747C.00/7–2854: Telegram

No. 376
The Ambassador in Greece (Cannon) to the Department of State1


238. Deptel 230, July 27.2 Secretary’s personal message handed to Stephanopoulos at 2 p.m.3 Only further change in text was substitution of “message” for ‘letter” in last paragraph. He asks earnestly that fact of communication as well as text itself be kept on strictly secret basis for present at least.

He gave it a naturally superficial first reading and would have liked me to construe it for him. I refrained but did make pointed presentation of observations along lines second paragraph reference telegram emphasizing timeliness of opportunity for Greek Government to exert influence with Cypriots in light new situation created by Makarios threat to resort to violence.4

He questioned briefly repeated references to Yugoslavia and Turkey but realizing greater import of message in its entirety did not press these points. Seventh paragraph (revised text) engaged his special attention. He hoped “gradual stages” means reasonable progress toward an inevitable evolution and not indefinite postponement. We can expect him to give microscopic examination to phrase “agree to undertake talks toward formulation of mutually acceptable constitution.” He wonders if this means we are exerting [Page 700] our influence with the British not to “impose” a constitution. He told me British Chargé expects this afternoon to receive and to communicate to him text of announcement in Parliament with regard to constitution.5 He fears it will be sterner than US position cited. I said that whatever that declaration may be Greek Government can perform an act of high statesmanship by telling Cypriots in clearest terms they should take care not to reject any proposal out of hand but take time to consider calmly and seek any ground for getting discussions started.

  1. Repeated to London and pouched to Nicosia.
  2. Document 374.
  3. Supra.
  4. See footnote 3, Document 374.
  5. Reference is to Hopkinson’s statement before the House of Commons, July 28. (H.C. Debs., 5th series, vol. 531, col. 504)