December 28, 2021

1947. American Journalists Revisit Bastogne

Bastogne Rebuilds
General Anthony McAuliffe (left) and Lieutenant-Colonel Harry Kinnard in Bastogne, Belgium in 1944 during the Battle of the Bulge
From the "Special Issue: A Report to America Two Years After V-Day," This Week magazine, August 10, 1947, p. 26:

It is grateful to the GI's who saved the town and shrugs off the looting they did

Here's where the 101st Airborne Division and the 10th Armored Division held out for five days against the far heavier German forces and rejected the Nazi surrender ultimatum with a fine, peremptory "Nuts!"

Bastogne was a town of 5,000 people before it was threatened by von Rundstedt's Ardennes offensive. Then 4,000 were evacuated and the rest stayed in town to be encircled with the American troops. But of the total population, a thousand were killed in a few days.

Almost all of Bastogne's homes were hit and a quarter of them were destroyed by the 27,000 shells the Germans laid into them. But all through the town today you hear the sound of hammers and saws, for Bastogne is coming back fast.

This is true of Belgium generally. Her industrial areas were not badly damaged and she is recovering much more quickly than most European countries. As a result, her attitude toward America is different. She is more independent than the others, considerably more outspoken in her criticism.

The Bastognians, to be sure, are lavish in their praise of Americans as fighters. And "Mac-aw-leef" the general. There was a man!

They remember how they answered a call to supply bed-sheets as camouflage for the tanks—and how American paratroopers and tankmen were cold and needed blankets. The call went out, and within 10 minutes Bastognians were throwing their bedding at the GI's as if they had vast surpluses. Many of the Belgians went cold for a long time.

But the thousand civilians who stayed in town during the siege also remember another kind of beating they took—and not all of it was at the hands of the Germans.

One of those who stayed was George Fountaine. He now works in the town hall, on the floor above the police station. During the battle, he was appointed Acting Chief of Police, his main function being to keep 999 other Bastognians under ground. His home was taken as a command post and he likes to show you the machine-gun bullet holes in his dining-room table.

Smiling just a little—not much—Fountaine tells two stories, stories the British and French might not recall so readily for American ears.

One day, after finishing his civilian patrol, Fountaine came home and found paratroopers looting his house. One of them was making off with his typewriter. He protested. A soldier raised his gun and told him to get the hell out. He got out. When he came back he discovered they had taken not only his typewriter, but also his bicycle and his violin. He put in a claim for 25,000 francs and was allowed 3,000 ($25 or $30).

"Which was better," he admits ruefully "than most of us did in our claims against the army."

During another patrol of the town, Fountaine saw that a jewelry shop had been broken open. Inside he found a crowd of GI's loading up with rings and bracelets. Again he protested.

Two paratroopers took him by the arm, patted him on the back and said, "You're a fine fellow—you're doing a good job. Let's take a walk, George."

They walked him around the block, and when they got back the other paratroopers, and the jewelry, were gone.

Later Fountaine reported this to the local MP. "Sorry, bub," he was told. "I'm only here to direct traffic."

The independence which permits Belgians to make legitimate gripes like these seems also to inspire less worthy postures. Remember how Americans were at one time adopting embattled towns like St. Lô and Isigny? They took it upon themselves to contribute money for food and clothing. In some cases they even had children from the stricken towns brought to the United States to be educated and restored to health.

Well, after Bastogne was relieved and the Germans were pushed back, the townspeople said, "Now we are a bit of American history. The Americans will appreciate us and make our town rich."

But we never adopted Bastogne.

"We are orphans," says Fountaine, "completely abandoned."

A friend in his office interrupts.

"Not quite," he says. "Some English town—I forget the name—some town in northwest England adopted us."

They both looked as if this was something not quite fair. It was like being adopted by a poor uncle just before a rich uncle hears of your plight.

They are still hoping Bastogne may be adopted by Americans. In the meantime, they figure that whether or not we take them, maybe they can take us a little. They now look forward to the day when thousands of U.S. tourists will again make pilgrimages to European battlefields. Already they plan to erect a great war memorial which will be inscribed with the names of the 40,000 American soldiers who were casualties in the Ardennes.

Another plan, not yet approved, is to build a big arch at the entrance of the town, an arch with neon signs, no less, that will flash the arresting words: "Stop—you are entering Bastogne, the 'Nuts!' town."

November 29, 2021

1944. Charles Collingwood on D-Day

Charles Collingwood From Utah Beach

Charles Collingwood

June 6, 1944 (broadcast June 8)

EDWARD R. MURROW (from London): This is London. Late on the afternoon of D-Day, Charles Collingwood took his recording gear in a little 36-foot LCVP onto a French beach. Nearing the beach, the water was filled with floating objects. Part of a parachute; a K-ration box; a life jacket; wreckage from a ship; shell cases. Here is part of the recording.

CHARLES COLLINGWOOD: This is Charles Collingwood. We are on the beach today on D-Day. We've just come in. We caught a ride in a small boat which came in from our LST loaded with a thousand pounds of TNT, half a ton of high explosives on this beach which is still under considerable enemy gunfire.

While we have been here we have just seen one of the strangest and most remarkable sights of this invasion so far. Two great fleets of over a hundred gliders have gone overhead towed by C-47 transports, who are certainly proving the workhorses of this invasion. They've hauled them right over the beaches and it seems as though the German gunners, amazed at this incredible sight, have stopped firing on the beach now because it's quiet here, and the second batch are droning over now. I can see them. They're casting off the gliders as they circle around over the beach and the transports are circling around and beginning to make off home. Where they're landing we don't know because we're down here on the beach, and there's a seawall in front of us and we can't see the land behind.

This is the way the beach looks, which was hit by our troops about twelve hours ago early this morning. It's a flat, sandy beach, like almost any beach that you're likely to see, and it floats gently away from the shore—from the seashore up to the dunes and then to the seawall, which was the first objective of our troops and which they took early on in the game.

Since that time, we have been able to bring in quite a bit of equipment. There are various trucks and jeeps and motor vehicles of all kinds here. There are also antiaircraft guns. We breached the seawall in various places and have set up guns there to defend against any possible enemy counterattack on the beaches, which has not occurred.

A naval party has just come in from the shore and begun to unload our TNT here, which is taking a load off my mind as well as a load off this vessel. And I asked him how things were going and he said it was pretty rough still. I asked him how far the troops had gone on inshore and he said that they'd got five or six miles inshore, which sounds as though they're making good progress. He said that the beach was still under considerable gunfire. The Germans had some 88s which we haven't been able to silence.

These boys are apparently having a pretty tough time in here on the beaches. It's not very pleasant. It's exposed, and it must have been a rugged fight to get it—although as nearly as we can see there is not a great deal of evidence of damage. Perhaps that's because it has been smoothed up. We can look along down the coast now and see this flat part of the beach which joins the water, going all the way down to the lower beach which is marked for us by columns of white smoke which are arising from it. And further up at the end of this beach we can see another huge column of white smoke which has apparently been caused by naval gunfire.

Looking out to sea, all we can see of the vast invasion fleet which is assembled for us are the silhouettes of the big warships, the battleships, and cruisers which have been putting a steady bombardment against the enemy positions all day. We can also see a few of the transports, but the fleet of LCTs and LCIs and other craft, which we have brought and assembled back maybe ten miles offshore, is invisible from us at this moment. They're coming back now, taking off more and more of this ammunition.

We've got a captain here who has come by and is looking rather curiously at this gadget we've got. Captain, can you come over here a minute? Can you tell us how things are on the beaches?

LIEUTENANT: Thank you for "captain," but actually I'm a naval lieutenant. Sometimes we get on these beaches by—we get to look like all kinds of things, particularly after you take a few running jumps in the sand.

COLLINGWOOD: Well Lieutenant, what's your name?

LIEUTENANT: Well, I work for a rival network in New York City...


LIEUTENANT: So that—or I did and I don't think I wanna ruin your broadcast. Let's just—let's say we dropped in, and that alone.

COLLINGWOOD: Okay, well, how are things going on the beach there?

LIEUTENANT: I've only been in for a little while, while these other boys have been there all day and if you might have made—maybe an army word, it's "rugged" as a matter of fact.

COLLINGWOOD: Is the beach still under some enemy shellfire?

LIEUTENANT: The beach is being pounded by enemy shellfire, though we hope to have it knocked out in the near future.

COLLINGWOOD: Boy, those gliders that just went over were quite a sight, weren't they?

LIEUTENANT: That was a impressive thing. I think that all of you folks listening at home, if you could've heard the "oohs" and "aahs" from men who are really dug in the shell holes in the sand—if you had heard those it would've done your heart a lot of good. It certainly did mine to see them go by.

COLLINGWOOD: Well I can agree with that too because it was a very impressive sight.

And now looking out we can see them going back very low along the water. The C-47s—which brought the gliders in—they've cut loose. And here comes another flight. The third flight of gliders which is being pulled in. I can't tell how many of them there are. They're coming in over the beach here. Squadron upon squadron of them have lined up in perfect formation, with the gliders coming along behind the big C-47s, and they're coming in apparently to drop right where they dropped before. Further up the beach, there's a fire which has apparently just been started by enemy shelling. It's maybe a quarter of a mile up from us.

At the moment there's no shelling in our immediate vicinity, although when we first beached our little LCVP about a hundred yards down the beach, German 88s were kicking up big clouds of sand as they shelled our positions down there, and you can still see some smoke drifting off from it. And over to our left, there's what is left some small craft or other which has been hit and is burning.

A great big Rhino ferry is making its way into the beach loaded with every kind of vehicle and craft. I can make out jeeps and trucks on it, and men sitting up there manning their guns which are already in case of enemy air attack. But there is no enemy air to be seen anywhere around here. The sky however is filled with this third fleet of gliders which are coming in full of our airborne infantry.

There is something which just dropped into the ground—into the sea. I don't know whether it was a plane or what it was that it made a big splash up there as it dropped down from out of the sky. The gliders are coming in now hauled in by the C-47s and protected by fighters which are around there. I can make out Thunderbolts and Spitfires which are giving them cover, and they've just taken off the last of our thousand pounds of high explosives, which is making it considerably more pleasant on this little boat. They're having to wade in across maybe fifty yards of water to get it into the beach.

We've come in in this LCVP through the transport area where our ship is. It's taken us about two hours to get in, and we came in through the choppy seas, with every second wave breaking over the ship and dousing us with spray. Gene Ryder and I are—and everyone on this little boat—are soaked absolutely to the skin. We're wet through and through. The salt is (?) on our eyebrows. Every time we lick our lips we taste the salt. Our hands are cold and chapped as... We just found ourselves lucky that, after having made a trip like that, we don't have to go onto the beaches and fight. All we have to do is make the trip again.

GENE RYDER: I might tell the Navy Department we owe them one recorder.

COLLINGWOOD: Gene is referring to the fact that we took our recording machine which the Navy has lent us along with us here, and it has been absolutely inundated with the spray. Somehow or other Gene has made it work. I don't know what—he was out there polishing it with his handkerchief. Gene says he doesn't know how he made it work either.

And looking back now, turning around with my back to the beach and looking out to the sea, more and more and more of these glider-borne troops are coming in. These gliders are coming in towed very slowly by the big C-47s in what is apparently an unending stream. It's an incredible sight. And as that navy lieutenant told us a moment ago, the troops are waving and pointing and talking about it on the shore, at least those of them who have time and are not too busy taking care of themselves.

The troops are well dug in here along the seawall which is partly covered by sand. They're sitting down now, most of them dug deep into the ground as close as they can to the seawall to protect themselves from the enemy shelling. Some men are lining up further down the beach near a sign which says "five." They are taking over a truck and are apparently about to move off, whether through a breach into the seawall back inland or not, one can't tell.

We're standing here—it's an absolutely incredible and fantastic sight. I don't know whether it's possible to describe it to you or not. It's late in the afternoon. The sun is going down. The sea is choppy and the beach is lined with men and materiel and guns, trucks, vehicles of all kinds. On either side of us there are pillars of smoke perhaps a mile, two miles away, which are rising from enemy shelling. And further back we can see the smoke and results of our own shelling. Looking behind us we can see the big ships and the—some of the transports which have brought the troops in.

And overhead this incredible sight is still going on as more and more gliders are towed in by the C-47s going over the seawall, disappearing out of sight in apparently a wide sweep, and dropping their men somewhere back there who—for a function which we don't know anything about. All we can do is stand here and marvel at the spectacle. Now our men—we're trying to get the LCVP in closer to pick up the men who have been waiting ashore in this cold sea and choppy wind to pick up the stuff.

This place even smells like an invasion. It has a curious odor which we all have—associate with modern war. It's a smell of oil and high explosives and burning things. All—thank you. Come on over here! (?), who is one of the sailors, has just come with a handful of sand because he heard me say a while ago that what I wanted to do most of all was just to get ashore and reach down and take up a handful of sand and say "This is France!" and I've got it in my hands. France at last, after four years. (?), how does it feel just to reach down and grab a piece of sand and say "I'm grabbing French soil," huh?

