Stenogram of the Meeting Of J. V. Stalin with E. Hoxha Regarding Some External Political and Internal Problems of Albania

Moscow                     2nd April 1951
                                  22 hours 30 minutes

TOTALLY SECRET

In the discussion participated: V. M. Molotov, G. M. Malenkov, L. P. Beria, N. A. Bulganin, and Beqir Balluku, Chief of the General Staff of Albania

Com. Stalin greets Enver Hoxha and Beqir Balluku and asks them to sit down on the table. Then he asks them about the questions that they want to discuss with him.

Enver Hoxha says that the Central Committee of the Albanian Party of Labour and the Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Albania have assigned him the job to request Com. Stalin for help and advice regarding the solution of a number of questions faced by the Party and the Government.

Com. Stalin requests to state the questions.

Enver Hoxha says that first of all he wants to lay down the operative plans prepared by the Government for the eventuality of an attack on Albania by the enemy. The first alternative of the operative plan begins with the assumption of an attack on Albania from three sides, viz. from the sides of the Yugoslavs, Greeks and the Italians. The second alternate of the operative plan begins with the assumption of an attack on Albania from the side of any one of the above mentioned countries. However, the Government thinks it to be more possible that an attack on Albania shall be from three sides. The third alternate is the operational plan for conducting a guerilla war mainly in the mountains.

Enver Hoxha says that he has brought with him detailed military maps illustrating each of the individual alternates of the plan. On the map are shown the main directions of the possible enemy attack against Albania.

Enver Hoxha says that the Albanian Government can mobilise an army of about 150-170 thousand troops, and with the inclusion of other reserves – 218 thousand. The Albanian army at the present moment is armed with Soviet arms. The Albanian Government has at its disposal captured arms like those of the Germans as well as of the Italians. The captured arms are of the old type and are kept in stores. It is true that that some of the border places are armed with captured arms.

Comrade Stalin asks if they have tanks.

Enver Hoxha answers that tanks are very few: in all 25. Similarly there are few aeroplanes. The Albanian army has only one aviation squadron.

After this Enver Hoxha says that the Albanian government has information about the concentration of enemy forces along the Albanian border. As in the past, acts of diversion and provocation continue. For example not long ago a Yugoslav battalion came to the Albanian border and started digging trenches. It is true that after some time this battalion went away.

Com. Stalin commented that the Yugoslavs wanted to frighten you. However, one should not be afraid or give in to provocation.

Enver Hoxha says that the acts of interference and of provocation are also conducted from the side of the Greeks and of the Italians. This is why the Albanian government considers that the attack on the Albanian borders shall be from three sides.

Com. Stalin asks how the Albanian government knows that the Yugoslavs, Greeks and Italians shall attack Albania.

Enver Hoxha answers that the Albanian government does not exactly know whether these countries shall attack or not. The Albanian government only assumes that Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy may attack Albania simultaneously. In this connection the Albanian government prepared the plan in three variations. The Albanian government requests comrade Stalin and the Soviet government to help the Albanian government by providing the necessary quantity of arms and uniforms.

Com. Stalin says that they want to attack, but shall not be able to do so. Provocations have been and yet shall be, but one should not be afraid. The important thing is that the army and the economy should be strengthened. One should not give in to provocations. Com. Stalin advises that on all military questions they should approach Bulganin, and then asks what other questions are there.

Enver Hoxha said that he wanted to tell Com. Stalin that the internal situation in the country is fully in hand. People continue to support the government and show big solidarity in the struggle for the destruction of enemy nests. The government liquidated a number of groups. At present there are only isolated bands that hide in the mountains. These bandits and troublemakers are trying to organise turmoil. Major disruptive action happened at the building of the Soviet mission.1 In this connection the Albanian government offers its apologies and takes the entire blame on itself that it was unable to forestall this disruptive act. The situation within the party is also similarly strong. However, the CC, PB and the Secretariat have committed serious mistakes in their work. The leadership got entangled in Cabinet work and did not do work among the masses. Criticism and self-criticism was not done at the required level. Such a situation prevailed not only in the CC but also in the lower organisations. We had to cleanse ourselves of the opportunists and enemies who had entered the party. Among the big opportunists one should count in the first instance Tuk Jakova who did not handle his work as secretary of the CC for cadre and organisational questions. He appeared to be a convinced opportunist and while in words he agreed with the party but in practice he did the other way round; and opportunistic acts.

The CC put on trial the opportunist line of Tuk Jakova and removed him from the PB and from the Secretaryship of the CC. However, taking into account his self-criticism the CC kept Tuk Jakova in the composition of the CC. The former Minister of Law Manol Konomi is expelled from the CC for his opportunism. At present the candidate for the membership of the CC, Biqir Idoy,2 who was intimately connected with Sali Ormeni who was earlier deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and who committed suicide, is under arrest. The Party continues to struggle against enemy elements.

Com. Stalin asks as to what kind of help is necessary in this context.

Enver Hoxha says that CC of the party and the government requests advice from Com. Stalin as to how they should act in future.

Com. Stalin says that the most important thing is that the party should be cleansed from enemies and to strengthen the organs of internal security.

Enverr Hoxha said that the Albanian government requests the Soviet government to send 8 additional advisors on state security. Besides, the Albanian government requests to provide additional different types or arms and uniforms and, additionally, 30 cars.

Com. Stalin said that on this question Enver Hoxha must talk to Com. Mikoyan.3 After this Com. Stalin asked whether the Albanian government has any plan for the development of economy – five year, three year or two year plan.

