52. Telegram From the Delegation at the Vienna Ambassadorial Conference to the Department of State1

2639. Dept pass USIA. Fifth Ambassadorial Conference with US Ambassador presiding resumed discussion Article 38.2 Result of half-hour sparring was that Figl withdrew original Austrian proposal and supported US counter proposal,3 while Soviet Ambassador reserved his position.

On Article 42 British reserved position. Soviet Ambassador asked for Austrian views adding his belief this article of great importance to Austria. Figl reserved right to return.

On Article 45 paragraph 1 US regretted unable support Austrian proposal since it would expose US possible claims and suits in international courts.4 Added one category of such claims would be Nazi collaborators whose property had not been returned. British and French also accepted US position. Soviet Ambassador asked article remain unchanged. Thereupon Figl withdrew his proposal and paragraph 1 retained.

On paragraph 2 Article 45 Figl reserved position expressing hope Austria soon would reach agreement with Yugoslavs in direct negotiations making deletion paragraph 2 possible.

On Articles 48, 49, 59 and annexes one or more delegates reserved position.

Figl mentioned Preamble again but prepared to discuss after other articles agreed.

On Article 33 French clarified yesterday’s proposal5 by including references to paragraph 3 in paragraphs 2 and 5. British prepared accept French proposal with US Ambassador adding hope that December 31, 1955 would be meaningless due earlier withdrawal. Soviet Ambassador requested consideration his proposal and asked if his colleagues had any new propositions regarding Soviet view on Article 35. When all indicated none he stated he had nothing to add. Session thereupon recessed and then went into restricted meeting.

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Upon reconvening conference agreed US proposal issue interim communiqué6 and adjourn until Monday.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–VI/5–655. Secret; Niact. Repeated to Moscow, Paris, London, and Bonn, and pouched to Rome.
  2. The meeting was held from 2:30 to 5:37 p.m. on May 6 with the same heads of delegation present as at previous meetings. The official verbatim conference minutes of this session were transmitted as an enclosure to despatch 1302 from Vienna, May 11. (Ibid., 396.1–VI/5–1155) For a report on the restricted part of the meeting, see telegram 2641, infra.
  3. Regarding these proposals, see Document 45.
  4. Regarding the Austrian proposal on Article 45, see ibid.
  5. Regarding the French proposal on Article 33, see Document 47.
  6. The text of the communiqué was transmitted in telegram 2640 from Vienna, May 6. (Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–VI/5–655)