"THE SOVIET'S OBJECTIVES--FACTS AND FANCIES"
An Address by THE HONOURABLE RICHARD B. WIGGLESWORTH United States Ambassador to Canada
Joint Meeting with the Canadian Club of Toronto
Thursday, April 16, 1959
CHAIRMAN: The President, Lt.-Col. Bruce Legge.
The speaker was introduced by Mr. B. T. Richardson, President of The Canadian Club of Toronto.
MR. RICHARDSON: It is a great pleasure to introduce to this audience the new American Ambassador to Canada. He has come to us in the course of his first official visit to Toronto, a city in which I am sure he will always feel at home and in which he will always be a welcome visitor.
I should convey to him at once the sincere regret that we all feel, here in this room and throughout Canada, over the news this week that his chief, the Secretary of State, Mr. Dulles, has been forced to resign through ill health. This is a loss to the free world that is recognized and lamented here no less than in your homeland, Mr. Ambassador, and I can assure you that Canadian prayers will mingle with those of others for providential care for Mr. Dulles.
The critical and terribly exacting problem of American foreign policy, in these days of American leadership in the free world, lies in the field of relations with Soviet Union communism. This is the problem, I am sure, with which historians will identify the career of John Foster Dulles, and it is particularly appropriate today that the new ambassador should speak on this aspect of American responsibilities.
Perhaps I should not say "new" ambassador. Mr. Wigglesworth took up his appointment last October, and in any case, there is a long and special relationship between his home city of Boston and Toronto. There are ancient and enduring links. Possibly there are some here whose ancestors departed from Boston during the trouble that arose about the throwing of tea into the harbour to defy King George III. I know that some of my ancestors disagreed with that way of making tea.
Over a period of thirty years--that is, during sixteen Congresses--Ambassador Wigglesworth pursued an honourable career in the House of Representatives, where his record is open to inspection and where he became a senior member. The separation of powers in the American Constitution is well understood by most Canadians, no matter how perplexing it is to others, and it is a happy event to have a man whose career has lain in the legislative branch to come here as representative of the executive branch of the U.S. Government. I am happy to present to you the American Ambassador to Canada, the Honourable Richard B. Wigglesworth, who will speak on "Soviet Objectives--Facts and Fancies".
MR. WIGGLESWORTH: I am grateful for the invitations received both from the Canadian Club and the Empire Club and am indebted to both for their willingness to join forces and thereby give me the privilege of accepting both invitations simultaneously.
As you appreciate I have not been in my present position for very long. Although I have not had long experience in the diplomatic service, I have spent some thirty years in political and legislative life as a member of the Congress of the United States. During recent years the major emphasis of my work has been in the field of defense and foreign aid which had involved one or more official visits to some twenty-seven different countries involved in the programs.
In view of the importance of this audience I would like to refer briefly to some of the reasons back of current free world policy toward the Soviet Union.
I would like to cut through the propaganda fog which the Soviet Government so ably spreads and take a look at the record of the past twenty years in the belief that the undisputed facts clearly reveal for all who will look the basic objectives of Soviet foreign policy. I would also like to show how this record limits the flexibility of the free world in negotiating agreements on disarmament, disengagement and the discontinuance of nuclear weapons tests.
I would hope that these approaches will leave no room for doubt or fancy regarding the basic objectives and motives of the Soviet Union and will explain why my country does not feel that it can gamble its security by basing important agreements with the Soviet Union on faith, a quality which recent history shows it scarcely deserves.
I shall not try to explain the complex issues involved in the Berlin situation. They will be threshed out at the Foreign Ministers' meeting beginning May 11 and, if a summit meeting seems justified, at a later meeting of the Heads of Government.
Nonetheless, I trust that some of the facts regarding basic Soviet motives which I shall mention, will be helpful in understanding the background of the Berlin negotiations concerning which we shall be reading so much in the days to come.
