740.00119 Council/8–1149: Telegram

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


3175. Delau 226. From Reber. Have had opportunity to discuss separately with Mallet and Berthelot future prospects our work. Both are agreed that lack of agreement at the current Deputies Meeting must not involve an indefinite or prolonged postponement to the Austrian treaty since after progress made in Paris, protracted delay would have unfortunate political results, not only in Austria, but in general. British think Austrian problem should not be allowed to prejudge [Page 1116]question of CFM meeting in September or October, but reserve final judgment until after Bevin’s return. Although they admit possibility Soviets may be planning to withhold final agreement on Austria as pressure for CFM meeting, they still believe it preferable to agree Soviet position on Article 35 rather than delay conclusion of treaty. I have expressed view that concessions to Soviets on Article 35 or protracted delay in conclusion treaty are not only two possible alternatives, and that certain issues and their relationship to Austria’s future stability and economic independence are of sufficient importance to warrant reservation for subsequent decision by either CFM or other negotiations which could presumably be agreed by representatives of Four Powers meeting in New York.

Both British and French are also in agreement that it is useless to continue beyond September 1, but in British view, we must before that date, decide either to accept Soviet requirements or agree to CFM on Austria. After consulting Paris, Berthelot confirms French position as outlined Delau 2031 and is prepared to add Article 27 as an issue of sufficient importance to warrant decision by subsequent meeting. He does not believe Quai d’Orsay would refuse ministerial meeting in September for consideration Austrian question, but asked whether the ministers who will be in New York for Assembly could not settle these three outstanding articles without necessity of formal CFM.

Coreth, who has just returned from Vienna, informs me Gruber is most anxious for agreement by September 1, but attaches importance to satisfactory division of oil exploration areas and to relinquishment by Soviets of Austria’s pre-anschluss rolling stock. He would not, however, in the last analysis wish to block treaty over these issues. He further desires, at any cost, to avoid protracted delay and if Deputies do not agree, he hopes to obtain assurances that Austrian treaty will be discussed promptly either by CFM or through some other agreed method.

The unagreed issues, in my opinion, may at present be divided into three categories as follows:

Category A. Issues of sufficient importance to warrant decision by CFM. Article 27 (foreign technicians);2 Article 35 (in particular oil exploration rights, common use of pipeline, industrial and transportation equipment, applicability of Austrian law and arbitration, to [Page 1117]which refineries should be added if any oil questions are reserved); Article 42 (paragraphs 1–3 and 9).

Category B. Issues presenting difficulties, but subject to possible negotiation by Deputies. Article 7–bis, Article 16 (paragraph 5), Article 41 and War Graves.

Category C. Relatively simple issues, which may have to be reserved if Soviets continue to insist on prior settlement of Category A. Articles 26, 36 (paragraph 9), 43, 48, 48–bis and Annexes III, IV, and V. Soviet attitude has notably stiffened, however, in last few days, and it may not be possible to deal with either B or C.

In my opinion, it is important to determine without delay future procedure for dealing with the major outstanding points. To make concessions to Soviets on issues of Category A without exhausting all possibilities of negotiation including CFM might subject us later to charge we agreed too readily to add to Austria’s burden. This may well be attitude in Austria after present electoral fever has abated. I agree, however, with British, French, and Austrians, we should not allow too much time to elapse between close of Deputies meeting and resumption of negotiations.

I should appreciate Department’s view in order that I may be able to discuss definitely with British and French next week.

Sent Department 3175, repeated Vienna 215.

  1. Not printed; in it Reber reported that the French Deputy considered the equitable division of oil exploration lands, the inclusion of transportation equipment in the category of war booty to be relinquished by the Soviets, and agreement on Article 42 satisfactory to the Western powers to be points that probably should be reserved for settlement by the ministers. (740.00119 Council/8–249)
  2. For the text of this and the other unagreed articles, see the extract from the Draft Treaty for the Re-establishment of an Independent and Democratic Austria, September 6, p. 1131.