26. Telegram From the Office of the High Commissioner for Austria to the Department of State1

2331. Figl and Kreisky this morning informed West HICOMs as follows:

The delegation had signed a memorandum2 which had not committed the government but the 4 members of the delegation undertook make effort obtain assent of Parliament and Western powers. The memo was to be kept confidential. Figl, so far as I could tell, then read virtually the entire memo which following are the outstanding points: [Page 42]


The Austrian Government would make a declaration, after conclusion of the treaty, to the effect that it would enter no military alliances or allow military bases on its territory and that it would behave in a neutral manner comparable to Switzerland. The 4 powers would be asked to take note or undertake to respect (Austrians are very vague on this point) the Austrian declaration.

Kreisky said that in discussion this point Secretary Dulles’ statements at Berlin3 were cited to the effect that once Austria was free she could of course make a declaration of this kind. Austrians said they were fully convinced that without mention of neutrality Soviets would refuse to conclude treaty.

The memo stated that Austria would welcome a 4-power guarantee of integrity and inviolability. Austria will make every effort to obtain such guarantee.
The agreement on oil fields and DDSG was as already reported from Moscow. Only additional point was agreement there be no discrimination against employees of USIA. Soviets orally stated workmen could, of course, be discharged for inefficiency. In discussion of payments to be made under Article 35 Mikoyan recognized Austria could not be expected to supply goods she did not regularly export. Soviets will furnish list of goods desired as basis for discussion and Mixed Commission will work out details. World market prices expressed in American dollars will prevail. Deliveries and prices will be fixed annually. Article 35 to be left as is in treaty but as indicated in bilateral agreement. When I pointed out that so far as West powers were concerned we would have no legal right object should Soviets reoccupy oil fields Austrians indicated probability that Soviets would agree amend the article if we insisted. After long discussion Soviets agreed accept one million tons raw oil per annum for 10 years, quality unspecified, delivered at Austrian frontier. Soviets would accept speeded up deliveries. Soviets claimed reserves amounted to 70 million tons. Austria will be obliged undertake no turnover any German assets in Soviet zone to foreign individuals or companies but indicated they would make no difficulty re small properties.
Occupation forces to leave no later than end 1955. Raab had pressed for fixed date and Soviets for 6 months. Soviets made clear they were prepared both sign and ratify without delay.
It was agreed that various outdated articles in treaty could be dropped including 6, 11, 15, 16 bis. and 36. Soviets also expressed willingness drop 48 bis. if Austrians would give up their claims. Soviets indicated prepared drop other articles if agreement readily reached but not willing engage in long redrafting. Also said that they had no interest in articles concerning only West powers.
It was agreed that Soviet Union and Austria would establish normal trade relations. No date indicated.
Austrians had no clear ideas of future procedure. Cabinet will be informed on Tuesday as well as principal party leaders. Austrians did not know whether Soviets would now send us note. If nothing transpires before 27th Austrians will then call for conference. Soviets [Page 43] agreeable to holding conference in Vienna. I pointed out would be difficult for West powers to determine their policy on larger questions that had been raised until they knew exactly what would be in treaty. I made personal observation this would seem to indicate at least preliminary conference of Ambassadors with Austrian participation. Kreisky said highly important that West react in concrete manner promptly and thought call for meeting of Ambassadors would be best procedure. Kreisky said Bulganin remarked that Austrian treaty question could not have been settled earlier as Soviets had considered that Austrian and German questions should be settled together. They had thought settlement Austrian question would have helped settle German problem but now the German question has been settled in another way. They could continue to remain in Austria but were prepared to settle if none of the big powers gained advantage therefrom. Mikoyan remarked that settlement of problem involving 7 million people could not form precedent for settlement problem involving 70 million. Kreisky said was sure Soviets would use Austrian settlement in their propaganda in Germany but believed they recognized German problem could not be dealt with for time being.

When asked what would be next development in the settlement of Austrian question Mikoyan remarked might be possible make progress on disarmament. He mentioned that development of A-bombs had involved frightful cost to Soviet Union.

Kreisky said at no time during discussions did Soviets make any remarks hostile to West powers.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/4–1655. Secret; Priority. Repeated to London, Paris, and Moscow.
  2. A translation of the full text of the memorandum was transmitted in telegram 2360 from Vienna, April 19. (Ibid., 663.001/4–1955) The German text (along with another translation) was transmitted as an enclosure to despatch 1221 from Vienna, April 20. (Ibid., 663.001/4–2055) The memorandum was made public in May following the signing of the Austrian State Treaty, and is printed in full in Department of State Bulletin, June 20, 1955, pp. 1011–1013.
  3. For Secretary Dulles’ statement on Austria at the Berlin Conference, see Secto 126, Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. vii, Part 1, p. 1066.
  4. On April 19 Bohlen reported that this “account agreed “in all particulars” with the information which he had received from the Austrian Delegation except for two minor points: he had not understood that there would be a separate four-power statement on the Austrian declaration of neutrality and he had understood the reference to troop withdrawal at the end of 1955 meant only in the event the treaty came into force in that year. (Telegram 1838 from Moscow; Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/4–1955)