337. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State0
2801. Rome for Liaison Officer. Deptel 4168.1 In accordance reference telegram Barbour brought to attention of Hoyer-Millar (Permanent Under Secretary, Foreign Office) US concern over lifting proscription of AKEL. Embassy officer subsequently called on Addis (Head, Southern Department, Foreign Office) and left memorandum setting forth points given reference telegram.
Addis stated question lifting ban on AKEL had been under constant review at high level HMG since last summer. From [garble] representations made by Embassy, US views well-known and taken into account. Governor Foot strongly supported lifting ban. Decision to raise proscription taken in principle prior to difficulties over arms running. However, was also decided timing not propitious, and implementation delayed.
More recently Foot again recommended lifting ban. Under instructions from Foreign Office Foot consulted Makarios November 28. Makarios stated he in favor of lifting ban “as soon as possible.” When asked whether subsequent events might induce him change his mind, Archbishop replied, “No.” In reporting to Colonial Office, Foot commented might be thought lift of ban would weaken position of Makarios, but Makarios knew best how to play Cypriot political game.
HMG should accept his assessment. Foot added AKEL making all practical preparations to contest presidential elections in support of Clerides.
British Embassy Ankara consulted Zorlu November 28 who expressed no objection provided ban lifted from AKEL only and not from Cypriot Communist Party. (Addis explained HMG did not intend to lift proscription from Communist Party which banned by earlier ordinance enacted in 1931 or 1932. In response to question he admitted there was in fact little distinction between AKEL and Communist Party.)
Upon receipt of reports of discussions with Makarios and Zorlu, Foreign Office instructed British Embassy Athens to inform (not consult) Greeks. At same time Foot was authorized to announce lifting of [Page 804] ban immediately when he received word from Athens that Greek Government informed.
Comment: Announcement of lifting of proscription of AKEL may be made at any time. We do not believe HMG could be induced at this stage to reverse decision. In considering this matter HMG all along has been aware of strong US views against lifting ban. Apparently there were wide differences of opinion within HMG, and decision was hard one take “on balance”.2
Addis states he will provide Embassy detailed statement rationale British decision.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11–3059. Secret; Niact. Repeated to Ankara, Athens, Paris for USRO, Rome, and Nicosia.↩
- Telegram 4168 to London, November 25, instructed the Ambassador to reiterate to the Foreign Office continued U.S. objections to the legalization of AKEL. (Ibid., 747C.00/11–1959)↩
- AKEL was legalized on December 4.↩