British policy towards occupied Austria 1945-1950.
This study examines British policy towards Austria
in the context of post-war international politics, on the
basis of hitherto unused British and Austrian archival
By the end of the war the British found themselves
in occupation of an area where they had few fundamental
strategic or economic interests. Austria's survival
depended on the commitment which the United States maue
in the course of 1946.
The problem of German external assets acted as a
motor in this process. Soviet determination to exact a
heavy economic price from Austria may not have involved
the intention to undermine a western-minded Austria but
by 1947 many in the West assumed that it did. The
discussions over the Austrian Treaty from 1947 to 1948
failed largely because the Soviet economic enclave which
it appeared necessarily to entail, was seen as an
The Yugoslav territorial claim tc part of southern
Austria played an iirportant part in the public debates
but was essentially a side-issue.
By 1949 the British and Austrian desire to see a
Treaty, even one involving economic concessions to the
Russians, began to conflict with the growing American
concern with the strategic and domestic repercussions of
such an agreement. By the time the Americans had shifted
their ground the Soviet Union was no longer interested
in a Treaty.
The basis of the State Treaty was not merely the
change in Soviet policy early in 1955 but also the
decline in the importance to Austria of the United