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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 03, 1963

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN YURI ANDROPOV AND THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE ROMANIAN WORKER’S PARTY

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    Soviet politburo member Yuri Andropov and Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej discuss issues concerning the cooperation between the CPSU and the Romanian Worker's party and the two governments. The discussion ranges between economic integration issues, to the Sino-Soviet split, Soviet-Albanian relations, and politico-military cooperation between Warsaw Pact states.
    "Memorandum of Conversation between Yuri Andropov and the Central Committee of the Romanian Worker’s Party," April 03, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, ANIC, Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, Chancellery, file no.18/1963, ff.2-25. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112975
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of the talks held at the Central Committee of the Romanian Workers' Party on 3 April 1963, with comrade Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov, Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

The following comrades took part in the talks:

· On the Romanian side: comrades Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Ion Gheorghe Maurer, Emil Bodnaras, Nicolae Ceausescu, Alexandru Bârladeanu, Ghizela Vass, and Andrei Pacuraru.

· On the Soviet side: comrades Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov, Secretary of the Central Committee (CC) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), I.K. Zhegalin, ambassador of the USSR in Bucharest, and E.D. Karpishchenko, worker in the apparat of the CC of the CPSU.

The meeting began at 11.30 and ended at 14.30.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

Welcome here, comrade Andropov. You had a tough journey.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

All of a sudden, we found ourselves above the heads of the Bulgarian comrades. There was bad weather there, but we were told that it was fine weather. It was then that I understood how bad the weather was here since the plane could not land even at Bucharest.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

Yes, it was raining here and there were really unfavourable conditions for landing. We are not very much afraid of drought. You, yourself, know very well what drought means.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

Comrade Gheorghiu-Dej, I am taking this opportunity to extend to you and all the other [Romanian] comrades a warm greeting from Nikita Sergheyevich Khrushchev, and from our whole Presidium.

With your permission, I will conduct myself without any protocol whatsoever. The Presidium received information from [Soviet Ambassador to Romania] comrade Zhegalin regarding the talks you had held with him on the subject of the latest Plenary Session of the CC of the Romanian Workers' Party (RWP) and the issues related to it. I am telling you frankly that this information made us anxious, saddened us, and – to some extent – even amazed us. It made us anxious because we do not have any differences of opinions with the Romanian comrades.

We have read what you had stated, your position of principle as regards the main issues, and this is the crucial thing. But also with respect to other issues, such as those related to the June 1962 COMECON Session, we think that we have no differences of opinion with you.

I am now asking for your permission to set forth, first of all, the letter of the CC of CPSU so that afterwards we may continue our talks. As to the latest Session of the Executive Committee (EC) of COMECON, we feel that our posi-tions on the following [two] issues are absolutely the same.

On the first issue, we want sovereignty to be respected as strictly as possible. I am telling you, in all honesty, that never and with none of us has the idea occurred of state sovereignty being encroached on. Generally speaking, I am referring not only to Romania, but to all other countries.
After the latest meeting of the EC of COMECON, when comrade Bârla-deanu asked what would happen to the national security if this common planning body was accepted, comrade Khrushchev thanked comrade Barladeanu for raising this issue and took the opportunity to express his point of view, namely that this body would only be set up on the basis of respect for sovereignty. I want to tell you again that we have discussed the cooperation issue. As regards the cooperation issue, therefore, if today someone raises the issue of establishing a unified state [body] which makes you anxious, we will be the first to have objections, since this is not possible now. It goes without saying that we do not say that the day will not come when this issue will be raised, but when this will happen we cannot say; maybe when production forces are equal, but that is by no means the case now or in the near future. For this reason, we think that we do not have differences of opinion about these issues.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

You know what big differences there are between the levels of the various socialist countries.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

Without a shadow of a doubt, that is the way things are, we understand. I do not want to speak about other indicators; however, let me take as an example the yearly meat consumption: in the Romanian People's Republic – 26 to 27 kg per inhabitant, we have a meat consumption of 40 kg p.i., the Czechs – 60 kg p.i., the Germans – 70 kg p.i., but the Chinese comrades only 1.3 kg p.i. If we equalized all these what would the outcome be? What would happen afterwards? I do not want to take more of your time, but we think we do not have differences of opinion about this issue. If the way some issues are understood is different, we must clarify such issues.

On the second issue, we support your position on the development of the relationships between states based solely on the mutual-advantage principle. Moreover, we think that this would be the commercial method. I speak about a way you know, because it is still being followed now, the mutual-advantage principle, I speak about this commercial scheme, this commercial ground.

Here is our position on these issues. As regards the latest Session of the EC of COMECON, there is one issue left, an issue you deem unacceptable, and we ask you to listen to our explanations, and – if I may say so – try to be in our shoes. The issue at point is the establishment of inter-state unions/accords per indus-trial/economic branch. You look upon them as unacceptable for you and criticize us for backing the idea.

Comrades, we are speaking to you honestly and we are asking you to understand us, but on the other side the Czech, the Poles, and the [East] Germans criticize us for being too slow on that score. What is the way out of this situation? The way out would be the one comrade Khrushchev suggested: he who wants to enter these unions, enters; he who does not want to enter, does not enter. We told you that we do not want to participate in all the unions. The participation in these unions is absolutely voluntary. We are going to enter only such unions as are advantageous to us. Naturally, the Czech and the Poles will enter as well if the unions are advantageous to them; if they are not advan-tageous, they will not enter such unions. For this reason, we think that this is the way out. If you see another way out, let us put our heads together.

