Search in
ADD SEARCH FILTER CANCEL SEARCH FILTER

Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 18, 1965

MEMORANDUM OF DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN ROMANIAN WORKER’S PARTY LEADERSHIP AND POLISH UNITED WORKER’S PARTY LEADERSHIP

CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
  • Citation

    get citation

    The talks focus on several issues: namely the Multinational Nuclear Forces, Warsaw Pact relations with Albania, and the People's Republic of China. Gomulka and Dej also discuss the idea of convening a conference of Communist and Worker’s parties.
    "Memorandum of Discussions between Romanian Worker’s Party leadership and Polish United Worker’s Party leadership," January 18, 1965, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, ANIC, fond Archive of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Romanian Workers’ Party, no.62, 2.3.1965. CWIHP Document Reader, "Romania and the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1989," vol.1, pp.185-95. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112977
  • share document

    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112977

VIEW DOCUMENT IN

English HTML


MEMORANDUM OF DISCUSSIONS

On January 18, 1965, at 15.00 hrs local time, a meeting took place in Warsaw, at the residence of the Romanian delegation, between comrades Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, First Secretary of the Central Committee (CC) of the Romanian Workers' Party (RWP), Ion Gheorghe Maurer, President of the Council of Ministers of the Romanian People's Republic (RPR), and the comrades Wladislaw Gomulka, First Secretary of the CC of the Polish United Workers' Party (PUWP), Josef Cyrankiewicz, President of the Council of Ministers of the Polish People's Republic (PPR), and Zenon Klisko, member of the Political Bureau of the CC of PUWP.

Comrade Andrei Pacuraru, candidate member of the CC of RWP, chief of the Directorate of Affairs of the CC of RWP, and Gheorghe Rosu, an official with the Foreign Affairs Section of the CC of RWP also attended the meeting.

The meeting took place at the request of the Romanian party.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
We kindly ask you to excuse us, comrade Gomulka, because no sooner had you arrived from Warsaw than we asked for a meeting with you, although you probably are very busy with the preparations for the session. We thought, however, that it would be good to share with you our opinions in connection with a number of issues related to the session of the Consultative Political Committee which is to begin tomorrow. It is in this spirit that our delegation prepared for the session and with this spirit it came to the meeting. The CC of RWP, the Council of State, and the Government of RPR have very attentively studied the material proposed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR), which was sent to us in November, 1964, along with the proposal regarding the convening of the session, and on this basis the above-mentioned organs established the position the Ro-manian delegation was to adopt at the present session.

However, some unpleasant events have happened. Twenty-four hours before the departure of our delegation from Bucharest. The ad-interim chargé d'affaires of the GDR at Bucharest handed over to us, on the instructions of the GDR Govern-ment, a draft treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons; a draft decision as regards the conference of the ministers of foreign affairs, and the draft communiqué of the Conference. Practically, we hardly had the time to translate these documents before the departure of our delegation and, as a consequence, our delegation does not have a mandate to give their view on them.

We are of the opinion that the method and the practice of sending draft documents just on the eve of conferences is unfair as it makes it impossible for our competent organs to give their view on them. We have a zillion times emphasized the necessity of putting an end to such practices, of sending in due time the materials to be debated so as to enable our competent organs – the CC, the Council of State, and the Government – to study them thoroughly and with full knowledge of the issue, and to give the delegation a mandate regarding the position they have to adopt in the matter.

Discussing within the framework of the CC of RWP and of the Govern-ment the initial material received by us in November, 1964, we have deemed the issues contained in it to be very important. I must confess that we were very glad to have the opportunity to meet you here in Warsaw. I ask you, however, to understand what our feelings were on receiving, at the last moment, the draft documents I have just told you about. When we received them, we wondered what to do since in the time left before the departure of our delegation there was practically no time for these materials to be considered by our competent authorities so that they might be able to express their opinion about them.

I must also admit that I do not understand why we are put in such a situation; actually, I do not know whom to reproach for it. Our delegation has no mandate to discuss these issues. We only have, on the agenda of the session, the issue of creating FNM which we are prepared for, and – in addition – we have proposals as to the measures to be adopted by the Consultative Political Committee.

We have felt it necessary to present our point of view on the above- mentioned issues before raising them during the session of the Consultative Political Committee.


Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
As a matter of fact, the initiative to convene the present session belonged to the GDR, and – as a result of the consultations that took place – we all agreed that such a session would be useful. It was initially proposed to include, on the agenda of the session, the plan for creating Multinational Nuclear Forces and the steps to be taken by our countries. Actually, it is this very issue that will constitute the theme of our session, not the draft treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Just like you, we also received this draft document only two or three days ago and, frankly speaking, we did not even read it, but only perused it this morning at the railway station while we were waiting for the delegations to arrive.

As far as I understand it, this proposal of the GDR's is closely related to the wish to put forward to the UN the problem of concluding a treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and I think there is no harm in it. In fact, the draft only refers to the principles that must underlie such a treaty.

This issue, however, is not included on the agenda of our session and I look upon it as a side issue.

Within the framework of this session, each delegation can make proposals and suggestions. Our delegation will put forward a number of proposals as well. Thus, for example, our delegation will repeat the proposal for European security, and – at a certain stage – the proposal for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in Europe.

Of course, It is my understanding that comrade Walter Ulbricht's proposal as regards the draft treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons is a sug-gestion only, and – therefore – I do not see the need for the present session to adopt the draft treaty or to take any decision on this score.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
We all agreed to meet and debate the issue of the plan for creating the Multilateral Nuclear Forces. At the last moment, however, we received the relevant draft documents I told you about. Is this method adequate, in your opinion?


Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
I think this draft treaty will not constitute the object on the agenda of this session.


Comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer:
In my view, these things require some precision. It is not admissible for one person to think something and for another person to think something else, especially as comrade Walter Ulbricht wants this draft treaty to be on the agenda of the session.

It goes without saying that we can discuss and make an exchange of ideas on this issue within the framework of the session, too, but to us the framework seems too wide and the discussions in such a framework could cast a shadow on our unity.

We thought, therefore, to present our considerations to you since you are hosting this session and maybe we could clarify the relevant issues with you, and then there will be no need for us to set them forth at the session.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
Our role as a host is limited to ensuring the tehnical conditions for the development of the session; the issues of essence are the prerogative of the session itself. I think comrade Ulbricht sent this draft treaty only to call the attention of the other delegations on the matter and for us to see whether we present it to the UN or not. The draft itself is only an auxiliary document. The issue has not been discussed in the collective yet. The draft expresses only the GDR's opinion that, perhaps, our session will appoint an editing commission to draw up the documents which the session will approve. I can tell you that in my speech I do not deal with this draft treaty at all.

As regards the presentation of the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons to UN, our attitude is favorable, but we did not even think of putting forward a draft treaty in this matter.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
We wanted to present you our considerations. We turn to you in your capacity as a host and a friend.
It goes without saying that if comrade Walter Ulbricht wants to put forward such a draft treaty to UN, he is free to do so.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
I am quite satisfied that you set forth these issues in connection with the draft treaty concerning the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons because I likewise deemed this draft to be on the tenth level of importance. I, too, received this material only on Saturday. However, within the framework of our session we will be able to discuss the essence of the matter, more precisely whether at the UN we will say “yes” or “no” on the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
As far as we know, the Indian government wants to raise with the UN the issue of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and to turn this into an action against China.

Comrade Jozef Cyrankiewicz:
If somebody wants to have the UN condemn the nuclear weapon test conducted by the People's Republic of China, this would be a pointless action since we would then have to condemn other countries as well.

Comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer:
We have expressed the wish to clarify things before the session. We could discuss with comrade Walter Ulbricht and try to persuade him to withdraw the draft treaty or, at any rate, not to discuss it at this session of the Consultative Political Committee.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
In fact, even if comrade Walter Ulbricht had not sent the draft treaty, he could have raised this issue at the session. Actually, this draft treaty is not an official document; it is not included in the agenda of the session. The official documents of the session will be: the communiqué to be adopted in common, possible decisions which could be adopted, and the speeches of the chiefs of delegations. These will be the official documents of our session.

There is one more problem, namely the reply of the government of the Albanian People's Republic to the invitation to attend the session. We have not discussed this issue with anybody so far, but we think the session must adopt an attitude, express its point of view on this reply. Via the letter addressed to the Consultative Political Committee, the government of the People's Republic of Albania (PRA) announces its refusal to take part in the proceedings of the Con-sultative Political Committee and, moreover, conditions its participation in the future, too.

The case of some government conditioning its participation in the pro-ceedings of the Consultative Political Committee is unprecedented.

