HC Deb 15 October 1945 vol 414 cc674-5
22. Major Wilkes

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that Dionysious Papodongonas, colonel of the Tripolis Security Battalion throughout the German occupation and the author of a congratulatory telegram to Hitler, dated 28th July, 1944, on the occasion of Hitler's escape from the attempt on his life, was recently posthumously promoted to the rank of major-general in the Greek Army; and whether he will direct the British Military Mission in Greece to inform the Greek authorities that the arming, equipping and training of the three Greek divisions by the Military Mission cannot continue if notorious traitors are promoted and reappointed to high commands.

Mr. McNeil

As soon as this report vas brought to my right hon. Friend's attention, he asked His Majesty's Embassy in Athens to ascertain the facts. The matter was also taken up in the Greek Press. Admiral Voulgaris immediately cancelled the order for promotion, down-graded a number of Security Battalion officers who had been promoted by the Puppet Government during the occupation, and instituted an inquiry to ascertain who had included the name of Colonel Papadongonas in the list for promotion.

Major Wilkes

Is not my hon. Friend aware that this promotion was only cancelled as a result of nation-wide indignation expressed in Greece, and that, in fact, coupled with the promotion of Colonel Papadongonas was that of Colonel Dertilis, the leader of the Security Battalion? Does he not think it symptomatic of the present balance of forces in Greece at the moment that such promotions should be made?

Mr. McNeil

No, Sir. While I have already made it plain that Colonel Papadongonas was immediately demoted, my information does not lead me to any other conclusion than that his name was just one of a list submitted. I have already said that Admiral Voulgaris has attempted to find out how his name came to be included in the list.

Major Guy Lloyd

Is it not possible that the wrong "Papa" has, in fact, been mentioned?

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