CONVERSATION OF CDE. N. S. KHRUSHCHEV AND ACTING UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL U THANT, 28 AUGUST 1962CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationKhrushchev and Thant discuss the possibility of a visit by Khrushchev to the UN General Assembly. Khrushchev says a visit is not likely until the Americans, French, British and Germans are ready to negotiate a solution to the Berlin question. Khrushchev outlines the Soviet position and says that the Soviet Union will sign a unilateral peace treaty with the GDR if their conditions are not met. He says that the SU would agree to UN intervention and to a multilateral peace treaty, which would avert international conflict and war. Khrushchev suggests that the UN headquarters be transferred to West Germany due to high costs and discrimination in New York. He identifies additional issues for discussion: the admittance of the People's Republic of China into the UN, the Taiwan-China issue, and disarmament. Thant and Khrushchev discuss the obstacles to resolution of the German question, including public opinion in America. They also discuss American dominance in the UN Secretariat, free trade, and the Common Market, among other topics."Conversation of Cde. N. S. Khrushchev and acting United Nations Secretary General U Thant, 28 August 1962," August 28, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF, Fond 52, Opis 1, Delo 549, List 72-97. Published in ''Istochnik'', (Moscow) No. 6, 2003, pp. 150-158. Translated for CWIHP by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113342
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N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. Permit me to greet you on Soviet soil, in the Crimea, at the boundary of two military blocs, the Warsaw association [sic] and NATO. The border with Turkey is right here. But it is such an unpleasant reality.
I want to listen to you.
U THANT. Mister Chairman! First of all, permit me to most sincerely thank you for offering me the opportunity to speak with you. I also wanted to express my genuine gratitude to you, the government, and the people of your country for the exceptional hospitality shown to me during my stay in the Soviet Union. This is not the first time I have been in the Soviet Union. Seven years ago I had an opportunity to visit the Soviet Union as part of a delegation headed by Burmese Prime Minister U Nu. It seems that I was even in this building. I have retained the best memories of those cities I visited in the Soviet Union to this day.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. Yes, I received Mr. U Nu right here.
U THANT. Mister Chairman! I arrived in the Soviet Union on a friendly visit in my desire, in my search for peace. I have made similar visits to Britain, France, and the Scandinavian countries. If you give me the chance I would be happy to exchange views with you about the problems with which the UN is presented at the present time.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. Certainly!
U THANT. First of all, I would like to note that several days before my departure from New York reports came to the United Nations that said that you would possibly visit the UN at the upcoming General Assembly session. Of course, there is no chance of knowing whether this is so or not, but personally I think that if you find the time it would be very useful to be at the General Assembly session for at least several days.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. Yes, I read in the newspapers that I'm going to New York (laughter). I don't know any more. We in the government do not have an opinion on this question. We have not yet discussed the composition of the delegation. Most likely I will not be in New York all the same. I would still be pleased to go and renew contacts. They would obviously be useful, but I will hardly be able to do this. Possibly we won't refuse to go there during the session if the need arises. In any event, there are no plans right now on this score, although there are questions that require a decision and would require the presence of the heads of government. We promoted such an idea at one time, but it did not find support. We're not planning to promote such an initiative right now although experience demands it. Then we'll see.
U THANT. Mister Chairman! Last week U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk visited me in New York. He asked me what my opinion was, what did I think about the possibility if Chairman Khrushchev expressed a desire to visit the General Assembly and speak, to address the General Assembly.
I told him that I would welcome the arrival of Mister Chairman [Khrushchev] in every way and that if he wished to address the General Assembly, if this was possible, then he could meet and exchange views with Mr. Kennedy at the UN. I passed this to Mr. Rusk and he passed it to Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy stated at a press conference that he very much hoped to see Mr. Khrushchev if he visited the United Nations.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. Thank you for your kind reply that you passed to Mr. Rusk. I have read Kennedy's replies at the press conference. I know this. But right now I don't see a chance for a trip to the Assembly and a meeting, even with the US President, in order that it produce some positive results as long as the British, Americans, French, and Germans do not understand the need to resolve those questions which require resolution.
Therefore we do not have plans to go, in any event not before the opening of the UN General Assembly session. Meetings would produce a useful result if one could hope for understanding on the part of the United States of America for the need to resolve the Berlin question. We have held confidential talks or, at least, one could call them an exchange of opinions, as the Americans say, but not talks on the German issue between both sides. The Western side was represented by the US and our side by the Soviet Union.
