187. Memorandum From the Secretary of State to the President1


  • Skouras Talks with Eden on Cyprus

Spyros Skouras has requested that you be informed of talks on Cyprus which he has had with Prime Minister Eden and with Prime Minister Karamanlis of Greece. Since you are interested in the question and since he may wish to discuss it with you, a summary follows:

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Eden said that a satisfactory solution depended on (1) an end of terrorism, (2) some means of satisfying the Turks and (3) British sovereignty over base areas to be retained permanently following self-determination.

Skouras transmitted this to Karamanlis and obtained the following reply:

Greece believes a solution would be possible if the British (1) clearly recognized self-determination, (2) agreed to a plebiscite within eight years (date to be determined by NATO considering the international situation), (3) returned Makarios in time to sign agreement, (4) retained only Foreign Affairs and Defense during the period of self-government and granted a progressive amnesty.

If the plebiscite favored union with Greece, Turkish interests (according to the Greeks) could be secured by (1) a NATO limit on Greek forces on Cyprus, (2) creation of a free port to protect Turkish trade, (3) Turkish civil rights to be protected by the UN.

In reporting the above to the British Ambassador to Athens, Skouras put in the suggestion that Makarios could be returned to London instead of to Cyprus.

Comment: Only after we learn the results of Mr. Skouras’ visit to Ankara2 can we evaluate the prospects of agreement that may be developed from this series of conversations.

John Foster Dulles
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7–2056. Secret. Spyros Skouras, President of Twentieth Century Fox Films, had undertaken, on his own initiative, a mission to persuade the Governments of Greece and Turkey to disengage from the Cyprus problem and to allow the British and the Cypriots to settle the issue. Although Skouras had contact with Eisenhower and Dulles as well as other Department of State officials, his mission was undertaken as a private citizen. Skouras saw Eden on June 20. A report of Skouras’ conversation with Karamanlis was transmitted in telegram 53 from Athens, July 6. (Ibid., 747C.00/7–656)
  2. A notation at this point on the source text in an unidentified hand, but bearing Dulles’ initials in quotation marks reads: “if he is admitted”. For Skouras’ report on his travels, see Document 196.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.