740.00119 Control (Austria)/11–2549: Telegram

The United States High Commissioner for Austria ( Keyes ) to the Department of the Army

secret   priority

P 4342. To State for JCS. [For JCS and State?] Cite PACG, signed Keyes. Reference our P 3275, dated 22 April 49.1

1. Subject is Allied Council meeting of 25 November and discussion of Allied occupation costs 1949.

2. The executive committee meeting 18 November dealt with only one item on the agenda, that of Austrian laws. Since these were agreed, the Allied Council meeting of 25 November had no other business than the introduction of the new Yugoslav Minister to Austria.

3. At the instigation of the Soviet element the French chairman called a closed meeting of the High Commissioners to reopen discussion [Page 1291] on the 49 occupation costs to be assessed against the Austrian Government. The United States, French, and British agreed to the conference, but indicated no other interest than to comply with the Soviet request. An attempt was made by the Soviet High Commissioner to obtain agreement in principle that the Austrian Government should be called upon to pay the 49 costs. The United States and British High Commissioners refused to make any definite declaration. The French representative agreed with the Soviet member more as a maneuver than from any conviction or interest. The United States position, initially that of last April as outlined in cable reference above, was modified by a feeling that conditions had changed. Events such as imminence of a treaty conclusion2 raised serious doubts as to the advisability or necessity to call upon the Austrian Government for funds. In any event, our April figure of 6.1 [6.5] percent of the Austrian budget not only could not be raised but would probably have to be lowered. After short discussion, it was agreed to have the entire matter restudied by the deputies. The United States High Commissioner made it clear that his previous conditions had not been withdrawn, i.e., (a) that an agreed list of justified occupation costs be formulated; and (b) the ability of the Austrian Government to pay be established.

  1. Ante, p. 1277.
  2. For documentation relating to the negotiation for an Austrian Treaty, see pp. 1066 ff.