U.S. Department of State
Vol. X, Part 1, FRUS, 1958-60: E. Europe Region; Soviet Union; Cyprus
Office of the Historian
[Section 5 of 19]
19. Operations Coordinating Board Report
Washington, July 15, 1959.
//Source: Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, USSR & Satellites--Documents--1959 - 60. Secret. A cover sheet and an undated covering memorandum by OCB Executive Officer Bromley Smith are not printed. In his memorandum, Smith noted that the Board discussed the report at its July 15 meeting and that the outcome of the negotiations with the Czechoslovak Government for the settlement of U.S. claims "may determine the future of U.S.-Czech relations for a considerable period and also affect the possibility of applying the general policy of 5811/1." He also indicated the Board concurred in the report for transmittal to the National Security Council and that it had subsequently been discussed by the NSC Planning Board on August 4.
A memorandum from Jeremiah J. O'Connor to Kohler, dated July 15, in which O'Connor indicated he was quoting from his preliminary and informal notes on the OCB meeting that day, reads as follows: "Mr. Sherer opened the discussion by noting that although some may have expected dramatic results, it will be several years before we can evaluate the success of the U.S. policy of promoting the peaceful evolution of the dominated nations toward national independence and internal freedom. The Acting Chairman, Mr. Harr (White House) asked if the time had arrived when private U.S. organizations could operate in other Eastern European countries as is now the case in Poland. Mr. McKisson replied it might soon be possible in Czechoslovakia and Rumania."
The Board also discussed U.S. policy toward Hungary, tourism in the satellites, the influence of the Catholic Church in certain countries, and trade opportunities between the United States and Czechoslovakia. (Ibid.)
(Approved by the President May 24, 1958)
(Period Covered: From May 24, 1958 through July 15, 1959)
1. In the existing state of relative balance between Free World and Soviet bloc military power, voluntary resort to force (including incitement to internal revolution) for the achievement of U.S. policy objectives in Eastern Europe is not in prospect. Therefore, efforts to achieve U.S. policy objectives are based upon the concept of evolutionary development rather than the concept of liberation.
2. Following upon mass disturbances in Poland and the national uprising in Hungary, the Soviet Union has endeavored to tighten the discipline of the Communist parties within the bloc. It has supported the rigorous repression of all active or potential elements of dissent. Nevertheless, certain factors and conditions of instability reflect continuing Soviet vulnerabilities in the bloc countries and afford moderate long-term opportunities for the United States to advance its policy objectives. These include the deep popular antipathy to Soviet Communism; the disruptive influence of the Yugoslav ideological heresy and Yugoslav independence; the continued manifestations of liberalization in Poland; the inability of the Soviet bloc regimes to broaden their base of popular support; and the failure of these regimes to satisfy basic consumer requirements while pursuing major economic development objectives.
3. The basic problem of U.S. policy in the area is to sustain and encourage by peaceful means the aspirations of the dominated peoples for national independence and human freedom. The effective application of U.S. policy necessarily has involved two separate, though not irreconcilable, lines of approach: (a) continuing refusal to accept the status quo of Soviet domination over the nations of Eastern Europe as a permanent condition and continuing affirmation of the right of the dominated peoples to national independence and to governments of their own free choosing; and (b) efforts to expand opportunities for direct contact with the dominated peoples, particularly in the cultural, informational, economic, and technical fields, as a means of exerting more effective U.S. influence upon future developments. It is clear, however, that the only avenue through which such interchanges can be expanded and developed is the existing regime in each country. The United States accordingly seeks to enter into more active relations with the Soviet-dominated regimes for this purpose wherever conditions permit. So far, significant progress has not been made toward the expansion of direct contacts, and radio broadcasts remain the primary means of circumventing regime controls aimed at excluding Western influence.
4. These two approaches to the application of U.S. policy remain complementary so long as U.S. actions thereunder are properly coordinated and carefully directed toward the accomplishment of our basic objectives. Thus, we stand firmly in support of the principles of independence and freedom and maintain our rights and responsibilities under existing international treaties and agreements. We define and clarify U.S. policy before the world on appropriate occasions. We expose, and condemn as the facts may warrant, the basic evils and defects of the Soviet-Communist system. It is essential, however, that efforts to exploit Soviet vulnerabilities be sober and judicious and take due account of our gradual but positive efforts to develop increased contacts with the dominated peoples through more active relations with the dominated regimes and to foster evolutionary trends toward the ultimate goals of national independence and freedom for the peoples of the area. Expansion of informational and cultural activities within these countries entails reciprocity, but great difficulties are encountered in providing appropriate facilities and support for reciprocal activities sponsored by the dominated regimes in the United States. Private travel by U.S. citizens to the Eastern European area, including tourist travel, has increased in the past year. The increase is especially noteworthy in the case of travel to Czechoslovakia. However, tourist travel to Albania and Hungary remains precluded under U.S. passport restrictions which are still in effect with respect to those countries.
5. Our efforts to stimulate evolutionary forces and developments in the dominated nations will be vitally affected by our success in strengthening our own free institutions, economic well-being and military power and those of our allies and friends and by the progress we are able to make in resolving other outstanding international issues. Moreover, as has been noted, these efforts are in part dependent on the willingness of the Soviet bloc countries to permit increased cultural and informational exchanges. In view of the few openings permitted us, implementation of our program has been slow and difficult. It is unlikely that progress in the carrying out of U.S. policy toward the Soviet-dominated nations can be accurately evaluated on a short-term basis. Any meaningful assessment of the effectiveness of U.S. policy may be possible only after the efforts and experience of several years.
6. We do not recognize and do not have diplomatic relations with the Albanian regime. The Albanian authorities have shown no clear or direct interest in the establishment of relations with the United States. There has been no progress in the achievement of our objectives with respect to Albania. The relaxation of restrictions on travel by U.S. citizens to Albania has resulted in some travel there for business, professional and compassionate reasons. This has had some constructive effect in that it has enabled Albanian-Americans to see at first hand what conditions are really like in Albania.
7. On March 24, following negotiations in which the Bulgarian Government withdrew charges of espionage made against former U.S. Minister Heath (which had occasioned the suspension of diplomatic relations in 1950) and provided assurances that a U.S. Mission in Sofia would be permitted to carry on normal diplomatic functions, agreement was reached for the resumption of U.S.-Bulgarian diplomatic relations. Preparations are now under way to establish a U.S. Legation in Sofia. The target date is August 1959.
8. There has been little progress toward the achievement of basic U.S. policy objectives in Czechoslovakia. The United States has, however, been able to continue the economic negotiations begun in October 1955/2/ and there is some hope these will come to a successful conclusion. If an agreement on outstanding economic problems is reached there may well be some improvement of relations which will afford opportunities for more active contacts. Even without such improvement, Embassy Prague has been able to conduct limited but varied informational and cultural activities among certain Czechoslovak groups. Surveillance of the Embassy staff and intimidation of their Czechoslovak contacts are a continuing handicap to these activities.
