Visit to the United Kingdom of Bulganin and Khrushchev, 19-27 April 1956
LIST OF CONTENTS
Section A.—Main Discussions
Section B.—Anglo-Soviet Cultural Relations, Development of Contacts
(Records of meetings between Mr. Nutting and Mr. Mikhailov)
Section C.—Drafting of Final Communiqué (Middle East)
(Record of discussions between Sir I. Kirkpatrick and Mr. Gromyko
Meeting held at the Foreign Office on the morning of April 21. (Annex: Draft Statement on Middle East)
Section D.—Miscellaneous Records of Conversations
III.—Principal Public Statements
Joint Final Statement with Declaration on the Further Development of Contacts between the U.S.S.R. and the United Kingdom
IV.—Note by Messers. Brimelow and Barker on the Personalities of Mr. Khrushchev and Mr. Bulganin
VISIT TO THE UNITED KINGDOM OF MESSRS. BULGANIN AND KHRUSHCHEV
Mr. Bulganin, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and Mr. Khrushchev, Member of the Praesidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, visited the United Kingdom as official guests of Her Majesty's Government at the invitation of Sir Anthony Eden from April 18 to April 27, 1956.
During their stay eight meetings were held under the Prime Minister's Chairmanship between the Soviet leaders and United Kingdom Ministers to discuss various aspects of Anglo-Soviet relations and of the international situation. In addition a series of meetings was held between the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Anthony Nutting, and the Soviet Minister of Culture, Mr. Mikhailov, in connection with the Declaration on the development of contacts between the United Kingdom and the USSR and a further series of meetings between the Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign Office, Sir lvone Kirkpatrick, and Mr. Gromyko, Soviet Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, in connection with the final Communiqué.
Summary records of these meetings are included in the present volume, as well as records of certain informal conversations which took place between United Kingdom Ministers and the Soviet leaders. These records were not agreed between the two sides each of which took its own notes of the discussions.
At the conclusion of the visit a Joint Statement on the discussions, together with the Joint Declaration on the further development of contacts between the USSR and the United Kingdom was signed by the Prime Minister on behalf of the United Kingdom, and Mr. Bulganin on behalf of the Government of the Soviet Union at a short ceremony at the Foreign Office on April 27.
During the course of their visit the Soviet leaders were received by Her Majesty The Queen. They also visited Parliament, and the City of London as well as the Atomic Energy Research establishment at Harwell and the cities of Oxford, Birmingham and Edinburgh. A detailed programme of their activities during their visit will be found in the present volume.
PART II. RECORDS OF DISCUSSIONS
SECTION A. – MAIN DISCUSIONS
RECORD OF FIRST PLENARY MEETING, HELD AT No. 10 DOWNING STREET, APRIL 19, 1956
1. Anglo-Soviet Relations
The Prime Minister said that he would like to follow up what Mr. Khrushchev had been saying at lunch about relations between our two countries. It was perfectly true that our political systems were different. But there was no reason why this should prevent the improvement of relations between our two countries. That was what we wanted to achieve at this meeting. It was essential to bear certain differences in mind. The Soviet Union was a great land Power, probably the greatest in the world, great in wealth and resources. We were a scattered community with this country at its centre. We take some pride in the fact that during the past 50 years many countries which at one time have belonged to the British Empire had developed and achieved independence. We were trying to lead them all to self-government. Once they achieved self-government it would be for them to decide what they wanted—to remain in the Commonwealth or to leave it. That was what had been going on this year in Malaya, the Gold Coast and Nigeria. It was a continuing process. We felt that, if our relations with the Soviet Union were to be really good, we must know what was in each other's minds. We had to clear up mutual suspicions. We had to say frankly that sometimes we felt that the Soviet authorities were critical of what we were doing. We were always ready to explain our methods and purposes. We had nothing to hide. But if our friendship was to continue, it must have a basis of understanding. Mr. Bulganin and Mr. Khrushchev both expressed agreement.
The Prime Minister continued by saying that their agreement was very important. Mr. Khrushchev had said that people in the United Kingdom were very doubtful about the USSR. We for our part had thought that the Soviet leaders were unfriendly to us as regards developments in the colonial territories. If the Soviet leaders were only able to see things on the spot, they would see that what we were doing was beneficial for the development of all the colonial peoples of the world. That was why we British thought it would be a good thing if our peoples could develop cultural exchanges on both sides. It seemed to the Prime Minister that it might be a good thing if we could sign during this visit some declaration of our intention to develop these exchanges.
Mr. Bulganin said he would express his first thoughts. As regards the development of Colonial Territories, he assumed that the Prime Minister's remarks had been prompted by the speeches made by the Soviet leaders in India.
The Prime Minister said that he had in mind not only these speeches hut also the general policy of the Soviet government.
Mr. Bulganin said that the Prime Minister had spoken effectively and that no exception could be taken to what he had said. As regards exchanges and contacts, the English were a practical people and probably had a draft up their sleeve. It might be possible to reach some agreement if the draft could be submitted for consideration.
It was agreed that on the Soviet side the discussion of the draft should be the responsibility of the Soviet Minister of Culture, Mr. Mikhailov, in consultation with the Head of the English Department of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Erofeev; and that on the British side the discussions should be handled by Mr. Nutting and the staff of the Foreign Office.
Mr. Khrushchev said that, as regards colonial policy, he thought that their position had been fully explained. A question of principle was at stake. It was not a question of friendship, but one of principle and they would not deviate from their principles. They would welcome it, if the United Kingdom would continue to take steps to grant freedom to their former colonies. But on the question of principle they could not change their attitude. They asked us to love them as they were. Of course, the Prime Minister still had in mind the sharply-worded statements which Mr. Khrushchev and Mr. Bulganin had made in India and Burma. Since India and Burma had previously been British possessions, it was natural that these remarks should have been interpreted as having been directed against the United Kingdom. But that was not so. Soviet criticisms were directed against colonialism as such. The statements which had been made did not reflect any desire on their part to quarrel with the United Kingdom or to cause unpleasantness. They were merely statements of principle. They wished to continue their friendship with Britain. But they would criticise any country which followed a policy of colonialism, which they believed to be wrong in principle. There was no need, Mr. Khrushchev continued, for him to repeat their basic criticisms of the colonial system. These criticisms were fully set out in the fundamental works which they used as their guide.
Mr. Bulganin said he thought that there was no need for any further discussion on the subject.
Mr. Khrushchev said that, on the question raised by Sir Anthony Eden about contacts and exchanges of persons, he wished to express his interest. They were ready to proceed to large-scale exchanges between the two countries, covering cultural delegations, publications, fiction, technical books, theatrical exchanges, contacts, radio broadcasts, &c. All this would be acceptable to them. There was, however, as they had shown at the Geneva Conference of Foreign Ministers, a point on which they were sensitive. They did not wish other people to impose on them things which they did not desire. They had their own institutions, habits and conceptions. For their part they took into account the English way of life. Let us in this question start from practical principles and possibilities. The possibilities were great. At Geneva attempts had actually been made to impose ideas on them from outside. The time when such things could be done had gone, if indeed it had ever existed. If the British side were prepared to take this into account and to bring about closer contacts, then the Russian side would be prepared to reciprocate. They were pleased with what had been achieved in the past year. They considered that between Great Britain and the Soviet Union there were no questions concerning exchanges which could not be settled.
The Prime Minister said that he did not want to let go about the colonies. He wanted to explain a little more about the Commonwealth. It had no rules it was a very loose association. The colonies would have the choice as they grew up of going out or staying in. This was something that had never happened before in the history of the world. We were proud of it, and that was what we wanted our friends to understand.
Mr. Khrushchev said that in that case he would like to add something. He must give the British their due. As the newspapers had been very critical about him, he must admit that he had said some sharp things. On the other hand, he recognised that the British .had acted wisely and courageously in giving independence to these former colonies. There was no comparison between the way Britain and France acted. He would like to say that the leaders of the countries which he and Mr. Bulganin had visited had very good relations with the British Government. They had had no special talks on the subject with these leaders as they had not wanted to create bad feeling. They did, however, feel that then local leaders appreciated the policy of the British Government. Mr. Khrushchev contrasted this with Indo-China, where the French had fought for 8 years and, as a result, had lost all connection with the country. In so far as they had any connection, it was rather with North Vietnam. Mr. Khrushchev then referred to North Africa and said that the Soviet Government were alarmed that the French might make the same mistake and things reach the same pitch. He believed that any advice on these matters would be superfluous as the Prime Minister understood them better than he did. The British could find a policy which favoured their interest and also those of the people of the country. He wanted the Prime Minister to understand that if they spoke critically of the colonial system, it was not from enmity towards Great Britain but because they believe all colonial rule should end.
The Foreign Secretary said that there was a view in this country that the new developments in the Soviet Union were only a change of tactics. The view was also held in certain quarters that the Soviet Union believed that the British Empire stood in its way and that the British Empire must therefore he destroyed and all traces of British interests must be removed from the areas where we had influence. This view was that the Soviets were working against us everywhere. In those matters of colonial policy, wherever they came up, the Soviet Union was always to the fore in working against us.
Mr. Khrushchev said that, speaking frankly, the impression had been created, not because the Russians wanted to put us at odds with them, but because the colonial system was by now so rotten that every waft of the wind rocked it.
The Foreign Secretary said that that sort of remark stood in the way of improvement of relations between the two countries. The British people were intensely proud of the action we had taken in India and Pakistan and were now taking in, for example, the Gold Coast, Nigeria and the West Indian Federation. Khrushchev had just said that our action in India was wise and courageous; it was a pity he did not say that sort of thing publicly.
Mr. Bulganin said that they were amused by the suggestion that recent step taken by them had merely been a change of tactics. He referred to the Austria Treaty and the communiqués after their visits to Yugoslavia and India. It was impossible to imagine that the recent Congress simply represented a change of tactics. New principles had been set forth relating both to their internal and t their foreign policy.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he would like to add that they had never made any secret of the fact that they believed that the Socialist system was a better one. This was, however, an internal matter.
The Lord Privy Seal asked whether, at the 20th Party Congress, there was any change in the attitude of the Soviet Government towards the expansion of the Soviet Union.
Mr. Khrushchev asked whether Mr. Butler would not wish to see all Socialist countries disappear, if this could be brought about without war. Would he not welcome it, if the Supreme Soviet were to meet one day and proclaim that the policy of Socialist construction had failed and that they were reverting to private enterprise.
The Prime Minister said that he would have to think that one out very carefully.
Mr. Khrushchev said that, as a Communist, he sympathised with any country which evolved towards the Socialist form of government. But they had repeatedly stressed the fact that they would not further their objectives by war or internal interference.
The Prime Minister summed up this part of the discussion by saying that we could agree to discuss differences of foreign policy on a basis of not interfering in each other's internal affairs.
Mr. Bulganin raised the question of a public declaration in favour of the Five principles.
The Prime Minister said that these were all included in the Charter of the United Nations.
The Prime Minister said that he had noted with interest and pleasure the improved relations between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. He wanted to ask whether what had happened with the Soviet Union's relations with Yugoslavia would happen with her relations with the Satellite nations. He had seen that there had been changes of Ministers, for instance, in Bulgaria. Was this in accord with the new principle of the 20th Congress or was it an internal matter? Our friends knew that the situation in the Satellite countries was criticised here as not being in accordance with what was agreed at Yalta. That applied to political questions and to religious toleration. He wondered whether the improvement between Yugoslavia and the change in Bulgaria would be reflected in other countries.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he believed they were agreed that, in the course of their discussions, they would not interfere in the affairs of other countries. There was a Bulgarian representative in London who should be competent to discuss these matters.
Mr. Bulganin said that the reply given by Mr. Khrushchev was quite exhaustive. It was not a new question. An attempt had been made to raise it at Geneva. The term "Satellite" was used. This was quite unacceptable and insulting for those countries.
The Lord Privy Seal said that there was a feeling that some of these countries were under the sway of the Soviet Union. Could Mr. Khrushchev give any explanation of their relationship, showing that they were quite independent.
Mr. Khrushchev said that there was no analogy between colonial questions and the Soviet Union’s relations with these countries. These were based on equality and respect of national sovereignty. Since they had escaped from capitalist slavery later than the Soviet Union, the Russians felt compelled to help them economically.
The Lord Privy Seal referred to the fact that Stalin forced Czechoslovakia to renounce Marshall Aid and enquired whether the present regime would take similar action to-day.
Mr. Khrushchev denied that Stalin had influenced Czechoslovakia's decision and suggested that the Czechoslovak Ambassador should be invited to provide information on the subject.
Mr. Bulganin asked to see a copy of the draft declaration of intentions and this was handed to him (see Annex).
Mr. Khrushchev then raised the question of United States intervention in Guatemala. Discussion on this subject was brought to a conclusion by the Lord Privy Seal suggesting that Mr. Khrushchev could ask the Guatemalan Charge d'Affaires.
2. European Security and German Reunification
The Prime Minister said that they had been over a good deal of this ground at Geneva and Berlin. The question was whether any progress could be made. It was a matter which did not concern the two Governments alone. There could be no real security in Europe as long as Germany remained divided.
Mr. Khrushchev said that their position in the matter had been clearly stated. They had introduced proposals and so had the Western Powers. If there was a better possibility of reaching agreement he would be only too pleased. He wished to repeat that it would be an artificial approach to link the question of European security with Germany. The settlement of the German problem should be found by the two German states.
The Prime Minister pointed out that at Geneva the Russians had recognised that there was a link between the European security and the reunification of Germany and drew the Soviet leaders’ attention to the Directive by the heads of Government of the Four Powers to the Foreign Ministers (Annex XI of the Record of the Meeting of the Heads of Government, WG/1071/1254G).
Mr. Khrushchev said that, nonetheless, what he had said represented their view. He considered that the division of Germany was no obstacle to the establishment of a European security system. He was ready to discuss the matter again.
The Foreign Secretary asked whether the objection on the part of the Soviet Union related primarily to the giving of a choice to the United Germany of what alliance (if any) it would join.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he believed that, at the present stage, the question was irrelevant since the Soviet Government had handed over the rights to the German Democratic Republic and the matter was one for the two German Governments to discuss. The Soviet Government was ready to discuss the withdrawal of troops from Germany.
The Prime Minister proposed that the next meeting should discuss the Middle East.
This was agreed to.
DRAFT DECLARATION OF INTENTIONS ON DEVELOPMENT OF CONTACTS
The Heads of Government of the United Kingdom and of the USSR, on the occasion of the visit to the United Kingdom of Mr. Bulganin and Mr. Khrushchev and as a result of the discussions which they have had, have agreed upon the following principles:—
(i) They recognize that the Governments of each country are entitled, on the basis of reciprocity, to have their respective position explained to the peoples of the other country. Nothing should be done by either Government to hinder the endeavours of the other to explain their point of view.
(ii) They are agreed that each Government should exclude from its policies and practices any attempt, either by hostile action or propaganda, to subvert each other’s institutions.
(iii) They desire to facilitate the freer exchange of information and ideas and, to this end, progressively to eliminate censorship and other obstacles which hamper the full flow of factual information and varied comment between the peoples of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.
(iv) They consider that there should be reciprocally no impediment to the free reception of broadcasts from the other country in accordance with the above principles.
(v) They favour the sale of and distribution of newspapers, periodicals and literature in each other's countries and, on a basis of reciprocity, the opening of information centres in London and Moscow to which all should have full access without hindrance or discouragement from their own Government.
(vi) They wish to encourage the exchange of information between the principal academic, professional and scientific bodies in the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, and to increase the exchange of Government publications between the two countries.
(vii) They believe that the promotion of free exchange of persons and ideas between the two countries can best be achieved by employing as the respective intermediaries the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council and VOKS. They undertake to facilitate the granting of visas to persons sponsored by these organisations.
(viii) They look forward to the increase of private tourism and travel in each other’s countries by the removal of restrictions on travel and by the fixing of appropriate rates of currency exchange.
(ix) They favour the increase of all types of exchanges between sporting, cultural, technical and scientific organisations, on a reciprocal basis, drawing on the best which each country has to offer, and to increase the exchange of suitably qualified students to study at each other’s universities.
(x) They agree in wishing to abolish, on a basis of reciprocity, the restrictions imposed on the ability of members of the diplomatic missions of the two Governments to travel in each other’s countries.
(xii) They recognise the desirability of reciprocal exchanges of direct air transport services between cities in the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom.
(xiii) They intend to consult, through the diplomatic channel, upon the measures necessary to give application to the above principles.
RECORD OF SECOND
PLENARY MEETING HELD AT No. 10 DOWNING STREET, ON FRIDAY MORNING, APRIL 20, 1956
1. Middle East Situation
The Prime Minister said that he wished to discuss the Middle East. We should see if we could say something to help the United Nations in their important work in that connection. He had read the statement issued by the Soviet Government in Moscow carefully. In certain respects it coincided with our own views. The Prime Minister suggested that we should approach the problem on the lines of trying to strengthen peace in the area, not by individual interventions, but by support of the United Nations.
Mr. Khrushchev said that the Soviet Government had issued a statement setting out their understanding of the position. Accordingly, he would like to hear the Prime Minister’s views.
The Prime Minister said that he would be completely frank with his Russian colleagues. He thought that the situation between Israel and Arab States was highly dangerous. It was enough to mention the refugee problem, tension on the frontiers, the desire of Arabs to return home to Palestine. It was not that the Governments on either side necessarily wanted war, but there was danger of an incident leading to war.
The Prime Minister referred to the 1950 Declaration in which the United Kingdom, the United States of America and France had taken part. He knew that the Russians did not like it, but it had been issued in an effort to prevent the outbreak of war in the disturbed conditions immediately after the armistice. The more we could do under the United Nations, the better we should be placed and the less emphasis would be placed on the 1950 Declaration. The Prime Minister handed to Mr. Bulganin and Mr. Khrushchev the draft of a joint declaration for their consideration (see Annex).
Mr Khrushchev said that they must think over the document, but the last part (relating to the foregoing of the veto) was obviously unacceptable. The right to the veto was provided in the Charter and they could not alter the Charter. The rest of the draft declaration seemed all right.
Mr. Bulganin said that his impression was that the statement was too complicated. It covered a number of subjects. He confirmed what Mr. Khrushchev had said about the veto.
The Prime Minister explained that he had no intention of revising the Charter. All he had in mind was that the two Governments should indicate that they were not prepared to use the veto in this particular connection. In that way, the United Nations would be more confident of their ability to act.
Mr. Khrushchev stated that such a declaration would be considered as a reflection on the Soviet Government’s use of the Veto and that, as a consequence, they would never subscribe to it. The Soviet Government would do all they could to prevent a conflict in the Middle East. He suggested that there were outside forces encouraging Israel to be bellicose. If Israel were to start a war, the whole of progressive opinion in the world would be on the side of the Arabs.
The Prime Minister said that he did not think that Israel would start a war. He was neither pro-Israel nor pro-Arab. He stood for peace.
The Foreign Secretary explained that the United Kingdom proposal was not meant as an attack on the veto. He recalled the remark of a member of the Soviet Delegation to the United Nations that the veto was the cement which held the United Nations together. The suggestion in the United Kingdom draft was that an attempt should be made to define an aggressor. It did not extend to action.
Mr. Gromyko asked whether the Foreign Secretary meant that this was more than a procedural question.
The Foreign Secretary agreed that it was, but pointed out that it did not refer to the sanctions.
The Foreign Secretary said that, if it was known that steps would be taken very quickly to define and aggressor, that would be a deterrent. Both sides were relying on the likelihood of there being a confused situation after a serious incident had taken place. He wondered whether it was not possible to devise some means of speeding up the determination of the aggressor and referred specifically to paragraph 1 (a) of the United Nations Resolution No. 378. He said that offered a possible means of determining an aggressor. Those who were not prepared to act in the manner laid down in the Resolution would be deemed to be aggressors. Our objective should be to agree on a procedure for determining an aggressor. He emphasised that we were not seeking to determine to-day who the aggressor was. We were trying to devise a procedure for the future.
Mr. Khrushchev repeated that he thought that it was a good initiative that the two Governments should bring their influence to bear to prevent a conflict. But he said that they had not been authorised by anyone to work out a definition of aggression and doubted whether other Governments, such as Egypt or Israel, would accept their definition. Mr. Khrushchev offered to produce a document on the subject.
The Prime Minister said that the essential point was that we should say something which would convince the parties that, in the event of aggression, we should be against them.
It was agreed that Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick and Sir William Hayter should meet with Mr. Gromyko and Mr. Malik to try and devise an acceptable formula.
2. Supply of Arms to the Middle Easter Powers
The Prime Minister then raised the question of the supply of arms to the Middle Eastern Powers. The United Kingdom was under very strong pressure to sell arms to both sides. We had been trying to spread out deliveries—the policy of a trickle. He recognised that they could not settle this question, but could they not think of some approach to the other parties.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he was quite prepared to take part in a discussion on the supply of arms to that area. It might be useful to find some form of understanding which would apply to other countries which were supplying or were about to supply them, e.g. France and Canada. Accordingly, the idea expressed by the Prime Minister accorded with his own.
The Prime Minister suggested that Mr. Bulganin and Mr. Khrushchev should think it over and discuss it later in the visit.
3. Middle East Oil
The Prime Minister referred to a matter which affected the position of the United Kingdom. We were dependent in our industrial life on outside supplies of oil. Without that oil we should have unemployment and we would slowly starve to death. Our Russian friends would understand that we were not prepared to allow that to happen. For us the supply of oil, mainly from the Persian Gulf area, was literally vital. That did not mean, of course, that we wanted anything but peace in the area. On the contrary, any disturbances interfered with the supply of oil. We were working as hard as we could on the development of atomic power but, for the next twenty years, we should be dependent on oil for our life. He wanted to say this to our Russian friends to show why we were so sensitive on that point and why we were so interested in what happened in that area.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he valued this frank and friendly statement. They understood the position of their English friends. They had discussed this particular matter within their Government. But, in general, they were doing what they could to avoid any possibility of conflicts or disturbances in any part of the world. They would be willing to try to establish some contacts, so that the policies of the two countries would not come into conflict in the Middle East.
The Prime Minister said that he valued the way in which Mr. Khrushchev had spoken. He thought that he must be absolutely blunt about the oil because we would fight for it.
Mr. Khrushchev said that the Prime Minister would hardly find sympathy with the Soviet Government if he said that we was prepared to start a war. They, for their part, would only resort to war if an attack were mad on them or on the Warsaw Pact countries.
Mr. Khrushchev then raised the question of the Bagdad Pact. He claimed that, while the Pact caused no concern to the Soviet Union, they regarded it as troublesome. Countries like Turkey and Iran need some peace and tranquillity, and the Soviet Union wanted to have good relations with them. The Pact, on the other hand, incited these countries against the Soviet Union. They were poor countries, but the only aid which they were receiving was for arms which made them into bases for attack against the Soviet Union. They were poor countries, but the only aid which they were receiving was for arms which made them into bases for attack against the Soviet Union. They represented a threat to the Soviet Union’s frontiers, and specifically to Baku. Mr. Khrushchev asked that the Prime Minister should take their interests into consideration.
