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

855. Athens tels 755, 733,2 732,3 609,4 Despatch 66.5

Athens: Deliver following personal message to Averoff from the Acting Secretary and emphasize request that text be treated as confidential:

“In the absence of the Secretary I should like to acknowledge your message of August 18 concerning the Cyprus situation. Our Chargé, Mr. Thurston, has reported on the conversations which the Prime Minister and you held with him on August 28, and I am also informed of the proposals which you transmitted through Ambassador Cannon.

I would like to assure you that we are at this moment considering the Cyprus question urgently. Although some of the recent developments have been discouraging, we are fully determined to do what we can in the endeavor to find a solution. We recognize the real importance to all of us that some concrete improvement be achieved as soon as possible.

We are gratified at the attitude of the Greek Government reflected in the proposals which you gave to Ambassador Cannon, as [Page 397] supplemented by your remarks to Mr. Thurston. We are also assured of the British desire to improve the situation on Cyprus. In the circumstances there should be a considerable possibility of a better understanding.

We will be in touch with you again soon to convey our further thoughts.

Please convey my respects to Prime Minister Karamanlis. Sincerely.”

London: You may inform HMG that GOG has requested US “mediation” in Cyprus question but we have no plans to accede. You may at your discretion inform British of general substance message above. You should then make strong request that HMG seek reestablish contact with GOG and give latter some indication its present plans…. You should seek answer from HMG. Department would also appreciate receiving from HMG as complete information as possible UK plans and intentions for Cyprus (Athens 755).6

FYI It our view Cyprus problem not likely be solved by formal mediation, since prior consent our intervention by all concerned needed. We therefore not giving consideration Karamanlis request. Appears GOG also does not expect this (Athens 755). Department actively studying other possible US action meet worsening Cyprus and Greek Government situation. End FYI.7

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8–2856. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Rountree, Wood, and Laingen. Also sent to London; repeated to Ankara, Paris, and Nicosia; and pouched to Belgrade, Vienna, and Naples.
  2. Regarding telegram 755, see footnote 6 below. Telegram 733, August 28, is in Department of State, Central File 747C.00/8–2856.
  3. Supra.
  4. Telegram 609, August 19, transmitted a message of August 18 from the Foreign Minister. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8–1956)
  5. Despatch 66 from Athens, July 30, contained a memorandum outlining Greek conditions for a solution to the Cyprus dispute. Among other things, the memorandum called for unreserved recognition of the principle of self-determination, granting of a “truly liberal” constitution, a general amnesty, and endorsement of the plan by Makarios. The original of the memorandum was given to departing Ambassador Cannon for transmittal to Dulles. (Ibid., 747C.00/7–3056)
  6. Telegram 755, August 30, expressed the Embassy’s view that there was a need to “smoke out true British intentions.” (Ibid., 747C.00/8–3056)
  7. In telegram 963 from Athens, September 19, Thurston reported that the Acting Greek Foreign Minister had informed him that the Prime Minister was anxious to receive a progress report on Cyprus. (Ibid., 747C.00/9–1956) In telegram 1072, September 21, the Department replied that it was sympathetic to the Prime Minister’s desire for information on the U.S. position, but that Karamanlis could not be given any additional information at this time. (Ibid.)