868.51 Struma Valley/46
The Chargé in Greece (Morris) to the Secretary of State
[Received January 18, 1933.]
I have the honor to refer to the Department’s telegram No. 70 of December 7, 6 p.m., instructing me to render assistance to Mr. Shepperd of Ulen & Company with respect to the difficulties encountered by the firms of Monks-Ulen in respect to their contract for reclamation work in Macedonia. A very disagreeable situation existed here which I am happy to report has been partially cleared up. My intervention was effective in obtaining the transfer of $48,000 back fees owed to Messrs. Monks-Ulen & Company by the Greek Government. In arriving at this result I am pleased to state that I received from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean Rhallys, the most cordial and effective personal support. Mr. Rhallys was able to cause the necessary orders to be issued by Premier [Page 443] Tsaldaris over the head of the Minister of Communications, Mr. Stratos, who unfortunately has proved to be opposed to the Company. The reason he is opposed is because he wants the American contractors to withdraw in order to turn over the reclamation work to Greek contractors. His opposition is beginning to crop up again and I do not consider that the difficulties of this American company are by any means at an end.
I enclose a copy of a letter and a telegram60 from Mr. Shepperd thanking the Department and the Legation for their efforts. Merely for background, I enclose a copy of an aide-mémoire 61 which I prepared for delivery to the Foreign Minister. At the request of the Foreign Minister this aide-mémoire was not left with him as both he and I agreed that his hands would be more free to assist in carrying out the wishes of the Legation, under the circumstances which existed at the moment, if there were no formal communication which would have to be taken up with Mr. Stratos, the Minister of Communications. However, as most of the points summarized in this mémoire have not been settled and may come up again for the Legation’s intervention at any moment, I consider it desirable that the Department should have an appreciation of the nature of the difficulties which have arisen.