Allow me merely to read comrade Khrushchev's letter addressed to comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, and then to say a few more things about the issues I am in charge with. In the letter not only the planning issue is raised, but also the Danube issue. I have not spoken about the Danube until now as I do not have anything to add to what is said in the letter.

Comrade N. Bujor reads the text of N.S. Khrushchev's letter addressed to Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej.

When that part of the letter had been read, which dealt with the cooperation possibilities between countries achieved by some countries granting credits for investments to other countries, such credits to be afterwards refunded through products of the industrial units built with those investments, comrade Gheorghe cut in, saying:

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

It seems to me that we have such enterprises: the Cellulose Industrial Trust in Chiscani, and another enterprise – an electric power station – which we have built [in collaboration] with the Czechs.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

This is the very type of enterprise that we have in mind. We, too, have such problems with the capitalists as well. We know that the Polish comrades together with the Czech comrades intend to go further as regards the machine-building issue. This is their business. We do not urge anybody to adopt this form.

Comrade N. Bujor keeps on reading…

When that part of the letter had been read, which dealt with the fact that electric energy consumption per inhabitant in the RPR fell behind that of other socialist countries in Europe, comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej cut in, saying:

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

Not of other countries, but of all the countries. Even that of the Bulgarians. In spite of the fact that we supply electric energy to the Bulgarians. It is apparent from this situation how we understand things: we lend a helping hand to others. Regarding 1980, if we take into consideration what the states are contemplating, we ask ourselves: will the gap between the development of levels really be diminished?

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

We are in favor of this gap being diminished.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

We are in favor of the same thing. As regards electric energy, which is so important, we all know how [comrade] Khrushchev appreciated the special importance of electric energy in the development of countries; unfortunately, in 1980, Romania will fall far behind Bulgaria on that score.

We do not know the basis on which the Bulgarian comrades have established the level they contemplate to attain in 1980; or Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland for that matter. We do not want to consider what their economic situation is. Since they considered reaching such development levels, it means that they need electric energy.

We, too, have contemplated attaining a certain development level by 1980. Of course, our wishes were bigger. Even today our wishes are big, but where could we get what we need? We looked to the right, we looked to the left, we looked upwards, but eventually we had to look downwards, here, to see what possibilities we have or, as the saying goes, not to bite off more than we can chew. It was thus that we established a level. Perhaps some of our comrades may criticize us for setting up too low a level, but we will ask them to tell us where we can get what we need.

We also do the same thing in connection with our friends. If the Czech comrades, for example, cannot cover 50% or 60% of their need for fuel for 1980, it is their business. But if they look askance at us and want to take fuel from us, although we have so little, then I do not understand anything at all.

I apologize for my cutting in.

Comrade N. Bujor keeps on reading…

When that part of the letter had been read, in which it was said that the USSR was ready to render technical assistance for the building of hydroelectric power stations, comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej cut in, saying:

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

We have already asked for such assistance.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

Excuse me, but I want to add something in connection with the request in your letter regarding technical assistance, which we purposely did not include in [our] letter, and we want to tell you verbally that this addition is about the [technical] assistance for the building of nuclear power stations. For obvious reasons, we did not write this in the letter, but we want to tell you that we are ready to render such [technical] assistance to you. We also have to tell you that we started to build big nuclear power stations, but experience showed us that after you have built such an electric power station the energy produced is very expensive. It goes without saying that this is valid for our conditions, but maybe in the conditions in your country this is advantageous. It is for this reason that comrade Khrushchev asked me to tell you that, in connection with this issue, your specialists should meet with our specialists for consultation.

Comrade N. Bujor keeps on reading the letter till he finishes it.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

My exposé lasted so long because this letter was also a part of it and that is why I read it. I think there is no point in my repeating what is said in the letter. When our comrades in the Presidium sent me to your country, they asked me to underline that – as you may see – we feel that our understanding of these issues is not different from yours. There may be some shades of meaning, but we can discuss them with you.

We have this responsibility, as they say, [and] we have met now to consider this. Let us not make things more difficlt, this is a very important, a vital issue. After all, there are no issues which divide us, and we feel there is nothing to divide us.
I am telling you frankly that it was not your disagreement that concerned us, but the fact that – officially – a certain point of view was formulated. Rumors about the assets have reached us. If this is not so, then reassure me so that – on your behalf – I can reassure my comrades. If there is anything that troubles you, let us discuss it together.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

As I had already raised all these issues, I let I. Kuzmich Zhegalin know them. Subsequently, I checked my note of the talks and found that our points of view had been expressed, those which had constituted the object of our discussions at the Plenary Session. It is our duty to raise these issues before the CC of RWP.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

Then should we convene the Plenary Session, too?

