868.20/5–3047: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Greece


781. Urtels 771 May 26; 779 [799] May 301 and Lehner’s MID 185 May 27. Dept assumes you concur temporary increase 20,000 Greek Army recommended Colonel Lehner and Brit military. Increase also approved here by War Dept.

If Dept assumption correct, you may inform Greek Govt that US Govt concurs in temporary increase maximum 20,000 for Greek Army to replace veterans long service. Such increase for period approximately three months at end of which Greek National Army should be reduced promptly to original ceiling of 120,000. US Govt will expect Greek Govt to minimize internal financial expenses of such temporary increase, as any unnecessary or excessive local expenditures would constitute drain on Greek budget and resources of economy and indirectly diminish net contribution assistance civilian economy from US funds becoming available under Act. US Govt reserves judgment re necessity further call-up Sept 1 of 20,000 additional new men (urtel 671 May 10) and re permanent increase suggested third para Greek Aide-Mémoire May 25.

Following forurinfo. If after consultation Lehner above three months period covering temporary increase either excessive or inadequate, you are authorized to make appropriate change in reply to Greek Govt.

Dept understands costs temporary increase 20,000 offset in part by factors mentioned urtel 799, but further clarification helpful. On basis present financial program for Greece, any net dollar increase Army costs would be absorbed in tentative 150 million military program.

If possible pls ascertain Greek Govt internal costs proposed 20,000 Army increase.

  1. Not printed, but see footnote 2, p. 180.