781.00/3–1550: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Greece


488. At ur discretion you may inform HM Dept strongly endorses views expressed urtel 549 Mar 151 and trusts they will receive most serious consideration.

We are not competent or qualified at this distance to judge what particular coalition might be best for Greece from local viewpoint. It is clear, however, that public opinion in this country, which most favorably impressed by freedom Grk elections, regards outcome as reflecting swing Grk opinion toward moderate Left and desire Grk people for “new faces” in Govt. Whether wisely or not, great majority Americans have welcomed this trend, which corresponds their own sentiments, and greeted with satisfaction public announcements planned formation centrist Cabinet under Plastiras. US opinion might well have accepted formula suggested by HM if Plastiras proposal and declaration principles had not already been formally made and widely publicized.2 To eliminate Plastiras now, even though alternative coalition might command parliamentary majority, wld be interpreted here as obviously contrived effort frustrate expressed will of Grk people and wld be likely create more “disgust” than any subsequent possible disillusionment over Plastiras Govt.

Dept fully appreciates personal considerations which might motivate HM’s reluctance work with Plastiras and Tsouderos and was consequently impressed by his statement to Sulzberger3 he intended [Page 348] adhere to correct constitutional line.4 Dept also impressed by declaration principles this group, which accepts Monarchy despite Plastiras’ life-long republicanism and appears otherwise acceptable. US public, on other hand, is not aware of historical background Grk regime controversy and wld be mystified and disturbed if it shld appear that personal rancors were standing in way of implementation along constitutional lines of Grk electorate’s mandate, especially since regime now accepted by former republicans.

  1. Supra.
  2. Telegram 533, March 13, from Athens, not printed, summarized a communication of March 12 to King Paul in which Gen. Plastiras and Messrs. Tsouderos, Venizelos, and Papandreou stated, inter alia, that their agreement for cooperation being final there would be no further individual statements to the press; that they unreservedly recognized the regime of the constitutional monarchy; that Greece stood at the side of the western democracies to which it owed the maintenance of its independence; that the work of the army in the national struggle was recognized; and that they considered the effective use of American aid as a main objective (781.00/3–1350).
  3. C. L. Sulzberger, foreign correspondent of the New York Times.
  4. Telegram 514, March 9, from Athens, not printed, reported that “Sulzberger spoke yesterday to King who off record said while Plastiras solution dangerous and unpalatable he would have to accede if Liberal front approaches him to form government. He said he would simply have to eat his own words but it would be difficult to bring himself to shake hands with Plastiras.” (781.00/3–950)