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

2820. Department appreciates greatly analysis Moscow (Embtel 16902) current developments re Austrian Treaty and various analyses from Vienna. Following may be helpful as background should Raab contact Bohlen during Moscow visit but constitutes only preliminary views which we particularly do not wish other governments have for present.

We inclined place more emphasis on Soviet German objective than in analysis first two paras reftel. Would add three other points that have also been raised in previous cable: (1) discussion Austrian question may offer Soviets opportunity discuss German problem on their terms rather than in context we would wish to deal with it; (2) pretexts, being concurrently built up could be used as justification for harsh Soviet action in Austria, which could go as far as partition should Soviets find themselves unable attain objectives otherwise; with the possibility Soviets may have some plan incorporate eastern [Page 34] Austria in threatened formalization [formation?] Eastern military bloc. The Soviets probably attempting retain flexibility through various alternatives. In any event agree with Vienna choice probably no longer between treaty and status quo. Soviet effort along lines your third and fourth paras seems likely but consider probable Soviets will not expose hand sufficiently during Raab visit to permit easy Austrian refusal.

Tentative thinking re maximum US positions is:

Assuming Soviets would not accept unilateral Austrian declaration re military alliances and foreign troops and bases we might be willing deal with both neutrality and Anschluss questions by four-power declaration promising respect Austrian neutrality and integrity. Realize this adds little to Articles 2 and 4 draft treaty. Other European nations would be invited adhere and West Germany asked undertake formal adherence.
Would seek agreement immediate Austrian UN membership but in any event would insist only enforcement provisions would be those in UN Charter.
Points 1 and 2 acceptable only if Austria permitted treaty army and free to obtain arms where it chooses, no bars erected to Austria joining multilateral economic and political organizations, Article 35 amended to eliminate Soviet operation oil and shipping, Soviets have no reentry right.
If other aspects negotiations reach acceptable results, fixed troop withdrawal date up to two years from ratification provided agreement reached on functions of forces and retention zones occupation and control machinery until evacuation.

While concur desirability Raab keeping Western Ambassadors in Moscow currently informed, there is danger that he might use this as substitute for tripartite consultations should he succumb, despite our warnings, to Soviet pressure to make concessions in Moscow.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/3–3155. Top Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Freund on April 7, cleared by Beam and Barbour, and signed by Merchant for the Secretary of State. Also sent to Moscow and repeated to London and Paris.
  2. Document 17.
  3. On April 12 Thompson cabled that he was “most pleased” with the line of thinking set forth in this telegram, but cautioned the Department of State about use of the word “neutrality” in connection with Austria. (Telegram 2292 from Vienna; Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/4–1255)