868.00/5–1245: Telegram

The Ambassador in Greece (MacVeagh) to the Secretary of State

456. The Athens newspapers announce under large headlines this morning that the Regent accompanied by elements of the Greek fleet and air forces will leave this afternoon for the Dodecanese where he will address the people and celebrate mass in the Cathedral of Rhodes.

This visit appears to have been decided on by the Regent individually with the consent of the British Ambassador98 but without prior reference elsewhere except to London where Sir Reginald tells me he had to clear the matter “because the Dodecanese is in another military theatre than Greece and comes under the Middle East Command”. He says he does not think Washington was consulted and I certainly was not advised. The Political Director of the Foreign Office says he learned of the visit only yesterday afternoon, and the Prime Minister’s Office, in a statement welcoming the event, ascribes it to the Regent’s “direct negotiations and personal activities”.

During my talk with my British colleague he said he does not regard the visit as of any great importance in connection with the question of the disposal of the islands, since the Greeks “know very well” that this must await the peace conference. However, the fact that it has been permitted is being generally and enthusiastically hailed here as an indication of Allied intentions to honor Greek claims [apparent omission] a result the gesture is likely to raise the local prestige of the present regime, which is possibly its primary aim.

  1. Sir Reginald W. A. Leeper.