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

These issues are so broad that they cannot be solved by one or two or three persons, not even by the Political Bureau. When we criticized the methods of the personality cult, strong emphasis was laid on the use of the Leninist method, on collective work, on collective responsibility. This does not deprive at all any of us of our initiative and personal responsibility, but with us – when big issues were in question – this was a rule, I could very well say a law, even during the period of the personality cult. The first secretaries, the secretaries, the members of the Political Bureau, within the framework of the general line of thinking, the orders, and the direction given by the Central Committee, displayed maximum initiative on any issue, mainly on the big issues which were always submitted to the attention of the Central Committee, of the party's core membership, with whom we consulted. Sometimes even the leadership can make mistakes, all the more the Political Bureau can make mistakes, but the Plenary Sessions always set us right.

At our Plenary Session and in the party core we have not criticized or blamed anyone, but have merely dealt – as a matter of principle – with the issues raised: how they are viewed by others, how they are viewed by ourselves; is this not the right way?

It goes without saying that both the Plenary Session and the party activ have considered these issues, which are not small issues, but very big ones, with a high degree of responsibility.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu :

Not at a Plenary Session, as comrade Gheorghiu-Dej said, but others before us raised these issues publicly, openly, at four congresses.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

That is their business.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu :

I do not say it is not, but why was it mentioned that these issues had been raised at our Plenary Session? The issue of the united plan, of these unions between states, was also raised publicly by others, based on the same principle.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

We abstained from any public manifestation. Those who took part in the meeting of the EC of COMECON knew what it was all about, knew what our position was. Naturally, there may be speculations, but we have never given anybody, not even our comrades in the other parties, the opportunity [to make speculations]; in fact, we have experience, we will not follow negative examples, we will not do as other parties do. These are the issues we wanted to give you information about via comrade Zhegalin. Actually, we told comrade Zhegalin that we will bring [the issues in question] to the CPSU leadership's notice honestlty, sincerely, in the spirit of the relationships between us. There arises a question. Am I not able to see what is wrong? If I have a viewpoint, if a viewpoint appears in our party, should I not express it? Normally, what happened in a number of brotherly parties – in practice after the Plenary Session of the CC of CPSU, where a few issues were raised regarding the relationships between the brotherly parties and countries – was a reason for great anxiety in our party. We published in our press the speech comrade Khrushchev made at the Plenary Session, we published even that part which we interpreted in our way. We considered it and waited. The Bulgarian comrades were the first to debate these issues in a comprehensive, broad form; afterwards, the Czech comrades, the Hungarian comrades, the comrades in the GDR debated [the issues] in an ever more comprehensive way, with the ideas ever better outlined, and then a series of articles – with a certain direction – began to be published in the central [press] organs of the fraternal parties.

Discussions were held, on a rather wide front; even the legal experts began to debate whether the concepts of sovereignty and independence were now historical concepts. Certainly, do not believe that we only listen; we consider [things] calmly, patiently, seriously, with responsibility since we are of the opinion that these issues are of interest not solely for the Romanian Workers' Party or Romania. We collect, systematize, consider everything that is published in newspapers and magazines, and we cannot say that all these are written by independent persons, we asssume that they are Communists, too. We have been brought up by the party in the spirit of party discipline, we know that in our parfty nobody is independent, nobody has an autonomous attitude. Everything that is published by our press, irrespective of who writes it, involves a certain responsibility; beginning with [what Gheorghiu] Dej [writes], everything is checked by the collective, but something can escape our attention. If we are criticized by the capitalists for there being no freedom of press [in our country], they may criticize us, but this is the way we were brought up; even if somebody has some exalted thoughts [in his mind], he is not allowed to publish them in the press before they are clarified; this is not about [Gheorghiu] Dej, these materials are read by the masses, by the party. Is it permitted to sow confusion in the party? We are not permitted to sow confusion in the party. The other fraternal parties should do the same thing, too; after all, there is no other rule except our Communist rule. It is one and the same party; we Communists have the same party for which Lenin fought, not a social-democrat party, but a Communist party. We have examined all these articles, all these materials, and we think that they are in accordance with the guidelines given. I leave aside the thought – after all, I said it here – that more pecuniary interests, material interests, can be contained in these materials. But take [Zdenek] Fierlinger's article and read it to see what is written in it, something really beautiful; it appeared in the Romanian version of the Soviet magazine “New Times”. When someone from the editorial staff in Moscow of this magazine asked one comrade from the editorial staff of the Romanian version, just out of mere curiosity, if he had read Fierlinger's article and if he had any observations, we all here laughed. It is laughable even to ask after you have published it. Or maybe he wanted an assessment of Fierlinger's article. We cannot take the liberty of making such assessments since we fear we could give rise to the devil knows what. For Fierlinger, what has been discussed over and over again in the press so far is not enough; he intends to set up an international control body, which is to be independent. We know what is inde-pendent and what is not, we are not children.

I have given as an example Fierlinger, who wrote an article for “New Times” and published it. Do you think that our party activ have not read this article and others dealing with these themes? Of course the party activ read [such materials] and form opinions. That is why we deemed it necessary that the party activ be informed, that we ourselves know how they view and judge all these issues. Naturally, it did not occur to us to answer comrade Fierlinger. We have gathered a vast amount of material, we put the ideas in order and consider them, but what if we have different opinions? We also had different opinions about the assessment of the Common Market at the meeting in June, and we expressed them there. In connection with this we have a broad circle of issues, which we deem ripe for serious consideration. The Common Market did not frighten us, we do not bow before the Common Market as someone bows before the Golden Calf.

