72. Notes on a Meeting of the Operations Coordinating Board, Washington, July 3, 19561

1. Soviet and Related Problems

Mr. Beam, Chairman of the Special Committee on Soviet and Related Problems, briefed the Board orally on developments following the State Department publication of the Khrushchev speech.2 He pointed out that the Department had issued two statements3 which had wide publicity in the American press and had been widely disseminated abroad. These statements included eye-witness accounts of the riots in Poznan and pointed up the fact that the riots were based on dissatisfaction of workers with the Communist regime. The US Government’s offer of food to relieve the distress in Poland had also been given wide publicity.

The fact that the Communist regime would be judged throughout the world on the basis of its behavior in the future, especially as regards treatment of the workers in Poznan, had also been emphasized.

Mr. Beam commented that the demonstrations were the only means of expression of the workers. . . . Mr. Hoover commented that we should maintain a propaganda offensive in the face of Soviet efforts to pin the riots on the United States. Mr. Dulles, commenting on the fact that the riots were labor demonstrations, inquired whether international labor had taken up the matter. If not, he thought the ICFTU might be encouraged to protest in the name of international labor. Mr. Beam commented that a factual hour-by-hour report on the development and progress of the riots would be ready within a couple of days and could be turned into valuable publicity. Mr. William Jackson stated that, if possible, we should encourage such projects as petitions for free elections in Poland and other Satellite countries; also encourage the exchange of information regarding disturbances. He felt that the demonstrations should be regarded in the light of the right of labor to appeal impossible labor conditions. Mr. Hoover and Mr. Dulles commented on the possibility that the riots might be discussed in the Security Council or in ECOSOC. Mr. Beam voiced a caution in this regard, stating that it might be harmful to our long-term interest should these internal disturbances become a matter of discussion by a UN agency.

[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]

  1. Source: Department of State, OCB Files: Lot 62 D 430, Preliminary Notes. Secret. Drafted by Richards.
  2. Published on June 4.
  3. Apparent reference to the statements, June 30 and July 2, by Lincoln White; for texts, see Department of State Bulletin, July 9, 1956, p. 55.