U.S. Department of State
Vol. X, Part 1, FRUS, 1958-60: E. Europe Region; Soviet Union; Cyprus
Office of the Historian
[Section 17 of 19]
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 1958: DISCUSSIONS AT THE UNITED NATIONS
286. Letter From the Representative to the United Nations (Lodge) to Secretary of State Dulles
New York, November 3, 1958.
DEAR FOSTER: Queen Frederika of Greece made an urgent plea to me for the United States to adopt a hands off attitude on the Cyprus question--if it should come into the United Nations./1/ She said "hands off" meant not only a public attitude but also not working in the background because the background work always got reported in Greece.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11 - 358. Secret.
/1/Queen Frederika of Greece visited the United States October 21 - December 14.
She said that the only strong politician in Greece today was Karamanlis and that if the United States got identified with being on the "wrong side" of the Cyprus question, his government would fall and then there would be only the King and the Queen to stand up for the alliance with the west.
This makes me think once again of the idea which we discussed driving into New York the other day, that is, that we adopt the same attitude on Cyprus and Algeria as we adopted on the Western New Guinea question--the attitude of total abstention. If we should adopt this attitude in the case of Cyprus, it would make it easier for us to adopt it in the case of Algeria and vice versa. The fact that the French themselves are abstaining on the Algerian question seems to me to afford some justification for our doing the same. It really should please them. It seems to me that under no circumstances can we become active lobbyists for any side in this question.
Looking back over the last six years, I think we have really come out as well as could be expected on the Western New Guinea question, and I do not think this is the case as regards Cyprus and Algeria.
It is really quite a step and I am still not sure, but my thinking is trending more and more that way.
I suggest that this letter be very closely held in view of the fact that it reports a conversation with Queen Frederika.
287. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, November 10, 1958, 2 p.m.
1170. 1. Before departing for Bonn with Prime Minister,/1/ Averoff asked me to call to discuss where we stood on Cyprus. He reviewed reasons which had led GOG to refuse conference citing as primary cause UK and Turk determination to discuss modified Macmillan plan and little else. He held it to be self-evident from tenor of NATO discussions and from Zorlu and Lennox-Boyd declarations/2/ there could be no serious consideration of definitive solution and of GOG - Makarios proposal/3/ for guaranteed independence. In these circumstances conference could only fail which would be worse for NATO prestige than refusal of conference. I countered by citing the various texts on which agreement had almost been reached and underlined that whatever mental reservations might exist respecting possibility of definitive solution in near future, nonetheless UK and Turkey had accepted principles of discussion. I said that we were disappointed at failure to agree on conference and continued by expounding policy outlined in Depcirtel 531./4/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11 - 1058. Secret. Transmitted in two sections. Repeated to Ankara, London, Paris for USRO, Nicosia, and USUN.
/1/Karamanlis and Averoff visited Bonn November 10 - 14.
/2/During his October 9 speech at Blackpool, Lennox-Boyd reiterated that the British Government would implement its proposals of June 19 and August 15 in Cyprus. The Zorlu declaration is apparently a reference to an October 22 Turkish Government denial that it had abandoned partition as an objective for Cyprus.
/3/Makarios' September 28 proposal called for a period of self- government under British rule followed by independence for Cyprus.
/4/Circular telegram 531, October 30, reported the Department's view that discussions within the North Atlantic Council on Cyprus had helped to promote a solution to the crisis. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 3058)
2. Foreign Minister replied he did not agree with us gap had been narrowed, basically because GOT had not moved one step from partition while GOG and Makarios had come forward with important concession of guaranteed independence which could make settlement possible. Behind all procedural debate in Paris was to be observed GOT determination to uphold partition as only solution and this attitude was in effect supported by UK. Therefore gap had not been narrowed on substance and conference in these conditions was certain to fail. During summer GOG had followed counsel of its friends, Spaak had come up with reasonable proposal/5/ which GOG could accept, but UK had gone ahead with modified Macmillan plan as if Spaak proposal had never existed. Furthermore, UK was now proceeding to apply plan and Turks, in spite of their agreement with us, had now appointed governmental representative who was not Consul-General./6/ UK had refused time to discuss modified Macmillan plan although Spaak proposals were pending and it was clear from Paris discussions it had no intention of deferring application of plan. All this had been accepted with [without?] demur by NATO.
/5/Reference is to Spaak's July initiatives; see Document 249.
/6/Apparent reference to the appointment of Isin as Turkish representative on Cyprus.
3. Therefore, said Averoff, GOG was compelled once more to go to UN where he would support guaranteed independence proposal. He hoped we would once more examine it carefully. He said he had informed Turkish Embassy if this could be eventually accepted GOG would be happy to see guarantees inserted in Cypriot constitution that proportionate number ministers would be granted to Turk Cypriots. This would be in addition to minority guarantees which GOG had always been ready to accept. Turk minority would therefore be assured of participation in government of island, including proportionate number of deputies. He would ask USG once more to review list of guarantees which GOG would accept: Participation of Turk minority in government; British bases; NATO bases; minority guarantees for freedom of religion, et cetera; guarantees against eventual enosis. He was convinced that if we would actively support such a program the solution on basis of guaranteed independence could be found.
4. Turning to UN debate, Averoff expressed optimism that if US maintained real neutrality, including neutrality "in the corridors" and particularly with LA delegations, GOG had chance of obtaining two-thirds for guaranteed independence. It doubted if it could do it without real neutrality by US. If we could not give active support, he expressed fervent hope that we would grant benevolent neutrality. I said I did not know as yet what our position would be but I assumed it would depend upon form of resolutions offered.
5. Averoff then said it should not be overlooked that if there were no progress on independence proposal it might not remain valid indefinitely and Archbishop might revert to self-determination and on other hand, if progress were made in UN, he implied Greece might come to NATO conference which would then have principle of independence endorsed by GA. (I find this highly speculative but am not informed of UN sentiment on guaranteed independence.)
6. In short conversation with Prime Minister at recent reception he likewise pleaded for our support for guaranteed independence proposal and requested that we draw up some sort of compromise if this idea did not appeal to us. Otherwise situation in Cyprus and Greece would continue to worsen.
7. From Ankara's 1343/7/ assume Averoff is correct when he states GOT has not departed from partition. It always seemed realistic that London's 1770 of September 27/8/ represented fundamental UK position in spite of what was said in Paris during discussion of conference. If these two assessments are accurate then success of conference was indeed problematical. When I left Washington in February partition was not favorably regarded but I gathered it was felt Turks were entitled to more than paper guarantees. Proposal of Turkish base was rejected by GOG. British hope of early this year that after one more big explosion EOKA would be brought under control has not come to pass. Postulate of modified Macmillan plan is idea of Anglo-Greek-Turk cooperation but GOG has rejected it and GOT accepted with stipulation it was consistent with partition (to which GOG is strongly opposed). Therefore any hope UK plan can be integrally applied has disappeared. In meantime, Makarios has moved from enosis to guaranteed independence and is supported by GOG.
/7/Telegram 1343 from Athens, October 31, warned that the Turkish Government had not ruled out a solution to Cyprus by partition. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/10 - 3158)
/8/Telegram 1770 from London reported that the British Government would not yield to Greek "pressure tactics" because it feared that an agreement based on Greek demands would lead to troubles in Cyprus and with the Turkish Government. (Ibid., 747C.00/9 - 2758)
8. This analysis brings me to conclusion that Cyprus will continue a running sore and will cause continued disruption of defense arrangements in eastern Mediterranean unless beginning is made on some compromise. If we believe neither enosis nor partition will be accepted and if pacification of island is unlikely in near future, it is logical to conclude some form of independence with reinforced guarantees to Turk minority and base rights for NATO offers only immediate possibility of prog-ress. This of course is based on promise that UK intends to give up Cyprus as colony in foreseeable future. If this intention does not exist, which is opinion of many Greeks, obviously guaranteed independence is fantasy.
9. [9-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] believe we should have no illusions we are advancing toward solution on basis modified Macmillan plan. One glance at situation on Cyprus should dispel any such hope.
