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

No. 1623

Sir: I have received the Department’s instruction No. 456, dated February [January] 28, 1931 in regard to exemption from military service in this country of American citizens of Greek origin who possess a double nationality. I have brought the protocol adopted at Geneva [The Hague] to the attention of the Hellenic Government, and have urged that its principle be put into effect in anticipation of formal ratification of the arrangements contemplated. What will be [Page 389] the result I do not know, but of this I am quite sure—that the military authorities will do their utmost to prevent final acceptance of the scheme.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Michalakopoulos, is (as I believe) favorable to proposals of this kind, but he is always opposed by the Military Department, which thus far has been unable to perceive that claims to military service, as far as naturalized Americans are concerned, are of no value whatever, and that the only result of insisting upon the right to demand military service is to prevent a good many thousands of decent persons from coming to Greece to pass their holidays and spend their money. Mr. Michalakopoulos, as I have said, quite sees this, and I am disposed to think that he will endeavor to carry his own point of view, but some time must elapse before he succeeds in doing so.

Respectfully yours,

Robert P. Skinner