781.00/5–1850: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in Greece


902. Fol is from McGhee for Venizelos1 in reply his ltr Apr 26:2

“Wish to assure you that US attitude during recent post election period Greece was definitely not motivated by any unfriendliness towards you or other distinguished personalities participating in or supporting ur Govt. We have worked with you in spirit of cordial understanding in past and look forward to doing so in future. The question was whether a Govt more closely reflecting trend of popular opinion as expressed in Mar 5 elections wld not be in better position carry through vigorous and far-reaching measures outlined Grady ltr3 as essential for effective utilization ECA funds. I interpreted ur decision relinquish Premiership and participate broadened coalition as indicating you had urself come to believe this the case.

“Important thing at present time and for future is, in our opinion, that Grk people and their leaders, who have gloriously preserved their freedom against external commie pressure, do not fall victim to renewed commie conspiracy from abroad or from within Greece. This will require vigilance, unity and determination not only at high polit levels but also among the people lest they be beguiled by false promises and deceitful labels of local commie agents. Wage earners must be especially alert to safeguard development of genuinely free trade unionism as progressive and dynamic force in nati life. Above all[,] it must be remembered communism thrives in atmosphere of econ frustration and polit strife. ECA program offers unique opportunity for revitalization Grk economy [,] but this will require hard work by all and sufficient cooperation to ensure reasonable governmental stability. We hope and expect that historic Liberal Party which you head and other patriotic polit elements will play full share in this common effort in accordance with their respective traditions and the mandates entrusted to them by the Grk electorate.

“It is the firm purpose of the US to respect absolutely the sovereignty of Greece and to avoid any improper interference in Grk internal affairs. At same time, our reps in Greece have the responsibility [Page 377] to see that best possible use is made of funds provided by Amer taxpayers to aid Greece. Friendly and frank relations between the Amer officials in Athens and Grk leaders are thus essential if we are to cooperate successfully for attainment our common goals.”

  1. Transmitted to Mr. Sophocles Venizelos by the Embassy in Greece on May 19.
  2. Text in telegram 837, May 8, to Athens, not printed; in it Mr. Venizelos stated his views on the attitude of the Embassy in Greece and the Department of State toward the Greek political situation following the elections of March 5th (781.00/5–850).
  3. See editorial note, p. 356.