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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 23, 1962

REPORT ON ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT DELEGATION VISIT TO MOSCOW AND SOVIET-ROMANIAN TALKS, 23 OCTOBER 1962

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Manescu reports on the discussions of the government delegation of the PRR with the CPSU and Soviet State leaders on 23 October 1962. They discuss mostly relations with Southeast Asian countries.
    "Report on Romanian Government Delegation Visit to Moscow and Soviet-Romanian Talks, 23 October 1962," October 23, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, A.N.I.C., fond C.C. al P.C.R. – Cancelarie, dosar 39/1962, f. 118-127. Gavriil Preda, Petre Opriş, România în Organizaţia Tratatului de la Varşovia. Documente (1954-1968), vol. II, Institutul Naţional pentru Studiul Totalitarismului, Bucureşti, 2009, p. 91-98; translated by Petre Opris. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115793
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30 October 1962

The report submitted by Foreign Minister Corneliu Mănescu to the members of the Politburo of the RWP CC, regarding the discussions of the members of a Romanian government delegations and several members of the CPSU and Soviet state’s leaders (Moscow, October 23, 1962).1

[Manuscript records:]

16 b USSR

(P.B. plenary)

G[heorghe Gheorghiu-]D[ej]

N[icolae] C[eauşescu]

C[hivu] S[toica]

I[on Gheorghe] M[aurer]

E[mil] B[odnăraş]

G[heorghe] A[postol]

A[lexandru] D[răghici]

A[lexandru] M[oghioroş]

P[etre] B[orilă]

Comrade GHEORGHE GHEORGHIU-DEJ

- Sole copy

- I propose to send [the record] to the members of the Politburo.

October 30, 1962

ss. Corneliu Mănescu

Affairs Department of the RWP CC Top Secret

No. 1522 / S 16 XI 1962

Politburo Archive of the RWP CC

Nr. 1493 / 16.11.1962

REPORT

of the discussions of the government delegation of the PRR with the CPSU and Soviet state’s leaders on 23 October 1962

In the honor of the government delegation of the PRR who had visited Indonesia, India and Burma and had stopped in Moscow for about 20 hours, during his travel to the country, comrade N. S. Khrushchev offered a meal at Kremlin in the afternoon of October 23, that was attended by [the following] comrades: Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Ion Gheorghe Maurer, Corneliu Mănescu, Nicolae Guină [the Romanian Ambassador in USSR], Ştefan Voicu, A[ndrei] Păcuraru, Tudose V[asiliu] from the Romanian side and L.I. Brezhnev, Frol Kozlov, [Alexei] Kosygin, A. Mikoyan, [M.A.] Suslov, E. Grishin, Vasilii V. Kuznetsov (first deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR), Medvedev – Deputy Chief of External Relations Department of the CPSU CC – and Molochikov – Director of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. Even from the beginning, the RWP and Romanian state’s leaders and the CPSU leaders bound a friendly discussion.

After the moment when comrade N.S. Khrushchev was interested about how our comrades had traveled, by the manner Sukarno welcomed them, he asked if they already had been informed about the latest decisions of the Soviet government (referring if the comrades Brezhnev, Kozlov and Kosygin, who had met the delegation at the airport, informed the Romanian comrades). As comrade Kozlov said that they had talked very little, only during the time when they had traveled in the car from the airport to the residence, comrade N. S. Khrushchev began to narrate the problem to which it refers. Thus, he mentioned that during the same day (October 23) he had signed a decision of the Council of Ministers for postponing the demobilization of the old quotas from the missiles, air defense and submarine units.

It also sets the performance of some military maneuvers on the border with Turkey and Iran, and in the GDR [German Democratic Repuublic; East Germany], where will be sent several additional divisions. Marshal Grechko, the supreme commander of allied military forces of the countries from the Warsaw Pact, was tasked to discuss with the representatives of the armed forces of these countries to give currently special attention to the raising preparedness of troops in similar units (missiles, air defense, and submarine). From the Soviet government commission, V. V. Kuznetsov – Deputy Foreign Minister of USSR – summoned the ambassadors of all the socialist countries on the same day (October 23) and informed them of these decisions.

