14. Telegram From the Department of State to the Office of the High Commissioner for Austria1

2666. Agree importance maximum strengthening Raab’s posture prior his departure Moscow (Vienna’s 21222) but disturbed by suggestion [Page 21] Vienna’s 21233 we might imply we find latest Soviet maneuvers give reliable basis for assuming they have in fact modified their basic policy regarding Austria. In line Deptel 26584 to Vienna would prefer limit present action to tripartite approach to Raab prior his departure Vienna and perhaps statement to press in reply questions that Raab visit Moscow matter for him decide but that any treaty matter subject four-power determination.

Hope London and Paris will be able obtain British and French support for Secretary’s line contained Deptel 2658 as basis tripartite approach Raab. Substance given both British and French Embassies here. In addition agree include reproach to Raab over points made March 22 speech (Vienna’s 2099 para 25) and also indicate our attitude on neutralization (Paris 41136) under same reserve as on guarantee against Anschluss. Basically West position unchanged and willing consider additional Soviet demands only upon clarification by Soviets. As Secretary informed Gruber we are agreeable consider Raab’s views upon his return, after which West’s position will be determined.

Also prefer leave establishment working group in abeyance at this time, but agree force your arguments in favor Paris or London.

Department has been giving thought to possible explanation Soviet initiative as stated (para 2–c Moscow’s 16377).

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/3–2555. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Freund, cleared by Beam, and signed by Merchant for the Secretary of State. Also sent to London and Paris and repeated to Bonn and Moscow.
  2. Supra.
  3. Presumably a reference to telegram 2128 (see footnote 2, supra) which was initially numbered 2123 on the copy in Department of State files.
  4. See footnote 1, Document 12.
  5. Telegram 2099 reported on Raab’s speech to the Austrian Cabinet on March 22, stating that Raab had agreed to a neutral Austria guaranteed by the four powers. Thompson proposed a tripartite reproach to Raab for making concessions to the Soviet Union. (Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/3–2355)
  6. Not printed. (Ibid., 663.001/3–2555)
  7. Telegram 1637 presented several possible reasons for the Soviet initiative on Austria. Paragraph 2–c suggested that the initiative was designed to prepare a propaganda base for Soviet countermeasures in Austria following the ratification of the Paris Agreements. (Ibid., 663.001/3–2455)