HC Deb 02 August 1946 vol 426 cc1357-8
Captain Crookshank () by Private Notice

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of recent events in Austria, he will make a statement about the policy of His Majesty's Government.

The Minister of State (Mr. Philip Noel-Baker)

I am grateful to the right hon. and gallant Member for giving me this opportunity of making a statement.

His Majesty's Government, together with the Governments of the United States and the Soviet Union, are parties to the declaration on Austria made in Moscow in October, 1943. That declaration set forth the desire of the three Powers to see the establishment of a free and independent Austria. That declaration was subsequently subscribed to by the Government of France.

His Majesty's Government are also parties to the Control Agreement for Austria signed by the representatives of the four occupying Powers on 28th June 1946. This agreement includes a statement that among the primary tasks of the Allied Commission for Austria is to maintain the independent existence and integrity of the Austrian State and, pending the final definition of its frontiers, to ensure respect for them as they were on December 31st, 1937. In accordance with the spirit of the Moscow Declaration His Majesty's Government have for some time done their best to secure a treaty with Austria to end the occupation and in the meantime to reduce the effect of the boundaries between the zones. They would regard as a matter of grave concern any action which might intensify the effect of the division of Austria into zones, the more so if such action appeared likely to infringe the internal or external integrity of Austria which all the four occupying Powers have agreed to maintain.