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In addition to recommendations and requests, the directorates also regularly prepare work and progress reports for the collegium. These papers are coordinated laterally with other interested directorates and departments before submission; this does not imply, however, that papers reaching the collegium have the general agreement of all concerned. Differences in point of view between lower units are resolved by the collegium, and this body frequently calls up representatives from lower echelons to reinforce their standpoints by oral testimony. The collegium of a ministry of the “union republic" has the authority to request reports from the corresponding ministries in the republics. A report requested by a republic ministry probably is not coordinated laterally before submission to Moscow. Lateral coordination of important reports prepared by central ministries for the U.S.S.R. Council of Ministers can be presumed, however; such coordination probably takes place at the collegium level in the ministries concerned. State committees

State committees are structurally similar to all-union ministries; they operate through a system of field representatives and, with the exception of the state planning committee and certain of the specialized agencies, do not have counterparts in the republics. Their organization at the center is also analogous to that of a ministry, being composed of the chairman, his deputy chairmen, and functional subdivisions.

As stated above, state committees are coordinating bodies for those activities of other government agencies centering around a common problem. They make preliminary examinations of the decisions of these agencies and present to the Council of Ministers their conclusions and suggestions on such matters as projected plans, technicaleconomic indices of work of individual branches and norms for the utilization of the mechanical means of production, and measures for improving the work of ministries and departments.

Within the limits of their competence, the state committees are also charged with supervision over certain activities of government departments. In the specific field with which they are concerned, they oversee the rational use of resources, introduction of new techniques, and attempts to improve the quality of work, and they see to it that the various agencies put resources into the state reserves.

Like the ministries, the state committees also have certain planning functions. Whereas the planning departments of the ministries draw up economic plans for the ministry as a whole, the corresponding departments in state committees have more clearly delineated responsibilities. They pull together information from the rest of the government and prepare for the Council of Ministers and the state planning committee their recommendations on distribution and transportation of the resources with which they are concerned, introduction of new techniques, scientific-technical propaganda, and measures for improring systems of labor and wages.

Thus the state committees assemble from all over the government a variety of reports bearing on a common problem (such as automation) and integrate them into general reports for submission to the state planning committee and the Council of Ministers. They receive from these bodies general instructions which in turn are formulated

as specific requirements to be put into effect in all government agencies concerned.

The state planning committee (Gosplan) deserves special mention because of its unique niche in the Soviet decisionmaking process. As the central authority supervising the U.S.S.R.'s planned economy, it formulates the specific plans for implementing the broad economic objectives laid down by the party Presidium. Its importance is evidenced by the fact that Gosplan Cha:rman Aleksey Kosygin is a Deputy Premier and a candidate member of the party presidium, and several deputy chairmen and department heads carry the rank of minister.

Gosplan is organizationally similar to a union-republic type of ministry, and each Republic has a state planning committee which in theory is subordinate both to the republic council of ministers and to U.S.S.R. Gosplan. In practice the line of command runs almost exclusively to the center, and Gosplan has direct operational control not only over its counterparts in the Republics, but also over the planning departments in individual ministries and state committees 10 Specialized agencies

None of the five specialized agencies which are a part of the Council of Ministers plays a critical role in decisionmaking, although they contribute to the process through their special fields of work. The Soviet Control Commission is primarily concerned with checking on fulfillment of state directives, particularly in the implementation of economic plans. The commission has counterparts at the republic level, with representatives stationed throughout the country. The state bank (Gosbank) is the principal credit institution of the U.S.S.R. It is the bank of issue and virtually the sole fiscal agent for all levels of government; it has branches throughout the nation.

The committee of state security (KGB) is the organization of the secret police. Its functions are similar to those of the FBI, CIA, and the law-enforcement arms of the Treasury Department combined. The KGB has republic counterparts, but these are completely subordinate to the center rather than to the republic governments. The state scientific-economic council is primarily responsible for coordinating research on technical-economic questions, particularly in the improving of planning techniques.

The central statistical administration is the repository for facts and figures on all phases of Soviet life. It publishes economic and produc

. tion reports and limited population studies; it supervised the taking of the Soviet census last fall.

10 For further discussion of its operations, see ch. IV.



As noted above, major foreign policy questions apparently are handled somewhat differently from ordinary Presidium business. Khrushchev has quite obviously been impatient with the mechanisms of normal diplomacy and patently distrustful of the ability of professional diplomats to handle critical foreign policy situations. The Presidium-or Khrushchev together with several of the top leaders acting for the Presidium-probably constitutes a policy-planning board on all major foreign policy issues. Moreover, Presidium members, Khrushchev in particular, participate personally in the implementation of the policy decided upon. Foreign Minister Gromyko, who is not a member of the Presidium, sometimes attends the meetings to make suggestions and supply technical advice. Khrushchev, however, has gone out of his way in public and private comments to underline the limitations on Gromyko's authority and, in the process, to emphasize the degree of his own personal domination of foreign policy.

Khrushchev's confidence in speaking for the majority of the Presidium has been reflected time after time in his off-the-cuff remarks on international problems, as he has proclaimed in public the aims and tactics of Soviet foreign policy which he determines in private. This is particularly evident on the few occasions he has used the first-person singular in speaking of the definition or redirection of Soviet policy, Increasingly as Khrushchev has dominated policy, Soviet conduct of foreign affairs has come to reflect not only one-man domination of the Soviet scene, but also some of Khrushchev's personal characteristics.

In line with his openly expressed dislike for bureaucratic redtape and diplomatic usage, Khrushchev has experimented with a number of devices to bring to bear a personal touch in state-to-state relations: marathon interviews with free-world visitors in order to nail down the Soviet position on world problems, exchanges of visits with foreign heads of government and of state, and continued emphasis on the need for summit conferences to solve outstanding issues. The new Soviet tactics demonstrate Khrushchev's shrewdness, nerve, and unscrupulousness and reflect his efforts fully to exploit Soviet technological, military, and scientific progress to extend Communist influence at the expense of the West. This personal factor is also evident in Moscow's occasional willingness to press provocative policies when seemingly to Soviet advantage, and then dramatically-as in the Syrian crisis of 1957—shift course when the policy has failed.

The form in which foreign policy plans are worked up is not known, but the high degree of consistency and coordination which Soviet foreign policy manifests in action suggests that they are detailed and comprehensive. They might include overall strategic plans, setting the basic objectives of Communist policy in various areas of the world for stated periods of time; and operational (or country) plans, spelling out in greater detail the specific tasks of the various aims of Soviet

policy abroad in achieving these strategic goals. All such plans are subject to continuous review by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by departments in the staff of the party secretariat, and by the Presidium, particularly when the international situation is changing rapidly. Policy decisions made by the Presidium

are executed by the Foreign Ministry, assisted at the top by party officials and abroad by career diplomatic party-state functionaries. In the formidable diplomatic missions the U.S.S.R. maintains abroad there are, in addition to regular Foreign Ministry personnel, assigned representatives of other Soviet agencies who, though nominally subordinate to the Soviet ambassador, maintain direct contact with their home organizations. Increasingly numerous abroad are officials of the state committee for foreign economic relations, which is responsible for administering the U.S.S.R.'s economic cooperation and military assistance programs. The Ministry of Foreign Trade also maintains both permanent and temporary commercial and trade representatives abroad. In those countries where several bloc members are involved in economic assistance programs, an embassy economic official may be charged with reporting on these activities directly to the council for mutual economic assistance-the organ for coordinating Soviet bloc economic activity. These special staffs receive their instructions from their home organizations in Moscow, and their various programs are coordinated by Central Committee organs in Moscow rather than in the field.

The activities of the official Soviet missions in pushing the U.S.S.R's foreign policy lines are supplemented locally by Communist parties, taking guidance if not always direction from Moscow, and by a network of Communist-controlled or Communist-supported front groups which act as a bridge between Communists and actual or potential sympathizers.

All of these organizations are described in the sections following.


The U.S.S.R. Foreign Ministry is charged solely with responsibility for Soviet foreign relations. Its functions include negotiation with foreign representatives in the U.S.S.R., establishment and maintenance of diplomatic relations with foreign countries, and supervision of representatives of other Soviet agencies. Organization

The headquarters staff of the Foreign Ministry consists of 14 geographic divisions or desks with responsibility for specific groups of countries or international organizations; several functional divisions dealing with such matters as protocol, legal questions, and press relations; a secretariat; and the collegium, or directing staff of the Ministry. (See chart N.)

The collegium, chaired by the Minister, includes all Deputy Ministers and a few of the more important division chiefs. Overall supervisory chores are divided among the Deputy Ministers, with the First Deputy acting in a general capacity as the Minister's right-hand

The collegium advises the Minister and, at the same time, serves as a coordinating board for the activities of the various components of the Ministry. It helps translate policy directives into specific assignments, oversees their implementation, and assesses the results.


The geographic desks supervise the operations of Soviet missions in the countries of their responsibility, solve minor problems on their own, and seek solution to major ones from the appropriate Deputy Minister or the collegium of the Ministry. The geographic desks also perform the first stage in filtering, consolidating, and synthesizing reports from field missions. Foreign missions

Soviet foreign missions have administrative and general supervisory responsibilities regarding most Soviet citizens in the country where the mission is accredited. During the past 6 years the Soviet Union has added 14 countries to those with which it exchanges diplomatic representation; it now maintains 53 embassies, 4 legations, and a permanent representation to the United Nations. Most of the recent expansion has been among the newly independent countries of Africa—Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Guinea, and Ghana-and in southeast Asia Indonesia, North Vietnam, Cambodia, Nepal, and Ceylon. Very little progress has been made in Latin America, where relations are maintained with only three countries: Argentina, Uruguay, and Mexico.

The most important single document which each Soviet embassy prepares on a routine basis is the annual country report. This report is a comprehensive description of events during the calendar year in all phases of the country's political, economic, and cultural life. Where appropriate, an analysis of a given situation is included, together with conclusions and policy recommendations. When the annual review of an embassy's operations is underway in the Ministry-and occasionally at other times as well—the ambassador may be called to Moscow to explain situations which are difficult to render in report form and to participate in policy discussions. Personnel

The intense personal interest of all members of the top party leadership in foreign relations has served to keep the Ministry under close scrutiny and helped to isolate its operating personnel from factional pressures. Apparently few, if any, of the Ministry's personnel, for example, became embroiled in the political intrigues of former Foreign Ministers Molotov and Shepilov.

The average Soviet career diplomat not only has steered clear of top party politics, he has also been generally successful in adapting to the demands of the regime. Most of the important career diplomats displaced in the post-Stalin shakeup have been appointed subsequently to other posts within the Ministry without apparent loss of status. Career development, routine reassignment, and the shifting locus of problems requiring depth of diplomatic experience appear to be among the most important reasons for these transfers of career personnel.

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