Notes on the Meeting of N.S. Khrushchev with Leading Representatives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in Smolenice, near Bratislava, and Khrushchev’s Toast at Lunch, 1 June 1961, Prague
The meeting took place 1 June 1961 in Smolenice, near Bratislava. The Soviet delegation included: comrade Khrushchev, comrade Gromyko and comrade Zimyanin. The Czechoslovak delegation included: comrade Novotný, comrade Široký, comrade Hendrych, comrade Bacílek, comrade Barák, comrade Pavol David, comrade Strechaj, comrade Koucký, and comrade V. David. The meeting lasted from 11:00 until 13:30.
A. Questions of international politics related to the upcoming talks in Vienna.
1. The question of prohibiting nuclear tests and the question of armament.
By way of introduction, comrade Khrushchev said that it will be difficult for him to come to an agreement with Kennedy. “What will be Kennedy’s main aim in Vienna? To show the world that the Soviet Union is stalling the process of Détente with regards to international tensions, and that the Soviet Union’s uncompromising position is to blame for the stressful situation in the world.
We will be concerned with approximately the same thing. We must show the USA in its true light.
What sorts of weapons do we have?
The Americans will likely raise the question of prohibiting nuclear arms tests. We will not agree to this now. Above all, the West does not want to accept ‘the trio.’ (Comrade Khrushchev is likely referring to the inspection system organized on the principle that the administration be composed of representatives from 3 groups of states: socialist, capitalist and neutral, as proposed by the Soviet Union. This question is currently the main obstacle during negotiations about prohibiting nuclear tests - reporter’s note).
Without the acceptance of ‘the trio’ there can certainly be no talk about an agreement prohibiting nuclear tests for this would give the Soviet Union an underprivileged status. We will never agree to that. By the way, if the Americans were smart they would agree to ‘the trio.’ They would still gain. They would gain the right to inspections throughout the entire Soviet Union. Although the inspection organs would include representatives of neutral states, we know that not even one neutral state is pro-communist. Thus the Americans would gain far more than they have been trying to attain for years, they would gain more than “open skies,”  aerial photographs, etc. We do not get anything. We would lose out on the deal. Therefore, if Kennedy were to say that they are willing to accept ‘the trio,’ we will think of something else but we will not accept a prohibition on all nuclear arms tests.
We now have a new weapon. Our competition new has another element: a ban on nuclear arms testing only in connection with a general and complete disarmament. In reality, what does a ban on nuclear arms testing mean without disarmament? It means a legalized secret service while maintaining huge supplies of atomic bombs. We cannot be satisfied with that. Thus we will request a solution to the testing ban in connection to a solution of the entire disarmament problem. This position of ours is very strong even in the public sphere.
If Kennedy does not accept these suggestions of ours (and he likely will not), we will tell him: we have already lasted two years without testing atomic weapons and we do not have an agreement on prohibition.  Come on, we can last another two years and in the meantime aim to achieve an agreement along the lines of total and general disarmament. There has already been so much time devoted to this question, it is worth devoting some more time to a solution. If an agreement on complete disarmament were to be reached, we would then be willing to accept even the most extensive inspections. It is logical because even we would have an interest in the most effective inspections, for only in this manner would it be possible to guarantee that no one is preparing for a war. We well know what rocket weapons mean. It has already happened that our rocket flew 2000Km. further than its planned destination. To this comrade Novotný commented that the Americans have far more miscalculations.
However, if the Americans begin testing with nuclear weapons again, we will do so as well, but with the difference that they want to undertake tests underground while we will do so in the air. By the way, our soldiers are still calling on us to renew tests. Conducting tests is worthwhile for us, especially in an economic sense. Each test gives us two-fold savings - either we produce a weapon two times more effective, or one equally effective at half the cost in materials, etc. If we conduct tests it will of course cause the atmosphere to become contaminated with radioactive waste. However, this cannot be helped. We will not be the first to renew tests. We are willing to continue to bear the losses which the step to tests means for our economy. However, if the Americans renew testing, we will be forced to do the same. The responsibility will then fall on their shoulders. We will also tell them this in Vienna.”
2. The question of Germany
Comrade Khrushchev said the following on this subject:
“Our position is very strong. Two and a half years ago we proposed a peace agreement and the conversion of West Berlin into a free city. It was correct of us not to rush into closing a peace agreement. The time which has passed since then was not lost in vain. We used this time to prepare the world public for the necessity of closing a peace agreement, to bring this concept closer to them. While two years ago our proposals raised only opposition and aggressive cries in the western countries, the situation is entirely different today. Today there are voices from even the most influential circles calling for the recognition of the DDR (East Germany), voices that point out the fact that it is nonsensical to partake in a war about whether the organs of the DDR and not the Soviets will permit entry into West Berlin.
Our position is strong in that we do not come with any claims to seizer; in contrast, we want to sign a peace agreement. Where West Berlin is concerned, we do not want to seize it or change its social organization. All we want is for the militaries of the western powers to leave West Berlin, and for its relations with the external world to be controlled by the DDR, just as all other sovereign states control the entry of foreigners onto their territory.