The phenomena taking place in the capitalist world are clear to us. We examine the phenomena taking place with a lot of attention and interest, why things happen so and not otherwise, what the matter with de Gaulle is, that it is not by accident that he got the position he has, because we know that this old man is stubborn. This attitude of his is determined by certain factors, and we analyze it scientifically. A subjective analysis, a subjective interpretation, is not just in our opinion as it does not solve anything. We were not frightened by the Common Market. Certainly, amazement at the fact that the Common Market is praised in some countries by some comrades was apparent here as well. But, you know, different opinions are likely to appear in a family; then what are you to do, get angry? Rest assured, we thought it over a lot how to proceed further. We set to examine things and formed our points of view. As regards the issue of the unity of the [socialist] camp solutions must be found so that the camp be a camp, so that the socialist world economic system be a world economic system; there is a Common Market with its discriminations there; six countries are members of it, and England is striving to enter it, too, but the others do not let it, very interesting phenomena are taking place. It is worth living, examining these phenomena, and be glad at the same time that anything the capitalists may do to get out of the difficulties connected with their Common Market, with all they contemplate to do to save themselves from destruction, they will not succeed. That everything that happens now is what Lenin said about the stage imperialism had reached.

In our country, too, if you look at the market you feel like closing your eyes and look elsewhere. You see deficiencies. Why? Why are not all countries in our market? We were asked countless questions not only by members of the party activ but also by simple citizens, why is not China a member of COMECON? Why are not Korea, Vietnam members, did you not let them join?

When I was in Moscow once, I was invited to dinner by comrades Mikoian and Kosygin. Over dinner they told me what was happening at the border [with China], and I asked why China was not a member of COMECON? Certainly, it was an unexpected question asked. He [Mikoian or Kosygin] looked amazed at me, and told me: well, they did not apply for it! Then I asked again, but did we invite them? Whereupon he shrugged.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

We invited them in due course.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

Everything possible should be done so that the [socialist] camp can really be a [genuine] camp, so that our unity be a unity in all actions.

What is it that makes them not be members of COMECON? We must find the reason why, there must be a cause.

Many, many such questions were asked.
We have promised to write, we are preparing a serious material, we do not pretend/assert that we will express the fairest points of view on all the issues. We may not be right on some issues, but we may be right on others.

Maybe in this manner we will be able to contribute to the cause. It may sometimes happen that one thing or another, an interpretation or other, not please us. But let us not deal only with the things that please us, [let us not assert] that we have no other way than our way.

We must have patience, wisdom, perseverance because even some good things, some good ideas, may not be understood now, but only later. But we must not make things worse.
As regards these Albanians, they still give us a lot of trouble, but we must find a way to begin solving this issue somewhere. We all recalled our ambas-sadors from [Albania]. This is not good. Whatever for? Let us make all the attempts possible so that we shall not be deemed the guilty parties. So that they [the Albanians] can be deemed the guilty parties. So that everybody can point the finger at them. So that they shall not have any alternative. We, too, sent them back their letter; it was a letter addressed to the states participating in the Warsaw Treaty Organization which we could not receive, so we sent it back. It all depends on the way you send a letter back. Certainly, we have tried to influence them, and we will try to have them modify their stance. We will do everything possible to this end. We agreed with, and very gladly applauded the proposal made by comrade Khrushchev at the Congress in Berlin that an end be put to polemics, a wise proposal. There is nothing more pleasant than doing everything possible to avoid worsening the divergences that appeared, so that the enemy cannot be glad about it. And we decided to back the proposal. But what happened there? It was a show. Something unbelievable. This impressed us very deeply. Of course, the Chinese were very much upset by the presence of the Yugoslavs in the hall; the Albanians had not been invited, this was – as the saying goes – the last straw, and when the Chinese delegate began to speak, those present began to whistle; this could be seen on TV in the West.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu :

I was at the Congress. We were downright flabbergasted: just when the passage in the Moscow Declaration of 1960 dealing with Yugoslav revisionism was being read, the delegates thumped their feet, whistled, and booed.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

And all this only a day after comrade Khrushchev's appeal that the polemics stop. What could the Chinese say? What could one think of Khrushchev's decla-rations? The situation reached such a stage that we must strive to find solutions without giving up our positions, without making compromises, but avoiding every-thing that can fuel their stance. They are very sensitive.

We will try to contribute towards strengthening unity. We all are interested in the victory of the socialist camp.
It seems to me that, of all the people in the socialist camp, the Chinese represent about two-thirds of the camp (680 million). Of course, some people would feel inclined to say that population was not important, but this would be wrong. It is wrong because there [in China] they are building socialism as well. We must demonstrate that things are also going well there.

These are the thoughts that worried us, not only our own issues. We think more now just because we have obligations to our people, and it would be totally unintelligible if we accepted what was proposed to us. We understand that some countries have certain interests, they apply pressure, they say they are annoyed at the things going too slow.
What can we do? We also could be irritated, and I say this so, between us, please believe me, I do not criticize at all, but the Polish comrades are falling behind with their collectivization. Their economy has two bases (?): it seems to me that [only] 3 to 4% of their agriculture has been collectivized so far.

After all, it is known what Lenin said about the small-scale production of goods.
There are very difficult issues, I understand the Polish comrades. We do not criticize at all. We must deal with things seriously, not in an irritated manner. Some say the Romanians go too slow.

