Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 205

No. 370
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Counselor of the Embassy in Austria (Davis)1

  • Participants: Dr. Roessler, Member of the Unofficial Austrian Delegation
  • Mr. R.H. Davis

Subject: Austrian Inquiry on Developments Affecting Austria at the Four-Power Conference

At Dr. Roessler’s request I saw him at 4:30 this afternoon.

1. Austrian Participation

Dr. Roessler inquired how we thought the conference was going along in regard to the Austrian question. I replied that there was little I could tell him beyond what he probably had read in the newspapers but I was authorized to say confidentially that the three powers had agreed to take up the question of Austrian participation in the discussions on the Austrian treaty question at the first appropriate moment and when such action promised success.

[Page 849]

I inquired whether the Austrian delegation had in its files in Berlin a copy of the Soviet note of January 16 to the Austrian Government, which referred to the Austrian note of January 5 requesting participation.2 Dr. Roessler replied he did not know but if they had a copy with them, he would make it available tomorrow.

2. Position of Austrian Item on Agenda

I inquired in view of Dr. Schoener’s comments to Mr. Merchant3 whether the Austrian delegation was disappointed that an agenda had been adopted which placed the Austrian item at the end. Dr. Roessler replied that there were two points of view on this and no one could say whether it would be good or bad to have the Austrian item considered first or last. I assented to this and pointed out that some were of the opinion that the Austrian item had a better chance of success at the end of the conference. This opinion was based on reasoning that the Soviet Union would not like to see the conference completely without result; that Austria was a question on which they could give without paying too great a price and should the first two items on the agenda not produce any results, it was possible that something could come out of the discussions on the Austrian State Treaty.

3. Yugoslav Observer

Dr. Roessler inquired whether we had yet heard anything in regard to a Yugoslav observer. I said the Department of State had been informed orally by the Yugoslav Embassy in Washington that the Yugoslav Ambassador to Bonn, Ivekovic, had been named as an official observer to the Berlin Conference and the Embassy had been merely informed by the Department that the delegation in Berlin would be informed (see Deptel Tosec 354). Also this morning the Yugoslav Military Liaison Office in Berlin had delivered an official note5 addressed to the “Conference of the Foreign Ministers” which merely stated that Yugoslavia was sending its Ambassador at Bonn to Berlin as an observer at the Conference.

I said there was no present intention to reply to this note. I said that we did not recognize officially the status of an observer at the Conference and that if a Yugoslav representative made inquiry, we [Page 850] propose to inform him that as regards the Austrian treaty, Yugoslavia might be kept informed on matters affecting its interests.

R.H. Davis
  1. Copies were sent to Merchant and Freund.
  2. No copy of the Soviet note has been found in Department of State files. The Austrian note was transmitted in telegram 1678 from Vienna, Jan. 5 (396.1 BE/1–554); for text, see Department of State Bulletin, Jan. 25, 1954, p. 111.
  3. On Jan. 25 Schoerner had paid a courtesy call on Merchant and Davis during which he expressed the hope that the Austrian Treaty would be discussed before the conference became deadlocked on Germany. (Memorandum of conversation, by Davis, Jan. 25, Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 203)
  4. Tosec 35 reported that Ivekovic had been named as the official Yugoslav observer to the Conference. (Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 211)
  5. Not found in Department of State files.