501.BB Balkan/5–1348: Telegram

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

secret   us urgent

122. Balcom 159 for Drew. Preliminary Dept thinking regarding UNSCOB report inclines to view report should contain strong conclusions based on thoroughly documented statement of facts, but no substantive recommendations should be included in this report as they would necessarily be tentative. Moral and political remedies under Charter have so far been unavailing. In event Grk military efforts or encouraging developments in international situation do not result in improvement border situation GA will be faced with problem of devising more adequate measures. At this moment, however, it would be unwise to commit US to drastic action which ultimately may be required in Oct.1 In our view conclusions could be framed so that desirable recommendations would flow naturally from conclusions, but would not commit UNSCOB nations to formal recommendations based on present estimate situation.

Following are examples type conclusions which might be included in report:

Albanian, Bulgarian and Yugoslav assistance to guerrillas continues in disregard GA recommendations. On basis evidence before it (evidence collected by teams, official attitude northern neighbors toward UNSCOB, quasi-official nature Aid to Free Greece Committees, etc.) UNSCOB is drawn unavoidably to conclusion that Yugo in her attitude toward Greece has ceased adhere to principles UN. Similarly, Albania and Bulgaria in their attitude toward Greece have demonstrated neither capacity nor desire to discharge obligations which must be assumed by nations wishing join UN.
Comment: Conclusion this nature would provide justification for GA censure or disciplinary action subsequently to be determined.
Unless attitude northern neighbors alters or unless UN takes effective measures prevent foreign aid reaching guerrillas, Grk internal strife and threat to peace of Balkans will continue.
Comment: Conclusion this nature would provide general foundation for any affirmative UN action which might subsequently be developed to protect Greece.
In view continuing critical situation essential UNSCOB remain Salonika to continue conciliatory, efforts and report developments.
Comment: Conclusion this nature would provide justification for continuation UNSCOB and any organizational changes required.
Since observer teams indispensable in assisting UNSCOB in its observation functions, future effective work UNSCOB will require adequate UN arrangements for support of teams.
Comment: Conclusion this nature would provide basis for consideration administrative requirements for teams.

Above suggested conclusions are not intended to be inclusive but merely illustrative of proposed treatment of such major issues as occur to us at moment.

In Oct adequate measures in Greece might conceivably require action of more serious nature than any previously undertaken by UN. For this reason we are anxious not to act precipitantly but prefer to have UNSCOB submit no recommendations of substantive nature, thus preserving tactical freedom of action in GA to develop appropriate measures in light Grk situation as it then exists in perspective of general international developments. Furthermore, to be effective UNSCOB recommendation should be almost unanimous and we question whether UNSCOB can be relied upon to adopt almost unanimously type recommendations which we may later feel desirable. Weak and inadequate recommendations would be worse than no recommendations at all in that they would constitute tacit confession UNSCOB weakness and would tend to impose obstacles to subsequent development stronger action in GA. We recognize it is possible, although unlikely, that developments might make it desirable for UNSCOB to submit substantive recommendations shortly before convocation GA.

We perceive no objections to UNSCOB report including recommendations on administrative and organizational matters at this time.

Pls comment soonest on our analysis.2

Sent Salonika for Balcom 159, and Geneva 581 as Balgen 66; rptd Athens 591, London 1740, Paris 1654, Moscow 338, Belgrade 235, Sofia 304.

  1. The Third Session of the General Assembly actually convened at Paris in September.
  2. Mr. Drew, in reply on May 20, stated that the Department’s preliminary views were entirely sound. He also deplored the failure of UNSCOB to make greater use of its authority to submit interim reports. (telegram 209 from Salonika, identified also as Combal 178, 501.BB Balkan/5–2048)