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Interview with “Pravda” Correspondent

On Churchill’s Speech at Fulton
March 13, 1946

The other day a “Pravda” correspondent asked Comrade Stalin to clarify a number of questions connected with Mr. Churchill’s speech. Below are given Comrade Stalin’s replies to the questions put by the correspondent.

Question: How do you appraise the latest speech Mr. Churchill delivered in the United States of America?

Answer: I appraise it as a dangerous act calculated to sow the seeds of discord between the Allied States and hamper their cooperation.

Question: Can Mr. Churchill’s speech be regarded as harmful to the cause of peace and security?

Answer: Unquestionably, yes. As a matter of fact, Mr. Churchill's position is now that of the incendiaries of war. And Mr. Churchill is not alone in this – he has friends not only in England but in the United States of America as well.

It should be noted that in this respect Mr. Churchill and his friends strikingly resemble Hitler and his friends. Hitler set out to unleash war by proclaiming the race theory, declaring that the German-speaking people constituted a superior nation. Mr. Churchill sets out to unleash war also with a race theory, by asserting that the English-speaking nations are superior nations called upon to decide the destinies of the entire world. The German race theory led Hitler and his friends to the conclusion that the Germans as the only superior nation must dominate other nations. The English race theory leads Mr. Churchill and his friends to the conclusion that the English-speaking nations, as the only superior nations, must dominate the other nations of the world.

As a matter of fact, Mr. Churchill and his friends in England and the U.S.A. are presenting something in the nature of an ultimatum to nations which do not speak English: recognize our domination voluntarily, and then everything will be in order – otherwise war is inevitable.

But the nations shed their blood during five years of fierce war for the sake of the freedom and independence of their countries, and not for the sake of replacing the domination of the Hitlers by the domination of the Churchills. Therefore, it is quite probable that the nations which do not speak English and at the same time constitute the vast majority of the world's population, will not agree to submit to the new slavery.

Mr. Churchill’s tragedy is that he, as an inveterate Tory, does not understand this simple and obvious truth.

Undoubtedly, Mr. Churchill’s line is that of war, a call to war against the U.S.S.R. It is also clear that this line of Mr. Churchill’s is incompatible with the existing treaty of alliance between Britain and the U.S.S.R. True, in order to confuse the readers, Mr. Churchill states in passing that the term of the Soviet-British treaty of mutual assistance and cooperation could perfectly well be extended to fifty years. But how can such a statement by Mr. Churchill be reconciled with his line of war against the U.S.S.R., with his preaching of war against the U.S.S.R.? Clearly these things cannot be reconciled by any means. And if Mr. Churchill, who is calling for war against the Soviet Union, at the same time believes it possible to extend the term of the Anglo-Soviet treaty to fifty years, that means that he regards this treaty as a mere scrap of paper which he needs only to cover up and camouflage his anti-Soviet line. Therefore we cannot treat seriously the hypocritical statement of Mr. Churchill’s friends in England concerning the extension of the term of the Soviet-British treaty to fifty years or more. The extension of the term of the treaty is meaningless if one of the parties violates the treaty and turns it into a mere scram of paper.

Question: How do you appraise that part of Mr. Churchill’s speech in which he attacks the democratic systems in the European states neighbouring with us and in which he criticizes the good-neighbourly relations established between these states and the Soviet Union?

Answer: This part of Mr. Churchill’s speech represents a mixture of elements of slander and with elements of rudeness and tactlessness.

Mr. Churchill asserts that “Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, Sofia – all these famous cities and populations around them lie within the Soviet sphere and all are subject in one form or another not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and increasing measure of control from Moscow.” Mr. Churchill describes all this as boundless "expansionist tendencies” of the Soviet Union.

No special effort is necessary to prove that in this case Mr. Churchill is rudely and shamelessly slandering both Moscow and the above-mentioned states neighbouring with the U.S.S.R.

Firstly, it is utterly absurd to speak of exclusive control of the U.S.S.R. in Vienna and Berlin, where there are Allied Control Councils composed of representatives of the four states and where the U.S.S.R. has only one-fourth of the votes. It does happen that some people cannot help slandering, but even then there should be a limit.

Secondly, one must not forget the following fact. The Germans invaded the U.S.S.R. through Finland, Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary. The Germans were able to effect their invasion by way of these countries because at that time governments hostile to the Soviet Union existed in these countries. Owing to the German invasion, the Soviet Union irrevocably lost in battles with the Germans and also as a result of German occupation and the driving off of Soviet people to German penal servitude, some 7,000,000 persons. In other words the Soviet Union lost several times more people than Britain and the United States of America taken together. Possibly some quarters are inclined to consign to oblivion these colossal sacrifices of the Soviet people which secured the liberation of Europe from the Hitlerite yoke. But the Soviet Union cannot forget them. The question arises, what can there be surprising about the fact that the Soviet Union, desiring to insure its security in the future, seeks to achieve a situation when those countries will have governments maintaining a friendly attitude towards the Soviet Union? How can anyone who has not gone mad describe these peaceful aspirations of the Soviet Union as expansionist tendencies of our state?

Mr. Churchill further states that "the Russian-dominated Polish Government has been encouraged to make enormous wrongful inroads upon Germany.”