SAILOR: Well it's—since I was born in France it has special meaning to me.

COLLINGWOOD: Were you born in France?


COLLINGWOOD: Where were you born?

SAILOR: In Calais.

COLLINGWOOD: You were? Well that's not very far from here. Well it has a special meaning for me too, as you can imagine. Have you got some? We've gotta save this. We've gotta put it in a bottle or something.

Now the transport planes are going back. The C-47s who came in towing the gliders, they're going back very close to the sea and we're going back too. We've got our men aboard all with handfuls of France in their hands, and we're going to save it because this has been a momentous occasion for all of us.

There go our motors. The ramp is going up. We're backing away from the beach now, and soon we'll be out in the salt spray and it'll be impossible for us to broadcast anymore.

MURROW: That was a recording made by Charles Collingwood at a French beach on the afternoon of D-Day. We return you now to the United States.

October 12, 2021

1943. War Correspondents and the Soviet Censors

The Cell of Moscow
Bill Downs' Soviet ID: "The People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs certifies that [Bill Downs] registered as a correspondent."
IN MOSCOW, 1941-1945

The German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 changed the course of the war in Europe. For Western reporters, an assignment to Moscow became a chance to witness firsthand the largest military front in human history. Those who were able to get the post, however, found it a frustrating and often tedious affair.

For four years, Western foreign correspondents based in Moscow lived in the Hotel Metropol along with their secretaries and translators. Their provisions were tight, but better than those allotted to the average Muscovite. The journalists had enough to get by, and sometimes even enjoy themselves, as Bill Downs described in April 1943: "Our entertainment here consists of vodka—which is liquid dynamite—and the ballet or opera—and the occasional poker game with a general or admiral—and an occasional date full of gestures and shouting with a Russian girl."

But they were there to do a job, and government officials did not make it easy. The Soviet People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs had absolute control over the press in Moscow, and party officials were a suffocating presence. Disputes arose over how and what content should be disseminated to Western audiences. Soviet officials knew that information coming out of Moscow could affect worldwide opinion of the country, and perhaps also the perceived viability of its own communist model. Such concern bred paranoia, and any report that they felt went against the government's carefully crafted image of a mighty and modern Russia—no matter how seemingly negligible the content—was killed long before broadcast.

According to Downs, "There was a fear that the correspondent could, by intonation, change the meaning of his report...When reading your dispatch on the air, there was always an English-speaking Communist broadcaster sitting alongside with his hand on the cut-out switch. If you unintentionally changed the grammar of the sentence, as sometimes happens, down would go the switch and you'd be off the air."

Reporters were thus forced to rely on Pravda, Red Star, Izvestia, and other government mouthpieces as their major primary sources for military updates on the Eastern Front. They paid careful attention to every word as they tried to piece together news. They had little choice, as anyone who went too far in challenging the censors risked being thrown out of the country.

War correspondent George Moorad summed it up in 1946:
"...I asked my friends, 'Just what does a Moscow correspondent write about?'

"A Moscow correspondent doesn't write, he rewrites, they explained patiently. All the material available has already been published in Russian newspapers, but some slight allowance is made for interpretation if the comment is considered favorable. The only loophole is that the Russian censors' knowledge of English is scanty and their judgment unpredictable. For instance, one worth-while story came from Pravda, eulogizing Russian inventive genius. Pravda told how the Russian inventor, Popov, had invented the radio six years before Marconi, and how other Russians were responsible for the first electric motor, incandescent lighting, the steam engine, the steamship, and a number of other outstanding gifts to mankind. This story had presumably been intended for domestic consumption, but the correspondents were able to cable it out, with a deadpan tribute to Soviet historical genius."
Even up-to-date maps of the Soviet Union were difficult to come by, and reporters struggled to determine Red Army military developments en route to targets like Oryol. It became a contest of sorts to see who could make the most accurate projection. No one was correct.

Over the years, Soviet officials took correspondents to places of interest both in and out of Moscow. However, unlike their counterparts elsewhere in Europe, these reporters were never taken to the front lines, and they were carefully monitored at all times.

Associated Press correspondent Eddy Gilmore recalled an incident from March 1942 in which his train ran out of fuel not far outside of Moscow. It ran on a wood-burning engine, and although it was capable of using other fuel, coal was scarce and reserved for the most essential trains. The train stopped to refuel at the nearest station, and an engineer and a fireman began loading the engine. It was more than a two-man job, however, and members of the foreign press party got out to assist. A frantic press department official ordered them to stop. When it was pointed out to him that the men seemed to appreciate the help, he relented, but warned that he would not approve any stories which mentioned the incident.

Things improved somewhat as the Soviets made military gains. Starting in early 1943, correspondents received guided tours closer to the front lines. They visited liberated cities such as Stalingrad, Kharkiv, and Leningrad.

In December 1943 officials took the press party to the Babi Yar ravine. Reporters were allowed to interview survivors from the nearby Syrets concentration camp and evaluate what had taken place. It was a firsthand display of Nazi war crimes. However, based on Moscow's track record, some of the reporters felt that certain stories required a degree of skepticism. Just a month later, Soviet officials staged a duplicitous visit to Katyn, a Russian village near which over 21,000 Polish prisoners were executed by the NKVD in 1940. The officials made a show of it. They hoped to convince the Western Allies that this was another Nazi atrocity, in part because Joseph Goebbels had previously used the discovery of the mass graves as a propaganda boon against the Soviets.
A foreign press party in Rzhev in 1943. Bill Downs is in the center in the far back.
In 1951, Downs answered a questionnaire from the newly-formed International Press Institute about his experiences in Moscow:
December 26, 1951

Mr. John Desmond
c/o Lester Markel
New York Times
Times Square
New York, N.Y.

Dear Mr. Desmond:

I am happy to reply to your questionnaire and offer whatever information I have for the IPI survey. I should like to explain that my year's assignment in the Soviet Union was in 1943 during the so-called period of good feeling, when the Red Army had just won its most important victory at Stalingrad, when American lend-lease aid was beginning to arrive in quantity, and when the Kremlin was looking forward to the Second Front. At this time the Soviet foreign office made an important change of policy toward the foreign correspondents. It was decided (presumably by the Politburo since all decisions on foreign relations are based there) that the Communist cause would be aided by allowing the correspondents to see and report on the tremendous victories then being won. The result was that, beginning in January 1943, the press section of the foreign office laid on a series of junkets, beginning with trips to the Stalingrad area and ending, I believe, in 1945 [sic] with the junket to the scene of the Katyn massacre. (I had left Russia by this time and my dates are open to question. Your non-atomic Bill Lawrence can fill you in on this.)

At any rate, this era of good feeling was something rare in Russian history, and it has never since been repeated. I might add that the policy at the time did pay off from the Kremlin viewpoint. For the first time we were able to write authoritatively of the tremendous achievements of the Red Army, and the Russians did build up a "bank account" of good will in the outside world. They also managed to create an atmosphere of trust, which was for a long time disappearing. I think the Teheran and Yalta conferences are proof of this.

However, it is my observation that the Soviet foreign office did not and does not understand the so-called "banking" of good will and has no interest in such a policy. The relaxation of restrictions on correspondents in 1943 was, I believe, ordered for two reasons: first, a natural pride in the achievements of their army and a desire to tell the world about it; second, to create pressure for a second front. There was and is no compromise with the basic thesis of Communist policy, which is to communize all nations of the worldeither through direct conquest or through revolution.

Now I'll tackle your questionnaire.

1. Based on your experience, how accurate are reports the outside world gets of what goes on in Russia from resident correspondents?

Within the scope of Soviet censorship, the resident correspondent can report accurately on government policy as announced by the Kremlin. However, the resident correspondent is not allowed to report such details as the living standards of the people he sees or the state of the national economy, which he can judge by visiting shops and stores and such news. He is not allowed to report on conversations, say, overheard on the subway or on the buses and streetcars. His isolation from the Russian people is manifoldfirst by the language barrier, second by the fact that he is restricted for the most part to Moscow, thirdly by government orders against association with foreigners, and fourthly by the atmosphere of fear and suspicion, which is part of the daily life of the people.
Outside of a few officials, it is doubtful that even the Russians themselves know what transpires in their country. The citizen of Tashkent is just as ignorant of what goes on in the Urals as is the correspondent in Moscow. Just as the foreign correspondent can be said to exist in the cell of Moscow, it can be said that the ordinary Russian also exists in a cell bounded by the community in which he lives and works. Only occasionally does rumor or a leak in the press break through these barriers which the government has inflicted on the people.

2. What was your personal experience with censorship and its operations, commenting at the same time on your freedom of movement?

During my stay in the Soviet Union, the government had the excuse of military security to fall back on. However, it is my belief that fear and suspicion are as much a part of the Russian censorship policy as security. There is another quality that is embraced in censorship policy too. This is pride. For example, we had many long arguments with the censors concerning the reporting of military casualties. The government wanted absolutely no mention of them. Our argument was that the worldand particularly Russia's alliesshould know the sacrifices the nation was making in fighting the war. But the attitude of the censor was that a Russian killed in battle somehow reflected on the national honor. There was a constant watch on copy to stop anythingbe it a humorous story or whatthat might possibly reflect on the Russian "honor."
As for the suspicion and fear, the best example I have of that concerns the Battle of Poltava near the end of 1943. I went with my secretary to the Lenin Library to look up the First Battle of Poltava in 1709 when Peter the Great defeated Charles of Sweden. I managed to dig up the number of men involved, the number of horses employed, and the number of guns in that first battle that ended the era of Swedish conquest. I thought it would make an interesting angle to supplement the 1943 battle story. However, the censor stopped all the statistics on that 240 year old battle because, he explained, it is "military information." It was obvious that he suspected some sort of a code.
3. How valuable is the contribution made by experts who analyze the Russian press, radio, and other sources to interpret what is going on in Russia? Should experts be used more widely than they are at present?

Analysis of the Russian press and radio is extremely valuable because there is such a scarcity of information coming out of that country that any contribution which leads to greater understanding of it is helpful. Also, the dynamic of Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism calls for a constant watch and reinterpretation of Soviet policy and Communist methods. The controversial nature of the Russian problem makes objectivity difficult to achieve. The more people who attempt to understand and interpret the better. As for using the so-called "experts" more widely, I'd have to know my expert, his background, and his expertise.

4. On the basis of your experience, and in the light of present circumstances, how valuable do you think it is to have a correspondent in Moscow? 
Most valuable. It keeps open a channel and maintains a precedent by maintaining bureaus in the second most important capital in the world. And while the correspondent on the scene may be allowed little freedom to report, there still are some things that even a dictatorship so complete as the Russian cannot hide from the reporter. He may not be able to report these things from Moscow, but he can report them when he leaves the country.

5. How would you proceed to give better coverage of Russia and the satellites, recognizing all the difficulties that lie in the way; e.g., do you feel that correspondents working in Stockholm, Vienna, Berlin, and Belgrade could improve our coverage because of their strategic location?

Considering the difficulties, it is hard to make any practical suggestions as to how to improve coverage of Russia beyond the present efforts being made. It is understandable that networks and newspapers have lost interest in maintaining bureaus in Moscow, but I believe it is most important that they do. The fact that there are so few correspondents in Moscow today would appear, in part at least, due to lack of interest by news distributing organizations to spend the money there. The pressure to get correspondents in has slackened.
Trying to report on Russia from the capitals of nations bordering the Iron Curtain is of doubtful value. In Berlin, for example, we were able to see Russian-directed policy for the German Communists. But there was very little to be collected about Russia itself. The only field which I can think of where there could be more comprehensive coverage is the field of foreign trade and economics. I have seen no roundup of what the Soviet Union is buying on the world marketsay, machine tools from Belgium, ball bearings from Sweden, textiles from India. Such information would be a valuable addition to the sum total of our day-to-day knowledge of the country.

It was a censorship problem that eventually resulted in the Soviet government completely banning radio reporting from Moscow. Press correspondents would submit their copy to the foreign office censorship, where it would disappear. The correspondent could not find out what had been cut from his copy until he was advised by his home office. However, radio scripts were submitted and had to be returned to us for reading on the air. Thus we could see what the censors had cut, and we were able to assess the government's attitude on subjects of a sensitive nature. The government obviously felt that its censorship was not complete. There was a fear that the correspondent could, by intonation, change the meaning of his report. In broadcasting from Moscow, the radio directorate censored the broadcasts, although we protested constantly against double censorship. However, the radio people very seldom tried to improve on the foreign office censorship. When reading your dispatch on the air, there was always an English-speaking Communist broadcaster sitting alongside with his hand on the cut-out switch. If you unintentionally changed the grammar of the sentence, as sometimes happens, down would go the switch and you'd be off the air.

