740.0011 EW/5–2245

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. William O. Baxter of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs

Participants: Mr. George Christopoulos, First Secretary, Greek Embassy,
Mr. C. W. Cannon, SE,4
Mr. W. O. Baxter, NE.

Mr. Christopoulos, First Secretary of the Greek Embassy, called today at his request to advise the Department that the Greek Government had received reports which it believes to be reliable that Yugoslav troops are being massed in Southern Yugoslavia near the Greek frontier. This information, coupled with indications that Albanian forces are concentrated in Southern Albania, causes the Greek Government great alarm. It is feared that Marshal Tito and General Hoxha may have come to some secret understanding for a surprise attack across the Greek border to seize territory in northwestern Greece, which is admittedly not under strong control of the Greek Government.

Mr. Christopoulos said that his Government wishes to know what would be our attitude if a formal Greek request should be made for British and American troops to be sent to this section of Greece to forestall any coup on the part of Albania and Yugoslavia. The same question, he indicated, is being asked of the British Government.

Mr. Cannon replied that we had heard rumors, as yet unconfirmed, of certain troop movements in this section and that we would make further inquiries.5 He thought it unlikely, however, that Hoxha would indulge in any aggressive acts at a time when he is seeking Allied recognition for his Government. On the matter of the use of American or British troops, Mr. Cannon pointed out that any military decision of that sort would need to be made by consultation among the [Page 315] great powers within the framework of the Yalta Agreement.6 He ventured to hope that no overt action might be needed; the mere raising of such a question on a high level would probably be sufficient to ease the situation.

Mr. Cannon assured Mr. Christopoulos that the Department will inform him of any information which it receives as the result of further inquiries.7

  1. Cavendish W. Cannon, Chief of the Division of South European Affairs.
  2. For communications on this subject subsequently received by the Department, see despatch 1213, June 23, 1945, from Athens; telegram 201, June 25. from Belgrade; telegram 2814, June 29, 5 p.m., from Caserta; telegram 2823, June 23, 5 p.m., from Caserta; telegram 251, July 9, from Belgrade; telegram 695, July 10, 8 p.m., from Athens, in Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, vol. i, pp. 666679, passim. See telegram 192, July 11, 7 p.m., to Belgrade, p. 320, for Departmental instruction to the Chargé in Yugoslavia concerning the developments of this period.
  3. Signed at Yalta, February 11, 1945; see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945, pp. 966 ff.
  4. See footnote 77, p. 303.