Memorandum by Mr. Cavendish W. Cannon, Political Adviser, United States Delegation46
Mr. Caffery: I had a meeting today with Messrs. Diamantopoulos, Pipinelis and Stephanou of the Greek Delegation concerning the Greco-Bulgarian frontier question. The Greek Delegation appears to be determined to refer this question to the Military Commission, and Mr. Pipinelis started the discussion by saying that he understood that the American Delegation was not favorable to this procedure.
I said that his understanding was correct. We feel that this is primarily a “political and territorial” question, and consequently clearly within the terms of reference of our Commission, and that while we did not wish actively to oppose any Greek plan which would carry the discussion forward, we felt that the Military Commission would certainly refuse to take the responsibility for decisions and that there would be just that much more time and motion lost in the Conference work. I said that it seemed to us that the military aspects of the question could be dealt with by inviting each Delegation to ask its respective military advisers to sit with us in the Political Commission for discussion of this aspect of the problem.
The ensuing discussion covered the old ground, the only new point mentioned being that whereas the Bulgarian Political Commission contains a representation of only 13 Delegations, the Military Commission is made up of representatives of all of the governments participating in the Conference, consequently the Greek case could thus be considered from the broader aspect of its effect on general European and Mediterranean security, in which all of the participating governments are interested.
There may be something in this point but I said nevertheless that I felt that Mr. Caffery would not wish to vote for a reference of the “question” to the Military Commission, but I added that if the discussion within our Commission develops to the point that we find ourselves talking about highly technical and strategic aspects of a certain region or line of fortifications, etc., we might then be willing to refer [Page 854] this particular question to the Military Commission. In such a contingency, I said, the Greeks would have to put forward a very succinct proposition so that there would be perfectly clear and technical terms of reference for the Military Commission, if they expected us to go along with them in such a project.
While I did not use these words, I think there is no doubt in Mr. Pipinelis’ mind that we consider it would be a waste of time to occupy the Military Commission with this question. He apparently thinks that it is necessary to gain a bit of time and enlarge the area of discussion for better maneuvering of what he is beginning to discover is a not very popular proposition.
- This memorandum was directed to Ambassador Caffery.↩