123. Telegram From the Embassy in Yugoslavia to the Department of State0

1447. Major significance of Tito’s April 22 speech to opening session of Seventh Party Congress appears lie more in emphasis and presentation rather than actual substance of what he said. On latter score he seems to have revealed little of significance that was new, but rather to have merely restated, often in harsher and franker terms than have been heard since TitoKhrushchev Rumanian meeting last August, known Yugoslav positions on international issues. On internal issues, he appeared confirm basic failure of LCY to have reached solutions to fundamental problems which have been emerging over past several years. Latter will be subject separate message.

Single most vital fact to emerge is of course that Yugoslavs have stuck to their guns on major ideological issues which divide them from “socialist camp.” While we have not yet seen full text of Rankovic April 23 speech, from excerpts we have seen, Tito’s presentation of those portions objectionable to Soviet bloc if not as strong as Rankovic’s were fully sufficient to prompt Soviet bloc walkout in itself.1 (Soviet bloc “observers” as diplomats may have felt constrained not to offend Chief of State and thus have merely awaited next best opportunity, which would prove ironic consequence their refusal send “delegations” which would not have had such compunctions.) Reports from often well informed sources continue, however, that major Yugoslav attack is yet to come in Kardelj’s speech on draft program.2
While Tito reasserted Yugoslav interpretations of Hungarian events3 (which he could only anticipate would evoke violent Soviet reaction, and which Yugoslavs have found it possible to suppress on occasions in past when they have wished smooth out relations with USSR), impression remains much the same as that generated following Rumanian meeting with Khrushchev, i.e., that Tito is again offering USSR almost [Page 327] complete support on all international issues in return for concessions on ideological level, both internal to Yugoslavia and in realm “relations between socialist states.”
Although cannot tell until we have full translation how many concessions offered in “amendments” to draft program Tito may have rescinded in consequence Soviet bloc rejection (Embtel 1427)4 following appear to be major issues to which Soviets will take particular exception: page references are to JTS translation issue of April 23, being pouched.5
Patronizing tone in which, blaming Stalinism for Hungarian revolt (which of course “exploited” by counter-revolution), he asserts “If we, Communists, allow counter-revolution to spread in a Socialist country, then we Communists are to blame since we permitted counter revolutionary forces to develop. Therefore it is wrong to give analyses of those crises starting from effects and not causes” (page 43).
Continued harping on guilt of Stalin, cult of personality, et cetera/in Soviet endeavors “subordinate Yugoslavia as a state to Stalin’s policy (page 20), and contention “socialism some kind of import commodity which could be developed along lines of stereotyped patterns, and could be formed on a single model, in other words imposing specific forms of Socialist development upon other countries” (page 42). Tito made none of remarks re Stalin’s saving graces and “real contributions” which have become customary within bloc since Twentieth Congress backfired on Khrushchev.
Insinuations of “hegemonistic” tendencies on part of USSR with which original draft program redolent do not appear in Tito text (deletion was one of concessions offered in amendments). However, failure of Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam conferences was mentioned (page 19), which also was deleted from draft program by amendments, and assertion made it “historical fact Stalin was one of protagonists of meetings dealing with destiny of other independent nations without their knowledge or approval” (page 20).
Unlike Rankovic, Tito did not raise spectre of Cominform in specific terms. However, he continually adverted to Belgrade and Moscow declarations and pointed to “bilateral relations” as proper formula to free “creative thought frustrated by previous forms of cooperation”. Because of this view regarding “cooperation among Communist parties and all progressive movements in world in general we could not sign declaration of twelve communist and workers’ parties of Socialist countries in Moscow” (page 48).
Without so stating, Tito referred to 1948 Cominform allegations that then Communist party Yugoslavia had submerged itself into “national front”, justified Yugoslav action at that time and in series of passages (pages 42, 45 and through 49) proceeded give again patronizing lecture on “internationalism” while defending UCY against allegations of “national communism”, “revisionism”, and by implication renewed charges that the UCY has betrayed the leading role reserved to it by proper interpretation of Marx and Lenin.
In general, Tito’s treatment of points which will be most offensive to west, and specifically US less harsh than that of draft program. They lie, of course, primarily in realm foreign policy and are again highly repetitive of known Yugoslav attitudes. Noteworthy, other than endless references to “aggressive circles in west” which waging “ideological war against countries of socialism” (page 38), and assertions that west “encircling” the USSR, were:
Equating of NATO and Warsaw Pact. Adopting middle ground between previous Yugoslav position (e.g., at Sixth Congress)6 that NATO “was justified” by Soviet (Stalinist) policies, and implication in draft program for this Congress that NATO aggressive and “justified” the Warsaw Pact, Tito argued that west, specifically America, “justified creation of NATO and of strategic bases precisely with this policy of force and rigidity of Stalin’s” (page 23), and that NATO had “inevitably to result in creation of Warsaw defense pact of eastern countries as counterbalance” (page 21).
Continued carping at western colonial policies, reiteration of assertion of western pressure on Syria last year and efforts overthrow Nasser (page 28), contention that “intrigues and interference” “certain western circles” in Indonesia, resulted in civil war designed either destroy Indonesia or force it join SEATO (page 29). “Certain American papers” specifically involved in this effort.
Interminable references to “international workers’ movement” and presumably purposefully ambiguous allusions to tactics it should employ: e.g., “internationalism above all commits the working class to develop in its own country all forms of revolutionary activities in those cases where the working class has not yet assumed power, and in those countries where power is already in working class hands, it should endeavor to develop all forms of creative efforts for Socialist development” (page 45). Comment: Perhaps in effort offset or head off malicious interpretation of foregoing, in midst of portion of speech identified as dealing with normalization of relations with Soviet bloc Tito noted that World War II had led to creation Socialist states in Eastern Europe and [Page 329] Asia and continued “but it would be wrong to believe on basis of those facts that war is a stimulative and useful factor which is likely to bring about social changes in world”. Denying creation Socialist states justifies war, Tito added, “I have deemed it necessary to stress this point because there are people who believe that only war can serve to settle the question of social changes, just as there are people who believe that only war can enable them to achieve various aims, in other words to enable one side to overpower the other” (page 42), the latter of course being stylized Yugoslav allusion to west’s “policy of strength.”
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 768.00/4–2458. Official Use Only. Transmitted in two sections and repeated to London, Paris, Moscow, Zagreb, and Sarajevo.
  2. Rankovic accused the Soviet Union of intervening in Yugoslavia’s affairs and of “selling out” to Nazi Germany in the 1939 nonaggression pact. The last reference triggered a walkout by Eastern European Ambassadors.
  3. Kardelj’s April 24 speech defended Yugoslavia’s ideology of socialist development and rejected Eastern European and Soviet Communist Party criticisms of the LCY program.
  4. Tito condemned the initial Soviet invasion of Hungary (October 24, 1956) and, while later supporting the second intervention (November 2), held that Soviet failure to insist that the Hungarian Communists reform had radicalized the situation and created the anti-Communist revolution.
  5. Telegram 1427, April 20, reported on amendments to the draft program prepared for the Congress of the LCY. (Department of State, Central Files, 768.00/4–2058)
  6. Not found.
  7. November 2–7, 1952.