I end this letter with a great feeling of inadequacy and frustration. The basic problem, of course, is the two conflicting theories about the function of the press and radio. The Soviet government sees the press only as an arm of the government whose chief duty is to forward the Communist cause. They do not understandor at least pretend not to understandthe role of the free press outside their country. The Soviet concept of news is that all information about Russia, no matter how trivial, comes under the heading of intelligence in the espionage meaning of the word. Consequently the foreign correspondent is tolerated as a kind of second-rate spy. The Tass agency forms the basis of all Soviet intelligence abroad, although most of the information that Tass gathers is regarded by us as legitimate news. It is not so regarded by the Soviet government. And since Tass correspondents are regarded by the Russian government as their agents, the government logically expects foreign correspondents in the capital to perform the same function.

In view of the restrictions and this official attitude, it's difficult to see how there can be any comprehensive coverage of the Soviet Union at all until the Communist policy, Communist aims, or Communist government of Russia changes or is changed.

I hope you find something useful in all of this.


Bill Downs

Downs, Bill (1943). From the William R. Downs papers at Georgetown University.

Gilmore, Eddy (1954). Me and My Russian Wife. Doubleday, pp. 82-84.

Lawrence, Bill (1972). Six Presidents, Too Many Wars. Saturday Review Press.

Moorad, George (1946). Behind the Iron Curtain. Fireside Press, Inc., pp. 15-16.

Reynolds, Quentin (1944). The Curtain Rises. Random House.

September 22, 2021

1957. Interview with Pakistan's Prime Minister Suhrawardy

An Interview with Prime Minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy

July 14, 1957

ANNOUNCER: Prime Minister Suhrawardy, "Face the Nation."

ANNOUNCER: You're about to see Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, Prime Minister of Pakistan, face the nation and the questions from veteran correspondents representing the nation's press.
Chalmers Roberts, diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post and Times Herald, Bill Downs of CBS News, and John Madigan of the Washington bureau of Newsweek. And now substituting for Stuart Novins from CBS News and Public Affairs, the moderator of "Face the Nation" George Herman.

GEORGE HERMAN: Insofar as Western policy is concerned, one nation forms the land bridge between the troubled Middle East and the potentially troublesome Far East. That nation is Pakistan, a Muslim republic which faces Iran and the Arab world on one frontier, and Burma and the Asian world on the other.
At the head of the pro-Western government of Pakistan is Prime Minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, a lawyer with a background of working for labor organizations and a foreground of fondness for the broadest possible kind of democracy. He has a reputation for frank and unabashed speech. We'll see about that now as we get our first question from Mr. Madigan.

JOHN MADIGAN: Mr. Prime Minister, what have you and President Eisenhower accomplished in your conferences that could not have been effected at the ambassadorial level or through meetings of our State Department with your foreign office?

HUSEYN SHAHEED SUHRAWARDY: Well I think personal contacts have their value, and we understand something more about American doctrine and American politics by personal contacts, and I think that President Eisenhower and Secretary Dulles also understand more of my mind and what I propose to do.

BILL DOWNS: Mr. Suhrawardy, the communiqué makes no specific mention of military aid. Your nation is a bridge between SEATO and the Baghdad Pact. Did you get additional military aid?

SUHRAWARDY: Well I don't know, but it is obvious that all the time we are reviewing our military requirements, Mr. Downs. The position really is that we are not seeking military aid in such quantities as it will make it difficult for us to digest all the aid that we get. We want just enough military aid to save us from aggression.

ROBERTS: You did ask, sir, while speaking to the President and the Secretary for some additional military equipment. Is that correct?

SUHRAWARDY: We have assessed—all that I can say is that we are continuously assessing our requirements. At the present moment, my view is that we have not received sufficient military aid.

ROBERTS: The communiqué that you have issued with the president jointly speaks of serious financial pressures on your government due to maintaining your military forces, which are allied of course with American forces in two specific pacts out there in your part of the world. What do you mean by that? What are those financial pressures, and what are you asking us to help you do to relieve them?

SUHRAWARDY: Well Mr. Roberts, the position is that our revenue and our income is not sufficient to maintain our military equipment at a proper standard. When I mean a proper standard, it is not sufficient to save us from aggression. And all that we want is that America should come to our assistance to that extent that we shall be able, without fear, of being attacked from any quarter to carry on with our cooperative effort and our constructive efforts.

DOWNS: Mr. Prime Minister, speaking of aggression, the Indians say that they fear an attack from Pakistan in the area of Kashmir. Do you intend to use military force to enforce what you consider your rights in that area?

SUHRAWARDY: Obviously not. We are not fools. The Indians are tremendously very much stronger than we are. It was the Indians that moved their forces on the borders of Pakistan twice, once in 1950 and another in 1951. We never moved our forces at their borders against them.

ROBERTS: Mr. Prime Minister, you've just said in this communiqué with the president that you have pledged to try to solve this Kashmir question with your Indian neighbors peacefully. Yet in a speech which you made in your own parliament not long before you came here you said that you had reached, in your approach to the United Nations, "Our very last throw of the dice. We cannot continue to live under these conditions." You have been unable to solve this directly with the Indians. What do you mean by that? How are you going to solve it?

SUHRAWARDY: I am afraid, Mr. Roberts, you misunderstood me. I have said, that so far as our relationship with India is concerned and the Kashmir question, we have tried to resolve the question by mutual conversation and contacts but we have not reached any conclusion. Consequently we have approached the United Nations now, and we expect that the United Nations would do justice.

MADIGAN: Do you feel, Mr. Prime Minister, that President Eisenhower is going to give you, through the United States in the United Nations, strong backing to try and get the demands?

SUHRAWARDY: Well, I am certain about it. If he doesn't do so I shall be deeply disappointed because I expect from him a sense of justice that he will try and seek that the matters between us are adjusted.

MADIGAN: He has so said, and you have in the communiqué, that he hoped it would be solved on a just basis, and under United Nations "principles" I think was the term that you used.


MADIGAN: What action expressly will be taken by the United States in the United Nations in relation to the Kashmir issue?

SUHRAWARDY: Oh I think Mr. Madigan that the United States ought, in the Security Council, and later on in the General Assembly—which is necessary for us to go to the General Assembly—to use its weight and its influence and its persuasion to see that the other countries of the world also realize the justice of our case.

MADIGAN: You say that the United States ought to do that. Has the President said that we will do that?

SUHRAWARDY: Well, I expect that he will.

MADIGAN: He has said so?

SUHRAWARDY: And if he has said so—well, I am sure that he will.

DOWNS: Mr. Prime Minister, we in this country are familiar with fights over water. In Kashmir and the Indus Valley which your country comprises, the Indians have been threatening to build dams which would cut off a large part of your irrigation water. Now, we have had range wars over this question in the West in the past, and even in the present I think over California and the rest of it—would you go to war if India did build these dams and cut off your livelihood that way?

SUHRAWARDY: Oh let us not talk about these hypothetical matters. I don't—I cannot conceive that India would ever be so—I would like a word—so barbarous to stop the water flowing down our rivers.

DOWNS: Well what is the solution to this, then?

SUHRAWARDY: This. There are, as you know, six rivers. Most of them rise in Kashmir. One of the reasons why therefore Kashmir is so important for us is this water, these waters which irrigate our lands. They do not irrigate Indian lands.
Now, what India has done is not threatening it is actually it is building a dam today, and it is threatening to cut off the waters of the three rivers for the purpose of irrigating some of its lands. Now if it does so without replacement, it is obvious that we shall be starved out and our people will die of thirst.
Under those circumstances I hope that contingency will never arise. You can well realize that, rather than dying in that manner, people will die fighting. Because that will be the very worst form of aggression.
But I think that before any such situation can arise, those countries of the world that undertake and have undertaken to ensure that peace exists and that matters between countries of our type are adjusted will step in to see that India does not perform any such barbarous actions.

ROBERTS: Mr. Prime Minister, that's at least a future contingency you're discussing. I'd like to ask you this about the Kashmir dispute with India. The Indians claim that the United Nations resolution on this question said that first of all, you should pull you troops out of Kashmir, and that all the other steps in the UN resolution were contingent on that, including the idea of plebiscite, and that you have never done that. What is Pakistan's answer to that charge?

SUHRAWARDY: Pakistan's answer to that charge is the United Nations resolution, and the reaffirmation of that resolution not so long ago was January the 24th or 23rd, 1957. After all, this matter is raised by India before the Security Council, and this contention has been rejected. That is not the correct reading of the resolutions of the United Nations. These are nothing else but plausible excuses that are put forward by Mr. Nehru for the purpose of giving a semblance of some adequate, specious reason for his intransigence.

MADIGAN: On this very show last Sunday, Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Nehru disagreed with your 100 percent.

SUHRAWARDY: Well I disagree with Mr. Nehru more than 100 percent, if that is possible.

DOWNS: Mr. Prime Minister, can there be real peace between Pakistan and India until you settle the religious question? When India was partitioned there was probably one of the greatest bloodbaths in civilization's history that took place. Several million people were slaughtered for religious reasons. Is there an answer to the dispute between the Hindu and the Muslim?

SUHRAWARDY: That matter is closed. India was partitioned on that ground. There were these tragedies that took place, particularly between the two wings of the Punjab, because passions were high. After that we have settled down to work.
There are—one eighth of the population of India is Muslim, one eighth of the population of Pakistan is non-Muslim. We are trying our level best to see that justice is done to the minorities. So far as we are concerned, we haven't had a single riot since 1950 when Nehru and the late Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan came to certain agreements regarding the treatment of the minorities. In India, I believe there have been as many as 402 from that time until now.

MADIGAN: Mr. Prime Minister, a few months ago when Mr Nehru was here in the United States, one of our colleagues referred to him as the "mystical man in the middle." He was referring to Mr. Nehru's stand on nonalignment and neutralism. What is your description of Mr. Nehru's position in the Cold War?
SUHRAWARDY: Well, I think that Mr. Nehru himself does not understand his position. Mr. Nehru occasionally leans on one side, occasionally on the other. The result is he gets the best of both worlds. That is to his advantage, and I think he continues to pursue that policy because up to now he has not been caught short on it.

MADIGAN: But you too, sir, up until a short time ago followed a policy of nonalignment.

SUHRAWARDY: No, I don't think so.

MADIGAN: You are interpreted as saying until 1953-54, not connecting yourself with either side, and I believe you have said recently that you have learned something since that time which had attached you solidly to the West. Am I correct?

SUHRAWARDY: Yes, the position was—if I can cast my mind back—it was some time in 1950, when I [inaudible] the question of these defensive pacts and alliances and so on. It not had been considered until some time in 1950 when I thought it desirable that we should remain aloof from the world conflict.
And still I would say this. That the policy which I have laid down to my country is goodwill towards all and malice towards none. There's no reason why we should start in a shining charger and start tilting against windmills. In 1953 or 1954 it was not—I do not think I ever stated that we should not ally ourselves with any countries.

ROBERTS: Mr Prime Minister—

SUHRAWARDY: But listen one minute. At that moment I had stated that I had not sufficient knowledge of the political situation and of our state of preparedness and so on, because the government did not take either the country or the opposition into confidence. Therefore, as I said, as I had not sufficient knowledge. I was not prepared to give a dictum as to what should be our policy. As I said that recently I have come to know more about the situation, and I am perfectly satisfied that the only manner in which Pakistan can be safe from aggression—and the security of the Middle East can be assured—is through these defensive pacts into which we have entered.

ROBERTS: Mr. Prime Minister, some of the cynics say that the reason Pakistan has joined these pacts with the Western countries, especially the United States, has to do in part at least with reasons other than military ones. That is, they have to do with economic reasons—that in in fact your budget is supported to some 40 percent by the United States. Is that correct?

SUHRAWARDY: Well our budget is supported to some extent, but that is not the reason why we have joined the United States. We were in the same boat as you know. We fought in the same manner. On account of the very religious fundamental principles that we profess.
Therefore this has nothing whatsoever to do with the economic situation. After all, the United Nations is assisting us as it is assisting forty other countries. That's an entirely different matter. But we are not selling our independence or our independence of thought or really even independence of action except for these economic reasons and political reasons.

DOWNS: Well Mr. Prime Minister—

SUHRAWARDY: But should the United States choose to cut it off, we shall still continue on the path which we have started down.

ROBERTS: Is 40 percent a correct figure of the amount of your budget which comes by one means or another in the form of American help?

SUHRAWARDY: Well I wouldn't—no, I don't think so. I think the great portion of the foreign exchange which is available to us for our development purposes—that comes from the United States because most of our foreign exchange is committed to meeting our own defense requirements.

DOWNS: Mr. Prime Minister, you are our bridge between the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and just north of you there is a big nation called China—Communist China—and you've been there recently I believe.


DOWNS: What is Pakistan's relationship and how do you feel about this colossus north of you?

SUHRAWARDY: Well I've told you that our policy is not to have malice against anyone, and so long as China does not interfere with us I see no reason why I should interfere with China. But China has got a very important place in world politics and you have to wait—it is trying to reconstruct itself.

DOWNS: Do you think that the United States should recognize China?

