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

3861. Shortly after news broke on ticker Foreign Office informed Embassy Makarios, Bishop of Cyrenia and two others had been deported from Cyprus.2 Seychelles as destination to be kept secret for time being. Sec and Department to be informed today and given explanation of British action.

Foreign Office regretted lack of advance information. Plan had been to inform Department as soon as Archbishop off island but delay in transmission of Governor’s cable caused news to appear first on ticker. Late this afternoon Colonial Office issued long press statement emphasizing Harding continued negotiations over 5 months during which direct and circumstantial evidence accumulated pointing to Makarios direct involvement in terrorist EOKA organization.

Foreign Office added that action taken on Harding’s recommendation who argued no purpose served in continuing negotiations with individual who refused to halt violence and was deeply implicated with terrorists. Commons will debate Cyprus March 14 on Labor resolution deploring government’s failure in negotiations especially “after major issue of self-determination has been resolved”. [Page 347] Government’s actions in Cyprus since March 5 statement3 particularly deportation before Parliament has reviewed situation will probably evoke violent labor party reaction.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/3–956. Secret. Repeated for information to Athens, Ankara, and Nicosia.
  2. On March 9, British authorities on Cyprus, claiming that Archbishop Makarios was involved in the terrorist campaign organized by EOKA, arrested the Archbishop and began steps which would lead to his deportation to the Seychelles. Documentation on the British action and U.S., Greek, and Cypriot reactions is ibid., 747C.00.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 163. The text of the communiqué issued by Harding on the deportation of Makarios is in Documents (R.I.I.A.) for 1956, p. 689.