U.S. Department of State
Vol. X, Part 1, FRUS, 1958-60: E. Europe Region; Soviet Union; Cyprus
Office of the Historian
[Section 15 of 19]
MAY - JUNE 1958: THE MACMILLAN PROPOSALS
197. Memorandum of Conversation
USDel/MC/10 Copenhagen, May 4, 1958, 5 p.m.
UNITED STATES DELEGATION TO THE 21st MINISTERIAL MEETING OF THE NORTH ATLANTIC COUNCIL
Copenhagen, Denmark, May 5 - 7, 1958
United States The Secretary Ambassador Burgess Mr. Reinhardt Mr. Elbrick Mr. Porter
United Kingdom The Right Honorable Selwyn Lloyd Sir Frank Roberts Sir Roderick Barclay Sir Anthony Rumbold The Honorable C.D.W. O'Neil Mr. A. Ross Mr. D.S. Laskey
Mr. Lloyd said the British had just gone through an agonizing reappraisal of the whole Cyprus business. The Turks, he said, are completely unapproachable in the matter of giving up partition for a base on the island. He had found Zorlu simply not negotiable on the subject. The UK has decided, therefore, that after the Greek elections/1/ it will put forward the tri-dominium idea, which Mr. Macmillan feels is bold and imaginative even though it bristles with practical difficulties. Mr. Macmillan is prepared to go to Athens and Ankara not just to put forward the plan but to stay with it and push it for three months if necessary. He would beg them not to turn it down and try to get them to deal with it as a big idea.
//Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 1010. Secret. Drafted by Porter and cleared by Reinhardt and Elbrick in draft. The meeting was held at the British Embassy./
If nothing comes of this the British will examine some kind of partition. Mr. Lloyd had always been against this idea and of course it could not be broached now because it would cause civil war. Eventually, however, after a try had been made at the tri-dominium concept he thought that the UK Government would have a great deal of support at home for an attempt at partition. Mr. Lloyd asked if the Secretary would think about this though he realized that we did not favor partition in principle.
The Secretary said that we are not against anything that seems likely to work. He felt, however, that the Greek Government could not accept such solutions. Today the Turks have only a moral position because Cyprus is close to Turkey, but they have no juridical status there and the Secretary believed the Greeks could not accept granting them such a status.
With respect to the plan under which the British offered the Turks a base this was something the British could do themselves. They could tell the Turks that this is the way it will be and if the Turks do not take advantage of it that would be up to them. The British under that plan could force the pace as against the need for negotiating the Greeks and Turks into a tripartite arrangement, for which he felt the possibility was slim. But if the UK desires it, the US will help in any way it can.
Mr. Lloyd felt that the Greeks are now getting frightened with respect to Turkish intentions and it was also true that the Turks are now saying very bad things about the British. They had started a campaign and he was not sure that they can stop it now though in the past they had occasionally turned the tap on and off. Mr. Lloyd felt that the British had erred in the past by not making public all of their offers on the Cyprus question. They would now wait until after the Greek elections, put the tri-dominium idea up to both Greeks and Turks, and make a public announcement concerning it. Mr. Lloyd repeated that Mr. Macmillan would not drop this idea simply because somebody says no to it at the outset.
(Mr. Ross of the British Delegation asked later that we hold the foregoing in strict confidence as they had not yet informed their people in the field concerning it.)
198. Memorandum of Conversation Between Secretary of State Dulles and Foreign Secretary Lloyd
USDel/MC/22 Copenhagen, May 6, 1958, 10 p.m.
[Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 1006. Top Secret. 1 page of source text not declassified.]
199. Telegram From the Department of State to Secretary of State Dulles, at Paris
Washington, May 9, 1958, 8:16 p.m.
Tosec 82. Suggest you may wish Embassy London to reiterate strong doubts you expressed Lloyd (Secto 8)/1/ regarding feasibility of 3-power condominium as solution for Cyprus problem. We believe condominium plan presents many serious problems. Among these is question of where ultimate authority lies in event of dispute between co-domini or in case of crisis on island. (Deptel 2592 to London, Oct 7, 1957 rptd info Paris Topol 960)/2/ To make it work Governor would need strong support from participating powers and general acceptance of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Before turning to condominium, which is virtually certain to be rejected by Greeks with violent reaction in both Greece and Cyprus, we suggest that it may be worthwhile to test further possibility of proposal which involves affording Turks a base on island in lieu of partition. We believe this proposal has considerable merit and are not convinced it cannot be made acceptable to other parties.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/5 - 958. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Williams, Laingen, and Dale and cleared by Kohler and Calhoun. Dulles arrived in Paris on May 8 to attend the Western European Chiefs of Mission meeting May 9 - 12.
/1/Secto 8 from London, May 5, summarized Dulles' May 4 conversation with Lloyd (see Document 197). (Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 1010)
/2/For text, see Foreign Relations, 1955 - 1957, vol. XXIV, pp. 508 - 510.
If British would consider it useful at this time, would be willing to resume type of general discussions with British conducted September 1957 between Barbour and Hoyer-Millar on Cyprus problem./3/
If Secretary agrees with above request permission repeat Cyprus portion Secto 8 and Secto 16/4/ to [from] London.
/3/See ibid., p. 500.
/4/Secto 16 from London, May 5, reported on U.S. - U.K. discussions on the specifics of the Macmillan plan. (Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 63 D 123, CF 1007)
200. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, May 12, 1958, 1 p.m.
3146. Rome for McSweeney.
1. Reliable Cypriot source who has just seen Makarios states he decided on own initiative to bring conversation our attention. He informs us that he found Makarios in particularly conciliatory mood. He apparently recognizes need for realism in light present critical situation and told source he felt that if British were able to come forth with self- government formula for fixed period of years with provision for subsequent Cypriot self-determination, he personally would be willing to throw his weight into balance in favor. Source believes, and I agree, that were it possible for British to bring themselves to discuss formula with Makarios prior to announcement, there is some hope Makarios would lend his undoubted prestige to obtaining acceptance.
2. Source states he queried Makarios on desirability of establishing some form contact with Embassy and offered himself as possible intermediary./1/ After thinking matter over, Makarios said he opposed at this time to any surreptitious or private meetings. He gave no reason but it possible he may be either (a) holding out for "official" public contact with Embassy, or (b) reluctant to use as intermediary person not in his immediate entourage.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/5 - 1258. Secret. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Ankara, Nicosia, and Rome.
/1/In telegram 3130 from Athens, May 9, Riddleberger informed the Department of State that unless it objected he intended to "discreetly arrange for Penfield to meet Makarios shortly after the elections." (Ibid., 747C.00/5 - 958) In telegram 3338 to Athens, May 12, the Department of State instructed Riddleberger not to establish contacts with Makarios without its specific authorization. (Ibid.)
3. We have just seen Pesmazoglou who is here convalescing from recent accident. He reiterated most of views expressed last December (Embtel 1823),/2/ emphasizing continually increasing Turkish intransigence, growing danger to west as long as solution not found, and his conviction that solution can be achieved through, and only through, strong but impartial pressure on both GOG and GOT. As to substance of solution, he believes Turkish base - Enosis solution cannot be considered for same reasons partition cannot, i.e. (a) Greek public opinion could not be brought to accept it and (b) more importantly, official GOG presence on island would sooner or later inevitably lead to armed conflict. He sees buying time as only way out of present situation and suggests as one alternative three 5-year periods starting with modest self-government and ending with full self-determination after 15 years. He recognizes that Turks would insist on unilateral caveat refusing to recognize an eventual Enosis decision but feels GOG, as well as British and ourselves, would just have to pass such statement off on "that remains to be seen" basis.
/2/Telegram 1823 from Athens, December 28, 1957, reported that the Greek Government hoped to keep the Cyprus situation calm until Foot, Makarios, or Spaak could produce constructive proposals for a solution. (Ibid., 747C.00/12 - 2857)
201. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State
Ankara, May 14, 1958, 3 p.m.
2271. Rome for McSweeney. Reference: Athens telegram 3146 to Department./1/ Department will recall (re Embtel 2504, April 30, 1957)/2/ that GOT views with deep suspicion relations between Makarios and US official representatives while Embassy is mindful that contact between USG and Makarios probably would be desirable, establishment even private arrangement would eventually become known and would serve to embitter already resentful GOT on US position re Cyprus. Consequently, if some form of contact is developed, we hope that it will be in such form as to mitigate inevitable sting to Turks.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/5 - 1458. Secret. Repeated to Athens, London, Paris for USRO, Nicosia, Istanbul, Izmir, Iskenderun, and Rome.
/2/Telegram 2504 from Ankara reported on unfavorable Turkish press reaction to reports of a meeting between Ambassador in Greece George Allen and Makarios. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/5 - 157)
202. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State
London, May 17, 1958, 1 p.m.
6634. As of last night Foreign Office (Addis) said Cabinet has not reached a decision on Cyprus. London Times announces this morning, however, that Allen returning Athens today and Bowker Ankara Monday. Times adds that Cabinet yesterday probably put finishing touches on new plan.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/5 - 1758. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, Paris for USRO, and Nicosia.
Evidence available to Embassy indicates that plan does not involve either partition or Turkish base on island. Nor does it envisage immediate giving up or sharing of British sovereignty. Principal elements appear to involve (1) a first stage of perhaps seven years during which major effort would be made satisfy aspirations of Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities as far as local problems are concerned by establishment communal assemblies and a ministerial council; (2) during this stage UK would not divide or give up its sovereignty over island; (3) representatives of Greek and Turk Governments, however, would be associated with ministerial council which would advise the governors; (4) eventual goal of this process would probably be shared responsibility or tridominium.
Tactics of implementation of plan are tentatively as follows:
In Parliament, government plans respond to question Monday, May 19 with holding statement. It will refer to current discussions, time required for consultation with interested governments, and therefore postponement full debate until after Whitsun recess (now scheduled last until June 10). By this maneuver, government hopes avoid detailed public statement for three weeks, giving time for negotiations with Greeks and Turks and consultation with US. Labour Party is planning meeting after Monday statement to determine its course of action, since if wishes it can insist on debate of Cyprus Thursday, May 22. Foreign Office obviously hopes Monday's statement will avoid a full-scale debate, before Whitsun recess, since government would be unable to spell out plan that soon. Addis remarked that Foreign Office hopes Foot will be able influence Labour leaders.
Addis also repeated fact Lloyd intends send message to Secretary as soon as definite decision reached. Addis personally thought message would be sent early in coming week.
As Department aware, Foreign Office is extremely desirous that elements of above plan not be divulged prematurely. Embassy recommends that special care be taken in this regard particularly since we know that London Times already has a general knowledge of plan and possibility of leaks naturally exists in course of Foot's conversations with Labour leaders.
203. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State
London, May 23, 1958, 6 p.m.
6819. Department telegram 8280./1/ We believe following are principal elements in current UK thinking on Cyprus:
1. Since Suez, island has lost importance as base for supporting British national policy in Middle East area./2/ It still retains military value for NATO purposes and as stabilizing factor against international communism. HMG remains determined to hold military bases needed for defense against USSR.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/5 - 2358. Secret; Limit Distribution; Noforn. Repeated to Ankara, Athens, Nicosia, and Paris for USRO.
/1/Telegram 8280 to London, May 21, requested the Embassy's assessment of the "influences" at work on the formulation of British policy toward Cyprus. (Ibid., 747C.00/5 - 1758)
/2/The October 1956 invasion of Egypt by the United Kingdom and France was partially staged from Cyprus. The conflict was triggered by President Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal Company.
2. UK financial stringency and resulting compulsion to retrench on world-wide scale, together with international public criticism of British role in Cyprus, are generating growing desire to cut commitments on island or at least have others share in burden of governing Cyprus.
3. Sense of responsibility to Western alliance and to Cypriots, coupled with desire to do what is "right," are strong motivations especially with Macmillan and Governor Foot. Foreign Office probably is more concerned with immediate practical difficulties.
4. Cyprus problem is dangerous disruptive influence on NATO.
Thus HMG shrinks from making "choice" between Turkey and Greece. Emotional pull towards Greece, together with feeling that Greek case may be morally stronger, is evident. On other hand, in last analysis we doubt HMG would adopt course which it judged would result in violent Turkish opposition, and preponderance of military opinion generally more sympathetic to Turkey. HMG probably would conclude that Turkish support for Western Middle East policy cannot be jeopardized.
In recent months HMG has studied series of possible solutions to Cyprus problem. We believe constant aim has been to find formula Turkish and Greek Governments and both communities on Cyprus could be brought to accept. HMG has shown considerable flexibility of ways and means, trying alternative ideas when firm opposition developed to any given suggestion. We see no evidence that UK is pursuing a devious, predetermined campaign.
HMG now has concluded that further delay and probing are not warranted by prospects of devising more acceptable solution. Therefore it has decided to proceed with proposals outlined Embassy telegram 6634./3/ We believe HMG would welcome and take into account Greek and Turkish suggestions consistent with framework of present proposals and would hope to work out detailed plan in collaboration with those 2 governments and Cypriots.
We sense it has been necessary to attempt to resolve considerable differences of opinion in Cabinet, some of which still linger. Also working levels of Foreign and Colonial Offices are apprehensive over complicated nature of proposals and need for currently nonexistent cooperation between communities on island if they are to work.
Should implementation of proposals prove impossible, we conjecture that HMG, having made one final effort at "right" solution, might move rather rapidly towards relinquishment of responsibilities (except for UK military bases) through solution that could be carried out unilaterally. In this case approach adopted might be Turkish "base" (perhaps of sufficient dimensions to pass for partition), combined with self- determination within short period for remainder of island.
We submit following answers to specific questions in reference telegram which to some extent have been covered by above assessment:
A. Base idea abandoned at least temporarily principally because of Turkish opposition. Tridominium concept shelved because of expressed US doubts and impracticability of bringing it about, except as last stage in evolutionary plan.
B. UK sees no real prospect that assistance US in fact would be able to render would budge Turks from existing opposition to base idea./4/
/4/In telegram 2889 from Ankara, May 28, Warren commented: "Re London telegram 6819 to Department, we concur in Embassy London estimate (paragraph B) that there no real prospect USG could in present circumstances budge Turks from existing opposition to base idea." (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/5 - 2858)
C. Domestic pressures. In general, Conservatives inclined favor maintenance of British sovereignty or solution favorable to Turks, while Labour espouses Greek case. However, Cyprus is not burning issue at present. In our judgment the government should have no trouble with its followers over plan proposed. Labour currently displaying moderation (Embassy telegram 6763)./5/ Public mood seems to be one of impatience with delays and desire that government make up its mind and seek way out of impasse, rather than firm support for any specific plan. We doubt domestic pressures are playing major role in government decisions at present. Such pressures have not led to conclusion that indefinite retention UK sovereignty is essential.
/5/Telegram 6763 from London, May 22, reported the views of senior Labour Party leaders on the British Government's Cyprus policy. (Ibid., 747C.00/3 - 2258)
D. HMG tendency to accommodate itself more to Turkish than to Greek view explainable, we believe, more in terms of conclusion that Turkish support needed in Middle East than in terms of domestic pressures.
E. Reference 3 basic premises set forth in July, 1957,/6/ HMG has not departed from first 2. While intending to try to insure peace and tranquility on island, HMG appears prepared accept temporary period of increased turmoil as transition to more enduring tranquility.
/6/See vol. XXIV, p. 483, footnote 2.