Here every word is rude and offensive slander. Present-day democratic Poland is guided by outstanding men. They have proved by deeds that they are capable of defending the interests and dignity of their homeland in a manner of which their predecessors were not capable. What grounds has Mr. Churchill to assert that the leaders of present-day Poland can permit the "domination" of representatives of any foreign states whatever in their country? Is it not because Mr. Churchill intends to sow the seeds of discord in the relations between Poland and the Soviet Union that he slanders “the Russians” here?...

Mr. Churchill is displeased with the fact that Poland has effected a turn in her policy towards friendship and alliance with the U.S.S.R. There was a time when elements of conflict and contradiction prevailed in the relations between Poland and the U.S.S.R. That furnished statesmen of Mr. Churchill's kind with an opportunity to play on these contradictions, to lay their hands on Poland under the guise of protecting her from the Russians, to intimidate Russia with the spectre of war between her and Poland, and to reserve the position of arbitrators for themselves. But that time is past, for the enmity between Poland and Russia has yielded place to friendship between them, while Poland, present-day democratic Poland, does not want to be tossed around like a ball by foreigners any longer. It seems to me that it is this very circumstance that irritates Mr. Churchill and impels him to rude, tactless sallies against Poland. It is no joke: he is not allowed to play his game at someone else's expense....

As regards Mr. Churchill’s attack on the Soviet Union in connection with Poland’s extending her western frontier into Polish territories seized by the Germans in the past, here, it seems to me, he is obviously sharping. It is well known that the decision on Poland's western frontier was adopted at the Berlin Conference of the Three Powers on the basis of Poland’s demands. The Soviet Union has repeatedly stated that it regards Poland’s demands correct and just. It is quite probable that Mr. Churchill is displeased with that decision. But why does Mr. Churchill, while sparing no arrows against the position of the Russians in this matter, conceal from his readers the fact that the decision was adopted at the Berlin Conference unanimously, that not the Russians alone but the British and the Americans too voted for this decision? Why did Mr. Churchill need to mislead people?

Mr. Churchill further asserts that "the Communist Parties, which were previously very small in all these eastern states of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers, and seek everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police governments prevail in nearly every case, and thus far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy.”

It is well known that in Britain the state is now governed by one party, the Labour Party, while the opposition parties are devoid of the right to participate in the government of Britain. This is what Mr. Churchill calls true democracy. Poland, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Hungary are governed by blocs of several parties – from four to six parties – while the opposition, if it is more or less loyal, is secured the right of participating in the government. That is what Mr. Churchill calls totalitarianism, tyranny, police rule. Why and on what grounds – do not expect an answer from Mr. Churchill. Mr. Churchill does not understand in what a ridiculous position he places himself by his vociferous speeches about totalitarianism, tyranny, police rule.

Mr. Churchill would like Poland to be governed by Sosnkowski and Anders; Yugoslavia by Mikhailovic and Pavelic; Rumania by Prince Stirbei and Radescu; Hungary and Austria by some king of the house of Hapsburg, and so forth. Mr. Churchill wants to convince us that these gentlemen from the fascist backyard are capable of securing "true democracy." Such is Mr. Churchill's “democracy.”

Mr. Churchill is wandering about the truth when he speaks of the growth of the influence of the Communist parties in Eastern Europe. It should be noted, however, that he is not quite accurate. The influence of the Communist parties has grown not only in Eastern Europe but in almost all the countries of Europe where fascism ruled before (Italy, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Finland), or where German, Italian or Hungarian occupation took place (France, Belgium, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Greece, the Soviet Union and so forth).

The growth of the influence of the Communists cannot be regarded as fortuitous. It is a perfectly legitimate phenomenon. The influence of the Communists has grown because in the hard years of fascist domination in Europe, the Communists proved reliable, courageous, self-sacrificing fighters against the fascist regime, for the freedom of the peoples. Mr. Churchill sometimes mentions in his speeches "the simple people of cottages," patting them on the back in a lordly manner and posing as their friend. But these people are not so simple as they may seem at first glance. They, these "simple people," have their own views, their own policy, and they are able to stand up for themselves. It is they, the millions of these "simple people," who voted down Mr. Churchill and his party in England by casting their votes for the Labourites. It is they, the millions of these “simple people,” who isolated the reactionaries in Europe, the adherents of collaboration with fascism, and gave preference to the left democratic parties. It is they, the millions of these “simple people,” who tested the Communists in the fire of struggle and resistance to fascism and decided that the Communists fully deserved the people’s trust. That is how the influence of the Communists has grown in Europe. Such is the law of historical development.

Naturally, Mr. Churchill does not like such a course of development and he sounds the alarm, appealing to force. But he similarly did not like the birth of the Soviet regime in Russia after the First World War. Then too he sounded the alarm and organised the military campaign of "14 states" against Russia, setting himself the goal of turning the wheel of history back. But history proved stronger than Churchillian intervention, and Mr. Churchill’s quixotic ways brought about his utter defeat. I do not know whether Mr. Churchill and his friends will succeed in organizing after the Second World War a new military campaign against "Eastern Europe." But should they succeed – which is hardly probable, since millions of "simple people" are guarding the cause of peace – one can confidently say that they will be beaten just as they were beaten in the past, twenty-six years ago.

("Soviet Calendar 1917 - 1947")