The Prime Minister said that there was not question of the Bagdad Pact being used against the Soviet Union. He emphasised the importance of the economic projects which were being developed by the Bagdad Pact countries.
The Foreign Secretary emphasised that Iraq and Iran were important sources of oil and it was, therefore, essential for us to keep the area peaceful. We believed that the Pact would help in doing so.
After restating his views on the Pact, Mr. Khrushchev reverted to the Prime Minister’s statement that, as he put it, he was prepared to fight a war in that part of the world. He said that it was close to the Soviet frontiers. If the Prime Minister’s statement was intended as a threat, they must reject it.
The Prime Minister repeated that what he had said was that we could not live without oil and that we had no intention of being strangled to death. We were no threatening anybody.
It was agreed that consideration should be given—
(i) to the preparation of a joint statement with a view to reducing the risk of war between the Arabs and the Israelis; and
(ii) as to whether anything could be suggested to prevent the outbreak of an arms race between the Middle Eastern States.
Mr. Khrushchev referred to the previous agreement that no information should be given to the press. He said that this might give the impression that they were engaged in secret talks. The Soviet Government were not used to keeping their public ignorant of what they were doing. This method might lead to high hopes being raised which might be disappointed.
It was agreed that the issue of a communiqué should be discussed at the next meeting.
E-MEMOIRE HANDED TO THE SOVIET LEADERS ON APRIL 20TH, 1956
The two Governments declare their intention to do all they can to ensure the maintenance of peace and to refrain from any action which might lead to a conflict between Israel and the Arab States.
They will support United Nations measures aimed at strengthening peace in the area, and will carry out the decisions of the Security Council designed for this purpose.
If an outbreak of hostilities should unhappily occur the two Governments will support the steps taken by the United Nations to identify the aggressor. In particular, they declare their readiness to agree in conjunction with the other Powers to forgo the use of the veto in whatever decisions the United Nations thinks necessary for this purpose.
RECORD OF THIRD P
LENARY MEETING, HELD AT No. 10 DOWNING STREET, ON FRIDAY AFTERNOON, APRIL 20, 1956
The terms of an interim communiqué were discussed and agreed to.
Mr. Gromyko was invited to give an account of the proceedings in the Disarmament Sub-Committee. He said that they had had before them three documents—
(i) a Soviet proposal;
(ii) Franco-British proposals;
(iii) a working paper presented by the United States Delegation, which they had stated was not final.
In view of the fact it had not proved possible to reach any agreement for a long time, the Soviet Government had proposed an agreement on conventional weapons only. Mr. Gromyko had explained, on instructions, that the Soviet Government were still in favour of prohibiting atomic and hydrogen weapons. They had only put forward proposals on the subject of conventional weapons because no agreement had been reached on the subject of atomic weapons. The Soviet view was that agreement on conventional weapons would pave the way for a comprehensive agreement. In preparing their latest proposals, the Soviet Government took into account those which Mr. Macmillan had put forward at the Geneva meeting of Foreign Ministers, including the figures for the forces of the Five Powers, as originally proposed by the Western delegations. The Soviet proposals gave a figure of 150,000-200,000 men for the other countries and provided for the setting up of a restricted zone on the lines proposed by the Prime Minister at the Geneva meeting of Heads of Government. Furthermore, if difficulties were met on their other proposals, certain preliminary measures might be taken into account. Such preliminary measures were the prohibition of tests of thermo-nuclear weapons, a 15 per cent cut in military budgets and a suggestion that the Four Powers in Germany should agree that their forces would not be armed with atomic weapons.
Mr. Gromyko said that the attitude of his colleagues had so far been a negative one. In particular, the French and British delegations had once more tied up the problems of atomic weapons and conventional weapons while the American delegation had suggested higher levels for the armed forces of the Five Powers. The only control in which the Western delegations seemed to be interested was aerial photography. The French and British delegations had only been willing to agree to the prohibition of the subsequent development of atomic weapons, but not to the destruction of existing stockpiles. Any one member of the committee of fifteen would be able to halt further progress simply by accusing another member of not complying with the provisions of the agreement. Finally the Western delegations had implied that no progress could be made unless the German problem were settled. The Soviet delegation regarded this attitude as quite unrealistic.
Mr. Nutting said that it was not correct to say that the attitude of the Western Powers to the Soviet proposals had been negative. The position was that the Sub-Committee had before them three plans and they were trying to make a synthesis of those plans. On the specific points raised by Mr. Gromyko, Mr. Nutting said that our view had been that the agreement must cover nuclear as well as conventional disarmament. On the figures that there had been some difference, since the Soviet proposals related to the final stage and the Western proposal to the initial stage. Aerial photography had always been part of the control machinery. There was nothing new in that. The most fundamental point on which there was divergence was on the possibility of making progress while the German problem remained unsettled. On May 10, 1955, the Soviet Government claimed that a settlement of political questions would facilitate the solution of the disarmament question. They appeared to envisage a series of stages which would be reached as political problems were settled. Now their view had changed completely, for they had suggested that drastic reduction could take place before any single political problem was solved. It was not possible to settle disarmament without taking political questions into account. Mr. Nutting agreed that there was substance in Mr. Gromyko’s point about each of the fifteen members of the Committee having a veto, but doubted whether this could be prevented as far as the Great Powers are concerned. On this point he was prepared to consider any alternative proposal which Mr. Gromyko might wish to put forward.
The Prime Minister enquired whether it would not be possible to add something on atomic weapons to the existing proposals.
Mr. Bulganin said that the Soviet proposals of May 10 still stood. In their latest proposals they had simply summed up all the Western proposals and included them in their own.
The Prime Minister said that this was not quite so. There was also a little matter of control.
Mr. Khrushchev asked whether the countries which made up Sub-Committee really wanted to disarm. It would be dangerous to mislead public opinion; as soon as the Soviet Government adopted a Western proposal as their own, the Western Powers went back on them. Mr. Khrushchev alleged that forces existed which had a vested interest in armaments.
The Prime Minister said that he could assure him that this was not quite true of the United Kingdom. Armaments orders drew men and material away from our most productive exports.
Mr. Khrushchev said that the proposal for aerial photography was totally unacceptable to the Soviet Union. They did not regard it as a serious proposal and had only refrained from ridiculing it out of respect for President Eisenhower. He said that disarmament was essentially a matter of confidence and that it was desirable to build up conditions of confidence by, for example, trade.
RECORD OF FOURTH
PLENARY MEETING HELD AT CHEQUERS AFTER DINNER ON APRIL 21, 1956
The Middle East
The Prime Minister, after enquiring whether there was any subject the Russians wished to raise, said that it might be useful to look at a draft document on the Middle East which had been concocted by Mr. Gromyko and Sir I. Kirkpatrick earlier that day. [Annex to Document No. 13.]
Mr. Bulganin said that the document was acceptable with some verbal amendments. For example, in the first paragraph it might be better to talk of the Near and Middle East rather than the Middle East. In Russian the Middle East comprised an area including Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Prime Minister accepted this amendment and it was agreed to use the wording "Near and Middle East" in the first and last paragraphs.
The Foreign Secretary suggested that in paragraph 4 the word "endeavour" might be replaced by the word "initiative." The object of change would be to indicate our desire that a move should be made by the United Nations towards a settlement of the Arab-Israel dispute.
Mr. Bulganin said that this amendment was acceptable.
The Foreign Secretary then proposed that in paragraph 5 an amendment should be made to the effect that we recommend not only the alleviation of the hardships of the refugees, but also a settlement of the refugees’ problem.
After some discussion Mr. Bulganin said that he did not think that the proposed amendment would improve the paragraph and urged that the text should remain as it was. The Prime Minister agreed.
The Prime Minister then suggested that some referee might be made in the document to the problem of arms deliveries. Both the Russian leaders rather demurred and, after some discussion, it was agreed that further reflection should be given to the matter. There was some support for the view that an effort should be made to mention in a general context in some other document the desirability of avoiding an arms race in any part of the world.
The discussion was concluded by agreement that the document under discussion should be embodied in the final communiqué.
RECORD OF THE FIF
TH PLENARY MEETING HELD AT CHEQUERS ON SUNDAY, 22nd APRIL, 1956, AT 11 a.m.
1. Middle East
The Prime Minister recalled that at their meeting on the previous evening agreement had been reached on the terms of a statement about the Middle East. He had been wondering whether this should be reserved for inclusion in the final communiqué at the end of the talks or whether it should be issued earlier as a separate declaration.
Mr. Bulganin said that he thought it would be better to reserve this for the final communiqué.
The Prime Minister said that in that event it was important that in both sides should keep secret, not only the contents of the agreement, but also the fact that it had been reached.
Mr. Bulganin assented to this.
Mr. Khrushchev said that at the meeting on 20th April he had explained the attitude of the Soviet Government towards the work of the Disarmament Sub-Committee of the United Nations. The Soviet Government did not believe that any useful results would flow from the work of that Sub-Committee. They were, however, anxious to see some progress made towards disarmament. They had reviewed this problem with their colleagues shortly before they left Moscow and he would like to summarise, in confidence, the conclusions which they had reached. In their view the cold war, though it was still being continued artificially, had exhausted itself. The impulse to continue it came from quarters which favoured the maintenance of large armed forces. The cold war was being used as a pretext to justify the high level of taxation which was needed to maintain large forces. Similarly, justification had to be found for regional defence pacts like NATO and the Bagdad Pact. These military groupings had to be justified by reference to conditions of international tension; and the Soviet Union was being used as a bogy in order to maintain a level of tension sufficient to warrant these military preparations and expenditures.
In trade also a policy of discrimination against the Soviet Union continued to be followed. This showed that in some quarters there was no desire to end the cold war; for trade contacts, if they developed, would melt the ice. Continued control of trade in strategic goods was unjustified. In this context "strategic" was a relative term: for grain or sugar would be as "strategic" as guns if it came to war. The maintenance of these restrictions was inconsistent with the creation of an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence. In point of fact these controls were not in all respects detrimental to the Soviet Union. On balance, it might even be that the Soviet Union gained something from them. For, if the controls prevented them from buying certain types of machinery abroad, they were compelled to make it themselves—an in this they were doing pretty well. Denmark, for example, used to supply tankers to the Soviet Union: when this source of supply was cut off, the Soviet Union had to begin building tankers themselves: now they were in a position to export tankers to Denmark. On balance it seemed likely that the controls over trade in strategic goods were more damaging to the Western Powers than to the Soviet Union. Despite this, however, there seemed to be no signs as yet that the Western Powers were prepared to relax these restrictions.
The Soviet Government were anxious to establish friendly relations with the Western Powers and to increase their contacts with them. They would continue to resist any attempt to impose on them ideas, e.g., about political structure, which were alien to their thinking. On the other hand they were convinced that neither the Government nor the people of the United Kingdom desired war with the Soviet Union. They thought that the same was true of the Government and people of France. It was also true of the German people, who had no desire for war—they did not even wish to rearm: they were being forced into this by the Western Powers. In the United States the people did not desire war: but within the Government, there was a conflict of views—some favouring war as a means of resolving the existing differences between East and West and others being opposed to it. But, because of the mood of the people, even the aggressive elements within the Administration had recently become less extreme. If one analysed the speeches made by United States leaders over the last eighteen months one could see a marked change: the belligerent element was now softened. Even McCarthy had now become silent. This showed that the idea of war was not popular with the American people. As for other countries, they offered no threat to peace. Italy and Greece were too weak to wage war. Holland, Belgium and Denmark could not fight alone, they could only provide bases for others. Yugoslavia was against war. Turkey and Persia were poor countries: they would fight only at the behest of the Great Powers. Even the United States and Britain could not start a war against the Soviet Union without the aid of Germany.
The Prime Minister here interposed that Britain had no thought of starting a war against the Soviet Union, with or without Germany.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he was glad to have this assurance. He was, however, trying to explain the view of the strategic situation which the Soviet Government took, looking at it from their own angle and on the basis of their own information. They considered that Anglo-American forces, in a war against the Soviet Union, would need the help of Germany. But the Germans did not want war. They had not yet recovered from the effects of the last war. And they realised that, if a major war broke out in Europe, Germany would at once become the cockpit for hydrogen and atomic warfare and it would only be a matter of weeks, or even days, before her territory was devastated.
Thus, in present conditions—created by measures taken partly by the East and partly by the West—there was an atmosphere in which peace might be established. But in order to prevent this peaceful move developing too quickly the Western Powers had secured the appointment of the Disarmament Sub-Committee of the United Nations with the aim, not of promoting disarmament, but of maintaining a certain level of armament. The members of the Sub-Committee spent their time in hair-splitting argument and in putting forward an endless series of proposals and counter-proposals. He was sorry for those who had to spend their time on this unrewarding work.
The Soviet Government had therefore decided to break out of this vicious circle. They had decided to make, unilaterally, a very considerable reduction in the total strength of their armed forces, including a reduction in the numbers stationed in Germany. He could not at present state the precise numbers involved because this was still being worked out. But, towards the end of May or the beginning of June, the Soviet Government would make a considered statement announcing this reduction and basing it on an evaluation of world conditions on the general lines which he had indicted. If there were a sympathetic response from the other Great Powers, the Soviet Union would be prepared to go even further in reducing armaments. They had determined to take unilateral action of this kind because they thought that this would make it plain to world opinion that they did not desire war. They also believed that this announcement, when it came, would hamper the activities of those elements in other countries which were trying to maintain international tension and continue the cold war.
Mr. Khrushchev concluded by saying that this statement of the Soviet Government’s intentions was made in strict confidence. They had, however, been anxious that the United Kingdom Government should know in advance what action they were proposing to take in this matter.
The Prime Minister said that he was greatly interested in the statement which Mr. Khrushchev had made. He would like to offer some comments.
First, as regards trade, the volume of Anglo-Soviet trade had increased in recent years. He believed that, even without relaxation of strategic controls, this increase could be maintained. The scope of the controls had already been reduced to some extent, and further reductions could doubtless be made as international tension lessened. This, however, could not be determined by the United Kingdom alone. During his recent visit to Washington he had discussed the strategic controls over trade with China, which were even more restrictive. Speaking personally, he hoped that means would be found of securing a gradual relaxation of these restrictions on trade. But, even though they had to be maintained for the time being, he believed that there were other means by which the volume of Anglo-Soviet trade could be increased; and he would like to pursue this further at another meeting, at which the President of the Board of Trade could be present.
The Prime Minister said that Mr. Khrushchev had been good enough to give, in confidence, advance information about a forthcoming reduction in the strength of the Soviet forces. In return, he would like to mention, equally in confidence, the plans which he had in mind for reducing the size of the United Kingdom forces. Our military system was different from that of a continental Power, since it was founded largely on volunteers. It was equally important that this change would involve a significant reduction in the total numbers in all three Services.
The Prime Minister recalled that great reductions had been made in the strength of the British Forces immediately after the end of the war. Our Forces in Germany were at one time reduced to two weak Divisions. The lead which we had then given had not been followed by other Powers. He could only hope that the reduction which the Soviet Government were now thinking of making would have a better moral effect on others.
As regards the state of public opinion in the United States, the Prime Minister agreed that the Americans were a peace-loving people. The forces of public opinion which favoured peace were very strong. In the two world wars of this century these forces had, for a long time after the outbreak of hostilities, restrained the United States Administration from entering the war. There was, it was true, a noisy minority which seemed to favour more violent methods, but he agreed that their influence was less strong than it had been.
The Foreign Secretary suggested that something might be included in the communiqué on the following lines:—
"The two Governments reviewed together the progress made in discussions in the Disarmament Sub-Committee of the United Nations, and discussed the differences which had emerged. With a view to encouraging moderation and restraint in arms production, and to avoid an arms race in conventional or nuclear weapons in any part of the world, they agreed that it was necessary to make rapid progress with the first phase of a disarmament agreement. They decided to instruct their representatives on the Sub-Committee accordingly."
Mr. Khrushchev said that the communiqué should contain some reference to this subject. The Soviet representatives must, however, keep it in mind that, when they announced the forthcoming reduction in size of the Soviet Forces, they would wish to imply that this unilateral action was taken because the discussions in the Disarmament Sub-Committee had hitherto been fruitless. They had little ground for confidence in the Sub-Committee as a practical instrument for securing disarmament.
The Foreign Secretary said that he would like to raise another point. United Kingdom Ministers were concerned about the risk that some of the smaller countries might begin to manufacture nuclear weapons. It was evident that the use of atomic energy for civil purposes would be developed rapidly in all parts of the world, and there was a real risk that ill-intentioned Governments would be enabled thereby to manufacture nuclear weapons. This was a practical problem on which he would welcome the views of the Soviet representatives.
Mr. Khrushchev said that the Soviet Government shared this apprehension. In their view, the only effective way of preventing this development was to prohibit tests of nuclear weapons. It was inevitable that there should be a widespread development of atomic energy for civil purposes. Countries which had the means of producing it for those purposes would acquire, as a by-product, the means of manufacturing nuclear weapons. This could not readily be prevented by methods of inspection or control, for a bomb could be produced in quite a small workshop. It was difficult to discover how to make nuclear bombs; but, once that knowledge had been acquired, it was not difficult to produce them. The right solution was therefore to prohibit tests; for a country which had not been able to make a test could not be sure that it had a bomb which would work. The Soviet Government could think of no other means of averting the risk to which the Foreign Secretary had drawn attention.
The Prime Minister said that he was not sure that this would be completely effective. He believed that there were intermediate weapons—less powerful than a hydrogen bomb but much more powerful than the old atomic bomb—which could be manufactured without need of tests. He also understood that some of them could probably be tested without detection.
Mr. Khrushchev said that, while these were important points, the main need was to build up an atmosphere of international confidence. Without it, inspection and control would not suffice. The Soviet Government were, however, in favour of international control of disarmament. Provision for control had been included in the proposals which they had put forward on 10th May. It was difficult to devise practical measures of control which would be fully effective; but the proposals tabled by the Soviet Government would at least provide for warning against a surprise attack. If that could be guaranteed we should have gone a long way towards creating conditions of international confidence. For the first stage of a disarmament plan, that was perhaps the most important factor. So far as concerned the international discussions on disarmament, the Soviet Government had not further proposals to make. All their cards were on the table. If any fresh initiative was to be taken in the Sub-Committee, it would be better that the United Kingdom should take it; for they had the advantage of being able to co-ordinate their proposals, in advance, with the other three Powers represented on the Sub-Committee.
It was agreed that Mr. Nutting and Mr. Gromyko should consider, in the light of the discussion, what might be said on disarmament in the final communiqué to be issued at the end of the talks.
3. Future Procedure
A short discussion was held about the arrangements for considering some of the remaining topics which were to be discussed during the second visit of the Soviet leaders.
It was agreed that trade questions should be discussed at the meeting on Tuesday, 24th April.
(b) Cultural and Other Contacts (Rouble Exchange Rate)
It was agreed that this should also be discussed at the meeting on 24th April.
The Prime Minister said that he would like to take the opportunity of mentioning one connected point which could more conveniently be raised in this smaller gathering. This related to the exchange rate for the rouble. Would it be possible to make some special concession for business visitors and tourists? If this could be done, it would be of great help in promoting increased trade and increased contacts through travel.
(c) Individual Cases
The Foreign Secretary said that the United Kingdom Government were being pressed to raise with the Soviet leaders, during their visit, a number of individual cases. These could not conveniently be discussed at a plenary session. Would it be convenient that Sir William Hayter and Mr. Malik should meet together to consider them?
The Prime Minister added that, though there were few cases of this kind, the attracted disproportionate attention in the British Press; and, if they could be cleared up, this would help substantially towards improving Anglo-Soviet relations.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he could at once give an assurance that no Russian wife of a British subject would be detained forcibly in the Soviet Union if she expressed a wish to leave it to rejoin her husband. If necessary he would be prepared to consider a proposal that, in doubtful cases, the husband should meet the wife and discuss the position.
It was agreed that Sir William Hayter and Mr. Malik should meet to consider individual cases of this kind.
(d) Final Communiqué
It was pointed out that, while the last of the series of official discussions would be held on 25th April, the Soviet leaders would not leave this country until 27th April. Was it desirable that the final communiqué on the talks should be issued on the evening of 25th April, before the Soviet leaders left for Scotland?
Mr. Khrushchev suggested that, while the text of the communiqué should be settled by the evening of 25th April, it would be preferable that would not be issued until their departure on 27th April.
The Prime Minister said that he would be content with that arrangement unless it seemed likely that there might be some development in the situation in the Middle East. In that even it might be preferable that the communiqué should be issued on the earlier date. He suggested, and it was agreed, that this point should be kept open for the time being.
Mr. Khrushchev said that the Soviet Government had accepted the Geneva settlement on Indo-China. Complications had now arisen, but he believed that these were largely artificial. The position of the Western Powers seemed to him to be inconsistent. They had said at Geneva that they favoured free elections; but, now that the time had come, they seemed unwilling that they should be held.
The Foreign Secretary said that the United Kingdom Government were still anxious that election should be held and they had continued to press this view on the Prime Minister of South Vietnam. They would continue to bring the greatest possible pressure to bear on him to create conditions in which the Commission could do its work and to make a forthcoming statement about holding the elections. They were most anxious that the Geneva Agreement should be carried out. They did not think it would be wise at this stage to reconvene the Geneva Conference. They thought it better that the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, as co-chairmen, should continue to deal directly with the Governments concerned. India and Canada were willing to continue to deal directly with the Governments concerned. India and Canada were willing to continue to operate on the Commission, and it was to be hoped that Poland would similarly be prepared to carry on. It would be unfortunate if the Commission abandoned its work.
It was agreed that Lord Reading and Mr. Gromyko should continue their discussions on Indo-China and should, if necessary, make a report at the plenary meeting on the 24th or 25th April.
Mr. Khrushchev said that the situation in the Far East now seemed quieter, but the potential causes of trouble had not been removed. Formosa was Chinese territory; and the coastal islands of Quemoy and Matsu were a threat to the mainland. The Chinese Government could not accept the present situation and, if a diplomatic settlement could not be reached, they might be tempted to seek a solution by force. The United States had not moral or juridical right to assist Chiang Kai-shek in a civil war. The aim should therefore be to secure that these islands were returned to China without war, and to secure that China was represented in the United Nations by the Chinese People’s Government.
The Prime Minister said that, as he saw it, the problem of the coastal islands was different from that of Formosa. Quemoy and Matsu were in close proximity to the mainland and in all recent history had clearly formed part of China. He agreed that all possible steps should be taken to avoid any outbreak of hostilities over these islands. Formosa, however, was a rather different matter. It was not unreasonable that Chiang Kai-shek and his followers should have somewhere to live. He reminded Mr. Khrushchev that there had been a time, in the war, when the Soviet Government had favoured Chiang Kai-shek and chided us for not giving him sufficient support. In the solution of the problem of Formosa, time must be allowed to play its part.
