747C.00/9–1554: Telegram

No. 381
The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Greece1


657. UK Embassy informed by Department today and UK delegation being informed by USUN that US will abstain inscription Cyprus question UNGA agenda.2 Department also informing Greek Turkish Embassies pointing out our primary policy on this question is to lessen inter-Allied tension and therefore we will seek cooperation avoiding heated debate or GA action likely worsen situation.3

Following points to be made to British and Turkish Embassies here:

US will seek discourage debate on application principle self-determination.
Will actively oppose any resolution.
Department believes that even a negative US vote would not prevent item from being placed on agenda. US will retain greater freedom exert moderating influence on Greek and other interested delegations.
We assume UK will agree criticisms Greece be avoided for sake Western unity. Also urge UK avoid walkout which we believe would increase tension and might increase chance passage Greek resolution.

Greek Embassy will be informed US remains convinced no good can come of debate. While US is prepared not to oppose inscription Greek Government should realize it has responsibility handle question with greatest moderation and avoid criticism UK or Turkey and should not press for passage of a resolution as this would make more difficult eventual Greek-UK rapprochement.

London and Athens may at their discretion make similar démarches. Ankara should inform Prime Minister along foregoing lines as final reply his personal message to Secretary August 31.4

  1. Drafted by Wood and cleared with Allen (EUR), Raynor, and Niles W. Bond (UNP) by Baxter. Also sent to Ankara and London and repeated for information to Nicosia.
  2. A memorandum of conversation by Key, Sept. 15, informing Beeley of the U.S. decision to abstain in the vote on the Cyprus item is in file 747C.00/9–1554. No record of informing the British Delegation at the United Nations has been found in Department of State files.
  3. No record of communicating the U.S. decision to the Greek and Turkish Embassies as of Sept. 15 has been found in Department of State files.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 379.