No. 546

740.5/8–3051: Telegram

The Ambassador in France ( Bruce) to the Secretary of State 1


1345. Fol is summary FonOff position re pending Austrian problems, corresponding to London’s 1080 to Dept Aug 27 (rptd Vienna 63)2 as obtained from Koenig, Austrian desk officer who is preparing briefing papers for Schuman. Since full FonOff clearance not yet obtained, changes still possible but unlikely.

1. Treaty Deputies Talks.

Dept is aware Fr do not share Brit views. They consider that from point of view Aust public opinion, to demonstrate our continued interest and also to keep Austria alive as internatl issue, reasonable continuity of treaty talks shld be preserved. If talks resume in Oct, interruption will have been ten months (not counting Palais Rose talks where Austria was hardly discussed), which in FonOff view is already considerable. Fr wld consider six months interval between sessions optimum period. As re Sovs stirring up trouble with respect to Trieste, FonOff feels they are not dependent for this on flimsy propaganda platform which patently unrelated Austria talks wld provide.

On other hand, although Fr concur with Gruber view that Oct wld be desirable time for resumption, they inclined to feel that Austrian appeal to UN would be of questionable usefulness. Such appeal in their view is not likely to impress Soviets, will certainly not shame them into signing treaty and might on other hand prove actual impediment to progress of deputies at some later time. World public opinion, Fr feel, can be adequately informed through deputies talks. We understand Fr Emb Wash has been promised new paper US position after JCS clearance, and this will be greatly welcomed by FonOff here.

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2. Occupation Costs.

Reason why Brit and Fr are pushing this matter now, Koenig said, is that if US position appears unduly negative, particularly with respect increase in 1952, Schuman and Morrison might conceivably have to raise matter with Secy. Fr position apparently closely parallels Brit and is based on increased cost of utilities, transportation and labor in Austria as well as recent slight increase Fr troop strength (which according to FonOff is still not considered adequate by US military authorities in Austria). Important military projects allegedly being delayed because of shortage of cash. With respect reconsideration 1951 costs, Fr position is that US by agreeing to secret AC minute on reopening of question, is “morally” prevented from opposing such reconsideration. By implying moral commitment, Koenig appeared to admit that US could very well oppose reopening of 1951 figures, and these apparently wld in any event not be raised by Schuman.

3. Possible Steps To Help Austrian Morale.

(a) Participation in Council of Europe. FonOff inclined to recommend against application for full membership. On other hand, Aust’s presence with observer status would be satisfactory Fr and according to Payart wld satisfy Austrians. In gen, FonOff appears to hold view closely paralleling that expressed in penultimate para Vienna’s 730 to Dept Aug 23.3

(b) Raising Austrian Legations to Embassies.4 FonOff presumes that paper mentioned in para 1 above covers this and other points. View here is that particularly after contractual agreements are concluded with Ger and perhaps before, entire relationship with Austria will have to be reviewed and range of possible new measures considered to mitigate adverse reaction when Aus inevitably falls behind Germany in its political evolution.

(c) GA action, see paragraph 1 above.

  1. Repeated to Vienna and London.
  2. Supra.
  3. See footnote 7, supra.
  4. See Document 517.