F. Risks involved. HMG believes Turks will accept proposals, but has doubts about Greek reaction. Proposals at least avoid risk of opposition from both communities. HMG appears to assess fairly bright its ability at present to cope with EOKA and seems willing to accept show-down with that organization. Once EOKA "neutralized," HMG anticipates majority of Greek Cypriots would accept proposals.
G. We do not believe main purpose of proposals is to set stage for subsequent move. However, as indicated above, if they fail, temptation to withdraw will be strong.
H. We have no current information on whether Spaak is being consulted or kept informed.
204. Message From Foreign Secretary Lloyd to Secretary of State Dulles
London, May 23, 1958.
DEAR FOSTER: Since I spoke to you at Copenhagen we have spent a good deal of time working on the Cyprus problem and, as you know, Lennox-Boyd has told the House of Commons/1/ that we shall be announcing our plan not later than June 17.
//Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Top Secret. Enclosure to a letter from Hood to Dulles, May 23.
/1/On May 19; see House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, 5th Series, vol. 588, cols. 891 - 893.
2. After consulting the Governor and our Ambassadors at Athens and Ankara we have decided that there are serious obstacles in the way of carrying out immediately the tridominium plan which I mentioned to you at Copenhagen./2/ You yourself expressed your doubts about the acceptability of this solution, particularly to the Greeks. We have come to the conclusion that the differences with regard to a final solution are too wide to be bridged by any formula that can be devised at present. We have been forced to think in terms of an interim solution which will pave the way for a lasting settlement when all concerned are ready for it.
/2/See Document 197.
3. Your Embassy here has been given in strictest confidence an outline of our plan./3/ In rough outline, the plan is that Cyprus should be associated not only with the United Kingdom but with Greece and Turkey and that the other two Governments should participate in a joint effort to bring back peace to the island. There will be a wide measure of communal autonomy under continued British sovereignty. There will be separate Houses of Representatives for the two communities. Each Government would be asked to appoint a representative to serve on the Governor's Council, which will have a Greek majority. In order to satisfy the desire of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots to be recognised as Greeks and Turks we will welcome an arrangement which gives them Greek or Turkish nationality, in addition to British. We would hope in this way to restore normal conditions so that the Emergency can be brought progressively to an end. I will send you full particulars when they are finalised.
/3/See Document 202.
4. We are in some difficulty over the time table. We want to announce the new plan in Parliament when Harold has returned from his visit to you/4/ and have therefore fixed June 17 as the likely date. We propose to give it to the Greek and Turkish Governments beforehand, and possibly to have a confidential discussion in the NATO Council before the public announcement. The purpose of that would be to get other NATO countries to advise Greece and Turkey not hastily to reject our proposals.
/4/Macmillan visited Washington June 7 - 11 and Ottawa June 12 - 13.
5. I have had a talk along these lines with Spaak,/5/ who is thinking the matter over. He said that he still thinks the best solution is Turkish and British bases, plus self-determination on a simply majority basis for the rest of the island. I told him that in Zorlu's present frame of mind there was no possibility of the Turks accepting that solution, although, as you know, it was one we had in mind in Ankara in January.
/5/The Spaak - Lloyd meeting has not been identified.
6. We are still exceedingly anxious about the situation in Cyprus and will need all your help in counselling both sides to give our proposals reasonable consideration.
/6/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
205. Letter From Secretary of State Dulles to Foreign Secretary Lloyd
Washington, May 27, 1958.
DEAR SELWYN: I am grateful for your message delivered on May 23/1/ outlining in broad terms the plan you propose to put before the Greek and Turkish Governments with regard to Cyprus.
//Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Top Secret. Drafted by Owen T. Jones and Rountree.
In considering the probable reaction to your plan of the various parties, my colleagues and I are deeply impressed with the difficulties which you might expect to encounter. We realize, however, that it is always far easier to see the disadvantages and dangers of any particular course than to set forth a plan which might be rendered acceptable to all those concerned. Nevertheless, I believe that I should say in all frankness that your plan will in our judgment cause a strong reaction in Greece and Cyprus.
The Greek-Cypriot objection would, I imagine, relate primarily to the facts that the plan would put forth clearly the Turkish Government as a participant in the affairs of Cyprus and would open the way for increased Turkish influence on the island; and that even with this disadvantage from the Greek viewpoint there would continue to be an absence of any indication of what you are proposing eventually to offer the Cypriots after you have relinquished sovereignty over the island.
Whether or not it will be possible for you to make any changes designed to gain a greater measure of Greek and Cypriot acquiescence, I do not know. In any event, however, I would hope that you would plan to consult the Greek and Turkish Governments substantially in advance of any public announcement in order to afford yourself adequate time to assess the implications of their response. In this manner it might be possible to avoid the setting in motion of a chain of events which could lead to the necessity of endeavouring to enforce the plan even though it were quite unacceptable to some of the parties and that could also lead involuntarily to the partition of the island.
Despite our doubts regarding certain aspects of the plan as we now know it, we would like to be as helpful as we can. I am consequently writing you before taking leave of Washington for a few days/2/ and before receiving the further details of your plan. If in the course of the necessary preparatory effort you believe our intervention in some form would be useful we would be prepared to consider it. I must say, however, that given the problem and the plan in its present form, I doubt that our influence would really be of much help in bringing about Greek acceptance.
John Foster Dulles/3/
/2/Dulles left Washington on May 27 and returned on June 2.
/3/Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.
206. Letter From the British Ambassador (Caccia) to Secretary of State Dulles
Washington, June 3, 1958.
DEAR MR. SECRETARY: The Foreign Secretary has asked me to thank you for your message about Cyprus/1/ which he received through the United States Embassy on the 29th May. The Prime Minister hopes to discuss the problem with you when he is in Washington./2/ Meanwhile both he and the Foreign Secretary thought that you might like to see for your personal and top secret information a copy of the draft statement which it is proposed to make, and which I enclose.
//Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Top Secret and Personal. Notations on the source text indicate it was seen by Dulles, Rountree, and Whitney.
/2/June 7 - 11.
On the particular points which you made in your message, the Foreign Secretary believes that although there might be a reaction in Greece against the proposal for the participation of the Turkish Government, the Greek Government and the Greek Cypriots would be content to take their lead from Archbishop Makarios, who has recently declared his willingness to accept self-government within the Commonwealth and has placed less emphasis on arrangements being defined now for the exercise of self determination. It is our conviction that to attempt now to be more precise about self-determination would only alienate the Greeks or the Turks. Our view is that there is a great danger of a Turkish and Turkish Cypriot reaction and that unless Turkish Government participation and a Turkish communal house of representatives are offered now, there is not the least chance of Turkish acceptance of the plan. Indeed, it would be most difficult to persuade the Turks to accept the Greek Cypriot majority in the Governor's Council.
We think that from the point of view of the Cypriots the plan is imaginative and offers them a hope of peace. It also has advantages for the Greeks. For example, it is designed to take the heat out of the Cyprus problem from the international point of view for the next seven years, and does not prejudice the position thereafter. It gives full opportunity to Archbishop Makarios on the Greek Cypriot side, to reach agreement with the Governor within the framework of the plan.
The advantages of the policy for the Greek people of Cyprus are these:--
(i) Specially-favoured status of the people of Cyprus
The Greek people of Cyprus will enjoy the advantages of association with Greece without having to give up their association with the British Commonwealth. This policy will give them the best possible insurance for future progress and prosperity.
(ii) Dual nationality
If Greece agrees, the Greeks in Cyprus will enjoy Greek nationality while retaining British nationality. Thus they will be able to satisfy their desire to be recognized as Greeks without giving up advantages from which they now benefit.
(iii) Constitutional advance
The island will be administered under a unitary system of representative government which takes account of the majority position of the Greek community, provides for the election of ministers who will exercise authority in regard to both legislation and administration in a very wide field of public affairs, and also places the control of Greek Cypriot communal affairs in the hands of a representative legislature drawn entirely from the Greek community.
(iv) Ending the Emergency
Subject to violence ceasing the Emergency Regulations/3/ will be relaxed, those now detained will be released, the State of Emergency will be brought to an end, and the exiles will return.
/3/Effected by the proclamation of a state of emergency on the island of Cyprus, November 26, 1955.
(v) Co-operation between allies
The new policy provides the opportunity for friendly relations between Great Britain, Greece and Turkey to be restored and strengthened, so that Cyprus may become a symbol of co-operation instead of a cause of conflict between the three allied Governments.
For our part we hope and intend that our plan will lead to an eventual settlement based on the continuing unity of the island and possibly also on the idea of shared sovereignty between the three interested Governments. Nevertheless it may be salutary to let the Greeks understand that if to our regret our plan cannot be carried through successfully, there is a real and imminent danger of partition.
We intend of course to give both the Greek and the Turkish Governments reasonable advance notice of our statement of policy. We shall invite their comments and tell them that we shall take them into account. It will, however, be represented as a British plan which will be carried through on British responsibility. Our last experience has convinced us that there is no hope of negotiating a Greek and Turkish agreement to any plan. We think that it is a merit in our plan that it will enable the Governor to carry on with the administration of the island on a set course which will give hope for the future. Sir Hugh Foot and all his advisers are greatly heartened by the Government's adoption of this set policy.
The Foreign Secretary greatly hopes that these explanations and considerations will enable you to give us full support for this plan. We believe that this may make all the difference between its success and failure.
/4/Top Secret; Personal.
Aims of Policy
The policy of Her Majesty's Government in Cyprus has had four main purposes:
(a) to serve the best interests of all the people of the Island;
(b) to achieve a permanent settlement acceptable to the two communities in the Island and to the Greek and Turkish Governments;
(c) to safeguard the British bases and installations in the Island, which are necessary to enable the United Kingdom to carry out her international obligations;
(d) to strengthen peace and security, and co-operation between the United Kingdom and her Allies, in a vital area.
2. These are the aims which Her Majesty's Government have consistently pursued and which have guided their efforts in recent months to find common ground on which an agreed settlement might be reached. It is deeply regretted that all attempts in this direction have hitherto proved unsuccessful.
3. In view of the disagreement between the Greek and Turkish Governments and between the two communities in Cyprus, and of the disastrous consequences for all concerned if violence and conflict continue, an obligation rests with the United Kingdom Government, as the sovereign Power responsible for the administration of the Island and the well- being of its inhabitants, to give a firm and clear lead out of the present deadlock. They accordingly declare a new policy which represents an adventure in partnership--partnership between the communities in the Island and also between the Governments of the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey.
4. The following is an outline of the partnership plan:
I. Cyprus should enjoy the advantages of association not only with the United Kingdom, and therefore with the British Common-wealth, but also with Greece and Turkey.
II. Since the three Governments of the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey all have an interest in Cyprus, Her Majesty's Government will welcome the co-operation and participation of the two other Governments in a joint effort to achieve the peace, progress and prosperity of the Island.
III. The Greek and Turkish Governments will each be invited to appoint a representative to co-operate with the Governor in carrying out this policy.
IV. The Island will have a system of representative Government with each community exercising autonomy in its own communal affairs.
V. In order to satisfy the desire of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots to be recognized as Greeks and Turks, Her Majesty's Government will welcome an arrangement which gives them Greek or Turkish nationality, while enabling them to retain British nationality.
VI. To allow time for the new principle of partnership to be fully worked out and brought into operation in the necessary atmosphere of stability under this plan, the international status of the Island will remain unchanged for seven years.
VII. A system of self-government and communal autonomy will be worked out by consultation with representatives of the two communities and with the representatives of the Greek and Turkish Governments.
VIII. The essential provisions of the new constitution will be:--
(a) There will be a separate House of Representatives for each of the two communities, and these Houses will have final legislative authority in communal affairs.
(b) Authority for internal administration, other than communal affairs and internal security, will be undertaken by a Council presided over by the Governor and including the representatives of the Greek and Turkish Governments and six elected Ministers drawn from the Houses of Representatives, four being Greek Cypriots and two Turkish Cypriots.
(c) The Governor, acting after consultation with the representatives of the Greek and Turkish Governments, will have reserve powers to ensure that the interests of both communities are protected.
(d) External affairs, defence and internal security will be matters specifically reserved to the Governor acting after consultation with the representatives of the Greek and Turkish Governments.
(e) The representatives of the Greek and Turkish Governments will have the right to require any legislation which they consider to be discriminatory to be reserved for consideration by an impartial tribunal.
IX. If the full benefits of this policy are to be realised, it is evident that violence must cease. Subject to this, Her Majesty's Government intend to take progressive steps to relax the Emergency Regulations and eventually to end the State of Emergency. This process would include the return of those Cypriots at present excluded from the Island under the Emergency Regulations.
X. A policy based on these principles and proposals will give the people of the Island a specially favoured and protected status. Through representative institutions they will exercise authority in the management of the Island's internal affairs, and each community will control its own communal affairs. While the people of the Island enjoy these advantages, friendly relations and practical co-operation between the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey will be maintained and strengthened as Cyprus becomes a symbol of co-operation instead of a cause of conflict between the three Allied Governments.
5. Her Majesty's Government trust that this imaginative plan will be welcomed by all concerned in the spirit in which it is put forward, and for their part they will bend all efforts to ensuring its success. Indeed, if the Greek and Turkish Governments were willing to extend this experiment in partnership and co-operation, Her Majesty's Government would be prepared, at the appropriate time, to go further and, subject to the reservation to the United Kingdom of such bases and facilities as might be necessary for the discharge of her international obligations, to share the sovereignty of the Island with their Greek and Turkish allies as their contribution to a lasting settlement.
207. Telegram From the Consulate in Nicosia to the Department of State
Nicosia, June 9, 1958, 4 p.m.
389. Had interview Deputy Governor Sinclair today regarding tragic events of last three days./1/ He gave me details new severe emergency regulations enumerated Contel 388./2/ Said Turk leaders here have been extremely uncooperative, refusing government's requests urge restraint and instead, with utter cynicism, have repeated claim that Greek bomb at information center provoked Turk community. I pointed out admission Turk responsibility for later killings in words Kuchuk at Istanbul, who said Turk patriots "marched to Greek quarter killing two and wounding five" in retribution. Sinclair said all evidence, including condition interior building pointed to "planned" operation, and while government unable accuse openly, had informed press and wire services "for guidance" that incident apparently not Greek inspired.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 958. Secret; Niact. Repeated to London, Athens, Ankara, and Paris for USRO.
/1/On the evening of June 7, a bomb exploded outside the Turkish Press Office in Nicosia, setting off violent rioting by the Turkish Cypriots. Bands of Turks invaded the Greek quarters of the city and attacked Greek Cypriots, killing two. Rioting spread throughout Cyprus on June 8.
/2/Telegram 388 from Nicosia, June 9, reported that a 24-hour curfew had been imposed to prevent further violence and that Foot was trying to calm the situation in talks with Greek and Turkish leaders. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 958)
He not so certain of role Ankara government but there again usual pattern would indicate complicity. In reply my query his assessment Turk purpose in forcing issue to verge civil war, Sinclair said "This is their all-out bid for partition". In spite obvious discouragement local officials and seeming hopelessness of effort, HMG planning press on with new initiative June 17. I gave him some of worst FBIS transcripts Ankara radio output yesterday, pointing out that our reports were to effect public radios in various centers pouring forth these lies and inflammatory statements to masses Turks who later demonstrated as in Limassol, Ktima, Larnaca and Famagusta. Such broadcasts obviously contributed to tragedy last night's knife and shovel killings Larnaca.
Sinclair agreed and said they now giving serious consideration jamming Ankara radio as well as Athens.
