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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 25, 1963

MINUTES OF CC CPSU PRESIDIUM MEETING ON RESTRICTING SOVIET SHORTWAVE RECEIVERS

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    A discussion among the top leadership of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU on the problem of limiting production shortwave radio sets that receive Western broadcasts. The argument is made that, if sets capable of receiving Western radio broadcasts are not produced, Soviet citizens will find ways of adapting non-shortwave radios to receive the broadcasts. The Soviet leaders seem to be under the misconception that the production of shortwave receivers in America was stopped so that Americans couldn’t receive information from the USSR and that the Soviets should do likewise.
    "Minutes of CC CPSU Presidium Meeting on Restricting Soviet Shortwave Receivers," April 25, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, 13. Op. 16. D. 939. pp. 1-126. Prezidium TsK KPSS. 1954-1964. Chernovyye protokol’nye zapisi zasedaniy. Stenogrammy. Postanovleniya. T. 1 [The CC CPSU Presidium. 1954-1964. Rough transcripts of meetings. Verbatim records. Decrees. Vol. 1.] M[oscow]. ROSSPEN. 2003-2004, p. 702. Obtained by Vladimir Tolz. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121553
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[Excerpt]

CC CPSU Presidium

Stenographic Record of a Meeting of the CC CPSU Presidium
25 April 1963

N. S. Khrushchev…I think that the fourth question is the reasonable proposal of Comrade Ilichev.

So, do we adopt it?

A. I. Mikoyan. Approve the suggestion as stated here.

N. S. Khrushchev. But, comrades, I would think that Comrade Kalmykov would need to deal with this. But this is Gosplan, let’s entrust Comrade Ustinov with examining it with Comrade Kalmykov and work on the question of producing radio receivers which would only receive our stations.

A. N. KOSYgin. Not shortwave [stations].

B. N. PonomareV. Amateurs will quickly modify [them], even though theoretically it’s difficult to do this.

N. S. Khrushchev. Not everyone modifies [radios].

L. F. iliCHeV. They will modify [them] just when shortwave ones are produced. We give them the opportunity ourselves.

L. I. Brezhnev. We produced 9 million of them.

N. S. Khrushchev. Why was this done?

L. F. ILICHEV. There was a decision but it wasn’t carried out. The main objection was from the Ministry of Trade: the consumer won’t buy [radios] without shortwave [capability]; They understand, they don’t take them and the market is glutted.

N. S. Khrushchev. But production needs to be reduced.

A. N. KOSYGIN. [If] there are no others, they’ll accept [them].

N. S. Khrushchev. Let’s look: maybe produce these, and replace those. Let’s appeal to the population.

Ye. A. furtseVa. As the Americans have done.

N. S. Khrushchev. Replace [them]. Have Comrades Ustinov and Shelepin study this and, possibly then write to those people who are responsible for disrupting the fulfillment of a decision of the CC and the government. this needs to be thought out.

Right now the television network is being expanded. We need to build a broader network. People need to be busy. More sets need to be produced and possibly even such public television sets [need] to be built in population centers and in clubs in order to sell tickets to ensure a good broadcast.

We need not only to fight and to prohibit, but [also] need to give food [for thought] and get people busy with reasonable food and then people won’t do this.

[There is] a relay in cities through a network. I don’t know if it’s necessary to increase individual use of radios and [spend] less for loudspeakers.

A. N. KOSYGIN. They won’t get anything in medium and long [waves].

N. S. Khrushchev. Comrade Kosygin, the issue of fighting bourgeois influence is a serious issue.

A. N. KOSYGIN. Of course.

N. S. Khrushchev. We haven’t been dealing with this matter, but it is a serious issue. the Americans, they are dealing with it: they replaced radios which operate on shortwave.

A. A. GROMYKO. They haven’t replaced the radios, but have changed production.

L. F. ILICHEV. The process here is simple: they prohibited the manufacture of parts. there were no spare parts for what they’d produced, and they had no alternative and they began to buy this. that’s what we need to do.

N. S. Khrushchev. This is the “free world.” they understand how they need to fight the Communist onslaught. But we Communists are daydreamers, we don’t understand, we need only a policeman. But they know: simply economically, they didn’t make spare parts, they broke down, so buy others. Let’s do it that way. In a word, we need to organize a more reasoned attack on the enemy and not give him an opportunity on our behalf, not make it easier for him to propagandize our country via radio.

M. A. SUSLOV. Don’t make ourselves easy targets.

N.S. Khrushchev. Some will listen; let them listen. I remember during the war there was Grechukha, there was nothing for him to do, so “he knew exactly what the Germans were saying [quote in Ukrainian],” in Ukrainian. So he perished at the radio. Everyone knew this was his weakness. What else? [Is that] everything? [Note in original: the rest was not transcribed.]