SUHRAWARDY: That is a matter of policy for the Unites States, and I think that only recently your Secretary of State Mr. Dulles has given what he considers to be very adequate reasons why China should not be recognized.

DOWNS: Do you agree with it?

SUHRAWARDY: To some extent I must say that—

ROBERTS: Mr. Prime Minister, you have diplomatic relations—does your government have diplomatic relations with Peking or with the Formosa government?

SUHRAWARDY: No, our government has diplomatic relations with the Peking government.

MADIGAN: Your communiqué—yours and President Eisenhower's—spoke of "exerting influence" in the Middle East to solve the problem there, the Israeli-Arab problem. What do you specifically mean? What type of influence, and how would you exert it?

SUHRAWARDY: Well I think that Palestinian question or the Israeli problem has got to be solved if we are ever going to be certain about peace in the Middle East. And I think that it is the duty of all persons of good will to do whatever they can in bringing about this peace.

MADIGAN: What specifically can Pakistan or the United States do?

SUHRAWARDY: Well, I think that they could bring the two parties together. They could try and reason with—

MADIGAN: Outside the United Nations?

SUHRAWARDY: Yes, outside the United Nations.

MADIGAN: In other words you're calling upon the United States to act as an individual mediator in this problem?


DOWNS: How about Pakistan? Would you be willing to be a mediator in this problem?

SUHRAWARDY: Yes, I think so.

DOWNS: There have been some speculations, Mr. Prime Minister, that you have ambitions to lead the Muslim world or at least pull it together. Mr. Nasser also has similar ambitions. Where do you stand on this struggle for the Muslim world, if there is one?

SUHRAWARDY: I think there is no struggle. If Mr. Nasser has got ambitions, well, let him pursue his ambitions. I have no such ambitions. All that I have been wanting to do is to bring the Muslim world together so that they can sit down at the same table, discuss matter amongst themselves. All these disputes which exist between the member nations may be resolved. International—with regard to international disputes—we may be able to put forward suggestions which may be able to resolve them. And so far as leadership is concerned, my view definitely is that if any country desires to get the leadership of the Muslim world then that combination, namely the Muslim world coming together, is bound to fail.

ROBERTS: Mr. Prime Minister, how is Pakistan in a position to exert any influence in the Middle East conflict between the Arabs and the Israelis when you have recently said of Israel, "We have never recognized it and we shall never recognize it." You are entirely on one side of that controversy are you not?

SUHRAWARDY: Well I'm afraid that is the position of Pakistan because I think that the creation of Israel was wrong. But after all there is Israel and everyone realizes that there must be an adjustment and an agreement between the Arab world—between the Arab nations that resent the existence of Israel, and Israel itself. An agreement of this nature connotes that they recognize the existence of Israel. That they recognize that, if there is an agreement between these two parties, then one of the parties is not exterminated.

ROBERTS: You would advise all the Muslim nations to accept Israel as a fact of life?

SUHRAWARDY: I'm afraid there is no other alternative. But there's no reason why Pakistan should recognize its existence as something's a fact; it's a very unpleasant fact.

MADIGAN: Mr. Prime Minister, doesn't your discussion here regarding China, Israel, Egypt, all these countries, the United States, Russia—you say don't tilt at windmills, don't start a war. Does this not place you a little bit in the position of, similar to Nehru's, nonalignment and like everybody?

SUHRAWARDY: Oh no. No. On the other hand we say this, that if there is aggression in respect of any of the countries with which we have agreed, it will be the duty of Pakistan to enter into the fray.

MADIGAN: You're saying then that all these pacts are only defensive pacts...

SUHRAWARDY: They are defensive.

MADIGAN: ...and that no more economic pressure should be brought to bear on any of these parties in the communist sphere of the world

SUHRAWARDY: Well I'm sure that that must also be the policy of the United States...

MADIGAN: Is it your policy?

SUHRAWARDY: ...not to have aggression

MADIGAN: Is it your policy to bring other pressures to bear on these nations?

SUHRAWARDY: Well I think—as I do not believe in their ideology. I think that we should try and see that they conform more to the things that we believe in. And possibly there are internal pressures as you can see now visible in these countries from which one can hope that there is going to be a change in the internal policy of—

HERMAN: Mr. Prime Minister—excuse me, Bill—you personally are pushing for wide general elections in your own country, yet one of your neighbors to the South, another distinguished Muslim leader Mr. Sukarno, has said that he thinks that the people of Asia are not yet ready for this broad kind of democracy. What is your answer to that?

SUHRAWARDY: Well Mr. Sukarno might speak for his country but not for ours. I think that we are. I think that the British have given us sufficient background to have. They have brought us up in that—within that atmosphere of democracy.

HERMAN: If I may follow your line of thought then you do not feel that the Dutch people gave the Indonesians enough of that kind of background?

SUHRAWARDY: I wouldn't like to go into the internal history of Indonesia.

DOWNS: Well Mr. Prime Minister, do you fear in your own country an ideological invasion from the north? In other words, do you have a political threat of communism in Pakistan?

SUHRAWARDY: Well I must say that attempts have been made to infiltrate into our country and there has been a certain amount of spread of communism. And unfortunately communist countries themselves have not to that extent directly interfered with that, or have infiltrated but have utilized neutral countries.

ROBERTS: You're saying that, are you saying sir that this communist spread of subversion is coming through the Indian Communist Party rather than centering, say, at the embassies of the Soviet Union and Chinese communists?

SUHRAWARDY: Well that's rather an embarrassing question, but there is no question about it that there are Indian agents in our country that are preaching communism amongst our people.

DOWNS: Well Prime Minister, recently our ally Britain changed her mind or at least diverted from our policy to liberalize her trade with Red China. Are you also going to liberalize your trade with Red China?

SUHRAWARDY: Well we have been trading with Red China to some extent. We have been selling it cotton we have been taking from them coal, which we need. I do not think that our trade can be of such a nature as can be considered to be of strategic value to China.

ROBERTS: At the start of the program, Mr. Prime Minister, you spoke of personal contacts with President Eisenhower; said they're good because it dispelled certain doubts. What doubts did you have concerning the United Sates or President Eisenhower?

SUHRAWARDY: Did I use the word—

ROBERTS: You didn't use the word "doubt." You said, "not clear in each other's minds what you were thinking or what the United States was thinking."

SUHRAWARDY: No. On the other hand possibly we were more confirmed in our views as to our attitude, and—

ROBERTS: Did you get everything you wanted while you were in Washington?

SUHRAWARDY: No, I didn't come here for a anything—not everything That's something that's gone wrong with you all to think that anybody who comes here, comes here with the idea of wanting something. Surely coming here and talking to your leaders means that I can also contribute something in the matter of thought.

ROBERTS: That wasn't said in the term of derogation, Mr. Prime Minister. It meant the legitimate desires that you might have.

SUHRAWARDY: Well, we all know the position and the relationship that exists between us, and that's that. Certainly we come here in order to make friends and to know the people more and to have personal contacts [inaudible] about the civilization and culture of your country.

ROBERTS: You want a "meeting of minds" is what you're saying, not merely material things.

SUHRAWARDY: Well I should put it like that Mr. Roberts. That probably is correct. I mean it's true I don't place myself on the par of the United States by any means. The United States is a very great country, and it has given a certain moral philosophy which did not exist before. Namely the country helping other smaller countries is something which people did not realize could be done.

HERMAN: I'm afraid that's all the time we have Mr. Prime Minister. Thank you very much for coming here to face the nation. Our thanks also to our panel of distinguished newsmen, Chalmers Roberts of The Washington Post and Times Herald, Bill Downs of CBS News, and John Madigan of Newsweek. This is George Herman.

August 31, 2021

1944. Report from Liberated Bayeux

Bayeux's Unofficial Holiday
"Two little girls being hoisted to the platform to present a bouquet of roses to a French War Correspondent who had addressed the enthusiastic crowd in Bayeux following the town's liberation by Allied forces, 9 June 1944" (source)
From the Daily Mail, June 10, 1944:
Children play; bells chime and shells whine overhead


This Norman town of Bayeux, only some 60 hours liberated, has declared an unofficial holiday. Everyone has put on his Sunday clothing.

The streets are lined with men, women, and children, and lots of dogs. The women and children smile, the men look grim and wave their hands.

Only the dogs remain quiet. They have seen so much fuss over the comings and goings of tanks and vehicles that it's old stuff to them.

Everyone who has one has dug out a tricolour flag, and the whole town is spotted with British flags from goodness knows where. You stop in the streets and a crowd gathers. Your jeep pulls to a corner and boys are all over it.

But it cannot be called riotous welcome. It is more a welcome with reservations—the reservations are only a mile and a half away.

A basket of eggs

The booming of German guns and the stutter of their machine guns are reminders to these people who have lived under the gun for some four years that liberation takes some getting used to—and it has to be made to stick. Somehow you can't blame them for these reservations. But our good armor and good will are slowly convincing them that this is not a Dunkirk operation and not a Dieppe raid.

The peculiar thing about this battle is that the French civilians are doing their best to ignore it. Not six streets from where a machine gun was operating, the residents of Bayeux were having their afternoon coffee, and the children were playing in the streets.

Turkey for dinner

I believe the children were actually enjoying the excitement. To them it was a come-to-life movie. There were eight children living in this house. It was shared by two women, both of whose husbands are still prisoners in German hands. An elderly man and his wife also lived there.

They said the uncompleted fortifications around the town had been built by local labour. The Germans paid four shillings a day for this work. Many of the men of the town have been shipped off for conscript labour in Germany.

The hotel gave us a treat for dinner. We had a cold hors d'oeuvre of potato salad and some German sausage. Then we had what was ordinarily the main course—mashed potatoes, mixed with some minced meat.

Then followed the treat—excellent roast turkey and peas. French cooking has not deteriorated under the Nazi rule. There is just less of it.

The underground

Walking down the main street, I came upon a brand new battle insignia. It is worn around the left arm and worn only by civilians. It is the red, white, and blue bandeau of the Fighting French. In the middle of this bandeau is the Cross of Lorraine.

These armbands are brand new and only recently handed out.

The civilians wearing them—and I saw half a dozen in the crowded street—grin self-consciously and give the V-sign. Many of them did not know themselves that their neighbours were members of the underground.

These people for four years worked in groups, but few knew who composed the group. They knew only that leader immediately superior to them. It is a proud day—the first day that they can come from underground and show their true colours. They are proud of them, as well they should be.

The sun is now setting and the artillery and tanks have started an evening bombardment. Big guns behind the town are sending their shells whistling over the hotel as I write. Somehow, with the peaceful appearance of this Norman community with its church bells chiming, and the smoke scenting the air, as housewives prepare the evening meals—somehow, all this noise is very vulgar and out of place.

July 23, 2021

1949. Drafting a German Constitution Amid the Cold War Power Struggle

The Socialist and Christian Democratic Parties Seek Compromise
The Basic Law of West Germany is signed in Bonn (source)
Bill Downs

CBS Berlin

April 23, 1949

Maybe it was the fine spring weather—the first this year here in Berlin—but for the past week this whole blockaded city has been a little balmy.

"Rumor happy" is the term we use for it. Everywhere you went last week—whether it be a diplomatic cocktail party, a ride on the subway, in a bus, or into the office of an occupation field—it was the same.

"What about it," the conversations invariably started. "Are the Russians going to lift the blockade?"

The tipsters here had a field day. Your phone would ring, and the usual mysterious voice would say: "I have it from a friend of mine who goes out with a girl who works at the Soviet military government headquarters in Karlshorst. The transportation division is repairing coal cars to run into the Ruhr."

Or a friend might say: "I was talking to my Communist contact a while ago. He seemed very depressed. Do you suppose the Soviets are really going to do it?"

As the unconfirmable reports spread, the West Berlin newspapers began to print them. And the fever rose.

It was a week ago Friday that there first appeared to be some basis for the possibility that the Berlin siege might be lifted.

The German Economic Commission of the Soviet zone announced that certain enterprises of East Berlin and East Germany had been granted permission to establish trade relations with German concerns in the Western sectors of blockaded Berlin. A day later, a similar call for commercial ties with the West was made by the burgomaster of the rump government of East Berlin, Fritz Ebert.

You remember that on the day before Easter, the airlift set an all-time delivery record, flying more than 12,900 tons of supplies into Berlin. This was hailed as a complete defeat of the Russian blockade—a fact that sent Berlin's hopes even higher.

There was a report that the Russians had directed that the Berlin-Cologne train, which would have run across the Soviet zone border, be rescheduled for service this summer.

And today the strongest rumor hedges a bit—according to this report, the Russians are preparing to lift the blockade, but it won't occur until the middle of the summer.

The only trouble is that no responsible Western official here will admit knowing anything about the blockade-lifting rumors. From General Clay on down, American authorities say no Russian approach has been made to them.

The other difficulty is that all of these unconfirmable reports could be true, and the blockade might possibly be lifted tomorrow.

