331. Telegram From the Consulate General in Nicosia to the Department of State 0

169. Called on Makarios Tuesday1 afternoon to make oral presentation per instructions and then gave aide-memoire to Archbishop to read.2 He said there was no question but that US facilities welcome but he questioned me with regard to meaning of “existing arrangements” asking if there were any time limit on agreement with British. When I said no he asked if we paid any rent or royalty. I replied in negative explaining we paid rent for antenna rights but had bought the property on which stations stand. At this point he interjected “well, you know we will be poor and you will have to pay us something.” I reiterated that at present time we did not pay any rent and that this of course was not provided for in agreement under which we had been operating. I suggested this was question which could be discussed at later date and that what we were interested in at moment was agreement in principle re recognition of existing arrangements.

In attempt divert discussion to other sources “financial aid” I emphasized need for economic survey as soon as possible so that when he as head of new government requested assistance requests could be shown to be within framework of plan drawn up by disinterested agency such as Ford Foundation, World Bank, or UN Technical Assist-ance Board. He agreed wholeheartedly and said he and his Ministers were in process of presenting memorandum for transmittal by British to UN requesting assistance in formulating a survey and plan. I also went into details of possibility of economic assistance from a variety of sources as suggested paragraph 7 of Department’s 123.3

Makarios then suggested that at some time after his government had assumed power we should discuss details of an agreement along lines of present one but which would be formalized by his signature or [Page 796] that of Ministers of new government. Also suggested such agreement should have time limit since his “successors might not have same attitude toward US.”

Archbishop then said only additional observation he wished to make was that he did not think this was appropriate subject to be taken up through London committee. He felt it should be settled here in Nicosia between himself, Doctor Kuchuk, Ministers concerned and Consul General. He said that naturally this was matter which the USG would decide for itself but for his part he was of opinion that this was an “internal” affair in which neither Greece, Turkey nor UK had a direct interest. It was a question of agreement between Cypriot leaders and US representatives and should therefore be handled here. I explained that our reasoning was based on feeling that our facilities in Cyprus would be here under an international agreement and that because of international aspects of problem London committee was place to discuss question. He reiterated earlier observations saying that approval by joint committee involved signature by HMG, Greece and Turkey and neither (particularly HMG) was concerned in problem. I said that I would report his views to the Department and would let him know in due course our reaction.

Makarios said he wished discuss subject with his Ministers and he would call me in next few days to discuss matter further. For his part he again said he was more than happy to have radio stations in Cyprus and as far as he concerned he could agree in principle to continuation of existing arrangements with caveat that sometime after new government was formed we would discuss details of these arrangements.

At this point conversation turned to other topics which are reported separately in following telegrams.4

Comment: I found Archbishop in jovial and friendly mood but obviously well briefed on possibilities of extracting some quid pro quo for continued operation of our radio stations. While there was no question of break in continuity upon change of sovereignty it was obvious that we would be requested go into some detail as to extent of “existing [Page 797] arrangements” sometime next spring and that we would be expected provide something in return for continued Cypriot “hospitality”. When Archbishop mentioned need for us to pay something for right to continue on here, I did not choose to go into any detailed discussion re our inability to pay rent or to discuss any details of how we might respond to this informal request in order avoid any question of negotiating at present time. No mention was made of any details re amount of money which we presently put into economy. It seemed from way conversation was proceeding that best thing to do was obtain agreement in principle while deferring details until later.

When Makarios mentioned question of payment for use present facilities am sure he did not necessarily have in mind payment of rent. However, when we do engage in further discussions am certain that subject will come up again and that it will be made quite clear that some financial quid pro quo is expected. As suggested previously I did not expect we could count on acquiescence in continuation status quo without some adjustment of “terms”.

Believe we must follow his advice on venue of further discussions even though by so doing we lose advantage of assistance from Greek, Turkish and British delegates. However, influence of GOG and GOT representatives here is considerable and could be used as result our requests in Athens and Ankara.

Believe during next meeting with Makarios I should mention continuity existing arrangements in context of British declaration (B2–IV)5 in order remind him of obligations new government. We followed Foot’s advice in not mentioning this factor in initial presentation, but now it would seem appropriate in view Archbishop’s statements to me.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10–2159. Secret. Transmitted in two sections. Repeated to London, Ankara, and Athens.
  2. October 20.
  3. In telegram 123 to Nicosia, October 9, the Department authorized Consul General Belcher to approach Makarios and Kuchuk at a time he judged best to discuss the future of U.S. communications facilities and gave instructions for presenting the U.S. position. (Department of State, Central Files, 947C.40/10–959)
  4. Paragraph 7 reads:

    “In event Cypriot leaders attempt relate our continued use of facilities with our willingness to provide economic aid to Cyprus, Consulate General may reply along following lines:

    “USG following economic developments in Cyprus closely and with sympathetic interest. We recognize Cyprus Republic will face economic problems. At same time it will have available many potential sources of funds to assist in meeting its economic needs upon independence. Besides assistance to be offered by UK, Greece and Turkey, Republic may seek assistance from other European countries and from IBRD and IMF. US would encourage Cyprus application for membership in these organizations. Among American sources, Cyprus would be eligible for loans from Export-Import Bank and Development Loan Fund on same terms available to other countries. Should circumstances warrant, and if Cyprus meets eligibility requirements, consideration could be given to sales to Cyprus for local currency of surplus US agricultural products, in which case some of sales proceeds could be loaned to Cyprus for economic development purposes.”

  5. See Document 332.
  6. Reference is to paragraph B, section 2, subparagraph 4 of the British declaration of February 17 which was part of the final settlement; see Document 311.