30 November 1987*, Pb 95/21

Politburo decision. Soviet contribution to the “International Fund to aid Left-wing and Labour Organizations” will henceforth be made in hard-currency roubles due to dollar inflation; direct subsidy is in most cases safer and more effective than subventions via trade (6 pp). [R 30 Nov 87, Pb 95-21]

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[page one of six]

Workers of all Lands, Unite!

Must be returned within three days
to the CPSU Central Committee (General Department, Sector 1)

COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION, CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Top Secret
SPECIAL FILE

FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

No. Pb 96/21

To Comrades
Dobrynin, all items;
Garetsky, item 2.

Excerpt from the Minutes (No. 96) of the Meeting
of the CPSU Central Committee Politburo, held on 30 November 1987

A request from the Central Committee International Department

1. Adopt the proposal of the International Department that from 1988 the CPSU contribution to the International Fund for Left-wing Workers’ Organisations should be made in hard-currency roubles and determine the sum for 1988 to be 13.5 million.

2. The board of the USSR State Bank (Comrade N.V. Garetsky) is to provide Comrade A.F. Dobrynin with 13.5 million hard-currency roubles for special purposes.

3. Task Comrade A.F. Dobrynin to reach agreement with the Communist Party-participants of the International Fund for Left-wing Workers’ Organisations as as to the size of the Fund for 1988 and the size of each of their contributions.

Secretary of the Central Committee

[text along the vertical left edge of the page]
ATTENTION
A comrade in receipt of top secret documents of the CPSU Central Committee may not pass them into other hands or acquaint anyone with their content without special permission from the Central Committee. Photocopying or making extracts from the documents in question is categorically forbidden. The comrade to whom the document is addressed must sign and date it after he has studied the content.

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[page two]

SPECIAL FILE
Top Secret
Supplement
Draft

Resolution of the CPSU Central Committee

Issued raised by the Central Committee International Department

1. Accept the proposal of the International Department that the share to be contributed in 1988 by the CPSU to the International Fund for Left-wing Workers’ Organisations should be made in hard-currency roubles and determine the sum for 1988 to be 13.5 million.

2. The board of the USSR State Bank (Comrade N.V. Garetsky) is to provide Comrade A.F. Dobrynin with 13.5 million hard-currency roubles for special purposes.

3. Task Comrade A.F. Dobrynin to reach agreement with the Communist Party-participants of the International Fund for Left-wing Workers’ Organisations as as to the size of the Fund for 1988 and the size of each of their contributions.

 

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[page three]

SPECIAL FILE
Top Secret

To the CPSU Central Committee

Issued raised by the Central Committee International Department

In accordance with instructions (Pb 51/49, 4 February 1987) the possibility of a transition in the long term from the presently existing provision of financial aid to Communist, workers’ and revolutionary-democratic parties to channels of commercial ties was examined. Information obtained from the USSR Ministry of Foreign Trade, a number of overseas branches of the USSR KGB, and from representatives of certain firms of fraternal parties in Moscow about the enterprises, commercial and intermediary firms controlled by Communist Parties and their cooperation with Soviet foreign trade organisations has been studied from this point of view.

Under present conditions the possibility of a transfer of aid via commercial relations with firms controlled by fraternal parties is applicable to an extremely limited number of parties.

Many firms controlled by Communist Parties are economically weak, with limited contacts and capacity for trade; some of them are even losing money. The firms of only some fraternal parties – the French, Greek, Cypriot and Portuguese – are in a position to develop cooperation with Soviet foreign trade organizations in a way which would bring them tangible profit. The percentage paid by the firms into Party budgets is, as a rule, insignificant – from 1 to 5 percent from profits or concluded contracts.

