55. Notes of the Delegation to the North Atlantic Council Staff Meeting, Paris, May 8, 1955, 11 p.m.1

Ambassador Thompson asked for final guidance before returning to Vienna.

It was agreed that the Foreign Ministers meeting in Vienna should be on the basis of the Four Powers plus Austria. The Secretary was anxious that the question of chairmanship should not delay proceedings.

Ambassador Thompson reported there seemed to be agreement among the three Western Powers on the question of guarantees.

It was agreed that Austrian UN membership should be supported and Austria would probably be admitted ahead of the other countries which are being excluded. It was important not to imply that Austrian UN membership had been brought about as a result of a Four-Power deal which might affect the application of other countries.

Ambassador Thompson observed the Soviets might reject our fall-back position on Article 35, namely that the Austro-Soviet bilateral should be annexed to the treaty. He suggested a second fall-back position to the effect that the Soviet Government be asked to give us a note stating that it does not interpret the agreement as permitting reoccupation of the oil fields. It would also be necessary that the Austrians and Soviets agree on the unsettled points arising from the Moscow Agreement, particularly the date of the release of the properties.

The Secretary observed that he and the President were worried that the Austrians might be concluding a “broken treaty” since Article 35 would not be carried out in the terms in which it is written. The Secretary wished to avoid the possibility of a Soviet claim of breach under circumstances which would prevent Article 55, which dealt with arbitration, from being invoked. It was suggested that this difficulty could be overcome by making it clear in the treaty that the application of Article 35 would be modified in accordance with the Moscow Agreement.

[Here follow two brief paragraphs on the work of the Disarmament Subcommittee in London and a Four-Power meeting.]

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 60 D 627, CF 445. Drafted by Beam; the meeting took place at the American Ambassador’s Residence.