No. 549

CFM files, lot M–88, box 158, WFM—Tripartite Talks, 1951

Position Paper Prepared by the Department of State1

WFM T–7b
[Page 1124]

Austrian Treaty


To find means of breaking the existing deadlock in the negotiation of the Austrian settlement.

u.s. objectives

To end the occupation by four power agreement and to reestablish a free and independent Austrian state. To maintain the continuity of Treaty negotiations and Western initiative aimed at reaching an Austrian settlement as a part of our efforts to stabilize Europe, such as the German settlement, revision of the Italian Treaty, and a Trieste settlement. As short range alternative to publicize the fact that the onus is on the Soviets for refusal to conclude a Treaty.

british and french position

Policy remains as stated in the London Agreement of 1950 that the present draft treaty be concluded on the best terms possible.

position to be presented

1. To seek tripartite agreement that another effort be made at a September–October meeting of the Deputies to ascertain the terms on which the Soviets would conclude the present draft treaty. The Western Deputies would refuse to re-open agreed articles or to consider extraneous issues.

2. If the Soviets refuse to conclude the present draft treaty or raise extraneous issues to inform the Soviet Deputy that we consider it necessary to make a diplomatic approach to the Soviet Government on the Austrian problem in order to obtain a settlement.

3. To propose to the British and French an abbreviated treaty (text attached) consisting of agreed articles from the present draft treaty plus one new article changing the agreed position on German assets which would serve as the basis of a new diplomatic [Page 1125] approach, or to consider any British or French suggestions for future tactics. To obtain agreement in principal by the Ministers for this proposal with the understanding that it will be discussed in detail by the Western Deputies or in normal diplomatic channels.

4. Future procedure including best means of presentation to the Soviet Government can be discussed by the Western Deputies or in normal diplomatic channels. Discussion should be completed as soon as possible in order that proposal to Soviets for abbreviated treaty may be used to accomplish at an appropriate time the U.S. objectives set forth above. 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.


In view of the undertakings which the Austrians as well as the three powers have agreed to take in connection with the unagreed articles, the British and French should accept the proposed abbreviated draft which omits these articles.

The British and French positions on these articles are as follows:

Article 16 (Displaced Persons and Refugees): Plans to carry out our proposal to evacuate the refugees endangered by acceptance of the Soviet version have not been completed, although the British and French support this proposal in principle.

Article 27 (Prevention of German Rearmament): The British and French do not attach the same importance to projects to strengthen Austrian security forces that we do, and are less concerned with the restriction against employment of non-Austrians in the production of war material than we are.

Article 42 (United Nations Interest): The British and French may accept the Soviet version of this article, provided that the Austrian Government will issue an Oil Declaration and a Letter of Intent which would indicate Austrian willingness to make proper compensation to UN nationals and to treat these nationals as favorably as Austrian nationals in restitution matters. The Austrian Government has indicated its willingness to do so.

Article 48 (Debts): Although the Austrian Government has informally indicated its willingness to guarantee assumption of debts which would be cancelled if the Soviet version were accepted, the British and French attitude toward this proposal is not clear.

Article 48 Bis (Post-war Relief Supplies): The elimination of this article would not affect the Western powers. The Soviet version may be accepted provided it is understood that they have no demands on the Austrians for the repayment of expenditures for these supplies.

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proposed abbreviated treaty

(All articles, except Article 6, are agreed texts from the present draft Treaty.)

Article 1. Re-Establishment of Austria as a Free and Independent State. The Allied and Associated Powers recognize that Austria is reestablished as a sovereign, independent and democratic State.

Article 2. Preservation of Austria’s Independence. The Allied and Associated Powers declare that they will respect the independence and territorial integrity of Austria as established under the present Treaty.

Article 3. Frontiers of Austria. The frontiers of Austria shall be those existing on January, 1938.

Article 4. Withdrawal of Allied Forces. 1. The Agreement on the Machinery of Control in Austria of June 28, 1946, shall terminate on the coming into force of the present Treaty.

