U.S. Department of State
Vol. X, Part 1, FRUS, 1958-60: E. Europe Region; Soviet Union; Cyprus
Office of the Historian
[Section 6 of 19]
31. Letter From the Director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs (Vedeler) to the Minister in Romania (Wharton)
Washington, September 7, 1960.
DEAR CLIF: I hope that you will excuse our tardiness in replying to your letter of August 1/1/ with regard to the question of an approach to the Rumanian Government on relaxing travel restrictions. We have been spread a little thin in EE these past weeks due to transfers and summer vacations, and I wish to comment as fully as possible on the matters discussed in your letter. The possibility of getting travel restrictions removed is one that we have continued to have very much in mind. I feel, as you do, that the time may be drawing near for undertaking such an approach to the Rumanians.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.6611/10 - 1260. Confidential; Official - Informal. Drafted by McKisson.
/1/Not found in Department of State files.
We are in full agreement with your view that, in the light of the modest progress that has been made during the past 9 or 10 months in US- Rumanian relations, a unilateral demarche on the problem of travel restrictions would seem to offer better prospect of some favorable result than a multilateral approach involving not only the US but other Western Governments. A multilateral approach would inevitably appear to the Rumanian regime as an effort to exert collective pressure. I think it is certain that the Rumanians would view it with deep suspicion as a propaganda tactic and reject it out of hand. On the other hand, a US proposal linked to recent more favorable developments in our bilateral relations might command Rumanian attention and interest and offer far better chances of success.
We think that you should make the final decision as to the precise timing of any demarche on this subject. Presumably this might be at some point following the resumption of the talks here on cultural and other exchanges when there is reasonable prospect that the talks will have some positive outcome but well before you are scheduled to leave Rumania./2/
/2/Wharton left his post on October 21 to assume the position of Ambassador to Norway.
We have checked out informally with SCA the question whether your anticipated approach to the Rumanians on travel restrictions is a matter requiring prior consultation with other government agencies here or with the Interdepartmental Committee on Internal Security and have ascertained that it is not necessary to do so. It might be well, however, to note two complications that could arise in connection with the removal of travel restrictions on a reciprocal basis. One of these, which might be raised by the Rumanian side, is the fact that in addition to the State Department travel restriction involving prior notification there is also an entirely independent and additional requirement maintained by the Pentagon according to which all foreign military attaches are expected to give 24-hour prior notification to the appropriate US service branch or branches before leaving Washington on any trip. Even though agreement were reached by us with the Rumanians to remove existing State Department and Rumanian Government travel restrictions on a reciprocal basis, the Defense Department requirement on prior notification as it applies to the Rumanian attaches would remain unaffected. The Rumanians might choose to make an issue of this.
The other possible complication is one that might be raised by interested quarters outside the State Department. It would have reference to a situation where the Rumanians and ourselves might have agreed to removal of the prior notification procedure on travel but where the Rumanians would continue to designate certain areas within Rumania as closed to diplomatic travel. As you know, we have not set up similar closed zones here, although some years ago we let it be known to the Rumanians that we reserved the right to bar travel within the area bounded by the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers should considerations of reciprocity of treatment so require. We have invoked this only on one or two occasions some years ago. In other words, if the Rumanians insisted on retaining their system of closed zones, this could lead to ultimate insistence here that we set up a comparable system of closed areas. We in EE would prefer, of course, to avoid any such system of designated zones, even if the Rumanians continued to maintain that particular form of restrictions, for it is somewhat complicated to establish and to maintain. However, it could become a problem, if other agencies were to make an issue of it at the time the prior notification restrictions were mutually removed or thereafter.
With regard to the two possible difficulties outlined above, I think that no useful purpose would be served at this point in trying to decide precisely how such complications should be handled. Generally speaking, however, I wonder whether the simplest and most realistic way to handle them, if they arise, is not simply to agree to cancel them out one against the other: i.e., the Rumanians would probably retain their closed zones, and the Pentagon, on the other hand, would continue its requirement of prior notice on all travel by Rumanian Legation military personnel in the US.
It is our understanding that Minister Macovescu recently indicated to Frank Siscoe that he planned to resume the talks on cultural and other exchanges about September 20./3/ We should know pretty well how the talks will turn out after the first meeting or two.
/3/See Part 2, Document 30.
In closing, I might add with regard to your mention of Rumanian eagerness in pressing the matter of raising the respective missions to Embassy status that we now have this subject under active study and are planning to produce a draft staff study within the next several weeks with a view to reaching a decision in the period immediately following the US elections. You may be interested to learn that the Bulgarians are making similar noises. As I suggested in our conversation last May in Paris,/4/ we in EUR feel that the elevation of our few remaining Legations to the status of Embassies is sound in principle but that the real problem lies in the timing of such moves in relation to the state and progress of our relations with the particular country concerned. There is, of course, a highly delicate public relations situation (involving the Congress, the emigres, the US public, and the Soviet- dominated peoples) to be faced and properly dealt with at such time as we may be ready to act. We shall be in touch with you, of course, as this matter develops further. Meanwhile, any further thoughts you have on the subject would be most welcome./5/
With warmest regards,
Harold C. Vedeler/6/
/4/No record of this conversation has been found.
