J. V. Stalin

Replies to Questions put by Mr. Alexander Werth, Moscow, Correspondent of the “Sunday Times”

September 24, 1946

Source: J. V. Stalin on Post-War International Relations
Publisher: Soviet News, 1947
Transcription/Markup: Brian Reid for MIA, 2008
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

The following answers were given by J. V. Stalin to questions put by the Moscow correspondent of the “Sunday Times,” Mr. Alexander Werth, in a note addressed to Stalin on September 17, 1946.

Question: Do you believe in a real danger of a “new war” concerning which there is so much irresponsible talk throughout the world today? What steps should be taken to prevent war if such a danger exists?

Answer: I do not believe in a real danger of a “new war.”

Those who are now clamouring about a “new war” are chiefly military-political scouts and their few followers from among the civilian ranks. They need this clamour if only:

(a) to scare certain naive politicians from among their counter-agents with the spectre of war, and thus help their own Governments to wring as many concessions as possible from such counter-agents;

(b) to obstruct for some time the reduction of war budgets in their own countries;

(c) to put a brake on the demobilisation of troops, and thus prevent a rapid growth of unemployment in their own countries.

One must strictly differentiate between the hue and cry about a “new war” which is now taking place, and a real danger of a “new war” which does not exist at present.

Question: Do you believe that Great Britain and the United States of America are consciously placing the Soviet Union in a state of “capitalist encirclement”?

Answer: I do not think that the ruling circles of Great Britain and of the United States of America could create a “capitalist encirclement” of the Soviet Union even if they so desired, which, however, I do not assert.

Question: To quote Mr. Wallace’s recent speech, may Britain, Western Europe and the United States be certain that Soviet policy in Germany will not become an instrument of Russian designs against Western Europe?

Answer: I exclude the use of Germany by the Soviet Union against Western Europe and the United States of America. I consider this out of the question, not only because the Soviet Union is bound with Great Britain and France by the Treaty of Mutual Assistance against German aggression, and with the United States of America by the decisions of the Potsdam Conference of the three Great Powers, but also because a policy of making use of Germany against Western Europe and the United States of America would mean the departure of the Soviet Union from its fundamental national interests.

In short, the policy of the Soviet Union in relation to the German problem reduces itself to the demilitarisation and democratisation of Germany. I believe that the demilitarisation and democratisation of Germany form one of the most important guarantees of the establishment of a stable and lasting peace.

Question: What is your view of the charges that Communist Parties of Western Europe are having their policy “dictated by Moscow”?

Answer: I consider these charges absurd and borrowed from the bankrupt arsenal of Hitler and Goebbels.

Question: Do you believe in the possibility of friendly and lasting co-operation between the Soviet Union and the Western democracies despite the existence of ideological differences, and in the “friendly competition” between the two systems to which Mr. Wallace referred?

Answer: I believe in it absolutely.

Question: During the recent sojourn here of the Labour Party delegation you, as far as I understand, expressed certainty of the possibility of friendly relations between the Soviet Union and Great Britain. What could help in establishing these relations so profoundly desired by the broad masses of the British people?

Answer: I am indeed convinced of the possibility of friendly relations between the Soviet Union and Great Britain. The strengthening of political, commercial and cultural bonds between these countries would considerably contribute to the establishment of such relations.

Question: Do you believe the earliest withdrawal of all American forces in China to be vital for future peace?

Answer: Yes, I do.

Question: Do you believe that virtual monopoly by the U.S.A. of the atom bomb one of the main dangers to peace?

Answer: I do not believe the atom bomb to be as serious a force as certain politicians are inclined to think. Atomic bombs are intended for intimidating the weak-nerved, but they cannot decide the outcome of war, since atom bombs are by no means sufficient for this purpose. Certainly, monopolistic possession of the secret of the atom bomb does create a threat, but at least two remedies exist against it:

(a) Monopolist possession of the atom bomb cannot last long;

(b) Use of the atom bomb will be prohibited.

Question: Do you believe that with the further progress of the Soviet Union towards Communism the possibilities of peaceful co-operation with the outside world will not decrease as far as the Soviet Union is concerned? Is “Communism in one country” possible?

Answer: I do not doubt that the possibilities of peaceful co-operation, far from decreasing, may even grow. “Communism in one country” is perfectly possible, especially in a country like the Soviet Union.