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


  • Conversations with Prime Minister Karamanlis on 7 and 10 May 1956
The views outlined below were expressed on 7 and 10 May 1956 by Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis of Greece .…
Reviewing the difficulties which had beset his government since its inception, with the deportation of Archbishop Makarios and public statements by the Turks about armed action over Cyprus confronting him almost before he had had time to form a cabinet, the Prime Minister repeated an earlier statement that Greece is being taken for granted by her allies. He stated once more the intention of the Greek government to proceed to the United Nations General Assembly over the Cyprus issue. He said that in view of Turkey’s need for American economic aid, he hoped the United States could exert some influence on Turkey favorable to a Cyprus solution.
Turning to the proposal for an economic aid program which his government had just submitted to Ambassador Cannon for transmittal to Washington,2 Mr. Karamanlis said it was essential that he be able to proceed successfully with a vigorous domestic program to offset the harassment and failures his government had experienced in foreign affairs. He felt that if his government is to survive he must achieve some progress quickly during the next few months and before Cyprus is raised at the General Assembly. Since the government’s principal support comes from the agricultural classes, he is especially anxious to make progress in a financial aid program for agriculture. The tobacco workers and other workers of Northern Greece are complaining about the government’s failure to accept the rumored Soviet offer to purchase the entire tobacco crop; Mr. Karamanlis plans to resist these pressures, perhaps with a public statement making it clear that the Soviets already have a deficit of $1,500,000 in their current trade balance with Greece.

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Allen W. Dulles
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 781.00/5–2656. Secret. In a memorandum of June 6 to Eric Oulashin of the Bureau of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs, Roger Kirk of the Executive Secretariat indicated that copies of Dulles’ letter were being forwarded to the Secretary and Howard Furnas, Intelligence Staff Officer.
  2. In a May 2 letter to Ambassador Cannon, Karamanlis presented the Greek Government’s case for economic aid in 1956 and 1957. The Prime Minister noted that in addition to a $60 million aid level for ordinary foreign exchange and budgetary deficits, Greece was in need of special assistance of $68 million for the support of additional agriculture and economic development programs. After consideration of Karamanlis’ proposals by the Embassy and the country team, Cannon forwarded them to Washington in despatch 950, May 15. (Ibid., 781.5–MSP/5–1556)