120. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State1

Secto 20. Re Athens 131 to Department,2 repeated Paris3. Secretary met with Stephanopoulos before NATO meeting at latter’s request. Stephanopoulos said that at Strasbourg 3 Macmillan had told him that the Cyprus conference might be convened during first ten days of August. Yesterday British informed Greeks that conference could not meet before August 29. It was also obvious that UK and Turks had consulted and agreed before informing Greeks. Stephanopoulos said delaying conference to August 29 would create major public opinion problem in Greece. If the British were unwilling to advance date the Greeks would feel obliged to table the Cyprus question with the UN prior to August 20. Although tabling it, the Greeks would agree not to act on complaint until it was clear that Cyprus conference was not productive. If productive Greeks would withdraw complaint. Stephanopoulos asked Secretary to urge Macmillan to advance date of conference to 10th or 15th and Secretary [Page 275]agreed to discuss with Macmillan. Secretary pointed out if Greeks did not table Cyprus on UN agenda before August 20, they were not debarred from doing so later since they could always raise question in UN under the “urgency” procedure. Stephanopoulos replied if meeting were delayed to August 29 Greeks, for public opinion reasons, would have to raise question at UNGA.

Subsequently Secretary spoke to Macmillan re Cyprus talks. Macmillan said he could not advance the date of the conference and that it was up to the Greeks to do what they wanted re UNGA agenda. He thought that if they put Cyprus on the agenda before the talks it would not be a friendly or constructive act but it was up to them.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 474C.00/7–1655. Secret. Repeated to Athens. Dulles was in Paris en route to Geneva to attend the Geneva Conference, July 18–23.
  2. In telegram 131 from Athens, July 15, Ambassador Cannon informed the Department that the British decision to set the Cyprus conference for August 29 had greatly distressed Greek officials. According to the Ambassador, these officials had indicated that Greek public and official circles felt that the proposed conference was merely a device to forestall U.N. action this year. (Ibid., 747C.00/7–1555)
  3. On June 3 it was announced in Strasbourg that the Greek Government had brought a complaint before the Human Rights Commission of the Council of Europe accusing Great Britain of human rights abuses on Cyprus.