190. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State0

5368. Foreign Office (Ross) informed Barbour today present status Cyprus negotiations.

As foreshadowed Department telegram 5929,1HMG has approached Turkish Government to explore Turk views regarding bases on Cyprus. Results this probing now received and Turks seem willing accept idea of base provided:

Turkey obtains in effect three bases in Cyprus. These mostly in cities. Foreign Office considers proposed sites not very realistic.
Turkey obtains these bases immediately, or at least in very near future. Turks also stress concern that any constitution for island be federal in nature, that is, give extensive autonomy to Turk Cypriots.

Ross says that HMG actively considering Turk reply but is not rushing ahead with next step in negotiations, for which Cabinet approval will be required in any case. As result, Foreign Office not unduly disturbed by recent Greek election developments,2 even though this means some delay before obtaining Greek Government able and willing deal with problem. At same time, head Southern Department (Addis) speculates this delay has disadvantages and advantages with respect to Cyprus itself. The longer things continued in uncertain state, the greater danger of inter communal violence. At same time, if Cyprus could be kept peaceful, on plea it impossible take action until May, chances of violence may decrease and influence of EOKA might decline. Addis also thought that Ethnarchy might be inclined to temporize during period when there was no Greek Government to support it, and might therefore be willing to avoid encouraging if not actually to restrain Grivas for time being. Addis stressed his thinking both personal and tentative.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/3–1158. Secret; Limit Distribution; Noforn; Need-To-Know. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, Nicosia, and Paris for USRO.
  2. Document 189.
  3. On March 2, the Karamanlis government resigned after 15 deputies, including 2 ministers, deserted it during a parliamentary vote on a bill to modify the electoral system. A caretaker government was formed by Constantine Georgakopoulos and new elections set for May 11.