740.00119 Control (Austria)/8–2445: Telegram

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

7254. Maclean49 of Brit Embassy called last night on telephonic instructions from FonOff to request that US instructions to General Clark be changed and that Clark be instructed to attend meeting today in Vienna only as commander in chief and not in his capacity as member of Allied Control Commission. Brit not opposed to meeting of commanders in chief in Vienna provided Soviets understand they are meeting as commanders in chief and not as Control Commission. Brit requested US support of their position that no formal meeting of Control Commission be held until Soviets agree to long range plans for feeding Austrian and Vienna populations and guarantee absolute equality with other powers. Brit memo to CCAC50 (CCAC 205 Aug 21) proposes that western states refuse to join formally Allied Control Commission until agreement is reached on responsibilities for food [Page 576] supplies in zones and long range procurement, financing and administrative program.

Difficulties surrounding meeting of Control Commission and completion of Vienna occupation are outlined in Salzburg 152 Aug 22 repeated to you as 35. Clark was instructed on Aug 18 to proceed to meeting in Vienna but not to commit US to rigid position of refusing to complete occupation of city and establishing Control Commission until long range plans for feeding Vienna population are completed. Clark likewise instructed to reject Soviet proposals for pooling Austrian resources and replacing Soviet food stocks used in feeding Vienna since July 25. At the same time Moscow was instructed to call to the attention of Soviet authorities Stalin’s promise at Potsdam to continue to supply Vienna until Brit and US make adequate arrangements and to request that Marshal Koniev be so informed.

Dept told Maclean that it supported Clark’s decision to proceed to meeting at Vienna despite instructions to McCreery not to attend meeting of Allied Commission. Dept will further recommend to War Dept that memo of UK members on long range food policy be withdrawn from CCAC and submitted to Allied Commission in Vienna for discussion.51

Dept’s position is based on following considerations:

1.
Failure to establish Control Commission endangers success of quadripartite policy in Austria and is not consistent with existing international agreements and responsibilities.
2.
In view of desperate food situation in Austria there is urgent need for establishment of Allied Commission to discuss interim measures of supplying local population.
3.
Nothing apparently can be accomplished by refusing to establish Control Commission and referring matters to subordinate committees for discussion.
4.
Resolution of UNRRA declaring Austria eligible for relief52 makes interim measures for feeding population pending establishment of UNRRA machinery more important than agreement on long range policy.
5.
Dept believes that acceptable interim solution can be reached by Control Commission and that decision to instruct Clark to attend meeting without committing US to rigid position does not weaken our diplomatic position.

You are requested to bring these questions to the attention of appropriate authorities with a view to securing Brit approval for immediate establishment of Allied Control Commission.

[Page 577]

Sent to London as 7254; repeated to AusPolAd, Salzburg, as 83; to Moscow as 1909.

Byrnes
  1. Donald D. Maclean, Acting First Secretary of the British Embassy.
  2. Combined Civil Affairs Committee.
  3. By means of memorandum C.C.A.C. 205/1, September 6, the British members of the Combined Civil Affairs Committee requested that C.C.A.C. 205 be withdrawn and that no action be taken upon it.
  4. For text of resolution No. 74: Operations of the Administration in Austria, passed by the Third Council of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration on August 22, 1945, see George Woodbridge, UNRRA: The History of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (New York, Columbia University Press, 1950), vol. iii, p. 144.