/2/Documentation regarding these ongoing negotiations is in Department of State, Central File 611.49231.
9. There has been no progress toward the achievement of U.S. policy objectives in Hungary. In the absence of any favorable change in the Hungarian regime's defiant and uncooperative attitude toward the UN and its efforts to deal with the problems arising from the 1956 revolution, U.S. relations with Hungary remain strained, and the United States has continued successfully its efforts to keep the Hungarian situation before World opinion and under active consideration at the UN.
10. The slight progress we have made in working toward U.S. policy objectives within Rumania is reflected mainly in the cultural field where it has been possible to enter into limited exchange activities in several instances. Relations between the United States and the Rumanian regime appear outwardly more relaxed than in years past but undergo occasional acerbation. All basic issues remain unsettled. The interest of the Rumanian regime in developing better relations with the United States remains extremely cautious.
11. From the standpoint of operations, no review of policy is recommended.
20. Editorial Note
On July 17, in response to a Congressional Joint Resolution, President Eisenhower issued Proclamation 3303 designating the third week in July as "Captive Nations Week." The proclamation concludes:
"I invite the people of the United States of America to observe such week with appropriate ceremonies and activities, and I urge them to study the plight of the Soviet-dominated nations and to recommit themselves to the support of the just aspirations of the peoples of those captive nations."
The proclamation is printed in Department of State Bulletin, August 10, 1959, page 200.
In his memoirs, President Eisenhower recalled that he had been sympathetic to the Congressional resolution, but would have delayed its passage for some days. On July 21, Soviet Chairman Nikita S. Khrushchev criticized the proclamation and expressed doubts whether Vice President Richard M. Nixon should continue with his plans to visit the Soviet Union. Eisenhower recalled that this did not discourage the Vice President, who told the President that although he recognized the difficulties inherent in making the trip, he was "optimistic and even eager" to go. (Eisenhower, Waging Peace, page 408). For documentation on Vice President Nixon's visit, see Documents 92 - 107.
The Captive Nations Week Proclamation also came up at the President's press conference on July 22. A transcript is in Public Papers of the President of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1959, pages 536 - 546.
21. Memorandum From the Acting Director of the Operations Coordinating Board (Washburn) to the Members of the Board
Washington, July 29, 1959.
Timing of "Captive Nations Week" Observance
"Captive Nations Week" has haunted the Vice President on every day of his stay in the U.S.S.R. Issued on the eve of his departure for Moscow, and in the very week of the opening of the American Exhibition--the timing could not have been more inept./1/
//Source: Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, USSR & Satellites--General--1959 - 60. No classification marking. An excerpt from Walter Lippmann's July 27 column was attached but is not printed.
/1/Vice President Nixon arrived in Moscow on July 23, where he opened the American National Exhibit at Sokolniki Park the following day and engaged in the "kitchen" debate with Chairman Khrushchev. See Documents 92 - 107.
The coordination of this exercise appears to have fallen between the stools. Congress had originally wanted the week of July 4; the resolution did not even come to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. No one at a high level in State or USIA apparently considered the matter of timing and coordination. The White House did not get into it beyond the routine signing of the proclamation by the President. The OCB did not consider the matter.
Query: Was this one that the OCB should have gotten into? Could a call from Sect State to Senator Fulbright have deferred the observance until after the VP's trip and after the close of our Exhibition? Should procedures be set up by the OCB to head off this kind of bad timing in the future?/2/
/2/A memorandum from O'Connor to Kohler, dated July 29, in which O'Connor quoted from his preliminary and informal notes at the OCB meeting that day, indicates that Washburn raised the issue of whether the OCB had lived up to its responsibilities regarding the timing of the Captives Nations Proclamation. Robert Murphy and Allen Dulles expressed disappointment with the state of affairs. Murphy called the matter another instance of "Legislative diplomacy," but he felt that Soviet criticism had been directed more to the Congressional action than to the Presidential proclamation. (Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, USSR & Satellites--General--1959 - 60)
22. National Intelligence Estimate
NIE 12 - 59 Washington, August 11, 1959.
POLITICAL STABILITY IN THE EUROPEAN SATELLITES
To assess prospects for political stability within the European Satellites and in the over-all Satellite structure during the next few years.
//Source: Department of State, INR - NIE Files. Secret. A note on the cover sheet indicates that the following intelligence organizations participated in the preparation of this report: the Central Intelligence Agency and the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and The Joint Staff. The note also indicates that the report was concurred in by the U.S. Intelligence Board on August 11. The Atomic Energy Commission Representative to the USIB and the Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, abstained because the subject was outside their jurisdiction.
1. A considerable degree of stability has been established in the Satellite area since 1956 and the Soviet leaders now appear determined to press for a faster pace of socialization in Eastern Europe. While we do not think a return to Stalinist oppression and exploitation is likely, Moscow almost certainly will seek over the next five years a steady though gradual growth in Satellite-wide conformity and adherence to the Soviet model. Increasing emphasis will be placed on efforts to coordinate Bloc economies, to complete the socialization of agriculture in all the Satellites except Poland, and, in general, to attain at least the outward forms required for this "transition to socialism" by 1965.
2. Though pressures on the Satellite peoples may increase as a result of these developments, and may sharpen general antipathy toward the regimes, widespread popular uprisings are unlikely. Factions within the various parties will almost certainly continue to exist--and perhaps occasionally become active--but such factions will, for the most part, probably remain hidden and kept under control by the dominant, Khrushchev-approved elements. Prospects for economic growth are good and there will probably be small but cumulatively significant improvements in living standards. For these reasons, most of the Satellite regimes will probably maintain a fair degree of political stability and achieve at least limited success in fulfilling their ambitious plans for a rapid speedup of socialization.
3. Such successes, however, will probably fall short of Communist hopes. The anti-Communist and nationalistic sentiments of the Satellite peoples, certain weaknesses within the Satellite parties and shortcomings in the Satellite economies will remain major problems which will, at a minimum, retard Communist progress throughout the area. There are, in addition, a number of possible outside factors, including events within the USSR itself (such as a succession struggle), frictions between the USSR and Communist China, or the divergencies of Gomulka's Poland, which could jeopardize the stability of the Bloc structure.
4. The working relationship between Gomulka and Khrushchev now seems to be operating smoothly. Nevertheless, the moderate "Polish road to socialism" is inconsistent with Khrushchev's determination to accelerate Communist progress in the USSR and socialist progress in the Satellites. The Poles may lag farther and farther behind developments elsewhere in the Bloc and thereby become a more and more disturbing element; the Gomulka - Khrushchev modus vivendi may become increasingly strained as a result. We do not expect any dramatic developments in Soviet-Polish relations over the next year or so, in part because of some Polish willingness to respond to Soviet pressures, in part because of probable Soviet caution. Yet over the long run tensions could slowly build up, possibly to a point of crisis.
