U.S. Department of State
Vol. X, Part 1, FRUS, 1958-60: E. Europe Region; Soviet Union; Cyprus
Office of the Historian
[Section 16 of 19]
242. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, July 1, 1958, 6 p.m.
11. 1. Foreign Minister asked me to call urgently today which afforded opportunity to reiterate our attitude as laid down in Department telegram 3915./1/ He then spoke as follows:
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 158. Secret; Limited Distribution. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Ankara, and Nicosia.
/1/Telegram 3915 to Athens, June 28, instructed Riddleberger to encourage Averoff to bring the Greek proposals to a meeting under NATO auspices. (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 2758)
2. He thought it important that any NATO discussion avoid appearance of pressure. He had communicated his suggestions as set forth in Embassy telegram 3730/2/ to UK Ambassador who was departing for London today. He found Allen personally receptive who would discuss in London to see if anything could be done with Turks. Averoff thought he should now go to Paris to consult with Spaak who could then begin tater le terrain in NAC and ascertain preliminary reaction to GOG proposals. He thought this could be done in secret and he would like to do it in full accord with US and UK. If it appeared that some progress was possible, GOG would then ask for mediation by US (likewise in full accord with UK). If US found any merit in GOG suggestions, he realized this might be interpreted as US-Greek front against UK and Turks and therefore possibility of US mediation, if it appealed to us at that stage, should be discussed with UK. He said he knew Secretary was due in Paris on July 5/3/ and suggested that after talking with Spaak appointment with Secretary be arranged.
/2/Telegram 3730 from Athens, June 30, reported that Averoff was proposing that advisers to the Governor of Cyprus "should be chosen by two nationalities instead of by two governments," and that a plebiscite held after 7 years of self-rule by the Cypriots should exclude both enosis and partition. (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 3058)
/3/Dulles visited Paris July 3 - 5 for talks with French leaders.
3. I replied that I was not yet in position to comment on substance of Greek proposals which had been reported to Department and I was not aware of Secretary's schedule while in Paris. Averoff thought his suggestions corresponded to our ideas of proceeding under NATO aegis while still meeting political problems here and asked that they be submitted urgently which I promised to do.
4. I then inquired how his projected trip to Paris would fit in with plan to go to Belgrade. He said that Popovic had invited him for July 8 to have tripartite talks while Nasser was in Yugoslavia./4/ He said that while he wanted to help Yugoslavs he was beginning to have doubts about going now, particularly because of the rumors of Belgrade - Athens - Cairo axis and had almost decided to put off his trip. He said he would welcome our advice whether he should go while Nasser is there./5/
/4/Nasser visited Yugoslavia July 2 - 22.
/5/In telegram 52 to Athens, July 3, the Department of State instructed Riddleberger to inform Averoff that in its view a decision to visit Yugoslavia during the Nasser visit was a matter for the Greek Government to decide. (Department of State, Central Files, 033.8168/7 - 358)
5. As UK Ambassador was leaving for airport just after my conversation with Averoff, I had only short conversation with him. He said he proposed to discuss Averoff suggestions upon arrival in London but was not too optimistic on probable London reaction to them.
6. As we appear close to attaining what Department desired from Greeks on procedure in NATO, I should appreciate instructions promptly what I can say to Averoff./6/
/6/See footnote 2, Document 244.
243. Telegram From the Consulate in Nicosia to the Department of State
Nicosia, July 5, 1958, 1 p.m.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 558. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution; Noforn. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, London, and Paris for USRO.
9. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] Governor requested us pass following information to Ethnarchy: Foot is anxious Makarios be informed of Governor's ideas regarding possibility his return to Cyprus. Governor does not want any declarations or prior agreements; he does require a period of de facto peace free from Greek violence including EOKA killings and intimidation./1/ Such a period need not be "unduly prolonged". Without being absolutely definite, which of course he could not be, this phrase could be interpreted to mean through the end of August.
/1/On June 30, a new wave of violence broke out on Cyprus as Greeks and Turks began attacking each other. The violence reached its climax on July 5 when British troops fired into a rioting crowd of Greeks, killing 2 and wounding 13. EOKA used British actions as the pretext for the assassination of both British officials and Turkish Cypriots.
I saw Foot this Noon and told him message delivered with good chance it would be passed on to Athens although I not sure what endorsement it might bear. Told Foot Ethnarchy representative had said given definite date would make Greek position easier but that I could easily understand why this was impossible.
Foot's message to Makarios (Consulate telegram 5)/2/ in reply to latter's letter rejecting proposals has been delivered by Ambassador Allen. In it he argues points raised by Makarios re divisive nature of proposals and in final paragraph reiterates plea for de facto cessation violence saying this would permit ending emergency and "open way for negotiations with you on Cyprus". Letter will probably be published in next few days.
/2/Telegram 5 from Nicosia, July 3, reported that Foot had advised the British Government that Makarios should be permitted to return to Cyprus and that Foot had sent the draft of a letter for Makarios to London for approval. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 358) Makarios had rejected the plan on June 20.
244. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, July 5, 1958, 7 p.m.
50. 1. Only opportunity I had take action yesterday on instructions Department telegram 51/1/ was during Fourth July reception when I conveyed Averoff substance para 2./2/ He was obviously bitterly disappointed particularly at our refusal of meeting with Secretary in Paris although I did my best to assuage his resentment. He remarked it was "obviously very thin excuse". As it was impossible to have extended conversation at reception and as I had not yet received report of Hood - Rountree interview,/3/ we agreed to meet today as Foreign Minister wanted to consult Karamanlis to consider our reply.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 558. Secret; Limited Distribution. Transmitted in two sections. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Ankara, and Nicosia.
/1/Telegram 51 to Athens, July 3, provided instructions for the Embassy and the Representative at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for responding to Greek approaches "within the context" of Spaak's initiative. (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 2958)
/2/Paragraph 2 reads: "For Athens: In response Averoff approach reported Embtel 11, suggest you welcome his seeing UK Ambassador and express hope that Averoff's suggestions may provide impetus for constructive discussions. We do not however believe it appropriate for US to mediate with UK and GOT along lines suggested by Averoff. If Spaak and others so wish, US prepared participate in advisory committee along lines outlined Topol 4693 as amended by Topol 4701. You should encourage Averoff to see Spaak and emphasize impossibility Secretary being able see him at Paris in view of latter's full schedule during one day visit and necessity leaving Paris promptly midnight July 5 because of Ottawa trip. If Averoff presses you for response to his offer to come to Washington to discuss Cyprus suggest you discreetly discourage him by pointing out that talks between immediately interested parties appear to us to be more logical starting point for constructive discussions." Telegram 11 is printed as Document 242.
/3/Hood and Rountree discussed Cyprus on July 2, with particular emphasis on Greek objections to British proposals to give Turkey a legal status on the island. The conversation was reported to Athens in telegram 49, July 3. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 358)
2. Today with fuller information I reviewed our positions with Foreign Minister leading off with our hope that his proposals may give impetus for constructive suggestions and explaining our views on procedure. Averoff replied he could now give GOG reaction, after consultation with Prime Minister and Greek Ambassadors recalled to Athens. Spaak invitation/4/ is not rejected by GOG but it is not in favor of inviting three interested governments to discussion. Spaak had told Melas in Paris that discussions could be informal and GOG would permit Melas to participate without instructions. But if this invitation implied tripartite conference at another level, it was rejected and Foreign Minister said he must be altogether clear on this point. He envisaged this informal meeting without instructions to Greek Ambassador as something that is "tolerable" to see if further program can be made. Simultaneously, he must point out that advisory committee could be very dangerous to NATO if something disagreeable to Greece were to emerge from it. Unhappily, Greek suspicions of NATO continue to increase as Greek people regard NATO as supporting colonial positions. This is regrettable but true and in Averoff's opinion even establishment of advisory committee would provoke strong reaction here. GOG is convinced this reaction would immediately be exploited by all elements of opposition and would burst forth in press in manner that could not be controlled. Result would be a priori failure of advisory committee in what concerns Greece and feeling amongst majority of Greek people that GOG has given way to heavy pressure by some of its allies, meaning US. GOG is seriously concerned that reaction against NATO might turn into increased anti-American sentiments and wishes to avoid this. Furthermore, establishment of advisory committee could lead to increased pressure for convocation of Parliament and if government refused even ERE deputies would waiver.
/4/In discussions with Melas, Sarper, and Roberts during the first week of July, Spaak renewed his proposals for tripartite discussions on Cyprus to take place in Paris under NATO auspices. (Polto 67 from Paris, July 4; ibid., 747C.00/7 - 458)
3. At this point, I interrupted to ask if composition of advisory committee could not prevent this reaction, pointing out that NATO was by no means composed entirely of colonial powers. Averoff replied that unfortunately NATO was regarded by Greeks as predominantly colonial- minded.
4. Averoff then commenced to back-water on his own proposals./5/ He said he must tell me that while he considers they bind him personally, this not the same as binding GOG. He remains hopeful they can eventually be accepted but recalled he had Makarios to deal with. He furthermore thought that if his suggestions are to have eventual success they should not be advanced as Greek ideas. If they are, the Turks will certainly object. He still thinks ideas can work because they avoid enosis and can be fitted into UK plan. At this point I said advisory committee would offer just the kind of forum where this might be accomplished. Again Averoff objected for same reasons, but insisted that exclusion of enosis should go far to meet Turkish desires and referred to a declaration attributed to Inonu just published in The Economist./6/
/5/See footnote 2, Document 242.
/6/Inonu said that if the Greek Government pressed for enosis, then the island must be partitioned since enosis implied a partition. These remarks were reported in The Economist (London), July 5, 1958.
5. I attempted again to get his agreement to advisory committee but was not successful. Finally, he said that GOG would agree to informal first contacts which would permit a preliminary exchange of views. This would be in effect without commitments. If this exchange shows any promise it could then be pursued quickly through diplomatic channels, and if any of the Greek ideas can be applied the results could then go to NATO. After the grand outline is decided, a special meeting of NAC could be convoked to approve the decision, leaving to Permanent Council the working out of small details. In this way NATO would have a success and not be faced with a possible failure.
6. Foreign Minister then said that he had received reports on the Spaak "Frigidaire" Theory. He remarked that in one sense this is what GOG has already proposed and under it a definitive solution could be postponed indefinitely. He realizes this implies formulation of some liberal constitution for Cyprus but assumes it could be done. I assume this Spaak Frigidaire Theory refers to Spaak's ideas as set forth in first paragraph of Paris Polto 67 to Department./7/
/7/The relevant portions of this paragraph read: "Elaborating his ideas, he said he had two principles in mind: (A) That a provisional solution was only kind on which agreement is possible at this time; (B) that such a provisional solution should not prejudice in any way the final solution, neither towards partition, nor enosis, nor independence. If these principles could be agreed, then the United Kingdom plan could be looked at in the light thereof, and perhaps modified so as to make it entirely consistent with principle (B)."
7. Averoff concluded in somber tones that GOG increasingly feels it is being mistreated by US which in fact if not in words adopts Turkish viewpoint. With some bitterness he said that substance of Greek proposals was being ignored and that my only reply to him is merely to go to NATO which GOG distrusts. I interjected remark that we had just expressed hope his suggestions might lead to constructive discussions and reminded him that all NATO was inevitably concerned in view of recent actions of GOG including aide-memoire threatening withdrawal./8/ Averoff answered this by stating great concern of GOG is now to keep Greece in NATO and that is why it is prepared even to accept Spaak Frigidaire Theory. He reiterated his urgent need for an answer to his proposals as time is running out and situation in Cyprus is threatening, both from Turks and EOKA. If he cannot get answers on substance he will be compelled to go to UN which he had hoped to avoid.
/8/Transmitted in Document 219.
8. I could have made some sharper replies to Averoff particularly in view of press attacks on US here and Greek tendency to blame US for its own shortcomings, but I decided in present atmosphere of bruised feelings and wounded amour-propre there was nothing to be gained. Averoff did not refer again to Washington trip and I did not mention it. I think he felt sure Secretary would receive him in Paris and he probably caused story to be leaked to press./9/ It is clear that our lack of response on substance of suggestions and refusal of Paris visit have bitten deeply. We have expatiated at some length in earlier cables on political risks GOG is taking and shall not repeat them here. There is no doubt an element of bluff, but with this unstable and egocentric people also a hard core of reality. Noting what Spaak said yesterday to Burgess about our influence,/10/ I doubt if I can do much more here until we can give some reaction on substance of Greek suggestions. If we cannot, and I realize there may be good reasons for this, perhaps the best policy is to push Spaak's Frigidaire Theory.
/9/In telegram 11 from Athens, July 3, Riddleberger reported that the Athens newspaper Eleftheria had published a report that Averoff would meet with Dulles in Paris, and that Averoff had telephoned the Embassy to blame the United States for the leakage of this information. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 358)
/10/In Polto 67, Burgess reported that Spaak had told him that the United States was the only NATO nation which could keep Cyprus discussions on the right course.
245. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Greece
Washington, July 10, 1958, 12:15 p.m.