In this way – comrade N. S. Khrushchev emphasized – what Americans resolved within several days (comrade Brezhnev added that they had worked even one Sunday), “we have done in one single night”. [Manuscript comment:] at[tention!]

In fact, it is also normal to be so because [John F.] Kennedy has no authority, due to general conditions in which a president of state is elected in the capitalist world and because that person does not differ by special qualities. [Manuscript comment:] v[ery] i[mportant!] Do they want the blockade?

He had been an ordinary journalist, who had written chain stories, and then [he was] member of Congress, but this doesn’t mean anything because it is known that in the US a member of Congress may simply be the one that pays more. [Manuscript comment:] at[tention!]

Finally, of course, he was elected president by a series of machinations. So he didn’t come to power because of intense work, made to earn the trust of the people, while enjoying authority. Only in socialist countries leaders are elected based on merit and proven quality of service. [Manuscript comment:] v[ery] i[mportant!]

After that, comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej briefly presented the visit of the governmental delegation of the PRR in Indonesia, India and Burma, dwelling more on the impressions that our delegation had left from these countries. Stressing particularly the very bad impression of the delegation that was created by the struggling of the people from the countries that they had visited with miserable conditions, the impressions made in connection with certain leaders of these countries, comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej showed that, after the visit, our delegation’s belief is that Sukarno enjoys more authority in Indonesia and he has a more focused orientation to the socialist countries. Subandrio’s attitude – the Minister of Foreign Affairs, is more withdrawn and it seems that the most times he has a reactionary position, similar to [Gen. Abdul Haris] Nasution’s position. Ne Win, highlighted by comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, seems to be quite shrewd and far-sighted in international affairs. [Indian Premier Jawaharlal] Nehru seems more resigned in a number of problems.

Comrade N. S. Khrushchev showed that the opinions and conclusions reached by the Romanian comrades are the same as those reached by the Soviet comrades, after the visits of comrade N. S. Khrushchev, comrade [Anastas] Mikoyan, and other companions in these countries and currently.

Comrade N. S. Khrushchev insisted more on the attitude of Nehru and the Sino-Indian problem. In this context, comrade [Khrushchev] generally mentioned that Nehru had oscillated between the line of imperialist countries, neutrality and the socialist countries. Lately, [being] under the influence of the ruling party, of the reactionary forces, Nehru seems to be closer to the line of imperialist countries. The position he occupies in the last time, toward the issue of border conflict with China, is downright reactionary. The Chinese side (the Soviet ambassador in China was informed directly by Zhou En-Lai about this) recently proposed the withdrawal of Chinese and Indian troops at 20 km, on each side of the border. Also under the pressure of the reactionary forces, the Indian side rejected this proposal on the grounds that the border should remain the McMahon line. [Manuscript comment:] at[tention!]

Comrade N. S. Khrushchev said that this is not fair because the McMahon line was established by the British in 1912, when India was an English colony and, of course, the British had every incentive to take as much Chinese territory as possible. Therefore, based on proposals of the Chinese side, now would be normal to start bilateral negotiations. [Manuscript comment:] v[ery] i[mportant]

The point of view of the Soviet side was communicated to the P.R. of China on 8 October and India on 20 October (through a confidential discussion of the Soviet ambassador in India with J. Nehru). Basically, Nehru considered that the USSR’s opinion is good, but in fact he didn’t give any practical response that could show the decision that will be taken by him. [Manuscript comment:] at[tention!]

But most troubling is the fact that the General Secretary of the C[ommunist] P[arty] of India [E.M.S. Namboodiripad] was in a wrong position this time, supporting the view of J. Nehru. This is dangerous because it can lead to divisions among the party. He has taken measures in order to know the opinion of CPSU, including the opinion of General Secretary of the C[ommunist] P[arty] of India.

