261. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Minutes of the Meeting of the 303 Committee, 13 March 1967


  • Mr. Rostow, Ambassador Kohler, and Admiral Taylor
  • Mr. Vance was absent in hospital
  • [1 line of source text not declassified]

Covert Political Action re May 1967 Greek National Elections.

The meeting interrupted on 8 March 1967 (see minutes dated 10 March 1967)2 continued with the members asking [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] a series of detailed questions regarding the Greek elections. Mr. Vance, still unable to attend, advised by telephone that he was opposed to the proposal unless there was an overwhelming conviction on the part of the other principals that the United States must participate.
[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] the strong appeal of Andreas Papandreou to discontented youth. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] there was a heavy trend toward urbanization of the youth drifting away from rural areas.
When Mr. Rostow suggested that there were other examples of leftists settling down after an election, he mentioned Betancourt in Latin America.
[less than 1 line of source text not declassified] one of the principal factors making Andreas Papandreou a distinct threat was his percolating animosity to the United States which was unlikely to change. [1 line of source text not declassified] if it looked likely that Andreas was moving closer to victory, the monarchy and the military could well suspend the constitution and take over. The military was estimated as being loyal to the king.
Ambassador Kohler stated that there were divided counsels in State and that he should talk to the Secretary.
Mr. Rostow summed up both sides of the case: the well stated recommendation of the country team versus the risks of disclosure at a ticklish time and the consequences of not participating at this time.
[4–1/2 lines of source text not declassified]
The principals decided that Ambassador Kohler would take the matter up with Secretary Rusk, and if the latter felt the proposal was vital, Mr. Rostow would discuss the matter with higher authority.
On 14 March, Ambassador Kohler reported by memorandum that he had discussed the project with the Secretary and that “He comes down negative. In the Greek case, he believes the possible political gain is outweighed by the security risks. He commented that if the dual-national Greek-Americans are concerned about the prospects and if $200–$300,000 will make the difference, they should have no trouble raising that sum themselves without involving the United States Government.”
Peter Jessup
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Intelligence File, Greek Coup, 1967. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by Jessup on March 16. Copies were sent to Kohler, Vance, and Helms.
  2. Document 259.