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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 04, 1978

HUNGARY CENTRAL COMMITTEE RESOLUTION ON FIGHT AGAINST 'IMPERIALIST PROPAGANDA'

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    In response to a report on the implementation of the Politburo resolution of May 22, 1973, concerning the need to strengthen the fight against "imperialist propaganda" (especially its emphasis on human rights) the HSWP Central Committee passes a resolution containing proposals for future tasks (including concern with projected Western satellite television broadcasts).
    "Hungary Central Committee Resolution on Fight against 'Imperialist Propaganda'," December 04, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Magyar Országos Levéltár (MOL) M-KS-288.f. 7/566.ő.e. Obtained by Csaba Bekes. Translated by András Bocz. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121575
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121575

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Károly Grósz

Hungarian soCialist WorKers’ PartY Central Committee

Resolution

1. The secretariat accepts the report. It establishes that, as a result of the execution of the resolution made by the Politburo at its meeting on October 8, 1963, the fight against imperialist propaganda, as an organic part of ideological and political work, has become more oriented towards its main goal and more argumentative and organized in its character.

2. The impact of propaganda targeting our country should continue to be countered—on the basis of the resolution of the Politburo—by firmly representing our policy, by presenting an authentic picture of our problems and accomplishments and by taking the initiative and the offensive in issues that demonstrate the advantages of a socialist system. The preparedness, discipline and alertness of Party members, the provision of ample information within the Party and the development of verbal propaganda are all of primary importance. To achieve this goal, regular information materials and recommendations should be worked out on the basis of the monitoring of hostile propaganda so that the activists of the Party, the state, and social organizations that are involved in propaganda work targeting the masses can argue more convincingly for our interests, position and policy and respond to hostile views more instantaneously. It is especially important to provide better training for those who are involved in giving information to foreigners who visit our country, especially tourist guides. The recommendations prepared quarterly or in relation to certain important events, which are meant to assist political work, should become an integral part of analyzing and evaluating hostile propaganda. When analyzing the attitude of the people on a regular basis the Party organizations in Budapest and the provinces should pay special attention to views that reflect the actual presence and impact of foreign propaganda. On this basis they should draw the necessary conclusions for their own propaganda work.

Deadline: continuous

In charge: Department of Propaganda of the Central Committee Party committees of Budapest and the provinces

3. The scientific basis for the long-term analysis of hostile propaganda should be strengthened considerably. Since the strategy of hostile propaganda is unlikely to change and its tactics can be monitored by systematic methods, there is no need to set up a big new staff for the long-term analysis of this propaganda. Instead, most of the attention should be focused on better utilization of the existing bodies and institutions, and on establishing more effective cooperation between them. To this end, the Institute of Social Studies of the Central Committee should continue to investigate the trends of bourgeois ideology, while the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Central Committee and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should ensure that the Hungarian Institute of Foreign Affairs continues to analyze the strategy and tactics of imperialist propaganda as part of its research activities. Building on the work of these two basic institutions our work should be concentrated on the systematic analysis of the relations between bourgeois ideology and propaganda, making use of information and experience that we gain through our Party and state relations.

Deadline: September 30, 1979

In charge: Department of Foreign Affairs of the Central Committee

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Department of Propaganda of the Central Committee

4. The Mass Media Research Center of Hungarian Radio and Television should be provided with all the conditions that are necessary to conduct research into the effects of hostile propaganda by using tools of opinion surveys on a regular basis and with due care.

Deadline: June 30, 1979

In charge: Department of Propaganda of the Central Committee

President of the Hungarian Radio

5. There is no need to further enhance the range of bodies and institutions that are involved in the analysis of imperialist propaganda campaigns. The main task is that the bodies and institutions of the Party, the state and various social organizations involved in monitoring hostile propaganda should cooperate in their activities much more efficiently in the future. To this end the State Office for Church Affairs, the People’s Patriotic Front, the National Council of Trade Unions, the Communist Youth Organization and the bodies supervising tourism should, for every quarter, make available all the information they have to the team engaged in evaluating hostile propaganda.

