122. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State1

503. In course of conversation yesterday Permanent Under Secretary2 stated that HMG’s tactics at forthcoming conference regarding Cyprus would initially be to obtain formal declarations by Greece and Turkey of their respective positions. Cabinet had taken no decision about any hard and fast British plan but great deal of thought had been given to problem and many combinations and permutations had been considered. Therefore it could be “played by ear” following Greek and Turkish declarations. He emphasized that HMG certainly did not wish to produce a plan which would be acceptable neither to Greece or Turkey and if Greece’s only position was enosis in near future then conference would be abortive. On other hand Kirkpatrick indicated that Macmillan was particularly [Page 277]anxious to reach acceptable solution. He said he understood that Greek cabinet was divided on issue and in this connection he referred to recent articles in Turkish press to effect that if Greece felt free to abrogate unilaterally Treaty of Lausanne3 there were articles which Turkey for its part might wish to change. This has in turn been taken up in Greek press.

Since British undoubtedly know what position Turkey will take at Conference their tactics are obviously designed to force Greece to define its attitude. If it is arbitrary and unreasonable Great Britain will not have lost Turkey’s support. If it provides basis for compromise meeting could well be productive.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8–1055. Secret. Repeated to Athens and Ankara.
  2. Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick.
  3. On July 24, 1923, Turkey signed a treaty of peace with Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Greece, Yugoslavia, and Rumania. Among its other provisions, the Treaty of Lausanne resulted in Turkish recognition of Britain’s 1914 annexation of Cyprus and the renunciation of Turkey’s claim to control the island. For text of the treaty of Lausanne, see the League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. 28, p. 11.