Also queried Deputy Governor with regard position Denktash/3/ who, after fiery speech Nicosia and after request by Administration Secretary Reddaway for moderation, proceeded Larnaca and delivered same speech. Deputy Governor admitted they reexamining Denktash position in view recent actions. I then gave him FBIS transcript Kuchuk Istanbul speech for use by Governor when he meets Turk leaders this afternoon.
/3/Denktash, a Turkish Cypriot, was a member of the British civil service on Cyprus, serving as Queen's Counsel and spokesman for the Turkish community.
Comment: British now consider themselves in virtual Palestinian situation. In face events past few days and apparent willingness Turks go any length prove their point, do not see any hope for UK proposals unless we willing back them strongly. Utterly shameless, irresponsible manner in which Turks applying pressure here would seem call for some action our part to stop deteriorating Greek-Turk relations as well as situation on island. Am in no position judge whether this best accomplished in Ankara or at NAC meeting requested by Greece but do believe we cannot, as leaders this alliance, allow Cyprus situation drift any closer to chaos.
208. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, June 10, 1958, noon.
3448. 1. Coming just before convening new Greek Parliament, which for first time has in it substantial, vocal and resourceful Neo-Communist opposition,/1/ news of Sunday's Turkish riots in Cyprus/2/ could not have been better calculated to give rise to explosive outburst from Greek people. Apparent delay by British in bringing Turkish rioters under control will support widespread Greek belief that British basically on Turkish side. US also blamed, since, as several newspapers point out today, US failure to take more forthright position, September 1955/3/ and later, considered by many Greeks (and was constantly presented in this manner to electorate during recent campaign) as abdication, in face unjustified Turkish demands, of historic US position of support for self-determination.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1058. Secret; Niact. Repeated to Paris for USRO, Ankara, London, and Nicosia.
/1/In the May 11 national elections in Greece, the Communist-dominated United Democratic Left (EDA) won 79 seats making it the second largest party in Parliament.
/2/Reference is to widespread anti-Greek rioting by Turkish Cypriots which began on June 7.
/3/Reference is to the U.S. decision not to support the Greek position during the Tripartite Conference on Cyprus (August 29 - September 7, 1955) and the Greek resolution on Cyprus during the September 21 - 23, 1955, debate at the 10th U.N. General Assembly.
2. As separately reported, today's Athens press takes unanimously strong line in condemnation of Turkey and some papers criticize GOG for appealing to "colonial NATO"/4/ rather than UNSC. In Greek eyes, therefore, NATO appeal is not only real test solidarity Greece's alliance system but may influence fate Karamanlis Government. Greek frustration over apparent Turkish success in using weapon of violence is so great that it could lead to serious threat of Greek withdrawal from NATO if they feel that organization lets them down. Fact that Turks are only taking leaf from Greek book only increases this frustration. I therefore strongly urge that we make every possible effort to stimulate NATO action which can be presented here as evidence real determination to grapple with problem on fair and objective basis.
/4/On June 10, in response to a Greek request for NATO consideration of the Cyprus question, the North Atlantic Council met in private session in Paris. The Council heard long and impassioned statements by the Greek and Turkish Representatives of their nations' positions on Cyprus. A special meeting was set for June 13 to hear the viewpoint of the British Government. W. Randolph Burgess, U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO, reported on the June 10 meeting in Polto 4096, June 10. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1058)
209. Memorandum of Conversation
MCT MC/13 Washington, June 10, 1958, 3 p.m.
Washington, June 9 - 11, 1958
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International File. Top Secret. Drafted by Dale on June 11 and cleared by Rountree and Reinhardt. The meeting was held at the Department of State.
/1/Macmillan visited Washington June 7 - 11. For additional documentation on the Macmillan visit, see volume VII, Part 2.
British Plan for Cyprus
United States The Secretary Mr. Allen Dulles Mr. Reinhardt Mr. Berding Mr. Elbrick Mr. Toon Mr. Dale
United Kingdom The Prime Minister Ambassador Caccia Sir Norman Brook Sir Patrick Dean Lord Hood Mr. Leishman Mr. W. Morris Mr. de Zulueta Mr. Frederick Bishop
Although he could not express confidence, the Prime Minister maintained that he is not altogether without hope regarding the situation on Cyprus. He believed that there is a chance the Turks and Greeks may, with difficulty, be brought to shrink back from the full consequences of the process they have started.
On the Turkish base proposal/2/ which the UK had considered previously, he foresaw one great difficulty, namely, that the UK will have gone away (as far as security of the Island is concerned), leaving "practically a civil war" in its wake. This solution, which he said the British describe as "partition minus", would leave the Turks free to pour troops in through their base area, and the Greeks could be expected to do likewise without the British there to exercise the necessary security function. This would give rise to an intolerable situation and from a British point of view, it would be a cynical move, amounting to telling the Greeks and Turks to "go fight each other."
/2/Reference is to Turkish Government demands for three bases on Cyprus as a condition for its acceptance of a final solution to the Cyprus issue.
The Prime Minister said that he intended to send a private communication to the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey which could be made public, if necessary. He read part of a draft of this message, which made the following main points:
(1) A situation of utmost gravity is developing on Cyprus which could be a threat to NATO.
(2) Means should be found to convert this situation into a partnership, showing what can be achieved by the Greeks and Turks living on the Island. The British plan is designed to provide an opportunity to accomplish this.
(3) The Prime Minister does not ask for immediate agreement to his plan, but he does ask for serious study and he asks the parties to refrain from action which would make progress with the plan impossible.
(4) The Prime Minister does believe that this plan offers a chance, and perhaps the last chance, of ending the dangerous situation on the Island.
(5) He asks for comments from the Prime Ministers and suggests personal discussion with each of them, and perhaps, if it is agreeable to them, with both together, suggesting Rome or Geneva as possible sites.
Mr. Macmillan expressed doubt whether the reaction to his letter would be good, but he hoped that at least self-government could be started on the Island. He said the plan/3/ involves a "little Parliament for the Greeks, and a little Parliament for the Turks, and a Council to deal with common matters." He stressed that after seven years of opportunity to live together, they could perhaps be brought to share sovereignty over the Island with Britain.
/3/See the enclosure to Document 206.
The Prime Minister said he would be very grateful if, through our Ambassadors, we could ask the Greeks and Turks to consider the British plan very seriously and, as well, the Prime Minister's letter with its proposal for conferences at the Prime Ministerial level. He asked us to employ "strong advice" rather than "pressure." Mr. Macmillan said he expected that a statement would be made in the House of Commons on the 17th relating to Cyprus and that NATO would be consulted a day or two in advance. He also asked for US support in the NAC. Even if we fail, asserted the Prime Minister, we shall have proven that it is not our colonial ambition which stands in the way of settlement.
The Secretary described the British plan as a "noble effort" and promised such support as "we feel we can give." He explained that in anticipation of the British plan he had told the Greek Ambassador, who had come in a few days ago with an extreme position,/4/ that although he did not know its details, he thought that the UK plan would be a serious, carefully thought-out effort and should be considered with great care by the Greek Government. He mentioned that the Turks came in yesterday and saw the Under Secretary./5/ They had an equally extreme, though opposite position. The Secretary added that we would instruct our Embassies in Ankara and Athens to approach the Grek and Turkish Governments along the lines of what we had told the Greek Ambassador. The Secretary expressed doubt whether we should give the UK plan public support. Since we had not been consulted, he did not believe that we should engage our prestige in this way. However, he expressed our intention to give support to the plan privately. He agreed that the situation is becoming very dangerous and is already near a state of war. He remarked that all members of NATO should be prepared to support the UK plan and said that we certainly would.
/4/In a June 6 discussion with Dulles, Greek Ambassador George Mallas warned that unless a solution of the Cyprus issue satisfactory to Greece was reached his nation would swing to the far left and into the Soviet Union's sphere of influence. A memorandum of the Dulles - Mallas conversation is in Department of States, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 658.
/5/In a June 9 conversation with Herter, Turkish Ambassador Ali Urgupulu urged that the United States not support British plans for Cyprus and reiterated the Turkish Government's demand for partition of the island. A memorandum of Herter's conversation with Urgupulu is ibid., GTI/NEA Files: Lot 61 D 220, Cyprus 1958--Negotiations.
210. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Greece
Washington, June 11, 1958, 5:42 p.m.
3634. Paris: Deliver Burgess 9 a.m. June 12. Separate message contains substance discussions between Prime Minister Macmillan and Secretary concerning Cyprus./1/ You will note Secretary undertook instruct AmEmbassies Athens and Ankara to approach GOG and GOT, at same time indicating he did not feel we should give public support to British plan. Ambassadors should therefore seek early meetings with respective Foreign Ministers or Prime Ministers and state that United States Government earnestly hopes that they will give to new British proposals same serious study and careful consideration which British gave to development these proposals.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1158. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Rountree, cleared by Timmons and Dale, and approved by Owen T. Jones who signed for Dulles. Also sent to Ankara, Nicosia, London, and Paris for USRO.
/1/Telegram 3635 to Athens, June 11, summarized the conversation (see Document 209). (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1158)
You should add that Cyprus situation has become highly explosive and we fear for its disruptive effects upon NATO and Western defense position. We know that GOG (GOT) must share our deep concern in this regard and will do everything in their power to avoid exacerbation of situation.
For Athens: Ambassador Riddleberger may add we aware recent events Cyprus have constituted serious provocations of great concern to GOG and inform GOG in strict confidence that Ambassador Warren is being instructed to express to GOT concern over dangerous implications from acts of violence in recent days by Turkish Cypriots.
For Ankara: Ambassador Warren should inform GOT that recent acts of violence committed by Turkish Cypriots have dangerous implications and we urge GOT to use its influence with Turkish Cypriots to refrain from acts of violence and extend to authorities in Cyprus their cooperation in preventing further communal strife.
211. Telegram 3473 From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, June 11, 1958, 6 p.m.
[Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/5 - 1158. Secret; Niact; Limited Distribution. 3 pages of source text not declassified.]
212. Editorial Note
On June 12, ten "disinterested" member states of the North Atlantic Council met to discuss possible NATO involvement in the solution of the crisis. No decisions were taken. These discussions were reported in Polto 4147, June 12. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/ 6 - 1258) Polto 4132, June 12, summarized the problem facing the North Atlantic Council and recommended a course of action:
"NAC is faced with decision as to how far it should get into act. It is, in effect, faced with two choices: (A) To continue to exhort interested parties to find solution by peaceful means, and to repeat availability of Secretary General for good offices mission; (B) to take somewhat more active role in search for solution or modus vivendi. Despite weighty and well-known arguments against NATO committing its prestige on what indeed seems impasse, we believe that increased deterioration of situation in Cyprus and in Greek-Turkish relations, involving possibilities of Greek- Turkish strife, collapse of NATO unity and defense effort in SE, and even of ultimate British pull-out leads us to believe that risk involved requires that more active role be taken by NATO." (Ibid.)
213. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State
London, June 12, 1958, 5 p.m.
7187. For Secretary. Foreign Office called me this morning to ask whether we had heard results of Secretary's discussion with Macmillan on Cyprus,/1/ adding Selwyn Lloyd had not yet received report and most anxious for news. We gave Foreign Office information contained Deptel 8838/2/ regarding Secretary's talk with Macmillan, making clear record not yet approved by Secretary. We also informed Foreign Office of instructions sent to Athens and Ankara (Deptel 8836)/3/ and to Ambassador Burgess (Deptel 8835)./4/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1258. Secret; Niact; Limited Distribution; Noforn. Received at 2:40 p.m. Repeated to Ankara, Nicosia, Athens, and Paris for USRO.
/1/See Document 209.
/2/Telegram 8838 to London, June 11, summarized the Dulles - Macmillan talks. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1158)
/3/Printed as telegram 3634 to Athens, Document 210.
/4/Telegram 8835 to London, June 11, relayed Allen's report of warnings from the Greek Foreign Ministry that news of the British proposals might provoke a coup by the Greek Army. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1158)
Foreign Office has now officially requested US assistance in 2 further steps:
1. Approach by Embassy Athens to Makarios asking that he not take any irrevocable steps with respect to new British proposals until he has had opportunity to discuss them with Governor Foot or representative of HMG. Such action would be in compliance with recommendation of British Ambassador Roger Allen (paragraph 1 Embtel 7178)./5/
2. Approach by Ambassador Burgess to Greek and Turkish NATO representatives prior to discussion in NAC June 13 urging them to take moderate line on Cyprus proposals. UK is anxious to avoid further acrimonious Greek-Turkish exchange such as occurred in NAC June 10./6/
/5/Telegram 7178 from London, June 11, transmitted Allen's suggestion which followed warnings from the Greek Foreign Ministry that news of the British proposals might provoke a coup by the Greek Army. (Ibid.)
/6/See footnote 4, Document 208.
214. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Greece
Washington, June 12, 1958, 4:22 p.m.
3645. Re London 7178 rptd Athens 134./1/ FYI. British Embassy informs us that Selwyn Lloyd endorses view of British Ambassador in Athens that most useful action US could take at present time is to ask Makarios not take irrevocable action until Foot or senior British official has had chance to talk with him personally. End FYI.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1158. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Owen T. Jones and approved by Rountree. Repeated to London, Ankara, and Nicosia.
/1/See footnote 5, Document 213.
After consultation with British Ambassador, Ambassador Riddleberger or such other Embassy official as he designates is requested to approach Makarios along following lines:
We are informed by British that Governor Foot or senior British official hopes to see Archbishop. We do not know substance of proposed discussion but we hope that Archbishop will afford British representative opportunity to see him and that Archbishop will not take any irrevocable action with respect to Cyprus situation until after this discussion has taken place.
215. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, June 12, 1958, 3 p.m.
3481. 1. Have just come from lengthy conversation with Averoff in which I carried out instruction in Deptel 3684 ./1/ In so doing, I endeavored once more on personal basis point out certain aspects UK plan that should have some appeal to GOG, i.e., the proposal for Greek majority on the Council (point on which Harding - Makarios negotiations failed) and fact that eventual self-determination was not excluded. Referring practical objection of Prime Minister that plan would be continual bickering I observed that this would probably ensue under any plan. I reiterated our deep concern that Cyprus situation could result in disrupting effect on NATO and Western defense position and urged serious study of latest proposals.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1158. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Received at 6:09 p.m. Transmitted in two sections. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Ankara, and Nicosia.
2. Averoff replied that most serious defect of plan was creation Turkish legal right over Cyprus./2/ He observed that even if all the rest were acceptable no Greek Government could agree to this change in the legal situation. When I pointed out that eventual self-determination was not excluded he agreed but said that once Turkish right was re-established it would be impossible eliminate it.
/2/Reference is to points 3, 5, 7, and 8 of the British Plan, which would provide Turkish citizenship for Turkish Cypriots and give the Turkish Government a role in the creation of self-government in Cyprus together with veto powers over legislation that it considered discriminatory against Turks.