As regards Chinese representation in the United Nations, Mr. Khrushchev’s representations could more appropriately be addressed to another quarter. For the United Kingdom had at least recognized the Chinese People’s Government as the Government of China. From the practical point of view, there was nothing to be done about this question at least until after the forthcoming elections in the United States.
RECORD OF SIXTH P
LENARY MEETING, HELD AT No. 10 DOWNING STREET ON TUESDAY MORNING, APRIL 24, 1956
1. Moscow Air Review
Mr. Khrushchev said that it was the intention of the Soviet authorities to invite representatives of the Royal Air Force to their Air Review in Moscow.
In reply to a question by the Prime Minister, Mr. Khrushchev said that they would be given an opportunity of meeting members of the Soviet Air Force.
The Prime Minister said that the question of restrictions on exports to the Soviet Union had already been discussed. The more relaxation of tension there was, the easier the position would become. Within the framework of the existing controls there was considerable scope for trade which had increased substantially in the last year. The Prime Minister suggested that at this meeting there should be discussion of the means of increasing trade within these limitations.
Mr. Khrushchev said that the lists of what could be sold and what could not be sold were not available to the Soviet Government. For that reason the prohibitions had an inhibiting effect on trade. They would naturally do what they could to undermine the strategic list. They had time. They were not thinking of worsening their relations with us because of that. They attached great importance to reducing restrictions on trade. When they had exchanged views they would have some proposals which they would instruct Mr. Kumykin to put to the British Ministers.
The President of the Board of Trade said that there was nothing static about the strategic lists. In 1953 the number of items was reduced by nearly one-third. The best way of reducing the lists still further was to get away from the underlying fear which made their imposition necessary. There was no secret about them. They were published and were available to the Russians. Further talks could take place on the basis of known facts. In 1954 Mr. Kumykin had issued a statement estimating what could be purchased from this country. The list was between £200 million and £300 million, of which between half and three-quarters was outside the strategic lists. We welcomed the suggestion for further discussions. If our traders could be given facilities for making over in larger numbers they would provide the basis of mutual benefit.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he agreed with a great deal of what the President had just said. They would welcome visits from British businessmen. He would, however, like to repeat that they would continue to fight against the lists irrespective of what was in them. It was a matter of principle. Mr. Khrushchev thought the British Government would welcome such moves on their part.
The Prime Minister said that the Russians no doubt also had things which they would not wish to sell.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he hoped the Prime Minister would let the Russians know what we wished to buy.
It was agreed that the President of the Board of Trade and Mr. Kumykin should meet and discuss the matter further.
The President of the Board of Trade said that he appreciated what Mr. Khrushchev had said about strategic controls. He welcomed his expressed intention to see how much trade could be done outside the controls.
At the stage the President of the Board of Trade and Mr. Kumykin left the meeting.
The section on Disarmament for the final communiqué which had been drafted by Mr. Nutting and Mr. Gromyko was examined (see Annex A).
Mr. Gromyko said that the Russians could not accept the second sentence of paragraph 2: "They also recognise that the settlement of the political problems which are causing international tension would promote confidence between States and thereby facilitate the carrying out of the large-scale disarmament." He said that a sentence so worded would imply that disarmament was dependent to a considerable extend on agreement of political problems. This wording would not provide a basis for a common text. It went far beyond the disarmament framework.
The Foreign Secretary pointed out that the words in question had very good authorship. They were in the Russian proposals of May 10, 1955. We were not trying to make the one conditional on the other. It seemed to us to state what was the truth, that agreement on a disarmament statement would help to reduce international tension. Apart from that, we would also say that the settlement of political problems would promote confidence between States and thereby facilitate the carrying-out of disarmament.
Mr. Gromyko said that, in the Soviet Government’s statement of May 10, 1955, it had been indicated that the settlement of specific questions such as the problem of military bases on foreign territory and the withdrawal of troops from Germany would establish confidence. Furthermore, the Soviet Government’s proposals on the reduction of armed forces were not made subject to the settlement of political problems.
The Prime Minister said that it seemed to him that the matter was not of major importance but it was a glimpse of the obvious. All it meant was that if the talks went well, it would help disarmament.
Mr. Gromyko said that, while the Foreign Secretary had spoken in general terms, the Sub-Committee had alluded to concrete questions such as Germany and the Far East. The Russians could not accept this sentence.
The Foreign Secretary said that we are trying to have all our talks on a basis of realism. He did not believe there would be a large-scale disarmament until some political problems had been settled. If we made no reference to political problems people would think that this part of the communiqué was unrealistic.
Mr. Bulganin said that he was still of the opinion that the sentence should be deleted, since public opinion might understand it in a different sense to that indicated by the Foreign Secretary. It might be taken as a condition of disarmament.
It was agreed that the sentence should be deleted.
4. Development of Contacts
The meeting considered the "Joint Declaration on the Further Developments of Contacts between the USSR and the United Kingdom" which had been drafted by Mr. Nutting and Mr. Mikhailov (see Annex A and B of Document No. 11).
The Foreign Secretary drew attention to the last part of paragraph (v) "the reciprocal removal of all obstacles to the free movement of citizens of either country to and within each other’s territory, and to the fixing of appropriate rates of currency exchange." He said that the Russians had offered an amendment.
Mr. Bulganin said that the latter part of the sentence was unacceptable as this was internal matter. They were working on the problem now but they could not agree to a reference to it being made in the Declaration. He proposed to substitute "Both Government will afford all possible assistance in implementing these measures, in particular by the creation of more favourable economic conditions." This was accepted.
After discussion it was agreed that the second sentence of paragraph (vi) of the United Kingdom draft should be amended to read: "to that end they will take practical steps directed towards ensuring a freer exchange of appropriate information by the spoken and written word."
The Foreign Secretary drew attention to a big point of principle which was raised by paragraph (vii) of the United Kingdom draft. It related to the bodies through which the organising of cultural exchanges was to be done. We would like the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council to be recognised as the appropriate body in the United Kingdom. At the moment something was being done in this connection by the British Soviet Friendship Society, the Society for Cultural Relations with the USSR and the British Peace Council. This was a domestic matter, for us, but these bodies were in fact controlled by British Communists. If we were to get results from such exchanges, it would be much better of the bodies responsible for carrying them out in this country were not under the control of the British Communists. There were very few Communists here and the organisations sponsored by them were distrusted by the rest of the country. If these contacts were to be a success, it would be much better if they were carried out in the way we suggested. The Chairman of the Soviet Relations Committee was a member of the Labour Party, there were also Conservatives, Trade Unionists and non-Party people on the Committee.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he understood our position but we must understand theirs. If they accepted what the Foreign Secretary had proposed, it would stand in a certain contradiction of what the Prime Minister had already said, about freer exchanges. There were trade unions, societies, theatres and so on. It would be a retrograde step to make all work go through the British Council.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he would take our remarks into account. They would use the British Council and also go through other channels. We could rely on them. For the sake of clarity would be better to delete paragraph (vii).
The Prime Minister suggested that they should think over what had been said. It was not our intention to eliminate other means of contact, such as trade unions, but the use of Communist organisations for this business in this country prejudiced people against them.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he understood the awkward situation. They realized that it would be a mistake to confine their contacts to those organisations which the Prime Minister had said were uninfluential.
It was agreed that there should be a further meeting between Mr. Nutting and Mr. Mikhailov.
It was also agreed to publish the Joint Declaration as a separate document but to make reference to it in the communiqué.
It was agreed that Sir I. Kirkpatrick and Sir N. Brook, in consultation with Mr. Gromyko and Mr. Malik, should draft an opening statement of a general political character for inclusion in the communiqué.
Mr. Gromyko said that he wished to make a statement about the work of the Disarmament Sub-Committee. He had been instructed by the Soviet Government to say that they were prepared to consider conventional disarmament should not be made to depend on the attainment of an agreement on atomic weapons. He made this statement solely for our information, not to start a discussion.
the course of the exchange of view the Disarmament problem was discussed. It was agreed that a solution of this problem would be of the utmost significance for the maintenance of universal peace. The leaders of the two Governments reviewed the position reached in the discussions in the United Nations and the proposals made by the Powers concerned.
The Government of the Soviet Union and the Government of the United Kingdom attach great importance to the necessity of concluding an appropriate international agreement on this problem. Such an agreement would help to reduce international tension, to increase confidence between the States and to relieve the burden of military expenditures. They also recognise that the political problems which are causing international tension would promote confidence between States and thereby facilitate the carrying out of large-scale disarmament.
The two Governments agreed on the paramount importance of saving humanity from the threat of nuclear warfare. They state that their common objective remains the ultimate prohibition of nuclear weapons and the devotion of nuclear energy exclusively to peaceful uses will continue their efforts to achieve this aim.
The Governments of the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom recognise the necessity of reaching an agreement to start without delay and without waiting for agreement on atomic weapons upon practical measures for a substantial reduction under appropriate international control of the armed forces of States with corresponding reductions in their [conventional] armaments beginning with the Five Great Powers.
The Governments of the two countries will continue their efforts to reach the necessary understanding on this question between the States concerned in the United Nations and the Disarmament Sub-Committee.
RECORD OF SEVENTH
PLENARY MEETING HELD AT No. 10 DOWNING STREET, ON WEDNESDAY MORNING, APRIL 25, 1956
1. Draft Communiqué
The meeting considered the text of a draft opening statement for the Communiqué (see Annex).
After agreement had been reached on a number of minor amendments, The Prime Minister suggested the following insertion as a new paragraph:
"They also recognise that the settlement of political problems which are causing international tension would promote confidence between States and thereby help to prevent an arms race."
Mr. Gromyko indicated that this was not acceptable as "it was not consistent with their policy on disarmament."
The Prime Minister then proposed the following alternative:
"They agree that the settlement of unresolved political questions would contribute to this."
The Prime Minister said that it was not correct to say that we were making disarmament dependent on political questions. It was, however, obvious that if we reached a political settlement in the Middle East, it would facilitate progress on disarmament.
In regard to paragraph 6 of the draft, The Prime Minister said that there would be a great deal in the Communiqué: much more than the world would have expected. For that reason, where we were not agreed it was better not to pretend that we were. He accordingly proposed the inclusion of the following sentence. "On certain other unsettled international problems, on which an exchange of views took place, it proved impossible to find a basis for solution at the present time. On other particular questions, the representatives of the Soviet Union and Great Britain have reached agreed conclusions which are set out in the following paragraphs."
Mr. Gromyko said that the existing text was worded in a neutral manner. It covered the points not yet settled and indicated on what basis future efforts should be made. It would be hard to deny that disputes in the Middle East, the Far East and Europe should be settled in accordance with the national rights and interest of the peoples concerned. The passaged said no more than had been said previously in joint documents, including the United Nations Charter.
Mr. Bulganin said that the paragraph was in a very general form.
The Prime Minister said that was why he could not accept it. It was not clear what it meant. It might be aimed at colonialism. On the other hand, some people who did not like Russia might ask if it were aimed against Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It was much better to leave it out.
After further discussion the following formula was agreed:—
"Both parties will strive to promote a peaceful solution in the interests of the consolidation of general peace."
2. Near and Middle East
Mr. Khrushchev said that he believed that at one of their meetings they had agreed to have an exchange of views on stopping the arms race in the Near and Middle East. He would like to set out their own views on this. They considered that this was the only question which had not been adequately worked out. And it was the only question capable of causing asperity in relations with England. There was no asperity in Anglo-Soviet relations except as regards the Near and Middle East. Unfortunately, they could not suggest anything at the present juncture to surmount the difficulties which were very unpleasant to them. If the Prime Minister could suggest anything they would be very happy to consider it. The problem of the arms race comprised first the sale of arms to the Middle Eastern Governments and secondly, the Bagdad Pact. If the Soviet Union were to agree to put their signature to a statement that they were against the arms race in the Middle East and if they were to maintain that position (and they would want to honour any agreement that they signed with us) that would involve an obligation not to sell any arms to countries in the Near and Middle East. As he had already pointed out, there were other countries which would not be affected this undertaking and would continue to sell arms. We should therefore not attain our end. Moreover, in that part of the world their interests and ours were in direct conflict. The United Kingdom had set up the Bagdad Pact. They wished to enlarge it. They were entitled to do so. The Soviet Union was fighting against it and they would continue to do so. Our positions were different and in a way antagonistic. A concrete expression of that struggle was that the United Kingdom wished to include as many countries as possible in the Bagdad Pact. The Soviet Union wanted the Bagdad Pact to wither away and disappear. Their interest coincided with those of a number of countries in the Near and Middle East. Those countries were resisting pressure put on them to join the Bagdad Pact. Some of those countries asked the Soviet Union to supply them with arms so that they could resist the pressure which was brought to bear on them. The Soviet Union could resist the pressure which was brought to bear on them. The Soviet Union regarded Israel as a cudgel used by some of the Powers to put pressure on some of the countries in the area to join the Pact. Therefore, if they were ever to give their word not to sell arms in the area and not to have them sold by their other countries, that would be regarded by the Arab countries as a pro-Israel move. It would be regarded as a change in their policy, and a change which would not be beneficial to the countries they had been supporting. Then there was a third point, a very important one. They recognised the great economic interest of the United Kingdom in that part of the world. They also recognised our need for oil and that without oil we were not in a position to develop our national economy or even to maintain it at its present level. The Soviet Union would like to find a solution in that area which was not directed against our interests. At the present time they had not suggestions to make. If the Prime Minister had any, they would be glad to consider them in order to remove the factors which were always becoming sources of misunderstanding between us in that part of the world. It would be useful if a solution could be found which was capable of reconciling their position on arms. They had no particular economic interests there. For instance, they had no need of oil. Their problem was to exploit the oil they had. They had no desire to set up any factories or to make investments to strengthen their economic interests in that part of the world. It was more advisable to make investments inside their own country. Therefore, they wished to try to surmount the difficulties which existed between the two countries on this delicate question, which was like an ulcer in Anglo-Soviet relations. It was not serious at the moment, but it might become more serious with the passage of time.
The Prime Minister said that he was glad that Mr. Khrushchev had spoken so openly about this matter. He also would speak with frankness because it was one of the few difficult issues between the two countries and one on which we might hope to make progress. There seemed to be two sets of problems with which we had to deal. So far as oil was concerned, the Prime Minister was glad of what Mr. Khrushchev had said: both sides now understood exactly where they stood. With regard to the Bagdad Pact, we had no intention of trying to persuade anyone else to join the Pact. We had no intention of building bases in the area of the Pact. We hoped that, with improved relations, the Bagdad Pact would be increasingly weighted on the economic side. Israel had nothing to do with the Bagdad Pact. Israel’s relations with the contiguous Arab States was a separate question. Iraq, though an Arab State, had no common frontier with Israel.
The Prime Minister asked whether some means could not be found of reducing tension in this area. The Arab States, particularly Egypt, had received considerable supplies of arms from Czechoslovakia. The Western Powers had given the Arab States, especially Egypt, a few arms and had also given a few arms to Israel. They had tried to keep the balance fairly equal, and to limit the flow of arms to a trickle. Could anything by said on this subject to the Communiqué? Could it be said, for example, that the two Governments had agreed "to exercise restraint in their supply of arms to other countries, particularly in areas of tension." Personally, the Prime Minister has the confident hope that, as relations improved, the Middle East area might become a lesser cause of difficulty between the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. We wanted nothing inimical to the Russians in that area. They know our economic problems there. So time would work in the right direction. Our statement on this point was good but it would be greatly reinforced if we could say something to the effect that we were not going to supply arms to the area. We, for our part, did not intend to do so anyhow, but we were not the only ones. The Prime Minister recognised that the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union could not solve the problem on their own, but they might say that they hoped that others would follow their example.
Mr. Khrushchev did not think that this suggestion would provide a solution for the problem. He agreed that we must look for something to prevent the creation of conditions favourable to war. But the difficulty was that many countries were supplying or were about to supply arms. If the Soviet Government refrained from selling arms themselves, they could not prevent others from doing so. They would be regarded in the circles which they called progressive as having failed to help those who were weak, while the other countries would be able to use the channels which we had already mentioned. Mr. Khrushchev said, in confidence, that they had very friendly relations with Czechoslovakia and Poland. It was quite likely that these Governments would listen to Soviet advice. However, if the Soviet Government gave their word not to sell arms to Middle East countries, and Czechoslovakia and Poland continued to do so, the Soviet Union would be regarded as dishonest. On the other hand, if such an agreement were reached and Canada and France continued to sell arms, the Soviet Union would think that the United Kingdom had not been honest. He himself could not see a way out. It was possible that agreement could be reached among a wider circle. He had not concrete suggestion to offer and did not intend to take any initiative. As far as the United Kingdom interests were concerned, Mr. Khrushchev said that he wished to repeat that the Soviet Union would take them into account.
The Prime Minister suggested that some reference might be made to the United Nations.
Mr. Khrushchev said that in whatever organisation the question was raised they would give it firm and honest support.
The Prime Minister said that further thought would have to be given to this matter.
Mr. Khrushchev said that for that reason they should confine themselves for the time being to the agreed text. The question was not, however, exhausted.
The Prime Minister said that they would both be asked whether they had spoken about the arms race and the Arab/Israel conflict, and whether they had any ideas on the subject. They might say that they realised that this was a problem which they could not solve by themselves and that they would join in supporting any international action in the United Nations.
It was agreed that, if either side had any further ideas which they wished to put forward on this question, they should be exchanged through the diplomatic channel.
At this point, the President of the Board of Trade with Mr. Kumykin and Mr. Kemensky, joined the meeting. They brought with them an agreed text on the development of Soviet/British trade relations [see Annex to Document No. 22].
The Prime Minister thanked the Ministers.
Mr. Khrushchev said that the figures mentioned in the agreed text might not be reached if our prohibitions on the sale of strategic goods prevented the Russians from buying all the things they wanted.
Mr. Kumykin said that this was clear from the agreed text.
DRAFT OF FINAL COMUNIQUE (OPENING PARAGRAPHS)
From 18th to 27th April, 1956, Mr. Bulganin, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and Mr. Khrushchev Member of the Praesidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, visited the United Kingdom at the invitation of Her Majesty's Government. During their stay they held a series of conversations with the Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Selwyn Lloyd, and other members of Her Majesty's Government on Anglo-Soviet relations as well as on the international situation as a whole. These talks have been conducted, on both sides, in a spirit of candour and realism. They have ranged over most of the international questions of current concern, and there has been a full and useful exchange of views.
The representatives of the two Governments recognised that the strengthening of Anglo Soviet relations in political, trade, scientific, cultural and other fields would be in the interests of the peoples of both countries. They were also convinced that this would serve the interests of general peace and security.
The leading statesmen of both countries expressed the determination of their Governments to work for a further relaxation of international tension. Having in view the present situation where there is not the necessary confidence in the relations between countries, they have expressed their determination to take all possible measures to facilitate the strengthening of mutual confidence and the improvement of the relations between States. They recognise that one of the important factors in strengthening confidence consists in personal contacts between the leading statesmen of the countries concerned, which have already produced positive results.
The two countries in their relations with each other and also in their relations with other countries, will be guided by the principles of the United Nations. They will do their utmost to put an end to the present armaments race and thus to free the peoples of the world from the threat of a new war. They are convinced that the basis of friendly co-operation and peaceful co-existence of all countries, irrespective of their social systems, is respect for national independence and sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in the internal affairs of others
They attached particular importance to maintaining security in Europe, being convinced that peace and security in Europe are of determining importance in preserving the peace of the world. But an understanding on the means to achieve that end was not reached.
As regards the other unsettled international problems, including those of Europe and Asia, an exchange of views has taken place. Both parties will continue to strive to promote a solution in accordance with the national rights and interests of the peoples concerned and the maintenance of general peace.
The leading statesmen of the Soviet Union and of Great Britain have come to the following conclusions with regard to certain individual problems which have been under consideration.
RECORD OF EIGHTH
PLENARY MEETING, HELD AT No. 10 DOWNING STREET, ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, APRIL 25, 1956
The passages in the draft Communiqué on the Middle East, Disarmament and Trade were accepted.
Discussion then turned on the terms of the Joint Declaration on the further development of contacts between the USSR and the United Kingdom (see Annex to Document 12).
Mr. Bulganin suggested that paragraph (vii) of the draft declaration should be deleted.
The Prime Minister said that he understood that Mr. Bulganin had had some talk about this on the preceding day with Mr. Mayhew, the Chairman of the Soviet Relations Committee. Mr. Mayhew had suggested a quite simple formula to the effect that exchanges should be organised in a manner acceptable to both Governments. He had understood that Mr. Bulganin agreed with this formula.
Mr. Bulganin said that Mr. Mayhew must have misunderstood him.
Mr. Mikhailov said that the Russians had understood that the British point of view had been met. They had undertaken to take it into account in their practical work. We could count on this.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he understood our wishes and that they would do their best to meet them.
Mr. Nutting said that, after long negotiations, six paragraphs of the draft reflected the Soviet point of view. It was not unreasonable that one paragraph should be allowed to reflect the United Kingdom point of view.
Mr. Mikhailov claimed that the text represented a common ground.
Mr. Khrushchev said that he did not like the text of paragraph (vii). It was contrary to the spirit of the visit and its results and was therefore not acceptable. The Soviet Union wanted to enlarge contacts. This text would narrow them.
The Foreign Secretary said that we really believed that if we were to have profitable exchanges of this sort, it was unwise to channel them through such organisations as the Anglo-Soviet Friendship Society. He cited the example of me Moscow Circus which had refused to come to this country under the auspices of the British Council but was coming under the auspices of the British-Soviet Friendship Society.
Mr. Khrushchev agreed that this should not have happened. He said that on his return to Moscow he would see what the procedure was and would change it. But in view of the misunderstanding there was in the West about the Soviet Union, everybody would think that the paragraph in question had been proposed by them if they agreed to its retention.
The Prime Minister said that this was not purely a Government problem. The people who were doing this work voluntarily were naturally upset. He asked whether, if nothing were put in this document, we could say when questioned (as we certainly should be) that the procedure was being reviewed.
Mr. Khrushchev agreed that it could be said that the practice was being reviewed.
On this understanding it was agreed to delete paragraph (vii).
The Prime Minister reverted to the question of including a reference to the solution of political questions facilitating progress in disarmament.
Mr: Khrushchev agreed that originally the cause of the armaments race had been failure to agree on political questions. But the armaments race had now reached a stage where the level of armaments was an impediment to the solution of political questions. The task now was to facilitate the solution political problems by means of the reduction of armaments.
The Prime Minister agreed but said that, if progress was made in the first degree of disarmament, they would then find that it was necessary to settle political questions in order to make further progress in the second stage. If he agreed to omit this reference, he did not want the Russians to misunderstand his position. Subject to the points noted above the terms of the Communiqué and of the accompanying Declaration on the development of contacts were approved. It was agreed that these documents should be formally signed on the evening of 26th April and released for publication in the Press on 27th April (see Documents Nos. 25and 26).
In further discussion the following points were also raised : —
(a) The Prime Minister said that one matter had not been mentioned which was an old affair between them. He would propose to say, if asked, that it had been agreed that the question of claims would be discussed through the diplomatic channel.
