141. Editorial Note

At 2:28 p.m. on October 30, Nagy announced to the Hungarian people the abolition of one-party rule and the restoration of those parties which had participated in the democratic coalition of 1945. These included the Smallholder Party, the Social Democrats, and the National Peasant Party in addition to the Communists. An inner Cabinet was created, consisting of Nagy, Kádár, and Géza Losonczy of the Communists, Tildy and Kovács of the Smallholders, and Ferenc Erdei of the National Peasant Party, with one place reserved for the Social Democrats. This last position went to Anna Kéthly. Nagy indicated that he hoped shortly to begin negotiations for the withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Hungary and he appealed to the Soviets to initiate the removal of their military forces from Budapest. The text of this address is printed in Zinner, National Communism, pages 453–454.

It appeared that Deputy Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers Anastas Ivanovich Mikoyan, and the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, Mikhail Andreyevich Suslov, who returned to Budapest on October 30 to assess the situation and to confer with Hungarian Party leaders, concurred in these moves as necessary to maintain Communist control of the situation. The Soviet Central Committee seemed to endorse the basic premise of National Communism in a “Declaration on the Basis of the Development and Further Strengthening of Friendship and Cooperation Between the Soviet Union and Other Socialist States,” passed on October 30 and published in Pravda the next day. It stated that “the countries of the great commonwealth of socialist nations can build their relations only on the principle of full equality, respect of territorial integrity, state independence and sovereignty, and noninterference in one another’s domestic affairs.” The statement admitted past “difficulties, unsolved problems, and out-and-out mistakes, including some in the relations between socialist states—violations and mistakes which infringed the principles of equality in relations between socialist states.”

In respect to Hungary, the Declaration reads:

“The Soviet Government and all the Soviet people deeply regret that the development of events in Hungary has led to bloodshed. On the request of the Hungarian People’s Government the Soviet Government consented to the entry into Budapest of the Soviet Army units to assist the Hungarian People’s Army and the Hungarian authorities to establish order in the town. Believing that the further presence of Soviet Army units in Hungary can serve as a cause for even greater deterioration of the situation, the Soviet Government has given instructions to its military command to withdraw the Soviet Army units from Budapest as soon as this is recognized as necessary by the Hungarian Government.

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“At the same time, the Soviet Government is ready to enter into relevant negotiations with the Government of the Hungarian People’s Republic and other participants of the Warsaw Treaty on the question of the presence of Soviet troops on the territory of Hungary.

“The defense of socialist achievements by the people’s democracy of Hungary is at the present moment the chief and sacred duty of workers, peasants, and intelligentsia, and of all the Hungarian working people.”

For full text, see Department of State Bulletin, November 12, 1956, pages 745–746.