Common European policy towards the East
| Doc. 487
| 15 April 1956
- Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy
- Rapporteur :
- Mr Lodovico BENVENUTI,
1. This is a preliminary report. The Committee has approved its structure, and the broad outlines of the policy advocated, together with the presentation of the arguments to be discussed. It has also authorised the Rapporteur to present it as an introduction to the debate at the plenary meeting of the Assembly.Since the Committee did not vote on this Report, each member of the Committee does not necessarily subscribe to all the views it contains. The Assembly moreover, will not, be called on to approve the terms of a Resolution before its October session. This practice, which has been followed in the past by the Assembly, enables the Report to be something more than an information document, however exhaustive, without, nevertheless, binding the Committee before the Debate in the Assembly has enabled all the arguments put forward to be fully, discussed.
The two debates on foreign policy in 1955 were chiefly concerned with the three items on the Agenda of the two major East-West Conferences at Geneva :
2.1 the establishment of a European security system and German reunification;
2.2 disarmament; and
2.3 economic and cultural contacts between East and West. Following on these conferences, Soviet policy and diplomacy were concentrated on other regions, but in the opinion of the Committee on General Affairs all Soviet political activity should be studied, wherever it occurs, in the general context of East-West relations. Certainly the U. S. S. R., for its part, considers every regional problem in relation to the world conflict. The West must do likewise.
For this reason the Committee has considered it necessary to undertake a wider and more detailed study — and to analyse the various particular problems against the backgroundof the question as a whole. These problems stem from certain events that have occurred since the last debate in the Assembly :
3.1 the Geneva Conference in October and November,1955 and after;
3.2 the diplomatic and economic offensive by the U. S. S. R. in South-East Asia and the Middle East;
3.3 the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and its practical and ideological significance.
4. The Committee's attempt to place all the problems affecting East-West relations in a general framework in no way implies —and the Committee has strongly emphasised this point — any slackening of its interest in existing disputes in Europe and, in particular, the problemof German reunification. The Committee wishes from the very outset to stress the paramount importance of this objective.
1.1 PART I- Analysis of events
1.1.1 CHAPTER I - The Geneva Conference and after
At Geneva the second Four-Power Conference at Foreign Ministers' level (October-November, 1955), ended in complete failure as far as the three points on the Agenda were concerned Note
.(a) European security and German reunification
The Western Powers maintained :
6.1 that N. A. T. 0. and W. E. U. arc purely defensive organisations ;
6.2 that, so far from constituting a threat to peace, they contribute to ensuring not only the security of the countries that are members of these Organisations, but of all States;
6.3 that this assurance is due to the various limitations and restrictions on members of W. E. U., as well as the restrictions on individual action which the NATO system imposes on its members;
that, in the event of a reunified Germany's choosing to become a member of these Organisations, the restrictions and controls established by them would increase rather than weaken the security of the Soviet Union.In response to the anxiety shown by the Soviet Union for its security, the Western Powers, nevertheless, expressed their readiness to " take further steps to meet the concern expressed by the Soviet Government "Note
. To this end, they proposed the conclusion of a treaty on security at the same time as the conclusion of an agreement on the reunification of Germany. Such a treaty would include :
6.4.1 a renunciation of the use of force ;
6.4.2 the undertaking to withdraw assistance from any aggressor;
6.4.3 the creation of a " zone of reduced tension " in which forces and armaments would be limited ;
6.4.4 an obligation to take action against any aggression (under which the United States — a certain perplexity on the other side of the Atlantic is understandable here —• would, if need be, be required to defend the U. S. S. R. against an attack).Certain of these guarantees might even become effective before Germany made its free choice, simply in exchange for the Soviet agreement on free elections.
7. In seeking to meet the Soviet point of view the Western Powers took into account the link between the reunification of Germany and the establishment of a security system. This attitude would seem to conform exactly to the terms of the Directive drawn up along these lines at the request of the Soviet Union at the Conference in July.
Despite the Western concessions at the October Conference to the Soviet point of view, the Soviet attitude constituted a definite setp backwards. The U. S. S. R. refused to guarantee the reunification of Germany by " free elections," although it had previously pledged itself to do so under the terms of the July Directive, issued after the principle had been accepted that a link existed between reunification and the establishment of a security system. Indeed, the Russians did not even take this link into consideration.On the other hand, they did their utmost to induce the Western Powers to accept a series of measures designed to consolidate the status quo in Germany and Europe — a general collective security treaty in Europe, in which both parts of Germany would participate; renunciation of the use of force; a guarantee of non — aggression — and, consequently, to bring-about a weakening of the Western defence organization (standstill on rearmament in Western Europe). In order to secure these undertakings from the West the U. S. S. R. tried to isolate the problem of security by making the terms and conditions of German reunification a matter not for the four Powers, but for the two " sovereign States of Germany " to work out between themselves. This presupposes recognition of the Pankow Government, which is not representative, as it was not freely elected. At the same time, the recognition of such a totalitarian Government would be incompatible with the Western demand for free elections in the whole of Germany. The member countries of N. A. T. 0. stated in the Paris Agreements that " they consider the Government of the Federal Republic as the only German Government freely and legitimately constituted and therefore entitled to speak for Germany as the representative of the German people in international affairsNote
".The Western Powers rejected all attempts to separate the two problems and stood firm on the position they had taken up. If the status quo were maintained in Germany and in Europe there was, in their view, no justification for new and special guarantees of security.