In my judgment the best place to look for clues with respect to future actions by the Soviet Union is in its past actions. The free world cannot afford to overlook the lessons of history and of experience if it is to survive. Past Soviet actions are the only solid indications we have as to future intentions unless we accept as gospel the no more reassuring writings and statements of their leaders such as Khrushchev's recent remark: "We will bury you". -
The history of the last twenty years can be forgotten only at our risk and peril. We must not forget that on October 31, 1939 Mr. Molotov in a speech before the Supreme Soviet referred to the then recently concluded mutual assistance pacts between the Soviet Union and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. He said: "All these pacts of mutual assistance strictly stipulate the inviolability of the sovereignty of the signatory states and the principle of non-interference in each other's affairs. These pacts are based on mutual respect for the political, social and economic structure of the contracting parties, and are designed to strengthen the basis for peaceful and neighbourly cooperation between our peoples. We stand for the scrupulous and punctilious observance of the pacts on the basis of complete reciprocity, and we declare that all the nonsensical talk about the Sovietization of the Baltic countries is only to the interest of our common enemies and of all anti-Soviet provocateurs." This speech was delivered less than twenty months before the U.S.S.R. with its Red Army incorporated by force these three independent countries into the Soviet Union. It was delivered only twenty months before the cattle cars moved eastward to Siberia loaded with tens of thousands of men, women and children who had done no wrong unless wishing to live in peace as citizens of independent countries was wrong. They had put their trust in Soviet good faith.
We must not forget the key role of the Red Army poised on the border when the death knell of democracy was sounded for Czechoslovakia in February of 1948. We must not forget the first threat to Berlin in June of 1948 and the free world's victory through the round-the-clock airlift.
We must not forget that at the Geneva summit meeting in 1955 the Soviets agreed that "The Heads of Government, recognizing their common responsibility for the settlement of the German question and the reunification of Germany, have agreed that the settlement of the German question and the reunification of Germany by means of free elections shall be carried out in conformity with the national interests of the German people and the interests of European security".
At the Foreign Ministers' conference in Geneva four short months later the Soviet Union refused to reflect that commitment in any action or agreement.
We must not forget that it was only two and a half short years ago that the incredibly brave Hungarian people rose in a supreme effort to obtain freedom and a government of their own choosing. They were on the verge of success when Soviet tanks brought in from outside Hungary killed thousands of unarmed Hungarians and forcibly reimposed an unwanted regime on that country. We must not forget that it was only five months ago that the Soviet Union artificially created a crisis between east and west over Berlin while loudly professing its dedication to peace.
Gentlemen, these and other developments make all too clear, I think, the basic motives of the Soviet Union during the past twenty years. Those motives are not complicated. They can be summed up in the words aggressive expansion. Aggressive expansion by subversion and the exertion of political pressure, if possible--by the use of force, if necessary, and if it appears to promise success.
And by subversion I, of course, mean the whole arsenal of weapons including threats, false promises, infiltration, economic warfare and other familiar tactics of the cold war. The free world must be prepared to overcome encroachment either by force or by subversion. By its united military strength it has blocked any recent expansion of the Soviet Union by military means and forced the Kremlin to turn to subversion. By united action it can also counter Soviet subversion.
Remembering the fate of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, however; remembering the subversion of Czechoslovakia; remembering the murder of Hungary's fighters for freedom; and remembering Soviet broken promises including the agreement at the 1955 summit meeting regarding the reunification of Germany by free elections; we in the free world cannot base our security on faith in the unsupported promises of the Soviet Union.
This is why, in trying to reach an agreement to disarm, or an agreement to discontinue the testing of nuclear weapons, or an agreement to prevent surprise attack, the free world must protect its very survival by insisting on agreements which are self-enforcing or which are safeguarded by adequate inspection and control systems. Given the Soviet record during the past twenty years the west
must base its relations with the Soviet Union on knowledge and not on faith.
I have spoken of disarmament. Following World War II the Soviet Union maintained much of its vast military apparatus while the free world drastically demobilized its armed forces. Today it is estimated that the Soviet army has about 175 divisions while only 21 divisions are in the central command of the NATO Commander, General Norstad. The only way the west can hope to face these overwhelming odds is by having adequate armaments including appropriate nuclear weapons.
The U.S.S.R. in all disarmament discussions has had as a major objective increasing the relative effectiveness of its massive manpower by denial of nuclear weapons to the west. The west has maintained that only through an agreement under which conventional forces are phased more nearly into balance can the limitation of nuclear weapons be considered. The west for reasons already mentioned has also taken the position that an effective inspection system is an essential part of disarmament.
The Soviet Government has maintained the absurd position that the purpose of the west in insisting on an inspection system is not to insure that a disarmament agreement is carried out but is a subterfuge to permit espionage.
I have referred to disengagement. Soviet ultimate objectives with respect to the various forms of disengagement which have been proposed include the withdrawal of allied forces including Canadian, United States, British and French forces from Germany to their respective countries (3,000 miles for the Canadians and Americans) in exchange for withdrawal of Soviet troops within their borders (a few hundred miles); the neutralization of Germany; and the break up of NATO.