/5/In a September 30 letter to Vedeler, Wharton wrote that he was planning to leave Romania about October 21 and planned to call on Foreign Minister Lazareanu about October 14 to discuss the questions of exit permits, documentation for dual nationals, and travel restrictions. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.6611/10 - 1260)
/6/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
32. Editorial Note
At its 440th meeting on April 7, in NSC Action No. 2215 - c, the National Security Council noted the statement made by the President during the meeting that he wished to leave NSC policy papers that remained in effect in current condition for the next administration. Accordingly the Council's Planning Board should submit to the Council revisions in NSC policy papers for the purpose of bringing them up to date. However, in those cases where the policy papers required revisions only of a purely editorial nature, the Planning Board was to make a written report to that effect to the Council as a matter of official record. (Department of State, S/S - NSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)
Pursuant to this action, and in accordance with the OCB's decision at its July 27 meeting (see the source note, Document 30), the NSC Planning Board on October 14 reviewed NSC 5811/1 (Document 6) and determined that only revisions of an editorial nature were necessary to bring the paper up to date. It accordingly made minor changes on certain pages to reflect changed circumstances and events that had occurred since May 24, 1958. These revised pages were transmitted to the Council under cover of an explanatory memorandum from NSC Acting Executive Secretary Marion W. Boggs, dated October 17, with the request that they be inserted in copies of NSC 5811/1 and the superseded pages destroyed. The revised paper bore the original date of May 24, 1958, but included in the margin at the bottom of the revised pages the following phase: "Editorially revised 10/14/60." Boggs also requested that Annex A of NSC 5811/1 regarding military troops in Eastern Europe be deleted from the paper. A copy of Boggs' memorandum, with the revised pages as attachments, and a copy of NSC 5811/1, with the editorial revision of October 14 included, are in Department of State, S/S - NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5811 Series.
33. Instruction From the Department of State to the Legation in Hungary
A - 37 Washington, October 21, 1960.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.6411/10 - 2160. Secret; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Steven D. Zagorski (INR/IRC) and cleared with McKisson.
SUBJECT Some Informal Remarks by Kadar
A friendly and reliable source has recently had an opportunity for an informal discussion with Kadar during his visit to New York to attend the UNGA session. The source has written down Kadar's remarks from memory and made them available to the Department. It is believed that Kadar suspected that his remarks would be passed on to the United States Government. The report of Kadar's remarks is given below for the Legation's background information:
"Since the events of 1956, there have been a lot of childish (gyerekes) things going on between our two countries. I want to be frank with you. Both the U.S. Government and we Hungarians have been acting like a couple of kids. Periodically, we expel one another's diplomatic representatives: one American for one Hungarian. I don't think this is an intelligent (okos) thing to do. Let us explore the possibility of an understanding.
"I don't like the Germans (I mean Adenauer's Germany) but to illustrate my feeling on this subject, I would use the German word `Realpolitik' to describe the way this matter should be treated. We do not hate the Americans. After all, let us be realistic: Who are we? We are only a `little louse' (kis tota) in this big world. However, the prerequisite for normal relations is a willingness on the part of the U.S. Government to recognize the hard facts. The People's Republic of Hungary is an accomplished fact. It is here today. It will stay here tomorrow. All you have to do is to recognize this fact. The rest is simple. We could then resume normal diplomatic representations instead of this ridiculous (navetaeges) Charge d'Affaires business."
Hungarian Internal Conditions
"The U.S. Government talks about Hungary being a Soviet satellite. Now on this subject let me tell you the following. It has cost the U.S.S.R. a lot of money to help normalize our conditions after 1956. Today we are happily engaged in constructive work. Our people enjoy freedom. No more of the Rakosi terror. Believe me, we don't take people to prison in the middle of the night any more. If you don't believe me, then talk to our writers, our intellectuals who were released from prison. Talk to Tibor Dary, the writer. And all this nonsense about Khrushchev dictating everything in Hungary--it is simply not true."
"I was very happy to talk with Mr. (Cyrus) Eaton; he is a capitalist but the right one with common sense. He feels that you should do business with us. You know, we lost more than 500,000 soldiers in World War II. Many of our material assets (bridges, industrial installations) were destroyed. Then we suffered so much during the events of 1956. Why don't we resume normal trade relations?"
The Mindszenty Case
"I would like to emphasize again that the whole problem is simple. All you have to do is to recognize the facts, recognize that our Republic is here to stay. The other problems would practically solve themselves. In fact, there are no real problems. For example, take this (Cardinal) Mindszenty case. Let me tell you something: The present situation works to our advantage. Why? Because the poor devil (szegeny ordog) is unhappy at your Legation in Budapest. We neutralized him. As long as he is there, we have no trouble. Suppose we let him go to Rome. There he could cause a lot of trouble. Suppose we manage to throw him in jail. There he could cause a lot of trouble by becoming a `martyr'. No, we do not want to make a martyr out of him. We Communists know the difficulties caused by martyrs. Let me assure you, once the U.S. recognizes that there was such a thing as the People's Republic with Kadar as its leader, we would not have a single problem. I cannot emphasize that strongly enough."
Rupture of Diplomatic Relations
"I sincerely hope that whatever happens at the UN (after that debate on the so-called `Hungarian Question'), it will not result in further worsening of U.S.-Hungarian relations. If it is possible, we would like to avoid the breaking off of diplomatic relations with your country. But we simply must act as grown-up people. Let us talk quietly about our problems. Quietly, you understand."
"My secretary tells me about reports of the American press and I must say here: false reports--concerning the alleged controversies between Khrushchev and Mao Tse-tung. This is a lot of nonsense again. We Communists like to argue a great deal among ourselves. It is in the family (a czaladian van). But don't think for a moment that the two leaders would become enemies! If you want to know, the real problem is this: How can you realistically ignore 650,000,000 people? How can you deny them the right to join the Family of Nations? Why don't you come to an agreement with China? There is a lot of talk about the Cold War becoming more and more menacing. It would be so simple to solve this problem by recognizing this wonderful People. During my visit there I was greatly impressed by their constructive work."
Kadar's Trip to the U.S.S.R.
"I had a wonderful vacation there (in the Crimea in August 1960 as Khrushchev's guest). We visited a place at the Caspian Sea where the Volga empties into the Caspian. I enjoyed that very much because the weather was excellent, not like New York with its high humidity."
