MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE

SPEECH BY V. M. MOLOTOV

Member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. and Foreign Minister of the U.S.S.R. at the 20th CONGRESS of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union February 18, 1956

Soviet News Booklet No.6

Member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U. and Foreign Minister of the U.S.S.R. at the 20th CONGRESS of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

18 February

Comrades, a broad and vivid picture of the events in which we have taken part since the 19th Congress has been drawn by Comrade N. S. Khrushchov, in the report of the central committee. The report generalises the experience of our party’s activities in the present period, and it gives a profound Marxist-Leninist analysis of the international situation today and formulates the new principal tasks confronting our party and the Soviet people.

Our people have followed a glorious path. They built socialist society in the main before the war and are now effecting the gradual transition from socialism to communism. They encountered no few difficulties along this path, and exceptional exertion of effort, and at times immense sacrifices, especially during the war, were needed to overcome them.

We also know that we still have big unsolved problems. But our country is marching forward with a firm step, competently carrying out, under the leadership of the Communist Party, the new and ever-more complicated tasks on its road to communism.

The Soviet people have successfully fulfilled the Fifth Five-Year Plan, considerably exceeding its important targets for economic advancement. Today new sweeping tasks of the Sixth Five-Year Plan have been put on the order of the day, and all of us are confident that they will be well accomplished.

The alliance of the workers and peasants created by our Leninist party is the well-spring of the strength and vitality of our great state. In our times the mighty and unbreakable alliance of the working class and the collective-farm peasantry is the basis of the remarkable moral and political unity of our socialist society, the basis of the friendship and brotherhood of the peoples of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Since the 19th Congress our party has done much to fortify still more the alliance of the working class and the collective-farm peasantry. The attention of the party was rightly focused on the advance of agriculture. This was imperative, in so far as agriculture obviously lagged behind the general development of the national economy, the rapid expansion of industry.

To ensure the early satisfaction of the increasing requirements of the population in foodstuffs and of the food and the light industries in agricultural raw material, the party and the Soviet government have applied a number of new important measures. Among them, first of all, are: greater material incentives to collective farms and their members, machine and tractor stations and state farms to increase agricultural production, with a corresponding adjustment of prices on these products; extensive work to increase the mechanisation of agriculture and expand the production of mineral fertilisers; measures for the organisational consolidation of collec­tive farms, machine and tractor stations and state farms, and especially the sending of new highly qualified personnel for leading work in the collective farms, and also agronomists, mechanics etc.; the organisational consolidation of party organisations in the countryside. Of special importance was the successful implementation of the bold plan for cultivating virgin and long­fallow lands, which has increased the sown area by 33 million hectares,1 chiefly under grain. The question of a decisive expansion in the planting of maize, which is of exceptionally great importance for the rapid development of livestock farming, was raised in a new way. These and many other measures have opened up new prospects for the progress of our agriculture and they are meeting with the full support of the collective-farm peasantry.

It should be noted that the party and the Soviet government are paying particular attention to raising the living standards of the collective-farm peasantry. In conformity with the tasks of building communism, the state plans envisage that living standards in the countryside should come closer and closer to those in the town. During the Fifth Five- Year Plan real incomes of the collective farmers increased by 50 per cent and real wages of factory, office and other workers by 39 per cent. The Sixth Five- Year Plan calls for a further rise in the incomes of the collective farmers of not less than 40 per cent on the average, and of real wages of factory, office and other workers of approximately 30 per cent on the average. This political line of the party conforms to the interests of the further consolidation of the alliance of the workers and peasants and will strengthen our state still more.

Our party has always worked for the utmost expansion and progress of industry and transport. In so doing the party has invariably laid emphasis on the priority development of heavy industry, since upon it depends the advancement of agriculture and other branches of the national economy, the strengthening of the defences of our socialist motherland and the further improvement of the people’s wellbeing.