The Berlin Blockade is now almost ten months old. For nine of those months, the Western powers' counter-blockade has been in force. The Soviet authorities slapped on their blockade last June on the excuse that the Western currency reform violated Four Power agreements. Since then, Germany has been operating on a dual currency—the West mark and the East mark. On official exchanges here in Berlin, one West mark is worth four East marks, which is just about the measure of the progress of the two economies in the Western zones and the Soviet zone.

Every official report that we have had for the past six months shows that the Soviet zone economy is in bad shape. In instituting their original blockade, the Russian officials did not anticipate the effects of a counter-blockade, and East German factories cannot function efficiently without coal and steel and machines and parts and replacements from the factories of the Ruhr. For example, one of the big problems that had to be solved in the Russian zone industry was conversion of their furnaces from the hard coal of the Ruhr valley to the soft coal which had to be brought in from Poland.

A few days ago, the British Control Commission issued a set of comparative figures which tell the story. Total industrial production for the past year increased 151 percent in the West, and according to the Communists, 126 percent in the Soviet zone. Coal production increased 232 percent in the Western zones and 113 percent in the East. In the metallurgical industries, the increase in the Soviet zone was 140 percent; in the American and British zones it was about 200 percent. And so on down the line.

Six weeks ago I was in Leipzig. By walking through a city's streets and looking into shop windows and watching the people, one can get the feel of the well-being of the Community. I can testify that there is no comparison between the Soviet zone city of Leipzig and, say, the American zonal city of Frankfurt.

I mention this because one of the strongest arguments pointing to the imminent lifting of the blockade here is the fact that an unhealthy East German economy is a great burden to the Soviet Union. It not only makes Russian stewardship of her zone difficult, but it also hampers reparation payments back to Russia.

However, there is every evidence that the interest of the Soviet Union in Germany is more political than economic.

It is in the political field that this blockade situation is most interesting. There are those here who argue that Russia has finally realized that her siege on Berlin and the zonal blockade has been a political mistake; that she has alienated more Germans than she has won to the cause of Communism by taking such stringent measures. Although her propagandists have been working overtime, it is the Soviet Union who has received the blame for the splitting of Germany. Thus it is time for Russia's blockade policy to change.

And yet there is more to it than that. During the conference of foreign ministers early this month when the Atlantic Pact was signed, America, Britain, and France reached important agreements concerning the future of Germany. The most important of these agreements was the decision to proceed at once with the establishment of the West German government.

For many months now, West German politicians have been struggling with a constitution. They had received directives and advice from the Western powers as to the kind of constitution which would be acceptable to the occupation powers.

But there was not real urgency then about the setting up of a West German state. France was hesitant, lest she create another Wehrmacht power; Britain feared for her foreign markets. American policy was to compromise these disagreements. They were compromised here in Washington. The German politicians were told to get a move on. And the Communists in East Germany took note.

The two main political parties in Western Germany are the Social Democrats—the Socialists, who have the most delegates to the constitutional convention—and the right wing Christian Democrats, who are also strong. There is another minority called the Free Democratic Party as well as a couple of Communists.

The Socialists and the Christian Democrats worked out one draft of a constitution to which the occupation powers objected, claiming it would establish a government with too much concentrated power in the administration. The occupation powers demanded that the new Germany be based on a federation of Länder, or states. The Christian Democrats were willing to go along, but the Socialists objected. They insisted that the socialist government which they planned to institute would be unworkable, broken up into states; and that nationalization of basic industries, which they favor, would have to be just that—nationalization with national centralized control. So they walked out of the constitution committee last week to hold a special party meeting to see how far their members would allow them to compromise.

In the meantime, the rumors that the Russians were going to lift the blockade were beginning to spread with a strange coincidental timing.

Last Wednesday the Socialists had their party meeting in Hanover. Before the results were announced, the Communist-dominated government of East Berlin called a press conference in which they would announce "The New Plan for Berlin."

However, on Wednesday night the Socialists announced that they would not compromise on the constitution. They petulantly attacked what they called the "interference" of the occupation powers. And the Socialists then submitted their own short-form constitution which they said would be the only basis on which they would participate in future negotiations.

In other words, with the agreement on the West German constitution so near, the Socialists balked at the last minute. Today, the Christian Democratic Party leaders and the Socialist Party leaders are meeting to try to work out their differences.

But the most interesting reaction to all of this came from the Communists. The extraordinary meeting of the East Berlin magistrate was called off. The special press conference in which Oberbürgermeister Ebert was to announce the "New Plan" for Berlin was canceled at the last minute. The West German Communists issued an appeal to their archenemy, the Socialists, asking that the Socialists continue to refuse collaboration with the Western powers and the right wing Christian Democrats. The Communists wanted to form a coalition with the Socialists in order to bring about what they called the unity of Germany.

In other words, the rumors circulated about the lifting of the blockade appear to be a major political instrument in which the German Communists hoped to delay the formation of the West German state.

So far, this rumor-mongering has succeeded. As long as the Socialists hold up the constitution, the Communists can wait.

The blockade in Germany is the main motivation for the establishment of a separate government in the West. The blockade splits the nation economically to begin with, and no German political party or individual would bear the responsibility of splitting the country in the future if a new government were formed. But if Russia lifts the blockade, then there would once again be economic unity in Germany. It would be extremely embarrassing to the West German politicians in the process of splitting Germany politically to be caught with their blockade down, because the keystone of any successful political party in this country is German unity.

The West German politician is a strange animal. He is a kind of Communist in reverse. The German Communists spend all their time praising and emulating the Soviet Union. It works the other way in the democratic zones, where the German politician must present himself as resisting the occupation; of refusing to toady to the Americans, British, or French. If he and his party are to get the votes, he must take the stand of "Germany for the Germans."

Thus, they often talk for German ears and act under occupation order and suggestion. It is still possible that there can be agreement on the constitution and establishment of a West German state by this summer.

If there is no agreement by the West German politicians, then the occupation powers may have to act in setting up a national government as they did in the German states. Or perhaps the Germans would find a solution in a national election of delegates to an assembly, which would mean long delay. There also has been some discussion of a possible plebiscite on the constitution.

On the other side of the Iron Curtain, the Communists are fighting the creation of such a state.

An unofficial promise to lift the blockade has already disrupted German political plans. But, if it comes, the Soviet Union is ready to move with the creation of an East German government under Russian sponsorship. Then the split of Germany would be complete.

However, today America, Britain, and France let it be known just how important they regard this project of forming a West German state.

They are attempting to reconcile the recalcitrant Socialists and the Christian Democrats by a last minute series of proposals to review sympathetically the points of differences.

This note was sent to the Bonn constitutional convention last night, and surprisingly enough, the German politicos accepted it in good faith and as an instrument which might speed their work on the constitution.

Now it all depends on the West German politicians. If they can reach agreement on a compromise constitution acceptable to the Western occupation powers, then the major step toward formation of this new government will have been taken. We should know by Monday, when the German political leaders are scheduled to meet the Western military governors.

This is the moment, some say, when the Russians might lift their blockade. For then the Communists could say, "Why have a divided Germany? There is no blockade anymore. Work with the political party of the Soviet zone and let us together strive for the creation of a unified country."

However, there is one important fact that emerges from this complicated and complex situation. The creation of the new West German state in the orbit of the democratic powers of the West has become a keystone in United States foreign policy—a policy that calls for the consolidation of all of democratic Western Europe into an economic whole to expedite the workings of the Marshall Plan.

The Western powers have seized the political initiative in Germany. We now await the counter-move from the East.

June 5, 2021

1955. The Murrow Boys on the Cold War

Years of Crisis: 1955

This edition of the annual news roundup "Years of Crisis" aired on January 1, 1956. CBS foreign correspondents gathered with Edward R. Murrow to discuss the international developments of the past year. The correspondents included: Bill Downs, Richard C. Hottelet, Alexander Kendrick, Robert Pierpoint, David Schoenbrun, Daniel Schorr, Eric Sevareid, and Howard K. Smith.

From CBS, January 1, 1956:
ANNOUNCER: "Years of Crisis: 1955." At this time, CBS Radio presents the seventh annual year-end report by CBS News correspondents who have gathered in New York from their posts around the world. Eight members of this distinguished team of reporters are meeting today with Edward R. Murrow to bring you this recorded analysis of the year's major news developments. Now, here is Mr. Murrow.

EDWARD R. MURROW: Let's begin, gentlemen, with the question: What kind of year has it been? First, Bob Pierpoint, stationed in Tokyo, who is just back from a trip through Southeast Asia.

ROBERT PIERPOINT: It's been a year of change, of awakening, and of opportunity.

MURROW: Dick Hottelet from West Germany.

RICHARD C. HOTTELET: In Germany, fulfillment has been clouded by fear and frustration.

MURROW: David Schoenbrun from Paris.

DAVID SCHOENBRUN: For the French, a year of terror in North Africa, and the end is not yet in sight.

MURROW: Eric Sevareid, the chief of our Washington bureau.

ERIC SEVAREID: In America, a year of bigness in everything from business to basketball players, but not in doubts. The doubts were small.

MURROW: Howard Smith, our chief European correspondent from London.

HOWARD K. SMITH: In Britain I suppose it's been a year of converting the nation from the stern Cold War fortress of Churchill to what might be called the prosperous "Garden of Eden."

MURROW: Dan Schorr from Moscow.

DANIEL SCHORR: In the Soviet Union, the year of aggressive coexistence. The year when Kaganovich proclaimed "this is a century of communism."

MURROW: Alex Kendrick from Africa.

ALEXANDER KENDRICK: In most of Africa, a year of dawn, but in South Africa, a year of sunset.

MURROW: Bill Downs from Rome and the Middle East.

BILL DOWNS: In the Eastern Mediterranean this has been the year of the hot grenade and the concrete kindergarten.

MURROW: Well it would appear then, gentlemen, that we still live in a time of crisis. Do you find that the nature of this continuing crisis has changed? Dave Schoenbrun, how do you feel about this as you view it from Paris?

SCHOENBRUN: I feel the crisis has changed in time and place and kind. In time, there's no longer the sense of immediacy, the ever-present fear of war that characterized the last decade of history. In place, the crisis has shifted from Europe to the Middle East and Asia. Finally, it's a different kind of crisis. The Russians call it "competitive coexistence." Mr. Dulles calls it "peaceful competition." So apparently the Americans and Russians do agree on one thing: the crisis has changed in form. But I would say that we could all agree that fundamentally it is still the ancient crisis of freedom versus tyranny.

MURROW: Eric Sevareid, how does it look to you in Washington?

SEVAREID: About as it looks to Dave in Paris I think, Ed, but this is not only a struggle of ideologies, it's also an old-fashioned power struggle for purely national ends. Russia has not yet balanced the air-atomic equation. She has gone only two thirds of the way. First, our advantage was in the supply of the weapon itself, and she equalized that. Our next advantage was in the means of delivering the weapon. Judging by this year's report on her long range bombers, she is about to equalize that.

Our last remaining advantage is in the location of the bases from which the weapon can be delivered, and Russia's immediate objective is to equalize that one. She can't get our bases out of Europe anytime soon. She is trying to remove them from the Middle East. She is determined to break up the American-British alliance system now extending along her southern borders. She began that process with an end run: the arms deal with Egypt.

MURROW: Dan Schorr, what do you say as someone who has just spent four months in Moscow?

SCHORR: In the Soviet Union the big change is the recognition of an atomic stalemate, or the "senselessness of war" as Bulganin and Khrushchev have put it. The idea of inevitable war followed by inevitable victory of communism is out the window. Now it's recognized war might be followed by inevitable nothingness. In the Communist Party Congress in February, the first since Stalin's death, will have to face up to that.

MURROW: Bob Pierpoint, what about the continuing crisis in Asia?

PIERPOINT: In a sense the crisis in Asia, Ed, has become more of a standing threat now that the communists have at least temporarily halted their military aggression. Only in the Formosa area is there still a shooting war. Elsewhere during this past year the Reds switched their emphasis from the military to the political and economic. They've started a sales campaign. The Soviet Reds even sent their two super salesmen, Mr. Khrushchev and Mr. Bulganin, old baldy and bulgy as we call them in the Far East, to spread the good word of communism through India and Burma. It's the new soft line.

MURROW: Howard Smith, how would you explain these new tactics?

SMITH: Well, let me put it this way, Ed. I think we were on the road to war, then both we and the Russians became afraid that war in the fusion bomb age would mean mutual annihilation, so in 1955 we both tacitly agreed to turn off onto a new road which might be called "struggle by all means other than war."

I think the Russians were not sure what our intentions were, so they paid some high prices in 1955 to get us to declare. They gave Austria her peace treaty, they abased themselves before the Yugoslavs, they cut some amiable capers in the presence of American reporters who reported this home, and this affected public opinion.

That public opinion enabled the president to reject his party's right wing, which was opposed to negotiation, and persuaded the president to go to the Geneva Summit talks and show, by his behavior, what the Russians wanted to know: that America very much wanted peace and could be counted on to remain peaceful unless militarily provoked. With that assurance, the Soviets proceeded to what is called "the new phase of the conflict." Courting Asian countries, spreading bad will propaganda. The new phase is troublesome, but I think it's a decided change for the better.

