220. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State 0

3503. Reference: Deptel 3645.1

I had Penfield see Rossides this morning sound him out on Makarios contact. Rossides, who is normally relatively calm and reasonable, was in very excited state and immediately launched into long tirade against British. He mentioned proposals only in passing, characterizing them briefly as impossible, and concentrated on alleged British perfidy in allowing “six days of anti-Greek rioting” on Cyprus.2 He said that British security forces perfectly capable controlling this type situation which was much easier than handling hit-and-run attacks in which EOKA used indulge. He asserted it was height folly from security standpoint not retain curfew on Turk communities and claimed security forces only intervened stop pillage and arrest Greeks when latter organized protect themselves. He reasoned that only explanation this British attitude is that British “working hand-in-glove with Turks to bring about situation in which partition will be inevitable”.
As Penfield was able break into this tirade he expressed personal conviction that this was false interpretation British actions and motives and asked whether it was not at least worthwhile for Makarios meet Foot or other high British official and hear their side of story and explanation plan. Rossides agreed but pretended ignorance any British offer arrange such meeting. Rossides also agreed with Penfield’s suggestion that a private talk between Makarios and me might be useful. Whole matter meetings left vague, with Rossides promising get in touch with Penfield again after he had talked with Makarios.
British Ambassador states his original recommendation was based on assumption Makarios could be persuaded reject a plan in way which would leave door open subsequent discussions. In view deterioration situation he believes (and I agree) this now forlorn hope and says he has recommended against suggestion (suggestion clear whether from London or from Foot) that Foot come Athens now to see Makarios.
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Comment: It is clear that unfortunate events Cyprus last few days have seriously prejudiced whatever small chance there was of Greeks not completely slamming door. I will of course continue with Makarios meeting if he is receptive but have little hope of making any impression.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6–1358. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Received at 2:30 p.m. Repeated to London, Ankara, and Nicosia.
  2. Document 214.
  3. Mob violence on Cyprus, which began on June 7 with Turkish riots in Nicosia, reached its climax on June 12 when 8 Greek Cypriots were killed by a mob of Turkish farmers near the village of Geunyeli. The Greeks were part of a group of 35 which had been arrested, disarmed, and then released by British security forces.