During the past period the party has concentrated its efforts on the technical advance of industry. It has been established that we have many unutilised potentialities for raising labour productivity and increasing industrial output. For this it is necessary first of all that our industry pro­duce the required quantities of really up-to-date and greatly improved equipment, that old plant be replaced in time by new. All this is also connected with the utmost improvement in the organisation of production. Many shortcomings in this respect have been brought to light at the plenary meeting of the central committee and at a number of conferences with the participation of industrial executives in which scientific and technical per­sonnel have taken an ever-greater part; the ways have been outlined there for securing new, greater successes in industry. The work done under the guidance of the central committee should give a big impetus to the



advance of industry and construction.

It is also necessary to secure the smooth operation of industrial establishments, without which it is impossible to eliminate many losses and to reinforce accordingly the application of the principles of planning in industry.

We know from Comrade Khrushchov’s report that our industrial estab­lishments and offices will be transferred to a seven-hour day during the Sixth Five-Year Plan. This and the further considerable rise in real wages of factory, office and other workers, and a number of other measures reflect the special concern which our party has always shown for improving the life of the working people.

The party is openly and boldly laying bare big shortcomings in all spheres of the economy and culture. It is working to improve the state apparatus in every way and to prune it at the same time, and also to ensure the strictest observance of the law. In all these activities the party relies on the support and energetic participation of the workers, collective farmers and intellectuals.

 

1. Fundamental Changes in the International Situation and the Possibility of Preventing New Wars

 

The Second World War was a supreme test of the Soviet socialist system of society and state. And it proved that the socialist state, relying on the selfless support of the people, possesses an inexhaustible well-spring of spiritual and material forces.

Although the Soviet Union was among the states which bore the main brunt of the Second World War, in a short time after the war it has again emerged on the highroad of rapid economic and cultural development. The people’s democracies, which are building socialism, are also success­fully coping with their tasks.

Relations between the U.S.S.R., the Chinese People’s Republic and the other socialist countries are developing on the solid foundation of friendship­ and unity of basic aims. The steady forward movement of the socialist countries is assured by the tried and tested leadership of the Communist and Workers’ Parties. Of all recent developments we cannot but single out the successes in building socialism in China, which have attained a vast scale, really worthy of the great Chinese people. All this has made it possible to establish the mighty camp of countries of peace, democracy and socialism.

The establishment of this camp is of exceptionally great international significance. Demonstrating a diversity of ways in building socialism, the experience of the states in this camp is extending to an unprecedented degree the potentialities of socialism and the scope of its influence. This camp is at the same time a reliable mainstay of the working class and air working people in the capitalist countries in their struggle for their rights and a better life. The people of the colonies and dependent countries know that the might and further strengthening of this camp are of immense: Importance for winning and consolidating their freedom and national independence.

Today, together with the capitalist world system, there also exists a socialist world system. History has put on the order of the day the question of peaceful co-existence between these systems. Naturally, there must be regard for the fact that differences and disputes between them are inevitable. Hence it is necessary to give a clear-cut answer to the question as to how existing disputed issues and those arising in the course of events should be settled.

To this end there are only two ways: the way of negotiation and peaceful settlement of differences or the way of war. There is no other course. The course of war is resolutely rejected by the Soviet Union and all the other socialist countries. Our aim is to have the supporters of the opposite system, too, recognise the principle of peaceful co-existence of the two systems, and we shall spare no effort to settle, with the help of negotiation, urgent inter­national problems, and problems that may arise, our object being to promote the maintenance and consolidation of peace and the security of the nations.

It should be stressed in this connection that Comrade Khrushchov’s report raised in a timely manner a number of fundamental questions of the -present international situation, specifically such an important problem as the possibility of preventing war in the present era. Many millions of people have themselves tasted the horrors of two world wars and know very well their sanguinary results, the incalculable calamities and toll of human life. As a result of the two world wars more than 80 million people were killed or maimed. In the present conditions another world war would be immeasurably more devastating and dangerous. There can be only one conclusion. We must do everything in the interests of all mankind to uphold peace, not missing any opportunity for this, explaining and exposing the intrigues directed against peace, uniting and mustering the people against the aggressive forces of imperialism, for peace, friendship and co-operation among the nations.