After this brief presentation, comrade N. S. Khrushchev toasted to the Romanian-Soviet friendship and mentioned that the relations between the two parties, between the two countries are very good, very close.

After comrade Gheorghiu-Dej had similarly toasted, we followed the Soviet comrades’ proposal and left together to the Grand Theatre (the show “Boris Gudunov”) where the discussions have continued during the breaks. Comrade N. S. Khrushchev informed our delegation on issues related to the Soviet relations with Indonesia, the situation in Yemen, Cuba, the USSR–US negotiations on the issue of banning nuclear experiments [tests], the disarmament debates etc.

Regarding the Soviet relations with Indonesia, comrade N. S. Khrushchev said that during the conflict between Indonesia and the Netherlands, conflict generated by the intention to free the ex-Portuguese colonies’ territories from Indonesia, Sukarno took the initiative and sent Subandrio to Moscow for asking a military aid – submarines, aircraft and commanders for these things. Starting from the idea that the Soviet carriers can do a good attempt to destroy Dutch aircraft in case of an air attack of the Dutch aviation, the Soviet comrades accepted the help requested, at the same time saying the argument mentioned to Subandrio as well. Yet it seems that he sent all to the Americans. [Manuscript comment:] V[ery] i[mportant] assessments.

On this occasion, comrade N. S. Khrushchev mentioned that he doesn’t have any guarantee that Sukarno had known about this. The fact is that, in order not to reach a further decline of US prestige (in case of military clashes [with the USSR], the USA must provide military aid to the Netherlands, which can look like a war of the USA against the colonies and neutral countries in the eyes of world public opinion) these have influenced the Netherlands to accept negotiation. On the other hand, to prevent excessive growth of the prestige of the USSR in Indonesia, reactionary circles of the world have convinced Sukarno probably not pay much attention to the aid received from the USSR and to reduce the number of Soviet soldiers who are in Indonesia. The fact is that this trend is observed by Sukarno. However, the discussion revealed that now the Soviets intend to do something in the way of aiding Indonesia.

Further on, comrade N. S. Khrushchev showed that it creates an interesting situation currently in Yemen. The things – he said – happened as follows: the former head of the Royal guard, Colonel A. Salall, man with progressive views, addressed to the Soviet comrades for requesting military aid. In principle, the Soviet comrades agreed to the military aid, but it couldn’t directly be done because it hadn’t been a free way [from the USSR] to Yemen. But here intervened [Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel] Nasser, who was interested in supporting the achievement of the coup in Yemen. Under these circumstances, an agreement was established and the USSR provided to Nasser Soviet bomber aircraft, flown by Soviet crews. These aircraft were operated in Yemen under the flag of U[nited] A[rab] R[epublic, i.e., Egypt]. It didn’t tell anything about this to the Yemeni Prime Minister, but he likely realized what it is about because, when the bombers had arrived, he saw that they had the flag of UAR, but were flown by Soviets. Nasser certainly won a lot from this action. This – comrade N. S. Khrushchev mentioned – did not interfere too much because even though Nasser doesn’t go on the line of building socialism, all the Arabs will come sometime to socialism as it is understood by the Marxist-Leninist. [Manuscript comment:] V[ery] i[mportant] inf[ormation].

Nasser represents an intermediate step, which will be removed in time. At present, principle is that it has succeeded to achieve a victory in the Middle Eastern world, which means a new curtailment of the forces of imperialism. [Manuscript comment:] V[ery] i[mportant] assessment.

Regarding the issue of Cuba, comrade N. S. Khrushchev emphasized that even here it being obtained was a positive thing. In this “has contributed” President J. Kennedy, who in one of his recent speeches reminded the danger posed by the Soviet missiles installed in Cuba for a number of US cities (it seems that Kennedy has even nominated, adds comrade Mikoyan), Canada and Latin America. [Manuscript comment:] the same Ken[n]edy without authority ... at[tention!]