Eastern Germany continued to be considered by the U. S. S. R. as a bridgehead from which it hoped later to win over the whole of Germany. Once a unified Germany had come within its orbit, the rest of Europe would be unable to put up any resistance to the U. S. S. R. To make this easier, the Soviet Union stated that it was not opposed in principle to the reunification of Germany, but expected guarantees from the Western Powers in exchange for an agreement. The Western Powers, who have recognised the Federal Republic of Germany as a sovereign State and firmly support the German desire for reunification, merely insist on the inalienable right of every nation to achieve national unity and manage its own affairs. This is a legitimate right which should not be subject to bargaining. Furthermore, the Western Powers are only asking for the execution of the undertakings expressed in the Potsdam Agreement Note
, just as their insistence on free elections in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe is based on the Yalta Agreement. Nevertheless, the Western Powers have announced their readiness to satisfy the Soviet Union's concern for its security. But it must be said that the price demanded in exchange for reunification,as well as for the conclusion of an agreement on disarmament, will, in any case, result in the unilateral weakening of the West, politically and militarily.
10. From a political point of view, the all-German Council (with authority over the country as a whole), as proposed by the Soviet Union, would be composed of representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic on an equal footing, even though the population of the former is more than twice that of the latter and its representatives have been freely elected, whereas those of Eastern Germany are to all intents and purposes nominees of the Executive of the single Soviet-style party. To admit them on a basis of equality with those of the Federal Republic would be tantamount to recognising the dictatorship of a single party, contrary to the Yalta and Potsdam Agreements. Under such circumstances, how can one speak of reciprocal concessions for the purpose of reunification? From the military point of view, the U. S. S. R. demands the dissolution of N. A. T. 0. and W. E. U., after a given period, in exchange for that of the Warsaw Treaty Organization. N. A. T. 0. represents the Western reaction, a very belated reaction, against the enforced Sovietisation of Eastern Europe, a state of affairs to which the Warsaw Pact has merely given a formal confirmation. As long as the present situation continues in Eastern Europe, whether it is covered by a treaty or not, for the West to abandon N. A. T. 0. would be suicidal. N. A. T. 0. is the permanent military peacetime organization for collective security guaranteed under the North Atlantic Treaty. This organisation will become unnecessary only when the last Red Army soldier (including any wearing the uniform of a satellite country) has regained Soviet soil. On that day, Europe will recover its natural equilibrium destroyed by the Soviet advance to the Elbe, the disastrous consequences of which N. A. T. 0. is designed to prevent. If, before then, the dissolution of N. A. T. 0. leads to an overall weakening of the Western position, the same holds true for a simultaneous and reciprocal withdrawal of foreign troops from German territory. The geography of Europe rules out any attempt at reciprocity in this connection. A withdrawal of 250 kilometres by Soviet troops would bring them to new bases which would be to all intents and purposes as effective as the old ones, whilst a similar with drawal of Western troops would place them with their backs to the sea, and render any defence impossible. Such a situation would certainly lead the United States to adopt a peripheral strategy.
11. Finally, there has been much talk lately of another solution of the German problem,which certain circles believe would be acceptable to the Russians, although, however, this has not been formally confirmed by Moscow. A reunited Germany could be protected by a collective security system established within the framework of the United Nations. As the price of unification Germany would thus renounce membership of either military organization now existing on each side. This solution, if adopted while the present state of affairs is maintained in the satellite countries of Eastern Europe, would also constitute a serious unilateral weakening of the Western defence organisation, which would be deprived of the partnership and territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. In the last resort, this loss would affect not only German security but that of the whole of Western Europe. The real guarantee of security which the presence of an integrated army, with its headquarters and joint defence plans, now gives to Western Germany would be replaced by a guarantee based solely on contractual pledges of assistance. Probably any attack would be pressed to its conclusion before these pledges could have any real military effect. Moreover, evacuation of the present territory of Eastern Germany would not radically affect the present Soviet military dispositions in Eastern Europe. (Strategically, Eastern Germany is of less importance to the Soviet position than is Western Germany to the Western Powers).
12. It would be wrong to reproach the Committee with being too inflexible in its attitude, since it would consider any realistic solution which would result in the reunification of Germany, provided only that the Western defence position is not unilaterally weakened. With this reservation — which seems to the Committee entirely legitimate — it welcomes the proposal to create a " zone of reduced tension ", and any other proposal to the same end, that is, to give the U. S. S. R. the maximum possible assurances that there is no threat to its security.
13. Paradoxically, Soviet security, as the Soviet leaders see it, pre-supposes Western insecurity. Must it be deduced from this that the U. S. S. R. really fears the possibility of military attack by the Western Powers •—• and particularly by a reunified Germany — xipon its territory, the security of which is already safeguarded by the defence system which it has now completed? M. Khrushchev declared in his speech to the XXth Congress of the Communist Party that the strategic position of the U. S. S. R. in relation to the West and to Germany was excellent : " the power of the peace-loving Soviet Union has reached unprecedented heights. The countries of South-Eastern Europe which formerly provided Germany with raw materials and reserves of manpower now stand with the U. S. S. R. as a firm barrier against all possible aggression by Germans thirsting for revenge. " These words would appear to reflect the true position, but they are only put out for internal consumption; abroad the Soviet leaders make free play with the catchword " encirclement ", which they consider more effective.
14. The truth of the matter is that, by using this catchword, the U. S. S. R. hopes to prevent European unification, which would stand in the way of its political ambitions. The Western Powers, on the other hand, are seeking to convince the U. S. S. R., by their assurances, that their defensive system implies no designs upon the Soviet Union, but aims to preserve the free world from the sort of developments which occurred in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. As for the European community, it finally establishes the impossibility of a return to nationalism, by the system of integration envisaged, and constitutes a guarantee of peaceful stability, both for the countries within the system and for those which remain outside. It may be assumed that the U. S. S.R. would accept the above system of guarantees, once it had grasped that its political ambitions are unattainable, that is to say, that it will never secure either the recognition of the status quo in Germany or Eastern Europe, or an extension of its sphere of influence to free Europe, and could never prevent the unification of Europe.
