81 Ballard to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 9, SALONIKA, 19 January 1948, 3 p.m.

SECRET

Over the last few days, feeling has been developed among several members of the Committee especially Mexico and Brazil that the time is approaching when the committee must seriously consider whether it can perform any useful function in the present circumstances, especially in view of the complete boycott of the Committee by Greece's northern neighbours. They, and it seems from informal discussion most [of the other delegates regard][1] conciliation by the Committee as out of the question in view of the attitude of Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia (my telegram 6). Likewise any preparatory study by the Committee in the fields of frontier conventions, refugees and minorities seems overshadowed, in the view of most delegates, by this fundamental problem.

2. The Brazilian delegate appears to feel that the Committee should recommend the calling of a special Assembly session on the grounds that further consideration and different approach to the Greek question is necessary for the maintenance of international peace and security and the suggestion has been made that the Committee might indicate in its report to the Assembly the necessity of closing the Greek northern frontiers which might, in effect, be achieved by a much more extensive system of observers (not investigators) on Greek territory than the resources of the present Committee would permit. The argument is that closing of the frontiers would permit [effective][2] Greek police action against guerillas.

3. Nothing has crystallised yet but I feel that you should be aware of these undercurrents as they may be put before the Committee at any time. Your views would be appreciated.[3]

[1] Words in square brackets inserted from the copy written by Ballard on file AA : A6530, 49/10/8.

[2] Corrected from Ballard's copy (see above). Instead of the word 'effective', the Canberra copy read 'would permit the return of proposed Greek police action'.

[3] Burton annotated the cablegram: 'Mr. Shann: advise no action until Glasheen who has instructions arrives'.

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