23. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State 1
1796. Members Austrian delegation are if anything even more optimistic after today’s conversations than they were this morning. Kreisky gave me following fill-in on highlights today’s discussion:
- On troop withdrawal, Soviets proposed six months after entry into force of treaty but Austrians stuck to their position that 90 days provided for in treaty was adequate. While Soviets did not withdraw from six-month period, they did not state that it was essential and Austrian impression is that they would eventually accept three-month period.
- On oil properties, Soviet proposal was one-half of Austrian oil production over six-year period; and for Danube shipping assets, a fixed and relatively small one-lump-sum payment.
- On declaration neutrality and guarantee, Soviets said they were willing to have Austrian declaration and four-power guarantee made after ratification of treaty so that it might come from sovereign government. They, however, wish word “neutrality” in some form inserted into Austrian declaration submitted at Berlin.2 On four-power guarantee, Soviets have presented no draft but referred to example of Switzerland and to 1815 statement of five powers concerning Switzerland which apparently in addition to respecting Swiss neutrality contains guarantee of independence and territorial integrity Switzerland. Soviets referred in this connection to practice developed in field of neutrality by Swiss. At tomorrow’s meeting Austrians will endeavor to obtain clarification as to exactly what Soviets have in mind especially in regard to right of Austria to join UN and other international or regional organizations of a non-military nature.
- Soviets were in agreement with Austrian position of undesirability of attempting to reopen any agreed articles of draft treaty with exception of those relating to economic assets but indicated willingness to revise or even drop a number of clauses which are now outmoded, i.e., concerning war criminals. Austrians welcome this development but do not consider points of sufficient importance to warrant renegotiation if there is any doubt on part three Western powers.
At Austrian Embassy reception this afternoon Molotov again went out of way to underline Soviet recognition that ultimate decision rests on agreement among four powers and Austria. He told us that Soviet Government welcomed fact that Austrian delegation was keeping three Western representatives here currently informed on course discussions and several times expressed hope to three of us [Page 38] that their efforts here would meet with approval our governments. We, of course, told him that all we could do is to report developments during discussions to our governments and restated our general position concerning desire of achieving acceptable Austrian treaty.
There will be further meetings tomorrow at an hour yet to be determined but Austrian delegation has stated they will have final informative briefing with Western representatives at close of discussion tomorrow. Present plans are for Austrian delegation to leave Friday morning for Vienna.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/4–1355. Secret; Niact. Repeated to London, Paris, and Vienna.↩
- For documentation on discussion of the Austrian problem at the Berlin Conference, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. vii, Part 1, pp. 1061 ff.↩