We all remember Lenin’s well-known thesis that as long as imperialism exists wars are inevitable. Where imperialism dominates, states cannot ‘resolve their contradictions otherwise than by force, that is, ultimately through war.

Marxism-Leninism teaches us that, on the one hand under imperialism there exists the economic foundation of wars, and that, on the other hand, imperialism itself engenders the social forces which strive to put an end to imperialist wars and imperialism itself. Such social forces become in certain conditions, sufficient and able to prevent war, to put an end to imperialist wars.

Therefore statements about the fatal inevitability of war are incorrect.

Of course, in the present conditions, too, in so far as imperialism exists, there is the danger of another world war, not to speak of other military conflicts.

But it is one thing when the war danger exists and there are no forces, or at least there are no really big forces, to resist this danger. And it is another thing when such forces-and not small ones at that-come into being, when the emergence of these forces creates a real possibility of pre­venting war.

It is impossible, of course, not to reckon with the fact that the most aggressive elements of imperialism are harbouring plans designed to turn back the course of history. Such aspirations have been expressed in the “containing” plans, and particularly in the “liberation” plans, which are permeated with the spirit of aggression against the socialist countries. But to make such plans, such fantastic plans, for the forcible restoration of capitalism in the socialist countries, is one thing, while the possibility of carrying them out in the present conditions is an entirely different thing, because the unreality of such plans has been splendidly proved by the entire history and development of the U.S.S.R.

The deep-going changes in the international situation since the First World War, and particularly since the Second World War, are evident to all. Every sensible person now sees how the correlation of class, political forces has changed, to what extent the positions of imperialism have been weakened and to what extent the positions of socialism, and at the same time of the many other forces opposed to war, have been strengthened. All this makes it possible to conclude that as regards the question of whether war is to be or not to be, an entirely different situation prevails now from that which prevailed before the last world war and, all the more so, before the war of 1914-18.

In the past, in the period preceding the First World War, the socialist parties of the working class put forward the task of preventing war. The slogan of “war on war” already at that time penetrated deep into the masses of the people and gripped the minds of wide sections of the working class in many countries. But at the decisive moment, when the first imperialist world war was let loose, the international proletariat was politically weakened and disorganised by the treachery of the leaders of the parties of the Second International. Only our Bolshevik, Leninist party adhered to the end to the position of irreconcilable enemies of imperialism and imperialist wars and only some socialists in other countries remained loyal to proletarian internationalism. It is also a matter of record that this position of our party played an exceptionally great part, not only in the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution, but also in expediting the end of the First World War.

In the period preceding the Second World War, the Soviet Union con­sistently upheld the interests of peace and urged other states to unite to resist the unleashing of another world war. Although German fascism and its aggressive allies were preparing the Second World War before the eyes of the whole world, other states did not support the proposals of the Soviet Union for preventing war. They even tried to direct the forces of German fascism against the Soviet Union and made, as is known, plans for “having someone else pull the chestnuts out of the fire for them”.

The forces of the Soviet Union, the only socialist state at that time, and peaceloving people in other countries sympathising with it, were at that time insufficient to foil the war plans of the most aggressive imperialist countries. That was the situation in which the Second World War broke out. The results of that war demonstrated how right Lenin was when he wrote, as far back as the middle of 1915:

“The experiences of the war, like the experiences of every crisis in history, of every great calamity and every sudden turn in human life, stun and break some people, but they enlighten and steel others; and, on the whole, taking the history of the whole world, the number and strength of the latter, except in individual cases of the decline and fall of this or that state, have proved to be greater than that of the former” (Works, Russian Edition, Vol. 21, pp. 191-192).

The Second World War, to a greater extent than the first, enlightened and steeled many millions of people. In the course of the Second World War and after it, new social and political forces have come into being, have arisen and united in a number of countries, and their emergence in the historical arena has radically changed the international political situation. The war, which demanded of the peoples an incredible exertion of effort, at the same time brought about tremendous changes in political life, especially in the countries of Europe and Asia.

There now exist two world camps of states with profoundly different social and political systems. A socialist world camp, embracing more than 900 million people in Europe and Asia, or over one-third of the population of the globe, has grown up alongside the imperialist world camp. Whereas the decisive role in the imperialist camp of countries continues to be held by classes and groups which are striving to retain their dominant and privileged position, even if this involves the precipitation of another war, in the countries of the socialist camp we see a totally different situation.

While the most aggressive circles in certain imperialist countries are now busy preparing another war, the countries of the socialist camp see their chief aim to be the preservation and consolidation of peace, organisation of the struggle for peace, friendship and co-operation among nations. The Soviet Union, the Chinese People’s Republic, and the other people’s demo­cracies thus express the deepest, most cherished, and truly vital interests of the peoples not only of their own countries but of all other peoples, that is, of the real masses of the people.

On the question of peace, the interests of all peoples, regardless of the social and political systems in the different countries, merge with the interests of the countries of the socialist camp, which are selflessly upholding the cause of universal peace, friendship and co-operation among nations.

We must not underestimate the danger of war, lull ourselves by the illusion that peace and a tranquil life are guaranteed us under all circumstances. We must be ever vigilant and keep a close eye on the aggressive plans of the imperialists. We must not fall prey to the complacent thought that fine speeches and peaceable programmes can influence the imperialists. All this has significance only if, at the same time, we pursue a correct home and foreign policy; if the working people in each of the socialist states become an ever more closely knit family; if the peoples of these states strengthen their fraternal alliance of friendship and mutual assistance; if approval of our policy of peace and international co-operation continues to grow among the peoples of other countries; if we devote still more atten­tion to improving the wellbeing of the peoples and to all the various conditions which effectively safeguard the security of the socialist states.

Nor must we allow an underestimation of our forces, of our numerous possibilities in upholding and ensuring peace. Underestimation of this would prevent us from utilising in the interests of maintaining and con­solidating peace all the forces which have emerged, and are steadily growing, in all areas of the globe since the Second World War. On the other hand, a proper understanding of the new postwar situation, and recognition of the tremendous growth of the material and spiritual forces of the peoples which are striving to avert another war and uphold peace, imposes great responsibility on us in seeing to it that these forces are really prepared and organised, strengthened and developed, in the interests of peace, friendship and co-operation among nations, in the interests of averting another war. The camp of the forces hostile to socialism also now knows well that we possess countless material resources and technical achievements -including resources and achievements in the sphere of the latest types of the most powerful and diverse armaments- to stand up for ourselves properly if the need should arise. We presume that our opponents have given up many illusions on this score which they held only recently. We must concern ourselves with becoming still stronger, more organised and more powerful as regards material and technical forces, including all the necessary and most up-to-date means of safeguarding security and rebuffing aggression. We possess these potentialities in no less degree than the other camp. Our material resources, latest technical achievements, colossal manpower resources and the firmer friendship among our peoples, their moral and political unity, give us complete confidence in the invincibility of the socialist camp.

This has now become so obvious that it should influence the circles which still nurture plans of a war to establish their domination over the world, plans that have lost all real meaning in the present international conditions and are dangerous above all for those who might try to unleash. another world war. Moreover, there are not a few people among the business circles in the capitalist countries to whom gambles and irresponsibility in politics are alien and who prefer to expand practical economic relations between countries, regardless of differences in their social systems, for which there are such broad opportunities.

We cannot, at the same time, forget that the decisive role in the historical periods of trial belongs to the people, to their unity and their confidence in the righteousness of their cause. Our people gave a particularly convincing demonstration of this in the heroic years of the Civil War and the Great Patriotic War, when the very existence of the Soviet State was at stake and when our people not only upheld their socialist homeland but ensured momentous achievements in the further growth of the forces of socialism.

