Khrushchev Takes Full Control, Replacing Bulganin as Premier; U.S. Expects No Change in Policy
Party Helm Kept
Moscow Chief Thus Unites Jobs Stalin Once Combined
By Max Frankel
Special to The New York Times
Moscow, March 27 -- Nikita Sergeyevich
Khrushchev became Premier of the Soviet
Union today. Thus he has emerged as the
undisputed leader and chief spokesman of this
nation in name as well as fact.
The Soviet legislature, the Supreme Soviet,
dutifully and unanimously elected Mr. Khrushchev
chairman of the Council of Ministers- the Premier-
to succeed Marshal Nikolai A. Bulganin, who
submitted his resignation.
The Supreme Soviet was told at once that the new
Premier would remain First Secretary and
therefore leader of the ruling Communist party.
Thus were joined again at the top the two
hierarchies that direct the affairs of more than
200,000,000 Soviet citizens and lead the
1,000,000,000 persons of the Communist camp.
Advanced in 5 Years
They were united in the ebullient and energetic
person of Mr. Khrushchev, the 63-year-old
former mine mechanic, who in the five years since
Stalin's death has emerged from the collective
leadership and advanced to overwhelming
responsibility and power.
Mr. Khrushchev has now succeeded to the posts
that Stalin had formally combined. He is not only
the acknowledged architect of all Soviet foreign
and domestic policies but the leader of the
disciplined party ranks and the extensive
ministerial apparatus that administers and enforces
The momentous change in the Government was
effected quickly and in strict forms of
parliamentary procedure. There was no debate on
the move and even before the full weight of the
switch was apparent Premier Khrushchev began a
two-hour-and-forty-minute dissertation on
Choked With Emotion
He uttered only a few words of acceptance, words over which he appeared
choked with emotion:
"With your decision," he told the 1,378 Deputies, "you have just expressed
great confidence in me and have done me great honor. I shall do everything to
justify your confidence and shall not spare strength, health or life to serve
His agricultural speech contained only one general comment that might be
taken as an inaugural promise. "We shall conquer capitalism," Mr.
Khrushchev declared, "with a high level of work and a higher standard of
Mr. Khrushchev was placed in nomination for the premiership by Marshal
Kliment Y. Voroshilov only a few minutes after the marshal was elected to a
second full term as titular chief of state.
The fate of Marshal Bulganin and the other ministers of the Government
not resolved at today's session. The ousted Premier had turned in a written
resignation for the entire Cabinet. In short order this resignation was accepted
and a resolution approving the Government's conduct over the last four years
Marshal Bulganin, seated behind Mr. Khrushchev, applauded his successor
generously. The retiring Premier was in the second row, among the lesser
members of the party's Presidium.
As far as is known, Marshal Bulganin remains a member of the Presidium,
nation's policy-making body, but what Government job, if any, he will receive
was not made known.
In the seat of honor, front and center among the nation's rulers on the
the Great Kremlin Palace, was Marshal Voroshilov, the chairman of the
Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. On his right in order sat Mr. Khrushchev's
former right-hand man in the Ukraine, and Mikhail A. Suslov, also a party
Gromyko to Speak on Tests
Ranged behind them, under a huge statue of Lenin were the other party
leaders and many Government officials. It appeared that Mr. Khrushchev
would wait at least until Saturday before naming the other men in his Cabinet.
Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko was listed by name in the Supreme
Soviet agenda for a report at the end of the session on the "banning of nuclear
and thermonuclear weapons tests." This signaled his reappointment as Foreign
Minister and also set off a new wave of speculation among diplomats. They
believe that the new government may make a radical and attention-winning
foreign policy move.
As Premier Mr. Khrushchev will no longer share the spotlight in Soviet
international dealings. He has supplanted the man with whom he shared the
Soviet seat at the 1955 heads-of-government conference in Geneva. At the
next such conference, which Mr. Khrushchev has asked to be held next June,
he would speak as Premier.
Has Formulated Policy
In fact Mr. Khrushchev is thought to have dominated this nation's foreign
policy-making for some time. But in deference to the collective leadership
principle and the divided administrations of party and government, Mr.
Khrushchev was accompanied by Marshal Bulganin on most of his celebrated
foreign tours, from London to Rangoon.
On the eve of the election that led to today's shuffle of the government,
Khrushchev had suggested the likelihood of a daring foreign policy maneuver.
He said in that campaign speech that the day might not be far off when the
nuclear powers would have to heed the disarmament plea of the peoples of
the world and consider even unilateral steps such as the cessation of weapons
There was no evidence today of any major shift in Soviet policies. On the
contrary, Premier Khrushchev, in passing at once to the consideration of his
plan to reorganize collective farms and machine-and-tractor stations, picked
up where Mr. Khrushchev, the party secretary, had left off.
Despite widespread curiosity in recent weeks about the composition of the
new Government and the wild speculation among foreign observers here,
stability, continuity and confidence were the keynote of today's proceedings.
In his speech nominating Mr. Khrushchev, Marshal Voroshilov said that in
recent years, meaning since the death of Stalin, whose "mistakes" Mr.
Khrushchev had been the first to impress upon the party, the Soviet people
had been implementing "Leninist ideas."
He alluded once to the successful routing by Mr. Khrushchev last summer
the "anti-party plotters" - Georgi M. Maienkov, Vyacheslav M. Molotov and
Lazar M. Kaganovich. Progress since then has been even more certain and
now the party is realizing "a majestic housing program," the Chief of State
"An outstanding role in all these achievements," he asserted, "belongs
dear Nikita Sergeyevitch Khrushchev."
In international relations, Marshal Voroshilov said, the party and Government
are "holding the initiative" and all the people of the world know Mr.
Khrushchev as a "firm, untiring champion of peace."
"And we are proud that at the head of our party is a man who so boldly
so insistently is leading us to communism, Marshal Voroshilov continued. "His
untiring labors, his talks with statesmen and journalists have considerably
added to the circle of our friends and have raised our authority in international
Then, lowering his voice, Marshal Voroshilov read more quickly. He wanted
to point out at the same time, he said, the "exceptionally fruitful work" Mr.
Khrushchev had been doing as First Secretary of the party's Central
Committee. "The authority of our party has increased greatly [and] its Central
Committee has decided that Nikita Sergeyevich should remain at his post as
[First] Secretary of the Central Committee."
This settled the major question in the minds of his listeners. More applause
and, almost anticlimactically, the election itself followed. Every right hand
except Mr. Khrushchev's was raised high at the chairman's request for
affirmative votes. He asked whether there were votes against or abstentions
and each time he answered "No."
Mr. Khrushchev, obviously moved, kept his head bowed through most of
Marshal Voroshilov's speech. During the final ovation Mr. Mikoyan reached
over and pumped the new Premier's hand a half-dozen times and patted his
shoulder. Marshal Voroshilov extended congratulations, Mr. Kirichenko
shook hands and so did Mr. Suslov. The new Premier finally joined in the
Mr. Khrushchev then took the rostrum, expressed his thanks and began still
another phase of his career.
His accession caught many Muscovites by surprise. Several Russians said
they welcomed one man instead of several in charge of things here. But most
kept their own counsel this evening as they hurried past the Kremlin through a
fine spring snow.