To convince the U. S. S. R. of this the Western Powers should adhere strictly to the positions they have adopted. The Assembly, for its part, might reaffirm :
15.1 the urgency of German reunification;
15.2 the inadequate and dangerous nature of any agreement with the U. S. S. R. on Europe which did not include this reunification;
15.3 the right to national independence and political liberty of the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe.
In the view of the Assembly, the establishment of a European security system and German reunification must remain indissolubly linked together. What is the link between this unification and the conclusion of an agreement on general and controlled world disarmament? The majority of the members of the Committee on General Affairs considers that efforts towards the achievement of these two objectives must go hand in hand. Disarmament is logically bound up with the elimination of the causes that have compelled the Western Powers to pursue a policy of rearmament. Having accepted this fundamental principle, the Committee makes the further point that in all negotiations at all stages care must be taken that :
16.1 no agreement on disarmament includes recognition of the status quo ;
16.2 no agreement on disarmament contains measures of discrimination likely to endanger the fundamental rights, equality of treatment, and security of the German people.
It must not be forgotten that the primary aim of Western rearmament has been the re-establishment of equilibrium in the military and strategic situation. This equilibrium, which would ensure equal security for all nations, would be to the disadvantage of countries which, like the U. S. S. R., pursue a policy of territorial aggrandizement. An equilibrium can be achieved either at the highest level of armament (this means an arms race), or at the lowest level. The re-establishment of a military equilibrium at the lowest level would be the ideal solution for the Wrest for the following two reasons :
17.1 Great resources would be released for economic and social progress. In the U. S. S. R., with its totalitarian regime, economic and social problems can be indefinitely postponed if reasons of State so require.
17.2 The Western economic system is founded on free enterprise, despite the great increase in State intervention in our day. Free enterprise can only flourish in an atmosphere of security. World disarmament would create this atmosphere and thus promote the growth of the economy of the Free World. This explains why the U. S. S. R. has not so far been in any great hurry to come to an agreement on general and controlled disarmament.
18. In the matter of disarmament the greatest obstacle has always been the problem of control. Uncontrolled or defectively controlled disarmament would mean unilateral disarmament by the West. The vast size of Soviet territory would enable the Russians to evade control if they wished to. Furthermore, an essential distinction between the free world and the totalitarian world should be borne in mind : in every free country there exists a public opinion, a parliament, an independent press and free intercourse with neighbouring countries. Any violation of an agreement on disarmament and any warlike intentions would immediately be denounced. The same is not true of a totalitarian country, which could easily launch a war without being held back by these factors. Since these internal supporters of disarmament are lacking in Russia the observance of any agreement depends entirely on the effectiveness of the control.
19. It is technically possible to set up a system of international control of current arms production that is almost foolproof. For this the control organ must be given unlimited power of direct investigation and inspection over all the territory and all the installations of the countries which are parties to the agreement. However, no technical means have yet been found to ensure the detection of secret stocks of atomic weapons. It is impossible to disarm when such loop-holes exist. In order to test the effectiveness of a control system by means of limited measures the Western Powers have proposed limited projects such as the " open sky plan " submitted by President Eisenhower. At the Geneva Conference the Soviet delegates objected to such proposals so long as no general disarmament programme had been agreed on. Since then a further meeting of the Disarmament Sub-Committee of the United Nations has opened in London.
20. The new Franco-British Plan envisages an immediate armaments " freeze ", a restriction of nuclear experiments, and a total ban on the manufacture and use of nuclear weapons, except for defence against aggression. In the final phase it envisages the total destruction of stocks of nuclear weapons. The Soviet counter-proposals retain the idea of reciprocal aerial inspection put forward by President Eisenhower but within the framework of a general plan, and they no longer stress nuclear disarmament. The new Soviet point of view seems to be that if traditional weapons can be limited by means of a control system the broad outlines of this agreement could be extended to atomic disarmament. This plan takes up again the idea, abandoned by Sir Anthony Eden, of establishing a buffer zone on each side of the Elbe, to include the territories of both parts of Germany (the unification of which is not therefore envisaged) and the territories of States bordering on Germany. In this zone all atomic and hydrogen weapons would be banned. The United States has proposed for the first time an immediate limitation on the production of atomic weapons. It suggests the limitation of atomic weapons trials and the linking of reductions in traditional weapons and forces with reduction in nuclear weapons. This would mean a partial freeze in the stockpiling of nuclear weapons, which would then be gradually reduced.
We know too little about the details of these new proposals to be able to interpret them properly. However, the fact that the Soviet authorities no longer insist on the destruction of nuclear weapons as a prior condition would seem to confirm the view of certain observers that there is now for the first time a possibility of rapprochement on one of the problems of disarmament (traditional weapons). Two reasons arc given to explain this change in the Soviet attitude :
21.1 the modern development of arms has reached a point at which any war would mean universal destruction. All countries will therefore be very wary of starting one. Moreover, atomic strategy tends to lessen the value of conventional weapons, whose reduction is therefore made easier;
21.2 the U. S. S. R. has decided to devote a portion of its resources to an economic offensive in the under-developed countries. It is therefore to its advantage to reduce its armaments programme to enable its heavy industry to devote part of its production to export.
22. The Committee unanimously expressed the wish that hopes of agreement on disarmament be strengthened. The Western Powers should therefore seize every opportunity of achieving progress in this direction. It is true that an agreement would require the Soviet leaders to revise their fundamental conceptions. It is contrary to the very nature of totalitarian regimes to agree to a reduction of their military strength and the exercise of an effective control on their native soil by foreigners. The signing of a genuine agreement on disarmament by the U. S. S. R. would have vast consequences because it would be tantamount to the abandonment of military force in Soviet policy, and for all expansionist countries this factor is of considerable psychological importance.
