OPINION

January 17, 1957

WITH GOD AND STALIN: London, 17 – Changed perceptions that occurred last year at the Kremlin, particularly regarding «de-Stalinization,» were evident in statements made today by USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev. Speaking in Moscow during a reception in honor of visiting Chinese Prime Minister Chou En Lai, Khrushchev said, «God will provide so that every communist will fight for the good of the working classes, as Stalin did.» Chou En Lai praised Khrushchev for his statement, while (Georgy) Malenkov listened without comment. «Not only do I not separate Stalinism and Stalin from communism,» said Khrushchev, «but I believe that Stalin, as a defender of the interests of the working class, was an exemplary communist.» Khrushchev’s speech can be considered his most important since the 20th Congress. Lengthy applause followed the Soviet leader’s statements. «If my friend (Nikolai) Bulganin had not provoked me by saying that lately I had been called a Stalinist, I would not have spoken thus,» he added. «We have condemned Stalin and we will criticize him again if need be, but we are not doing so because we consider him a bad communist but because he made mistakes.»