141. Letter From Secretary of State Dulles to Foreign Secretary Macmillan1

Dear Harold: I wish to thank you for your friendly and helpful messages of September 19 and 20 on the subject of Cyprus.2 Although the Greek Government has received a serious blow, it is certainly better, in the present atmosphere, that the subject was not allowed to drag on in the General Assembly. However, after our conversation in New York on September 27,3 I know you will agree with me that the Cyprus situation remains a cause of concern not only on the island itself, but as it affects NATO and the Balkan Pact. I realize the importance of the move which the United Kingdom has made in seeking to work towards a solution of the problem in consultation with the Turkish and Greek Governments, but I fear that neither of them are likely to agree on any steps towards self-government in the near future. Such steps would be too much for Turkey and not enough for Greece. Therefore I am glad to have heard from you that the United Kingdom will soon decide on its own initiative to take some steps towards self-government. Also, I recall the Eisenhower–Churchill Declaration of June 29, 1954 that they would “earnestly strive by every peaceful means to secure the independence of all countries whose peoples desire and are capable of sustaining an independent existence. We welcome the processes of development, where still needed, that lead toward that goal.”4

I have written frankly, believing that this is the best basis for working out mutually satisfactory positions on this matter. I need not emphasize the traditional and popular feelings in the United States on colonial questions. I sincerely hope that we shall both find the means to continue our cooperation on the Cyprus question.

Sincerely yours,

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9–1955. Secret. Drafted by Wood and Dulles.
  2. The September 19 letter is printed as Document 133; the September 20 letter is in the Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, EdenMacmillanLloyd Correspondence 1955–56.
  3. No record of Dulles’ conversation with Macmillan concerning Cyprus has been found in Department of State files. According to Dulles’ Appointment Book, the Secretary met with Macmillan, Shuckburgh, and Russell on September 27 at 4:40 p.m. to discuss the situation in the Middle East. No record of this conversation has been found in Department of State files.
  4. For the full text of the declaration, see Department of State Bulletin, July 12, 1954, pp. 49–50.