107. Editorial Note

On September 28, the Department of State announced that it had recently issued invitations through its missions abroad to the Governments of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Romania to send representatives to the United States in October “to view at first hand the free electoral processes in this country.” The Department indicated that it assumed, on the basis of reciprocity, that Americans would be invited to view elections in their countries on the next appropriate occasion. For text of the announcement, as well as that of the formal invitation issued to these governments, see Department of State Bulletin, October 8, 1956, page 550.

In a note delivered to the United States Embassy in Moscow on September 29, the Soviet Government accepted the invitation and invited American representatives to visit the Soviet Union during the election of the Supreme Soviet. (Ibid., October 15, 1956, page 582) On October 20, the Department of State announced that, in addition to the Soviet Union, Romania had also accepted the invitation, but that Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary had declined. The Department also announced the composition of the Soviet Delegation, which was to arrive in New York on October 22, and the arrangements for its itinerary through October 27. (Ibid., October 29, 1956, pages 665–666) On October 24, the Department announced the composition of the Romanian delegation and its itinerary, beginning [Page 253]with its arrival in New York that day and extending through October 27. (Ibid., November 5, 1956, page 728)

On November 6 President Eisenhower won reelection to a second term, defeating Adlai E. Stevenson in the electoral vote 457–74 and in the popular vote by more than 9 million votes.

According to a report prepared in the Office of Intelligence Research, Department of State, the Soviet observers, in reporting their experiences after their return home following the election, “confined themselves strictly to Soviet propaganda stereotypes, although on departing they had praised the exchange as of value.” The Romanian observers reported upon their return home that the things they had found in America had “strengthened our conviction in the superiority of our socialist democracy over bourgeois democracy.” (Department of State, INR Files, Soviet Affairs, December 1956)