740.00119 Council/8–1949: Telegram

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

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3298. Delaus 251. From Reber. I have had opportunity for preliminary discussion with Mallet concerning future procedure of negotiations Austrian treaty and outlined course of action proposed in Audel 148.1 Mallet has been instructed by Bevin to urge treaty completion by September 1, since latter feels strongly that importance of completing treaty by this date or shortly thereafter outweighs disadvantages of accepting present Soviet terms. In Bevin’s opinion failure now to reach agreement with Russians would have very depressing effect internationally, whereas agreement at this time on Austrian treaty would mean real improvement. Furthermore, as far as Austria is concerned, in addition to political benefits to be derived from treaty now, prolonged delay would create even greater hardships, and continuing occupation costs and Soviet exploitation of resources of eastern Austria would place heavier burden on Austria than present Soviet demands. British believe that, although present Soviet terms may be in excess of what was contemplated in Paris, they do not create sufficient additional hardships to warrant risk of indefinite postponement of Austrian treaty. Therefore, agreement should be concluded now on best terms possible even though it means further concessions to Soviets. In reaching this decision British have been influenced, I am certain, by Austrian pressure for early agreement.

When I pointed out, in accordance with paragraph 2 of Audel 148, that final agreement cannot and should not be obtained at deputies’ level on certain points, Mallet replied that Bevin would be prepared, [Page 1121]if we insisted on holding out, to support our position provided it was clearly understood that this would not involve undue delay in completion of Austrian treaty and provided deputies’ failure to agree on Austria would not necessarily involve CFM discussion of Germany. Bevin fears that, if it is agreed Foreign Ministers should discuss Austria in New York, Soviets would insist upon inclusion of Germany on agenda. He is most desirous of avoiding this at present. If agreement is not obtainable by September 1 on terms acceptable to us, Bevin would, however, agree to tripartite approach in Moscow to Vyshinsky for the purpose of ascertaining how Soviets propose to settle few remaining outstanding points. It seems unlikely that these can be settled through diplomatic channels alone, but British would not object to their consideration by Foreign Ministers or their representatives in New York provided it were clearly understood in advance that substantive discussion of German question would not figure on agenda. British doubt whether Vyshinsky will agree to any other method of settlement exception by CFM, and will not commit himself to any limitation on CFM agenda. They, therefore, urge every effort be made to conclude treaty now even at higher cost to Austria since in their opinion this is more than compensated by advantages to Austria and in general to be derived from early settlement.

After my talk with Zarubin, now scheduled for tomorrow, further tripartite meeting will be held to discuss individual articles as well as procedure.

Sent Department 3298, repeated Vienna 238.

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  1. Supra.