Enver Hoxha answers that there is a two year plan for the development of the peoples’ economy but it finished in 1950. At the present moment a five year plan for the development of economy is under preparation which includes 1951. The Albanian government proposes to significantly expand industry, increase the extraction of oil products, bitumen, copper and coal. The Albanian government proposes to have 600 collective farms by the end of 1955 that will function on an area of 140 thousand hectors. In connection with collectivisation the Albanian government continues to adhere to those guidelines that were given earlier by Com. Stalin: Showing caution but moving forward. Till 1951 there were 60 collective farms and now 30 more collective farms have been organised. However, 90% of all sown area is in private hands.

Com. Stalin points out that there is no need to hurry, and asks what in the main the Albanian peasant eat – maize or wheat.

Enver Hoxha answers that the peasants prefer to sow maize as they eat maize bread. Government has taken steps to widen the irrigated area on which cotton shall be sown though the peasants are very reluctant in growing cotton.

Com. Stalin says that the peasants, apparently, do not see the advantages of sowing cotton and are materially not interested in its sowing. Then Com. Stalin asks how the collective farmers are living.

Enver Hoxha answers that they are living better

Com. Stalin says that when the peasants are convinced that being in the collective farm is profitable for them, then they will come to the collective farms. Com. Stalin asks what types of collective farms are there in Albania.

Enver Hoxha answers that the collective farms are of the mixed type i.e. one and the same collective farm sows sugar beet, cotton and maize.

Com. Stalin asks who collects the seeds.

Enver Hoxha answers that in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Albanian government there is a small sector that deals with seeds.

Com. Stalin asks whether the Minister of Agriculture of the Albanian government has been to the countries of Peoples’ Democracy where collectivisation is going on.

Enver Hoxha answers that he has not been.

Com. Stalin says that much attention is being given to industry but insufficient attention is being paid to agriculture. Soviet organs of agriculture almost do not get requests on agriculture from Albania. Soviet government may provide seeds and give help in the work of specialised collective farms. The specialists must directly work in the collective farms.

Enver Hoxha says that even otherwise they have been asking for a lot.

Com. Stalin says that in relation to agriculture requests are not ignored, and comments that agriculture is in bad shape.

Com. Stalin asks as to what happened to the seeds that were given in Sukhumi.

Enver Hoxha says that these were used by the collective farms.

Com. Stalin asks what other questions yet remain.

Enver Hoxha answers that the Albanian government wanted, in the light of their external conditions, to shift all Greeks, whose numbers are more than a thousand, and first of all the monarcho-fascists who are now in concentration camps. They may be shifted to the countries of Peoples’ Democracy.

Com. Stalin says who in the countries of People’s Democracy wants monarcho-fascists. One should not talk about countries whose representative is not present in the meeting. As no representatives are present, it is necessary that they should be consulted.

Enver Hoxha says that he approached Zachariaris4 with this request but so far he has done nothing.

Com. Stalin says that we ourselves will have to deal with it. Then Com. Stalin asks what other questions are there.

Enver Hoxha says that the Albanian government has in its reserve 2556 kilograms of gold and more than 3000 kilograms of silver. The Albanian government conveys the request to the Soviet government to permit them to send this gold and silver to the State Bank of the Soviet Union for safe keeping so that this gold and silver remained in more reliable place which answers the interests of the people.

Com. Stalin says that this question Enver Hoxha must discuss with Com. Mikoyan.

Enver Hoxha says that the Albanian government has decided to open three institutes: agricultural, political5 and pedagogical. Some preparatory work has already been done. In this connection the Albanian government requests the Soviet government to send for each of the Institutes one deputy for the teaching section and 2-3 professors.

Com. Stalin comments that these professors would not know the language; how shall they teach.

Enver Hoxha says that they are taking all steps to prepare the students. At present Russian language has been introduced in schools.

Com. Stalin advises that this question should be discussed with Com. Mikoyan.

Enver Hoxha says that the Albanian government requests the Soviet government to give permission for the exchange of Albanian cotton (1600 tons) for Soviet cotton of much higher quality. Enver Hoxha explains that the machines of the Stalin Textile Factory which will start functioning in December this year, are geared to work with cotton of the length 27-28 mm, while the length of the Albanian cotton is 24-25 mm. Soviet specialists have advised for this exchange request.

Com. Stalin expresses doubt about the conclusion of the specialists and advises that the question be discussed with Com. Mikoyan. Then Com. Stalin asks if there are any more questions.

Enver Hoxha says that the Albanian government and the CC wanted to get advice from Com. Stalin about the possibility of concluding agreements with Peoples’ Democracies on the lines of the agreement that Albania has with Bulgaria.

Com. Stalin says that Albania already has agreements and on these agreements it gets credits and conducts commercial deals.

Enver Hoxha says that he has no more questions.

On this the meeting ended.

The meeting continued for 1 hour 55 minutes.

Interpreted and recorded the discussion com. K. F. Starikov

APPF. F.45, Op. 1, Delo 249, LL. 90-97.

Copy

1. What is talked about concerns the explosion of a bomb at the building of the Soviet diplomatic mission.

2. As in the text. One should read Beqir Idoy.

3. See document No. 177.

4. As in the text. One must read Zachariadis.

5. As in the text. One should read Polytechnic.

Courtesy: ed. G.P. Murashko et al, ‘Vostochnaya Evropa v dokumentakh rossiiskikh arkhivov 1944-53’, Tom II 1949-1953, ‘Sibirskii khrongraf’, Moskva-Novosibirsk, 1998, pp. 504-509.

Translated from the Russian by Jaweed Ashraf

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