I would say that these conversations and the exchange of opinions were useful. We came to a common understanding with the Americans on a number of questions. With the signing of such an agreement there would be a good beginning for a reduction of tension and the normalization of the situation in the world.
But the main question for us is the elimination of the occupation regime in West Berlin and the withdrawal of the troops of the Western powers, the troops of the NATO bloc. We have not encountered understanding from America on this question. And I am developing the impression that this is not the result of America's misunderstanding of the importance of a resolution of this question, but it is [that] they are deferring to their allies, [Konrad] Adenauer first of all. You know our position on West Berlin. I will repeat it for you briefly.
We want West Berlin to be like a free city: to guarantee it independence and non-interference; the choice of an internal social democratic system by the population living in West Berlin; and to guarantee to support West Berlin's ties with all countries with which it finds it necessary to have diplomatic relations. Of course, all this should be done on the basis of the recognition of the sovereignty of the German Democratic Republic. Of course, no other international [organization] or any other individual monitoring countries [kontrolery-gosudarstva] [can be permitted] along the access route can be permitted; this cannot even be mentioned. We simply cannot agree to this, in order that no objectionable precedent is created for our country, because America has recognized the Mongolian Republic and it then will demand free access across our territory to Mongolia and demand some international military forces along this access route. But access to Mongolia is possible only across our territory or across China. Therefore we are very afraid of this precedent. (laughter).
And so Switzerland, which is also surrounded by other countries, has ties with many countries of the world, and access to this country does not require other routes and international monitoring. When we need to fly to Geneva, for example, and we often fly there, we cannot fly there without asking permission from Norway, Denmark, and other countries. This is not an insult, nor a humiliation, but international procedure. This is a necessity and a courtesy.
We also consider this procedure necessary for access to West Berlin in order for it to be free with respect to the German Democratic Republic. They don't want to consider this.
But if they don't want to consider this, then we will halt the conclusion of a peace treaty. We will sign a peace treaty with the German Democratic Republic and we will thereby consider the state of war on the territory of the GDR terminated, and accordingly access to West Berlin will require another basis, that is, a treaty basis with the German Democratic Republic. The Western powers will lose their rights as occupiers to have occupation forces in West Berlin and therefore they will have to withdraw them from there. In any event, we do not recognize that they have the right to have communications with their troops across GDR territory. If they try to force their way there using troops we will view this as aggression and will resist this with our own armed forces.
Making a concession in order not to inflict psychological harm to our partners in the talks about Germany, we agree to the temporary presence of international troops under the UN flag. Of course, these troops should not be drawn from countries that belong to military blocs. If the partners insist on the presence of their troops in West Berlin, then we will insist that we be given the right to have our troops included among these troops. Best would be that these be troops from countries that are not part of military blocs. Then no country would suffer harm. Thus, the question could be resolved without inflicting psychological harm on a particular country.
I think Kennedy understands this. I think that Macmillan and the British government also understand this. I think that Mr. [Charles] de Gaulle understands this, too. I'm not talking about Adenauer. I think that he doesn't understand. De Gaulle understands, but indulges Adenauer. Everyone knows that de Gaulle is pursuing his own goals, that he wants leadership in Europe and that this leadership that he wants to have relies on West Germany. Therefore, such a French policy is not the result of preserving the interests of France and an understanding of this question, which France needs, but is, I would say, a political ambition directed toward a certain goal. The French or, I would say, de Gaulle, are playing a game with Adenauer. De Gaulle wants to take Adenauer prisoner so that Germany follow in the wake of French policy. Adenauer has the same intentions. He wants to embrace de Gaulle in order to drag France in the wake of West German policy.
This is a policy that meets neither the interests of the German people, nor the interests of the French people, nor the international situation, so to speak, in terms of creating a normal international situation. This is no longer policy, but political maneuvering.
We have a Siberian anecdote. I have already told it to many people and, in my opinion, even told it to de Gaulle. Our peasants there go to hunt a bear. One tells the hunters:
- I'm going now; I'll bring the bear here.
- It's dangerous to go after a bear.
- I'm going, it's not for the first time.
- Well, go.
He goes. Some time passes. He returns with a bear and begins to shout that he caught a bear. Well, they tell him: bring him here. But he says, I'm not going to. Well, they say, then come here yourself. But he replies, it won't let me.
