740.0011 EW (Peace)/10–2047: Telegram

The Minister in Austria ( Erhardt ) to the Director of the Office of European Affairs ( Hickerson )

top secret

1064. Personal for Hickerson. Proposals discussed by USDel informally with British, French and Austrians here, and proposals in Gruber’s letter to Ginsburg, (Department’s 856, October 1752), are approximately the same as “compromise offer of settlement” set forth in final report of USDel in black binder (our 1046, October 1653), which should now be in your hands.

Probable effect of compromise offer on Austrian economy is discussed at length in foregoing report of USDel. In my opinion compromise would not have crippling effect on economy or jeopardize Austrians political independence, provided always there are suitable safeguards re applicability of Austrian law. (You will note that text of Gruber’s letter contained in Ginsburg’s 1024 October 1354 contains typographical error in reference to DDSG saying “Austria” instead of “Eastern Austria”. There was of course no thought of turning over to USSR physical assets of DDSG located in US zone.)

As for extent to which discussions with British, French, and Austrians have committed US to a precise proposal, it is my understanding Ginsburg has not committed US.

As for Soviet knowledge of these proposals, they are aware we and British are willing to take substantial compromises, and this particular compromise falls within general framework of French proposal presented to Treaty Commission and reported in local press, but there is no reason to believe precise terms of this compromise offer are known to Soviets.

Erhardt
  1. Not printed; in it Hickerson stated that he was concerned about the ultimate effect on the Austrian treaty negotiations of the discussions reported upon in telegrams 1024, October 13, not printed, and 1032, October 14 from Vienna, p. 664, and he asked Erhardt for his frank comments regarding the content and consequences of the compromise offer already accepted in principle by the British, French, and Austrians (740.0011 EW (Peace)/10–1747).
  2. Not printed; it reported on the preparation of the United States Delegation Report on the work of the Austrian Treaty Commission; regarding the Report, see the letter from Dodge to the Secretary of State, November 4, 1947, p. 673.
  3. The telegram under reference is not printed; Gruber’s letter of October 9 is printed on p. 625.