The British Embassy to the Department of State 21


The following summary statement with respect to His Majesty’s Government’s policy towards Greece has been sent to His Majesty’s Minister of State, Cairo.

His Majesty’s Government hold strongly to the principle that the final form of government for Greece is a matter for the Greek people to decide. During the period immediately following the liberation of Greece from occupation by the enemy, especially if military operations are proceeding elsewhere, the existence of a stable Government is the first essential. The only nucleus at present for such a government is provided by the King. The policy of His Majesty’s Government in respect of Greece may, in view of these considerations, be summarised as follows:

Full support to the King and present Government: such support to be manifested in all their contacts in Greece itself and in their propaganda generally;
Approval of declarations by the King and the Prime Minister to the effect that the Government are not exercising dictatorial authority and that they intend to leave it to the Greek people to determine their future political conditions;
The maintenance and strengthening of the King’s personal authority in regard to the Greek Army, Navy and Air Force; the King should therefore not be constrained to compromise with the mutineers in the recent revolt if these are found guilty of disloyalty by the Commission of Enquiry and the King prefers not to show leniency;
Approval of the broadening of the basis of the present Government.

His Majesty’s Government had already come to the conclusion before the recent Army disturbances which make it all the more necessary, that the time had come to concentrate their efforts on building up the King and the present Government and they pressed the latter to establish themselves in Egypt because among other reasons it seemed that this building up could be done more easily and effectively if they were in Egypt and not in London.

Since, as stated above, it is requisite that there should be a strong administration in Greece as soon as liberation takes place or our operational needs demand, it is not the policy of His Majesty’s Government to encourage the idea that immediately Greece is liberated a plebiscite shall be organised under British aegis to determine whether the monarchy shall be maintained or abolished. His Majesty’s Government however approve the intention of the present Government to resign on its return to Greece so as to enable the King to form another Government representative of all those sections in Greece which are ready to collaborate with the King in restoration of the country. Nor would His Majesty’s Government object to the holding of elections at a moment considered appropriate by Allied commanders if an overwhelming demand for an alternative to the Tsouderos Government, even if broadened, were to manifest itself. But His Majesty’s Government strongly deprecate the immediate raising of the Constitutional issue which would call the existing monarchical regime in question. This of course would not preclude the raising of such issue when the period of military necessity has passed.

Meanwhile His Majesty’s Government feel that even during the period of exile the Greek Government should be made as representative of the people as is possible in the circumstances. As soon therefore as His Majesty’s Ambassador to Greece, Mr. Leeper, arrives in Cairo, he will discuss with the Greek Government the possibility of getting suitable political and resistance leaders as well as officials out of Greece who would be prepared to enter the Administration.

  1. Handed on April 27 to Mr. Foy D. Kohler by Mr. Donald Hall, First Secretary of the British Embassy, who stated that it was in response to the questions on Greek affairs put to Mr. Strang of the Foreign Office by Mr. Murray; see footnote 9, p. 126.