Kadar's Trip to the UNGA Session
"My press officer told me that some of the American newspapers wrote that my trip to New York was a `last minute surprise' and that I, along with my colleagues from Rumania and Bulgaria, was ordered by Mr. Khrushchev to come to the U.S. This is not true. The American press, as usual, did not tell the truth. We worked out the plans for our New York trip during our Crimean visit. And what is so surprising about our coming here to attend the UN meeting? Every leading Government official has the right to attend. I hope that next time I come the conditions between the U.S. and Hungary will be better so that it will not be necessary to have so many policemen around."
The Trip on the Baltika
"We had two bad days. I must admit that I was seasick. We just took it easy aboard the Baltika. No special meetings. There was no need for conferences. Everything was worked out in advance. Our average speed was twenty knots."
"I heard that Tito, this great hero (nagy hes) was afraid of the boat ride around Manhattan. I am sorry that the Police Department cancelled the previous plans for me to circumnavigate Manhattan. I also heard that the Police were afraid that some one might drop a bomb from one of the bridges during our boat ride. Tell the Police I am not afraid. I am not from Yugoslavia."
The Restriction to Manhattan
"Of course, it is silly (butasag) that your Government restricted me to Manhattan. I would have liked to see the countryside, but as I have previously told you, I would not beg (konyorog) for permission to leave Manhattan. Apart from that, I enjoyed my sightseeing trips and appreciate the courtesies shown me by the Police and the State Department representatives. Frankly, I would not like to live in New York. Not enough trees and (laugh) too many policemen. Grant's Tomb impressed me very much. We know his name in Hungary. I signed the guest book registering our deep respect."
Khrushchev's Threat to leave the UN
"I was surprised to learn from my Press Officer that, according to the American press, Mr. Khrushchev threatened to leave the UN if his conditions are not met. This is a misinterpretation of his remarks. Mr. Khrushchev works for world peace. We Hungarians also want peace and he is ready to negotiate with everybody. I don't believe that he wants to quit the UN."
On a Communist U.S.
"I must tell you in earnest: We have no illusions concerning the possibility that the U.S. will become a socialist or a communist state. We Hungarian Communists are realists. We know that your country is capitalist, and it will not adopt our system."
(Source: Mr. Kadar, this does not seem to be in line with Mr. Khru- shchev's remark to the effect that our grandchildren in the U.S. will live under Communism.)
"What makes you think that we have to go along with everything our Comrades say? We Communists like to argue with each other. That is the democratic thing to do. The principal thing is that the East and West must co-exist in peace and that we must negotiate. Take this pres-ent UN debate. It is much better to shout (kisbalai) at each other than to shoot (loni) at each other."
Personal on Kadar
Kadar said of himself that he was the son of a peasant father, that he liked the trees, the fresh air. His secretary added that Kadar likes to hunt and that he likes to visit zoos. ("Every time Mr. Kadar visits a city where there is a zoo, he insists on seeing the animals.") His interpreter, Brdelyi, stated that while Kadar speaks "good" Russian, he prefers Brdelyi, a graduate of the University of Leningrad, to translate his words in Hungarian, into Russian when talking with a Russian.
Source added that at a reception, attended by Khrushchev and satellite officials, Khrushchev "ignored Kadar, as usual, while holding court."
The Kadar Entourage
Sources gained the impression that Lare Hallai was not an important member of the entourage. On the other hand, Janos Vertes appeared to be an important member of the group. His name appeared on the official UN list of fourteen names, members of the Kadar party on the Baltika.
34. Memorandum From Secretary of State Herter to President Eisenhower
Washington, November 10, 1960.
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles - Herter Series. Confidential. The source text bears Eisenhower's handwritten initials "DE."
Raising the Diplomatic Missions at Bucharest, Rumania and Sofia, Bulgaria From Legations to Embassies
The United States has followed the practice in the postwar period of raising virtually all of its diplomatic missions to Embassy status. Our only remaining Legations in Europe are at Budapest, Hungary, Bucharest, Rumania, and Sofia, Bulgaria. Our current relations with Hungary are anomalous and wholly negative. Therefore, I do not recommend any change in the status of our Legation at Budapest.
In view of the positive development of our relations with Rumania and Bulgaria in recent months, I believe that United States interests would be served by raising our Legations at Bucharest and Sofia to Embassies at an early date. Such action would strengthen our diplomatic presence in Rumania and Bulgaria and place us in a better position to influence the Rumanian and Bulgarian Governments toward more active and positive relations with the United States and a less dependent relationship with the Soviet Union. I enclose a memorandum outlining recent developments in our relations with Rumania and Bulgaria and further discussing the proposal that our Legations there be raised to Embassy status.
I recommend that you authorize the elevation of our Legations at Bucharest and Sofia to Embassies./1/
Christian A. Herter
/1/In a conference on November 15, the President rejected this request. The memorandum of the meeting, prepared by John S.D. Eisenhower, reads: "The President said that the State Department must be thinning out automatically with all the new embassies they are creating. He knows of no increase in personnel of the foreign service. Just that day he had received three requests for new embassies, which requests he had turned down. He had specified that money can be saved if these offices remain legations. To top it all, these locations are behind the Iron Curtain." (Ibid., DDE Diaries)
/2/Confidential. Prepared in the Department of State.
Relations with Rumania and Bulgaria
Several positive developments have occurred in our relations with Rumania and Bulgaria during recent months. During the past year an agreement settling American financial claims against Rumania was concluded./3/ This agreement may facilitate expanded contacts in the economic field. We are presently engaged in talks with the Rumanians on cultural and other exchanges, and a student exchange program is already in operation. The Bulgarians have recently expressed interest in undertaking negotiations for the settlement of financial claims and the conclusion of arrangements for cultural and other exchanges.
/3/See footnote 3, Document 30.
