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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 15, 1959

P. WASILUK, 'RECORD OF CONVERSATION CONDUCTED ON JAN. 15, 1958'

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    Record of a conversation between the Secretary of the Communist Party of Denmark and the Polish Embassy in which Comrade Norlund tell of Scandinavia's openness to the Rapacki Plan.
    "P. Wasiluk, 'Record of Conversation Conducted on Jan. 15, 1958' ," January 15, 1959, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Polskie dokumenty dyplomatyczne 1958 (Warszawa: Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych, 2011), Document #23, pp.51-53. Translated by Jerzy Giebułtowski. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208930
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208930

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23

January 15, file note from the Copenhagen embassy:

opinions of the Secretary of the Communist Party of Denmark

regarding the Rapacki Plan

RECORD

of conversation conducted on Jan. 15, 1958

I contacted comrade Nørlund to obtain information regarding the possible positions taken by activists of the individual political parties regarding the Rapacki Plan that is widely discussed by the local press.

Comrade Nørlund explained that as far as the KPD is concerned, he simply does everything to popularize the plan as widely as possible (he was referring to commentaries on this topic in Land og Folk), and added that in his opinion in Denmark, except the conservative press, the Rapacki Plan was welcomed and treated seriously. He also said that as regards the Scandinavian nations as a whole, they would always support such an initiative, because pacifism is deeply rooted in those societies. He also pointed out such positive facts that recently radicals exerted a serious influence on the government regarding the limitation of armament expenditure, which in consequence cannot bring anything good. He said that lately even H.C. Hansen speaks favorably about proposals that could lead to halting the arms race and would necessitate talks between East and West.

I am personally convinced that the Rapacki Plan is being considered by the Danish government and one should expect that it has supporters who could do much to speed up Hansen’s taking a favorable position on this issue. But as regards the last Bulganin’s letter, the party leadership deems it a successful tactical and political move, and given the clarity and precise formulation of the propositions H.C. Hansen would find it harder to give an evasive answer. He stressed that perhaps it is too early to take a clear position on this issue, but after a parliamentary debate on foreign policy, that many problems that interest us undoubtedly become somewhat clear. He said he would want to meet again after a session of CC KPD that would be held on February 2 and 3 this year. And then he would be able to inform in greater detail about the matters that I currently discussed with him.

When asked if he finds it possible for the FRG to support the Rapacki Plan, he said that one should not count on Bonn, because it is increasingly evident that its policy is becoming less flexible, and the tendency to support the nuclear-free zone among some politicians is resisted. He added that although West Germany can no longer play the role that it hoped  for, nevertheless [their] political moves aim at consolidating their position so that in the future they become the most important partner with which the US would need to recon with to a greater extent that they do now. Then he spoke of the ongoing preparations for communal election scheduled for March 3, 1958.

I expect that – as he said – the current situation is favorable for KPD to make up for losses it sustained last year.

Then, briefly, he told me of his stay in the Soviet Union last December.

He said that during talks with Soviet comrades they also discussed revisionism and dogmatism.3[1]0

According to comrade Suslov (who took part in the talks), at present the greatest danger for the party is revisionism, which led to an almost complete decomposition in the CP of the USA and Canada. He allegedly stresses that the countries in our camp were also among those that failed to notice this main threat in time, and thus for some time it was not easy to oppose it effectively. As we parted he informed me that he is going to the Soviet Union again this month, but this time on his own, in order to continue the talks.

II Secretary of the Embassy

fP. Wasilukf

AMSZ, z. 8, w. 61, t. 848

30 The delegation of the Communist Party of Denmark visited Moscow on August 7–13, 1957.

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