740.00119 Control Austria/9–1545: Telegram

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

216. Yesterday at request of deputy commanders of Allied Council four political advisers96 met and exchanged views on present Provisional Govt. At this meeting following statement approved and submitted to deputy commanders:

“In view of the statement re the Potsdam Declaration97 included in the proclamation addressed to the Austrian people by the Allied [Page 595] Council on the 12th September98 and of the desire of the four Govts that Austria should have a recognized and fully representative central govt as soon as possible the political advisers (1) took note with interest of reports that Dr. Renner intends to summon a meeting of provincial representatives to discuss this matter and (2) agreed to recommend to the Allied Council that each occupying power should if requested give facilities to such representatives to proceed to Vienna.”

Soviets have placed question of Provisional Austrian Govt on agenda of AC (Allied Council) meeting September 20.

Based on experience in Austria to date there is general agreement among Austrian and Allied officials alike that a central administrative machine is absolute necessity to achieve objectives of Moscow Declaration. It is of utmost importance to reach agreement promptly. We are committed by Potsdam communiqué to examine the question of the extension of authority of Austrian Provisional Govt to all Austria. Renner administrative machine is only one in existence which can be considered as meeting the essential requirements of such a machine and the only practical thing to do is deal with it as a de facto provisional administration either (1) as now constituted or (2) as reconstituted by the Austrians themselves subject to Allied Council approval. Dept’s 99, September 899 favors second alternative.

Renner himself has told General Clark and me that it is entirely feasible to alter composition of his regime or dissolve it and form another through a provincial (Laender) conference along lines of one held 1919; that such a conference would probably alter composition of Cabinet in such way that Honner would not be Minister of Interior; and that Renner feels he himself is in any case assured of votes to keep him Chancellor. By altering the govt we understood from Renner’s statement that he meant increasing the members of his political council and the number of Cabinet posts from 9 to 11 and possibly 13 or 14. His view of usefulness of Laender Conference is widely supported by other members of Cabinet. Initial announcement of his regime last April envisaged eventual replacement by govt elected by the people.

Renner has informed press of his intention to call conference of provincial leaders September 24.

This conference will probably produce a slate for the composition of a Cabinet subject to AC (Allied Council) approval. If approved [Page 596] the present Renner regime could be adapted to the decision reached by dissolving itself and being replaced by new slate or reconstituting itself with such changes as necessary to conform to approved slate. Cabinet finally approved by AC (Allied Council) could have some such title as “Provisional Austrian National Administration” with authority throughout Austria subject to definite understanding as to time of holding national elections under Allied supervision.

  1. In addition to Mr. Erhardt, these were William H. B. Mack for the United Kingdom, Louis de Monicault for France, and Evgeny Dmitriyevich Kiselev for the Soviet union.
  2. See section VIII of the “Report on the Tripartite Conference of Berlin,” August 2, 1945, Conference of Berlin (Potsdam), vol. ii, pp. 15071508.
  3. The proclamation declared that the Allied Council had assumed supreme authority in Austria in matters affecting Austria as a whole. Each Commander in Chief, however, was to exercise full authority within his own zone. It then reaffirmed Allied intentions to further the re-establishment of a truly democratic, free, and independent Austria. See Gazette of the Allied Commission for Austria, No. 1, December 1945–January 1946, pp. 25–27.
  4. See telegram Secdel 13, September 8, to London, p. 582.