13 APRIL 1956, Page 7

A Spectator's Notebook

IN THESE DAYS we are being visited by many accomplices in Stalin's crimes who have fallen over themselves to confess that their failure to resist him was due to cowardice. It restores one's faith in Russian courage to read Prai'da's attack on various individuals, including L. Yaroshenko, for making `provocative anti-Party statements' at recent meetings. Khrushchev and Company's hostility to Yaroshenko himself Is quite likely to stem from the fact that he showed them up by being one of the few who was not afraid to stand up to Stalin. A good part of Stalin's last book was devoted to attacking Yaroshenko as erroneous, Bukharinite, un-Marxist and immodest—he had had the impertinence to write a letter to the Politburo stating that he disagreed with Stalin's economic formulations, and offering to write a superior economic Party textbook himself. And this took place only two years after Stalin had won an argument with an even more important economist, Voznessensky, by means of a bullet in the back of the neck! Nothing has been heard of Yaroshenko for a number of years, but his latest activity shows him once again Indomitably challenging the powers that be while they are still alive. He. would be a welcome visitor, even if he does not dispose of such a practised grin as his present superiors.