116. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Greece1

2275. Department impressed restraint parliamentary debate Cyprus. While this apparently reasonable mood lasts and before expected March 25 oratory suggest you consider demarche following lines adapted to your previous conversations.

Department continues follow Cyprus question closely since it continues as cause tension within NATO family. In this connection U.S. Government has been favorably impressed general tenor parliamentary debate. We intend retain reasonably flexible attitude re Cyprus so we will be free exercise our influence usefully. In general we anxious preserve harmony in NATO and are interested seeing [Page 271]orderly and evolutionary development political rights Cypriot people. In balancing these two important considerations we are convinced Cypriot tactic avoiding all contacts and conversations with British is seriously mistaken. Cypriots should understand their aspirations will not be endangered if they adopt a reasonable attitude toward the British. In examining problem U.S. must weigh heavily whether Cypriots willing to adopt constructive long range attitude. Does not appear sign of political maturity to ask that British promise plebiscite before holding discussions. This attitude will only restrict their opportunity develop political experience and responsibility. If Cypriot leaders adopt reasonable and patient attitude there is opportunity real progress.

Cypriots ask sympathy of free world, but should remember that any increase freedom requires equal increase responsibility and cooperation.

FYI Any démarche should scrupulously avoid discussion UNGA aspects this problem.

Embassy will receive copy letter Jernegan to Foster (London) discussing British side question.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/3–1555. Confidential. Drafted by Wood. Repeated to London and pouched to Ankara and Nicosia.
  2. Not found in Department of State files.