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

2147. Former Prime Minister Constantine Tsaldaris called at my office today at his request, to urge US support for information of coalition government in Greece. … for any Cyprus solution to enjoy national support, it should be accepted by all parties.

I referred to his strong criticism of US policy, during time of Ambassador Peurifoy, when he had alleged that US had interfered in internal Greek affairs, and commented that he seemed now to be urging US interference. Tsaldaris said US mistake had been to build up one individual, Papagos. He did not want US to say who should be Prime Minister but merely to indicate that US thought coalition government was desirable in principle.

Venezelos has been seeking occasion to see me during past ten days and Grand Chamberlain of Court asked me yesterday, allegedly speaking entirely on his own, whether I had seen Venezelos. He expressed considerable pleasure when I said I had agreed to dine with Venezelos December 15.

Comment: While I have no reason to believe King’s support for Karamanlis has weakened, it is evident that King is trying to improve his relations with opposition in order to avoid stigma of being King of only one party.

There are some valid arguments in favor of coalition governments. Moreover, I do not wish to give opposition leaders further [Page 581] reason to say I am refusing to see them. However, I do not think we should take any action, at least at present juncture, which could be construed as favorable or unfavorable to coalition. General impression I have given so far is that Greek politics are inscrutable but that I, as outsider, see no reason for agitation about new elections or changes of government when present chamber is only ten months old.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 781.00/12–1356. Secret. Repeated to Paris and London.
  2. In telegram 2300 to Athens, December 17, the Department concurred with Allen’s views. (Ibid.)