No. 551

663.001/9–1151: Telegram

The United States High Commissioner for Austria ( Donnelly) to the Secretary of State


957. I hope Fon Mins may see way to issue clearcut statement on Aust situation confirming Western endeavors to obtain treaty. If Department perceives no objection I intend to release fol statement this week in order to draw Aust attention to endeavors of Fon Mins, which will have useful morale effect here:

“Over five years have passed since an American Secretary of State first called upon the wartime allies to write a state treaty that wld restore Aust to freedom.

“Today the Fon Mins of the US, Great Brit and France are meeting in Wash, once again seeking a way to push the long-delayed treaty to conclusion.

“During the five intervening years, reps of the West have tried in four major conferences and a host of subordinate sessions to persuade [Page 1129] the Sov Union to agree to a paper that wld guarantee a place to Aust in the community of nations. Their road has led from London to Moscow, Paris, Vienna, New York and Wash, and on each occasion the Sovs have thrown obstacles across the path and attempted to call a halt.

“In 1947 the Sovs blocked advance by placing a huge amount of Aust property under the heading of ‘German foreign assets’ and demanding it for themselves. In 1948 they were seized with the desire of ceding Aust territory to Yugoslavia. Next year they introduced the demand that treaty-making must wait until the Austs had completed certain special negots with the Sovs—negots which the Sovs, for their part, wld not even allow to begin. The year after, all these demands having worn thin, the Sovs produced the new and irrelevant one that there must be a new agreement about Trieste before there cld be one about Aust. The more the Western Powers suggested compromises, the more the Sovs threw in obstacles until it seemed to many that no further progress wld ever be made.

“Yet the United States, along with its Western Allies, has by no means given up hope of a settlement. The three Fon Mins meet at Wash conscious that of the 53 articles in the draft Aust treaty, 48 have already been approved by all four powers, and that what needs to be done is to remove the disagreements concerning only a few that remain. Past experience shows that this will be an arduous task. The Western Powers cannot permit concessions that will endanger Aust’s national future. Exploring every possible avenue of equitable approach, they require simply that the Soviet occupant will do the same.”