So it is with de Gaulle and Adenauer. Which of them thinks he caught this bear? It's hard to say because they have the same idea. In any event, the idea is not what is needed now to achieve peace in the world and normal relations between all peoples.
Why is the situation that exists in West Berlin so dangerous, why does France or West Germany need it? They say, to ensure freedom for the residents of West Berlin. This is a lie. Let's create the conditions and guarantee the preservation of the freedom and independence of West Berlin through the United Nations. If material guarantees are needed, we agree to the stationing of United Nations troops in West Berlin.
No, they say, the state of war needs to be preserved and the occupation regime and the stationing of the troops of the supposed occupiers, now the troops of the Western powers in West Berlin, needs to be preserved on this basis. But these are no longer the troops of the occupiers. They represent the military bloc of the Western powers, NATO.
This question requires a solution. If we don't find understanding on the part of France, America, and Britain, then we will sign a peace treaty and carry it out with all ensuing consequences, even with the threat that they will begin a war with us. But I think that they will chatter about war and not declare war because they know what it means to declare war against us. This would mean that all Europe would blow up in one hour. Then the question would be not about West Berlin, but about all of Western Europe. And, of course, this would affect America because this would be a world war.
What reasonable person would begin a war because we signed a peace treaty? But if a crazy person threatens us with war when we want to do a reasonable thing, we won't indulge a crazy person. We have declared this. We haven't set deadlines because it's not a matter of deadlines. We want to exhaust all the possibilities that are provided us to resolve this question through negotiations.
Not much time is required to sign a peace treaty in order for us to gather at an appointed place, because all the questions between those countries that have agreed to sign the peace treaty have been decided.
I assume that at some stage the United Nations will have to display interest in this problem. And we do not exclude the possibility that we ourselves or someone else will raise this question, and we would maintain that world public opinion says that it is for peace and for the resolution of the vestiges of the issues of the Second World War through peaceful means.
Speaking confidentially, insofar as it is possible for me to speak confidentially with a representative of the United Nations, I will give some of my ideas.
I think that several of the political and government leaders of the Western powers might be content, to put it bluntly, with the intervention of the United Nations because they have promoted themselves [zaavansirovalis'] to their publics [declaring] that they will continue with their troops in West Berlin forever, and now it might be difficult for them to retreat from this fallacious position, [especially due to the] opposition among other parties that are seeking to win a majority in Parliament or in the State Department. But such intervention by the United Nations to ensure peace and a resolution of this contentious question by peaceful means would help sensible political and government leaders. And world public opinion, which is represented by the United Nations, considers the elimination of the state of war and the recognition of two German states and their admission into the United Nations [to be] reasonable. The breeding ground that might cause a conflict or even war is thereby eliminated.
Strictly speaking, this is our position on the most acute issue. We think that it is reasonable and in no way seek to change anything, it changes no borders that have been formed, and no one suffers psychological harm, because all this is done on the basis of signing a peace treaty. History has already recognized that every war is ended by a peace treaty. Therefore anyone who wants peace will be content that this peace is ensured and secured by the signing of a peace treaty and the books are closed on the past war.
I repeat, considering that the political and government leaders have promoted themselves to the residents of West Berlin by all their statements about freedom and about borders, we are making a concession and agree to a temporary stationing of troops in West Berlin under the United Nations flag. What's unreasonable here? Is it really more reasonable for enemies to demonstrate this, that what exists needs to be preserved, namely the state of war and the permanent occupation regime in West Berlin that that might unleash a world war?
We will accept the risk and if we do not find understanding during negotiations we will sign a peace treaty unilaterally. Then let those answer who would plunge the world into the abyss of a world war. In any event, they will not completely survive, themselves, if they inflict great damage on us. I think this is comprehensible to any sensible person.
Rumors are circulating in the press that it might be reasonable to transfer the United Nations to Berlin, West or East. I think that the German Democratic Republic would agree to this. Or to West Berlin. I think that this would be good. This would give a good foundation to the residents of West Berlin. This city would be turned into an international city. The geographical location is convenient to a majority of countries in the United Nations. And it is good that this is a small country, West Germany, that would not exert a dominating pressure on the UN staff. And it would be cheaper for all countries with regard to communications and access to West Berlin. There would be no discrimination against any country. In New York black people are subjected to insults and they complain. Racial discrimination exists there. This would not happen in West Berlin. Therefore we would welcome this.
