Replies to Questions put by Mr. Hugh Baillie, President of the U. P. of America

October 28, 1946

The following answers were given by J. V. Stalin to questions put to him on October 23, 1946, by Mr. Hugh Baillie, President of the United Press of America:

1. Question: Do you agree with Secretary Byrnes’ feeling, as expressed in his radio speech last Friday (October 18th), that there is growing tension between the U.S.S.R. and the United States?

Answer: No.

2. Question: If such an increasing tension exists, could you indicate the reason, or reasons for it, and what are the most essential bases for eliminating it?

Answer: The question does not arise in view of my answer to the preceding question.

3. Question: Do you foresee that the present negotiations will result in peace treaties which will establish amicable relations among the nations which were allies in the war against Fascism, and remove the danger of war on the part of former Fascist sources?

Answer: I hope so.

4. Question: If not, what are the principal obstacles to the establishment of such amicable relations among the nations which were allies in the Great War?

Answer: The question does not arise in view of the answer to the preceding question.

5. Question: What is Russia’s attitude with regard to Yugoslavia’s decision not to sign the Peace Treaty with Italy

Answer: Yugoslavia has grounds to be dissatisfied.

6. Question: What, in your opinion, is to-day the worst threat to world peace?

Answer: The instigators of a new war, in the first place Churchill and people of like mind in Britain and the U.S.A.

7. Question: If such a threat should arise, what steps should be taken by the nations of the world to avoid a new war?

Answer: The instigators of a new war should be exposed and curbed.

8. Question: Is the United Nations Organisation a guarantee of the integrity of the small nations?

Answer: It is hard to say so far.

9. Question: Do you think that the four zones of occupation in Germany should in the near future be thrown together, so far as economic administration is concerned, with a view to restoring Germany as a peaceful economic unit and thus lessening the burden of occupation to the four powers?

Answer: Not only the economic but also the political unity of Germany should be restored.

10. Question: Do you feel that it is feasible at this time to create some sort of central administration to be placed in the hands of the Germans themselves, but under Allied control, which will make it possible for the Council of Foreign Ministers to draft a peace treaty for Germany?

Answer: Yes, I do.

11. Question: Do you feel confident, in the light of elections which have been held in the various zones this summer and fall that Germany is developing politically along democratic lines which give hope for its future as a peaceful nation?

Answer: So far I am not certain of it.

12. Question: Do you feel that, as has been suggested in some quarters, the level of permitted industry should be increased above the agreed level, to permit Germany to pay her own way more fully?

Answer: Yes, I do.

13. Question: What should be done beyond the present four-Power programme to prevent Germany from again becoming a world military menace?

Answer: The remnants of Fascism in Germany should be extirpated in fact and she should be democratised to the end.

14. Question: Should the German people be allowed to reconstruct their industry and trade and become self-supporting?

Answer: Yes, they should.

15. Question: Have the provisions of Potsdam, in your opinion, been adhered to? If not, what is needed to make the Potsdam Declaration an effective instrument?

Answer: They are not always adhered to, especially in the sphere of the democratisation of Germany.

16. Question: Do you feel the veto power has been used to excess during the discussions among the four Foreign Ministers and in meetings of the United Nations Council?

Answer: No, I do not.

17. Question: How far does the Kremlin feel the Allied Powers should go hunting down and trying minor war criminals in Germany? Does it feel that the Nuremberg decisions created a sufficiently strong basis for such action?

Answer: The farther they go the better.

18. Question: Does Russia consider the Western frontiers of Poland permanent?

Answer. Yes, she does.

19. Question: How does the U.S.S.R. regard the presence of British troops in Greece? Does it feel that Britain should supply more arms to the present Greek Government?

Answer: As unnecessary.

20. Question: What is the extent of Russian military contingents in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Austria, and how long do you feel that, in the interests of securing peace, these contingents must be maintained?

Answer: In the West, that is in Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania and Poland, the Soviet Union has at present in all 60 divisions (infantry and armour together). Most of them are below full complement. There are no Soviet troops in Yugoslavia. In two months, when the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of October 22 of this year on the last stage of demobilisation is put into effect, 40 Soviet divisions will remain in the above-mentioned countries.

21. Question: What is the attitude of the Government of the U.S.S.R. towards the presence of American warships in the Mediterranean?

Answer: Indifferent.

22. Question: What is the present outlook for a commercial agreement between Russia and Norway?

Answer: It is hard to tell, so far.

23. Question: Is it possible for Finland again to become a self-sufficient nation after reparations have been paid, and is there any idea in contemplation of revising the reparations programme so far as to expedite Finland’s recovery?

Answer: The question has been put in the wrong way. Finland has been and remains an entirely self-sufficient nation.

24. Question: What will trade agreements with Sweden and other countries mean with regard to reconstruction in the U.S.S.R.? What outside aid do you consider desirable in accomplishing this great task?

Answer: The agreement with Sweden constitutes a contribution to the cause of economic co-operation among the nations.

25. Question: Is Russia still interested in obtaining a loan from the United States?

Answer: She is interested.

26. Question: Has Russia developed its own atom bomb or any similar weapon.

Answer: No.

27. Question: What is your opinion of the atom bomb or similar weapon as an instrument of warfare?

Answer: I have already given my appraisal of the atom bomb in the well-known answer to Mr. Worth.

28. Question: How, in your opinion, can atomic power best be controlled? Should this control be created on an international basis, and to what extent should the powers sacrifice their sovereignty in the interest of making the control effective?

Answer: Strict international control is necessary.

29. Question: How long will it require to rebuild the devastated areas of Western Russia?

Answer: Six to seven years, if not more.

30. Question: Will Russia permit commercial airlines to operate across the Soviet Union? Does Russia intend to extend her own airlines to other continents on a reciprocal basis?

Answer: Under certain conditions this is not excluded.

31. Question: How does your Government view the occupation of Japan? Do you feel it has been a success on the present basis?

Answer: There are some successes, but better successes could have been obtained.

(Soviet News, 1947)

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