357.AE/5–1350: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the United States Representative on the United Nations Special Committee on the Balkans ( Patterson ), at Athens 1


870. Balcom 358. Re Combal 573,2 Dept has given further consideration to proposal that GA take action this fall discontinue UNSCOB in its present form in light comments from Embs Belgrade (#577),3 [Page 374] Moscow (#1292),4 London (#2469)5 and from UNSCOB reps (Combal 5666 and 569).7

Dept adheres to general position that if situation unchanged at time of GA, GA shld take appropriate action discontinue UNSCOB. Exact nature of GA action wld depend on consultations with other UN Membs especially Greece and Membs UNSCOB; alternative methods discontinuance include (1) outright discontinuance wiping matter off GA books entirely; (2) discontinuance UNSCOB in present form but maintaing skeletal machinery which cld spring into action if occasion necessitated, or (3) express provision in GA res of discontinuance providing for method of taking required emergency action in future with or without special GA session.

Underlying basis Dept’s reasoning is that situation has in fact changed even though potential danger to Greece not eliminated. Because no guerrillas fighting in Greece, no help is coming across northern borders in aid of guerrillas. Even though suspension of guerrilla activity and of assistance from Alb and Bulg may be only temporary Sov tactical move, Dept is of opinion that greatest UN strength can be marshalled against renewal of Commie activity by new UN action. If threat against Greece is resumed, convocation of special GA session and imme GA action dispatching new commission to Greece wld have greater psychological and propaganda impact in free world and vis-à-vis Sov than wld mere resumption activity by theretofore dormant UNSCOB. Accordingly, Dept favors alternatives (1) or (3) above.

As to timing, special GA session can be called and action taken with dispatch nec to meet emergency. In Dept’s view special responsibility of SC under Charter for maintenance of peace need not delay GA action. For example, GA cld by its res of discontinuance maintain its jurisdiction over case by express provision for special session, or by use of IC procedures.

It must be borne in mind also that if quiet continues until GA convenes [Page 375] this fall we can anticipate that many Dels GA wld be reluctant vote continuance UNSCOB in present form on basis same reasoning as Dept’s and also in mind some Dels because of expense involved.

It cld be made clear in statements by US and other friendly powers in GA that discontinuance UNSCOB in no sense represented withdrawal or suspension of UN interest in territorial integrity and political independence of Greece, nor does it indicate any lessening US interest. Dept concerned by Dalietos comments (Combal 569) that Dept “determined extinguish UNSCOB” and Dept’s “zeal in promoting extinction”. It is essential that Greeks be impressed that proposed position takes fully into account Greek interests in most effectively combating renewed threats and is in no way motivated by desire to appease Slav bloc. On contrary Dept’s proposal designed provide for utilization maximum UN resources in event resumption activity by northern neighbors constituting threat to Greece.

Re Combal 566 Dept still prefers UNSCOB make recommendation of discontinuance itself but will be guided by ur views on that point in light further consultations with UNSCOB Dels.

  1. Repeated to Belgrade as 380, Moscow as 415, London as 2278, and Paris as 2197.
  2. Telegram 1078 (Combal 573), May 11, from Athens, from Jefferson Patterson, U.S. Representative on the U.N. Special Committee on the Balkans (UNSCOB), not printed, requested Department of State views on the question of the future of the Special Committee for use by Mr. Patterson in meetings with Greek officials (357.AE/5–1150).
  3. Dated May 3, not printed; it expressed the agreement with the view stated in Department Embassy’s telegram 797 (Balcom 353), May 1, to Athens, repeated to Belgrade in Department’s telegram 341, not printed (357.AE/3–2950), that the Special Committee recommend its own discontinuance to the U.N. General Assembly if the situation remained unchanged by the end of July (357.AE/5–350).
  4. Dated May 5, not printed; it conveyed Ambassador in the Soviet Union Alan G. Kirk’s opinion that “in light of many signs of increased Soviet aggressiveness on all fronts, I cannot refrain from feeling that this is psychologically an inopportune time to effect U.N. withdrawal from Greece” (357.AE/5–550).
  5. Dated May 5, not printed; it stated that British “Foreign Office wonders … whether some solution short of complete discontinuance [of the Special Committee] cannot be found” (357.AE/5–550).
  6. Telegram 1025 (Combal 566), May 6, from Athens, from Jefferson Patterson, not printed, stated that “all [representatives on the Special Committee] agreed … that present moment was too early for anything approaching final decision re UNSCOB’s future” (357.AE/5–650).
  7. Telegram 1029 (Combal 569), May 6, from Athens, from Jefferson Patterson, not printed, stated that Alexander Dalietos, Chief of the Greek Liaison Service with the Special Committee, had “expressed view that it was premature to reach such decision [on discontinuance of the Special Committee] since no known change in attitude toward Greece on part of Soviets or satellites existed” (357.AE/5–650).