MURROW: Well some of you fellows have mentioned the phrase "the Geneva spirit." Whatever happened to the Geneva spirit, anyway? Hottelet?

HOTTELET: The "Geneva spirit" was a fabulous piece of political ectoplasm. Howard has described how the Russians conjured it up. Austria, Belgrade, establishing relations with Adenauer's Germany, cutting the Soviet army by 640,000 men, and finally, at the summit, swearing that they want peace as much as we do.

But what the Kremlin really wanted was a breathing spell. It wanted outer calm to cope with difficult internal problems, political, economic, and military. Meanwhile, it wanted to hold its ground and soften up the West by getting Western recognition of the status quo. "Live and let live" is an appealing slogan, but it was designed to weaken Western resolve and kill the hopes of people in communist hands. The Western foreign ministers at Geneva showed how phony it was.

MURROW: Bill Downs, what do you think happened to the "Geneva spirit?"

DOWNS: Well I think that so-called spirit was only "coexistence with a smile." Then, when Molotov frowned at the foreign ministers conference four months after the summit conference, the West for some reason felt hurt and disappointed. But the basic fact of coexistence as a substitute for war has not changed in Geneva or anywhere else.

MURROW: Howard Smith, that summit meeting produced a lot of high hopes. What do you think went wrong?

SMITH: Well the spirit of cordiality that was so obvious there, that was visible there, was simply not followed up by either side I think, Ed. We know that the Russians refused to come closer to us by yielding vital interests like their hold on East Germany. We found that they were still afraid to let their people have too much free contact with Western people. In a very marathon of conferences on disarmament they proved that they still wanted to make propaganda on that subject but there was still no basis of trust on which to construct any real agreement to disarm.

We know all these things, but what we tend to overlook, I think, is that we too did nothing to develop the spirit. We continued, for example, to build military bases on Russia's frontier in Iran, for example. I think it's a little misleading of us to blame the Russians entirely for the failure of the Geneva spirit.

I would say that the basic truth probably is in present circumstances a spirit of friendship between us is out of the question. The Geneva spirit really had no foundation. I would like to emphasize however that I believe the Geneva Summit talks did radically change the terms of the world argument from war to less dangerous methods, and I think that was an achievement.

MURROW: Alex Kendrick, what do you think was achieved by the Geneva meetings?

KENDRICK: Well don't forget there were three Geneva conferences this year and not two, and it may be that the middle one turns out to be the most important. That was the one devoted to the peaceful uses of atomic energy based on the exchange of information and the reestablishment of scientific relations between East and West. Now this was done on a limited scale, but nevertheless it was done. And it's too early to see to what degree this liaison is being maintained, but I think an important step has been taken in the realm of competitive coexistence. The three Geneva conferences—two political and one scientific—canceled out the atom and started East-West competition on a new basis. I think that's what the Geneva spirit really means, and I think it's still around and likely to be so for some time.

MURROW: Well, Dan Schorr, from your base of operations in Moscow what do the Russian people think about the Geneva spirit?

SCHORR: Well, oddly enough, the Russian man on the street isn't aware of any change in climate since the Geneva foreign ministers' conference. I think we've misunderstood what the Soviets meant by "Geneva spirit." To them it meant a standoff among the atomic powers to allow them to pursue their aims without fear of a general war.

But the trouble they've been stirring up in Asia and Africa—well, that's just their idea of competitive coexistence. When President Eisenhower talks of freedom for satellite states, Khrushchev gets mad because under their idea of "Geneva spirit," or let's say the Moscow spirit, we're supposed to accept the status quo in Europe. In a word, we're not supposed to rock their boat while they're trying to rock ours. That's their idea of coexistence.

MURROW: And Bob Pierpoint, what about the Geneva spirit in Asia?

PIERPOINT: The new communist approach during the past year—and that's what I think we're already talking about here, Ed—it emerged in Asia at Bandung even before the first Geneva conference. Delegates from twenty-nine different African and Asian nations met in April at Bandung, Indonesia to discuss the problems and the ambitions of the world's colored peoples, the non-whites. It was the first time in history that a strictly racial conference of this scope has ever been attempted. Well over half the population of the world was represented.

It was the Afro-Asian conference at Bandung that gave the communists the opportunity to peddle this thing we call the "Geneva spirit." The five principles of coexistence, the peaceful, friendly line. The sort of naive faith that the communists sold at Bandung is still going very well. I'd say, Ed, that the hopes inspired by Bandung and Geneva are far from dead in Asia.

MURROW: Well the Geneva spirit would seem to be a much livelier ghost in the Soviet Union and in Asia than it is in the West. Now let's try to find out what you gentlemen think was the single most significant change in your area during 1955. Kendrick, what did you observe in Africa?

KENDRICK: The most significant change in Africa in 1955 was the unilateral declaration of independence by the Sudan. The Sudanese just couldn't wait to go through the proscribed constitutional process, and this urge to get rid of colonialism on a can't-wait basis is spreading through Africa.

MURROW: Howard Smith?

SMITH: I think probably the main change in Britain was the one that took place in Princess Margaret's mind.

MURROW: And like everything else in Britain that was a gradual change, wasn't it? (laughter) Hottelet?

HOTTELET: West Germany became a sovereign nation. It put aside the cushions and crutches of Allied occupation and went ahead on its own. Adenauer's Germany now has complete freedom of choice, and unlike Princess Margaret it has not changed its mind. It's still carrying its full share of responsibility in the Western alliance, and it feels the full force of communist pressure.

MURROW: Pierpoint, what was the most important thing that happened in Asia?

PIERPOINT: Perhaps it was the realization, partly inspired by that Bandung conference again, that Asians as a people are a powerful force in the world today. The men who met at Bandung are now fully aware that when they get together they make up the largest share of the world's population. And this realization of their potential has given them added and needed confidence. Asians are becoming increasingly aware that not only can they throw off the domination of the white colonials and successfully rule themselves, but even that they can grow industrially and militarily strong. Today the people of Asia are beginning to understand that it's not only the Westerner who can be rich and powerful.

MURROW: Dan Schorr, what about the Soviet Union?

SCHORR: Well, there the most significant change was the opening of windows on the West and the way the Russians have flocked to those windows for a breath of fresh air. It's now officially permitted—in fact almost compulsory since things that are not prohibited there are compulsory—to note American superiority in some technical fields. Russians are meeting a few Americans, and there's an explosion of enthusiasm about the whole West as if they were starved for these contacts.

Last week I saw members of the Porgy and Bess Company almost mobbed by admirers on the streets of Leningrad. And the whole Soviet world of art and culture is breaking through the old Stalinist crust, groping for new freedoms. All this may go further and faster than the rulers intended. The thaw has already reached a point where even now it would take some grave international crisis to turn it off.

MURROW: Bill Downs, what's the single most important thing that happened in your area?

DOWNS: Well, out of right field in the Eastern Mediterranean I'm sure it's the new conditions created by the communist arms sale to Egypt. This not only represents a Russian foothold in the Middle East, but also reveals a new pattern of foreign economic policy now being employed by the Soviet bloc.

In fact, probably of more importance than the sale of Stalin tanks and MiG jets to the Egyptians is the Russian offer to finance the High Dam on the Nile—though as of now the revolutionary government of Premier Nasser has not chosen to further mortgage its future to the communists. But it would appear that the Russians are now embarking on their own brand of economic aid to win alliances and support among the uncommitted peoples of the world. It's a challenging Moscow Marshall Plan.

MURROW: Eric Sevareid?

SEVAREID: Well, Ed, of course the President's heart attack, but in connection with that the start of, I think, a great change in the institution of the presidency, towards trimming its responsibilities to manageable size which might soon take actually statutory form.

MURROW: And Dave Schoenbrun from Paris.

SCHOENBRUN: I think a social revolution began in France this year almost unnoticed. The nationalized Renault automobile company offered its workers a guaranteed wage increase if they helped to increase production. The communist unions rejected the offer as a capitalist trick—a speed up system—but the workers accepted it. They forced their communist labor leaders to endorse the contracts.

This has been a severe setback to communism, for it means that the French workers no longer believe a basic Marxist axiom, the inevitable corporatization of the working class in capitalist society. Or translated simply, that the bosses just won't share increased profits with the workers. This I think has been a direct result of an American example, which was the granting of a guaranteed annual wage to the auto workers. It opened up the eyes of the French workers, and I think it blackened the eyes of the communists.

MURROW: Well, gentlemen, unrest exists in great areas of the world. There has been something of a disposition I think to credit this to communism. But much of it, I suspect, may be a natural reaction to colonialism. Would you fellows care to comment on that? Will you start, Pierpoint?

PIERPOINT: Colonialism still exists as a burning issue in the minds of millions of Asian peoples, Ed. Peoples who've won freedom only in the recent past. It exists because they cannot quickly forget the indignities and the frustrations of colonial rule. And because they simply don't trust the white man. The question that bothers me is whether it's really necessary for America to stay neutral on this problem of colonialism. In Asia people say bitterly that America refuses to oppose colonialism anymore because it may hurt our relations with our NATO allies. What about this, is it true?

SMITH: No, I don't think so, Bob. Our allies are not in NATO merely to please us. They're in the alliance for their own survival, and I don't think we need support their colonial rule just to keep them as allies.

MURROW: Alex Kendrick, what about colonialism in Africa?

KENDRICK: It's a hundred years old there, and in one form or another it may survive in some places for a good while to come. But this year I think its death knell was heard. The Sudan took its own independence and there was nobody there to say no. After keeping him in exile for two years, the British were compelled to let the Kabaka, the tribal ruler, come back to Uganda in order to keep their slight grip there. A major event is about to occur in Kenya. The black man will be given the vote. Nigeria and the Gold Coast, longtime British colonies, should be getting their independence in 1956.

And the interesting thing is that all this, Africa busting out all over, has taken place without any reference to the Cold War. Colonialism is not being ended by the power and assistance of international communism, as Khrushchev and Bulganin boasted just the other day. But it's by the deep-seated, natural instincts on the one hand, and the acceptance of inevitability on the other.

MURROW: Well of course you don't mean to imply that the communists are not interested in Africa, Alex?

KENDRICK: No not at all, Ed, because as colonies become independent, their first reaction is to be over-independent and to avoid East-West complications by staying neutral. And that, a communist would like. The uncommitted nations that Khrushchev and Bulganin are wooing lie in Africa as much as in Asia. The Bandung conference was as much African as Asian.

But it's easy to blame unpalatable developments on communism, and I think we make that mistake most often in Africa. In the first place, the ending of colonialism should not be unpalatable for us. And in the second place, there's no credit to communism there. African nationalism owes less to Marx than to Woodrow Wilson, and even Mao Mao was the result of a London, and not a Moscow, education.

MURROW: Dave Schoenbrun, you recently visited North Africa. What's the outlook there?

SCHOENBRUN: Great crisis ahead, Ed, but for the first time I think some hope. Slowly, painfully, with mental reservations but irrevocably, France is coming to terms with North African nationalism. Home rule was granted to Tunisia this spring, and now nothing can stop Tunisia's evolution to complete independence whether the French grant it or not. The same is true for Morocco. I was there a few weeks ago, and saw the sultan restored to his throne and independent government set up.

Now, this didn't bring peace overnight, of course. The French are still paying the price in blood for years of oppression. But the turning point has been passed and hope is ahead, except in one place: Algeria. The crisis there is desperate. The French made Algeria part of France in law, but not in fact. Almost one million French settlers are an oasis of wealth and privilege in a desert of misery for eight million Arabs and Berbers. I don't know how they can resolve this built-in conflict between two such huge and almost irreconcilable masses. But I am sure of this—Algeria too means to be, and will be, free.

MURROW: Howard Smith, the British have had a lot of experience with colonialism and have liquidated most of their empire. What's the future as viewed from London?

SMITH: Well, there's a casebook example of some people giving the communists credit they don't deserve, and that I'm afraid is Britain's handling of the Cyprus question. It's a case of pure British bungling with no assists from any other quarter.

MURROW: Eric Sevareid, on this issue of colonialism, does it seem to you that our country is stepping a bit out of its traditional character?

SEVAREID: I think it is, Ed. We have a 180-year-old tradition of very vigorously opposing colonialism, because we were a colony. I think we're downgrading this tradition now. Maybe not in our words—there's still a lot of words about this—but in our acts or our non-acts. The reasons are rather obvious. Our chief allies happen to be colonial powers, and also I think because apparently we do not dare to appear to be on the same side of any question with a communist. But I don't know, Ed, maybe it's not so important. To judge by what these boys have been saying, colonialism seems to be liquidating itself.

MURROW: Well, Dick Hottelet, what about the Soviet-style colonialism?