Here you see how broadly we go in the question of searching for a good solution to the creation of a normalized situation in the world and Europe. This is about the one main question. Think about the position of the United Nations on this question. When we undertake to sign a peace treaty and they threaten us with war, this question already affects the United Nations because this body was created to ensure peace.
Therefore, if some powers do not want to resolve this question by signing a peace treaty, then moral public pressure needs to be created to force them to exhibit rationality.
And there might be a formula here that the United Nations could render a decision to appeal to all interested countries to resolve this issue by negotiations. This is a formula, of course, like we call seltzer water, that does not strengthen or weaken stomach activity. This decision would be of no use, of course, because it would nevertheless not halt us in our desire to sign a peace treaty. This is one question.
After a resolution of this issue one more issue might then remain in the world that would require its own resolution because it, too, is important - this is the issue of Taiwan, the issue of China. Only crazy people could somehow justify not admitting People's China [PRC] into the United Nations in the interest of ensuring peace. Leaving 650 million people outside the United Nations and thinking that the United Nations joins together all nations, only crazy people could believe this way. Or do they nourish the illusion that People's China will agree to have two Chinas in the United Nations? Only people think this who recognize that China should be in the United Nations but they cannot realize that China cannot agree that Taiwan also represents some kind of China. There are not two Chinas, only one China.
These, I would say, are the issues that should be resolved in order to create the conditions for the best atmosphere for coming to a resolution of the fundamental issue of disarmament. An agreement on disarmament can never be achieved if the German question is not resolved, because while this question exists it will lead to tension and consequently to an increase in weapons, and therefore it cannot facilitate the creation of an atmosphere for trust and the conclusion of a disarmament agreement.
These three issues are not directly connected but the third issue can never be resolved without solving these two issues. How can China agree to disarmament if it has the [U.S.] 7th Fleet in the Taiwan Straits? How can we undertake disarmament when American, British, and other generals are now threatening us with all kinds of death that they have thought up? By resolving these issues, the issue of disarmament could be solved in a quieter atmosphere, especially since all these enemies who proceed from their positions on both the German and the Chinese questions, these are all people whose stomachs are upset that the socialist camp has appeared. This is at the root.
So, what, are they are actually thinking of returning us to capitalist positions? We are thinking of winning them over to socialist positions. But we say that neither war, nor even weapons, are needed to do this.
A rational system of government, political, and economic management is needed to do this. But we described our position at the Twentieth [Party] Congress and in other international documents quite clearly. These issues ought to be resolved by history; whoever's ideas will have greater vitality and will provide the best material and spiritual conditions for the people, that system will gain the upper hand. These are general issues. In my opinion, all [of them are]. I don't know what else you would like to hear from me.
U THANT. Mister Chairman! I am quite grateful to you for such a clear description of the Soviet position on the main issues the world and the United Nations are faced with at the present time.
About Berlin I can say that my personal view, my personal opinion completely agrees with yours, that a peace treaty needs to be signed and the vestiges of the Second World War need to be eliminated. I completely agree with the Soviet government in this regard.
But, as you understand, in my position I cannot make any public statements. Recently in London I discussed the issue of Germany with 60 members of Parliament, members of the Labor Party. And they unanimously think that the position of the British government both concerning Berlin and concerning Germany are incorrect on the whole but unfortunately they are in the minority. I privately agreed with these views of theirs but I cannot make a statement about this issue.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. I understand. I think that Kennedy also could have said this but he cited another reason, that he thinks that this is a reasonable demand - he talked about this in Vienna - but that this is an old legacy from the old government and therefore let's consider the conditions that have developed. That is, his arguments themselves have no defense. He says that the conditions are such that no single President can resolve this issue. Well, then what, how will this be? So we will bring [them] to this obstacle and force them to display rationality: either agree and sign a peace treaty, but this would be better, or be faced with a fait accompli - either peace or war.
And I believe that the crazy person has not yet been born who will not seek war. Well, but if there are crazy people, then all the same - whether or not a peace treaty is signed - they will still start a war. But the time of Hitler has passed. Missiles and atomic and hydrogen bombs, these are democratic weapons that make all countries equal and have created equal conditions to be destroyed. And we have these means. We will never use them to the detriment of humanity but we will not be afraid to use them for the defense of the interests of humanity.