The elevation of our Legations to Embassy status would signify that we attach increasing importance to our relations with Rumania and Bulgaria and intend to pursue an active policy with respect to these countries. As Ambassadors, our Chiefs of Mission would be in a more favorable diplomatic position in terms of personal prestige and would be placed on the same level as the Soviet bloc diplomatic representatives in Bucharest and Sofia. The raising of our Legations to Embassy rank would also serve to re-emphasize our interest in the peoples of Rumania and Bulgaria and in the future course of development of these nations.
We anticipate that certain quarters within the United States may contend that a change in the status of our Missions from Legations to Embassies would be a step lending new prestige to the Rumanian and Bulgarian Governments. We do not consider such a contention justified. We are confident that it can be answered by making clear that this step does not connote approval of the policies of the Rumanian and Bulgarian regimes but rather affirms more strongly our interest in the welfare of the Rumanian and Bulgarian peoples and our intention to enter upon more active relations with them. We already maintain Embassies at Moscow, Warsaw and Prague, and it is accepted that the status of these three Missions in no way implies approval of the policies and character of the governments concerned.
The problem of bringing about peaceful evolutionary change in Eastern Europe in the direction of freedom from Soviet domination is one of the major challenges we face in our foreign policy. We believe that we now have certain opportunities for projecting our influence more actively and effectively in Rumania and Bulgaria toward this end. The elevation of our Missions to Embassy status will, in our judgment, afford us a more solid basis for the pursuit of our policy objectives in these countries.
We would, of course, plan to consult with the British and other of our allies and to inform other NATO Governments before taking action.
35. Paper Prepared in the Embassy in Czechoslovakia
Prague, November 18, 1960.
Some Aspects of U.S. Policy Toward the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
The period immediately following the U.S. presidential elections/1/ may be a favorable one for an internal review of the present status of Czechoslovak-United States relations and for formulating possible innovations and changes. The American elections may also mark a favorable time for a new and different approach to the Czechoslovak authorities. Following Moscow's lead, the Czechoslovak government has not attacked President-elect Kennedy but states that his policy must be given the benefit of the doubt until its definite character becomes clear. In practical terms, this means that the Czechoslovak government is not now formally committed to an attitude of hostility to the new US administration and that it has, in relative terms, more freedom of maneuver with regard to relations with the United States than has been the case for some time. Naturally, Czechoslovak policy will continue to follow the main lines of Soviet policy, but within the narrow limits imposed by this over-riding condition, there is room for some variation: Rumania, for example, seems well ahead of the CSSR in the degree to which it accepts the more constructive consequences of a policy of "peaceful co-existence" in its relations with the United States.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.49/11 - 1860. Confidential. Transmitted to the Department of State as an enclosure to despatch 308 from Prague, November 18, which indicated that the paper had been prepared by Jonathan Dean. Although the paper was not a final submission on the subject, it was submitted "at this time as evidence of the direction our thinking is developing."
/1/The Presidential election, in which Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy defeated Republican Richard M. Nixon, was held on November 8.
The enclosed paper suggests that our overall objective in Czechoslovakia within the framework of more general policies directed at the Soviet Bloc as a whole could be defined as the encouragement of gradual change through constantly bringing to bear both on the general population and the Communist ruling class the force of Western thought and example--in other words, as an essentially educational process. As suggested in the paper, our long-range aim, which may require a generation or more of effort, could be said to be the alteration of the ideological direction and content of Czechoslovak society away from Leninism and toward a democratic socialism without expansionist aspects (under this situation, there would be a possibility of further class change but the goal is already sufficiently ambitious as stated). The underlying assumption of the paper is that the world-wide Communist system and with it the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia will continue indefinitely, that consequently the Czechoslovak regime itself must be the major source of change, and that the major weight of our effort must therefore be in the direction of affecting the views and outlook of the regime itself, both directly and indirectly. Our intermediate aim, which might be achieved within five to ten years, is to bring the CSSR to the level of intellectual receptivity which characterizes present-day Poland. The paper proposes that our immediate objective, and the essential condition of the entire subsequent effort, should be to obtain wider and continuing access to the general population and to the ruling class in the CSSR for the carriers of American and Western ideas--American officials, private citizens and Western films, broadcasts, and books.
In contrast to longer-range American political aims, Czechoslovak aims toward the U.S., as analyzed here, are mainly concerned with trade and information gathering. Although conceived by us as an orderly step by step development in the direction of goals similar to those described above, the pattern of present negotiations and the sequence of subjects now envisaged for future negotiation with the CSSR may result in the Czechoslovaks receiving the economic benefits they desire from us before our principal interests are negotiated on, thus depriving us of leverage in the direction of increased access or opening up of Czechoslovak society to outside intellectual influences.
As a way out of these tactical difficulties and a contribution to the clarity of our own immediate objectives, it is suggested that we consider the merits of formulating as a single package a proposal for an overall adjustment of Czechoslovak-American relations which would balance Czechoslovak economic interests against our interest in obtaining effective access and would be designed to be advanced directly to President Novotny and to gain serious top-level consideration as a question of overall Czechoslovak national interest. In isolation, many of the individual suggestions advanced in the paper would be unpalatable to one side or the other. Taken together, the long-range advantage is considered clearly to favor a United States objective as described above; most of the shorter range benefits would accrue to the Czechoslovaks. It is believed that the rough balance struck in this way may be close enough to cause serious consideration of the proposal by the Czechoslovak authorities and to give the package some chance of ultimate acceptance. The Czechoslovaks would realize perfectly well the nature of our long-term objectives, but they may now have become confident enough about the long-term prospects of the Communist Bloc to take the risk--under prevailing conditions, no firmer prediction can be hazarded. Acceptance of the substance of the proposal, even if detailed negotiation lasted for several years, would set the tracks for a serious long-range US effort to change the situation in Czechoslovakia. In terms of this possible gain, the tactical approach suggested is believed worth consideration by the Department.
