863.48/108b: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Czechoslovakia (Crane)96

12. Reports indicate that situation in Vienna was never so hopeless as today. Dr. Renner is completely discouraged since his fruitless [Page 249] visit to Prague and is reported to be about ready to resign. Rumors of Bolshevist plots are rife and Bauer is reported to have declared that only a proletariat government could save Vienna by seizing the property of the rich. With the people cold and hungry, with normal life disrupted and no hope in sight, Vienna appears on the verge of a reign of anarchy.

You are instructed to bring this situation urgently to the attention of the Minister of Foreign Affairs pointing out to him that chaotic conditions in Austria must seriously affect Czechoslovakia and that unless the government of Czechoslovakia will do its share in preventing a crisis, it will inevitably assume its share of the responsibility.

The United States Government is not in the remotest degree responsible for the existing lack of foodstuffs, fuel or other vital necessities in Vienna and would be less affected than any other government by a Bolshevist régime in Austria, but recommendations are nevertheless being made to Congress for an appropriation for relief. The adhesion of the American people to such a plan cannot, however, be counted on if during the next two critical months the European nations are not willing to do their share. You should point out that Czechoslovakia without serious inconvenience would be able to supply Austria with coal sufficient at least for its minimum needs, and that with the cordial cooperation of Prague the Austrian situation would be greatly improved.

A similar telegram is being sent to Belgrade pointing out that Jugoslavia should supply food to Austria and general telegrams on the subject are being sent to London and Paris.

  1. The same, mutatis mutandis, to the Chargé in Yugoslavia (no. 5), with the substitution of “food” for “coal” in the last sentence of the third paragraph, and of “coal” for “food” in the fourth paragraph (file no. 863.48/108a).