868.00/7–1347: Telegram

The Ambassador in Greece (MacVeagh) to the Secretary of State


1108. I am reliably informed that representative of Communist Party saw Sophoulis yesterday afternoon and gave him verbally what they called final terms for calling off civil war as follows:

Resignation of present government.
Dissolution of Parliament;
Formation of “pure center government” under Sophoulis with cooperation such leaders as Tsouderos, Plastiras, and Mylonas (Sofianopoulos, Svolos, and Tsirimokos not mentioned).
Agreement between new government and KKE on basis of “Sophoulis’s policy of appeasement”, i.e. general amnesty, guarantee of security to those laying down arms, and promise of new elections soonest on basis revised electoral lists.

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Representatives said that if terms unacceptable, threat contained in Zachariades manifesto yesterday (mytel 1103, July 121) would be carried out. Added agreement must be guaranteed either by UNO or by “Allied factors”. When asked if British and US approval alone sufficient, replied Russian approval also essential.

My info as above did not come direct from liberal leaders, who however contacted British Chargé, one of them (Tsouderos) even sending secret message to ask what British Government would advise by way of reply. Prime Minister who called on me this morning, denied all knowledge of matter and insisted Sophoulis in agreement with him (despite failure to say so publicly, see mytel 1087 July 102) on question of how to deal with rebels. Question therefore arises whether Sophoulis playing square with Prime Minister, while still so appears he following, at least to some extent, well-known Communist tactics of trying to use UK against US. British Chargé, whom I also saw this morning, feels Liberal leaders shocked by extent of recent arrests and now less inclined cooperate with Government than immediately after Strasbourg speech. Believe this probably true though widespread public reaction may not support politicians in long run. Miller3 who here today from north, reports “notable feeling of relief in Salonika as result arrests” and tendency to ask why Government delayed so long. International aspects of situation becoming more tense daily and further assaults against Greek integrity such as today’s Konitza incident (mytel 1107, July 134) or actual declaration separatist government under international Communist influence may easily swing liberal policy again into more nationalist channels.

  1. Not printed; the manifesto stated: “In this historic moment democratic leadership of country must undertake fully its responsibilities toward nation so long as final efforts for fair and equitable understanding among Greeks fail.” (868.00/7–1247) Nicholas Zachariades was General Secretary of the Greek Communist Party.
  2. Not printed; it stated that the Prime Minister telephoned Ambassador MacVeagh on the morning of July 10 “that Sophoulis had told him he approved mass arrests as ‘necessary measure’ (though this so far unconfirmed by any public statement) and also, with reference to ‘appeasement offer’ by EAM, that he would undertake inform latter that if guerrillas would lay down arms, which sine qua non, government willing guarantee peaceful return home and subsequent security under general amnesty internationally observed.”

    The telegram also conveyed the Embassy’s information from confidential sources that arrests totaled 9,000 and would reach at least 14,000. (868.00/7–1047)

  3. Lt. Col. Allen C. Miller, Assistant Military Attaché in Greece.
  4. Not printed; it reported information from the Greek Prime Minister that “exceptionally large guerrilla force, accompanied by members of International Brigade, today entered Greek Epirus from Albania, seized important bridge and isolated town of Konitza.” (501.BC Greece/7–1347)