No. 527

CFM files, lot M–88, box 72, Bound volume—Austria, 1951

Memorandum by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense ( Marshall)1

top secret

Subject: Austrian Treaty.

1. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have examined, from the military point of view, the recommendations of the Department of State draft position paper entitled “Austrian Treaty” (RPTS D–3/le), [Page 1100] dated 23 January 1951,2 and perceive no objection thereto, subject to modification of the recommendations in subparagraphs 4(2)(a) and 4(3) in order to preclude acceptance at the outset of the Four Power Meetings, and without further negotiation, of the Soviet version of unagreed Article 27 of the proposed Austrian Treaty. Moreover it should be stated clearly in paragraph 4 of the position paper (RPTS D–3/le) that the Soviet version of Article 9 is unacceptable and that the United States will not agree to reopen discussion of this article.

2. The Soviet version of Article 9 is so vaguely worded that it could be used against almost any Austrian military, paramilitary, or quasi-military organization. This wording would permit the Soviets to make interpretations that would hinder the development of adequate Austrian security forces. In the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff such forces are essential for that country when the Austrian Peace Treaty comes into effect, if Austria is to remain oriented toward the West.

3. With regard to Article 27, acceptance of the Soviet proposal that “persons who are not Austrian nationals” be added to those categories of persons whom Austria is forbidden to “employ” in “military or civil aviation or in the experimentation, design, production, or maintenance of war materials” not only might seriously interfere with the effective functioning of any Mutual Defense Assistance Program (MDAP) for that country but also with the effective development of Austrian security forces. Further, it would hamper the implementation of plans for development of Austrian civil aviation. In addition, it would be an unjustifiable restriction on Austrian sovereignty and could prevent that government from receiving military missions from the Western Powers.

4. Because of the importance to the United States security position which they attach to the timely development of adequate Austrian security forces, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that, in any event, the United States negotiate Article 27 of the Austrian Treaty with representatives of the USSR, making every effort to insure a conclusion satisfactory to the United States.* Furthermore, the Joint Chiefs of Staff feel that the Soviet version of Article 9 is unacceptable and, therefore, recommend that the United States not agree to reopen discussion of this article.

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
Omar N. Bradley
  1. Transmitted to the Department of State by a letter from the Secretary of Defense to the Secretary of State, dated February 5. Marshall stated in his cover letter that he concurred with the comments of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. Document 525.
  3. See paragraph 15 of NSC 38/6. [Footnote in the source text.]