192. Telegram From the Consulate in Nicosia to the Department of State0
270. During call on Foot this morning by Lyon, Goodyear and myself following personal observations by governor worthy of note:
- Considers it virtually impossible find solution upon which GOG and GOT will agree.
- HMG cannot simply mark time maintaining status quos; British electorate sick to death of Cyprus problem and he wonders how long they will continue to bear both economic cost (7–1/2 million from UK and 4 million from Cyprus budget in 1957) and international political cost of emergency.
- Some way out must be found if we are to avoid another Palestine.
- Agrees Secretary’s suggestion (paragraph 5 Secto 29 from Ankara);1HMG must go through with one more round “sounding” and then set forth new policy based best possible compromise of contending views and proceed implement that policy.
- One such possible course action might well be Turkish base concept but timing of the essence. Base would have to be in lieu of partition and not merely stepping stone thereto.
- Considered either partition or enosis would lead to Greco-Turk hostilities.
- Cannot afford let situation drift and hopes whatever final HMG decision is USG will find it possible support internationally.
- Gave no indication any new plans but we talked at some length of problems involved in setting up base and motives of Turks and Greeks if they agreed. Turks might well consider only as step to partition and Greeks might consider it possible make base untenable if they had sovereignty over rest of island.
- Neither Turks nor Greeks will believe that British honestly sincerely want out of Cyprus; that their only need is maintain base in support strategic needs NATO and Baghdad Pact; their only wish is find some solution which will maintain peace in area and not lead to breakdown in relations which would comfort only Soviets.
- Believed whatever course action adopted it would at least provide Turks with what HMG would consider was sufficient guarantee their legitimate interests in Cyprus.
- Although he hoped eventuality would never arise, if situation were to deteriorate to extent where HMG forced make choice between Greece and Turkey, he considered it mandatory choose latter.
Comment: Foregoing Foot’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect latest Foreign Office thinking. Foot was slightly more optimistic than when Owen Jones saw him,2 saying there was a “limited time” in which to find course least objectionable to all concerned and then embark upon it.