Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief, Division of Greek, Turkish, and Iranian Affairs (Jernegan)

Participants: Mr. Gouras, Minister-Counselor of the Greek Embassy
Mr. John D. Jernegan, Chief, GTI

Problem: Whether to accept Greek suggestion for exchange of information in Paris and Rome regarding personalities involved in anticipated Albanian liberation movement.

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Action Required: Decision as to whether the American Embassy in Paris and Rome should be instructed to exchange information on this subject with the Greek representatives in those capitals.

Action Assigned to: SE–Mr. Campbell. (Please note that no action seems necessary unless it is decided to take up the Greek suggestion.)

Mr. Gouras referred to the call of Ambassador Dendramis last week,1 at which time the Ambassador had suggested that the Greek Embassy at Rome and Paris, especially the former, could provide very useful information regarding the activities and personalities of the Albanian leaders outside of Albania who might be connected with the anticipated establishment of a “Free Albanian” Committee. On instructions from his Government, he had suggested that it would be desirable for the American Embassy in Rome and Paris to exchange information in this regard with the Greek representatives. Mr. Gouras said that the Greek Government had taken no steps and had sent no instructions to its embassies, because it was awaiting our reaction to the idea.

I said that I had passed this suggestion along to the office of European Affairs of the Department. I had received no definite reply, but I had gathered the impression that the departmental officers concerned wished the United States representatives to keep themselves completely dissociated from any such Albanian activities and thought it preferable that they refrain even from the very non-committal step of exchanging information with the Greek representatives. I emphasized that this was not a final or formal answer to the Ambassador’s suggestion and that it was always possible that at some future time we would be glad to accept the Greek offer.

Mr. Gouras said that he understood and would report to his Government. He remarked that he personally had little faith in the ability of any Albanians to organize an opposition to the present regime. On the basis of his personal knowledge of the Albanian character, he did not believe that they had sufficient sense of patriotism to run any risks in order to establish a new regime.

[John D. Jernegan]
  1. The reference here is presumably to a conversation on August 10 between Ambassador Dendramis and Henry F. Grady, Ambassador to Greece, who was then in Washington for consultation. The memorandum of that conversation is filed under 875.01/8–1049.