10. In these circumstances, if cannot support at this time any of basic solutions (enosis, partition, independence or continued colonial status) suggest that we revert to complete neutrality until such time when the three parties involved realized the senseless quarrel is not worth endangering their defense and disrupting military planning and aid programs. This will make it more difficult in Greece, as UK and Turkey are more satisfied with status quo, but may [have] long-term advantage of instilling more realism into Greek policy which continues to cherish hope we shall eventually support it on moral basis of colonial liberation.
288. Memorandum of Conversation
Washington, November 11, 1958.
Lord Hood, Minister, British Embassy Mr. Charles Wiggin, First Secretary, British Embassy IO--Mr. Francis O. Wilcox EUR--Mr. Dale GTI--Mr. Jones GTI--Mr. Blood UNP--Mr. Sisco UNP--Mr. Newlin
Lord Hood and Mr. Wiggin called at Lord Hood's request. Lord Hood referred to a personal note of November 9 from Ambassador Caccia to the Under Secretary which transmitted, inter alia, a request from Mr. Selwyn Lloyd that the US and the UK delegations in New York collaborate closely on the Cyprus item at the current session of the General Assembly./1/ Lord Hood said that Sir Pierson Dixon on November 10 had shown two texts of a prospective British resolution to USUN in New York and he assumed Mr. Wilcox had seen them. The UK very much hoped the US would be able to cosponsor a British resolution./2/ While the UK felt that its record on Cyprus was a good one and, consequently, did not fear a debate on the subject, the British Government hoped that UN consideration of Cyprus would make possible a resumption of discussions in NAC looking forward to a conference among the interested parties. Mr. Wilcox said that this was a good objective. The UK hoped, Lord Hood said, that the present session of the General Assembly would make it plain to the Greeks that appeals to the UN would not strengthen their case.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11 - 1158. Confidential. Drafted by Newlin and initialed by Wilcox.
/1/Lloyd wanted the two delegations to "collaborate over Cyprus. If they do, he still hopes that it may be possible to restore the position to what it was before the NATO discussions broke down and if so, to get a worthwhile conference. But things could go badly wrong unless our delegations work together, not necessarily openly, but in fact." Caccia's note is in Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Cyprus.
/2/Texts of the British draft resolution were sent to the Department of State in Delga 394 from USUN, November 10. (Department of State, Central Files, 320.11/11 - 1058)
Mr. Wilcox speculated that the Greeks themselves might contemplate a resumption of the NAC discussions should the Assembly fail to adopt a resolution endorsing guaranteed independence. Mr. Wiggin said he thought the Greeks hoped to get the Assembly to adopt a resolution endorsing a substantive position favorable to Greece, i.e., self-determination or guaranteed independence. Such a development would seriously handicap additional efforts by NAC to arrange a conference. Mr. Wilcox said that a Greek resolution calling for guaranteed independence with both partition and enosis excluded might come close to commanding a two- thirds majority.
"That depends on the United States", Mr. Wiggin replied.
Mr. Wilcox said that he thought a resumption of the NAC discussions was a reasonable objective. However, even though the US sympathized with the UK substantive position, cosponsorship of one of the UK draft resolutions, the texts of which he had seen, would raise certain problems. In the report he had received from New York, even Sir Pierson Dixon had indicated that the first UK draft resolution went quite far in endorsing the UK substantive position. What may happen, and this was not a suggestion Mr. Wilcox said, was that an extreme UK resolution might balance an extreme Greek resolution and a compromise resolution calling for resumed discussions under the aegis of NATO would develop. The US and UK delegations ought to discuss this possibility.
Lord Hood observed that even if two extreme resolutions were introduced such as Mr. Wilcox mentioned, the US might still have to lobby to prevent the adoption of a resolution calling for guaranteed independence. On the other hand, if a resolution calling for resumed discussions was desired, Mr. Wilcox said, it might be better for the US to stay in the background and play a conciliatory role. Mr. Wiggin observed that the US's conciliatory role "didn't come off" last year./3/
/3/Reference is to U.S. participation in the formulation of a resolution on Cyprus at the 12th U.N. General Assembly.
The Greeks might also welcome a resolution calling for resumed discussions, Mr. Wilcox thought. According to Mr. Wiggin, Archbishop Makarios had denied this was a Greek goal. Mr. Wilcox then referred to a statement made by a member of the UK delegation in New York that the Greek Government, having been forced by Makarios to refuse to participate in a conference, might welcome a resolution by the General Assembly calling for a resumption of the NAC talks. Mr. Jones said that he thought such a theory was too optimistic.
Lord Hood said that since the Department had the prospective texts of a UK draft resolution, he would not spend time on them. He wished to request the wholehearted support of the US for the UK concerning Cyprus and hoped that the Department would consider cosponsoring a British resolution. Of utmost importance, was concerted action in New York between our respective delegations to develop tactics capable of yielding the best possible results.
Mr. Wilcox then summarized USUN's report of Sir Pierson Dixon's representation in New York./4/ He said that USUN felt that the Assembly was unlikely to endorse either of the draft texts since they went too far in the direction of endorsing the British position. Lord Hood said that he hoped that detailed discussions between the two delegations would continue in New York.
/4/Reported in Delga 393 from USUN, November 10. (Department of State, Central Files, 320.11/11 - 1058)
289. Telegram From the Embassy in Turkey to the Department of State
Ankara, November 14, 1958, noon.
1470. At present stage Cyprus issue, Embassy at loss suggest any better tactics for handling problem than that Britain continue implement UK plan and attempt restrict EOKA terrorists. As expressed by Nicosia (Nicosia telegram 245),/1/ Embassy also believes failure of British show determination continue carry out UK plan would incur grave risk of creating new "Palestine" situation on Cyprus, which would be more dangerous to US policies than present period of tension. Embassy may be suffering from "localitis", but only constructive new measure seen possible would be for British find some means bring forcefully home to Makarios appreciation hardships of Greeks on Cyprus and their reportedly increasing desire for early settlement (Nicosia telegram 209)./2/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11 - 1458. Secret. Repeated to Athens, London, Paris for USRO, Istanbul, Izmir, and Iskenderun.
/1/Telegram 245 from Nicosia, November 12, reported that the British authorities had put off application of stringent security measures on Cyprus in view of the lower-than-expected level of EOKA violence but that they would act with determination if EOKA escalated its violence. (Ibid., 747C.00/11 - 1258)
/2/Telegram 209 from Nicosia, October 14, reported that Makarios was searching for a compromise solution to the Cyprus issue. (Ibid., 747C.00/10 - 1458)
GOT has not yet revealed its views on how it plans handle forthcoming UNGA debates re Cyprus (Embtel 1447)./3/ Embassy believes Foreign Minister Zorlu would be satisfied with resolution worded along lines 11th UNGA resolution calling for conference of "interested parties"./4/
As indicated by local press resuming practice headline government statements re Cyprus and arrival Kuchuk to Ankara (Embtel 1460),/5/ GOT may be moving toward new build-up local excitement re Cyprus in preparation of UNGA debates. Embassy therefore supports Nicosia recommendation (Nicosia telegram 246)/6/ that Department have facts on voting record and texts US statements as well as text final resolution be sent interested posts by Priority if not Niact telegram.
/3/Telegram 1447 from Ankara, November 12, reported that Zorlu had not been willing to discuss the Cyprus issue. (Ibid., 747C.00/11 - 1258)
/4/For text of this February 26, 1957, resolution, see U.N. doc. A/C. 1/L.172 (XI).
/5/Dated November 13. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11 - 1358)
/6/Dated November 12. (Ibid., 747C.00/11 - 1248)
Foreseeing that Greece will make major push at UNGA for concept "independence" (Athens telegram 1170),/7/ Embassy wishes restate that basic factor determining Turkish position is need for security of Anatolia with protection Turkish community on Cyprus being given second consideration. "Independence", which provides only "paper" guarantees security Anatolia would not be acceptable GOT. GOT agreed support present UK plan because (1) it committed UK remain on island for at least seven years more, (2) through position of Turkish Government representative GOT obtained foothold on island and (3) HMG agreed to reiteration Lennox-Boyd statement December 19, 1956. Publicly GOT still firmly wedded to thesis "partition"; this thesis continues contain flexibility at least to extent not preventing GOT from agreeing support UK plan. Embassy unable envisage how Greek Government could embellish "independence" so that it would become harmonious with "partition" but was encouraged by Averoff's re-ported approach to Turkish Embassy Athens with request that Turks re-examine concept of independence (Athens telegram 1170 paragraph 3). If possible Embassy feels USG should encourage more such direct Turkish-Greek talks.
