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November 20, 1978

Stenographic transcript of meeting of the Consultative Political Committee of the CC of the Romanian Communist Party


of the meeting of the Consultative Political Committee of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party
on 20 November 1978, 16.00 hrs

Participants in the meeting : comrades Nicolae Ceausescu, Manea Manescu, Elena Ceausescu, Iosif Banc, Cornel Burtica, Virgil Cazacu, Gheorghe Cioara, Lina Ciobanu, Constantin Dascalescu, Ion Dinca, Emil Draganescu, Janos Fazekas, Ion Ionita, Petre Lupu, Paul Niculescu, Gheorghe Pana, Ion Patan, Dumitru Popescu, Gheorghe Radulescu, Leonte Rautu, Virgil Trofin, Iosif Uglar, Ilie Verdet, Stefan Voitec, Stefan Andrei, Ion Coman, Teodor Coman, Mihai Dalea, Miu Dobrescu, Ludovic Fazekas, Mihai Gere, Ion Iliescu, Stefan Mocuta, Vasile Patilinet, Mihai Telescu, Ioan Ursu, Richard Winter.

Invited to the meeting : comrades Vasile Musat, Marin Vasile.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu :
There were no [sensitive] issues in the international issues [sic!]. There was total agreement in relation to all of the issues.
That would be about all about the visit.
Have you any questions?
In connection with the Warsaw Pact, for which we have to leave for Moscow tomorrow.
As far as the communiqué is concerned, we reached an agreement even-tually, and I think the result will be an acceptable formulation. They (?) insist on the Vietnam [issue], and said they would revert to the issue of Ethiopia's sovereignty, but I think we will manage in the long run.
I made a rather long speech, thirty-four pages. It is typed with spaces, but there will be about twenty-two pages, whose presentation will last about an hour.
I will not read the whole speech now, but I would like to say that here I laid emphasis especially on the issue of the analysis of the international ratio of forces, and I formulated [the issue] as follows:

The analysis of the international ratio of forces and of the big changes that are taking place in today's world, shows that – in spite of the imperialist policy of domination, diktat, and redistribution of the spheres of influence becoming more prominent – one cannot in any way whatsoever reach the conclusion that the world situation evolves towards an inevitable military confrontation, a new world war. On the contrary, all of the deep revolutionary-type social and national changes taking place in the mankind demonstrate that, by acting jointly, the forces of socialism and progress, all of the liberty- independence- and peace-loving peoples can prevent the breaking out of a new world war, and ensure a lasting peace on our planet. These realities of the ratio of forces in the contem-porary world open new prospects for the triumph of the policy of social progress and peace.

Starting from this fact, our countries must not let themselves become involved in the increase of military expenditures, in the arms race, but – oppositely – they must act fully trusting the progressive, anti-imperialistic forces, the liberty- and peace-loving peoples, with a view to reducing armaments and military expenditures.

This would be a thesis and afterwards there come the explanations I would like to dwell upon.

Another issue I want to refer to here, which they (?) touched only to a minute extent, is that we must say frankly that the expenditures for armament represent, for the socialist countries as well, a burden bringing about difficulties in the economic and social development and the fast progress on the road to socialism and communism. They (?) will not agree, but that is how things stand..

We also take up again here the proposal of freezing military expenditures, and I have the following suggestion on this score: I would especially submit to your attention the proposal of our party and government in the sense that the socialist countries should take the initiative of reducting the number of troops and the military expenditures by at least 5%, withdrawing some military units from the territory of other states and attaining a general agreement in regard to the dis-armament issue, as we are of the opinion that such a measure would have great political significance, would find a profound echo in the world public opinion, would demonstrate in practice the disarmament policy of the socialist countries, and would give a strong incentive to the fight of popular masses in Europe and the whole world in order to have all of the states take similar steps.

Cde. Manea Manescu :
This is a very good thing. We will be the first to give an example.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu :
Yes, and now let us begin!

Cde. Elena Ceausescu :
That, in general, this is the way the question is posed.

Cde. Janos Fazekas :
Even if we put 10%, they will not agree!

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu :
5% is good. This will be read by them, too. First of all, many people hear about it there from our practice as well, it is enough that two know about it, then all of them will know, [in their countries] the situation is the same. We will give [our proposal] to everybody, the Central Committees in the other countries will read it as well, and anyway we must make it be rational.

Cde. Cornel Burtica :
5% will not cause the weakening of the defense capacity.

Cde. Elena Ceausescu :
It is good. We vote for it! As Fazekas said, we agree with 10%, too.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu :
After we speak about NATO, we think it would be necessary to firmly assert the decision of the states participating in the Warsaw Treaty to proceed to the stage of abolishing this pact simultaneously with the abolition of NATO. At the same time, [it is necessary] to take concrete steps for reducing the military activity of these blocks, by adopting a program of measures for doing away with them as soon as possible.
We must tell openly to all the peoples that security and peace cannot be ensured by strengthening military blocks but by proceeding to their abolition, to effective measures of general disarmament.
This would be another issue. I must tell you that, as our comrades there inform us, the most active in sustaining the point of view that they cannot renounce the presence of foreign troops and the strengthening of troops are the Czechoslovaks and the East Germans. The Czechoslovaks said they needed foreign troops.