124. Embtel 54./1/
1. Your understanding Department's position on Cyprus as set forth paragraph 1 reftel/2/ is accurate reflection of our current thinking and short-term objectives and your moderating influence on Greeks is deeply appreciated here.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8 - 758. Secret; Limit Distribution; Noforn. Drafted by Blood and Jones. Repeated to Ankara, London, Paris for USRO, and Nicosia.
/1/In telegram 54 from Athens, July 7, Riddleberger outlined his understanding of U.S. policy toward Cyprus and reported that the Greek Government was slowly adopting a more flexible position on the island's future. (Ibid., 747C.00/7 - 758)
/2/The relevant portion reads: "When I left Washington, I was under impression that partition was not favorably regarded and I assume that attitude has not altered. Therefore we have not pushed partition here but have strived for GOG concessions which would accord guarantees which GOT might eventually accept, while carefully refraining from espousing any specific solution. In this line of action which keeps our flexibility, we have had, it seems to me, at least a partial success in Athens."
2. We are very much aware of difficult position in which you are placed by Averoff's constant pressuring for our comments on substance his proposals. We have strong and we believe overriding reasons for not wishing to comment. We believe greatest hope for Cyprus settlement now lies in discussions based on UK plan under NATO aegis. By giving Averoff our views on substance we will in effect be drawn into bilateral negotiations with Greeks outside NATO context and before NATO discussions have commenced. It may be desirable for us to take position vis-a-vis Greeks and Turks on substance as discussions unfold. We do not believe we should do so before course discussions becomes apparent and certainly not before discussions have commenced.
3. FYI only, our present thinking on substance of Averoff's proposals (Embtel 3730)/3/ runs along following lines:
A. Averoff's first proposal that advisors to Governor be chosen by two communities rather than by two Governments should be useful contribution to discussions. Proposal appears to fit into area of maneuver mentioned Hood - Rountree talk (Deptel 49)/4/ i.e., between Greek desire to avoid giving Turks juridical status on island and Turk desire to avoid excluding partition as eventual solution. Ankara's 35 to Department/5/ indicates GOT would not object such proposal while Foot has hinted (Nicosia 437 to Department)/6/ that such modification might be possible.
/3/See footnote 2, Document 242.
/4/See footnote 3, Document 244.
/5/Telegram 35 from Ankara, July 3, commented on the latest Greek proposals for modifying the British plan and warned that "we must point out that any GOG-USG-HMG triple play such as suggested by Averoff bound to confirm Turkish suspicions, always latent [1 line of source text not declassified] that gang-up against them on Cyprus is brewing. Nothing could be better calculated to vitiate results of efforts exerted by most NATO and other free world ambassadors Ankara to induce Zorlu to see advantageous points in UK plan." (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 758)
/6/Telegram 437 from Nicosia, June 21, reported that Foot hoped to delay implementation of the British plan in order to continue discussions with Makarios. (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 2158)
B. Averoff's second proposal that enosis and partition be excluded from plebiscite choices offers less chance of contributing to discussions. Doubtful whether GOT would agree now to solution which does not to some extent recognize GOT interests in Cyprus and our hope is that this can be achieved in some way short of partition. Those solutions proposed to Turks by British thus far this year (Foot proposals, Turkish base cum self-determination, and current proposals) all offer GOT stake on island either immediately or in future. Turks will be little inclined to surrender apparent gains they have thus achieved. Macmillan's recent Parliamentary reference to Lennox-Boyd 1956 statement/7/ will also make this proposal difficult one for UK to handle. With respect to independence, we believe central point is not Turks' unwillingness to accept major guarantees against enosis but rather Turks' insistence on more than paper guarantees for what they regard to be their legitimate security interests. We fail to see how sanctions against enosis will provide such guarantees.
4. We hope foregoing will be useful to you. You will note it is within context of Topol 4623 as modified/8/ and Deptel 49. End FYI.
/7/Macmillan made this statement on June 26 during a Parliamentary debate on the Cyprus plan. For text, see House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, 5th Series, vol. 590, cols. 727 - 735.
/8/Topol 4623, June 13, transmitted the text of a statement that the Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was to read at the June 16 NAC meeting concerning Cyprus. The text included a statement of general support for British efforts and urged that British proposals be the basis of subsequent discussions. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/6 - 1358) In Polto 4693, June 17, the Department of State outlined its views on procedure for tripartite meetings under NATO auspices. (Ibid., 747C.00/6 - 1658)
246. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, July 10, 1958, 6 p.m.
100. 1. Prime Minister summoned me today just prior his departure for Geneva (where he is going for medical and personal reasons) to make another urgent and fervent plea for immediate US intervention on Cyprus. Describing UK plan as "worst yet and completely unacceptable to GOG" Karamanlis vehemently reviewed all of Greek objections, described his increasing internal political difficulties, reiterated Greece was being "abandoned and humiliated" by its friends and allies and predicted flatly he could not much longer hold line here and would therefore be compelled to adopt more intransigent position shortly. He declared his reply to Macmillan keeping door open for further talks had to be "jammed down throat" of Cabinet. He continued that latest Macmillan letter/1/ following Averoff suggestions to UK Ambassador/2/ had merely referred to Prime Minister's declaration in House of Commons and he thought this was clear evidence that UK and Turkey had connived to bring about situation wherein Greece, abandoned by US, would be forced to accept Cyprus solution dictated by Turkey. GOG had gone very far in concessions contained in Averoff suggestions in hope that US would utilize them by taking initiative for settlement, particularly in view of hope for progress we had earlier expressed. He was doubly disappointed at our lack of reaction and asked me to impress upon USG absolute necessity of taking urgent action. He hoped I would be able to give him some reply to GOG suggestions within week as situation was steadily deteriorating in Greece and if nothing were done he would be compelled to change his attitude. There was much more in same tenor, but as it has been previously reported, I do not repeat it here.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 1058. Secret; Limit Distribution. Received at 4:18 a.m. on July 11. Repeated to London, Ankara, Paris for USRO, and Nicosia.
/1/In his letter to Karamanlis, Macmillan pressed for immediate and realistic negotiations on the basis of existing situations and proposed to meet with Karamanlis as soon as possible. A copy of the letter is ibid., 747C.00/7 - 858.
/2/See footnote 2, Document 242.
2. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] I told Prime Minister I could not follow his reasoning. I reminded him GOG had raised Cyprus in NATO,/3/ had declared it might have to withdraw from alliance if certain events came to pass and that Spaak had offered certain suggestions for procedure./4/ I reminded him Averoff suggestions had not yet been considered but I had informed Foreign Minister of our hope his suggestions would provide impetus for constructive discussions./5/ We had furthermore indicated our willingness to participate in advisory committee if Spaak and others so wish./6/ I said these matters were now under consideration in Paris and we hoped Averoff would see Spaak in near future. This I thought could hardly be construed as abandoning Greece or refusing to consider its suggestions. I said that as Greece was opposed to tripartite meeting we had to find some forum for discussion of Greek suggestions and this seemed best procedure. In reply Prime Minister admitted there might be some virtue in this proposed procedure but that as practical matter it would mean little until US was prepared to indicate its position on substance. At this point his wife reminded him for third time he must go to airport and he concluded with another urgent plea for reply from US.
3. Because of atmospheric conditions we have not yet received number of telegrams and therefore not certain I am up to date on exact situation today.
/3/On June 10; see footnote 4, Document 208.
/4/Spaak's suggestions are summarized in Document 231.
/5/See Document 242, and footnote 2, Document 244.
/6/The U.S. position was outlined in Document 233.
247. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State
Ankara, July 15, 1958, 3 p.m.
187. Paris for USRO, West and Thurston. During conversation with Foreign Minister Zorlu evening July 14 on Lebanon, reported separately,/1/ he broached Cyprus.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 1558. Secret. Repeated to Athens, London, Paris for USRO, and Nicosia.
/1/Telegram 183 from Ankara, July 15. (Ibid.)
He referred bad news from island, and said two communities were close to civil war. Asserted he had repeatedly told HMG this unfortunate moment make such declarations as those made Commons June 19, and GOT begged HMG not to do so. He bluntly accused HMG of following perfidious policy of "divide and rule". He accused Governor Foot of releasing Greeks from confinement in order show Turk Cypriots they cannot live without protection UK, and vice versa. He denied that single bomb, gun had reached Turk community Cyprus from Turkey.
Asked about fiery Ankara radio broadcasts to Cyprus, he rejoined these did not specifically incite Turk populace Cyprus indulge in killings and terrorism, as did EOKA.
With respect Foot plan for mutual cooperation between leaders Turk and Greek Cypriot communities and UK colonial government in order establish security,/2/ he refused to be committed whether or not GOT specifically supported such proposals, merely indicating that Mayor Tervis was not power behind Greek Cypriot community but rather Grivas, Greek Government and Makarios.
[1 paragraph (4 lines of source text) not declassified]
/2/See footnote 1, Document 170.
248. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, July 15, 1958, 6 p.m.
137. Embtel 120./1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 1558. Secret; Limit Distribution. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Ankara, and Nicosia.
/1/Telegram 120 from Athens, July 13, reported that important differences over Cyprus appeared to exist between Averoff and Karamanlis and that Riddleberger was seeking clarification on the Greek Government's position. (Ibid., 747C.00/7 - 1358)
1. Karamanlis returned yesterday afternoon/2/ and last night Averoff conveyed to me, after consultation with Prime Minister, GOG position on Cyprus procedure. He explained that because of political situation here GOG could not agree to NATO intervention nor allow any impression to be created of NATO arbitration. This in effect would exclude any advisory committee procedure unless and until broad outlines of settlement were already agreed after which NATO could confer its blessing. This GOG decision did not however exclude informal discussions with Spaak as previously outlined (Embtel 50 paragraph 2)./3/ Foreign Minister said he could be bold on substance but must be cautious on procedure. He then asked me if I had any reaction from Washington to his suggestions.
/2/From a July 10 - 14 personal visit to Geneva.
2. In reply I confirmed what I had said to Prime Minister on July 10 (Embtel 100 paragraph 2)/4/ and said this could be taken as our answer. In addition, I said Foreign Minister should not overlook another important aspect in pressing us for replies on substance and that was attitude of Makarios. USG had to date no indication that Averoff suggestions would be acceptable to Archbishop even if we were in position to comment on substance. Foreign Minister replied he was 90 percent sure Makarios would accept.
3. In face of Greek rejection of advisory committee, I asked Foreign Minister how he thought Greek suggestions should be pursued. He affirmed Melas - Spaak informal conversations and if these showed any promise negotiations could be pursued through diplomatic channels. I pointed out this would first involve talks between Greek and UK Governments. Averoff agreed and expressed hope that the US would intervene directly with UK to support his suggestions.
4. Bearing in mind paragraph 2 of Deptel 124,/5/ I made no comment on this idea nor did I press again for advisory committee, particularly in view of London's 138 to Department./6/ It may well be that we should encourage direct GOG - UK talks at this time and I did not want to discourage this by continuing to argue case for advisory committee.
/6/In telegram 138 from London, July 9, Whitney advised that the United States would have to take a position on the substance of the Cyprus problem but recommended that it first get talks on Cyprus underway among the three interested parties. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 958)
249. Editorial Note
On July 16, NATO Secretary General Paul-Henri Spaak met with representatives of the Greek, Turkish, and British Governments in Paris for discussions on Cyprus. Spaak proposed and the three interested parties agreed to five basic principles for the discussion: 1) a final solution was not possible at present; 2) they should work for a provisional solution; 3) the provisional solution should not facilitate any particular final solution; 4) the provisional solution should increase Cypriot self-government; and 5) the settlement must include absolute safeguards for the Turkish minority. Whitney reported on these discussions in telegram 543 from London, July 21. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 2158)
On July 25, Secretary General Spaak met with the Greek, Turk and British Representatives to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for further discussions. Spaak presented a paper for discussion outlining his five principles for a settlement. After debate on the paper, Spaak agreed to redraft it to meet the objections and criticisms raised. Polto 356, July 25, reported on the discussions. (Ibid., 747C.00/7 - 2558) Text of the Spaak paper was sent to the Department of State in Polto 352, July 25. (Ibid.)
250. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State
Paris, July 28, 1958, 6 p.m.
373. From Thurston./1/ At Averoff's request I saw him on July 24 and 25 and have passed on substance of our conversations to Ambassadors Burgess and Nolting. Latter suggested I make separate report on Cyprus aspects as supplement to information reported Poltos 356 and 361./2/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 2858. Secret; Priority; Noforn. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, London, and Nicosia.
/1/Raymond L. Thurston, Counselor at Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers, Europe.
