February 8, 1955
[Uncorrected] Transcript of a Meeting of the Party group of the USSR Supreme Soviet on 8 February 1955
VOROSHILOV - Permit the USSR Supreme Soviet Party group to begin. We intend to discuss one question at this meeting, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Will there be any additional questions that are desirable to discuss here? Are there no other suggestions for additional questions? No.
Let's start on this question.
Com. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Central Committee of our Party, has the floor for a report.
KHRUSHCHEV. Comrades, first of all, I consider it necessary to read a decision of the Plenum of the Central Committee on this question and then make some comments on this decision.
The Decree of the CPSU CC about Com. Georgii Maksimilianovich Malenkov.
Adopted unanimously at a meeting of the CPSU CC Plenum of 31 January 1955.
Having heard the report of Com. Khrushchev about Com. Malenkov and completely approving the proposal of the CC Presidium on this issue, the CPSU CC Plenum thinks that Com. Malenkov is not providing the proper fulfillment of the responsibilities of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. Not having the necessary knowledge and experience in administrative work nor experience with the work of local Soviet organs, Com. Malenkov organizes the work of the Council of Ministers poorly and does not ensure the thorough and timely preparation of questions for meetings of the Council of Ministers. Com. Malenkov has displayed indecisiveness and has not taken a definite position when considering many urgent questions. These shortcomings in the professional qualifications of Com. Malenkov affect the work of the Council of Ministers very negatively.
Com. Malenkov has also not displayed himself as sufficiently mature politically or as a firm Bolshevist leader in his work in the post of the USSR Chairman of the Council of Ministers. Com. Malenkov's speech at the fifth session of the USSR Supreme Soviet is characteristic in this regard. In its sense of purpose and with large economic and poorly substantiated generalizations, this speech was reminiscent more of a parliamentary declaration designed to compete for cheap popularity than an important speech of the head of the Soviet Government. In this same speech Com. Malenkov made a theoretically incorrect and politically harmful contrast between the growth rate of heavy industry and the growth rate of the light and food industries. A catchphrase of accelerated development of light industry was put forward as the main conclusion.
It is no accident therefore that several so-called economists who seized upon Com. Malenkov's speech have already begun to develop anti-Marxist, anti-Leninist, right-opportunist views on fundamental questions of the growth of the Soviet economy, demanding priority growth rates for light industry.
In his 12 March 1954 speech at a meeting of voters Com. Malenkov also made a theoretically mistaken and politically harmful statement about the possibility of the end of world civilization if a third world war is unleashed by the imperialists.
The dissemination of such views not only does not support the mobilization of public opinion to actively struggle against the criminal designs of the imperialists to unleash a nuclear war but, quite the contrary, is capable of engendering inaction in peoples' efforts to disrupt the plans of the aggressors, which is to the advantage of the imperialist inciters of a new world war who are counting on intimidating people with atomic blackmail.
The CPSU CC also considers it necessary to note other great political mistakes committed by Com. Malenkov in recent years, keeping in mind the correct education of our personnel about these mistakes and the prevention of such mistakes in the future.
For a long time Com. Malenkov maintained close ties with Lavrenti Beria, who turned out to be an adventurer and traitor, displaying flagrant political shortsightedness with regard to Beria. He was under the complete influence of Beria on many issues and sometimes was a weak-willed tool in his hands.
Com. Malenkov bears moral responsibility for the shameful Leningrad affair fabricated by Beria and also for the case against Marshal of Artillery Nikolay Dmitriyevich Yakovlev fabricated by Beria.
Having had close relations with Beria for so long, Com. Malenkov could not fail to know about the slanderous provocation against these people to Stalin. The political spinelessness of Com. Malenkov and his dependence on Beria presented a special danger at the time of the death of Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin.
Instead of acting in full contact with other leaders of the Party and government, Com. Malenkov isolated himself with Beria and prepared proposals about the composition of the Government and the “reorganization” of ministries behind the back of other Party and government leaders.
This incorrect behavior of Com. Malenkov made it easier for the provocateur Beria to end up as Minister of Internal Affairs with far-reaching goals: the subordination of the Party and government to himself, which was the greatest danger to our Soviet state.
Almost until the arrest of Beria, Com. Malenkov was under his influence and supported Beria's proposals in a number of important political questions.
