File No. 763.72111/5030

The Greek Chargé ( Vouros) to the Secretary of State

No. 867

Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to communicate to you hereinbelow the text of a letter which His Excellency Mr. Zaimis, President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign [Page 64] Affairs of Greece, sent me by cable with instructions to transmit it to Your Excellency.

The text of this communication, dated May 11, which gives an account of the general lines that the policy of Greece has followed in the war up to this date is as follows:

Mr. Secretary of State: I have the honor to request Your Excellency kindly to present the following statement of the Hellenic Government to the President of the United States of America.

After two wars whose object was the attainment of the national ideal, the people of Greece, at the time of the outbreak of the European war, perceived the enormous dangers that threatened the small countries which might enter a contest disproportionate to their means of action. Imbued with the feeling that it should never enter into conflict with England and the great powers of the Mediterranean to which it is bound by common interests and historic traditions, the Greek people realized, after the entrance of Turkey on the side of the Central Empires, that the entrance of Greece into the opposing camp would be tantamount to the annihilation of Hellenism in Turkey. On the other hand, if Greece were to side with the Entente, the latter did not guarantee her territorial integrity, demanding the cession of part of her territory to the Bulgarians. Without being bound to help Serbia in a world war, which the Greco-Serbian treaty could obviously never have contemplated, Greece, in addition to observing a benevolent neutrality toward her ally, has lent Serbia considerable aid. She has also been able, without being regarded by the Central Empires as a belligerent, to render great services to the Entente which occupied a large part of her territory, is using her coasting fleet and commercial vessels, and has drawn heavily on the resources of the country. If she had become a belligerent she would have run the risk of being invaded by the enemy which, apart from the calamities entailed for Greece, would have presented grave inconveniences and dangers to the Entente itself, without any other advantage than the accession of an army that could easily be offset by the adversary. These considerations have become emphasized since Bulgaria and Germany, in consequence of the Allied expedition into Macedonia, have in turn occupied a part thereof.

Trusting in the fair judgment of the Government of the United States and of the eminent statesman who presides over its destiny, the Hellenic Government hopes that these explanations will be accepted in the same friendly spirit that has ever animated the United States of America toward Greece. They may perhaps serve to clear up the situation in Greece and contribute to the adoption of a policy that is equitable and consonant with the highest interests of mankind toward a nation which is as eager for freedom as the American people and as jealous of its independence and its rights.

The Royal Government, on its part, will spare no effort calculated to advance the restoration of sincere and cordial relations as well as the pacification of the country within, hoping to find general support in the accomplishment of its task. Zaimis.

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

A. Vouros