663.119/5–1348: Telegram

The Minister in Austria (Erhardt) to the Secretary of State

top secret

620. From Keyes and Erhardt. We are in full agreement with views of advisory committee to Secretary of Commerce in regard to export license screening for Austria (Deptel 429, May 111). It is of utmost importance from political point of view that Austrian Government not be given impression that Austria is being treated as other than full and equal partner in ERP, and from economic point of view that steps not be taken which would run counter to our efforts to preserve economic unity of Austria. We believe, on basis of experience with US aid programs here, that screening procedure outlined in telegram under reference meets those requirements and will be adequate to prevent any significant diversion of US supplies for benefit of Soviets.

[Page 1400]

We consider present cooperative arrangements between USFA and Legation will make possible prompt establishment of effective screening body here, to which chief ECA mission should be joined when appointed in order to permit proper coordination with ECA programs. It is believed that committee constituted by these three principal US representatives in Austria will be able to review in advance, from the security and strategic point of view, proposed ECA programs for Austria, Austrian applications for Eximbank and other loans and broad industrial programs of Austrian Government involving imports from US, in such a way as to obviate delay and rescreening at time of actual exports. No difficulty is anticipated in obtaining consent of Austrian Government to such review. Shipments of strategic materials from US not falling under any of above headings will be rare and can be referred to Vienna screening committee at time export license application is presented in case security problem appears to be involved.

Since materials and equipment contemplated under $13,000,000 Eximbank credit have already been very carefully screened in Vienna and by bank in Washington and since they are needed in Austria now for urgent industrial rehabilitation, it is recommended that these particular shipments be approved at once without further screening. [Keyes and Erhardt.]

  1. Ante, p. 1396.