INT: Did the East German uprising of June 1953 give encouragement to those people who thought that rollback at one time or another, was possible.

RB: Well I suppose so because it obviously demonstrated that the Soviet Union had in fact not been able to blot out the desire of the satellite peoples to have independence and there willingness, at least some of them to risk their lives in the, for the purpose of trying to achieve, freedom from the Soviet domination. For example this paper itself said explicitly, that Soviet control of the satellite areas was firm and could almost surely not be unsettled, by anything which the West could do short of war, so I mean there, there was no ambiguity as to what policy was, there was no expectation or hope, that early freedom for the satellites was possible, but nevertheless as I say long term hope that it would be achieved.

INT: In 1955 in July at Geneva the American and Soviet leaders met for the first time after ten years since Potsdam, what was the background to the Geneva talks and, and, and what did Eisenhower and Dulles expect would materialise from the personal encounter of Khrushchev and Malenkov and so on.

RB: Well I think there were several reasons there were various people in, European leaders who felt that it was necessary to have some, summit meeting if only to satisfy public opinion of, that they were making every effort to avoid the worst aspects of the Cold War, and now by this time the problem of Germany and German, Germany's participation in the European defence had been settled and so the German had regained essentially solidarity and that was more or less firm than in place and so the, reasons for not having any meeting because it might disturb the, this, the progress toward this was no longer amicable. So the United States no longer was trying to prevent such a meeting it was perfectly willing to go ahead. As I remembered Eden was particularly anxious I think that was the sought of the initial, I think he was anxious, he had taken over from Churchill and he was anxious that there be a meeting but there was no resistance to it on the part of the others. I think Eisenhower, well by that time it was beginning to be pretty clear that the leadership now was in the hands of Khrushchev, that was not nominally true, Bulganin was still nominally the man in charge and at the Geneval, Geneva meeting he was the spokesman, the formal spokesman for the Soviets, but at the, in the, in the side door (unintelligible) in other ways pretty clearly Khrushchev was the fello who was much more in charge that was, than was Bulganin. Malenkov had been definitely put aside and they had moved on, as I said, to Bulganin and by that time, as I said Khrushchev was really pretty clearly in, in the saddle, now that later on there was some effort by the others to unseat him but they didn't succeed. The agenda was one focusing on German unity that was again partly to demonstrate that we, the West really was anxious to have unity on a acceptable basis it was also the second subject was dishonourment and the third as I recall it was, a greater exchange of persons and, and other interchange between the two systems. I don't think anybody really expected that progress was gonna be made on German unity. I think Eisenhower hoped maybe that something might be of a small start made on arms control, or disarmourment, I think he hoped in any event to have an opportunity to convince the Soviets, the Soviet leaders, that nuclear war was suicidal and it was just something that must be avoided and that therefore there was a common interest a shared interest in trying to achieve ways to make sure that no nuclear war happened by accident or otherwise, and I think that's one of the things he hoped to accomplish was really to convince them that that was the fact and that was what we had to live with and that it did indeed create a common shared interest. And finally I think that Eisenhower in particular was anxious to see more interchange he, he strongly favoured more trade really with the Soviets than most of the people in the administration, just because he thought that any kind of interchange, any kind of flow back and forth would have the effect anyway of exposing the Soviet system to outside influences of some sort. And so he was very much interested in the possibility of expanding exchanges and that sort of thing. The was really a considerable degree formal in the sense that there were sort of set speeches made as we went around the table each, each leader taking his turn there wasn't really much, what you might call negotiation. One of the things that Eisenhower did at the meeting was to unveil his proposal for what's called open skies, I think many of his advisors like CD Jackson and others, that thought of it as a Cold War ploy which would show that the, United States was anxious to go forward and that the Soviets were insisting on keeping the system closed. I think Eisenhower was not unaware of that but I think he also really took it more seriously to try to again make clear, that if you, if, this, the idea was that you'd have th

INT: We go forward to Khrushchev's secret speech in February 1956 short, time after the Geneva conference, how much of a revelations were, were, were the remarks hmade and how much did it tell you about Khrushchev himself.

RB: Well I don't think there was any, the facts of it, of course we had didn't have all the specifics that he gave in the speech, but nevertheless the basic reality of Stalin's oppression and, and the brutality and all that was not surprising, I mean there were, books had been already written about the purges and so on, so I don't think that that was a surprise, that he gave it was a surprise and the feeling was that it was remarkable and that it must surely not have been something that would have been endorsed by Molotov because he was a really very confirmed believer and probably others. But again his readiness to go ahead and make it his own obviously was further evidence that he considered himself really pretty much in charge. It was clearly looked on as a wonderful propaganda material because, it certainly blasted the image which the Soviets had tried to maintain despite knowledge on the other, about other things. That this was essentially workers paradise it was making extended progress and was the way with the future and a model for, particularly for the LDCs and so it was sort of like manner from heaven from the purpose of trying to combat this kind of an image. It was useful in the sort of, preserving it could be beamed to the East Europeans and it sort of confirmed the feeling this was a terrible system but again I don't really think that was altogether novel it was simply the confirmation of this by somebody who wasn't in the top position, in the Soviet Union. And it certainly was designed to, maintain distaste on the part of the satellites for this system. It was perhaps more important really with respect to the aid, developing countries or the neutrals the non aligned, because they had a somewhat illusionary picture of the Soviet Union as the model and so on, and this, this certainly must have been a very jolting revelation of what the system was really like and what it costs for it and so on. And I think it probably did discredit this, the Soviets particularly with, in their efforts at sort of, charming and hypnotising in the, persuading the people in the, non alliant countries that they really ought to align with them because they were the, model and the way to go. So, it was the system, you know it was extensively exploited by the Western countries, in particularly the United States, through all sorts of agencies including Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty and well all the other instrumentality's for spreading it around.