We can now speak with full justification of the steadily growing moral and political unity of the peoples of the entire socialist camp. They are united, their friendship is growing stronger and deeper, turning into close and all-round fraternal co-operation between sovereign and independent countries. This greatly increases the forces and potentialities of each of these countries. Any aggressor who would dare to attack one or another socialist state cannot fail to take all this into account.

In the matter of upholding peace, an international situation has arisen of which we could only have dreamed ten or fifteen years ago.

The point is not only that the days have gone when the U.S.S.R. was the only socialist country, in hostile capitalist encirclement, and that now a powerful bulwark of peace -the socialist camp of European and Asian countries- has come into being. In the matter of upholding peace we have a growing number of allies outside this camp as well.

Under the present conditions the peoples who have united under the banner of socialism are not the only ones who champion the cause of peace. There are not a few other states, particularly among those who only yester­day were completely dependent on imperialism and only now have broken out on to an independent road of national life, who are today openly against the plans of aggression. The peoples and governments of these countries understand that the aggressive circles’ policy of war preparations and building up of military blocs constitutes a danger to the independence they have won.

The world-historical significance of the disintegration now taking place in the colonial system should be mentioned in this connection. The formation of independent states in Asia and Africa contributes to the strengthening of peace and international co-operation. It will be sufficient to recall the five principles of peace which were proclaimed by India, jointly with the Chinese people’s Republic, in support of the freedom, independence and peaceful co-existence of nations, and which subsequently have met with such a broad and active response throughout the world. Mention should made here of the Bandung Conference of twenty-nine Asian and African countries, a conference which showed the extent to which the role of the Asian and African peoples who have thrown off the colonial yoke -although not yet completely everywhere- has grown in international affairs.

The developing anti-colonial movement has encompassed the broadest masses of the people of Asia, and is spreading more and more in Africa as well. These masses are striving to improve their position and make maximum use of the favourable opportunities for this which they have received for the first time. They do not want another war, and, moreover, they are imbued with a spirit of struggle against imperialism and imperialist war. Everyone knows that a broad anti-war movement of the masses of the movement of the peace supporters, has developed in the capitalist countries too. Not only all the class-conscious workers and sizable sections of bourgeois origin are taking part in this movement. Merging with the movement of the peace supporters are the voices of many other people who, although they are not taking part in this movement, recognise the immeasurable dangers of another world war.

Never before have aggressors been confronted by such big difficulties in implementing their plans, for now they can no longer count on the submissiveness and obedience of the peoples while they pursue their policy. But this should not lead to complacency or to counting on things taking their own course.

We know what a great variety of means the imperialists are still employing to continue the arms drive and intensify war hysteria, so as to hatch new plans for aggressive war in that atmosphere. We know how widely the bourgeois press, radio, cinema, and all other propaganda media are being utilised for that purpose. We must not underestimate all this, so that the resistance and rebuff offered by the peoples to any new plans for the preparation of war should not be weakened, but, on the contrary, grow stronger in every way. We must do much more than we have done hitherto to promote increasing activity and unity of the progressive social forces and broad ­masses in all countries in preventing another war.

We are far from asserting that everything necessary to make another war impossible is now being done. We are still often enslaved by customary and stereotyped ideas having their origin in the past, before the Second World War, and which now hinder the development of new, broader, and more active forms of combating war. We still often suffer from an under-estimation of the new possibilities that have opened up before us in the post war period. This shortcoming has also been displayed in the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the central committee of our party has pointed it out in good time. We must put an end to this, put an end to the underestimation of our immense potentialities in safeguarding peace and the security of the peoples, potentialities based on the emergence and uninterrupted growth of the forces of the socialist world camp, the unprecedented upsurge in the struggle of the colonial and dependent peoples for liberation, the militant working class movement in the capitalist countries and international working-class solidarity, the broad democratic movement of the peace supporters, the activity of the democratic organisations of women and youth, and other forms of the mass struggle in defence of peace and against war.