(c) Development of East-West contacts
No result was achieved at the Geneva Conference in the matter of contacts between the two blocs, although this problem was thought to be the easiest to tackle. The Russians proposed the abolition of Western trade restrictions, but they were really only concerned with those imposed for strategic reasons. With regard to the free exchange of ideas they were ready to accept certain changes under the following conditions ;
23.1 The Soviet Government should itself decide what might reach the U. S. S. R. in the way of publications, broadcasts, plays and exhibitions;
23.2 Exchange trips should be organised in such a way as to convince foreign tourists of the merits of Russian socialism, but certainly not so that Western ideas should spread in the U. S. S. R. ; in the same way no Russian citizen would be free to make widely known in the U. S. S. R. an impartial account of his travels in the West;
23.3 Agreements covering exchanges would have to be concluded on a bilateral basis, which would make control easier, and not a multilateral basis like those concluded by UNESCO and the Council of Europe.
24. Reciprocal action cannot, in point of fact, exist in this field between a free country and a totalitarian country. In a totalitarian State there is no freedom to travel as one wishes, to make contact with the inhabitants, to explore, even to telephone. To put this principle of reciprocal action into practice, the Soviet Government would have to adopt special liberalising measures in the cultural and tourist fields, and this the Soviet Government has no intention of doing. One can understand its fear that without these restrictions, communist society would disintegrate. As reciprocal action is less important in this field than in the sphere of disarmament, the Committee considers that the West should seize every opportunity of raising the Iron Curtain, however slightly, for cultural contacts, ft will always he the gainer if a few of its ideas find their way into the U. S. S. R. The warped idea of Western democracies that is foisted on the Russian people could thus be corrected.
(d) Soviet offer of treaties of friendship
25. As Soviet intransigence at the Geneva Conference had seriously undermined the confidence of world opinion in the Soviet desire for a relaxation of international tension, Marshal Bulganin took the initiative in January, 1956 to launch a new " peace offensive ". It took the form of the offer, first to the United States, then to Great Britain and France as well, of treaties of friendship and co-operation, despite the fact that only four weeks earlier the Supreme Soviet had abrogated the treaties existing with France and Great Britain since the end of the war.
26. These offers, contained in letters to President Eisenhower, were presumably intended much less for him than for Government circles and public opinion in the " uncommitted countries. " Taking advantage of the public's inability to remember even the most recent events, the Soviet leaders introduced themselves in the rôle of champions of conciliation. That they even met with some measure of success is proved by the widespread repetition of the idea that there exists a " Soviet monopoly " of peace offensives. The contrary is nearer the truth. We have only to recall that, since the end of the second World War, there has been the war in Greece, the war in Korea, the war in Indo-China, without mentioning the fact that countries of Central and Eastern Europe have been forcibly brought within the Soviet system. On the other hand, no act of aggression can be attributed to the Western countries. A lie does not become true by being frequently repeated.
27. Why should the Russians be more friendly and co-operative after signing such a treaty than they were after signing the Charter of the United Nations? This Charter also commits member countries to a policy of friendship and co-operation. The sudden offer of such bilateral treaties is, moreover, an unpleasant reminder of the precedent created by Hitler who, on the eve of the last war, made numerous offers of pacts of friendship and non-aggression to all neighbours who were shortly to become his victims.
28. One cannot avoid the conclusion that, despite all the hopes they inspired, the two Geneva Conferences have not in any way affected the points at issue between East and West. If the present U. N. disarmament talks seem likely to achieve any real progress, a new Four-Power Conference might be considered. In the absence of any such prospect, it is difficult to see what fresh advantage could be gained from holding such a Conference.
1.1.2 CHAPTER II - The Russian diplomatic and economic offensive in South-east Asia and the Middle East
29. After the Geneva Conference the Soviet leaders paid a dramatic visit to India, Burma and Afghanistan, introducing the U. S. S. R. to all the old " colonial " peoples as their disinterested friend, ready to provide them with economic assistance without any ulterior motives. During their tour they took pains to emphasise the contrast between Soviet disinterestedness and the alleged selfishness of the old colonial Powers. Any assistance from these Powers would be given in order to enslave the nations at present independent, whereas Soviet policy was founded on the principles of the recognition of mutual independence, of noninterference and territorial integrity.
30. The features of the policy of economic rivalry thus initiated by the U. S. S. R. in under-developed countries are as follows : the U. S. S. R. announces that it is willing to buy certain surplus raw materials which these countries have difficulty in disposing of in the world market — Egyptian cotton, Burmese rice and Lebanese fruit; it offers long-term loans at very low rates of interest; it puts technicians at the disposal of these countries, even though it is well-known that it can ill-afford to do so; and, finally, these offers have no political strings attached to them. The U. S. S. R. does not, at this stage, aim at sovietising these countries. It is content to make certain that they remain outside the strategic groupings of the West and that they open their frontiers to Soviet economic experiments. Political infiltration by means of economic aid replaces the method of local wars favoured by Stalin.
31. Whilst reproaching the Western Powers with sowing discord among Asiatic peoples, the Soviet leaders have not hesitated to adopt an unequivocal position in the existing disputes in the Indian subcontinent, such as those in Kashmir, in Goa and Pakhtoonistan, thereby injecting in to them a heavy dose of virulent nationalism. In each of these conflicts a member country of N. A. T. 0. or S. E. A. T. 0. is opposed to an " uncommitted. " country, hence the Soviet interest in stirring them up. This reinforcement of nationalist feeling is not compatible with the pacific views professed by the U. S. S. R. or with the spirit of co-operation which it advocates.
