Page:Minutes of War Cabinet Meeting 1.djvu/10

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were connected with anything of the kind. The Allied Powers have, from the outset, confined their demands upon Greece to the observance of a benevolent neutrality. Unfortunately this condition has not been observed. Not only have the proceedings of your Majesty's Government been open to grave objections, but the Allied Powers have received indubitable proof of action on the part of the Greek Government, both damaging in their naval and military interests and of direct assistance to the enemy's forces.

"This made it necessary for them, in the interests of their own safety, to ask for certain material guarantees, in the justifiability of which, it is only fair to observe, your Majesty had given reason to believe that you were disposed to agree. When, however, difficulties arose with your Majesty's Government in regard to the execution of those guarantees, the Allied Powers saw themselves obliged to order certain formal measures at Athens in the nature of a military demonstration, in order that the Greek Government should realise that the demand of the Allies was serious. Your Majesty was fully informed beforehand of the nature and scope of those measures, and gave to the Allied Commander, two days before the demonstration was to take place, a written assurance of the maintenance of public order. Relying on this assurance, small detachments of Allied troops were landed, only to be met by an unsuspected and unprovoked attack by Greek troops, posted for this purpose by the Greek Government.

"I take note of your Majesty's assurance that you deplore the useless bloodshed, and I note with satisfaction your declaration that you harbour no designs against the Allied Powers and will never attack them. But my Government can only take a very serious view of the events resulting in the death of my gallant troops. These events have aroused a feeling of deep and widespread indignation among my people; a feeling intensified by accounts received from many including neutral sources of the treatment to which Venizelists in Greece are now being subjected. Your Majesty will understand that the demands which, in conjunction with the Allied Powers, my Government must now make, will include reparations for the unprovoked attack made by your troops and guarantees for the future."


Telegram to Sir. F. Elliot (Athens), December 9, 1916.

Recent events in Athens have proved conclusively that neither the King nor the Greek Government have sufficient control over the Greek army to prevent Greek forces becoming a menace to peace and a danger to the Allied armies in Macedonia.

Under these circumstances the Governments of the Allied Powers are constrained to demand, for the security of their forces from attack, that the Greek troops now stationed in Northern Greece be immediately removed to the Morea, and that the evacuation commence within twenty four hours and proceed as rapidly as possible. They further demand that any movements of Greek troops from the Morea to Northern Greece be immediately suspended. Failure to comply with these two demands will be regarded by the Allies as an act of hostility on the part of the Greek Govenment.

The blockade of the Greek coast will be maintained until full reparation has been given for the recent unprovoked attack by the Greek forces upon the troops of the Allies at Athens, together with satisfactory guarantees for the future.

You should make a formal communication to the Greek Government in the above terms as soon as your colleagues have received similar instructions.