868.51 War Credits/461: Telegram

The Minister in Greece ( Laughlin ) to the Secretary of State

116. Your 88, December 6, 3 p.m., and 93, December 13, 8 p.m.,14 both confidential. As I was already engaged upon the most pressing item of the former instruction before it reached me I thought it wise to exercise the discretion allowed me and delayed further conversations until today when I communicated to Roussos orally the substance of the whole instruction.

He replied that his Government felt the deepest gratitude for the humanitarian disposition you had shown toward Greece but that he was unable to renounce Greek claims to the remainder of the 1918 credits. He did not consider that the Canadian agreement affected these claims as it covered materials purchased in Canada.

He said that he wished to go to Washington to discuss the question of the credits and that he would start early in January; meanwhile, he has authorized me to announce to you for publication Greece’s intention to take up the regulation of the funding of Greek debts to the United States which he would discuss with you at the same time.

[Paraphrase.] He told me that in urging the reopening of the credits he would propose that no money be turned over to Greece, but that entire balance be used to pay for public works that would be executed by American firms; these works would include the reclamation of large areas of land near Saloniki, which must be drained in order to protect refugee colonies and population there from malaria. [End paraphrase.]

Laughlin
  1. Latter not printed.