What is our current position? We believe that it is not possible to further delay the signing of a peace agreement with Germany because all time lines have expired. If only from the viewpoint of the DDR, from the viewpoint of comrade Ulbricht. You well know what problems arise from the current state of affairs, how West Germany is disturbing the economic growth of the DDR via West Berlin, how they are enticing experts to go to the West.  We cannot stand for this any longer. Not to mention that we are not losing anything - quite the opposite. Nobody can contest the fact that we want to sign a peace agreement.
When should we sign a peace agreement? It would be possible to do this immediately. This has its advantages, especially from the viewpoint of comrade Ulbricht. It is possible that this would influence the results of elections to the Bundestag in West Germany. It is possible that Brandt would be elected instead of Adenauer, although it is difficult to say which of them is better.  We would, however, like to wait until after the 22nd Congress.  We are going to the 22nd Congress with a new Party program. At the Congress we want to set out the wide possibilities of development in the international communist movement and the building of a communist society. We want the 22nd Congress to further develop that which the 20th Congress brought, for it to have a productive impact.
A peace agreement will certainly cause aggravation in the general international situation. This would have an inevitable effect on the news as well as the Congress’ discussions; questions and moments that would have a disturbing influence would dominate, thus disrupting the impact which we want to give the 22nd Congress. Therefore we think that it will be better to wait with closing a peace agreement until after the 22nd Congress.
By the way, I spoke with the West German ambassador, Mr. Kroll, about this question. (At this point comrade Khrushchev remarks that he sent comrade Novotný the information regarding this conversation with Kroll, and Khrushchev asks whether the comrades are aware of the details. Comrade Novotný answers that the information will be read at the upcoming meeting of the Politburo).
I asked him when we should sign a peace agreement, whether before the elections to the Bundestag, or after. Kroll said that they do not care, that Adenauer will win the elections. However, it will be better to reach a deal after the elections, said Kroll. “You may be right,” I said, “You will have your new mandates and we will also have our new mandates and we will sign a peace agreement under the new authority.” “As you see,” jokes comrade Khrushchev, “I have already made an agreement with Adenauer.”
(Comrade Khrushchev spoke of the West German ambassador, Mr. Kroll, in this regard: he characterized him as a capable, and to a large degree, an independent diplomat. Kroll says of himself that he is due to retire soon, that he does not need money because he has a sufficient estate, that he does not work in diplomacy because of a career or the Minister of Foreign Affairs of West Germany, von Bretan - who is, by the way, an absolute fool, adds comrade Khrushchev - but in the interest of Germany. During a meeting with me, says comrade Khrushchev, Kroll said that the Germans do not want a war, because they have twice lived through that bitter experience, and they want to fill their living space with trade. ‘Our living space is in international trade,’ said Kroll. I agreed with this. Our market, our raw materials are at your disposal, I said. Come, we will improve our relations with you. I also asked him why they do not reach an agreement with Ulbricht, with the DDR. Since you consider your capitalist set-up to be stronger than the socialist one, why are you afraid of a confederation or of some other agreement, for the stronger always engulfs the weaker. Kroll answered that he does not know why those in Bonn do not want to negotiate with East Germany).
Such is our position on the question of Germany. This position is known by the Western powers. Before my departure to Vienna I spoke with the American ambassador, Thompson. I told him that we do not intend to wait further and that we will sign a peace agreement. Thompson asked whether in such a case the western powers will have the right to retain their military presence in West Berlin. I answered that of course not. We would then have to use force, Thompson said. To this I said that we also have forces and that it would mean a war. If you want a war, you will have one. However, we will not start it. We have the advantage - we do not have to relocate our forces anywhere, our militaries are in East Germany, whereas you would have to invade foreign territory. Luckily, I said, there has not yet been a crazed individual who would start a war because of 2.5 million citizens of West Berlin, especially since we do not want to seize West Berlin, nor change its social system - we only want to transform it into a free, demilitarized city. I also presented our viewpoint to Lippmann earlier, when he was in the USSR. It must be said that Lippmann presented our viewpoint rather faithfully in the American press,  except for the fact that he altered some aspects of the question of West Berlin and the peace agreement. It is necessary to see that Lippmann is a journalist connected to American intelligence services. We have news that prior to his departure to the USSR, Lippmann was at a secret meeting where the chief of American intelligence, Allan Dulles, was also present.” Comrade Khrushchev says that Lippmann is not an ordinary spy - he is an agent of his country.
“The Americans would now like to agree to the so-called interim statute on Berlin, about which we spoke two years ago. Thompson suggested this in the conversation I had with him prior to departing for Vienna. Back then we proposed that the occupied status of West Berlin not be immediately and completely cancelled, and that a provisional statute be established for a specific length of time (1 year).
(According to this statute West Berlin would have, for example, a certain contingent of military great power presence, contact with these forces would be permitted, etc. During this interim period questions connected to the transformation of West Berlin into a free city would be resolved. The Soviet proposal indicated the exact conditions for enacting the statute. Back then, the western powers were willing to accept this statute in a certain form, but for a practically undisclosed length of time [until the unification of Germany - reporter’s note]).
