868.51/1218: Telegram

The Chargé in Greece (Morris) to the Acting Secretary of State

Your April 28, 7 p.m. Foreign Office confirms order to Bank of Greece to refuse transfer all external debt payments due May 1st retaining drachma equivalent in blocked account in the name of International Financial Commission. International Financial Commission received a communication from the Minister of Finance April 16 notifying it of Greek Government’s intention to suspend May 1st payments and replied May [April?] 21st formulating express reservations relative to this intention. On April 28 British, French and Italian Ministers made a joint verbal representation supported by aide-mémoire couched in mildest terms merely supporting the reservations made by the Financial Commission in its reply to the Minister of Finance. April 30 I made verbal representations and left aide-mémoire. As a result Foreign Office telegraphed Simopoulos to sign Treasury agreement at once and private secretary of Venizelos left aide-mémoire with me in the evening explaining that the difficulty of balancing budget had caused the suspension of foreign debt payments and expressing hope that this measure is temporary and granting of financial aid recommended by League of Nations Financial Commission will soon permit resumption of the regular transfer of interest on foreign debt.