II. Czechoslovak Policy Toward the U.S.
It is possible to construct a model of Czechoslovak policy toward the United States from private and public statements of Czechoslovak officials and from the actions of the regime. It can be assumed at the outset that, given their size and potentialities, the Czechoslovak communist leaders are under no illusions as to their capacity directly to affect the formulation of US policy on major world issues or to perceptibly affect the intellectual climate of the United States in the direction of acceptance of a communist system. Although they would like to see a fundamental re-orientation of American society according to their conceptions, they cannot attempt this directly, and will work toward it only marginally. Their aims are more modest. They probably are: (a) to gain acceptance on the part of American public and official opinion of the present regime as the legitimate and lasting government of Czechoslovakia. This arises partly from a Communist desire for respectability, partly from realization of the importance of such recognition for the attitude of the Czechoslovak public and the internal consolidation of the regime, and partly because such acceptance would increase the efficiency of Czechoslovak operations in the uncommitted areas. (b) The second major Czechoslovak aim in regard to the United States is the acquisition of information. This covers military information, information on U.S. intentions, and, probably most important of all to the Czechoslovaks, technical, industrial and scientific information. (c) A third major aim of the Czechoslovaks is the increase of trade with the United States. In this field they are interested: (1) in the general sense of increasing their foreign sales of Czechoslovak specialty products; (2) increasing their supply of easily convertible dollars; (3) gaining commodities or equipment in short supply in the bloc area; and (4) obtaining physical possession of goods or equipment which can be copied or otherwise used for the improvement of Czechoslovak technology.
Of these aims (a), the achievement of acceptance and respectability in the United States, is probably considered by the Czechoslovaks as a long-range project though it could be accelerated by specific American actions. However, the remaining aims of collecting information and increasing trade, though of continuing nature, are susceptible of immediate substantial improvement through specific measures now under discussion between the two countries.
III. United States Aims Toward Czechoslovakia; the Process of Change in the CSSR
In contrast to Czechoslovak aims toward the US, the chief goal of American policy toward Czechoslovakia is to bring about fundamental social and political change. In view of the small size and controlled nature of the Czechoslovak market, we are not primarily interested in an increase of trade, and then less from an economic than from a political viewpoint having to do with a decrease of Czechoslovak dependence on the USSR and the general opening-up effect of increased trade. (Expanding Czechoslovak trade with the U.S. would make the Czecho-slovaks more susceptible to US pressure: the Canadian Minister notes that the Czechoslovaks fear adverse publicity in the Canadian press because of the apparently rapid effect it has in decreasing the sale of Czechoslovak products, particularly consumer goods.) In the field of information, too, though we are interested in information we may obtain from Czechoslovak channels regarding Soviet military and political intentions, we are primarily interested in information which would contribute to our overall aim of bringing about a fundamental change in Czechoslovak society.
Though it does not have positive support from a majority of Czechoslovak citizens, the Czechoslovak government is in firm physical control of the country. Under the conditions of modern nuclear warfare and demonstrated Soviet determination to use military force to maintain control over Eastern Europe, complete overthrow of the regime would be possible only through a cataclysm at the center of power in Moscow, an already distant prospect which recedes still further with the passage of time and the material and foreign policy successes of the Soviet regime. In practical terms, this means that any important change in the existing Czechoslovak system must come through the regime itself. The primary agencies of such change may be said to be five in number:
1. Changes originating in the world outside of Czechoslovakia, mainly the USSR or the uncommitted world, which appear to require or make desirable corresponding changes in the Czechoslovak position in order to improve or maintain the regime's control over the population, to increase the productivity of the Czechoslovak economy or to improve the prospects for a further increase of Communist influence in the world.
2. Changes in the composition of the top Czechoslovak leadership, bringing men of different personalities and intellectual shadings to the fore.
3. Internal technological or organizational developments requiring policy modifications for the sake of higher productivity or more effective methods of controlling or influencing the population.
4. Major, lasting trends in popular opinion requiring shifts or modifications of policy for the sake of maintaining full political control and high productivity; and
5. Changes or modifications in the convictions of the leadership group resulting from confrontation with other ideas and concepts--the ideas of the individual leader can and do change on an intellectual basis even in the limiting conditions of Communist society. A central point of the argument of this paper is that it is possible over a long period by example, argumentation, and discussion to affect the views of individual members of the indispensable core of true believers which are the motive force of any society and to alter these views--in this case in the direction of decreased belief in the universal applicability of Leninist thought or toward a gradual alteration of its actual content.
It is recognized that in practice the five elements described are inter- twined and that any given decision to modify existing policy or institutions may result from a combination of two or more factors; they are set down in separate form for the purpose of analysis. United States policy has the capacity to affect the possibility of change within Czechoslovakia by the nature of its policy towards the USSR and the uncommitted areas and by the success or failure of those policies; resolution of some outstanding difficulties with the USSR would clearly have a beneficial effect in opening up the CSSR and other Soviet- dominated countries and a deterioration, the opposite effect. (There is also some prospect of affecting the development of thought in the USSR in the opposite direction of launching new ideas at the periphery of the Communist system and using connections among Bloc leaders to get them to their ultimate Soviet target.) Similarly, the success or failure of the Communist movement in the uncommitted areas or in countries allied to the U.S., again partly a function of U.S. policy, would have a direct effect on the views of the Czechoslovak leadership group and on the tenacity of their attachment to Marxist doctrine. However, these factors of change, which are the major possibilities, are outside the scope of this report, which is limited to discussing the much narrower subject of what we can do inside Czechoslovakia. Under present circumstances, also, it is beyond the capacity of the United States to significantly affect the composition of the Czechoslovak leadership group or to have direct influence on the economic or administrative structure of the country.
