501.BB Balkan/3–3148: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to Mr. Gerald A. Drew, at Salonika


83. Balcom 130 for Drew. For your info request has been made to Secy Natl Defense1 for personnel and eqpt to implement four additional [Page 239] observer teams (re Combal 1112). In event satisfactory reply you will be instructed raise subject in UNSCOB and Dept will approach UNSCOB govts directly.

Unfortunate UNSCOB decision re preparation report (Combal 1253) source of keen disappointment, but Dept reluctant create resentment by making direct approach UNSCOB govts this subject. However, if no UN funds available to finance proposed shift Drafting Committee and staff to Geneva or in event serious intervening developments UNSCOB might have opportunity re-examine this decision. Care should be exercised that financial requirements for drafting report in Geneva will not adversely affect proper Secretariat facilities for contemplated additional observer teams.

Sobolev’s4 June 25th date for completion of report seems excessively early and also an unwarranted interference with UNSCOB authority. Presumably, by decision to send committee to Geneva about May 1, UNSCOB accepted this schedule. Dept perceives certain tactical advantages from an early report on premise such report contains irrefutable evidence foreign assistance to guerrillas and would condition world opinion for later forceful GA action. Proper sequel to strong, early annual report would seem to be another interim report issued immediately before convocation GA confirming conclusions of annual report.

Please indicate your plans for US representation on Drafting Committee. We hope principal delegates can be persuaded remain Salonika where UNSCOB decisions will be taken, but recognize decision to go to Geneva merely represents effort certain delegates to escape from Salonika. Essential you remain Salonika at least until Kirk’s successor named and present on scene. Dept considering sending Harry Howard to spend several weeks Salonika and then proceed Geneva with Drafting Committee. Additional personnel might be made available if you consider US staff either in Salonika or Geneva will require strengthening during this period.

  1. On March 29.
  2. Identified also as telegram 107, March 15, 11 a. m., from Salonika; Admiral Kirk stated: “Incidents to date in our opinion show continued assistance in form of material aid to guerrillas and continued provision of sanctuary for retreating bandits open and flagrantly granted.” The Ambassador opined that “4 more complete teams could be used effectively and would have deterrent effect particularly In the Grammos and western Macedonian areas.” (501.BB Balkan/3–1548)
  3. Identified also as telegram 126, March 27, 6 p. m., from Salonika; it reported defeat the same day of a United States resolution providing for appointment of an ad hoc committee to consider whether the report should be written outside of Greece. It advised also that UNSCOB thereupon approved a resolution by Brazil, China, and Mexico, proposing that the drafting of the report begin in or near Geneva on May 1 (501.BB Balkan/3–2748). The Department later informed Mr. Drew of its strong disapproval of “any attempt to remove center gravity UNSCOB authority from Salonika to Geneva.” (telegram 133, May 20, 6 p. m., to Salonika, identified also as Balcom 167, 501.BB Balkan/5–2048)
  4. Acting Secretary-General of the United Nations Arkady Alexandrovitch Sobolev.