868.00/7–1045: Telegram

No. 461
The Ambassador in Greece ( MacVeagh ) to the Acting Secretary of State 1

695. Referring Tito broadcast July 82 stating Gks firing across border trying provoke Yugos while “thousands and thousands” Macedonians and Gks being fed Yugoslavia after escaping terror [Page 679] Grk reactionaries, PriMin 3 called today express concern alarm. Said intends fly Salonika tomorrow returning Thurs purpose determine facts personally. Plans give trip no publicity likely complicate situation, but intends make temperate factual broadcast on return.

American observers north Greece fail confirm Tito statements. Disturbed conditions both sides border plentifully reported past months but no recent accentuation while figures given refugees unquestionably fantastic.

Local political struggle intensified ideological grounds. Press public deeply stirred. Right and center accusing Tito waging war nerves Grk national aspirations, call tactics reminiscent Axis methods. Left omitting comment specific charges gladly hails fresh evidence Russia’s Tito’s knowledge Grk patriots persecuted and scores anti-Soviet policy Grk reactionaries.

  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. The reference is to the following passage in a broadcast by Tito, transmitted at 1:30 p.m. E. W. T., July 8, here reprinted from “Daily Report, Foreign Radio Broadcasts, Monday, July 9, 1945” (Washington, Federal Communications Commission, Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service, mimeographed, 1945), p. S–8:

    “Unfortunately our relations with our neighbor, Greece, are not very sound. Our peoples have the greatest sympathy toward Greece because the Greek people in their critical years showed, like the peoples of Yugoslavia, unexampled heroism in the struggle against the German-Italian invaders who wanted to enslave them. The Greek people had [have?] the misfortune of having again on top various reactionaries who are oppressing, not only the Slav people in Macedonia but also the Greek people themselves.

    “A few days ago the Greek Minister of Interior declared that not a single Greek or Slav from Greece had passed the frontier to seek refuge in Yugoslavia. Today, here before all of you, I say that there are thousands and thousands, not only of Macedonians, who took refuge in Yugoslavia but of Greeks, real Hellenes, who today live in Vojvodina, where we have put them so that they could be better fed. They escaped from the terror of the Greek reactionaries. Thus by these facts I refute the statement of that Minister who wanted to deceive the world.

    “I may say today here that in spite of all our wishes to maintain the best of friendship with Greece on our Greek frontier, without any reason Greek provocateurs, reactionaries, and troops are firing from mortars across our frontier, trying to provoke us. We look calmly on all this. We do not respond to the provocations of the reactionaries because we know they are hated by the Greek people themselves.

    “I believe that the Greek people will gain their freedom. We will not succumb to any provocation. This does not represent any danger but it shows only how democracy works in Greece. This is what they show by their provocations. Accordingly, when I speak of our relations with other countries, it is clear that Yugoslavia has made many friends whom she did not have prior to this war and that she will continue on this road and strengthen these relations.”

  3. Petros Voulgaris.