A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 64: Report by Ceaușescu to the Romanian
Politburo on the PCC Meeting in Budapest, March 18, 1969

Despite the main import of the March 1969 PCC session (see Documents Nos. 62 and 63), Nicolae Ceaușescu in this very colorful report to the Romanian Politburo choos- es to focus on areas where disagreements took place, and on which the Romanian del- egation managed to have an impact. One example was an appeal for holding a con- ference on European security (later known as the CSCE), which the Soviet Union wanted the PCC to issue. But Ceaușescu objected, complaining that the appeal's tone toward the West was far too harsh. In another example, Romanian opposition blocked a Polish proposal to reject West Germany's claim to West Berlin. The Romanian leader again got his way when he insisted that the ongoing Sino-Soviet border clashes should be discussed bilaterally with China and not within the framework of the PCC. Politburo member Emil Bodnăraș, duly complimenting his boss's performance at the PCC, makes the interesting observation that if Soviets are faced with a tough position they tend to back down.

Stenographic Record of the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party March 18, 1969

"…"

Cde. Nicolae Ceaușescu: Let me inform you in a nutshell, comrades, about what happened in Budapest. In fact, you have read the communiqué and the appeal, so this is the whole result.

The discussions were held within the framework of the committee, especially with the comrades who were there before, and—to some extent—in the evening; then Monday morning with some of the delegations.

The main concern was that of the Soviet "delegates", and also of some of the other "delegates", who wanted to include as a first issue in the communiqué the incidents with China and reach solidarity against China. Besides other expressions in the communiqué, which referred to the increase in the aggressiveness of imperialism, in the number of aggressive actions, and the imminent danger of war, there was also the necessity of strengthening the fighting force of the Warsaw Treaty so that it can crush any oppressor on any frontier. Isn't that so? The last formulation was something to that effect.

The appeal was somewhat better but again with many such tendencies. Let us call for the achievement of security, but if you don't come they'll beat the living daylights out of you. The meaning of the appeal was something like this: you'll get into hot water whether you come or not! "Smiling"

Those persons who were more active in the committee, in the sense of having adopted harsh positions, were the Poles, who really had the harshest positions.

-332-

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