781.00/3–2350: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Greece


542. Amb Dendramis called on Jernegan this morning before receipt Embtel 639 Mar 231 re Minor comments to Metaxas and Pipinelis2 on Venizelos Govt.

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Said he was instructed by King and Pipinelis say that former “very annoyed” and latter “found strange” Minor’s reported observation that Venizelos Govt3 “not agreeable” to US Govt. Also instructed point out dangers for Greece and US of Plastiras Govt including “very advanced leftist elements” and inconsistency of Plastiras advocacy of amnesty with his alleged anti-commie position. Added that Pipinelis, who now private citizen, wished do nothing which wld support communism and that King had acted only in accordance his concept Greece’s best interests. Emphasized alleged fickleness and limited intelligence of Plastiras and expressed view US shld adhere to announced policy non-intervention Grk internal politics.

Dendramis concluded by asking whether Minor was acting on Dept’s instruction. Requested assurance by Jernegan that this not the case and suggested public statement by Grady that US will work with any Grk Govt which has parliamentary support.

Jernegan replied impossible for him to comment on Minor observations before receipt Emb’s report. It was possible there had been some misunderstanding and that Minor’s point was that Venizelos Govt, involving repudiation by Venizelos of previous much-publicized agreement with Papandreous and Plastiras, wld not be agreeable to US public opinion. Said we do not question King’s patriotism, regret any disturbance HM may feel, and will look into matter to see if there has been some misunderstanding. On two specific requests, Jernegan expressed confidence Minor acted in full cognizance US policy but said he cld not comment further without knowing exact nature Minor’s remarks. Added he personally saw no need of public statement by Grady to correct any private statements to King and Pipinelis, but decision this matter up to Grady.

Asked by press for comment on Athens story that Venizelos Govt viewed “as slap at Amer policy by King Paul and Grk rightists”, Dept spokesman commented today as follows: “It has been repeatedly stated that US has not sought to influence formation Govt fol recent free Grk elections. This is internal Grk matter to be worked out in accordance usual Grk constitutional procedures. US position remains that we look forward to cooperating with any Grk Govt which enjoys support Grk people expressed thru their duly elected Parliament and which is desirous and capable of carrying out objectives of US aid program.”

  1. Supra.
  2. Panayotis Pipinelis was Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of Prime Minister John G. Theotokis which left onice on March 23.
  3. Formed March 23, with Sophocles Venizelos, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs.