396.1 LO/5–1850: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Tripartite Foreign Ministers Meeting to the Acting Secretary of State


Secto 302. Ministers accepted Department’s recommendations treaty procedure as transmitted in Delau 460 (I treaty issues, paragraphs 1–4).1

Following is text of declaration on Austria accepted by Ministers for release Saturday morning, May 20. Exact time of release will be communicated later:

“The Governments of the US, UK, and France reaffirm that their policy with respect to Austria requires the earliest possible completion of an Austrian treaty which will lead to the restoration of a free and independent Austria in accordance with the pledge given in the Moscow Declaration of November 1, 1943 and to the withdrawal of the forces of occupation.

To this end the three governments are ready at any time to settle without delay all outstanding issues of the treaty, provided that this will definitely bring about agreement on the treaty as a whole. If, however, the unwillingness of the Soviet Government to settle all outstanding issues continues to prevent the conclusion of the treaty, the occupation will have to be maintained for the present. But the three governments are themselves prepared to carry out such measures as may properly be taken to strengthen within the framework of existing quadripartite agreements the authority of the Austrian Government and to lighten the burden of the occupation on Austria.

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In accordance with the provisions of article 9 of the control agreement of June 28, 1946, the three governments have decided to proceed at any early date to the appointment of civilian High Commissioners.”

British Government is transmitting foregoing text to Vienna for communication by three Western Ministers to Austrian Government prior to release.

French Government has accepted US/UK recommendations for appointment civilian High Commissioners Austria with understanding that such action does not affect French military position as defined in existing agreements.

Bevin and Schuman accepted following US principles to guide transfer from military to civilian control:

  • “(1) No break should occur in the continuity of authority and operations in the Allied Council organization during the transfer from military to civilian control.
  • (2) No situation should be created by the transfer which will prevent immediate military action by the Western authorities if and when required.
  • (3) No impression should be given to the Austrians that they are being deprived of military protection by transfer of control.”

British and French agreed to US proposal that serious consideration be given to various means to reduce occupation costs in Austria.

Sent Department Secto 302; repeated information Paris 877, Vienna 116, Moscow 151.

  1. The meeting of the Foreign Ministers was held at Lancaster House from 2:35 to 2:55 p. m. on May 18. Attending for the United States were Secretary Acheson, Jessup, Douglas, and Reber; for France, Foreign Minister Schuman, Parodi, Massigli, and Berthelot; for the United Kingdom, Foreign Secretary Bevin, Lord Henderson, Kirkpatrick, and Mallet. The United States Delegation minutes of the session are in CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 151: London Conferences, London 1950.