740.00119 Control (Austria)/9–1445: Telegram

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

213. Dr. Karl Renner has just sent me a message pleading in the name of the Austrian people that a free plebiscite be held to determine to which state the south Tirol should be joined.

The plea states “as Austria is not yet a member of the United Nations, it has no part in the preliminaries to the peace treaty with Italy carried on by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the five world powers. She therefore duly requests the members of the Allied Commission for Austria to submit the above application to the Council of the Five Ministers for Foreign Affairs in the name of Austria and to lend it their support. If so desired, Austrian experts equipped with all data concerning the matter can be sent to London.”

Full text being airmailed.93

General Clark informed.

We are taking no action here pending receipt of instructions.94

Sent Dept as 213, from AusPolAd Vienna; repeated London as 38.

  1. Not printed.
  2. A penciled notation on the margin of this telegram reads: “Report from London that no action taken by Secretary on this request.” No such report found in Department files.

    During a discussion of territorial provisions for a peace treaty with Italy, the Council of Foreign Ministers adopted on September 14 a U. S. proposal that “the frontier with Austria would be unchanged, subject to hearing any case Austria might present for minor rectification in her favour.” (C. F. M. (P) (45) 3rd. Meeting) For the record of the third meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, September 14, see vol. ii, p. 158. An earlier U.S. policy position on the question of the South Tirol can be found in section B.4 of the memorandum entitled “The Treatment of Austria” (PWC–218), prepared by the Post-War Programs Committee on June 8, 1944, and approved by the President on June 27, 1944. This memorandum recommended the cession to Austria of the Italian province of Bolzano, the portion of the South Tirol in which German-speaking inhabitants were in a majority. See Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. i, p. 438.