This leaves open the two final possibilities, that of gradually influencing public opinion until there crystallize demands and interest of such dimensions and urgency that the regime must somehow take account of them, and that of directly influencing the views of the ruling class itself (by ruling class is meant the entire range of top technicians and Party members--a group of about 20,000 in round figures). Though modulated according to target group, the means used in both cases are the same--radio, film, exhibits, printed word and most important of all, personal contact, while the fact that the audience is not as sharply divided as is often thought should be kept in mind. Nevertheless, this analysis emphasizes that it is through the ruling group that changes must be made. It therefore may be concluded that the most effective and economical way of causing change is to concentrate on the effort to directly affect their views and convictions.
These considerations suggest two conclusions for American policy toward Czechoslovakia: the first is that any policy based on the concept of furthering change through the introduction of new ideas into Czechoslovak society (even an increase in interest in consumer goods is an idea in this sense) manifestly requires a great deal of time for real results--possibly as much as a generation or more even under more favorable conditions than now pertain.
The second conclusion is that the main requirement for the execution of such a policy is the widest possible degree of "access". By "access" is meant access to both the Czechoslovak leader group and to the general population for the intellectual content of American life and of Western civilization through the medium of print, radio, film and personal contacts both in Czechoslovakia and in the United States. Access must involve US officials as well as private citizens, for the former can be of great potential importance in direct influencing of Communist leaders, and even more important, in identifying target persons and groups and working out effective methods and vehicles for the transmission of new ideas. It is believed that our overriding aim in negotiation with the Czechoslovaks should be to obtain access in this sense of the word. Though there are some exceptions, this access can be granted in important and effective measure only by the leadership group itself. This group is of course opposed to the policy aims which cause us to seek access, and aware of their dangers. It may be possible to overcome this opposition by balancing a certain measure of access directly against the Czechoslovak aims of achieving acceptance, information and an increase in trade though it is candidly admitted that given the Bloc orientation of the bulk of Czechoslovak trade the sum of these inducements may not be sufficient.
IV. The Sequence of Negotiation
Given the primarily economic and information-gathering nature of their interests, the Czechoslovaks are now concentrating on the following topics in their dealings with us: (a) establishment of a Czechoslovak trade mission in New York City; (b) Most Favored Nation treatment for Czechoslovak imports (these points have been introduced in connection with present economic negotiations); (c) removal of mutual limitation on the number of diplomatic personnel; (d) establishment of further Czechoslovak consulates in the United States; (e) U.S. participation in the Brno Fair; and (f) Czechoslovak participation in US trade fairs. (In addition, the Czechoslovaks are interested in a change in US strategic controls and very possibly in US credit though they realize that these points are too far in the future for serious discussion at this time.)
It is felt that the Czechoslovak advantage in all of these points exceeds the U.S. advantage even though a U.S. advantage is involved in some cases. We are under pressure from the British to make a settlement with the Czechoslovaks to permit transfer of sequestered gold holdings, but aside from this relatively minor facet of good relations with the UK, it is considered that achievement of agreement on the basis of the terms now being negotiated with the Czechoslovaks on the economic agreement would bring approximately equal financial benefits to both sides, leaving the Czechoslovaks the gainers with regard to the establishment of the trade office (whether or not formally conditioned on an acceptable bondholder settlement). It is also believed that Czechoslovak advantage from U.S. participation in the Brno Fair, though desirable for us from the point of view of general cultural influence, would exceed the American advantage: The Czechoslovaks would in this fashion open their way to participation in one or more American trade fairs (where except for desirable exposure of exhibit personnel to the United States, the advantage is one-sided), increase the prestige of the Brno Fair as such, and gain access to machines and products of interest. It is doubtful whether public impact effect and possible increase in U.S. business arising from U.S. participation at Brno would balance out these advantages. Similarly, the net advantage in an agreement on increase in Embassy personnel on both sides or establishment of consulates would be on the Czechoslovak side--if it were carried out under the present vastly unequal conditions of access to persons of influence and places of interest which pertain for American officials in the CSSR and Czechoslovak officials in the United States--there is little benefit in increasing the number of American personnel in the CSSR if their contacts with the population are to be as limited as they now are in actual practice no matter what effort is expended to increase them.
V. Negotiating Problem
It has been our view that we can move in orderly succession from possible conclusion of an economic agreement to other subjects of greater interest to the U.S.; an economic agreement has been considered necessary to clear the air in the United States and to give the Department the necessary latitude to negotiate other agreements as well as to improve the atmosphere on the Czechoslovak side in the direction of making the Czechoslovaks willing to negotiate on a cultural agreement. This calculation appears to have been correct in the case of Rumania; it may not be so in the different conditions governing the attitude of the Czechoslovak government. The main problem arising from the imbalance of Czechoslovak-U.S. advantages in the economic field is that the sequence in which the subjects are now being negotiated or discussed with the Czechoslovaks could result in agreement on some or all of the topics listed above, with net economic and informational advantage to the Czechoslovaks and no real corresponding gain in access for the U.S. The U.S. is interested in a cultural and exchange agreement with the Czechoslovaks, certainly an important vehicle of access, but this subject is rather far down on the list of negotiating priorities and the subject of access for US officials to representative Czechoslovak persons and institutions has not as yet been formulated as a subject of negotiation. The Czechoslovaks are naturally pushing the subjects in which they are most strongly interested; the upshot is that we may come to agreement on the subjects in which they are most interested before the topics in which our interest is stronger are raised for discussion. In this way, our main negotiating leverage could be dissipated. This argues for the formulation of a package deal proposal to be made to the Czechoslovaks, linking tightly together a number of benefits for both sides.
