This reply to the declaration of the Foreign Minister in the Labour Government of Britain was first published in ‘Pravda’ on the first of August, 1951. The files of the former CPSU archives indicate that it was slated for publication in the ‘Works’ of Stalin. As is known only 13 volumes of this series was actually published. While the publication of the 14th volume was announced just prior to the 20th Congress of the CPSU held in 1956 the anti-communist turn at that congress effectively terminated the completion of this project. The following article has been translated and published as part of the ongoing endeavours of this journal to make available for the English-reading audience the writings of this classic of Marxism which have emerged from the archives after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It has been gratifying to note that many of these materials have been translated and published in the principal languages of the world and especially so in the major tongues of the subcontinent.
Mr. Morrison has put forward two sets of questions: questions concerning internal politics and those dealing with external politics.
Mr. Morrison affirms that in the Soviet Union there is no freedom of speech, press or personal freedom.
Mr. Morrison is grievously mistaken. In no other country exists such kind of freedom of speech, press or personal freedom, organizations for workers, peasants and the intelligentsia as in the Soviet Union. Nowhere are there as many clubs for workers and peasants, as many newspapers specifically for them as in the Soviet Union. Nowhere has the working class been organized in such a systematic manner as in the Soviet Union. It is not a secret for anyone that the entire working class, literally all the workers of the USSR have been organized into unions, just as all the peasants have been organized into cooperatives.
Does Mr. Morrison know this? Obviously, he does not. Apparently he does not even have the desire to know. He prefers to derive his knowledge from the complaints put forward by the representatives of the Russian capitalists, expelled from the country by the will of the Soviet people.
In the USSR there is no freedom of speech, the press or organizations for the enemies of the people, for the landowners and the capitalists who have been overthrown by the revolution. Similarly, there is no freedom for the incorrigible thieves, for the saboteurs sent abroad on intelligence assignments, for terrorists, killers and for those criminals who shot at Lenin, killed Volodarski, Uritski, Kirov, poisoned Maxim Gorky, Kuibishev. All these criminals, starting from the landlords and capitalists to the terrorists, thieves, killers and those involved in subversive activities are out to achieve only one thing – restore capitalism in USSR, restore the exploitation of man by man and flood the country with the blood of workers and peasants. The prisons and labour camps exist only for these gentlemen and only for them.
Is it for these people that Mr. Morrison is trying to achieve the freedom of speech, press and personal freedom? Does Mr. Morrison really think that the people of the USSR would agree to give these people the freedom of speech, press and personal freedom, that is the freedom to exploit the workers?
Mr. Morrison remains silent about the other freedom, which has a deeper meaning than the freedom of speech, press etc. He does not say anything about the freedom of the people from exploitation, about the freedom from economic crisis, from unemployment, from poverty. Perhaps Mr. Morrison is not aware that all these freedoms already exist in the USSR from a long time. And it is precisely these freedoms that are the basis of all other freedoms. Is it because of this that Mr. Morrison ashamedly keeps quiet about these basic freedoms, because these, unfortunately do not exist in England and the English workers still continue to live under the yoke of the exploiting capitalists, irrespective of the fact, that in England the Labour party has been in power for the last six years.
Mr. Morrison insists, that the Labour government is a socialist one, that the radio programmes organized under the control of such a government should not meet with any hindrance from the side of the Soviets.
Unfortunately we cannot agree with Mr. Morrison. At first when the Labour party came into power one could presume that it would follow the path of socialism. However, later it turned out that the Labour government differs little from any other bourgeois government, aiming at maintaining the capitalist structure and providing the capitalists with considerable profits.
In reality, the profits of the capitalists in England are growing from year to year but the wages for workers remain frozen. More so, the Labour government is defending this anti-worker, exploitative regime by all kinds of measures, persecuting and even arresting the workers. Can such a government be called socialist?
One would have thought that with the Labour government in power capitalist exploitation would be eliminated, measures taken for the systematic lowering of the prices of the goods for mass consumption, and the material conditions of workers be improved in a substantial way. Instead we have in England, the capitalists’ profits rising, the wages of the workers being frozen and an increase in the costs of basic commodities. No, we cannot call such politics socialist. As far as the radio broadcasts to the Soviet Union from England are concerned (the BBC), they, as is well known, are mostly targeted at encouraging the enemies of the Soviet people in their striving to restore capitalist exploitation. It is understandable that the Soviets cannot support such anti-people propaganda, which in fact amounts to interference in the internal matters of the USSR. Mr. Morrison states, that the Soviet power in the USSR is a monolithic power because it represents the power of only one party, the party of the Communists. With this reasoning we can say that the Labour government is also a monolithic government since it represents the power of one party, the Labour party.
The point, however, is not this. The point is that, the Communists in USSR, firstly, operate not in isolation, but in a bloc with the non-party people. Secondly, in the historical development of the USSR the party of the communists proved itself as the single anti-capitalist, people’s party.
In the course of the last fifty years the people of the Soviet Union have been witness to all the main parties that existed in Russia, the landowner’s party (the Black Hundreds), the party of the capitalists (the Kadets), the Menshevik party (the right ‘socialists’), the party of the Social Revolutionaries (the defenders of the kulaks), the party of the Communists. In the course of the unfolding revolutionary developments our people rejected all the bourgeois parties and made the choice in favour of the Communists, taking into account that this party is the only anti-landowner and anti-capitalist party. This is a historical fact and it is understandable that the peoples of the USSR entirely supported the Communist party in its struggles.
How can Mr. Morrison counter this historical fact? Does Mr. Morrison think that just for the sake of a doubtful game of opposition one may turn around the wheel of history and resurrect these parties that had died long ago.
