768.5/12–3152: Telegram

No. 317
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Greece 1

top secret

2143. Noforn. No distribution outside of Department. Paris pass Reinhardt; Rome pass Unger for Carney; Belgrade pass Harmony; Ankara pass Rivinus for Wyman.

Pls inform Grks US most grateful their making available info re talks with Yugos (Athens tel 2013 Dec 312) and we looking forward more complete report soon as possible. We are especially interested in precise form of commitment as proposed by Yugos and as contemplated by Grks and Turks, although we wld not at this time wish Yugos to know of our interest in this point.

Problem on which Grks have now asked US view obviously involves basic and fundamental issues on which decisions can only be taken at highest govtl level and fol full consideration all aspects incl US, UK, Fr mil relations with Yugo (Handy Talks) and eventual integration mil planning for Yugo into NATO mil framework. Obviously unrealistic expect these basic decisions to be taken in time for Grk-Yugo talk discussions in Jan (FYI we anticipate basic NSC paper on Yugo may, inter alia, be necessary). In interim only guidance we can provide is outlined in Deptel 1848 to Athens Dec 5,3 which has now been endorsed by Defense with exception words “at time emergency arises”, which it prefers to omit from last substantive para. This connection, Defense had endorsed JCS comment that while they realize commitment of forces must be subject to Governmental decision at time an emergency arises, they consider there are complete safeguards in that regard without that particular phrase being incl, and feel that incl of phrase might tend to slow progress of mil planning. On assumption that this concept understood by Grks and Turks from previous conversations with our Ambs (Ankara tel 754, Belgrade tel 880, Athens tel 19754) Dept [Page 607] concurs this excision. We wish Greeks fully to understand two principles which underlie Deptel 1848 to Athens (1) US is interested in having talks proceed as far as possible in view of info which can be expected (2) For reasons given above and in reftel most important any commitment of type apparently suggested by Yugos to Greece be avoided pending full consideration mentioned above.

In reaching decisions on basic problems now facing us, we will wish in so far possible and appropriate do so in consultation UK and Fr. Therefore, request clarification caption Noforn on Athens tel under ref. Have Grks passed similar info to Brit and Fr, and if not, do they intend to do so or have objection our doing so? US, UK and Fr will shortly be consulting on result Handy talks, and prior thereto we wld like for them to have info contained Athens reftel providing, of course Grks have no substantive objection.

  1. Drafted by Marcy; cleared in RA, NEA/GTI, BNA, WE, EUR and by Defense; and signed for Acheson by Matthews. Repeated for information to Paris, Rome, London, Belgrade, Ankara for CINCEUR, Frankfurt for Handy, and USPolAd in Trieste, eyes only Chiefs of Mission, specific addressees, and Senior Military Attachés.
  2. Document 314.
  3. Printed as telegram 3207 to Paris, Document 313.
  4. Telegram 754 from Ankara, Dec. 12, reported that the Turkish Delegation which was to arrive in Belgrade on Dec. 20 had been instructed to proceed cautiously with regard to military commitments. (768.5/12–1252) For a summary of telegram 880 from Belgrade, see footnote 4, Document 314. Telegram 1975 from Athens, Dec. 24, reported that the Greeks intended during the imminent visit of the Yugoslav military delegation to Athens (see Document 311) to avoid making political or military commitments. (768.5/12–2452)