Memorandum of Conversation, by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)

The Ambassador of Greece called to see me this morning at his request. The Ambassador said that he was instructed by his Government to read to me the statement comprised in the memorandum attached herewith.4

After the Ambassador had finished reading the memorandum, I stated to him that I was frankly surprised by the message which the Ambassador had communicated to me since all that the Secretary of State had said with regard to Albania was exactly what this Government had stated previously with regard to Greece and many other occupied countries, namely, that one of the objectives for which this country, with the other United Nations, was fighting was the restoration of the liberty and independence of the occupied countries, and that, inasmuch as the Secretary of State in his statement to which reference was made had made no reference whatever to territorial frontiers, I could see no valid reason why the Greek [Page 829]Government should now request that the Government of the United States make some statement with regard to Greek territorial frontiers.

The Ambassador asked if this Government could not make some confidential communication to the Greek Government along the lines of the assurances requested in the memorandum. He also asked whether the Government of the United States would not be willing to make the same reservations with regard to Albania’s future frontiers as those contained in the recent statement made in the House of Commons by the British Foreign Secretary.5

I replied that, with regard to point No. 1, this Government had not and would not make any secret commitments with regard to territorial changes to any other country; that if this Government had any views to express concerning its policy regarding territorial adjustments, these views would be made public, but that, as the Ambassador had already been several times informed, the President believed that none of the United Nations should make any final decision with regard to territorial readjustments until the end of the war.

With regard to the specific suggestion made by the Ambassador, namely, that the Government of the United States acquiesce in the reservations concerning Albania’s northern [southern?] frontier made by the British Foreign Secretary, I said that this was a matter to which I would have to give consideration and that I would make some reply subsequently with regard thereto to the Ambassador.

S[umner] W[elles]
  1. Supra.
  2. Statement by Anthony Eden, December 18, 1942, Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 5th series, vol. 385, col. 2114.