868.51 War Credits/504a: Telegram

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


34. Congress is about to adjourn without taking any action regarding the settlement of the Greek debt. You should accordingly seek an early occasion to inform orally the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs and also, if you deem wise, Mr. Kafandaris, the Minister of Finance. You should express this Government’s very keen regret, explaining that the failure to obtain the approval of Congress is due primarily to the minority party in Congress making determined opposition and to other factors over which control by the Administration has not been effective. The repeated efforts of the Administration to overcome this position and to deal with these [Page 13]factors should be dwelt upon. You may point out discreetly that certain financial negotiations carried on by the personal representative of General Pangalos who came to the United States in 1926, have been brought to the attention of Congressional members and have been used persistently by parties interested in discrediting the present settlement of the Greek debt. You are referred, in this connection, to despatches 121, March 22, 1927, and 143, April 5, 1927, from the Legation.14 You should recall, without undue emphasis, two important advantages already accruing to Greece from the settlement last December of the debt; namely, the embargo on flotation in the American market of Greek securities was lifted and the position of Greece at Geneva was materially strengthened by the December 5, 1927, timely announcement that a debt settlement had been reached between the United States and Greece. Regarding the future, however, you should state this Government’s intention to renew its efforts to obtain the approval of Congress for the debt settlement with Greece as soon as Congress reconvenes in December, when it is reasonable to anticipate the examination by Congress of the terms of the debt settlement in an atmosphere which will be more conducive to appreciating the real merits involved. In concluding the interview, you will express your Government’s earnest hope that the Government of Greece will measure the importance attached to relations of cordial friendship by the United States Government rather in terms of the effort by the Administration to obtain Congressional approval for the debt settlement than in terms of Congressional delay in approving that settlement.

The foregoing, you should not fail to say, has been explained with care to the Greek Minister here, and he has proved himself, throughout the debt negotiations since last autumn, not only painstaking and zealous, constantly, in explaining the point of view of his Government, but accurate in his understanding of political institutions in this country and of the reactions of public opinion here.

  1. Neither printed.