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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 07, 1966

TRANSCRIPT OF THE DISCUSSIONS ON THE OCCASION OF THE RECEPTION BY COMRADE N. CEAUSESCU OF I. CZESAK, MEMBER OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE POLISH UNITED WORKERS PARTY (P.U.W.P.)

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    This transcript is of the discussion between Nicolae Ceausescu and I. Czesak at the reception of the Polish official in Romania, in which they discuss the possibility of uniting the socialist countries of Europe and Asia, and the recent visit of an American envoy to Warsaw in order to discuss the situation in Vietnam.
    "Transcript of the Discussions on the Occasion of the Reception by Comrade N. Ceausescu of I. Czesak, Member of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party (P.U.W.P.) ," January 07, 1966, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, ANR, Fond CC al PCR, Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 2/1966, file 1-8. Translated by Larry L. Watts https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122559
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T R A N S C R I P T

of the Discussions on the Occasion of the Reception by Comrade N. Ceausescu of I. Czesak, Member of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party (P.U.W.P.)

7 January 1966

The following comrades also participated in the discussions: Mihai Dalea, secretary of the R.C.P. C.C., Vlad Vasile, candidate member of the R.C.P. C.C., head of the Foreign Relations Section of the R.C.P. C.C.

The discussions began at 1800 hrs.

I. Czesak:  In the first place I want to transmit wishes from comrade Gomulka, from our party’s leadership, for your good health and, at the same time, to thank you for the quick reception you have accorded me.

I have the task from the leadership of our party to inform you about two issues.

The first problem concerns Vietnam. The leadership of our party has been preoccupied with this problem several times over the last six weeks and accords much attention to whether it can do something regarding this question.  Likewise, at the last plenary session – the 5th Plenum – that took place two weeks ago, comrade Gomulka addressed this problem as the second point of order. The problem consists of the initiative that the leadership of our party is thinking of giving in this direction.

Appreciating the situation that has been created at the present moment, especially the situation in Vietnam, the war is becoming more aggravated, the destruction is greater and greater, the number of victims is ever-increasing, the Americans are now intensifying both their materiel and human forces, we raised the question of whether we, the socialist countries, could do something do that our assistance should be more effective and more appreciable; whether in the conduct of this war, there could be a more consequent and more efficient assistance on our part.

The war in Vietnam exerts a very great influence not only in Asia, but also on the situation in Europe and in the world. In general, the imperialist and war-mongering forces have grown in their intensity and this is due, in large degree, to the fact that unity is lacking in the socialist camp. We consider that the activation of American imperialism is even due to our lack of unity.

In connection with that, we have started an initiative of seeking to draw together all of the countries of the Warsaw Pact and the parties of the socialist countries of Asia on a single issue: the problem of discussing and evaluating the situation in Vietnam, of us coordinating the aid that we are giving and eventually, that of a second possibility, in an eventual meeting also to elaborate a declaration of all of these parties in connection with the problem of Vietnam. We know that the key to such a meeting is in the hands of the Chinese comrades and because of that we are addressing our letter with this proposal to the Chinese comrades. We propose neither a date nor a location; we want to have an approval in principle and in case such approval is given, then we can discuss the timing and the place. The accent is placed on the speed resolution of this problem, so that too much time is not lost.

The comrades from our party leadership gave me the task of making this short communication that adds to the documents I hand you now. Here is an introductory letter from comrade Gomulka and the copy of the respective letters (in Polish and in Russian).

The Chinese comrades have received these letters, but we do not have a response yet. The comrade who received this letter was the deputy head of the Foreign Section of the Chinese P.C. Central Committee.

Our cordial request to you is that the Romanian comrades read this letter and if they think our initiative just, to support us; eventually giving your opinion regarding this initiative.

That is the first problem.

If you’ll permit me, I’ll speak of the second problem?

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: Please do.

I. Czesak: Two days before the New Year, in a rather spectacular manner, quite dramatically, with late night phone calls, even at 3 in the morning, the leadership of our party established that comrade Gomulka should receive Harriman, as the envoy of Johnson. We did this in order not to give further support to the argument they make, that “they conduct a policy of peace.” He met with comrade Gomulka and comrade Rapacki. The visit with comrade Gomulka had the character of a courtesy visit, because one when comrade Gomulka was at the UN he met with Harriman there. In general he had to speak with comrade Rapacki, but out of courtesy he made this visit to comrade Gomulka. In the end, the discussion was transformed in one on ideological themes – on the theme of socialism and capitalism. In general, Harriman discussed with comrade Rapacki.

Harriman came with a problem, to convince us that they are now ready to discuss at the same table with the Vietnamese or with anyone else empowered to do so. He did not say anything else more interesting to us. This was a discussion that in the end appeared also in the press in the form of those 14 points. It was those 14 points that he presented. In them they underscore that, by any means possible, they want to discuss, that they are ready to discuss the Four Points proposed by the government of D. R. Vietnam; that does not mean that they will accept these Four Points, but that they want to discuss them, and that somehow a form will be found also to draw representatives of the National Liberation Front in to the discussions.

After all of these problems were presented, they addressed the request that their opinions be transmitted to the comrades in Vietnam.

We thought about it and we thought about it until, finally, we agreed to send an official, a director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – comrade Michalowski – who left through Moscow, Beijing and arrived in Hanoi. In all of these capitals he gave this briefing. The Soviet comrades manifested understanding. In Beijing, the former ambassador to Poland, who is now deputy minister, and to whom he handed the letter, did not react very positively. He drew attention to the formulation, [insisting] that we should not declare ourselves in agreement with the American proposal, but in a tacit way this should be done. From Hanoi we received no response. This briefing was addressed in the first place to the Vietnamese and from there no reaction was received at all.

