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

853. Secretary informed Stephanopoulos in New York today2 that United States, after most careful consideration, had decided to vote against inscription of Cyprus issue on UNGA Agenda. Stephanopoulos predicted, in highly emotional reaction, four immediate results following announcement of vote, probably September 22 or 23: (1) Government would undoubtedly fall; (2) he himself would immediately resign; (3) Balkan Alliance would collapse; and (4) serious anti-American riots would break out in Greece.

U.S. decision will probably become known to Greek public soon. Suggest you notify American civilian and military personnel promptly and advise them to take all feasible precautions. You may, at your discretion, also call on Greek authorities to grant every possible protection.

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff is not alerting service personnel or naval vessels through Service channels because notification through you, as authorized herein, is considered most likely way to avoid precipitating events. If situation warrants, any US naval vessel in vicinity could render assistance.

Immediately following telegram is verbatim text of statement which Secretary read to Foreign Minister and handed him copy.3 If [Page 300]in your opinion public statements by Embassy should appear desirable, you are authorized to use material contained therein at your discretion, but without attribution to source or verbatim release of text.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 320/9–2055. Secret; Niact; Priority. Drafted by Allen. Repeated to Ankara, Paris, London, Belgrade, and Istanbul.
  2. Highlights of this meeting were transmitted in Delga 8 from New York, September 20. (Ibid., 747C.00/9–2055)
  3. Telegram 854, September 20. (Ibid., 320/9–2055)
  4. On September 20, at 12:10 p.m., Dulles telephoned Allen. A transcript of the conversation reads:

    “The Secretary telephoned Mr. Allen to inquire about the status of the cables to Greece. The Secretary said he was not clear as to whether he should do anything about them or not. Allen said they had taken care of the basic one instructing Cannon to try to get the Greeks not to press the case. The other cable deals with what line to take should there be a leak.

    “The Secretary said we would be working on a statement which Lodge will make on the subject. It would be a better statement of our position. The Secretary said he would rather have that wait until we see what we work out here. Allen said if the thing leaks we can give out a paraphrase. He said the cable on the press statement would be held up.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, General Telephone Conversations)