November 1, 1956
Andropov Report, 1 November 1956
Andropov Report, 1 November 1956
Not to be copied
Today, on November 1, at 7 p.m. I received an invitation to the inner cabinet meeting of the Council of Ministers of the H[ungarian] P[eople's] R[epublic]. Imre Nagy, who chaired the meeting, informed the participants in a rather nervous tone that in the morning he had addressed the Soviet Ambassador in connection with the Soviet troops crossing the Hungarian border and advancing towards the heart of the country. Nagy “demanded” an explanation in that matter. The way Nagy said all this suggested that he expected me to affirm that he had really expressed his protests to me. Also, he kept looking at Zoltan Tildy all along, as if expecting support.
Tildy behaved with dignity. He spoke immediately after Imre Nagy, in a tone that was much friendlier and calmer. He said that if the Soviet troops continued their advance on Budapest, there would be a scandal and the Government would be forced to resign. Tildy would like to prevent the workers' anger turning against the Soviet Union.
Tildy said that he insisted that the Soviet troops—at least those which are not stationed in Hungary under the terms of the Warsaw Pact—be withdrawn without delay.
Kadar supported Nagy; Haraszti and Ferenc Erdei spoke very nervously and in a manner unfriendly to us. Dobi remained silent. After they spoke I offered my views—in keeping with the instructions I had received. Nagy immediately replied that although he accepted that my statement was good, it did not answer the Hungarian Government's question.
Nagy proposed that, since the Soviet Government had not stopped the advance of the Soviet troops, nor had it given a satisfactory explanation of its actions, they confirm the motion passed that morning regarding Hungary's giving notice of cessation of Warsaw Pact membership, a declaration of neutrality, and an appeal to the United Nations for the guarantee of Hungary's neutrality by the Four Great Powers. In the event that the Soviet Government stopped the advance of the Soviet troops and withdrew them beyond its own borders with immediate effect, (the Government of the Hungarian People's Republic will form a judgment on compliance on the basis of the reports of its own armed forces) the Hungarian Government would withdraw its request to the United Nations, but Hungary would still remain neutral. Erdei and Losonczy strongly supported this reply by Nagy. Tildy's reponse was affirmative but more reserved, while Kadar's reaction was reluctant. Dobi remained silent.
One hour later the Embassy received the note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, declaring that since a strong Soviet Army force had crossed the border that day and had entered Hungarian territory against the firm protest of the Hungarian Government, the Government was leaving the Warsaw Pact with immediate effect. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Embassy to notify the Soviet Government of this decision immediately. They sent notes with a similar content to every embassy and diplomatic mission in Budapest.
Note: we have information that, at the instigation of the Social Democrats, the workers of all the enterprises in Hungary have declared a two week strike, demanding the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary. 1.11.56
Andropov reports that Imre Nagy has threatened a scandal and the resignation of the government if the Soviet Union continues to send troops into Hungary. In his meeting with Nagy, Andropov is told that Hungary is withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact and will further request a UN guarantee of Hungarian neutrality if Soviet troop movements into Hungary do not stop. The report notes that after the meeting the Hungarian government informed the Embassy of its decision to leave the Warsaw Pact.
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