These statements will awaken a little the consciousness of the American public opinion, which so far has been dormant thinking that Russia is still far away and, in case of a new war, the US will remain unharmed, creating conditions similar to those of previous wars, when the Americans were enriched because of the war. [Manuscript comment:] At[tention] to these assessments.

This is particularly important that, for the first time, the leaders of imperialism come and show to people the danger that awaits him; this shows the weakness of imperialism, which began openly to show the fear. [Manuscript comment:] Faced [with this declaration] with Ken[n]edy and Khrushchev’s declarations and the comments as well that have occurred in connection with all about these – and you [should] dra[w] objective concl[usions].

Referring to the Berlin issue, comrade N. S. Khrushchev said that this issue has no longer the acute character which it once had. Currently it has more importance in terms of moral factor. The creating of “The Wall” in Berlin closed the door through which to slip weights in the GDR and other socialist countries. Currently there is a substantial change in the mood of the population of the GDR. So, for example, if a little time before the German doctors were using the term “Sir”, addressing to the Soviet people in GDR, recently they have begun using the term “Comrade”. A new spirit prevails even among the working class. Previously, some workers came and put conditions on the payroll of enterprises employing, threatening to go the other side [in West Berlin]. Such situations are not repeated today. [Manuscript comment:] at[tention!] v[ery] i[mportant].

On tests with nuclear weapons the issue of a ban [on testing] began to take shape with the prospects of reaching an agreement with the Americans. Regarding the terrestrial [nuclear] tests, in the atmosphere and in the cosmos, there are already common views. [Manuscript comment:] v[ery] i[mportant].

A problem remained questionable: the underground [nuclear] tests. But even here there have appeared new items. British scientists have recently proposed to solve the main proceedings problem by installing an automatic control stations, without people. The Soviet Union is inclinded to accept this proposal, especially because in early November will be the last experiment by [the] internal program. [Manuscript comment:] at[tention!] V[ery] i[mportant].

Comrade N. S. Khrushchev said that the tests made so far have given not only data on existing weapons, but also on the new weapons to be equipped with the Soviet armed forces in the coming years. Series of experiments conducted under a nuclear test were performed only in the atmosphere, as the costs of underground experiments are enormous. Comrade N. S. Khrushchev stated that there is the possibility of signing an agreement with the US Nuclear-Test-ban issue, but the Cuba’s issue currently prevents achieving this. Perhaps later it will be reach the mentioned agreement. [Manuscript comment:] at[tention!] v[ery] i[mportant].

With regard to the general and total disarmament, the Soviet comrades have adopted a somewhat new position, which seems to interest the Americans (as reported by A. A. Gromyko at the current session of the UN): the first stage of acceptance preserves part of the means of transport of nuclear weapons. Initially, the USSR proposed the destruction of all these means. [Manuscript comment:] v[ery] i[mportant] at[tention!] Concessions are made.

Americans said that the new Soviet position is interesting and deserves to be studied. [Manuscript comment:] v[ery] i[mportant] at[tention!] to feedback.

At the same time – emphasized comrade N. S. Khrushchev – we believe that this problem will continue to be discussed for a long time because the US practically rejects disarmament. As the prestige and authority of the US continues to decline, the only force that this country can still rely on is the military. [Manuscript comment:] And then? What do the Chinese say?

Another issue in brief referred to by comrade N. S. Khrushchev was about the end of crop year in the USSR. Comrade said that it got a good crop this year, but it hadn’t obtained the planned amount of grain. Until now, it entered 3.354 billion pounds of grain into a centralized state fund and expects this figure to rise, whereas in some regions it is still harvesting the corn. If it will also get about 170-180 million pounds, it will reach the amount of grain produced in 1958, namely the highest amount [of grain crop] obtained in the USSR. The livestock sector also have good results, but not as good as expected. [Manuscript comment:] Agr[iculture].

