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

171. During conversation Tuesday with Archbishop Makarios on question our radio facilities,1 he said he regretted “troubling me with so unimportant matter” but he had prepared letter to send me on subject of new Cyprus Army. He read letter and showed me list of arms and other equipment required for 2,000 man army. Text letter follows:

“I have honour to enclose list of armament and equipment required for use of Cyprus Army.

As you are aware Article 14 of Zurich agreement provides Cyprus Republic will have army of 2,000 men. Armament and equipment of this army will be very costly project, and will certainly be entirely beyond limited financial means of Cyprus.

I therefore wish enquire whether these armament and equipment could be provided by USG for use by Cyprus Army”.

The extensive enclosures to Archbishop’s letter will be pouched this week.2

In handing letter to me Archbishop said with smile “this is first time I have signed request on part of new republic to be for assistance of any kind. It is first but I know it won’t be last.”

Makarios went on to ask me what my views were on possibility of acceding to his request, I explained I would be happy send his letter as well as enclosures to Department for consideration and inform him of outcome in due course. In saying question had already been mentioned to me by Turkey prior Ministry Defense officials I said they had mentioned possibility that arms of US origin in use in Greece and Turkey be provided by latter governments since they would be standardized with those in use by Greek and Turkish contingents to be stationed in Cyprus and would therefore be more easily used by Greek and Turkish units charged with training of new army. I explained there were legal and financial problems involved in transfer of arms originating from US whether from either Greece or Turkey or direct from the US. I promised inform him as soon as possible of Department’s views.

Comment: Archbishop’s request should not come as surprise. Details in enclosures to his letter indicate that considerable degree of [Page 799] preparation was involved before presenting request. Since specifications have been presented in such detail it seems obvious someone well trained in military logistics has been involved in work. All specifications are as far as I can determine in US terms and my guess is this list has been prepared for Archbishop by Greek Government. Seems likely assumption process was got underway at time of visit of General Politakos (see Contel 92).3 Do not believe request for arms connected with my call re communication facilities. Makarios had no way of knowing I would suggest call when I did, but it was obvious he was happy at opportunity make request in conjunction my approach.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.5–MSP/10–2259. Secret. Repeated to London, Ankara, and Athens.
  2. See Document 331.
  3. Makarios’ October 17 letter and an annex outlining Cypriot defense requests were sent to the Department in despatch 69 from Nicosia, October 23. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.56/10–2359)
  4. See footnote 5, Document 329.