762.63/422: Telegram

The Chargé in Austria ( Wiley ) to the Secretary of State

15. My 14, February 12, 4 p.m.17 I am reliably informed that invitation to Berchtesgaden extended at the instance of Papen and that Schuschnigg and Schmidt left without program. Schmidt drafted communiqué for press but Papen had no authority to approve it so no communiqué was issued.

Though Schuschnigg intends to maintain a firm attitude and will not withdraw from League or join Anti-Comintern Pact he is prepared to take Seyss-Inquart18 into Cabinet if Hitler will agree to reenforce agreement of July 11, 1936 and accredit “friendly” successor to Papen. It is also not improbable that Schmidt will become either Foreign Minister or Minister to Germany.

Rumors from Nazi sources allege that Italy brought strong pressure on Schuschnigg to accept invitation. French Minister disbelieves. He is however most concerned and feels inclusion of Seyss-Inquart would discourage Austrian resistance. If Schmidt is not made Foreign Minister it would be a German victory.

After Schuschnigg’s return tomorrow I hope to be able to telegraph further.

Wiley
  1. Not printed.
  2. Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Austrian Nazi.