The Secretary of State to the Legation in Austria
1384. Re P 3971 Nov 2.1 USFA and Leg’s comments on Fr memos, of conversations with Austrians on subject Aust neutrality awaited with interest in view of possible early conclusion of Treaty. Through conversations over past two years with various Aust officials Dept acquainted with this formulation neutrality policy and the respective motives Socialist and People’s Party leaders. Views expressed to Fr obvious effort to exploit Fr fears concerning future security in order to obtain some indication military intentions as to Aust within Fr and Brit sphere of defense. In this respect Dept of impression Brit have rather incautiously made plain their intention to avoid any military commitment in this area. We need not stress political seriousness such writing-off of country before the event, if it shld become common knowledge or viewed as certainty by Aust Govt.
In any similar probing of US officials to ascertain our position on defense central Eur only feasible and best answer is that facts concerning US policy in Eur and West European defense arrangements speak for themselves.
If possible obtain any info on Fr and Brit response as well as Aust view in conversations this character, pls report in detail.
- Not printed; it referred to interviews by General Béthouart and Edonard Bonnefous, president of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the French National Assembly, with various Austrian leaders, who had expressed the view that in the circumstances neutrality was the only policy open to them (836.00/11–249).↩