740.00119 Council/5–1749: Telegram

The Chargé in Austria ( Dowling ) to the Secretary of State


563. Delaus 99 April 25, Legtel 473, April 30, and Deptel 420 May 4.1 In advancing any proposal for interim action should no favorable decision Austrian treaty be taken by CFM, we have had in mind that blame rests upon Soviet Union for:

Continuing heavy occupation burden on Austria by maintaining military forces far in excess of occupation requirements.
Failing to turn over authority to Austrian Government, as contemplated under control agreement.

Soviets have, by veto in Allied Council, prevented implementation of Articles 3–d and 4–a which provide for the return to Austria of maximum authority and control over affairs of state. Soviets have [Page 1281] interpreted Article 8 to authorize them to extend authority of commander in his zone to cover transportation, communication and other phases of Austrian economy not contemplated in control agreement. In brief, they have given only lip service to the liberalizing provisions of the control agreement, and no consideration at all to relaxing any unnecessary controls thereunder.

On this basis Legation and USFA have agreed on following specific recommendations for Department’s consideration:

That all occupation powers, in recognition of Austria’s status as liberated country, should forthwith reduce their occupation forces to minimum compatible with occupation requirements, and should thereafter pay their own costs of occupation in Austria.
That Austrian Government should be authorized to proceed without delay to organize, train and equip federal armed forces, within limitation of Article 17 of draft treaty, as a pre-requisite for the eventual withdrawal of all occupation forces.2
That the four powers direct their representatives in the Allied Council for Austria to proceed immediately with relaxation of all possible restrictions in order to return to Austrian Government maximum authority and control over affairs of state, in accordance with the control agreement of 28 June 1946.

In formulation of recommendations, USFA was naturally guided by consideration that proposal should not carry with it danger of premature withdrawal of occupation forces, or weakening of powers of High Commissioners, to prejudice of strategic plans of western powers.

Without Department’s guidance on this point, Legation is not now inclined recommend that US propose complete withdrawal all occupation forces within fixed period, and in any case not later than one year from date, although this would be more responsive to legitimate aspirations of Austrian people. In any event, both USFA and Legation recognize that final nature of US proposal must be determined to considerable measure in light of developments at forthcoming CFM meeting.

Repeated Paris 30 for Jessup.

  1. None printed; for a summary of Delaus 99, see footnote 6 to telegram 417, April 16, p. 1087. The other two messages dealt with the suspension of the Austrian Treaty negotiations and Gruber’s suggestion for relaxation of Western controls in Austria if the Soviet Union refused to agree to a treaty. (740.00119 Council/4–3049 and 5–449)
  2. For documentation relating to the formation and equipment of Austrian security forces, see pp. 1236 ff.