868.00/7–2145: Telegram

No. 1075
The Chief of Mission in Albania (Jacobs) to the Acting Secretary of State

top secret

91. There was secret meeting of military command here last night to consider Greek situation. Understand that authorities fear Greeks with tacit approval of present high British military authorities?1] in Greece will provoke border incidents and then ask British troops to occupy southern Albania to preserve “order and status quo”. From remarks of British military officers here I believe some British military authorities at least desire opportunity for British troops to occupy southern Albania and group here seems unduly anxious that something will happen to prevent recognition provisional or otherwise, or [of?] present regime. Brig Hodgson and Col Palmer have left for southern Albania.

Authorities here report that on July 9 band of armed Greeks crossed frontier near Konispol on coast south of Sarande and attempted to place two boundary pyramids on Albanian soil. Shots were fired and band retreated.

Sent Dept as 91: reptd Caserta as 108; repeated Athens.

On July 12 and 13 Greek soldiers attempted same thing at Bilisht east of Korçë and were driven away by gunfire. See first item enclosure my despatch 50, July 122 for fifteen other alleged incidents extending back to April.

Yugoslavs now sending to Albania quantities of ammunition and some artillery which according to our sources being concentrated at Korçë and Gjinokastër where Albanian troops have gone.

While I cannot say positively which side is stirring up these border incidents it seems certain now that they are taking place and my opinion is colored by Albanian point of view because it was the Greeks who started propaganda campaign on frontier problems and persecution.

Jacobs
  1. Words in brackets supplied to fill an apparent omission in the original.
  2. Not printed.