Com. Malenkov supported Beria and supported [him] on such an important question as the issue of our policy in Germany. Com. Malenkov supported Beria's proposal to completely abandon the policy of building socialism in the GDR and working toward withdrawing from Germany, affording an opportunity for the creation of a single bourgeois Germany as a supposedly neutral country. At the time the capitulatory proposals were rejected by the overwhelming majority of CC Presidium members. After the meeting, not only Beria but also Com. Malenkov pounced on individual Presidium members with threats, trying to intimidate them and get them to follow a capitulatory policy.
For his part, Beria supported Com. Malenkov in every way and nominated him for that criminal purpose in order to use his influence on Com. Malenkov to clear the way for his personal power.
In June 1953, under the influence of other Presidium members who were incensed at the impudent anti-Party behavior of Beria, Com. Malenkov took an active part in halting the criminal activity of Beria. However, in his speech at the July CC Plenum he did not find in himself the courage to subject his long and close relations with the provocateur Beria to vigorous Party criticism.
The CPSU CC thinks that Com. Malenkov, who managed agricultural questions for a number of years, bears political responsibility for the serious backwardness in this sector of the economy. Not having the necessary knowledge and experience in the field of agriculture, Com. Malenkov essentially did not try to seriously look into fundamental questions of agriculture, blindly trusting such a fraud as the former chief of the CC Agriculture Department, Com. Frol Romanovich Kozlov.
All these facts testify to Com. Malenkov's lack of the professional and political qualities needed to fulfill the responsibilities of the head of the Soviet Government.
Meanwhile, after the division of the posts of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers and First Secretary of the CPSU CC, Com. Malenkov incorrectly understood his functions and clearly aspired not only to the supervision of the activity of the Government but also the leadership of the CC Presidium.
Considering all the above, the CPSU CC Plenum considers it necessary to release Com. Malenkov from the responsibilities of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers.
The CPSU CC Plenum demands that Com. Malenkov draw all the lessons from the serious political mistakes which he has made and show his worth in a Bolshevist manner in the new work which will be entrusted to him by the Central Committee of the Party.
The CPSU CC Plenum notes with satisfaction that the decision adopted by the CC Presidium ensures the further strengthening of the collective leadership of the Party on the basis of Leninist fidelity to principle.
Comrades, here is the decision which was adopted. In my opinion, the decision in itself is quite clearly and concisely stated and therefore we need to adopt a corresponding decision which follows from the CC Plenum decision at a meeting of the [Supreme Soviet] session.
If we say what needs to be said, then we have been working together with one another for many years. Neither I nor others have any doubt of the political honesty of Com. Malenkov. But he has displayed political unsteadiness, weak professional preparedness and an unstable character in the sense of having the necessary qualities for management of large matters. This especially showed up very distinctly when he began to work in the post of Chairman of the Council of Ministers. And it needs to be said that this is not a Bolshevist quality. Instead of harnessing himself well to the business of expanding the entire economy and strengthening the Soviet state, there resulted a cheap playing up to the masses. It turned out, as with a Menshevist Labor voter, to promise to build a bridge and partly repair it.
The Bolshevik Party has always taught: tell its people the truth, whatever it might be, if necessary, tell the bitter truth but tell it correctly in order to teach and direct the Party and the people to solve any problems and tasks which are placed before the Party.
We have looked at what the approach to problems was. Here, take the speech that was given at the 5th session. It was quite cheap and appeasing. And I should say that the goals which Com. Malenkov raised were achieved, because half-educated, untrained people have all actually begun to credit Com. Malenkov: what a good man has come to power and, look, how have things gone? Things have gone better.
So am I speaking correctly? Did things turn out this way after the fifth session? (Voices from the hall: Right)
We have adopted a law in order to reduce the taxes for collective farms, we have annulled a very stupid law about taxing gardens because they tore up all the gardens; they tore up those branches on which they were sitting and were surprised why there were few fruits.
Completely correct decisions have been made on a whole series of questions.
But I want to ask in the presence of Com. Malenkov and evidently he himself will say, who decided and put forth these questions? The Party, the Central Committee. It discussed and worked up these questions. It adopted them.
If we are to tell the truth, then I would say that Com. Malenkov did not even display initiative in these questions, but artfully seized hold of them, not understanding the substance of many questions. Evidently several of his people who served him helped him.
And it was a harmful matter, comrades, when it turned out that they began to say: thanks to Com. Malenkov. He saved us.
And a great relief actually resulted when collective farmers received 13 billion rubles in 1953. In 1954 they received 25 billion rubles.