/2/Regarding Polto 356, July 25, see Document 249. In Polto 361, July 26, Burgess reported Spaak's analysis of the progress of the talks. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/7 - 2658)
First conversation took place before Averoff had seen Spaak. He said he was going to try to get Spaak interested in his suggestions for revision of UK plan along line he had taken with Ambassador Riddleberger. When reminded that Spaak was taking different approach which would call for provisional arrangement not prejudicial to any given final solution, Averoff said he was willing have a try in spirit Spaak formula but was very doubtful that it was practicably workable. He asked how could Greeks and Turks ever agree on provisional regime when both would look at every word and comma to see whether they were weighted in direction either Enosis or partition. Averoff also indicated concern about possible outcome of any NATO consideration Cyprus problem since if NAC should come up with recommendations for a solution having an unfavorable appearance from the Greek viewpoint, then the future of NATO in Greece would be very dubious indeed. On other hand, if through quiet efforts Spaak or any other means solid ground could be reached for settlement, then GOG would be delighted see NATO label put on settlement. In any event, Averoff emphasized, Spaak effort must move fast since GOG under compulsion of August 16 deadline for inscription Cyprus item UNGA agenda./3/
/3/The 13th Session of the U.N. General Assembly was scheduled to begin on September 16 in New York. The Greek request that Cyprus be on the General Assembly's agenda was made on August 15.
At time our second conversation Averoff had seen Spaak and had received from him (as well as Melas) account of second luncheon mentioned Polto 356. Averoff and Seferiades, Greek Ambassador London, who also present, were both amused Sarper's statement he had not shown Spaak paper to his government. They referred to presence Zorlu Paris and to unlikelihood that any Ambassador would withhold such a document from his government. Only two points of substance at luncheon, according Averoff, were (1) reiterations by Sarper of desirability equal representation Greek and Turkish communities Cyprus on Governor's council, and (2) statement by Spaak that he would draft another paper and that he was wondering in that connection whether he should not bring into the picture either the full NAC or the twelve members thereof who were not direct parties to Cyprus issue.
In his account of conversation he had with Spaak after the luncheon Averoff said he had stressed the advantages of his two-point revision of the UK plans. Spaak's reaction, Averoff said, was not unfavorable. Spaak indicated to Averoff he was thinking of action along two lines (1) whether it would not be possible to associate Turkish financial exigencies/4/ with a satisfactory Cyprus settlement and (2) whether he could get the twelve non-involved members of NAC to agree to a statement of principles which should govern a Cyprus solution, one guiding principle being the natural desire of peoples for independence; the other, full guarantees for the religious, cultural, and educational rights of minorities.
/4/The Turkish Government had requested a stabilization loan from the International Monetary Fund to deal with rising inflation.
From this springboard Averoff and Seferiades argued for independence either within or without the British Commonwealth as the best all around solution for Cyprus. Averoff said that he would be willing to subscribe to a guaranty that for 25 years the Cypriots would stay within the Commonwealth. Seferiades opined that this would have the support of the British in both the Conservative and Labor camps. At this point I asked Averoff why he seemed to exclude partition entirely from the list of solutions and referred to conversations we had had two years ago on this subject./5/ He replied that it was not a matter of the Greek Government itself refusing to consider partition but rather that it was absolutely impossible to get any support for his idea from the Greek Cypriots themselves. He then smilingly added that under these circumstances he could have no objection to the inclusion of partition as one of the alternatives in any Cyprus plebiscite.
Informal memorandum being transmitted on other subjects of interest covered in conversations with Averoff./6/
/5/Reference is to the August 18, 1956, Greek proposals for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
251. Message From Foreign Secretary Lloyd to Secretary of State Dulles
London, August 1, 1958.
You will be wondering whether we made any progress with Cyprus while Menderes was here./1/ There was of course the matter of the appeal for an end to violence about which we told the press at once./2/ Beyond this we agreed that there should be no official discussions about the British plan until Harold can meet Karamanlis and Menderes as he has all along hoped to do.
//Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Top Secret. Enclosure to a letter from Hood to Dulles, August 1.
/1/July 28 - 30. For Macmillan's account, see Riding the Storm, pp. 672 - 674.
/2/Macmillan appealed for peace on Cyprus on July 31; Karamanlis made a similar appeal on July 30 and Menderes on August 1.
It looks as if the Turks will now accept our plan provided that the Government representatives are not eliminated. I know the objections to this feature but it really does not change in substance the present situation. There is in fact though not de jure a Turkish presence in the Island already. Recent events have proved this beyond doubt.
As against this I think we shall hear no more from the Turks about the base/3/ or about immediate partition. They will at least acquiesce in the plan provided that it remains substantially unaltered.
This being the Turkish position--a considerable advance when one remembers that they rioted against the plan at the outset--Harold is very anxious to have a shot at the Greeks. He will now probably have to wait until something definite emerges about the Security Council meeting. He will offer to go to Athens first or--if Karamanlis prefers-- to meet him in Geneva or Paris. But he will go to Ankara whether Karamanlis agrees to meet him or not./4/
/3/Reference is to earlier Turkish demands for three bases on Cyprus.
/4/Printed from an unsigned copy.
252. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, August 4, 1958, 7 p.m.
365. 1. In conversation with King at Tatoi he expressed anxiety over failure to make any progress toward Cyprus solution and told me he found Karamanlis discouraged and embittered over Turkish package aid with no apparent attempt on our part to influence GOT./1/ I explained it as best I could in light of facts I had, admittedly somewhat meager as to economic justification. In his customary calm and moderate way, King asked me to express to Secretary his hope that Averoff suggestions be given serious consideration. He was certain GOG could deal with Makarios on this basis if it were possible to move GOT in this direction. I in turn urged King to influence Prime Minister to exercise patience and pursue Spaak talks, recalling how long it had taken to find acceptable solutions to other post-war territorial problems. King did not disagree but remarked that continued violence on Cyprus was added complication. He himself was of opinion we should at least have made an effort with Turks before pushing package aid deal.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8 - 458. Secret; Limit Distribution. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Ankara, and Nicosia.
/1/On August 4, the U.S. Government, the International Monetary Fund, and the OEEC announced a $359 million stabilization loan program for Turkey. The United States provided $234 million of the loan.
2. Have learned indirectly that announcement of US aid figures for Turkey prior to action on appropriations is being contrasted unfavorably within GOG with our reply to its aid requests.
253. Editorial Note
Prime Minister Harold Macmillan visited Athens August 7 - 9 for talks with Karamanlis and Averoff on the future of Cyprus. Macmillan then flew to Ankara where he met with Menderes and Zorlu on August 9 and 10 for further discussions on Cyprus. On August 11, Macmillan flew to Cyprus to meet with British administrators and representatives of the Greek and Turkish communities. For the Prime Minister's account of these meetings, see Riding the Storm, pages 674 - 683.
254. Memorandum of Conversation
Athens, August 9, 1958.
Middle East and Cyprus
Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis Foreign Minister Evangelos Averoff Alexis Liatis, Greek Foreign Office Dimitri Bitsios, Greek Foreign Office Deputy Under Secretary Robert Murphy/1/ Ambassador Riddleberger Minister-Counselor Penfield Counselor Horner
//Source: Department of State, NEA/GTI Files: Lot 61 D 249, Enosis-- August. Secret. Drafted by Horner. The meeting was held at Prime Minister Karamanlis' residence.
/1/Murphy stopped at Athens during his return from Lebanon where he had been acting as a special emissary for the President.
The conversation, which lasted about three hours, was conducted principally in English, with Mr. Liatis occasionally serving as interpreter for the Prime Minister. The atmosphere was a relaxed and friendly one.
Mr. Murphy began by giving a general description of his recent trip to the Middle East, his impressions of the root causes of such events as the Iraqi coup d'etat and the Anglo-American troop landings in The Lebanon and Jordan and the present and anticipated future attitude of UAR Prime Minister Nasser towards these events. There were frequent questions from the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, and they interjected views of their own on lines which are generally familiar. They seemed to take a more understanding attitude towards US landings in The Lebanon than they have recently evinced to Ambassador Riddleberger, although they made the point (with which Mr. Murphy emphatically agreed) that military actions cannot be a substitute for political agreements and activities. The Prime Minister and Mr. Liatis seemed particularly interested in Mr. Murphy's concept of the extent of Soviet and UAR interference in Jordan, Iraq and The Lebanon. The importance of the Orthodox Church in the Middle East was emphasized by the Foreign Minister, who stressed the need for action to prevent the Soviets from infiltrating the church.
The subject of Cyprus came up somewhat after halfway through the conversation. While the Prime Minister opened the discussion of this topic by saying he had not really meant to talk on Cyprus, the presence of Mr. Bitsios, who is the Foreign Office expert on the subject, seemed to belie his words. Both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, speaking alternatively, expressed the view that the recent Macmillan visit,/2/ while it had resulted in no notable progress on the substance, possibly was useful in permitting a calm discussion of the positions of the respective governments. The Greek leaders spoke of the Cyprus problem in terms with which the Department is familiar; they were pessimistic but not overly emotional. They thought the GOG had made the ultimate concession, namely, it had agreed to shelve self-determination, and now wanted only a greater measure of self-government, within or outside the Commonwealth. Turkish intransigence was due, they thought, to their knowledge that they had the support of the European members of NATO, while the United States was neutral or even tending to support the Turkish thesis. The internal effects in Greece were described as being ominous: Mr. Averoff particularly felt that a good chance of the ERE government losing its majority through defections of deputies was in the cards, while the emotional response of the people was becoming more and more unfortunate from the viewpoint of the Atlantic Alliance. Mr. Averoff said that even in the present cabinet the Prime Minister was having difficulty in maintaining a conciliatory position; he had had to work hard to secure cabinet agreement on the moderate reply made by the GOG to the latest British plan. If the Government were to fall (and this could only be brought about because of the Cyprus issue), whatever followed would be less conciliatory; the opposition is waiting eagerly to attack the Government.
/2/August 7 - 9.
Mr. Karamanlis, towards the end of the meeting, had a message from the Minister to the Prime Minister, Tsatsos, that Macmillan had given full details of the Anglo-Greek talks to British correspondents;/3/ this was now known to Greek correspondents, who were besieging the GOG for news. Mr. Karamanlis suggested that Mr. Macmillan had committed a breach of faith, since it had been agreed that both Governments were to be quite noncommittal.
/3/Macmillan held a background briefing for the press immediately prior to his departure from Athens.
255. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State
New York, August 14, 1958.
Secto 6. Foreign Secretary Lloyd handed Secretary today following message:/1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8 - 1458. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Repeated to London, Ankara, and Athens.
/1/Lloyd handed this message to Dulles during a meeting in his suite at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, where they were attending an emergency session of the U.N. General Assembly on the Middle East (August 13 - 20). Lloyd informed Dulles that the British Government would make an announcement on Cyprus on August 15. The original of Lloyd's letter is ibid., Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204.
"August 14, 1958
My Dear Foster,
Harold's talks with the Greeks and Turks on Cyprus/2/ have given us a very clear picture on their views. As I told you/3/ we concluded after Menderes' visit to London that the Turks were prepared to go along with our plan. This was confirmed in Ankara last week. The Greek Government, however, made it clear to Harold that they still did not feel able to accept it as it stood mainly because they thought it would increase the Turkish Government's right to a say in the affairs of Cyprus. We have tried to convince them that the Turkish interest is already there and cannot be ignored.
/2/August 7 - 13.
/3/See Document 251.
Since Harold's return Ministers have looked at the whole problem again and have decided to make certain modifications in the way we shall put the plan into effect. We have designed these modifications to make the plan more acceptable to the Greeks without causing the Turks to run out. I am enclosing for your personal information the text of a statement which will be communicated to the Greeks and Turks later today and issued in London on August 15./4/ You will see that we have dropped for the moment the idea of dual nationality to which the Greeks objected and we have held out a hope of some single representative institution which they wanted. As for the government representatives to which both sides attach so much importance in different ways, we have changed their status so that they shall not sit on the Governor's Council: the Turks clearly would not agree to drop a government representative altogether but this is certainly a much less obtrusive form of Turkish presence in the island than anything like a Turkish base.
/4/Not printed. For text, see RIIA, Documents on International Affairs, 1958, pp. 383 - 385.
At the same time we have made an addition to the plan by providing for the possibility of separate municipal councils although these would only deal with communal affairs and are thus consistent with the idea of communal autonomy.
Harold is writing to Menderes and Karamanlis to commend these new arrangements to them. We also propose to tell Spaak and the North Atlantic Council before the statement is issued. We hope we can count on Turkish support and although the Greek position is much more doubtful we think there is just a chance that they will give their more or less grudging acquiescence. There may well be a sharp outburst from the Archbishop and EOKA/5/ but that seems to be in the cards anyhow. But we hope to persuade all concerned that we have done our best and that it is now imperative to make progress on these lines peacefully and without renewed violence. I feel sure we can count on your using all your influence in this direction.
Yours ever, Selwyn"
[Here follows the text of the August 15 statement.]
/5/Archbishop Makarios publicly rejected the British plan on August 16.
256. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Greece
Washington, August 27, 1958, 7:53 p.m.
679. Following is current Department estimate of remaining gap between positions GOG and HMG on Cyprus and proposed steps which might be taken to help bridge this gap. Before discussing these with HMG Dept would welcome views all addressee posts but desires particularly Embassy Athens judgment as to whether attitude of GOG and Makarios would warrant such approach at this time.
