242. Memorandum for the Presidentʼs File1


  • Early-afternoon Meeting in the Presidentʼs Office with Honorable Thomas A. Pappas (1:00–1:15 p.m.)
[Page 617]

Mr. Pappas and the President sat on the couches near the fire. The meeting was quite short—the following excerpts representing the essence of the conversation:

On Greece

Mr. Pappas—“I saw the King recently and he wanted to know what was going on at home… among the Greek people. I think the King should go back eventually, but meanwhile he should travel. It would be good for him and for the Greek people if he would travel.”

The President—“The King could do a lot for the people, psychologically, if he would go back.”

Mr. Pappas—“What Greece needs in the worst way is something like the Peace Corps. Couldnʼt you send a peace corps there, Mr. President?”

The President—“Iʼm not sure what all we have there, Tom, but weʼll look into it.” (The President asked me to make a check on what we had in Greece at the present time and what, along the lines of a peace corps, we might be able to put there without a long delay.)

Mr. Pappas—“It would also be a wonderful gesture, Mr. President, if you would receive the Foreign Minister here in your office… just for a few moments.”

The President—“Certainly, Iʼd be delighted to see the Foreign Minister.”

On Cyprus and the Greek-Turk Controversy

Mr. Pappas—“Cyprus is a separate and very serious problem. It divides the Greeks and the Turks. The US must get the Greeks and Turks together as allies. Those are the two big problems—Cyprus first, the Turkish-Greek alliance second.

On Italy

Mr. Pappas—“I think there is a real danger that Italy will soon turn completely to the Left.”

The President: “Yes, I realize there is a strong Leftist element there and yet itʼs strange, for they have no real economic reason for turning to the Left and Saragat impressed me as being a good man.”

On Ambassadorial Appointments

Mr. Pappas—“Mr. President, whom have you selected to serve as your Ambassador in Greece?”

The President—“We havenʼt worked that one out yet, Tom.”

Mr. Pappas—“Well, you need the very best you can get—the very best there is for both Greece and Italy.”

Just prior to leaving the Presidentʼs office, Tom paid the President high compliments on his successful European visit, and on his recent [Page 618] (crackdown) statement on students.2 He then asked the President if he would grant a favor—the favor being to permit him to serve later on in the year as national coordinator for all of the ethnic groups in America (referred to by Tom as “All-American Groups”). Tom said that he had hundreds of friends among the ethnic groups and that he had worked in this same area several times before. The President agreed that Tom would do a wonderful job in such a capacity and assured his visitor that he would keep the request in mind. He (the President) then turned to me and asked that arrangements be made to send an autographed picture to Tom and his wife, Bessie.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, Presidentʼs Office Files, Memoranda for the President. No classification marking. Drafted by Butterfield.
  2. References are to the Presidentʼs European trip February 25–March 2, and the Presidentʼs letter to the President of the University of Notre Dame, February 24. For text of the letter, see Public Papers: Nixon, 1969, p. 141.