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


The Ambassador1 left with me, on a purely informal basis, the attached memorandum setting forth certain views which he had been [Page 261]instructed to present to the Department.2 He asked that we study the questions raised and endeavor to let him know our attitude, especially with respect to the question of what action we might take to prevent the recognition of a Macedonian state and what further action we might take if such recognition should be extended despite our efforts.

He recalled that in 1947 the U.S. had made diplomatic representations to certain of the Soviet satellite states to prevent their recognition of the Greek guerrilla “government” under Markos, and he suggested we might consider similar action if a Macedonian group were to proclaim independence. He remarked that recognition of such a “state” would certainly be an infringement of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Greece.

I observed that any recognition of a Macedonian state allegedly including Greek Macedonia could under present circumstances come only from Bulgaria, since it seemed most improbable that Tito would recognize a group under Cominform domination. The Ambassador agreed.

I went on to say that I wondered whether Bulgarian recognition would really have any serious effect on the situation in Greece, since Bulgaria was already assisting the Greek guerrillas. The Ambassador said his government feared that recognition would open the way to greater political and military assistance by Bulgaria to the guerrillas.

I said that I could not tell him offhand what our reaction might be to the contingencies mentioned in the memorandum. However, it went without saying that the U.S. would never recognize or acquiesce in the formation of a Macedonian state incorporating Greek Macedonia.3

  1. Vassili G. Dendramis, Greek Ambassador in the United States.
  2. The memorandum under reference, not printed, commented upon the possible proclamation of a “Macedonian state”. The memorandum argued that such a proclamation should, if possible, be prevented. It suggested that it might be advisable to consider whether diplomatic action in the countries of eastern Europe could prevent such a proclamation.

    In late February 1949 the Macedonian National Liberation Front (the NOF: the organization of Slav-Macedonians cooperating with the Greek guerrilla movement) Central Committee held its Second Plenary session. It was decided, inter alia, to convene a general congress of the National Liberation Front with the purpose of proclaiming a “Macedonian state” within some sort of Balkan federation. The Greek guerrilla radio station announced the results of the NOF meeting, and the Greek Communist Party appeared for a time to have given its support to the establishment of an independent Macedonia. The Second Congress of the National Liberation Front held in late March 1949 did not proclaim an independent Macedonian state, but a separate Communist organization for Macedonia does appear to have been established.

  3. In his Sixth (Report to Congress on Assistance to Greece and Turkey, issued March 17, 1949, President Truman denounced the idea of an autonomous Macedonia. The report stated that Greece was achieving more effective mobilization, but military action against guerrilla concentrations was inconclusive. United States military aid of about $60 million and economic aid of about $2 million were delivered to Greece during the last quarter of 1948. (Sixth Report to Congress on Assistance to Greece and Turkey For the Period Ended December 31, 1948 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1949))