Soviet Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev on Friday (13 June) called for an international treaty banning development of new weapons of mass destruction to prevent the possible appearance of a super-weapon.
GV Audience applaud as Brezhnev walks to rostrum (2 shots)
GV Audience take seats as Brezhnev prepares and speaks (SOF BEGINS AT 18 FT, 5.5 METRES, 29 SECS.)
SV Audience applaud
SV Brezhnev continues speech and audience applaud
Soviet Communist Party Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev made his first public address for over a month when he spoke to voters in his Moscow constituency on Friday. He's apparently been undergoing medical treatment but returned earlier in the week in readiness for Sunday's nationwide elections.
Mr. Brezhnev heads a list of two million unopposed Party candidates in elections this weekend for the Supreme Soviet, republican parliamentary soviets and local government councils throughout the state.
Most of the fifty-five minute speech dealt with the Soviet Union's industrial, agricultural and economic progress towards the end of the current Five-Year-Plan ... and the Soviet Communist Party. But the big surprise came when Mr. Brezhnev began a short reference to foreign banning the development of new weapons of mass destruction.
Indicating he had no specific weapon in mind, the Soviet leader urged greater co-operation between the Soviet Union and the United States to prevent the emergence of a weapon "yet more terrible than nuclear arms". He expressed further hopes that the European Security Conference will soon complete its two years of work ... but made no mention of the Middle East situation, an issue he was expected to cover.
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Background: Soviet Communist Party leader Leonid Brezhnev on Friday (13 June) called for an international treaty banning development of new weapons of mass destruction to prevent the possible appearance of a super-weapon.
The call came during a speech Mr. Brezhnev was making to voters in his Moscow constituency in readiness for Sunday's (15 June) elections throughout the Soviet Union. The Communist Party General-Secretary heads a list of uncontested candidates for elections to the Supreme Soviet, the soviets or parliaments of the country's 15 republics and 20 autonomous regions and to local government councils.
It was Mr. Brezhnev's first public address since he emerged earlier in the week after a month away from the public scene, apparently undergoing medical treatment.
In relation to the development ban treaty, he made it clear that he had no specific weapon in mind. But referred to the possible emergence of a weapon "yet more destructive than nuclear arms".
Much of the Secretary-General's 55-minute speech was given over to Soviet industrial, agricultural and economic progress towards the end of the current Five-Year-Plan and the coming 25th Congress of the Communist Party. The weapon development ban was the only fresh point to emerge during the short reference to foreign affairs, although Mr. Brezhnev had been expected to comment on the Middle East situation.
Narration: General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev has spoken at a meeting of voters in Moscow where he is standing for the parliament of the Russian Federation. We present a resume of what he said. First: Leonid Brezhnev thanked the voters of the Bauman District for the renomination and said he believed their confidence in him showed their approval of the policies of the Communist Party and its Central Committee.
He noted the elections come at a time when the nation is about to finish work on its current five-year plan and when it looks forward to the 25th congress of the Communist Party. He said the nation has done a great deal, it has made much progress. It has moved far shod in building a communist society. Life has shown the policies the 24th congress laid down are correct policies.
General Secretary Brezhnev quoted figures to show the dynamic growth of Soviet industries. He said output has advanced by more than one-third. The national income he said, has grown by 26 percent. The General Secretary described the national income as the most important indicator of a nation's economic progress. He stressed that all parts of the country, all the different republics, are moving ahead quickly. He said the republics are all pulling together, so it's certain all the targets set by the congress will be reached.
The General Secretary spoke of flourishing and modernizing industries in all the republics. He said the republics are making good use of their potential for national development.
About agriculture Leonid Brezhnev said there has been good progress in agriculture too. Though 1972 and '74 were bad years for the farms, the mean annual grain output in the past four years has exceeded the mean annual for the second half of the sixties by 24 million tons. All the cotton-growing republics with Uzbekistan in the lead set new harvest records every year. The speaker singled this out as an achievement that should make the nation happy. He said the livestock farms have also done quite well. The head of cattle on the cooperative and the state farms has increased by more than 10 million or by at percent in the past four years.
Leonid Brezhnev noted the last Party congress focused on living standards and decided on moves to raise them, and the public he said, has seen an increase in incomes and me found more in the stores to buy. About home building the nominee said 4,700 square feet of new housing have been built in the pan four years. He said this year alone another 11 million or so people will better their housing conditions. He pledged the Party will continue to focus attention on home building.
As a nominee for the parliament of the Hessian Federation Leonid Brezhnev spoke about the republic's economic progress. He recalled all the Russian Federation did for the socialist revolution and all it did to build up and protect the nation. He said it was the first to show the world and example of how different national groups can live together as friends. He said the Federation is doing much to building a communist society in the Soviet Union. It accounts for nearly three-fifths of the grain the government buys from the farms, it accounts for more than half the nation's steel smelt and 80 per cent of its output of crude oil.
The General Secretary elaborated on the moves to develop farming in the north of the European part of the Soviet Union. He said this is an important undertaking, both economically and politically. It shows the scale of Soviet undertakings. He said this area is an area where one-fourth of the nation's population lives and where one-fourth of the Russian Federation's cultivated acreage is located. But up to now, he said, far too little has been done to develop it.
About the railroad line building from Lake Baikal in Siberia to the Amur River in the Far East, the General Secretary said it will give the nation access to a very rich region and development will start in all part of the region. He foresaw that large new centers of culture and industry will rise in the northeast of Siberia and in the northern regions of the Far East.
Leonid Brezhnev summed up this part of his speech by saying there is good progress toward the targets set by the 24th Party congress. He conceded there are difficulties and shortcomings, but he said the Central Committee and the government see them and are mobilizing the nation to remove them.
The General Secretary observed that people grow more and more interested in community work as the socialist society natures and advances toward communism; and larger numbers all the time are drawn into the work of government. He viewed this as an essential law of development in the Soviet Union, and as a sign socialist democracy is perfecting itself. He said the Communist Party considers this highly important.
As a major type of community work Leonid Brezhnev singled out the part the citizenry take in the governing bodies across the nation. He said the Party has worked all along to upgrade the work of these bodies and draw more people into their work. He said their work depends largely on how well the member carry out their duties. He stressed the honour that goes with being a member of governing body but added it's a great responsibility too. The member speaks for the voters in his constituency and he also represents the whole nation in his locality -- he must see that Party policies are carried out in the interests of the nation as a whole.
The General Secretary stressed that member of governing bodies have great rights. Soviet law, he said, requires that proposals made by the members get attention and that members get cooperation in discharging their duties.