1. It appears UK statement of Aug 15/1/ may have appreciably narrowed margin of disagreement between GOG and HMG on essential elements of provisional arrangement for Cyprus. Relatively moderate tone of Karamanlis reply to Macmillan,/2/ reported mixed feelings of Greek Cypriot leaders about modified UK plan (see Nicosia 102 rptd London as 73),/3/ and conciliatory views informally expressed by members Greek Embassy here (not including Ambassador),/4/ have encouraged us to hope gap might be bridged by treating problem as one of interpretation.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8 - 1658. Secret. Drafted by Blood. Repeated to London, Ankara, Paris for USRO, and Nicosia.
/1/See footnote 4, Document 255.
/2/For text of Karamanlis' August 19 letter to Macmillan, see RIIA, Documents on International Affairs, 1958, pp. 385 - 387.
/3/Telegram 102 from Nicosia, August 16, reported that Cypriots generally opposed outright rejection of the August 15 British proposals. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8 - 1658)
/4/On August 18, Ambassador George V. Melas announced he had resigned in protest over U.S. efforts to promote a Cyprus settlement based on British proposals.
2. We continue to doubt feasibility of carrying out plan without cooperation of overwhelming majority of Cypriot people. We believe Greek Cypriot cooperation might be obtained and necessary delicate equilibrium between Greeks and Turks achieved if additional minor concessions are made to Greeks.
3. We see Makarios more than GOG as key to Greek cooperation in carrying out plan. Assuming self-interest of Cypriots now lies in direction of holding their own through provisional arrangement, there may be chance Makarios may cooperate in plan if he is offered graceful way out. Certainly we believe chance is worth taking.
4. It seems desirable to have single assembly established and role of Greek and Turkish Governments minimized as far as possible. Our support of modified plan has been given on understanding that institutions of self-government will be established in such a way as not to prejudice any particular final solution and that there will be opportunity for these institutions to become truly representative of desires of Cypriot people.
5. Given this estimate of gap, Dept has in mind proposing that Embassy London discuss with Fonoff next steps re Cyprus in above context and offer to Fonoff following specific suggestions:
(a) If UK thinks it worthwhile, US Ambassador Athens would be instructed ask GOG if it would be willing go along with UK plan provided UK (1) clarified role of GOG and GOT representatives, pointing out that they would be advisors to Governor, principally with regard protection and welfare of two ethnic communities, and would not participate in administration of island, and (2) promised that single assembly would be established as soon as both communal assemblies were functioning. Such UK interpretive statement could be made in various ways; one might be form of another letter from Foot to Makarios. We note in Nicosia 114/5/ that Foot is thinking along somewhat similar lines re timing of establishing single assembly.
/5/See footnote 4, Document 257.
(b) If GOG is receptive, Ambassador Riddleberger would then with knowledge GOG talk with Makarios along same lines. If Makarios is willing to give assurances that he would cooperate in implementation of modified plan, Ambassador would offer to relay suggestion of such interpretive statement to UK.
6. In approaching GOG and Makarios we would couple suggestion to reaffirmation of US support for modified UK plan. We would of course be careful to disabuse Greeks of notion that our offer to be of help on specified course of action above constitutes general offer of mediation.
FYI. If British did not accept suggestion of interpretive statement, they may at least come up with some alternative proposals for bending their plan slightly more in direction of Greeks and thus facilitate chances of Greek acquiescence. British may be unwilling make any clarifying statement regarding plan without first checking with Turks. We would of course await British reaction before taking any action. End FYI./6/
For USRO: You would be authorized later to inform Spaak of above at time we initiate approaches suggested.
/6/In telegram 1209 from London, August 28, Whitney replied that he felt the British Government would generally welcome U.S. suggestions as long as Great Britain's leading role in a Cyprus settlement was recognized. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8 - 2858)
257. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, August 29, 1958, 6 p.m.
588. Deptel 679./1/ Agree general line Department thinking as summarized reference telegram. We particularly agree with Department's thinking that it not feasible to carry out British plan without cooperation Greek Cypriots and GOG. Sentiment here against plan as now envisaged continues to harden and will be further encouraged by Makarios press statement yesterday/2/ in which he flatly rejected plan, indicated his almost complete alienation from Britain, and suggested his intention to press for UN intervention. We have feeling, however, that it would be more practical in light current situation here (as well, perhaps [garble] as for Turks) and more productive over long term, if plan and proposed actions could if possible be kept even more fuzzy than outlined reference telegram. [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] At same time much can be accomplished with them through patient discussion. Macmillan's recent operation/3/ was apparently based on partial recognition this situation but he was not sufficiently frank with Greeks and was too specific in his August 15 statement. Nevertheless situation has been left sufficiently flexible to warrant hope that progress can be made along lines Department suggests provided ambiguity and vagueness can be maintained and sufficient flexibility be preserved so that successive steps can be decided upon as events develop. Evidence our willingness play more active role would in itself have important influence on Greek attitude, and, incidentally, should improve overall US relations with GOG.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8 - 2958. Secret. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Ankara, and Nicosia.
/2/Presumably a reference to an August 27 letter from Makarios to Macmillan which was released to the press; for text, see RIIA, Documents on International Affairs, 1958, pp. 387 - 388.
/3/Reference is to Macmillan's August 7 - 13 trip to Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus.
To illustrate our thinking we offer following comments on two of currently most important factors:
1. Makarios. We agree on his importance but still believe, as we have for some months, that he can most easily be handled by allowing his return Cyprus [1 line of source text not declassified] where he will be exposed to direct Greek Cypriot pressures, as well as Foot influence. Greek public and governmental opinion, which has been smarting under belief that British plan heavily weighted to favor Turks, also would be beneficially affected by Makarios' return in early future and prior any concrete British steps in implementation of plan. Nicosia telegram to Department 114/4/ offers hope of progress along this line.
/4/Telegram 114 from Nicosia, August 26, reported that Foot proposed to hold out to Makarios the hope for a quick return to Cyprus in return for the Archbishop's aid in keeping political violence suppressed. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/8 - 2658)
2. Government representatives. Britain might make separate "[garble-- clarifying ?] statement" on this subject, perhaps only at Turk spokesman level, to effect that contemplated functions government representatives really within traditional competence ConGens and that therefore if special representatives not appointed Governor will feel free to call upon ConGens for advice and counsel he desires. It might be added that he would naturally expect ConGens to make such arrangements as they felt appropriate for informing themselves of opinions and desires of their respective ethnic communities. We would hope Greeks could be persuaded not to react definitively against some such formula.
258. Message From Foreign Secretary Lloyd to Secretary of State Dulles
London, September 13, 1958.
DEAR FOSTER: On my return to London and before we meet in New York,/1/ I should like to let you have this account of our present thinking on Cyprus.
//Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Secret. Enclosure to a letter from Caccia to Dulles, September 13.
/1/Lloyd returned to London after the August 13 - 20 emergency session of the U.N. General Assembly on the Middle East. He returned for the 13th General Assembly session September 13 - December 13.
We have had useful discussions with the Governor of Cyprus since his return to London last Friday/2/ and in the light of them we have reviewed the whole position and taken some decisions. We have decided to go ahead with carrying out the plan as announced on June 19 and August 15 insofar as that is possible with Turkish cooperation/3/ and with the refusal of the Greek Government and Makarios to cooperate. There will be no further modifications of the policy as announced, and no further public statement for the time being. The first step in carrying out the policy will be the appointment by the Governor of a Municipal Commission to consider the question of the establishment of separate municipalities. The next will be the installation of the Turkish Government representative. Thereafter electoral rolls will be drawn up, and it may be possible to hold elections for the Turkish Cypriot Assembly early next year. This time-table will not be announced in advance, but each move will be revealed progressively as the time comes for the Governor to take action at each stage. We are well aware that the progressive carrying out of the policy on these lines even if it is done unobtrusively and without prior announcement contains the risk of precipitating a major outbreak of violence on the part of the Greek Cypriots. Our hope is that once the safeguards for Turkish interests provided for in the policy are successfully established, the Greek Cypriots may come to accept this position of fact and see that it is in their own interest to accept or at least to acquiesce in the remaining parts of the plan, which gives them not only virtual self-government in their own affairs but also a permanent built-in majority in the only all-Cypriot organ.
/3/On August 25, the Turkish Government announced its agreement to the British proposals of August 15.
Before reaching these decisions we considered most carefully whether we should try to modify the plan still further in the interests of the Greek Government and the Greek Cypriots. It seemed to us that to introduce any further modifications of substance would run a grave risk of losing the cooperation promised by the Turkish Government after the August 15 statement. On the other hand, it seemed doubtful whether it would be possible to go far enough to secure the Greek Government's cooperation without sacrificing the essential nature of the policy as announced. The Greek Government have indicated that they would be able now to accept something like the Radcliffe Constitution,/4/ but they have given no indication that they could accept the Radcliffe Constitution plus the Colonial Secretary's declaration on self- determination of December 19, 1956, which was an essential part of that plan.
/4/Reference is to Karamanlis' August 19 letter to Macmillan; see footnote 2, Document 256.
We have also been considering the question of the return of Makarios in relation to the carrying out of the policy, but have not yet reached firm decisions. I will of course keep you informed as things develop.
At the United Nations we shall aim to be unprovocative. We shall no doubt wish to make a firm statement explaining our policy, and to show that is the only available way at present of making political prog-ress while allowing passions to cool before a final settlement is sought. We shall be discussing tactics with your people as soon as our ideas are a little further advanced. Your support for our policy has been a great encouragement so far; it will be invaluable to us in New York.
/5/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
259. Memorandum of Conversation
USDel/MC/25 New York, September 19, 1958, 3 p.m.
UNITED STATES DELEGATION TO THE THIRTEENTH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
New York, September 14 - 20, 1958
US The Secretary William M. Rountree
Turkey Foreign Minister Zorlu Mr. Kural, Turkish Delegation to the UN
Mr. Zorlu began by thanking the Secretary for the hospitality and cooperation extended to Finance Minister Polatkan during the latter's visit to Washington./1/ He said the GOT was most appreciative of the help which it has received from the US.
//Source: Department of State, Secretary's Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. Secret. Drafted by Rountree on September 23. The meeting was held in Secretary Dulles' suite at the Waldorf Towers.
/1/Polatkan visited Washington September 10 - 13.
Mr. Zorlu mentioned that he had been discussing Cyprus with Mr. Rountree./2/ The Secretary expressed the hope that the GOT would find it possible to designate the Turkish Consul General in Nicosia as its representative in connection with the British plan when the latter was implemented. He felt that there was in fact considerable substance to the Greek Government's concern that implementation of the plan might bring about grave consequences, and thought that brought upon all of us the responsibility to do everything possible to reduce the danger. We should not dismiss as a mere threat the possibility that an apparent defeat of the present Greek Government in connection with Cyprus might bring about a change in the pro-Western orientation of that country.
/2/Rountree met with Zorlu shortly after Zorlu arrived in New York on the morning of September 19. They discussed the possibility of nominating the Turkish Consul General in Nicosia as the Turk representative to the British Governor. A summary of their discussion was reported in circular telegram 301, September 20. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9 - 2058)
Mr. Zorlu said that the British plan did not represent a victory for Turks. Indeed, the Turkish Government was making a sacrifice in going along with it. The opposition was strongly criticizing the Government for its weakness in connection with Cyprus. He did not believe the Greeks would continue to reject the plan, but thought they would gradually be brought to cooperate. The Greeks could not leave NATO. They were merely bluffing in threatening to do so. It was necessary to show the Greeks that there was no possibility of gaining added advantages through these tactics. He said that, apart from psychological and political aspects, the Turkish Consul General was not qualified for this type of responsibility. In the first place, he knew no foreign language and in the second place he had no political experience. In any event, however, Mr. Zorlu did not think the position of the Turkish representative should be "diminished" since that aspect was the only advantage to the Turks of the British plan. He said that he had, however, transmitted this suggestion to his Government. He said that frankly he was opposed to it, but that perhaps the Government would feel otherwise.
[Here follows discussion of the Baghdad Pact.]
260. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, September 20, 1958, 1 p.m.
789. Re Embtel 788./1/ Prime Minister has just handed me following message for President from King with request it be transmitted urgently. He accompanied this by another appeal for our intervention to effect postponement of UK plan on Cyprus:
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9 - 2058. Confidential; Niact; Presidential Handling.
"I have already had the opportunity of stating to you, Mr. President, Greece's position on the question of Cyprus.
For four years the people of Greece, in spite of its bitter feelings created by the lack of understanding from its allies has shown moderation and has remained faithful to its alliances.
For the sake of these alliances Greece has also made concessions which could have led to a friendly and prompt solution of the Cyprus problem.
However, the British Government insists upon the application of their plan, which complicates instead of solving the question and which my government has rejected for precisely this reason.
The impending unilateral application of this plan will aggravate the situation in Cyprus and will have dangerous repercussions not only on the internal conditions but also on the international relations of Greece.
Having these dangers in mind, I wish to request of you, Mr. President, that you exercise all your influence in view of averting them."/2/
[Here follows the remainder of the telegram.]
