740.00119 Control (Austria)/9–1245: Telegram

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

204. Dr. Renner called on General Clark yesterday at latter’s invitation for informal talk prior to Allied Commission meeting. They [Page 590] met in Clark’s office and agreed nothing be said to press. Austrian food situation was discussed in general terms. On political side, Renner said it feasible to call a conference of party leaders and provincial governors to nominate an interim government as in 1919. Conference could do its work in 4 or 5 days and Renner felt Socialist–People’s Party strength would reduce Communist representation to small proportion and make retention of Education and Interior Ministers by Communists unlikely. When asked how such a conference could change the present government, Dr. Renner said Chancery might be enlarged and the Ministries increased from 9 to 11 and possibly up to 14.

Renner believes elections should be held latter part November this year because if not held by then, winter conditions will make them impossible until next March. He has full confidence in Austrian proportional representation system and secret ballot but thinks election supervision by Allied Powers desirable.83

Renner was greatly pleased at Clark’s invitation. He is vigorous and makes good impression. Despatch follows with more details.84

  1. In telegram 122, September 19, the Acting Secretary informed the Political Adviser in Vienna as follows: “Secretary Byrnes has recommended that General Clark encourage Renner to carry out political policy and plans outlined by him in conversation with General Clark September 11.” (740.00119 Control (Austria)/9–1245)
  2. Not printed.