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

1765. Paris for Embassy and USRO. Brussels for Embassy and USEC. During call on Secretary General Bielka today, I remarked I hoped Chancellor is being well briefed for US visit on American views on neutral association with Common Market. He said papers had been prepared and Austrians welcomed opportunity to present their own views and seek answers to certain questions. He had seen press reports of Hallstein’s talks with Under Secretary Ball1 for example and found it difficult to see even if “typical Austrian products which are just magnesite and petit point” of very little importance are granted tariff concessions by CM, why important competitive products like steel and machinery would be given CM concessions if these are to be generalized to all GATT countries.

He also felt there is still American misunderstanding as to Austrian preparedness to participate fully in non-trade economic aspects of Rome treaty, for example freedom of labor or capital movements and social welfare standardization, and he welcomed opportunity for Austrian personal presentation to Ball.

Bielka said general agreement had been reached at the expert level during harmonious Geneva talks on definition of limitations imposed by neutrality on Common Market participation, and he expected paper thereon would be approved by Ministers at Stockholm. Agreement was likewise reached on very general paper setting forth objectives of three neutrals and contributions they expected to make in Common Market arrangements. This will likewise come before Ministers at Stockholm.

There have been suggestions from Brussels that the CM commission could meet with representatives of three neutrals in May for exploratory talks. Bielka feels strongly that this should be preceded by opportunity for Ministers of three neutrals to present their general “statement of intent” to Common Market Ministers. Statement will be designed reassure Soviet bloc re maintenance neutral status but at same time assure West of neutrals desire participate maximum possible degree in all economic aspects Rome treaty.

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Austrians had approached both Schroeder and Fayat during their recent visits here and found them both receptive to this idea. Similar approaches are now being made to Italians, Dutch and French. He sensed certain embarrassment on part of CM members that nearly six months have passed without any gesture toward neutrals by CM other than acknowledgment of December note.

Austria recognizes it cannot expect real negotiations until conclusion of British talks but does feel it important to make such an approach before summer holidays. It fears also that any exploratory talks by experts not preceded by Ministerial presentation would arouse further Russian suspicions and opposition where Ministerial presentation would confirm and clarify December approach.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 763.13/4–2662. Confidential. Repeated to Bern, Brussels, Paris, Stockholm, The Hague, Bonn, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Helsinki, London, Luxembourg, Olso, and Rome.
  2. President of the EEC Commission Walter Hallstein visited Washington April 9–12 for talks with senior U.S. officials. A memorandum of an April 9 conversation among Rusk, Ball, and Hallstein is ibid., Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 65 D 330. Other documentation on the Hallstein visit is ibid., Central File 375.800.