762.00/165: Telegram

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

34. Foreign Minister declares himself satisfied with references to Austria in Hitler’s speech yesterday which he states reaffirms agreement of July 11th, 1936 (independence of Austria). I am reliably informed the Chancellor is disappointed that Hitler failed to include specific reference to Austrian independence and nonintervention in internal affairs and that his speech on February 24th in consequence will be less friendly in tone and will attempt to clarify the agreement reached in this sense at Berchtesgaden.

Polish Minister, who is close to German Legation, fears Sehuschnigg’s resistance to German pressure hopeless and that new crisis will come within 1 to 2 months at the latest.

From private sources usually reliable I am informed that Seyss-Inquart was told in Berlin that Gestapo agents should have freedom of action for under-cover work in Austria; that Aryanization would be inaugurated but would proceed slowly in order to prevent flight of capital; that Nazi demonstrations would continue on increasing scale and that police should handle them with greatest care. Same source reports further that Schuschnigg has informed his most intimate associates that he is planning a counter move in about a fortnight. They should keep their nerve which they would need at that time. There was no clarification on what Schuschnigg is alleged to have in mind. Perhaps he will risk sudden plebiscite on independence issue.

Italian Minister had very protracted conference with both Chancellor and Foreign Minister today.