740.0011 EW (Peace)/10–1647: Telegram

The Acting United States Representative to the Austrian Treaty Commission (Ginsburg) to the Secretary of State


1047. From Ginsburg.

Proposed USDel statement summarizing Soviet positions re outstanding issues Austrian State Treaty not released in accordance with Dept’s direction (reference Deptels 817, October 9; 825, October 11; and 832, October 1251).
For following reasons USDel questions policy of delaying until London release of information re full extent of Soviet claim against German assets in Austria:
Clarification of issues: There is widespread misunderstanding, certainly in Austria and probably elsewhere, re exact differences which exist between US and USSR re German assets. The issue is of course simple since the essential difference is the matter of amount claimed. To insure clarification it would appear vital therefore to frame issue in quantative terms, and in this way to apprise Austrians and others of exactly what Austria would lose if Soviet claim was conceded.
Reply to Soviet propaganda: Soviet propaganda in Austria has been viciously consistent in describing US aims in Austria as wholly selfish. Volume of abuse and false charges re “imperialistic desires, Anglo-American oil monopoly interests, Austrian servitude depending on the US dollar, etc.,” has sharply increased during the past two months, and is still increasing. USDel feels that a clear display of facts re Soviet positions would serve a healthy purpose in Austria and elsewhere by demonstration [demonstrating] anti-American Soviet propaganda as smokescreen for excessive Soviet demands.
Possible effect on Soviet policy: Full public statement of Soviet demands might even have useful impact on Soviet policy in Austria. The sum of Soviet demands is astounding even if it is assumed that certain demands are merely bargaining counters. This may or may not be clearly appreciated in Moscow. Soviets are guilty of extraordinary overreaching and should be so charged. They have rarely, if ever, in Austria responded to reasoned negotiation. A stiffening of US attitudes re Austria, prompted by inordinate Soviet claims, would appear wholly appropriate at conclusion of Committee’s work.
Effect on Austrian public opinion: Department suggests that mood of Austria may be one of discouragement because of Gruber’s speeches. May [Many] here feel resignation to delay better describes current mood, although certainly there exists great anxiety re future Soviet and US policies in Austria. USDel believes that since Soviet claims so far exceed what was generally anticipated even in Austrian Govt circles, at least equally probable to anticipate indignation and resentment from Austrians as response to public disclosure of Soviet tactics. Unquestionably, however, this would not be the reaction to statement of Soviet positions in the event that disagreements persist after London Conference. At that time reaction to review of divergencies would seem almost inevitably to be discouragement. Reason is that at present time London Conference offers some hope of agreement. Difficult to state with assurance now that comparable hope for Austrians will exist if London Conference fails.
Utility of statement in event subsequent agreement: No solution likely to emerge from London will be palatable to Austria[ns] since they will have heavy burden whatever formula or approach is ultimately agreed. Only by comparison with Soviet demands will final agreement, if any, appear less unacceptable. US would hardly be in position to release full facts re Soviet demands after settlement reached on German assets.
Possible Soviet propaganda replies: If USSR replies that US exaggerates Soviet demands, US would then be in position to demand specification. If USSR challenges US offer to compromise, US would then be in position to respond with offer along lines already considered.
Returning to proposed USDel statement, do not understand reference to “recrimination” or intimation in Deptel 817 that statement may reveal US positions. Throughout Vienna discussions USDel has deliberately sought to avoid recrimination as matter of policy and proposed statement appears on re-reading to reflect that policy. Moreover, statement deliberately drawn to avoid revealing [any] new US position since USDel has long assumed that Soviets had little or no authority to negotiate in Vienna and that US bargaining positions will be fully exposed for first time in London. Finally, there are virtually no facts in statement which have not at one time or another been fully aired publicly either during London Deputies meeting, Moscow CFM meeting, or during course of last five months by USDel. Essential usefulness was as summary of numerous particulars more or less well-known.
USDel has carefully considered Dept’s observations but for foregoing reasons recommends (a) reconsideration of Dept’s policy; (b) prompt release of facts compiled by USDel in statement by Dodge or by Department.
  1. None printed; regarding telegrams 817 and 832, see footnote 43, p. 626.