118. Telegram From the Embassy in Poland to the Department of State1

1136. Following information results from hour long conversation evening November 18 between Embassy officer and candidate member PZPR CC Mieczyslaw Rakowski:

Gomulka for more than year had objected Khrushchev handling Moscow-Peking differences. Gomulka spoke to Khrushchev several times and attempted advise him but Khrushchev failed to listen. Gomulka also held views different from Khrushchev regarding relations with West Germany but this relatively minor matter. Within PZPR there were those who predicted Khrushchev’s removal as early as February of this year. Removal, according to Rakowski, stimulated almost completely by domestic problems and differences of opinion within CSPU regarding how handle them.2
If one compares Gomulka and Novotny, then Rakowski believes Gomulka can be said have supported Khrushchev’s removal and Novotny did not.
Gomulka’s attitude regarding Moscow-Peking differences have placed him in strong position with ChiComs. This not because Gomulka pro-ChiCom in dispute but because he long on record trying change Khrushchev’s tactics in dealing with ChiComs.
Rakowski claimed he firm supporter of Gomulka but said recognized Gomulka has narrow outlook some topics. Conceded even within PZPR these increased critical opinions regarding Gomulka. Said his (Rakowski’s) newspaper, Polityka, has more conservative editorial policy now than two years ago. Claimed this caused by political realities brought on by changes within PZPR since 1959.
Regarding current trial of “distributors of pro-Chinese pamphlet” (Embtel 1123),3 Rakowski said Kazimiesz Mijal influential figure behind pamphlet. Said Mijal would probably never be brought trial because political ramifications trial would have within PZPR.
Rakowski refused comment on what Presidium changes in CPSU might indicate. Said however that strength of “conservatives” and “liberals” within CPSU very near equal. Said if election possible among CPSU members results would not reveal margin anything like President Johnson succeeded gaining over Senator Goldwater.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 1 POL. Confidential; Limdis. Repeated to Moscow and Prague.
  2. Nikita S. Khrushchev was removed from his post of Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union on October 15.
  3. Telegram 1123 from Warsaw, November 18, reported on closed political trials in Poland. (Ibid., POL 29 POL)