These were the two issues, which I wanted to present to you, in the name of our party leadership. We wanted briefly, without wasting words, to inform you about them.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: We want to thank you for the salutation from comrade Gomulka and for these letters. We will study them, however, it seems that they are addressed to the Chinese comrades?

I. Czesak: Yes, that is so. This letter is addressed to the Chinese comrades, however, a copy was sent to all of the Warsaw Pact members.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: There is still no response from the Chinese comrades?

I. Czesak: We have no other response aside from the reaction when the letter was received. Then they added that they had presented their position on this problem in the columns of the newspaper Jenminjibao – How can we discuss about unity when the Soviet Union collaborates with the U.S.A.

We said that we want to discuss this problem and we desire that the letter should be handed to the party leadership.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: But it wasn’t sent to the Vietnamese comrades?

I. Czesak: It was all sent through comrade Michalowski – director in the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

I forgot to tell you about Cuba and Yugoslavia, referring to this letter. We invited the ambassador of Cuba and the ambassador of Yugoslavia to the section and we informed them about the letter, but we did not hand them a copy of the letters, because the letter was handed only to those who would eventually take part in that meeting. We drew the attention of the Cuban and Yugoslav ambassadors that this is an internal problem of the party.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: And the Albanian comrades?

I. Czesak: An emissary also left for Albania; only that there the letter could not be handed directly to the party leadership but through the intermediary of our ambassador. Thus, it was sent to all of the member countries of the Warsaw Pact, and to the socialist countries of Asia.

Whether or not something will come out of this, it is difficult to say now.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: We will study the letter and we will tell you our opinion. The situation in Vietnam is in truth serious enough and it is necessary to realize a united action of the socialist countries. However, that must be realized with the Vietnamese comrades, because they are the most interested, they suffer as the result of the American aggression and because of that it is necessary in the first place to know their point of view; without them one cannot act. The same with the Chinese comrades, who are in immediate proximity and who are, likewise, the most interested of all of the socialist countries in this problem.

I. Czesak: If this question would arrive at a result, it would also raise the level of the struggle against imperialist aggression, as well as the authority of the socialist countries in the entire world. At home dozens of questions are raised by the active part of the party: how does one explain this situation when a socialist country is bombarded and nothing is done?

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: Certainly, a common position is important, although the socialist countries have taken positions individually.

Regarding Romania, both the government and the party congress, as well as within the sessions of the Grand National Assembly positions have been taken. They were also taken in the communiqué regarding the visit of the National Liberation Front that took place last autumn. Several days ago we received a D.R. Vietnam delegation and, in general, they declared themselves more or less satisfied with the assistance received. Of course, it would normally be that those soliciting aid should be the initiators of such proposals, because they directly suffer as a result of the aggressions.

I. Czesak: We wrote a slightly longer letter than this one to the Vietnamese comrades, cordially asking them to support this action. Of course, without the Vietnamese and without the Chinese one cannot say anything. This makes sense only when these countries will agree with it. In general, each of us, have made our separate declarations and helped as much as we could.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: Recently, in Scinteia we presented our position again, including in regards to the necessity that the socialist countries act in a united manner. However, here the problem is for us first to know the point of view of the Vietnamese comrades, who are the most interested; and the point of view of the Chinese comrades as well as the other countries. [We] must [have] the agreement of everyone.

I. Czesak: We will inform the Romanian comrades immediately after we receive a response, regarding the position of the socialist countries, either through the intermediary of our ambassador in Bucharest or through the intermediary of your ambassador in Warsaw.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: I beg comrade Czesak to transmit to comrade Gomulka that our party leadership will analyze this letter and will give a timely response. In principle, we consider that the participation of the Vietnamese and the Chinese comrades at such a conference would have a particular importance. Of course, it will not resolve the problem, saying only that it is necessary to accord more help; we want each socialist country to act in this direction and in the according of material assistance, but also to give political help, in regards to solidarity with the Vietnamese people, supporting the position of the Vietnamese and of the National Liberation Front, of the D.R. Vietnam and, certainly, the condemnation of the aggressions of American imperialism. These are things that, if there is a firm manifestation on the part of all of the socialist countries, constitute a powerful assistance given to Vietnam. Of course such a conference would have its own importance, however, it is not absolutely necessary for us to await only a conference.

Three days ago we received the Vietnamese comrades and we did not observe any special interest towards this problem on their part.

I. Czesak: I don’t know whether the comrades had been informed about this initiative.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: But generally speaking in how they raised the problem, unconnected with the proposal of the Polish comrades.

I. Czesak: I will send your opinions to the leadership of our party, the fact that you will analyze the letter and the proposals in the letter.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: Regarding the second problem, we know it. It would appear that behind these proposals stands a maneuver of the Americans and not the desire to take steps for resolving the problem. Even the political circles from almost all of the capitalist countries evaluate it as such. The very form in which they have made them, shows that it is not so much the desire to sit down at the negotiation table as it is the desire to obtain some political advantages with the other countries as well as with the American people.

I. Czesak: We have handed this letter also to the Vietnamese comrades in order not to give the Americans the possibility of holding high the flag of: “we are for peace,” because that could have an echo in pubic opinion. The Americans wave the banner of peace, while we do not agree. In this direction something must be done; we do not know what, but we must take this flag. This problem is now in the hands of the Vietnamese comrades.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: I thank you again for the letter and I ask you to transmit to comrade Gomulka many salutations and wishes of good health.

The discussions lasted approximately 35 minutes.

Mc/2 ex.-

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