868.00/7–945: Telegram

No. 447
The Ambassador in Greece ( MacVeagh ) to the Acting Secretary of State 1
confidential

690. Glad this problem2 now receiving attention (urtel 641, July 53). Fundamental local situation unchanged hence following preliminary comments recommendations offered against background mytel 132, Dec 8, 1944.3

Believe Russian participation essential satisfy Left and this necessary allays [sic] suspicions, pacify country. Unable determine urtel whether commission now envisaged would only supply “friendly observers” to influence by their presence and ultimately pass on fairness of Greek elections, or actually intervene in operation. Latter alternative, involving Allied assistance at polls and use of Brit troops to supervise polling, might justify Soviet view violation Greek sovereignty and also cause endless discussion here as to “undue influence”. Have discussed this with Brit Chargé, Caccia, who agrees. Firmer alternative, however, not incompatible expressed desires all parties. EAM and KKE specially vocal demanding Allied “supervision” and this might be usefully recalled Soviet attention. Should Moscow remain firm against sending mission might not three Yalta powers jointly depute us [U. S.?] act alone this matter their name? This not discussed Caccia. Believe Partisan suspicions unlikely attach our action such conditions, but association with Brit to exclusion Soviets certain involve us in anti-Brit charges Partisanship if Leftists unsuccessful and render costly effort help Greece null.

Concerning proposed suggestion to Greek Govt that elections precede Plebiscite this would contravene provisions Varkiza agreement and Caccia feels his Govt more closely involved this agreement than us. He queries advisability intervening to upset it this particular specially as question relative timing elections Plebiscite highly controversial and wholly internal. Caccia has copy Dept’s reply4 FonOfTs aide-mémoire but has not been asked comment.

If Commission constituted Dept’s figures would not seem exaggerated for proper job and fully agree wisdom keeping diplomatic mission uninvolved.

MacVeagh
  1. The gist of this message was included in telegram No. 19 of July 12 from Grew to Byrnes (file No. 740.00119 Potsdam/7–1245).
  2. i. e., Allied supervision of Greek elections.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Not printed.
  5. Document No. 445.