863.5018/7–2745: Telegram

No. 782
Headquarters, United States Forces Austria, to the Joint Chiefs of Staff
top secret

From Austria from OpDiv for General Hull only from USFA to Terminal for JCS for action and for info to Terminal for Hilldring, USGCC Germany for Clay for Hilldring, AGWar for Handy War pls pass to Terminal , USFET for Adcock AFHQ ref nr Sgs 687.

This message deals with food situation in Austria with particular reference to Vienna as developed in the deputy commanders conference (Generals Winterton, Cherriére, Gruenther) with General Petrov in Vienna on 24, 25, 26 July.
The political implications of the food supply of Vienna are such that the Soviet officials were extremely reluctant to discuss the subject stating it is a matter to be settled only by the Allied Council for Austria. They did, however, make following points:
They are providing food for city bulk of which they claim has to be imported by Red Army from outside Austria. Soviets state that food yield in Niederdonau which previously furnished considerable portion of Vienna needs has been reduced to 40 percent of normal because of military actions thereby providing no surplus for Vienna. Russians claim they have brought 45,000 head of cattle into Austria for food and dairy purposes.
Soviets will continue to feed Vienna until Allied Commission for Austria is organized. Political advisor stated that Russians have already turned sufficient food stockpile to last until 15 September but Soviet food expert in Office of City Commandant estimates food will last only until 1st September.
The components of the Vienna ration for normal consumers provides about 1,050 calories.
Soviets frequently made the point in conferences that as long as their food is being distributed to the population in Vienna they will insist on supervision of distribution in all districts, although they were usually careful to add, “unless procedure is changed by Allied Council.” We are not sure of the implications involved in the supervision of distribution but we shall know more in a few days since our officers have moved into all Bezirks in our zone today. They will work in the office of the Russian Bezirk commander in order to become familiar with his duties. On July 28th the members of the Allied Kommandatura will meet and their specialists will work together for familiarization purposes. No date of takeover of national zones in Vienna has been designated.
From conferences with Soviets it is evident that no quadripartite procurement agency can be formed prior to establishment of Allied Commission. It is also clear that while exchange of food supplies between zones may accomplish better distribution the net food position will show a deficiency requiring considerable food imports.
Through most cooperative action by G–5 Section USFET sufficient food is now being stockpiled at Linz to meet food needs of US and French zones Vienna for month of August based upon 1,500 calory ration for normal consumers. Request for allocation of food for requirements of US and French zones Vienna for September, October, November was submitted to CCAC within past few days by USFET in supplement to Mel airgram number 65 dated 12 July 1945.1 In normal procedure receipt of food against this allocation if approved cannot be expected for at least 135 days.
In order to insure a continuous supply of food for the US and French zones of Vienna following assumption of command by US and French authorities it is requested that USFET and/or AFHQ be instructed to make available US and French Vienna requirements for September, October and November from stocks now on hand replacement to be made later from stocks received against Vienna allocation for that period. Request similar instructions be given regarding food for September, October and November requirements for the US and French zones of Austria excluding Vienna as covered in Mel airgram number 65 in order to insure uninterrupted supply to those areas.
Clarification is requested as to USFA responsibility for civil supplies for the French occupied zone in Austria including Vienna. We have not advised French that we are attempting to secure food for their zone nor shall we do so until JCS policy on that point is indicated.
This Headquarters concurs in proposed method of placing Austrian supply requirements as outlined by Hilldring in his message V[ictory]–259 CRAB.2
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