Thompson is now proposing a timeframe of seven years for this temporary statute. I told him that we will not agree to this, that it is out of the question. We cannot agree to this for it would mean forever extending the resolution to this question, it would mean surrendering the position we have with regards to the question of Germany. We understand that the Americans want to save face. Therefore, we are willing to accept a six-month transitory timeframe.
By the way, in relation to the question of closing a peace agreement, Thompson said that this question also concerns guarantees of no border changes for such countries as Czechoslovakia and Poland. Thompson said that the western powers would be willing to offer these guarantees in a format other than a peace agreement.
We then learned of the type of format. Do you remember that de Gaulle made a pronouncement about the untouchable border on the Oder-Neisse?  Now Macmillan and Kennedy would make a similar announcement, by which according to them there would be sufficient guarantees for states that border Germany. Only Adenauer is against this approach; he would not be against it, but given the West German population he cannot afford such a position - he needs the support of displaced Germans at the polls.
What will be Kennedy’s position on the question of a peace agreement? Kennedy cannot agree to the closure of a peace agreement. To reach a peace agreement would mean the beginning of NATO’s collapse. The western powers see the USA as their main back up, they rely on the USA. If the USA were to reach a peace agreement with Germany its allies would see this as a betrayal; the Germans would feel most betrayed and could leave the NATO alliance. The trust of the other West European states towards the USA would also fall. The internal powers within the USA would also not allow it. Thus we cannot come to an agreement with Kennedy on this question.
Thus, the main question is: What will happen when we sign a peace agreement with West Germany - will there be a war or not?
In today’s time it is difficult to make a 100% prediction about whether there will be a war or not. However, we are 95% sure that there will not be a war because of West Berlin. Neither Macmillan, nor de Gaulle and not even Adenauer will go to war. They are intelligent people and they know what a war would mean for them.
When I spoke with de Gaulle I told him that I intend to sign a peace agreement. “Who can prevent you from doing so,” answered de Gaulle. I am convinced that France will not go to war. France tried the most where Germany is concerned and will not now go to war because of West Berlin. Not to mention that the French are still not able to solve the Algerian problem after so many years.
(Comrade Gromyko notes that the majority of the French army is tied up in Algeria).
They will of course protest until the last minute, but they will not go to war. They must support West Germany, and they are involved in this for different reasons.
Likewise, England will not go to war. Macmillan knows well what this would mean for England. Do you remember that Macmillan went to Moscow before the elections?  When they held it against him in England, Macmillan responded by saying that either he goes to Moscow to negotiate, or to America to beg for land to which to evacuate England’s population. In his soul, Macmillan is for reaching a peace agreement, although he cannot openly admit this because it would mean the disintegration of NATO.
Actually, not even Adenauer will go to war. Several years ago the West German Minister of Defense, Strauss, declared that a nuclear war would mean the destruction of West Germany within a few minutes. It is clear that in Bonn they realize the extent of the situation.
Where Kennedy is concerned, it is hard to say. The smartest politician in the USA of late was Dulles. With him we always knew where we stood. Dulles would not go to war. Before his death he said that it is necessary to negotiate with the Soviet Union. Today the United States does not have a politician like Dulles. At this stage, we do not yet know Kennedy. In light of the events in Cuba, there is an indication that he is not very reasonable. Cuba is the same as the incident with the U-2.  However, the Soviet Union is not Cuba. It is likely that even Kennedy realizes this. His own words at a closed press conference attest to this because there he said that neither side (the USSR nor the USA), want to use nuclear weapons in light of the fact that both sides today have the capacity to ruin the other many times over.”
(In connection with this, comrade Khrushchev asked comrade Gromyko to read the record from Kennedy’s closed press conference.  The record was drawn up by a Polish journalist who was left at the press conference by accident. Comrade Gomulka sent the entry to comrade Khrushchev. Comrade Gromyko reads the record).
“What can then happen? They can break diplomatic relations with us. However, I do not believe this would happen. I would say the chances of that are about 30%. This is no longer an era in which ending diplomatic ties would significantly resolve any problems. They can stop trading with us. However, by doing this they would harm themselves more than harming us. If they do not break diplomatic relations, they will not stop trading with us either. We think that they will most likely limit themselves to some kind of declaration of protest, and that will be the end of it. Of course that there is a certain risk in that reaching a peace agreement will result in an aggravated situation. However, this is life. Lenin also took risks when he realized the October Revolution in a half-literate country, and this was a far greater risk. Today we are in an entirely different situation. We have rockets, we sent a person into space, and the overall situation in the world is favorable for us. What if we did not sign a peace agreement? We would lose a lot. They would say that we only talk, but that we do not act and that we are afraid. We cannot allow this. It is a hard pill to swallow, but we must endure.