5. Despite a further strengthening of its position last year, the East German regime continues to suffer from popular antipathy, party factionalism, and international disrespect, and still depends on the presence of Soviet forces. These facts, together with the division of Germany as a whole, make East Germany the Satellite most likely to be directly affected by major changes in Soviet or Western policies. Its future is inextricably involved in the Soviet attitude toward all Germany and toward the Berlin situation. A resolution of the Berlin crisis along lines favorable to the USSR would strengthen the GDR regime. On the other hand, should the Soviets fail in their efforts respecting Berlin, the political weaknesses of East Germany would probably be perpetuated for the foreseeable future.
[Here follows the "Discussion" section of the estimate.]
23. Letter From Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty to President Eisenhower
Budapest, November 13, 1959.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 864.413/12 - 959. No classification marking. Transmitted to the Department of State under cover of a brief letter from Ackerson to Kohler, November 13. The letter was translated by Leo Topolsky of the Legation staff in Budapest.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: On November 4, 1956, when an open breach of word and promise and an entrapment brought into our capital 15 enemy tank divisions with 6,000 tanks, and our Chief of Staff and Minister of Defense became prisoners during negotiations, I knocked on the door of the United States Legation in Budapest and asked for refuge, so as to cry out for help from here for an unhappy nation left with no intelligen-tsia, and with 25,000 freedom-fighting heroic dead, 75,000 deportees, 193,000 defectors, 100,000 prisoners and labor camp inmates, and 5,000 executed, and to hold in reserve the remains of my life after eight years of imprisonment and three days of freedom. For this I am gratefully thankful to you, Mr. President, knowing that my "sins" and my presence here have brought many difficulties to the Legation and to the United States.
Since that time three years have gone by. In proportion to the passage of time, the American saying about the unmoving guest becomes more serious to me. I must notice that the atmosphere has changed completely with the clever peace, dialectical and panic dumping. As for me, I have become an out-of-fashion guest.
I did not intend that my company here should last a long time. For one thing, I had faith in outside help toward my country in proportion to the justice on its side. For another, there was good opportunity for solution on an individual basis. When, at the end of 1957 and early 1958, the case of my "partners in crime" was being considered,/1/ I asked that the following be transmitted to the regime: I would go in their place into the prisoner's dock, but only after their release. This matter got snarled; you, Mr. President, do not know of this.
At the time of the election of the Pope,/2/ such a stipulation of principle was lacking; for this reason departure from Hungary was not consonant with my thoughts, although I was ready to obey the call from the Vatican.
/1/Presumably a reference to the arrest in December 1957 of Monisgnor Egon Turcsanyi, Cardinal Mindszenty's secretary during the 1956 revolt, and the sentencing to death on December 10, 1957, of Major Antal Palinkis-Pallavicini, one of the military leaders who helped free the Cardinal during the revolt.
/2/See footnote 1, Document 13.
Now what can be done?
When the candle of Central Europe and my country, which for three years has been growing fainter, has by this time burned to the stump, life is not a joy. Where a nation becomes an indifferent victim, there the evaluation of the lives of those that hold the candles is also different.
In the course of meditation I have thought of leaving a letter behind me and going out and giving myself to the AVO guards around the Legation. They would then torture me as they did before. This too will pass, but much harder than the outside sensation that can be expected to come in its wake. But I had to cast this idea aside: today I cannot serve a higher interest with it, as I could have in 1957 and 1958. And yet moral law forbids us to give up our lives without a higher interest.
Some sort of negotiation could be begun. But this certainly would have no results for either side, for the current softening and thaw did not come either for the good of my country or my course. There would also be a price: an oath to a regime which was not recognized by myself or my host until the end of 1957. (My only assets and consolation for the end of my life: it was my people and not the favor of power which freed me, and that for a decade and a half--for eleven years of it not free--I did not collaborate with blood, terror or falsehood.)
I now put my case in the hands of my host. Whether he deigns to decide to grant further refuge, or decides on some sort of change, my personal gratitude for the three years remains unchanged. The good deeds over the long period of time appear in the light and mirror of the loaf of bread and sip of drink in the Gospel.
Repeating my gratitude for the goodness and the refuge, I remain, Mr. President,
Most respectfully yours,
Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty/3/ Prince-Primate of Hungary and Archbishop of Esztergom
/3/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
24. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Kohler) to Secretary of State Herter
Washington, December 9, 1959.
Our charge d'Affaires in Budapest, Mr. Ackerson, has recently forwarded a letter addressed to the President by Cardinal Mindszenty (Tab D)./1/ This letter, unlike the Cardinal's previous letters, is concerned with his situation of refuge rather than his views on conditions in Hungary or on international issues. Mr. Ackerson's letter of transmittal (Tab E)/2/ provides some explanatory comments on the Cardinal's message.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 864.413/12 - 959. Secret. Drafted by McKisson, cleared with Vedeler, and concurred in by Merchant and Wehmeyer (L/EUR).
/2/Tab E was Ackerson's letter of November 20, in which he furnished additional comments to those he had made in the November 13 letter by which he transmitted the Cardinal's letter to the President. Ackerson provided background for some of the Cardinal's statements and concluded that the Cardinal's letter was "only one more instance of the misfortune which had necessarily to result from the policy of keeping the Cardinal in complete isolation, without any contact even with the Vatican." He stated further that he had always felt that the policy was wrong. He strongly recommended that the reply to the letter "should, at the very least, show some understanding for his difficulties and express our continued hospitality until such time as it might be considered safe for him to leave the Legation."
The Cardinal's letter and Mr. Ackerson's comments touch upon two background matters of importance: the possibility of arrangements whereby the Cardinal might be able to leave Hungary under safe conduct guarantees; and the question of communication between the Cardinal and the Vatican. The immediate matter of a reply to the Cardinal's letter also arises.
1. A US request in October 1958, made at the express desire of the Vatican, that the Cardinal be permitted to leave Hungary under safe conduct guarantees was flatly rejected by the Hungarian Government./3/ In October 1959, however, during a discussion of Austrian-Hungarian relations, the Hungarian Foreign Minister orally informed the Austrian Foreign Minister that if the Austrians would submit a specific proposal to the Hungarian Government for the Cardinal's "release" from Hungary, such a proposal would be seriously considered. We have informed the Austrians that we would welcome an arrangement ending the Cardinal's refuge in the Legation and permitting him to leave Hungary in safety, provided that such an arrangement was also acceptable to the Vatican and to the Cardinal. The Austrian Foreign Minister has communicated with the Vatican through the Papal Nuncio in Vienna and is now awaiting an expression of the Vatican's views in the matter. The Austrians have agreed to consult further with us upon receipt of the Vatican's views.
/3/See Document 13.