Comrades, each one felt this; and not only these billions, but the farms also improved. And in collective farmers' personal plots conditions were created in general for a great improvement of the economy and collective and state farm production. These facts, so to speak, speak for themselves.
It is unfitting to do things this way: to think about oneself and not think about the Party and not think about the people, about the Government. Comrades, we are all Communists, we should know one thing: to work for the people, but to work for the people is to strengthen the Party and for each of us, wherever he works, to build up the authority of our Party. The strength of our leadership is not in just the authority of one individual person but in the authority of our Party.
Comrades, I want you to understand me correctly: of course, the authority of the Party is composed of the authority of the individual members of this Party; it cannot be otherwise. Therefore we demand proper behavior, exemplary work, and fearlessness in the face of enemies so that it is always in the forefront. But, comrades, it's possible to be in the forefront and to go with the collective, working for the collective of our Party.
Com. Malenkov forfeited this golden Bolshevist rule. Why? Spinelessness. Not that he did not understand these questions; if he speaks, he will explain this correctly. But spinelessness in deed. He was seduced by this flattery, he pursued it instead of pulling himself together. Where you barge in it is an anti-Party act. He did not have sufficient spirit, he did not have sufficient courage.
About agriculture. He just built his demagogic speech on questions about agriculture. Com. Malenkov handled agricultural questions for many years. He was charged with this by the CC and the Council of Ministers. He was entrusted with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of State Farms and all other questions which relate to agriculture.
We've had a big failure and I would say that right now we've done quite a bit after all to clear the road and, comrades, I am confident that in a year or two, if we begin without overconfidence, so to speak, we will discover such wonders in the issue of improving agriculture that we will create complete abundance in the satisfaction of the needs of our people.
But, comrades, all the same it is not necessary to be Ivan the Forgetful and forget who is responsible for this matter in the Party. There is a distribution of responsibilities in the Party all the same and in this distribution of responsibilities this matter was entrusted to Com. Malenkov and he should have talked about this. If anyone, he should answer for this in the first place because he should have answered for agricultural questions and he should have raised them and prepared decisions.
Com. Malenkov did not say a word when a particular question was decided in order to expose a particular outrage. Why? Partly, he didn't understand the substance, and partly he understood, and they were telling him, but he did not have enough courage to raise his voice, and another time not only raised his voice but talked about this firmly and entered into necessary debate in order to make a stand. It was completely impossible without this. This is completely wrong, this is not proper.
And the solution of problems. The Council of Ministers is an enormous organization, there are ministers and there are deputies with whom one needs to work. The work was organized through assistants, but one can only scatter papers through assistants, however good they are, because an assistant does not have the right to make decisions. Therefore a whole series of questions were dragged out and not decided in a timely fashion, and questions were not prepared for a meeting.
Comrades, we cannot permit ourselves to operate this way like a slow-moving machine. We are a very large country, we should advance our economy, because if we stop, our enemies will overtake us and you know what this threatens us with. Therefore, we should use everything to the maximum in the interests of our country, in the interests of the people, in order to move forward more quickly, develop our economy, and thereby strengthen our country.
This business will not do at all.
And, comrades, it is telling here about the German question. This is a very serious question. The debate was very heated about this question and therefore it is impossible to say that opinions were exchanged and not examined.
No, Com. Malenkov examined this question. Why did he follow this path? I think that it is the result of weakness of character and the complete subordination of his will to this scoundrel, our enemy, whom we arrested and judged - Beria.
But comrades will say what you yourself have said: it's not Com. Malenkov but Beria. But, comrades, when the Chairman of the Council of Ministers blindly follows anyone at all, this is already bad, he should participate as a member of the collective in deciding questions and adopt appropriate decisions that would be useful to the Party. There were speeches about this question.
To abandon socialism in the GDR, this means to abandon East Germany, to unite [and] to send it to the West. Some people have said that there will be a unified German state, a neutral country between the Soviet Union and the bourgeois, capitalist world, the West.
Comrades, will Germany be a neutral country in our current conditions? This is impossible. Either it ought to go with us or go against us, if it is with the West. How many million lives did we give up, make it to Berlin, and now we should yield Eastern Germany to the Americans and the British? Is political maturity really going to be displayed in this matter? No, it is impossible to do this. Beria had certain goals: this is an agent and a spy, but Malenkov should have seen himself that this is not in the interest of our Party and our country. But then, comrades, it would have been naïve to think that we, for example, would give up Eastern Germany and we would right away have friendly relations with the British and the Americans. Is this possible? No, this is impossible. You just give the enemy a finger and he will grab your hand. You give him Eastern Germany and he will say: get out of Poland and Czechoslovakia. In their understanding, leave [means] a return to capitalism, to a capitalist system in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, etc. Where will the border be then?
