740.00119 Control (Austria)/8–2545: Telegram

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

7293. Reference Deptel 7254 Aug 24 following is summary of message from General Clark to JCS (P 7013 Aug 2453):

General McCreery declined to accept Marshal Koniev’s invitation to attend meeting of Allied Council in Vienna. General Clark obtained Marshal Koniev’s agreement to change meeting from Allied Council to one of Commanders in Chief. General McCreery accepted and attended meeting on Aug 23. He outlined Brit position stating that Brit Govt was unwilling to instruct him to attend Council meeting until problem of food deficit for Austria as a whole has been discussed by the four governments. Brit Govt however willing in view of emergency to agree on interim program and contribute proportionate share of food for Vienna beginning Sep 1 without prejudicing final solution for Austria. Commanders agreed to this program to begin Sep 1. Food will be distributed by existing Austrian machine under Soviet control with Allied representatives as observers. Also agreed to increase Vienna ration scale not later than Sep 20. Quadripartite Resources Committee will be established immediately to examine possibility of utilizing Austrian food resources.

General McCreery believes four governments will be able to import food from countries in Danubian Basin.

General Clark considers Brit position refusing to permit establishment of Council prior to meeting of Foreign Ministers54 as an error.55 If this procedure followed, General Clark foresees delay of one month before establishment of Austrian control machinery. He believes delay in assumption of Allied responsibilities in Austria places us in a vulnerable position in world opinion. At present, Brit, US and French are virtually guests of Soviet in Vienna and will remain so until Brit position is changed.

Marshal Koniev proposed that Commanders consider extension of authority of Renner government. Commanders agreed to examine competence of departments of present central Austrian administrative machine and make recommendations as to use by Allied military government. General Clark believes relations have improved considerably after personal contact with Marshal Koniev and believes he will make concessions. End of summary.

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Dept endorses General Clark’s position concerning the early establishment of Allied Council and completion of interim food program but has assured Brit Embassy that no steps will be taken to recognize Renner Govt prior to meeting of Foreign Ministers.

Sent to London as 7293; repeated to Moscow as 1915.

Byrnes
  1. Not printed.
  2. The Council of Foreign Ministers was scheduled to hold its first meeting in London beginning September 11.
  3. In telegram P–7012, August 24, the Political Adviser reported that at the August 23 meeting the Soviet and French commanders, as well as General Clark, urged the early establishment of the Allied Council and agreed to inform their Governments of the British position (Vienna Legation Files, Top Secret Correspondence 1945–47).