2. Although Mr. Ackerson in his letter refers to the "policy of keeping the Cardinal in complete isolation, without any contact even with the Vatican", we do not feel that this is an accurate statement of the position which the Department has adopted in this regard. We have made it clear both to Mr. Ackerson and to the Vatican (through the Apostolic Delegate here) that the Department is prepared to accept and transmit occasional brief oral or written communications between the Cardinal and the Vatican which are not of a political or ecclesiastical character but relate rather to the Cardinal's refuge in the Legation or his personal spiritual problems and state of mind in relation to his situation of refuge. This position is consistent with the principle, to which we have also adhered, that it would be neither advisable nor proper for this Government to permit Cardinal Mindszenty to use the American Legation in Budapest as a base for ecclesiastical or political activities. We are firmly convinced that continued adherence to this policy is in the best interests not only of the US but also of the Cardinal himself.
3. Previous letters addressed by the Cardinal to you and to the President have consisted mainly of expressions of his personal views on the internal situation in Hungary, the Hungarian problem as an international issue, and various aspects of the East-West conflict. It has been our established practice to avoid involving the President or you in direct correspondence with Cardinal Mindszenty on these matters, since any response in such circumstances would be likely to encourage more frequent messages from him and sooner or later might lead to an embarrassing situation. Consequently, we have instructed Mr. Ackerson on each such occasion in the past merely to inform the Cardinal that his letters have been received in the Department or by the White House, as the case may be. We continue to believe in the soundness of this procedure, where the subject matter of Cardinal Mindszenty's communications to US officials is of a political nature.
In the case of the Cardinal's present letter, we believe that a somewhat different procedure is warranted because of its special nature. In view of the President's absence from the country,/4/ and with the approach of the holiday season, we believe that it would be appropriate in this case for you to send the Cardinal a written message (1) extending season's greetings to him and (2) reassuring him that this Government will continue to afford him refuge within the premises of the American Legation so long as consideration for his personal safety and freedom requires such refuge. Such a letter would be in line with Mr. Ackerson's recommendation and would do much to sustain the Cardinal's morale and contribute to his peace of mind. If you approve, the White House will be informed by a memorandum enclosing copies of the Cardinal's letter and your reply.
(1) That you sign the attached draft letter to Cardinal Mindszenty (Tab A);/5/
/4/Eisenhower left the United States on December 4 for an extended trip which took him to Italy, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Iran, Greece, Tunisia, France, Spain, and Morocco. Not printed. The attached draft was dated by hand December 11, apparently indicating that the letter as sent to Mindszenty through the Legation in Budapest bore that date.
(2) That you approve the transmittal of your letter to Cardinal Mindszenty under cover of the attached draft official - informal letter to Mr. Ackerson which I have signed (Tab B);/6/
(3) That you approve the attached draft memorandum to the White House enclosing the original of Cardinal Mindszenty's letter and a copy of your reply (Tab C)./7/
/6/Herter initialed his approval of this recommendation on December 11. Tab B, a copy of Kohler's letter to Ackerson, which bears the stamped date December 11, is not printed.
/7/Herter initialed his approval of this recommendation on December 11. Tab C, a memorandum of December 11 from the Director of the Executive Secretariat, John A. Calhoun, to Goodpaster at the White House, is not printed.
25. Editorial Note
On January 15, 1960, Manning H. Williams, on behalf of Robert M. McKisson, Chairman of the Operations Coordinating Board's Working Group on Soviet-Dominated Nations in Eastern Europe, sent two memoranda to the Executive Officer of the Board. One memorandum noted briefly that the agencies represented on the Working Group "have reappraised the validity and evaluated the implementation of the U.S. Policy Toward the Soviet-Dominated Nations in Eastern Europe (NSC 5811/1) in the light of operating experience and believe there is no need for the National Security Council to review the policy at this time and that there are no developments of such significance as to warrant sending a report to the National Security Council." The other memorandum indicated that the Working Group had reviewed the Operations Plan for the Soviet-Dominated Nations in Eastern Europe, dated January 23, 1959, and revised on July 2, 1959, and considered the plan "adequate for the present time."
In separate memoranda attached to each of these memoranda, Bromley Smith, Executive Officer of the Board, noted that the Board Assistants at their meeting on Jaunary 15 had concurred on behalf of their principals in the judgments made by the Working Group. Copies of all these memoranda are in Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, USSR & Satellites--Documents--1959 - 60. NSC 5811/1, the OCB Report, and the Operations Plan, as revised on July 2, 1959, are printed as Documents 6, 19, and 18, respectively.
26. Editorial Note
At the luncheon meeting of the Operations Coordinating Board on March 30, the Board's Chairman, Gordon Gray, raised the subject of the July 1959 Captive Nations Resolution and asked that the executive departments "be alert to use their initiative and offer advice when such matters are before Congress." Under Secretary of State Livingston Merchant said that he had little sympathy with the 1959 resolution, calling it "inaccurate and undignified," although he acknowledged "some of the inherent difficulties faced by the Executive in this type of operation." (Excerpt from the preliminary and informal notes on the meeting, as quoted in a memorandum from O'Connor to Macomber, October 30; Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, USSR & Satellites--General--1959 - 60)
The discussion apparently was sparked by a number of similar resolutions that had been introduced in the Congress. On August 5, 1959, Congressman Alvin Bentley had introduced H. Res. 337, which urged that no summit conference be held until the Soviet Union and the Communist governments in Central and Eastern Europe had taken some visible steps toward the holding of free elections. While this resolution was still pending before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the spring of 1960, Senator Paul Douglas introduced S. Con. Res. 95 on March 21, which was the same as one introduced that day in the House of Representatives by Congressman Michael Feighan. It listed the "puppet Communist regimes" imposed on the peoples of Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, Estonia, White Ruthenia, Romania, East Germany, Bulgaria, mainland China, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, North Korea, Albania, Idel - Ural, Tibet, Cossackia, Turkestan, North Vietnam, and others, and, among other things, urged the President "to pursue energetically and as a matter of first priority at the forthcoming Summit Conference the inalienable right of all people to self- government, individual liberty, and the basic human freedoms, and, in particular, the restoration of these God-given rights to the people of the captive nations." Douglas also introduced S. Res. 102, which was the same as H. Res. 633 introduced by Congressman Clement Zablocki. These two resolutions were limited to the "captive nations of eastern and central Europe."
At the Operations Coordinating Board meeting on April 6, these several resolutions were discussed by Merchant, who said that the timing of the resolutions was not good, although he recognized that "a certain irresistibility attached to them." He said that the Department of State was completely opposed to the resolutions giving a long enumeration of nations, but the type confining itself to the nations in Eastern and Central Europe was "less undesirable." The Board members were in agreement with Merchant's views, but did not reach any conclusions as to what action to take. (Excerpt from the preliminary and informal notes of the April 6 OCB meeting, as quoted in a memorandum from O'Connor to Macomber and Kohler, April 6; ibid.)
