139 Hood to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 199 LONDON, 23 March 1946, 1.10 p.m.



1. As instructed in your telegram 19 [1], we asked the United Kingdom authorities to place request before Control Council for Austria for accreditation of an Australian military mission in Vienna early this month. The United Kingdom representative placed request in the first instance before quadripartite political division-for examination. The Soviet representative at once objected that neither Australia nor India (which is the only other British application so far) could be regarded as one of the 'United Nations chiefly interested' in the sense of Article 12 of the E.A.C. agreement on control machinery. [2] He argued that they were not eligible to appoint military mission and that if they wished to be represented in Vienna they should take advantage of the Allied Council's recent decision to permit the Austrian Government to exchange political representatives with other countries.

3. According to Foreign Office, it has so far proved impossible to move the Soviet representative from this attitude and a report will probably be submitted to the Executive Committee at its next meeting with a minority recommendation by the Soviet representative that these two missions should not be authorised.


4. White and I recently visited Vienna unofficially and we do not feel circumstances warrant our having permanent mission there.

Periodical visits by the Berlin Mission should be sufficient to enable us to keep in touch. If further visits are to be made however, representatives will have to be accredited in some form.

5. in view of the above please advise whether you wish the application in its present form to be maintained or whether you have any alternative in mind. [4]


1 Document 8.

2 A quadripartite agreement, signed on 4 July 1945 and prepared by the European Advisory Commission. it established Allied control machinery in Austria, comprising an Allied Council, Executive Committee and staffs, the whole Organisation to be known as the Allied Commission for Austria. Article 12 provided for liaison with governments of other 'United Nations chiefly interested' by means of military missions to the Allied Council.

3 No agreement was reached in the Executive Committee, nor on a French proposal in the Quadripartite Political Division that the competence of Indian and Australian Military Missions accredited to the Allied Council in Berlin be extended to Austria.

4 On 2 May Hood reported U.K. officials' advice that Australia's application be withdrawn, and on 8 May Evatt's inclination to refrain from pressing the request, given the 'relatively slight practical benefit' likely to result. Hood was instructed on 22 May to withdraw the application, in view of Evatt's opinion and the Defence Dept's advice that there was 'no good service reason' for the claim.

[AA:A1067, E46/3/7]