Memorandum by the Deputy Director of the Office of European Affairs (Thompson) to the Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs (Henderson)

top secret

I have been unable to discuss with Mr. Hickerson1 your memorandum to the Secretary on the report to the National Security Council on “The Position of the United States With Respect to Greece”. The following are my own views;

I understand that the proposal in paragraph 15 is meant to be a decision that we are willing to take the necessary steps successfully to achieve our objectives in Greece even though this should involve the sending of United States forces to Greece. Such a decision of our willingness to send troops would be a high-level decision within this Government which would not be communicated to the Greeks or anyone else outside this Government. If this is correct, I would agree that such a decision is desirable if it can be obtained, but I believe that it must be made clear that any decision actually to send troops can only be made in the light of all the circumstances existing at that time such a decision is required.

The use of the words “indirect aggression” in paragraph 15 leaves considerable latitude for interpretation. I do not believe the use of our forces would be advisable except in a case where the aggression was very thinly disguised.

I agree with paragraphs B and C of your memorandum.

Llewellyn E. Thompson
  1. John D. Hickerson, Director of the Office of European Affairs.