205. Letter From Secretary of State Dulles to Foreign Secretary Lloyd 0

Dear Selwyn: I am grateful for your message delivered on May 231 outlining in broad terms the plan you propose to put before the Greek and Turkish Governments with regard to Cyprus.

In considering the probable reaction to your plan of the various parties, my colleagues and I are deeply impressed with the difficulties [Page 616] which you might expect to encounter. We realize, however, that it is always far easier to see the disadvantages and dangers of any particular course than to set forth a plan which might be rendered acceptable to all those concerned. Nevertheless, I believe that I should say in all frankness that your plan will in our judgment cause a strong reaction in Greece and Cyprus.

The Greek-Cypriot objection would, I imagine, relate primarily to the facts that the plan would put forth clearly the Turkish Government as a participant in the affairs of Cyprus and would open the way for increased Turkish influence on the island; and that even with this disadvantage from the Greek viewpoint there would continue to be an absence of any indication of what you are proposing eventually to offer the Cypriots after you have relinquished sovereignty over the island.

Whether or not it will be possible for you to make any changes designed to gain a greater measure of Greek and Cypriot acquiescence, I do not know. In any event, however, I would hope that you would plan to consult the Greek and Turkish Governments substantially in advance of any public announcement in order to afford yourself adequate time to assess the implications of their response. In this manner it might be possible to avoid the setting in motion of a chain of events which could lead to the necessity of endeavouring to enforce the plan even though it were quite unacceptable to some of the parties and that could also lead involuntarily to the partition of the island.

Despite our doubts regarding certain aspects of the plan as we now know it, we would like to be as helpful as we can. I am consequently writing you before taking leave of Washington for a few days2 and before receiving the further details of your plan. If in the course of the necessary preparatory effort you believe our intervention in some form would be useful we would be prepared to consider it. I must say, however, that given the problem and the plan in its present form, I doubt that our influence would really be of much help in bringing about Greek acceptance.

Yours sincerely,

John Foster Dulles 3
  1. Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Top Secret. Drafted by Owen T. Jones and Rountree.
  2. Document 204.
  3. Dulles left Washington on May 27 and returned on June 2.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.