21 Atyeo to Evatt

Letter SALONIKA, 12 March 1947

This conference is following the old line, that we know so well.

Hood has left for Albania as Chairman of Investigation team No.3:

I've taken his place on the commission here & have so far enjoyed it. Though it does get boring, especially when you hear about a Greek pinching a Bulgarian donkey, & that an Albanian soldier had penetrated Greek soil to a depth of 7 yards & how a Bulgarian had been taken by the Greek gendarmes, stripped & had his particulars taken (that's going too damn far). The jugs have violently protested twice about some witness using the sacred name of Tito.

The Rusky is a really tough li'l fellow. He & the three northern Balkan powers have not lost a minute in making political speeches 'ad nauseam'. Very little real evidence about frontier incidents has been of much consequence. However no witness has yet been broken. The conduct of the liaison officers has been lousy as had been that of the Secretariat, which has been loaded. Lund, the principal, is ... weak ... [1]. The second in charge is Gottesman (a Pole) & twice a majority of the delegates has been at the point of asking for his withdrawal. The press liaison officer has also been highly suspect. Among the top men of Secretariat there are 2 Poles, 1 Ukranian, 1 Canadian Russian, & this Col. Lund as personal friend of Lie. Among 4 locally employed help, 3 have been found to be active members of E.A.M. [2] I personally know of many incidents demonstrating the active bias of the Secretariat.

Hasluck should be informed. I know that the U.S. delegation has written a strong letter to the State Dept. As you probably know by now the target date for Geneva [3] to write the report is approx.

the 10th of April. Whom do you want to take the report to New York? Hood was a bit upset about Watt's appointment, he said Watt was his junior etc. [4] Old Makin & I exchange notes now. Quite old pals. He really is a nice guy & he did a good job in New York.

As the military side of this commission is finishing, John Chapman would like to go back to Washington as soon as we get to Geneva, or even Yugoslavia, according to circumstances. His work is backing up in Washington & there is no further need of him for the report. He has asked me to mention it to you. Capt. Johnstone [5] would however stay on. I've just come back from the islands & from Agoriani as rept. on Investigation team No. 1. It was damn tough.

We were the first to meet the guerillas (or bandits). I enclose some field notes, I was lousy 4 times & had to be deloused at the hospital in Athens. I often remark to delegates here that you could break every witness that has been presented so far.

The place is full of bush lawyers. Thank Mary A1ice [6] for the book. Hope you two are well & behaving yourself. You never took that holiday I suggested, did you? The Greek Govt is very far to right & I'm sure no solution is possible until it becomes a whole lot more democratic. The presence of the commission has been valuable in this direction.

The cessation of executions did a hell of a lot of good. It was a young American & myself who went to see the Greek liaison officer at 3.30 a.m. & pleaded with him to stop the executions (which were to take place at 5 a.m.) until at least the commission could sit &

give a decision. The order was given at 4.30 a.m. Quite close. The long telegram Hood sent is a fair account. All the best my boy &

look after yourself. Love to both.

SAM

I reckon I'm becoming quite a delegate now with all my experience.

1 Defamatory matter omitted.

2 National Liberation Front, a resistance group under Greek Communist party control.

3 The Commission had agreed to write its report in Geneva.

4 The reference presumably is to Cabinet's decision, on 25 February, to appoint A.S. Watt as Minister in MOSCOW.

5 Chapman's assistant, a member of his staff in Washington.

6 That is, Mrs Evatt.

[SFU : EVATT COLLECTION, UNITED NATIONS-BALKAN COMMISSION]