Comrades, it is necessary to remember: an enemy needs to be kept at a distance, and to keep him at a distance [means] having the strength to do this so that he knows that if he claims something he will meet with fierce resistance. But to surrender positions without a battle. What is that?
I think that Beria was a traitorous capitulator. He was a spy, he worked with the Mussavat counterintelligence, which existed at the time the British were occupying Baku, and he worked in British counterintelligence; and in order that he not remain a British spy, so that the British would forget their own agent, this was left out. Therefore, he was simultaneously an enemy and an agent of the imperialists.
Obviously Com. Malenkov either was afraid or did not have enough courage and he capitulated to Beria and supported him. But, comrades, he supported [Beria] quite actively, he threatened, and he approached others to return to this question again and again in order to reconsider this question because they turned them down. The two remained together.
You know that this ended well: this served the more active struggle against Beria and led to his complete exposure.
Comrades, take the question about such a catchphrase as the end of civilization. This was, of course, a mistaken, incorrect act of Com. Malenkov. Such a statement of his, that the use of the atomic and hydrogen bomb would lead to the end of civilization, is mistaken.
We have always raised the question such that if war begins, then victory will be ours, that war will not lead to the end of civilization but to the end of capitalism, to an expansion of our borders, and to an expansion and an affirmation of our teachings, teachings created by Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin. But Com. Malenkov talks about “the end of civilization!” Such a catchphrase cannot mobilize but demobilize people, and it is useful to our enemies. Therefore they have seized upon this catchphrase abroad very strongly, and this has facilitated some confusion of concepts by our friends because some comrades have repeated the words which Com. Malenkov said. This was also very harmful since it teaches them incorrectly and does not strengthen the consciousness of the working class, our Party, and the people following our Party.
Here, comrades, are the questions and a whole series of other questions that you should know and be clear on from the decision of the Plenum and which then will be examined in more detail at meetings of city and raion Party committee activists.
I think that we will have no doubt that the measures that the Plenum of the Central Committee suggested need to be carried out.
There were several voices: but what about things abroad? They will make a terrible noise, they will say that, here, it has begun, but others will say that this is already the end.
Of course, this will be very much to the advantage of enemies. But, comrades, if we are afraid of this then we will lose the main thing. We should think first of all about our positions: how will this be reflected in our strength? But this is reflected well in our strength because we are strengthening the leadership of the Council of Ministers. In addition, it will have great significance for educating the Party and we will only gain from this. As regards our enemies, then you know how many times they have relied on such things and how many times they have failed! And they will fail again and our cause will profit from this!
One more question, about heavy and light industry. Of course, we also need printed cotton; we need boots, and other things.
Some might say that, here they removed Malenkov and it means now, goodbye boots and other goods (laughter in the hall).
I think that is too primitive an idea because this is not determined by a person, whatever position he took, not by an individual comrade, but is determined by the Central Committee, it is determined by our Party and our government. Therefore the policy that our Party has taken will be continued because it was continued in these questions under Lenin, under Stalin, and after our remarkable leaders, who laid a firm foundation, left us, they created a Party and pointed out the route for the Party's achievement of victory.
And here's the proof for you: the Plenum of the Party Central Committee just finished work on the questions of developing animal husbandry. What does that say about this? It's just that there are questions of the production of consumer items. What the consumer items are, are meat, potatoes, bread, butter, and other articles.
VOICE FROM THE PRESIDIUM: And leather is boots (laughter in the hall).
Yes, but leather grows at will, accordingly, so do boots and meat and wool. The development of animal husbandry is also a deep understanding of the question; it is also a struggle for the satisfaction of consumer demand for consumer goods. And we don't need to simply get rid of them with jabber and promises; rather we need to solve specific problems. If agricultural production is not raised then the grain problem will not be solved, then we won't have animal husbandry, and if there is no animal husbandry there won't be consumer goods. But since consumer goods don't fall from the sky, we need to get them from the earth. And the Party's policy is directed at this, it has been assured, and we will move forward every year. But we will now clearly and firmly pursue a policy of developing heavy industry.