I thank you very much, comrades, for your informing us.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

You have raised the China issue. Allow me to express our point of view on this issue.

Regarding all the issues you raised, the Danube issue, the issue related to international cooperation, and [the issue related to] planning in common, we told you how we understood these issues, and now we tell you once more that we are supporting you in all the new issues; except for the establishment of inter-state unions on industrial bases, we have no differences of opinion, not even the slightest. As to the inter-state unions, we are of the opinion that if the establishment of such unions suits the Poles and the Czech, it is their business, but we do not insist that others participate, and nobody has a right to be annoyed for this reason. Regarding the issues of sovereignty and independence, we have presented our position to the fraternal parties so that nobody can have the shadow of a doubt; I think this issue is fully clear.

You have pointed out that in the press a series of articles were published, which give grounds for misunderstandings. I think that in the main articles dealing with this issue, especially in comrade Khrushchev's articles, in connection with the international division of labor, the issues of sovereignty and independence were underlined. The issue was raised there that we go towards merging, but this was not said by comrade Khrushchev, but by Lenin, but this will be later, not now, and it will pass through the sovereignty-strengthening stage; in our view this issue is clear, and there are no reasons for a different understanding of it.

As regards the Common Market, there are no differences of opinion whatsoever between us. I raised the Common Market issue because we should not be afraid of them since we know that there are serious contradictions there, but we thought that if we stand on the position of a competition between the two systems, we have to look at things as they really are. I know who said: look, with them things are good, with us they are bad. But we agree with you on these viewpoints.
As to the issue of China's participation, I know that at the beginning we invited [the Chinese comrades] to join COMECON, but they gave as a reason for their not being able to participate their different economic situation. Afterwards this issue was never raised any more. But now that such an issue has been raised, we will clarify it.

We, too, think that the issue of the socialist camp's unity is an important one. We have recently sent a letter to the Chinese comrades and this time we have written a comprehensive letter. I do not know, comrades, what your position on it is. We have written a calm letter, without any polemics, but the reply letter of the Chinese comrades is full of polemics. After the publication of these [articles], they went on publishing articles as a reply to comrades [Maurice] Thorez and [Palmiro] Togliatti, in which they were actually attacking us. In our opinion, all this [attitude] does is arm reactionaries with arguments. Neither are we going to argue with them this time polemically, but we propose that a bilateral meeting take place. You know their proposal that comrade Khrushchev stop in Beijing on his way home from Cambodia. But we decided that it is comrade Brezhnev who will go to Cambodia. We told them, therefore, that if comrade Khrushchev has the time to go to China, he will go there.

In 1962, we invited comrade Mao Zedong to come and visit Moscow, but he told us that he was ill and could not come. We expressed our regret and said that a possibility to visit Moscow would also exist in the future. But, since comrade Khrushchev does not go to Cambodia, and the Chinese comrades spoke about a local meeting, we propose that on May 15 a meeting take place in Moscow at the level that they themselves will propose. We said we thought that our main issues were included in the letter and we were ready to discuss them.

We, for our part, intend to present our conception. We are of the opinion that we must start from the positions in the 1960 Declaration. We will set forth all the issues in accordance with our conception to prove that we want to hold talks only on the positions contained in the Declaration. We are also going to show, in general, everthing that has turned up in this period, but taking as a basis this Declaration.

The Chinese comrades say that everything that we will discuss must constitute the basis for the debates at the future meeting. We think that the important thing is to meet, but at this meeting we will not be able to discuss all the issues of the fraternal parties because all the fraternal parties must make their contribution to the meeting.
And, finally, we would have a lot to say in defense of our conception, in defense of the [development] course of the whole world communist movement.

We have sent this letter and we will publish this letter.

I am in full agreement with comrade [Gheorghiu] Dej that we must find solutions for strengthening unity. But this does not depend only on us, the Chinese party must also nourish this wish. We have given proof of a lot of patience. [The Chinese party] published an article against the French, but in fact it was against us; against the Italians, but in fact against us; against the Americans, against the Indians, but in fact against us, and we did not reply to any of these articles. I must tell you that, within the framework of our party, people discuss why we do not reply, why we keep silent. The French comrades criticized us for having adopted a defensive stance. At the proposal of comrade Khrushchev], we stopped the polemics, but the Chinese comrades continued the polemics. What the Albanians say is known to you, we do not reply to them. As to patience, we proved to have great patience, but you know, comrade [Gheorghiu] Dej, they never stopped their activity against us, they write not only in [the newspaper] “Jenminjibao”. In an article published in a magazine which was before an internal magazine, but which is now sold to the students, it is written that – as a result of comrade Mao Zedong's insistence – the Russians were forced to accept the meeting, but we [the Chinese] do not capitulate, we will wait patiently until the Muscovite line will capitulate totally.

In our view, there is no reason for us to capitulate; we follow the line of the Moscow Declaration of 1960. If the Chinese comrades want to have us give up this line, they will not succeed.

We agree with you that everything possible should be done because the most important thing is to keep unity, and on the “hot” heads to pour cold water.

