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

VIII. The efforts of the United States to assure the maintenance of the independence and integrity of Austria,   pp. 1352-1446 PDF (37.7 MB)

Page 1440

been charged and that there was no need to discuss the question further.
The Soviet member, after vain attempts to induce the western mem-
bers to argue the point, closed with a prepared statement denouncing
the hypocritical attempt of the Anglo-Saxons to safeguard reaction-by
denying fundamental liberties. The question was dropped, although
the Soviets reserved the right to bring it up again.
   Press comment on the Democratic Union October 16 and 17 was
 marked by a lack of clarity as to the issues involved,as in the comment
 on the ,previous Allied Council discussion of the question. The U.S.
 and British representatives had not been forced in either meeting to
 affirm their support of the doctrine that small splinter parties should
 not be recognized; ,thus the newspapers did not mention this general
 position. The Socialist Arbeiter Zeitung, whose reaction was most im-
 portant and which, 'after the previous A1C discussion, carried a lead
 editorial calling for an end to allied interference with Austrian politi-
 cal parties, had merely a brief notice stating that the three western
 powers desired more information. The People's Party in Kleine
 Volksblatt had a rather -ambiguous editorial on the general question
 of new parties, which argued that they are undesirable and a danger
 to stable government and at the same time that they can get no sup-
 port and thus will have no effect. The Soviet Oesterreichische Zeitwng
 made the most of the issue, devoting its main headline and a front page
 'article to it on the 16th and a lead editorial on the 17th. However, the
 paper missed its best point and took the orthodox line that the U.S.
 and Britain would have been willing enough to recognize a Nazi or
 reactionary party, leaving the impression that the Democratic Union
 is in some way particularly "democratic" in the eastern sense.
It is
 precisely 'a reactionary and even Nazi party which would endanger
 the People's Party and whiclh the Socialists have shown the most in-
 dlination to flirt with. The 'Communist Volkgstimme launched the only
 effective barb with its headline "Americans protect the OeVP from
 Dissolution in ,a Breach of the Austrian 'Constitution."
 Thus public opinion does not seem to have reacted very unfavorably
 to the first western effort to stop the formation of 'a political party.
 The only consequence of our position which.'may possibly be unpleasant
 is the reaction of the Socialist party leaders. After the first AC discus-
 sion of the Democratic Union the Socialists protested to the French
 and British and informally to a member of this Legation. However,
 they have not since then taken 'a strong stand on the question, and a
 representative of the British Legation who spoke to Socialist leaders
 after the AC meeting of 'October 15 felt that they 'did not intend to
 press their opposition to the western position. On October 16 Minister
of the Interior Helmer spoke informally to a member of this Lega-
tion and asked him -he reason for the U.S. position. He was told of
information which this office has received of contacts between the

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