U THANT. Mister Chairman! The situation in the United States is that the public does not know the present true situation in the area of international affairs. I have repeatedly told Mr. Kennedy that all the mass media in America - television, radio, newspapers - show only one side of the picture. I've talked with American friends about this, that there is no objectivity in America. There are very few publications such as M… Review which comes out once a month and with a very small circulation or the National newspaper, which is published weekly, which are objective, but there are very few of them. Americans are very poorly informed about the real state of things. It's not important in this case who is the head of the government, Kennedy or someone else. Kennedy, in particular, is a person who is searching for something better. The fact that he has to reckon with the situation in the country needs to be considered. Americans literally know nothing about the situation in the Soviet Union. Many think that that there are still slaves in the Soviet Union, that there is no freedom, and that all this is because they are presented with a one-sided picture. Of course, it will be very difficult in particular for Kennedy or Chester Bowles, who have good intentions, it will be very difficult to drag the American people out of this abyss of ignorance.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. I completely agree with you. I know Mr. Bowles. I have talked with him. This is a sensible person. And when he was not in government service he seemed to be a sensible person because he expressed his ideas. But now, on the other hand, he talks complete nonsense and thus does not express his true feelings. Adlai Stevenson is a sensible person, but he died when he accepted the post of US Representative to the UN. This is no longer Stevenson. Stevenson does not give his own speeches, but reads the speeches of the State Department.
Here, too, is the degeneration of capitalism. They say that Marx was not right, that if Marx were alive he would reject his views when he looked at America. If he indeed looked at America he would see that he was crystal clear in his predictions concerning the problems of the development of capitalism and its degeneration. I was in America, I went to the session. On Sunday I went to the television. It is a remarkable medium, a vehicle of the great intellect of humanity, but what has it been turned into? In America this means is not directed in the interests of the people but against the people. Semi-pornography is broadcast or some sort of sports competition is shown where they beat a man almost to death.
VOICE. And a person was killed in front of the television, you are absolutely right.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. The best books in America are published in what quantities, and who reads them? There is no opera house in America, yet it is a very rich country and it doesn't have an opera house. They don't need one. Here capitalism, you know shows its savage side. Everything is done in order to steal and squeeze out resources from the people and poison the consciousness of the people. And the people who are in these positions consider this to be an ideology, and even say that it is a progressive ideology and it will be victorious. This is the ideology of crazy people.
But this issue will be resolved in another manner. Here is the 22nd Congress and the Program of our Party. In 1970 we will reach the level of productivity of America. In 1980 we will surpass America. And this will dominate the consciousness of the peoples. Even they who have said that they are against Communism will say that they are in favor of those means by which the Soviet people achieved such a standard of living, both material and cultural.
But this is another issue. But I agree with you. You have noted this very accurately. I myself have just thought about this and it bothers me that, look how they are fooling people. They say that we don't have a free press, but America has a free press. Hearst, this robber of the dollar, probably has 50 newspapers. I met with him twice, I know him well. He will write everything that gives him a profit. I once talked with him and he described my conversation. In the next meeting I told him that he didn't describe the conversation correctly. He asked, “What, did I misquote some of your words?” I said, no. He was quite careful in that respect. I'm saying that the interpretation was different.
“But, ‘the interpretation was different'! I'm a capitalist”. (laughter).
I understood, I knew, with whom I was dealing and I was not offended. I'm only saying that these robbers of the dollar would strangle their own mother if would give them a profit.
U THANT. Speaking about American newspapers, allow me, Mister Chairman, to cite an example that occurred with me. Mister Tikhon Kiselev knows about it very well.
I've lived in New York for four years, I pay $1200 a month for a large apartment. Recently some government organization that monitors apartment rents found out that I was paying such a sum. It found out that this apartment costs a total of $402.50 a month. The government inspector filed suit against the owner of the apartment for the excessive rise in the apartment rent. But the owner announced to representatives of the press that he had very expensive furniture in this apartment, that it cost $60,000, and that supposedly I was holding wild parties, inviting guests, guests were spending the night at my place, that I had supposedly ruined all the furniture, and therefore he was demanding compensation. He said nothing about this for four years and now announced it and, by the way, he made a statement to the Hearst newspapers. He didn't do this earlier. Of course, I filed a slander suit against him but I don't want any trouble and therefore I am moving to another apartment. There's your freedom of the press for you.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. We know this freedom.