3. Foreign Minister then said that he must inform me with all seriousness of which he was capable of the attitude of GOG. In its opinion the US position is one-sided and in effect is pro-Turkish. This is now the firm conviction of his government and he cited in support the message of the Secretary at the time of Istanbul riots in 1955/3/ when he said the killers and the killed got the same treatment from US. GOG knows what it owes to us and will always have sentiments of gratitude and friendship, but on Cyprus issue it is obliged to say it has been ill-treated in manner which is politically unpleasant and morally unjustified. He would ask me put the following question to the Secretary and Rountree: In Cyprus several Greeks have been hanged for having been found with unloaded arms;/4/ has any Turk been punished by Britain because of murder of Greek or burning of Greek property? In similar situation would American Government accept such treatment of its people? GOG analysis of Cyprus problem has led it to conclusion that one of reasons for strong emotional reaction in Greece is because it has been humiliated by its allies and this sentiment is rampant in Parliament. Averoff requested me inform Secretary confidentially that both he and Prime Minister were heard by Parliament last night in freezing atmosphere and with only pro forma applause. Both he and Prime Minister must tell US Government that situation is so serious they cannot make any forecast for either evolution of situation in Greece or for the ties of alliance with Turkey, including those ties with Turkey which exist through NATO. Averoff said he was certain Secretary recognizes his sincerity and he cannot exaggerate seriousness of the situation here.
/3/For text of Dulles' September 17, 1955, message to Papagos, see Department of State Bulletin, September 26, 1955, p. 496.
/4/Under the State of Emergency proclaimed by the British on September 26, 1955, unlawful possession of firearms was punishable by life imprisonment.
4. With respect to political situation, government has majority but number deputies are dissatisfied. If 20 of them should defect under pressure public sentiment the government will go. The best that could be expected afterward would be unsound, i.e. a military dictatorship which GOG does not want. However, amongst Greek people today the feeling is that with its allies only Turkey counts.
5. Foreign Minister said he had just read communique issued by GOT/5/ which was bitter against UK and threatened unpleasant consequences unless "certain clarifications" are given. He added "il ne manquait plus que ca". If UK should once more give in to Turkish intransigence situation will become explosive. When I pointed out that if Turks were dissatisfied plan could not be completely pro-Turkish, Foreign Minister referred once more creation Turkish legal right and said better for UK simply announce that partnership idea had been proposed and rejected by both Greece and Turkey.
/5/A Turkish Foreign Ministry communique issued on June 11 at Ankara denied any Turkish Government responsibility for the riots and placed the blame on the British Government for attempting to force the Greek and Turkish Cypriots into "undesired cooperation."
6. Main preoccupation of GOG is now possible repercussions of present trend events on Greeks in Istanbul. Developments in Cyprus provoked deep reaction here but outbreak Istanbul will cause much deeper emotions as it affects Greeks on Turkish soil who are far away from Cyprus struggle but who because of Patriarchate have sentimental attachment Greek people. He thought it tremendously important that Greece's allies be firm in their efforts to protect these Greeks for if outburst comes nothing can be excluded in way of reaction from Greek people.
7. Averoff said it possible he would not be long in present position. GOG must shortly react Turkish provocations. It had moved with great care to date hoping that UK plan would provide something acceptable. GOG has not yet decided how react but it would be unpleasant for its allies. For his government, however, there are limits to what reaction it could demonstrate and if it goes too far the government will resign. The King had been informed and is highly concerned. Once more he must repeat that GOG is firmly convinced US has abandoned Greeks and backed UK in a pro- Turkish attitude. He cited with some bitterness a recent NATO order which he claimed Germany had placed in Turkey when Greek factories were far better equipped to deal with it. He said the Turks were barbarians and barbarians enjoyed liberty of action that was not possible for civilized peoples.
8. I am still strongly of opinion that only chance putting plan over here is for both US and UK make it unmistakably clear that plan is to be implemented insofar as possible regardless of GOG attitude and that it will be so much the worse for them if they refuse opportunity modify plan through discussion, combined with tangible proof continuing its interest in Greece by additional aid offers. Such position of course carries real risk that Greece will leave NATO and political chaos or dictatorship result here but I believe it also has chance of success. Probable alternative developments are in my opinion so serious that really firm try is worth the risk. Certainly GOG will continue on present line unless much more pressure is brought to bear. As our discussions to date have been confidential, we could presumably back away if such approach proves ineffective.
216. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Regional Organizations
Washington, June 12, 1958, 8:03 p.m.
Topol 4581. Paris: Deliver to Nolting 9 A.M., June 13. Paris Topol 4550, 4548 and 4547. London 7143 rptd Paris Topol 196. London 7187 rptd Paris Topol 201./1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1258. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Owen T. Jones and Murat Williams. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, London, and Nicosia.
/1/Topol 4550, June 11, summarized the Dulles - Macmillan talks on June 10 (see Document 209). (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1158) Regarding Topol 4548 (telegram 8835 to London), see footnote 4, Document 213. Topol 4547 is printed as telegram 3634 to Athens, Document 210. Telegram 7143 from London, June 10, reported on the initial reaction that the British Government had received to its proposals from the Turkish Government and from Spaak. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1058) Telegram 7187 is printed as Document 213.
FYI. 1. We are deeply concerned about consequences of possible failure of British in their current efforts. They have indicated that, in event their new initiative fails, they will be obliged to consider partition. In view of attitude of Greeks and practical difficulties involved in drawing partition line it seems inevitable that attempt to apply partition would at this time result in greater civil strife in Cyprus and threaten even wider conflict between Greece and Turkey. While present British plan has number of serious defects, it is essential that British be given that degree of encouragement and support that would forestall their despairing finding solution of this difficult problem and resorting to Palestine-type of withdrawal without settlement.
2. Unless discussions can be undertaken on Cyprus issue in NATO or privately that may lead to some hope of compromise, problem will doubtless grow so much worse that the UN will be drawn into it and what is now a family controversy will become an issue in which the enemies of NATO may take a hand. Averoff reported in press to be considering taking problems to Security Council.
3. We are concerned over London reports that Spaak will urge that other nations "abandon their attitude of cautious reserve and give active support" to present UK approach./2/ It is not clear to us what this means and whether this envisages public announcement by NATO of such support. See separate telegram this aspect of issue./3/ End FYI.
/2/Spaak's comments were reported in telegram 7143 from London, June 10. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1058)
/3/Presumably Polto 4548.
In event UK plan is discussed June 13, you should commend British efforts to find solution without specifically endorsing UK plan. Within that context you may in your discretion make following points:
1. Continued encouragement and support of British efforts are essential to solution of this difficult problem and to preservation of NATO unity.
2. This quarrel within its own family is problem to which NATO should properly address itself.
3. We would hope that this would be regarded as private family matter and that no publicity be given to NATO proceedings.
4. We have encouraged Greek and Turkish Governments to give British proposals same serious study and careful consideration which British themselves clearly gave to their development.
5. We believe that hope in present situation lies in fact that serious efforts are now being made to solve this most difficult problem and that current British efforts afford useful basis for discussions that might lead to plan all parties can live with.
You are authorized to make approaches to Greek and Turkish NATO representatives requested by UK and reported in London's 7187.
217. Editorial Note
The North Atlantic Council met on June 13 to hear the British proposals for Cyprus together with the comments of the Representatives of Greece, Turkey, and other NATO member states. Both the Greek and Turkish Representatives indicated that the British proposals as they stood were unacceptable. The Representatives of the United States and other member states urged that all parties involved continue discussions in a spirit of compromise. The meeting adjourned without any resolution of the impasse. The discussion was summarized in Polto 4159 from Paris, June 13. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1358)
218. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State
Ankara, June 13, 1958, 11 a.m.
3054. In carrying out instructions contained Deptel 3639,/1/ I chose to see Prime Minister Menderes rather than Foreign Minister Zorlu. Appointment was at 20:00 hours June 12. Menderes appeared tired but alert, and received me cordially. However as I went into message he became grave.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1358. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Received at 9:41 a.m. Repeated to Athens, Nicosia, Paris for USRO, and London.
/1/Printed as telegram 3634 to Athens, Document 210.
I said Secretary Dulles and top officials of USG had been much concerned by recent explosive events in Cyprus. Linking USA interest to disruptive effects upon NATO and present threatening international developments, and reading slowly and clearly from carefully prepared paper, I set forth three points in Deptel 3639 which I was instructed to present. Because we were alone and because Menderes made no notes, I left copy of paper with him.
After I had finished presentation Prime Minister spoke in this vein:
This is first time Turkey has reacted in Cyprus. For long years we have had to support terrorism in Cyprus, the work of EOKA, with backing of Greek Government. I do not know of events to which you refer. I shall learn about them. Anyway, it is first time it is said that Turk Cypriots are doing anything reprehensible. I remind you that GOT is subject to strongest pressure from Turk public, witness today's Ankara meeting/2/ which, I may add, went off without incident. This pressure of Turk public opinion is so great that GOT cannot resist it and must take it into account. It is a sad thing that this issue has been raised between Turkey and Greece. It would have been possible for us to have gone on for years without this Greco-Turk conflict. Unfortunately, Greeks have launched endeavor which has resulted in this deadlock.
/2/A mass demonstration in support of partition.
At this point, I said that I thought Secretary Dulles would want me to interject this idea: Regardless of how Greek-Turk issue has arisen, because the threat to NATO, to our good allies Turkey, Britain and Greece, and to the west is now so great, would it not be possible to consider this matter at this time solely in light of that peril?
Prime Minister responded: "I have stated what I want to say at this time." Then, picking up my talking paper, he added that he would pass it to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ask them what he should say.
In ending my part of conversation, I reiterated that I was relaying this message from Secretary Dulles, having in mind the USA-Turk association in NATO, our relations as allies, and our friendship and value of these relations under tremendous USSR threat that we all face today.
As I rose to go, the Prime Minister's cordiality returned. Walking with me to door he said: "Good luck to you (USA) and to all of us in our present situation".
Comment: Interview is yet another indication how important Zorlu has been in handling Cyprus matter (re Embdesp 755),/3/ but is also plain Zorlu has had full backing of Prime Minister. Fact that Menderes said he would refer my paper to "Ministry" rather than to "Minister" may just possibly be significant.
/3/Despatch 755 from Ankara, May 28, reported British speculation that Menderes may have delegated responsibility for Cyprus to Zorlu. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/5 - 2858)
Unfortunately, I fear that Ambassador Riddleberger's instructions to inform GOG "in strictest confidence" of substance my parallel approach Ankara will inevitably leak, and will do nothing but infuriate GOT. I venture to suggest that both Greek and Turk moods are not conducive to taking either one into confidence about the other.
219. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, June 13, 1958, 3 p.m.
3498. 1. Permanent Under Secretary at Foreign Office asked me call urgently and handed me following aide-memoire with request it be transmitted at once to Department:
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1358. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Received at 2:21 p.m. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Ankara, and Nicosia.
1. The Greek population of the Island of Cyprus has, on many recent occasions, been subjected to attacks from the Turkish minority. But it is the first time that these attacks, instigated abroad, have reached such proportions during these last few days, causing several fatalities, more than one hundred wounded and the destruction by fire of an Orthodox Church and a large number of factories, stores and Greek property. Thus, only the Greeks have been the victims of these acts of violence.
These events have brought about an explosive situation on the Island and have brought Greco-Turkish relations to a particularly dangerous point of tension.
The Greek Government cannot remain indifferent in the face of these events. It already has had occasion to call the attention of the NATO Council and of certain of its allies to the very grave consequences that the development of the situation on Cyprus could have.
2. This crisis could reach a still more acute point if certain information received in Athens proved to be correct. Indeed, the Greek Government received information according to which, under pretext of the situation in Cyprus, the intention became apparent in Turkey to create disturbances which would result in the expulsion of the Greek population from Istanbul as well as that of the Oecumenical Patriarchate.
3. The Greek Government does not wish to believe that this information is true.
However, in view of the fact that events of the same nature have occurred in the past, the Greek Government feels obliged to call this matter to the attention of the United States Government.
If such excesses should occur against the Oecumenical Patriarchate or against Greeks, who, without interfering in the Cyprus question, live in Turkish territory by virtue of rights established by international treaties, the Greek Government would be obliged to resort to concrete measures.
4. Indeed, such action would be definitely hostile and completely contrary to the principles of the United Nations Charter and international treaties. The result would be that all the states signatories to the Lausanne Treaty would have to contemplate the necessity of sanctions against the party guilty of having violated that Treaty. Be that as it may, and independently of possible recourse to the United Nations, the Greek Government would be obliged to resort to the following measures:
A. Sever its diplomatic relations with Turkey.
B. Denounce all bonds of alliance with Turkey. If, under the influence of various factors and despite the desire of the Greek Government, this measure were to result in putting an end to the role which devolves upon Greece within the Atlantic Alliance, the Greek Government would be obliged to consider such a possibility.
C. Reexamine, for its part, the status of the Moslems of Thrace and of the Dodecanese Islands./1/
/1/A Turkish minority had been allowed to remain in Thrace under the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne. The Greek Government reacquired the Dodecanese Islands with its Turkish minority from Italy in 1947.
D. Resort to any other measure rendered necessary by the application of the points enumerated above.
5. Although the Greek Government has firmly resolved to adopt such a policy, it earnestly and sincerely hopes that the evolution of the situation will not require it to make such decisions, as it considers that cooperation with Turkey is in conformity with the interests of both countries.
2. Upon reading this I inquired if it represented firm intention of GOG irrespective obligations assumed under NATO. With reference to paragraph 4 of aide-memoire I pointed out that Greece has assumed obligations, together with number other countries not involved in Cyprus question, under NAT and asked whether this constituted notification intention withdraw unilaterally from NATO irrespective provisions NAT if certain circumstances arose which might be difficult control. Skefiris confirmed this was correct. At this point Averoff walked in and confirmed aide- memoire represented firm position of GOG. I recalled to Minister what I had said yesterday about our demarche in Ankara/2/ and said we hoped it would have calming effect.
3. This is no doubt Greek "reaction unpleasant for its allies" mentioned in paragraph 7 Embtel 3481./3/
/2/See Document 210.
4. UK Ambassador was waiting as I left Foreign Office and is probably receiving same or similar communication now.
220. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, June 13, 1958, 5 p.m.
3503. Reference: Deptel 3645./1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1358. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Received at 2:30 p.m. Repeated to London, Ankara, and Nicosia.
1. I had Penfield see Rossides this morning sound him out on Makarios contact. Rossides, who is normally relatively calm and reasonable, was in very excited state and immediately launched into long tirade against British. He mentioned proposals only in passing, characterizing them briefly as impossible, and concentrated on alleged British perfidy in allowing "six days of anti-Greek rioting" on Cyprus./2/ He said that British security forces perfectly capable controlling this type situation which was much easier than handling hit-and-run attacks in which EOKA used indulge. He asserted it was height folly from security standpoint not retain curfew on Turk communities and claimed security forces only intervened stop pillage and arrest Greeks when latter organized protect themselves. He reasoned that only explanation this British attitude is that British "working hand-in-glove with Turks to bring about situation in which partition will be inevitable".
/2/Mob violence on Cyprus, which began on June 7 with Turkish riots in Nicosia, reached its climax on June 12 when 8 Greek Cypriots were killed by a mob of Turkish farmers near the village of Geunyeli. The Greeks were part of a group of 35 which had been arrested, disarmed, and then released by British security forces.
2. As Penfield was able break into this tirade he expressed personal conviction that this was false interpretation British actions and motives and asked whether it was not at least worthwhile for Makarios meet Foot or other high British official and hear their side of story and explanation plan. Rossides agreed but pretended ignorance any British offer arrange such meeting. Rossides also agreed with Penfield's suggestion that a private talk between Makarios and me might be useful. Whole matter meetings left vague, with Rossides promising get in touch with Penfield again after he had talked with Makarios.
