202. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State 0
6634. As of last night Foreign Office (Addis) said Cabinet has not reached a decision on Cyprus. London Times announces this morning, however, that Allen returning Athens today and Bowker Ankara Monday. Times adds that Cabinet yesterday probably put finishing touches on new plan.
Evidence available to Embassy indicates that plan does not involve either partition or Turkish base on island. Nor does it envisage immediate giving up or sharing of British sovereignty. Principal elements appear to involve (1) a first stage of perhaps seven years during which major effort would be made satisfy aspirations of Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities as far as local problems are concerned by establishment communal assemblies and a ministerial council; (2) during this stage UK would not divide or give up its sovereignty over island; (3) representatives of Greek and Turk Governments, however, would be associated with ministerial council which would advise the governors; (4) eventual goal of this process would probably be shared responsibility or tridominium.
Tactics of implementation of plan are tentatively as follows:
In Parliament, government plans respond to question Monday, May 19 with holding statement. It will refer to current discussions, time required for consultation with interested governments, and therefore postponement full debate until after Whitsun recess (now scheduled last until June 10). By this maneuver, government hopes avoid detailed public statement for three weeks, giving time for negotiations with Greeks and Turks and consultation with US. Labour Party is planning meeting after Monday statement to determine its course of action, since if wishes it can insist on debate of Cyprus Thursday, May 22. Foreign Office obviously hopes Monday’s statement will avoid a full-scale debate, before Whitsun recess, since government would be unable to spell out plan that soon. Addis remarked that Foreign Office hopes Foot will be able influence Labour leaders.
Addis also repeated fact Lloyd intends send message to Secretary as soon as definite decision reached. Addis personally thought message would be sent early in coming week.
As Department aware, Foreign Office is extremely desirous that elements of above plan not be divulged prematurely. Embassy recommends [Page 611] that special care be taken in this regard particularly since we know that London Times already has a general knowledge of plan and possibility of leaks naturally exists in course of Foot’s conversations with Labour leaders.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/5–1758. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, Paris for USRO, and Nicosia.↩