32. Similar tactics have been pursued by the TJ. S. S. R. in the Middle East : proposals for economic assistance have alternated with attempts to increase tension in the area and thus to make impossible the work of pacification undertaken by the Western Powers. The supply of arms to Egypt by Czechoslovakia has upset the balance of armaments which the Western Powers undertook to maintain in the Tripartite Declaration of 1950. The threat of a war unleashed either by Israel or by the Arab countries, which Western policy had been able to prevent for five years, has suddenly reappeared.
33. The success achieved by the U. S. S. R. with certain under-developed countries can be put down to the fact that the U. S. S. R. is not known in these areas as a colonial Power, whereas Western countries suffer from an historical " handicap " in this connection. With the exception of the better-informed elements of the population, public opinion in these countries tends to believe that their political and economic independence is threatened by the Western Powers and not by the U. S. S. R. It is essential that this fundamental fact be appreciated.
34. How can a state of mind so remote from reality have developed? The rebirth of certain Asian and Arab countries has given rise. to two problems, the full complexity of which has not been understood : an historical and psychological problem and an economic problem.
35. As far as the historical and psychological problem is concerned, peoples hitherto silent have quite suddenly become conscious in the post-war period of their position of inferiority vis-à-vis the former colonial Powers. The result has been a rabid nationalism directed against these Powers; its strength was revealed at the time of the Persian oil crisis, during the events in the Suez Canal area and in Jordan, and at the moment when Indonesia, and recently Vietnam, achieved their independence. It is essential to understand this state of mind. In a country which has just gained its national independence, there is, naturally, no love of the foreigner who has so long held authority within his grasp. Nor is there any love in such countries of those who live in comparative luxury. This simple psychological phenomenon may be seen in two ways in relations between the West and the former colonial territories. Visitors from these countries to the industrialised countries see a constantly developing society far richer and more prosperous than that in which millions of their fellow-citizens struggle for a livelihood. The latter also realise this disparity when they observe the signs of a much higher standard of living among the Western communities still living in their midst. Moreover, the tactlessness of some representatives of the Western peoples both in these and the home countries — representatives who seem bent upon preserving their former privileged status despite their Governments' policy to the contrary — has cast doubts, in these countries, upon the sincerity of such a policy. The nationalism resulting from these factors is a phenomenon of mass psychology to which no answer can be found either in normal methods of negotiation, in appeals to simple self-interest, or even by acts of generosity.
As far as the economic problem is concerned, it is a fact that the majority of Arab and Asian countries figure among the poorest in the world. It appears from United Nations statistics (those for 1951 are the latest) that the average income per head in Persia, Pakistan, India, Ceylon, Burma and Thailand is less than 100 dollars per annum. The situation in other parts of the area is scarcely better. The Fourth Annual Report of the Colombo Plan Consultative Committee, published on 22nd November, 1955, states that the present level of food consumption in the area covered by the Plan, although higher than it was in the first few years after the war, is lower than the prewar level and considerably lower than the generally accepted subsistence level. In this field, too, the peoples have become conscious of their position of inferiority, especially, vis-à-vis the industrial countries, whose prosperity they rightly or wrongly consider to have been based on profits squeezed from their former colonies and on the depressed economy of the latter. They are convinced that without a specifically nationalist policy they will not succeed in creating for themselves a national economy comparable to that of the industrialised countries. The oil crisis in PersiaNote
afforded the earliest proof of how political and economic nationalism are inter-related.
37. The two problems in this area, that of nationalism and that arising from the economic situation, thus merge. It would be a mistake to attempt to find a solution along purely economic lines, just as it would be a mistake to dismiss all the obstacles encountered by Western policy as the expression of a sentimental nationalism. It is vital that a solution be found as quickly as possible to overcome the tension created by these two elements in the situation.
38. The factors essential to any solution of the problem of political nationalism are as follows : the Western Governments must repeat time and time again, and demonstrate on every possible occasion, that they uphold the right of all peoples to self-government. They should see to it that the economic' aid they provide is publicly recognised at its true worth, so that the peoples of this area should realise that the West does not selfishly hoard its wealth but is prepared to make use of it to help less fortunate countries. Finally, in taking any action in these countries, whether in the political, economic, cultural or military spheres, the West must be careful to show a regard for their more sensitive public feelings.
39. The enormous gulf which separates the level of these countries from that of the industrialised countries can be explained by the fact that the basic measures required for industrialisation of the countries classified as underdeveloped have not been regarded over the last fifty years as being as urgent as they are today. Today we are paying for this oversight. It is now realised that the simple machinery of a free economy is not sufficient to bring prosperity to poor regions even if possibilities for development exist (for example, raw materials and labour). Free economy does not automatically create a fresh market in a backward area. To achieve this it is first necessary to provide the area in question with basic economic services and the necessary infrastructure of industrialisation. However, such an undertaking is not financially profitable. An area only becomes profitable when the process of industrialisation is completed.
Is is true that large-scale efforts have been made in this connection by Western countries in the framework of U. N. activities, of multilateral treaties like the Colombo Plan, S. E. A. T. 0. and the Baghdad Pact, and bilateral treaties such as those drawn up between the United States and certain Arab and Asian countries. It could be mentioned, by way of example, that since 1951 Great Britain has made available to countries taking part in the Colombo Plan 80 million pounds in the form of grants-in-aid and loansNote
; that the financial assistance provided by the United States for under-developed countries since the end of the war amounts to more than 6,000 million dollars Note
; that the sums made available by the United States as economic assistance to members of S. E. A. T. 0. have increased almost fourfold during the two financial years since the signing of this TreatyNote
. India at present receives from the United States financial assistance amounting to 250 million dollars for its Five-Year Plan ; this represents a third of all the external financial assistance necessary for financing the Plan (750 million dollars). Soviet assistance to India, by way of comparison, amounts to 100 million dollars for the same period.
However, the dispersed nature of the immense efforts undertaken so far has made effective international co-ordination impossible. There is one fact of experience which must not be forgotten. Any economic intervention, even the most effective, and even if it is planned on modern lines, involves a certain risk. It will produce effects diametrically opposed to its intentions if there is a suspicion that it conflicts with the spontaneous awakening of peoples who attribute their state of misery to a traditional indifference on the part of countries that have enjoyed the benefits of industrial development for almost a century. Furthermore, the sums earmarked, however large they may be, are not sufficient to ensure that the standard of living rises at the same rate as the population increases. The 12th Session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East, held in February at Bangalore (India), has brought out the vital need for making more foreign capital available to Asiatic countries on a multilateral basis. According to the United Nations BulletinNote
the delegates considered that " despite the improvement experienced in recent years by the countries of Asia in their economic position, bold and energetic measures must now be taken to eliminate the enormous disparity between the under-developed countries and the rest of the world. Among the measures advocated are : a policy of fixed prices for the most important agricultural products, industrialisation, technical and financial assistance from abroad, particularly foreign investments, regional collaboration and coordination. "
42. The under-developed countries prefer a multilateral system to bilateral agreements which, in their opinion, might lead to interference in their domestic affairs. The individual disinterestedness of Western countries would be confirmed by acceptance of such a system.
43. The United Nations has for a long time been studying the question of the establishment of a special fund for the purpose of making grants and long-term loans at low interest to under-developed countries in order to finance extensive non-profit making development schemes. The major industrialised countries have, however, so far made the establishment of this fund contingent on the conclusion of an agreement on world disarmament enabling them to release the necessary capital. An effective reduction of military expenditure has already been carried out in various countries. Regardless of such a reduction, however, the time has come for all free peoples to realise that they must make even greater sacrifices than hitherto on behalf of the less fortunate peoples of the world. These countries must unite in a large-scale joint effort to undertake a non-profit making investment policy designed to establish basic economic services. This policy should be supplemented by financial steps on the part of private enterprise with the object of creating a diversified economy.
44. The task described above must be accomplished in three different directions : under-developed areas in Europe itself; overseas territories where Europe has special responsibilities; independent countries. If, by pursuing such a policy of generosity, Europe can prevent the countries still linked to them from going through such a phase of violent nationalism as that from which the Arab and Asiatic countries are suffering at the present time, it will have made a valuable contribution to world peace. Moreover, any assistance given to territories with which special links exist would at the same time show the independent countries the advantages to themselves latent in the vast potential of the West.
Western policy differs from that of the U. S. S. R. in the following ways :
45.1 The intervention of governmental authority in the backward countries does not tend to set up a nationalised economic system. It aims only at creating an efficient economic structure where nothing existed before. It encourages private enterprise, as an essential objective, to play its normal part. The Communist system, on the contrary, aims at a State economy,
45.2 Economic progress with Western assistance in under-developed countries would be made by liberal trading methods, whereas the Communist solution is autarkic—the restriction rather than the expansion of international trade. The U. S. S. R. is endeavouring to inveigle certain under-developed countries into the Communist orbit before they have had a chance of realising the advantages of the Western system.
46. It will not be easy to prevent these peoples from contracting out of Western civilisation if the West lays all the emphasis on material improvements in the standard of living. The West spends too much time explaining to the backward peoples the uses of D. D. T. or tractors, or the latest treatment for cattle diseases, etc. Communist propaganda exploits national feelings; it hypocritically appeals to the desire for independence, to aspirations to cultural betterment and human dignity. The West must not make its approach to the backward countries merely on political, economic, or social lines; it must also act as a medium for mutual cultural enrichment.
There are a number of problems peculiar to the Arab world which must be solved before confidence can be re-established between the West and the Arab countries :
47.1 Arab-Israel tension. The shortcomings of Western policy have led to an aggravation of this problem. The United Nations resolutions of 1947 and 1949 for a general settlement, the international status of Jerusalem, the creation of Arab and Jewish States, were neither carried out nor replaced by other measures, with a resultant loss of prestige for the West. There are Arab circles which talk of such brutal solutions as that of driving the Israeli population into the sea, while certain quarters in Israel advocate preventive war. The United Nations and the Western Powers as such should with all speed draw up a clear and practical programme : first of all, the establishment of a general cease-fire, followed by an exploration of every possibility of a solution to practical problems such as frontiers, refugees, reparations, mutual security, the Holy Places. If war should come, the Western Powers would, of course, intervene to honour their commitments under the Tripartite Declaration of 1950. Staff plans for such an eventuality should be worked out immediately.
47.2 The Baghdad Pact. Broadly speaking, this is a typical case in which the psychological factor has played and will play an important part. The Arab and Asian world has every reason for being anti-Communist, yet the Baghdad Pact was fiercely resented in certain Middle Eastern countries, in spite of its purely defensive character. The lack of a firm Western policy, as has been noted above in connection with the Israel question, has of course rendered a disservice to the aims of this Pact. Diplomats must make proposals in such cases without giving the false impression that a certain policy is being imposed on the countries concerned. Negotiations with Oriental countries are often long drawn-out, and we must resign ourselves to this. We must proceed by persuading the other side that our proposals are in the common interest and that we have a regard for the other man's preoccupations. There is no doubt that the objectives of the Baghdad Pact are in the common interest, but it will require a flexible diplomacy to pursue this line of policy in a world where feelings are particularly sensitive.
