800.711/7–344: Telegram

The Chargé at Algiers (Chapin) to the Secretary of State

2257. From Murphy. Repeated to Cairo as No. 93 for MacVeagh.24 The draft press censorship directive for Greek affairs which I prepared to eliminate political censorship (Algiers’s 1786 May 30, 7 p.m.25 repeated to Cairo as 69) was agreed upon by Macmillan and discussed at Supreme Allied Commander’s political committee meeting last month. General Wilson then sent the draft directive to the Middle East Defense Committee with a memorandum reviewing the discussion here, pointing out that the political committee had noted that Middle East’s censorship stops on Greek news constituted political censorship contrary to theatre policy. He added that while the Committee here appreciated the responsibility of the Middle East authorities concerning the security of territories under their command, it felt that censorship from Cairo on press stories concerning Balkan affairs should conform to the theatre policy. General Wilson then said he would be grateful if the Middle East authorities would agree to substitute the draft censorship directive prepared here for that being applied from Middle East on Greek affairs.

The chairman of the Middle East Defense Committee now has replied that he and Leeper26 appreciate the desire to achieve uniformity and that “a time has now come when it has been found possible [Page 1513] to lift almost all Greek political stops”. The reply adds that difficult days may be ahead however and that Leeper concurs in the view that the direction on “such political censorship as may from time to time be necessary” should come from Cairo where the Greek Government and the British Ambassador to Greece are.

It will be noted that the British Middle East authorities take the position that some political censorship may be necessary from time to time. If this position is maintained when this reply is discussed by SAC’s political committee I propose to request in view of Department’s 1790 June 627 that the Middle East authorities be instructed to make clear to press correspondents involved whenever any despatches may be censored on political grounds that the American Government has no part in such censorship which is done solely on British responsibility. [Murphy.]

  1. Lincoln MacVeagh, Ambassador to the Governments of Greece and Yugoslavia established at Cairo.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Sir Reginald W. A. Leeper, British Ambassador to the Greek Government at Cairo.
  4. Not printed.