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

2445. Gruber came in today to inform us of information just received from Foreign Office concerning substance Vienna’s 1882, 1895 and 19062 plus latest talk Bischoff had with Molotov.3 According [Page 5] Gruber, Bischoff told Molotov matter guarantee against Anschluss must receive Four-Power consideration and could not be concluded solely between Soviet Union and Austria. Molotov agreed. Bischoff requested clarification concerning type guarantee Molotov had in mind and Molotov answered that Soviet clarification could not be given until Austrian Government has answered Molotov speech February 8. Gruber reported Soviets pressing Austrian Government to call for Four-Power meeting and his view Soviets do not have in mind meeting deal exclusively with Austrian question. He believes Soviets capable exerting sufficient pressure force Austrians at least call for conference solely on Austria and that Soviets would object.

Gruber said he has no instructions request US views now and is not asking for them although he did. Austrian Government will however wish adopt course completely in line with US policy and he hopes therefore when issue clarified US guidance can be furnished early next week. We told Gruber further report regard matter expected soon from Vienna and that upon receipt thereof matter would be considered further.

Request your recommendations on position US should adopt. Still contemplate tripartite coordination Vienna and dealing with Austrians through you but Gruber will expect be informed.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/3–355. Top Secret; Priority; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Allen, cleared by Jones, and signed for the Acting Secretary of State by Freund. Repeated to London, Paris, and Moscow.
  2. Telegram 1882, supra. Telegram 1895 reported that the Austrian Foreign Office was drafting a reply to Molotov which would ask for Soviet suggestions on preventing Anschluss. (Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/2–855) Telegram 1906 reported that the reply had been sent to Bischoff as guidance in any further talks with Molotov. (Ibid., 663.001/3–155)
  3. No record of Gruber’s conversation on this subject has been found in Department of State files; however, a three-page memorandum of conversation on other topics, dated March 3, is Ibid., 611.13/3–355.
  4. On March 3 the French Minister at Washington, Gontran Begougne de Juniac, called on Merchant to discuss the Austrian Treaty, asking specifically whether the United States considered closer consultation on the Austrian problem to be necessary. Merchant informed him that he believed consultation among the High Commissioners at Vienna was sufficient. (Memorandum of conversation, March 3; Ibid., 663.001/3-355) The substance of this conversation was cabled to Vienna in telegram 2444, March 3, 6:27 p.m. (Ibid.)