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

1100. Dept pass Defense. Embtel 1090.1 Emb off today met with Waldheim FonOff who furnished copy proposed Austrian press release on US loan transaction. FonMin requested earliest agreement on a press release since Vienna will be devoid of Cabinet officials over holiday and statement must be approved on Friday. GOA plans leave statement with senior DefMin officer on duty for release should story break. GOA hopeful that it won’t.

Full text draft release which Emb believes basically acceptable being transmitted by separate message.2 GOA anxious include ref EXIM Bank to emphasize “commercial” nature of transaction. Pertinent section their draft follows:

“To accomplish the procurement of equipment for the Austrian army an agreement dating from 1957 was used as the basis for transacting a loan with the US Govt and the Export-Import Bank (Washington DC)”.

Emb proposes but has not yet cleared with GOA, substitute for above sentence, as follows:

“On the basis of an agreement dating from 1957, arrangements were concluded with the US Govt for the establishment of a line of credit to permit the procurement of the necessary equipment from various suppliers in the US.”

GOA also wishes release fol genl info on procurement:

“The basic items to be delivered are ammunition, tanks of the M–60 type and all types of communications equipment to a total value of about 1 billion Austrian schillings.”

Emb recommends inclusion if Dept concurs.

Comments required soonest.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 763.56/12–2062. Confidential; Priority.
  2. Telegram 1090, December 19, reported discussions with Austrian officials regarding the timing of release of information on the loan. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 1101 from Vienna, December 20. (Ibid.)
  4. In telegram 1436 to Vienna, December 20, the Department of State reported inter-agency agreement on the release of information relating to the Austrian loan. (Ibid.) The final agreed text of a press release was forwarded to the Department in telegram 1110 from Vienna, December 31. (Ibid., 763.56/12–3162)