■I H ■■■■■■■
protection hitherto afforded her by the
presence of American soldiers on her
territory, and be deprived of the substantial benefit of our armed services,
dollar expenditures and the "offshore
pun liases" which now lake lhe place of
Marshall Plan, or EGA aid. in bolstering the national economies of our European allies: in addition. Austria s population of seven million, living on a territory about the same size as Maine, and
possessed of few natural resources, is
to pay 320 million dollars lo Russia during the next decade, after having already
been looted of some 500 million dollars
worth of industrial equipment and oil
by lhe Russians since 1945.
The .'-520 million dollars which Austria s seven million people are to pay is lo
consist of 10 million tons of oil to be
delivered from wells which tbe Russians
have already almost depleted, and of
150 million dollars worth of industrial
goods to be banded over lo the Soviet
1 nion within six years. If the Austrian
people are also to redeem the Danubian
-hipping seized by the Russians as "war
booty," they will have lo pay an addi-
tional indemnity of 20 million dollars.
A HUGE RANSOM
All in all, it is difficult lo understand
why President Eisenhower should have
hailed lhe Austrian Treaty as the first
sign eel ei new dawn, since Austria, which
wei- supposed to be a "liberated" country,
has actually fared worse than I" inland
which dared to light the Soviel colossus,
Finland's four million people paid an
indemnity of 227 million dollars, as compared wilh lhe lotal of past and future
payments of 1,21) million dollars squeezed
out of Austria's seven million people.
Moreover, although Finland lost some
territory, she was not occupied and looted
b\ the Red Army.
The price of freedom certainly comes
high in dealing with Moscow. The Aus-
Irians will have to work for ten long
years in return for their precarious liberty and independence, and their "free'
service may well prove more profitable
to the Muscovite Empire than the forced
labor of its satellites.
The East European countries, delivered over to the Communists at Teheran, Yalta and Potsdam, having already
been stripped of the removable wealth
which Moscow could conveniently remove, and slave labor being notoriously
Unproductive, it may be that they now
Constitute more of a drain than an asset
to the Kremlin, in view of thc high cost
of terrorizing all the people all the time.
So it is not inconceivable lhat Moscow
should decide to let them go free for a
huge ransom, while retaining the whip-
band bj the presence of the Red Army
"ii iheir borders. It i-- also possible lhat
the junta which ne,w rules over the Com-
inilni-l w,erlil would feel mine' secure
with a Russian frontier to defend instead
ol a weak front of subject peoples who
cannot be expected to fight against the
West with any enthusiasm. The Kremlin
may have learnt from Hitler's experience
with Italy, that weak allies arc worse
than useless and had better stay neutral.
Fortunately, it has been proved thai
llie rulers of Russia are often even less
intelligent than those of the free world.
So it is possible lo hope that they will
fail to take advantage of their opportune to win both material, political and
military advantages by cutting their
losses in Eastern Europe.
Centuries ago there was a popular
jingle in England which ran:
In matters of commerce the fault of the
Dutch is giving too little and asking too
Transposed into the political and military
sphere this perfectly describes tbe ''fault"
of the Soviet government. Today, bv
asking loo much, the Communists may
fail lo sell us tin- idea of a "neutral'
block of buffer slates stretching from
.Austria to Scandinavia in return for the
removal of U. S. forces from Europe
or our retreat behind the Pyrenees.
However, lhe rulers of the Communist
world have proved themselves very skillful in getting others to pay them for doing what ihey are compelled to do. as,
for instance, when we gave them eleven
billion dollars worth of aid to fight the
war they were forced to fight by Nazi
Germany's attack. Today they need a
breathing space and may be looking for
a way to make a profit out of necessity
by inducing us lo retreat in return for
tbe withdrawals which are forced upon
them by their economic and political
difficulties. To judge by the altitude of
the Western governments and press, they
ina\ vet succeed in getting the I nited
States to compensate thein for doing
what they must do to survive.
Even the Washington Post recognizes
the fact that the Soviet government has
"three constant aims: to neutralize a
united Germany, to paralyze NATO and
force the United States out of Europe."
And although their voices are suppressed, by our optimistic President, or
by our wishful thinking press, the Pentagon undoubtedly contains intelligent olfi-
cers who realize that the most vital concern of our enemies is to win a period
of peace and security until such time as
their air force and atomic potential
equals ours, and they shall have developed long range atomic rockets which
would render the United States as indefensible as the Soviet Empire is today.
In a dispatch from Paris dated June
23 last, William H. Stoneman reported
to lhe Chicago Daily News that "Western air force higher ups" were explaining that Russia's desire for "peace was
due to her now being "virtually wide
open to attack." He quoted them as
saying that American air bases in Africa
and Turkey, the United Kingdom, our
own territory and the Pacific islands,
constituted a "vast arc, over which attacks might be expected" making the
defense of the Soviet Empire virtually
impossible at the present time. As against
its vulnerability, they said, the U. S. "is
only directly exposed along a much
shorter arc, the one covering the Arctic
approaches." But, they warned, our present great advantage will be annulled once
the Soviel I nion slaves have perfected
the "intercontinental ballistic missile"
against which there is no defense.
lb-re we come back to the importance
of Germany to the scientific, mililarv
and economic requirements of the Communist empire if it is ever to match or
surpass our power.
RUSSIA'S ECONOMIC PROBLEMS
All the potentialities of the Soviet military apparatus will be of little worth if
the tremendous effort required to prepare for the conquest of America leads
to a breakdown of the Soviet economy.
The Russians are inured to working long
hours for a bare subsistence, but even
they cannot live without food, which is
now being produced in lesser quantity
per head of the population than in Czar-
ist times. Nor do the spectacular suc-
—Wide World Photo
Signing of the Austrian State Treaty of Independence in Belvedere Palace, Vienna, May,
19S5, giving freedom to Austria after seventeen years of foreign occupation.
FACTS FORUM NEWS, October, 1955