In addition to periodical reports, special reports should also be prepared which investigate how a significant event related to Hungary has been received by hostile propaganda. In the future, evaluation work should also be extended to the Chinese propaganda that targets our country. It should be ensured that the information on hostile propaganda campaigns provided for the highest Party and state leadership is more relevant and coordinated. Monitoring work and evaluation should be followed by processing relevant information and experience and by drawing the necessary conclusions.

Deadline:    continuous
In charge: Department of Propaganda of the Central Committee Members of the evaluation team

6. The network of jamming and monitoring hostile radio broadcasts targeting Hungary should be brought up to a level that can meet the new requirements today. The reception center of the Hungarian Press agency stationed outside Budapest should gradually be developed into a high-capacity radio-monitoring center by installing modern devices in accordance with our available financial resources. In this way a new service should be set up that can meet the special demands of all the state organizations involved in monitoring hostile propaganda at a high political and technological level. In addition to monitoring hostile broadcasts, this center should also be responsible for recording the broadcasts of press agencies transmitted through radio waves and, very soon, through satellites, as well as the Hungarian language programs broadcast by neighboring socialist countries. The Department of Propaganda, the Department of Public Administration and the Department of Foreign Affairs should consult with the organs concerned (National Defense Committee, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Information Office, Hungarian Press Agency) and, based on these negotiations, a development plan which takes into consideration the realities of our economic possibilities should be made to set up a modern radio center—in several phases, if necessary—that can be used in several ways. The development plan should be submitted to the secretariat by the Department of Propaganda in the second half of 1979.

Deadline for the preparation of the development plan:

June 30, 1979

In charge: leaders of the organizations concerned

7. The broadcasts of Austrian Television that can be received in a significant part of the country and those of other Western television stations received through Austria should be put on the list of programs to be monitored regularly, and the leadership should be informed of any aspects of these broadcasts that may involve Hungary. The Secretariat commissions the president of the Hungarian Television to work out the necessary system of monitoring in cooperation with the state bodies concerned. The Party committees of the districts by the Austrian border should provide regular information on how these programs affect the people in their area.

Deadline: April 30, 1979

In charge: Department of Propaganda of the Central Committee

President of the Hungarian Television

8. Investigations should be conducted to assess the possible impact of broadcasting television programs directly through satellites, and the political and technical tasks in regard to this new development should be specified without delay.

Deadline: November 30, 1979

In charge: Department of Propaganda of the Central Committee

Department of Industry, Agriculture and Transportation of the Central Committee

President of the Hungarian radio

9. The working conditions of the system of press administration that is involved in protecting our country from hostile propaganda should be improved considerably. A short-term and a long-term plan of measures to be taken to achieve this goal in accordance with our current financial possibilities should be submitted to the competent state bodies by the president of the Information Office, after consulting with the leaders of the Hungarian Post Office.

Deadline: June 30, 1979

In charge: President of the Information Office

10. The Secretariat deems it justified that relevant sections of the resolution made by the Politburo on the protection of our country from hostile radio propaganda on October 8, 1963 be revised. To prepare for the necessary decisions, the Secretariat commissions the Department of Propaganda, the Department of Public Administration and the Department of Industry, Agriculture and Transportation of the Central Committee to make a report for the Politburo on this issue. Together with the Department of Industry, Agriculture and Transportation of the Central Committee, the Department of Foreign Affairs should discuss the efficiency of and the need for jamming Western radio programs broadcast in the Czech and Slovakian language.

Deadline: March 31, 1979

In charge: Relevant departments of the Central Committee

This resolution is received by:

– heads of departments of the Central Committee

– Minister of foreign affairs

– Minister of the interior

– Minister of defense

– President of the Information Office

– President of the Hungarian Radio

– President of the Hungarian Television

– General Manager of the Hungarian Press Agency

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