740.00119 Control (Austria)/7–2045: Telegram

No. 778
The Ambassador in Italy ( Kirk ) to the Acting Secretary of State 1

3000. General McCreery reports that during Winterton’s visit to (re our 2987, July 192) Vienna effort was made to discover Russian attitude toward British provision of supplies for civil population in British sector of city. He states he thought Russians might make entry into Vienna dependent on such provisioning.

Russian view is that at present Vienna is adequately fed from supplies provided by Red Army. Kissilev made this point at meeting of C/S. During separate detailed discussions with General Leluk chief supply officer central group of armies following points made:

Austria to be treated as one economic whole.
All resources of country to be pooled for internal use.
Uniform scale of rations should be established for whole country and distribution of pooled resources should be controlled by AC.
AC should also direct disposal of national surplus and making good of national deficiencies by barter with other countries.

It was made clear that in accordance with terms of instrument of surrender armies of occupation must have first claim on resources of country. It is pointed out that as long as this attitude is maintained and Austria is regarded as an ex-enemy country it is evident that surplus production of Russian zone on which rest of Austria must depend economically will not enter pool and sound economic basis for future will not be established. Therefore, in General McCreery’s opinion practical result will be that British will have to provide for civilians in their zone.

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To meet such a need there is available only 4000 tons wheat on allocations from CCAC which would give 300 gram bread ration British sector for one month, supply to be continued as long as CCAC approves bids and if supplies are received in time. Eighth Army cannot provide any other supplies or any fuel for public utilities. McCreery requests guidance of War Office in case the situation he envisages should arise.

  1. The gist of this message was included in telegram No. 106 of July 23 from Grew to Byrnes (file No. 800.00 Summaries/7–2345).
  2. Not printed.