/2/At 10:50 a.m. on September 22, Eisenhower (who was in Newport) called Dulles to discuss King Paul's letter: "He feels we should let the British Amb know he has appealed and also in urging another reason for postponement by the British one might say the old saying--don't make any mistakes in a hurry. Once it's done, it's done." (Memorandum of telephone conversation; Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, White House Telephone Conversations)
Dulles met with Caccia at 3:45 that afternoon and relayed the President's suggestions as follows: "I told Sir Harold of the President's reaction to his letter from the King of Greece; namely, that a postponement might be wise. I said that this was in no sense a final or firm position, being a reaction taken by the President at Newport without any general briefing on the situation. However, I said that it was our opinion in the State Department that if the plan went forward, the probability was that the Greeks would terminate their cooperation under the NATO treaty. Also I mentioned the danger that the Turkish representative on Cyprus might well be assassinated and that this could start up a chain of trouble." Dulles requested that Eisenhower's views be reported to Macmillan. (Memorandum of conversation; Department of State, Secretary's Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199)
261. Editorial Note
On September 20, Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis informed NATO Secretary General Paul-Henri Spaak that the British Government's determination to implement its Cyprus plan would undermine Greece's position in NATO. Spaak conferred with Karamanlis in Athens on September 23 and returned to Paris on September 24 to present a new series of proposals on Cyprus to the North Atlantic Council. He requested a postponement of the October 1 date for the implementation of the British plan for Cyprus and proposed a meeting of representatives of the United Kingdom, Greece, Turkey, and the Cypriot communities under NATO auspices.
Spaak also offered a set of proposals as the basis for further negotiations: the creation of separate assemblies for each of the Cypriot communities, a single unified assembly body to deal with questions of interest to both communities, and the appointment of the heads of the two communities as advisers to the British Governor. At a September 25 NAC meeting, the Greek Government accepted the Spaak proposals but the Turkish Government angrily rejected them, accusing Spaak of favoring the Greek position. Documentation on the Spaak proposals is in Department of State, NEA/GTI Files: Lot 61 D 249, Position Papers. Spaak's version of the these events is in Combats Inacheves, volume II, pages 147 - 150.
262. Message From Prime Minister Macmillan to President Eisenhower
London, September 24, 1958.
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, International Series. Secret. Enclosure to a letter from Caccia to Eisenhower, September 24.
DEAR FRIEND: I know you have many worries at present and you will know how much I am thinking of you. I wish sincerely that the problem of Cyprus was not one of them. It of course concerns us very deeply. We have, as you know, striven for a long time to reach agreement with the people of the Island and with the Greeks and Turks. It has unfortunately been made absolutely clear that we cannot find an agreed final solution at present. Before that can happen violence in Cyprus must cease and all concerned must have a breathing space. During that breathing space we must try to make progress with representative Government while safeguarding the rights of all parties. That is the basis of the policy which I announced in June and, as was made clear after my visits to Ankara and Athens in August, we still feel that in its broad lines it is the only possible course at present. We intend to put it into effect as far as we can step by step and quietly. The Turks have accepted it and with Turkey's key position that is of great importance. We hope that as the plan goes forward the Greek Cypriots will also realise the value to them of going along with it. It is quite unreal for them to object to the presence of a Turkish representative. Turkey's interest cannot be denied and this single man will be there to represent that interest directly instead of leaving the Turkish Government to make representations through diplomatic channels. There is no comparison here with the implications of partition of the Island or even of installing a Turkish base there.
I am sure you will agree that we cannot abandon what we have already secured, withdraw our offer which the Turks have accepted in good faith and throw everything back into confusion again. I am sure too that the implementation of our plan would be the wish of the vast majority of Cypriots if they could freely express their feelings.
Meanwhile I am grateful to you for having suggested that the Turks should try to ease the Greek position by appointing as their representative the existing Consul-General./1/ I very much hope that they will agree to this. Of course the Greek Government have worked themselves up into a great emotion against the plan although I made many important concessions to their point of view after seeing them in August. I fear the truth is that they are not strong enough to accept any policy. The only hope is that in due course they will acquiesce. After all the plan does offer the Greek Cypriot population a permanent built-in majority in the local administration if they are willing to accept it. I am sorry to bother you but thought I ought to let you know my thoughts over this question with which you have been so helpful.
/1/Burhan Isin. His appointment as representative and adviser to the British Governor of Cyprus was announced on September 29.
/2/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
263. Memorandum of Conversation
MC - 19 New York, September 26, 1958, 10 a.m.
SECRETARY'S TRIP TO NEW YORK
US The Secretary Mr. J. N. Greene, Jr. Mr. William M. Rountree
UK Mr. Selwyn Lloyd Sir Pierson Dixon Sir Harold Caccia Mr. Anthony Moore Mr. Denis Laskey
Following is a summary of the portion of the Secretary's meeting dealing with Cyprus:
Mr. Lloyd said he was deeply grateful for the support which we had given the British in connection with Cyprus. He would greatly appreciate it if the Secretary could make certain that the Turks would not go back on their promise to designate their Consul General in Cyprus as their representative under the British plan. He felt this might be accomplished by sending a message to Mr. Menderes complimenting him upon his statesmanlike decision. The Secretary agreed that this could be done and asked Mr. Rountree to prepare such a telegram.
//Source: Department of State, Secretary's Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. Confidential. Drafted by Rountree. The meeting was held at the Waldorf Astoria.
/1/Telegram 1073 to Ankara, September 26. (Ibid., Central Files, 747C.00/9 - 2358)
The Secretary referred to the NATO meeting on the preceding day at which the Turkish representative had made a speech violently criticizing the Spaak proposal with respect to Cyprus./2/ He said it was very difficult to oppose in principle a meeting of the parties concerned. However, he recognized that such a meeting would entail considerable difficulty. Mr. Lloyd responded that he had in mind a conciliatory answer saying in principle that the British accepted the idea of a conference. However, he did not feel they could agree to a delay in implementation of the British plan. He hoped it would be possible to take credit for the Turkish action in appointing their Consul General rather than sending in a special representative. The British greatly feared that if there should be a new conference in advance of implementing the plan, the Turks might try to impress the conference by inciting riots to demonstrate the depth of Turkish feeling on the issue. The substance of the matter would again be opened, and the Turks could be expected to go back to previous positions including demand for partition. Mr. Lloyd therefore was concerned that Mr. Spaak's well-intentioned initiative might result in a great setback on the Cyprus issue. He thought it important that our allies be made to realize this danger. The British plan in its present form really gave the Greeks what they wanted, although it could not be spelled out as they would like. It was most unfortunate that Greek opposition had been built up to such an extent regarding any Turk Government presence on the island, however innocuous that might be.
/2/See Document 261.
The Secretary recognized that the proposed conference had risks as well as possible advantages. For example, there was a grey area regarding the role and the functions of foreign advisers. That grey area would permit the Greeks to present the plan one way to their public, if they wanted to, and would permit the Turks to present it another way to their own public. Being specific might in fact hinder success of the plan rather than bring the parties together. He realized that there was strong sentiment for the conference and agreed with Mr. Rountree's observation that it would be extremely difficult to oppose it in principle.
The Secretary asked when the conference was planned, and mentioned the fact that Mr. Spaak was now in the United States,/3/ with October 1 not far off. Mr. Rountree stated his understanding that the date of the conference was less important to Mr. Spaak and others than was the question of whether the British would postpone implementation of their plan until after the Spaak proposals could be discussed. Mr. Lloyd repeated that he would be greatly disturbed by any postponement, since not only might Turk support be lost but they might undertake very rash action to impress the conference.
The matter was left that we would send a telegram to Turkey on the appointment of the Turk Consul General,/4/ and Mr. Lloyd would give further thought as to what could be done about the conference. Meanwhile both he and the Secretary would be talking with Mr. Spaak. Mr. Lloyd said the British answer on the conference should be available by Monday./5/
/3/Spaak was arriving in Boston on September 27 for a meeting of the Atlantic Treaty Association. He was scheduled to be in Washington on September 29 for meetings with U.S. officials.
264. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, September 26, 1958, 1 p.m.
844. For Secretary from Dillon./1/ Re Athens 842./2/ I do not wish to comment on substantive issues regarding latest Spaak proposal but feel that procedural aspects are of such importance that my first hand impressions might be helpful.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9 - 2658. Secret; Priority. Received at 4:03 p.m. Repeated to Paris for USRO, Ankara, and London. A typewritten note at the end of the telegram indicates it was passed to Secretary Dulles at USUN.
/1/Dillon left Washington on September 19 on an 11-nation tour to study the operations of the Mutual Security Program. He visited Athens September 25 - 27.
/2/Telegram 842 from Athens, September 26, reported that Karamanlis had expressed disappointment at the reserved attitude of the United States toward the Spaak proposals. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9 - 2658)
Greek Government, including most moderate elements, are shocked at what they considered to be negative US Government reaction in latest NAC meeting to Spaak proposal.
Since they accepted idea of NAC consideration of Cyprus at US urging they cannot understand why US stands alone among disinterested parties in avoiding positive support for Spaak proposals. They report that only UK, Turkey and United States failed to support Spaak and they particularly impressed by strength of Canadian support. They admit French support not clear in Thursday session but expect France to eventually back Spaak.
They are putting hope in another Council session Monday after Spaak has had opportunity talk directly with you.
If such a session is held I feel US would be in untenable position vis- a-vis Greeks if we did not support Spaak proposal for conference. Question of backstage pressure on UK and Turks to accept is entirely different matter and we might well decide to take no action in that regard. Nub of question is will we oppose or support in NAC an important NAC initiative toward settlement. From procedural point of view weight of argument would seem to be clearly on side of supporting Spaak both because of effect on NATO as an organization and because of our previous record of support for NATO initiative in this particular matter.
265. Memorandum of Conversation
MC - 16 Boston, September 27, 1958, 5:30 p.m.
SECRETARY'S TRIP TO BOSTON/1/
//Source: Department of State, Secretary's Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. Secret. Drafted by Greene. The meeting was held at the Sheraton Plaza Hotel.
/1/Dulles and Spaak were in Boston to address the meeting of the Atlantic Treaty Association. For texts of their speeches, see Department of State Bulletin, October 13, 1958, pp. 571 - 574, and October 20, 1958, pp. 607 - 611.
United States The Secretary Ambassador Burgess Mr. Compton Mr. Greene
NATO Secretary-General Paul Henri Spaak M. St. M'leux
M. Spaak was not sure whether the present Greek adamancy on the British plan for Cyprus, scheduled to be put into effect on October 1, was a bluff or not. In Athens he had found Karamanlis discouraged and, he thought, sincere in his view that appointment of a Turkish Government representative as adviser to the Governor [was] a personal defeat for himself. While the Greeks will accept the principle of minority rights on Cyprus they would not, Spaak thought, accept the idea of a Turkish Government representative from Ankara, with its implication that Turkish administration is on the way back. He was inclined to think there may be something in the Greek point that, in its provision for the return to Cyprus of a Turkish Government representative, the British plan is a violation of the Treaty of Lausanne./2/
/2/Under the 1923 treaty, both Greece and Turkey renounced their claims to Cyprus in favor of the United Kingdom.
M. Spaak said that he thought his plan for a conference is an important new element in the situation. He understood from Karamanlis that Makarios is prepared to accept the idea, but it may be too late and Karamanlis may be overtaken by events. M. Spaak wondered too why Greece should contemplate walking out on NATO, or at least on the North Atlantic Council; what is going on, he said, is not the fault of NATO. And now, according to a message from his Deputy in Paris (copy attached),/3/ the Greek representative wants to publish the Spaak plan. While it may eventually become public, M. Spaak doubted the utility of letting it out now./4/
/3/An undated message from Casardi to Spaak, not printed.
/4/The Greek Foreign Office subsequently published this record.
The Secretary said he did not think the Greeks were bluffing and that if the British plan goes into effect they will probably take it out on NATO, at least by discontinuing cooperation in the military field and adopting a neutralist line in policy. The Turkish situation is not good either; we agree with the British that if they do not go ahead with their plan the Turks will turn out in mobs against the Greeks. With the stakes so high for both sides, and the substantive differences that remain so slight, the Secretary had not abandoned hope that a bridge could be found. Perhaps the British might agree to going ahead with the conference Spaak has proposed even though putting their plan into effect on October 1; to try to get agreement from the Greeks, the British might make it clear in advance that any agreed results of the conference could be put into effect as modifications of the British plan even after the latter is underway. Spaak agreed that it is worth trying this on the British and the Secretary said he would speak to Ambassador Caccia in this sense later in the evening./5/ The Secretary and Spaak noted too that someone, probably the United States, would have to urge on the Turks' acceptance of this formula, if the British agree.
The Secretary and Spaak agreed that in view of the critical situation, which will probably come to a head at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in the afternoon of September 29, M. Spaak should postpone his visit to Washington and return directly to Paris.
/5/Dulles met with Caccia at 10:30 p.m. that day. After recounting his discussion with Spaak, he expressed the hope the British Government would agree to the conference proposal and urged that the October 1 implementation of the plan for Cyprus be suspended. Dulles also assured the British Government of U.S. support if it decided to go forward with the plan. A memorandum of the conversation is in Department of State, Secretary's Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199.
266. Telegram From the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Regional Organizations to the Department of State
Paris, September 28, 1958.
Polto 803. Personal to Secretary Dulles from Nolting. Would like you to have the following background concerning the Cyprus issue in NATO as we see it.