Meanwhile, if we sign a peace agreement and the USA does not start a war (and I am convinced that they will not start a war), this will have a large effect on the other member states of NATO, especially on Germany and on states like Denmark, Holland, and others. They will see that the Americans did not go to war over Berlin and they will start to revise their ties to NATO. This is good for us. Not to mention that the position of the DDR (East Germany) will consolidate itself further.
What sort of a situation will arise in West Berlin? A tense situation will certainly arise in West Berlin, especially economically speaking. As soon as we set a definite date for the signing of a peace agreement, investments will start to leave Berlin as the capitalists will no longer be certain of future developments. It is necessary to expect this.
Now, what can be expected from the West? It is all but certain that they will try to frighten us, that they will exclaim that no changes will be allowed in Berlin, that they will threaten us with war. The articles of journalist Margaret Higgins (who is, by the way, in the services of the Pentagon) prove this position. They will test our nerves. What else are they supposed to do? I am convinced that there will be no war. We will not be frightened and we will sign the peace agreement. This is our opinion of the situation where the German question is concerned.”
3. The question of Laos
We will probably not come to an easy agreement on this question, said comrade Khrushchev. We cannot agree to their requests. It would mean renouncing the successes already achieved by the revolutionary forces. Neutral states such as India, Cambodia, and others were frightened by the quick progress of revolutionary forces and they are all practically against us.
Comrade Novotný notes that an agreement will probably be difficult, and that the country will likely stay divided.
Yes, says comrade Khrushchev, this is the most likely scenario. After all, this is advantageous for us. For one, America will once again show the world that it is an international policeman. Secondly, revolutionary forces will consolidate, strengthen their position in the country and then we will see how to proceed.
At the end of this portion of the meeting, comrade Khrushchev again returned to the expected results of the negotiations with Kennedy and he told an anecdote about a bear, wolf and a fox. By using this anecdote he wanted to support his opinion that it is necessary to speak harshly with the Americans, to lean on the strength which we possess.
B. Some problems of socialist camp countries
Comrade Khrushchev said that “at the present time, our relations with Albania could not be worse. They are crazy. We stopped all assistance to them. Even in those cases where we are 95% finished with construction, we will not finish the remainder. We will not assist those who are not friends. We will recall all experts, even those that are still there.” Comrade Khrushchev also spoke about the process of liquidating the naval bases in Vlore. “We withdrew 8 submarines and the Albanians captured 4 submarines which were under joint Soviet-Albanian command. This is naïve piracy. Not to mention that these are old submarines, and in a short while the Albanians will not have spare parts for them unless we continue to provide them.” (As representatives of an industrialized country, you know this best). Comrade Khrushchev then spoke of an incident that arose when a Soviet boat, on its way to Albania for the crew at the base and the remaining Soviet property, neared the Albanian shoreline. The boat was welcomed by the main units of Albania’s navy and land forces. Although the Albanians denied this, they were convinced by documentary photos taken by Soviet sailors.
“We considered breaking diplomatic relations with them, although we have refrained from this for the time being.”
Comrade Khrushchev speaks more about the processes taking place in Albania. He recalled a letter that he once received from Albania’s Chief of Staff, who defected to Yugoslavia. This Albanian explains to comrade Khrushchev the reasons why he fled. He says that he had been told about the fact that he would be physically liquidated by way of poisoning. Some time beforehand, his brother was done away with in this manner. “I will send you the letter - it is very interesting and peculiar,” says comrade Khrushchev. “Hoxha and Shehu use these tactics to gradually sideline all of their opponents. I am not at all surprised that they constantly refer to Stalin,” he said. “They find justification in this, they justify the fact that they physically liquidate their opponents. Stalin acted this way, physically liquidating anyone who disagreed with him. Only the Albanians hold it against Stalin that he liquidated too few of these opponents.
Of course there should be no opposition in a Marxist party. However, who can prevent it from developing? What is opposition and who has the right, the monopoly, on determining whether it is opposition, whether this or that opinion is correct? According to Stalin and the Albanians, it is that individual who has power. After all, Shehu says: “Whoever disagrees will get a bullet.” This means that I as the First Secretary can determine which opinion is correct and which is not, and physically liquidate opponents. What if I am wrong, and I can be wrong just the same as any other person. What if my opponent is right?
We cannot tolerate such a practice in a Marxist party. After all, Lenin did not resolve these problems in such a way. During difficult times Lenin was not afraid to hold a discussion about unions; when Kamenev and Zinoviev disagreed with holding an uprising, Lenin merely suspended them from the Politburo for a number of days (he did not liquidate them), and several days after the uprising he once again reinstated them in the Politburo.  And look at the degree of patience that Lenin showed towards Trotsky. Today we are in an entirely different situation. We do not have to be afraid of openly discussing questions.