The Consultative Political Committee was convened in order to debate the issue of the socialist countries' security; this concerns Albania as well, but it refuses to take part in the proceedings. In our view, in the future it will be only up to the government of Albania whether it will participate in the proceedings of the Consultative Political Committee or not.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
The Albanian government feels itself released from any obligation to the Warsaw Treaty from the date it was eliminated from the proceedings of the Consultative Political Committee. You will remember what happened in August, 1961, when – only for the reason that the Albanian delegation was not of the same level as the other delegations and nothing else – it was excluded from the proceedings. You will likewise remember how Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev dealt with the problem of the Albanian delegation's participation. The Albanian delegation was at the time headed by a member of the Political Bureau and the delegation's chief asked to take the rostrum so as to explain why he came at this level, but Khrushchev refused him. Then there was a break (missing text) the proceedings were suspended till the following day. The next morning the Albanian delegation came again but it was not permitted to enter the Kremlin. The decision adopted at the time as regards the elimination of Albania from the proceedings was in fact illegal, and we will ask for it to be canceled. The Warsaw Treaty stipulates, in its Art. 6, that each country is to be represented in the Consultative Political Committee by a member of the government or by a specially authorized person. Nowhere in the treaty is the obligation stipulated that the first secretaries and the presidents of the councils of ministers have to participate.

If we do not put things straight, any of the socialist countries can be in the situation of being barred from the proceedings of the Consultative Political Committee as Albania was.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
I think this problem of Albania refusing to take part in the proceedings of the Consultative Political Committee must be included in a decision of the present session.

Comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer:
We cannot say anything about this problem because we do not know the content of the Albanian government's reply; we have not received this reply.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
I think we should annul the decision adopted in August 1961.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
That decision was valid for that specific case only.

This time round, the Albanians were sent the general invitation sent to all the other countries and there was no condition as to the participation level. We would have accepted even their ambassador in Warsaw.
Albania did not leave the Warsaw Treaty, it is still a member with full rights. On Friday, Albania's government sent us their reply to the invitation – a reply addressed to the Consultative Political Committee – with the request that it be read at the session. We think this request cannot be met since it would divert the session from its course.

We are of the opinion, however, that our session should formulate a reply to the Albanian government. Let us adopt a short decision containing only two paragraphs, where the fact should be mentioned that the Albanian government refuses to participate in the proceedings of the Consultative Political Committee and that in the future the participation in the proceedings of the Consultative Political Committee will only be up to the Albanian government, but without our accepting that they impose conditions on us.

Now they refuse to take part but, at the same time, do not want to withdraw from the Warsaw Treaty.

To change the subject, I would like us to discuss a few more issues.

We have received a duplicate of your letter of January 4, addressed to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, concerning the convening of the conference of communist and workers' parties and of the editorial commission. It is apparent from your letter that you refuse to participate in the proceedings of the Preparatory Commission.

We deem this Preparatory Commission to be a consultative body. The commission should discuss the method of convening the Conference. We do not think that the composition of this commission is permanent. During the debates its composition could be changed, more precisely – extended. We discussed this issue with the Chinese comrades in Moscow in November, 1964. We tried to clarify what their attitude to this issue was. During the discussions with them, we defended the proposal of the CPSU regarding the composition of the com-mission; moreover, we asked them directly whether they would agree with the convening of the Preparatory Commission in the composition proposed by them.

The Chinese comrades did not give a direct reply to our question, they only said that the issue is still premature, that bilateral and multilateral consul-tations should first take place. Then we proposed that the commission be not an editorial but a consultative one, but they said such a commission would be pre-mature as well.
We take the view that if a party does not agree, it cannot obstruct the activity of the international movement; this is not equality of rights.

In our opinion, discussion and the convening of an International Con-ference are needed.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
We likewise agree with the need to convene a conference of the communist and workers' parties. Our opinion is different from yours only as regards the way of convening and preparing the conference.

It is our conviction that if we act patiently, all the parties will come to the conference in the long run. There are certain signs indicating a tendency to meet halfway. The term of four to five years proposed by the Chinese comrades is nothing more than a figure of style. We must not only set terms, but also work to bring the points of view closer to one another and create conditions by means of bilateral and multilateral consultations, dealing with the issues patiently and wisely, and only when conditions are created to establish the convening of the conference.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
The Chinese comrades are not satisfied with the composition of the Editorial Commission, using it as a pretext to postpone convening the confer-ence indefinitely.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
The Chinese comrades raise the issue of creating the conditions for convening the conference. It is a pity that things are rushed, that terms are esta-blished which are not any help in bringing the opinions closer, the term of 15 December was put off to 1 March, and now a new postponement till May is being discussed, and the essential is lost sight of – creating the conditions for the divergent parties to bring their viewpoints closer and participate in the commis-sion's proceedings.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
If a party does not agree to something being done, it cannot obstruct the activity of the other parties. The commision must be convened for consultations. As a result of these consultations, it will be in a position to adopt the decision to send representatives of the commission to such parties as do not agree with the convening of the commission, in order to hold discussions with them and clarify the differences of opinion.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
On the basis of the same principles, the other parties which do not agree to this commission being convened can make up a commission [of their own] and then I ask you, what will the result be, will this help to strengthen our unity?

