66. Telegram From the Delegation at the Vienna Ambassadorial Conference to the Delegation at the North Atlantic Council Ministerial Meeting, at Paris1

425. USDel for Merchant. Soviets agreed to French proposal on Article 33 and only important outstanding question remains Article 35.2 I put forward simplified Annex which was telephoned to Paris today.3 Soviets had apparently not realized before our willingness agree to inclusion firm prohibition transfer East zone oil fields to foreign ownership. Soviet position was however firmly maintained and Austrians are convinced they will not yield on modification Article 35. They thought Soviets might be willing to attach Annex provided no reference to it in Article 35. Ilyichev agreed to study our proposal and when I suggested meeting tomorrow morning he asked that we not meet before 3 pm indicating that he will at least seek new instructions. If this fails we can still put forward proposal referred to in Polto 604 which I did not table today because of French reluctance. [Page 104] This would doubtless mean however he could not obtain instructions to accept it before Friday.

Secretary may wish consider personal message to Molotov either now or after tomorrow’s meeting if Soviets reject our proposal. If President correctly quoted Soviets may be misled on firmness our position although I made it absolutely clear to Ilyichev privately today. While fully convinced of soundness of our position it is clear that if we maintain it and agreement not reached Friday at the latest conference can not take place as planned and there will be a considerable delay in conclusion of treaty. In these circumstances and in view of Soviet concessions on Article 16 and military clauses, I believe Secretary would be in difficult position before world opinion if he did not come to Vienna to make attempt persuade Molotov personally, particularly if Macmillan, for reasons of election, should indicate his willingness to come. I believe it will be difficult to present issue public clearly enough to justify refusal of Ministers to meet. It would seem to me Secretary could cover his position by stating that he was coming to Vienna, but that unless this point was resolved in manner to deprive Soviets of right of economic reoccupation he could not sign treaty. If Molotov arrives in time, meeting might be held Saturday afternoon allowing time for any changes in treaty text to be made for Sunday signature. I still have strong hope however that Soviets will yield.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 396.1–VI/5–1155. Secret; Niact. Repeated to London, Moscow, and Washington. The source text is the copy sent to Washington.
  2. For a report on the rest of the restricted part of the eighth meeting, see telegram 428, supra.
  3. Transmitted in telegram 431, infra.
  4. Not printed; this proposal reads:

    “This Article is subject to the pertinent economic provisions of the memorandum of understanding between the USSR and Austria signed at Moscow April 15, 1955 and to an appropriate bilateral agreement in implementation thereof to be concluded between the two Governments.” (Department of State, Central Files, 663.001/5–1155)