Mr. Khrushchev: Agreed.
(b) Mr. Bulganin said that they were proposing to announce at the Press Conference that their invitation to the Prime Minister to visit Moscow had been accepted; but that the date of the visit would be arranged later.
The Prime Minister said that he must speak with some of his colleagues about this and he would give them his answer later.
SECTION B. – DEVELOPMENT OF CONTACTS
ANGLO-SOVIET CULTURAL RELATIONS RECORD OF DISCUSSION WITH MR. MIKHAILOV, SOVIET MINISTER OF CULTURE, AND THE FOREIGN OFFICE ON FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 1956
Mr. Nutting invited Mr. Mikhailov to express his opinion on the draft agreement on cultural relations which had been handed to the Soviet leaders by the Prime Minister on the previous day [see Annex to Document No. 1].
Mr. Mikhailov said the draft had positive aspects in so far as it aimed at promoting exchanges of information and sporting and cultural ties. On the other hand, some points in it were not acceptable, and to this extent it represented a step backwards. The points which were not acceptable had been covered in the discussions at the Geneva Conference of Foreign Ministers and it was difficult to understand why they had been put forward again. It was desirable to have a more thorough discussion of the subject than the paper would allow.
Mr. Nutting said that the paper which had now been put before the Soviet delegation was by no means the same as the proposals put forward by the Western Powers at Geneva. However, the British attitude was that the work of expanding relations must be begun by removing the barriers which existed to free exchanges of information of the kind which were desired. The British side would be willing to consider adding to the draft any points which the Russians might wish to propose.
Mr. Mikhailov said he must point out that the Soviet people knew and respected the achievements of British culture. He listed recent manifestations in this respect which had been organised in Moscow, including the recent exhibition of English art, two film festivals (one of British films and one of films about Britain) an exhibition of British literature published in the Soviet Union, a conference on Shakespeare, and concerts of British music, including one conducted by Sir Arthur Bliss. The Soviet Union were determined to continue along these lines.
Turing to the draft agreement, Mr. Mikhailov said that point (ii) was an insult to the Soviet Government, which did not indulge in propaganda hostile to the United Kingdom. As regards point (v) of the draft, the Soviet Government could not accept a declaration which would include the provision that "access to the information centres should be without hindrance or discouragement from their own Government." This was a step backward and a violation of Soviet freedom.
He then produced examples of obstacles to the expansion of cultural contacts which the Soviet Union had encountered . The Soviet Government had wanted to buy British films, but the British film trade had not regarded this as advantageous to themselves and no agreement had been re ached. A Russian circus was now in Paris and arrangements had been made with Mr. Tom Arnold to bring it to London. But the circus had been unable to obtain British visas in Paris.
Finally, Mr. Mikhailov referred to point (viii) of the draft agreement, about travel and the rouble rate of exchange, and said that the British Government would not speak to any Government other than the Soviet Government in these terms.
Mr. Nutting gave Mr. Mikhailov an explanation of point (v) of the draft agreement (information centres) and then took up Mr. Mikhailov's complain t about point (ii) (agreement not to indulge in subversive propaganda). He said he accepted Mr. Mikhailov's argument that Soviet cultural activities were not designed to subvert British institutions, though, to speak frankly, the same could not be said of the British Communist Party. No insult was implied a proposal that both sides should agree to refrain from doing what they claimed they had no intention of doing.
Mr. Nutting explained that the first five paragraphs of the British draft dealt with the removal of barriers. In some cases, for example, point (iii) (censorship), this process might involve certain difficulties for the Soviet Union, but the removal of barriers was none the less necessary. As far as point (iv) was concerned (indiscriminate jamming), this had been condemned by resolutions of the United Nations, and the British Government were committed to supporting these resolutions.
Mr. Nutting then invited Mr. Mikhailov to consider the positive points in the British draft ((vi) onwards) and not to press his objections to points (ii) and (v).
Mr. Mikhailov said that the two sides should first embark on a general discussion of the question of contacts. The United Kingdom and the Soviet Union should embark on competition in the field of culture. The Soviet Union intended to do still more for the expansion of cultural contacts. It would do this of its own free will, but would not allow conditions to be imposed on its activity. Conditions which interfered with Soviet traditions were unacceptable. Thus, information centres in every country would not be acceptable to the Soviet Government. IN any case, the British Government did not maintain information centres in every country, and he claimed that the annual report of the British council showed tis to be true. Information Centres might be of use in some small country where British culture was little known, but they were unnecessary in the Soviet Union, where a tremendous amount of work connected with British culture was being carried on.
As regards the question of radio broadcasts, Mr. Mikhailov suggested that each side should give the other 30 minutes a week on its radio net-work.
Mr. Mikhailov then criticized point (vii) of the British draft and said that it was unacceptable that the British Government should dictate the use of only one organisation through which cultural relations might be conducted. Not even the American Government has gone as far as this. The Soviet Union did not insist on the use of only one organisation. For example, visits by delegations from the C.B.A. and the B.B.C. were being organised in Moscow by different bodies.
The Soviet Government was sincere and wanted greater contact between the British and Soviet cultures. But some basis other than the draft agreement put forward by the British side would be necessary.
Mr. Nutting said that there was no intention of imposing conditions on the Soviet Union in the draft put forward from the British side. The Soviet delegation was simply being invited to join with Her Majesty’s Government in declaring that, if there was to be an effective increase in exchanges, the barriers to exchanges must first be removed.
Referring to Mr. Mikhailov's point about visas for the Russian circus, Mr. Nutting said that this illustrated the desirability of point (vii) in the British draft.
If agreement could be reached to use the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council as the sponsoring body for exchanges, the visa procedure could be facilitated. Mr. Mikhailov had said that one Government should not dictate to another, but this applied also as regards the choice of organisations through which to channel exchanges in the other's country. The Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council was a thoroughly representative body and Her Majesty's Government had chosen it as the body through which exchanges with the Soviet Union should be organised. There would, of course, be no objection if the Russians chose some organisation other than VOKS to organise exchanges from the Russian side.
As regards information centres (point (v) of the British draft). Mr. Nutting agreed that Her Majesty's Government did not maintain information centres in every country. Questions of expense were involved. The British draft was permissive rather than mandatory. But, in the British view, it was import ant that the principle should be accepted that either side would be free to set up an information centre if it wished.
Finally, Mr. Nutting said there was no question of the British Government putting forward proposals which would restrict exchanges which were already taking place successfully. If it was desired to achieve general between the two countries, the restrictions which limited exchanges at the present time must first be removed. This was not a question of imposing conditions, but only a practical way of seeking the objective which both sides wanted.
Mr. Mikhailov said that when the Soviet Government had organised the cultural manifestations of which he had spoken, they had encountered no obstacles and Sir William Hayter had taken a part in them. He wished to know what restrictions we thought existed. When Mr. Nutting mentioned jamming, Mr. Mikhailov said that the solution to this problem would be to agree to the Russian proposal for mutual exchanges of broadcasts.
Mr. Nutting said that the Soviet Union was already free to beam broadcasts to the United Kingdom for twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. In these circumstances, the Soviet proposal for mutual exchanges of broadcasts was not attractive and would be only a very small step forward if implemented.
Mr. Mikhailov mentioned recent Soviet proposals for the simplification of visa procedures, and specifically for the granting of visas within seven days instead of fourteen, and Mr. Nutting assured him that these proposals were under consideration and that the Soviet Government could expect a reply shortly.
Mr. Mikhailov suggested that the British side should study the cultural conventions between the United Kingdom and other countries, and see whether something on these lines could not be drafted between the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. At the same time, the British side might consider the Soviet comments on the draft agreement put forward by the British side, and take account of these together with the general characteristics of British cultural conventions in an attempt to produce a document which might be agreed by both sides and would be more suitable in the present situation. The aim should be to deal with the points which were ripe for agreement and leave aside those which were not ripe. It was essential that a different approach should be found on the British side
It was agreed to resume the discussion at the Foreign Office at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 21.
ANGLO-SOVIET CULTURAL RELATIONS RECORD OF DISCUSSION WITH MR. MIKHAILOV, SOVIET MINISTER OF CULTURE, AND THE FOREIGN OFFICE ON SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 1956
Mr. Mikhailov tabled a Soviet draft of an agreement on cultural contacts (see Annex) and said that he had had something of this sort in mind when he had suggested, at the previous meeting, that the British side might take account of his criticisms of the British draft agreement and, at the same time, take account of the general characteristics of British Cultural Conventions with other countries.
Mr. Nutting said that the Soviet draft did not appear very acceptable. Its first paragraph was misleading and painted a picture of contacts which we should like to see, but did not yet exist. In any case, no agreement would be acceptable to Her Majesty’s Government, unless it referred to the removal of the barriers which, at present, obstructed contacts. The British draft had tried to strike a balance between the removal of barriers and the expansion of contacts. There was no such balance in the Russian paper. As regards a point of detail, paragraph 7 of the Russian draft placed the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council on the same footing as the Soviet Government. It would be appropriate to name the Soviet government on one side and the British Government on the other, and the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council could then be named as the "other British organisation" which was responsible for arranging cultural contacts.
Mr. Mikhailov said that the Russian draft could certainly be improved, but he claimed that paragraph 1 was justified by recent developments and appropriate at a time when both sides wished to improve relations. Paragraph 1 should certainly not have a negative tone. The British side were concentrating on the question of removing obstacles. But the Soviet draft dealt with the general question of contacts on a wider basis. This was justified by the steady development of co-operation in the field of culture between the two countries. There were certainly shortcomings, but these were being overcome. For example, in the past the British Broadcasting Corporation had attacked the Soviet Government, but now a B.B.C. delegation was going to the Soviet Union. As another example, the position as regards films was not 100 per cent. satisfactory, but progress had been made.
Mr. Nutting repeated that the Soviet draft gave a misleadingly optimistic picture of the present situation and possible future developments. The British draft endeavored to distinguish between what was being and could be done now and what could be done in the future. It dealt with both aspects of the question in a positive form. It was not correct to suggest that it dealt exclusively, or even mainly, with the question of removing obstacles. He suggested that the British side should be given an opportunity to amend the Soviet draft, in order to bring it closer to the original British draft. It would, of course, be necessary to insert in it references to the measures which were essential if free exchanges of ideas and information were to be developed. Censorship, jamming, travel restrictions and the rouble exchange rate constituted physical barriers which must be removed.
Mr. Mikhailov said that Mr. Nutting was reviving arguments which had been made at the Geneva Conference of Foreign Ministers. No progress. could be made if either side tried to impose its ideas on the other. The Soviet Union had its own principles, methods and constitution and considered these very good, and the same was true of the British. A positive plan could be drawn up, but it must be based on the principles of reciprocity, equal rights and non-interference.
Mr. Nutting said that the British Government were not seeking opportunities to make political propaganda, but they wanted freedom for their broadcasts to the Soviet Union of facts, news and ideas on a bas is of reciprocity. The Soviet people should be allowed to know the British point of view, just as the British were allowed to know the Soviet point of view.
Mr. Mikhailov said it must be made perfectly clear that there was no intention of any form of interference in internal affairs. There should be not the slightest hint of any attempt at dictation of conditions for future exchanges. Anything else would be unacceptable from the Soviet point of view. The Soviet side were interested in the development of cultural relations, not in the propagandising of ideas. He could not agree that the main task was to remove barriers . The Soviet Government was not standing in the way of exchanges . He referred to his previous statement about recent exhibitions, &c., of British culture which had been organized in Moscow, and said that in the intervening twenty-four hours he had received information of further developments in the fields of music and literature. He could also announce that the Soviet Union was now producing a regular newsreel on international affairs and would be happy to initiate an exchange of newsreels. The British side gave the impression that the Soviet Government were preventing the Soviet people from learning about ordinary English life. This was not so. Agreement could be reached only if there was a good spirit on both sides. If there was a spirit of interference, no progress could be made. Finally, Mr. Mikhailov said that some of the points in the British draft, for example, direct air links and restrictions on diplomatic missions were inappropriate as they did not come within his field as Minister of Culture.
Mr. Nutting said that it was not interference to demand that broadcasts should not be interfered with . The United Kingdom did not interfere with Soviet broadcasts. The Soviet Union should not interfere with British broadcasts. Exchanges of music, art and literature were not enough. It was important to inform the ordinary people on both sides about what was going on on the other. Understanding on the widest basis could not be reached by staging a few concerts of British music in Moscow, while at the same time maintaining the jamming of B.B.C. broadcasts.
Mr. Mikhailov said that British culture was becoming known in the Soviet Union on the widest basis. There were 10 million Russians studying English. The Soviet Government’s aim was to enrich the culture of the Soviet peoples. They had regarded Einstein as an idealist, but the Soviet people were allowed to acquaint themselves with his work. Hemingway was now being translated. There were, of course, difficulties, for example the rate of exchange of the rouble. But there were a number of ways of overcoming a difficulty of this sort. It might be remembered that when the sterling was devalued, the losses of the Soviet Union were considerable, but the Soviet Government had not protested. The exchange rate should not be brought up in the context of cultural relations. The great aim was peace. Agreement on cultural contacts would be a great step forward and would show the world that the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union were getting on better together.
Mr. Nutting said that it was wrong to suppose that because many of the points in the British draft had been discussed at the Geneva Conference of Foreign Ministers there were not still important. It was true that the British draft went outside the strict limits of culture, but so also did the Soviet draft. In any case, the declaration would be issued in the names of the Heads of Governments and not of the cultural authorities on either side. The Soviet Government must understand that the British Government attached every bit as much importance to the free exchange of information by broadcasts, &c., as to exchanges of music, books. &c. If the Soviet people d id not like the B.B.C., as Mr. Mikhailov asserted, they could switch off. There would t hen be no profit in the B.B.C. broadcasts. But the Soviet Government should let the people choose.
Mr. Nutting then took up Mr. Mikhailov's allegation, at the previous meeting, that representatives of the Moscow Circus now in Paris had been refused visas to enter the United Kingdom. He said that no visa applications had been received, though an application for a labour permit was now under consideration. Arrangements might have been easier if the Soviet authorities had accepted the earlier proposal that the Circus should come to London under the auspices of the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council.
Mr. Nutting also took up Mr. Mikhailov 's earlier point that the British Government were trying to restrict contacts by insisting on the Soviet Relations Committee as the single channel for them. Arrangements of this sort were in no way unusual. He had looked up British cultural conventions with other countries and found that the British Council was invariably mentioned either in the conventions or in accompanying exchanges of letters as the agent for arranging cultural co-operation.
Mr. Mikhailov said that the Circus representatives were clue to come to London at the request of the British organisations which were arranging the visit [the British Soviet Friendship Society and Mr. Tom Arnold]. It was usual for the various bodies concerned with cultural relations with the Soviet Union to make their own arrangements about visits. He repeated that the Soviet people did not like the British Broadcasting Corporation because of its failure to give an objective picture, and he assured Mr. Nutting that the Soviet people did switch off when they heard B.B.C. broadcasts.
Mr. Nutting said that in this case the systematic Soviet jamming was unnecessary.
Mr. Mikhailov said that he did not think the B.B.C. need be an obstacle to contacts. The Soviet Government had already proposed exchanges of programmes between the B.B.C. and the Soviet radio.
It was agreed that there should be a further meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 23, and that in the meantime the British side should prepare an ame!1ded version of the Soviet draft for an agreement on exchanges of information, ideas and persons and the development of cultural contacts.
SOVIET DRAFT FOR JOINT DECLARARTIO
N ON THE FURTHER DEVELOPEMENT OF CONTACTS IN THE FIELD OF CULTURE, SCIENCE AND TECHNIQUE BETWEEN THE USSR AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
Heads of Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom in connection with the visit of N.A. Bulganin and N. S Khrushchev to the United Kingdom after having exchanged their views came to the following agreement : —
1. They have noted with satisfaction that certain results in the relations between the two countries in the field of cultural contacts and exchange of scientific and technical information have been achieved. Business contacts have been expanded; there was a considerable increase in the exchange of public, scientific and cultural delegations, as well as delegations of specialists of different branches of the national economy, theatre companies and sport teams. Friendly ties between Soviet and British cities develop successfully; travels of tourists have been resumed.
2. They consider it necessary to develop and strengthen the relations between the USSR and the United Kingdom, established in the field of culture, art, science and technology, and to conclude …
3. To achieve these aims they have considered it necessary that the Governments of the two countries should accord on mutual basis every possible assistance in making acquaintance with experience and achievements in the field of literature, art, theatre and music, as well as of science, higher education, public education, public health and publishing by means of sending delegations and individuals, exchange of students and professors, exchange of printed editions, supply of information, arrangement of exhibitions, concerts, &c.
4. They have also considered it necessary to develop further exchange of experience and achievements between the two countries in the field of industry, public building and agricultural production by means of mutual sending delegations of specialists, exchange of information and scientific and technical editions, arrangement of lectures of specialists, &c.
5. They have also agreed that the Government of both countries will encourage co-operation in the field of broadcasting and television, as well as exchange of art films, news reels, scientific and technical films and arrangement of cinema festivals.
6. They declare that the Governments of both countries are ready to develop contacts in the field of sport by means of arrangement of mutual visits of sportsmen and sport delegation, and to encourage tourist visits of Soviet citizens to the United Kingdom and of British subjects to the Soviet Union.
7. In accordance with the reached agreement, the Ministry of Culture of the USSR and other Soviet Organisations concerned, on the one hand, and the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council and other British Organisations concerned, on the other hand, will work out a joint plan of further development of contacts in the field of culture, science and technique.
ANGLO-SOVIET CULTURAL RELATIONS RECORD OF DISCUSSION WITH MR. MIKHAILOV, SOVIET MINISTER OF CULTURE, AT 9:30 a.m. ON TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 1956
Mr. Nutting said that the British re-draft (copy attached to Annex A) of the draft Declaration tabled by the Soviet delegation at the meeting on Saturday, April 21, would be seen to be very close to the Soviet draft, especially at the beginning. He invited M. Mikhailov’s comments.
Mr. Mikhailov said that the question of cultural contacts would probably be taken up at the meeting at No. 10 Downing Street which was due to begin shortly and that he therefore had time only for general comments. He submitted amendments on three points (texts attached at Annex B).
Mr. Nutting said he did not like these Soviet amendments. They appeared to alter the whole sense of the Declaration. It was essential to be frank about the removal of barriers in paragraphs (v) and (vi) of the Declaration.
Mr. Mikhailov explained the Soviet amendment to paragraph (viii of the draft Declaration by saying that there were many institutions, bodies, and organisations on both sides which arranged contact directly with one another (e.g., universities, trade unions, artistic bodies, &c.). It was therefore desirable that no attempt should be made to narrow the channels through which contacts were organised or to establish a monopoly in contacts . For this reason the Soviet Government would wish to delete specific reference to the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council and to a corresponding Soviet body.
Mr. Nutting explained once again the reasons for the British proposal that the Soviet Relations Committee should be specifically mentioned.
Two minor amendments were made in paragraphs (ii) and (iv) of the draft. These are recorded at Annex B.
It was agreed to submit the British re-draft, the two minor agreed amendments, and the proposed Soviet amendments, to the Heads of Government at their meeting at No. 1 0, Downing Street.
UNITED KINGDOM REDRAFT
JOINT DECLARATION ON THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF CONTACTS BETWEEN THE USSR AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
The Heads of Government of the USSR and the United Kingdom, on the occasion of the visit of N. A. Bulganin and N. S. Khrushchev to the United Kingdom, after an exchange of views, have agreed upon the following : -
(i) They have noted with satisfaction that certain results have been achieved in the relations between the two countries in respect of cultural contacts and scientific and technical exchanges. There have been governmental, municipal, scientific and cultural visits from each side, as well as visits by theatre companies, musicians and sports teams.
(ii) They consider it desirable that the Governments of the two countries should accord to the citizens of each country every assistance in acquainting themselves with the experience and achievements of the other in the fields of literature, painting and sculpture, the theatre, music, the cinema, broadcasting and television, as well as of science, education and public health.
(iii) They favour the increase of all types of exchanges between artistic, technical, scientific and sporting organisations on a reciprocal basis, drawing on the best which each country has to offer, and the exchange of suitably qualified students to study at the universities in each country.
(iv) They wish to encourage the exchange of information between the principal academic, professional and scientific bodies, in the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, and to increase the exchange of Government publications [and publications in the fields of science, technology and culture] between the two countries.
(v) They look forward to an increase in individual visits of Soviet citizens to the United Kingdom and of United Kingdom citizens to the Soviet Union and to that end to the reciprocal removal of all obstacles to the free movement of citizens of either country to and within each other's territory, and to the fixing of appropriate rates of currency exchange.
(vi) With a view to increasing the mutual understanding which 1t 15 the object of these exchanges to promote, they agree to provide full opportunity to the peoples of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union to learn about each other's opinions and lives. To that end they agree to eliminate all obstacles which hinder the free flow of news and views from one to the other, by the spoken or the written word.
(vii) They acknowledge the necessity for organising exchanges in a manner accept able to both Governments, and they recognise the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council on the one hand, and on the other as the appropriate intermediaries for promoting exchanges, and they undertake by the granting of visas and other means to facilitate activities jointly sponsored by these organisations.
AMENDMENTS TO THE BRITISH DRAFT FOR A JOINT DECLARATION ON CONTACTS
Paragraph (ii) : Last line, add after
the word " science " the word " technology •·.
Paragraph (iv) : Delete the word " Government ".
AMENDMENTS PROPOSED BY THE SOVIET DELEGATION AND NOT ACCEPTED
Paragraph (v) : Delete all after " to the Soviet Union " and substitute " Both Governments will afford all possible assistance in implementing these measures, in particular by creating more favourable economic conditions ".
Paragraph (vi) : Delete the last sentence and substitute " To that end they will take practical steps directed towards ensuring an exchange of appropriate information by the spoken and written word ".
Paragraph (vii) : Delete all after " acceptable to both Governments ".
ANGLO-SOVIET CULTURAL RELATIONS RECORD OF DISCUSSION WITH MR. MIKHAILOV, SOVIET MINISTER OF CULTURE, AT 9:30 a.m. ON TUESDAY, APRIL 24, 1956
Mr. Nutting said that the British redraft of the Joint Declaration on Contacts, together with the amendments proposed by the Soviet delegation (Annexes A and B to the Record of the 3rd Session, Document No. 11) had been discussed at the morning meeting at No. 10 Downing Street. Agreement had not been reached on paragraph (vii) of the draft and this was to be discussed further.
Mr. Mikhailov proposed that paragraph (vii) should be deleted. Mr. Khrushchev had said at the morning meeting that the Soviet Government fully understood the British point of view and would develop contacts accordingly. The British side should trust Mr. Bulganin and Mr. Khrushchev to be as good as their word.
Mr. Nutting said that if the Soviet delegation understood the British point of view it was of no help to omit the paragraph in which this point of view was expressed. He therefore suggested that paragraph ( vii) should be amended to read as follows (new passages italicised) : —
"They acknowledge the necessity for organising cultural exchanges in a manner acceptable to both Governments and they recognise the Soviet Relations Committee. &c. as the appropriate intermediaries for promoting such exchanges; and they undertake by the granting of visas and other means to facilitate activities jointly sponsored by organisations approved their respective Governments."
