No. 386
The Secretary of State to the Turkish Ambassador (Erkin)1


Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the note of August 31, 1954, from the Turkish Embassy, quoting the text of a message from His Excellency Adnan Menderes relating to the question of Cyprus.2 I should be appreciative if you would transmit to Mr. Menderes the following reply: [Page 717]

“I have been most interested in receiving Your Excellency’s further views with respect to the Cyprus issue. This Government has continued to give its most serious consideration to this problem and all of the points which you have raised have been studied with great care.

“The United States remains convinced that discussion of the question in the General Assembly will lead to no solution and will serve only to intensify existing friction and thereby prejudice Western unity. This Government has concluded, therefore, that its major objective, i.e., to lessen inter-Allied tension, can best be furthered if it abstains from voting on inscription of the question on the agenda. It is believed that a negative vote by the United States would not, in any case, keep the item off of the agenda and that by abstaining this Government will retain greater freedom to exert a moderating influence on other delegations.

“If the item is placed on the agenda the United States Government intends to do all that it can to discourage its development. It will seek to avoid any debate on the application of the principle of self-determination and it will actively oppose passage of any resolution. It will, moreover, urge moderation by all parties in any discussion of the question with a view to facilitating eventual rapprochement between the interested Governments.

“I am sure you will appreciate that the above position is based on this Government’s firm conviction that it is the best means of endeavoring to dispose of the issue in a manner which will do the least harm to the unity of the Western world.”

Accept [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:
John D. Jernegan
  1. This message was drafted by Baxter, Sept. 23, and signed by Jernegan on the following day.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 379. That telegram apparently transmitted an interim reply by Smith to Menderes.