HOTTELET: That is not liquidating itself. You know, the hypocrisy with which the Russians have capitalized on colonialism is nothing short of staggering. It's they who've brought a new, twentieth century brand of colonialism into world history. The satellites of Eastern Europe are Soviet colonies. They're exploited for Russia's profit, molded on the Soviet pattern, and for them there's little present hope of liberation.

Look at East Germany. The whole economy is geared to the Soviet five-year plan. Moscow sets the terms of trade and gets the gravy. The people live in poverty. Collective farms are taking over agriculture. The middle class and the little businessmen are being wiped out. Opposition is destroyed. Only the communist bosses are sitting pretty. That's Russian colonialism for you.

KENDRICK: Yes, and don't forget, Dick, about Soviet Central Asia. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

MURROW: Well certainly Russia practices colonialism. The United States often merely abstains. Alright, fellas, what's the best thing we did in your area last year? Let's start with Sevareid.

SEVAREID: Let's see, we sent the Salk vaccine abroad, and we kept [inaudible] at home. (laughter)

MURROW: Bill Downs?

DOWNS: Well, we set up a program to share the atom instead of only threatening to drop it.

SCHOENBRUN: I think that we did a good thing to bring the Comédie-Française from Paris to New York. News that their national theater company was a box office hit on Broadway boosted French morale, and it helped them love us just a little more because we love what was best in them.

HOTTELET: The best thing the United States has done in Germany this year is to continue radiating economic and political strength. This country is still the most important stabilizing force in Europe.

PIERPOINT: Frankly, I'd say that about the best thing we did in the Far East was when the State Department brought the Symphony of the Air Orchestra out. They made a tremendous hit. On a political level, we seem to have made a smart move in strongly backing President Diem in Indochina. Despite the prophecies of all the doom criers, my colleagues, and myself, President Diem has performed a near miracle this year in South Vietnam.

SCHORR: In the Soviet Union, the best thing we did was to exchange farmers and engineers and newsmen, to lift passport restrictions on travel to Russia, to send a company like Porgy and Bess, in a word, to blow a little fresh air into the window they opened.

SMITH: Well, so far as the British are concerned, I think possibly the best thing was the meeting in Geneva on the ambassadors level between the United States and the Red Chinese. Red China, as you know, is the only important issue dividing Britain and America now, and that meeting, plus the decline of tension over Formosa, have contributed to make this the year, I think, of the least anti-American feeling in Britain since the war.

KENDRICK: The best thing we've done in Africa on the moral plane was to outlaw segregation in our own country, and on the practical plane our decision to help finance the Egyptian High Dam project even though it was on a late, limited, and grudging basis.

MURROW: Well now gentlemen those are some of the good things we did. What, from your vantage points, were some of the worst things we did? Smith?

SMITH: Well, commercial television opened in Britain in 1955, Ed, and I have heard it said that perhaps the worst thing the US has done to Britain has been Liberace at 3 PM every Sunday. (laughter)

MURROW: Well but that was a free and voluntary decision on their part, wasn't it?

SMITH: (laughing) Yes.

KENDRICK: In Africa the worst thing we did was to keep equivocating on the colonial issue in the UN. But on a personal level, the stupidest thing Americans have done in Africa this year was to start an American club in Addis Ababa which does not allow Ethiopians in. The only example of segregation in the whole country, and it's somebody else's country.

SEVAREID: Well I'd say that Americans suffered the rather distressing loss of prestige inside the United Nations by our fumbling and switching on the big question of the new memberships above all. So we find ourselves abstaining on votes, a rather footless position for a great power, and as a result we no longer enjoy an automatic majority.

SCHOENBRUN: Well, in France...I don't think I can really think of anything. It's been an excellent year in French-American relations, and no major frictions to report.

HOTTELET: What shook the Germans most this year, albeit only temporarily, was the apparent effect of the Geneva spirit on the United States. The Germans are secretly just as much afraid that we'll sell them out to the Russians as we are that they'll make a deal with Moscow. Illusions like the Geneva spirit gave them the creeps.

SEVAREID: They've given us some creeps in the past, Dick. (laughter)

PIERPOINT: In my opinion the worst thing we did in Asia this past year was to evacuate Chiang Kai-Shek's troops from the Tachen Islands. And the second worst thing was not to evacuate them from Matsu and Kimoi. This may sound like doubletalk, but what I mean is this: by encouraging the Nationalists to defend these islands at first, and then by pulling the Nationalist troops off as soon as the Reds start putting on the pressure, we play directly into the hands of Chinese communist propaganda.

DOWNS: Do you mind running through that again? (laughter)

SCHORR: To my mind, the worst thing we did in the Soviet Union was to refuse to go in for freer trade. I think if there's any hope of mellowing the Russians, it's only be ensuring they have some more of the good things of life.

DOWNS: How would you mellow a Russian?

SMITH: That sounds a little like mellowing an enemy by refusing to shoot at him and getting him unaccustomed to being shot at.

HOTTELET: I think Dan believes that candy is candy and liquor is quicker!

SCHORR: Well candy and liquor are fine, but I've found that the Russians are crazy about American gadgets.

DOWNS: Well in Italy gentlemen, I—

KENDRICK: That'll un-mellow them! (laughter)

DOWNS: In Italy, I submit that our biggest failure was that of not importing Gina Lollobrigida. (laughter)

SEVAREID: I'll speak to Foster about that. (laughter)

MURROW: Well, gentlemen, for the most part we've been threshing around here with some rather weighty subjects to the best of our ability, but let's look at some of the smaller, insignificant things you've noticed. Dick Hottelet, what did you see in West Germany that reminds you of home?

HOTTELET: I'd say Coca-Cola, laundromats, public relations, and the installment plan.

KENDRICK: And the biggest American soda fountain in all Africa, in fact I think the only one, has been opened in Khartoum.

SCHOENBRUN: Well, in Paris I've seen two American innovations: self service in restaurants and a striptease act in nightclubs. And I've seen Parisians behaving in the latter as though they were in the former.

DOWNS: Well the land of the lasagna last year, they began manufacturing corn flakes and cocktail crackers.

SMITH: I'll still take lasagna. (laughter)

SCHORR: In the Soviet Union, the first American-style nightclub, young people listening to American jazz on the Voice of America.

PIERPOINT: The Japanese built a television tower on top of Mount Fuji.

SEVAREID: Didn't they used to jump off it?

PIERPOINT: They still do. (laughter)

MURROW: Moscow claims that communism is still on the march and will ultimately win the world struggle. Let's see what's happening to communism outside the Soviet Union. Italy has the largest communist party outside the Soviet Union, and you cover Italy—what's been happening there, Bill?

DOWNS: Well I think the picture not only in Italy, Ed, but in Western Europe is generally good. Would you agree, Howard?

SMITH: Absolutely.

DOWNS: Dave?


DOWNS: Well, there have been no definitive popular elections in Italy, but in the major factories such as Fiat there has been a sharp decline in communist union strength. The Sicilian elections also showed a decline in the communist vote, but a corresponding increase in the fellow traveling socialist vote. In other words, the strength of the left has not declined, but there are signs that the workers and intellectuals are getting sick of the vacillations of Marxist dogma.

MURROW: Alex, what inroads have the communists been able to make in Africa?

KENDRICK: So far they've been able to make some economic penetration. The Czechs and the East Germans especially are doing lots of business. The Czechs sold out their exhibit of cheap consumer goods at the Addis Ababa fair. But then, why not? The American exhibit consisted mainly of a Ford Thunderbird, 3600 bucks.

MURROW: Dan Schorr, what would you say about communism in Russia?

SCHORR: Well, the GHQ of communism—they're apparently getting ready for another shift in tactics. There's new emphasis on expanding the Communist Party. That's reversing the Stalin-Beria policy of a small, hard core of trustworthy members. Membership in the party is going up, and more people will be recruited.

Outside Russia, perhaps as a reaction to what's been described by Bill Downs, the popular front is going to be given another whirl. And one of the most significant things was Khrushchev's recent offer of cooperation with a Norwegian socialist party, bypassing the Norwegian communists. Communist parties abroad may be given greater independence of action. But if you think the Soviets are ditching the communist parties for good, just remember this: at a Kremlin reception a few weeks ago, Khrushchev told two French communists, "Every year we gain is a promise for the future."

MURROW: Well there are certainly, and I think we would all agree, three obvious danger points. One in Berlin, the other the conflict between Israel and the neighboring Arab states, and the third around Formosa. Let's examine those briefly. Will you start off, Hottelet, with Berlin?

HOTTELET: The tension in Berlin is terrific. And Berlin is only one part of the continuing bitter contest for all Germany. The Russians are using every device to pull Germany out of the Western camp. They know as well as we do that Germany is the keystone of Western security in Europe. They're tempting the Germans with neutralism and the promise of markets in the East. They whisper in the dark and they shout in propaganda. And when deceit gets nowhere, the Soviets resort to open blackmail. They sold Adenauer ten thousand prisoners in return for diplomatic relations. The means keep changing; the struggle and the danger never stop.

MURROW: Bill Downs, you've just made a trip through the Middle East. What about the Arab-Israeli powder keg?

DOWNS: The critical time for Israel will be this spring. It's reported that important amounts of the new communist arms being delivered to Egypt are going into training centers north of the Suez, and this forms a tempting prize for Israel's army if that nation feels that it must try to invoke a settlement by force.

However, there is a school of diplomatic thought that says war is not made inevitable because of the communist arms sale; that Premier Nasser has gained so much prestige and strength that he can now maneuver diplomatically—possibly even make a settlement of some kind with Israel.

The Israeli dilemma is whether to place their hopes on diplomacy—thereby losing valuable time and possibly their military superiority—or to move while they feel that they can win. On both sides of the line I found no popular desire to go to war, but if the hope of settlement ever disappears in the Middle East, then watch out.

MURROW: Bob Pierpoint, what are the particular danger points in the Far East?

PIERPOINT: Just one, Ed. If the communists attack Matsu and Kimoi this spring, as it looks like they may do, war could spread to Formosa and beyond.

MURROW: And it could also be reopened in Korea, couldn't it?

PIERPOINT: It might be. But we certainly hope not.

MURROW: Well, gentlemen, let's examine now a problem that is perhaps best described as being below the surface. What undercurrents have you observed, as you've wandered about in your areas, that have particularly affected the lives of the people? Things that have not made big banner headlines, but which nevertheless have been significant in the life of the countries where you're stationed. Kendrick, what's happening in the African countries?

KENDRICK: Every country in Africa is different. There are forty-odd countries, and almost as many kinds of colonialism; almost as many kinds of nationalism. But there is a definite pattern to the main current beneath the surface. In order to develop the natural resources of the continent, the White Man has had to educate the Native to new skills. The Native gets improved living standards, the death rate from disease goes down, the Native becomes more prosperous, he demands more education, and more education means more nationalism; more urge to govern himself. So the White Man starts out as boss and ends up lucky to be partner. And frankly, there are not many people in Africa who are sorry—for independence is just as magic a word there in 1956 as it was here in 1776.

MURROW: And Hottelet, what about the groundswells in Germany?

HOTTELET: In Germany you begin to see the contours of a new society. High prosperity and political stability have given more people something to defend; have made them more conservative in the good sense. The old social extremes, the arrogant aristocracy and the militant Marxist proletariat, are being whittled away. A new, larger middle class is taking shape, and it's a middle class such as Germany has never had in all its history. In Parliament it is now exercising political leadership with growing self-assurance.

MURROW: Wouldn't you say, Schoenbrun, that French society is undergoing a somewhat similar change?

SCHOENBRUN: Exactly the same thing, Ed. A vigorous comeback of the democratic middle classes in France, and I think this will be the big story to emerge from tomorrow's national elections there. The democratic parties will win at least two-thirds of the votes. And when all the returns are in, I think we'll find two big democratic blocs on top. The non-communist left of Mendès France and the non-fascist right of Antoine Pinay and Edgar Faure. Neither one, I fear, will win an absolute majority, so there's no immediate prospect of stable government in France, but the trend is towards larger, more cohesive, and democratic blocs. That's quite a difference from 1951 when the Gaullist and Communists were crushing a weak and frightened Centre, and when democracy seemed doomed to die in France.

MURROW: Howard Smith, what sort of social weather vane do you observe in Britain?

SMITH: I suppose it's as important as anything else that a London borough after fifty years renamed a local club from "The Working Men's Association" to "The Community Centre." That, I think, adequately indicates the steady elevation of the Western worker into the stratum of great middle classes in these years of prosperity.

I don't know whether it fits your question, Ed, but another thing—all the color has gone out from Parliament since Winston Churchill retired, and reporting in London has become a much less rich experience than it was.

MURROW: I'm sure all of us who have had that experience would agree with you, Howard. Pierpoint, what about the basic changes in Asia?

PIERPOINT: In Asia, Ed, as in Alex's Africa, many nations, many currents. But one thing is becoming increasingly evident: the fact that Asians as a people really desire the material riches of Western civilization. It's easy to say that the average Asian rice farmer must be perfectly content if he can provide himself and his family with enough food to eat and enough clothes to wear and a decent place to live. That's a cliche, and it just isn't true anymore, if it ever was. Today, Asians see all our bright, shiny goods in our movies and in their own newspapers and magazines, and they don't see why we should be the only people to have them.