In the sphere of foreign policy our party is guided by the need to take strict account of the concrete conditions, by the need to understand the given situation and the prospects of historical development. Lenin’s combination of principle and flexibility in pursuing a course of foreign policy-that is what assures our party success in the solution of international tasks.

Our striving to uphold peace and prevent another world war rests on the invincibility of the community of socialist countries and on the steadily growing support of those non-socialist countries which come out against military blocs-the formation of which is contrary to the interests of peace -and uphold the principles of peaceful co-existence of states, regardless of differences in social and political systems. Everyone knows how very important for the strengthening of peace is the stand taken by such countries as India, Burma, Indonesia, Egypt and others.

In our struggle to disrupt the plans of the advocates of war, we must take account, in the Leninist way, of the fact that economic and political contradictions between the participants in the various aggressive blocs exist and are growing, contradictions which are inevitable in conditions when the strongest members of these blocs are endeavouring to strengthen their imperialist positions at the expense of their partners. These contradictions weaken the aggressive forces and increase the possibility of upholding peace.

The interests of peace and of the struggle against the danger of another war require that both the Communist and the Socialist Parties focus their attention on establishing the unity of the working class. The working class cannot fail to draw a lesson from the fact that aggressive forces have already twice taken advantage of the lack of unity in its ranks in order to prepare and precipitate world wars. When it is a matter of such a vital question as freeing the peoples from the threat of another war, this lack of unity cannot be justified by the fact that differences exist between the Com­munists and Socialists in their understanding of ways and means of con­ducting the struggle for socialism. International proletarian solidarity will become an insuperable barrier to the forces of war if the working class ensures the unity of its ranks. There will be no war if the working class really unites its forces and displays to the full its determination to uphold peace.


2. The Soviet Union’s Struggle for Peace and International Security


After the detailed analysis of the international situation made in Comrade Khrushchov’s report, there is no need to dwell on current events and the numerous measures in which the peaceful initiative of the Soviet government has found expression during the past period. One need only stress the enormous international importance of individual events in the past year and our general foreign policy line of easing international tension.

We have in mind here the resumption of friendly relations with the fraternal peoples of Yugoslavia, relations which are now developing better and better, not only in the interests of our two countries, but also in the interests of strengthening peace and international security. The abnormal situation which had prevailed in the relations between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia for several years had simply brought grist to the mill of the enemies of peace.

We have in mind also the signing of the treaty with Austria and the agreement in which Austria undertakes to pursue a policy of perpetual neutrality, with which even those countries who are so obstinately forming more and more aggressive military blocs in Europe and in other parts of the world, had to agree. The establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S.S.R. and the German Federal Republic, together with the further development of friendly relations between the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic, also help to strengthen peace in Europe. The pro­posal made by the Soviet Union for a system of collective security in Europe met with a wide response. The Soviet government wholeheartedly supports the proposals of the Chinese People’s Republic for collective security in Asia. The Soviet Union is continuing its consistent struggle to secure a reduction of armaments and prohibition of atomic weapons.

A special place is held by the Geneva meeting of the four heads of govern­ment in July last year. This meeting strikingly demonstrated the real possi­bilities for easing international tension, and for improving the relations of the U.S.S.R. with the chief powers of the other camp. The subsequent course of events, however, revealed that there are still not a few obstacles to improving relations with these countries, raised by the not very far-sighted supporters of the “policy of strength”, which in relation to the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries is doomed to failure.

It is common knowledge that above all certain circles in the United States are the inspirers of a series of aggressive military blocs in Europe and America, in South-East Asia and in the Middle East, and also in a whole number of other cases. Everybody knows the special role in this respect of the North Atlantic pact military combination, headed by the United States and Great Britain. It is under the intensified pressure brought to bear by certain circles in the United States that the governments of a whole number of member countries of the North Atlantic bloc and other aggressive blocs are stepping up the arms drive and swelling military budgets, putting on the tax screw and artificially fomenting war hysteria among the population, and circulating all over the world slanders about the aggressiveness of the Soviet Union, the Chinese People’s Republic and the people’s democracies.

