Finland History – from 1948 to 1962

By | December 17, 2021

The elections of 1 and 2 July 1948 had seen the consolidation of the internal situation of the Finland with the 56 seats won by the agrarian party of Urho Kekkonen, followed by the 54 won by the social democrats, the 38 seats of the popular democrats, controlled by the communists (which lost 11 seats) and 33 seats in the right-wing coalition. The Social Democrat KA Fagerholm was given the task of establishing the ministry (July 24). This direction of the Finnish electorate did not in any way influence the relations of the Republic with the USSR, on the contrary it contributed to place them in a climate of greater clarity, allowing the Republic to underline its political independence in various ways, first of all with the re-election as president of the republic of JK Paasikivi (February 15, 1950), who on March 14 gave the job to U. Kekkonen hostile to the communists. This did not prevent the conclusion of an extensive trade agreement with the USSR (June 13, 1950). Thus, alongside the ties of an international nature, economic relations were also strengthened, which were then extended to other Eastern European countries. Thanks also to these agreements that solicited economic recovery, on September 19, 1952, Finland was able to pay the last installment of the reparations due to the USSR, thus closing, with the payment of 570 million dollars, the heavy accounting of the war. This fact also contributed to increasing the position of Finland, which in the climate of “cold war” reached its peak between the coup in Czechoslovakia (Feb. 1948) and the death of Stalin (March 1953), avoided commitments with the Nordic countries (two of which linked to NATO) and did not let itself be carried away, on the other hand, in a position of foreclosure hostile to the Western Powers. However, the pressure of the Communists – who managed to control only around 20% of the electorate – combined with economic difficulties, led to considerable internal instability, which revealed itself especially from 1953-54 with frequent government crises. The USSR, in renewing for 20 years the treaty of friendship and mutual assistance of 6 April 1948, on 18 September 1955 returned the base of Porkala to Finland, taking away humiliating military servitude from the country. A few days later, on September 27, 1955, Finland joined the Nordic Council and was admitted to the United Nations in December 1955. In February 1956, Finland had to face the serious task of finding a successor to the venerable president Paasikivi. Kekkonen was elected head of state, with only two votes of detachment from rival Fagerholm, who was immediately called by him to form a coalition cabinet of social democrats, agrarians and minor parties. If politically this led to a certain internal stability, on the economic level there were considerable difficulties, due to decreased exports, especially to England. On the international level, as in the past, Finland has continued to give particular care in maintaining relations with the USSR in an atmosphere of mutual trust, with visits, new agreements, etc. while maintaining a political line of independence towards its powerful neighbor: it sent its own contingent among the UN forces to Suez (October-November 1956) and again in November 1956 the Foreign Minister Törngren reaffirmed the precise will of Finland. For Finland 2001, please check

In Finnish foreign policy – in the face of requests from the government to join this or that camp – the desire to reaffirm the traditional line of neutrality common to the Nordic countries is generally underlined. And this was noted both on the occasion of the fifth session of the Nordic Council (Helsinki, January 27-February 4, 1957), and during the visits of Pandit Nehru to the Nordic countries in June 1957, and, finally, during the visit to Helsinki of N Bulganin and N. Chruščëv (June 1957): from this and from previous contacts with A. Mikoyan it came to light how much interest the USSR places in Finland, as a moderating and effectively neutralist element of the Nordic sector.

This is the so-called “inea Paasikivi”, which has been pursued for years by the government coalition between agrarians and social democrats; but the rupture of the coalition and the split between the Social Democrats also opened the way for a rise of the communists in clear progress after the 1958 elections. On 13 January 1959 a minority agricultural ministry was established, headed by Sukselainen and external support from communists and left social democrats. This formation, despite the continuing uncertainty, is still in power, with the legislature expiring in the spring of 1962, and its concern is always that of pursuing a good neighborly policy with the USSR, on a strictly neutralist line, again underlined.

Finland History - from 1948 to 1962