740.00119 Council/1–2447: Telegram

The United States Deputy for Austria at the Council of Foreign Ministers (Clark) to the Secretary of State


502. Delsec 1135 from Clark. Austrian deputies meeting January 22 heard Yugoslav statement by Dr. Joze Vilfan.99 Statement emphasized [Page 116] responsibility of Austria for war participation and role of Austria as part of Nazi war machine. Historical recital pointed out Austrian pan-Germanism. Statement concluded that reparation to Yugoslavia justified, that creation of any Austrian armed forces and para-military organizations would lead to serious consequences, that denazification has hardly begun, that Austrian Germanizing tendencies must be stopped. Vilfan traced long Germanizing record of Austria under empire, republic and Germany. Territory claimed by Yugoslavia1 said to be ethnically Slovene on basis of census of 1846 and data concerning language used in churches and by school children. Reference made to decree of provincial government of Carinthia of October 31, 1945. 120–130 thousand Slovenes and 60,000 Germans were figures cited for territories claimed in Slovene Carinthia. 70,000 Burgenland Croats said to be living in Austria. Request made that they be protected by special statute or arrangement of exchange of population with Austrian minority in Slovene Carinthia.

June 2, 1919 memorandum from Douglas Johnson to President Wilson quoted in favor of transferring the territory.

Questioned by Hood, Vilfan said 1910 census of only relative value as taken under anti-Slav bias while 1846 census termed most authentic. Plebiscite of 1920 also called biased. Questioned by Gousev, Vilfan termed displaced persons in Austria a menace to Yugoslavia as containing many quislings and collaborators.

Hearing Yugoslav views only business of meeting.

Department pass to War Department for information.

  1. This was the 4th Meeting of the Deputies for Austria. The text of the Yugoslav statement was circulated to the Deputies as document CFM(D) (47) (A) 12, January 22, 1947, not printed.
  2. For the statement of the Yugoslav territorial claims against Austria, see the memorandum supra.