VI. Internal Factors Complicating Negotiations
The nature of the internal situation in the CSSR provides an additional argument in favor of a package proposal. Though all are effectively controlled by communists, the fact that the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Czechoslovak Chamber of Commerce desire an increase of trade with the United States for their own reasons and that the Foreign Office, haltingly committed to a policy of peaceful co-existence, desires an extension of its information gathering facilities in the U.S. and wants to make progress toward American acceptance of the CSSR, means that these agencies might be inclined to agree to a certain increase in access for the U.S. within the CSSR; this is largely because of the special nature of their functions. But the Interior Ministry and Communist Party apparatus are by the nature of their functions interested in maintaining the control of the Party over the country, excluding outside ideological influences, and keeping information gathering possibilities for foreigners at a minimum. The Party and Interior Ministry apparatus is of course stronger than the agencies concerned with foreign trade and foreign policy. Thus if the general question of access is negotiated in isolation, these groups will always be in a position to prevent or minimize it. A possible way out of the situation for the U.S. may be to raise the question of access to the plane of overall Czechoslovak national interest by linking it in negotiation with questions where the Czechoslovak advantage is plain. A composite proposal is again indicated; some suggestions for the content of such a proposal are made below.
As a further device toward bringing the question of access to the level of national interest, consideration might be given to advancing a package proposal in outline form directly to President Novotny as a major gesture toward improvement of Czechoslovak-American relations. The point is not that Novotny is any more interested than Interior Minister Barak, for example, in opening up Czechoslovakia to outside intellectual influence, the aim is to avoid an unequal contest of strength between Foreign Ministry and Party forces and to cause the Czecho-slovak Politburo to view the entire question of practical relations with the U.S. as a whole.
VII. Sample Proposal
The following ideas are advanced for further consideration as possible component parts of a proposal which could bring important benefits to long-range U.S. policy and which is intended to receive serious top- level consideration from the Czechoslovak government. For this reason, the proposal contains a series of concessions to the Czecho-slovak point of view which go beyond--considerably in some cases--what we have as yet been willing officially to consider. The net effect of these proposals has been carefully estimated and it is believed that, if the arguments of this paper concerning the nature of US policy interests toward Czechoslovakia are accepted, the net long-range advantage is on the US side. The first group of suggestions spells out what is meant by the principle of access; a second group contains more evenly balanced benefits and the third contains proposals in which the Czechoslovak advantage is preponderant. Though careful thought has been given to the proposal, it represents only a sample; sharper formulations and additions or deletions could be made in both portions. However, the concept of "access" and of a combined package proposal are essential elements of the underlying thought.
1. Preponderant US Advantage (proposals are reciprocal)
a. Agreement on distribution of a Czechoslovak edition of Amerika (if considered financially feasible on our side)--possibly in return for wider circulation in the US of the magazine Czechoslovak Life (it would be interesting to learn, in any case, to what extent this magazine is now being distributed in the U.S.).
b. Reopening of reading rooms in Prague and Bratislava with a third possibility (Brno?) left open.
c. Agreement on circulation of a daily or weekly press or press-cultural bulletin to Czechoslovak citizens and institutions as well as foreign embassies (the Israeli Legation here sends out 5,000 copies of its bulletin per week).
d. Provisions for an agreed number of USIA touring exhibits per year with an option to visit all CSSR cities of 100,000 population or over.
e. Formal, specific agreement on access to Czechoslovak individuals and institutions, except for military and other objects of security, for US officials on the basis of overall but not case by case reciprocity. The formulation of such an agreement would have to be worked out carefully in order to have some binding effect on the Czechoslovaks as it would represent a new departure both in relations with Bloc countries and in general diplomatic practice; nevertheless, we would be making few real concessions in view of the almost unlimited access possibilities in the US for English-speaking Czechoslovak representatives. One possible formulation would be that both governments would formally commit themselves to permit and encourage free access to all segments of their respective populations and to provide assistance in making contacts at request on the understanding that the general principle of reciprocity was involved, i.e., that a succession of unsuccessful efforts to establish contact or receive assistance in so doing could provide the basis for limitations or other retaliation. Another more specific possibility which could complement the above would be to state that diplomatic officials of both countries would be given access to all officials and employees of the central government within two weeks on the basis of written application; subsequent visits would not require notification. Though more precise, one drawback with this formulation is its limited scope but the U.S. government presumably could not require compliance with a recommendation to receive a Czechoslovak official from state and local officials and certainly not from private citizens.
One way out of the drafting difficulties caused by the basic dissimilarity of the two societies would be to propose differing, rather than identical commitments. The Czechoslovaks would resist this procedure, but it might be possible to secure its acceptance on the ground of other benefits offered in the overall proposal. In this case, we could suggest a Czechoslovak commitment that access of U.S. diplomatic officials to all Czechoslovak government officials, elected officials, members of the judiciary, and employees of state concerns, officials of the party and persons active in science, education, and culture would be provided within a fixed period after initial application; subsequent contacts with the same persons would not require notification. For our part, we could pledge ourselves to maintain the free access now enjoyed by Czecho-slovak officials. Non-compliance by Czechoslovak authorities could presumably lead to limitations on the activities of Czechoslovak diplomatic personnel in the U.S. imposed by the Department.
The rationale presented to the Czechoslovaks could emphasize the full access to all levels of American society enjoyed by Czechoslovak representatives and our desire to meet the authorized representatives of the present system of government (rather than attempting to seek out opposition elements) for the purpose of learning more fully about the country and providing a realistic picture to the U.S. government and the American people.