U THANT. Mister Chairman! Allow me to ask this question. When you were talking about Berlin you mentioned in particular that the Soviet Union or some other country could raise the issue of Berlin at the UN. I would like to know if this is already a settled matter or when it is intended that this issue is to be submitted to the UN.
N. S. KHRUSHCEV. I'll tell you that we have not yet decided this question. This question surfaced in our awareness, but we have not even discussed it yet in the government.
I will tell you where this issue that arose in the press, which I will come to in the UN General Assembly session, came from. This is also an interesting question, it also relates, so to speak, to freedom of the press. I am telling you [this] off the record.
I received US Ambassador Thompson on a farewell visit. I had a conversation with him. In general, this is a sensible person and we respected him. In the conversation I told him that at some stage of our talks, when we have exhausted everything about West Berlin and have not achieved understanding, then possibly we would turn to the United Nations about this issue. Of course, Thompson reported this to the government and the government raised this issue through its own channel, through the free press. Therefore, nowhere were there references to this conversation because the conversation was confidential, but as a result they drew the conclusion that Khrushchev is coming and would raise this issue at the United Nations. Although, you see, I told Mr. Thompson that this was a passing thought in my head, that it was still not mature, and therefore it was not a government or even my [idea], because I still had not decided it myself. This is, so to speak, one of the thoughts, but possibly it was useful to make it. But here they started to play with it. Mister Pierre Salinger did all this through the free press.
U THANT. One more small question.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. Certainly.
U THANT. The question about the possible move of UN headquarters from New York to West Berlin. Of course, the question of moving the headquarters has not yet been discussed by the Western powers, but an ever-growing number of Asian and African countries are losing any illusions with respect to New York, particularly the African delegations. Delegates from various countries come to me literally almost every day and say that discrimination is exhibited toward them almost everywhere: in the elevator, in the restaurant - everywhere. A situation might arise in which they might officially propose raising the question of moving the UN headquarters from New York.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. This would be reasonable. This would even be cheaper. The personnel expenses would be more reasonable in Berlin than in New York, the climate more acceptable, and the distances are different. Then only the American and Latin American delegations come. But this is one continent and all the rest are here nearby. Europe, Asia, and Africa are closer to it.
VOICE. Even from Latin American to the US they also have to fly a long distance.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. Generally speaking, this would be advantageous. We welcome it. Of course, we would welcome it if the United Nations agreed to be located in Moscow or Leningrad. We have no discrimination, but I think that it's unrealistic. This is too crude a contrast between capitalism and socialism. But West Berlin - this would be good.
U THANT. In the past month I have discussed the question of the possibility of holding the General Assembly [session] in Geneva in 1964. I discussed this question with the Swiss Minister of Foreign Affairs and then also with other delegations on my return to New York. As you have noted quite correctly, it is not so costly for African, Asian, and European countries to come to Geneva, but it creates expenses for the UN. The transfer of staffs to here, the selection of a new facility, etc. I think that I will discuss this question at the next session. The financial question is the only obstacle. If this question is resolved then the session will be held in Geneva in 1964.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. Something needs to be thought over so that people are not subjected to discrimination. For the UN, this is incredible. The United Nations is an organization in which all people are equal. But representatives of the countries in the UN cannot find a room in a hotel, travel on a streetcar, or go to a restaurant. This is incredible. And this is Western civilization.
VOICE. To this it needs to be added that the Senate has not yet ratified the agreement between the US and the UN that stipulated the status of UN diplomats. They are treated the same as US citizens.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. These questions need to be raised.
U THANT. The agreement has not been ratified for 17 years. Mister Chairman, I have no diplomatic immunity. The third secretary of the Burmese Embassy has immunity but I don't have diplomatic immunity. (laughter).
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. We have one more curious question that is awaiting resolution - the question of the United Nations Secretariat. We think that the organizational structure which that does not give equal satisfaction to all countries in the United Nations. The dominant influence there is of the West, it is America: American police, American employees - all American. But the United Nations is called an international organization. This is not right. Other people also see this, but some see it, but are afraid to raise the issue because they enjoy esteem [kredity] and they are afraid of pressure from America. We are pursuing this policy because there is nothing for us to lose all the same. (laughter). We aren't currying favor with America, Britain, or France. We sense our own importance [vesomost'] ourselves. Therefore we then brought up the question of three Secretaries[-General]. This was not directed against Hammarskjöld, this was only just after the existing structure showed a great failure on the issue of the Congo. This is incredible: Prime Minister Lumumba invited United Nations troops and these same troops connived in Lumumba's arrest and murder.
