781.00/3–2850: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Greece


564. Embtel 673 Mar 28.1 Dendramis reed today by Jernegan who confirmed identity Dept’s and Emb’s views on Grk Govt situation and that Grady acting with full confidence of Dept. Jernegan reviewed our thinking at length, stressing importance of Greece’s return to normal parliamentary procedures after completely normal elections. We had thought this wld involve centrist coalition under Plastiras as announced by centrist parties and were disturbed that last minute change of mind by Venizelos popularly attributed to Palace and US influence. Also emphasized our fear prolonged recess parliament wld be regarded as “trick” by US opinion. Concluded he was not asking Dendramis take any special action but merely wished make clear to all concerned that US was neither opposing nor supporting Venizelos Govt and that Dept fully behind Amb Grady.

Dendramis in reply stressed dangers of Plastiras, who had violated original agreement by comments on Army vote. Also emphasized King had acted constitutionally and wld continue to do so. Added parliamentary recess authorized by constitution and might be practical necessity to enable Mins fulfill exec functions and expedite US program.

Fol this conversation, Dendramis telephoned Venizelos who reportedly denied he ever pretended his Govt formed with US support. Venizelos also reportedly said that after talk with Grady he has decided not ask for parliamentary recess.

  1. Not printed; it stated that Ambassador Grady appreciated the statement in Department of State telegram 559, March 27, to Athens, not printed (781.00/3–2650), that “we prefer to leave ur discretion and initiative any further public statements on Grk governmental situation” (781.00/3–2850).