Saturday, Dec. 15, 1962 . . . Page 8
From Plain Citizens Inside Russia:
Bitter Criticism of Khrushchev Regime
By PAUL MILLER
What appears to be the first comment
from plain Soviet citizens was received this
week on the interview of American editors,
including the writer, with Premier Khrushchev at Moscow last July.
The channels through which the message came may not be disclosed. But I believe it is an authentic communication from
anti-Khrushchev citizens of the U.S.S.R.
The message, in English, filled seven typewritten pages single spaced. It commented
specifically on the questions some of us put
to Khrushchev and — sarcastically — on his
The message made clear once more that
while the Soviet people as a whole give no
outward sign of growing restive under the
Communist dictatorship, there are some who
are bitterly critical.
I can give you a glimpse of the anti-
Khrushchev thinking in brief extracts. First,
here's how the message began:
"On July 13 of this year Nikita Khrushchev talked with a group of American journalists. We would like to reply to some of these
questions, not from the viewpoint of the ruling elite whose interests Khrushchev reflected in his replies, but from the viewpoint of
the common people who are given no opportunity to express themselves in the censor-
controlled press . . .
"This particular talk was of interest to
common people in that the American journalists pinned Nikita Khrushchev down with
their questions, and he had to twist and turn
to find answers to the questions put to him.
We do not agree with Khrushchev's answers."
. . . 'Peace-Maker Pose'
Our interview with Khrushchev was
opened by Lee Hills of the Knight Newspapers, president of the American Society
of Newspaper Editors. The "plain Soviet
citizens" quoted Hills and then not only assailed Communist party policy but challenged
the party's right to speak for the Soviet
people. Their communication put it as follows:
"To the question put by Mr. Lee Hills
(What are the problems dividing our countries?) one can answer very simply. The main
problem which divides our countries is that
the CPSU (Communist Party, Soviet Union)
leadership is totally unwilling to renounce
its delirious idea of achieving world supremacy and subjecting the whole world to Communist dictatorship. This requires no proof
since it is the cornerstone of the CPSU
"Until the dictatorship renounces this delirious idea, there will be no peace on earth.
There will merely be talk of peace, with the
wolf constantly arraying itself in sheep's
clothing and posing as a peace-maker and
advocate of of disarmament. That is how the
common people of Russia look upon this
The trouble "is, however, that their hands
are tied and a strong seal has been placed
on their lips. Everywhere and always the
CPSU speaks for a people which has nothing
in common with this CPSU ..."
. . . Tacts Will Out'
My questions to Khrushchev dealt with
Communist press and travel curbs. I wanted
to know when the Russian people are going
to be given facts — not falsehoods — about
the United States. The communication said:
"We can now proceed to answer Mr. Paul
Miller's question. It can be frankly said that
the peoples who live under Soviet domination
do not know the facts about life in the U.S.A.
A constant effort is made to cram people with
false data and inspire them with hatred for
what the party bosses always refer to as 'the
American aggressors.' The dictatorship fears
truth like death. Facts will out, and they are
all against the dictatorship. The dictatorship
is not in a position to refute them and there
is, therefore, only one course to take: Ban any
dissemination of Western publications or
speeches by Western statesmen, etc.
"People are literate now and understand
everything perfectly. Khrushchev is well
aware what a free press in Russia would lead
to. The point is that a free press undermines
the basis of the principles of Communist
doctrine by facts, and by facts alone. From
Western newspapers the common people of
Russia would also learn about the living
standard of the workers in the capitalist
countries, about the organization of the Common Market, and about the political unification of Europe, etc. And all this runs counter
to the outdated Marxist dogmas.
"It is this that the ruling elite fears worse
"Now about Mr. Miller's second question,
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
"I certainly do not advocate an invasion of Cuba at this time, but we will
be making a big mistake if we decide once again to turn our backs and wait
for Castro to collapse."
—Sen. Kenneth B. Keating of Rochester
The first two pages of the July '18 Pravda
(part of tront page above) wre given over almost entirely to the transcript of the American
editors' interview of Khrushchev.
on the lifting of all restrictions on the movement of Soviet tourists in the U.S.A. and
whether the Soviet Union would do away with
similar restrictions on the movement of
American tourists in the U.S.S.R.
"It's no good beating about the bush; one
must say straight out 'No!' It is not only a
question of the espionage-mania — without
which the dictatorship could not exist —
although this is of no small importance since,
if the dictatorship were to lift the ban on
the movement of foreign tourists in the
U.S.S.R., it would have to establish a secret
service throughout the U.S.S.R., and the dictatorship cannot afford to do this.
"All those towns which foreign tourists
visit have extra-large MVD and MGB contingents, and before the foreign tourist has ever
reached the U.S.S.R., secret dispatches on his
arrival in a particular town and the route he
is to take are sent out and the shadowing
"Now imagine what would happen if the
foreign tourist could freely choose his route
and go where he wanted. Not only would it
complicate the secret agent's work, it would
also reveal the seamy side of Soviet reality.
Foreign tourists would learn much that is
carefully concealed and which they never see
following the prearranged route."
Well, there it is.
As I noted at the outset of this report, I
cannot disclose how the communication came
to me. But I believe it is genuine, revealing
Soviet thinking of which Americans seldom
hear — thanks to the airtight control of
information imposed from Moscow.
. . . Who's an Insider?
I read the first three or four paragraphs of
a column on The Times-Union Editorial Page
the other day — then did something that more
and more readers must be doing these days:
I looked back up at the start of the column
to note the name of the columnist. I had paid
no attention to the name when I began reading. But when I saw that it purported to be
the inside story of a meeting between President Kennedy and Russia's Anastas Mikoyan,
I automatically checked the
byline. Why? Because I wanted to see whether the writer
was someone "close to the
The writer was Joseph Alsop. Recollections that popped
immediately to mind were these:
It was to Joe Alsop's home Alsop
that the President went for a
late party the night of his inauguration. Joe
Alsop has been a frequent White House guest.
Joe Alsop was a guest aboard the Presidential jet.
Thus reassured, I read on with interest!
Why this review of a reader's reactions?
Because I wonder if we are going to get
to the point of believing what we read about
Washington only if it comes from one we
know to be a Presidential intimate?
Apparently that is not the final test, however. For another friend of Kennedy wrote
The Saturday Evening Post piece about Adlai
Stevenson which has now been repudiated
by most concerned, and it was followed by a
piece in Life which gives another and contrary report as to Stevenson and the events
surrounding our stand on Cuba.
Our advice to the puzzled reader: Realize
that The Associated Press and United Press
International, along with several special services and our own news bureau, provide
straight news reporting, and interpretation
that is plainly labeled as such. I am not downgrading all columnists, but they may and
frequently do express their own opinions or
ideas as to what takes place and why. The
reader should bear that in mind in following
. . . Tax Cut Hopes Fade
A couple of months ago, some sort of 1963
income tax cut appeared almost certain.
Now the prospect seems to be fading, for
two reasons mainly:
(1) Business is looking more confidently
at the present and to the year ahead. No general downturn is predicted. Hence, there is
less talk of a quickie cut "to stimulate the
(2) Influential voices have joined the demand that any decrease in taxes be accompanied by a decrease in government spending.
But no one expects any substantial reduction
in spending by government.
There is as much talk as ever about "tax
reform" at the federal level. There may be
the start of constructive action. But this too
could be long in coming, although it is
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