27. Despatch From the Legation in Hungary to the Department of State
No. 5 Budapest, July 6, 1960.
REF Legation's Despatch No. 413, January 23, 1959/1/
SUBJECT Relations Between Hungary and the West
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.64/7 - 660. Confidential.
With the completion of action on the Hungarian Question at the 14th Session of the General Assembly in December and the elapse of the year 1959, the Legation undertook a review and reexamination of United States policy toward the existing Hungarian regime. This review was never forwarded to the Department since the conclusions and recommendations resulting therefrom were found to be not essentially different from those contained in the despatch under reference. In view of the forthcoming 15th Session of the General Assembly, however, some reconsideration of our position and of our policy is perhaps appropriate.
With respect to United States-Hungarian relations, there has been little fundamental change since the exchange of Notes which took place in the late months of 1958. The Legation felt (and continues to feel) that the Department's Note of November 21, 1958,/2/ "set the record straight" with respect to the regime's failures to meet its international obligations and placed full responsibility for an improvement in its international situation squarely on the regime. The Hungarian Government, in the following months, sought by various means to foist this responsibility on the United States, but these efforts were unavailing and, except for some sporadic and desultory conversations on the subject between United States and Hungarian officials in both capitals and an exchange of Notes in Washington in May and June 1959 on the matter of the ILO Conference of that year,/3/ the regime has done little more than to reiterate its innocence through whatever propaganda means have been available to it.
/2/The text of this note was quoted in telegram 129 from Budapest, November 19, 1958. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.64/11 - 1958)
/3/These notes have not been further identified.
The regime's quest for respectability has, however, not been entirely unattended by some measure of success. A number of Western and neutralist governments have begun to weary of the battle on the "Hungarian Question" and the voting with respect to the credentials of Hungarian delegations at successive meetings of United Nations bodies has tended to become less [more?] favorable to the Hungarians/4/--not, however, to a degree which has by any means satisfied the regime, which seeks full recognition and respectability without making the slightest concession to the numerous Resolutions of censorship which are still outstanding in the General Assembly. The speeches made by both Kadar and Khrushchev at the Congress of the Hungarian Communist Party toward the end of 1959 were bitter and slighting about the 14th General Assembly and, while some effort was made to play upon the "spirit of Camp David" as an indication of improvement in East-West relations which might be expected to extend to Hungary and the Hungarian Question, the continued stationing of Soviet troops within the country was confirmed and a "hard line" toward any opposition to the regime was clearly manifested (Despatches 312 and 317, December 3 and 4, 1959)./5/
/4/December 1959: 14th General Assembly--No decision on credentials continued, but Hungary made a member of Outer Space Committee.
April 1960: Second Law of Sea Conference--No decision on credentials. (Credentials accepted at 1958 Conference.)
June 1960: ILO Conference--No decision (Hungarian credentials refused at two previous ILO Conferences). [Footnote in the source text.]
/5/Despatch 312 described Kadar's speech of November 30 in which he commented at length on Hungarian foreign policy. (Department of State, Central Files, 664.00/12 - 359) Despatch 317 commented on Khrushchev's visit to Budapest on November 28. (Ibid., 033.6164/12 - 459)
There is no evidence that this hard line has been modified or abandoned since the Party Congress at the end of last year. On the contrary, there is abundant evidence that it was put into effect and that it is being followed ruthlessly and thoroughly at the present time. The following are some of the manifestations of this harsh policy:
A. The Soviet forces continue to be better equipped and better trained than were those which occupied Hungary at the time of the 1956 outbreak. While some slight reduction in numbers of occupying forces, as announced, may have occurred over the past year or eighteen months, there has been no reduction in effectiveness and no impairment of the capacity of these forces to repress quickly, effectively, and ruthlessly any disturbance which might manifest itself within the country.
B. The para-military forces (Frontier Guards, Workers' Militia, AVH) of the Ministry of Interior, which is itself under direct Soviet control, have been recreated and are clearly repressive organs of great power and complete ruthlessness. The promises made by Kadar and others of the regime shortly after the Revolution that these organizations would not again come into being have long since been forgotten and discarded.
C. Arrests, secret trials, internal deportations, and executions for participation (or, often, alleged participation) in the "events" of 1956 continue. It is not easy to get hard information on these occurrences, but enough confirmed examples have come to the Legation's attention (and been reported to the Department) to lead one to believe that many of the other reports (which cannot be entirely confirmed) are probably true. The regime is highly sensitive on this score and, probably as a result of the publicity which these developments received abroad and at the U.N., has again tightened up on security in an effort to prevent reports of this nature from leaking out. There is no reason to believe that the arrests, trials, and executions have ceased or even diminished; on the contrary, there is still, despite the measures taken by the regime, sufficient evidence to confirm that they are continuing. (Legtels 237 and 248, March 14 and 31; Despatches 553 and 619, April 6 and May 12, 1960)/6/
/6/These telegrams and despatches all report on the continuing executions of participants in the 1956 revolt. All are ibid., 764.00 and 764.005.
D. While still proceeding against individuals (both those who participated in 1956 and others), the regime is now engaged in an intensive and extensive class war, as manifested by the following developments:
1. Forced re-collectivization of the peasants over the past two years (the collectives having very largely disintegrated during the Revolution). This process continues, as is made manifestly clear by the statements of regime officials and by the press, as well as by reports received from peasants calling at the Consular Section of the Legation. (Despatch 322, December 8, 1959)/7/
2. Suppression of artisans and small business enterprises. (Despatch 360, December 31, 1959)/8/
/7/Despatch 322 reported on the call for a new collectivization drive and the announcement of the Second Five-Year Plan made at the 8th Congress of the Hungarian Communist Party. (Ibid., 764.005/12 - 859)
/8/Despatch 360 reported that private Hungarian foreign trade representatives had recently been deprived of their licenses. (Ibid., 864.19/12 - 3159)
3. Increasing demands on workers through socialist labor competitions (i.e., "speed-ups"), which are written about extensively in the press on the theory that they are manifestations of "voluntary" contributions to socialized production.
