763.0221/1–1652: Telegram

No. 787
The United States High Commissioner for Austria (Donnelly) to the Department of State1

top secret

2330. General Irwin discussed occupation cost problem with General Eisenhower during his recent visit to Paris and today received following message from Gruenther:

“Personal to Irwin from Gruenther.

I have modified your statement2 slightly, and I trust the revised version will meet with your requirements.

General Eisenhower expressed interest and concern about the Allied disagreement on occupation costs for Austria. He deplored the fact that in a critical area such disagreements could continue unsolved and expressed view that matter now obviously requires solution at government level. He fears that failure to solve the problem may adversely affect military plans for Austria.

He stated that US thinking apparently fails to consider financial difficulties of French and British and their feeling that Austria must make a substantial contribution for military efforts in its behalf.

He is aware of the contribution to Soviet support resulting from quadripartite agreement on occupation costs, and believes the amount should be kept to an acceptable minimum. However, he considers Allied agreement paramount, and the contribution to Soviet maintenance unfortunate, but not the controlling factor.

He feels that it is unwise to endanger friendly relations among the Allied High Commissioners on a matter that is probably beyond their competence to settle until their governments reach substantial agreement as to principles in the matter.”

[Page 1728]

Four High Commissioners will resume discussion problem on January 21. But French and Soviet will then report re actions their governments to US proposal that 1952 occupation costs be held at final figure for 1951 plus escalator clause and cash payments.

I shall await Department’s reaction to above message and any further suggestions in connection with problem.3

  1. Attached to this telegram was a handwritten note by Allen which reads as follows: “Suggest we give D[ean] A[cheson] a copy and, if Defense agrees, we approve Vienna’s program so that they will know they have our support.”
  2. Not further identified.
  3. In telegram 1827 to Vienna, Jan. 19, the Department of State informed Embassy officials that it was willing to rely on their judgment in the attempt to seek agreement on a compromise figure for occupation costs. (763.0221/1–1652)