3. British Ambassador states his original recommendation was based on assumption Makarios could be persuaded reject a plan in way which would leave door open subsequent discussions. In view deterioration situation he believes (and I agree) this now forlorn hope and says he has recommended against suggestion (not clear whether from London or from Foot) that Foot come Athens now to see Makarios.
Comment: It is clear that unfortunate events Cyprus last few days have seriously prejudiced whatever small chance there was of Greeks not completely slamming door. I will of course continue with Makarios meeting if he is receptive but have little hope of making any impression.
221. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Under Secretary of State (Herter) and President Eisenhower
June 13, 1958.
I told the President that the situation in Greece and Turkey was disquieting. About 4 p.m., after the Secretary had left, we received an aide-memoire from Greece saying the Greek Government was considering breaking off diplomatic relations with Turkey and pulling out of NATO as a result of the state of affairs in Cyprus./1/ There was a further implication that the Greeks were being forced to leave Istanbul. Spaak, at NATO, was doing his best to pull things together, but I said I imagined he was having rough sledding.
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations with the President. Secret. Drafted by Stimpson. The President was in Gettysburg and Herter was in Washington.
/1/Transmitted in Document 219.
I told the President it was the feeling here in the Department among Bill Rountree and some of the others who were here in the room that we should do whatever we could to get both Governments to keep their shirts on. The most effective way, it was felt, was for the President to send a personal message to the Prime Ministers of both countries. I said a draft of these messages could be sent up by helicopter or read over the phone. The President said be would like to hear them over the phone. The suggested text follows:
"I am, of course, aware that our governments have been in communication concerning recent Cyprus developments, including the current violence on the Island. In view of my great concern over the possible consequences of a failure to bring about a peaceful solution to this problem, and one which will not disrupt the very foundations of western defense to which both of our countries have made such a great contribution, I would like to share with you personally my own apprehensions.
"The United States is not directly a party to the dispute, although we have endeavored to be of assistance to our friends in bringing about an amicable settlement. I believe that such a settlement is both possible and desirable, and I am confident you share with me views upon the overriding importance of letting nothing happen which will make it more difficult and which would bring about grave losses in terms of the type of cooperation among our allies which is vital to the whole free world. In the present situation emotions are running high and I fear that unless immediate and effective steps are taken to bring about a calmer situation one event, in Cyprus or elsewhere, might lead to another with ultimate effects unwanted and unwelcomed by all of us.
"This matter is currently being considered by the North Atlantic Council. It is my fervent hope that the deliberations in the Council can lead to constructive measures which not only will contribute to a solution of the Cyprus problem itself but will immediately bring about a lessening of tensions and an improvement in the general atmosphere.
"I understand that proposals are now being formulated within the Council to accomplish this end. While I do not yet know what their content will be, I do know the motivations which lie behind them, and I earnestly hope that when they are received you will on your part give them most serious consideration in the context of the great importance of finding some way out of the present impasse. I am confident that you will do so, Mr. Prime Minister, and that you will use your great influence to the end that a harmonious atmosphere will quickly be restored."
The President inquired whether the "Council" referred to the Security Council, and I said it didn't, that it referred to NATO.
At the conclusion of the message the President said he thought it was all right. He added that there was no way we could soften anything. I agreed and said Spaak is doing his best but that we could not be specific. The British proposals haven't helped but have made both sides mad.
The President said he would like to see something at the end of the messages to the effect that "the great sacrifices your people and ours have made for peace must not be lost". He added that we had better get the message off quickly. I agreed and said there is real urgency or I would not have bothered him./2/
Christian A. Herter/3/
/2/After modifications in the wording of the proposed texts, similar messages were sent on June 13 in telegrams 3676 to Athens and 3684 to Ankara for delivery to Karamanlis and Menderes. These telegrams are both in Department of State, Central Files, 711.11 - EI/ 6 - 1358.
/3/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
222. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, June 14, 1958, 11 a.m.
3509. 1. King sent for me last night and in presence of Queen at Tatoi outlined critical situation in which Karamanlis government now finds itself. He said he knew of aide-memoire which Foreign Office had given me/1/ and said that almost simultaneously Prime Minister had come to him and threatened to resign because he could no longer hold his government together in face of rapidly developing reactions in Parliament. The King said his resignation had not been formally submitted and he was attempting to dissuade Karamanlis from such precipitate action. He emphasized, however, that he must inform me of gravity of situation and the difficulties with which he was now faced. He said he frankly did not see any way out if Karamanlis persisted in his intention to resign. If Greece were drawn now into another election it would probably result in increased Communist gains, which might be fatal to the future of this country. I inquired what the possibilities might be for a coalition government and the King responded that in existing circumstances he thought it would be useless as no political leader would be willing assume responsibility for taking decisions on Cyprus in present atmosphere. In his opinion a coalition government would fall apart almost as quickly as it was formed if indeed one could be formed. [6-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] He was therefore forced to conclusion that Karamanlis must be persuaded to carry on and he would do his best to this end.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1458. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Received at 9:56 a.m. Transmitted in two sections. Repeated to London, Ankara, Paris for USRO, and Nicosia.
/1/Transmitted in Document 219.
2. Both King and Queen vigorously criticized the British plan and contended it was impossible of execution. I pointed out to them as I had done to Karamanlis and Averoff/2/ the advantages which it offered Greece and emphasized importance of gaining time in the present explosive situation. I urged King to impress upon Karamanlis necessity of taking the plan as a point of departure to which Greek Government could make counter-proposals. I pointed out that it was a fundamental postulate of politics not to juggle a hot potato on the front porch but to get it to the cellar until cooling process could be completed. King said he agreed but in the present emotional state of Greek feeling, he was not certain he could persuade Karamanlis to follow such advice.
/2/See Documents 211 and 215.
3. King cited the aide-memoire handed me as an example of the emotions aroused in this country, and in particular paragraph 4 (B). The Queen at this point asked what that was and upon explanation said she could not believe it. When I explained what the implications were, the Queen was on verge of tears and said that Greece could not leave NATO and they might as well resign themselves.
4. The King expressed great apprehension respecting the Greeks in Istanbul and thought that we might be at mercy of an incident. He did not know what would happen in Greece if there were to be rioting in Istanbul against the Greeks there. He emphasized, as did Averoff, inevitable emotional reaction here should outburst occur. I told him we were attempting to exercise moderation on the Turks and I hoped it would be successful.
5. The King then said he had several suggestions to make which I agreed to put to Washington. He said he could not understand why British were so insistent upon making a statement in Parliament on June 17, and asked whether we could not use our influence with British to eliminate this deadline. He would also ask that we use all our persuasion to get the British to agree to further discussion before any public statement was made. Simultaneously, we might suggest to British that they reconsider the plan to see if something more acceptable to the Greeks could not be worked out. Finally, he asked that we urgently consider the possibility of making some public statement here which Karamanlis could use in Parliament to the effect that we appreciated and commended the restraint Greek Government had shown to date in the face of Turkish attacks against Greek Cypriots. He thought this would help him in dissuading Karamanlis from insisting upon immediate resignation which, he repeated, would lead to chaos in this country.
6. As Department may have realized from earlier telegrams and from this message, I have been attempting to gain in time and persuade GOG from taking action which would worsen situation. I cannot exaggerate the emotional reaction which is prevalent among the Greek leaders. [12-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]
7. Parenthetically, I might add that the Turkish Ambassador here, who is an unemotional and objective diplomat, told me he now feels that present situation is so tense that "any fool who may break a window of his Embassy in Athens can set off riots in Istanbul." He went as far as any representative can go in suggesting that nothing will be accomplished until US makes up its mind to intervene and to talk sternly in both Ankara and Athens.
8. It is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain attitude calculated to be most useful in light probable future developments. British Ambassador indicates that if, as seems probable, both GOG and GOT reject plan Britain will probably adopt fall back position of attempting proceed with such elements of plan as are not specifically rejected by both sides. If we envisage this as probable course developments we should now adopt line with Greeks which will not conflict. If, on other hand, we decide to take risk of attempting all-out effort force plan through (paragraph 8 Embtel 3481),/3/ we should immediately start to move in this direction. Every hour of temporizing increases chances of disastrous blow-up in this part of the world.
223. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles
June 14, 1958, 3:41 p.m.
TELEPHONE CALL TO THE PRESIDENT (Gettysburg)
[Here follows discussion of an unrelated subject.]
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations. No classification marking. Transcribed by Phyllis D. Bernau. Secretary Dulles was in Washington.
Pres. asked about Cyprus. Sec. said all we have is that there are big demonstrations going on in Athens largely Anti-American.
Pres. said he did not understand Greeks getting mad at us. Sec. said everywhere in the world everyone thinks we can fix everything. They don't realize we don't run the whole world.
Pres. said how do we do anything with the Turks or Greeks. Turkey is thinly populated--couldn't we get Turks out and in better position elsewhere? Sec. said we would never get them out of there. Pres. said there were only 5,000 Turks in Cyprus. Sec. said (after checking with Rountree) there were 160,000 - about 20% of the total population. Pres. said that knocks out any resettlement.
Pres. said he guessed all we can do is pray.
224. Editorial Note
On June 14, Greek personnel attached to NATO Headquarters at Izmir, Turkey, were evacuated by airlift. On June 15, the Greek Government announced that as a result of anti-Greek violence on Cyprus, it was severing all its military links with Turkey within NATO's Southeast Europe Command. Greek military units stationed along the Turkish frontier were placed in a state of readiness.
225. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State
Ankara, June 15, 1958, 2 a.m.
3079. Embtel 3077 (A)./1/ Tonight after handing me referenced GOT reply to Secretary Dulles message re Cyprus of June 12 (Embtel 3054)/2/ Foreign Minister Zorlu began long rambling almost incoherent recital. I shall try to reproduce his thoughts but my presentation will be in different and more logical order than his talk. His rehash Cypriot history last two years recited in way to back up his assertion that Turks have been correct in their attitudes during period and that they are still comporting themselves like self-respecting sovereign member of NATO and supporter of free world and that governments of Greece and UK are to blame for present impasse. Salient points in talk were as follows:
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1558. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Received at 6:46 a.m. Repeated to Athens, London, Paris, and Nicosia.
/1/Telegram 3077 from Ankara, June 14, transmitted a Turkish aide- memoire that denied involvement in events on Cyprus and blamed the Greek and British Governments for creating and fostering a climate of violence. (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 1458)
Zorlu said that GOG had been stirring up trouble for years. During period EOKA terrorism 30 Cypriot Turks killed but world opinion is now excited because four Cypriot Greeks killed. Why the change?
GOT has consistently avoided creating excitement through radio broadcasts such as done by Athens. When I reminded him of Turk broadcasts of speeches at recent demonstration containing cries of "partition or death" and report that 6,000 Turks have been inscribed for service in Cyprus, he was evasive and unconvincing. When I mentioned the activities of Kuchuk, Denktash and Turk Consulate General Cyprus, he said Consulate General has been entirely and consistently correct in what he had said or done (Zorlu said Greek Consulate General in Cyprus had not been correct). He mentioned Turk Consulate General returning Nicosia tomorrow and would continue follow his long-standing instructions try calm Cypriot Turks.
I mentioned that NATO is involved in the problem and noted that the Greek Government had seen fit this day to evacuate to Greece its elements in MD/3/ to [from] Izmir. Zorlu characterized Greek move as "childish". When I expressed doubt world opinion would see Greek act in same light, he then asserted Greeks attempting apply pressure. Zorlu continued by stating that if Greeks wanted to get out of NATO, "let Greece go, we would be better without her." "If necessary GOT could get out." Zorlu then alleged that HMG believes it can do anything it likes because of aid and can place pressure on GOT. Turkey can get along without aid: "We can eat only bread and fight with our fingers; we admit no foreign pressure." "But GOT is under pressure of Turk public opinion. 120,000 Cypriot Turks know how protect themselves and can take care of 400,000 Cypriot Greeks." Replying I said that that was exactly the kind of strife USA wanted to avoid in Cyprus. We do not want to see Turks and Greeks killing each other. I stressed US aid to Turkey was not granted so that we could bring pressure on Turkey. Our aid was not meant to place Turkey under that kind of obligation. I further stated that Dulles' message was not effort at pressure but the attempt of a friend and ally to confer with Turkey about a matter that threatens NATO, an organization which USA holds vital to Turkey, USA, and entire West. I added that in all these relations we deal with Turkey solely as an equal.
/3/This reference is unclear.
Closing my remarks I reiterated importance we attach to NATO, our desire to have both Turks and Greeks as members that organization, expressed the hope that bloodshed be avoided in Cyprus and trusted that the next time he and I met our talk would be more encouraging. On this point I said "Good night".
Comment: I sensed Zorlu's extreme attitude prompted in part by: (1) Extreme irritation that GOT must accept foreign aid, (2) annoyance that Cyprus problem is being discussed in NATO and (3) resentment that NATO may try to bring pressure on GOT.
Ambassador Bowker told me GOT rejection new British proposals was communicated to Turkish Ambassador Birgi late Friday night and that Birgi had informed HMG Foreign Office Saturday morning that for "several reasons" he would like to delay delivery GOT reply until Sunday morning. Zorlu told me that President Eisenhower letter to Prime Minister which I delivered Saturday 11:20 hours (Embtel 3070)/4/ was to be discussed Saturday evening cabinet meeting to be attended by Prime Minister and President Bayar. It is clear that GOT decision reject British proposal was taken before receipt of Eisenhower message and that the receipt has not caused GOT change its instruction to Birgi.
It was an unpleasant conversation.
/4/In telegram 3070 from Ankara, June 14, Warren reported on his brief conversation with Menderes and Zorlu at the time he delivered Eisenhower's June 14 message to Menderes. (Department of State, Central Files, 711.11 - EI/6 - 1458)
226. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, June 15, 1958, noon.
3534. 1. Immediately upon receipt Deptel 3676/1/ I had the President's letter delivered to Prime Minister. Last night Karamanlis asked me to call at which time I had lengthy discussion of which highlights follow. Prime Minister began by expressing grateful thanks for President's letter and then launched into another discussion of difficulties facing him in Greece because of content and manner in which British plan had been presented. As most of this was largely repetition what he had told me June 11,/2/ I do not repeat it here. He made no mention of resigning from office. He concluded in asserting that while he deeply appreciated the letter, he was not certain it represented any real change in American attitude. He referred once more to the great danger of Turk Cypriot violence.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11 - EI/6 - 1558. Secret; Niact; Presidential Handling. Received at 11:01 a.m. Repeated to Paris for USRO, London, and Ankara. A note on the source text reads: "Sec saw."
/1/Telegram 3676 to Athens, June 13, transmitted Eisenhower's letter to Karamanlis. (Ibid., 711.11 - EI/6 - 1358) For text of the letter, see Document 221.
/2/See Document 211.
2. In reply, I called his attention to several sentences of President's letter and in particular our feeling respecting recent outburst against Greek Cypriots. I emphasized again our fervent hope that his worst fears would not be fulfilled and repeated what I had said to Averoff./3/ Also called his attention to President's statement that US is using its influence in seeking to avoid any occurrences in Cyprus or elsewhere which might exacerbate situation.
/3/See Document 215.
