Warning that peace in Europe cannot be established permanently until Austria is act free to organize her own government, Karl Gruber, Austrian Foreign Minister, last night at an open forum in New Lecture Hall called on the Big Four to end military occupation of Austria as soon as possible.
After declaring that the cure of his country's economic ills lies in handing to the Austrian government control over natural resources, Gruber gave assurance that a sound economy and a democratic government would be established.
Whether the new economy would be based on free enterprise or on state controls must be decided by a majority opinion of the Austrian people, Gruber said. "We want to go slow; we want to see what system works out best in our neighboring countries. But one thing is certain: the great majority of the Austrians are united in a desire for democratic government."
Answers Audience Querleo
The youthful diplomat had to reiterate his statements after the lecture when, in a question-and-answer period, an audience spokesman requested assurance that the Austrians would establish a democratic government if freed from Allied military occupation, and again when a second questioner was skeptical about Nazi influence in Austria.
"There are Nazis in Austria," Gruber said, "but we must remember that Austria was the first victim of Hitler and the first victim of the policy of appeasement. Many were forced into the (Nazi) party."
The important factor in de-nazification of Austria, he said, should not be police power, but efforts to convince the people that democracy is the best government for them. The speaker was sponsored by the Student Council and introduced by Manley O. Hudson, Bemis Professor of International Law.