On June 20th, 1949, the Sixth Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers met for the last day to discuss issues concerning the German question and the Austrian treaty. This meeting was designed first of all to enable the Soviet Union and West to renew contracts informally in Germany and Berlin to carry on trade, and second to make a treaty restoring independence to Austria and liberating Austria from occupation. This sixth council had been meeting since May 20th of that year and left the meeting on June 20th with some good progress. This meeting consisted of “The Big Four” which was the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of France, Robert Schuman, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, A. Y. Vyshinsky, the United Kingdom, Ernest Bevin, and the United States of America, Dean Archeson. These councils had met for the last few years and had drawn up treaties of peace with Italy, Hungary, Finland, Romania, and Bulgaria and to talk about questions with territory around Europe, and eventually signed the Paris Peace Treaties on February 10th, 1947. The treaties allowed Italy, Hungary, Ginland, and Bulgaria to reassume their responsibilities as sovereign, independent authority states, and to qualify as members of the United Nations.
According to the article, the United States President Harry Truman said, “real progress had been made on Austria but not much on Germany.” After meeting for many hours, the “Big Four” came close to an agreement on the Austrian Treaty. The treaty eventually agreed that Austria should guarantee to protect the rights of the Slovene and Croatian minorities in Austria. Another provision of the treaty is that the Soviet Union can receive $150,000,000 from Austria to be paid in six years. This would be equal to $1,425,538,133 in 2012. The treaty lastly banned Nazi and any other fascist organizations. Months later, Austria announced it would declare itself permanently neutral and not become involved in foreign affairs.
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