3. Turning to question of present attitude, I underlined significance of first sentence of paragraph 2 of letter and urged Prime Minister to recognize significance of final paragraph. At this point Prime Minister broke in to say that original Greek appeal to NATO/4/ had been designed to prevent further violence by Turk Cypriots and not raise entire issue of Cyprus in NAC. I replied that I understood this but that aide-memoire given me by Foreign Office/5/ might under certain contingencies jeopardize entire structure of NATO, and that in view of gravity with which Government of Greece envisaged possible course of events it was only natural that NAC should now discuss entire Cyprus issue. I referred to President's remark in last paragraph of letter where he points out that Council is now deliberating the question and constructive suggestions are being prepared. I said I was certain Government of Greece would recognize significance of this paragraph in connection with our attitude. This seemed to satisfy Karamanlis that American position had undergone a change and he then proceeded to outline his position.
/5/Transmitted in Document 219.
4. He thought if we could get through present crisis there were several suggestions which could be discussed in future and which he hoped US Government would seriously consider supporting. These were: (a) granting of self-government to Cyprus with no promise of and no mention of future plans for self-determination; (b) self-government with arrangement whereby self-determination and partition would be categorically excluded; and (c) self-government under democratic constitution which would exclude both Enosis and partition indefinitely. Karamanlis emphasized hope of Government of Greece that such suggestions eliminating self-determination, Enosis and partition would eventually provide basis for fair settlement and thought they demonstrated conciliatory attitude of Government of Greece.
5. Atmosphere of our interview was vast improvement over that of June 11. Although Prime Minister is very much worried over internal repercussions here, he has obviously moved into a negotiating mood. There is, however, one point of great concern to him and that is UK decision to make a declaration in Parliament June 17. He is fearful that if substance of UK plan is announced rioting may break out here and he begged me to use all our influence at least to postpone any statement divulging contents of plan. In view rejection of plan by both Government of Greece and Government of Turkey, he recommended UK be urged to make no statement or declare that UK dropping plan but will revert to issue in near future, making no mention of partition or Enosis. He thought if we could get over this date whole question could be reexamined in calmer circumstances in which serious negotiations for a settlement in accordance with President's letter could be undertaken. I promised to transmit this urgently.
227. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, June 15, 1958, 6 p.m.
3536. Re Karamanlis suggestions for Cyprus settlement set forth paragraph 4 Embtel 3534,/1/ Foreign Minister asked to see me urgently this afternoon to suggest following. He said following conference with Prime Minister GOG would like to suggest that USG put forward possible solutions proposed by Karamanlis, particularly as GOG was prepared to abandon both Enosis and self-determination which would reassure Turks. GOG would like to see this done in NAC meeting tomorrow and if we could see our way clear to do it, Greek representatives would be instructed by telephone to accept. I replied I feared time was rather short for us to give such substantive instructions particularly as other ideas might also emanate from debate. I commented that this was type of proposal that perhaps should be discussed with Spaak in order to sound out reaction of other NATO governments. However, I promised in view importance of Greek suggestions to put it to Department./2/
[1 paragraph (4-1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11 - EI/6 - 1558. Secret; Niact; Presidential Handling. Received at 2:44 p.m. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, and Ankara.
/2/In telegram 3691 to Athens, June 15, the Department of State commented: "We concur with your suggestion that Karamanlis' proposal might be better discussed with Spaak and we hope he will do so. In informing Karamanlis of this you should express our gratification over the Prime Minister's efforts to find a means for easing the present crisis."(Department of State, Central Files, 711.11 - EI/6 - 1558)
228. Memorandum of Conversation
Washington, June 15, 1958, 5:10 - 6:45 p.m.
Department of State: The Secretary, The Under Secretary, Mr. Rountree, Mr. Macomber, Mr. Hanes
Department of Defense: Deputy Secretary Quarles, Gen. Twining
CIA--Mr. Allen Dulles
USIA--Mr. George Allen
The White House--Mr. Arthur Minnich
After discussion on another subject, the Secretary raised the problem of Cyprus. He gave the President cable 3509 from Athens to read./1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1558. Secret. Drafted by Hanes.
The Secretary then read cable 3536 from Athens/2/ aloud stating that the Government of Greece was prepared to abandon both Enosis and self- determination in favor of self-government under the British, and wants the United States to support this initiative promptly, preferably early this week in NATO. Averoff stated that the GOG is prepared to "tell" Makarios that "This is it".
The Secretary said he wished to urge Lloyd most strongly not to make the Parliamentary announcement of the British plan for Cyprus on Tuesday as planned./3/
The President authorized this, and said it was important also to speak to Macmillan. He therefore asked that a second message go from him to Macmillan urging the same thing. The Secretary thereupon drafted such a cable to Whitney, and the President approved it./4/
/3/In telegram 8955 to London, June 15, Dulles instructed Whitney to see Lloyd and urge postponement of the British statement on Cyprus pending discussions in the North Atlantic Council. He warned that a public statement was likely to aggravate the crisis. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1458)
/4/Telegram 8956 to London, June 15, instructed Whitney: "President and Secretary have fully discussed matter of Parliamentary announcement of U.K. Cyprus plan. President wants Ambassador Whitney to tell Prime Minister he greatly hopes Prime Minister can defer Parliamentary presentation pending further NAC discussions." (Ibid., 711.11-EI/6 - 1558)
229. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State
Ankara, June 15, 1958, 8 p.m.
3084. Paris for USRO, West and Thurston. Foreign Minister Zorlu called me Foreign Office 18:30 hours and handed me reply Prime Minister Menderes to message from President Eisenhower (Deptel 3864)./1/ Message reads:
"Mr. President, I have received and carefully considered the messages/2/ which you have been kind enough to send to me through Ambassador Fletcher Warren.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11 - EI/6 - 1558. Secret; Niact; Limited Distribution; Presidential Handling. Received at 5:30 p.m. Transmitted in two sections. Repeated to London, Paris, Athens, and Nicosia.
/1/See footnote 2, Document 221.
/2/Reference is to Eisenhower's letter (see Document 221) and the message that Warren conveyed to Menderes on June 12 (see Document 218).
I had already had the opportunity of submitting to you the views of the Turkish Government in regard to the Cyprus question/3/ which has become a dispute of increasing gravity for the last four years between three allies within the national alliance.
As you are already aware, Mr. President, the question was first created by Greece and all the efforts made by Turkey to find a peaceful solution have remained fruitless. Even when Turkey, with the object of reaching a compromise in this matter and at great sacrifice, accepted the idea of partition, which had first been put forward by Mr. Averoff, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece and later recommended by the United Kingdom,/4/ Greece adopted a more pretentions (sic) attitude towards this concession and further intensified its encouragement of the campaign of terrorism which it had undertaken with the purpose of securing the annexation of the Island; I think that it would also be useful if I informed you in this connection, Mr. President, that Turks in villages where they are not as numerous as the Greeks have been subjected to a constant propaganda of terrorism for the last two years, and have been forced to migrate to places where the Turks are in majority.
/4/No reference to a Greek proposal for partition has been found. In his December 19, 1956, statement to Parliament, Lennox-Boyd indicated that the British Government would consider partition as a last resort. See footnote 2, Document 171.
The Turkish Government fully realizes the importance of NATO [not] only for Turkey but for the entire peace-loving world, and the necessity of maintaining maximum solidarity among allies in these critical times for the world. However, the Turkish Government is also of the opinion that the Turkish nation which has so valiantly taken its due place among the peoples that constitute the front of freedom and justice, would be justified in expecting to be treated in the same spirit by its NATO allies, in its national issues.
The Turkish Government has been in contact and discussion with the British Government for a long time, and is convinced that a radical solution of the dispute between the three governments can only be reached through the partition of the Island. A memorandum containing the basic reasons and convincing justification of this attitude of the Turkish Government had been handed to the United States Government on April 25, 1957,/5/ and the same views were explained to the British Government. The only objection raised to partition up to now had been that of mandatory migration among the communities. As I have already pointed out, it has started in the Island and has been going on for over a year. But unfortunately this has been going on through threats and violent incidents, and if it continues the actual partition of the Island would become a reality in a year's time, under most tragic circumstances.
/5/Text of this aide-memoire was transmitted to the Department of State in despatch 678 from Ankara, April 29, 1957. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/4 - 2957)
I completely share your views in regard to the gravity of the situation. The patience of the Turkish community in Cyprus and of the Turkish people is going through a very hard test. My government and I personally will do our best to calm down our public opinion. But as you are very well aware, Mr. President, it is an extremely difficult course for governments to act against the justified feelings and emotions of public opinion. In particular when the Turkish Government has been trying to calm down the public opinion since the beginning of the Cyprus question, has been telling the country to trust its allies, but unfortunately has not received the same understanding from its allies. However, you may rest assured that the suggestion and views expressed by the US Government and its eminent President will be considered with great attention and due importance.
Now, the last hope of the Turkish Government, at the moment when the matter is being considered in the North Atlantic Council, is that Turkey's legitimate position would receive understanding and that the extreme expansionist aims of Greece would not have the benefit of favourable support.
I would also like to convey to you, Mr. President, my concern in regard to the dangers involved in the consideration of this question and in the adoption of any final decision in the North Atlantic Council. I sincerely hope that the result will be to the benefit of all of us.
I wish to assure you that Turkey will spare no effort for the preservation of peace and order. However, it is a fact that the Turkish community in Cyprus has been attacked and threatened during the past several years. I do not intend to go into the details of the recent incidents, for I do not wish to take up your valuable time, but I only want to say that the Turkish community today is in a position of self- defense. May I ask you, Mr. President, to share my well-founded conviction in this respect, and believe me that I mention this fact so that you may rest assured in your conscience.
With my highest regards and esteem,
Sincerely, Adnan Menderes"
[Here follows the remainder of the telegram.]
230. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State
London, June 16, 1958, 2 p.m.
7260. Reference Department telegram 8955./1/ I have just seen Prime Minister and Selwyn Lloyd together, and discussed Cyprus with them pursuant reference telegram. I said President and Secretary believed strongly a public announcement of British Cyprus proposals at this time would aggravate already tense situation in [and?] reduce NATO's maneuverability during its present discussion of Cyprus problem. I indicated we hoped that very fact that NAC now has this problem before it will provide basis for deferral of announcement in Parliament now scheduled for June 17. I urged need for utmost restraint in view current volatile nature of relations between Greeks and Turks and tense situation on Cyprus. Referring to Prime Minister's discussion of Cyprus with Secretary on June 10,/2/ I noted Secretary had instructed our Embassies Athens Ankara to say he felt United Kingdom plan would be serious, carefully thought out effort and should be carefully considered./3/ Our Ambassadors Ankara and Athens have worked hard to make this position clear. In addition, as they knew, Karamanlis and Menderes have been informed our expression great concern on the current situation and dangers it poses for world security./4/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1658. Secret; Niact. Received at 3:37 p.m. Repeated to Paris, Athens, and Ankara.
/1/See footnote 3, Document 228.
/2/See Document 209.
/4/See Documents 226 and 218.
We have urged them to use their influence to improve atmosphere and that they give most serious consideration to proposals on Cyprus being developed in NAC when they are received. I further noted that in his discussion with Macmillan, Secretary had said that while we would ask Greeks, Turks and NATO to give United Kingdom proposals careful consideration, we could only do this privately, and that Secretary had indicated we could not accord British plan public support. I emphasized that public discussion of proposal at present time would in our view have most unfortunate effects. I noted that the United States is not at present either approving or objecting to the specific British proposal. United States does not feel able to go down the line in NAC for this one plan to the exclusion of other ideas. Therefore, in discussion of plan at NAC today best position we can take is to support in any resolution which may be proposed language such as "deserving of careful consideration and discussion." I concluded that we firmly oppose the development in NAC a situation in which one member of NATO or even two might be publicly branded as uncooperative or worse by other NATO members, and consequently we oppose any majority type resolution which could not be unanimous and might be used to isolate publicly one or more members. I gave them copy of statement our representative is authorized to make in NAC today./5/
/5/Presumably a reference to the statement transmitted in Topol 4623, June 13, in which the United States indicated its backing for British efforts to settle the Cyprus question and urged that British proposals be used as the basis for further discussions. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1358)
Macmillan said our representations re deferment announcement in Parliament will be given serious consideration. He expressed view that situation re Cyprus is clarifying. The Greeks insist on Enosis, Turks on partition, and in circumstances United Kingdom desires maintain its position taking step forward toward self-government and eliciting Greek and Turkish Government support toward partnership in governance of Island. He felt it impossible for him not to make some statement in Parliament tomorrow, indicating that if he refused to do so in current circumstances, he would anticipate his government being immediately thrown out. However, he felt there might be some misunderstanding as to British position. In fact, British proposal is not a new plan, but is a broad indication of British desire to enlist the cooperation of the peoples of the Island in self-government by establishing Greek and Turkish councils with considerable authority in matters of major importance to those communities. Lloyd interjected that in effect British proposals are not a plan but a policy, and he added that in any event British have never said that their proposals constitute only plan they prepared consider. Lloyd feared that postponement announcement would aggravate situation rather than the contrary. Macmillan noted that while Greek and Turkish Governments have reacted violently, and domestic political situations are critical, Makarios position is less clear and he has not yet come out in opposition. Prime Minister referred to fact he has communicated privately with both Karamanlis and Menderes, offering to discuss problem personally either together or separately, and that offer not yet rejected.
Regarding NAC, Macmillan noted United Kingdom not seeking NATO resolution endorsing United Kingdom proposals which they both agreed would be likely isolate one or more NATO partners.
They believe Spaak's views are consistent this objective, and that most appropriate result NAC consideration today would be agreement that consensus NAC is to effect problem should be considered by all parties concerned seriously and with restraint. Lloyd said proposed United States statement exactly along lines they hoped for, and greatly appreciated. Macmillan concurred.
Following my reiteration point that United Kingdom announcement in Parliament tomorrow would seem likely restrict maneuverability of NAC and might prejudice further NAC consideration, Macmillan said possible he might be able refer to fact NAC seized of problem. In any event, he would avoid parliamentary discussion, cutting off questions with reference to fact debate scheduled for Monday June 23, and consequently, there will be opportunity for NAC situation to develop in meantime.
My feeling is, in light of conversation, that British position increasingly flexible and that while they will probably have to go ahead with parliamentary statement tomorrow, statement will announce proposals in general terms and indicate that they are subject to negotiation. Seems likely also that parliamentary presentation will play down rather than [emphasize] fact that proposals constitute change of policy regarding Cyprus, with principal emphasis on line that in view attitudes various interested governments, United Kingdom has no choice but to continue exercise sovereignty over Cyprus and endeavor achieve maximum cooperation of population in self-government. Finally, to emphasize, both were of the opinion that to postpone statement would be to increase present local violence rather than the opposite./6/
/6/At 10 p.m. on June 16, C.R. Wiggin, First Secretary of the British Embassy in Washington, telephoned Jones to inform him that the British Government would delay its statement on Cyprus for 48 hours. A memorandum of the conversation is ibid., NEA/GTI Files: Lot 61 D 220, Cyprus before August 15.
231. Telegram From the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Regional Organizations to the Department of State
Paris, June 16, 1958, 9 p.m.
Polto 4202. Re: Cyprus. Following is summary constructive NAC meeting June 16. Full report follows soonest./1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1658. Secret; Niact. Received at 6:35 p.m. Repeated to London, Athens, Ankara, and Nicosia.
/1/Polto 4208, June 16. (Ibid.)
Sarper, although he spoke at length about merits of partition, said Turks ready to join in tripartite conference with Greece and United Kingdom on Cyprus and asked if United Kingdom and Greece were ready to do so. Greece said had no instructions other than to say Greece not closing door now on United Kingdom proposals. United Kingdom said after plan announced in Parliament, HMG ready to discuss how put in operation, would pay careful attention to any comments and discuss in spirit of alliance and of reason.
