100 Glasheen to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 71, SALONIKA, 24 July 1948, 1.30 p.m.


July 23rd. Committee has been confronted with many technical difficulties in resuming work in Athens. Although decision in principle to maintain headquarters at Salonika but to hold meetings in Athens was taken in Geneva a month ago and immediately communicated to Greece Liaison with a request for facilities, the Committee has so far been unable to obtain either a suitable room for [public][1] meetings or offices for the Delegations. The Greek Government has apparently resented the shift from Salonika to Athens and although accommodation in Athens is difficult because of the internal revolt and the number of foreign missions, some members thought that the Greek Government has been deliberately obstructive.

2. Work has nevertheless progressed and the main items now engaging the attention of the Committee are:

(A) Greek-Albanian relations.

(B) Greek [-Bulgarian relations].

(C) Frontier conventions and minorities.

(D) continuing report of observation groups.

3. Chiefly as a result [of Australian initiated mediation letters of February,] Albania and Bulgaria on the one hand and Greece on the other hand have set down on paper the conditions under which they would be willing to establish normal relations. Stage reached in the case of [Albanian-Greek relations] is set out in report. Because of divergence between the [Governments, Australia and Pakistan tentatively] suggested at Geneva that Secretary General propose to them that he appoint mediators either from the Special Committee or elsewhere to assist them. No objection was expressed to this in public meeting but strong opposition was subsequently experienced in private meetings. In view of this and because such a move at this stage would probably produce no useful results and might prejudice any similar initiative we might take at the next assembly, it is perhaps not advisable to try the suggestion. Your views would be appreciated.

4. Bulgarian-Greek exchange led to talks last month between their nominated plenipotentiaries at Washington. These proved abortive because whereas the Bulgarian Representative had instructions to discuss the whole field of Bulgarian-Greek [relations, the Greek] representative was authorised to discuss the resumption of formal diplomatic relations only. In [Greek view] other outstanding questions could better be treated through diplomatic channels once the mission had been exchanged.

[1] Material in square brackets corrected from the copy on file AA : A6530, 49/10/8.

[AA : A1838, 852/20/1, IV]