HC Deb 20 December 1954 vol 535 cc215-6W
73. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will make a further statement in respect of developments towards an Austrian Peace Treaty.

Mr. Turton

There has been no change in the position since the Berlin Conference held early this year when, in spite of the Western offer to accept the Soviet texts of the previously unagreed articles of the draft State Treaty, the Soviet Government remained unwilling to conclude the Treaty. At that Conference the Soviet Government made new stipulations, the effect of which would have been to leave occupation troops on Austrian soil for an indefinite period. These conditions were unacceptable not only to the Western Powers but also to the Austrian Government.

Her Majesty's Government, together with the French and United States Governments, have on more than one occasion renewed the offer they made at Berlin to accept the previously unagreed articles of the draft Treaty, and as lately as 29th November in their Note to the Soviet Government they again expressed the view that there should therefore be no further obstacle in the way of the signature of the Treaty and the consequent withdrawal of occupation forces. This remains the view of Her Majesty's Government despite the absence of any favourable response so far on the part of the Soviet Government, who have declined to move from the position they adopted at the Berlin Conference.