The Council without dissent from Greece, Turkey and United Kingdom who made clear not empowered make commitments, asked United Kingdom to postpone statement to Parliament for 48 hours in hope Greece and Turkey could agree within that time to a conference or negotiations with or without Greek and Turkish Cypriot participation at outset, using United Kingdom plan as basis for negotiations.
Spaak, summing up, called on all nations to have Ambassadors support request for timed delay with United Kingdom and affirmative answer from Greeks and Turks on conference or negotiations by individual demarches in three capitals. Emphasized that this would not be exerting pressure, but that alliance was in danger and three governments should be warned that NATO has right to insist that talks take place in conformity with Article I, NAT. Such action would be essence of treaty.
Nothing to be said to press.
In response to Turk question, in clarification statement that United Kingdom plan to be "basis for negotiations," Belgium suggested "starting point." United Kingdom suggested "basis for constructive discussion."
USRO comment: Spaak carefully avoided using any draft piece of paper, and kept discussion on terms of principle.
Roberts said he would recommend United Kingdom arranging postponement announcement to Parliament. We are sure Sarper and Melas will do their best, both having been helpful in meeting, which was marked by high purpose of all.
NAC to meet Thursday morning, June 19, unless nature of United Kingdom reply re postponement of statement calls for earlier meeting.
United Kingdom failure to grant extension would nullify this first step in right direction. Recommend in light this new situation, further high level approaches in London, Athens, and Ankara in accordance with foregoing. Suggest that approaches be to express gratification for high principled attitude and forbearance shown by all in Council and taking general line that we assume answers will be affirmative in view importance to all members of alliance to settle matter by conciliation and negotiation. Believe approaches necessary, as clearly Sarper and Melas need help at home./2/
/2/Telegram 3722 to Ankara, June 16, instructed the Ambassadors in Turkey and Greece to make approaches at a "high level" and express U.S. hopes that the Turkish and Greek Governments would "send affirmative instructions" to their NATO Permanent Representatives. (Ibid.)
232. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Regional Organizations
Washington, June 16, 1958, 8:59 p.m.
Topol 4670. Paris deliver Nolting 9 AM June 17. Spaak or Greek permanent representative may approach you concerning Karamanlis proposals of June 15./1/ We believe hope for anything fruitful coming out of NAC discussion lies in development of negotiable proposals that can be considered by parties immediately concerned. Greek efforts to find way out of this impasse should therefore be encouraged without, however, specifically supporting a Greek position. Appropriate encouragement of this sort may help in forestalling Greeks from taking Cyprus problem to Security Council.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1658. Secret; Priority; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Jones and cleared by Timmons and Skofield. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, London, and Nicosia.
/1/See Document 226.
In dealing with all three of primarily interested parties in NAC we should, as general rule, avoid being used as channel for their suggestions.
233. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Regional Organizations
Washington, June 17, 1958, 8:54 p.m.
Topol 4693. Paris Deliver Nolting 9 a.m. June 18. Ref: Topol 4651, sent Ankara 3722, Athens 3711, London 9001 rptd Nicosia 348; Polto 4207 rptd London Polto 786, Ankara Polto 140, Athens Polto 107, Nicosia Polto 26./1/ In reply to inquiry British Perm Rep concerning procedural aspects of further discussions on Cyprus, USRO should discuss following proposal with UK Perm Rep. Any discussion this proposal with Spaak should await further instruction.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1658. Secret; Priority; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Owen T. Jones and Williams; cleared by Kohler, Jandrey, Timmons (EUR), and Rountree; and approved by Herter. Repeated to London, Athens, Ankara, and Nicosia.
/1/Topol 4651 (renumbered 4673), June 16, is the same as telegram 3722 to Ankara; see footnote 2, Document 231. Polto 4207, June 16, reported that the British Permanent Representative to NATO indicated his government's willingness to postpone a statement on Cyprus. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1658)
UK would meet with Greece and Turkey in series of bilateral or trilateral discussions chaired by Spaak or a member of an NAC advisory committee of three appointed to assist him. This committee might be appointed by the Secretary General of NATO with NAC's approval. It would relieve Secretary General of burden of being present and moderating all meetings which could be so prolonged as to interfere with his other duties. Spaak would, however, supervise generally committee's activities and advise it. From our point of view NAC advisory committee would be preferable to participating ourselves as member of a four or five power conference. FYI. This would be a form of good offices without the label. End FYI.
Terms of reference for committee would be exceedingly broad and should be based on spirit of three wise men recommendations of 1956./2/ Main efforts to arrive at agreement would continue to be duty of three principally interested parties. Committee might be asked to examine problem with a view to seeking insofar as possible to conciliate differences between parties. British proposals would serve as basis for constructive discussions though need not be limitation upon participants. As may be agreed to by HMG, GOG, GOT reps, Greek and Turk Cypriots could be invited on occasion to discussion. We would think it desirable to suggest that committee report back periodically to NAC though ample time should be allowed for its deliberation.
/2/Reference is to the NATO committee of three Foreign Ministers, Lester Pearson of Canada, Halvard Lange of Norway, and Gaetano Martino of Italy, who worked out a program to improve cooperation among NATO nations.
Regarding membership we would not seek to have U.S. named as member of committee though we would be willing to serve. Presumably Germans (who have much influence with Turks and as non-member of UN have not voted against Greece in UNGA) and Italians (as Mediterranean power) might also be willing to serve. As to level would assume each country would be represented by Ambassador or Undersecretary at least for start of talks.
We don't see much to be gained in uprooting these discussions from Paris at present time. We believe, however, that the advisory committee should at an early stage pay a visit to Cyprus. End Proposal.
For London: Suggest discuss informally this proposal with Foreign Office.
234. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, June 17, 1958, 3 p.m.
3557. 1. I have just had long talk with Averoff during which he emphasized in strongest possible terms danger situation here and Cyprus, repeatedly stating "we are facing chaos" and asserting even military dictatorship would be ineffective. He cited inter alia information GOG has received recently on disaffection among lower ranks army officers.
2. When I was able carry out instructions paragraph 2, Deptel 3711/1/ Averoff insisted public opinion would not accept discussions or negotiations under NATO aegis. When I pointed out advantages to Greece Averoff said he agreed with me personally but reiterated it absolutely impossible and too dangerous even try persuade public which convinced NATO is "colonialist organization". Averoff at same time inconsistently repeated he and Karamanlis ready to run great risk of supporting settlement based on elimination both enosis and partition. Believe overwrought nerves may partly account for this inconsistency but insofar as it is logical believe it is based on conviction that time is of the essence and it is therefore worth taking risk on something which would lead to quick solution but not on procedural step which would probably result in long drawn out discussion or negotiation. He expressed great disappointment that his plan had not been brought up in NATO meeting yesterday (Embtel 3538)./2/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1758. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Repeated to London, Ankara, Paris for USRO, and Nicosia.
/1/Telegram 3711 to Athens is the same as telegram 3722 to Ankara; see footnote 2, Document 231.
/2/Telegram 3538 from Athens, June 16, reads: "Deptel 3691 received garbled and meaning not yet entirely clear. We have nevertheless let Averoff know in general terms that his ideas welcome and he said he will phone Melas Paris to lend support. He emphasized that GOG can not take lead but will be receptive to initiative by US, Spaak or anyone else." (Department of State, Central Files, 711.11 - EI/6 - 1658) Regarding telegram 3691, see footnote 2, Document 227.
3. I was able to get no firm commitment from him but we finally agreed in general terms on following:
(A) Another NAC meeting is necessary as that body is in fact seized of problem.
(B) This meeting should be held as promptly as possible, preferably tomorrow morning.
(C) At meeting, problem should be passed for separate simultaneous or seriatim bilateral discussion between British and GOG and British and GOT (Averoff insisted Greeks could not afford to go into tripartite discussions for same reasons they rejected British offer last August - September)./3/
/3/The British proposal for a tripartite conference excluded a settlement based on either Enosis or partition.
(D) These discussions should concentrate on reaching prompt agreement on some solution. That is they should not be allowed drag on into negotiations on details of self-government, etc. For its part GOG prepared consider elimination enosis and partition or even--if Cypriots agreed, which Averoff doubted they would--self-government with moratorium for period of years on any final solution.
4. I must emphasize that although Greeks will probably go along with something on above lines, others must supply initiative and pressure. We wonder therefore whether Spaak or some other NATO representative could not be persuaded to carry ball. By so doing real progress might be made in 48 hours remaining before British announcement. Averoff said that if such progress could be made GOG might be able stall off Greek Parliament another week.
235. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State
Ankara, June 17, 1958, 6 p.m.
3113. Paris for USRO, West and Thurston. Rome for McSweeney. I called on Prime Minister Menderes 4 p.m. June 17 and conveyed Secretary Dulles message orally as outlined Deptel 3722/1/ paragraph 2 and last paragraph Polto 4202./2/ (On leaving I left copy of talking paper with Prime Minister.) Foreign Minister Zorlu who also present, commented that report of latest NAC meetings not received from Turkish delegation NATO. Referring to Secretary's message, Zorlu said that for two years GOT had accepted idea of tripartite conference and that declaration to that effect had been made by Turkish delegation NATO. Zorlu also mentioned he had heard that Greek delegate NATO Melas had stated that he unable to accept idea of tripartite conference because he lacked instructions. Prime Minister then said that in principal GOT does not refuse come together to discuss problem; however, in order to give more precise reply, he would have to first study Secretary's message. He concluded with promise to speak to me again as soon as possible on this subject.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1758. Secret; Niact. Repeated to London, Paris, Athens, Rome, and Nicosia.
/1/See footnote 2, Document 231.
Comment: Both Prime Minister and Foreign Minister were more relaxed than I had seen them in a long time. Atmosphere of meeting was almost jovial.
236. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State
London, June 18, 1958, 1 p.m.
7313. Paris Polto 4233./1/ I agree with reference telegram on desirability advance planning in case proposals now put to Greece and Turkey are not accepted at NAC meeting June 19.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1858. Secret; Niact. Received at 11:10 a.m. Transmitted in two sections. Also sent to Paris for USRO and repeated to Nicosia, Ankara, and Athens.
/1/Polto 4233, June 17, urged that the British Government be encouraged to be flexible in adopting a "frame of reference" for negotiations and recommended seeking further delay in the parliamentary statement on Cyprus. (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 1758)
British position at present is as follows:
1. United Kingdom intends to proceed insofar as possible with implementation of Cyprus proposal, regardless of whether Greek and Turkish acceptance obtained.
2. Prime Minister is committed to make statement June 19, and Gaitskell in House June 17 pointedly stated that he expected Prime Minister to do more than merely report on developments in NAC. Essential points in proposal have appeared in local press, and interested governments and public must realize newspaper articles are accurate.
3. United Kingdom remains ready to show considerable flexibility in modifying proposal while retaining essential elements.
4. In his letters to Menderes and Karamanlis, Macmillan said he was prepared to meet with them either separately or together. Menderes in reply agreed to meet either alone with Macmillan or with others. (Embassy telegram 7263)./2/ While Karamanlis has delayed replying to Macmillan, Athens Embassy telegram 3567/3/ indicates Greeks might agree to separate discussions.
/2/Dated June 16. (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 1658)
/3/Telegram 3567 was renumbered 3557, Document 234.
HMG delayed Parliamentary statement June 17 to provide Spaak and allies in NAC opportunity to use influence on Greece and Turkey to obtain their agreement to talks with British proposal "as basis for constructive discussion". United Kingdom will consider NAC deliberations successful only if language such as that quoted or with similar purport is included in resolution or (less desirable) in consensus summation by Spaak.
Reference telegram appears to envisage, depending upon developments in NAC, necessity for high-level approach to United Kingdom requesting some or all of following:
1. Further postponement of formal announcement of proposal in Parliament.
2. Settling for NAC resolution which would call only for further discussions on Cyprus problem with omission (or only incidental) reference to British proposal.
3. Holding in abeyance implementation proposal.
I do not believe approach along such lines would be successful or should be tried. There would be greatly increased danger of parliamentary reaction such as Lloyd wrongly predicted would occur June 17. British now have been negotiating for a long time with Greece and Turkey and are convinced that it is not possible to find plan which both willingly would accept. Watered down NAC resolution would amount to little more than GA resolution of February 1957./4/ In effect it would mean abandonment of all the effort HMG has put into developing its present proposal and starting again on road which United Kingdom believes has no end.
/4/On February 26, 1957, the U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution 1013 (XI) calling for the resumption of negotiations leading to a "just solution" of the Cyprus dispute. For text of this resolution, see U.N. doc. A/C.1/L172 (XI).
Introduction of new factor, such as offered by United States to become open party to negotiations or by NATO to help seek substantive solution, would alter picture. However, we note press statements that Greek Government, and previously Turkish Government, decline to accept "NATO mediation" on Cyprus issue.
Under circumstances I recommend against asking United Kingdom to postpone again formal announcement of proposal. Instead I suggest urging HMG to make clear in Parliamentary statement that it is prepared to show flexibility in further discussions regarding proposal with Greeks and Turks, separately or together and with or without Cypriot participation.
With respect to NAC, ideal solution of course would be unanimous resolution calling for "constructive discussions" on basis of British proposal. I recognize Greece or Turkey may not accept such a resolution. In this eventuality I recommend against settling for broad, meaningless resolution just for sake of unanimity. Instead, Spaak might sum up results NAC's efforts without resolution, along following lines:
1. There is unanimous agreement on need for further discussions between three allies directly concerned--United Kingdom, Greece, and Turkey-- either separately or together and either with or without Cypriot representatives.
2. NAC hopes these negotiations will be undertaken promptly.
3. It is consensus of NAC members not directly involved that United Kingdom proposal should form basis for constructive discussions.
Problem remains of what to say publicly regarding NAC deliberations to avoid indicating one or more members of Alliance isolated. HMG will be pressed on this point in Parliament. Least disadvantageous course might be for United Kingdom to say NAC has recommended further discussions on Cyprus; these will be undertaken; United Kingdom will use its Cyprus proposal as basis for discussion.
237. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, June 18, 1958, 2 p.m.
3570. 1. As King is leaving within hour for Poros for some naval affair, I was obliged to convey contents of Deptel 3730/1/ by telephone and no thorough discussion was possible. He said he had impression from inner Cabinet meeting last night that GOG attitude was still somewhat flexible but hurdle of full Cabinet discussion remained. King did not refer again to public statement by US Government.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1858. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Received at 11:18 a.m. Repeated to London, Ankara, Paris for USRO, and Nicosia.
/1/Telegram 3730 to Athens, June 17, instructed Riddleberger to stress to the King and Queen the need for further private discussions under NATO auspices, the need for flexibility in negotiations, and that the British deferral of a parliamentary statement offered a "real opportunity" for the interested parties to begin serious negotiations. (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 1458)
2. Re paragraph 2 of Deptel 3731,/2/ as I again urged prompt and flexible instructions to Greek permanent representative upon Averoff at 1 a.m. this morning, I doubt utility of repeating this again now.
/2/Paragraph 2 of telegram 3731 to Athens, June 17, reads: "For Athens: You should in your discretion continue urge upon Greeks need for prompt, affirmative and flexible instructions to Greek PermRep." (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 1658)
238. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, June 18, 1958, 3 p.m.
3574. Re Embtel 3503./1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1858. Secret; Limit Distribution. Received at 1:55 p.m. Repeated to London, Ankara, and Nicosia.
