663.001/7–953: Telegram

No. 874
The United States High Commissioner for Austria (Thompson) to the Department of State1


92. I forcefully presented to Raab in presence of Gruber points contained in Deptel 78.2 Raab assured me not one word had been or would be exchanged with Soviets concerning state treaty without prior consultation with US. Said PP and Socialists differ openly as to tactics in dealing with Soviets, PP saying thank you for concessions, Socialists immediately demanding more. Stressed he and his party aware concessions cost Soviets nothing and would not be deluded into belief in Soviet change of heart.

I pointed out that whatever intention Gruber approach to Nehru, effect and fact it was made without informing US very disturbing, particularly reference by Indian Ambassador to neutrality which might make Soviets think they had only to press for this in order obtain it. Gruber interjected he had never spoken of neutrality but only Austrian non-participation in military pacts. Raab stressed need for mutual trust and confidence and pointed to Austrian record of courageous anti-communism.

I replied US had full confidence in Austrian Government and their objectives in this matter but urged importance close coordination tactics. In this connection I said hoped Austrians would do nothing particularly in connection with their negotiations with Soviets to lighten burdens of occupations which would compromise our freedom of maneuver in treaty negotiations particularly re Article 35.

In subsequent discussion with Schaerf he said his party had nothing to do with the Indian move. In view enormous assistance Austria had received from US she had duty to consult with US before making any move concerning her future and in her own interest would remain firmly on side of West. Expressed profound distrust of Soviets who want German neutrality and disarmament to permit Soviet domination of Europe. Expressed fear that more naive Austrians might think themselves smarter than Soviets and that America might turn her back on Europe.

Appears clear Gruber acted on his own in Nehru approach with possibly only vague general endorsement from Raab and believe [Page 1872] Gruber’s influence greatly diminished by this incident. Foregoing discussed with Caccia who making similar reports today.

In long conversation with Gruber this morning he attempted justify and rationalize his action on basis necessity prepare now for time when Austrian public opinion would be deceived by Soviet gestures and think treaty could be achieved through Austrian neutrality. Full report by mail3 but clear his basic views on tactics differ fundamentally from ours although he is genuinely anti-Communist. I am convinced of good faith of Raab and Schaerf in this matter and believe solution lies in working more directly with them.

  1. Repeated to Moscow, London, and Paris.
  2. Supra.
  3. Presumably a reference to despatch 100 from Vienna, July 11, in which Thompson summarized his conversations with Raab, Gruber, Schaerf, and Kreisky concerning the treaty negotiations and the contacts with the Soviets through Indian officials. (663.001/7–1153)