This would meet the Soviet point of view that the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council should not appear to be given a monopoly control over exchanges. At the same time, it defined the Soviet Relations Committee's responsibility for the supervision of cultural exchanges.
Mr. Mikhailov said that Mr. Bulganin and Mr. Khrushchev had accepted an amendment to paragraph (vi) proposed by Sir Anthony Eden. by which the word "freer" was added before the word "exchanges " in the Soviet amendment. The redraft of paragraph (vii) proposed by Mr. Nutting would contradict his amendment proposed by Sir Anthony Eden. If exchanges were to be "freer " it was not satisfactory to add a paragraph (vii) which would narrow down the exchanges by naming a single intermediary. He said that Mr. Khrushchev, in saying that he understood the British point of view, had added that exchanges should not be on a narrow basis and not arranged solely through the intermediary of certain bodies. Words said at the Heads of Government level must be respected.
Mr. Nutting said that he had been given full discretion to negotiate a satisfactory version of paragraph (vii). The Soviet delegation must take the British point of view into account. This was that some mention of the British Council was desirable.
Mr. Mikhailov said that the British proposal was undemocratic. If all exchanges required governmental approval this would mean that some exchanges could be refused by one Government or the other. Mr. Khrushchev's words at No. 10 Downing Street gave the British side much wider assurances than those contained in the draft paragraph (vii). The main element in the draft paragraph (vii) was lack of confidence. If developments continued as at present, the British side would see in six months' time that a safeguard such as paragraph (vii) was not necessary. The Soviet Government would implement its promises honestly.
Mr. Nutting said that an agreement made orally, which one side or the other was unwilling to commit to paper, was always unsatisfactory. If the Soviet side were implying that they were ready to conduct exchanges through the British Council, they should be prepared to say so in writing. It was not true to say that the language of the draft paragraph (vii) smacked of distrust. In fact, something similar appeared in British cultural conventions with other countries. Both sides should try to be orderly as well as honest, and say clearly that they proposed to conduct exchanges through official and unofficial organisations of which both approved. It was not the case that all exchanges would have to have governmental approval-only that the organisations conducting exchanges should be such as the Governments on each side approved. M any exchanges, for example civic exchanges, were already conducted on this basis. However, some exchanges were conducted by organisations which were not approved by the British Government. These exchanges did not promote good relations between the United Kingdom and the USSR. They caused bad feeling and t h is reflected on the Soviet Government.
Mr. Mikhailov said that it was right that exchanges should benefit both s ides. For this reason they should be broadened and not narrowed. Many exchanges were already conducted through the British Council. But were the Soviet authorities to go to the British Council for permission before they could approach, for example, the Edinburgh Festival authorities or the management of the Empress Hall? The public would not understand it, if agreement on six points was spoiled by disagreement on a single narrowly conceived point. With or without paragraph (vii), the Soviet Government would continue to expand cultural contacts. The Soviet delegation had not come to the United Kingdom as small shopkeepers to drive pet ty bargains, but as representatives of a big country which should be trusted.
Mr. Nutting said that the draft paragraph (vii) did not have a narrowing effect. With his last amendment, it would clarify the British Council’s responsibility for supervising cultural contacts, but at the same time make it clear that activities sponsored by organisations on either side which enjoyed governmental approval would be promoted. The Soviet authorities would not be required to go through the British Council before contacting British organisations and British bodies such as Mr. Mikhailov had mentioned. The only condition imposed was that the organisations and bodies which were contacted directly by the Soviet authorities should be such as the British Government approved.
Mr. Mikhailov then argued that the draft paragraph (vii) contradicted the agreed paragraph (ii). On the one hand, an increase of exchanges was envisaged and, on the other, a limitation of exchanges.
Mr. Nutting said that the British Government could not approve exchanges organized by the "Friendship" Societies, whose main concern was propaganda. Hence the use of the word "approved" in the draft paragraph (vii). The British side insisted on this point of view.
Mr. Mikhailov said that common sense showed that both sides were striving towards broader exchanges. If the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council was going to help in this endeavor, the Soviet Government would welcome it. But if broader exchanges were to be obstructed, then the Soviet Government would have to work through other channels. It might be the best to submit to the Heads of Governments the six agreed points and the seventh point unagreed.
Mr. Nutting asked that the word "appropriate" should be deleted before the world "information" in the Soviet amendment to paragraph (vi).
This was agreed.
Mr. Nutting then queried the Soviet amendment to paragraph (v).
Mr. Mikhailov said this had been agreed at the meeting at No. 10 Downing Street.
Mr. Nutting said he had been empowered to reopen discussion on paragraph (v). The British side did not regard itself as having accepted the Soviet amendments. He asked what the Soviet side meant by the expression "creating more favourable economic conditions."
Mr. Mikhailov said that there were questions such as rouble rate of exchange which appertained to the internal affairs of the Soviet Union. The Soviet phrase was meant to refer to these matters. Sir Anthony Eden had said that he understood the Soviet point of view.
Mr. Nutting proposed that the Soviet amendment to paragraph (v) should be replaced by the following : —
"Both Governments will afford all possible assistance for the free movement of citizens of either country to and within each other’s territory and will help to create more favorable economic conditions therefor."
It was important to provide for "free movement." The purpose of the Declaration was to show that there was a loosening up. There would be nothing new in paragraph (v) if the reference to "free movement" were eliminated.
Mr. Mikhailov insisted that there was plenty in paragraph (v) which was new. But in any case the Soviet text had already been accepted, and the purpose of the present meeting was only to check the translation.
Mr. Nutting reverted to the draft paragraph (vii) and said that, as the Declaration was for the edification of the public and not simply for the edification of the drafters, it was desirable to say quite clearly how both sides proposed to achieve results, and not simply record the results which had been achieved already.
Mr. Mikhailov continued to insist that the draft paragraph (vii) was designed to impose the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council as a universal intermediary and ignored explanations to the contrary. He said that there were various means of increasing cultural contacts. In the case of France, the idea was being mooted of a joint Franco-Soviet cultural committee. A second way was by signing conventions. A third way was by drawing up annual plans for exchanges. The best course would be for the British and Soviet Governments to let their child grow and then cut clothes for it.
Mr. Nutting agreed that both sides should let their children grow, but the advantage of paragraph (vii) was that it told the children who their parents were. The British side had accepted virtually six Russian paragraphs, and the British amendments to them had been further amended by the Russians. In return the Russians were asking that the one British paragraph should be thrown away. This Soviet attitude would not be understood by the people. He then proposed a fresh draft of paragraph (vii) as follows : —
"In order that cultural exchanges may be organised in a manner acceptable to both Governments, they agree that these should be conducted by United Kingdom and Soviet organisations approved by their respective Governments."
He then gave examples of the way in which exchanges could be conducted in accordance with this provision.
Mr. Mikhailov said that Mr. Nutting's proposal was not very democratic. It would result in some organisations being ostracised.
Mr. Nutting said he must make it clear that the United Kingdom Government had the undoubted right to discriminate against any British organisation which worked against the interests of the British Government or Anglo-Soviet friendship. The British Government would certainly not think of arranging contacts with organisations in the Soviet Union of which the Soviet Government disapproved. It was difficult to see why the Soviet Government did not reciprocate this attitude.
Mr. Mikhailov said he presumed the British side would agree that after the visit of Mr. Bulganin and Mr. Khrushchev it would not be a criminal act to work for Anglo-Soviet friendship.
Mr. Nutting said that such an idea had never arisen. His latest draft of paragraph (vii) was put forward as a compromise proposal on the understanding that the Soviet side accepted the British redraft of the Soviet amendment to paragraph (v).
Mr. Mikhailov refused to accept either British redraft.
It was agreed to submit the draft Declaration to the Heads of Government with paragraphs (v) and (vii) disagreed.
A drafting committee was then established to ensure that the Russian and English texts of the whole draft Declaration corresponded. Attached as an Annex is the draft Declaration as approved by the drafting committee and submitted to the Heads of Government on April 25.
JOINT DECALRATION ON THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF CONTACTS BETWEEN THE USSR AND THE UNITED KINGDOM
The Heads of Government of the USSR and the United Kingdom, on the occasion of the visit of N.A. Bulganin and N.S. Khrushchev to the United Kingdom, after an exchange of views, have agreed upon the following : —
(i) They have noted with satisfaction that certain results have been achieved in the relations between the two countries in respect of cultural, scientific and technical contacts. There have been governmental, municipal, scientific and cultural visits from each side, as well as visits by theatre companies, musicians and sports teams.
(ii) They consider is desirable that the governments of the two countries should accord to the citizens of each country every assistance in acquainting themselves with the experience and achievements of the other in the fields of literature, painting and sculpture, the theatre, music, the cinema, broadcasting and television, as well as of science, technology, education and public health.
(iii) They favour the increase of all types of exchanges between artistic, technical, scientific and sporting organisations on a reciprocal basis, drawing on the best which each country has to offer, and the exchange of suitably qualified students to study at the universities in each country.
(iv) They wish to encourage the exchange of information between the principal academic, professional and scientific bodies in the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, and to increase the exchange between the two countries of publications in the fields of science, technology and culture.
(v) They look forward to an increase in individual* [and group] visits of Soviet citizens to the United Kingdom and of United Kingdom citizens to the Soviet Union for tourist purposes.
Soviet Text B. – [Both Governments will afford all possible assistance in implementing these measures, in particular, by creating more favorable economic conditions.]
United Kingdom Text. – [Both Governments will afford all possible assistance for the free movement of citizens of either country to and within each other’s territory, and will help to create more favorable economic conditions therefor.]
(vi) With a view to improving the mutual understanding which it is of the object these exchanges to promote, they agree to provide every opportunity to the peoples of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union to learn about each other's opinions and ways of life. To that end they will take practical steps directed towards ensuring a freer exchange of information by the spoken and the written word.
(vii) United Kingdom Text.—[ln order that cultural exchanges may be organised in a manner acceptable to both Governments, they agree that these should be conducted by United Kingdom and Soviet organisations approved by their respective Governments.]
* Words appearing in the Russian text, but not accepted in the English text
SECTION C. – DRAFTING OF COMMUNIQUE
RECORD OF A MEETING HELD AT THE FOREIGN OFFICE ON APRIL 21, 1956
(DRAFT DECLARATION ON THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT)
In pursuance of a
decision taken at the Second Meeting between the Prime Minister and Mr. Bulganin, a meeting was held at the Foreign Office on Saturday morning, April 21, to prepare a joint Anglo-Soviet Declaration in support of the efforts of the United Nations to maintain peace in the region of Palestine.
The following were present: —
It was agreed that a Joint Declaration in the terms of the attached draft should be submitted to the two Prime Ministers for their consideration.
In the course of the discussion Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick made the following points: —
1. The last sentence in the United Kingdom Draft Declaration (which had been handed to Mr. Bulganin at the Meeting on Friday a.m., April 20) was not intended as an attack on the Veto. We merely wanted to show that we were determined to deter the parties from aggression.
2. It was not possible for the United Kingdom to endorse any statement about non-interference in the area which could be construed as weakening to the United Kingdom’s Government’s obligation under the Treaty with Jordan to go to the latter’s assistance in the event of an Israel attack. Anything which threw doubt on our intention to meet this obligation would prejudice our relations with the Arab States and, more seriously, would strengthen those elements in Israel who favoured an early preventative war.
3. We were using all our influence to restrain Israel. This would be confirmed by the Soviet Ambassador in Tel Aviv.
4. The Egyptians had indicated that, if they were attacked, they would expect us to assist them. We still have troops in Egypt. They would not leave until June.
STATEMENT ON THE MIDDLE EAST
The United Kingdom and the Soviet Union have the firm intention to do everything in their power to facilitate the maintenance of peace and security in the Middle East. For this purpose they will give the necessary support to the United Nations in its endeavor to strengthen peace in the region of Palestine and to carry out the appropriate decisions of the Security Council.
The Governments of the two countries consider that effective measures should be undertaken in the immediate future to this end in accordance with the national aspirations of the peoples concerned, with the necessity of ensuring their independence and in full conformity with the principles expressed in the charter of the United Nations.
The two countries call on the States concerned to take measures to prevent the increase of tension in the area of the demarcation line established in accordance with the relevant armistice agreement between Israel and the Arab States.
They will also support the United Nations in any endeavor to secure a peaceful settlement on a mutually accept able basis of the dispute between the Arab States and Israel.
They recognise the importance of the problem of the refugees and accordingly will support any action of the United Nat ions directed towards the alleviation of their hardships.
The Governments of the two countries express the strong hope that other States will also do everything possible to help the United Nations in bringing about a peaceful solution of the dispute between the Arab States and Israel and thus to strengthen peace and security in the Middle East.
SECTION D. – MISCELLANEOUS RECORDS OF CONVERSATIONS
LORD’S READING’S RECORD OF THE CONVERSATION AT DINNER AT CLARIDGES ON APRIL 18, 1956
These were present:
The Prime Minister
Mr. Khrushchev during dinner took considerable exception to the B.B.C. It had become what he described as a "rude word" in Russia. It called people bad names, and should stop doing so. It was pointed put to him that not many people in Russia were anyhow able to listen to the B.B.C., but he would not be put off. He went on, however, to say that he thought there might be an arrangement whereby Russian and British broadcasts were exchanged, even on political topics, though without the inclusion of abusive language. Mr. Mikhailov, the minister of Culture, gave the impression of being distinctly uncomfortable whilst Mr. Khrushchev was embroidering this theme.
Geneva Summit Conference
There seemed to be general agreement that this conference had on the whole done good. Mr. Khrushchev said that he and Mr. Bulganin had felt that they had come nearer to the Prime Minister than to any of the others. They had come away feeling that they could do business with him and they had in fact told Mr. Nehru so during their visit to India. Mr. Khrushchev said that he did not wish to do anything to harm our relations with the Americans. He was not looking for cracks. The USSR itself would like to have good relations with the Americans. But at Geneva it had really been hard to reach agreement with them.
The Prime Minister said that President Eisenhower was absolutely sincere. Mr. Khrushchev said that he had made a very good impression when he had visited Moscow as Supreme Commander. But Presidents could not do everything they wished. Mr. Khrushchev said they did not wish to interfere in the slightest with the close relations between the United Kingdom and the United States. Indeed, they themselves desired to promote closer relations with the United States. The Prime Minister said that one great step forward was that no one in the United States was now thinking in terms of a preventative war. He repeated that President Eisenhower was a really good man, and added that the President fully accepted the present Russian visit.
Mr. Khrushchev commented that France had not at Geneva played a part worthy of her position. It may be added that during this part of the conversation and also at other points Mr. Khrushchev, without ever referring to Mr. Dulles by name, was making considerable reservations about Mr. Dulles’ contribution to better understanding. It was all very adroitly done by hints and pauses and inferences. The only explicit remark was to the effect that it must not be thought that the Soviet Government could be deflected from their policies by any talk of others "negotiating from strength" with them.
Mr. Khrushchev was quite unabashed over the tests carried out by the Soviet Government, which had resulted in ability to produce the bomb less expensively. Nor did he seem to see anything objectionable in our carrying out tests also. They themselves intended to carry out further tests.
Mr. Bulganin asked if we had yet been able to study the Soviet statement. (It was almost the first question he put to me on the way up from Portsmouth. They clearly attach great importance to it). The Prime Minister replied that he and the Foreign Secretary had been giving it careful attention. Though they disagreed with some of it, it seemed that generally speaking the Soviet approach was not so very different from our own. He went on to say that we thought the Arab-Israel situation was very serious. Mr. Khrushchev was inclined to think that the danger of war between Israel and the Arabs was being exaggerated. The Prime Minister said that he did not think either Egypt or Israel wanted war. He himself was neither pro-Israel nor pro-Egypt; all he wanted was to see tension reduced. But Egypt had recently acquired a large quantity of arms (an oblique reference which Mr. Khrushchev did not let pass without interruption) and there were hot-heads in both countries. His view was that at the present moment the Israelis would win. Even if they had not as many arms as the other side, they serviced them much more efficiently. He thought that, if he were an Israeli, he would be much tempted to have a go at this stage, although the Israeli Government knew that a victory in Sinai would in the end get them nowhere. Mr. Khrushchev said that it would be unwise for the Israelis to count too much on their prospects of success. If fighting started, the Arabs might get the help of volunteers skilled in the use of modern weapons. There might be a holy war of the Arabs against the Israelis. The Foreign Secretary stated that he had just been in the region and the situation really was very serious. It was not so much the question of one side or the other wanting war. The real danger was that a border squabble might suddenly develop into an operation on a Brigade scale and once that happened it would be impossible to extricate forces involved and general hostilities would follow.
The Prime Minister emphasised the risks involved in keeping a local war local. It could so easily spread and involve other countries. He suggested that the joint influence of the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom could help. Mr. Khrushchev said that the USSR certainly did not want a war, but he did not see how the USSR and the United Kingdom could intervene in a question which was properly a matter between the Israelis and the Arabs. The Israelis had been very provocative.
The Prime Minister said that of course we could not hope for any early solution. Patience and time were necessary. Mr. Khrushchev agreed with this. The Prime Minister said that he was sure the USSR did not want war, as it had still plenty to do inside its own frontiers. We had, however, reached a position where small Powers, who were less responsible, could start a conflict which would be very awkward for al l of us. It would be an unpleasant prospect if the small Powers were ever to get hold of weapons now held by the great Powers. Mr. Khrushchev wondered whether the small Powers would make trouble if certain great Powers were not egging them on. The Prime Minister said that it was a curious fact that the United Kingdom and Russia had fought on the same side in three wars, the Napoleonic and the First and Second World Wars and that, as soon as the fighting was over, they had started to quarrel between themselves. Mr. Khrushchev agreed that this was so and said that there must be no more quarrels.
A request by Mr. Khrushchev for some tea led to a passing reference to China. The Prime Minister said that he had been greatly impressed at Geneva in 1954 by Chou En-lai. He had been very withdrawn at first and the two or three early interviews h ad been extremely difficult. But as time went on he had relaxed.
Sir W. Churchill
The Prime Minister said that the dinner-party to-night would be a large one. Sir Winston Churchill had said that he would like to come, though he now seldom went out at night, as he wished to meet the Soviet leaders. Mr. Khrushchev said that they had been very pleased to read what Sir W. Churchill had said about their visit, and both he and Mr. Bulganin appeared to be much gratified that he was making this effort in their honour.
Mr. Khrushchev said that Western statesmen seemed to exaggerate the importance of the Cominform. It had never held a plenary meeting since 1948. In the Soviet Union the Central Committee was too busy with constructive work to spend its time issuing directives for subversion by Communist parties abroad.
April 19, 1956.
RECORD OF CONVERSATIONS AT DINNER AT No. 10 DOWNING STREET, APRIL 19, 1956
During dinner, Mr. Mikhailov suggested to Mr. Butler that an Anglo-Soviet Cultural Committee be established, meeting alternatively in Moscow and London, to develop cultural relations between the two countries.
After dinner, Mr. Bulganin told Sir Winston Churchill of the great admiration the Russian people had for him and that all six volumes of his memoires had been published in the Soviet Union without amendment despite certain passages unpleasant to Soviet readers.
Sir Winston Churchill told Mr. Bulganin that he considered Air Chief Marshal Sir John Slessor’s recent attack groundless, and unfair. Mr. Bulganin replied that he had in fact not been concerned personally in that affair and in any event those concerned had been under the direct orders of Stalin which they had to carry out. He added that he had seen the many messages sent by Sir Winston Churchill to Mr. Stalin at that time.
Sir Winston Churchill referred to Mr. Khrushchev’sspeech at the recent session of the 20th Party Congress. Mr. Bulganin said that he had advised Mr. Khrushchev to make the speech. Sir Winston Churchill said that he had always found Stalin good to his word and a great war leader, but could not speak of pre-war events. He was puzzled by such things as the Tukhachevsky trial. Bulganin said this was certainly German-inspired. Sir Winston Churchill replied that it was quite possible that the Germans were already playing their little games at that stage. Sir Winston Churchill added that in his opinion sufficient had [sic] already been paid in the Soviet Union on the repudiation of Stalin and it should now be left for historians to write the truth in ten years’ time.
Mr. Bulganin then asked Sir Winston Churchill for his advice on what steps the Soviet Union should take in order to secure friendship of the United Kingdom and of America. Sir Winston Churchill replied that the Soviet Union should continue as it was now, but in particular should recognize what were the important issues in world affairs and should refrain from raising difficulties over unimportant points.
At this point, the Prime Minister joined the group and was asked the same question by Mr. Bulganin. The Prime Minister replied that the best first step towards ensuring friendship was the unification of Germany on the basis of free elections. Mr. Bulganin replied that the Soviet Union had suffered more that any other country at the hand of Germany, that every member of the Soviet Delegation had lost one of their family during the war and that, if any Soviet Government were to allow a united Germany to arm herself, that Government would be driven out by the Soviet people and the Soviet people would be right in so doing. The Prime Minister said that Mr. Bulganin had said that before at Geneva and asked what Mr. Bulganin considered to be the essential first steps towards the reunification of Germany. Mr. Bulganin replied that it would be necessary for Dr. Adenauer to agree to negotiate with the East Germans. Sir Winston Churchill said that this was like ordering the Soviet Government to negotiate with the Ukraine or with Georgia.
Mr. Herbert Morrison said that in his view the East Germans had a right to free elections and to decide their own form of government. Mr. Bulganin asked to be excused for his bluntness, but regarded this as excessively naïve.
The Prime Minister pointed out to Mr. Bulganin that the Germans were not able to produce atomic or hydrogen weapons and had no facilities for testing them. Mr. Bulganin replied that this was not important as it was quite possible that someone would give these weapons to them.
The Prime Minister then said that perhaps it would be possible to come to some agreement on Palestine. Mr. Bulganin replied that the Soviet Union was a long way from Palestine. The Prime Minister suggested that it would help if the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom announced their support of certain United Nations resolutions in this connection, such as the definition of an aggressor. Mr. Bulganin said that he did not remember the definition, but would like to discuss it the following day.
Mr. Bulganin added that as there were only two more subjects outstanding, he expected to finish the discussions in one more day.
RECORD OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS AND MR. KHRUSHCHEV ON APRIL 19, 1956
Until I had talked to Mr. Khrushchev on the subject of Colonies and Commonwealth I had no idea how completely closed and prejudiced the human mind can be.
2. In his opinion the interlude of British rule in India had been a disaster and warped the natural development of the Indian civilisation. Only now were they beginning to recover.
3. The only deviation which he allowed himself when pressed was that the white dominions were good advertisements for democracy based on elected parliamentary institutions but direct rule such as we exercised in our Colonies was in Russian eyes inexcusable. The discussion of Colonial and Commonwealth matters could do nothing to bring our two countries closer together.
