868.01/493: Telegram

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

Greek Series 113. Attempts to allay the trouble in the Greek Armed Forces still continue. General Paget30 received a deputation from the 1st Brigade in Alexandria this afternoon and it is hoped that if some beneficial results from this are obtained they may help to quiet feelings in the army now apparently running high.

Meanwhile the King returned this morning very tired after his quick trip. Ambassador Leeper, whom I have just seen, believes it is essential that the King make a statement as soon as possible on the political situation which would satisfy the present emotional popular demand for some real evidence of intention to broaden the government. A meeting between the King, Admiral Cunningham,31 General Paget and Air Marshal Sir Keith Park (who has so far had no trouble but is certain to have it should shooting begin between the British and the Greek Army and Navy) has been arranged for tomorrow morning at which the Ambassador hopes that the King may be convinced that he must absolutely make such a statement, not only in his own interest, but to relieve his Allies of an impossible situation.

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In a conversation I had this afternoon with Russian Ambassador to discuss other topics he told me he was not in sympathy with British action so far in this affair. He expressed the view that the Greeks are merely seeking a change in their own government and that under such circumstances to menace them with tanks and deprive them of food is unjust. Rigid censorship here has been remarkably successful in preventing news of the trouble in the Greek Armed Forces as distinguished from the Cabinet crisis from spreading abroad, but the Moscow press has now mentioned it attacking, however, the Tsouderos government for the action the British have been taking.

  1. Gen. Sir Bernard Paget, British Commander in Chief in the Middle East.
  2. Admiral of the Fleet Sir Andrew B. Cunningham.