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

6246. Paris for USRO. Embtel 6092.1 Emboff asked FonOff April 28 re thinking behind Governor Foot’s broadcast that he “hoped” soon after [Page 604] end of this month to go to London again for discussions with British Govt (Nicosia’s 323).2FonOff replied broadcast authorized by HMG on Foot’s recommendation in effort forestall outbreak EOKA violence. Foot had wanted more categorical statement regarding return to London but Ministers decided wording should be kept ambiguous and conditional. HMG wished to end dilly dallying on Cyprus problem but was firm in belief no definitive proposals should be advanced to Greece before elections May 11. Otherwise news bound to leak and Greek attitude be affected by stresses of campaign. UK also wished to avoid repetition January situation when world attention focused on Foot’s return and expectation of policy statement which had to be deferred. FonOff stressed HMG planning on timing any statement went no further than indicated above. Re substance HMG still hoped something would materialize from current secret talks with Turks but had reached no decision.

Embassy comments:

Convergence several factors appears to be propelling Cyprus problem towards another “decisive” phase. These include: (1) Danger of eruption of new wave of EOKA terrorism; (2) Greek elections May 11; (3) Governor Foot’s “hope” to return of consultations soon after end of April; (4) Labor Party’s request for debate on Cyprus prior to Whitsun recess May 23 (govt has not yet responded to request).

At present signs point toward UK policy decision during early part of May after discussions with Governor Foot followed by statement and debate in Parliament. Same expectation arose in connection with Foot’s visit to London in January.3 Instead, HMG has sought through secret talks to find solution least objectionable to Greece and Turkey. Unfortunately, little common ground appears to have been found. UK likely have greater difficulty now than in January in securing tacit assent of parties to further delay for additional negots. This appears especially true in case EOKA which Nicosia’s reports indicate is increasingly restive and unreceptive to moderate advice.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/4–2958. Secret, Limit Distribution; Noforn. Repeated to Nicosia, Ankara, Athens, and Paris.
  2. Telegram 6092 from London, April 21, reported on the progress of the British-Turkish negotiations. (Ibid., 747C.00/4–2158)
  3. Telegram 323 from Nicosia, April 27, transmitted the text of Foot’s April 25 broadcast calling for an end to violence in Cyprus. (Ibid.)
  4. Foot visited London January 1–9.