Except for continued support of British efforts implement UK plan and for encouraging Greeks and Turks get together directly (Athens telegram 1170), Embassy feels it impossible map out next step in USG policy in UNGA until after Greeks-British-Turks expose their plans, possibly in UN debate.
290. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, November 15, 1958, 9 p.m.
1212. 1. Had opportunity for short conversation with Foreign Minister before he departed New York today. Averoff renewed his plea for support by US of guaranteed independence arguing that it represents middle position between enosis and partition, is something that US can support as consistent with its overall policy, and will eventually help British with Turks as UK can argue it cannot hold out indefinitely for partition if consensus in UN favors independence. If we cannot actively support, Foreign Minister asked again for completely neutral position so that it can present case without American opposition, public or private.
2. Obviously encouraged by political discussions at Bonn/1/ including Chancellor's attitude, Averoff said he planned to adopt moderate approach in UN unless forced by Zorlu to reply sharply. If even some sort of vague formula for guaranteed independence emerged from UNGA debate, GOG anticipates renewed discussions in NATO at December meeting of Ministers./2/ This cannot be said publicly now but it represents GOG attitude if it can emerge from UNGA discussions with some progress toward guaranteed independence even if date for independence were not fixed./3/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11 - 1558. Secret. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Ankara, Nicosia, and USUN.
/1/See footnote 1, Document 287.
/2/Scheduled for December 16 - 18 in Paris.
/3/In telegram 1213 from Athens, November 15, Riddleberger reported: "Averoff asked me to give his personal assurance, not yet cleared with GOG, that if guaranteed independence idea is approved in principle by UNGA, even though in form of vague resolution without date of independence being fixed, recommendation will be made to Cypriots to stop violence on ground that eventual liberation from colonial rule is certain. He asked this be kept strictly secret for time being but was certain it could be done if progress is made in UN. He said if such declaration were made it would without doubt have great effect on island and would certainly aid in pacification. Department may desire inform Lodge of this possibility." (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11 - 1558)
3. Averoff said both Makarios and GOG will push hard for guaranteed independence resolution from UNGA although it is recognized in Athens that UN solution is not likely. Although he did not say so specifically, I have strong impression that Greeks will advocate principle of independence, perhaps without asking date be fixed, on general theory that Cyprus as part of Europe is developed to point where independence is justified in view of liberation of less developed areas. If they are accused that this is just a cover for enosis, they will invite UN to stipulate guarantees which would preserve independence and accept them. In brief, Greeks plan to convert issue into one where vote will be for or against independence with guarantees laid down by UN. As GOG now has Archbishop publicly on record for guaranteed independence, it can safely proceed along this line and it obviously expects to obtain support. As Macmillan has proclaimed his plan does not prejudice final solution and as we have publicly maintained neutral position, Greeks will certainly argue we should not oppose their position. It would be helpful for me to know our attitude as soon as possible to guide me in discussions here./4/
/4/No reply has been found.
291. Memorandum of Conversation
Washington, November 18, 1958.
The Secretary Fatin Rustu Zorlu, Foreign Minister of Turkey Ali S.H. Urguplu, Turkish Ambassador Ambassador Kural, Turkish UN GA Delegation Mr. Rountree, NEA Ambassador Warren Mr. Owen Jones, GTI Mr. Joseph Sisco, UNP
Foreign Minister Zorlu said he was here for the Cyprus debate/1/ and he hoped the United States would support the Turkish position in the United Nations. He recalled that the General Assembly had adopted a resolution in 1957 asking the parties to negotiate./2/ He said this resolution had not been implemented. While the Greek Government may have been inclined to a conference, Makarios had insisted upon the United Nations being tried again./3/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11 - 1858. Confidential. Drafted by Sisco.
/1/Scheduled to begin November 25.
/2/Adopted by the General Assembly on February 26, 1957. For text, see U.N. doc. A/C.1/L.172 (XI).
/3/Presumably a reference to press reports of the substance of Makarios' talks with Karamanlis on October 25.
The Secretary said that it was unlikely that a solution could be found in the United Nations since a solution could only be achieved by talks between the parties. We do not know precisely what our position will be on the different resolutions which will be presented. He recalled that he had discussed this matter with the Greeks yesterday, who had asked for support of their resolution./4/ The Secretary said he had responded that the United States cannot support a resolution, the content of which we do not know. He recalled also that he had expressed the hope to the Greeks that what takes place in the United Nations should facilitate a further evolution towards a solution of the Cyprus question through direct discussion by the parties concerned.
/4/A memorandum of Dulles' November 17 conversation with Liatis is in Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11 - 1758.
In response to the Secretary's inquiry, Foreign Minister Zorlu said that the Turkish Government had not decided whether to submit a resolution to the Assembly. He described the UK plan as a kind of truce between the parties and affirmed that it has Turkish approbation. While the Turks believe that the Macmillan plan can be improved in certain ways, nevertheless they had given their support since it was a truce which would not prejudice an ultimate solution. It placed the Cyprus question in "refrigeration", leaving open the ultimate solution. During the seven-year period called for by the Macmillan plan, spirits could quiet down and allow for greater understanding, and the spirit of cooperation could develop so that a solution could be reached. He said the Greek approach had been negative. This was somewhat surprising since the idea of a conference was initially a Greek idea. Zorlu said when ever-ybody accepted the idea, the Greeks then decided to turn it down and go to the United Nations instead. The Greeks had also made a similar reversal in the question of partition. When the UK and the Turks had agreed to partition, the Greeks had then changed their attitude. Foreign Minister Zorlu said that if the Greeks do not find a good climate in the United Nations, this will be conducive to greater understanding. Foreign Minister Zorlu stressed that the Turks have always been in favor of the idea of the conference, and he cited the Trieste case of how quiet discussions can lead to a solution.
Foreign Minister Zorlu then explained the Turkish concept of partition. He said that without dividing the stand [land?] they sought a "kind of an intellectual partition"; namely that the two communities must be given the idea that neither was being governed by the other. He believed the three governments principally concerned should cooperate to this end. He did not believe it was desirable to "mix the United Nations" in this matter. In particular, the Turks felt that it would be undesirable for the United Nations to establish a committee or some sort of machinery. The Turkish attitude was to keep this matter out of the United Nations as much as possible. As to the question of observers at any conference, the Foreign Minister said the Turks had agreed to the presence of Spaak, but in general the Turks favored a conference with limited participation since negotiations could then go on without speeches and demagoguery.
The Secretary said that we do not know at this point just what the Greeks intend to propose. Mr. Rountree said the principal Greek objective was to get the United Nations to support the idea of independence. He said the Greeks would be favorably disposed to negotiations outside the United Nations but they wanted prior endorsement by the Assembly of the principle of independence so that independence would constitute the basis for negotiations.
The Secretary said it would not be very easy to defeat an independence resolution in the United Nations. Zorlu was skeptical about this and said that while an independence resolution would have some appeal, he did not believe that independence was as popular at the United Nations as made out to be since a number of governments understood the difficulties involved with this concept as it related to Cyprus. Moreover, they would recall Averoff's past tactics at the UN General Assembly/5/ and the different views of Makarios and Kyprianos/6/ on independence. He expressed the view that such a Greek proposal could not pass and he feared more the possible establishment of UN machinery. The Secretary demurred, and said in his view there was much more danger of a resolution on independence being adopted by the United Nations than a resolution which would have the United Nations take over the job of solving the Cyprus question. The Secretary said that such a resolution would be supported by the Soviet bloc, countries from Africa and Asia and would find some support among the Latin Americans. Foreign Minister Zorlu said he was much more hopeful than in the past regarding the Latin American attitude.
/5/Presumably a reference to Averoff's justification for EOKA terrorism at the 12th Session of the General Assembly. For text of the debate, see U.N. doc. A/C.1/PV. 847 (XI).
/6/The Bishop of Kyrenia, a supporter of enosis, had been exiled with Makarios in March 1956.