Mr. Morrison claims that the Labour government stands for maintaining peace, that it is of no threat to the Soviet Union, that the North-Atlantic Treaty is a non-aggressive pact for armaments, that England is forced to go on the path of arms race because after the Second World War, the Soviet Union has not demobilized its army sufficiently.
In all these claims of Mr. Morrison, unfortunately, there is not a drop of truth.
If the Labour government really stands for peace then why is it shying away from a Peace Pact of the five powers, why does it voice its opinion against the reduction of arms by all the big powers, why does it speak against a ban on nuclear weapons, why does it persecute people standing on the path of peace, why does it not ban the war propaganda in England.
Mr. Morrison wants that we should believe him in words. But the Soviet people cannot believe anyone in words, whosoever it may be. They demand action and not declarations.
In the same way, Mr. Morrison’s statement, that the USSR has not demobilized its army sufficiently after the Second World War, is rather lame. The Soviet government has already declared that it has demobilized, that its army, presently is almost of the size that it was in the peacetime before Second World War. The English army, on the other hand, is twice as large as it was before the war. However, these irrefutable facts continue to be opposed by loud unsubstantiated declarations.
Maybe, Mr. Morrison would like that the USSR should have an army not needing weapons. An army actually takes up too much from the government budget and the Soviet people would willingly go in for the dismantling of its regular army, if there was no threat of war from outside. But the experience of 1918-1920 has taught us otherwise, then the English, Americans, French (together with the Japanese) attacked the Soviet Union and tried to take away the Ukraine, Caucasus, Central Asia, Far East, and the Arkhangelski region and tormented it for three years. This has taught us that the USSR must maintain its necessary minimum regular army so that it can defend its independence from the imperialist aggressors. There has not been a single instance in history when the Russians have invaded the territory of England, but history knows of a whole range of instances, when the English invaded the territories of Russia and captured them.
Mr. Morrison says, that the Russians have refused to co-operate with the English on the German question, on the question of restoration of Europe. This is a white lie and Mr. Morrison could not be believing his own words. The truth, as is known to all, is not the Russians who have refused cooperation, but the English and the Americans as they knew, that the Russians would not go on the path of restoring fascism in Germany, on transforming West Germany into a zone for aggression.
As for cooperation for the economic restoration of Europe, then the USSR has not refused cooperation, on the contrary, it has itself suggested to implement the programme on the principles of equality and sovereignty of the European countries, without any diktats from outside, without the diktat of the United States of America.
In the same way, the declarations of Mr. Morrison that the communists came to power in the people’s-democratic countries by force, that the Cominform is engaged in coercive, propaganda activities are unfounded. Only people who are hell bent on slandering the communists can make these statements.
As a matter of fact, the communists came to power in the people’s-democratic countries by way of general elections. Obviously, the people of these countries threw out the exploiters and the foreign secret service agents. This is the will of the people. The voice of the people is the voice of God.
As for the Cominform, only those who have lost all sense of balance can say that it is engaged in coercive propagandistic activities. The Cominform documents have been published and continue to be published. They are known to all and fully refute any slanderous or defamatory statements against the communists.
One must emphasize here, that using force is not a method followed by the communists. On the contrary, history shows, that it is actually the enemies of communism and other foreign secret service agents who practice these coercive methods. One need not go far for such examples. Recently the prime minister of Iran was killed, so was the prime minister of Lebanon and the king of Trans-Jordan. All these killings have been carried out with the sole aim of forceful change of power in these countries. Who killed these people? Was it the communists, the supporters of the Cominform? It is rather amusing to put forth such a question. Perhaps, Mr. Morrison, who is better informed would help us to sort out this matter?
Mr. Morrison states, that the North-Atlantic Treaty is a defence pact. It has been formed not with the objective of aggression, on the contrary, is directed against it.
If that is true, why did the initiators of this pact not invite the Soviet Union to participate in it? Why did they cordon off the Soviet Union? Why did they sign it secretly, behind the back of the USSR? Has not the USSR proved that it can and wishes to fight against aggression, by fighting against Hitler’s and the Japanese aggression? Was its struggle against aggression worse than that of Norway, which is a signatory of the pact? How can one explain this absurdity?
If the North-Atlantic Treaty is a defence pact why did the English and Americans not agree to the proposal of the Soviet government to discuss this pact at the level of the council of ministers of foreign affairs? Is it not because the North-Atlantic Treaty contains clauses about aggression against the USSR and that the initiators of this pact are compelled to hide this from the society at large? Is it not because the Labour government has agreed to turn England into a military and air base for the United States of America to attack the Soviet Union?
This is why the Soviet people reiterate that the North-Atlantic Treaty is a pact of aggression, targeted against the USSR.
This is particularly visible from the aggressive actions of the Anglo-American right wing circles in Korea. Already two years have passed since the Anglo-American forces are tearing apart the freedom-loving, peaceful people of Korea, destroying the Korean villages and cities, killing women, children and the aged. Can one call these bloody acts of the Anglo-American forces defensive? Who can confirm that that the English forces in Korea are defending England from the Korean people? Would it not be more honest to call these acts a military aggression?
Let Mr. Morrison show us even a single Soviet soldier who would direct his weapons against any peace-loving people. There is no such soldier. And let Mr. Morrison explain convincingly why English soldiers are killing the peace-loving citizens of Korea. And why is an English soldier dying far from his country in an alien land?
This is the reason why Soviet people consider that contemporary Anglo-American politics is instigating a new world war.
‘Pravda’, 1st August 1951.
From: L.K. Grigoriev, ‘Stalin. sobytiya i dokumenty’, opyt istoriko-arkhivnogo, kontrpropagandistskogo i filosofskogo issledovaniya, Electronic publication, Moscow, 2002, pp. 46-50.
Translated from the Russian by Neelakshi Suryanarayan
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