Since the collapse of Hitlerism and the rise of the peaceloving German Democratic Republic there is not at the moment on the European continent an aggressive state, which, in the given conditions, would undertake to launch a new world war by attacking the Soviet Union or any of the people’s democracies. The Europe of today is not the Europe of pre-war years, when Hitler Germany, step by step, unleashed the Second World War. We cannot, however, ignore the plans for remilitarising Western Germany, which has already been incorporated into such aggressive military combinations as the North Atlantic bloc and the Western European Union. Undoubtedly the remilitarisation of Western Germany aggravates the contradictions and the possibilities of conflicts, including those between the imperialist countries themselves.

New times have come to the East, too. Since the defeat of militarist Japan and the rise of the Chinese People’s Republic, which has fully demon­strated its ability to uphold its national interest and which is steadfastly pursuing a policy of peace, there is not at the moment in Asia an aggressive power which would dare to unleash a third world war. Today, if we omit South Korea, the danger of aggression in Asia remains, chiefly, in connec­tion with the fact that Taiwan has been transformed into an American military base. There would be no need for this base were it not for the plans of aggression in relation to great China.

The facts testify that there are not a few obstacles in the way of further lessening the tension in international relations. However, in spite of the existing obstacles, and also those which arise again and again, the Soviet Union has expressed and continues to express its willingness further to improve its relations with other countries.

We believe that all countries, and the great powers in the first place, in spite of their differences, should be united by the common interest of preserving peace.

Everybody realises the degree to which maintenance of universal peace depends on a radical improvement in the relations between the Soviet Union and the United States. We believe that, like the Soviet people, the American people, and also the peoples of other countries are interested in this. Guided by these considerations, the Soviet government, in the messages addressed by Comrade N. A. Bulganin to President Eisenhower of the United States, proposed the conclusion of a Soviet-American treaty of friendship and co-operation. The attitude of the United States government to this Soviet proposal testifies to the strong positions in the United States of the supporters of those circles which want to solve disputed questions, not by way of negotiation, but through war, and to the fact that they exert a certain influence on the President and the government. But surely the interests of the American people, in exactly the same way as the interests of other peoples, call for greater concern for peace. In these conditions it is to be hoped that our efforts, aimed at improving Soviet-American relations, will meet with proper understanding in the United States.

In proposing to the United States a treaty of friendship and co-operation, the Soviet government has again demonstrated its sincere striving for friendly Soviet-American co-operation in favour of peace and universal security. This corresponds to the spirit and aims of the United Nations Organisation, which seeks to extend co-operation between all countries.

Unchanged, too, is our striving to improve relations with Great Britain. The forthcoming visit to Britain of the leaders of our country provides new opportunities for achieving better understanding and for joint efforts further to ease international tension. The Soviet Union seeks to establish friendly relations with France, whose present government has expressed a definite desire for an improvement in Franco-Soviet relations. And since the government of France has displayed a special interest in disarmament, we will strive jointly with France for a definite advance in solving this problem The stronger position of the democratic forces as a result of the recent general election, will, it is to be hoped, contribute to this.

Our country has always been for friendly relations with all countries-­big and small. In particular, it would like to have such relations with Turkey and Iran, with Pakistan and Japan. Good relations between these countries and the Soviet Union cannot but correspond to their vital interests.

In order to widen the front of struggle for peace as much as possible, our party and the Soviet government have launched this struggle under the banner of reducing international tension. This policy, the policy of easing tension in international relations, is a specific expression of the struggle for peace in present conditions. The policy of securing a let-up in international tension is the most advantageous and flexible method of fighting for peace and, in the given conditions, opens up the widest possibilities for drawing into this struggle different social strata, irrespective of their political views. This policy extends the struggle for peace beyond its usual boundaries, embracing the sphere of economic and cultural interests, and the relations not only between state and public bodies, but also between private individuals.