1. I saw Makarios at my residence late yesterday afternoon. I opened 3/4 hour conversation by reviewing current situation, emphasizing importance his attitude, expressing hope that British plan would receive same careful consideration as obviously went into its preparation, and making strong plea against any irrevocable action which might close door on such consideration. As British Ambassador stated idea of Foot visit has been dropped, I merely expressed hope that indication of willingness discuss plan might promptly lead to Archbishop's return to Cyprus where he could negotiate directly with Governor.
2. In his reply and throughout conversation Makarios was cordial, professedly moderate and extremely cautious. Unfortunately he was accompanied by Rossides who kept interjecting his opinions, at times even interrupting Archbishop, which were usually intransigent. Makarios ignored most of these comments but occasionally implied disagreement by making some more moderate remark. I had impression this may have been planned teamwork.
3. Makarios described his position as very simple. Fate of Cyprus is matter between British and Cypriots. As leader of Greek Cypriots he perfectly willing discuss with British initiation of democratic self- government leaving timing and form eventual self-determination completely open. Except for this implied rejection he made no specific comment on British plans but did say he would make no public comment on it until after British announcement. He asserted that he himself could handle Greek public opinion in case of direct negotiation between him and British and GOG did not need to worry. He gave impression of irritation with GOG.
4. Following up on his "open-ended" self-determination position I pressed him on whether he would agree to permanent ruling out of both Enosis and partition. He finally said he would consider it. This struck me as rather forthcoming statement in light his generally cautious attitude.
239. Telegram From the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Regional Organizations to the Department of State
Paris, June 18, 1958, 6 p.m.
Polto 4240. Reference: Topol 4690./1/ Talked with Spaak pursuant instructions reference telegram. He was grateful for information. He said he would get in touch with Melas immediately in effort to avoid deadlock tomorrow on issue of whether discussions should be tripartite or bilateral. He agrees that NAC record to date leaves both possibilities open and thinks, if it becomes necessary, same indefinite situation might be continued through tomorrow's hoped-for agreement.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1858. Secret; Niact. Received at 2:22 p.m. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, London, and Nicosia.
/1/Topol 4690, June 17, instructed the Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to request that Spaak initiate talks with the Greek Permanent Representative aimed at avoiding a direct confrontation between Greeks and Turks over the issue of bipartite or tripartite negotiations and to convince the Greek Government not to insist on rigid time limits on Cyprus talks. (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 1658)
When he asked for information we had re Turkish attitude and likely instructions to Sarper, I gave him information contained last paragraph reference telegram./2/
He and I agreed that balance may be tipped unfavorably tomorrow if Greeks take position at this stage that they will not sit down and discuss with Turks present, since this attitude likely to provoke Turks to say (assuming Sarper has flexible instructions) that Greek attitude re negotiations makes it absolutely clear that "partnership" concept impossible and partition necessary.
/2/This paragraph reads: "For Ankara: Initial Turk response (reftel C) to reftel B, is disturbing in that Menderes and Zorlu appear to be thinking exclusively in terms of tripartite conference. You should also in your discretion continue urge Turks to send affirmative instructions soonest to PermRep, which instructions will we hope not tie him to insistence on tripartite conference." (Ibid.)
Reftel C is Document 235. Reftel B is telegram 3722 to Ankara; see footnote 2, Document 231.
240. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State
Ankara, June 18, 1958, 7 p.m.
3128. Paris for USRO, West and Thurston. Rome for McSweeney. Re Embtel 3113./1/ Zorlu, in his usual imperious fashion, convoked me at 12:45 p.m. June 18 (although I explained to his secretary that I had official luncheon engagement at 1:00 p.m.). I had not received Polto 141 or Deptel 3735/2/ at time our meeting.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1858. Secret; Niact. Received at 5:59 p.m. Transmitted in two sections. Repeated to London, Paris, Athens, and Nicosia.
/2/Polto 141 to Ankara, June 16, reported on the meeting of the North Atlantic Council that took place that day. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1658) Telegram 3735 to Ankara, June 17, is the same as Topol 4690 to Paris; see footnotes 1 and 2, Document 239.
Zorlu said he wanted to give me attitude GOT re NATO developments which had been formulated following GOT Cabinet meeting. He referred to GNA attitude on Cyprus in this connection (re Embtels 3107 and 3108)./3/ Indicating that instructions along following lines had been sent to Turkey permanent representative NATO (Sarper), expressing hope US permanent representative would help GOT in NATO, Zorlu gave GOT present position as follows:
/3/Telegram 3107 from Ankara, June 16, reported on press coverage of the Turkish Grand National Assembly debates on Cyprus. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1658) Telegram 3108 from Ankara, June 17, reported on the efforts of the Turkish Government to display popular support for its Cyprus policies. (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 1758)
(1) GOT has studied with great care discussions at last two NAC meetings.
(2) GOT looks at present situation from two angles:
(A) UK statement, which by setting forth the principles of new UK [plan], merely follows idea set out by Macmillan in message to Menderes and Karamanlis re final solution of problem and international status of Cyprus;/4/ declaration of Colonial Secretary Lennox-Boyd December 1956, which has been reiterated by UK, and which is only point on which there is agreement between GOT and HMG (partition).
/4/Reference is to proposals outlined in Lloyd's May 23 message to Dulles, Document 204.
(B) Statement by UK permanent representative NATO that HMG willing study "any change which may be proposed to their plan" (Embassy note: I asked Zorlu specifically to repeat this statement, which he did, and to tell me where statement had been made, to which he replied that it had been made in NAC)./5/
/5/Not further identified, but see Macmillan's statements in Document 230.
(3) Idea contained in subparagraph B above (Zorlu continued) was accepted and advanced by Spaak.
(4) GOT also took into consideration fact that UK said that they will allow no possibility for further terrorism on island. GOT, which is attached to partition, and which has always had very strong feeling that terrorism must be eliminated from island, pleased by this.
(5) GOT has been upset by attitude taken by GOG permanent representative who trying avoid tripartite negotiations. This attitude causes GOT to believe that GOG will continue its policy of terrorism./6/
/6/Reference is to the encouragement of the pro-Enosis movement in Cyprus by the Greek State radio and the supplying of EOKA with arms and equipment by the Greek Government.
(6) Spaak stated that if parties immediately concerned desired tripartite conference, NATO in full agreement.
(7) GOT prefers tripartite conference be without Turk Cypriot or Greek Cypriot representation. Such representation could be arranged for later conference.
(8) To Spaak's inquiry whether effort get together could be accomplished thru conference or thru normal diplomatic channels, GOT is expressing its view that conference more effective, even summit conference as proposed by Macmillan in message to Menderes and Karamanlis. GOT believes that "negotiation by correspondence" most difficult, and prefers "personal contact". Conference should be modest, discreet, without publicity.
(9) Referring to Spaak's suggestion that UK plan could be considered as "basic document" for conference or for other efforts to arrange discussion, Zorlu said: "Of course, we cannot consider it as a basic document (we would want it considered as a conference document).We ourselves would also want to present such a conference document. If the idea of tripartite conference is agreed upon, we could even accept a conference document from Greece. This is a slight difference, but an important one".
(Embassy note: At this point I asked Zorlu if what he had just said meant that GOT would not attend conference if acceptance of UK plan as basic document were a condition of its being held. He was taken aback. After a pause, he said that GOT would not attend, but there was no conviction in his reply.)
(10) If idea of conference is accepted, Zorlu continued, "we think it obvious that calm and quietness must be brought about in public opinion of Turkey, Cyprus and Greece. This would mean, of course, no announcement in UK Parliament".
For this expose, I expressed my conviction that UK could not accept idea of no statement to Parliament. I said that British also have public opinion to which HMG is accountable. Zorlu airily said that public opinion on this subject in Great Britain is not important. I retorted that perhaps British think public opinion in Turkey is not important. Zorlu responded that there was all difference in world. "We have 120,000 Turks on the island (he said) they (British) do not have anything appreciable." In final reply, I stated that as friend of Turkey and of Greece, I must frankly say that in my opinion HMG could never accept such a thesis. Zorlu then summed up with statement that in that event there bound to be a conflict between GOT and HMG in conference.
At close of our interview, Zorlu emphasized that this constituted reply to demarche reported Embtel 3113.
I said that after I had had a chance study his reply, I might have certain questions to put to him. He encouraged me to return for further discussion.
Comment: We are coordinating with UK Embassy. Bowker is seeing Zorlu now, and results that meeting with my comments will follow./7/
/7/In telegram 3140 from Ankara, June 19, Warren reported that Zorlu had given Bowker "virtually the same treatment as myself (reported Embtel 3128)" and that the British Ambassador had pressed Zorlu to tone down anti-British press and radio comments. Bowker further commented that he felt that Zorlu was pursuing a tripartite conference on the assumption that the Greeks would boycott it and leave the way open for Turkey to press for partition of Cyprus. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1958)
241. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of Greek, Turkish, and Iranian Affairs (Jones) to the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Rountree)
Washington, June 20, 1958.
Next Steps on Cyprus Problem
1. Situation Report
The NAC meeting on June 19 was inconclusive in that neither Greece nor Turkey agreed to, nor flatly rejected, Mr. Spaak's suggestions concerning further discussions in the NAC./1/ Prime Minister Macmillan announced the new British proposals to Parliament on June 19, following the NAC meeting./2/ The British may now proceed with the implementation of their plan, or a part of their plan, depending on the cooperation they get from the Greek and Turkish Cypriots or the Greek and Turkish Governments. Alternatively, Mr. Spaak may seek again to get started in the NAC a discussion bearing on the British proposals. The most important determining factor will be the attitude of the Greeks and Turks in the wake of Mr. Macmillan's announcement.
//Source: Department of State, NEA/GTI Files: Lot 61 D 220, Negotiations--June 1958. Secret. Drafted by Blood and Jones.
/1/Polto 4267, June 19, reported on the North Atlantic Council meeting. (Ibid., Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1958)
/2/For text of Macmillan's statement, see House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, 5th Series, vol. 589, cols. 1315 - 1318.
The Greek Government has thus far made no public statement concerning the plan but Greek reactions through diplomatic channels have been negative./3/ In a public statement issued on June 19 commenting on the British plan, the Turkish Government asserts the Cyprus problem is one to be solved among the three governments concerned, reaffirms its belief that partition is the proper solution, and expresses a willingness to participate in a tripartite conference at which the UK plan would be one of several conference documents. It is too early to assess popular reaction in Greece and Turkey.
/3/The Greek Government publicly rejected the British plan on June 21.
2. Substantive Changes Needed to Warrant our Support of UK Plan
In his public statement in presenting the plan, the Prime Minister said that "we are not asking for immediate acceptance of our policy in every particular." We continue to believe that it is unlikely that the present Greek Government could accept the present plan and survive. We also believe that the shared sovereignty concept will encounter serious administrative difficulties and is slanted in favor of eventual partition.
We believe, therefore, that the plan should be modified to minimize the need for formal acceptance or participation by the Greek and Turkish Governments and also to make it a more truly interim arrangement that does not exclude or even favor strongly any particular eventual solution. Specifically, we suggest:
(a) Elimination of the representation of the Governments of Greece and Turkey on the Ministerial Council and the provisions for consultation by right on specific issues between these representatives and the Governor. This is the point on which the Greeks are choking and it does in fact give the Turks a legal status on the Island and thus influence the nature of a final settlement.
(b) Elimination of the right of Greek and Turkish Cypriots to obtain Greek or Turkish citizenship, in addition to British. This provision has a great potential for mischief and could easily be employed by the Greeks and Turks as an excuse for intervention on behalf of their citizens on Cyprus.
3. Procedures to be Followed
The NAC meeting of June 19 was unable to get past two procedural hurdles: (a) the Greeks wanted bilateral talks with the United Kingdom only, while the Turks plumped hard for a tripartite conference, and (b) neither was willing to accept the British proposals as the basis for discussions, although the Turks indicated some flexibility in this matter.
We believe the procedure suggested by Mr. Spaak at the NAC meeting on June 19 could be made to surmount these difficulties. Mr. Spaak suggested that bilateral talks (UK-Greek, UK-Turks, Greek-Turk) should be preliminary to a tripartite conference, and that he as Secretary General, with perhaps help from others (this could embrace our suggestion of a three-power advisory committee) could sit down at the table with the Greek, Turkish and UK permanent representatives. We also believe Mr. Spaak is correct in arguing that there must be a single focus for discussions, which the British plan affords. Perhaps Mr. Spaak could avoid wrangling over whether the British proposals are a basic document or a point of departure, by simply summing up the consensus of the NAC that "all parties, recognizing the right and responsibility of HMG as sovereign of Cyprus to advance proposals respecting the status of the Island, agree to discuss these proposals in the spirit of the alliance. In entering upon these discussions, they are free to reserve their position with respect to any or all of the details of the British proposals."
If the NAC discussions should leave the British proposals behind and seem to be embarking with some chance of profit into a wider discussion of possible solutions, including final solutions, we should then offer to discuss with the British our detailed views on the possible implementation of the solution providing for a Turkish base and unitary self-determination for the rest of the Island. We do not believe the British have either pushed the base concept vigorously enough with the Turks or given sufficient study to the possibility of its effective application.
4. Timing to be Observed
It would be advisable to wait and gauge the response of the Greek and Turkish Governments and the Cypriots to the British proposals and to assess the readiness of the British in the face of that response to attempt to carry out their proposals. (We do not believe they can put their plan into practicable operation against the strong objections of one or both of the Cypriot communities or of the Greek and Turkish Governments. If, as is likely, the British run into serious difficulties over their proposals, they might be more amenable than at present to suggested modifications of their proposals. There is always the chance, also, that during this time the Greeks and Turks might themselves come forth with constructive suggestions.
5. United States Role
We have welcomed the idea of discussions in the NAC and have advanced for consideration by Mr. Spaak and the HMG a proposal for a three-power advisory committee on which we would, albeit reluctantly, be willing to serve./4/ In addition, we have urged the British, independently of Mr. Spaak's urging, to delay their Parliamentary announcement to permit further discussion in the NAC./5/ We have also urged the Greek and the Turkish Governments to give the UK plan the same serious consideration and careful study that the British clearly did in preparing their plan, and have cautioned against a public position that would make it difficult to participate in further discussions under NATO auspices./6/
/4/See Document 233.
/5/These proposals were sent to the Embassy in London in telegram 8956, June 15; see footnote 4, Document 228.
/6/See Documents 234 and 235.
Although our substantive changes are designed to develop a situation where the UK will be implementing a plan that requires neither the acceptance nor the participation of the Greek or Turkish Governments, we do not believe that it can be realistically hoped that these two governments can be disengaged from the Cyprus problem. In order, therefore, to get any plan accepted, the cooperation and support of these two governments will be essential. It is not believed that this can be accomplished without the NATO generally and the United States in particular playing an active role. The Greeks in particular might look more favorably upon NAC discussions if they knew that the United States would play an active part.
We believe that the United States should be prepared to exercise an initiative in the NAC in any one of the following three contingencies: (a) if we detect that the British are faltering in their resolve to proceed with their proposals; (b) if the British display a determination to proceed and we have strong reason to believe that proceeding with the plan would evoke a dangerous situation in Cyprus or in the relations between Greece and Turkey; (c) if the British turn to us for help.
JULY - OCTOBER 1958: REVISION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MACMILLAN PROPOSALS; EFFORTS TO CONVENE A NATO CONFERENCE ON CYPRUS
[End of Section 15]