Comrade N. S. Khrushchev stressed among others that the experience of this year shows that the reorganization of agriculture’s management proved to be a welcome step, which gives good results.

The Soviet industry – comrade N. S. Khrushchev stated – work well, in the third quarter it produced more steel than the US. So thus it is obvious that the US can be matched in the production of the main industrial products. [Manuscript comment:] Ind[ustry].

Of course – comrade N. S. Khrushchev mentioned – it is necessary to bear in mind that the US is not currently working at full production capacity. In the third quarter of this year, the steel industry only used 52% of production capacity. [Manuscript comment:] at[tention!] v[ery] i[mportant].

But this is nothing other than a sign of the superiority of the socialist system. [Manuscript comment:] Yes

In the same time, comrade N. S. Khrushchev stressed that the Soviet industry still has great possibilities. For using them, it will require some improvements in the system of organization of the party work in industry. [Manuscript comment:] what org[anizational improvements?].

When there is only one regional party organ that deals with problems of industry and agriculture issues, inevitably one of the two sectors suffers. Lately, more attention was given to agriculture, but industry still has the lead role and it will have it in the future as well. [Manuscript comment:] at[tention!] v[ery] i[mportant].

Therefore, it was concluded that in each region should have two party committees: one to deal with industry issues and another one to deal with agriculture issues. In this respect, it developed a material that was sent to the party organizations for discussion (the material was also sent for information to the RWP CC and on this occasion comrade Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, being asked if he received it, he confirmed the receiving) and it will be submitted to the Central Committee on 19 November [1962], during the plenary session of the CPSU CC.

Another issue presented by comrade N. S. Khrushchev was about the USSR relations with the GDR. Firstly, comrade [Khrushchev] started with simple information from our delegation about the visit which comrade Walter Ulbricht is going to do in the USSR on 31 October. He visited [Moscow] for an economic delegation of the GDR, led by himself, to be received for consultation by the Soviet comrades, starting from 24 October. [Manuscript comment:] v[ery] i[mportant]

Comrade N. S. Khrushchev showed that they couldn’t receive in this day and answered that they are busy (he has hinted that he considered the presence of our delegation in Moscow). Referring to the economic situation of the GDR, comrade N. S. Khrushchev said that the GDR achieved a fair proportion between the labor productivity growth and the wage growth, for the first time in this year. Until this year, the wages grew faster than the labor productivity, [situation] which gave no possibility for the socialist accumulation to be achieved. The state plans were drawn up so that deficits were foreseen from the beginning. [Manuscript comment:] v[ery] i[mportant].

The practice of comrades from GDR was also wrong. Once they develop such plans, they came for consultation in the Soviet Union. In fact – comrade N. S. Khrushchev stressed – it was the form in which it demanded economic aids. [Manuscript comment:] at[tention!] v[ery] i[mportant].

Lately, however, the Soviet comrades showed to the comrades from the GDR that it creates an abnormal situation; the Soviet people fought against Germany, they defeated and helped the German people for establishing the bases of socialist construction, but the Soviet people’s standard of living was lower than the GDR people’s standard of living. In addition, all the Soviet people must give economic aid to the German people. [Manuscript comment:] at[tention!] v[ery] i[mportant]. From here we can learn v[ery] imp[ortant] lessons 1. When you stan[d on] the position of the hand reached for s[uch] aid, you are not enjoying the prestige; 2. You should keep in mind the realities, to rely firstly on them – you house well, to stay on their feet[.] Each socialist country must stand on its own feet.

Note that, while comrade NS Khrushchev was recounting this discussion that he had with a comrades from the GDR, comrade Frol Kozlov intervened and said, addressing comrade N. S. Khrushchev: “yes, I remember that you seriously criticized them in that moment”.

[1] The second document was stamped and registered at the Affairs Directorate of the RWP CC and the Politburo Archive of the RWP CC. The underlining and manuscript comments were written by Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej with colored pencils (red, blue, green, and brown). We have used italic characters to emphasize these details.