181. Telegram From the Consulate in Nicosia to the Department of State0

217. Paris for USRO. Re Deptel 2318 to Athens and Athens 2015 (which not sent Nicosia) and Contel 216.1 Believe deteriorating situation here2 grave enough warrant USG urging GOG use influence with Makarios to persuade him consider again repercussions further recourse to violence and urge him consider other means of achieving justice for Greek Cypriot cause.

[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] report Athens today that Ethnarchy Council here is recommending to Grivas that resumption [Page 585] violence too costly their cause and proposing institute intensified passive resistance campaign involving economic boycotts British firms, public ostracism of individuals and possibly refusal pay taxes. Such program to be progressively applied after testing mood of people who would be “persuaded” by EOKA if elements proved unenthusiastic [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] contact alleged decision taken recommend change in policy because of fear further violence might vitiate present favorable world opinion gained at UN. Also Labor Party might react unfavorably as suggested in recent Callaghan statement.3 No indication what part Makarios has played so far in this proposal but visit Bishop of Kitium to Athens may be link.4

Altho no such admission given [less than 1 line of source text not declassified], could well be Ethnarchy also influenced by recent evidence strength Turkey feeling and by thought that British reaction violence would be all-out campaign in which EOKA right-wing leadership would be either eliminated or severely limited in action thus leaving field open to Communists to usurp leadership.

Whether or not [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] report has substance a degree of judicious pressure by US, perhaps using some of foregoing reasoning, might be useful at present time before Greeks learn nature of British proposal and decide they must react as suggested previous telegram.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/1–3158. Secret; Priority; Noforn. Repeated to London, Ankara, Athens, and Paris.
  2. Telegram 2318 is summarized in footnote 4, Document 176. In telegram 216 from Nicosia, January 31, Belcher reported that current British proposals on the future of Cyprus would be unacceptable to the Greek majority on the island since they would lead to partition, and renewed violence was likely once they became public. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/1–3158)
  3. Severe rioting broke out among the Turkish Cypriot populace on January 27–29.
  4. Apparently a reference to a statement by Callaghan during a January 23 question session in Parliament. For text, see House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, 5th Series, vol. 580, col. 1235.
  5. Bishop Anthimis of Kitium, the Acting Ethnarch of Cyprus, visited Athens during the first 3 weeks of February.
  6. In telegram 2344 to Athens, February 1, the Department of State relayed the proposals in this telegram to the Embassy in Greece and instructed the Ambassador at his direction to make an approach to the Greek Government to restrain violence if after consultation with the British representatives in Greece such action seemed warranted. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/1–3158)