288. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Cyprus


  • Lord Hood, Minister, British Embassy
  • Mr. Charles Wiggin, First Secretary, British Embassy
  • IO—Mr. Francis O. Wilcox
  • EUR—Mr. Dale
  • GTI—Mr. Jones
  • GTI—Mr. Blood
  • UNP—Mr. Sisco
  • UNP—Mr. Newlin

Lord Hood and Mr. Wiggin called at Lord Hood’s request. Lord Hood referred to a personal note of November 9 from Ambassador Caccia to the Under Secretary which transmitted, inter alia, a request from Mr. Selwyn Lloyd that the US and the UK delegations in New York collaborate closely on the Cyprus item at the current session of the General Assembly.1 Lord Hood said that Sir Pierson Dixon on November 10 had shown two texts of a prospective British resolution to USUN in New York and he assumed Mr. Wilcox had seen them. The UK very much [Page 740] hoped the US would be able to cosponsor a British resolution.2 While the UK felt that its record on Cyprus was a good one and, consequently, did not fear a debate on the subject, the British Government hoped that UN consideration of Cyprus would make possible a resumption of discussions in NAC looking forward to a conference among the interested parties. Mr. Wilcox said that this was a good objective. The UK hoped, Lord Hood said, that the present session of the General Assembly would make it plain to the Greeks that appeals to the UN would not strengthen their case.

Mr. Wilcox speculated that the Greeks themselves might contemplate a resumption of the NAC discussions should the Assembly fail to adopt a resolution endorsing guaranteed independence. Mr. Wiggin said he thought the Greeks hoped to get the Assembly to adopt a resolution endorsing a substantive position favorable to Greece, i.e., self-determination or guaranteed independence. Such a development would seriously handicap additional efforts by NAC to arrange a conference. Mr. Wilcox said that a Greek resolution calling for guaranteed independence with both partition and enosis excluded might come close to commanding a two-thirds majority.

“That depends on the United States”, Mr. Wiggin replied.

Mr. Wilcox said that he thought a resumption of the NAC discussions was a reasonable objective. However, even though the US sympathized with the UK substantive position, cosponsorship of one of the UK draft resolutions, the texts of which he had seen, would raise certain problems. In the report he had received from New York, even Sir Pierson Dixon had indicated that the first UK draft resolution went quite far in endorsing the UK substantive position. What may happen, and this was not a suggestion Mr. Wilcox said, was that an extreme UK resolution might balance an extreme Greek resolution and a compromise resolution calling for resumed discussions under the aegis of NATO would develop. The US and UK delegations ought to discuss this possibility.

Lord Hood observed that even if two extreme resolutions were introduced such as Mr. Wilcox mentioned, the US might still have to lobby to prevent the adoption of a resolution calling for guaranteed independence. On the other hand, if a resolution calling for resumed discussions was desired, Mr. Wilcox said, it might be better for the US to stay in the background and play a conciliatory role. Mr. Wiggin observed that the US’s conciliatory role “didn’t come off” last year.3

The Greeks might also welcome a resolution calling for resumed discussions, Mr. Wilcox thought. According to Mr. Wiggin, Archbishop [Page 741] Makarios had denied this was a Greek goal. Mr. Wilcox then referred to a statement made by a member of the UK delegation in New York that the Greek Government, having been forced by Makarios to refuse to participate in a conference, might welcome a resolution by the General Assembly calling for a resumption of the NAC talks. Mr. Jones said that he thought such a theory was too optimistic.

Lord Hood said that since the Department had the prospective texts of a UK draft resolution, he would not spend time on them. He wished to request the wholehearted support of the US for the UK concerning Cyprus and hoped that the Department would consider cosponsoring a British resolution. Of utmost importance, was concerted action in New York between our respective delegations to develop tactics capable of yielding the best possible results.

Mr. Wilcox then summarized USUN’s report of Sir Pierson Dixon’s representation in New York.4 He said that USUN felt that the Assembly was unlikely to endorse either of the draft texts since they went too far in the direction of endorsing the British position. Lord Hood said that he hoped that detailed discussions between the two delegations would continue in New York.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11–1158. Confidential. Drafted by Newlin and initialed by Wilcox.
  2. Lloyd wanted the two delegations to “collaborate over Cyprus. If they do, he still hopes that it may be possible to restore the position to what it was before the NATO discussions broke down and if so, to get a worthwhile conference. But things could go badly wrong unless our delegations work together, not necessarily openly, but in fact.” Caccia’s note is in Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Cyprus.
  3. Texts of the British draft resolution were sent to the Department of State in Delga 394 from USUN, November 10. (Department of State, Central Files, 320.11/11–1058)
  4. Reference is to U.S. participation in the formulation of a resolution on Cyprus at the 12th U.N. General Assembly.
  5. Reported in Delga 393 from USUN, November 10. (Department of State, Central Files, 320.11/11–1058)