251.11 Insull, Samuel/196: Telegram

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

110. Your 54, November 2, 6 p.m. The court admitted all affidavits submitted including that of Attorney General. Decision made reference Insull’s age and health only in passing, and cites his successes only in connection with the opportunity thus afforded him to organize the companies whose failure brought about indictments. Lack of sufficient proof of criminal intent is sole basis given for judgment in his favor, the court contending in this connection that though he committed immoral, illegal, and fraudulent acts as charged he did so with the laudable intention of saving his companies and his life’s work in the face of an unforeseen general financial disaster.

It is my considered opinion that the Greek Government has no intention whatever of reopening the case unless we petition it to do so, and that the opportunity left us for such petition is merely a face-saving and possibly a time-saving device. For us to embrace it would only expose us to further rebuffs in view of the latitude taken by Greek tribunals under this treaty.

I am advised that Greek law provides possibility of expelling alien by Executive Order for reasons of public interest upon recommendation of certain Cabinet Ministers. I suggest as a possible solution that you instruct me to inform the Premier that the continued presence of the fugitive in Greece being an impediment to the desired cordial relations between our two countries, he can oblige the American Government by expelling him on these grounds now that extradition proceedings have failed; but that in default of such action I am instructed to lodge a strong protest against the court’s decision and communicate a formal statement denouncing the treaty. The Foreign Minister told me that if his Government could agree in principle to expulsion the ways and means could be arranged and he went so far as to discuss with me the passport question. This could apparently be solved by our renewing the fugitive’s present passport with permission only to return to the United States.