2. On coming into force of the present Treaty, Inter-Allied Governing Authority (Kommandatura) established under Paragraph 4 of Agreement on Zones of Occupation in Austria and the Administration of the City of Vienna of July 9, 1945, shall cease to exercise any function with respect to the administration of the City of Vienna. The Agreement on Zones of Occupation of Austria shall terminate upon completion of the withdrawal from Austria of the forces of the Allied and Associated Powers and in any case at the expiration of ninety days from the coming into force of the present Treaty.

3. Forces of the Allied and Associated Powers and members of the Allied Commission for Austria shall be withdrawn from Austria as soon as possible and in any case within ninety days from the coming into force of the present Treaty.

4. The Government of Austria shall accord to the forces of the Allied and Associated Powers and members of the Allied Commission for Austria pending their withdrawal from Austria the same rights, immunities and facilities as they enjoyed immediately before the coming into force of the present Treaty.

5. The Allied and Associated Powers undertake to return to the Government of Austria within the specified period of 90 days:

All currency which was made available free of cost to Allied and Associated Powers for purpose of the occupation and which remains unexpended at the time of completion of withdrawal of Allied forces;
All Austrian property requisitioned by Allied forces or the Allied Commission, and which is still in their possession.

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Article 5. Reparation. No reparation shall be exacted from Austria arising out of the existence of a state of war in Europe after September 1, 1939.

Article 6. War Booty—German Assets. Each of the Allied and Associated Powers shall within the 90-day period specified in Article 4 relinquish to Austria all property, real and personal, of whatever description, held or claimed by them as German assets or as war booty in Austria.

Article 7. Accession Clause. 1. Any member of the United Nations at war with Germany which had the status of a United Nation on May 8, 1945, and is not a signatory to the present Treaty may accede to the Treaty and upon accession shall be deemed to be an Associated Power for purposes of the Treaty.

2. Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Government of the U.S.S.R. and shall take effect upon deposit.

Article 8. Ratification. The present Treaty, of which Russian, English and French texts are authentic, shall be ratified. It shall come into force immediately upon deposit of instruments of ratification by the U.S.S.R., U.K., U.S., and France of the one part and by Austria of the other part. Instruments of ratification shall, in the shortest time possible, be deposited with the Government of the U.S.S.R.

With regard to each Associated Power which accedes to the Treaty in accordance with Article 7, and whose instrument of ratification is thereafter deposited, the Treaty shall come into force upon date of deposit. The present Treaty shall be deposited in the archives of the Government of the U.S.S.R., which shall furnish certified copies to each of the signatory States.

  1. In anticipation of the Foreign Ministers meetings in Washington scheduled for September 10–14, steering groups were formed within the Department of State to draft position papers on the various agenda items. One set of position papers, circulated as WFM T–7, dealt with the Austrian Treaty. The first draft of this paper was completed on August 21 by the Bureau of European Affairs and discussed by the Steering Group and the Secretary of State during meetings on August 22 and 23. This draft recommended the introduction of an abbreviated treaty for possible use in case the negotiations on the Austrian Treaty continued to be stalemated. The Secretary of State decided that it was essential to get clearance from JCS on this draft and that as soon as this was obtained copies could then be forwarded to the British and French. (Memorandum of August 25, CFM files, lot M–88, box 72, Bound volume—Austria, 1951)

    After several minor revisions, the improved draft (WFM T–7a) was sent to JCS for their concurrence. In a letter of September 6, Secretary of Defense Marshall forwarded the comments of the JCS with which he concurred. The JCS requested that several alterations in the wording of the draft be made to ensure that an adequate Austrian armed force was established prior to the beginning of the withdrawal of occupation forces from Austria. (663.001/9–651) The Department of State accepted these recommendations although they refused to alter the text of the abbreviated treaty itself. After a meeting of representatives of the Department of State and the JCS on September 6, a compromise was reached which left the abbreviated treaty text unchanged but added a new sentence on to paragraph 4 of the section “Position To Be Presented.” The final revision, WFM T–7b, was completed on September 7. (Letter from Matthews to Marshall, September 12, 663.001/9–651)

    For documentation on the Foreign Ministers meetings for which these position papers were prepared, see vol. iii, Part 1, pp. 1163 ff.