What sort of a Marxist party would this be: a bullet for the one who disagrees, as Shehu declares? We denounced such practices at the 20th Party Congress and we will denounce them again at the 22nd Congress. We put an end to these practices. Thus, where Molotov, Kaganovich, and other members of the anti-party group were concerned, we also proceeded differently than Stalin would have.  By the way, when we were victorious, Kaganovich called me and begged me not to dispose of him as Stalin would. I responded by saying that he is afraid because he himself would have acted similarly to Stalin.” Comrade Khrushchev then went on to characterize Molotov. He emphasized his conservative nature, his inflexibility, and his removal from daily reality. He described him as a person capable of little, someone whom workers chased from party positions and who managed to get a higher position only when Stalin began to gather people in the inner circle would not oppose him in any manner. By the way, comrade Khrushchev also said that he was supposed to become Molotov’s deputy when Molotov held the post of Chairman of the Board of Ministers (after Rykov), and that he requested to be sent wherever else, just not to Molotov. Back then Stalin left him as the First Secretary of Ukraine.
At the same time, comrade Khrushchev said that Molotov is a person loyal to the working class and thus they never claimed that he is a traitor or an agent. “That is nonsense - I have known Molotov since his young days,” said comrade Khrushchev. “He is now in Vienna at the Commission for Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy. They advised me to recall him for a certain time, in connection with the negotiations in Vienna, saying that it would apparently not look right if I were to meet him somewhere during a lunch. I refused. Why would we unnecessarily arouse the attention of the West, why would we give them a reason to claim that we are afraid of Molotov? We are not afraid of him. We have no reason to be afraid. I will happily meet with him.”
“We also do not have good relations with China. While the Chinese are not like the Albanians - they do not behave in such an ill-bread fashion - this does not change anything about the situation. Of course it is an uncomfortable situation. We probably underestimated the possibility of such conflicts arising inside the socialist camp, that is, conflicts between socialist countries. We probably underestimated the role of nationalism because these are all cases of nationalism, in Albania, Yugoslavia and China. By the way, the opinions of the Chinese comrades are closer to the Yugoslav than one would think. Meanwhile, the Yugoslavs usually take a wiser position.
Therefore we think that it will probably be necessary to express greater tolerance with regards to the ties between socialist countries. After all, we are communists and we must therefore place value on unity. Of course it is necessary to maintain certain basic criteria for designating whether one or another country is socialist. However, within these principles it is likely necessary to express greater tolerance, to allow more room for specific forms of building socialism in individual countries, and not to condemn these forms as anti-socialist, so long as the basic principles of Marxism-Leninism are not violated.”
Comrade Koucký remarked that as far as China is concerned, their opinions are problematic for the socialist camp, especially in the realm of international relations.
Comrade Khrushchev responded by saying that of course where international relations are concerned the situation is more problematic. “This is also the reason we took the sharpest position in the conflict with India.  If we were to adopt a different stance it would not be understood, and we would lose the trust of the world public. However, despite this it is necessary to express greater effort.” Comrade Khrushchev added, “I am not stating any concrete solutions, only expressing my thoughts aloud.”
3. The internal situation of the USSR
Comrade Khrushchev then spoke about the situation inside the USSR. He said that the situation in the country is good overall. He spoke about the work they achieved in the agricultural sector, and about the tasks they have for this year’s agricultural production. They calculate a yield of 3.9-4 billion tones of grain this year (600-700 million from Ukraine, 900-1000 million from Kazakhstan, and 1900-2200 million from the Russian Socialist Republic).
“We have certain problems supplying meat,” said comrade Khrushchev. “We expect these problems to last another two months. This is connected to the fact that the peasants are holding the slaughter cattle in order to raise their numbers and weight.”
Then, comrade Khrushchev moved on to some questions connected to the Party’s new program.  “We have prepared a new Party program,” he said. “We are pleased with it. I do not know how you will like it. Read it and you will tell us your opinion. We will gladly apply your critical comments.” Comrade Khrushchev then goes on to list some points of the program concerning the economic boom of the USSR and the rise in the population’s living standards in the next 20 years (these include the production of 200-230 million tones of steel in 1980, the shortening of the work week to 30 hours, more vacation time, the elimination of rents, the introduction of free communal services, child care paid for by the state, etc.).
4. The situation in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
Then comrade Novotný gave a brief statement about the situation in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. He referred to the problems that arose in our national economy in relation to the position of China. In the future we will be very careful in our economic relations with China because our economy would not survive another similar shake-up. Goods produced for China are now lying in storehouses. A portion of these goods is actually already in Shanghai. China is refusing to take these goods, despite the fact that we are offering them the option of making payments over ten years. Comrade Novotný says that the Chinese gradually accepted a review of their difficult position with practically all socialist countries, and only where we are concerned do they insist on the old position.
We are dealing with goods worth 720 million crowns. They include turbines, electric power stations, machines, etc. It appears as though we will have to destroy these products since no one wants to buy them, given their specific proportions.
Comrade Khrushchev says that we cannot allow such valuable goods to be wasted. We must find a solution. “Send a list of all these products addressed directly to me in Moscow, and I will present this question to the Presidium. It is impossible that these products could not be used in the Soviet Union, especially when those products concerned are of as high a quality as are Czechoslovak products. Gosplan  is sometimes clumsy with these things when they already have all plans completed and they do not feel like searching for alternate possibilities. We will now impose this on them from the Presidium. We must help one another. Perhaps we could also submit some orders for products for our factories. Send us a list of this equipment.”
