196. Memorandum of a Conversation Between Spyros Skouras and Secretary of State Dulles, Department of State, Washington, September 10, 19561


  • Skouras on Cyprus

Mr. Skouras had two purposes in calling on the Secretary: First, he gave the Secretary a brief review of his travels this summer. During these travels he had called first on the British Prime Minister and the British Foreign Minister.

On June 20th Prime Minister Eden hinted to Skouras that the British had a plan which would lead to eventual self-determination. This referred to the British proposals which were submitted to the Secretary on June 19th.2 Skouras said that later these plans had appeared in the British press and that there had been a strong Turkish reaction against them. Next Mr. Skouras saw Prime Minister Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Averoff in Athens on about July 5th. He gathered from them that the Greek Government felt heavily burdened by the Cyprus question and was looking for any reasonable solution which would permit them to save face and not be weighed down with this problem. Finally he saw Mr. Koraltan, President of the Turkish Parliament. He explained to Mr. Koraltan the Greek proposals as contained in Athens Embassy Despatch No. 66.3 He said that Mr. Koraltan was interested. Mr. Skouras was [Page 406] unable to see Prime Minister Menderes or President Bayar and admitted that the Turkish attitude was extremely stiff. He attempted to show them that good relations between Greece and Turkey were infinitely more important than the Cyprus question and urged that the Greeks and Turks should try to work this problem out between them. This suggestion does not appear to have been taken up.

The second point in Mr. Skouras’ discussion was that as a result of his trip he had become convinced that the only way in which the Cyprus question could be solved would be to give the island Commonwealth status. He realized that HMG felt Cyprus was too small to be a Commonwealth, but he felt this consideration should not be conclusive. He pointed out that if Cyprus were given Commonwealth status within the British Commonwealth of Nations Turkey could not reasonably object and he was sure that the Greek Government would accept. He also claimed that the Cypriots would accept. He said this latter belief was based on what Prime Minister Karamanlis had told him. It was pointed out to Mr. Skouras that if Cyprus were to be given Commonwealth status it would have the right to leave the Commonwealth and that in effect this might be the same as eventual enosis.

Mr. Skouras said that he would submit a full report to the Secretary later.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/19–1056. Secret. Drafted by Wood on September 11.
  2. See Documents 178 and 179.
  3. Not printed, but see footnote 5, Document 191.
  4. In a letter to Dulles, September 14, Skouras forwarded a report on his activities and noted that a similar report had been submitted to the President. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9–1456)