Aside from the completely artificial creation of the Berlin crisis by the Soviet Union the European border between the Soviet orbit and the west has been comparatively free from dangerous incidents. This in itself casts doubt on the Soviet contention that military disengagement alonethat is the mere physical separation of forces--would reduce world tension. The vital element in the reduction of world tension is not military disengagement but political disengagement to which the Soviet government has yet to make any significant contribution.
I have mentioned the discontinuance of nuclear weapons tests. The United Kingdom and the United States as you know have been ready and willing to reach an agreement to ban such tests provided there is effective, impartial machinery for policing such a ban. As those of you who have followed the recent discussions at Geneva in the press will appreciate, the Soviet representatives have been insisting on a system of self-inspection supervised by a control organization subject to veto by any one of the permanent members of the commission. This would give a possible violator full power to prevent any action whatsoever and is not the effective, impartial machinery which the free world must insist on. The West cannot base its survival solely on faith in the word of the Soviet Union in dealing with matters of such vital importance.
Why is it when the record of current history of the Soviet Union is so clear, when the written and spoken words of its leaders are so specific in pointing to world domination as the basic objective of the Soviet Union, that some people and even some peoples believe that the Soviet Union is peace loving!
Again, I think that the answer is a simple one. They believe that the Soviet Union is peace loving because it says so and because it says so repeatedly in skillful, clever and sophisticated ways until the real record is forgotten. The agents of World Communism devote much more money, more time and more energy to propaganda than does the free world. Their immediate tasks are often simplified by the fact that they are completely unhampered by facts or truth in carrying out their mission.
Sometimes the object of Soviet propaganda is to disturb and confuse other peoples and sometimes its object is to lull them into a sense of security which may be entirely false. The 1955 Summit Conference was used by the worldwide apparatus of communism to convey the impression of respectability for the Soviet Union and to imply that the peoples of the west and of other parts of the free world had nothing to fear from Soviet policies. The Conference even included an agreement on German re-unification which contributed much to a false spirit of sweetness and light, and which there was apparently no Soviet intent to honor in performance.
Soviet propaganda is beamed at a variety of targets and differs in its methods and objects depending on the target. As between NATO partners, such as Canada and the United States, the Soviet object is always to create dissension and arouse animosity.
As our Acting Secretary of State, Christian Herter, has recently stated, "The west's firmness should always be matched by a willingness to negotiate with the Soviet Union wherever and whenever a reasonable basis for negotiation exists. The United States„" he continued, "has followed this policy in the past and will continue to do so patiently and persistently."
We must and will continue to advance constructive proposals for the settlement of major international disputes. We cannot be overly sanguine of our success. It may take a long time for the Soviet Union to become convinced that it cannot succeed in its program of world domination--that the free world will not become deluded or weak or fail to stand up for what it believes.
As the U.S.S.R. learns this lesson, it will perhaps begin to see that its interests can be served by agreements which guarantee peace and security. This will come only when the Soviet Union recognizes that real coexistence, rather than world domination, is the only course open to it.
Being prudent and vigilant, and recognizing the lack of moral motivation in Soviet actions means that agreements reached with the Soviet Union must be of such a character as to be self-enforcing or subject to controls and must not be based solely on faith that the Soviet Union will do what it says.
As President Eisenhower said in his Second Inaugural Address, "No nation can longer be a fortress lone and strong and safe. Any people seeking such shelter for themselves can build only their own prison." This is true for the United States as for any other nation.
The free world not only has enormous military power, it has today the necessary power to present to any aggressor who would unleash war upon the world the prospect of virtual annihilation for his country.
That power provides a vital protective shield behind which efforts can be made to solve what has recently been described as "the major economic problem of the peoples of the free world", namely, "to learn how to strengthen each other so that they may live in prosperity and freedom in spite of the growing menace of Soviet economic imperialism and Communist Chinese economic throat-cutting."
Without military power that objective is impossible. The free world not only has enormous military power, power, it has economic resources several times greater than those of the Soviet Union and in addition the overwhelming moral resources of the appeal against communist tyranny.
Canada and the United States have stood shoulder to shoulder with their allies in countering the Soviet threat. As allies in the defense of the North American continent and as allies in NATO they will continue to play a vital role in meeting this challenge. Together as partners and as allies they can and will contribute immeasurably to the cause which we all have at heart, the cause of freedom, security, and world peace.
THANKS OF THE MEETING were expressed by Lt.-Col. Bruce Legge, President of The Empire Club.