— to bring FOCUS planning into accord with specific Hungarian conditions. . . .
The chief objectives of FOCUS
1. To capitalize on, and intensify,
the difficulties of the Hungarian regime—specifically the economic
strains generated by the old augmented Five Year Plan, the apparent instability of the agricultural and industrial "fronts," and the decline of party-
morale and discipline.
2. To restore the national unity of
opposition forces in Hungary which
had been "atomized" by seven years
of Communist exploitation, class warfare, and censorship of all communications media.
3. To provide the slowly emerging
opposition forces (the NEM) with a
clear and effective voice, expressing
the Hungarian people's own wishes in
a concise and realistic opposition platform of "Twelve Demands."
Briefly, these demands were: 1. Real
Autonomy for the Local Councils;
2. Free Speech — Free Assembly;
3. The Rule of Law, Not the Reign of
the Partv; 4. The Land Belongs to
Those Who Till It; 5. Free Trade
Unions for Free Workers; 6. An End to
Industrial Slavery; 7. Production for
Hungary's Well-Being; 8. Living
Standards Must Be liaised: 9. Services
to the People in the Hands of the
People; 10. Homes. Not Barracks;
11. Equality of Education — Free Intellectual Life; 12. Freedom of Worship and of Conscience.
COMMUNIST REGIMES CAMPAIGN
AGAINST BALLOON OPERATIONS
[As in the case of Operation VETO,
the Communist regime unleashed an
intensive counter-propaganda campaign against Operation FOCUS, including the sending of official protests
to the LTnited States government, who
rejected them as absurd, and made
public its reply.] The Hungarian government accused the U. S. government
of violating international law by permitting the Operation to be launched
from U. S.-controlled territory in Germany, and demanded that steps be
taken to put a stop to the campaign
and call to account those who were
responsible for it. . . .
On December 20, 19.54, the Hungarian protest note of October 15 was
answered by the United States government in a reply emphatically endorsing not only the FOCUS operation
as such, but the "Twelve Demands."
one by one. The following extracts
have been taken from the note of
.... Since this matter was called to
its attention, the Covernment of the
United States has obtained copies of
THIS RAILROAD ONCE WENT SOMEWHERE
But not any more. The Iron Curtain has descended across its tracks.
the balloon leaflets and carefully examined their content. These leaflets
suggest only that the people of Hungary employ legal means to achieve
realization of rights theoretically assured them by their Constitution and,
in many instances, explicitly guaranteed under the Treaty of Peace
The Government of the United States
is at a loss, therefore, to understand
the basis of the Hungarian government's concern, and more specifically
on what grounds it apparently finds
repugnant the points made in the leal
lets that the Hungarian government
could improve the condition of the
Hungarian people. . . ."
The note continued:
". . . . The United States government
does not believe that any of the suggestions can be considered as either
'inciting,' 'slanderous,' or 'seditious.'
Certain of the highest officials of the
Hungarian government apparently
share this belief, as in recent months
they publicly criticized present conditions in Hungary, including references
to flagrant abuses of police power and
judicial processes as well as deep-
seated economic ills and political t'
sions. The leaflets in question n"'1.1 j
make suggestions concerning pract"(
means whereby some admitted sh"
comings may be corrected. . . ."
The note concluded: j
" The United States govern"1'
hopes that the day will come "'",.
balloons will no longer be necesaO ~.
a means by which people of "^
country may freely communicate * ■,
peoples in other lands. Presumably
is within the power of the Hung^j
government to take the neces*^
remedial action. Should the H'"^i
rian government, in conformity N\,,
the obligations it assumed toward J
United States and other signatories
Article Two of the Treaty of P('^
establish freedom of discussion, °P
ion. and assembly within the coU^
and, in accordance with the sp'f'.j
that Article and the above-p1.^
UNESCO resolution, remove eP* '
barriers to free interchange wi"l (i)|
outside world, the need for frie""(
the Hungarian people to resort t"
conventional means of commUp^f|
tions will no longer exist."
Facts Forum News, March,