The Secretary said that we are in accord with the general views of the Turks. We hope the results of the General Assembly debate will lead to agreement on a conference of the type Spaak has had in mind. The question is how to bring about this objective. Mr. Rountree emphasized that one of our problems was to avoid compromises in the UNGA action that might jeopardize continuing negotiations outside the United Nations framework.
292. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, November 20, 1958, 6 p.m.
1250. 1. In interview today with Prime Minister at his request, Karamanlis made impassioned plea for US intervention now to solve Cyprus dispute. Recalling that Soviet bloc would probably support self- determination in UNGA, he expressed anxiety this strategy would eventually force GOG to alter its present policy of advocating UK and NATO bases in Cyprus unless steps were taken to reach final solution. He predicted if progress were not soon made he could not hold the line here and would be forced into more intransigeant position by opposition in Parliament. He repeated well-known argument GOG had made important concessions in guaranteed independence proposal and argued this would eventually bring peace in Cyprus and help UK in dealing with Turks. He thought Greek proposal was consistent with overall US policy and appealed once more for our support.
2. In reply I took same line as Secretary with Liatis (Deptel 1504)/1/ and attempted to persuade Prime Minister that as no solution was likely in UN we hoped action in Assembly would be conducive to solution and would be so framed as to make possible renewed negotiations. This provoked outburst from Prime Minister in which he made it clear vague resolution for renewed negotiations would not be sufficient. Unless there could be established some basis for conference such as guaranteed independence Greece would not participate. I responded by pointing out how close we had come in Paris to conference in which final solution could be discussed and how far NATO members had gone to meeting GOG requests. [8-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/11 - 2058. Secret. Repeated to Ankara, London, Paris for USRO, Nicosia, and USUN.
/1/Dated November 17. (Ibid., 320.11/11 - 1758) Dulles' comments were similar to those he expressed to Zorlu on November 18; see Document 291.
293. Editorial Note
At the request of the Greek Government, the Political Committee of the U.N. General Assembly discussed the Cyprus question at its meetings of November 24 - December 4. Seven resolutions were introduced by different member states of the Committee. An Iranian resolution, which urged the three concerned governments to hold a conference with the additional participation, if desired, of other governments to deal with an interim and final solution for Cyprus, received the support of the United Kingdom and Turkey. It was approved by the Political Committee on December 4 by a vote of 31 to 22 with 28 abstentions. For text of this resolution, see U.N. doc. A/C.1/L.226 and Rev. 1. A resolution introduced by Colombia, which had the backing of the Greek Government, failed of adoption. For text of this resolution, see U.N. doc. A/C.1/L.255. The United States abstained in the vote on the Colombian resolution and voted for the Iranian resolution. The U.S. position on Cyprus was outlined in a statement by James W. Barco to the Political Committee on November 28. For text of the statement, see Department of State Bulletin, January 5, 1959, pages 41 - 42.
294. Memorandum of Conversation
Washington, December 1, 1958.
The Acting Secretary Lord Hood, Minister, British Embassy NEA--Mr. Owen Jones EUR--Mr. William Dale UNP--Mr. Joseph Sisco
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/12 - 158. Confidential. Drafted by Sisco and approved by Herter on December 5.
Lord Hood called at his request and expressed gratification for the statement made by the United States Representative in the Political Committee last week on the Cyprus question./1/ He described the situation as fluid. He focussed the principal discussion on the UK redraft of the Iranian resolution which was communicated to the Department telephonically by USUN this morning./2/ Lord Hood said he hoped this redraft, which he referred to as the second Iranian resolution, will carry the day. The UK is encouraging the Iranians to put it forward. Lord Hood said it represented a real compromise since the resolution makes no reference to the UK plan, no reference to the UK initiative, nor to terrorism on the island, and does not preclude any final solution. He noted in this connection the language in the third preambular paragraph: "but also a discussion of a final solution, from which no possibilities would be excluded,". Lord Hood said the UK has tried to make the resolution as acceptable as possible, and in their view, it coincides exactly with the statement made by the United States Representative in the Committee on Friday that the General Assembly should not give lead to any specific final solution but rather that the General Assembly effort should be directed towards a resumption of negotiations. Lord Hood stressed that the UK cannot go any further than this draft in compromising and that they believed Averoff might not be too unhappy with the draft and might acquiesce in it (an abstention). In this connection, Lord Hood made the following request: (a) that the United States should encourage the Iranians to submit the aforementioned draft resolution; (b) that the United States should speak to the Greeks with a view to getting their acquiescence to the resolution; (c) that the United States vote for the revised Iranian resolution; and (d) that we let it be known we intend to vote for it.
/1/Regarding Barco's November 28 statement, see Document 293.
/2/In Delga 577 from USUN, December 1. (Department of State, Central Files, 320.11/12 - 158) For texts of the Iranian resolution and the British redraft, see U.N. docs. A/C.1/L.226 and Rev. 1.
The Acting Secretary noted that this draft resolution had come a long way to leave out a specific reference to the UK 7-year plan and that it was directed towards a conference of those concerned. He inquired as to the Greek reaction to the resolution and was informed that the Greeks are probably not yet aware of the redrafted resolution since it is developing behind the scenes and has not been submitted as yet. The Acting Secretary noted that the resolution comes very close to the expression of our views in the Political Committee and that voting for this resolution would not be too difficult. However, the Acting Secretary made no commitment regarding how we would vote since, for one thing, we did not know the Greek reaction. In conclusion, the Acting Secretary said we would keep in touch with the UK.
295. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, December 3, 1958, 10 a.m.
1322. 1. [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] Prime Minister convoked me last night for one of those midnight meetings in Parliament building (where heavy attack was proceeding against GOG for its anti-Communist measures)./1/ By time I could arrive Karamanlis had been compelled to retire to bed with another kidney attack and Tsatsos spoke to me in his name assisted by some telephonic conversation between Prime Minister and me.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/12 - 358. Secret; Niact. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Ankara, Nicosia, and USUN.
/1/EDA, in a parliamentary interpellation, had charged that the Karamanlis government was persecuting its members, following reports that the Greek police were investigating alleged ties between EDA members and the outlawed Greek Communist Party. On December 7, 13 members of EDA were arrested and charged with espionage.
2. General tenor of their remarks was to effect that GOG had last night received reports we would oppose redrafted Indian resolution/2/ which presumably was submitted yesterday and they wished to urge our benevolent neutrality as a minimum. Tsatsos said Indian resolution as redrafted refers to abandonment of enosis by GOG, states effective provisions for protection of minority rights are essential, requests continued negotiations for self-government in accordance with Charter of UN, mentions cessation of violence and calls upon all to respect the integrity of Cyprus. Tsatsos said GOG feared US would vote against Indian resolution [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]. I replied indeed it might and as he had probably observed from Barco statement/3/ we had maintained position of neutrality but doubted if frame of final solution would emerge from UN debate. I maintained that to date we had shown neutrality in this context.
/2/For text of this resolution, see U.N. doc. A/C.1/L.228.
/3/See Document 293.
3. Tsatsos replied he had impression we had not advocated partition as solution and therefore could consistently support Indian resolution. I said that speaking without benefit of texts it might depend upon interpretation given to this phrase, recalling we had earlier agreed in Paris to discussion of final solution but had not taken a position on any particular solution. Tsatsos said he hoped Indian resolution was sufficiently consistent with our position to enable us not to oppose it if we could not give it active support.
4. I enquired if Makarios would agree to Indian resolution and he replied affirmatively. He added Prime Minister had asked him to state specifically that if Indian resolution were adopted it would be sufficient for GOG to resume negotiations in NATO.
5. Not having seen complete text of Indian resolution I hesitate to comment as there may be other sections which are objectionable to us. [2 lines of source text not declassified] Without wishing to belabor point made earlier, perhaps it would help if I could give GOG our opinion whether modified Macmillan plan invalidates Lennox-Boyd declaration. If it does, we could possibly eliminate Greek belief UK goes into conference committed to partition if Turks insist./4/
/4/The United States decided to support the Iranian instead of the Indian resolution. At 11:20 a.m. on December 3, Herter telephoned Wilcox on the status of the Cyprus issue. According to a memorandum of their conversation, "Wilcox said he, Merchant and Rountree had met after staff and had agreed to tell NY the Iranian proposal is consistent with our statement and has merit of not raising substance in the Assembly. British wanted us to make a speech but Merchant agreed we should not but wants to tell British we are supporting proposal."
