285. Memorandum From the Director of Central Intelligence (Dulles) to the Secretary of State1


  • Comments of King Paul and Mr. Constantine Karamanlis Regarding the Greek Political Crisis
… This information is forwarded for your personal consideration and will not be further disseminated by my Organization. It is related to … King Paul’s message to you and is in amplification of Mr. Thurston’s telegram No. 703 to the Department.2
In discussing the Greek political crisis, King Paul and Queen Frederika stressed their fear that any Prime Minister succeeding Prime Minister Papagos would have to adopt a more neutralist policy unless the United States takes appropriate steps to correct the swing in Greek public opinion. Neither the Royal Couple nor the Cabinet felt that the recent letter of the Secretary of State to Prime Minister Papagos meets this need.3
The King stated that he had been told by Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephanopoulos that if efforts at inscription of the Cyprus question failed at the United Nations, he would advise the Secretary of State of his intention to resign as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Stephanopoulos stated to the King that he was committed to a pro-Western policy which he could not carry out in the future once the Greek public reacts to an unfavorable vote in the United Nations. King Paul indicated that it was his belief that Mr. Stephanopoulos means what he says.
King Paul has twice indicated his determination to call on Mr. Karamanlis to form a new government. This may be done immediately after the inscription issue is settled, or in the event of Prime Minister Papagos’ death or resignation. King Paul has postponed his Austrian vacation until the inscription issue is decided.
King Paul views the appointment of Mr. Stephanopoulos as Prime Minister as being “out of the question.” At the same time he is fearful of the neutralist line which might be taken by any [Page 545] opposition leader. The King anticipates strong criticism when he calls Mr. Karamanlis out but feels that the Greek people and the Army will be behind him.
With regard to Prime Minister Papagos’ health, the King stated that he had been told by the Prime Minister’s personal physician on 16 September that the Prime Minister had taken a bad turn in the last few days and that the situation was serious.
… feels that Mr. Karamanlis is maintaining objectivity, calmness and good judgment. He also believes that Mr. Karamanlis, if he takes over following the failure of the Cyprus inscription, will undoubtedly have a very difficult adjustment period, particularly since the appointment of Panagiotis Pipinellis as Minister of Foreign Affairs will be attacked as appeasement on the Cyprus question. Mr. Karamanlis continues to hope that the United States can help Greece find means for shelving the Cyprus issue “with honor” so that he can address himself to internal economic problems. Publicly, he will announce that Greece’s Cyprus policy will continue and that only the methods in carrying out the policy will be changed.
Both King Paul and Mr. Karamanlis believe that Karamanlis will probably assume the leadership of a provisional government no later than the first week in November.
Allen Dulles
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 781.00/9–2255. Top Secret. According to a note attached to the source text, Dulles’ memorandum was read by Hoover, Allen, Baxter, Jernegan, and Barnes.
  2. In telegram 703 from Athens, September 17, Thurston reported that the King and Queen had urged the United States to support the inscription of the Cyprus item at the U.N. General Assembly. The royal couple indicated that unless this were done the Prime Minister succeeding Papagos might be forced to take a neutralist or even anti-NATO line in order to maintain popular support. (Ibid.,747C.00/9–1755)
  3. See footnote 3, Document 129.