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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 24, 1958

CODE MESSAGE NO. 2401 FROM CHARGé D'AFFAIRES JURYSIOWA IN VIENNA TO ŁOBODYCZ

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    The Polish chargé d’affaires in Vienna discusses Austrian reactions of officials and the press to the Rapacki Plan.
    "Code Message No. 2401 from Chargé d'Affaires Jurysiowa in Vienna to Łobodycz ," February 24, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Polskie dokumenty dyplomatyczne 1958 (Warszawa: Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych, 2011), Document #80, pp.185-187. Translated by Jerzy Giebułtowski. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208974
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208974

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February 24, code message of the chargé d’affaires

of the diplomatic mission in Vienna:

reactions to the memorandum regarding the Rapacki Plan

Top Secret!

FLASH

Very urgent, deliver immediately

Code message No 2401

from Vienna, transmitted Feb. 24, 18.20 hrs.

Łobodycz

1. The local press is very restrained with respect to our memorandum. They only published the official texts and the reactions of foreign press except notes of minor importance. The press made no comments of its own.

Here is my record of several conversations:

Ambassador Schoener (director general at MoFA – is soon leaving for Bonn as Austrian ambassador) believes that the R. Plan could be the starting point for discussion. Austria has a positive attitude to all kinds of political initiatives aimed at relaxing international tension, because their implementation strengthens Austria’s neutrality and position. They say nothing about it themselves, because it does not concern them, as Austria is a nuclear-free zone.

When asked why Austria makes no statements on this topic – after all neutrality does not mean refraining from an active role in foreign policy – he gave to understand that they would find it awkward to speak about it (34 percent of Austrian imports come from West Germany). Schoener is under the ‘impression’ that Adenauer would not reject the plan, but would propose certain modifications, particularly given that the plan is constructed in such a way so as to make it easier for the Germans to take a position.

Others, MP Lemberger, minister at the MoFA Weismann (now appointed Austria’s representative in Strasburg), Sektionschef Tursky and others refrain from taking a position, because Austria has practically realized Plan R.

Conversations with press representatives:

Socialists: the West should carefully consider the R. Plan, which could be a starting point for discussion. The establishment of natural controls breaks the iron curtain. If international control is restricted to atomic weapons it is beneficial to Poland anyhow, because what is happening in Poland is becoming evident to all the world and this consolidates its position vis-à-vis the USSR.

OEVP: The plan was published too late at a tactically awkward moment when the discussion in the capitals of Western countries was dying down. The plan makes it easier for Bonn to take a positive stance because it raises the problem of control, and identifying how the fact of GDR’s non-recognition could be circumvented in an international agreement is an example of a clever solution to a political riddle. The plan means an attempt at an autonomous Polish foreign policy, and the West would be mistaken to identify it with a Soviet plan.

The opinions formulated above in a direct conversation as 'private' found very faint expression in publications (a brief mention in Arbeiter Ztg [Zeitung]). In the next few days there will be no chance to ‘accidentally” meet the minister or deputy minister of foreign affairs.

Please advise whether to go to MoFA and based on the memorandum submitted to Verosta inquire after the official position of the Austrian authorities.

2. There are persistent rumors circulating here that after returning from his trip to Asia, Figl will assume the post of Landeshauptmann of Lower Austria, and Maleta, OEVP secretary general and chairman of the OEVP parliamentary faction) will be appointed minister of foreign affairs.

3. Comrade Kowalski of Trybuna Ludu put forward the idea to send to Austria AP commentator Jerzy Kowalewski in order to give a talk about the plan. It is not a bad idea. If this project were to be accepted, please notify us a week before [his] departure so that we could prepare the talk properly.

/–/ JURYSIOWA

AMSZ, ZD 6/77, w. 60, t. 865

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