A firm word with Khrushchev
Sir, Further to Sir Stuart Bell’s letter (“Churchill and Stalin”, Dec 5), in 1956 Nikita Khrushchev paid an official visit to the UK. The Prime Minister Anthony Eden, gave a dinner in his honour at # 10. Winston Churchill was one of the guests. He was then of advanced age and, during dinner, ate little and said less.
After the meal the guests went to an adjoining room. Churchill sat on a sofa and was joined by Khrushchev. I was the interpreter. No one else was present.
Churchill said that he had read Khrushchev’s recent speech at the 20th Party Congress, in which he had criticised Stalin. Khrushchev was clearly surprised as the speech was supposed to be “secret”. Churchill went on to say that Khrushchev must never criticise Stalin again. He said that countries had few genuine heroes to treasure. Whatever other things Stalin had done, he had been instrumental in winning the war and his country was in his debt. No one else in the world could talk to Khrushchev in these terms. He made no comment.
On his return to the Soviet Union he made no further criticism of Stalin. Whether this was the result of Churchill’s reprimand or not we shall never know.
Sir John Morgan
From "The Times", Letters, December 14, 2009
Bonus: Хрущёв на Канкане - http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=36061