A SOVIET SHOW-PIECE GOVERNMENT?
Supporters of the late Mgr. Seigel figure in a first-rate Government for Austria sponsored by the Russian Occupying Power—but without consultation with Britain and America, contrary to Yalta agreements.
Informed Austrian Catholics in London can find little to criticise in the new administration, and they suggest that Austria, being like Finland, a non-Slav Country, is to fall outside the Russian sphere and become a show-piece of Soviet broad mindedness.
The most outstanding Catholic member of the new Cabinet is Herr Leopold Kunschak (Chris.
Lien Democrat). Kunschak might be described as his party's " counterpart of Dr. Renner." He is by profession a locksmith. This is the first time he has held cabinet rank, but he was, for many years, a leader of the Catholic Trade Unions in Austria. His political career commenced in his 'twenties, Ho was a representative in the Austrian Parliament where he led the more moderate section of the Christian Democrats. After the last war he was a strong advocate of the sort of Cabinet in which he now holds rank, a Government of National Unity. He was always a keen supporter of Mgr. Seipel.
Eduard Heinl (Christian Democrat), Minister of Commerce, held a similar post under Dolfuss and Schuschnigg. His period of office was one which saw many improvements in the economic situation in Austria. He is about sixty years of age, has been thirty years in the Christian Democratic Patty, and Mgr. Seipel had great confidence in him as an economist.
The other Christian Democrat is Rudolf Rabb, Minister of Public Works and Restoration. He has been a member of his party lot forty years, is now about sixty, was a well-known Catholic Trade Unionist and served as a Minister of State under Dolfuss.
THE COMMUNIST Herr Ernst Fischer, most famous Austrian Communist in the new Cabinet, is a journalist and playwright by profession and commenced his political career as a Social Democrat, He is a son of a Colonel in the Austrian Army and entered politics and journalism while a university student. In the early 'thirties, after he had joined the Communist Party, he left Austria for Moscow, where he has since lived. He has been in charge of the German broadcasts from Moscow during thi war and it may be assumed that he entered Vienna with the Red Army Asked if his position now would be a portent influence in "communising" Austria, the reply was given that probably about a year from now, new elections under the Allied administration
would be held in the country. It is doubtful if Fischer .would remain in such a position in a strongly Catholic country after an election
WHAT-IS THE REASON?
In view of the Russian attitude to Poland the surprising turn of events in Austria requires some explanation.