The financial activities of firms or businesses controlled or owned by Communist Parties are subject to hard scrutiny by taxation and fiscal bodies in their own

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[page four]                                                                                              2.

countries. More or less significant payments by these firms into their Party coffers could become a cause for continual speculation by the bourgeois mass media. While not rejecting the possible receipt of aid through trade organizations, comrades from fraternal parties consider that this method is “harder to conceal and involves many risks” (Gaston Plissonnier, French CP).

Parties which have, for a lengthy period, received regular help from the International Fund to Aid Left-wing Workers’ Organizations, are counting on the preservation of this form of solidarity. For some, first and foremost the underground organisations, income from the Fund is the only means of financing their activities; for others, aid from the Fund is a very important part of their resources for financing organizational, political and ideological work (including publication and distribution of newspapers and other printed matter).

Ending assistance from the International Fund would, for most of the recipient parties, be an irreparable loss and inevitably have an extremely negative effect on their activities. Even parties which have their own businesses, trading and intermediary firms would have to cut back on at least some important undertakings without income from the Fund. In turn, this would lead to a decrease in their political weight and influence, and lessen their ability to influence social and political processes in their countries.

At present neither the fraternal parties nor Soviet foreign trade organizations are ready to transfer financial assistance through foreign trade channels. For most

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[page five]                                                                                                 3.

parties this is simply unacceptable because they own no enterprises or trading firms. But they need financial aid more than ever. There are various reasons for this: the conditions for the parties’ activities have become more difficult; there is a growing need to strengthen their organisational, ideological and political work; the ongoing devaluation of the US dollar, of course, and the unrestrained inflation in almost all countries of the non-socialist part of the world.

The fall in the exchange rate of the US dollar has led to a real and most substantial reduction in the amount of aid provided to all parties receiving disbursements from the Fund.

For information:
When the International Fund to Aid Left-wing Workers’ Organizations was created [in January 1969] the share contributed by the CPSU was set at 15 million dollars. According to the exchange rate of the time this was equal to 13.5 million hard-currency roubles. By the early 1980s the CPSU contribution to the Fund had risen, in dollar equivalent to 15.6 million dollars. As a result of the decline in value of the US dollar the CPSU contribution to the Fund has constantly fallen in comparison with that first established: in 1983 it was 16% lower; in 1984, 9% lower; in 1985, 2% lower; in 1986, 8% lower; and in 1987, 17% lower. (These calculations have been made by the USSR Bank for Foreign Trade.)

In other words, the aid actually provided to parties from the Fund has contracted all these years although in nominal terms it remained unchanged in most cases. All signs are that this tendency will continue since we cannot count on a rise in the exchange rate of the US dollar in the foreseeable future. It is impossible to halt the reduction in aid to parties from the Fund without further substantial increase in its volume. An acceptable solution to this problem, it would seem, is to transfer the Fund from provision in dollars to roubles.

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[page six]

To determine the size of the CPSU contribution to the Fund we should return to that originally established — 13.5 million hard-currency roubles.

It would seem expedient:

— starting from 1988 to transfer the CPSU contribution to the Fund in hard currency roubles, having established its level for this year as 13.5 million roubles;

— to continue studying the question of providing aid to Communist Parties via other channels, regarding this as an additional source of funding;

— to propose during one of the meetings of Central Committee secretaries of the Communist Parties of socialist countries on international issues to hold a closed exchange of opinions about issues concerning the provision of aid to fraternal parties.

[signed] Dobrynin
(Dobrynin)

17 November 1987

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NOTES
The Fund to Aid Left-Wing Workers’ Parties was established in the late 1960s (see 8 January 1969*, Pb 111/162*). For a list of recipients in 1981 and the amounts they received, see 29 December 1980*, Pb 230/34.
See 28 December 1988* (Pb 144/129) and 5 December 1989* for discussion and decisions about CPSU contributions to the Fund in 1989 and 1990.
General
1. Notes by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. text written by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been inserted
in a previously typed document this is indicated by underlined italic script.
Translation, AK & JC

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About editors (JC)

translator, researcher, editor
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