368.117/96: Telegram

The Minister in Greece (Capps) to the Acting Secretary of State

274. Yesterday in very satisfactory interview with the Minister for Foreign Affairs Rhallys I expressed dissatisfaction American Government with attitude Greek Government as outlined in its note reported in Legation’s 272, December 22, toward former Greek subjects naturalized in America since Greek law of 1914 and again requested return to Legation of all seized American passports. Minister for Foreign Affairs promised this and expressed willingness of his Government to waive strict application of provision of Greek law requiring evidence of prior consent of Greek Government to such naturalization. He stated that he had actually in this spirit given instructions to competent authorities to vise passports of all applicants even if they could not produce such evidence so long as military requirements of Greece permitted such action. Minister for Foreign Affairs frankly expressed a desire to come to understanding with American Government on the entire question and invited me to present proposals.

The Greek law and the American law being in absolute conflict and the present Government in Greece being eager to have American good will, possibly this is favorable moment to secure revision of former unobjectionable points or at least a working agreement that will relieve present situation. Definite understanding requested.