Herter then telephoned Ambassador Lodge at 11:40 a.m.: "Lodge said the policy, as he understood it, is to support the Iranian resolution and abstain on the Indian. Does not think the Turkish, British and Greek resolutions will come up for a vote. CAH agreed." Memoranda of those conversations are in Eisenhower Library, Herter Papers, Telephone Conversations.
296. Editorial Note
On the evening of December 4, Averoff and Zorlu conferred and agreed on a compromise resolution on Cyprus which was introduced in the General Assembly on December 5 by the Mexican Representative. This resolution reaffirmed Resolution 1013 (XI) of the 12th Session of the General Assembly and called upon the parties to "continue efforts" to reach a just settlement in accordance with the U.N. Charter. This resolution was adopted unanimously and without debate by the General Assembly on December 5. For text of the Mexican resolution, see U.N. doc. A/Res/1287 (XIII).
DECEMBER 1958 - FEBRUARY 1959: THE FINAL SETTLEMENT ON CYPRUS
297. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State
Paris, December 19, 1958, 9 p.m.
2295. From Thurston. In separate encounters with Greek Foreign Minister (Averoff) and Turkish Ambassador Bonn (Iksel) at NATO Ministers Meeting,/1/ following information gleaned on present Greco-Turkish effort to achieve measures of rapprochement between themselves on Cyprus question:
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/12 - 1958. Confidential; Noforn. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, and Nicosia.
/1/December 16 - 18.
Averoff said that in discussions with Turks (presumably between himself and Zorlu) attempt being made to arrive at mutually acceptable formula for an independent Cyprus. Talks only in initial stage but involve practical questions as to share of Turkish community in future government of island. In certain spheres Turks were asking "too high a price", i.e., a fifty-fifty arrangement. In Averoff's opinion, Turks motivated in their current show of friendship by three factors: (1) widespread sentiment expressed in UNGA for independence as best solution, (2) genuine concern over ME developments, and (3) desire to reach relatively favorable settlement before possible advent Labor government in UK. He concluded by stating he was not sure UK entirely happy over Greek-Turkish get together, but that he hoped US would use its influence in London and Ankara to encourage continuance of this bilateral effort.
Iksel (who until recently was Turkish Ambassador in Athens) struck note of cautious optimism in commenting on improved atmosphere between two countries. He said all depended on whether Greeks were engaging in talks with good will. He then displayed other side of coin classified by Averoff as Turkish motivation by expressing fear that Greeks may simply have in mind a stalling operation until UK elections in hope return of Labor government would turn balance their favor.
298. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State
London, December 20, 1958, 8 p.m.
3289. From Rountree. I had a good talk yesterday with Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis, and also with Tsatsos, Minister to the Prime Minister and acting Foreign Minister, and Protopadakis, Minister of Coordination. At Ambassador's dinner I had further opportunity talk with latter two, and also with ex-Prime Minister Tsaldaris, Papandreou, Canellopoulos, Venizelos. This chance meet with both government and opposition useful in giving me picture Greek situation and feelings, and I am grateful to Ambassador Riddleberger for arrangements.
First portion Karamanlis meeting devoted Middle East as he interested my impressions based on visit there. Cyprus introduced into discussion by my reference three hopeful developments of which I had just heard: Averoff - Zorlu meetings Paris,/1/ Macmillan statement on partition,/2/ and commutation of death sentence for Greek Cypriots./3/ Prime Minister seemed feel atmosphere somewhat better but both he and Tsa-tsos thought it wise not be too optimistic. He seemed less emotional on question than I had ever seen him, although this is relative term. All Greeks with whom I talked feel that US had let them down badly, but government seems more resigned to our position. Karamanlis made point US had warned his predecessors not to raise Cyprus question at time, had always made clear its position that it would not support Greek views on substance of solution and Greeks would not therefore claim they misled, however resentful they feel.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/12 - 2058. Confidential. Repeated to Athens and Ankara.
/1/They met on December 18 during the NATO Ministerial Meeting in Paris; see Doc-ument 297.
/2/In a December 10 statement to Parliament, Macmillan reiterated British willingness to discuss a Cyprus settlement with Greece and Turkey. For text, see House of Commons, Parliamentary Debates, 5th Series, vol. 597, cols. 343 - 347.
/3/On December 18 at the joint request of Averoff and Zorlu, Foot commuted the death sentences of two Greek Cypriot terrorists.
He said he had worked hard to make it known that "US owed Greece nothing on this question".
Economic talks were pro-forma with Greeks mentioning need for US assistance on specific projects now under discussion.
299. Editorial Note
On December 24, EOKA announced a unilateral truce in its campaign of terrorism against the British authorities on Cyprus. The EOKA action was a response to the request of Archbishop Makarios to allow negotiations on the Cyprus question to proceed in an atmosphere free from violence. The British Government responded on December 30 by commuting four death sentences imposed on EOKA terrorists.
300. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, December 24, 1958, 5 p.m.
1485. 1. As Foreign Minister fell ill upon his return I was only able to see him today re Paris tripartite talks on Cyprus. He opened by remarking he had hoped not to pester the Americans after developments in UNGA where in his opinion we had abandoned our benevolent neutrality and prevented GOG from obtaining good majority for guaranteed independence, but subsequent development would certainly interest US particularly in light of Rountree's remark that US hoped to play constructive role in solution. He then gave me very much same information set forth in Paris Polto 1770 and London 3303,/1/ emphasizing however importance Greek-Turk reconciliation at this time would have on Near Eastern situation. If agreement can be reached, Averoff thought it would have great effect on Nasser, particularly after latter's Port Said speech,/2/ and help stem Soviet penetration in that area. If agreement could be reached with Turks, GOG planned several manifestations of good relations including visit to Ankara. Averoff said he and Zorlu agreed provisional solution would create more problems than it solved and it was preferable to attempt final solution based upon independence. [1 line of source text not declassified] In Averoff opinion two things were now essential-- speed and indication of British attitude.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/12 - 2458. Secret; Limit Distribution.
/1/Polto 1770, December 19, reported that the Greek, Turkish, and British Foreign Ministers had held talks on Cyprus during the NATO Ministerial Meeting, and in the view of Averoff, progress toward a final solution for the island was being made. (Ibid., 747C.00/12 - 1958) Telegram 3303 from London, December 22, reported that Zorlu and Lloyd met in Paris on December 18 and that Zorlu told Lloyd that the Greek and Turkish Governments would hold talks to reach an agreed plan for Cyprus. (Ibid., 747C.00/12 - 2258)
/2/In a December 23 speech at Port Said, UAR President Nasser denounced Communism as a threat to Arab nationalism.
2. UK Ambassador was leaving as I arrived and Foreign Minister said he did not give clear reply but asked for more details. (I talked to Allen last night who was moderately hopeful that Greeks and Turks might get together in principle but feared they would eventually haggle over details.) Averoff said he outlined progress to date but now required reply whether HMG had any objection to principles so far reached. If UK reply were favorable, Zorlu and Averoff planned to meet secretly in Switzerland in near future. Foreign Minister thought we might help by urging HMG to make speedy and favorable reply. I hope we can./3/
/3/Telegram 3353 from London, December 27, reported that the British Government had responded favorably to the proposed Greek-Turkish bilateral talks on Cyprus and cautioned against any direct U.S. support for Averoff's initiatives. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/12 - 2758)
3. When I asked about Makarios' attitude Averoff said if agreement could be reached GOG planned to publish and run the risk. After all, he remarked, Archbishop had proposed independence. Foreign Minister underlined again speed and secrecy were essential.
Reverting again to good effect of Cyprus solution on Near East situation, Averoff recommended we urge Hussein of Jordan to send message to Nasser supporting Port Said speech. He thought Nasser would reply cordially and this would have good and stabilizing effect in Jordan and Iraq.