As you know, bad relations between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus have been a festering sore in NATO for a long time. They have become worse since Macmillan announced his plan in August. The British certainly acted in good faith, but they misjudged what was negotiable and their timing was bad. Spaak's proposals as of that time seemed to be, with effort, negotiable. The situation now, I believe, has become critical, threatening to cause the withdrawal of Greece from NATO. Ambassador Melas has told us that he expects soon to be withdrawn and not to be replaced. He is an honest man, not an alarmist. Casardi of NATO told us today he had the same thing from Melas. Norstad and Spaak, both of whom have recently been in Greece, are convinced this is not a bluff, as irrational as it may seem.
We have sent in over the past weeks several recommendations on this problem, the main thrust of which is that if the problem is to be moved from a dangerous deadlock, the US must take a firm and positive position. We did so in support of the Macmillan plan in August, but this would not go down with the Greeks. As Riddleberger said in a recent cable, we have fully discharged our commitment to support the UK plan./1/ In my opinion it is necessary now to support with vigor the Spaak effort to achieve a conference of the interested parties both NATO participation [participants?]. The Turks have refused this (in violent and abusive speech in NAC Thursday,/2/ which was apparently written by Zorlu), and the British apparently are tending to limit it in a manner which will make it impossible for the Greeks to accept. But it is the Greeks who are apparently on the edge of desperation and irrational actions; the other two positions may have some give in them.
We sent a cable Saturday/3/ suggesting a possible line for the US to take, in capitals and at Monday's NATO meeting. I hope you will have the opportunity to read that and to give us your personal advice on how to help take the heat out of this dangerous situation.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9 - 2858. Secret; Niact; Limited Distribution. Repeated to London, Athens, Ankara, and Nicosia.
/1/Telegram 842 from Athens, September 26. (Ibid., 747C.00/9 - 2658)
/2/September 25; see Document 261.
/3/Polto 802, September 27, urged that the United States exert its "best influence" to gain an agreement for a conference on Cyprus and that that conference be announced prior to October 1. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9 - 2758)
Foregoing written before receipt your instructions to London (Deptel 3199 to London, repeated Topol 1015 to Paris)./4/ We agree with Department's thinking but from what Roberts has told us, we fear British will not take up suggestion. We have thought this matter over carefully and are convinced that US position should be that, in interest of the alliance, a conference of the three governments and two communities, with NATO participation, is essential.
I hope highest level approaches Washington and three capitals will permit us to state this line clearly and firmly at tomorrow's NAC meeting with chance of success.
/4/Telegram 3199 to London, September 27, reported on Dulles' September 27 talks with Spaak on Cyprus and instructed the Embassy to determine whether the British Government would agree to the Spaak proposals by talking to British officials at the "highest level." (Ibid., 747C.00/9 - 2758) A memorandum of Dulles' conversation with Spaak is printed as Document 265.
267. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and European Regional Organizations
Washington, September 29, 1958, 12:11 a.m.
Topol 1025. Ankara pass Dillon.
1. Dept, conscious of grave threat posed to NATO by present Cyprus situation, has been giving constant and urgent thought to various aspects of problem as reported from addressee posts. Suggestion contained Deptel 3199 to London/1/ was based upon our understanding that UK and Turks would not agree to postpone implementation of British plan and that some formula would have to be found taking this into account. While British response as reported London's 1779 to Dept,/2/ repeated addressee posts, is not all that we might have hoped for, we are encouraged that British have accepted principle of conference. We understand from British Ambassador Washington that statement to be made by UK rep will make clear that while HMG cannot agree to suspending progressive application of program announced on June 18 and August 15, British are prepared accept in principle conference on basis and within scope of British plan and to discuss its application. UK Ambassador stated to Rountree/3/ that if conference is called for purpose of discussing application of British plan, and if conference agrees upon modifications, these modifications would become effective. Rountree expressed hope this explanation might also be included in UK statement in NAC, although it not yet known whether this will in fact be done notwithstanding inclusion sentence along these lines in partial text contained London's 1779. Rountree also suggested deletion from British text of indication that Greek acceptance of Spaak proposal for conference including Turkish participation implied Greek recognition of Turkish interest in Cyprus. He expressed view this would cause considerable domestic political difficulty for GOG.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9 - 2858. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Rountree and cleared by Timmons, Williams, and in substance by Dulles. Repeated to London, Ankara, Athens, and Nicosia.
/1/See footnote 4, Document 266.
/2/Telegram 1779 from London, September 28, transmitted the text of the statement prepared by the British Government for presentation to the September 29 NAC meeting. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9 - 2858) See Document 269.
/3/A memorandum of Rountree's September 28 conversation with Caccia is in Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9 - 2858.
2. We hope that Spaak and other reps NAC will find British proposal constructive, although we realize there is widespread hope that British will defer implementation of plan. We feel our own statement should reflect optimism that talks are in prospect and might lead to constructive developments. We should bear in mind that beginning of implementation of plan does not mean that parts of it cannot later be modified by agreement.
3. USRO should take following line in making US statement in NAC Sept 29: US reaffirms its belief that it is proper for NATO allies to seek to resolve differences by discussion, and for that reason we believe Spaak's initiative in proposing conference was in line with his responsibilities in Committee of Three Report. We have on more than one occasion urged our allies to seek solution in NATO rather than in more public discussions.
Suggestions have been made for deferment of the execution of the British plan. We note that UK, while stating its willingness to participate in a conference, has not considered it possible to accept postponement of steps leading to beginning of implementation of plan, pending outcome of such a conference.
We believe however that the scope of the conference could be liberally interpreted. If as result of discussions there are changes agreed, these changes could be put into effect irrespective of fact that they might be inconsistent with prior actions.
We believe there is general desire here that those concerned with this matter will find it possible to undertake at an early date discussions which can lead to a constructive solution to this difficult problem. We are convinced that talks entered into in the spirit of the alliance can and will shed light on possible grounds for understanding and agreement. We believe that NATO may thus make a material contribution to a peaceful settlement and we ourselves shall of course stand ready to lend our assistance to our allies.
268. Memorandum of Conversation Between President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles
Washington, September 29, 1958, 11 a.m.
[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]
(3) We spoke of the Cyprus situation. The President recalled his farewell call from Ambassador Melas/1/ and his emphatic presentation to the Ambassador of the importance of having a sense of proportion. He said that Greece for many centuries, going back to Pericles, had been a leader of human freedom and of democracy in the world, and that it would be a tragedy if it sold out its birthright because of a relatively minor dispute about Cyprus. Also, to wreck NATO on this account would be wholly unjustifiable.
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, Memoranda of Conversation with the President. Secret; Personal and Private. Drafted by Dulles.
/1/Eisenhower met with Melas on September 26. No record of their conversation has been found.
I recalled that I had urged Spaak to go back to Paris to be there for today's meeting, and also Burgess./2/ I expressed myself, however, as apprehensive as to the outcome in view of the very emotional attitude of the Greeks.
/2/Dulles made this suggestion during his September 27 discussion with Spaak; see Document 265. No record of Dulles' instructions to Burgess has been found, but Burgess was present at the meeting with Spaak.
269. Editorial Note
The North Atlantic Council discussed Cyprus on September 29. The British Representative read a statement in which he noted that the Turkish Government's appointment of its Consul General in Nicosia, Burhan Isin, as its representative on Cyprus was a conciliatory gesture and announced that the British Government would put its plan for Cyprus into effect on October 1, but was willing to meet with the Greek and Turkish Governments in a conference under NATO auspices to discuss the future of the island. The Turkish Representative also indicated his government's willingness to participate in a conference. The U.S. Representative read a statement based on instructions sent in Topol 1025, Document 267. Polto 819, September 29, reported on the meeting. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/9 - 2958)
270. Letter From President Eisenhower to King Paul I
Washington, September 30, 1958.
DEAR KING PAUL: I want you to know that I have given most careful study to your recent message/1/ expressing concern regarding the repercussions which may follow the application of the British plan for Cyprus.
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Project Clean Up, Greece. Confidential. Transmitted to Athens in telegram 1048, September 30.
/1/See Document 260.
The United States is gravely disturbed by the imminent dangers posed by the failure to reach a mutually satisfactory settlement of the Cyprus dispute. We have considerable sympathy and understanding for the difficult position in which Greece finds itself. I know you understand that since we are not a direct party to the controversy and are a friend of all concerned, we face real limitations on our ability to intervene in this matter. Nevertheless, we have been working quietly and urgently in an effort to find ways to reconcile the apparent British intention to proceed with initial steps to implement their plan with Greek objections to the plan. We will continue these efforts. It remains our fervent hope that all of those concerned with the dispute will seek a solution in the spirit of the alliance which binds us together.
From personal experience I know how staunchly you believe in the North Atlantic Alliance and the need to maintain Greece's ties with the West. I am sure that you are distressed, as I am, to see how the Cyprus dispute is undermining the unity of NATO and hampering the effective cooperation of allies whose full energies are needed against the common threat. I have been particularly disturbed by the implication in recent public and private statements of Greek Government officials that Greece might be led to risk its basic ties with the West in order to protest what might be considered an unacceptable interim settlement of the Cyprus problem.
I hope most earnestly, Your Majesty, that in pursuing its Cyprus policy Greece will measure its immediate objectives respecting Cyprus against its bonds of interest and interdependence with the other nations of the West. I know that you and I would not want to see endangered a basis of our common strength which, after all, offers the best hope for serving the long-term interests of the Cypriot people, as of the people of the entire free world.
With warm regard,
/2/Printed from an unsigned copy.
271. Editorial Note
On September 30, NATO Secretary General Spaak introduced a draft statement on Cyprus in the North Atlantic Council. The Spaak statement, as modified by the Council, noted NATO concern with the ongoing dispute in Cyprus and endorsed the presence of the Turkish representative on Cyprus within the limited role assigned him under the Macmillan Plan. The statement also reiterated the desirability of a three-power conference on Cyprus. For text of the Spaak paper, see The Cyprus Question, pages 10 - 11. Spaak's version of the meeting is in Combats Inacheves, volume II, pages 151 - 154.
272. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom
Washington, October 1, 1958, 4:34 p.m.
3304. Re Calhoun - Barbour telephone conversation, following is message from the President to Prime Minister Macmillan. Advise date time delivery.
"October 1, 1958
Thank you for your message about Cyprus which Harold Caccia gave to me on September twenty-fourth./1/ I am grateful to you for giving me your thoughts on the way you intend to proceed on this difficult matter.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 158. Secret; Presidential Handling.
Much has happened since your letter arrived. Just after receiving it, the news came of Mr. Spaak's trip to Athens and his proposal for a conference./2/ In fact I have delayed replying to your letter until we could have some better idea of what might come of that proposal. Foster has been in close touch with Selwyn and with Harold Caccia on these new developments and we have appreciated their receptiveness to suggestions we have made from time to time. I have made clear to the Greeks that they need a sense of proportion in this matter and should not sacrifice their ancient heritage of democracy, and their new bonds in NATO./3/
/2/See Document 261.
/3/Reference is to Eisenhower's September 30 letter to King Paul, Document 270.
At the moment there seems a chance that a basis for further discussions between your Government and Greece and Turkey can be found. We most assuredly hope that this much can be accomplished and have stated in the North Atlantic Council our willingness to help in whatever way may be appropriate.
With warm regard,
As ever, Ike"
Observe Presidential Handling.
273. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, October 2, 1958, 7 p.m.
896. 1. Continuing our efforts to influence GOG to agree to conference on basis Spaak paper,/1/ have just concluded another conversation with Averoff in which I utilized Roberts statement quoted in Deptel 1070./2/I have made this point often before but emphasized it was now statement by UK Representative. In addition, and following telephone consultation last night and this morning with Burgess, I again urged Averoff to continue NATO discussions in view of progress that had been made there. I underlined once again importance of paragraph ten of Spaak paper and said if there is any misunderstanding another effort should be made in discussion tomorrow to clarify it. To me, paper should be considered as a whole and it was stipulated Spaak's modification could be discussed in conference.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 258. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Paris, Istanbul, London, Ankara, Nicosia, and USUN.
/1/See Document 271.
/2/Telegram 1070 to Athens, October 1, reported that at the September 30 NAC meeting, Roberts stated that under British proposals Greek and Turkish representatives on Cyprus would not be members of the executive authority of the island and would have no role in its administration. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 158)
2. Foreign Minister replied hot debate was still proceeding within GOG re Spaak paper and therefore he would not have "important communication" for me today. Karamanlis was fighting real battle to preserve Greece's Western orientation but was faced with threats by several Ministers to resign if he accepted conference on proposed basis. This internal debate was being waged on issue of role of Turk representative and influence would have on Governor. Furthermore there was contradiction between paragraphs eight and ten of Spaak paper. In reply I repeated argumentation in paragraph one of Embtel 869,/3/ omitting however any reference to GOT acceptance of proposal. Averoff then said this was all very well but real point was that in NAC role of US was that of spectator and our weight had not been thrown to support what I said. Recent high level indications of our attitude had been general rather than specific and if we thought conference should consider modifications suggested by Spaak why did we not insist this be made clear, and give GOG some answer on where we stood on Spaak modifications. I replied we were working for compromise that would make progress along these lines possible but as he well knew could not dictate the answers.
