VIENNA (Jul. 8)
The Austrian Government issued today a communique explaining the failure of the recent negotiations between representatives of world Jewry and the Austrian Government to reach a solution of the Jewish claims for heirless property and individual restitution and compensation.
The communique said that the talks had raised a number of problems which must be settled by Parliament. Since Parliament will not be in session until the Fall, the Austro-Jewish talks cannot be re-opened before October, it emphasized.
The talks led to the clarification of certain matters, the communique said, but stressed that legislative measures are necessary to take care of any settlement of the heirless property claims. It asserted that the exact extent of the Austrian Government’s financial liability could not be determined from the documents presented by the Jewish team alone.
The communique underlined that the Austrian Government has pledged adherence to the principle that there shall be no discrimination in restitution and indemnification matters between Nazi victims now living in Austria and those living abroad. It added that the government holds that no person now living in Austria has been discriminated against in such measures.
The Austrian Government will examine the possibility of making advance payments to Nazi victims in need who will be eligible for benefits under the forthcoming Fifth Restitution Law, the communique declared. The government will also study legislative measures to compensate persecutees who lost their furniture and other personal property and have not yet received restitution. This too will result in a heavy drain on the budget, the communique stressed, and therefore such matters must first be referred to Parliament.