4. Averoff added he thought Turks were sincere in their desire for settlement. Both governments now were compelled to recognize neither enosis nor partition was likely and independence was natural compromise. If HMG meant what it had previously said about necessity of Greece and Turkey coming to terms over Cyprus, now was the time to help both parties. But he repeated speed was essential.
301. Message From Prime Minister Macmillan to Secretary of State Dulles
London, January 17, 1959.
You are aware in general terms of the promising development in regard to the Cyprus question which has taken place since the debate in the United Nations. Zorlu and Averoff have had direct discussions/1/ with a view to finding a new approach to the problems of Cyprus on the basis of restoring Greek-Turkish friendship. The two Foreign Ministers explained their ideas to the Foreign Secretary in Paris a week before Christmas/2/ and asked if Her Majesty's Government were agreeable to their continuing their discussions. From the account which they gave, it seemed clear that at that stage in their discussions no details had been settled and that they had not done more than exchange very general ideas. After the Foreign Secretary's return to London the two Foreign Ministers were informed that Her Majesty's Government welcomed their new initiative and wished them every success.
//Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Confidential. Enclosure to a letter from Caccia to Dulles, January 17. Notations on the source text read: "Handed to Secy 1/17/59 by Caccia" and "Sec saw."
/1/See Document 296.
/2/See Document 297.
2. The general plan was that the two Foreign Ministers should discuss between themselves the internal aspects of a settlement in Cyprus, and that when they considered they had made sufficient progress there should be a round of tripartite discussions both to consider the results of their discussions on the internal aspects and to discuss the external questions such as treaties and guarantees, etc.
3. Since the meeting in Paris there have been some exchanges in Ankara through the diplomatic channel./3/ We have not been given the details, and have deliberately refrained from questioning, but we understand that not much progress has been made. We learned very recently that the two Foreign Ministers would be meeting in Paris on January 16 or 17.
/3/Bilateral discussions between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus began in Ankara on December 28, 1958. George Pesmatzoglou, the Greek Ambassador in Turkey, represented his government. Foreign Minister Zorlu represented Turkey. Discussions centered on Turkish demands for bases on Cyprus and detailed guarantees for the safety and rights of the Turkish Cypriot minority, including representation in the government, civil service, and internal security forces of an independent Cypriot state. The talks concluded on January 4.
4. My colleagues and I regard these Greek-Turkish talks as a very important development to which we should give all possible encouragement. None of the familiar difficulties has yet been solved. But in the past any attempt to approach a solution of the Cyprus problem has come up against the inescapable fact of Greek-Turkish disagreement. If the Greeks and Turks can now work out together an agreed basis for a settlement, that would open up very different and more hopeful prospects for us.
5. In advance of any new agreement, the internal arrangements for Cyprus which we announced last June and August/4/ have to go steadily forward. It is not possible to stand still in Cyprus. If we do not go forward, there is the risk of slipping back and losing the ground gained since last summer. The steady advance of our progressive plan seems indeed to have been an important factor in bringing about the improved attitude of both Greeks and Turks. Certain further measures fall due to be taken at this stage. There is the Surridge Commission's report/5/ on municipal government to which you will have seen references in the press. There is also the question of enabling legislation for the preparation of electoral rolls and constituencies for the Turkish House of Representatives. If the current talks come to nothing, we must be ready to fulfil our undertaking to the Turks to hold elections this year; and there is inevitably a time-lag between publication of the electoral legislation and the elections themselves. We had therefore decided that the electoral legislation should be published on January 15. However, when we heard that the two Foreign Ministers were to meet again in Paris this weekend, we decided that it would be right to defer publication of the legislation to enable the talks in Paris to take place in the best possible atmosphere. Unless the talks show some real signs of progress, we should not be justified in delaying more than a week or so. It must be remembered that in certain towns separate Turkish Councils have actually been functioning for some months and the situation requires to be regularised. As to the electoral lists, it is hardly conceivable that any agreement between Greeks and Turks could be other than on the basis of communal autonomy.
/4/Reference is to Macmillan's June 19, 1958, proposals on Cyprus and the modifications announced on August 15.
/5/The Surridge Commission was established by the British Government to study the possibility of creating separate municipal councils for the Greek and Turkish Cypriot populations as a part of the Macmillan program for self-government. The Commission's report recommended both the establishment of such separate councils and prompt elections to fill them.
6. We expect an unfavorable reaction from the Greeks when these next steps are taken in Cyprus, even though both these publications would only be warnings of enactments to be made later. The Greeks are still deeply suspicious of our motives and are likely to represent, and possibly even to believe, that we are deliberately sabotaging Greek- Turkish rapprochement. It is tragic that the Greeks should completely misunderstand our position in this way. Nothing indeed could please us more than Greek-Turkish agreement on those problems which have vexed us for so long. I hope that if the need arises you will once again help us by using your great influence to convince the Greeks of our sincerity and to disabuse them of any misunderstanding. We are of course saying nothing to the Greeks for the time being about the publication of the electoral bill and the municipal report, but there has already been some speculation in the press./6/
/6/Printed from an unsigned copy.
302. Letter From Secretary of State Dulles to Prime Minister Macmillan
Washington, January 21, 1959.
DEAR HAROLD: I very much appreciated your message which Harold Caccia delivered to me on January 17,/1/ outlining the encouraging developments which have taken place with respect to Cyprus since the United Nations debate and the further steps which your Government may decide to take in proceeding with the arrangements envisaged under the interim plan.
//Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Confidential. A notation on the source text reads: "Secretary handed letter to Ambassador Caccia 1/21/59."
We too have been heartened to see the Greeks and Turks at last sitting down with each other and trying to reach a basis of agreement. I can understand the difficult decisions which you have to make in balancing the possible gains to be achieved from uninterrupted Greek-Turkish talks against the obligation you feel, in the absence of any foreseeable agreement, to continue with the interim plan.
I doubt that the Greeks and Turks would be able to achieve an agreement sufficiently broad to warrant expanded talks with your Government without lengthy bargaining and a number of ups and downs. Misunderstandings and doubts are bound to arise, but they need not prove fatal if the will to achieve a settlement is strong enough. We are, of course, willing, when and where we appropriately can, to encourage mutual good will and confidence among the interested parties, as well as an understanding of the difficulties which each of you faces in arriving at an agreed solution.
/2/Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.
303. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State
Paris, January 23, 1959, 8 p.m.
2712. Noforn from Thurston. On very confidential basis Melas gave me brief fill in last night on latest Zorlu - Averoff talks here./1/ He described atmosphere as good, even encouraging, and said substance related to internal government of an independent Cyprus as well as its international status. On internal side agreement reached in principle on application of two to one ratio for Greek-Turkish representation in various governing bodies, including central legislature. Re internal security forces, however, Turks were pressing for 50 - 50 arrangement. Melas opined that the two Foreign Ministers were getting into rather abstract and hypothetical realm in discussing an elaborate police organization designed to provide top jobs sufficient to satisfy the amour-propre of the two communities rather than to perform its functions efficiently. Melas also referred somewhat vaguely to the former mixed tribunals in Egypt as a model for the Cypriot judiciary.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/1 - 2359. Secret; Limit Distribution; Noforn. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, London, and Nicosia.
/1/January 18 - 20.
Stickiest part of discussion appeared to be that relating to international status of Cyprus with Zorlu taking line that Cyprus should not be eligible in its own right for membership in international organizations and that Greece, Turkey and perhaps UK as well would have right to exercise veto on this subject. Melas thought exclusion of an independent Cyprus from UN would be hard pill to swallow.
I gathered impression from Melas that Zorlu and Averoff parted amicably with intention to continue discussions, though manner in which talks will be pursued not stated. Melas seemed rather uneasy about underlying attitude UK on this Greek-Turkish effort though he acknowledged that present official UK line was quite satisfactory.
Please protect source.
304. Message From Foreign Secretary Lloyd to Secretary of State Dulles
London, January 27, 1959.
Harold and I were very grateful for your understanding message about Cyprus handed to Caccia on January 21./1/
//Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Secret. Enclosure to a letter from Hood to Dulles, January 27. A notation on the source text indicates the letter was received at 9:30 p.m. Another notations reads: "Sec saw."
