396.1 LO/1–2452: Telegram

No. 790
The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Holmes) to the Department of Stated1

secret

3224. From Reber. I remained in London at request of FonOff to bring tripartite discussions to close.2 Agreement has been reached on method of dealing with present situation Austrian treaty for recommendations on future action. Agreement summarized as follows:

1. Meeting of deputies: British and French concur that western deputies can not meet on terms proposed by Soviets without admitting principle that their conditions are related to conclusion of treaty. Western position stated in communication sent today by Secretary General Soviet rep and released to press tonight (see fol tel3).

Although no reply yet received to western deputies letter of Jan 19,4 we anticipate Soviets will raise same issues and continue to demand acceptance of their conditions for attending meeting. If reply is received it can be considered in light of our agreed position, but none of the deps believe that a meeting will be held.

2. Abbreviated treaty: Three deputies agreed that new situation has been created by Soviet action and that serious consideration shld be now given by govts to proceeding with abbreviated treaty. Decision on timing shld take into account any Soviet reply to Jan 19 letter, effect on Austrian public opinion and necessity of avoiding both Austrian and Soviet charges that we are scrapping five years of negotiations. Decision shld be made after consultation with Aust Govt. Presentation to Soviets may have to be made through diplomatic channels as there seems little possibility of deputies [Page 1733]meeting in near future. Foregoing shld be discussed by Fon Mins at next meeting.

I stated US position that while it wld have been preferable to have clear reply to question whether Soviet prepared now to conclude treaty, in order create most favorable atmosphere for reduction abbreviated treaty, this now appears impossible of realization. Present situation makes presentation even more urgent and important. British and French unwilling to accept more than tripartite agreement outlined above. French conceded present situation was step forward towards presentation. British admitted he was inclined to this view but cld not commit himself at this stage.

No further discussion of abbreviated treaty text and no disagreement exists, except points raised by French (Embtel 3183, Jan 225). I recommend that Emb Paris and HICOM, Vienna, be instructed to attempt to persuade French to withdraw proposals re limitations on Austrian military forces and to accept declaration proposed in reftel instead of article prohibiting Anschluss.

Next steps in Austria: We consider that steps will have to be taken in Austria to offset effect of Soviet refusal to attend meeting, and to alleviate situation arising from continued lack of treaty, including possible quadripartite modification of occupation controls. Western deputies recommend that HICOMs, Vienna, be instructed to draw up recommendation for Fon Mins re steps which can be taken without being interpreted by Austrians or Soviets as substitute for treaty. Austrian Govt shld be consulted in preparation of report if appropriate.

Holmes
  1. Repeated to Paris, Vienna, Bonn, and Moscow.
  2. Regarding the tripartite meetings in London, see Document 780.
  3. Reference to telegram 3213 from London, Jan. 24, which included the text of the note to the Soviet Government of that date. (396.1 LO/1–2452) For text of this note, see Department of State Bulletin, Feb. 4, 1952, p. 160.
  4. Regarding this letter from the Secretary General of the CFM to the Soviet Chargé at London, see Document 780.
  5. Telegram 3183 reported that in informal exchanges of views with the British and French, the French pressed for the inclusion of anti-Anschluss and military limitation provisions in the abbreviated treaty draft. (396.1 LO/1–2252)