868.014/8–246

The Greek Prime Minister ( Tsaldaris ) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: As you are of course aware, the American Senate, on a motion by Mr. Connally, president of your Foreign Affairs Committee, a few days ago unanimously adopted Resolution No. 82, stressing the necessity for the return of the Dodecanese and Northern Epirus to Greece.3

As regards the Dodecanese Islands, the Council of Foreign Ministers has already decided that they should be restored to Greece. This decision will be merely confirmed and recorded at this Conference. But [Page 815] the question of Northern Epirus, Greek for thousands of years, continues to remain undecided, in spite of the innumerable historical, ethnological, economic, strategic, ethical and legal rights which Greece possesses upon it. These rights were solemnly confirmed once more by the recent Resolution of the American Senate, which testifies to the firmness of the Senate’s views upon this subject ever since 1920 when the first Lodge Resolution was voted.

This state of uncertainty permits the illiberal régime now in power in Albania to terrorise the inhabitants of this long suffering area and to carry on its programme of systematic obliteration of the Greek character of Northern Epirus. Furthermore, owing to the state of war existing between Greece and Albania from 28th October 1940 and the incessant incidents deliberately provoked by the Albanian authorities at the Greek-Albanian frontier, there is great danger of more general disturbances being created in the Balkans and in the Southeastern Mediterranean basin.

Under these circumstances, the Senate’s recent Resolution has been received with extreme satisfaction by the Greek people, who are seriously disturbed at so unjustified a prolongation of the non-settlement of the question of Northern Epirus. This Resolution has created the certainty in Greece that a solution will be found at the present Conference to put an end to this unfortunate state of affairs, which was brought about in 1912 by Italian imperialism and which has cost thousands of North Epirotes their lives.

I believed it opportune to bring this matter to your notice and to express our sincerest thanks for this new gesture of justice which has reached us from the United States of America in the shape of the Connally Resolution.

Please accept [etc.]

C. S. Tsaldaris
  1. Senate Resolution 82, approved on July 29, reads as follows:

    “That it is the sense of the Senate that Northern Epirus (including Corytsa) and the 12 islands of the Aegean Sea, known as the Dodecanese Islands, where a strong Greek population predominates, should be awarded by the peace conference to Greece and become incorporated in the territory of Greece” (Congressional Record, vol. 92, pt. 8, p. 10336). For documentation on the resolution, see vol. vi, pp. 2021.