4. I said the situation between India and Pakistan over Kashmir was one of real difficulty and I wondered how it was that Mr. Khrushchev had felt able to come down so confidently on the side of India? We had been scrupulously careful to be impartial as the United Nations had made certain proposals for settlement which involved a decision by the people of Kashmir as to which country they wished to join. A direct settlement by negotiation or a settlement in accordance with a United Nations ruling seemed the best way out.
5. Mr. Khrushchev said that the reasons he had come down in favour of India were: —
(1) Disputed frontiers were a danger to peace and the best chance of peace was firmly to stick to the existing line.
(2) India had done a lot of good work in Kashmir and was popular with the local government and people, and all seemed to be going well.
6. I asked whether if that was so he didn’t think that the opportunity was favourable for a plebiscite so that the will of the people of Kashmir could be ascertained beyond doubt? Until that was known there was unlikely to be agreement.
7. After a long pause he said: "We supported India’s claim but we would not be opposed to any compromise proposals which India and Pakistan might be able to work out for themselves."
8. It is just conceivable that this might indicate that Russia has left herself a little flexibility in the Security Council but they have gone so far that I doubt if second thoughts will prevail.
9. Earlier I had asked the Minister of Culture (Mr. Mikhailov) what he thought of the great social and political experiments in giving self-government to former Colonies. He said: "Mr. Khrushchev pronounces on Colonial affairs and I cannot add anything"!
10. When Khrushchev talked of the qualities of Scotch whisky and the qualities needed to be a politician he was affable and humorous but the whole was a depressing experience.
20th April, 1956
RECORD OF A CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMONWEALTH RELATIONS AND MR. KHRUSHCHEV AT FIRST LORD’S DINNER AT GREENWICH ON 20th APRIL, 1956
I explained as best I could the Commonwealth relationship. Khrushchev asked if New Zealand and Australia were not just England transplanted into the Pacific with no independence in their foreign relations from British thinking and aims?
I said that while they were proud of their ancestry they were peoples with a distinct identity; with their own ideas and individualities and completely free to take their own line in every aspect of their affairs. He seemed genuinely surprised. I said that a good opportunity for a lot of Russians to see the real Australia would be provided by the visit of their teams to the Olympic games in Melbourne.
Khrushchev (who did not seem briefed on this) turned to the Minister of Culture and then said "Well, it will be very difficult; it may not be possible to send a team after Australia has given Russia such a slap in the face."
I said that the Australians were the friendliest people in the world and their strong reacts to the Petrov revelations to which he had referred had been because they were deeply shocked by subversion practised in their own country with the aim of undermining their constitution.
Khrushchev said "But the Australians deliberately fabricated the whole episode to discredit Russia in the eyes of world opinion. If people treat you like that, you are forced into retaliatory action. No rapprochement was possible unless Australia were to take the initiative."
This was an unprofitable line so I got back to the desirability of the wider contacts and the opportunity which the Olympic games would provide.
I think that they intend to send a team and that after that a chance will come to resume diplomatic contact. Khrushchev said "The history of quarrels is that they do not last forever."
A slightly more encouraging conversation that the first (of 19th April).
25th April, 1956.
RECORD OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE SECRETARY OF STATE AND MESSRS. BULGANIN AND KHRUSHCHEV, APRIL 21, 1956, DURING JOURNEY TO HARWELL
On their journey between London and Harwell with the Secretary of State the Soviet leaders opened conversation with a reference to Mr. Selwyn Lloyd’s military career during the last war. They passed on to a recital of German atrocities, mentioning Maidanek, gas chambers, mass executions and the like, and the Secretary of State remarked that he had visited Belsen the day after it was taken by the allies. Having spent a considerable time establishing this foundation, Mr. Khrushchev at length turned the conversation to topical politics with the remark "And you want to rearm Germany."
The Secretary of State said that it was not a question of our wanting to rear, Germany: it was impossible to sit on Germany’s head for ever. If you tried, an explosion was inevitable.
Khrushchev said that without anybody sitting on her head Germany had been responsible for two world wars in his lifetime. Now, she was economically stronger than France and a powerful commercial competitor of Britain’s. In two years she would be taking orders from nobody. Moreover, Adenauer was already an old man and his position was not altogether secure. Influential persons in Germany had already hinted to the Soviet Government that it might be possible for the Federal Republic to come to terms with the Soviet Union; and it would certainly be to Russia’s advantage to have a friendly arrangement with Germany rather than see Germany as an armed member of a hostile alliance.
The Secretary of State said that there existed in Britain a strong suspicion of Soviet intentions. This might be the fault of Stalin, but it was a fact. The first essential, therefore, was to dissipate this suspicion. It could only be achieved through frankness.
Khrushchev asserted that such suspicion was unjustified. Soviet guns were not pointing at Britain and the Soviet Government had no quarrel with us.
The Secretary of State repeated that the British people saw cause for anxiety in Soviet actions. By way of example, he said, "a little bird had whispered to him" that the Soviet bloc were supplying arms to Yemen. This was well calculated to foster trouble between the Yemen and Aden. And Aden was vitally important to Britain.
After half-challenging this statement, Khrushchev accepted it for the sake of argument. But, he went on, "a big bird had told him," not in a whisper but very loudly, that Britain had created the Bagdad Pact on the southern borders of the Soviet Union and this was an unmistakably anti-Soviet act. It was, therefore, not to be excluded that the Soviet Union or its allied might provide arms for the Yemen as a means of reducing the danger to itself in the Bagdad Pact. The Soviet Union was bound it its own interest to work to weaken the Bagdad Pact.
The Secretary of State explained the genesis of the Bagdad Pact. It was not initiated by Britain and it was not intended to serve any aggressive purpose. It was the hope and intention of Britain that the emphasis in the Pact should be economic rather than military.
Why then, asked Khrushchev, had the Minister of War been sent to Bagdad and why had he made a belligerent speech there?
The Secretary of State said that it was the fault of Messrs. Bulganin and Khrushchev that the Minister of War had gone to Bagdad. If they had not come to Britain he would have gone himself. AS for the speech, he did not know that it had been belligerent.
Both Khrushchev and Bulganin scoffed at this remark. The former said that he could not believe that British Ministers were so undisciplined as to sound off without the knowledge and approval of their colleagues. He preferred Mr. Selwyn Lloyd’s blunter remarks about what "the little bird whispered to him" to such coyness, which was more appropriate between lovers than between statesmen.
The Secretary of State repeated that we had no aggressive intentions whatsoever. But Middle East oil was vital to us and we must safeguard it. By supplying arms and by incitement the Soviet Union might provoke a war in the Middle East that would catastrophically affect our interests. We could not permit such a war to happen. He had read an article recently by an American journalist who said that in the Middle East the Soviet Union was reaching for Britain’s jugular vein, and there was some truth in the remark. Middle East oil was essential to us and we must defend our interests there.
Khrushchev included in his remarks reference to "a gentleman for who we have no liking and in who you have complete trust" and did not deny it when Mr. Selwyn Lloyd suggested he was referring to Mr. Dulles.
Bulganin spoke little but interjected brief remarks indicating impatience with some of the Secretary of State’s reasoning.
MAIN POINTS FROM CONVERSATION BETWEEN THE PRIME MINISTER AND MR. KHRUSHCHEV AT LUNCH AT CHEQUERS, APRIL 22, 1956
The Prime Minister said that Roman Catholics were a very vocal although not a large section of the population, and did not give him much peace. It would be a very good thing if the position of the Polish Catholics became easier.
Mr. Khrushchev said that the position of the Church in the Soviet Union had improved since the Central Committee decree, which he personally had sponsored. The Soviet Government could not instruct the Polish Government what to do, but the thought that the position of the Catholics would improve there. In general the Soviet Government did not give orders to the East European Governments; the relationship was very delicate and these Governments, though friendly, were very sensitive. The position was greatly misunderstood in the West.
The Prime Minister agreed that it was natural that relations between the Soviet Union and the East European countries should be very close. Mr. Khrushchev said that he had been tremendously impressed by the friendly attitude to the Russians which he had noticed in the area of the Bulgarian-Turkish battlefields. The Bulgarians genuinely regarded the Russians as brothers.
Mr. Khrushchev went on to say that the Soviet Government had done much to improve relations with the Turks also. They had renounced their claims to certain areas. Beria had pressed for certain territories which had once formed part of a Greater Georgia and also for some parts of the Dardanelles. This was a thing of the past.
3. Foreign Affairs—General
The Prime Minister recalled the friendly relations which had existed between the Governments after the war, told some anecdotes and regretted that the relations had deteriorated.
Mr. Khrushchev admitted that the Soviet Government had been very greatly to blame for what had happened and since then they had done much to improve relations. Stalin had suffered from extreme suspiciousness and had been very difficult. They now had a different outlook which was expressed at the 20th Party Congress. What they said there had been very carefully considered and had been approved unanimously.
The Prime Minister expressed regret that he had so far been unable to convince Mr. Khrushchev of the realities of the Commonwealth and our colonial policy and particularly of its positive features. We were genuinely granting independence to our colonial territories but this question was far from being a simple one. Former colonies were free to leave the Commonwealth if they wished. Her Majesty’s Government did not issue orders to members of the Commonwealth who enjoyed a position of equality. The Queen was the uniting link and she stood in varying relationship to the various members.
Mr. Khrushchev made no attempt to deny the facts as stated by the Prime Minister, took a fairly reasonable view of colonial practice and admitted that the remarks about the position of the Queen were new to him. He said that his statements in the Far East had not been disparaging to the British Commonwealth but had been directed against the colonial principle. The Soviet Government would remain firmly opposed to colonialism in principle. He added that the British had a great talent for adjusting themselves realistically to changing situations.
5. Trade and Strategic Materials
Mr. Khrushchev pointed out that Britain lived by trade. There were great new opportunities opening up for trade—with China and with the Soviet Union. He hoped that more goods would become available for trade between the two countries. He realised that the Americans felt very strongly about strategic goods and was not trying to drive a wedge.
The Prime Minister said that he thought the list of strategic materials would gradually be reduced and hoped for this. Changes had already been made. Britain was in the lead in the change of opinion but the Americans would follow in good time. It had happened before that they had taken over British ideas.
RECORD OF MAIN POINTS OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN MR. KHRUSHCHEV AND FOREIGN SECRETARY AT SPEAKER’S LUNCH, HOUSE OF COMMONS, APRIL 24, 1956
1. Channel for Cultural Contacts
The Foreign Secretary said that he was not fully clear about what Mr. Khrushchev had said this morning about the British Council as the main instrument for exchanges and whether they would cease to use bodies like the Anglo-Soviet Friendship Society.
Mr. Khrushchev replied that they would pay more practical attention to the British Council’s Committee in future but that they did not want to write into the joint communiqué that other channels were forbidden.
2. Labour Party Dinner
The Foreign Secretary sounded Mr. Khrushchev on his views on the Labour Party dinner for the delegation on April 23.
Mr. Khrushchev said that Labour Party representatives had spoken much nonsense about prison camps, arrested Socialists, the causes and blame for the war, &c., &c. This was not the way to conduct serious talks. It was easier to discuss matters with the Conservatives. He drew no distinction between Mr. Bevan, Mr. Morrison and other leaders of the Labour Party; they were all the same. [Mr. Khrushchev adopted an angry, even bitter tone for this answer and did not smile.] Mr. Khrushchev made a qualifying interpolation in Mr. Bulganin’s toast speech later on to the effect that the Labour leaders must become more amiable.
3. Polish Prisoners in the USSR
Following the last question The Foreign Secretary mentioned the recent call which General Andres had made on him and the complaints which he read from time to time in the press that the Soviet Union still held Polish prisoners; stories of this kind caused friction, which could be removed by improved contacts.
Mr. Khrushchev said that they read these stories but paid no attention to them at all. There were no Polish prisoners, either officers or soldiers in the Soviet Union now. All Polish prisoners had been released in 1942-43. There were few Poles in the Soviet Union – only a few teachers around Lvov and a few Polish workers elsewhere who had been in the Soviet Union a very long time. After the war all Poles and Ukrainians in frontier areas had had the opportunity of resettlement.
4. Slave Labour Camps
Next The Foreign Secretary mentioned allegations that there were 10 million prisoners in slave labour camps in the USSR. After this he prompted Mr. Khrushchev into explaining the new boarding school system.
Mr. Khrushchev said that the stories about slave labour camps were untrue. As long as there was crime there would be persons in prison in the Soviet Union, as in other countries. The new system of boarding schools should help to remedy this. A long programme was in hand at the end of which all children would attend school, in principle, from the day of their birth, in crèches, kindergartens then boarding schools. Children would not be sent to these without their parents’ consent.
5. Exchange Rate
Discussing a holiday in the Soviet Union The Foreign Secretary drew attention to the exchange rate.
Mr. Khrushchev said they were giving attention to this question which would be solved.
6. Trade Restrictions
Drawing attention to Mr. Kumykin’s absence on talks with Mr. Throneycroft, The Foreign Secretary joked that they were not doubt abolishing together the list of strategic materials.
Mr. Khrushchev said that that would be a gradual process and said the ban must be removed.
The Foreign Secretary said he thought the final communiqué should be frank and not attempt to create an illusion that the talks had gone better than was in fact the case.
Mr. Khrushchev expressed full agreement and said that a communiqué on such lines would create confidence. There was no need for long speeches, it should be short, factual and honest.
8. Visit to R.A.F., Marham
In reply to the Foreign Secretary’s question, Mr. Khrushchev said that he was not altogether satisfied with his aerodrome visit. They had been shown obsolete fighters, &c., which were no longer considered as armaments. The four-engined bombers (Valiants) were new and good. The Foreign Secretary said that they were not our latest. Mr. Khrushchev thought the Soviet Union had outstripped us in the production of powerful engines and did not agree with the Foreign Secretary’s remark that they were ahead of us in air frames. It took six months from the prototype flying until a plane was put into production if it was given a high priority. The modifications required by the customer which, according to the Foreign Secretary, often held up the development of British planes were perhaps more easily overcome by the Soviet Union since such matters were settled firmly by the Government.
9. Visit to Oxford
In reply to questions Mr. Khrushchev passed off the undergraduate escapades in Oxford as a huge joke and retold the story of the portrait and bust with some relish. The Oxford visit, apart from the visit and talks at Chequers, had been the most interesting of the tour.
10. Visit to Birmingham
In reply to the Foreign Secretary’s question about what he had seen in Birmingham Mr. Khrushchev said they had not time to see the exhibits at the fair. With heavy irony he remarked that if the English newspapers had printed that he had walked past at 25 m.p.h. then it must be true.
President of the Board of Trade
The President of the Board of Trade first summarized the discussion which had taken place at No. 10 Downing Street earlier in the morning. He said that in effect the two sides had agreed to differ on the strategic controls. The Russians had made it plain that they disapproved of them, while we for our part had explained that we thought them necessary in present circumstances, but that the list was not static and changes would be made as conditions changed. The two sides had agreed to examine the scope for trade outside the strategic lists and consider ways of improving the flow of trade in the free field.
Mr. Kumykin said that he agreed with this summary of what had taken place. Both sides had agreed that the strategic lists were an impediment to trade. His own impression was that the United Kingdom did not like the strategic controls, but felt obliged to continue them. Both sides had stressed that the lists were not final. Their task now was to work out concrete methods of developing trade which both sides appeared to want. One of the first difficulties was that, although the prohibited lists were published, it was not possible for the Russians to work out exactly what was prohibited and what was free. He would not now state the political arguments against the strategic controls, but mentioned some of the economic consequences. They created uncertainty in trade, partly because of the difficultly of not knowing exactly what was free and what was prohibited, and partly because the lists were liable to constant amendment and change. Some of the goods on the lists, for example, machine tools, were not of a strategic nature and could serve peaceful purposes. The items which were not on the list would be of interest to undeveloped countries, but, broadly speaking, were not of interest to the Soviet Union which was a strong and technically advanced country. Russia was really only interested in buying modern machinery incorporating advanced techniques. She herself produced such machinery. He said that in 1955 Russia produced 100,000 units of complicated high precision machine tools and planned to double this production in five years. He thought it would be valuable if the United Kingdom and Russia could sell these products to one another and help bring about a proper international division of labour.
Mr. Kumykin said that his Government noted with the satisfaction the increase in trade with the United Kingdom, notably in 1955. They thought this trade could be developed considerably given goodwill. As Mr. Khrushchev had said at the meeting at No. 10 Downing Street his Government had drawn up a possible draft programme of orders to be placed in the United Kingdom for the five years 1956-60. He then handed to the President a copy of this programme in Russian and also a translation of the programme which he said was unofficial in the sense that he could not promise it did not contain some technical errors in the descriptions of products. A copy of this programme is attached. This programme was based on the assumption that Russian orders placed between 1957 and 1960 would amount to a total of 4-5 billion roubles. Orders already placed were not included in this figure. But taking orders already placed into account, and also purchases of raw materials and other industrial goods, the total value of Soviet orders and purchases of goods in Great Britain and during the next five years could reach 9-11 billion roubles, or £800 1,000 million. It was to be expected that Soviet exports to the United Kingdom would also increase during this period—some of the goods to be exported were listed at the end of the programme—so that the total trade turnover might be about twice as much as the figure he mentioned. Towards the end of the programme in 1960, the trade turnover could be running at an annual rate of 5-6 billion roubles. The conversation to sterling had been made on the basis of the official rate of exchange which was 11 roubles, 20 kopeks to the £. He asked the President to give very careful consideration to the programme. He realised it needed study and would not expect and answer immediately.
The President thanked Mr. Kumykin for his full exposition of the Russian case. He said that he appeared to be liberal in his outlook on foreign trade in that he expressed the virtues of the international division of labour. Both agreed that the existence of the strategic limits inhibited the international division of labour and both hoped that as peaceful conditions developed and fear was removed, it would be possible to widen the opportunities in the trade field. Meanwhile, he appreciated the willingness which Mr. Kumykin had shown to seek the maximum trade possible. At present our exports to Russia were of the order of £25 million and there was very considerable scope for improvement. There were two ways of approaching this problem and he thought they should examine both.
One way which was valuable, was to work for a planned development of trade over a period. He obviously had not had time to study the list which had been given him, but he imagined he would find some items were on the strategic lists and others were not. He proposed to examine it urgently and found out how much trade was controlled and how much was not. We would have to deny ourselves the opportunity of trading, for the time being at least, in those goods which were on the strategic lists. AS to those which were not, he understood that Mr. Kumykin would be happy for us to proceed trading in those goods and it would certainly be our wish to do so. He pointed out that in this country it was for Ministers to say which individual goods would be exported. It was for individual firms to tender. Nevertheless, in so far as the Russian programme dealt with items outside3t the strategic lists, the United Kingdom Government would be happy to enlist the support of British industry to supply those requirements.
There remained another kind of approach. The United Kingdom produced a very wide and diverse range of goods and many of our industrialists would like to expand trade in them. They were, however, doubtful as to how to proceed to do this. In the past something had been done by organised parties visiting Russia, or by Russians coming to this country. What was needed was for individual traders to be able to go to Russia, meet the people who were interested in their line of goods, and make offers to them. He fully appreciated that there were places in Russia where the Soviet Government would not want British industrialists to go, but that should not be an obstacle to the free entry of large numbers of traders who had the knowledge and experience to provide Russian needs. He suggested that, parallel to the planned programme, it should be possible for individual traders to obtain visas freely and travel inside Russia selling their products. There was one further problem. The official rate of exchange was such as to make the cost of a business visit to Russia for any period almost prohibitive.
Summarising his position, the President thanked Mr. Kumykin for his clear exposition of the Soviet view on trade, assured him that the programme submitted would be studied immediately, and asked him to reflect of the possibility of easing the positon of British traders entering the Russian market to study the special needs.
Mr. Kumykin said that they understood the British system of external trade that our sellers and buyers were private firms and trade must be done by them. The programme had been handed over to the President for the guidance of the United Kingdom Government because it set out the Russian ideas on how it might be possible to expand trade with the United Kingdom on certain conditions. If agreement could be reached he hoped that the United Kingdom Government played in trade—the strategic lists, licences, &c. Moreover, they attached great importance to the advice which the Government gave to British firms which they thought carried great weight. On the Russian side, the system was a state monopoly of foreign trade and this was one of the main provisions of the constitution, and there could be no question of revising it. State monopoly was not impediment to trade. They had about 20 organisations dealing with different categories of goods. These organisations operated on exactly the same methods as private firms, and their methods were understood by British business men. On the question of visits to the Soviet Union—which he though was a secondary matter—Mr. Khrushchev had already said that they would welcome business visits, and indeed representatives of British firms were constantly in Moscow. The problem of visas did not therefore arise. AS to the rate of exchange, as it affected the expenses of business men, he did not think there was much difference between the cost of hotel accommodation and food in Russian and in this country. He had not studied the matter in detail, but the information he had from "Intourist" was the cost for a foreign tourist in the Soviet Union was not appreciably higher than in Great Britain. It was possible that if he wanted to go outside the serviced of hotel and buy goods in the shops he would find some of these expensive because of the rate of exchange.
The President said he was not an expert on the rate of exchange, but the information he had from business men was that the cost of visits to Russia was extremely high. He suggested they studied the matter further. On the question of visas, he said that there had not been much difficulty for the established traders, but his hope was that if trade expanded there would be a large number of new entrants into the field. There was some evidence that these new entrants had great difficulty in obtaining visas. However, he welcomed Mr. Kumykin’s assurance that all facilities that could be given would be given in the future.
Mr. Kumykin said that all facilities were already being given and he could not think of a single instance in which a business man wishing to sell his goods in Russia had not been given a visa. Mr. Stacy said that several business men had been to the Board of Trade and said that they had new products to offer to Russia but because their products were not known they had been unable to obtain visas.
Mr. Kumykin said that, of course, the Soviet Union was not going to guy everything that was offered, even if the quality was higher than the Russian-produced goods. A short time ago they had been sent a list of British goods on offer which included many items which Russia either possessed in sufficient quantities already or did not want. For example, it had been proposed to sell cotton textile materials to Russia. Russia did not want to import cotton textiles. They were exporters of cotton textiles, and had a high production (6 ½ billion yards of cloth in 1955 and they expected a 20 per cent increase in the next 5 years).
The President observed that the international division of labour seemed to be as much hindered by Russian import controls as by our export controls. Mr. Kumykin replied that Russia had a planned economy and therefore the control of imports had a sound economic basis. He thought, however, that they might be able to exchange some of their cotton cloth for some of ours of a special type.
The President said that we imported many things which we produced and exported ourselves. It was never an argument with us against the import of any commodity that we produced it ourselves. He asked Mr. Kumykin to consider the possibility of widening the area of goods which might be purchased from the United Kingdom. He did not expect Russia to switch to large-scale purchasing of textiles, potteries and other consumer goods, but he did ask him to consider whether there could not be purchases on both sides of special types or specialities of consumer goods. Some small exchange of this kind would have a considerable social and cultural as well as commercial advantage.