In connection with what happened in Berlin, I discussed with our comrades and it is apparent that nothing had been agreed with us. In Berlin comrade Khrushchev made the well-known proposal, but – in spite of this – the following day it happened what happened.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

And what an unpleasant moment; while he was reading the Declaration, he was booed.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

Comrade [Gheorghiu] Dej, I think I am defending the CC of CPSU's line as regards the unity issue. I want to tell you that it is our wish that the relationships between CPSU and RWP be as clear as they have been until now. Please understand us correctly. I was assigned the task to come here and clarify the situation. You have your point of view which you let us know; if you had not done that, then this letter would not have existed, things would have advanced, and would have been considered in depth. Your Plenary Session and your party activ attracted our attention.

We think that if the issue is raised in this way, our Plenary Session and our party active should still know. But this is your business. This is what made us anxious. I sincerely tell you that it made us anxious. Allow me to conclude.

I was sent here with a task, to clarify the issues, to put out the newly appeared ones. You told us about certain issues, we told you about the united plan, but it is apparent that there are other issues that troubled you, therefore we must reach an understanding. Our Presidium analyzed these issues and had in mind this possibility when I came here to clarify the issues on the spot. Since the issues are very serious and concern the relationships between our parties, I was charged with submitting to your attention the proposal that you, comrade [Gheorghe] Dej, meet comrade Khrushchev in any form. We extend you the invitation to come to Moscow, but if it is not convenient to you, comrade Khrushchev will interrupt his vacation and come himself to Bucharest so that you can discuss together all the issues that appeared; this is our sincere wish, that looking straight in each other's eyes, with the best intentions, you can solve the issues. And now I am finished.

Comrade Alexandru Bârladeanu :

I would like to remind comrade Andropov of something. At the meeting of 1962, comrade Gheorghiu-Dej said that given the importance of the issues raised, the Romanian delegation headed by comrade Gheorghiu-Dej will inform the Plenary Session of the Central Committee, and will submit this issue to the Central Committee for their debate.

Afterwards, the congresses of a number of brotherly parties and the Plenary Session of the CPSU of November 1962 took place, where the issues were raised openly, publicly. I do not have here quotations from [the speeches] of comrade Jivkov and comrade Ulbricht, who said that we must pass to a new stage of better collaboration which should tie together the countries' resources, consequently an united planning organ, and indicated as dangers national egotism, national isolation.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

I would like to tell you, comrades, that this [issue] is very important. I would ask you to bear in mind that we have no observations as to the fact that you raised this issue at your Plenary Session, but now the situation is different.

Comrade Alexandru Bârladeanu :

I do not want to quote anything from what was published, but [the articles] were written by persons with responsibility.
I want to ask comrade Andropov, does he know that in the “Economic Gazette”, the official press organ of the CC of CPSU, an article was published about the so-called inter-state regions? The notion of zones, this notion is not the author's invention because comrade Lesechko's proposal, made within the framework of COMECON, is also about the establishment of such zones. But comrade Lesechko did not explain what these zones are, and then I found the explanation in this article, where it is said that the zone frontiers were created in history, but they do not exactly suit economic necessities; that the notion of national economy is now obsolete, and that we could – I already say that with my own words – tear off pieces of countries (just like some toy bricks for children) and combine them as we wish. These are the issues that trouble us.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu :

In a Soviet magazine, “The State and the Law”, the issue of giving a new interpretation to the idea of national sovereignty, which is outdated, is raised for open discussion.
In another magazine, an answer is given to the question asked by comrade Gheorghiu-Dej, which comrade Andropov said he did not know how to answer, namely why China is not in COMECON, and in the magazine it is clearly stated that [China] is doomed to remain an underdeveloped country. In the same article it is asserted, word for word, that after the reorganization per zones there will be advanced socialist zones and backward socialist zones.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

Show [it to] me, please.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu :

That in socialism there will be advanced zones and backward zones, and that is why some countries cannot collaborate within the framework of COME-CON, and the same situation will exist in the future as well.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

This is a very dangerous situation.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

I consider that this is not just. I would like to say that if in our magazine something like this was published, it was a very stupid move. But I refer to something else: in comrade Khrushchev‘s article the statement was only on a national basis. I tell you, comrades, that before the November Plenary Session I was ill and committed to hospital, and I was the only one to ask what is to be understood by “united planning organ”! You know that in the past all the countries came to us to coordinate their plans with our plan, that is to say they came to our Planning Commission. I do not criticize anybody, but they came to us and the plans presented by them had deficiences for which they sometimes blamed us.
This led comrade Khrushchev to say that he had made the said proposal in order to democratize this system.
For these reasons, the proposal was made that the coordination be effected through COMECON, and it was thus that the idea appeared of an international planning organ, which comrade Bârladeanu spoke about.

Comrade Emil Bodnaras :

But we are faced not only with interpretations, we are faced with very specific actions in various bodies, the Academy, COMECON, actions not allowing of two interpretations of the meaning assigned to this idea.
How can the idea of defending sovereignty be reconciled with the majority vote principle in certain issues, in the relationships between states? How can one speak of sovereignty in a common enterprise? What is the common enterprise? What we have in Braila is not a common enterprise. To have common enter-prises in view, it takes a whole conception. And we come across this issue not in gazettes, but even in Lesechko, who is an official person; he is not a journalist. The idea of a common caldron was not expressed by us, it was Lesechko who told us about a common caldron.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

Excuse me, comrade Bodnaras, but at the meeting with the members of the Executive Committee even comrade Khrushchev said that we did not want a common caldron.

