No. 808
The Ambassador at Large (Jessup) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State (Matthews)


Dear Doc: George Perkins and I thought it would be useful if I sent this letter to you and Jack Hickerson supplementing the telegraphic report from Vienna1 on the conversations with Foreign Minister Gruber concerning the Austrian plans for getting the question of the Austrian Treaty before the United Nations. We left Vienna before seeing the telegram reporting on these talks and I do not know how much detail has already been given to you. However, since the Secretary told Gruber that he would have our experts begin to consider this matter immediately, this letter may be of use.

Gruber raised the question on several different occasions. He talked with George Perkins briefly and with me at some greater length on the first evening we were in Vienna. In the conversation with me Mr. Vollgruber, the Austrian Secretary General for Foreign Affairs, participated. He raised it again with the Secretary during the Secretary’s call on him the next morning. After Gruber’s lunch on that day, George Perkins, Dowling and I stayed on for an extended talk with Gruber and Vollgruber.

The essence of their position is that they need to keep up some activity in connection with the Treaty in order to sustain the morale of the Austrian people. In this connection, George mentioned that we might have to send another note to the Soviets asking them why they did not reply to our two inquiries about the short form of the Treaty. Dr. Gruber thought that it would be helpful, but not enough. He believes that a simple resolution adopted [Page 1767]by the General Assembly calling on the Four Powers to get ahead with the Austrian Treaty as a contribution to international peace would be useful. He is not too hopeful that this would have an effect on the Russians, but did comment on the fact that they do not like publicity about their stand on the Austrian Treaty. In the course of one of his talks with me he referred rather vaguely to the possibility of some further action in the United Nations in 1953.

The Austrians have gone rather far with their diplomatic preparations. They hope that a resolution would be sponsored by a group of States which are neutral in this question. They are sending someone to discuss the matter in Delhi, Karachi and the Arab States. They count on Sweden’s support and apparently received assurances during his recent trip to Yugoslavia that the Yugoslavs will support. Gruber himself or someone in his place will make a tour of Latin America soon to enlist Latin American support. The Austrians had considered asking NATO countries to join in sponsoring the Resolution but had decided this would not be desirable. They would, of course, expect all of the NATO powers to support the Resolution when it was introduced.

I reminded Gruber of the Syrian-Mexican Resolution and pointed out that it would require careful planning to make sure that if the group of States he has in mind introduced a Resolution on the Austrian Treaty, someone did not broaden the Resolution in such a way as to decrease the emphasis on the Austrian case. I suggested also that sponsoring States would need to be briefed on the importance of not allowing the Russians to complicate the issue by introducing an amendment on Trieste for example.

In regard to procedure, we also discussed the fact that the German elections item in the last Assembly was based on our transmittal of Adenauer’s letter. We raised the question without answering it whether the Austrians should write a letter which could be transmitted. In this connection Gruber said that they were going to send a communication to all members of the UN giving a factual summary of the whole history of the Austrian Treaty negotiation. This statement will not be argumentative but will survey all of the various negotiations and proposals. He indicated that it would be relatively brief since he said it would not be in the nature of “a White Paper”.

We also discussed the time at which the item should be put on the agenda. I was somewhat hazy in my recollection of the rule, but Vollgruber said they understood the dead-line for the written submission of items was in the middle of August. Gruber thought this gave them very little time to perfect their plans. We discussed a little bit the question of putting it on later as an emergency item, [Page 1768]noting in this connection the question whether a two-thirds vote would then be necessary.

We also discussed the kind of debate which would be most helpful to Austria if the item were put on the agenda. Gruber seemed to think that a clear statement of the record of the position of the Three Powers would be helpful, but I thought that he had a hope that we would not get the debate into bitter recrimination.

We discussed also the question whether the Austrians would request permission to appear and make a statement on their own behalf They had not thought much about this and on this, as on other points, would welcome our advice.

Since they are in any case moving ahead rather rapidly with their discussions with other countries, and since the Secretary assured Gruber that we would give the matter immediate attention and then consult with them further, I hope that the Department will examine all of the angles mentioned above, and any others which occur to them, and then go over the details with the Austrians either in Washington or in Vienna.

One further point. George Perkins asked Gruber whether he had consulted with the French and British. Apparently they have not done so but we urged them to do it since we thought our three Delegations in New York would undoubtedly discuss this matter.

Sincerely yours,

  1. Reference to telegram 22 from Vienna, July 2 (663.001/7–252), which summarized the discussions with Gruber, reported in more detail in this letter to Matthews.