Mr. Kumykin said that he thought this was a good idea, and they might try a few purchases of specialities and see whether there was any future in this kind of trade. The President said that he thought they had had a useful discussion, and he was very grateful to Mr. Kumykin for talking so frankly. He suggested they had a further talk before Mr. Kumykin left of the 28th April, and after the United Kingdom Government had had an opportunity to study the programme of trade. In reply to a question from Mr. Kumykin as to whether he envisaged a contribution to the communiqué, the President said that this would be for the Prime Minister and the Soviet leaders to decide, but he thought it would be appropriate to include a reference to trade.
It was then agreed to meet again at 11-15 a.m. on Wednesday, 25th April, when the President would give his reactions to the Soviet trade programme, and they would consider a paragraph for inclusion in the communiqué.
It was also agreed that if any Press enquiries were made about the morning’s discussion, the only information to be given was that they had in fact met, had talked about trade matters, and had agreed to meet again the next day.
RECORD OF A FURTHER MEETING BETWEEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF TRADE AND MR. KUMYKIN, SOVIET MINISTER FOR EXTERNAL TRADE, HELD AT THE BOARD OF TRADE, ON APRIL 24, 1956
President of the Board of Trade.
The President explained to Mr. Kumykin that he had requested him to come to a further meeting in order to try and reach agreement with him on a paragraph about trade for inclusion in the final communiqué on the talks between the British and Russian leaders which would be settled tomorrow morning. The President said that he had examined the document which Mr. Kumykin had left with hi early in the day in which was set out a list of goods which Russia would like to purchase in Great Britain over the next five years. Some of these goods were covered by strategic controls and could not be supplied to Russia, but a substantial part of the goods and raw materials on the list were free from any such restriction. There was a scope here for a substantial increase in the amount of trade which could be done. He suggested that the list should be further examined with the help of Soviet technical experts to define precisely the goods required and to ascertain whether they were or were not subject to strategic controls. Mr. Kumykin said that the list was intended to meet Soviet requirements for a long period ahead, and it was hoped that during this time as business developed the coverage of the strategic controls would be reduced. The President pointed out that nevertheless the part of the list not covered by strategic controls provided a basis for a good start to increasing trade, and Mr. Kumykin agreed to this.
The President then handed to Mr. Kumykin a suggested paragraph for inclusion in the final communiqué on the talks. A copy of this is annexed. Mr Kumykin said that he was in agreement with the views expressed in this paragraph, but he would like to have an opportunity of considering it further and might wish to suggest amendments. He asked whether the President had consulted his colleagues about the proposed paragraph. The President sad that he thought that he and Mr. Kumykin should try to reach agreement on the paragraph and then put it forward to their respective colleagues at the final talks tomorrow morning. He had it in mind to circulate it to his own colleagues this evening. It was then arranged that Mr. Kumykin should meet the President at 10 o’clock to-morrow morning to try and reach a final agreement on the wording of the paragraph for the final communiqué.
The Ministers discussed the possibilities of increasing trade between the two countries. Soviet Ministers stressed the difficulties caused by the United Kingdom’s strategic controls which impede the full international division of labour. United Kingdom Ministers pointed to the relaxations already made in these controls and explained that further relaxations would depend on re-establishment of greater confidence in the political field. It was agreed on both sides that there was wide scope meanwhile for the further development of trade both ways; the British market was open to Soviet staple exports and the Soviet Union needed a wide range of British products. In this connection the Soviet Minister of Trade submitted a list of Soviet requirements for purchase in Great Britain over the next five years of British goods and Commonwealth raw materials up to a total value of between £800 million and £1,000 million. The President of the Board of Trade undertook to arrange for this to be studied urgently with the help of Soviet technical experts. It was recognised that a part of this list was covered by existing strategic controls. Nevertheless it was agreed that a substantial part of the goods and raw materials on the list were free of restriction, and that accordingly there was scope for a substantial increase of trade. Ministers agreed also to explore further the possibility of exchanging consumer goods and facilitating visits and contacts between buyers and sellers on a basis of mutual advantage.
RECORD OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN SECRETARY OF STATE AND MARSHAL BULGANIN AT LUNCH, AT 1 CARLTON HOUSE GARDENS, ON APRIL 25, 1956
Marshal Bulganin reverted to the question of our oil supplies and repeated that he understood our feelings and the Soviet Union would take account of them. I said it was necessary to get away from the situation in which we were working against one another in all parts of the world. I repeated that the Bagdad Pact was not an offensive alliance. It seemed to us to improve the chance of stability in a part of the world which was very important to us. We would endeavour to make the emphasis more and more economic.
Marshal Bulganin then said that the Soviet were not really working against us in any other part of the world. I said what about Libya. We had reason to believe that the large Soviet Embassy was a focus point for anti-British activity. Marshal Bulganin said that was not so. The Soviet much preferred us to have control of Libya rather than anyone else. I said that I wondered whether in that case the policy of the Soviet leaders was really being carried out by their servants or agents on the spot. We were quite certain that the Soviet Mission in Libya was working against our interests and the Anglo-Libyan Alliance. Marshal Bulganin said that he would look into the matter and see what instructions had been given when he got back to Moscow.
RECORD OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN FOREIGN SECRETARY AND THE SOVIET LEADERS DURING THE TRAIN JOURNEY TO PORTSMOUTH, APRIL 27, 1956
Mr. Bulganin and Mr. Khrushchev were very affable in the train going down. They both of them said several times how much they likened our countryside and our good houses and our pleasant cultured people. They hoped one day that Russia would be the same but they had a long way to go before they attained our living standards. But they would do it better.
Bulganin mentioned again the Social Democrats incident at the Labour Party dinner and that gave me a chance to raise in general terms the question of religious persecution and the denial of political liberty. I said that there was widespread feeling in this country that this existed both in the Soviet Union and in satellite States. Bulganin said there were no political prisoners in the Soviet Union except those who had tried to take up arms against the State. We agreed that one way to dispel this kind of feeling was that there should be much greater opportunity for contacts between the two peoples.
Khrushchev returned to the Bagdad Pact. I said that I hoped he now realised that it was not offensive. He said that may be all right for us but what about our allies. I said that the Pact was not a springboard but a protective pad for the oil in the Persian Gulf which we must have. He said that each side had expressed its own opinion. We had not convinced the other and he made it pretty clear that the Soviet Union would continue to do its best to disrupt the Pact.
I referred again to the widespread feeling in the United Kingdom that the Soviet Union were working against us all over the world. Bulganin said that that was not true.
When we got on the cruiser it was interesting to see that Bulganin at once became the senior officer. He did not wait for Khrushchev at all anywhere but staled ahead and gave the word of command to the sailors in a strong voice. Both of them appeared to be quite relieved to be on Russian soil again and were obviously proud of the ship. We marched down lines and lines of sailors, most of them pretty short in stature and exceedingly unprepossessing in countenance.
PART III. PRINCIPAL PUBLIC STATEMENTS
INTERIM PRESS COMMUNIQUE, APRIL 20, 1956
In the course of the 19th and 20th April three meetings took place at No. 10 Downing Street between the British and Soviet leaders. There was a frank and useful exchange of views in a cordial atmosphere.
At the first meeting, which was held on the afternoon of April 19, the following were present:
During this meeting a discussion took place concerning Anglo-Soviet relations. In particular, the question of cultural and other contacts between the two countries was discussed. In this connection representatives of both sides were instructed to consider and submit proposals for further examination. In addition, a preliminary exchange of views took place on the European situation.
At the second meeting on the morning of April 20, the following were present:—
This meeting was devoted to a discussion on the Middle East. It was agreed that representatives of both sides should prepare, on the basis of this useful discussion, appropriate proposals, for further consideration.
The third meeting was held on the afternoon of April 20. The following were present:—
This meeting was devoted to a discussion on the Middle East. It was agreed that representatives of both sides should prepare, on the basis of this useful discussion, appropriate proposals, for further consideration.
The third meeting was held on the afternoon of April 20. The following were present:—
During this meeting there was an exchange of views on disarmament.
STATEMENT ON THE DISCUSSIONS OF THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, SIR ANTHONY EDEN, WITH THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS, MR. N. A. BULGANIN, AND MEMBER OF THE PRAESIDIUM OF THE SUPREME SOVIET OF THE UNION OF THE SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS, MR. N. S. KHRUSHCHEV
From 18th to 27th April, 1956, Mr. Bulganin, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, and Mr. Khrushchev, Member of the Praesidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, visited the United Kingdom at the invitation of Her Majesty’s Government. During their stay they held a series of conversations with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Anthony Eden, the Lord Privy Seal, Mr. R. A. Butler, the Foreign Secretary, Mr. Selwyn Lloyd, and other members of Her Majesty’s Government on Anglo-Soviet relations as well as on the international situation as a whole. These talks have been conducted, on both sides, in a spirit of candour and realism. They have ranged over most of the international questions of current concern, and there has been a full and useful exchange of views.
The representatives of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union recognised that the strengthening of Anglo-Soviet relations in political, trade, scientific, cultural and other fields would be in the interests of the peoples of both countries. They were also convinced that this would help to consolidate general peace and security.
They expressed the determination of their Governments to work for a further relaxation of international tension. Having in view the present situation where there is not the necessary confidence between countries, they expressed their determination to take all possible measures to facilitate the strengthening of mutual confidence and the improvement of the relations between States. They recognise that one of the important factors in strengthening international confidence consists in personal contacts between leading statesmen, which have produced positive results.
The two countries, in their relations with each other and also in their relations with other countries, will be guided by the principles of the United Nations. They are convinced that the basis of friendly co-operation and peaceful co-existence of all countries, irrespective of their social systems, is respect for national independence and sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference in the internal affairs of others.
They will do their utmost to put an end to the armaments race in all parts of the world, and thus to free the peoples of the world from the threat of a new war.
The representatives of both countries attached particular importance to maintaining security of Europe, being convinced that peace and security in Europe are of determining importance in preserving the peace of the world. But an understanding on the means to achieve that end was not reached.
As regards the other unsettled international problems, including those of Europe and Asia, on which an exchange of views has taken place, both parties will strive to promote a solution in the interests of consolidating general peace.
The representatives of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union have come to the following conclusions with regard to certain individual problems which have been under consideration.
Near and Middle East
The United Kingdom and the Soviet Union have the firm intention to do everything in their power to facilitate the maintenance of peace and security in the Near and Middle East. For this purpose they will give the necessary support to the United Nations in its endeavour to strengthen peace in the region of Palestine and to carry out the appropriate decisions of the Security Council.
The Governments of the two countries consider that effect measures should be undertaken in the immediate future to this end in accordance with the national aspirations of the peoples concerned, with the necessity of ensuring their independence and in full conformity with the principles expressed in the Charter of the United Nations.(1)
The Governments of the two countries call on the States concerned to take measures to prevent the increase of tension in the area of the demarcation line established in accordance with the relevant armistice agreement between Israel and the Arab States.
They will also support the United Nations in an initiative to secure a peaceful settlement on a mutually acceptable basis of the dispute between the Arab States and Israel.
They recognise the importance of the problem of the refugees and accordingly will support action of the United Nations directed towards the alleviation of their hardships.
The Governments of the two countries express the strong hops that other states will also do everything possible to help the United Nations in bringing about a peaceful solution to the dispute between the Arab States and Israel and thus to strengthen peace and security in the Near and Middle East.
The Problem of Disarmament
In the course of the exchange of views the Disarmament problem was discussed. The representatives of the two countries reviewed the position reached in the discussions of the United Nations and the proposals made by the powers concerned. It was agreed that a solution of this problem would be of the utmost significance for the maintenance of universal peace.
The Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Soviet Union attach great importance to concluding an appropriate international agreement on this problem. Such an agreement would help to reduce international tension, to increase confidence between States and to relieve the burden of military expenditures.
The two Governments agreed on the paramount importance of saving humanity from the threat of nuclear warfare. Their common objective remains the ultimate prohibition of nuclear weapons and the devotion of nuclear energy exclusively to peaceful uses and they will continue their efforts to achieve this aim.
The Governments of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union recognise the necessity of reaching an agreement to start without delay upon practical measures for a substantial reduction under appropriate international control of the armed forces of States (with corresponding reductions in their armaments) beginning with reductions by the five great Powers.
The Governments of the two countries will continue their efforts to promote the necessary understanding on this question between the States concerned in the United Nations and the Disarmament Sub-Committee.
Development of the Anglo-Soviet Trade Relations
Questions were also considered relating to a further development of trade between the United Kingdom and the USSR.
The representatives of the two countries agreed that the development of trade between the United Kingdom and the USSR could make an important contribution to closer relations between the two countries. This would serve to promote a more rational use of production possibilities in each of them, and would stimulate trade between East and West.
In the course of the discussions the Soviet representatives stated that the Soviet Government were willing to extend trade with the United Kingdom considerably. The British representatives also stated their desire to see an extension of this trade.
The Soviet Representatives stated that the Soviet Union could in the coming five years between 1956-60, if there were no trade restrictions or discrimination, increase purchases in the United Kingdom to as much as approximately 9-11 billion roubles, i.e., £800-1,000 millions, including the placing of orders for various equipment and ships for some 4-5 billion roubles and the purchase of a wide range of industrial goods and raw materials for 5-6 billion roubles. A comprehensive list of machinery, equipment and ships which could be ordered by the Soviet organisations from the United Kingdom was handed to the United Kingdom representatives.
The representatives of the Soviet Government pointed out that the increase envisaged in Soviet orders in the United Kingdom for machinery, equipment and ships as well as the increase in purchases of raw materials and industrial goods would make it necessary for them to increase their earnings of sterling by a corresponding development in their exports, and the representatives of the United Kingdom pointed out that the United Kingdom market was open to a wide range of Soviet exports.
The representatives of the two Governments agreed in the light of the foregoing considerations that the above-mentioned list should be studied further on the British side with the help of Soviet technical experts.
They also agreed to study further the matter of exchanging consumer goods and facilitating contact between buyers and sellers.
Cultural and other Contacts
The representatives of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union also discussed the problem of increasing cultural and other contacts. They adopted a joint declaration on this subject which is published separately as an Appendix.
Prime Minister of the United
Chairman of the Council of Ministers
April 26, 1956.
(1) "Treaty Series No. 67 (1946)," Cmd. 7016
JOINT DECLARATION ON THE FURTHER DEVELOPEMNT OF CONTACTS BETWEEN THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE USSR
The Heads of Government of the United Kingdom and the USSR on the occasion of the visit of N.A. Bulganin and N.S. Khrushchev to the United Kingdom, after an exchange of views, have agreed upon the following:—
1. They have noted with satisfaction that certain results have been achieved in the relations between the two countries in respect of cultural, scientific and technical contacts. There have been governmental, municipal, scientific and cultural visits from each side, as well as visits by theatre companies, musicians and sports teams.
2. They consider it desirable that the Governments of the two countries should accord to the citizens of each country every assistance in acquainting themselves with the experience and achievements of the other in the fields of literature, painting a sculpture, the theatre, music, the cinema, broadcasting and television, as well as of science, technology, education and public health.
3. They favour the increase of all types of exchanges between artistic, technical, scientific and sporting organisations on a reciprocal basis, drawing on the best which each country has to offer, and the exchange of suitably qualified students to study at the universities in each country.
4. They wish to encourage the exchange of information between the principle academic, professional and scientific bodies in the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, and to increase the exchange between the two countries of publications in the fields of science, technology and culture.
5. They look forward to an increase in individual and group visits of United Kingdom citizens to the Soviet Union and of Soviet citizens to the United Kingdom. Both Governments will afford all possible assistance in giving effect to these measures, in particular by creating more favourable economic conditions.
6. With a view to improving the mutual understanding which it is the object of these exchanges to promote, they agree to provide every opportunity to the peoples of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union to learn about each other’s opinions and ways of life. To that end they will take practical steps directed towards ensuring a freer exchange of information by the spoken and written word.
STATEMENT BY MR. BULGANIN AT PRESS CONFERENCE IN LONDON, APRIL 27, 1956
Our stay in Great Britain, to which we came on the kind invitation of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Sir Anthony Eden, is coming to an end. To-day, after a ten-d ay visit, we are leaving this remarkable country, filled with friendly feelings towards the British people and their Government, who have shown us, the representatives of the Soviet Union, great hospitality.
As a result of our stay here, we have become convinced that the British people do not want war, that they strive towards peace, towards the development of good relations with the Soviet peoples. With great pleasure we shall tell the Soviet people about our impressions, and we are confident that they will arouse among them corresponding good feelings towards the peoples of the United Kingdom.
Our visit to Great Britain has given us the possibility of renewing personal contact with leading British people and, above all, with the Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, whom we already had the pleasure of meeting and working jointly with last July at the Conference of Heads of Government of the Four Powers at Geneva—a conference the importance of which is well known.
During our stay in the United Kingdom we have visited a number of cities and regions of the country. On our visit to Oxford we acquainted ourselves with the scientific institutions of one of the oldest universities in Europe, we met its scholars and students.
We have seen the installations for the output of atomic power at Harwell. Our outstanding scientist, Academician Kurchatov, has acquainted himself with the Calder Hall atomic station. Acquaintance with these stations has shown us what successes have been achieved here in the sphere of the mastery of this new form of energy. Acquainting ourselves with the atomic installations, the thought involuntarily came to our minds that ultimately the time must come when this mighty energy, very greatly moving aside the frontiers of men's power over nature, will be placed at the service of peace, will be utilised for the good of the people.
We have also been to an industrial fair in one of your industrial centres, in Birmingham, although owing to time, unfortunately, we were unable to acquaint ourselves with this exhibition, at which were shown the fruits of the labour of the fine British workers, whose industriousness and craftsmanship are well known. The achievements of Britain in the construction of civil and military aircraft, the skill of your wonderful pilots, have been demonstrated to us. We have also had the opportunity of getting to know important historical monuments and buildings, both in London and in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.
We express sincere thanks for the hearty reception which has been shown to us by the people of Great Britain and personally by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden, the members of the Government of Parliament, the Mayors of Cities and other representatives of cities and institutions which we have visited. We are grateful to all the British citizens who have expressed their warm feelings towards the Soviet Union.
On our arrival in your country we expressed the hope that our visit here and our meetings with members of the British Cabinet would contribute to the further easing of tension in international relations, to the establishment of greater mutual understanding and to the further improvement of relations between our countries. We can now say that we have not been deceived in our hopes. The joint statement on the Soviet-British discussions, published to-day, is a document of great political importance. One cannot doubt that this statement will be welcomed by all who are interested in the further easing of international tension, in the establishment of confidence between States.
Our meetings with the Prime Minister and members of the British Government, as the joint statement correctly indicates, proceeded in a spirit of candour and realism. This enabled us to exchange opinions broadly both on questions of Soviet-British relations, and also on certain current international problems, including problems of Europe and of Asia.
Of course the question may at once arise a mong you journalists: d id everything go smoothly in the discussions? Were there not d u ring the discussions, some difficulties or, as is sometimes said, sharp moments? Without any risk of revealing a great secret, we can inform you—confident that our respected hosts also hold this opinion—that the course of the discussions met on their way under-water rocks. Yes, and it would be strange if everything had gone smoothly with us. For it is much easier to spoil relations between countries than to improve them. We have questions in dispute, we also have disagreements.
This is not surprising, if only because it is well known that Britain is a participant of the Atlantic bloc, for which—you know this well—we cherish no love. It happens that members even of one family sometimes quarrel among themselves. And it is well known that we are not in the Atlantic bloc, while Britain is not a participant of the Warsaw Treaty; for this reason, too, there were d ark moments in our relations—and consequently also in our discussions .
Both we, the representatives of the Soviet Union, and also the representatives of Great Britain who participated in the negotiations with us, took all this fully into account.
However, both sides took equally fully into account the fact that the great responsibility resting on our States for the maintenance of peace between the peoples, that the profound concern, both of the peoples of the Soviet Union and of the peoples of Great Britain, to maintain and further strengthen relations between the two countries, was of decisive importance for the outcome of our negotiations.
Whether anyone likes it or not, the Soviet Union and Great Britain will in one way or another, through the pressure of events, find a common language, at least on the basic problems relating to the maintenance of peace. The Soviet Union and Great Britain are big world Powers and already, by virtue of this fact, bear a great responsibility not to permit a new war with all the grievous consequences it would have for the peoples. On them rests the particular responsibility of not permitting a new military conflagration in Europe, since the securing of lasting peace in Europe would have, as the joint statement says, a determining importance in preserving the peace of the world.
What, then, are the basic results o f o u r negotiations?
First of all, both sides recognised that the strengthening of Soviet-British relations in various spheres-political, economic, cultural and scientific-would be in the interests of the peoples of both countries. The programme, as you see, is a solid one and there is a good deal to work upon. We, Soviet people, take this programme seriously and will strive to turn it into reality.
We have no grounds for doubting that the British Government holds similar views.
In the joint statement which has been signed, it is indicated that, in the relations between our countries, and also in their relations with other countries, both sides will be guided by the principles of the United Nations. Particularly to be stressed is the fact that the Governments of the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom are convinced that the basis of friendly co-operation and peaceful co-existence of all countries, irrespective of their social systems, is respect for national independence and sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of others.
These are principles by which many countries of the world already are guided in their international relations. This is a sound basis for the development of Soviet-British relations. We consider that, as a result of the discussions, the standpoints of the Governments of our countries have drawn closer together. We are trying to achieve friendly relations with Great Britain, not at the cost of worsening her relations with other states friendly to her. Britain, which has a friendship with the United States of America, could help us to establish good relations with the United States of America.
We have established not bad relations with France. Our relations with the United States of America are far from sufficiently normal, which we regret and for our part will do everything so that the relations of the Soviet Union with the United States of America improve.
Hardly anyone would deny that the problem of disarmament is the most important problem of to-day. The peoples wait for concrete measures to reduce armaments and the armed forces of States, to ban atomic and hydrogen weapons. Their demand sounds even louder that an end should be put to the arms race, so that people may breathe freely, avoid the threat of a new war and devote themselves wholly to peaceful constructive work.
It is no good, as they say, fooling oneself. For the Present, the problem of disarmament is in a bad way. In London you have a fine palace, Lancaster House. This palace has seen a great deal. More than once the Minsters of the Great Powers have gathered in it, have reached agreement on some things and, it has happened, have gone their ways without anything being agreed. But, if I may say so, the most interesting sessions are being held now—because at them the most important problem, the problem of disarmament, is being discussed. What do you think, are those taking part in the conference making progress towards this aim? Not at all. Some people rightly ask the question: Has this Sub-Committee been correctly named the Sub-Committee on Disarmament? Should it not be called the Sub-Committee on Concealing the Arms Race?
We may be asked—and you journalists, it is well known, are never hard up for words—but, surely, the Soviet Union is also a participant of the Sub-Committee? Yes, it is: we have introduced good proposals on disarmament. On a number of questions we have proposed the acceptance of the proposals previously made by the Western Powers—for instance, on the level of armed forces of the Five Powers. But we now have to defend these proposals of the Western Powers against the representatives of these very Powers. As soon as we expressed agreement with their proposals, they at once hastened to renounce them. Perhaps you know what is the matter here. For us it is a mystery.