Comrade Emil Bodnaras :

We agree with what comrade Khrushchev said about sovereignty, with the only difference that sovereignty does not live only through declarations, but through facts and specific actions, and the only necessary thing is to bring about a perfect agreement between the declarations and the specific actions.
It is true that, at the meeting with the members of the Executive Committee of COMECON, comrade Khrushchev gave the following reply to the question asked by comrade Bârladeanu: firstly, I fully agree with the way comrade Bârla-deanu raised the issue for discussion; secondly, he emphasized in addition that [the issue] must be fully observed, otherwise it will make the countries move away from collaboration. You cannot disagree with this idea.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

We, too, agree with this idea. We bear it in mind. Comrade Bârladeanu informed us about it word for word.
Comrade Bârladeanu has brought up the content of debates in the Exec-utive Committee, the opinions of the parties, and he had instructions from the Central Committee to make salient our point of view on the issues raised.
We must tell you that what the representatives of the socialist countries said there was not a surprise to us. We had expected everything that was raised there [as topics for discussion]. These issues were known by the party leadership and there was a position for each issue. You will express so-and-so, just like comrade Bârladeanu said.
This must be shown openly, in a comradely manner. Moreover, and we called your attention on this fact, it is possible for some of the comrades to get agitated. One should not take it into account. Because excited people can say things that they would not have said when they were calm. One should not take it into account, one should be calm and not give answers when he/she is agitated, neither under the influence of somebody else's nerves, and sustain the point of view one had when he/she left home. And so he (?) did.

Comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer :

Comrade Andropov said that the participation in these much-talked-about unions is a voluntary problem as they are entered into by who wants and who is interested [in them]. Then why is it necessary to introduce them as organizational form in COMECON, to modify the organizational forms of COMECON on the basis of the statute? If someone wants to establish a union or two or three, they can do so, and it is not necessary to introduce them as organisational forms into COMECON, and to modify the COMECON statute.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

It would be difficult for me now to answer how these issues came to be proposed for inclusion in the statute. But, I repeat, we have indisputably seen these unions as organs set up on a voluntary basis depending upon whether they suit one party's book, whether – for example – something does not suit me, and nobody has the right to look askance at me. As to the question that tomorrow I can come back to verify whether this issue is part of the modifications to the statute or not, it would be difficult for me to answer it now.

Comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer :

We are now involved in organizing our talks intended for perfecting the bilateral and multilateral agreements related to the planning of our activity until 1980. We have already finished [the discussions] with the Poles and the Bulgarians, and our talks with the Hungarians are under way; there are some difficulties with Czechoslovakia, and we understand their situation, they cannot [participate]; with GDR the situation is the same; the most belated situation is the one with the Soviet Union.
We have the biggest exchange of goods with the Soviet Union. Conse-quently, if we are to direct our planning activity until 1980, this is determined by the relationships with the Soviet Union. Certainly, meetings have taken place; however, a number of issues remained hanging in the air, but they will be settled beyond discussion. We have asked for a meeting, but until now we have not succeeded in organizing this meeting.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

Let me tell you what it is all about. In our country. The National Economy Council has been established, and we have just finished the structural organi-zation we wanted to carry out. Earlier, the Planning Commission dealt with these issues, but now it is the National Economy Council that has the last word, and it will take two or three more weeks until things are finalized. This situation is not only with Romania, the other countries have also been put on hold. When I come back home, I will let [the competent authorities] know this issue without fail, and I think it will be settled.

Comrade Alexandru Bârladeanu :

I would like, if possible, to add something to what comrade Maurer said since comrade Andropov is probably not informed about all this.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

It is possible. If I had taken a course in economy, I would certainly not have been sent here now.

Comrade Alexandru Bârladeanu :

