501.BB Balkan/1–448: Telegram

The Secretary of State to Admiral Alan G. Kirk, at Salonika


6. Balcom 71. Refusal Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia to cooperate with UNSCOB long foreseen. (Combal 591). However Dept convinced most graphic picture arid effective check guerrilla operations can be obtained inside Greece. History SC Commission2 proves cooperation northern neighbors serves only to conceal rather than reveal actual facts. Subsidiary Group3 functioning only in Greece, collected important data and provided substantial UN supervision despite lack of cooperation by northern states. In Dept’s view authentic UN reporting concerning current developments northern Greece highly important in order to educate world opinion and lay foundation for whatever action subsequently necessary to maintain territorial integrity of Greece.

GA resolution directing UNSCOB to observe compliance UN recommendation arid provision authorizing UNSCOB to determine procedure and establish subcommittees clearly anticipated some machinery for effective observation4 including collecting evidence and taking testimony (see Howard’s memo Nov 205). Dept considers redrafted terms of reference unnecessary for effective operations of UNSCOB under present resolution and perceives no advantage in eliminating provisions concerning frontier agreements and minorities merely because no present opportunity to implement them exists.

Consideration of UNSCOB financial problems outside terms reference Interim Committee6 which is authorized to consider only political and security questions and to make recommendations thereon only to GA. For your personal info Interim Committee could conceivably discuss eventual changes in UNSCOB terms of reference, but only for purposes of preparing recommendations to next meeting of GA. Even to be placed on Interim Committee agenda UNSCOB question would require two thirds majority approval. Dept. would consider [Page 225] undesirable any effort to raise any phase of Grk problem before Interim Committee at this time.

In view Sec Gen’s second refusal to allocate funds for observation, team eqpt and personnel Dept considers loan basis only feasible solution to team organization.

  1. Identified also as telegram 8, January 4, 8 p. m., from Salonika; it advised that with Albanian refusal to acknowledge the competence of UNSCOB, only Greece acquiesced in its activities (501.BB Balkan/1–448).
  2. The Commission of Investigation concerning Greek frontier incidents.
  3. Of the Commission of Investigation; for the establishment of the Subsidiary Group, see Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. v, p. 837, footnote 2.
  4. Combal 59 also advised that several UNSCOB members believed the terms of reference in the resolution of October 21, 1947, were becoming obsolete, some questioning the authority of UNSCOB to use observer groups.
  5. Not printed. Harry N. Howard was Chief of the Near East Branch of the Division of Research for Near East and Africa.
  6. The Interim Committee of the General Assembly, set up by the General Assembly late in 1947, was in the process of organizing itself at this time.