The British Embassy to the Department of State

Paraphrase of Telegram From Foreign Office to Lord Halifax,89 Dated April 15/45

Plans have been made for a British Military administration to govern the Dodecanese as soon as the Islands fall into our hands. The administration will have a difficult task so long as it has to maintain officially a completely impartial attitude, since it will be obliged to resist demands for union with Greece and to prevent political demonstrations in the Islands. British Military authorities have therefore asked that His Majesty’s Government should now make a statement indicating that we shall support the Greek claims when the time comes to decide the future status of the Islands.

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It has always been our intention that all the Islands, with the possible exception of Castellorizo, should go to Greece after the war. We have been concerned, however, lest the settlement should impair relations between Greece and Turkey and have considered whether we should try to promote immediate discussions between Greek and Turkish Governments to decide such questions as Turkish minority, demilitarization, etc. His Majesty’s Ambassadors in Athens and Angora have advised that such discussions should not be initiated before the attitude of His Majesty’s Government has been made clear by means of a statement on the lines suggested in paragraph 1 above.
We are strongly in favor of making such a statement, the most appropriate moment for which would be when the rest of the Islands fall into our hands. In view of developments in the war situation this may occur in the near future. Please therefore take an early opportunity of informing the United States Government of the proposed action which we strongly advocate, and which we hope will meet with their approval.
A statement of this sort will at once ease the task of British Military administration, and also make it possible for the Islands to be handed over to Greece at a fairly early date, thus relieving forthwith a military commitment. It will also assist the Greek Government who are under strong pressure to take effective action for the promotion of Greek territorial claims.
  1. British Ambassador.