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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 26, 1964

EXCERPT, NOTE FROM THE SESSION OF THE POLITICAL BUREAU AND THE SECRETARIAT OF THE [POLISH UNITED WORKERS’ PARTY] CENTRAL COMMITTEE

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    The note discribes situations with the Soviet Union, including the recent Soviet party split, possible aggression with China, and the trade of meat and grain between Poland and the Soviet Union.
    "Excerpt, Note from the Session of the Political Bureau and the Secretariat of the [Polish United Workers’ Party] Central Committee," October 26, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archiwum Akt Nowych, KC PZPR, p. 131, t. 120. Typed with handwritten corrections by Wladyslaw Gomulka. Obtained and Translated by Douglas E. Selvage. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112669
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Cde. Wieslaw [Gomulka] said that the plenum's decision [to remove Khrushchev] was right and that we saw various reasons. We will not meddle in internal affairs. We did not understand many things, e.g., dividing the party into two sections – the party should be united – or propagating the cultivation of peas or corn without taking into consideration the conditions, the possibilities. We judged Khrushchev from the point of view of his foreign policy and his relationship to Poland. /The comrades replied that these things were known to them./ E.g., with regard to the multilateral force [MLF], the USSR agreed to a negotiation with the United States without consulting anybody. On the Chinese question, I spoke with Khrushchev, consulted with him on a number of matters, and said that it should not end in a final split; Khrushchev replied that there is already a split. The Chinese are assembling their forces at the border, and if they cross the border, he would order the use of nuclear weapons. /Cde. Wieslaw – I did not even report to you about this./ On the question of a [proposed] conference [of communist parties], I said that a conference would be a formal split, and that it should be prepared so that it would result in something positive; I raised the conception of two stages, and he agreed to it. And later he sent a letter of a different content regarding the conference, not taking into account the previous matters. After the agreement on the partial ban of nuclear weapons [sic; tests], he wanted to bring Mongolia into the Warsaw Pact. With regard to Cuba, I told Khrushchev that it is unthinkable that we would unleash a war over Cuba, or that we would withdraw where it's a matter of our prestige. I said that without China, nothing could be done. Then, Khrushchev wanted to bring Cuba into the Warsaw Pact. Most recently again there was the matter of a visit to the FRG. I asked him whether he intended to go there; he replied that he did not intend to do so; journalists had invited [Khrushchev's son-in-law Alexei] Adzhubei there. Twice he assured me that he would not go, and later it turned out that already in June he had told U Thant that he intended to go to the FRG. The question of the FRG is not just a matter for the Soviet Union. It is unthinkable that we would not know how and why he was going there, although in general we are not opposed to a visit. There were also various facts about Khrushchev's unfriendly reactions. Cde. Brezhnev said that Khrushchev judged various people in various ways – he would sometimes say that he's a Marxist, he's a Leninist, he's a splitter, etc.


We do not understand what the USSR's policy towards Poland is. How are we supposed to take American grain? We went to Moscow to figure out what we are supposed to do. We said: How are we supposed to take American grain, when it will make us dependent on the United States; we would like to take it from you. Then Khrushchev replied: Take as much as you can from the mad dog. He was always emphasizing that the Americans would give it to us, and that he would give it to the other socialist countries; what kind of policy is that? Whenever we signed an economic agreement, he would always impose the condition – we give such and such, but in the end “to the extent that we are able.”


I told the Soviet comrades about our difficult situation, that we are purchasing for the second year 2.5 million tons of grain. I said that I would present them with our situation in more detail later on. We believe that here in Poland is the most important link in our camp, not just in Czechoslovakia and the GDR.


With regard to the Editorial Commission and the Conference, they [i.e., the new Soviet leaders] do not yet have a stance. For now, China has ceased its attacks in the radio and the press, and the Soviet cdes. have given a corresponding order. We expressed doubts as to whether December 15 can be maintained [as a date for the Editorial Commission meeting]; it could be that the Chinese can be persuaded. The Soviet comrades replied that every party should be heard. Formally, we will still maintain the date of December 15. Maybe it should come to the convocation of some sort of conference before then. We proposed that the Soviet comrades enter talks with the Chinese; they [the Soviets] did not reject the idea. I said that we are weak – e.g., we are not responding to the bombing of [North] Vietnam. They said that they have the very best of intentions with regard to China, but they do not know how China will respond, and that they do not want to aggravate relations with the USA. These are open matters. We will consult with them on every matter.


Regarding grain – they decided to give us 400 thous. tons of feed grains – corn, barley, peas. Cde. Brezhnev posed the question of whether we could supply them with some amount of meat. For every kilogram of meat, they will give us 5 kg of grain at world market prices. We did not give a final reply because we have to see what possibilities we have. I proposed that they could make contracts with our peasants to sow wheat because they will not resolve [their] difficulties with replenishing stocks during the upcoming years.


With regard to cotton – they do not know yet what the harvest will be like; to the extent that it is possible, they will give us some.


We should consider what our possibilities are for selling them meat. Their situation is very difficult, and we need grain. In their situation, it will be of great importance. I propose that we consider the possibility of supplying the USSR with 10 thousand tons of meat in return for grain.


During the talks, Cde. Kosygin brought up the matter of better adjusting the AN-2 airplanes exported by us to the USSR to the needs of Soviet agriculture, as well as the matter of the difficulties connected with the transit of trains through our territory from the Sov. Union to the GDR.