740.00119 Control (Austria)/9–145: Telegram

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

173. Russian command in Vienna strongly discourages outdoor meetings and demonstrations sponsored by single parties. Socialist Party application for permission to hold peace demonstration on September 1 was turned down unless other two parties participated.

From August 29 Russian Central Command in Vienna has assumed function of censoring printed posters and speeches of all three legal parties. Prior to this time censorship exercised by a subsection of Austrian Ministry of Education. Party posters must now be approved by Russian Censorship Office in Imperial Hotel. Russians ordered removal of non-approved posters 1800 hours 29th August. People’s Party and Socialist Party both instructed by Russians on this point. No confirmation yet of similar instructions to Communist Party.

Commercial printer of People’s Party posters reported arrested by Russians on August 30.

Flareup in censorship is believed due to a remark in speech by Chancellor Renner on August 18 before Congress of Lower Austrian Socialists. Renner said “first came Green Fascism. It was replaced by Brown Fascism and I greatly fear that many are flirting with Red Fascism”. The speech was ignored by all Viennese papers and the publication of its text forbidden in Socialist press. Full text is available in Informations Dienst, Socialist Party organ with non-public circulation. Reason for ban on single party meetings and demonstrations may be to hide actual strength Communist Party which is diminishing as a result of unfavorable reaction to Russian occupation.