/3/In telegram 869 from Athens, September 30, Riddleberger reported in paragraph 1 that in a meeting with Averoff that morning he stressed the limited role that a Turkish representative would have in Cyprus. (Ibid., 747C.00/9 - 3058)
3. Averoff then said he was in position to make suggestion that might help. US had urged GOG to accept modified Macmillan plan and there might be one way of Greece accepting it if it could be combined with proposal he had made in June. Now that Makarios statement on independence was issued,/4/ if agreement could be reached to hold plebiscite in 7 to 10 years for independence excluding both enosis and partition, GOG might be brought to accept modified Macmillan plan. He asked me to submit this urgently.
/4/On September 29, Makarios submitted a proposal to the British Embassy in Athens calling for a period of 7 years of Cypriot self-government under British rule followed by full independence. The British Government rejected the plan.
4. I realize how difficult this negotiation is for Department in view of variety of pressures on US and am trying to steer course here which does not commit US to position which will merely raise problems elsewhere. But it would be enormously helpful to me if I could receive more precise instructions re our attitude on (A) powers of government representatives, (B) Spaak modifications of UK plan, and (C) points raised by Averoff in paragraph two of Embtel 869./5/ I believe we have now reached point in this negotiating where our neutrality is so compromised, or held to be so compromised, that we must risk more specific replies whether palatable or unpalatable to Greeks or Turks.
/5/In paragraph 2 of telegram 869 from Athens, Riddleberger reported that Averoff charged the United States with switching from support of the more acceptable Spaak plan to backing the Macmillan proposals which Greece could not accept. Averoff indicated that he felt that the United States was responsible for the introduction in Spaak's proposal of the idea of Turkish representation on Cyprus.
274. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Greece
Washington, October 2, 1958, 8:43 p.m.
1093. For Ambassador. We are not sure whether at this time further pressure on GOG to accept Cyprus conference would be wise. If you believe it would be helpful you should deliver Karamanlis following message from Acting Secretary.
"Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
At this moment when the Cyprus problem presents the greatest danger to the NATO alliance and paradoxically at the same time is the closest yet to a mutually acceptable interim solution, I want to speak frankly as a friend of Greece.
In the last few weeks, we have been doing what we can, quietly but urgently, to bring the parties to this controversy closer to agreement. The British, whom we have urged to consider sympathetically your needs, are displaying considerable flexibility and a willingness to make concessions in the common interest, as evidenced by the statement made by the British NATO representative at the North Atlantic Council meeting on September 30/1/ that the Greek and Turkish representatives would have no role as sovereigns or with respect to the administration of Cyprus.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 258. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution; Verbatim Text. Drafted by Blood and cleared by Herter. Repeated to Paris for USRO.
/1/The British statement was made on September 29; see Document 269.
We recognize that Greece has already made several significant concessions. We know that these concessions raise political difficulties for your Government, and we have appreciated your courage in making them. We are now asking you not to falter at this critical moment but to agree to attend a conference on the basis of Mr. Spaak's latest paper./2/
/2/See Document 271.
Such a conference offers the possibility of a mutually satisfactory agreement. The United States would be willing to participate in a conference as an observer or as a member of a two or three member NATO advisory committee. During the conference we would be prepared to support the early establishment of a single assembly, in addition to the two communal assemblies, and to use our influence to achieve a mutually agreeable interpretation of the functions of the government representatives in keeping with the British NATO Ambassador's statement.
In such a conference Greece can strive for an interim arrangement within the framework of the British plan that will in effect not prejudice Greece's long term interests with regard to Cyprus and the Cypriot people. As the Belgian Representative at NATO pointed out Wednesday at NAC, NATO observers at a conference would assure Greece fair treatment.
You have an opportunity, Mr. Prime Minister, to influence greatly the course of this dispute. In weighing the effects of your decision, I urge you to remember the underlying importance of Greece's ties with the NATO alliance and, particularly, Greece's friendship and cooperation with the United States./3/
Sincerely yours, Christian A. Herter"
/3/In telegram 907 from Athens, October 3, Riddleberger reported that he had delivered Herter's message to Averoff since Karamanlis was unavailable. Averoff indicated that even allowing for the British interpretation of the role of the Turkish representative, further negotiations were needed to find a solution to Cyprus satisfactory to Makarios and other Cypriot leaders and that the Archbishop's suggestion for a 7-year period of self-rule would provide an excellent interim solution. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/ 10 - 358)
275. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Greece
Washington, October 3, 1958, 7:34 p.m.
1101. 1. We greatly appreciate your persistent efforts to penetrate Greeks' wounded pride and induce GOG to accept Cyprus conference on basis Spaak paper. Postponement NAC meeting until October 6 and account your talk with Averoff as reported in Embtel 896/1/ had encouraged us to hope there remained some chance of getting Greeks to sit down at table for serious negotiations based on British plan.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 358. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Blood. Repeated to Paris for USRO, London, Ankara, Nicosia, and USUN.
2. However, Averoff's apparent insistence on agreement on plebiscite as precondition to conference as reported Embtel 907,/2/ if actually GOG position as distinguished from Averoff bargaining tactic, could kill any hope of conference at this time. Agreement on independence plebiscite at this time is so clearly out of question that we question whether Averoff suggestion motivated more by determination thwart conference than by desire seek mutually acceptable solution.
/2/See footnote 3, Document 274.
3. Averoff's suggestion that British plan be prelude to plebiscite for independence excluding both enosis and partition seems to parallel suggestion recently made informally by one Greek representative that Makarios plan, modified to provide that change in independence status could be achieved only by agreement of interested parties, be superimposed on British plan.
4. You should try to dissuade Averoff from postulating plebiscite as precondition to conference. You should tell him flatly that we cannot support his proposal as conference precondition. He could of course raise proposal for plebiscite at conference based on Spaak paper but we frankly doubt that there is any possibility of achieving agreement on plebiscite at this time. In speaking with Averoff you may wish add following thoughts:
(a) We do not believe it practical at this time to consider final solution, which is what Averoff suggestion amounts to, in view present intensive effort within NATO to find basis for conference to discuss interim solution.
(b) This effort, which we believe offers real chance for agreement, based on assumption that aroused emotions make final solution impossible to achieve now. Both British plan and alternate Spaak proposals based on this assumption.
(c) Time for discussion final solution must wait until passions cool or interim period concluded. At that time we would expect some form of guaranteed independence would certainly be among various proposals considered.
5. We believe you should attempt to see Karamanlis urgently in order ascertain whether insistence on plebiscite as precondition is final GOG position. You are authorized in your discretion to tell Karamanlis and King that we think setting of such precondition would in effect sabotage conference which we believe could lead to mutually acceptable interim arrangement for Cyprus.
6. Deptel 1093/3/ indicates as specifically as we believe we can at this time our attitude toward powers of government representatives and Spaak's modifications. (Deptel 1093 is being repeated to addressees this message.)
7. We agree that Averoff's remarks reported para 2 Embtel 869/4/ should not go unanswered. We leave to your discretion time and method of refutation which we suggest include following points to set record straight:
/4/See footnote 5, Document 273.
(a) US did not urge GOG in early August to accept Spaak's set of principles for interim solution, nor did we ourselves take position on substance these principles. We urged Greeks to discuss Spaak principles as we are now urging GOG to discuss latest Spaak paper.
(b) US did not influence Spaak to modify his most recent set of principles. Spaak has developed each of his papers without any consultation with US, though of course our views had been made known in NAC as authorized Topol 1025./5/ We believe Spaak made modifications in attempt develop basis for discussion which might be more readily acceptable to all interested parties. tWe have not lobbied in NAC for changes in Spaak proposals.
276. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, October 4, 1958, 1 p.m.
914. Embtel 907./1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 458. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Paris for USRO.
/1/See footnote 3, Document 274.
1. Had lengthy conversation with King at Tatoi last night in which first half was devoted to review of Cyprus negotiations in recent weeks. Again I went over advantages for Greece in modified Macmillan plan and reasons why GOG should accept negotiations on basis of Spaak paper. I informed him of contents of Herter letter/2/ and progress that had been made on defining powers of Turk representative. I argued once more that GOG should not overlook advantages of UK plan for Greece, expressing personal opinion that once communal assemblies and single assembly were established it would be impossible for UK to reverse these steps toward self-government and this would automatically mean end of any physical partition. Furthermore, conference with NATO observers would guarantee fair treatment and Spaak suggestions could be discussed. I said gap had been so narrowed for interim solution that we should all make supreme effort now to close it.
/2/See Document 274.
2. King, obviously influenced by our recent messages,/3/ replied he had returned to find distressing political situation in Greece as result of UK insistence on implementing its plan while discussions were in prog- ress. He thought internal situation in Greece was deteriorating daily and he did not know what outcome would be. Karamanlis wanted to resign, but this was no answer as new elections in the circumstances could be disastrous and must be avoided. Other alternative would be withdrawal from NATO which might assuage temporarily Greek feeling of humiliation by its allies, but this was no answer to problem. We knew his devotion to NATO and his strong feelings that Greece must remain member of alliance. His influence would certainly be exerted against any such decision. But he was constitutional monarch who had no desire to see dictatorship return to Greece. Therefore after reflection and consultation, he would ask me to send strong plea to highest US authorities to throw our great weight and influence behind what Averoff had proposed, i.e., (A) conference on basis of Spaak suggestions, or (B) agreement on plebiscite proposal to be followed by Greek acceptance of modified Macmillan plan. I said I was not hopeful but would convey his message.
/3/Reference is to Eisenhower's September 30 message to King Paul (Document 270) and Herter's October 2 message to Karamanlis.
3. Late last night, Foreign Minister convoked me to read Prime Minister's reply to Herter letter. Karamanlis thanked Acting Secretary for letter, for our efforts and for promise of support for single chamber. Letter had received most careful study including last sentence. GOG was facing incredibly difficult situation but was doing its best to preserve its traditional policies. Taking into account internal dangers resulting from deep emotions generated in Greek people, Prime Minister suggested that if US wants to help find solution and as British have already appointed Turk representative, best way would be support new proposal for plebiscite. By this means, UK could maintain its plan, Turk could retain its representative and scene set for definitive solution.
4. Prime Minister pointed out in this case it goes without saying UK would retain bases and guarantees worked out for Turkish minority on island. Prime Minister asked I emphasize his belief that if only interim settlement is arranged, NATO would face renewed agitation and repetition of unhappy events now going on. GOG had been in constant contact with Makarios and his latest proclamation was written in strong terms. But now that both GOG and Makarios had abandoned Enosis, surely it was reasonable to propose plebiscite in which both Enosis and partition would be excluded. Prime Minister was personally of opinion if GOG went to conference and it failed, public opinion here would later demand larger concessions.
5. Averoff requested in addition to Prime Minister's remarks that I convey personal message from him. He does not yet know what policy GOG will adopt or whether it will try once more in NATO. Because of his great difficulties, Averoff will remain loyal to Karamanlis. But if Karamanlis fails, Averoff believes Greece will be lost to West within six months. If Karamanlis goes, he does not know what will happen.
6. Deptel 1101/4/ just received. In view of King's plea and Prime Minister's reply set forth herein and in face of King's always moderate views on Cyprus, I shall defer action until this message has been considered./5/
/5/Telegram 1114 to Athens, October 4, instructed Riddleberger to "take action as instructed Deptel 1101." (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 458) In telegram 920 from Athens, October 5, Riddleberger reported on a "stormy" meeting with Karamanlis in which Karamanlis repeated his demand for a plebiscite in Cyprus and reiterated his threat to withdraw from NATO. (Ibid., 747C.00/10 - 558)
277. Editorial Note
On October 6, the North Atlantic Council met for discussions on Cyprus. The Greek Representative informed the Council that his government would participate in a conference on condition that its agenda include discussion of the ultimate solution to the status of Cyprus. The British Representative indicated his government's willingness to participate in a conference. The Turkish Representative also indicated his government's willingness to participate but rejected Spaak's September 30 memorandum outlining terms of reference for the meeting. Polto 885, October 6, reported on the meeting. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 658)
278. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State
Ankara, October 6, 1958, 3 a.m.
1130. In compliance Department telegram 1166,/1/ which somewhat at variance with Department telegram 1132,/2/ I flew [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] hurriedly to Istanbul noon October 5 to seek interview with Prime Minister Menderes. At airport Ankara, I made point of seeing Foreign Minister Zorlu, who just returning from Istanbul to preside at luncheon to which I was invited, but from which, at last minute, I naturally had to bow out. I advised Zorlu purpose my trip, also giving him copy Herter letter (Department telegram 1132).
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 658. Secret; Niact. Repeated to Athens, Paris for USRO, Nicosia, Istanbul, Izmir, Iskenderun, and London.
