740.00119 EW/12–444: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

10732. My 10441 and my 10442, November 27, 3 p.m.,7 also please read my 10348 November 24, 7 p.m. addressed to Dunn, which crossed with Department’s 9838, November 22, 9 p.m. I hope the Department has had time to consider the new political factors involved in the Soviet proposal for zones of occupation in Austria. In the discussions so far in the European Advisory Commission I have avoided taking an irrevocable stand in order to allow time, if desired, for fresh consideration of this question in Washington.

In view of my strong stand of last June and July, when I made it plain that we envisaged providing only a small contingent, approximately of the size planned for Berlin, to be stationed in Vienna, it is doubly significant that the Russians, in spite of their earlier oral acceptance of our position, are now pressing us so strongly to accept a zone in Austria. The British have likewise reiterated the view that Allied occupation and control of Austria would operate more effectively if we took an equal share (at the latest EAC meeting Strang stated that his Government was proceeding on the assumption that, once German resistance is ended and the initial pacification of Austria is completed, one division will be adequate to maintain order in the United Kingdom zone).

I feel you should also know that the Russians insist on completing agreement on zones before discussing concrete arrangements regarding control machinery in Austria. In the EAC Gousev has stated that it is not practicable to consider control machinery until it is decided whether to have two or three zones. Gousev in private has strongly stated the Russian view that we would not be taking an equal responsibility for the fulfilment of the Moscow Declaration on Austria unless we occupy a zone. From the discussion so far I have a definite impression that unless we have a zone in Austria it will not be possible for us to secure really equal participation in control. Without a zone of responsibility, the United States members of the [Page 473]control body may prove to be little more than advisers or even onlookers, as the British and the Russians will share effective control of the entire country except for our one third participation in controlling Vienna.

The discussion of the Bulgarian armistice has shown the importance of adequate physical participation in the occupation of enemy countries in which we wish to make our views felt and see our interests respected. In connection with the British assumption that one division will be sufficient for policing their zone, I note that the Joint Chiefs of Staff have assumed that after defeat or collapse of Germany SACMED would be able to occupy all of Austria with four divisions and a small air force (CCS 481/6, September 8). With the decision to accept a southern zone in Germany the logistic difficulty on occupying a zone in Austria seems pretty much to have disappeared, since any American zone in Austria, whether equal in size to the other two zones or smaller, would be contiguous to our zone in Germany.

At bottom we need to weigh the military disadvantage of providing a small force to occupy a part of Austria against the political difficulties of trying to exert an equal influence on the reconstruction of Austria while limiting military participation to a small contingent stationed in one third of Vienna. I should very much appreciate the Department’s views on these aspects of the problem. The next meeting of the Commission has been postponed to December 7, to allow Massigli8 time to secure French views regarding the occupation of Austria.

Winant
  1. Latter not printed.
  2. René Massigli, French Ambassador in the United Kingdom and Representative to the European Advisory Commission.