25. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State1

1811. Reference: Embtel 1810.2 Three Western representatives met with Figl and Kreisky this morning and were able to clear up number points left obscure by Bischoff yesterday (18083). There was apparently no difficulty in regard to communiqué but last night’s dinner at Kremlin made it impossible to get final agreed text and [Page 40] translations done in time for release yesterday evening. Communiqué will be released 3 p.m. Moscow time.4 Communiqué outlines in general results of talks and refers to desirability early conclusion Austrian Treaty; reaffirmation by Austrian delegation of Berlin Conference declaration concerning military alliances and bases5 and intention pursue policy independence; Soviet willingness for troops of occupying powers to be withdrawn after entry into force treaty not later than December 31, 1955; referring to tripartite declaration April 56 expresses hope that favorable prospects exist for conclusion treaty by agreement four powers and Austria; 150 million dollars to be paid entirely in Austrian goods; willingness Soviet Government to turn over oil properties against future oil deliveries, and properties DDSG. Communiqué concludes that Supreme Soviet will examine favorable request for release of any Austrians serving Soviet sentences and that by time withdrawal Soviet occupation troops “no Austrian prisoners of war or interned civilians will remain on territory Soviet Union.”7 In addition to communiqué Austrian delegation gave us following confidential information:

Danube River fleet, wharves and other installations will be returned in toto to Austria against compensation 2 million dollars.
All oil properties, refineries etc., will be returned to Austria in return for 10 million tons of oil to be delivered over period 10 years.
Mixed Commission will be set up to negotiate trade agreement between Austria and Soviet Union.
On neutrality, Austria will make a declaration concerning its intention not to engage in military alliances or accept bases on territory along lines Berlin declaration. Austrians obtained definite statement from Semenov that policy neutrality would not preclude Austria’s membership UN; on contrary Soviet Union would facilitate such entry.
On guarantee, Soviets stated their willingness to participate in guarantee of independence and territorial integrity Austria which would be requested by Austrian Government of four powers. Austrian declaration and guarantee would not be part of or attached to treaty but would be made after ratification. Guarantee would be confined to four powers and no mention was made of other countries joining in. Soviets presented no text or gave any specific indication of what form this guarantee should take. This therefore remains chief unclear point in Soviet position but Austrians perhaps unduly [Page 41] so did not anticipate any stepped-up Soviet demands on this point. Soviets continued to make reference to Swiss model.
Austrians emphasized that communiqué does not contain details on economic questions nor any reference to neutrality or guarantee and expressed hope this would be kept confidential.
Results conversations were recorded in aide-mémoire8 initialed by both parties which contained statement that Austrian delegation would endeavor to obtain Parliamentary approval for positions adopted at Moscow.
As to future procedure, no time was set for four-power conference with Austrian participation but both agreed to recommend Vienna as place. We gather that Austrian Government will immediately undertake necessary consultations with three Western powers in order to accelerate final conclusion treaty.
Soviets were extremely amiable at last night’s dinner and no toasts or speeches were made which contained attacks on any country. Molotov repeatedly stated that conclusion Austrian Treaty was not matter for Soviets and Austrians alone but required agreement among four occupying powers. He also expressed view that conclusion Austrian Treaty would be indication possibility settling other outstanding questions between great powers by negotiation.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/4–1555. Secret; Niact. Repeated to London, Paris, and Vienna.
  2. Telegram 1810 reported that the publication of the communiqué had been delayed until April 15 and that Bohlen was meeting with the Austrian Delegation at 10:45 a.m. on that day. (Ibid.)
  3. Supra.
  4. For text of the communiqué, see Department of State Bulletin, May 2, 1955, pp. 734–735 or Documents (R.I.I.A.) for 1955, pp. 223–224.
  5. For text of proposals regarding Austria, made at the Berlin Conference, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. vii, Part 2, pp. 1193–1203.
  6. See Document 20.
  7. On April 14 Bohlen reported that the Austrian Delegation had petitioned the Soviet Union for the release of Austrians detained in the Soviet Union for war crimes. (Telegram 1801 from Moscow; Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/4–1455)
  8. For a summary of this aide-mémoire, see telegram 2331, infra.