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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1948. Germany and Austria

VII. Department of State policy statement on Austria,   pp. 1341-1351 PDF (4.5 MB)

Page 1351

either to drop this article from the treaty or to agree among the west-
ern states as to the exact form of the guarantee of Austria and the
means whereby it is to be implemented.
  4. In the event that the treaty is concluded and a compromise solu-
tion reached on the German assets question, care will have to be taken
to provide Austria with such assistance as may be required to offset the
economic advantages accruing to the Soviet Union through the control
and ownership of former German assets in Austria.. It may be neces-
sary, therefore, to supply Austria on a commercial basis with economic
products such as oil and other petroleum products to make up for any
deficiencies from local production which will be drained off by the
  5. Austrian participation in the European Recovery Program gives
renewed emphasis to certain problems with respect to the future of
Austrian trade with Eastern European countries, Before the war
Austria had strong trading ties with these countries, importing from
them large amounts of such essential items as coal and foodstuffs. Since
the war Austria has resumed its economic ties with the Eastern Euro-
pean countries on a reduced scale and in a somewhat changed pattern.
Except for considerations of United States security objectives with
respect to the export of items of a military nature, it is United States
policy to encourage Austrian trade with Eastern Europe since such
trade tends to lessen the need for making available essential items in
short supply from the Western Hemisphere or from other participat-
ing countries and adds to the over-all pool of these items which can be
made available to the participating countries. The possibility must be
reckoned with, however, that the Soviets may demand trade arrange-
ments of such a comprehensive nature as to give the Soviets oppor-
tunity to exert considerable influence in Austria's political and eco-
nomic affairs. Austrian resistance to such an attempt should of course
be encouraged and it may be necessary to consider what steps can be
taken in conjunction with other interested countries to meet from other
sources Austria's needs from Eastern Europe. Care should be taken,
however, to insure that the Austrians are not led by a Soviet-attempt
at economic penetration to forego appropriate efforts of their own to
achieve economic recovery and to increase unduly their dependence
on economic assistance from the United States.

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