The Soviet Government has more than once made constructive proposals, the acceptance of which would be a real step along the path to a solution of the disarmament question. We stood, and we stand, for the unconditional prohibition of atomic and hydrogen weapons, we insist on the prohibition of tests of these weapons.
We express satisfaction at the fact that, in the course of the discussions, both sides agreed that saving humanity form the threat of nuclear warfare is a task of paramount importance. We have recognised that the ultimate prohibition of nuclear weapons and the devotion of nuclear energy exclusively to peaceful uses is the common objective of our Governments, and they will continue their efforts to achieve this aim.
At the same time, both sides have recognised the necessity of reaching an agreement to start without delay upon practical measures for a substantial reduction in their armaments; beginning with reductions of the armed forces and armaments of the Five Great Powers. These measures will be carried out under the appropriate control.
You well know that the Soviet Government, on March 27, 1956, introduced new proposals on the disarmament question, proposals which are now being discussed in the Sub-Committee of the United Nations Disarmament Commission.
Recognising, as experience has shown, that it is not possible to reach agreement on the whole problem of disarmament in its entirety, the Soviet Government has proposed that first there should be agreement on the reduction of conventional armaments and the armed forces of the states. By the way, certain Western countries had previously expressed support for precisely this solution of the question, but now, for some reason, they consider is unsuitable. They do not wish to support the prohibition of atomic weapons, do not wish to reach agreement on the problem of disarmament in its entirety, advance innumerable conditions and qualifications, in which, it might be said, the devil himself could break his leg. And now, when it is proposed to solve the question of conventional armaments, this also turns out to be unsuitable.
We will hope that the Great Powers will nevertheless find it possible to take some practical steps forward in the matter of ending the arms drive. In any case, the Soviet Union will continue to do everything possible to assist in the solution of this problem.
Coming to meet the Western Powers, and with the purpose of achieving the necessary agreement, the Soviet Government declares that it is ready to examine the question of a reduction of conventional armaments and the question of the prohibition of atomic and hydrogen weapons simultaneously—but not, however, making the reaching of agreement on conventional armaments dependent on agreement on the question of atomic weapons.
Between us and the representatives of the British Government there was an exchange of views on the situation in the Near and Middle East. We expressed to them our own point of view on the main reason for the sharpening of the situation in this area, declaring that, in the view of the Soviet Government, the main source of international conflicts and frictions in the area of the Near and Middle East, the reason for the deterioration of relations between the Arab States and Israel—as well as other countries—is the creation of military groupings such as the Bagdad Pact. The British side does not share our views on this question. We in our turn could not recognise as correct the view of the British representative on this question.
As you sec, here we take different stands.
At the same time, as a result of the exchange of views, both sides have expressed the firm intention to do everything in their power to facilitate the maintenance of peace and security in the Near and Middle East, giving the necessary support lo the United Nations in its endeavour to strengthen peace in the region of Palestine. We have also reached agreement that effective measures should be undertaken in the immediate future to this end, in accordance with the national aspirations of the peoples concerned, with the necessity of ensuring their independence and in full conformity with the principles expressed in the Charter of the United Nations. In particular, both sides will support the United Nations in an initiative to secure a peaceful settlement on a mutually acceptable basis of the dispute between the Arab States and Israel.
The Soviet Union does not have, in the countries of the Near and Middle East, any other interests apart from the interests of peace and peaceful co-operation among the peoples, on the basis of respect for their national independence, sovereignty and non-interference in their domestic affairs. We defend these principles and will continue to defend them, and this we have declared frankly to our British col leagues.
The agreement reached on the questions of the Near and Middle East opens up no small possibilities for our two countries to give an example of joint work for the cause of peace in such an important area as that of the Near and Middle East.
The question of the development of trade ties between the USSR and Great Britain occupied a place of importance in the negotiations. For understandable reasons, both sides showed interest in the demand for new opportunities in this sphere.
On our arrival in Britain, we frankly declared that we would like to buy more British goods and to sell more of our goods to Britain. We also declared that we express this desire not because we cannot get along without British goods, but because it would be more advantageous for us to buy certain goods in Britain than to make them in our own country. For Britons, too, it would be more advantageous to buy certain goods in the Soviet Union than to make them in their own country, or to buy them on less favourable terms in other countries.
From the statement, you already know that, as a result of the discussions, a considerable exchange of Soviet purchases in Britain and British purchases in the USSR has been agreed. We stated that, in the absence of restrictions and trade discrimination, the Soviet Union could, in the period of the next five years, from 1956-60, increase purchases in Great Britain to a total of approximately 9-11 thousand million roubles, i.e., to £800-1,000 million, including the placing of orders for various equipment and ships to a total of some 4-5 thousand million roubles, and the purchase of a wide range of industrial goods and raw materials to a total of 5-6 thousand million roubles.
Speaking of trade between Britain and our country, we wish to say that the Soviet Union has been and is opposed to any discriminatory restrictions in international trade. These restrictions, it is well known, are a product of the cold war. Times, however, change and have already changed, and for this reason the time has come to throw out onto the rubbish heap such restrictions, and to open wide the doors to international trade ties. This would open up great economic opportunities to the countries of—as it is usually said—West and East.
We of course understand the delicacy of Britain's position on this question However, the British are practical and business-like people, and obviously they themselves, too, will sooner or later find the appropriate delicate way of replacing the existing discriminatory policy of restriction with a more sober trade policy.
We will only welcome this.
The trade relations between countries are not merely of economic significance. Trade clears the way for the establishment of confidence between States, brings them closer together; through trade broad ties are established between peoples. Trade on a sound basis will contribute to the settlement of political questions too. It is impossible to talk seriously about disarmament without the development of trade, without the abolition of every kind of restriction and discrimination, which stand across the paths of normal relations between countries.
It now remains for us to speak about our agreement on another question, a question which is extremely important for both countries—that of the further development of contacts and ties in the sphere of culture, science and technique. There is no need to say that the extension of such ties assists the better understanding of one another, the mutual enrichment of both peoples by cultural values, the exchange of achievements in the field of science and technique. Our discussions on this question were fruitful, and their results have found their expression in the corresponding document, which is a component part of the joint statement.
As you can judge for yourselves from this document, measures are indicated, the realisation of which already in the immediate future will place on a considerably higher level the matter of acquainting the citizens of one country with the achievements of the other country—in the fields of literature, painting, sculpture, the theatre, music, cinema, radio and television, and also in the fields of science, technique, education and health protection. An increase is envisaged in the number of individual and group visits by Soviet citizens to the United Kingdom and vice versa.
The Soviet Government considers that cultural and scientific and technical, sports and other ties between our two countries can and should develop on a broad basis.
These are the basic results of our discussions. What do they show? In the first place, they show that, with the existence of good will and taking account of mutual interests of the parties, it is possible, to a certain degree, to overcome serious differences and to achieve positive results on the most important question both in British-Soviet relations, and also in other international problems.
During our discussions, N.S. Khrushchev and I, on behalf of the Soviet Government, invited the Prime Minister to make a visit to the Soviet Union. The Prime Minister accepted this invitation. In view of his other obligations the date of his visit is still undecided. We are confident that the visit of Sir Anthony Eden will be of important significance for the further improvement of British-Soviet relations, and will also assist in the easing of tension in international relations.
In conclusion, availing myself of the opportunity of the present press conference we wish to convey our very best wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the peoples of the United Kingdom, and successes in the struggle for peace throughout the world.
Till we meet again, our British friends!
MINSTERIAL BROADCAST BY THE PRIME MINISTER SIR ANTHONY EDEN, K.G., M.C., M.P., ON 27th APRIL, 1956
(Transmitted on B.B.C. Television, Home, European and Overseas Service)
I want to be very exact in what I'm going to say to you to-night and so I propose to read my message to you.
I've been anxious to give you some account at the earliest opportunity of our discussions with our Russian guests. Inevitably we had to keep a cloak of secrecy over the talks while they were actually going on. N ow I can tell you about them. They were certainly worth while. Some people had doubts about the wisdom of inviting the Soviet leaders to this country for discussions. This is not surprising in view of the history of Anglo-Soviet relations since the war.
It's quite true that last summer we had the Meeting at the Summit, as it was called, at Geneva, which showed improvement. But since then the Great Powers have been deadlocked once again. All the same I felt sure that it was right to have this meeting. What, after all, were the alternatives? Either we should never meet the Soviet leaders or that there should be a meeting somewhere else, or that I should go to Moscow or some neutral capital. To give up the hope of ever meeting those with whom we have disagreements would indeed be a counsel of despair. And on the whole I thought it was very suitable that our discussions should take place here in London this time.
And now our talks are over and our guests are on their way home. They've lasted more than a week and they've been strenuous. What are our impressions at the end. There was some plain speaking; that was quite inevitable and I think it was helpful because both of us were pursuing a serious purpose in our talks.
Of course, we didn't expect—neither did you—that in a few days we could solve the great differences that divide the world. On some of them we made no progress. We do not agree about the German problem for instance because we in Britain think there should be free elections in Germany and she should decide her own future that way.
We've neither of us changed our point of view about that or about some other important things. On the other h and, there are a number of issues on which we have found an encouraging measure of agreement, greater, I admit than I expected when we began. We both want to try, for instance, to bring about a settlement of the conflict between Israel and her Arab neighbours. We want to do it on terms accept able to both sides. You know that I've long wished to do this. It's good to k now that we and our Soviet guests share this purpose and we declared ourselves ready to back any United Nations initiative to bring about a permanent peace. Meanwhile, we join in asking both sides to respect the existing armistice.
Then there's this tangled question of disarm ament, which can never, you know, be entirely divorced from fear among the nations. The more apprehensive nations are, the less willing are they to disarm, and yet if you can get a measure of disarmament, you may thereby create more confidence between the nations.
Well we discussed t h is at some length. We tried to find some means by controls or in some other way to reassure the nations to make progress to reduce this heavy burden of armaments. Probably this is the most difficult international question of all. As I say, we discussed it at length, and I hope that the exchanges which we had will help the Sub-Committee of the United Nations, which is sitting in London now, and which of course, is represented—has represented on it other countries besides ourselves and Russia: France is there and the United States and Canada too. I hope that what we argued out together may be of some help to them to make progress.
And then there's the question of trade. Trade is important, not only for itself, but because a freer flow of trade can help to understanding between countries. The more they know each other, the better it will be. And the more interlocked their commerce, the stronger the influence for peace.
Now as many of you will remember, as long ago as 1949, there have been restrictions on the supply of certain strategic materials to Russia, They've been reduced in recent years but they still exist. And the free nations of the West were parties to the agreement which enforced them and they still are, so there can be no question of our altering them by ourselves alone. All this we explained to the Russians, and we've also explained that, in our view, there was scope for a considerable improvement of trade between us, outside these controls altogether, and I am confident this is so. And now the Russians have brought us—not only a figure of £200 millions a year, to which they want to build up their purchases from us but an actual shopping list. We are going through this carefully and we think that about two-thirds of it are not affected by the restrictions at all, and it may be that the percentage will turn out to be even higher. And so you see, there really is a big scope for increased trade between Soviet Russia and ourselves. Last year we exported to Soviet Russian about £23 million worth of goods, and that was very much higher than previous years. Now we are going through those lists, carefully in consultation with the Russians, and the result should be a real improvement in the export market for us. Well, if so, we've got to face this an important part of the call to meet this demand will fall on the engineering industry, and we must make up our minds as a nation that if this opportunity of increased trade does open up we have simply got to rise to it. We've got to step up our production to supply the goods. We've got to avoid industrial disputes which weaken us. I have no doubt at all in my mind that the Russians want these goods, and if they can't get them from us, they'll either make them themselves. Or get them from someone else. We must show what we can do and at the same time build a secure future for ourselves. And it's not just a question of trade; it's much more than that because this kind of commerce can help to build the peace.
And then we also agreed in our discussions a number of suggestions which will enable our people to exchange contacts of all kinds—science, the arts, sport and so on, on a wider scale than we've been able to do before. All this will help.
Of course, it doesn't add up, the whole of it, to a revolutionary agreement, but how could it? Great nations do not change their policies lightly. But the London Discussions could be something very important all the same. They could be the beginning of a beginning.
Mr. Bulganin said something at his press conference this morning which I want to quote you because I agree with it so completely. I quote his words: "The programme as you see is a solid one; and that is a good deal to work upon. We, the Soviet people take this programme seriously, and will strive to turn it into reality." Well, so will we and even if we're only in part successful we can contribute thereby to the peace of the world.
I know there are those who say that agreements of this kind have often disappointed us in the past, and they say there's no use in making them. I utterly disagree, and I want you to understand clearly where I stand in this business. As long as I have any responsibility we shall continue to work for solutions of these questions: for my part I will not accept a situation where the Great Powers of the world stand lowering at each other and consume a large part of their wealth on armaments expenditure. We've got to do better than that. It may be, I think it is true, that the immediate dangers of war have receded, and that's good, but even if it's true, it's not enough, so here's our policy. We will not be parted from our friends, nor will we abandon our vital interests but we will seek agreements with all.
In the long history of diplomacy suspicion has done more harm than confidence. Believe me that's true.
We will follow to the policies I have described to you, seeking agreements, promoting friendships. I am sure that this Soviet visit was in tune with this and that as a result, the world can rest more secure.
Goodnight to you all.
BULGANIN AND KHRUSHCHEV
Note by Mr. T. Brimelow and Mr. W. Barker
Khrushchev was the dominant personality. He never questioned Bulganin's right to procedure though he stormed out of the Labour Party dinner well ahead of Bulganin; but in discussion it was nearly always Khrushchev who took the lead.
2. Khrushchev describes himself as a simple man. He lacks polish; his humour is often coarse; his speech often crude. He tells simple jokes and folk tales. He quotes proverbs. He has a Ukrainian accent. But he can state his views clearly and effectively. He knows his subjects, and speaks without notes or briefs. He deals with problems in their large simple outlines. He is clearly a hard worker and a man of wide practical experience.
3. He is a man of considerable physical strength. He claims to have great stamina and resistance. Although he is impulsive and hot-tempered, his basic mood is one of cheerful, brilliant energy. He is a man of drive and determination. His assistants say that he detests paper work, preferring what he describes as "his work with people." His staff also say that he drives them hard, but is a good man to work for.
4. He said explicitly that he was anxious that his hosts should form a good impression of him. He insisted that he would carry out to the letter anything that he agreed with us.
5. He disclaimed expert knowledge on most subjects. He was content to let Mikhailov speak about culture, Gromyko about disarmament negotiations, Kumykin about trade. But he took over whenever these subjects raised questions affecting basic party policy.
6. On the other hand, he showed considerable detailed knowledge about rabbits (his favorite food) and fruit trees *which he grows at his dacha).
7. In keeping with his desire to create an impression of reliability and responsibility, he spoke quickly and seriously when he was expounding his policies. But in argument he warmed to his task; and the Labour Party dinner showed that he can speak brutally when he is nettled.
8. It had not been his intension to show this more brutal aspect of his character in the United Kingdom. He had expected that his hosts, knowing his views, would abstain from raising "offensive questions." In his discussions with members of Her Majesty's Government, there was at times plain and blunt speaking on both sides; but without offence being given or taken; and even when Khrushchev was at his most serious, his earthy confident sense of humour kept breaking through.
9. He was quick to reach agreement on matters which he did not regard as important: but on "questions of principle"—an expression which he was always using—he proved to be intransigent.
10. He was very conscious of his dignity as a leading (possibly the leading) representative and spokesman of the Soviet Union.
11. He had close consultations with Bulganin before and during the discussions with the Prime Minister; but it was he and not Bulganin who seemed to take the lead. Although the discussions were chiefly on foreign affairs, the Soviet Foreign Minister was never mentioned, and at no time was any reference made to the need to consult Moscow (though at Chequers Khrushchev said that he and Bulganin had spent the time before dinner on April 21 in preparing a report to Moscow).
12. He regards himself as far sighted and progressive in outlook. He regards even the latest of conventional weapons as obsolescent or obsolete. He is already looking forward to the time when output per head in the USSR will rival that in the United States. This optimism about the future of the USSR seems to be unlimited.
13. His every thought seems to conform to the mould of Communist ideology. Although his vigour and impetuousness give interest to what he has to say, in fact he said little that was new: He may be observant—he gives the impression of being both watchful and shrewd—but he does not give the impression of having an open mind.
14. His expression is often one of cunning; less frequently one of impatient contempt. Outside the conference room, he proved to be arrogant, boastful and confident of his ability to outwit his opponents. With his son he was pleasant and kind.
15. When he relaxes, his humour is rollicking and vulgar. He tells broad jokes and roars at them.
16. Both Khrushchev and Bulganin were extremely sensitive to their treatment by the British public and showed resentment of boos and unfriendly gestures. It was this resentment that underlay Khrushchev's Birmingham speech about the use of fists. From time to time Bulganin mimicked the ruder gestures he had seen—tongues out, long noes, &c.—and, like Khrushchev, asked why. Both were disproportionately pleased by cheers and acknowledged them with pleasure. They came to look eagerly each morning as they left their hotel for an Indian who regularly stood in the crowd making his national gesture of goodwill and friendship. The more flamboyant acknowledgements to onlookers were made by Khrushchev, who had some of the mannerisms of a demagogue.
17. Khrushchev gives the impression of aggressiveness and pugnacity, Bulganin of prudence and restraint.
18. Both Khrushchev and Bulganin repeatedly insisted during their visit that they were not out for quick results and that they could afford to be patient.
19. Khrushchev told the Prime Minister, with every appearance of sincerity, that he had been deeply impressed by The Queen. He said that if ever the Prime Minister were to hint to the Soviet Government that The Queen would like to visit the USSR, an invitation would be sent at once, and they would give to The Queen and her court all the honours that were their due.
20. On a few questions not mentioned in the fixed communiqué (e.g. Middle East oil, the Anglo-Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council), Khrushchev said that he would take our views and interests into account and act accordingly. He clearly wished to give the impression that his word was as good as his bond. In the same spirit, Mikhailov said to the Minster of State that more could often be achieved by an unwritten understanding than by a formal agreement.
21. On the train to Portsmouth, Khrushchev said that he had been very pleased with his visit, but that the political talks had taken up a great deal of time, and that if he had arranged the programme himself, he would have spent more time visiting factories, building sites and farms. He added that he had gained the impression that Her Majesty's Government had been a little afraid of the visit.
22. As regards his personal habits, it may be worth while recording that Khrushchev likes to get up at 6:30. He enjoys his food and drink, but his doctors have recommended him moderation in the eating of rich foods and drinking of coffee.
23. Bulganin is an old friend of Khrushchev. From 1933 to 1938, they shared adjacent dachas. He seems to be dominated by Khrushchev. Whenever Khrushchev expressed a general opinion, related to anecdote or reminisced, Bulganin invariably acquiesced. Khrushchev often teased Bulganin, but Bulganin never teased Khrushchev.
24. Bulganin gave the impression of being better educated, more thoughtful, more cautious and more courteous than Khrushchev. He paid more attention to his appearance. At Chequers he was careful to enquire about the customs of the house before expressing any wishes. He was less quick to seize on tactical openings. He was moderate in what he said. His sense of humour, though lively, was sly, pawky and academic. He chose his words well, and excelled at friendly platitudes. It was noticeable that he took the lead in discussing questions of drafting.
25. Bulganin is much less resilient than Khrushchev and was visibly more tired by the end of his visit.
26. In spite of his outward courtesy, his hands often bet rayed impatience. At question time in the House of Commons, he commented that such proceedings were a waste of time for Ministers
27. Bulganin gave the impression of being a prudent and experienced administrator, rather than a political leader. The impression given by Khrushchev was the reverse.
28. In Bulganin, an ideological cast of mind is more evident than in Khrushchev. Bulganin does not easily depart from the line he had made up his mind to follow. Khrushchev is fundamentally no less intransigent, but he shows greater superficial flexibility in his tactics, and shows a livelier wit in debate.
29. Both Bulganin and Khrushchev seemed to be deeply convinced of the destructiveness of war and of the extravagance of expenditure on conventional armaments. Bulganin was impressed by the number of old buildings in Oxford, and on his arrival at Chequers commented that there was nothing similar in Russia. In Russia most of the buildings had been destroyed. Extravagance, waste and destruction seem to weigh heavily on Bulganin's mind.
30. Politically Bulganin's position appears to rest on his high administrative ability and a certain moderation. He would usually be opposed to policies of excess and risk. Khrushchev is a skillful demagogue, a quick thinker and a good mixer. He probably enjoys great popularity a long way down through the Party: he is the type that is quoted admiringly and about whom legends spring up. Bulganin lacks the ruthlessness and strength of character to be another Stalin. Nor, probably would he wish to be. On the other hand, Khrushchev has many of the necessary attributes and would probably not be loath to accept the role of "vozhd." But he probably makes enemies as fervent as his friends.
31. It is to be doubted that reasonably smooth collective leadership over a longer period is possible with Khrushchev as one of the team. His future should certainly be more dramatic and exciting than that of Bulganin.
April 28, 1956
PROGRAMME OF VISIT OF SOVIET LEADERS
Wednesday, April 18
Arrival of Soviet Delegation (p.m.)
Sightseeing tour in London.
Dinner at Claridges Hotel.
Thursday, April 19
Sign the Book at Buckingham Palace.
Lay wreath at Cenotaph.
Lunch at Soviet Embassy.
Call on the Prime Minister.
Discussions at No. 10 Downing
Dinner with the Prime Minister.
Friday. April 20
Discussions at No. 10 Downing
Luncheon at the Mansion House.
Further discussions at No. 1 0
Dinner at Greenwich.
Saturday, April 21
Visit to the Atomic Energy Establishment, Harwell
Luncheon at Harwell, followed by sightseeing in Oxford.
Dinner at Chequers with the Prime Minister.
Sunday, April 22
Morning and afternoon at Chequers (further discussions).
Audience with The Queen at Windsor.
Reception by the London County Council.
Monday, April 23
Fly to Birmingham by Viscount.
Visit British Industries Fair and
lunch with the Lord Mayor of
Birmingham at Castle Bromwich.
Fly to R.A.F. Station, Marham by
Viscount for air display
Dinner given by the Labour Party in the House of Commons.
Tuesday, April 24
Discussions at No. 10 Downing Street.
Lunch with the Speaker.
Question time in the House of
Tea in the Royal Gallery given by the
Lord Chancellor and the Speaker, to meet Members of both Houses of Parliament.
Reception given by the Soviet Ambassador at Claridges Hotel.
Wednesday, April 25
Discussions at No. 10 Downing
Street, morning and afternoon.
Luncheon with Foreign Secretary.
Further discussions at No. 10
Special performance at Covent
Thursday, April 26
Fly to Edinburgh, returning to London the same day.
Signature of Joint Statement on Discussion sand Declaration on Development of Contacts.
Friday, April 27
a.m., Press Conference at the Central Hall, Westminster.
Departure from Portsmouth.
UK record of discussions with a Soviet delegation including Bulganin and Khrushchev.
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