48. Lastly, the situation has been further complicated by another conflict which has broken out on the threshold of the Middle East, namely, in the island of Cyprus. In view of its importance this problem calls for a very thorough and objective study of all its manifold aspects, strategic, diplomatic, political, geographical, ethnic, legal, etc. The Committee on General Affairs has decided that such a delicate subject cannot as yet be dealt with in this report. This does not, however, mean that the Committee is not aware of the pressing need for a settlement of this question. After a brief discussion of the problem, without going into the substance of it, the Committee agreed, by a majority, that the following text should be inserted in this report : "The Committee on General Affairs hopes and trusts that an agreement will he reached as soon as possible, in a spirit of European co-operation, between the States most directly concerned in a settlement of the Cyprus question. It believes that, failing such agreement, the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe should make a special study of the question after duly placing it on the Agenda of one of its forthcoming sessions. "
1.1.3 CHAPTER III - The XXth Congress of the Communist Party of the U. S. S.R.
49. The Moscow Congress made public considerable changes in the trend of Russian policy. It definitely broke with Stalin. Stalin himself, his works, and his policy of terror, have been officially condemned. The victims of the purges carried out in his name have been rehabilitated. The disappearance of the sacred myth of Stalinism likewise implies the rejection of the exclusive nature of the Communist experiment in the U. S. S. R. as the model for the attainment of Communism. The Revolution can be achieved by following different paths, according to the new doctrine. Tito is rehabilitated. It is therefore not surprising that the Yugoslav Government considered that there was " much that is new and positive " in the report presented by Khrushchev to the Congress.
50. The Congress also recalled the theory already enunciated by Stalin that a war between " capitalist " States and " socialist " States was not inevitable. However, it was at pains to emphasise that the " capitalist " States have by no means abandoned the idea of making war on " the mother country of socialism. " This theory is necessary in order to keep the Russian people in the state of spiritual and military mobilisation without which a totalitarian State cannot maintain its hold.
51. The old Marxist theory concerning the inevitable crisis of capitalism and the stagnation to which this leads was abandoned at this Congress. The Soviet theoreticians had to admit that the Western World has to some extent been able to overcome the various political and economic crises. The power of facts compels even Soviet leaders to admit that productivity per head is more advanced in Western countries. The aim of the new Five-Year Plan is therefore to catch up and overtake these countries. Overall industrial production should increase by 65 % by 1960, and atomic energy be harnessed to the causé of establishing world communism.
52. The development of heavy industry at the expense of the standard of living of the Russian people is being pursued ( " Malen-kovism " was officially condemned), but, instead of re-armament, the following two reasons are adduced to justify it : first, to enable the Russian economy to catch up with the technical and industrial advance of the industrialised countries of the West and, second, to compete with these Powers on a world-wide scale in underdeveloped countries. Although this policy results in the continued imposition on the Soviet people of a period of austerity, this sacrifice becomes at the same time an asset in the ideological struggle, both for mobilising its forces against the West and, on the other hand, for impressing public opinion favourably in the under-developed countries. In this struggle the stake is the " uncommitted " countries, whose existence is recognised for the first time between the camp of " imperialism " and that of " socialism ".
53. The coming victory of " socialism " will not, according to the present theory, necessarily be achieved by wars, whether civil or foreign. The conditions exist, for the first time in the eyes of Khrushchev, in which Socialism can triumph, even legally, through parliamentary methods, if the necessary forces acquire a majority in their countries; Khrushchev is obviously alluding to popular front coalitions. This statement has nothing in common with the acceptance of democratic methods. On the contrary, it amounts to saying that the Communist Parties must use the political freedoms in order to put their hands on the basic levers of the democratic state, in order, then, to make use of the instruments of government to suppress the political freedoms. Thus, the gulf between the democratic parties and the Communist Party remains unbridged. Democracy permits every political and economic experiment by the Right and by the Left with one single exception, dictatorship, because that is not an experiment but a permanent act of violence which makes all other experiments impossible. It deprives peoples of the right to repudiate their Governments and to change freely official, political and economic directives.
54. In order to safeguard democracy against the use which the totalitarian parties think they can make of it, the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights contains Article 30, worded as follows :"Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein. " Article 18 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany states the same principle :"Whoever abuses the freedom of expression of opinion, in particular the freedom of the press, the freedom of teaching, the freedom of Assembly, the freedom of association... in order to attack the free democratic basic order, shall forfeit these basic rights. " That is the answer which should be given to Khrushchev's tactics.
1.2 PART 2 Conclusions
55. Soviet policy is planned on a worldwide basis. On the other hand, although their ideal of human freedom and devotion to the principle of human rights are concepts of universal appeal, the Western countries have not succeeded in working out a common political system rising above individual national considerations. This explains the psychological advantage enjoyed by the U. S. S. R. in the conflict between East and West. Soviet policy knows how to exploit this advantage : the U. S. S. R. carries out its world policy in such a way that various symptoms of the same world conflict appear to be localised in regions or even continents. This makes the Western countries even more prone to regard the problems separately and leads them to view each from a national and independent standpoint. The U. S. S. R. can then complete its process of driving a wedge between the Western allies by persuading them to enter into separate negotiations with it on local problems or to send individual delegations to Moscow.
