863.00/8–249: Telegram

The Under Secretary of the Army (Voorhees) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Bradley), at Vienna


War 92293. Pass to Bradley for JCS for action upon arrival in Vienna,1 for Keyes for information from Voorhees.

The Secretary of State and General Keyes have differing views on the elimination of restrictions on the activities of political parties in Austria. General Keyes arguments have been given full consideration by Secretary Acheson but the Secretary still holds to his former views. This question is primarily a matter of foreign policy in which, after giving Acheson our frank opinion, I feel we should defer to his final decision as Secretary of State. In his P 3664 dated 30 July 492 Keyes requested that no decision to change his position be taken prior to his discussions with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Since Keyes is responsible to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on political as well as military matters, I transmit hereafter the proposed directive to him on this matter and request that you transmit it to him for implementation unless you feel his arguments against the course proposed are so valid from a military point of view as to justify reopening matter with Secretary of State. The directive is as follows:

“The Secretary of State considers it important, from the standpoint of foreign relations and in particular from the standpoint of our future relations with Austria, that the existing Allied Council restrictions on the activities of political parties in Austria be eliminated at an early date in order that the Austrian people may be free to exercise their voting prerogatives in the forthcoming elections on October 9, 49, without restrictions imposed by the occupying powers. Such action is required also in order to avoid possible future conflict between the Austrian constitution as reflected in the recent election law and Allied Council decisions and in order to avoid the possibility that because of such conflict doubt may be cast on the validity of the elections.

You are directed to take such action as may be appropriate to accomplish the foregoing recommendation of the Secretary of State. This may take the form of action initiated by you to repeal the 1945 [Page 1225] decision of the Allied Council on this subject or by your supporting a similar proposal on this subject if such action is initiated by one of the other elements of the Council.”

  1. General Bradley and the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had left the United States on July 29 on a trip to Western Europe. They visited Frankfurt, London, and Paris before arriving in Vienna on August 7, and they left for the United States on August 8.
  2. Not printed.