If a working arrangement on this point could be achieved, its importance for information-gathering and transmission of ideas could be great, not so much with the present small Embassy staff, but when measured against the perspective of work in the CSSR over a long period in the future with increased Embassy staffs and the addition of a consulate or consulates and of information offices or reading rooms. As a practical matter, it is desirable under present and foreseeable conditions to work through Czechoslovak authorities in making initial contacts. At present, Embassy officers can make a few such contacts deviously or aided by coincidence, but in general they do not have access to the men in authority in whom we are principally interested, nor are most Czechoslovaks willing to discuss matters of substance with Embassy personnel unless the contact has the approval of higher authority. In addition, working through the Foreign Ministry can provide some measure of protection against charges of espionage or illicit activity against U.S. personnel.
f. A normal exchange program of as wide dimensions and as long duration as possible; agreements for exchanges of movie films and television programs. In this connection, it is believed consideration might be given in the course of time to the possibility of unilateral invitations, possibly from private groups or foundations such as the Council on Foreign Relations, to selected Czechoslovak leaders to visit the United States. The political problems involved are clear; but the gain in giving top leaders a realistic picture of U.S. progress and capacities could also be great (undoubtedly the public reaction of leaders concerned would take the form of the account of his sojourn in New York given by President Novotny on his return from the UN General Assembly, but the private reaction is the goal). This subject is mentioned in the context of long-range efforts to affect the views of Czechoslovak leaders and not for negotiating purposes.)
g. A radio and jamming agreement. It is believed theoretically possible that the Czechoslovaks might formally agree to stop jamming if we made a commitment to the effect that no US-originated broadcast in Czech, Slovak, or German would contain any commentary whatever on the internal affairs of the CSSR (or even conceivably also on the internal affairs of neighboring communist countries). It is realized that this would mean a considerable sacrifice of content for U.S. broadcasts, particularly those of privately financed stations, but it is believed the long-range advantage of getting through coverage of American society and social thinking would greatly outweigh the disadvantages. A faint indication that it might be possible to gain agreement on this formulation is given by the fact that the Czechoslovak authorities now rarely jam broadcasts in English, French, and other West European languages.
h. Equitable treatment of American citizens. It would be most desirable from the point of view of the long-range development of Czechoslovak- American relations and in the direct interest of American citizens traveling in this area if some understanding could be reached on equitable and non-discriminatory treatment of private American citizens in Czechoslovakia. Again, the formulation for presentation to the Czechoslovaks would have to be worked out carefully. One theoretical possibility for further consideration, if U.S. practice permits, would be a mutual agreement for expulsion of persons whose sole offense consists of crossing the border without permission and where there is no evidence of intention to engage in illicit activity against the country concerned. This formulation has obvious loopholes, but would be an improvement over the present situation. A further theoretical possibility would be agreement that a U.S. official be one of the two friends of the accused permitted by Czechoslovak law when trials are held in camera, plus specific provision for formal notification to the Embassy of charges against American citizens at the time when they are brought and for consular access prior to trial.
i. If the course of presenting an overall outline to President Novotny were to be followed, the cases of Shaver and Zastera should be mentioned in this context. The problem of treatment of local Embassy employees might well be raised more or less formally in this context or that of the establishment of consulates (below).
2. Points of More Evenly-balanced Benefit
The following points would be of more evenly-balanced benefit for both sides only if they were an integral part of a package proposal providing for increased access for U.S. officials; otherwise their net benefit is very much on the Czechoslovak side.
j. Agreement on raising personnel ceilings at the two Embassies.
k. Agreement on establishment of consulates. It is understood the Czechoslovaks have asked for five. It might be equitable to grant them three in return for two U.S. consulates (Bratislava and the right to open a second, possibly in Brno, at a time to be later specified by the U.S.). For bargaining purposes, we might propose three U.S. consulates even though it is not probable, we would desire as many.
3. Points of Greater Benefit to the CSSR
l. We could state our willingness to participate in the Brno Fair and to allow the CSSR to participate in either a fixed, but generous number of U.S. fairs or on an unlimited basis in the context of the general settlement proposed.
m. MFN treatment. We might offer MFN treatment to Czechoslovakia as an integral part of the proposed overall agreement. It is believed that this action could be effectively justified to U.S. Congressional and public opinion in the context of the present proposal while it might not be possible to provide adequate justification in other circumstances.
n. Further adjustments in formulation could be made on the Czechoslovak- U.S. economic agreements. There are now several open questions of wording which might rather easily be resolved; it is conceivable that we might consider the entire package proposal worth dropping the link between the bondholder settlement and the New York trade office of the Czechoslovaks. If it were decided to advance a package proposal and the economic agreement had already progressed to the point of signature, it would not be necessary, though desirable, to hold it up for inclusion in a package proposal; other economic elements described may be of sufficient importance to secure serious consideration of the composite proposal. (For the sake of logical development of the theme, the possibility of limited PL 480 credit for the CSSR is mentioned as a theoretical possibility for the distant future in the event of favorable development of relations; it is not suggested that the idea be advanced at this time.)
o. The final and perhaps most important of the points which could be mentioned to gain serious Czechoslovak consideration of a package proposal or any general consideration of the possibilities of improvement in CSSR-US relations is some treatment of the desire of the Czechoslovak Government for acknowledgement and acceptance from the U.S. It is believed that to achieve the aims of this paper, some sort of statement on the subject would have to be made to the Czechoslovaks to provide the general context in which an American proposal would be advanced. There is a wide range of possibilities in the degree of formality and levels on which a statement could be made, in the lengths to which it could go, and the extent to which it would or would not be publicized. One possibility would be a verbal statement by the Ambassador to President Novotny when presenting an outline proposal to the effect that the US Government, while not agreeing with the basic tenets of the Czechoslovak Government, accepted it as a continuing fact of international life and wished to come to a more constructive pattern of mutual relations on that basis. This is in one sense an implied acceptance of the internal situation in the CSSR though not explicitly of the more important aspect of Soviet domination over the area, but under given and foreseeable conditions it is believed the present situation will have to be accepted to some degree as a condition of effective long-range efforts to change it.
It is considered that the proposal advanced above may have some chance of acceptance, but only if advanced in toto, without economic and other benefits it contains being conceded in separate negotiations in advance- -to grant economic concessions first and then to place one's hopes on a subsequent improvement of atmosphere to the benefit of attempts to negotiate singly on various aspects of the access question may be to take an even greater gamble than that here proposed. If the proposal were to be advanced and were accepted, and particularly if it could form a pattern for the activities of other important non-Communist countries in the CSSR (as well as possibly elsewhere in Eastern Europe), our capacity to induce changes in the CSSR over the long run would be greatly increased.
[End of Section 6]