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368.117/129: Telegram

The Chargé in Greece (Hall) to the Secretary of State

ATHENS, February 15, 1922-noon.

[Received 8:45 p.m.] 17. Question of military service Greek Americans again in highly unsatisfactory state due to the failure Greek Government to carry out promises made. ... Government now states that only those men whose exemption has been requested up to this time will be freed; this list includes 80 names, .. In all future cases of men arriving or already in Greece no one exempt unless naturalized before January 15th, 1914. Neither service United States nor age will be considered if man owes military service here. Request Department to warn all naturalized Greeks against returning to Greece at this time unless naturalized before January 15th, 1914. If United States cannot stop these men from coming here extra help will have to be assigned to this Legation at once as present staff entirely unable to handle question which becomes greater with each arriving boat.



The Chargé in Greece (Caffery) to the Secretary of State

Greek Series No. 1009

ATHENS, May 2, 1922.

[Received June 7.] SIR: With reference to previous correspondence on the subject of Greek-born American citizens being forced to serve in the Greek army, I have the honor to report that, since my arrival here, I have been able to secure the release of a number of these men from the Greek army. However, the Greek government informs me that these releases are not made as a matter of right, but as a favor, as under Greek law all men born in Greece owe military service to the Greek government.

In addition, the law passed January, 1914, stipulated that no Greek subject could be naturalized in a foreign country without previous permission of the Greek government.

I, of course, have informed the Greek Government that I could in no way admit the justice of their pretentions, and I am continuing to insist that no persons holding American passports be forced into the Greek army. I have [etc.]


* For previous correspondence, see Foreign Relations, 1921, vol. II, pp. 164 ff.


The High Commissioner at Constantinople (Bristol) to the Secretary

of State

No. 249


[Received June 23.] Sir: I have the honor to refer to my despatches No. 353, dated July 18, 1921,30 and No. 463, dated September 14, 1921,31 and to the Department's instruction No. 79, dated October 5, 1921,92 concerning the cases of impressment of American citizens into the Greek Army operating in Asia Minor. I have the honor to inform the Department that in spite of repeated representations made by the High Commission to the Greek High Commission, as well as by American Consular officers to the local Greek authorities in the occupied districts, cases of actual or attempted impressment are constantly occurring. In spite of the fact that the Greek High Commissioner has never insisted upon the right of the Greek authorities in any of the cases in question it is evident that the Greek military authorities have never received instructions to cease this practice. Besides the cases of actual impressment which have been brought to the attention of the High Commission, there are numerous others of naturalized Americans who have been threatened with impressment and have managed to avoid the same by leaving the district in which they were sojourning at the time.

I venture to renew my suggestion embodied in despatch No. 353, dated July 18, 1921, that the Department take steps to bring this matter to the attention of the Greek Government through the American Legation at Athens in an effort to have appropriate instructions sent through the Greek Ministry of War to the local Greek military commanders in Asia Minor. In the mean time the High Commission will not cease its efforts to aid in whatever way possible such individual cases as are brought to its attention. I have [etc.]



The Secretary of State to the Chargé in Greece (Caffery)

No. 285

WASHINGTON, August 22, 1922. Sir: Referring to previous correspondence concerning the impressment of American citizens into the Greek Army there is enclosed a

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copy of despatch No. 249 of June 1, 1922, from the United States High Commissioner at Constantinople. You are instructed to take this matter up with the Foreign Office making urgent representations that appropriate instructions be sent by the Greek Minister of War to the local Greek military commanders in Asia Minor that they cease impressing American citizens of Ottoman or Greek origin into the Greek Army.33 I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:





Mr. William G. Marvin 34 to the Department of State

New YORK, December 29, 1921.

[Received December 31.] DEAR SIRS: Two gentlemen representing the Grecian Government, came into my office this afternoon and asked for my active support in helping them effect a flotation of a loan for and on behalf of the Greek Government, amounting to approximately fifteen millions of dollars. They stated that the Government of Greece had sent a Special Envoy to this country, Mr. Papafranco, and that he was anxious to take up the matter of this loan with large bond houses in New York City, one or two of whom are my clients.

I am laboring under the impression that the present Government in Greece has not received the recognition of the United States Government. If I am correct in this assumption there might be some possible objection offered by our Government to the flotation of the loan here by the Royal Bank of Greece and the Grecian Gov. ernment authorities. I am therefore writing to ask you as to whether the State Department would make any objection to the flotation of such a loan, and if so, on what grounds. I have as yet undertaken no negotiations regarding this matter and will undertake none until I receive your reply. Yours very truly,


* With this instruction the correspondence in regard to the impressment of American naturalized citizens into the Greek Army was temporarily discontinued.

"Member of the law firm of Marvin & Pleasants, New York City.


The Secretary of State to Messrs. Marvin & Pleasants

WASHINGTON, January 30, 1922. GENTLEMEN: The receipt is acknowledged of your letter of December 29, 1921, with regard to the flotation of a possible loan to the Government of Greece.

Inasmuch as the regime now functioning in Greece is not recog-
nized by the Government of the United States, I beg to say that the
Department of State could not look with favor upon such a loan.
I am [etc.]

For the Secretary of State:

Under Secretary


Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Dearing)

[WASHINGTON,] March 8, 1922. Mr. Frederic C. Scofield 38 came to see me this morning and left with me the attached letter.37 I told him that the Department could not look with favor upon a loan to an unrecognized government, and he then showed me that he had a copy of the Department's letter of January 30 to Marvin and Pleasants to this effect. I told Mr. Scofield that the Greek Government was not yet recognized, that, of course, the Department would be delighted to have $15,000,000 spent for coal, wheat, and machinery in the United States, but that there were a number of other elements in this situation, and that I was afraid that we could not answer him other than as in our letter to Marvin and Pleasants. I said that I supposed he knew the Near Eastern situation was still disturbed and that this Government was opposed to lending money for militaristic expenditure, and that it might be possible for Greece by making this loan in this country to release funds obtained elsewhere, and thus cause this loan in effect to be an aid in a military way. Mr. Scofield said that he knew the Department of Commerce would like to have $15,000,000 spent in this country for coal, wheat and machinery and that he hoped that this feature of this proposed financing would make it more acceptable to the Department.


38 Member of the law firm of Wellman, Smyth & Scofield, New York City.

Not printed; the letter, from Geo. R. Rock & Co., manufacturers' representatives, requested Mr. Scofield's firm to ascertain the Department's attitude on the $15,000,000 loan the Greek Government were seeking to place in the United States.

Until we shall have further word from Mr. Wadsworth 38 and have adopted some policy with regard to recognition, I do not see how we can do anything further than to reply as we have done previously to all those who have consulted us about possible loans to Greece. 39



Presumably Mr. Eliot Wadsworth, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.

On Mar. 23 Mr. Scofield was informed by letter of the Department's policy, in terms similar to the Secretary's reply to Messrs. Marvin & Pleasants, supra.

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