4. The enforcement of total submission on all of the churches. Any semblance of an entente between church and state has been completely abandoned and the communist goal of total abolition of religion is apparently considered possible of attainment. (Despatches 554 and 611, April 6 and May 5, 1960)/9/
5. Attacks still continue--but most of the "dirty work" has now been accomplished--against writers and lawyers; teachers; actors, musicians, artists; doctors; any other groups having similar bourgeois propensities and which the regime may consider dangerous as foci of attack against the socialist society. (Despatches 566 and 621, April 12 and May 12, 1960)/10/
/9/Despatch 554 discussed Church - State relations in Hungary. (Ibid., 864.413/4 - 660) Despatch 611 described certain conflicts between the government and the Church. (Ibid., 864.413/5 - 560)
/10/Despatch 566 described informal conversations on March 28 between a Legation staff member and certain Hungarian intellectuals. (Ibid., 764.00/4 - 1260) Despatch 621 reported on Hungarian intellectual and academic trends. (Ibid., 511.643/5 - 1260)
The screw is, of course, not tightened in all directions and on all elements of the population at one and the same time. (The regime has learned from the "salami tactics" of Rakosi, as evidenced by carrying out its policy of collectivization of agriculture over a period of years and in separate sections of the country, rather than in all parts of the state at one and the same time.) The following recent developments, seemingly "on the other side of the ledger", have led some observers outside Hungary (but certainly few if any inside) to conclude that there has been a "relaxation of controls" and the adoption of a "more liberal domestic policy" (quotations from an article by M.S. Handler of the New York Times from Vienna, published in the Los Angeles Times of June 5, 1960):
a) Consumer Goods. The Soviets found it expedient--indeed, necessary--to accord a measure of economic relief to this country after the destruction which had been wrought in 1956. This was done not only through loans (and perhaps even grants), but by means of a letting up on the rapid socialization of the economy. This new turn made itself particularly manifest in the frantic effort to efface all outward evidence of destruction in the streets of Budapest (albeit that the scars of World War II remain) and in the increase in consumer goods made available on the internal market. Some of these were goods which could not be marketed in the restricted international markets of 1958 and early 1959, but others were produced or imported for the specific purpose of bolstering the new regime and of appeasing the people who had made so manifest their feelings of despair during the events of 1956.
It is, however, a mistake to exaggerate (as some foreign observers seem inclined to do) the extent of this amelioration. Prices are still extremely high in relation to average income and the quantity (not to speak of the quality) of goods available does not begin to meet the potential demand. Even stable agricultural products, natural to the land and of which this country is normally a large exporter, are periodically in short supply.
b) Increase in Travel. A number of Western missions in Budapest have observed, in recent months, a considerable increase in the number of Hungarians being granted passports for travel (but not for emigration) to the West. This is particularly true for certain favored groups (artists, musicians, sports teams), whose return to Hungary is considered a reasonable risk because the economic position of those to whom these passports are given is enough of an attraction to ensure their return. The regime also seems prepared to take a certain amount of loss through defection in return for the favorable international publicity which this more liberal policy brings the regime. It remains true, however, that many thousands of passports are refused and that emigration is still a mere trickle. This Legation, for instance, receives many more applications for U.S. immigration visas than there are applicants with the necessary passports. Emigration to Israel is likewise at the same vanishing point at which it has stood for the past two years. (Despatch 598, April 28, 1960)/11/
/11/Despatch 598, Joint Weeka 17, surveyed political and economic developments in Hungary for the previous week. (Ibid., 764.00(W)/4 - 2860)
c) Amnesty. The regime announced an amnesty, effective the first days of April. The provisions of this amnesty were not very broad (Despatch 551, April 1, 1960)/12/ and, since the regime has maintained (and continues to maintain) such close secrecy with respect to the numbers of people under arrest, it is difficult to know the extent to which this amnesty has brought relief. The Foreign Ministry itself has given two estimates- -"around 500" in one case and 4,000 in another (Legation's Despatch 571, April 14, 1960)./13/ In view of the meager news given in the press and the vague claims made by regime spokesmen, it may be assumed that the effect has not been broad or deep. It should likewise be borne in mind that the fate of those who have been pardoned is frequently not a rosy one. In the few cases known to the Legation, the amnestied persons are finding all work and all sources of income closed to them, so that they may again become liable to arrest or to internal deportation for having no visible means of support.
/12/Despatch 551 described the government's March 31 decree granting a partial amnesty to participants in the 1956 revolt. (Ibid., 764.00/4 - 160)
/13/Despatch 571 was Joint Weeka 15. (Ibid., 764.00(W)/4 - 1460)
Thus, while an effort has been made by the regime to make it appear that repression against the Hungarian people has ceased or materially abated, it is clear that the complaints made against the regime (and against the Kremlin) in a series of General Assembly resolutions since 1956 remain essentially valid. The imposition of the present puppet regime was effected through the armed intervention of the U.S.S.R. (and continues in power because of the same armed support); the violations of human rights and freedoms have not abated (and there are signs of their having increased in recent months); the regime continues to refuse to permit the entrance into Hungary of representatives of the United Nations in their official capacities (Prince Wan, Sir Leslie Munro, Secretary General Hammarskjold). The judicial murders of Imre Nagy, General Maleter, and their two companions in June 1958 were a manifestation of continuing repressive measures and defiance of the United Nations by the regime.
Despite this record, the representatives of the regime have continued (except at the ILO meetings in 1958 and 1959) to speak and to vote at meetings of the General Assembly and other U.N. bodies. It would seem grotesque that "representatives of the very regime which has been convicted by the General Assembly of usurping power over the Hungarian people with the help of Soviet tanks, should be permitted to speak for Hungary in that Assembly" ("Hungary under Soviet Rule III" published by American Friends of the Captive Nations, September 1959). While there may have been some semblance of reason for following such a policy (although the Legation had not felt this to be the case) so long as a detente between East and West appeared to exist and the prospect of some accomplishment at a Summit Conference was at least a flickering hope, any such excuse for continuing a procedure which can only do serious harm to the standing of the United Nations in the eyes of the people of the world would seem no longer to hold any semblance of validity. The Legation therefore feels that the policy of "no decision" with respect to Hungarian credentials should be abandoned and that the credentials should be refused, until such time as this regime (or some successor government) complies with the repeated resolutions of the General Assembly.
The Legation is aware of the fact that enough support may not be mustered in the General Assembly and other United Nations bodies for the adoption of such a policy. The Legation is likewise aware that the wrath of the regime will be intensified against the Western governments and, in particular, against the United States for seeking such action, but it is felt that the integrity and good name of the United Nations are of more importance than any additional inconvenience which the Western missions in Budapest may experience as a result of the votes cast by their governments in an effort to withhold from this regime the forum of the United Nations for its propaganda and attacks.
Garret G. Ackerson, Jr. Charge d'Affaires ad interim
28. Despatch From the Embassy in Czechoslovakia to the Department of State
No. 26 Prague, July 14, 1960.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.60/7 - 1460. Confidential. A notation on the source text indicates that, at Tims' suggestion, copies of the despatch were sent by the Department of State to Moscow, Sofia, Belgrade, Budapest, Bucharest, Bonn, Frankfurt, Munich, and Vienna.
Policy Reflections After an Iron Curtain Tour
A tour of duty in Eastern Europe is bound to sharpen one's impressions of what we can or cannot hope to achieve there. The observations that follow sum up a few such reflections after three years in Prague.
Probably the deepest lesson one gets from such a sojourn is the reminder of how crucial our overall strength is to our policy efforts here or in any part of the world. The small countries make this particularly plain by their sensitivity to where the balance lies.
