No. 528

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

Memorandum by the Deputy Director of the Office of Western European Affairs ( Williamson)1

top secret

The Austrian Treaty

The attached letter from the Secretary of Defense2 concurs, with certain exceptions, in the Department’s recommendations for a settlement of the Austrian Treaty. The basic exception opposes the Department’s principal recommendation to accept the Soviet version of all five of the remaining unagreed Articles of the Treaty at the outset of the negotiations. Unless General Marshall’s position is accepted it will be necessary to reopen the Austrian Treaty question in the NSC. This is a time consuming process which would interfere with the schedule of the tripartite talks. Acceptance of Defense’s position would not alter the policy followed to date in the Treaty negotiations and would be consistent with the conclusions in NSC 38/6.

The views of Defense with respect to Article 9 are consistent with the Department’s views as set forth in RPTS D–3/le, which concludes with the recommendation that the Soviet version of Article 9 is unacceptable and that the U.S. should not, therefore, agree to reopen this Article. It is suggested that an additional paragraph be added to the recommendations to cover this point.

With reference to the observations of the Secretaries of the three Services on the same subject, as set forth in General Burns’ letter of February 6, 1951 (attached),3 the following comments are submitted:

The point is made that the possibility of a general settlement of differences with the Soviets is admitted by all parties concerned to be very remote, and the Secretaries doubt that the placement of the Austrian Treaty negotiations in the framework of a general settlement can be interpreted as making “every effort to bring them to a satisfactory conclusion”. It may be stated in this connection that the policy of this Government is, as stated by the President, to conclude the Austrian Treaty on the best terms obtainable and it is not the Department’s intention to propose a settlement of the Austrian Treaty contingent on any other factor involved in the [Page 1102] world-wide differences between the East and West. The inclusion of the Treaty in the general discussions is an additional effort to secure a settlement of this problem. The Treaty Deputies will hold a regularly scheduled meeting in March, at which time a settlement could possibly be reached outside the framework of the general discussions.
The three Secretaries request information as to the assurances which will be provided to the Austrian Government for the continuance of U.S. support. A program is already underway to provide for and equip Austrian security forces prior to the withdrawal of the occupation forces. Further assurance of support might well include a Western declaration, subsequent to the coming into effect of the Treaty, to consider an attack on Austria’s independence as an attack on the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This question has not been discussed with the British or French. Thirdly, the U.S. intention to provide continuing economic assistance to Austria for at least several years following conclusion of the Treaty would also be beneficial. The Department cannot commit the Government to a continuing program of this character, but will press for such aid before Congress and the NSC. The President has referred to this problem in his Budget Message of January 15.


That the recommendations RPTS D–3/le be modified to read as follows:

To include settlement of the Austrian Treaty in any possible Four-Power talks.
To reach tripartite agreement on a firm Western position prior to the Four-Power talks.
To propose a progressive series of steps which might be taken to obtain conclusion of the Treaty, namely:
To adopt the Soviet version of Article 48 bis and the Western versions of Articles 16, 27, 42, and 48.
To adopt the Soviet versions of Articles 48 bis and 16, and the Western versions of Articles 27, 42, and 48.
To adopt the Western versions of Article 27 and paragraph 9 of Article 42, and the Soviet versions of the rest of Article 42 and of Articles 48 bis, 16, and 48.
To accept the Soviet versions of all five Articles. This last proposal would be justified as a last resort if it would obtain immediate and final agreement to a Treaty.
To reject any Soviet effort to reopen agreed Articles, such as the proposed amendment to Article 9.
No agreement will be reached which does not take into account the necessity that Austrian security forces will, prior to the withdrawal of Western occupation forces from Austria, be reasonably adequate to maintain internal security.
To avoid any discussion with the British and French at this time of alternative proposals if the Treaty is not concluded, such [Page 1103] as the proposal for a Four-Power Declaration or reference of the Austrian question to the General Assembly of the United Nations.

If the foregoing conclusions are accepted it is proposed that the Austrian question be listed on the agenda as follows:

“Continuation of the discussions of the Council of Foreign Ministers to obtain rapid conclusion of the Treaty for the re-establishment of an independent and democratic Austria.”

  1. Drafted by Edgar P. Allen of the Office of Western European Affairs.
  2. See footnote 1, supra.
  3. Not printed; in response to Jessup’s letter to Burns of January 24, it contained Burns’ summary of the views of the three Services which are summarized in this memorandum. (CFM files, lot M–88, box 72, Bound volume—Austria, 1951)