868.00/1–1545: Telegram

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

161. Macmillan stated last evening that he and Field Marshal Alexander would proceed to Athens on January 16 in order to bring about a final solution of Greek problem. He said that on arrival in Greek capital he [and SAC?27] would draft a joint telegram to Churchill giving present military and political situation and then make recommendations for a final settlement. He stated that he would counsel Damaskinos and Plastiras to remain firm vis-à-vis ELAS and to make no concessions to them. He added that ELAS morale is getting low and considerable desertions from their forces are taking place. He stated that British Military Intelligence is reliably informed that ELAS leaders are inclined to believe that struggle is futile but that certain Communist elements are in favor of continuing fighting. He said that while he would do everything he could in order to persuade ELAS leaders to revise their decision on hostages the most important thing to be done in Greece was to persuade ELAS to lay down their arms. He was not quite certain as to how this could be done but he intended to advise Damaskinos to offer full amnesty to everyone who agreed to lay down his arms. He said that when and if each ELAS turned in his rifle he should be given a certificate signed by Damaskinos with a cross on top and an inverted miter on the bottom showing that holder of such certificate would not be prosecuted for any role he may have played in recent Greek trouble.

British Resident Minister went on to say that now that ELAS were on the run he was confident they would be only too glad to reach settlement with British. He asserted Churchill had given him full powers to deal with situation and that while he had no illusions he was prepared to tackle it and thought there was more than a fair chance of success.

  1. Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean Theater (Alexander).