318. Telegram From the Consulate General in Nicosia to the Department of State0
391. Ankara also for Jones. Deptel 342 repeated all addressees.1 Carried out instructions reference telegram this morning. Archbishop expressed himself as being extremely grateful this official word from USG.
During ensuing half hour he made following points of interest:
- Great problems both political and economic lay ahead.
- Republic of Cyprus would need economic assistance from US and UK. Mentioned figure of 20 million dollars from US and 20 million pounds from UK for purpose of easing island over difficulties of next few years. He mentioned dangers of inflation if money not wisely used and said infusion must take place over reasonable period of time. He covered much same ground as Rossides (Contel 389)2 and I replied in precisely same manner.
- In response my mention of political problems he would face implementing London agreement, he launched on somewhat lengthy discussion his difficulties as spiritual-political leader pointing out that [Page 780] people seem united in support of him but when it came to choice of ministers and legislators the opposite was the case. He recognized great difficulty in arriving at judicious choice of advisers and he expressed himself as being well aware of the degree of criticism leveled at most of his close associates. “God willing,” he said, “I will make the right choices.”
- Expressed personal admiration for Foot and his belief that they would be able work effectively together during transition period. I said Foot had told me same thing about him last night.
- Had heard of forthcoming Jones visit and naturally wishes opportunity present his views in person. I said visit not as pictured in press but that Mr. Jones would naturally appreciate opportunity discuss general situation.
Comment: As with most people meeting Archbishop for first time I was most impressed with magnetic personality and warmth of his manner. his remarks on economic assistance, which amounted to request, follow pattern set earlier by contacts among young lawyers and business people in Greek community. I was surprised that Makarios was even more frank and outspoken in his approach to this problem than Zenon Rossides had been. Believe USG must assume aid expected and our failure to assist new republic will be considered, whether justifiably or not, as mounting to dereliction of what Cypriots consider almost duty.
NSC 5718 Supplement, Paragraph 353 recognizes in principle that USG assistance may be required. Since this is case and in view, our considerable direct interests in island (FBIS monitor station, relay stations, projected VOA, Cyprus Mines Corporation) not to mention our general interest in seeing Cyprus become prosperous symbol of cooperation among Western allies, we should reach decision in principle on aid program at an early date.
Have appointment with Kuchuk Saturday and expect same request from him.4
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/3–659. Secret; Limit Distribution. Repeated to London, Ankara, Athens, and Paris for USRO.↩
- Telegram 342 to Nicosia, February 25, instructed Belcher to contact Makarios as soon as possible after his return from exile and attempt to re-establish an “effective working contact.” (Ibid., 747C.00/2–2559)↩
- Telegram 389 from Nicosia, March 5, reported that Rossides, during a March 5 conversation, cited growing unemployment and business recession in Cyprus in seeking U.S. aid. Belcher was “non-committal” about the prospect for aid and stressed the need for increased efforts to attract private investment. (Ibid., 747C.00/3–559)↩
- Reference should be to NSC 5718/1; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. XXIV, pp. 585–592.↩
- In telegram 394 from Nicosia, March 9, Belcher reported that Kuchuk had appealed for U.S. economic aid and stressed his desire to work in cooperation with the Greek Cypriot leadership. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/3–959)↩