868.20/1–2948: Telegram

Governor Dwight P. Griswold to the Secretary of State

top secret

Amag 184. 1. After careful consideration I concur Livesay’s telegram L–509 to Department Army1 recommending immediate increase GNA ceiling to 150,000 and increase 25,000,000 dollars military aid program for balance fiscal year. I agree also time is of essence as army major offensive expected start mid-April. Our primary aim for coming months must be to clear up guerrilla situation. Unless bandit groupings decisively broken next six months political and economic conditions Greece likely so deteriorate as to jeopardize accomplishment American objectives. Inflationary effect proposed increase GNA ceiling not too serious as it involves added drachmae expenditure this fiscal year of only 12 to 15 billion. I consider therefore essential meet Livesay’s request.

2. Program involves immediate call-up and training 15,000 men and when training completed strengthening existing units and increasing their fire power including better armament mountain divisions not hitherto adequately equipped. Training camps become vacant [Page 38] February 1 and important to utilize them when arms available at camps and before instructors dispersed.

3. It will not be possible to make further transfer of funds from civilian programs to military aid program furthermore, USAG[G] has already requisitioned nearly all items under original military program and recent authorized increases. There is no possibility therefore of accelerating last quarter expenditures and acquiring additional ordnance and supplies recommended by Livesay from present military aid funds. Incurring of obligations for such ordnance and supplies must await congressional appropriation.

4. On other hand sufficient rations and uniforms are physically available in Greece now to care for proposed call-up and training and this part of program could be put into effect at once without over-obligating present funds. However replacement such rations and uniforms and funds such purpose would of course be required before end of fiscal year.

5. Accordingly I request:

Immediate authority to increase GNA ceiling to 150,000. However, I would not feel justified in approving proposed call-up and training without assurance that a deficiency appropriation would shortly be made available by Congress. I urge therefore that Department seek immediate approval of appropriate congressional leaders, including appropriations chairmen, for procedure proposed and assurance that deficiency appropriation will be forthcoming.
Bill for deficiency appropriation to be submitted soonest to Congress in order that required ordnance and supplies may be shipped promptly and delivered Greece in time to reinforce forthcoming campaign. Department and Congress may wish include in one bill entire mission needs, civilian as well as military, for balance fiscal year to cover all recent and proposed increases military aid, refugee aid and general civilian needs. Funds required will not exceed 90 million dollars. Department can point out to congressional leaders that AMAG reconstruction, agricultural rehabilitation, public health programs have all been reduced since original presentation Congress. Only program increases are (1) 9 plus 15 plus proposed 25 million dollars for military aid necessitated by changing military conditions and (2) increased use AMAG funds for imports (under even a reduced overall import program) necessitated by increased world prices, loss of expected 10 million post UNRRA funds, and less Greek foreign exchange than anticipated from remittances, etc., and exports, latter primarily because of bad world markets for tobacco and olive oil. Clay2 left TWA January 29 with detailed data and justifications. [Page 39] Colonel Bass already in Washington with all military budget and equipment details and General Harper3 leaving February 5 to report to Department Army.

6. Must enter caveat regarding total financial needs balance fiscal year; impossible state now whether Markos groups will be furnished or ostensibly furnished with aircraft which might require increase Greek airforce.

Please pass Department Army.4

  1. Dated January 22, not printed; this message was addressed also to the Department.
  2. Eugene H. Clay, Economic Adviser to the American Mission for Aid to Greece.
  3. Maj. Gen. A. M. Harper, Deputy Commanding General of the United States Army Group in Greece.
  4. Secretary of the Army Royall in a memorandum of January 23 to George C. McGhee, Coordinator for Aid to Greece and Turkey, concurred in General Livesay’s request (868.20/1–2348). No immediate action was taken, however, and on February 21, Governor Griswold renewed his request to the Department (telegram Amag 347 (868.20/2–2148)).