868.01/7–1544: Telegram

The Chargé Near the Greek Government in Exile (Shantz) to the Secretary of State

Greek 221. I communicated the substance of the Department’s Greek 42 of July 7, 5 p.m. to Ambassador Leeper95 and have now received a reply of which the following are the pertinent portions in paraphrase:

“I believe, and in transmitting your Government’s views to the Foreign Office in London have suggested, that a satisfactory solution of the matter of the relations of the Allied forces with the Greek Government can be achieved along lines suggested in your letter, but with the following modification. An agreement covering the general situation which conceivably might include military operations to expel enemy forces from Greece might be negotiated by His Majesty’s Government with the Greek Government closely following the lines of similar agreements with, for example, the Norwegian Government.96 The Allied Commander would be given by such an agreement certain powers indispensable to him in the case of military operations in Greece or in neighboring territories necessitating the use of bases or lines of communication in Greece and such an agreement would specify clearly that the United States military are concerned only with civilian relief and rehabilitation.

A further and separate agreement on the general lines of the draft prepared by Allied Military Liaison Headquarters would provide for a situation in which no military operations are contemplated and in which the task of the Allied military liaison forces as a whole would be limited to the provision of relief and assistance to the distressed Greek civilian people. In this case it would seem that the terms of reference of the force as a whole would be identical with those of General Sadler’s Mission attached to it and that no specific reservation [Page 186] of the limitation of the functions of the American military would be necessary. In the circumstances foreseen the Greek Government would exercise sovereign authority throughout Greek territory although in practice it might be necessary to distribute operation of de facto local authorities in the early stages in the possible eventuality of certain areas not having at the outset recognized the authority of the Central Greek Government.”

At the instance of the British Embassy a conference was held yesterday between Generals Hughes and Sadler with representatives of the British and American Embassies at which the above suggestion of Ambassador Leeper was discussed in conjunction with the draft prepared by AML97 referred to by him of which a copy was sent by air courier to the War Department July 12 and is presumably available to the Department.

General Sadler, favoring the Ambassador’s proposal, which had already been approved by Hughes, expressed the opinion that in view of the limitation on American military participation to activities involving relief and rehabilitation the negotiation by the British of an original agreement on the lines of the Norwegian covering “the general situation and including military operations to expel enemy forces” should not concern the United States Government nor would it be necessary or desirable to specify in such an agreement that the United States military activities are limited to civilian relief and rehabilitation.

Assuming the adoption of this proposal to negotiate two agreements the conference then discussed certain amendments proposed by the British to the AML draft. The Embassy has been promised that the text of the draft with the amendments agreed to will be available today and a copy thereof will be forwarded to the Department98 by air mail immediately upon receipt.

Repeated to Algiers for Murphy as No. 32.

  1. Reginald W. A. Leeper, British Ambassador to the Greek Government in Exile.
  2. For text of agreement between the United States and Norway regarding arrangements for Civil Administration and Jurisdiction in Norwegian territory liberated by an Allied expeditionary force, signed May 16, 1944, see Department of State, Treaties and Other International Acts Series No. 1514, or 60 Stat. (pt. 2) 1581.
  3. Allied Military Liaison.
  4. Not printed.