13. Telegram From the Office of the High Commissioner for Austria to the Department of State1
Vienna, March 25, 1955—7 p.m.
2122. West HICOMs agreed today on following:
- We do not believe that Raab can refuse Soviet invitation and in fact may have committed himself already to accept if formal invitation received. (Kreisky informed French few days ago that it had been agreed that if Raab made visit he would take Schaerf.) We therefore believe it would be useless and unwise for us to attempt to prevent Raab’s acceptance. (Our own sources indicate that the Soviets [Socialists] are inclined to send Kreisky rather than Schaerf in order retain greater freedom of action.)
- We believe it important to put Austrian Treaty question back on a 4-Power basis, with Austria participating, as soon as possible.
- We believe best procedure would be for 3 West Powers to make declaration text of which could be transmitted officially to Austrian and Soviet Governments through diplomatic channels before Raab’s visit. Such declaration would have purpose of bringing treaty discussions back on 4-Power basis and of aiding Raab to avoid making commitments. We will submit suggestions of points to be covered by such declaration which we believe should be brief and positive.2
- We consider Working Group should meet urgently in London or Paris to work out text such declaration as well as to coordinate our policies toward eventual treaty negotiations. It is unlikely that Raab’s visit would take place in less than 2 weeks although Austrian Government will probably have to reply to invitation within a few days after meeting of 4 Ambassadors here Monday. (Because of Chauvel’s knowledge of Austrian problem I believe French would be disposed to agree to Working Group meeting in London.)
- We believe Raab should be cautioned not to make any commitments which would prejudice negotiations. My colleagues were not disposed to mention any specific points upon which Raab should be cautioned, but we will endeavor forward suggestions as to points upon which Working Group might endeavor reach tripartite agreement with respect to negotiations. It may be that Working Group may wish recommend that our position on some of these points be made clear to Raab before his departure.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/3–2555. Secret; Priority. Repeated to London, Paris, and Bonn.↩
- The suggestions, transmitted in telegram 2128 from Vienna, March 25, contained a review of the U.S. attitude on the Austrian question and a statement that the present moment might be opportune to undertake again negotiations on Austria with Austrian participation, and concluded that the means of resuming negotiations should be studied through diplomatic channels. (Ibid.)↩