868.24/2–1947: Telegram

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


237. King called British Ambassador and me to Palace yesterday and expressed his anxiety over delay in obtaining adequate equipment Greek army (mytel 1721, December 16, 19461) for spring offensive due open March 31. I informed him duplicate tentative list of requirements forwarded Washington where presumably being studied in view possibility furnish items which British unable (mytel 1798 [ Deptel 15982], December 19, 1946) but that US action must await British initiative. Norton obviously embarrassed and promised telegraph urgently in effort expedite. Respectfully repeat suggestion in paragraph 1 mytel 1721 that query from Washington might help produce promptness already necessary two months ago.

In addition King complained request to British for agreement expand Greek army by 1500 men (mytel 1699, December 113) still unanswered and Norton replied he actively endeavoring secure this. Said believes the situation caused by financial aspects and he urging [Page 28] agreement now and settlement of financial question later. King stressed equipment and reinforcement needed both for strengthening offensive strength Greek army and for revival deteriorating morale. Said recruits largely needed to replace elements of older classes now rapidly tiring and he fears serious widespread breakdown of discipline unless relief accorded (see Military Attaché’s telegram to War MID 49–47, February 18).

  1. Foreign Relations, 1946, vol. vii, p. 282.
  2. Not printed; but see footnote 77, ibid., p. 283. The list was forwarded to Washington in telegram 6, January 3, 1947, from Athens.
  3. Not printed.