Cde. Leonte Rautu :
On the basis of internal solidarity.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu :
I also gave here a quotation from Lenin: The fact is well known that, after the victory of the Great October Revolution, among the first acts initiated by the Soviet Power, was “Decree on peace” – the first decree signed by Vladimir Ilich Lenin himself – which goes like this: “The government takes the view that the just or democratic peace, ardently wished in all the belligerent countries by the overwhelming majority of the workers and of the working classes, tired out, tormented, and drained as a result of the war, the peace which – after the tsarist monarchy was toppled – the Russian workers and peasants persistently wanted with full determination is an immediate peace, without annexations (that is to say, without foreign territories being overrun, without annexing other nationalities by force), and without contributions.”

Cde. Janos Fazekas :
It is a Marxist quotation.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu :
Hundred per cent.
And further it says that „The Government of Russia proposes to all the belligerent peoples to conclude immediately just such a peace, declaring to be ready to immediately undertake, without the least delay whatsoever, all the ne-cessary démarches until all of the conditions of this peace have been definitively ratified by the authorized assemblies of the people's representatives in all the countries and of all the nations.” This decree remained in the memory of workers throughout the world as a symbol of the noble ideals of socialism, which – by its very nature – is indissolubly tied to peace.
We do not propose them to draw practical conclusions.

Cde. Manea Manescu :
Maybe they will ask how big the volume is?!

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu :
In connection with the differences of opinions between states: „The Roma-nian Communist Party is deeply concerned about the fact that the misunder-standings, the divergences degenerate and turn into especially grave actions, of support of counterrevolutionary elements from various socialist countries, in appeals addressed to [such counterrevolutionary elements] to rebel against the governments of the respective countries. The stimulation of hostile actions or counterrevolutionary revolts inside certain socialist countries conflicts most flagrantly with our revolutionary conception about the world and life, the norms and principles of the relations between the socialist countries, and are in total contradiction with the very principles of international law and of UNO Charter.”
I think it is good to raise this issue.

Cde. Petre Lupu :
It is valid in all respects.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu :

What is your opinion about this?
If they refer to Hua Kuo Fen's visit to our country, I wrote here about this visit as well. If they do not, we will see. I have made the maximum variant and the minimum one.
But irrespective of one or the other, I would like to say the following about the information means: ”In this connection, I would like to point out that we were bewildered and saddened by the way the press in some socialist countries covered the visit of the high-level Chinese delegation to Romania and the insinuations made on that occasion, which were in total disagreement with the reality and the official declarations of our party and government. It is obvious, I think, that the strengthening of the friendship relationships between the socialist countries presupposes correct information about the activity of our parties and governments, about the objective reality in each country. This is an essential condition of the unity and solidarity of the communist parties, of the socialist countries.
Taking into account the fact that mutual public information on the building of socialism in each country is still too poor, and sometimes even degenerates into disinformation, I would like to raise the issue of the major importance of the improvement – in this sense – of the activity of press, radio, and television, of all the propaganda instruments. The exchange of experience in relation to the esta-blishment of a new social order via the means of public information, the ample reflection of the work and creation of each party and people in the press organs of the brotherly parties, the avoidance of any misrepresentation of reality have great significance for the cause of friendship between our countries, for the general interests of socialism. On behalf of our party and the government of Romania I propose to proceed to the adoption of clear directions on the basis of which the press, the radio, and the television should stop any disinformation activity, consistently act exclusively in the direction of a better mutual knowledge of our peoples, the affirmation of truth about the great work which they achieve, exclusively contributing towards the strengthening of friendship and solidarity of the communist parties, of the socialist countries.”
If they raise the China issue, I also have the part in which I refer to the way the press in some socialist countries covered the visit to Romania of the high-level Chinese delegation, which I read earlier.
If they do not raise this issue, we will leave only this general idea.
These would be some of the things/issues. Generally speaking, it is more propagandistic. It is an appeal to action for achieving disarmament. This is the direction for which we plead: that there is no danger of war, that we can prevent war, that we can reach practical conclusions as to acting in accordance with this.
In fact, it is the very economic development, the solution of the problems in our countries that will strengthen the defense capacity. That is why we must concern ourselves more with these issues – the development of democracy, the improvement of leadership because thus we will strengthen the unity of the peoples and of our countries in their actions aiming at the defense of the revolutionary achievements a.s.o.
Do you agree? (All the comrades agree).
If there are no other issues, this meeting is adjourned.

The meeting concerns an upcoming trip to Moscow by Ceausescu to talk about the Warsaw Pact. The conversation is focused on preparing answers for potential questions that may be asked in Moscow

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ANIC, Archive of the Political Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, no.2561, 1.xii.1978. CWIHP Document Reader, vol.2.


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