868.01/470: Telegram

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

Greek 88. My telegram No. 77, Greek, March 9, 6 p.m.18 I called on Mr. Tsouderos yesterday afternoon and he told me that although the King has not yet finally replied to his letter regarding the proposal for a regency he has indicated in a telegram that he is indisposed to accept the proposal feeling that it would be tantamount to “abdicating the mandate which he has received from his people”; he will give his final answer only when he has studied the documents.

Mr. Tsouderos expressed his own concern about the possibility of the King’s refusal to agree. He pointed out that such a refusal would open rifts between the King, his Government and the parties in Greece which would give to the newly formed “Political Committee”19 (see my immediately preceding telegram20) a fortuitous strength which it would otherwise lack. He went on to say that if the King persisted in his refusal he, Tsouderos, could not hold his Government and would himself have to resign. The King should then have no alternative but to form such a government as that of Yugoslavia, which would find no support whatever within the country and very little outside of it. In this event the Allies while continuing formal [Page 89] recognition of the King might feel obliged in the interests of the war effort to throw their effective support to the “Political Committee” as they have done in the case of Tito.

The British Ambassador21 informed me today that he has telegraphed these views of the Prime Minister most urgently to the Foreign Office in London.

  1. Not printed.
  2. During February and March, conferences were held between the various guerrilla organizations in Greece and certain political leaders to end fighting between the guerrillas, to establish a secret committee representing all anti-German groups to unify their efforts against the German occupying forces, and to collaborate with the Greek Government in Exile. Following the breakdown of negotiations, EAM organized on March 12–13 its own “Political Committee of National Liberation” (Politike Epitrope Ethnikos Apeleftherosis, often referred to as PEEA). Though unsuccessful in establishing political unity, the conferences did succeed in bringing about an armistice between the guerrilla factions.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Reginald W. A. Leeper.