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Fourth International, November 1946


Paris “Peace” Conference


From Fourth International, November 1946, Vol.7 No.11, p.326.
Transcribed, edited & formatted by Ted Crawford & David Walters in 2008 for ETOL.


If the doctors assembled at the Luxembourg Palace were to begin to speak about the real illnesses and dangers by which the post-war world is afflicted, they would not argue so violently about procedural irrelevancies. Instead, Mr. Byrnes would stand up and say to Mr. Molotov:

“In the course of the war, under pressure of military necessities, we agreed to allocate to you a wide sphere of influence in Eastern and Central Europe. Now that the war has ended – I must frankly admit we cannot help having some second thoughts. We are afraid we have yielded to you too much. We were not quite clear how you would behave in your zone of influence and whether you would encourage Soviet revolutions in countries of your zone. We talked vaguely about the need to eradicate fascism and establish democracy there; but each of us put a different meaning into those formulae. We now see you organizing the countries of your zone on the pattern of your own Soviet system; and we are certainly afraid that You may attempt to carry that system even beyond your zone. This is the grave dispute between us, and you need not be surprised that we try to regain ground we had yielded to you.”

Mr. Molotov would then thus argue his case:

“Surely your second thoughts bode no good for Soviet Russia. I have reasons to suspect that you are going to tear up agreements which we reached when we were comrades in arms. And indeed at this Conference you already appear to be trying to undo our joint decisions on this Conference, reached only a few weeks ago. And, above all; I cannot ignore the ominous fact that even now, in the second year of peace, you still produce atomic bombs. You may not wish to give away to me the secrets of their production. You would be acting in a very magnanimous way if you did and I don’t expect such magnanimity; but why on earth do you continue to manufacture them? Against whom are your atom bombs going to be used? You need not be surprised if I am in a suspicious mood. Indeed, it seems to me that mankind ought to be warned about your doings behind which there may be sinister intentions.”

But the doctors in the Luxembourg Palace prefer not to talk about the cancer; and the Conference rooms still resound with involved and unreal disputes. (London Economist , Aug. 10, 1946)

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