As you know the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers met in Paris from January 18 to 20 and we have had a general account of their discussions./2/ These seem to have gone reasonably well and views were exchanged on a number of detailed points. I understand that both Ministers then decided to report back and that they are considering the possibility of a further meeting which the two Prime Ministers might also attend and that this may take place very early in February. I therefore thought it right to see the Greek Ambassador on January 26 and assure him of our sincere wish to see the talks succeed. Nothing could please us more than a firm Greek-Turkish understanding on the basis of which we could build an agreed final solution of the Cyprus problem and I do not want the Greeks to have any misconception on this score.
/2/See Document 303.
I also gave the Ambassador a friendly warning that in the absence of any new agreement we would be bound to go ahead with internal arrangements in Cyprus and that the Greek Government should not be surprised or suspicious if we soon let them know of steps in this direction. Since my talk with the Greek Ambassador my colleagues and I have decided that the Electoral Bill for a Turkish House of Representatives mentioned in Harold's message of January 17/3/ to you should be published on January 29. As you know, we had originally proposed to publish it on January 15 but decided to defer publication in order to give the Greek-Turkish talks in Paris the best possible chance of success. The Turks wanted delay at that time but they are now in favour of publication and think that this may assist the progress of the talks. We ourselves believe that this may be so, and in any case for the reasons explained in Harold's message we feel bound to go ahead. We have, however, decided only to publish the Electoral Bill on January 29 and to delay the decision on publishing the Report on Municipal Government until we see how things go.
We are giving the Greeks twenty-four hours notice of our intention to publish and repeating our assurances of good will in success of their talks with the Turks. It will of course be made clear to them that the Bill will only be an enabling act to carry forward the principle of communal autonomy which we understand to be generally agreed by all concerned and will only make it possible for elections to be held. The timing and circumstances in which the elections would take place will of course be for separate decision.
I wanted you to have this advance warning of what we are doing and to tell you again how grateful we are for the renewed assurances of your interest and good will in your message of January 21./4/
/4/Printed from an unsigned copy.
305. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State
London, January 29, 1959, noon.
3929. Deptel 6852./1/ Foreign Office (Addis) told us January 29 Ministers decided last night to postpone publication electoral bill for Turkish Cypriot House of Representatives. Reason is that Averoff and Zorlu now scheduled to meet again February 2, and HMG wishes avoid any move which might prejudice meeting./2/ No new date has been set for publication of electoral bill, but Addis indicated that in absence of definite progress during next round of Averoff - Zorlu talks, HMG probably would feel it necessary to move ahead shortly with implementation of British plan.
Addis said Turks had proposed meeting between Menderes and Karamanlis, but Greeks demurred, insisting that further talks between Foreign Ministers should first take place./3/
British Embassy Washington instructed inform Department of postponement.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/1 - 2959. Secret; Niact; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Ankara, Paris for USRO, Athens, and Nicosia.
/1/Telegram 6852 to London, January 28, summarized Lloyd's January 27 letter to Dulles (Document 304), and instructed the Embassy to refer to the Department any Greek request for U.S. intervention with the British Government to halt publication of an electoral bill for Cyprus. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/1 - 2859)
/2/Telegram 340 from Nicosia, January 29, reported that Averoff, on being informed of the British decision, told the British Ambassador that publication of an electoral list would force cancellation of Greek- Turkish discussions on Cyprus. (Ibid., 747C.00/1 - 2959)
/3/Greece and Turkey subsequently agreed on January 31 to a meeting of their Prime Ministers.
306. Telegram From the Embassy in Greece to the Department of State
Athens, January 31, 1959, 4 p.m.
1738. Ankara pass McGhee. Reference: Nicosia 338 to Department Repeated All./1/
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/1 - 3059. Secret; Priority; Limited Distribution. Repeated to London, Paris for USRO, Nicosia, and Ankara.
/1/Telegram 338 from Nicosia, January 29, reported that Labour Party support for the British Government policy in Cyprus appeared to be waning. (Ibid., 747C.00/1 - 2959)
1. Noel-Baker endeavored see me yesterday, but I was tied up with McGhee all day and unable see him. Phoned me last night from air- port to ask me to pass Department importance he attaches Makarios returning Cyprus this juncture as it would make all difference in producing Cyprus settlement. Gave no indication he had seen Makarios and I did not ask. In reply merely said would inform Department his views.
2. Doubt wisdom our intervention. Feel if Greek Government felt this key to settlement it would make proposal direct to HMG or visit our help.
3. When I took McGhee to meet Averoff this morning Foreign Minister made following observations on Cyprus talks:
A. While publicly he is saying he is "neither optimistic nor pessimistic" privately he feels talks "are going well". Have reached a large measure of agreement, and while still difficulties in way including some demands Greece cannot accept, prospects of reaching settlement soon are hopeful.
B. Feels Turks earnestly and seriously searching for settlement for three reasons:
I. They are tired of Cyprus and under domestic pressure to settle Cyprus.
II. Disturbing situation in ME, particularly Iran and Iraq, make it essential this problem be resolved so that tripartite alliance/2/ can begin function again.
/2/Reference is to the 1954 alliance of Greece, Yugoslavia, and Turkey. 1 2
III. Turks came away from UN debate badly shaken, not so much because they failed to get their resolution through, but because they were soundly condemned in the speeches during debate and drew conclusion they do not have world opinion on their side. While he objects US stance UN debate, in retrospect feels it contributed to Turkish willingness to negotiate.
C. While talks with Turks going well--and this accounted for his hopefulness--his fear arose from what UK might do to sabotage talks. Said there are two elements in British Cabinet: Tory die-hards who are determined hold Cyprus and will use any means to torpedo talks; others consist of Ministers who are "indifferent" as to Cyprus but on whole prepared to be "helpful." He placed Macmillan in latter group. Said Zorlu agreed with him that British Government divided in this fashion and was also disturbed.
D. Said renewal of military operations in Cyprus yesterday/3/ was sample of die-hard influence, and he could cite others. (This apparently reference to planned publication of electoral register, but he did not refer to this.) Said if EOKA reacted with a renewal of violence, it would make continuance negotiations with Turks impossible. Said since British aware of fact he will be seeing Zorlu again in few days, renewal of military operations was deliberately inspired by die-hards to upset the talks.
/3/On January 20, Lennox-Boyd announced that the British Army would continue its security operations in Cyprus in spite of EOKA's declaration of a cease-fire.
E. He had seen British Ambassador Allen yesterday to plead with him to persuade British Government to give him and Zorlu "ten days more." He paid tribute to Allen who had been exceedingly helpful and understanding.
F. In response to point made by McGhee on importance restoring tripartite alliance, Averoff said that as soon as agreement reached on Cyprus they contemplated immediate announcement that tripartite alliance will be restored. This will be important stabilizing factor in ME. Greek-Yugoslav relations excellent and when alliance fully restored, he thinks this will make deep impression on Nasser. Unfortunately Turk relations with Arab countries and Egypt are not good, but Greek relations are good, especially with Egypt and with alliance restored he believes there will be important benefit to West in that it will open possibilities of better understandings with Turkey. Implied he has had some encouraging discussion with Nasser on this point./4/
G. Averoff gave almost no details of content of his discussion with Zorlu,/5/ except make point that it provided for complete British sovereignty over bases.
/4/Averoff met with Nasser during a July 8 - 9 meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the United Arab Republic, Yugoslavia, and Greece at Brioni.
/5/Reference is to the January 18 - 20 meeting of the Foreign Ministers in Paris.
4. In course McGhee's call on Karamanlis January 29, Prime Minister said in respect Cyprus:
A. Greek-Turkish relations had improved. Turks were showing good will, but still several points on which Turkey insisted that impossible for Greece to agree. On other hand British actions unpredictable. Had that morning heard British plan circulate electoral lists.
B. He had gone about as far as any man could go. He had given up enough and was being called a traitor in some Greek circles. Although Turkish Cypriots only 18% of population, he had agreed to let them have representation of 35% all bodies.
C. Turkey wanted military establishment but this he could not agree to. He could not understand this since Cyprus security should be safeguarded by membership in NATO and presence of NATO forces.
D. He had run grave political risks in respect of concessions on Cyprus, far more risks than Turkish got, he could concede no more, and it was now up to Turks to show courage.
