268 Evatt to Addison

Letter LONDON, 24 May 1946

I have received your letter of the 17th May and have also seen a note from your secretary regarding the assembling date of the British contingent of observers for the revision of the Greek electoral registers. [1] Australia has a very great interest in Greece because of the number of Australians who fought there, and the Australian people have all through the war watched with sympathy the developments in Greece.

I am disturbed therefore by the decision to hold a plebiscite this year. The Regent [2] told me that a plebiscite would not be held until 1948, and this was later confirmed by the Foreign Office to me in October last year. I think a grave mistake has been made and if the plebiscite is held there will be dangers of Fascist resurgence and continued trouble.

In these circumstances, I do not feel we can agree to send observers for the revision of the Greek electoral registers. I hope that if any development of the future permits it, that the United Kingdom Government will endeavour to postpone the plebiscite until next year. [3]

1 Addison had asked whether the Australian Govt would provide observers to take pan in the revision of Greek electoral registers in preparation for a proposed plebiscite on the question of the return to Greece of King George of the Hellenes and the restoration of the monarchy.

2 Archbishop Damaskinos.

3 Revision of the electoral lists, in conformity with the recommendations of the Allied Electoral Mission after the 31 March general elections, commenced on 3 June. The plebiscite, held on 1 September, favoured the restoration of the monarchy.

[AA:A1067, E46/16/1, i]