115. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom2

3865. Department feels Ninth GA’s disposition Cyprus question3 has gained some time which should be used in effort avoid even more difficult situation if matter is raised at next GA. This view expressed informally to British Embassy officer here who reported that within next few weeks, perhaps through planted question in Commons, Colonial Office probably will reveal current thinking on possibilities introducing new constitution in near future. In meantime and before UK has gone publicly on record with new plans, Embassy requested pursue question in similar vein with Fon Off.

Embassy might make following points:

US believes Cyprus question will almost certainly be raised by Greeks next GA. Greek Fon Min has already publicly stated this intention and there has been suggestion Greeks might attempt enlist co-sponsors for item. If no progress has been made in improving [Page 270]situation, we would be confronted with more serious difficulties in UN and possibly on island itself.
In these circumstances we believe it probably unrealistic expect GA could be prevented from consideration substantive resolution.
Eventual US position naturally not yet formulated.
Meanwhile we very much hope UK may be able establish better basis understanding with Cypriots.
We wish be helpful on this in any appropriate way and would welcome opportunity hear UK plans for improving political situation on island. In that connection would welcome further consultation with British at working level in London or Washington.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/1–2755. Secret. Drafted by Wood, Mangano, and William L. Hamilton of the Office of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs. Repeated to USUN and Athens and pouched to Ankara and Nicosia.
  2. During the Ninth Session of the General Assembly, September 21–December 17, 1954, Greece submitted an item concerning the principle of equal rights and self-determination in the case of the peoples of Cyprus. Although the General Assembly included the item in its agenda, it did not adopt any resolution on the subject. For a summary of the disposition of the Cyprus question at the Ninth General Assembly, see Yearbook of the United Nations 1955, pp. 77–78.
  3. In telegram 3355, January 31, the Embassy in London informed the Department that in view of the fact that the British Government was aware of the “gravity” of the problem and the extent of U.S. “anxiety” about it, it hesitated in approaching the Foreign Office regarding the substance of telegram 3865. In order to avoid “almost certain risk counter-productivity,” the Embassy concluded, “we assume Department will approve our confining our approach at this time to a further inquiry of the Colonial Office as to whether there is anything new in Cyprus.” (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/1–3155) On February 3, the Department informed the Embassy that it was prepared to accept the Embassy’s advice that an approach to the Colonial Office be limited to an inquiry, but that it hoped that any conversation would be broadened to encompass the points included in telegram 3865. (Telegram 3980 to London; ibid.)