No. 626

800.062–WFTU/4–2451: Telegram.

The Minister in Austria (Dowling) to the Secretary of State 1

secret priority

2450. Notwithstanding info character of Dept intel Jan 302 Leg at that time approached Aus Gov and TU Fed re possibility WFTU establishing headquarters Vienna after expulsion Paris (Deptel 2208 [2200] April 203). Both promised to observe and inform us any indications but pointed out little could be done under occupation regime if Sovs chose to bring WFTU here.

On April 19 Communist Party official paper Volksstimme carried editorial announcing “at invitation Aust workers” and “to honor Austrians” WFTU would establish headquarters in Coburg Palace. This building in first (international) district Vienna, Seilerstaette 3, and is headquarters of Austro-Soviet Friendship Society and Soviet-administered oil products distributors Orop.

Aus Gov and TU’s caught unaware. At April 19 opening postal TU convention TU Fed Pres Boehm denied invitation and offered as first assignment for WFTU defense of workers striking against Sov administered Vamag metal working plant just outside Vienna. Aus Gov also issued press statement that they were not consulted and no permission requested. Socialist members of Aus Gov examining legal requirements for possible bars in addition to making Sov sponsorship obvious. Aus TU Fed not especially concerned and wishes avoid publicity.

[Page 1251]

Dept may wish explore possibility of action by three west HICOMs against such of their natls as come to Vienna to serve with WFTU. In this regard, Dept will note that Secretary WFTU, Louis Saillant, is French natl.

March letter to CIO regarding WFTU press and info Dept was form letter. Correct address was Schwindgasse 7/6. Address is obviously blind since location is apartment house with no tenant named Winter. Aus TU’s request above info on WFTU be passed to ICFTU Brussels for all possible action and Dept realizes that for some purposes Vienna is behind Iron Curtain.

  1. Repeated to London, Paris for OSR, and Brussels.
  2. Not printed, but see the circular airgram, Document 607.
  3. Document 624.