Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation, lot 65 D 238, “Memoranda from S & U, 1952”

No. 420
Memorandum by the Secretary of State to the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Berry)1


After the Cabinet today the President mentioned to me that we had had reports from Greece (I gathered that these came through CIA)2 of intrigues by the Palace against General Papagos. These were disturbing both on account of the effect of them upon the possibility of establishing a stable government in Greece and by reason of their effect on the Army. I said that we had had similar reports through the Embassy at Athens3 and that I had talked with Ambassador Peurifoy,4 who believed that we should use our influence to bring about the inclusion of General Papagos along with Mr. Venizelos in the Government, and possibly new elections with the King using the power granted him by the parliament to have elections continued on a majority voting system.

The President said that he was glad we were giving this matter close attention and asked that he be kept in touch with it.

I mentioned to the President the fact that Ambassador Peurifoy had said to me that if he were empowered to use the possibility of a visit by the King and Queen to this country, it might be helpful in obtaining the results indicated above. The President said that if we wished to develop this idea further, he would be glad to discuss it, but did not commit himself in any way either for or against the idea.

  1. Copies of this memorandum were transmitted to William J. McWilliams (S/S) and Matthews.
  2. For example, there was the memorandum, “Report of Deterioration of American Position in Greece,” Jan. 9, by Wisner (CIA) to Armstrong. (611.81/1–952)
  3. See telegram 3613, supra.
  4. Peurifoy was in Washington for one month on consultations beginning the latter part of January. An assessment and suggestions regarding the Greek political situation evolved by Department officials in consultations with Peurifoy after review of Embassy reports, was transmitted in telegram 3603 to Athens, Jan. 30. (781.00/1–3052) No record of a conversation with Acheson has been found in Department of State files.