868.01/497: Telegram

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

Greek 118. My Greek 114, April 12, 7 p.m.32 Venizelos has been entrusted by the King with the formation of a service Cabinet pending the arrival of personalities from Greece and the construction of a Government on the wide basis promised. The King’s statement33 has been generally accepted with reservation particularly as to how his actions will support his words. Meanwhile there has been little change in the military and naval situations. A few naval mutineers have abandoned their comrades and this may indicate that the crisis of revolutionary enthusiasm is passing as the local British continue to show patience. However, since the need for the Greek Fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean is acute this continued patience, which would appear essential in the circumstances if incidents are to be avoided, may fail to extend to London. Furthermore, as the Greeks regard themselves as guilty of no misconduct toward their Allies and the British have issued orders to lay down arms, etc., which they feel they cannot rescind, the question of face seems likely to cause difficulties even if others are composed.

Russian interest in the movement, as tending in general to swing the Government of Greece further to the left and in particular to bring EAM more powerfully into the picture, is now widely recognized in [Page 96] Greek circles here owing to the sympathetic attitude of the Soviet Ambassador (see my Greek 113, April 11, 7 p.m.) and the propaganda activities of the Moscow press and radio (see Moscow’s 1243, April 1034) and is causing some speculation as to how far it will go and whether Russia now aspires to supplant Britain as the dominating foreign power in connection with Greek affairs.

  1. Not printed.
  2. In telegram No. 115, April 12, the Ambassador to the Greek Government in Exile reported that King George had issued on April 12 a public announcement stating his support of the formation of a government “as representative as possible made up of all trends of patriotic opinion … largely … composed of Greeks who have lived in their country under enemy occupation …”. (868.01/949)
  3. Not printed.