396.1 LO/2–752: Telegram

No. 793
The United States High Commissioner for Austria (Donnelly) to the Department of State1


2591. Following paper represents final agreed views of three Western HICOM’s on Aust treaty strategy (Deptel 1968, Feb 52):

“The three Western High Commissioners in Austria have considered points made in the reports of the FonMins’ Deputies on the failure of the London talks3 and recommend the following action:

I. Timing of submission of the abbreviated treaty.

The High Commissioners agree that the three FonMins should issue a statement referring to and reiterating the invitation [Page 1739]of 28 December 1951,4 to the Sovs to resume negotiations for the conclusion of the Aust state treaty; indicating the grave view they take of further delays in concluding the treaty on which so much time has already been expended; and intimating that they are considering ways and means of carrying out the Moscow declaration and thus fulfilling their pledge to restore Aust independence and sovereignty. Points which might be included are: (a) The Moscow declaration; (b) Austria, the first country to be occupied by Hitler, has still not regained its full sovereignty; (c) Serious restriction of Aust sovereignty in the absence of a treaty; (d) Western powers continuing desire to conclude a treaty; (e) Ardent desire of the Austs to see withdrawal of foreign troops from their country.
In the event of no reply being received, or an unsatisfactory reply, the three FonMin’s at the earliest convenient date thereafter, and preferably between Feb 29 and March 15, should in three identical notes to the Sov Govt make an explanatory statement which would start by noting this fact. Statement should go on to summarize their aims in regard to Aust and outline their motives in submitting therewith the abbreviated treaty as a basis for resumption of negotiations. The text of the note with the abbreviated treaty would be published immediately after delivery. The white paper would also be published.

The manner of the presentation of the points to be made in the note covering the abbreviated treaty will have to be decided in the light of Sov reactions to the communication of February 13 but they ought no doubt to include a recapitulation of the points made in that communication and make it clear that the Western powers are determined to support the prohibition on the Anschluss (see Para II (1) below) and the maintenance of a democratic govt and democratic institutions in Austria. (See Section II (3) below). The note would add that the abbreviated treaty which at this stage is an alternative for the old treaty is to be regarded as a basis for resuming negotiations and in view of its brevity and simplicity the Western powers hope it will enable occupation forces to be withdrawn. The statement should invite the Sov Govt to reopen discussion on the basis on the new draft. The HICOM’s recommend that the final draft text of the note to the Soviet should be sent to them before it is submitted to the Sov Govt so as to enable them to obtain the final view of the Aust Govt.

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II. Text of abbreviated treaty.

Prohibition of the Anschluss. The HICOM’s agree that this point should be covered. They have considered two alternative means of doing so—
A proposal to insert a second paragraph to Article 2 reading as follows: “The Allied and associated powers declare that political or economic union (Anschluss) between Aust and Germany is prohibited. Aust fully recognizes its responsibility in this matter.
A proposal for a special declaration by the three Western powers in which the Soviet would be invited to join. Having consulted Aust Ministers, the HICOM’s suggest course (B), and that the Western intention to deal with the point in this way should be made clear to the Sov Govt at the time the abbreviated treaty is presented. (If this suggestion is accepted notice to the Sov Govt should be given in the note covering the abbreviated treaty). The HICOM’s further suggest that if course (B) is adopted consideration should be given to the future accession to the declaration of the govt of Western Germany.
Restriction of Austrian armed forces. Notwithstanding the French HICOM’s instructions, it is considered from the local point of view, that it would be preferable to include no reference to Aust armed forces.
Democratic Austria. In the course of the Western HICOM’s discussions with the Aust Ministers, the Vice Chancellor stated that the Austrians attached importance to the inclusion of provisions to maintain a democratic regime and democratic institutions. The Chancellor and the Foreign Minister agreed. The HICOM’s agreed that this request would best be met by inclusion in the note to the Sov Govt covering the abbreviated treaty.

The Vice Chancellor in a subsequent meeting with the Brit HICOM clarified his request. He suggested that the note should specifically include a guarantee of human rights, the maintenance of anti-Nazi and anti-Fascist legislation and the exclusion of the Hapsburgs (see Article 7 and 10 of the long treaty draft).

