868.00/1–1249: Telegram

The Ambassador in Greece (Grady) to the Acting Secretary of State


74. Deptel 27, January 7. We have been in almost daily contact with British whose views here and apparently in London are nearly identical with those expressed my telegram 24, January 5.1 British, however, view present Greek situation as extremely critical and wonder to what extent Americans actually share this view. In recent conversations with King and other Greek officials British Ambassador has supported broadening of present government, but he is inclined to view present political re-shuffle as Greece’s “last chance for a parliamentary government”. British impressed by statement contained Amag 1657, December 72 that Greeks must be shocked into sense of reality and believe that this might be partially accomplished by British-American démarche to Greek Government and King when present government changes completed. This would be in nature of warning as to overriding necessity sinking personal and political differences at this critical hour. It would be necessary, British feel, to make public statement at same time since otherwise grave warning would scarcely differ from many statements a similar nature we have made privately to Greek politicians. I feel there is merit in British suggestion, effort is being made to draft agreed statement setting forth position of US and British Embassies with its utilization to be discussed subsequently.

Discussions with British will be continued. Meanwhile, any views Department may have on British suggestion for joint or parallel approach to Greeks will be welcome.

Sent Department, repeated London as 4.

  1. Ante, p. 233. Telegram 221, January 18, from London, not printed, stated that the British Foreign Office had informed the British Ambassador in Greece, Sir Clifford Norton, that Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin wanted to see a broadly based parliamentary government in Greece and the avoidance of dictatorship (868.00/1–1849).
  2. Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. iv, p. 210.