Comrade Novotný and comrade Khrushchev further spoke about the fact that it would be useful to cooperate in the realm of economic assistance to lesser developed countries. Somalia was a special focus of discussions (joint assistance for the introduction of growing cotton, aid of tractors, the establishment of irrigation canals and the like, and the further coordination of extracting colored metals), as was Indonesia (where the extraction of colored metals was also a topic). These states would naturally pay for the products, and we would help establish the means of production. It would be economically beneficial for both sides, and for us also politically because if we do not help them, the Americans will penetrate that market.
The toast of comrade N.S. Khrushchev at lunch on 1.6.1961
By way of introduction, comrade N.S. Khrushchev spoke about how relations between our Parties and the Soviet and Czechoslovak peoples are very good, and that both sides do everything possible to maintain these good relations as well as to deepen them, if that is even possible.
Responding to the toast of comrade A. Novotný, Khrushchev said: “I thank you, comrade Novotný, for recognizing the good merits of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the role of the Soviet Union. I do not deny that the historical role of realizing the first socialist revolution fell on the Russian proletariat. The revolution was victorious and the Soviet state successfully conquered all tests. The counterrevolution brought us hailstorms, but it did not succeed in ruining Soviet power. Many states set out on the socialist path after the Second World War, and other states can still join. Yes, it is up to us to lead the way. The revolution ploughed the field and we have to lead the way in that field. This is sometimes harder.”
Furthermore, comrade Khrushchev spoke about nationalist politics. He said, “This question was very complicated in our context, for the Soviet Union is a multinational state. Our enemies said that the communists will not succeed in uniting all nations and nationalities, and in this they saw the main guarantee that Soviet power will go bankrupt. If we take into account the various languages, cultures, religions, traditions and so on, the full complexity of solving this question becomes apparent. It was, and is, much easier in your case, for there is the question of only two nationalities - Czech and Slovak. Despite this, there are also certain problems in your case.”
Next, comrade Khrushchev spoke about Albania. “I agree with what was said by comrade Novotný. Enver Hoxha thinks that he occupies the leading position and that he is a faithful Marxist-Leninist. In relation to this, I remember that the majority of anecdotes in the post-revolutionary era were thought up by Manuilskij and Radek. There were many of these. However, I would like to mention one incident: As is known, the Red Army was connected to Trotsky. Radek, who was already in exile in Siberia at the time, wrote to his acquaintance on the occasion of the anniversary of the Red Army, and he ended his letter with the call: ‘Long live the Red Army, long live Gusev!’ Of course Gusev was not any sort of a special figure, but rather an unknown person, so that the purpose of Radek’s joke was obvious to everyone.
Today Enver Hoxha is presented as a ‘compass.’ It is laughable, although these attempts really do exist. It is not the Albanians who are behind it, but someone else. In any case, these are dangerous expressions of nationalism.
It is unquestionably a great honor to be ‘first.’ However, the one who is ‘first,’ whether he makes mistakes or does well for himself, is in a worse situation than the one who comes after. Let us take the example of one who follows. If he takes into account the experience of his predecessors and is capable of using these experiences to his advantage, he can always say that he is ‘smarter.’”
Comrade Bacílek says: “However, if a master is really experienced, a student can hardly surpass him.”
Comrade Khrushchev: “Comrade Bacílek, this is the opinion of people who are in the elderly age category. By accepting such an opinion we would slow development - this is conservatism.”
Furthermore, comrade Khrushchev spoke about the preparations for the 22nd Congress. “It has already been five years since the 20th Congress. The 20th Congress raised certain difficulties. However, it was necessary to raise these difficulties, overcome them, and thus move forward. After the 20th Congress the influence of communists on the working class, intellectuals, and the middle class became far greater. In fact, there are signs that part of the bourgeoisie has also been influenced. By this I do not mean to say that we can expect to gain the support of the monopolists. One cannot forget the words of A. Bebel: “If an enemy compliments you, think about what mistakes you have made.”
Naturally, it is not possible for us to expect that we will win the imperialists over to our side. However, imperialists have fellow-travelers and it is necessary to fight for their souls. It is not possible to isolate ourselves from the capitalist world, as Stalin did. During his lifetime Moscow was surrounded by anti-aircraft artillery, a battalion was on duty all day, and supplies of ammunition were always ready to be used immediately. It is no longer like this, the situation has changed. It is enough to realize that Stalin thought adopting such principles as panchash would bring gains, would be a great success. However, what was once good is no longer enough. During Stalin’s era no one traveled to the USSR, but now it is necessary for people to travel there and come to know the way of life in our country.
Today it is no longer possible to hide the influence and attractiveness of socialist thought. Even such functionaries as Sukarno admit that it is impossible to live without socialism. Responding to the question of what Africa’s next developments will entail, Shermarke said that Africa will develop along a socialist, not a capitalist path. According to the news I have heard about him, I could not sit at the same table as this person. According to the news which I received, this person is suited only for the gallows. From this we see what sort of information we sometimes receive from our apparatus. By saying this I do not want to offend the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is present. As they say, ‘speak only good things about those present.’
