No. 491

741.13/5–2851: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Gifford) to the Secretary of State 1


6218. Minford of FonOff Aust desk, who accompanied Morrison to Vienna,2 told EmbOff May 28 fol points were covered in Fon-Secy’s conversations with Aust officials:

Ger assets in Aust. Morrison gave strong assurance to Gruber that UK fully intended implement para 11 of Art 35 of draft treaty by which three West powers relinquish to Aust Ger assets in Aust.
Oil undertaking. Gruber was at first skittish on this subj; after Morrison reiterated importance attached by UK to declaration Gruber agreed that undertaking wld be given.
Occupation costs. Gruber emphasized that shld Aust treaty not be soon forthcoming wld be psychologically important that shld appear Aust was passing occ costs only to Russians; any money paid to Fr and Brit wld have to be in nature of voluntary contribution to West def. Minford added that occ costs question may arise again before end of year as 140 million schillings will probably not cover Brit costs for 1951 (Vienna’s tel 1813 to Dept Feb 213).
Requisitioning. Figl and Gruber urged that UK derequisition as many properties as possible and fill housing needs by construction new properties which wld later revert to Aust. Morrison said Caccia wld discuss this problem with Aust officials but did not hold out much hope that funds cld be found for such construction.
Aust assets in UK. Figl said Hartenau of Aust Natl Bank wld proceed to UK to discuss question of disposition of Aust assets in UK totalling about 600,000 pounds.
Raw materials. Figl pointed out Aust economy dependent on imports of raw materials and said Aust had no def industries into which workers made idle by shortages cld be channeled. He mentioned conclusion of new agreement to ship timber to UK as indication Aust desire to cooperate and expressed hope that Aust needs wld be taken into consideration in distribution raw materials. In reply Morrison outlined difficulties UK itself was having in procuring essential materials and referred to Stoke’s trip to Wash in this regard. Morrison mentioned that Aust might export raw steel to UK because of tight raw materials situation, Figl suggested that UK and Aust consider establishment of “quota controls” for their trade.
Coalition govt. Morrison advised reps of both People’s Party and Socialists to continue with coalition govt. According to Minford, neither was very happy with this advice.

[Page 1041]

Minford thought FonSecy had made good impression in Aust, due in no small measure to fact that he was “indefatigable” and apparently enjoyed his visit.

  1. Repeated to Vienna, Paris, Moscow, and Frankfurt for Reber.
  2. Herbert Morrison, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, visited Vienna May 22–23, following a visit to Bonn the previous 3 days.
  3. Document 479.