740.00119 Control (Austria)/8–1845: Telegram

The United States Political Adviser for Austrian Affairs (Erhardt) to the Secretary of State

P–1106. For Dunn.37 Reference is made to General Clark’s message P–1054 to Agwar38 on August 18th [16th] re negotiations on city’s food supply of four deputy commanders in Vienna.39 Following are the salient points:

It was strongly represented by U.S., British, and French deputies that before food is imported by the Allies, surpluses should be drawn by Vienna from the surrounding area of Rumania, Lower Austria, and Hungary but the Russians insist that although the Allied Council could make recommendations, the four governments must decide on the use of Rumanian and Hungarian supplies.

The Allied meeting scheduled for August 14th had to be postponed because the British were so disturbed by the position of the Russians that Generals Adgusers and McCreery40 returned for consultation [Page 572] to London. Hoping to hurry an agreement, General Clark may suggest at the meeting which may take place next week that he will delay formal entry until the food situation is settled.41 The pooling system will not be effective by the first of September but the Russians favor a quadripartite resources board.

An immediate agreement in which joint supervision of distribution on a uniform ration scale would be given to supplies furnished on a proportionate basis by each nation is now desired by the Russians, the program to commence on September 1 and to be retroactive to July 25th. An increase of 15,000 tons over the present 10,000 tons of imports will be necessary to raise the scale to 1550 calories per day. The Russians will probably object to increasing the present normal consumer’s scale of 850 calories which is creating a critical situation.42

  1. Assistant Secretary of State, James C. Dunn.
  2. Adjutant General, War Department. Telegram P–1054 not printed.
  3. Conferences of the four deputy commanders had been taking place since July 24.
  4. Apparent garble. This passage in the copy of this telegram in the Vienna Legation files reads: “The Soviet position so disturbed the British that General McCreery returned to London with advisers for consultation.”
  5. In telegram P–1054, General Clark explained that he recommended this policy because it was clear to him that the Russians were eager to have us in Vienna to share responsibility for a situation which was degenerating and becoming burdensome to them.
  6. General Clark also noted in telegram P–1054 that the British stated that at Potsdam Stalin agreed that the Russians would continue to supply food to Vienna until some other arrangement was concluded. He said that he had had no confirmation of such a statement from American sources and that Koniev’s representatives appeared to be unaware of it. For documentation on discussions of the problem of food supply for Austria at the Berlin Conference, see Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. ii, pp. 310311, 368, and 674675.