Or let us take the case of U Nu - he too, just as others similar to him, is trying to make himself out to be a socialist. And Nasser? He acts as though he were a socialist. But what kind of socialism is this when they hold communists in prison, when they do not even allow a parliament to exist in the country? However, despite this it is necessary to take into account Nasser’s unique position. Nasser understands what the USSR is, what its strength is based on. He says that it is necessary to know the weight of Khrushchev’s words, for the entire country stands behind him.
Our position is different today - the authority of our country has risen.
The 22nd Congress will mean another big step on the road which was begun at the 20th Congress.
We have developed a new program. I do not know how you will like it, but we like it very much. On occasion there can be various opinions on the same subject. For example, when asked how one liked this or that meal, a Czech may say it was tasty but too spicy, whereas a Slovak will say it was tasty, but not spicy enough.
The new program reflects the offensive nature of our country’s position on all fronts. It is possible to disagree with communism as a worldly scientific standpoint, but everyone must be convinced by the unstoppable growth of our country’s economy. It is enough to present one figure: in 1980 the USSR will produce 200-230 million tones of steel, compared to the 71 million tones that we will produce this year. This means that in 1980 we will double, triple, or perhaps quadruple the USA’s steel production. In 1980 the 30-hour work week will also become a reality, rents will be eliminated, there will be free meals at factories, etc.
The distribution of goods will be realized more according to communist principles, rather than on the basis of socialist principles which grant rewards according to worker output. We do not consider it correct to continue only along the path of increasing wages. We want to proceed along the path of increasing social consumption. To proceed along the systematic line of increasing wages means to preserve the current differences in pay of certain categories of workers. Such a path would be long-term. However, the principle of rewards according to work output will be preserved, though it will be markedly weakened by the increase in social consumption. We are not saying that communism in our country will be in its final stage come 1980, but we will have come closer to communism. The building of communism will be completed later - after 1980.”
Next, comrade Khrushchev spoke about the question of living standards. “There is no question that there is a higher standard of living per person in your country than in ours. As they say, however, this is neither our doing nor your fault, and you can hardly criticize us for this. You see, I have already eaten lunch and thus I have become more open.
I would also like to say a few words regarding the question of war and peace. We remain loyal to our political stance. We face the changes in relation to our strengths. Will we still speak of imperialism the same way even when all nations join the path of socialism - let’s say all nations with the exception of Monte Carlo? Will we even then still speak the same way about the dangers of imperialism?
Today imperialists are backing off, and they are not doing so voluntarily. Only a dumb person can think that they are acting with some sense of generosity. Let us take Africa as an example: they are backing away on this continent, but only as a result of the pressures which are exerted against them. Today the monopolists must rely more on the determination of peoples than ever before. Not long ago, the Iranian head of government, Aman, himself a big latifundista, said that it is necessary to give the peasants land for if you do not give it to them, you will not only lose the land, but also your heads. That is not a bad way of putting things. It is reminiscent of the situation in which the Tsar found himself in 1861.  However, socialist countries exist today, and these are active catalysts for the capitalist world. Even this is a very significant role.
Now to my trip. I am not promising you anything. In this regard I agree with the conclusion drawn by comrade Novotný, thus that we will be in a stronger position after the meeting in Vienna. The imperialists want to illustrate our inflexibility to the entire world. However, as they say ‘a person’s head is not the hanger for a hat.’ We know what we want, and we will negotiate to this end.”
Comrade Khrushchev further spoke about some questions related to agriculture. He said that the level of Soviet agriculture was markedly increased. However, many became satisfied with this, they began to talk too much and they forgot that rates of consumption are rising. The shortages are not the results of unfavorable weather - it is not only the fault of God. For example, last year winter crops froze in Ukraine. This is certainly unfortunate. However, if the comrades would have then planted corn and mobilized the people to work in this regard, they would have harvested not only enough to cover the shortage, but the yield would have been higher than if the regular winter crops were to have turned out. In relation to this, Khrushchev turned to the case of China where the low yields of last year were not only the result of unfavorable climate conditions. “God is punishing us, yet although we may be weak, if we organize the agricultural sector well - taking into account the vast spaces in our country, as in China - then God cannot punish us.”
Then he spoke about Chinese communes. He recalled his discussion with Mao Tse-tung, who in objection to that fact that communes were reinstated in the Soviet Union, proved unsuccessful and thus had to be dissolved, said that in China things are different because the main guarantee of successful communes is the peoples’ realization (which is high) that it is unnecessary to apply the principle of material interests.
“Before conflicts arose between us and the Chinese, Chou En-lai spoke with my deputy, comrade Zasadko. ‘We do not have chickens,’ said Chou En-lai. ‘Of course we know that the chickens did not fly off, that we ate them.’
