123. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom1

1057. London authorized inform Foreign Office substance paragraph 2 Ankara’s 231 repeated London 38.2 May wish stress Turks called in our Ambassador and raised subject. If queried re statement “time is on side of Greeks” may explain this our frank long range evaluation in view strong current world opinion favorable self-determination. We have said this to Turks because we feel if they enter talks without some willingness be flexible, talks may well fail. Cyprus situation and British-Greek-Turkish relations would then [Page 278]deteriorate rapidly. If talks fail, prestige Stephanopoulos and Rally3 will be seriously jeopardized. Turks have stated they desire only continuation status quo.

London, Ankara may convey any or all following: On August 23 Turkish Ambassador Gork saw Secretary and referred Ambassador Warren’s remarks reported Ankara’s 231 which disturbed Turkish Government because they seemed imply change U.S. policy from last year’s position in UN. Also referred indications Greeks believed they would receive U.S. support in UN this year. Gork asked we tell Greeks prior London talks they should not expect such support.

Secretary replied situation changed by U.K. invitation which we welcomed. Hoped all participants would show sincere determination work out solution. Concluded by stating we could not formulate UN position until outcome London talks known.

London, Athens, may convey any or all of following: On August 23 Greek Ambassador saw Asst. Secretary Allen and expressed fears re Turkish obduracy.4 Allen stated belief time on side Greeks and they could therefore afford be reasonable. Melas apprehensive internal political pressures exerted on present Government. Allen referred Turkish insinuations that if Greece obtained Cyprus, would later demand other Turk territory. Melas strongly denied. Allen reemphasized necessity patience.

On August 24 Greek Ambassador saw Secretary who also urged moderation. Without suggesting Greeks not pursue their aims by legitimate means he referred to progress already made (change in British attitude) and urged Greeks not press so rapidly as to destroy other valuable elements (Greek relations with U.K. and Turkey, NATO harmony). Referred violence Greek press. Reiterated need moderation and desirability recognizing forthcoming talks not final chance resolve differences over Cyprus but forward step in process of peaceful evolution.

British Colonial Office representatives discussing UN questions in Department August 24 informed our position Cyprus would await outcome talks.

London: Department agrees with paragraphs 3 and 4 Athens 4095 repeated London 17. Embassy may express substance paragraph three [Page 279]to Foreign Office. Department agrees informal liaison arrangements sufficient (your 5566).

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8–1855. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Baxter and Wood. Also sent to Ankara and Athens and pouched to USUN, USRO, and Nicosia.
  2. In paragraph 2 of telegram 231, August 18, Warren reported that he informed Foreign Minister Zorlu that the United States “strongly” hoped that the parties would not come to the London Conference with “fixed and irreconcilable positions” and although the Department had not formulated a policy on the question, it believed that “time is on the side of the Greeks”. (Ibid.)
  3. A conservative political group established in 1951 by Marshal Alexander Papagos and Spyros Markezinis. The Rally won a plurality of the vote in the elections of 1951 and remained in power since its victory in the 1952 elections.
  4. The text of the memorandum of Allen’s conversation with the Greek Ambassador on August 23, is in Department of State, Central File 747C.00/8–2355.
  5. Telegram 409, August 20, contains information on Ambassador Cannon’s August 18 meeting with Stephanopoulos and the Embassy’s thoughts on Britain’s tactics in the proposed conference on Cyprus. (Ibid., 747C.00/8–2055)
  6. In telegram 556, August 15, Butterworth informed the Department that he was “loath to establish a shadow conference” in the Embassy and expressed the hope that the Department would agree to “informal liaison arrangements.” (Ibid., 747C.00/8–155)