No. 440
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Byroade)



  • Visit of Mr. Markezinis, Greek Minister of Coordination, with the President.


  • President Eisenhower
  • Mr. Markezinis, Greek Minister of Coordination
  • Mr. Politis, Greek Ambassador
  • Mr. ByroadeNEA

Mr. Markezinis, Minister of Coordination for Greece, and Ambassador Politis called on the President at 11:30, May 7th. They were accompanied by Assistant Secretary Byroade.

[Page 825]

After exchange of pleasantries and the receipt of certain gifts sent to the President and Mrs. Eisenhower by the Greek Government, Mr. Markezinis handed the President a personal letter from Marshal Papagos.1 The President informed the Minister of Coordination that he was extremely pleased at the contents of the letter and the obvious spirit of the Greek Government which it portrayed. He told the Minister that he was particularly pleased with the last part of the letter which indicated that he could use the contents of this letter in any manner which the President deemed to be advisable. He stated that he thought certain portions of the letter might be very useful to us, particularly in our dealings with the Congress.

The President stated that the specific matters which the Marshal raised in his letter would have to be studied. He was not sure, for instance, whether we felt an additional base in the Greek area was in fact required. He also stated that we would look into the question as to whether more Greek troops were required in Korea, and if we felt that to be the case we would be in touch with Marshal Papagos. He asked the Minister to convey his personal pleasure to the Marshal for the type of letter he had sent.

The Minister then explained at some length the efforts Greece was making in its internal development program. He stated that he realized we could not commit the Congress to a definite figure on US assistance to Greece by any statement on this subject at this time. He felt, however, that a general statement of our support for their program would be beneficial and greatly help the Papagos Government. We could talk about specific figures at some later time. He stressed the urgency of agreement on such a statement, as Dulles, Stassen and he himself were leaving Washington on Saturday.2 The President replied that he would immediately be in touch with Mr. Dulles and Mr. Stassen and convey to them his pleasure at the type of letter Marshal Papagos had sent and ask them if they could work out some type of statement that would be useful to the Greek Government. The President then asked Mr. Byroade to follow this matter through.3

  1. See footnote 2, supra.
  2. On May 9, Dulles and Stassen were to leave Washington for their visit to the Near and Middle East, May 9–29, 1953; see vol. ix, Part 1, pp. 1 ff. Regarding their visit to Athens, May 27, see Document 444.
  3. In a memorandum, May 8, to Dulles (781.5 MSP/5–853), Byroade proposed that the Department issue a statement reiterating the U.S. policy of helping to make the Greek economy self-supporting and indicating that, within the limits of Congressional action and technical feasibility, the United States would lend support to an economic development program in Greece. In addition, Byroade stated that a confidential aide-mémoire outlining in some detail what this meant would be transmitted to the Greek Government. (See Document 442.)