You in Czechoslovakia learned from our experiences and our mistakes, and thus you solved the problem of collectivization in a better fashion. Stalin reached for administrative pressures and harshly interfered with the principle of volunteerism. The nearly illiterate or the illiterate chap facing entry into the kolkhoz slit a chicken’s throat, killed a pig, even killed a cow, and it is no wonder that he did not sell his pants, for he though that everything would be given to him in the kolkhoz.
Old man God is silent. We need not call on him because it is we who are at fault if the agricultural sector is not progressing the way in which it should. A poor kolkhoz means poor management, a good kolkhoz means good management - this is the only way in which to look at the issue. Due to shortages in our agricultural production we are forced to recall an entire range of regional secretaries, and to make changes to the Central Committees of the republics. We remember the case of a party secretary in Tajikistan who was capable, talented, and despite this had to be recalled. He lied once, he lied twice and then a third time, until this became a circle from which he could no longer escape. He then asked me to help him get out of trouble. I said, ‘How could I do this?’ ‘By helping you I will incite others to commit acts similar to those which you did. Work should progress, and it is necessary to be honest, to join honesty with capabilities, knowledge and industriousness.’”
Furthermore, comrade Khrushchev mentioned some new points of the proposed program. He said that he these points arise from their circumstances and needs, and that it is necessary to see that their Party is older in terms of age. It is not possible to mechanically transmit the program to other countries, either at the Congress or later at the General Assembly of the Central Committee. We want to start exercising a planned change to the composition of all elected bodies of the Party, from the basic organizations to the Central Committee. We want to replace about ¼ of the members of the Central Committee and its Presidium during each election. Members of the Central Committee and the Presidium of the Central Committee would not be voted for more than three consecutive terms. Those party members who have exceptional abilities and authority may be voted into the leading organs of the Party for longer terms, though they must gain over 70% of votes in a secret ballot, both at the Congress and then at the plenum of the Central Committee.
Three terms in office equals twelve years. It is not proper to continuously renew membership until a person dies or does something wrong. During Stalin’s time change came only by way of the grave or prison. Now it will be otherwise. One should not obstruct the way of others.
How can we secure unity and internal Party democracy? Enver Hoxha does it simply: ‘if you do not agree with me, then you get a bullet in the head.’ Is this a Party?
We will give you a new program. Read it through and tell us your opinion. Perhaps it will also help you with something. Still, we are not doing this so that you follow blindly, nor do we want you to do so. It is not always possible to equate standards. What is possible for one may not be possible for another, or conversely.”
At the end of his toast comrade Khrushchev raised his glass in honor of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, to comrade A. Novotný, to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and to comrade K. Bacílek.
SÚA, f. ÚV KSČ, AN-Z, inv.č. 459, ka 193.
 Khrushchev met J.F. Kennedy in Vienna during the following days: 3-4 June.
 Meaning the American proposal of 1955 regarding “open skies.”
 Nuclear tests were stopped in March 1958; the USSR re-started them on 31.8.1961.
 Before the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961, the open border in East Berlin allowed East German citizens to leave for West Berlin and West Germany.
 The elections to the West German parliament took place on 17.9.1961. Adenauer’s CDU party won again, gaining 45% of the vote.
 The 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was held on 17-31 October 1961.
 In November 1960, Walter Lippmann published a series of articles in the New York Herald Tribune regarding his October visit to the USSR, and particularly about the interview which N.S. Khrushchev granted him regarding Soviet foreign policy. Given the importance of Lippmann’s position, we are enclosing an abstract that was duplicated for secretary, V. Koucký, of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, on his request.
 De Gaulle first declared the hands-off policy on the German-Polish border at Oder-Neisse in the autumn of 1958. He did so again during Khrushchev’s visit to France at the beginning of 1960.
 Since 1954, France has done battle with the armed units of the Algerian Front of National Liberation.
 Macmillan’s trip to Moscow took place at the end of February and beginning of March 1959. See document number 7.
 Mention of the landing of Cuban immigrants on the south shore of Cuba on 17.4.1961 (which was to launch a revolution against Castro), and of the shooting of the American reconnaissance U-2 plane above Soviet territory 1.5.1961.
 It is not clear from the context what Khrushchev has in mind about a secret press conference.
 Khrushchev’s telling of the events from autumn 1917 is imprecise.
 At the meeting of the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in June 1957, the majority of members of the leadership, led by Molotov, Malenkov, and Kaganovich, spoke out against Khrushchev in an effort to depose him.
 After the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959, there were border skirmishes between China and India. The USSR took a neutral stance and called for both sides to come to peace.
 The new program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was approved at the June meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, was published in Pravda on 29.7.1961, and was implemented at the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in October 1961.
 The state planning committee - the highest Soviet planning office.
 Panchash: originally a Buddhist term, introduced into international relations after the establishment of the Movement of Non-aligned Nations in the mid-1950s. The basic principles in international relations involve recognition of territorial sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in internal matters, equality and the mutual benefit of peaceful co-existence. Khrushchev is appealing to Stalin who was already dead at the time panchash was announced.
 In 1861, Alexander II abolished serfdom and carried out a number of liberal reforms.