781.00/5–1350: Telegram

The Chargé in Greece ( Minor ) to the Secretary of State


1098. I was received again last night by King and Queen, arriving at Palace in time to participate in tail end of garden party given for [Page 372] Members of Parliament. This party, together with dinner for Plastiras, marks resumption by palace of formal entertaining. Party obviously was great success and was attended by all leftist deputies except Gregoriades.

We went over carefully and at length contents Department’s 838, May 8.1 Both King and Queen expressed appreciation for friendly sentiments expressed in first paragraph. Re second paragraph I described my two interviews with Venizelos and asked Their Majesties’ support in endeavoring bring about his full participation in government. King agreed use his influence to this end but Queen said this may prove difficult since Venizelos and his deputies in government are incensed at attitude of Papandreou who is “lording it over everyone”. King said he intended to speak to Maccas2 in hopes of quieting down Papandreou and I said I would likewise on appropriate occasion.

Re Department’s point 1, both King and Queen reassured me in warm terms that they will give full support to government. Queen said laughingly that she is accused of charming Plastiras and that she warned him to his face of this danger. I said I had heard this story and added that Plastiras had expressed to Porter his satisfaction at friendly attitude of court. Queen repeated that danger lies now in attitude Papandreou. I replied that first requisite it seemed to me was to get full and active participation Venizelos in government, then endeavor to control Papandreou. King said he had just had talk with deputies on much discussed plan to have Chamber take on revisionary character for one session to ratify laws and constitutional amendments made by last Chamber and that he is willing go along with this idea providing all parties including opposition agree and constitutional lawyers and judges hold that such action is not outright constitutional violation.

Queen, however, expressed doubt and thought there is real danger that courts might later hold such action to be unconstitutional with resultant blame resting on King.

Re point 2, King declared there is no immediate cause for worry since things are going well between Papagos and government.

On point 3, also, King was not especially preoccupied and saw no policy issue at moment susceptible of causing rift. Queen added that she would, however, expect government to take strong line with Yugoslavs on Greek children. I replied that I thought Politis3 understood question and could be depended on to protect Greek interests.

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Point 4 they both found especially valid. Queen expressed worry over reports of recrudescence Communists activities but said they are awaiting further report from Papagos who is going into question. I replied it is inevitable with end of arbitrary measures based on war conditions that Communists should resume efforts penetrate Greek trade unions and official life. The answer would seem to be constant police vigilance plus measures to remove causes of popular discontent. Queen expressed opinion that police are not on alert mainly because of fear of not being supported if they take action. King and Queen agreed fully on need to watch trade union situation but wondered how this could be accomplished. I said we in Embassy are following situation closely and hope to come up with some ideas. They also agreed on dangers inherent in forthcoming municipal election. I replied that [t]here seems to be considerable hope and merit in Papandreou’s new plan to remove this danger by getting out vote of nationalist women and by having mayors elected by municipal councils rather than by direct vote.

I appreciate good support given Embassy by Depreftel and will be able use it to advantage in various ways. Believe Department’s idea publicizing these views entirely sound. Such publicity should be given positive orientation to suggest Greeks aware of and facing up to dangers and there are no policy or personal rifts within government.

Sent Department 1098, Department pass Moscow.

  1. Ante, p. 369.
  2. Leon Maccas, Minister Without Portfolio, exercising the functions of Deputy Minister of the Navy, and a member of the party of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior George Papandreou.
  3. John Politis, Permanent Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs.