HC Deb 20 April 1953 vol 514 cc638-9
34. Mr. A. J. Irvine

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a statement upon the difficulties encountered at the recent meetings of the Allied Council in regard to the Austrian Treaty.

Mr. Nutting

Yes, Sir. A study of the record of the Allied Council over the past six months reveals persistent obstruction by Soviet representatives to the normal exercise of the Austrian Government's proper authority and to the reasonable development of Austrian economic recovery.

By way of illustration, I would mention that during this period the Soviet representatives have opposed between 80 and 100 laws introduced by the Austrian Government in proper exercise of their legislative authority; have ignored the inherent authority of the Austrian Government to collect and dispose of revenue; have hindered the Austrian Government in the exercise of its proper authority in the control of its law enforcement agencies; and, as recently as a fortnight ago, have prevented any development of civil aviation in Austria, even to the extent of forbidding the establishment of a meteorological service.

Mr. Irvine

While thanking the Undersecretary for that statement, may I ask him whether he appreciates that there is great anxiety and difficulty in the Allied Council in this connection? Is he prepared to say whether these difficulties are in any way attributable to temporary changes in the political situation in Austria and the formation of a new Government in that country?

Mr. Nutting

No, Sir, I do not think that these difficulties are in any way due to any new situation arising in Austria itself. They are due largely to the fact that there has so far been no change in Soviet policy in relation to Austria.