The British Embassy to the Department of State

Paraphrase of Telegram From Foreign Office to H. M. Ambassador, Ankara, Dated May 17th, 1945

You may inform the Turkish Government that we have no intention of reaching an immediate decision about the future status of the islands or of handing them over to the Greeks. Our attitude was made clear in answer to a question in parliament on May 16th.12

For your own information owing to the position which has arisen in North-East Italy it has been decided that the principle must be maintained that the future of the Dodecanese, like that of other disputed territories, should be held over until the peace settlement. Consequently no statement can be issued by His Majesty’s Government in the immediate future pledging us to support Greek Claim to the Islands.

I do not think that there would be any advantage in encouraging the Turkish Government to discuss the future status of the islands with ourselves. There might be advantage, however, in promoting Greco-Turkish discussions provided that the Turkish Government do not open their mouths too wide. If they are ready to assume that all the islands except Castellorizo will eventually pass under Greek Sovereignty, discussions might well lead to a useful agreement.

  1. Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 5th series, vol. 410, col. 2442.