663.001/7–753: Telegram

No. 873
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Austria1


78. Department concerned Austrians may have been conducting negotiations with Soviets without prior consultation Western Powers and in manner likely jeopardize Western efforts on behalf Austria especially as regards Article 35 and neutrality. Reference Vienna 3489,2 3497,3 22,4 and 42,5 London 66956 and 54,7 Paris [Page 1870] 66238 and Moscow 16.9 Recent Austro-Soviet contacts, direct and through Indians, may have confirmed Soviet analysis of Western position and possibly indicated to Soviets that Austrians not completely in accord therewith.

Department therefore concurs with British proposal, London 54 and Moscow 16, and suggests in your discretion you speak directly to coalition leaders or recommend meeting between West HICOMs and them in which British could indicate their concern with which feeling you and French could associate yourselves. Department inclined believe Austrians have kept us better informed than British but following points could be brought up. West has always cleared all questions re Austria with Austrians before approaching Soviets but Austrians do not seem to be following same plan. If Western Powers are to push Austrian interests in any future multilateral meetings our position cannot be undercut in above fashion. Invitation to Soviets through Indians to make Austrians neutrality proposal is especially damaging. If as seems probable Soviets have now made it clear they will not settle Austria ahead of Germany, any concessions to Soviets now gain nothing in final settlement but merely weaken final bargaining position. While Department welcomes of course anything Austrians can accomplish locally to alleviate Soviet occupation policies Department thinks this must not be done through concessions by Austrians affecting final settlement.

Department assumes above meeting will develop precise nature Austro-Soviet and Austro-Indian discussions.

  1. Drafted by Collins, Rutter, and E. P. Allen, and cleared with Byington and Bonbright. Repeated to Paris, London, and Moscow.
  2. Telegram 3489 reported that there were various rumors circulating in Vienna regarding secret deals between Austria and the Soviet Union, but the Embassy was unable to substantiate any of them. (661.63/6–2453)
  3. Document 871.
  4. Telegram 22 summarized reports concerning Austro-Soviet discussions relating to the treaty. (663.001/7–253)
  5. Telegram 42 reported that Raab visited Thompson on July 4 and in the course of the discussion assured Thompson that the Austrians had conducted no negotiations with the Russians. When Thompson referred to reports of Gruber’s talk with Nehru, Raab remarked, “Foreign Ministers are dangerous people.” (763.00/7–453)
  6. Telegram 6695 quoted newspaper reports of secret negotiations between the Austrians and the Soviet Government. (661.63/6–2253)
  7. Telegram 54 informed the Department of State that the British were concerned with Gruber’s failure to reveal frankly his effort to get Nehru to intercede with the Soviets concerning the treaty negotiations. (663.001/7–353)
  8. Telegram 6623 reported French concern with the alleged Austro-Soviet negotiations. (663.001/6–2553)
  9. Telegram 16 reported that Bischoff had shown little disposition to keep either the British, French, or U.S. representatives in Moscow informed of developments concerning the Austrian Treaty and noted that rumors were spreading in Moscow concerning the opening of a confidential bilateral channel with the Soviet Government for the purpose of settling the Austrian Treaty question without consultation with the West. (661.6324/7–453)