740.00119 Council/8–2249: Telegram

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


3021.1 Audel 156. Fol comments are transmitted in light of Brit and Fr reactions reported Delaus 2512 and 2523 and views expressed by Gruber Delau 254,4 Vienna’s 1098 Aug 195 and Moscow’s 1079 Aug 18.6

We realize implications within Aust of long delay in completion Treaty but consider that substance of agreement and its long range effect more important than any immediate political advantages which may be derived from conclusion on present Sov terms. West decision on future tactics shld not provide Sovs with procedure facilitating alleged “peace offensive” or forcing Ger discussion on CFM. Brit position that acceptance of Treaty on Sov terms for Art 35 outweighs disadvantage of delaying final settlement and withdrawal occupation forces can not be accepted since agreement on such terms wld greatly increase possibilities of future Sov pressure. US particularly concerned about extent to which obligations in Treaty will intensify Aust need for direct aid (Vienna’s 1112 Aug 225). Acceptance of Sov terms wld make US ratification exceedingly difficult and provide unnecessary burdens in future policy for maintenance Aust independence.

Gruber apparently disregards fundamental points in effort to secure rapid acceptance Treaty and popular support of his tactics in Aust may be questionable. It is necessary to make issue of Sov stripping USIA plants (Delau 257 Aug. 225) if lump sum payment is to be justified. [Page 1124]Satisfactory settlement for status of UN property must be included in Treaty if US is to agree to special exemptions for Sov property in Aust. Gruber has telephoned AusLeg to urge acceptance of Sov position on DP’s (Delau 254 Aug 22) although we regard Sov demand as providing either direct or indirect means to secure involuntary repatriation of DPs and refugees, and thus contrary to our policy. Gruber’s tactics wld also enlarge sphere for possible bilateral arrangements between Aust and Sovs in future, making impossible continued four power responsibility for implementation of Treaty. Main problem involved in acceptance of Sov terms for Art 35 is acceptance of future responsibility for consequences it will have on Aust independence, either by increasing Sov foothold in Aust or creating conditions in Treaty impossible for Aust to discharge.

In light of foregoing we consider tripartite diplomatic approach in Moscow wld clarify issues for future definitive settlement and permit formulation of problems for possible Ministerial discussion and decision. In this regard detailed discussions of oil properties in Art 35 wld not be suitable for CFM negotiation. We will urge diplomatically that investigation take place on the spot to assure equitable distribution in order that Western powers will not be put in position of being forced to accept Sov lists without determination of factual basis for settlement and in order that Treaty terms may not exceed Paris agreement. Similar procedure will be proposed for transportation problem. We consider this approach preferable to detailed discussion by Ministers of specific properties as it will demonstrate to Sovs we are prepared to support Aust interests in an equitable settlement and will not accept Sov terms simply to obtain quick agreement.

You may wish to discuss foregoing with Brit and Fr to secure agreement along lines proposed in Audel 148.7

  1. Repeated to Vienna as 995, Paris as 3126, and Moscow as 594.
  2. Telegram 3298, p. 1120.
  3. Supra.
  4. Not printed; in it Reber reported that Gruber was prepared to reserve certain articles for the Ministers provided he was assured that no long delay would ensue in reaching a treaty. (740.00119 Council/8–2249)
  5. Not printed.
  6. Not printed; it reported that Embassy Moscow was disturbed by the indications of British and French willingness to concede to the Soviet position on Article 35, since the Soviet Deputy was trying to “… sell same horse twice by raising ante on Article 35 at time when already far from clear how Austria will discharge lump sum obligation.” (740.00119 Council/8–1849)
  7. Not printed.
  8. Not printed.
  9. Telegram 2956, August 18, p. 1117.