868.00/1–1145: Telegram

Mr. Alexander C. Kirk, United States Political Adviser to the Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater,20a to the Secretary of State

111. Macmillan21 who returned yesterday from Athens was in a very confident mood. He recounted in some detail recent events in Greece and stated that situation had improved considerably. Scobie22 had cleaned up the Athens Piraeus area and ELAS forces were withdrawing very rapidly from the whole of Attica. He said that situation in Patras was still tense but that there had been some improvement. He added that British had made it clear to ELAS that they were ready to fight in Patras and this had had a very salutary effect on local ELAS leaders. The British Resident Minister went on to say that British policy would be to clean up the whole of Attica and Peloponnesus and then establish the authority of Plastiras Government firmly in “old Greece”. He said that Damaskinos had taken hold of situation very well and that General Plastiras was cooperating fully with the British. It was felt now that things would work [Page 103] out satisfactorily. He presumably had complete confidence in Plastiras and said that Plastiras was just as determined as Churchill not to permit the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) to gain control of the country. The real moving force in the government, however, would be Sophianopolous, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Macmillan stated further that British would be obliged to retain considerable forces in Greece for an indefinite period in order to give the government a chance to build itself up and to organize the Greek national army. Only when this was done could British begin to give consideration to reduction of their strength in Greece.

He went on to say that he was considerably relieved that there had been an improvement in the Greek situation as Churchill would be in a better position when he met Stalin at the forthcoming meeting of the Big Three.23 Macmillan concluded his remarks with statement that Field Marshal Alexander24 had just received word from Scobie that ELAS had requested Scobie to receive representatives in order to negotiate a new truce.

  1. Mr. Kirk was also Ambassador in Italy.
  2. Harold Macmillan, British Minister Resident, Allied Force Headquarters, Mediterranean Theater (at Caserta).
  3. Lt. Gen. Ronald M. Scobie, British General Officer Commanding in Greece.
  4. This is a reference to the forthcoming meeting at Yalta.
  5. Field Marshal Sir Harold R. L. G. Alexander, Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater.