MARCH 16, 1952

VENIZELOS-PEURIFOY SPLIT: Relations between the government and the American Embassy grew more strained yesterday when the Cabinet issued a statement in response to one earlier this week by US Ambassador John Peurifoy on the electoral system. The Cabinet communique was issued after an ad hoc session chaired by acting Prime Minister Sophocles Venizelos on his return from the Palace at Tatoi, where he had a meeting with the king from 10 a.m. to 12.15 p.m. The Cabinet statement is as follows: «Naturally, the US government is interested in the best possible distribution of aid, for which we are grateful. However, it is up to the Greek people and their government to decide on their electoral system, in accordance with the Greek Constitution and (…) the country’s interest.» In reply, the US Embassy released the following statement: «The US Ambassador, Mr Peurifoy, in replying to a question by a foreign correspondent (Ed. note: by the news agency Reuters), expressed his surprise that US support for the policy of Greek Prime Minister Nikolaos Plastiras had been interpreted as any kind of interference.» BELOYIANNIS PLEA: The Supreme Court’s criminal section yesterday examined the pleas for a stay of execution for the communist spies Nikos Beloyiannis, Elli Ioannidou and two others.

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