300. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State1

1463. I have now had two “full-dress” meetings on aid with Karamanlis and principal ministers concerned. It is clear that perhaps because firm decisions have been delayed Greeks have allowed themselves to believe that their requests, including some $68 million additional aid over next three years, were being given favorable consideration. I felt strongly that the sooner they were disillusioned the better from long term viewpoint. In recent meetings, therefore, I have been firmly negative.

My October 26 speech to Propeller Club was widely commented upon in Greek press and generally interpreted as “firm”.2 (I was, for instance, seriously asked by a Government minister whether my statement that “the UN can not impose” a Cyprus solution, meant that the US had decided to oppose inscription).

Disappointing British reaction to current Greek position indicates that far from assuming any early improvement in Cyprus situation, we must rather anticipate a worsening unless British can be persuaded at least to go slow on unilateral moves.

It is inevitable that above developments are and will continue to be great shock to Greeks, genuinely shake their faith in US and encourage neutralist trend which already alarms many competent political observers here, and have other unpredictable but certainly not favorable political repercussions. I therefore believe it of utmost importance, now that we are giving the Greeks a major dose of realistic disillusionment, to make such gestures as we can to demonstrate our sympathetic interest.

By separate telegrams3 I am recommending certain action on aid program as well as action on Cyprus problem. Earnestly hope Department will be able to approve these recommendations promptly. [Page 573] In addition I feel that special effort should be made to give Karamanlis some special mark of attention while he is in US.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 781.5–MSP/10–3156. Secret. George V. Allen presented his credentials as Ambassador to Greece on October 12. Cavendish Cannon, who had been appointed Ambassador to Morocco on July 21, left Greece on July 28.
  2. On October 26, Allen delivered a speech at the Propellor Club in Athens. The address, entitled “The Eastern Mediterranean,” was criticized by the Prime Minister and the press for its reported lack of sensitivity to the Greek position on Cyprus. The text of the speech, press reaction, and the comments of the Embassy were transmitted in despatch 304 from Athens, October 31. (Ibid., 123 Allen, George V.)
  3. In telegram 1647, November 8, Allen forwarded his views on aid to Greece. (Ibid., Central Files, 781.5–MSP/11–856) The telegram that transmitted recommendations on the Cyprus problem is not further identified.
  4. On October 22, Karamanlis announced that he would head the Greek Delegation to the Eleventh Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York in November. On October 26, the Department informed the Embassy in Athens that Ambassador Melas had made a strong request for a meeting between Karamanlis and the President. The Department had informed the Greek Ambassador that although Eisenhower planned to be away from Washington for several weeks following the election, if he should return while Karamanlis was in the United States, the matter of a meeting would be reconsidered. (Telegram 1497 to Athens, October 26; Department of State, Central Files, 781.13/10–2656)