357.AE/6–950: Telegram

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


1360. Foreign Office note1 today requests US Government seriously consider Greek Government’s desire continue Balkan Commission using following arguments:

Approximately 17,000 bandits now located Albania, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria;
Bandits partially armed and constantly harassing Greek frontier guards;
Intelligence reports indicate all bandits in satellite countries will be concentrated Bulgaria by end July for resumption warfare against Greece;
Central Committee KKE has ordered party leaders Northern Greece create highly mobile armed groups;
KKE making strenuous efforts penetrate important positions within Greece.

Note continues that if UNSCOB, set up after many difficulties, is now disbanded at time when danger bandit activity not disappeared, but contrarywise becoming more threatening, following might result:

No Balkan Commission could again be sent to Greece failing extensive bandit activity brought to attention UN.
If large bandit forces attack Greek frontier from Albania or Bulgaria convincing proof for public opinion abroad could not be secured, while today UNSCOB performs this for even minor incidents. Moreover, bandits could attack locality near frontier withdrawing to neighboring countries before Greek Army able interfere. Bandits and supporters could then ascribe this to bandits residing in Greece who, however, represent no danger unless provisioned from abroad.
If bandits adopt such tactics which most likely after dissolution UNSCOB morale of repatriated refugees will again receive severe blow causing new flight. Unnecessary stress disastrous consequences such circumstances for country’s morale and reconstruction efforts.
In event bandits intensify activity, progressive reduction armed forces must be stopped with added financial burdens country.

Foregoing obviously inspired by and almost identical with May 25 memorandum from Papagos to Foreign Office.2

[Page 378]

Identical Foreign Office notes sent missions Athens other interested countries.

Despite objections listed above and other arguments advanced, Embassy on balance considers termination UNSCOB advisable this year.

  1. No. 34049, June 6; text in Despatch 941, June 15, from Athens, not printed (357.AE/6–1550).
  2. Not printed.