No. 489

763.00/5–2351: Telegram

The United States High Commissioner for Austria ( Donnelly) to the Secretary of State


2756. In separate discussions with Figl, Schaerf, and Gruber May 21 all indicated approval of the suggestion, which I put forward without commitment on our part, that two party representatives visit US soon after elections as a demonstration of our continued interest in maintenance of coalition (Deptel 2487, May 181). Reversing their reiterated view that while they were most anxious to visit US they could not do so until after ratification of state treaty. Both Figl and Schaerf indicated their desire to visit US soon. They implied they had received invitations from private organizations in US and Schaerf is considering trip in near future but Figl said he cld go only next spring or possibly this fall. In Figl’s opinion state visit to US wld improve morale of Aust people since it wld demonstrate govt independence and conduct of foreign affairs despite lack of state treaty.

Both Figl and Schaerf made clear they hoped we wld go ahead with suggestion visits regardless of their personal plans and promised to inform me after consultation with other party leaders re [Page 1039] their choice of representatives. (I anticipate Waldbrunner will be Socialist choice but Gruber hinted with some reservations re Hurdes for Peoples Party.) In meantime I recommend Dept endeavor to arrange visit under private auspices although Dept will presumably have to provide funds. I hope visit can be announced promptly after elections May 27 and shall forward suggestion re Amer program as soon as I have heard from Figl and Schaerf re representatives selected.

  1. Not printed, but see footnote 3, supra.