The Chargé in Austria (Swift) to the Secretary of State
[Received November 11—12:05 p.m.]
65. After a Ministerial Council last night an official communiqué was issued stating that in response to popular demand the Government had reestablished the death penalty throughout Austria. Persons found guilty of committing murder, arson, or sabotage may be tried by [Page 3]“summary justice”, the only legal means of invoking the death penalty. Ministerial Council also authorized Minister of Finance to demand that the Vienna municipality repeal the taxes on appreciated value of real estate, servants, moving picture theatres and reduce the price of gas and electricity.
While it is generally construed that the Government’s decree is primarily directed against the Nazis it may also have been promulgated to enable the authorities to deal effectually with the Social Democrats should they create disorder because of the Government’s evident decision to curtail their power in Vienna.