And now the United Nations will not solve the problem of Tshombe. America, France, Britain, and Germany are behind Tshombe. They are pumping out the wealth and Tshombe is their stooge. If not Tshombe, it would be someone else.
Therefore the situation that has developed needs to be recognized, it needs to be changed, and such conditions created which would give equal capabilities to all countries in the United Nations.
We think that three poles have more or less been created in the world: capitalism, socialism, and the neutral countries. We also think that some body needs to be created in which these three groups of countries would have equal capabilities. They tell us that then this would be an uncontrollable body. This is incorrect. For example, if all the countries in the United Nations adopted a decision directed against the interests of the Soviet Union, we would not recognize it. Therefore the United Nations should also adopt decisions that would consider the interests of these three groups and see that decisions are not adopted that are directed against one of the groups. Strictly speaking, this was considered when the United Nations was created and the Security Council formed. It was recognized there that four countries should decide all questions, questions of war and peace, and the questions were decided unanimously. But now they have started to bypass the Security Council and replace the [General] Assembly. But this does not mean that these questions are being decided in the interests of the peace
[Translator's note: This could also be translated “…in the interests of the world”].
Therefore we think that we have not yet adopted a decision now, but evidently we will raise these issues at this Assembly. And we would like to ask you to correctly understand that is in no degree directed against you personally. This was also not directed against Hammarskjöld, and I told Hammarskjöld this. Generally, we think that Hammarskjöld was a sensible person, but in recent times he was following America's lead. And now he is dead thanks to them because Tshombe shot him down [rasstrelyal]. This was not an accidental death. The plane was shot down [unichtozhen].
Therefore this question should be resolved sooner or later, but the earlier the better. We have obviously touched on this question, but we still have not discussed it. But we think that the position you have described is correct.
An issue about world trade still requires resolution. We have raised the issue in the press that it's necessary to think about acting against closed political blocs and closed trade, which discriminates in trade with other countries. I am thinking of the Common Market.
A situation is needed wherein all countries have equal opportunities in trade. Trade should be conducted on the principle of benefit for the partners.
I don't know whether we will raise this issue or not. I have not formed my opinion and the government also does not have a solution
Translator's note: This can also be translated as “…does not have a decision”].
This relates to the United Nations because the issue of free trade is the issue of creating good conditions for cooperation between the peoples of all countries. The Common Market is the dominance of monopoly capital of the Western countries. It is not a free market. The Common Market is a market of monopolies. It is directed against underdeveloped countries, first of all, and is even directed to some degree against America. Therefore America is very strongly interested in pushing Britain into this Common Market as its agent.
But as regards us, then our interests will not suffer. We are strong and we can have our own closed market, [a market] of the socialist countries. We have everything for the development of the economy. But damage will be inflicted on it because international cooperation in the development of the economy is useful for all countries of the world. Countries with underdeveloped economies will suffer from this most of all, of course.
Monopoly capital is not interested in helping countries [or] in the development of the economies of these countries, because their own production equipment is not busy. The American steel casting industry is probably no more than 80% busy. How will it help other countries develop their steel casting industry? It will say: buy steel from us, we have plenty of steel. The same with other types of industry.
Only we, the socialist countries, are interested in this issue and genuinely interested in the development of the industry and the economy of underdeveloped countries, because we are developing our own economy without viewing the product of labor productivity as a commodity. We are producing the goods and products needed to satisfy the needs of our society inside our country and with consideration for the needs of the socialist countries through planning agreements. Therefore we have no recessions and no crises. And crises are impossible. We might have oversights in our economic estimates and plans but this is an imperfection of a planned economy and not the result of the production anarchy that prevails in capitalist countries.
Therefore this Common Market is no danger to us. But it will promote the even more brutal exploitation of underdeveloped countries. The truth right now is that when the socialist sector appeared in the world, even those countries that were underdeveloped and that did not accept the ideas of socialist construction were forced to resort to the aid of the socialist countries. I think that to some degree, by its own contradictions and conflicts, this monopoly capital will promote the reasonable understanding of people who reject socialism. They will empirically arrive at [the conclusion] that this system is more sensible.