This truth, though old, comes home with fresh force behind the Curtain, where the intractability of the people to Soviet assimilation efforts fluctuates in direct ratio to the evidence of Western, above all American, vigor and purpose. If we say, with respect to this part of the world, that our basic hope is to see the Bloc people resist Soviet absorption while the West seeks means of drawing them back eventually into some kind of reintegration with Europe, we are bound to add that this will largely depend on the degree of elan and achievement we manage to show in our policy elsewhere around the world, whether in Africa, Latin America, Asia, or at home, no less than in Europe. There is little possibility of our influencing the course of events in the Bloc if we are fumbling or falling behind elsewhere.
If we meet this condition, then we may have a chance to achieve something in the long run by our efforts to keep up maximum contact with the nations of the eastern half of Europe. That their communist rulers know this is shown by their care to limit and control interchange with the West and to keep us out, as a rule, when they think our presence would be too obviously unsettling. A simple example is the Czecho-slovak refusal to let us put on a separate exhibit at their Brno Fair. But with their own commercial interest calling for exchanges, and with the facts of technology as well as geography making a good deal of intermeshing of Europe inevitable even through the Curtain, we have considerable means of keeping in touch with those peoples and probably, by showing maximum resourcefulness as well as ability to surmount excessive caution and red-tape of our own making, can gradually enlarge the areas of contact. Much of the actual give and take can best be carried on by our European allies, but the ultimate responsibility remains largely on the United States.
This is illustrated with special force by the case of Western Germany, whose great potential leverage on Eastern Europe is barred by absence of normal ties and is in part nullified by the Sudeten extremists and similar revisionist parties, whose actions the Polish and Czecho-slovak communists exploit effectively in their anti-German propaganda. Seen from east of the Curtain, Western Germany is a focal point of all the factors negating Western leverage on the Bloc, and a place where the United States has only half exercised its preponderance for the purpose of conducting policy toward the Bloc. Though remaining militarily strong in Germany, we have neglected our political leadership and failed to insist, for example, on a sane West German posture toward Poland and Czechoslovakia which would substantially deflate their fears once for all, or to press for a bolder West German policy of rapprochement with the satellites in general. An opportunity was lost in 1958, for example, to exploit a Czechoslovak bid to Bonn for diplomatic relations, whose establishment might have forestalled the cruder outbreaks of anti-German propaganda that have emanated from Prague ever since and would have opened the way for constructive West German presence inside the Iron Curtain.
We can also do more on our own account, as any Curtain tour teaches one, to improve the range and quality of the American impact here, even through the barriers erected by the communist functionaries. There is no warrant for being discouraged by absence of visible results. A program of engagement, economic, cultural, and political, with the regimes and peoples of this area is by its nature a holding action whose subversive effects, if any, must appear only in future showdowns in the larger international sphere.
Peaceful interchange, for all its modesty as a policy, has a double advantage for our side. The net gain from any exchanges with the communist countries is undoubtedly for the Free World; the unsettling effect is their direction, not ours. And secondly, the challenge we make is more compelling, more universal than Khrushchev's; it goes mere coexistence one better by demanding a breaking down of Chinese walls and a free intermingling. We have a principle here to which the world responds much more naturally than to his.
For the Charge d'Affaires a.i. Richard W. Tims First Secretary of Embassy
29. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Kohler) to Secretary of State Herter
Washington, July 14, 1960.
EUR comments on foreign policy section of Democratic "Basic Platform"
The following comments are submitted in response to the request received from S/S for an assessment from the EUR point of view on "the totality of the foreign policy section of the Democratic Party platform:"
As the program of the opposition political party, the text of the abbreviated so-called "basic platform" of the Democratic party/1/ obviously contains a note of criticism, implied and in some cases specific, of current foreign policy. As far as EUR is concerned, we find nothing that should cause any real difficulty, and most of the statements of objectives do not differ essentially from the foreign policy purposes which have guided the Department. The text of the whole platform, however, is not yet available in Washington and this apparently contains more specific and detailed points.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.60/7 - 1460. Official Use Only. Drafted by Hillenbrand.
/1/Attached to the memorandum was a copy of page 21 of The New York Times of July 13, which contained the text of the abbreviated "Basic Platform" read at the Democratic National Convention.
One particular item which may be noted is that the "basic platform" contains two paragraphs which could be interpreted to apply principally to the captive nations of Eastern Europe. These are in accord with the Department's policy to try to reach the Eastern European peoples through exchanges and contacts; on the other hand, the "basic platform" neglects a traditional element in our policy in failing to express support and sympathy for the aspirations of the captive peoples of Eastern Europe.
30. Operations Coordinating Board Report
Washington, July 27, 1960.
//Source: Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, USSR & Satellites--Documents--1959 - 60. Secret. According to an undated covering memorandum by OCB Executive Officer Bromley Smith, the report was concurred in by the Board, after some revisions, at its meeting of July 27, and was transmitted to the NSC Planning Board. Smith also said that the Planning Board noted the report at its August 16 meeting and decided that the Department of State should prepare a revision of NSC 5811/1 (Document 6). See Document 32.
According to O'Connor's July 27 memorandum to Kohler, in which he quoted from the informal notes of the OCB meeting that day, Sherer told the OCB that although there was no prospect of any dramatic progress toward national independence in Eastern Europe, there had been a few encouraging developments in U.S. relations with Bulgaria and Romania. The members discussed the relative military power of the United States and Soviet Union and "agreed that it would be a misinterpretation of the Report if a reader should conclude therefrom that the evolutionary policy of the US for the area was founded on a judgment that in military power the US and USSR were at parity." (Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 61 D 385, USSR & Satellites--General--1959 - 60)
REPORT ON SOVIET-DOMINATED NATIONS IN EASTERN EUROPE (NSC 5811/1)
(Approved by the President May 24, 1958)
(Period Covered: July 15, 1959 through July 27, 1960)
I. General Evaluation
1. The Soviet Union has continued to maintain varying degrees of discipline over the Communist Parties within the Bloc and has supported the Bloc regimes in their repression of all dissent. Despite these efforts at consolidation, however, certain factors of instability have reflected continuing Soviet vulnerabilities in the dominated nations and have afforded opportunities for the United States, particularly on a long-term basis, to make some progress toward its policy objectives. These factors include the deep antipathy to Soviet Communism; the disturbing influence upon the Soviet bloc of the Yugoslav ideological heresy and of Yugoslavia's example of successful independence; the manifestations of limited liberalization in Poland; the persisting inability of the Bloc regimes to establish a broad base of popular support; and the general problem still faced by these regimes of satisfying consumer demands while pursuing major economic development objectives. Although it is too early at this time to assess the full import of ideological differences between the Soviet Union and Communist China, the development of such differences to any serious extent may give rise to contention within the Communist parties and regimes and ultimately have an adverse effect upon the unity of the Bloc. Such a development would add to Soviet vulnerabilities and afford new opportunities for the U.S. to exploit the situation.
