Publication: The Times

Full Citation

  • Title Integrating E. Germany Into Soviet Economy
  • Author From Our Own Correspondent
  • Publication Title The Times
  • Collection The Times Digital Archive, 1785-2008
  • Date Monday,  Aug. 12, 1957
  • Issue Number 53917
  • Page Number 6
  • Place of Publication London, England
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library Times Newspapers Limited
  • Copyright Statement © Times Newspapers Limited.
IJNTEGRATING E. GERMANY INTO SOVIET ECONOMY From Our Own Correspondent BERLIN, Auo. 11 Since Mr. Khrushchev and his party arrived in east Germany last Wednesday it has become quite clear that German reunification is completely unacceptable to the Russian Government; that, at least while the present phase of Soviet policy is being pursued, it is idle to believe that offers of a European security system will be considered. Mr. Khrushchev has strongly indicated, however, that his attitude is not merely defensive. East Germany is being integrated into the Soviet economic system to a degree previously unattempted. This can be seen as a period of consolidation, of fully exploiting the territorial and political gains of 1945. There would seem no good reason to dismiss Mr. Khrushchev's repeated economic challenge to the west. It must be accepted that he believes that the Soviet system can deliver the goods, although what is considered as the inevitable economic recession in the west may be necessary to make Soviet achievements comparable. A prime purpose of his visit is certainly to initiate economic and managerial reorganizations similar to those now being carried out in the Soviet Union. This task is also of ideological importance and a great deal of preliminary spadework was done in east Germany before the visit. The theme of discussions in east Germany during the past few weeks has been that there is no third way to increased production and higher living standards. In' spite of the revolt in Hungary the loyalty of most east German intellectuals to Marxist principles has not wavered much, but it has been necessary to combat the rightist, or social democratic, tendencies of a large section of the Socialist Unity Party. HOME OF MARXISM Herr Ulbricht, the party leader, has shown considerable shrewdness in allowing free discussion that at times seemed to border on deviationism. Herr Behrens, who led this discussion, has, however, never departed from Marxist teachings. His intention has been only to improve their application. Now Mr. Khrushchev has come with words of good cheer and a great deal of expertise. He has tried, for example, to prove that the east German attempts to grow maize have failed not because of Communist organization but simply because of local ineptitude. At the same time he has inflated German national pride by underlining the German origins of Marxism. This visit is likely to initiate no new policy, but rather to Implement agreements reached when the east German delegation visited Moscow some months ago. Already a great deal has been done to provide east industry with the raw materials it requires. For instance, western observers here agree that the hard coal crisis has, at least for the time being. been overcome. Donetz coal has been delivered, as has Polish coaL and the latter deliveries have been charged to the Russian account. American coal has also been imported by way of Hamburg. This shortage has been overcome without any large charges against the east German account, and the action taken must be regarded as a special emergency aid measure. The transferable roubles previously provided by the Soviet Union remain almost untouched, it is believed. These may be used to overcome the serious shortage of special grades of steel. PARTY DEFECTIS 'Mr. Mikoyan returned to cast Berlin from Rostock to-day and Mr. Khrnshchev was expected back from Magdeburg this evening Conversations with Herr Ulbricht and other cast German leaders will be resumed to-morrow. Russian trade union and youth leaders are also to meet their opposite numbers. The Free German Youth Movement was probably more demoralized by the Hungarian rising than stirred to emulation-an understandable reaction of functionaries who must have believed that they were on the losing side*and a thorough reorganization is expected. This is especially necessary in rural areas. It is now admitted that there are many villages without adequate party cadres and it has been suggested that the central tractor stations must increase their political work. While the Russian leaders are primarily concerned with internal matters, they continue to excite interest in foreign affairs. Speaking at Rostock last night, Mr. Mikoyan chose to doubt the sincerity of the western delegations to the London disarmartent talks. He sneered at the proposal for an inspection area in the Arctic, and claimed that the proposal for a trial 10-month period for the cessation of nuclear tests masked aggressive intentions. He said new nuclear weapons were being devised which would not be ready for testing for another 10 months. "PUPPET GOVERNMENT " "DOES NOT COUNT TUPPENCE" Mr. R. L Mellish, who returned on Saturday from a visit to east Germany with six other Labour M.P.s, gave his inmpressions of "ua puppet Government " which did not "count tuppence." During their eightday visit the unofficial delegation heard Mr. Khrushchev's two-hour address to the east German ParliamenL "He made it perfectly clear that, as far as Russia is concerned. they are prepared to defend the east German democratic republic with everything they bave got," Mr. Mellish said. "Any attempt to throw it over would meet with Russian resistance. This is the threat the cast German people lve under. They cannot Set rid of the present regime, and they have got to tolerate iL And we had better make up our mind to that in the west" Mr. Mellish's impression of Mr. Khruibchev was that "he is a hard-bitten dictator who would not tolerate any opposition to his power, whether inside or outside Russia." He described the cast Geiman Government as a puppet rgime, with very different ideas of democracy from our own. Until east Germany's problems were solved by the big international Powers she would remain as she was. "I do not think the Goverrunent of east Germany counts tuppence," he said One thing which pleased Mr. Mellish was the freedom to worship which he found. Himseif a Roman Catholic, he went to 7 o'clock Mass and found 500 other people there.