR, which require ratification by the Supreme Council of [the] USSR, the Bureau proposes, says Cde. Malenkov, to convene a session of the Supreme Council.

Then Cde. Malenkov informs that the CC Presidium Bureau has charged Cdes. Malenkov, Beria and Khrushchev to take steps to ensure that comrade Stalin's documents and papers, both current and archival, are brought into necessary order.

In conclusion, Cde. Malenkov expressed the conviction that in this difficult time for the party and the country, the Central Committee of the party, the USSR Council of Ministers, and the Presidium of the Supreme Council of USSR will provide uninterrupted and correct management of the country's affairs.

Cde. Khrushchev asks whether any comrades have questions and comments on the CC CPSU Presidium Bureau proposals, whether there any other types of additional proposals. (Friendly agreements from the seats: "Approve and ratify the Bureau's proposals").

Cde. Khrushchev brings the submitted proposals up for a vote.

The joint meeting of the CC CPSU Central Committee Plenum, the USSR Council of Ministers and the Presidium of the Supreme Council of USSR unanimously approves the proposals submitted by the CC Presidium Bureau on measures for organizing party and state leadership (see attachment).

Cde. Khrushchev declares the joint session closed.

Chairman of the Joint Session of the
Plenum of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union,
the Council of Ministers of the Union
of SSR, and the Presidium of the Supreme
Council of USSR

N. KHRUSHCHEV

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