5. Eleftheria today reports Averoff may depart for Zurich tomorrow to confer Zorlu. Papers suggest this may be followed by Menderes - Karamanlis meeting some place depending on outcome next meetings.
307. Editorial Note
Prime Ministers Menderes and Karamanlis together with Foreign Ministers Zorlu and Averoff and their staffs met in Zurich at the Dolder Hotel February 6 - 11, for talks leading to a final solution of the Cyprus question. On February 11, the two governments issued a statement announcing they had reached an accord on the future of the island. The text of the proposed accord was presented to the British Government the same day. Karamanlis returned to Athens on February 11 to discuss the Cyprus agreement with Archbishop Makarios who indicated his support for the proposed accord. Makarios publicly reaffirmed his support for the agreement on February 14 and the British Government invited representatives of the Greek and Turkish Governments to a conference in London for final discussions on the proposed agreement. February 17 was set as the opening date for the conference on Cyprus. For Macmillan's account of British reaction to the proposed accord, see Riding the Storm, pages 692 - 694.
308. Letter From President Eisenhower to Prime Minister Macmillan
Washington, February 12, 1959.
DEAR HAROLD: Press reports indicate that Turkey and Greece have settled their differences over Cyprus in a spirit of friendliness and conciliation. I realize that this cannot be finalized until you have approved, but if and when you do I should like to send both Menderes and Karamanlis a congratulatory telegram. My idea is to point out to each that the solution of the problem in this fashion cannot fail to be beneficial to the strength and vigor of the whole NATO alliance. Can you let me know whether the matter has been sufficiently finalized that you believe a congratulatory message from me would be in order./1/
//Source: Eisenhower Library, Staff Secretary Records, International File. No classification marking. Transmitted to London in telegram 7313, February 12. (Ibid., Whitman File, International File)
/1/In a February 13 letter to Eisenhower, Macmillan requested the President to withhold any congratulatory messages until further word. (Ibid., Staff Secretary Records, International File)
Of course I am saying nothing here about the hard work you have done for so many long months to bring this matter to some kind of a decent solution. I cannot tell whether or not it is completely satisfactory to you, but I have so assumed because of your frequent statements to me that "Anything Turkey and Greece will mutually agree on will be acceptable to us so long as our own requirements are met."
With warm regard,
/2/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
309. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State
London, February 12, 1959, 1 p.m.
4196. I had brief opportunity this morning to ask Lloyd his reaction to Greek-Turkish Cyprus agreement. He said development most welcome and that he felt solution of problem is "in the bag" unless "the rats get at it." To prevent latter he felt quick action essential. [2 lines of source text not declassified] Believe he also had in mind possible reaction of his own right-wing back-benchers.
//Source: Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/2 - 1259. Secret. Repeated to Athens, Ankara, Nicosia, and Paris for USRO.
Later Gaitskell, who was also present, expressed his gratification. Lloyd said details of agreement will be made available to us earliest.
310. Letter From the British Ambassador (Caccia) to Acting Secretary of State Herter
Washington, February 16, 1959.
DEAR MR. ACTING SECRETARY OF STATE: The Foreign Secretary has asked me to give you personally and in the strictest confidence the following account of latest developments and prospects on Cyprus.
Averoff and Zorlu arrived in London on Wednesday/1/ bringing with them the documents approved and initialed by their Prime Ministers at Zurich. Briefly, these comprise the essential articles of a constitution for a Republic of Cyprus, together with a draft Treaty of Alliance between Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, and a draft Treaty of Guarantee to which the United Kingdom would be a party as well as the other three.
//Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Personal and Secret. Initialed by Herter. Secretary Dulles was on medical leave beginning February 9.
The constitution is of the "presidential" type and provides for a Greek Cypriot President and Turkish Cypriot Vice-President who, among other things, would both have a right of absolute veto over legislation on foreign affairs, defence and security, and a suspensory power over other legislation. There would be a single House of Representatives (with 70 percent of its members Greek Cypriots and 30 percent Turkish Cypriots) and a communal House for each community. There would be separate Turkish municipalities in the five main towns, but this provision would be reviewed within four years. Cyprus would have an army of 2,000 men and, in addition, security forces (gendarmerie and police) of 2,000 men. A balance between the two communities would be preserved throughout, normally in proportion 70:30, but 60:40 in the army. These are the broad lines of a document which goes into considerable detail.
The Treaty of Alliance binds Greece, Turkey and Cyprus to protect the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic. For this purpose there will be a tripartite headquarters in Cyprus including 950 Greek officers and men and 650 Turkish officers and men, whose duties will include supervising the training of the Cypriot army. The command of the headquarters would rotate annually between a Greek, Turkish and Cypriot general.
The Treaty of Guarantee is aimed at preventing the partition of the island or its union with any other state and at ensuring respect for the constitution. Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom would be empowered jointly, or in an emergency separately, to act to safeguard the provisions of the Treaty.
The two Foreign Ministers have informed us that they intend to propose Cyprus as a member of N.A.T.O.
It is clear that both sides at Zurich were anxious to maintain the British connection with Cyprus and to allow for British sovereign bases on the island. They have left it to us to lay down how our requirements are to be met. We shall put forward a document for this purpose. Apart from the bases to be retained under British sovereignty (which will be confined to two relatively small areas) we shall, of course, want full use of our necessary installations elsewhere in the island and facilities such as communications for the use of our bases and installations. We also need unrestricted use of Nicosia Airport which would not be a British sovereign base. It is important to us that these requirements should be guaranteed by Greece and Turkey as well as by the new Republic. We are also concerned to ensure by agreement with Greece and Turkey that the transition to independence is orderly but also speedy, and that the interests of all categories of Cypriots and residents in Cyprus are cared for.
We are now hoping that the three Foreign Ministers can agree today, February 16, that the various documents shall be accepted as the basis of the final settlement. It is the intention that these documents shall then be endorsed by a further conference which is to convene in London tomorrow, February 17, at which Archbishop Makarios and Dr. Kutchuk, representing the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, will also be present. It is our hope that the Greek and Turkish Prime Ministers will be present at the final stages of the conference, which we hope to complete in time for statements in the three Parliaments on February 19.
Provided that nothing goes wrong and that this time-table is kept, we can hope for decisions on the broad principles. There must then be a period of elaboration of the details of the agreement but we will do our best to keep this period to the minimum./2/
/2/Herter's February 17 reply to Caccia's letter reads: "Please convey to Mr. Lloyd my very warm appreciation for his report on the present status of the Cyprus negotiations, which you transmitted in your letter of February 16. The progress achieved to date is indeed encouraging, and I share Mr. Lloyd's hope that the necessary further steps toward a settlement can be taken in accordance with the timetable he has indicated." (Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204)
311. Editorial Note
The London Conference on Cyprus opened on February 17. Zorlu and Averoff represented Greece and Turkey and Archbishop Makarios and Dr. Fazil Kuchuk represented the major ethnic communities on the island. At the opening session of the conference, Foreign Secretary Lloyd announced that his government accepted the proposed Cyprus agreement subject to the retention of two military bases on the island under British sovereignty. Later that evening, an airplane carrying Prime Minister Menderes and his staff to the meeting crashed as it was landing at Gatwick Airport. Menderes and 14 other Turkish officials survived the crash, but the Prime Minister was unable to attend the conference.
On February 18, Archbishop Makarios suddenly announced that he could not support the proposed accords. Berger reported on efforts of the Greek Government to gain Makarios' support for the Zurich accords in telegram 1881 from Athens, February 18. (Department of State, Central Files, 747C.00/2 - 1859) Eventually, the Greek Government succeeded in gaining Makarios' assent to the accords and the agreed texts of the Cyprus accords were initialed by Zorlu, Averoff, and Lloyd on the morning of February 19.
The agreements on Cyprus consisted of four documents: an agreement establishing the structure of the Republic of Cyprus; a treaty of guarantees among the Republic of Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, and the United Kingdom; a treaty of alliance among Greece, Turkey, and the Republic of Cyprus; and a February 17 declaration by the Government of the United Kingdom of its intention to grant independence to Cyprus. For texts, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1959, pages 765 - 775. Macmillan's account of the negotiations is in Riding the Storm, pages 692 - 699.
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