Here's an example. India needs oil. The British ruled India. They searched for oil but didn't find it and created the impression that India does not have oil. India turned to us. Possibly India would not have become a socialist country if Britain had done this. But it was not to Britain's advantage to look for oil because if Britain found oil then it would deprive itself of the opportunity to sell its own oil to India. America is in the same situation. We have our own oil and we are also looking for sales markets but it is not the main thing, it is subsidiary. Therefore we sent our geologists and gave our equipment. We discovered natural gas and oil in India and we do not suffer from this.
And take this example with Afghanistan. I told the King and prime minister: why do we on the border with you have natural gas and oil and Iran has natural gas and oil. Why is Afghanistan punished? I said that this cannot be, you have oil, you need to look. They turned to us and we sent geologists. And we discovered colossal gas reserves. I met with the King and he said that they needed to think about the development of industry so that they could be a consumer of this natural gas. But the gas there now is raw energy material, it is raw material for the production of plastics, mineral fabrics, etc. and synthetic rubber. We produce all this from natural gas in our own country and we're using natural gas in metallurgy.
Hence now Afghanistan has a good energy base and raw material base. And we found oil there, but the oil deposits there are not large. But we are confident that we will find oil there if there is oil there. For example, we thought that Siberia had no oil. But now we have discovered excellent quality oil in Siberia. They discovered it on the Lena [River], in the center of Siberia.
We are interested in helping underdeveloped countries. The Western countries create markets and raise the conditions for the exploitation of underdeveloped countries. This organization, which Kennedy thought up, the Alliance for Progress, is a predatory organization, you know. And they marked the anniversary of this “Alliance for Progress” feebly because as soon as they created it the peoples understood that this is a bludgeon of the colonizers. The colonizers had used this earlier. They sent their monks and priests there, and after them merchants, and then troops. And now it's the same policy. Now the peoples have become more experienced and understand this.
This is our attitude toward this Common Market. The United Nations obviously should exhibit attention and interest in this issue. We have made our points in the press on this topic and described our understanding of this issue. I think it will be published Sunday in Pravda. Here are these issues.
I am not touching on the issue of colonies because our position is very well known and we described it at a United Nations session at one time. And we hold to this position now.
We are happy about the resolution of the West Irian [Jaya] issue and it pleases us that our contribution is also here. After all, we also helped Indonesia with weapons and forced the condition on the Netherlands that if it did not come to a reasonable agreement it would lose West Irian and be forced to recognize Indonesia's right to West Irian. We sold [them] naval, aircraft, ground, and submarine weapons. This produced their own effect. And America displayed good will here. But do you know why they did this? A quite odd situation had developed for them. The Netherlands are America's NATO ally. The Netherlands demanded that America take a position in support of the Netherlands. America, of course, sympathizes with the Netherlands but it was not to America's advantage to take such a blatant position in support of colonizers. Therefore they took the position of peacemaker for both sides. Therefore both Indonesia and the Netherlands are unhappy with America right now.
But in general we think that this problem has been resolved well. This is a compromise solution, but it is a solution without war and we favor this.
We are satisfied with the resolution of the Laos issue. This just says that such a solution can be achieved on a reasonable basis when both sides can be satisfied.
We also want all three groups of countries to be represented in the United Nations on this basis, which would be searching for a solution to contentious issues. And this will be. The self-consciousness of young countries will grow. For there are still many stooges and colonizers in the African countries. Hence some time is needed for the people to see that these are the same colonizers and agents of the same colonizers, but they have the same color skin as they do. And they will either drive them out or hang them - this is already an internal matter, but they will decide this. Each colonizer has created his own cadre, indoctrinated them, and left them there. They shot at Nkrumah. A black man fired the shot, but a white man contributed the weapon. There was the same situation in Guinea and also in Bamako, Mali, and in Ceylon. The colonizers want to keep these countries subordinate although legally these countries have won independence.
I don't know how it is in the United Nations but in this case in the Soviet Union I have this procedure, to eat lunch at 2 P.M. If you accept socialist procedures then I propose that you take a break now and have lunch. I invite you to have lunch with my family.
U THANT. Thank you very much.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. Do you still have some questions for me? Lay them out.
U THANT. No, Mr. Chairman. You described your point of view on all issues very clearly and comprehensively. Maybe we can discuss some of the issues [we] touched on informally during lunch.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. Certainly.
N. S. KHRUSHCHEV. Permit me to greet you on Soviet soil, in the Crimea, at the boundary of two military blocs, the Warsaw association [sic] and NATO. The border with Turkey is right here. But it is such an unpleasant reality.