864.48/11: Telegram

The Commissioner at Vienna (Halstead) to the Secretary of State

58. State Chancellor Renner today called together representatives [European] Allied Powers and Japan and in the presence of Cabinet [Page 244] made appeal for immediate assistance to Austria. Cabinet Minister discussed in detail urgent need to avert catastrophe by providing food from January 18th, financial position of Republic, and the railroad, manufacturing and the population’s requirements in coal. Stated that police could not guarantee order if present shortage food and fuel continue.

Foreign representatives present were requested to telegraph their governments asking immediate granting of credits by the Allied Powers in goods or preferably money with detailed proposition for securing same to be later developed but to be secured in general by customs and other taxes, by water power concessions, by state railways and the personal property of Hapsburg dynasty. They desire to learn what property was free from reparation demands so that it may be used in pressing necessity. No new facts were developed but imminent danger of the situation emphasized as was danger Roumanian [sic] agitation for annexation Vorarlberg which would be followed by increasing tendency Tyrol, Salzburg and other provinces to break away. Though not discomforted [discussed] at conference, it may be added that calm situation now prevailing Vienna may be due to secret plot being formulated. Outlook is fraught with danger.