MURROW: Now, Dan Schorr, would you say there is a restlessness in Russia?

SCHORR: Oh, I don't know if you'd call it restlessness in Russia, but there is something, Ed. It's especially among the younger generation, who seem to be getting a little bored with theoretical communism. They're even starting to tell jokes against their regime.

This one may not be very funny or very new, but it is being told at Moscow University: Someone says, "You know, Adam and Eve were Russians." And when you ask how that could be, the answer is, "There's absolute proof, you see. They shared an apple between them, they had no clothes, and they though they were living in paradise."

KENDRICK: No it isn't. It's new, anyway. (laughter)

SCHORR: Now, don't get me wrong. I don't say there's widespread dissension—there isn't. But there is a generation maturing to whom the revolution is just something they read about; to whom ideological teachings are a bit boring. These young people are not disaffected, they're just unaffected.

MURROW: Well, Eric Sevareid, what about our own society?

SEVAREID: Ed, I really think we're changing very rapidly in our minds and in our matter. There's a certain swing away from preoccupation with great international themes and issues, and toward a preoccupation with our personal, family, community problems; our health, our juveniles, our neuroses, our cars, gadgets, and sports. Television rating show this. So do the new emphases in big magazines and papers. We're interested in the problems and the opportunities of our wealth and leisure. We seem to be in a period at least superficially like the '20s.

And in physical and economic terms, the change is rather breathtaking. It's a new country just in the last ten or fifteen years. Bigness is everything. The old family-sized farm is disappearing, the overall profits of big business grow while those of small business shrink, the number of mergers is incredible; hundreds of corporate mergers this year in manufacturing and mining alone, hundreds of bank mergers; even labor has merged into a giant semi-monopoly. But there are fewer individual business titans with great personal power as we used to have, because ownership is being more widely spread, including a lot of employee ownership.

I think all in all, Ed, that we're tending to become smaller individual cogs, and bigger mass machines. Now the material result, of course, is fabulous. We seem to have truly discovered the Midas touch. The question is, do we pay a price in moral and intellectual terms as we more and more work and think and dress alike? As big government, big press, and big business tend toward a kind of coalescing, are we losing our individuality, our moral toughness, our courage to think and speak differently? One American puts it this way. He says it's like "great, jagged mountain peaks melting down into one vast, level molten mass."

MURROW: I wish I had said that because I believe it to be true, Eric.

SEVAREID: Well I rather do too, Ed, and it seems to me the great question now for our country is whether this is the way to strength and to world leadership, or the way to some kind of terrible ultimate weakness.

MURROW: And these, you think, are the real national issues for this country today?


MURROW: Bill Downs?

DOWNS: At the beginning of the show I said this past year was the year of the "concrete kindergarten." Well, it was reinforced concrete. I discovered that building on an Israeli collective farm on the Gaza border. The settlement needed a new kindergarten—birthrate was up. But government specifications just about has wrecked the economy of that farm because of that kindergarten. It was ordered that the kindergarten be made of reinforced concrete in order to protect the children from mortars and shells. And on the other side of the Gaza border, there now are a third generation of Arab refugees who don't have any kindergartens at all.

MURROW: Well, gentlemen, could we examine for a moment ultimate objectives? What do we want, and what do the forces of communism want? First, Eric, what do you think we want?

SEVAREID: I think, Ed, we want what we have always wanted, and that is a genuine peace of world tranquility. The great rich country always wants peace. It doesn't want real change. But we'll settle, I think, for a reasonable, non-atomic facsimile. And I believe that this means that, in truth, we will settle for a world that is part free and part slave as long as the slavery is not extended. You might call that the Missouri Compromise on a world scale. We never of course say this, but I think it's really the fact of the matter. At Geneva, at the summit meeting, the president wasted no more time than the simple decencies required talking about freedom for the satellites, for example, then dropped the subject then.

I think we ought to face it. We're not going to do anything overt about those satellites or about the communist possession of China; we're not going to go out of our way to help the colonial people get their independence. I have the feeling that we're drawing away in everything but our words from a tradition that goes all the way from the Declaration of Independence to the Korean intervention. But I am not saying that this is wrong or evil. I suspect it's inevitable; part of the price of great responsibility for human lives in a hydrogen world. It all seems to me it's a little like an individual who grows to middle age and finds that he has to come to terms with life. Perhaps America's come of age; age always brings some disillusionment and some compromise.

MURROW: Dan, what about the ultimate objectives of the Russians?

SCHORR: Well I think the Russians want something quite different. I think that the Soviet Union could not afford to admit that it has come of age even if it were true—and it's not true. But the communist want is still communism.

First of all, they want to be assured of peace so they can build communism in their own country. Then they want to see it spread, or make it spread, although they are now reconciled to a longer haul than they originally contemplated. Khrushchev has said in effect, "Let's fight it out with production, with propaganda, with everything but war, and then let's see who wins." Kaganovich said in November that communism travels without passports or fingerprints.

Seeing the Soviet leaders at close range, you get the impression that they're supremely confident. That opinion is shared by diplomats of long experience in Moscow. That confidence may or may not be well-founded, but they're prepared to act on it. Furthermore, I think they have to act on it. They have to push ahead in order to rekindle the flying revolutionary spirit.

MURROW: Well, gentlemen, if this competition is to go on—if this grinding, wearing process is to go on and on always in the shadow of the possibility of mutual annihilation—what must we do to be saved, or more particularly, what must we do as a nation in order to compete successfully with the communist world? Kendrick, what do you say?

KENDRICK: Obviously the best way for us to compete in colonial Africa is to remember that we used to be a colony ourselves. And to give moral, political, and financial encouragement to the idea of independence in Africa, no matter how many of our colonial allies may be offended. The Russians certainly use the anti-colonial theme to a high degree in their propaganda, and we were able to do that once also. But I think American sympathies are instinctively on the side of self-determination in Africa, but we have sometimes let short-term political expediency confuse and divert us. Our reputation on the Dark Continent this year has been dark too, but we can still redeem ourselves.

MURROW: Dick Hottelet?

HOTTELET: Well I think that in Germany we have a concrete example. There, we have so far competed successfully with the Russians; we're away from theory. The most important thing we have done in Germany has been to help kindle and feed a desire for freedom. This has made the Germans highly resistant if not impervious to communist and fascist pressure. What we've done is to tie Germany to the West with every bond of legitimate self-interest. The German people have prodigious vitality, and we've given them a wholesome outlet for it.

Economically, we've given them the satisfaction of working hard and the profit of enriching themselves. Politically, we've given Germany the influence and responsibility which is due a great nation in the councils of the Western world. Our policy has made Germany a genuine ally, and it's imbued the defense treaties, which might otherwise have been empty and meaningless hooks, with a spirit of solidarity. This is a practical precedent. It might have come unconsciously, but we might do well to apply it elsewhere.

MURROW: Dave Schoenbrun, what do you think we must do in order to compete successfully?

SCHOENBRUN: Well I think first of all we must keep strong. We must continue to give support to the North Atlantic alliance, not forgetting that it was the fact that this alliance created a military stalemate in the heart of Europe that made the Russians shift their tactics and the place of their attack to their new challenge. And I think we should accept this new challenge with confidence—in fact, with joy. For if the Russians really want to compete with us politically and economically rather than militarily, then this is exactly what we are best equipped to do, or say we are.

Our democratic way of life is surely richer in spirit and resources than the communist's. So why don't we exploit it? We could build bigger and better dams for the Egyptians than the Russians can. We can buy more rice from the Burmese, and we can give it to the hungry Indonesians. And we can give it without political strings tied on to the rice bags. When people are forced to sign a military pact or something like that just in order to eat, then everything they swallow tastes like crow.

With their rice, too, I suspect they want something else. They want respect perhaps even more than they want rice. This may be a gamble. It may be a gamble to offer aid to people who won't join our team; people who want to be neutral. But I would suspect it's the kind of gamble we're going to have to take as this new Soviet challenge grows.

MURROW: Dan Schorr, from your position in Moscow, what do you think this nation must do in order to compete successfully?

SCHORR: I'd like to see the gamble that David talked about carried even further. I'd like to see it carried to the home grounds of the Soviet Union. Because just as they're convinced that their system will stand the ultimate test against capitalism, so am I convinced that we can beat them. And I mean in Russia. I think democracy can also travel. I think we should seize every opportunity to penetrate Soviet Russia, with trade, with travelers, and with ideas. I think the more that Russians are exposed to Americans and to other Westerners, the more we can implant a certain kind of doubt in their minds about their system.

Because you know, despite all their talk about exchanges, the Russians so far are sending only pig delegations abroad, and in Moscow some of us have the impression that they don't dare to let their people travel freely. Yet they say Americans can go to Russia. Well, I'd like to see a lot of Americans try to go and get there—as many as possible. I should like them to see Russians on their home grounds and talk to them and see what effect that has on them. Incidentally, I'd like some company. (laughter)

MURROW: Bill Downs, what do you think our nation must do in order to compete successfully?

DOWNS: Well, despite all of this excellent advice being handed out here, I think this question is going to be settled among the American people. I think we've got to make up our mind if we really want to compete. We have lost, or appear to be losing, the international title as the greatest revolutionary power in the world, and we seem to be losing it to a revolutionary form of totalitarianism. We might be getting so fat and happy that maybe we're not interested any longer in the title. And being so tremendously successful, maybe the American Revolution really is over. Most of the people in my part of the world don't think so, but if it is true and we let the championship go by default, we know who's going to pick up the gloves and, who knows, that we might some future time have to revolt again. This time against the commissars.

MURROW: Howard Smith, as our chief European correspondent, how do you see this?

SMITH: Well, Ed, I think there are two general things for this generation to worry about in the realm of international affairs we're talking about. First, what may happen to Germany in the wooing and pressures she is to be subjected to by the Russians from now on. And second, how far Russia may succeed in courting the uncommitted Asian and Near Eastern nations, which she's begun.

In regard to the first of these threats, that in Germany, the answer seems to me to be what it always was. We must do all we can to urge the creation of European unity. Once Germany is embedded in a United States of Europe as solidly as, say, California is in the United States of America, our fear of Germany going neutralist or pro-Russian will be over. In the uncommitted countries, a big increase in monetary aid is obviously called for. I think we should not be too worried about Russia offering help also. Economic aid tends to reinforce whatever system prevails in a country, and if Russia wants to help reinforce non-communist governments I think we should encourage her in this praiseworthy endeavor. We should do so to the extent of ourselves offering very large amounts to, say, India, on condition that Russia will match the amount. The United Nations could administer it. I think it would be good for our Asian friends and acquaintances to hear Russia's answer to a proposal of this kind. I think we would soon be much less concerned about bad will tours of those countries by Bulganin and Khrushchev.

MURROW: Bob Pierpoint, as you view the situation from Asia, what do you think the United States should do to compete successfully?

PIERPOINT: Nothing revolutionary, Ed. We've already got the formula. In Europe it was called the Marshall Plan. I think we can successfully compete in Asia by putting in more of the same—more aid and more effort. Except that we need a change in emphasis, playing down the military side of American aid with an increase in the political and economic would help our program a great deal.

Certainly we can't afford to let out military guard down while the communist threat still exists, but the Reds are beginning to hit us on another front in Asia: the propaganda and progress front. The Asian people want progress. They want economic development as fast as possible, and the communists claim their system can bring it faster. They're wrong, and I believe that we can show Asia how to get this progress better than the Russians can. To successfully compete now we should take advantage of our opportunity by pouring more aid and more effort into a program that's already underway.

MURROW: Eric Sevareid?

SEVAREID: Well surely, Ed, we must keep the great image of America—the finest, the humanitarian face of America—turned to the world. Remain militarily strong, stay prosperous, extend our own democracy within our own borders including racial democracy, strengthen others; open our gates wider to others, try by every means to keep the present small gates in the Iron Curtain open. Peace may depend on ushering—and quickly—half the people of the world into the twentieth century.

MURROW: Gentlemen, you appear to agree that in this struggle between the forces of freedom and tyranny, the danger of mutual annihilation has receded somewhat. The economic and ideological competition has increased. You feel that this country has become somewhat pact-happy, demanding military arrangements as preconditions for economic aid. You note areas where limited conflict could produce unlimited nothingness, turning citizens into cinders. You report a situation in which there are no easy or quick solutions. Some of you wonder whether this country has the patience and fortitude, the willingness to sacrifice that may be required. You all feel that people who are struggling to be free have a claim upon our conscience.

Thank you very much gentlemen. Good luck, and good news.

ANNOUNCER: The team of correspondents who participated in this recorded broadcast can be heard throughout the year on regular CBS News programs. Around the clock, they cover the top developments in this country and throughout the world. This is the CBS Radio Network.