The Western Powers must be single-minded and take the initiative in face of a corresponding unity of purpose in the Eastern bloc. At a time when " cold war tactics ", which stimulated the forces of resistance, are being replaced by tactics of calculated affability, it is more important than ever to create a common determination among the Western countries. The tactics first employed after the end of the second World War were adopted in order to enable the U. S. S. R., by the mere threat of war and by the psychological pressure of its military strength, to acquire new positions or at least prevent the recovery of Europe outside the Communist system, without having to wage a war or make any concessions. Nevertheless, the U. S. S. R. was not averse to a " hot war " (e. g. Greece and Korea, countries which were not covered by a formal guarantee when hostilities broke out) so long as it felt sure that it would not develop into a world war. But the slow rebirth of the Western spirit of resistance, manifested in the rebuilding of armies, gradually reduced the prospects of success of the " cold war " strategy. Eventually, the possession of thermo-nuclear weapons made this policy even less practicable; it meant that any threat of war, however localised, might in future touch off a general war. Once the Soviet leaders were freed from the fanatical dogmatism of the period of Stalin's rule, they realised that the impression had to be given that the " cold war " had been called off. What have they substituted for it? Two possibilities were open to them :
56.1 they could either agree to a state of permanent coexistence between the two ways of life, which would have implied not only a prior and equitable settlement of the conflicts resulting from the " cold war " (and in particular, the division of Germany and of Europe), but, above all, would have meant the abandonment by Communism of its world-wide aims; or
56.2 they could choose a state of provisional coexistence on the basis of the status quo, thereby facilitating the further progress of the Communist revolution. The Soviet leaders have chosen the second alternative, and this explains their attitude at the Geneva conference and in recent months.
This confirms that the ultimate objective pursued by the Russians—the establishment of a world-wide Communist society— remains the same whether the political climate is one of " cold war " or of an apparent détente. The character of communist society, as conceivecl by Moscow, is definitive and immutable. The régime is, therefore, necessarily totalitarian and dictatorial. Only the methods have changed : seduction has taken the place of threats, and smiles and affability that of intimidation. This is because the Russians know that the West is more vulnerable to the friendly approach. It was M. Khrushchev, the First Secretary of the Communist Party, who openly told Mr. Lester PearsonNote
, Canadian Minister for External Affairs, during the latter's visit to Moscow, that in the event of peaceful but competitive co-existence, Communist society would prove its superiority to what he called " capitalist " society. Communists, being more tenacious, more disciplined and more patient, would find it easier to make sacrifices than their opponents. Democracy, founded on respect for the individual and his freedoms, would be the cause of the weakness, and ultimately spell the doom, of the Western world. Surely the West must accept this challenge. It must prove that the opposite is true, namely, that by the appeal it makes to man's dignity, responsibility and initiative, this system stimulates his abilities and leads to the highest conception of the rôle of the human individual. It encourages energetic self-sacrifice and the spirit of resistance to fight for freedom and justice.
In conclusion, the following are some of the fundamental principles which should lie at the core of a common European policy :
58.1 The European countries must realise that none can work out its own salvation. Even the largest would be weakened—and the smallest swallowed up—if they ventured to negotiate separately with the U. S. S. R. The same danger would lie in store for any country which conducted its economic policy on the basis of interdependence with the U. S. S. R. ; such interdependence would soon lead to political dependency. While the West, in recent years has granted independence to numerous Asian and African countries, the example of central and eastern Europe shows that the policy of the U. S. S. R. is precisely the reverse.
58.2 A system of solidarity cannot thrive on inaction. Progress towards greater European integration must therefore continue, hand in hand with closer co-operation between the members of the Western community. Some of the stages by which this process should be carried out are mentioned in Article 2 of the Atlantic Pact. A project realised on a regional basis should however never be regarded as an end in itself, but as a step towards a general system of permanent co-operation in the Western world.
58.3 The European peoples must remain convinced that the military defence of Europe is more than an American interest; it is primarily a European interest — a common interest — Europe must be protected from the social consequences of Communist occupation and Europeans must themselves be prepared to make the sacrifices essential to their defence. This honest and realistic approach to relations between America and Europe will strengthen the friendship between the two partners and help to convince all Americans that their sacrifices for the military and social defence of Europe are of vital interest to their own security.
58.4 A reborn Europe linked to the Atlantic community by free trade and the unrestricted exchange of services and movement of capital and manpower would be the main bulwark of the Western world. Europe appreciates at their full value the attempts of the United States Administration to facilitate trade with Europe and hopes that Congress will support this policy. The lowering of tariffs and the abandonment of restrictive practices in every sphere will convince Europeans that isolationism has lost its hold and that there will be no return to a policy of economic self-sufficiency.
58.5 Western diplomacy must constantly be on the alert in order to seize every opportunity of improving relations with the Eastern world. The West must not, however, leave its fate to a succession of conferences. Any conference which ends in failure has an unfortunate effect upon Western public opinion, while Soviet propaganda always knows how to exploit the situation. It is part of the Soviet technique to instigate a series of international conferences at which its negotiators, by reversing the true position, assume the rôle of accuser, in the hope of ultimately reducing the West to a state of unilateral moral disarmament. The Western countries are not Russia's debtors, but her creditors. It is in this spirit that they should approach the conference table, when there are serious prospects of the conference succeeding. The West must consider the restoration of German unity as its essential task. And it can never accept as final the suppression of the national independence and political freedom of a large number of peoples in Central and Eastern Europe.
58.6 The West must try to reach an agreement on a form of general and strictly controlled world disarmament which would establish a military and strategic balance with the minimum of armaments. These efforts must be accompanied by the removal of the underlying causes which necessitated Western re-armament.
58.7 By taking generous broad and clearsighted action, the West can harness its spiritual and material riches to a new policy toward the depressed and under-developed areas.
59. Let us build a vast, free, strong and prosperous community animated by a spirit of human fellowship. Those who are not part of this community today will return to us all the sooner if we remain calm, convinced of the righteousness of our cause, patient and enduring and imbued with a spirit of peace. On that day the prodigal sons will bring back what they have stolen from the family of mankind : its peace.