2. It has remained the basic problem of U.S. policy in the area to nurture the aspirations of the dominated peoples for national independence and human freedom and to find effective means for promoting peaceful evolution toward these goals. Our approach to this problem has necessarily involved carefully coordinated efforts in two directions: on the one hand, we have continued as a matter of basic principle to make it clear that we do not accept the status quo of Soviet domination over the nations of Eastern Europe as a permanent condition and that we support the right of the dominated peoples to national independence and to governments of their own free choosing; on the other hand, we have sought to expand our direct contacts with the dominated peoples, particularly in the cultural, information, economic and technical fields, as a means of exerting greater U.S. influence upon future developments in these countries.
3. Such interchanges can take place and be developed only with the acquiescence of the existing regime in each dominated country. We have accordingly entered into more active relations with the Bloc regimes for this purpose wherever conditions have permitted. Exchanges with the dominated countries have raised some problems of reciprocity. It is important, therefore, that the United States enlist appropriate facilities, develop procedures, and provide adequate support as may be required by considerations of reciprocity. During the past year encouraging, though still limited, progress has been made in expanding contacts and developing more active relations with certain of the dominated nations. Another means of reaching directly the people of the dominated areas has been international broadcasting. While U.S. foreign- language broadcasts, officially and privately sponsored, are heavily jammed in urban areas, they can be heard in suburban rural areas. English-language and music programs are not jammed.
4. Khrushchev's tactics of contacts and negotiations with the United States and Western Europe during most of the past year have served to encourage varying degrees of interest on the part of the Bloc regimes in more active relations with these same countries. Whether these more favorable conditions for intercourse with the dominated nations will continue to exist indefinitely in the aftermath of the collapse of the recent Summit Conference/1/ cannot clearly be foreseen. For the pres- ent, however, there has been no adverse change with respect to prospects for the development of exchanges.
/1/Reference is to the collapse of the Paris summit conference in May 1960.
5. The expansion of U.S. contacts with the dominated countries, by creating a continuity of interest and demonstrating the benefits to be derived from such associations, may serve to place the Bloc regimes under popular pressure, as well as pressure from certain elements within the bureaucracy itself who favor expanded contacts with the West, to progressively enlarge the volume and the areas of such interchange.
6. While endeavoring to establish more active relations with the Bloc regimes as a means of facilitating contacts with the peoples of the dominated countries, it will continue to be necessary, on appropriate occasions, to articulate our policy in support of the right of those peoples to independence and freedom and to expose and condemn, as the facts may warrant, the fundamental evils and defects of the Soviet Communist system. It is essential, however, that our efforts along this line should be carefully timed and judicious in character. We must take due care that we do not, by purely negative actions, impair our positive efforts to develop broader contacts with the dominated peoples and to project our influence through such contacts for the advancement of our long-term policy objectives.
7. It is clear that any progress in stimulating evolutionary forces within the dominated nations will be dependent to an important degree upon our success in strengthening our own democratic institutions, economic well-being and military power and those of our Allies and friends as well as upon the contributions we are able to make toward the just resolution of international issues which vitally affect the entire world. It is evident from our past experience and from the very nature of problems that confront us in Eastern Europe that programs for advancing our objectives with respect to the dominated countries must be conceived on a long-term basis and evaluated with due understanding of this time factor.
II. Country Evaluations
8. We do not recognize and do not have diplomatic relations with the Albanian regime. Consequently, there has been no progress toward the achievement of our objectives with respect to Albania, and there is unlikely to be any until such time as the Albanian regime undertakes some clear-cut initiative seeking recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations. The relaxation of restrictions on travel by U.S. citizens to Albania has resulted in some travel there for business, professional and compassionate reasons. This has had some constructive effect in that it has enabled Albanian-Americans to see at first hand what conditions are really like in Albania.
9. The American Legation in Sofia was opened on March 14, 1960 and is now fully operative. The general atmosphere which has thus far prevailed in U.S.-Bulgarian relations has been favorable. The Bulgarian Minister in Washington has indicated his Government's interest in entering upon discussions in due course of various matters including financial claims, trade, and cultural exchanges. The United States has taken advantage of the invitation extended to it by the Bulgarian Government to take part in the 19th Plovdiv International Fair (September 18 - October 2, 1960).
10. Little progress has been made toward the achievement of U.S. policy objectives in Czechoslovakia. The economic negotiations begun in October 1955 are continuing, however, and there is still some hope that these may be brought to a successful conclusion. Some improvement of relations, which would afford opportunities for more active contacts, might well follow upon an agreement in this field. In the meantime, we have been able to conduct limited but varied information and cultural activities among certain Czechoslovak groups through our Embassy, though harassments of the Embassy staff and of their Czecho-slovak contacts are a continuing handicap.
11. There has been no substantial change in U.S. relations with Hungary, which remain strained. The Hungarian regime has persisted in its refusal to cooperate with UN efforts to deal with problems arising from the 1956 revolution. The declaration of a partial amnesty in Hungary on March 31, 1960, along with fewer reports in recent months of secret trials and executions in Hungary, affords some measure of hope that the regime may abandon the active campaign of reprisals which it has hitherto carried out against those who participated in the national uprising. There is little prospect, however, that U.S. policy can be applied with any effectiveness in Hungary until there is clear evidence that the Hungarian regime has ameliorated its policy of internal repression and modified its defiant attitude toward the United Nations. U.S. passport restrictions on travel by American citizens to Hungary were lifted on April 29, 1960./2/ This action will serve to facilitate and encourage private contacts by Americans with Hungarians in many fields.
/2/For text of the Department of State press release of April 29 announcing the lifting of the travel restrictions to Hungary, see Department of State Bulletin, May 16, 1960, p. 797.
12. Substantial progress has been made in the past year in U.S.-Rumanian relations. Following negotiations begun on Rumanian initiative, an agreement settling U.S. financial claims against Rumania was reached on March 30, 1960./3/ Subsequently, talks have also taken place and are continuing with the Rumanian Government on cultural and technical exchanges. Prospects appear favorable at this time for concluding arrangements in this field which may serve to provide the United States with modest opportunities for advancing its policy objectives with respect to Rumania.
/3/For text of the agreement, as well as texts of letters exchanged on March 30, 1960, by the two governments and the Department of State's two press releases of that date regarding the agreement, see ibid., April 25, 1960, pp. 670 - 673.
III. Policy Review
13. From the point of view of operations, no review of policy is recommended. To conform with NSC Action 2215 - c,/4/ editorial updating of the "General Considerations" portion and other pertinent sections of NSC 5811/1 is required. (For example, relations with Bulgaria have been resumed since the policy paper was approved.)
/4/See Document 32.
[End of Section 5]