BBC world report; World communists meet June 5, 1969
This is Bush tell him London with your BBC World Report world communists meet on June the 1st. The long planned often perspire international conference of communist parties will be held in Moscow. But what's the point to these world gatherings of communists. And why are they called when they're called so that neither seems to be no regularity about these meetings. David Graham is a BBC specialist in communist affairs. The last one was held at the end of 960. More than eight years ago and we wondered how that was held at the end of 1957 only three years earlier. There is no regular organization that convened such conferences. When a number of communist parties and particularly when the Communist Party the Soviet Union things would be useful to have one why then they proposed it. There have been discussions about the agenda other discussions with other parties. One of the reasons why this one is so wrong is that it is being utterly bedeviled by the dispute between China and the Soviet Union. And also by the invasion of Czechoslovakia last year and the conference have been given many dates
in the past two years or two then had to be scrapped and postponed because they simply could not get enough agreement. Earlier this year in Moscow and before that throughout last year meeting after meeting was held in Budapest in Hungary. And invitations were sent out to all countries. Communist parties who wish to attempt to draft the agenda to discuss exactly the preliminary documents are would be put in fact by the time the conference meets the donkey work will of been done it will be a matter of when the end of practically any making very minor amendments the document would have already been hammered out and that's what's been taking the time that's where the disagreement as a reason. And who actually does drop the agenda you imply that it is something which is done on the basis of conference but one suspects perhaps that Moscow has the greater hand in it. Now this now that there is of course a Moscow draft but if other communist parties firmly say look we will not come to Moscow to have a conference if you insist on this graph which is quite clearly what I'm going to buy you have said not only the
Chinese are certainly staying away back to notably the Italian Communist Party and the legacy of London also the Communist Party of Great Britain they have insisted on in certain setting a number of passages into the document which market in one having a bit of a last preparatory meeting held in Moscow. Documents were drawn up some 200 alternative paragraphs. And these were all found out with the invitations to all the companies by the central committee as of all the commie parties of the world. That is to say I document about the organization of what they call the struggle against imperialism. A document about the proper way of conducting consultations within the international Communist movement and a document about the best way to celebrate Lenin's 100 birthday next year. David Grimm but if the final document Chartist an extent predictable what does the meeting really amount to. What do the Russians for example hope to get out of it from Moscow BBC correspondent Denis Blakely.
First of all perhaps to revive a critical internationalism in the communist movement a movement in the obvious which suffers from too many examples of national agenda. Although I think all international common is by being able to point to the fact that a number of part is done together and produce the final documents in the common documents mean a great deal. I think they do to the Russians not necessarily for what they can. The content of cake to the naked eye but for the effect of that credibility the conference whether it be a shining symbol of community cohesion and solidarity. Why is it perhaps not concern itself with an attempt to flesh out anything nor can it probably concern itself with criticism of individual is limited and that the Russians will get what they
want since they will not demand more. They know they can get this what they are going to take. I'm going to fight to be you. How many parties will actually be getting two members of a communist movement. Eighty one came to the 1960 conference in 1969. There will probably be about seven according to intelligent guesses and it isn't anything to go by. We know nothing at all about the internal deliberations of the conference which will merely have to read between the lines of the final document to which the conference will BBC Moscow correspondent Denis Blakey. After the 960 conference and the widening split between China and the Soviet Union the Russians attempted to get an outright condemnation of China from other communists all over the world and now it looks as if this is rather more than they can hope for. And it will go back specializes in Soviet affairs for the BBC and I asked him if he thought the
Soviet Union would press for a condemnation of the Chinese who were not of course be attending the conference. I suppose they would like an implicit condemnation of China or a Greece that would like to criticize China but it's very very dangerous for the silvered leaders to embark on this. A British delegate for example at one of the preparatory conferences said quite clearly that the British Communist Party would not tolerate any discussion of China without China being present. Well the British Communist Party is not particularly influential but the Romanian Communist Party for example was simply likely to walk out. If China is discussed. So that is you definitely presents a problem to the Soviet leader. Another problem facing Moscow is the so-called Brashear doctrine of limited sovereignty which was a nonstarter the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August one hundred sixty eight. I asked Chris speech East European specialist of The Economist.
