22. Telegram From the Embassy in Austria to the Department of State1

827. Political Director Foreign Office Haymerle2 said considering recommending Figl request US intervention South Tyrol question possibly by note both countries urging moderation and settlement outstanding differences. Thought Austria could be satisfied relatively small concessions but present course events appeared leading appeal to United Nations which would be bad for Austria, Italy and West generally. While no question resort to force situation otherwise developing along lines Cyprus problem and longer present trends continue more difficult solution would be. Requested my personal reaction proposed démarche. I discouraged any such step at this time pointing out formal US intervention would if known magnify problem. Stated certain our Embassy Rome in any conversations on subject would automatically urge moderation.

In discussing problem generally took strong line critical Austrian actions with purpose discouraging Austrians from attempting force issue on basis expectation support from US. Said felt sure Italians prepared make series small concessions where non-compliance agreement clear but appointment Schnitzer and public agitation issue appeared leading to attempt reach comprehensive package solution which my opinion unlikely succeed since any concessions Italians likely make would not enable Austrian Government assure Tyroleans problem had been solved and would therefore be rejected. Best approach would be step by step procedure but difficult see how this could be accomplished in view present agitation problem in Austria. Pointed out US intervention would add to pressure for comprehensive solution. Added however US always ready assist friends resolve their problems and wished give matter further thought.

Figl and Austrian Foreign Office exerting moderating influence and I share their concern present trend of events. Believe best course would be combine informal pressure on Austrians to restrain public agitation and for Italians to take promptly even a few minor steps to assist them doing this and break present trend toward an all or nothing solution. Have mailed Washington and Rome text Austrian [Page 42] memo to Italians3 obtained in confidential form from diplomatic colleague.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 663.65/10–1056. Secret. Repeated to Rome.
  2. Heinrich Haymerle, head of the Political Division in the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  3. The memorandum and corrections to it were transmitted in despatches 336, October 16, and 356, October 19. (Both in Department of State, Central Files, 663.65 10–1656)