A contribution to lessening international tension can be made not only by diplomats and politicians, but also by economic and cultural leaders, by official representatives of the countries and by all who are capable of developing friendly relations and co-operation between the countries in one sphere or another of state, public and personal activity. It is not accidental that the aggressive circles are expending so much effort in the attempt to prevent the development of trade relations between the. countries. And, of course, it is not accidental that in many countries so many obstacles are raised against developing ordinary scientific, technical and cultural contacts.

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Comrades, our party and the Soviet government are always on guard for the interests of peace. The foreign policy of our country is carried out under the leadership of the Communist Party and its central committee. And it is to this that we are indebted above all for the success in strengthening the international position of the Soviet Union and in defending world peace.

Our big successes in the internal life of the country and our important achievements in the sphere of foreign policy are bound up with the fact that since the 19th Congress the central committee has adhered to the Leninist principle of collective leadership. Supported by the entire party, the central committee has taken a firm stand against the cult of the individual, which is alien to Marxism-Leninism, and, which played such a negative role over a certain period. One can express the certainty that the present congress will wholeheartedly agree with this principle. With the aim of easing international tension and strengthening the position of the Soviet State, the leadership of the party have displayed truly bold initiative and have undertaken a number of important measures. Never before, perhaps, have the central committee of our party and its presidium taken such an active part. in foreign policy matters as in the recent period. All of us remember such facts as the visit of the government delegation to Yugoslavia, headed by Comrades Khrushchov, Bulganin and Mikoyan, which resulted in a radical turn in Soviet-Yugoslav relations; the visit of Comrades Bulganin and Khrushchov to India, Burma and Afghanistan, which was marked by important successes in developing friendly relations between the U.S.S.R. and these countries, their govern­ments and their peoples. We should recall also the talks in Moscow with the German Federal Republic, and afterwards with the German Democratic Republic, the talks which took place last autumn with Finland, Norway and others. There have been more frequent meetings of Soviet leaders with statesmen other countries, with foreign delegations and representatives of the press. All this testifies to the activity in the recent period of leading Soviet and Party figures in the sphere of foreign policy. And precisely because of this we have had those favourable results which have contributed to a certain easing of international tension and which have paved the way for definite possibilities of further success in this respect.

The party and the Soviet government have recorded definite success in safeguarding peace. At bedrock of this success lies the steady growth of the material and spiritual forces of our people and of the entire socialist camp.

This means that every Soviet person and every citizen of the countries of the socialist camp, by his successful labour and his achievements in industry and on collective farms, not only in the big things, but also in the small ones, makes his contribution to strengthening his state and the entire socialist camp and, at the same time, to the cause of maintaining and strengthening peace and international security. When we record a rise in labour productivity in a factory, or further success in raising crop yields and the productivity of livestock farming on a collective or state farm, we have every right to be proud of these successes in building communism. These successes are, at the same time, a fundamental strengthening of the forces and international positions of the entire socialist camp and they thereby create the decisive conditions to ensure a peaceful and tranquil life for the peoples.

Our successes in economic and cultural construction inspire the peoples of the whole world; they find satisfaction in them, and become assured that for them, too, there is a reliable road, already travelled by millions of people, leading to a new happy life. In all countries of the world the ranks of our friends and allies are growing, people who, just as we Communists, want to ensure peace, to put an end to imperialist wars, and who are becoming more and more convinced that to prevent another war much now depends on the consciousness and activity of the peoples.

Together with the other countries of the socialist camp the Soviet Union stands in the front line of the struggle of peace and the victory of com­munism. Our ranks are united and are confident of final victory as never before!

The banner under which we have been victorious, and will continue to be victorious is the banner of Marxism-Leninism. Under this banner we are advancing, confident of fresh success, of the triumph of communism.

Our great construction and our consistent struggle for peace correspond to the interests of all peoples, of all mankind!

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1 About 81 ½ million acres