884.6461 Tsana Dam/51: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister in Ethiopia (Southard)


18. We communicated contents of your telegram of October 17th, 11 a.m., to J. G. White Engineering Corporation. They point out, by way of reply, that it would be difficult, if not altogether impossible, because of purely engineering reasons for the British Government to reply to King Tafari’s inquiry concerning terms under which water will be used and paid for, unless engineering agreement is previously reached between the British authorities on the one hand and the White Corporation on the other—the latter representing His Majesty Ras Tafari’s interests and the interests of American stockholders who would invest forty million Ethiopian dollars in Ethiopia under the direction of His Majesty. White Corporation believe that a conference as described in Department’s 13, October 1, 6 p.m., would, if held before the departure of the new British Minister for Addis Ababa, conduce to the reaching of an agreement regarding the large sums which [Page 794] the British would be required to pay for water, from which sums would come returns to American capital as well as the important revenues accruing to the Government of Ethiopia.

Your bringing the foregoing to the attention of King Tafari would be appreciated by the J. G. White Corporation.