740.00119 Council/2–1247: Telegram

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


946. Delsec 1220 from Clark. Reference your Secdel 1291.26 I estimate that by February 25 the deputies will have reached all possible agreement and completed discussion on the preamble, political clauses, military clauses, withdrawal of troops, heads of mission, general economic provisions, claims, judgments and disputes, and final clauses. A considerable degree of agreement will have been reached on these parts of the treaty, leaving only major points already reported or which will be reported to you for decision by the CFM. We have agreed to discuss German property early next week and the British and our positions will be in general agreement. It is difficult to tell what the results of this discussion will be for this is a major issue with the Soviets. Practically all other economic clauses will have been discussed at length in the economic sub-committee and before the deputies. The so-called “boiler plate” clauses taken from the satellite treaties will have been agreed to. There will be major differences of opinion with regard to United Nations’ property in Austria, Austrian property in United Nations’ countries, and restitution, the principal points of difficulty having to do with the condition in which such property is returned.

I do not recommend continuing our work here in London beyond the twenty-fifth for I am convinced that no worthwhile results will be obtained. However, I do feel that it will be desirable to start the Austrian deputies’ work in Moscow at the beginning of that conference while German treaty discussions are in progress. There is some belief here, in which I concur, to the effect that any concessions to be secured from the Soviets will be more readily forthcoming in Moscow than here.

I am in complete agreement that in order to secure a treaty which will give Austria the barest chance of existence we must not sacrifice important principles. I am maintaining that position.

For your information, I have already discussed with my British and French colleagues the desirability of continuing our work here after February 25. Both share my opinion and feel that no important results will be obtained and we should adjourn at that time. Although I have not discussed it with Gousev, I feel that he would be most anxious to get back to Moscow and make a report of the various positions taken here by ourselves, the French and the British. I might summarize the Soviet position as follows: It is realized that Soviets normally move slowly in these matters, but in my opinion they have [Page 131] sabotaged progress on the treaty from the outset. They have done it cleverly in order to avoid showing their hand. The subjects of great importance to them include German property, over-emphasis of lack of demilitarization and de-Nazification, the menace of large number of DP’s including thousands of war criminals. They want a treaty which will sanction their interference in the internal affairs of Austria at any time under the guise of preventing pan-Germanic propaganda or other propaganda hostile to them, and through their retention of Austrian property which they claim to be German.

Pass to War Department for information.

Repeated Vienna 405.

  1. Supra.