299. Telegram From the Embassy in Austria to the Department of State0

270. I urge that Platzer be called to Department at early opportunity and told at higher level that we are disturbed over Moscow visit. I feel it should be pointed out to him that Chancellor’s statement at Moscow airport State Treaty was concluded “mainly thanks to the Soviet Union” and that this “proved” Soviet Union wanted peace (Embtels 211 and 212).1 Tape recording proves accuracy this version), his gratuitous and inaccurate reference to “protest” on American overflights [2 lines of source text not declassified], his statement that “developments which then took place between Allies” was cause for long postponement of Austrian liberation (Embed 220),2 when he is well aware continuing Western efforts and Soviet obstruction during nine year period, and his emphasis on “unlimited neutrality” all add up to shocking picture of support for the country that for so long pillaged and occupied a good part of Austria and a callous or calculated ignoring of our aid of every kind which makes this country viable today with unprecedented prosperity while Soviet is still demanding and receiving equivalent of reparations. To invite Khrushchev to Austria within few weeks of executions of Nagy, Maleter, et al., under Soviet orders likewise seems further [Page 773] unfortunate display of callousness on part of country which behaved so courageously at time of Hungarian revolt. Finally, decision to adhere to Belgrade Danube Convention thus repudiating the categorical assurances given personally by Foreign Minister Figl (Embed 4081 May 20, 1957)3 to American Chargé d’Affairs as well as to British and French Ambassadors, is hardly calculated to enhance Austria’s credit standing in US.

While Department may feel visit and foregoing developments are water over dam, I urge this action since failure to register disapproval will only serve to encourage Austrian Government to take further steps toward Communist bloc under guise of “neutrality” and with belief it can safely do so with impunity. The feelings of Minister of Education were conveyed in my airgram G–32.4

Similar views were expressed both by him and by Finance Minister—both be it noted are of Chancellor’s own party—to a Western colleague, and Archbishop of Vienna has expressed anxiety and shock privately. Foreign Office official in private conversation with Embassy officer today admitted his unhappiness about statements in Moscow which he admitted tended to put US and USSR on same moral plane. The fulsome tone of weekend press with regard to visit (Embtel 271)5 had defensive ring which may indicate some anxiety on part of Austrian public over this newfound friendship with the Russia they knew so well under the occupation. It would be regrettable not to encourage this healthy popular reaction if it should develop by failure to let government know our feelings.

Chancellor and delegation (except Figl who went to Paris for meetings) are due back this afternoon and I hope see Secretary General Fuchs tomorrow to learn what happened behind the scenes at Moscow. I shall also talk to him along the above lines.6

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 763.13/7–2858. Confidential; Limit Distribution.
  2. Telegram 211 from Vienna, July 22, quoted Raab’s remarks as actually made at the Moscow airport. Telegram 212 from Vienna, July 22, quoted the prepared text as published in the Wiener Zeitung and highlighted the differences between the two. (Both ibid., 763.13/7–2258)
  3. Dated July 23, telegram 220 from Vienna quoted the remarks that Raab made at a Kremlin luncheon given in his honor. (Ibid., 033.6361/7–2358)
  4. Not printed. (Ibid., 940.7301/5–2057)
  5. Dated July 26, G–32 from Vienna recorded a conversation between Matthews and Education Minister Drimmel in which the economic results of the Raab visit to Moscow and Raab’s remarks at the Moscow airport were discussed. (Ibid., 661.63/7–2658)
  6. Dated July 28, telegram 271 from Vienna reported the reactions of several Austrian newspapers to the Raab visit. (Ibid., 963.61/7–2858)
  7. Telegram 325 to Vienna, July 31, reported that Jandrey had expressed to Ambassador Platzer on July 31 U.S. disappointment at Raab’s comments and at Austrian adherence to the Danube Commission. On the latter, Platzer replied that Figl had previously informed Matthews that Austria in the long run would join the Commission. (Ibid., 763.13/7–2858)