740.00119 Control (Austria)/7–2845: Telegram

No. 787
The Political Adviser for Austrian Affairs (Erhardt) to the Acting Secretary of State1

128. Following developments occurred at meeting of 4 deputy commanders in Vienna July 24, 25 and 26.

Use of road, rail and air facilities between US Zone and Vienna was settled satisfactorily but serious difficulty was encountered in allocation of communication facilities. This has not yet been settled. Gruenther, Winterton and Cherriére judge that Soviet objective is to reduce drastically the size of their three headquarters in Vienna. Attitude of Soviet staff was far from generous although personal relations were cordial.

Soviets first pressed for early meeting of Commanders-in-chief but later wanted to defer this until after Potsdam Conference.

Arrangements were made for our military officers to function as observers attached to their opposite numbers in xalbezirks [sic].2 US reconnaissance parties in Vienna now total 70 officers and 400 enlisted men. Soviets are facilitating inspection of buildings. Komegratura [Kommandatura?] is scheduled to meet today with specialists working together. Tulln airport is in operation.

Soviets stated bulk of foods for Vienna is being imported since yield in lower Austria is 40% normal. They say they have brought in 45,000 head of cattle. Present basic ration in Vienna 1050 calories. Soviets will continue to feed Vienna until ACC (Allied Control Commission) is organized. Their food expert says present supplies will last until September 1st. As long as they supply the food they will insist on supervising distribution throughout city “unless procedure is changed by Allied Council”. They state food supply problem can be settled only by Allied Council. It is clear that net food position in Austria will show deficiencies requiring considerable imports.

Extensive removals of furniture etc. from our sector are taking place. At Tulln underground fuel shortage [storage] tanks were being removed but after protest this was stopped.

Repeated to Moscow as 12.

  1. The gist of this message was included in telegram No. 157 of July 30 from Grew to Byrnes (file No. 800.00 Summaries/7–3045).
  2. A parallel message from Headquarters, United States Forces Austria, to the Joint Chiefs of Staff speaks at this point of “opposite numbers in district and municipal government offices”.