As a poor economist, comrade Gheorghiu [Dej], in order to keep comrade Andropov posted, especially as he will also inform the [USSR] leadership, I am taking this opportunity to demonstrate what the situation is. We began the bilateral discussions with the State Planning Commission of the USSR in 1961, when the formation of the commission was still under way.
Another meeting was to take place at the end of that year. For various reasons, however, the meeting was postponed, and it took place only at the beginning of the year 1963. What was found as a result of the second meeting? In comparison with the previous agreements we had reached in 1961, we had actually gone backwards. There are some quantities of mutual deliveries of goods which diminished. There are fundamental issues in the perspective plan, and firstly for the five-year plan 1966-1970, which are settled to a lesser extent than in 1961, for example, the issue of the equipment for electric power stations for the years 1966-1980. This is a cardinal issue to us. In 1961, the Soviet party said – and this was written down in the protocol concluded at the time – that it agrees to deliver equipment for electric power stations to our republic.
In the document signed last January, this thing is not mentioned any more, and a commission of specialists was assigned the task to hold a meeting – but this meeting never took place – in order to consider all the issues related to equipment.
I ask comrade Andropov to understand my situation as an economist, and the fact that I am very much worried about how we are going to manage in 1966 on this score. A number of electric power stations are to be put into operation. During the years 1966-1970, in this five-year plan, we need equipment for thermoelectric power stations amounting to about one million kilowatts, and for hydroelectric power stations to the tune of about 400,000 kW. The orders must be placed now so that the relevant deliveries may begin in 1966, but we have not reached an agreement of principle as yet. Afterwards, we will receive the reply that we came too late, when the USSR plan had already been drawn up.
We also raised the issue of the nuclear electric power station, but the costs are very high. However, it will be built on time eventually.
[Another issue] is that of the Iron Metallurgy Industrial Trust in Galati, which – I inform comrade Andropov – is the main objective of our five-year plan in accordance with the decisions of the 3rd Congress. We agreed on the issue of this industrial trust in 1960. At the time, I had lengthy discussions with comrade Kosygin, who was the president of the State Planning Commission.
I must tell you that for the equipment intended for this industrial trust very long delivery terms were established, even up to 1967. We accepted the delivery terms, we agree, but in the document concluded at the time we wrote the provision that , for the deliveries of equipment to be made in 1965, the relevant contracts had to be concluded in 1963. [Gaston] Marin wrote twice to Moscow, once in November last year, once in February this year in order for us to start the contract conclusion procedures, but so far we have not received any reply whatsoever. On this score, we also contacted comrade Skachkov of the Foreign Trade Ministry.
I ask comrade Andropov to inform [the competent authorities] that we are very much worried over the fulfillment of our requests. It was provided that we should receive, from the USSR, a certain quantity of iron ore, not to mention that – in connection with the Iron Metallurgy Industrial Trust in Galati – there is no year in which we do not need to fight attempts, from both COMECON and other friendly countries, to contest the necessity of this industrial trust. We must resist an attack contesting the necessity of this industrial trust.
Now, as to the iron ore, we proposed to the Soviet party that – taking into consideration the big deliveries of iron ore the USSR has to make to all our countries on a contractual basis – we are ready to contribute to some invest-ments in the iron ore production so as to receive bigger quantities.
In comparison with the way the USSR delivers iron ore to the other member-countries of COMECON, I am telling this to you, comrade Antropov, frankly and in a comradely manner, we are in a miserable situation: we receive the smallest quantities, not as absolute quantity, but as weight per ton of steel produced. The Czech produce more steel, they need more iron ore, but – as weight per ton of steel produced from Soviet iron ore – they receive more [iron ore than we do]. There is something I do not understand: we are required to participate in competitions, but we receive no answers. We are already in 1963. We must draw up the draft plan for the years 1966-1970. Our situation as regards this plan must be clear. I would have had more to say, but I do not want to take your time, I only wanted to add something to what comrade Maurer said.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

Comrades, what answer do I receive regarding the meeting?

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

We will have to meet, for sure. But we have to come to the meeting with the issues well prepared. The issues are very serious; everything we will come up with will be prepared to the extent our capability allows us to do it, as just as possible. We will look upon the issues we are going to raise for discussion not as a ground for quarrel, but as issues to be discussed. Here is what it occurred to us, here is the way we judge things. Of course, we are not going to contend that the way we judge things is alfa and omega.
Let us see, we have obligations in our quality as both comrades and inter-nationalists in connection with the responsibility we have not only to our peoples, but also to the international Communist movement, and for reasons that are in the interest of our common cause.
I do not know if you still bear in mind what I said, of course you do. You have probably asked yourselves the question : why did comrade Maurer raise the problems of principle so slowly in the treatment of some issues, and why was the addition made by comrade Bârladeanu necessary? There are issues that began to worry people; they probably think that maybe this is because we have different opinions on the way of seeing the issues of united planning and other issues; as if on purpose, the comrades stall, things go more slowly. It is possible that they think so. Personally, I think it this a stupid thing. That is the way I see things.
There are issues related to tasks. We hope that we will settle all these issues.
We are pleased with the way things unfolded in the relationships between Romania and the USSR. The fact that there were still delays as regards an issue or other is true; certain deficiencies can always exist, but in fact, by and large, the emerging problems were always solved.
As to the relationships, there was no divergence, not even a whit.
We decided not to go to comrade Khrushchev as he has to deal with a lot of requests and difficulties. Even in the Soviet Union, in spite of its being big and strong, such things exert pressure. We have discussed between us what we have to do to be able to stand on our legs. There was a time when we also came and asked for more. Now the problem is that we need help. In my opinion, it is stupid of someone to think that a divergence that turns up must have an influ-ence or repercussions on what we have agreed with regard to our relationships. I could not accept such an idea for the life of me.
I ask you to take all this into consideration; we wish things to unfold even better. We will inform the party leadership about the content of our discussions here.
I think that we should focus our attention on the material so as to inform [the comrades] correctly [about it], so as to present it in a suitably documented form. We will look to find the time to meet when we are ready.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

I can, therefore, let [our comrades] know that you agree with a meeting, but you think that preparations are necessary; as regards the time of the meeting, we can agree on it through our ambassadors or speak directly over the telephone.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

In fact we are preparing material (I told the comrades about it) which we want to submit for consideration, not because we wish to look for divergences at all costs, on the contrary, but maybe we will be able to contribute with something to the clarification of some issue or other.
I feel that with that we are finished, only if – of course – you do not still have other issues to raise.

Comrade Yuri Andropov :

I thank you for this meeting, I will let our comrades know all about these discussions. We must do our best to strengthen our friendship. Tomorrow morning I will go back to Moscow.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej :

I propose that we have dinner together.