Com. Vyacheslav Molotov and I had to receive our “friend” Hearst. (Laughter). This is a scumbag; it's hard to find another like him among these capitalist scoundrels, even in America, but we had quite an amiable conversation with him. He was evidently very worried about the interests of the Soviet Union and asked:
“What's going on, are you abandoning heavy industry? What's the main thing for you now, light industry or defense?” You see, this interests him. I replied:
“No, you've understood us incorrectly. Heavy industry has always been first and foremost for us”.
Without heavy industry there could not be light [industry]. Comprehensive development is necessary for a country to develop strongly, and heavy industry should occupy the leading place in this structure - metal, coal, chemicals, and engineering. Without this, comrades, we would not improve the virgin lands and we would not improve agriculture, because machines are needed to do this, and machines need metal, fertilizer is needed, very much of it, which industry gives [us], and heavy industry first of all.
The absolute main thing for us is strengthening the defense capacity of the country. But what kind of defense will there be if we hauled lousy cannons around on bulls (and cannons would then be only lousy ones)? No, in our time we should have good weapons: good artillery, good aircraft, hydrogen and atomic weapons. And now we have them. But from where did they appear? Heavy industry produced them - metallurgy. And the Party taught us correctly, and we should not retreat from this, that heavy industry should occupy the leading place in the economy. Comrades, whoever forgets this and whoever won't promote this will be acting against the interests of our Party and our class. This is a very serious question, comrades, and therefore the Party decided to rap Molotov's knuckles. Com. Malenkov evidently did not think about this question and evidently got carried away. I cannot say that he is against heavy industry, but he became enthralled with promises. But the main thing is that the promises do not depend on him, they depend on the entire Party. But this created such an impression and introduced confusion because we still have many opportunists even among the members of our Party. Such “scientists” were found - but in the CC they call them “excuses for scientists” - who began to maintain that in such a stage of development of a socialist economy it was right that the main thing now not be heavy industry, but light industry. Comrades, this would be a gift to our enemies! Our enemies want this very much, and we will disappoint them greatly today when they find out that we are replacing the Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
There will be much howling, and then they will see that the matter will be even stronger after this.
In concluding my information and comments about the Plenum's decision I think that we will approve the Plenum's decision and do what the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party recommended. (prolonged applause).
VOROSHILOV - Who wants the floor? Anyone? Com. Malenkov wants a word.
MALENKOV - Comrades, I completely agree with the decision of the Central Committee of the Party and support the proposal which the Plenum has submitted.
The resolution is very harsh, but the basic information is correct. I have had an opportunity to think this matter over and I think that, no matter how difficult it is, I am obliged to acknowledge point by point that this decision is correct, namely that our Leninist-Stalinist Party Central Committee should make a principled decision.
I made gross mistakes. I am obliged to bear responsibility for this very matter, and I am obliged in the strictest fashion to carry out the demands of the Central Committee at any post, in any area of work which is entrusted to me.
Everything was stated clearly in the resolution and in the decree and on the whole I completely subscribe to it and declare in the most sincere fashion that this decision was fundamentally correct and justified.
In accordance with this decision I will be obliged to give a statement to the session about my release from the post of Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
If you permit, I will make this statement public, bearing in mind that this statement does not completely exhaust all the reasons which were described in the resolution of the Central Committee Plenum because the international situation has to be considered and not everything that we do in the Party can be submitted to judgment. Therefore the statement will differ from what was said in the CC Plenum resolution.
But I want to make this statement public, bearing in mind that as regards the Plenum decision, I accept it wholly and completely, and I share and am obliged to fulfill all the demands of the Central Committee.
As regards the statement, here is the text:
To the Chairman at a joint meeting of the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities.
Please inform the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of my request to be released from the post of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers.
My request is occasioned by practical considerations about the need to strengthen the leadership of the Council of Ministers and the advisability of having another comrade who has great experience in government work in the post of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers.
My two years of experience has showed that during the execution of the complex and important responsibilities of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers my insufficient fund of knowledge of local work reflected negatively on me and that I was not suitable to directly manage individual sectors of the economy in ministries or in any other administrative body.
I also consider myself obliged at the present time to say that now, when the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the workers of our country are concentrating special efforts to quickly improve agriculture, I see my fault and responsibility for the unsatisfactory state of affairs that has developed in agriculture, especially since the crucial work to expand work in agriculture and monitor the work in the field of agriculture has been entrusted to me for a number of years.
