File No. 868.001C76/11

The Greek Chargé ( Vouros ) to the Secretary of State

No. 1041

Mr. Secretary of State: Referring to my communication under date of June 14, No. 1033,1 I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that Mr. Jonnart, bearing the title of High Commissioner of the Protecting Powers of Greece, who arrived at Keratsine Bay on June 10, delivered to His Excellency Mr. Zaimis, President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, two notes announcing the occupation of the Corinth Canal and certain parts of Thessaly, to insure, as he said, an equitable distribution of the crop of that plain to all the Hellenes.

On June 11, Mr. Jonnart delivered to Mr. Zaimis the following ultimatum:

Mr. President: The protecting powers of Greece have decided to reconstitute the unity of the Kingdom without infringing upon the constitutional monarchic institutions they have guaranteed to Greece. His Majesty King Constantine having plainly violated of his own accord the Constitution of which France, England and Russia are guarantors, I have the honor to declare to Your Excellency that His Majesty the King has forfeited the confidence of the protecting powers and that the said powers consider themselves as relieved of their obligations toward him flowing from their right of protection, I am therefore commissioned, with a view to restoring constitutional verity, to demand the abdication of His Majesty King Constantine who will himself designate, in accord with the protecting powers, his successor from among his heirs. I am constrained to ask you to answer within twenty-four hours.

Be pleased to accept [etc.]

To that document there was appended a memorandum reading as follows:

The High Commissioner of the Protecting Powers of Greece has the honor to inform His Excellency the President of the Council of Ministers that His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Greece not offering the guarantees that France, England and Russia are at this time constrained to require of the contitutional sovereign of the Hellenes, they could only agree to the designation of another to be his successor. The High Commissioner is further empowered to declare, in the name of the protecting powers of Greece, that His Majesty King Constantine after abdicating and leaving Greece will be put in possession of a personal life income amounting to one half million of francs. The High Commissioner adds that no reprisals will be exercised and the proclamation of a general amnesty will be immediately [Page 103] considered, but he must inform the President of the Council of the decision of the protecting powers not to tolerate in Athens or any other city of the Kingdom any disorder likely to endanger the lives and closely bound interests of their nationals and of the Greek people. Should the hope that order will be strictly maintained through the prudence of the Government and Hellenes of all parties be disappointed, the High Commissioner is empowered to use the forces at his disposal in energetically intervening in the name of the protecting powers for an immediate restoration of order.

Mr. Zaimis addressed to Mr. Jonnart the following answer as a result of a Crown Council to which His Majesty the King announced his decision to abdicate and designated his younger son Alexander as his successor:

France, England and Russia having requested by a note of this day’s date the abdication of His Majesty King Constantine and designation of his successor, I have the honor to bring to Your Excellency’s knowledge that His Majesty the King, solicitous as ever of nothing but the interests of Greece, has decided to leave the country with the Crown Prince and to designate his son Alexander for his successor.

Be pleased to accept [etc.]

On June 12, at 5 p.m., carrying with him the unanimous wishes of his people, the Sovereign left the Capital and was expected to leave the next day the territory of the Kingdom on board the yacht Sphactiria on his way to Switzerland through Italy.

In bringing the foregoing to Your Excellency’s knowledge, I take this opportunity [etc.]

A. Vouros