/1/Telegram 1166 to Ankara, October 4, instructed Hall to present a letter from Herter to Menderes urging Turkish participation in the proposed NATO conference on Cyprus and to stress U.S. support for the conference proposal. (Ibid., 747C.00/10 - 458)
/2/Telegram 1132 to Ankara, October 2, transmitted the text of the Herter letter to Menderes and instructed Hall to deliver it if he believed it would be useful. (Ibid., 747C.00/10 - 258)
Although requested previously by telephone do so, Consul General Miner Istanbul had not been able arrange meeting with Menderes. Hence, upon arrival, I sought Menderes at Park Hotel where he residing. Was advised by his bodyguard that Prime Minister was "out" (parts unknown). I left card for his private secretary (Fenmen) stating my request and asking Fenmen call me Hilton Hotel when meeting could be arranged. (Firmly believe both Menderes and Fenmen were having afternoon nap and had ordered no one disturb them.) Very shortly thereafter, Fenmen telephoned me in extremely angry mood for not having given him adequate warning my trip and claiming I putting pressure on him. Nevertheless, he promised call me if and when meeting could he arranged. I agreed stay all night Istanbul if necessary in order complete my mission.
While awaiting Fenmen call, I received call from Zorlu at half past seven from Ankara, asking me return capital at once. I asked Zorlu if this were known to Prime Minister and in accord his wishes. Not feeling sure Zorlu was not attempting to take play out of Prime Minister's hands, I made one more effort communicate with Fenmen to check this point. As I expected, I was told Fenmen was "out". Obviously, since I have to work with Zorlu, and in view of past experience, I had no choice but to return Ankara.
Found Zorlu awaiting me Foreign Office Ankara 11:45 p.m. I first asked him if he had conferred with Prime Minister during afternoon. He replied affirmatively, saying that he had also read him copy Herter letter (original for Menderes left with Miner for delivery, if possible, October 6). In following discussion, largely unilateral, since it was difficult for me to get in a word, Zorlu assured me he was reflecting views of Menderes, President Bayar and his own, in other words, policy of Turkish Government.
Despite all arguments that I could propound (in accordance Department telegram 1166) and others previously used, Zorlu stated categorically that while Turkish Government willing to enter into any number of conferences with Greeks or with Greece and UK, even with participation both Cypriot communities, Turkey would not do so under aegis of Spaak, nor would it consent to discuss status Turkish represent-ative in Cyprus, which Zorlu said is already clearly established. Zorlu said he had expressed very same sentiments to UK charge and that he had full approval Menderes in this course. He added that President Bayar had warned him to yield no more, else Turkey would lose everything in Cyprus. Zorlu then said: "Off-the-record, Mr. Hall, I blame you for Turkey's present weakened position with respect to Cyprus" (referring to Consulate General deal).
Zorlu feels that NAC is not proper forum for discussion of disputes between NATO allies, saying: "Today, it is Cyprus, tomorrow it may be Iceland and Great Britain. If I had been Foreign Minister when `three Wise Men' policy propounded, I would have fought it bitterly."
Comment: I have carried out instructions to fullest extent, on occasion contrary my judgment. I believe it is useless to try to push Turks further. We will lose ground gained lately in our relations.
279. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State
Ankara, October 7, 1958, 7 p.m.
1142. Re Paris Polto 117, sent Department 885./1/ Secretary General Foreign Office Esenbel called me 1500 October 7 to give me "last word" (which I believe may be literally true) on Turk position re proposed conference on Cyprus. He stated instructions being given Sarper under following four points which he hoped would be communicated to Department and US representatives soonest.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 758. Secret; Niact. Repeated to Paris for USRO, Athens, London, Nicosia, Istanbul, Izmir, and Iskenderun.
/1/Polto 117 from Paris to Ankara, October 6, summarized the October 6 NAC meeting. (Ibid., 747C.00/10 - 658) See Document 277.
1. Turkey does not accept Spaak paper which evidently prepared in order to exert pressure on Turkey and satisfy Greece. It contains divergencies from truth and exaggerates gravity of situation. It tries downgrade real functions of representatives counseling Governor Cyprus. Turkey believes no proces verbale is necessary to "answer questions in Parliaments". GOT is not impressed by these pressure tactics.
2. If progress is to be made this is not time discuss the final status of island. On basis of UK plan better climate must be created, since if final solution were discussed at this time there would be no common ground. Greece and Turkey yet too far apart. Later if climate were improved, chances of success another conference (even in near future) would be greater.
3. Participation of France and Italy as proposed by Greece plus Spaak and US observers is not accepted by Turkey. France and Italy have nothing do with Cyprus. GOT cannot accept presence of Spaak at conference even as observer since he would do more harm than good. He would have to take sides for one or other party or be accused doing so as Foot is accused by both parties to be doing at this time. GOT feels Spaak's participation conference would not only do harm to his personal position but also to NATO.
4. GOT will accept amendments if relevant to subject and having bearing on UK plan.
Esenbel added GOT feels NATO being used as pressure tool by Greece. Turkey does not wish NATO to become another UN (Embtel 1130)./2/ He said: "we are now making demarche to US as we would at UN." In his usual calm mood, he concluded GOT would not submit to Greek "blackmail" of being put between nutcracker jaws of UN and NATO.
Comment: By inference Esenbel silence re USA in context second sentence paragraph 3 above would seem indicate GOT would find USA as unacceptable as observer at conference as France and Italy, though this point not entirely clear.
280. Telegram 1154 From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State
Ankara, October 8, 1958, 8 p.m.
[Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 858. Secret; Niact. 2 pages of source text not declassified.]
281. Editorial Note
The North Atlantic Council discussed Cyprus at meetings on October 13, 17, and 23. At the October 13 meeting, the Council members agreed, subject to the approval of their respective governments, to sponsor a conference on Cyprus which would be attended by Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom as participants and at least one other NATO power as a neutral observer. The NATO Representatives also discussed further revisions of the terms of reference for Cyprus proposed by Spaak on September 30. Polto 978, October 14, reported on the October 13 meeting. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/ 10 - 1458)
At the October 17 meeting, the British, Turkish, and Greek Representatives agreed that Brussels would be the site of a Cyprus conference. Revisions to the proposed terms of reference were also discussed. Polto 1024, October 17, reported on this meeting. (Ibid., 747C.00/10 - 1758)
At the October 23 meeting, Sarper, the Turkish Permanent Representative, announced that Turkey accepted the proposal for a NATO-sponsored conference. Melas, the Greek Permanent Representative, reported that the proposal was not acceptable to Greece and that Foreign Minister Averoff was placing the matter of participation in a NATO-sponsored conference before the Greek cabinet. Polto 1081, October 23, reported on this meeting. (Ibid., 747C.00/10 - 2358)
282. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, October 25, 1958, 6 p.m.
1060. Embtel 1040./1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 2558. Secret; Niact. Also sent to USUN and repeated to Paris for USRO, London, Ankara, and Nicosia.
/1/Telegram 1040 from Athens, October 23, reported that the Greek Government was reluctant to participate in a conference on Cyprus due to its fear that it would be forced to accept British proposals for the island's future while any discussions or decisions on the ultimate fate of Cyprus would be avoided. (Ibid., 747C.00/10 - 2358)
1. Permanent Under-Secretary of Foreign Office asked me to call urgently this afternoon to communicate following at request of Foreign Minister re Cyprus Conference.
2. GOG has now formally decided to reject Conference on basis proposed and its NATO representative will be so instructed. Expected that Greek statement will be made next NATO meeting on October 27 or 28.
GOG has been brought to this conclusion as it is now convinced Conference is certain to fail because of UK and Turkish attitude toward Greek proposals for final solution of Cyprus problem. This is manifest from many indications including Lennox-Boyd speech/2/ and Turk reaction to Sulzberger article in New York Times re outline for settlement under NATO aegis./3/ Skeferis said NATO would surely suffer if Conference were held and failed and GOG did not wish to put further strain on alliance ties.
/2/In a speech at Blackpool on October 9, the Colonial Secretary referred to Cyprus as "an offshore island of Turkey."
/3/The New York Times, October 22, 1958.
3. I then reviewed situation in Paris as I understood it and pointed out flexibility seemed to exist respecting composition of conference. I emphasized Spaak draft letter/4/ clearly provided for discussion of final solution and remarked that Greek attitude would be hard to defend amongst Allies when we seemed to be approaching conference on basis requested by GOG. Therefore it was difficult to understand Greek decision to reject conference at this point and this would in my opinion create impression of intransigence. Skeferis contented himself in replying that failure of conference, which was now certain, would be worse. In thanking US for its efforts, he hoped we would use our great influence in preparing NATO communique to prevent blame being cast on GOG for breakdown of negotiations. He recalled that situation in Greece re attitude toward NATO had much improved in recent weeks and GOG was desirous of preventing any recrudescence of anti-NATO feeling. I [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] replied I would convey his remarks to Department, expressing hope simultaneously alliance would not be subjected to further strains as result of this decision.
/4/The revised terms of reference proposed by Spaak on September 30 were to be sent in a letter to governments participating in the proposed conference on Cyprus.
[1 paragraph (3-1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]
283. Message From Prime Minister Macmillan to President Eisenhower
London, October 27, 1958.
DEAR FRIEND: I am afraid that the Greeks have been very weak about Cyprus. As I understand it, there was a very close vote in the Greek Cabinet/1/ and they were finally swung against the idea of an immediate conference by the opposition of Makarios. The Archbishop in his turn had been frightened by the extremists who had attacked his recent utterances./2/
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Dulles - Herter Series. Secret. Enclosure to a letter from Hood to Eisenhower, October 27.
/1/On October 24.
/2/Makarios formally rejected proposals for an international conference on October 26. The Archbishop had been under pressure from Grivas and from hard line clerics on Cyprus, who favored enosis, since his proposal of September 28 for an independent Cypriot state.
All this is very regrettable, but the Foreign Secretary and I were luckily able to see Spaak today, as he had an engagement to make a speech in this country. We discussed the whole question with him very frankly and we agreed that the right course was to let the Greeks simmer for a period. In their hearts, most of the Greek Government realise that their attitude is indefensible; if we run after them now it will only consolidate them; but if we do nothing, their self-doubting will take effect. All I think that we should do is to make it quite clear that nothing on our part has prevented the conference.
Accordingly I propose in my speech on the opening of the new session of Parliament tomorrow to give a paraphrase of the Spaak proposals which will show that we were prepared for a frank discussion of the Cyprus question including possible long-term solutions./3/ I think that on Wednesday Spaak will arrange for publication of the basic document and of his covering letter./4/ This will at least ensure that the Greeks cannot re-open everything again when the time comes for them to decide that they would like a conference after all.
/3/For text of Macmillan's October 30 speech, see House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, 5th Series, vol. 594, cols. 37 - 48.
/4/The documentation was subsequently published as Discussions of Cyprus in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Cmd. 566, October 1958.
Although all this is disappointing, I am not unduly depressed. We have, after all, made great progress in the last few months and the Greeks have at least dropped all their talk about leaving N.A.T.O. The Greek Government is fundamentally weak and, at the moment, over-influenced by Makarios; we shall try to bring them along slowly. I am sure that you will help in this.
With warm regards,
/5/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
284. Editorial Note
The North Atlantic Council met on October 29 for further discussions on Cyprus. The Greek Permanent Representative announced that his government would not participate in a NATO-sponsored conference on Cyprus. The Council members agreed to the declassification of documentation relating to the efforts of NAC to convene a conference on Cyprus in order that it could be released for the information of their respective parliamentary bodies. Polto 1154, October 29, reported on the meeting. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 2958) For text of the Greek Government's statement, see The Cyprus Question, pages 14 - 17.
285. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom
Washington, October 31, 1958.
4337. Deptel Presidential Handling 4231. Deliver following message to Prime Minister Macmillan from President. Confirm date and time delivery.
"October 31, 1958
Thank you for your message of October twenty-seventh/1/ about the setback to the effort to get a conference about Cyprus under way.
I can readily understand your disappointment at the sudden decision of the Greek Government not to participate in a conference, especially in light of the long and painstaking discussions in the North Atlantic Council and the considerable efforts at compromise which your Government has made in the course of these discussions. We too were greatly disappointed by the Greek Government's decision, and we have made our disappointment known to the Greeks./2/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 3158. Secret; Presidential Handling.
/2/Assistant Secretary of State Rountree expressed U.S. disappointment during an October 27 meeting with the Greek Ambassador. A memorandum of this conversation is in Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 2758.
We share your belief that there is probably little advantage to be gained in pressing the Greeks further at this time to attend a conference, and we also share your hope that a conference may yet be possible. In spite of our disappointment with the Greeks, we believe that it is very important to keep open the door to further NATO talks on Cyprus. To this end we hope that it will be possible to avoid any action by NATO which could create the impression that NATO is opposed to Greece on this issue. Within recent weeks, we have noticed a healthier and less suspicious attitude on the part of the Greek Government toward the idea of NATO consultation with regard to Cyprus. This new attitude should, in our opinion, be encouraged, since it holds forth the possibility of eventual further productive talks under the aegis of NATO.
I admire your refusal to be disheartened by recent Cyprus developments and your determination to continue to work toward a settlement of this vastly difficult problem. For our part, we always shall be ready to help whenever and however we appropriately can.
With warm regard,
As ever, Ike"
Observe Presidential Handling.
[End of Section 16]