740.00119 Control (Austria)/5–2549: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Legation in Austria

us urgent

508. Reurtels 545 May 12 and 586 May 20,1 in view Sov and Brit [Page 1212]positions respectively it appears profitless continue attempt in May 27 AC meeting obtain reaffirmation 1945 AC decision on new parties.

Under circumstances alternative to deadlock desired by Sov element would appear to be reference to Executive Committee again for purpose burying issue or for reconsideration on different basis. Pls discuss fol suggestion with Gen Keyes as basis for US action. Adopt position that AC decisions should be either enforced or explicitly abrogated. If 1945 decision on new parties not abrogated it seems incumbent on the High Commissioners under Art 2 (b) of Control Agreement to insure enforcement in their respective zones. If there is no desire on part of other powers to enforce decision, US prepared to associate itself with any proposal to repeal this or any other pre-Control Agreement measure restrictive of Aust Govt in manner not sanctioned by June 1946 Control Agreement.

Present ambiguous situation with all powers acknowledging validity 1945 decision without intention enforce it benefits Socialists as Brit desire and works against People’s Party as Sovs desire. US should avoid position of open support or opposition to either of Aust parties. Although outright repeal 1945 decision will in fact aid one party, US can consistently support move as measure increase Aust Govt independence and curtail pre-Control Agreement powers exercised by occupation authorities. This objective desirable regardless which party benefits most incoming election. If move for repeal blocked by failure obtain Sov agreement, US position clear for the record and onus for continued uncertainty as to legal status new parties will rest on Sovs.

If Gen Keyes agrees with foregoing and proposed action takes place on May 27, Figl and Socialists should be informed that US is not abandoning its policy of encouragement and support of coalition of two parties. Maxim of hanging together or hanging separately will continue just as applicable to People’s and Socialist parties after the election as before.

  1. Neither printed; telegram 545 reported that the Soviet Representative in the Political Directorate had refused to write a communication to Helmer calling attention to the Allied Council decision of September 11, 1945. Telegram 586 reported Soviet refusal to agree even to a resolution reaffirming the 1945 decision on political parties, and the referral of the question to the Allied Council meeting May 27. (863.00/5–1249 and 2049)