740.00119 Council/2–2047

The Acting Secretary of State to Archduke Otto of Hapsburg-Lorraine

My Dear Archduke Otto: I have your letters of February 20, 194789 addressed to the Secretary of State and to me regarding the clause reaffirming the Austrian law of April 3, 1919 concerning the House of Hapsburg-Lorraine which was accepted by the Deputies of the Council of Foreign Ministers for inclusion in the Austrian Treaty. This clause, along with others discussed by the Deputies, will be referred to the Council of Foreign Ministers at its forthcoming meeting in Moscow.

The final treaty, as you know, will represent an agreement obtained by compromise on the part of all occupying powers and the Austrian Government. The Government of the United States accepted the clause reaffirming the Austrian law of 1919 in order to prevent antagonisms and the interference in Austrian internal affairs which might arise from any attempt to restore the monarchy or fears of such an attempt. Such fears, it was felt, would be occasioned by failure to recognize the Austrian constitutional provisions which make a restoration at present impossible. Since this action was based on existing Austrian statutes, I cannot agree with your statement that the clause provisionally agreed upon is a violation of any international agreement or that it constitutes an unwarranted interference in Austrian domestic affairs.90

I readily acknowledge the anti-Nazi record of you and your brothers and your contributions to the Allied victory. I am confident, however, [Page 503] that you realize both the historic and current factors which make undesirable any effort by the occupying powers, in prescribing the general form of democratic government for Austria, to render ineffective the Austrian law of 1919.

Sincerely yours,

Dean Acheson
  1. Ante, p. 175.
  2. A brief letter from Matthew J. Connelly, Secretary to President Truman, to Archduke Otto, dated March 27, 1947, and incorporating much of the substance of the first two paragraphs of the Acting Secretary’s letter printed here, was prepared by the Department of State to reply to Archduke Otto’s letter of February 20 to President Truman. Regarding the latter letter, see footnote 37, p. 175.