868.00/1–549: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Greece


27. Brit FonOff has withdrawn recent instructions to Brit Emb to discuss Grk situation on high level Wash (1) with JCS urging greatly expanded Grk army (2) with Dept to work out possible joint US–UK steps designed to strengthen Grk Govt, including early appointment Papagos1 as min defense.

Brit Emb has now approached Dept under instructions requesting that you consult with Brit Amb on “Grk political situation and question of General Papagos” with view to recommending to US and UK Govts what steps if any can be taken to improve Grk Govt and whether any joint or parallel approaches to Grk Govt or King by both Embs Athens advisable.2

If you perceive no objections, you are authorized consult with Brit Amb, referring any resultant observations or mutually agreed recommendations to Dept for comment. Suggest views outlined urtel 24 Jan 5, in which Dept concurs, might provide basis for initiating discussion.

  1. Gen. Alexander Papagos, Commander in Chief of the Greek Army, 1940–1941; in retirement.
  2. The approach described here was made during a conversation on January 5 between William O. Baxter, Acting Chief of the Division of Greek, Turkish, and Iranian Affairs, and William Denis Allen, Counselor of the British Embassy in Washington. Baxter’s memorandum of the conversation is filed under 868.00/1–549.