868.01/379: Telegram

The Ambassador to the Greek Government in Exile ( Kirk ) to the Secretary of State

Greek Series 47. For the Acting Secretary. Certain aspects of the crisis now confronting the Greek King and Government here, described in my Greek Series 45, 8 p.m. and previous messages, impel me to submit some observations and recommendations in regard to the general question of the conduct of what may be termed the pre-liberation or pre-reoccupation activities largely or partially of a military nature which are carried on by the Allies in the occupied territories of governments in exile.

I do not pretend to offer here a judgment on the special factors of the present Greek crisis and I am not qualified to analyze the system of the British in the conduct of the above mentioned activities. Enough has transpired, however, to justify a question as to whether the British system is properly organized and coordinated or effectively administrated and whether it is always operated in conformity with high British policy as regards its relation with the respective interested governments in exile. The answer to those questions does not lie with us as long as we ourselves are not involved with the British in those activities but once we do engage in such operations on our own or combine therein with the British and I understand we may be about to or have already done so, it is incumbent upon us to avoid if possible the adverse implications which in some instances at least appear to have marred the British effort in this sphere of action and so to act that we may not be confronted with consequences at variance with our declared policy of noninterference in the political life of foreign countries.

From the little I know I understand that the activities to which I refer are in our case the responsibility of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington and at least in this area are under the supervision of the Commander-in-Chief. On that understanding, I make the following recommendations as to the conduct of these operations which should guide us in the case of independent action as should constitute a condition precedent to our association with others in this category of activities.

The Commander-in-Chief should exercise the strictest control over the formulation of all plans as well as over the execution thereof.
To enable the CinC41 to exercise that control effectively he should be acquainted with the basic policy of the United States Government with respect to the country or countries involved.
In order to avoid confusion and obviate unauthorized acts or commitments our CinC should maintain contact with the CinC’s of other governments in each area which are directing similar activities in the same occupied territories.
Each responsible head of a government in exile should be requested to designate high official of his government who should be consulted by the CinC or his delegate on all matters relating to the operations in the occupied territory of that government which might result in developments or repercussions of a political nature affecting the government itself.

The foregoing is not intended to constitute a comprehensive or rigid chart for this general subject as my information is limited and different areas may require different tactics. I merely take the occasion to emphasize the dangers inherent in this category of operations and to urge that the Department make sure that at least we do not lay ourselves open to the accusation that through defective organization or lack of precaution our independent or associated operations in occupied territories should fail of their purpose or should jeopardize the continuity of exiled governments and our present and future relations with those countries.

  1. Commander in Chief.