If you thought any of the East European countries would want to raise this point in Moscow outside the conference and should the subject come up in the conference the only country in Eastern Europe that's likely to oppose it very much is Rumania Romania remains opposed to the version of doctrine both in theory and its implementation as in the case of Czechoslovakia. And I think that this has not in any way abated in recent months. Other European countries and here I mean particularly the members of the water pact who took part in the invasion of Czechoslovakia are likely to try and keep off the subject again for a very good reason because they realize that in the present mood Soviet rulers would not like to be publicly exposed criticized or attacked in any way. It has been suggested that Doctor Who site coups succeeded Mr Dubcek as communist party secretary in Czechoslovakia may ask other countries to keep off the question of the presence of Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia. But what advantage would
he gain from this Kristie. Well according to the rules of the game as Doctor Who site is playing it now he very much wants to be left alone with the Russians gradually to settle the problem between the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. He wants to give a good impression to the Russians of government if you like of loyalty to the Soviet Union and for this you need peace and quiet and there's little interference from the other communists as possible. Because Should there be any the Russians could easily conclude that this would be an engineer would certainly encourage from the Czechoslovak side and that could create difficulties for him in his relations with the Russians. Also this sort of attitude would probably be violence objected to by the very strong hardliners now within the Chivas Loic leadership who have gained ground in in recent months. So for all those reasons I think the advice of the Doctor Who so he's likely to give to the others would be do not discuss Czech Slovakia if at all
possible. But will request from Doctor Who to keep off the check question be respected at the Italian Communist Congress earlier this year. There was open criticism of the whole Brezhnev doctrine and of Moscow's intervention in Czechoslovakia. I asked David Graham who covered the Italian Congress for the BBC. If he thought the Italians would raise the subject in Moscow I mean to do so and there are several other Communist Party who are going to give him every support. Now I think it's perfectly possible that the Czechoslovak delegation I'm dies certain amount of. There was a suggestion from Soviet hosts may say please don't talk about Czechoslovakia internal affairs. What I think it absolutely clear is that several communist parties are going to be meeting in Moscow are going to say no no this is not just an internal Czechoslovak affair. This is the thing that concerns the whole international Communist movement. What happened last August undermined our common work together we're going to talk about it. They'll certainly talk about it in the lobby outside and probably on the conference hall.
David Graham. Well how far are the Italian communists the second largest Communist Party in the West likely to be the spearhead of an attack on recent Soviet actions. BBC Rome correspondent Patrick Smith. The aim of the Italian Communist leaders in Moscow would be to float their short term and would be to keep the discussions open. They have no wish to condemn outright the Peking line to excommunicate the Chinese as the Soviet leaders seem anxious to do. The Italians disagree but they do not condemn either side. They hope to persuade their colleagues to keep their options open. In an effort to avoid deepening still further the rift between the two communist superpowers. The Italians long term aim is more ambitious. It is to help the Moscow Congress achieve a definition of principles regarding relations between autonomous communist parties in sovereign states. For the Italian communists go to Moscow to restate the resolutions taken at their own national congress embark on your last
February which support what is commonly known as the two object line that is to confirm that each Communist Party which has a different point of departure in the various countries has the right to autonomy and that each Communist or Socialist State of the Communist description puts it has the right to its own sovereignty. They do not however regard themselves as the spearhead of a concerted West and communist attack on the ideological and strategic fortress of the Kremlin. Nor is mediators in the Sino-Soviet conflict. The Italians go to Moscow hoping that the wisdom of their leader the Laetoli Otty who preach unity in diversity will find some echo at least in the important gathering as it debates the major issue is convulsing the communist world today. BBC your own correspondent Patrick Smith. At the end of the conference I document will interact which will do its best to cover the main points raised at the conference. But what kind of document is it likely to be this time. A little gold bag.
It's bound to be around that anodyne document. In other words unity is likely to be mainly negative. It will probably be directed. Well it's bound to be directed against so-called American imperialist actions in Vietnam. It is balance to condemn the resurgence of neo fascism in West Germany on all these things. All the participants are likely to agree without the slightest difficulty but that of course does not yet mean real unity real unity must mean something positive. But the Soviet leadership will be able to announce to the world that. It has managed to call a particular conference and lutes got an agreed document so from the propaganda point of view it will have gained something. But the problems will definitely remain.
Anatole Goldberg. I asked David Grimm how predictable he thought the document is likely to be. Not predictable though over the arming I could be reading with a very dry as a lot of people welled up to see just how much of this. Undoubted ferment of criticism is reflected in the document heaving. The importance of the document is that for the next few years at least the whole controversy inside the International Communist movement will be conducted with reference to this document. Some will say you are betraying Iraq to someone will say look in this we are absolutely loyal to paragraph 17 that kind of thing. So it is more than just a formal declaration of we are all brothers together. Oh indeed yes. CARLSON rather than I will be clear. David Graham and the quarrelsome brothers are due to start their meeting on the 5th of June this is Bruce telephone in London. This was your BBC World Report. BBC World Report was made available to the station by the National Education or radio
- BBC world report
- Producing Organization
- British Broadcasting Corporation
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This program presents a news report on a gathering of world communists.
- Series Description
- British Broadcasting Corporation World Report #374, recorded May 20, 1969. Topic: World Communists Meet June 5, 1969. Host: Bruce Tulloch.
- Broadcast Date
- Media type
Host: Tulloch, Bruce
Producing Organization: British Broadcasting Corporation
Speaker: Blakely, Dennis
Speaker: Goldberg, Anatol, -1982
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-22-374 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- APA: BBC world report; World communists meet June 5, 1969. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-nv99b403