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Even when their own leader shares the platform, Soviet newspaper readers can't be trusted with a Western statesman's full remarks. This is an unwelcome if not unexpected footnote to Leonid Brezhnev's Bonn visit.

To be sure, the daily Pravda's censors were reportedly easier on West German Chancellor Schmidt's opening speech than they had been on what he said in Russia itself last year. For some reason they let through his comment that Poland should be allowed to solve all its problems without interference from the outside. Yet they confirmed the image of the shuddering superpower by not daring to expose citizens to Mr. Schmidt's words on Soviet missiles, grain imports, or the wish of the Afghan people to be independent, nonaligned, and free of foreign troops.

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Not that all Russians will fail to know about such things in one way or another. But what a boost for their government when it adopts policies about which it can feel secure enough to let them be freely discussed.

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