The HICOM’s have considered the Vice Chancellor’s request and have agreed that if his wish is to be met the points should also best be made in the note to the Sov Govt covering the abbreviated treaty. In such a case Austria would be expected to maintain in force the Aust constitutional provisions for the protection of human rights and the fundamental freedoms and to retain legislative provisions repealing measures introduced between 5 March 1933 and 30 April 1945, which conflict with these requirements. Austria would also be expected to maintain the principles of anti-Nazi legislation in force and to maintain the law of 3 April 1919 concerning the exclusion of the House of Hapsburg Lorraine.

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The HICOM’s considered the necessity and desirability of meeting the Vice Chancellor’s request. The advantages of the inclusion of the Vice Chancellor’s points are:

It would curtail the Sov and could block propaganda which would follow if these items were excluded; the implication of the exclusion being that the Western powers are no longer interested in the maintenance of anti-Nazi and anti-Fascist legislation and the exclusion of the House of Hapsburg.
It would in particular assist the Socialist Party against adverse propaganda aimed by the Communists at the socialist rank and file and it would enable the Socialist Party to give the fullest support to the abbreviated treaty.
It might make the text of the abbreviated treaty more attractive to the Soviet.

The disadvantages are:

It would contradict the purpose of the abbreviated treaty inasmuch as it invites the Sov to request that the relevant clauses of the long treaty draft should be added to the abbreviated treaty (see Article 9 and Sov additions thereto).
It would contradict the spirit of the abbreviated treaty which seeks to carry out the Moscow declaration in the simplest way.
It would indicate that the Western powers do not trust the Aust Govt to maintain in force existing constitutional provisions which cover these points and might imply that the Western powers are not satisfied, e.g., with the state of denazification.
The inclusion would be primarily directed towards satisfying the wishes of a single party. The HICOM’s were inclined to think that the disadvantages of inclusion outweighed the advantages.

III. Alleviation of the burden of occupation.

The HICOM’s and the Aust Ministers they have consulted agreed that measures of alleviation offer no alternative to the action recommended in part I above.
The HICOM’s and the Aust Ministers agree further that at this stage the existing control agreement appears to be the best that Austria can expect until a treaty is signed, and that its integrity and operation must in no way be prejudiced.
The HICOM’s recommend therefore that action to reduce the burden of occupation be confined to local action in the Allied Council and be aimed primarily at the restriction of Sov interferences in Aust affairs and the prevention of Sov abuse of the control agreement.
The HICOM’s agree that the relinquishment of occupation costs, reduction of troops and derequisitioning are of paramount importance to the Austrians. But they recognize that the financial position of the Brit and French Govts at this time precludes any quadripartite agreement on the abolition of occupation costs; that West military forces in Aust should not be withdrawn from Austria [Page 1742]until Sov forces have been evacuated from the country; and that derequisitioning must be left to the discretion and resources of each element in consultation with the Aust Government.
The HICOM’s consider that there are reasonable prospects of quadripartite agreement on a number of minor measures of alleviation on items reflected in points 4–20 of the Federal Chancellor’s note of March 1950; certain of these have for some time been under discussion in the Allied Council, e.g., censorship, arrest of Aust citizens and freedom of communication.
The HICOM’s recommend that this action in the Allied Council should be continued pending the Sov reaction to the abbreviated treaty. Should this latter be rejected or ignored over a period of time, the three Western powers might wish to consider whether, in the light of the circumstances thus treated, a proposal for some modification of occupation controls should be made. Meanwhile, the HICOM’s agree that a meeting of representatives of the three Western elements shld be set up to consider further action along the lines proposed in para (3) above.”

HICOM’s further agreed that preliminary draft of proposed FonMin announcement and note to Sov Govt presenting abbreviated treaty would be prepared by Vienna group for consideration by FonMin’s. Subsequently Vienna group will consider white paper and bring text up to date.5

  1. Repeated to Bonn for Reber and to London and Paris.
  2. Telegram 1968 noted the concurrence of the Department of State in the preliminary recommendations of the three Western High Commissioners concerning strategy for dealing with the Austrian Treaty. (396.1 LO/2–252) The preliminary recommendations were transmitted to the Department of State in telegram 2537 from Vienna, Feb. 2. (396.1 LO/2–252)
  3. For a summary of the Deputies’ reports, see telegram 3224 from London, Document 790.
  4. Regarding this invitation, see Document 780.
  5. In telegram 2016 to Vienna, repeated to London, Paris, and Bonn, the Department of State expressed gratification at the measure of agreement on the Austrian Treaty program as outlined in telegram 2591 and stated a hope that this program would be approved by their respective governments requiring only pro forma Foreign Minister action during the meetings scheduled for London. (396.1 LO/2–752)