C. D. Jackson’s Bilderberg Remarks, Sept. 1958, in Buxton UK
October 23, 1958
Dear Mr. Retinger:
Hear is the edited copy of my Bilderberg remarks. I am sorry it has taken so long to get to you, but I have been doing a lot of traveling, which cut badly into my working time.
C. D. Jackson
Dr. J. H. Retinger
27, The Vale
London, SW 3, ENGLAND
Mr. C. D. Jackson
There were some very interesting and important and true things said this morning.
The problem I think we face is the fact that we used to have such a useful ally in the simple, byzantine brutality of Stalin. You knew where you were, and you also knew that if you bumbled your way into trouble you would be rescued by Stalin.
That is no longer true today with Mr. Khrushchev, who is an infinitely more subtle character — not only because he himself is more subtle than Stalin, but because he has to be more subtle in view of the things that are going on behind his back. Therefore, we are living today in an extraordinary paradox — the paradox of greater danger, and at the same time of greater opportunity. How to operate between the two is a complicated and tricky problem.
I think that Mr. Mosely and others were quite correct when they implicitly or explicitly said that we are in greater danger today than we have ever been. But also, more hopeful signs were pointed out — on the economic side and elsewhere. Mr. Harsch talked about China. Sure, we now have two Big Brothers instead of one Big Brother. But maybe one Big Brother is bigger than the other. It is and interesting situation and undoubtedly gives Mr. Khrushchev pause.
There is the problem of education in the Soviet Union. One point that was not brought out this morning is that you cannot take tens of thousands of young Soviet citizens and educate them for science without developing curiosity — and you cannot limit their curiosity to scientific matters. Their curiosity is bound to go all over the place — and that is a source of danger to the Soviet Union.
We have talked also about nationalism. And, too, there is my pet hobbyhorse — namely, the Easter European satellite countries. I still claim this is the Achilles’ heel of the Soviet empire, about which we are not doing what we should. And I’m not talking about “liberation policies”.
So we have this paradox and this opportunity.
Now I am going to say some things against what the Americans have been doing, and about what they have been failing to do. (Lest anyone think this is running out on my particular side of the American political fence, I would draw your attention to the fact that I spent full time on this work of political warfare in international affairs for a year under the Truman administration and a year and a half under the Eisenhower administration, so except for a six months edge the scales are even.)
There are two things that can and should be done. One of them is to take advantage of the targets of opportunity which present themselves all the time. The other is to have the kind of setup which would permit forward thinking and planning. We have done far too little on both scores.
To illustrate what I mean by a target of opportunity, let us take Hungary. I am not talking about the Hungary of 1956; I am talking about the liquidation of Imre Nagy and Pal Maleter in 1958.
In a very interesting way, there was a greater world revulsion against the murder of these two Hungarian leaders than there was at the time of the Russian suppression of the Budapest insurrection. Yet in the United Nations none of us, neither the United States nor anyone else, did what could easily have been done at virtually no cost — that is, get the representatives of the Kadar regime disaccredited in the U.N.
This is all the more serious and shameful because it was not a question of unseating an accredited representative. These people have never been accredited. They had applied for it, but they had not gotten it; but also they didn’t get disaccredited. All of us together — all of us brave Western nations seriously concerned with political warfare, seriously concerned with the Communist threat, seriously concerned with a thousand and one things — just kicked that accreditation item under the rug, three times.
I know that the State Department people and the Foreign Office people of various countries will say, “Oh, there are grave dangers; there is the danger that the Kadar regime will close down the U.S. Embassy in Budapest and we won’t have that window there any more.” Well, I think that in this great Game, on private window on such-and-such a street in Budapest just don’t stack up against what would happen in the hearts of Hungarians if we could muster the manliness to disaccredit the representatives of the Kadar regime. In passing, I would draw your attention to the fact that the ILO, which is not in the habit of roaring like a lion, managed to do just that on this subject. If the ILO can do it, I don’t see why the U.N. can’t.
So that is the kind of target of opportunity that comes up every now and then — quite frequently, actually — on which unfortunately we do not act.
The forward thinking and planning which we do not do is best illustrated in the American case, I think, by Poland — Gomulka’s Poland.
We agree along with a lot of other people that the Gomulka development — you might even call it the Gomulka-Wiszynski development — in Poland was a very important, significant and delicate one which should be handled with great intelligence. I think it was particularly significant that practically all Poles outside of Poland, no matter what their political complexion, no matter what their background, no matter how long they had been out of Poland — agreed that we must not rock this boat.
What happened next? The Poles came to us and said, “We need three hundred million dollars, Mr. U.S.”. And what did we do? We went into a surly brown study, and finally decided to give them 90 million dollars. Conceivably this was all they needed or deserved, but the way in which the study was made, and the way we made news working out whether it was 90 million, 100 million, 150 million, or 300 million, was all negative, chip-on-the-shouldery news.
Finally, we did not take advantage of an incredible opportunity for crowding the Polish switchboard with Western sounds in general, and American sounds in particular. If we had immediately given them 90 million dollars, and let them call it a token instead of hasseling over it, and then asked them to invite an American study group of agriculture, economics, health, medicine, and industry to work out with them their problems, we would have indeed crowded their switchboard with our sounds and made it difficult for Moscow to get on the line.
We have all been taking a most incredible beating over the months and years on the word “Colonialism”. We have never pulled up our socks in forward thinking to the extent of even beginning to nail the fact of “the new Colonialism” onto aggressive, imperial Communism.
At the first Bilderberg Conference four years ago we had quite a discussion on the American viewpoint versus the British and French viewpoint on Colonialism. But we all know that from our side of the fence colonialism is dead — we simply do not use that word. The entire trend of Western activity is to bring individual peoples forward. Yet here we are still stuck with the label, and we have not done the most elementary first lesson to pin the word “Colonialism” on the Soviet Union, where it really belongs.
Above all those matters of detail that I have mentioned, I think the essential thing for us to do is to put our own fraternal house in order. We have got to be agreed among ourselves. We have far too often allowed the atmosphere to be poisoned.
If among ourselves, the countries represented here today could agree on elementary principles of political warfare toward Communism, and the Soviet Union, and Communist China, and the new Colonialism, we would be able to set up the kind of “center of magnetism” which is the only realistic and irresistible way to get through to these people. As Mr. Mosley said this morning, the good citizens of Moscow are not going to swarm on the streets and build barricades and string Khrushchev up by the ankles — that’s not the way things are going to happen.
We have to set up our own center of magnetism here in order to make our place, our system, our way of doing things, our people’s welfare, self-evidently better than imperial Communism.
Not long ago we poisoned our own atmosphere with Suez; we ourselves poisoned it 48 hours ago with Quemoy; a month ago it was the Near-East, and tomorrow goodness knows what. We should be considerably smarter than we have been in the past.
Part of that smartness could be to find the formula whereby in political warfare our nations could get together more often, and actually have an international group to think and plan above the poisoned-atmosphere elements. One of the miracles of NATO is that they have been able to do that. These NATO members sort of sniffed around each other like strange bulldogs for a couple of years, and finally decided that they could stick together no matter what was happening.
There is a similar cooperative situation in OEEC on economic matters.
Well, if we can do it in the OEEC and we can do it in NATO, we can do it in political warfare. I submit that in political warfare this is the moment to do it.