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
Of course they can create commissions, so that consultations in whatever way can take place, so that regional conferences can take place. It seems to me that your attitude to the convening of the Preparatory Commission is dictated only by the fact that it is called an “ editorial commission”. I would like to ask you, if it were not called an editorial commission but a consultative commission without the right to adopt any decisions, would you still oppose its creation?

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
As long as the divergent parties do not participate in the proceedings of the commission, no matter what name we may give to this commission it will not be able to solve the problems. It is clear that the parties that will not participate in this commission will establish a commission of their own. In our opinion, solutions should be sought for us to get closer to the Chinese Communist Party and the other parties which at present are against this commission and together with them to find common solutions.for preparing and convening the conference.

Nobody will accept the idea of discussing with the representatives of such a consultative commission. Would it not be more appropriate for us to try once more to discuss with the Chinese comrades and create conditions for convening the conference?

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
What does creating conditions mean?


Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
It seems to me that you hurried and drew some rash conclusions.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
When a party tries to impose its will, one may ask, what kind of equality is this?

Comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer:
Naturally, the parties can consult and this is good, except for the fact that from the way you proposed this the result will sound something like this: we will make a commission, the others a commission and the outcome is clear – the breaking up of our movement's unity.

Would it not be better for the divergent parties to gather together and discuss the problems, trying to clarify them?

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
If we approach the problems this way, we will never arrive at an inter-national conference.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
If I were you, I would talk to the Chinese comrades.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
We talked to them in Moscow for eight hours and the outcome was nil.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
It does not matter, talk to them again and again, let us unite our efforts and try to clarify things.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
It is obvious that our opinions about this problem diverge.

Comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer:
You say you want the improvement of the relationships with the Chinese comrades, but you stay at home; the Soviet comrades say the same thing, but they stay at home, and do not do anything in this direction.

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
We will try further to talk to the Chinese comrades and the other parties. In our view, nothing is burning to make us hurry to convene the commission on March 1.

You said that you have been proposing the convening of the conference for two years and this is true, but if we think about the situation a little you will see that, practically speaking, we were not concerned with creating conditions for its convening.

The meeting in Moscow in November, 1964, was useful in this sense, but that moment with [Marshal Rodion] Malinovsky cast a shadow over it .

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
There Malinovsky spoke on his own behalf, not on behalf of the leadership and afterwards he apologized. The Chinese comrades would show bad faith if they deemed that incident a pretext.

Comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer:
We should see what is to be done to have the divergent parties meet in a spirit of comradely discussions.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
Specifically, the main divergence consists in the position of the USSR. towards the USA. All the others are side issues.

Comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer:
It would have been wiser to abandon the commission of December 15 and start the discussions on the theme of what is to be done to convene an inter-national conference.

Comrade Wladislaw Gomulka:
Under today's circumstances, there cannot exist a party that leads other parties or dictates to them – neither the CPUS nor the CCP can lay claim to that.

Those who now oppose the convening of the editorial commission actually submit to the Chinese and that is the way you act, too.

God forbid that we reach a situation where the imperialism beats us on our behinds, and a proverb says that he is stupid who becomes wise only as a result of such a beating. If only it were not too late when we wake up.

I have one more question to ask. We are building a trust of chemical factories and so far have not found a solution for producing polybutadien; is it true that the Americans sold you the licence for it?

Comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej:
We are holding talks with the Americans in this matter, but the deal is not finalized yet as Eximbank, which should credit us, imposes conditions and if we do not succeed otherwise, we are ready to buy this plant with cash as well; it will cost somewhere around ninety million dollars.

x
x x

At the end of the discussions, comrade Wladislaw Gomulka informed comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej about the way the proceedings of the session will unfold, that at the beginning he would say a short word of greeting in his capacity as a host, then comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej would chair the session, and afterwards – in alphabetical order – the other first secretaries would also chair the session.