At the initiative and under the supervision of the CPSU CC, the Communist Party has already developed and is implementing a number of large-scale measures to overcome the backwardness in agriculture and quickly improve it. This program relies on the only correct foundation, the further extensive development of heavy industry. And only its realization will create the necessary conditions for the further improvement of production of all the necessary consumer goods.
It cannot be doubted that various bourgeois, hysterical people will engage in slanderous inventions in connection with my statement and my release from the post of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers.
But it seems that we, the Soviet people, will ignore this lie and slander, for the interests of the Motherland, the interests of the people, and the interests of the Communist Party are above all for each of us.
In addressing a request to release me from the post of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers, I want to assure the USSR Supreme Soviet that in the new sector entrusted to me I will perform my duty and those responsibilities with which I am charged in the most conscientious fashion under the leadership of our monolithic unity and the solidarity of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Soviet government.
I think it again necessary to repeat that my mistakes were gross, large, serious mistakes and that I am obliged to fulfill the demands of the Central Committee in a conscientious fashion, and I am obliged to win the trust that I have lost with specific deeds.
VOROSHILOV - Does anyone perhaps want the floor?
VOICES FROM AROUND THE HALL - No.
VOROSHILOV - The question arises of a candidate to the post of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. Com. Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev has the floor on this issue.
KHRUSHCHEV - The Central Committee has discussed this question and nominates Nikolay Aleksandrovich Bulganin to the post of Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (vigorous, prolonged applause).
Do I need to give an assessment of Com. Bulganin?
VOICES - It's not necessary.
KHRUSHCHEV - I think that the proposal of the CC and your reception of this candidate is the best assessment (prolonged applause).
I think…is this question thereby settled?
VOROSHILOV - Your applause is taken as confirmation of the motion (prolonged applause).
KHRUSHCHEV - Of course, the following question arises with each comrade - who will be Minister of Defense? After the appointment of Com. Bulganin to the post of Chairman of the Council of Ministers it will be difficult to combine that work with the work of the Minister of Defense. Com. Bulganin will be released from the responsibilities of Minister of Defense.
The Central Committee has discussed this question and for its part nominates Com. Georgiy Konstantinovich Zhukov as Minister of Defense (prolonged applause).
KHRUSHCHEV (turning to Com. Voroshilov) Is the decision accepted?
VOROSHILOV I think so. Is the decision accepted? (General laughter).
Are there any other nominations other than the ones Com. Khrushchev has made?
VOICES FROM THE HALL. No.
This means that it is considered adopted (prolonged applause).
KHRUSHCHEV. The Central Committee has also entrusted me to make a report to the Party group of how the Central Committee intends to use Com. Malenkov in the future.
Here's the decision: Com. Malenkov is to be used in the post of Minister of Electric Power Stations. This is a specific business. Com. Malenkov studied at a polytechnic institute at one time and we think that Com. Malenkov (he has made himself a promise and understands this) will put his best foot forward, take on this business, and safeguard it.
And Com. Malenkov is also approved as Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers.
There's the decision regarding the use of Com. Malenkov.
And, what's more, Com. Malenkov will remain as a member of the CC Presidium.
VOROSHILOV. Does anyone else want the floor on this question?
VOICES FROM THE HALL. No.
VOROSHILOV. Are there no other questions? Is everything clear?
VOICES FROM THE HALL. Clear. No.
VOROSHILOV. Permit me to consider this meeting of the Party group closed.
The meeting of the Council of the Elders will be held at 11.
A joint session of the Soviet of the Union and the Soviet of Nationalities will be held at 1 PM.
Khrushchev reads the decision of the Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU that states that Georgy Malenkov does not have the knowledge or experience to fulfill the post of Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers. The decision lists political mistakes that Malenkov has made, including his close relationship to Lavrenti Beria. Khrushchev upholds this decision, citing examples of Malenkov's political and ideological weakness: his support for abandoning socialism in East Germany in favor of a unified, neutral Germany and his emphasis of light industry over heavy industry, among others. Malenkov speaks, accepting responsibility for his mistakes and agreeing with the CC Plenum decision. Khrushchev then nominates N. A. Bulganin to replace Malenkov as Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers and G. K. Zhukov to replace Bulganin as Minister of Defense; both nominations are accepted. Malenkov is given the posts of Minister of Electric Power Stations and Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers.
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